This post has been updated to incorporate explanations of some scenes contributed by our reader, Artistjohyunjae. Thank you!
I found 2 videos of this episode. I posted both for our convenience. The recap is based on the 1st video.
Episode 7 begins with the townspeople giving a signage to the police for their barracks for successfully routing the bandits. The policemen are not overly happy with the gift because they would have preferred to receive money for their efforts.
At the Xiao residence, Aunt Gui is teaching Lei-er on the proper way of performing her duties as Wu Kui’s personal maid. She instructs Lei-er how to test water so that it will just be hot enough for Wu Kui’s use, how to fix his work table, and even how to fix his bed.
Wu Kui follows the 2 around without them knowing it. However, once Aunt Gui leaves Wu Kui tells Lei-er to ignore everything Aunt Gui taught her.
When Aunt Gui checks Lei-er’s work later, she is dismayed that Lei-er didn’t follow her instructions. When Aunt Gui questions her, Lei-er replies that Wu Kui told her to just ignore Aunt Gui’s instructions.
Another day at the Xiao residence.
Wu Kui is in the kitchen complaining that the kitchen staff do not know how to brew coffee. Brewing and drinking coffee are among the things Wu Kui learned from the foreigners he met in Fo Shan. He tries to teach the Cook and some of the kitchen staff, but all of them refused. It seems Aunt Gui warned them not to brew coffee for Wu Kui, and threatened them with salary deduction if she finds out that any of them brews coffee for him. This is Aunt Gui’s revenge on Wu Kui for telling Lei-er to ignore her instructions on how to serve him. This could also be Aunt Gui’s way to stop Wu Kui from bringing in foreign ideas into their household.
Lei-er arrives and inquires why everyone left Wu Kui in the kitchen. Wu Kui still does not know why. Then Wu Kui teaches Lei-er how to grind the coffee beans and brew coffee for him.
Later, Lei-er is able to serve him coffee and burgers (another new idea Wu Kui brought home from Fo Shan.)
Then Wu Kui introduces another new idea to Lei-er – using spoon, fork, and steak knife for eating instead of chopsticks! Very hard to capture images of Wu Kui introducing these items, so I will just post images of handsome Wu Kui.
Lei-er tells Wu Kui about her visits at Moya’s residence. Wu Kui wistfully wonders if Lei-er could bring his letters to Moya since he himself is not welcome at the Prince’s residence.
Lei-er happily agrees.
In his delight, Wu Kui embraces Lei-er.
The embrace embarrasses Lei-er, so she pushes Wu Kui away.
Wu Kui explains that embracing is a normal thing done by foreigners.
Actually, Lei-er is more embarrassed by the things she felt when Wu Kui embraced her, rather than by the embrace itself.
Lei-er is reprimanded by Aunt Gui for making coffee and serving foreign food to Wu Kui. Aunt Gui bars her from making these foreign food for Wu Kui in the future.
Wu Chuzi and his men bully street vendors at the marketplace.
Next day, Lei-er goes to Wu Kui’s room and tells him of Aunt Gui’s new instructions. She is about to leave but Wu Kui asks her to stay while he writes his letter for Moya.
Wu Kui is not satisfied with what he has written and keeps throwing one letter after another while Lei-er keeps on picking up the pieces of paper he throws.
Wu Kui is so naughty! He deliberately threw the paper at Lei-er!
Lei-er unfolds one of the crumpled paper Wu Kui threw. Wu Kui sees that she is reading it the wrong side up, and tells her so. Lei-er tells him she does not know how to read and write.
Wu Kui makes up for his earlier naughtiness by writing Lei-er’s name on a piece of paper and giving it to her. Lei-er is so happy at such an unexpected gift. I think Wu Kui got her to agree to continue brewing coffee for him in the future.
Lei-er brings Wu Kui’s letter to Moya. At first Moya sets it aside, but Lei-er asks her if she is not going to read it right away.
Moya’s maid butts in and puts down Wu Kui and his family. Moya’s family and their servants look down on Wu Kui because his family belongs to the merchant class, he is not of royal blood or of noble class. As far as Moya’s family is concerned Wu Kui is not good enough for Moya who is of royal blood. Even though China is already a republic and no longer a monarchy there are still people like Moya’s father and their servants who are still clinging to the old ways.
Lei-er defends Wu Kui and regales Moya and her maid of the many innovative ideas Wu Kui has brought home from his stay at the modern city of Fo Shan.
However, Lei-er makes so many mistakes in her account that instead of impressing them, they end up laughing at her. Moya opens and reads Wu Kui’s letter, Moya just smiles after reading the letter.
The next day, Lei-er arrives at Aunt Gui’s office. She is very happy because she will be getting her first pay. But her happiness ends in puzzlement when she receives less than what was promised her. Aunt Gui re-computes her salary, and finds out that she made a mistake in the computation – Lei-er have more deductions that her one week salary is not enough to cover all her deductions.
Aunt Gui explains that Lei-er received many deductions to her salary because she did not follow Aunt Gui’s instructions regarding the proper way of serving Wu Kui’s and for serving him foreign food. On top of that, Lei-er eats a lot! 😀
Lei-er explains that she cleaned Wu Kui’s room properly, but Wu Kui just messes everything up right after she fixes his room that Aunt Gui thinks Lei-er did not clean up after him at all.
