Resigned when Elder Mo regrettably informs her that Qing Chen can’t think of any way to change the emperor’s edict either, a forlorn Ming Yan asks Elder Mo to give a sachet to 12th Prince since it was made with her power to help calm his mind. Hiding out of sight, 12th Prince’s already tender heart promptly breaks in half when he realizes Ming Yan had made the sachet because she was worried about him. Unable to help himself, 12th Prince follows a crying Ming Yan from afar but is forced to hide when Ming Yan suddenly turns around. Speechless when a sobbing 12th Prince shows up at her place, Qing Chen comforts 12th Prince by promising that she will do what she can to help him have a happy ending with Ming Yan.
Dismayed when he finds out that Yuan Zhan had gotten rid over half of his minions in the flood province, Prime Minister Feng complains to Ding Shui of his loss. Reminding Prime Minister Feng that his real worry should be how long the emperor will allow someone who knows his shameful deed of usurping his own brother’s throne to live, Ding Shui tells the Prime Minister that the only way to save himself is to help her son, Yuan Ling to ascend to the throne.
Amused when he sees 11th Prince walking in with Cai Qian hand in hand, Yuan Ling teases them by suggesting that “Qing Chen is in her new position and I don’t want to marry Princess Duo Xia, so I guess that only means one thing.” Ignoring his nervous little brother, Yuan Ling takes a stunned Cai Qian’s hand and declares that they should go see the emperor right that very second. Finally breaking out in a smile as he stares at 11th Prince and Cai Qian’s thunderstruck expression, Yuan Ling tells the much relieved couple that he would be sure to throw a glorious wedding for them. Unbeknownst to our sweet young couple, the happy life they envision ahead of them is about to be destroyed by those who want to tear them apart for their own evil goals. Determined to do whatever she can to help her son become the crown prince, Imperial Concubine Yin convinces the emperor to make her niece Cai Qian into a princess so they could then marry Cai Qian off to Xiao Ji, the prince of Nan Liang state (the country that wants to conqure everyone).
Alarmed when the emperor ignores his protest and insists on marrying Cai Qian off to Xiao Ji, Yuan Zhan becomes disheartened to find out that his own mother is the one that had suggested the idea to the emperor. Unrepentant when confronted by her son, Imperial Concubine Yin declares vehemently that nothing is too precious to sacrifice for Yuan Zhan’s ultimate ascension to the throne. His heart growing cold as his mother insists that she would not hesitate for a moment to die if it would propel him towards the throne, Yuan Zhan mutters “You and father are exactly alike.” Sneering at Yuan Zhan plea that all he ever wanted is to be a good son to loving parents and be a supportive brother to his siblings, Imperial Concubine Yin warns Yuan Zhan that she will soon prove to him that he can never be a “supportive brother” with Yuan Ling. (This part is in ep.40 but I moved it here to help the recap flow better.)
Influenced by what he saw in Qing Chen’s memory, the very first person Yuan Ling suspects is Yuan Zhan once he hears the emperor’s decision to marry Cai Qian to Xiao Ji. Hurt when confronted by Yuan Ling’s accusation that he is planning to use Cai Qian’s marriage to garner benefits to himself, Yuan Zhan protests that as one who single handedly helped Cai Qian to become a couple with 11th Prince so why would he destroy their happiness himself? Puzzled by Yuan Ling’s obvious animosity towards Yuan Zhan as she watches the two brothers’ exchange out of sight, Qing Chen shows herself after Yuan Ling leaves and comforts Yuan Zhan by saying as one who spends her day next to the emperor she knows Yuan Zhan is telling the truth. Discussing the emperor’s seemingly reckless decision together, it quickly dawns on Qing Chen and Yuan Zhan that the emperor is planning to use Cai Qian’s marriage to force Yuan Ling to bow to his will.
True to Qing Chen and Yuan Zhan’s suspicion, Qing Chen arrives back to the palace just in time to hear the emperor telling Yuan Ling that as a loving father who can’t stand to see his son unhappy, he has decided to not force Yuan Ling into marrying Princess Duo Xia but instead he will marry Cai Qian off…oh, and since that means they will not be forming an alliance with Princess Duo Xia after all, the emperor orders Yuan Ling to kill her. Not surprised when Yuan Ling immediately protests that while Princess Duo Xia is not the one in his heart but he considers her to be a friend, the emperor tells Yuan Ling that he only has two choices and since he has rejected a marriage to Princess Duo Xia then the only other choice is to kill her.
