Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Love and Redemption (Ep. 40)

Zi Hu and Yi Huan work together to try and orchestrate a meeting between Si Feng and Xuan Ji. Ling Long continues to struggle with the trauma and social ostracization that has come with her imprisonment by Wu Tong.


Recap

Yuan Lang asks Si Feng to break into Fenru City and rescue Wu Zhi Qi. He tries to convince Si Feng that Xuan Ji will have no choice but to accept him once the demons rule the world. But Si Feng knows that Yuan Lang is just trying to trick him to his death. It’s unlikely he would ever make it out of Fenru City alive.

Yuan Lang warns Si Feng that if he doesn’t join up with him, he’s just going to end up dying on Xuan Ji’s sword. Si Feng tells him to leave. Yuan Lang barely blinks and turns away, telling him to think about it.

Elder Luo approaches Si Feng and reports the latest happenings in the Palace. The disciples willing to join Tianxu Hall are being locked up. Those unwilling are immediately killed. Si Feng tells Elder Luo to tell the others that they will have to accommodate Tianxu Hall for the time being. It’s not worth giving up their lives. Si Feng knows what Tianxu Hall is planning and will figure out a way to make sure the garuda make it out alive.

Yuan Lang sacrifices Lize disciples, stealing their souls to power a Lianhun (“soul refining”) Pot that will eventually allow him to absorb the God of War’s god power. Ruo Yu turns away as a disciple dies, but then asks Yuan Lang curiously about the pot. Yuan Lang emphasizes that only he knows the spell that can be used in conjunction with the pot to absorb the God of War’s power and use it. He smiles knowingly at Ruo Yu and warns him not to wonder about things he shouldn’t. Ruo Yu hastily bows and says he wouldn’t dare.

Yuan Lang tells Ruo Yu that the day he’s been working toward for a thousand years is almost here. Only Juntian Cehai can open the Liuli lamp and free Mosha Star’s soul, but releasing his soul is releasing a thousand years of pent-up energy. Any normal person would die — only someone with the God of War’s power will be able to control Mosha Star’s soul. Yuan Lang will make it so that Mosha Star has no choice but to surrender to him.

Ruo Yu mentions that it’s unlikely Si Feng will agree to enter the demon realm to retrieve Wu Zhi Qi. Yuan Lang sighs that only Si Feng, someone with the power of the twelve-feathered garuda, has the ability to enter the demon realm. He’s confident that Si Feng will agree before the day comes when the entrance to the demon realm is open.

Ruo Yu hesitantly starts to ask about his sister, but Yuan Lang quickly shuts him up, reminding him that this is hardly the appropriate time to be talking about such things. His only duty right now is to keep tabs on Xuan Ji and ensure that Yuan Lang can get her power.

Yi Huan goes to Lize Palace and makes a fuss at the gates. Elder Luo comes out to receive him and asks him to talk to Si Feng, who is almost done with his seven-day vigil for his father. Yi Huan rushes into the Palace leader’s memorial hall and melodramatically cries over him. He shoos away the Lize Palace disciples standing guard. Once they’re gone, Yi Huan tells Si Feng that Xuan Ji is willing to meet with him at Qingmu tomorrow. Si Feng is surprised he would even want to see her.

Teng She finds Xuan Ji brooding over Si Feng’s hairpin, something she’s been doing ever since she got back to Shaoyang. A disciple shows up and tells Xuan Ji that a purple-robed girl gifted a lantern to her. Xuan Ji receives it excitedly and reads the note, telling her to go to Qingmu the next morning. She asks Teng She if he’ll help her with something.

The next morning, Si Feng waits for Xuan Ji while Yi Huan watches worriedly with Zi Hu. Yi Huan is concerned Xuan Ji won’t show up. Zi Hu is confident she will.

They hear some bells ring. Si Feng finds Xuan Ji under the tree of windchimes that hold the wishes and secrets people are too afraid to say. Xuan Ji smiles slightly when she turns and sees him, but then runs away to hide on one side of the tree when he starts to approach. They’re not supposed to see each other — her father would be so disappointed if he found out — so she suggests they talk like this instead.

Xuan Ji asks why Si Feng hid the truth from her. He admits that he didn’t want to lie, but didn’t have the chance to tell her yet. His identity is the only thing he’s ever lied about. She responds that what she cares about is that the person she trusted the most lied to her. He promises that he’ll never lie to her again.

Xuan Ji asks Si Feng what he knows about Yuan Lang and his plans. She reveals what Zi Hu discovered: the Yuan Lang is the vice Palace leader. That’s news to Si Feng, but it also makes sense to him. He tells her the truth, that he didn’t know about any of this until the night before the tournament started. He tells her about how he tried to trap them when he found out, but he failed. He asks her to believe him. She says that she does.

