Suspecting something is terribly wrong as she holds her broken bracelet, Qing Chen rushes off to find Yuan Ling but is waylaid by Yuan Zhan calling her name. Hiding out of sight, our poor hero suppresses his moan of pain as Qing Chen and Yuan Zhan have a heart to heart talk.
Sighing, Qing Chen tells the ever attentive Yuan Zhan “Perhaps we’ve overestimated ourselves. Thinking is one thing, but when you actually do it, it is something entirely different. It is difficult to describe the feeling of watching someone you like marrying someone else. Plus, in a few days, they will go to the battlefield together. Princess Duo Xia can stand proudly by his side, while I might never have that chance. Lately, I keep wondering between the waves of danger of being with me or peaceful beauty of being without me, which is better for him.” Smiling gently, our ever perfect male second lead assures “The 4th brother I know would choose the first one. Moreover, if it is 4th brother, I have faith that he could calm the waves to give you the peaceful beauty.”
Listening on the conversation, Yuan Ling wonders to himself “Was Qing Chen correct after all? Yuan Zhan is no longer the calculating and power hungry person he was before?”
The preparation for war is pushed up when Yuan Zhan gets news that Xiao Ji’s army has already taken two of Duo Xia’s strongholds in one day. With no time left, Yuan Ling orders his army to be ready to head out the next day. Dismayed when Yuan Ling’s body suddenly goes limp for a moment, Yuan Zhan worriedly asks “4th brother, are you alright?”
Waving aside Yuan Zhan’s question, Yuan Ling instead looks at him earnestly and says “Qing Chen spends her day right by the emperor and that means she is in grave danger. In this whole town, you are the only one that can protect her. I hope you can promise me.” Not surprised by Yuan Ling’s request, Yuan Zhan asks “4th brother wants me to keep Qing Chen safe.” Receiving a firm affirmative from Yuan Ling, Yuan Zhan then asks “Does 4th brother trust me?” After a moment of looking right into Yuan Zhan’s eyes, Yuan Ling nods. Reassured by Yuan Ling’s response, Yuan Zhan replies “Rest assured 4th brother. But you should also remember, the only wish Qing Chen has right now is for your triumphant return.” Walking away, Yuan Ling thinks to himself “This time, I will not only protect Qing Chen, but I will also NOT let us brothers turn against one another.”
The next morning, Yuan Ling and Princess Duo Xia dressed in their full battle gear set out with their army. Rushing through town to catch the last glimpse of Yuan Ling, a teary and disappointed Qing Chen stands staring at the city gate when she proves to be too late. His heart softening at the sight of Qing Chen standing so forlornly, 12th Prince comforts her “Don’t worry. 4th brother did it on purpose. The emperor is watching you closely. The colder he is to you, the safer you will be.” Pulling out of her sadness, Qing Chen replies “I know. He sent me a letter.” Remembering her jade bracelet, Qing Chen takes it out to show 12th Prince and becomes suspicious right away when he yelps “How did it get like this?!” Realizing promptly he is in trouble, 12th Prince tries to pretend ignorance but of course our heroine would have none of it. Fortunately for 12th Prince, he and Qing Chen are soon distracted by the presence of 9th Prince. Surprised to see 9th Prince had forcefully practiced the art of dark sorcery, Qing Chen realizes that 9th Prince is determined to seek revenge even at the cost of his own life.
Finally confirming with Elder Mo that the strange sickness among the palace maids had indeed been the work of a dark sorcerer, Qing Chen and Elder Mo decide to go on the offense by making sure the mysterious dark sorcerer would be poisoned the next time he/she tries to extract energy from the palace maids.
Fully aware that there must be a mole among them in order for the enemy army to move so swiftly through Duo Xia’s strongholds, Yuan Ling is very tight lipped about his attack plan…much to the frustration of Mu Kesha, Duo Xia’s right hand man. Ready for some painful scenes between our hero and female second lead?
Taking a moment to admire the flowers in Princess Duo Xia’s homeland that she is named after, Yuan Ling muses “Flower that’s fiery red like the sun rays. It is indeed beautiful.” Her heart heavy at the thought of the difficult fight ahead of them, Duo Xia turns to Yuan Ling and says “I want you to promise me. If the time comes and we really can’t win, then abandon the city and leave. Maybe this is the fate of my country.” Shaking his head, Yuan Ling replies “I don’t believe in fate. The heavens have their will but I believe people are the ones that make the fate.” Still worried, Duo Xia presses “You have already fulfilled your promise by marrying me and coming to battle with me. That is enough for me.” With a sigh, Yuan Ling says “Sometimes I really wish you would be more greedy. Even if this marriage is a promise between us, but as your friend, I hope I can do more for you. In my heart, you are a very special woman. I hope you know, we not only have a marriage promise between us, but we also have a relationship that’s built through fighting alongside one another.”
