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 4: Petty Princesses are Pretty Pathetic (Preview Clip)
As Han Yunxi reels over the revelation that the man she saved is the Duke of Qin, he curtly orders her to help her to bed. Meanwhile, Gu Qishao has returned to Pill Fiend Valley with the Han Yunxi clone in tow—a girl who quickly reveals herself to be none other than Yu Ze using a clever skin mask. (I don’t know what I feel about Gu Qishao using our heroine’s face as he likes to commit crimes, though. =.= ) That aside, how did Yu Ze even get a handle for Han Yunxi’s looks? Was magic mosquito art somehow involved again?!
You can see me…
But do you know me, really?
Whatever the case, Gu Qishao tells Yu Ze to just change and go back to Wanyan Pavilion, to which she agrees with well wishes for him. Meanwhile, Gu Qishao reads a letter from “the top” than puts a smile on his face while Bai Su announces the results of their blood tests—the sample has Poison Gu elements. If the crown prince is looking for a person with this blood, that person must be a Poison Gu human. By extension, wherever the Poison Gu human is, the Poison Sect has to be nearby.
Gu Qishao considers the factors: Long Tianmo has lost a Poison Gu human, but neither he nor Long Feiye have told any of this to Emperor Tianhui. In Tianning, the emperor, crown prince, and Duke of Qin get along like fire to water. If they can cause a stir between the trio, then they can simply watch the three parties kill each other off. With that thought in mind, Gu Qishao prepares to set off and see the crown prince.
Back at the Duke of Qin’s estate, Han Yunxi has successfully helped Long Feiye to bed. He raises his arm so she can undress him, but Han Yunxi misses the hint and asks again if he’s really the Duke of Qin.
Han Yunxi: Um, you’re blocking my way to the bed. Long Feiye: Who said you were sleeping in it?
In response, he simply tells her to help him out of his robes. After a bout of truly painful wrestling with some sleeves, Han Yunxi realizes she’s missed a prime chance to check for his supposed birthmark. Fortunately, she hasn’t treated his poison fully either, and uses the chance to wrangle a deal to examine him further. Long Feiye’s only furious that she had the gall to trick him about the antidote, but she says she had no idea who he was. It only makes sense that she’d try to trick a would-be assassin in case he was after the Duke of Qin’s life.
“So in the end, you were actually considering for my welfare?” Long Feiye asks.
“Of course!” Han Yunxi proclaims, even as she tries to figure out more ways to get him undressed. Finally, she settles on persuading him to agree to acupuncture treatment to expel his poisons quickly.
This time, she’s a lot more hesitant upon seeing his exposed chest, and he calls her out for it. Aren’t women and men all the same in a doctor’s eyes? Han Yunxi simply says she’s forgotten she’s said such a thing, and tries to look for any sign of a birthmark amidst his body full of scars. Meanwhile, Long Feiye brings up the rumors about Han Yunxi—wasn’t she supposed to have a poison scar on her face? Han Yunxi says her father found plenty of expensive ingredients and helped her treat it to avoid losing face for the Han Clan. He next asks whether she’s ever heard of Shenyou Grass—the very flower she needed to treat her scar. She said that of course she has, because it’s a rare plant. He mentions that there are wild ones growing on the cliffs just outside the city. “Why don’t you dig some up and bring them back here to plant?” Han Yunxi asks next. When Long Feiye says he doesn’t need them, she calls him out for wasting the fruits of Mother Nature.
Han Yunxi: You know, if you scoot in a bit more I could sit on the bed too. Long Feiye: Who said I wanted you to fit?
Next comes the crucial part of the examination: Long Feiye’s back. But Han Yunxi’s hardly started when Chu Xifeng announces that he’s brought a poisons doctor. Han Yunxi jumps at his voice, and Long Feiye accuses her of harboring a guilty conscience because she’s plotting something. Once again, Han Yunxi denies it though she secretly rebukes herself for the slip. Long Feiye has the poisons doctor takes his bloody clothes for analysis, then orders Chu Xifeng to take Han Yunxi’s prescription for the antidotes to be checked for anything suspicious. He says all this in front of Han Yunxi, who asks him why he told her to write a prescription when he doesn’t trust her. Long Feiye only deflects the question by saying that it’s too late already, and that they should sleep first. Tomorrow, they’ll still need to go visit the palace to pay their respects.
