A Chinese Ghost Story


Reviewed by: sukting

October 15, 2003

Rating: four

How long
40 episodes

Foreword
This is a confusing story with many characters on ‘the star crossed lovers’ and ‘lovers of 7 lifetimes’. The first couple accumulates their bitterness for 6 lifetimes because they can’t get married. ‘Lovers of 7 lifetimes’ are produced to dissolve the anguish.

This serial is a joint production of Taiwan and Singapore. The story is well-written but very long-winded. It is repetitive with many flashbacks. It has a strong cast from Singapore, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong. The story is 90% different from the movie although the starting bit is close to it. Tsu’s role as Xiao Qian is changed to a fox spirit in order to pass the China Censors board.

Introduction on characters

1. Ning Cai Chen – Chan Hiu Dong
He is one of the suspected ‘star crossed lovers’. He falls for Xiao Qian and tries to rescue her from marrying the Black demon. He gets poisoned and dies before they are married. Fortunately, he is completely cured by Yan. He is dull, filial, gentle and also boring. I am at a loss to write more on him because there is nothing much to talk about him although he is the lead.

The scene where Cai Chen reappears with a beard 20 years later produces the comical effect instead. I can’t stop laughing upon seeing how hard he tries to look old. He looks so childish and out of place.

There is a striking resemblance of Chan Hiu Dong’s presentation to Cheung Kok Wing’s interpretation. But Kok Wing’s presentation is a perfect classic. Chan gives a lukewarm performance with his big and dull eyes. Moreover he makes Cai Chen impulsive and immature. It sickens me upon recalling how lustful he is to think of Xiao Qian naked when they are in danger.

Some of his fans argue that Cai Chen's personality is blur. I agree but not most of the time. Hiu Dong is not expressive enough. He is lively with little success. Cai Chen's scenes on how difficult it is to be together with his love are supposed to be touching but I feel neutral. His crying scenes are sure bad and he needs more practice.

2. Qi Ye (7 Nights in Chinese) – Nie Yuan
He is Yin Yue empire’s young lord. His surprising real identity - he is Cai Chen’s twin brother! Even before he knows his identity, he wants no suffering to mankind and tries to build up a humane demon world.

He looks very distant and cold but he has a warm heart. He loves Xiao Qian and gives in to her all the time. Knowing that she is in trouble, he comes personally to rescue her from the black demon. Who isn't touched when he declares his love and does so much for her? But this unreasonable brat always thinks of him as a selfish person and hurts him so many times!

He keeps his promise to her in taking care of Xiao Xue by bringing her to the Dark Palace. Qi Ye is upset to know that Gan Jiang is his previous lifetime. He is the ‘star crossed lover’ and not Cai Chen. His attitude to Empress Yin Yue never changes – still treating her like his mother. I am moved – he even becomes a fortune teller to have a simple life with Empress Yin Yue. However, he still wishes to confirm whether he is the star-crossed lover. When he really is, he decides not to see Xiao Qian again to avoid tragedies.

Mrs Ning dies in an attack on their wedding day. He gets so upset that he becomes a demon again and has a sad ending to die in Cai Chen’s hands. Frankly speaking, he still looks attractive as a white haired demon. Strange but I really wish that he and Xiao Qian end up together since they are the REAL star crossed lovers! Both of them are compatible. My friends MELT to see how much he suffered. They curse at the horrible ending. Why can’t the producer change his fate???

I have not seen a suitable Dai Hup for so long. Nie Yuan is a promising actor although he has little experience in acting after graduating from Shanghai Acting Academy in 2001. He has a commanding charisma and handles many fighting scenes well. Most guys will look sissy or horrible in long and messy hair (like how the actors are in ‘Wind and Cloud’ and ‘Hero’.) but he suits it well surprisingly. In fact, I get so used to it that I find him dull in the scholar outlook when Qi Ye tries to be an ordinary man.

He steals the limelight completely from Hiu Dong. He is so outstanding in this role – no wonder he is successful as Mou Qing in ‘The Young 4 Constables’ before this serial.

3. Zhu Ge Liu Yun – Wu Jing
I wonder why he loses to Hong Ye because he has learnt the special powers from the Grand master for 10 years. Just because he has not mastered Xuan Xin mystic is not a good reason. He is Yan’s disciple who loves Hong Ye. He is talkative, playful and boastful. In an attempt to save Cai Chen, he says that he can do it but fails miserably – the talisman falls in front of him despite his repeated attempts to raise it!

Many will shake their heads on the way he reveals Cai Chen's 'star crossed lover' identity out of rage. It puts his life into danger and Hong Ye has to protect him. Yan tells him to look for Wu Wei. Wu Wei tells him that he is the son of Qing Tian and Lanmo. He protects Lanmo and dies when the moon demon tries to kill her. The two brothers are on good terms after the ordeal.

He becomes sensible and mature. He is no longer reckless and can help San Niang analyze problems when she discusses with Yan over the important issues. The couple is baffled but glad that he changes so much. Liu Yun is upset to know that Wu Wei died to protect Hong Ye but does not hesitate to admit that he will do the same too if she is in danger.

The white-haired Hong Ye wishes to kill him because he is a half-demon. He finds it ridiculous to fall for her and is so upset when she dies to make the normal Hong Ye return. He has loved her after kissing her and both write tablets with each others’ names at the lovers’ temple. He takes a long time to accept the real Hong Ye again. I am surprised that he still looks the same 20 years later except with a longer fringe – because the producer doesn’t know how to make him old?

I am shocked to see Wu Jing with so many wrinkles. However, his agility in fighting skills stays. I don’t know whether it is the fault of Wu Jing or the producer to make this character so detestable at first. He reminds me of HZGG whom I have the urge to shoot whenever she opens her mouth. I am so relieved when Liu Yun is mature. His performance gets better towards the middle. Maybe he needs time to warm up.

4. Zhu Ge Wu Wei – Wang Lu Jiang
He is Liu Yun’s wise elder half-brother. He refuses to be one of the perfect lovers to have a quiet life with Lanmo. He knows no martial arts but learns the shield from Tian Xin to protect Lanmo.

He regrets his choice of rejecting Yan upon seeing how pretty Hong Ye is. He has thought that his daughter will be as ugly as him! In order to rescue Hong Ye from Tearless city, he locks himself with Gan Jiang in a cell and gets killed. Even before his death, he still tells Hong Ye to try to love his younger brother.

5. Jing Wu Yuan - Chen Chuan Zhi
He is Lanmo’s elder brother. He looks evil but he isn’t. He is also Qi Ye’s martial arts teacher and advisor. He killed the moon demon many years ago and has high status in the Yin Yue empire. He doesn’t know that Qing Tian is from Xuan Xin sect and even introduces him into the Yin Yue empire. He later lets him elope with Lanmo. When Yin Yue empire is in trouble because of Qi Ye’s identity, he still stays and many even choose him to be he next lord.

6. Six demon – Lo Kar Leung – guest star
He is formidable in his acting. Unfortunately, he is killed by Yan Chi Xia just in 15 minutes in the first episode. I feel cheated because his picture is so BIG on the poster.

7. Yan Chi Xia – Yuen Wah
He is the demon catcher who sacrifices himself in helping others. He risks Hong Ye's life to master Xuan Xin mystic to save mankind. He nearly loses his senses when he tries to stop the Mo Xie sword coming out from the Dark Spring in Wan Qing forest. His family forgives him for his mistakes and they are reconciled.

8. Zhu Ge Qing Tian – Lui Chung Hin – guest star
He is Yan’s junior who falls for Lanmo when he goes undercover in Yin Yue sect. Both sects can’t condone his act when Lanmo is pregnant with his child. He still returns for her with an injured arm. Lanmo is so moved that she drops a tear. It combines with Qing Tian’s blood and becomes a blue gem.

He entrusts Liu Yun to Tian Xin to give to Yan to bring him up. He later jumps off the cliff in front of Jin Guang and his wife follows suit. He is so harsh to want to die in front of her and Wu Wei. Wonder how Wu Wei manages to get his remains to bury him as he lands up right at the bottom????

Chung Hin doesn’t act very well in here. Because he isn’t that interested to act in period dramas?

