~ Qin Chuan starts her search for the Spiritual Lamp but keeps bumping into Jiu Yun ~
Jiu Yun keeps watch outside while the master of Xiang Qu Mountain absorbs the Spiritual Lamp’s power. Once the master was done, Jiu Yun enters the cave and the master tells him that he didn’t have to stand guard in the future because he was confident that he wouldn’t end up straying like Jiu Yun’s teacher, the power he absorbed each time was balanced. Jiu Yun then reminds him of the White River Dragon King’s impending visit and the master replies that he had known the Dragon King for a long time. The Dragon King’s motive for this visit was to verify the rumours he had heard about the master’s improved skills and also because he covets the treasures at Xiang Qu Mountain. Not just the rare weapons, but the whole Xiang Qu Mountain. Later, the master refines the powers he had gathered from the Spiritual Lamp and helps Jiu Yun to seal the “two things” in his body. Without the two seals, Jiu Yun would have died a long time ago.
Three years ago, when Yan Yan was in hiding with her teacher, Yan Yan turned fifteen years of age. It was a Li Kingdom tradition that she would receive her hairpin and a true name from her elder. Yan Yan’s teacher does this coming-of-age rite for her, pinning her hair and naming her “Qin Chuan”. After a final confirmation that she was determined to find and light the Spiritual Lamp, he changed her appearance to that of her best friend and loyal maidservant, Ah Man.
Back in the present, Qin Chuan tucks Cui Ya into bed and sets out in search of the Spiritual Lamp, aided by a map that her teacher had given her. Following the map, she finds herself at a cave-like entrance but a seal had been placed on it so she magics a paper cat that farts the seal into non-existence. Meanwhile, the master was in the middle of helping Jiu Yun to seal the “two things” in his body when he sensed an outsider’s presence and hastened to complete the seal before questioning Jiu Yun about it. Jiu Yun doesn’t reply, only leaving with a small smirk on his face. Exiting the other end of the cave, Qin Chuan glances around as she walks and slips, ending up in someone’s embrace. Locked in a backhug and unable to escape, she immediately covers the lower half of her face, holding back the urge to glance behind her so as not to give away her identity. The person then spoke: “I’m late, do you blame me?”. It was Jiu Yun. He then caressed the side of her face before his hand travels down her arm, ending up around her waist. Qin Chuan fumbles for her pouch as Jiu Yun continues: “You smell so nice, can I kiss you?”, his hand was now on her chin, drawing her closer. Qin Chuan makes her move, stabbing him in the neck with an acupuncture needle laced with anaesthetic, struggling to push him away as she kept her face turned away from him. Before losing consciousness, Jiu Yun promises to find her. Without a backward glance, Qin Chuan flees towards the cave she had exited from minutes prior.
The next day, Jiu Yun was everywhere Qin Chuan went. He ‘happened’ to be playing a game of chess nearby when she was doing the laundry, ‘happened’ to be chatting with his female juniors when she was on her way to her next chore and ‘happened’ to be near the toilet when she was having a stomachache, even offering her a drink from his wine bottle. That night, Qin Chuan was awoken by Cui Ya when she called out Jiu Yun’s name in her sleep. Right after that, before she could settle back to sleep, a voice came from outside their room, announcing Jiu Yun’s arrival. Qin Chuan was then pulled along by Cui Ya to see that a crowd had formed around Jiu Yun who was peeling a single tangerine. Jiu Yun gestures for Cui Ya to step forward and she does so, pulling Qin Chuan along. Telling her that he had received celestial tangerines and immediately thought of them, Jiu Yun walks up to Cui Ya who shyly gives him a reply to the question he had previously asked her – Yes, he can kiss her. Like before, Qin Chuan keeps her eyes averted and Jiu Yun constantly threw her glances to gauge her reaction. He grabs Cui Ya’s chin and leans in, commenting that she smelt nice and Cui Ya nervously babbles that it was osmanthus oil from the store at the foot of the mountain, five coins per jin. Jiu Yun then tells Cui Ya to close her eyes and he leans in for a kiss but before their lips could touch, Qin Chuan grabs a needle from her pouch and stabs Cui Ya with it, causing her to faint immediately. Qin Chuan then makes a show of being worried for Cui Ya and wanting to be with her but is stopped by Jiu Yun, even ending up on his lap. Trapped, Qin Chuan could only go along with his request to check out her pouch, getting a peeled tangerine in return for the two taels of silver he had found inside her pouch and refused to return. Jiu Yun then goes on a tangent about how tangerines were evil – They could appear round and golden but conceal ill will inside. The skin was also too bitter to eat and the insides could also be rotten. The tangerine he had peeled, was it sweet or sour? With Jiu Yun’s expectant gaze on her, Qin Chuan tries a piece and immediately puckers her face but quickly forces a smile, telling him that it was sweet.
