Chu Yougui deliberately incites more hate for Prince of Bo than he’s already getting by displaying special treatment at Qiannu Camp. Unlike the slave who arrived at the slave camp the same time as Prince of Bo and was made to stamp the word “slave” using a hot iron, Chu Yougui wavers the requirement for Prince of Bo. The warden managing the slaves also deliberately makes a weaker slave do the very dangerous job of going into the cave to set off explosives. Prince of Bo gets the safer job of transporting rocks.
A rescue plan to try get Prince of Bo over to the Jin Kingdom is in action in Taiyuan. With hope the people could live a stable and peaceful life as well as have Ma Zhaixing let go of the war (after which they could then live like a normal couple), Ji Chong had proposed they try to rescue Prince of Bo. Ma Zhaixing had been against it as she felt it was too risky because of the evil things he did. However, after the King of Jin agreed with Ji Chong’s idea, Ma Zhaixing was in agreement.
The King of Jin had thought along the same lines as Ji Chong. If they succeeded in bringing Prince of Bo over to their side, Prince of Bo’s inside knowledge could minimise casualties, saving lives of thousands of soldiers. They could also illustrate the power of benevolence which can serve as a powerful blow to Chu Kui (and put the Jin Kingdom in a pretty good light).
Ma Zhaixing still had her concerns, though. Her concerns is what had her decide to join Ji Chong in the mission. She hopes to be the judge of whether bringing Prince of Bo back to Taiyuan would be the death of them or gain them a useful ally.
The slaves at Qiannu Camp gang up to beat Prince of Bo. The camp’s warden, Gu Teng (Guo Ye), act as if he’s on Prince of Bo’s side, but he’s working for Chu Yougui and has been given the order to make Prince of Bo suffer to the point of no redemption with hopes it’ll force Chu Kui to kill Prince of Bo.
Prince of Bo had avoided being branded the word “slave” last episode. However, for helping Li Qiang, the slave who entered the same time as Prince of Bo and was sent into the cave to set off explosives, Prince of Bo has it imprinted on his chest with a hot iron this episode. Prince of Bo is then was made to do the entire day’s work by himself before being sent to solitary confinement without food.
All of this happened because the same group of slaves who had ganged up to beat Prince of Bo had tried to give Li Qiang some time to rest after the explosion in the cave. With Li Qiang (Cai Yi Ming) not wanting to get the group in trouble, he stayed silent about who had let him rest. This had Gu Teng threaten Li Qiang with a hot iron and Prince of Bo stepping forward to take the hit instead: Prince of Bo tells Gu Teng it was he who had let Li Qiang rest.
This act of Prince of Bo does get one slave, Zhao Jiu (Yue Dong Feng), in the camp pitying him for a short time as it made no sense to him why Prince of Bo would save Li Qiang. Zhao Jiu felt Prince of Bo was being targeted and was set up by Gu Teng. Reminded by a slave of how cruel Prince of Bo was to them, that Prince of Bo was crueler than Gu Teng ever was, and that the person Prince of Bo served, Chu Kui, was the person who killed Zhao Jiu’s eldest son and destroyed his family, Zhao Jiu’s pity disappears after some thought: doing one good thing doesn’t exonerate Prince of Bo he decided.
As soon as Zhao Jiu settled on this thought, Li Qiang had them thinking again. Prince of Bo didn’t just do one good thing but a second good thing since the short time he’s been in the camp: Prince of Bo was also the one who left Li Qiang his water flask when Li Qiang was calling out for water. Li Qiang had automatically thought it was Zhao Jiu who had left it quietly by his side (Li Qiang had been too thirsty and dazed to see) and moved to thank Zhao Jiu only to hear Zhao Jiu deny the water flask being his. Li Qiang looked at the others, asking who the flask belonged to with his gaze. They all denied it being theirs, leading Li Qiang to wonder aloud if the flask could be Prince of Bo’s.
Despite the beatings and the targeting, Prince of Bo shows no interest in leaving the camp when Ma Zhaixing and Ji Chong manages to sneak in to make the offer to get him out of there. Through Liu’er (also known as Zhao Liuye) (Su Yi Ming), a boy who they tracked down and managed to convince he help them through a bit of blackmailing.
Ma Zhaixing and Ji Chong had done a background check on Liu’er and found out that Liu’er was running errands to Qiannu Camp because Zhao Jiu is his father. Ji Chong threatened that if Liu’er didn’t help them get into the camp they’d be forced to reveal this piece of information and Liu’er won’t be able to see his father again. This had Liu’er agree to help.
Acting as Liu’er’s relatives, Ma Zhaixing and Ji Chong make it into the camp under the excuse they were helping Liu’er deliver some firewood. Ma Zhaixing approaching the confinement room where Prince of Bo is held after taking the blame for letting Li Qiang rest, she is told by Prince of Bo that there was never any intention to leave the camp after entering it because paying for his sins and waiting for his death is what he deserves.
Ma Zhaixing tries to convince Prince of Bo to join her and side with Jin with focus on redemption and saving lives as reasons. Prince of Bo denies ever wanting to save lives. Ma Zhaixing begs to differ. Having watched the whole incident where Prince of Bo saved Li Qiang from a vantage point above the camp site not noticed by anyone in the camp, she thinks Prince of Bo does want to save people.
Prince of Bo continues to deny wanting to save people as his response appear to draw a difference between trying to help someone and being a hero who’s trying to save lives. This has Ma Zhaixing seemingly tell him that helping them now only prolongs their death. The only way to save them, to save Chu Youzhen after the failed rebellion (Ma Zhaixing brings his Fourth Brother up knowing it’d make Prince of Bo think about accepting her proposal more thoroughly), she tells Prince of Bo he needs to come over to the Jin. She also adds that joining the Jin would allow him to fulfill Chu Youyu’s unfulfilled dream of a peaceful world. Aligning with Jin can reduce the casualties and achieve a war without bloodshed.
Prince of Bo can’t see that happening with Chu Kui loving a fight and King of Jin hating evildoers. Prince of Bo’s meaning seems to be suggesting that the King of Jin would never accept him joining the Jin because he has done so much evil. It’s something which Ma Zhaixing has Prince of Bo know that it was in fact the King of Jin who had suggested she save him.
For a short time, her words seem to have gotten him listening, but she seems to lose him after she had him think about someone he wanted to protect with his life. That person is still Ma Zhaixing; and for that to happen Prince of Bo is possibly still thinking that the best way to protect her is to stay put. He also seems to think that his fate is set. He’s just a monster with no ability to fight his fate. He will never leave Qiannu Camp and he will certainly not help the King of Jin fight Chu Kui for world domination. Ma Zhaixing is told to leave.
Despite Ma Zhaixing’s best efforts to use everything she thought would get Prince of Bo to join her side and despite the humiliating and hellish existence, she failed to get Prince of Bo to go with her. But just in case he reconsiders, Ma Zhaixing leaves a fire striker (along with a bottle of medication). She tells him that if he changes his mind within the three days, she and Ji Chong will come rescue him.
Prince of Bo may not have changed his answer, but he didn’t tell her to take the items away or destroy them when he got up to retrieve them. There’s still a chance Prince of Bo will reconsider.
Following Chu Yougui’s orders to rid Prince of Bo, Gu Teng uses the rumours about Prince of Bo’s abilities to control warrior wolves to frame Prince of Bo for Li Qiang’s death. Chu Yougui and Gu Teng’s goal is to incite the slaves to seek revenge against Prince of Bo and beat him to death. However, it doesn’t go according to plan.
Prince of Bo was willing to take responsibility when Chu Yougui had come to put a stop to the beating in an attempt to appear as if Chu Yougui was going to investigate the death when there was never any intention to do so. Clearly knowing Chu Yougui’s scheme to rid him, Prince of Bo just pleads guilty to killing Li Qiang and tells Chu Yougui to kill him right in front of the slaves.
Liu’er, who had overheard the discussion between Chu Yougui and Gu Teng, steps in to refute the guilty plea. Despite Liu’er’s hate for Prince of Bo (Prince of Bo was responsible for sending Liu’er’s father, Zhao Jiu, to Qiannu Camp; and either Prince of Bo or Chu Kui was responsible for the death of Liu’er’s elder brother as well), Liu’er tells everyone Li Qiang’s death has nothing to do with Prince of Bo and that it was Chu Yougui who had ordered Gu Teng to kill Li Qiang and frame Prince of Bo for Li Qiang’s death.
It results in Liu’er being taken in and imprisoned which sees Prince of Bo take up Ma Zhaixing’s proposal to head to Taiyuan and join the Jin. He had thought by staying in Qiannu Camp was the way to repent for his past actions. However, with the revelation that Chu Yougui intends to dispose of the slaves once he’s made use of them to kill him, Prince of Bo realises that staying alive and saving their lives is a way to repent for his actions against them.
