Nirvana in Fire 琅琊榜 - Episode 28 (Recap)

This drama has an uncanny ability to shift from unfinished issues to new issues, always leaving us uncertain and worrying about things such as THE BOOK. In this episode, Prince Jing gets elevated to Noble Prince, but that's really just the beginning of a new batch of troubles. In fact, these troubles just seem to pile up, higher and higher. 
JoAnne: NiF seems to stand for Never is Finished, when it comes to the list of worries.
Eleanor: Seriously. It should be called the Langya List of Worries really. And boy does Jingyan look hot when he studies. I do love a man who studies well. 
A shame he's not wearing glasses!

Episode 28

Prince Jing notices how reluctant his mother is to part with the book. She asks whether the annotations have been done by this Mr. Su he keeps speaking of? When he agrees, she adds that his man must be an open minded person - and hardly a manpulative, plotting strategist, like he mentioned. She hopes that her son will have someone loyal and competent by his side for his difficult quest - someone like Su. And she urges Prince Jing to treat this man particularly well.
Gee, it's almost as if she... knows something. Hmmm.
Consort Jing. Better than Sherlock. 
Only ... it's not the first time she says this. Hmmmm... Prince Jing wonders, she claims it's because she's just old. But she has prepared two boxes of desserts, one for him - and one for Su. The result of her curious behavior is this: Jingyan keeps the book instead of giving it back to Mei Changsu. At least for a while longer.
How rude! Meng is waiting for his turn!
Kakashi, have I mentioned lately how much I love you with all these beautiful Jingyan screencaps and gifs? 
Fei Liu very much enjoys Consort Jing's sweets (aka eating all of them) while Commander Meng stutters when he tells Mei Changsu that Consort Jing has his book. Oh dear ... Mei Changsu worries...
Perhaps he knows that Jing's Mom's the best one at guessing secrets in that family...  
Fei Liu. How does he eat so much and still look so scrawny? I guess it's that he's a teenage boy. 
While Prince Jing wonders. He kept the book to study it thoroughly - so intently that he even seems to slightly neglect his other duties. His first officer Lie Zhanying asks him about it and he explains that he even copied out all the annotations to look for some hidden message, but there is nothing out of the ordinary. But why, then, is Su Zhe, who is always so calm and collected, so concerned with this "travelogue"? Why would Meng Zhi, who does not enjoy reading, ask him for it? Why was his mother so emotional about this, mentioning a stranger she has never seen again and again? 
Because it's a really, really good book? And Su's handwriting is so neat? I mean, everyone likes a good travelogue! Right?
Our little Water Buffalo is definitely persistent. It's a really good part about being stubborn sometimes. Also, I really love that colour combo on Wang Kai. 
Just then, another of his soldiers brings two boxes of desserts from his mother. Again? Jeez (later, she even helps Prince Jing to understand some second meaning in something Mei Changsu said...) But Prince Jing has spent enough time with the puzzling book: he hands it to Lie Zhanying to hand over to Commander Meng. Before he can do so, an imperial decree arrives - delivered by Eunuch Gao himself. And that can only mean one thing... a promotion! Or a status update? He is now a Noble Prince of the Third Rank and gets a five-pearl crown.
I'm glad it's a crown and not a necklace.
Yes! Jingyan is moving up in the world! 
There's a whole set of things Jingyan must do after this (in the right order!) - Gao kindly reminds him of all of them - among them Prince Jing getting a golden seal of office from the Emperor. Also.... new robes! Yum. Prince Yu does not approve (understatement).
Wow, look at that classic F1 entry!
Wang Kai in red = ❤❤❤. How much did they spend on costuming for this drama?! 
He runs to Mei Changsu, first chance he gets. Su tries to calm him, even congratulates him - because it is clear to him that making one brother a Noble Prince means the Crown Prince is about to be abolished. The Emperor is all about power balance after all. Hmmmm .... but it does not seem like Prince Yu is easily convinced this time. Well, Mei Changsu even expects him to find out soon, as he tells Zhen Ping.... yikes.
Worry looks real good on Yu.
It does. 
But where is Tonglu? (Mei Changsu wonders - and so do I!) Well, Tonglu has been thoroughly enthralled by the poor woman now living next door. Today, she has hurt her poor ankle! Naturally, he helps her. He wants to fetch a doctor (on his expense, because she's so poor) but she tells him to save the money for his wedding. Uh-oh. You did not just mention a wedding, you vixen?! When she tries to stand up, she falls ... into his arms. You've got skills, woman.
If Tonglu is the cause of trouble to Mei Changsu he will kill himself from the shame and I will be angry. Again.
She really has got skills. Wow. 
The Empress is receiving news from some of her own servant-spies - her son is with her. Bad news: Lots of praise for Prince Jing, not so much for Prince Yu. People say that there is not a lot of difference between them anymore. Prince Jing has been able show what he is worth since he has come back to the capital. And concerning birth rights (this is going back to that debate that was held about the ceremony and the attendance of the Empress instead of Yue): since both Yu and Jing are sons of concubines, they both have the same. Furthermore ... it is said that Consort Jing is constantly gaining favor from the Emperor, which signifies she could gain higher status. As for Prince Yu ... the Empress may have raised him as her son, but his real birthmother was ranked very low. 
So the only real advantage to Yu in being adopted was that perhaps he was in a position to be noticed more?
Go Jingyan go! Go Jingyan go! It's like watching a race... that takes a really long time. 
Well SHIT. Prince Yu may be fuming, but he is also getting ready to take on little bro Jingyan.And Prince Yu is quite certain it will be much easier to step on the unexperienced Jingyan that it was in Crown Prince's case...
Oh, I can't wait for this.
*rubs hands in glee*
An intense time starts for Prince Jing, who now often faces his brother in front of his father, having to argue his case. Winter comes and busy times continue. Also: Banruo gets a secret message. The Empress unleashes her fury on Consort Jing. Price Jing looks pretty in the snow.
Don't be petty, Empress. It's not a good look for anyone.
Jingyan, take care of your health. No need to get so cold. 
After a heartwarming talk about brothers in arm and undying loyalty with Lie Zhanying after a long day of discussing important things, Shen Zhui, the Minister of State Revenue is announced. It is urgent business! There will be a meeting tomorrow, about who will get to manage the disaster relief funds for five states who have been hit hard by droughts and locus. In the past, either Prince Yu or Crown Prince were sent. Not surprisingly, they just used the funds for themselves mainly and some of the corrupt officials in the disaster hit areas, so that the people got almost nothing and continued to suffer. Minister Shen almost cries when he begs Prince Jing to please do everything in his power to be the one to handle it this time.
Ahhhh, this will be big.
Oh man. You can just feel that it will be. 
The next day in front of the Emperor, Prince Yu immediately volunteers to take care of the disaster relief (seeing how much experience he has). But Jingyan gave his word - and so he tries. Pointing out how the responsible person should really go and view the remote (and harsh) places to get a better understanding of the situation, he positions himself as the one who should be put in charge instead. And thus, they start battling with words. It gets more and more aggressive (and digresses towards entirely different topics), so that the Emperor finally blows a fuse.
I barely remember that they argued, because I was so busy drooling over their robes and pretty little crowns.
The beautiful costumes really are distracting. Like super distracting. 
The Chief Secretary on the other hand starts to laugh - and saves the situation. He is totally on Jingyan's side, right? Well, but that does not help Prince Jing when his brother falls to his knees and offers to send a load of silver from his personal account to the disaster hit areas - for immediate relief, until the Emperor has decided. Dick! Smart dick. The Emperor quickly takes the decision: It's going to be Prince Yu who is in charge of the funds. Oh no.
It will work out. It always works out.
It has to. It has to! 


