If women are considered fast-changing creatures, (by men of course;) then Yang Kang must have gotten more fickleness that he needed when he inherited that X chromosome from his mother. Just this morning, he had drawn an invisible line, no, a wall, between his haughty self and Mu NianCi; by dusk, he has written her a letter, urgently inviting her over. Maybe the testosterone of a teenage boy (I know he doesn’t look it, but he is still in his teen years) follows the circadian rhythm of a diurnal.
一句一伤 by Jade Liu：
By nightfall, Yang Kang’s men came to lead NianCi the way to palace. She, wearing a pair of straw shoes, follows them to retrieve her shoe back. Unfortunately a rendezvous of two is soon complicated when Mu Yi accidentally sees the letter and decides to save his daughter by risking his life entering the palace. Sometimes, fathers should put down their over-protective guard and let things go through their natural courses. When the party is joined by Guo Jing and Huang Rong as they decide to steal fetch the antidote from the monk in palace, it gets a little more fun.
Sneaking into a palace usually means danger, fight-flight, and all the other exciting autonomic changes that comes with the act. It’s more fun when you have a weird, old man wearing a white beard that goes down to the belly (no, not Santa) lurking around the place with a huge ginseng-eating basilisk. Even if the basilisk is 1/10th as scary as Lord Voldemort’s. Make that 1/12th.
Mu NianCi leaves the earliest, plus she has the men to guide her, so she’s in Yang Kang’s room before the others even get a chance to alarm the guards. Yang Kang plays gentlemen but NianCi doesn’t buy it. She wants to cut the crap and jump straight into the foreplay fight. She gets her way and Yang Kang takes off her straw shoes forcefully before seating her firmly on a wooden chair.
Then, making sure she couldn’t move, he … *gasp* he puts rose pedals into a golden basin and starts to wash her feet. (!!)
He washes her feet with care and occasionally looks up to observe NianCi’s expression. Binding uncomfortably onto the chair, NianCi closes her eyes to conceal the tiniest trace of frightful excitement and a more overwhelming sense of natural awkwardness. Yang Kang smiles in enjoyment and throws in more chrysanthemum pedals.
“You must look extremely pretty when you smile. Too bad you never do. Why though?” Yang Kang demands, throwing yet more pedals. “Or…” he contemplates to himself for a moment, “did you really come for the shoe? Alright. Then I’ll give you a shoe.” He throws more pedals in and calls for his servants, who bring up a dozen different shoes on golden trays, with a cushion beneath the shoe and all, totally Cinderella style.
NianCi moves closer to look at the shoe and scoffs, “This small? Are you playing me? I only want my shoe.” Yang Kang waves his arm and orders the servants to leave and pulls NianCi towards him, “Alright. When you promise to be my woman, I’ll give you back that shoe.” She slaps him across the face and runs out on her barefoot.
NianCi left but the fun had just begun. Mu Yi is discovered and surrounded by OuYang Ke, so are Huang Rong and Guo Jing, although the two groups that come separately on their own don’t know of each other’s existence yet.
Huang Rong volunteers to drag out the time by distracting OuYang Ke, who has a tender spot for beauty; while Guo Jing runs off to search for the antidote. OuYang Ke is more than thrilled to be handling a pretty, mischievous girl, so Guo Jing gets away easily. What OuYang Ke doesn’t know is that Huang Rong already has a way of getting OuYang Ke off her tail.
She immobilizes OuYang Ke’s female protectors and yells to start a bet with OuYang Ke. Always considering himself a cut above the company, OuYang Ke muses and agrees to the challenge. Huang Rong sets the rule: in 100 stances, if OuYang Ke cannot guess who her master is, he must let her go. Without giving him a chance to bargain, she pulls out the sword.
They flirt fight.
Mu Yi is hurt. He stumbles across palace territory and collapses in front of a dark hut, whose exterior design departs from the haughty decoration of the rest of the palace. Too wounded and dark to notice anything, he lets himself in. Bao XiRuo finds him and hides him from the troops chasing for his life. Once safe, she helps him inside and pours him a cup of tea. He starts to explain the reason he came tonight. She listens patiently, and when he’s done, she promises to talk to her son about his reckless behavior. He grunts and gets up to leave only to fall on the cold floor with a hard thud. She hastily runs off to find her first aid kit. The little break gives Mu Yi a moment to glance around the room. The room looks awfully familiar. Like, it was his own home… Like when he and his wife were still together…
Before Mu Yi’s thoughts can wander any further, a harsh door knock breaks off the train of thought. WanYan HongLie has come himself to survey the safety of his soon-to-be wife. Bao XiRuo lies for Mu Yi and closes the door behind her gently, urging him to take her to Yang Kang – to ensure his safety – as an excuse to let the stranger inside the hut escape.
Mu Yi runs away and encounters Guo Jing, who helps him up.
Huang Rong gets rid of OuYang Ke and runs to find Guo Jing.
The three of them finally meet as they are surrounded by more and more guards. Bao XiRuo comes in time to explain Mu Yi’s reason to break into the palace. Huang Rong pretends to be NianCi and cries on Mu Yi’s shoulder to convince WanYan KongLie to let them go. WanYan HongLie releases them without a second thought. Only OuYang Ke sees through Huang Rong’s coy smile, although he makes no attempt to interfere with the act Huang Rong put on, amusing himself to death.
Once Guo Jing and Huang Rong escort Mu Yi to the tavern, they found NianCi, who is still savoring the moment with Yang Kang. Guo Jing offers his shoes to NianCi, arguing that a man shouldn’t let a woman walk around barefoot. To Huang Rong’s amazement, the shoes fit perfectly on NianCi. (Small foot and beauty don’t always correlate in this case.)
By the second day, Mu Yi’s wound has healed a good 80% and he is out and about like he wasn’t even hurt. He practices kung fu in front of Guo Jing and reveals the truth: his real name isn’t Mu Yi. He is Yang TieXin, in other words, Guo Jing’s deceased father’s sworn brother. Mu Yi is just a pseudonym derived from splitting his surname into two. And Mu NianCi is only his adopted daughter – the daughter of the kind couple who saved him 18 years ago.
“I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family”, with a cheery Ode to Barney-the-purple-dinosaur, Guo Jing reunites with Yang TieXin.
Even though the part about Yang Kang’s foot fetish, as I like to call it, isn’t in the original novel, I liked it here despite a lack of antecedence. It would be extremely sweet if it’s used on a couple who have been married for decades. lol Just one of my girlish romantic notions.
I had fun writing this recap. I hope whoever decides to read it have fun reading too. :]