January 9, 2021

The Rebel Princess | Recap and Review

A princess is forced to marry a general while her father is trying to usurp the crown. 
Notable Actors/Actresses
Zhang Zi YiWang Xuan
Zhou Yi WeiXiao Qi
Chinese Title
上阳赋
Network: Youku
Year2021
Episodes: 68
Recap Grade: D→A
First Impression: 3/5

Jump to Review

Mini Recaps


[Cyn-opsis (Ep1-4)] This dude, who had married the Emperor's sister, wants to marry off his daughter to his nephew (currently the Crown Prince) as a distorted way to covet the throne but the plan doesn't go so well because his daughter doesn't want to marry. That doesn't mean his hopes of usurping the emperor ends. This dude is Wang Lin. The main characters are the daughter (Wang Xuan) and the General (Xiao Qi) she will marry. 

[Ep5] The Crown Prince (Zi Long) marries Xie Wan Ru because he accidentally raped her.

[Ep6] Wang Xuan is forced to marry the General to save Zi Dan (her lover and 3rd Prince) who is accused of poisoning the Emperor. His mother was also forced to admit she was part of harming the Emperor. His cousin (Xie Wan Ru) is fine because she’s the Crown Prince’s consort now. The real villains are the Crown Prince's mother (Empress) and uncle (Wang Lin) but mainly the uncle. 

[Ep7] Wang Xuan is forced by her father (Wang Lin) to marry the General, Xiao Qi, It is Wang Lin's attempt to gain military power. Xie Wan Ru thinks Wang Xuan betrayed them (her and Zi Dan) not knowing Wang Xuan chose marriage to save them.

Elder Princess, Wang Xuan's mother, plans her daughter's escape from the palace and explains everything to Zi Dan except Zi Dan doesn't choose Wang Xuan. He doesn't meet up with her because he is choosing revenge. His mother, his family was killed by Wang Lin, Wang Xuan's father. He did change his mind last minute but it's too late.

[Ep8] Despite Wang Xuan not wanting to marry the person she wanted, I thought the wedding and the music was pretty. It's an absolute disgrace to Wang Xuan that her groom left her on her wedding night to protect the borders.

Wang Xuan is kidnapped by a kite contraption that can fly in the sky. In the coffin she's held captive in, she meets He Lan Zhen, her kidnapper. 

[Ep9] Woah, so the one who organized the kidnapping was the Emperor. He was pretending to be crazy all along to fool Wang family. He now orders He Lan Zhen to kill Wang Xuan as his first step to make Zi Dan king. He Lan Zhen had personal reasons to kidnap her; Xiao Qi killed his comrades, but after the few days he spent with Wang Xuan, he has grown fond of her. He doesn’t want to kill her.

[Ep10] Xiao Qi sent men to save Wang Xuan but they can’t escape with He Lan Zhen’s sleuth of men  searching for her. She tells them He Lan Zhen will keep her alive for three days because he needs her to bait Xiao Qi to duel him.

[Ep11] Xiao Qi saves Wang Xuan even if he has to do a one man showdown with He Lan Zhen’s underlings. Xiao Qi apparently could even die with her or perhaps he was confident all along or perhaps he habitually lives confidently like that otherwise he wouldn’t have won so many battles. Although he saved her life (three times already), her heart isn’t with him. His heart is, though.

[Ep12] Xie Wan Ru turns Su Jin’er into hers. She was the maid of Wang Xuan who secretly harboured a crush on Zi Dan. Xie Wan Ru makes it so that Su Jin’er becomes Zi Dan’s woman. They have sex. He thought she was Wang Xuan. 

Of the royals, the people who are truly happy Wang Xuan is alive is her mother and the Empress. Her father and the Emperor who always doted on her aren’t that happy. What a beautiful family. I like the Empress just a tiny better. She’s actually not bad. She just never got the love of the Emperor and wants the best for her (useless) son

Xiao Qi saved He Lan Zhen. Justin Yuan is still alive! He sent him back to his home country. It wasn’t Xiao Qi who annihilated his comrades, it was He Lan Tuo (his cousin). Xiao Qi sent him back so that the kins could battle each other out. Wang Xuan grumbles that she’s just like He Lan Zhen in his eyes, a pawn. Wang Xuan had always believed Xiao Qi forced her father to marry her so that he can rise in power. 

Xiao Qi tells Wang Xuan the truth. It is her father who wants to collude with him. He had refused his father twice but by the third time there was a royal decree on their wedding immediately after the Emperor was poisoned. On the wedding night when he escaped, he wasn’t escaping from her, he was escaping from her father. He leaves her for the night to digest the truth. She calls him back and cries. 

Xiao Qi hugs her: You are my wife, someone who I will live and die with. I cannot allow you to be weak. 

Huan Mi, the wife of Wang Su (Wang Xuan’s brother) has an affair with Ma Zi Lu (2nd Prince). Zi Lu, the neglected prince, is also vying for the throne. 

We get a first glimpse at Wang Xuan’s prowess when she subdues her annoying maids with ease. But behind her is a man who supports her otherwise the maids wouldn’t even succumb

[Ep13] After that hug that night, Xiao Qi has waited outside Wang Xuan’s place for four nights in a row. Wang Xuan doesn't let him in because she doesn't know how to face him. She asks for her maid for alcohol and together they drink until they're drunk. Xiao Qi finds Wang Huan right when she was murmuring about never smiling to Zi Dan anymore. Xiao Qi carries her back to bed. He takes off her clothes (I thought he wanted to take advantage... but he just wanted her to sleep comfortably). She's still in a stupor as she yells, "Where did you go during our wedding? How dare you take off my clothes?" She's still angry about that and then she sleeps on his lap. Xiao Qi tells a sleeping Wang Xuan that while she still hasn't accepted him, he has already decided on her. 

Xiao Qi calls Wang Xuan by her nickname "Ah Wu". He reminds her how she was drunk last night. Flirtatiously, she tells him to smell her. He does. He gets up and close and confirms there is no alcohol scent. Then he takes her hand to lead her to the stable so that she can pick her horse. She whistles to look for the perfect one. With his hands on his hips, he compliments her for knowing how to whistle. She mockingly copies his posture and confidently tells him other than fighting in war, she is no less than him.   Snickers.

Xiao Qi takes Ah Wu to a village to have fun for a day. A group of villagers are having a festive night. A girl asks him to dance with her. He looks to Ah Wu. Ah Wu rejects the girl for him because he's her husband. Xiao Qi smiles and tells her that if a man accepts a woman's request to dance then he accepts being her sweetheart. Ah Wu smiles and takes him to dance. 

They ride back on the horse back to the army site but they're under attack. They manage to escape but have to spend the night outside. He starts a fire with a twig and she asks him if he knows how. He's like of course. Calmly from her dress, she brings out a match or whatever you call that. Cute. As the fire grows, so does his love for her. He grabs her hand and pulls her close. Do they do it? I don’t know but just two nights before she was thinking of Zi Dan..

The next morning Xiao Qi's men arrive to bring them back to safety. 

[Ep14] The servant who betrayed Xiao Qi and Ah Wu's whereabouts was the eldest maid. Who’s order she’s under is unclear. It could be the emperor, her father or 2nd Prince. 

Wang Su almost ‘rapes’ his wife after she just had sex with Zi Lu who’s currently under the bed. Zi Lu is red with fury and is about to expose himself if Huan Mi hadn’t slapped Wang Su. Zi Lu truly loves Huan Mi; it’s not just a fling or using her as a pawn

Ah Wu packs her belongings, ready to travel with Xiao Qi to war, but he shows her the letter from her father. Her mother is sick. Ah Wu doesn't know if it's a lie but she wants it to be a lie. She will be headed back to the city. That is why Xiao Qi took her on a date. Before she leaves him, she sews him a cape to keep him warm. No one has ever sewn him anything. Ah Wu promises from now on she will. He tells her that when he held her hand that night, he will hold it forever like that. 

[Ep15] Song Huai En is the sidekick of Xiao Qi and won’t let his master’s wife out of his sight. I love General Song! Once Wang Xuan is in the city, she’s led astray by her father’s subordinate (Wu Qian). It’s a siege to capture Wang Xuan. Song Huai En is forced to leave Wang Xuan in the enemy’s hands until more help arrives. 

The mastermind is Duke Jianning and he wants to make Zi Lu king because Zi Lu is his son! Duke Jianning was almost the Emperor but lost his power. Having his son become the Emperor is part of his twenty year plan in waiting to take back the throne.  

Pang Gui (Cao Jun!) and his men help Song Huai En save Wang Xuan. Mou Lian (a soldier under Wu Qian’s orders) also betrays his uncle to help Wang Xuan. 

[Ep16] Mou Lian doesn’t help in the shadows anymore. He slays the general that’s attacking and motivates the remaining soldiers to not join the traitors. The actor for Song Huai En is so good. In fact, I like all three men here. Soldiers left and right pledge their allegiance to Wang Xuan (and Xiao Qi).  

Mou Lian and Song Huai En’s soldiers surround Xie Yuan. Xie Yuan commits suicide. Xie Wan Ru weeps for her father’s death. More reason for her to hate Wang Xuan. 

[Ep17] Wan Ru gives Su Jin’er poison which Wan Ru claims will only hurt “her feelings and not her body” so that Su Jin'er can make Zi Dan hers. I quoted it because logically I don’t get it. It’s obviously poison.  

Song Huai En wants Wang Xuan to leave the city for her safety. Wang Xuan declines. She is Xiao Qi’s wife. If he doesn’t leave in tough times neither will she. Also, her maid (Yu Xiu) seems to like Song Huai En. Who wouldn’t?  

Zi Dan arrives to the heart of the war to see his sweetheart Wang Xuan. She wavers upon seeing him. He tells her to give up everything to be with him. She reminds him there is a war. She needs to be here. He shows her the hairpin she threw away that night they were supposed to elope. He was there, he was just late.

Wang Xuan: Late one step, late forever  

Wang Xuan is a lone girl on a horse as she steps out of city gates to negotiate with the enemy who have surrounded the city walls. They still need to wait for Xiao Qi’s army to arrive so she earns them an extra day after the negotiation. Zi Dan watches this amazing woman from the side. Zi Dan ah, she’s too great to be yours now.  

Wang Xuan and co keep the city theirs for as long as they can but overnight, the enemies break through the barricade. Just sayin', if this drama keeps up with this amount of content and quality, this will be a fun ride.

[Ep18] Zi Dan urges Wang Xuan to ditch the falling city. He wants her safe. Meanwhile she wants the safety of the city, the country. She tells him why she fell in love with Xiao Qi: he’s saving lives and not running away. 
The west gates are down. Our warrior, Song Huai En won’t stop fighting in this losing battle. Finally, our glorious Xiao Qi is here to save the day! If drama knows how to extrapolate bromance between these two, I’m going to love this drama more
Wang Xuan escorts everyone to safety. She stays alone to await the enemy's invasion. Suddenly, the noise outside is muted. She orders the guards to open the gates. It’s Xiao Qi! Wang Xuan runs to her hero. He looks SO good. SOO good. Look at the love in his eyes for her as she ran to him. They have won the battle. The soldiers hail our courageous couple. (The one person depressed: Zi Dan)
Wang Xuan finds more hints that her father isn’t on her side, and might even be against her and Xiao Qi. She’s deep in thought as she ponders what will she do when she has to choose between her father and her husband. Xiao Qi gives her a back hug. She doesn’t tell him about her father instead she notes his smell of alcohol when he claims that he doesn’t drink alcohol. He didn’t. Someone poured it on him. She knows it’s Zi Dan. Xiao Qi lifts her up and they spend one sweet night together before he has to depart for another battle. Wang Xuan teases her husband about his jealousy. She sweetly complains he should have met her earlier then. Now, he'll have to use his life to repay her (but one lifetime isn't enough for him). I like the softened sweetness of this scene. 