Han Yunxi: Ooookay then, I’ll just sit in the corner and be a pretty ornament. Hey, you like trophy wives?
Long Feiye: The only trophies I’d keep are the despair and screams of my enemies.
Han Yunxi: So that’s a maybe?
Han Yunxi has a moment of panic when she assumes Long Feiye meant he’d sleep with her, and protests that she isn’t ready for that yet. But Long Feiye just tells her she can take the couch for the night, earning him a (secret) dirty look. Meanwhile, the poisons doctor praises Han Yunxi’s prescription, saying that it’s better than even those of standard doctors in the practice. Chu Xifeng is pleasantly surprised by the fact that their new wangfei can treat poisons so well.
Nestled onto the couch, Han Yunxi begins to worry about the next day. What if Long Feiye recognizes her as the book thief in daylight? She should change her hair or pluck her eyebrows, maybe even add a few spots or two to her face to throw him off. Unfortunately, Long Feiye notices as soon as she gets off the bed and asks why she’s not sleeping. Han Yunxi claims she’s out for a walk, but Long Feiye says it’s not safe to walk about the estate at night with the guards patrolling all over the place.
Long Feiye’s bed is basically a couch too, only with curtains on top.
“Then why aren’t you sleeping? Han Yunxi asks.
“What did the poison scar on your face used to look like?” Long Feiye asks instead.
Suddenly losing all interest in disguising herself, Han Yunxi goes back to bed. “If you’re really that curious about it, you can go ask the Han Clan,” she says instead and goes to sleep.
For a nightmare, these are some pretty vibrant colors, ah~
That night, she has a nightmare of the empress dowager ordering the guards to capture her and her mother at the palace. Just as she escapes into a room, she runs into Long Feiye, who forces her to put on the face veil she wore before. As soon as she does, he clutches her by the throat.
“So it really was you!” he cries. And Han Yunxi bolts upright in her bed, awake. The first thing she sees is Long Feiye’s personal servant woman—Zhao momo (or mama, whichever one you prefer. It’s the same word). Long Feiye himself is in the study and has given Han Yunxi an hour to prepare and meet him at the gates. Delighted, Han Yunxi decides to use this time to change her looks as much as she can.
Meanwhile, Long Feiye drinks the medicine prescribed for him by Han Yunxi while Chu Xifeng reports on the latest news. After the death of the justice court official and eyewitness accounts of the Duke of Qin seen on the roof, rumors have been flying that he was the criminal fleeing from the crime. Young General Mu Qingwu, who was put in charge of the investigations, has even made a request to search through the Duke of Qin’s estate. However, they were able to use the excuse of Long Feiye’s marriage to divert the investigations elsewhere—for now.
When Chu Xifeng asks who attacked Long Feiye yesterday, he revealed that it was the girl who stole his poison manual that had come to take revenge—and then a separate group of assassins, most likely belonging to the crown prince. For now, they will keep an eye on Mu Qingwu’s investigations while trying to figure out just who was the woman who lured Long Feiye away on his wedding day.
There’s a brief flurry of emotions with Grand Concubine Yi, who’s both relieved that her son is alright and aghast that he didn’t tell her anything—and then it’s off to the palace to pay respects.
Meanwhile, we have a short scene of Long Tianmo panicking because Long Feiye killed all the assassins he sent yesterday. His imperial uncle promises to keep protecting him, but tells him to make sure the emperor doesn’t get wind of their embezzling from the government. They end up plotting again…
Around the same time, the empress dowager’s interrogation session is just beginning. She asks how Han Yunxi lost her poison scar and Yunxi attributes it to her father’s hard work just before the marriage. She asks why Long Feiye didn’t kick the sedan chair door of his bride, and he cleverly ties it to the murder at the justice courts and how someone tried to frame him, then murder him.
I really like the angle of this shot but 5 out of 6 people are sporting candy corn heads again.
After some convincingly faked concern from the empress dowager, the couple is split up: him to the emperor, her to stay with the empress dowager. You can catch the split second of calculation in Long Feiye’s eyes before he agrees to let Han Yunxi stay behind. The empress dowager asks how her progress is going, and Han Yunxi says that she examined Long Feiye’s front and back last night without discovering anything. There was a secret royal record that recorded the location of Long Feiye’s birthmark, which proves that he is of the Wind Clan (in dramaverse, they make up Tianning’s royal family); unfortunately, it was lost in a fire long ago.
