I think the dynamic between the emperor and Yun Xi is so sad. I can’t say that he’s a hottie but he isn’t ugly either. The actor manages to be appealing and unappealing at times. There are moments where I want to throw myself at him and then there are moments where his face goes blank and he looks as if he’s going to die.
Yun Xi and Xue Yuan goes back to the Little Empress’s palace. They see that per the dowager’ orders, the maids and eunuch are all being slaughtered. Yun Xi faints in shock. She realizes that she wasn’t able to protect Shen Er and cries bitterly. The Emperor comes for her secretly and comforts her. He explains that he owes her a favor, so he’ll do anything for her.
The emperor is such an interesting character. He once had a brother who the Dowager tried to kill. In order to prevent his mother from killing his half brother, the emperor ate and slept in the same palace as his brother. The problem was that his brother tried to kill him. The emperor tells Yun Xi, “it’s so easy to remember someone, but it may take a lifetime to forget them.” They dance to forget their sorrows.
Yun Xi is taking care of the Little Empress and the maid comes in with some pregnancy medication for the little Empress. Due to the little girl’s faking of the pregnancy, Yun Xi dumps the medication. That’s when they discover that the medication is actually poison. Yun Xi finds out that the concubine whose pregnancy coincides with the little empress’s was the culprit. Yun Xi takes her some medication, telling her that the Little Empress wanted to give the concubine some medication to help the baby. The concubine is scared witless because she knows that there is poison in the medicine. Yun Xi tells the story of how a evil concubine drank her own medicine because she was trying to poison the wife of her husband. The concubine is shaken by the story, and its clear that she will never try something like this again.
When the concubine is ready to give birth, Yun Xi goes into action. She tells the little Empress to start faking contractions which she gets all the palace doctors to come and await the little empress instead of the concubine. The dowager’s right hand woman comes to the concubine, who is confused by the turn of events. The concubine gives birth successfully but is then ordered to die by the Dowager. The child would be raised by the little Empress, who at her age is not able to give birth and so must use someone else’s baby. Yun Xi had orginally planned the “adoption” to save the concubine and her child, whom the dowager was going to kill.
The concubine struggles with the strangler’s cord as the Dowager’s woman tells her that her son could be Emperor, only if she dies. She realizes the truth and slowly stops struggling. Yun Xi enters, moments after the woman’s death. She’s shocked but bade to quickly get the child out of there before they are discovered.
The little empress and the emperor are overjoyed to see the little baby. But Yun Xi tells them that the concubine is dead, that it was her fault. The Emperor tries to strangle his child, saying, “I don’t want my child to live the life that I’m living, I’m a useless king and I don’t want the same miserable existence for my child” Yun Xi stops him, saying that the child has a right to live, otherwise the concubine would have died for naught
Meanwhile, the Dowager Empress is dealing with the Xiongnu problem. She’s trying to create a military code/ symbol that will allow her to call on all the troops of Han. She also remembers the concubine Bo Ji, who was destroyed her beauty in order to get her son and her out of the palace. The dowager tells her minister to find some gifts and go spy on the concubine and her son, the prince of Dai. She also orders to him to make the military symbol/code that will make all the troops of Han obey her whim.
When the minister (Lu Bu) goes to the Kingdom of Dai, he finds it to be in complete disarray. The Prince of Dai seems to be a sleazy character, and the Bo Ji seems to be a vicious queen who killed the concubine that was flirting with her son. Satisfied that the Prince of Dai was an idiot, Lu Bu goes on his way.
The problem is that the Prince of Dai is actually really smart, and he and his mother had created the whole scenario to fool Lu Bu. That way the report he takes to the Dowager will show the Prince of Dai to be harmless. Bo Ji also plans to steal the military code and help her son take over the Han Empire.