This blood-spitting, cringey attempt at romance has finally met its unforeseen end of making sense to me at episode 18.
The show’s plot can be divided into 3 timelines and 4 parts at this point:
- Present: End of the World Everybody’s Dead
Demons overruled the cultivators who fought for their lives as they failed at their attempt to maintain world peace. Li Susu witnessed her family mass-murdered right in front of her by TanTai Jin, the Demon God. Her father’s last breath was spent on sending her back in time when TanTai Jin was still mortal to prevent him from turning into a Demon God.
- 500 Years Back
Li Susu woke up in the body of Ye Xiwu and found out that TanTai Jin wasn’t evil to begin with but he had a devil bone which will be activated if he dies. Hence, her mission as Ye Xiwu was to prevent TanTai Jin from turning evil by not letting him die. If he dies, the devil bone will convert him to his true calling, a full-time Demon God. This will also buy her time to figure out how to destroy the devil bone so that when TanTai Jin eventually dies, he will not turn into a Demon God.
When TanTai Jin was still a mortal, he was the youngest son of the king of Jing kingdom. The king hated TanTai Jin so much because his mother died giving birth to him. During his childhood, he was treated worse than a servant to the point where he had to hunt for his own food and was eventually sent as a prisoner prince in Sheng kingdom. As a foreign prince, he was also bullied but people were polite to him when crowned prince, Xiao Lin, was around. TanTai Jin was able to orchestrate being married to Ye Xiwu, who was physically abusive to him their entire marriage prior Li Susu’s time travel with a save-the-world mission. On top of that, the servants who loyally served his mother and raised Tantai Jin betrayed him, too. Ye Xiwu kept an eye on TanTai Jin and stuck to his side at all times and treated him decently.
Despite TanTai Jin not dying from the original Ye Xiwu’s maltreatment, he turned evil, anyway. He utilized his ability to talk to animals by hurting everyone who wronged him except Ye Xiwu. He was able to usurp his brother and took the throne as the new king. In order to maintain his dark powers, he had to hunt for other demons to absorb their powers as his own.
TanTai Jin was able to conquer Jia Pass, a border of Sheng Kingdom, through Ye Qingyu (Ye Xiwu’s brother). TanTai Jin knew Ye Qingyu’s army are losing, out of supplies and food, and the captial won’t send them reinforcements or supplies anymore. If Ye Qingyu loses the gate to Jing kingdom, his entire family will be executed. Hence, TanTai Jin proposed a truce. In exchange of yielding to Jing kingdom, he offered to stop the bloodshed and relocate Ye Xiwu’s entire family from Sheng kingdom to Jing kingdom, ahead of time. In order to continue his mission to conquer Sheng kingdom, TanTai Jin needed to hunt another demon again which he found at the bottom of a sea somewhere. An ocean parted and made way for the sorcerers and TanTai Jin to harvest the sleeping dragon’s powers to himself.
Ye Xiwu arrived in the bottom of the ocean to stop Tantai Jin. Xiao Lin and Scholar Pang followed shortly after.
- Sleeping Dragon’s Dream
Li Susu/Ye Xiwu, TanTai Jin, Xiao Lin and Bingchang (Ye Xiwu’s elder sister and Xiao Lin’s wife), fell into the dragon’s dream. There was an entire story line and the four people had to play different character’s part.
Li Susu/Ye Xiwu as Sang Jiu. Xiao Lin as Sang You. Both of them were from the Mohe Clan.
TanTai Jin as Mingye, God of War. Bingchang as Tian Huan, Goddess and daughter of the previous God of War. Both of them reside in the God of War’s palace.
Sang Jiu fell in love with the God of War. She saved the God of War from dying and got married to him as a result. The couple eventually started to like each other. Tian Huan did her best to break them apart. She succeeded at first but The Great War happened and the couple found their way to each other again. Tian Huan mass murdered the entire Mohe Clan when Mingye was away. As a result, Sang Jiu turned evil, mass murdered Tian Huan’s clan members who were present in the God of War’s palace, tortured Tian Huan and extracted her divine essence (the source of gods’ and goddesses’ powers).
