Concerned to get word that Mingyi Tower is under attack from the dark sorcerers, Qing Chen reluctantly listens to Yuan Zhan’s urging to leave him and go protect her people. Trapping the dark sorcerers behind a wall of ice, Qing Chen uses the sorcerer’s stone (the one Yuan Zhan gave her) to find out that her master is being imprisoned in Ding Shui’s place. Sending Elder Tao Yao ahead to rescue her master, Qing Chen stays behind to hold off the dark sorcerers but the sight of Prime Minister Feng charging in with guards caused her to realize escape is not possible anymore. Returning to where Yuan Zhan is just in time to save him from being killed by 9th Prince, Qing Chen turns around and attacks a surprised Yuan Zhan.
With no time to waste, Qing Chen quickly tells Yuan Zhan “Mingyi Tower is safe, but now you need let to let Prime Minister Feng and everyone else see that you have nothing to do with me.” Urgently, Yuan Zhan asks “Why do we need to do that?” Still holding the pose that she is about to attack Yuan Zhan, Qing Chen explains “Prime Minister Feng conspired with 9th Prince and have led the army here. It’s hopeless for me right now but if you are pulled in as well, then none of us can escape. Eyes red with emotion, Yuan Zhan asks in frustration “Why did you come back?!”
Not bothering to answer Yuan Zhan’s question, Qing Chen spins Yuan Zhan around and whispers “Remember my words. Protect yourself.”
Ignoring Yuan Zhan’s urgent whisper of “No!” Qing Chen uses her power to force Yuan Zhan to plunge his sword right into her. Using the last moment they have together, Qing Chen whispers “Only if you are safe then can we have hope later.” Steadying his churning emotions, Yuan Zhan declares loudly “Take this sorceress away and we will hand her to the emperor to do what he will!”
Seemingly accepting 9th Prince’s flowery explanation of how he was forced to fake his own death out of his desire to gather enough evidence to prove Qing Chen’s identity as a sorceress, the emperor lets 9th Prince off the off the hook but then orders his men to make sure the crown prince (who is obviously not the crown prince anymore but for the sake of ease, I am just going to keep referring to him as the crown prince) doesn’t find out 9th Prince is still alive. (The emperor doesn’t fully explain his reasons but I am guessing he didn’t want the crown prince to get all riled up over that fact that his brother who caused the death of the woman he loved is alive and well.) Thoughtful when the crown prince requests that he be put in charge of the transportation of food to the battlefield, the emperor decides that sending the crown prince off while 9th Prince is still around might be for the best.
An interesting tidbit is that from the crown prince and the emperor’s conversation it looks like the emperor has never changed his mind that his eldest son should be the next emperor…despite his elaborate show of trying to decide between our two male leads. Looking at the crown prince with all the tenderness of a father, the emperor says “I know to you, this palace is like a prison. But even so, you still need to come back safely because my son needs to live in the prison I drew for him. The world I worked so hard to obtain has to be inherited by you.”
Realizing quickly that someone had entered into her dream to seek the whereabouts of Elder Xi Xie, Ding Shui decides she is running out of time and goes to kill her prisoner. Fortunately, as always, Ding Shui wastes too much time waxing poetic about her bitterness against everyone and gave Elder Mo the time he needed to rescue Elder Xi Xie.
Blissfully ignorant of what our heroine is going through, Yuan Ling is busy protecting his new wife and her country. (Oops, did that sound bitter? Ha, I guess our heroine did risk her life protecting another man too… But for some reason, Yuan Ling’s interaction with Princess Duo Xia is bugging me a lot more.) Furious that all his lovely plan is easily smashed by Yuan Ling brilliantly using him to relay false information to the enemy army, Mu Kesha finally broke with Princess Duo Xia and rallies the other tribal leads to stage a rebellion.
Glowing triumphantly as he stares at Qing Chen kneeling in front of him in shackles, the emperor ignores 9th Prince and Prime Minister’s attempt to blame everything on Yuan Ling AND Yuan Zhan. Vowing to wipe out all of the sorcerers that are hiding in the palace, the emperor orders Yuan Zhan to be in charge of questioning Qing Chen. His expression grave as his man informs him of the emperor’s decision, Yuan Zhan makes a vow of his own “She protected me with total disregard of her own life. I will not allow her and Mingyi Tower to be harmed one bit.”
