Chinese Paladin 3: Episodes 7-10

Episode 7

They land softly. By nightfall, they are tottering the front steps of the Taoist sect.

Jin Tian finally meets Master Qing Wei in person and ChangQing is finally carted in for treatment.

There is something funny about the way ChangQing murmurs “be a good person” repeatedly as everyone watches on in stunning silence. But the tone quickly shifts as the threat of death looms over ChangQing’s battered body. He is, after all, only human.

The next day however, with the sun beating down lovingly on the mountains, is filled with delight. Jin Tian wakes up to find himself in ChangQing’s room. After rummaging through ChangQing’s belongings (oh ChangQing wouldn’t have minded), Jin Tian decides that everything here is a little too orderly for him and sets out to untidy the room. Inks are splashed and books tossed around. Satisfied by his handiwork, Jin Tian is lead away by a contemptuous Taoist who berates him between seemingly innocuous remarks. Jin Tian takes no notice.

Jin Tian is happy to see the old man from his dreams standing before him and is more pleasantly surprised to find the antique box sitting next to the bearded old man. But disappointment sweeps over him the minute he discovers that the box is empty. Chuckling lightly, Master Qing Wei grabs Jin Tian’s hand and says, “C’on, I want to take you somewhere.” Before he finishes the sentence with another crisp laughter, they are both well on their way to the Suo Yao Tower.

Initially afraid of height (they’re flying), Jin Tian soon slips back into his comfortable self and starts to glance around curiously like a little kid. When they landed Jin Tian jumps behind Master Qing Wei and in an incredulous tone, he asks, “Are there real demons in the tower?” “Mmmhmm” the old man nods. “Then… then you have to protect me!” “Of course.” Master Qing Wei replies with a meaningful stroke of his long beard.

He takes Jin Tian skyward and shows him the purple cloud circling around the towner and explains, “We’re trying to suck the purple entity out of the tower and seal it in the box, can you help us?” Jin Tian blinks then he yells, “Hey! Come down here and get into the box!” As he yells, the purple cloud comes slithering down the tower and obediently fits itself in the antique box. Everything seems so easy.

Once back at the main sect, the five masters try to keep the purple cloud inside the box. But the dark entity resists, barking loudly, “Let me out! Let me out!” Finally had enough, Jin Tian snaps, “Be Quiet!” Instantly, the thing quiets down and the tottering box becomes still.

Pleased with Jin Tian’s manifestation of power, Master Qing Wei explains:

For centuries the Taoist sect has shouldered the responsibility of keeping peace in the Mortal Realm. Then 25 years ago, the Elfin Realm and the Demon Realm combined force to take over the Mortal Realm. To preserve mankind, the five masters learned the forbidden enchantment and in seven days all the elfs and demons have been cast out of Mortal Realm. Unfortunately the enchantment purged the evil thoughts from the five masters and these evil entities were integrated into a more vile force. If left to grow, it will one day take over the six realms and bring everything to destruction.

And Jin Tian’s task, as the reincarnation of the warrior Fei Peng, is to take the evil entity and purge it at the purest place in heaven.

Only, Jin Tian doesn’t believe any of these nonsense.

Before letting Jin Tian go, Qing Wei makes Jin Tian promise to go to one more place with him. They arrive at Tong Tian Shi, the rock that paves the pathway to heaven. It is said that anyone who wants to go to heaven requires the god’s permission. If Jin Tian had been a god, when he put his slit palm on the rock, something would have to happen. Nothing did.

When all the other masters suggest that Jin Tian may not be the one, Master Qing Wei decides that it only means himself isn’t qualified to go to heaven (since it takes two people to work the stone). The other masters try in turn.

ChangQing wakes up. But the first thing he hears is that the five masters and Jin Tian are cutting open each other’s palms in front of a giant rock. To the disciple’s naïve ears, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds. Worried, they rush to their five masters.

The masters assure the disciples that there is nothing to worry. Jin Tian, being the mischievous person that he is, prompts ChangQing to try. When they put their palms on the rock, the Taijitu on the rock starts to glow. Then a light shoots out from the rock and reveals a map on the sky.

Their mission is to follow the map, acquire five pearls (Wu Ling Zhu) that represent each of the five elements and enter heaven within 300 days to purge the antique box. Past the 300 day limit, they will be denied entry.

ChangQing agrees to the mission instantly but Jin Tian has other considerations. In private, he asks Master Qing Wei that since the evil entity derived from the five masters, if it’s destroyed, wouldn’t the five masters also… Qing Wei confirms Jin Tian’s suspicion and admits that the five of them will also perish as a result. He consoles Jin Tian and bids him to keep it a secret from ChangQing.