Song Huai En reports to Wang Xuan that there’s someone requesting her: it’s Su Jin’er. Song Huai En is startled at Wang Xuan’s flushed cheeks because she was drinking with Yu Xiu. Omg, please don’t like her, Song Huai En! 

[Ep19] Su Jin’er completes the task Xie Wan Ru assigned her (still thinking it’s a love potion of some sort.....). She doesn’t know Xei Wan Ru plans to have her killed too right after Wang Xuan dies from the poison. However, Yu Xiu accidentally drops the tea with the poison. Wang Xuan never drinks it. This whole scene was filmed so weirdly that it felt like Wang Xuan and Yu Xiu knew about the poison but they didn’t. Xie Wan Er’s assassination of Wang Xuan fails as her mole is taken down by Wang Xuan's bodyguards who are disguised as maids. It’s funny how they roll their eyes at Yu Xiu who only complimented Song Huai En for protecting Wang Xuan. This mole was supposed to kill Su Jin’er and thus, Su Jin’er is kept alive too. 

Emperor continues to feigns craziness. Without his trusty eunuch, will he be able to avoid all the "medication" the Empress gives him? 

Wang Xuan is back in the palace which means she'll be reunited with her oh so loving father Wang Lin, her lovely uncle, the Emperor, and her best friend Xie Wan Ru. Ah, more juicy fight to come without the spears and blood

[Ep20] Wu Qian is in the hands of Wang Lin’s people. He confesses that Xie Yuan was the mastermind but Wang doesn't want that answer. He wants the answer to be Wen Zong Shen (an eyesore of Wang Lin’s).

Wang Xuan meets her mother (who's not sick, she's just not living with Wang Lin anymore and plans to go through with ordination). Wang Xuan learns about the true relationship between her parents. It's not love. The woman Wang Lin loved went by the surname Han. The Empress back then served poisonous wine to Han in front of Wang Lin so that he'd take her daughter (Wang Xuan's mother) as his wife instead. Afterwards, out of remorse, Wang Xuan's mother (Elder Princess) has always been heedful to Wang Lin. The only times they argued was for their children's marriage. Elder Princess wanted to betroth Wang Su to another woman but he liked Huan Mi who at that time was promised to Zi Lu. Wang Lin wanted his son to get the girl he loves no matter who that woman belongs to. Elder Princess had asked him what she can do to make him stop. His answer: If she brought Han back to life. Ahhhhhh, everything makes sense now. After Wang Lin's love of his life was killed in front of him, his perspective of love became warped. He wants his son to get his love but look how depressed they are now. He married his sister off to the Emperor and look at them. At least Wang Xuan and Xiao Qi worked out.

The Emperor is pretending to be crazy but I believe the real one slowly going crazy is the Empress because she actually has a consciousness.

The Empress and Wen Zhon Shen had a fling (which Wang Lin ruined). Hul~ isn't he too old for her? She bargains with him that she will save him as long as he pledges loyalty to Zi Long. He scoffs.

Unrelated. Did you catch the scene where Wang Xuan is in sneakers? (Hint: when she hugs her brother). 
 
[Ep21] Although the Emperor's eunuch was extradited from the palace, he is loyal. He orchestrates a meeting between Wang Xuan and the Emperor where she learns he's not truly crazy. He tells her how he's the one who wanted to kill her and Xiao Qi because of the political war between him and her father. This is something he as the Emperor has to do but he asks her to forgive him as her uncle. Wtf. No. She doesn’t know how to forgive him. 

The eunuch goes on a killing spree in the palace to murder the Empress. Wang Xuan uses her body to shield the Empress. She keeps her life, but at this rate, the Empress is doomed to go crazy. Yu Xiu also suffers an injury to protect Wang Xuan. It's practically fatal.

The Emperor reveals the truth of his fake illness to Zi Lu. He also lists out all his previous crimes (e.g. the raping of Xie Wan Ru). The Emperor found out everything via Xie Yuan's letter thinking Zi Lu is loyal to him and that they have a common enemy (Wang family). This foolish king is going to make someone else's son (Zi Lu) the emperor to take down his own son (Zi Long)

[Ep22] Wang Xuan has lost most of her family (in terms of love), but gained a family in a stranger: Yi Xiu. And Xiao Qi. Yu Xiu wakes up from her injuries. Wang Xuan tells her she doesn’t want her as a maid anymore, she wants her to be her sister.

What’s up with Xiao Qi’s army: they retreated mainly because no one was sending his army provisions. Then, Minister Huan (loyal to 2nd Prince, father of Huan Mi) timely sends him food. He ain’t nice, though. It’s all a trap to make Xiao Qi move forward with his army because once he does, it will be the death of his entire army. 

Su Jin'er is back to take care of Wang Xuan (after being kicked out be 2nd Prince). So, Xiao Qi’s army has a mole, and Wang Xuan’s home has a Su Jin’er.

Some sweetness! Wang Xuan receives a letter from Xiao Qi. It’s all A’Wu, A'Wu, A'Wu, A'Wu, A'Wu, A'Wu, A'Wu, A'Wu, A'Wu, A’Wu, and so on. 

Under Wang Xuan’s orders, Pang Gui stealthily follows Huan Mi who’s celebrating her birthday with Zi Lu. He hears the maids address her as the "Empress”. Zi Lu also shares his plans of killing Xiao Qi (and mentions the traitor). Before leaving, Pang Gui steals some proof (secret letters between 2nd Prince and Minister Huan). Pang Gui barely survives. 

[Ep23] Zi Lu takes over the palace and reinstalls his father as the Emperor but he’s only a puppet for Zi Lu. He holds the real power as Duke Jianning surrounds the Xiao Qi’s army. However, Zi Lu is missing the Dragon Symbol to control the imperial army. The Emperor won’t give it to him. 

Wang Xuan is ordered back to court and so is Xie Wan Ru because she’s Zi Long’s wife. Every person related to Wang is set to be imprisoned int he dungeon. Wan Ru sobs. Zi Long wants to cry too. Our useless Crown Prince. I always pronounce him as Si Long (= a dead dragon).

Wang Xuan gets “special" treatment from Zi Lu, though. She gets a luxurious room as a prison instead. He wants her to convince the Emperor for the Dragon Symbol. 

[Ep24] Zi Dan turns himself in to Zi Lu so that he can be reunited with Wang Xuan. Zi Dan, what an idiot

Zi Lu tells the Emperor he's not his son – insert evil high pitch laugh here – he's his brother's son. 

Zi Lu takes Wang Xuan to meet the Emperor (so that she can get the Dragon Symbol). Zi Lu leaves to attend to another matter which gives a chance for the Emperor to ask Wang Xuan for her forgiveness. She forgives him. Next, the Emperor secretly tells her there's a chance for a reversal. 

Back with Xiao Qi, he's surrounded by Duke Jianning. However, there's another reason why Xiao Qi retreated in that specific area. There's a hidden escape route via the caves.

[Ep25] Xiao Qi has an escape route and so does the Emperor! There’s a passage way from his room that can exit the palace. Wang Xuan sneaks out at night and finds the Dragon Symbol. The exit is where her mother’s temple is located. She tells her mother everything and asks her to summon Song Huai En. With Song Huai En, they (kindly) kidnap General Wei’s mother. At the entrance to General Wei’s camp, they’re stopped to ask for their purpose. Wang Xuan hands a hairpin to General Wei (it belongs to his mother) and tells him she’s his “sister” and she has “family matters” to discuss with him privately. General Wei understands that this fake sister of his has his mother as hostage. 

Once alone, Wang Xuan tells General Wei she’s under the orders of the Emperor. General Wei counters that Zi Lu is also acting on the orders of the Emperor. Who is he to believe? Well, Wang Xuan has a Dragon Symbol and the Scroll. The mother who was kidnapped is also in support of Wang Xuan. Thus, General Wei pledges allegiance to Wang Xuan. 

Wang Xuan has to return to the palace before the morning. Wow, this is one night's work. She asks Song Huai En to continue to garner support from other generals. She takes his hand in hers as she gives him the Dragon Symbol and Scroll. The way he acts... he likes her. Siiiiiiigh.

[Ep26] Wang Xuan barely makes it back in time to the palace. I think Emperor notices her dirty dress and purposely pukes over it so that 2nd Prince doesn't suspect anything

Xiao Qi is victorious over Duke Jianning. Gosh, why is our man in so little scenes! The days the duke spent smugly waiting were days Xiao Qi enveloped his army. The duke’s remaining soldiers back out in fear. Duke Jianning makes a last ditch effort but Xiao Qi flips his wagon over with a single spear. Duke Jianning wants to know how he failed so Xiao Qi tells him about the secret passage and how he knew Minister Huan was a traitor.

Wang Xuan wonders if she did the right thing giving all the imperial power to Song Huai En. Song Huai En does his job but he’s caught by the general who he was supposed to get help from. The general believes his scroll and symbol are fake. 

[Ep27] The Emperor asks Zi Lu how he can be so certain his birth father is the duke and not him (the Emperor). Dun dun dunTrue, true, true. How can you be so sure Zi Lu? Methinks Emperor is playing mind games with him

The Emperor lectures his useless son, Zi Dan, for turning himself in for Wang Xuan. He’s like you’re not even fighting for the person you love; you’ll die for her but have you thought of whether she wants to live? The Emperor pities himself for fighting for the throne for this son. Will Zi Dan be motivated for the throne now?

Zi Dan looks up to the small window and asks himself, “Will controlling the world get you (Wang Xuan) back?” Zi Dan and Zi Lu are one and the same, their motivation to get the throne is for the girl they love but can’t have. Can you men not have any other motivations?  

Zi Lu and Huan Mi are to be wed in two days. He wants it grand. Oh, it’ll be grand alright.

Song Huai En is still tortured by General Lu who forces him to sign on a scroll to admit he’s a traitor under the orders of Xiao Qi and Wang Xuan. Oh no, what are they going to do? Well, Wang Lin still has his clique roaming around (Chief Qing Yun) who’s cooperating with Wang Xuan as well. General Wei is still on her side. Pang Gui is still around (although still hurt). Of course, there’s also Xiao Qi. 

General Lu takes his men to enter the city to report to the Emperor of Song Huai En but General Wei immediately arrests him. 

The wedding! Huan Mi is captured by assassins disguised as maids (under Wang Xuan’s orders). In place of the bride is a fake one. The real Huan Mi is smuggled somewhere else. 
[Ep28] The fake bride attacks Zi Lu at Wang Xuan's orders. The maid fails but Huan Mi is still in Wang Xuan's hands. Wang Xuan makes him choose between the girl he loves and the throne. Zi Lu wants both. Rumbling with anger, he pierces his sword at Wang Xuan but Zi Dan takes the strike for her. Zi Lu strikes again but an arrow deflects his blade. Guess who~~ It's Xiao Qi! Warg Xuan's glorious God of War.

Out of desperation, Zi Lu takes the Emperor as his hostage. Wang Xuan confidently shows her card too: Huan Mi. Just when Wang Xuan convinces him to put down his sword, Wang Su won't let Zi Lu off just that easily. Huan Mi takes Zi Lu's side that it was Wang Su who got in the way between them. Somewhere from the top, a guard strikes his bow and the arrow pierces Zi Lu. It's Song Huai En (he’s alive! but why is it him who strikes without orders?). Seeing Zi Lu down, Huan Mi takes Wang Su's sword and kills herself. Zi Lu’s coup is over. 

