Ice Fantasy 幻城 - Episode 18 (Recap)

kakashi: This episode has one of the most hilarious "sex" scenes of all times. And sword-action! Not related to the sex-scene, you might be happy to hear.
JoAnne: That will depend on who is in the sex scene... and at what point. I watched this, I'm sure. I don't remember sex. Guess I'll just...uh...plunge in.
Of course there's no proper sex. This is a C-Drama! I still had a hard time explaining this scene to my 7 year old.
SakiVI: I had to watch it a few times because I'm used to things being clear on that score, not this "did they, didn't they?" Even in kdrama, you know it happened because the woman will get pregnant. Here, no clue. And Shi can't get pregnant as far as we know.

Episode 18

Time for the wedding night! This is Lan Shang waiting.
Poor Lan Shang, forced to be Queen of the Three Realms with the hottest husband in any of them. Okay, he's a bad guy. Could you maybe redirect his energy?
The poor girl is terrified. She has no taste.  The lustful Fire King will be here soon, but Ying Kong Shi isn't. I'm sure he needs some more time to get ready, Mermaid Princess! He wants to make sure he's beautiful for this.
He's thinking about exactly when in the process he'll stop the king. You know, what would be most realistic. This is a rare opportunity to experience sex as the opposite sex, after all. Wouldn't you be curious?

Here comes Flame! Still fully dressed, but definitely lustful (See below). He sends all the servants out. Uh-oh. Action is upcoming.
Lan Shang, cheer up.  Your arranged marriage man could've been ugly.
And he is soooo not ugly. He also seems interested in agreement.
He tries to go into kissing (ah, he likes foreplay?), but she quickly pulls away and says she wants to take a bath first. Hmmm, he likes that.
He's a playful sort.  
He is so much better looking with his hair off his face. Wow.
Lan Shang flees behind a privacy screen and finally, Ying Kong Shi appears. Ah, he's late because he had to put his mother to sleep. That's a valid excuse. Cut to this!
Ha, Shi-LS said to him he was peeping at her in her bath.  Too funny.  
Oh boy, time to get busy!
And this. Okay, it's Shi in the bath now, no longer Lan Shang. Got it!
I barely noticed the switch because shirtless King is far away and hard to see and I was trying.
Is this the time to bring up Mermaid reproductive organs? No, maybe not. I looked up sharks, and they have similar reproductive systems to mammals. But the tails of these mermaids suggest carp. We will talk about it later. Frolicking in the bath ensues. There's rubbing of skin and splashing of foamy water. Shi is clearly enjoying himself.
Shi likes older men. And, he probably imagined he was with Kasuo.
Aww, feel for the poor King, about to get the shock of his life when his pretty and affectionate bride stabs him.
Cut to the infinity bridge (it's daylight there) and the guardians killing all the fire soldiers. And then, the tribe-army is in front of the Ice Castle doors. That was quick. They're also under the impression that Shi must have killed the Fire King by now. Uhm..... no?
Let Shi have some fun for a change!
Enjoy the journey, guys. It's good advice for any situation.
I think they realize their mistake when Yan Da comes out and smirks at them.
Cut to the Mope Prince in the Endless Infinity Bottomless Cave. He is ready to suffer as much as he can so that he can draw out the Sword Fairies. Dramafever calls is "The Space of Dread". Subbers, I heart you for those terms. The ladies are very much concerned for him and his soul. But it MUST be.
Frigging emos.
Granny transfers his soul to his Space of Dread. It's quite apocalyptic there.
Guess who's also there. Do you need three guesses? (Yes.)
It's Shi. But you knew that of course. (Nope,  but he was one of my guesses.) He is fighting Flame, the Fire King, to avenge his brother. He screams for Kasuo to save him, but Kasuo fails to do so. Awww, poor Prince. But his extreme fear summons the fairies! Yes, that's right... there are many of them. Seven, in fact. They are just sub-units of a bigger whole though. Kind of like EXO? There is joy, rage, sorrow, fear, love, hate and desire.
The depressed one was pretty funny. And see, Kasuo thinks of Shi first. Shi girds Kasuo's loins!
Poor Li Luo wasn't even in consideration.
They start quarreling about eating Kasuo's soul, until Li Luo screams at them to quit it. Okay, the go taste Kasuo's soul, but as expected, they are not really interested in this god turned mortal. Li Luo scolds them for just thinking about the taste of their food, when this is about the survival of the three realms! They don't care much about this and think Kasuo's weak mortal body won't be able to bear the force of their power, but our Prince says bring it on. They do.
He fetches the sword and vanishes.

