One day 18 years ago, I was being chased by a group of Song solders. They pursued me like a cluster of buzzing flies. …
Within Temptation – Somewhere
Mu NianCi jumped onto the palace roof, not knowing where she is, not knowing where her father is. She has one goal in mind — to find the antidote for the taoist.
… I was deeply wounded. Out of desperation, I saw a shabby wooden hut and hid myself among the hays. And then, I was unconscious…
NianCi ducked her body low and searched desultorily in the palace. In the darkness, she gripped onto her sword tighter and pursed her lips in determination. A muffled sound of someone calling for help perked NianCi’s attention. She followed it and found herself in front of a humble hut, distinguished from the lavishness of the rest of the palace. She pressed her ears to the door to listen.
… When I woke up, there was a woman of 28, radiating beauty even in the ragged peasant clothes she donned. She was kneeling in front of me, holding a bowl of porridge with a spoon in one hand. I watched her through heavy eyelids. She didn’t notice me and continued to blow into the spoon, trying to cool the porridge. When she looked up, her gaze touched mine. A pulse ran through my spine and I knew then — she is going to be mine. …
“Tie Ge, are you Tie Ge?” the woman in the hut inquired, alarmingly. “What’s his full name?” NianCi asked back. “Yang TieXing.” she answered. “Are you my adopted mother?” (hmm the question sounds weird in English.) The woman ignored the question and continued to yarn for her “Tie Ge”. NianCi looked around and saw the medal chain locking the hut. She cut it in half and opened the door. An elegantly dressed woman ran out and ran into NianCi’s arms. After a short confirmation, the queen was sure the man she saw at the temple this morning was her husband. The husband she’s been longing to see again for 18 tortuous long years. She ran away wildly into the bleak coldness, looking for her “Tie Ge”.
… When I recovered my strength, I came back to Jin territory. But I’ve never once stopped plotting. I had to have her. To do that, I must get rid of her husband first. So I bribed a man belonging to the local government where she lived and had him frame her husband and his neighbor. He was to kill everybody but her while I take her under my protective wings like an innocent hero.
Worried about her adopted mother, NianCi followed after the woman as they both ran into Yang Kang. WanYan Kang is puzzled by his mother’s odd behavior of going about the palace at night, but his question mark vanished the second he saw Mu NianCi. Bao XiRuo escaped away while NianCi held Yang Kang. A fight ensued and WanYang Kang gained the upper hand immediately. He pinned NianCi to the ground and ordered his men to transport her to his room.
Helplessness and anger awashed Yang TieXing’s face as he listened to WanYan HongLie’s revelation. He grabbed his spear and thrust it towards WanYan HongLie’s abdomen. Prepared for the attack, WanYang HongLie blocked it and the two love rivals mingled in a fight like two mountain lions, crashing, scratching, hurdling (roaring) at each other — all the while carrying out a conversation (mostly by WanYan HongLie).
I can give her happiness… When she left you, she’s only 28. How dare you waste her youth and happiness? … What makes you think all those years she’s been with me, nothing had happened between us? (eh, trust made him believe?) … You can’t even protect your wife and son, what kind of man are you? What can you give them? How can you ruin their lives like that? Do you know the extent of pain your existence are causing them?
When the fight finally ended, Yang TieXing’s hope for reuniting with his family was also distinguished. Now, he is a defeated cat, submerged in self-pity, unable to pull through.
Bao XiRuo found Yang TieXing then. He refused to recognize her, determined to hurt her for her good, not realizing the absurdity of his very conduct. He pushed her away. She grabbed onto his sleeve, unwilling to let him go. But he persisted and left. She fell down in despair, wailing after her lost happiness.
WanYang HongLie walked up to help her up, she pushed him away the way Yang TieXing had pushed her away, calling WanYang HongLie a cool-blooded liar and warning him she will leave with Yang Kang at once. He let her cry, he let her yell, he let her little fist punch his chest. He owed her.
Yang Kang returned to his room and woke NianCi. She despised him for imprisoning her and hurtled the truth at him: he is not the prince he thinks he is. He is the grandson of a Song war hero. His real name is Yang Kang, not WanYan Kang.
Yang Kang sank into a deep denial. He tried to drown himself in wine in order to desensitize himself from the “shameful” truth. NianCi watched him in pity. When he’s finally drunk, she broke free from the rope and tried to attack him to “teach him a lesson”. He got up and towered over her…
Huang Rong and Guo Jing came into the palace again to help NianCi. The Santa bearded man whose snake was sucked dry by Guo Jing smelt the blood on Guo Jing and set out to hunt him down. A fight ensues, as always. Huang Rong got cornered by OuYang Ke. To escape, she decided to trick OuYang Ke. Since they are surrounded by four underlings whom have been pinned to the ground by Huang Rong, she proposed to play a game with him.
NianCi was frightened. After all, Yang Kang had been a man, he had drank, and he was drunk. She was a lone woman whose power amounted to nothing under Yang Kang’s domineering presence. She was afraid of this man. He looked down at her, a hint of sadness crossed his face. He said gently, “What did you think I was going to do?” Then he started to wash her feet with the same loving tenderness he had done when he first washed her foot in rose pedals. (Foot fetish, I tell you!)
“Let’s play a game.” Huang Rong suggested with a coy smile. OuYang Ke raised an eyebrow and agreed. The rule of the game is simple: the two of them fight, whoever step out of the circle loses. However, if they both fall at the same time, then it’s considered OuYang Ke losing since his Kung Fu skill surpasses Huang Rong and to step out of the circle at the same time would indicate a weakness on his part.
The game was over before it even started. Huang Rong jumped out of the circle, OuYang Ke followed her. She turned and beamed at him — he’s lost. She argued that since she jumped out before even attempt to fight with him, she didn’t lose. However, he followed her and stepped out of the circle. According to the rule she set up, when they are both out of the circle together, he is considered lost. Smiling to herself, Huang Rong walked away from OuYang Ke, who, according to the rule of the game, must not continue to pursuit her or Guo Jing.
Just as Huang Rong and Guo Jing are making way to search for Mu NianCi, a tenacious whip found its way around Guo Jing’s neck.
To have Mu NianCi go into the palace to precure something Huang Rong and Guo Jing had already fetched in an earlier episode is a not so subtle plot device for the purpose of having someone to release Bao XiRuo the queen from confinement. Not very cleverly done. Mu NianCi could’ve gone into the palace for a million other reasons, say, look for her father, or even, to see Yang Kang against her better judgment and then accidentally sets Bao XiRuo free.
Anyway, major angst coming your way soon!