Xiao Qi holds his wife, "I have roamed for so long and I had nothing to fear but this time I was really in fear. I'm afraid I'll lose you/“ Xiao Qi had planned to lecture Wang Xuan when he saw her but now that he's seen her, he can't. She's like "Why~" as if she wanted to be yelled at. He tells her he had vowed to shield her from the wind and water but he's only been putting her in danger. Wang Xuan doesn't need protection :D. Girl can control the army even when being imprisoned

It's the first time Elder Princess sees Xiao Qi. Wang Xuan is nervous for him but mom approves of him. Xiao Qi assures Elder Princess he'll take care of A'Wu for life. 

Zi Dan wakes up from his injuries. The first thing he asks is if he needs help will she and Xie Family help him. One tide down, another tide up

Su Jin'er visits Wang Xuan to tell her about Zi Dan waking up and wanting to see her. There's silence between Wang Xuan and Xiao Qi but he breaks it, "What if I say I don't want you to see him?" Episode ends. Oh look, who's this jealous man?  

[Ep29] Wang Xuan tells Xiao Qi it's only right for her to visit the person who saved her. Xiao Qi permits it. However, Wang Xuan doesn't even get to see Zi Dan because Wan Ru intercepts. 

Xiao Qi asks Song Huai En if he was able to find that person. They've been looking for this person for years. Who?

A maid reports to Xiao Qi that his wife is drunk again. Exasperated, he puts his head to his hand and drops his scroll with a thud. Is he angry? The maids are worried too but Yu Xiu smiles there's no way our Da Wang can be mad at his Wang Fei. Methinks he's just jealous from asking her to not see Zi Dan in the morning and then seeing her gloomy in the afternoon and now drunk at night for another man

Another Wang sibling is drunk too: Wang Su. He's angry at his father and angry at the world. His mother left home. His sister left home. He's an embarrassment to the world because of the marriage his father stole. Everything is his father's fault. His father's own marriage is a failure too. He gave up love for power. Wang Su hollers: "What else can you not give up!!" But then he adds that he knows about the Han lady he loved. Wang Lin reminds his son of his identity as Wang family's son. When he's no longer an incompetent fool, he'll understand his father’s actions. 
Wang Xuan wakes up. She's been sleeping on Xiao Qi. She tells Xiao Qi she was thinking of her mother last night and how her family is falling apart. Xiao Qi tells her his past: he's never seen his parents. He grew up in a village, at the border where two different nationalities lived harmoniously.  Everyone was his family. One day, war broke our and the two sides became enemies. He witnessed his relatives kill each other. 

It's Wang Xuan's birthday soon. Her wish is for her family to be complete and together. Well, she gets more than what she wished. She's pregnant! She waits close to the entrance for Xiao Qi. 

Xiao Qi teases: It's only been half a day and you already miss me? 
Wang Xuan flirts back: It's not even half a day and you don't miss me?
Xiao Qi: I practically want to bring (pocket) you to court with me. 

She tells him she'd like a child who looks just like him. Xiao Qi disagrees. He wants a child that looks just like her. Oh, these two. He lifts her to bed. Wang Xuan plans to tell him she's pregnant the day of her birthday celebration. 

Emperor knows his time is up. He tells Wang Xuan he has a will. 

[Ep30] Wang Xuan exits the Emperor's room with a chest in hand. Before she can go back home with Xiao Qi who's waiting for her in the rain, the Empress has summoned her. Xiao Qi standing there is the essence of romance. A silent and beautiful presence

The Empress wants Wang Xuan's allegiance. She brings up her childhood romance with Zi Dan and whether she wants to rejuvenate those feelings. Wang Xuan quietly and soothingly tells her aunt her heart is with Xiao Qi. Unlike someone. Ou. Wang Xuan is discreetly referring to the handkerchief she found on the Empress's bed when she saved her from the eunuch that day. 

Xiao Qi leaves before Wang Xuan is done "talking" with the Empress. His soldier alerts him they have found the person. Who! It's a woman. This woman has a child.

The Empress sneaks into the Emperor's room. She wants his will. He tells her it's right beside him. When she reaches over, he strangles her to death. Woah. But the person who's confirmed dead is the Emperor. Woaah

Within the palace, Zi Long and Wan Ru are kept hostage by Wang Lin. Tsk tsk tsk. Our useless Si Long. Xiao Qi's men are surrounded by Wang Lin's soldiers. Pang Gui alerts Wang Xuan of her father's uprise. She makes her way to the palace but Song Huai En blocks her for her safety. She'll have to walk over his dead body if she insists to enter. 

Wang Xuan: I won't walk over your corpse but if anything happens to my father or Da Wang then you will bring my corpse back. – insert grand music here –

Wang Xuan finds the Emperor's corpse. The Empress is (alive and) kneeling beside his dead body. The Empress won't let Wang Xuan near the Emperor. Wang Xuan is also here for another reason: to instate the will. That's the last thing the Empress wants. She dives for the will. Pang Gui is Wang Xuan's only bodyguard against all the men the Empress has. People should notice Pang Gui too. He's super loyal and is always at her master's shadow to act on her behalf or to protect her from any danger. The Empress drops the will in the fire pit but it's saved by her maid. Well, technically, Wang Xuan's maid because she appointed the maid to protect the Empress when she was under attack last time. Doing good deeds come around

Wang Xuan steps out with her aunt as hostage. The scene in front of her is her father and her husband bracing for battle. She reads the will to everyone: the next Emperor is her cousin, Zi Long. No one seems happy except for the Empress who faints from relief. Her father continues to keep Zi Long hostage and asks Xiao Qi whether he really thinks Zi Long is capable of being the Emperor. Nah, I have to agree with you, sir. He tells Xiao Qi to retreat his army for the good of the country. The husband will not because the father has committed a sin punishable by death. The husband stays put and so the father threatens to burn this palace down to smithereens and everyone with it if he doesn't retreat. So, when's Wang Xuan's birthday party happening again? 

Elder Princess has arrived. Ah, a complete family reunion! Wang Xuan got her wish!

[Ep31] Elder Princess is here to sever her relationship with Wang Lin. If he is determined to dethrone her Ma family line then she will make him lose a family too. She commits suicide. Uh? At the shock of losing her mother before her eyes, Wang Xuan’s baby drips away too. The birthday that won't stop giving..

Zi Long is the Emperor. Wan Ru is the Empress, ugh. Wen Zhong Shen returns to his original position. I’m slightly confused why Elder Princess’s death brought about this change. To show Wang Lin has a heart? And then he’s too sad to fight for the throne? After all that scheming he gives it all up for a woman he doesn’t love...? Or loves?

Wang Lin’s convicted of a lighter crime so the entire Wang clan doesn’t have to die with him. Three days later is his execution. Let me sum up Wang Xuan's current (Wang) family status: her uncle died the day before, her mother and unborn child died the same day, her father will die in three days. The people alive are her brother and her aunt, currently the Empress Dowager. It's questionable if her aunt is still considered family...  

Wan Ru is pregnant. There should be karma when she lights up at the news of Wang Xuan losing her child. Empress Dowager prohibits Zi Long from visiting Wan Ru because of her pregnancy and takes away her other duties as the Empress so that she can "rest".  

Empress Dowager visits his brother in jail. Wang Lin tells her she betrayed Wang family. Empress Dowager reminds him her son (Zi Long) is also Wang family. Wang Lin scoffs. Zi Long isn’t worthy of being king. The guy’s right. He let him stand in as king and look at how easily Zi Lu almost took control while he quivered in fear to wait for Xiao Qi to save him. Wang Lin smirks as he wishes his dear sister will be able to keep her son safe and her family harmonious ‘cause it ain’t gonna last.  

Empress Dowager’s next step is to separate Wang Xuan and Xiao Qi. Their unison is a threat to Zi Long somehow. Empress Dowager deliberately bestows Xiao Qi a medallion that can spare a death sentence. This medallion's purpose is to drive a wedge between our loving couple. Even if Wang Xuan doesn’t ask Xiao Qi to use it for her father, others will beg her to do so. Like her brother. Show, give a grieving mother a break

[Ep32] Wang Xuan is still a grieving mother and a grieving daughter and now her brother is begging her to save her father, the man who tried to usurp the crown and killed her mother. Does blood run that deep? Does she need to save him? Does she want to save him? Is she that “strong” as others proclaim her to be? She isn’t. The last thing she wants to hear is people calling her strong.  

Wang Xuan is home alone at night. Her General is nowhere in sight.  

It’s execution day for Wang Lin. Xiao Qi, his son-in-law, sends him off for the last trip. Wang Xuan desperately rides her white horse in hopes of seeing her father one last time. It’s too late. Her father’s head is off. Or is it?  

Xiao Qi was gone the entire night because he begged the Emperor to spare Wang Lin’s life using the medallion. Wang Lin is a free man (but banished from the palace). Xiao Qi even organized a meeting for him to bid farewell to his children but Wang Lin doesn’t want to see them. Wang Xuan heartbreakingly chases after her father. The faster she runs after him, the faster Wang Lin tells the horse to go.  

Watching Wang Xuan run after her father was agonizing but watching Xiao Qi solemnly stare at the women he loves in such a state is another level of agony. This man saved her father against his own principles without her even asking

The physician tells Xiao Qi that if Wang Xuan has another pregnancy, it’ll be a difficult one. Adding up all her previous injuries and grief, her body might not sustain another pregnancy. It’s not that she can’t be pregnant but she may die giving birth.  

Xiao Qi: And so if she doesn’t give birth?  
The physician: She will live. 

Empress Dowager muses Xiao Qi sure loves A’Wu. She had planned to mar their relationship over her father's matter not knowing this is nothing to their relationship. Meanwhile, Empress Dowager had no intention of letting her brother leave alive. She has men waiting at the borders to kill him. How can she let a threat to her son’s crown be alive, even if he’s her own brother. Her brother isn’t her only eyesore. There’s still Xie Wan Ru. I forgot there was another reason for Empress Dowager to hate Xie Wan Ru. She was always jealous of Consort Xie (Zi Dan’s mother) back in the heyday

Song Huai En updates Xiao Qi of the rumours in the city. The Emperor is only a puppet to Xiao Qi. Wang family is over. The marriage between Xiao Qi and Wang Xuan is over. Although these are only rumours, Song Huai En warns Xiao Qi to not belittle the effects of these rumours. 

[Ep33] Wang Lin escapes the attacks. He has men of his own protecting him. Also, it wasn't just Empress Dowager after him. Xie Wan Ru also wants to kill him. Apparently both their groups thought they were protecting Wang Lin and so they attacked each other not knowing they had the same goals. Lol. That's funny.

Wang Xuan has lived away from home for the past three months, Song Huai En is here to visit her because he’s on the way to escort Zi Dan to another territory (he’s sent elsewhere now that Zi Long is the Emperor). Song Huai En tells her that Xiao Qi yearns for her to be back home and that Da Wang needs her care too. Wang Xuan agrees. It is time to head home. 

Su Jin’er eagerly waits for Zi Dan to get off the carriage but he doesn’t. Yu Xiu realizes she likes someone but she can’t figure out who. I just realized both these maids like a man who loves Wang Xuan. I’d like to believe Yu Xiu will not end up like Su Jin’er.  
Wang Xuan arrives home to find a wedding preparation is in place. Her senior maid (Xu Gu Gu) is utterly offended but Wang Xuan takes the challenge head on. Once she opens the big doors, her man is waiting for her. It’s a grand ceremony for her! He takes her hand but she retracts. He pulls her back to him and tells her to believe him. Leading her to the centre of the stage, she announces she's his only woman. He's choosing her despite knowing she can't continue his line or more like he won't let her continue his line in exchange for her life. He's also putting an end to those rubbish rumours
Xiao Qi: On the night of our wedding, she couldn't even see my face. This is my, Xiao Qi's, gravest mistake. Today, my Wang Fei has returned to the city, without getting her approval I prepared this celebration to gift her a complete wedding. This is when Wang Xuan truly believes this wedding is for her– puts a crown on her – From now on, I Xiao Qi, will only have Wang Xuan, this one girl, as my woman. 