The empress dowager orders Han Yunxi to check all over his body—since he was injured last night, they couldn’t consummate their marriage, but once they do it’ll be easy work inspecting his entire body. Han Yunxi doesn’t think she can do it, but the empress dowager is too impatient to wait. She gives her a one-month deadline, certain that Han Yunxi will find a way somehow. Her performance so far has been exemplary, both from kicking down her sedan chair door to treating the Duke of Qin’s wounds. (Reading her reaction in context to the novel is pretty interesting here, as novelverse empress dowager grows to despite Han Yunxi precisely because she does all these things but still refuses to be her spy.)
Over at the emperor’s, Long Feiye is being called into question over the justice court official’s death. He calmly says he’s still investigating the charges while Emperor Tianhui just smirks. “So that means you don’t have evidence [proving your innocence] yet?”
“Does imperial brother believe that I killed the official as well?” Long Feiye counters. It both dramaverse and novelverse, he has the skill of deflecting awkward questions like a pro. In the end, Emperor Tianhui agrees to give him some time to get to the truth, but tells General Mu Qingwu to investigate thoroughly as well. Even a Son of Heaven has to suffer the same punishments as a commoner when found guilty of a crime. Mu Qingwu obediently assents.
I was expecting more oomph but Mu Qingwu looks like a scholar here. At least he’s short one annoying sister.
Meanwhile, Han Yunxi is thinking over the empress dowager’s words on a bridge when Princess Changping walks by. She doesn’t think much of the Qin Wangfei, especially when “big sis Mingxiang” (affectionate nickname, no actual blood relation here) was overlooked in favor of a so-called commoner girl. When Yunxi points out that her marriage was made via imperial decree and thus untouchable, Changping gets upset and orders a slapping. That fails tragically, so the princess decides to get handsy herself—with laughably awful results.
So awful, in fact, that Changping switches genders for a brief second or two before she falls.
While the eunuchs all panic and jump in after her into the (rather shallow) pond, the fallen momo gets up and shoves Han Yunxi off the bridge as well. But while the princess is still single, Han Yunxi is well and hitched, proved further when her hubby comes flying in to rescue her only seconds later. Cue the slow motion photography:
Han Yunxi: Darling, you can take me for a spin any day~
Princess Changping stomps onto the bridge, dripping wet, and complains to her imperial uncle how that “cheap servant” purposely pushed her into the water. Long Feiye’s quick to snap back until she comes to her senses and calls Han Yunxi ‘imperial aunt,’ then apologizes for her disrespect. (Well, Changping’s certainly more docile here than in the novel, that’s for sure.) Han Yunxi admits that she was in the wrong too, but then Long Feiye simply tells them to leave. Cue a happy waifu following in her hubby’s footsteps. uwu Meanwhile, Emperor Tianhui has witnessed the whole thing and says unhappily that the Duke of Qin doesn’t respect him at all by lecturing Princess Changping so openly. His eunuch is quick to remind him that Long Feiye’s fully in the right to lecture Changping as her uncle, though his words were a bit harsh. They back and forth a bit more, but the main point is that Emperor Tianhui’s dreadfully vexed that the Duke of Qin seems to be doing as he likes and defying him.
(No offense, but I’d totally want to smack you too if you smiled at me like that, Tianhui)
The fact that Long Feiye’s the second most powerful man in the country and has the army under his command makes him even more apt to act rebellious. Paranoid and arrogant as usual, Emperor Tianhui says that’s precisely the problem—but that the Duke of Qin will give up his military power soon enough. Hooboy.
A giggling Han Yunxi follows Long Feiye all the way home, where he curtly tells her to move into the Leisurely Cloud Pavilion from this day on. Han Yunxi asks him why, but our famous deflector asks her whether she really wants to live with him.
