Making the 2000-year-old Human Faced Demon Spider Tang San’s Third Soul Ring sees him take on more than his body can handle. Yu Xiao Gang had shown up just in time to stop Tang San from absorbing the Soul Ring as Tang San’s limit was only 1,700 hundred years old. Meng Shu, Chao Tian Xiang and Yan Yan had also showed up wanting Tang San to surrender the Human Faced Demon Spider for its ability to gather poisonous Soul Beasts with the kind of blood it has. In exchange, they’d find Tang San a more suitable Soul Beast for his third Soul Ring.
It was a reasonable deal considering the risks of absorb a Soul Ring of a beast beyond Tang San’s limit was death. Tang San was willing to accept the deal on the condition Meng Shu helped him with the rescuing of Xiao Wu. However, Meng Shu showed unwillingness to take on the unbeatable Titan Giant Ape.
Neither reaching a deal Tang San goes to absorb the Soul Ring. It sees him fall to the ground and ultimately fail to absorb it. For some time, Tang San tries hard to fight for control of the new powers of the Human Faced Demon Spider. He is seen being restrained by the black silk web of the spider in the internal realm. Externally, the same is happening. Not long, the whole of Tang San’s body is encased in a black silk cocoon.
The sight sees Meng Shu and Chao Tian Xiang regard Tang San as having no hope for survival. Yu Xiao Gang is more hopeful, hoping Tang San can pull through somehow. But it was a losing battle. Although not dead, Tang San is no longer himself as the nature of the Human Faced Demon Spider takes over his body and mind. His eyes turn completely black. When he breaks through the cocoon, he appears with large arachnid legs coming out of his back. He appears to be on a mission to save Xiao Wu and heads off in the direction to go save her, but recognising Xiao Wu and actually rescuing her are just words which he remembers because (as Yu Xiao Gang and Fei Lan De later learns) it was Tang San’s last wish before being taken over by the spider.
Calls to kill Tang San are made from Meng Shu and Chao Tian Xiang. In their eyes, Tang San is no more than a monster who’s lost his mind. There was no saving someone whose been overtaken by Soul Power. There’s never been a case of a revival after this point.
Yu Xiao Gang opposes the action. According to him, there is a way to save Tang San. All they needed to do was remove the excess Soul Power to bring Tang San back. The spiders legs—which Yu Xiao Gang explains are the Soul Bones—is the result of that excess Soul Power which Tang San failed to absorb. Whenever a strong Soul Beast is killed, there is a small chance the Soul Bones are left behind and attach to the Soul Master. Remove the Soul Bones and most of the Soul Power can be removed and Tang San will have a chance at regaining consciousness. The only consequence is that Tang San will never be able to advance again. He’ll stay a Soul Honour with Triple Rings forever.
Dai Mu Bai (who had run into Tang San and held him down with the help of Ou Si Ke, Ma Hong Jun and Ning Rong Rong’s Qibao Boosts of Strength) tries to get Yu Xiao Gang to rethink the decision to remove the Soul Bones. In Dai Mu Bai’s view, a Soul Master could never live a dignified life without the ability to advance again. But with Yu Xiao Gang revealing that he is an example of a Soul Master who can never advance, suggesting that a Soul Master can still live quite well even without the ability to level up. What’s more, Yu Xiao Gang tells Dai Mu Bai that a Soul Master’s dignity isn’t simply reduced to being able to fight and level up. With Dai Mu Bai ceasing in stopping Yu Xiao Gang, Dai Mu Bai seems to see a Soul Master can live quite well and be respected in other ways (like Yu Xiao Gang’s knowledge and theories which has so far been insightful and accurate).
Even so, it does make Yu Xiao Gang hesitate in carrying out the removal. This was still a decision he’s making for Tang San and he can’t be sure Tang San will share the same thoughts when he wakes and finds he’s never able to advance again.
It’s just fortunate that in the end Yu Xiao Gang didn’t have to go through with it. He’s stopped by Tang San who is heard calling out Xiao Wu’s name. The uttering is taken as a sign that Tang San might be returning and regaining control and consciousness, but (as mentioned above) it’s just a meaningless uttering leftover from Tang San’s last wish and something which Yu Xiao Gang quickly sees as what is suppressing from Tang San from killing anyone whilst under the control of the Human Faced Demon Spider.
Proof that the Human Faced Demon Spider and its nature has taken over Tang San and that the desire to rescue Xiao Wu is not actually there is shown when Tang San finally crosses paths with Xiao Wu. Whilst calling her name, she stomps right past her, knocking her over. Not far from Xiao Wu is the Titan Giant Ape who stands in Tang San’s way to stop him in his path. It doesn’t attack Tang San. It just uses a bit of its force to block him from continuing on in his way. It’s already been scolded by Xiao Wu for hitting Tang San too hard during their first encounter.
After the Titan Giant Ape has taken Xiao Wu away to some place in the forest, away from everyone, the Titan Giant Ape was revealed to be no aggressive beast that was looking to kill Xiao Wu. They were in fact friends and Xiao Wu was someone who the Titan Giant Ape appears to have missed and is the reason it appeared before everyone on the outskirts of Star Forest.
The reunion also revealed and confirmed Xiao Wu’s hidden ability of absorbing Soul Rings from Soul Beasts without killing them. Just before she decided to make her way back to the others (leading her to run into Tang San and not long after Fei Lan De and Yu Xiao Gang), she had asked the Titan Giant Ape (who Xiao Wu calls Er Ming) and adds two more Soul Rings to her one, making her a Soul Honour with Triple Soul Rings. Xiao Wu seemingly has the ability to advance even further but worried that it’d be unnatural to level up to quickly, she declined the Titan Giant Ape’s offer to level her up further.
With this ability to absorb the energy that are Soul Rings, she reveals to have the ability to transfer excess Soul Power out, too. This ability has been used before: she had used it during Tang San’s assimilation of his second Soul Ring and it’s going to be used again to awaken Tang San with his third Soul Ring.
Yu Xiao Gang and Fei Lan De catching up to Tang San and therefore running into Xiao Wu, she is caught up with the situation and their intention to once again remove the Soul Bones to save him. She’s told about the consequences of never being able to advance again. This has her demand to be released to save Tang San after being held back from going to him.
Xiao Wu’s initial intention appears to be to try get Tang San to recognise her and have him come out of his state. But when told that Tang San no longer recognises her despite him calling her name, Xiao Wu gives the Titan Giant Ape a nod to knock Fei Lan De and Yu Xiao Gang unconscious to try save him with transferring the overflowing Soul Power into herself.
Placing a hand over Tang San’s forehead, she begins the painful process while the Titan Giant Ape is told to keep watch. For this to work, it can’t be interrupted, not even after being stabbed on each side under her shoulders by Tang San’s sharp spider legs. The Titan Giant Ape stomps around wanting her to stop, but Xiao Wu won’t let it. The process mustn’t be interrupted she tells it.
As tears run down Xiao Wu’s cheeks from the pain she no doubt feels from not only absorbing the excess Soul Power but Tang San’s second stab staying in, she hangs on, pleading him to make it through.
A few more long moments, Tang San’s black eyes clear to his brown ones. The spider leg still in Xiao Wu’s shoulder dislodges. She had succeeded. Tang San had come back to her.
Ou Si Ke and Ma Hong Jun are first on the scene to find both Xiao Wu and Tang San unconscious next to Yu Xiao Gang and Fei Lan De who also remain unconscious. With the Titan Giant Ape still at the scene hovering over Xiao Wu, it looks like the Titan Giant Ape had gone and knocked them all out, but look closer and the Titan Giant Ape is actually just trying to wake Xiao Wu up with light taps on her stomach.
Without seeing this (or rather believing that the Titan Giant Ape is a dangerous and powerful beast), Ma Hong Jun prepared himself to fight the Titan Giant Ape and told it to leave them alone and fight him and Ou Si Ke is instead. Ou Si Ke was not so keen Ma Hong Jun had included him in the tough talk. However, Ou Si Ke pushed through his fear by bringing out a Rocketing Kiwi and tried to offer it to the Titan Giant Ape to try get it to leave.
The Titan Giant Ape had paid no attention to Ma Hong Jun or Ou Si Ke let alone want to attack them. Only when Ou Si Ke threw the kiwi fruit at the Titan Giant Ape out of what appears to be not knowing what to do, does the TItan Giant Ape react. Still, it didn’t attack. Xiao Wu having woken briefly to tell it to get going, the Titan Giant Ape stomped once out of frustration for not being able to stay with her before it left. Once again, Ou Si Ke’s actions appeared to save the day, not knowing it was actually Xiao Wu who got the Titan Giant Ape to leave.
