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[Mainland Chinese Drama 2019] Novoland: Eagle Flag 九州缥缈录


sugarplum892

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Guys, I’m so addicted to this show it’s surprising the heck out of me, every day I wait for subs on YouTube and because they uploaded one episode a day with English that’s all i can watch for now. I’m on episode 23  and each episode it’s getting better. Now I have a dilemma to watch it raw and then subs or continue waiting for subs each day lol

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Eps 21-36 brings LGC to the capital at the behest of the emperor through his half-sister XZ, setting into motion events that would throw the entire Eastern Lands into imminent chaos - starting from the reveal of LGC's much-shortened lifespan due to his wielding of the ancient sword, to the unpopular decree of the emperor to restore the integrity and innocence of Tianqu from the crimes against the royal family, the loss of the Grand Princess' influence and her forging of a new alliance, a sinister prophecy of 4 signs which comes to pass one by one, unexpected treachery that plunges deep into the hearts of the ones who trust them most, a shocking twist that sees the mighty lion becoming the prey, culminating in a standoff at Shangyang Pass, where the final signs of the prophecy would surely be fulfilled. Through it all, nothing is ever quite it seems, and what is evident may not necessarily be the entire truth after all, with trickery and treachery lurking in wait amid the most trusted, while unexpected frankness and mutual respect is found among preconceived enemies.

 

One of the most unforeseen character evolutions has to be of the emperor. A ruler without true power, seemingly benevolent and righteous, is revealed to be one of the craftiest players in the political game, plotting even from years back to bring down the Grand Princess who has kept him incapacitated behind a veneer of weak timidity, amassing a personal army of warriors among the orphaned and abandoned children while secretly working with his royal tutor to bring down his enemies one by one. Driven to madness by his desire to restore the authority of the emperor, he would brook no opposition, and destroys anyone that dares stand in his way without a second thought, even those closest to him with the exception of XZ, whom he saved from certain death years ago, and sees as his closest kin. Yet there is so much cunning in the midst of his insanity, as he plots his final blow - convincing YWY that he would abdicate the throne in favour of him, then trapping him with himself in the fire of Taiqing Tower, while his soldiers carry out a bloodbath - the sealing of the capital, the total annihilation of his court and palace servants, the bitterly fought battle between the ambushed Leiqi army of Li, and the emperor's soldiers. In his demented mind, should he not survive in the aftermath, XZ will rule as his successor with fresh servants and army, none of whom are privy to any secrets that would be a source of vulnerability during her reign. It is almost poetic justice then that he, who personally delivered the killing blow to the man who deemed him a friend but refused to comply to his wishes, would ultimately die at the hands of that same man who no longer knew who he was nor what he was doing. 

 

By the same token, YTZ's betrayal of LGC is perhaps all the more shocking, considering the lengths he has gone to from the moment we were introduced to him, to restore Tianqu for the lofty ideal of safeguarding the peace of the world. Here is a man who held the entire ragtag Tianqu organisation together in the absence of a sovereign leader for so many years, unwaveringly supporting LGC even when the other Tianqu members doubted the younger man's calibre and judgment to lead them; riding to the rescue at Yanfan Lake with the Tianqu members when Chiya threatened the lives of LGC and those present. Then again, perhaps I should not have been that surprised, since this is the same person who advocated the assassination of You Changji many years ago, in exchange for the hope of a royal pardon for the rest of the Tianqu organisation. When it comes down to it, YTZ's loyalty is never to any sovereign leader per se, but to what he believes to be the best for the organisation and the fulfillment of their ideals. Thus, his belief that LGC's uncompromising stance will bring about Tianqu's destruction, is the impetus that would pit him against the young man he once supported, and whose death he plotted along with the emperor whom LGC treated as a friend. Now he has taken it upon himself to protect the four young people and bring them into hiding in a remote village - but to what ends? Is he waiting to see if LGC recovers his memory, figures out and exposes him as the one who betrayed him? I don't think YR was ever his target, until she fell into a trance and inadvertently performed a dance that is intrinsic to the Winged tribe. We do not know yet the significance of that dance, but if the plot follows the book, this marks the turning point in YR's once-carefree life, setting her on the path to her destiny, irrevocably linked to the fate of her tribe. We already know that YTZ himself is of the Winged tribe - his right wing is clearly injured in the past - and he had already planned to go across the sea to the East back to his homeland before he met the four of them. Now that YR has revealed her innate nature to him, I believe he will not let her out of his sight from here on.

