The Romance of Hua Rong – Ep 16!

(I’m at the phase of watching where after taking a break I was scared to start up again…because eventually this series is going to be over and then I’m going to be sad.) Also, it turns out that I was writing the hero’s name wrong: Chang Sheng instead of

Shang Cheng

. OK.

So Mr. Jin calls off the guards–who kneel to him–and he gets a slow-mo entrance while HR smiles and Wanwan goggles. Mr. Jin explains to the guards that HR and company are from his house/family and therefore things like forged tickets do not matter. Is the contest being held in Jin’s house? Anyhow, the boys have also arrived and are leaning inconspiciously around a corner to spy on the proceedings. But they leave be, as well they should.

BUT Mr. Jin does show up at the contest place in the next scene, causing the Eyepatch guy to have a coughing fit and Shang Cheng to bug his eyes out slightly. Turns out that Mr. Jin IS THE SECOND SON OF THE PRINCE AND EXTREMELY CLOSE TO THE THRONE. Also, he’s known to be talented and handsome, courteous and gentlemanly. That’s quite true! ALSO, HR and Wanwan have changed back into girl clothes and come along.

HA, HR is flirting with Mr. Jin on purpose to make SC jealous. (Poor Mr. Jin.)

Anyhow: back to the plot. The son-in-law contest. There’s going to be a literary contest, a martial arts contest, and then a mystery face-off? Mr. Jin is participating, but not for either the treasure map jade or the beautiful daughter–it’s at a family request. HR nonetheless informs him that he’s sitting next to said beauty, and also explains to Mr. Jin that she wants the white jade, and the treasure (to distribute to the poor.) Mr. Jin agrees to help, but I think he has ulterior motives concerning that same white jade.
Lol, Shang Cheng’s pissed-off-yet-smug face…

So…wait, is Hua Rong not competing herself?

Mr. Jin and Shang Cheng meet to discuss things. Mr. Jin thanks SC for the cure for his (Mr. Jin’s) mother. SC tells him to STEP OFF MY WOMAN. Mr. Jin replies that that’s completely out of his hands, and exactly what is their relationship and purpose?–and incidentally, I’m not going to reveal you are a notorious pirate, but if you do happen to ever do anything to hurt Hua Rong….

Shang Cheng isn’t worried. He beat Mr. Jin once, he can do it again….
So, Wanwan has arranged for them to be in Mr. Jin’s house instead of the hotel. Wanwan is pretty happy with this but Hua Rong is reluctant. Also, Shang Cheng finds out….

Meanwhile! Wanwan’s father is meeting with a masked, moustached man (he believes that this guy has kidnapped and is holding Wanwan.) They are looking at the list of competitors and waiting for Hero Yun He to show up!

Mr. Jin’s house (mansion) is veryyyy nice, it turns out. Wanwan picks out her own room in a heartbeat. (turns out that the nice rooms were actually Mr. Jin’s and he’s now moved into smaller ones…SHUT UP, SIDEKICK, Jin orders.) I do like his Sidekick. Hua Rong feels the injustice of this and also, you know, is a married woman.

Mr. Jin also makes a slightly impassioned speech about how he wants to help and support Hua Rong in whatever path she takes. HR, giggling nervously, beats a hasty exit. Poor Mr. Jin. (Also, Wanwan was spying on them from the corner.) Wanwan ineptly tries to suss out whether or not Big Sis has designs on Mrs. Jin-hood, but it takes HR two seconds to turn the question right back around at her. But they agree to drop the subject.

MEANWHILE! Shang Cheng has arrived….stop smirking at your wife, boy. Shang Cheng points out that he has a right to sneak into his wife’s room, after all. Hua Rong, once again, forgets to keep being mad at him once they start holding hands. Mr. Jin, however, is being pointedly rude to Shang Cheng (turnabout is fair play–and LOL, Hua Rong nodding in satisfaction at the particularly pointed jabs.)

UH OH! A new person–WITH A MOUSTACHE–has entered! It’s the Prince himself! And he is being polite to everyone, including Shang Cheng. And also wants to know if Mr. Jin and SC are friends….?

Uh oh! Mr. Jin might let it slip that it’s SC who gave him the pill! Hmmmmm, the Prince is trying to test him?–if he can check this sachet of healing herb?/perfumes? But while SC doesn’t know know anything about perfumes? HR attempts to fake an allergic reaction…but SC is able to come up with a convincing answer anyway, so what was the point of that?

HR and Wanwan are walking in one direction. The boys are walking in the opposite. LOL, SC just points and the Bros grab Wanwan and hustle her off. HR is being petty and, heh, Shang Cheng matches her petty for petty–while smiling. But he has had more practice at it.

“Come home with me.”
“NO!”
SC picks her up.
“I’ll yell if you do!”
SC smooches her.
(WANWAN AND THE BROS WATCHING AHAHAHAHA)
“Nnnnow will you go home with me?”

And with Mr. Jin approaching, Hua Rong runs off.

Mr. Jin warns SC to behave. Dude, that is his wife and she isn’t exactly being forced (….this time.) Poor Mr. Jin. He’s a good dude and he doesn’t deserve this.

OH LOL HUA RONG IS CRYING INTO/BEATING UP HER PILLOW BECAUSE SHE KNOWS SHE DIDN’T HOLD OUT WHEN THERE WAS TONGUE INVOLVED. But Wanwan shows up to encourage her. They will stand firm! Incidentally, what is kissing like? HR has another giggle fit before they both remember THEY WILL STAND FIRM!!!

(Back at the contest pavillion, Shang Cheng is smirking like he’s going in for the Olympic Smugness Medal.) But, to business! The verbal competition is: riddles. So HR’s team susses out both the location the riddle points to, and the specific artwork they need to look at/get. SC has doubtless figured out the place (the Academy), but probably not the painting. Mr. Jin and Wanwan are to go to the Academy, while HR goes to the painting.

And HR is the first person to get there! Yay! HO NO HOW THE HELL DID SHANG CHENG GET THERE FIRST?! (Through the window.) How? Wellll, that she’ll have to find out on her own, gradually. Hah, HR puts her hand over her mouth so he can’t kiss her. (So he kisses her hand, aww, STOP BEING SMUG YOU SMUG BASTARD.) And exit Shang Cheng, via the window.

So HR goes to steal from his room while he’s in the bath. AAAAAND then turns around and yes, finds him behind her. (decently dressed and SMIRKING AGAIN GORRAMIT.) So Shang Cheng makes a deal: if she scrubs his back, he’ll send them the painting. HR is really patient….I’d have just held his head under at some point.

SC has switched out the painting with their engagement picture….and HR gets the giggles looking at it, too. You two are just dorks, you know.) Meanwhile, the Bros have arrived….they got outsmarted by Mr. Jin. (This is no great feat.) So. Mr. Jin succeeded in getting ahold of some books from the Academy, although HR failed to get the painting. Shang Cheng and the Bros are probably going to try and steal the books that night, which Mr. Jin assures HR ain’t gonna be easy. Now, on the other hand, how to get the painting? (Wanwan suggests money. HEH, HR and Jin both shoot that down at the same time.) Meanwhile, Shang Cheng is planning how to both steal the book and embarass Jin.

….unremarkably, both of the guys come up with the same idea: FIGHT.

SO! We start with a pose-off! The girls arrive while the sidekicks are still slow-mo ROCK-PAPER-SCISSORS-ING ARE YOU KIDDING ME OH MY GOSH. And the next bet is for….how much they know about Hua Rong….LOSER TAKES A SHOT.
What rouge does HR like? Shang Cheng is pretty confident, because…..HE TRIED THEM ALL ON HIMSELF. Mr. Jin, on the other hand, knows that she must have bought it at his family’s store, so….round one is a tie.

