Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Love and Redemption (Ep. 28)

Xuan Ji and Si Feng decide that the past doesn’t define the present and enjoy the moment they have now. But it seems like it’s only a matter of time before their pasts catch up to them.


Recap

Xuan Ji finds Si Feng standing on the docks. She rushes to him and hugs him, begging him not to leave like this. She knows that she treated him poorly before, but this time is different. She’s recovered her six senses. She is different.

He pushes her away. In nine previous lives, someone also said she would never forget him, yet those were all empty words. Xuan Ji says that she doesn’t remember what happened in her past lives, but she knows what she feels now. She likes him. She kisses him. He’s surprised, but when she pulls away, he pulls her to him again and kisses her again.

Xuan Ji asks if he’ll stay. He smiles and says, “When did I ever say I was going to leave?” He’s only at the docks because he hired a boatman to pick some lotus seeds for him. He teases her — is she regretting what she said now? But everyone around heard what she said, so it’s too late for regrets.

Si Feng reminds Xuan Ji that he said he would teach her how to love him. How could he leave? He leans his head against hers. The past doesn’t matter — it’s the present that’s real. “This time, don’t even think about forgetting me.”

Si Feng picks Xuan Ji up bridal style and carries her all the way back to the lodge where they’re staying, surprising Min Yan, Yi Huan, and Ruo Yu, who stare. Ting Nu smiles.

Later, Min Yan asks Ruo Yu why he seems heavy-hearted after seeing Si Feng and Xuan Ji get together. Ruo Yu says that he’s happy for them, but he’s concerned by their fate, which seems to always have them meet only to part again. Min Yan asks if fate is really set in stone like that. He’s worried about Ling Long. The worst kind of fate is being destined to meet, but never be together. He pulls out a piece of mirror he held onto. He was hoping he could find answers within it, but he hasn’t been able to see anything.

Ruo Yu says that the mirror only shows phantoms of the past. They live in the present, which has nothing to do with the past. What Min Yan and Ling Long have between them as childhood sweethearts is something others can only envy. Now that they’ve found Ting Nu, they’re so close to getting into Buzhou Mountain and rescuing Ling Long. Min Yan should focus on how he’ll take care of her after they rescue her.

Min Yan smiles at Ruo Yu. He didn’t realize Ruo Yu was so good at comforting people. Ruo Yu sighs and says that it’s not comforting people that he’s good at — he’s just confident in people. Ruo Xue is the one who is good at comforting people.

Min Yan asks who Ruo Xue is. Ruo Yu explains that she’s his sister. No matter how much hardship she experienced, she would always put on a brave face and tell him not to worry. But they can’t see each other now, and that’s because he wasn’t a good enough brother to her. He turns away from Min Yan and quickly wipes away a tear from his eye. Ruo Yu spots Xiao Yin Hua stomping through the walkways, looking angry, and quickly excuses himself from Min Yan to chase after her.

Ruo Yu finds Xiao Yin Hua hiding in her snake form in a jar of rice crackers. She pouts that she’s going to hibernate there for five hundred years. Si Feng is always foolishly falling for Xuan Ji’s empty apologies and forgiving her. Why won’t he listen to or believe her, Xiao Yin Hua, instead?

Si Feng and Xuan Ji stroll the city at night along with other couples celebrating the Qixi Festival. A merchant offers to sell them dough figurines that are traditionally used to make wishes. Xuan Ji buys two sets, one to make a wish with, and one as a gift to Si Feng. She tells him that because she’s giving him this gift, he should give her a gift too. She asks for the hairpin that she rejected earlier. Will he give it to her again? He smiles and warns her that if she accepts it, she will be his person from now on. She smiles and responds that once he accepts her gift, he will be hers, too.

Later, Yi Huan finds Si Feng looking at his dough figurine and asks if he’s really decided to fall in the same place ten times. Si Feng responds that it’s not guaranteed he’ll fall this time. The people in the past are not him and he is not them. They all waited until the last moment to let Xuan Ji know how much they cared about her, but he won’t do that.

