Taking a page out of Yuan Zhan’s playbook, Yuan Ling plays the obedient son and agrees to marry Princess Duo Xia. Not so eager to believe his son as Imperial Concubine Yin was, the emperor is not satisfied until Yuan Ling admits that he was foolish in letting himself be swayed by a pretty face and promises to use both Mingyi Tower along with Princess Duo Xia as pawns for the emperor’s glory.
Knowing how close they were to losing each other, Qing Chen and Yuan Ling rush towards one another the moment their eyes met. Holding Qing Chen tightly in his arms, Yuan Ling says with a voice still filled with fear “Do you know, I have spent half of my life facing death on the battlefield, but I have never been as shaken as I did today. I wanted nothing more at that moment to tell my man to turn his bow around. (Referring to his own men that were planted within the palace guards).” Equally shaken, Qing Chen agrees “I know. At that moment, it felt like I was placed right back into my nightmare. If we hadn’t had a plan already in place with Princess Duo Xia, I am afraid by now we would never be able to see each other again.”
Confessing to Qing Chen that he had found out from his mother that the emperor is not his father after all, Yuan Ling adds “I had been mindful of the years we spent as father and son, but just now, he has wiped away any consideration I would’ve had.” Putting his hands on Qing Chen shoulders, Yuan Ling explains that as the two stars they have no way of avoiding the fight that’s ahead of them and with Elder Tao Yao putting both her and the Mingyi Tower in his care, they have no choice but to win. Looking up at Yuan Ling with trusting eyes, Qing Chen replies “No matter what you decide, I will follow in life and death.” before resting her head in Yuan Ling’s warm embrace. Another sweet moment of snuggling rudely interrupted by visions, an alarmed Qing Chen asks “Have you decided to go to war with Nan Liang?!” Not waiting for Yuan Ling to answer, Qing Chen explains that she saw 11th Prince badly hurt on the battlefield.
Still waffling between Yuan Ling and Yuan Zhan, the emperor finally decides to just ask his trusty advisor to put in their two cents. Overjoyed to see the day they have all been plotting in secret for has finally arrived, all the big and small villains rush around trying to get their next move in place. Here is a quick summary what everyone is up to:
- Yuan Zhan’s uncle tries to convince him to start focusing his attention on becoming the crown prince but Yuan Zhan is more concerned with the preparation for the impending war. Frustrated, Yuan Zhan’s uncle urges that the war is a perfect time to get rid of Yuan Ling but was quickly made speechless when Yuan Zhan counters that what good would the throne be if they lose their “God of War” and their country is wiped out.
- Imperial Concubine Yin and Yuan Zhan’s uncle successfully obtain the palace physician’s confession that Yuan Ling is not the emperor’s son and is planning to use this information as a trump card against our hero.
- Prime Minister Feng pays Yuan Ling a visit and asserts that the one he supports has always been Yuan Ling. His expression impassive when Prime Minister Feng promises to get all his men to throw their support behind him, Yuan Ling reminds the Prime Minister of the emperor’s personality then convinces him that it would be much more helpful if he gets all his minions to submit Yuan Zhan’s name as the next crown prince instead.
- 9th Prince is still planning to destroy everyone and has killed many of his own dark sorcerers to forcefully make himself into one.
Arriving at Princess Duo Xia’s place to personally deliver her wedding gown, Qing Chen is all smiles as a teary Princess Duo Xia apologizes for borrowing the title that belongs to her. Each expressing admiration for the other, the two girls embrace as Princess Duo Xia declares “I might have lost someone I like but in return, I have gained two lifelong friends.”
Unlike our heroine who is busy making a new BFF, Yuan Ling’s already sour mood turns even worse when the palace brings over his groom outfit. Arriving in time to see Yuan Ling throwing a sword right into the wall and his servants shaking in fear, 11th Prince distracts Yuan Ling by bringing him news of Xiao Ji’s war preparations. Mindful of Qing Chen’s vision, Yuan Ling tries to leave 11th Prince behind but not only would 11th Prince have none of it, Cai Qian, as 11th Prince’s brand new fiance also fiercely supports her man. Putting his arms around his brother and Cai Qian, Yuan Ling sighs “It is difficult enough for me and Qing Chen. I don’t want you guys to go through the same thing.”
Busy preparing his gift to Qing Chen, Yuan Zhan looks up when his man comes in to discuss the war preparations with him. In the middle of their discussion, Yuan Zhan suddenly calls out his wife’s name and waits until she comes out with a guilty expression. His expression mild, Yuan Zhan sends his wife away after telling her to start preparing a gift for his mother’s upcoming birthday. Curious, Yuan Zhan’s man asks “If you suspect she is a spy why don’t you sent her away.” With a sigh, Yuan Zhan replies “A pitiful person must have hateful reasons. And a hateful person must have pitiful reasons. She has no other place to go. Moreover, I don’t need to hurt my mother. Right or wrong, they are all doing it out of consideration for me.” Feeling bad for his master, Yuan Zhan’s man asks “But what they are doing is not what you really want so how can they be doing it for your good?” Looking up with a small smile, Yuan Zhan replies “Who would’ve thought, you understand me a little bit after all.” Turning his gaze on the pendant in his hand, Yuan Zhan sighs “But in this world, how often can we get what we want. Even an emperor will not be to accomplish that.”