Where is the book?! Thanks for not telling us, drama!!!! >.<
Consort Jing still has it, right?
I think Jingyan still has it. She gave it to him. 
No, he gave it to his officer! 

Jingyan looks fabulous in his new robes, but I am pretty sure there were many times he wished he did not have to bear the burdens that come with them. To be pitted against Prince Yu must be horrible. He is a dangerous mixture of extremely ambitious and quite shrewd (excellent liar, too) and I am really not sure Prince Jing has what it takes to beat this bastard. Can someone as honest and pure as Jingyan win over someone who plays dirty at every step? Certainly not without any help!
Fortunately, Mei Changsu is good at out-thinking people. He must have recognized that this particular period of time would come, and he may even think that it's necessary for them to battle a bit.
Sort of like resistance training I think. Jingyan has to learn to bear the weight of the Emperor's crown that he aspires to wear and this is a good way to learn how to do that. And with Su Zhe at his side, he will prevail. 

Ah, Consort Jing ... hmmmmmmmmm. She is acting really, really suspicious. I bet she totally knows who Su Zhe is. And she is smart enough to understand why he would not want water buffalo Jingyan to know it as well. 
Ahhh, our Buffalo... so simple and straightforward. I'm quite fond of him. He only seems a step or so more advanced then Meng, really.
Haha. He is smarter, just really stubborn and has a very direct or focused mind. I think he's just someone who takes a while to adjust to court life. He is a military man after all. He's doing very well with Su to help him.