Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Love and Redemption (Ep. 35)

Min Yan confesses to all the crimes committed while he was at Tianxu Hall and receives his sentence from Chu Lei. Ling Long refuses to let him suffer on his own.


Recap

Min Yan kneels in front of Chu Lei and the rest of the Shaoyang elder for his trial. He confesses to all the crimes he committed, including Min Jue’s murder. Xuan Ji tries to speak in Min Yan’s defense, but Chu Lei tells her to stop talking. No one is allowed to beg for mercy on Min Yan’s behalf today.

Chu Lei tells Min Yan that he’s allowed to suggest what punishment he thinks is befitting of his crimes. Min Yan is ready to die on his own sword. He summons it and swings it toward his neck, but Ling Long cries for him to stop and uses her bare hand to pull the blade away from Min Yan before he can slit his own throat.

She demands to know why he’s taking the fall when no one asked him to. She remembers everything that happened at Tianxu Hall. She remembers who killed Min Jue. But Min Yan talks over her, saying that he was the one who did it. He tells her that there’s no need for her to lie in front of everyone.

Hao Chen shakes his head at this foolish display of love.

Ling Long clings to Min Yan, weeping and begging him not to do this. But he tells her that this has nothing to do with her. How sad will Chu Lei be if he drags her into this? He tells her that when he first saw her at the door to Shaoyang when he was 8, he thought she was the most beautiful person he’d ever seen. Only later did he realize that she was the precious daughter of the sect leader and he was just an orphan. That was when he vowed to train as hard as he could so he could be by her side and protect her. “Don’t take away my final dream,” he says.

Min Yan bows to Chu Lei and asks him to give him the death penalty while Ling Long continues to weep beside him.

Xuan Ji also kneels before her father and says that Min Yan was too in love and that’s why he fell for the demons’ lies. He can’t take the entire blame for what happened. Min Yan’s fellow disciples also kneel and ask Chu Lei to spare his life. Chu Lei stares as even the other elders ask for leniency.

Chu Lei says that he won’t sentence Min Yan to death, but he won’t spare his life, either. He expels Min Yan from the Shaoyang sect and orders him to return his nameplate. Min Yan bows and holds out his nameplate, which Chu Lei takes away.

Ling Long steels herself and turns to her father, then produces her own nameplate, saying that starting from today, she will also leave the Shaoyang sect. Everything happened because of her and she feels she has no right to continue being a disciple. She tells Min Yan that she will follow him wherever he goes.

Xuan Ji decides that if everyone is leaving, then she will, too. She tells her father that she wants to leave Shaoyang as well.

Chu Lei and Hao Chen both tell her to stop fooling around, but Xuan Ji is completely serious. They promised to stay together. If Min Yan and Ling Long are leaving, then they’ll all leave together.

Ling Long takes her hand and tells her to not be rash. Xuan Ji cries that she doesn’t want to separate from Ling Long. Ling Long tells her that they’re not kids anymore. Growing up means separating eventually. If separation is necessary, then she has to keep the person who is most important to her by her side. Shaoyang and Min Yan are both precious to her, but if she has to choose between them, she can only choose Min Yan. Without Shaoyang, she can still live. Without Min Yan, she will die.

Xuan Ji asks why Ling Long has to make this choice. Ling Long smiles sadly. Life is full of choices. She only hopes that Xuan Ji will never have to make a choice like this.

She tells Xuan Ji that even if she’s not a member of Shaoyang anymore, she will always be her sister. Min Yan will always be Min Yan. Their father is getting old — can she be filial for her?

Ling Long turns back toward her father and holds out her nameplate, asking him to complete this request of hers. With tears in his eyes and shaking hands, Chu Lei takes back her nameplate. He gives her and Min Yan’s nameplates one last look, then destroys them. Chu Lei declares that Ling Long and Min Yan are no longer disciples of Shaoyang, but also reminds them that even though they no longer belong to Shaoyang, Shouyang Peak will always be their home.

Ling Long and Min Yan touch their heads to the ground, thanking Chu Lei. He turns away.

Xuan Ji helps Ling Long pack and tells her that when their father calms down, she’ll try to talk to him about them. Ling Long says that she doesn’t need to try to talk to their father. If she ever misses her, all she needs to do is visit.