What is the thing that HR fears? Mr. Jin wins–it’s fierce dogs….not spiders. OH LOL, it’s SHANG CHENG WHO HATES SPIDERS, HR was covering up for him, LOL. HE GOT THE OTHER GUYS TO KILL THE SPIDERS–and now has to take a shot. Shang Cheng, however, realizes that HR was covering for him, thanks her, and admits his fear when he drinks.

Rated: Poor Mr. Jin….

CDrama Recap – The Romance of Hua Rong – Episode 15!

WTH is up with the tango music?

OH LOL. “Engagement painting” is all the rage now….so CS has his BROS standing as the references–in a “King of the World!!” Titanic pose–to see how it turns out. Poor Shaggy. Blue Bro feels the insult, too. Lol, so Hua Rong gets to choose the pose.

Oh, and CS is planning a proposal surprise tonight! Shaggy doesn’t understand…why propose….when, y’know, they’re already married. WAIT, DID HE JUST SAY HUI IS PREGNANT? WHAT? Anyhow, CS wants to get married properly and with all the official trimmings and permissions this time.

He’s got her an engagement gift, too! It’s a VERY UNCONVINCING extensible sword. Seriously, the blade is visibly flopping on camera. He also has a necklace for her. It’s a lock and key he made himself. She can only marry him! Also there are fireworks! Also he named an island after her! It’s just for them aaand their kids.

Hua Rong spots a ship on fire behind CS. Heh, he doesn’t want to be interrupted because she hasn’t said yes. He heads off to investigate–via flight–while they turn the ship to come alongside. The ship is abandoned….UH OH! NINJAS! Ninjas start killing the pirates while HR and the Bros are below. The ship also has no cargo. CS, meanwhile, goes back on deck go find his men slaughtered. (Not all of them, surely.) HR finally realizes that there’s a trap, but….

…this is a rival pirate gang; they rob fishermen. HR, CS, and the Bros help out! HR is not the best fighter, but she does help. They catch one guy alive. He begs–he offers to let his men join theirs….but it’s a trap! He aims a dart at CS! HR leaps in front of him and takes it for him. She’s out cold–what, just from the one dart?

CS breaks down immediately. Wow, blubbering and begging his bros for help. But she was OK really. OH SHEESH GIRL STOP TEASING THE MAN. That was an absurdly dramatic scene for just one little dart. (turns out her necklace saved her.) He (tries) to make her promise not to do anything dangerous anymore. Dude, didn’t we just have an entire arc based on the premise that Hua Rong doesn’t do that sort of promise?

But CS explains that he can’t bear the thought of not seeing her again. HR says she is willing to die if CS wants her to. But they promise to live long and stay together for ever and grow old together.

Later, CS has a bit of a brood and is talking to his adoptive father. OH GOSH, DUDE! He decides to go alone and leave her behind. Dude, you KNOW she’s just going to follow and then get into trouble. CS’s sword scabbard has a hidden compartment with a jade piece in it. It’s his father’s. CS pours one out for Dad and swears to find find his murderer. (I like Dramatic Chang Sheng, y’know.)

So he leaves her with just Blue Bro and a letter to go back home. Hua Rong is naturally incensed. Lol, but she logic bombs him 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.

Turns out, CS kept his plan to himself (probably because if he told the Bros they’d spill it immediately). LOL they spot a stall selling Hero Yun He dolls….HR starts to criticize them for being inaccurate. And they’re expensive.

And then a girl crashes into them. She’s being chased by armed men, so naturally Hua Rong helps her. This Lu Wanwan, and she is the daughter of the local magistrate who was running away from an arranged marriage meetup. Or at least claims to be. Hua Rong approves! Blue Bro meanwhile think’s it’s too much of a weird coincidence….oh, so CS is at the meeting? So HR is definitely going, and she tries to persuade Wanwan to go, too, just to hide out and see if there’s anyone she might possibly like there.

But how to get her in without being instantly recognized….? ONE WONDERS. Oh,not cross-dressing? Blue Bro dresses her up as a tattoo-faced outlander (?) girl with braids. Blue Bro has many skills, heh.

Blue Bro spots CS as soon as he comes in, chatting up some girl–OH! Wanwan’s father’s second wife. (He also has Shaggy with him.) Also, at this point Wanwan figures out that HR and CS are married. It’s that obvious, heh.

HR, please don’t spoil things stupidly. Come on. But she’s at this point merely spying. CS is there in the guise of a rich, handsome, young, connected, rich spice merchant, and Second Wifey is flirting hard. Heh, Blue Bro tries to cover HR’s eyes when Wifey starts caressing CS’s hand. And luring him off to a private room? COME ON STOP BEING STUPID HR! You know perfectly well he’s not cheating on you, stop being STUPID! You’ve avoided cliches so well so far!

But they’re just actually discussing perfumes. Except that CS has actually drugged the perfume and is interrogating Wifey. AT LEAST HR has the native intelligence to wait until Wifey is out cold before she breaks in. Lol, she almost forgets that she’s mad at CS when he helps her out of the window and they end up face to face. Lol, and then it keeps happening….

Well, that was cliche but at least it was also funny and didn’t last long.

So Wanwan’s father Merchant Lu arrives. Also, there’s a guy with an eyepatch. He gives a speech and also announces that he has a marriageable daughter and there will be a contest. White jade will also be one of the wedding presents. Oh! the white jade is where the half-treasure map is. Um.

Blue Bro wants to ask why said daughter isn’t making an appearance?–tattooed-Wanwan hides behind her sleeve–but another girl emerges, wearing a veil. Eyepatch Guy is the first to volunteer for the tournament. Hua Rong, however, reassures Wanwan that she will get her a suitable husband.

But, when the bros gather that night to discuss, they have found out that: Merchant Lu isn’t connected to the Black Dragon Gang. He’s been threatened into this whole business, Wanwan, the contest, the white jade, and all. It’s to lure out Hero Yun He. And this may be the work of the Black Dragon Leader. Chang Sheng, who hasn’t learned his lesson yet, still wants to send Hua Rong home and keep her strictly uninvolved in any of the business. Also, he wants to enter the contest and win the jade, so….

…meanwhile, where is Hua Rong at the moment? UH OH, BEING KIDNAPPED IT LOOKS LIKE…wait, being drugged and kidnapped BY HER HUSBAND. This time, Blue Bro swears he will keep her safe for real! No mistakes. Chang Sheng apologizes to her in her sleep and leans in for a kiss……

…SHE WAS PRETENDING TO BE ASLEEP LOL. She was expecting it and had the antidote. She wants to prove to him that she is smart and dangerous, too. She can help him! Even though finding the real Black Dragon Leader is going to be way more dangerous than anything they’ve ever done, Big Brother Enemy fight included.

CS makes a deal: he’ll give her anything if she goes back home.

HR makes a counter-offer. They both enter the husband-finding contest, and if she wins, she gets to stay with him always. He agrees. But if he wins, she’ll go home. She warns him that she’ll win on her own strength and send him the white jade as a dowry!

Chang Sheng realizes that she has just said yes to his proposal! He likes women who are stubborn and opinionated! Boop! But no kiss to seal the deal. Just a high-five and another boop.

The next morning, however, Chang Sheng and Bros are confident: after all, everyone needs a ticket to get inside the contest….of which Wanwan has two. (VIP tickets, lol.) Uh oh, they’re forged tickets.

