Chinese Dramas, Drama Recaps

Recap: Love and Redemption (Ep. 44)

Si Feng continues to play a dangerous game of lies, but at least a few more friendly faces show up at his side. Meanwhile, Xuan Ji is forced to make more tough choices, trapped between her heart and what everyone else expects of her.


Recap

The shield around Lize Palace falls. Hao Chen leads a group of disciples who infiltrated Lize Palace through the secret tunnel, and now fights his way out the front gates. Si Feng glares at Xuan Ji and asks if this was her plan, to lure him into a fight while others secretly snuck in. Xuan Ji looks appalled — she didn’t know this would happen.

Hao Chen shows off his ability to use the arcane fire, then looks up at Si Feng with a smirk, making sure to emphasize that he and Xuan Ji learned the Youqing technique so their hearts and spirits are one. Si Feng attacks Hao Chen, who holds his own impressively while boasting that he’ll make use of Si Feng’s blood and demon core at his and Xuan Ji’s wedding banquet.

Si Feng disarms Hao Chen and casts a spell encasing most of the disciples in magic golden bells. He shames the righteous sects for using such underhanded methods when all Lize Palace wanted was to protect themselves. He threatens to destroy all the disciples encased in his magic bells unless they retreat.

Hao Chen tells Xuan Ji to not worry about them and fight on. She must destroy Mosha Star and all the demons. But even Chu Lei shakes his head at the thought of forging on. Mosha Star must be defeated, but this price is too high. Xuan Ji says that she’ll agree to leave. Hao Chen says no. Master Rong tells her that now is not the time to withdraw, but Xuan Ji says she’s not withdrawing. She reminds Hao Chen and everyone else that every person here is a life. How can she protect the world if she doesn’t protect their lives. Chu Lei nods approvingly.

Si Feng says that he’ll go to the Palace and retrieve the four divine artifacts (stolen from the righteous sects) required to unlock the bell spell. Xuan Ji says she hopes he isn’t lying to her again.

Inside the Palace, Elder Luo urges Si Feng to not let the disciples go. Yuan Lang tells Si Feng he should first look at what the sects have done. The bodies of the youngest disciples are laid out in the hall. Si Feng looks shaken to see them, while Elder He, one of Yuan Lang’s allies, weeps over them. Yuan Lang says that the righteous sects slayed them as they entered through the secret tunnel. Si Feng recognizes the throat slits as Hao Chen’s handiwork.

He demands that Elder Luo hand over the artifacts required to unlock the spell he used. He’s going to let Hao Chen go so he can kill him.

The righteous sects wait a long time for Si Feng to come out. The disciples trapped in Si Feng’s spell start weakening. Dongfang and Master Rong try to urge Xuan Ji to take advantage of this opportunity to enter Lize Palace, but Xuan Ji doesn’t break her promises and she won’t let anyone else break it either. She tells her father that Si Feng has no reason to lie to her this time.

Hao Chen is angry that Xuan Ji is still trying to reason with demons. Has she forgotten how Si Feng used her?

Si Feng returns with the divine artifacts, but only frees Hao Chen. Min Yan accuses him of going back on his word, but Si Feng says that he’s the one who made the first betrayal by leading the righteous sects in through the secret tunnel and watching as Hao Chen killed children. Si Feng unites the artifacts into a divine sword and grabs hold of it, saying that he’s going to kill Hao Chen today.

Hao Chen tells Xuan Ji to join with him and kill Si Feng once and for all. He flies toward Si Feng with his sword out. Si Feng flies up to meet him, and they clash above the clouds. Hao Chen is aided by Xuan Ji’s arcane fire, but Si Feng still manages to knock him down. Before Si Feng can stab Hao Chen, Xuan Ji flies up to defend him. She and Si Feng exchange blows and eventually brace swords, their power evenly matched.

Hao Chen uses that opportunity to come at Si Feng from the other side and stab him through the back. Xuan Ji is alarmed. Si Feng asks if she’s really going to kill him.

The fire in Hao Chen’s sword fizzles out as Xuan Ji loses her resolve. Si Feng uses that opportunity to knock both Xuan Ji and Hao Chen back, then turns around and stabs Hao Chen in the chest.

Xuan Ji can’t let Hao Chen die either so she attacks Si Feng again. Si Feng knocks Hao Chen out of the sky. He falls toward the ground, still alive but clutching his stab wound, as Ting Nu, Yi Huan, and Xiao Yin Hua arrive on the Lize Palace ramparts.

Xiao Yin Hua tries to assist Si Feng by stabbing Xuan Ji on the shoulder, but it doesn’t do much. Si Feng makes her go away with a nod of his head. He and Xuan Ji both descend to the ground.

Xuan Ji glares at Si Feng and says she was wrong to trust him. From now on, she’s breaking all ties with him. Si Feng sheds a single tear.

Ting Nu heals Si Feng in his room while Yi Huan sarcastically calls him Mosha Star. He knows that Si Feng is lying and thinks he’s being foolish. Ting Nu asks why Si Feng didn’t tell Xuan Ji the truth. Si Feng says that he knew Yuan Lang was the one who arranged to have the sects attack, so he couldn’t give anything away. He wanted to eventually tell her, but… Si Feng trails off and instead asks Ting Nu to help heal the wounded Lize Palace disciples.

