Tian Lin makes some important discoveries in his investigation into the Mingtong Group. Meanwhile, Zi Tong runs into her mother, who is determined to give her a strong reality check. Zhi Sheng offers Zi Tong his unconditional support.
In an old video, a reporter asks a little girl what her dream is. She’s Zi Tong as a child, dressed in her taekwondo uniform, eating an ice cream cone, and holding her father’s hand. Zi Tong cheerfully says that her dream is to win a gold medal and be like her mother and go to the Olympics. She smears some of her ice cream on the reporter’s mic in the process. Da Quan laughs apologetically and pulls her away.
After Da Quan and Zi Tong walk away, the reporter asks a young boy walking by what his dream is. It’s Zhi Sheng. Zhi Sheng responds that he’ll tell the reporter if he gives him fifty dollars. The reporter hands Zhi Sheng a coin. Zhi Sheng responds that he wants to become fifteen years old as quickly as possible. Because then he can make money for his aunt. The reporter teases Zhi Sheng, asking if he’s Yang Guo (hero of Return of the Condor Heroes). Zhi Sheng frowns and exclaims, “My name is Fang Zhi Sheng!”
A reporter goes around on the street asking people what their dreams are. No one wants to talk to him. He asks a person eating lunch on a bench — it’s Zi Tong, now an adult. She immediately tries to walk away, snapping it’s none of his business, but he follows her, asking her to just say it. She glares at the camera then demands to know what the point of telling him is — can he make her dream come true? She rushes away.
Suddenly, Zhi Sheng appears and pulls the mic toward him. He stares straight into the camera and says that his dream is to make money, count it, then make some more. He wants everyone to join his company. They’re going to take over the world. Yu Qian manages to pull him away.
The reporter turns to the cameraman and tells him to scrap all of that footage. Pretend it never happened.
Tian Lin sighs as he looks at his bank account and remembers how Zi Tong had stubbornly refused to ask their father for help. Da Quan brings Tian Lin some tea and sees him looking at his bank statement, then casually asks if he needs money again. Didn’t he just pay Xin Yan’s tuition?
Tian Lin tells Da Quan that Zi Tong borrowed money from him for a surgery. Da Quan immediately asks if she has enough and is more than willing to help out, but Tian Lin tells him that Zi Tong doesn’t want to rely on them. She’s doing it partly out of consideration for her parents, knowing the debt they’ve taken on in order to keep the dojang open. Da Quan sighs. They’re lucky if they can break even — no one cares about taekwondo unless there’s an Olympic game coming up. Tian Lin comments that Qian Ni’s sponsorships should help a bit, but Da Quan just sighs more.
Qian Ni gets back to the dojang late and apologizes to Cai Feng, who waits for her with a frown. Cai Feng doesn’t want to hear her excuses and instead asks if she wants to just drop out and go become a celebrity instead. Qian Ni says that she’s already told Cai Feng about the commercials, but Cai Feng snaps that she never agreed. Qian Ni exasperatedly points out that she’s taking on the commercial work to help out her family and the dojang — why won’t Cai Feng agree?
Cai Feng laughs cynically and asks if Qian Ni is dating Ke Ting Wei just to get a sponsorship. Qian Ni says it’s none of her business, but Cai Feng turns and says that if it affects Qian Ni’s training, it is her business. What the dojang needs is an athlete, not a pretty face who makes money. If Qian Ni doesn’t have the ambition, then she’s free to leave. They don’t need her. There are plenty of other athletes who are worthy of Cai Feng’s time.
Qian Ni fumes, but remembers what Zhi Sheng said to her about how something that’s stolen will never truly be hers. She bows and apologizes to Cai Feng, saying she won’t make the same mistake again.
Cai Feng doesn’t say anything and walks away. Qian Ni tells her retreating back that she really won’t do it anymore — she’ll talk to the company. Cai Feng just raises a hand without turning around and tells Qian Ni to go get changed. Qian Ni silently vows that she won’t let anyone take what belongs to her.
