Episode 9 of Lost Romance begins with Qingfeng at the café where Xiao’En works, asking why she needs extra money. She makes up a lame excuse about wanting to buy a luxury handbag.
She questions him about showing up to watch her embarrass herself but he says he’s there to see her be cute. Taking her hand, he confirms she’s cute all the time and says he prefers when she’s loud and making trouble rather than crying.
At home, Chuchu welcomes her with vitamins and chicken soup. Xiao’En punctuates her speech with meows, thinking she’s acquired an occupational disease. Chuchu’s brother has also gotten a job so he’ll help with the hospital fees too.
Chuchu notes she’d met with the CEO and that he’d asked after Xiao’En’s health as well. Xiao’En believes Aoran sees her as a virus strain, potentially infecting others.
Rushing from job to job Xiao’En focuses on work, getting better at both but becoming exhausted too. Qingfeng seeks her out and finds her dozing in the copy room. He tells her boss the machine is broken to create a cover.
Xiao’En’s so busy she later rushes past Aoran without noticing him. But when she spots a chance to see him in the break room, Qingfeng happens to need her to proofread something urgently.
Aoran overhears Qingfeng call Susan about a document and offers to deliver it on his way. Qingfeng suspects it’s an opportunity to see Chuchu and so does everyone else on the marketing team. When he asks where Xiao’En is, they believe he’s checking up on her.
Susan calls Xiao’En to warn her to hurry back as the CEO is angry that she’s not in the office. Outside she meets the CEO’s brother who looks just like Tianjian. Recalling that he’d pushed Tianxing off the roof, she faints. Qingfeng rushes her to the hospital.
In Aoran’s office, his brother says he closed his US-based bar and has returned. He mentions that Qingfeng took Xiao’En to the hospital and Aoran races out.
Aoran grabs Qingfeng at the hospital to find out about Xiao’En. Chuchu is tearful in Xiao’En’s room and when Aoran enters she runs to cry on his shoulder. Xiao’En turns away and Chuchu does the talking.
She tells him about her father, the loan sharks and how Xiao’En has been helping her to repay the debt. Aoran calls Xiao’En a busybody for getting involved. He says he’ll take care of the debt and upgrades Xiao’En’s hospital room.
Qingfeng kicks them out so Xiao’En can rest. He says he’ll bring her any food she wants but she hides under her blanket in tears over Aoran’s harshly delivered words. Once again, Qingfeng watches her cry.
He reminds her she promised no more tears, while she agonizes that she’ll never be the female lead. Qingfeng suggests she rethink as maybe she’s working in the wrong direction against an already-fated couple.
They move on to talk about why she fainted and Xiao’En warns about Aoran’s brother, Situ Moran. She asks Qingfeng to tell Aoran to keep his eyes open.
Moran chats with Susan and Quitian at the office. He casts for information about Aoran’s love interest but they escape after mentioning Chuchu.
Mingli visits her father while her mother cries about his pitiful state on life support. Having read the will, Mingli is enraged not to have been mentioned at all while Tianxing gets the business and Tianjian inherits the assets.
Her mother can’t understand the anger, saying she’s an embarrassment and that she’ll get a share of inheritance once she gets a husband. She tells her to leave company matters to her brother. Mingli says it’s the last time they’ll be able to hurt her.
At home, she confronts Tianjian, angry that he and Tianxing, as sons, never need to worry about whether they’ll appear in a will. She burns it in front of Tianjian.
She has a nightmare that the board overthrows her with the help of her family and Tianxing. They accuse her of destroying Tianliang, calling her incapable. She wakes in a sweat.
Mingli visits Tianxing and has Qiaozhi raise monitoring and security so no one can see him, including Tianjian. She tells herself everything is ok.
Aoran can’t sleep, surprised that he’s worrying about Xiao’En when his mission is to worry about Chuchu. He aims to text Xiao’En and somehow the message goes to Chuchu anyway. When he goes back to sleep his phone mysteriously glimmers.
