Dismayed as she realized that she had greatly underestimated Qing Chen especially after all her thrall fighters are laid to waste, the dark sorceress Wu Ping Ting tries to ambush our heroine, but thanks to Yuan Ling’s timely arrival, Wu Ping Ting was promptly captured. Eager to free Elder Xi Xie (heroine’s master), Qing Chen and Yuan Ling hesitate only momentarily before agreeing to Wu Ping Ting’s offer to help them open the rock cell in exchange for her own safety. Unfortunately, Qing Chen’s excitement to be reunited with her master turns to disappointment when a mysterious hooded figure suddenly shows up and swoops Elder Xi Xie away.
Still hoping to escape, Wu Ping Ting bids her time during the interrogation and much to her joy, a maid sneaks in and helps her get away. The maid turns out to be the 9th Prince in disguise and after chastising Wu Ping Ting some, orders her to focus her energy on finding Xian Wu’s little sister. Curious about the mysterious person that took Elder Xi Xie away, Wu Ping Ting is surprised when Yuan Ming (9th Prince) tells her that it must’ve been the most senior elder of the dark sorceress and wonders out loud why neither of them has met this so called dark sorceress. Unbeknownst to Wu Ping Ting, the moment she takes her leave from Yuan Ming, a bat shows up and it is obvious from its conversation with the 9th Prince that THE dark sorceress uses the bat to communicate with the prince. Impatient when Yuan Ming pushes to have a meeting face to face, THE dark sorceress rejects Yuan Ming by reminding him “The sorcerers are scattered, the throne is within your grasp, if you do what I say (which is to lay low and don’t create any more troubles) then everything will be as you wish.”
Ordering the 11th Prince to go on a fugitive hunt for Wu Ping Ting, Yuan Ling turns around to see that Qing Chen has picked up a sachet that she is guessing (base on smell and the fact the herbs inside is actually not harmful) must’ve belonged to the maid who helped Wu Ping Ting escape. Looking over the sachet closely, Yuan Ling remembers that he had seen a sachet just like it in the 3rd Prince’s home. Thoughtful, Yuan Ling remarks that the 3rd prince is the most gentle out of all his brothers and one who had no interest in palace dealings. Not assured by Yuan Ling’s assessment of the 3rd prince, Qing Chen warns Yuan Ling to be careful. Pleased by Qing Chen’s warning, Yuan Ling teases “Are you worried about me?”
Paying the 3rd Prince a visit, Yuan Ling doesn’t push his older brother when he claims to have lost the sachet a long time ago and has no memory of where he got it from…even though it is obvious from the 3rd Prince’s stiff expression that he is not telling Yuan Ling the truth.
While Qing Chen and Yuan Ling are busy following the smallest leads, a severely wounded Elder Xi Xie wakes up in a dark cave. Walking in to find Elder Xi Xie awake, the mysterious dark sorceress listens with amusement as Elder Xi Xie demands to know who she is and what her purpose is.
Not mincing words, THE dark sorceress tells Elder Xi Xie that she is the one that orchestrated Mingyi Tower’s destruction and the only reason she didn’t kill all the sorcerers was because she plans to use them as a tool to bring down the royal family.
It looks like Elder Xi Xie eventually recognized the mysterious dark sorceress since he said “It is you.” Anyone else thinks the dark sorceress looks like the hero’s mother?! If so, THAT will be a mess. The hero’s mother does have a motive for hating BOTH the Mingyi Tower and the emperor though. The emperor, obviously because he was the one that killed her husband (the last emperor) and forced her to marry him. Mingyi Tower…because they failed their duty of protecting the last emperor and then choosing to support the usurper due to their unwillingness to bring more suffering to the common people? Sigh, someone tell me I am wrong because our two leads do not need any more reasons to not be together.
As EVERYONE predicted, the emperor blames the whole assassination attempt on the sorcerers and promptly decides that it is better to kill an innocent sorcerer than miss killing a guilty one.
Visiting Yuan Zhan who was wounded in the processed of protecting the emperor, Qing Chen is reminded yet again how different Yuan Zhan is in this timeline as he warns her to be extra careful to not reveal herself as a sorceress.
