Ahem, this week Lakan has come with a new challenge to Jinshi and Maomao, and this time it’s preparing Blue Roses for the upcoming Garden Party in a month’s time. The problem however is that roses aren’t in season for another two months, and most florists didn’t know how to create the legendary blue roses that was once seen on the palace grounds. Jinshi had been working tirelessly to find an answer without Maomao, mainly because he didn’t really want her to have to deal with Lakan’s riddles again. But this time, it was Maomao who rose to the challenge when she saw how exhausted Jinshi was, and heard that it was Lakan’s doing. But she wasn’t going to do it for the sake of it, this time she has a plan to strike back.

We got to see Maomao putting together her who strategy, which apart from having to make sure she successfully gets at least the roses to budding enough, she needed a way to remind Lakan of the betrothal. The best way to do that was the red nail polish that quickly took the inner palace by storm. Just about every lady-in-waiting and courtesans were wearing it. That, out of everything she had to do, was the easy part. The making roses bloom a whole two or three months earlier than their season was a monumental challenge, one that Jinshi may have tried to stop her from doing if he had known how much energy was involved.

They made use of Lady Lihua’s steam house to serve as a green house of a sorts to fool the roses into thinking’s it’s time to bud. One of the most important part to this process was maintaining the temperature throughout the night. Since nobody else knew how to do it, Maomao was the one who had to pull the all-nighters for basically an entire month. And don’t forget, her leg is still recovering, and because she’s constantly running around, her stitches aren’t holding up. Thankfully they did call in for backup, her friend Xiaolan to support her during the day time. But even then, Maomao was so dead tired, that everyone around her was worried for her. Another thing to remember is that the challenge of growing the roses doesn’t mean she’s free from her other responsibilities. Since it’s has been confirmed that Lady Gyokuyou is pregnant, she’s back to serving as her food tester, as well as doing the regular check-ups since they intend to keep it a secret for as long as they can. (This is also why it was decided she would not attend the garden party.)

Although Maomao was unable to get the roses to fully bloom, she was able to at least get enough roses to bud enough to be presented to the Emperor. She made sure to show him the dyeing trick to making the roses turn blue, or whatever color they desire in advance so she wouldn’t get into trouble for ‘acts of deception’. In the end, the final product that was handed over to Jinshi to present to the Emperor at the party was a couple of blue roses along with an assortment of different colors to make it look all the more impressive.

It’s worth to remember that Lakan’s mischief isn’t always just for the sake of being a petty thorn on one’s side, but because there’s an ulterior motive to it. In this case, it was Lady Louran’s first time attending the garden party, one which her father Shishou, (the official who was favoured by the former Empress) was also present. There was a need to one-up her and her father in order to diminish the influence, or perhaps impact of her debut.

Lastly, viewers finally got to get a glimpse into Lakan’s world, which is very important since it will speaks volumes of what’s to come. Lakan suffers from a condition where he cannot make out one’s face. So instead, his world consists of people’s heads as Go-Stones. This not only helps him tell people apart, because also what makes him an insanely skilled strategist. Because everyone holds a specific role such as cavalry, cannons, bishops, and pawns, working in the military is easy because he just needs to move the pieces around ‘the board’. However as you saw at the end there, in the world of go-pieces, there was one face he could see, and that was Maomao.

At long last, we’re going to see the two confront each other, but at least this time it’s on Maomao’s initiative. Next week is gonna be an emotional one, so I can’t wait to see it!


Blogging Anime since Summer 2009, & Founder of AngryAnimeBitches Anime Blog ...I may or may not be addicted to writing

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Vance

    From what I could make of this episode, Lakan intended to use the blue roses to provoke Shishou and Loulan so that they’d lash out and lose face, but as Lakan indicated, his provokation failed as they didn’t react to it. It’s clear Lakan is fully aware that Shishou, Loulan, and Suirei are all on the same side. I believe the main reason they tried to assassinate Jinshi is that they were aware of Jinshi being swapped at birth causing the previous Empress Dowager to lose her child.

    1. Vance

      I just realized I brainfarted. The current Empress Dowager is the one who apparently lost her child, not the previous Empress Dowager.

  2. Eva

    Notice: Ep 23 entry will be released as a double-post with Ep 24 next week! This is another one of those instances where I’d rather cover the two episodes together to have a more thorough write-up (especially since I already know what’s going on). I’m also still sick at the moment, but I’m going to use the bit of energy I have to try to get A Sign of Affection entries out tonight if I can. ;X^X|l|l Just know I’m working on it, it’s almost done.

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