Yan Yan, Meng Shu, Chao Tian Xiang arrive onto the scene. Despite seeing Tang San lying there no longer a threat and despite him no longer showing signs of the Soul Bones on his back, Meng Shu and Chao Tian Xiang still call for Tang San to be killed believing it’s integrated into Tang San’s body and has permanently become a monster. Dai Mu Bai—who arrive shortly after with Zhu Zhu Qing to hear the situation—tries try to delay any decision from being made until Fei Lan De regains consciousness. Ning Rong Rong—who follows a little later after trailing Dai Mu Bai and Zhu Zhu Qing—tries to stop Meng Shu, too, by requesting it as a favour to her father.
Meng Shu won’t let the matter be delayed by either requests. In response to Dai Mu Bai, Meng Shu tells him that killing Tang San right now will avoid Fei Lan De suffering from having to make the decision later. As for Ning Rong Rong’s request, Meng Shu believes that if her father were standing before Tang San he’d want to kill him, too, because he is no longer human.
Just as Meng Shu says this, Tang San wakes, once again, calling for Xiao Wu. This time, though, Tang San has truly awoken and returned to his normal self. However, he remembers nothing that’s happened. As Tang San came around, he seemed to have heard Meng Shu discussing killing Tang San, but the reason he seemed to believe Meng Shu wants to kill him is over the fact that Tang San wouldn’t surrender the corpse of the Human Faced Demon Spider to him.
Tang San’s words to Meng Shu when the Grand Soul Land Master expressed his surprise that Tang San had recognised him conveyed disappointment that a Soul Master as strong as Meng Shu would want to kill him over such a matter. It suggested that Tang San’s last recollection of the whole incident is up to the moment he went ahead and absorbed the Soul Ring of the Human Faced Demon Spider, but nothing else after.
When everyone stayed silent with only Ou Si Ke asking Tang San whether he truly had no memory of what had happened, it saw Tang San think try to reveal. As he’s doing so, his gaze drop to catching Xiao Wu on the ground below him, unconscious. Rushing to her side, his question to Yan Yan (who was by Xiao Wu’s side) about whether it was the Titan Giant Ape who had hurt her answers Ou Si Ke’s question. Tang San remembered nothing about anything that went on after he absorbed his third Soul Ring.
Xiao Wu taken back to the inn to recover, Tang San is seen caring for her, wiping her forehead down with a towel before he is called out by Yu Xiao Gang. Meng Shu had wanted be sure Tang San’s truly back to normal. Lifting his hand into the air, Meng Shu screened Tang San and confirmed Tang San was truly fine. With such a revival having no such precedence, it surprised and baffled Meng Shu and Chao Tian Xiang. Seemingly not yet convinced, Meng Shu has Tang San show his Martial Soul. Tang San reveals his Triple Rings, indicating Tang San’s successful advancement and proving to Meng Shu that Tang San really has recovered.
Satisfied, Chao Tian Xiang moves to question Tang San about the green plume of smoke she saw come from Tang San’s body. She’s referring to the supposed poison that had gone into Tang San after the bottle which Ye Zhi Qiu gave him cracked, resulting in the green poison entering Tang San through his hand. This poison had then gone into Yan Yan’s hand when she went to cup her hand over Tang San’s hand to check on him after he collapsed from absorbing the Soul Ring of the Human Faced Demon Spider. Neither Yan Yan nor Meng Shu noticed any green smoke from Tang San entering Yan Yan. Only Chao Tian Xiang had noticed—although she was unsure whether she had seen it correctly after Meng Shu denied seeing anything.
Tang San doesn’t remember initially. Only after Chao Tian Xiang leaves with Meng Shu and Yan Yan does Tang San remember it to be from the bottle of poison which cracked after falling out of his clothes and it’s contents going into his hand. Going after Meng Shu, Chao Tian Xiang and Yan Yan to try get them back to presumably tell them about the bottle of poison, he fails to find them. They had walked too fast for him to catch up with.
Returning to Yu Xiao Gang to explain about Ye Zhi Qiu’s bottle of poison having cracked and the poison going into his hand, it sees Yu Xiao Gang seriously troubled as well as baffled by why the extremely strong poison having gone into Tang San showed no signs it’s affecting Tang San. Tang San makes a suggestion that maybe the green substance wasn’t a poison. Yu Xiao Gang rejects the suggestion as he was sure it is an extremely strong poison. The only thing he can think to explain the lack of reaction is that maybe the Soul Ring of the Human Faced Demon Spider Tang San absorbed contained a poison which has some kind of effect on Ye Zhi Qiu’s poison. It’s a thought which has Yu Xiao Gang decide to look up to try to figure it out once he returns to Shi Lan Ke School.
Tang San’s thoughts wondering to how Yu Xiao Gang went with seeing Su Yun Tao, Yu Xiao Gang reveals that the Martial Soul Officer is now dead, killed by the black smoke figure he saw who had the ability to speak to the Azure Bull Python. The subject sees Tang San curious about what happened next, but as we saw at the start of the episode, after seeing the black smoke figure and Azure Bull Python speak about joining hands to prevent further decline of Soul Beasts, Yu Xiao Gang mentions that after that he has run into Tang San trying to absorb the Soul Ring of the Human Faced Demon Spider. It leads Tang San back to thinking about how he hurt Xiao Wu and Tang San wanting to join the others who had gone out looking for some herbs to help try speed Xiao Wu’s recovery.
Yu Xiao Gang tells Tang San it was not necessary since they others all went on a group to search for the herbs. But with Tang San wanting to do something for Xiao Wu, he is seen out in the markets with a list of herbs to collect. As he walks through the markets, looking at the list, Tang San runs into Ye Zhi Qiu who tells him he is surprised Tang San hadn’t died.
Meanwhile, somewhere in another part of the market, Dai Mu Bai is approached by Hu Lie Na who makes a move to force Dai Mu Bai to tell her about him and his family. Apparently having failed to get Dai Mu Bai to tell her what she wants to know about him (specifically what that is isn’t revealed at this point), she uses a pendant necklace which carries a stone to force Dai Mu Bai into telling her what she wants to know. Using her spiritual ability, she has Dai Mu Bai fall into a trance to prepare him. Luckily Zhu Zhu Qing shows up to stop her before Dai Mu Bai is made to say anything that is against his will. Hu Lie Na warned by Dai Mu Bai that the next time she attempts something like this again he’ll kill her, Hu Lie Na leaves without achieving her goal.
Zhu Zhu Qing saving Dai Mu Bai from Hu Lie Na sees her return a similar favour to Dai Mu Bai when she was saved from her sister who had shown up at Star Forest to take her back home earlier in the episode. Fortunately, Dai Mu Bai managed to stop Zhu Zhu Qing’s sister (who’s actually stronger than Dai Mu Bai being a Soul Honour with Quadruple Rings) from taking her away thanks in part to the fact that Meng Shu, Chao Tian Xiang and Yan Yan also showed up. The increase in people present saw Zhu Zhu Qing’s sister leave bringing Zhu Zhu Qing back with her to another time.
The substance Ye Zhi Qiu wanted Tang San to release on Du Gu Yan (aka Yan Yan) indeed was a lethal poison. He had expected Tang San to die with Du Gu Yan. That was the intention when Bu Le sent Tang San to Star Town. However, neither died. Tang San asking why nothing happened to Du Gu Yan, he’s not told the reason. It seems not to have bothered Ye Zhi Qiu whether she was alive or dead. As for why Tang San was still alive, Yu Xiao Gang theorises it’s because of the unique poisons in the Thorn Apple Snake and the Human Faced Demon Spider he’s had become his second and third Soul Rings. His body had synthesised these two unique poisons which suppressed the effects of Ye Zhi Qiu’s poison.
With Tang San unwittingly carrying out his task of releasing the poison on Du Gu Yan, Tang San is given the antidote to cure Xiao Wu as per the deal between him and Ye Zhi Qiu. It sees Tang San go on his way, only to be stopped as Ye Zhi Qiu see great potential in Tang San seeing as he didn’t die from the lethal poison. Tang San is asked whether he’d be interested in joining him and his force located in Xi Si City. It’s a force which Ye Zhi Qiu describes as a colossal force hidden in Douluo Continent.
Tang San isn’t interested—that is until he hears his father’s name being mentioned. Tang Hao, a Grand Soul Land Master with Nine Soul Rings who’s regarded a legend amongst Soul Land Masters is said to be the one behind Ye Zhi Qiu and the one behind Bu Le, making Tang San’s father behind the Martial Soul mutation experiments.
The revelation stops Tang San in his tracks. Just to make sure Ye Zhi Qiu was speaking about the same Tang Hao who is his father, Tang San has Ye Zhi Qiu confirm Tang Hao’s Martial Soul. “Naturally it’s the Hao Tian Hammer,” Ye Zhi Qiu responds after also referring to Tang Hao as the Hao Tian Soul Master.
Not knowing that Tang San is the son of this Hao Tian Soul Master he speaks of, Ye Zhi Qiu takes the shock heard in Tang San’s speech as being afraid of hearing the name of such a powerful, high-level Soul Master rather than it being because of the fact that his father is the mastermind behind the Martial Soul mutations which killed Ma Hong Jun’s father.