Xiao Qi carries his wife to bed. She thanks him but her expression is still solemn. He knows she doesn't believe him still. Wang Xuan didn’t want to return home because she doesn’t think she befits him anymore. This marriage was a chess piece for her father. Now her father is a criminal. Xiao Qi tells her he loves her and not her title. Wang Xuan recalls her auntie and uncle loved her too but look at what they’ve done to her. Aw, girl is hurt from so many daggers of different size and shape.  Xiao Qi gives her a comforting hug. He promises that no matter what, he'll always be with her. She admits her heart is tired. 

Xiao Qi: If you're tired, I'll carry you. We'll walk together. 

The next day, He Lan Zhen sends the Emperor a congratulatory message. 

Wang Xuan slept the whole morning. Xiao Qi teases her he ought to change her clothes for her. They play and kiss on the bed. Cute. But why is the cute so fleeting? 

[Ep34] The Empress Dowager calls back Wang Qian (a distant Wang cousin of some sort to Wang Xuan) so that she can marry her son to continue the Wang Family Empress line. 

Wang Xuan won’t drink her medication again. She tells Xiao Qi to drink it. He drinks it alright, but the next second, his lips are on hers as he feeds her the medication.  

The Emperor tells Wang Xuan that Xiao Qi begged all night for him to spare Wang Lin. Wang Xuan already lost her mother and her child, she cannot lose her father too. Our Xiao Qi never told A’Wu any of this. The Emperor has a question for Wang Xuan too. Did his mother kill his father? Wang Xuan doesn’t confirm it and our naive king is happy his mother did not kill his father. How will he react when not only his mother tried to kill his father but his father also tried to kill his mother? 

As for our foolish king, how long can he stay alive? Or will he stay alive just because he’s foolish? It’s probably the easiest to live as him. Everyone’s scheming around him and he hasn’t got a single clue

Song Huai En secretly asks a maid to give medication to Yu Xiu. His real purpose is to ask the maid to give a pot of flower to someone but before he can tell the maid who it's for, she assumes it’s for Yu Xiu. It’s Wang Xuan. Sigh. Song Huai En is the man who makes me sigh the most in this drama

[Ep35] Wang Xuan sees the flower in Yu Xiu’s room. It seems like our Wang Xuan realizes the one Song Huai En likes is herself because she told him about that specific flower. 

Xiao Qi had purposely assigned Song Huai En to escort Zi Dan because he knew Empress Dowager would send people after him. If it weren’t for Song Huai En, Zi Dan might just have died on the road. Xiao Qi is going this far to protect Zi Dan because he owes him for saving his precious wife. 

He Lan Zhen’s men knock on Xiao Qi's doors to give Wang Xuan a present. It’s the hairpin he repaired, the one she stabbed him with. Gosh, so many admirers

Zi Long doesn’t deserve the throne but he’s a good man. He cares about his people and will give money to his citizens despite the bank being empty. Meanwhile Xiao Qi is his brains. Aw, Xiao Qi doesn’t get to wear an armour anymore and has to walk around bowing to this Emperor...

One of Xiao Qi’s soldiers finds evidence of Minister Xie (another one; Wan Ru implanted her people in the palace) colluding with other big names. However, in that accounting book, Song Huai En’s name is there too. :O Noooooo. Xiao Qi rips out that page, keeping his buddy safe. 

Wang Xuan suggests to Xiao Qi to have Song Huai En marry Yu Xiu. 

[Ep36] Xiao Qi hesitates on agreeing to the marriage. Wang Xuan pouts that he thinks her Yu Xiu doesn’t match his Huai En. He laughs that men really can’t tell women the full truth. Wang Xuan pouts even more. She makes him pinky promise that he’ll never lie to her. 

Xiao Qi brings up the marriage talk with Song Huai En. He almost slips that he likes Wang Xuan and not Yu Xiu. Xiao Qi doesn’t care what he thinks, he just wants his Huai En to be Huai En. He's referring to his connection with Xie clan. At night, Song Huai En dreams of “A’Wu”. He dreamed of marrying her. It's as if he woke up from a nightmare. he shrivels up in tears. How can he even think of betraying his brother (Xiao Qi) like that? Ugh, I feel bad for him. His heart is ripped in half: his love for Wang Xuan and for Xiao Qi.  

He Lan Zhen casually threatens Xiao Qi about Wang Xuan. He knows Xiao Qi's only weakness is Wang Xuan. He Lan Zhen is here for revenge against Xiao Qi. 

Wang Xuan invites Song Huai En to her presence to ask him about the marriage. Song Huai En accepts Yu Xiu to be his wife. :O. She asks him if he'll truly love Yu Xiu and be devoted to her. He will. :OO. Wang Xuan adds that if he marries Yu Xiu, who is like her sister, he'll be even closer to her and Xiao Qi. There's words behind her words when she asks him if he will stay forever loyal to her and Xiao Qi. Song Huai En pledges utmost, unwavering loyalty to them. :OOO

Wang Qian falls on her own but blames it on Yu Xiu and slaps her repeatedly. Wang Xuan is obviously on Yu Xiu's side. Wang Qian angrily storms off and warns Wang Xuan she will remember this. Whatever. Song Huai En carries Yu Xiu in his arms and assures Wang Xuan that he will care for his fiancée. Sigh, I would rather he marry a girl who doesn't love him that way the poor girl won't be heartbroken. Meanwhile, Xiao Qi takes Yu Xiu as his god-sister so that no one will dare hurt Yu Xiu ever again. (Empress Dowager will not allow a maid to be Wang Xuan's sister)

Empress Dowager wants Wang Su to gain power by marriage to expand their Wang power. She tells him about his father's death without telling him she had sent the people to kill his father. Empress Dowager is killing a lot of fathers. Killed her son’s and nephew’s father.....

[Ep37] Xu Gu Gu discovers the medication Xiao Qi has been giving Wang Xuan is to make her infertile. If she continues to take it for a year or two, her infertility will be permanent. 

Wang Qian complains to Empress Dowager about Wang Xuan but auntie is on Wang Xuan's side. When Wang Qian leaves, Empress Dowager calls this distant niece of hers a piece of idiot. Wan Ru summons Wang Qian too and comforts her. When Wang Qian leaves, Wan Ru also calls her a piece of idiot. LOL. This Empress and Empress Dowager's fight is actually making me laugh here and there

Wang Xuan looks at the accounting books and realizes Xiao Qi is in debt. He's been giving his money to the soldiers. Although the palace has been giving to the army but the money that actually reaches the individual soldiers are whatever the higher ups barely leak between their fingers. Not only is he providing provisions for the living soldiers but also families of the soldiers who have sacrificed. Ah, that child he secretly visited was probably a family he was providing for.

Pang Gui is here to update Wang Xuan about her father's death but is he really dead though? He bumps into Xiao Qi first who warns him what should and shouldn't be said. Xiao Qi doesn't think Wang Xuan can handle the news.
Wang Xuan "angrily" waits for Xiao Qi. They play a version of hide and seek where she won't let him through the curtains to see her. No matter where he runs, she closes the curtains on him. She yells at him about the family's money and he slumps as he walks away. She audibly mumbles that he knows she has money and he won't use it. Xiao Qi perks up. Like an obedient dog, he runs to her. He thought she was mad at him wasting money not knowing she was mad he didn't ask her for help. He sits down next to her – being all cute – and compliments her for thinking of using the money to open up a business so that they can continue providing for his soldiers. Then he closes the curtains (on us). They have couple business to attend to. 

[Ep38] Xiao Qi confronts Song Huai En about Minister Xie's bribery. He suspiciously vows he returned everything. Xiao Qi continues to stare him into the eyes. Song Huai En realizes someone in his manor must have accepted something without his knowledge. However, when we skip scenes to his home, there's a case of jewelries that he tells his guard to secretly dispose of. SIGH.

Su Jin'er overhears Xu Gu Gu telling Pang Gui that Xiao Qi has been giving Wang Xuan drinkable contraceptives. Xu Gu Gu knows Pang Gui is faithful to Wang Xuan and so she wants him to investigate into Xiao Qi. Pang Gui also has news to tell Xu Gu Gu that Xiao Qi had prevented him from telling Wang Xuan about her father’s death. Xu Gu Gu cries that Xiao Qi did the right thing for Wang Xuan. Phew. Oh ya, so Su Jin'er is still listening to everything. Pang Gui, where are your ninja skills? How could you let a maid listen to all this?

The Empress secretly summons He Lan Zhen to her presence. She gets to the point and asks him if he wants Xiao Qi's head because she wants it too. They form an alliance. I think He Lan Zhen will take advantage of our idiotic Empress

[Ep39] He Lan Zhen takes a liking to Wang Qian (who's supposed to look like Wang Xuan somewhat...). He wants her as his wife and in exchange he will retreat his army on their borders. The Emperor accepts. Wang Qian's mother begs Wang Xuan for help. Wang Xuan is reminded of her own mother. Will she help? She does. She tries to ask the Emperor to take back his words. He can't. At least our Zi Long is sounding like a good Emperor now

Empress orders Su Jin'er to kill Wang Xuan. Su Jin'er has always been an orphan. The only person important to her is Zi Dan. What kind of line is this? Shouldn't she be grateful for Wang Xuan for taking care of her? Su Jin'er will kill Wang Xuan for Zi Dan. ...............

[Ep40] The Empress knows that Xiao Qi has been giving Wang Xuan infertility medication (from Su Jin’er) and hence she gives Wang Qian this idea: seduce Xiao Qi. Because that will definitely negate the marriage with He Lan Zhen. 

The Emperor orders Xiao Qi to stop looking into Xie clan's bribes. It involves too many ministers; he can't possible kill all his ministers. He's not afraid of angering his mother or his wife (o rly) but he cannot empty his court. He admits there are times he wanted to kill Xiao Qi but if he were to do that, then he'd really be a lonely Emperor. Xiao Qi understands. He takes the evidence and burns it. 

The ministers want to cut down the army along the borders that protects them from Hulan (since they're going to have a marriage anyways). The Empress Dowager wants to “borrow" Song Huai En to protect Wang Su. All of them want to gnaw down Xiao Qi's powers as he controls the army and Song Huai En is his right hand man. 

Xiao Qi had asked Song Huai En what his thoughts are on returning to the borders. Song Huai En no longer wants to return there. Song Huai En is no longer the same. He's touched by greed and power. And his hair up makes his forehead look way too weird

Wang Xuan pays a visit to He Lan Zhen. Alone! How is she not afraid? She's here to ask him to consider another wife. Meanwhile He Lan Zhen's underling lures Su Jin'er away. He threatens her to update him on all of Xiao Qi’s movements otherwise her betrayal will be exposed and no one will accept her. 

[Ep41] Empress Dowager wants to separate Xiao Qi from his trusted Song Huai En so that they’ll have a chance to kill Xiao Qi. The Emperor asks what about A’Wu. My king! Is that what you should be worried about? Your country will fall without Xiao Qi!  

The wedding date is nearing. Yu Xiu is worried that everything seems to good to be true. After the wedding, Song Huai En is to be sent to a far away city with Wang Su to handle water matters (it’s a place with constant outbreaks). There’s one good news for her: Yu Xiu is officially Xiao Qi’s god sister.  

He Lan Zhen pays a visit to Zi Dan. The former wants to collude with the latter. Zi Dan refuses. He doesn’t want to cooperate with someone who harmed Wang Xuan. However, after a few words (power = get the woman he loves duh), he cooperates with He Lan Zhen. In return, Zi Dan wants the throne.

