Yao Ji’s hate towards Prince of Bo and her desires for the position of Leader of the Night Fury Team sets up the motive for the appearance of a slow poisoning of Ma Zhaixing under the guise of helping treat her injured leg. This, together with Chu Kui creating a chance for Prince of Bo to sneak Ma Zhaixing out of the palace, serves as a test to find out where Prince of Bo’s loyalties lie.
Fortunately, Prince of Bo doesn’t fail the test. From the moment Chu Kui let out Yao Ji claiming it was to treat Ma Zhaixing, Prince of Bo had felt it was done so against him not for him. Prince of Bo’s reaction was to ask Chu Kui if he had done something wrong. It was even more unusual, as well as suspicious, when Yao Ji revealed Chu Kui’s apparent instructions to administer a slow-acting poison which can be allowed to spread to kill or slowed until the desired time to kill as a way to control Prince of Bo and prevent any chance of a betrayal.
With Yao Ji and him being enemies, he found it suspicious Yao Ji would spill such information. This willingness to divulge about the slow-acting poison is what seems to have alerted Prince of Bo that everything was all part of the test to see if he would betray Chu Kui. With Ma Zhaixing held hostage and poisoned, Chu Kui wanted to see if Prince of Bo would go about taking advantage of an order to bring extra supplies to Chu Youzhen and use this trip to try sneak Ma Zhaixing out of the palace.
Prince of Bo certainly appeared to take up the opportunity when he requested to leave the same night he had been given the order. The urgency and sightings of a veiled woman suspected to serve as a stand-in for Ma Zhaixing rang bells of betrayal-in-the-making. It had Chu Kui bee-lining to the room Yao Ji was believed to be keeping Ma Zhaixing hostage for five days to see if she had disappeared. She hadn’t. She was exactly where she was expected to be.
Prince of Bo passing the test, Chu Kui reveals himself and claims he would never actually poison Ma Zhaixing because it would be cruel of him to poison someone who is only a woman he loves. However, he does give a reminder that there must not be any lies between them before allowing Prince of Bo to finally take Ma Zhaixing back to the Bo Manor.
Relief seemed to wash over him as he gives Ma Zhaixing a tight hug once Chu Kui and his people left. He was finally able to bring Ma Zhaixing back to his side where it was safe using a plan which looked like he was attempting to bring in a stand-in, but it was a deliberate move to make it look that way so Chu Kui would suspect the situation and investigate it, allowing Prince of Bo to end the test Prince of Bo knew full well was happening with Ma Zhaixing appearing before him.
Talk of whether Langzai is still part of who Prince of Bo is and whether these two people are one and the same becomes a subject for Ma Zhaixing and Yao Ji. Whilst held hostage by Yao Ji under the guise of treating her leg, Ma Zhaixing had used the example of seeing Prince of Bo play a game with the children—with Hong’er—on the streets of Kuizhou (Episode 20) to convince Yao Ji of her belief that Prince of Bo and Langzai are one and the same person. The hug from Prince of Bo is yet another example of the worried and caring side which only Ma Zhaixing has the privilege of seeing. All Yao Ji has ever seen from Prince of Bo is the cold and cruel side he is known to have. So, she finds it hard to believe the side Ma Zhaixing believes to be still a part of Prince of Bo exists.
In this episode Prince of Bo is seen showing up at Shopkeeper Fang’s residence and setting fire to the place with both Shopkeeper Fang and Hong’er believed to be still inside. It serves as an example that Prince of Bo is no longer Langzai as he coldly and cruelly kills people who are not only innocent, but people who he played a game with only days ago because Chu Kui’s ordered him to kill them. Langzai would have never harmed an innocent, but here Prince of Bo appears to have no qualms.
Although it looks like Prince of Bo has killed Shopkeeper Fang and Hong’er as ordered, their deaths are only suggested to be the end result. We don’t actually see them killed. We should mention that during a talk with Ma Zhaixing in Episode 20, Prince of Bo reveals to her that he only points his sword at those who might harm people’s lives. This lends suggestion to the fate of Shopkeeper Fang and Hong’er. Prince of Bo was also heard in his thoughts this episode saying that he only needs to satisfy both sides. This is yet another suggestion the killings might not have happened.
For Ma Zhaixing, Prince of Bo is wanting and willing to change back into Langzai. He’s never liked flowers, but is letting Ma Zhaixing not only plant her mother’s favourite flowers, he has a team of people turn his courtyard into one full of plants and flowers. Discovering that Ma Zhaixing likes playing Tou Lang Hu, he buys her a claypot then plays the game telling her, Mo Xiao, Wen Yan and Hai Die to ignore ranks and play freely. He even eventually allows them to flick him in the forehead when he misses after initially not being very pleased someone (that someone being the daring Mo Xiao) actually took his words so seriously.
Prince of Bo has changed, and it doesn’t please Yao Ji. Although she and Prince of Bo are enemies now, before this they were two people who would risk anything for each other (which was revealed in Episode 21.) This displeasure in seeing this softer side of Prince of Bo, allowing flowers in his courtyard and letting his subordinates flick him in the forehead was said to be because Yao Ji didn’t like discovering that she lost the position of Leader of Night Fury Team to someone who turned out not to be the cold and cruel person she thought he was.
That said, her displeasure could actually be concern and not wanting to see him be killed because of his love for Ma Zhaixing. As hinted very subtly through Prince of Bo’s words last episode, Shopkeeper Fang and Hong’er is revealed to have been spared and let go under the condition they forget everything that’s happened and don’t make anymore noise about anything this episode. This act of disobedience is sure to get Prince of Bo killed once Chu Kui finds out. It’s something which Yao Ji apparently doesn’t want to see happen to Prince of Bo. She doesn’t want Prince of Bo to continue to make more mistakes and get killed. So, although Yao Ji appears to be antagonistic towards Prince of Bo, there’s an ever so slight hint she could be trying to protect and save him.
In order for Prince of Bo to live and not be punished for disobeying Chu Kui, Yao Ji plots a plan to get Ma Zhaixing out of the way so Prince of Bo isn’t burdened by Ma Zhaixing’s attempts to change Prince of Bo back to Langzai (even though Prince of Bo is showing he is willing). Yao Ji starts off with cleaning up the job Prince of Bo couldn’t complete as according to Chu Kui’s orders. Discovering Prince of Bo had secretly gone and saved Shopkeeper Fang and Hong’er from the fire, Yao Ji has them killed after Prince of Bo via Xiao Mo had let them go free provided they stay quiet and never speak of anything that’s happened.
Yao Ji then moves onto getting Ma Zhaixing seeing the cold, cruel and ruthless side of Prince of Bo by having her visit the Imperial dungeon where she’s told to pick a couple prisoners to serve meat but is in actual fact picking them to be executed. It comes off as her trying to stop Ma Zhaixing from continuing in her attempts to change Prince of Bo back to Langzai (which it does as right after seeing this, she tells Mo Xiao they should stop everyone from planting in the Bo Manor and return it to how it was).
