Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Love and Redemption (Ep. 34)

Xuan Ji and Si Feng return to Shaoyang with Min Yan and Ling Long’s soul. Ling Long is saved, but Chu Lei continues to accuse Min Yan of being a traitor.


Recap

One of the Tianxu demons tells Wu Tong that “that woman” is the one who released Ruo Yu and Min Yan. Wu Tong returns to his room to find that the flower demon has transformed into a person he doesn’t recognize. She pleads that she’s still the same — she just wanted to be fully herself — not realizing that she’s not the one Wu Tong wants. Wu Tong kills her. Tears trail down his face as he recalls the memory of Ling Long in his room, smiling at him. “Chu Ling Long, you’re mine,” he says, vowing to get her back.

There’s only more bad news for Wu Tong as another guard reports that the spirit key and Feilong Seal have disappeared. Wu Tong frowns. Min Yan couldn’t have known that he had the Feilong Seal. He realizes that there’s only one other possibility. He rushes out, but it’s too late. Yuan Lang enters Buzhou Mountain and knocks him down, asking where he’s going in such a hurry.

Chu Lei shows Hao Chen what his spirit beast found near the Buzhou Mountain portal. It’s a piece of the demon whip that broke off when Xuan Ji destroyed it, confirming Hao Chen’s suspicions. The demon he fought must be one of the elders of the four sects. No one else was close enough to the whip when it was destroyed. Hao Chen promises to come up with a way to lure out the spy.

A Shaoyang disciple reports to Chu Lei that Xuan Ji has returned. Min Yan is with her.

Xuan Ji, Min Yan, and Si Feng are held at swordpoint at the entrance to Shaoyang. Xuan Ji reassures Min Yan that Teng She is searching for Ruo Yu at Buzhou Mountain and that she’ll figure out a way to explain things to her father.

When Chu Lei comes out, though, he demands to know why Xuan Ji brought Min Yan back. Min Yan kneels and greets him as “master,” but Chu Lei says he doesn’t recognize a traitor like him. He’s determined to get rid of Min Yan today, but Xuan Ji quickly interjects, explaining that Min Yan stayed at Tianxu Hall in order to retrieve the other half of Ling Long’s soul. He didn’t betray Shaoyang.

Min Yan pulls out the bottle containing Ling Long’s soul. He recognizes that what he’s done is unforgivable and is willing to accept any punishment, but pleads for Chu Lei to save Ling Long first. Si Feng also asks Chu Lei to save Ling Long before it’s too late. Ying Hong pleads with Chu Lei as well.

Ying Hong returns the other half of Ling Long’s soul to her body. Ling Long wakes up, distressed, with all the memories of what happened when she was Wu Tong’s captive. She seems barely able to believe that she’s returned. Xuan Ji hugs her and promises to protect her. From now on, Xuan Ji will be the older sister and Ling Long can be the younger one. Ling Long also embraces her father, then asks where Min Yan is. Xuan Ji lies and says that Min Yan is making food for her.

Min Yan is taken to the dungeon, where he kneels before Chu Lei, Ying Hong, and Hao Chen. Chu Lei tells him to lift his head, but Min Yan says he’s unable to: he failed to retrieve the spirit keys as Chu Lei ordered and instead only ended up harming Min Jue. Chu Lei denies having ever given such orders. Min Yan is confused — he saw Chu Lei with his own eyes. Hao Chen tells him to recount everything that happened.

Min Yan reels when he’s told that Chu Lei was with Ying Hong and Hao Chen that night in Qingmu and never went off on his own to give him that order. Is this another test?

But Hao Chen guesses that perhaps the person Min Yan saw was Di Lang disguised as Chu Lei. He had done the same thing on Fuyu Island when he pretended to be Zhu Shi.

Min Yan is distraught that he fell for the demons’ tricks. Hao Chen and Chu Lei ask after the spirit keys. Min Yan tells them that he had it, but then Ruo Yu fell off the cliff with it when they were being chased by the demons. Hao Chen frowns at the mention of Ruo Yu. Chu Lei is still suspicious of Min Yan’s story, but Ying Hong speaks up in Min Yan’s defense, saying that they’ve known him since he was a child and it’s unlikely he would betray their sect. It’s more likely that he was tricked by Tianxu Hall.

But Chu Lei isn’t as forgiving. Even if Min Yan had fallen for the demons’ tricks, it’s unforgivable that he killed Min Jue, his own brethren. Min Yan remembers Wu Tong telling him that it was actually Ling Long who killed Min Jue and bows his head, pleading for death in exchange for this unforgivable sin. Chu Lei says that death is too easy. Ying Hong again tries to plead for leniency. But Chu Lei says that a crime like killing a fellow disciple cannot be forgiven. He orders Min Yan locked up for now. He’ll be put on trial in front of the entire sect later.

