I think what I love, nay, adore about this drama is that it’s a no holds barred, quick to the point drama that doesn’t make me want to strangle the emotionally stunted leads. I love that it’s not going to make me wait. Also – thank you my dear editor, elizaphantrex in advance.
We open to Lan Ling Wang (who is also called Si Ye, so from here out I’m going to call him Si Ye LLW for Lan Ling Wang), finding that one of his commanders Xu Da was kidnapped by the kingdom of Zhou (which Si Ye’s kingdom of Qi is at war with).
Meanwhile Xue Wu finds that Si Ye had left his mask at her place, the mask which he had told her helped him to become braver and act like a warrior on the battlefield. Xue Wu remembers her grandmother’s words about Si Ye being fated to die within the year, even though he will be one of the best warriors history has ever seen. Xue Wu decides that even if she might not be able to change his fate, she will do her best to help him be brave on the battlefield. She leaves the confines of the village in search of Si Ye LLW to give him back the mask.
Xu Da (the kidnapped commander from Si Ye’s fortress) is busy taunting his kidnappers while being tortured.
We learn that Xu Da’s execution is in a day in the city of Dan Zhou. Meanwhile Xu Da’s father is at Si Ye’s fortress, worried sick for his son but knowing that duty and honor prevent himself from leading a rescue. Xue Da’s father is a high ranking general, and though he knows that Si Ye is planning a rescue, he also forbids Si Ye from doing so. He acknowledges that his son is important, but Si Ye is even more important to the army and Xu Da’s father cannot justify losing good men even to rescue his son. He says that if Si Ye tries to go and rescue Xu Da then he, as Xu Da’s father, will commit suicide in front of Si Ye now.
Si Ye tells his men to prepare secretly. He grew up with Xu Da and is willing to go into the enemy’s country to rescue his friend and comrade.
Meanwhile in the Kingdom of Zhou we learn from the Zhou Queen and General Yu Shi Jiong, who captured Xu Da, that Xu Da’s execution is a trap for Lan Ling Wang (Si Ye). Since Lan Ling Wang never shows his face in battle and always wears a mask, it will be a good opportunity for them to finally learn what he looks like. Ever since Lan Ling Wang became commander, the Kingdom of Zhou has lost every battle to the Kingdom of Qi whenever Lan Ling Wang led the troops. They are sure that he will come for his friend.
The Queen tells Commander Yu Shi Jiong not to miss this opportunity to capture and kill Lan Ling Wang. Her husband the King (Yu Wen Yong) is actually not in Zhou, but at his Queen’s Father’s court in a neighboring kingdom, trying to raise troops. If they kill Lan Ling Wang, then the Queen’s father will give Zhou Kingdom more troops. Commander Yu Shi Jiong assures the Queen that they’re going to trap Lan Ling Wang in the city and kill him.
Xue Wu arrives in a border city where she realizes that she doesn’t have any money. She is rescued from a belligerent man who bumped into her by Han Xiao Dong (who we will call Xiao Dong from now on).
Xiao Dong asks if she has any friends in town, and if not then he’ll be her friend. Xiao Dong treats her nicely and even takes her to an inn where he buys her dinner. She asks about him and he reveals that he’s always trying to make extra money to take care of his sick grandmother, who can’t see at night.
Xue Wu smiles happily and says she knows a cure, and gives him some medicine. For a moment Xiao Dong looks troubled.
When the food arrives Xue Wu happily gulps down the milk, she falls asleep instantly. Xiao Dong whispers that he’s sorry, but he has to earn money.
It turns out that he, the inn keepers wife and the inn keeper have an agreement where Xiao Dong takes out of town girls to their establishment where they drug them and sell the girls to brothels. Xiao Dong looks troubled but leaves once he gets his money. (E: Well, I guess at least he looks troubled. Laaame.)
Xue Wu wakes up and realizes that she is locked up with a bunch of other girls. She and the girls are tied and they tell her that they will be sold shortly. An De Wang and Si Ye LLW arrive at the same inn. An De Wang asks Si Ye if they can really buy a girl at this inn. Si Ye replies they will be able to find some here, and these girls are probably ones who no one knows about, so they won’t be found out; they need to hurry because they need to go forward with their rescue plan.
They go in and tell the innkeeper the story that they are looking to buy a girl, one to be a concubine for Si Ye, whose father is ill. By buying a girl and marrying her they can bring luck and fortune to the family. (There is such an ancient tradition but more on that later.)
Xue Wu is busy thinking of ways to escape. First she cuts the girl’s ropes with the shards of a jar she broke.
Then she realizes that they can escape through the window, which has several bars of iron blocking the way. Xue Wu takes a long wet cloth and a piece of wood and shows the girls that through twisting the wood and cloth around two bars, she makes a big enough hole for the girls to slip through.
Just as An De Wang and Si Ye walk into the girl’s prison, Xue Wu has gotten all the girls free except for herself. The Innkeeper pulls her back and is tying her up again when the men walk in. An De Wang sees what Xue Wu did and says in a kind of awed voice, “What a really smart girl.”
Si Ye remarks that he knew of a girl who would do the exact same thing, she was really smart too.
The the innkeeper shows Si Ye the girl, who turns out to be Xue Wu. She says “It’s You..” and Si Ye immediately buys her to keep the innkeeper from beating her for releasing the girls. Si Ye tells the innkeeper’s wife to make Xue Wu pretty; he’ll have her tonight.