 

It is ironic that YWY, always portrayed as a real and present threat to the throne, would find himself manipulated by the emperor he clearly underestimated, and the tables turned so much that he, always the roaring lion, would become the hunted, holed up in Shangyang Pass, waiting to face battle against the Five Great Armies. While there is no denying his lust for power and greed for the throne, it is now clear that this time, his advance to the capital is what he stated after all - funds to advance his army into the North - since the only means of survival for the Li dukedom is to continue to fight and expand their territory through the conquest of more cities. While he strikes dread, and rightly so, here is a man whose brutal honesty is far more preferable to those who strike in the dark with underhanded tactics, and with the prophecies coming to pass one by one, I will be very sorry when we finally see the fall of this great warrior and conqueror.

 

It remains a mystery as to what Lei Bicheng truly has in store for LGC. He has known of the younger man's curse from the start, sacrificing his own student to save his life, then turns around to plot his death and resurrection in a chess game where he clearly controls the pieces. I have to wonder if LGC escaping the city and hiding out in the village is not part of the insidious plan Chenyue has set in motion. There is no doubt the young man died in the assassination during the flower festival, but can a man who was born dead yet somehow came back to life, truly be considered dead or alive? Whatever the circumstances surrounding LGC's existence now, one thing is clear. It is a cruel twist of fate that the man who is perhaps the greatest pacifist among all the characters in the story, is also arguably the one whose hands have wrought the most deaths, and I fear for LGC when he finally regains his lucidity one day and realises the horror of what he has done. Will he survive that crushing guilt, or will that guilt push him into becoming what Chenyue intends for him after all?

 

The prophecy that LBC foretold to the Grand Princess is a fascinating one:

While the eagle in the sky will perhaps never die
Immortality is one of the greatest miracles
and also the most terrifying curse
:

The chessboard in the capital will see a change presently

There were 4 signs in the sky
There will be unrest in the Eastern lands
The four seas will boil
The first sign - the fall of the eagle king
The 2nd sign - the rebirth of the phoenix through fire
The 3rd sign - the mighty lion falls and breaks its claws on the rocks
The 4th sign - the wolf packs devour each other, the dragon dies on a desolate beach

 

after which, Your Highness will achieve the pinnacle of power.

 

Does the eagle in the sky refer to LGC, who is also the eagle king, since the symbol of Tianqu is that of an eagle? I believe so, since LGC's life has been a series of his own deaths and resurrections, even from the day he was born. If so, is he fated to an undying existence, in one way or another, which will make it a double-edged sword, as all those he love and care for will leave him one by one in death. Of the 4 signs, 2 have already come to pass, and the 3rd and 4th are being set in motion. YWY is repeatedly referred to as the mighty lion, and the armies of the 5 dukedoms already call themselves wolves. In which case, it is a given that YWY and his army will be destroyed at Shangyang Pass. Who then does the dragon refer to? Normally this can only refer to the emperor, but by the time the 3rd and 4th prophecies are set in motion, the emperor is already dead. Unless of course it is not meant to be in chronological order, in which case, the emperor dying a lonely death at the hands of LGC is already part of the prophecy, helped along by LBC's insidious machinations.

 

The plot remains in high gear, throwing twists and turns relentlessly with barely a moment's pause. That being said, it is not without issues, and the flow sometimes feel forced and illogical. In particular, does it make sense that the emperor would have allowed XZ to set out for Yanfan Lake with just two servants in tow, knowing that the journey is fraught with danger, and the urgency of needing her to convince the emissaries of the different dukedoms of the justifications in acknowledging Tianqu as a righteous entity once more. I find it more to allow LGC to ride to her rescue, reignite JY and LGC's friendship, and showcase the heroism of the Tianqu organisation as they fought to the death to protect those at Yanfan Lake. I wish this could have been done with more subtlety, without resorting to such a ridiculous premise, but that's just me. Likewise the ease with which LBC convinced the Grand Princess to trust him, simply by restoring her youth and beauty, is yet another over-simplification which makes the Grand Princess appear vain and foolish, without the acumen which she clearly had in order to have controlled the court for so many years as she did.