Yi Huan stares at Si Feng after Ting Nu leaves. He knows that Si Feng wouldn’t pretend to be Mosha Star unless it was to protect someone, and there’s only one person who that could be. He almost says out loud that Xuan Ji is Mosha Star, but catches himself in time. Si Feng warns him that he better not say anything about it again, threatening him with their brotherhood. Yi Huan is astounded that Si Feng is doing so much for Xuan Ji when she doesn’t even know and won’t even appreciate it. All she’ll do is hate him even more. What about his stab wound? What about the lovers’ curse? He checks Si Feng’s wrist and then falls silent when he sees there’s only one green feather left.

Si Feng tries to claim that he’s fine. Xuan Ji may hate him, but she still won’t intentionally hurt him.

Yi Huan points out that every single thing Si Feng does from here on out will only make the distance between him and Xuan Ji grow larger. He might have been able to suppress the lovers’ curse this time, but what about next time? Si Feng reassures Yi Huan that he’ll be able to handle it. Everything has gone exactly the way he expected.

Yi Huan says that if everything happened as Si Feng expected, then he would have been able to dodge that strike from Hao Chen.

Si Feng admits that he wasn’t able to prevent her from cutting him off, but he trusts that he will be able to explain everything to her one day and that she’ll understand.

After Yi Huan leaves, disappointed with Si Feng, Si Feng tells Xiao Yin Hua to come out. He reminds her that he had forbidden her from trying to kill Xuan Ji. She knows, but she doesn’t care. She thinks Xuan Ji deserves to die and only regrets that Xuan Ji is the God of War and she’s just a tiny snake so she has no ability to kill Xuan Ji. If Xuan Ji hurts Si Feng, then she should kill Xuan Ji. She doesn’t care if she dies trying — that’s her life mission, too.

Si Feng says that it’s clear he can’t control her anymore, so it’s time to let her be free. He’s willing to lose his own arm in order to do so. He starts to use his magic on himself, but Xiao Yin Hua freezes him with her own spell and then strikes herself. She admits that she wanted to stop being his spirit beast long ago, but she also doesn’t want him to die.

She pulls the blood he made the blood oath with out of herself and presses it into his palm. He tells her to stop — she’ll only hurt herself this way — but can’t do anything because he’s still frozen by her spell. Xiao Yin Hua smiles up at him and says she doesn’t care because he’s the only thing she cares about. “I’m leaving,” she says with a smile, then disappears.

A small silver snake slithers away.

Si Feng goes out into the main hall to find that many disciples, including Elder He, are in bad shape. It turns out that the righteous sects’ weapons were laced with poison, but Ting Nu reassures them that he can cure this poison.

Yuan Lang shows up and smirks when he sees Yi Huan, calling him out for telling the righteous sects about the secret tunnel. But Si Feng comes to Yi Huan’s defense and says that Yuan Lang is quite good at attempting to divert the real issue. He accuses Yuan Lang of masterminding the righteous sects’ attack and pulls out the letter that Yuan Lang sent to the sects using Si Feng’s name.

Yuan Lang is forced to drop to his knees and justify himself. Si Feng suggests that if Yuan Lang still has questions about him or his identity, he should come to the demon realm with him. Yuan Lang smiles slightly and says that once Si Feng heals, he will go with him to the demon realm and give him the spirit keys once they’re outside the portal. Si Feng declares that they’ll depart in two days.

Xuan Ji tries to visit Hao Chen, but he doesn’t want to see her. Xuan Ji decides that she’ll wait outside until he will, but He Yang tells her that Hao Chen won’t see her even if she waits.

Min Yan broods by himself by the river, conflicted by Si Feng’s accusation of betrayal. He tries to remind himself that they’re all just demons, and there’s nothing wrong with killing demons.

A junior disciple named Wen Xuan finds Min Yan and asks him to help her with a skill he demonstrated before. Min Yan tells her she should go focus on her basics, but she insists on trying it out and having him watch. At one point, she almost falls and Min Yan catches her. Ling Long sees and looks down. Min Yan tells Wen Xuan that she can’t rush her skills and sends her off. Then he spots Ling Long.

He and Ling Long walk toward each other and Min Yan takes her hand once she’s close, but she pulls it out of his grasp. Min Yan tells her that he was just helping Wen Xuan because she asked and that she shouldn’t think too much of it, but Ling Long only points out all the positive qualities Wen Xuan has and that she lacks.

Min Yan is frustrated that Ling Long seems to be intentionally misunderstanding him, but Ling Long shakes her head. She’s not the person he once knew. She thinks that they should stop bothering each other; she doesn’t deserve his love.

Min Yan is frustrated that Ling Long keeps making assumptions about what he’s thinking. What can he do to make her understand that it’s all in the past?

But Ling Long says that calling everything the past is the biggest lie of all. Everything happened and no one will forget. They both cry, Min Yan out of frustration. Ling Long is the one who refuses to forgive herself. What else can he say or do?

