Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Love and Redemption (Ep. 36)

All four remaining sects congregate at Dianjing Valley for the Zanhua tournament. The righteous sect leaders put a plan into motion to lure out the demon hiding in their midst, but they don’t realize that the demons have a plan of their own…


Recap

The Shaoyang sect assembles, preparing to leave for Dianjing Valley. Min Yan and Ling Long show up and ask Chu Lei if they can come along. They want to contribute in the efforts against Tianxu Hall. It takes a little bit of convincing, but Chu Lei eventually agrees to let them come to the Zanhua festival.

Teng She immediately gets into trouble when they get to Dianjing Valley with his capricious disrespect for mortals. He manages to offend some Dianjing disciples who are determined to beat him up, but Xuan Ji quickly intervenes. She manages to get the Dianjing disciples to go away by telling them that Teng She is a bit of a fool and only knows how to eat. Teng She is upset that Xuan Ji stopped him from turning the disciples to ash, but Xuan Ji stuffs a chicken leg in his face to get him to shut up.

Lize Palace arrives and Si Feng immediately rushes to receive his master. Xuan Ji and Teng She follow. Si Feng apologizes for leaving Fuyu Island without warning. The Palace leader doesn’t acknowledge his apology and instead stares sharply at Xuan Ji. Yuan Lang smirks as he calls Si Feng quite bold for coming and going as he pleases. Xuan Ji tries to defend Si Feng. Yuan Lang tells her that she should probably focus on the upcoming tournament — he’s eager to see how she does.

Xuan Ji tells Si Feng she can get her father to help talk down the Palace leader, but Si Feng gently says that Lize Palace hates outside intervention. He has his own plans for seeking forgiveness.

Si Feng kneels before the Palace leader, who reminds him that they are not like his friends. His friends are members of a sect that only seeks to destroy their kind. But Si Feng responds that his friends are different — they would never harm him.

The Palace leader asks if he includes Xuan Ji, the person who doomed him with the lovers’ curse, among his friends. He thinks Xuan Ji has deceived Si Feng and doesn’t believe that she’s sincere toward him. Does Si Feng dare to tell her who he really is? Si Feng responds that he will when the time is right. The Palace leader scoffs, interested to know when that will be. He tells Si Feng that he better not regret it.

Si Feng stands and asks the Palace leader if Lize Palace had anything to do with Xuan Ji’s mother’s death. All the Palace leader says in response is that Lize Palace has killed plenty of people. Why would he remember?

Si Feng’s hands shake and he clenches his fist. So they really have killed people before? Why?

The Palace leader asks if Si Feng would rather they be killed by others instead. He tells Si Feng that he’s still young and doesn’t understand humans yet. There’s a reason why Lize Palace forbids its disciples from forming relationships with outsiders. Twenty years ago, a Lize disciple fell in love with the old Dianjing leader’s daughter. The Dianjing sect tried to force her to tell them Lize Palace’s secret. She killed herself instead, and that’s how Lize Palace’s secret was protected.

The Palace leader asks that Si Feng leave Xuan Ji sooner rather than later, otherwise he’ll be the one who gets hurt. But Si Feng shakes him off. He owes Xuan Ji an explanation for her mother’s death. Then he’ll leave with her. Lize Palace has survived for so long with its secret intact. He can hide it from her for a lifetime.

The Palace leader says it’s true that they could hide their secret from everyone if they wanted to. But what if they don’t want to anymore? Will nobodies (like Xuan Ji) even matter? Si Feng looks shook.

Hao Chen, Chu Lei, and Master Rong meet to discuss their plan for identifying the spy in their midst. The spirit key is stored in the west temple, which Master Rong reassures them is very secure. On the door to the temple, he’ll apply some mermaid’s blood, so that if the traitor tries to enter, his hands will be stained red.

Hao Chen shares his worry that there may be more than one demon in their midst. He doesn’t have any concrete evidence yet, but once he does, he’ll report to them.

Si Feng finds Xuan Ji still fiddling with the lock he gave her. He surprises her by hugging her from behind. She smiles shyly and says that someone will see, but he only holds her tighter, saying that he doesn’t care. All that matters to him is that they’re together. She smiles and nestles closer and says that she promises to always stay with him.

Then she asks about the lock — she still can’t figure out how to open it. Will Si Feng tell her what he wrote? Si Feng says that maybe it’s better if she never opens it. Xuan Ji turns to him. Si Feng says is that there are some things he needs to personally take care of. If anything happens, he wants her to wait for him to come back. He promises that he’ll explain everything once he gets back.

Xuan Ji asks if his conversation with the Palace leader didn’t go well. Si Feng pulls her into a hug and murmurs that he’s just too afraid of losing her.

