Old Nine Gates 老九门 - Episode 15 (Recap)

kakashi: Ohhhhh, another one of my favorite episodes. SO HOT and SEXY and erotic. A heat activated tattoo? The things I started to imagine.... I'd endlessly play with him. And the tattoo. Activate ... de-activate. Activate.... de-activate. Bliss.
SakiVI: It's quite...  something.

Episode 15 - Qiong Qi Tattoo

What could be worse than spending half a city's fortune on medicine? Yes: the medicine NOT WORKING. It's frigging having no effect!!! Is Yatou not deer-like enough? She is dying, and nothing will stop it ... but that's not the worst. Okay, maybe it is. But I find the worst that she and 9th Gate decide to lie to Er Ye. So that he has a reason to continue living.
This made no sense. If she dies, Er Ye will be in the same situation of wanting to die with her.
Cut to Fo Ye's palace and Xinyue being bored. Our beloved Fo Ye seems to ignore her as much as he can. Also, he's a known workaholic. Memorable line, after the maid says the servants were instructed to serve her well: "I don't need you to serve me. I want him to serve me". I LOVE YOU, girl. While petting a silver eagle, she also calls Fo Ye a coward. For avoiding her. Haha.... she's got it right.
I can see why he's confused, but he's Fo frigging Ye! He can handle a fiancee. I wonder if Xin Yue had her suitcase added to the train in anticipation of leaving with Fo Ye after the auction? Unless she went shopping the day she arrived?
She sets her mind on "going to look for him" or playing hide and seek (is he even in the house? I'm not sure where he works) and first goes into his study. One of his studies, probably, considering how big his house is. She's dissing everything in there: the books he's reading... boring. Everything, including himself, old-fashioned. She then sees a lamp that she recognizes, because they have it at home too... there's an animal inside and when she turns it, a secret door opens. Hahahaaaaa... is there just one factory that manufactures secret door systems in China?
That factory is in Taiwan. I felt so bad for her adjustment period here. It's the way in any new place, and it just takes time. Also, I love her outfit.  
The secret door leads to a secret room. A treasure room. Are these shabby things too? O____o She thinks so. Also, she thinks her Zhang Qi Shan is stingy. I don't know, woman ... didn't he just spend everything he owns for something YOU sold him? She continues nosing around, but then, she steps on a trap ... and into a net she goes!
I think she hasn't quite understood the meaning of "losing all your fortune." Perhaps when he was getting more money at the auction, she thought he was just taking a loan from the Prince because it was convenient, not that it was necessary.
Meanwhile, Fo Ye has come home. He hears about his Madame's restlessness and that she went to the second floor and goes up to look for her. Imagine his annoyance when he finds the open secret door...  and her in his trap. But come on, if you don't want anyone in there, get a better secret mechanism!
Seriously, Fo Ye, you're starting to be pedantic. That's not the Fo Ye I love.
Because he is a bit of an ass, he settles down in a corner instead of letting her down. When she struggles, he barks at her to stop - there are more traps! So not totally an ass, just thinking things out. All interconnected. Well, she doesn't believe him and thinks he is just bullying her. She wants out ... and continues to struggle against the net. A rope snaps, a cask closes, the net falls apart...  and suddenly, there are arrows being shot at her! Fo Ye jumps, catches her, an arrow grazes his arm ... and they roll over the floor. They stop, with her lying on top of him. *Gulp*
Double Gulp!
"Are you okay", he asks her. She is. But she also isn't. Nobody would be, that close to Fo Ye.
Fanning self now. But is he okay? I don't think so entirely.
Nope, you are right. I think he is doing some gulping himself
She realizes he's been injured, but of course, he says it's nothing. He always does. She is a bit impressed by his traps and decides she'll tell her dad to set up similar ones. Wow, Fo Ye, you've passed muster! He checks whether she's alright ... and for the first time since the two have hooked up, she seems a bit shy.
She had a similar reaction when Fo Ye swung her around to save her from Peng's attack.
She puts on a different outfit for dinner (did they send her some clothes from Bei Ping, what do you think? I think she had the suitcase planned and put on the train without showing Fo Ye or us.) and is actually quite excited to have dinner with "her husband". Only... her husband isn't here yet and the servants won't bring any food without him there. Great. She is pissed off and thinks to herself that he's just as boring as her dad... but then she comes to the conclusion that being impudent will not help her win him over. She has to "act cute" and be obedient. Good luck with that.
Since they're equals, no way she's going to be okay being obedient. Cute is de facto with her. Oh, and all men turn out to be as boring as dads in domestic settings. Sorry for the trufax, Xin Yue.
She goes to look for him. He is in his room, tending to his wound. Well yes, that makes him... half naked! She gets a scare, he tells her to get out.   
He could be a little more excited to see her sometimes.
 Er.... no?
