The Story of Ming Lan (Chinese Drama Review & Summary)

Drama

The Story of Ming Lan (Chinese Drama Review & Summary)

The Story of Ming Lan poster

  • Genre: Historical Costume Drama Fiction, Romance
  • Release Date: X’mas 2018
  • Origin: China
  • CDrama: 73 Episodes

Cast:

  • Zanilia Zhao as Sheng Minglan
  • Feng Shao Feng as Gu Tingye
  • Zhu Yilong as Qi Heng
  • Wang Ziwei as Xiaotao (Minglan’s ladies maid)
  • Shi Shi as Sheng Molan (fourth sister)
  • Wang Renjun as Zheng Changbai (brother)
  • Wang Herus as Sheng Hualan (Eldest sister)
  • Zhang Jianing as Sheng Rulan (Fifth Sister)
  • Zhang Qiao Xian as Sheng Chang Feng (Brother from concubine)

Looking forward to this drama.  The first drama of Zanilia and William Feng as a newly married couple.

Episode 1

This first episode is on the tad boring because the main actors were not in it.

It started when Minglan was a little girl.  She was a daughter of a court official to a concubine, who had been sold to the Sheng household by her family to buy medicine.

Young Minglan being a concubine’s daughter is treated differently from her sisters from the legal wife and his favourite first concubine.

Despite the hardship, Minglan showed resilience and maturity beyond her years.

It was the wedding of her oldest half-sister (First Sister).  Her dowry from her betrothed included a wedding goose.

But there was an incident with the goose, lol,  Minglan’s half-brother (Third Brother) from the first concubine started gambling the goose away.

The Sheng household was in an uproar as losing the goose is equivalent to losing their face as well.

A young master, a wedding guest from the groom side, was winning the goose then enters young Minglan who was half the height of the young master.

Without saying anything, she shoots an arrow into a tri-mouthed cylinder and everyone was astounded.  She kept getting it right until she equalised with the young master.

The young master then used two arrows to fill two holes of the cylindrical container which earned him a 6-pointer.  Everyone was less jubilant as they reckoned Minglan won’t be able to top it.

She took just one arrow and threw it as high and as far as she could and it went straight to the farthest cylinder which garnered her 10 points.  Minglan won.

At the end of the episode, her Third Brother was ‘sacrificed’ by his own mother so that she does not incur the wrath of the legal wife.  He got a beating of 30 lashes.

Episode 2

Minglan had begged her father to come to visit them, which he obliged to do so.  While in their house, Minglan confessed to her father that they suffered from extreme cold as their allocated allowance of coals and other provisions are not being given to them in the right amount.  At night her pregnant mother was so cold they would huddle together to keep warm.

Her father was shocked to know this and went to his legal wife (Big Madam) to ask why his third family was not being looked after properly.  He then blamed his wife for insisting to buy him a second concubine to keep up appearances and then neglect them.

His wife explained to him that she was as shocked and it has really nothing to do with her as the one to manage their housekeeping bills and allocation is the first concubine.

The first concubine (FC) was called and she blatantly made up lies that she had instructed the maids to be more careful with the second concubine (SC) as she was pregnant.  The FC said that she suspected the SC’s maid had been stealing the allocation.

They then all went to the house of the SC to search it thoroughly.  They found coals, silver, and food among the maid’s properties.  Everyone really knows that this was a made up charge but no one was really talking to save face and keep peace within the manor.

The maid was going to be beaten to death but the SC and Minglan who adore the feisty maid begged the father to spare the life of the maid.  They said to just dismiss her.

At the middle of this fracas, there was some sad news that the young master (guest) who happens to be the second son of the Marquis of Ningyuan had drown.

There was chaos at how theyare going to explain the death of an important guest to an even important parent.

After a thorough search, they found a decomposing body by the river.  The face was so bloated that it was beyond recognition.

Episode 3

The young master was not dead.  It was his manservant who died after they changed clothing to confuse the assassins.

Anyway, the young master is Gu Tingye who was in a horse-drawn cart when he noticed Minglan running for her life.

Poor Minglan was beside herself with worry as her mother was in labour but no one competent enough was there to tend to her, in fact, they were hindering her.  No one would boil water, no one to give water to her thirsty mother and the midwife ran away.  I think it has all to do with the conniving FC.

Gu Tingye helped Minglan to get the physician but in the end, it was too late.  Her mother was bleeding to death with a huge baby still in her belly.

When is Zanilia and Shao Feng going to appear. I heard the first episodes were not very well patronised in China.  It is probably due to the non-appearance of the leads even at the third episode.

They should have made a series of flashbacks interspersed here and there in succeding episodes.  That would have been more interesting.

But having said that the young Minglan was so adorable, a good actress at such a young age.

Young Gu Tingye was also charismatic.

Episode 4

Seriously, when are the leads gonna appear?!!!

Minglan’s maternal aunt wanted to take her to the family farm but the Zhengs would not allow it as people might talk.

Instead, Minglan will be looked after by the Zheng grandmother, who told off Minglan’s father for embarrassing his first wife in favour of his first concubine.  The grandmother told him that his legal wife was a decent woman, kind-hearted.

Master Zheng, who is a magistrate, said that his legal wife was rather scary and complains all the time.  The grandmother said that it was due to all the humiliation she suffered from his hand.

Anyway, the grandmother advised him to treat his legal wife better.  He started being friendlier to his wife.

The magistrate was promoted and they had to move to Baijang.

The conniving FC got her way though by pretending to be weak and frail which brings out the caring side to the magistrate who confessed that his real mother was also a concubine and they were both maltreated by his father’s legal wife.  So he promised the FC that whatever happened he would always look after her and their two children.

Episode 5

At long last, the leads are here.

The magistrate is now a fourth rank minister.  During a court meeting, they beg the king to appoint a crown prince since his son had passed and he doesn’t have an heir  It is said that the belly of a nation rests on a succeeding generation of rulers.  The king got very upset; mourning his dead son; but in the end, he agreed to look into appointing his successor.

Meanwhile, the Grandmother forced the minister to allow Minglan to join in the studies/school.

In class, Minglan studies with her sisters, brothers and Qi Heng.

Qi Heng had taken a particular interest in Minglan but the fourth sister of Minglan had coveted him already and is very jealous of Minglan. and the attention she gets from Qi Heng.

Gu Tingye had also arrived at the scene but he looks like a bit of a hedonist.  He has a concubine and two young children already.

Episode 6

A potential suitor came to visit the Zheng mansion.  The fourth sister was advised by her mother and ladies’maid to have a look at the son of a marquis.

The fifth and sixth sister saw her behaving rather suspiciously so they followed her.

They saw the men talking about this and that.  Minglan told her sister that she was going back in a rather loud voice so the men noticed them.  The fourth sister pushed her two sisters and fell into the room where the men were talking with their mother and father.

The parents were so embarrassed.  Their father somehow only punished fifth sister and Minglan.  The fifth sister was livid saying that they were pushed by their elder sister, which only annoyed their father.  The fourth sister is his favourite.

To punish the fifth sister, he commanded her to kneel on their ancestral shine for three days.

Episode 7

The minister was determined to punish his two daughters much to the glee of the first concubine and the fourth daughter.

Tingye was being treated like a wastrel by his father especially when he found out that Tingye was keeping a mistress.

Episode 8-9

Gu Tingye had asked his old nurse/nanny to come over and retire in a place he bought for her.  But of course, this was not really the reason.  He wanted his old nanny to supervise Manniang, his mistress and two young children, a boy and a girl.

The nanny told him off for ruining his chances of marrying a girl from a decent family.

The nanny then recounted the story about his own mother.

Tingye’s mother was a merchant daughter. She was considered lowly but rolling in money.  The old Marquis of Gu then forced his son to divorce his legal wife so he could marry the merchant’s daughter for a sizeable dowry which they needed to save themselves from going completely under.

The Merchant’s daughter was unaware of the forced divorce and the subsequent suicide of the ex-wife.  She was so upset when she found out.  She was on her second pregnancy then but she insisted that she would like a divorce and she would take young Tingye with her, which her husband had ignored since he was born.  She also told her husband that he can keep her dowry of 500,000 taels of silver, she would not ask him to return it.

The current Marquis, her husband, refused and pulled her roughly.  She suddenly started to have contraction but died with her unborn child during labour.

Six months after her death her husband married the sister of his first (ex)wife.

He had treated Gu Tingye ever since indifferently when he was lucky or violently if the father felt like it, which made Tingye lose his way and travel as far away from his father as possible.  Along the way, he sated his avarice, including womanising, drinking and carousing in between studying.

The minister’s first wife hired a madam from the palace to teach etiquette and decorum to the Fifth and Sixth sisters.

Again this turned into another contention.  The fourth daughter and her mother are jealous that fifth and sixth are being home-schooled by a very experienced tutor about behaviour which would make them desirable in the marriage market.

The First concubine again cajoled the minister to include their daughter in the tutorial of the two misses.

Awww it has just been announced through a Weibo post from Feng Shao Feng that his family of two with Zanillia will soon be three.  GlobalGranary sends out congratulations.

8 March 2019 Update!

Li Ying has safely delivered a healthy baby boy!

Our congratulations!

Episode 10

The fourth Sister joined the study group under the venerable madam from the palace.

During a flower arrangement class, Fourth Sister hugged all the attention of their teacher.  Every time Fifth sister tried to speak, the fourth sister would ask more questions from their tutor.

When the tutor took a tea break, but actually listening to what was going inside on inside the schoolroom, the fifth sister gave the fourth sister an earful.

Overdramatic as usual, the fourth sister used tears to make her case of being bullied because of her status as a concubine’s daughter.  She then tried to leave, Minglan tried to intervene.  Saying that they were all sisters and fighting would embarrass their family from their tutor.

Anyway, the tutor found them scorning one another.

The Minister, wife and his concubine came to see what was going on.  The madam said that she needed to find out the truth from the girls.

