One of the most important themes of Chinese Paladin was of course friendship. At first, I liked how it was with Jing Tian and Chang Qing being friends and their change in attitudes toward one another throughout. More like Jing Tian trying to compete with Chang Qing at times while Chang Qing was trying hard to get Jing Tian onto the right path. But later in the story, it became more addicting to watch Jing Tian and Chong Lou interact. Aside from Chong Lou’s obsession with the battle with him and Fei Peng since the beginning, the later parts were more interesting to watch. Though I did not like the whole creation of the ‘Chang Qing-Zi Xuan-Chong Lou’ triangle, I actually found it funny–perhaps extremely funny–that Chong Lou was abandoning his goal of finding people to engage in different battles, etc. Instead, he looked Jing Tian up at times to talk about relationship matters. It was so funny to see Jing Tian and Chong Lou at one of the stalls at this one town, talking away while Jing Tian went back and forth between the little shop and where Xue Jian and Long Kui were. He had to find out the answer before getting back to Chong Lou and launch into discussions.
With Chang Qing, Jing Tian would often find ways to get the upper hand. Though Jing Tian seemed bossy, he did care for Chang Qing as friends. He would joke or make rants to lighten the situation. They fought alongside each other whenever needed but they did not say much. It was their actions that count with their friendship. Sure, Jing Tian ranted a lot more than Chang Qing could ever take at times but they did not get too cheesy regarding how their friendship was.
With Lei Yun Ting, of course, it was obvious that he and Jing Tian were love rivals. Yet they became friends later. Yun Ting wasn’t the competitive type and didn’t force Xue Jian into doing anything she didn’t want. He only wanted her to be happy. Though Jing Tian would be talking nonsense to him, he didn’t mind, knowing the reason why Xue Jian liked Jing Tian so much. On the other hand, Jing Tian managed to put the whole rivalry thing aside to help Yun Ting that one time when the demons were invading Yun Ting’s place.
Jing Tian and Chong Lou were more like that of “knowing the hero, respecting the hero” concept. When Jing Tian was Fei Peng, he wanted desperately to find someone who could match his abilities and be able to fight with. Chong Lou felt the same way thus feeling quite happy that they met thousands of years ago. However, when Chong Lou found Fei Peng as Jing Tian and Jing Tian wasn’t willing to fight–and not to mention how Jing Tian hated fighting and found it senseless, Chong Lou wanted more than anything to fight with Jing Tian. The battle wasn’t finished yet. After losing, Chong Lou kept his words. Upon encountering Zi Xuan and falling in love with her, Chong Lou then realized that there were other things besides fighting. He changed his views and realized how senseless all of the battles were. It was then that he and Jing Tian ended up on the same path again. They could share things together–though Chong Lou might be talking too deep–or too vague for Jing Tian to understand. But it was still funny to see those scenes, all the same, especially the one described at the beginning of the post.
Another thing was I never realized that Chong Lou would end up being on their side during the last battle. I thought that he was supposed to be the main villain but he was actually one of the powerful ones that they could rely on. At least he was one of their hopes to defeat the strongest enemy. So they found out that Chong Lou was defeated already but I thought it was a bit surprising that he became someone on their side. The story was much more complex than just some typical demon slashing one. What was even more ironic about the whole thing was how others have lost faith in Jing Tian, even Jing Tian himself YET Chong Lou never gave up, wanting to scold Jing Tian so Jing Tian would be stronger and not give up.
The part after they won the battle, Chong Lou wanted to challenge Jing Tian again. Yet this time, he said that they would not fight to the death–like before. Somehow, Chong Lou seemed to develop a sense of humor like Jing Tian, lol. Then the part where Chong Lou sought Jing Tian out to drink together and have a talk, Jing Tian was saying how Chong Lou finally have a chance with Zi Xuan but Chong Lou lectured Jing Tian back. It was so funny how Jing Tian retorted by telling Chong Lou that Chong Lou should go to Mt. Shu and be their leader since Chong Lou was becoming more and more like those Taoists. They continued to argue about what was the correct way to love someone, etc. Jing Tian was soon sabotaged by Xue Jian yet he was still trying to teach Chong Lou how to be human, lol. It was getting more addicting to watch them though it was near the ending.
And who could forget the friendship between Jing Tian and Mao Mao? Another character that Jing Tian tried to gain the upper hand with. Yet Jing Tian only allowed himself to be the one bullying Mao Mao and no one else. Mao Mao–though older than Jing Tian by years–would rather let Jing Tian be the ‘older’ one. Of course, Jing Tian left him no choice but Mao Mao was very loyal to Jing Tian and always believed in whatever Jing Tian said. It was probably the same with Jing Tian trusting Mao Mao to do what was right when the time came. He seemed to be afraid of a lot of things yet his bravery was more than most people in here. So what if he wasn’t as smart? Or if he was simple-minded? He had a good heart and was even willing to sacrifice for people who might or might not deserve it. (I seriously wanted to cry upon seeing him losing his own flesh to gain food for the others. The suffering he had to go through yet the others had no idea–at least those villagers who would never appreciate it since they probably think it was what Jing Tian and the others should do for them.) His death was probably the most terrifying because it was so slow, so painful. Yet he just bit down his teeth to endure it all, not blaming anyone. He was indeed one of a kind and could be considered a god even. After all, who could do what he’d done? What surpassed everyone in here was that he never wanted any fame and/or credit for it, but just let Jing Tian take all the credit. His death was the most tragic and most worth crying over if anything.
Last but never least was He Bi Ping. Others said that he had switched sides and how rude he was to his friends, leaning on the side of disrespect since he gained some power. But I have always doubted if he switched side or not. It wasn’t because of believing him like how Mao Mao was at first but later was disappointed. But it was more because of what Jing Tian said. Jing Tian said the reason why Bi Ping even sided with the pawnshop owner was because Bi Ping wanted to help him. So, it made sense that he was doing the same thing. I watched carefully and he delivered a convincing performance with making fun of everyone around him for being fools. Yet there were always underlying words within that arrogant exterior. To think that Bi Ping seemed to not care as much or didn’t pay attention to what Jing Tian was saying half of the time, comparing to the loyal Mao Mao, but Bi Ping had done a lot for Jing Tian. He only discovered it after reading the note from Bi Ping and retrieving the jug.
What I found the most touching was the flashbacks of Jing Tian, Mao Mao, and Bi Ping. What was so sad yet amusing at the same time was the ones who sacrificed themselves for the whole world were not the most important people but those so-called ‘little people’ that others often ignored, even scolded upon. They could’ve been selfish until things eventually end anyway. But they chose to fight alongside their friends, knowing they would meet the worst fate first.