[Ep42] He Lan Zhen wants to work with Xie Wan Ru and Zi Dan but also neither of them. My understanding: he’ll take advantage of either party for his own gains.  

Wan Ru has a nightmare and suddenly her pregnancy is looking even more unstable. She hires a dream interpreter who says the man haunting her is Xiao Qi. Okay, more of a reason for our smarty pants Empress to kill Xiao Qi.  

Xiao Qi discovers Wang Xuan is secretly meeting with He Lan Zhen and confronts her. She’s like “You don’t believe me!” Well, girl, you’re doing something this fishy behind his back and with a man that dangerous. Wang Xuan explains she’s doing this for her family (e.g. Wang Qian). 

After leaving Wang Xuan’s room, Xiao Qi is hugged by Wang Qian. Our faithful general can care less and doesn’t even respond to her. 

[Ep43] Wang Qian sneaks into Xiao Qi’s room and poisons his drink. She hides as she overhears him speaking with the physician about treating Wang Xuan. He doesn’t want to give her infertility medication her entire life.  
Wang Xuan performs a He Lan Dance to entertain He Lan Zhen so that he can reconsider his bride candidate. He Lan Zhen dances with her and will switch out his bride. This dance... I can’t take it seriously...lol... Wang Su asks Wang Xuan why she’s going through so much just to help Wang Qian. Want Xuan doesn’t want another girl to be a chess piece.  

Xiao Qi is sensually stimulated because of the poison but snaps back to consciousness and orders Wang Qian to leave his home by tomorrow. Wang Qian starts plan B. She runs out claiming she was raped. The entire manor is alarmed. Yu Xiu calmly reminds Wang Xuan to confirm with Xiao Qi first because raping isn’t his normal style. 

[Ep44] Xu Gu Gu informs Wang Su about the contraceptive medication. Wang Qian also tells Wang Xuan the same thing omitting it’s for her safety.

Xiao Qi had to stab his hand to control the stimulation. Wang Xuan enters the room to sees the bloody mess. How will things go? Will we have a messy misunderstanding? Nope. Wang Xuan calmly asks Xiao Qi why he gave her those medication. From him, she properly learns everything. 

Xiao Qi: All my children will be given birth by Wang Xuan even if I never have a child.  

After this, Wang Xuan resolves to never suspect Xiao Qi of anything.  

The medication Xiao Qi took wasn’t just a stimulus. It was poisonous. If he hadn’t stabbed himself to let out the poison, his life could have been on the line. Wang Qian’s crimes grow in severity. A letter comes in to notify that she’s no longer betrothed to He Lan Zhen. Wang Qian and her mother actually jump in joy in front of Wang Xuan. Composed, Wang Xuan asks Wang Qian if she’ll admit to her crimes. Wang Qian happily does as instructed by her mother. Are these two idiots?

Wang Xuan: Okay – burns the letter – then marry He Lan Zhen. Snickers

Wang Su adds an extra stipulation. The mother daughter pair cannot step foot in the city ever again. 

Xiao Qi has one more piece of truth to tell Wang Xuan. Her father’s death.
 
[Ep45] Zi Dan asks Su Jin'er for her allegiance. Before he asked, this girl was his all along. Girl, don't you know he wants to be the king because of Wang Xuan?

Wang Xuan is diagnosed to only have a few years left to live let alone be able to sustain a pregnancy to full term. There is a rare flower that can possibly give Wang Xuan more years of life but in exchange she cannot be pregnant. If prior her possibility of giving birth and living is low, then taking this medication and giving birth will mean death, absolute death.

Xiao Qi tells Wang Xuan that if the gods aren't giving him children because his hands are dirtied by the blood of the thousands he has killed, he's already more than grateful he has Wang Xuan as his wife. He'd rather spend the rest of his life with her than losing her. His darkest memories are losing his parents in a plague. He will not allow his children without a mother. If I was her and my husband said that to me, I'd feel his love but I'd also feel an equal amount of guilt.. ):.

This is a wedding episode for Yu Xiu and Song Huai En. Yu Xiu is in tears because she has to leave Wang Xuan. Song Huai En's last gaze before he left in the wedding carriage was towards Wang Xuan... He's drunk on his wedding night. Instead of Yu Xiu, he sees Wang Xuan. His expression darkens when he his eyes finally register Yu Xiu. Gosh, he's so sad to take her as his wife. And that dark solemn look Song Huai En gave on the carriage signifies a change in his character to me. It’s a one-way trip to wealth and power. There’s no return

The wedding night is over. Song Huai En departs on his mission with Wang Su. 

[Ep46] Xie Wan Ru has a difficult labour. She almost dies while conceiving but she doesn't. She gives birth to a little prince: Ma Jing.  

Wang Lin isn't dead. He faked his death to survive. Now, he takes a long treacherous path to find his son even if it means death. 

Wang Su has a new love interest: Gu Cai Wei

Xie Wan Ru has successfully given birth but her child won't stop crying for the ceremony to celebrate the baby shower. The irony: the baby’s name “Jing” means quiet. She yells at her son for almost killing her life and now killing her moment. Omg she gets to be a mother while Wang Xuan can't and this is how she treats her son? Wang Xuan gets a chance to carry the newborn who's all of a sudden calm. She notices the baby's cheeks are flushed and there's a scent of alcohol. YO. Not cool. Feeding a child alcohol to shut him up? 

Empress Dowagers speaks to Wang Xuan what their life would be like if she had married her son. How harmonious would that be? What. How dare this woman talk to Wang Xuan like that after she killed or attempted to kill her father? 

As expected, there's something wrong with our little prince. I hate how the retribution on Wan Ru falls on her son. An innocent child should not suffer the sin of his mother.

[Ep47] Wan Ru blames the alcohol on her maid playing the pitiful mother in front of the Emperor.

Yu Xiu is happily pregnant. 

Pang Gui secretly follows Xiao Qi to find him with a mother (Madam Dou) and her children. He updates Xu Gu Gu and she's once again suspicious of Xiao Qi. However, Xu Gu Gu learns from last time and updates Wang Xuan. Does Wang Xuan grow needlessly jealous no? She finds the family and happily plays with the children. She learns from Madam Dou how Xiao Qi cared for them ever since her husband's death (who's like brothers with Xiao Qi). 

Wang Xuan wants to be a mother (especially after seeing the Madam Dou’s children and Yu Xiu. She requests the physician to help her. 

Meanwhile, Xiao Qi wants to return to Ningshou. He’s had enough of the palace. He tells the Emperor he will give up his powers. There’s three camps who wants to kill Xiao Qi: Emperor&EmpressDowager, Empress&HeLanZhen, HeLanZhen&ZiDan

[Ep48] The Emperor doesn’t want to kill Xiao Qi anymore. The Empress calls him an idiot. Xiao Qi being on the outskirts of the country doesn’t mean he’s not a threat anymore. 

Xiao Qi has to leave for a “hunting trip" with the Emperor. He bids farewell to Wang Xuan. They say their favourite line. 

Xiao Qi: A day like this
Wang Xuan finishes the line: Forever like this. 

Wang Xuan pouts that he’s not even hugging her before he leaves. Xiao Qi turns around to his spoiled princess, opens his arms, and offers a hug. She’s not moving towards him. Xiao Qi takes the step forward but she stops him. She wants him to owe her that hug. It’s Wang Xuan’s way of ensuring he’ll be safely back with her

While Xiao Qi is gone, Wang Xuan undergoes painful treatments all so that she can bear children.

While Xiao Qi and the Emperor are gone, Zi Dan is staging a coup. 

Empress Dowager and the Empress think they have everything in their control and invite Wang Xuan to the palace. It’s not a cordial invitation, of course. Empress Dowager will kill Wang Xuan when Xiao Qi is dead because Wang Xuan is a constant threat who has the ability to carry out revenge if anything happened to her husband. Ah, lovely Aunt. Why has she not gone crazy yet?

[Ep49] Zheng Mo Mo (nanny) is purposely not letting the little prince sleep. :O. Wang Xuan catches her red-handed but Zheng Mo Mo blames Wang Xuan instead. Of course, Wan Ru believes her nanny who was always loyal. However, Wan Ru can’t shake off Wang Xuan’s words: who is it that takes care of the prince and why is it that he’s always crying when Wang Xuan can easily make the prince sleep. Wan Ru grows suspicious of her own nanny. :O Wan Ru has a brain! 

The Emperor’s operation “Kill Xiao Qi” is underway. But it’s Zi Long who’s shot from the arrow! Now Xiao Qi is framed for attempting to kill the Emperor. Killing two birds with one arrow.  

But what happened to the children of Madam Dou? Why are they kidnapped? 

[Ep50] The children are kidnapped by He Lan Zhen. Always the same tactics, eh. Xiao Qi is forced to let He Lan Zhen free. Now Xiao Qi has to carry the crime of killing the Emperor. 

Xiao Qi is on the run but he’s poisoned and now he’s pierced by weapons of all sort. Although his soldiers stick with him to the end, they’re outnumbered by the Emperor’s men. Still, our men fight to the bitter end. Our Xiao Qi is looking like a beast, a manly beast. Night settles in but the battle continues to be deadly. Will our brave soldiers make it out alive? 

Only Hu Yao and Xiao Qi survive. She had to watch her own brother (Hu Guang Lie) die. He took out his arrow and bleed to death, all to switch out his armour with Xiao Qi in order to protect him. I held in my tears when she hugged her brother but when the horse knew to kneel over to let Xiao Qi on, my tears drizzled. Then Hu Yao had to change her brother’s clothes to Xiao Qi’s. Not only that, she had to slash her own brother’s face so that the Emperor’s men would believe Xiao Qi is truly dead. 

Technically, it didn’t have to be the brother who had to die like that. Wouldn’t a no name soldier be better to fool the Emperor’s men? They're going to look for Hu Guang Lie’s body too, aren’t they? 

[Ep51] Wan Ru is confident with two teams (He Lan Zhen and Emperor) hunting for Xiao Qi, there’s no way he’d be alive. Little does she know Zi Long is dying and Xiao Qi is still alive (more or less)

I also take back my words of Wan Ru having a brain. Wan Ru chooses to believe Zheng Mo Mo again. It’s only until Wang Xuan catches Zheng Mo Mo in front of Wan Ru does she know she’s been betrayed by the person she thought was closest to her. The question is who is Zheng Mo Mo loyal to? If it’s not Xie Wan Ru my money’s on the other Xie member: Zi Dan

Empress Dowager thinks she has Xiao Qi and Wang Xuan in her hands. However, she just receives news of her dying son. Zi Long is really Si Long (死龍)

With his last breath, Zi Long crowns Ma Jing as the heir. Also, after Zi Long dies, Xie Wan Ru will be buried with him. Xie Wan Ru doesn’t know of this decree yet as she lovingly tells him she’ll stay with him until he’s better. And here I am eagerly waiting for her reaction when she hears the will. 

Wan Ru shrieks and cries to the Emperor: if both of them are gone, who will care for Ma Jing? The Emperor wants her to die with him to protect her. She’s the first Empress with Xie as her surname. Her surviving alone in this palace is too dangerous. The two of them dying together is also the best way to protect Ma Jing. 

Wan Ru prepares for her death. Prior to that, she was waiting for Wang Xuan. She wants Wang Xuan to take care of her baby. Wang Xuan is the only person she can trust. WHAT. After Wan Ru treated Wang Xuan like that, she dares to ask this of her! Wang Xuan won’t accept. Not because she hates Wan Ru like we all do but because she doesn’t want Wan Ru dead. 