Wanting to see his father, Tang San asks Ye Zhi Qiu where he could meet him. Ye Zhi Qiu tells Tang San he must pass a test. It’s a test which Ye Zhi Qiu doesn’t say whether it will enable Tang San to see his father, but it will enable him to see Ye Zhi Qiu at least. This test involves accepting the Fiend Battle Team’s challenge at Xi Si City Soul Arena. Beat them and Tang San will then be qualified to enter Cang Hui School located in Tian Dou City where he can find Ye Zhi Qiu.
The prospect of being able to see his father sees Tang San tell Ye Zhi Qiu he’d be looking to head to Xi Si City once he’s saved Wu. Going back, though, after saving Xiao Wu with the antidote and absorbing the poison Tang San himself was responsible for when he attacked her (and possibly when Xiao Wu was transferring out the excess Soul Power from him), Yu Xiao Gang has Tang San see that he might be considered very strong in Shi Lan Ke School, but when looking at the whole of Douluo Continent he isn’t even considered to be all that strong. He will not succeed at his current level.
Tang San’s reason for being so impatient about going to Xi Si City isn’t solely because his father is there, but because of the guilt he now feels over the Nightfire incident. He appears to be wanting to go there to clarify the matter, to find out what the situation is. Otherwise, as Tang San tells Yu Xiao Gang, he won’t know how to face Ma Hong Jun. Yu Xiao Gang tries to get him to see that all that had happened at Nightfire Village isn’t his fault.
Tang San is convinced to hold off going to Xi Si City, but his connection to the Nighfire incident sees him seek Ma Hong Jun to personally tell him that his father is the one behind the Martial Soul mutations. In a calm, rational and very mature manner, Ma Hong Jun is able to separate Tang San from his father.
On their way back to Shi Lan Ke School, with Tang San going up to Ma Hong Jun to tell him all that he had learned from Ye Zhi Qiu, that his father is the mastermind of the Martial Soul mutations, the one behind Ye Zhi Qiu and Bu Le’s boss, Ma Hong Jun doesn’t jump to develop a grudge against Tang San. He had Tang San clarify whether this information came to him after the Nightfire incident or before it. Tang San tells Ma Hong Jun that it was after he got out of Star Forest and that he was willing to stand still and let him take revenge if that was what he wanted. He won’t fight back.
Not only did Ma Hong Jun not show any desire to take revenge or connect Tang San to the Nightfire incident and the death of his father, Ma Hong Jun was able to hold off on concluding that Tang San’s father was actually behind it all: there was no evidence Ye Zhi Qiu was telling the truth. Ma Hong Jun goes further to say that if the truth is one which isn’t one they want to face (that is what Ye Zhi Qiu told Tang San is true and that Tang San’s father is involved in wrongdoings), Ma Hong Jun tells Tang San he won’t hold it against Tang San.
Tang San is equally impartial. He assures Ma Hong Jun that he will find the culprit and that if it turned out to be his father, he will definitely stop him.
For now, though, Ma Hong Jun and Tang San look to settle scores with Bu Le: Ma Hong Jun needing to do so for what happened to his father; and Tang San for Xiao Wu and sending Tang San to Star Forest on a death mission. Although Tang San tells Bu Le they were there to seek revenge, Bu Le is let off with a scare.
Ma Hong Jun, on the other hand, appears to have wanted so much to hit Bu Le and kill him using the powers of his Evil Phoenix while Tang San had him bounded by the Blue Silver Plant, but he didn’t follow through with it. He stopped his fist from smashing into Bu Le’s cheek while flames erupted from him, showing his great control over a matter which some would have found difficult to let go of. He is even seen feeling distressed over almost losing control after he walks out of the room to sit himself outside.
Tang San catching up with him, Ma Hong Jun reveals to Tang San how much he had wanted to kill Bu Le and how much he didn’t want to become someone like that. By that he means becoming someone who has hatred and thoughts of revenge that it could see him want to kill someone. It sees Tang San try to have him see that it was very natural to hate and want revenge and tells Ma Hong Jun that it’s okay because it’s very human to be like this. As long as he didn’t let it blind him to the point of acting recklessly, it’s okay. Not letting hatred take over to the point of killing is what matters not that he almost killed Bu Le but didn’t.
Bu Le may have been spared by Ma Hong Jun, but he wasn’t so lucky with Ye Zhi Qiu. For revealing himself to so many people (Bu Le had revealed his existence to not just Ma Hong Jun, Tang San, Shi Lan Ke School but Martial Soul Hall now) and putting the secrecy of the force’s existence and operations at risk, Bu Le is killed with one snap of his neck.
While Ma Hong Jun and Tang San had snuck out in the middle of the night and settled their matters at Suo Tuo City, Dai Mu Bai and Zhu Zhu Qing had also snuck out in the middle of the night to force out the Fragrance Seeking Worm Zhu Zhu Qing’s sister put in Zhu Zhu Qing’s head to track her.
With a hot tub and medicinal herbs added, Dai Mu Bai has Zhu Zhu Qing sit inside to force it out. It see Dai Mu Bai end up needing to go inside himself as the worm ends up going into him. Trying to grab the worm with fingers had allowed the worm to leap and enter through his finger. More prepared the second time round, the moment the worm crawled out from the crown of Dai Mu Bai’s head, he swung his head to the side, flinging the worm onto the ground for Zhu Zhu Qing to kill with her shoe.
(Zhu Zhu Qing and Dai Mu Bai seems to be getting along a lot better after their trip to Star Forest!)
The Bu Le matter behind them and Xiao Wu cured, Yu Xiao Gang has the group on strength training the next morning. With the training about becoming stronger, a subject which a certain someone (Dai Mu Bai) might not think Yu Xiao Gang is qualified to teach with him being only a Double Soul Rings Soul Master, it appeared as if Dai Mu Bai (who was missing from the lesson) wasn’t going to show up. However, after Yu Xiao Gang notes that the class was missing people, Dai Mu Bai shows up, seeing full attendance. The trip to Star Forest appears to have changed his thinking regarding Yu Xiao Gang.
Given the chance to leave the training, it’s Hu Lie Na who bows out. As an observer, she doesn’t participate.
Everyone willing to stay staying, Yu Xiao Gang moves onto the first item on the training schedule. It worries Ou Si Ke when Yu Xiao Gang tells them that what he has in store for them is something that will definitely make them stronger provided they persevere. When Yu Xiao Gang mentioned that there will be some who will find this training extremely difficult, it sounded as if Yu Xiao Gang was speaking about Ou Si Ke or maybe Ning Rong Rong. It’s neither Ou Si Ke nor Ning Rong Rong who Yu Xiao Gang is talking about, but Xiao Wu.
The task Yu Xiao Gang’s got them on is eating bowls of soup containing lots of meat and vegetables. He tells them all that their bowls of soup, it must contain at least three pieces of meat and at least four pieces of vegetables and they must eat it every morning for breakfast. Xiao Wu being someone who doesn’t eat meat and vomits when she does, she is seen struggling to stomach it. As she had told Yu Xiao Gang when told this was the task, she threw up the contents she tried to stomach. Told that the path of a Soul Master is full of dangers and that if she can’t even stomach this she might as well leave, Xiao Wu perseveres.
Ning Rong Rong didn’t want to eat it either, claiming she was on a diet. She couldn’t see how drinking the soup and eating the meats helped increase Soul Power. She had wanted to go speak to Fei Lan De about it, but Yu Xiao Gang has her give up this idea when told that Fei Lan De would immediately kick her out with how Fei Lan De had spent all the money on the meat.
Answering Ning Rong Rong’s question about how drinking the soup and eating the meat helps increase Soul Power, Zhu Zhu Qing explains the soup is a secret recipe of the Royal Family of Xing Lou. It’s a recipe which has great nutritional value in increasing Soul Power. Asked how she knows, Zhu Zhu Qing reveals it’s because she’s from Xing Lou.
First part of the training done, they head to the forest where Tang San reveals his Third Soul Skill via sneaking some carrots for Xiao Wu to eat, knowing she’d be hungry after throwing up all that soup and meat. Staying at the back of the pack, Tang San pulls Xiao Wu aside to take out small black grass net cocoons which hid the carrots for her.
Tang San and Xiao Wu’s disappearance had Ou Si Ke follow and sneak up on them and express finding them interesting. Tang San reveals the name of his Third Soul Skill as being Constraint of Spider Web. Seeing how the grass net wrapped so tightly around the carrots, it has Ou Si Ke see how useful the skill would be to entrap opponents.
Talk about Tang San’s new Soul Skill also sees Ou Si Ke encourage Xiao Wu to work harder with how she’s the only person in the group with one Soul Ring. She is of course not the only person with one Soul Ring. She’s already at Triple Soul Rings.
