Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Love and Redemption (Ep. 32)

Flower demon Ling Long starts to have some doubts about who she is. Si Feng and Xuan Ji hunt for more leads on entering Tianxu Hall, but end up finding a surprise instead.


Recap

Wu Tong asks where the flower demon was when she returns to their room late at night. Demon Ling Long lies and says that she went to the flower valley. Wu Tong pours her some tea then offers her some snacks to eat. She picks up one of the cakes and remembers Min Yan telling her that her favorite food is osmanthus cake, not sticky rice cake. Wu Tong pours some mysterious liquid on the food when she’s not looking.

Wu Tong mentions Min Jue and the flower demon nearly chokes in surprise. He says that he needs someone to give food to Min Jue — he still needs him alive as leverage against Min Yan. The flower demon volunteers to go. Wu Tong gives her the plate of food he poured the liquid on.

Wu Tong has a gift for Chu Lei and sends Ruo Yu and Min Yan along on the journey with the other demons who are to bring it to Shaoyang.

Xuan Ji and Si Feng explore the mountains near the portal to Buzhou Mountain, but don’t find any demons. They spot a thick black cloud of smoke coming from a nearby part of the forest and find villagers fleeing. One villager tells them that a ball of fire dropped from the sky.

Si Feng casts a spell to put out the fire with rain. A drenched Teng She flies out of the previously burning part of the woods and lands, looking disgruntled, in front of Si Feng and Xuan Ji.

Xuan Ji recognizes Teng She from the mirror. Si Feng identifies him as Teng She, a Heavenly Beast. Teng She seems pleased to be recognized, but asks how they plan on making up for raining on him and crossing his heavenly will. How about with their lives?

Xuan Ji doesn’t care that he’s an immortal and calls him out for being unreasonable and inconsiderate about the people who lived there before he landed in his fireball. Teng She gets annoyed with them distracting him from his main purpose of finding someone, and attacks with fire. Si Feng tries to shield himself, but eventually vanishes. Teng She laughs that mortals are so fragile. Xuan Ji glares at him and summons Dingkun.

Teng She realizes that she’s the God of War and finds it quite fortuitous that they meet here. He’s been wanting to test her skills. But Xuan Ji responds that she’s not going to compete with him — she’s going to kill him.

They attack each other, but Teng She is the one who gets knocked back. Si Feng runs up and binds him with a spell. Xuan Ji is relieved that he’s okay. Si Feng suggests that maybe she should take on Teng She as a spirit beast. He would definitely be a powerful one. Teng She is offended at the suggestion.

Xuan Ji doesn’t like Teng She though, he seems too disobedient. Will he be more obedient as her spirit beast? Teng She continues to protest, saying of course not, but Si Feng says that he would be, because a spirit beast isn’t allowed to hurt their owner. He’ll stop trying to challenge her to duels.

Xuan Ji likes the idea and asks how to make Teng She her spirit beast. Si Feng pulls some of Teng She’s blood out of a cut on his face and tells Xuan Ji to put out her hand. He forms the blood into a large pearl. Teng She continues protesting, threatening to roast them. Si Feng explains to Xuan Ji that the pearl is made from a mix of her and Teng She’s blood. It’ll make him easier to train.

Teng She continues to make a fuss. Si Feng tells Xuan Ji to squeeze the pearl. When she does, Teng She seems shook and immediately quiets down. Si Feng tells Xuan Ji to say Teng She’s name. When she does, a beam of light shoots out of the pearl to her forehead, then across into Teng She’s forehead. Xuan Ji watches with surprise as Teng She kneels, look unhappy the whole time, and grits out a greeting to his new master. Si Feng smiles and explains that they’ve now entered a blood oath.

Xuan Ji smiles and pats Teng She on the head, saying that they’re family now. Teng She continues to glare, but then faints.

Si Feng and Xuan Ji look for a room at a nearby inn. Si Feng tosses Xiao Yin Hua onto Teng She’s shoulder, telling him that Xiao Yin Hua is his senior when it comes to being a spirit beast and will show him the ropes. Teng She resents being junior to a tiny snake.

He flies off with Xiao Yin Hua still on his shoulder. She’s surprised he can fly on his own without a sword, but then laughs at him, because without Xuan Ji’s permission, he can’t get very far. “How far can I go?” he asks, then finds out pretty quick as he drops out of the sky.