Lol, HR and CS have a little facial conversation, and then Wanwan tells HR to stop making faces at each other in public. And, meanwhile, one of the guards has spotted that the tickets were forged! He throws them out! Uh Oh! They’re going to be thrown in jail and being chased! But Chang Sheng is rushing to the rescue–

–AND MR. JIN ARRIVES! WOOO!

Rated: I love this series. Each time I think it’s going to turn around and disappoint me, IT DOESN’T!

CDrama Recap – The Romance of Hua Rong – Episode 14

I have a dilemma. I only have 12 gigs of internet on my phone, and the office wifi connection is trash. There are at least two more days until I can go home and get proper internet, AND THERE ARE TEN MORE EPISODES TO GO.

So. Onwards.

Bearded Dad refuses to help cover up the crime. Even with Snooty’s urging. (Heh, he’s always thought she was more reasonable than Hua Rong). But he won’t disappoint Hua Rong by breaking the law!

Wrong tack. On the subject of Hua Rong: Big Enemy announces that he’s going to marry her in five days. So now Bearded Dad, if he wants to protect his now-expanded family, will send back a clear report; if he doesn’t, Hua Rong will have the same fate as her husband….Snooty Cousin isn’t happy with this plan…And Big Enemy fails to soothe her. Her attempts, meanwhile, to assert herself meet with no success. OH AND HE PULLS THE JADE BRACELET OFF HER!) What a dick.

So the red bunting and stuff is going up and Hua Rong is being forced into a wedding dress. And Big Enemy is forcing the bracelet onto her hand. So. HR points out that he needs parental authority to marry, being a Prince. –but he has it. He also tells her that after they get married they will live in complete harmony and peace. Because he likes her. And that’s all that matters. And that Chang Sheng fellow is as good as dead.

You see, this is what I was worried about all the way back in episode three or four, that the heroine would end up emotional and physically neutered. But at this point I trust the writers to a degree.

So. Big Enemy is fully expecting an attack, and the ambush is laid. Hua Rong has to be dragged into the room by guards and is tied up.

And, on cue, Chang Sheng enters. Very fetching though that’s an unconvincing suit of armor, I might add. He’s alone, which they didn’t expect. He’s also ready to talk some trash. This annoys Big Enemy but turnabout is fair play.

And so is learning from your enemy’s tactics. Turns out CS isn’t alone, and his brothers have brought what looks rather like a bomb. Oh. It’s a coffin. And it’s filled with the evidence from the magistrate’s office against Big Enemy. Also! the outside guards aren’t obeying anymore. The pirates killed them all!

OH! LITTLE BRO WAS JUST FAKING BEING A TRAITOR! HE WAS GUARDING BEARDED DAD! YES!!

(This situation is going to go horribly wrong in a minute, I just know it.) Hua Rong told him to! She asked him to find out the best way into the easily-defensible manor house. He got the info to CS! Even though he legitimately hates CS still, he’s more loyal to Hua Rong!

And with the Bearded Dad General free, not to mention Shaggy Bro standing guard, he’s safe. CS heads out to fetch Hua Rong. (No, don’t try to bargain with him. Just kill him. You’ve done it before!) CS challenges Big Enemy to single combat. But naturally the Black Dragon Gangsters cheat and attack.

HR has not managed to free herself, she’s still tied up, but at least she’s trying. She’s going to burn her bonds free with a candle. But! Big Enemy is stalking the halls–dragging his swordblade ominously! Tell me he’s at least been badly injured. He enters! Her bonds are not yet broken! No!

She agrees to go with him if he unties her….the ropes are actively on fire…SHE SHOVES THE CANDLE INTO HIS FACE AND RUNS AWAY!

Pei Yong just bit it. Good! I think YF did it. CS saves YF from an attack and tells him to lead them to HR.

HR–oh it is good to see her sneaky grin come out again, even at this juncture and just for a moment–when she spots an unaware guard. Whoops, that blow didn’t actually knock him out, though. She stabs him with a hairpin while he’s trying to chop her head off. But then she spots Snooty Cousin in the cell next door. Snooty is sitting in an unhappy daze, wondering whyyyyy she got lied to?

Snooty wishes that she had been more like Hua Rong, and had traveled and seen more of the world, and could understand why people treated her badly. Hua Rong leaves her there, since Big Enemy is actively chasing her and it’ll be more dangerous if she comes along–but leaves her a sword and tells her to ask for Chang Sheng if the pirates come. She’s gonna kill herself, isn’t she?

But the delay was too long, and Big Enemy has caught up. He’s got a burn on his face and he is at the tranquil fury stage of pissed. He tells her that he’s truly in love with her! And that’s why he hasn’t escaped yet. She has to come. And her refusals and these accusations that he’s going to stand trial for slavery, bribery, murder, etc, really hurt him! He slaps her. Hua Rong attempts to attack him. He slaps her again. She keeps coming and he knocks her to the ground. He always gets what he wants.

LOL, the bridal chamber is rigged. There are a bunch of assassins, and YUE FENG GETS STABBED BY THE CHAMBER MAID. YF shrugs it off and sends CS to go get HR!

Fortunately, Big Enemy is still posing and trying to intimidate HR. Being slapped bloody seems to have actually knocked the wind out of her….and then 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. But the sword isn’t to kill him, it’s to kill Hua Rong! Oh GOSH. Furthermore, Snooty is the one who knows the secret way out of the house. The price is: killing Hua Rong.

Big Enemy points out they need HR as a shield, and that once they get out, Snooty can do what she wants. Snooty points out that Enemy has lied before. He tells her that he knows better now. Otherwise, how could he have beaten her up like that? Snooty asks for a hug to make sure. AND DROPS THE SWORD, OH NO. AND THEN STABS HIM WITH HER HAIRPIN, YOU GO GIRL. I knew she was good stuff.

Oh, and then she does kill herself with the sword. I knew that was going to happen.

Heh. Enemy has an eyeroll.

Snooty apologizes to Hua Rong and asks her to live well, and then keels over.

Oh no. Is Hua Rong really cowed by just being slapped like that? NO. She starts throwing a bottle of kerosene around–and ON ENEMY–and then throws a candle into it. And then, when Enemy declares that he needs to take her with him! She dares him to cross the flames and grab her.–she is also covered in oil. Chang Sheng, this would be an excellent time to arrive….

Hua Rong calls him out as a greedy coward who wasn’t worth Snooty Cousin’s death. She pulls off the jade bracelet, and tells him he is a disgrace to his mother. He fishes it gingerly out of the flames….and she says that “coward” is being generous. But he won’t cross the flames.

The pirates are still fighting the ninjas, when! Officials arrive! They order the criminals to surrender. Heh, for a moment there I thought the pirates were going to be the ones to put down their swords.

Pei Yong is only faking being dead!

Chang Sheng finally spots the flames….but inside, the fire is burning down.

BUT HE ARRIVES JUST IN TIME AND KICKS ENEMY DOWN. KILL HIM! Don’t stun him, kill him! It’s not an entirely happy reunion, but they do hug and Big Enemy is captured and hopefulllllllly going to face justice.

CS is kind of annoyed they had to let the officials get the credit.

Oh wow. Okay, I am genuinely impressed by this script now. Like, for real. Hua Rong just spotted that Pei Yong has disguised himself as a soldier and is sneaking out. CS also spots it, and they both keep quiet. We still have a use for him?