With Zhao Jiu leading the slaves to see that Prince of Bo is genuinely trying to repent, every slave save one (at least that’s what we are led to believe), work together to escape the camp. The plan is to steal explosives, blow up the camp, and with help from Ma Zhaixing and Ji Chong, escape to the Jin Kingdom where they will be accepted despite them being slaves.
Zhao Jiu is put on requesting from one of the guards to allow the slaves to burn some joss paper for the deceased Li Qiang and is granted the request. It allows them to ignite the fire striker Ma Zhaixing left him and alert her and Ji Chong Prince of Bo’s decision to join them.
Zhang Yuan, the one slave who looked like was against helping the rest and be a spy for Gu Teng, turned out to be a part of the plan to gain Gu Teng’s trust in order to steal the explosives. Appearing to go to Gu Teng to tell him about Prince of Bo’s plans to blow up the camp and escape, Zhang Yuan sights the explosives in a cabinet which he is able to transfer to an old water jar by the room’s window outside during a distraction Prince of Bo sent.
Explosives stolen and laid, Ma Zhaixing and Ji Chong as well as Li Juqi and his army ready to attack and receive them all, Prince of Bo and the slaves ignite the explosives during Gu Teng’s order for his men to check the outhouse for the stolen explosives. With many of the men including Gu Teng in the outhouse, Prince of Bo and the slave take a good number of them down. Taking care of the guards in the towers and the ones throughout the Qiannu Camp, Ji Chong and his men enter on horse with arrows and spears. Meeting Prince of Bo amongst the attacks, Ji Chong is asked to see to the slaves and take them out of the camp while he would see to Zhao Jiu and Liu’er and make sure they get out.
Sadly, everyone but Zhao Jiu make it out alive. With guards hot on everyone’s heels, there was little time to get Zhao Jiu back on his horse after he was hit in the back with an arrow. Zhao Jiu didn’t see himself making it further when Prince of Bo turned back to try get him up and going. Believing this, Zhao Jiu has Prince of Bo promise to take care of Liu’er which Prince of Bo promises after looking back at the pursuing guards and deciding there was no time left to argue.
Liu’er, who had refused to leave when Prince of Bo tried to pull him away with him, is knocked unconscious and put on a horse just as arrows starts flying. Half a dozen of them hit Zhao Jiu in the back, downing him. Everyone else manages to make it through to the point where Ma Zhaixing sets off explosives to send rocks tumbling down the cliff to block the guards path, ending the pursuit.
They had successfully made their escape. Although it looks like Ma Zhaixing, Ji Chong and Prince of Bo had carried out a very successful plan, Yao Ji had played a small in their success. Her help could be regarded as quite a significant part in their success. With her and Zi Shen keeping a close watch on Qiannu Camp this whole time, Ma Zhaixing and Ji Chong’s visit to the camp didn’t escape her and Zi Shen’s watchful eye.
Believing that Ma Zhaixing and Ji Chong were there to rescue Prince of Bo rather than kill him, Yao Ji allowed Ma Zhaixing and Ji Chong to save Prince of Bo. She removed her men from the camp to allow them to carry out their plan. She had also used the worries Chuchu had that Chu Yougui was behind the rumours about the warrior wolves to remove Chu Yougui’s watch at Qiannu Camp, leaving only Gu Teng at Qiannu Camp to keep watch. Chuchu was so worried Chu Yougui was up to something that she had personally visited the camp, leading to Chu Yougui to try alleviate her worries by returning to the Capital with her and one less watchful eye.
Liu’er’s attempt to disarm some traps set to catch beasts sees him caught in one and needing the expertise of Ma Zhaixing and Prince of Bo to remove the trap and apply a special herb to heal the wound. The incident sees a rare moment where Prince of Bo and Ma Zhaixing work together, drawing attention to just how well they know each other and suit each other. But with the truth about her father’s death and what happened at the Battle of Boxiang still not cleared up, Ma Zhaixing insists that her relationship with Prince of Bo is only the temporary alliance they formed to end the war and bring peace to the people.
The persisting misunderstanding between Prince of Bo and Ma Zhaixing sees Ji Chong stuck in a marriage where he is made aware yet again that Ma Zhaixing doesn’t have him in her heart—at least not in a romantic way. Ji Chong’s attempt to get Ma Zhaixing to take a break on working so hard on state affairs regarding breaking through one of two important territories in this war—this being, Minzhou City—sees Ji Chong get denied. Ji Chong had leaned in to kiss her. Instead of receiving the kiss, she asked him what he was doing before he was made to settle for a cup of Ma Zhaixing’s brewed tea.
Ma Zhaixing was completely clueless to what Ji Chong wanted from her. When Ma Jing had re-enacted the scene she saw between Ma Zhaixing and Ji Chong and told Ma Zhaixing she should have puckered her lips and closed her eyes for Ji Chong to kiss her, Ma Zhaixing thought Ma Jing had gotten it completely wrong. She tells Ma Jing that what she believes Ji Chong was after isn’t what Ma Jing thinks he’s after. Ma Zhaixing then goes right back to looking at how Jin could penetrate Minzhou and Suyang without anymore thought.
Ma Zhaixing and Ji Chong’s marriage remains a marriage of convenience with only Ji Chong giving away his heart to Ma Zhaixing. Although Ma Zhaixing clearly doesn’t love Ji Chong in a romantic sense, she seems to at least care about him enough to brew him a tea which Ji Chong thought was just any normal tea Ma Zhaixing used to brush him off. The tea is actually one which she brews only for those she cares the most for. While Ji Chong and Prince of Bo discussed strategies for penetrating Minzhou, Prince of Bo had Ji Chong discover this fact. This tea called Paihuai Nectar Water was a tea she brewed wherever her father returned home. It was a tea not even Prince of Bo had the priviledge of drinking before.
Ma Zhaixing also makes it a point to take personal interest in Ji Chong’s work and make sure those Ji Chong cares about live more comfortably. Before Ma Zhaixing rushed to treat Liu’er’s wound, she was at Gugua Village. This is the village Ji Chong had been sending grain and all his money to when he was a bounty hunter. Here, she looked at what she could improve for the people living there and gave orders for the houses to be made warmer and stronger.
But it is clear her feelings for Ji Chong is at a platonic level. As mentioned a few times already, Ji Chong knows this all too well. If only Prince of Bo would clear the misunderstandings behind the Battle of Boxiang and the death of Ma Ying and the Ma Family, the two might have a chance to reconcile. But even when it almost comes out through Ji Chong not wanting to see Prince of Bo being so harshly treated by Ma Zhaixing, Prince of Bo won’t allow it.
In response to Ma Zhaixing’s reminder to Prince of Bo that their working together was only a temporary alliance and that removing the trap on Liu’er was simply her wanting to save the boy which held no attachment to the past, Ji Chong had tried to get Ma Zhaixing to see how undeserving Prince of Bo is of her harsh treatment. She had told Prince of Bo the had a relationship which is irrevocably irreconcilable when Prince of Bo offered to see Ma Zhaixing and Ji Chong out after treating Liu’er. She told Ji Chong that she and Prince of Bo are only allies and nothing more because Prince of Bo still owes her for her father’s death not knowing that Prince of Bo had tried giving up his life to try make it up to her and saved her many times. Ji Chong had begun to mention what really happened in Boxiang City but was interrupted by Prince of Bo and was told to more or less let things stay as they are.
Originally Prince of Bo had Ji Chong keep the truth from Ma Zhaixing in order to save her from being tormented by the fact he died over misunderstandings and for matters which he had nothing to do with. That was the request since Prince of Bo was going to die anyway. But then Prince of Bo was saved, is now alive. Prince of Bo could clear it all up, but he sees the truth as a trivial matter.
Before he was saved, Prince of Bo had told Ji Chong he had brought Ma Zhaixing too much pain his whole life (Episode 38). Although he may not have caused the pain of losing her father, Prince of Bo still caused her pain through means of cold and cruel treatment in order to keep her away and protected from enemies trying to use her to attack him. Nothing has changed in this respect. No doubt Prince of Bo still believes Ma Zhaixing would be better off with Ji Chong, believing with Ji Chong she can live a peaceful life.
(There’s also the fact that Ma Zhaixing is married to Ji Chong which is something Ma Zhaixing had pass-mentioned when Ji Chong told her about treating Prince of Bo too harshly. That in itself is a matter that can cause more pain/guilt/suffering for not only Ma Zhaixing and Prince of Bo but Ji Chong, too. If Ma Zhaixing remains in the marriage she’d be trapped in a loveless marriage while feeling sorry towards Prince of Bo. If she leaves Ji Chong, she could feel sorry and guilty towards him.)
So, as Prince of Bo had insisted, for the sake of the grand scheme of things like winning the war against the Yang, to keep distractions from achieving victory, the misunderstanding stand. Ji Chong is made to agree to remain silent.