I’m so disappointed in how easy this is for Wan Ru. She didn’t even get any punishment. Wang Xuan still has no idea Wan Ru planned her husband’s death or laughed at her inconceivability

[Ep52] Wang Xuan accepts Wan Ru's pleas. Wang Xuan will be the generous soul and take care of Jing'er. Wan Ru cries, "Let's be sister's again in our next lives." Oh god, please no. Wang Xuan nods. Then Wang Xuan visits the dying Emperor. Even he too pleas Wang Xuan to take care of Jing'er. This couple, the audacity, after what they had planned to do to her husband. When he hears his mother approaching, he tells Wang Xuan to flee the palace and take Jing'er with her. In this palace, other than Wang Xuan, there's no one else he can trust, not even his own mother. 

Zi Long dies. 

Upon leaving the gates, Wang Xuan is stopped. Luckily, it's General Wei from last time. He lets her through even though he sees her carrying a baby. Pang Gui is there with Wang Xuan at the pivotal moment once again. Why pivotal? Because Wang Xuan has become a wanted criminal. According to the Empress Dowager's useless informants, Xiao Qi had killed the Emperor and even though Xiao Qi is “dead", his entire family needs to die with him, i.e. Wang Xuan. 

Empress Dowager is finally going crazy! The physicians have confirmed it.  

[Ep53] Pang Gui and Wang Xuan are caught at the second gates. However, once the generals guarding the gates realize it's Xiao Qi's wife in the carriage, they immediately let her through. They battle the palace guards to free Wang Xuan. In the end the general dies for Wang Xuan’s safety. These generals fighting for Wang Xuan/Xiao Qi are putting their life on the line for loyalty

Wang Xuan's next plans are to part ways. Xu Gu Gu will leave with Jing'er to find Wang Su. Meanwhile Pang Gui and Su Jin'er will leave with Wang Xuan to find Xiao Qi. While Wang Xuan is sleeping, Su Jin'er quickly drops something outside of the carriage. Wang Xuan wakes up from the sound. Does Wang Xuan see?? 

Su Jin'er dropped the item for He Lan Zhen to follow them. He Lan Zhen is supposed to return Wang Xuan to Zi Dan (as part of the deal) but He Lan Zhen wants Wang Xuan for his own. He kills all of the palace guards who are after Wang Xuan. 

Empress Dowagers sends her own man (Jin Quan) to search for the little prince. 

Elsewhere, Wang Su meets with his father but his father is infected. 

Su Jin'er puts sleeping pills in the water she gave to Pang Gui and Wang Xuan. She's giving Wang Xuan to He Lan Zhen instead of Zi Dan. Su Jin'er knows that once Wang Xuan is with Zi Dan, then he will make her queen no matter the opposition. She can't let Zi Dan's reign be ruined because of Wang Xuan. Su Jin'er knows she committed a sin. But did she predict her punishment to arrive so soon? She’s immediately raped by He Lan Zhen's right hand man. 

Xiao Qi is awake! He's at a villager's home. Xiao Qi asks about "them" but there is no “them". The villager only found him. Wait, what happened to Hu Yao? 

[Ep54] Wang Xuan is once again He Lan Zhen’s hostage. He tells her Pang Gui is dead (I don’t believe this) and the one who betrayed her is Su Jin’er. The only place Wang Xuan can go to is Hu Lan.

Zi Dan makes his way back to the city. The palace is his to take. The Empress Dowager is barely sane anyways. Zi Dan gives her one last push to insanity by telling her who killed her son. It’s Zi Dan. 

Zi Dan is the new Emperor. He makes his late mother the Empress Dowager. Within two years, three brothers had a chance at the throne. How long can Zi Dan sit there peacefully? 

He Lan Zhen is back in Hulan. He has an arranged marriage but he refuses it even if it means losing the throne. All these men are so in love with Wang Xuan. Ironic how He Lan Zhen is giving up the throne for Wang Xuan while Zi Dan is claiming the throne for her. Then again, Zi Dan started the drama not wanting the throne either

Zi Dan had saved someone: Hu Yao. Hmmm. Hu Yao asks the maid whether they only saved her which happens to be the question Zi Dan asks of her too. Hu Yao lies that she’s the only survivor. Zi Dan also releases her from the palace. 

Meanwhile the lord of Hulan also promises to set Wang Xuan free (he wants his son to go with the arranged marriage). 

[Ep55] Xiao Qi is back with vengeance. He will bring justice to the men who have sacrificed for him. 

Wang Lin’s life mission: to not let his children be at the hands of others. Lady Han and his unborn child died because he was too weak. Wang Su understands his father’s resolve. Together, the father and son will take the throne from Zi Dan. 

Wang Xuan gets to escape only to be saved by He Lan Zhen. It technically is safer to be with He Lan Zhen. He threatens his father that Wang Xuan is the only condition for him to be king. I don’t get why Dad is so stubborn about He Lan Zhen being the king. Can’t He Lan Tuo take the throne?  

Wang Su wants Song Huai En to work for him. Song Huai En wants to avenge for Wang Xuan and Xiao Qi. Can I be hopeful about Song Huai En again? Wang Su offers Song Huai En an alliance. He also tempts Song Huai En with the throne. If Song Huai En accepts the throne or declines the alliance then Wang Su will have him beheaded on the spot. I like it how Song Huai En is literally playing with fire in this scene. Song Huai En accepts the alliance (but doesn’t accept the throne). He says his life is now Wang Su’s. He also wants to gain justice for Xiao Qi. Last but not least, he wants to find Wang Xuan. Gah, I don’t know what to believe in when it comes to Song Huai En!

Su Jin’er arrives in the palace. She lies to Zi Dan that Wang Xuan committed suicide because of Xiao Qi. Anyone who knows Wang Xuan wouldn’t believe that

[Ep56] Zi Dan is lovesick and every minister knows of it. He wants to die with Wang Xuan. Oi, Zi Dan is actually more useless than Zi Long. Meanwhile, Xiao Qi hears the same rumours that Wang Xuan committed suicide. I know he doesn’t believe it. Just as Xiao Qi is searching for Wang Xuan, Wang Xuan is looking for him too. She needs to confirm it for herself if Xiao Qi is really dead as rumours have it. 

Wang Su entrusts little Jing'er to Gu Cai Wei. When she asks who the child belongs to, Wang Su lies that he's his child with a courtesan. She cries but agrees on taking care of the baby for him. Awwww, now his girl misunderstood him. But Wang Su has no where to hide the baby for Wang Xuan's sake. There's no way his father would want a Ma descendant alive. Jin Quan and Wang Lin have their own men spying on Wang Su. Both sides know of the baby. Who will win the battle for the baby? Wang Lin does. 

Wang Qian, our sweeeet little cousin, plants a poisonous scorpion in Wang Xuan's bed. He Lan Zhen comes to the rescue. It's all thanks to the maid. This maid is A'Li Ma. Wang Xuan finally remembers where she has seen A’Li Ma. She was the girl who asked Xiao Qi to dance way back when Wang Xuan was in Ningshuo. Ever since the rumours of Xiao Qi's fall, her homeland was invaded by Hulan. 

He Lan Zhen visits his brother. In his hand is a baggage of something. Long hair hangs out. Yikes. It's a head. Is it Wang Qian's? No. Unfortunately. It's Wang Qian's maid. Wang Qian gets a slap by her husband for not minding her own business. 

[Ep57] Gu Cai Wei knows the child isn't Wang Su's. He apologizes to her for putting her in danger. He also asks her to return to the palace with him. She's hesitant. Her family no longer is powerful. She will be of no help to Wang Family. He's not asking for her family's approval, he's asking for her own heart's desires. Gu Cai Wei smiles. She likes him. 

By the way, who's taking care of the Jing'er? Wang Lin. Aw, it's kind of heartwarming. Please don't kill the child, Wang Lin

An update on Zi Dan: still lovesick. When Su Jin'er was arrested by the ministers, Zi Dan saves her. He makes her his consort just to anger the ministers. Ah, Su Jin'er gets what she wants. But what if she's bearing the child of that Hulan man? When Su Jin'er wakes up, she runs to the love of her life barefooted. I don't like her but in that scene of her running, I can feel her happiness that her love is finally returned. However, Zi Dan's cold reaction chills her heart. She had told him she lives for him but he replies with a question: "Then who do I live for." Live for yourself, people

Who's also lovesick? He Lan Zhen. He prepared a wedding dress for Wang Xuan but she won't marry him. Duh. Still, he will love her and will die for her. He believes A'Wu will be his. Nope. The Drama inserts a random Xiao Qi scene galloping on his horse across the landscape to tell us she belongs to Xiao Qi.  

Pang Gui is alive! Off topic, but what happened to Mou Lian?

[Ep58] Wang Xuan doesn’t just find Pang Gui but also the two children of Madam Dou. They’re all locked up by He Lan Zhen. The kids recount Xiao Qi’s "last moments". Wang Xuan begins believing Xiao Qi has truly died. 

Drama wastes time on scenes of Su Jin’er successfully seducing Zi Dan. But the importance of this scene is the immediate rejection he gives her after sleeping with her once there’s news of Wang Xuan being alive. 

Wang Lin warns his son from helping Zi Dan search for A’Wu: let Zi Dan bear all the minister’s complaints and dig his own grave. Wang Su is shocked at his father for not saving A’Wu. Wang Lin annoyingly sighs. It’s not that they won’t save her, they need to save her the right way. Plus, her being in Hulan is much safer than her being in this city. In their conversation they also mention Song Huai En. Wang Su notes that Song Huai En differs from Xiao Qi. He accepts bribes and praises. Wang Lin nods happily; he’s like continue to feed his ego that he’s better than Xiao QiThis game of throne is more fun when Wang Lin is involved

The Big Decision: Wang Xuan will be He Lan Zhen’s bride if he releases the prisoners. Tell me she is planning something else or I’ll be very disappointed

[Ep59] With Zi Dan being idiotically stubborn on saving Wang Xuan, it’s the perfect opportunity for Wang Su to segregate the ministers and gain favour over the Emperor. 

Wang Lin appears in front of Song Huai En. If they form an alliance, then Wang Lin will adopt him into the Wang Family and then he’ll finally be of nobility. Song Huai En is so tense with desire, it’s showing in his clutched hands. He wants it, bad. Once he gets that noble title, he’ll truly be “better” than Xiao Qi could ever be. At least, that’s what I think he’s thinking

The wedding between Wang Xuan and He Lan Zhen is supposed to happen today but the bride is switched out. Wang Qian has Wang Xuan captive. Wang Xuan needs just a day and so she begs Wang Qian to let her go. Wang Xuan even kneels but Wang Qian takes it too far and steps on Wang Xuan. Wang Xuan ends up pushing Wang Qian off and that force seemed to have disturbed the latter’s pregnancy. 

He Lan Zhen barges in to find his father but his father is already dead. It’s a trap for He Lan Zhen. Now he’s accused of murdering his father. You reap what you sow. At the brink of death, He Lan Zhen learns it was He Lan Tuo who killed the people he loved, not Xiao Qi. His revenge target was wrong all along.

He Lan Tuo gives the sword to Wang Xuan to kill off He Lan Zhen because what’s a better way to kill off a man than by the woman he loves. The tradeoff for Wang Xuan is that she gets to survive (according to the sleazy He Lan Tuo). Does Wang Xuan listen? No. She recklessly strikes at He Lan Tuo. Girl, what are you thinking. It’s a futile attempt duh and yet He Lan Tuo continues to let her yield the sword to kill He Lan Zhen. She’s given a second chance to kill but Wang Xuan isn’t that type of girl even if the man before her is the one who murdered her husband. Instead of slicing at his neck, she cuts the rope tying his hand. She saves He Lan Zhen but it’s only temporary. Hulan soldiers attack them. He Lan Zhen takes a blow for Wang Xuan and he dies protecting her. More soldiers attack her. Who will come to her rescue now? Xiao Qi! Just how in the world did Xiao Qi infiltrate when this land is all Hulan’s? 

