Bai Qian decides to release Ye Hua at the same cave that she found him in. She finds a new injured bird and takes it back with her to rehab it. Later that night, she accidentally knocks the birdcage over while she’s sleeping. Ye Hua catches it before it can hit the ground, then climbs into bed next to her. He’s cohabitated with her for three months now. If he doesn’t marry her, who will?
Yan Zhi studies the Yuqing Fan, then makes it disappear. The Golden Lion Beast reveals himself to Yan Zhi and tells her what happened 70,000 years ago when Li Jing led the coup against Li Yuan. Yan Zhi doesn’t think Li Jing would do such a thing, but the Golden Lion Beast also reveals how Li Yuan killed Li Jing’s mother, and that could be reason enough for Li Jing to want to usurp him. The whole situation stinks of Celestial Clan intervention.
The street hawker who tried to steal the Yuqing Fan from Bai Qian now spots her walking through the market with a black snake tail hanging out of her basket. Black snakes are feared as demons in Zhongrong kingdom. He causes a scene, grabbing the basket from her and proclaiming in front of everyone that she’s a witch and possesses a black snake.
The townspeople call for the snake to be burned. The hawker apparently has some amount of Daoist ability: he binds Bai Qian with a Demon-Binding Rope that was passed down from his teacher and summons a torch. Bai Qian tackles him before he can set the basket on fire and shields the basket as the townspeople start pelting them with vegetables, demanding the snake’s death.
Yan Zhi and the Golden Lion Beast watch from her lodging’s window. She’s about to intervene when the Golden Lion Beast stays her hand, telling her to take a closer look at the “snake” in the basket – it’s actually a dragon. The Golden Lion Beast wants Yan Zhi to help him free Li Yuan, by stealing Li Jing’s military token.
Ye Hua flies out of the basket in his full dragon form and the townspeople recognize him as a dragon god. They start bowing. Ye Hua drenches the Daoist street hawker with water. Bai Qian is most concerned with how she’s supposed to feed him when he’s so big.
Now that Ye Hua has revealed his full form, the Palace will know where he is. He tells Bai Qian to wait for him; he’ll be back. (She can’t hear!)
The townspeople are now extremely apologetic and welcoming toward Bai Qian upon seeing that she has the dragon god’s favor. They beg her to stay, but she leaves, looking uncomfortable.
Ye Hua asks for Si Ming’s help in tracking down the Yuqing Fan, but because it belongs to the immortal realm, Si Ming has no written record of it. Instead, he offers to look into the mortal woman that Ye Hua seems interested in. Ye Hua declines, but does ask Si Ming to go to the mortal realm and do something for him.
Su Jin visits Ye Hua’s in his quarters, wanting to serve him one last time. She’s not supposed to be there now that she’s supposed to become one of the Celestial Monarch’s concubines. Ye Hua tells her to leave, warning her that if she doesn’t, he’ll have someone come to his rooms and if she’s seen here with him, she’ll never be allowed to become a concubine. He leaves and she collapses to the ground behind him, crying. He is the only reason why she is marrying the Celestial Monarch; she’s doing it for him.
Ye Hua tells Lian Song of his plan to go be with the mortal woman. She makes him feel like he’s found something that he’s been searching for for a long time. Lian Song smiles – he’s in love. Ye Hua claims he’s just repaying a debt and doesn’t seem to want to admit that he’s fallen in love, but Lian Song is happy about it. He guesses that Ye Hua has come to ask how to make her like him. Lian Song claims all he has to do is smile at her, but Ye Hua seems skeptical. He suggests playing hero instead. Ye Hua asks if this is how he won over the mortal woman he was in love with. Lian Song seems annoyed that Ye Hua brought up Cheng Yu and switches the focus back to him. Ye Hua says that Bai Qian is not a normal woman; she wasn’t even afraid when she saw his true form. Lian Song suggests that Ye Hua feign injury; Ye Hua likes this idea.
Ye Hua has sent Si Ming to go after the street hawker Daoist who was harassing Bai Qian. The man has a nightmare while Si Ming watches over him. It looks like he’s doomed to die this year anyway. Si Ming ponders what kind of fate to write him.