In the end, she punished them all with 20 hand beatings, so they are treated fairly and no favoritism and to prevent bad feelings to foster among the sisters,

The grandmother called Minglan and talk over the incident and help her put ointment on her hands.  Minglan said that she does not mind the punishment because for once the father realises how being unfair he was with his other daughters.

Episode 11

It’s the Imperial exam and the brother Shengs are participating so were Qi Heng and Gu Tinghe.

Minglan kindly made kneepads for both her brothers, although Cheng Feng (Third Brother) was rather dismissive of Minglan’s effort.  She also made a pair for Qi Heng, who was ecstatic thinking that he was indeed in the heart of Minglan.

Episode 12 

The result of the imperial exam was out.   The Sheng family was rejoicing as Changbai (Second Brother) passed among the top 15 while  Cheng Feng did not pass.  His mother and sister were very upset with him.

Qi Heng did not pass as well.

Tingye’s father found out his son did very well during the exam but due to his supposed penchant of patronising brothels, he was deliberately failed in the exam.  His father was so annoyed especially when he found out that Tingye could not retake the exam until Tingye was 50.

Episode 13

Tingye’s father told him himself that it was the emperor who especially put forward his name not to be allowed to retake the imperial exam at least until he was 50.

Tingye was upset and decided to uproot his young family and the nanny and find somewhere in the countryside to live peaceful normality.

Unfortunately for him, Manniang had other ideas.  She engineered for her young daughter to get out of their house and wander the street towards the Gu Manor.  She then strategically drop her daughter’s necklace right in front of the manor.

They were returning to their house when they were kidnapped by the Marquis’ men.

Manniang and her daughter were taken to see the Marquis.  Manniang introduced her daughter as his granddaughter but the Marquis was unmoved.  He won’t recognised a piece of dirt like her and her children.

He was pontificating about how unsuitable and how she ruined his son’s life when Tiengye appeared.  He told his father that he was not taking abuse from the family anymore especially knowing how his mother died.  The Marquis became rather nervous.

Meanwhile, the Minister’s household was in turmoil as he had not come home for lunch, dinner and the whole night.

They later found out Minister Sheng was confined in a side room in the palace by order of the king.

While this was going on, Legal Wife Sheng was told by the grandmother that she had the run of the house as the master was away.  The Legal Wife used her time to find something that she could punish the first concubine with.

It did not take long to find something because at that moment the FC was meeting a man, a realtor as she was hoping to sell some land and properties.

Big Madam’s minions were quickly on the move.  Before the FC knew what happened, she was bound, gagged and kidnapped back into the Sheng manor.

They forced her to attach her thumbprint into a document and had her beaten, at one point by her own son.

Episode 14

The minister finally had his audience with the king after waiting for some time.  The king said that his people had heard Minister Sheng’s third son bragging that he support Prince Yan as the successor to the king.

The king took this as upfront to his royal dignity and ability to make his own decision.

The situation has a major effect on his position as minister.

When he got home, they noticed that he was somber.

He then had his son beaten severely.

Episode 15

The Minister had lost confidence with his legal wife and concubine in managing their household accounts. He found out that his legal wife had been lending money with super high interests while his concubine had been using their money to buy shops and selling them for her own benefit.

The Minister went to his mother for advice. She said that she was too old to do the accounts but she recommended her protegee, Mingla to do the accounts.  She is mature for her age of 15 and very sensible as well.

So it was agreed that Minglan should be the new accounts manager.  With her new duties, she was given her own courtyard/office complete with her own retinue of maids provided by Big Madam and FC to spy on her.  The grandmother also sent her own maid to manage the servants.

Episode 16

Qi Heng misses Minglan so much and despite visiting Sheng manor, he can never get to see her.

He arranged a polo match that he hoped Minglan and the Shengs would be able to attend and they did.  The polo match is a really a cover for matching eligible girls to eligible bachelors.

Minglan was very happy to see her friend Yanran in the soiree.  They were happily talking together when Yanran of the Yu Family spotted a familiar hairpin.  She was shocked as the hairpin is a part of her mother’s dowry that had gone missing from her house.,  It was just a few remaining pieces she got from her mother who passed away.

Yanran said that she must get back the pin at all cost and without much ado, she ender the polo match as one of the riders/players.

But her team was looking to lose.  Yanran was really upset.  Kind-hearted Minglan said that she will ride for Yanran.

Qi Heng was surprised.  He thought Minglan can’t ride a horse.  He also joined in as her second.  All this was witnessed by Gu Tingye who was unbeatable in polo.  He was persuaded to join in as well for the opposing team.

Tingye said that to make it fair, he will play with his left hand.

Minglan was a revelation.  Even the mothers of bachelors thought so too.

Tiangye was purposely playing under par, therefore Minglan’s team won and got the hairpin as a prize, which she dutifully gave back to her friend.

Episode 17

Minglan was punished by her father for having some kind of dealings with Qi Heng.  It was very unseemly for a girl from the lower rank to be raising her hopes for the ducal heir.

Meanwhile, Gu Tianye wanted to establish his own house and he needed a lady of the house to do so.  He set his eyes on Miss Yu, the first daughter of the Yu house.  He felt that they have many things in common, starting from having lost their mothers from a young age and being undervalued by their families.

Unfortunately, his reputation is such that when he came calling with his dowry, the House of Yu would not entertain him.

Episode 18

Gu Tingye finally had a chance for a matchup with the eldest Miss Yu but his mistress Manniang sabotaged the relationship before it even began.

Manniang went to the Yu Manor and did all the pitying begging of having an audience with Miss Yu including hugging a post and wailing and crying.  She could not be kept quiet until she had seen the Yus,  And when she did she proceeded to tell them about her children with Tingye.

Miss Yu was scandalised and so was her grandmother who had a fainting spell.  It was left to Minglan to sort it out.

Miss Yu finally refused marriage with Tingye as an old suitor had surfaced.

Tingye went to sought Minglan about the incident and blamed her for the abrupt end of his pursuit of Miss Yu.

Minglan said that if he needed to blame someone then he should start with himself for keeping such an unruly mistress.

Tingye was annoyed with Minglan for looking down at his mistress.  Their conversation went from bad to worst.

Tingye told her that perhaps he went to the wrong household to offer his suit.  He should have asked to marry her.

Minglan said that she would rather jump off a cliff or drown herself.  She would become a Buddhist nun rather than be his wife.  This scene is so cute because for the first time Minglan really was so animated as she stole a look at the departing Tingye.

Episode 19

This is a sad episode.

The Family Yu had a rethink.  They would allow Tingye to marry into their family of scholars if he is prepared to get rid of his mistress and two children.

The Marquis of Gu said that his son would.  But Mrs Yu wanted confirmation from the horse’s mouth.  So Tingye was called.

When Mrs Yu told him that he needed to get rid of his mistress and children, Tingye said that Manniang is a very weak woman and won’t be able to survive in the street alone and he cannot be without his children.

His father was so annoyed and started telling off Tingye in front of everyone.  Mrs Yu escaped followed by Lady Gu.

In his fury, the Marquis of Gu took a javelin and struck the kneeling Tingye at the back. He then told him to get out and never darken their doorstep again.

Tingye said he does not want to leave.  He had a heart to heart with his father, remembering that his father once loved him and spoiled him when he was younger.  He then went to hang on his father shirt tail and embraced him.  His father was just about to pat him at the back to console him but he coughed out blood instead and fainted on the floor.

He was told by Lady Gu to get the doctor from the pharmacy as well as the court physician.  When he returned with them, their path was blocked.  Both doctors cannot wait, they both left.

He was being blamed by his father’s collapsed.

He waited patiently at a side room to see his father when he recovers.  But he waited too long and missed saying goodbye to his dying father.

The Gu family gathered together and put the blame on him for having caused his father’s death.

Only his Third Brother stood up for him.

He then realised that it was all a plot to get rid of him, for him to leave the mansion.

He was so desolate walking the street when his best friend, Changbai came to find him to condole with him.

He started drinking and he self-pityingly said that he was all alone, no father, no mother.

Changbai said you have children.

Episode 20

Nanny Zhao told Tingye not to trust Manniang but Tingye refused to listen.

For ten days Nanny Zhao painstakingly followed Manniang every day.  Manniang would sell or pawn pieces of jewelry, part of the dowry of his mother, and Nanny Zhao would buy them back or redeem them.

Nanny Zhao showed her evidence to Tingye but he was so stupid still refusing to believe.  Nanny Zhao finally begged Tingye to follow Manniang himself the next day and see what she does.  If Manniang does not do anything suspicious then Nanny Zhao promised that she won’t say anything anymore ever.

Tingye did follow Manniang the next day and was utterly surprised that she was meeting her supposedly dead brother who used to beat her up.

He controlled his anger and gave Manniang a chance to come clean but she was just spouting one lie after another.  As evidence, he had her brother brought in.  Mannang immediately blamed her brother, that he made her do it, he was gambling again and wanted money or else threatened to kidnap their children.

Tingye, at last, realised the extent of Manniang lies.  He told her to go or else he would make her life in the capital so unbearable.

He was woken up the next morning with the news that Manniang, her borther and Tingye’s son were gone.

Quickly Tingye went to look for them.

Episode 21

It started with the funeral of the Marquis of Gu, where Tingye was not invited to attend, though he dawned in his funeral garb and paid his respect to the funeral cortege at the sideline.

After the funeral, Tingye was talking to Changbai, who was slated to get married in a couple of months.

Changbai begged Tingye to postpone leaving town until after his wedding.

Tingye said that Changbai is closer to him that his own brothers and he doesn’t want to rub off his misfortune towards him especially on his wedding day.

Changbai understood and wish his friend well in his hunt of Manniang and their son.

Tingye’s out of town sojourn seemed to have done him a lot of good.  He looked healthy and handsome especially with a bow and arrow, which he got to use to save a father and son, both soldiers from bandits.

As the wedding preparation for Changbai is becoming more frenetic, Minglan found out from her lady’s maid that Qi Heng is planning to bring his parents to propose marriage to her.