Si Feng and Xuan Ji joke around cutely as he helps her clean her face. He notices that one of her eyebrows was singed by Teng She’s fire and makes a paste to fill it in for her.

The innkeeper interrupts them — Teng She is causing chaos outside on the streets. The townspeople are not happy with the mess Teng She has made, but Teng She is quick to say that because Xuan Ji is his master, she’s responsible for everything he’s doing. The townspeople swarm Xuan Ji angrily. Si Feng helps her out by saying that he’ll compensate everyone and starts handing out money.

Teng She isn’t happy with this turn of events and is intent on destroying the street. He fires a pulse of energy, but Xuan Ji deflects it back at him. Si Feng tells him that he can’t hurt his master. Teng She decides that if he can’t use magic, he’ll use his fists. He tries to punch Xuan Ji, but the most force he’s able to exert is a gentle tap.

Teng She tries to claim he’s tired, but Xuan Ji doesn’t let him leave. She tells him that he needs to apologize to everyone here. When he refuses, she pulls out the blood pearl and forces him to kneel, then leaves him there in the middle of the crowd.

Later, Teng She pouts by himself off to the side while Xuan Ji, Si Feng, and Xiao Yin Hua eat. Xuan Ji and Teng She butt heads when he refuses to eat. Si Feng chuckles at her and tells her to think of Teng She like a stray, feral dog she picked up off the streets. It’s natural for him to feel a bit hostile, but how would she approach handling that stray dog? That’s how she should approach Teng She. Teng She isn’t a person, so she can’t try to teach him like she would a person. He gives her a manual on how to raise a spirit beast.

Xuan Ji tries to give Teng She some medicine for the cut on his face, but he sniffs at the mortal sect medicine. He’s a heavenly beast. She pats him on the head and he gets offended that he’s treating her like a dog. Teng She demands that she undo the blood oath, but she reminds him that they’re both stuck like this.

Si Feng reminds Teng She that he has no choice but to accept being Xuan Ji’s spirit beast. Si Feng knows that Teng She sneaked out of the heavenly realm on his own, so he really has no choice but to stay under Xuan Ji’s protection.

Xuan Ji and Si Feng return to where they’re staying with Ting Nu and Yi Huan and show them who they found. Ting Nu recognizes Teng She, who also recognizes him. Yi Huan pretends to be scared when Teng She realizes that he stole the heavenly eye, then high-fives Xuan Ji for managing to get Teng She under control.

Teng She continues to pout and tries to fly away, but can’t. Xiao Yin Hua finds him and offers to help. She offers him some poison she stole from Yi Huan. She’s not sure if spirit beasts are allowed to poison their own masters, but Teng She can give it a try and cut off Xuan Ji’s arm while she’s sleeping. That would free him from her control.

Teng She takes the poison from her, liking the idea. She makes him promise not to tell anyone, then smiles to herself once he leaves.

Teng She convinces Xuan Ji to drink with him to celebrate his becoming her spirit beast. While she drinks the shots he pours, he tosses his out onto the ground. She thinks the wine tastes good, so he forces a smile as he convinces her to drink the whole thing, but wonders why she still hasn’t fallen unconscious.

At the end of the night, after Xuan Ji has downed all the wine, she realizes that Teng She’s face has puffed up. Teng She screams when he sees his reflection and runs off. He rushes to wake Yi Huan up and ask for an antidote. Yi Huan says that he should be dead if he really drank the poison that Teng She thinks he used. Instead, Yi Huan realizes that he’s missing another poison of his, which won’t kill Teng She, but will make him uglier. Unfortunately, there is no antidote. Xiao Yin Hua giggles to herself as she eavesdrops from outside.

Xuan Ji asks Teng She why he would poison himself. Si Feng says that he probably tried to poison her without realizing that it would actually affect him instead. Teng She laments his situation, wishing he were dead instead of being bound to a mortal.

Xuan Ji asks Yi Huan if there really is no antidote for Teng She. Yi Huan says that there is one possibility: because Xuan Ji and Teng She are bound by a blood oath, her blood can heal him. Teng She says he’d rather be ugly for the rest of his life, because otherwise he’d have to acknowledge the bond between him and Xuan Ji. Si Feng says that Xuan Ji should just leave Teng She be — a spirit beast who tries to harm his master deserves what he gets.