9. Shang Guan Yuan Hang – Cheuk Fan
He is Jin Guang’s nephew and is a kind general who is dying of sickness. After Yu Er saves Mei Ji, he falls for her and she looks after him. They fall in love and he proposes to her. He is tricked by Yu Er that Mei Ji is killed when she reveals her real form. He runs after her but is so grieved over her death that he faints. He survives when Yu Er feeds him the pills that moon devil gives her. He has forgotten his love for all. But he manages to maintain a clear mind before he dies.

10. Yi Xi (One day in Chinese) – Hoi Chun Kit – guest star
He is a despicable man who poisons his senior, Gan Jiang in order to get his junior, Mo Xie. Gan Jiang burns himself to death after he turns mad. Yi Xi knows that they are in love. He has four unsuccessful tries to break his master’s sword into two. Seeing how Mo Xie is so determined to die instead of being with him, he becomes revengeful and curses them for 7 lifetimes before becoming Yi Xi sword. His next lifetime is the Yin Yue empire’s first demon lord – that is why Yi Xi sword symbolizes the imperial authority like an emperor of the empire too. Another surprise at the end – he is Cai Chen’s pastlife!

11. Jing Guang – Shen Xiao Hai
He is the ruler of Xuan Xin sect. He wanted to kill the infant star crossed lovers but was stopped by Yan and San Niang. Both can’t bring their hearts to kill the infants. He is ruthless to kill their parents instead.

He is jealous of Hong Ye to be the master of Xuan Xin mystic so he also masters it immediately after discovering the scroll. This is against the rule. He masters it so soon and is more powerful than Hong Ye. But the founder deliberately writes it the wrong way so he has a worse fate than her. She turns unfeeling but he loses all his skills! Before he is cured, he is the underdog and even kneels in front of Hong Ye to beg her. But after he recovers, he becomes arrogant again.

He is despicable to feign to agree to Qi Ye and Xiao Qian’s marriage to end the dispute between morals and demons. But he breaks the promise and kills all demons, including Mrs Ning. This causes the kind and filial Qi Ye to be badly affected and become evil.

12. Gan Jiang – Wang Wei De – guest star
Qi Ye’s previous lifetime. He hides his love for Mo Xie. Her father allows the person to damage his sword to marry his daughter. He gives all his chances to Yi Xi. Still, Yi Xi adds demon aroma to the sword that he is making and he turns evil. Tian Xin locks him in Tearless city for 7 lifetimes but he still kills people with one slash. He dies in Tian Xin’s hands – with Mo Xie sword vanishing too.

13. Si Ma San Niang – Tien Niu
Chi Xia’s hot tempered wife who doesn’t like him to think only of others before himself. She is a skilled physician. She is displeased when Yan teaches Hong Ye ‘Xuan Xin mystic’ because she is the ‘perfect lover’. Once she starts practicing, she can’t stop and will die after killing the demons at highest level.

The couple quarrel and separate for 10 over years. She thinks that he stays near the spring to get Mo Xie sword to atone for his sins – so that Hong Ye will not die when using the sword. After knowing that Yan decides to kill himself to subdue the sword in the Dark Spring to prevent the evil forces from coming out, they finally reconcile. Strange but she finds more affinity with Qi Ye than the others so she unofficially acknowledges him as her godson. A pity that she dies in his hands but she disallows Yan to seek revenge.

14. Si Ma Hong Ye – Hsuan Huen
She is Yan’s daughter and inherits San Niang’s fiery temper. She loves Cai Chen but is irritated by Liu Yun’s presence. She presses Xiao Qian and Cai Chen to marry so that she will end her own wishful thoughts. It is funny that all can see through it except the blur Cai Chen! It is also strange that Cai Chen doesn't recognise her when she suffers one attack and tries to kill him before the wedding. How can he not know her because her face doesn't change and only her hair turns completely white?

The vital energy makes her lose control finally and becomes unfeeling. She can’t even cry when Wu Wei dies for her. So she tells Xiao Qian to shed tears for him. How does she become the white haired Hong Ye? She prefers to deceive herself and remain in her dream. Liu Yun enters her dreams in order to get her out. However, Liu Yun manages to make the white-haired Hong Ye understand mortal feelings and love. Both fall in love and he finds himself not liking the normal Hong Ye that much although she recovers.

Both manage to iron out their differences to fall for each other again. But their romance is short lived when she dies after injuring Qi Ye seriously.

Hsuan Hsuan's wardrobe is the most spectacular and sexiest of all. In red, beige and also dark purple, she is pretty and convincing as the strong Hong Ye. The way she turns evil is outstanding too.

15. Nie Xiao Qian – Hsu Xi Yuan (Big S)
She is one of the ‘star crossed lovers’. She is a talkative and kind fox spirit but she can also be very willful to take things for granted. When she doesn't get her way, she throws tantrums. See how ungrateful and selfish she can be to say words that hurt Hong Ye and Qi Ye despite of how both have helped her!

She is helpful to try to make Yan reconcile with his wife. But I really puke upon seeing how mushy she is with Cai Chen all the time. Xiao Qian can be so unwilling to believe that Qi Ye is the star crossed lover. She still insists that Cai Chen is the one although the evidence is shown. Poor Qi Ye is at his wits’ ends to try to explain his intention to find out whether they are the star crossed lovers. Fortunately, Yan does the talking for him and she realizes her mistake.

She has improved in her acting. She is natural to be cute and lovable. But I don't find her loving to Hiu Dong – there is no chemistry. But in the scenes with Nie Yuan, she is so vulnerable. I still prefer Wong Jo Yin in the movie version. Wong looks stunningly beautiful and graceful with her frail look although she is too tall. Xi Yuan looks a bit childish and lacks the looks.

16. Lanmo - Blue Demon – Chan Sau Mun – guest star
She is Liu Yun’s mother with blue eyes. She questions Qing Tian’s initial intention but falls for him after he tells her love stories between mortals. She compiles them into a book and they even spend a night together. All realize that he is a spy when Six demon dies in the attack against Xuan Xin sect.

Lanmo gives birth to Liu Yun and he doesn’t cry at all. She gets 100 candles from 100 households and cures him. But under Empress Yin Yue’s curse, she is turned into a fire dragon immediately and can’t revert to the human form again. Both are forced to part for 20 years.

She helps him to be a hero by pretending to be killed by him. She also helps him to burn a route for the villagers too. When Liu Yun dies a second time, she does the same begging but it doesn’t work this time. So she gives up her life for him but is reassured that her son has grown up.

I am very touched by Sau Mun’s splendid acting that my eyes are wet upon watching this final scene when Liu Yun dreams that both are having a normal life but upon waking up, both have to part.

17. Ping An – Hong Yi Xin
She is a village girl who is not afraid to tell her feelings to Liu Yun. But, she is too desperate to offer herself to him when she thinks that he has killed the fire dragon. I detest her to frame Lanmo for the forest fires that she herself causes. Poor Lanmo takes the blame for so many times! This selfish woman wants Liu Yun to stay with her forever! But her efforts come to naught when he still wants to leave.

18. Mei Ji – Mak Kar Kei
An evil spider spirit which controls Xiao Qian in the beginning. She tricks Xiao Qian to find men to increase her powers. She is Empress Yin Yue’s close friend and comes to stay in the Dark Palace. She sheds tears after reading Lanmo’s story. The 4 guardians are after her when they think that she is responsible for Empress Yin Yue’s ordeal. She brings Lanmo’s book with her and is curious about love.

Can you believe that she lets men off now even though she feels hungry? Upon seeing that she has changed, Yan allows her to take care of Yuan Hang. She is genuinely in love with him but unfortunately she is poisoned. Yu Er does this to her when Mei Ji can’t bear to kill her. The poison makes her reveal her real form and Yu Er lies that ‘this spider demon’ has killed Mei Ji. She requests Yu Er to keep the truth from Yuan Hang before she dies. Despite this, she is contented to find true love in the mortal world like Lanmo.

Her acting improves. The makeup unit does the best changes in her. She looks evil in red as the spider spirit but can be so beautiful when she wears commoner’s clothes – even prettier than Hsuan Hsuan or Xi Yuan!

