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Nudafu

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  1. "I read these scenes a bit differently". Excellent. I always value different views. They usually make the greatest writing prompts. I've mentioned before, I don't doubt Xu Feng loves Jin Mi. However, his failure to communicate is an act inconsistent with his thoughts and feelings. We don't necessarily pay the consequences for our thoughts and feelings, but we do in action. Action = real world consequences. The fact that Jin Mi needed Xu Feng to verbally admit that he loved her points at her doubt that it is true. It may be true in Xu Feng's head, but he shouldn't have expected Jin Mi to read his mind. Fair enough if Xu Feng felt Jin Mi did not need to know. But I think there is a difference between communicating your feelings in the moment versus the necessity to do so until it is too late - that road leads to regret. It may be a small thing, but Jin Mi would've been far happier even for the few moments before the battle and at the point of death if she knew for sure Xu Feng had forgiven her with an earlier admittance that he loved her. Why does it take until the Heart Examining Stone to finally change his mind? He was changing it, but I agree it was changed at that point. These are the events that tried to convince Xu Feng: 1. Jin Mi at least three times. Understandably, she "killed him" and is not to be trusted. Which fails as a reason once Xu Feng is alive and speaking. Especially considering she brought him back to life. (I thought it was funny when Xu Feng seriously said: "she killed me". Me: you look pretty alive for a dead bird.) But I think Xu Feng couldn't trust Jin Mi because of the idea she 'betrayed' him with Run Yu more than she betrayed him by killing him. 2. Moon Immortal/his uncle. I couldn't see a reason for Xu Feng not to believe his uncle on the spot. Even when Jin Mi thought to marry Run Yu, his uncle always sided with Xu Feng. 3. His own phoenix feather. If Xu Feng thinks even his feather betrayed him, I take it that he doesn't even trust himself. 4. Liu Ying/demon princess. Loved her punchiness for saying it as it is. I think Xu Feng actually considered her words, because in the scheme of things, Liu Ying had no reason or agenda to side with Jin Mi and therefore was the most objective of all voices. Point being: throughout #1-4, Jin Mi suffered for it. Considering Jin Mi was under emotional disadvantage due to the Heartless Pill and ultimately a pawn in Xu Feng's murder, she was a victim of the circumstance as much as Xu Feng. The difference being, she bore the full brunt of the punishment. If Xu Feng lashed out initially at Jin Mi and then went searching for the actual perpetrators behind his murder (i.e. Run Yu and Sui He), then I could accept that. Repeatedly hurting Jin Mi was unfair and wrong. Example: striking Jin Mi twice hard enough to make her vomit blood is unnecessary. If he had the power to do that, he could've struck her unconscious and sent her back home - this would've been possible even without magic or Run Yu's intervention. Looking like he regretted it or doing it for Jin Mi's good to keep her away doesn't take away from the fact that Jin Mi suffered directly from Xu Feng's actions. I get that emotional challenges are not as straightforward as updating to a new OS. Great hurts take time to heal. I don't gainsay Xu Feng for having the need to do so. But if that journey means hurting the one you love repeatedly, I think that has crossed a line. Jin Mi announcing that she wasn't in on the wedding is the truth. If she didn't make that announcement, her actions would say she was trying to ruin Xu Feng's wedding. That, or that she was trying to trick Xu Feng into marrying her. If Xu Feng didn't want his pride or heart to suffer, he should not have rejected Jin Mi earlier nor raged to the entire court: "Who brought her here!" It looked like to me from Jin Mi's reaction to these words that she was clearly unwanted. Considering the repeated rejections and the revelation that the wedding was a facade to trap Sui He, why would Jin Mi think Xu Feng would want her again? It's a case of the Boy Who Cried Wolf. Reject someone