But Xuan Ji grabs one of Teng She’s hairpins and cuts her own wrist, dropping her blood into a cup. She offers it to Teng She. No matter what he says, he’s still her spirit beast and she will take care of him. Teng She says that even if she’s willing to give him her blood, he won’t acknowledge her. She responds that she’s just tired of seeing his ugly face. Besides, she’ll let him go back to the heavenly realm. Mortal lives are short. She’ll give him permission to go as far away from her as he wants, and he can just hang out in the heavenly realm for a few years. By that time, she’ll probably be dead in the mortal realm and he’ll be free.

Teng She is suspicious. Xuan Ji says that she’d rather not keep a spirit beast who is so unwilling, and leaves with Si Feng.

Si Feng heals Xuan Ji’s wrist, saying that he wouldn’t have helped bind Teng She to her if he’d known it would turn out like this. He didn’t realize she would pay so much attention to Teng She. She teases him for being jealous of a spirit beast. He asks if she’s going to comfort him at all. She tries patting him on the head, but that’s not what he wants. He leans in and kisses her, then says that that’s the kind of comfort he wants in the future.

Xuan Ji acts shy, then says that once Teng She is gone, no one will bother them anymore. Si Feng asks if she’s really going to let Teng She go. Xuan Ji responds that it’s pointless to keep him if she has to force him to stay. “What if he wants to stay?” Si Feng asks. He remembers some stories about Teng She and thinks he has a way of helping Xuan Ji. When she asks what it is, he cryptically says that they’re particularly well-matched.

The next morning, Teng She wakes up and is relieved to find his face back to normal. He goes outside, ready to take off, but then follows his nose to a beautiful feast that Xuan Ji and Si Feng have laid out. Xuan Ji says that since he wants to go back to the heavenly realm so badly, he doesn’t have to stay to eat, but he practically starts drooling over how delicious the food looks and smells. Eventually, he sits down to eat, saying that he loves doing exactly the opposite of what people tell him to do. So if she wants him to leave, he insists on staying. Besides, like she said, mortals have short lives. He can hang around with them for a few decades, as long as they’ll always have good food to eat.

Teng She thinks the food in the mortal world is much better than what exists in the heavenly realm. Xuan Ji says that things that look good are often disappointing. Teng She finds the words familiar — Bai Lin often says something similar, about how appearances can be deceiving. Xuan Ji remembers hearing Bai Lin’s name in the mirror, but who is he? She looks inquisitively at Si Feng.

Teng She leans in toward her. Has she really forgotten everything? She doesn’t even remember who Bai Lin is? Teng She tells her that if not for Bai Lin begging for mercy, Xuan Ji wouldn’t even be alive right now. He tells her more, too: Si Ming told him she used to be madly in love with Bai Lin. But she forgot all of that after going to the mortal realm and now she’s with a guy like Si Feng? Xuan Ji is confused. She loved Bai Lin? And who is Si Ming? Teng She tsks at her and explains that because she couldn’t have Bai Lin, she got angry and took it out on the entire heavenly realm. That’s why she was punished with her mortal tribulations.

Si Feng looks up sharply. So Xuan Ji was punished because she fell in love? “You jealous?” Teng She asks. A mortal like Si Feng is no match for a heavenly god.

But Xuan Ji smacks the table in front of Teng She and then moves to sit down by Si Feng’s side. If not for her punishment, then she wouldn’t have met Si Feng. In all the universe, he’s the best. She leans her head on his shoulder.

Teng She says he doesn’t care who she likes as long as there’s good food waiting for him every day. He’ll even help her rescue her friends.

Xuan Ji smiles happily, but Si Feng doesn’t seem quite as light-hearted.


Commentary

This isn’t how I thought the Teng She showdown would go, but I love what’s happening with Teng She being bound to Xuan Ji. It’s so perfect! I’m just waiting for the moment he runs into Hao Chen. Of course, the moment Hao Chen reappears, all sorts of secrets are going to come out, because he’ll know about Si Feng’s demon identity.

Si Feng’s reaction toward Teng She and these new pieces of Xuan Ji’s story puts me back on the “he knew about Xuan Ji’s identity all along” train.

1 thought on “Recap: Love and Redemption (Ep. 32)”

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