Yi Jipei stays in the mourning room through the night. Advisor Fan wasn’t just a valuable aide but also a close friend. Thus, Yi Jipei wants to turn the funeral into an impressive occasion. He checks with Yanyun to see how she’d like to organize it.
Unlike Yi Jipei, Yanyun thinks her father would prefer a simple ceremony. Since her father was a scholar, tradition dictates that a scholar from noble lineage carry the memorial tablet.
To fulfill Yanyun’s wish, Yi Jipei and his three sons search for someone to carry Advisor Fan’s memorial tablet, but they can’t find a suitable candidate.
Finally, Liankai recalls that Advisor Fan knew a Mr. Cheng from Yongnan, who has the right credentials.
Lianshen didn’t expect Yanyun’s request to be so difficult. Instead of sending a letter, he believes it’s faster and more sincere if he goes to Yongnan to get Mr. Cheng.
But when Lianshen’s uncle finds out, he tries to talk Lianshen out of going to a far city like Yongnan. He’s afraid Liankai will take advantage of Lianshen’s absence and do something to impress Yi Jipei. Lianshen must think of the big picture and not give Liankai any chance to surpass him.
After careful consideration, Lianshen listens to his uncle. Instead of going to Yongnan, they’ll do what Yi Jipei originally wanted to do, which is send a letter to Mr. Cheng.
Liankai and Qin Sang kneel in the mourning room to pay respect to Advisor Fan. Qin Sang regrets forcing Advisor Fan to let her come with him to Mount Zhi. If he hadn’t been distracted by her and shared his guards, perhaps he’d still be alive.
Liankai tells Qin Sang not to blame herself. The assassin had a plan, so with or without Qin Sang, the assassin would find a way to kill Advisor Fan. Seeing her tired, he tells her to go to bed.
Qin Sang’s legs have gone numb from kneeling. Liankai offers to carry her, but she refuses to let him do that in the mourning room.
After Qin Sang leaves, Yanyun takes Qin Sang’s place and kneels down beside Liankai.
Yanyun: I’ve often dreamed about us kneeling in front of my father, but the house would be decorated with lanterns and colorful banners, with red ribbons hanging everywhere. You’d wear the clothes of a bridegroom, and I’d wear a wedding dress. Everyone would smile and bless us. I didn’t expect my dream to come true, but in this way.
Liankai: You’re my sister-in-law. You shouldn’t say these things.
Yanyun: My heart’s dead. As strategist for the Yi family, my father manipulated his daughter into a loveless marriage.
It’s late when Liankai returns to his room, and he’s surprised to see Qin Sang still up. She mocks him for exaggerating his grieving, especially since he didn’t bother to behave when Advisor Fan was alive.
Liankai confesses that he’s not pretending. Advisor Fan wasn’t just his teacher but more like a father figure, who saved Liankai’s life.
In Liankai’s memory, Yi Jipei was a strict father. For example, when Lianshen was 12 years old, he went to a tobacco shop. Unfortunately, their father found out about it. Consequently, Lianshen was beaten until he bled and couldn’t get out of bed for two weeks. However, Yi Jipei is lenient with Liankai, letting him do whatever he wants.
Why does Yi Jipei treat his sons differently? The reason originates from a scandal involving Liankai’s mother.
Long ago, Yi Jipei’s principal wife accused Liankai’s mother, a concubine, of having an affair with another man, a cousin who was visiting the Yi household. Liankai was born, and the servants gossiped about Liankai not resembling his father. His mother didn’t care about the rumors, but his father did. If Advisor Fan didn’t interfere, Yi Jipei would’ve killed his mother.
A few years later, his mother died, but Yi Jipei returned to the army instead of staying home to observe the mourning ritual. His father, who seemed imposing and always stood tall, looked like a deserter that day. After that, his father began to spoil Liankai, probably because he felt guilty for how he treated Liankai’s mother.
After talking to Qin Sang, Liankai collapses and develops a fever. Yanyun hears about it and wants to check on him, but Qin Sang doesn’t think that’s necessary. Since Yanyun spends a lot of time in the mourning room, Qin Sang gives her a blanket to keep warm, so she won’t become sick like Liankai.
Liankai wakes up and sees Qin Sang sleeping next to him. Feeling contented, he holds her hand and falls back to sleep.
The Yi family receives news about Mr. Cheng being too ill to get out of bed. Thus, he can’t come to the funeral.
The Yi family looks for a solution, so Qin Sang proposes her father as a replacement. Her father passed the national examination with high marks, and he’s currently a minister in the government.
Yi Jipei can’t believe he forgot about Qin Sang’s father. Indeed, Qin Sang’s father meets all the requirements. It’s impossible to find someone else in time for the funeral, so Yanyun has to let Qin Sang’s father replace Mr. Cheng.
Qin Sang calls her father, asking him to put aside his work and come to the Yi family. Once again, her father lectures her to obey Liankai and be a good wife. He wants her to live in peace, not be like her mother, an ambitious woman obsessed with power and wealth. Ironically, Qin Sang thinks she’s becoming like her mother.
Liankai thanks Qin Sang for helping with the funeral arrangement, but she points out that she’s not doing it out of the goodness of her heart. This is an opportunity for her father to meet Yi Jipei and do a favor for the Yi family, which can be beneficial for the Qin family.
Liankai: You calculated your moves well. Apart from using me, do you feel anything for me?
Qin Sang: We both know already, what’s the point of saying it again?
The following day, Yanyun apologizes to Qin Sang. She shouldn’t blame her father’s death on Qin Sang. The assassin targeted Advisor Fan and would find a way to complete his mission.
Walking in the garden with Qin Sang, Yanyun remembers a happier time – her childhood with the Yi brothers. Lianshen was an obedient child while Yanyun was a troublemaker, and Liankai was her partner in crime. One time, Yanyun tried to climb a stone mountain and fell. Liankai tried to save her and injured his head. Gradually, the friendship cooled as they grew older. In Yanyun’s opinion, Liankai married Qin Sang because Qin Sang reminds him of the young Yanyun he grew up with.