Chinese Paladin 3: Episodes 2 & 3

Episode 2

Yu ChangQing, the white, dashing figure lands squarely between XueJian and Jin Tian. He takes out an octagonal mirror embossed with the Taoist symbol and holds it up against the “ghosts”. Light immediately reflects off the mirror, formulating a Taijitu in the center of the bronzed surface.

After he’s caught all the “ghosts”‘s image in the mirror, they vanish with a puff. Now that the danger has passed, Yu ChangQing explains that those attacking Jin Tian and XueJian are Poisoned People (basically, vampires) who lurk around under the guise of night. The origin of these Poisoned People is explained to have caused by an extremely skilled potion master whose expertise is in poison. This vile potion master created a powerful sanity-eating potion. To test the potency of his new creation, he fed it to a test subject, who then turned into the first vampire in mankind. The vampire slaughtered and infected, turning all he has bitten to Poisoned People.

↑ Eeek!

The Taoist sect on Mount Shu caught and stabilized a few of the Poisoned People. Among those, a young fellow vampire called Wen Xuan attracted ChangQing’s attention. If you’re thinking about Greek God-like figure and pale cold marble skin, then dudettes, you’ve been reading too much Twilight! But yes, this Wen Xuan is different. Not only did he wear a name tag (odd), the animalistic thirst for blood didn’t seem to have superseded his human characteristics completely (even more odd). To salvage these peasant-turned-vampires, Yu ChangQing is sent down Mount Shu in search of an antidote. His first destination is the Tang Sect since the men in the Tang family are known for their skill in poison (and the women for healing powers, at least, in the video game). It is through circumstances that he came upon Jin Tian and XueJian, besieged by Poisoned People.

Before parting, ChangQing hands XueJian and Jin Tian each a bottle of potion that’ll keep them safe for half an hour if attacked.

Though there is no meteor shower, to Jin Tian, the night isn’t spent without any benefits. He found a delicate-looking object on the ground. As it turns out later, the object is a Taoist walkie-talkie minus the annoying static (image here). Modernistic you say? Yep.

When the sun comes out, the morning is started with a visit. ChangQing pays homage to Yang Kun with his master and tries to medicate the dying old man. XueJian is grateful for ChangQing’s attempt to revive her grandfather and befriends him instantly. When the young pair left the room, Yang Kun speaks of his intention to marry XueJian to ChangQing, alas the owner of the matching half pendant didn’t show up. XueJian overhears this and secretly decides to fulfill her grandpa’s wish.

ChangQing on the other hand is solely oblivious of XueJian’s extra attention — having been living with only men for the better portion of his adult life, his inner romantic is reserved, for now. He does, however, find out that the Poisoned People all have a strange potion running in their veins. That potion, nearly extinct, is the forbidden potion originally concocted by the Tang ancestor.

In the meantime, Jin Tian has put together a list of disappearing youths; Wen Xuan is of course on the list. Driven by curiosity, ChangQing, Jin Tian, and XueJian visit Wen Xuan’s now deserted hut. From the disarray ChangQing sensed a brutal slaughter happening before Wen Xuan was turned into a vampire. Then a sixth sense brings the three friends to a gambling house (the downgraded version of your modern day casino).

In the gambling house, ChangQing’s unique sixth sense helps Jin Tian make the money he wasn’t able to make in years. Whatever ChangQing senses to be the next hand comes true. But as Jin Tian is doomed to remain poor, an accidental lost of balance sends Jin Tian and his tray of money flying. He loses it all.

ChangQing on the other hand heard sensed faint sounds of people crying. But when he decides to follow the sound to its source, the crying subsides, leaving only the commotion typical of a gambling house.

ChangQing didn’t hear wrong. There are 300 Poisoned People being held in the dungeon that belongs to Luo RuLie, accomplice of Tang Yi. Together, they fed the Tang family’s forbidden potion to a woman (top left). From her, a troop of Poisoned People was created. The only thing that has the two obligatory villains scratch their head in bewilderment is the fact that the Taoists on Mount Shu have caught and stabilized a dozen or so Poisoned People, but these vampires weren’t made by them.