19. Su Tian Xin – Tang Shui Mun
She is Mo Xie’s cousin and Gan Jiang’s ex-love interest. She has magical powers and witnesses her 3 friends’deaths on the same day. Mo Xie tells her to use Mo Xie sword to kill Gan Jiang to make him vanish forever. Tian Xin can’t bear to do it. She is still in love with him. She kills him with her powers but he always reappears. She can only reduce his grief through the writing of love stories and trying to find more to write on. Since then, she hasn’t grown old all the 7 lifetimes!

She is curious to know about Qing Tian and Lanmo’s love. She cooks up the story about the 100 candles as she knows that there is no cure for Liu Yun. Liu Yun is destined to die even as an adult. However, she is touched when Lanmo manages to create miracles repeatedly. She brings Wu Wei to the Tearless city to make him and also others to know about the past.

She has hoped that Xuan Xin mystic can help to reduce the demonic power. But Hong Ye disappoints her because she is untrue to her feelings. The surprising part is she writes the skill but she doesn’t master it! Qi Ye, Wu Wei, Hong Ye and Xiao Qian are lured into the city. Upon seeing Gan Jiang suffering for long, she jumps into the furnace to be the heart of Mo Xie sword. It finally kills him and leads the rest out of the city.

Shui Mun is still versatile in her acting and she has never been prettier as in here, looking like a fairy.

20. Mo Xie – Sang Ni (guest star)
Xiao Qian’s previous lifetime. She is deeply in love with Gan Jiang and upon knowing his sad fate, she is willing to suffer for 7 lifetimes and tells Tian Xin to end it for them. She jumps into the furnace without hesitation to become Mo Xie sword.

21. Shang Guan Yu Er – Chen Sa Sa
She is Jin Guang’s niece and Yuan Hang’s wicked sister who kills her fiancé as she looks down on him. She is trapped in Tearless city for this evil deed. She turns into a better person when trapped but when she is out, she becomes selfish again. She is willing to do anything to make her dying brother happy.

She keeps the demons from Dark Palace. She wants them to kill the Emperor when Yuan Hang loses his power in court. She calls herself the new lord. But I am amused when Qi Ye, the previous lord, has more talking power to persuade the demons to change their minds. She is made use by moon demon and poisons Mei Ji, thinking that this will prolong Yuan Fan’s life. Still, she is depressed when Mei Ji chooses to die by her sword. She later regrets her decision when Yuan Fan becomes unfeeling so she kills herself.

22. Madam Ping – Yuen King Dan – guest star
Still as lousy as in other serials – very exaggerated in the way she is in ‘A kindred spirit’. I thank my lucky stars that she only appears for a while.

23. Xia Xiao Xue – Xia Xue Qiao
She is Xiao Qian’s close friend, a snow spirit also captured by Mei Ji. She is gentle and quiet. She is alert to detect the Empress Yin Yue has changed and Qi Ye's affections for Xiao Qian. She falls for Qi Ye and understands him well. How I wish that they can be a couple when she is so sweet and nice to him!

She happily prepares for Xiao Qian's wedding, only to be there to help to save Mrs Ning unexpectedly. I like the scene when she stands beside Qi Ye to treat Mrs Ning while Yan and San Niang sit on the bed to treat Mrs Ning. They look so compatible when he places needles on Mrs Ning while she checks her pulse. Sigh - Qi Ye can be so blind only to fall for the unreasonable and unappreciative Xiao Qian!

To protect Qi Ye, she doesn’t wish him to know his actual identity. She even shields him in Tearless City and gets killed. It is so sad when she fulfills her promise to give him her life when trying to uncover his secret at the illusion pool earlier. She is contented that Qi Ye hugs her before her death. It could be more touching if this actress can act better. She is still very raw in her acting.

24. Empress Yin Yue – Zhu Yan
She is Six demon’s wife and is a tree demon. She is seriously injured after San Niang hits her from the back when she flees. She has a miscarriage so that is why she hates Yan and Lanmo so much. She prays to the moon god but the moon demon comes instead. She lets the moon demon possess her (she enters others’ thoughts and is a big danger to Yin Yue sect) to make Lanmo suffer.

She sets a curse on Lanmo and Lanmo sets a curse on her in return. I really laugh when Lanmo says the curse is actually a form of gift! Lanmo declares that she will never recover unless she finds true love again. Lanmo finds Qi Ye a better son who can make up for the son which she has lost. Actually, she sheds a tear when reading her story but the moon demon reminds her so hatred is built in her heart again.

She really dotes on Qi Ye. However, her greed for power overcomes her. She pretends to give Qi Ye and Xiao Qian their mortal bodies back but she is still interested in making all mortals to become demons. Qi Ye kills her and Liu Yun is saddened that she has tried hard to help when she regains her senses but things still turn out this way.

25. Mrs Ning – Pan Jie
She has all along wanted a peaceful life after the ordeal and suffers from amnesia. She is very forgetful but sometimes can remember important details. She remembers Xiao Qian well - maybe because of too many repeated scenes that make her reveal her true fox demon form? She is overjoyed that Qi Ye is her son. But their reunion is short-lived when they meet again for the second time on his wedding day.

Favourite character

You will like Qi Ye if you watch this serial. He is able to tell evil and good apart. He is also a capable young lord who makes wise decisions. And being selfless to let Cai Chen have Xiao Qian although he loves her deeply. A close second will be Xiao Xue for being so adorable and caring.

Most hated character

Jin Guang. This person’s sweet words do not match with his evil actions. He is really unworthy to be the Xuan Xin ruler to break his promises. So he deserves to become insane.

Most convincing character

Qi Ye, he is a capable lord because he is calm and resourceful. A close second will be Hong Ye - she has the dignified air with a shiny chain across her forehead that makes her look like a fairy. Both have the makings to act as leaders. The others tend more to let the make-up overshadow their acting skills.

Best Guest Star

Who else but Sau Mun – but only in 2 episodes.

Songs

The theme song is the same as in the 1987 movie. I don’t understand why Kok Wing’s version is being played in the trailers before the serial is played. This is quite unfair to Hiu Dong. But I must confess that I still prefer Kok Wing’s version – not because Hiu Dong doesn’t sing well but I feel that Cheung injected more emotions and bitterness into the song.

There are two sub theme songs "The Chanting Sutra’ (????? ) and ’Will Kissing Cause Me To Love You’ (???,????). They aren’t that outstanding although the latter's music is written by Hiu Dong himself. This shows that sometimes only one theme song is enough to represent the whole serial.

Memorable scenes/Story

The duel between Xuan Yin sect and Yin Yue empire. Both sides try to get the star crossed lovers. An eye-opening sight to see how Six Demon is blown to pieces. Jin Guang seizes Yan’s sect leader identity for saving the baby boy. Be impressed to see the ‘Xuan’ word being imprinted on his vest while Yan loses it.

Xiao Qian tries to kill Cai Chen and stops upon seeing him drawing her portrait. She softens and smiles, even saves him from falling into the well. Expressive acting from Xi Yuan.

Liu Yun trying to get Xiao Qian's spirit from Mei Ji. It is exciting to see how he tries so hard to get away from her webs to look for the correct bottle among many bottles.

Hong Ye tries to subdue a water demon. The stupid Cai Chen interrupts to let it flee! Knowing that she can’t drink as all the water around is poisoned, he gives her his blood. This is supposed to be touching but Hiu Dong looks sleepy. He makes a switch in their clothing and manages to place the talisman on the demon, destroying it. She falls for him then. Get tongue-tied to see Hiu Dong wearing women’s clothes.

Xiao Qian relates her past to Xiao Xue. She tries to sneak into the mortal world after reading Lanmo’s story but is discovered by Qi Ye. Qi Ye gives her Lanmo’s teardrop. It should shine even after the lover knows her as a fox spirit. She can move freely of the demon realm freely if it comes true. Otherwise, she has to return or will vanish into thin air in 100 days. Qi Ye looks uneasy when he looks at her swearing to him. He still creates the opening for her to enter the mortal realm personally.

Cai Chen can’t make the gem shine despite loving her. Yet, when Liu Yun is there, it gives out light! Both men are shocked – Liu Yun exclaims that this can’t be possible, as he loves Hong Ye. To their relief, the light only comes from a firefly, which happens to stop on the gem!