While Yuan Zhan is putting all his energy into trying to figure out a way to save Qing Chen, the overly confident Imperial Concubine Yin is once again charging ahead and creating trouble for her son. Certain that she knows the emperor the best, Imperial Concubine Yin still believes Yuan Ling with his military might is her son’s biggest threat and accordingly tries to convince the emperor to send Yuan Zhan into the battlefield to replace Yuan Ling as the general. Well aware what Imperial Concubine Yin is after, the emperor angrily walks off after Imperial Concubine Yin declares that she will kneel on the floor until the emperor grants her request. Rushing to the palace at the emperor’s summon, Yuan Zhan soothes the emperor’s anger by insisting that Yuan Ling is the best choice as the general. Putting on the air of an attentive father, the emperor asks Yuan Zhan for his opinion on who should be the new crown prince. Treading carefully, Yuan Zhan replies right away that whoever his father chooses as the crown prince will be the right person and he, as an obedient son will fully support the emperor’s decision. Pleased by Yuan Zhan’s response, the emperor rewards him by giving Yuan Zhan the control over the military that guards the capital. (Which I am assuming will come in quite handy when it comes time to rescue Qing Chen.)
Walking back to the room where his mother is still kneeling, Yuan Zhan informs Imperial Concubine Yin that the emperor has asked him to come up with the punishment for his mother’s attempt to interfere in state affairs. (There is actually a law that says the emperor’s wives could not interfere in politics.) Expressionless as Yuan Zhan orders that she be confined to her quarters and not be allowed to see the emperor unless summoned, Imperial Concubine Yin listens calmly to her son’s heartfelt explanation “Mother, this was the best I could do to protect you.” Looking up at Yuan Zhan, Imperial Concubine Yin replies “In your heart, you could never learn to be ruthless.”
Dismayed when he is informed that Princess Duo Xia has left the protection of the city wall to go confront Mu Kesha, Yuan Ling is ready to run after the princess. Alarmed that his brother is about to charge right into the enemy territory even knowing that Mu Kesha would love to kill him, the 11th Prince sheepishly confesses to Yuan Ling that because he had promised Qing Chen to keep Yuan Ling safe so he had his men keep tabs on Princess Duo Xia …just in case. Relieved and offended at the same time, Yuan Ling yells “So you are even going around behind my back now?!” Giving Yuan Ling a placating smile, 11th Prince explains “We are on someone else’s turf so it was just a cautionary action. Moreover, keeping tabs on the princess is protecting her at the same time as well…isn’t it?” Taking a deep breath after 11th Prince promises again that his man will send an alert back as soon as possible if Princess Duo Xia is in trouble, Yuan Ling finally agrees to stay put for the time being.
Princess Duo Xia storms into Mu Kesha’s tent just in time to catch her once trusted friend celebrating with her country’s mortal enemy Xiao Ji. Laughing with bitterness when Duo Xia promises to forgive and forget if he would just stop his rebellion, Mu Kesha instead offers to go kill Xiao Ji that very moment (Xiao Ji had left by this point) if Duo Xia would leave Yuan Ling and marry him. Staring at her childhood friend with tears down her face, Duo Xia replies proudly “Do you think I am someone who would marry a traitor who betrayed his country and people?!” Staring right back at Duo Xia, Mu Kesha replies “No, you wouldn’t. But that’s not important to me. I want you to remember, there was once a man named Mu Kesha who would do anything for you. Only this way, will you remember me forever.” Pleading with Mu Kesha one more time, Duo Xia asks him to stop. Turning away from Duo Xia, Mu Kesha vows “Unless the princess does as I asked then this land will be covered with blood with no recourse.” Taking a deep breath, Duo Xia replies “Fine. Since it has come to this, we will meet on the battlefield!” Turning his head to look deeply into Duo Xia’s eyes, Mu Kesha says in a tender voice “I will wait for you.”
Staring right back at Duo Xia, Mu Kesha replies “No, you wouldn’t. But that’s not important to me. I want you to remember, there was once a man named Mu Kesha who would do anything for you. Only this way, will you remember me forever.” Pleading with Mu Kesha one more time, Duo Xia asks him to stop. Turning away from Duo Xia, Mu Kesha vows “Unless the princess does as I asked then this land will be covered with blood with no recourse.” Taking a deep breath, Duo Xia replies “Fine. Since it has come to this, we will meet on the battlefield!” Turning his head to look deeply into Duo Xia’s eyes, Mu Kesha says in a tender voice “I will wait for you.” There are moments I am tempted to feel sympathetic towards Mu Kesha…but to plunge his own country into war and into the hands of a greedy enemy country for his selfish desires? That, is unforgivable.
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