Ice Fantasy 幻城 - Episode 16 (Recap)

kakashi: Kasuo continues to be extremely depressed, while Shi's plan is starting to unfold. There is something slightly dodgy about Shi and how he manipulates people. It just makes him hotter though.
JoAnne:  He's a bit callous, I think?  But yeah, hot.  So hot.
Saki: I like how he looks for solutions and fixes things. And definitely hot.

Episode 16

Li Luo and Kasuo bury the unlucky man and his daughter (do they bury them standing up? Those mounds were not human-sized.) and of course, our Emo Prince feels guilty for their death. I'm beginning to think he needs some mood enhancers. Maybe a special flower he can sniff? While Li Luo gets some (for the dead, not for him unfortunately) he withdraws to a cliff (get him away from those heights, people!!). It looks like this. If you look closely you can see him:
Don't we know someone who vacationed in a very similar spot recently?
Kasuo kind of bores me. He lacks presence.
He cries because he feels like a total failure and responsible for everything and everyone. We get flashback to everyone who died so far. Kasuo, crying:
How do they make his eyes so red?  After-effects in the editing room?
Considering how perfectly evenly red they are, must be the editing room.
But just when he starts talking (yes, he's talking to himself) about how there is no point in staying alive, Li Luo appears and gives him a hug. "You still have me", she says. Awwwww. These two ARE cute. Listen, drama, you're not going to break my heart, are you?
They're cute, but I foresee Li Luo spending her life reassuring this weepy mess that yes, he's still a man, yes, she still loves him, no, it doesn't matter that he cries constantly, yes, they should invent tissues, no, it's not unreasonable to cry because no one has invented tissues yet.
I get he's going through a tough time, but this is the difference between him and Shi: Shi will get mad, sad or whatever, but he'll do something, plan relief, work on the matter. He'll think how he needs to improve his martial arts, and he'll think he needs to get his powers back asap and he'll channel his energy productively. Kasuo just cries.
In the meantime, Mermaid "Saint" is senza Kasuo, which worries her a lot, because of what the Fire King will do to her and the mermaids if she cannot deliver the Emo Prince. Because Lan Shang mopes and cries and insists very much, she finally agrees to marry her off to the Fire King. Ohhhh, nice! Shi will get his wedding night.
Can't wait to see him in lingerie.
Me too.
She got on my nerves here.
But first, some training! Shi flies around a bit and freezes some rocks. That seems spectacularly non-useful. Mermaid Saint approves, of this and in general, especially since he promises to take full responsibility if things go wrong with his plan. Hands up if you, like me, feel like smashing that ugly glass staff of hers!
Can I smash it on her head?
Both hands are up!
She also has him promise that the next Ice King must marry Princess Lan Shang. But Shi is clearly lying, the sly fox. He sweet-talks Lan Shang into teaching him how to move more like her by saying his brother lied when he said he was in love with someone else and by calling her "sister-in-law". 
That was completely messed up.  I laughed in shock, honestly.
I laughed because so smart, if totally unethical.
This is Shi, scaring Lan Shang by pretending she's looking into a mirror and has blue spots on her face  (yes, you read right):
His body aged up but is his mind still that kid?
With Lan Shang, who seems to be the same mental age, yes. It's why they get along.
Very skillful. And not a second too early! Because the Fire Princess turns up to deliver Kasuo to Ice Baby Central. She does not like it one bit when Shi is protective of Lan Shang. Mermaid Saint lies that Kasuo is on some hot-spring island to recuperate (haha, that was funny) and will definitely be returned within the agreed ten days.
Yan Da is thinking, 'UGH. He likes FISH.'
Ha, yes.
At the Dream Lord's, little princess seems quite interested in his affairs, in the future Ice King and in becoming an advanced dream weaver. Huh. Xing Jui tells her that they may know the future, but they must never interfere with destiny. It seems little sister thinks differently? Ohhhh, this conversation is interesting! Could be an indication of things to come.
She gave him this look at one point... I thought, 'Oooh, this girl might not be entirely nice. Or maybe it's not her at all, right now?' Also, what happened to dying?
She says that despite destiny, she decided not to die and defeated destiny.  
Ohhhhh, indeed it must be! When she walks around alone after this, the black glittery smoke appears! It cackles gleefully. There it is!
I was glad to think that I had paid sufficient attention to be right.
It's been around a lot. She actually tells it that it's inappropriate for it to be around so much. 
It/he likes her idea that she may have defeated destiny by not dying and he tells her he will fulfill her wish, which apparently is Ying Kong Shi on the throne.

At Ice Central, Shi returns, with Lan Shang in tow. Ice King still has a frozen brain, but his mother is extremely happy to see him. Oh wait, she has never even seen him in his new adult form! Yeah, surprise, mom - I grew up a bit. Of course, Fire King has to interrupt the happy family reunion and softly threaten everyone a bit. He announces a reunion dinner.
I can't decide how I feel about her.  But I love love love Kim Hee Sun.
Kim Heesun was originally offered the Liluo role, and considering she is the same age as the actor playing Kasuo, that would've worked too. But, she liked how interesting Lian Ji was in comparison, and took this role.
Shi's new quarters are in the Grand Suite wing (it is called "Illusion Chamber"):
Now this is pretty.
Why did he get these?
He is lucky he got one of the more unostentatious designers. He is not alone though! Yan Da is already waiting for him. Downing shots.  It's to question him on his relationship with "that mermaid princess". Hahaaaa, Yan Da. When he refuses to tell her, she whips him. He still refuses so she whips him some more. He gets ready to ice blast her but then... he lets himself be whipped without hurting her back. Awwww.
I was right. He likes it.
He almost seems in emotional pain rather than physical.
His behavior frustrates her to no end. It's really the worst when you're angry at someone and they just don't fight back. But ouch... that hurt.

