The Romance of Hua Rong: some highlights

So….The Romance of Hua Rong recaps are by far and away the most popular thing on this blog, which…well, it’s supposed to be a science-fiction and fantasy review site. But, hey, rule number one is whatever gets the clicks. And…this show was fun, funny, romantic, pretty, light, entertaining, well-made, and it helped keep me sane while I was surrounded by crazy people and tigers.

So here are my favorite bits from my recaps of the same:

Epsiode 1!

Meanwhile, everyone is trying to make a break from the brothel, but the Old Guy escapes and Our Heroine accidentally knees Our Hero in the groin after he accidentally touches her boobs while they’re both hanging off the side of a ship.

Ladies and gentlemen: C-Dramas.

Episode 2!

Well…girl tried.

Meanwhile, in typical fashion, Hua Rong gets pulled into (trying) to solve an injustice…which does get solved…when Chang Sheng shows up to back her up. So a young man is being bullied by other servants. Hua Rong chats with him and tells him to stand up for himself. He then tells her about the river grass that make people itchy. Shaggy Bro marches past with a consignment of slaves who will be going off the island to the mainland. Blue Bro then shows up with Chang Sheng’s clothes.
(It don’t work.)

Episode 3!


The map is tucked into Chang Sheng’s belt. Hua Rong does not succeed in getting it off him.
SO SHE’S ATTACKING WHILE HE’S IN THE BATH, AHAHAHA. Chang Sheng, considerately, puts his robe on before confronting her. Hua Rong hides her face anyway. Chang Sheng, considering that he’s pretty decent, merely flicks his hair back with sexy impatience.

Epsiode 4!

“Now we’re even….kill him.”

So Throat Cutter is yelling that Chang Sheng still owes him for taking that bullet (sword). CS agrees. He’ll even repay it. SO HE PULLS A KNIFE AND STABS HIMSELF, DAMN.

Ep 5!

The color correction was somehow off on the first few picture, sorry. It’s not actually yellow/redwashed.

You know, it’s kind of mean to run off on a guy on his wedding night. I’m just sayin’.

Ep 6!

(First guess doesn’t count.)

Luckily, Hua Rong has a cunning plan! And here we go again! It involves disguises. Yeah. Guess who gets to dress up as the lecherous old man?

Ep 7!

y…yes boss…

CS declares he will protect them anyway, bbbbut oh, no need; the sidekick has brought the constables. The party departs. So, not only do they have constables, there is a whole carriage, becayse Mr. Jin travels in style. Aaaand then the pirate bros arrive! To defend the Boss’s Lady!….boss, did she just leave again? CS orders them to a) shut up, b) get on the case of Mr. Jin. And c) SHUT UP.

Episode 8

Well footstomp but you get the idea.

CS takes the opportunity to gloat to HR–that’s an evergreen sentence–but she declares she was Doing The Right Thing (Only!) He replies that pirates don’t do the right thing but they do pay their debts. So….how about he repays her with his body, amiriiiiiiiight? (shove)

Episode 9

It’s really hart do screencap action scenes, but take my word for it.

That night, the Black Dragon Gang invades the inn! Mr. Jin fights them off, a kung fu hero! Hua Rong does her best to fight, but it’s hard to both fight and run away screaming at the same time. She wants to fight side by side with her hero, awww! But she’s still not all that good. And then Hui actually saves her by stabbing a ninja in the back! But then Mr Jin goes down! OH GOSH! ANOTHER MYSTERIOUS YUN HE SHOWS UP!!!! He decoys the ninjas out! (This one is Chang Sheng, he has the knife-spinny trick, and now the pirates also show up to ambush the ninjas.) The pirates have bows, but ninjas are ninjas. But then Chang Sheng tackles one off the roof…without a mask on? Or are we dealing with three Hero Yun Hes here?

Episode 10

The fact that Hua Rong takes about ten seconds to figure it out is never going to not be funny.

That’s Chang Sheng in a mask. Don’t tell me differen…oh SHE RIPPED IT OFF LOL

Episode 11

This scene is actually kind of adorable. The actors genuinely have off-the-charts chemistry.

Aw. Hua Rong and Chang Sheng are for probably the first time ever chatting peacefully and drinking together. They also have kind words for each other! Probably also for the first time ever. And yes, Chang Sheng is much less obnoxious when he’s not, y’know, being obnoxious. Aaaand are they getting drunk again? And…and….iiiiis that another fade to black?

Episode 12


That’s Chang Sheng in a mask, come on.

Episode 13



Episode 14

Snooty, please put the sword down…

 Snooty Cousin shows up. She’s come to visit the man she loves. With a sword. Heh, I like it when the crazy guy starts acting wary of the crazy girl.

Episode 15

Engagement painting is all the rage…

So Shang Cheng leaves her with just Blue Bro and a letter telling her to go back home. Hua Rong is naturally incensed. Lol, but she logic bombs Blue Bro into doing what she says: whose orders does he follow? The Boss’s. Whose orders does the Boss follow? Hers…buuuut sister-in-lawwww! Heh. So off they go.

Episode 16

Higher. Faster. Smugger.

(Back at the contest pavillion, Shang Cheng is smirking like he’s going in for the Olympic Smugness Medal.)

Episode 17


LOL, SC is forcing the Bros to come up with ideas. (Because this has worked so well in the past.) Blue Bro thinks that women know women best, and they should try brainstorming in the brothel rather than on the riverbank…..CUT TO: GUESS WHAT.

Episode 18

I mean, really?

Wanwan protests that this is totally unfair and who came up with the rules? (Her father, heh.)

Episode 19

Yeah I just liked this face. Lol.

OH MY GOSH HE PUT THE STUPID MASK ON AND WENT ON STAGE TO DECLARE HIS LOVE FOR HUA RONG. How cheesy can a man get? Sheesh. What’s more, it works. Waaugh, cheesy.

Episode 20

You guys….

Anyhow, the boys are brainstorming. Which, given what they’re starting out with….

Episode 21


Meanwhile back at Mengdie Villa, Shang Cheng is getting thrown out of his wife’s rooms in his underwear. Good times.

Episode 22

Pretty easily, turns out.

So: how do two people (with reinforcements on the way, naturally) attack an entire camp of soldier/ninjas?

Episode 23

Miss Tang is not wrong.

Back to our leads, Shang Cheng is keeping watch over a resting Hua Rong. She has slept for twenty-four hours! (She’s pregnant, isn’t she.) Shang Cheng has stayed awake to watch her for twenty-four hours! He’ll only go away and get some sleep if he gets a kiss! Juuuust one kiss. OK THEN LET THE SKINSHIP COMMENCE–AAaaaaand like clockwork, that is when someone comes to the door. It’s Miss Tang (LOL, HR’s irritated hairflick and CS’s alarmed side-eye).

Episode 24

…how did they fit in those boxes, really?

So, basically, he did go back to the tunnel–in force along with the rest of the pirate bros–and didn’t bother with all the riddles and passwords and counterweights thing. He’s a pirate. They blow shit up. Lol.

This show is amazing and I will defend that opinion with my dying breath.