 

Still, in the midst of all missteps, it is such a boon to see the three friends reunited once more, after aching so much for each of them when misunderstandings threatened to tear this precious bond apart. I am glad too, that there is someone who loves LGC the way he deserves to be loved, hurting as I do for him in knowing that the one he loves does not reciprocate his feelings in the same way. While we do not know yet whether his current, obvious need for XZ stems from LGC's real growing feelings for her, I do hope that he who has suffered so much, will be accorded some modicum of happiness, even if for a brief moment. From what little I know of the book and their fates, such happy moments are way too fleeting, and I want to savour each moment for as long as possible.

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On 8/8/2019 at 8:17 PM, Michaela Heimlich said:

Wow 33-34, I would like to know what is aunt telling Yuran...don't understand anything

@Michaela Heimlich Here is a brief transcript of the conversation between YR and her aunt, after LGC comes back to them from the dead:

 

GYY: Yuran, we both left our homeland and depended on one another in the Eastern lands. My decision to marry you to the crown prince at the time, was also for your own good. But who would have thought this would happen to him. 
YR: What you really wanted was the Qi army of Qingyang. I know that your dream has been and always will be to restore our homeland.
GYY: Actually I also know that your marriage to the crown prince was not consummated. When things have died down and we have returned to Lower Tang, you can choose to marry the person you love. However, it cannot be Ji Ye. In these turbulent times, you must marry someone with power. Only such a person can protect you, and only such a man is worthy of you entrusting your whole life to him.
YR: (laughs) The way you said it sounds as if the Duke Baili has accomplished all this. I still stand by my words. The person I marry can only be the one I love.
GYY: Alright. Let's not talk about this for now. I came to ask you to pack and be ready to leave Tianqi at any moment. Tomorrow night, His Majesty has invited all the ministers to a banquet, possibly to announce his abdication.
YR: The emperor wishes to abdicate?
GYY: (nods) The situation in the capital has become more and more complicated. I am no longer able to see through the changes. We cannot stay here for too long. Once things go out of control, we must immediately return to Nanhuai. Alright, I won't say anymore. I still need to go to Changle Palace to discuss things with the Grand Princess. Get a good rest.

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for geography lover,

i just edit a rough map that using english name , guide by skibbies based on this tv series

 

red and blue color = province name

white = kingdom name

black = city

 

maprev.jpg

 

 

other additional information:

- There are 16 kingdoms in eastern continent, and 7 tribes in grassland (northern continent - human side)

- from Li's capital (jiuyuan) to Tianqi , the troops need to pass 4 kingdoms , only 1 state (xiatang) engaged in war with Li kingdom

- i am still far behind, only watch until ep19, so far only 4 races show up (human, winged tribe, dwarf, giant), dont know if the other 2 races would appear later?

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Hi all, I like that XZ is with Asule cos YR only have eyes for JY. Actually all of them hold very impt political roles and all are brought up under exceptional circumstances. Maybe not so for JY. Tink the book fans are angry as the original story of XZ is actually a 12/13 yr old ger who used to like Asule but later fell in love with JY yet married to the prince of Xia Tang (whom in this show is the dimwit crown prince of Xia Tang). The females of this show have stronger character than the men , that's how I feel. I love XZ a lot as she really only cares for her brother previously and now only Asule, she always put others before herself and sacrifices herself for the others. I can understand Chinese and have watched till ep 44.....if its gonna end at ep 50, the whole show is going to be ending really sloppily! 

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On 8/16/2019 at 2:47 PM, Angeline Ong said:

Seeking for insights. During the preview for episode 46, there was a voice over saying " Yu Ran is indeed the chi Wu sheng" what is that? Goddess? Tq

 

@Angeline Ong I don't know how different the drama version of 姬武神 is from the book's, but this is what YTZ said from the extended preview in Ep45:

Spoiler

 

"In the holy temple of 泰格里斯 Tigris(?), as the real Goddess of War dances at the place which is closest to the moonlight, even the wingless people of the Winged tribe would suddenly sprout wings and fly. The Snow Crane warriors and all the people in Qingzhou will bow before Your Highness. When that happens, you will have no choice but be the Goddess of War.