Pleasantly surprised when Yuan Zhan hands her the jade pendant, Qing Chen happily tells Yuan Zhan that this particular sorcerer’s stone can show people’s true desire and offers to demonstrate for him. Agreeing readily, Yuan Zhan puts his hands on the stone and lays open his deepest desire for Qing Chen to see.
Confused by the image she saw that was supposed to represent Yuan Zhan’s true desire, Qing Chen says “I was smiling. I just saw myself smiling.” Nodding, Yuan Zhan softly replies “Then that’s correct. If you can smile forever, then that’s enough.” Curious, Qing Chen asks Yuan Zhan to tell her what he saw, but Yuan Zhan merely shakes his head with a smile.
The big wedding day for Yuan Ling and Princess Duo Xia finally arrive and as expected, Xiao Ji tries to assassinate Duo Xia but of course our heroes were already waiting to capture him. Showing up with the dark sorcerers just in time to help Xiao Ji escape, 9th Prince promptly turns the bad situation into an opportunity by convincing Duo Xia’s right hand man, General Mu Kesha that Yuan Ling is only using the Princess and he should cooperate with them to defeat Yuan Ling so the Princess would fall for him instead.
Anyone else getting a bad feeling about Duo Xia’s ability to NOT fall more in love with our hero? I believe Duo Xia is completely sincere in her promise to return Yuan Ling back to Qing Chen but…that promise is probably a bit hard to remember when she is melting over the sight of Yuan Ling knocking out assassins.
Quite pleased how Yuan Ling had indeed skillfully used the sorcerers and Princess Duo Xia to give them the rationalization to now openly attack Nan Liang, the emperor caress the four cups in front of him and mutters “The gold cup can safeguard my borders, defeat invaders. The silver cup can govern and clean out the corrupt. The jade cup is generous and refined (crown prince).” Quickly figuring out who each of the cups represent, the emperor’s head eunuch asks with puzzlement who the ceramic cup represents. Holding the ceramic up in his hands, the emperor replies with a glint in his eyes “This one is useful too. But in my hand, she is just a sorceress. If I let go ever so slightly, then she will shatter into a million pieces.”
As Yuan Ling wisely foreseen, the emperor is furious when his desk is flooded with papers all proclaiming that Yuan Zhan is the emperor they want. Figuring out quite quickly that Yuan Ling must be the hand behind Yuan Zhan’s unanimous support, Qing Chen presses Yuan Ling for an answer on why he would do such a thing that is so unlike his character and in obvious disregard of brotherly affection.
Displeased, Yuan Ling explains that they have no idea what Yuan Zhan would do for the throne. Unconvinced, Qing Chen protests that having spent some time in Yuan Zhan’s house, she has gotten to know him well enough to know Yuan Zhan might look aloof but he is sentimental who cares deeply. Frustrated, Yuan Ling asks “Has he really never done anything like that (stab someone in the back for the throne) in the past? For the throne, he can do anything without caring for the cost.” Still clueless Yuan Ling already knows about the original time line, Qing Chen asks with concern “Has he really done something like that in the past?” Not answering Qing Chen’s question, Yuan Ling replies “It is best to plan ahead or else, when it happens it would be too late.” Still holding onto her faith in Yuan Zhan, Qing Chen firmly declares “I believe Yuan Zhan is not that sort of person.” His temper rising, Yuan Ling questions “You believe in him so much?” Looking Yuan Ling squarely in the eye, Qing Chen replies “I know him, I understand him, so I choose to believe him.” Unable to control his anger, Yuan Ling asks “Why do you know him, understand him and trust him but you can’t know me, understand me and trust me?! Instead, you are here interrogating me for his sake?” Surprised by Yuan Ling show of anger, Qing Chen apologizes “I don’t mean it like that. Neither of us is calm enough right now.” Letting out a breath of frustration, Yuan Ling stumps away after tossing out “Let’s discuss this another day!”
Only managing to walk a few steps before regret sets in, Yuan Ling turns around to go after Qing Chen but then suddenly doubles over in pain as he barely had time to cover his mouth so blood doesn’t come spilling out of him. Hit by a slight discomfort at the same moment, Qing Chen falls to the ground and her hand turns transparent for a few seconds.
Her heart sinking as she picks up Yuan Ling’s gift that lays on the ground broken, Qing Chen mutters “It was like this last time. The ring broke as well. Wait, something is not right. I must go ask Yuan Ling.” Quickly ducking out of sight when he sees Qing Chen starts heading his way but was stopped by Yuan Zhan’s timely appearance, Yuan Ling is forced to hold in his cries of agony while his body is wracked with pain.
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