This is a volare special recap series for the official iQiyi web version of Legend of Yun Xi 《芸汐传》. Please note that these will all be image heavy posts that contain spoilers and/or deviations from the original webnovel!
Episode 5: Yunxi Spies and Tries to Lie, But Feiye Turns a Blind Eye?
Note: As of Episode 4 and beyond, both the iQiyi and YouTube versions seem to match! As the YouTube version is actually being actively subbed, I’ll cut back on the excessive scene-by-scene recaps of the series to focus on things that catch my interest. 😀
Continuing where we left off, it’s not long before Han Yunxi gets caught by Long Feiye for trying to spy on him. While he calls her out for skulking around, she asks if he can treat her better. Everyone knows she’s been chased out of his living quarters (lol), so the servants all look down on her. Plus, her mother-in-law actively dislikes her—maybe she’ll even be chased out of the estate tomorrow if he’s not around!
Is this twiddling fingers gonna be a thing, because I think it’s kinda cute.
Long Feiye says she has some gall [complaining to him] about her mistreatment; she simply asks if he can treat her a little bit better. To which the Duke of Qin tells her to get out. Han Yunxi next picks up her own satchel of medicine and recognizes it by the smell, then launches into a self-promotion spiel about her skills: she can make even better medicine and even treat poisons to help him out! Her hubby’s all like: I’ve got a full team already, who needs you? Basically her attempt to kiss up to him fails and she leaves on her own before Long Feiye can get Chu Xifeng to escort her out. The music for this part is so cute and light-hearted, ah~
I also love the fact she throws him one last look before stalking off~
This is where Han Yunxi also calls Long Feiye an “ice cube” for the first time in the drama. xD She’s not discouraged by his dismissal, but resolved to prove herself in his eyes. You go girl! (But uh, wait, what about your mission for the empress dowager, ah~ I don’t think impressing Feiye-senpai was part of the plan…)
Back and Gu Qishao HQ, the boss and his lackey are wondering if Long Feiye’s got a new skilled poisons expert in da house since he recovered from their attack this time. After all, his poisons experts totally sucked the last time they tried something minor. But whatever, it’s all good—their goal was to make Long Feiye think the crown prince set up all the attackers while they do their thing from the shadows.
Meanwhile, Han Yunxi is looking over her (stolen) poison manual in her new quarters when Zhao mama comes with an old face veil of hers. (Did you really embroider all of them with that darned peony, or was there a sale at the local street side stall?) She explains she used to wear them and must have forgotten to throw this one out. Ehehe. Then she insists on throwing it out herself annnnnd cleaning the rest of her own stuff. Whatever the case, Zhao mama gets a glimpse of the stolen manual as she’s pushed out of the room. Hmm, that’s no good…
There’s hiding things in plain sight, and then there’s this. =.=
If someone could explain to me whether that gold statue in the right hand corner is an unclothed Buddha, a shiny acupuncture model, or Long Feiye’s shockingly bad taste in interior decorating, I’d be much obliged.
After this, Han Yunxi finally takes the chance to hide her book. That only took, hmm, an entire wedding night and then the next day? Orz.
Pause to admire the intricate beadwork of their headpieces. Very pretty~
Next we move onto Princess Chu Qingge and her very modest caravan as it heads for Tianning Country. Our novelverse Chu Qingge is currently more than a little hysterical, but this one is cool and calm. She and Gu Qishao have a private teamwork building session before she ever reaches the capital city. (Gu Qishao also made sure to use his very distinctive signal flare on screen (last time we saw it was with fake!Yunxi back in episode 3) so, you know, we remember he’s the masked dude who set Long Feiye up against the mosquitoes.)