Bai Qian sadly talks to herself about all the plans she had made to help her little black snake weather the winter. The next morning, she finds Ye Hua (the human) weak and coughing up blood outside her hut. She helps him half-disrobe and gently treats his wound (with the same harmful herb she used on him when he was in dragon form whoops), crying as she sees the extent of his injuries.
Ye Hua wonders if he overdid it with his injuries and heals himself a little bit when she’s not looking. Bai Qian is astonished to find his wounds healed; he suggests that maybe she had used some miracle herbs on him.
Bai Qian feeds and cares for Ye Hua, sharing how she’s pretty lonely here as the only person for miles around and takes care of wounded animals just to have some company. (So she’s basically a Disney princess?) Ye Hua asks for her name. She doesn’t have one. He gives her a name: Su Su, for how plain she dresses (but it can also mean “white” as in bai, like her real family name).
He tells her his real name, Ye Hua, and writes it out on her hand when she asks. It’s somewhat intimate and she seems shook. Later, she falls asleep at the kitchen table, having given Ye Hua her bed. He gets up and gently carries her to bed, then lies down next to her. She turns over and puts her arm around him.
Su Su tries to cook for Ye Hua but ends up smoking herself out of her kitchen. She runs into Ye Hua, who forgets that he’s supposed to be injured and has to fake pain when she frets over accidentally bumping his injury. He asks why there’s so much smoke; she says that it’s always like this whenever she cooks. He wonders how she’s survived up until now. She shares that she’s not a picky eater, so she’ll usually forage for berries or will occasionally roast small animals. He comments that at least she knows to eat cooked meat and not raw meat. Su Su responds that she can’t eat raw meat – her stomach will hurt if she does. (Clearly, she has tried.) A snake she once cared for, though, he loved raw meat. She shares how finicky the snake was, always needing to sleep with her on the bed. She even bought a wool blanket for him. Ye Hua tells her that snakes don’t need to sleep on beds and don’t need blankets. Su Su says in a completely serious voice that her snake must have been special – eventually he turned into a giant black dragon and flew away.
Su Su leaves to go forage for more medicinal herbs. When she doesn’t return after a while, Ye Hua leaves to go find her. When he does, she admits that she got lost. The last time she came into this forest, she was lost for a week before she found her way home. She tells him that it’s okay if he laughs at her. He responds that he’s very tolerant of people who aren’t smart. (Wow, rude! Just because she lacks experience doesn’t mean she’s dumb.)
They stop to rest on the way home and Su Su feels sorry for herself and how incapable she is. She’s probably best suited to care for small animals; no wonder the dragon left once he grew big and never came back. He’s probably disdainful of her.
Ye Hua suggests that maybe the dragon had to leave. If he was a god, then he was probably in the mortal realm to deal with a demon; gods can’t stay in the mortal realm for long without impacting the fates of mortals.
They settle down for the night and Ye Hua tells Su Su about the Golden Lion Beast and how he wreaked havoc on the Zhongrong kingdom, until he was defeated by the black dragon, which got injured and eventually met her. But Su Su has fallen asleep by the time he gets to the end of the story.
Why does everyone seem to instantly fall in love with Bai Qian? Is it because we’re watching from the perspective of an immortal, so three months happens in three seconds? I get that Ye Hua was a dragon for most of the interaction we’ve seen between him and Bai Qian and that’s not exactly the most expressive, but how did we get from one-sided conversation to “I’ll marry you”?!
That being said, it is pretty cute how Ye Hua has fallen into puppy love with Bai Qian and is going to such great lengths to get her to like him back. We’re finally getting those small moments that I’ve been wanting, where we see them form a real connection. It’s nice to slow down and experience a mortal’s pace of life, instead of the immortal one where you blink and all of a sudden a few thousand years have flown by.
While I love badass Bai Qian who is one of the most powerful immortals in the realm (though we haven’t really seen her powers yet, have we?), there is also something really endearing about sweet, innocent Su Su. She’s naive, but earnest and with a backbone.