And we're back in the wedding chambers. Flame carries Lan Shang to the bed... and things get hot. Lan Shang/Shi plays hard to get and Flame goes crazy. There's sexy dancing and pining. And a breeze to ruffle her hair in a sex way. Shi is doing WELL. I really can't tell the difference.
Were they doing it or not? At any rate, this Fire King seems quite playful and fun in bed - with a girl younger than his daughter.
She's too high up to be... ummm.. doing anything while dancing, I think.
It's those short blackouts that hint at something else though.
After what seems like hours, Shi grabs Flame's hand with the power button... and blows ice magic on it. The enchantment shield is down. Shi goes in for "the kill".
He must have been so confused. The King.
Oh silly Shi. Did you think it would be that easy? Flames body dissolves into flames ... they flow around for a bit and then, the Fire King rematerializes. I'm not exactly sure what happened here, maybe he has several power buttons?
So maybe his human form is just a manifestation, and you can't kill him by simply killing that form. Although that doesn't appear to be true for the Ice Tribe, but think about his other sons that are balls of flame.
Flame possesses Shi! And (they? he? these possessive types are confusing) flies out to confront the tribe leaders, who just now reach the chamber doors. Luna has taken on Yan Da outside, I should add. Possessed Shi fire blasts them all. Real Shi, who manages to resurface for a second, is ready to sacrifice himself (let me mention the pretty awesome "Injury Swap"-skillz they have, channelling all their injuries through the Healer into Shi) and then, one after the other goes up against Flame with their special power, but guess what happens before anyone gets killed (not Flame, that is)? Three guesses?
Kasuo appears. With the Deicide.
This one I guessed.
That sword is cool, once I saw it up close. Plus it talks.
The Sword decides to take it outside and him and Flame fight a little (it can throw smaller blades at the opponent), but Kasuo is just too weak to last long and is knocked out by Mr. Fire. The sword actually prefers to be wielded by Shi, into whose hand it sneaks. Remember, when he was a boy, he already gave part of his soul to the sword? And it promised to help him defeat the Fire Tribe? So I guess the sword keeps its promises.
Must be some magical rule: promises must be kept or you won't keep your benefits.
Half-dead, Kasuo shouts: "The Deicide is now activated! You are now the owner!" How did Kasuo know Shi was the owner? And he fainted because he's such a wuss. Nice. And so well put. Shi draws first blood by destroying the power button for real this time and the sword screams in delight. Shi then plunges the sword into Flame and has it suck his soul away. At least parts of it.
A continuation of the earlier events of the night, in other words.
Told you so! Sex! Sex! Sex
Yan Da, who was fighting nearby, jumps over to shield her father and the sword screams for her blood too. Enter Shuo Gang. Shi cuts his arm off. Neat. But he cannot kill Yan Da! Despite the madness the sword has brought upon him, he remembers their moments together and he resists the bloodthirsty, ugly thing.
Aw, bless.
I'm quite sure this means he'll die later.
That buys her time to get her father and brother out of there. Oh well, all the better. Once they're safely away, Yan Da joins her brothers (most of them just balls of light (that was weird)) in healing their dad. Shuo Gang thinks it's a task for the men and is rude to her. Just fuck off, you idiot. When he wakes up, Flame, who is very displeased to see all of them around him (cause no one is guarding their equivalent of the Ice Veil) bestows a new arm on Shuo Gang. With his last strength (he needs to go for an extended Fire Pit Bath after this). Uhm, where is Yan Da's reward??!
Yan Da rescued both her brother and father, and then, when she showed up to help heal dad, he got better. She defended the rude brothers against her father's anger. She advised her father at his request. He automatically listens to what she says regarding strategy. And yet, she's ignored regarding rewards and mocked for being female.
It takes our victorious gang a while to find Kasuo. Haha, poor guy. It's not like he's far away from the main friggin entrance, guys!
I was thinking they'd have more luck if they did more than mill around in that square, calling his name...
Once found and rescued, he goes to free his parents, who, sadly, have been poisoned by the Fire Snake and are a bit vicious. Shi needs to intervene with the Deicide to fix that problem. There's Fire blood on there, you know. Idiots, they just hug Kasuo but don't even thank Shi.
I get that Kasuo's their remaining child, but at least they could say thank you to Shi.
Poor guy, look at all he gave up to save them.
While talking to her Guardian friend Qin Chu, Li Luo realizes that it's time to leave the immortal realm and Ice City. It makes her very sad. Which makes him realize that she's very much in love with Kasuo. Qin Chu offers himself as her future companion instead. Kids and all. Come on, dude. Worst timing ever. She friend-zones him, rather clearly.
When she assures him she would never love the guy, cause future King and all, Qin Chu corrects her. Kasuo won't be king. Nobody will accept a powerless ex-immortal as their leader. But there is another viable candidate for the throne now: Ying Kong Shi.
Yes, Shi!
Oh, says Li Luo. In that case, I'm all over Ka Suo! Thanks, friend!


Hmmmmm, this is going exactly how Shi planned it all, even though he couldn't have known his Big Bro would go fetch the sword and the plan had to take a few detours. The sword is sneaky. It let itself be taken out of the cave by weak Kasuo, probably knowing Shi was going to be there. I'm making this up, but it would make sense.  
Works for me.
Yeah, I'm fine with that.

There is something I noticed while recapping, which I did not notice when I first watched this episode. Both Yan Da and Shi are the ones who deserve almost all the praise for a) saving Flame and b) winning this battle. But they do not get the praise. Their respective parents don't even acknowledge their deeds. No wonder they feel drawn to each other. 
In patriarchal societies, women are just expected to do their work, while men get rewarded for theirs. Yan Da is the main brain out of all the Fire king's children, and she works harder than the rest, but that's all taken for granted.  And Shi is considered a subject more than he is a prince, so he has been dismissed a lot.  They both suffer discrimination based on their birth, basically.
I wonder if that will change their behavior later.