Minglan immediately consulted her grandmother, who was in between being annoyed and concerned about this development.  She was not happy at all that Minglan might be marrying into the ducal of Qi.  She reckons that Family Qi is much too high up to be compatible with the Sheng family. The grandmother also heard that the princess, who is  Minglan’s potential mother in law has got quite a temper on her.

Minglan assured her grandmother that she had turned down Qi Heng previously.

This is not the only concern that is besetting Minglan at present.  Her maids are always fighting to the point that the Big Madam had to intervene and punish the maids on behalf of Minglan, who had been treating the maids rather indulgently.

The grandmother summoned Minglan and told her point-blank that she knew Minglan had planned everything so precisely so that the respective servants from the Big Madam and Little Madam were sent back to them.

Episode 22

As advised Minglan, the princess and Qi Heng did come to visit during the wedding.

The princess said that the Sheng girls are beautiful and smart so she would like them to become real sisters to her only son.

Poor Qi Heng was devastated from being misled by the princess and for being a brother rather than the husband of Minglan.

Minglan, though totally disappointed as well but accepted the siblingship present with dignity.

But behind closed doors, Minglan cried her eyes out.

Her grandmother understood and thought a change of scene was well in order.

She therefore took Minglan with her to pay a visit to their old hometown.

They had to travel by water.

They noted that Qi Heng was tagging along with them in another boat.

Minglan had a very brief, well-chaperoned talk with Qi Heng when they had to stop over for provisions in land.

Minglan made it clear to Qi Heng that the gulf between their station in life was just to vast and it would be better to forget her and find someone suitable for him.

Qi Heng was far from discouraged.  He promised her that she comes back he would have convinced his mother to accept that he will only marry Minglan.

With the promise, he gave her the female figurine of the loving wedding couple.  He said he will wait for her.

This was very unfortunate because Minglan, her grandmother and the rest of their retinue were a victim of water bandits and they did not have anyone to protect them.

Her grandmother was taken to safety by a couple of boatmen but Minglan and the rest of the servants for lack of transport to safety.   Minglan and her maid jumped into the water.

Episode 23

Minglan was going deeper and deeper into the water and seemed to have prepared herself to meet her maker with the bride statue clasped firmly in her hands.

But she was rescued by none other than Gu Tingye.

He took her to his lair where he stays with his daughter and the canal gang.  They have been guarding the water for a possible sighting of Manniang and son.

Though it was a happy carefree place to be,  Minglan cannot help but advise Tingye to take his daughter away from this kind of environment as his young daughter really need a safe and settled home to anchor her for the future.

This made Tingye think and as soon as Minglan has been safely delivered to her grandmother, Tingye and his right-hand man joined the army.

Episode 24

This is a rather interesting episode.  It is regarding divorce in ancient China.  It was better to have a legal separation rather than an all-out divorce, which can affect the whole family of the woman including marriage prospects of her sisters.

Tingye is doing well in the military.

Episode 25

Due to the stress of the separation and divorce of Minglan’s cousin, the elder grandmother, matriarch of the other Zheng family died.

During her funeral, the bandits struck and frightened the mourners.  For some reason, Minglan runs away again and was being chased by the bandits. (Minglan is not a team player)  Thank goodness, Tingye got her and took care of her.

She was quite happy having a chat with Tingye when Xiaotou, Tingye’s assistant said that the soldiers and the Zheng family had been looking for Minglan.

Tingye sent her home with a sleeve arrow to arm herself in case she meets any trouble on her way home.

Actually Tingye and Xiaotou surreptitiously followed her and unbeknowed to her helped her deal with a holdapper.

Xiaotou asked Tingye why they did not just take Minglan home rather than stalkng her?

Tingye said that it was a crime of a young lady speaking or be seen with a am within the funeral grieving period.

Xiaotou t teased him about Minglan and Tingye just aughed.

Episode 26

Minglan’s own grandmother had had enough of rural countryside, so she decided to go back to the capital with Minglan.

They found out that the First sister had a baby.

They also found out that it was not a happy place at the Qi Manor. To replace the maid who was sold to slavery for being such a coquette, the Princess had a number of girls to try out for the position.  Apparently, Qi Heng had a role in choosing the new maid. He chose a girl that had an uncanny resemblance to Minglan.  She even becomes his personal maid.

This turn of event was noticed by the princess, so he fired the maid.

Qi Heng had staged a hunger strike and had been too weak to leave his room.

It was the day of the lantern festival, Minglan got a message that Qi Heng’s servant was waiting to speak with her.

She asked him whether Qi Heng was doing the hunger strike because of the maid or because of her?

She was assured that his master has always been true to her.

Minglan said to tell Qi Heng that if he is true to her then he has got her devotion.  ahhhhh

Their conversation was interrupted by the announcement that a curfew has suddenly been put in place.  Everyone was asked to go home immediately.

It turned out that the princess of Rong had been abducted by the bandits.  She was then dumped into the market place the next day.

The princess could not take the humiliation, she hung herself.

It is a scary time.

Episode 27

Lady Gu invited the ladies of Bianjang for a soiree.  The princess was there and Minglan was looking out if the Younron (Qi Heng) was also somewhere in there.

He was.  Buwei, Qi Heng guard, secretly led Minglan to where Qi Heng was. He said that she does not seem to like gifts of gold and silver but found that she was quite partial to food so he brought a thousand layer cake.

Once again Qi Heng promised her that he would rather die than marry someone else other than her.

Minglan told him that she would not see him ever again that he was unwell because of her.

Qi Heng also said that there was going to be an audience with the king where Qi Heng is planning to beg the king to grant  Qi Heng’s marriage to MInglan.

Minglan more or less told what was said to her ladies’ maid.

They were surprised by the sudden presence of Tingye, who said that just like Emperor Ming and Noble Yong, they did not end up in the end because there were bigger issues and responsibilities than just themselves.

Tingye said that that Qi Heng is the old son and heir of the ducal Qi so in the end, he will have to take responsibility.

Minglan doesn’t appear to be overly bothered, probably being she is beginning to be intrigued by Tingye or she trusts Qi Heng implicitly?

Well the trust is going to be tested at its limit because Qi Heng is now at the end of his tether, weakened by starvation and grief from the death of Bunwei, who was beaten to death by the order of the princess.  Bunwei would rather die than squeal for being the go-between his master and Minglan.

Qi Heng said to his mother that he will marry Minglan whether she likes it or not,

The Princess then told him a few home truths.  The death of the princess of Rong was all due to Qi Heng.  Apparently, the Princess had fallen in love at first sight with Qi Heng during the polo match.  Her family had asked the princess for a marriage between the family.

Almost at that same time the favorite daughter of the Prince of Yong had also wanted a match with Qi Heng.  When the princess had told them that the princess of Rong was more or less first in the queue, the Prince of Yong arranged the kidnapping of the Rong princess, which led to her death.

His mother told Qi Heng that their very survival and of their ducal is now on his shoulders.  If he does not commit to a marriage with the Princess of Yong, then they might as well be the walking deads.

Episode 28

Another sad episode but I must admit it was not that heartbreaking because there wasn’t much of an interraction between Minglan and Qi Heng.

Anyway, the Duke of  Qi was on his way home when he was kidnapped by the Prince of Yong, who was so powerful that even the ailing emperor can’t really go against him.

The normally strong Princess Pinying (Heng’s mother) was left incapable.

It the end it was left to Qi Heng to sort things out and to do this he had to marry the Princess of Yong.

He was so upset but his hands were tied.

MInglan heard of this development and was of course devastated but reckoned that Qi Heng was left without a choice.

Tingye also heard of the news and went to speak with Qi Heng.  Tingye said that it was really all Qi Heng’s fault.  He did not make a stand with his parents at the very start, he left things to simmer into how it finally resovled itself.

Qi Heng said that he was marrying the princess for the Sheng family’s sake.  The Yongs threatened the Qis and the Shengs if there was no marriage alliance between the Qis and Yongs.

Tingye said that Qi Heng can always go to the emperor and sue the Yongs for kidnapping and why not kidnap the Yong princess as a tit for tat.  He said that Qi Heng only had to say the word and he will help him any way he can.

But no matter what Tingye said, Qi Heng was just too weak.  He does not even have the guts to see Minglan for the last time to explain things face to face, instead, he gave the man statue of the loving couple to Tingye to pass on to Minglan.

Tingye for the last time said that he was harming Minglan’s reputation by marrying someone else.

Qi Heng sadly concurred.

Tingye went to the Sheng Manor and saw Minglan.  He passed to her the statue but Minglan instead told him to wait for a moment.

She went to get the female statue of the loving couple and asked Tingye to return both of the loving couples to Qi Heng.

Tingye told Minglan that he has an army assignment and may be away for quite some time.  He said that if anyone says anything evil about her marriageability, he will cut their sordid mouths when he returns.  Awwww

Food for thoughts:

Tingye:

The future is never predictable.

In all matters, look ahead.

Light yourself a good future.

Minglan:

It is true, our eyes are grown on the front so we could look forwardly.

Episode 29

Countess Wu was determined to match Minglan to Liang Sixth, her son.

Unfortunately, Minglan was not interested.  Molam, the fourth sister wants to be a part of the Liang House.

It was mutual as well as Liang Sixth prefers her coquettish way rather than that of the quiet and timid Minglan.

Episode 30

Countess Wu continued to shower Minglan with presents which she shares with her sisters.  The fifth sister was quite satisfied sharing some of the gifts but Molan felt slighted.

She reckoned that it was beneath her partaking some of the gifts given to Minglan.  So instead of being grateful, she started a fight with Minglan.

Minglan ended with a bleeding cheek, which Master Sheng can’t really ignore.

Minglan’s being meek, timid and obedient over the years has finally paid off.

When her father investigated the incident, they had to believe Minglan’s side of the story.  She said that Molan had been harboring bad blood against her because she threw mud at her during the last polo game.

Minglan elaborated that Molan was trying to behave inappropriately by loitering into the men’s enclosure/domain, which would have tongue wagging about the misbehavior of Molan.  This would be a reflection of the whole Sheng family.

Minglan’s reasoning was so logical that her father punished Molan with 20 slaps on her hands.

