Quickly figuring out that Qing Chen must’ve been the one he saw in his wife’s room, the 9th Prince smiles knowingly when Qing Cen doesn’t bother to protest otherwise but instead offers to help him find the real truth of how Xian Wu died. Brazenly asking Qing Chen to return his sachet, the 9th Prince admits his connection to the dark sorcerers but also reveals that he doesn’t like the feeling of being controlled by anyone (he was referring to Ding Shui, but of course the 9th Prince doesn’t know her real identity yet). Agreeing to work together, for the time being, Qing Chen promises to expose the truth of how Xian Wu died and in exchange, 9th Prince agrees to get the emperor to host an ancestor worship for the Empress at the palace so Qing Chen could use the opportunity to clear her people’s name.
Well aware of how fearful the emperor is of the sorcerers, be it Ming Yi Tower or the dark sorcerers, Ding Shui tells Prime Minister Feng that she just need an opportunity to bring the Ming Yi Tower’s sorcerers into the palace and let the emperor kill them for her. Smirking confidently when Prime Minister Feng mentions the ancestor worship that will be held for the Empress, Ding Shui decides that it will be the perfect chance she has been waiting for.
True to Ding Shui’s prediction, the emperor is extremely skittish whenever sorcerers are involved and have ordered the crown prince to have an army ready to kill any sorcerers dared to make an attempt on his life.
Tricked by Ming Yan to track up a mountain in the name of watching the stars…in the middle of the day, 12th Prince turns around to find Qing Chen gleefully holding his pendant in hand as she declares “You are the sorcerer stones’ guardian!” Huffy, 12th Prince retorts that he had personally come in search of the 9 scattered sorcerer’s stone. Not missing a beat, Qing Chen tells 12th Prince that since he needs her people’s help to find the stones then his best bet is to help her clear Mingyi Tower’s name so they could all come out of hiding. Not sure why all the sudden Qing Chen is so certain that 12th Prince can be trusted, but Ming Yan and the other sorcerers still decide to trust our heroine’s judgment as they expose their true identities to 12th Prince.
The 12th Prince and Ming Yan’s romance is becoming really cute. The prince still has no idea Ming Yan is a girl and is getting jealous thinking that Ming Yan listens to Qing Chen’s words more than his.
Qing Chen meets with Yuan Ling and asks for his help to sneak Elder Tao Yao into the palace on the day of the worship. After listening to Elder Tao Yao and Qing Chen’s plea that this is Mingyi Tower’s only chance to prove their innocence, Yuan Ling is still hesitant about how dangerous Qing Chen’s plan is. Talking with Qing Chen privately, Yuan Ling quizzes her about the necessity of plunging everyone (mainly her, of course) into such a precarious situation where all could be lost with one word from the emperor. Fervently, Qing Chen replies that the ancestor worship is a chance to not only prove her people’s innocence but this is also the perfect opportunity to capture Ding Shui. Her voice laced with a tinge of sadness, Qing Chen says “We have to clear my people’s name soon. I..don’t have much time left.” Yuan Ling probably understood Qing Chen’s last sentence as Mingyi Tower as a whole is running out of time before the emperor wipes them out, but I am assuming our heroine was talking about herself running out of time.
Heaving a sigh after Qing Chen demands “You are always been extremely decisive so why are you wavering so much now?” Yuan Ling finally relents but tells Qing Chen to shows him all the evidence she has gathered so he can be a hundred percent sure that nothing could go wrong with her plan and more importantly, nothing could put her in danger.
The next day, Yuan Ling reads over what Qing Chen had discovered during her stay at the Prime Minister’s house. Sufficiently satisfied after looking over the evidence, Yuan Ling tells a much relieved Qing Chen that he will do all he could to help her.
Leaning forward and surprising Qing Chen with a heart melting stare, Yuan Ling says “These last while you have been all alone in Prime Minister Feng’s house, battling with every ounce of wit, you must be tired.” Giving Qing Chen a small smile when she replies that it was worth it for all the important evidence she gathered, Yuan Ling continues “The reason I was opposed to you entering into Prime Minister Feng’s house before was because I was worried that you would be in over your head. However, judging by the situation right now, it looks like I worried needlessly. That’s alright. From now on, you have me to take care of these things for you.”
Intrigued when Wu Ping Ting reports that she has tracked the mysterious dark sorceress to the palace, 9th Prince laughs as he muses that it doesn’t matter to him who wins the battle between Elder Tao Yao and the mysterious dark sorceress…as long as someone pays. I am assuming he means to pay for his wife’s death. The 9th Prince is so crazy with grief that he seems to just want to destroy the whole world.