He then promises Jin Tian that once he’s back, Yong An Pawnshop will be his and hands him Fei Peng’s helmet. But Jin Tian were to put on the helmet only at critical times.

Returning to the main palace, Jin Tian yells excitedly, like a kid receiving his first gift, “I’m the savior of the world!”

The night before departing, the five masters call ChangQing to the main palace. He is instructed to sit down and undo his shoes while Master Qing Wei washes his feet for him. (OMG his feet are so white! No wonder Jin Tian calls him white tofu!)

The five masters take turn testing ChangQing and teaching him. This worries ChangQing as he senses that the set up resembles a farewell party.

But Master Qing Wei smiles and comforts ChangQing that whatever that’s desinated to happen will happen.

At last, Jin Tian and ChangQing star their journey.

Episode 8

Once down Mt. Shu, the pair of travelers encounter a few demons. When they enter the village, they see more demons lurking everywhere. While ChangQing is out to tame the demons, Jin Tian is bragging at Yong An Pawn shop.

Before long Jin Tian is informed of Tang Kun’s death. Worse. When grandpa died, XueJian was kicked out of the Tang family manor as well. Homeless and penniless, Jin Tian finds her at the temple stealing fruit behind curtains. He buys her a meal and three bowls later, Jin Tian finds himself sticking up for XueJian. But it’s no use. Her adoption has been discovered and used as a weapon against her. Now she’s no longer a member of the Tang family.

Teary eyed and subdued, she recounts the experience…

Not long after her grandpa had died, her uncle brought her grandpa’s diary. In it, mentioned the adoption in precise detail. When XueJian refused to believe, her uncle ordered to have her tied up and bestowed on her the age old method of what’s now referred to as the paternity test: take a bowl of water, prick one’s finger and force a droplet of blood in the bowl. Then take the other person’s pricked finger and do the same. If the two droplets of blood fuse, they are blood related. If not, then the two people aren’t.

The blood droplets didn’t fuse and XueJian was tossed outside the manor door. She pleaded to stay for grandpa’s funeral but even that right was cruelly deprived of her.

Feeling XueJian’s pain, Jin Tian promises to make sure she gets to see her grandfather one last time.

Bringing MaoMao and BiPing along, Jin Tian charges to the Tang family manor. The household guards blockade the doorway and soon start beating Jin Tian up.

Then, the most peculiar (or the most exciting) thing happens. Jin Tian’s sword, sensing its owner’s yelp in pain, promptly arrives. An invisible energy draws Jin Tian to pick it up and a careless wave emits so much force that the guards fall back in synchrony.

As if having its own volition, the sword guides Jin Tian inside, where the funeral is proceeding.

A cabaret is put on, featuring Jin Tian waving a sword like a real hero and looking furious but glorious. As for XueJian, she does get to see her beloved grandpa one last time before the coffin lid is sealed, but at what cost? As if casting her out wasn’t enough, she has to be humiliated, pushed around, and sprinkled salt on her aching wound.

In the end it’s Jin Tian who steps out and asserts an ounce of justice, “If XueJian can swear to cut all ties with the Tang family (in other words, not claim her ownership over the sect), would you (Tang Tai, who XueJian saved only three episodes ago) let XueJian say goodbye to her grandfather?” She was finally allowed to kowtow before the coffin.

After the funeral, Jin Tian takes XueJian back to Yong An pawn shop. The next morning, he’s dinged by his boss Zhao WenChang for doing so. Unwillingly, he tells his boss, “Fine, subtract her expenses from my earning.” The boss drags him by the ear and calculates the amount. Then smugly, he tells Jin Tian that even if Jin Tian works for him for 100 years, he still won’t be able to repay all the debt. Just then, Jin Tian’s sword floats into the room. It promptly situates itself behind the stingy boss and starts clunking the boss’s head! HAHA! Karma sure comes quickly.

Jin Tian and his sword has a brief bonding session as the sword follows him around and imitates him. If Jin Tian turns left, the sword turns left; Jin Tian turns right, the sword turns right. When there’s nothing important, Jin Tian finds ways to elude his sword, but when he does need it — like now, when he hears a girl’s cry for help — the sword comes flying at him.

Episode 9

Jin Tian defeats the bullies with his magical sword but also gets cut in the process. The blood trails the contour of his palm and drips onto the sword… Jin Tian faints but the sword glows brilliantly besides him. Far in the pawn shop, Fei Peng’s helmet responds in bursts of light and heat.

XueJian returns to the pawn shop and looks through the belongings her maid snuck out for her. She discovers a letter from her grandfather, written shortly before his death. In the letter, he tells her about the half pendant and wishes she will one day find a reliably man who will take good care of her. It’s another round of silent sobs and tears (but not overdone).