enough, especially on the pain of death, and they won't believe you when you have seemingly changed your mind. Which runs full circle as to why Jin Mi said Xu Feng should've admitted his feelings earlier while she was dying. As I've mentioned before, this entire part seemed like it was filmed as a disconnect from the story. So far, no one has proven Jin Mi innocent on her betrayal with Run Yu, and the evidence that has changed Xu Feng's mind is concentrated on who actually saved him and all that Jin Mi has sacrificed. Although movingly declared by the Moon Immortal, he really did gloss over a lot. Xu Feng didn't have any hard evidence to go by to prove that Jin Mi conspired with Run Yu to kill him. Ironically mirroring what Jin Mi did to him. It all started and rode on when Run Yu told him it was so. Run Yu admitted to guilt on behalf of Jin Mi, and Xu Feng believed him. From that point on, he used it as a rationalisation to deny anything and everything about Jin Mi. The way I see it, Xu Feng was not afraid of Jin Mi conspiring on her own to murder him or killing him. I don't see Xu Feng as a person who couldn't get over personal hurts. He experiences enough of that in war. I think he was most afraid that Jin Mi was truly in cahoots with Run Yu. Because that may mean Jin Mi didn't actually love him. I believe it all comes down to that. Behind all his hurt and betrayal, the idea that he was living in a world where Jin Mi didn't love him would be the most unacceptable thing in his existence. To a certain extent, even faced with the possibility that Jin Mi was the one who revived him, wouldn't it be awful if he lived only to realise that Jin Mi did it out of guilt without love to back it up? I honestly think Xu Feng would rather remain dead. Rather than the emotional conflict, I actually think it was replaying the broken record of 'she doesn't love me' in exclusion of all else that ironically kept Xu Feng deaf to Jin Mi's pleas. If Xu Feng chose to listen to the truth of Jin Mi's words when she said: "I'm sorry" and "I love you", he would've realised he got what he wished for. All he needed to do was choose to listen to her instead of his broken record. Just for once. It only takes once to turns things around. Regardless of what Jin Mi stands for, I can't see what more anyone can expect of someone who genuinely says "I'm sorry". I saw that as an opportunity and turning point. Xu Feng just chose to not take the opportunity. Hence the play on the words: "missed opportunity [or] wrong action" (the character for "wrong" features in both statements in the Chinese version). If Xu Feng was never wrong or missed an opportunity with Jin Mi, I don't think production would've made it a point to lead to this learning curve for Xu Feng. I think Xu Feng did actually wish to fight. If Xu Feng had been cleared of the cold poison (he had the chance to but he refused Jin Mi's flower) and he recovered his power to 100% and still made no moves for war, then I would be convinced. We never got there, so we are at odds in speculation. But I agree the war was inevitable as Run Yu put the pressure on. Run Yu putting that pressure on doesn't automatically mean Xu Feng didn't wish to fight. No, the safest place for Jin Mi was not with him in battle. If he truly believed this, I can't see why he could not have explained it to her. Even a: "Goddammit, I love you and need to keep you by my side" would've been more than enough to stop Jin Mi in her tracks and follow him willingly. While war is urgent, taking anyone onto a battlefield against their will is no excuse. Jin Mi didn't merely throw up a weak protest, she strongly struggled in refusal. A no means a no in my books. Love doesn't give license to ignore someone's "no". I actually have no problem with Jin Mi being at the battle per sec. I just preferred her to go on her own free will. Because that has already been messed around with for 4000 years of her young life. The plan for defence always includes protection and/or escape for innocents (i.e. women, children, elderly and disabled). Far in advance. If Xu Feng couldn't trust his own defences to protect Jin Mi from being kidnapped by Run Yu, then that would mean he couldn't trust his own defences. While