So. Back on board the pirates’ ship. They are being presented with a tray full of gold pieces and armor from I assume the King. He wants to make CS a general, but CS wants to continue being a ramblin’ man who is also his own free person. What he wants is to have the ability to trade with foreigners and explore new ports. He’s willing to be loyal and fight for the King, thouh, definitely. The King gives him it, but assigns an ambassador to keep an eye on him.

Guess who?

Bearded Dad asks CS to take care of her. CS promises that he will protect her with his life. Yue Feng is OK! But he stays behind.

Hua Rong tells Chang Sheng that since she’s the ambassador, he has to treat her politely.
But of course he has no choice! Boop!

UH OH, Big Enemy is just under house arrest. But they hope that this will keep him out of their way and anyway, they took him down once and can do it again. So! They’re off…to Wen Jiang. ? Is that where Mr. Jin is?

Aw, Shaggy Bro showing Hui how to steer the ship. It takes hands-on instruction.

Everybody’s happy! I’m happy! AWWW THEY GET TO KISS FINALLY AS THEY’RE SAILING INTO THE SUNSET. OK, but there’s still like ten more episodes left, what about the plo–

Oh. So we cut back to Pei Yong, running away–Oh. Hero Yun He dealt with him. He says that the other half of the treasure map is with Big Enemy in Wen Jiang. And this time, Chang Sheng/Yun He kills him.

Rated: I freaking love that the heroes make sure their enemies aren’t going to KEEP COMING BACK OVER AND OVER AGAIN for the next fifty episodes. It’s really refreshing to see a bit of pragmatism.

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!

CDrama Recap – The Romance of Hua Rong – Episode 12

Big Brother Dearest takes his rejection calmly, if not with great satisfaction. Meanwhile, oh, it’s Snooty Cousin who is in love with him, and that’s why she’s been mean to Hua Rong.

So Hua Rong is sitting outside, unhappy and alone. Ooor not alone. Chang Sheng has materialized to keep her company. Meanwhile, Shaggy and Hui are practicing–and running off intruders. So they have peace and quiet to talk to each other. Hua Rong feels that the situation is dangerous and she maybe has gone too far, especially in endangering Chang Sheng. He ripostes that he’s enjoying himself, and she has never been afraid of danger before. Also, he knows she’s sincere and is answering her sincerely because he knows her. Now! To business. They’re going to have to follow up via Brothel Girl Yue.–via Hui.

So HR and Hui go off to investigate what Yue knows. Hui tries to persuade Yue to seek freedom and help them, but Yue is extremely dubious. She fingers her necklace…it is her neck on the line if she talks. But she does want freedom and a normal life. So: as long as they get her out first–she wants money and a new identity.

So the two shifty servants are watching as Yue leaves, and begin interrogating her instantly. Snooty Cousin shows up and, heh, Hua Rong has to beg her via sign language to help. Snooty does help, allowing Yue to escape. Snooty isn’t particularly happy about having to help Hua Rong. And she’s immune to HR’s usual wheedling and flattery. But Snooty Cousin is still a cousin, and will help her silly Hua Rong as needed. She will provide the new ID for Yue.

HR has to admit to CS that she really didn’t understand Snooty Cousin. It’s ‘cuz she’s jealous, CS explains, to no-one’s satisfaction. LOL “he likes jealous women” LOOOL.
Uh oh, I hope Snooty is actually as good as her word, now. CS and HR are at a river waiting and Yue hasn’t shown up yet. They go to investigate. Yue is gone and no one has word or information. But, if they keep getting no answers, it’s because they’re asking the wrong person. OH! A man is following them! And has been instructing people as to the correct answers.

Heh, that wasn’t any kung fu, CS just punched him straight in the face. Yue, however, is dead. CS questions the captured sneak. He was ordered to do so by the district official–Big Hat? They’re going to keep him as a witness. I wonder how long he’ll last.

HR kneels down to apologize to Yue and promise that she will avenge her. CS, meanwhile, examines the body. Aisde from marks of strangulation, they suss out that she has buried her necklace–a key. But! The police arrive! Uh oh. They are being placed under arrest by Big Hat. He knows that CS is impersonating Big Brother Dearest. Also, the witness turns around to slander them. So under arrest they go–making sure that the key stays buried.

In jail, HR is thinking of escape and contacting friends. The latter is taken out of her hands quickly, though, as the rest of them have also been arrested. CS, however, is calm. He has a plan!…wait. The fact that they are under their enemy’s power means the enemy will relax and stop destroying the evidence. What about the fact that you are under the enemy’s control, though, huh?

Meanwhile, the Bros are happy to trust Chang Sheng. They’re also playing knucklebones with Hui in the next cell over, heh. But the time wears on Hua Rong. CS decides to tell her stories about the sea. He soon has her hooked (aheh aheh aheh) bbbuuut not enough to want to go sailing with him. Meanwhile, the guards are now asleep and Hui can pick the locks. How does Hui know how to pick locks?

But before they can escape, someone comes in with the magistrate. Oh! It’s Big Brother Dearest! In disguise? (Chang Sheng has the best eyerolls, by the way.) He’s ready to take them into custody. But by the time they’re back at the ranch, Hua Rong has to be helping him walk through the door. Poor guy is still pretty sick. So he’s gone back to the original plan: have someone else assigned to this case to investigate.

–because if the district magistrate is involved himself, things are wayyyy too dangerous for someone at her level, and it’ll need someone with official status and royal backing. And if it’s that dangerous, what will happen to her father if something happens to her? HR retorts that doing the right thing is doing the right thing and a chivalrous hero would know this!

Big Brother Dearest is dead-set on his way, though, and has the men to back him up. Chang Sheng hasn’t said anything yet…and doesn’t. HR wants to know what he thinks, too. Come to rely on him, have you, girl? But….he thinks Big Brother Dearest is right and HR shouldn’t be involved. She doesn’t want to reiterate her heroism speech again, it left her out of breath the first time and she meant the whole thing, dammit! He tells her to sleep on it and they’ll talk in the morning. But….it’s night-time when Hero Yun He shows up in HR’s room.

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

But Hero Yun He wants to also take her home, even though he admires her chivalrous spirit. HR doesn’t want to run out on her team-mates! Such as Mr. Chang Sheng in the next room. DUDE YOU ARE TALKING TO CHANG SHENG IN A MASK I THOUGHT YOU HAD FIGURED IT OUT ALREADY!? SHEESH LOL.

Chang Sheng in a mask declares that Chang Sheng in the next room can take care of himself. But HR feels guilty for involving him in the first place. And not even the promise of Chang Sheng in a mask that he will help this Chang Sheng next door is good enough for HR. That guy is very important to her, after all…she won’t leave him alone to face danger. Never. Not even if Hero Yun He tells her to.

OH DUDE SHE PULLED HIS MASK OFF! AND HE COVERS HIS FACE WITH HIS HAND LOOOOL.

Aaaaaand busted. (again?)

So. CS claims that he is Yun He–The Yun He. Also that he gave Mr. Jin the remedy for his mother! That was nice. But HR demands a thorough explaination of how Yun He came about in the first place.

His stepfather/godfather, the pirate, was a pirate lord. But, because of a treasure map, he was ambushed and half the map was taken. In order to protect the other pirate bros from reprisals of the investigation, Chang Sheng created an alternate identity as a righteous warrior, unsuspected. Oh, well that’s kind of clever. The bad guy creating a good-guy alternate identity, wow.

And, lol, CS also kept the Yun He identity away from HR because she gets really horny whenever she sees him, LOL. But now! He knows who she really likes!

