Had XueJian seen this ( ↑ ), she would’ve kick open the door in a burst — be there magic shield or not –, slap Jin Tian silly for being a petulant, indolent, boneheaded log; spit at Huo Gui Wang for shamelessly throwing herself at men; and storm away as loudly as she had entered, knocking over expensive china on the way. Good thing, she didn’t it.
Once Jin Tian kisses Huo Gui Wang at her request, she pins him down on bed and attacks his face with blood red lips! Unluckily for Jin Tian, no amount of pushing can get her off of him. Now this time, XueJian doesn’t need to see it to imagine what’s going on inside. Sour as an apple, she pouts her lips like a child whose prized marble has just been robbed from her. She lashes out on MaoMao. (Poor thing.)
But who is the jealous bonehead really? Thinking Jin Tian has really fallen for the queen of hell, XueJian chastises him for his superficiality. Head swelling twice as large with anger, XueJian nearly blurts out their real intent of obtaining the Fire Pearl from the hell queen. Had Jin Tian not slap her in time to shut her up, the ploy, the fake wedding, and the kiss would have been in vain. Yet, it is precisely this slap that doubles the misapprehension and triples the resentment. It’s going to take a lot to placate XueJian this time, who hasn’t been the most agreeable creature lately.
The slip of the hand puts Jin Tian in a terribly foul mood as well but the show must go on and he must put on a poker face in front of the queen.
Back on battlefield, Jin Tian asks to see the Fire Pearl again. The queen of the underworld refuses, telling him that the pearl is of extreme importance to her. Feigning displeasure, Jin Tian coldly replies that he’s tired and will retreat to bed. Eager to please, Huo Gui Wang takes off the Fire Pearl and hands it to her husband.
In the meantime, XueJian’s foul mood just quadrupled. Zhao WuYan has come to claim his prize and in doing so, informing XueJian of the bet (giving away the first hugged person and all). Though she rejects and slaps him around, Zhao WuYan clings on like a piece of gum stubbornly attached to the heel of one’s shoe.
He drugs XueJian through ungainly means and just as he extends a treacherous hand to rob XueJian of her virginity, a dashing figure intervenes, saving XueJian.
Stowing the Fire Pearl safely away, Jin Tian suggests that they spice up the mood a little by trying something more exotic as foreplay.
Perked up, the queen agrees and lets Jin Tian tie her up to the bed post and waits as her man feeds her the holy water of the Fire Pearl. Or so she thinks. When she dries the cup, she realizes that it’s wine she’s just sipped, the very thing that makes her essence ache. She beseeches him for the holy water and when he playfully tells her he’s mixed both liquids to maximize potency, she shrieks for her water.
It is then that Jin Tian unveils his pretense. He wiggles a finger at her and muses, “The biggest mistake a woman can make is trusting a man too easily.”
Now knowing that she has been fooled, the underworld queen places an imprecation upon Jin Tian before melting into a puddle of magma.
When the bunch return to the tavern in the morning and find XueJian gone, they head out to search for her. They find a disheveled Zhao WuYan first, who appears to has been zapped by thunder. Zhao WuYan provides little help and when XueJian is no where in the vicinity, Jin Tian grows worried. Fortunately, ChangQing is able to capture the last image of XueJian before she lost consciousness completely and through the clue (a ring with the word “cloud” carved on it), narrow down the identity of her protector.
They are heading to the next town, Lei Zhou (town of thunder?), for XueJian. (On a side note, the antique box that’s to be purged in heaven is growing bigger and heavier.)
When they are at Lei Zhou, XueJian’s already there for days (and from the looks of it, in a better mood.) She sends Hua Ying out to deliver Jin Tian a letter but forbids him from reading it. lol The contradictions of being a girl.
The letter consists of two sheets, the first is full of curses and insults. The second is in similar condition except for the last paragraph, where she tells him NOT to come and rescue her. Ah, lady doth protest too much. She has been hiding in the corner to eavesdrop on Jin Tian’s reaction. When he shows nonchalance, she throws an umbrella at him and in a later confrontation, slaps him. Cumbersome, sassy girlfriend indeed.
XueJian returns to her savor’s manor. Yun Ting, the only son of the town governor, (and the guy who has a zipper in his hair) not only saved her from Zhao WuYan, he treats XueJian with utmost cordiality and care. Let’s see, the guy cooks her home food, decorates her room like her own one in the Tang family manor, who can say he’s not interested?
On the other hand, Jin Tian et al have decided to stay because ChangQing detects the aura of the Lightening Pearl.
But the Lightening Pearl is darting here and there and ChangQing has no way of locating it yet. It’s just a matter of time.