Lei-er devises a way to make sure that she does not get further deductions on her salary. Aunt Gui writes down all the tasks she has to do on a piece of paper and the amount of time she has to finish these tasks.
Each time Lei-er finishes a particular task, Wu Kui has to mark the paper with his thumbprint as proof that Lei-er has indeed done her job.
Lei-er wakes Wu Kui very early the next morning to greet him and to fix his bed. Wu Kui is so surprised at this that Lei-er had to explain what happened. Wu Kui’s reaction is so funny! He acts as if someone is about to molest him! 😀
Wu Kui, however, wants to sleep some more. He convinces Lei-er that he will still affix his thumbprint on Lei-er’s task list even if she does not perform the task right there and then.
Lei-er serves him tea, Wu Kui says that he wants coffee. Lei-er explains that she is just following Aunt Gui’s instructions, that she will receive another deduction if she serves him coffee. Wu Kui gives in because he doesn’t want her to receive further salary deductions.
There are many more tasks, and every time each task is completed, Wu Kui has to affix his thumbprint on Lei-er’s list of tasks.
The last task in the list is “do whatever Wu Kui says”; Wu Kui says that is the most important task. He orders Lei-er to buy radish for him, after buying the radish Lei-er is to go straight to her home and rest. This is Wu Kui’s way to get rid of Lei-er and stop her fussing over him. 😀
Wu Kui finally gets rid of Lei-er, but he has become so paranoid that he keeps looking up to check if she is anywhere near him.
I don’t understand the whole conversation that takes place between Wu Kui and his father in the scenes that follow. I hope someone can explain the series of scenes because they are very crucial to our understanding of the story.
Explanation: Wu Kui drew up a modernization plan for the business; he was not trying to run away from his responsibility as heir. He said their business model should be updated; after all, China was already a Republic. The proposal classified the different services offered by the business, using modern terms like “courier service” and “escorting service”. He suggested having written contracts and a clear chart for charges. Ding Bang said for their generation, a promise is a promise, contract or no contract. Ding Bang also found the English terms used hard to digest and asks Wu Kui to use only Chinese for future proposals. Then, he took Wu Kui to his secret room.
Inside the secret room, Ding Bang shows Wu Kui a treasure box which came into his possession many years ago while on one of his escorting missions.
Explanation: In the secret room, Ding Bang showed Wu Kui a packet. He told the story of how he got hold of the packet twenty-years ago. A gang called “潛龍會” (Dragon under cover) came up to Ding Bang and his men. The gang were obviously being chased by their enemies. They knew Ding Bang’s team was a trustworthy escort group. They entrusted a packet to Ding Bang. In it, Ding Bang would find a box, half a piece of jade, a “bank check” for 10,000 taels of silver, and a letter. Anyone coming to Ding Bang with the other half of the same piece of jade should be given the packet. The gang then left in a hurry. Ding Bang waited and waited but no one came for the packet. Twenty years had gone quickly and Ding Bang felt that his health was deteriorating and that was why he would pass the responsibility to his son, Wu Kui, whom he trusted.
That night Wu Kui have nightmares regarding the treasure box. In his nightmares he sees himself until his old age being chased by various groups of men who are interested in the treasure box.
Explanation: Wu Kui had nightmares imagining himself to be attacked by bandits from the day he was considered a young man, through the days when he became a 40 plus man, till he became an old man with silver hair. The responsibility really scared him.
The next day, Lei-er happily submits her completed task list to Aunt Gui thinking that she will get full pay this time around. However, Aunt Gui still deducted a lot from her pay for various reasons.
Explanation: Lei-er still only got 50% of her pay for finishing her tasks late, for eating too much, for tearing a rag whilst cleaning a vase, for dropping a pinch of tea whilst making tea, and for losing 8 threads of hair whilst washing a brush!!!! (Editor: Aunt Gui has plenty of time to check on the work of the servants!)
The servants in the Xiao household are gathered in one place. They are complaining about the amount of work they do and the meager pay they get because of Aunt Gui’s deductions. Lei-er arrives, but they don’t talk to her.
In all episodes that I have watched so far, I noticed that there are a lot of very long scenes, especially scenes involving Concubine, her nephew Wu Chuzi, members of the police, and scenes at the Wolf bandits’ lair.
I know this is being done to flesh out the characters, and also for comedic effect, but I feel those scenes are unnecessary long, especially because these are just secondary characters.
I know they have crucial roles to play in the whole narrative, but still the amount of time spent on them is just too much. In fact, there are some scenes which I feel would not affect the flow of the story if those scenes were not included at all. I feel the screen time would have been of much better use focusing on the main narrative. I just hope the inclusion of these unnecessary long scenes will not affect the whole narrative down the line.
I love the interactions between Wu Kui and Lei-er. Though they are long, these scenes are so light-hearted and so much fun to watch. These scenes are also necessary to show us the development of the relationship between Wu Kui and Lei-er and why Wu Kui would come to trust Lei-er so much.
In the last part of this episode we were introduced to a mystery treasure box and one-half of the spherical-shaped charm that would identify the box’ real owner that are being kept by Ding Bang. I love mysteries so I hope someone can explain in full what the mystery box is all about and what is expected of Wu Kui with regards the treasure box. I am dying to know. (Editor: Explanation has been added in the recap.)
Here are additional captures of our handsome Wu Kui:
Credit: Video as labelled. Thanks!