Gong Episode 4 Recap
After being comforted by the 4th prince, Qing Chuan goes to her room only to find the bullying begin to escalate again. This time, the other maids are completely removing her bedding since she had complained about the snakes. Qing Chuan demands to know why they must take the blankets and bedding, too and they reply that they can’t use their bare hands to catch the snakes, plus it seems like the snakes were highly poisonous and only one bite could kill. Right. Qing Chuan can’t scold them when they lie saying they were just trying to save her life. Qing Chuan asks how she will sleep since they took everything away, and they reply they don’t know and don’t care. The two maids leave and Qing Chuan throws herself on the bed saying that she refuses to give in to them.
The next day when Qing Chuan is out walking an arrow comes flying at her and becomes entangled in her hair. Needless to say our poor heroine is in shock. A little lower and it could have killed her! Out jumps Yin Si from the rooftop with a bow. He is very proud of his marksmanship. Wing Chuan demands to know what would happen if he had killed her. His response? Oh well, then you’d be dead. Nice. Yin Si then says he can easily accuse her of some crime and thus state he’s gotten rid of a public menace. The angry Qing Chuan turns around to face him and he has to quickly duck before his arrow knocks him in his head.
Qing Chuan then recalls that he is a prince while she is just a maid, so he would easily be able to get away with murdering her. She bites her tongue and jaunts off with arrow still in her hair. Yin Si calls after her. Qing Chuan stops and smiles and asks what he wants. Yin Si then replies that he has good news and bad news for her – which does she want to hear first? Qing Chuan replies neither and goes to turn around. Yin Si runs after her and tells her the good news is that he is impressed with her endurance of his bullying. The bad news is that he will step up the bullying from now on. Ye gads, it can get worse? Qing Chuan turns towards him in anger again, but the wiser Yin Si quickly stops the arrow lodged in Qing Chuan’s hair from almost conking him again. Yin Si laughs and walks away while the frustrated Qing Chuan likens his behavior to that of a gangster than the prince he is supposed to be.
In order to withstand Yin Si’s bulling, Qing Chuan goes on a rice binge, shocking all of the maids. She also starts an exercise regiment to increase her strength to be able to endure the 8th prince’s attacks. The other maids laugh and wonder how long Qing Chuan can endure. They are all helping Yin Si bully her. The two maids who always seem like they are trying to get Qing Chuan into trouble are betting the lack of a proper bed and their combined bullying will age Qing Chuan and destroy her. More maids come out and point out that it doesn’t look likely to happen. The other two like over and their sleeps Qing Chuan outside on a hammock. This shocks all maids at her resilience and stubbornness.
The next day 8th, 9th, and 10th princes are sitting in their schoolroom. Yin Si is busy spacing out while his two younger brothers watch him and wonder just what is wrong to put him in such a state for the past two hours. They both concur that it must be Qing Chuan. Yin Si has already thrown so much at her, but she is still holding strong. 10th Prince Yin’e believes their elder brother must be annoyed. However, 9th Prince Yin Tang believes it’s another reason. Yin Si stops spacing out and begins to listen to his younger brothers. He is horrified when Yin Tang says that Yin Si must be feeling attracted to Qing Chuan. Yin Si quickly turns around and throws books at his siblings, saying that is impossible. More like his actions confirm the opposite of what he is saying, but oh well. Their childishness is rather cute. It does make me wonder about their ages, though. Exactly how old are these three brothers that they still study in a school and can be so carefree and child-like at times?
