Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Love and Redemption (Ep. 21)

The sect leaders make plans to exchange a spirit key for Ling Long’s soul, but things don’t quite go as planned, especially with a traitor in their midst. Xuan Ji tries to reconcile with Si Feng, but gets plagued by one misunderstanding after another.


Recap

Zhu Shi approaches Chu Lei and offers to give up the Tianji Pearl in exchange for Ling Long’s soul. Chu Lei is grateful, but doesn’t feel comfortable making the decision on his own. He suggests that they should discuss it with the other sect leaders first.

Dongfang Qing Qi doesn’t want to give up the spirit key and suggests they should figure out a way to protect both Ling Long and the spirit key. Yuan Lang suggests that they should hand over the Tianji Pearl, but take out the spirit key before handing it over. The only problem is Zhu Shi is not yet recovered enough to open the pearl and free the spirit key. Yuan Lang suggests that the Dianjing sect leader, Rong, might have a solution. Zhu Shi is all too willing to let Rong try his hand at unlocking the pearl.

Chu Lei is grateful to them all for working together. Yuan Lang points out that it can’t really be called working together if no one knows what’s in Shaoyang’s secret place. The four other sects’ spirit keys are an open secret. What’s the secret in Shaoyang’s secret place? Zhu Shi adds his voice to pressure Chu Lei into revealing his sect’s secret.

Chu Lei gives it some thought, then decides to tell them as a sign of goodwill. He reveals that Mosha Star’s star soul is trapped in a crystal lamp inside Shaoyang’s secret place. Both Zhu Shi and Yuan Lang freeze and look thoughtful at this revelation.

Sect leader Rong needs some spirit energy in order to unlock the Tianji Pearl. Dongfang suggests they use the Fated Lovers’ Stone to collect the energy. Several Shaoyang disciples, including Hao Chen and Xuan Ji, work together to help Rong collect energy from the stone. Dongfang explains the story of the stone to them, that it supposedly shines light upon two lovers who are destined to be together by fate, but he’s never seen it happen.

After Rong collects enough energy, the stone keeps glowing, then suddenly shines light upon Xuan Ji and Hao Chen. Dongfang and Rong start congratulating Chu Lei on this predestined match for his daughter.

Xuan Ji protests that she can’t get married to Hao Chen just because of some rock. She doesn’t care if it’s ordained by fate. Hao Chen was the one who told her that marriage isn’t something she should casually agree to. Xuan Ji starts trying to get rid of the light, but Hao Chen warns her to stop or else she might hurt herself. The stone is simply detecting spirit energy. It’ll go away soon enough. He subtly sends some magic toward the stone and the light dissipates.

Hao Chen turns to Chu Lei and says that as someone who practices the Wuqing technique, marriage isn’t something on his radar. Dongfang convinces Chu Lei to let the young people figure this out on their own instead of pressuring them.

Hao Chen interrogates Si Ming on what happened with the stone. Isn’t that stone just a gimmick that Si Ming sent down to the mortal realm thousands of years ago as a joke? And now he dares to use it to mess with him? Si Ming hastily says that he didn’t intend to play any tricks on Hao Chen. He surmises that maybe the stone was just responding to the spiritual connection between Hao Chen and Xuan Ji, since Hao Chen was the one who erected her life column in the heavenly realm. But now that he’s seen the light, does he not have any plans?

Hao Chen sharply asks what plans he’s thinking of. Does Si Ming think he came down to the mortal world to marry Xuan Ji? He reminds Si Ming that he’s here for the sake of the three worlds.

Si Ming knows, but has a small suggestion. The God of War originally wanted to marry Hao Chen. If he fulfills her wish now, won’t he be more successful in bringing her back to the heavenly realm? Hao Chen thinks his idea is terrible and warns him not to mention anything like it again.

Si Ming bows respectfully as he leaves, but once he’s gone, he shakes his head. Xuan Ji may be the one who doesn’t have a heart or feelings, but Hao Chen also seems to not even know his own heart or feelings.

Zhu Shi suggests to Dongfang that he should allow his disciples back onto the island so they can better protect themselves if the demons attack. Dongfang likes the idea. Yu Ning and some other disciples wait on the beach as a boat carrying the Fuyu disciples enters the waters around the island. She orders for them to be allowed through the shield.

Rong succeeds in opening the Tianji Pearl and extracting the spirit key. He hands it over to Dongfang, who gives him a fake key to place in the pearl.

Hao Chen and Xuan Ji are to accompany Chu Lei to Tianxu Hall in order to exchange the pearl for Ling Long’s soul. Xuan Ji wants to go to the pier immediately, but Hao Chen convinces her to wait and be patient, since the pier will be rowdy with the Fuyu disciples returning. They run into Min Xing and some other Shaoyang disciples, who tease them about getting married, now that it’s known they’re fated to be together. Si Feng hears the last bit and turns around, hurrying away. Xuan Ji notices and chases after him.

Xuan Ji follows Si Feng to the river, where she tries to explain that she doesn’t care about what the stone said. He tells her she doesn’t need to explain anything to him, but she insists. Everyone else acts like she was willing to marry anyone in order to help them, but she knows that she wouldn’t marry just anyone. It has to be Si Feng. Hao Chen listens from behind a tree.

Xuan Ji suddenly sniffs the air as she smells a strong scent of demons.

Demons riding dragons flock around the boat carrying Fuyu disciples to the island. They attack.