Rated: I really like this show and it makes me happy.

CDrama Recap – Are you guys still with me? We’re only half-way done…

Episode 11! This is the last of the ones I have downloaded; if I don’t get some more internet access today, I may die.

Chang Sheng is willing, but Bearded Dad and even Big Brother Dearest need some more convincing. This is, after all, a matter of state and bureaucracy…Hua Rong protests that their talents will complement each other. Oh, CS is going to have to take on Big Brother Dearest’s identity to make this work. So this means that HR is going to have to make him into a good copy of Big Brother Dearest, heh.

Lesson one! How to properly wear scholarly robes! It, uh, requires hands-on instruction. Even worse, Snooty Cousin shows up to commiserate with CS about how inconsiderate HR is. But she is indisputibly having a ball hitting him with her teaching stick. Lol.

Lol, they are forced to start complementing each other in front of Bearded Dad, though. And he agrees to let them go investigate. Big Brother Dearest looks pretty sour, lol.

So they’re investigating. There is a slimy kind of guy with a very large hat. What’s going on, here? Oh, the investigation isn’t going very well overall; Shaggy is getting more luck than Chang Sheng. Lol, Hui is following Shaggy around. OK, what is up with Big Hat and this accountant guy? They’ve brought him into a house and then dropped tea on his lap. So body servant Hua Rong needs to go help him….

Oh! Snooty Cousin is there. Bearded Dad has sent her to keep an eye on things. She has business connections in town and is at their service. Particularly at Chang Sheng’s service if you know what I mean.

Big Hat has a couple of rather suspicious-looking servants, whom Chang Sheng attempts to avoid. But they are keeping a close eye on him. And so is a mysterious figure with a broom.

Nevertheless, Chang Sheng shows up in her room to discuss the case with Hua Rong. He’s noticed that the servants are shadowing him, as well as other people. So, he’s going to stay the night in her room to protect her. Heh, she does know a little kung fu. But then the suspicious servants come crashing in and they have to pretend he was getting a massage. CS points out that this kind of proves his point. And, for once, doesn’t gloat. Instead, he complements her and pours her a drink. And then, apologizes!
…..and ruins it by asking for a kiss.

But nevertheless, back to business. Exactly what is going on in this place? Everyone they’ve questioned has the same story. Which is kind of suspicious when you think about it. There was a fire, which they say was caused by an earthquake. Was the fire actually caused by an oil/kerosene explosion? Oil is important for the military and therefore valuable, so there’s your motive.

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? Yep….iiiiis that another fade to black? And yep, there they are waking up in the same bed again. Heh, good thing they’re already married.

Not that Hua Rong has any excuse this time. But at least she’s not attacking him in his sleep. Small steps, small steps.

Outside, Hui is practicing her swordsmanship! You go get ’em, Hui! Lol, Shaggy is so cowed HR can run him off with just a look. So Hui and Hua Rong are wandering around the market–HR in a complete daze again–when they run into a familiar-looking young lady. Hui recognizes her: it’s one of the girls from the brothel whom Hui used to know. She demures and leaves. Hua Rong is by this point smart enough not to push, although Hui is distressed. There’s too many possible angles here; they have to consult Chang Sheng. But Hua Rong realllllly doesn’t want to consult Chang Sheng…..meanwhile the suspicious servant is keeping a close eye on them.

Lol, Chang Sheng claims she drunkenly seduced him and refused to let him go. Not that he can blame her…he’s very attractive, not to mention generous and forgiving. Heh. But back to business. They think that Brothel Girl (Xiao Yue) is connected to the Black Dragon Gang. Oh! And the Black Dragon Gang headquarters was rigged to blow up with kerosene. Also, a small border town just had a kerosene explosion. How to put the pieces together?

Well, Snooty Cousin has connections. LOL. Hua Rong doesn’t want to talk to Snooty because surely it will be more effective if Chang Sheng does? CS, on the other hand, knows that Snooty was only paying attention to him to make someone else jealous. “It’s a very effective technique,” LOL. Hua Rong needs to go grovel a bit and get Snooty’s help.
Snooty agrees.

But…Big Brother Dearest actually has arrived and is outraged, OUTRAGED I TELL YOU, that they are involving Snooty Cousin in this dangerous investigation. He is still fairly weak, though, but not weak enough to not demand Hua Rong turn over their authorization and go home with him. She refuses. It’s ridiculous to wait for a message to go out and new envoy to come when the nefariousness and heroes to combat it are right there.

Also, Chang Sheng refuses as well. He made a deal with Hua Rong. Plus, he knows the Black Dragon Guys and they’re nothing special. Soooo….is Big Brother Dearest the nefarious head of the Black Dragons? I’m kind of grasping at straws here. But he’s also the only other youngish man around and the veiled Black Dragon leader is a young man….

Oh. Poor guy. He’s about to try and confess his love to her. Hua Rong makes an effort to ward it off, but it can’t be repressed. He’s loved her since before she was legal, basically, and been waiting. And he really wants her to agree to marry him.

But, she has always considered him her Big Brother and can’t accept it. Aw.

CDrama Recap – The Romance of Hua Rong – Episode 10

Hua Rong is not mad at Mr. Jin. But she’s also not smitten with Fake Hero Yun He anymore. They’re still friends! (Just friends? Mr. Jin got friendzoned without even meaning to? heh.) Sidekick thinks this is a good omen, but Mr. Jin is slightly more clear-headed. LOL: he knows its hopeless, because she didn’t get infuriated with him for lying to her. (Lol, sidekick thinks that her being reasonable and understanding are just good character traits. He’s right, but this is a CDRAMA ROMANCE we’re talking about. Mr. Jin understands the conventions of the genre much better.)

Oh, poor Hui is Lady Macbething her hands since she’s killed a man. Hua Rong approaches it with a…unusual psychological approach. But it’s, typically, honest, compassionate, and straightforward. Lol, she makes Hui promise to keep protecting her as her bodyguard and pinky swear on it. OH LOL HUI IS GOING TO SHAGGY BRO TO GET TRAINING? AND SHAGGY IS SO SPOOOKED BY HER HE’S TRYING TO RUN AWAY. Especially when she starts to cry.

But he tells her that if she gets to cut a post in half, he’ll take her on. She can barely even lift the sword and hours later is still at it…Shaggy Bro is, heh, hiding behind the door and watching in trepidation. Renewed determination gives Hui the strength to power through. Shaggy still tries to squirm out of it, but especially with CS standing there, doesn’t dare.

Off we go to speak with Mr. Jin again, CS trailing jealously behind. Mr. Jin’s mother has heard about the trouble and has ordered him to come home. Mom’s orders are hard to break! Well….that’s the truth. CS is of course overjoyed to arrange speedy travel arrangements. What he should have done is offer to continue the search for the medicine. Hua Rong does promise herself.

CS shows up at the last minute with some…presents. Kid, if you just tried to poison a guy who is LEAVING, you deserve what happens to you.

OH LOL. Shaggy Bro is so totally afraid of being me-too’d that he’s holding a parasol over Hui and fanning her as she practices. Poor Shaggy. Especially with all his other bros watching. Oh lol. They’re putting bets on whether or not he makes it an entire month.

Meanwhile, Big Brother Dearest requires Hua Rong to go back with him in the morning. Chang Sheng shows up to ruffle his territorial feathers, but then backs off immediately. It’s almost as though the show is under-writing his part right now and they don’t know really what to do with him. Heh, Hua Rong has to explain that they’re just “comrades of jiang hu, comrades!” (You know, what they ought to do is have him be off chasing Black Dragon Guys. You could cut to him occasionally doing something badass, and then have the majority of the plotline be following Hua Rong. He’s been pretty wasted for the last two episodes. Oh well. We shall see how it goes).