Then in walks a servant who gives 8th Prince some tea. Yin Si drinks the tea and Qing Chuan takes off the servant hat, shocking Yin Si who quickly worries about the tea. Qing Chuan says that she poisoned it and that after an hour, Yin Si will be dead. Yin Si tries to regurgitate the tea while Yin Tang grabs Qing Chuan to keep her from escaping. Qing Chuan says it is okay if they killed her as she was prepared to die for poisoning a prince. She has no regret for her actions. Yin Si quickly yells at his brothers to fetch the royal physician and Yin’e goes running. Qing Chuan turns to Yin Si and tells him that he now knows how to be afraid. Qing Chuan then lectures him on not disregarding others just because he is royalty. Qing Chuan says he will never respect for people if he always oppresses. She hopes that he can learn from this and change his ways. Yin Tang loses his cool and starts choking Qing Chuan for her audacity. Yin Si, who has quit choking, straightens up and demands Yin Tang let her go. 9th Prince reluctantly obeys.
The 8th prince says that he admits Qing Chuan is tough. He then tells her that if he dies in an hour, he will let her leave the palace alive. However, if he should live, that means this is all a trick to scare him. That means he will step up his bullying even more and make her life a living hell. At this time Yin’e runs in with the royal physician. Qing Chuan says there is no need for that and drinks the rest of the tea, shocking the brothers. She says that there was no other choice but to play that trick. She is just a lowly maid who wishes to live in peace, which the three brothers are not letting her do. Thus she decided to teach them a lesson. She then says that they will see how far their status can cover for them before walking out. Yin Tang wishes to go out and kill her, but is stopped by his brother who has a goofy look on his face. Looks like Yin Tang’s earlier words really are true.
Later that day, Qing Chuan is allowed out of the palace with Madame Jin. Qing Chuan is ecstatic to be able to get out of the suffocating palace. Madame Jin goes to get Concubine Xi’s medicine. Qing Chuan doesn’t want to get separated, but is told to go and buy patterns. When Qing Chuan goes to protest, Jin threatens her with going back to the palace immediately. This sends Qing Chuan off to look for the patterns. While she does this, Jin makes a sign to some men. What is up? Qing Chuan seems to notices these men staring at her and she goes off, nervous. She knows she is being followed. When she runs, the two men corner her. The men begin attacking her and ripping her clothes. Qing Chuan screams for help and the men are easily thrown away from her. 4th Prince to the rescue! The beaten men demand to know who is getting in the way of their “palace affairs” and Yin Zhen quickly flashes his royal seal and tells them to get lost. Finally, his identity is revealed!
The two men then run off in shock. Yin Zhen then quickly picks Qing Chuan up off the ground and asks if she is okay. The frightened girl shakes her head no and Yin Zhen then tells her of how he looked to the sky as a child when he wanted to cry. Why? In hopes of keeping the tears from flowing out. This touches Qing Chuan who asks if such a trick would work. Yin Zhen says that if she believes that it will work, then it will. He then turns and leaves and Qing Chuan calls out, thanking him. Yin Zhen turns around and says that is not needed as he cannot stand to see men bullying a woman. It appears that Qing Chuan is still not aware that he is the 4th Prince. Go figure.
Back in the palace, the 8th-10th princes are sparring when the beaten men come back. Yin Tang walks over and the men apologize saying that the rape was a failure. Yin Tang is then surprised to hear that 4th Prince stepped in and intervened on the maid’s behalf. Yin Si asks what is going on. Yin Tang goes over, but before he can say anything, Yin’e opens his mouth and reveals everything. Yin Tang quickly covers 10th Prince’s mouth, but it is too late. Yin Si quickly grabs Yin Tang and asks how his little brother could do such a thing. Doesn’t he know that virginity is very important to a woman? Yin Tang says he does and that is why he tried to ruin it. Let’s see how she would dare go against the princes after that. Yin Si pushes his brother away and asks how could he do something that low. Yin Tang then asks why his older brother is getting so soft – does he really like Qing Chuan. Yin Si denies this and says that it is because he doesn’t want to see his brother treating women like that. (But it is okay to bully and beat them – doesn’t that seem a bit twisted and hypocritical?)
