# of episodes: 73
Release date: December 25, 2018
Short summary recap starting ep 23 because I think this is where the story starts to get really interesting with Minglan somewhat pursuing what she wants (Qi Hen) instead of just giving in and living her life as discreet as possible. And the beginning of Minglan and Gu Tingye’s relationship development. >.<
What happened so far is Qi Hen asked his mother to arrange a marriage with Minglan. Instead of asking for her hands in marriage, his mother “adopted” all the girls in the Sheng family as Qi Hen’s little sister (subtlely saying that she will never approve of this marriage).
After the rejection, Minglan’s grandmother decides to take Minglan on a trip to the Sheng’s hometown.
On the other side, Tingye discovers the true character of his concubine and chases her away. She kidnapped their son in the middle of the night and ran away. He decides to chase after her.
At the end of episode 22, chaos disrupts the peace of their travel to the Sheng’s hometown. There are water thieves going about killing and stealing from nearby boats. Minglan’s first priority is her grandmother. She sends her grandmother off by a small boat to land where guards are stationed.
Her and Xiaotao remain on the boat waiting for a chance to escape, but the thieves invaded their boat soon after. She pushes Xiaotao to the water and jumps in too not long after.
Not able to swim, Minglan sinks slowly into the deep water. A man jumps in to save her. She wakes up to a little girl trying to feed her soup. The little girl tells her that her dad is the one who saved her and the dad happens to be Gu Tingye.
To thank him, Minglan tells him to return to the capital for the sake of his daughter. She reveals to him an insight that she rarely shows to her family.
Minglan and her grandmother arrive at the Sheng family’s home to celebrate the wedding of her male cousin. The oldest, Shulan is already married to the Sun family. However, her situation is not easy. Her husband and family mistreat her. The youngest, Pinglan, is an outgoing, boyish character. Her and Minglan get along well.
Other the other side, Gu Tingye enlisted in the army. During a night watch, he notices that something is amiss and realizes that the enemy might assault them at night. He tries to warn the general with no luck so he just orders his fellow comrades to take arm under the general’s order.
Under Gu Tingye’s plan, they successfully defeated the enemy. However, he must give all credit to the general because faking the general’s order means death.
Back to the Sheng family, Shulan is tired of dealing with her obnoxious husband but to save her family’s face, she doesn’t know what to do. Minglan suggests leaving early rather than late. The family backs her up with divorcing the Sun via a peaceful breakup. But the Sun does not want to let her go lightly. They rather divorce her under the pretense that she’s a failure of a wife. To back the Sun into a corner, Minglan suggests taking everything that Shulan brought with her back from the Sun, including servants, land, and money.
The Sun still obnoxiously thinks that they can pick on Shulan and that her family will yield to them. They still insist on an ugly divorce. In the background, Minglan comes up with another plan to make the Sun yield. Her and Pinglan rush to see the owner of the brothel who holds the contract to Xiao Hua, the woman that is pregnant with the Sun’s blood. She rushes the contract back to the Sheng family and only then did the Sun backs off.
The Sheng and the Sun agree to split off peacefully. The grandmother of Shulan passes away that same night. The family including Minglan sends her off for burial but in the midst of road, a group of bandits raided their carriages and disrupt their travel. Minglan tells the Sheng sisters to get off and run.
Minglan ran away in the midst of chaos but the Sheng sisters were a bit slower. The bandits chase after her then all of a sudden, a black figure on a horse picks her up and ride away with her. The black figure turns out to be Gu Tingye. His army is taking care of the bandits and once peace returns, he sends Minglan off too.
He gives Minglan a weapon to defend herself on the way home (him sending her home will just generate rumors). But secretly he follows her from behind. Minglan encounters a bandit on her way home and her miss firing the weapon scares the bandit away. She rushes home in the night with Gu Tingye following closely behind.
Minglan returns to a very worried grandmother. Because of the chaos, the grandmother suggests heading back to the capital as soon as possible. Traveling by road, a group of bandits is targeting them. Before the bandits can attack, Gu Tingye tells them to back off. He fends for the Sheng family and secretly protects them from behind all the way back to the capital.
Once the Sheng family reaches a safe place and reunite with the father, Gu Tingye left for home. He listens to Minglan and decides that it’s best for his daughter to live in the capital. He meets up with Sheng Changbai and asks him to help him find a school for his daughter. Changbai agrees to help.
At the temple where the Sheng currently is, Liang madam also happens to arrive. Knowing that Minglan is there, she purposely goes to greet them and tell them the drama that is happening in the Qi household and how Qi Hen and his mother is at cold war with each other.
The news is meant for Minglan’s ear. Liang madam wants Minglan for her 6th son and that indirectly tells her that the Qi household does not approve of her and Qi Hen together. That night Minglan’s grandmother confronted her. Minglan tells her that as long as Qi Hen continue to fight for their relationship then she will too.
With the help of Buwei (the loyal servant of Qi Hen), Minglan relays the same message to Qi Hen during the lantern festival. The festival was cut short with guards ushered people home. Turns out the sister of Rong consort was kidnapped that night, hence the commotion.
The next morning, the kidnapped lady was abandoned on the street. She returns home safely but suicides soon after. Because of that case, the girls in the Sheng household are forbidden to leave the house. But Minglan decides to ask for permission to visit her dead mother’s grave but in truth, she is secretly meeting up with her aunt.
Chexmix: I love these few episodes and how GTY secretly protects her from behind. The little banter between GTY and Shitou is funny too. I feel like the pace of the story picked up a little here.