Then, the vampire march later that night puts the two distrusting villains further on edge — what the $&%$* is going on? They didn’t unleash any vampires!

Speaking of the vampire march, folks, forget about the crosses and toss the garlics, these vampires are only afraid of red. (Well, and sunlight.) This piece of information is conveniently heard from the mouth of Wen Xuan (who muttered, “Don’t hurt the person wearing red” repeatedly while tossing and turning in bed) and passed on to ChangQing and Jin Tian respectively through the walkie-talkie.

After the Taoists’ rather laborious joint effort, interjected by the occasional underpants flashing from Jin Tian, the vampires are taken care of. While Jin Tian is unimpressed by the Taoists’ heroic gesture, XueJian is awed from head to heels. After all, who doesn’t want to think her future husband is both handsome and brave?

In fact, so determined to make ChangQing her husband, XueJian later asks ChangQing to the woods, where she collects flower dews for her grandfather, and confesses to him. Unfortunately, XueJian took too long to get to the point and finally asks ChangQing’s hand in marriage after the Taoist has fallen asleep sitting upright. Unbeknownest to XueJian, her awkward confession is overheard by Jin Tian (and the other Taoist disciples of Mt. Shu) via the marvelous walkie-talkie. 😉

Episode 3

After a brief stay, the Taoists decide to go home and turn the Poisoned People at Mt. Shu back to their human forms using the antidote obtained from the Tang family. On the day ChangQing is to leave, XueJian gathers her courage for a second confession. While she’s stammering, thinking of the most proper way to say the words, Jin Tian drops from the sky and force the words down her throat.

After eavesdropping on XueJian’s conversation with ChangQing the previous night, Jin Tian decides to give XueJian’s second confession a friend’s well-intentioned push. But his help has the reverse effect. (Aha!) Now, no matter how Jin Tian prompts, dares, or urges XueJian to confess, she couldn’t muster the courage nor the face to do it anymore.

So in the end, Jin Tian blurts it out for her. But it backfires as ChangQing is guilty-bound and conflicted but refuses the proposal of marriage nonetheless. And XueJian, like a defected product stamped with “REJECTED” on her forehead, is terribly disgraced and embarrassed in public.

To rectify his honest mistake, Jin Tian returns home and rekindles the tea pot lid for XueJian’s most beloved grandfather. This time, he wrote words of blessing, wishing XueJian’s grandfather safe and healthy, inside the lid. A step too late, for XueJian has discovered the words Jin Tian had written (sow) in the last lid replica and has charged to the pawnshop with the resolve to do herself justice — how dare him call her a sow?!

Back on Mt. Shu, the stabilized Poisoned People have all been turned back to human. Wen Xuan, awakens to tell the story of his mother: PiLi Tang, the known mastermind behind the Poisoned People, has been pillaging all over the place. Wen Xuan’s mother fell under their force and was dragged off to the PiLi Tang dungeon. There, she and the other hapless women were fed the Tang family’s forbidden poison. Most of the women were too frail to survive the potion and died an agonizing death. Wen Xuan’s mother survived but she also turned into a vampire. Driven by the need to quench the thirst for blood, she infected whoever is in her sight. Until one day, she almost drank her own son’s blood. But the last thread of maternal affection stopped her and Wen Xuan was spared momentarily. Unfortunately, his arm was scratched in the process and the blood-borne poison attacked his system like a virus, turning him into a vampire — a different kind from the ones his mother infected.

During the vampire march, Wen Xuan instructed the Poisoned People not to harm anyone wearing red to protect his mother (who wore red).

The strange thing about this whole business is that while the Poisoned People at PiLi Tang have freakish pastel green eyes, all of the Poisoned People saved by Mt. Shu have red eyes and are all male. Someone else must be making Poisoned People as well.

To save the villagers, ChangQing decides to look for Wu Du Shou, their last hope at turning the green-eyed Poisoned People back to normal.

That very night, PiLi Tang’s Poisoned People are out to hunt. Although Jin Tian is equipped with a large piece of red cloth, these Poisoned People aren’t of the same cult and continue to advance. Unfortunately for Jin Tian, he has tossed the ever so useful walkie-talkie in the pig’s pen and has no way of asking help from ChangQing (whom he nicknames white tofu).