The men are sent away and Yin Tang says that he knew his elder brother wouldn’t blame him for such behavior. Spoke too soon! Yin Si quickly throws his brother to the ground. Good. Yin Tang deserved a beating for that behavior. Afterward, Yin Tang says he will never go against Qing Chuan and hopes that she will appreciate his elder brother’s benevolence. At that exact moment, in rushes the upset Qing Chuan (who believes that it is all Yin Si’s doing). She slaps him, shocking them all. Qing Chuan curses him out and says that she is not an ordinary palace maid and he will have to kill her. She then runs off, leaving them in shock. 10th Prince then wonders if they should explain the situation to her. Yin Si just glares at them and walks off.
As Qing Chuan goes off to do her chores, she remembers all of Yin Zhen’s kindnesses. She is falling for him. Too bad she doesn’t know his true nature. He isn’t inherently a bad person, but he is cunning and ruthless and willing to do whatever it takes to gain recognition and become emperor. She shakes herself out of her reverie and tries to tell herself that the luck of meeting him again will be low. She then walks on and pauses again when she hears a zither. And lo and behold it is 4th Prince! Meanwhile, Yin Zhen plays and thinks of his father’s praises and then his father saying he will only be a minister. A string breaks and Qing Chuan approaches.
Qing Chuan praises his playing and asks him the name of the piece. Yin Zhen says it is a piece for his father. He then states that he will never play that song or any other again. This surprises Qing Chuan who wonders if it is because she disturbed his playing. She says she only wanted to thank him again, but Yin Zhen doesn’t listen and just walks away, agitated, with Qing Chuan calling her thanks after him.
That night, 8th Prince thinks back on the scene from the afternoon. He wonders what kind of woman Qing Chuan is and why isn’t he mad at her for her actions. He then wonders if he really could like her. He smiles at this thought. Meanwhile, Qing Chuan is returning to her quarters after finishing her duties. A gang of eunuchs then come and grab her and take her to a room where she is stripped by maids and put into a bath. She is bathed, made up, and clothed.
After she has been fully made up and clothes she is then sent outside where she wonders just what is going on. She then spots a man. She asks who it is and Yin Si turns with a big smile on his face. Qing Chuan is surprised that it is him. She asks what he wants and stumbles towards him. He boldly confesses he likes her and then says he will make her is mistress. This does not please Qing Chuan at all. She is annoyed by such a confession and asks what he is up to, what is he planning to do to her now? Needless to say, this reaction takes Yin Si by surprise. He says that he is being completely sincere. Qing Chuan just waves goodbye and walks away. Yin Si stops her and asks if he isn’t good enough. Doesn’t she know that he is the 8th Prince, son of the emperor. Qing Chuan replies that she does know, but she is not shallow enough to be tempted by wealth, power, and title. Poor Yin Si is always being lectured by her.
Qing Chuan then tells Yin Si that there are some things that wealth and power just can’t buy a person. This seems to really shock Yin Si. With a completely serious, child-like innocence, he asks for an example. Of course Qing Chuan’s reply is love. True love. Yin Si then asks what rue love is. Qing Chuan says it is useless trying to talk to him and walks away. Yin Si goes to stop her, but she turns around and tells him not to touch her. She then says there is only 2 options between them. 1) He uses his princely authority to have her killed or banished 2) He just waits for her punches. She then waves and walks away with Yin Si wearing a goofy smile and watching her go. Aiyo. Looks like her speech only made him like her more and wish to pursue her even more.
The irritated Qing Chuan goes back to Xi’s palace where she is immediately approached by the two maids who like to bully and tease her. They asks why she is so dressed up. Was she appointed by the emperor (of course they say this as a joke, not really believing such a thing would happen). Qing Chuan says she hasn’t even seen the emperor’s shadow. No, it was the crazy 8th Prince who wanted to take her as his mistress. This shocks the maids. They are even more shocked to learn that she rejected Yin Si. The two maids lament their fate at not being able to attract the prince and Qing Chuan attracts him and rejects him.