Wondering out loud, Qing Chen remarks “You are really different from what I thought.” Intrigued, Yuan Zhan asks “What did you imagine me to be?” Obviously unable to tell Yuan Zhan the truth, Qing Chen laughs then replies “I don’t know anymore.”
Seeing a perfect chance, Yuan Zhan tells Qing Chen to use this opportunity to move back into his house in order to get to know him better since she is in need of a place to stay anyway. After thinking for a moment, Qing Chen agrees to stay for the time being so she can use her power to help Yuan Zhan heal faster.
Unwilling to let the emperor persist in blaming the innocent sorcerers for everything, Yuan Ling reports some of his investigation results to the emperor. His face impassive when Yuan Ling explains that the Mingyi Tower sorcerers are NOT the dark sorcerers, moreover that the dark sorcerers seem to be linked to the empress’ death (which was blamed on the heroine’s people), the emperor gives Yuan Ling his permission to keep digging for the truth but warns that if he fails the consequences would be dire. Waving away Qing Chen’s chagrin when she finds out what Yuan Ling did in front of the emperor, Yuan Ling explains that he doesn’t just want to save a small number of sorcerers but his goal is for Qing Chen and her people to one day be able to live freely, without fear. Changing the topic abruptly, Yuan Ling demands “Where are you going to live?”
Nodding as Qing Chen explains that since the 7th Prince has been so kind to her, it is only reasonable that she stay to help him recover from his wound, Yuan Ling asks “It looks like you have been quite comfortable at my 7th brother’s house lately.” Going along with our hero’s words, Qing Chen replies “Yes, Yuan Zhan is very detail oriented by nature and made sure I want for nothing so, yes, I was very comfortable.”
Staring at Qing Chen’s smiling face, Yuan Ling continues “It certainly looks like you are very concerned about him. There is just one thing I am curious about. Yuan Zhan’s place has so many servants and my father had ordered the royal physician to take care of him, so what can you do for him?”
Not missing a beat when Qing Chen counters that she can use her power to help Yuan Zhan heal faster, Yuan Ling exclaimed that he has suddenly realized how little he has done as a brother and insists on following Qing Chen to Yuan Zhan’s house so he could do his brotherly duty.
Mildly surprised when he figures out that Yuan Ling is planning to move into his house to “take care of him”, Yuan Zhan tries to persuade our hero that he has plenty of people to do the job…especially since Qing Chen is there as well. Undeterred, Yuan Ling steamroll over both Yuan Ling and Qing Chen’s polite protests with his continual declaration of how much help he would be to his brother’s recovery.
I love our heroine’s little laugh when Yuan Ling says “My house is too far away from yours so it is too inconvenient. If you have a spare room, I’ll move in for a few days. You don’t mind, do you?” Resigned that he is not going to get rid of Yuan Ling, Yuan Zhan orders his servant to put Yuan Ling in the most spacious room in the house…the one that is furthest away from our heroine’s room.
While our hero does successfully talk his way into Yuan Ling’s home, Yuan Zhan is not about to just step aside when it comes to our heroine. My favorite scene in this episode is when Yuan Zhan talks cozily with Qing Chen about how pretty the garden would be when all the flower blooms and the duo turns around to see Yuan Ling staring at them. Immediately forcing his expression into one befitting a brother that is just there to help, Yuan Ling looks back at his brother and Qing Chen with a perfectly innocent smile.
In the flower room, Yuan Zhan tells Qing Chen that his dream is to spend the rest of his life quietly taking care of the flowers. Giving Yuan Zhan a smile, Qing Chen replies that she happens to have the same hope. Looking at Qing Chen with the look of “you are my perfect match!” Yuan Zhan softly says “I hope to be able to grant you that dream.”
Walking in to intrude on the serene picture of Yuan Zhan working side by side with Qing Chen, Yuan Ling uses the excuse of needing our heroine’s help to discern a precious herb needed for his brother recovery to take Qing Chen back to his house. Calling after Qing Chen as she is about to leave with Yuan Ling, Yuan Zhan reminds her to not forget their promise to play their instruments together later that night. Calmly observing his brother and Qing Chen as our heroine promises to not delay her return, Yuan Ling dryly urges “We better be off soon, so we can get you back as soon as possible.”
