Old Nine Gates 老九门 - Episode 23 (Recap)

kakashi: Lots of Ba Ye in this episode. When did he become one of my favorite characters in this?! He really is the only smart one right now. Everybody is very lost, but he is a few steps ahead in finding a way to get out of the maze in the tombs.
SakiVI: he really is very bright, and I love that blue coat and brown vest combo he sports.

Episode 23 - Secret Room of Holes

Two out of four stupid villains are on the prowl, trying to find out some secrets about Ba Ye. Man, Hendry is so ugly, I can't concentrate. Turns out, Ba Ye isn't poor like we suspected, but super-rich! (he really could have helped out a bit more at the useless medicine auction then!) His treasures are worth "a dozen cities"!
Maybe the saleman was exaggerating and it's only a dozen villages. Or maybe Fo Ye's valuables were worth dozens of cities and a continent or two. 
Over generations, his family built up this fortune and kept their business running, by forcing people who want their fortunes read to buy something (and the other way round). Helps that in general, antiquies dealers and buyers are very superstitious - and that Ba Ye's reputation is something else.
What if I just want to buy something but don't want my fortune told?

Before we hear why people think he is the best fortune teller alive, we cut to Ba Ye in the tombs. The Ye's are still crawling through the weird concrete tunnels, but Ba Ye comes across a huge hall with many holes (the Secret room of Holes!) in which magic red fire burns. At first, he thinks he has "returned", but then, he realizes this is a room that looks identical to the room he came to before (off camera, to maximally confuse us). This, so I assume, means that our Ye's are in a dangerous maze.
A maze with lots of secret rooms with holes.
Ba Ye is very impressed with himself. I'm not entirely sure why, but he's cute.
Because he calculated it was a new room.
He then calculates (and counts) stuff. It's 64 holes and he cleverly connects this to the Fu Xi 64 hexagrams. I know the I Ching, not sure how Fu Xi differs from it? Anyway, he is in his element! He knows there is a way to escape this maze!
Fu Xi is the originator of the I Ching. 
Cut to Slime Fucker and Mr. Psycho. Now we get the backstory. Ba Ye's readings are rumored to be "magical" because of this story turned legend: Someone once desperately wanted to buy Ba Ye's incense holder:
Ba Ye did not want to sell the incense holder. But his servant thought he could make a bit of money on the side and sold the incense holder in secret! Even though it wasn't his. Ba Ye realized right away and panicked - now the gods are offended! And the ancestors! (I get the second, cause I guess the rules of the house are strict, but the gods? What would they care? Sin to steal, which is what the servant was trying to do.) There will be retribution!
Anyway, ther servant is super scared now and begs Ba Ye to set it right for him. Ba Ye says, well, servant is going to collect some rent in some outskirt soon. He needs to take a box and put the money he collects at the bottom. However, the money he got from the incense holder, he is to keep in the purse on his person. And: forget the money from the melon farmer. Ohhhh, cryptic, Ba Ye!
I couldn't tell whose tenants these were supposed to be, the servant's or Ba Ye's.
Well, servant did as Ba Ye said - and promptly encountered robbers, who only took the purse and not the rent money. The robber? It was the melon farmer! Whose entire crop had gone bad, so he had no other choice. But when he saw that the one he wanted to rob (and kill) was the man who had not collected money from him in his dark hour, he only took the purse and fled.
Clever Ba Ye. No idea how he knew this would happen, but apparently, the money paid for an incense holder is a homonym for money paid to bandits. Plus, the one who bought the incense holder did not get a fortune reading - the reading that doesn't count is a homonym for melon that was spared.
This tells me the Chinese language has a huge number of nouns.

Lu Slime Fucker doesn't believe Ba Ye has any true powers and doesn't understand how such a weakling would follow Zhang Qi Shan into the tombs. But Hendry knows about the special bond the two have and we see the "Fo Ye saves Ba Ye from the Japanese"-sequence again.
Worth the time spent.
Back in the tombs, genius fortune teller Ba Ye is working on solving the puzzle, when he suddenly realizes that "someone is here". The hair monster!!! No? Ba Ye gets very scared (there seem to be sounds only he can hear?) and puts wards all around himself as he cowers in the middle of the room in fear. 
Back to normal for Ba Ye, then.
Cut to Er Ye in the concrete tunnels. He comes across some sharp metal objects/mirros protruding from the walls.
I feel like the set designer said, here, let's make these tunnel walls more like Ikea.
He keeps shining his torch at them and it seems they are in some way, well, magical? Because he starts hallucinating. Guess what he sees? ............... exactly. Yatou. Yawning now. And we even get flashbacks. And subtitles for a song that isn't even playing.
Anyway! Er Ye realizes he shouldn't shine his light into the mirrors. Smart. Soon, he comes to one of the 64 holes rooms too! Instead of staying, he wants to leave it the same way he came ... and promptly gets lost. He walks on and gets to the room again, through a different opening ... or is it a different room altogether?
This would annoy me to no end if I was in his place. Hair bacteria, flying over magma, light-activated jagged mirrors, and now a room that keeps changing.  
Time for Er Ye's metal balls to come out! Tiny balls! First, he marks a stone lion with one. Then, he walks through the tunnels again and realizes he's in a different room when he gets to one again. He also finds some thread that Fo Ye or Ba Ye must have used. He surmises that there could be ten thousands of these rooms here. Woah. That's a lot. Getting lost here is no trivial matter.
Seriously, I'd have a rage-fit. Unproductive, but still. 
He shouts into the tunnels... there is no answer, but there is an echo! Er Ye seems to have super-hearing grave robber skillz, but they don't help him to find the exit. He sighs. At least he isn't sighing over Yatou.
There's a probably a bit of a sigh for Yatou, too.

Somewhere else, Fo Ye emerges into one of the holes-rooms.
He knows he's lost and he fears for the others. So responsible! We see Ba Ye's drawings on the floor but I think that's an editing mistake. Pffft. Back into the tunnels he goes! He comes across a wet space there. At least it's not red. I really wouldn't trust these walls, Fo Ye!
He gets very agitated and starts to dig. It's hot, Fo Ye always is, but why would he do that?
Look at that little shovel go. And he wants to see what's on the other side since the wall is soft.   
When the hole is big enough, he climbs through. But oh no! Something is bothering him again at his neck! Fo Ye! Nooooooo!
Argh, these parasitic bites are so annoying.
Pretty soon, he comes to the mirror passage. The reflections seem to affect him even more than they affected Er Ye. You would think he's intelligent enough to stop shining his torch into them?
He has visions of Changsha, screams in frustration at the bright light and then storms forward... you dummy, Fo Ye. There's a trip wire. It's a trap! Crap, a trap!!
Crap trap!  


This episode was quite boring. The boys are lost and the villains continue working on their plan to topple Fo Ye. That's it. Next!
On we go!