The next morning, Qin Chuan dumps three bottles of osmanthus oil in her hair, much to Cui Ya’s confusion because the higher ups disliked the scent. Cui Ya then laments that Jiu Yun must’ve not kissed her after smelling her scalp, beating herself up about having fainted twice. Cui Ya then mentions hearsay that Qin Chuan had been closer to Jiu Yun in the recent days and she replies with a small smile, saying that they will soon be distant. Summoned by Jiu Yun again, Qin Chuan greets him before squatting down right in front of him, pretending to admire the flowers as she positions the top of her head right by his nose. Seeing her apparent interest in the flowers, Jiu Yun offers to pluck one for her but Qin Chuan immediately distances herself, thanking him for his care but confessing that she had something to tell him. Nonchalantly, Jiu Yun plucks a flower and sticks it in her hair, giving her the go ahead. Qin Chuan then makes up a story about coming to Xiang Qu Mountain to look for Dou Dou, her childhood sweetheart that came to the mountain to cultivate when he was sixteen. At that moment, Er Meng runs over, hollering and rambling that his name wasn’t Dou Dou, it was Er Meng. When Qin Chuan asks him to greet Jiu Yun, he scans him for a moment before deciding that he wasn’t important and continues speaking to Qin Chuan, telling her that he didn’t think that she would disclose their relationship, promising to treat her well. Qin Chuan quickly stops him and asks him to leave, saying that she had something important to tell Jiu Yun.
When they were alone again, Jiu Yun asks her to repeat everything she had previously said, but backwards. When she does so successfully, Jiu Yun returns her belonging – the acupuncture needle she had stabbed him in the neck with. Qin Chuan immediately falls to her knees and tries to explain that she had learnt some kungfu from her father and that the needle and anaesthetic was for self defence. She didn’t mean to attack him, she had just mistaken him for a lecher. She begs for forgiveness, explaining that she had only done what she did to protect her chastity, adding that his body was pretty good because others usually fell unconscious immediately but he was able to withstand it for a while. Jiu Yun ignores everything else she had said and focuses on the fact that she wanted to protect her chastity, questioning whether she was afraid of him or if it was really for Dou Dou’s sake. He then helps her up, commenting that she won’t be pretty no matter how much osmanthus oil she puts in her hair.
Later, with her teacher’s map as reference, Qin Chuan was searching Xiang Qu Mountain’s foresty mountainside when she comes across some junior disciples. She quickly hides herself behind a tree and overhears their conversation – Jiu Yun had asked them to put more wards in the back mountains because the White River Dragon King was coming and even though it wasn’t his first visit, celestial affairs were complicated so they should just follow orders. Continuing on her way, Qin Chuan comes across a large copper mirror but before she had the chance to take a closer look, another lost servant girl appeared. The both soon faced the mirror only to see the face of Yan Yan and a seahorse. At that moment, the vines on the nearby trees started coming to life and attacking the two girls. Not knowing the mirror’s purpose or a way out of the predicament they were in, Qin Chuan tricks the seahorse spirit into believing that she was also the Dragon King’s spy, suggesting that they joined hands to break the mirror, then pushing her forward to face the rebounding blast alone. She then squats down and wails as loud as she could, causing a crowd of disciples to gather before telling them her story – She had been out picking medicinal herbs when she had gotten lost so when she came across another servant girl, she stepped forward to ask for directions but unexpectedly, the mirror showed the girl’s true form and she smashed the mirror but died from the rebounding blast.