The Riders of Skaith’s Top 25 Search Results for 2020

riders of skaith15Hiya! Come for….well, I’d love to say the science fiction but by own stats contradict that. (Stay for the tiger pics, though).
the romance of hua rong5Not unexpectedly, the Romance of Hua Rong recaps are by far and away the most popular things on this blog. Lovely Swords Girl and Love and Destiny are yards behind, but the review of the Siege in Fog novel also gets steady hits. 
jim butcher peace talks4Review here! Incoherent initial thoughts here! Slightly more coherent thoughts here.
angelique the marquise of the angels4Review here.
byakuya movie3They did my boy wrong and I am still upset about it.
correia assisns review3A brief review of House of Assassins is here.
captain marvel rewrite3Way better, amiright?
riders of skaith, terminator2Here is my take on how the third Terminator movie should have gone. Here is my mother’s take on the first movie.
larry correia destroyer of worlds2I haven’t written a review of this one….guess I should.
pax dickinson amanda robb2Okay, I had to google this one to find out what it was about. It’s the time some guy made some reporterette wear a MAGA hat and scavenger hunt for him, back like three years ago or something when Comicsgate was going big.
silver creek audie murphy duel ay2Ay. Here you go.
house of assassins larry correia review2Wait, how did more people spell this wrong than spelled it right?
what will dresden mirror mirror be about?2Beats me. 
why was blood coming out of lingxi’s mouth in love and destiny?1‘cuz it’s a dramatic trope often used in cinema to show a character has a serious internal injury or to just intensify a scene by implying that the character might. Plus, this way you can get a lot of drama without having to get a lot of blood on the costume.
what do the einherjar call dresden files1That is an excellent question.
i want to read what happened in a chinese film named,sword girl,season 1 episode 1 to season 6 episode 1,from the starting to the ending.1Can’t help you, fam. 
jim butcher battle ground review spoiler1Justine is Nemesis.
a wizard in bedlam1Here you go, sir, ma’am, or tentacle.
is thomas raith dead bartle grounds1I’m slightly offended by this.
real identity of mr jin hua robg1He’s some kind of prince guy who is related to another prince guy who is the bad guy except Mr. Jin is a good guy who was temporarily pretending to be a hero guy except that the real hero guy was Qin Shang Cheng in a mask. I hope this clarifies the situation for you.
scifiwright the green knights squire1Given the length of the review I wrote for this, it’s really gratifying to see that someone landed there. Thanks, m’lady, m’lord, or churl!
uprooted naomi novik common sense1It wasn’t present in the novel, no.
dark emu criticism1Me, I was just having fun arguing with my dad. 
telzey amberdon and giant otters1No, no, no, it was Nile Etland who had the otters. Telzey had her telepathic tiger/crest cat, Tick-Tock.
bfs what it stands for in peace talks1Friend, why don’t you try reading the books instead of googling everything? It’ll work out much better for you that way, I promise.

EPISODE 24….guys I’m really scared

xxoxzmThis show was my happy place for quite a while. If it doesn’t end happily, I AM GOING TO….i don’t know. Write an angry blog post, I guess.

So, Hua Rong is aimlessly wandering the streets of the city, in an unhappy daze. She walks past the Yun He doll seller and gets one for free for having bought the entire lot last time, heh. She stares at it blankly for a while before letting it just drop and shatter…uh oh….back in the empty theatre, she’s remembering how the play paired up Miss Tang and Hero Yun He, and sobbing some more…

WHAT IS WITH THIS DRAMA STOP IT IT’S THE LAST EPISODE NOOOOO now she’s at the bridge where they swore eternal love and she’s crying and getting rained on (I do have to say that the actress has a really good cry face) AND SHANG CHENG IS FOLLOWING HER AND WATCHING. SHEESH. TWIST THE KNIFE A LITTLE WILL YOU DRAMA? Oh, lol, he’s also carrying an umbrella. And tearing up.

And brings it, finally, over to her….stone-faced….wait, it was a bait and switch. The person who brings Hua Rong the umbrella is Wanwan! Mr. Jin and Tang Dad are there in the background, too, presumably in case HR tries to comit justifiable homicide. But now we switch back over to Chang Sheng, having a quiet moment by himself in the rain.

Wanwan and Mr. Jin are trying to coax HR into eating something. They’re also trying to convince her that Shang Cheng probably has a plan of some kind and is a reasonable person….she acquiesces to drink the medicine and lies down, just to make them go away. Annnnnd, that night…..someone creeps into her room…

….guess who….no, okay, look, this is ridiculous. You either have married Miss Tang or you haven’t, or you’re dying in two days or you’re not. MAKE UP YOUR MIND.

Anyhow, CS makes his presumably final farewell, and tucks her in and closes the curtains to the bed….and later, he’s standing outside brooding when Miss Tang arrives. She observes he’s feeling so lousy he might as well tell HR the truth. He doesn’t want her to try and find the treasure because she’s DEFINITELY going to move heaven and earth to save him if she can.

Miss Tang points out that there is also no way in hell Hua Rong will ever settle down and forget about him and be happy. She also points out that if it were her, she would stand by her man and cherish even just his memory and love him forever, as long as he didn’t, YOU KNOW, LIE TO HER ABOUT THINGS. But Shang Cheng has made up his mind.


So anyway, in the morning Wanwan and Mr. Jin come by…but Hua Rong has already sussed out that CS came by the night before, and dashes off to try and find him… enough that she almost smacks into Miss Tang.

Miss Tang has had enough of this, and flat-out tells HR that the marriage was fake. THANK YOU MISS TANG. And also tells her the rest of the story. But, as SC predicted, HR immediately wants to find the treasure. Mr. Jin and Miss Tang are willing to help. Mr. Jin can get the one piece that his evil brother has, while Miss Tang has the piece formerly owned by SC.

OK! There is still half an episode left! I am happy now even though the sound is not working for some reason! Mr. Jin and HR are in the evil prince’s palace and spy out the hiding place! This can’t be a trap! There isn’t enough time for it to be a trap! Come on, show! COME ON!! OH NO!!!

THEY GOT CAUGHT! IT WAS BAIT! The evil prince is going to use our heroes to go ahead and find the treasure for him. First problem: how does this alleged map actually work? But HR figures out that it refers to the weird cave/tunnel they found in the previous episode. So, leaving Miss Tang and Wanwan behind, Mr. Jin (and Sidekick) and Hua Rong set out….wait, why don’t they just go straight back down to the tunnel, then?

So instead, they end up in a dilapidated temple and have to solve a riddle on the tablets before the local guardian god. At this point, the Bros show up. They have bad news…Shang Cheng is dead. Hua Rong doesn’t believe them.

I don’t believe them, either, really. But she’s still in the tearful denial stage when the evil prince kicks the door in and enters with a bunch of armed men. It was all a trick! That was why it was so suspiciously easy!

Mr. Jin confronts his brother: “Bro, stop doing evil things.” ….you know…that never works. Evil Prince Brother also has the nerve to say that it’s him who has been giving Mr. Jin many chances and that it’s Mr. Jin who never repented. EXCUSE ME?

Hua Rong and the Bros want to fight, but are taken with, um…contemptuous ease. Evil Prince swears that he will kill them with his own hands when he gets the treasure. So. Hm. Cut to th at night, with the soldiers doing soldierly things like drinking, laughing, and dancing around a bonfire, while our heroes are tied to a bunch of stakes and the bad guy is feasting and about to give an evil speech. I think I’ve seen this one before….