Xuan Ji can tell that something is still not right with Ling Long. Ling Long admits that ever since she woke up, her heads has been filled with the flower demon’s memories. She can’t help but feel like she did everything the flower demon did and feels so disgusted with herself. Xuan Ji gently reminds her that she is the victim here. She didn’t do anything wrong. Soon, she and Min Yan will be able to leave all of these troubles behind. They’ll be happy.

Ling Long presses a cloudy-white pearl into Xuan Ji’s hands. It’s a Zhuying Pearl, a treasure from when their mother taught Xuan Ji how to differentiate feelings and record them. Ling Long asks Xuan Ji to keep their father company if he ever starts feeling sad about their mother’s memory.

Min Yan approaches. It’s time for them to leave. Xuan Ji asks Min Yan to take care of her sister. She wants to see them off, but Ling Long doesn’t want to attract a crowd. The sisters tearfully embrace. Xuan Ji cries as she watches them walk away without looking back.

At night, Min Yan and Ling Long arrive at the small house where she’s staying for the night. There are no lanterns in the place and Min Yan offers to go out and buy some, but Ling Long says there’s no need. The moonlight is enough. She goes outside and looks up at the crescent moon. Min Yan joins her for a moment, then says that he’ll head back to his own place, which is right next door. He tells her to drop by if she needs anything.

Min Yan turns to leave, but Ling Long pulls him to her and kisses him. They separate for a moment, then Min Yan kisses her back. When they pull away, Ling Long calls Min Yan a fool. He says she’s even more foolish, abandoning everything to become a wanderer with him. She responds that she’ll go anywhere as long as she’s with him. Min Yan promises to never let her down.

Xuan Ji and Si Feng wander the Shaoyang grounds. Si Feng tries to tell Xuan Ji not to feel bad about Ling Long and Min Yan. They’re together now. But Xuan Ji turns to Si Feng and has something serious to ask him: what if they have to choose between two very important things one day? What should they do?

Si Feng reminds her of what Ling Long said — as long as you don’t let go of the person most important to you, then everything will be fine. All he knows is that he won’t ever choose to let her go. What about her? Xuan Ji smiles and says that she would never let go of him either.

Si Feng admits that he’s a bit envious of Ling Long and Min Yan. He takes Xuan Ji’s hands and asks if, after everything with the Zanhua festival is over and done with, she’ll come live a peaceful life away from everyone else with him. Xuan Ji smiles shyly then turns and runs away. Si Feng smiles and follows her.

They find Chu Lei standing in front of Xuan Ji’s mother’s memorial. He smiles wearily when Xuan Ji greets him. He’s feeling nostalgic — in the blink of an eye, his wife has already been gone for so long and Xuan Ji and Ling Long have grown up. All he wants is for his daughters to have happy and peaceful lives. Xuan Ji reassures her father that she has the ability to protect herself, him, and Ling Long now.

Chu Lei admits that he’s impressed with how much Xuan Ji has grown in the time she spent abroad. But something also makes him feel uneasy. He asks Xuan Ji if she’s noticed anything peculiar about herself. Xuan Ji zones out for a moment, wondering if her father has suspicions about her identity. If everyone finds out that she’s the God of War, will they treat her like a freak?

Xuan Ji lies to her father and says that Dingkun and Teng She are just happy coincidences. Chu Lei puts a hand on her shoulder and says that even if she’s hiding something, he won’t force her to tell him. He’s getting old and won’t be with her forever. He glances at Si Feng and says that he feels relieved knowing that someone like Si Feng will be by her side in the future.

Xuan Ji smiles hopefully. So he isn’t opposed to her and Si Feng being together anymore?

Chu Lei sighs and says that what happened with Min Yan and Ling Long has helped him be more open-minded. He’s realized that what’s important is that two people love each other and don’t give up on each other. He can tell that Si Feng is a good kid and that he’s devoted to Xuan Ji, and that’s enough for him.

He turns to Si Feng and says that he knows Lize Palace has a lot of customs and that the Palace leader has a lot of opinions about Si Feng and Xuan Ji. Chu Lei promises to find a time to talk things through with the Palace leader.

Si Feng thanks Chu Lei and reassures him that he can be at ease leaving Xuan Ji with him. Chu Lei crosses his arms and gives Si Feng a sharp look. He isn’t thinking of bringing up marriage right now, is he?

Si Feng acknowledges that this might not be the most appropriate time and it might be a bit sudden, but his feelings for Xuan Ji have never changed. Xuan Ji tugs shyly at Si Feng’s sleeve.