Teng She falls to the floor of Si Ming’s library, defeated. There should be records on the Xiuluo here, but he can’t find anything. He suddenly finds himself sniffing one of the scrolls in his hand and finds the scent familiar. He recognizes it as the incense used in Bai Lin’s library. So Bai Lin also reads these scrolls on the devils? He flies back up to the shelf he was browsing before. Maybe he didn’t look carefully enough.

Teng She flips through several scrolls before finding something. But it’s a record on the God of War. He sniffs it. Bai Lin has read it. He frowns as he reads. Everyone says the God of War defeated Mosha Star, but why isn’t there anything in the scroll? In fact, there’s nothing on the God of War’s origins. Did Bai Lin hide it away somewhere?

Teng She jumps as Qing Long appears in his face. Qing Long asks where he went — it’s been a while since Qing Long sensed him. Teng She claims that he’s been in this library the whole time, reading scrolls. He tosses Qing Long a random scroll, saying he’s been reading this one. Qing Long opens it to find that it’s his own scroll.

Qing Long teleports closer to Teng She with a smile. He never knew Teng She idolized him so much. Teng She tells him to read it closely and see how far he’s fallen from what he used to be. Qing Long looks closer at the scroll, and Teng She runs away.

Yi Huan thinks that Si Feng has come up with another terrible idea. How does he plan on surviving in the demon realm (hm, I should actually be calling it the “devil realm”) when he isn’t a devil? Si Feng says that’s where he and Ting Nu come in. He hopes Yi Huan and Ting Nu can come up with a way for him to survive, or at least, not give away who he isn’t.

Zi Hu walks in and overhears, but smiles. Knowing that Si Feng isn’t Mosha Star makes her trust their collaboration even more. Yi Huan facepalms upon seeing that Zi Hu is here and knows Si Feng’s secret, too.

Zi Hu says that she plans on going to the devil realm, too. Si Feng tells her to hide outside of the entrance in advance and make sure Yuan Lang doesn’t notice her. Yi Huan tells them all to back up a few steps. They’re all seriously planning on going to the devil realm? Do they realize how deadly it will be for them?

Ting Nu says that he can prepare some drugs for Si Feng and Zi Hu that will help ward against the evil energy of the devil realm, but he doesn’t know how long it will last. Si Feng is confident that the combination of the drugs, his twelve-feathered blood, and Zi Hu’s thousand years of cultivation will be enough for them to survive. Yi Huan is annoyed that Ting Nu is enabling the other two.

But Yi Huan sighs and decides that it’s clear Si Feng and Zi Hu can’t be dissuaded so he’ll let them do what they want. He reminds them to stay calm once they’re in the devil realm. If they awaken the evil Xiuluo spirits, they’re dead for sure.

Xuan Ji finds Hao Chen trying to recover in his cave. She insists on seeing him today, on the fifth anniversary of the day she entered Xuyang Peak, and refuses to leave. He tells her to go away, but then he coughs and she rushes to him, wanting to help him heal. He holds up a hand, warning her back. If she doesn’t truly care about him, there’s no need for her to force herself.

Xuan Ji tells him that she will never let him go. “What about Si Feng?” he asks. She looks away and he sighs. It’s as he expected. Once the Youqing spell has been broken, it can’t be repaired. They’ve failed to fulfill Heng Yang’s last wish. Hao Chen also knows that the person she’s least able to let go of is Si Feng.

Xuan Ji promises that the next time she sees Si Feng, she won’t show any mercy. But Hao Chen scoffs. Is she sure about that?

Xuan Ji says she just needs a little more time. Hao Chen looks up at her angrily. How much time does she need? A lifetime? He thinks that she’s turning toward the devil’s way with Si Feng. Has she forgotten about her mother’s death, her aunt’s injury, and all of Si Feng’s lies?

He’s the one who has given everything for her and who has a fated relationship with her, yet why is Si Feng the one she’s stubbornly infatuated with? Does she think she has many more chances left? He tells her that she only has this one chance left. And he only has this once chance left, too.

Xuan Ji asks what he means by this. Hao Chen tells her that if Si Feng becomes her internal demon and she’s unable to break away from it, then it’ll be her ruin. He says that if she won’t avenge Heng Yang, then he will. He tries to get up, but coughs blood.

Xuan Ji supports him, concerned, and tells him he doesn’t need to do that. She’ll go. She turns to leave. He asks where she’s going.

“Lize Palace,” she responds.


Commentary

I believe in Si Feng and Xuan Ji’s love as much as anyone, but there comes a point when I’m not sure if he’s just deluding himself or really has that much trust. If he really trusted her that much, why would he let himself look so betrayed?

I also wonder how much Hao Chen knows about Xuan Ji’s identity. Whatever the truth is about the God of War and her origins — maybe she was always Mosha Star, or a part of Mosha Star — Bai Lin must have known and hidden it for a reason, right? But if he knows the truth, why would he go along with this lie that Si Feng is Mosha Star? Because he thinks it will make Xuan Ji more likely to kill him?

I’m glad Si Feng has more allies on his side within Lize Palace now. I always get so nervous for him with his dangerous dance with Yuan Lang.

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