Confiding his concerns about Qing Chen to the 11th Prince, Yuan Ling explains that while everything Qing Chen has done up to this point had been for their benefit, but both himself and Yuan Zhan seem to have become pawns in Qing Chen’s hand to achieve some unknown goal. Nodding in agreement, the 11th Prince promises to send men to investigate Qing Chen’s background as soon as possible. Lost in his own thoughts while his brother lists many of his own suspicions about our heroine, Yuan Ling thinks to himself “My real worry is that ever since meeting Qing Chen, my fate seems to be tangled up with hers. Without warning, she barged into my life, yet I had no way to prepare my defense nor could I avoid it.”

Dismayed to hear Qing Cheng bringing up the topic of moving out, Yuan Zhan tries to convince her to stay at first but ends up offering his help once Qing Chen reveals her plan to buy the Sky Dance Brothel then turn it into a medical center, staffed by the displaced women that have no place to go. (The same girls that were kidnapped by Wu Ping Ting’s group before.) Excited by the good Qing Chen’s idea would bring to the common people, Yuan Zhan promptly offers to ask the emperor to grant him the brothel so he could turn it over to Qing Chen. The conversation moves onto the palace and Qing Chen is stunned when Yuan Zhan mentions Royal Concubine Lian – Yuan Ling’s mother who was long dead in the original timeline but is alive and well in this current one.

Paying Yuan Ling a visit, Qing Chen stares at the single tea leaf floating in the cup he gave her and comments “You have a lot on your mind lately.” Ignoring Qing Chen’s observation, Yuan Ling asks “Can you tell from that tea leaf if you are going to stay at my place or Yuan Zhan’s?”

Without giving Qing Chen a chance to reply, Yuan Ling stares at her intently and declares “No matter what your decision is, I just want you to know that my front door will always be open to you.” Looking back at Yuan Ling, Qing Chen softly replies that she wants to wait for all the dust to settle before she tells him where she will end up. Accepting Qing Chen’s decision, Yuan Ling says “I will wait for your answer, but my hope is that one day you will voluntarily tell me where you are going.”

As expected, the 11th Prince could find absolutely nothing on Qing Chen. Listening to the 11th Prince’s report with a sinking heart, especially after his brother mentions that Yuan Zhan had gone as far as asking the emperor to grant him the brothel for Qing Chen’s sake, Yuan Ling wonders out loud “Whether it is Qing Chen using Yuan Zhan or Yuan Zhan using Qing Chen, I guess only they themselves know the answer.”

Late that night, Yuan Ling barges into Qing Chen’s room with the intention of demanding some answers from her. Unfortunately, as always, Yuan Ling’s perpetual cool quickly disappears the moment he sees Qing Chen.

Confronting Qing Chen, Yuan Ling demands “Who are you?! Am I your target or is Yuan Zan the one?”
Calm and cool, Qing Chen replies “By staying at the 7th Prince’s place, isn’t my choice clear? Do you have to ask the obvious? Right from the beginning, I only have one choice. Here, because that person is here.”
Yuan Ling “7th brother.”
Sizing on the perfect opportunity to make Yuan Ling give up on her once and for all, Qing Chen continues to describe how she fell for Yuan Zhan the moment they met and attributes everything she has done since then as a way to stay by Yuan Zhan’s side.
Unable to bring himself to believe what he is hearing, Yuan Ling demands again “So it is all for 7th brother. I have been a fool on my own?”
Driving the last nail into the coffin, Qing Chen coldly replies “Love, should be two ways. One sided love…is nothing.”

His self control snapping at Qing Chen’s words, Yuan Ling pushes Qing Chen onto her bed and forcefully kisses her. Struggling in vain against Yuan Ling’s kisses, Qing Chen finally manages to bring Yuan Ling to his senses by slapping him across the face.


His reasoning returning with the slap, Yuan Ling says in self derision “Sorry, I came to ask about your past…but it ended up this way. But I guess this was for the better. I finally realize how laughable I am.” Looking up at Yuan Ling, Qing Chen mercilessly replies “If you believe I am using you, then stay away from me. We can end our association from this time forth.” Convinced that Qing Chen has been using him and is moving on to use Yuan Zhan, Yuan Ling warns “If you dare to hurt anyone around me, I will kill you myself.”

Finally allowing her tears to fall as Yuan Ling dejectedly walks away, Qing Chen thinks to herself “Yuan Ling, you assume I have a choice. You are wrong. I have no choice. Last time, I committed an enormous mistake. This time around, I have to end our love. Our fate cannot be changed. Yuan Ling, I hope you can go back to your rightful path.”