Mingye tried to save Sang Jiu from the punishment lightning for collecting divine essences from Tian Huan’s clan. Mingye failed. As the Romeo to his Juliet, Mingye decided to turn evil, too. Li Susu/Ye Xiwu was able to put a stop into it.
- Post Sleeping Dragon’s Dream: 500 Years Back
The Sleeping Dragon turned into a skeleton, no energy was harvested and four people returned safely at the bottom of the ocean. Xiao Lin were to return to Sheng Kingdom with Bingchang, Ye Xiwu and Scholar Pang. However, Ye Xiwu returned to the ocean where they entered the dream of the sleeping dragon and found TanTai Jin there. She made it her mission to woo TanTai Jin.
Why Did I Like It?
TanTai Jin’s Descent to Demon-hood
Given his situation, his powers, his ascension to the throne, I wanted to see the plot unfold progressively. I want to see the switch in his personality once he gained power over the people who trampled him. I want to know why it took him 5 centuries to destroy the world and overrule the cultivators. I mean, what took him so long? LOL
Li Susu’s Save the World Mission
She literally isekai-ed her way to the mortal life of a demon god as the chosen one to prevent the demons from overruling the world. Ask anybody that sounded cool, straight out of the manhuas / manhwas I’ve read. I do not expect her to have a flowchart for her plan but I expected her to at least look determined to inflict revenge.
Enemies to Lovers Trope
When I tell you I was out here rooting for a SLOW BURN romance, it was an understatement. Granted the production executes what the writers said not what I want to happen, the events didn’t make sense to me.
Honorable Mention: Scholar Pang
I was rooting for him in whatever his endeavors were, running around Sheng Kingdom with a kitten on his bag trying to help maintain peace across four continents and three realms.
Why Am I Abandoning It?
TanTai Jin’s treatment of Ye Xiwu post Sleeping Dragon’s dream
Tying her hands to walk towards the camp with Qingyu, her brother, just watching there and even smirking or smiling. Was that supposed to be funny? Whoever wrote this and agreed to this clearly never had siblings. Who in their right mind would not at the very least protest to see his sister tied up and walked like a dog?
He made her feed the ducks in his camp. Definitely, it was a revenge for all the times she was abusive to him and worse of all, he made her a maid. See, this would’ve made sense from the narrative of Ye Xiwu being abusive to TanTai Jin when they got married. However, during the recent events, Ye Xiwu almost died trying to save him so many times.
Discussion as to why Ye Xiwu followed TanTai Jin
This was so stupid. First of all, Ye Qingyu’s decision to end the war without provisions was enough to brand their entire family as a traitor. And the king of Sheng kingdom told him his entire family will be executed if he looses the Jia Pass. Obviously, the entire family would either be dead or in Jing Kingdom together with Qingyu. But no, they had to make it appear like Ye Xiwu was following TanTai Jin because she’s pursuing him romantically. They’re forcing romance where it shouldn’t be. Or at least, not yet.
Enemies to Lovers Trope
I would’ve forgiven the blind infatuation of Sang Jiu to Mingye because she was clearly naive and watching the God of War fight in the sky would’ve been so cool. I would’ve sat beside Sang Jiu with a neon banner and watch him, too.
However, Li Susu’s dynamic with TanTai Jin as Ye Xiwu, was off and it got worse. She never looked murderous. I would’ve understood keeping an eye on him and sticking to him like glue 24/8 but the snowball fight was too much. I was even willing to forgive the stupid snowball fight that didn’t make sense at all.
However, after exiting the sleeping dragon’s dream, I would’ve expected Li Susu’s old trauma to be triggered a.k.a to see an entire clan lying dead around her. If she wooed TanTai Jin and looked like she was plotting TanTai Jin’s death in between, it would’ve made more sense but no, she looked like she was having fun while doing it. And that was it.