Mei Ji is angry with Liu Yun for letting Xiao Qian off and wants to kill him. Fortunately, Xiao Xue freezes him and saves him. Later, Xiao Xue and Xiao Qian are seriously injured by the black demon when they try in vain to save Cai Chen from being poisoned. The black demon forces Xiao Qian to marry him.

Qi Ye saves them. The black demon underestimates him because Six demon takes 100 years to master the slaying swordsplay. But Qi Ye masters it so much earlier. The black demon is killed unexpectedly. This scene is impressive and cool when he raises the sword to kill the demon. He is concerned upon seeing that she is injured but frowns when she asks him to save Cai Chen.

Xiao Qian thinks that Qi Ye is invincible to cure Cai Chen’s poison by the black demon since he can treat her serious injuries quickly. Qi Ye deliberately says demons and mortals can’t co-exist. He is disappointed when being wronged by her. It is not that he doesn’t want to save but he doesn’t know how!

He reminds her that the Lanmo teardrop is a pledge to all demons that it is a painful experience to fall in love with a mortal. I am more touched whenever Nie Yuan does the hugs gently like coaxing a child but not when Hiu Dong does them as he lacks the gentle feel.

Qi Ye wanting to bring Xiao Qian back with him to the demon world. She is reluctant to leave Cai Chen upon hearing him mumbling her name. She begs Qi Ye to give her one last chance although there is only one day left for them. A very touching scene when both act well. Qi Ye is indifferent to continue his walk while Xiao Qian always looks back.

Qi Ye passes Qi Ye moth to Hong Ye to prolong Cai Chen’s life for 7 days. He doesn’t wish to face Xiao Qian openly to break the rules in saving a mortal. He tells Hong Ye that the first man who meets her later will be her future lover. She stands there, waiting in curiosity. To her dismay, Liu Yun comes to look for her! She is agitated and asks him why he comes at this time!!

Before his marriage with Xiao Qian, Cai Chen dies for a while and the blue gem shines. Later, he is revived when the moth flies out from the sachet that Qi Ye gives Hong Ye. I wonder why they didn't continue the ceremony later to avoid all the trouble caused later. This is a big overlook on the producer's part.

Liu Yun is puzzled on why Hong Ye doesn’t wish to return home. Upon seeing that Yan is half-mad and San Niang enjoys the company of men (she even asks the men to dress as women to please her!), he is so disgusted and disillusioned. Liu Yun is later tricked by San Niang to kill Yan. Laugh at his stupidity – how can he not recognize his own master using the same skills when sparring with him?

Xiao Xue sees Qi Ye standing at the edge of a cliff, deep in thought. He turns around with a slight smile and asks her whether she is getting used to the life in here. She is so taken aback to hide behind a rock! Later she takes a peep, to find that he is standing beside it! He tells her to relax in front of him. He treats her as his kin too since she is Xiao Qian’s good friend.

He misses Xiao Qian - she will give him a kick to send him down the cliff to have a good laugh! Xiao Xue says that she will do that next time so he has to be on his guard. Upon knowing Xiao Qian will be upset if the demons destroy mankind, Qi Ye frowns. He takes Xiao Xue to wait on his mother. He turns warm when massaging his mother’s arms. Later, he gets concerned whether Xiao Qian will be punished when she asks why he let her out. He is relieved when she says he makes the decision since he is the lord.

Qi Ye's expression turns stern and icy upon seeing Mei Ji and knowing that she is Empress Yin Yue's friend but still lets her off with a commanding air. The poor Xiao Xue also turns pale at this time. I really marvel at how Nie Yuan's expressions change so fast just in a few minutes.

Liu Yun is troubled upon knowing Hong Ye’s future. But he is delighted upon guessing that he is the other half of the ‘loving couple’. If not, why is his grand teacher telling him to marry her? But Liu Yun’s hopes are dashed when San Niang says that he is simply not good enough for Hong Ye!

San Niang reconciles with Yan and builds a shield to prevent the poisonous aroma coming out from the Dark spring. It is strange that everyone else gets affected but not Liu Yun. (We know why later as he is half-demon and half human.) Before fainting, the four want him to have faith to protect them. Liu Yun goes without food and rest in order to fix the tears which are caused continuously to the shield.

Qi Ye gets worried upon seeing Xiao Qian not with Liu Yun when he is mending the tear. He insists to search for her in the forest. He jokes to Wu Yuan that he can be impulsive for once before he becomes a serious lord. Qi Ye is superior in skills than Wu Yuan but he still adds a protection his armour. Although he feels weak later, he continues to move in despite Wu Yuan’s protests. Upon seeing Liu Yun alone, he gets anxious, demanding to know where Xiao Qian is. Nie Yuan really displays his anxiety well.

He sees the two unconscious couples. He doesn’t kill Yan to seek revenge but saves them instead. He doesn’t wish to be unfair to him and even displays the slaying swordsplay to wake them up. Xiao Qian is overjoyed to see him. He touches her tenderly and later turns serious because the poisonous aroma has already penetrated into their bones. Yan is evasive to spar with Qi Ye too because he saves their lives.

The only solution is to transfer all fumes into Liu Yun’s body. San Niang refuses to work with Yan as he reminds her of Hong Ye’s torture. Qi Ye gets fed up as they are losing time so he decides to rescue ONLY Xiao Qian as she is the only one weighing on his mind. Xiao Qian is alarmed as Qi Ye always meant what he has said and is serious. This scene is sure long - I lose my patience too.

All decide to save themselves but they are not calm. Cai Chen recalls how Xiao Qian undresses herself to save him in the bathtub from Mei Ji (this is disgusting as others can read his thoughts too) Yan recalls in guilt on how he had Hong Ye to practice Xuan Xin mystic. Luckily they control themselves and are saved.

Xiao Qian tries to look for Cai Chen and is stopped by Qi Ye. She wonders why he is always destined to find out her whereabouts. Suddenly, Qi Ye kneels on one knee, begging her not to love Cai Chen as this will destroy the whole Yin Yue umpire. She is shocked but agrees to part with Cai Chen in sorrow.

The two sects combine in vain to stop the Dark Spring from erupting. Hong Ye arrives and manages to control it with Xuan Xin mystic. It is a beautiful sight to see her doing with graceful styles.

The two sects discuss over the selection of people to get into the Dark Spring. Many are disturbed when Cai Chen is wailing aside like a baby over the breakup with Xiao Qian. Sorry to offend Hiu Dong's fans but he is very bad and fake in his crying here.

Xuan Xin and Yin Yue sects select their best archers to hit the Bipolar arrows to add powers to Mo Xie sword to control Dark Spring. '3 Eyes' is selected from Yin Yue empire. Do laugh at Xuan Xin sect's selection. Liu Yun's aiming is the worst among all. His arrow is right out from the WHOLE target to hit on a tree trunk nearby. He nearly wishes to hide in shame!

Cai Chen is determined to shoot but he is too weak even to pull the bow. He tells Liu Yun to shoot while he aims for him. Surprisingly, they get the bull's eye! Shocked, Yan quickly states that this is not considered since there are no aromas to block their sight and accuracy. To their amazement, they still succeed the second time! Both are chosen to enter the spring together.

Liu Yun, Cai Chen, '3 Eyes', Yan and Zhu Que (from Xuan Xin sect as she is good in setting explosives) get into the Dark Spring. '3 Eyes' is killed by an explosion after hitting the sword with the first arrow. The four are so distressed that they say nothing. The others get no answer and think all are dead. Xiao Qian blames Qi Ye for causing Cai Chen’s death and faints. Qi Ye is relieved when San Niang revives her. The four survive and she is happy that the moon god hears her prayers. Qi Ye wonders whether his wishes are heard.

The four draw lots to choose who to stay to emit the bomb to seal the Dark Spring after Mo Xie sword controls it. Liu Yun gets the lot but Yan forces the three to leave. However, the four manage to escape. Both sides try to grab Mo Xie sword. It chooses Hong Ye to be the owner. She is so upset over their deaths that she strikes it to the ground, as she doesn't want it.