Zi Tong continues to balance training with her work schedule. One day at work, Ren Guang notices that Zhi Sheng has a telescope pointing out the window of his office. He and the other employees gossip about how strange Zhi Sheng has been lately. Has someone gotten onto his bad side?
Yu Qian watches as Zhi Sheng fiddles with the telescope and asks how long he plans on doing this for. He reminds Yu Qian that performance reviews are happening soon and Zhi Sheng is going to make everyone else think he’s trying to fire someone. But Zhi Sheng isn’t listening. Instead, he’s still preoccupied with how Zi Tong smiled so easily in front of Tian Lin, yet refuses to smile in front of him.
Yu Qian puts a hand on Zhi Sheng’s shoulder and offers to drink with him at night. Zhi Sheng quickly says that he isn’t heartbroken, but Yu Qian tells him that it’s okay — he doesn’t have to put on a brave face. Zhi Sheng says that as long as Zi Tong is married yet, then he hasn’t lost yet.
Zhi Sheng suddenly decides that he needs to ask Zi Tong about it, but Yu Qian stops him. It’s obvious that Zi Tong has chosen the other guy. Zhi Sheng points at his own face. How could she choose the other guy? Yu Qian points out that there’s no winning or losing when it comes to love and love isn’t something you can force just by trying hard.
Zhi Sheng decides to go ask Zi Tong anyway, but she isn’t at her desk. Ming Huan says he saw her go up to the rooftop.
Zhi Sheng finds Zi Tong napping at a table. She opens her eyes when he quietly sits down next to her, then snaps them shut and pretends to sleep. Zhi Sheng looks at Zi Tong and thinks to himself that this is the first time he’s really wanted to be with someone. He wants to be with her, but if she’s already with Tian Lin, what should he do?
Meanwhile, Zi Tong is wondering to herself what Zhi Sheng is looking at. Can he just leave?
Her phone chimes. Zhi Sheng sees the text message from Tian Lin about the money transfer and immediately exclaims, “You’re borrowing money from him?”
Zi Tong sits up — why is he trying to look at her phone? Zhi Sheng is still focused on the money. If she needs money, she can borrow it from him. Why is she borrowing from that guy? Zi Tong says it’s none of his business and leaves.
Zhi Sheng sulks in Yu Qian’s office, bothering him while he tries to actually do some work. Zhi Sheng has already done everything there is to do work-wise today, so Yu Qian finally sits back with a sigh and lets Zhi Sheng talk. Zhi Sheng is all too happy to start ranting about how Zi Tong borrowed money from Tian Lin instead of him. Yu Qian tells him to “stop complaining” and “do something” instead. Zi Tong might not ask him for money, but he can always give it to her. He’s the CEO — Yu Qian is sure he can come up with something.
Zi Tong overhears some of the employees talking about an upcoming company brainstorming competition. The prize is $50,000 NTD.
The employees start forming teams for the pitch competition. Ming Huan hesitantly asks Zi Tong if she’s participating and offers to team up with her. He used to work in a business department and has experienced coming up with business plans. Zi Tong agrees. You Zhi asks if he can join in and they accept him, too.
Zhi Sheng smiles to himself in his office, thinking that Zi Tong will certainly team up with him for the competition. She enters and hands him some documents to review, then wonders if she’s supposed to tell him that she’s participating in the competition. Zhi Sheng can tell that she’s thinking about saying something, but assumes that she’s just too shy to ask to team up with him. He tries to lead her into it, then is disappointed to find out that she’s already teamed up with other people. He tells her that she should obviously team up with him, since he’s the most experienced at pitching here.
Zi Tong gives him a weird look. What kind of boss would hold a competition and participate in it? She points out that it wouldn’t be fair for him to be a participant and a judge. He starts saying that they can find someone else like Yu Qian to judge, and tries to pitch himself to her, but she says that she’s going to get back to work.
All the employees take advantage of their lunch break to brainstorm for the competition. Zhi Sheng personally hands Zi Tong some product placement water and tells her to call him if she needs help. She gives him a weird look.
