Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Love and Redemption (Ep. 38)

Xuan Ji struggles with her feelings for Si Feng as the sect leaders try to pressure her into being their leader against Lize Palace. Si Feng learns more about his parents’ tragic love story.


Recap

Hao Chen, Chu Lei, and the others find Xuan Ji after Si Feng and the Palace leader leave. Hao Chen sees her pain and settles for saying that least now she knows the truth. Min Xing rushes up, wounded, with bad news: Wu Tong and Tianxu Hall have attacked and he’s taken Ling Long.

Xuan Ji becomes furious at this culmination of events. She’s determined to kill Wu Tong, Tianxu Hall, and all demons. She awakens her inner god.

Xuan Ji goes straight to where Wu Tong holds Ling Long captive and frees Ling Long, then promptly destroys several demons. She attacks Wu Tong, but he defends himself with a shield and smirks. He knew she was the God of War so he prepared by bringing a zhulong scale, which can withstand immortal energy.

Xuan Ji finds it ironic that something she once used is now being used against her. Wu Tong smirks. It’s not just that — now her little lover Si Feng is against her as well. Xuan Ji says that she’ll destroy all the demons today and summons her special arcane fire. Wu Tong tells his demons to assemble and shield themselves, but Xuan Ji’s fire breaks through even the protection from the magical shield.

Xuan Ji’s fire is indiscriminate and rains down on everyone, human and demon alike. The elders head toward a cave to take shelter. Wu Tong tells his demons to retreat. Two unfortunate Dianjing disciples get hit with fire and die before they make it into the cave. One of the disciples says that Xuan Ji’s power is too terrible — she’s a monster. Ling Long defends her, saying she’s just trying to protect them.

Hao Chen leaves the cave to attempt to calm Xuan Ji down. He gets hurt on his first attempt, but his second attempt is successful. She faints and he catches her.

Min Yan tries to comfort Ling Long after Xuan Ji is rushed away, but she shrinks away from his touch. When he asks what’s wrong, she says, “Nothing,” and starts walking away.

Xuan Ji dreams of running around a foggy forest, calling for Si Feng. She smiles when she finally sees him, wearing a half-broken mask. She tries to grab his arm, but he shakes her off, telling her to let go, then stabs her.

Hao Chen frowns as he paces Xuan Ji’s room, waiting for her to wake up. She mutters Si Feng’s name in her sleep, saying that he promised he would take care of himself, and that he promised he wouldn’t leave her. She suddenly bolts awake, still calling Si Feng’s name.

Hao Chen asks if she had a bad dream. She admits that she dreamed of Si Feng. Hao Chen starts telling her his version of what happened — Si Feng was using her this whole time, at first to get close to the secret place, but eventually, once he figured out she was the God of War, he wanted her to forget about her duty to protect the three worlds.

Xuan Ji sobs, grief-stricken. Hao Chen keeps talking. This was why he didn’t want her to go out into the world, but now that this has happened, she can treat it like a test. He promises to stay with her and support her through this test so that she can successfully follow the immortal way. He reminds her that she’s the God of War. She came from the heavenly realm and eventually, she will go back there.

Hao Chen leaves her to rest, but after he leaves, all Xuan Ji can think about is Si Feng. “He’ll be okay,” she tells herself.

Later, Ling Long finds Xuan Ji still brooding and gently touches her shoulder. Xuan Ji asks if she still recognizes her as her sister. “Silly, you’ll always be my sister,” Ling Long responds, and hugs her.

Xuan Ji asks if Ling Long thinks Si Feng was being sincere toward her. Ling Long gently reminds her that demons have no sincerity. He and all of Lize Palace were lying this whole time. Doesn’t she remember what happened to Dongfang?

Xuan Ji looks to Min Yan and asks him. Min Yan says that it’s true everything was a lie, but he also remembers all the times Si Feng put his own life on the line to save them and to save Xuan Ji. He thinks there’s no way Si Feng was not being sincere.

Ling Long gets upset with Min Yan for saying such a thing. Is he trying to kill Xuan Ji? She turns to Xuan Ji and reminds her that Si Feng is a twelve-feathered garuda and Lize Palace’s head disciple. There’s no way he didn’t know about their plans. If he really cared about Xuan Ji, he wouldn’t have let it happen. “Stop lying to yourself,” she says.

Xuan Ji still says that she needs to find Si Feng and hear it straight from him. Exasperated, Ling Long asks if she wants to be deceived by him again. Xuan Ji doesn’t, but she needs to hear him say whether he was being sincere or fake. Ling Long reminds her that even if Si Feng wasn’t bad before, he will be now that he’s a demon. There is no good in Tianxu Hall and she won’t let Xuan Ji go anywhere near one of its demons.