Jin Guang wants to attack Yin Yue empire but Hong Ye wants them to have a celebration over the victory. I really laugh when this leader has no say because due to the sect rules, those who have mastered Xuan Xin mystic will have a special position in the sect, even surpassing the sect leader! Qi Ye agrees to it. This shows a sharp contrast on how petty Jin Guang and how magnamious Qi Ye are.

Be prepared to laugh again when both sides are having arm wrestling. They are having so much fun. Yin Yue's Xiu Luo says that she wants to pit against the most powerful person from Xuan Xin sect. Jin Guang smiles, thinking that she is referring to him but is dismayed when she approaches Hong Ye instead!

The moon demon gets into Dark Spring. She plays the zither and Wu Yuan gets suspicious but can't find her. She tells Liu Yun that Cai Chen is the star crossed lover. So when he sees Cai Chen helping Hong Ye (Never expect Hong Ye to be so cunning to feign drunk as she likes Cai Chen), he is so furious and blurts out the identity. Jin Guang and Qi Ye overhear it so they want to kill Cai Chen.

Jin Guang starts attacking and Qi Ye stands aside. Hong Ye manages to injure Jin Guang. She doesn't wish to harm the innocent although he has a mark on his shoulder - a sign of the star crossed lover. She wants to check out the facts before killing him herself. Qi Ye agrees to wait for her reply.

The 4 guardians from Yin Yue empire and the 4 guardians from Xuan Xin sect gather for a drink. (It is so coincidental that they have 3 males and 1 female for each sect). They have become friends and even try to persuade each other to join their sect. Having failed in their attempt, they break the cups, signaling that they will not show mercy when they meet again. It is touching as they have to make such a painful decision.

Cai Chen learns the swift escaping skill from Hong Ye. He wants to master it so that he can help Xiao Qian. It is hilarious that he starts but he has trouble stopping. This sends so many people sprawling on the ground or making a big mess of the stalls in the marketplace.

Qi Ye insists on waiting till next year to capture Cai Chen to combine the grievances of the star crossed lovers. After Wu Yuan's advice, he decides to tell Xiao Qian the truth.

Xiao Qian pretends to be angry with Xiao Xue for growing flowers in the cottage. Xiao Xue senses that Qi Ye loves Xiao Qian because he always mentions her in his talks with her. This can be why he objects to her being with Cai Chen. Xiao Qian thinks it is natural for him to treat her like a younger sister since they grow up together. Xiao Xue should be happy having them as siblings and Empress Yin Yue as their mother. Xiao Xue is uneasy as Empress Yin Yue looks mysterious to her. How innocent Xiao Qian can be and you will be touched by the closeness between the two spirits.

Xiao Qian brings flowers to see Qi Ye, who is deep in thought at a cliff. He takes the basket and knows that she has a favour to ask from him. Upon knowing that his mother has consented to her to be with Cai Chen, he is furious and the flowers turn into petals into thin air. He is angrier when she tells him that he can see Empress Yin Yue if he still disapproves of them being together. He must be mad that Xiao Qian is using his mother as a support to challenge his authority! He sternly tells her that his mother's consent is of no value as he is the lord. I never get to see him so worked up before and he sure looks very scary here.

Qi Ye brings her to the illusion pool, showing her that her real form is a human. Empress Yin Yue knows that she is the star crossed lover. She hides the spirit in the demon body. Xiao Qian initially smiles, thinking that Qi Ye is showing her magic using his powers. She is dismayed to find the truth and wonders why he still objects to the relationship since their pairing will help Yin Yue empire to conquer over the mortals. She cries, running to hide behind a rock.

Qi Ye runs after her and declares his love for her. There are tears in his eyes, confiding that he has thought it was brotherly love too when he protected her from harm. After she leaves Dark Palace, she is always on his mind. He feels so miserable after knowing that she likes Cai Chen. He can be selfish to defend the empire's interest but he doesn't wish to see her in pain. He pleads with her to go into retreat with him for the rest of their lives, as he is willing to give up his lord status. But Xiao Qian runs away, making him very upset. Very natural acting from the two.

Hong Ye has trouble mastering Xuan Xin mystic as Cai Chen is always on her mind. Her hair will turn white every now and then. Sometimes, she even loses her senses as she is unable to control the vital energy. But she keeps it from the rest or she doesn't notice the change?

Qi Ye is drunk and shouts that he does not want to be the lord. He wishes to trade places with Cai Chen but he knows that Xiao Qian will still not love him. He is so drunk that he trips from the flight of stairs from the throne right to the bottom of it! Wu Yuan reprimands him for being weak. He suggests the co-existence between the mortals and the demons. Qi Ye suddenly has a clear mind and refuses because Six demon has always wanted to destroy the mortals.

Qi Ye goes to see Empress Yin Yue and tells her his decision. She knows him as a strong person and being the lord to control all demons is even more difficult than a mortal emperor. Qi Ye then dismisses it, saying that he only says it at a spur of the moment and will do her proud as the lord. He stays with her for the night and sleeps on her lap. He looks like an ordinary person yearning for relaxation here.

Qi Ye is distracted during the discussions with his subordinates after not seeing Xiao Qian for days. They remind him not to let matters of the heart rule him. Xiao Xue hurries to tell that Xiao Qian is at the illusion pool. Qi Ye is helpless as he can only show her body but can't release it. Xiao Qian chides all for not killing her when young to give her so much misery. Qi Ye hugs her and apologises to her. Then he brings her to see Empress Yin Yue.

All his subordinates are alarmed to see their lord risking their empire and advise against it. Qi Ye replies sarcastically in a cold tone that they still remember that he is the lord. Empress Yin Yue agrees to let Xiao Qian go and pretends to return her body the next year. She can marry Cai Chen sooner so that Qi Ye can concentrate on being the lord and before Xuan Xin sect discovers them. What a sharp contrast - Xiao Qian is so delighted while Qi Ye is so depressed upon hearing it. My friends find him so pathetic in this scene and chide Xiao Qian for being so insensitive!

Xiao Qian reveals her fox form when she is scared by a dog. Mrs Ning adds the word label 'demon' on her despite her poor memory. She opposes to them being together. Xi Yuan looks pitiful here.

The 8 guardians from the two sects arrive, wanting to kill them upon hearing the news. Xiao Qian is dismayed the 4 guardians from Yin Yue empire want to kill her because they wish their lord to concentrate on his duties! I find her so detestable to chide them for being daring when she still thinks that she is Empress Yin Yue's favourite!

Hong Ye tells the 8 guards to give them 3 days' grace. She manages to deceive Mrs Ning that she is the bride and will make the switch on the wedding day. It is hilarious that the 8 want to kill them earlier but yet they fork out money to buy the wedding gifts and help to decorate Cai Chen's home for the wedding day!

Xiao Qian is framed for killing the chickens and messing the wheat fields when the actual culprits are the small children. Cai Chen clears the mess alone. He can help the villagers rear the chickens later. It is hilarious that Xiao Qian is about to say the same words when the 8 guards and Hong Ye repeat the words to her! The 9 help them out and wonder if the star crossed lovers' bitterness will end in just one lifetime.

Jin Guang arrives on the wedding day and Mrs Ning is frightened, recognizing him as her husband's killer. He is sarcastic to wish to witness the wedding end in tragedy. Qi Ye comments that nothing should go wrong if he only sits and watches the whole ceremony. He calms Mrs Ning, reassuring her that he will ensure things will not go wrong since he is a good friend of the bride.

Hong Ye loses control of Xuan Xin energy and stops the ceremony, causing Xiao Qian to reveal her actual form. Yan and San Niang try in vain even using their combined powers. Mrs Ning is angry so she vomits blood. Hong Ye comes to attack the couple. Qi Ye defends them and has to step back when her force is too strong. He demands to know why Hong Ye consents at first and stops it now. Hong Ye replies that she has been wrong all along. Jin Guang smiles ruthlessly.

San Niang and Yan try to subdue her but to no avail. Jin Guang fights with her in the forest. He even surpasses her in Xuan Xin mystic and defeats her. This is a very exciting sight that all should not miss when they pit the same skill against each other. He sneers at her after she regains her senses for thinking so highly of herself and ending up losing control. He tells Qi Ye proudly, saying that his formidable opponent is no longer Hong Ye but him before leaving. Qi Ye is calm over it while Hong Ye feels remorseful.