Hua Rong is packing. She still has the bell….and still has extremely strong suspcions that Hero Yun He is Chang Sheng in a mask. OH LOL AND THEN SHE OPENS THE WINDOW AND HE’S STANDING OUTSIDE.

That’s Chang Sheng in a mask.

Lol she ripped it off. Aaaaand his other eye is now black. He has to run his bros off after they laugh at him, and spends a few minutes posing, hairflipping, and swearing that Hua Rong will fall in love with the real Chang Sheng. And also, oww.

However! They have just recieved word that HR’s father is injured and recuperating nearby. Big Brother Dearest is persuaded to take her there instead of home, but swears he will send her home if there is any trouble. CS is not going to pursue right now; they’re going to sail. Also: given that Big Brother Dearest could end them at any point if he knew they were pirates, and that Hua Rong hasn’t given them up probably means she doesn’t want to. Soo no point in making her do something she doesn’t want to, right?

Meanwhile, proving that absence makes the heart grow fonder, Hua Rong immediately starts thinking of Chang Sheng fondly as soon as he’s not, y’know, right there being obnoxious.

So. Soon they reach the house of her cousin, where they are scolded by Snooty Cousin, but at least Dad is there and recovering well. Also, it turns out that he has an arrow wound in his leg, which no one mentioned before. Bearded Dad is also kind to Yue Feng and Hui. He’s got presents prepared for them…..

OH BOY. CHANG SHENG ENTERS, CARRYING THE GIFTS.

Bearded Dad isn’t quite thick enough to miss the frozen horrified silence, but he’s quick to explain! This Chang-er (I think that’s like an affectionate diminutive) saved his life! After Bearded Dad was hurt in the fall, assassins attacked, but Chang Sheng and his bros showed up and rescued him. Bearded Dad thinks he’s brave and wise AND WANTS TO ADOPT HIM AS A SON. But CS refused that, so he is now BEARDED DAD’S BODYGUARD WHAT THE HECK AHAHAHA.

Chang Sheng is playing it up, too. Hua Rong insists that she will stay and take care of her father, which somehow causes a bit of alarm for everyone else?

Lol, Bearded Dad apologizes to Chang Sheng that Hua Rong was mean to him. She was an only child, and was raised as a boy, and was always hard to control. Well, she turned out good! She is righteous, kind, and heroic. That’s true! Bearded Dad is merely, lol, hopeful she will be OK after he dies. The world is hard on girls, especially girls who have a mind of their own. Chang Sheng is pretty certain that she will meet a compatible guy.

Back to business! Bearded Dad is going to send Big Brother Dearest to go investigate the case. He doesn’t want HR to go too, but CS points out (and Dad agrees) that there is about a zero percent chance she will not want to find out who is behind hurting her father. Sooooo he’s going to send Chang Sheng and his bros along to protect her. Chang Sheng, with utter sincerity, swears that he will do so. Aww. (You probably think you’re pretty cunning, don’t you, Chang Sheng? I wonder how this is going to backfire on him?)
So. Hua Rong is under orders to go with Big Brother Dearest and follow his orders.

LOL, Snooty Cousin Hua is flirting with Chang Sheng.

UH OH! Big Brother Dearest has been poisoned at the hotel! CS has an antidote! Convenient, that. Oh, it’s not a real antidote, just medicine. They still need a doctor. Blue Bro protests that he checked the room himself, where did the poison come from? Wait, did they not actually leave yet? Snooty Cousin and Bearded Dad are stlil there.
Big Brother Dearest won’t be able to investigate. So, instead of waiting for a new envoy,

Hua Rong and Chang Sheng are going to go investigate themselves–increased attacks mean the enemy is getting desperate. Bearded Dad refuses. Things are getting dangerous and he doesn’t want to lose HR.

CS, however, has a plan. He knows a guy! Who is skilled in martial arts, is trusted by the general, has connections in the underworld, and overall, is the best candidate for the job.
Hua Rong, who knows him by know, asks what his price is going to be. It’s that Hua Rong goes along as his personal servant. Also, she has to ask him politely. Lol, she threatens to hit him and he tells her he raises his prices when he gets nervous.

Hua Rong asks him politely, to his surprise and alarm.

Fade out!

Rated: We’re probably be going to get some action pretty soon. This is exciting!

CDrama Recap – The Romance of Hua Rong – Episode 9!!

Lol, it was a dream and she fell out of bed. And instead, Chang Sheng has showed up at her door. Drunk. Ish. He wants to hear the tale of Heroine Hua Hua! So tell it she does, complete with Hero Yun He’s appearance. Oh. Wait. Is it not Chang Sheng??? Lol, HR bashes pirates in the tale. OH UH OH! He gave it away? He spun the chopstick in his fingers the same way Mysterious Hero spun a knife. So. Hua Rong is off to interrogate Shaggy Bro. Unfortunately, everyone else seems to confirm that CS was merely drinking alone in his room the night before.

And, finally, Mr. Jin shows up. Heh, turns out that Big Brother Dearest was actually her father’s pupil….and minor royalty. Hua Rong is abject. Meanwhile, it’s confirmed that Mr. Jin actually is incognito of some sort. Oh….is he actually Yun He?

Meanwhile, Black Dragon Pei Yong is reporting to his Veiled Boss. VB is a young and seemingly handsome man who orders them to find out about the Yun He situation.
Meanwhile, Hua Rong is trying to set up a date with Mysterious Hero Yun He. Lol, is ringing that little bell really going to work? (No, but I think Chang Sheng might appear).
Meanwhile, Mr. Jin and Sidekick are preparing to get to their business.

Lol, Shaggy Bro and Blue Bro are trying to pry Hui away from Hua Rong’s door. Shaggy is hilariously terrible at it: Hui faints. Blue Bro is eyerolling so hard he faceplants into a pillar.

Aaaaand yep, Chang Sheng shows up and starts eating Hero Yun He’s food. Lol. Aaaaand he gets a black eye from his outraged wife.

So Mr. Jin and sidekick are off wandering around to do something. Sidekick thinks they shouldn’t interfere. But Mr. Jin wants to finish his job, and then he’ll tell her himself.
And in the morning, there’s a new rumor that Hero Yun He has been seen in the market! Lots of people have seen him, saving people from a burning building. But information is actually scarce on the ground overall. Aaaand, back at the inn, the servants are having some real trouble with Mr. Jin’s clothes. They’re covered in candle wax! Also, Mr. Jin’s hair appears to have been singed a little. Also. Mr. Jin might potentially be someone who is hiding his martial arts skills…? Looks like yep.

And then! Hua Rong catches him red-handed climbing through the window in his Yun He costume and mask. She promises to keep quiet about it! Ssssooooo, it wasn’t Chang Sheng after all. I’m kind of surprised. And another hilarious dustup happens. Chang Sheng is about to get his ass kicked (again) when Big Brother Dearest shows up again, on cue.
Fortunately, Hua Rong is able to pull him aside easily. Unfortunately, Mr. Jin decides to twist the knife by telling Chang Sheng it’s her childhood sweetheart.

Big Brother Dearest wants to know what is up with those guys? And why did she have them holding on to him earlier? And does she think that she can hide forever? It’s time to go. HR attempts to talk him out of it–she has a tiiiiiny request for him, her father’s favorite student. Two more days. Juuuust two more days, she wheedles. She wants to say goodbye to Hero Yun He. When he agrees, she hustles him out before Chang Sheng can make a scene.