Worried about Yuan Ling, Qing Chen tells him that she heard his conversation with the emperor and says “If you don’t marry the princess, then she and Cai Qian’s life will be in danger. The emperor is forcing you to make a choice.” More concerned with Qing Chen’s attitude, Yuan Ling asks “If I really marry Princess Duo Xia then that will be betraying you. At that time, are you going to revert back to how you were before? Staying away from me and pretending that you don’t care?” With a small smile, Qing Chen replies with conviction “No, I won’t. The crown prince has lost his title. So now, if you are willing to become the emperor, then I will help you pass this trial. The emperor is a master at calculating and maneuvering everything to his will. However, I refuse to believe that together, me as the sacred sorceress and you, as the future ruler of this land can’t win this.” His spirit bolstered by Qing Chen’s answer, Yuan Ling says “Do you know, I have been waiting. I have always been waiting for someone, for a woman who matches my stride and walk by my side. Now the path is revealed and that person has also appeared. Are you willing?”
With a small smile, Qing Chen replies with conviction “No, I won’t. The crown prince has lost his title. So now, if you are willing to become the emperor, then I will help you pass this trial. The emperor is a master at calculating and maneuvering everything to his will. However, I refuse to believe that together, me as the sacred sorceress and you, as the future ruler of this land can’t win this.” His spirit bolstered by Qing Chen’s answer, Yuan Ling says “Do you know, I have been waiting. I have always been waiting for someone, for a woman who matches my stride and walk by my side. Now the path is revealed and that person has also appeared. Are you willing?”
Hesistent, Qing Chen asks “What if one day I am gone?” Yanking Qing Chen into his arms, Yuan Ling demands “I am here, where are you going to go?” Not knowing the answer herself, Qing Chen answers truthfully “I don’t know. Maybe one day, death or parting could come. Are you not scared?” The corner of his mouth shifts into a small smile, Yuan Ling replies “No. I am not afraid. If we have one day, then let us put our whole heart into spending that one day. I want you to know. No matter what happens in the future, no matter who I am, I will spend my life with you.” Moved by Yuan Ling’s words, Qing Chen stares up at him and promises “Then, I will spend every day with you. Alright?” Nodding, Yuan Ling replies softly “Alright.” In a lighter tone, Yuan Ling asks “You do know, by saying that, you are now my woman and my Princess Consort.” Pretending to be worried, Qing Chen steps out of Yuan Ling’s arms and asks “I head your estate has lots of rules so there is not one smiling face to be found there. Am I not going to die of boredom?”
Pulling Qing Chen right back for an embrace, Yuan Ling whispers “What my estate will be like in the future will depend on its mistress’ skills.” With a small laugh, Qing Chen closes her eyes and rests her head on Yuan Ling’s shoulder.
Thanks to her bats, Ding Shui finds out that Yuan Zhan’s uncle has kidnapped the palace physician who has been treating Imperial Concubine Yin and has no trouble figuring out that Yin family is probably planning something against her (and Yuan Ling). Confident when Prime Minister Feng asks if she is not going to do something to defend herself, Ding Shui replies that this would be the perfect opportunity to push her son into making up his mind to go after the throne.
Vowing that she would rather die than to be married off as a political sacrificial lamb, Cai Qian sets off to assassinate Xiao Ji herself. Proving that no one understand Cai Qian better than him, 11th Prince shows up just in time to stop Cai Qian from doing something rash that could hurt herself and push them into war with Nan Liang right away. Dragging Cai Qian to Yuan Ling’s house, 11th Prince is relieved once Qing Chen promises that neither she nor Yuan Ling would sit back and allow Cai Qian’s marriage to Xiao Ji become a reality. Visibly displeased when Qing Chen mentions that they are going to need Yuan Zhan’s help, Yuan Ling impatiently sends his brother off with Cai Qian.
Feeling the urgency to buy more time for Qing Chen, Yuan Ling decides to go right to the source and confronts 12th Prince directly with everything he knows. Any hope of pretending ignorance gone the moment Yuan Ling calls out his true identity, 12th Prince bristles when Yuan Ling demands “What good are you, if you can’t sense the whereabouts of the sorcerer’s stone?” and retorts “Qing Chen can’t sense them either and she is the sacred sorceress. The sorcerer’s stone can take the form of any item or person so it is very difficult to find them.” Impatient when 12th Prince hesitates in answering his question of how to slow down the rate of the flower inside Qing Chen shedding its petals, Yuan Ling threatens “I know you lied to father and sent Ming Yan back to Mingyi Tower. Do you want to bet that I can get her right back here?” Promptly buckling under Yuan Ling’s threat, 12th Prince tells Yuan Ling that because he is one of the two stars so Yuan Ling’s life is directly connected to Qing Chen.
With a big sigh, 12th Prince goes on to explain that he needs to have Yuan Ling and Qing Chen’s blood to accomplish what Yuan Ling is asking but it will come with a huge cost to Yuan Ling himself. Unaffected by 12th Prince’s ominous warning, Yuan Ling tells 12th Prince to figure some way out to get Qing Chen’s blood without raising her suspicious…or else he will bring Ming Yi right back to the palace. Taking out a sorcerer’s stone after Yuan Ling leaves, 12th Prince says with a sly smile “Just picking on me, aren’t you? There will come a day you and Qing Chen will come begging.” Hmm…12th Prince seems to be suggesting here that he might have something up his sleeves that could help our two leads later.