Cai Chen waits anxiously, consoling himself that the most powerful people from the demonic and mortal realms can save his mother. Yan imparts his inner strength while Qi Ye and San Niang plant all needles on her body. They only manage to hold her last breath. Xiao Xue freezes her from dying. Qi Ye tells Yan not to give up. Yan wonders why he is so anxious to save her. Qi Ye knows that Xiao Qian will be very upset and remorseful if she dies. So he will not let her shed another tear. Touching, isn't it?

Cai Chen blames them for being incompetent. San Niang and Yan reply that they are only humans and can only resign themselves to fate after trying to defy it more than once. Xiao Xue can see that Qi Ye is in conflict and disturbed so she is puzzled. Qi Ye also wonders why he finds Mrs Ning pitiful too.

Qi Ye requests Cai Chen to have another wedding but he declines. Qi Ye asks him to bring Mrs Ning to stay in Dark Palace as Xuan Xin sect will not let them off. Cai Chen asks him if he loves Xiao Qian. Qi Ye avoids looking at him, saying that he wishes her happiness. Cai Chen tells him to bring her back as he can’t give her happiness. Qi Ye tries hard to suppress his anger - if Cai Chen says that again, he will kill him.

If he can make her happy, she can be his happiest queen. Could she have bothered to come to the mortal realm to search for true love? Cai Chen yells that he is penniless and also can't marry her. How can he protect her and make her happy? Qi Ye is speechless upon hearing it. Fine acting from the two actors here.

Xiao Qian hears of Lanmo’s story. She does the same for Mrs Ning but only gets 5 candles from the children who frame her. Qi Ye says since Cai Chen wants to give up, he should not help her. Cai Chen changes his mind and helps her. They are relieved when Yan and San Niang say their prayers are answered. Unknown to them, Hong Ye has become the white hair maiden after curing Mrs Ning. They pray for Hong Ye's recovery secretly. Mrs Ning tells Cai Chen to be the top scholar before he can marry Xiao Qian.

Xiao Qian thanks Qi Ye for giving her all the happiness before leaving with Cai Chen for the capital. She leaves Lanmo's book to Xiao Xue. Xiao Xue sees that Qi Ye is moody and assures him that Xiao Qian will visit them frequently. He asks her whether she will leave like Xian Qian to seek happiness. He will have to count on Xiao Xue to represent him in Yin Yue festival's story-telling competition. Poor Xiao Xue protests in vain and decides to read the book.

Wu Wei hints to Liu Yun about his relationship with Lanmo but he thinks that she is in love with him! Wu Yuan tries to kill Lanmo but he can’t beat the shield. Wu Wei suspects that it is not Lanmo but is Qi Ye’s parentage which will shake the future. Wu Yuan is shocked to see the moon demon and is more powerful. He tries his best to save Lanmo from the moon demon and gets seriously injured.

Xiao Xue tells Lanmo’s story in the festival. Mei Ji is touched but still confiscates the book, saying that she is the judge on Empress Yin Yue’s behalf. The rest complain to Qi Yue about it. Qi Ye concludes that it is up to all to judge so there will be no winner. Qi Ye sees Mei Ji reading the book secretly so he asks her whether she will want a son like Lanmo. She denies and tries to give a neutral expression.

Upon seeing that the blood circulation of his mother is weak even when she is asleep, he reprimands Mei Ji. He gently holds Empress Yin Yue’s hand, mumbling that nothing must happen to her. He has sent men to look for elixirs and they will travel when she recovers. To Qi Ye, his mother is more important than any part of his body. He apologizes to Mei Ji for his temper. All regardless of mortals or demons will have kindness in their hearts. So he tells Mei Ji she might be a loveable spider demon if she changes.

Xiao Xue has not wanted to read the story because it is forbidden but Qi Ye tells her to do it. He finds love lacking in the Dark Palace. Seeing him drunk and unhappy, Xiao Xue tries to get him to go to the mortal realm to cheer up. She can be Xiao Qian’s substitute although she is not as cheerful as her. She reminds Qi Ye of Xiao Qian as she also does the same earlier.

Yuan tells Qi Ye about Wu Wei’s suspicion so he decides to check his identity. They tell Xiao Xue to consider doing it. Qi Ye tells Wu Yuan to wait as she is different from Xiao Qian who will not have any hesitations to face dangers. (Why is Qi Ye so biased?) Wu Yuan advises Qi Ye not to uncover the truth as he regards him as the lord. And he must kill Xiao Xue if the truth is leaked but Qi Ye is hesitant.

Wu Yuan could have becomes a sinner to Yin Yue umpire. Many years ago, the moon demon was a zither player and wanted him to kill her. She fell for him but wanted to rid of all emotions by dying to become an ultimate demon. Qi Ye laughs bitterly as he only wants to have Xiao Qian with him, regardless of who he is. He gets drunk and hugs Xiao Xue when she decides to help him. She hugs him back and weeps.

Empress Yin Yue feels pain in her heart after reading Lanmo’s book and moon demon reminding her of her hatred. She nearly kills Mei Ji and Xiao Xue. Qi Ye calms her down to let Xiao Xue steal her tablet.

Qi Ye tells Empress Yin Yue to stop lying to him. The moon demon possesses her body and gets into the stone forest after killing many demons. Qi Ye is enraged and gets his Yi Xi sword. Xiao Xue is shocked to see what is in the pool. Qi Ye manages to knock Empress Yin Yue out when she cries in pain from Lanmo’s curse. Wu Yuan persuades him to kill her but he begs him to save her instead. Wu Yuan tries to find out Qi Ye’s identity using mirrors but to no avail. He then tells Qi Ye to look for Tian Xin for help.

Qi Ye questions Xiao Xue about his identity to find that she destroys the tablet. She begs him to kill her because she knows that Xiao Qian will do the same. She asks him to forget the past and she will always be with him. Both hug each other and shed tears. Qi Ye decides to look for a cure for Empress Yin Yue. Wu Yuan tells him to bring Xiao Xue with him as she might be harmed as the only one who knows his secret.

On the way, Qi Ye apologises to Xiao Xue for being harsh to her earlier and she may address him the same way Xiao Qian does. Yi Xi sword lures them to a temple and Xiao Xue prays for him. Both meet Hong Ye and after a fight, they end up in Tearless city. Xiao Xue sheds tears and Gan Jiang appears to try to kill them. Qi Ye faints after Gan Jiang injures him. Tian Xin comes with Wu Wei to tell them the story of Gan Jiang, Mo Xie and Yi Xi (a long winded story with so many repetitions that erodes my patience.) She also declares that there is no cure for Empress Yin Yue so it is still best to kill her.

One part of the story is interesting though – Tian Xin can see through her friends’ hearts just by examining the swords they make. She frowns upon seeing that Yi Xi’s sword has a sharp end and tells him to be more forgiving. She deduces that Mo Xie’s sword is indecisive. But upon seeing Gan Jiang’s sword, she breaks it into two because she can feel that he is turning evil if she doesn’t stop him in time. But she is still too late.

Mo Xie sword nearly loses control but stops when Hong Ye and Wu Wei touch it. Who tears when others stop? It is Qi Ye in his sleep! He dreams of Gan Jiang’s past and is so saddened. He forces Xiao Xue to tell him the truth. She sees his mortal body in the pool. He is the star crossed lover since there is a crystal tied to it to suppress his grievances. Tian Xin makes the same deduction. Xiao Qian refuses to believe it as she loves Cai Chen. The poor Qi Ye is hurt by her remarks again.

In another fight with Gan Jiang, they are no match for him again. Xiao Xue shields Qi Ye and gets killed. Before dying, she says that she agrees with Wu Wei that they have no choice to choose who to love. Just like she knows Qi Ye loves Xiao Qian but she still loves him. He then decides to look for Mrs Ning to find out the truth. Xiao Qian is firm – no matter what happens, he will remain as her Qi Ye brother.

Liu Yun is together with San Niang. They are shocked to see Hong Ye killing demons who escape from Dark Palace after Qi Ye’s leaving although they have not done anything wrong.