As the day of the worship approaches, our heroes and villains ready themselves with preparations for the big day. Ding Shui puts the last finishing touches on her doppelganger then smirks triumphantly when Xi Xie warns her that the moment the doppelganger dies will be the moment she loses half of her power, “As long as I can get the perfect ending I want, then this is a small price to pay. Mingyi Tower will pay dearly for everything I have suffered.” With a deranged glint in her eyes, Ding Shui comforts Xi Xie “Don’t be scared. I am not going to kill you. I will just create another you. I have worked too hard to kidnap you so how can I kill you so easily?”
Walking into her room after going over the final preparations with her fellow sorcerers about their big epic showdown the next day, Qing Chen is surprised to see a smiling Yuan Ling waiting for her. A bit speechless when Yuan Ling holds out a box containing her favorite snacks, Qing Chen asks incredulously “We might have an ugly battle tomorrow…and you still have the piece of mind to buy snacks?” With a laugh, Yuan Ling replies that one should have a peaceful mind before a battle and do whatever he wants.
Obviously just as worried about Yuan Ling as he of her, Qing Chen reminds him “Since you have expressed your trust in me, then please remember that no matter what happens don’t get involved tomorrow. It is sufficient that you will help Elder Tao Yao to get into the palace.” Sighing, Yuan Ling remarks “You want me to help you, but you don’t want me to interfere. Sometimes, I really can’t figure out what you are thinking. How can there be someone filled with so many contradictions? Do you know, if someone is mired in contradiction for too long, then they will start to lose sight of what they wanted to do in the first place.” Not backing down, Qing Chen replies “I just don’t want to endanger you. No matter what, you are the only one Mingyi Tower can trust in the palace, we have the responsibility to make sure you are safe.” Staring at Qing Chen intently, Yuan Ling asks “Is this your opinion or Mingyi Tower’s.” Replying with determination in her voice, Qing Chen says “I am not joking. If something happens to you, I will never forgive you.” Unable to hold back a small smile, Yuan Ling steps close to Qing Chen and says “Oh, so you are that worried about me? Don’t worry. I won’t give you the chance to never forgive me.”
As always, the moment Yuan Ling leaves, Yuan Zhan knocks on Qing Chen’s door. Worried about Qing Chen’s safety as well, Yuan Zhan gives her a pendant to wear so that his man would know to protect her. Watching Yuan Zhan leave the pendant on the table despite her polite rejection, Qing Chen mutters with mixed feelings “I wish you were the same as the one I knew in the original time line…at least I knew how to treat you then.”
The epic showdown at the palace more or less went according to how everyone (…including the villains) wanted to go. Ding Shui fools everyone with her doppelganger and was able to watch gleefully as the fake Ding Shui confesses to killing the Empress in front of everyone. Finished with her speech of “I want everyone to die to pay for my pain!” the fake Ding Shui lurches forward with an attack towards Qing Chen’s direction but Yuan Ling flung himself right in the path and manages to plunge a sword through the fake Ding Shui. Expelling Yuan Ling’s sword from her body with a burst of energy, fake Ding Shui dies after muttering “What a fool, to die for a woman.”
Her composure shattered the moment she saw Yuan Ling in danger, Qing Chen rushes over to a severely wounded Yuan Ling. Well aware that the sight of Yuan Ling spitting blood is going to drive Qing Chen to do something rash, Yuan Zhan (as well as our barely conscious hero) puts a hand on Qing Chen to stop her from exposing herself by using her butterflies to heal Yuan Ling.
Finally able to let her tears flow when she is alone with a still unconscious Yuan Ling, Qing Chen silently says “It was a moment of life and death just now. Why were you so foolish. I came here to change the past. I was even willing to ignore my heart in exchange for your safety and prosperity. Even though I have cleared Mingyi Tower’s name but if I lose you, then what’s the point to all this.”
Wrapping her hands around Yuan Ling’s, Qing Chen promises our unconscious hero “You must survive this. I promise you. If you come out of this alive, from this point on, I won’t push you away anymore. I will do everything in my power to stay by your side. Do you hear?”
There is a sad scene of Elder Tao Yao crying over Elder Xi Xie’s body…but judging by Ding Shui’s words before, I think it is safe to assume Qing Chen’s master is still alive.
By the way, I had wondered if Yuan Ling is actually Ding Shui’s son. After this episode, I am guessing he actually is but the hatred and resentment in Ding Shui is so strong that there doesn’t seem to be much motherly love left in her.
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