Ashes of Love 香蜜沉沉烬如霜 - Episode 9 (Recap)

kakashi: Phoenix has declared his love! As early as episode 8! Is it downhill from here? Oh yes. Do you hear this sound? It's the sound of Phoenix's heart being shattered.
JoAnne: It's such a quiet, defeated sound. He doesn't rage, he accepts it. That just makes the whole thing more sad, I think.
Panda: I was just talking about angst scenes in the last episode, had no idea it would start so soon.

Episode 9

Look at how CUTE he looks after his confession, d'awwwwwwwz, it's raining puppies (and please notice how good he looks in black, it'll come in handy). But the Head Fragrance Chief's anti-lover reflex is triggered (remember, she must protect Jin Mi from men at all cost) and she tells Phoenix to get lost - and never come back.
And he's respectful, but he IS coming back. He makes that clear. I like his combination of strength and goodness. He's good right down to his bones, isn't he.
Jo, it comes with being the God of War :) You have to be respectful and yet resolute especially in matters of the heart.
She snatches Jin Mi and they disappear, but Phoenix iz sho cuuuuuuuuute (promising her he will honor his words and give her 1000 years of spiritual energy soon.... and I'm sure he wants to give her other things too)
Oh yes, many other things. Many times. Respectful and good doesn't cancel out horny.
1000 years of "Spiritual energy" does sound like something every woman should experience at least once in a lifetime. Lots of energy giving, the more powerful the better.
Since Jin Mi is no longer wearing the concealing hairpin she got from the Fragrance Chief, it's pretty clear many people up in the Heavens have seen her true face. Fragrance Chief sees doom ahead. She asks Jin Mi whether she has developed "Man-Woman-Feelings" for Phoenix and Jin Mi blurts out "of course", though without having a clue what that means (later, she explains her friend that a lover = a friend, same meaning, haha). When Fragrance Chief wants to punish herself for failing to do what she promised their Flower Queen, Jin Mi corrects herself: They're all just friends and she's helping Phoenix because he saved her life too. No such feelings. Fragrance Chief checks - indeed, that pellet is still inside Jin Mi.
You would think that a nation that can come up with the Corroding Boner and the Anti-Penis Pellet wouldn't have a population of billions, wouldn't you?
And then she makes Jin Mi swear in front of the Flower-Shrine she'll never have any connections to the Heavenly Realm anymore. Or else: spiritual doom and gloom. Including being reincarnated as a carrot and being eaten by a rabbit. Best thing about this scene: Jin Mi quickly makes a few exceptions for her friends in her head, basically cancelling everything she just said out loud.
The rabbits being scary thing puzzled me for a minute but then I remembered they're all fruits and flowers, and rabbits will nibble on anything.
Jin Mi is seriously cute and the exceptions thing made me laugh out loud.
The very next day, Phoenix is back - in official capacity. All the flower chiefs wait for him under the trees, glaring. It looks like this (will they kill him softly?):
Them's some scary aunties he's putting himself in front of...
"we must protect our foster daughter's Virtue from this horny God!!!" is the air wafting all around them. I am worried for XF.
At first, the poor boy has no clue about why these Flowers are so hostile and say things like "every single girl is possible. Just Jin Mi is impossible." But since they hint at his father's involvement in the bad blood between the two Realms, he suddenly remembers the Emperor staring at a portrait of a beautiful woman when he was little. And BAM, he gets it! His Father and the Flower Deity... To him, this means: No Jin Mi for him. Maybe never.
Could they just not have kids? They weren't raised together!  There are no brother sister anythings!
OMG, this IS a huge shock. Poor XF. Poor Baby. He looks absolutely shattered. And why can't these Gods keep it in their pants? See how his dad ruined his love life. Jo, if they share the same father it doesn't matter if they were never raised together *crien*
Jin Mi, who watched the exchange hidden behind a log, rushes after him, but he's like "nope, won't talk to you, can't see you"... oh, he really cannot see her. Huh? Oh, the Flower Squad has put a "blocking-eye" spell on her, how vicious. He knows she's there, but he cannot see her nor can he speak to her. He's so sad. He's talking about Fate coming and going, how pointless it all is, flowers blooming and withering... boy, have you seen the script of the upcoming episodes? Ahhahaaha.
This was sad. I know if she's his half sister this is impossible but it's only episode 9. She's not his sister. Oh well, I guess I'll buy some tissues because even if my head knows she's not my heart is still going to let itself get dragged through the mud.
I feel we need more than tissues but also some sturdy seatbelts for the rocky ride ahead.
Okay, show. This is just mean :DDD She's not there, Phoenix. She's to your left.
My nephew could photoshop better than this, come on. (He's one.)
DEAD. Hahahahahaha.
Seriously, that white flower thing? I keep actually looking out for it in all the Flower scenes, it's so... absolutely strange. 