Min Yan suggests that maybe it would be good for Xuan Ji to speak face-to-face with Si Feng. After all, now that her inner god has awakened, she can’t be hurt by any of the Tianxu demons.

The other sects all treat Xuan Ji with immense respect now that she’s been outed as the God of War. Elder Kou of Dianjing Valley comes to invite her to formally meet with Master Rong and the other elders. Xuan Ji is uncomfortable with the attention and asks him to continue calling her Xuan Ji. She tries to take a rain check, claiming she’s still recovering, but Teng She has already let slip that she’s fully recovered. Xuan Ji is forced to meet with the sect elders.

Ling Long and Min Yan start to follow, but are stopped by a Dianjing disciple. Because they’re no longer a member of Shaoyang sect, they have no right to attend. Min Yan and Ling Long reassure Xuan Ji that they’ll wait for her in her room, but after Xuan Ji leaves, the Dianjing disciples smirk suggest that they should wait in an outer courtyard instead.

The Dianjing make rude comments about Ling Long and her relationship with Wu Tong. Min Yan looks ready to start a fight. Ling Long tries to calm him down, but he demands the Dianjing disciples apologize to her. They ask what they should apologize for. Ling Long storms off and Min Yan follows.

Master Rong and Dongfang insist on addressing Xuan Ji as a god and thank her for saving their sects. Xuan Ji looks uncomfortable with the whole situation. Chu Lei admits that he didn’t know either until yesterday. The sect leaders all seem to think she’s heaven-sent (which I mean, I guess she literally was sent down from the heavens…) Teng She rolls his eyes.

Master Rong suddenly drops to his knees and asks the God of War to command the righteous sects in fighting against the demons. The other elders present all follow.

Xuan Ji dropped to her knees with Master Rong, uncomfortable with an elder kneeling before her, and looks appalled. She looks down and asks them to find someone else — she can’t bear such an important responsibility. Master Rong looks to Chu Lei instead and says that if the God of War doesn’t agree, then they won’t get up.

Chu Lei nods with a sigh and tells Xuan Ji that he, too, will kneel and beg her. Xuan Ji rushes to him, then gets even more concerned when Chu Lei starts coughing up blood. He was severely wounded by the Palace leader.

Xuan Ji makes Teng She check on her father. He looks him up and down, then easily diagnoses Chu Lei with something that he claims is quite commonplace, an “internal cavity finch”. Xuan Ji asks if he can be cured. Teng She starts to say that Xuan Ji also — but he’s interrupted by Hao Chen, who says that if he can recognize it, then he should be able to cure it. Teng She is affronted that Hao Chen would dare order him around and starts to talk back, but Hao Chen just stares at him and tells him to hurry up. Teng She seems to suddenly be intimidated by him and stammers that he’s right, he can cure Chu Lei.

Teng She uses his magic on Chu Lei and pulls out a finch. Xuan Ji makes her father rise so he can sit down. The other elders rise with him.

Hao Chen decides to use this opportunity to ram home his point that demons are evil. Look at what they did to her father! It’s in their nature.

Chu Lei tells Xuan Ji that they don’t want to force her to be the leader, but she’s their only choice. The five righteous sects have already become three. She is the only one who can lead them against the demons who have broken their ranks. He coughs again and asks her to agree. She looks out at the elders staring back at her, then back at him, and says she’ll agree.

Master Rong asks for a book with the names of all the disciples who have perished at the hands of the demons. He turns to Xuan Ji and leads the other elders in requesting that she give the order for them to destroy Tianxu Hall and slaughter Lize Palace so they can get their revenge.

Xuan Ji hesitates. Slaughter Lize Palace? Her hesitation doesn’t escape the notice of the sect leaders. They question whether she still has illusions about Lize Palace’s allegiances. Xuan Ji struggles to respond.

Hao Chen steps in to cover for her and says that instead of immediately seeking revenge, their first priority should be to prevent Tianxu Hall from accomplishing their goal of resurrecting Mosha Star. The sects should all go to Shaoyang so they can protect the secret place while also making plans for their revenge.

Xuan Ji says that she agrees with Hao Chen. Master Rong listens to their suggestion and says they can allow the demons to live another day. But he and everyone else are well aware of Xuan Ji’s connection to Si Feng. He requests a promise from her and Shaoyang that they will cut all ties with the garuda. Xuan Ji again hesitates and doesn’t say anything.

Hao Chen notices Xuan Ji’s hesitation and speaks for her again, reminding Master Rong that Xuan Ji already agreed to be their leader. She also was misled by Si Feng and he trusts that if she meets him again, she’ll show him no mercy.