Jiu Yun arrives at that moment, announcing that he will deal with the issue and dismisses everyone. Qin Chuan also tries to leave but he stops her and subsequently makes an accurate guess about what had actually happened. When Qin Chuan continues to feign ignorance, Jiu Yun grabs and pulls her towards him, distracting her with their proximity as he deftly took from her waistband, the white paper she uses to magic things. Jiu Yun then reveals that the vines would only attack those that came to the Chamber of Treasures with ulterior motives, pointing out that the vines smelt of osmanthus oil. When she continued to deny everything, Jiu Yun shows her the white paper he had taken from her and asks about the rest she had with her, asking why she would need these at Xiang Qu Mountain. Acting indignant, Qin Chuan removes her outer garment and flings out the paper she had hidden in it, telling him that it was just her hobby, pointing out that the rabbit had been folded by her mother. Jiu Yun then tells her that he won’t tease her anymore but since she had already taken off her clothes, it would be insensitive of him to ask her to put it back on. Qin Chuan quickly dodges his advances but when he comes at her again, promising to make it up to her for her unsuccessful attempt at finding the Chamber of Treasures, Qin Chuan puts a knife up to her own neck. She then proceeds to act out a suicide attempt, telling him that she only had Dou Dou but now that she had lost her reputation, she couldn’t live on any longer. Jiu Yun doesn’t fall for it, only asking what he had done wrong to deserve seeing this terrible show. Qin Chuan was left standing awkwardly in the middle of the forest with the knife still pointed at her stomach.
Jiu Yun returns to his lodging and puts the copper mirror’s broken pieces into a hot bath where it soon materialises into a young lad. After his bath, Jiu Yun helps him to put on his clothing before telling him to rest. As Jiu Yun turned to leave, he was startled when the young man started to bark before addressing him like he was the barking dog. Commenting that he must’ve become silly from the hit, Jiu Yun turns to leave but the young man hollers that he had seen a pretty young lady just now, asking if he wanted to search for her together.
Night fell and Qin Chuan was sat in her room alone, her origami animals in front of her as she angrily thought about what had happened in the day. Scoffing that he was an arrogant skirt-chaser, Qin Chuan throws the paper animals over her head. At that moment, Cui Ya returns and excitedly questions Qin Chuan about what she heard had happened in the day. Not getting a reply, Cui Ya re-enacts it, grabbing Qin Chuan by the waist and caressing her face as she said: “This place is filled with your scent.”, before leaning in for a kiss. Qin Chuan pushes her away but Cui Ya continues to pry, asking if Jiu Yun was interested in her, adding that someone who could produce such a gentle melody with their flute must be a kind-hearted person, as evidenced by the way he treats the both of them. Qin Chuan shoots a judging glance at Cui Ya before getting an idea and grabbing Cui Ya by the waist as she re-enacts Jiu Yun’s “Lady, can I kiss you?” before puckering her lips in an exaggerated manner and leaning in for a kiss.
The next morning, Lady Qing Qing gathers the servants to remind them to be on the lookout for anyone suspicious and to report it at once. Later in the day, Jiu Yun and Qing Qing were patrolling when they came across Qin Chuan who was filling her vase with water from the heavenly pool. Qing Qing then tells Qin Chuan that she didn’t believe her story, warning her to behave otherwise she would end up like the seahorse spirit – with her corpse exhibited on the mountain’s entrance for three days. Jiu Yun stands up for Qin Chuan, telling Qing Qing that he had already interrogated her and that she was innocent, there was no need to frighten her any further.