In fact, she steps closer, realizing he is treating the wound he got when he saved her. He continues his attempts to shoo her away (look at how gorgeous everything looks!)
Totally gorgeous. This is Fo Ye at his fest, er, I mean best. He's so grouchy, though.
She complains that he tries to drive her away every time he sees her. That's not it though: he simply does not want her to get hurt here in dangerous Changsha. Which she does not believe. She gets him to sit back down, touching his naked body in the process. Yum.
Everywhere will be dangerous as the foreign invasion gets underway. So, that's not a reason not to continue as a couple.
She washes his wound, complaining about all the rules in his house and then goes on to wash his back. There, she discovers the barely healed wounds from where Fo Ye got hit by Peng's whip when he rescued her in the train. It looks quite bad, but our brave warrior never said a word. He let's her touch him like this without a word. It's so erotic.
Fans Self A Lot. Seriously, A Lot.
She puts a hot cloth on his back and here it comes... the special Zhang tattoo, made from pigeon's blood and vermilion, activated through heat. It's Qiong Qi, a "magical beast of legends" that brings misfortunes and evils. Makes one wonder why anyone would tattoo it on their bodies... well, says Fo Ye, it's just to show that she has no place near him. Her fate is better than his. And she should go back to her family.
Thank you, Noble Idiot. Oh, but that tattoo is beautiful.
Fine, she says, she'll just leave. She'll really leave. Really really! Alone in her room that evening, she thinks back to what he said, that he's neither heartless nor irresponsible, but that he is very sorry he has dragged her into this mess but she should go back, because his fate is destined to be tough. But she also thinks back to when she first saw him at Bei Ping station and all their moments together at the hotel and on the train. She picks up the silver bracelet and shakes it.
Fo Ye must've heard it.
I think so too! 
Fo Ye is downstairs, picking up a book to read. But he cannot concentrate on it. He is thinking of her.
So dreamy!
But XinYue meant what she said! She actually moves into the Hong Mansion by invitation of her friend Yatou. Who is in bed, looking ill (as she herself claims) (Dying INSIDE, kakashi, INSIDE!). XinYue is quite negative about her situation and Fo Ye's behavior, but Yatou finds kind and understanding words to soothe her. At least there's some use for Ya Tou.  Fo Ye has a lot on his plate and a lot of heavy burdens. If she wants to be with him, she has to try and understand him, who values friendship and loyalty beyond everything. 
So, stick with him, basically.
At the Palace of his Royal Hotness, Fo Ye sits down for dinner ... and remembers XinYue complaints about the strict dinner rules. He says to call her and in the future, let her eat without him if she wants. He is informed that "Madame" left early in the morning, when he was still asleep. The servant sent two men after her and so they know that she has gone to Er Ye's. Fo Ye sends Visual Zhang over. He's such a stubborn jerk sometimes.
He should've gone over himself!
Cut to Chen Pi who is in the hospital, sedated against his will. For his own good. Sleep will help heal him. And then, cut to Er Ye and Yatou sleeping, but Yatou opening her eyes and thinking back to her conversation with No. 9 and the two letters she needs to write. One to Fo Ye, telling him the medicine is useless. It can only extend somebody's life, with incredibly painful side-effects. She will give the medicine back to Fo Ye and he will be instructed not to give the medicine to Er Ye. At any price. The second she is to write to Er Ye, explaining everything to him.
Or, you know, she could just tell Er Ye.  
Ya Tou, Fighting!
When Fo Ye receives the letter, he is angered - and grieved. I'm no longer sorry for him losing all that money because he also wanted to keep the medicines away from the Japanese at all costs. Is there nothing else they can do? Jie Jiu urges him to think of Er Ye ... it's him they need to save now. And it's still him they want to come to the mines with them. But Fo Ye knows Er Ye will never be able to forgive them.  
It might help to be straight with Er Ye if they want him doing dangerous missions with them.
Er Ye performs opera for his wife. Exhausted and overcome by feelings, Yatou closes her eyes ... and a single tear escapes her eye.
Come on Ya Tou, cheer up!
The next day, Yatou joins Er Ye and XinYue with some noodles that she herself made. But it seems they are absolutely horrible - Yatou mixed up some spices, without noticing. XinYue, who is the one tasting them, keeps quiet about it.
I knew her noodles were bad!
Then, Fo Ye and Ba Ye are announced. Our Miss looks a bit anxious, but she's also pleased to hear he has come. She would never go to the study where he is though! There, Fo Ye lies about how well Yatou looks - they exchange secret glances. Poor Er Ye.
And he doesn't care about Xin Yue. This is the first time I disliked Fo Ye. He should've at least met her.  
I think it's a power game for him. He won't be the first to give in, basically
Afterward, XinYue wants to know what the meeting was about and Yatou lies to her that Fo Ye asked for her, but that they will not ever give her back. Well, XinYue knows Yatou is lying, the poor soul.