Over in Yang, Yao Ji is selflessly helping Prince of Bo. Although Prince of Bo is freed from Chu Kui’s direct control, Yao Ji worries that Prince of Bo won’t truly be free from Chu Kui’s control with Mo Xiao, Hai Die and Wen Yan confined. To help rid any such possibility, Yao Ji uses Chu Kui’s ailing health to suggest a ritual to be held at Qitan’s Longevity Forest where she suggests Mo Xiao, Wen Yan and Hai Die be used as human sacrifices. With Chu Kui agreeing, Yao Ji moves to inform Prince of Bo of her plans and offer him the opportunity to save his former Night Fury members.
It’s an act which Prince of Bo is thankful for. It has him wondering why Yao Ji is still helping him. She tells him it’s because they promised to live and die as one. This answer seemed insufficient for Prince of Bo. It didn’t explain why despite him no longer being anyone of importance she refused to abandon him. This has her express the real reason which look to be because she loves Prince of Bo. She appear to start confessing her feelings for him, but appear to decide to back out of the confession. She had him know that ever since he told her she wasn’t alone when they were brought in by Chu Kui and that he was here for her she had decided that he was her “one and only”, but decided to add “family” after it.
It gets Yao Ji an interesting response (in our opinion anyway): “We grew up together. We went through thick and thin together and you can understand me with just one look. We’ve gone beyond just being family a long time ago,” Prince of Bo tells her. He then goes and hugs her like he could think of her the way she secretly thinks of him, but he then goes and thanks Yao Ji for all she’s done before telling her that even if they are family, he must repay her kindness.
(Prince of Bo might just be acknowledging Yao Ji’s feelings in a subtle and unspoken way but rejecting them with that last part when he thanked her and told her he needed to repay her even if they are family.)
With Prince of Bo given the heads up, the plan to free Mo Xiao, Hai Die and Wen Yan is in place. Chu Kui appears none the wiser with Yao Ji having gained full trust from the Yang Emperor. Although Chu Kui doesn’t doubt Yao Ji’s motives for holding this ritual, Chu Kui doesn’t actually believe the ritual will do anything to improve his ailing state. At most, he will (as he is led to believe) get rid of the three Night Fury members Prince of Bo cares most about and have that act as a warning to Prince of Bo for his betrayal. He in fact believes there is a possibility he will die.
This thought leads Chu Kui to pose a question to his loyal eunuch, Zhang Jin, about whether the eunuch would be willing to be buried with him should he die. Zhang Jin does not dare to refuse in front of Chu Kui and tells the Yang Emperor that it would be his greatest honour to be buried with him. Away and out of Chu Kui’s sight, Zhang Jin works to get himself out of this “great honour” by arranging a body double which gets him caught by Chu Yougui and blackmailed to help the Second Prince serve Chu Kui soup which Episode 45 reveals to deteriorate Chu Kui’s already ill health further.
Chu Kui loses his sight and passes out temporarily from the spiked ginseng soup Zhang Jin approved. As per Chu Yougui’s plan, it gives Chu Yougui the opportunity to take Chu Kui’s place in meeting with the King of Qitan (whose name is revealed to be Qing Lan) and presumably pull some kind of scheme that benefits the Second Prince.
Chu Yougui may be successful in getting this meeting, but he fails to convince King of Qitan from taking any side with Bao Na, Ma Zhaixing and Ji Chong showing up. With Bao Na showing up with Ji Chong and Ma Zhaixing, it was presumed Bao Na was suggesting the King of Qitan side with the Jin. She was against the King of Qitan of having anything to do with Chu Kui and Chu Yougui especially with how Chu Yougui had her kidnapped once in order to pin Prince of Bo for Bao Na’s disappearance and rid Prince of Bo (Episode 12). But because of differing cultures and customs and negative views of the Jin, the King of Qitan had no intention of forming any kind of alliance with the Jin.
However, at least there was no agreement made between the King of Qitan and Chu Yougui either. Ma Zhaixing’s diplomatic handling of the situation focusing on the need and hope for someone like the King of Qitan (who has knowledge of customs and cultures of both regions) to act as a mediator and resolve disputes between the two sides sees King of Qitan remain neutral in this war between the Jin and the Yang. The King of Qitan seems to agree with Ma Zhaixing that not allowing one to fall for the instigation to wage war against others would be a blessing for all the people.
This leaves the matter of rescuing Mo Xiao, Hai Die and Wen Yan as well as prevent Prince of Bo from falling into the hands of Chu Yougui during the rescue attempt. Before Chu Kui and his people set off towards Qitan’s Longevity Mountain, Chu Yougui had suggested they use this prayer ritual to lure out Prince of Bo to kill him along with the Night Fury. This would take care of them all in one hit.
The suggestion gets Chu Yougui the approval he sought, but once again it doesn’t go the way he wants. Chu Yougui’s scheme to drug Chu Kui is exposed by Yao Ji after spotting Zhang Jin suspiciously trying to avoid staying by Chu Kui’s side. As well as discovering Zhang Jin curiously taking some black pills (we’re guessing they’re an antidote to the drug that was in Chu Kui’s ginseng soup which Zhang Jin had to test before serving it) and the fact Chu Kui’s impaired sight is a reaction to the ginseng soup, Yao Ji worked out Zhang Jin was hiding something. The next thing we see is Yao Ji calling in Zhang Jin to kneel before Chu Kui to confess his misdeed and that he was forced by Chu Yougui.
What appears to be a plan to begin ridding Chu Yougui and install Chu Youzhen as ruler, Yao Ji convinces Chu Kui to restrain himself from killing Zhang Jin by giving the reason that killing Zhang Jin might lead Chu Yougui to taking desperate actions against Chu Kui. Sparing Zhang Jin would avoid Chu Yougui suspecting they’re onto him.
With the plan to use the ritual at Longevity Forest to save Night Fury still in tact, Prince of Bo approaches Chu Kui about his goal to have Chu Youzhen ascend the throne. It’s a goal which requires Chu Kui’s cooperation and a goal which Prince of Bo manages to get Chu Kui on board just so Chu Yougui doesn’t get the throne.
Kneeling on one knee, still showing respect to the one who gave him a second chance in life, Prince of Bo has Chu Kui know that no one other than Chu Yougui wanted to betray him or want him dead—not Chu Youzhen, not Chu Youyu or Yao Ji. It was only Chu Yougui. Prince of Bo expresses his intent to protect Chu Youzhen as a promise to Chu Youyu and requests Chu Kui help him with rescuing his former Night Fury subordinates. Prince of Bo’s meaning and suggestion is to use the prayer ritual to remove the threat that is Chu Yougui.
Prince of Bo’s meaning is not lost on Chu Kui, and it has him question whether Prince of Bo had other motives to have Prince of Bo spit out his desire to install Chu Youzhen as ruler—which Prince of Bo does. In a frank but not disrespectful way, Prince of Bo tells Chu Kui that he will protect Chu Youzhen (at all cost we think he means) because Chu Youzhen must ascend to the throne in the next six months.
With his health deteriorating, Prince of Bo right before him, and possibly the fact that so many are working to dethrone—whether it be Prince of Bo’s side or on Chu Yougui’s side—Chu Kui sees he really doesn’t have the choice of not cooperating with Prince of Bo’s plan. It’s either cooperate or be killed. Chu Kui chooses the former.
With Chu Kui agreeing to Prince of Bo’s plans, the Yang Emperor plays his part in helping Prince of Bo stall Chu Yougui so the rescuing of Night Fury can occur. He has Yao Ji decide on the sacrificing method which prolongs Night Fury’s death (Yao Ji decides on needles which slowly drains their blood) and commands Chu Yougui to meet the Qitan nobles again. Chu Kui compliments the Second Prince for the great job he did the first time and wants him to continue creating a good rapport with them as Qitan’s power is apparently significant enough to do so. This gets Chu Yougui and his men away from the Night Fury members long enough for Prince of Bo to show up and untie them from the stakes where they stood slumped and slowly bleeding.
Mo Xiao and Hai Die are still alive, but Wen Yan doesn’t make it. As well as the blood-draining needles, they had also been poisoned. Wen Yan had on him the antidote, but only Mo Xiao and Hai Die took it. Wen Yan chose not to take any because with his meridians all severed previously, the antidote was useless on him.
After a short grieving, Prince of Bo set off with Mo Xiao carrying Wen Yang’s body on his back and Hai Die following. Their journey away from the ritual site is cut short with the sight of Chu Yougui and his men pointing their arrows at Ma Zhaixing a short distance away.
Ma Zhaixing and Ji Chong had been on standby, ready to help in Prince of Bo’s rescue of Night Fury after learning of Prince of Bo’s plans through Bao Na and her spies. Seeing fog forming in the forest and it reducing their sight and search abilities, Ma Zhaixing suggested to split up to look for Prince of Bo. Running into Chu Yougui and his men and overhearing Chu Yougui wanting to turn back to catch Prince of Bo at the ritual site and kill him, Ma Zhaixing had purposely led Chu Yougui to her and away from Prince of Bo.
Seeing Ma Zhaixing, Chu Yougui had decided that using the arrows on Ma Zhaixing would serve him better as it would be a significant hit to the morale of the Jin Kingdom. With Prince of Bo, Ji Chong and Bao Na coming in one after the other to save one another, taking Ma Zhaixing down fails.
