Mei Ren Long Tang: Episode 10 – Pursuing Dream

*WARNING*: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. If you DO NOT want to be spoiled, please DO NOT read. You have been warned.

Though Ren Mei had remembered that little bit of conversation between her and Wen Zi last night yet she was still too groggy and unstable to think of it. She was still quite disorientated as she walked out of her room. Long Tai was seen standing outside and she ended up bumping into him–literally. And perhaps that little bump had awakened her since she immediately asked him if he and Wen Zi came to her room last night. His answer? Of course, he denied it. Yet she insisted that she remembered it and Wen Zi was acting weird, saying that he wasn’t Long Tian He. He blamed it on her having a weird dream, lol.

But before they could go on further, Ah Pan Jie came yelling about Wen Zi. Wen Zi wanted to leave all of a sudden (according to Ah Pan Jie). Ren Mei wondered if she’d said something last night in her drunken state that had offended Wen Zi. Yet Ah Pan Jie reassured her that she didn’t say anything, and Ah Pan Jie turned to blame herself for her culinary skills that had caused Wen Zi to be unsatisfied with it.

While they were still figuring out the reason why with Wen Zi’s abrupt departure, Ren Hu was seen approaching her somewhere around town. It was definitely his chance to move in on her. He asked her why she was standing there, crying alone. However, she said that she wasn’t crying. He made some joke but wasn’t met with kind words. Instead, she said she was so unlucky, always running into him wherever she went. He went with his original answer, that they were fated. Yet he also stated that the place wasn’t big anyway so they would run into one another anyway. She quickly returned to the topic of him using those underhanded methods to get what he wanted, knowing the place wasn’t that big–and words would travel. Yet he dismissed those so-called ‘rumors’ again and asked her where she was going, considering how she didn’t have her passports. That was his mistake since Wen Zi asked him how would he know. (YUP, good one.) He was sure cunning though, not losing a beat, stating that they did bump into each other that one time in front of the police station. He then moved onto wanting her to give the Zhao family’s resort another chance, and that they won’t let her down. While she was thinking it over, Long Tai was seen riding on his motorcycle, looking for her. Though Long Tai was worried about Ren Hu’s intention at first. But after having followed her to the Zhao family’s resort and seeing she was treated nicely as one of the guests, he was reassured and realized perhaps it was better for her to wander around outside, calming herself down instead of staying at the Long resident.

Ren Hu was really working his ‘charm’ (or so he thought he had). He took Wen Zi to her new room with a nice view and told her to stay as long as she wanted. She reminded him that she didn’t have money at the time, but she would contact her father to send money over for her. He told her not to worry about it. That got her puzzled all right. She stated that they weren’t familiar with one another so she had no idea why he was treating her so nice. He rattled out some excuse about her being a foreign guest, etc. Then when he was outside alone in the hallway, he said that there was no girl in this world that he couldn’t pursue. (Oh really? Now surely they’re a good match, considering how she said Long was hers and this dude here is treating girls like some prey that was to be hunted.)

On a more positive note, Xiao Xiang was able to go ahead with the renovation of her shop. Ah Xiang and Ah Lun were helping her out so it was all right. Yet setting up the shop wasn’t the main point. The most important matter was to take care of the food. Xiao Xiang was positive she could do it, and the others were more than happy to help out.

As Ren Mei was helping with taste-testing Xiao Xiang’s foods, Xiao Xiang encouraged Ren Mei to pursue her own dreams. Which led back to ballet. The reason why Xiao Xiang insisted Ren Mei pursue that dream was because of how she kept walking in on Ren Mei practicing ballet from time to time. As Ren Mei kept blurting out the ‘impossible’ success of her ballet dream, Xiao Xiang reminded Ren Mei of her own experience; and how others might be laughing at her, thinking that it would be impossible for her to succeed in running her mother’s shop yet she was really making it happen with her current progress and she wasn’t giving up anytime soon. That sure got Ren Mei thinking seriously.

So after a visit to the ballet school that her mother took her to many times previously, it was set that she was starting over with her new determination. She promised not to give up so one of the instructors there was willing to give her a chance. At least give her a chance to prove to him that she hadn’t forgotten all about ballet dancing. Having just made some brief movements, but she was already told to stop. Feeling unnerved, she turned to the instructor to wait for her judgment. Yet he told her he was glad that she finally came back because he had been waiting for her return. (Yes, he’d seen her potential since little and wished she had pursued it yet she had to leave years ago.)