However, Yao Ji’s end goal looks to be to get Ma Zhaixing seeing this side of Prince of Bo, cause a bit of a fight between them, so it’d give her a reason to bring her to Duan Manor to show Prince of Bo isn’t all cold and ruthless. She would show her how after personally executing prisoner Lord Duan Yanyue, Prince of Bo showed some compassion by keeping Duan Yanyue’s blind, deaf and unwell elderly mother at the manor, sending her medicine via Wen Yan every month. Yao Ji would claim to be wanting to show Ma Zhaixing this good side of Prince of Bo in order to satisfy Chu Kui’s order to get Ma Zhaixing and Prince of Bo back together. But, the main purpose for this visit is to have her come into possession of a letter written by Duan Yanyue.
In the letter, Duan Yanyue (who was an old friend of Ma Ying) makes the conjecture that Chu Yougui is the mastermind behind the assassination of Ma Ying and the Ma Family. The assassination was conjectured to have transpired from Ma Ying and a few other ministers having discovered Chu Yougui’s plot to seize control of the throne. Because of their knowledge of this attempted coup, Chu Yougui tried to secretly get rid of them. But it’s the ministers who are handed down a sentence for treason by Chu Kui. This saw Duan Yanyue suspect even more that Chu Yougui was working with the Jin to kill Ma Ying.
Because of this letter (which Yao Ji appears to have been sure the servant of Duan Yanyue’s surviving mother would pass onto Ma Zhaixing), Ma Zhaixing takes it to Chu Kui as reason for the need to reopen the Ma Family case. Not only does the letter give her reason for petitioning a reinvestigation, she believes that the one responsible had to be a high-ranking person. The insinuation is the mastermind is within the palace, because only someone within the palace would know when her father would be back at the Ma Manor as leaving a post requires a decree.
Ma Zhaixing’s petition to reopen the Ma Family case gets her thrown in jail. The result was always going to be this way. It’s the perfect trap Yao Ji’s laid down. Chu Kui being the one responsible, the Yang Emperor was never going to let this case ever see the light of day again.
Prince of Bo, who is summoned back to the palace (after leaving to take care of the Shopkeeper Fang and Hong’er matter last episode), threatens Yao Ji with going to Chu Kui and revealing her as being the one behind the scheme which caused this buried Ma Family case to come up again. In response, Yao Ji reminds Prince of Bo how he failed to complete his mission by not killing Shopkeeper Fang and Hong’er and had Mo Xiao help him. If Prince of Bo goes to report her, she will go to Chu Kui and report Prince of Bo for having gone against orders and had let go of Shopkeeper Fang and Hong’er. If she did that, it will be everyone from the Bo Manor and the Night Fury Team who will pay the price of his actions.
Prince of Bo’s been cornered, not only figuratively, but literally as Yao Ji moves to immobilise Prince of Bo with the use of a flower known as the Wolfbone Flower which plagues him with pain to the point of losing control. This sees Wen Yan move to take the fall for Prince of Bo’s moment of compassion and reverse the story and Ma Zhaixing’s doubt in the culprit behind the Ma Family assassination case which the Duan Yanyue’s letter caused.
Kneeling before Chu Kui, Wen Yan tells the story of him being given the task to finish the job of killing Hong’er after Shopkeeper Fang was killed, but because of how Hong’er had reminded him of his younger sister (who died of an illness), he couldn’t kill her in the end. Wen Yan tells Chu Kui that his failure in the mission was used by Yao Ji to take her revenge on Prince of Bo for beating her in becoming Leader of Night Fury Team. She blackmailed Wen Yan to trick Ma Zhaixing into visiting the Duan Manor and have the servant there forge Duan Yanyue’s letter which caused Ma Zhaixing to petition for a reinvestigation.
To ensure his story checks out when Chu Kui orders a search at Yao Ji’s Grand Diviner Palace, the bodies of Hong’er and the servant are confirmed to be at the residence beforehand. Wen Yan also tells of having placed some things there which looks to be the Duan Family seal to support a forgery of the letter and possibly the Wolfbone Flower to support its actual use on Prince of Bo.
Discovering all of the above, Chu Kui now believes Wen Yan’s story, and Yao Ji is made to tell Ma Zhaixing this scheme of hers to stop her from petitioning for a reinvestigation. The forced confession works to stop Ma Zhaixing. However, a wondering thought regarding how Yao Ji knew Chu Kui would get angry over her asking to investigate the Ma Family assassination case lingers. Although the thought doesn’t develop further as Ma Zhaixing is told to go be by Prince of Bo’s side (he’s in a coma because of Yao Ji’s use of the Wolfbone Flower on him), she is now viewed as a threat to the Ma Family matter being uncovered.
The idea of killing Ma Zhaixing was only a suggestion which Yao Ji made when Chu Kui brought Prince of Bo before him to be scolded for not keeping better control of Ma Zhaixing. However, after hearing Ma Zhaixing pick up on this detail about Chu Kui reacting so angrily when she petitioned for a reinvestigation, Chu Kui is now settled on getting rid of Ma Zhaixing.
A report which comes through about having located the Jin Army’s Taibao Battalion sees Chu Kui deciding this to be the perfect opportunity to make use of the Ma Family Army. With the Taibao Battalion heavily guarded by elite soldiers of the Jin Army, Chu Kui expects that any army he deploys would suffer heavy casualties. What better use for the Ma Family Army than to have them take the hits, suffer the heavy casualties and render them useless in his plans that he can regard Ma Zhaixing as no longer needed as a hostage and be discarded.
Killing Ma Zhaixing won’t keep things hidden, though. Ji Chong is back and in the process of investigating the death of Shopkeeper Fang. Through a market stall vendor, he learns Shopkeeper Fang had been found dead by a river bay and that authorities were offering a reward for solving the case which they’ve so far have struggled to solve. Ji Chong didn’t initially find the killing suspicious when the stall vendor told him about the cover-up fire along with Shopkeeper Fang having been killed nor was he interested in looking into the case. That is until he was told about the said reward: one hundred taels for anyone able to help with the investigation.
So, starting with going into a dark holding room of dead bodies to look for Shopkeeper Fang’s body, he begin his investigations. He comes across a star-shape mark (which he notes as the Spinning Flower Leaf) on Shopkeeper Fang’s neck. It leads him to believe this star-shaped mark is left by a strong poison created in the palace. He may not have figured out who or why the court would kill an unimportant restaurant manager, but he is given a good start to where to look.
Prince of Bo caught up that Wen Yan took the blame and is told neither he or anyone else are allowed to sacrifice themselves for him after Prince of Bo more or less thanks Wen Yan for his sacrifice (which involved breaking his meridians). Prince of Bo then moves to reflect on the situation, realising he isn’t able to protect Ma Zhaixing on his own. Wen Yan adds his thoughts, which sees him note exactly what Chu Kui had already expressed last episode: when the Ma Family Army becomes less useful, the need to keep Ma Zhaixing around will reduce greatly. Prince of Bo is also fully aware this. It’s not a moment of “if” but “when” Chu Kui will look at wanting to killing Ma Zhaixing.