Cut to Xue Wu trying to open her ropes with her teeth. Si Ye totters in drunk and Xue Wu is outraged at his buying her. He shows her a table full of jewels and tells her that she can have all these pretty and expensive things.
She scoffs and tells him that she doesn’t want it. He asks if she’s been stuck in a village for too long; all the things are very valuable. She tells him that she’s wrong to trust him. He smiles drunkenly and tells her since his father is very sick, and since he is good son, Si Ye is going to marry a girl and have lots of sons to give good luck to his father and his family. He says that since he owes her one for rescuing his horse, he’ll repay her. Si Ye grabs Xue Wu and pulls her onto the bed and howls”Let’s have a taste of you!”
Xue Wu conks him out with a wash basin, and says, “Grandma says that you are supposed to be an amazing hero, but you’re just a pervert!” She kicks him and climbs out the window.
However on her way out she sees assassins planning to take Si Ye’s life. Even though she’s mad at him and wants to leave him to his demise, she reasons that he’s probably not that bad; he just wants a kid that’s all. She turns around and crawls back into the room to rescue him, saying “I must own you something in my past life, you idioit.”
She tries to wake him up or move him but he turns out to be too heavy. When the attackers come in, they get cold water thrown at them.
They go into the room and trip on a trap Xue Wu made, falling and breaking the table. Xue Wu grabs one of the swords and tells them to take the jewels and leave. Here is a translation of a hilarious scene.
Masked Men: If you leave now, we won’t kill you
Xue Wu (in a wail): I was going to leave, but I came back because I wanted to rescue him. Please, just take the jewels and leave
Masked Men: Stop talking! Aren’t you afraid to die?
Xue Wu: I am! but I can’t watch someone die!
Masked Men: I’ve never met such a girl who’ll die for a stranger.
The masked man gets ready to draw his sword and Si Ye gets up, telling them enough. He asks one of the masked men if Xue Wu isn’t one of the bravest and most loyal girls he’s ever met.
An De Wang unmasks and agrees. She asks if all this was a ruse to fool her. Si Ye bows to her in apology but says that they needed to do this.They needed to test her to see if she was capable. It’s all because they need someone to help with their plan. They need a smart girl because they are heading to Zhou Kingdom to rescue their comrade tomorrow.
Xue Wu hesitates and admits she only came to return the mask Si Ye left. She should get back or else Grandmother will be worried. An De Wang replies that Si Ye had just rescued Xue Wu from the innkeepers, shouldn’t she help them as well? Si Ye asks Xue Wu if she wants to see Lan Ling Wang, who she really admires. Si Ye’s friends look at each other in confusion (because Si Ye is Lan Ling Wang, only Xue Wu doesn’t know this fact). She says she really does and Si Ye promises that if Xue Wu helps him, she will get to see him. Xue Wu decides that since they are doing such a dangerous thing to help their friend, she will help them too. She smiles and realizes that she could meet Lan Ling Wang.
She asks what did they need her to do. Si Ye replies, “I need you to marry me.”
Si Ye and An De Wang go downstairs and talk about their plan, which is to get into the city by disguising themselves as a wedding party and rescue Xu Da. They talk to the inn keepers, telling them that Si Ye wants to marry Xue Wu in a celebratory fashion, so they need to help prepare the necessary things, such as palanquins, musicians and such. They will be leaving for the Zhou kingdom, for the city of Dan Zhou (where Xu Da’s execution is).
Si Ye also forces them to stop selling girls and do good deeds for the poor under the pain of death, which is very sweet of him. He also tells them to go and make his new bride pretty for her wedding day tomorrow. Si Ye worries for Xue Wu, saying that they kind of sprung this on her way too suddenly.
Thoughts: Fake weddings, kidnappings, funny rescues. This show has it all and I’ve loved every second of this episode. What makes this show so good is that it doesn’t make you wait, it gives everything and in so much detail and goodness. Also, regarding the marriage tradition, typically in china there is a huge belief in Luck. By marrying when there is sickness in the family, they are trying to use good luck to chase the sickness out. Marriage is considered a joyous occasion and such ceremonies are also said to be lucky. Children, especially sons are considered very lucky, so this is why the cover story says that Si Ye is marrying Xue Wu for luck for his family.
I’ve watched to about episode 16 and it’s all really good up to that point. I hope and pray that they are not going to introduce some floozy to get between the two. Also, as a slight teaser, I LOVE the King of Zhou AKA YU WEN YONG. Daniel gives such a tour de force performance that every time he’s on the screen he takes my breathe away. How could you simultaneously hate, love, pity, adore, and commiserate with such a broken, but wonderful character? In some ways Daniel’s Yu Wen Yong seems like a bit of Captain Jack Sparrow mixed with sorrow, anguish, helplessness and devious ruthlessness. His performance is off the charts amazing. I’m loving the second lead like no one’s business right now. There is something that pulls and pushes your heart–you want him to be happy but understand why he’ll never truly achieve it. In many ways he’s the abandoned child who is forced to grow up too quickly, saw too much blood and horror, and decided to rule the world in a cold and calculated way. Yet, in the deepest cracks of his heart lives a sensitive soul who wants nothing but to love and be loved, and to see others happy.