Xuan Ji tells Si Feng that after they catch the demon here, she’ll go with him to Lize Palace and ask the Palace leader for his hand in marriage. Si Feng doesn’t respond, but looks heartbroken. He silently tells her he’s sorry, but he will find a way to give her an explanation.

Hao Chen continues to fiddle around with Si Feng’s hair, but nothing changes. Did he really guess wrong? But suddenly, the hair transforms into a golden feather. Hao Chen’s eyes widen. Si Feng really is a demon. He splits his table in half with his anger and vows that this time, he won’t let Si Feng go. This time he’ll make sure Xuan Ji sees his true face.

Di Lang and Yuan Lang land in front of the west temple. The statues guarding the entrance turn toward Di Lang, drawn to his demon energy. Yuan Lang suppresses Di Lang’s demon energy and the statues lose interest. They open the door to the temple according to Wu Tong’s instructions. The door closes behind them and they frown as they circle the center of the room. There’s nothing here.

One of them steps on a floor tile, activating two columns that sent a spell shooting toward them. Yuan Lang and Di Lang each hold their own against a column, but then Di Lang knocks Yuan Lang away so that Yuan Lang remains free while he gets captured by a demon-capturing spell. He tells Yuan Lang to leave. Tianxu Hall can do without him, but it cannot survive without Yuan Lang. He’s willing to make this sacrifice.

A bell rings. Yuan Lang hesitates, but Di Lang urgently tells him to leave.

Hao Chen, Chu Lei, and Master Rong approach the west temple door and find a bloody red handprint on one of the knobs. They enter to find Di Lang trying to break out of the spell that holds him prisoner. Hao Chen knows that Di Lang isn’t the person they’re looking for — there must have been someone else here as well.

Dongfang Qing Qi shows up and is ready to kill Di Lang out of revenge for Qing Rong, but Chu Lei stays his hand. There’s still information they need to get out of Di Lang, like who his accomplices are. But Di Lang calls them naive for thinking he would even give them the opportunity to get any information out of him.

Yuan Lang arrives with some Lize Palace disciples in tow, right as Di Lang shreds his own core and kills himself. His eyes widen, but then he feigns nonchalance and comments that the temple must not be that well-protected if a demon could have entered so easily. Master Rong declares that he’ll add another layer of security. The elders work together to lend their energy for this new spell. Hao Chen, Chu Lei, and Master Rong use this opportunity to scan each elder’s hand while they all stand in a circle with their palms out. Yuan Lang’s palm is stained red.

Dongfang now gets included in the talks now that the spy’s identity has been confirmed. Hao Chen informs them that he was also able to confirm a second demon in their midst and shows them the golden feather he extracted out of Si Feng’s hair. Chu Lei is upset that he almost married Xuan Ji off to Si Feng. Hao Chen shares his worry that Si Feng purposely approached Xuan Ji with malicious intentions. They all suspect that Lize Palace is full of demons and want to use this opportunity to catch them. Master Rong shares that there’s a secret Dianjing spell for catching demons, but it requires a lot of Yang energy exactly at noon. They decide to prepare to capture the Lize Palace demons tomorrow at noon.

Xiao Yin Hua warns Si Feng that something’s not right and takes him outside, where they spy on the other Lize Palace disciples, who have assembled and are being informed that they need to hide their weapons tomorrow and wait for the Palace leader’s signal. Xiao Yin Hua asks if the Palace leader is really going to move against the other sects tomorrow. Si Feng says he can’t let that happen.

Si Feng goes to confront the Palace leader. Is he really going to move against the other sects? Haven’t the past few hundred years been good, developing trust and friendly relations with the other sects? But the Palace leader says that he’s wrong. They killed Hao Feng and wouldn’t let her marry him. He needs to get revenge for her — he’ll kill them all.

Si Feng asks who Hao Feng is. The Palace leader reveals that Hao Feng is the daughter of the Dianjing leader that he mentioned earlier. And he is the Lize disciple who fell in love with her. The other sect leaders killed her when they tried to force her to reveal his secret. For the past twenty years, he’s been searching for a way to resurrect her and he’s finally found the answer. Now, he’ll get his revenge and revive her. He looks up at Si Feng and asks if he’ll help him in this quest.

Si Feng falls to his knees. He tries to convince the Palace leader that Hao Feng would be devastated if she were to be resurrected only to discover that all of her fellow disciples were dead. Si Feng is willing to help the Palace leader get Dianjing Valley’s thousand-year chalcedony if the Palace leader will spare the sects.

The Palace leader laughs manically. Does Si Feng really think he’ll give up on his plans because of something he said after all these decades of suffering? He yells that he must get his revenge. They must all die.