That moment is not far. Reports that the Ma Family Army’s General Ma Fengcheng has been poisoned and is requesting reinforcements in their battle at Jin Kingdom’s Taibao Batallion has Chu Kui use this opportunity to send that order to Prince of Bo for Ma Zhaixing to be killed.
Conveniently, after Prince of Bo had offered to lead his army there (but is denied as there would be no one in charge of the Court’s military matters), Ma Zhaixing put up her hand to head to the frontline herself. It sees Chu Kui agree without issue quoting the reason that it will serve as a morale booster to the Ma Family Army to have her there. With her, Chu Kui also grants the use of twenty thousand soldiers from the Jiaozhou Army which Chu Kui will order its Commander to send.
After this is agreed on, albeit reluctantly by Prince of Bo (does he really have any other choice but agree?), Chu Kui dismisses Ma Zhaixing and holds back Prince of Bo to order him to set a trap to wipe out the Ma Family Army and kill Ma Zhaixing. This looks to be the hidden reason Prince of Bo’s offer to lead an army out was rejected. The order sees Prince of Bo beg Chu Kui spare Ma Zhaixing, but Chu Kui won’t hear of it. Chu Kui’s reasons? Apparently, he has a grudge against Ma Ying, the Ma Family and the Ma Family Army.
Chu Youyu’s death is blamed on Ma Ying’s delay in replying to an order for aid and failed to show up with reinforcements which led to the First Prince’s death. From this point onwards, Chu Kui (who also received a warning from Ma Ying that the General on the battlefield may not follow the king’s orders at some point) saw Ma Ying and the Ma Family Army as untrustworthy. It was from this point, Chu Kui had wanted to wipe them out. Killing Ma Ying, assassinating the entire Ma Family was because of this matter.
Prince of Bo seems unclear for what reason Chu Kui was telling him this. Ma Ying’s been killed. The rest of the Ma Family has been killed. Though not specifically articulated, Prince of Bo probably feels Chu Youyu’s death has been avenged or will be completely avenged after the Ma Family Army is wiped out. Prince of Bo seemed not too worried about taking the Ma Family Army out. He only pleaded for Ma Zhaixing to be spared. It’s not enough for Chu Kui, though. The Ma Family Army must be wiped out and so must Ma Zhaixing. Only with them all gone will Chu Kui be satisfied that his son’s death has been avenged. Chu Kui hopes this would convince (or rather guilt-trip) Prince of Bo to killing Ma Zhaixing. (What a dilemma. Prince of Bo is very loyal to his brother Chu Youyu, but he also loves Ma Zhaixing!)
Meanwhile, on the matter of the truth behind the case of the Ma Family assassination, Ji Chong finds himself speaking to a tea house owner who’s an old friend of Shopkeeper Fang to inform himself on the happenings leading up to Shopkeeper Fang’s and Hong’er death: these being a dangerous man reserving the whole restaurant on the day of Ma Family assassination, Prince of Bo being suspected as being the one who looked very much like that dangerous person, Ma Fengcheng intending to show a painting to verify whether that dangerous man is the same person as Prince of Bo and Ma Fengcheng never managing to confirm the identity before Shopkeeper Fang and Hong’er met their deaths that was believed to be at the time of the fire.
Going to his former subordinate, General Cheng Liang, Ji Chong hoped to get an update on any findings Cheng Liang might have for him on the case. Instead, Ji Chong finds himself before Jin Kingdom’s Crown Prince Li Juqi. Cheng Liang appeared to have informed the Jin Kingdom Crown Prince of Ji Chong’s location after Ji Chong had made a request to meet. Cheng Liang apologised for his actions, but they apparently couldn’t lose him. Why they can’t lose Ji Chong? Cheng Liang doesn’t say, but Li Juqi does make it sound like it’s because Ji Chong had killed millions of soldiers and that his attempt to work his whole life to support their families wasn’t enough to repay it. (The truth has yet to be revealed, but it has to do with his true identity.)
Galloping in with soldiers behind him, Li Juqi is the one to tell Ji Chong the involvement Jin Kingdom has with regards to the Ma Family case: the Jin Kingdom isn’t the culprit. There is another story behind Ma Ying’s death which he tells Ji Chong he will La learn once he follows him to Taibao Battalion.
Prince of Bo obeys the order to ambush Ma Zhaixing with request he be allowed to let Ma Zhaixing know the reason he must wipe her and the Ma Family Army out is because of the army’s failure to save Chu Youyu back then. Chu Kui only tells Prince of Bo not disappoint him (i.e. Chu Kui allows it).
With no other choice but follow orders, Prince of Bo returns to Bo Manor. He spends a brief time ignoring Ma Zhaixing and being angry at her decision to go on the frontline. It causes a few hurtful words to be expressed after Ma Zhaixing tries to explain herself and apologise. She tells him she couldn’t ignore the Ma Family Army since it’s her father’s army and hoped that he could support her. With him by her side, protecting her, she won’t be afraid. She also puts on a cute expression whilst tugging at his sleeves to try placate him.
The creases in his frown seem to soften at this point before they deepen again and she’s told to stop it. Unknown to her, after she leaves for the Ma Battalion at the border, they weren’t going to be on the same side. It has Prince of Bo express regret they ever met. He wonders if things would have been better if she didn’t go to Langshou Mountain, if she never saved Langzai because she would then not have hurt her leg and she wouldn’t have had to stay in the Imperial City [as a hostage]. Prince of Bo tells her she could have had a husband who loves her, had children, and live a carefree life. He tells her how great it would have been if he had jumped off the cliff back then and died.
Prince of Bo seems to now also think maybe Yao Ji was right about them being cursed.
His words has Ma Zhaixing scold him for being harsh and ridiculous. She tells him she never regretted meeting him and seems willing to be with him despite suffering the leg injury that has her unable to walk properly. She is willing despite being at Bo Manor, despite this possibly causing her to be trapped there her entire life. She doesn’t seem to care about all that. She only cares that he’s ignoring her, that he doesn’t want her anymore.
Ma Zhaixing’s tear-filled eyes has Prince of Bo calm himself to hold her before he seems to resign to the fact of the situation that he and Ma Zhaixing will be on opposite sides. Instead of ignoring her and getting angry, thinking what could have been, what they should have done, Prince of Bo makes the decision to teach Ma Zhaixing tactics, topography, and course of action for the battle at Taibao Batallion the next day. He also hints at an ambush led by him and tries to have her seriously prepare for this.