So Evil Prince comes by to gloat about his six chests of recovered treasure. Hua Rong spits in his face. GOOD GIRL! She glares at him! Did I ever mention that I really love this heroine? She has no desire to live now that her man is dead, but she assures the bad guy that he will suffer the penalty of sin! Evil Prince sneers and is going to cut her throat! The Bros try to call him off! He’s ready to do it!

WAIT WHAT WHY Yes I know this is awesome, clearly, but more importantly HOW THE HECK DID SHANG CHENG ACTUALLY GET INTO THE TREASURE CHEST TO BEGIN WITH?????

WAIT WHAT???? Where did all the other ninjas come from??? How did they….fit….in those chests…??

HR slaps SC! He lied to her AGAIN! He promises never, ever, to do it again. Yeah right, as if. (ANTIDOTE FIRST GUYS)

HAH, even the evil prince wants to know how he got into those freaking chests. So does Hua Rong.


So, basically, he did go back to the tunnel–in force along with the rest of the pirate bros–and didn’t bother with all the riddles and passwords and counterweights thing. He’s a pirate. They blow s*it up. I love it. Also, he found the antidote. (Good).

Also, Smug Shang Cheng makes a surprise appearance. Hua Rong adds her complements! (“Thanks, wifey.”)…it’s not often that the heroes get to gloat, you know. I guess SC is enough of an antihero that he gets honorary points, though…lol.

Anyhow, SC is going to kill the Evil Prince to avenge his adopted father. FIGHT SCENE! Lol, Hua Rong and the Bros chime in to say that they support Shang Cheng! Fighting! LOOOOOL, the evil steward pipes up (with a knife at his neck), that he supports his prince! The prince ROLLS HIS EYES LOL.

Oh. Well that was anticlimactically quick.
(Poor Mr. Jin).

Shang Cheng gives his next order: don’t kill those who surrender, but do kill those who don’t. (everyone surrenders).

Anyhow, Shang Cheng has it pretty easy this time. Hua Rong is too happy he’s alive to give him proper hell for what he’s done. HUG!!

So! The companions are back aboard ship–Mr. Jin, Wanwan, the Bros, and our happy couple! They’re all invited to the wedding on, lol, Hua Rong Island. Blue Bro gets roasted for not having a girlfriend, heh. Meanwhile! A toast–to helping the needy with the money we found! YAYYYYYY!

Wait, is that it??

Oh, wait. He’s giving her the necklace back. (and kind of ruining it by telling her that she can’t take it off without his permission. PATRIARCHAL OPPRESSOR.)
hqdefault But he also is proposing! Will she marry Qin Shang Cheng?



That ending definitely could have been stronger. I think they really did go with the weakest possible plot line, there. But some things can’t be helped, like the way the hero has stick arms and no muscle tone, or that there’s virtually no fight scenes. For the most part, this was an intelligently-written, impeccably acted, fun, funny, romantic adventure fantasy. With really great chemistry between the leads, lovable characters and very little cliche.

Overall? I really, really like this show–and it made me happy.


The Romance of Hua Rong – Ep 23

I was afraid to start this up again–because once it’s done, it’s going to be done. 😦

Anyhow. HR, SC, and the guy they rescued in the previous episode get away by hiding in an oddly convenient underground cave. Within seconds, they also uncover a secret door, a tunnel, a gate, and a grave with a mysterious sigil on it. Shang Cheng recognizes the sign, it seems, but leads the others out to safety first.
And with very little more ado, they meet up with the rest of the party…..only for Hua Rong to swoon temporarily into Shang Cheng’s arms. She’s just tired and hungry! (She’s pregnant, isn’t she.)

OK, meanwhile: the bad guys are being baddies. They can’t attack Mengdie Villa face-on, but…..there is the matter of a spy. Wait, is this another spy? The camera ostentatiously stays away from his face, even as the prince promises him the villa, and Miss Tang. Wait…who is that guy again anyway?? Is that Mr. Ye?? I’ve, uh, forgotten.

Back to our leads, Shang Cheng is keeping watch over a resting Hua Rong. She has slept for twenty-four hours! (She’s pregnant, isn’t she.) Shang Cheng has stayed awake to watch her for twenty-four hours! He’ll only go away and get some sleep if he gets a kiss! Juuuust one kiss. OK THEN LET THE SKINSHIP COMMENCE–AAaaaaand like clockwork, that is when someone comes to the door. It’s Miss Tang (LOL, HR’s irritated hairflick and CS’s alarmed side-eye)–but she has brought them gifts…a matched couples’ gifts. She also sweetly thanks them for helping rescue her father, apologizes for trying to break them up, and wishes them well. HR, embarassed, assures her that they will be sisters and friends. Also, those prop cups look pretty sweet…..wait, don’t tell me there’s something wrong with those cups….oh no…

SO. Back in the little shrine for CS’s father, Tang Dad and Shang Cheng offer their respects and then start getting down to business. Tang Dad and Adoptive Dad were both pirate bros, until Tang Dad made a mistake! They found the two white jades that were the treasure maps, but Adoptive Dad thought that getting the treasure would be too risky and public. The end result was both of them taking one jade and separating–until the Black Dragon Gang killed Adoptive Dad. Moral of the story: the evil prince must not get the jade.

Shang Cheng swears that he will kill the evil prince for his father and for the sake of the world. Hua Rong, meanwhile, has a surge of nausea. (SHE”S PREGNANT ISN”T SHE). Also, Mr. Ye is looking REALLY SUSPICIOUS.

YEAH SHE”S PREGNANT….or wait, she only seems so. She’s poisoned. The poison is slow-acting and will kill her in three days unless she gets the antidote. So where did the poison come from….? Twenty seconds’ detective work by Blue Bro shows that, duh duh dun [that was originally a typo but I leave it], it comes from Miss Tang’s gift cups. One problem, though: Hua Rong seized on to the dragon-cup which Shang Cheng originally wanted. So was someone trying to poison him….?

Oh, dear. It was Mr. Ye. He chose the cups….and has now run off and is trying to cut the ropes of the rope bridge. BUT SHANG CHENG ARRIVES WITH A FLYING KICK! YEAH! He proceeds to beat the stuffing out of Mr. Ye. They demand an explaination!

Mr. Jin susses out that, indeed, Ye was suborned by the evil prince, and that the poison was aimed at Shang Cheng, not Hua Rong. But there is no antidote, he gloats. SC offers him one last chance: antidote or death. Ye doesn’t think he’s going to live anyway and dares him.

Miss Tang steps in! Why! Why did her martial brother do this horrible thing?…for her, it turns out. He was jealous of CS and knows he has no chance at her now in this life….but hopes that they will meet again in the next. And then throws himself backwards off a cliff, damn. Well, that’s stylish way to go.

Back at the house, Hua Rong is still passed out. Miss Tang tries to express her sympathies, but what the man wants right now is the chance to be alone with his wife. He flashes back to all the romantic examples of him getting hurt, her collapsing into his arms, etc. He recalls his promise to protect her….oh dear. He’s going to give up the jade, isn’t he?

So that morning, the Bros are desperately trying to dissuade SC from going to the prince. Mr. Jin steps in….he’s also going to go along. But then, Tang Dad stops them both! He has found a way to save her! There is a doctor famous for poisons (and healing), blah blah blah…long story short: the antidote will be with the treasure if it exists. The problem with this plan is: a) they don’t have the treasure, b) they don’t have the other half of the treasure map, c) they don’t even know if the antidote does exist.