:

She will live alone for the rest of her life in the temple of the Holy Forest, never to marry, never to have children, consecrating herself to the will of Heaven. And the entire Winged tribe will worship you as their god."

 

 

What little I could glean about the book version based on online articles (those who have read the book, feel free to correct me if I am wrong!):

Spoiler

Yuran is the only successor to the art of 姬武神 "Goddess of War", the Winged tribe's ultimate power. When 泰格里斯之舞 the Dance of the Tigris(?) is performed, even the forests of the forbidden land 寂静之座 The Seat of Silence will open up a path for her leading to the Sacred Land. She is the most mysterious warrior of the Snow Crane warriors, known as Goddess of War. Her powers lie not in offensive or defensive skills, but mind manipulation, and her powers are so terrifying that even the powerful wizard Xiang Kongyue dare not easily go against her song. Her most powerful mental attack is the Song of Remembrance. She seems to have a dual personality. She is skilled in dance and song, and endowed with beauty.

 

Based on what I know of the Yuran in the book, I wonder if the drama has a marked departure in terms of the definition of 姬武神 and the new successor's intended fate, perhaps to accentuate the tragedy of her destiny and what the personal sacrifice it requires of her. Will hopefully understand more when the new episodes air this week. 

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On 8/15/2019 at 11:22 PM, firipy said:

Hi all, I like that XZ is with Asule cos YR only have eyes for JY. Actually all of them hold very impt political roles and all are brought up under exceptional circumstances. Maybe not so for JY. Tink the book fans are angry as the original story of XZ is actually a 12/13 yr old ger who used to like Asule but later fell in love with JY yet married to the prince of Xia Tang (whom in this show is the dimwit crown prince of Xia Tang). The females of this show have stronger character than the men , that's how I feel. I love XZ a lot as she really only cares for her brother previously and now only Asule, she always put others before herself and sacrifices herself for the others. I can understand Chinese and have watched till ep 44.....if its gonna end at ep 50, the whole show is going to be ending really sloppily! 

I thought the show would be ending at episode 58?  Not episode 50.   Hopefully that is still true !

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Viki is so far behind on subs. I've watched through episode 44 raw. Asule is such a tortured soul that it's made the drama very depressing. And because of all the things that have happened to him I can't get a handle on his thoughts. I'm not even sure I understand the whys of the events that are happening. In other words, if Asule died at birth has he ever been really alive? I know this drama will have a miserable ending because each episode ends in misery. Consequently, I can't even say I like this drama. They've shown a lot about the boat princess, Asule & JY, so why is there even a Yuran character? I like her optimistic, encouraging personality, but she sure does work her mouth a lot.

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On 8/9/2019 at 4:53 PM, Angeline Ong said:

@Erafera1i beg to defer. I love Xiao zhou very much. She cares, adores and loves Asule. Whereas, YR just receives the tender love from Asule but carefreely announcing they are best pals. Making Asule so pitiful. I guess I share similar sentiment with a large majority of Chinese viewers in China. The character YR was acted well but I dislike the character development. It would be good if YR develops slowly to become a more mature lady. Thoughtful and insightful. Thus, I find her immature and irritating.

This. I dont know if I'll like Princess XZ. She REALLY cares about Asule but it would really make me happy if YR fell for Asule too, Asule really loves YR. I find it frustrating that they at the start they have built YRxAsule ship but they just wont sail it as the drama moves on. I dunno what to feel about YuRan and Ji Ye, JI Ye is so close minded about Yuran and Asule's wedding, its just frustrating that he just got mad at Asule like that for marrying Yu ran. What if he didnt know that Yu Ran and Asule married each other for him will he hold that grudge against them forever. And I dunno what to feel with the movement of Yu Ran and Ji Ye's ship now.

 

Aside for the ships lol is Asule immortal now? How many times has he died already??

I just hate waiting for new eps, worst wait for it to be subbed. I am watching raw but it is so frustrating not understanding any of it

 

sorry for the rant

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On 7/27/2019 at 10:37 AM, JoyceDreamer said:

I'm kinda scared to start this one. I love Liu Hao Ran but... I just haven't gotten myself to pick it up and watch it. Might wait till it's almost ending.. and is it just me or is there not a lot of hype of this one... 

