~ Zi Chen and Xuan Zhu comes to Xiang Qu Mountain ~
Despite her vow not to use Jiu Yun’s ointment, Qin Chuan caves and applies it as instructed. There wasn’t any visible effect initially but the tortoise soon glows as it started to work its healing powers.
Meanwhile, all the Xiang Qu Mountain disciples had gathered to receive their master who was returning from seclusion. The master then questions Jiu Yun about what had happened the day prior and Jiu Yun explains that he had anticipated that the Dragon King would send his spies to Xiang Qu Mountain so he had placed the Whitemoon Nebula Mirror en route to the Chamber of Treasures. When the spy came, her true form was exposed and she smashed the mirror before dying from the rebounding spell. The master praises Jiu Yun but reminds him of what they were doing (using spiritual energy), fingers tightening around Jiu Yun’s arm as if in a warning. With a small smile, Jiu Yun replies that he had understood but after the master turns away, his smile faded. The master then announces the arrival of two distinguished guests the next day, informing his disciples that they would be hosting a banquet to impress them.
The next day, after Qin Chuan and the other servants had been kneeling for many hours, the honoured guests finally arrive, shocking Qin Chuan when she saw that it was Zi Chen and Xuan Zhu. Qin Chuan was later instructed by Steward Zhao to bring some tea and pastries to their two guests and seeing that her friend was visibly shaken, Cui Ya offers to go in her stead but Qin Chuan insists on going. Just as she reached Zi Chen and Xuan Zhu’s residence, Qin Chuan began to recall the last time she had seen them.
Three years ago, before Qin Chuan changed her appearance and went up the mountain, she had paid Zi Chen one last visit to bade him farewell. Xuan Zhu was in Zi Chen’s cottage and Qin Chuan had overheard their conversation, realising that Zi Chen had not known about his father’s schemes. Despite that, Zi Chen did not hate Qin Chuan for blinding him, even blaming himself for not catching onto his father’s scheme earlier and causing the death of her parents and brother. Xuan Zhu hugs him, stopping him from continuing further. Shocked by what she had just heard, Yan Yan ran out the front gate, unaware of the small disturbance she had made. When Xuan Zhu later leaves the cottage to check out the sound she had heard and comes across a crying Yan Yan, the two girls talked things out. Yan Yan thanked Xuan Zhu for letting her hear the truth, telling her that she had no intention of reconciling with Zi Chen and was only here to bade him farewell. Xuan Zhu tells Yan Yan that she will make Zi Chen forget her, his life was now her life.
Back in the present, Zi Chen was in the middle of a chess game with himself when Xuan Zhu brings him a bowl of soup, telling him that the chessboard she had commissioned was almost done. Zi Chen ignores her as he feels around his board before placing the next piece. Not giving up, Xuan Zhu tries again, telling him that she had chosen a unique room for him because she knew that he liked elegance. When Zi Chen replies that he couldn’t see it anyway, Xuan Zhu accidentally lets slip that they were here to get his eyes healed – After that, they could go and visit the sights together. Knowing that Xiang Qu Mountain’s master was a greedy man, Zi Chen refused to have his eyes healed, questioning if he couldn’t even decide when it was his eyes. They were later interrupted when Cui Ya arrives with their lunch. She had been worried for Qin Chuan and tagged along to see if she would need any help.
Jiu Yun looks at the sky above him as dandelions float through the air. Catching one in his hand, he questions why this mortal plant would be here on a celestial mountain.
That night, Xuan Zhu visits Xiang Qu Mountain’s master and presents him with a painting as thanks for agreeing to heal Zi Chen’s eyes. (The painting was the one Gongzi Qi had gifted to Yan Yan for winning the bet.) The master thanks Xuan Zhu and tells her that he will write a letter to reassure Premier Zuo that he will take care of Zi Chen. After that, Xuan Zhu bows deeply to him, asking for a favour and the master agrees, on the condition that she became his disciple. Xuan Zhu immediately agrees and the master puts his ‘disciple seal’ on her.
The next day, under Lady Qing Qing’s watchful eyes, all the servants rush to clean Ning Bi Hall for Zi Chen and Xuan Zhu’s impending arrival. When Zi Chen later walks in with Xuan Zhu guiding him by the arm, Qin Chuan could only look on sadly. Later, as Qing Qing was telling Xuan Zhu about a pipa they had, Zi Chen steps towards Qin Chuan’s direction, seeming like he had sensed something. Qin Chuan quickly takes a small container of osmanthus oil from her pouch and pats it on her hair, causing Zi Chen to sneeze. Qing Qing then orders the servants to leave, eyeing Qin Chuan suspiciously as she scutters away.
