CDrama Recap – The Romance of Hua Rong – Episode 13…

Lol, CS tells her that if she kills Hero Yun He she’ll regret it for the rest of her life.
But back to business. What exactly has Yun He discovered?….not very freaking much. Just that Pei Yong and the Black Dragon Gang are deeply connected and deeply involved with his father’s death. He wants to stay and investigate for his own sake, as well as hers.
All they need to do is break out! HR’s sleepy-dust has been confiscated. But Hero Yun He has his ways!

Cut to: everyone in the freaking building knocked out and Big Brother Dearest getting a note from HR.

So our heroes are back in the forest looking for Yue’s key. It has a map inside it! They split up, CS and HR going to investigate, and the Bros and Hui going to get the rest of the pirate bros. Hui wants to come along, since she’s HR’s official bodyguard, but the Bros drag her off with them.

Shaggy Bro explains the situation to Hui. Mr. Chang Sheng is following Miss Hua Rong because he liiiiikes her! Ohhhh! (Blue Bro is having fun taunting them both for being dense, heh). But Hui with the clues in her hand, Hui can figure out even more things! Shaggy is very protective of Hui, too! Is it because he liiiiiiikes her? Well, good, because she liiiiikes him, too! She gives him an adorable kiss on the cheek. Awwwww that was hilarious and adorable.

Meanwhile, our heroes are infiltrating, sneaky-like. CS powers through the guards! They open the locked door! The place is curiously empty. But they do find the treasure chamber. Heh, CS immediately starts to calculate their wealth versus his own. Pirate! Also, there are a lot of weapons. Also, barrels of kerosene.

LOL. CS was going to steal the money.

And then they get caught.

The orders are: girl alive, man dead. Chang Sheng goes all cool with a sword on the front line, while HR stands in the background with another one. BUT CS has been wounded!!!! OH NO AND ALSO STABBED! HR has fallen back on her own talents, and lobs a barrel of kerosene at them. They escape in the mess and take shelter in a cave. .

She fumbles for medicine. He has something in his pocket…

OH MY GOD. HE WAS CARRYING THEIR MARRIAGE CONTRACT IN HIS POCKET ALL ALONG. And it’s now stained with blood, oh no…and he’s trying to tell her something before he dies…

He really thought she was his one true love. And he’s sorry he treated her poorly.
Hua Rong sobs that she’ll give him another chance! Just as soon as he doesn’t die! She swears that she has the strength to get them both out. CS believes her. But she has to go for help. He tells her not to go to Big Brother Dearest.

HR nods. She knows? She knows. She’s put the clues that exist together (and also he’s the only available suspect.) Big Brother Dearest is either involved with or the leader of the Black Dragon Gang. His poisoning was self-inflicted to defer suspicion; he has been trying to keep them from investigating; and there have been consistent attempts to catch HR alive. She doesn’t want to believe it about her long-time big brother, but still. CS tells her to take heart. They are both alive and they still have a chance. She can’t even trust her father. But–Snooty Cousin! Snooty will help!

CS gives her a flare to call for help from the pirate bros if something happens to him. She unwillingly agrees to take it.

Aw, is he going to get to kiss her while sober….what the heck, not on the FOREHEAD YOU DUMMY. Well. Headbutt of love. I guess that counts. NOW GO GET HELP HURRY UP.
So anyway.

They reach Snooty, and HR is in a complete mess. But Snooty calms her down and gets a carriage together, and provides soup—stop looking so suspicious when she drinks! HR notices they are going in the wrong direction! ALSO! Snooty is wearing the jade bracelet Big Brother Dearest tried to use to propose to HR with. She leaps from the carriage but is grabbed immediately. Big Brother Enemy appears instantly for a gloat. But HR suckers the guy with the torch in close enough to light the flare. Smart girl! I love her. Also, she won’t tell, even if she dies. Not that the Enemy needs it; there are only so many places a wounded man can hide. Snooty feels guilty, but not hugely so.

