Old Nine Gates 老九门 - Episode 18 (Recap)

kakashi: Tomb-action ahead! Yay! More than half this episode is spent preparing for it though. And with Fo Ye out of Changsha, the evil forces gather to dethrone him. The tomb is no walk in the park either: dead doors, live doors, traps and other disturbing things like hair ... be careful, boys!
SakiVI: We get past and present tomb action, and, as happens in tombs with all their time-space warping, some seriously bizarre situations.

Episode 18 - Exploring the Mine Again

Er Ye's ancestors split up, to maximize their chance of getting their hands on the treasure before the Japanese, but this ends very badly for the three that stay with Hatoyama! There are some... well, how to put it? hungry walls so he feeds the Chinese men to them! It's a blood sacrifice, to make sure they'll get out of the tombs alive.
This Hatoyama kid looks like a sweet nerdy kid and yet is so vicious.  
Er Ye continues reading about the hardship his grand uncle went through. Again, confused by how the great uncle had all this time and luxury paper and pen and fancy desk in a tomb. They got trapped in some place for 27 days and when they finally got out, they discovered that their brethren had been sacrificed - and swallowed by the hungry walls. Gruesome.
Seems these walls are active only occasionally.
Er Ye's uncle continued to follow the Japanese, but eventually, the hair got them. With their last strength, they built many additional traps to guard the treasure within the mines. Only a Hong will ever be able to navigate them. In short, this means: Er Ye HAS to join Fo Ye on this quest or Fo Ye won't survive.
Last strength? They could always have just tried escaping. 
But the hair, the hair! The hair disease! 
Okay, whatever gets Er Ye in the tomb, then, and lets him let go of his grudge. 
Cut to Chen Pi in that run-down place. He is still bloody (could have washed, the pig (it's to show how he's so overcome with grief he can't even wash off the blood of the people he slaughtered)) and also starving! His hunger drives him out and into town, where everyone shies away from him. They call him "Devil Killer" behind his back (fair enough) and whisper about the river turning red from the blood of his victims. So he killed more people in the meantime or are these urban legends about him? (8 adults is a lot of blood.) Nobody dares stop and arrest him, even though there's a search warrant out, but eventually, Hendry turns up and points a gun to his head.   
Crazy person no. 2 in this show.
Not to kill him though, just to make him listen. Hendry's cold, calculating scariness is more crazy, actually. Hendry has some juicy news for our Chen Poo: Yatou died not of her illness, but was killed by the person Er Ye trusts the most: Zhang Qi Shan! He kept the medicine that would have saved her. Only because he is so desperate to have Er Ye enter the tomb, adds the American. 
Manipulative. Also, still very creeped out by Hendry's smile up top. It's like he just doesn't care that the wild badger will turn on him.
Looks like a badger.
Hm. It doesn't even sound too far off, does it. Chen Pi isn't ready to trust the guy and wants to investigate for himself. Though of course, he gets to hear of that day Er Ye went to the Zhang mansion and got turned down. For him, that is proof enough: Fo Ye killed Yatou. *shivers* Be careful, Fo Ye. This is not an enemy I would take lightly.
Since even Fo Ye blames himself, makes sense Chen Pi would too. Also, Hendry seems to take Chen Pi lightly. Is that because Hendry is crazy, or because Chen Pi is actually easily managed?
At Castle Fo Ye, Xinyue feels lonely. Is she thinking about leaving? There is no warmth for her here. But the cute servant tells her not to think like this: Fo Ye has never cared for anyone that much. She may not have noticed, but he assigned a servant to her, made sure she was moved to a bright part of the mansion and has enough blankets at night for warmth (instead of sharing a bed with her, idiot). Unfortunately, this is not enough to cheer Xinyue up. Fo Ye is going into the mines and she does not like it.
This wouldn't be enough for me either.  I do admire Xinyue's patience, though.
Fo Ye is indeed preparing well this time though. Machine guns "Made in Germany"(Made in Germany is a good thing) from Jiu Ye (of course) and specially selected soldiers and all. He even has one of his men teach (an unwilling) Ba Ye how to shoot a revolver!  
Good idea looking at Ba Ye's antics.
Madame is getting more and more agitated, the closer his departure gets. Pacing the outside of the mansion, she runs into Fo Ye the next day, who naturally starts going on about what she's still doing here ladiladila, since he has instructed Jiu Ye to send her back to Bei Ping. He also thinks him going to the mines and potentially not coming back has nothing at all to do with her. Like she cares! She exclaims that she will wait for him at the Mansion. Or she'll join him in the mines if he doesn't allow that! She'll follow secretly if necessary. Haha. Well, done, woman! Because he obviously does care about her well-being he tells her to be careful in his absence. He knows her well enough to believe she would actually follow him. She wins!!
Yay! And Fo Ye, stop being such an jerk to her. The funny thing is, Fo Ye could totally spot her following if she did that, so he could stop her following him. And how annoying for Jiu Ye to have to follow Fo Ye orders all the time. Then again, Ba Ye would probably calculate that Xinyue isn't going anywhere.
Everyone is ready to leave, when the butler comes out and announces... Er Ye! By way of greeting, he says he knows everything about the Carpesium and Fo Ye's kind intention. Okay, but what about an apology for hitting him with a sword? No? I wouldn't, if I was Er Ye. Remember, the whole thing would still be very painful, and he would also think Fo Ye could've put his loyalty to Er Ye above Yatou's silly request. He announces he will join them and shows them the notes from his ancestor. There is also a map! It shows that this is a "human-shaped" and "dead" tomb. A live tomb has logic to it, a dead tomb is a death-trap with no rules. In addition, Er Ye's ancestors set up more traps to prevent anyone from robbing the place. That's ... not good.
Yes, because with dying breaths, tombraiders set up traps.  
It's clear there's something really, really dangerous in there - and seeing how the Japanese are so eager to go in, our Ye's vow to go and save Changsha "even if it is the palace of hell". A very cold and distant Er Ye goes to get ready and Fo Ye and Ba Ye worry about how changed he is. Come on, boys. Did you think he'd get over Yatou's death that quickly?
Apparently they did.
Fo Ye feels he is indeed responsible for Yatou's death. In a way. You certainly didn't smooth its process, Fo Ye. He also thinks he needs to protect Er Ye well once they're in the tombs, which makes Ba Ye panic. Hey! You learned how to shoot a gun, didn't you?
Also, Ba Ye is from a tombraiding family: he should know how to protect himself. Oh, and yes, there's Visual Zhang too!
Off to the mines! YAAAAAAAY!
The main entrance is blocked (yup, we know that from last time) and Ba Ye reminds us all of the dangers this human-shaped tomb and its meridians holds. Thank you, Ba Ye. Triggering one trap means triggering them all: Dead doors will become live doors and live doors will become dead doors. They have no idea what happened to those mechanisms when Er Ye's ancestors and Hatoyama were last in. Wonderful!
They love it, really.
Ba Ye proves himself useful and finds another entrance. He thinks it's a "live door" (and in the area of the waist of a human). They tell Er Ye - who is not convinced about this entrance - that he heard someone sing his song (much worse than Er Ye, of course), which makes him assume that someone in the mines tried to lead them away because it's not a live but a dead door. Can you make up your minds?! Yes, they can: since they have no clue whether it is a live or a dead door, they decide to go ahead and enter.
Fair enough conclusion. They have something to do, they'd better just get on and do it.
In case you're wondering, I don't really know what a live and what a death door is! Does it mean "okay to go in" vs. "mortally dangerous"?
I think it's the same logic as the live and dead tomb: one is safer than that the other because it has some logic to it. 

