The Romance of Tiger and Rose (传闻中的陈芊芊): Episode 1

~ Poisoned wine on the wedding night ~

Synopsis:

Hua Yuan City and Xuan Hu City had always been at odds and after losing the battle, Xuan Hu City had no choice but to send their young master, Han Shuo, to marry into Hua Yuan City. Hua Yuan City’s third princess Chen Qian Qian was riding her horse on the streets when she collided with a passing cart, sending her flying. Hearing the commotion outside his carriage, Han Shuo flies out and catches her. Learning that he was Xuan Hu City’s young master and taken by his looks, Qian Qian announces that she will marry him the very next day. Hearing this, Han Shuo collapses to the ground and fakes a heart attack, telling Qian Qian of his illness in the hopes that she would withdraw her order. Qian Qian was unfazed by this, concluding that she had to marry him before he died. She then left on her horse, leaving Han Shuo on the streets as the commoners discussed the marriage – How many days would this sickly young master last in the hands of this well-known devil incarnate?

Han Shuo then returns to his lodging with his servant, Bai Ji, who asserts that he had arranged for their men to startle the second princess Chen Chu Chu’s horse. How did it become the third princess’ horse that was startled? Han Shuo calmly told Bai Ji that they would see how things pan out and act accordingly.

As Chen Xiao Qian typed this out, she marveled at her own ingenuity for coming up with such a storyline. After completing her eighth draft, Xiao Qian checks her bank account only to see that she hadn’t received her payment yet and her balance was running low (about USD 80). At that moment, she receives a phone call from Mr Zhang telling her that the script cannot be finalised yet due to some issues the male lead, Mr Han had with the script. She was hung up on before she could ask about her payment for the job.

Chen Xiao Qian then goes to find Mr Han at the filming location of his latest drama. They happened to be filming flying action scenes so Xiao Qian had to keep hollering up at him. Mr Han’s issue with the plot: He didn’t think that the slightly chauvinistic Han Shuo would fall for Chen Chu Chu because the two cities had opposite social ranking systems. When Xian Qian protests and lists out Chu Chu’s merits, Mr Han takes a jab at her, guessing correctly that she had never dated and telling her to date so that the love stories she wrote would be more realistic.

Angered by Mr Han’s attitude, Xiao Qian vented on the phone to Mr Zhang but just as she arrived home, she received a notification about payment received in her bank account. After quickly verifying the payment, she immediately changes her tune, conceding that she had been wrong to bring her feelings into her work, assuring Mr Zhang that she would amend it before the deadline. Xiao Qian then gets to work with various snacks piled on her table, pushing through a cold and even bringing her laptop with her into the bathroom.

Upon completing the revisions, Xiao Qian falls asleep only to wake up at what she assumed was a themed nightclub, with gourmet food, expensive looking tableware and paintings, complete with several male companions. After one of them addressed her as “Third Princess”, she had an eureka moment and checked their wrists only to see that they all had a lotus bracelet with a bell – This was a special accessory that only the academy’s musicians in her script had. Deciding that it was too much of a coincidence and still in disbelief, she ran to the upper floor of another building and flung the windows open only to see rows of ancient style houses. She was stuck in the story she had written, as Chen Qian Qian, the cannon fodder that dies in the third episode. Just as she was questioning the confused musicians about the story’s progression, Qian Qian’s servant, Zi Rui rushes in and happily announces that they had completed her wedding attire in time for her wedding that day.

The wedding procession that Qian Qian had sent for Han Shuo guarded outside his lodging for the whole night. When a knock sounded on his door, Han Shuo began to fake a coughing fit but it turned out to be a female subordinate his father had planted as an official in Hua Yuan City. She asked about the current unforeseen situation and Bai Ji explained that he had arranged for Han Shuo to get closer to Chen Chu Chu because she was the best candidate to be the next city owner in the people and official’s mind but it somehow ended up being Chen Qian Qian’s horse that was startled. Han Shuo guessed that it could have been arranged by someone but he had no definitive clue as to who it could be. The undercover official then informed Han Shuo that he just had to give the order and the spies they have planted will keep him safe.

As for the current plan, since the third princess was so eager to marry him, he would go through with it before getting rid of her by poisoning the nuptial wine. After that, they would continue with the original plan of assisting Chen Chu Chu to become the next city owner, obtain the Dragon Bone through her, then light the beacons on the lookout tower to signal Xuan Hu City’s army to invade Hua Yuan City. Han Shuo then tells Bai Ji to kill everyone who had messed up and Bai Ji immediately falls to his knees to plead for mercy, especially for himself, to be given a chance to make up for it. Han Shuo compromises, telling Bai Ji to kill the chief culprit as a warning to the rest. Han Shuo was exasperated when Bai Ji kills the horse.