When XueJian finally turns, she sees MaoMao crying with her. He explains shyly that seeing her sad has made him sad as well. She puts on a strong face and they head for dinner. Opening the lunch box Jin Tian has prepared for her, XueJian finally cracks a smile:

cute, especially from the hands of a man.
cute, especially from the hands of a man.

It’s rather thoughtful of him. When she heard he has gone to the temple to look for her, she gladly heads out to meet him.

Unbeknownest to all, the seal on the sword is broken by Jin Tian’s blood and from inside it, emerges a ravishing beauty named LongKui (for more info, check out the character guide). Upon seeing Jin Tian, she throws herself at him and cries out, “Kin brother, I’ve finally found you! LongKui will never leave you!” Then emphatically, she adds, “no matter what happens!”

XueJian arrives, overhears, and finds herself burning with jealousy. (Aha! Oh the fun has just begun!)

The encounter with LongKui is rather interesting. With the air of absolute certainty, LongKui addresses Jin Tian her kin brother (am I smelling incest? or is it only the misleading aroma of sibling attachment?). But when the princess hears that her kingdom was destroyed a thousand years ago, she laments the time that had past and the changes that overcame her kin brother she once knew so well. At length, she beseeches him to retrieve her dress for her — an invaluable cultural relic — since hers was burnt during the fire. Jin Tian scoffs at the idea but LongKui insists that if he can’t find her the dress, she’d rather go naked. While normal guys would’ve cheered yes! inwardly, Jin Tian rushes out to find her the dress, not noticing XueJian waiting at the door.

Of course this doesn’t go well with XueJian. She marches to and fro in front of the temple but before she decides to head off, she is attacked by LongKui, now dressed in a bloody red dress, acting out as LongKui’s superego.

LongKui puts XueJian in a hypnotized state and shows her the sweet moments spent between herself and her kin brother in an effort to push XueJian out of the picture.

Shaken by the revelations, XueJian feels a pang of weakness and crumbles onto the floor.

Recollecting her wits, she storms back to the pawn shop and collects her belongings to leave. But that’s just jealousy speaking. Once out of the door, she lingers and waits for Jin Tian to appear. But she isn’t alone. She still has Hua Ying. Upon the cute pet elf’s console, she decidedly heads out to travel the world by herself.

Meanwhile, Jin Tian has accepted LongKui’s presence and agrees to take her along. (‘ts going to be interesting!)

ChangQing? He’s still out there catching demons. Hardworking indeed.

Bad fortune seems to follow ChangQing around since his last encounter with ChongLou. This time, when ChangQing’s about to tame a particularly sly demon, the demon lord interferes and attacks ChangQing!

No matter how strong ChangQing is as a human, he’s by far not strong enough when it comes to the demon lord. But before the fatal blow is stricken, an enormous serpent intersects the two mingling bodies and saves ChangQing.

The serpent turns out to be ZiXuan, the offspring of the creator goddess. Dangerously, she warns ChongLou to leave ChangQing alone and oh it gets so good!

Once ChongLou’s gone, she comes back to the woods to search for ChangQing. When she sees him, her heart leaps with both pleasure and pain. “LiuFang! LiuFang!” She coos urgently, “You can’t die! Not after I’ve waited so long for you.” She sits down besides him and starts to cure him. Purple pedals gather around them in a tiny whirl. As they cascade, ChangQing is lifted up on a raft, resting his head on ZiXuan’s lap. She runs her finger along the contours of his face gently as foggy memories start to recollect in his mind…

He dreams of lifting the mask off of a woman’s face, but she disappears too quickly for him to get a glimpse of her face. He dreams of a woman’s luscious lips, of her sensually feeding wine to lusty men. He dreams of a pair of eyes. He dreams of grabbing a woman’s wrist and demanding, in an angry tone he’s never used before, “Who do you truly love?” He opens his eyes in a startle, blurting out those words. He sees a woman’s face, the woman in his dreams. Then he closes his eyes and drifts into an uneasy sleep…

The masters at Mt. Shu are watching this through the mirror. While both men disapprove of ZiXuan’s interference, quoting her promise to stay away from ChangQing in his lifetime. But what happened happened. They recount ChangQing’s 200 year love with ZiXuan and shake their head in unison at the unforeseeable development looming ahead.

In the NuWa temple, ZiXuan heals ChangQing. But when he awakens, she’s no longer with him. A sharp pain of longing hits ChangQing, rendering him miserable without knowing why. Feeling a weaken of the knees, he melts down before the goddess in the temple and wonders what is so important that he had forgotten.