“……” is her response. But with the empress dowager’s mission in mind, she tries other ways to convince him to let her stay. She still has to treat his poison! (“No need. I have poison doctors of my own.”) She could do acupuncture and massage him after the treatment! (“On the bed?” he asks. “Aiya, what are you talking about?” Han Yunxi rests a hand against her forehead in exasperation.) In the end, Long Feiye leaves an ultimatum: if she’s going to stay here, she has to move to the bed with him. Otherwise, it’s off the Leisurely Cloud Pavilion she goes. (…wait, does he want her here on the bed? Eh? Ehhhhh?)
This kind of smile is much better. >u<
In the end, Han Yunxi does decide to leave, but not before giving him a packet of personally selected medicines for him to use in his bath. “You better remember to use it, alright?” she says before skipping off.
Later in his study, Long Feiye talks with Chu Xifeng before giving him Han Yunxi’s packet of medicine for inspection by the physicians and poison doctors of the estate. Chu Xifeng asks if he suspects Han Yunxi of being the empress dowager’s spy, but Long Feiye just looks away. “If this was any other spy, we could just kill her,” Chu Xifeng remarks. “But if the spy turns out to be esteemed wangfei…” He trails off. Things would get complicated then.
Han Yunxi is vegging out in her new quarters, wondering how to complete her mission now. She asks Zhao momo about Long Feiye’s hobbies, but finds out that he only likes to read books, practice martial arts, and drink tea. She then asks when he usually takes his baths, causing Zhao momo to give her a questioning look. Han Yunxi reveals how Long Feiye was recently poisoned and that it’d be better to get the toxins out of his body as quick as possible. She wants to make sure he uses the medicine she prepared for him in the bath. Hearing this, Zhao momo readily reveals that Long Feiye always takes a soak at 戌时—Xu hour, or the time between 7 and 9PM.
Before we can peek on Long Feiye taking his bath, we have to cut back to Emperor Tianhui, standing in the same forbidding pose that we saw in the first two episodes. Once again, he’s approached by the empress dowager, but this time the topic is West Qiu (which is equivalent to Western Zhou in the novel, perhaps). The country is eager for a marriage alliance for their princess, elder sister to the child emperor. Perhaps it’s a way to stabilize their country. Emperor Tianhui is quite willing, provided that they get West Qiu’s famous battle horses in turn. The empress dowager asks whether they are promising Princess Changping to Long Tianmo, but Emperor Tianhui says he’s far too weak to stand up to such a formidable woman. He will have to wed her instead. Nothing like noble sacrifices for your country, eh, Your Majesty?
Long Feiye: I don’t smile because nobody’s ever taught me how. :<
It’s almost bath time at the Duke of Qin’s estate! Long Feiye looks over Han Yunxi’s hand-wrapped packages as he recalls how Chu Xifeng says the doctors all praised the prescription within. It will do nothing but good for his body and even improve his martial arts. As Chu Xifeng begins to list off the ingredients, Long Feiye comes out of his reverie and absently tosses a bag in the bath.
Meanwhile, Han Yunxi is making her way to the baths too, eager to get a glimpse of Long Feiye in the flesh. She either ignores or disregards all the black-robed guards on her way to the estate. Chu Xifeng raises a hand to stop the guards from barring her way. “Esteemed wangfei wants to take a bath with His Highness, what are you all so worried about? Afraid that she’d eat him up?” He finds himself chuckling at the thought.
Chu Xifeng’s gonna have to clear the roofs when snu snu time comes knocking.
Han Yunxi makes it to the bath just as Long Feiye is about to undress, but then he stops, as if sensing someone behind him…
It actually takes about three times as long to finish an episode when I’m recapping. Ahhh….I’m quite jelly of those of you who’ve watched ahead already! >o< Still, this is really interesting to do so I’m enjoying myself; I hope you guys are too. Man, Emperor Tianhui’s so fun to hate, he’s totally milking the arrogant smarm. I can’t wait for someone to punch his teeth out ahaha.
Long Feiye is consistently warmer here than in the novel, a notable change that I appreciate since it makes him seem a little more relatable. We do see facets of his human side in PGC, but it takes such a long time coming that I’m grateful we’re starting from frozen rather than subzero realms. And ahhhh, how cute is Han Yunxi? She’s different but I really do adore her, she plays her cute sides well!
It looks like it’ll take me a while to finish recapping this ’til the end, but I’ll slug forward all the same. Hey, does anyone want to join in watching the finale when it comes out live on iQiyi? :3