Xu Feng would be considered the current greatest power in the Demon Realm, a good defence doesn't necessarily mean guarded by the strongest man. Run Yu may be intelligent, but he has no fine understanding or detail of the Demon Realm. The advantage of location intelligence is on Xu Feng's side. In actual warfare, some of the best defences have been by stealth and enemy ignorance. It would also be possible that Puchi Jun and Moon Immortal are still within hailing distance. The combined power of these two would be more than enough to protect Jin Mi against all except Run Yu (who would be busy in battle). Boasting about your wedding night in front of troops on the eve of battle: not cool. While Jin Mi declared to Run Yu she chooses to stay, don't forget she whispers to Xu Feng to basically stop it. What may've been proud boasting on Xu Feng's part was certainly not seen in the same light by Jin Mi. If he could run roughshod over her misgivings at this point, the only person I see enjoying the proud moment is him. We will have to agree to disagree as to Xu Feng's motives for the war. If Xu Feng meant to provoke Run Yu to make a mistake, he doesn't have enough personal power to battle an enraged Run Yu. If you are prepared to incite a battle, gambling on limited firepower is well, foolish. Very unlike a seasoned war leader of Xu Feng's calibre. If he intends for Run Yu to make a mistake out of acting rashly, he underestimates Run Yu big time. It was mentioned earlier in the series that Run Yu can patiently wait under the longest pressure (I think it was during one of his chess matches with Luo Lin/Water God). He also has a fine sense of timing from the nature of his work as a Night God. Both these qualities make deadly war leaders. The one thing Xu Feng could gamble confidently on was that he was definitely more experienced in war than Run Yu. Even in combat. I could trust Xu Feng to win by this alone. Boasting about Jin Mi and revving the troops were all a set up to distract from this fact. I thought the provocation was a facade to keep Run Yu from remembering that Xu Feng is a seasoned War God. Keeping Run Yu's focus on Jin Mi means less focus on how to arrange your troops according to Xu Feng's only advantage. This was Jin Mi's use for the battle. It sounds terrible, and it puts Xu Feng in a bad light, but if Xu Feng was great along the way, what on earth would he have anything to feel guilty about? What would be the point of his redemption? Redemption means somewhere along the way, a serious mistake was made. Accidentally killing Jin Mi lacks gravity to a depth of redemption built on chances missed to make things right before anyone dying. From Xu Feng forcing Jin Mi to battle, boasting about her, flinging her off his arm in frustration, and not saying her name out loud until it was too late (an indicator of cold silence linked to continued resentment), I can't say I'm convinced Xu Feng was fighting for Jin Mi in battle. He accidentally and tragically killed her, but I don't think that knight had his lady's token on his arm on the eve of battle. His love for her may've started to surface, but rage and revenge kept a lid on things. This is what makes what he did in the end truly tragic I believe. I don't think the story would've lost impact if things ran like this: Xu Feng admits clearly that he forgives and loves Jin Mi in his chambers. This matters because matters of the heart should be clear cut in their intentions. No beating around the bush. Because there is so much room for misunderstanding for something so important. If "let's start over again" was enough, Jin Mi would not have needed nor requested Xu Feng to say he forgives her or affirms that he is an idiot for finally admitting it [now]' at the moment of her death. Xu Feng and Jin Mi on the same page emotionally. Jin Mi voluntarily following Xu Feng to battle. In the moments before the battle and leading up to Jin Mi's inevitable death, happiness is made all the more poignant because it is cut short with Jin Mi's death. Xu Feng grieving because he tragically killed his own happiness and will stop at nothing until he finds Her again. Because Fate has nothing on a determined Phoenix who represents hope in rebirth.
