We will transition from one cute little Mi Yue to another cute little Mi Yue today with the use of a time jump (a well loved technique by the producer, it seems).
The Queen and Mi Shu are waiting for the King to have dinner. Mi Shu asked the Queen for permission to start eating first as she is hungry but is rejected by the Queen.
The Queen is then informed that the King is not coming over because he went to Lady Xiang. The Queen is annoyed and said some mean things about Lady Xiang while all Mi Shu cared about was her dinner. She had stolen a bite of the food and after hearing the news, asked her mother if she could eat first. I like Mi Shu already – she’s obviously not a spoilt, evil princess type we usually see in second female leads even though she is a princess.
Mi Yue visited the King and he asked if she wanted him to visit her mother. Surprisingly, Mi Yue said that she was just here to visit him and not to ask him to visit her mother. Lady Xiang had wisely figured out that other people might not be happy if the King visited her too frequently. *Ahem* the Queen *ahem*
Mi Yue saw the snacks on the King’s table and commented on it. The King offered her some but she said her mother had taught her not to eat food from strangers… then decided that it was okay since the King was her father. I like this scene because it shows how well Lady Xiang had brought up Mi Yue.
Mi Yue then fell asleep in the King’s chambers as he was looking through official documents. The eunuch wanted to send her back to her chambers but the King shook his head and carried her himself. Awww. He decided to take a rest and visit Lady Xiang instead.
In court, the officials report that the Qi country and Wei country are teaming up to bully the Chu country, who has been the leader of the countries. The King of Qi had also sent envoys to the country of Yue and the King of Yue had agreed to attack the Chu country with them.
The King of Chu decided he cannot take this lying down and he will personally lead the troops to attack the Yue country before heading northwards.
Just as he made the decision, an announcement that Lady Xiang is pregnant is made. The King of Chu is extremely glad and says this is a good sign for his upcoming battle.
The Queen sits in her chamber and continue muttering about Lady Xiang with her maid, who seems to be her advisor too. That maid is real good at adding oil to fire. They come to the decision that Lady Xiang is trying to make use of having children to gain favour but not worth worrying as she is of a low birth.
The Queen then makes a move by telling the imperial kitchen to make some snacks the King like. She will be bringing Mi Shu along to visit the King.
Cute little Mi Shu then speaks up and ask to be excused from visiting the King. She’s afraid of her fierce looking father. The Queen then scolds her for being useless – she needs to act like the di* princess she is. Poor Shu’er. She probably never saw the loving side of her father, unlike Mi Yue.
*di refers to the children given birth by the official wife of a man. (The Queen is the official wife). Children by concubines (such as Mi Yue) are all of shu birth.
The Queen meets Ju Ji on the streets (of the palace) and the latter informs her that the King had left everything regarding Lady Xiang’s pregnancy for Ju Ji to take care. The Queen looks displeased but she can’t do anything. Yay! No more harm done to Lady Xiang, hopefully.
Mi Yue is having fun massaging her ‘big tiger’ while the King is enjoying the massage by his ‘little tiger’. The Queen chances upon this scene and admonish Mi Yue for not showing the respect she should to the King. The King sides with Mi Yue and the Queen quickly adds that Mi Shu misses her father dearly too. Well, I don’t think so.
The King motioned for Mi Shu to come over but she hid behind her mother instead. She obviously does not miss the King as much as the Queen says. Ha.
The King then introduces Mi Yue to Mi Shu as her younger sister. After hearing that, Mi Yue ran to Mi Shu and said, “So you are my sister. Let’s go play together!” How can they not know each other before this!? But I’m glad their relationship is off with a good start!
Mi Shu looked at the Queen for permission but she refuses to give any. Mi Yue then asks the King and he readily agreed. Both Mi Shu and Mi Yue were exhilarated and ran off together. Ah, the innocence of children.
The Queen then urges the King to visit the harem more often and not be too busy with his work. She then hints that the King should also share his favour with more ladies in case some of them are unhappy. The King then sharply points out that it is probably the Queen that is unhappy.
Meanwhile, the two princesses are having fun together. They are challenging each other…. in the art of farting!
Mi Shu then told Mi Yue that she is the di princess and by right, Mi Yue should do a formal greeting to her. Mi Yue cutely agrees and after she is done, she requested Mi Shu to do the same thing because it’s polite to return a gift/greeting. I was surprised by this, our little Mi Yue is indeed different.
Mi Shu then does the formal greeting to Mi Yue and was seen by the Queen who made a big fuss over it. The King then came out and told the Queen to drop the matter.
The King shared that he liked that this child was fearless, real and cute. Should she be a boy, she would have a bright future. Well of course, our Mi Yue is the future hegemon and even if she was a female, she will still achieve great things! Foreshadowing~
The preparation for the battle is all ready and the King is ready to go to battle.
Lady Xiang had given birth to a prince the day before the King sets off to battle. The King named the prince Mi Rong, promoted Lady Xiang to become Xiang fei and bestowed some gifts to her.
The King then leaves the harem to be ran by the Queen and the state affairs to be taken care of by the Crown Prince.