The next day, De is in the garden and goes to pick a flower at the exact time that Xi goes to pick the flower. Xi immediately lords her favoritism and asks De to let her have the flower. De’s main servant scolds Xi who then scolds the servant for scolding her. Xi goes to grab the flower, but De stops her and picks it. Instead of keeping it, De hands it to her and leaves. Xi smiles, believing herself to be triumphant. The other concubines in the background then complain about Xi’s attitude to the superior De and say that she is only enjoying a temporary popularity. Xi doesn’t take this too much, until they start talking about how even if De is unpopular, she at least has 2 sons while Xi has no children whatsoever. Xi throws down the flower, determined to pick the son that will become emperor to protect her.
That night, after pampering the emperor, Xi brings up the subject of letting her help with the crown prince matter (he has to choose a new one since the old one is locked up). The emperor replies that it is an affair of state and thus has nothing to do with a woman. Xi then says that she wishes him to quickly appoint a new prince for the good of his health. He asks if that is really her reason and she replies that she has selfish motivation – more time with his majesty. The emperor sighs and gets up. He has an idea about what to do with the crown prince situation. He then tells Xi not to worry and since she has all this free time, read some history books. He recommends one in particular before leaving. Xi is upset that he chose to leave versus spending the night with her.
On his way back to his own palace, he comes across De praying for the dynasty and the emperor’s happiness. Kang Xi is happy to hear such things from De. She knows her place whereas Xi doesn’t. Kang Xi asks if De is being bullied by Xi and she immediately denies this. Kang Xi states that she is too polite and then says that out of all the women in the palace, she is the one he regards as his true wife inside his heart. Does she understand what he means? De smiles happily and thanks him. The two then go off to Yong He palace for some soup…and probably something else.
Jin goes back to Xi’s palace and tells Xi that Kang Xi went to De’s palace instead of returning to his own like planned. This annoys Xi who wonders why the emperor would go to that “old woman’s” palace. Unless – did Xi upset him? She then tells Jin that Kang Xi recommended her to read a story about Lady Gouyi of Emperor Wu’s times. What story is that? Jin doesn’t know and Xi calls for Qing Chuan to go to the royal library to read the story since Xi hates reading. Qing Chuan then must memorize it and report back to Xi. Qing Chuan, who remembers history well, then states that Gouyi was one of Wu’s wives and was usually portrayed with a raised, closed fist. Only when she sees the emperor would her hand open. Wu made Gouyi’s son the crown prince and then had Gouyi killed. Xi thinks about this, but cannot see the parallels as her hand is open and she has no sons. Xi then orders Qing Chuan to read the story and recite it word for her as she cannot glean the emperor’s meaning from what Qing Chuan said.
Qing Chuan find the book and reads the story. She realizes that the emperor is merely telling Xi not to meddle in politics. Why does she have to read this and memorize it when the story was exactly as she had already told Xi. Qing Chuan falls asleep reading. While she sleeps, someone takes the book and replaces it with an adult novel. Jin goes to wake Qing Chuan up and demands if Qing Chuan has memorized the book. Qing Chuan says she has started and Jin demands her to go and read the story to Xi. After Jin and Qing Chuan leave, the maids break out into laughter. They shut up when Su Yan comes in and asks why they are laughing. They say nothing, but put down the book Qing Chuan was supposed to have.
Qing Chuan is brought before Xi. When Qing Chuan goes to read the story, she notices the book is the wrong one. When Qing Chuan doesn’t start immediately reading, Jin goes and looks at the book. When Jin doesn’t start reading, Xi demands to know what is going on. Are the words to difficult for them? Jin shows Xi the book and Xi spits tea asking what scholar would write such a history book and Jin replies that it is the famous adult novel Jin Pin Mei. Qing Chuan immediately says it is a misunderstanding and that the book isn’t hers. Xi then sends her to clean the main hall. She will have no food until she finishes. Poor Qing Chuan.