I’m also disappointed Wang Xuan needed so many people saving her and the fact that she really didn’t have a backup plan

[Ep60] Xiao Qi saves Wang Xuan and the other slaves. He’s got He Lan Tuo as captive too. He makes it to General Mou Lian! There you are! But there’s other Generals who want Xiao Qi imprisoned and refuse to open the gates even if Hulan armies are right on their tails. Xiao Qi and Wang Xuan brace for the battle. 

Xiao Qi: As long as I’m here, no one can touch you. 
Wang Xuan: Together we live, together we die. 

The battle begins. 

Mou Lian finally manages to open the gates to protect Xiao Qi. However, they can’t afford to start a battle against Hulan and so Xiao Qi releases He Lan Tuo. The latter vows to take Xiao Qi’s head one day.

The reason why Mou Lian can open the gates is because he teamed up with this other general to tie up General Liu who was making a fuss. Xiao Qi unties General Liu. Xiao Qi bows over and apologizes. No matter the reason, comrades should be treated as equals. That is how Xiao Qi won all his battles. And that’s how our Xiao Qi gains General Liu’s respect.  

Xiao Qi has plans to return to the palace. Although it's a death trip, he needs to unveil the truth. His comrades cannot die accused of a crime they never committed. Xiao Qi wants Wang Xuan to stay where it’s safe.

Wang Xuan: From a long time ago, you were already the most important person in my heart. No matter where you go, I will be next to you. 
Xiao Qi: Alright. Together we live, together we die.

Xiao Qi and Wang Xuan embark on their joinery back to the palace. It’s an incredibly smooth process because gates just keep opening for them. Meanwhile, the ministers in the palace are peeing their pants. 
Song Huai En receives Xiao Qi but is he here to welcome Xiao Qi or to block him? Song Huai En says he’s here to persuade him from dying. Once more, Xiao Qi asks if “Su Yi Bo” is here to stand with him or against him. Oh my, Xiao Qi isn’t calling him by name anymore. Song Huai En says he’s standing with the government and therefore against Xiao Qi. Xiao Qi tells him to leave; he will go the palace as planned. Song Huai En drops the royal edict to the ground. And that’s the end of our brothers

Su Jin’er is pregnant. But whose child is it?

[Ep61] Xiao Qi and the Emperor meet. Being pushed to his limits, the Emperor concedes to lifting Xiao Qi’s punishment. But that’s not what Xiao Qi wants. He rejects the royal edict. Rejecting a royal edict, eh. Xiao Qi wants the truth. Wang Su suggests to allow Xiao Qi to investigate into it. 

It’s awkward between Yu Xiu and Song Huai En. She eagerly wants to visit Wang Xuan now that she’s back but Song Huai En reminds Yu Xiu, she’s no longer a maid. She’s his wife. Yu Xiu tenses up. She quietly tells him that they can’t forget their roots (i.e. the people who supported them). I hope she knows her husband is no longer the Song Huai En she loved. Or is it better she never knows?

Wang Xuan compliments Xiao Qi for standing for his rights against the Emperor (Zi Dan). 

Wang Xuan: If someone is bullying my General, then of course I have to stay by my husband’s side. (uummmm, did she do anything, though? Or did she literally mean “stand” by him?)

Wang Xuan also asks Xiao Qi if he’s going to “change". She’s referring to Su Jin’er’s betrayal. 

Xiao Qi: Towards you, never. 

[Ep62] Wang Xuan meets Su Jin’er. Wang Xuan doesn’t know where it went wrong between them. Su Jin’er tells her that if Wang Xuan really treated her like a sister then she would have known her true feelings. That’s the end to their sister relationship. Good riddance. A little too late on Wang Xuan’s side, tbh.

Wang Xuan visits Empress Dowager. She acts like an aunt who cares for her niece. The nerve of this lady. Wang Xuan once again becomes a caring niece. 

Xiao Qi reunites with Hu Yao and learns of her brother’s sacrifice. 

Wang Xuan asks Xu Gu Gu if she thinks Xiao Qi has changed. Xu Gu Gu says he has but so has Wang Xuan. 

Wang Xuan has come to an understanding about their Wang family motto: "Queen of the World". Wang Lin didn’t like it so he never allowed anyone to mention it. It doesn’t mean to favour women like her father had thought but to be the mother of the country; to love and cherish its people. Wang Xuan is the mother who can’t be a mother but is the best mother of them all. This is why she’s so effing forgiving. She is the Queen of the World, the Mother of the World

Xiao Qi walks into court like he owns it. He demands Zi Dan (our new useless Emperor who’s more useless than the previous Emperor) to give his army their deserved justice.
 
[Ep63] Under Xiao Qi’s pressure, Zi Dan gives a proper funeral to the perished soldiers who were killed by their own country.

Song Huai En pledges loyalty to Zi Long. Song Huai En, are you an idiot? But...it seems Xiao Qi still somewhat trusts Song Huai En?? Can I have hope?!

Xiao Qi adopts the two children of Madam Dou’s as his own. The mother is Wang Xuan. On this happy occasion, Wang Xuan asks Xiao Qi if he can drop his plans and live a peaceful life. Xiao Qi's answer: No. I’m disappointed Wang Xuan even asked him that. 

Empress Dowager is still sane. I’m sad she's not actually crazy. She’s using the same trick as our late Emperor. She’s pretending to be senile to secretly look for Ma Jing’er. She also tells Wang Xuan that it was Zi Dan who killed Zi Long and sabotaged Xiao Qi. Immediately, Wang Xuan confronts Zi Dan. And what use is that? Wang Xuan wants the truth from Zi Dan. He admits he's changed and it was all for her. 

Su Jin’er’s pregnancy is unstable. The physician can tell her pregnancy is before her arrival in the palace. It’s not Zi Dan’s. This news travel to Wang Su and Wang Lin. 

Wang Xuan struggles internally. She doesn’t know whether to tell Xiao Qi the truth that it was Zi Long who massacred his army. She’s afraid Xiao Qi will wage war. 

[Ep64] Wang father and son are on the move. Someone is stirring rumours of Xiao Qi overthrowing the Emperor. It’s Wang Lin. Meanwhile Wang Su threatens Su Jin’er to help him retrieve the Imperial Seal in exchange for keeping her pregnancy a secret. She easily steals it while Zi Dan is drunk. Omg, Zi Dan is so useless! The Imperial Seal is just out in the open! He didn’t even notice it was missing because he only cared about Wang Xuan’s portrait. Wang father and son also give Song Huai En a mission. They have proof that it was Zi Dan who killed Zi Long and want Song Huai En to deliver the proof to Xiao Qi. 

Xu Gu Gu by chance finds Wang Lin’s lair (it’s in the late Elder Princess’s monastery). To protect their secret, Song Huai En kills Xu Gu Gu. Okay. I have officially dropped Song Huai En

[Ep65] Xu Gu Gu’s corpse is found. She died near the same day as the late Elder Princess. Will Wang Xuan finally understand what Xiao Qi is going through after losing Xu Gu Gu? Xiao Qi informs Wang Xuan that on the day Xu Gu Gu died, Wang Su was on the scene too. Even if Xu Gu Gu’s death isn’t his fault, it definitely has something to do with him. 

Wang Su is mourning for Xu Gu Gu’s loss too. Wang Lin isn’t. The big man’s gotta do what the big man’s gotta do. He urges his son to do the same. When Wang Xuan asks Wang Su what happened, he only tells her to leave the city for her own safety. Wang Xuan reports this to Xiao Qi. Our couple can sense that Wang Su wants them to leave and to leave with the army. If that's the case, our couple will leave. Xiao Qi and Wang Xuan are going to fish out who Wang Su is working for. 

Su Jin’er gives birth to a boy but upon seeing the full term baby, Zi Dan knows the child isn’t his. At least, Su Jin’er had the heart to protect her newborn when Zi Dan wielded a sword at her. She’s dragged off to be killed but Wang Xuan asks Zi Dan if she could handle the rest. 

Su Jin’er drinks the poisonous wine that Wang Xuan pours for her. She tells Wang Xuan her heart only held two people; one is Zi Dan and the other is Wang Xuan. Su Jin’er: "I won’t beg for your forgiveness. I’ll pay you with this life of mine.” However, the wine isn’t poisonous. Wang Xuan drinks it too and says this is the end to their fate. Wang Xuan gives Su Jin'er her newborn and a new life. She has paved a way for Su Jin’er to leave the city safely. Wang Xuan: slaying people with benevolence

Song Huai En delivers the proof to Xiao Qi that it was Zi Long who sabotaged his army. I’m disappointed Wang Xuan wasn’t the one who told Xiao Qi.

[Ep66] Xiao Qi realizes Wang Xuan knew the culprit was Zi Long all along. She urges him to reconsider launching his army against the Emperor but he won’t hear a word of it. After a long moment of thought, Wang Xuan dons her attire. She’s heading out too but not without her accessoriesYes, girls, we ought look pretty first

What kind of justice if Xiao Qi seeking for? Zi Dan’s life. Xiao Qi has no desire for the throne. After killing Zi Dan, he will return to Ningshuo. However, before Xiao Qi slashes him, Wang Xuan makes her grand entrance. Slaying the king isn’t an act of nobility. Wang Xuan stands against Xiao Qi to protect Zi Dan. But in a sense she is protecting Xiao Qi. If Xiao Qi slays the Emperor, no matter what reason he had to kill the Emperor with, he’ll go down in history as a barbarian. Xiao Qi drops his sword but not without a swing at the royal throne first. Zi Long almost peed his pants (I would think). Wang Xuan stays motionless because I think she knew Xiao Qi wouldn’t kill. Xiao Qi bellows his retreat and declares they’ll leave for Ningshuo. 

As Xiao Qi is leaving, he turns around to meet Wang Xuan’s gaze. She gives him a slight nod with a smile. This was their plan to retreat his army all along to fish out the mastermind. I kind of like it that this one gaze is enough to tell us this was their plan. There was never a rift between them

[Ep67] Wang Lin forms an alliance with Empress Dowager (to allow Song Huai En’s army to enter the palace). I can’t believe she believes Wang Lin will make Ma Jing’er king. Wang Lin has no intention of keeping Ma Jing’er alive. Wang Lin! I told you to not kill the baby! Wang Su overhears this and kidnaps Jing’er to keep the baby safe. At least the servant ordered to kill Ma Jing'er is relieved Wang Su saved the child.

Song Huai En’s army is on the move (under Wang Lin’s orders). Yu Xiu tried to stop him but Song Huai En was never one to listen to her. Shortly after, Yu Xiu leaves the manor too. She weeps farewell to her son. 

While the army is headed to the palace, Wang Lin invites all the minsters to the monastery. He shows them the royal decree that it was Zi Long (the late Emperor) who appointed him to oversee the throne until Ma Jing’er is of age. The decree has the Imperial Seal (which Su Jin’er stole). Wang Lin says he also has the Empress Dowager’s support. The ministers have no reason to deny Wang Lin. 

Wang Xuan knows Empress Dowager is only pretending to be crazy. She questions her smarty-pant aunt whether she can really believe Wang Lin. Our idiot Empress Dowager does. 

Just when Song Huai En is about to attack into the place, Yu Xiu makes it to the scene to convince Song Huai En to retreat, to remember his roots. She's willing to die with him if his sins cannot be forgiven. Song Huai En sends an arrow that misses her. It’s too late for him. He cannot retreat. Thus, Yu Xiu commits suicide. Song Huai En marches forward with his army. Very unlike Wang Lin when the Elder Princess committed suicide. Is that telling me Wang Lin did love Elder Princess while Song Huai En never loved Yu Xiu? 

