- Furious to hear that Yuan Ling has rejected a marriage to Princess Duo Xia, the emperor orders Yuan Ling to kneel outside on the palace hall.
- Qing Chen requests a meeting with Princess Duo Xia and asks her to intercede on Yuan Ling’s behalf in front of the emperor. Puzzled, Princess Duo Xia wonders out loud why Qing Chen would ask her for this favor when she should know full well the reason Yuan Ling had rejected the marriage. Explaining that a marriage between Princess Duo Xia and Yuan Ling would be beneficial to both nations, Qing Chen tells Princess Duo Xia that she has a plan to change Yuan Ling’s mind.
- Qing Chen uses her trusty golden butterfly to momentarily put the 9th Prince in a trance and was able to discover that Feng Xian Wu (his wife) died from a sorcerer’s poison. The 9th Prince also reveals that there were rumors accusing Xian Wu of having helped the sorcerers to kill the Empress. He doesn’t believe the accusations and has been working nonstop to prove Xian Wu’s innocence, but Prime Minister Feng had destroyed all the evidence to protect the Feng family.
- Satisfied with the information she gathered from the 9th Prince, Qing Chen leaves after taking his sachet which looks exactly like the one the 3rd Prince had.
- Princess Duo Xia, Yuan Zhan and his little sister all show up at the palace to plead for Yuan Ling’s case. The emperor relents, but sends out a decree that Yuan Ling will be choosing a wife soon. Yuan Ling That was the plan Qing Chen had suggested to give Duo Xia another chance to win Yuan Ling over. So the whole choosing a wife thing is kinda like a beauty contest where a large number of eligible girls would come to the palace and showcase themselves. Not exactly excited by the emperor’s decree, Yuan Ling pushes back a bit and was rewarded by the emperor’s promise that he could choose his own wife.
- Thoughtful when 11th Prince informs him Princess Duo Xia had paid a visit to Qing Chen, Yuan Ling quickly figures out that Qing Chen was the one that convinced Duo Xia to come help him. Sighing, Yuan Ling says “If it really was her doing then that gave me a very difficult problem.” Silently, Yuan Ling asks “You don’t have feelings for me, why go to the trouble of pushing me to another?”
- Yuan Ling tells Yuan Zhan that the one he really wants refuses to be his wife. Amused when Yuan Zhan doesn’t bother to hide the fact he had extended a helping hand to score brownie points with Qing Chen, Yuan Ling accepts Yuan Zhan challenges to compete for Qing Chen’s affection fairly. Seemingly unconcerned by Yuan Zhan’s show of determination to win Qing Chen’s heart, Yuan Ling confidently says “I never fight a battle I can’t win.” Poor confused boys. Both Yuan Ling and Yuan Zhan are aware that Qing Chen has no intention of marrying Yuan Ling, but it is also obvious to the two brothers that Qing Chen is unable to sit idly by anytime something happens to Yuan Ling. Yuan Zhan is hoping whatever is stopping Qing Chen from accepting Yuan Ling will give himself the chance to win her heart, while our hero is banking on the fact that Qing Chen obviously cares about him despite what she says. Come to think of it, I wonder if Yuan Zhan’s actions gave our hero a big hint since if Qing Chen really loves Yuan Zhan as much as she keeps saying then there was no reason for Yuan Zhan to issue a challenge for a girl that is already head over heels for him.
- Not to be outdone by the boys, Princess Duo Xia also tells Qing Chen that despite Qing Chen’s assertion of her disinterest in Yuang Ling, it is obvious by her action that there are at least some feelings there, therefore Princess Duo Xia offers to compete fairly with Qing Chen for Yuan Ling if she ever changes her mind regarding our hero.
- The mysterious dark sorceress who took Elder Xi Xie (heroine’s master) has a secret meeting with Prime Minister Feng. Through the two villains’ conversation, we find out that 1. The mysterious dark sorceress not only killed the Empress but is now set on killing both Elder Xi Xie and Elder Tao Yao. 2. Prime Minister Feng is actually the one that killed his own daughter Xian Wu in order to protect himself and those of his household because Xian Wu had found out too much. 3. Prime Minister Feng knows all along that Qing Chen is not his daughter because her golden butterfly tatto is exactly the same as Luan Fei’s (youngest daughter). Sounds like each of the tattoo should differ in some details.
- Thanks to the information discovered by Yuan Ling, Qing Chen starts to find even more pieces to her puzzle (the fact the 9th Prince can disguise himself, and that his wife was studying books that taught her how to write invisibly using a special type of flower juice.), and quickly realizes Xian Wu might have left a message on her bedroom mirror before she died.