Yi Huan tsks at Si Feng’s smooth talking, but reminds him with a look that this isn’t just anyone he’s courting: she’s the God of War. Si Feng replies that Xuan Ji is Xuan Ji. She’s not the God of War in this life. Yi Huan points out that everything that’s happened so far has made it clear that she’s meant to become the God of War at some point. But Si Feng is determined that this time, he and Xuan Ji will be together. Yi Huan hopes it’s true. He opened his heavenly eye, yet was unable to clearly see their future.

The next day, the group gathers around Zi Hu, who is still asleep. Ting Nu shows them a piece of the mirror in which Zi Hu’s soul is still trapped. Except she’s not there by force — she’s there because she wants to be stuck in the memories. Ting Nu is worried that if she stays there much longer, she will never wake. The only solution is for Si Feng or Xuan Ji to go back into the mirror and pull her out. Because they’ve been in the mirror once, they shouldn’t be mesmerized again.

Min Yan thinks it’s too dangerous, but Xuan Ji is determined to do it because they agreed with Zi Hu to go to Buzhou Mountain together. Si Feng takes her hand and says they should go in together, reminding her that she agreed to rely on him.

This time, when Xuan Ji and Si Feng go into the mirror, they see a memory of Zi Hu’s. Wu Zhi Qi meets with Yuan Lang, who tries to convince him to join the Xiuluo army, while Zi Hu brings them wine, looking unhappy. They can’t see Yuan Lang’s face.

After Yuan Lang leaves, Zi Hu tells Wu Zhi Qi that he shouldn’t go with Yuan Lang, but he finds no reason to stay. There are no beautiful women here. Zi Hu is upset. Then what is she? She trained for so long to become human and beautiful in the way that he liked. But he calls her ugly. She can either turn back into her fox form or leave. He doesn’t want to see her ugly face nagging at him. She frowns — why can’t he just say something nice? He responds that he hates saying nice things. The further away she goes, the better. He never wants to see her again.

Zi Hu asks if he’s being serious. He looks away and doesn’t respond. “Fine, I’ll leave,” she says. She’ll never come back and tells him that he better not regret it.

A spectral version of Zi Hu enters the memory — the present Zi Hu — and begs her memory-self to not leave. He’s just saying those things to try and provoke her, but if she leaves, she’ll never see him again. The past version of Zi Hu glances back at Wu Zhi Qi, who keeps drinking without a care in the world, then leaves. After she’s gone, Wu Zhi Qi smiles a bit sadly and says that it’s good she’s gone. Now he has nothing to worry about it.

Spectral Zi Hu goes to Wu Zhi Qi and begs him to stay. She’ll come back for him. She was just throwing a tantrum. But of course, he can’t hear her, and flies off after finishing his wine. Zi Hu cries and begs for another chance. She can change things. She uses her soul’s energy to rewind the memory and relive it again.

Si Feng recognizes what she’s doing — it’s not sustainable. Eventually, her soul will disappear.

The real Zi Hu appears in front of them in the mirror. Xuan Ji tries to convince her to come back with them, but she pushes her away, saying to leave her alone. Xuan Ji tries to connect with Zi Hu, saying she also saw her past in the mirror, but she realized that the answers she’s seeking are outside, not in here. She asks Zi Hu to come with her. She’ll help her find Wu Zhi Qi. Zi Hu hugs Xuan Ji, crying, “I’m so stupid.”

Zi Hu, Xuan Ji, and Si Feng all wake up. Zi Hu is embarrassed that Xuan Ji and Si Feng saw the way she was in the mirror, but asks Xuan Ji if she meant what she said when she promised to help her rescue Wu Zhi Qi. Xuan Ji confirms her promise. Min Yan looks alarmed, reminding her that she’s part of a righteous sect. She should be trying to kill demons, not free them. But Xuan Ji thinks that no matter what crime Wu Zhi Qi committed, he’s already been locked up for a thousand years. That should be enough, right?