Tearfully, he tells her to take care of herself when he's not there - and in that moment, her heart hurts and the pellet glimmers red. The heart! It wants to love! So much that Jin Mi faints... and finds herself on a frozen wasteland. 
Symbolic of her kokoro.
*continues flatlining* Seriously I hope her kokoro isn't this frozen. Self-love people, self-love!!
When she turns, there's something else... a frozen flower with someone inside. The pellet reacts when she asks "who are you" by pulsating? The someone inside the flower has a female voice (actually, it's Jin Mi's voice, hint hint) and says "I'm frost flower", asking to be helped out. Because she likes someone and wants to tell him! But when Jin Mi tries her magic on the flower, she wakes up in her hut, where Flower Chief put her.
They just really like to slap you in the face with the symbolism in this one.
Absolutely nothing subtle about it. And that's fine, it's just that kind of drama.
Up in the Heavens, the two sons of Heavenly Emperor beseech him to destroy Qiong Qi. The Emperor seems to agree but at the same time babbles something about it not being that easy. This man is so shady, SO SHADY! I can't even. His sons tell him about what transpired and both mention Jin Mi's bravery and usefulness. Magnanimously, the Emperor says to invite her to the Heavens and reward her as soon as the Flower Realm releases her from her prison.  To his sons, he gives a ten thousand year old fire ginseng and a thousand year old snow lotus.

Sui He comes and is annoying, you don't need to know more. Love you! Fox Immortal comes and fills some time. He realizes Xu Feng got poisoned and just when Phoenix says he'd like to keep this a secret from his mother, she appears.
Based on my scientific observation of Heavenly Realm Mothers, if they wear all shades of gold they're bitches.
Ooooooh that means she is going to be a MEGA-BIATCH (She's already showing signs).
It comes as little surprise to the attentive watcher that she immediately finds fault with Run Yu and provokes him nonstop. So many points for Run Yu for not hitting her, but staying very calm instead! After the others have left, Xu Feng asks his mother about the painting of the Flower Deity in his father's pavilion. That's... NOT a good move, you stupid bird, ask your mother about your father's affairs?!  
At first I felt the same and then I thought hey...what if he's not as good as we think and he did that to pay her back for being such a bitch to Night? Which actually...even when he's bad it just makes him better.
I wish he had said that to get back at her for being so mean to Night but sadly I think he was just asking because he is still trying to accept/in a fog about his and Jin Mi's situation. 
The mother tells him the Flower Deity seduced the Emperor and that they wanted to get rid of her.  Oh dear. Phoenix concludes firmly that... he and Jin Mi are siblings. Faux-cest! It's one of my favorite drama tropes.
I like it too. Could we have a drama that combines faux-cest and forced cohabitation?  Like, say, THEY think they're siblings but no one else knows, and circumstances force them into marriage, so they have to play the happy couple and they reaaaaaaally want to jump each other's bones but there's that pesky sibling thing in the way.
That is so NOT a combo I want to watch LOOOOOL. I would be continually squicked about faux-siblings growing more in love and yet fighting it. *shudders* Back to XF, I guess this is the final nail in the coffin. No Jin Mi for you Jimbo. Leave her for Night! (in my dreams TT__TT).

And we end this episode with a talk between the Heavenly Emperor and Run Yu about Qiong Qi and about those ideas that ONE of the tribes should be the ruler of all (Run Yu thinks it's nonsense, no tribe is strong enough). After Run Yu has left, the Emperor tells the monster in the cauldron he'll let him live - and!!! To not "disappoint him again".
Did DAD let him out? *gasps in English*
Oh wow, Dad is an even bigger Arsehole than I thought.


Oi, Emperor. I knew you were a shit, but this low? So he uses this horrible monster to create problems so that he can step in and take over the rule over all! The plan is so stupid I won't dwell on it any further.
It's pretty classic, though. So hey, what does that do to Gucheng? Are he and the emperor in cahoots?
I doubt if Gucheng is aligned with the Emperor but at this stage, I might actually not be surprised. Why are all these Emperors such shites? YH had better not try this.

I'd rather say: Deng Lun suffers so beautifully! Those cute ears! Those eyes almost swimming in tears! More! More suffering! Yes! (Of course, it's coming)
He's just so soothing, you know?

As for Jin Mi and her hurting heart... it was well done because now we know that she would have felt what she should have felt after all these heartfelt confessions and words, but cannot because of that thing she ingested.
Glad to know the girl's got blood running through her veins and that it reaches her brain regularly.