Sound of the Desert Episodes 8-11
What a drama. I am enjoying this drama, I really am. I hadn’t planned on doing any regular posts, so don’t expect recaps from me as I do believe another blogger I follow is doing them.
So…where to start? Well, how about something that was a heaping pile of disappointment? The “long”-awaited meeting between Qin Xiang and Li Ji! All those near misses and slow motion and blabbering about soul mates and their meeting was soooo mundane and ordinary and nothing really special at all beyong Li Ji recognizing a bitterness in Qin Xiang’s song and wishing to be a ear for her. Qin Xiang is given a moment to choose her future and she chooses the royal harem over Li Ji. Xiao Yue would much rather have her friend choose the outstanding young general over a gilded cage, but she covers for Qin Xiang when Li Ji comes to the dance hall looking for her. And then this plot line is buried after Li Ji sees the fake Qin Xiang’s face and turn tails and basically runs in the opposite direction. Oh, she’s not ugly at all, so don’t think that. I don’t know what got him looking like a deer in the headlights, but he ran off. Guess he didn’t feel that spark of recognition he felt earlier in the real Qin Xiang’s presence. This comes back to the front when Li Ji learns of Qin Xiang being a favored concubine second only to Empress Wan and he gets all drunk and threatens to tear down the dance hall unless Xiao Yue comes out to explain herself (that’s where episode 11 leaves us).
Also, something that was very disappointing, but not surprising, again has to do with Qin Xiang. She told her story to Xiao Yue who asked her to get off her revenge kick. Qin Xiang agreed to let go of the hatred, but still requested entrance to the palace. Of course she was lying through her teeth. She then causes problems for Xiao Yue as our heroine does see her as a friend and I think as an equal in many ways. What problems? One, she requests Xiao Yue to give her special information regarding Wu Ji’s campaign against the Jie tribe since she cannot have the Wan family (the empress’s) have all that glory after what they did to her family. Xiao Yue is very loyal. Even though she constantly bickers with Wu Ji, you know there is a very genuine affection for the aloof, yet teasing general. Xiao Yue must choose what is right and that is safeguarding Wu Ji…not that she knows of any of his military plans anyways. Two, Qin Xiang requests her old zither back and Xiao Yue knows this is meant to entice Li Ji to her in order for Qin Xiang to gain him as an ally. Xiao Yue must decide to do so or not to do so and in the end she does choose to help in this way because she wants to help Mo Xun. She does ask a very important questions to herself though—will she look back at all she’s done for her beloved and regret it later?
Speaking of Mo Xun…I really am not for him and Xiao Yue at all. I know other people are all for that pairing, but I am sold on her and Wu Ji. I know that Mo Xun has a painful past and he’s mired in the middle of the battle between the desert tribes and the Southern Dynasty. I know that he’s also crippled (and if you watch previews he’s also unable to have children which Xiao Yue confesses she wants before she knows he’s sterile), but I really just don’t get how he can keep pushing Xiao Yue away. He blatantly and willfully ignores the young woman’s feelings and he ends up causing nothing but agony for both himself and the woman he’s in love with. He and Xiao Yue really do have a very unhealthy and imbalanced relationship. That one song…I don’t remember the name, really does fit their relationship as it talks about how one person tries so hard, but always finds themselves farther away from the one they love and giving up is sometimes as much an act of courage as love.
I really wanted to scream at Mo Xun in these episodes when Xiao Yue plays a maiden’s confession song for him and he keeps his pleasant face and voice as he tells her that she played awfully and that it’s late and she should go. Xiao Yue isn’t stupid, she knows he gets what the song is and this cuts her to the quick. This is especially painful with how Mo Xun delivers the blow after that touching birthday celebration for our wolf girl. She then goes out drinking with Wu Ji later when she meets him by chance and she gets dead drunk and demands of him (as if talking to Mo Xun) why he treats her so nicely. I actually also want to smack some sense in Xiao Yue, too, but you know this foolish girl will cling onto her love for Mo Xun no matter how much it makes her suffer. I can totally agree with Wu Ji’s decision to keep a secret later from Xiao Yue because he was sick of seeing how much her relationship with Mo Xun tormented her.