 

If anyone can recommend this drama in one phase or word, how would you guys describe or recommend? 

Great Drama, fast paced, amazing actors, not boring! Plot is great.

Liu Haoran is AMAZING!

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On 7/31/2019 at 11:09 PM, tarjig said:

I am enjoying Novoland Eagle Flag but I feel like Ji Ye story is overshadowing Asule.  I like Asule and I want him to be stronger but it seems as though everyone around him is getting stronger and he is getting weaker.  Ji Ye is all about himself.  Yuran is running behind him because he is the love of her life, yet he is not going to be the one to love her all her life.  Ji Ye will always put what he wants ahead of others.  He wants fame and fortune.

 

Asule puts people first.  He is putting Ji Ye and Yuran ahead of himself.  Maybe when a huge betrayal comes about, he will become stronger.  Some new chick has appeared in the picture and I don't know what her deal is yet (no eng subs) but I don't like her, but then again, I don't like Yuran.  Asule deserves someone who likes him first. Yuran is a brat! 

 

I wish the subs would come out faster.  Right now we are 10 episodes behind on any website.  If someone knows of one that is current (up to ep 26) let me know.

let me applaud you!!

 

Yes. Ji Ye is so selfish and so self centered. ugh the Romance part of this drama is too frustrating!

 

We still have 1 princess in the picture Ying Yu.

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Ji Ye's backstory was exciting but even though he is strong & determined, I don't think he's a hero. Actually, in my opinion, he seems to forget YR until he's around YR. I admire him for getting back up when knocked down (mentally & physically), but for some reason I see him as one who would betray in order to get ahead. As I said before, I can't read Asule's thoughts. He always looks so brow-beaten and meek. He picks up the sword and kills everyone around him; he is still emotionless. He is "too" good, "too" nice, "too" humble. JY is "too" pushy, "too" single-minded, "too" focused on being a hero, and YR is "too" flighty, "too" enamored with JY, "too" talkative. I have to say that even though I like the drama, it is a "miserable" drama, meaning it leaves me so depressed.

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The first sign - the fall of the eagle king
The 2nd sign - the rebirth of the phoenix through fire
The 3rd sign - the mighty lion falls and breaks its claws on the rocks
The 4th sign - the wolf packs devour each other, the dragon dies on a desolate beach

 

LBC is exposed more as cunning, manipulative strategist rather than prophet when the 3rd and 4th signs do not appear to come to pass through the unfolding of the events in Eps 37-44. Though the brutal battle at Shangyang Pass sees YWY flushed out of the fort by BY's use of poisonous fumes, losing his commander and tens of thousands of men as they breached the ambush, YWY did not fall at Shangyang Pass after all, but escaped by the skin of his teeth as a result of XY unexpectedly letting them go. In addition, while the Five Armies distrusted one another and fought over who would have custody of XZ, ultimately trapped at Shangyang Pass with no route of escape back to the capital thanks to Duke Baili's 20,000 strong army, all of them united against the external threat of Chiya, and enjoyed newfound respect and camaraderie as only those who faced death together and survived could. As for the death of the dragon, it is still unclear to me of whom it referred. If LBC was foretelling his own death, then he should have known his plot to draw LGC into the Chenyue fold would fail. Unless he meant LGC's death, but why plot LGC's death and resurrection yet again when his whole purpose is to see the younger man as a part of Chenyue? Whatever it is, the solitary crow that flew away with the fall of the Chiya army is an ominous portent that we have not seen the last of this mysterious man.

 

The Grand Princess now finds to her dismay that though she is ostentatiously the regent of the Eastern Lands, her authority and court is now under Duke Baili's control, and perhaps even her once-strategist and lover Baili Ningqing too has switched sides. While not yet certain, her determination to see the Five Armies destroyed with flagrant disregard for his life when he too was held by BY at Shangyang Pass may have triggered his shift in loyalty to the Duke Baili, and it is his suggestion to XZ that now sees her willingly becoming a hostage at Lower Tang in place of LGC. BLNQ is an enigma who clearly knows a lot more than he lets on. I question why he revealed the secret of XZ's birth to her. Was it as repayment for her words that brought him to his senses as far as what he is really worth to the Grand Princess for whom he has plotted and strategised all these years? Is his promise to protect XZ while she is in Lower Tang a sincere one, or yet another sibilant coercion to ensure she complies with his plan? We shall see.