Moving to show them, it sees Ou Si Ke fire question after question about how it’s possible she could level up so quickly, especially when she was captured by the Titan Giant Ape. She tries to explain it as the Titan Giant Ape having stepped on one beast, causing her to be caught making an error by Tang San when he notes that she levelled up not once but twice. That had Xiao Wu change her answer to the Titan Giant Ape having stepped on two beasts not one, causing Tang San to exclaim in disbelief and confusion. When Ou Si Ke expresses how impossible it’s to advance consecutively like that, Xiao Wu is finally out of answers and leaves it as just “I don’t know” (haha).
Fortunately, Tang San’s curiosity in what Soul Skills Xiao Wu gained sees her let off from explaining herself. The question sees Tang San mesmerised by Xiao Wu’s eyes as she shows him. Her lashes were long and her eyes were pretty he had said whilst gazing into her eyes which glowed a sparkling pink.
Ou Si Ke (who thought Tang San had become distracted from the topic of finding out what Xiao Wu’s Soul Skill were) calls Tang San to focus, not knowing that this is exactly Xiao Wu’s Second Soul Skill. Named Primary Charm, her glowing pink eyes draws others in before it causes temporary dizziness, catching one off guard.
Showing her Third Soul Skill, Tang San and Ou Si Ke is made to try keep up with Xiao Wu dashing back and forth before them but failing. She’s gained an ability which not only increases her speed but allows her to teleport.
Spending long enough away from the rest of the group, Tang San suggest they head back to join the others to carry out their next task on the training schedule. The task? Carrying heavy baskets filled with rocks to a sign somewhere in the forest. Yu Xiao Gang tells them they must run to that sign and make it back before lunch. Don’t make it back before then they miss out on lunch.
Carrying baskets of rocks up a hill wasn’t a tough task when one of Ning Rong Rong’s Soul Skills is giving Soul Masters boosts of strength. She had gone straight to calling Strength Boost to give her team double strength, but Soul Skills weren’t allowed in this training task. Not understanding how training is meant to improve their strength without the use of Soul Skills, Yu Xiao Gang explains to Ning Rong Rong that by training their muscles and their body well they will able to use their Soul Skills longer and can become more powerful.
The point of this task isn’t just about strengthening the self to become better and more powerful Soul Masters, but working as a team. Seemingly the latter point is the main point of the exercise as Yu Xiao Gang sends them off with a warning that if one person doesn’t complete the task then they all get punished. Yu Xiao Gang tells them that they can cheat in this training if they wish and deceive him but they can’t deceive themselves. Without determination, they won’t last long as Soul Masters.
With this in mind, everyone sets off. Ning Rong Rong hangs back for a moment as she appear to debate what to do. She makes the decision to just get on with it. As the daughter of the Ning Family, she won’t admit defeat she says before setting off after the others.
The hike up the hill sees Ning Rong Rong and Ou Si Ke struggle at the back. It’s something which Dai Mu Bai doesn’t notice until Tang San brings it up. Tang San puts forward the suggestion to wait for them, but with them not having even covered half the way up, Dai Mu Bai’s unwilling to stop. He tells Tang San they can take a rest once they get to the sign.
Seeing as Dai Mu Bai is unwilling to stop, Tang San suggests—rather, he makes the decision to take the rocks from Ou Si Ke and carry them himself then tells Dai Mu Bai to take Ning Rong Rong’s. Dai Mu Bai disagrees, but only with the part about Tang San taking the heavier load of Ou Si Ke’s rocks. Dai Mu Bai tells Tang San he will take Ou Si Ke’s rocks in his basket while Tang San can take Ning Rong Rong’s rocks.
Dai Mu Bai’s willingness to take on Tang San’s direction sees Tang San vocally express this observation. It sees Tang San learn that Dai Mu Bai’s not as fierce reception towards Tang San is because of the incidents that went on at Star Forest. Tang San’s willpower in Star Forest when he overcame the Human Faced Demon Spider’s nature had impressed him. As someone who has a goal of being stronger because of matters which later reveals relate to his family, Tang San appears to have gained some respect from Dai Mu Bai. This need to become stronger is behind Dai Mu Bai’s more compliant attitude towards Yu Xiao Gang’s orders as well. Tang San bring this observation up as well, Dai Mu Bai explains his willingness to try anything in order to become stronger even if the person who’s teaching him only has Double Soul Rings with Soul Power that is no match for him.
Everyone make it up to the sign where they finally get a rest stop through sheer determination, and through sheer determination they make it down the hill and back to Shi Lan Ke School all without cheating. They had worked together as a team to finish the task as a group. On the way down, Ning Rong Rong was even seen to offer to take some of Dai Mu Bai’s rocks after seeing him momentarily succumb to exhaustion. Dai Mu Bai refused the help, though, insisting on carrying on as he had been throughout.
Dai Mu Bai’s insistent to bear the pain of the task and carry on doesn’t go unnoticed by Tang San. Ou Si Ke notices Dai Mu Bai’s hurry in seeing results as well upon their return. Later that night, when Tang San and Ou Si Ke had already gone to bed with only Ma Hong Jun still up because he missed his father (the challenging day of training to become a Soul Master had Ma Hong Jun thinking about his father it seems), Dai Mu Bai was said to have gone out to test his Third Soul Skill, White Tiger Vajra Transformation, to see if he could use it for longer.
The hurry, as already mentioned, is suggested to be because of matters relating to back home. Dai Mu Bai’s older brother, Dai Wei Shi (Du Jun Ze), pays Dai Mu Bai a visit and is seen testing Dai Mu Bai’s strength while under the influence of Hu Lie Na’s spiritual attack.
While Dai Mu Bai was out testing his Soul Skills, Hu Lie Na had shown up once again to try putting him under her control again. This time she successfully does it as Dai Mu Bai’s fatigue from the day’s training leaves him unable to resist it even though he was well aware she was trying to use her spiritual attack on him again. Although she gets Dai Mu Bai under her control, she once again fails to get any information out of him as Dai Wei Shi shows up with the apparent intention to see how far Dai Mu Bai’s developed after having left home.
With Hu Lie Na hiding behind Dai Mu Bai, looking rather intimidated, Dai Wei Shi suggested they play a game where he would close his eyes and see if he can catch her. With Hu Lie Na not moving anywhere and bringing out the pendant which controls Dai Mu Bai, she lets Dai Mu Bai take the swipes of Dai Wei Shi’s claws. Even with his eyes clothes, Dai Wei Shi knows it’s not Hu Lie Na he’s attacked and made bleed. He knows the blood is Dai Mu Bai’s from its smell and Hu Lie Na’s used a spiritual attack on “his useless younger brother”.
(Through Dai Wei Shi, we learn Hu Lie Na’s Martial Soul brings to the Spirit Branch with skills which can manipulate Soul Masters. He isn’t able to figure out what her Martial Soul is exactly, though.)
Hu Lie Na moves to use Dai Mu Bai’s Soul Skills to attack Dai Wei Shi, getting him to carry out a few swipes before calling White Tiger Intense Light Wave and White Tiger Vajra Transformation, revealing to Dai Wei Shi Dai Mu Bai’s level of advancement. Weak and useless even as a puppet are words Dai Wei Shi describes his younger brother’s level.
Dai Mu Bai eventually wakes from Hu Lie Na’s control after being attacked and is sent to the ground. She tries to convince Dai Mu Bai to work with her after seeing Dai Wei Shi insist on killing her after losing this game between them. She tells Dai Mu Bai that if he doesn’t work with her then they may both die. Dai Wei Shi corrects this belief of hers, rhetorically asking her for what reason he would kill his dear brother. No; he was just going to kill her.
In an attempt to have him know she has powerful people behind her, she uses her status as being the direct disciple of the Chief of Martial Soul Hall. Dai Wei Shi is not one not fazed. He is even more excited to kill her, telling her he’d love to see what colour the blood of a disciple of the Greatest Soul Master in Douluo Continent looks like. After telling her this, he launches to make his attack.
Luckily for Hu Lie Na, she’s saved by Tang San who had shown up to drag Hu Lie Na away from Dai Wei Shi’s claw with his Blue Silver Plant. Tang San happened to be out after a small performance between Ou Si Ke and Ma Hong Jun (which saw them argue over Ma Hong Jun’s request for Ou Si Ke to cook him some sausages and Ou Si Ke not wanting to) had tricked Tang San into heading out to get them some food in hopes of stopping the argument between them. His search appears to have led Tang San to discover the fight between Dai Mu Bai, Hu Lie Na and Dai Wei Shi.
Tang San then moves to bound Dai Wei Shi to a tree trunk. It holds him there for only a brief moment before Dai Wei Shi breaks the vines’ hold and sends an attack towards them. Dai Mu Bai moves to block the attack, but the power of it sees Dai Mu Bai knock into Tang San and Hu Lie Na, causing them all to crash to the ground.