Wu Ji! He is also choosing a painful love. Yes, Xiao Yue has genuine affection for the general. While she loves Mo Xun, I think she could be transposing much of the affection she has for her late father onto him since she’s constantly comparing Mo Xun to her father. And Mo Xun, despite his feelings, is also very fatherly in his treatment of Xiao Yue at times as well. Anywho, they all three are choosing painful paths. Happiness may be found down the road for two, but definitely not all three, Anyways, Wu Ji’s path is painful because of his love and devotion for Xiao Yue who is obsessed with Mo Xun. Of course, we do also see Xiao Yue being honest from the beginning that she doesn’t want to understand his feelings for her since he easily sees through to her feelings for Mo Xun as well. I suppose we can say she is bad for never sending Wu Ji packing, but I think his friendship really does mean a lot to our wolf girl, so she also has that desire not to lose his friendship and this has nothing to do with what he can do for her, the man she loves, or her dance hall.
We finally learn more about Xiao Yue’s past in these episodes. We learn that she grew up in the Jie tribe as her father lived with them because it appears he was in love with their queen. She, another woman, and two men were very close friends. That is until the current king decided to usurp the throne of the crown prince of the Jie tribe. This leads the queen to commit suicide which leads her father to commit suicide. She and the prince run away together and he leaves her in the desert to her wolf pack and promises to come back for her…only he never comes back. He dies. Xiao Yue is quick to chalk this up to…I think his name is Hu Wei Li or something like that. Her friend who finds her again in the city asserts that King Hu did not have the prince killed, but rather the prince died of an illness. She also talks about how the king was greatly distressed over Xiao Yue’s father’s death. The friend wants Xiao Yue to come home, but Xiao Yue can’t. She agrees with the prince’s lie and says that she did indeed die in the desert that day and can no longer go back. She does say she no longer hates Hu or wants revenge. The woman is sad as she doesn’t want their friendship to end, but she’s also happy since she is in love with Hu and wants to be his consort…concubine…whatever. We also learn that this Hu person is in love or was in love with Xiao Yue.
So we have a very complicated present relationship and a very complicated past relationship. Just wait until these two worlds merge together. That will be a doozy for our heroine. And to make matters worse, you know that Wu Ji and Mo Xun will probably be on opposite sides of the desert and dynasty battles. Mo Xun is being actively recruited by Hu to help the desert people take on the Southern Dynasty while Wu Ji is fighting to defend the dynasty. Given Mo Xun’s personality, it really is hard to believe he’s a very calculating man that holds such a key position that could tip the balance of this struggle. It really is.
Ah…and someone hired an assassin to kill Xiao Yue! She immediately thinks it must be the leader of the Jie tribe…but the man has no idea she’s really still alive, so that doesn’t seem too likely. Who is the person who put a price on her head? Thanks to Mo Xun’s identity, the Gobi assassins quickly back off and vow to not accept the job after all since Xiao Yue is under Mo Xun’s protection.
Wu Ji and Li Ji do well in battle against the desert tribes. Wu Ji gets the fame and recognition though, while Li Ji gets no accolades. But Li Ji is not a petty person at all. I wonder how his relationship with Qin Xiang will warp him? I hope it doesn’t, but it usually does in these cases. Wu Ji, even though he does get recognition and awards and a new title, is very unhappy that all of his hard work is credited to Empress Wan. It was his efforts and everyone else’s so how can the empress have anything to do with his grand victory? You definitely see his pride and in all honesty, you have to agree that his accomplishments really don’t have anything to do with his aunt.
Our plot is a tangled one. Things are going to get more painful and more complicated, but I’m still loving and looking forward to this drama.