Some things to take away from here: Chu Qingge knows Gu Qishao is the agent planted by Northern Li in Tianning as their eyes and ears, and she’s familiar with someone from Northern Li named Jun Yizheng, who arranged their meeting in the first place. I suppose we’ll be meeting him later down the line. She’s also coming to Tianning for the marriage alliance in the first place because her country, West Qiu, has been in turmoil ever since the Duke of Qin killed her father in the recent war. She needs stability, support, intel on the imperial harem—and she wants Gu Qishao to provide it. Gu Qishao agrees in exchange for intel on the palace. Then he tells her about his hangout at Pill Fiend Valley and gifts her a box of poisons for self-defense to sweeten the deal.
Sad to say, I don’t think Chu Qingge’s ever been so happy even in the novel.
I know I mentioned how much I like Long Feiye’s voice actor, but I like Chu Qingge’s as well. They gave her a sort of soft but husky voice that makes her seem both youthful and mature at the same time, it’s very nice.
Speak of the devil. We next cut to Crown Prince Jun Yizheng in Northern Li with his mother having a chat. Apparently, she’s worried because he sauntered off to West Qiu recently, but Jun Yizheng says they’ve got so many of their own spies in the country that it’s perfectly safe.
Who blew up their grandmother’s Victorian broach and stuck it on the wall
Turns out Jun Yizheng was the one who goaded Chu Qingge into marrying Emperor Tianhui in the first place, thus making her their pawn in a sense. Guess some things never change… We also learn of Gu Qishao’s other identity (in dramaverse at least) and name as Jun Yixie. Poor Gu Qishao seems to be just as much of a pawn as Chu Qingge…but we’ll see how long that lasts.
On a side note, Jun Yizheng’s actor made me do a double-take because he looks like a square version of Jeremy Tsui.
The next scene we snap back to is Chu Qingge, who comments offhandedly that a man like Gu Qishao wouldn’t be under Northern Li’s thumb for long. I’m really liking how capable, intelligent, and calm (well, calmer) Chu Qingge is in the drama adaptation because it’s a breath of fresh air from her love-addled novelverse counterpart. And she actually hates Long Feiye! Fancy that. (To minimize spoilers, we’ll just say her attitude is the complete opposite in the book.)
Meanwhile, Han Yunxi’s chilling in her room, looking like she’s taking the pulse of her weird glowing mom bracelet when she’s actually prancing about in her mindspace. The dimension still looks like a badly photoshopped disco party to me, but she seems happy enough. She also throws a second nickname out for Long Feiye: Ice rock—well, more like iceberg—while feeling salty at how much he doubts her. Pwahaha.
Also, Long Feiye laughs for the first time! Too bad it’s at the bad guys and not because of HYX. :<
Long Feiye tells Chu Xifeng to keep following up with the crown prince, the imperial uncle, the master of Pill Fiend Valley, and his wife. Han Yunxi has a nightmare where the empress dowager kills her mother because she failed the one-month deadline. She gets shaken enough to resort to desperate measures—a poison that will cause boils on a person’s skin, once she scatters the odorless, colorless powder (well it’ll be colorless/odorless after a day, anyways) on the Duke of Qin’s bed. She can totally check out his legs for the birthmark when he asks her for treatment.
….somehow I don’t think this is going to…end well.
In other news, Long Feiye walks out of his house and almost gets shot through the head. Fortunately, he survives to give us this very excellent meme face:
No need to thank me, ah.
The use of arrows makes me think of the Chu Clan because that’s their specialty, but I don’t know if that holds true in the dramaverse. Personally, Chu Xifeng thinks it’s the crown prince up to his dirty ways again. In any case, Long Feiye decides to go back home for the day and catches Han Yunxi skipping out of his bedroom. She claims she forgot her mother’s medicine bottle in there, and he warns her never to come into his rooms again without permission. Maybe…you could consider installing locks on your doors, Long Feiye? Or uh, stationing a guard or two. (What happened to all the sentries on the roof? Are they afraid of sunburn during the day?)