Later, he spots her brainstorming with her team up on the roof. He wants to go out to them, but Yu Qian warns him not to. After he’s gone, Zi Tong turns toward the windows with a frown, as if having sensed someone watching her.
At night, Zhi Sheng finds Zi Tong asleep at her desk after a long work day. He gently lays her jacket over her shoulders and turns off her desk lamp.
Fang Qing finds Zhi Sheng sulking on the couch at home. Yu Qian tells her how Zhi Sheng tried to be clever in his pursuit of Zi Tong, but ended up sabotaging himself. Fang Qing and Yu Qian start teasing Zhi Sheng about how attentive he’s being toward Zi Tong and how the wedding bells should be ringing soon. Zhi Sheng gets annoyed with their teasing. Fang Qing reminds him that love is all about patience. Zhi Sheng sulkily goes back to his room.
Zhi Sheng molds a clay head that’s meant to be Zi Tong’s and tells her that she better win first place in the competition. Zi Tong stays up late working on her presentation.
Da Quan brings Cai Feng some fresh clothes, which she accepts with an appreciative smile. But then her expression darkens when Da Quan tells her that Zi Tong borrowed money from Tian Lin for a surgery. He asks her to consider letting Zi Tong come back if all goes well with her recovery, but Cai Feng impatiently walks away, telling him to not talk about it anymore. Da Quan follows, trying to convince her.
The students in Cai Feng’s class heard everything, and two of them report to Qian Ni with what they heard. Qian Ni frowns. Zi Tong still hasn’t given up? Ting Wei tries to reassure Qian Ni that there’s no way Zi Tong can catch up to her after she’s been out of training for two years. Besides, there’s no guarantee her surgery and recovery will go smoothly. But Qian Ni still looks bothered and silently vows to not let her come back.
Tian Lin tries to get some more information about Mingtong from a former employee, but the man doesn’t want to talk to Tian Lin and is annoyed that he keeps showing up. Afterward, Tian Lin meets up with Xin Yan and Zi Tong for Xin Yan’s taekwondo exam.
Zhi Sheng and Fang Qing are also at the school. Zhi Sheng sarcastically applauds Tian Lin’s use of his child to try and get Fang Qing. Fang Qing protests that she should be here anyway because several of her students are on the school team. But Zhi Sheng is here today as her protector.
Xin Yan runs up to them, greeting them as her teacher and her teacher’s boyfriend. But the moment Zhi Sheng spots Zi Tong, he immediately says that Fang Qing isn’t his girlfriend — she’s his aunt. Fang Qing looks at him, surprised. Xin Yan looks up at Zi Tong and addresses her as her aunt, then tells her that this is the teacher she was talking about. Zhi Sheng slowly points from Zi Tong to Xin Yan. She’s her aunt?
Zhi Sheng slowly connects the dots as to who Tian Lin is, then starts laughing and greets Tian Lin as “brother” with a shake of a hand and a hand on his shoulder. Tian Lin asks if they know each other well and shakes his hand off.
Xin Yan drags Tian Lin and Zi Tong away. Fang Qing turns to Zhi Sheng. What happened to being her protective boyfriend? Zhi Sheng apologizes, saying this was a special circumstance. Fang Qing realizes who Zi Tong is and teases Zhi Sheng. His assistant showed up so he forgot all about his aunt, didn’t he?
Zhi Sheng tags along as Zi Tong helps Xin Yan warm up and tries to be extra involved. Zi Tong gives him a weird look and Xin Yan shrinks away from him.
Fang Qing and Tian Lin chat and smile at them from the hallway. Other students and their parents filter in, including the boy who attacked Xin Yan before. Fang Qing greets his mother, but she just frowns and says, “You wait and see.”
The boy immediately runs up to Xin Yan when he arrives. Xin Yan turns away and refuses to look at him. His mother tells him that they shouldn’t talk to people from uneducated families and takes him away.
Cai Feng shows up, surprising Xin Yan who greets her with excitement. Tian Lin and Zi Tong both frown to see her. Xin Yan gets called away by the teacher. Cai Feng drops her smile when she makes eye contact with Zi Tong and motions for her to talk outside.