When presented with such a scenario, Ma Zhaixing brushes it off as an unlikely scenario. However, upon seeing Prince of Bo persist that she regard such a scenario seriously, Ma Zhaixing asks for what reason Prince of Bo would become her enemy. Prince of Bo doesn’t give her the one about the Ma Family Army having failed to save Chu Youyu, but gives a very real answer that the Ma Family Army has always been uncontrollable and that after the battle, they’ve become useless and that Chu Kui has ordered annihilation of the army and her along with them.
Ma Zhaixing isn’t able to answer. This has Prince of Bo teach her about not trusting the enemy no matter who it is before her. He moves to use his identity of Langzai to tell her that as this person, he won’t fight her. He would rather negotiate and ask her to surrender. This has Ma Zhaixing agree and express her willingness to negotiate with him, falling into his trap where Prince of Bo tells her that he would then kill her once she attended negotiations by herself. The Ma Family Army would then lose the battle with her gone.
The shock of Prince of Bo pulling a sword and having it pointed towards her, he probably hopes drives home the point he’s making. When they are on the battlefield, they are enemies. He tells her to never trust the enemy, that she must be crafty enough to lure her enemy and then kill them using their weaknesses.
Asked if she understands, Ma Zhaixing says she does. She is then presented a lightweight, yet strong armour to protect her in battle. Prince of Bo really wants her to come out alive in this battle and tells her that no matter how tough the enemy is she must stay alive in order to defeat her ultimate enemy (i.e. Prince of Bo and Chu Kui!)
The night before Ma Zhaixing is set to leave for the Ma Battalion, Ma Zhaixing decides on her own to dress up in a wedding dress. It’s not only so he can see her in a wedding dress before she leaves to the border where she may be there for a while, but she seems to want to have him see that they will be together in the future as they overcome obstacles she believes they will.
With Ji Chong investigating Shopkeeper Fang’s death, the Ma Family case and discovering the Yang Kingdom is behind it all, whether Ma Zhaixing and Prince of Bo will overcome all obstacles is set to be tested. Meeting with Jin Kingdom’s Crown Prince Li Juqi (also known as Prince of Wen), Ji Chong gets the Crown Prince’s statement that the Jin Kingdom was not behind the assassination of Ma Ying and the Ma Family. Li Juqi admits wanting to draw Ma Ying over to the Jin Kingdom’s side (as well as other enemy generals), but after receiving reply that Ma Ying had handed over military power and retire, the Jin Kingdom gave up on persuading Ma Ying. They had no reason to provoke hostilities between them by killing Ma Ying after that. Ma Ying no longer commanded any military power.
Based on these words, Ji Chong makes the link that the murder of Shopkeeper Fang must be to hide the fact that Chu Kui is behind Ma Ying and the Ma Family’s deaths, and in order to keep Ma Family Army from finding out and revolt, Chu Kui had Shopkeeper Fang killed.
Asking Li Juqi why they didn’t go to the Ma Family Army about this and clear it up, Li Juqi tells Ji Chong that as soon as they heard they were from the Jin Kingdom, they refused to meet. But he hopes that Ji Chong, who had said he was good friends with Ma Zhaixing, could now clear things up with the Ma Family Army.
Ji Chong initially planned to head for Bo Manor to see Ma Zhaixing to reveal the truth, but running into Ma Jing midway saw him head to Ma Battalion to tell Ma Fengcheng instead that it is the Yang Kingdom who is responsible for the assassination of the Ma Family not the Jin Kingdom. Such accusations sees Ma Fengcheng demand through laboured speech the supply of evidence and where Ji Chong had gotten his information.
When Ji Chong reveals the information came from Jin Crown Prince Li Juqi and that he was able to get such information because he was once a Jin General, it doesn’t help Ji Chong gain any sort of credibility—understandably. Even Ji Chong could understand the reaction when Ma Yehan had pulled out his sword and pointed it at Ji Chong’s neck.
Ji Chong didn’t come with just Li Juqi’s assertions about the matter. The Jin’s Tiger Seal used to frame the Jin Kingdom is an item supporting his claim. The mention of this seem to have Ma Fengcheng predict Ji Chong might be possibly (?) trying to claim the Jin Tiger Seal as fake with how Ma Fengcheng interrupts Ji Chong with saying how he’s confirmed it as real because of how unique it was. Ji Chong’s direction was not to claim the seal wasn’t real, because after it was brought out for Ji Chong to see, Ji Chong reveals a hidden character identifying it as belonging to General Shen who (as Ji Chong had Ma Fengcheng say the next fact himself) had died a year ago.
Although no the actual timeline of when the Ma Family assassination took place, it’s suggested that the Ma Family assassination took place after General Shen’s death. As such, there was no way General Shen could have been at the Ma Manor.
Ji Chong goes on to point out the culprit being Prince of Bo (rather it’s actually the Night Fury Team but one-and-the-same with Prince of Bo being their leader). Ji Chong’s claim is more a strong inference than evidence, but his mention about Shopkeeper Fang’s murder and it being very suspiciously being because of Shopkeeper Fang’s suspicions about Prince of Bo being behind the assassination leads Ma Fengcheng to recall his conversation with Shopkeeper Fang before he was killed in the fire and finally believing Ji Chong regarding Jin Kingdom not being behind the Ma Family assassination.
With Ma Yehan now also believing Ji Chong, it sees him calling for Ma Zhaixing to be rescued. It has Ji Chong against the call. He believes it is better to remain calm and wait for Ma Zhaixing to continue in making her way to them. He tells them that he and Ma Jing can go and make sure Ma Zhaixing arrive safely—which make great sense. They can receive Ma Zhaixing, and once she is safely on their side, they can then have Ma Zhaixing know the truth.
After learning the truth about the Ma Family case, Ma Fengcheng passes away from the poison suffered from this battle against an enemy who turned out not to be their enemy at all—a fact which has Ma Fengcheng express with great pain of his failure in serving the late Kuizhou Feudal Lord before he died.
The Ma Family Army General no longer with them, Ma Yehan takes over command of the army with Ji Chong on even standing with Ma Yehan in leading and carrying out their mission to receive Ma Zhaixing back onto their side. However, with a spy discovered amongst them, chances of that happening diminish greatly as it only gave them at most one day before the message pigeon returned back to base and reports their knowledge of the true culprit behind the Ma Family assassination.
When Ji Chong and Ma Yehan catches up with the spy attempting to send back information during the announcement of Ma Fengcheng’s passing, nothing is known with regards to what information had been sent back. The spy had committed suicide before Ma Yehan could get it out of him. This leaves them to assume the worst case scenario of the spy having successfully sent the pigeon away with the message.
A scene later confirms they were right to assume the worst case scenario because Chu Kui is seen ordering Prince of Bo to quickly go find Ma Zhaixing and return her to the palace alive in order to keep Ma Family Army from staging an attack on Chu Kui and the Capital.