Of course, whenever something goes wrong for Qing Chuan, she is quick to blame Yin Si and this is no exception. She immediately goes to where he is practicing (shirtless). The guards don’t want to let her in, but Yin Si says they can. When she approaches, Yin Si asks if she has reconsidered his proposal. Qing Chuan says she hasn’t and that even if he tries to frighten her with that banned book, she will not be afraid. She has seen worse things than that. Yin Si has no idea what she is talking about and Qing Chuan says other than him – who else could it be. Yin Si says that he doesn’t want to harm her now, only marry her. He then asks what is so much worse than the book that she has seen. This takes Qing Chuan aback. Yin Si then says she must have peeked at a man taking a bath. Qing Chuan denies this and stalks hotly away with Yin Si laughing (he also said she didn’t seem to be too embarrassed about seeing him in his half-naked state).
When the flustered Qing Chuan returns to Xi’s palace, the other maids are busy cleaning the main hall. They then sit her down and begin praising her and saying they should all be good sisters. Qing Chuan, not suspecting anything, quickly agrees to put bygones behind them. They then say that tomorrow is their day off. Consort De is praying and cleaning, but has little servants. So, the maids will go and help out to earn some extra money. They then tells Qing Chuan she must wear red. Qing Chuan replies she has no read clothes, but the other maids have already prepared something for her. Qing Chuan thanks them. She should really think that something is up since they are all being so nice all of a sudden.
The next day dawns and when Qing Chuan arrives she is wearing red while everyone else is wearing white. This shocks De who asks Qing Chuan how she can wear red on the late empress’s memorial day. One of the other maids comes up before Qing Chuan can reply and says that Qing Chuan is clearly disrespecting the dead dowager empress on purpose. Another maid then says that she should be beaten to death. Qing Chuan says she meant no disrespect. She thought that the late empress would like the maids to be dressed prettily while they clean. De says that the dowager empress did love bright colors and so she would not punish Qing Chuan. Well, that plan failed thankfully.
De coughs and is taken outside to be free of the dust. After she leaves, the maids do a half ass job and go to leave. Qing Chuan says the cleaning isn’t nearly finished. They then say that since no one lives there anymore, it doesn’t matter. They go outside and report they are finished. De asks where the red maid is and Qing Chuan comes out and says there is still a lot of cleaning left to do. The maids say that they had finished but Qing Chuan had then messed everything up again. They then begin to disparage Qing Chuan in front of De. De asks if that is the truth and they reply yes.
Qing Chuan has overheard all of this and is shocked to realize she blamed Yin Si unjustly. She then goes to the front and accuses the two maids of trying to get her into trouble. She lists all of the things they have done to her and ask if they are intentionally trying to get her killed. The two immediately reply that she is lying. Qing Chuan insists that she isn’t and even repeats what they told her about coming to clean in order to reap big rewards. De finally steps in to stop the argument. De sends them away and says that her servants will finish and that the other maids don’t need to come ever again. The maids protest, but go off. Only Qing Chuan remains. She goes to go back inside and is asked by De’s head maid what she is doing. Qing Chuan says she will finish what she started. Even if there is no reward? Of course, Qing Chuan isn’t doing this for the reward, but for her own peace of mind. She then tells them that De shouldn’t be in dusty places and to sprinkle water down before entering dusty rooms. Her kindness surprises De and her maid.
Kang Xi is sitting all depressed when De comes to visit. He tells her to sit and asks after the memorial cleaning. De replies that everything is done and he thanks her. Ever since his grandmother passed, he has been afraid to visit her palace and face the empty room and feel that she is no longer there. By not going, he can believe she is still around. De says she understands and says she believes the Grand Empress Dowager in heaven understands, too. Kang Xi sighs and De asks why. Kang Xi says that thinking of his grandmother reminds him of the crown prince issue. He asks his ministers which prince should be the crown prince, but they have no idea. Kang Xi has none either. What does De think? De replies that she is just a woman and can’t help him there. Her duty is to teach the children and support her husband – that is all.