Duo Xia comes back from her confrontation with Mu Kesha with grave reports to Yuan Ling about the severity of the situation they are in, especially since out of eight tribes only two were willing to stay loyal to her. After a moment of thought, Yuan Ling points out that without sufficient supplies, Xiao Ji’s army won’t be able to last much longer. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to our hero, the crown prince, with his precious supplies for Yuan Ling’s army is at that very moment walking right into a trap Xiao Ji has laid for him.
Dismayed when they get word of the crown prince being trapped by Xiao Ji’s army in an abandoned town, Duo Xi and 11th Prince urge Yuan Ling to go rescue the crown prince but Yuan Ling is worried that such action would put everything in jeopardy.
Worried about Qing Chen’s safety in the palace dungeon, Elder Mo voluntarily allows himself to be captured by 9th Prince. Proudly flaunting his accomplishment of capturing both Qing Chen and Elder Mo, 9th Prince pushes his father to formally indict his two brothers who were directly connected to Qing Chen. Narrowing his eyes, the emperor demands “One is leading the army fighting in the battlefield. Another is in charge of guarding the capital. What do you suggest I do to them?” Apparently having a hard time reading the cold anger in the emperor’s voice, 9th Prince confidently replies “I believe both of them could be replaced.” Furious, the emperor asks “To be replaced by you? One who would kill his own brother?! How could such a person lead an army or guard the capital?!”
Ready to toss aside the son he wasn’t too happy to have come back from the dead anyway, the emperor promptly orders 9th Prince to be demoted to a commoner and never be allowed to enter into the capital.
Staring at the broken jade bracelet Yuan Ling gave her, Qing Chen mutters “If I knew that would be the last time I saw him, I would’ve told him all that was in my heart.” Shaken by the thought of never seeing Yuan Ling again, Qing Chen frantically tries to use her power to break out of the prison cell but only managed to hurt herself even further. Assuring Qing Chen that Elder Tao Yao is doing all she can to rescue them, Elder Mo convinces Qing Chen to be patient.
Bothered by the legend of the two stars, the emperor shows up at the dungeon and tries to get Qing Chen to reveal which of his sons (Yuan Ling or Yuan Zhan) is the other star. His expression cold when Qing Chen taunts that the emperor is indeed without affection even to his own sons since he is willing to kill both of them just to be safe, the emperor replies that the road of an emperor has always been paved with skeletons.
Ready to use everything to save Qing Chen even if it means exposing all his hidden networks to the emperor thus endangering himself, Yuan Zhan is horrified when his man informs him that they are out of time since Qing Chen is set to be executed the very next day. Ignoring the illness that has been plaguing him (since the last few episodes), Yuan Zhan rushes to the palace but was barred from seeing the emperor.
Unable to do anything but kneel on the ground until the emperor grants him an audience, Yuan Zhan’s pale face brightens with hope when 12th Prince tells him that he has a way a save Qing Chen. Piling on his charm, 12th Prince convinces the emperor to let him visit Qing Chen in the dungeon so he could say goodbye to her. Increasingly weak especially after being wounded by 9th Prince during interrogation, Qing Chen looks up with alarm when she hears Yuan Zhan’s worried voice calling her name. Filled with panic that Yuan Zhan’s presence would just further prove his connection to her, Qing Chen frantically tries to push Yuan Zhan out of her cell but finally calms down when Yuan Zhan says “Qing Chen, listen to me. I have my way of getting out. The important thing right now is getting both you and Elder Mo out because father will kill you tomorrow.”
Shaking her head anxiously when Yuan Zhan continues to explain 12th Prince’s plan of switcharoo, Qing Chen protests that it would be too dangerous for Yuan Zhan and 12th Prince once the emperor finds out. Taking Qing Chen by the shoulder, Yuan Zhan says earnestly “My heart will only rest if you are safe. Elder Tao Yao is waiting for you outside. When you escape, go find 4th brother. With 4th brother around, no one will harm you one bit.” Unless he is too busy protecting another woman… Sigh, we better have some sweet scenes between our two leads next week or I am going to keep sounding like a bitter old woman.
The next morning, much to Prime Minister’s shock, he finds two very “confused” princes waking up in the dungeon. Not amused when Yuan Zhan and 12th Prince proclaim in unison of their ignorance of how they ended up in the dungeon when the last thing they remembered was going home after visiting Qing Chen, the emperor punishes his sons by relieving them of their duties and forbidding them from leaving their houses. I love the part where Prime Minister Feng rolled his eyes after listening to Yuan Zhan’s story.
With no time left to waste after getting word of Xiao Ji AND Mu Kesha’s army heading the crown prince’s way, Yuan Ling makes the decision to rescue his brother with a small number of his best men. Feeling responsible for everything that has happened, Princess Duo Xia is determined to not put Yuan Ling in danger and instead sneaks off on her own to meet with Mu Kesha again. Thoughtful when Princess Duo Xia promises to marry him in exchange of him pulling his army away from the crown prince AND retaking all the territories that were lost to Xiao Ji, Mu Kesha eventually agrees to Princess Duo Xia’s suggestion.
Placing his trust in Princess Duo Xia even when 11th Prince asks with concern why Princess Duo Xia would sneak out at night to meet with their enemy, Yuan Ling listens quietly as Duo Xia assures him that Mu Kesha has promised her to pull his army out of the crown prince’s location.
While our hero is having moments such as this one:
Our heroine is busy escaping from prison only to fall into danger again when Ding Shui sets them up for another death trap. Ready to sacrifice herself to save Qing Chen when 9th Prince shows up with the dark sorcerers followed by the emperor’s army, Elder Tao Yao uses the sorcerer’s stone to transport both Qing Chen and Ming Yan to the battlefield where Yuan Ling is at.
Arriving only in time to catch a dying Elder Tao Yao in his arms, Elder Xi Xie cries silently as Elder Tao Yao mutters her regret that she wasn’t able to leave a dream for him. (Remember the dream Elder Xi Xie was able to leave Tao Yao in the original timeline because he had a few days’ time to prepare before he died… This poor couple. Their ending was even worse in this timeline. At least in the original timeline, Tao Yao was able to spend a few days with Xi Xie before he died. I have no idea how, but I sure hope they will get their happy ending eventually. The third time is a charm, right?)
Taking too long to gloat once again as she gets ready to kill a grieving Elder Xi Xie, Ding Shui gave Elder Mo just enough time to show up and fight her off. Sending her bat to figure out who had overheard her conversation with Elder Xi Xie that had contained vital information such as her identity and who Yuan Ling’s real father is, Ding Shui laughs with amusement once she realizes 9th Prince was the one and mutters “Oh, so it was him. It looks like the game for the throne is going to be an entertaining show!”
Instinctively reaching for the sorcerer’s stone to go back to save Elder Tao Yao the moment she arrives at her destination, Qing Chen’s hand is stopped by Ming Yan who reminds her that the sorcerer’s stone is exhausted for the time being and moreover, if they went back then her master’s sacrifice would’ve been for nothing. Her heart breaking at the thought that Elder Tao Yao might not have even seen her master whom she waited so long for before she died, Qing Chen sobs out loud in grief as the appearance of the flower confirms that Elder Tao Yao has indeed sacrificed her life to save her.
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