Grandma Sheng knew that Minglan had been planning the situation for a long time and admire her for it.

Episode 31

The Sheng Master has found a suitable suitor for Molan, a  literature scholar from a poor/ordinary background. The very idea of a poor husband repelled her so much.

It might repel her but the fifth sister showed a little interest when she encountered the scholar, who was gentle and charming.

Minglan had been secretly plotting something by going frequently to the temple.

Sadly during one of her visits to the Yuqing temple, she spied up Qi Heng and his new wife looking all loved up.  they were in the temple to offer prayers and to request for babies.  What Minglan did not know was that Qi Heng prayed for her health and happiness and that she finds a good husband.

Molan took matters to her own hand.  As she was not allowed to go out of the manor, she dressed up as one of the maids.  She then went to the temple and conveniently fell where Laing Sixth was nearby.  They had a very tender moment.

From then on, Molan would meet Liang Sixth for a clandestine affair.  One such time, they were seen by the Big Madam Sheng’s maid.

The Big Madam was shocked at first but did not lose time in reporting the affair to Master Sheng.

Episode 32

Master Sheng caught his daughter with Liang Sixth.  He was shocked and distressed at the repercussion of his immoral daughter.  Her sisters and brothers lives would also be blighted.

Big Madam went to proposed marriage to Countess Wu, who cunningly said that she would agree but Minglan would be part of the deal.  Minglan would be the main wife and Molan would be the concubine.

The old madam went berserk.  She said that she would not have her innocent beloved Minglan married to Liang Sixth who was even more immoral than Gu Tingye.  Over her dead body.

Minglan herself said that she would rather be a nun.

The Old Madam said that she would go herself to propose marriage for Molan

Episode 33

Molan and her mother got their wish.  Molan was married off to the Liangs.  During the Leaving the Chamber ceremony, her father told her that whether was fortunate or unhappy with her marriage, she was not to darken their doorstep again.  He was cutting her off from the family.

After the wedding party, the first concubine was severely punished and cast away in a derelict shack.

Not many days after, it gossiped that the First Concubine had passed away as a result of her caning.

The Big Madam was so stressed, she was genuinely sad and yet can’t help herself from laughing.  Good acting.

The Old madam was very sharp.  She realised that this was all the work of Minglan, it was all her machination.

She slapped Minglan but immediately hugged her.

Minglan said that she felt guilty but not sorry.  The concubine murdered her mother and showed her witness evidence to the grandma.  She wanted to be punished even by death.

The Old Madam said to keep what happened between them and never to talk about it again.

Episode 34

Gu Tingye is back in the scene.  He was helping Pring Tong to ensure that the despotic Prince Yan does not get to inherit the throne.

They were on their way to the capital.

Meanwhile, the Sheng Household was rather worried about their menfolk: Master Sheng and Changbai, confined to the palace for overtime, are not having anything to eat.  So they tasked Minglan to bring them roasted fish soup.

It was also the empress soiree where she invited the wives of the dukes, earls, and marquis.  The empress was going to punished Princess Pinying for Qi Heng refusal to marry the Princess of Yan at first which the Princes of Tong killed.

Guards and soldiers have now come inside the palace to unseat the king.

Episode 35

Minglan escaped from the palace by dressing as a eunuch.  In her escape, she met up with a palace made tasked to deliver the military seal and king’s edict written in his own blood to Prince Zhou of Zhouyong naming him as the heir apparent, the crown prince.

As luck would have it, Minglan was saved again by Tingye, who is becoming more gorgeous and I think Minglan think so too. 🙂

Tingye rather mysteriously told her that he knew who her future husband.  Their chemistry was so overflowing.

They got to the palace and saved the king from the attack of Prince Yan.  After Prince Yan was killed, everything died down.

The Prince of Zhou and his son and Tingye was bowing before the king.  The king noticed Tingye immediately and humbly apologised to him for personally failing him in the ministerial exam.  He said to him that Tingye will now have to look after Prince Zhou and his family and the Zhou family must promise to look after Tingye.

Prince Zhou did not realise that Tingye was the son of a marquis and not just an ordinary soldier.

Episode 36

After the emperor had died prince Zhou is the new emperor.

The empire is in a state of mourning.

The He family were waiting for the lifting of the mourning before they officially ask for Minglan’s hand in marriage.

Minglan was quite amenable with the match-up with Mr He as he was gentle and kind and favoured by her grandmother.

The maids were walking Mr He to his carriage.  He was no more than one hundred feet away when there was a veiled woman who forced herself in his carriage.

The maid went to get Minglan who found Brother He and the woman having a  very emotive conversation.

The woman is apparently his cousin who had been abducted by a gang who tattoed her face.  The tattoo would mean no one would want to marry her or even take her as a maid.

She therefore implored the kind Mr He to take her as his concubine.

Mr He did not say no immediately but Minglan had heard enough.  She told Mr He that she would not like him to take a concubine or have the woman as a servant in their household.

Minglan reckons that the woman has a place in Mr He’s heart but Minglan would not be sharing his heart with anyone.

She told her grandmother what happened and she agreed that he had to get rid of the woman otherwise she would not allow Minglan to marry him.

The fifth miss is now involved in her own clandestine romantic interlude.  She has now secretly meeting the poor scholar, her father found for her sister, Molan.

It is unfortunate because as a legal daughter, her parents would like her to marry someone with a title.

Episode 37

Gu Tinye is back from six months of fighting and patrolling.  He has decided to get married as quickly as possible and he wanted to be wed with the Sheng family.

He told Changbai that he wanted to marry his beautiful sister with a kind personality.

Chngbai, thinking Tingye was talking about Rulan, told his surprised mother and father who fell off their seats.

His father asked if it was really Rulan he wanted to marry because his description sounded more like Minglan.

Rulan said she was never going to marry Tingye.

Minglan told Rulan that Tingye is a changed man, who is upstanding, brave, intelligent and kind.

Rulan said that Minglan was overpraising him, perhaps she should marry him.  Minglan said rather wryly that he did not want to marry her.

Episode 38 – 39

Rulan was found out that she was meeting a man behind her ‘betrothed’ back.

Tingye was not unhappy as he’s always known and that it was actually all part of his plan to Minglan to marry him.

Because Rulan was having a clandestine affair with someone else, then to prevent her family from further embarrassment, the next eligible girl has to honour the promise made to the Gu family.  Minglan was of course the girl.  Very cunning.

To make sure that Minglan knows that she was really the one he wanted, he threw a polo match where Minglan and sisters were invited.

Minglan, when she saw Tingye tried to leave but he went after her and told her that he had wanted to make her his wife when he saved her and she was nice to his daughter.

Minglan was so  happy that she even volunteered to partner with Tingye to play polo.

Minglan had actually developed a bit of a crush on Tingye already and was disappointed when she thought he meant to marry Rulan.

Qi Heng found out that he passed the imperial exam the same time that he got to hear that Minglan was to marry Gu Tingye.

Qi Heng was absolutely gutted.  He is now a widower and wanted his parents to ask for Minglan’s hand in marriage but it was just too late.  However, he tried by going into the Sheng Manor but he was refused admittance.

Episode 40 The Wedding

It was a very red wedding.

Minglan was so excited; far from being nervous and a little anxious to be leaving her home, she was giggling inside her horse-drawn wedding palanquin.

And she should be happy as her groom was gorgeous, flirty, funny and attentive.

It was interesting to see the wedding traditions.  They have to bow to heaven and earth, followed by a bow to their parents and lastly to each other.  How respectful!

Anyway, Minglan was given a dowry by her grandmother consisting of shows and farmlands, which she thought was more than enough.

But her groom presented her a dowry more than ten times the amount of her own.  The dowry consists of many properties most from his mother’s side of the family, the Bais and Tingye said that his wife has to manage them all now. He trusted her not like he did Manniang.

Minglan was overwhelmed with the idea of managing all the properties including their household as well but Tingye said he had complete faith in her.  He said that he only trusted three people: Nanny Zhang, Xiotou (his bodyguard) and her, Minglan.

Ahhh and Minglan felt ahhhh as well and felt affectionate towards him especially when he swore with his position and prowess that he will never disappoint her.

They got talking about concubines.  Minglan said that he can have concubines which dampened his spirit a little bit.  Minglan does not show jealousy.

Anyway, everything was forgotten when they consummated their wedding night.

Episode 41 – 42

Minglan and Tingye were currently living at the Gu Manor as tradition.  Minglan has to get used to living with a new husband as well as in-laws.

The Gu Manor has a very extended family.  There is a third house, a fourth house, etc.  And the wives in the houses were determined to give Minglan, who comes from a lowly background, not noble like them to get a ‘traditional’ right of passage for new brides.

They presented her with a woman, who was supposed to be a bedmate of Tingyu.  As it is the woman refuses to leave the manor and the only way was for Tingyu to take her in as a concubine or as a maid.

The first day of married life and was presented with such a situation that could end a married immediately was unthinkable.

But Minglan was quick-witted.  She said that she cannot make a decision without her husband, she must consult him.  The matriarchs were telling her that the main wife has to choose the concubine for her husband so it is her decision.

Minglan just repeated what she said and finally told them that she was disrespectful and would willingly kneel at the Gu temple, which she did.

The Matriarchs at first were happy for her self punishment but the Minglan’s mother-in-law, who always appears amiable, gentle and weak, said that they should not punish Minglan on the first day because if it got out their family would be laughed at.

So the mother-in-law went to rescue Minglan from the Gu Shrine.  Minglan knew the psyche of her mother-in-law, who pretends to be weak and charming but she actually rules everyone by psychologically inciting a situation.

Minglan was so unhappy finding that Tingye was inside their bedroom.  She wanted to know why he did not come and rescue her?

Tingye said that he has complete trust in her to overcome any trials.

She then told Tingye about the maid who was being forced on her to make as a concubine for her husband.

Tingye explained that he had to take in the maid before because she was abused by one of the houses and he felt pity for her, he took her into his bed/room.

Minglan said she pities the girl and perhaps she can be a concubine.  Tingye was rather upset and asked Minglan if she does not feel jealousy at all.