Plan B is push the poison out of Hua Rong using inner force power….at the cost of one’s own life when the poison transfers its host. Shang Cheng is more than ready to do this. There is too much risk to the world if the treasure is found, and his life’s work is to protect Hua Rong….so he is ready.

…(I’m pretty sure Miss Tang going to die somehow during this process)…

So, SC does a mystical punching thing, and HR is pronounced sleeping by Tang Dad, she’ll wake up in two days…OK, so what about the….oh no, SC collapses. The poison entered him instead. YOU GUYS!!! I REFUSE TO HAVE AN UNHAPPY ENDING. NO. WILL NOT HAPPEN. SCREW THIS.

….Shang Cheng has one last request of Miss Tang. Anything.


Shang Cheng is all dressed up in red, and then Mr. Jin comes storming in, demanding an explaination. I”M RIGHT WITH YOU BUDDY. WHAT THE HELL. SHUT UP MISS TANG. Mr Jin shuts her down NICELY. “I never thought you were like this. You are not my friend.” YES. WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON HERE?!?

So SC tells Mr. Jin that he’s left Hua Rong, and now’s his chance….he, SC, is doing the right thing…while Mr. Jin retorts that he’s not treating Hua Rong right. And, per their “if you ever do anything to hurt her” agreement, SC is now in for suffering. Well, that’s totally true, even I can see that.

And, meanwhile! Hua Rong finally wakes up! She’s all alone, and the household is all preparing for the wedding….and the servants don’t answer her questions…until finally they do.

This is all a very sophisticated Operation Jealousy, isn’t it??

Hua Rong, quite reasonably given the circumstances, wants to hear this from Shang Cheng’s mouth himself.

A very emotional scene follows: why, what’s going on, I don’t believe you, you bore me, etc. Well, I say emotional because they’re both very emotional. Meanwhile, I JUST WANT THIS STUPID PLOTLINE TO FINISH THIS IS STUPID GO BACK TO BEING CUTE AND IN LOVE ALREADY GRRRRRRRRRR

SC is concealing the fact that he took the poison from HR. He’s just trying to hurt her and make her let go….he tells her that she needs to meet someone else who will take care of her and make her happy…. and then says good-bye and walks away while she cries! and tears off the necklace he made her! and flings it down on the ground! And runs away in slow-mo!…only for DUMBASS CHANG SHENG to come back and pick it up. BOY YOU ARE THE DUMBEST. SERIOUSLY.

So they/he? has some flashbacks of her beating up on him, and him saving her, and them reassuring each other and crying over each other….COME ON WITH THE STUPID PLOTLINE….
….and then he spits up some blood.


The Romance of Hua Rong – Ep 22

So while the fighting was going on, SC’s fake jade got stolen by the landlady. They follow her to a brothel….heh, and the girls get told to stay outside. Blue Bro frets at this….and, heh, the girls gave them the slip and went in anyway, CUNNINGLY disguised as musicians. And HEH, the guys recognize their girls instantly anyway. Mr. Ye is desperate to get his Miss Tang out of there, but! it appears those girls have been already tagged by the VVIP!

Mr. Ye is worried sick, but Shang Cheng is, at this point, a lot more philosophical. It’s not like this doesn’t happen all the time in his life, am I right?

The VIP is the Steward, and he knows that it’s them! Also, he has ninjas. He also knows that the boys are going to be along shortly. They come along, knowing that it’s a trap, prepared to fight their way through.

But Miss Tang has an ace up her sleeve! Magic/Weaponized music! She gets them free of the ninjas and back together with the boys–and then the Bros crash in, having dealt with the rest of the outside ninjas. Lol, The Steward gets incredibly ticked off at this point. He throws a handful of the coin darts at them (everyone’s love interest leaps to the defence….and the Bros grab hold of each other,) and dives out the window.

And Mr. Jin shows up!

So they gather to discuss. They escaped by the skin of their teeth regardless and need to recoup. Hua Rong, on the other hand, is merely brooding over how cool Miss Tang is.

But they have figured out that the ultimate villain is Mr. Jin’s older brother, the Prince. He isn’t happy to admit this, but what needs to be said and done needs to be said and done. There is also another matter: oh, the spy at Mengdie Villa. It isn’t Mr. Ye, is it? But they now have to go find Miss Tang’s father in a hurry.

He’s meditating in a cave….and it’s not actually him. He attacks when SC introduces himeself, and Miss Tang throws herself in front of the darts.
FIGHT SCENE! But the survivor, AGAIN COMITS SUICIDE. They now don’t know where Tang Dad is, and Miss Tang needs treatment. Shang Cheng sends Mr Jin off for medicine (HR goes with him); and himself starts Force-Healing her. He looks very grim at the prospect, it must be said.

Miss Tang protests she did it in repayment for Hero Yun He saving her three years ago. She was inspired by his words (protect herself and be better at fighting if you’re wanting to be a heroine), and has been practicing assiduously. She’s way better at fighting than Hua Rong! She also knows he loves Hua Rong and she really doesn’t have a chance…but she’ll keep trying honestly anyway. (Lol, subs translate jiang hu as “runescape.”)

Hua Rong is there to hear Shang Cheng explain gently that he only loves one woman and that’s his wife (CAN WE STOP WITH THE JEALOUSY CATFIGHTING NOW ALREADY?)–but Miss Tang is persistent. She only wants to be a companion with her hero in jiang hu and adventure on. That’s actually not true, isn’t it? Miss Tang is actually more of a feminine woman who would be good at being married/being a wife. It’s Hua Rong who is the restless, adventurous spirit. I kind of do like how this show keeps setting up parallels to the characters: Hua Rong / Miss Tang, Shang Cheng / the enemy brother guy….

But Mr. Jin is there also to commiserate with HR. OH GOOD GRIEF SHE NOW THINKS THEY DESERVE EACH OTHER??? WHAT THE HELL. Mr. Jin, at least, tells her to get it throuh her head that Shang Cheng LOVES HER SHEESH ALREADY. But right now, HR is feeling inadequate and isn’t listening to sense. AGAIN. So Mr. Jin does the bro thing and tells Shang Cheng to go talk to his freaking wife, he’ll look after the invalid.

So they talk it over. At length. So kiss already!!

Hua Rong promises Miss Tang to find her father. Miss Tang is going to head back to the Villa; if her father has escaped, he’ll go there first. So they all head back. And promptly get a message arrow: exchange the white jade for the Master. it’s signed with a bloody handprint.

They plan to gather and make a plan (THE TRAITOR GUY IS THERE!) (Mr. Jin recuses himself, meanwhile.) The traitor is in favor of giving up the white jade. Mr. Ye thinks that a fake jade might be used for the exchange, because they do need to rescue the Master. Miss Tang is in favor of using the real jade and then snatching it back. Hua Rong thinks this is not a good idea–their enemy is clever, and also has lots of men. Shang Cheng says that he can deal with it! Hua Rong yells at him and storms out. Please tell me this is a show they’re putting on for the traitor…? HR grabs the real jade and sneaks out, watched and followed by Traitor.

He pounces! Hua Rong is taken! Why is she grinning!

It was a trap; they now know the headquarters location of the bad guys.