Cai Feng tells Zi Tong to cancel the surgery. Why won’t she give up? If surgery could fix everything, would she be here like this today? Zi Tong says that she wants to do taekwondo again, and starts explaining how this surgery is different, but Cai Feng interrupts her. Even if the surgery is successful, she will never return to her previous condition. Zi Tong says she can do it. Her mother says she can’t. She should know that an injured body will never be able to return to its peak shape again.
Zi Tong says that she’s relied on herself for PT, for money, for chasing her dreams. She doesn’t need her mother to support her, but why does she insist on putting her down? Why does she insist on denying her?
“Because this is called reality,” Cai Feng responds. There’s no point in trying if she will never succeed. Zi Tong asks if what she means is that no matter how hard she tries, it will mean nothing. Cai Feng inhales sharply, but says, “Yes.”
Zi Tong starts to cry. Zhi Sheng suddenly shows up and puts a hand on Zi Tong’s arm, then asks if Cai Feng is really Zi Tong’s mother. Zi Tong is her daughter, not her enemy. How could she treat her like this? Zi Tong shrugs her way out of Zhi Sheng’s grasp. Zhi Sheng asks if Cai Feng is jealous of Zi Tong — is she jealous of how Zi Tong is younger, more talented, and has the opportunities that she never did? Is that why she insists on standing in the way of her dreams? Does she know how hard Zi Tong has worked for her dream?
“What do you know?” Cai Feng demands. “I’m doing this for her own good.”
Zhi Sheng says that if she were really looking out for Zi Tong, she would do her duty as Zi Tong’s mother and coach and support her in returning to competition, not put her down. Cai Feng demands to know who he thinks he is, getting involved in their personal business. Zhi Sheng retorts that he’s her boss and her future corporate sponsor.
Cai Feng turns to stare at Zi Tong. Zhi Sheng puts a hand on Zi Tong’s shoulder and tells her that starting now, she will be his company’s sponsored athlete. He glances at Cai Feng. If she won’t support Zi Tong, he will.
Cai Feng lets out a cynical laugh. So the injured soldier wants to return to the battlefield? Zhi Sheng retorts that every hero has their scars. He takes Zi Tong by the shoulders and gently wipes away her tears, telling her that he values the hurt she’s experienced because they’re valuable experiences she’s had. He tells Cai Feng that from now on, he’ll take care of Zi Tong. He takes Zi Tong by the hand and leads her away.
Cai Feng sighs, shoulders dropping, after they leave. Tian Lin shows up and tells her that if she doesn’t know how to love, the least she can do is not harm. “Do you only know how to hurt others?” he asks.
Cai Feng tells him to watch his attitude. Tian Lin apologizes — growing up, his mother only cared about taekwondo. She never taught him any manners. He asks if taekwondo is really so important to her that she would treat him and Zi Tong like this. Cai Feng says yes, it is that important.
“So why did you give birth to us?” he asks. He and Zi Tong aren’t like their father. They won’t unconditionally tolerate the way she treats them. “You don’t need us. We don’t need you, either.”
Cai Feng breaks down with a sob after Tian Lin walks away, but then takes several deep breaths to try and summon her resolve.
Zhi Sheng follows Zi Tong and is astounded to realize that she’s already stopped crying. That quickly? He corrects himself and says that what he really means is her mother crossed the line, but Zi Tong shouldn’t give up on herself because of what her mother said. Zi Tong doesn’t respond. He asks her to say something, at least.
Zi Tong finally looks up at him and says she didn’t know he could be so vicious with his words, but she rejects his offer. She doesn’t want to owe him anything.
Zhi Sheng says that there will always be noble people in this world, like him. She ignores him. He tells her that she might not believe him, but when he was trying to secure funding for his company, he bowed down and begged so many banks who all rejected him. But eventually, he succeeded. Zi Tong is surprised he’s capable of bowing down.