- Elder Ding Shui/the mysterious dark sorceress suddenly shows up and shatters Xian Wu’s mirror right before Qing Chen reveals what is on it. A fight ensues and ends with Elder Ding Shui escaping after being wounded by Qing Chen. Fortunately, Qing Chen had wisely hidden the real mirror belonging to Xian Wu beforehand and was soon able to reveal a single letter “Lotus” written on it. Lotus refers to the title belonging to Imperial Concubine Lotus = the hero’s mother.
- Ready for a ride?! Imperial Concubine Lotus is actually the mysterious dark sorceress. The forbidden spells she used are dangerous and have many side effects. The Empress had seen Ding Shui during one of those times when she couldn’t keep up her changed appearance and recognized Ding Shui, which is why the Empress was killed.
- A wounded Ding Shui shows up at the secret cell and tells the imprisoned Xi Xie that she is really surprised he would have such a cunning pupil as Qing Chen, especially one who could plan the kind of elaborate trap that even she fell for. Guessing from Ding Shui’s words that Qing Chen must’ve been the unknown sorcerer whose power he had felt before at the brothel, Xi Xie wonders silently who Qing Chen is and why she would call herself his pupil.
- Between Ding Shui’s conversation with Xi Xie we find out that our big villain’s story actually shared a few similarities to our heroine’s…well, except the turning evil part. Having fallen in love with the emperor (the previous one), Ding Shui was resentful against Mingyi Tower’s rule of forbidding her to marry the man she loves. Faking her own death during the BIG challenge (remember the snowy mountain ordeal that almost killed our two leads? Fortunately, our two leads passed the challenge and Qing Chen was able to withdraw from Mingyi Tower the right way, unlike our villain.) Ding Shui then marries the emperor after changing her appearance. The emperor died early due to the curse of their union but Ding Shui insists that he was killed by the current emperor. Blaming Mingyi Tower for not seeking justice for the old emperor, Ding Shui is determined to use the dark sorcerers to destroy both the royal family and Mingyi Tower.
- Stunned when Ding Shui reveals that she had used a forbidden spell to create another physical body that looked exactly like her real appearance, so she could blame everything she had done on the puppet, a furious Xi Xie tries to forcefully break out of his prison but stops once he realizes Ding Shui had used 8 palace maids as conductors to the spell imprisoning him and breaking out would mean their death.
- Guessing it was no accident that Ding Shui had disappeared into the part of the palace where Yuan Ling’s mother lives, Qing Chen decides to hide her suspicion about Imperial Concubine Lotus from Yuan Ling for the time being. Letting out a heavy sigh when he hears Qing Chen is already trying to come up with a strategy to draw Ding Shui out of her hiding in the palace, Yuan Ling asks “Why do you never listen to me? I ask you to not go to Prime Minster Feng’s, but you did exactly as you pleased and almost got in big trouble! If something happens to you, what do you want me…. I beg you, please don’t put yourself in danger anymore.”
- On the way escorting Qing Chen back to Prime Minister Feng’s house, the 11th Prince tries to convince our heroine to stop pushing his brother away, since Yuan Ling will have to choose a bride soon (because of the emperor’s decree) but the only one he wants is Qing Chen. Unmoved, Qing Chen coldly replies that who Yuan Ling marries has nothing to do with her. Sinking down to the door step after a dejected 11th Prince walks away, Qing Chen mutters “My decisions…can they really bring you happiness eventually?”
- Standing only a short distance away, Yuan Ling instinctively wants to go comfort a crying Qing Chen but in the end decides to just stay put.
- Feeling certain that she knows where her master is being imprisoned, Qing Chen comes up with a plan to not only rescue Elder Xi Xie but to hopefully capture Ding Shui as well so they could finally clear Mingyi Tower’s name.
- Impressed with Qing Chen’s ability to come up with yet another plan to draw out the villain, 11th Prince laments that Qing Chen seems to be hiding things from them and is conflicted about many things. Curious when Yuan Ling asks “If you could tell that much, do you think I haven’t noticed?”, 11th Prince counters “Then why do you still trust her and help her so much?” Satisfying his young brother’s curiosity, Yuan Ling answers “Sometimes to see through someone is to trust one’s first impression of them. She is hiding something in her heart, but in her eyes…” Eager, 11th Prince presses “What’s in her eyes?” Yuan Ling “There is affection.”
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