As Ren Mei’s working hard for her dream, the others were also proceeding with helping Xiao Xiang’s business. However, it was unfruitful because of how Ah Lun and Ah Xiang weren’t that good with luring in customers. As Lao Tu interfered to let some of the others past, Ah Xiang blurted out it wasn’t his fault that he looked like that (aka the fierce, gang-like look). Indeed, it wasn’t his fault. Yet Lao Tu had an idea to help matters. What?

Tada! Yes, putting them in cute bear costumes sure helped matters a tad more. Even Ah Pan Jie was laughing and saying how they were much cuter, not scaring kids away anymore. Yet they objected, one stating how hot it was in that costume and the other thought it was really embarrassing. It wasn’t until Lao Tu pulled the whole “Ah Pan Jie had worked so hard and endured so much pain to raise Ah Lun so how could he robbed her of this little happiness” that Ah Lun put his bear head back on so that his mother wouldn’t cry anymore. Even Ah Xiang was trying to get her to stop crying by obliging to put his panda head back on as well. They were indeed trying very hard to turn a new leaf. And Lao Tu’s idea was really helping business as well, considering how the number of people stopping by and taking a flyer was increasing–comparing to earlier.

While the others were busy, where was Ren Mei? Well, Long Tai was asking Xiao Xiang about it. Xiao Xiang said Ren Mei was out doing what she liked. Vague answer but somehow Long Tai found her near a shopping center. She, of course, told him what had happened and how her instructor had welcomed her return. So she invited him to accompany her on that shopping trip. (Nice? Guys and shopping. Like really? Oh well.) OY, they were fighting over which outfit was better for her. She ended getting her choice. But he silently didn’t mind, considering how his goal was to make her smile. (From his thoughts, he was ready to leave after the one-month deadline.)

The sign was getting even more obvious that Long Tai was really preparing to leave when he was riding around town, thinking about the days of being “Long Tian He”. When he came home, the same heavy mood stayed with him. What could he leave behind to show that he once existed at the place then? If he could–that was.

Then it seemed like Long Tai was too soft-hearted. He couldn’t stay mad at his old man for too long. Even if his old man had mistaken him for Lao Tu, he still stepped forward to help his old man tending to his back. Though the old man soon realized it wasn’t Lao Tu, he didn’t say anything either, allowing Long Tai to finish the task and leave. Long Shou Cheng was wondering if Long Tai had forgiven him already.

As Ren Mei continued to make tremendous progress on her ballet dancing, Long Tai proceeded with his next plan, wanting to help design a new menu for the Long’s hot spring resort. Ah Pan Jie was surprised yet Long Tai reminded her that business wasn’t so good at the place. Although Long Tai’s intention was for the good and Lao Tu finally agreed that they couldn’t be defeated like that, needing new ideas to resurrect their business, but that had also caused another disagreement. Well, it was more like Lao Tu picking on Ah Pan Jie’s culinary skills. Not allowing the argument to turn into an even bigger matter, Long Tai interfered and reassured them that they didn’t have to worry, he would take care of it. However, they needed to find out the old recipes that had attracted customers previously. That was when Ah Pan Jie ended up speaking of the forbidden words, i.e. mentioning the ‘lady boss’ (aka Long Tai’s mother). Lao Tu reminded her that Long Shou Cheng’s mother wasn’t around anymore so it was all right to say it out. Though Long Tai finally learned from where his mother acquired her culinary skills yet they couldn’t get a hold of the recipes. All three seemed defeated yet Long Shou Cheng soon showed up and told them that he had it. Great or what? Long Shou Cheng continued by saying that he would hand the book over to Long Tai, considering how Long Tai really cared for Long Tang (龍湯). (Duh, was that news? Long Tai had cared for Long Tang a lot these past months with thinking up of different plans. It was just that Long Shou Cheng kept turning him down or was against it.) Humorously, Lao Tu yelled out to the Heaven in how awesome the Heavenly god was as the others went to get ready and as Long Shou Cheng go retrieve the recipe book. Yes, he was more than happy, considering how Long Tian He (he knew) didn’t care for Long Tang before and now it was such a miracle to see Tian He so caring toward Long Tang, even trying to find ways to save it.

As Long Tai studied the recipes book and attempted one of the dishes, Lao Tu and Ah Pan Jie stood nearby, feeling proud of their young master. They were even more impressed that Tian He became so fluent in Japanese during his brief stay in Japan (in regard to his health treatment). Yet what shocked them both wasn’t Long Tai’s culinary skills or his fluent in Japanese, but it was when Ah Pan Jie offered Long Tai medicine (vitamins) and he took it–even saying thank you. (What caused their reaction was because of how Tian He really hated medicines previously, even going to the extent of shoving it out of his way and getting quite worked up.) Now? It was hard to blame Ah Pan Jie for her opening her mouth so wide in shock. Lao Tu recovered faster when they were out of sight, stating that he knew nothing would happen since Tian He had changed after having recovered already.