Later, while Qin Chuan was sat on a ladder as she pruned the trees, Jiu Yun appears at a nearby pavilion, sarcastically voicing that someone thought that she had escaped unscathed but didn’t know that she was actually done for because besides him, someone else now had their eyes on her. Jiu Yun then asks about her motive for being here but she denies everything before asking him to leave her be. Worse comes to worse, she’d just have her corpse exhibited for three days. She then continues her pruning, internally scolding him for singing his own praises instead of eliminating the demons outside the mountain. After a few moments of silence, Qin Chuan casts a backward glance at the pavilion only to see that Jiu Yun was gone. As she did so, her bronze mirror slipped from her open pouch and Jiu Yun catches it, calling out to her from below. Qin Chuan exclaims that the mirror was hers but the sudden movement causes her to slip and fall off the ladder. Jiu Yun easily catches her with one hand and the two stare silently at each other for a few moments but when Qin Chuan makes a comment on the position they were in, he immediately drops her. Jiu Yun then flashes her mirror at her, showing her the scratch she had sustained from the tree’s leaves but later kept it, saying that it was payment for saving her life. Qin Chuan protests, telling him that the mirror had been a gift from her mother and Jiu Yun comments that her mother had left her many things – first there was the rabbit, now it was the mirror, but why does the mirror look like…look like…look like…
They were interrupted when Er Meng runs over to tell Qin Chuan that another servant from the kitchen had told him that married couples needed to consummate their marriage and had laughed at him for not knowing what ‘consummate’ was. Qin Chuan quickly hushes him and asks him to greet Jiu Yun. Like before, Er Meng scans Jiu Yun but this time, he comments that Jiu Yun was handsome, causing Qin Chuan to furrow her brows at him. Jiu Yun then hands Qin Chuan a note and an ointment for the scratch before taking his leave. The note indicates that the scratch will heal within eight hours of application and Jiu Yun’s voice sounded from the distance, supplementing that the ointment was filled with celestial magic and in order for it to work, she had to draw the special symbol on her face. Qin Chuan unravels the rest of the note to find a picture of a tortoise. Stopping Er Meng’s laughter with a stare, she resolves not to use the ointment even if her face were to rot.
~ So much happened in this episode! Hold tight, here we go ~
Jiu Yun would have died without the seal?! What two things are the seal sealing? I’m so curious! Is it related to him having saved Yan Yan three years prior? Maybe it’s a seal for his ‘inescapable downfall’?
OHMYGOD Jiu Yun was so pervy when he back hugged Qin Chuan and started flirting with her. Anyone else watched “Love Better than Immortality”? In terms of acting frivolously, Qiu Yue has got nothing on Jiu Yun.
And that single tangerine he brought over to the servant’s quarters in the middle of the night – Did he expect them to share it? A slice each? Like what?!
I would just like to throw a theory out there – I think that Jiu Yun can hear Qin Chuan’s thoughts? In the previous episode, when Jiu Yun was flirting with Cui Ya and Qin Chuan was mentally scolding him, Jiu Yun had smirked in amusement. He could’ve simply been amused by her expressions or maybe…it was because he could hear her thoughts and it amused him to hear her cussing him out. In this episode, when Qin Chuan was on the ladder as she criticised him in her head, the way he tilted his head to look at her…either I’m reading too much into things or he heard her scolding him.
Qin Chuan…I don’t know what to say. Jiu Yun is ‘angry’ at you for stabbing him in the neck with a needle laced with anaesthetic and what do you say right after apologising? “Your body’s pretty good, people usually fall right after it enters their body but you remained awake for quite a while.” You’re supposed to be trying to appease him, why are you reminding him that you stabbed him?!
Also, I know that it’s supposed to be romantic and all but the way Jiu Yun caught Qin Chuan when she fell from the ladder…let’s just say that she would have broken her spine if this were real life.
And the bronze mirror, could it be how she communicates with her teacher? Jiu Yun’s repeated “seems like” and Qin Chuan’s frozen expression tells me that the mirror could be more than a simple mirror. (You know, like how Ye Hua and Su Su communicated in the drama ‘Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms’)
No wonder the seahorse got in, the disciples couldn’t even sense Qin Chuan’s presence when she was within eavesdropping distance of them.
Also, it took me four watches to understand what had happened with the mirror and the seahorse.
The first time – Why is Yan Yan in that portal?
The second time – Why is there a random seahorse beside Yan Yan in the portal?
The third time – Wait…that’s not a portal…it’s a mirror!
The fourth time – OHMYGAWD THE GIRL IS A SEAHORSE!
Also, I didn’t mention it previously because I didn’t want to be mean but after watching the previous episode, I had thought that Qing Qing was just…ugly but after watching this episode, I became certain that they must be deepfaking Qing Qing’s face so I did some research and I’m right! Apparently, the original actress had disrupted public order at a train station and has become quite notorious for that so the production crew didn’t want to risk having her on the drama but everything had been filmed by then so they decided to use AI to input another actress’ face…leaving us with this messed up Qing Qing.