Seeing that Dai Wei Shi was too strong for the three, Tang San suggests using the White Tiger Intense Light Wave. Tang San wasn’t wanting to use White Tiger Intense Light Wave as an attack, but as a distress call. But Hu Lie Na mistaken the suggestion to be such which sees her slip up and tell Dai Mu Bai that the attack does work against Dai Wei Shi.
With not a lot of time to press Hu Lie Na for a more detailed explanation on how she knows about the attack being useless against Dai Wei Shi, she’s called out for lying when she tells Dai Mu Bai he’d used the attack whilst trying to save her despite being unaware. Dai Mu Bai then goes on to producing White Tiger Intense Light Wave with a delayed burst as Tang San wants. Using the Blue Silver Plant, Tang San volleys the electric sphere high up into the night sky for it to explode like fireworks for Fei Lan De and Yu Xiao Gang to see.
Dai Wei Shi initially didn’t see the point of such an attack. However, having another thought, he soon realises the intention of the White Tiger Intense Light Wave. The move was a distress signal requesting for help. Realising this, Dai Wei Shi makes a move to attack again, launching high into the air to swipe. All three brace themselves with arms over their faces. Fortunately the attack doesn’t land as Fei Lan De arrives to stop him mid-attack with his owl-like claws.
Despite Fei Lan De being a Soul Saint and being the one who could be crushed at any moment by Fei Lan De’s hold on him, it’s Dai Wei Shi (a Soul Honour with Quadruple Soul Rings) who tells Fei Lan De who he will spare and who must go with him, suggesting the power and influence of the force which is behind him.
He can spare Tang San and Hu Lie Na, but Dai Mu Bai must return with him he tells Fei Lan De. Fei Lan De disagrees with the demand. Dai Mu Bai, though, agrees. It’s not became he wants to go with Dai Wei Shi, but he fears if he doesn’t he will put Shi Lan Ke School in serious trouble.
With Fei Lan De not willing to let Dai Mu Bai go with Dai Wei Shi, and Dai Mu Bai not truly willing to go, Dai Wei Shi sets a challenge for the school as a chance for Dai Mu Bai to stay. In five days’ time, all seven students of Shi Lan Ke School must meet at Suo Tuo City Soul Arena. If they manage to defeat Dai Wei Shi then Dai Mu Bai won’t have to go with him. If they lose, Shi Lan Ke School won’t be able to exist anymore.
It’s a challenge Dai Mu Bai opposes, hinting at the strength of Dai Wei Shi. It’s revealed by Dai Mu Bai that Dai Wei Shi is only a Soul Honour with Quadruple Soul Rings, but according to Dai Mu Bai, he’s no normal Soul Honour with Quadruple Soul Rings. Fei Lan De has faith in his seven students to overcome Dai Wei Shi and accepts the challenge.
This force behind Dai Wei Shi, Dai Mu Bai is heard describing as being beyond imaginable as well. Dai Wei Shi setting the terms despite being in the grips of a Soul Saint, Dai Mu Bai agreeing to go with Dai Wei Shi over fears of bringing serious trouble to Shi Lan Ke School and Dai Wei Shi having no problems killing Hu Lie Na despite her connections to Martial Soul Hall seems to suggest this.
Challenge set and accepted, Fei Lan De move to get an explanation from Hu Lie Na about using her spiritual attack on Dai Mu Bai following their return to the school. She lies about it being intentional and that she had accidentally hit Dai Mu Bai with it when she thought she was being ambushed by Dai Wei Shi from behind.
Asked to explain the slip up where she knew Dai Mu Bai’s White Tiger Intense Light Wave was useless against Dai Wei Shi, Hu Lie Na denies having the ability to manipulate Dai Mu Bai. To prove she doesn’t have that ability, she tells them that had she had the ability, she’d use it on Dai Wei Shi and make him return to the place he came from.
Yu Xiao Gang believes Hu Lie Na doesn’t have the ability within her but believes she has an item which allows her to have that ability. Being the direct disciple of the Chief of Martial Soul Hall, he believes it’s not hard to be in possession of such a tool. Not knowing that tool sits around her neck in the form of a necklace and in pain sight, Hu Lie Na’s invitation for Yu Xiao Gang to search her didn’t require a full body search to locate it. Not knowing this, though, Yu Xiao Gang is stopped in pursuing the matter.
Hu Lie Na’s move to offer to fight in the battle at Soul Arena in five days’ time next sees Dai Mu Bai reject the offer followed by Yu Xiao Gang’s rejecting the help as well. Yu Xiao Gang bluntly tells her that the team doesn’t need someone who they don’t trust nor do they need someone who doesn’t trust others.
She takes it upon herself to leave, but there was the matter of Su Yun Tao having been killed that Yu Xiao Gang’s been meaning to tell her but haven’t had the chance till now; and so, she’s held back after having Dai Mu Bai take his leave. He explains his reason for telling her this information as being a kind gesture he was extending because she had fought alongside Tang San earlier. However, it was more so Hu Lie Na can relay and give a heads up to the Chief of Martial Soul Hall the secret operation between the Azure Bull Python and Su Yun Tao’s killer who Hu Lie Na is led to suspect it could be someone from Martial Soul.
As hoped, the news about Su Yun Tao’s death reaches Martial Soul Hall and its chief. She is seen sending a new officer to look after Hu Lie Na and make sure she doesn’t cause trouble. He is warned not to cause trouble as well.
The following morning Yu Xiao Gang and Fei Lan De get onto training everyone for the fight at Soul Arena in five days’ time. Yu Xiao Gang has them split up into separate groups: Xiao Wu and Zhu Zhu Qing in one group, Tang San, Dai Mu Bai and Ma Hong Jun in another group; and Ou Si Ke and Ning Rong Rong in a third group. He tells them he’s decided that with the fight taking place in such a short time, he’s going to train each of them to make them stronger individually. But before this happens, what Yu Xiao Gang actually intends to have each of them do is discover their own weaknesses so that they willingly accept this. Only then will training based on their aptitudes can begin to make up for their weaknesses.
Xiao Wu and Zhu Zhu Qing being trained by Fei Lan De, they’re given the challenge of trying to catch him. With lines of bells tied to trees, ring-fencing off an area which Fei Lan De has them know he can’t go beyond nor ring, they are told to try touch him without restrictions imposed on how they do that. Succeed and they pass.
Meanwhile, Tang San, Dai Mu Bai and Ma Hong Jun are told to try using their Soul Skills simultaneously. Dai Mu Bai is asked to use White Tiger Protection Barrier and White Tiger Vajra Transformation to have him explain that this kind of simultaneous use exhausts his strength quickly. They are all told to combine their Soul Skills in such manner, directing their attacks at a large boulder in front of them, and not stop until he returns from training Ou Si Ke and Ning Rong Rong.
Working with Ou Si Ke and Ning Rong Rong, Ou Si Ke is asked for Ou Si Ke’s reasons for not wanting to be a Soul Master. Ou Si Ke’s answer is as he expressed a few times before: He finds his Martial Soul embarrassing, but also that all he does is stand there watching other Soul Masters fight. It’s a view Yu Xiao Gang looks to change.
The idea that Support Masters like Ou Si Ke and Ning Rong Rong can only stand by and watch others fight is a concept Yu Xiao Gang believes to be outdated. According to Yu Xiao Gang, Support Soul Masters can also fight and it starts with Ou Si Ke’s chest of stage props and costumes. How exactly these props and costumes allows them to fight isn’t revealed, but Yu Xiao Gang plans to surprise everyone with a battle between Ou Si Ke and Ning Rong Rong fighting against a power attack Soul Master like Ma Hong Jun and win it towards the end of the episode.
Before this battle takes place, though, tasks set for the rest of the students to discover their weaknesses and work towards correcting them are handled well. Xiao Wu and Zhu Zhu Qing learn that their speed and sneak attacks has a major flaw which had allowed Fei Lan De to anticipate their moves every time despite them being clearly quicker than Fei Lan De.
With Xiao Wu’s Teleport allowing Xiao Wu to appear in another location in an instant, it should be an attack which allows her to catch Fei Lan De out easily and achieve the objective of getting a foot or hand on Fei Lan De. However, she has so far failed. Zhu Zhu Qing’s speed should also allow her to land a foot or hand on Fei Lan De, but she too has so far failed.
The reason for Xiao Wu’s failure is the wind. Xiao Wu and Zhu Zhu Qing had discovered this after Xiao Wu halted the attacks to ask Zhu Zhu Qing watch her Teleport attack and noticed that there was a gust of wind just before she landed and appeared. This gust of wind was what allowed Fei Lan De to avoid Xiao Wu’s attacks. It was, in fact, a flaw Yu Xiao Gang saw the first time Xiao Wu used Teleport and was the basis for the training.