Notwithstanding the harsh words he exchanged with Qing Chen the night before, the next morning, Yuan Ling pays Yuan Zhan a visit and offers to take over the renovation of the Sky Dance Brothel. Agreeing easily to Yuan Ling’s request, Yuan Zhan hides his surprise when his brother seemingly has no intention of letting Qing Chen know what he is doing for her. Aware of the late night visit Yuan Ling paid to his house, Yuan Zhan wonders to himself “This is the first time I have seen the 4th brother go to such an extent for a woman. He really fell for her…but something has happened to put a wedge between them.”

Convinced the 3rd Prince’s palace maid is a key figure in their investigation, Yuan Ling has been asking around about her but much to his disappointment, there was no record at all of the mysterious Jiu Er.

Episode 20

Thanks to the information gathered by the sorcerers in the palace, Qing Chen is pleasantly surprised to discover that she actually resembles the 9th Prince’s dead wife. Realizing this is a perfect opportunity to get herself into the Feng residence, Qing Chen just needs an opportunity to allow her golden butterfly tattoo to be “discovered.”

Grateful as Yuan Zhan shows her the newly renovated brothel that is now a medical center, Qing Chen suggests to Yuan Zhan that he hosts a dinner celebration with his brothers so she along with all the girls could perform a dance to express their gratitude. Eagerly agreeing to Qing Chen’s suggestion, Yuan Zhan adds that he plans to invite Princess Duo Xia as a way to help along their two countries’ alliance via the princess’ marriage to one of his brother.

Neither interested in marrying the other, Princess Duo Xia and the crown prince had come to an agreement to help each other. Completely clueless that the girl he loves (Feng Luan Fei) is only dangling him along on the 9th Prince’s orders, the crown prince is overjoyed when Luai Fei seduces him on the night of Yuan Zhan’s house party. (Luan Fei knows the 9th Prince is still in love with her sister who died a year ago but she still loves him and is willing to do anything he asks of her.)

Qing Chen performs her dance on the dinner celebration and everything happens according to her plan as the drunk 9th prince mistakes her for his dead wife and Luan Fei notices the golden butterfly on Qing Chen wrist.

Set on making a claim on her man even after the party was interrupted by the ruckus the 9th Prince created, Princess Duo Xia boldly declares “The man I want to marry is the well known “God of War”, Yuan Ling.”

Stunned by Princess Duo Xia’s words, Yuan Ling instinctively looks towards Qing Chen’s direction. Despite having already guessed Princess Duo Xia’s choice even before she made her declaration, Qing Chen nonetheless closes her eyes momentarily against the pain of hearing Yuan Ling’s name.

Alone with Princess Duo Xia, a frustrated Yuan Ling tells her “I admire your frank personality, but my heart already belongs to someone else.” Undeterred by Yuan Ling’s rejection even after guessing that Qing Chen might be the one he likes, Duo Xia replies “We still have plenty of time, I will make you fall in love with me!”

While our hero is trying to reject a princess, Qing Chen is bidding Yuan Zhan goodbye. Gazing at Qing Chen’s wrist with a mixed expression, Yuan Zhan asks “Do you really know nothing about your family?” With a look of sadness, Qing Chen replies that she grew up as an orphan and has always wished to know about her own family. Changing the topic abruptly, Yuan Zhan asks “What do you think about the matter with Princess Duo Xia?” Peering at Qing Chen closely when she expressed her admiration for Princess Duo Xia’s boldness in pursuing her love, Yuan Zhan asks carefully “And what if 4th brother agrees?” Giving Yuan Zhan a serene smile, Qing Chen replies “Then it would be a lovely union.”

Pleasantly surprised when his youngest daughter Luan Fei tells him about Qing Chen and how she not only looks like his oldest daughter but also has the golden butterfly tattoo, Prime Minister Feng decides he needs to meet Qing Chen personally.

Knowing full of Yuan Zhan’s feelings for Qing Chen, 2nd Princess consort Jin Hui gives Qing Chen a jade pendant (passed down from generation to generation, for Yuan Zhan’s wife) and asks if she would be willing to marry Yuan Zhan. Looking at Jin Hui with compassion in her eyes, Qing Chen says “In this world, what wife is willing to personally give her husband to another. This task should not have been done by you.” Smiling sadly, Jin Hui replies that Yuan Zhan will have a wife sooner or later so it might as well be Qing Chen. Not convinced even when Qing Chen replies that she only sees Yuan Zhan as a good friend and nothing more, Jin Hui leaves the pendant with her and asks her to reconsider. As a prince, Yuan Zhan can have a 1st and 2nd Princess Consort, then however many concubines. Jin Hui is the 2nd Princess Consort so her station and authority are below a 1st Princess Consort who will be Yuan Zhan’s “official” wife. 

 

 

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