So: how do two people (with reinforcements on the way, naturally) attack an entire camp of soldier/ninjas? LOL: Hua Rong says that SC is great when it comes to naval warfare, because he’s a pirate, and excellent at lone heroics, because Yun He–but when it comes to attacking overland camps, she’s a general’s daughter and he’d better follow her lead. Lead on, General.

The plan is for SC to set the granary on fire, while HR finds the guarded location that the Tang Master must be being held at. They get him–
–they get back outside….how is this going to go wrong now??

Rated: there’s only two more episodes and I’m sad…

The Romance of Hua Rong – Ep 21

Miss Tang is, not creepily at all, drawing a painting of Shang Cheng in his Hero Yun He costume. Meanwhile, back at Wanwan and Mr. Jin–Mr Jin is staring at the dart that killed the Three Arrow guy. He knows what it is, and who uses it!–it’s the steward of his brother’s palace. But, of course, there are many people who use those kinds of darts in the world….but then his Sidekick arrives: they have been watching the Steward, and have observed him meeting a Mysterious Masked Man….

Mr. Jin goes out to observe himself and listen in on the conversation. The Steward is reporting that Shang Cheng is definitely Yun He, based on Tang Chudie’s reaction to him. And now both jade pieces are at Mengdie Villa–SC has one, and Tang Feng (the father) has the other. Oh, this guy is the spying dude from before.

Mr. Jin and Sidekick plan to observe and not react at this point. They know the Steward is involved and probably the Prince? IDK if they’ve sussed that out yet. And especially don’t tell Wanwan.
Meanwhile back at Mengdie Villa, Shang Cheng is getting thrown out of his wife’s rooms in his underwear. Good times.

For additional salt in the wounds, Miss Tang has personally prepared and sent breakfast for the boys….only the boys: Hua Rong’s breakfast was allegedly delivered separately. Lol, Shaggy has unexpectedly become the voice of wisdom for the series. Issue one is: get back into Hua Rong’s good graces. Issue two is: find the white jade. Blue Bro has an idea! Let Operation Jealousy commence!….again.

Anyhow, Miss Tang lies again that she doesn’t have the white jade. HR wants to investigate the hidden room, still, however. So while Shang Cheng offers to leave, she offers to stay.

So our couple communicates!….after a fashion.

GOOD LORD MISS TANG IS OBSESSED. But meanwhile, Mr. Ye arrives with more bad news: they know Shang Cheng is THAT Shang Cheng, the pirate. Also, that he has been after the white jade from the beginning.

Meanwhile, HR is investigating! She finds a shrine set up, oddly enough with clothes, weapons, and no name on the tablet–but triggers an alarm anyway….and gets caught. Obsessive???? You’re one to talk, Miss Tang. But, the box that should apparently have the white jade is missing. Hua Rong certainly didn’t take it. Mr. Ye is about to beat some answers out of her when, NATURALLY, Shang Cheng arrives.

Oh, Miss Tang knows the box is supposed to be a decoy of some sort.
SC, meanwhile, is studying the weapons. There’s a spiked meteor hammer–it was the weapon his father used. What the hell is it doing here?….and why does Miss Tang say “Uncle Qin?” ???

Turns up that her father and SC’s adopted father were sworn brothers in their youths. The shrine was set up secretly eight years prior, and that’s about all Miss Tang knows. She can take them to see her father, but this doesn’t make HR any happier with the situation. But SC grovels a bit and she forgives him a bit and we’re back to business. You guys….

SC doesn’t completely trust Miss Tang anyway. HR agrees, but Miss Tang doesn’t seem like a liar. They’ve just got to check things out and wait.

Anyhow, Miss Tang’s maid is hardcore shipping Miss Tang and Shang Cheng–and bashing Hua Rong. She advises Miss Tang to show off her advantages to SC–it won’t be breaking up a couple, it’ll be saving Mr. Qin from misery and suffering! It doesn’t take very much to convince Miss Tang.

It also doesn’t take very much to convince Hua Rong. Lol, the handmaiden is packing fit for a beauty contest.

Lol: Blue Bro honestly trying to warn Shang Cheng about the incipient catfight–just gets ignored.

Also lol: Hua Rong starts packing strategically herself….books to show she’s well-educated…sexy underwear….unfortunately, it’s Mr. Ye who walks in the door next. He wants to cooperate with her: he’s in love with Miss Tang. (or so he claims. I don’t trust anybody in Mengdie Villa at this point).

The war begins the next morning in the carriage. And it is vicious from the first moment on.

Meanwhile! Back in…somewhere The Steward is meeting with the hostess of the inn our heroes are about to lodge at. He instructs her to steal the white jade from the man who is like a bully. Hmmmmm.

Heh, Miss Tang volunteers to make the food (she’s not showing off this time, just being cautious.) Mr. Ye volunteers Hua Rong to help her….at which point SC viciously kicks Blue Bro into taking her place. It doesn’t work….LOL, Shang Cheng instantly loses his smile at the idea that she’ll actually, y’know, cook….this is contradicting her ability to remember recipes and recreate dishes from Episode 1, you know, guys…

Heh, Shang Cheng swears that he will love to eat whatever she does end up cooking. Shaggy, meanwhile, reports that the coast seems pretty clear.

And, uh oh–the madam appears to have been able to sneak the poison into Hua Rong’s food regardless. Miss Tang suspects, but doesn’t say anything.

So the meal chugs along slowly, with the girls introducing and explaining and naming each dish in detail. Mr. Ye supports Hua Rong and lol, Shang Cheng finally asks if they can just eat….

Miss Tang does finally act, though, when she thinks SC is going to eat the dish that got poisoned. She overturns the plate and flees the room. The madam is watching in trepidation meanwhile. But HR is puzzled–she knows perfectly well that Miss Tang isn’t doing it out of pique, like she pretends. And HR, naturally, figures it out by the next scene.

Also, SC is setting them all up for an attack by ninjas, but it’s all on purpose. The girls are ready to fight! And the guys arrive as needed! But, ugh, Shang Cheng, after one token save of Hua Rong, leaves Mr. Ye to protect her and goes off to fight with Miss Tang. Who, it must be said, hardly needs help. She pretty cool, yeah! But Hua Rong is left to seethe with all-new jealousy.


The Romance of Hua Rong – Ep 20

So into the fog they go: Eyepatch leads, and then the heroes. Mr. Ye hangs back and watches, suspiciously. There is some sort of maze or pattern? And Hua Rong and Shang Cheng have both figured it out (boop!). The pattern/maze was actually invented by SC (Yun He?)–so why is the Mengdie Villa using it? Hmmmm.

On exiting, Mr. Ye catches up with them instantly. He claims they merely followed the tracks, but SC gives a warning glance to HR and the Bros.
And now! An ominous rope bridge! Mr Ye attempts to cut the ropes while HR and SC are on it, but are stopped instantly. They are men from Mengdie Villa! They escape with a smoke bomb, stage left.

And now! falling rocks–and a mysterious purple-robed girl who warns them just in time! She’s stuck on the mountain with an injured leg and her father was killed by the boulders the day before. SC volunteers to go set off the trap, but Purple Girl says it’s unnecessary–she knows a good route, but needs them to take her with them. She kneels to them and refuses to get up until the hero promises! She needs the white jade for their village!

She starts to limp off. Lol, Shaggy refuses to carry her, because he has a girlfriend. So it falls to Blue Bro…..who promptly collapses. Yeah, she is definitely aiming at getting SC to carry her. They pause to rest and get caught in another trap: poison gas. And yes, Purple Girl is one of the Mengdie people–their leader?