Whatever the case, Long Feiye’s keen nose picks up a funny scent from the bed and tells Zhao mama to change his bedding. I know this part’s supposed to be all Serious and Mean LFY, but the music just makes me want to laugh. They’ve made it so light-hearted it feels like kids playing pranks on each other during the school day~
Meanwhile, Han Yunxi interrogates the maids and finds out her husband is an absolute prude: he doesn’t have female servants waiting on him, or bathing him, or even a lover or two at some pleasure house somewhere because he’s mysophobic.
HYX: ….or maybe he’s been an ice cube for so long that it’s turned him impotent??
While Han Yunxi ponders over the reasons why hubby is so antisocial, her helpful maids turn right around and talk behind her back, mocking her status as wangfei when the Duke of Qin’s even kicked her out of his rooms. They’re caught by Grand Concubine Yi’s personal maidservant, Gui mama (I’ll tell you now, she’s a lean, mean old hag in the novel), and gleefully gossip about their mistress. News of it get to Grand Concubine Yi, who is very unimpressed and sends Han Yunxi to be punished by…balancing a tray and teacup above her head.
Well. It’s much milder than being locked in a woodhouse and starved for three days and three nights, so this ‘punishment’ gets my approval. Again, it’s actually kinda cute and far less stressful than all those schemes in PGC. I guess because the jealous rival girl hasn’t moved in yet. >.< Interesting to note is the brief second glimpse we get of Grand Concubine Yi’s box:
I have no idea what this is other than the fact that it’s butt-ugly and coated in gold.
It reminds me of a cicada corpse or something, perhaps, which GCY does have in PGC. Well, guess we’ll find out later. The box design reminds me a lot of Gu Qishao’s gift box to Chu Qingge though. I’m betting it’s something medicinal or similar, they’ve got weird ingredients like this allllll the time.
I like Grand Concubine Yi much more in this drama. She’s only against Yunxi because the girl’s too uncouth and doesn’t fit the image of a wangfei. In short, she’s actually fair. GCY admits she dislikes her, but she won’t hold things against her as long as she acts sensibly. Tonight, she’ll do it by washing Long Feiye’s feet! Han Yunxi cleverly makes sure Grand Concubine Yi asserts that it’s her own idea so Long Feiye can’t refuse. She checks the sole of his foot for any birthmarks and find none.
Wifely Virtue #23: Thou shall keep thy hubby’s feet soft and sweet as the sun-kissed roses at dawn
LFY kicks her aside (oi!) and mocks her unbecoming posture, causing HYX to explode, but Gui mama stops her from acting even more uncouth. “Wangye, you spoil wangfei too much,” she remarks. (Another thing to note: they don’t call LFY “Your Highness” here.) Next comes a hot springs scene that honestly surprised me because the bright red flower petals and girly flute solo was setting me up to expect a beauty soaking in the bath moment:
Instead we get a nice manly hot pot. What gives, show? *stems nosebleed*
As if seeing Long Feiye in the flesh wasn’t enough to drive the point home, we go back to Han Yunxi and her nude diagram of her husband, with little Xs to mark off the places she’s already seen naked. Luckily, she’s tasteful enough to draw him islander-style skirt underwear along with his signature death-glare. Although I think she marked the wrong foot on her pic.
Looks like hubby’s packing on a bit of belly, too.
Her finger in the pic is conveniently pointing at a place where she hasn’t checked yet…prompting vivid flashbacks of hubby’s awesome abs. “It’s fine, it’s fine,” Han Yunxi tells herself. “I’m a doctor, so it doesn’t matter whether I’m seeing a man or a woman.” Of course, right after that she starts remembering his broad shoulders and back muscles too… In the end, she tries to force herself to sleep and forget about it. (At this rate, you’re only going to dream about him all night…)
Meanwhile, I lose track of time a bit—the next scene is Emperor Tianhui telling Long Feiye to accompany Long Tianmo to welcome Chu Qingge to their country. (That’s gonna be awkward.) But then it cuts to a night scene in the courtyard again—did we just skip an entire day? Whatever the case, we get this beautiful, serene shot of Long Feiye drinking tea in his chambers while wearing white robes—a classic image from the novel.