She asks for Mr. Jin to come and visit her at home. He…hm. Is he or is he not actually Hero Yun He, then? But he does promise and pinky swear to come see her. Meanwhile, there’s two people perving on them: Chang Sheng, and some guy who showed up–oh, probably a Black Dragon Gang spy.

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 definitely 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?

Oh, that’s a good line. “You have two arms and two legs. But we have only one question. The ratio is four to one. My bet is that you can’t handle this until the end.” Oh, I like Chang Sheng when he’s being dark and menacing (at someone other than the heroine). Nevertheless, they get no answers because the ninja commits suicide.

Surely, however, Mr. Jin can shed some light on the situation, though. Oh. He’s not Yun He. Also it’s not Chang Sheng? Mr. Jin is…someone whose mother is sick and in need of a cure. He’s trying to find it; it’s owned by a pirate who was killed two years ago by Hero Yun He. That’s why he faked being Hero Yun He and saved people from a fire–to draw out the pirate.

Chang Sheng really isn’t getting enough credit, you know. Even with the real (?) Hero Yun He in the picture, he’s done a lot of the heavy lifting as far as fighting and keeping everyone safe goes. So a little snootiness at this point can be excused. Mr. Jin thanks him sincerely, too–which CS scorns and goes off to set up the guards. Hua Rong deplores his rudeness, but Mr. Jin really isn’t bothered. All he wants to know is if Hua Rong is mad at him or not.
Fade out.

Why do I have no internet?! I’m having to download these episodes on my phone on the office connection, and transfer them to the computer to watch with subtitles. It’s not a sustainable way to watch movies!
Also: there’s not enough of Chang Sheng doing stuff. Him being stupid is no substitute for him being badass and menacing! Although it is, I suppose, appropriate for him to be much less effective when he’s not on Pirate Island where his word has the force of law, it would be nice for Hua Rong (our perpetually plucky and undefeated heroine) to start showing she appreciates him at this point! Come on, people!
Also, more kung fu!

CDrama Recap – The Romance of Hua Rong – Episode 8!

Mr. Jin has taken them out for a nice lunch! His sidekick is grumbling about how hard he had to work to find this restaurant, heh. But like all Cdrama heroines, Hua Rong is allllll about food. (yeah, me too.) All that lunch lacks is caramelized haws! So off Mr. Jin goes. But he is interrupted in his purchases by a beggar…who also steals his jade. Oh! One of CS’s guys? Yep. Blue Bro examines it, finds it of little interest, and instructs Beggar Boy to be chased and give back the jade again. It’s CS’s explicit command.

The chase evidently takes a while, because by nightfall HR, Yue Feng, and Hui haven’t caught up with them yet. But it looks like CS has, because HR is having flowers and candy pressed into her hands by strangers, and a random old lady starts telling her how she is destined for good man. OH LOL IT’S BLUE BRO PAYING THEM.

And, yes, CS has caught up with them. And the whole party, pirate bros and all, aresauntering vaguely down the street. Everybody except HR is looking sheepish, lol.
So CS challenges HR to a random riddle contest. HR thinks she’s winning…but he keeps on smirking, so….

So HR writes the answers to the riddles, and altogether, the answer words form a phrase, but the phrase isn’t translated by the subtitles, so why HR ends up losing her temper is lost on me, unfortunately. It’s either a dirty joke or a suggestive phrase.

Nevertheless, CS has arranged fireworks. But…he’s closed the street to everyone else. HR is outraged at the high-handedness. What’s worse, Jin arrives at this point. And then his sidekick spots Beggar Boy in the back row. OK, I’m starting to feel sorry for CS at this point. Also, CS is starting to be honestly jealous, not to mention honestly angry.

ALSO! Shaggy announces that they’ve found out where the Black Dragon Gang resides, so he has a good reason to go marching off. In slow motion. At the head of a group of armed, handsome young men with fancy costumes and swords. Mmmmhmmmm.

So HR and company are wandering about, while Mr. Jin excuses himself.
And then Hua Rong’s brother pops up! She’s been gone for so long–and he’s there to take her home! It’s cause for panic even worse than having CS show up, because Hua Rong BOOKS IT. Lol. Leaving Mr. Jin to fend off Brother Dearest for an hour–which he does by shoving Sidekick at him, lol. And then she makes a fast escape with the help of Shaggy Bro.

LOOOOOOL. “Hold him for an hour” is being taken very, very literally by sidekick. Heh, Mr. Jin assumes that this is another one of HR’s suitors, and scolds him for chasing after her when she doesn’t want to go. Unfortunately, at this point the police show up, and Brother Dearest yells for help.

So. Shaggy Bro has been detailed to guard Hua Rong. Because Chang Sheng is a gentleman, really. But he’s about to let it slip what’s going on, because Shaggy Bro is kind of a complete doofus.

Chang Sheng is about to take revenge on the Black Dragons for attempting to murder Hua Rong. And revenge is taken. CS gets to look very cool in a small fight scene. But! It Hui knows that the Black Dragon stronghold has lots of hidden traps and is rigged to self-destruct if necessary. Chang Sheng must be warned! And off they go.

Well, that was fast. They go off to disarm the bombs while the fighting is still going on. But it will take a while!

Well, actually, looks like the fighting is over. CS is interrogating the ranking surviving Black Dragon. But! he manages to pull the cord. Hua Rong instinctively runs to Chang Sheng, who instinctively shields her with his body! Heh, Blue Bro and Shaggy Bro are hugging each other, too. Fortunately, YF has disarmed it by this point.

CS takes the opportunity to gloat a bit 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?

Hua Rong investigates. There were some slave women in the cells below, but they’ve been recently taken away. There are five women; they are going to be sold in a couple of days. Heroine Hua Hua is ready to take action! But! the Black Dragon Gang is full of skilled combatants and she’s gonna need help. Lol: CS wants her to call him “beloved husband” as the price of helping him. She hollers “DREAM ON!” in his ear, lol.

But it does look like Hua Rong is going to need some kind of help, because Mr. Jin is missing. Also, the auction is being held on a boat. You know, having someone whose specialty is boats and combat might help….especially since Mr. Jin and sidekick are in jail, lol. Nevertheless, HR lays her plans–with consultation from her favorite youxia hero — LOL they set up a shrine and are praying to him. (Chang Sheng, walking in, sees it and asks who died, ha).

But at nightfall, Hua Rong and Yue Fang are all dressed up in ninja gear and set off to rescue the women. They leave Hui behind. They approach the boat without interference….because the sentries are either asleep or dead. A mysterious and handsome hero is there on board already! Wearing a very small mask! So the sentries on board the ship are already knocked out, and the lock is already broken! HR and YF are natively smart enough to suspect a trap, but there are still people to be rescued. But evil approaches! Hua Rong heroically sets out to hold off the attackers while YF and the girls escape!

Commence the Loony Tunes….except that she gets caught by the Black Dragon master guy and winged by a dagger. He’s about to finish her off, too, when the Mysterious Handsome Hero (TM) intervenes! Black Dragon guy is overmatched and locked into the hold! Hua Rong is smitten!

So Hui and Yue Fang give the rescued girls money and new clothes to travel with–that’s a nice touch. Handsome Hero (Fake Yun He), meanwhile, is striking Hua Rong as somewhat…strangely familiar….nevertheless, she’s still smitten enough to ask for a souveneir since they won’t meet again. Lol. He gives her a bell, and with some prodding, promises that he’ll be able to come to her when she’s in danger.

