Continuing my episode by episode Cliff Notes on Zhang Jizhong’s 2009 adaptation of Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber. This post contains episodes 21-40, or the second half of the series. To read my notes (not a reveiw) of the first half check out this post here.
Episode 21 Episode 20 ended in a cliffhanger with WuJi having just learned and mastered the new sword technique from Zhang Sanfeng (Tai Ji Sword) and has a duel with Eight-Armed Swordsman (who used to be leader of the Beggar Clan before defecting to the imperial court). WuJi defeats him easily with the new sword technique and leaves with her entourage. WuJi chases after her to get the medicine needed to cure his two Uncles from their partial paralysis. Two old men block his path and perform the Xuan Ming Divine Palm technique. The same technique that poisoned WuJi way back in episode seven. Later he steals some medicine from Zhao Min which he believes to be the Black Jade Ointment but was infact a poison which he administers to his two Uncles Yu DaiYan and Yin LiTing. WuJi later confronts Zhao Min for the real Black Jade Ointment and she makes him promise two do three things for her, which she will ask at a later date. WuJi accepts as long as it isn’t anything objectionable and against the code of chivalry.
Yang Buhui tells WuJi her plans to stay with Yin LiTing for the rest of her life. She has fallen in love with him and their union (despite her being half his age) would write the wrongs of her father (Yang Xiao). WuJi informs Yang Xiao himself about the union and he agrees.
WuJi has a meeting with the entire Ming Cult and after a bit of discussion it’s agreed they will go out and find all the splintered factions of the Ming Cult and unite them.
This episode had a lot going on and I’m glad for the note taking!
Episode 22 Chang Yuchun (Episode 8) arrives and is reunited with a now grown WuJi. Chang Yuchun spent the last ten years robbing the Imperial Government to help the poor. Xu Da and Zhu Yuanzhang, minor leaders in the Ming Cult, accompanied Chang Yuchun to the gathering. While trying to make it to the first gathering Xu Da and Zhu Yuanzhang had disguised themselves as wagoneers and got conscripted by the imperial army. They were able to learn that Zhao Min is responsible for the disappearance of Shaolin, Emei Sect, amongst others in the pugilist world. Xu Da and Zhu Yuanzhang are quite cruel. In order to make sure the imperials didn’t think they escaped they captured mule traders, switched clothes with them then killed them and disfigured their faces then they killed all of the wagoneers they traveled with.
With the majority of the cult now assembled WuJi unveils the Ming Cults new edicts. Never harm the Innocent, never join the imperial government, uphold goodness (or something to that measure). That night WuJi, Wei Yixiao (Blue Winged Bat King), and Yang Xiao (Bright Left Messenger) do a reconnaissance of Zhao Min’s prison where she is keeping the exponents of the pugilist world. She gives them two options, One is to join the imperials, the second is to win a fight and they can leave. By watching them fight she is able to increase her own martial knowledge.
She brings out Zhou Zhiruo and asks why Abbess Miejue refuses to join or fight and continues to meditate in her cell. Zhou Zhiruo claims not to know and that if her Sifu refuses then so must she. When Zhao Min threatens to disfigure her WuJi jumps down to protect her. I few harsh words are exchanged and WuJi leaves, but not before Wei Yixiao promises to inflict threefold any damage done to Zhou Zhiruo unto Zhao Min.
The next morning Reverend Ku, who has been traveling with Zhao Min, lures WuJi out of the Inn he is staying at and reveals himself as Fan Yao, the Bright Right Messenger, who disfigured himself and was disguised as a mute monk called Kutoutuo so that he could infiltrate Chaghan Temür’s army and work as a spy for the Ming Cult. Reverend Ku reveals that Zhao Min is actually Princess Shao Min and her father is none other than Prince Ruyang Cha’ghan Temur. He has two children who pretend and dress up as Han. The son is Koke Temur and he goes by the Han name Wang Baobao.
Together the four conceive a plan to steal the antidote from Lu Zhangke and He Biweng. Xuan Ming Elders as they are called and responsible for inflicting the Xuan Ming Divine Palm on WuJi as a child. The trick works and the get the antidote.
Another episode just crammed with plots and information!
Episode 23 Just when Lu Zhangke is about to give Reverend Ku the antidote soldiers show up looking for the concubine. Reverend Ku convinces Lu Zhangke to hide her at the top of the Pagoda. On their way they run into Zhao Min coming out of the Wan’an Pagoda between Lu Zhangke and Reverend Ku’s silent monk act they convince her that the bundle they are carrying is Reverend Ku’s bedding as he was going to stay at the Pagoda to protect it (this is where they are keeping the pugilist prisoners). Zhao Min requests that Reverend Ku comes with her as an escort as she meets with WuJi. Presumably because she still thinks he is a mute and would not talk about their visit. Meanwhile Lu Zhangke tells Abbess Miejue that he will get her a short sword to kill herself. She asks for a moment to be with her disciple Zhou Zhiruo, she then whispers something in her ear.
At the restaurant WuJi tells Zhao Min that he will overthrow the corrupt government and he will protect the common people. Zhao Min replies that they are destined to become enemies. Back at the prison Zhou Zhiruo swears to fulfill Abbess Miejue’s last request. Then the Abbess gives Zhou Zhiruo the iron ring which is a token of leadership for the Emei Sect. Zhou Zhiruo becomes the fourth generation leader of the Emei Sect.
Reverend Ku kills concubine Han and blocks Lu Zhangke’s acupressure points. He then gives the antidote to Wudang and Emei Sect who all suspect it’s poison. Zhao Min makes her first of three requests. For WuJi to take her to the Dragon Sabre. They both leave when they hear about trouble at the Wan’an Pagoda. Wang Baobao (Zhao Min’s brother) set fire to the Pagoda to force Reverend Ku out. WuJi steps in and captures Wang Baobao and tells them to let everyone go. Before a decision can be made a soldier appears that the palace is on fire and both of Prince Ruyang Cha’ghan Temur’s children leave to save their father. The episode ends with WuJi helping those trapped out of the pagoda.
I’d like to say how awful EVERYONE treated the poor concubine Han!
Episode 24 WuJi saves everyone except Abbess Miejue and Zhou Zhiruo. The Abbess insists on staying in the Pagoda. When she sees WuJi trying to save Zhou Zhiruo she attacks WuJi, jumps out of the pagoda and uses her own body to soften the fall for Zhou Zhiruo. Her own hatred and prejudice killed her. Everyone escape together but the Emei Sect. I’ve forgotten to note that Song Qingshu son of Wuji’s Uncle, Song Yuanqiao first disciple of Wudan. Song Qingshu has a major crush on Zhou Zhiruo and his jealous for WuJi is starting to turn into hatred and mistrust.
WuJi makes preparations to leave for Fire Ice Island, he borrows the Heaven Sword to remove the chains from Xiaozhao. They then go investigate reports of a disturbance by the Emei Sect to find Ding Minjun challange Zhou Zhiruo’s right to lead the Emei Sect. Zhao Min tells WuJi that if he calls her Big Sister she will fix the problem for Zhou Zhiruo but before she gets the chance Golden Flower Granny and her apprentice Zhu’er comes down and interrupts everyone. She wishes a fight with the Abbess and upon hearing that she is dead she gets upset. Ding Minjun insults Granny and she ends up beating them all up. Before leaving she offers Zhou Zhiruo a poison pill, if Zhou Zhiruo swallows it then Golden Flower Granny will save them all. She then kidnaps Zhou Zhiruo and plans on taking her to Divine Serpent Island.
Episode 25 Zhou Zhiruo takes the poison pill then gets abducted by Golden Flower Granny and her apprentice Zhu’er. Zhao Min, knowing that Granny will try to take a boat, orders no ships for 50 nautical miles forcing Granny, Zhu’er, and Zhou Zhiruo to take their boat to Divine Serpent Island. Disguising themselves as part of the crew Zhao Min, Xiaozhao, and WuJi are able to keep an eye on Golden Flower Granny and her apprentice Zhu’er, and Zhou Zhiruo. Upon arriving on Divine Serpent Island a group of Beggar Clan have surrounded WuJi’s Godfather Xie Xun “Golden Haired Lion King” WuJi sees this from the boat and rushes to be with him only to have Zhao Min to have him wait, watch, and learn. Golden Flower Granny apparently had hidden Xie Xun on Divine Serpent Island which is why he is no longer on Icy Fire Island. WuJi eventually joins in the battle defeating all opponents but give a fake name to everyone. After the battle Zhu’er confesses her love for WuJi ever since he bit her on the hand way back in episode 8 as a child. Upon hearing this Zhao Min gets so jealous she bites WuJi on the hand. That night WuJi follows Golden Flower Granny alone as she tries to get the Dragon Sabre away from Xie Xun who she addresses as “Third Brother”.
Episode 26 During the exchange of words Zhu’er tells Golden Haired Lion King that WuJi fell off a cliff and died as a child (episode 11). Learning of WuJi’s death Xie Xun is distraught and he flat out refuses to give up the Dragon Sabre leading to a fight between Xie Xun and Granny. Granny had laid traps of caltrops as she predicted the meeting would end in a fight. Zhu’er, in her love for WuJi, warns WuJi’s Godfather of the trap. Granny is angry and strikes her pupil. After a few more rounds of battle with Xie Xun, Golden Flower Granny throws darts at Zhu’er, not being able to watch any longer WuJi deflects as many as he can saving Zhu’er although she is still struck by one out of the dozen flying projectiles. Now enter the The Wind, Cloud and Moon Three Messengers of the Persian Ming Cult (where the Chinese Ming Cult derives from), they are the keepers of the Sacred Flame Tokens. They are after Golden Flower Granny as they suspect her of being a defector of the Persian Ming Cult. She briefly fights them but is defeated. The Three Messengers tell Xie Xun, as a member of The Four Guardian Kings (as is Granny), to chop off her head but he refuses. WuJi needs to step in and battle the three but they prove to be very skilled and Zhao Min intercedes at the last minute to help WuJi to defeat them but she suffers a major internal injury.
They go back the the docks only to find the Persian Cult has taken over the docks with dozens of ships. WuJi orders everyone (Xie Xun, Zhu’er, and Zhao Min) to go to Xie Xun’s hidden hut and he goes to save Zhou Zhiruo (now leader of the Emei Sect) and Xiaozhao (the girl who pretends to be a servant but is Granny’s real daughter). Instead of rescuing them Wuji runs into the pair as Xiaozhao had already rescued Zhou Zhiruo. They all return to the hidden hut. The rest of the episode is about how all four girls are in love with WuJi and WuJi tells his Godfather who he really is.
Episode 27 Xie Xum reveals to everyone that Golden Flower Granny, as she calls herself, is actually Daiqisi the head of The Four Guardian Kings with Xie Xun, Yin Tianzheng “White Brows Eagle King” (and WuJi’s maternal Grandfather), and Wei Yixiao “Blue Winged Bat King”. Daiqisi is half persian half chinese and is one of the three “Sacred Maidens” of the Persian Ming Cult. She was sent to the Chinese Ming Cult to strengthen ties. She vowed never to marry but ended up falling in love with Han Qianye a man with whom she had a duel with and who has a vengence vow with the leader of the Ming Cult. Then hearing a commotion at the docks they all go to investigate what was happening only to get into a fight with the Persian Ming Cult. WuJi battles the Sacred Messengers again and notices their Sacred Tokens has Martial Knowledge placed on it and learns it immediately allowing him to defeat them. WuJi takes their “Equality Guardian King” hostage and negotiates the release of Daiqisi “Golden Flower Granny” and a way off the island. Daiqisi reveals herself then as the sacred Maiden of the Ming Cult and the Persians all bow to her. She then acknowledges Xiaozhao as her daughter. WuJi now is angry that every woman he has trusted has deceived him.
Episode 28 Once alone the first thing Daiqisi asks her daughter Xiaozhao is if she managed to retrieve the Manual of the Great Universe Shift, the top most skill in the Ming Cult. Apparently the Persian branch lost their manual a long time ago and the Chinese branch has the only surviving copy. This is how Xiaozhao happened to be in the service of Yang Xiao (the Bright Left Messenger) and his daughter Yang Buhui. Yang Xiao had Xiaozhao clasped in chains as he never trusted her intentions. He was right, she was a spy. Xiaozhao reveals she found the manual with WuJi but that she had read it and knows it. In a ceremony that night Xiaozhao is declared the new Sacred Maiden of the Persian Ming Cult. There is a very sad parting as Xiaozhao takes up her role as leader of the Persian Ming Cult, a position she only accepted to save the life of WuJi.
With Xiaozhao they now focus on saving the life of Zhu’er. WuJi and Zhao Min go to pick herb but Zhou Zhiruo refuses to go if Zhao Min does and stays with Xie Xun. Tensions rise between Zhao Min and Zhou Zhiruo as WuJi worries about the health of Zhu’er. The next morning WuJi and Xie Xun wake up dizzy and unwell. They find Zhu’er laying by the beach, her face cut up muttering “It’s Her” and they find Zhou Zhiruo near by passed out. Then Xie Xun cries out, “Where is my Sabre!” Zhou Zhiruo had a part of her head shaved and WuJi suspects Zhao Min who at this point is missing. WuJi promises Zhu’er that he will marry her. She then dies. WuJi vows to capture Zhao Min. Zhao Min wakes up on a beach by herself and appears to have also been drugged. The next we see Zhou Zhiruo gets WuJi to take a vow of vengeance against Zhao Min while Xie Xun tries to play matchmaker and get those two married.
Episode 29 The Beggar Clan and Cheng Kun find out that Mo ShengGu and Song QingShu of Wudang sect are looking for WuJi. Cheng Kun (the man that killed Xie Xun’s family and wants the destruction of the Ming Sect) knows that Song QingShu has a crush on Zhou Zhiruo and sets up a plan to manipulate him. That night Mo ShengGu caught Song QingShu peeping on members of the Emei Sect and in attempt to bring him back to Wudang Song QingShu (with interference by Chen Youliang) ends up killing his Uncle Mo ShengGu. Now Song QingShu will have to do what Chen Youliang wants if he wants to get out of being punished for the murder.
Back on the island Zhang WuJi, Xie Xun and Zhou ZhiRuo are rescued by a Mongolian Ship. They were sent by Zhou Min. Fearing a trap WuJi forces the Captain to change course. When they reach their destination Xie Xun tells WuJi to scout out the shore to make sure it is safe. While he does this Xie Xun and Zhou ZhiRuo murder everyone on the boat to make sure they are not found. WuJi seems very uncomfortable with this. Xie Xun then orders the bodies searched for money and then have the ship burned. They then disguise themselves as beggars and head towards the nearest town. Reaching the same town that Mo ShengGu and Song QingShu had stayed in the night before they happen to an Inn that is hosting a Beggar Clan meeting. WuJi is very apprehensive as he does not know if the Beggar Clan was actually responsible for the actions that took place on Divine Serpent Island. They rent a room at the Inn and as WuJi goes out to gather information Cheng Kun and his pupil Chen Youliang (who is a spy in the Beggar Clan, I think it was Episode 11) sees WuJi and knows he Xie Xun is on his own.
Episode 30 WuJi goes to spy on the Beggar Clan meeting, he learns that Song QingShu was joining the Beggars Clan. He also saw that the Beggars Clan had captured Han Lin’er (Rocky Hou) who was one of the rebellion leaders from Ming Cult. Then Zhao Min disguised as Zhang WuJi comes to save Han Lin’er and she brings the Xuanming Elders (Lu Zhangke who dresses in white, and He Biweng who dresses in black) with her. It appears (to me) that Zhao Min is trying to help WuJi. Everything breaks out in a fight and WuJi secretly uses Tai Ji Fist to keep Zhao Min safe and to confuse the Beggar Clan. WuJi then cuts open the side of a giant drum and climbs in, just as he is going to close it Zhao Min climbs in with him. They overhear Chen Youliang discuss his plan for dealing with Wudang. They plan of having Song QingShu use the beggars clans Five Poison Delusional Powder to poison the students and elders of Wudang. Then the Beggar clan will take them hostage to blackmail Wuji.
After hearing the plan they leave the drum and Wuji almost kills Zhao Min but stops short. He informs her of his vow to kill her and how he will never forgiver her for killing Zhu’er and injuring Zhou ZhiRuo. Zhao Min insists WuJi takes her to see Zhou ZhiRuo and Xie Xun and to prove her innocence.
Back at the inn Chen Youliang ambushes Zhou ZhiRuo and captures her, he is with Cheng Kun who captures Xie Xun and they take them away. In the town just down the street from the Inn Wuji is begging Zhao Min not to see his Godfather. While doing this Cheng Kun spots them. He waits for them to go into the inn before moving his prisoners out of town. After some dialogue Wuji gets out of his beggar disguise and Zhao Min pays the inn keeper to find out that a group of beggars took Zhou ZhiRuo and Xie Xun. Zhao Min had secured two fast horses while Wuji had cleaned up and they take off looking for his Godfather and Ms. Zhou. After a days ride they rest in a cave only to have another group of travelers have the same idea. Worried Wuji and Zhao Min retreat further into the cave. Turns out the new visitors are Wuji’s Uncles from Wudang.
Episode 31 Having done a ‘thorough search’ the members of Wudang acertain that no one is in the cave they start to talk among themselves. Wuji now realizing it’s his Uncles wants to greet them but Zhao Min says it’s only the two of them alone in the cave, how could they explain that. So to not risk embarassment they will wait for Fourth and Sixth Brother to leave (Zhang Songxi, and Yin Liting). They discuss Mo Shenggu and Song Qingshu and how they have gone missing. They talk how Mo Shenggu went to the coast to get clues on Wuji’s whereabouts. Mo Shenggu left an eight word message at an Inn for his brothers “Changes in our Sect, requires urgent action.” WuJi and Ms. Zhao move further back into the cave and discover the body of Mo Shenggu. How can Wuji reveal himself now without implicating himself in a murder he did not commit? WuJi calls out “Seventh Uncle” outloud and the other members of Wudang hear it and go to investigate.
Zhao Min starts to throw Mud Bombs to distract the Wudang members away from Wuji. Wuji then takes the body of Mo Shenggu out of the cave. While fighting the four Wudang members Zhao Min gets pushed off of a cliff. Wuji only manages to get the body to the front entrance and tries to cover it up with straw but one of the members notices a shoe sticking out. Song YuanQiao discovers the body of his seventh brother. The remaining Seven Heroes decide to lay an ambush for Ms. Zhao’s men at the cave. Wuji finds the body of Ms. Zhao at the foot of the cliff. He uses his internal energy to heal Zhao Min.Before they climb to the top Zhao Min tells Wuji to put on a face mask so his Uncles won’t recognize him. The four remaining heroes are waiting in ambush when they reach the top. Wuji ends up fighting his Uncles and his mask comes off revealing himself. They all cry when they see it is Wuji and blame him for killing the Seventh Hero of Wudang. Then Song Qingshu comes racing down on a road below them. Wuji uses a rock to stop his horse. Chasing Song Qingshu is Chen Youliang and Chief Shi Huolong (chief of the Beggar Clan). Apparently Song Qingshu is trying to escape as he doesn’t want to poison Wudang. The four remaining heroes hear his confession including Song Yuanqiao (Song Qingshu’s father). Words are spoken and Chen Youliang shows Song Qingshu the leadership ring of the Emei. Last seen on Zhou ZhiRuo’s finger. Song Yuanqiao agrees to go along with the Beggar Clan’s plan.
Wuji unblocks his Uncles Acupressure points. everyone apologies to each other (Except to Zhao Min). The Wudang Heroes to go Mount Wudang while Wuji and Zhao Min go to get Zhou ZhiRuo and Xie Xun away from the Beggar Clan in Lulong. They stay at an inn and Wuji writes her a letter that he is going ahead without her and she should let her injuries heal. Wuji makes it to Lilong in the morning and finds where his Godfather is by the afternoon but Xie Xun has already fought his way out. Wuji recaptures Zhou XhiRuo after a brief fight with the Beggar Clan and Song Qingshu. Then the head of the Beggar Clan comes out to greet him.
Episode 32 After a quick exchange of words Wuji fights with the Beggar Clan but the fight (which he wins) is interrupted by the Yellow Dress Maiden and an entourage of women. One of the young girls is holding the Jade Dog Beating Stick (the symbol of the Beggar Clan) and it is revealed that the young girl is Shi Hongshi, daughter to Shi Huolong (Chief of the Beggar Clan) the current person posing as Shi Huolong is an impostor placed by Chen Youliang. Now the Beggar Clan is looking for Chen Youliang (who left during the commotion) and his sifu Cheng Kun.
While Wuji, Zhou ZhiRuo, and Han Lin’er travel to find Xie Xun, Zhao Min follows and overhears Wuji tell ‘sweet nothings’ to Zhou ZhiRuo. She races off in anger.
Episode 33 Zhou ZhiRuo reveals the oath she swore to the late Abbess Miejue (episode 23). She swore never to fall in love with Wuji, never to marry him and if she does then the Abbess will haunt her for the rest of her days, her sons will always be slaves and her daughters prostitutes. They stop in the town of DaDu where Zhang Wuji, on a stroll through town stopped at an inn where he previously had meals and drinks with Zhao Min. Wuji is surprised to see Zhao Min. Unknown to Wuji is that Zhou ZhiRuo had followed him and saw the two together. She leaves in a jealous rage. Wuji admits his engagement to Zhou ZhiRuo and Zhao Min admits how much the news hurts her. She bites Wuji on the arm again before leaving. Zhou ZhiRuo returns to Emei Sect on her own and Wuji and Han Lin’er return to regroup with the Ming Cult. There all the senior Elders of both the Ming Cult and Wudang plan to hasten the wedding between Wuji and Zhou ZhiRuo not only to strengthen ties but to make sure Wuji does not marry Zhao Min.
Zhao Min continues to look for Xie Xun for Wuji and finds out that Cheng Kun and Chen Youliang have been holding him at Shaolin. Zhang Wuji seeks advice from Fan Yao “Bright Right Messenger” who had disguised himself as a mute monk Kutoutuo. Fan Yao has known Zhao Min since she was a baby. Fan Yao says even though they love each other very much it may not be heavens will for them to be together.
Wuji, along with his Grandfather, Yin TianZheng, and Zhang SongXi go to Mt. Emei to see Zhou ZhiRuo who has secretly been practicing some secret Kung Fu and has become much better than before. Zhou ZhiRuo agrees to meet with Wuji alone.
Episode 34 It’s the day of the wedding of Zhang Wuji and Zhou ZhiRuo. After the first bow of the ceremony Zhao Min interrupts and tells Wuji she has his second task which is not to marry Zhou ZhiRuo. Wuji refuses, so Zhao Min shows Wuji something and he agrees to not marry Zhou ZhiRuo. Understandably Zhou ZhiRuo goes berserk and her hand grows huge nails and she attacks Zhao Min with some kind of poison technique. Wuji stops her and says he will keep his promise but the wedding will have to be postponed. Zhou ZhiRuo tells him if he leaves then he is never to return. Wuji apologies, says he owes a great dept to his Godfather and chases after Zhao Min. Back at the wedding Zhou ZhiRuo swears to get vengeance for the humiliation dealt to her and flies off.
Wuji has to suck the poison out of Zhao Min. She asks him how does a member of an Orthodox sect know such an Unorthodox technique. Wuji is unsure. Wuji asked where his Godfather is and Zhao Min refuses to tell him. While traveling they run into the Xuanming Elders and a small host of soldiers who have orders to bring the Princess back to his Highness. She refuses and Wuji fights the soldiers. The Soldiers know a style of martial arts where they can combine their internal energies so no matter how strong Wuji is he can not fend off such an attack. Then the Xuanming Elders attack while Wuji is busy with the soldiers and he is wounded. Zhao Min stops them form pressing on and said she has married Wuji and the only way she is returning is as a corpse.
While recovering from the attack Zhao Min reveals that Xie Xun is in Shaolin and the thing she showed him at the wedding was a lock of his Godfather’s hair. Back at Shaolin Chen Youliang tells Cheng Kun that they now have a thousand men around the monastery. Once Cheng Kun gives the word they will attack the monastery. Zhao Min and Wuji rest at an old temple they overhear two men talking about a Dragon Boat Lion Slaying event at Shaolin.