Episode 10

Luck really isn’t on ChangQing’s side. When he returns to Yong An Pawnshop and takes notice of LongKui, she gets nervous, turns red and attacks him! (After all, ghosts are not supposed to mingle with mortals.) They fight and she flees. When he chases out, she’s returned to her meeker, blue self and hides behind Jin Tian, who she now addresses as older brother. Of course no one believes him when he says LongKui changes color. No matter. ChangQing has mentally taken note and will be keeping an eye on her.

They set out for the real trip. Arriving at a small village, they accidentally bump into XueJian. Jin Tian provokes her and casually invites her to join them. She would have accepted if it weren’t for the fact that LongKui is standing right there behind Jin Tian. In the end, she throws a tantrum and walks away.

Though Jin Tian and MaoMao are preoccupied with XueJian, ChangQing isn’t. He’s watching LongKui. She cringes at the sight of XueJian hitting Jin Tian, then a red hue creeps into her eyes. ChangQing places a firm hand on LongKui’s clenched one, she relaxes and reverts back to blue.

After the little encounter, the four travelers continue to head west. They stop at AnNing (meaning: Peaceful) village, where the Earth Pearl, the first of the five pearls, is hidden. (As the name suggests the pearl represents the element of earth.) Although the village is called AnNing, it’s not peaceful at all. There is an unusual eeriness about the place and the villagers all run away upon seeing strangers; something is clearly wrong here.

A peculiar scent attracts the travelers. ChangQing and Jin Tian split to pursuit the scent. Turnings out it’s a fox spirit by the name of Wan YuZhi selling powder on the empty stree. The fox spirit quickly exits when ChangQing approaches. Too late, he’s smelled the fox already.

Eventually the bunch find a tavern to lodge for the night and incidentally discover the reason that the villagers have been so terrified of strangers: every full moon, a man mysteriously dies in a tavern. The last one died in this very tavern and, tonight is full moon.

Confident that ChangQing will take care of whatever demon there is, Jin Tian and the rest decide to chance their luck and stay at the tavern.

When night falls, ChangQing is at work. He spots Wan YuZhi and follows her but a girl’s scream distracts him. He follows the sound and opens into Jin Tian’s room.

Inside, XueJian, Jin Tian, and MaoMao, are all in bad shape. As it turns out, XueJian followed the bunch all the way to the village just so she can “get the buns back” — a petty excuse — and she “prepares to leave once the buns are returned to their rightful owner”. Upon ChangQing’s suggestion that XueJian should stay with them — something she’s been dying to hear — the funky little interlude is put to an end.

Later into the night, the bunch (ChangQing, joint by Jin Tian and XueJian later) overhears as Wan YuZhi begs for money to cure her husband’s rare disease. The merchant refuses to lend her anything all the while holding a big bag of money. Disheartened by the cruelty men are capable of, the fox spirit leaves the tavern. She is approached by ZiXuan in the woods, who promises to help if Wan YuZhi is willing to trade her heart for her husband’s health.

After discussing the matter privately, our three heroes decide to see to it that the sick husband gets help. But before that, ChangQing’s going to teach Jin Tian how to use his magical sword!

And of course, Jin Tian dozes off in the process. But eventually and I mean EVENTUALLY, he starts to put more heart into what he’s doing. And it’s so satisfying to watch the main character (and hopefully, your favorite character) get good and grow strong, because that, my friends, is part of the appeal offered by the genre.

But the fun has to end at some point. When Jin Tian heads towards a large bush to relieve himself of urine he f-ff-finds a corpse staring up at him.

The unlucky soul is the lying merchant from last night, he died when all the energy (or “qi”) has been drenched from his body. The valuable possessions are still on the dead; the murderer acted out of hatred.

Comments:

See, when the plot picks up (and the weather cools down), the recaps come rolling out!

Personally, I think the Poisoned People arc is way too long and uninteresting. Yes, it sets up the relationships in the story but while it works in a video games, it makes a drama appear sluggish and dull. If it weren’t for the endearing characters, the cute and silly MaoMao, the smug and goofy Jin Tian, and the honorable but inexperienced ChangQing — maybe it’s the dub but XueJian as the spoiled rich girl needs a little more work — I would’ve dismissed the drama before the fun even got started. Had the Poisoned People arc been condensed into two episodes (or better, one and half) instead of the four that it occupied, the pacing would’ve been so much tighter.

However, once the objective of this drama becomes clear (to purge the antique box of its vile content) after 42×6 minutes of halfhearted watching and the love triangles start to unfold (after another 42 minutes of farce), the plot finally starts to gain momentum!

2 thoughts on “Chinese Paladin 3: Episodes 7-10”

  1. Great episode summary. The story really does pick up after ep 10 – I was searching for episode guides after ep 27 but I guess you haven’t gotten there yet; I was quite interested in finding out how the whole Chong Lou thing plays out with Zi Xuan and Chang Qing… although my favourite character still has to be Mao Mao lol

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