Lol, Hua Rong is OVER THE MOON about the whole experience to the point that her sidekicks are getting worried. Heh, “I have no idea if her hand is hurt or her brain.”

Meanwhile, Handsome Mysterious Hero has gone back to interrogate the Black Dragon guy: were you the one who killed the Pirate King and stole half of his map eight years ago?–yes, turns out it was. But he’s not about to admit to whomever is behind him, and makes a high dive escape inot the ocean. Chang Sheng (can we admit it at this point that it’s him?) watches him go without pursuing.

Back at wherever she is, Hua is still giggling and playing with the bell. And, on cue, Handsome Mysterious Chang Sheng floats back over the wall. She reaches for his mask–

FADE OUT.

Rated: I’m torn between wanting her to take the mask off right away and not wanting to spoil the fun.

CDrama Recap – The Romance of Hua Rong – Episode 7

I think I have to explain that this is genuine, turn your brain off and enjoy the pretty colors and pretty people entertainment. There’s enough characterization–Hua Rong remains, thus far, plucky and undefeated; Chang Sheng remains sly and stalwart, though lovestruck; and now Mr. Jin seems like a more masculine version of Hua Rong, someone who wants to be a chivalrous hero but doesn’t quite have allllll it takes to get there. Also, this thing is funny. And right now, funny plus light plus nothing bad has happened to the characters I like yet means it is taking me out of my daily troubles and away from my stress-laden job (ever tried to feed a tiger something they didn’t want to eat? How about having the audacity to fill up their water bucket? Let me tell you: they DO NOT LIKE THAT.)

So! Back to the episode. Someone is outside, and judging by the hail of arrows, it’s not actually Chang Sheng. To begin with.

Lol. By the time HR gets to the door, though, he’s slaughtered the ninjas (presumably Pei Yong’s) and is posing amid the rubble. STOP SMIRKING BOY……..aaand HR just got caught in her own rope trap. CS takes the opportunity to gloat a bit, but Mr. Jin is still a chivalrous hero! How can anyone treat a girl like that!

CS retorts that what he gets to save his wife and also talk to her in private, get lost please? And they are married. But! more ninjas arrive! Run away!

Oh no! The Cliff! But they can make it safely down to the cave/tombs below, although kung fu master Chang Sheng beats the rush by flying down. And takes the opportunity to have a quiet word with his wife. Fortunately, the rest of them aren’t far behind.

Also fortunately, Hua Rong is still a heroine with a head….well, something like one…on her shoulders. She starts immediately leveraging CS’s jealousy against Mr. Jin’s existence and orders him to find them a way out. Mr. Jin has sent his sidekick to get help! Chang Sheng retorts that his brethren will also show up and be muuuuch more effective in rescuing their master’s lady.

HR doesn’t like that term–and points out that she might have married him, but her agreement was under duress. Yue Feng backs her up on this. CS retorts that he at least had good intentions.–and he’s really genuinely not going to let her go, forever.

HR tells him she hates him and will continue to run away, forever. Does she like Mr. Jin? HR barely hesitates before lying that she does. This is going to lead to nothing but trouble. Oh boy. CS takes this about as well as could be expected; especially when Mr. Jin points out that CS evidently doesn’t respect her wishes. Also, killing him, Mr. Jin, won’t solve your problems….

And then the ninjas find them.

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. 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.

Hua Rong and Mr. Jin, however, are about to enter phase two of their relationship. She has confessed that she liiiikes him. Even though it was a total lie, Cdrama conventions must be followed. But Mr. Jin agrees to help her, as a chivalrous hero would do anyway. Within the space of one more scene, Jin’s sidekick is grumbling about “hos before bros” under his breath, anyway, heh.

Aaaand then Chang Sheng catches up again. There is some squabbling re: lack of rooms and an innkeeper who wants to err on the side of cau–oh, no, ok, profit. LOL. He asks if CS’s carrying a Japanese sword. CS replies he’s carrying a Japanese pumpkin, Blue Bro presses another silver piece into Innkeeper’s hand, and Innkeep agrees that it’s a delicious-looking pumpkin. HR rolls her eyes.

CS is being incredibly petty right now, but Jin comes to the rescue. Poor CS is left twitching and frustrated, swearing to teach Mr. Jin a lesson. Meanwhile! Blue Bro tells him that Mr. Jin is very mysterious, but they have found who the ninjas were: brothers of a gang called the Black Dragon. Why were they after Hua Rong? Did she see something she shouldn’t have? CS swears they will pay for meddling with his woman! He decides to take the offensive. Ah, lol: the master of the Black Dragon gang is very mysterious.

LOL: “This year, everybody wants to be mysterious,” Chang Sheng grumbles. You said it, bro. While it might not seem to be the best plan to make a big fuss, CS is in the mood to do so. He wants to turn the place upside down. Hey, I’m all for it, just as long as the kung fu is plentiful.

So we cut back to Pei Yong and the veiled guy–who wants to know where the girl is that he ordered them to get. He tells them to focus on the girl, he’ll take care of the other things. Yessir.

So! Lol, CS is waiting outside for HR with his back turned and pirouettes to face her as she comes skipping out. HR won’t go out…with CS. But she goes with Mr. Jin. CS glowers and plots revenge. Seduction by annoyance, however, is not a winning tactic. And all it does is get him drugged by HR so she and Yue Feng can go walking in peace. This might be the first time CS actually got caught in one of HR’s traps.

Mr. Jin and CS have a small conversation. And, oh, this might be the point where the seeds of (I think) Chivalrous Disguised Hero Chang Sheng are planted. But CS does have a point: he is honest, and everyone else is duplicitous. The conversation ends with Mr. Jin daring CS to reveal his origins…if he ever finds out about them. And then he gets the second last word in by daring CS to find out what HR’s feelings are and consider them.

Meanwhile! Hua Rong sees injustice being done! It’s Hui, the girl sold to the brothel in episode one and then rescued. But her father has gambling debts and is about to sell her again. Hua Rong does have enough kung fu to keep an elderly peasant off of her, heh. Hua Rong buys Hui off instead. Back at the hotel, HR calls for a bath (for Hui), which is overheard by CS, who immediately goes off into a daydream of interrupting said bath on his own. Whatever happens next, poor Hui is going to end up traumatized, isn’t she?

Oh LOL. Except it’s Jin who catches him. And…

…CS is having a rough day. Well, act like a dumbass, get exposed as a dumbass. So. Except that while getting dressed, CS finds Jin’s jade pendant of some kind. Jin snatches it back, but! The mystery thickens.

Shaggy Bro, who is standing guard, inadvertently spooks Hui. Is this the beginning of a(nother) bumbling romance? Oh whoops. Looks like HR scored a direct hit to CS’s nuts. Girl, you may end up regretting your aim, there…And then Shaggy commences to spook Hui even more while trying to make amends. Lol. Chang Sheng suggests a relaxing outing. Which is a great idea….except that they all go off and leave him.

Rated: I’m actually kind of ready for the plot to show up at this point. At least the love triangle angle is still a fake triangle, instead of a real one. Mr. Jin shows no appearance of genuine feelings for HR and may end up with Hui anyway? And rather than, as I feared before, Hua Rong being lobotomized and turned into a shallow mess of a character, Chang Sheng has got the bumbling and repeatedly humiliated role now. It’s a turnaround all right, but I do wish they’d, you know, do something constructive instead.
I wish I had better internet…