Through a flashback, Yu Xiao Gang is seen telling Fei Lan De to work on getting Xiao Wu to understand the workings behind her attack; and through Fei Lan De’s narration of Yu Xiao Gang’s explanation of Xiao Wu’s attack, Fei Lan De explains the workings of Xiao Wu’s attack after she and Zhu Zhu Qing figures out the flaw. Although Xiao Wu’s attack appears to be teleporting from one location to another, Yu Xiao Gang explains its actually the swapping of space at her starting point with the piece of space at her end / landing point. When this piece of space at the starting point is removed so is a part of the air. Yu Xiao Gang’s theory gets a bit scientific after this as it talks about wind pressure being created and shrinking towards the center where she lands, allowing Fei Lan De to make a very accurate prediction of where Xiao Wu will land.
As for Zhu Zhu Qing, her weakness—rather her limitation is that her speed causes her to touch the bells which sound, alerting Fei Lan De of her incoming attack. Xiao Wu is seen telling Zhu Zhu Qing to avoid touching the bells. By doing so, it reduces her speed, but with Zhu Zhu Qing and Xiao Wu rethinking their strategy following the discovery of their weaknesses, Xiao Wu and Zhu Zhu Qing finally achieve their task. It only took Zhu Zhu Qing to force Fei Lan De to focus on her and Xiao Wu to be out of Fei Lan De’s sight.
As Zhu Zhu Qing carried out the attacks away from the bells, Xiao Wu disappeared using her Teleport to land behind a tree which Zhu Zhu Qing had led Fei Lan De to stand in front of. With Xiao Wu having chosen her landing spot behind a tree away from the ringing bells, she was able to prevent Fei Lan De using the sound of the bells and the gust of wind to work out Xiao Wu’s location to dodge her attack. Successfully sneaking up on Fei Lan De, Xiao Wu taps Fei Lan De’s shoulder, according the task.
Over on Tang San’s side where he, Dai Mu Bai and Ma Hong Jun were instructed to simultaneously attack a boulder, the three guys find themselves exhausted to the point of deciding to stop and rest. Dai Mu Bai had given up continuing this exercise as doubt over the effectiveness of this theory of Yu Xiao Gang’s set in.
Yu Xiao Gang’s intention of course wasn’t this, but have them see their attacks can actually interfere with each other’s resulting in defeat. It’s a flaw which Yu Xiao Gang has wanted them to see, but it’s only Tang San who soon sees this flaw.
Explaining to Dai Mu Bai and Ma Hong Jun this lesson of Yu Xiao Gang’s, Tang San picks up on how Dai Mu Bai and Ma Hong Jun’s attacks actually renders his Blue Silver Plant powerless if they don’t consciously coordinate their attacks. An opponent could stand in place, wait for them to exhaust themselves and be handed victory that way if they went with the strategy of Tang San binding them and Dai Mu Bai and Ma Hong Jun following with their respective White Tiger Intense Light Wave and Phoenix Firing Line fire beam. As Tang San has them see, although they appear to be working together, they were actually weakening themselves.
After Tang San’s realisation, Dai Mu Bai understand Yu Xiao Gang’s intentions when he has them fire their attacks at the boulder. If they don’t cooperate well they can’t even defeat a boulder. They needed to readjust their rhythm and their sequence of attacks.
After a day’s training, Tang San is seen at the blacksmiths at the end of a night’s work. Tang San shows a little longing for his father after catching sight of a wind chime plus the smell of fire.
Wind chimes being the trademark of a blacksmith’s craftsmanship with its sound a testament to a blacksmith’s expertise, the one that was hung at the entrance of where Tang San had worked saw him think about the time his father hung one up and lifted him to touch the wind chime. It was the only time he remembers his father being this way with him. He had told Xiao Wu (who was with him) that he didn’t think much about the wind chime when he was back home. Now though, after being away from home for so long, anytime he heard the sound of wind chimes and smelt fire, he’d think of his father.
This sudden longing for his father seem to have Tang San feeling pressure to become stronger quicker so that he could see to the Ye Zhi Qiu matter of getting into Xi Si City Soul Arena then Cang Hui School in Tian Dou City and ultimately meet his father. It sees Tang San train hard early in the morning to try and catch up to Dai Mu Bai and Ma Hong Jun (who Tang San says he’s lagging behind).
With Yu Xiao Gang paying Tang San a visit, it sees Tang San learn about Yu Xiao Gang’s story about his stagnant period to try get through a point about not rushing and pressuring himself too much as in the end, as long as he stays on the right track, he will get there.
When Yu Xiao Gang’s Martial Soul failed to advance and Luo San Pao mutated, he felt like his world had gone still. No matter how hard he worked, he couldn’t get that breakthrough in his Soul Power. Discovering his outlook wasn’t going to change, he left for Martial Soul Hall to study the theory of Mutant Soul, but because of some matters and people (which Yu Xiao Gang doesn’t go into), he had to leave Martial Soul Hall and give up his research. This caused him to go to Nouding School and hide there as he had lost almost all of his confidence. Only when he met Tang San and saw him dare challenge those people who Yu Xiao Gang describes as arrogant did Yu Xiao Gang have new hope. He restarted his research on the theory of Martial Soul and tells Tang San that he intends to stay at Shi Lan Ke School and work towards that goal of his youth again.
To provide Tang San some encouragement and go at his own pace, Yu Xiao Gang gives him a saying: “My fate is in my own hands.” It’s a saying which leads Tang San to find familiar. The reason for that is because it was also a saying that was said to Ou Si Ke as a way to encourage him during the mission to advance him to Triple Soul Rings at Star Forest. Instead of using this encouragement to embrace his Martial Soul and choose the path of a Soul Master, Ou Si Ke used it as encouragement to pursue his acting and writing, which got Ou Si Ke and Fei Lan De into a fight (Episode 15).
Ou Si Ke still seems reluctant to choose this path, but the battle set to take place against Ma Hong Jun sees Ou Si Ke follow Tang San out, apparently wanting to learn from Tang San as a way to prepare for the battle. This was the reason he have when he was caught hiding behind a rock listening to the conversation between Tang San and Yu Xiao Gang. It’s not clear whether this was an excuse or not for being caught, but Tang San had originally been alone, training on his own. Ou Si Ke could genuinely have come out to watch Tang San train. Ou Si Ke also seemed keen when Yu Xiao Gang invited Ou Si Ke to train together with Tang San.
After accompanying Tang San at the blacksmiths the night before and learning that he missed home and his father, Xiao Wu comes up with an idea to purchase the wind chime which Tang San told her reminded him of home. Getting Ma Hong Jun to help her deliver a cart-load of precious herbs, Xiao Wu exchanges them for the chime.
The transaction sees Ma Hong Jun show an entrepreneurial side to him which ends up seeing him become the disciple of Fei Lan De. Feeling that they had suffered a loss in this wind chime transaction of Xiao Wu’s, it sees Ma Hong Jun think about how the cartloads of precious herbs could have been turned into a money earning business which could start off as a store after selling, earning and saving the money to invest in said store. As they begin to expand, Ma Hong Jun reckons they could own the blacksmith’s store they purchased the wind chime off from. This kind of thinking is exactly the style of Fei Lan De and he was impressed, leading Fei Lan De to take on Ma Hong Jun to “learn how to get rich and progress together”.
Xiao Wu leaving Ma Hong Jun to look for Tang San to give him her gift. Tang San accepts gratefully. He goes straight to hanging it by his bedside so that he’s able to see it every day the moment he wakes. The sentimental attachment he placed in the wind chime because of it reminded him of his father sees Yu Xiao Gang (who had dropped by again) point out more or less Tang San’s tendency to let his emotions rule over him which Yu Xiao Gang worries will bring Tang San an even bigger crisis.
Using what happened at Star Forest, Yu Xiao Gang points out what he regards as both a strength as well as a weakness of Tang San’s. Focusing on the weakness, though, Yu Xiao Gang has him see that placing such great importance on his feelings (as opposed to placing importance of rational, objective thought) is what had caused him to mess up back at Star Forest. His insistence on absorbing the Soul Ring of the Human Faced Demon Spider because of his desire to rescue Xiao Wu almost caused him to lose his life—if not his life then his ability to every advance again (which would mean he could never achieve his goal of becoming stronger so he could see his father again and learn about his family). For Tang San to be able save others, Yu Xiao Gang tells Tang San that he must remember to stay calm and save himself first because only then can he begin till save others.
He hopes that Tang San will remember to avoid making the same mistake in the future when he tracks down his father as he doesn’t want to see Tang San die early. Tang San promises Yu Xiao Gang he won’t act impulsively again.
Ou Si Ke and Ning Rong’s fight against Ma Hong Jun finally takes place and is one which pretty much none believes Ou Si Ke and Ning Rong Rong will win. Dai Mu Bai is sure Ma Hong Jun will come out victorious. Fei Lan De had already placed his bets on Ma Hong Jun. Tang San doesn’t pick Ma Hong Jun to win, but he can’t back Ou Si Ke will win it for sure either. We don’t get to see the fight, but it’s Ou Si Ke and Ning Rong Rong who wins.