Zhi Sheng tells her there’s no shame in bowing down for the sake of your dream. The shame is if you can bow down, but choose to give up instead. He dared to because he knows he has the ability to return the money he borrowed. So what if she accepts his sponsorship and owes him something? She can repay him with a gold medal. She made it this far for the sake of her dream. Does she really not have the self-confidence? He tells her that she is very strong, but rejecting help isn’t strength — it’s just being too proud. That’s all he has to say, but he hopes she’ll really think hard about it.
Zi Tong has always thought that you could only rely on yourself to make your dreams into a reality. But is she wrong?
Zi Tong stays late at work one day. After the last person has left, she goes into Zhi Sheng’s office and admits that she’s thought it through and he’s right. She asks him to sponsor her.
Zhi Sheng stands up with a smile and holds out his hand to shake, saying they should find some time to iron out the details. Zi Tong takes his hand with a smile.
Tian Lin is updating his friend on how the Mingtong investigation is going when he spots a newpaper clipping that has fallen to the ground. On it is a headline questioning whether Mingtong has public interests at heart. Tian Lin notices the name on the byline and looks it up: Fang Xiang Tai. Zhi Sheng’s father. He finds an article describing Fang Xiang Tai’s accidental death. Is this Fang Xiang Tai the journalist who wrote the Mingtong article?
Zi Tong tells Zhi Sheng that she wants to pay him back for his money. He asks her if she understands what sponsorship means. She does, but points out that she’s injured and isn’t a well-known athlete. Zhi Sheng says that a company may sponsor an athlete for multiples reasons. Zi Tong guesses two of them: increase brand recognition and build a public image. But there’s also a third: tax breaks. Sponsorships are a business decision. Sponsoring a well-known athlete is just “icing on the cake” but sponsoring a developing athlete is providing help when its needed. That kind of relationship will go the longest and farthest. It’s like buying when the price is low.
Zhi Sheng quickly tries to tell Zi Tong that he’s not trying to compare her to a product, but Zi Tong interrupts and says that he really does seem to have good business sense. She promises that she won’t be a loss. He smiles and puts a hand on her shoulder, then realizes what he’s doing and awkwardly withdraws it.
He tells Zi Tong that she doesn’t need to participate in the brainstorming competition anymore, but Zi Tong says that since she’s already decided to participate, she’ll see it through to the end. Zhi Sheng comments that she really doesn’t admit defeat. She says it’s not that — she just doesn’t want to give up. If she gives up so easily in the middle of doing something now, then later… Zhi Sheng finishes her sentence for her. Then later, when something tougher comes up, it’ll be even harder to hold on.
One day, Zi Tong asks Zhi Sheng for the car keys. She got her driver’s license after he mentioned that an assistant should learn how to drive. He smiles, but says next time. New drivers are the most dangerous. Zi Tong protests that she’s the assistant, so she should drive. Zhi Sheng points out that she’s also his sponsored athlete, and a valuable asset he must protect. He doesn’t let her make more excuses and tells her to get in.
Tian Lin shows his editor friend, Ceng Ya Jun, a scanned copy of the Mingtong article he found. He can’t find traces of it online — it might be because it was from a small newspaper that doesn’t have online records. He shares what he learned about the journalist’s death and that he left behind a son, but because the son was a minor, his name and photo were never published. Tian Lin thinks that if they can find the son, maybe they can ask him a few questions and learn something.
Wang Xin Hui shows up and looks curiously over at them. Ya Jun notices her and excuses himself from Tian Lin for a moment to have a pointed conversation with her in which he comments on how she hasn’t submitted any articles to him lately. She admits she’s afraid he wouldn’t accept them, and he smiles and says he definitely wouldn’t. Because he only accepts good articles. If she writes good ones, then he’ll accept them.
He returns to Tian Lin and tells him that he’ll give him the authority to access the company’s archives. Xin Hui eavesdrops with interest. Who is Tian Lin looking for? Is he working on a big scoop?