Minglan said that she is willing for him to have concubines as long as they have good characters.

Tingye had announced to the Gus that he and Minglan are moving out to their own manor which was bestowed to him by the new king.

Episode 43

MInglan is annoyed that she and her husband have not been invited to a party, instead, they have become the topic of scurrilous gossips at the party.

The gossip was likely to have originated from the wily mother-in-law.

People were talking about how unfilial she was, and can’t control her servants.

There might be a truth about the servants as Minglan just let them get on with it so that she can give a final decision when they’ve gone overboard with their infighting.

Qi Heng had recovered from his sad mood that he will stop throwing in sickies and go back to work.  He also told his parents that if they reckon that he needed to get a new wife then they can start looking for one.

Tingye is quite bothered that Mnglan is not jealous at all at the idea of him taking in a concubine, realising this Minglan said that if he does, she will not let him in her room anymore.  This made Tingye happy, as happy to know that Mnglan can hold her own against his stepmother.

Episode 44

News has been brought to Tingye of a recent sighting of Manniang and their son Chang.  Unfortunately, the canal gang lost sight of them.

Tingye overheard Minglan talking to her ladies maids about her perception of love and devotion.  She said that she cannot fault her husband but they again they are still on their honeymoon period.

Minglan reckons that her husband will change as well as the years roll on.  So she said that you should not put all your trust, needs and expectations of a man, you should rely on yourself.

The conversation made Tingye sad.  He was flummoxed on how to make her trust him completely.

He asked Minglan tentatively if she wouldn’t mind if he would go to find Chang without much prior notice.

Minglan replied that she would pack his things for him.  She also said that she does not mind, she wishes that he will be her father in the next life.

Episode 45

Minglan is going further afield now literally.  She was inspecting every farmland and property in their  investment portfolio.

Minglan found that the easier way to get people to talk and feel indebted was to reward them with money.

There was an estate manager who was ruling a farmyard and its tenants and workers like a triad.  Minglan was rather scared and frustrated by him. It so happened that Tingye turned up to save the day.

Minglan is beginning to realise that her husband is someone she can really count on.  She confessed to a sister of the empress that she does not really want to depend too much on Tingye because she would not know how to pay for his kindness in the future.

The Empress’ sister said that she does not have to as a husband and wife are one body. ahhh

The chemistry between Zanilia and Shao Feng is sizzling hot.  They are so adorable, very natural.

Episode 46

After the death of the Prince of Yong, there was finally peace in the empire.

The pacifist new emperor even invited the Queen Dowager to sit in during court meetings.  She has the pearl jade (?) seal with her which makes her powerful in her own right.

Unfortunately, the Queen Dowager has a mind of being the power behind the throne.

So there is now a power struggle between the Queen Dowager and Emperor.

During a court meeting, the Queen Dowager issued an edict that all those who connived with the insurgent Prince of Yong should all be investigated and she recommended that Qi Heng should lead the inquiry.

Among the many being arrested for investigation was two siblings from Gu family.

The family is now putting pressure on both Tingye and Minglan to become a go-between and arrange for the release of the Gu boys.

Qi Heng is once again a married man.

His new wife is unhappy as she does not get much action in the bedroom.  Apparently the last time Qi Heng exercised conjugal rights was a month ago.  She reckons, he does not treat her as his equal.  She wondered whether there was someone else in his heart.

She quickly found out that someone did rock Qi Heng’s boat before he was forced by Prince Yong to marry his sister.  The Sheng girl was in his heart.  This got the new wife curious.

Episode 47

The Gu family continues to plead, beg, use emotional blackmail, harass Tingye to use his influence with the Emperor to free the young Gu men.

Tingye said that he would certainly help but after his condition is met.  He wanted his mother officially recognised in the annals of Gu history as an official member.

His First Brother refused categorically.

The Empress Dowager was so annoyed with Tingye for instigating the taking of the jade seal under false pretenses.

She was about to punish him with whipping but he saw Tingye’s back full of scars from beating.  She realised that Tingye had a bad life and was instrumental in saying the previous emperor from Prince Yong.  She reluctantly forgave him.

Episode 48

Tingye’s elder brother,Tingyu, the current Marquis of Gu found out accidentally that he has only days to live rather than what he thought as seven more years.

He suddenly realised that he had to ensure that his wife and daughter are looked after when he’s gone.

During a family meeting,  Tingyu sort of officially passed the marquisdom to Tingye by giving him the last will from their father that the dowry of 115,000 taels from his mother should be returned to Tingye in full.

Tingyu also gave all the documentation of the properties, investments and the rest of family fortune to Tingye. The mother in law was so annoyed.

Tingyu then asked Tingye to see him alone.

He asked Tingye that for the sake of the whole Gu clam, their family fortune, title and longevity of the manor, would he give up Minglan?

That was the case with their father.  He divorced Tingyu’s mother and married Tingye’s mother for her dowry so that the Gu Clan would not go under.

Tingyu then said that he has not much long to live and could Tingye look after his wife and daughter?

At first Tingye was indifferent from the request but he saw a rather lonely figure of Minglan standing alone.

So he turned back to his brother and agreed and promised that he will take care of his sister-in-law and niece.

His brother died peacefully witnessed by his wife and daughter.

Meanwhile during a court meeting begged the emperor to be lenient with the three Gu men.

Episode 49

The Emperor was so annoyed with Tingye and told him that he should have asked him in private but Tingye said that he does not want the Emperor to be involved in the gossip of corruption, that he favors Tingye.

Tingye also went for broke and asked another favour in private from the emperor to confer a title to his dead mother.

After Tingye left, the empress came in and told the emperor that Tingye was very helpful to them with meritorious service.  But it looks like that he is becoming arrogant and self-serving and his allegiance was with the crown prince, prince Huan.

The Emperor was so annoyed and told her to shut up and to get out.

Tingye received the posthomous title for his mother which made him so happy that his mother and grandfather had finally lost their tag as merchant.

Tingye has been conferred as the official Marquis of Ninjiang (Gu) and Minglan was ecstatic with shock that she was given her own title for such a young age as well as early days of marriage to Tingye.

There was a really cute moment when Tingye wanted Minglan to start calling him Darling Second but Minglan found it hard at first until she did it with nervous giggles.  So cute

Her happiness did not last long as Manniang is back on the scene.

Manniang refuses to divulge the whereabouts of Chang’er until she has been allowed to enter the Manor (become an official concubine).

Minglan said that Tingye should do it.  He should sleep with Manniang for a night to find Chang’er.

Tingye was in so much emotion.  He was shocked, scandalised, upset and let down that Minglan was okey for him to sleep with another woman, even if it was Manniang.

Minglan assured him that she was fine with it.

Tingye was so annoyed he walked out and went to Manniang.

He played along with her for a while saying that they will marry in a couple of days but they need Chang’er to be there.

Manniang kept saying that Chang’er will return after the wedding.

Tingye was having none of it which infuriated and cornered the desperate Manniang who pulled a knife and stabbed at Tingye.

The wounded Tingye called guards to subdue the maniacal Manniang, who screamed that Chang’er was long dead.

I must say I find it rather stupid for Grand Madam Gu (Stepmother) to locate Manniang immediately, whereas Tingyu, who has the military at his disposal as well as the Canal Gang, failed to do so.  Come on!

Episode 50

Tingye was all for having Manniang beaten to get the truth out of her, to find the whereabouts of Chang’er as he refused to believe that the child is dead.

Minglan told him to calm down.  She advises Tingye to not have Manniang beaten up as the Grand madam Gu would interfere and then the court would intervene as well.

What Minglan wanted them to do was to let Manninag go but they just have to spy on her and she might lead them to where Chang’er was.

Manniang though is a conniving evil woman, she stayed in the capital and shouting how she was maltreated by General Gu Tingye, throwing her and her son so he can marry his bitch wife.

This turn of events is tickling grand madam Gu.

Episode 51

Qi Heng has got it in for Tingye.  During a court audience to the king, he lodge a case against the morals of General Gu Tingye.  He said that the shenanigans of Tingye’s mistress was lowering down the reputation of the government.

The emperor was annoyed with Tingye once again but Tingye said that the emperor had always knwon the history between him and his ex-mistress and their missing son.  In fact didn’t the emperor helped him to look for Chang’er?

The crown prince who had become a friend to Tingye said that Manniang was so nasty and out of control that she even stabbed Tingye on his belly.

The emperor told Tingye to take Manniang to the court at once but Tingye said that it would only get out of control and it would affect the Emperor as well.

The emperor sarcastically commented that Tingye is doing him a favour.

The crown prince has ordered soldiers to ensure that Manniang leave the Capital.

As Tingye had ordered, someone always followed Manniang and had reported that she was in a grave site wailing.

Tingye was upset that this meant that Changer is really dead.

Minglan encouraged Tingye to check the truth of the information at once.

They rode their horses and galloped to where Manniang was.  She was burning papers by a grave which annoyed Tingye.

They later found the skeleton of Chang’er.  Tingye ordered that Manniang be exiled at the remotest village there is.

Episode 52 (The Case of a Concubine)

Minglan attended a Sheng family dinner.  Molan mooted the idea of commemorating her mother’s birthday by putting a plaque for her in the Youling Temple.

The usually amenable and even-tempered Minglan, went suddenly ballistic.  She said that a murderer should not be added into the annals of the Sheng family history.

Her father was clueless at first and thought that Minglan had gone too big for her boots because of her new title and husband.

Minglan told him that the First Concubine was aware that her mother was carrying a large baby but with good diet and plenty of exercises she could have delivered the baby safely.  The first concubine connives to feed Minglan’s mother rich fatty food and discouraged her from exercising like taking a walk.  She told Minglan’s mom to rest in bed during the pregnancy.

Minglan and Gu Tingye had been married for a few months.  Minglan is still not getting pregnant.

As this was the case Gu Tingye’s great aunt came to visit with a baby momma in tow. She was Qian Fengxian who the great aunt proposes to become a concubine for Tingye.

Minglan graciously accepted the ‘gift’.