OK NOW I LOVE THESE HEROES. They promptly get straight back up (faking it) and take Purple Girl and her men hostage. (SC switched out her poison gas pellets ealier.)

Purple Girl offers a compromise: they fight. If SC wins, she tells him everything. SC does not fight women. Purple Girl, reasonably enough, launches herself at HR. (Kid, that is the mistake everyone makes.) Buuuuuut she recognizes his technique as being the same as Hero Yun He’s (hah, that’s two women who saw through his disguise instantly), and promises them the explaination anyway.

Oh, they’re asking about the Three Arrows Sneaky Guy from before. He was part of their order–for just a couple of months–and then got thrown out after breaking the rules repeatedly. They have been inundated with people coming after the white jade (heh, they’re almost all in the dungeons)–and they DON’T have it anyway. Hm. So why did the Grandmaster sic the dogs on them?

HR, meanwhile, is wondering at the abrupt change in Purple’s attitude, and suspicious. She asks outright as to why…..and gets the answer. It’s cause of….Shang Cheng (“Situ Cheng”)–they met three years before, although SC genuinely has no clue.

Anyhow, the boys are brainstorming. Which, given what they’re starting out with….

LOL: “Blue Bro, are you going to die if you don’t flatter me for one minute?…then shut up.” Shaggy, meanwhile, has his eye on the ball. Were they lying about Three Arrows? No. Were they lying about not having the white jade? Yes. (Oh!)

HR is also thinking.–they’ve been lured to the Villa by the ultimate villain, because…he wants to get both of the white jade pieces together!

Aw, Blue Bro….just keeps putting his foot in his mouth. Nevertheless, Shang Cheng’s very laudable decision to tell HR about what did happen between him and Miss Tang/Purple Girl, gets slightly derailed by said Miss Tang.

Meanwhile! HR has broken into the Villa storeroom and is investigating. (And reassuring herself that she is prettier.) OH LOL, when she overhears SC and Miss Tang about to come in, she smacks the Yun He doll.

MT has sussed out that SC is also Hero Yun He! But, he tells her that a) she’s got the wrong person, b) he’s married. Interestingly, MT is the first person who takes the news that they are married seriously. Everyone else so far has just kind of ignored it when SC calls HR his wife. Anyhow, MT fell for him three years ago when Yun He saved her from thugs. (LOL, SC covering for HR when she slips up. TEAMWORK!)

Oh sheesh HR, stop being jealous for absolutely no reason. But they do make up within two minutes…which Miss Tang observes, regretfully. Meanwhile, Blue Bro is running his mouth off at the Mengdie men, which interrupts SC’s attempts to talk to HR. And then it happens again.

HR herself wonders why they haven’t met Miss Tang’s father, the actual owner of the Villa. So she and Miss Tang agree to be sisters, introducing themselves properly. HR is 18, and Miss Tang Chudie is 19. HR is slightly annoyed at finding that this is the famed Tang Chudie and no one told her….and starts drinking. And then excuses herself hastily. Shang Cheng excuses himself even more hastily. The Bros decide to remain, but Miss Tang sends her men off. Uh oh.

Shang Cheng has the unenviable task of trying to explain things to his drunk wife. Lol, she snatches a bottle from a passing servant, and SC grabs it from her and drains it before she can get any drunker. Is this going to end up like the last two times they got drunk?

So Miss Tang is getting the Bros drunk and listening to Blue Bro babble on about The Boss and Sister-in-Law’s epic love for one another. She zeroes in on the fact that the wedding wasn’t technically legal and that they plan to marry again. Blue Bro passes out, and Mr. Ye (the second disciple of Mengdie Villa) shows up to discuss things with Miss Tang. Oh….another unrequited lover? Also, one of the junior disciples eavesdrops, hearing Miss Tang explain that Shang Cheng is Hero Yun He.

Lol, Shang Cheng is attempting to put Hua Rong to bed. She’s resisting. All the girls are in love with him! She suggests that he seduce Miss Tang. He doesn’t actually like that idea. Neither does Hua Rong, actually. She’s still afraid that she’ll lose him one day. But Shang Cheng promises that if she doesn’t leave him, he won’t leave her.


Rated: I’m not sure how this is going to go horribly wrong and then go completely right in the space of three more episodes, but I have great trust in the writers.

The Romance of Hua Rong – Ep 18

So: with a damsel to rescue and a pile of ninjas about to descend on them, the heroes split up. Mr. Jin and his men are to go down the tunnel and rescue Wanwan, while the Bros cover their escape and SC & HR chase Sneaky Guy. They must be very careful, because he’s extremely competent and good at his job. So they split up.

Wanwan is chained up in a dungeon….with a ton of black powder on the floor/around. Hitting the chain throws off sparks…but Mr. Jin is intent on saving her and whales on the chain like he means it. Fortunately, it breaks before the fire gets too dangerous, and by the time they get outside the Bros have taken care of the ninjas. And Mr. Jin gets to what technically counts as first base when he shields Wanwan from the explosion.

Back at the Chase for Sneaky: HR and SC has split up and are, well, sneaking around the woods. Sneaky only has three arrows; and after he looses one at them, he’s down to the last. SC decides he’s going to play bait and let HR take him out…..with a knife in her slingshot. SHE DOES IT! SC tries to deflect the arrow with his sword, but it splinters and one sliver goes directly home. He collapses!

Hua Rong goes immediately to pieces….Ah, hah, I thought so. It’s just his revenge for her faking him out earlier. He is wearing body armor and fine. And then the rest of them arrive. Oh, Sneaky isn’t actually dead? They’ve caught him, but he is killed by a mysterious dart before he talks. Not that he probably would have, you know. The Bros are detailed to investigate who Sneaky was.
Mr. Jin checks out the dart, however…and doesn’t look happy. We get direct confirmation of this in the next scene, as a henchman reports to the Prince. The Prince decides that he’s ready to directly reveal that the white jade is at Mengdi Villa. OK, this Prince is Mr. Jin’s older brother, right?

Anyhow, Wanwan is back at home and her father is pouring drinks. And everyone is advancing the idea that it was the handsome Mr. Jin who did saved the girl! Mr. Jin is pretty awesome! They should have a date night! Anyhow, the girls have a little back and forth about who likes who and ought to wear the pretty pink dress. HR promises to help her Lil’ Sis look great! And meanwhile, Shang Cheng is playing Go (?) with Mr. Jin and advancing the idea that Wanwan and her father are pretty OK with the idea of there being a Mrs. Jin. Mr. Jin denies all this–he’s barely known Miss Wanwan for a month! And please don’t embarass her when she comes down by saying all these th—

Wanwan gets one of those Stunning Staircase Reveals in slow-mo (minus the face tattoos she’s had for a while), and Mr. Jin is stricken. (LOL, HR and SC grinning smugly at him.) So on date night, HR and SC slip off to give the kids some alone time. SC points out that alone time is alone time for them too, rrrrriiiiiiight? (Settle down, boy.) But between the two of them, Wanwan and Jin seem to be hitting it off quite well.

With our main couple, things are also going so well that HR is getting nervous–this can’t possibly keep going on, can it? But, as terrible things happening to happy people, having the Bros come crashing in isn’t actually the worst ever. Y’know. Considering.