Ruo Yu returns to Lize Palace and gives Yuan Lang the spirit key. Yuan Lang smiles, pleased. He now has three of them. Earlier, Yuan Lang had ordered Ruo Yu to keep being friends with Xuan Ji and her group and report back with any news. After Di Lang–disguised as Chu Lei–gave Min Yan the order to infiltrate Tianxu Hall, he had turned back into himself and told Ruo Yu that he was to stay in Tianxu Hall with Min Yan so that he could retrieve the Feilong Seal, spirit key, and kill Si Feng. Killing Si Feng was the only part that Ruo Yu had protested at.

Now, Ruo Yu asks if he can see his sister again — he’s completed this task and hasn’t seen her in a while. Yuan Lang agrees that he deserves a meeting with her and takes him to boarded-up well that is the secret entrance to the tiny, underground cell where Ruo Xue is held captive.

Ruo Yu embraces his sister, who looks weak and pale but smiles to see him, and gives her a bracelet he bought her. He tells her that a good friend of his helped him pick it out, and that he hopes his friend will never meet another friend like him. But for Ruo Xue’s freedom, Ruo Yu is willing to do anything. Once he completes all the missions Yuan Lang assigns him, then he’ll bring her home.

Si Feng runs into Hao Chen in the dungeons and thanks him for his help saving his life in Qingmu. Hao Chen tersely responds that he only saved him because he was worried Xuan Ji would hurt herself. Si Feng also asks Hao Chen to put in a good word for Min Yan with Chu Lei. Hao Chen says that Si Feng doesn’t need to worry himself with Shaoyang’s internal affairs. Si Feng replies that he understands, but since Min Yan is such a good friend of his, he feels the need to explain that Min Yan only did what he did out of love for Ling Long.

Hao Chen agrees that love may be a reason for Min Yan’s actions, but it’s not an excuse. Instead, Hao Chen uses this opportunity to emphasize how love led Min Yan astray. He warns Si Feng that he won’t be kind if he finds out that someone is using love to deceive Xuan Ji.

Hao Chen starts walking away, but Si Feng asks why he’s always been so antagonistic toward him. Does he still think Si Feng has ulterior motives toward Xuan Ji? Hao Chen turns back and points out that he has every reason to think that. Ever since Xuan Ji left Shaoyang to train in the outside world, she’s experienced nothing but trouble, no thanks to Si Feng and how he pushed her to recover her six senses.

Si Feng responds that he heard Hao Chen has transitioned from training the Wuqing technique to the Youqing technique. But from what Si Feng sees, Hao Chen doesn’t even believe in love.

Hao Chen steps in closer to Si Feng and says that he might not be able to stop Xuan Ji and Si Feng from getting close, but if he ever finds out that Si Feng is using Xuan Ji, he won’t spare him. They’re interrupted by a Shaoyang disciple who reports that there’s a crack in the spell protecting the secret domain. All the elders are being summoned.

Teng She is stopped at the entrance to Shaoyang and impatiently tries to explain that he’s Xuan Ji’s friend, but the disciples surrounding him don’t listen. Eventually, he gets annoyed and knocks them all unconscious with a wave of his hand.

Before he enters, he asks one of the disciples on the ground where the kitchen is. The disciple gets to his feet and draws his sword on Teng She, demanding to know who he is and why he’s trying to enter Shaoyang. Teng She’s breaks his sword with a pinch, calling him rude, then strides into Shaoyang calling out for Xuan Ji. Behind him, the disciple yells for the alarm to be sounded.

Heng Yang and Hao Chen struggle to repair the spell protecting the secret place. Heng Yang tells Chu Lei that he can maintain the barrier for now, but the only way to stabilize it is for Hao Chen and Xuan Ji to get married and master the Youqing technique. Xuan Ji repeats her protest that she will not marry Hao Chen. Heng Yang asks why — it’s ordained by fate and the only way to protect the secret place. Xuan Ji tries to explain again, but then Teng She shows up.

Teng She demands to know why Xuan Ji is now going to marry her fellow disciple. Forgetting about Bai Lin is one thing, but why ditch Si Feng who is such a great cook? Is her disciple brother a better cook than Si Feng? Then he sees Hao Chen and whispers to Xuan Ji that he feels like he’s seen him somewhere before…

Hao Chen tells Teng She he should leave — outsiders are not welcome at the secret place. Teng She snaps back that a mortal like him is bold to yell at him. He doesn’t care about their secret place — unless there’s good food there — but there’s nothing there except for a bad-tempered, one-eyed dragon and that dragon is not tasty.

