Ashes of Love 香蜜沉沉烬如霜 - Episode 3 (Recap)

kakashi: Fated meetings, red strings - and our Grape has no clue whatsoever what love is. The tone is still light, but we already see that she is capable of capturing and breaking hearts and it seems like a matter of time until one the hearts we care about is being broken.
Panda: Just look at his face! *sobs*
JoAnne: He looks like that handsome boy who was into poetry and took you to prom but you never really felt like he was THERE with you and then later, in college, you find out he's gay. Which is fine, but you spent how many years pining for him before that? Too many. (No, Alexe, this is not one of my boyfriend stories. To my knowledge, anyway.)

Episode 3

Night Deity stands accused of using his powerful water magic against his brother, the Phoenix! He stands there all quietly outraged and extremely handsome. We need a picture of Night Deity's beauty.
We do! My heart is breaking for him because we do know how he truly likes his brother. To be accused like this must hurt so much.
He just wants his daddy to love him!
That's him too, by the way...
I'm with Panda there, but I actually kind of like it when someone I adore in a drama turns out to be someone I wouldn't be attracted to in real life. Helps me keep it in perspective!

Oookay, so, where were we. Night Deity stands accused of using his powerful water magic against his brother, the Phoenix! He recounts what really happened and shows a severe burn on his arm from that fire bead. By the way, did you know he was trained as a ballet dancer? It totally shows in the way he holds his body.
I didn't know he was hurt, that makes me angry now. These royal parents suck. Is that a requirement?
Yes. I think they take anti-parenting classes.
The drama moves on to the garden and flabbergasted Jin Mi thinking that not only crows and magpies have black feathers but also burnt phoenixes. She quickly realizes that this phoenix is an inexhaustible source for spiritual essence - yup, gonna exploit this, of course, the resourceful Grape. From his bodyguard, Xu Feng hears that his brother Run Yu is in trouble, so he immediately rushes to the throne hall and swears this has nothing to do with his older brother. Awwwwww, so cute, the brothers like each other!
I knew Night God liked his bro and because Xu Feng is our hero, I knew he couldn't be allowed to have a petty trait like not liking his sibling. I liked that he immediately rushed to his aid though. 
Yes, yes, he's a good person. He just always looks like he needs a NAP.
The Empress quickly uses this opportunity to remind the Emperor of his "promise" to make Xu Feng the Crown Prince. The Emperor stalls... after Xu Feng returns victorious from battling the Demons, he will talk about this. Haha. DOUCHE. Quite timely, a soldier comes running to tell them the Demons have retreated. Why? Cause Fire Deity Xu Feng scared them, hehe. He is also not at all having this Crown Prince talk. Mommy's reaction:
She is ghastly.
If she presses her lips together any more tightly her mouth will disappear.
At Night Deity's Xuanji Palace, Xu Feng helps heal his brother's wound by clearing the fire poison in his body - he cannot do more because he is fire, Run Yu is water ... their energies oppose each other. Both are grateful to each other for helping and then talk about the assailant who has water magic but is not afraid of fire. Together, they think they will soon find the culprit. *ships this bromance HARD*
Shippity shippity ship ship ship!
Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me!
Oh, but what is this? A black-clad someone with hoodie and mask goes to see the Empress. Apparently, he (=handsome!) is a spy, he tells her everything about the two brothers. Evil Mommy thinks her boy is too naive, he doesn't see Run Yu is a wolf!
No mom, you are the poisonous snake. Leave those two alone.
But send this guy to visit me, hubba hubba
Jin Mi is taking a tour of the Heavens, finding nothing special about it. Too many clouds, and... fake flowers! Yup, the Flower Realm doesn't exactly like the Heavens, since they're to blame for their Queen's suffering so NO FLOWERS for them. Eventually, she ends up in Phoenix's courtyard again where she finds a white fox slumbering in the bushes. Turns out it's an ancient Fox Spirit aka Moon God (yup, the one in charge of the love fate of mortals) who totally likes being petted by her in indecent ways.
Cutie. Lots of cute in this drama. How many of them are going to disappoint us?
He's childish and cute and doesn't act his age at all (he also happens to be the Emperor's brother and uncle to both Xu Feng and Run Yu). He also is a huge gossip and would ship the Grape with "Baby Phoenix" if she were not... male. Ahahahahaaaa.... so the magic hairpin makes her appear like a man? These gender attributes confuse the Grape mightily. Is she man or woman? Devious fox also tells her that there needs to be hugging if one is to repay a debt - and gives her some red string to tie around Xu Feng's foot. Red string only works on mortals, but why not try!
He is adorable.
He's that cute friend that alllllways gets you into trouble.
In the meantime, Run Yu is looking at the Fire Bead from the incident some more and we are looking at Run Yu some more.
Sighs dreamily.
I can't unsee that picture, though.