With Ma Zhaixing actually making it out of the palace before the message was received, Ji Chong, Ma Yehan and Ma Jing still had a chance of catching up with Ma Zhaixing on-route. Covering all routes Ma Zhaixing could take to make her way to the Ma Family Battalion, Ji Chong had a couple soldiers accompany Ma Jing to take the East route, a couple soldiers take the mountain path while he took the main path.
It is Ma Jing who runs into Ma Zhaixing. Ma Jing had almost missed her when Ma Jing’s investigations into the area failed to check the carriage that passed her carried Ma Zhaixing. Fortunately, Ma Zhaixing had her people—rather Prince of Bo’s people—stop, and Ma Jing was able to take Ma Zhaixing away but only temporarily.
Ma Jing gets as far as telling Ma Zhaixing about the death of her brother (Ma Fengcheng) and that Prince of Bo is trying to kill her before the soldiers Prince of Bo sent to escort Ma Zhaixing earlier rush to surround them. Not long after that, Prince of Bo, in his black cloak and hood covering his face, leaps onto the scene, killing off Ma Jing’s two soldiers. Chains with shackles then fly through the air to capture Ma Zhaixing’s arms, just like how her father, Ma Ying, was captured before he was killed.
Ma Zhaixing appears to know this stranger before her is Prince of Bo, but she doesn’t want to believe it. Being a smart person, Ma Zhaixing should know who was before her by the voice and the Bo Army following this supposed stranger, but appears to try hard to make excuses (like the Bo Army men impersonating them) to justify it not being Prince of Bo.
Ma Jing shouts out the truth after hearing Ma Zhaixing deny the possibility these men holding her could be from the Bo Army. The men are from the Bo Army she tells Ma Zhaixing because Prince of Bo sent them. Then the truth about the Ma Family assassination comes out: it was Chu Kui and Prince of Bo who wiped out Ma Zhaixing’s family not the King of Jin.
Ma Zhaixing seem unwilling to accept what she knew to be true until Prince of Bo took off the hood over his head and turned around to reveal himself to her. Although Ma Zhaixing stopped demanding to know who he is after this, Ma Zhaixing still held onto the hope that there was some sort of misunderstanding, that Prince of Bo didn’t do what Ma Jing said he did, that it was still King of Jin who wiped out her family.
Prince of Bo doesn’t deny killing her family nor does he actually confirm it. However, saying that Ma Ying’s merits were too great for his own good being the reason he was killed is as good as admitting the deed. He even tells her about the command he received to kill her just to show her who he is—which is a tool of Chu Kui.
All Prince of Bo’s words and thoughts as well as Yao Ji’s words which didn’t make sense or match up to her own thoughts all make sense and match up now. Flashing back, she recalls Prince of Bo wishing he could pretend the misdeeds he committed didn’t happen she now understands his meaning. He was talking about the assassination of her family. Prince of Bo talking about himself as being a weapon of war, she now sees was used against her father and the Ma Family and was about to be used on her and the Ma Family Army. Yao Ji’s words about her not knowing Prince of Bo at all, Prince of Bo being Langzai once he’s at Bo Manor, Prince of Bo not able to have a pure relationship without lies and them being cursed by heavens, him wanting to fall off the cliff and die, Ma Zhaixing finally sees why they said all this.
Ma Zhaixing and Ma Jing are taken in, ending immediate hopes of getting Ma Zhaixing over to the Ma Family Battalion. Not only is Ma Zhaixing and Ma Jing now held captive in a dungeon, Ma Zhaixing has poison in her system. During a stop at a small restaurant just before Ma Jing ran into her, Yao Ji’s people got to her first with a pot of tea that was spiked with poison. With Chu Kui now wanting Ma Zhaixing alive to resume her previous purpose of keeping Ma Family Army from attacking, the antidote (which Chu Kui made Yao Ji surrender even before all of this happened) is given to Prince of Bo to have Ma Zhaixing take.
Getting Ma Zhaixing to take the antidote is proving to be a challenge. Wanting only to see Prince of Bo, Ma Zhaixing refuses the food and drink which contains the antidote. Seemingly fearing that telling Ma Zhaixing to take the antidote would result in her refusing it, Prince of Bo instructed Hai Die to put it in her food or drink secretly. An attempt to get Ma Zhaixing consuming it through a small pot of soup sees Ma Zhaixing smack it away before using the porcelain shards of the broken pot to demand Prince of Bo show himself before her.
Prince of Bo doesn’t oblige when Hai Die reports back Ma Zhaixing’s demand. He can’t see under what identity he should go see her—should he go as Langzai or Prince of Bo? It probably didn’t matter when concerning the matter of the Ma Family being assassinated by the one he calls Royal Father and the one he serves as a weapon of war. Prince of Bo believes that the only way all of this will end and allow Ma Zhaixing the ability to avenge her family’s death is when he dies under her hands. He reveals that he plans to request Chu Kui let Ma Zhaixing go. In exchange, he will use his life as an exchange. This apparently was the intention all along according to Wen Yan. The Wolf Bow Prince of Bo gave to Ma Zhaixing back in Episode 9 was meant to serve this intention.
Back at the Ma Family Battalion, after Ji Chong and Ma Yehan discovers they were steps too slow in getting to Ma Zhaixing, Ji Chong, with Ma Yehan and his men, work on rescuing Ma Zhaixing and Ma Jing from the cells. They had discussed penetrating the Yang Palace, but (as Ji Chong notes) this was impossible as no doubt Prince of Bo would have been made to ensure it was impenetrable.
Although they may not be able to enter the palace, Ji Chong seems to still have a way to get Ma Zhaixing and Ma Jing out of there, and that is, by forcing the Yang Kingdom to hand them over. He doesn’t mention how, but it’s suggested by the last scene of the episode to involve Chu Youzhen who is seen on his horse, accompanied by his cousin, Military Officer Yang Hou, and his contingent, travelling back to the Capital after receiving orders from Chu Kui to return quickly.
Taking a knife to Chu Youzhen’s throat, Ji Chong (with Ma Yehan and the army behind) threaten to kill the Fourth Prince if he and the Ma Family Army don’t have Ma Zhaixing and Ma Jing over on their side.
While Yang Hou is made to rush to the Capital to report this threat to Chu Kui, back in the palace, Prince of Bo finally calls on Ma Zhaixing to see him. He’s got two purposes in seeing her it seems: to treat the poison still in her system with the antidote infused in an incense burner and kill any lingering hopes of seeing Langzai in him and that they could ever be together.
Ma Zhaixing is quite magnanimous. Despite now knowing (believing) her family was killed by Prince of Bo, Ma Zhaixing shows willingness to give Prince of Bo a chance to redeem himself by choosing who he wanted to be from this point on: Chu Kui’s Prince of Bo or Xing’er’s Langzai? She seems to suggest that as long as he chose to be Langzai now, she could forgive the fact he killed her family.