Shuo Gang is being gross with Lady Lotus later when it's time for dinner, wanting her to dance - while the Fire King tries to "subtly" get Ying Kong Shi to learn some fire magic. But then, Princess Lan Shang comes in and enchants everyone with her wonderful dance. The Fire King looks ready to use his little fire stick right then and there.  Also ready to use his: Shuo Gang. That's so disgusting, I HATE HIM!
He is just gross.
The faster we get rid of Shuo Gang, the better.
Flame is ignited!
Lotta hair product in that room, they should be careful about open flames.
He wants kisses! Pearls are produced. Lady Lotus sees and gets super upset. If she has to suffer, she wants Lan Shang to suffer as well. No point in telling her that's not very logical, right?
But...Lan Shang IS suffering, right? I don't get it. She's either jealous of Lan Shang or worried about her, but if she's worried about her why would she want her to suffer also?   
Two things came to mind. One, she wants Lan Shang to suffer being married to a man she doesn't love and who is using her because the Mermaid Saint forced that on her already, and she thinks the other Mermaid Princess should suffer as well or else it's not fair. Two, she wants the Mermaid Saint to suffer her precious granddaughter being in this horrid man's clutches.
She sends a massive messenger pearl to the Mermaid Saint (it's basically a video message inside a pearl, pretty cool), to remind her of her own cruel fate: Lady Lotus and the Fire King were happily in love, but the Mermaid Saint decreed that she would have to marry the Ice King. And we see a younger Lotus dance a very sad dance with her new landlegs in the snow, until her feet are a bloody, horrible mess. I really like her song. It's so sad...
But if she loved the Fire King why is she so antagonistic toward him now?
He tricked her into sleeping with him, stole her jewelry and ran off without her. That's why. Then, she was stuck married to a really cold man who already had a wife who automatically hated her and her child.  
And look here! She is touching and stroking her belly in a loving way ... Uh-oh.
And also if she loved him...we know for sure that bump can't be his.  Shi has ice in him, too.
Shi has something in him.  
The message from Lotus has a somewhat surprising effect though: Mermaid Saint decides to let go of her neutral stance in the wars between ice and fire and go against the Fire Tribe now!
I give up. Nothing makes sense.
Because she does not want Lan Shang married to the Fire King.

After being kissed by the Fire King, Lan Shang is completely grossed out. Oh, come on, he's pretty handsome.  Shi, you better get this right later... To comfort the Mermaid, our little scumbag quickly changes into Kasuo. With Shi's voice though. It still works. Lan Shang backhugs the fake Kasuo.
Shi this is wrong.
Wrong of Shi, yes, but he did say to her this is fake, just like your moment with the Fire King. But she grabbed him and called him Kasuo. Lan Shang is quite the crazy fangirl.
In the mortal realm, Kasuo and Li Luo reach the fabled whereabouts of the Genius Healer Qiu. He is home! But he does not want to talk to them at first. When Kasuo begs for his help, he examines him though ... and is shocked at what has been done to Kasuo. He calls him "my child" and gently pats his hand. There is help, though! A very special herb needs to be collected and immediately turned into medicine. Nobody has ever been able to do it, but he is ready to try.
If no one has ever done it, how do they know what it will do?

Li Luo accompanies him, while Kasuo waits in the hut. On the carpet, he finds a red gemstone. Oh! What does that mean?!
Fire People.
I thought it meant someone died. I dunno, really. It looks pretty, though.


It is interesting how we start to realize how dangerous this game is for Lan Shang when the Fire King goes after her to French kiss her. I'm not sure Shi was fully aware of it when he proposed his plan, but I also don't think that he cares all that much. He may think he is her friend, but I think he only cares for two people in the whole world: his brother and his mother. And maybe Yan Da, a tiny little bit.
Or Yan Da's whip.  Maybe he feels like he deserves the whip for the way he is manipulating people.
I think Shi has not quite understood adult feelings as yet. That may also be why he tolerated Yan Da hitting him like that, because it was a weird substitute for a softer affection from her.  

The fate of the Mermaids is quite tragic and it makes me hate the Mermaid Non-Saint all the more. Just like the Ice King, she only ever thought in political terms. Her "neutrality" meant sacrificing her children and grandchildren's happiness for the greater good. Lady Lotus is a mean person through and through, because no amount of suffering makes it right to impose that suffering onto others. It just does not work like that. It is the weirdest kind of revenge logic to say: I had to suffer, so you all have to suffer. And yet, we cannot help to feel some sympathy for her and how she was treated.
True.  I feel bad for her, but I don't like her.  I don't like any of them.  Except maybe Lan Shang a little but it's more tolerance than like.
Lian Ji is extremely bitter, that is true. Small spoiler: we get hints later that she is an illegitimate child, and perhaps that situation plus being treated as the second-rate person in both tribes, plus the terrible boyfriend situation made her twisted. 

We know that the Genius Healer is part of Shi's plan to get Kasuo as far away as possible from Mermaid and Ice Central, in order to be able to go through with the Fire King assassination. But I do hope (but now doubt) that the Genius Healer is someone who can truly help Kasuo. It is horrible to see him that beat.
Definitely, it is. Ready to be done with it.
It does suck a lot to have all your life force just gone like that.  But, certainly Kasuo's depression has a lot to do with his attitude.  Good thing Li Luo is around.