Prince of Bo had first come in to take an arrow for Ma Zhaixing then Ji Chong appeared to attempt to save them both by offering to fight them all off while Prince of Bo and Ma Zhaixing make their escape. But it is actually Bao Na threatening Chu Yougui with killing herself if Chu Yougui didn’t retreat that actually had Chu Yougui retreating and saved all three. Chu Yougui apparently couldn’t afford testing whether Bao Na was serious about her threat and risk his dealings with Qitan. (Bao Na saving the day is a nice change!)
Everyone returning to camp, Wen Yan’s death causes a bit of a dilemma in Ma Zhaixing when Bao Na scolds her about not going to Prince of Bo when he’s just lost his friend, especially after Prince of Bo had just taken an arrow for her. But the fact she’s Princess Consort of Chuan—that is Ji Chong’s wife—and the fact that she still has this hate for Prince of Bo because of her belief he was involved in her father’s death has Ma Zhaixing argue how she couldn’t go to Prince of Bo. Even if she was worried about Prince of Bo (which she does admit to being worried), she expresses a valid point about whether she should show this kind of feelings.
It is at this point Ji Chong enters to reveal the whole truth about Prince of Bo’s intention to repay her with his life during Battle of Boxiang even though Prince of Bo had no part in her father’s death. Ji Chong tells Ma Zhaixing that Prince of Bo had cleared his debt to her during this battle at Boxiang City by letting her learn about his weakness and giving her the two days she wanted just so she could avenge her father’s death. Ji Chong clears up the misunderstanding that Prince of Bo had used her as a hostage after the Battle of Boxiang when in fact he had saved her; and the assassination of Ma Ying and the Ma Family, Prince of Bo had no idea about the order to assassinate her family and that had he not been at her residence to protect her, she would be dead.
It has Ma Zhaixing ask Ji Chong why he didn’t tell her this earlier. This has Ji Chong tell her it’s because that’s what Prince of Bo wanted. He had wanted to free her from any burden and hate once he died; and Ji Chong agreed to keep things a secret because he didn’t know things would turn out the way things had turned out. Neither he or Prince of Bo expected Prince of Bo to survive, that they would get married and that Prince of Bo would join the Jin (leading things to the point they are at now).
Seemingly seeing their reasons for keeping it all from her, it has Ma Zhaixing ask with exasperation why Ji Chong told her all of this, why he didn’t just keep it all a secret if that’s what they had intended to do. The truth had caused her to struggle with what to do.
“Zhaixing. The suffering, what he’s done to try make up for it, he’s done enough. It’s time to let go,” is Ji Chong’s first answer to her struggle.
The answer has Ma Zhaixing unsure how she should let go. Ji Chong’s answer to that is what will be his beginning to set her free:
“Nothing is impossible,” he had told her. “I once thought I could never say it. But when I saw you become so cold and cruel because of the hate and misunderstanding, I sympathise with Prince of Bo. But it pains me more to see you bound by hate. My lie and our marriage has become a cage which confines you.”
Ji Chong’s only wish for Ma Zhaixing was to see her happy and live a carefree life. When Ji Chong approached Ma Zhaixing at the beginning and stood in between her and Prince of Bo, he only ever did so because he believed Ma Zhaixing was trapped in a cage that was the Bo Manor. Back then, all he ever wanted was to free her so she could exist freely and happily. But now he sees himself and their marriage as what’s confining her, preventing her from existing freely and happily as he had always wanted for her:
“Our marriage has become a cage which confines you. In this world, I am the person who wanted most for you to live a free life and not be a caged bird. But in the end, I’m also the one who made you live within lies and agony.”
And so, in a selfless act, Ji Chong lets Ma Zhaixing free:
“Now, I’m going to open the cage and set you free.”
Ma Zhaixing moves to stop Ji Chong from letting her go with stopping the hand Ji Chong had around her arm from releasing her. She tells him that she never once thought Ji Chong had confined her—rather she felt he was the most protective of her. However, the fact that Prince of Bo lived in the deepest part of her heart, that she and Prince of Bo shared an understanding which Ji Chong says is something he can’t get in between, that they will risk their lives to save each other during the most critical moment and that being with Prince of Bo is what will bring her happiness, Ma Zhaixing finds herself unable to deny any of it.
In Ji Chong’s eyes, when he kept the truth from her he was the one who made her live in lies and pain. This (as already mentioned) is the opposite of the carefree life he’s always wanted for her. To ensure Ma Zhaixing leaves with no worries, Ji Chong has her know he will divorce her and explain it to the world when he returns to Taiyuan. He also makes her promise she will go to Prince of Bo to comfort him until he recovers from his wounds and until he passes this difficult time of having lost his friend. Ji Chong appears to be giving her the push to do what he knows her heart wishes to do but had held back since the rescue mission because she was still Princess Consort of Chuan and couldn’t.
Now able to freely go to Prince of Bo, Ma Zhaixing has him stay next to her to say a few words to the late Wen Yan to acknowledge the friendship and the care he (as well as Mo Xiao and Hai Die) gave Prince of Bo which had healed Prince of Bo’s heart and made up for what she’d done to him. (She appears to be talking about her “betrayal” eight years ago). All these words are said so Ma Zhaixing can lead onto telling Prince of Bo that she will no longer be married to Ji Chong soon and that she’s forgiven Prince of Bo, that she can and will be by his side from this point onwards. The revelation of this fact comes after Prince of Bo puts a stop to Ma Zhaixing’s promise to Wen Yan that she (with Mo Xiao and Hai Die) will care for Prince of Bo in Wen Yan’s stead.
Not knowing about the release from her marriage to Ji Chong, Prince of Bo tells Ma Zhaixing immediately that he doesn’t want any misunderstandings, and so, she shouldn’t do more than offer to take care of him. This is when Ma Zhaixing reveals having learned the whole truth from Ji Chong and that she will no longer be Princess Consort of Chuan soon, therefore she meant every word she said to Wen Yan. She tells Prince of Bo that she no longer wants to lose anyone important anymore and thinks they should cherish every moment.
With the truth all out, Ma Zhaixing’s marriage about to be dissolved, there shouldn’t be anything else that could stop Prince of Bo and Ma Zhaixing reuniting this time round. Except there is. Prince of Bo doesn’t have long to live. Episode 45 showed Prince of Bo’s blood having turned black from all the poisons in his body. According to Yao Ji who had come by to see Prince of Bo (she seemed to be worried about him rather than coming to—as Prince of Bo asks—report about Chu Youzhen), Prince of Bo has been sick since the time he fell off the cliff eight years ago and was made by Chu Kui to take some kind of medicine which was said to have serious side effects (Episode 1). The arrow Prince of Bo took for Ma Zhaixing during the rescue attempt of Night Fury seemed to have been laced with poison which left Prince of Bo pretty much incurable.
Six months is the amount of time left for Prince of Bo. Yao Ji reveals this after Ma Zhaixing witnesses Prince of Bo collapsed in Yao Ji’s arms and after Yao Ji gives Ma Zhaixing a good scolding for causing Prince of Bo to suffer since eight years ago. Although she holds Ma Zhaixing responsible for what’s become of Prince of Bo, Yao Ji also just wants Prince of Bo to live without worries and knows Ma Zhaixing is the only one who can make him happy.
Just like Ji Chong, Yao Ji only wants the best for Prince of Bo even if it means admitting her feelings for Prince of Bo are one-sided and that Ma Zhaixing and Prince of Bo are soulmates. Knowing this, Yao Ji begs Ma Zhaixing to take care of Prince of Bo’s wounded and aggrieved heart which he keeps hidden. Just before Ma Zhaixing goes and care for Prince of Bo as Yao Ji had begged her, Yao Ji also admits that Prince of Bo isn’t Prince of Bo who is hers, but Langzai who’s been waiting for Ma Zhaixing all his life, concluding the debate which has featured during her stay at Bo Manor. Langzai was and is still inside Prince of Bo.
Ma Zhaixing tries to get Prince of Bo to spend time with her, expressing a simple and ordinary existence between a husband and wife is something she always wanted to experience with him. Her washing the clothes, him wringing the clothes with his great strength, hanging clothes, cooking together and eating together, it’s a scene she’s imagined over and over again and had wanted to experience more than anything else and hopes Prince of Bo is willing to let her experience it with him.
Trying to see what Ma Zhaixing’s response would be if he was gone, He asks Ma Zhaixing what would happen then. As Ma Zhaixing already knows what Prince of Bo is getting at, she tells him she’d still want to live this way. Even if she was alone, she’d make a space for his clothes and imagine that his clothes are still hanging there. She’ll lay a place for him at the dinner table and will tell herself they’re still eating together. She then directs back a question at Prince of Bo, asking if she really doesn’t have a chance to experience it.