“Then, can I come over and see you?” he asks. Xuan Ji snaps, “Don’t!” then drops down and hugs herself, crying.

Zi Hu and Yi Huan watch them. Zi Hu is confused why they don’t just hug. Yi Huan tells her that this is what love between humans is like. He shakes his head and sighs. Being human is so difficult, yet Si Feng insists on it.

Xuan Ji tells Si Feng that she might believe him, but that doesn’t solve all the problems between them. She watched her mother die because of his father. If he were her, would he really be able to act like none of that ever happened?

Si Feng tells Xuan Ji that the person who actually killed her mother was Yuan Lang. That makes Xuan Ji finally step out from behind the tree and approach him. He tells her how Yuan Lang admitted it himself and now Si Feng finally knows where to look for the truth. He knows that Shaoyang won’t believe him, but he’ll find the truth and bring it to Xuan Ji, then she can deal with him how she wants. She says that she doesn’t need him to do anything. She just wants him to leave Lize Palace and come back to Shaoyang with her.

Si Feng looks sad and tells Xuan Ji how his father’s last dying wish was for him to protect the garuda. He can’t let Tianxu Hall turn his brethren into killing machines. Xuan Ji asks if he really thinks he can change his clan. What if he gets demonized by Tianxu Hall and fully joins them one day?

Si Feng smiles sadly and says that if that day comes, he asks her to kill him herself.

Xuan Ji shakes her head with her own devastated smile. Kill him? He wants her to kill him? She tells him how now that everyone knows she’s the God of War, they’ve made her their leader and the first thing she’s to do is destroy Lize Palace. She can’t put a stop to that just because Si Feng says that his clan isn’t evil. What is he going to do when she attacks Lize Palace?

Xuan Ji turns away angrily, but Si Feng pulls her back to him, apologizing for putting her in a tough situation. He tries to wipe away her tears and asks her to not be so absolute about their future. He asks for some time: he’ll get rid of Yuan Lang and reclaim Lize Palace and hold himself accountable for their crimes against the righteous sects. He just asks her to wait for him.

Xuan Ji looks down and asks him to give her some time to think. She’ll give him an answer tomorrow. He says he’ll wait for her answer, then tells her that no matter what she chooses, what he feels for her will never change. Xuan Ji shakes him off and runs away, crying.

Min Yan and Ling Long hang out in a town outside of Shaoyang, since they can’t return to the sect. They part ways for a moment while Min Yan buys some supplies and tells Ling Long to go look for some fabric. While she waits for the shopkeeper to bring out some fabric, a few Dianjing disciples enter the shop. They spot the fabric in the shopkeeper’s hands and want to buy it, but the shopkeeper points out that he brought it out for Ling Long. Ling Long tries to hide her face, but they recognize her.

Ling Long tries to ignore them and leave, but they continue to harass her and block her way. She starts fighting back, and manages to knock away two of them, but then gets kicked out of the shop by the third. The leader of the disciples continues to taunt Ling Long outside, where they’ve drawn a crowd. The townspeople whisper and gasp when the disciple mentions how Ling Long was close with demons.

Ling Long freezes, then starts walking toward one of their swords, as if to impale herself on it. Min Yan pulls her back and kicks the swords away. They taunt him, too, but he soundly beats them and tells them to scram. They run away.

Ling Long runs back to her house. Min Yan follows her and tells her that to him, she will always be the Chu Ling Long he loves. She doesn’t need to hide with him. She confesses to him that she dreams of Wu Tong every night. She can’t escape him. Min Yan reminds her that that isn’t her, pulling her into a hug to try and calm her down. He tells her to not be afraid. He’ll help her forget all about him.

Ling Long wakes up the next morning to find Min Yan asleep, sitting beside her bed. He murmurs her name in his sleep and tells her to not be afraid — he’s here. Ling Long gets up and looks at him sadly, thinking that as long as he follows her, he’ll be ostracized by others. The only way she can get rid of Wu Tong is if she dies. “I’m sorry,” she thinks, “Let’s meet in the next life.”

Min Yan wakes up to find that Ling Long has disappeared. He goes to Shaoyang to tell Chu Lei and ask for his help. Chu Lei has him take a group of disciples to search the surrounding area.

Chu Lei coughs blood, still weak from his injury, once Min Yan leaves. He wonders what kind of wrong Ling Long suffered to end up like this — she’s always been so strong.

Ling Long takes her sword out to her favorite hiding place by the river. She leaves it upright on the shore, so that it can take her place in the world and continue defeating demons, then wades out into the water.

Min Yan finds her and hauls her out, right as she submerges her head. She yells for him to let go. If she can’t control her life, can’t she at least control her death? Min Yan slaps her to try to get her to come to her senses. He says he never thought she was so selfish. Does she not remember how her life was saved? He risked his own life and Min Jue died for her. He asks why she’s punishing the people who love her instead of the people who wronged her. He says that if she wants to die, then he will, too. He’ll die in front of her, so she knows what it feels like to lose someone she loves.