Back at Lize Palace, the Palace leader heals Si Feng. When Si Feng wakes up, his father gives him the antidote to the lovers’ curse. Si Feng is surprised — he thought there was no antidote. His father tells him that there is no curse that can’t be broken; it’s just a matter of the price one is willing to pay. If Si Feng takes the antidote, he will completely forget about everything that happened. Xuan Ji will no longer exist to him.

Si Feng refuses to take the antidote. He doesn’t want to forget.

His father paces furiously. Xuan Ji stood with the humans the moment she found out he was a garuda. But Si Feng doesn’t blame Xuan Ji. He was the one who lied to her. He asks his father if he really plans on destroying Xuan Ji. Did he really kill her mother?

The Palace leader blames Xuan Ji’s mother for trying to take Hao Feng away. No one is allowed to separate him from Hao Feng.

Si Feng’s father takes him to see his mother and tells him the story of how they first met when he went out into the world for his year of training abroad. The second time they met, she had been wounded and he helped her heal. They fell in love. She took off his mask. She became pregnant.

Shortly after Si Feng was born, the old Palace leader found out and was furious. He wanted to kill Si Feng, until he found out that Si Feng was a twelve-feathered garuda. The old Palace leader made the current one wear the lovers’ curse mask. Si Feng’s father did so willingly, because he knew how much Hao Feng loved him. Even when she found out that he was a garuda, she stayed by his side. Their only regret was that Si Feng wasn’t able to be with her. Hao Feng died in order to protect them. Ever since, Si Feng’s father has been trying to find a way to bring her back. And now he has. He’s already given her the chalcedony he retrieved from Dianjing Valley. He’s sure that when she wakes up, she will be very happy to see Si Feng.

Si Feng cries and continues to call his father, “Master.” His father smiles sadly. He understands if Si Feng hates him because of how long he lied to him. The old Palace leader poisoned him and forbade him from telling Si Feng who he was until Si Feng became an adult. That way Si Feng could train and become the future hope for their clan. But what kind of father doesn’t even acknowledge his own son?

“You’ve always treated me well,” Si Feng says. His father asks him to call him “Father,” just once. But Si Feng just sheds more tears and doesn’t respond. The Palace leader laughs cynically and sighs, turning away. It’s been over twenty years — he has no right to force Si Feng.

Si Feng drops to his knees and addresses the Palace leader as his father. His father turns with a hopeful smile, unable to believe his ears. Si Feng calls him father again and apologizes for being unfilial. His father lifts him up, overjoyed. He turns to Hao Feng and says, “Did you see that?” Soon, she will wake up and the three of them will be a family again.

The Palace leader and Si Feng leave the vault to find that Yuan Lang has lit a sacred fire. Yuan Lang says that the fire indicates something big will happen — it’s time for Lize Palace to have a new leader. He calls the current Palace leader out for accompanying the dead instead of focusing on how to lead Lize Palace now that their secret is out.

The Palace leader says he’s willing to resign. He’s tired of being the leader. It’s time he passed on the torch. Yuan Lang, as the deputy, is ready to receive the Jinyu token of authority, but then the Palace leader tells Si Feng to step forward and declares that he’s the new leader of Lize Palace.

Yuan Lang interrupts, saying that Si Feng has no right to be the leader and that the current leader has gone crazy. He proves it by asking the Palace leader what he plans on doing after his abdication. The Palace leader says that he’ll explore the world with Hao Feng, of course. All the disciples start whispering amongst themselves and Yuan Lang cackles. The Palace leader tries to attack Yuan Lang but he vanishes and appears behind the Palace leader. The old Palace leader taught him this magic in order to keep the current Palace leader in check.

Yuan Lang says that if Hao Feng were really still here, she would hate him. The Palace leader tries to attack again, but Yuan Lang vanishes again. He continues taunting the Palace leader. The Palace leader has tricked himself into believing that Hao Feng loved him so much she removed his lovers’ curse mask. But her love only lasted until she found out he was a demon.


Commentary

It’s ironic that Min Yan is now the one who believes there can be good in demons.

Hao Chen is rigid in his righteousness and his ways and he will forever see only the worst in Si Feng, but as always his one saving grace is that he also deeply cares for Xuan Ji, despite everything he says. During the meeting with the elders, he was definitely projecting onto Xuan Ji everything he wanted her to see, but he also spoke up for her in a way that protected her in front of the elders so that they wouldn’t doubt her. It seems like he wasn’t thrilled that she’s been forced to lead the sects, but also, what did he expect? There was no other way this could have played out, especially with the way he’s been pushing Xuan Ji.

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