Hm. I felt sorry for XinYue in this episode. Well, clearly not in the first half when he got to touch Fo Ye's bod AND heat-activated his evil tattoo. But this man is a hard nut to crack. I understand that a wife is not something he wants to let into his life (though he clearly wouldn't mind having one, especially one like her!). He was thoroughly sincere when he apologized to her for dragging her into things and explained why he is "pushing her away". But he is acting a bit too much like a lone wolf with no ties. He has formed ties, during the auction, and even though XinYue is the one pushing so persistently on her own, he cannot pretend she isn't there and has no say.  
She is a human being too, and the arrangement was made. Fo Ye heard the rules and made his choice. In those days, even today, but especially then, for a man to return the wife he agreed to marry was a deadly insult and shame to her and her family. Fo Ye should know better.

That he is not even trying to get her back was the saddest part for me. Yes, I understand that he thinks he cannot, but he should at least realize how much that must hurt her. Yatou (and Er Ye) make quite a few comments about "husband and wife who quarrel" and that it is normal, but Fo Ye and Yatou have no history as a couple, which makes such a quarrel something fundamental and not normal. It's basically all they have as a couple. 
I agree, the husband and wife quarreling bit made no sense to an engaged couple who are not interacting.

So, part of me wishes XinYue would stop trying to get Fo Ye to behave like a husband. The longer she tries and the more he resists, the more embarrassing it becomes for her. She really does not need to put up with this. She's better than that. 
She needs the Rules! I suppose, though, her persistence will pay off because drama, and because Fo Ye requires someone persistent with him.

At the same time, it is clear that Fo Ye will need a friend very soon, because shit is going to hit that fan when Er Ye finds out about the medicine and all the dealings behind his back. They key to Fo Ye, I think, it "friendship and loyalty". I am absolutely convinced that XinYue is such an excellent match for Fo Ye because she is capable of exactly that. I am confident she will be able to help him pretty soon, in ways nobody else can.
Oh yes, she comes off as loyal and devoted. First, it was to her family's hotel, and now it is to Fo Ye. A lot of her sadness right now is from her disappointment at transferring loyalty only to have it rejected.