Gu Tingye was put out.  Minglan never showed any sign of jealousy towards anyone interested in him.  He was beginning to think that she does not have a deep feeling for him.

To punish Minglan, he allocated a plush Shuixian Pavilion for the concubine which is near the main room and Tingye’s study, a convenient location when Tingye feels rather frisky. 🙂

Instead of Minglan showing any degree of jealousy, she was all for it.  She said the pavilion has a good courtyard.

Minglan set out to make Fengxian comfortable in her pavilion.  This only annoyed Gu Tingye more.  He  started playing games with Minglan.

He stayed at the pavilion with Fengxian, waiting for Minglan to give in and come and fetch him back.

Instead, he found out that Minglan had settled in for the night.

Previously, Minglan said that there are three kinds of concubines: Recruited from the outside (Minglan’s mother was bought by Big Madam Sheng), Gifted by someone (in the case of Qian Fengxian) or raised at home (maids who were nurtured in the household)

Apparently once one is pregnant, they don’t have conjugal visits with the husband.

It turned out that Minglan accepting Fengxian into the household was to prevent Gu Tingye having a massive fight with his Great aunt.

Episode 53

Gu Tingye lost!

He sneaked into a sleeping Minglan, who giggled in her sleep.

When they woke up Minglan asked him why he was there with her.

Tingye said that it sounded that she does not want him in her sleeping quarter.

He was really bothered with Minglan being content with him taking a concubine.

While they were having breakfast, Minglan asked Tingye what was eating him up seeing that he was rather discontent.

Tingye put the bread he was eating on Minglan’s mouth.  He said, “you still don’t get it”.

Anyway, after months of doing up the gardens between the Gu Manor and Tingye and Mnglan’s, they have decided to hold a big banquet to inaugurate the merging of the two manors.

Their friends and families were invited as well as court officials and their missus/concubines.

During the party, Qi Heng’s wife especially sought Minglan and told her that she was coming between them.  Qi Heng was still holding a well-lit torch for Minglan.

Minglan against sensible manners asked her maid to look for Qi Heng and meet her on the bridge.

Qi Heng arrived like an excited little puppy.

He told Minglan that he regretted all the decisions he made.  He enumerated his “if only I….”

MInglan said that she understood the pressure that he was under and that she forgives him and not resent him for anything.

This really made Qi Heng very angry.  He wanted Minglan to be angry with him, for letting her down.

Minglan said that she was happy and loved by her husband.

Qi Heng said that he does not love her the way he loves her.  He would not sleep at night for thinking of Minglan.  He was multi-tasking to make himself busy and not think of Minglan.  If he think of Minglan he is left sobbing in the night.  Ahhhhh

Minglan said to get a hold of himself.  His new wife adores and loves him.  He should in return love and adore her back.

Their little drama over the bridge of sighs was witnessed by Tingye.

Episode 54

Tngye was throwing a strop.  He was quiet and moody.

Minglan cannot take it anymore and point-blank told him to say what is on his mind.

She told him that he knew she had a meeting with Qi Heng and he also knew that she did not do anything inappropriate.

Tingye said he knows.  He heard her encouraging Qi Heng to love the person closed to him.  Tingye said what about me?  Why did you get me a concubine?

Minglan said she did it for his sake!

He said to her that it was for the sake of the Gus, for the sake of the Marquis but not for his sake as her husband.

Minglan just doesn’t get it.

Anyway despite them having troubles of their own, they have now become the agony aunts (uncle) of the palace.  The Empress had called Minglan to help sort out the growing chasm in the Shen House.  General Shen is the Empress’s younger brother whose original wife died saving the Empress.

As a reward to the sacrifice of the original wife’s family from Youzhou, the emperor had decreed that General Shen should take the younger sister of his dead wife as his concubine.

General Shen has already a legal wife, Madam Zhang.

The concubine was milking the gratitude of the emperor and empress.  She was creating scenes everywhere she goes.

Minglan had advised her to calm down because she might make everyone turns against her.  Minglan then spoke to Madam Zhang who had taken to bed because of stress and self-esteem issues.

Minglan said that she should live for herself.  Being coop up in her bed would only make her life tedious and unbearable and it would only be her that has to suffer.

General Shen was still missing his dead wife and telling Tingye that his household was in chaos.

Tingye could not help himself.  He also confessed that he was having a marital problem.  He is married to a woman with an emotional quotient (EQ) of a three-year- old.

Back at the GU2 Manor, Minglan and her maids were talking about Tingye being the life and soul of their house.  He brought happiness, fun and nice treats of food in the house.  But for the last couple of months, he had become introverted, rather remote.

They warned Minglan that this was not good.

Episode 55

Minglan continues to treat Tingye at an arm’s length.

Poor Tingye was tasked to introduce the subject of the emperor’s real father to be given the title of Royal Father.  This subject is emotive because it would challenge the Empress Dowager’s sensitivities.

She said that her husband the ex-emperor adopted the current one, thus became his her.  It would be slap to call someone else as a Royal Father other than the ex-emperor.

Qi Heng was like a bulldog with a bone.  He would not accede to the decision of the Royal Father.  This gave the Empress Dowager more impetus to dig her heels and commanded that Tingye be given a 20-whipping for his insubordination.

Tingye was only a mouthpiece.  It was really the emperor’s idea and his son’s who left the capital on a pretext to leave the responsibility to Tingye.

Episode 56

Poor Tingye, he was taken home in a stretcher and had to stay immobile in his frontside to give his back a time to heal.

The good thing about this was that Minglan came and looked after Tingye who visibly cheered up at the sight of his missus.

Back at the palace, the subject of the Royal Father is not dying down.  In fact, it promoted factions amongst the ministers and scholars.

Episode 57

The palace is currently fraught with intrigues.

To take their mind of their stresses, Master Shen and Duan Xiao dragged Tingye to a brothel to get a drink.

During the course of the evening, Duan Xiao disappeared.  They later found him naked in bed with a woman, both asleep.

Master Shen had asked Tingye to continue their discussion at his house.

But the next morning Tingye was woken up by Master Shen with the news that something big had happened with Duan Xiao.

A married woman delivering fish to the brothel had accused Duan Xiao of raping her.  The woman is a very good witness, she has all the answer to preliminary queries.

Episode 58 – Minglan is pregnant

The supposed rape victim committed suicide but there were plenty of inconsistencies with the situation.  It took four hours for the husband to report what happened to his wife.

Unfortunately, Tingye could not supervise the case as he was more or less forced to accompany Prince Huan to investigate corruptions in the salt mine that would take months to unravel.

Before he left he had a heart to heart with Minglan while she was sitting on his lap.  He gave her a tight hug across her belly which Minglan complained about.

Tingye just hugged her a little bit tighter.

Minglan told him that she was…  and that physician Zhang had already seen her.

At last Tingye understood what she was meaning to say.

He picked her up in his arms and twirled round and round ever so excitedly.  She was pregnant.

After that rather dangerous stunt as she was so newly pregnant, Tingye carrying her carefully to bed.

He told her to be careful while he was away.  Be very careful of the other house.  Just lie low until he comes back or until Nanny Zhang comes to look after her.

The next day, Minglan shed some tears while watching Tingye on a horse going off to the salt mines.

Episode 59

Poor Minglan had now to deal with her step-auntie Kang, the sister of her Big Mother Sheng.

Auntie Kang wanted her step-daughter, Zouer, to become a concubine to Tingye, but there is a deeper and darker mission Auntie Kang has concocted.

As soon as Zouer becomes a part of the Gu Manor, Auntie Kang wanted her to hurt and bruise herself everywhere and then kill herself.  Auntie Kang can then report to the court the violence of Minglan and Tingye against Zouer.

Auntie Kang was a scary woman and only Minglan’s mother in law is gleefully abetting her.

Fortunately the wise grandmother Sheng came to visit Minglan and interviewed Zoeur, who readily confessed that she would do anything stepmother Kang tells her to do to ensure that her mother, who is a concubine at the Kangs and her young sister remains safe from the wrath of stepmother Kang.

Grandmother had been working in the background to ensure that scare Auntie Kang is somehow halted from her misdeeds.  Grandmother instructed Big Mother Sheng to sort out her sister, but it did not look like it was going to work.  Grandmother also sent Master Sheng to speak to Master Kang, who a few days ago asked him for a favour.

Poor Minglan, where are you Tingye?!!!

Episode 60-61

Lady Zhang of Shen Manor was about to give birth, she was one foot in the grave more so than normal because the young spoilt concubine hijacked the services of the unwilling physician who was supposed to be looking after Lady Zhang.

Thank goodness, Lady Zhang has a faithful friend in Minglan.

Minglan sent servants and guards to the courtyard of the young concubine but they said that her brothers were ill and needed treatment.

The next time, they lied that the doctor had left.

Minglan cannot take the suffering of Lady Zheng anymore so she took a sword and went marching into the young concubine’s courtyard.  There, she ordered that the physician is taken back forcefully.

The young concubine was making so much racket and her brother tried to manhandle the pregnant Minglan.

Minglan cut him in the arm with her sword.

General Shen also arrived and found out what had happened with the concubine.  But instead of telling her off, he pleaded with the eunuch of the Empress Dowager to stop slapping the concubine as it would damage her face.  She had been slapped 20 times, and another 30 to go.

The Empress Dowager had been using every little thing to make her mark.

Lady Zhang comes from a noble family and her father was a general in the army, who came running when he heard that his daughter was having a tough time giving birth.

He found out what had happened including the role of his daughter’s husband.

After Lady Zhang had given birth, she was carried by her father to their palanquin to go back to her maiden home.  Her mother and father were quite old when they had her so they valued and loved her so much.  They said that she was a noble and she or her parents did not seek a match with the Duke of Shen.

The Duke was very, very upset because he had grown to really love Lady Zhang but he feels responsible for the young concubine because she was a young sister to his beloved first wife, who died.

But it looked like Lady Zhang had made up her mind not to return to the Duke of Shen.  She will enter a nunnery instead.