Jin Tian, MaoMao, and BiPing run as fast as their legs can carry them and when they have no more strength left to run, resort to holding their breaths and pretend not to be there. It works against the docile if not dense Poisoned People and that’s how Jin Tian is finally able to seal XueJian’s lips with a long, enduring kiss. 😉

What am I talking about? Well, after Jin Tian and MaoMao figured out holding breath will get the Poisoned People off their backs, they heard a girl’s cry for help. Like two newly equipped chevaliers, they rush to the girl’s help and discover that the damsel in distress is Xue Jian. (Much to Jin Tian’s dismay.) Of course, bicker ensues instantly and in the vampire-surrounded chaos, Jin Tian and XueJian somehow run into each other with their mouths gaping open. And *SPLAT* they kiss.

Both are stunned by the lameness in which their first kiss is stolen (and lame it is!) but Jin Tian won’t let go nor move, knowing full well the only way to elude the Poisoned People is to remain motionless.

(I was rolling my eyes at how the kiss was concealed, but MaoMao there totally cracked me up. So ridiculousness aside, I did eventually laugh out loud.)

It is until after MaoMao lured the Poisoned People away that the two finally parted. (Actually, they bounced back like two repelling magnets, but magnets nonetheless. 😉 ) After recovering from the shock of the kiss, XueJian advises Jin Tian to report the Poisoned People attack to ChangQing and ask for advice. But talking to ChangQing means Jin Tian would have to retrieve the walkie-talkie from the pig pen first.

When ChangQing is fully informed on the activity of the green-eyed Poisoned People, he sends Jin Tian and XueJian a flute and a pen through the all-purpose walkie talkie (very convenient indeed).

The funny thing about the pair of instruments is that it can only be used for a total of eight times and for it to work, both must be used at the same time. That is to say, for the next couple of days, XueJian will be stuck with Jin Tian. ChangQing then sends over the melody for XueJian’s flute and draws out the picture for Jin Tian’s part but is interrupted by Wen Xuan, who interferes in an effort to save his vampire mother. (He believes that the instruments will harm the Poisoned People and in doing so, kill his mother who gave rise to these Poisoned People.)

Now equipped with the means to protect themselves, Jin ian and XueJian follow the troop of Poisoned People out of curiosity and find themselves in front of the Tang family estate.

They rush in to fend against the Poisoned People but the two of them aren’t much of a help. Inside the Tang family estate, the women gather the valuables and flee the family; the self-serving men go about looking for Wu Du Shou, whose Wu Du Zhu is about the only thing that can counter the Poisoned People’s poison.

XueJian is more concerned with the welfare of her grandfather but couldn’t find him anywhere. Little does she know, he was kidnapped by Tang Yi, the bitter illegitimate son who vowed to take over the Tang estate, and held hostage at PiLi tang. In effort to search for her grandfather and eventually bring him to safety, XueJian takes Jin Tian to the Tang’s family sanction, where only the head of the family is allowed access. They break into the room but find little worthy of attention.

Given the current state of affairs, Poisoned People soon invade the Tang family sanction as well. XueJian and Jin Tian take out their flute and pen respectively and eventually halted the Poisoned People’s attack after three frantic tries.  Safe for now, or, are they?

Comments

Although some attempts at humor are rather hard to laugh at, the damage is sometimes reversed by Yu ChangQing’s innocuous comments and often too-literal interpretation. While it may seem unintentionally funny, I do find myself more amused than annoyed. For that, I think Wallace Huo deserves a round of applause for accentuating Yu ChangQing’s nobility and pureness without seeming dense or inflexible.

Once again, looking at this drama in a purely uncritical (or as uncritical as I can be) and let’s embrace our willing suspension of disbelief manner has actually downsized the length of each recap. Instead of the typical one-by-one approach, I’ve decided to truncate each recap and fit a few episodes in one post. Some information might be lost (as humor and witticism are often lost in retelling and in translation), I encourage everyone to go and watch the drama.

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