Putting her hand around Duo Xia’s shoulders, Yuan Ling promises “This battle, I am by your side to the end.” Patting Duo Xia gently on the head, Yuan Ling assures “Don’t worry.” Ah!!!!! Someone kick our hero in the shin! He is just making it impossible for Duo Xia to not fall deeper in love with him!!! Oh, there is also another painful bit where Yuan Ling declares to his army “Stay close to Princess Consort and make sure she is safe!” Breaking out into a smile, Duo Xia walks up to Yuan Ling and says “Do you think your Princess Consort needs protection?”
Spotting the token Mu Kesha has left behind for the enemy army, a teary Duo Xia tells Yuan Ling that his suspicion has proven to be correct. Comforting Princess Duo Xia, Yuan Ling reminds her that they could now use Mu Kesha to relay false information to the enemy army. Successfully using Mu Kesha to trick Xiao Ji into believing that his army is attacking elsewhere, Yuan Ling helps 11th Prince to retake a stronghold without losing a single soldier.
(My favorite part was when 11th Prince uses the women and children from Xiao Ji’s country to sing to the enemy army, causing all their soldier to miss their loved ones and losing any will to fight. The next morning, Xiao Ji’s general wakes up to find a bunch of their soldiers had deserted and was forced to abandon the town.)
Believing that apparently EVERYONE wants her son to be the crown prince, Imperial Concubine Yin eagerly talks up Yuan Zhan in front of the emperor, completely clueless that she is just adding fuel to the emperor’s ire against Yuan Zhan. (There is a bit in episode 45 where Imperial Concubine Yin happily tells Yuan Zhan that he will be the next crown prince. Yuan Zhan knew right away that he has landed on his father’s naughty list but doesn’t bother to pop his mother’s happiness.)
Weakened by the poison Elder Mo had transferred to her via the palace maids, Ding Shui’s spell that imprisons Qing Chen’s master gave away just enough for Elder Xi Xie to send his butterfly out. Overjoyed to see her master’s butterfly, Qing Chen promptly sends a message to Elder Tao Yao to let her know the good news.
Well aware where the poison came from, Ding Shui goes on the attack and kills all the palace maids that were healed by Elder Mo’s medicine. Laying weakly on the bed, Ding Shui tells the emperor that she along with all the palace maids were poisoned by Elder Mo. Furious to hear that Elder Mo was a sorcerer as well, the emperor orders his men to capture Elder Mo AND Qing Chen.
Alarmed when he gets word of the emperor’s orders, Yuan Zhan quickly enters into the palace and whisks Qing Chen away. Pleased that everything is going her way, Ding Shui sends her bat to 9th Prince and tells him to intercept Qing Chen and Yuan Zhan so he could accuse Yuan Zhan of being the mastermind behind the sorcerers. Laughing triumphantly, Ding Shui declares “Mingyi Tower and Sacred Sorceress…from today, no one will remember you anymore!”
Surprised to see his 9th brother back from the dead when he gets ready to confront the assassins that have stopped his carriage, Yuan Zhan says “You faked your own death, hid the fact you are alive to achieve a grand plan. I guess you are here for me.” Doing his best evil laugh, 9th Prince declares that Yuan Zhan is not his only target but that he plans to hand Qing Chen over to the emperor as a gift as well. Quite pleased with himself, 9th Prince continues “I see 7th brother is very nervous about this sorceress. You knew a long time ago of her identity. I wonder what father would think when he finds out that you snuck into the palace and helped her escape?”
Not about to stand by while Yuan Zhan is blamed for her sake, Qing Chen says “Nothing happened today has anything to do with 7th Prince.” Sneering, 9th Prince counters “Everyone saw you escaping with 7th brother. It will not be so easily ignored!” Pulling out his sword as 9th Prince orders his men to capture Qing Chen, Yuan Zhan yells “Who dares!”
Sigh… I am afraid this is going to be the week of pairing off our two leads with second leads…
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