Thinking that Ma Zhaixing has no idea he will only be alive for six more months, he dismisses the possibility. However, hearing that Ma Zhaixing knows about the short time he has left and still want to be with him until the end and will forever stay alone once he’s gone, Prince of Bo embraces the life Ma Zhaixing just described.
It’s bittersweet for Prince of Bo and Ma Zhaixing after reuniting. Amongst clearing up to each other that there really hasn’t been any other person in their eight years apart who captured their heart and an early celebration of Qixi Festival with Qiaoguo cakes, little things Prince of Bo does remind Ma Zhaixing the reality that their time together is limited.
After a meal together, Liu’er’s appearance sees Prince of Bo begin training him in martial arts to protect himself and Ma Zhaixing after Prince of Bo is gone. When Ma Zhaixing thinks to surprise Prince of Bo with some homemade Qiaoguo cakes for the upcoming Qixi Festival, Prince of Bo (who had figured out Ma Zhaixing was making the cakes) prepared a red string with a dead knot on his end and a slip knot on Ma Zhaixing’s to express his wish for her to move on from him if she does find someone after he’s gone.
Ma Zhaixing will never move on and doesn’t want to hear this kind of talk from Prince of Bo. She ties a dead knot before shutting her ears when Prince of Bo presses her a bit more. It leads Ma Zhaixing to discover the Wolf Tooth necklace she saw destroyed (Episode 27). Pulled into Prince of Bo’s embrace, Ma Zhaixing felt the necklace through Prince of Bo’s clothes, After which Prince of Bo expresses that he couldn’t lose the memories between them, ending their first night since reuniting on a good note.
However, Prince of Bo’s condition worsens as the painful episodes Prince of Bo experiences become more frequent. Near the end of the episode, Prince of Bo passes out for two hours while carrying plates of food to the dinner table. From the looks of things the bottle of medication Yao Ji had brought for Prince of Bo to stave off the effects of all the poisons in his system in Episode 46 has been used up.
Chances of Yao Ji showing up before Prince of Bo to relieve the effects or otherwise is nil at this point. Somewhere outside the Capital, Yao Ji’s been ambushed by her own soldiers. Although she managed to take them all down on her own, the fight leaves her collapsed and unconscious after doing her best to make her meeting with Prince of Bo.
The bold attack comes after Chu Yougui kills Chu Kui. After learning that Chu Kui had joined hands with Prince of Bo to rid Chu Yougui. Using someone who looks like Zhang Jin, this information was confirmed by Zi Shen who had been tricked to divulge it all. Following this, Chu Yougui strode into Chu Kui’s room unobstructed (unknown to Chu Kui, the guards lining the hallway are all under Chu Yougui’s command) and shot an arrow at Chu Kui which ended his life.
The death is pinned on Chu Youzhen and his supporters. The throne is handed to Chu Yougui according to an announcement which claims to be a decree. The news travels to the Jin Kingdom which sees Prince of Bo reveal and clear up the impossibility of the news about Chu Youzhen being behind the killing. It had to be Chu Yougui’s doing because (as Prince of Bo explains to the King of Jin) he had made a deal with Chu Kui to capture Chu Yougui and ascend Chu Youzhen to the throne. It’s a fact which Prince of Bo apologises to the King of Jin for not revealing earlier and a fact which the King of Jin expresses his understanding (presumably for the reason of not letting it compromise the plan).
Chu Kui’s passing has Li Juqi contemplating their plans in advancing onto and securing Mingzhou before advancing towards the Imperial City of Suyang to try save Chu Youzhen. With Chu Kui dead, it’s an opportunity for them to make their move in taking down Mingzhou City, but seemingly the mission won’t be easy. It has Li Juqi end up suggesting that they might need to give up on this opportunity in attacking their enemy.
Prince of Bo has Li Juqi and the others know that Chu Kui had left a last decree whilst alive stating that they attack Mingzhou in three days’ time should something happen to him. This last decree from Chu Kui sees what looks to be an easy takeover of Mingzhou.
Prince of Bo, Ma Zhaixing, Ji Chong and Ke Lang on the outskirts of Mingzhou, receives an initial confirmation via Prince of Bo’s sharp hearing that the guards in the city have retreated, and a second confirmation from Ji Chong’s eagle, Zhui Ri, that Prince of Bo is accurate.
Mingzhou City secured, it’s onto securing Suyang. This operation looks to require more men in Ji Chong’s army. Apparently he is short of soldiers. The shortage sees Ke Lang out in the streets drumming up new recruits. It’s the kind of luck Bao Na has been hoping for because the man she’s now adamant on marrying is Ji Chong.
After being captured by Ji Chong’s selflessness in his separation with Ma Zhaixing last episode, Bao Na’s gone and left Qitan for Jin dressed in male clothing and carrying an amber necklace which is supposed to give her courage and luck in running into Ji Chong somehow. Hearing Ke Lang’s call for recruits for Ji Chong’s army, Bao Na wasted no time in answering Ke Lang’s call and joining.
She’s put on shifting heavy flags and caring for the horses. She just misses her object of affection standing behind making a comment about how the quality of recruits have slipped whilst watching her struggle to shift the heavy flag. But Bao Na’s opportunity to see Ji Chong face to face comes when Ke Lang is heard needing people to deliver a couple outfits to Ji Chong, a call which has Bao Na perk up with great interest.
Snatching Ji Chong’s clothing from a soldier, Bao Na volunteers to bring the clothes to Ji Chong, while telling Ke Lang she’d feed the horses on her way. She isn’t feeding the horses, though. Instead she’s sitting behind a couple barrels checking out Ji Chong’s clothes and noticing how one of them was a smaller size than the old worn-out one. It has her worrying that Ji Chong might not be eating well because of his heartbreak and moves to take on the role of ensuring he eats after she was caught by Ji Chong not long after she went through his clothing.
Similar to what Ji Chong had done for Ma Zhaixing when she found out the truth about her family’s killer and separated from Prince of Bo, Bao Na tries to encourage Ji Chong to eat when he sat Bao Na down to fed her after seeing her belt slip right off her waist when he caught her hiding at the stables. Sitting at a table of food, Bao Na refuses to eat until she sees Ji Chong eat a few mouthfuls first.
“This, this, this,” Bao Na pointed at the dishes she wanted Ji Chong to eat. He mustn’t leave a single bit of food on his plate. It’s a rehash of the time Ji Chong had Ma Zhaixing believe she was selecting dishes amongst his adoring servants for him to eat when every dish selected were the ones Ma Zhaixing must finish (Episode 29). It’s a situation which brings out a smile after Ji Chong recalls the memory and express seeing a similarity between him and Bao Na because of the way she was worried about him: “So meeting someone similar to me carries a kind of senseless retribution,” Ji Chong says to himself.
However, the main point of the above thought is not have Bao Na worry about him and do things such as entering his army and be amongst soldiers to make sure he’s fine and eating well. He didn’t need Bao Na to do that for him and Bao Na shouldn’t do such things. Firstly, Ji Chong found the idea of Bao Na, a delicate princess, living amongst the others in a war preparatory camp outrageous; and second, Ji Chong didn’t want her hurt: he wouldn’t know how he’d explain it to the King of Qitan. He draws Bao Na’s attention to her worn-out appearance after saying this. He then takes her hand in his to get her to notice the wound on her hand.
All of this has Bao Na happy and wondering if Ji Chong was showing his concern for her. Ji Chong denies it, right after pulling his hand out of Bao Na’s. It’s more him warning her, he tells her.
Although Ji Chong could have some concern for Bao Na (she is pretending to be a guy in his army after all), Ji Chong appears to suggest they can’t have anything happen to Bao Na as this would jeopardise their plans of ending the war between Jin and Yang. Something happening to Bao Na could sway the King of Qitan to find a reason to take sides and align with Chu Yougui.
Ji Chong’s unsympathetic response has Bao Na hurt. She’s hurt that instead of comforting her, he is criticising her. She tells him that her life is hard enough in his army. She’s never walked such a long distance and never trained and marched everyday. The horses she has to feed and the clothes she washes is no small task. On top of that, she has to sleep outside in tents in cold weather and have to worry and beasts coming out.
It has Ji Chong ease his response to recognise her concern for him and express feeling touched by what she’s done for him. He recognises her reasons for doing all of this, but tells her he’s doing well and doesn’t want her to torture herself for him anymore. He comes off as being genuine in his response but at the same time appears to be attempting to a bit more diplomatic in his response so he can then send her home—which he tells her he will after she’s eaten.
Bao Na refuses to leave and won’t do so until Ji Chong uses words so harsh it has Bao Na in tears and finally return to Qitan after going against Ji Chong’s wish for her to return the first time. More or less he tells her she’s forceful, troublesome, burdensome, self-absorbed and acts without care about others’ lives.