How the stage and costume props allows Ou Si Ke and Ning Rong Rong to participate in a Martial Soul battle is set to be revealed in the upcoming battle with Dai Wei Shi, who arrives late at Soul Arena. He had been caught up by Hu Lie Na’s new guard who Hu Lie Na ordered to kill but appears to have failed seeing as Dai Wei Shi makes it to the Soul Arena.
Dai Wei Shi enters the arena as he came, wounded in the upper right arm and a significant amount on the back. Tang San had offered to make the battle fair and square when he asked Ou Si Ke for a Full Recovery Big Sausage and offered it to Dai Wei Shi, but Dai Wei Shi refused the offer stating that even without using his full power he could beat them.
Dai Wei Shi wasn’t being overconfident. Dai Mu Bai’s strategy to attack using brute force, having everyone come at Dai Wei Shi non-stop saw Dai Mu Bai’s attack plan fail. Against a powerful Soul Master like Dai Wei Shi (who is later described by Hu Lie Na’s new guard as someone’s who possibly hiding his full power), even if it was one against the five Combat Soul Masters, Tang San, Xiao Wu, Dai Mu Bai, Zhu Zhu Qing and Ma Hong Jun, they all had nothing on him.
Dai Mu Bai’s strike attack is blocked before he gets flung to the ground, causing Zhu Zhu Qing (who was making an attack next to Dai Mu Bai) to flip herself out of the way to prevent herself from colliding with Dai Mu Bai’s descending body. Dai Wei Shi’s next target is Xiao Wu. An electric sphere is flung at her which she does avoid with her quick speed. Ma Hong Jun’s flame beam—his Phoenix Firing Line—is easily dodged by Dai Wei Shi. Tang San’s lattice of vines—Intertwine—which is commanded to wrap around Dai Wei Shi’s foot to keep him from moving only holds him still until he needed to move to fend off Zhu Zhu Qing’s attempt to strike again. Tang San’s vine breaks up into pieces while Zhu Zhu Qing is sent smashing harshly into the wooden posts after suffering a powerful blow at the stomach.
Another round of attacks sees more blocks, hits and dodges from Dai Wei Shi. Zhu Zhu Qing runs low on attack power when she once again takes another powerful strike in the stomach yet again. It saw Ou Si Ke throw her a Full Recovery Big Sausage (which is unclear whether she took or not with the shot cutting away but presumably she did).
Xiao Wu’s attack power appears to have required regeneration, as well, as she is seen going up to Ou Si Ke to request a Full Recovery Big Sausage. The kicks she attempted to land on Dai Wei Shi, but failed to connect before being hit appears to have taken a lot of her own energy to block.
The solemn looks Yu Xiao Gang and Fei Lan De shared between them, the shaking head of Fei Lan De when Dai Mu Bai continued with the same attack plan of using unrelenting offensive power attacks which clearly was not working against Dai Wei Shi summed up what they thought of the state of the fight. The Seven Devils of Shi Lan Ke wasn’t winning this battle. Zhu Zhu Qing’s speed and strikes weren’t fast enough. Dai Mu Bai’s attack were much weaker than his brother’s. Xiao Wu’s kicks and Ma Hong Jun’s flames were all dodged. In this fight where their attacks were clearly outmatched, Dai Mu Bai’s insistence on just using unrelenting power to take Dai Wei Shi down wasn’t going to see them win the battle.
They needed an alternative attack plan, an attack plan which actually involved very little attacking. It’s an attack plan which Tang San was tasked to draw up and practice with Ou Si Ke, Ning Rong Rong, Ma Hong Jun and Xiao Wu in the event the battle took a grim turn, and one which Tang San makes the decision needed to be used at this point.
Last episode, Tang San had been viewed by Fei Lan De and Yu Xiao Gang as the one who should be taking control of tactical commands. However, Dai Mu Bai had insisted that since he was the captain of the team and that he was battling his brother, he should lead the team. But with Tang San being a Control Branch Soul Master who possesses restricting and constraining Soul Skills, it made sense to Fei Lan De and Yu Xiao Gang that Tang San take control of battle commands.
Although not stated explicitly, the reason appears to be because of the restricting and constraining Soul Skills, which once used on Power Attack Soul Masters, Control Branch Soul Masters are quite effective at stopping their movement and carrying out further attacks. In contrast to, say, Xiao Wu and Zhu Zhu Qing, their speed is presumably a little more of a challenge for Control Branch Soul Masters like Tang San to successfully restrict and constrain because they possess Soul Skills that enables them to move at lightning fast speeds. This is what is believed to be the meaning when Fei Lan De remarked about Control Branch Soul Masters being the nemesis of Power Attack Soul Masters like Dai Wei Shi.
What appears to also be a reason why Tang San should be in charge of battle commands is the fact that his controlling and restricting attacks are of limited range. In order to utilise the restricting and constraining attacks, it required tactics and commands which used his attacks as well as the attacks of other team members at the right time to achieve victory—as Tang San’s attack plan will illustrate.
Seeing how battered Dai Mu Bai and Zhu Zhu Qing are and looking in no state to keep doing what they’ve been doing, Tang San moves to bring in Ou Si Ke and Ning Rong Rong onto the arena. It’s a move which sees Ou Si Ke and Ning Rong Rong surprised and a bit confused. They couldn’t fight so they didn’t see what they could offer when the others haven’t been able to wear Dai Wei Shi down so far. But Tang San convinces them to join him on the arena as he tells them that there was nothing to be afraid of—it’s only failure.
Stepping into the arena, Ou Si Ke, Ning Rong Rong joins Tang San, Ma Hong Jun and Xiao Wu in the tactical exercise they practiced. Using Ou Si Ke’s stage props, Ning Rong Rong throws a couple handful of small round firecrackers at Dai Wei Shi. They don’t do much right now with the firecrackers waved out of the way and landing on ground, but suffice to say the firecrackers are meant to land on the ground to start off with.
Meanwhile, Tang San is down low again on the right a short distance away, waiting for the right moment to send in his Blue Silver Plant. Until that time, though, Ou Si Ke flings a steel ball chain at Dai Wei Shi which wraps around Dai Wei Shi’s right wrist. An effect of electric currents flows through the chain and through Dai Wei Shi. It sees Dai Wei Shi taking multiple steps back. This is when Ou Si Ke instructs Ma Hong Jun to use his Martial Soul in a sudden boost.
Ou Si Ke is in a way acting as a Control Branch Soul Master with his steel ball chain. As Ou Si Ke maintains his grip on the prop to keep Dai Wei Shi from getting too far out of attack range, Ma Hong Jun’s attack had pushed Dai Wei Shi further back during his move to block Ma Hong Jun‘s burst of flames. Tang San could never have taken this role in restricting Dai Wei Shi in this way because his Blue Silver Plant would have been neutralised the moment Ma Hong Jun’s flames hit the vines. For this part of the attack, Ou Si Ke had to go in with his steel prop which is impervious to flames.
The end result of Ma Hong Jun’s sudden boost is Dai Wei Shi behind the small round firecrackers. With Ma Hong Jun releasing his second attack using the Phoenix Firing Line to set off the firecrackers, a large plume of coloured smoke obscures Dai Wei Shi’s sight. It sees Tang San finally make his move to have his Blue Silver Plant wrap around Dai Wei Shi’s feet before it crawls up his body to hoist him high into the air.
With Xiao Wu given a Strength and Speed Boost following Tang San’s call for her to carry out her attack, she goes in with a doubled powered, super speed double-footed kick into Dai Wei Shi whilst she is being swung towards Dai Wei Shi by Tang San’s Blue Silver Plant. Dai Wei Shi is sent flying out of the arena, giving Seven Devils of Shi Lan Ke School the win.
Dai Wei Shi seems unaware that he’s lost, though. His view of victory is still in terms of power and who’s stronger. He dominated in terms of power, but in terms of the rules which state that once a contestant steps out of the arena, the opponent has lost. It’s a rule which Tang San cites, and a rule which Dai Wei Shi realises has made his the loser in this battle.
Realising this fact, Dai Wei Shi admits defeat and allows Dai Mu Bai to stay. He leaves with a challenge for Dai Mu Bai to meet him at the grand final of Douluo Continent Soul Master School Contest in Martial Soul City. He seems to expect that there was no question about it. Whether that will be the case remains to be seen at this point, but somewhere near the arena Dai Mu Bai as well as Tang San have a couple visitors dressed in a black hood cape apparently looking to recruit them for an upcoming competition—two people which they will meet after returning to Shi Lan Ke School.
Dai Wei Shi exiting the area, Dai Mu Bai has Tang San follow him to talk privately. His question to Tang San about whether Tang San had practiced the strategy sees Tang San apologise and explain that he had looked for him when they practiced it. Tang San appears to have thought that maybe Dai Mu Bai was unhappy he had gone and worked on an alternative attack strategy without him, but this was not Dai Mu Bai’s meaning for the question. It was a question Dai Mu Bai casually asked before admitting that the two views he previously had appears to be not always correct.
