Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Love and Redemption (Ep. 43)

More misunderstanding and heartbreak this episode as Hao Chen and the other elders push Xuan Ji to formally declare war against Si Feng and Lize Palace. Si Feng’s identity as Mosha Star comes under scrutiny, but he manages to find an ally within the Palace walls.


Recap

Hao Chen finds Xuan Ji awake in her bedroom, but she still refuses to eat. He asks her to stop trying to find ways of hurting herself. It doesn’t accomplish anything other than cause the people who love her to worry. Xuan Ji says that she knows Hao Chen only brought up their marriage as a way of protecting her, but Hao Chen says that it’s actually what he wants. He doesn’t know when it started, but he’s in love with her.

He asks her if she’s ever wondered why the stone on Fuyu Island shined its light on them. He heard from Min Yan that she and Si Feng have nine lifetimes’ worth of romance, but her relationship with him is older and deeper than that. He pulls out a piece of the mirror and hands it to her, saying it may show her some of their past.

The mirror shows Xuan Ji a series of scattered images. Hao Chen turns her plain white robes into a beautiful silver dress. Ha Chen puts a red thread bracelet on her life column. She looks at the bracelet on her column and says that she used to be jealous of how others’ life columns were complete while hers was empty. Now that he has put the red thread on her life column, she will no longer be alone. Today, she will give her Yingyuan flower to him and never be separated from him.

Xuan Ji wakes up from the visions and looks at Hao Chen. So he’s been with her the whole time. They have also experienced life together.

Hao Chen thinks back to when he had told Si Ming that it was time for the God of War to recover some of her memories. Si Ming had been delighted, guessing that he had finally decided to remind the God of War of their love story and accept her. But then, what about his identity? Hao Chen had told him to do what he does best with his fate-writing. He should know what Xuan Ji should know and what she should not.

Now, Hao Chen tells Xuan Ji that it should be clear to her that her heart has always been with him. She only got confused here in this mortal life because she forgot about their past. Xuan Ji says that her heart is a mess. Hao Chen says he can wait, but there’s one thing that can’t. Now that Heng Yang has passed, the only way to protect the secret place with an enchantment is to train the highest level of the Youqing technique. They must do it together.

A Lize Palace elder tries to prevent Si Feng from entering a sacred courtyard that contains a sacred flower the Xiuluo King bestowed upon the demon realm. Si Feng forces his way in anyway, revealing a withered-looking flower at the center of a courtyard.

Yuan Lang captures another Lize Palace disciple’s soul for his Lianhun Pot, sending his corpse to join a pile of others. Three more and the pot will be ready. A disciple reports to Yuan Lang that Si Feng has forced his way into the sacred courtyard. Zi Hu slips into the room where Yuan Lang does the soul-draining before the door closes behind him.

Zi Hu tries touching the Lianhun Pot, which is floating in the middle of the room. It releases a huge burst of energy that knocks her back, making her spit up blood. The explosion attracts Ruo Yu’s attention and he returns to the vault. Zi Hu teleports herself away, but Ruo Yu notices the blood she left behind.

Si Feng touches the sacred flower. The elder warns him to be careful. The garuda need it for their own cultivation and there’s only one left. If it’s destroyed, it will severely impede their progress. But Si Feng knows that the flower is withered because no devil blood has fed it. He summons some of his own blood, then secretly mixes it with a drop of Xuan Ji’s blood tucked in his sleeve, and drops it on the flower. The flower blooms. To Si Feng, this is irrefutable evidence that she has devil energy in her blood — she must be Mosha Star.

Yuan Lang arrives to find Si Feng standing in front of the revived flower. Zi Hu runs away from Ruo Yu, but they’re both drawn to the courtyard by the commotion following the flower’s revival. Si Feng continues to play the part of Mosha Star and the Lize Palace disciples kneel before him. Elder Luo leads the Palace disciples in pledging his loyalty and the loyalty of the garuda to the devils. Si Feng uses this opportunity to make a power play and request Yuan Lang hand over the Jinyu token and give him authority over Lize Palace.

Yuan Lang doesn’t say anything. Elder Luo questions his intentions. Elder Feng, who had accompanied Si Feng, counters and points out all of Yuan Lang’s efforts the past thousand years, including forming Tianxu Hall, which he interprets as an effort to keep the garuda alive. Si Feng reveals Yuan Lang’s identity as the Right Minister of the demon realm. The disciples all whisper.

Yuan Lang succumbs to the pressure and kneels to Si Feng, asking that he lead them against the righteous sects and in the effort to upend the world order. He hands over the Jinyu token. Si Feng takes it, then lifts Yuan Lang up.