Chu Lei laughs, but says that after they get back from Dianjing Valley, he’ll find an auspicious date and have both her and Ling Long married at the same time. Xuan Ji is surprised that her father is talking about weddings so quickly. Chu Lei teases her, asking if she would prefer he make things difficult for Si Feng instead.

Chu Lei pats Si Feng on the shoulder and tells them to have a good talk with her mother, then leaves the two be.

Xuan Ji smiles at Si Feng, saying that she followed through on her word to take responsibility for him. She asks to see the portrait of his mother, then sets it in front of her own mother’s shrine. She knows that Si Feng doesn’t know his mother’s resting place, but today, they can treat this place as her resting place and tell her the good news together.

They kneel before their mothers and tell them about the promise they made to each other. Si Feng promises Xuan Ji’s mother to take care of her forever.

When they stand up, Si Feng tells Xuan Ji that she’s his fiancee now. She protests, saying that she hasn’t received a dowry yet. The hairpiece doesn’t count because that was a gift from his mother. Si Feng promises to cook her a huge wedding feast after they get back from Dianjing Valley and that he’ll cook her good food for the rest of their lives. Is that good enough? Xuan Ji summons the hairpiece she tucked away from safekeeping and Si Feng puts it in her hair.

They’re smiling at each other when Teng She suddenly appears in front of them and they jump. Xuan Ji shames him for munching on her mother’s food offerings. He says it’s not his fault — they’re the ones who got distracted by each other and forgot to feed him.

The next day, Xuan Ji is on her way back from visiting Min Yan and Ling Long when she runs into Ying Hong. Ying Hong notices her hairpiece and asks where she got it. Xuan Ji frowns — is there something wrong with it?

Ying Hong has noticed that her hairpiece has a garuda carved on it. She starts to say something about Xuan Ji’s mother, but then stops herself, saying that if Xuan Ji doesn’t remember, then it doesn’t matter. She warns Xuan Ji that the garuda are vicious and her father hates them. She can’t let him see the hairpiece or he’ll get upset. The garuda are notorious for being closely allied with the demonic army. After the war, they were cast into the mortal realm. It wasn’t until a few hundred years ago that the righteous sects banded together to vanquish them, but a few slipped through the cracks.

Xuan Ji asks Ying Hong what she doesn’t remember, but Ying Hong isn’t forthcoming, saying it’s probably better that she doesn’t. She asks Xuan Ji where she got the hairpiece from — maybe it’ll provide some leads on the demons’ whereabouts. Xuan Ji protectively takes the hairpiece back, then lies and says that she bought in Qingmu. Ying Hong suggests she stop wearing it, in case her father sees.

Later, Si Feng finds Xuan Ji lost in thought, brooding over the hairpiece. He asks her what she was thinking about. Xuan Ji tells him that she feels like there’s something her aunt isn’t telling her. Ling Long also seemed to want to tell her about something from their childhood. Xuan Ji summons the Zhuying Pearl and asks if Si Feng wants to look at it with her.

At first, the memories are happy: Ling Long and Xuan Ji playing together as children; Xuan Ji’s other pointing out different colors to her and telling her that her favorite colors is blue. But then a darker memory appears: Xuan Ji and her mother running through a forest, being pursued by something. Xuan Ji’s mother trips and falls. She turns and curls protectively around Xuan Ji as a garuda flies toward them. The images end.

Si Feng looks shaken at the sight of the garuda. Xuan Ji remembers everything now that she’s seen the memories. She turns to Si Feng. A garuda killed her mother.

Si Feng tries to force a smile and suggests that maybe there’s a misunderstanding in the images. But Xuan Ji says there’s no misunderstanding. She remembers seeing her mother be killed by a garuda when she was five. She didn’t know what suffering meant back then, but she remembers not eating or sleeping for days until she fainted. When she woke up, she had forgotten everything.

She asks Si Feng if he knows where his father got the hairpin from. Maybe it’ll lead to a clue about the garuda. Si Feng takes her by the shoulders and says that all he knows is that his mother left the hairpiece for him and that not all garuda are necessarily bad.

Xuan Ji responds that what he says might be true. All she knows is that she must catch a Tianxu demon this time when they go to Dianjing Valley. She needs to find out what happened to the garuda and get revenge for her mother.

Now it’s Si Feng’s turn to brood at night. He tells Xiao Yin Hua to go find out what the truth is. And what if everything Xuan Ji said is true? Si Feng says that he will help Xuan Ji get her revenge.