Having seen Ou Si Ke and Ning Rong Rong contribute in a way that actually aided victory, Dai Mu Bai now sees that Support Branch Soul Masters can join the battle and contribute to it. Previously, he believed Support Branch Soul Masters should never go onto the arena for the reason that they aren’t normally ones who can carry out attacks on opponents. He also sees that the powerful don’t always win fights. This instance is proof of that. That time Tang San defeated Zhao Wu Ji during the Shi Lan Ke School admission exam is another instance that proves it. Dai Mu Bai reveals that Tang San beating a Soul Saint at the Rose Inn is what had him irritated him because Tang San broke the rules in his beliefs that being powerful is what will result in victory.
Dai Mu Bai seeing all this now, he makes the decision to hand over command to Tang San as he admits Tang San is better at it than he is. Tang San accepts the reigns, but only as the one who gives out the battle commands. Tang San tells Dai Mu Bai that the leader of Seven Devils of Shi Lan Ke will always be Dai Mu Bai.
As the team make their way back to Shi Lan Ke School with Xiao Wu being carried on Tang San’s back (Xiao Wu had injured her ankle) and Dai Mu Bai appearing a lot friendlier to Zhu Zhu Qing (he had given her a hand in helping her down from a platform where she sat before thanking her for her help in the arena), the two previously mentioned visitors trail the group. Fei Lan De noticing their presence behind them, he confronts them to discover one of them to be Yu Xiao Gang’s nephew, Yu Tian Heng. Du Gu Yan is revealed to be the other after they show up back at the school with Fei Lan De and Yu Xiao Gang.
Du Gu Yan’s encounter with Tang San and Dai Mu Bai at Star Forest appears to have made such an impression on her that she’s had gone her leader—that being Yu Tian Heng—to suggest he invite the two to their top Tian Dou Imperial School and take part in the Soul Master School Contest held by Martial Soul Hall in Martial Soul City. With the two major battle zones to be Tian Dou Empire and Xing Luo Empire, Yu Tian Heng appears to hope that the expectation that Dai Mu Bai will be able to meet Dai Wei Shi in the Grand Final and have another chance of battling Dai Wei Shi will be a drawing point for Dai Mu Bai at least.
Tang San, however, isn’t interested. He’d rather enter the competition under Shi Lan Ke School, but he’s told that Shi Lan Ke School is not recognised as an eligible school because it’s not a school supported by the Royal Family. Still, Tang San declines to participate it’d mean leaving Shi Lan Ke School and becoming a student of another school. Yu Tian Heng thinks it’s to do with the death of Xiao Chen Yu and tells Tang San that the school will help him resolve it. Again regardless of whether they can clear this misunderstanding or not, Tang San still won’t go.
Like Tang San, Dai Mu Bai also doesn’t really want to leave Shi Lan Ke School as he also regards Shi Lan Ke School as his school. Shi Lan Ke School is the school he wants to represent. But this was an opportunity to become stronger and surpass Dai Wei Shi, sees him hold back from giving Yu Tian Heng any kind of decision. Seeing as that is the case, Yu Tian Heng and Du Gu Yan are left to wait one day (which is the time Yu Tian Heng gives Dai Mu Bai) for Dai Mu Bai to make his decision.
Before Yu Tian Heng leaves, he tells Dai Mu Bai that is he decides to join them, Tian Dou Imperial School will stand on Dai Mu Bai’s. This is revealed to be support for Dai Mu Bai in the power struggle between him and his brother for the throne of King of Xing Luo Empire.
The story behind Dai Mu Bai’s reason for wanting to become stronger and defeat his older brother is revealed to Tang San after the meeting. In Xing Luo Empire, he is the forgotten Prince of Xing Luo Empire who is looked down by everyone because Dai Wei Shi was so strong. As heirs to the Empire, Dai Wei Shi is the next in line to succeed as king. It’s not that Dai Mu Bai wants to take Dai Wei Shi’s place. He just wants to have people recognise his strength and not be labeled a loser, because in his circle, losers don’t have the right to speak nor the right to survive.
Tang San being told all of this, he has Dai Mu Bai know he as well as the others will support him in whatever decision he makes, that at Shi Lan Ke School he will always be their leader. Mentioning Zhu Zhu Qing, he tries to have Dai Mu Bai see that she too appears to have chosen Dai Mu Bai. As someone from Xing Luo herself (as revealed in Episode 20), she is someone in Xing Luo who clearly doesn’t look down on Dai Mu Bai. If she did, Zhu Zhu Qing wouldn’t have fought alongside him and protected him against Dai Wei Shi during the battle at Soul Arena. She wouldn’t still be at the school despite the engagement having been broken off. Tang San believes that in Zhu Zhu Qing’s heart, Dai Mu Bai has surpassed Dai Wei Shi.
The point which Tang San seems to be trying to convey is the point which is similar to the point about not having to be the strongest to win battles. Being the stronger one doesn’t mean one automatically becomes the leader. Here at Shi Lan Ke School, Dai Mu Bai is strong enough in Tang San’s eyes, but regardless of his strength, regardless of how strong Dai Wei Shi is, Tang San tells Dai Mu Bai he will always be their leader and will forever have their support.
The visit from Yu Tian Heng and Du Gu Yan sees Fei Lan De searching for his yearbook of past students. With Yu Xiao Gang beside him, he flips through the pages, looking at all the names of students who many Yu Xiao Gang instantly recognises: almost all of them were famous Soul Masters. The observation seem to suggest that all these famous Soul Masters are also not known widely as having started their Soul Master training at Shi Lan Ke School.
It has Fei Lan De display a sad look as in his thoughts, and the reason why he’s looking through the yearbook, is because he’s made up his mind to lose another two students to other schools. Because the school refused to join the Royal Family and Martial Soul, the school lack funds to take in many students. They have neither money, power nor prestige. The school may not be able to offer any of this, but what the school can offer is provide them with a bright future. It is the responsibility of every master in Shi Lan Ke. This was what the founder of Shi Lan Ke School had said and what Fei Lan De appears to still believe and adhered to.
So, even though Tang San’s not wanting to go and maybe Dai Mu Bai will choose not to go, Fei Lan De’s made the decision to have them go. It’s a decision which he seems unwilling but must make to stay faithful to this responsibility set by the founder. It’s a decision which sees a tear well up in his eye.
Over in the female dorm, a bit of the drama’s love-line is coming in with Ning Rong Rong trying to get Xiao Wu to talk about her feelings for Tang San. Xiao Wu has no idea of Ning Rong Rong’s meaning when she asks whether she likes Tang San in that way or when she rephrased the question to ask whether she has any other feelings beyond ones between brother and sister. Xiao Wu had answered that she of course likes Tang San because he’s her brother. As for having other feelings, Xiao Wu was completely baffled let alone understanding what Ning Rong Rong meant about whether Xiao Wu thought she and Tang San could go further. Xiao Wu’s cluelessness sees Ning Rong Rong think maybe Xiao Wu is just pretending to not know what she means, but it soon occurs to her that Xiao Wu wasn’t pretending.
As the questions move to whether Tang San ever gets angry, the answer to whether Xiao Wu likes Tang San and whether Tang San likes Xiao Wu seems quite possible if not obvious. Zhu Zhu Qing providing the answer to Ning Rong Rong’s question, she tells of the time during admissions exam at Rose Inn where Tang San had gotten so angry he defeated Zhao Wu Ji, a Seven Soul Rings Soul Master, all because Xiao Wu had been injured after being attacked. With Ning Rong Rong comparing Tang San to a monster after being amazed, Xiao Wu immediately corrects Ning Rong Rong in her child-like self: “How is he a monster? He’s my brother! He is my brother!” Xiao Wu can’t have anyone speak badly of Tang San which you could say is a sign Xiao Wu likes Tang San, just she doesn’t know it.
Ning Rong Rong next teases Xiao Wu about her being the most scariest person out of all of them because of how crazy mad Tang San will get when something happens to her. It sees Xiao Wu cry out to correct Ning Rong Rong about not being scary but cute. Amongst the teasing, Xiao Wu misses the point that what Ning Rong Rong is getting at is that Tang San regards her as his most important person.
While Tang San appears to regard Xiao Wu as his most important person, Xiao Wu regards Tang San as the best guy in the world. Ning Rong Rong adding a comment about how Tang San appearing to be a pretty good guy after all this talk about him, Xiao Wu affirms firmly that he is the best. Even though she’s not met every guy in the world, she tells Ning Rong Rong (who had asked how she knows Tang San is the best) that she doesn’t have to meet every guy there is to know.
If all this doesn’t sound like Xiao Wu might just like Tang San and vice versa, we don’t know what does.
That’s Douluo Continent Series Recap, Episodes 16 – 20! Make sure to come back for Douluo Continent Series Recap, Episodes 21 – 25!