Xiang fei is excited about her new chambers. The maids then delivered some new clothes to Xiang fei under the orders of the Queen and Dai Mao (the Queen’s scheming personal maid aka advisor) insisted on helping Xiang Fei put them on.
Later at night, a lower ranked servant saw Dai Mao soaking her hands in ice water with some herbs and asked her about it. Dai Mao did not answer. The servant turned to leave the room and saw a mess of plants on the floor and was about to clear it before being screamed at by Dai Mao.
Dai Mao shares some wise words, “In this palace, don’t ask about the things you are not supposed to ask about. Don’t touch the things you are not supposed to touch.”
The next morning, Xiang Fei’s neck broke out in rashes. The Queen then immediately turned up in Xiang Fei’s chambers. With one look, the Queen determine that it is an infectious disease and sent Xiang Fei out of the palace. In case anyone didn’t get it, it’s implied that the Queen had orchestrated this whole incident to frame Xiang Fei and chase her out of the palace when the King is not around.
Lady Ju Ji and Mi Yue could only look on.
Xiang Fei was sent to an old an tattered house where a man, Wei Jia, was ordered to ‘take care’ of her. I have no idea why Wei Jia is not afraid of the repurcussions of outraging the modesty of a favoured concubine on the King. Crazy dude.
Xiang Fei was then raped by Wei Jia. I didn’t expect this – just episode 2 and this angst? I’m calling a suicide on Xiang Fei’s part after this incident.
—3 years later—
Mi Yue is having fun climbing a tree. Kui-gu (the maid since years ago) tried to stop her to no avail. After failing to stop Mi Yue, Kui-gu left and went to prepare food for Rong-er (Mi Rong, Mi Yue’s younger brother).
In the kitchen, we are introduced to Huang Xie, a brilliant, polite and smart disciple of Master Qu. He had arrived to collect from pastries for his shifu*. However, he had to wait as the kitchen was busy preparing foodstuff for the Queen and Princess Mi Shu.
*Shifu refers to mentor
Huang Xie witness Mi Yue stealing the foodstuff prepared by the kitchen. The kitchen ladies are not aware at all and replenished the food, only to see it gone again.
By the third time, the kitchen lady saw Mi Yue and started chasing after her. Huang Xie tripped the kitchen lady and helped Mi Yue to escape successfully.
Huang Xie then went to find Mi Yue outside the kitchen and called her a ‘little thief!’
Mi Yue explained that she is a princess and hence, all these belonged to her father and by extension, to her too. Mi Yue then offered a bun she stole to Huang Xie, claiming that the rest cannot be shared as she is leaving it for her brother.
Huang Xie points out that Mi Yue does not look like a princess from her dressing and behaviour and Mi Yue exclaims that those who behave like princesses also say that.
Mi Yue then shows off her skills at picking fruit off the tree with her whip, saying that those who behaved like princesses did not know how to do this while she did and this is what counts. She then offers the fruit to him.
Huang Xie is impressed by her skills and ask to take a look at her whip. Mi Yue shares her secret behind a powerful whip and Huang Xie shares a poem about whips.
The two little kids spent some quality time together. Mi Yue taught Huang Xie the art of using a whip and asked Huang Xie to teach her something in return. Huang Xie could not think of anything but offered to introduce his shifu to her.
A few days later, the both of them paid their respects to their shifu even though Master Qu had not accepted her as a disciple. Master Qu liked her wit and agreed to accept her as disciple.
Mi Yue and Huang Xie then chanced upon a group of princesses playing shooting. The winner of the game would get honey and Mi Yue wanted to win that for Huang Xie.
The princesses were not welcoming but Mi Yue taunted them into allowing her to play. Mi Yue then managed to shoot the arrow into the goal in one try. However, the ‘head’ princess of the group refused to acknowledge her win and called her names instead, insulting both her and her mother.
Mi Yue the stood up for herself by using a whip to hit the ‘head’ princess and scolded the whole bunch of princesses. The ‘head’ princess then threatened Mi Yue that she had a mother who was a princess from the Qi country.
However, Mi Shu chanced upon them and stood up for Mi Yue. Hence, all the other princesses did not dare to do anything.
Lady Ju Ji is teaching Mi Rong how to recognise animals when Mi Yue return with tattered clothes. Lady Ju Ji makes a comment on how kids without mothers are indeed wild and unruly. Mi Yue then broke into tears and asked for her mother.
Kui-gu tried to ask Lady Ju Ji to let Mi Yue see Xiang fei but Lady Ju Ji just walked away. Kui-gu promised to help Mi Yue think of a way to see her mother.
Kui-gu then brought Mi Yue to see Xiang Fei. A tearful reunion. It was revealed that Lady Ju Ji had only pretended to now know about Kui-gu bringing Mi Yue to see Xiang Fei. I guess Ju Ji is not as cold blooded as she shows.
Mi Yue wants Xiang Fei to go home with her but Xiang Fei looks at a baby and said, “Mother cannot go back any more.” It is implied that Xiang Fei had a baby with Wei Jia. I’m surprised Xiang Fei continued living and even had a child with him. Ancient dramas usually go the route of suicide after such a thing happen… I mean, in that era, Xiang Fei would probably be despised even if the King realised how the Queen got rid of her.