Yuan Lang takes out his anger on Ruo Yu. Si Feng realizing he’s Mosha Star has ruined all of his plans, but his plans will be even more ruined if his plans for the Lianhun Pot and the God of War’s power fall through. He wanted to resurrect Mosha Star so he could use Mosha Star, not the other way around.

Si Feng is left alone in the courtyard with the flower. “Why must you be Mosha Star?” he asks the flower. Mosha Star has the potential to be the destroyer of the world. He won’t let that happen to her. He senses Zi Hu and strikes her down from her hiding place.

Zi Hu glares at Si Feng for lying to all of them about his identity as Mosha Star this whole time. But she can’t curse him out more because she gets overcome by her earlier injury from the Lianhun Pot and faints, turning back into her wolf form.

Si Feng takes Zi Hu back to his room and heals her. She leaps to her feet when she wakes up and sees him, but he points out that he wouldn’t have saved her if he wished her harm. He guesses that Yi Huan told her how to get in and that she had human help. Zi Hu bluffs that Min Yan is somewhere in Lize Palace, but Si Feng knows he’s already left and that she’s here for the spirit keys. He doesn’t know where Yuan Lang hid them and guesses that Zi Hu hasn’t found out either.

Si Feng tells Zi Hu that he doesn’t care about Juntian Cehai or being Mosha Star. He just wants to be Yu Si Feng and to rescue the garuda from Yuan Lang’s control. Zi Hu guesses that he doesn’t know about Yuan Lang’s sacrificing Lize Palace disciples for his pot. Si Feng is furious when he finds out. He can’t believe Yuan Lang would sacrifice his own brethren and wishes he had the ability to kill him.

Zi Hu has heard Wu Zhi Qi mention the Lianhun Pot before, but she doesn’t know what it would be used for. Since Si Feng only wants to be himself and isn’t allied with Yuan Lang, Zi Hu proposes they work together. If he frees Wu Zhi Qi, Wu Zhi Qi will kill Yuan Lang for him.

Zi Hu tells Si Feng that Wu Zhi Qi never had any interest in overthrowing the three worlds. He only joined up with Yuan Lang and the Xiuluo King out of a sense of brotherhood. Wu Zhi Qi only got caught because Yuan Lang wanted Juntian Cehai. When Zi Hu went to Fenru City last time, she gave Wu Zhi Qi all the evidence she found on how Yuan Lang was the one who got him captured. She’s confident that Wu Zhi Qi won’t want to help Yuan Lang once he’s freed.

Yuan Lang thinks the person who touched the Lianhun Pot has somehow escaped Lize Palace. He tells Ruo Yu he’s lucky that the pot wasn’t stolen and that their secret was not leaked, otherwise both he and his sister would be dead.

Ruo Yu asks if Yuan Lang is really planning on handing over Lize Palace to Si Feng. Yuan Lang says that he had no choice. He can’t openly oppose Si Feng, whose identity will soon spread like wildfire thanks to the flower blooming, without also opposing the entire demon race. Ruo Yu asks what Yuan Lang will do if Si Feng asks for the spirit keys.

Yuan Lang knows he will have to hand over the spirit keys at some point, but before he does so he needs to make sure Si Feng’s heart is in the right place when it comes to vanquishing the righteous sects. He needs to use the Lianhun Pot and absorb the God of War’s energy as soon as possible. When Si Feng officially becomes the Palace leader, Yuan Lang will have a gift for him.

Hao Chen and Xuan Ji master the Youqing technique, which allows Hao Chen to use Xuan Ji’s power as his own. It also means he’s gained the ability to wield her special arcane fire. He tells her that they now have the ability to take on Lize Palace.

Hao Chen receives a letter and frowns after reading it. He tells Xuan Ji that Si Feng has become the new Lize Palace leader and demands Shaoyang turn over the Liuli lamp in three days’ time, or else…

Xuan Ji reads the letter out loud in front of the gathered sect leaders and elders. Hao Chen suggests that instead of handing over the lamp, Xuan Ji should lead the sects in attacking Lize Palace when Si Feng is supposed to be crowned the new Palace leader. Xuan Ji looks conflicted, but agrees that as the one who released Si Feng, she should take personal responsibility for getting rid of him. She holds back tears as she agrees to personally kill Mosha Star.

Teng She sneaks into Si Ming’s palace in the heavenly realm and goes to the God of War’s life column, which is now laced with red light. He frowns, then guesses that the red light indicates Xuan Ji’s heart demons, which formed thanks to Si Feng. The thought of Si Feng reminds Teng She that Si Ming has records of all the famous gods and devils in the three worlds. He must have something on Si Feng. He sneaks into Si Ming’s library, but is dismayed by the sheer volume of books on its shelves.