I actually like this screencap better than the bathing one. Or the one where I almost got his butt, lol.
We see him flash back to the war against West Qiu from one month ago and how he pwn’d the army with his shockwave-emitting spear. I will note right now that novelverse Long Feiye favors the sword and especially the whip more, but I guess they had to get an anti-army weapon for his “War God” background here. >o>
Even Thor can’t send bodies flying into the air like Long Feiye can!
At one point, he and his army were hemmed in while still waiting for reinforcements (we get a lot of ant-like graphics that show this from a bird’s eye view like a thousand feet up, which is helpful). The West Qiu emperor who’s watching the show drops another plot point: he wants a person that Long Feiye’s been hiding, the key to help him conquer all battles and take over the world.
He almost succeeds in defeating Long Feiye’s army, and we even get the slow montage with the hero watching all his friends and allies die in front of him while he bleeds helplessly on the ground. I was waiting for my big ol’ MC Power Up moment and holy cow did we get it! It’s technically the moment after this scene but I thought his white-haired wig was too funny so I picked the glare scene instead.
LFY: I stayed up all night to perfect the red-eyed look.
Screenshots of the nuclear-like explosion and the pretty white light of death streaking through the West Qiu army don’t look good as still images, so I recommend you watch the episode yourself to get full effect. We also get insight into exactly what the West Qiu emperor was looking for: the so-called “Poison Gu Human,” who turns out to be Long Feiye himself. It’s too late for him to do anything with the knowledge now, though.
Before he dies at the end of Long Feiye’s spear, the West Qiu emperor affirms that what he believed was right. “Gods do exist. Gods do exist!” (It could be singular or plural here, but I’ll use plural for now.) We get a brief shot of General Baili and the ever handsome Chu Xifeng riding to Long Feiye’s rescue before we pan back to the aftermath of the battle which LFY basically won singlehandedly. Whew.
By the way, the slow-mo scenes of the horses galloping over water are gorgeous here. I actually rewound to watch them twice, heheh. And Chu Xifeng wins prize for coolest subordinate ever—it always makes me happy to see him genuinely concerned for LFY, especially when his face is so expressive.
The moment you realized you pushed your boss too far.
So ends episode 5 with a ba-thump as our Long Feiye falls right into his subordinate’s arms.
I’ve read a lot of mixed views about the drama, ranging from those who love it, like it, or hate its guts. Me? I just like good stories and want to be entertained. Usually, I’m too impatient to bother watching most cdramas through, but this one’s an exception because I can compare and pick out differences between it and the novel. That makes even the most cliched points fresh—“Oh, so this is how they decided to deal with that plot point!” “Hey, looks like they ignored that part in favor of this one instead!” Etc.
Case in point, it’s interesting to watch Long Feiye’s little reactions and words here. I actually can’t tell what he’s thinking about Han Yunxi at the moment beyond the obvious suspicion, but it’s clear he doesn’t outright loathe her. Same with his mother—miraculously these two seem like reasonable, prudent nobility who have very real shreds of humanity in them. That makes me like them more as people beyond their characters. Novelverse LFY is, well, he really is a literal ice block in the first two hundred or so chapters, while GCY lets her prejudice against Yunxi cloud her judgment all too easily. So I appreciate the drama for fleshing them—and especially her—out!
I’m still enjoying Legend of Yun Xi a lot, so I’m already looking forward to recapping the next episode. The Duke of Qin’s gang are building up their collection of little mysteries nicely, while Han Yunxi’s side balances out her tension and dreaded deadline with light-hearted fun. I’m sure this won’t last forever, but for now I’m breathing in the Tianning air and content to watch my favs come on screen again.
Also. Chu Xifeng, so hot. *fans self*