All business once they are back at Yuan Ling’s house, Qing Chen expresses her interest in personally investigating the Feng family and asks for Yuan Ling’s help to get her into that household. Rejecting Qing Chen’s request immediately, Yuan Ling says “Last time I wasn’t able to stop you from entering into the Skay Dance Brothel. This time, I will not let you endanger yourself again.” Meekly, Qing Chen promises “I won’t, unless it is the last resort.” Displeased, Yuan Ling chides “Not even if it is the last resort.”
Our two leads’ conversation is interrupted when the 3rd Prince shows up unexpectedly. Admitting privately to Yuan Ling that he didn’t tell the truth the last time they met, the 3rd Prince proceeds to confess how he had received the sachet from a mysterious palace maid named Jiu Er back when he was still a child. So there is some speculation that the mysterious Jiu Er is actually the 9th Prince. We had seen the 9th Prince disguising himself as a woman before so that might’ve been a habit he picked up from childhood. Moreover, the name Jiu is the same sound as nine in Chinese so that could be another clue. It would also explain how a palace maid was able to get the emperor to show up to pay his respect to the 3rd Prince’s mother (that was the young 3rd Prince’s wish).
All but certain that the kidnapping cases were the result of someone searching earnestly for Feng Xian Wu’s little sister, Yuan Ling decides to invite Prime Minister Feng to personally look over the kidnapped girls. Thoughtful when she sees the prime minister asking all the girls to expose their left wrist to look for a golden butterfly tattoo, Qing Chen quickly uses her magical butterfly to put the very tattoo on her wrist. (She asked Ming Yan, the 12 Prince’s body guard and a fellow sorceress to look for the butterfly tattoo on Feng Luan Fei’s (crown prince’s love interest, also Feng family’s youngest daughter) wrist.)
Perhaps spurred by Yuan Ling’s obvious interest in Qing Chen, Yuan Zhan’s interaction with our heroine quickly go from subtle hints of interest to full on half confessions. Not blind to Yuan Zhan’s feelings, Qing Chen tries to gently direct Yuan Zhan’s attention back to his wife by asking what Jin Hui likes. Sighing, Yuan Zhan replies that his wife has no interest in flowers or music. Admitting frankly that the only feelings he has towards his wife are guilt, Yuan Zhan asks Qing Chen to not reject him by trying to push him towards Jin Hui.
Both eager to change the subject, Qing Chen agrees to Yuan Zhan’s request to help him back to his room. Busy chatting a much safer topic with Yuan Zhan, our heroine is surprised when Yuan Ling suddenly pops out and yanks Yuan Zhan from Qing Chen’s arm none too gently. Eyeing Yuan Ling as he proclaims himself a much better choice to help Yuan Zhan back to his room, Yuan Zhan dryly adds “Brother, if you keep staying here, I am afraid 11th brother will be charging over here soon.” Cutting Qing Chen off just as she is about to agree that they should send Yuan Ling home, our hero replies “Perfect, we will get 11th brother here. He and I can support each of your arm. It will be perfect!”
Heavy hearted as she watches Yuan Ling whisking Yuan Zhan away, Qing Chen thinks to herself “I can’t keep going like this with Yuan Ling. Both him and I will just get more tangled up. I need to figure out a way to get him back on his own path. He and I need to end right here.”
That night, following the sound of the Yuan Zhan and Qing Chen’s beautiful music, Yuan Ling watches silently as Qing Chen (who noticed him out of the corner of her eyes) smiles brightly as she locks eyes with Yuan Zhan.
Running away from the offending sight, Yuan Ling wonders at the feeling of frustration gnawing inside him. Ruthlessly chiding himself “What is wrong with me? Why would I feel frustrated over such a small thing? She is just a woman from who knows where!” Finally calming down after working off some steam, Yuan Ling’s mind is focused right back on the fact that no one knows Qing Chen…except her master, who is conveniently missing.
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