Ji Chong’s harshness comes after learning Chu Yougui’s got Chu Youzhen as his hostage to lure Prince of Bo to Suyang where Chu Yougui and his people are. Not wanting Prince of Bo to make this irrational decision, Prince of Bo’s been imprisoned under Ma Zhaixing’s request. To help Prince of Bo save Chu Youzhen, Ma Zhaixing’s gone and taken medicine which increases her strength and agility but carries a dangerous—actually, fatal—side effect of her body deteriorating. Unknown to everyone but her and the one she asked to let her take it, Yao Ji, Ma Zhaixing’s blood has already turned black and has only three days to live.
Ji Chong was preoccupied and very worried with all these matters when Bao Na appeared before him, repeatedly telling him to eat again. The discovery that she hadn’t returned to the palace in Qitan had forced Ji Chong to use a level of harshness which Ke Lang later describes as one Ji Chong’s never used before. Apparently it’s because Ji Chong is worried about Bao Na’s safety that Ji Chong’s used this level of harshness. This was explained to us through Ke Lang’s own interpretation when he approached Ji Chong who hadn’t entirely left Bao Na after exploding at her. Ji Chong had watched her crying at a distance and had asked Ke Lang to take good care of her and make sure she returned to the palace safely.
Following this, the Chu Youzhen situation intensifies after the initial threat is not responded to by Prince of Bo or by the Jin. In order to make the threat more urgent, Chu Yougui starts beating Chu Youzhen with a whip while the Fourth Prince stood tied up on a castle in Suyang. To further entice and lure Prince of Bo to appear, Chu Yougui sets a trap in the form of a dried up well which leads right into Suyang. With Prince of Bo still imprisoned until he recovers (Ma Zhaixing’s claims to have found the antidote to save Prince of Bo; the end of the episode suggests otherwise, though), there was no chance of Prince of Bo showing up. The King of Jin had originally wanted to hand down a decree to attack Suyang, but was convinced by Ma Zhaixing to hold off until the antidote worked it’s way through Prince of Bo and presumably be back to good health and be able to save Chu Youzhen then.
Delaying Chu Youzhen’s rescue is not something Ji Chong can see Chu Youzhen can afford. Ma Zhaixing had also spoke of wanting the King of Jin to spare the people of changing dynasties and wars regardless of whether she was alive or not after the success of the plan to attack Suyang. These words came off as an odd thing to say in Ji Chong’s view. Although Ji Chong doesn’t quite pick up on what exactly her intentions are, he picks up enough to see Ma Zhaixing is willing to risk everything to win this war, get Chu Youzhen out of Suyang for Prince of Bo and bring peace to the people. Ma Zhaixing taking any risks for them isn’t what Ji Chong thinks she should do. It should be them who should risk life and limb in this war.
With the above thoughts, Ji Chong sets off to try rescue Chu Youzhen on his own, leading him to use the trap Chu Yougui originally set up for Prince of Bo. Appearing through the single-person tunnel that is the dried-up well, Ji Chong enters Suyang. Unfortunately, Ji Chong doesn’t make it far as Chu Yougui quickly spots Ji Chong on the balcony of the house he had snuck up to gain a higher vantage point. An order for the soldiers to shoot Ji Chong sees the Prince of Chuan avoid a couple of arrows but is inevitably shot. Ji Chong is sent over the railing and towards the ground below. The fate of Ji Chong is not known.
In the mountains, Ma Zhaixing prepares her attempt to end the war and rescue Chu Youzhen. Calling out Prince of Bo, Ma Zhaixing used the pretense of wanting to hold a second wedding ceremony as a way to say a few last words before she would head off to Suyang to face Chu Yougui in what would be the final battle between them and end the war.
Meeting Prince of Bo in her wedding dress, Ma Zhaixing starts off letting Prince of Bo know Yao Ji has found an antidote to save him. It has him happily thinking about holding a grand wedding after he rescues Chu Youzhen; and about having the ability to live with Ma Zhaixing, growing old together and taking her back to Langshou Mountain to live the rest of the lives together.
The words has tears run down Ma Zhaixing’s cheeks. She knows it’s a future she can’t give him. Asked by Prince of Bo why she was crying, Ma Zhaixing only tells him she just really wants to go back to Langshou Mountain with him.
Moving forward with the second unofficial wedding ceremony, it’s Prince of Bo who makes the request to kowtow to the heavens with interlocked arms and drinks. He makes his promise to protect her and to never be apart. Ma Zhaixing also promises they will never be apart. (By this, she means in the next life.) Right after putting on some tranquilising rouge on her lips and initiating a kiss to complete the marriage ceremony, she tells Prince of Bo that as long as they both keep watching butterflies, they will surely recognise each other in the next life.
As Prince of Bo starts losing consciousness, Ma Zhaixing reveals to Prince of Bo the tranquiliser she put in the rouge. She tells him that by the time he regains consciousness Chu Youzhen will be back. She expresses her last wishes, telling him she wants him to live well even if there is only half a year to do so. It suggests that this antidote either never existed in the first place or it does exist but is not the lifesaving antidote Ma Zhaixing had appeared to make it out to be.
With only Yao Ji by her side, Ma Zhaixing shows up outside the castle gates of Suyang requesting an audience with Chu Yougui in hopes of engaging in peace talks and the release of Chu Youzhen to serve as a final wish fulfilled for the dying Prince of Bo. Chu Yougui shows hesitance in letting her through the gate initially as a few uncertainties concerned him. He distrusted that this was to fulfill a deathbed wish and worried Ma Zhaixing was scheming something to make him let his guard down. Even though she is the princess of the previous dynasty, he also couldn’t trust she had full command of the Jin Army and therefore questioned whether she could command the Jin Army to withdraw as she had claimed.
However, Ma Zhaixing did have command of the Ma Family Army. A withdrawal from the Ma Family Army meant the Jin Army would be forced to withdraw as not doing so would put the Jin Army at a disadvantage. This logic plus Chu Yougui’s view that Ma Zhaixing is just a weak woman incapable of playing any tricks sees Chu Yougui let Ma Zhaixing and only Ma Zhaixing in. Yao Ji was not permitted.
Ma Zhaixing never expected Yao Ji to be allowed to accompany her. She seems to have expected she’d need to go in alone. Before she does, she exchanges her hairpin with hers. The hairpin will be symbolically represent Yao Ji entering the palace with her. It also represents a sworn friendship between them which Ma Zhaixing hopes Yao Ji can promise to take good care of Prince of Bo on her behalf should she fail to make it back.
Yao Ji appears unwilling to see Ma Zhaixing go in alone and attempts to follow her through the gate, but is blocked by the guards and is made to accept the situation.
The battle between Ma Zhaixing and Chu Yougui is very much a one-sided battle. Ma Zhaixing against a courtyard of Chu Yougui’s soldiers on ground and above, one can’t blame anyone for thinking Ma Zhaixing is the one at a disadvantage. However, coursing through her blood is the drug she took which increases her strength and agility.
Open the gates to the city, surrender and she won’t wipe them all out Ma Zhaixing tells Chu Yougui.
Chu Yougui calls her out for being so daring and arrogant before he orders his soldiers to attack. Ma Zhaixing’s words aren’t just empty ones. From all sides, spears of eight soldiers charge at her but with possessed speed, she grips onto a spear with each of her hands before ducking over so the soldiers stab each other instead. Breaking out from the circle of soldiers, she then somersault sideways into the air to throw a spear at Chu Yougui which barely misses striking the Second Prince as he dodges just in time. The soldiers keep attacking with their spears, but fails to land a strike.
Meanwhile, outside the gates, Prince of Bo works hard to beat the rising platform which secured the castle gate entrance. After waking to find Ma Zhaixing’s letter about her last wish for him (that’s for Prince of Bo to live a colourful life), Prince of Bo races against time to make it to Suyang just as attacks began between Ma Zhaixing and Chu Yougui’s soldiers.
Arrows narrowly miss him as he pushes his horse to get to the castle gate. Not far from the gates, Prince of Bo falls off his horse as the horse’s legs slips under itself. Rolling before getting back up, Prince of Bo regains control. With wolf-like strength, Prince of Bo leaps to grip the end of the rising platform just as it stopped in mid-air. He takes a shot in the left leg, the left arm and in the left abdomen. Still, it doesn’t stop him from heaving himself up onto the platform allowing him to use this platform to launch up onto the castle wall where the archers defended the castle and made their aerial attacks.
Fortunately for Prince of Bo, the archers he comes face to face with happens to be his former subordinates in the Bo Army. After Prince of Bo explains how he’s here to save a person not kill one, an order goes out to halt their attacks and fall back. The soldiers cautiously fall back before they all fall to their knees and make way for Prince of Bo to enter the courtyard outside the Grand Hall where Ma Zhaixing is. “Once a Bo Troop, forever a Bo Troop,” they chant.
In this time, Ma Zhaixing’s taken out every soldier on the ground. Further reinforcements were even called, but they were all no match for her. With no soldiers to stop Ma Zhaixing going straight for Chu Yougui, the Second Prince grabs Chu Youzhen and threatens to kill him if she dares to advance any further.
The threat doesn’t stop Ma Zhaixing.