Even though she was troubled by what had occurred, Qin Chuan had to continue with her chores and she did so, sweeping the fallen leaves in the garden. She was interrupted when Jiu Yun came along, commenting that she looked pitiful and saying that he will return her bronze mirror to her. But before that, he questioned her about the design on the back of the mirror – an auspicious Qilin, which belonged to Great Li’s royal family. Qin Chuan puts on an indifferent front and tells Jiu Yun that it was a fake and that every girl in Great Li had it but he decides to tease her further, questioning the fact that her mother had given her a fake item. Anxious to get away from him, Qin Chuan replies that they were poor before excusing herself and turning to leave. Jiu Yun calls her back before finally returning the mirror to her, watching her figure as she hurried away.
Later, with water from Qiong Hua Hai, Qin Chuan washes out the scent of the osmanthus oil from her hair before heading to her next chore with the jade vase in her hands. Coming to a bridge, she stops when she realises that Zi Chen was standing in the middle of it. After a moment of hesitation, she steels herself and crosses the bridge. Just as she was about to walk past him, he calls out asking who she was, shocking Qin Chuan into dropping the jade vase. After answering that she was a servant girl at Qiong Hua Hai, Qin Chuan apologises for disturbing him before excusing herself and continuing on her way, ignoring his calls. Hearing her leave, Zi Chen steps forward to stop her but trips on the vase’s broken pieces and fell to the ground, his right palm landing on another piece. Qin Chuan spins around to look at him but was at a loss of what to do, later running over to him when he explained that he had only wanted to ask for directions to Qiong Hua Hai. Qin Chuan then pulls out a piece of cloth from her pouch and wraps the wound for him before giving him directions but having been injured, Zi Chen felt like returning to his residence and asks her to lead him back. Despite her constant refusal with excuse after excuse, Zi Chen asks for her name before telling her that he had a similar jade vase at his residence and will give it to her in exchange for leading him back. Qin Chuan finally agrees and led him back by the arm.
Back at his residence, after Zi Chen knocks into his guqin while trying to get the medicine, Qin Chuan offers to put away the instrument but Zi Chen points her to the medicine, explaining that the guqin had been given by an old friend back at Great Li Kingdom and that he didn’t want to move it. As Qin Chuan applied the medicine on Zi Chen’s hand, she asked if he missed Li Kingdom and he replies that it was gone, he only kept the guqin to remind him of everything that happened in the past. After confirming that she was also from Li Kingdom, Zi Chen comments that she had a nice voice, that it sounded very similar to his old friend. Hearing this, Qin Chuan became flustered and lied that she had gotten a cold that morning so her voice was a little hoarse. As she was wrapping the bandage on his hand, Zi Chen asked if they had met before and Qin Chuan hurriedly finished the bandaging before denying it, pointing out that she was just a lowly servant and wouldn’t have had the chance to meet him. Zi Chen didn’t know the reason why, but he felt at peace with her, even telling her that he had become hot-tempered ever since leaving Li Kingdom. With his injury nursed, Qin Chuan tries to leave but Zi Chen requests to see her appearance, flustering Qin Chuan into telling him that she wasn’t in the least bit beautiful and besides, she had drunk a lot of water in the morning and really needed to relieve herself. Zi Chen grasps her arm and in a voice slightly above a whisper, tells her to let him see her face. Qin Chuan stares at him with glassy eyes as his hands wander around her face. When he had “seen” her face, Zi Chen cups her face as he tells her that she was very pretty.
At that moment, they were interrupted by Qing Qing and Xuan Zhu’s arrival and Xuan Zhu’s eyes widen in shock when she recognises Ah Man. Ignoring and disrespecting Qing Qing who was trying to punish Qin Chuan, Zi Chen asks Xuan Zhu to pass Qin Chuan the jade vase before sending her on her way. Pausing outside the residence, Qin Chuan laments that Xuan Zhu had had a hard time.
Qing Qing and Xuan Zhu later have a chat where Xuan Zhu apologises for Zi Chen’s behaviour, explaining that ever since his eyes got injured, he had become harsh with his words. Qing Qing was understanding but promises to punish the servant girl, to which Xuan Zhu quickly rejects, telling Qing Qing that she was glad to see him chatting with others.
Later that day, Qin Chuan returns to her room only to find that a crowd had gathered outside. She pushes her way to the front only to find that Lady Qing Qing had ordered a search of her room. Clueless as to what she had done wrong, Qin Chuan explains what had happened between her and Zi Chen and Qing Qing believed her words but tells her to think about what she had done wrong in prison.