Kui-gu left some money for Xiang Fei before leaving. Xiang Fei is extremely grateful as it is this money that allowed her and Xiao Ran (her son with Wei Jia) to survive.
A drunken Wei Jia comes home to snatch the money away in order to gamble, ignoring the fact that the money is needed to treat the illness of Xiao Ran.
Wei Jia beats Xiang Fei up while Kui-gu drags Mi Yue away.
On the way back to the palace, they hear news that the King is coming back to the palace after a victorious battle.
The King had gone through many battles with the Wei country and Qi country, and hence came back with many battle wounds.
The Queen then spoke up for the Crown Prince and said he did a great job running the country while the King was away.
The King meets Mi Rong for the first time. Mi Rong is awfully cute too! The King is fond of him. However, the Queen informs the King that Xiang Fei has passed away outside the palace after contracting an infectious disease.
Mi Yue wanted to say something but was stopped.
The King drinks in his basilica, probably upset about Xiang Fei’s death. Mi Yue then visits the King in tears. She tells the King that she just saw her mother alive recently and her mother was bullied by an evil person.
The King was extremely angry after hearing this, and promised to investigate the matter.
By episode 2, I think we can condemn the Queen into the ‘pure evil’ category. I like the friendship formed between Mi Yue and Mi Shu though. It’s a pity later in the drama, they will turn against each other. I was surprised at how willing Mi Yue was in performing a formal greeting to Mi Shu because the impression that Mi Yue gives off is that she does not care about these etiquettes. We then realise, even though Mi Yue did a formal greeting, she did not feel that she was any more inferior and asked Mi Shu to do a greeting back to her. That’s more in sync with her character – and it also sets a nice background on how Mi Yue is a strong and independent girl who won’t be threatened by power. I hope Mi Yue (portrayed by Sun Li) will continue to be this free spirit even as she grow up.
We also meet Huang Xie this episode. And I’m going to tiptoe on the lines of spoilers and tell you to pay more attention to this little guy here because he’s going to be important in this story.
The one plot point that goes against my ‘ancient drama knowledge’ the most is that Xiang Fei is alive and even had a kid with Wei Jia. I have watched too many palace dramas to know that ‘tainted’ women will be immediately get rid of. Even palace maids are not supposed to have relations with men other than the King, much less a concubine? It is implied that Xiang Fei is doing this for her children, but I’m not sure about it… We’ll know next episode.
The trailer for next episode shows Xiang Fei puking blood 😦 Even though I said I was surprised by her being alive – I didn’t really want to see Mi Yue’s mother dead. Stay tuned to know more details.
I like Mi Shu a lot too (she is the character of Liu Tao), but based on the long 26 minutes trailer, it seems that she will turn evil. Of course, it is understandable no women can stay nice forever in the palace, but still 😦
Xiang Fei dying is quiet predictable. I feel so sad for her character, but at least there will still be two other mother figures for them (Ju Ji and Kui Gu)…
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Oh yes, I watched that trailer too. I guess it’s inevitable she will turn evil since it’s her husband at stake but for now, I’m enjoying all the sweet sisterly moments.
Poor Xiang Fei. But next episode will be worse, it’s a mass murder fest 😡
Thanks for the recaps! It’s an insane amount of work, so kudos to you 🙂 I’m surprised there aren’t more websites/forums talking about the Legend of Mi Yue, since Zhen Huan was so popular.. but there’s probably more activity on Chinese websites?
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Hehe thanks! Yea, the english sites I frequent all don’t have much discussion about Legend of Mi Yue either. Maybe we can do it here instead! 😀 I’m not actively surfing Chinese websites but I think there is considerable attention on this serial. Afterall, there were intense promotions for the longest time for Legend of Mi Yue.
I am not for certain but based on what I have read, sexual morals during this time were probably very different from what we typically assume in Chinese dramas, especially as we go back farther in history. Ideas such as resistance to homosexuality and sexual morals seem to have varied a lot. Since this is farther back, it might be appropriate to assume that though some of these ideas are starting to take root, they may not be as developed yet. Our adoption of these morality standards seems to have in some parts been influenced from outside of China as well.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_marriage (Marriage in early societies)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_history_in_China (dui shi)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empress_L%C3%BC_Zhi (Affair with Shen Yiji)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empress_Dowager_Bo (Formerly Wei Bao’s concubine)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liu_Chuyu (male harem)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dou_Wan (“sexual tools” found in tomb)
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Thanks for the detailed explanation! The articles were interesting. And it seems like Schemes of A Beauty is based on them 🙂 Just wondering, is that why Empress Wu Meiniang could become the empress even though she was initially a concubine of the previous emperor? Something I never really got.
Thank you for recapping Legend of Mi Yue. It’s definitely harder to recap historical drama like this one, and this one isn’t as popular like Nirvana in Fire ( has to mention NIF since I am suffering from NIF post-drama withdrawal XD) . Also, might be coz this one has over 80 eps, it’s indeed super long.
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