Xiao Yin Hua suggests that Si Feng should at least find a way to take back the locked box he gave Xuan Ji with his secret inside. What if she figures out a way to open it? Does he really think it’s a good idea for her to know his true identity right now? Xiao Yin Hua is worried that Si Feng will perish from the lovers’ curse if things don’t turn out the way he hopes.

Hao Chen comes up with a plan to figure out who the Tianxu spy is among the righteous sects’ elders. He got a bit of mermaid’s blood, which is colorless and virtually undetectable unless it comes in contact with mermaid’s tears, upon which it will turn red. Hao Chen knows that the Tianxu demon he fought extinguished one of the candles at the Buzhou Mountain portal, meaning that it came in contact with mermaid’s tears. They can use the blood to test each elder who was there the day the demon whip broke. Hao Chen has already tested Master Rong and determined his innocence. Master Rong is more than happy to help with the plan.

Yuan Lang rips off Wu Tong’s arm as punishment for daring to steal the Feilong Seal. He does it in a way that ensures the wound won’t close on its own — Wu Tong has about an hour left before he bleeds out. Wu Tong begs for his life, saying that he knows Dianjing’s secrets and can help ensure that Yuan Lang successfully retrieves the last spirit key. Yuan Lang refuses to save Wu Tong, but says he’ll give him another chance if he saves himself. Wu Tong’s wound might not close on its own, but Wu Tong can cauterize the wound with fire.

Yuan Lang frees Wu Tong, who stumbles over to a nearby fire and burns himself in order to cauterize his wound. Yuan Lang smirks. He can appreciate someone who is cruel to others, but even more cruel to himself. He’ll give Wu Tong another chance, but this is also his last one. If he dares cross Yuan Lang again, Yuan Lang will ensure he lives a life worse than that of a dog’s.

Yuan Lang returns to Lize Palace to find that the Palace leader is nowhere to be found. He knows there’s only one place he can be, and smirks.

Yuan Lang finds the Palace leader in a secret room, telling Hao Feng, a woman trapped in an icy casket, that it’s time for her to wake soon. Yuan Lang taunts the Palace leader, asking what his disciples would think knowing that their leader is secretly keeping a woman’s corpse.

The Palace leader orders Yuan Lang to leave, but Yuan Lang shares that he’s here because of some good news. Dianjing Valley’s chalcedony has formed. Once he acquires it, he can revive his precious Hao Feng. The Palace leader smiles and asks his entombed lover if she heard. Soon, he’ll kill all those righteous sect members who forced her to her death.

Yuan Lang promises that he’ll help the Palace leader, but the Palace leader knows that it’s not out of some goodwill. He knows all about Yuan Lang’s scheming and knows that Yuan Lang is just using him to get to the spirit keys.

Yuan Lang says that if they’re going to talk about it, they might as speak freely. He proposes that they work together at the upcoming Zanhua festival. The Palace leader will get his chalcedony and Yuan Lang will get his spirit key. The Palace leader claims to not know what Yuan Lang is trying to get at — all he cares about is reviving Hao Feng. Yuan Lang reminds him that they’re both in the same boat, bound for the Zanhua festival.

The Shaoyang disciples prepare to head out to Dianjing Valley. Xuan Ji reminds Teng She to keep his eyes peeled for any sign of demons.



Commentary

As if Si Feng and Xuan Ji couldn’t be more star-crossed than they already are! Xuan Ji’s mother’s death at the hands (claws?) of a garuda just add another tragic layer to their romance. And now it seems like the sects also killed Si Feng’s mother? Because it seems pretty likely that Hao Feng is Si Feng’s mother and thus the Palace leader is his father? It would make sense why the Palace leader is so uncharacteristically protective of Si Feng. But does Si Feng know who his parents are? It just keeps getting better.

I wonder if Xuan Ji’s mother was killed by the Palace leader or some affiliated garuda as a direct retaliation for Hao Feng’s death.

Is the Palace leader as old as Yuan Lang? Does he know exactly who Yuan Lang is? Yuan Lang knows that Si Feng is his son, but it seems like Yuan Lang doesn’t know that Si Feng could have something to do with Mosha Star, otherwise he wouldn’t be so determined to kill him. Unless it doesn’t matter whether Si Feng is dead or alive? Or I’ve been misled this whole time and Si Feng has nothing to do with Mosha Star, even though he and Xuan Ji were born on the same day.

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