Okay, so I know it looks like a lot of episodes. But trust me, this drama is definitely worth watching. I highly recommend this because the character development, the plot, the chemistry between actors, and the acting were all amazing. The actors that acted in this drama were amazing and I have to say I truly enjoyed the antagonists' (king and Zheng'er) performance in this drama, absolutely amazing acting. The OST was also very beautiful and it kind of reminded me of BBJX's OST in some ways.
General Lan Ling, according to history, was a very good-looking man. His face was so beautiful that he had to hide his face during battles. He was a great general and was basically a legendary war god of some sort. He was well-loved by the people which caused the crown prince (General Lan Ling's brother) to feel threatened. He is acted by Feng Shao Feng.Yang Xue Wu is the last priestess of her clan and lives with her blind grandmother. She's lively and is ostracized by the girls in her village and not many people liked her because she was always so wild and causing trouble. She is acted by Ariel Lin.
Yang Xue Wu's grandmother had warned her about General Lan Ling and how she may have a tragic fate with him. However, time and time again, the two keep encountering one another and helping one another. Unconsciously, the two fall in love and Ariel Lin is caught in the war between Northern Qi and Northern Zhou. She saved a man called Ah Guai who turned out to be the Zhou emperor Yuwen Yong. By saving him, he fell in love with her and their fates became tangled together.
General Lan Ling also loved Yang Xue Wu but she kept rejecting him because she had saw a fate where he is with a woman named Zheng er. When it was time to select a bride for General Lan Ling, it was very comedic as he constantly showed his affection more and more toward Yang Xue Wu. It was extremely cute and interesting to watch how she actually was quite well-loved and got chosen as the bride. Zheng er, one of the candidates, tried to get the General Lan Ling to fall in love with her. Zheng er had a crush on General Lan Ling since she was a servant at the palace. He had helped her avoid getting in trouble with the guards for sneaking out of the palace and she forever remembered him. Now that she's recognized as the god daughter of some official, she is given the opportunity to marry General Lan Ling. However, the plan to get General Lan Ling backfired and she was sent to get punished.
Yu Wen Yong who liked Yang Xue Wu backed off when Yang Xue Wu clearly liked General Lan Ling. For the sake of her happiness, Yuwen Yong stepped aside promising that he will come and take care if she is mistreated in any way. Yang Xue Wu married General Lan Ling (aka Fourth Prince). They lead a very happy life together. They faced some hilarious moments and were very loving toward one another. Their servants were also loyal and faithful. His grandmother, the Empress Dowager, was an extremely kind, old woman who favored Yang Xue Wu. Fifth prince was a good friend to have around also (he was a bit of flirt; played by George Hu). However, trouble occurs when Zheng er comes back to the manor saying that she will be a servant to pay off her debt towards what she had done. However, she had another motive...to get General Lan Ling.
Because she lived in the palace, she was very sly and knew to cover her tracks. She was very smart too and quick to catch on to things. She was also quite ruthless. She pretended to be innocent as she purposely did things and caused scenarios to have the Fourth Prince have arguments with Yang Xue Wu. As Yang Xue Wu and the Fourth Prince continued to fight, misunderstandings continued to build up and it made Zheng er seem like the innocent one. The last straw was when Zheng er set up a plan to catch bandits with Yang Xue Wu but then acted as if Yang Xue Wu was accusing her of being dirtied and so forth. Upset, Yang Xue Wu ran off heartbroken. However, when the fourth prince found out about the truth behind what Zheng er was trying to do to his relationship with Yang Xue Wu, he abandons her in the middle of nowhere.
Zheng er got raped by two men passing by and then tried to commit suicide by hanging herself. However, she was discovered by the crown prince (who had a crush on her since they were younger) and is saved. She tells him that the reason she was like this was because of the fourth prince and Yang Xue Wu and she seeks revenge. The two work together to get revenge and also for the crown prince to successfully inherit the throne. Zheng er marries the crown prince (who later became the emperor after murdering his own father unwillingly). Zheng er was very ruthless, scary, and evil. She had the emperor in the palm of her hand. The emperor was just a bad ruler without his priorities sorted and he had bad judgement about things.
Based on history, the emperor gets scared of General Lan Ling's power and influence over the citizens who love him so dearly. He ends up sentencing him to death by poison. In this drama, there was a twist to the situation which was really nice to see. I won't reveal too much because I feel like this drama is best watched when you find out things yourself.
The crown prince and Zheng er are supposed to be our antagonists. Though I was very annoyed with Zheng er's sly ways and how she tried to manipulate situations, you could still connect with her in some way. She liked a guy so much that she did stupid things and it lead to a point where she couldn't go back. You feel bad for her at times too and you realize she's not that bad of a person. But she's so ruthless as she tried to maintain her cold image, that you would get scared of her only to find herself struggling internally also. As for the crown prince, I had trouble bringing myself to hate him. Every time he did something bad, he felt conflicted and scared and he was told to do a lot of those things by his adviser and Zheng er. He felt very guilty and it makes it hard for you to hate him.
The Zhou emperor, Yuwen Yong, time and time again, proved he was a great man. Not only was he on good terms with General Lan Ling (only fighting because they are at war), he was also very caring towards Yang Xue Wu. He was a great ruler who cared about his people and balanced everything quite well. He was a great character and I adored him. Another character I absolutely adored was Xiao Dong. I thought I would hate him at first because he sold her to a brothel in the beginning (he needed the money because his grandmother was sick). However, he felt guilty about it and they got close afterwards. He worked in the manor as a servant and was totally loyal. I think he had a crush on Yang Xue Wu also but he said that he knows his place and will only watch over her. He was the best friend and most dependable person Yang Xue Wu had (other than Fourth Prince and Yuwen Yong).
All in all, this drama was amazing. It had a great story line, a very touching love story, and great acting and chemistry. The characters all had depth and some background. They all had flaws and their moments of vulnerability which made this drama so perfect. I highly recommend this and I think you will all fall in love with this drama and the characters. The acting was amazing and I have to say this is one of those dramas where you hate the antagonist but you understand/feel bad for them. Great drama!