Ting Nu also doesn’t look thrilled about Xuan Ji’s promise to free Wu Zhi Qi. He points out to Zi Hu that Wu Zhi Qi left her a thousand years ago. How is she going to keep him this time? But Zi Hu is determined to free him. If she can’t free him, then she’ll stay there with him, no matter if it’s a thousand years or ten thousand years. She’s determined to show her that in this whole world, she’s the only one who has his best interests in mind.

Ting Nu sighs, acknowledging that she’s not as naive as she was when he first met her. He won’t try to convince her anymore, but reminds her that she will have to take responsibility for what happens.

Min Yan turns to Si Feng, trying to get him to convince Xuan Ji, but Si Feng responds that they made a promise to Zi Hu before and can’t go back on it now. Min Yan sighs but relents. A promise is a promise and they promised to do everything together.

Si Feng and Xuan Ji remain besotted with each other, holding hands together everywhere. Yi Huan finds it disgusting and Xiao Yin Hua watches them, disgruntled, but neither can say anything.

Ting Nu catches Yi Huan trying to sneak out at night and mentions how he finds the circumstances of the mirror suspicious. The Tianxu Hall demons obviously wanted to awaken the God of War, but how could they be certain she would be there? Unless they knew that she would look for someone with the heavenly eye. Yi Huan awkwardly tries to make an escape, claiming he needs to finish his wine.

Yi Huan is late to his meeting with his Tianxu Hall handler. He asks for more time to awaken the God of War, but the demon tells him that the Tianxu leaders already know of his deception. They’re willing to give him a second chance, but this time his mission is to kill Si Feng so that Xuan Ji is angered and provoked into awakening the God of War. Yi Huan refuses. He won’t do anything to hurt Si Feng.

The demon attacks Yi Huan, warning him that he’s in no position to bargain. He threatens to kill Yi Huan, but before he can do anything, he’s attacked by a flying sword. Si Feng and Xuan Ji fly in, holding hands and asking who this person is. The demon claims he’s Yi Huan’s friend. Yi Huan stammers and doesn’t say anything. Ting Nu rolls in and identifies the demon as a member of Tianxu Hall.

Xuan Ji demands that the Tianxu demon bring Wu Tong here to meet with her, but he says that he only answers to the Tianxu leader, not Wu Tong. He decides that maybe he should capture Xuan Ji and throws a rope around her. But before he can take Xuan Ji away, Zi Hu appears and knocks him down, then kills him. The demon turns into a fish, and she’s disappointed by how easily he died.

Zi Hu glances at Xuan Ji. “So you’re the God of War?” she sniffs, “You’re not that pretty.”

Yi Huan is forced to admit the truth to everyone, but Xuan Ji is quick to recognize that Yi Huan had also suffered and was being threatened. Si Feng guesses that Tianxu Hall wants the God of War to awaken because it has something to do with resurrecting Mosha Star. Ting Nu wishes he could contribute more, but he only ever saw the God of War in order to heal her, so he doesn’t know anything about her sealed-off memories. Zi Hu suggests that the heavenly realm probably sealed her memories off for fun. They also said that the God of War was some amazing beauty, but Xuan Ji isn’t much to look at. Ting Nu explains that Zi Hu is salty because legend has it that Wu Zhi Qi was overcome by the God of War’s beauty, and that’s how he was captured. Zi Hu responds that that’s a lie. Wu Zhi Qi was captured because he was sabotaged by Yuan Lang.

Ting Nu has made candles that will allow the group to enter Buzhou Mountain once they reach the portal. He only had enough materials to make five candles, and Yi Huan is forced to sit out. Si Feng promises that he’ll rescue Yu Er for him.

Ting Nu also gives the group a bracelet that will let them know how much time they have left with the candle. They must leave the mountain before the candle burns out.

Hao Chen manages to track Xuan Ji to the cave where Ting Nu was captured. He finds a piece of the mirror.

Zi Hu leads the group to the entrance of a rocky landscape. They have to go the rest of the way on foot. If they were to fly, the mountain gods would strike them down.