She also seems willing to separate the Prince of Bo who had a duty to take orders from Chu Kui from the Langzai who tried to protect her this whole time she was made a hostage at the Bo Manor. Maybe it’s her keen judgement or maybe her wishful thinking, but she seems to want to believe that Prince of Bo is using the trip to Taibao Battalion as a way of freeing her and not as a way to rid her and the Ma Family Army.
Based on how many times Prince of Bo had saved her, had wanted her to live when she was close to dying, had said he needed to get Ma Zhaixing out of the palace before harm came her way, and just last episode, how Prince of Bo had said he planned to use his own life to atone for the assassination of Ma Family Army, killing Ma Zhaixing doesn’t look like something he would actually do despite orders. According to Wen Yan, Prince of Bo has had this thought since gifting Ma Zhaixing the Wolf Bow in Episode 9 which Yao Ji had mentioned in Episode 21 that Prince of Bo couldn’t even bear to use himself.
But the front Prince of Bo chooses to show continues to be a loyal one towards Chu Kui—at least that’s what it sounds like when he tells Ma Zhaixing that although Ma Zhaixing had been good to him when he was Langzai, the people who saved him and taught him everything about loyalty, family and friendship is Chu Kui, Night Fury and Chu Youyu. It wasn’t her.
Although Prince of Bo appears to be choosing the identity of Prince of Bo because of the above, he had also told her he can only be Prince of Bo, suggesting he needs to be Prince of Bo because being anyone else means disobeying Chu Kui. Disobeying Chu Kui means he and Night Fury and everyone in the Bo Manor dies. Then there’s the matter of being loyal to Chu Youyu. Choosing Langzai means choosing Ma Zhaixing and that means not choosing Chu Youyu and siding with the daughter of the man who according to Chu Kui was the reason behind Chu Youyu dying.
To force Ma Zhaixing to let go of the idea that Langzai could ever come back as well as have her see that Xing’er and Langzai no longer exists, Prince of Bo burns everything from their past in front of her eyes. He burns the Wolf tooth necklace Xing’er gave Langzai as a charm to protect him out in the world (Episode 1). He burns Ma Zhaixing’s treasured Xing’er-and-Langzai shadow puppets. He even ends up burning the perfume sachet which Ma Zhaixing dropped after fainting from realising her Langzai was well and truly gone.
Prince of Bo manages to thoroughly cut ties between him and Ma Zhaixing during an exchange of hostages which Chu Kui reluctantly commands him and Night Fury to carry out following Yang Hou’s report. The journey to the meeting place sees Ma Zhaixing originally starving herself and thinking that if she died Chu Youzhen would die and that would inflict pain to Chu Kui and Prince of Bo. However, Prince of Bo manages to get Ma Zhaixing back fighting to live (as opposed to dying) as the way to punish Prince of Bo and Chu Kui for wiping out her Family.
Ma Zhaixing unwilling to eat or drink even when brought before Prince of Bo and force-fed water, Prince of Bo deliberately provokes her by telling her that dying and having Ji Chong kill Chu Youzhen because they failed to bring her to him was a meaningless death. It accomplishes nothing for her family because he, the murderer, continues to live on. The effect achieves exactly the result Prince of Bo is after. Ma Zhaixing abandons the thought of withering away and starts eating and drinking. She will live to see Prince of Bo regret he didn’t kill her when he had the chance. A smile on his lips and a brightness in his tone, Prince of Bo welcomes the day she exacts her revenge on him.
Although Prince of Bo appears prepared to see that day arrive, he seemed unprepared to hear her voice it during the exchange of hostages. Meeting on a vast open area, just before the exchange is made, Chu Youzhen had moved to make a sincere apology to Ma Zhaixing on behalf of Prince of Bo and Chu Kui for the pain and suffering they caused. Her only response to him is a vow to kill Prince of Bo and Chu Kui. The dead-straight tone had Prince of Bo’s face wince and drop ever so slightly as if arrows had been shot at his heart.
The exchange of Ma Zhaixing for Chu Youzhen sees Prince of Bo and Ma Zhaixing truly become enemies as she returns to the Ma Family Army who now aligns with Yang Kingdom enemies, the Jin Kingdom. Ma Zhaixing safely standing next to Ji Chong, the former Commander in Chief of the Jin Elite Soldiers moves to reveal to them all just exactly how it’s possible for him to request the help of not only a large contingent of the Jin Army to show up following the exchange but the Crown Prince of Jin, Li Juqi, to personally show up as well.
Through Li Juqi himself, the Crown Prince of Jin reveals their real relationship as brothers. Ji Chong wasn’t only a former Commander in Chief to the Jin army, but the Second Prince of Jin, Prince of Chuan, Li Juyao. The revelation sees Ma Yehan recall Ji Chong’s merits on the battlefield quite positively as he rhetorically wonders if Ji Chong is the same mighty Prince of Jin who defeated everyone of the battlefield. He goes on to mention how highly the Ma Family Army General (we believe he’s referring to Ma Fengcheng?) had viewed Ji Chong. Ma Yehan reveals that the Ma Family Army General saw Ji Chong as a young hero and had wanted Ji Chong to command the Ma Family Army together with him—if only the Yang and Jin Kingdoms weren’t enemies.
The high praise sees Ji Chong smile sadly as it seems to bring up the incident which saw all his army comrades end up losing their lives. (This is the same incident Ji Chong was telling Ma Zhaixing in Episode 16 where he mentions a friend—him—had watched all his friends in the army die.) It’s praise that’s undeserving he tells Ma Yehan.
Returning to the hostage situation, Ji Chong plans to use his strong contingent of Jin and Ma Family Army soldiers to get revenge for Ma Zhaixing. On the battlefield, Ji Chong’s contingent appear to put Prince of Bo and his contingent at a great disadvantage. However, as Ma Zhaixing warns Ji Chong, Prince of Bo doesn’t come unprepared. Hiding in the distance behind the low hills is Hai Die and the archers, ready to fire their arrows with the first arrow going straight for Ma Zhaixing. Just to show Ji Chong and the Ma Family Army he’s not bluffing, a few warning shots land right in front of Ji Chong and Ma Zhaixing’s feet. Prince of Bo reminds them that arrows are faster than soldiers on the ground.
Ji Chong points out that even if Prince of Bo have faster arrows, once they fly, he questions Prince of Bo’s ability to escape unharmed. Prince of Bo seemed not to disagree he may not come out of this alive, but it would seem he never had thoughts to do so. He’ll go down taking them all with him: he’ll take Ma Zhaixing, the Ma Family Army and the two princes of Jin, Ji Chong and Li Juqi, with him. It’ll make a great contribution he tells him.
With Ma Jing still a hostage on Prince of Bo’s side, Ma Zhaixing tells Ji Chong not to test Prince of Bo or call him bluff. Having promised Ma Fengcheng to take good care of Ma Jing for him, Ma Jing can’t be harmed.