Chu Lei wants to know how Teng She knows there’s a dragon in there — is he a spy from Tianxu Hall? Xuan Ji tells him that Teng She is her spirit beast. Teng She quickly corrects her — he’s her friend. Chu Lei asks when she found a spirit beast like this. Is he like Lu Yan Ran and has cultivated a human form?

Teng She sassily asks Chu Lei to not lump him together with lower-class creatures like Xiao Yin Hua. He’s an immortal snake, thank you very much. Ying Hong smiles and says that it looks like Teng She is a god, then? Teng She nods, pleased that someone has acknowledged him. But Ying Hong thinks Ting She looks too young to be a god and teasingly warns Xuan Ji not to be fooled by him.

Teng She is offended that these mortals have no sense. He tries to tell them that up in the heavenly realm, he’s personally assigned tasks by Bai Lin. Meanwhile, Hao Chen frowns at him and looks like he wants to say something, but can’t.

Teng She chatters on and boasts that initially, it was he and the Four Heavenly Beasts who came down to the mortal realm to cast this protective spell in the first place. In fact, it’ll take him barely an effort to repair the enchantment for them. Chu Lei thinks Teng She is messing around. Xuan Ji says that Teng She really is an immortal and suggests they should let him try. Hao Chen calls it all nonsense and tells Xuan Ji that she and her spirit beast should leave.

Teng She resents being looked down on and is determined to prove them wrong. He makes sure to hiss in Hao Chen’s face before going to the end of the dock and starting to work on the secret place’s protective spell. He fixes it and smirks, telling Xuan Ji that she should get Si Feng to make him something good as a thank you for fixing their problem. Hao Chen looks disgruntled.

Ying Hong brings Heng Yang and Chu Lei a scroll depicting an immortal who indeed looks a lot like Teng She. Teng She scoffs that the image on the scroll barely captures his good looks, but the similarity is enough to convince the elders who respectfully bow and formally greet Teng She. They ask Teng She to help them defend against Tianxu Hall at the upcoming Zanhua festival at Dianjing Valley. Their words are so formal that Teng She asks Xuan Ji for helping interpreting. She tells him that there’s going to be a fight. That gets Teng She’s interest. He’s always in for a fight.

But Hao Chen shows up and says no. He reminds Teng She that as an immortal, he’s not allowed interfere in mortal affairs. Teng She hisses resentfully and gets in Hao Chen’s face. He still finds Hao Chen familiar — have they met before? Hao Chen tries to cast a spell to hide his face from Teng She, but Teng She decides that he should test Hao Chen and shoves him. Hao Chen falls into a chair, shocked.

Xuan Ji rushes to lift him up and tells Teng She to not be rude. Teng She says that Hao Chen seems pretty incapable — she’s not going to learn much from him. Hao Chen fumes.

Xuan Ji says she has an idea. Immortals might not be able to interfere in mortal matters, but as Xuan Ji’s spirit beast, it would make sense for Teng She to aid her if she went to Dianjing Valley and ran into trouble with Tianxu Hall, right? Teng She loves the idea. Hao Chen does not. He looks to Chu Lei for help, but now that they know Teng She is a god, Chu Lei is more than willing to pander to him.

Teng She tells Xuan Ji that he looked all over Buzhou Mountain but didn’t find any body. All he found were some bloody clothes that he didn’t bother bringing back. Xuan Ji wonders if Ruo Yu was captured by Tianxu Hall, but Hao Chen has heard and seems to have other thoughts.

Hao Chen summons Si Ming and demands to know why Teng She is here. Si Ming isn’t sure how Teng She managed to escape into the mortal realm, but thinks that it’s fitting he’s been essentially reduced to a pet now. Hao Chen isn’t pleased. It was one thing for Teng She to be causing trouble in the heavenly realm, but now he’s causing trouble for him. He asks if there’s a way to get rid of him. Si Ming points out that since Teng She became a spirit beast, he’s now part of the mortal realm. Si Ming can’t interfere without attracting the Heavenly Emperor’s attention, and if he does that, then Hao Chen’s cover will be blown.

He also has some other bad news to report: he did his best to seal her life column, but it looks like the God of War’s awakening is only a matter of time. Si Ming suggests that maybe Teng She’s presence in the mortal realm is a good thing. At the very least, he’ll help protect Xuan Ji from the demons.

Hao Chen sighs and decides to leave Teng She be for now. His priority is to figure out who that demon is.