Still huffy with Yuan Ling, the 12th Prince paces around as he mutters to himself “He wants me to get my hands on Sacred Sorceress’ blood. Don’t let her know. Don’t let her get suspicious. AND don’t make her unhappy. This fourth brother…always looks so aloof and cold but then how come the moment he starts spoiling his own woman all limits are gone.” Surprised when he turns around to find Qing Chen asking “What are you muttering about?”, 12th Prince quickly pretends ignorance once Qing Chen tells him that Yuan Ling is acting strange lately and wonders if Yuan Ling has somehow found out about the time portal. Glad when Qing Chen changes the subject, 12th Prince convinces our heroine that he is in need of her blood to repair the time portal and to sweeten the deal, 12th Prince even offers to give Qing Chen a sorcerer’s stone once he is done with it. I love how these two are like bickering best friends.
Alarmed to find out that a number of palace maids have been falling ill due to the presence of dark sorcerers using their powers to extract the maids’ energy, Qing Chen quickly asks Elder Mo to investigate the matter.
Finally confirming that her trusty right hand man is the mole, Princess Duo Xia expresses her disappointment but is speechless when Mu Kesha counters that the emperor is already planning to marry Cai Qian to their arch enemy Xiao Ji. After successfully convincing Xiao Ji something is terribly wrong with Cai Qian and that the emperor might have a sinister ulterior motive in marrying a dying princess to him, Yuan Zhan arrives in time to reassure Princess Duo Xia that his promise to her (of helping their two countries to form an alliance through marriage) still stands.
Showing up at Mingyii Tower with 12th Prince, Yuan Ling listens calmly as 12th Prince explains that his method of prolonging Qing Chen’s time is by transferring the effects of the next two petals’ fall onto Yuan Ling. Simply put, Yuan Ling will be feeding the flower with his own blood thus exchanging his own life for Qing Chen’s. Not shaken by the thought that what he is about to do will shorten his life, Yuan Ling gives his blood generously until a very touched 12th Prince stops him and exclaims “I see why Qing Chen was so adamant about opening the time portal. I couldn’t understand before, but I do now.”
Using his power on the jade rings he had Yuan Ling prepare beforehand, a weakened 12th Prince tells Yuan Ling to get Qing Chen to wear it but warns that the rings will only transfer two petals’ fall onto Yuan Ling and the pain Yuan Ling will suffer will be much worse than what Qing Chen experienced. His eyes light up when Yuan Ling tells him that Ming Yan is waiting for him out in the forest, 12th Prince eagerly asks “Really?” Giving 12th Prince a gentle smile, Yuan Ling replies “When have I ever lied to you. Go on.”
Missing 12th Prince terribly, a dejected Ming Yan doesn’t dare to believe her own ears when she heard a familiar voice calling her name. Her sad frown instinctively turning into a bright smile when she hears “Ming Yan, I am sorry.” and looks up to see 12th Prince standing in front of her, Ming Yan catches herself as it dawns on her that it is very suspicious for Yuan Ling to show up at Mingyi Tower with 12th Prince. Convinced that the two brothers must be hiding something from Qing Chen, Ming Yan starts to march away, intending to inform Qing Chen of the matter. In a hurry to stop Ming Yan from leaving, 12th Prince pulls her hard and ends up swinging Ming Yan’s lips right onto his own. How cute is that they just stared at each other and smiled after the kiss!
Greatly moved by Qing Chen and Yuan Ling’s love story after 12th Prince tells her everything, Ming Yan mutters “I never imagined they could have such a love together. It’s so moving.” Starring at a teary Ming Yan, 12th Prince says silently “If it was you, I would do the same as well…but my identity…”
Impatient when a worried Yuan Ling warns again for him to keep his mouth sealed to Qing Chen, 12th Prince playfully recites Yuan Ling’s old standard threat of sending Ming Yan back to the palace. 12th Prince’s playful chatter stopping abruptly when Yuan Ling asks “Are you human? Can you get married and have kids?” Putting a hand on 12th Prince’s shoulder, Yuan Ling warns “Don’t waste Ming Yan’s time or else, as an older brother, I can’t just stand by and do nothing.” Forcing himself to sound chipper, 12th Prince replies “Fourth brother, there is still a chance for you and Qing Chen. But for me, once all the sorcerer’s stones are collected then I will need to go back to the time portal. Me and Ming Yan… there is no possibilities for us.” Finally showing his tender side, Yuan Ling comforts 12th Prince by saying that there are infinite possibilities with the time portal so it is too early to give up and promises to help him find a way. Not so naive as to be comforted that easily, 12th Prince laments that the sorcerer’s stones are simply too hard to find. Turning serious, 12th Prince warns “This time line must end well. Or else, even if you and Qing Chen return to the original time line, you two could still die. So fourth brother, you must not hesitate when it comes to the throne.” Without missing a beat, Yuan Ling replies calmly “From the moment I found out why Qing Chen came here, I have not hesitated for a second.”
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