Instead of following the aura, Jin Tian takes ChangQing to drink. ChangQing resists at first, how can a monk indulge in the frivolous act of drinking? But when Jin Tian dares him to a cup, he gulps down the burning liquor in one swallow. So they drink, drank, and got drunk.
Under the influence of alcohol, ChangQing finally spills his gills: he misses ZiXuan. No, he doesn’t just miss her, he misses her A LOT. And, he loves her.
When day breaks the next morning, they both wake up with faint memories of the previous night. But Jin Tian doesn’t forget the heartfelt confession. Comes teasing time.
Red in the face, ChangQing denies vehemently to have feelings for anyone. He storms off and shuts the door in Jin Tian’s face. Unfazed by the fervent denial, Jin Tian drags MaoMao aside and divulges ChangQing’s deep secret.
Well, ChangQing isn’t the only one hiding his affection. So has XueJian, but with less stealth (if you can begin to call ChangQing’s suppression as stealth). Luckily, XueJian has LongKui’s support. Today, LongKui has convinced XueJian to confess. So she comes before Jin Tian, not quite certain how to start.
But she needn’t have bothered because they end up fighting — how characteristic of them — the result of which: they part separate ways…
… Only to meet again by coincidence.
Jin Tian prides himself in taunting XueJian and XueJian responds with cold scold. Their ceaseless argumentation halts upon Yun Ting’s entrance, the host that provides XueJian lodge in the remote town of Lei Zhou.
The host invites Jin Tian inside for tea, which gives Jin Tian a golden opportunity to examine the vast collection housed by XueJian’s benefactor. Suffice to say, Jin Tian is awed by the antiquity of this collection, being an expert in the area and all. Yun Ting thanks Jin Tian’s remark modestly and retreats to allow the bickering duo to settle their dispute, whatever it is. But Jin Tian stops Yun Ting, clarifying that he and XueJian are bounded by no other than a flimsy promise to take care of XueJian.
This piece of information lights a spark in Yun Ting’s eyes, he studies XueJian with a renewed interest.
Once alone, Jin Tian and XueJian resume their bitter discussion.
To XueJian’s exasperation, Jin Tian misapprehends. He wrongfully thinks that XueJian fancies the rich young master and encourages her to go after zipper head — excuse me, Yun Ting — pronto. This ensues in a bout of foot stomping and vicious foot stepping (endured by Jin Tian), a squeal (produced by Jin Tian), and an enormous pout on XueJian’s part.
Despite XueJian’s protest, Jin Tian volunteers to play the matchmaker (which, by the way, gives him a few more unwanted bruises).
In his zealousness to discuss the wedding (between Yun Ting and XueJian, which Yun Ting only promised to “consider”), he grabs Yun Ting by the shoulder and is electrocuted — but this experiences gives Jin Tian something to exaggerate on when he returns to the tavern.
The anecdote sparks ChangQing’s interest. He and Jin Tian set out to investigate.
The investigation proves fruitful. ChangQing overhears Yun Ting lamenting to his butler about a certain “condition” that had prevented him from having a family. He sighs heavily, “Only the Fire Pearl can ameliorate my condition, but by the time I arrived at Feng Du (mind you, where XueJian almost lost her virginity), the Pearl is gone.” He shakes his head morosely.
Jin Tian’s sudden appearance in XueJian’s room causes a little disturbance. When zipper head — sorry, Yun Ting — arrives to save the damsel in distress, all’s well again. Walking along the well-trimmed garden, Yun Ting observes that XueJian likes Jin Tian. XueJian admits to it and points out, rather frustratingly, that Jin Tian doesn’t seem to acknowledge her sentiment. Yun Ting shrugs, knowing doesn’t mean liking. Conversely, liking may not be done knowingly. Some people are fortunate enough to meet and fall in love but they may not be fortunate enough to stay together (take ChangQing and ZiXuan for example).
From the talk of sentimentality, XueJian senses an unhappy past romance. When confronted, a fleeting look of pain creeps upon Yun Ting’s brow. He walks away tacitly. Overhead, it starts to rain. (Yay for the symbolism; boo for holding out on a story.)
That night, Yun Ting sits alone by the grave of the woman he loved, gazing meaningful at his right hand…
On the other side of town, Jin Tian, MaoMao, and ChangQing are sitting at a table, minding their own business. Bored by the recurring speculation of XueJian falling for Yun Ting, Jin Tian cooks up another little ploy. To prove that ChangQing is hiding his love for ZiXuan, he tricks ChangQing into drinking wine. Cup after cup, until ChangQing feels tingling on his extremities and becomes drunk. At which point, his assiduous watchfulness is upturned into a jerky giddiness — quite humorous but also a little disconcerting. The rest is easy, a simple mention of ZiXuan gets ChangQing to crack his mouth in a wide grin and confess his love for ZiXuan to anyone who cares to listen.