Xuan Ji brings Ling Long some osmanthus cake, but all Ling Long wants to know is where Min Yan is. She remembers that he came to rescue her, but doesn’t remember anything after that. Where is he? Xuan Ji tries to make up a lie about how Min Yan is training with the other disciples for the Zanhua tournament, but Ling Long can tell she’s lying. Xuan Ji is forced to admit that Min Yan violated the sect rules and is locked in the dungeons. She tries to reassure Ling Long that it’s not serious, but Ling Long is determined to visit him and tries to get up.

She sees the osmanthus cakes in Xuan Ji’s hand and suddenly has flashes of memories from her time in Tianxu Hall. She remembers Wu Tong telling her that her favorite food is sticky rice cake, then making her give Min Yan some sticky rice cake. Ling Long clutches her head, distraught. Xuan Ji asks what’s wrong, but Ling Long snaps at her to not touch her. She starts crying and hides under her covers, begging for Xuan Ji to leave her alone.

Xuan Ji has just left when Teng She follows his nose to the osmanthus cakes at Ling Long’s bedside. He sneaks in and starts munching on one. Ling Long springs out of her covers and demands to know who he is. She starts yelling that there’s a thief. Teng She freaks out and silences her with a spell. He recognizes Ling Long as Xuan Ji’s sister and says that she should be grateful to him for helping save her. Ling Long starts crying, which makes Teng She uncomfortable and awkward. He tries to comfort her, but ends up spilling that someone risked his life to save her and is now in the dungeons. If anyone should be crying, it’s him. Ling Long keeps crying so Teng She says that she can have her food back. He’ll leave. He makes her promise to not shout when he frees her from his spell, because he doesn’t want Xuan Ji to catch him.

The moment Teng She frees Ling Long from the spell, she grabs him, demanding to know what he meant bout the person who risked his life to save her. He means Min Yan, right? What happened to him?

Teng She is forced to share what he knows about Min Yan being tricked into defecting to Tianxu Hall and killing Min Jue. The mention of Min Jue brings back another memory for Ling Long. She remembers that she was the one who fed Min Jue the poisoned food that killed him. She stumbles back, shocked and crying fresh tears.

Xuan Ji and Si Feng visit Min Yan with some food, but the only thing Min Yan cares about is how Ling Long is doing. Xuan Ji reassures Min Yan that Ling Long woke up and is fine. He asks where she is — why isn’t she here with them? Xuan Ji’s smile fades slightly and she tries to change the subject, telling him to eat first. But Min Yan knows what that means. Ling Long doesn’t want to see him, right? If she did, she would’ve come down, first thing.

Ling Long sneaks down to the dungeons and hides around the corner from Min Yan’s cell.

Min Yan self-deprecatingly says that he understands if Ling Long doesn’t want to see him after how badly he was deceived. If he were her, he wouldn’t want to see himself either. Si Feng and Xuan Ji tell him that Ling Long is worried for him, but she can’t come yet. But Min Yan thinks they’re just making excuses. He knows how stubborn Ling Long can be and understands if she won’t forgive him. He doesn’t regret it, though. If he had to, he would do it all over again. He would do anything to save Ling Long.

Ling Long cries as she listens from around the corner.

Min Yan says that his only regret is Min Jue. Xuan Ji hesitantly asks if Min Yan is really the one who killed him. Min Yan lies and says yes.

He pulls out his dagger and asks Si Feng and Xuan Ji to do something for him. He wants them to tell her that everything he said before, about liking her, was a lie. He doesn’t want her to feel bad for him. If she finds someone she likes in the future, she should try to be a little more patient with him, otherwise he might think that he’s not good enough. All he wants is for Ling Long to happy.

Teng She sneaks up on Ling Long, who is still crying. He says that she should just go see Min Yan since she’s already here. Or if she won’t, then he’ll go and tell them that she’s here. But she stops him. She admits that she can’t face Min Yan after he sacrificed so much for her when she did so many evil things at Tianxu Hall. Teng She shrugs, finding mortals a mystery, and walks away.

Chu Lei summons Min Yan to stand trial. Ling Long follows.


Commentary

Darn, I totally forgot that Di Lang had some of Chu Lei’s blood. In retrospect, it makes zero sense that someone as rigid as Chu Lei would tell Min Yan to betray his own sect. Obviously it was not him. Sorry Chu Lei, I have wronged you.

I was really worried that Min Yan was going to do something dumb with the dagger, like stab himself. Thankfully, he doesn’t seem quite that masochistic yet, but there’s still next episode for him to be even more self-sacrificing…

I’m so glad that Teng She is around to lighten things up. He is such a fireball of fun — riling Hao Chen up, pointing out how mortals can be so nonsensical sometimes, solving all problems with a wave of his hand. He and all his antics are definitely the bright spot of this show right now!

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