Back at the house, Little Bro Yue Feng is bonding with Bearded Dad when Hua Rong is brought in on a stretcher.–and they discover that they are locked in their room. HR wakes up and Big Enemy shows up immediately. They’ve found CS’s blood-stained robe.
Oh no. Come on HR. Show your pluck and backbone. DON’T DISSOLVE INTO A SPINELESS MESS. You’ve been so good so far!

She demands to know why he does such things when he’s a prince?

Well, there are princes and princes, and he’s the son of a concubine who is neglected and ignored. So he may have some issues to work out. Running the Black Dragon Gang has earned him more money than the royal family has inherited in decades, heh. He’s effectively untouchable! A god! And he was only pretending to be gentle and courteous–if not, he’d have forced her with a marriage contract.

THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT ISN’T IN THE ROBES. HUA RONG KNOWS! GOOD GIRL! Also, no body. GOOD GIRL! I love you so much. This ticks off Big Enemy even more. But now she at least has the shreds of hope.

And Snooty Cousin shows up with food and gentle words. Hua Rong demands an explaination. Snooty explains. She was always raised to be a lady, gentle and courteous. She did all things everyone expected of her. And yet it was always HR who Big Enemy loved. HR points out that Snooty never so much as looked at Big Enemy.

Snooty replies that her position and pride prevented her from making advances. Ok, that’s fair. She’s always been in competition with HR in other ways, though–trying to get his attention and prove her worth. Snooty declares that she’s not a traitor! She’s the actual confidante and love of Big Enemy! The one who understands him! They’re engaged! He’s been in love with her for many years and was only waiting until the correct time! Only jealousy of Chang Sheng made him move in quickly.

Snooty also knows he’s behind the Black Dragon Gang–and doesn’t care. She’s going to stand by her man! It’s her job and duty! But she still wants to be friends with HR.
HR points out that there are other people who were hurt by Big Enemy. Snooty dismisses them as hookers, gamblers, and poor people–much less important than Big Enemy.
Hua Rong destroys this argument to the point that the eavesdropping Big Enemy comes storming in, outraged. He is stopped by Snooty, but declares that she’ll have to chill for a couple of days to see sense.

HR….thinks about CS some more.

Aaaaand there’s a fire. Oh, and it wasn’t set by Hua Rong.

….?

CS sent her a message. All is well, and he’s….on the roof? Aww, and he blew her a kiss. That was cute.

Not a complete fool, Big Enemy immediately checks HR’s room. She’s cuddling the blood-stained robe again and begs to go take some soup her father. “You? Cook?” “I need to show my filial devotion. Are you worried I’ll escape?” “No, I’m worried the master’s body won’t stand up to the torture.” (HR’s suppressed irritation + dejected pose is really freaking funny.) But he agrees.

Bearded Dad can barely choke the soup down and says give the rest to Little Bro Yue Feng. She is able to pass the good news on, but the letter from Chang Sheng has been found and read. WHAT?! Little Bro betrayed her! Why???

Big Enemy gloats a bit and leaves.

Little Bro did it because he hates Chang Sheng after his experience as a slave on pirate island. Well, that’s fair. He also really likes Big Enemy. Maybe you shouldn’t have made him eat the soup?

Big Enemy is setting a trap with bowmen all around the house. Snooty Cousin is having a few second thoughts on seeing all the armed troops. Meanwhile, an official letter has arrived for Bearded Dad.–asking for a report. Big Enemy is facing a dilemma!