The Emperor and Empress had gone to the Empress Dowager to ask her forgiveness.  Apparently, it was the empress idea for the Duke to marry the sister of his dead wife.

Episode 62

Poor Grandma Shen had been poisoned from the juice of Gingko sprout.  The culprit was Madam Kang, which Big Mother Shen tried to protect.

But Minglan had now turned seriously badass.  Even her father slapped her, Miglan just took it and went about her interrogation and accusation.

She said she would not let the attempted murder by poisoning of her grandma just be swept under the carpet like what happened to the murder of her mother years ago.

Master Shen told Minglan that she used to be quiet and docile!  Minglan countered ‘who turned me this way?’

Anyway, after Minglan’s machination, Lady Kang ended up in the Shen Manor, right where she wanted her to be. MInglan heard everything about the poisoning.

Lady Kang said that she was always hearing her sister, Madam Shen, complaining about the mother in law.

Madam Shen said I did not mean for you to kill her.  Just be unwell for a few days.

With this oral evidence, Minglan had Lady Kang detained.

Where are you Tingye?

Episode 63

The “Kanggate’ is really getting ugly.  The Wang family came to Sheng Manor.  After greeting, they put the blame and fault solely at Big Madam Sheng.  They told her that she had been a bad girl, harming her mother in law.

Big Mother Sheng was all apologies at first but said that it was not really her it was Lady Kang, who was brought in all manhandled and dirty.

Obviously, the Wang was scandalised how their first born was being treated at their young daughter’s house.

Minglan was ready with written testimonies from the monk who dabbled in ultra effective, undetectable poison.

So the Wangs had to accept it but they remain angry and using every possible way to get their eldest daughter out of paying for her dastardly crime.

Poor Minglan was too tired from all of these but she had to pursue the case for her beloved grandma and to a certain extent justice for her mother as well.

Episode 64

This is an excellent episode.  The mind games and the mores and tradition of Ancient China were so edifying.

Reputation is everything.

Anyway, Minglan finally got her way. Lady Kang is to be punished with beatings and imprisonment.

Big Mother Sheng was also indicted.  The Big Mother Sheng punishment was so severe even Minglan was surprised.  The punishment was for Big Mother to return and be exiled to Youyeng for ten years. Pray to Buddha and be a vegetarian.

It was given by Changbai, her son, who rushed into the scene accompanied by Gu Tingye, who said that he exhausted to death a couple of horses to be with Minglan.

The grandmother finally woke up and told Minglan to let go of her grief and anger.  She also said that if she indeed dies, she will not be taking any worries with her because Minglan is now with the safe and loving hands of her husband.  Awwww

And Tingye was loving and protective. Minglan can’t help showing her gratitude by planting loads of kisses all over his face. Awwwww

Episode 65

Tingye and Changbai were awol from their duties; they went back under the cover of the night but the emperor found out and he is not happy.  He was annoyed that they were circumventing palace laws.  Some problem brewing here.

Big Mother had finally gone back to Youyang with her trusted maid which cheered her up a bit.

Lady Kang, however, continues to be hidden and guarded at the Sheng house.

The Sheng can’t get Duke Kang to sign the imprisonment letter for his wife because it would mean he can’t divorce her.

MInglan though had a good idea which she shared with her father, who said that he realised a few weeks ago that Minglan was never docile or obedient even as a child. She was just pretending.

Minglan countered that she knew her father more than he knew himself.  He was so laidback that he was happy to live in a muddle.  This made her father cry.

Anyway MInglan was rather curious who Prostitute Wei is, as she is known to be Tingye’s confidant.

Tingye still find Minglan too controlled.  He even challenged her to have a screaming match with him but Minglan just would not plan.  She just said, “You think of me as I think of you.”

One Minglan’s ladies in waiting had been successfully married off.  It was rather emotive as even at the very end, Dansha the maid was hesitant to live Mnglan.

Minglan had destroyed Dansha’s slave contract and she was now a free woman.

Fourth Sister is curious why Grandmother was ill.  All they were telling her was that Grandmother was surprised by a burglar and she had been having the vapours ever since.

Fourth Sister was not buying it, she went to see Third Brother, who seemed to have finally grown up.  He refuses to tell Fourth sister anything.  He then told her that even if she becomes a countess, she would always be unhappy.

Episode 66

Fourth Sister is bored and unhappy with her life, so she can’t help herself but create mayhem on her old family, the Sheng.

She contrived to have Lady Kang escaped from the Sheng Manor.

She had a made start a blazing fire in the kitchen, which distracted everyone.  The maid then broke the lock on the room of Lady Kang, who then escaped easily.

Lady Kang met the Fourth Sister just outside of the Shengs. The fourth Miss gave her money and gold.  Her destination was the Gu Manor at Minglan’s Mother in Law’s place.

Minglan heard some rumours that Tingye had been injured or even assassinated.  She got so worked up that she lost her footing and then started having a contraction.

The evil mother in law heard that Minglan had started the birthing process.

She got tickled with the idea of starting a fire also at the manor while Minglan was giving birth.

She did this by sending dozens of flying lanterns which started a fire at the Gu Manor.

Lady Kang also on the warpath and on her way to finish off Minglan.

Episode 67

They’ve mentioned a few times that giving birth was being in the gate of hell and Minglan certainly nearly into hell itself.

Her manor was burning while she was pushing the baby out while clinging into the most uncomfortable contraption.

When the baby was out and cleaned, before they could do the oohs and ahhhs to admire Baby Gu, Lady Kang appeared with a vengeance.

She was going ballistic with a knife that all the ladies maids and servants attending to Minglan were incapable of stopping her.

Minglan can’t do anything but use her body to cover her baby and waiting for the knife to stab at her back.

It did not happen as in the nick of time, Gu Tingye plunged his sword at the back of the deranged Lady Kang, killing her almost instantly.

Minglan never been so happy to see him.

The aftermath of the fire saw that Mother in law Gu’s plan had been thwarted once again.  She was so demented with anger when she found out that Shitou started a fire on Tingwei’s (Third Gu Brother) courtyard which made his villa unhabitable and blamed his mother for all her machination.  Her daughter in law said that Tingwei does not aspire for the title as he wanted a harmonious relationship with his brother.

Talking about demented, the emperor is showing signs of losing it completely.  He wanted Tingye to report to him immediately despite knowing that Tingye had suffered so much problems in his household, the fire, the attempt on his wife’s life and just having a baby.  Thank goodness the Empress was able to calm the Emperor for now.  But there is now a seed of distrust of Tingye firmly planted in his deluded mind.

Tingye made a promised to his traumatized wife that he would guard her and the baby and won’t leave.

You repay a loan with money and you repay a life with life, Grand Madam.

Tingye let his Stepmother have it.  He had enough of her.

Episode 68

Lady Wang went to complain and report Tingye from killing her daughter, Lady Kang, to the Empress.  At first, the Empress was not impressed.

Tingye visited Qi Heng at his home.  Qi Heng immediately went on the defensive saying that he went to the Gu Manor simply for one thing alone, helped put out the fire, after all Tingye is his relation, his second uncle.

Tingye laughed.  He said that he came to thank Qi Heng from the bottom of his heart for having brought people to the Gu Manor to help.

Qi Heng told his wife that Minglan, the Big Mother of Gu Manor, was the first woman he wanted to marry.

BTW, I love the scene when Minglan or/and Tingye dine.  They were so natural and seemed to really enjoy the food.  It makes me want to eat some soupy vegetable dish as well with chopsticks! LOL

Minglan found out that Tingye was at the courtyard of Fengtian to see the fire damage.

When Tingye returned, he got her jealousy in full force.  This made Tingye so happy.  He told Minglan that he had been jealous of Qi Heng every single day.

Awww

Grand Mother Gu is up to no good again.  She had recruited Mr Bai, Tingye’s maternal cousin, to do damage to Tingye.

Episode 69

Gu Tingye was in a lot of trouble!

Madam Wang had now formally lodged her complaints against Gu Tingye during the Emperor’s morning court.  She said that Tingye killed her daughter, Lady Kang, without much provocation.

As witnesses, she had Grand Mother Gu and the fourth house of Gu as witnesses. Madame Gu said that Tingye had also started the fire.

Changbai was livid, he wanted to testify for Tingye that Lady Kang was evil and had tried to kill his grandmother, but Tingye stopped him from saying anything because this kind of information will have a huge negative repercussion for the Sheng family, including to Changbai himself.

Minglan was so unhappy about this, she was apologetic to Tingye that because of her, he is in so much trouble.  Tingye said that waking up with her beside him in the morning is the most comfortable and peaceful time for him, otherwise, without her, he is just a duckweed.  Ahhhh (what is a duckweed?)

There was a lovely scene when during the line-up for the procession into the palace court for the morning session, Qi Heng sidled up to Tingye and told him that he saw Lady Kang with a knife, ready to attack Minglan and her baby.

Tingye asked him what colour Lady Kang was wearing?  He then said that he appreciated Qi Heng trying to help but he is a poor liar.  Ohhhh

The next morning court session, there were also Manniang who completely rewritten her relationship history with Tingye, that he killed her oldest brother and forcibly taken and made her pregnant with his two babies.  When he got tired of her, he threw her away and killed their son.

Tingye’s cousin Bai also complained that the deeds to the Bai salt mines and properties were completely fabricated by Gu Tingye.

The Emperor was so annoyed with all these intrigues.

Added to these, someone is still trying to kill Minglan by poisoning.

Only few more episodes.

Episode 70

Poor Tingye had been detained at the palace prison.

Minglan was not being allowed to see him but somehow Minglan managed to see the Empress and beg her profusely which did not work at first but Minglan reminded her that the palace owed Mnglan herself for bringing the jade token from the previous emperor to her husband, the current emperor.  This action saved the late emperor and the peace of the empire. They owe her.

The Empress, who is always been big on paying debts, allowed Minglan to the inner palace to visit Tingye.

Tingye heard of the commotion Minglan created at the palace and was so happy to hear it.  He wanted a blow by blow account of what happened as he had never seen MInglan being so passionate about him before.