 

While on the topic of XZ's parentage, it does give rise to some interesting questions. Though not explicitly mentioned, I believe BY left Tianqu for the service of Chuwei, due to his love for the Duchess of Chuwei. I now wonder if XZ's mysterious father is not BY after all. If indeed so, then she has no claim to the throne at all since she is not of the royal family, which nullifies the previous emperor's will to have her as his successor. Assuming this is true, how does this knowledge benefit BLNQ? It would seem that not even the Grand Princess is privy to this detail, so I have to wonder what BLNQ hopes to gain by holding XZ hostage, and how this would make any difference to the ever-changing political landscape.

 

We finally understand YTZ's true motivations - the loss of his right wing when he, inspired by Tianqu ideals, tried to persuade a tyrant king to change; then being framed for his murder over the last 15 years. Now we see why he would protect Tianqu at all costs from the path of destruction he believed LGC's rigid stance would cost them - his obsession to reclaim Qingzhou through the might of Tianqu and clear his name, meant that he could not afford for them to be destroyed before his plans are set in motion. His subsequent interest in Yuran stems from his belief that she is the next Goddess of War with the ability to awaken the Snow Crane warriors, and whom he initially hoped would be instrumental in helping him restore his name. It is then ironic that after all the trickery he employed to bring Yuran to Qingzhou, his crustiness would be melted by her, and he would repeatedly regret his decision to drag her back to their homeland. Their mutual affection for each other is moving to see as he slowly warms to her, while she in turn would throw herself between the abuse hurled at him, and refuse to let him lose his will to live after the cruel hacking of his remaining wing by the present king. We finally get a glimpse of the upright warrior he once was before bitterness twisted him and his choices, and hopefully we see his path to redemption again before he dies, now that he has sworn to protect Yuran. With the present king making an undisclosed offer to GYY, and her scoffing at the idea of Yuran being the next Goddess of War, would Yuran too lose her closest kin to the allure of power, and would YTZ be the one who would protect her to the death from GYY after all?

 

From what I read, the drama has deviated markedly from the source material. In the original, Yuran was caught between JY and LGC and ultimately chose someone else, even though author Jiang Nan confirmed that the one she loved was JY. The drama has made it clear from the start that in Yuran's eyes, there is only JY. As such, I am glad that even after he is lucid, LGC affirms and affirms again his love for XZ. I wish we knew when he started to love her - another poorly addressed part of the narrative - but for me, it is enough to know that their love is mutual, and it is so good to see LGC smile with true happiness for the first time in such a long time. Since the drama has deviated so much from the book anyway, dare I hope that we will see these 4 young people find happiness at the end of the turbulent times that they are caught in? 

 

I am concerned to see so much still left unaddressed with only 12 more episodes to go - the battle for supremacy in LGC's own homeland among his brothers, the mystery of his incarcerated grandfather, the resolution of Duke Baili's ever-increasing control, holding XZ as his pawn which in turn would ensure LGC comes back into the web he has laid out. There is also the still potential threat from Chenyue, assuming LBC escaped in a form of a crow after all, so there should be a final showdown between the two age-old bitter foes Tianqu and Chenyue. Pacing and cohesion remain valid issues as is inconsistency in character behaviour, which in turn makes me wonder if this would have been better addressed if we have had the originally intended 68 episodes. Ludicrous scenes are rife, like the ease with which JY gets caught every single time, despite the fact that he is such a seasoned warrior; how quickly conflicts and concerns between various parties are resolved, which feels highly unrealistic. LGC's reactions to blood during his amnesia state seem to vary - from immediate rampage, to being terrified, to almost but not quite killing YTZ, to not even blinking an eye when the transformed General Fei's blood flowed on the ground after being killed. And let's not get started on how quickly he heals after the brutal battle with LBC and the Chiya, to be able to ride off to Qingyang so soon after sustaining massive injuries.

 

Regardless of my gripes, I truly hope that the last 12 episodes will see an improvement in these areas, giving us a satisfactory journey to the end. And that we will get a happy ending for all the characters we have come to care about after all...

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