Politicking and ghosts
There is a lot of politicking going on between the various sects. However, we are not going to really focus too much on that at this time. Because this recap is about our favorite things, and none of us are watching because of the great political story arcs. What we do enjoy is the various ghost leaders causing havoc. There is something so entertaining about the various pompous sect leaders running around, scared as the ghost leaders scatter their calling card confetti and murder people.
Kmuse: I am watching through the episodes a second time, and I have to admit that the political stuff makes so much more sense the second time around. In the first six or so episodes, I was totally lost over who was who and connected to which group. It makes the story much more well rounded narrative-wise
Kdrama Jen: Wait! There is a plot and political maneuvering? I have been completely distracted by the swoony bromance with a capital “R” that we have brewing. This is my first time through, so I still don’t know who is who.
Drama Geek: I’m with Kdrama Jen, I skipped a lot of the politics and even some of the ghost stuff. The only person I have paid attention to is the ghost leader with the white hair. She is gorgeous and catches my eye every time she does something E-vil.
Detectives Zhou Zishu and Wen Kexing
With everyone scheming and dying in the fifth brother’s manor, it is only logical that Zhou Zishu and Wen Kexing want to discover what is happening and make sure that Chengling is safe. Or more aptly, Zhou Zishu is trying to figure everything out, and Wen Kexing is following along, flirting and spouting out metaphors right and left. We also get the sense that Wen Kexing knows more than he is letting on about all the various political players.
Kmuse: Wen Kexing totally knows more than he is letting on, and our stoic ex-assassin totally knows that he knows. At least, that is how I am interpreting all those leading questions and knowing looks.
Kdrama Jen: The knowing looks and flirty comments are just epic. I don’t really know what is going on, but I like it!
Drama Geek: I love the back and forth between them. Neither of them is who they say they are, and they both know it about the other person. Wen Kexing desperately wants his new friend to see him as a good person. Maybe he’s hoping if someone like Zishu believes he’s trustworthy, then it could actually be true.
Hallucinations and discoveries
Zhou Zishu and Kexing’s detecting leads them to a booby-trapped temple that has coffins lining the pathway. As they enter, an incense burner affects both men until they fall into a hallucinate invoked dream from the past. Zhou Zishu dreams of better days with his mentor alive and frolicking in the snow. Wen Kexing’s hallucination begins with him seeing his father. After that, we have to deduct that he is reliving something from a young age since his mannerisms become juvenile. Amusingly enough, he is even able to flirt in that state, talking about Zhou Zishu’s beautiful shoulder blades.
Zhou Zishu realizes first that he is being drugged and comes out of his stupor. He tries to wake up Wen Kexing but to no avail, and we even have a moment where Wen Kexing calls Zhou Zishu by his real name, declaring that he will go tell his mother on him. Finally, Wen Kexing comes out of his fog just in time to save Zhou Zishu from being killed by a horde of zombie creatures who were controlled by one of the ten demon ghost leaders. The bad guy flees, and our hotties live to fight another day.
Kmuse: Gasp! Do we have a childhood backstory with these two? While that isn’t always my favorite trope, I think I would be ok with it in this case.
Kdrama Jen: I feel like these two have some kind of fated relationship, so I would not be surprise if they have a long and secret history.
Drama Geek: When I watched this scene, I’ll confess that I didn’t catch that, but now that you point it out, I feel like it’s a very real possibility. I wonder if when they learn of each other as children, it will bring their causes closer in line. There is no way they don’t have a personal stake in the different secs and what happened in the past.
Please suck out the poison
Zhou Zishu had been bitten several times by the zombies and had poison running through his body. He can deal with one of the bites himself, but even the talented Zhou Zishu can’t suck on his own neck. So instead, we have the always helpful Wen Kexing offering to do the honors.
This leads to another fight about Zhou Zishu’s fake face, at which time they have a fight that ended up with Zhou Zishu taking a tumble into the water, erasing his fake facade. While their clothes are drying, our OTP discusses what is important in life. Zhou Zishu easily gives Wen Kexing a piece of the glazed armor. Saying that this kind of thing, and the power it represents, is not that important in the long term. You can tell that Wen Kexing doesn’t really know how to take this kind of outlook.
Kmuse: Yay for skinship… Boo that it is sucking the poison out of a wound, but I guess I will take what I can get. Also, am I the only one that got really startled at having the original Zhou Zishu’s visage back? Even knowing that it was coming, I was still startled.
Kdrama Jen: Wow! Just… wow! How is this show getting through the censors? I am not complaining, but just genuinely curious.
Drama Geek: Do we have BL lovers among the censors over there? LOL. The fight scene was so beautiful between them. Like I said last time, it’s always this intricate dance when these two face off. I was excited when Zishu finally showed his real face to Kexing, mostly because of how happy it made our flirty fanboy. I didn’t mind that he was sucking out poison, it was still HOT.