Back in Changsha, Hendry is cleaning a katana when Ryouko Tanaka comes in... in a new, red suit! The other one must've gotten stinky. Or she got promoted for doing whatever it is that she does. She reports that Zhan Qi Shan and Er Ye Hong have entered the tomb. Hendry thinks they've got skillz. Since it's super dangerous down there, he advises Tanaka to do nothing. He is quite sure they won't find anything the first time round, just like Er Ye's ancestors came back empty-handed.
Such a know-it-all, Hendry.
She's unhappy about his confidence and threatens him a little. But of course, he has some other plan: Fo Ye's absence means he can try and create more strife between the Nine Gates. Friends, Hendry is beginning to scare me a little. He isn't dumb at all.
He's that sort of cold, calculating crazy. Or maybe, he's just coldly, calculatingly sane.
Our three Ye's have reached a dead end. A seeming dead end, apparently: Er Ye is certain there's an entrance to the mines here (because of how the torch flames move (mines have openings to the world above, so that makes sense)). They search (well, not our Ye's, they have servants for that :))! And they find. It's a narrow opening in the ground. Two men are sent down as vanguard - and Er Ye explicitely warns them to stick to the walls. That's a Hong trick: do not walk paths and areas which ordinary people will walk. Cause: traps!
I was unimpressed with this Hong trick because it seems rather obvious. Ooh, Lt Zhang is looking pretty!
The two soldiers rappel down (it seems to be some magic rope, haha, they just glide down) and get to a familiar chamber ... we saw Er Ye's ancestors in it earlier in this episode. There is something that looks like a dead man's face in the wall (I screamed) and one of the soldiers gets a scare! He falls ... right onto the floor, in the middle of the chamber. Death trap activated!! He is pierced by many arrows! The other moves and drips over a thread ... more arrows. Goodbye soldiers.
In the Lost Tomb books, corpses are used to set off more traps. It's very creepy.


Not much to say about this episode, I fear. Well, we finally have proof that Fo Ye cares for his Miss, even though he seems unable to show it. She stays, at least. 
I was actually more convinced he didn't care, just that he was dealing with her as best he could.

Er Ye is back, though not fully. He seems dazed and reluctant to even talk to Fo Ye. Is their friendship destroyed? Or is he just grieving so much he cannot interact normally with the world around him? 
Grief. I can't imagine a loved one's death just three days ago would leave a person acting normally.

Hendry Cox shows that he's not fully incapable and that scares me. He waited until Fo Ye left Changsha at his own will to make his move and it seems he is well versed in the art of intrigue. Who else has a problem with our Zhan Qi Shan from the Nine Gates? Not too many, I hope!
Oh, Hendry is very, very, capable. And he's a Japanese Imperial Army consultant by the sounds of it. Perhaps he is responsible for Ryouko's new power suit, though?