When he got to see Minglan he broached the subject of conscious uncoupling, an amicable separation.  Minglan was aghast but Tingye told her to think about their baby and Rong’er, grandmother and Nanny Zhang.

Tingye said that it was for the best and when everything is sorted out, he will marry her again.

Minglan said if that his decision then they will divorce but she would definitely not marry him again.

She mentioned that Brother Honger , the doctor who almost became her betrothed, was still single.  She will marry him.

Tingye was taken aback.  He knew that Minglan does not say things lightly.  So he changed his mind pretty pronto and forget the separation, though amicable.

Qi Heng was worried about Minglan and decided to visit her but Princess Pinpin, his mother was totally against it.  Thank goodness, Lady Qi came to her husband rescue and said they are going out for a dinner date.

Qi Heng was surprised when his wife changed their destination for the restaurant into the Chen Garden where they saw Mingan.

Minglan is so worried that she was muddled in the brain.  She had just witnessed the king’s edict of stripping Tingye of the wealth he was given by the emperor as well as the title given to him, his wife and child.

Lady Qi was a revelation, she was full of sagely ideas, that Qi Heng was looking at her rather admiringly.  Lady Qi said that Minglan cannot bang on the Denguen drum by rehashing old news.  She said they had to find new evidence to present.  Woah, Qi Heng was falling in love with his wife.  They are now Team Gu Tingye.

This drama is just getting better and better and there is only three episodes left.

Episode 71

Minglan decided to hold a First Monthsary for her baby and invited many people.  While it was rather chaotic with many guests mingling and eating, Nanny Zhang was looking after the baby asleep in his cot.

The nanny fell asleep and did not see a dark-clad figure about to stab at the sleeping baby.

But out of nowhere, Xiaotou appeared to stop the very able ninja fighter who was revealed to be none other than Fengtian, Tingye pseudo concubine.

Next day, after leaving her baby with her grandmother, who gave her blessing to whatever Minglan was going to do.  She was very pragmatic.  She said that the family will have fights, makeup, do down, prosper.  It was natural.

Minglan getting confidence from her grandmother and a bonus witness, Lady Kang’s stepdaughter, Minglan thump the drum during the palace morning session.

She stayed all night drumming but it was ignored.  She eventually fainted and was taken in by the Empress., but no can do.

Minglan on her way home took off her ceremonial headdress and threw it on the ground, much to the discomfiture of her father, who picked it up immediately.

Minglan went a little bit crazy, laughing and crying at the same time.

She did manage to make the emperor uncomfortable.

Episode 72

Grand Madam Gu is continuing to bully Miglan while Tingye is in palace prison but Minglan just ignores her which made the madam even madder.

Anyway, there is a war brewing in the borders and two cities have been taken over by a new young prince.

During a morning court session, they beg the king to send more troops and with criminal Gu Tingye with them.  The emperor was annoyed that it seems it was only Tingye that could lead an army,

To pacify the emperor, the minister suggested sending Tingye as a common foot soldier.

A few weeks later, news reached the palace that every single one of the elite troop has perished.  The news stressed the emperor so much he collapsed.

Suddenly everywhere is chaotic,  There was a coup which was instigated by the Empress Dowager, thinking that the Emperor has no army in place.

Every minister and noble household had their gates guarded with their best soldiers, including the Chen Garden.  But Nanny Gu let in assassins in through the Grand Madam’s gates and led them to the backdoor gate of  Chen Garden.

Manniang was one of those trespassers, she went immediately to the nursery and pushed her own daughter away and NannyZhang.

She was just about to stab the crying baby when Nanny Zang hit Manniang with a killer blow of a mallet.

Rong’er was obviously upset but she was more upset that her mother would hurt her little brother.

It was really chaotic and the renegade soldiers have managed to force open Chen Garden’s main gate.

Minglan quickly took the children, Nanny Zhang and Shitou to guard them, to their panic room.  Rong’er, for the first time called Minglan, mother over and over and would not let her go back to the chaos outside.  Shitou had to calm her down.

She then went with Xitou to help out her guards.

One thing though, Tingye is alive.  People who saw him galloping through the street to the palace, started to feel optimistic.

Pretty exciting stuff.

Episode 73 – The Finale

First thing first, it is a happy ending, yey.

Minglan was about to be hacked with a sword, when an arrow flew into the air straight into the assailant’s back, killing him instantly.

Minglan then saw her protector, who was none other than her husband himself,

Minglan was so scared, annoyed and ecstatic to see him.  She can’t believe the timing of his return that she had to punch him over and over his chest.  She then rained kisses on his face. ahhhh

Tingyu then said that he still has to leave her to save the king.  Minglan agreed immediately but told him to hurry back as she will be waiting for him.  This is such a lovely scene because Tingyu went to check.andf save his wife before doing his duty to the king.  That is family! There may be a slight treason there but hey, it was sweet.

It then came out that everything was a plot by the king to pressure the Empress Dowager to come out into the open with her dastardly actions of ousting the king in favour of the young son of the Noble Consort and the emperor himself.  The Empress Dowager then can rule on the baby king’s behalf.

The plan was that the king sent all his elite soldiers led by Gu Tingye and the Duke of Shen away, they had to lie low and pretend that they had been massacred while trying to put out the rebellions around the border.

The emperor’s main eunuch was inherited from the previous emperor and was still loyal to the Empress Dowager and would pass information he gathered from the king to her.

One of the many concocted information by the king was the massacre of his elite soldiers, this gave the Empress Dowager the confidence to command those soldiers who are still loyal to the previous emperor to overthrow the king.

But Marquis Gu with all the elite soldiers were waiting to pounce and they did and in no time hauled all the renegade soldiers and co-conspirators including the noble consort, her uncle, who was the commander of the late emperors still loyal soldiers and also the eunuch, who squealed against the Empress Dowager immediately.

During the confrontation between the Emperor, Empress and Empress Dowager, the Emperor revealed that everything was a plot.  The Empress Dowager was actually impressed.  Prince Huan also appeared and told that they owe a lot to the previous emperor because of his good management the empire has a lot of money which they can use to take back lost territories.  The acknowledgment of her husband had relieved and gladdened the old Empress Dowager’s heart.  She was expecting to be killed because of what she did but the Empress said there was no need for that kind of drama.  All they expect her to do is to live quietly outside the palace.

At the Gu Manor’s things are still heating up, literally.  Grand Madam Gu was devastated to find out that Gu Tingye was alive, She knew immediately that everything was a plot and she was in the middle of it and her time is up.

After berating and imprisoning her own son into a dried up well, she runs into the Gu ancestral hall and set herself on fire in front of Tiingye, Tingwei, Minglan, guards, and servants.

A few months later…

The ecology mad Emperor was doing a Prince Charles, talking to his ripening wheat and he would not let anyone touch them including his favorite Tingye.  With wheat, everyone is fed.

Minglan was being helped by her father do the signage for the newly reconstructed Gu Ancestral Hall.  Her father finally found out that everything that they went through had become part of the plan of the Emperor.

Minglan confirmed that she knew of it when she went to bang the imperial drum and fainted, thereby had a chance to meet the Empress.

Minglan was told that Tingye was far from being uncouth.  The Empress said that he came near the top of the imperial exam and his prowess in the military is exemplary, he was on par with the emperor who worked out the plan of the plot with him.

Minglan then told his father that Big Mother will be coming back soon.

During the inauguration of the ancestral hall, all Sheng family were all together, including the fourth sister, who was warmly welcomed by Minglan and even by Grandmother.

Shitou and Xitou (I am so confused with the names of these two) are now married and Xitou is heavily pregnant but for some reason, she remains a maid of Minglan.  Tingye told her to release Xitou but Minglan and Xitou had been together since they were little girls.

Minglan and Tingye happily watched their extended family joking, laughing and talking.  They both agreed that this was how it should be.

And as to Qi Heng, he confessed to his wife that when he saw how loving Minglan and Tingye to each other during the night of the fire, he suddenly wanted the same thing too. He wanted a world like theirs with his wife. ahhhhhh

I have to say the ending is a bit rushed.  I thought it would be more spectacular because of the many initiating forces but in end it was all anti-climax.

I was thinking at first how are Minglan and Tingye going to overcome all the issues that were besetting them through no real fault of their own.  I was having some dramatic scenarios playing in my brain but all the while it was all a put-up job by the emperor and Tingye and Minglan was aware of it.  I was expecting a big bang rather that a fizzle out.

But having said that there are so many lovely scenes in this drama particularly with Minglan and Tingye.  Their relationship as husband and wife are really the most realistic I have ever seen in a drama.

The way he touches her, where his hand goes, the way they eat, the way they look at each other as a newly married couple were so authentic.

All in love, I love this drama.

 

The End

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Thank you so very much ! Your reviews helps us got through the series, we got so caught up sometimes we do not dare to watch an episode before reading your great recap.

      1. Writer, in episode 52’s summary you made a mistake.Shen Congxing is not the emperor’s younger brother, but the empress’ younger brother,whose wife died to save the empress’ .

  2. Episode 72….there was a scene where a lady in black cloak was removing her earrings & jade bracelet and place them on top of a pile of ingots. Something like redeemed her ‘slave’ status. A young chap was waiting for her and they both left in a carriage.

    Can someone pls tell me who she is? She doesn’t look like GTY’s ex concubine, Mianaang to me!

  3. Qi’s wife died due to being related the rebel Prince Yong who sought to take the throne from the then current Emperor.

  4. Can someone explain how Qi Heng’s wife died? I think the drama just glossed over it but it should tell us. Did I miss that scene somehow?

    1. I noticed that too. Minglan or any of her maids did not mention that Qi Heng was widowed even in passing. Did she get killed because Prince Yan and his people were killed?

  5. Thank you for the synopsis, I have watched upto episode 45 but onwards there are no subtitles in English. What site can I watch the rest episodes with English subtitles

  6. I really appreciate your synopsis. I’ve just completed the 2nd episode and it was really frustrating waiting for the leads. At least with your post, I know what happened in the 3rd and 4th episode and can happily skip the boring and angsty parts and jump right to the 5th episode.

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