When ChangQing awakens the following day, he is faced with a full frontal attack from LongKui, Jin Tian, AND MaoMao. ChangQing persists in his denial and grows angry at being found out.
Speaking of unspoken vows of love, LongKui decides to take matters into her own hands and make XueJian’s sentiments known. Every opportunity she gets, she hints, mentions, raves about XueJian. But Jin Tian dismisses it all and eventually gives the ultimatum to stop discussing XueJian all together. HOWEVER, once LongKui stops talking about XueJian, Jin Tian starts mentioning her on his own accounts.
By the time ChangQing confirms Yun Ting to be the owner of the Lightening Pearl, LongKui suggests that they use what Jin Tian did to Huo Gui Wang to obtain the Pearl. (Why don’t they try talking to him?) Jin Tian rejects the idea, stating the obvious downside to the plan: the danger of Yun Ting’s electricity. (Not to mention that zipper head doesn’t deserve this kind of duplicity.)
At this moment, something happens in the bazaar: a horse is on the lose. The wild horse dashes in the direction of XueJian. Inches from harming her, Yun Ting throws himself in her way and pulls her aside — to everyone and most of all, Yun Ting’s own disbelief, the physical touch of pulling XueJian apart did not produce any effect. XueJian is unharmed by the electricity that Yun Ting carries innately.
Yun Ting is ecstatic by this discovery, so are his servers and maids. Truth be told, he was born with a strange “disease” that charged his touches with electric pulses. In his 20 or so years of life, every loved one has avoided contact with him in fear of getting hurt. He’s never kissed or hugged anyone, nor held hands. Though surrounded by people, Yun Ting is a lonely man.
When he did fall in love and decided to risk everything to consummate that love, his wife died at his hands. (Hence the tombstone and the remoteness of character.)
But it’s different now, there is finally a person he can touch and can maybe start a family with. If only she likes him back.
XueJian sympathizes with Yun Ting but her heart’s already on Jin Tian. When she learns that the Fire Pearl might heal him, she makes it her mission to help him. She returns to borrow the Fire Pearl from Jin Tian but Jin Tian, tortured with jealousy, refuses. The short visit ends with XueJian bursting out of the door, crying and deciding to marry Yun Ting to spite Jin Tian.
This whole “why don’t you marry that rich dude Yun Ting” is just jealousy speaking; so when XueJian leaves, Jin Tian is left to brood.
Even LongKui, who’s normally supportive of XueJian being with Jin Tian, recoils from rectifying their conflict just so she can have her brother all for herself — an understandable desire. Besides, the laissez faire approach might just push Jin Tian to realizations of his own.
And, it works. Growing increasing irritated, Jin Tian comes to the understand (thanks to MaoMao’s reminding) that he has become accustomed to XueJian’s constant bickering and is paralyzed without it (mockingly so). MaoMao encourages him to go after XueJian and explain everything (the Lightening Pearl, not wanting her to marry, etc) but LongKui intercepts her brother, reasoning that XueJian’s in a terrible mood, if he goes now, he will only enrage her further. She will do it for him — but we know better.
XueJian on the other hand consults Hua Ying’s opinion. When the little elf suggests that XueJian forget Jin Tian and look for someone who truly appreciates her, she decides to marry Yun Ting. (Oh how cruel of you! This man is sure to face bitter rejection at a later date!)
The announcement is made instantly. A little too quickly, perhaps the bride and groom are both afraid that any last minute doubt will crumble this marriage of convenience.
Holding XueJian’s hand happily, Yun Ting receives the blessing from the fellow townspeople. XueJian stands by him numbly, readying herself for the fate that she has chosen out of spite. Jin Tian watches in a distant corner, displeasure written all over his face. Yet, he makes no attempt to dissuade XueJian otherwise.
When left to his own device, a wave of emotion washes over Jin Tian. He finally comes to turns with his feeling towards XueJian: he loves her.
