First thing we see are girls being squished together in a small cart. We get a close up shot of a girl (Zhao Li Ying) who is clearly lost in her own thoughts. We know that she doesn’t know her identity but suspect that her real name is Chu Qiao based from her memories. We get scenes of her past where an old man tells her that she is now to be called Jing Xiao Liu, we see her younger self training in martial arts and fighting against other people. An older woman (which I suspect is her mother) tells Chu Qiao to quickly wake up.
She wakes up and takes a look at her surroundings. It is clearly unfamiliar and outside of the cart, we see half-naked men being forced to pull the cart (filled with other women including Chu Xiao) by soldiers on horseback.
She then converses with a young girl who introduced herself as Jian Mao Tou which means curly hair. She asks Chu Qiao for her name who tells her that she is known as Jing Xiao Liu and she is here because she created a huge mess. Her stomach growls and the young girl quickly gets a small bun to share with her. Looks like they will be good friends soon.
The young girl shares her worries to Chu Qiao who comforts her saying “Don’t be scared. I’m here.”
Then we get a long shot of the three carts (filled with women) arriving at a camp. The soldiers quickly order them to get off the cart and ushered them into a room where they were given new clothes. The new outfit however have different characters written on it.
Suddenly the scene changes to men riding on horseback in a different city. Looks like they’re the popular dudes as they gain attention and we see young ladies fangirling over them. Even though the guy in the middle (gold) was talking about them being frivolous with horse riding when there are important matters in hand, the other guys don’t care as they go on to play games and have fun.
We get back to the girls who are now changed into white outfits (you can see that they have different characters embroidered on the back of their outfit). They are surrounded by many soldiers on horseback and even I feel sorry for the girls. It looks like it is a hunting game for the rich lords as the soldiers force the girls to flee in a particular direction.
WOW. Those guys we saw earlier are those lords involved in this horrendous game. Yuwen Huai explains to his friends that he bought them here for this game: hunting wolves and beautiful girls. We then realise that the characters embroidered onto the girls’ outfits have the guys’ names. Yuan Song complains of the cruelty of the games and says that he won’t participate. Prince Yan supports him while the other guys are eager to hunt and kill.
Then we get a close shot of Yuwen Yue who enters his bedchamber. There is a girl lying on the bed but unlike what the other guys think, he is clearly not taking advantage of her. The girl then gets up and looks at Yuwen Yue, trying to seduce him. She tries to lure him to get into bed with her but he reveals that he knows she was sent here by someone. She acts nonchalantly and pretends to not know anything. But then tries to assassinate him. She releases sharp arrows from her hair (WTF) and quickly escapes the room.
But to no avail, she gets injured and caught by him. She asks him how did he see through her act. He replies “From the very moment I walked into the room.” He tells her that he has survived countless assassinations – he’s clearly experienced. She then desperately tells him to come back and says that he is already poisoned from the incense burner. Clearly, he’s not afraid as he says it was her who is poisoned instead, “Looks like Yuwen Huai will be disappointed again”.
Back to the cruel hunting game, the game starts when the wolves get released. This shock the girls as they scream and try to flee. Meanwhile, the guys shoot arrows at the maidens in their high tower. Meanwhile, Yuwen Yue hurries on horseback to the hunting place as if sensing something bad is happening (which he is right).
I have to say, the wolves killing the maidens are so fake.
As Prince Yan and Yuan Song tries to save the maidens by shooting the wolves, the other guys shoot the maidens instead.
Prince Yan tells the guys that he has eyes of Chu Qiao and dares the others to try to hurt her.
Soon, Chu Qiao is surrounded by two formidable wolves. She gets injured when she tries to escape but got bitten instead. But she’s strong as she fights against them and successfully kills them. Prince Yan looks on with interest as he watches her defeat them without his help. She even goes on to save her friend from being killed by a wolf.
The men then get on horseback while shooting the maidens. Chu Qiao tries to help the other maidens escape and leads them to the sand dunes. The game then ends when the incense stick is burnt out, leaving Chu Qiao and her friend as the only survivor. The girls continue to run but her friend gets shot by an arrow (even though the game has ended).
NO! I was hoping for this friendship to last longer!
Yuwen Huai quickly tries to shoot Chu Qiao but Yuwen Yue shoots his arrow and saves Chu Qiao. Yuwen Yue then leaves the scene, not caring what will happen to Chu Qiao. The other guys also leave since the fun is over but Prince Yan remains. He tells his servants to not hurt Chu Qiao as they take her back.
Chu Qiao is then brought to an estate by the servants who tells the head maid to punish her. She gets dumped in a warehouse filled with hay. She is badly injured but suddenly a man comes in who says that he’s her 5th brother. She doesn’t recognise him but he tends her wounds while explaining that she has left their house a long time ago and couldn’t believe she had forgotten them. He asks her how did she survive alone when the other maidens died. He tells her that it is all his fault for not protecting her. She tells him that it is not his fault. He brings her a bowl of food to eat but she refuses, “I’m not hungry”. In the end, she eats the pork due to his persuasion. He then leaves her to find medicine who asks for help from a fellow servant (who seems familiar with Chu Qiao).
Next day, we see Prince Yan and Yuwen Yue conversing together. Prince Yan asks him for help with his birthday party as he doesn’t want to give Princess Chun’er the wrong idea. Yuwen Yue suggests to host his birthday party at his place. Yuwen Yue then cuts to the chase and asks Prince Yan why did he save Chu Qiao. Prince Yan teases him that he has a crush on her but Yuwen Yue remains nonchalant.
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It was an interesting start but the CGI had me laughing. It was so fake that I couldn’t concentrate too much on the storyline and what the characters were saying. But I was happy to see Li Geng Xin and Zhao Li Ying here and I wonder about their love line.