Shaggy has found out about the Three Arrows Sneaky Guy.–he’s from Mengdie Villa. Also: the word is out that the white jade is at Mengdie Villa. Well, obviously there’s a connection, but is there also a trap? HR suspects so; but they still need to go investigate. Right away! (Or, at least, after breakfast.)

Mr. Jin and Wanwan extend their goodbyes (and some final insults…and a handshake. Good boys!)

Heh, HR goes off and buys all the Yun He dolls. A girl shows up who wants a doll. HR gives her one and is invited to go watch a theatre performance of Hero Yun He and his partner. So off she goes. There are two girls there, and they start swooning at the thought that their new friend has actually met Hero Yun He! SC, meanwhile, is waiting impatiently for her to show up again. HR is trying to leave, but the girls tell her that Tang Chudie is going to show up–the first woman kung fu master in the district, and Hero Yun He’s Partner! HR sits back down, and SC arrives to find her pouting over the existence of a Tang Chudie the heroine…OH MY GOSH HE PUT THE STUPID MASK ON AND WENT ON STAGE TO DECLARE HIS LOVE FOR HUA RONG. How cheesy can a man get? Sheesh. What’s more, it works. Waaugh, cheesy. Get back to the plot, already.

So. They reach the foot of the mountain where Mengdie Mansion is. They still need to find it….There are a lot of adventurers there, including Eyepatch Guy from the marriage contest. He tries to insert himself into the situation, despite SC’s pointed rudeness and lack of interest. But he does have information!–Mengdie Mansion is owned by Tang Chudie! And surely a handsome guy like Mr. SC can finagle what’s needed out of Miss Tang Chudie?

At this point, another young guy intervenes. His name is Mr. Ye. He supports Eyepatch’s idea of them joining forces: several other adventuring parties have gone up the mountain already and not come back down. And possibly also seducing TC….?

Blue Bro thinks that telling HR about TC will just upset her; SC says that he has no idea why this would be the case, while Shaggy, with uncharacteristic intelligence, points out that being honest and aboveboard is going to work in their favor. Blue Bro seems to win the point, though.
So the expanded party heads off in the morning. They follow a map, and it’s the only way up the hill, but the mist is dense and Eyepatch Guy boldly sets off in the lead….

Rated: the cheese is delicious but also gooey and we need to have another fight scene soon. Like, an actual one that isn’t off-screen.

The Romance of Hua Rong – Ep 18

We start again with Hua Rong practicing archery and getting distracted by the lack of Shang Cheng.

This is because SC is crawling around in a ghillie suit, hunting ducks….? (Which, hah, get stolen by HR and released back into the wild.) SC leverages this into a morality tale about how geese/ducks (definitely not ducks, if my ornithology friends are to be trusted) being monogamous, ought to cooperate and love each other….and incidentally, please move back to the hotel with him?

Hua Rong decides to go. Mr. Jin is slightly crushed but calm. Heh, lol: Mr. Jin’s Sidekick was the one who suggested inviting the girls, and now he’s getting the blame for it. The next step is going to be….consulting Wanwan for ideas. Oh, poor Wanwan.

Heh, Shang Cheng and the Bros have a welcoming committee together. And flowers!
LOL. Shang Cheng wipes the smirk off his face long enough to solemnly promise to compete fairly and thoroughly against Hua Rong. (Only then does she take the flowers.) Aaaand shuts the door in his face, because she needs to study up for the competition!

BUT! The sneaky guy is searching….HR’s? rooms, I guess because he saw Hero Yun He with her in the last episode. He finds one of the engagement pictures (those will never stop being funny), but has to make a quick retreat when Mr. Jin and Sidekick arrive. Mr Jin, even more crushed, studies the painting. Wanwan arrives! She chats with Mr. Jin about whether he liiiiiikes Hua Rong? She counsels that he admit his feelings openly and not regret….no matter what the results are.

So….not creepy at all, Mr Jin is showing HR a collection of paintings….of her? (Blue Bro thinks this is cause for alarm, but Shang Cheng, after initially agreeing, calms down and dismisses the notion. He trusts HR completely. Or wants to. And won’t do anything.)

(“Boss, you said you weren’t going to go.” “I’m not going, I’m just hanging around and just happened to drop by.” “Boss, how fast are you hanging around?”)

Oh poor Mr. Jin. He’s about to confess, and not only is HR not receptive, SC and the Bros are hiding behind the door eavesdropping. Hua Rong confesses that she only really liiiiikes SC. (LOL, “This is the power of trust, boys!”) Mr. Jin agrees that he knew this already, but he feels better now. And they are still friends and comrades, with no bitterness.

Meanwhile, Shang Cheng is painting a portrait of HR himself. Blue Bro flatters, but Shaggy is a lot more honest…..hah, it’s basically a cartoon. He’s able to spin it, though: no painting will ever do her justice! (and he likes the painting, anyway.)

SO! The sneaky guy is reporting to the moustached guy, who tells him about Mr. Jin trying to visit HR. He also addresses Moustache Mask as “Grand master”, so I guess he’s the ultimate head of the Black Dragon Gang? They have an evil plan!
And now back to the contest! Three rounds of archery! Heh, Shaggy is wondering if the two of them are staring daggers at each other, but Blue Bro says they’re actually just flirting. (SC also has a thumb ring–they’re couples’ rings, heh.)

SC scores three bull’s-eyes. HR is smiling and applauding him sincerely!

Likewise, SC encourages her to shoot well and calmly when it’s her turn. She also scores three! Round two is shooting while standing on a swing, and one guy already knocked himself out. Eyepatch Guy, meanwhile, HAH, sits down on the swing. But also falls off. SC……LOL, hooks his legs through the swing lines….not because he needed to with his level of skill, but because he knows HR will need to do this as well. (Sheesh, guys. I’m not that much of an archer but I’m pretty sure you could just, you know, BALANCE.) HR doesn’t get three bull’s-eyes, but it’s close enough with the diminished field.

The third round is shooting a moving target–a willow branch. Wanwan protests that this is totally unfair and who came up with the rules? (Her father, heh.)

And once again, SC encourages HR as she goes out to fight: remember what he taught her. (Hero Yun He covered shooting willow branches, it turns out.) And she does it! BUT THE SNEAKY GUY FIRES AN ARROW AT HER! Fortunately, Shang Cheng grabs it out of the air without being actually hit himself, wow. I’m admiring the high level of competence by the heroes and the lack of tearjerking in this series.

SC is pretty disturbed, though, because the level of competence on the enemy’s part is also disturbingly high. But! he isn’t going to want to send HR home–he trusts her now. But they figure out that the enemy is probably trying–and probably has–sussed out that he is Hero Yun He. Hua Rong apologizes for revealing his secret identity. But SC is calm. He has formulated a special perfume for her that he can use to find her instantly (HEH), and also has commissioned some body armor for her.

And now it’s time for bed. Shang Cheng puts HR to bed and holds her hand until she falls asleep. OK, serious and sincere Shang Cheng is just about the best romantic hero ever.

But Mr. Jin shows up for a drink. He wants Shang Cheng to send HR home. SC says no: he trusts his wife, and is responsible for her safety. Mr. Jin is calm and level-headed, and offers his help.