With Ma Zhaixing continuing to close the distance, Chu Yougui decides to push Chu Youzhen into Ma Zhaixing before thrusting his sword forward as he looked to kill the Fourth Prince and maybe Ma Zhaixing in one stab. The sword doesn’t hit Chu Youzhen. Ma Zhaixing had pushed Chu Youzhen out of her way to take the sword herself. She’s hits right in the heart; and with a strong kick, Ma Zhaixing is sent flying through the air.
Prince of Bo has never failed to arrive in the past to catch Ma Zhaixing, and he doesn’t fail this time to catch her. However, Ma Zhaixing doesn’t make it this time.
Holding a dying Ma Zhaixing in his arms, Prince of Bo expresses his regret he didn’t arrive earlier. Ma Zhaixing corrects him: he arrived early enough. She at least got to see him and this was enough for her.
As Chu Yougui rambled on in the background about wanting Prince of Bo to spare his life, that he was willing to hand over the Imperial Jade Seal if Prince of Bo would let him go, Prince of Bo expresses that the real monster isn’t him but the people who destroy humanity and distort themselves for the sake of power and their desires. Case in point: Chu Yougui who’s also now sneaking up behind to attack Prince of Bo after he’s said all this; however, Chu Yougui fails to land an attack as Prince of Bo impales the Second Prince with a spear following a warning from Chu Youzhen, killing the Second Prince.
Sadly, it’s also the end for Ma Zhaixing. Ma Zhaixing agrees with Prince of Bo that the monsters were all at the bottom of Langshou Mountain. Her wish to go back to Langshou Mountain and seeing butterflies after that seems to be an indication she was about to leave this world of theirs. Prince of Bo tells her that he’d take her back there to treat her wounds, but he’s stopped from doing so as Ma Zhaixing saw no chance of surviving a sword that went through her heart. Not even Yao Ji’s medicine could save her. Instead, she’d rather have him stay still so she could take one last good look at Prince of Bo because she can’t bear to forget him. She tells Prince of Bo to make sure to look for her in his next life if he still likes butterflies. After Prince of Bo promises her, Ma Zhaixing falls limp in Prince of Bo’s arms.
Ma Zhaixing had left them. It brings a heartbreaking cry from Prince of Bo as the carefree and innocent days on Langshou Mountain play.
Not long after, Ji Chong finally makes it to Ma Zhaixing after surviving a shot to the heart last episode (he was saved by Bao Na’s amber necklace which she had left him, which Ji Chong had discovered and worn on him). Seeing that he was too late sees Ji Chong express a cry before Prince of Bo is seen carrying Ma Zhaixing out of the courtyard.
Peace between the Yang and Jin Kingdoms and to all the land is finally achieved thanks to Ma Zhaixing’s singlehanded handling of Chu Yougui’s troops which allowed Chu Yougui to be brought down and then killed by Prince of Bo. As per Prince of Bo’s wishes, Chu Youzhen ascends to the throne following the throne’s vacancy. However, as per Ma Zhaixing’s wishes, Chu Youzhen steps down six months later to hand over the responsibility to the King of Jin.
With the war over, everyone appears to have left the palaces to go their own way. Ji Chong is back to travelling the world and has invited Bao Na to accompany him after thanking her (presumably for the amber piece that saved his life) before apologising to her (presumably for the harsh words he said to her in order to send her back to Qitan).
Bao Na initially didn’t respond as she probably should to Ji Chong when he had approached her to give her back the amber piece she calls the Qitan Guardian Stone. Ji Chong’s gratitude and apology was met with denial in knowing what Ji Chong was on about. This had Ji Chong teasingly walk away, maybe expecting Bao Na to say something or hold him back, but she didn’t. She stayed sitting on the rock in the middle of the field with a troubled frown.
Realising Bao Na wasn’t moving, Ji Chong turns back to ask her for her reason for leaving him the Qitan Guardian Stone. Bao Na mentions of not intending to let him know, of not knowing how she should treat him because she didn’t want him to scold her or be disgusted by her. (We’re not sure if this is a subtle confession of her feelings for him, but possibly it could be.) In the end, she decided to secretly leave the amber stone for him so it could protect him on her behalf. To discover he had worn the amber stone, she lets him know the happiness she felt because it had protected him on her behalf. This is when Ji Chong tells Bao Na to hurry up and pack her things. She had interpreted this as Ji Chong wanting to send her back to Qitan, but to her surprise Ji Chong (as already mentioned) was telling her to pack her things so she could wander the world with him.
Ji Chong’s invitation is as good as an acceptance of Bao Na’s feelings. Even though Ji Chong’s invitation is for her to join him in exploring the “sea of beauties” (i.e. beautiful ladies) together, wandering the world after the war is won and ended was the wish Ji Chong initially made to Ma Zhaixing when she drew up and signed a blank promissory note for Ji Chong to complete. With Ji Chong now asking Bao Na, it looks like she’s someone he sees could accompany for life.
With Mo Xiao and Hai Die, they’ve settled down at Jiangnan Town and adopted orphans to treat them like their own children as Wen Yan had wanted.
Yao Ji no longer works for the court. She is manufacturing medicine to save people.
As for Prince of Bo, he disappeared with Ma Zhaixing after taking her away from Suyang. We see him back on Langshou Mountain watching a butterfly flutter onto a tree branch above him after a scene of Ma Zhaixing attempting to walk along a log on her own without Langzai’s help. It appears as if Prince of Bo is alive and living well, but according to Chu Youzhen (who have been narrating what has become of everyone), Prince of Bo chose to leave the world with Ma Zhaixing, leaving only a love story to remember them by, a love story which he hopes will be full of love in another world for Langzai and Xing’er because the suggestion seems to be that this world which is full of greed and bad people seem undeserving of them:
“After Third Brother went away with Zhaixing-jiejie, no one has ever seen them again. However, in the world of wolves, once he’s lost his one and only true love, Third Brother chose to follow behind Zhaixing-jiejie in the end. Although they left, we’ll always think of a story:
Once upon a time, there was a little boy and a little girl on Langshou Mountain. They see each other as the most important person. The boy brought the girl into the world of wolves. Because of him, the girl forget the sorrows in the human world. They didn’t know that they fell in love with each other long before they knew their feelings. Although fate made them hate each other, love conquers all. This is the story of Langzai and Xing’er. Wishing them to be full of love in another world.”
What a sad, tragic final episode. We had a feeling someone was going to die early on. We thought maybe it’d be Ji Chong when he went off to Suyang on his own to rescue Chu Youzhen, but we didn’t think it was going to be Ma Zhaixing! We thought maybe the writers would come up with something to save Ma Zhaixing since she is the female lead character, but it looks like when the writers had written her blood as having turned black with only three days to live, her end had already been decided.
Wen Yan died after his blood turned black not long after receiving poison. Prince of Bo was made to suffer from his blood turning black, too, and he left the world, too—although, it makes us wonder if he died because he truly couldn’t be saved or that he chose not to be saved.
The drama was quite confusing with Prince of Bo and whether he could be saved or not. In Episode 48 Ma Zhaixing talked about having found an antidote which could save Prince of Bo, but by the end of the episode Ma Zhaixing talked about wanting Prince of Bo to live well even if only for a half a year before she left to Suyang to take down Chu Yougui. But then in the final episode, Ma Zhaixing tells Chu Yougui that Prince of Bo will live a long life after making Chu Yougui hear that Prince of Bo was dying. Then in the final scenes of the last episode, we see Prince of Bo on Langshou Mountain watching a butterfly (which is meant to represent Ma Zhaixing) which has us thinking, is this the current world where Prince of Bo is living out his remaining half a year, a world in a story or a scene in Prince of Bo’s next life? Is Prince of Bo still actually alive in the current world? Chu Youzhen did say Prince of Bo decided to follow Ma Zhaixing in the end which presumably means he died so that last scene where we see Prince of Bo alive must be just him living out his remaining time or he’s in some other world if not that.
The love story between Langzai and Xing’er/Prince of Bo and Ma Zhaixing really is an ill-fated one. These two close friends never really had much of a chance to exist peacefully and care-freely. Because of the revenge of others as well as their own, the schemes for power and the greed of others they were forced apart. Misunderstandings, guilt and loyalties seem intent on keeping them from coming together as well.
Sad and tragic as the ending is, we like it, because if we look at the ending a little differently it isn’t actually all that sad and tragic. Prince of Bo was about to die. He had only six months left to live. Before Ma Zhaixing took the drug which ended up seeing her having even less time to live than Prince of Bo, we were faced with seeing Ma Zhaixing living the rest of her life without Prince of Bo. That future she described in Episode 46, the one where Ma Zhaixing mentions making a space for his clothes and imagining that his clothes are still hanging there, and continuing to set a place for him at the dinner table and pretending she was eating with him, that is the saddest and most tragic end in our view. Prince of Bo and Ma Zhaixing leaving the world together almost at the same time and imagining they’re off in another better world that isn’t so cruel towards them as the one they left, existing happily together is definitely a much happier end.