So, Moon Immortal has been giving out red strings to diverse female immortals for a while and they all tie them around Xu Feng's foot. Rawr, they all want him. Moon Immortal takes Jin Mi to his "Fated Love Manor" (lmao, sounds like a place in a very bad p0rn movie) - where Jin Mi gets harassed by immortal women falling for her/him immediately.
I know there is a magic hairpin or something, but still! This trope in cdramas never fails to make me shake my head.
I guess it's supposed to be funny, mistaking someone for the opposite sex, but it very rarely actually is for more than a brief moment.
Jin Mi explains to Moon Immortal why she's here: for Rou Rou. We see how Rou Rou disintegrated 900 years ago. When Moon Immortal says it's a hopeless case, Jin Mi begins to suspect Lord Puchi might have lied to her about the possibility of having her plant friend revived. She is so sad that Moon Immortal sees a need to comfort her. He says if she stays and cultivates, she will certainly find a way to revive her friend. And he tells her of another level above heaven for the really enlightened. Alright, gathering spiritual power is the plan.
Gather all the spiritual power you can Jin Mi. In ALL ways.
oh that sent my mind racing
At Qiqu Palace, Xu Feng reaches for a grape... and is reminded of Jin Mi. He hears she's living with his uncle, calling herself a "half-immortal" and smiles fondly. You're such a goner, Bird. But it's time for Jin Mi to meet somebody else first. The Yan Beast! It's Run Yu's pet - it eats dreams. It also has to burp up dreams frequently.
The CGI is surprisingly not horrible. Or have I been brainwashed??
No, it's kind of not terrible. I really loved the reborn Phoenix, for example.
Since Jin Mi repeatedly asks what "love" is, Moon Immortal gives her some reading to do. Well, it's porn. She says she's not interested at all since the pictures are ugly. She only gets interested in this "love" thing when he hears it can enhance one's spiritual energy.
I will genuinely love to read one of these books. See them all the time in sageuks too. 
I'm sure you can find some online
It's night, which means Night Deity is about. Yes, Jo. It's when you meet him. He is resting part of his true form - DRAGON! - in the water. Yan Beast sleeps at his feet. Depending on how active it is in eating dreams, its antlers grow!
2 Cuties.
Awww, sweeties.
Oh my
Jin Mi comes along and thinks Run Yu is a fish. When she steps closer, the Yan Beast takes issue - she was rather nasty to it earlier - jumps on her and dislodges her hairpin. Uh-oh, slo-mo.
She babbles a load of BS afterwards, about how beautiful his tail was (he's embarrassed) about how bright his future will be (she thinks he is raising deer = Yan Beast, to eat). The dummy even gives him some red string so he can be less lonely in the future... Oh no, he likes her... I say oh no because the two brothers are SO CUTE together.
Dang it! Can't he fall for someone else? I am sad already just thinking about future developments.
Look at the sweet! LOOK AT IT. I hate dramas. Dammit.
After eating two Vermilion Bird's eggs (300 years of spiritual energy!), Jin Mi falls seriously ill. It's fire energy - and she has water magic. Xu Feng arrives in time to save her, before she can go up in flames. Silly Jin Mi, she didn't gain any cultivation, but actually lost a lot through almost dying!
She knows Nothing.
You can't just go putting ANYthing in your mouth, girl.
Lord Puchi senses that Jin Mi is in distress and goes to pay her a visit in the Heavens. Xu Feng senses the intruder and immediately goes to check on the Grape. So him and the Snake God know each other? It seems Yan You "chose to be a demon" in the lower realm after growing tired of being an immortal. Xu Feng is surprised to find out Yan You calls Jin Mi a "friend" and doesn't seem to like the idea that Jin Mi owes Snaky spiritual powers. 
Please tell me he doesn't have a disturbing real life photo too?
I haven't checked, should I? 
Yan You likes to pretend he is a ruffian and womanizer, but it's pretty obvious he really cares for Jin Mi. He plays some magical flute for her when she has a nightmare about Rou Rou and manages to quiet her down. Promptly, she dreams about Phoenix.
Things are progressing very fast!
That's harsh, man. A guy gives his girl a nice rest and she uses it to dream about another guy? So far though, Phoenix is head and shoulders above the rest in general manliness. It's not like I can blame her.
Well, Phoenix doesn't know this, but he has quite the protective instinct towards her already, accusing Lord Puchi of harboring "other intentions" towards Jin Mi. He doesn't even need the spiritual powers she is painstakingly paying back since his cultivation is high. As long as Jin Mi is in his Qiwu Palace, Phoenix says, he will not allow Lord Puchi to come near her.


Loved it! Jin Mi meeting Run Yu, her and Yan Beast getting off on the wrong foot, silly childish ancient Moon Immortal with his red string and his pornographic books, and Lord Puchi and his roguish smirk. What's his deal though? We know he tried to kill Xu Feng, but we also know he cares about Jin Mi. Not as a lover, I don't get those vibes... but as a friend. He is hiding something behind this sleak, smirky exterior and I can't wait to find out what it is.
I find myself ambivalent towards Lord Puchi. I know he cares, but I am not liking that he has ulterior motives for what he does especially since Jin Mi's brain is about the size of a grape right now.
He definitely does not have a trustworthy face.