Si Ming finds Teng She rummaging around his library, looking for the book that Si Ming is currently writing. Teng She is dismayed that Si Ming can see through his invisibility spell, and even more disappointed when he sees how little is written down in the book. He wants to find the God of War now. Si Ming asks why he insists on challenging the God of War to a fight. There are so many other immortals in the heavenly realm he can fight.

Teng She responds that none of them are good enough for him. Then he threatens to burn Si Ming’s book unless he tells him about the God of War.

Si Ming agrees to tell Teng She what happened in order to save his book. 900 years ago, at an immortal wedding, the God of War caught the Liangyuan flower thrown by Bai Lin. She thought that Bai Lin would marry her, and even picked a Lingyuan flower for him.

Hao Chen goes to the city that Xuan Ji was in, then spots the dough figurines that Xuan Ji and Si Feng placed on the bridge to make their wishes. He frowns. He knows he was at fault for rejecting her back then and not recognizing how she felt. Now, he must find a way to get her back.

Teng She thinks Si Ming is messing with him. That cold Bai Lin gave the God of War a Liangyuan flower? Impossible. But Si Ming tells him to listen. Back then, the war between the demons and immortals had just ended. In order to stabilize power within the heavenly realm, Bai Lin married the daughter of the lord of the Southern Immortal clan. When the God of War found out, she was furious and stopped talking to everyone except a few garuda by the heavenly lake.

Then one day, Wu Zhi Qi stole Juntian and Cehai from the heavenly realm. The God of War chased him to the demon’s realm. When she came back, she had internal demons and killed the lord of the Southern Immortals. Bai Lin’s wife wanted him to kill the God of War in retribution, but Bai Lin insisted on protecting the God of War. The heavenly emperor gave the God of War a second chance by sending her down to the mortal realm for her ten tribulations, but she failed at nine of them and now Bai Lin is determined to have her succeed in her tenth.

Si Ming stops talking and Teng She stares at him in disbelief. That’s all? He wanted Si Ming to tell him about the God of War’s fighting prowess, not this love story. Si Ming responds that fighting and killing are so boring. Love is the quintessence of his book.

Teng She scoffs. He thinks that Si Ming made up the story. Someone like the God of War wouldn’t try to destroy the heavenly order just because of love. There must be another reason. Si Ming responds that Teng She has never been in love, so he wouldn’t understand. The God of War is a woman, and women will hate because of love. Teng She scoffs again and flies away.


Commentary

What I love about this episode is that it shows that everyone, good or evil, has a story and often times a love story. Before Wu Zhi Qi became a high-ranking member of the Xiuluo army, he was just a capricious being who pushed away the only person he cared about so that he could leave with no regrets. This version of Xuan Ji is able to see the humanity in everyone and I wonder if it’s a similar quality that made her so furious as the God of War, to know that she was wrongfully used as a weapon.

While Si Ming’s love story between Bai Lin and Xuan Ji is romantic and tragic — he seems like a hopeless romantic after my own heart — I agree with Teng She. From what we’ve seen so far, there’s no way Xuan Ji felt so betrayed because Bai Lin married some other goddess. Maybe she did rebel because of love, but not because of Bai Lin. I’m sure Si Ming’s story is rooted in some truth. At a high level, it seems like Hao Chen picked the wrong woman and later regretted it. Unfortunately for him, he’s maybe nine hundred to a thousand years too late to the game. I think the real question is how far back Xuan Ji and Si Feng’s ill-fated, cyclical love story stretches back. Does it stretch all the way back to her time in the immortal realm, and even before? Because I could see that being the type of love story to make someone want to wreak havoc with fate. Or does Xuan Ji’s immortal past have nothing to do with Si Feng at all? I find that unlikely.

The painful part about seeing Si Feng and Xuan Ji in their adorable honeymoon phase right now is that honeymoon phases never last, especially in drama-land and especially with their past, and it’s only a matter of time before they face more heartbreak.

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