He starts walking toward the water, but she cries for him to stop and pulls him back into a hug. She cries as she apologizes and asks him not to die. Min Yan tells her that no matter what’s happened to her, he will always be by her side. He asks her not to throw him aside. She shouldn’t sacrifice their happiness because of something that never even happened.

Ling Long is brought back to Shaoyang to rest and heal. Chu Lei sighs, grateful that Min Yan found her in time and unwilling to voice what could have happened. He says that they should have Xuan Ji keep her company to try and cheer her up. Then he realizes that Xuan Ji isn’t here. They all realize that Xuan Ji is missing.

Hao Chen interrogates Teng She, who asks if saying he doesn’t know is an option. It isn’t. Teng She ends up confessing that Xuan Ji is in Qingmu. Hao Chen storms off. Teng She hisses and wonders how he let himself be intimidated by a mortal.

Zi Hu and Yi Huan watch Si Feng brood by himself on a roof at night. Yi Huan sighs in sympathy for Si Feng’s situation — his father just died and now Xuan Ji might become his enemy. Fate really has a sense of humor. Zi Hu disapprovingly says that Si Feng has picked up bad habits from humans. If she were him, she would take Xuan Ji and fly away. Who cares about Lize Palace?

The two debate each other. Yi Huan is on Si Feng’s side and points out that in their past nine lives, Si Feng always gave everything to Xuan Ji and now Xuan Ji won’t even wait for him. Zi Hu is on Xuan Ji’s side, pointing out that if her family had been wrecked by the garuda, she also wouldn’t want to spare them. All Xuan Ji is asking is for Si Feng to leave.

Yi Huan asks where they would even go. Yuan Lang has the four spirit keys and is on the cusp of overturning the three worlds. Are they supposed to flee outside of the universe? Zi Hu didn’t know that Yuan Lang already has all four keys. She thinks to herself that she needs to find a way to steal them. Yi Huan sighs and says that at least there’s wine and he can be drunk.

Hao Chen finds Xuan Ji in a bamboo grove overlooking Qingmu. He guesses that she’s here all alone to see Si Feng. She says that she just wanted to clear things up with Si Feng. Hao Chen asks what more she needs to know — she saw Si Feng’s demon form with her own eyes. Xuan Ji protests that Si Feng has never hurt anyone and she believes him. Hao Chen accuses her of not even being able to tell right from wrong anymore.

He says that he’ll go help her sever ties with Si Feng, but Xuan Ji apologizes and casts her magic at him to block him. She drops Si Feng’s hairpin in the process.

Hao Chen shakes his head. He can’t defeat her but is disappointed that she would use her power to protect a demon when a demon ruined Ling Long’s reputation to the point where she tried to kill herself last night. Xuan Ji asks what happened. Hao Chen says that Ling Long’s life was saved, but her psychological trauma will be more difficult to heal.

Xuan Ji decides that she must go to Ling Long. She glances back at Qingmu and silently asks Si Feng to wait for her. Hao Chen notices the hairpin on the ground that she’s left behind and frowns.

Xuan Ji rushes back to Ling Long and demands to know how she could do something so foolish for someone who’s not worth it. Ling Long has already decided that she wants to live so she can get revenge against Wu Tong. Xuan Ji promises to avenge her and destroy Wu Tong and all of Tianxu Hall.

Ling Long remembers Si Feng and tells Xuan Ji that she can’t show him any mercy. Xuan Ji tries to explain that Si Feng is innocent, but Ling Long says that if he really is innocent, he would have come back with her. Xuan Ji tries to make excuses for him, but Ling Long tells her to not let herself be deceived again. Si Feng is still a demon and nothing good can come out of being with him. She knows firsthand that being associated with demons means being cast aside by the world. Xuan Ji can’t disappoint their father like she has. Xuan Ji is all that he has left.

Xuan Ji promises to not go anywhere and to not see Si Feng and to stay by Ling Long’s side for now. But if Si Feng really has nothing to do with the Tianxu demons, then she wants Ling Long and her family to give him another chance.


Commentary

Alas, both Xuan Ji and Si Feng are bound by duties that are more important than their love that will inevitably pit them against each other.

What strikes me most about Ling Long’s trauma is that it isn’t physical trauma at all. Like Min Yan said, it never actually happened to her — or at least, the body that belongs to her. The trauma is all psychological, but that doesn’t make it any less painful or harmful or traumatic.

Hao Chen wanting Xuan Ji to be angry that Si Feng lied to her is so ironic because what about him? He lied to her when she was the God of War, and has been lying to her now as well. How is she supposed to feel about him?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s