Si Feng gets to his feet and says that he won’t allow Lize Palace to massacre the others. The Palace leader reminds him that he taught him everything he knows. Does Si Feng really think he can stop him?

Yuan Lang thinks to himself that he underestimated the mortals, but promises Di Lang that he’ll avenge his death once Mosha Star is resurrected. Yuan Lang is summoned to the Palace leader’s rooms. He surprised when he walks in to find the Palace leader trapped inside a spell. The Palace leader shouts a warning, but it’s too late. Si Feng knocks Yuan Lang in as well and steals the Jinyu (“golden feather”) token that gives the Palace leader his authority.

Si Feng says that he’s just borrowing it in order to put a stop to all of this, and leaves, while the Palace leader calls his name behind him.

Si Feng finds the Lize Palace disciples gathered and whispering among themselves while they wait for the Palace leader to appear. Si Feng tells them that they’re to withdraw from the Zanhua tournament and return to Lize Palace immediately. When they question him, he pulls out the Jinyu token and invokes the authority it gives him.

Yuan Lang and the Palace leader try to break out of the spell Si Feng cast on them but are unsuccessful. Yuan Lang tells the Palace leader to hurry up and release the thing in his shadow. The Palace leader tells him to shut up, but listens. He works his magic and his shadow elongates, escaping the magical barrier trapping them, and takes on a red-eyed form.

Si Feng goes to find Master Rong to request that Lize Palace be allowed to withdraw from the tournament. But Master Rong just smirks. Hao Chen casts a spell, binding Si Feng, while Dianjing disciples rush in to surround him. Si Feng asks Master Rong what he means by all this. Master Rong smirks and calls him a demon traitor. Hao Chen convinces Master Rong to leave him alone with Si Feng.

Hao Chen grabs Si Feng by the throat and reminds him of what he said earlier: that he would show Si Feng no mercy if he ever found out that Si Feng was using Xuan Ji. Si Feng admits that he’s a demon, but claims that he never wanted to hurt any human. He asks Hao Chen to let him go so that he can help save them — they’re in danger. But Hao Chen thinks he knows what Si Feng is going to say — that Lize Palace is going to attempt to steal the spirit key and think the mortal sects are no match for them. Hao Chen says that they’re already prepared. As for Si Feng, he’ll leave him here for now and make sure Xuan Ji sees who he really is.

Si Feng calls out to Hao Chen as he walks away, but Hao Chen ignores him. Instead, Hao Chen silently says that he initially didn’t want Xuan Ji to awaken into the God of War, but since her awakening seems inevitable, he might as well make sure it’s worth it.

Xuan Ji faces off against a Lize Palace opponent in the first round of the tournament. All the sects have gathered to watch — Yuan Lang and the Palace leader have managed to escape Si Feng’s spell and are present as well. Xuan Ji wonders where Si Feng is — why isn’t he here yet? A Dianjing disciple announces the start of the first round, declaring that Xuan Ji will face off against Hao Feng of Lize Palace. Master Rong’s eyes widen in recognition at the name. Hao Feng?

Xuan Ji’s opponent wears a full mask and attacks first with a power that surpasses even that of an elder. Xuan Ji manages to dodge unscathed, but wonders who her opponent is. She calls him rude for attacking without even acknowledging her. He declares that he’ll make her a ghost with his sword. Xuan Ji reminds him that this match is about winning and losing, not life and death. Teng She is amused by the exchange and heckles Xuan Ji.

“Hao Feng” attacks again and he and Xuan Ji trade blows. She holds her own and manages to disarm him, but he casts a spell and shadowy clouds bind her legs to the ground. He attacks her while her legs are frozen, but she draws on Dingkun’s power to strike back. She’s still bound to the ground. Teng She coaches her to attack the shadows at her feet. She does, freeing herself. But the shadow has a life of its own and seems to get angry. It flies back onto the stage and flits around Xuan Ji before landing on the ground and turning into a beast. Chu Lei leaps to his feet, alarmed, recognizing the beast as Tao Hui.

The beast climbs up the stairs to the stage and approaches Xuan Ji. It blows out a fiery cloud of smoke that circles Xuan Ji while her opponent casts a spell. Teng She gets to his feet with a frown and disappears. “Hao Feng” clenches his fist. Tao Hui and Xuan Ji both disappear in a flash of light.

Chu Lei flies toward “Hao Feng” with an attack, determined to save Xuan Ji, but gets knocked back.

“What are you?” Chu Lei demands.

“Hao Feng” spins and then reveals himself with a smirk. He is the Palace leader.


Commentary

I don’t have the words to react to all the excitement happening this episode so I’ll leave you with a gif:

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