Qi Ye looks for Mrs Ning and finds an epidemic caused by demons in the village. He cures her. It is very touching. At first, he stops touching her but he can’t help but feels her forehead and cures her. Upon knowing that she is too weak to cook and is hungry, he offers to do it for her.

Laugh when he is at his wits end to try to cook for her! She tells him to fry the vegetables to drive his unhappiness away. All should not miss the smile on Qi Ye’s face when doing it. He is so troubled by his terrible cooking that he wants to throw the food away. She stops him and says that she will share it with him to eat up the bitterness that he has. After knowing that she gives birth to twin sons, he leaves in haste. Mrs Ning tells him to keep a note that has his name to remind her that he has saved her in case she forgets. He refuses and says that he will not see her again.

Wu Yuan is not surprised upon knowing Qi Ye’s identity. Qi Ye can’t bear to kill Empress Yin Yue. She blames herself for not cherishing her love for him. 20 years ago, she abducted the twins with Xiao Qian. She threw Cai Chen back. So Xuan Xin sect thinks that Yin Yue empire isn’t a threat then. Mrs Ning has amnesia because of her. Actually she is only betting on luck because she doesn’t know who the star crossed lover is. She conceals his identity because she wants to raise him as her son. He hasn’t disappointed her and is indeed her pride. Qi Ye decides to treat her the same way and both leave Yin Yue empire.

Jin Guang loses his skills and the 4 generals accompany him to look for Hong Ye for help. Hong Ye humiliates him as he reminds her how he injured her. San Niang shakes her head as their founder has deliberately written Xuan Xin mystic the other way round. This secret is only passed to leaders but Jun Guang never asks them after he strips Yan of his leader post. He can absorb Hong Ye’s energy so that both can survive but Hong Ye refuses as Jin Guang can cause havoc after becoming powerful.

Liu Yun dreams of the dark-haired Hong Ye. She wants him to make the white-haired Hong Ye happy but he finds it so difficult to love her! After kissing her, he falls for the white-haired Hong Ye who turns warm. He is so devastated when she kills herself to let the black-haired Hong Ye return. Hong Ye returns after Jin Guang absorbs her energy and he becomes arrogant again. He even ignores San Niang’s advice when she mentions that he could end up like Hong Ye is he is not careful.

The 4 guards and Wu Yuan persuade Qi Ye to return to Dark Palace. He agrees to consider. To save the world, he decides to marry Xiao Qian. Both get their mortal bodies back. Mrs Ning comes to acknowledge Qi Ye and both become close. She is contented Xiao Qian still becomes her daughter-in-law after all.

On their wedding day, Jin Guang orders to kill all the demons. This is a tragic scene when all demons are killed during their happiest moment. They lose their skills temporarily and have no means to defend themselves. It is sad when both are in red but their happiness end here. Mrs Ning dies in the attack while the Yan family, Xiao Qian and Liu Yun escape with the twin brothers.

Cai Chen is very upset and blames Qi Ye for Mrs Ning’s death. Qi Ye is remorseful for being so naïve to believe Jin Guang. Yan and Liu Yun are seriously injured too in the attack. Wu Yuan is bitter before his death that his wish has been a dream and tells Qi Ye to be a demon instead.

Jin Guang displays Mrs Ning’s corpse at the city wall to lure Qi Ye out. The 4 guardians disapprove of his doing but only Zhu Que voices out her displeasure. San Niang treats Qi Ye like her foster son and stops him. Qi Ye kneels and weeps – he has to do it – what happens if their mothers are given the same treatment – how can he allow her to die like this? This scene is so touching as Qi Ye has never been in tears openly. He is desperate to save her but he has lost most of his powers after becoming a mortal.

Zhu Que decides to release the corpse. San Niang sees that there are explosives on Mrs Ning’s body and pulls Qi Ye aside. Sure enough, she is blown to pieces. Qi Ye loses all his trust in humans and decides to become a demon again. The moon devil thrusts the Yi Xi sword to him. To make all hate him and be devoted of all feelings, he kills San Niang.

Despite his grief, Yan follows her instructions to request Jin Guang to make Bipolar arrows with him to prevent Qi Ye to become a demon completely. He refuses flatly and even tries to kill Zhu Que for persuading him by using ‘Xuan Xin mystic’. The other followers are displeased with him that they leave him to help Yan instead.

Qi Ye later kills Xiao Qian as he sees through Liu Yun’s plot of planning the killing in his dream. Xiao Qian claims to love him but the blue gem doesn’t shine at all. It is so sad when watching this scene when he actually feels upset. After killing her, he abandons his mortal body despite efforts made by Liu Yun.

Empress Yin Yue suddenly regains her senses and tries to take Qi Ye away. However, she gets killed. Xiao Qian’s soul returns but she loses her memory. Hong Ye decides to practice Xuan Xin mystic again.

Cai Chen discovers that Yi Xi is his pastlife when he gets into the tearless city with Xiao Qian. Both are lured there by Mo Xie sword. Mo Xie wants to end the feud here where it starts. Liu Yun gives all mortals and demons a peaceful dream to be together before the next day’s battle with Qi Ye. Even Qi Ye appears in his normal form but Qi Ye wakes them to force them to face reality.

Liu Yun and Yan are upset that they have to confront Qi Ye. This is the most attractive fighting scene in here when they show their agile fighting skills. Qi Ye injures them and nearly becomes the ultimate demon. Jin Guang thinks that he is so great but is dismayed when Xuanxin mystic can’t defeat Qi Ye. He becomes mad.

The white-haired Hong Ye reappears and stops him from killing. It is marvelous to see two white-haired people fighting in the dark.

Qi Ye, Liu Yun and Hong Ye get into the tearless city. Liu Yun asks whether she is the white-haired Hong Ye but she replies that both are actually the same. He smiles. The couple gets Mo Xie and Gan Jiang swords to pit against Qi Ye. Liu Yun shields Hong Ye from danger and gets seriously injured.

She then uses the two swords to produce a shield with Xuanxin mystic. It is a very beautiful sight. Qi Ye tries to kill her but is reflected by the shield. He is injured but his hair turns black again. Hong Ye dies after she gets into Liu Yun’s dream to be with him at the lovers’ temple for the last time.

Xiao Qian reaches Mo Xie’s wedding altar with Qi Ye. She blames herself to come to the mortal realm to cause Qi Ye’s misery. Qi Ye assures her that it is his own fault. Cai Chen comes with the Bipolar arrow and the couple beg him to kill them to end their misery. Qi Ye nearly loses his senses again and tries to kill them. Both refuse to leave. Cai Chen is in tears when he kills them.

It is touching that Qi Ye shields Xiao Qian to get struck first. Before he dies, he smiles, saying that both need not play hide and seek anymore. Before Xiao Qian dies, Cai Chen gets her to see the yellow flowers.

20 years later, Liu Yun becomes Xuan Xin sect's leader. He is at the lovers’ temple to help drawing the lovers’ talisman. Later, he is with Cai Chen to search for Xiao Qian and Hong Ye. This is the agreement that the four have made. The men see their portraits on the street and find the two maidens. They smile at each other. I know many will complain but this is the ending! This reminds me of 'Zu Mountain Saga' where Shek Shang meets Ying Nam finally - the producer must have borrowed the idea from there.

Interesting scenes
All fighting scenes are very beautifully done. I thought ‘Wind and Cloud’ was impressive but too modern. This serial has managed to combine beauty, tradition, grace and style into one. Nie Yuan, Wu Jing and Hsuan Hsuan simply look very fabulous here!

You will amazed by how Xuan Xin members contact each other using the talisman. It’s like using a handphone and they can hear each other’s voices!

Interesting facts

The television station engaged the help of the special effects company which did the wonderful job for the movie 'Hero'. This is also the first time the company did it for a television serial and it found it challenging to design scenes for so many episodes.

Initially F4 member, Zhou Yu Min and the singer Zhou Jie Lun were approached to act as Cai Chen. But the former needed to concentrate on his studies and the latter needed to record his latest album. They turned down the role, reluctantly because this would be fun playing with wires in the air and both have not tried that before. Wonder they can do a better job than Hiu Dong if given the task?