Under the Power – Eps 1-5 – Review

TLDR: the hero is a dick and I don’t like him. The heroine is decently clever and has a chipper personality, but I hate that she can’t stand up for herself against the hero’s bullying. I’m also quite liking her sidekick, who looks out for her but also teases her when she gets too full of herself. I’m also liking the antagonist(s?) way more than I’m supposed to, just on account of the hero being, as I mentioned, an asshole and a bully.

under-the-power-chinese-2019-4

Plot (so far): The hero is the commander (and son of the former commander) of the Embroidered Uniform Guard–essentially the Secret Police; they report directly to the Emperor and have effective carte blanche in arresting officials, torturing, and killing them. He’s introduced to us by torturing information out of some guy. Very heroic. The heroine is a constable for the regular police: she’s introduced to us rescuing a girl tricked into eloping with a shady guy. Much more heroic. Her sidekick is the chief of police’s son, and they have a fun siblingly dynamic.
So some guy named Cao stole a military map and faked his own death. There’s a reward out for finding him, so everyone in the police force is clamoring to be given the case. However, our “hero” (I really dislike him) shows up, takes the case, makes everybody grovel a bit, and steals the heroine’s pistol for no reason other than that he wants to. He does agree to give it back if she solves the case before him. So for the next two episodes, they’re after Cao. They find him, he continues to bully her mercilessly, but she gets her gun back (yay!)
“Hero” has a twwwagic backstory in that his mother was killed. I don’t care, he’s a dick; he has shown no likable personality traits, and done nothing heroic. I don’t like him and I hope he gets humiliated and/or dies. Anyhow, the heroine has had it even worse: both her parents are dead and she has no way of even knowing where she came from or what happened to them. Even worse! Her foster-mother is trying to set her up with some guy from a nerdy family (heh.)
There’s also a handsome guy with a false eye (which really throws off how his face looks, it’s weird), who is apparently the person with his fingers in all the pies and hand on all the strings. He’s also earmarked as a bad guy because he spends his days lounging with a bunch of beautiful women, being fed grapes (heh). But he also does have the ability to be rude to the “hero,” so I’m ok with this.
The next arc concerns birthday gifts for the general, their disappearance, a fake ghost ship, and the fact that some of the so-called gifts were….actually being smuggled? I’d probably be able to know more if I paid attention during the elderly men scheme about things. We get introduced to two more characters at the end of episode five: the young lady who is head of a clan, and the young man who is one of the smugglers-slash-rebels, who also ran away from the clan because he doesn’t want to a) have the responsibility, b) marry her, since she’s like his sister. Um, ok.

I actually do kind of like this series, asshole hero aside. (Seriously, he’s a dick and my enjoyment is much diminished because he hasn’t had the tar kicked out of him or something likewise humiliating happen to him yet. Or probably ever.) I’ll be trying out the next five or so episodes when I get some internet.
– I like the heroine, her sidekick, and their interactions. At one point, she wants him to pretend to be interested in her because her mother is trying to set her up. He counters that he’ll do it…for ten pence a day. I think he’s being set up to have his own romance plotline.
– I like most of the other minor characters.
– I like the fact that the main antagonist is incredibly obnoxious…to the “hero.”
– I do actually like the fact that the hero didn’t allow his father to slap him. It was just a nice moment.
– I also liked the fact that he’s apparently afraid of insects…and the heroine left a couple of dead cockroaches on his desk.
– I don’t like court intrigue plotlines, but so far they’ve been kept to a minimum.
– I like the idea of the virtuous rebels versus the vicious secret police, even if that’s probably not what the plot or the writers were going for.
– The “hero” is a dick and I’m going to keep saying that until he starts doing something either likable or heroic.
– The fight scene choreography is pretty terrible. (stop spinning already)!
– Update: Episode six has the hero give his first indication that he does appreciate the heroine….by falsely accusing her of assisting in a prisoner escape and raking her over the coals for losing her badge. He admits to her mentor that he knows very well she had nothing to do with the prison break, but “A good sword must be sharpened unless it becomes dull.” Okay then. I still think he’s a dick.

Rated: I’m going to try the next five episodes and see where it goes. So far not great–but it’s the best of the bunch so far.
(update: excluding Lovely Swords Girl)
(update update: excluding Love and Destiny)