With this, Ji Chong proposes they both retreat safely, a proposal which Prince of Bo says he will agree to. As long as Ji Chong allows Prince of Bo to retreat safely, so will Prince of Bo’s archers.
Prince of Bo keeps his word in retreating and sending Ma Jing over to them once they were a safe distance from Ji Chong and his soldiers. With the revelation Ji Chong is the youngest son of the King of Jin and the appearance of Li Juqi and his army, Prince of Bo is able to return to report his failure to carry out the second command of his hostage exchange mission—that being, to kill Ma Zhaixing that was given in Episode 27—and escapes without punishment.
It’s quite fortunate. Both times the order to kill Ma Zhaixing was either retracted by Chu Kui himself or the circumstance were too risky to carry it out. As Mo Xiao provides, Prince of Bo had the archers to take out not only Ma Zhaixing but the troops of the Jin and the Ma as well. However they failed to do that only because they hadn’t managed to deploy them fast enough. This has Prince of Bo reject Mo Xiao’s view it could’ve changed the outcome. Even if they could deploy faster, Ji Chong would have noticed and it would have risked the safety of Chu Youzhen.
In Taiyuan, a city within the Jin Kingdom, Ma Zhaixing and Ma Jing make their way to see the King of Jin with Ji Chong. As they travel through the Main Street, it serves as an example of the work achieved by King of Jin’s initiatives. Cleaning up internal affairs, reducing taxes, sympathising with the common people and severely punishing corruption allowed the people to live a stable life in the presently chaotic world. Men who weren’t the only son or handicapped were mandated to do military service which kept streets free of beggars.
The King of Jin appear to be a good ruler. Even Ji Chong is able to commend his father for it despite the apparent rift between them which has lasted seven years and counting. But all the good work Ji Chong is able to credit to his father as the King of Jin, Ji Chong finishes off with a criticism on his father’s personality which he describes as smug, self-righteous and impenetrably thick-headed.
It has Ma Zhaixing break out of her lack of words to ask Ji Chong what was between him and his father that’s gotten Ji Chong to be like this about his father—a question which Ji Chong doesn’t answer seriously as he shocks Ma Jing at least that his father gave a military order to behead him. This isn’t the reason. The reason has to do with the friends in the army who all died because of him and this all had something to do with Ji Chong’s father.
If there was any concern any of them blamed Ji Chong for the deaths of his army friends, the soldiers of Chuanlong Army helped alleviate that at least. They miss him as they all express this fact upon seeing Ji Chong back in Taiyuan. Ke Lang, a former subordinate of Ji Chong’s, and Ke Lang’s men look to be part of the strong presence of soldiers Ma Zhaixing had noticed watching and guarding over the streets. Their excitement in seeing Ji Chong—someone they thought they would never see again—show just how well-loved of a commander he was to them all.
As Ji Chong caught up with his former comrades, Ma Zhaixing catches sight of what she thought was one of Prince of Bo’s warrior wolves spying on them. It’s later discovered that it was only a hunting dog. The mistake sees her chase the hunting dog through Taiyuan’s marketplace, causing damages and losses to the vendors, which Ji Chong steps in to bear after Li Juqi reprimands Ma Zhaixing for it.
The mistake also sees the King of Jin lecture Ma Zhaixing about her impaired judgement and question Ma Zhaixing’s ability to lead the Ma Family Army with a cool head and not let her emotions get in the way. Taking off on her horse after mistaking a hunting dog for Prince of Bo’s warrior wolf indicated to the King of Jin she was responding emotionally rather than in a levelheaded manner. He tells her that acting recklessly is not something they can afford to do right now. The enemy (that is the Yang Kingdom) is stronger than all six of his royal troops put together. Going in attacking now would be the same as waging war against an enemy which have dire consequences for them. The King of Jin also adds that allowing herself to be ruled by emotions because of her revenge is also a disgrace to her father.
Ma Zhaixing admits her mistake at this point and attempts to heed the King of Jin’s advice to go back and study the art of war—which she takes as practicing her archery till her hands bleed with no signs of stopping. It’s not the right way of doing things. As Ji Chong tells her after showing up in his royal attire, she would never in a hundred years defeat Prince of Bo practicing the way she has been.
(Insert: Ji Chong showing up in his royal attire seem to have her in a trance for a few brief moments. We think Ma Zhaixing who is a serial rejector of her suitors actually finds Ji Chong a bit handsome! : oP : oP)
The Jin’s Chief Eunuch Shi (who accompanied and had announced Ji Chong’s arrival) makes the suggestion Ji Chong—rather the Prince of Chuan, the Jin Army’s great general—could lend his a hand in teaching her not just archery, but strategy and cavalry. Ji Chong’s skills are top-notch the Chief Eunuch describes.
Ma Jing (who’s been watching Ma Zhaixing practice archery till her hand bled) agrees with the eunuch’s suggestion as she recalls and reminds Ma Zhaixing of the time in the streets of Yang where they witnessed firsthand just how top-notch Ji Chong is at archery. Ji Chong would be the best teacher for her Ma Jing says.
Seeing this, Ma Zhaixing makes a humble request Ji Chong be her teacher and train her up for the day she could avenge her father’s death. It’s a request Ji Chong accepts. However, he wants her to do something in return before he makes a start. This being to eat a full table of food which the start of Episode 29 reveals.
The lies Ma Zhaixing’s discovered recently—Prince of Bo and Chu Kui being behind her father’s death, and Ji Chong being Jin Kingdom’s Second Prince—have made her doubt the Ma Family Army’s loyalty and Ji Chong’s motives following what she thought was insubordination from Ma Yehan for appearing to have handed the Ma Family Army command over to Ji Chong.
The King of Jin had expressed his concern about Ma Zhaixing being consumed with avenging her father’s death. Ji Chong, too, tries to remind her of the same thing this episode.
After sorting out Ma Zhaixing with getting her eating the table-full of dishes (she had cheekily selected every dish Ji Chong’s admiring maids made, thinking Ji Chong would be the one eating but not knowing she’d be the one to be made to eat them all), Ji Chong had Ma Zhaixing promise him she’d not let hate take over her. Doing so would lead her to forget her original intent or what was most important to her. He wanted her to not distort or torture herself because of her goal to avenge her father’s death. It’s a promise Ma Zhaixing agrees to make.
However, not long after making that promise, Ma Zhaixing already struggles with it when her impatience in avenging her father’s death sees her sneak into Tangxing Garden to see the said-to-be Princess Pingyuan to try convince her to convince the King of Jin to send troops to attack the Yang Kingdom.
The idea to approach Princess Pingyuan had originally come from Ji Chong. He had learned that Princess Pingyuan is the only one who can convince the King of Jin to deploy troops because she is the royal princess from the previous dynasty. Not wanting to make things worse between Ji Chong and his father (because it was forbidden to see Princess Pingyuan without explicit permission from the King of Jin), Ma Zhaixing went in with Ma Jing instead.