The battle for the throne begins. Wang Xuan tries to save Zi Dan who’s already lost hope. She takes him to the secret passage to escape but Song Huai En knew of that passage! He blocks it. He even kills Hu Yao. Boy. I – I give up

Our beautiful Empress Dowager is in her red dress ready to receive her future king grandson but she dies before making it down the stairs. Omg. She dies peacefully like that? She doesn’t even get to see the palace in ruins because of her stupidity? Omg where do I vent! 

[Ep68] Zi Dan asks Wang Xuan for a favour: to kill him if his death is coming. He doesn’t want to die at the hands of the enemy. He wants to keep his dignity as the Emperor. Dude, it’s too late

Song Huai En encircles the palace with his army. Zi Dan asks him who’s the one orchestrating this coup. In comes Wang Lin who has already draped himself in gold. He makes his grand ascent and Song Huai En shoves Zi Dan off the throne (lol) to make way for Wang Lin.  

Wang Xuan sees her father for the first time. 

Wang Xuan: Are you human or ghost? 
Wang Lin: I am your father. Lol. Am I the only one who found this funny? 

Wang Xuan begs her father that he has already wronged once, he cannot commit another sin. Wang Lin says he was never wrong, he was defeated. Knowing Wang Lin isn’t going to step down with just her words, Wang Xuan takes a sword to her neck just like her mother had. Wang Lin asks her just what is she protecting. Not the throne. She’s protecting what her father had taught her: loyalty and integrity. Wang Lin manages to take the sword from her hands but when he lets his guard down, Song Huai En stabs him from the back. Literally.

Song Huai En: What Xiao Qi has, I want too. What Xiao Qi doesn’t have, I want too. 

Song Huai En calls Wang Xuan by her nickname, “A’wu", for the first time. He gives her the hair pin she had given him on her marriage when Xiao Qi ditched her. He kept it all along and now he’s using it to ask her to be his Empress. Omg, yooooo. He’s a scum! Yu Xin just died for him!! Xiao Qi’s voice bellows thought the court, "Song Huai En" and the next thing you see is an arrow piercing through his armour straight to his heart. Xiao Qi has surrounded Song Huai En’s army with his. 

At least Song Huai En got to sit on the throne while dying... In his last breath he calls Xiao Qi is brother and pleas Xiao Qi to take him back to Ningshuo, "I don’t want to be in the capital anymore.” Dude, it’s too late.

Wang Xuan finds her dying father. 

Wang Lin: Am I dead or living? Are you dead or living?

He asks his daughter for a hug. Wang Lin says he did this all for love. Everyone thinks he doesn’t understand love but he does. Wang Xuan asks him if he ever loved her mother. He replies by questioning her daughter if she loves Xiao Qi or Zi Dan.

Wang Xuan: This love cannot be compared to that love. I think that's what she meant

Hearing her answer, Wang Lin compliments her daughter for growing up. He also compliments Wang Su for not being part of this coup. He sends Wang Xuan to seek for Wang Su and Xiao Qi. However, the moment she walks away, Wang Lin dies. I’m actually quite confused with Wang Lin’s obsession with love. I don’t really know if he truly understood. At the same time I also don’t understand what he didn’t understand about it.  

Peace has come to the city. 

Song Huai En’s son is being taken care of by Wang Xuan and Xiao Qi. Wang Su is sill a minister with Gu Cai Wei as his wife. Zi Dan gives up the throne and self imprisons himself in the imperial tomb for his own sins. Ma Jin’er is the Emperor.

Xiao Qi and Wang Xuan are back in Ningshuo. They’re surrounded by children – a herd of them – and Wang Xuan has one in her womb too! There’s also a little girl by the name Qin Zhi. Although Wang Xuan isn’ the Queen of the Nation, she’s the holy mother of all her children.

The End. 

Remarks



[First Impression (Ep1-8)] After going through a few name changes right before its broadcast, Monarch Industry has settled for The Rebel Princess. Episode two is where the CP briefly meets and it has a glimpse (a very small glimpse) of the type or romance I like. He’s a general; she’s a spoiled princess who wants to marry the man she loves (who is this other royal dude). She’s supposed to slowly fall in love with this misunderstood General who doesn’t have the best upbringing and together they’re to make the world better. 

The actors are a decade older than I would prefer them to be. It feels like the entire drama is tailored for Zhang Zi Yi by that I mean the casts’ age is on average higher than many other dramas. She’s supposed to be in her teens (real age: 41) when the drama starts so none of the other cast can be too young. It’s an obstacle believing her as this young lady. It's also not getting the best reception in China because of her age. However, I do manage to get over it because a) I like the romance potential, b) some of the scenes are interesting (e.g. FL running away from a pervert) and c) the story is paced well and engaging. For the moment I actually find this light, despite the dramatic story, and I kind of prefer that.

[Actors/Actresses] After The Message, I have a newfound appreciation for Zhou Yi Wei, the ML, so that's probably why I'm more inclined to believe that he'll make this CP work. Zhang Zi Yi is this big star but I have never seen her previous works. She’s exclusively in films and this is her debut drama. I’m more familiar with Tong Yao and I keep seeing Tong Yao in her. I can’t praise Zhang Zi Yi for trying her utmost best in acting youthful when she doesn’t appear youthful anymore but, hey, she might be the best 40-year old acting a teenager out there, shrugs. It’s my first time seeing her act and if I ignore the age of her character, I have a favourable impression of her. 

[Behind the Scenes

[Ending] Happy.

The Specifics. Wang Xuan will have a child of her own. Xiao Qi is her husband and still so in love with her. The Emperor is Zi Long and Wan Ru’s son, Ma Jing. Technically Wan Ru entrusted her son to Wang Xuan so you can say Wang Xuan is truly the Mother of the Nation and the Queen of the Nation.

A Rant: Wang Xuan’s Character Development. I had expected Wang Xuan to be “rebellious” in the normal sense where she’s badass to her opponents but Wang Xuan slays with kindness. She was rebellious against us, the audience. She will forgive any wretched soul that the underworld will even reject. She is that kind. Aaaand I had a lot of problems with that. Those terrestrial trashes were not worth forgiving. Yes, she achieved peace with her ways, but at what cost? With Xu Gu Gu and Hu Yao’s life. Then the people who were supposed to die lived: Su Jin’er and Zi Dan. How did they live? Because our gracious Wang Xuan saved them. Where is justice? The Drama could not have chosen a more anti-climatic way to develop our main character’s growth. Wang Xuan didn’t lift a finger; she was passively there as events unfolded in front of her. Xie Wan Ru died because Zi Long died. Empress Dowager fainted on the road and died on her own (!!). Su Jin’er was actually saved by Wang Xuan (!!!). These women were atrocious. I hated Wan Ru the most because she took pleasure in Wang Xuan's infertility and yet Wang Xuan risked her life to save her child. How come these villains get to leave peacefully while Hu Yao slaughtered her own brother and died for peace?

Final Review


[Review

[The Good]

There’s gorgeous cinematography. The story is layered. There are complex and flawed characters. There’s different levels of villainess. There’s a romance to love and a hot General to swoon for. The last bit is the compelling factor (for me). Our General isn’t hot in the normal sense where he’s the handsome young stoic lad. He’s mature and by mature I mean oozing with charisma and by charisma I mean this guy can stand in stillness yet his eyes can stir the depths of my heart. He is Xiao Qi; actor: Zhou Yi Wei.

The next big winner of this drama is Song Huai En, actor Li Duan Duan. He’s the trusty sidekick of Xiao Qi. Love him lots and then you’ll feel the same as me once this drama ends. It’s a wonderful journey. Trust me on this.

Zhang Zi Yi’s Wang Xuan between the episodes of 8-33 was bold and Xiao Qi’s equal. They were a couple worth commemorating. These episodes were the peak of the drama

[The Not So Good]

Zhang Zi Yi’s Wang Xuan from episodes 1-7. The initial hate on this drama was centered on her portrayal of a teenager and I would agree with the hate. It was off-putting seeing her pretend to be a kid. It wasn’t believable. However, for that one criticism to take over the entire critique of this drama is unfair and unwarranted when there was at the very least other things to look forward to in this grand palace drama.

The romance. It’s not the amount of screen time that bothers me. It’s how she fell in love with him that felt lacklustre. I really enjoy the process of my CPs falling in love and there wasn't enough of that here. [Sp (Ep12)] I was disappointed Wang Xuan believed Xiao Qi's words about her father so quickly without any reservation. Yes, I understand he just saved her with his life but that hate to love transition was so abrupt and so short-lived that I barely had time to savour it and it was over. [/Sp] The romance pretty much stopped developing after Ep33. The scriptwriters clearly favoured palace politics over romance, which is fine if the palace-politics is worthwhile. 

[The Bad

Wang Xuan from episodes 33-68. [Sp] To say that Wang Xuan’s (A’Wu) character development in the last half of the drama is underwhelming is an understatement. I was frustrated at all her choices. When I watch a palace drama with a female lead as the main character (and with a cover image like that!) I was expecting her to be tough and uncompromising against injustice. I couldn’t be more wrong. Wang Xuan’s character is consistently forgiving and it’s unnerving. You raped her best friend – she forgives you. You tried to kill her – she forgives you. You make her mother commit suicide – she forgives you. You make her miscarry and potentially barren for life – she forgives you. You killed her cousin – she forgives you. You tried to killed her husband – she forgives you. You sabotaged her husband and kill all his comrades – she forgives you. Why is she so forgiving? Because she’s the f*king Mother of the Nation. That is the heart of her character. She was never meant to be a badass. She is loving and she is caring. So annoying. I don't watch palace dramas for my female lead (and main lead!) to be so passive. All that buildup of her character being Xiao Qi's equal collapsed. [/Sp]

The villain's demise. I was satisfied with the villains themselves because they were complex and fun enough to hate and laugh at. It's the trajectory of their downfall that sucked. It's like the drama deliberately avoided anything dramatic and took the safe route (i.e. the boring way). It's good in a sense that it's not cliché but terrible because I felt no satisfaction. Our villains fell on their own. Wang Xuan had no part in it – in any of it. She didn't even know half the stuff they did to her and our beautiful angel consistently forgives them. I had to repeatedly remind myself she will slay with kindness and only kindness. Do not expect more of her. That is not Wang Xuan. 

[Overall]

It sucks to admit that after committing myself to this long, long drama I come out of this disappointed. Perhaps picking up on the cue that Wang Family was supposed to be the Mother of the Nation would have eased the disappointment but it’s all too late for me. 

To those who are reading this and are unsure of whether to watch this, I sort of do want you to watch it, just so you could feel so high with me and then so low. In other words, suffer with me. But seriously, sometimes watching a drama is just like that – for the watching experience, for the feelings. At its root, it's a good drama with a lot of character setup and layered storytelling. I also like that it's a "lighter" palace drama that easily pulled me into the story. Do your own research and see if 68 episodes of this is worth your time. If you're not watching this, the one thing you'll miss out on is Zhou Yi Wei's Xiao Qi (and perhaps Liu Duan Duan's Song Huai En). 



Random RecommendationI was going to recommend Prince of Lan Ling because I vaguely remember Feng Shao Feng looking hot in there but I can't for the life of me remember the story so I'll add a second recommendation: Ban Shu Legend. It’s an oldie but a goodie. Don’t set expectations to high and watch for a feisty female lead cleaning up her class of un-gratefuls. Also enjoy a game of I Spy with that loaded cast. Who would have known they’d be so popular now. 


No comments:

Post a Comment