Night fell and as Zi Chen was standing in the courtyard with his face tilted up towards the moon, Xuan Zhu brought out a cloak to put on him. Zi Chen shocked Xuan Zhu when he suddenly apologised for the times he had taken out his anger on her, acknowledging the hardships she had endured. Speechless, Xuan Zhu leaned towards in (in an almost-hug), telling him that the moon was beautiful tonight.
Alone in her cell with only her thoughts to accompany her, Qin Chuan reminisces the past, questioning how she was to kill all the demons and avenge her people when she herself was now trapped. She was brought back to reality when Er Meng appeared, telling her that he was very smart because upon hearing that she had been imprisoned, he had called Jiu Yun to help. When her brain finally processed that Jiu Yun was here, she excitedly ran up to her cell’s bars, saying that he was really kind to come and save her. With a smile, Jiu Yun tells her that he was really…not here to save her but to see her sorry state. Er Meng then pleads with Jiu Yun to save his wife, adding that they hadn’t even gotten married yet. Jiu Yun calls Er Meng to sit with him, explaining that Qin Chuan might not be willing for him to save her because she had someone else in mind. Qin Chuan refutes this, adding that he would be like a living deity to her if he saved her. Hearing this, Er Meng whisper-shouts to her that Jiu Yun WAS a celestial. Jiu Yun then asks what benefit he would have for saving her and Qin Chuan promises him
this month’s all her future salary and…to devote herself to him.
Jiu Yun turns away for a moment before telling her that it would be better for him to leave her be, smiling as she desperately rambles that she would do as he said. Jiu Yun then breaks the lock with a wave of his hand but as they turned to leave, they were stopped by two male disciples who implored with Jiu Yun not to make things difficult for them. Jiu Yun agrees with them, telling Qin Chuan that she had offended the master’s favourite. Qin Chuan’s face fell as Jiu Yun continued – Since she had already offended Qing Qing…then so be it. Jiu Yun led Qin Chuan and Er Meng past the dumbfounded disciples.
The sun had now risen and as the trio neared a bridge, Jiu Yun comments that something was strange, asking the two to stop before taking a few steps forward himself. Thinking that he had gone back on his word, Qin Chuan starts to panic but he soon waves her over and she scurries towards him. Jiu Yun then puts a spell on Er Meng’s feet that causes him to run past them and into the distance. When Jiu Yun chuckles that it was now alright, Qin Chuan questions his actions, comparing them to Lady Qing Qing’s. Jiu Yun tells her to pack her belongings, she will come to his residence and be his maidservant.
 献身 – Literal translation: 献 offer; 身body/oneself. Can range from devoting oneself to something/someone, to giving someone one’s……virginity.
It turns out that I had been overthinking things and the mirror was a normal one. But it was probably the only thing she had on her when Tian Yuan attacked, making it the only thing she had left as a reminder of her past…but that leaves me with the question of where her teacher is? After changing her appearance and telling her the Spiritual Lamp’s location, he just left her alone? For three years? There must be some way that they’re communicating? Unless if he died? So many questions.
I would just like to say that Premier Zuo giving Yan Yan’s painting to the master is peak evilness. I don’t know…it’s just…it was the painting that alerted him to her presence, after which he had ordered his men to kill her. But on the other hand, Yan Yan had meant to gift it to Zi Chen and it’s now been traded to heal his eyes so…we’ve come full circle I guess.
Yo…is Zi Chen like…psychic?! Why else would he look like he had sensed something and gone towards Qin Chuan?!! She was just standing there, not making a sound and not attracting any attention. What could Zi Chen have possibly sensed?
And the way Zi Chen opened up to Qin Chuan…they’re soulmates guysss even though he didn’t know that it was her, just her presence alone was enough to calm him. I criii
Out of all the nonsense that Jiu Yun has said, my favourite has to be “The person you’ve offended is the master’s favourite. Since you’ve already offended her…then so be it.”
Also, when they were crossing the bridge and Jiu Yun was muttering to himself that something was wrong, my first thought was that he had sensed Qing Qing waiting to ambush them or something but it turns out that Er Meng’s presence was what’s wrong 🤣
Really? Jiu Yun? You’re a celestial. Do you have to be so petty?
Er Meng spitting out the water when Qin Chuan offered herself to Jiu Yun…let me just point out that he didn’t know what ‘consummate’ was before…
I’ll leave it at that.
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♢ Lyrics to OST “昙花一现雨及时” ♢