  2. I expected you would point this out . Logistically, the attack would be expected. I would doubt Xu Feng as a God of War to not plan for a defence. However, I think there was an intent for there to be a battle from Xu Feng. There was never any attempt to negotiate peace. Even if we assume Run Yu wouldn't be interested in peace, an assumption and no action is big in the scheme of how the battle plays out. An intent for war is an invitation for war. I can't conclude if this war was inevitable. Then again, I am a firm believer that war can always be avoided with creative intelligence and pragmatism (extra points if you pick up the pun). No, they didn't film that part. I was referring to 'if' production had of included the book scene. In the book, Xu Feng throttles Jin Mi right after she mentions the Heartless Pill: "他手上一緊,我的喉頭欲斷" (his hand tightened, my throat nearly breaking) (Source: https://novel101.com/novels/6df07874-746e-457b-bab2-facd50524365/chapters/jo) Which led to the announcement of Run Yu's oncoming attack. Then Xu Feng bit Jin Mi's ear until it bled. Technically speaking, right before Run Yu's attack would be the ear bite. I read it as one continuous scene. 'Reading into' it means thoughtful analysis to me. So I get your points. I agree Xu Feng was conflicted. I just see it this way: Internal (emotional conflict) -> Awareness -> External (decisions & actions as a consequence of conflict) -> Consequences I think Xu Feng is perfectly okay to be as prideful and emotionally conflicted as he chooses to be. Especially considering his experiences. If he is going to hurt, it will only affect him. It's after the 'awareness' bit that there is a choice between how the internal landscape hurts people aside from himself. I don't buy the 'I love/hate you so much I need to hurt you too'. Whether intentionally or unintentionally. There is always a choice. It comes from that 'awareness' stage - considering Xu Feng from his age, learning and experience, I would expect his level of maturity to get this. But surprisingly, his character seems to lack in wisdom concerning emotional management and it's consequences. (Fair enough, Xu Feng's family would definitely be considered dysfunctional). It rubs me the wrong way when hurtful projection is focused on the one you love most. That being said, I do understand it. It's the negative flipside to why we can comfortably joke with the people closest to us. Technically, Xu Feng's mother betrayed him, by committing crimes supposedly to help him. Sui He betrayed him by framing him for a murder. While I can also understand that Xu Feng having the greatest reaction to Jin Mi's betrayal is a reflection of how much emotional trust and investment he had in the relationship, in the same token, there is more reason and space to give a benefit of the doubt. And the way I see it, there was an absence for a benefit of the doubt for Jin Mi of all people. Because if one looks at Xu Feng's murder in context, Jin Mi was a pawn. She has to pay the consequences for her actions, but I usually don't see pawns in the same way as the mastermind who engineered the event. The masterminds behind Xu Feng's murder were #1. Run Yu and #2. Mama Xu Feng/Sui He (inadvertently). Yes, Xu Feng eventually gave a benefit of a doubt to Jin Mi, but only after he consciously and actively put her through pain to get to that point. Did he really need to do that? I think not. I imagine that's my point of difference with most people, but nevertheless, that is the way I see it. Agree. I differ with you here on these points. I thought Deng Lun's portrayal of Xu Feng had a slow burn intensity that brought Xu Feng's character alive. Which meant Deng Lun was the saving grace of all things Xu Feng. Deng Lun didn't have much to work with from both the series and novel. If it wasn't for Deng Lun's performance, I wouldn't have anything to work with to write his character. He reminded me of Wallace Chung's portrayal of Chu Beiji in 'General and I'. Both are warriors who are loud in their actions rather than words. There is a very specific purpose to my criticism of Xu Feng. It's a drive that makes me want to write from his POV. There is always a worthy challenge to write about people or events that incites our criticism. If I agreed with Xu Feng's character, I would not write about him. And apart from Xu Feng and his story (or lack of), I'm not motivated to write about anyone else. By extension, maybe Jin Mi in response to Xu Feng. Because their married life is simply hilarious. For the record, I am very nice to Xu Feng in my own writing .
