The last two months have been pure and utterly torturous. My apologies to those who read my posts and expected more. I will be more fastidious in the coming months. Okay. So we let off with Yun Xi being taken away by the dowager empress and we open the episode with Yun Xi kneeling outside the Empress’s palace.
The Princess (the dowager’s daughter) wants to kill Yun Xi but the Empress says that she wants to use Yun Xi. But first, she wants to test how smart Yun Xi is and see if she can get herself out of her bind. The princess scoffs and says that Yun Xi isn’t a goddess, she doesn’t have that kind of ability. But we see that the little Empress (married to the Emperor) walks by and Yun Xi is able to capture the little girl’s attention, promising more fun if the little Empress can let the Dowager Empress release Yun Xi.
Sure enough, the little Empress, who doesn’t like to speak, get the Dowager’s attention and gets the old queen to release Yun Xi. We also find out that the little Empress is the Princess’s daughter, the queens grandaughter and thus the Emperor’s niece….did I mention that she is married to him too? A little bit too must intermixing for my taste, must be a royal family thing.
Anyways, the Dowager releases Yun Xi and gives her to the little Empress to act as maid. Just as Yun Xi says goodbye to Shen Er, they see the Emperor, who is with his favorite concubine. Shen Er tells Yun Xi that while she thought the emperor was just a lecherous young man, after seeing how he treats his favorite conubine, she finds him more attractive.
The Dowager and the Princess also sees the king’s favorite concubine in the palace, at first she decide to let her be. But when the concubine drops a hand stitched handkerchief, the queen suspects the concubine is actually a spy. Then she orders the king to be confined to the little Empress’s palace, so as to ensure that they can have an heir by the little empress. This is how the Emperor and Yun Xi first meets. The emperor is disgusted by his mother and sister’s insistence for him and his little niece to get together. The poor little girls is scared witless by her uncle. He tells her that she should never be afraid of him, that he does want to commit any kind of heinous crimes anyway.
later that night, after the emperor tells the little empress a story about how miserable and controlled he is, he tries to leave her place and go to his favorite concubine’s place. Yun Xi aids him in doing so by putting him in a eunuch outfit so that he may leave without anyone knowing.
The Dowage of course is very please that the emperor his been staying at the little Empress’s palace. Yun Xi carefully says that the Emperor has been coming without saying that he was staying. But of course the favorite concubine comes in to do morning greetings, she does it so rudely that the Dowager goes to punish her for her insolence. The favorite concubine says that she’s pregnant, and thus the truth comes out about the Emperor sneaking out.
The dowager goes on to punish Yun Xi for her part, but the little Empress speaks for the first time and begs for Yun Xi’s life. Yun Xi is punished but escapes with her life. The dowager warns Yun Xi to stop helping others and to watch out for herself, and that let it be a lesson. Then a few days later, the Dowager orders for the death of the favorite concubine.
Yun Xi finds the Emperor looking shattered over the death of his concubine. Yun Xi comforts him and begins to talk with him while other royal concubines try to make trouble between Yun Xi and the little Empress. They say that Yun Xi is an opportunistic shrew who only is close to the little empress because Yun Xi wants to get close to the emperor. The little Empress doesn’t give a damn about the load of bull, and doesn’t care if Yun Xi gets together with her royal uncle/husband or not. She also doesn’t get why everyone is trying to get with her uncle.
Yun Xi thinks about the favors the Emperor shows to her and the rumors about her and the Emperor. She realizes that she could be the next concubine to die because the Emperor is nice to her. She could very well be the next one assasinated. She she goes and offers her body to him, saying that while she can’t refuse him, all she wants to do is to live simply and happily. She begs him to stop showing her any more favor. He says he understands and covers her up, promising that until he has the power to protect her, he won’t touch her.
Soon the Emperor begins to sleep around and picks his concubines for the night by making them draw straws.
This incenses the Dowager. She asks him why he is like this and he tells her that he is a worthless king, one who is controlled by her. She is truly confused and says that all she had done was for him (talk about overbearing asian mothers). He tells her that he truly loved the dead concubine. His mother pulls out the handkerchief that the concubine dropped as evidence of her being a spy, saying that the handkerchief, with its weird embroidery was proof that she was using secret code for the enemies.