Tian Lin gets a reminder on his phone to pick up Xin Yan from school. Ya Jun teases him about Xin Yan’s teacher. Not only is she teaching Xin Yan, she’s also taught him how to become a loving father.
Zhi Sheng has another nightmare while dozing off at his desk. He wakes with a start to find Zi Tong about to touch him on the shoulder. She tells him about an upcoming meeting and then asks if he’s okay. He reassures her he’s fine, but after she leaves the office, he calls his psychologist, Dr. He, and schedules an appointment.
Fang Qing’s coworker whom she met at the group date, Jiang, shyly asks her about the taekwondo exam over the weekend and is relieved to find out that the handsome guy with her is her nephew. He admits that he started working at the school partly for a change of environment, but also because of her. He asks her to consider being with him. Fang Qing looks around awkwardly for an escape route, but sees none. Jiang tries to tell her no pressure.
Xin Yan and Tian Lin pass by and Xin Yan greets Fang Qing. Her coworker excuses himself. Tian Lin and Fang Qing start saying something at the same time and end up each telling the other to go first, but at the same time. Tian Lin lets Fang Qing go first. She says she’s seeking some advice from him. He suggests that she can ask over dinner. “Huh?” Fang Qing asks. Tian Lin says that Xin Yan is hungry. “Huh?” Xin Yan asks. Tian Lin squeezes her hand and she smiles conspiratorially, then plays along.
Fang Qing asks Tian Lin to share what Zi Tong’s interests and likes are. He’s confused, and she quickly says that she’s asking for Zhi Sheng. Tian Lin admits that it’s not that he doesn’t want to tell her, but he doesn’t know. He doesn’t understand Zi Tong very well and isn’t very close with his family. That’s why he ran away from home in the first place. If not for Xin Yan, he probably wouldn’t even talk to Zi Tong that much. He only grew closer to Zi Tong recently because his relationship with Xin Yan has improved.
Tian Lin says that he’s not a very good brother or father or son. Fang Qing looks at him sympathetically, but then smiles and says that things will get better. Children can break down all barriers in a family.
Fang Qing asks if he had something he wanted to ask her. Tian Lin reveals he heard her whole conversation with Jiang and gently teases her, saying that when men say that there’s no rush, there actually is a rush. He asks what Fang Qing plans on doing about him. Fang Qing admits that at her age, she doesn’t really think about dating anymore. Tian Lin asks if it’s because she was too heartbroken after being dumped. She looks mock-offended and says it has nothing to do with that.
Tian Lin shrugs with a smile as he recalls overhearing how Fang Qing was dumped over the phone. He watched her curse out her ex after he hung up on her. She caught him looking and accused him of eavesdropping. He tried to tell her the next guy would be better, and she said that was for certain. Her number one goal was to be a teacher and after that, she was going to get married, have kids, and a happy family.
Now, Fang Qing says that it wasn’t like it was her first time getting dumped back at the resort. For someone who’s a professional at being dumped, she… and then she trails off, realizing that she just admitted to him that she’s been dumped. A lot. Fang Qing quickly changes the subject and asks Tian Lin to tell her what Zi Tong likes. Anything.
Tian Lin asks if Zhi Sheng is actually intent on pursuing Zi Tong. “You don’t approve?” Fang Qing asks. Tian Lin says that Zhi Sheng and Zi Tong don’t seem suited for each other, but Fang Qing responds that’s not up to them to decide. She begs Tian Lin to tell her something, anything about what Zi Tong likes. She’ll give him anything in return. Tian Lin smiles — anything? She nods. He tells her to remember that she agreed to this, then says that he really thinks their relationship doesn’t seem promising.
Fang Qing defends Zhi Sheng — Tian Lin just doesn’t understand him. She starts talking up Zhi Sheng, saying he’s very kind and gentlemanly. He might not look like it, but he’s actually very fragile and sensitive.
Zhi Sheng asks Dr. He if he’s really that fragile and sensitive. He doesn’t know why, but he’s been dreaming about how his father would lock him up. Dr. He asks if there have been any major changes in his life recently, then asks about Zi Tong. Zhi Sheng perks up and shares how he finally convinced Zi Tong to accept his sponsorship. Things are going well.
