Coming to visit the grieving Elder Tao Yao at Mingyi Tower, Qing Chen belatedly remembers that if her master is really dead then the flower inside her should’ve lost a petal by now. Not wanting to get Elder Tao Yao’s hope up for something she is not sure, Qing Chen decides to keep the possibility of Xie Xi being alive to herself for the time being. Glad to see Qing Chen, Elder Tao Yao praises her for everything she has done for their people then shows Qing Chen the purple sorcerer’s stone she found on Ding Shui’s body. Leaving the purple sorcerer’s stone in Elder Tao Yao’s safe keeping, Qing Chen starts to head home but without warning, Qing Chen suddenly doubles over in pain as the flower appears and a petal falls.
In case we missed the significance of that, when Qing Chen gets back to her room, she is alarmed to see her hand had become transparent momentarily. Staring at her hand with dismay, Qing Chen mutters “I don’t have much time left.”
Thanks to Ding Shui who ignored her own wounds and used her power to heal him, Yuan Ling is soon well enough to go home. After a few day of convalescing in bed, Yuan Ling is surprised when he walks out of his bedroom to see a garden of flower that wasn’t there before. Busy complaining about how Qing Chen had made him plant all those flowers to aid his brother’s recovery, poor 11th Prince turns around to find Yuan Ling has long since stopped listening the moment Qing Chen appeared in his eye sight.
Walking along the lake side by side, Yuan Ling asks Qing Chen “Have you not forgiven me yet? You are still angry?” Remembering her own words the night before the epic showdown at the palace, Qing Chen asks “You remember everything I said that night?” Nodding, Yuan Ling replies “Of course. Every word you speak is carved on my heart. I still remember that you said if something happened to me, you will never forgive me. So what now?” A bit worried, Qing Chen asks “So all the hurtful words I spoke before. You carved on your heart as well?” Dejected when Yuan Ling doesn’t answer but simply looks back at her, Qing Chen sighs “I made the choice on my own. Even if you hate me, as long as you are alive and safe, then that’s enough for me.”
Grabbing Qing Chen’s arm to stop her from walking away, Yuan Ling asks “Do you really think I am so stingy?” Qing Chen explains “No, I just…” Staring at Qing Chen, Yuan Ling declares “Good. I want you to forget everything you said just now. All those things you said in the past that was untrue, I will also treat it like I never heard of them. Do you know what I thought of that day at that moment of life and death?” Pulling Qing Chen to him, Yuan Ling continues “I thought no matter what, I am going to protect you. No matter what you want or don’t want, I am not willing to see you harmed. You can choose to not forgive me, but I must protect you. Because I know if I lost you, then my heart will never be happy.” With tears in her eyes, Qing Chen asks “Not matter what I do, or how dangerous it is, you are willing to be with me?”
Without hesitation, Yuan Ling answers “Yes.” Cradling her head in his hand, Yuan Ling says “Silly girl, I won’t allow you to push me away anymore. You won’t be able to push me away even if you tried. Do you understand?” Still unsure, Qing Chen asks “But if I bring pain and suffering to you?” Not wavering, Yuan Ling replies “So what? The only one I love is you.”
Yuan Ling presents his recovered self to the emperor and when asked what reward he wants for killing Ding Shui, Yuan Ling replies that he wants Mingyi Tower and the royal family to patch up their differences. Pretending to be conflicted about what to do with the sorcerers, the emperor asks the crown prince, Yuan Ling and Yuan Zhan concerning the matter. United in their answer, all three princes advise the emperor to admit that he had made a mistake regarding Mingyi Tower and allow the sorcerers to be responsible for organizing the upcoming military training as a show of the emperor’s renew trust in them. Seemingly moved by his three son’s words, the emperor declares he will ponder some more on the matter.
Unbeknownst to the three princes, the emperor is set on killing ALL the sorcerers and has already given the task over to his most ruthless son – the 9th Prince.
Feeling much closer to his mother after her unexpected show of motherly love while he was at death’s door, Yuan Ling asks Ding Shui if she has any advice regarding his upcoming “wife selection” contest at the palace. Staying true to her usual “don’t ask, don’t interfere” parenting style, Ding Shui’s only advice to Yuan Ling is for him to follow his heart so he will not leave any regrets. I find it extremely interesting Ding Shui doesn’t seem to care that the one Yuan Ling loves is Qing Chen. Why? Does she truly want Yuan Ling to follow his heart and she will follow her own revenge plan? Or is she hoping Qing Chen will face the same tough choice as she did with the previous emperor? While we are on this subject, the Mingyi Tower people don’t seem to have any issue with Qing Chen marrying Yuan Ling as well… So strange.