MEANWHILE! Sneaky Guy reports to Moustache. They have figured out that Shang Cheng’s secret identity is, well, Shang Cheng the pirate king. But at least they don’t think that he’s Hero Yun He any more….BUT, they do know what his objective is either way, so….Sneaky has his orders for the morrow.
On the morrow: Wanwan is worrying about the lack of Mr. Jin (and getting teased by Blue Bro.)

Right now, Hua Rong and Shang Cheng are tied for points, having won the martial arts competition and the literary competition respectively. Shang Cheng decides to withdraw….so HR is ready to collect (on behalf of Mr. Jin, who after all is sponsoring her.) But! The white jade is concealed in the bank vault–HR must leave to go get it. Danger music starts playing! Also, someone comes to lure Wanwan out!

The Sneaky Guy walks up (with a bunch of ninjas) to Hua Rong. But SC and the Bros also enter! THE TRAP WAS A TRAP! HR easily escapes from the ninja holding a sword to her throat and takes cover! Mr. Jin is there! SC and Shaggy already got the information from Wanwan’s father about the trap and promised to help him! WOOO!

But now the bad guys actually do have Wanwan. They want to exchange her for the white jade. Ha, SC tells Sneaky that even if his group does have a hostage, he, Sneaky, doesn’t get to leave this house alive. Sneaky counters that if he doesn’t get back in an hour, the Grandmaster will kill Wanwan. HR advises that they let the men go. Sneaky says they’ll return that night.

HR has an idea….ha, she put the special perfume on Wanwan. (lol, the Bros start to congratulate HR, and SC tells them that NOW IS NOT THE TIME, “well done HR!” Mr. Jin facepalms.) They’re going to trace down Wanwan and attack immediately.

They trace her to a building and spread out to find a hidden tunnel–but the tunnel is booby-trapped and ANOTHER AMBUSH SPRINGS! NOOOOO!

RATED: I’d watch this entire series in one sitting if I could.

The Romance of Hua Rong – Ep 17!!!!

(yeah, multiple exclaimation marks are the sign of a deranged mind. I don’t care, I love this show.)

Oh, Poor Mr. Jin. At this point, even he can see that Hua Rong is into Shang Cheng. And he’s drinking quite a lot of shots. But the last question: what is Hua Rong’s biggest dream? Shang Cheng replies instantly that it’s to marry him. But Mr. Jin answers that Hua Rong dreams of being a heroine who travels the world, helps others, defeats injustice, and uplifts the weak–he knows that Hua Rong has never changed.

Shang Cheng loses about eighty percent of his smugness at this point. Blue Bro tries to salve his wounds, but honestly, a little humble pie is going to do him a world of good.

Hua Rong, meanwhile, is venting–“even Brother Jin knows what I want,” but her own husband doesn’t! (And then she tries to boil her dinner “to death,” lol. Wanwan watches in trepidation.

Meanwhile, Shang Cheng is ruminating over HR’s desire to be a heroine side by side with a Hero and coming to exactly the wrong conclusion, considering that this whole plotline is a setup to capture Hero Yun He….I think……
The mysterious masked man, meanwhile, is listening to the report. They don’t think Shang Cheng’s fake identity is Hero Yun He, but they’re going to keep an eye on him anyway. A close eye.

Shang Cheng apologizes! He’s a pirate, so he can’t say it in fancy words! But he wants to support her being a heroine! He promises! Also, while he promised to protect her from bullies, he realized that he has been the one who has been bullying her. He doesn’t want to start the vicious cycle up again–of him being a bully, her being angry, and then him being puzzled, distressed and depressed….and a bully. (Heh, HR demands to know if someone else wrote his apology for him.) But they hug! She won’t answer whether or not she plans to marry him, since they really do need to lay plans for the future if they are going to get married and grow old together.

AAAAAND the vicious cycle starts up again when Shang Chang drags in Mr. Jin’s name. Damnit, boy, you just ruined it. SHEESH. Hua Rong announces her complete independence and ability to realize her dreams on her own with no help from anybody, and marches off, and incidentally, DON’T FOLLOW ME THIS TIME. Incredibly, he doesn’t. Brooding is a solitary occupation anyway.

SO. On to the next contest–the martial arts round. It’s archery….in one week?
Hua Rong completely snubs Shang Cheng (and Sidekick is backing her up with maximum rudeness)–and it is she who is going to enter the contest, not Mr. Jin, who is ill. Nonetheless! the best archery master in the county is going to coach her….except that all of them suddenly report in ill. Wanwan storms off to take Shang Cheng to task.

This Wanwan does. And SC gets an idea.

Hua Rong, meanwhile, is practicing on her own. With some, though limited success.


Heh, SC points out that he is technically now the best archery master in the province. Commence the hands-on instruction….Meanwhile, HR is giggling and getting hugely turned on….and heh, when she says it’s the heat, Shang Cheng/Yun He helpfully suggests she take off some of her clothes. But he’s at least going through the entire lesson without smirking, and, THANK YOU SHOW: Hua Rong thinks to herself about how irresistable SC is when he’s serious and working hard.

Also, that she needs to focus. LOL AND THEN HE DOES IT ALL OVER AGAIN.
So while he’s in serious Yun He mode, Shang Cheng tells her that he’s thought it over and he’ll throw the match for her. But Hua Rong scorns this–as we knew she would–and keeps on practicing. She demands respect and equality, and if he’s not willing to let them compete fairly, then….

Shang Cheng, meanwhile, isn’t sure why this attempt to help her “realize her dream” failed. Again. OH LOL, SC is forcing the Bros to come up with ideas. Because this has worked so well in the past. Blue Bro thinks that women know women best, and they should try brainstorming in the brothel rather than on the riverbank…..CUT TO: GUESS WHAT.

(and intercut with HR and Wanwan’s conversation.)

Hua Rong, bless her heart, at least doesn’t find the idea credible. ((((YET.)))
(So Shang Cheng picks ALL THE GIRLS.)

Heh: constancy is “one of his advantages, which is not saying much.” You said it, girl. HR is merely fretting over the fact that SC is dense as two planks.
And it is true–Shang Cheng is merely trying to find some women to actually talk to. It turns out there is at least one independent-minded girl there, who advises that couples should have good communication and mutual respect.

For her part, Wanwan sympathizes with the density of men and counsels patience.

MEANWHILE! Mr. Jin needs his medicine. He doesn’t want it. But Sidekick a) knows that the cure for his illness is Hua Rong, b) has a plan.

MEANWHILE! Shang Cheng is apparently making Hua Rong a new bow?….except that Hua Rong is now practicing archery with Mr. Jin. AAAAAAND Mr. Jin has had a dozen bows made for her selection.

HR has a giggle-flashback.

OH MY GOSH ARE YOU SHOWING OFF AGAIN SHANG CHENG. He shows up in front of the target and, with an arrow flying at him, does a backflip to avoid it. He and Mr. Jin exchange sneers, but, remarkablg, SC manages not to be smug as he gives HR his bow. And this time she hits the actual target. Oh, and that’s laying it on thick: SC kneels down to slide a protective thumb ring onto HR’s hand. Hua Rong definitely approves of Serious Shang Cheng instead of Smug.

(Poor Mr. Jin.) But lol, having that many servants to pamper Hua Rong with is definitely cheating.

And yet! Blue Bro and Shaggy Bro still have one more ace up their sleeve.

…Is it the Crane Stance???

Rated: for a show with good production values, they couldn’t even teach their main actress to hold a bow convincingly?