From here, Ma Zhaixing manages to convince Princess Pingyuan to accompany her to see the Ma Family Army because a common liking of the Cypress Vine which Ma Zhaixing’s mother liked. Ma Zhaixing appears to have hope that once Princess Pingyuan sees the discipline and strength of the Ma Family Army, Princess Pingyuan would be impressed enough to go see King of Jin to suggest making a move on the Yang Kingdom.
What Ma Zhaixing and Princess Pingyuan sees, though, is anything but the disciplined and feared-by-all Ma Family Army. They were all casually talking, eating, drinking and having fun. There was a perfectly good reason for it. The Ma Family Army had been sent wine and food by Li Juqi. Ma Yehan, unable to reject the Jin Kingdom’s Crown Prince, allowed the soldiers (who were also still recovering from the poisoning at the battle against the Taibao Battalion) to rest for a couple of days.
With Ma Zhaixing fixated on getting to that revenge on Prince of Bo and Chu Kui, she had ignored the tired and struggling soldiers. She drilled them to fall into form and train for her goal of revenge. When the King of Jin arrived to stop the drilling, Ma Zhaixing dared to ask Ma Jing to send King of Jin off so she can (and does) continue to order the Ma Family Army to train.
This is when Ji Chong shows up with the Ma Family Seal, causing Ma Zhaixing to suspect him of being after the Ma Family Army all this time. Hearing Ma Yehan explain it was he who handed the seal to Ji Chong, she didn’t stop to hear it was only so Ji Chong (the one who contributed the most in Ma Zhaixing and Ma Jing’s rescue) could have the honour of handing the seal back to Ma Zhaixing. Seeing all her men stand still, not listening to a word of her command to take Ma Yehan away for punishment according to martial law, she really lets her emotions take over. Drawing a sword, she points it at one of her subordinates to force them to listen to her command.
Ma Zhaixing had completely forgotten her promise to Ji Chong. She had let hatred and revenge take over, lost herself and was acting on emotions which as King of Jin had warned could have dire consequences. It takes Ji Chong to carry her away over his shoulders and dumping her in a water trough for her to wake up and see she’s let happen what she promised she wouldn’t let happen. She even lost trust in the people she never should have doubted during this time.
But with Ji Chong’s help, Ma Zhaixing finally recovers herself. After Ma Zhaixing recognises her arrogance, her loss of trust and her unsuitability as the commander of the Ma Family Army in her current state, Ji Chong moves to return the Ma Family Army seal back to Ma Zhaixing. He tells her that if she doesn’t let hatred control her and face it with a cool head, she can command the Ma Family Army well.
Expressing his view of Ma Zhaixing, he tells her that in his eyes, she is an extremely intelligent and a wise person with a generous heart and courage that doesn’t lose to men. He hopes that she sees the seal as not a tool for her revenge. Rather, he wants her to see it as an item representing the courage given to her from her father.
King of Jin gives Ma Zhaixing a special chance to redeem herself and prove herself capable with the task of breaking the alliance between Qitan and Yang Kingdoms during the coronation of Qitan’s new king. The King of Jin hopes that Ma Zhaixing’s good relationship with Bao Na, Ma Zhaixing could request Bao Na help Ma Zhaixing with it. It proves to be a tough ask.
Meeting up with Bao Na before entering Qitan Kingdom, the Qitan Princess is first caught up with the betrayal that took place between Ma Zhaixing and Prince of Bo and her switch to aligning with the Jin Kingdom. After hearing all this, Bao Na isn’t unwilling to help. She sympathises with Ma Zhaixing. After Ma Zhaixing saved her life during Chu Yougui’s kidnapping scheme in Episode 12, Bao Na’s give and regarded her as her good friend, too. But Bao Na thinks it’s unlikely she’d be able to break the agreement she pestered the former King of Qitan, her father, to sign. What Bao Na thinks she can do is, at the very least, get Ma Zhaixing and Ji Chong a meeting with her brother, the successor to the position of King of Qitan.
Taking Bao Na’s help, Ma Zhaixing and Ji Chong make their way towards Muye Mountain dressed in Qitan clothing. With the Jin Kingdom not being allies of Qitan Kingdom, Ji Chong had thought ahead and communicated through a letter requesting Bao Na prepare them Qitan-styled clothing to avoid drawing attention to themselves. It goes without issues for the most part with only Ma Zhaixing coming close to being discovered when she was ushered into Prince of Bo’s tent to serve him refreshments, risking her chance of meeting with the King of Qitan through Bao Na’s help.
Unlike Ma Zhaixing and Ji Chong, Prince of Bo was formally invited to the King of Qitan’s coronation. They are allies after all. Prince of Bo and his entourage had a camp set up, while Ma Zhaixing had to enter as part of an entourage of entertainers. Ji Chong entered as help in cleaning horse manure.
Bao Na’s reason for Ji Chong’s lowly cover was said to be because she couldn’t bring too many soldiers with her, so she was forced to use this cover to get him in. We think Bao Na is deliberately doing this to Ji Chong. Even though she knows he’s Jin Kingdom’s Prince of Chuan, to her she still just sees him as the rough bounty hunter she seems to enjoy teasing him.
Ma Zhaixing escaping Prince of Bo’s tent with her cover believed to be in tact through Bao Na’s help, Ma Zhaixing, Ji Chong and Bao Na moves to get an audience with the newly installed King of Qitan. With the King of Qitan already with Prince of Bo and Chu Youzhen—guests the King of Qitan refers to as important ones—Bao Na is made to do quite a bit of pestering. It’s not enough to get Ma Zhaixing and Ji Chong in. What it took is Bao Na peaking Prince of Bo’s interest in seeing who this guest of Bao Na’s were and Prince of Bo agreeing to meeting them.
Ma Zhaixing and Ji Chong enter. It sees Bao Na introduce them as Ma Ying’s daughter and Jin Kingdom’s Prince of Chuan, Li Juyao (respectively). Both of whom are her friends. Their association sees the King of Qitan seeking an explanation of how Bao Na as well as Ma Zhaixing came to be associated with someone from the Jin Kingdom. This gives Ma Zhaixing the perfect way to tell the King of Qitan about the assassination of her family, her engagement to Prince of Bo as a means to control the Ma Family Army and the reason Ma Family Army is now in an alliance with the Jin Kingdom, and the reason she is with a prince from the Jin Kingdom.
It all supports her point that once Chu Kui’s allies have served their purpose, Chu Kui disposes of them. It’s said with the unspoken suggestion that the King of Qitan should think carefully about remaining in this alliance with the Yang.
Hearing these charges against the Yang, it has the King of Qitan move to get Prince of Bo to confirm them. Prince of Bo makes no attempt to deny it as he confirms what Ma Zhaixing said is true.
Hope you enjoyed reading The Wolf (2020) Series Recap, Episodes 21 – 30! Please check back for The Wolf (2020) Series Recap, Episodes 31 – 40!