Qian Qian was shocked when she heard this, interpreting it as Han Shuo’s warning to her, that she would be next. Zi Rui on the other hand interpreted it as Han Shuo’s incompetence, mocking him for taking his anger out on a horse. Zi Rui’s ignorance coupled with her anxiousness caused Qian Qian to flare up at him before falling back into her thoughts – If she followed the story’s plot and died from drinking Han Shuo’s poisoned wine, would she then wake up? Zi Rui quickly recovers from her outburst and proceeds to tell her all about the wedding rites that would be taking place. Previously, in order to reach the required word count, Xiao Qian had added many lines for Zi Rui’s character and annoyed by his chatter, she tells him that he was not to speak more than ten words.

Excluding the nuptial wine, Qian Qian dispensed with all the other formalities – Flower parade with the second princess, offering a sacrifice to the heavens to pray for everlasting peace and meeting with her mother. Even though it was improper, everyone had long gotten used to the third princess’ willful ways and went along with her wishes.

Meanwhile, Bai Ji hands Han Shuo the poison, informing him that it will cause her to die in her sleep, ensuring that he wouldn’t be implicated. Adding that it was rumoured that the third princess had exceptional kungfu, Bai Ji offers him a dagger, emphasising the importance of protecting his innocence. Han Shuo then gives him a pointed look, asking who would be the one getting taken advantaged of if anything was to happen that night. To prove his point, Han Shuo glares at Bai Ji as he flings the teacup in his hand, sending it smashing into a vase that was behind him, the teacup remaining lodged in the wall. At that moment, an official arrives to inform them of the third princess’ decision to cancel the flower parade and that Han Shuo would be sent to her Yue Li Mansion directly.

Night fell and in contrast to Bai Ji’s indignant protests, Han Shuo acknowledged the “seven lawful grounds of divorcing a man” that was read to him and calmly put on his veil, only expressing his refusal when they tried to put a gecko cinnabar on him. Qian Qian arrives at that moment, telling them off for doing something useless. With both the bride and the groom present, everyone else vacated the bridal room, Zi Rui excitedly pulling Bai Ji out.

Qian Qian goes along with Han Shuo’s suggestion of starting with the nuptial wine, consoling herself with the prospects of returning home. However, due to the two cities’ different customs, Qian Qian links their arms and drinks from her own cup (Hua Yuan’s custom) while Han Shuo had intended to feed her his poisoned cup (Xuan Hu’s custom). Realising that this would mean that he would have to drink from his own poisoned cup, Han Shuo fakes a coughing fit and switches their cups when she was occupied with checking on him. They then try it a second time but Qian Qian now followed Xuan Hu City’s customs, essentially feeding him the poisoned wine. Han Shuo then fakes another coughing fit as he tugged on his veil, causing Qian Qian to assume that that was the “problem” this time around. As Qian Qian worked on untying his veil, Han Shuo decided that it was too risky to go for a third try and poured away the poisoned wine before refilling the cup.

With the veil off, Qian Qian was shocked to see Mr Han and questioned his presence. Confused by her words, Han Shuo asks if perhaps, she suspects that he had poisoned the wine and Qian Qian scoffs, telling him that he should know better, whether the wine was poisoned. Shocked speechless, Han Shuo fakes yet another coughing fit and Qian Qian proceeds to mix the two cups, telling him that even if she were to die, she would bring him along with her. Han Shuo swiftly picks up a chopstick and brings it to the back of her neck but he was too late because Qian Qian had already called for Zi Rui.

Qian Qian then tells Zi Rui to hang Han Shuo up because he liked being in the air. When Zi Rui tried to persuade her otherwise, asking her not to create trouble, Qian Qian retorts that Han Shuo had started it first by attempting to poison her. In a bid to prove her claim, Qian Qian downs both cups of wine. Not feeling any effect, she surmises that he must’ve poisoned the food and proceeds to take a bite out of every dish. Everyone was alarmed when she scrunched up her face but she explains that the food was too salty. Still feeling fine, she meets Han Shuo’s steady gaze and deduces that the poison must be on his lips, planting a swift kiss on his lips before gleefully asking if she was done for now. Exasperated by her behaviour, Han Shuo tells her that she was done for and Qian Qian quickly instructs Zi Rui on how to punish Han Shuo after her death. Soon after that, she starts to feel dizzy and nauseous, staggering into Han Shuo’s chest before collapsing on the bed.

Thoughts:

Xiao Qian hollering up at Mr Han as he was acting out his flying action scenes got me cringing so hard like…how is he supposed to talk to you when he’s filming? An action scene! In the air! Also, it’s really funny how Xiao Qian was still so angry about it that she took it out on Han Shuo, telling Zi Rui to hang him up 😂
Another thing. When Xiao Qian was amending the story, the shots they included of her computer screen, it was the same few lines. Like…why?

Also, this is really random but I like the part where Qian Qian flew off her horse and Han Shuo flew out to catch her. It was so pretty.

Introduction  ♡  Episode 1 →


One thought on “The Romance of Tiger and Rose (传闻中的陈芊芊): Episode 1

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