Dr. He points out that Zhi Sheng used to dream about his father around his father’s death anniversary and whenever he was nervous or stressed. But Zhi Sheng says that he really does feel stress-free right now. Dr. He asks if Zhi Sheng plans on talking to Zi Tong about his past. Zhi Sheng immediately says no. He doesn’t want to scare her.
Dr. He says that stress is sometimes obvious and external, but sometimes it can be subtle. Zhi Sheng says he won’t let his past be an obstacle for them. Dr. He asks if that’s the only obstacle between them. He teases Zhi Sheng, guessing that it’s still a one-sided crush, but also that Zhi Sheng likes it because he’s always been one who enjoys a challenge.
Dr. He tells Zhi Sheng that he knows everyone wants to appear perfect in front of the person they like, but if he can find the right time to be vulnerable with her, it’ll actually make them closer. Zhi Sheng nods thoughtfully.
Mi Ya asks Zi Tong where Zhi Sheng is. When she finds out that Zhi Sheng cancelled a meeting last-minute and took some time off, she frowns. He’s usually very prompt. If he cancelled so suddenly, maybe something has happened.
When Zhi Sheng returns, Zi Tong asks if something happened and that’s why he suddenly cancelled his meetings. Zhi Sheng smiles and asks what the date is — it’s so rare that she acts like she cares about him, he wants to make sure he writes it down. Zi Tong is unamused, but nothing can dampen Zhi Sheng’s new good mood.
Zi Tong empties the pockets of a jacket Zhi Sheng asked her to dry clean before putting it away. She finds a crumpled up piece of paper, which she smooths out curiously. It’s an invoice from his psychologist’s office. She glances toward him and remembers how he had seemed so scared when he woke up the other day, then wonders if he’s okay.
Zi Tong tries asking Yu Qian about Zhi Sheng, but Yu Qian says that everything is going great for him. Zi Tong surprises him by telling him that he should show Zhi Sheng some extra attention if he has time.
Later, she surprises Zhi Sheng by bringing him snacks that are all sweets. When he points it out, she says that eating sweets will improve his mood. He says he wants something savory. She promptly leaves to go get some savory snacks.
Zhi Sheng is in a meeting that breaks for lunch when Zi Tong arrives with the takeout they ordered. Zhi Sheng tells her that she doesn’t need to save one for him — he’s going to go out for a bit. Zi Tong notices that he’s not eating. He says he’ll eat if she eats with him. “Okay,” she says. He stares at her. For real?
They eat up on the rooftop and Zhi Sheng casually asks where her teammates are — shouldn’t they be meeting? Zi Tong says that they’re both out doing deliveries. Zhi Sheng says that’s why she’s eating lunch with him, right? But she says that’s not it, then says that there’s nothing in life that won’t pass.
Zhi Sheng gives her a slightly confused look. She reminds him that he said trying to be brave isn’t the same as being strong. So no matter what, he has to keep living. He nods and smiles awkwardly. Zi Tong stares at him for a moment, then tells him to pretend she didn’t say anything.
She frowns and focuses on her food. Zhi Sheng continues to glance at her with confusion.
Cai Feng is heartless in the way she treats her children, but I also have sympathy for how stubbornly proud she is. It’s not that she doesn’t care, she just doesn’t seem to know how to care, and is too proud to admit that she does. She seems like someone who prides herself on being strong, and to show anything other than that strength must seem like a sign of weakness to her. Zi Tong is similar to her in that way, believing that appearing strong is the same as strength. At least Zi Tong has Zhi Sheng to try to break down that wall for her. I’m also a sucker for complex parent-child relationships.
I didn’t expect this type of link between Tian Lin’s investigation and Zhi Sheng, but I like the direction it’s going. I’m all for more collaborative and less combative relationships. It’ll be interesting, too, to grapple with this idea that Zhi Sheng’s father could be doing something “good” with his investigation of Mingtong’s corruption, but also be a bad person at the same time.