Now that our two leads have finally confirmed their feelings…again, we are rewarded with lots of sweet melty scenes! Smiling happily to see Yuan Ling waiting for her at the medical center, Qing Chen hands him a special sachet she had prepared for him. Not one to miss any opportunity for some skinship…or attempt a kiss with our heroine, Yuan Ling grabs Qing Chen’s sachet…including her hand and seemingly in no hurry of letting go asks “You made it especially for me?” All business, Qing Chen starts to list off the many things Yuan Ling has done for Mingyi Tower so the sachet was just a small token to help ease some of Yuan Ling’s fatigue. Spinning Qing Chen around so his arms are wrapped around her, Yuan Ling says in a rather suggestively voice “Instead of these things…do you want to…do some other things that will help stimulate my brain…like…”
Knowing exactly where Yuan Ling is heading, Qing Chen stuffs the sachet in our hero’s mouth before his lips could steal a kiss.
Resigned to letting Qing Chen get back to work after his failed attempt for a kiss, Yuan Ling pulls out ink and paper to start drawing his future wife. Content to just being close to one another, Yuan Ling and Qing Chen smiles brightly as their eyes meet. Finally finished with the portrait, Yuan Ling leans back for a stretch only to pause when he notices Qing Chen asleep on the table.
Woken up by the room of smoke, Qing Chen coughs as she bends down to pick up Yuan Ling’s clothes only to freeze mid motion when Yuan Ling rushes over and his face ends up inches away from her. Staying temptingly close to Qing Chen, Yuan Ling mutters “I was hoping to start a fire to keep you warm, but I ended up filling the room with smoke and woke you up.” Not moving away either, Qing Chen wonders out loud “You have been in the army for so many years, yet you don’t even know how to start a fire?” Quick to protest, Yuan Ling replies “That’s not it. It was your wood, they were too damp.” Whisper back, Qing Chen exclaims “OH, my wood was being naughty to you.”
Instead of answering, Yuan Ling lurch forward for yet another attempt at a kiss…but of course our heroine was prepared for him and jumps back in time. Taking his rejection in strides, Yuan Ling promptly changes the subject and asks if Qing Chen was too tired from all the stuff that happened with Mingyi Tower. Shaking her head, Qing Chen explains that she just felt sleepy then muses that she could put a cot in the next room. Rejecting Qing Chen’s suggestion right away, Yuan Ling explains that he had already tried the idea but the room was too small. His voice trailing off as Qing Chen’s expression turned thoughtful, Yuan Ling begins to back away slowly as Qing Chen advances towards him until our hero is backed to the wall. Sheepish as Qing Chen demands “So you designed this place. You did so much for me but I had no clue?” Qing Chen replies “It’s not too late now…”
Breaking out into a smile as Qing Chen gently wipe a smudge on his face, Yuan Ling declares “I am going to come see you tomorrow.” Surprised, Qing Chen exclaimed, “You are coming again?!” In a matter of fact voice, Yuan Ling says “I am coming tomorrow, the day after that, then the day after that. I am coming every day!” Leaning back in alarm as Yuan Ling suddenly moves forward, Qing Chen pouts when instead of attempting for a kiss, Yuan Ling says “Excuse me.” and walks past her.
Believing THE dark sorceress is safely dead, 9th Prince celebrates with Wu Ping Ting and tells her that she is now the head of the dark sorcerers. Not interested in all the glory the 9th Prince is promising her, Wu Ping Ting wraps her arms around the 9th Prince and tells him that she just wants to be with him. Apparently quite used to silly women ready to sacrifice themselves for him, the 9th Prince tells Wu Ping Ting “You will share a piece of my future glory but the only woman I love is Xian Wu.”
The very much alive Ding Shui stumbles into the also very much alive Xi Xie’s holding place, and gives him the “I will kill everyone as revenge for my pain” speech again. Overjoyed once he hears that Mingyi Tower has proved their innocence, Xi Xie’s happiness wanes once he remembers Elder Tao Yao must be grief stricken believing him to be dead.