Si Feng is welcomed as the new Palace leader. He starts to address the Lize Palace disciples, but Yuan Lang interrupts with his own speech on how Si Feng will lead them in killing the righteous sects, overturning the world order, and seizing what belongs to them. Only then does he yield the floor to Si Feng, saying he hopes they can all trust in his leadership.

Si Feng reveals that he invited the rest of the demon clan here and brings in the five division leaders of Tianxu Hall, including Wu Tong. He then says that he needs to clean house and calls out Ruo Yu and Wu Tong. Ruo Yu gets called out for trying to kill Si Feng. Wu Tong gets called out for sacrificing demons for his own personal matters. Si Feng won’t tolerate someone who betrays his own like that. The Lize Palace disciples whisper their agreement.

Si Feng points out that both Ruo Yu and Wu Tong answered to Yuan Lang. Perhaps Yuan Lang was the one who instructed their actions? Yuan Lang quickly feigns innocence and personally seizes Ruo Yu and Wu Tong, dragging them up to the dais to meet their deaths. But Si Feng says there may still be use for them and has them imprisoned in the bitter water prison.

Wu Tong tries to run away — he was never a demon to begin with and is done with all of their schemes. Si Feng pulls him back and says that he didn’t permit him to leave. He was the one who chose this path and he must pay the price for all the evils he’s committed and all the debts he owes.

Ruo Yu tries to make eye contact with Yuan Lang and says, “My sister,” before he’s taken away.

Si Feng says that there’s still one worry left on his mind: rescuing Wu Zhi Qi. He tells everyone how Yuan Lang wants him to wait until the full moon, but he knows that the righteous sects are also waiting until then for the chance to stop him. Shouldn’t he go now? The rest of Lize Palace agrees. Si Feng turns to Yuan Lang, requesting he hand over the spirit keys, but they’re interrupted by a report that the righteous sects are at the gates. Yuan Lang smiles.

The righteous sects attack Lize Palace while Palace disciples hold them at bay with a shield. Xuan Ji flies up to fire her own attack. Si Feng arrives on the other side of the shield and they face each other.

Xuan Ji says that she won’t allow him to destroy her people and throws the letter she received at him. Si Feng claims that he never wrote the letter, but points out that the righteous sects are hardly capable of preserving themselves against the demons, much less protecting the world. Shaoyang is the only sect that remains whole, but how long will they last? He suggests that they should retreat while they can. What’s more important — the Liuli lamp, or their lives?

Xuan Ji has only two questions for Si Feng. Is he really Mosha Star? Has he really been lying to her this whole time?

Si Feng clenches his fist but otherwise doesn’t let his expression change. He asks why she even bothers asking when she already knows the answer. Dongfang mentions that Xuan Ji and Hao Chen’s fated marriage has been set, so Si Feng shouldn’t waste his time. Xuan Ji looks like she wishes Dongfang hadn’t said anything, but it’s too late. Si Feng looks like he’s holding back tears, but says that they were never meant to be anyway.

Xuan Ji tells Si Feng to draw his sword. Si Feng suggests that this battle should be determined by a duel between him and Xuan Ji. Chu Lei warns her that this may be just another scheme, but both Xuan Ji and Si Feng tell their respective sides to stay put and don’t interfere.

Xuan Ji and Si Feng clash while Zi Hu spies on Yuan Lang, who watches the battle from above while holding the Lianhun Pot in his hand. He smirks. This is all going according to plan. He had already planted his own spells in Lize Palace’s protective shield. When it activates, it will start absorbing her god power and give it to him.

There’s a sudden lull in the fight as Si Feng retreats into Lize Palace’s shield and holds his arm. He asks Xuan Ji if she’s really getting married to Hao Chen. Xuan Ji asks why he should care. She’s here to collect on the blood debt owed to Shaoyang. Si Feng says that he’s not going to lose this fight.

Yuan Lang thinks this is the perfect opportunity for him. He activates his pot. But suddenly, the protective shield disappears, surprising everyone. Yuan Lang deactivates his pot and frowns. This was not his plan.


Commentary

Hao Chen says he loves Xuan Ji but why does he sound so insincere. Probably because he still doesn’t actually believe in love. He’s going through the human motions but he doesn’t let himself feel human emotions. What a poor man boy god who is not in touch with himself.

Ruo Yu doesn’t seem like he wants to be a bad guy. He’s just stuck in a bad situation and has self-preservation in mind, but at least he has a modicum of decency, unlike Wu Tong. I really hope he can find the courage to get out from under Yuan Lang’s thumb.

When it comes to Xuan Ji and Si Feng I can’t form coherent sentences! Everything about them is so beautifully tragic. I get so nervous for Si Feng and the dangerous fine line he’s treading with enemies on all sides, but I’m glad that he and Zi Hu found each other.

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