Aoran watches Qingfeng and questions him over taking care of the issues with Chuchu’s debt and thank-yous for Xiao’En. He’s appalled that Qingfeng gave her something she’d ‘probably’ like. Qingfeng tells him to handle things himself if he’s unsatisfied.
Aoran is annoyed he didn’t even get to ask how Xiao’En is doing. He notices a marketing meeting in his calendar and finds his route to information.
Aoran insists Susan invite her whole team and orders in refreshments. Xiao’En sees Chuchu and Aoran smile at each other and tries to stay out of his line of fire, but at every opportunity, Aoran asks her direct questions, putting her on the spot. He presses her for more ideas and the others believe he’s targeting Xiao’En. Eventually, Qingfeng moves things along.
Aoran asks Xiao’En to his office for a chat. After an awkward one-to-one of misunderstandings, Aoran can’t figure out what went wrong. When Xiao’En playfully chats with Qingfeng, Aoran tries to listen in to their banter.
After work, Xiao’En walks ahead to avoid seeing Chuchu and Aoran together. Qingfeng runs to join her and Aoran is left watching. From the balcony, Moran observes the proceedings. Chuchu invites Aoran out for the evening.
Qingfeng offers Xiao’En a stress-relieving activity. She won’t go if it’s fishing or mountain-climbing or chess. He takes her to a Pilates class.
He does a perfect plank while she struggles to touch her toes. She notices that all the ladies are staring at him and offers to help him pick one. She tells him it’s because he’s sincere and full of warmth. And her best friend.
The instructor has them do a partner pose and Xiao’En wobbles then drops to his chest. Qingfeng is affected but Xiao’En plays it off that he has fake abs.
Chuchu and Aoran are tooling leather on their date. Chuchu suggests they engrave their names and exchange pieces. Aoran does not look at all enthusiastic and she notices but he pretends.
On the way home Chuchu suggests dinner but Aoran just takes her home, not even hearing the question. She notices that he doesn’t attempt to kiss her goodnight.
Qingfeng and Xiao’En have dinner together and he brushes hair out of her face. Now she looks shocked. As they stare at each other, Qingfeng’s hand on her cheek, Aoran drops a hand between their line of sight.
He claims Xiao’En has recently been on unwell and needs to go home. As he grabs her arm, he has a flash of doing the same from a hospital bed. But that was Tianxing.
The Episode Review
Straight out of the gate in the first scene with such a serious look from Qingfeng. And was that a legit block asking Xiao’En to urgently proofread a document? Antes are in and hearts are wild.
Looks like we’ll be seeing more of that disconcerted expression from Aoran – especially now that Xiao’En seems to have given up on him and is too busy to think about anything else anyway. That’s the way, Girl.
Should I mention the pilates public service announcement? Or just stick to the near-kiss? Or even better, the dinner afterwards. Qingfeng seems to have made a decision. But the timing… oh dear, Aoran isn’t far behind. Quite a bold move to show up at their dinner, wasn’t it?
In other news, Tianjian appears in the novel world as Aoran’s brother Situ Moran. That can’t be good. But luckily Xiao’En is onto it, even if no one believes her yet.
Nine chapters in and I am still not fully clear on how the romance world characters link to their real-world counterparts. There seems to be a mix. That’s if the novel world even exists – could it all be one huge ‘Dallas-style’ dream? If anyone’s it’s Xiao’En’s.
In the much less sparkly real world, who’s with Mingli? Ok, maybe not on her schemes, but you can certainly see why she’s got some resentment. Get a husband – unbelievable – and by her own mother! Speechless… well, not quite. I am loving the way they’re building a reason for Mingli’s aggression thoguh, rather than just leaving her as a bitch.
Lost Romance scoops the prize for best use of the ‘pregnant pause’– it makes me laugh every time that music booms in, none-too-subtly (and quite sarcastically) pointing at something Xiao’En has done, skipped, messed up or killed. But that last scene was something, wasn’t it? Aoran seemed to have recognized Tianxing’s experience of Xiao’En in the real world. Whoa! This series continues to get better and better.