Glaze Armor fakes
Having received one of the five pieces of glazed armor (for those curious, it is a set of jade puzzle pieces that connect to make a key for a cavern full of martial arts texts.) Wen Kexing promptly goes and has a glassmaker create 30 fake copies and spreads them out among the pugilists that are arriving for the hero conference. In true greedy fashion, everyone starts killing each other in an attempt to own the glazed armor, not realizing that they are fakes. Wen Kexing watches from the sidelines, amused at how they are all getting what they deserve.
Kmuse: I am really interested to find out why he has so much hatred towards this specific sect.
Kdrama Jen: I am kind of hoping this glazed armor (that looks like a piece of glass?) will somehow allow Zhou Zishu to survive longer!
Drama Geek: I’m with Wen Kexing, if everyone is going to fight over it, why not speed up the process and let them get rid of each other. Then Zishu won’t have to expend any of his precious energy. I never thought of the armor saving Zishu, but I’m all for that!
The start of a second romance?
Gu Xiang continues to be the awesome female badass of the drama as she protects some woman that is tormented by entitled men at a local tavern. She kicks their butts and earns the adoration of a young sect member Cao Weining. Cao Weining buys our plucky heroine a meal and sits there with a gaze of adoration as she eats with gusto. What ended up being extra amusing was when Wen Kexing observes the two, he becomes a bit protective of his protege. That turns to jealousy when he thinks the young pugilist is flirting with Zhou Zishu. It was just amusing all around.
Kmuse: Cao Weining is such a little bit of perky fluff. He will be perfect for our prickly ghost warrior.
Kdrama Jen: l really like their interactions and I loved Wen Kexing’s jealousy. It made me laugh to see how he manipulated Cao Weining into leaving on an errand.
Drama Geek: I just love every time this character is on my screen. She’s really fun to watch, and I may need to see what else she’s in. I was happy when they brought Weining into the story and really enjoy these two together.
A meeting between old friends
Our OTP has been hanging around the area to ensure that Chengling settles in well with his uncle. It is a good thing they did because things are not going well for our sweet boy. Everyone suspects that he is hiding a part of the Glazed Armor, including Zhou Zishu’s ex-sect, the Window of Heaven. Chengling and his uncle are beset by a heavily armored group from the Window of Heaven while on the road to the family’s sacred pillar. The WOH group demands that Uncle hand over his nephew and leave. Uncle refuses, and it looks like all is lost. That is until a masked Zhou Zishu and Wen Kexing rush in to save the day. They capture the head of the WOH group and hold a knife to his throat until Chengling and his entourage can run away.
After Chengling escapes, the leader of the WOH group tells his own men to go away. He will be fine and join them in just a while. They leave, and Zhou Zishu takes off his mask and apologizes for his actions. His WOH friend is happy to see him and worries about his health, as well as his lack of a disguise. He reaffirms his loyalty to his ex-assassin commander and leaves.
Kmuse: I love that Zhou Zishu is starting to become emotionally connected and live life again. His feelings for Chengling, as well as his trust in Wen Kexing are obvious in this scene as well as his decision that people are more important than being outed as being alive. I like this more proactive Zhou Zishu.
Kdrama Jen: Ooh! We are starting to see his worlds collide. I loved the interaction between our leads when they basically had a brief argument over who should draw the fire and who should capture the leader. They were both willing to sacrifice for the other. So swoony!
Drama Geek: I agree with Kmuse. I love that Zishu seems to be all in now. He wants to protect Chengling and figure out what is going on. It was also interesting to see how loyal is old friend was, and makes me wonder how many more people in the Window of Heaven group would like to leave and follow Zishu instead.
You are my soulmate
We finish episode eight with our OTP having a serious conversation about trust, Wen Kexing’s motives, and the all-important defining of the relationship. When pressured, Zhou Zishu is willing to admit that they are close but attempts to keep somewhat distanced by friend-zoning Wen Kexing. As Zhou Zishu walks away towards the fire, Wen Kexing stares after him with a saddened expression as he says he doesn’t see him as a friend but as his soulmate.
Kmuse: Squeeeeee!!! This scene was so swoony. The visuals, the angst, Wen Kexing’s openness in admitting his feelings. It was perfect.
Kdrama Jen: Oh my heart! This was perfection. I just love these two.
Drama Geek: I loved that no matter what words were being used, you could glean every subtext meaning of this conversation between these two. I’m not sure either know how to define their relationship, but they both have grown to care for each other. Most importantly, they just want the other to know that they feel something for the other.
Kmuse: I like all the political stories much more the second time through. It is making so much more sense, and it is easier to know who is who. But it is really the OTP and their growing closeness that continues to keep me glued to my screen. I am very invested in our OTPs story and am starting to expect some angst coming our way sooner than later.
Kdrama Jen: I am doing my best to watch only the 4 episodes per week because I want to make sure I am only talking about the relevant scenes and plot points, but this is hard to resist. I can’t wait to see where this goes. This soulmate couple is making me grin with delight.
Drama Geek: It has been hard to put a hold on watching more episodes and wait to watch until we start talking about it. Even this recap, I almost talked about issues that came up in the next four episodes. I’m excited that after the next recap I can happily jump in and enjoy more of this OTP because let’s be real with each other, it’s ALL about them.
Til the next flirty moment,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi