Change of scenery!
It is so obvious PD 孔笙 started out as a terrific cameraman, his masterful framing is everywhere.
XM is at the hospital, he would get another good spanking if he does not apologize to XiuXiu and ask her back home. Instead he spends the time getting in the way of JF. I do not care about JF still tagging along the tally of how many japs he killed for her hand. It is callous, there are better ways to say no to a kid who just almost got killed fixated on your taunt. As for XiuXiu, all we see is XX soothing a crying XiuXiu her heart broken witnessing how easy XM is distracted by JF, forgetting about her entirely:
XM apologizes saying he will never be mean to her again. In his half-assed apology, he spills he would get more beating and scolding if she does not go home. XiuXiu keeps saying XM did nothing wrong. XX tells XiuXiu XM ran away from home and almost got killed by japs, more than worried XiuXiu agrees under one condition: she wants to invite the nurses, her friends back home for a girls’ day.
Food has been disgusting last few days at the base. XJS has words for the lousy cook burning up the place. The cook is with Gu’s division, which XJS knows should have relocated and not here wasting army food supply.
Their luck of 3 lifetimes, the cook burning a hole in food expense is commander Gu who is only taking responsibility of starting the fire, not the cooking, Gu corrects XJS. He tells XJS the much feasible plan A (of thumping whining threatening in front of his superior) is no go because head of the battalion, is basically a dear Uncle to him who could, ‘press me to the ground and spank my behind! I am not that dumb.’ *Raise a hand if you want to see the scene. I see hands of HXX and BiL.*
Quite smart of you, does not look like you know nothing about etiquette. I will be so relieved if our XiangXiang marries you.
You can’t ignore the fact wherever you are, your path crosses with our XX, as fate plays a hand.
-It’s not fate, but enemies bound to meet on narrow road /冤家路窄
Who cares if the road is narrow? You need paths to cross to even find out.
-You and I are also enemies meeting on narrow road . Haven’t you stare at me long enough? Shoo!
Here here here, soot is all over your face, let me wipe it for you.
lol how can you not ship them. XJS calms Gu down saying he is here to help. He shows commander Gu the ropes how to start a fire. Growing up dirt poor, everyone knows how to take care of everything at a young age or you will not survive.
Be patient, stuff in just enough hay (chance meetings), once something gets going, add the twigs and fan it some more (keep mentioning the name of XX incessantly in his face)
Gu says he is a fast learner, if this works out (ie he can stay in the front line), he would not go after XJS for the ridiculing. hahaha I know I am being very silly but this is very hot a comehither look WH is throwing at a dude he is supposed to be annoyed with.
This does not feel right for XM, XiuXiu must be up to something he thinks, he begs XX to find out for him.
XiuXiu asks JF up to her room, she has a gift. It is a silver bracelet she is giving JF as her blessing for JF and XM….a wedding gift.
No wonder XM is so heartbroken, your words are quite cutting,
Awwww XiuXiu let me hug you!!! XM’s happiness is above her own, especially now that she knows he would put his life in danger for JF. XiuXiu tries to persuade JF to accept XM’s affection in her gentle voice of reason. XM loves JF so much he would put his life on the line, he is a very good boy who may be too mischievous now but will surely grow into a fine young man. JF is so kind and caring to all the patients, to her, why is she so heartless to XM? JF says bluntly, XM is just a friend, that is where she draws the line of the amount of care and concern she has for him, she can never be as good to XM as XiuXiu.
JF: Truths are seldom easy on the ear. I do not want to lie to you and XM.
JF tells XM XiuXiu has nothing but sweetest words praising him, but it is impossible between them. XM blames XiuXiu for stirring up trouble. Sis hears XM agitated and banging his door shut upstairs, XX brushes it off as their usual bickering.
XM is forced to help XiuXiu cleaning up. XiuXiu tells him to let her do all the chores, she likes to do it for him. What is so wrong to be good to you?! She asks him rhetorically. It is very wrong according to XM. He gives XiuXiu an earful he doesn’t want any of this, for XiuXiu messing things up with JF, breaking her to tears. Just by cooing he will not ignore her, he loves her cooking, XiuXiu feels better right away. Poor thing. What is so winning with XiuXiu for me is, while she pines for XM, she has a very sensible clarity of how matters of the heart works. She is a model of selflessness groomed by the tradition gender role where she puts duty and family above herself. She will love and care about XM without obstructing his freedom of his affection unrequitedly. She would cry her tears and move on right away how better she can care about him. The real reason she moves out is not because she is mad, she does not want to cause XM more tension with the family and it is getting unbearable for her loving him and he keeps hurting her in rebellion, therefore she did not waver with his apology but when hearing he risked his life for JF, got spanked because of her not coming home, she goes along solely for him. She recognises she is not returned the love, but it does not spun into jealousy or any thoughts of self-serving desires. She loves him by taking good care of him, doing everything with his happiness, wellbeing her priority and truly never asking for anything back. It takes bravery to give when he does not even want to receive. I may not be able to do what she does, but i can see fully this is a kind of greatest love.
XiaoQiu is here doing a food run from XiangTan. Everything is in shortage in CS they need the aid, things are getting tense. XQ is persuading the family to move back to XiangTan per Grandpapa’s orders again. Grandmama is not budging, if her old bones can survive the fire and all the turmoils, nothing will scathe her. She is staying put.
XiangJun makes a sensible suggestion: take XX and XM back to XiangTan. Dad agrees. Who knows what trouble will XM get into next?! He won’t be as lucky with a savior GCM at the nick of time next time. It is safer in the countryside. XX has not been herself, in a dour mood since the fire with what happened to her fiance Sheng and the scare with BiL, a change of scenery may be good for her.
Sis discusses the matter with XX. XX is hesitant, she promises BiL she will take good care of the family when he is gone. (my bet is on a part of her does not want to leave CS because of a certain someone she is not admitting nor saying) XJ tells XX she is worried about them, XX has been withdrawn, she fishes for what is going on in the romance front with XM (and XX).
Who is the one taking both of you out having fun?
Now that you have grown up, both of you will not even tell Sis who is on your mind.’
After swearing for a second she will never tell, it is XM’s privacy, XX spills the beans of poor XM’s unrequited love for JF in one breath. Sis urges XX to think for XM, he could get himself into more trouble being irrational, trying to get his way with JF in ChangSha. For his good, leave CS with XM and keep an eye on him.
The family sees them off, every one of them have longing words for the twins nagging them to be safe . Mom urges XM to control his hot temper, it will take time getting use to the rural way of life. Grandmama advises them the proper decorum, they need to kneel to the ancestors first thing arriving at the estate. Dad smiles on as XiuXiu goes on and on about the dangers XM has to beware in the countryside. XX comforts XiuXiu she would keep a close eye on XM’s safety for her. Last but not least Dad urges XM to work on his studies.
They properly pay respect, bowing and kneeling to the Hu ancestors in the spirit tablets hall. Grandpapa asks for their ancestors’ blessing: keep XM from bodily harm, praying XX will have a great marriage ahead of her.
XiangShui and XM are hands all over each other, the cousins are great playmates. XX brings nice pastries for XiangShui, too bad CS is in ruins, or else she would have brought along all the goodies. We know she would!
XiangShui tries to express his condolences for XX losing her fiance in the fire by telling her not to worry, Hu family can support her for life. The death of the nice boy is hitting XX hard.
Doing one of their favorite things, running like wild children in the fields, XX fells into a ditch, while they are caught up saving XX, Grandmama 3 (sister in law of Grandmama) appears out of nowhere jumping and trying to kiss XM, she is clearly insane. Her grandson XiangPing rushes here to control the situation, but instead looks on the hilarious scene laughing his behind off.
XiangPing is always taunting for a fight with XM, it must not be the first day.
The maid of Grandmama3 brings them new change of clothes. She tells them Grandmama3 is mentally ill after all her sons are dead. Grandpapa will not allow anyone to enlist, not even practicing with a wooden rifle is allowed. XiangPing is annoyed with the twins because with the excitement of their arrival, the young boys in the village stop attending XP’s martial training camp. XM perks up, he wants to go to the training too.
Why do all the boys want to fight in the war?
XiangShui tells them to hurry and get ready for dinner, if they are late, Grandpapa will punish him. Grandpapa is biased with the twins because they are considered good luck charms, twins have brought prosperity for a number of decades, a few generations at least for the family in the past.
XM asks the sweet maid with a braid her name. She is JingYan. XX looks on as XM hits on JingYan, he wants to give her a bottle of perfume for her service of laundering their clothes, XiangShui thought XM is giving him to JingYan hahaha his name is homophonic to perfume.
How fast is your change of heart!?! She pokes at XM as if he has forgotten about JF already.
Mayhem at the army kitchen. GCM is chasing the other cooks around with a cleaver in hand, commanding them to give him the raw ingredients, no, he is not chopping them alive for meat…I guess. Why are you disobeying my orders! I am your commander!!!!!!*RAWR*
I have learned how to start a fire, how would I not know how to cook?
The cooks says it as is, what he is doing is not starting a fire, more like burning money. Why waste his talent here, go back to his station and be his commander. GCM shouts he would rather be a cook in front line than a useless commander. The cook still refuses to give him a spec of food, they have a ration, a catty wasted is bowls less of rice for the soldiers in line of fire. GCM hollers he would pay for the food burned. It is quite funny seeing GCM losing his marbles being like a whining child denied his toys, desperate to just stay near the battle front, but the scene was about to push a bit long and tedious for me…just at the perfect moment GCM stops his shenanigans.
A signal summoning the soldiers to arms is heard. XJS is off to battle and he does not miss waving a bragging goodbye at commander GCM aka the horrible cook that can’t even cook.
Nope, he is transferred to XiangTan as the same old commander of delivering supplies. (lolz you are the only one who can not guess that correct GCM!) All their belongings have already been sent off. There is no way out of the assignment.
Meanwhile in XiangTan, XX and XM is trying to sweet talk Grandpapa out of punishing XiangShui for their own mischief, falling into the ditch. Grandpapa tells them his only concern is the result, he does not care about the cause. You are guilty of murder even if someone forces you to kill.
It is not worth a thing compared to your life!
…There are landmines near the river banks, if you step on them, your lives will be over!
Grandpapa, they are just playing wargames! It is for fun!
Fun!? Is it fun losing your life?!
The twins are wandering around the village when they catch XiangPing and a bunch of youngsters sneaking into the woods. They follow their track, finding out their secret meeting place in a hidden cave on a slope. I smell trouble!
It is such a welcomed reprieve in XiangTan seeing XX and XM being the 16 year old kids they are, playing with their cousins/childhood playmates, frolicking in the field, churning out one mischief every day. It also gets their guard down, free of care…XX is supposed to keep XM out of trouble, but she is also having too much fun herself to remember to be the grown up of the twins. While the writing is superb in subtle nuances of war is worsening its grip on normal folks, our tenacious ordinary citizens is settling in and making the most out of living in a new normalcy.