  3. Agree. Even before reading the novel, I wondered why the series emphasised Xu Feng asking if Jin Mi was "willing" before the mutual cultivation scene. Consent. Because of the two times Xu Feng was intimate with Jin Mi in the novel, consent was questionable. Ugh... I think the novel is still worth reading. The novel is certainly not as logically consistent as the series. I think this is due to the novel being written in the 1st person. At times, it almost reads as a diary, in that we don't get the overall story and other character developments. The big novel standout is that Jin Mi reads like an Asperger's child. Think about it: emotional faculties suppressed while all others functional. Asperger-like characters are usually portrayed with extreme intelligence to offset low EQ e.g. Temperance Brennan (Bones), Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang). Jin Mi unfortunately is not written with impressive intelligence, so it makes her character rather unappealing at the start. The point after stabbing Xu Feng and coughing up the Heartless Pill reads like an Asperger's who has been 'cured' of their condition. Everything before Xu Feng's stabbing appears like a setup to give contrast to the intensity of Jin Mi's downfall. This is why the novel is written in a tightly controlled descent towards Jin Mi's death. I thought the last part of the novel was so masterfully written that I compared it to a Wagner piece in my head. The attempts by the author to 'show' instead of 'explain' in words what love feels like is one of the most evocative reads I have read in a long while. One is not necessarily better than the other, but I think the differences between the novel and series are worth pointing out as an appreciation for both mediums in their own right. I thought the saddest thing about the battle is that both Run Yu and Xu Feng did bad by Jin Mi. I don't expect any good from Run Yu at this stage, but it set my teeth on edge that Xu Feng did what he did. I have a feeling production may've filmed it or thought about filming the scene right before the battle (i.e. Xu Feng raging about Jin Mi's conspiracy against him and almost choking her to death). We just get a scene where Jin Mi swears she is not to blame and Xu Feng unconvincingly believing that. But then he forcefully takes her to the battle and proceeds to use her against Run Yu. That feels disconnected. The series should've just kept the original scene to explain Xu Feng's behaviour. The way I see it, Xu Feng used Jin Mi in his own fashion on the eve of battle. He claims he had a wedding night with her when it was plainly untrue. While it works to irritate Run Yu, it shames Jin Mi in the process. Xu Feng wanted to fight as much as Run Yu. The only reason you take an unwilling, non-combatant into the heart of battle is to use them. My conclusion has always been that both boys were party to her death. Yes, Jin Mi chose to step in between them and end it. But, Run Yu could've chosen not to attack. Xu Feng could've chosen not to take Jin Mi to the battle. Fine if Jin Mi intended to follow Xu Feng. But she said no before the battle, she didn't want to go to the battle. And she said no, stop fighting shortly before the boys powered up to Ban-kai showdown. If Xu Feng was shown to continue with the battle because there was too much momentum - reasonable and understandable - then fair enough. The way I read Xu Feng flinging Jin Mi off his arm, that is someone who wants to fight. And the way he revs up his troops at the start of battle, that is also someone who relishes the fight. One could argue that Run Yu's invasion was inevitable, and from a strategic perspective, I agree that Xu Feng was correct in strengthening his defences. But his sequence of actions were all about revenge. Revenge against Run Yu. Revenge against Jin Mi. He just lacked the insight that Jin Mi would be a casualty in his war for revenge. Xu Feng could've stepped up and chosen to forgive Jin Mi because he simply loved her enough to do so. I don't doubt that he did love her, but probably not enough to let go of his pride. Because it is clear to me that Xu Feng can't let go of his hate because of his hurt pride at being betrayed - the sense of betrayal doesn't work as strongly if unhealthy, overwhelming pride is not in play. Xu Feng later confesses that he did think about forgiving Jin Mi, but he had his pride to consider. So no, this is not me picking on Xu Feng for all you Xu Feng lovers . Are there characters who chose better? Yes. Zi Xuan (a re-written Xu Xian) in Destiny of the White Snake says of the near fatal bite that Bai Yao Yao gives him: "just make sure you bite only me and not others". Wang Yao Shi, in Mystery of the Condor Heroes, sustains a stab from Feng Heng for no other reason but the fact that she wants to reject him, and he simply chooses to forgive her too. While each have different motives and situations, I believe the moment of choice is the same. Fantasy Chinese series usually espouse the ideal that a moment of thought is what it takes to change any course of events. And in many moments, Xu Feng did not choose well. Otherwise, there would be zero guilt, and zero Xu Feng redemption moments. The happy point to all of this is that HSALF makes superb material for fanfiction. Lack and flaws in the novel and series for Xu Feng as a character. That is a fanfiction opening if I ever saw one.
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