His confession over wine to ChangQing is overheard by LongKui (what’s he doing confessing to ChangQing? It’s XueJian he needs to confess to!). Fearing that her thousand-year bond with her brother might diminish like her kingdom, jealousy jabs at her conscience like a curse. When she returns to the tavern, a dark, dangerous voice beckons her. “Remember me LongKui? I’m your friend from the tower.” the voice booms. Instinctively, LongKui shrinks in fright. “You are burning in jealousy.” The voice continues matter of fact manner. “I am not!” The voice laughs contemptuously and carries on, “Now you’re being hypocritical.” “You lie! I’m not jealous of XueJian!” LongKui covers her mouth as the name XueJian slips her mouth, but it’s too late. The dark voice cackles menacingly, “Let’s make a deal. Give me your jealousy, I will make what you wish come true.” “No! My brother told me dark thoughts such as jealousy empowers you, helps you grow. I cannot do that!” Frightened, LongKui covers her ears and runs out.
During the entire exchange, MaoMao is snorting in bed, oblivious to it all. O, ignorance is such a wonderful benediction. Sometimes.
The next day, the mope continues. (But after Jin Tian vents at ChangQing.)
At the bazaar, XueJian spots Jin Tian along with LongKui and MaoMao. LongKui pulls Jin Tian away to avoid seeing XueJian but he catches a glimpse of her anyway. Leaving MaoMao and LongKui to be, he pushes through the crowd in search for XueJian. Likewise, XueJian does the same.
Eventually, they meet at the bridge. Awkwardness fills the air. They exchange pleasantries and XueJian, eager to depart, says she’s heading to do her hair. (Hair salon? That’s novel.)
Jin Tian stops her, after much hesitation, volunteers to do her hair for her — a petty excuse to be with her a little longer. Then, reverting to his usual ways, he winks, “Dare trust your hair to me?” Up for the challenge, she replies, “Why not?”
*washes hair* *multiple angles* *glamor shots*
(She looks so much better when she does away with the crazy, rigid curls, methinks.)
At last, done! (And XueJian looks no different, despite Jin Tian’s claim of her looking prettier.)
When XueJian arches to smooth her hair, Jin Tian spots her pendant.
“I have one just the same,” Jin Tian remarks after a close examination of XueJian’s pendant, “Except my marks are the reverse of yours. And, it was stolen from me.” A chord strikes, XueJian is reminded of her grandfather’s words. Waving the memory away, she protests, the pendant is stolen from Jin Tian, so her Mr. Right couldn’t have been him! Besides, ChangQing had said that her Mr. Right’s name contains a word that “one sees when one looks up”.
Well, it’s obviously Yun Ting, with yun (cloud) being something that can be seen when looking up. Jin Tian disagrees, suggesting an alternative: what if it’s a cloudless day? It should be the sky (tian), and he, Jin Tian, is who ChangQing was referring to.
Unable to accept the alternative, XueJian runs away. (Always running away.)
To celebrate Yun Ting’s upcoming wedding, there is a spectacle of fireworks that evening. While everyone gazes up at the sky lustily to take in the grandeur, XueJian sits absent mindedly beside Yun Ting. Jin Tian, though faraway, never looks away from XueJian.
They catch each other’s eyes and lock gaze for a moment. Yun Ting, aware of the exchange, takes hold of XueJian’s hand possessively and breaks the spell.
Despite the promise to marry Yun Ting, despite XueJian’s resolve to distance herself from Jin Tian, her overpowering feelings are hard to ignore. After the fireworks, she breaks free from Yun Ting’s side and runs to look for Jin Tian in the crowd.
They meet at the bridge. Just as they had done during the day.
A confession ensues. The two make up for each other and part ways — after XueJian gives Jin Tian a peck on the cheek (which sends Jin Tian dancing on the bridge). 🙂
After the brief confession, XueJian returns to Yun Ting and Jin Tian rejoins MaoMao and LongKui. Both in a newly improved mood (though I could’ve sworn I spotted a glimpse of guilt in XueJian).
LongKui confesses to lying to XueJian when Jin Tian sent her to warn XueJian not to marry Yun Ting. Too happy to mind, Jin Tian console LongKui that her fears are silly. No matter what happens, she’ll always be his beloved little sister. He then walks away with MaoMao, joyfully elaborating on XueJian’s kiss. LongKui is left to stand alone in the street, the feeling of uneasiness still clings to her…
When LongKui was first introduced, she was resentful towards XueJian for being too close to Jin Tian and sought to keep XueJian away by showing her fragments of the past. During that time, she was red, charged with rage. But since that incident, LongKui stayed the gentle woman who willfully submits and sacrifices for the most part with the occasional lost of control. Many times, she encouraged XueJian to pursuit her affection for Jin Tian, and even attempted to help. Then episode 22 came along, suddenly LongKui’s back to playing the jealousy little fiend — without turning red this time . If there were any indication of her other self taking over, I would be more inclined to suspend my disbelief. But the rapid (if not abrupt) change is too clumsy a plot device to buy into.