On an outing with Qing Chen, Yuan Ling teases our heroine by pointing out that she is so much prettier than she used to be because she is no longer constantly frowning. Pretending to be huffy, Qing Chen is about to walk off, but Yuan Ling stops her and asks “I thought you had something to say to me. Tell me, I want to hear it.” Stumbling over her words a bit, Qing Chen says “I want…to…thank you.” Looking intently at Qing Chen, Yuan Ling asks “What do you want to thank me for?” Not satisfied when Qing Chen mentions Mingyi Tower, Yuan Ling steps closer and whispers “And what else?” A bit shy, Qing Chen walks a few steps and adds “I want to thank you for giving your all to protect me.” Still not satisfied, Yuan Ling asks again “And what else?” With her back to Yuan Ling, Qing Chen continues “For always being by my side no matter what I did. For not leaving me.” Stomping over until he is facing Qing Chen, Yuan Ling demands “What else? Is that it? That’s not enough.”
A bit confused, Qing Chen asks hesitantly “What? Is there more?” Not beating around the bush anymore, Yuan Ling explains “I want you to show with your action how you are going to thank me.” Thinking for a moment, Qing Chen suggests “Pay you back by marrying you?” Pulling Qing Chen to him the moment those words were out of her mouth, Yuan Ling whispers “Be my wife.”
Breaking out in a big smile, Qing Chen replies “Yes.”
Ironically in charge of the upcoming “wife contest” for our hero, Yuan Zhan’s heart sinks when the crown prince shows him the portrait Yuan Ling had personally drawn of Qing Chen. Showing up at Qing Chen’s place, Yuan Zhan asks her “I know if you had wanted to avoid it, you could have found a way to not be part of the contest.” (Because of the emperor’s decree, for someone like Qing Chen who is the Prime Minister’s daughter she would normally have no choice but to participate in the contest.) Not bothering to denying Yuan Zhan’s words, Qing Chen replies “You are correct. However, this time I am willing and I am determined to win.” Not surprised, Yuan Zhan says “I should’ve known what’s in your heart. Maybe I should’ve known a long time ago.” Stepping close to Qing Chen, Yuan Zhan adds “This time, I was wrong. I made a gamble…on your heart. I will admit I lost. Maybe I should’ve never let you into my house. That way, even if you treat me with distrust, it would not hurt.” Moved by Yuan Zhan’s heart breaking confession but powerless to say anything that could comfort him, Qing Chen could only promise Yuan Zhan “From this point forward, I will trust you.”
Cai Qian finds out that she has been left out of the list of eligible bachelorette for the “wife contest” and angrily storms over to Yuan Zhan to declare that she will do whatever it takes to put herself back on the list.
Qing Chen meets with Ming Yan and the two sighs over the unrequited love of their two masters (Elder Tao Yao and Xi Xie). Feeling sad for Elder Tao Yao, Ming Yan says she sometimes wishes her master and Elder Xi Xie would be more selfish so maybe their ending could be different than what it is now. Reminded of her own situation, Qing Chen thinks to herself “Cherish what’s in front of me. I will be by his side for as long as I can.”
I have been trying to figure out how I feel about Qing Chen’s rather sudden acceptance of Yuan Ling’s feelings. I guess I can’t say the writer hasn’t warned us since Qing Chen has more than once expressed that rejecting Yuan Ling is extremely difficult for her and she is already at breaking point. Yuan Ling almost dying and the fact that she IS dying/disappearing combined to finally shattering our heroine’s resolve to stay away from our hero. I wonder if Qing Chen’s current plan is that since she doesn’t have much time left, any moment she could make Yuan Ling happy is to be cherished and once she is gone then she wouldn’t be Yuan Ling’s stumbling block anymore. The issue before was that for them to be together, chaos would ensue and one of the stars will have to die. If Qing Chen dies/disappears soon then all those things would be solved. By the way, since I am still watching this drama you should know that means I don’t think the ending will be sad.
ps. I just realized that I forgot to mention the emperor did finally put out a decree saying Mingyi Tower was falsely accused of the Queen’s death. The emperor is also tasking Mingyi Tower with the responsibility of holding a military training…at Mingyi Tower…this is not going to go well.
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