Hsu Xi Yuan was homesick and ill during filming and her mother flew to China to take care of her. So was Hsuan Hsuan who often fainted because the low air pressure due to the heights of the mountains. Both were hospitalized in Hong Kong and Taiwan. The actors pitied them because they wore very thin clothing under the cold weather.

Many are attracted by the kissing scene in the wooden bathtub. It is supposed to be romantic because it was filled with flowers. But the bathtub was too big and Xi Yuan nearly sprained her back when moving down. Many laughed when the cameraman lost his slipper in the water when shooting the scene.

It was winter time when this scene was shot. So they had a heater to warm Hiu Dong in the bath but he was nearly electrocuted by the electric spoons underneath the water. And because he had skin allergy, he returned to his aunt for facials after the serial was shot.

Hiu Dong admited that he followed some of Kok Wing’s acting techniques. He hoped to include his own personal experiences to make this character more modern. This serial made him understand more about himself. He felt Cai Chen’s love for Xiao Qian hadn’t changed at all despite many setbacks.

Wu Jing was initially at a loss as to how to communicate with so many foreign artistes because he had not tried it before. But they were won over by his endearing personality and they even celebrated his birthday with him. This moved him to tears.

It rumoured that Hsuan Hsuan fell for Wu Jing. Many commented it a ‘younger brother, elder sister’ relationship as she is 3 years older than him. The rumour is groundless as he has a girlfriend.

Nie Yuan joined the Shanghai acting academy in 1996 and only learnt martial arts there after graduating from Gui Zhou Arts School's dancing faculty. However, Wu Jing was overjoyed to spar with him and Yuen Wah. Other actors could not stand his strong punches. The three become close friends.

Even the experienced swordsmen, Nie Yuan and Wu Jing were not spared from injury. Nie Yuan had very little sleep and could not concentrate well during a sparring scene. Luckily the sword didn’t hurt his right eye but injured his eyebrow instead. Wu Jing had a back ailment for hanging on wires for too long. However, both found it challenging to combine martial arts with special effects and had no complains.

There were rumours saying that Xi Yuan was bossy. Nie Yuan dispelled the rumours, saying that she had rehearsals with him before every scene. He even declared her to be prettier and better than Wong Jo Yin’s version. Xi Yuan was touched by his enthusiasm in acting and they became good friends. She even treated him to a vegetarian meal on his March 17th birthday.

Many laughed at Xi Yuan who tagged with ‘Elder brother Qi Ye’ instead of ‘Cai Chen’ during breaks. Actually she should be ‘Elder Sister Xiao Qian’ since she is 2 years older than him in real life. She said if given the choice, she would choose Qi Ye instead of Cai Chen.

Nie Yuan laughed, saying that they got along because they had endless discussion topics. He knew the boundary between work and love life. Who dares to have second thoughts when she brings out her boyfriend, Lan Zheng Long all the time?

Xi Yuan lamented having 4 fruitless weddings with tragic results with Xiao Qian not marrying at all although all are touching. The first is an extremely chaotic wedding with the Black demon. The second is an extremely shabby wedding with Cai Chen. The third is a switch-place wedding with Hong Ye. The last is the grandest but most tragic wedding with Qi Ye.

Sau Mun had to wear blue contact lenses to project her image. She has known Chung Hin for a long time. Both are close because they are vegetarians. Chung Hin was glad that he did not need to wear the headgear because he had skin allergy. The make-up unit spent time to fix the wig to his natural hair! His main visit to China was to relive old times with his long-known friend Hsuan Hsuan. Both became close after filming 'Rural Hero'.

When many actresses rushed to wear more clothing, Shui Man was the only one who still wore the thin, sexy serial costumes to let the reporters take her pictures because she found herself looking pretty in it. Many joked that she was staking to fall sick after that. Shui Man said that Sau Mun is her good working partner although they don’t keep in contact off screen and she enjoys working with her.

Nie Yuan became popular in Taiwan and Singapore after this serial is shown. Many are won over by his Qi Ye role when he dies for Xiao Qian to protect her. Many Singaporeans started to show interest in Wu Jing too but the press has yet to give his profile.

Wu Jing's favourite digital camera was stolen during the filming and he was unhappy that it could not be found anywhere. The others spent a long time consoling him.

There was an sms competition in Singapore’s newspaper on choosing entertainment sms. I sent one commenting on Nie Yuan's spectacular performance and hoped to see his interview. They gave a slight introduction on him later and I was one of the winners. I won a small gift pack – a handphone holder, a scented candle, a towel and also a pen with multiple colours. Many thanks to Nie Yuan! Anyone who knows of his websites may inform me as I wish to know more about this young and promising actor.

Other versions of The Chinese Ghost Story

The first was a 1960 movie by famous stars, Zhao Lei and Le Di. When Le Di went to promote this movie in the Cannes festival, the foreign press addressed her as ‘the most beautiful Chinese actress’. Another would be the famous 1987 film by Cheung Kok Wing and Wong Jo Yin. A lesser known will be a 1992 movie ‘the skin’ by Hung Kam Bo and Cheung Siu Chau.

Conclusion

At first, I was so hesitant to watch this serial right after 'Hero', afraid that it might cause another big disappointment. After watching it, I began to like it. But if given the choice, I will axe it into 25 to 30 episodes. The producer is carried away by introducing too many characters. I hope you will not be confused by my introduction.

So many scenes are redundant and slow the pace. I get so giddy over the turn of events. So sorry for my later brief description towards the end because it is marred by many scenes which are quite slow moving and I have no patience to relate here.

What do they mean by two different Hong Ye? Can’t they make it simple? I have not wished to use so much brain power to guess and analyse so many details after a long day at work. But it seems that recent dramas are following this trend. And how Liu Yun gets in and out of others’ dreams – it’s quite confusing. However, I like the arrangements on how close the leads are close to their mothers.

The 7 lifetimes of the lovers and star cross lovers is equally confusing. Must they go through so much trouble to be together? If so, why not marry in secret to save the hassle?

My review is very biased to sing Nie Yuan's praises. But what to do when Qi Ye is made so distinguished from the rest? And like Lingz13 (another reviewer), I wished that the producer will develop Qi Ye's relationship with Xiao Xue. Sadly, they let the chance go. It is a great pity as they are so compatible together. Sad to say, Cai Chen's role really doesn't have any impact at all.

The story is quite similar to 'State of Divinity' - showing that there are also kind souls in the demon realm while some are evil in the mortal realm. I like the scenes of the 8 guards together showing that they can be friends despite their differences.

The make-up for the demons is very impressive for the women demons, with small shiny pieces on their faces for decorations and striking colours. Mei Ji's dressing is red for passion. Xiao Xue's ornaments are white in colour with light green pieces, signalling fallen leaves in winter. And the way she places snow is like showering shiny sprinkles. Empress Yin Yue has long nails and we often see twigs forming when she is around. Xiao Qian's outlook is the most attractive. She has a fox ornament and also fur to continue from the hairpiece. But her showing of the fox’s tail and her fiercer make-up can be boring, though.

And using white wigs to denote that the person is evil is a smart move. Hsuan Hsuan still looks attractive in the white wig. Nie Yuan is impressive too at first, his black hair has only a few strands of white. After becoming the ultimate villain, I dislike too many purple and blue strands in the white wig.

The clothes for both leaders are outstanding too. Qi Ye wears a white gown with a dark collar when he is in the Dark Palace. But when he is out of it, he either wears a dark purple gown or still the white gown with a black cloak to distinguish from Jin Guang's dressing. Same as Hong Ye's elaborate dressing too.

It can be hilarious that the two couples are not in love with each other in the 7th lifetime. To think that they even mistaken Cai Chen for Qi Ye! It is quite a surprise that the newly-created characters are more impressive than the leads. Many adore Liu Yun, Hong Ye and Qi Ye more than Cai Chen and Xiao Qian. This is quite unexpected but I think they deserve the attention as the artistes really do very well.

This serial deserves watching as most act well and you will be impressed with the fighting scenes too. Definitely it is better than ‘Hero’ or ‘Wind and Cloud’. Don’t ever miss it.

On acting : * * * * (Scale of 5)

On story : * * * * (Scale of 5)


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