Episode 35 Zhou Zhiruo, having injured Song Qingshu while practicing her Nine Yin White Bone Claws, brings him to Emei Sect temple. She agrees to go to Shaolin for the Lion Slaying event. Wuji and Zhao Min have recovered their internal energies and plan to head to Shaolin. They stay at a farmers house close by to the Monastery, a few days latter they find out that the farmers have been practising a form of martial arts specifically to take down Xie Xun as he killed their son. Most of this episode is Wuji and Zhao Min becoming closer as a couple and them trying to infiltrate Shaolin. Wuji does end up overhearing Cheng Kun speaking with the Shaolin Abbot Kong Wen where he discredits Wuji saying he is working with Zhao Min to overthrow the pugilist world. At Mt. Emie, Zhou Zhiruo announces Song Qingshu as her husband and later has him join the Emei Sect. Wuji follows Cheng Kun and discovers where Xie Xun is being kept. His Godfather begs to be left alone so he can atone for his sins but Wuji will not hear of it. He fights the Three Elders of the Bodhidharma Hall but is unable to beat their ‘Vajra Evil Subduing Ring’ technique.
Episode 36 Wuji did however inform the three elders of the true nature of Cheng Kun and they agree that it makes more sense than how everyone else perceives it. Wuji along with the rest of the Ming Cult have an audience with Shaolin and ask for the release of Xie Xun. They refuse, however if they can beat the Three Elders and their ‘Vajra Evil Subduing Ring’ technique then they can take Xie Xun with them. Wuji along with Yang Xiao ‘the Bright Left Messenger’ and Wuji’s grandfather Yin Tianzheng ‘White Brows Eagle King’ take on the three Elders. It’s unfortunate but they do not win and the strain eventually kills Yin Tianzheng.
The day of the festival Chen YouLiang is holding Abbot Kong Wen hostage while Cheng Kun is in disguise to help great the gathering of great heroes to witness the death of Xie Xun ‘Golden Haired Lion King’. At the end of the episode Beggar Clan arrives.
Episode 37 Beggar Clan pledge to help Ming Cult in any way to get vengeance on Cheng Kun. Just when the elder Bowl Leader is about to reveal Chen Kun as the man responsible for killing Chief Shi he is killed by Cheng Kun’s hidden weapons. Another Beggar Clan comes forth to reveal the name and just before Cheng Kun can kill him another beggar jumps in front of the weapon and dies. Cheng Kun places the hidden weapon upon another monk and that monk gets beaten by the beggars. Emei Sect then arrives and Zhou Zhiruo is cold towards Wuji then introduces her husband, who is Song Qingshu in disguise. There are a few minor skirmishes and arguments then Situ Qianzhong, a drunken boxer, is killed by Emie Sects senior student Jingjia. Everyone sees the unorthodox skill ‘Nine Yin White Bone Claws’. Song Qingshu’s identity is revealed, A Beggar Clan leader wants revenge for Song Qingshu spying on them and challenges him. Song Qingshu uses the Nine Yin White Bone Claws killing him. Yu LianZhou of Wudang steps up to fight Song Qingshu ‘The Traitor’ as he called him. Although injured badly Yu LianZhou severely cripples Song Qingshu with the ‘Tai Ji Fist’. Then Zhou Zhiruo attacks Yu LianZhou, and Yin LiTing joins in. Before Zhou Zhiruo can cause any grievous injury Wuji breaks up the fight. A short match ensues and Zhou Zhiruo stops her killing blow on Wuji when she sees the scar on his chest when she stabbed him earlier in the season.
Episode 38 – 40 Things come to a head and Wuji goes to war against Zhao Min’s father the Prince RuYang. Wuji promises to do one thing for Zhou Zhiruo which she will only ask a Wuji’s wedding day. Xie Xun becomes a monk, pretty much everything gets wrapped up quickly and somewhat disappointingly at the end. the battle was not as grand as those seen in the other two adaptations by Zhang JiZhong. Zhu’er happens to be still alive? I found these last three episodes to be pushed and quickly produced compared to the other 37 episodes.
Overall thoughts: Many reviews say this is a faithful adaption when compared to the books but is not the best TV adaptation in terms of acting and casting. I know nothing about that as Zhang JiZhong The Legend of the Condor Heroes(2003) and The Return of the Condor Heroes (2006) are the only adaptations I have ever seen. I found the series exciting, entertaining, and very enjoyable. I liked Andy An as Zhao Min, Liu Jing as Zhou Zhiruo was okay, Deng Chao as Zhang Wuji reminding me very much of Guo Jing (well maybe not that gullible) from the the first series in the trilogy. Overall I’ve very glad that I watched it!
Episode Synopsis which reads better than my choppy notes.
List of Characters from the book