Oooh! Things are getting interesting now... for me. Shut up. I've having fun reliving this series. You're stuck with this being my Monday until the end of the year.
Right, episode eight!
Who should walk by but LWJ. And he bids farewell to the bunnies. Hah! Breaking rules and keeping pets, LWJ?
We cut now to LWC meditating. Who shows up but Wen Chao, looking for the Lan Clan's piece of the Yin Iron. LXC does not appear to have his brother's aversion to lying, and slickly notes that the protections around the mountains are to preserve the resting place of the Lan Clan ancestors, lest strangers come along and offend them. He tries to threaten LXC, but that doesn't work, so he threatens LWJ instead, noting that he knows the younger brother is off on his own at this very moment. LXC does not appreciate it.
Survive what, you ask? The Wen Clan, I imagine.
Anyway, we rejoin the children of the Jiang Clan, when Jiang Cheng finds the note WWX left, stating he's gone off on a night hunt (what they call a monster hunt, near as I can tell). Basically, he ran away. We find him later having caught up to LWJ, getting the cultivator's attention by lobbing a loquat at him. Despite LWJ being less than pleased that WWX has now joined his quest (as WWX promised Lan Yin he would), the pair head off in a boat.
Wen Chao sends off his Dire Owl to spy on them.
Naturally, there are hijinks on the road, with WWX testing out a new talisman he made. On LWJ. Who is just not having it.
The pair end up in town, where WWX tries to scare LWJ with a mask. He succeeds only in getting scared by a person in a mask himself. It's Nice Huaisang!
We cut to Lotus Cove to see Jiang Cheng running away, presumably to find WWX and bring him home.
The three of our adventurous young cultivators head to the town square, where there's some sort of notice causing a hubbub in the centre of town. Turns out, the Lady Florist is inviting all cultivators to her home for a poetry competition. Following the discovery of the announcement, petals start falling from the sky, distracting the three with how pretty it is. Yes, even LWJ, who you'd think wouldn't have time for that nonsense.
It's at this point where Nie Huaisang openly admires LWJ, stating that he "is nothing but an unparalleled, gorgeous and elegant gentleman." I think Nie Huaisang has a crush and, well... I mean...
So the trio go off to the Lady Florist's house, and along the way Nie Huaisang learns about the Yin Iron. Impressively, he refuses to even look at it, making me feel like he's basically a good dude, if a little vacuous. They discover the florist's home almost entirely burn down, along with the feather of a Dire Owl. Turns out, Wen Chao was there previously, and from what the three could figure, the Lady Florist was taken captive and the whole competition was a ruse to draw in cultivators so the Wen's could get their hands on a piece of the Yin Iron. Which they do.
Great, now they have two fragments.
We go back to Wen Chao, who has in his company Wen Qing. He warns her that he thinks she's grown fond of WWX and LWJ, and doesn't want him to hurt them, and he mocks her for it. Then he notes that the pair will have to pass through Dafan - Wen Qing's home. She reminds him that Wen Ruohan promised her no more harm would come to her people, making me think that she was only an unwilling participant in this mad power-grab of his.
Wen Chao tells her that as long as she stays in line, nothing bad will happen to them. Then they head off to the temple in Dafan Mountain and unseal the malicious dancing fairy statue. You know the statue that attacked the young cultivators and Jin Ling (WWX's nephew)? Yes, the very same. But this is in the past, so... you know, before it attacked the young cultivators.
We're back with Jiang Cheng now, and he enters a tavern where Wen Qing and her escort happen to be dining.
He orders food. She orders the same thing.
He orders drink. She orders the same thing.
He puts down money, asking the waiter to serve him first.
She puts down more money, demanding the waiter to serve her first.
Unable to compete with the wealth, Jiang Cheng relents and tells the waiter to go ahead and serve them. Wen Qing then abruptly changes her mind, and tell the waiter she doesn't want it anymore. Not backing down, Jiang Cheng demands to know if Wen Qing is mocking him. She stands to face him and openly says she is. Pissed, Jiang Cheng turns to leave, but Wen Qing stops him and they have a small fight. Wen Qing uses this opportunity to warn Jiang Cheng that WWX is in Dafan Mountain and is in danger. What a clever young woman. Jiang Cheng thanks her and takes off to go after his brother.
We're back with WWX, LWJ and Niece Huaisang now. They've arrived in the village beneath Dafan Mountain. It's deserted except for an old woman clearly in shock. WWX asks for a place to stay the night, and she leads them up the mountain to the temple which houses the Dancing Fairy statue. They're told to camp there. And they do.
Problems come in the night - the statues wakes up and attacks the cultivators, attempting, I suppose, to snatch their spirits. A short fight follows, in which Nie Huaisang is perfectly useless, and the WWX and LWJ seal the statue once more. But that's not the end of their woes, oh no! The whole village has been turned into puppets, probably by Wen Chao with the piece of the Yin Iron he took from the Lady Florist. They come after the three young cultivators, who are trapped inside the temple.
The puppets break down the doors and...
The episode ends.
What I Liked
One of the things that stuck out the most is a common theme with what I adore about this series in general, and that is how normal queerness is in this world. Nie Huaisang admitting openly without shame and to entirely no judgement how much he admires LWJ's appearance made me squee. The fact that WWX seemed to notice that about LWJ for the first time immediately after Nie Huaisang says it made me squeal.
The whole slow romance thing happening here is impossibly sweet, and it doesn't matter one iota that the romance is between two men. Sweet is sweet. Love is love. And this series is doing queerness right (to my mind).
What Could Have Been Better
The fight between the Dancing Fairy statue and our two heroes could have been so much better. The swordplay was... not great... and the tension was entirely lacking. I know this is a drama, and not an action, but damn, it was pretty silly.
That was really the only thing that I was not great. Everything else was wonderful, especially the character moments.
But hoo boy that fight could have been so much better.
Right, see you next week for episode nine!