This kind of end with Ma Zhaixing actually had us finally see her as the strong and brave character the drama was trying make her come off as after she aligned with Jin but we didn’t feel she truly was. She had become stronger with her gaining martial arts and archery skills, she was able to control her emotions and see the bigger picture, and also managed to pick herself up to carry on living after being deceived by Prince of Bo, but the idea that she was strong and brave still felt a bit empty to us. Her strength didn’t feel like it came from inside of her but from mostly outside of her. It came from having the loyalty and/or love of so many people: Prince of Bo, her Ma Family Army, Ji Chong and even the King of Jin and the Jin Kingdom.
Apart from Prince of Bo, she gained all this strength without really doing much for it. The Ma Family Army is loyal to her because she is the adopted daughter of Ma Ying. The King of Jin and the Jin Kingdom is loyal to her because she is the Princess of the previous dynasty. Ji Chong loves her because he does and doesn’t expect anything in return. So many people around her were doing things for her, sacrificing themselves for her, for the sake of her safety and her happiness at the expense of their own.
In the final episode, though, she was the one doing the sacrificing and the one doing it all for everyone. Pretty much singlehandedly she took down Chu Yougui and ended this war between the Yang and Jin Kingdoms. We wish Ma Zhaixing didn’t have to die in the end, but she finally came off as truly strong and brave character the drama was trying to make her come off as.
Ma Zhaixing went from likable at the beginning of the drama to about the middle of the drama then not all that likable towards the end stretches of the drama to likable and deserving loads of respect at the very last couple of episodes. She was brave, selfless and strong for taking that drug so she could face off with Chu Yougui and his army, saving Chu Youzhen and pretty much everyone on the land. She was just awesome in that last battle between her and all those soldiers. Li Qin and that possessed look she had before Ma Zhaixing went into battle plus the delivery of the dialogue by the voice actress was awesome in that scene!
Overall we think The Wolf is a good watch. We could even say a great watch if only the love-hate relationship between Prince of Bo and Ma Zhaixing was our cup of tea. Prince of Bo was so cold and cruel to Ma Zhaixing at the beginning. We know exactly why he’s doing this. We get he’s trying to keep her away as a way to protect her from getting attached and hurt after learning the truth about the Yang being behind the Ma Family assassination, but Prince of Bo was just so cruel! Then we see Ma Zhaixing do the hot and cold thing with Prince of Bo after she found out the whole truth! It didn’t make it easy for us to connect with the main couple.
In the end we didn’t connect with the main couple. We like Langzai and Xing’er. They were cute together! But not Prince of Bo and Ma Zhaixing together. We rather see Prince of Bo end up with Yao Ji. We had originally hoped Ji Chong ended up with Ma Zhaixing, but we think we like the Ji Chong and Bao Na pairing better. We’d love a mini series on these two travelling the world and going on adventures together, seeing what kind of adventures they go on and whether Ji Chong actually ends up liking Bao Na, and if Ji Chong ends up liking her, how does he end up liking her.
The best parts of the drama for us is from about Episode 26 to Episode 30 when the assassination is all revealed and we see Ma Zhaixing freed from the clutches of Chu Kui to join hands with the Jin. We love a secret identity revelation in dramas. We loved discovering that Ji Chong the bounty hunter was not only an elite Commander in Chief, but is actually Li Juyao, Prince of Chuan of the Jin Kingdom!
Speaking of Ji Chong, he had an awesome existence as a second male lead character. He received quite a lot of love from the writers which surprised us. In the second half of the drama he takes over the screen, he is allowed to kiss Ma Zhaixing and even marry Ma Zhaixing.
For a short time there, we thought maybe the drama would do an Empress Ki on us. Empress Ki is a 2013 Korean drama starring Ha Ji Won and Ji Chang Wook. We always thought that female lead character Ki Seung Nyang (Ha Ji Won) would end up with the Goryeo King Wang Yoo (Joo Jin Mo). To us, Wang Yoo came off as the hero in the drama, the drama’s male lead character. It’s Wang Yoo who Ki Seung Nyang’s first love, who she was to marry, and if memory has it right, Wang Yoo was who she had a child with. She was also on the side of Wang Yoo for a long time, trying to help him seek revenge against the Yuan dynasty regain his throne and was seen trying to kill exiled Yuan prince Toghon Temur (Ji Chang Wook). Toghon Temur was who we thought was the second male lead character, but in the end Ki Seung Nyang fell in love with Toghon Temur.
When Ma Zhaixing agreed to marry Ji Chong, it looked like maybe the romance aspect of the drama could go like Empress Ki. We thought maybe Ma Zhaixing will slowly warm up to Ji Chong. Maybe the drama will change the direction somehow. But no. Through and through Ji Chong was the second male lead. Ji Chong may have always been right there when Ma Zhaixing needed saving from Prince of Bo’s hurtful and cruel words, Ji Chong may have sacrificed his own wedding to marry Ma Zhaixing just so she escapes rumours affecting her reputation, and Ji Chong may have helped Ma Zhaixing discover her true identity and saved her from punishment for deceiving the King of Qitan; but, Ji Chong’s selflessness didn’t compare to Prince of Bo sacrificing of his own life to pay Ma Zhaixing back. Ji Chong’s help didn’t compare to Prince of Bo’s acts during the Battle of Boxiang. Ji Chong didn’t save Ma Zhaixing’s life time and time again. Prince of Bo deserves Ma Zhaixing.
But for us, Prince of Bo was quite hard to connect with, at least for about three-quarters of the drama. As we already said above, he was just so cruel and antagonistic. At times we wondered if maybe Prince of Bo really has become the cold monster he seems to want everyone to believe he is, especially when it appeared as if he really is very loyal to Chu Kui during the parts where Chu Kui prepares to attack the Jin which is from Episode 35. But come Episode 37, 38 and 39 with his selfless sacrifice in the Battle of Boxiang, Prince of Bo’s attractiveness really shoots up. Prince of Bo becomes a very cool, likable and the kind of male lead character we’re used to.
If you haven’t watched The Wolf and is wondering if you should watch it, we say it’s definitely worth watching. The love-hate relationship could put some off, but we think stick through it as it’s all justified.
If you end up hooking onto Prince of Bo, you’ll definitely be sympathising with him a lot because he really is quite pitiable because he’s gone through so much pain and suffering. Look past the cold and cruel front and there really is the kindhearted, lovable Langzai behind him. Although we didn’t hook onto Prince of Bo, we can see how some might/could.
But if you think the sound of the love-hate relationship in The Wolf could put you off starting, the relationship development between Ji Chong and Ma Zhaixing as well as the brief development for Ji Chong and Bao Na might be worth going for and sticking around for.
And definitely, if you’ve recently discovered Xiao Zhan and are starting to go through his dramas, watch The Wolf! His character is pretty cool. His character gets some cool action scenes, and like we said, a lot of love from the writers. It’s Ji Chong and Ji Chong’s relationships which grabbed our attention even though he’s second male lead. Ji Chong with Ma Zhaixing, Ji Chong with Bao Na and Ji Chong and Prince of Bo are all so good. You won’t be disappointed!
Yes, we’re quite happy with how everything turned out in The Wolf overall.
Just before we end this Series Recap off, we found this cool photo:
Remember how Ji Chong said to Prince of Bo that had they not fallen in love with the same woman, had they not been enemies, Ji Chong would be friends with Prince of Bo? Ji Chong and Prince of Bo are best of friends! Haha! Thanks Xiao Zhan and Wang Da Lu for giving us a happy ending for Ji Chong and Prince of Bo!
And finally, our favourite OSTs from The Wolf. Pretty much the whole set of soundtracks for the drama is fantastic even the instrumental ones. They all accompany the drama so nicely. But Sirius by Xiao Yu, Stone by Hwang In Deok and Opposite by Jolin Tsai are the ones that stand out. After listening through a few times, we quite like One More Day by Guo Shu Yao, too!
Sirius (天狼星) by Xiao Yu
Stone (石頭) by Hwang In Deok
We were so pleasantly surprised to learn Stone was sung by Hwang In Deok! He’s the actor who played Jiang Xinyu in 2013 Taiwanese idol drama, Fabulous Boys, which is the Taiwanese adaptation of Korean drama You’re Beautiful (2009)! We didn’t know Hwang In Deok sung!
Opposite (對立面) – Jolin Tsai
One More Day (再一天) – Guo Shu Yao
We were also pleasantly surprised to find Guo Shu Yao who plays Bao Na contributed a song for The Wolf. It’s called One More Day which featured in the last episode in the scene where Ji Chong asks Bao Na to join him in wandering the world. We’ve listened to some of the songs she’s got out and they weren’t really our taste, but the melody of One More Day is actually quite nice. In the low parts, Guo Shu Yao’s voice has a nice creamy quality to it.
And that’s the end for our Series Recap of The Wolf! We’d love to hear what you thought of the ending. What did you think of the pairings? Are you Team Prince of Bo or Team Ji Chong? Leave us comments!
Thanks for reading!