The sect leaders are told that demons are attacking right as Rong finishes crafting the Tianji Pearl with the fake spirit key inside. Chu Lei tells Dongfang to secure the spirit key. Zhu Shi tries to follow, but Chu Lei orders him to accompany him to the pier in order to defend the island.

Pian Pian tells Yu Ning to activate the shield spell around the island so the demons can’t get in. Yu Ning and her team of disciples manage to activate the shield, blocking out the majority of the demons, but several groups still land. One group attacks the source of the shield, which consists of several disciples who work together to hold the spell. Dragons spew concentrated fire from above.

Yuan Lang stands by, watching the fights happen, but not joining in.

Dongfang goes to help his disciples secure the shield. On the way, Qing Rong finds him, saying that she wants to be wherever he is. He presses his token into her hand and gives her the passcode — the year they met. Having possession of the token makes her the master of the island. He summons Yu Ning to serve as Qing Rong’s bodyguard.

Dongfang adds his strength to the island’s shield, but a few dragon blasts make it through and scatter the disciples. Si Feng appears and throws in a spell of his own, single-handedly helping to reinforce the shield, but he also weakens.

Xuan Ji shows up and adds her own power to the mix. She throws Dingkun into the sky. Her eyes crackle with blue lightning as she soars up to join her weapon beyond the shield and lets out a blast of energy that vaporizes the dragons around her. The remaining dragons and demons retreat. Xuan Ji faints and falls out of the sky. Si Feng catches her.

This time, Xuan Ji recovers consciousness quickly and catches Si Feng watching with concern. She asks if he was worried about her, with a small smile. He clears his throat and says that as a friend, of course he’s worried. She reassures him again that the stone didn’t mean anything.

The rest of the sect leaders and disciples rush up, asking what happened. Xuan Ji explains that she tried to make the dragons blow themselves up by throwing fire at them in the sky. He admonishes her for being reckless.

A disciple reports to Dongfang that they’ve caught a demon. Dongfang orders him to interrogate the demon. The leaders suddenly notice that Zhu Shi has disappeared. Yuan Lang suggests searching along the shoreline for him. Chu Lei sends Hao Chen and a few other Shaoyang disciples to go with him.

Xuan Ji smells demons again and says that there must still be some remaining on the island. She admits that she smelled a bit of demonic energy on the island ever since they arrived. She points in the direction of Dongfang’s secret vault. He rushes off.

Qing Rong knocks Yu Ning out with a needle when her back is turned, then meets up with Ouyang outside Dongfang’s vault. They enter.

After they leave the vault, they flee toward a back part of the island where Ouyang has already created a hole in the shield. Ouyang tries to convince Qing Rong to hand over the spirit keys in her possession, but she says that she and the treasures will be his once they leave the island together. Ouyang clenches his fist but agrees.

Dongfang and the others arrive at the vault to find it empty. Dongfang knows that Qing Rong is the only person who could have opened it, but is in denial that she would do something like this. They split up to look for her.

Dongfang manages to find Qing Rong and Ouyang, who reveals that he’s actually Di Lang. Dongfang and Di Lang fight, but Dongfang isn’t a match for Di Lang, who matches to knock him to the ground. Before Di Lang can make a killing blow, Chu Lei flies in to defend Dongfang.

Chu Lei manages to hold his own for a good while, but eventually gets put on the defensive and clawed by Di Lang’s talon, which it turns out is poisonous. Ying Hong attends to him while Xuan Ji and Si Feng fly in and team up to face Di Lang. They manage to knock him down, with the help of Yin Hua who shoots out as a snake to bite him and distract him.

Dongfang is ready to kill Di Lang when he’s on the ground, but Qing Rong throws herself in front of him, saying he’ll have to kill her first. Di Lang grabs Qing Rong and they disappear.

Xuan Ji wants to give chase, but both Hao Chen and her father warn her not to. Di Lang easily defeated two sect leaders. If she chases him, it’s a certain death. Xuan Ji is desperate for the spirit keys — without them, how will they get Ling Long back? She can’t believe that her father is willing to give up on Ling Long.

Dongfang tortures the demon who was caught while the other sect leaders watch. The demon eventually reveals why his division leader wants the spirit keys: to free Wu Zhi Qi, who has Mosha Star’s Juntian ring and Cehai hook. By obtaining Juntian Cehai, then they can open the Liuli lamp and resurrect Mosha Star.

Yuan Lang tries to sow doubt, suggesting that maybe the demon doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but Chu Lei wants to err on the side of caution. Dongfang demands to know where Tianxu Hall’s base is and who their leader is, but the demon doesn’t know, so he kills him.

The leaders discuss what to do next. Yuan Lang seems to think everyone is overreacting — there are still two spirit keys left — but securing those spirit keys is of utmost importance. Rong says he will immediately fortify the protections around his spirit key, while Yuan Lang reassures them that he knows if there’s even an extra fly at Lize Palace. He reminds Chu Lei that he should probably keep a close eye on his own secret place.

Di Lang tries to recover from the injuries he sustained in battle, but smiles because he got something of immense value: a little bit of Chu Lei’s blood.


Commentary

It’s too obvious that Yuan Lang is evil despite my desire for him to be chaotic neutral. I’m so sad! He has the perfect bored looks. But perhaps that’s part of his evil appeal.

This episode made me even more sympathetic toward Hao Chen and his fated but doomed love and how he’s so in denial about it all. But I also have way more respect for Xuan Ji. I love that she’s the kind of person who scorns fate and decides to forge her own destiny. That’s probably the type of mentality that got her in trouble in the first place up in the heavenly realm, but it’s also so human.

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