That led to the next point. Ah Pan Jie was really smart. She said it seemed like that person wasn’t Tian He. She once again brought up the rumor floating around with how the lady boss had given birth to a pair of twins. Lao Tu quickly jumped in to dispel the rumor. Yet Ah Pan Jie said that he heard it too, not that she was the one making it up. Lao Tu stuck with his original belief, not allowing that rumor to spread – or wanting to believe when their boss didn’t outright say it. So they agreed to drop it. Yet Ah Pan Jie said that she rather liked the current Tian He, very lovable. Lao Tu had to agree. It was hard not to.

The confrontation between Grandma Zhao and Ren Mei was inevitable. Grandma Zhao had overheard her assistant and Lao Zhang (her driver) talked about Ren Mei going back to ballet dancing once again. Grandma Zhao had to personally see it to believe. (Though she had somewhat softened upon realizing how she couldn’t beat it out of Ren Mei, her words were still harsh when she was face to face with her grand-daughter.) It was also during the interrogation that Long Tai stepped in. Yet he didn’t step forward to interfere. He listened nearby, trying to see what else would develop. Though being questioned like previously with the harsh tone, but Ren Mei was much braver than before, responding that she wasn’t afraid of others laughing at her. Her response had made Long Tai proud as well, knowing she could finally stand up for her own dream. Grandma Zhao, seeing Ren Mei so determined, told Ren Mei to prove to her that she could do it. It wasn’t until after Grandma Zhao left that Ren Mei dared to breakdown. Yet Grandma Zhao wasn’t feeling any better after saying those harsh words to her grand-daughter. She actually apologized silently, saying that she only wanted to crank Ren Mei’s determination up and to work harder toward her goal. As for Ren Mei, Long Tai finally stepped over to comfort her, telling her that one day her grandma will get it.

Instead of heading home, Long Tai took Ren Mei to somewhere else. He wanted to cheer her up by yelling out words of encouragement for her. She, indeed, was feeling much better having his support. While they continued to cheer her on, Long Tai was once again thinking to himself, pondering if she would hate him after realizing that he wasn’t Tian He yet he hoped to protect her from shedding any more tears in the future. He also hoped that in the end, if he really had to leave, she would become even more stronger when facing obstacles.

While Ren Mei was focusing on ballet dancing, Long Tai on resurrecting the Long family’s business, Wen Zi was getting impatient with her wait. She thought that Long Tai would be chasing her down already–or at least call to ask for her well-being. Yet it seemed like she was the one calling to check in on him. Ah Pan Jie actually picked it up and had let it slip after she didn’t speak up–that Long Tai was out picking Ren Mei up and had just walked in. To much of Wen Zi’s disappointment, it seemed like they were getting on just fine without her. So she went to the hot spring to cool down. Tough luck because she ended up encountering an even more awkward moment with Ren Hu. He honestly didn’t do it on purpose this time, considering how he overheard her screams and thought she was in danger. He didn’t realize it until it was too late. And he was shooed out of there after being called a pervert.

As for Ren Mei, she was given an opportunity, at last, to prove to herself–and possibly even more to her grandma of her capabilities. Yet that also led to her over-exerting herself and hurting herself in the process. Long Tai stepped in to interfere and took her home once again–after a long day of practice. (Apparently, Long Tai not only brought food for her but had attached notes of encouragement on each item–yet he refused to admit he took a lot of time in doing the task.)

Although Ren Mei had said that she could walk on her own, but Long Tai ended up carrying her on his back. A scene too familiar yet last time was when they were stuck in the woods trying to run for shelter from the rain. This time, a more comforting walk and enjoying the night air. Well, there was also some typical bickering taking place. But it wouldn’t be them if they didn’t argue over some senseless matter. (They were indeed so cute!)

That night, at home, Long Tai was sneaking around and stalking Ren Mei. What in the world was he up to? Um, he was trying to snatch the necklace from her, the one with one ballet shoe on it. He probably wanted to fulfill her wish with having two shoes on there. So what else to do but sneak in and try to get it from her so he could proceed with the next step, right? It was indeed a dangerous mission. (LOL!) Before he could sneak in and get the necklace though, he was stopped by someone.

Busted! Wahhhh, what to do now? Um, was he trying to get rid of the only witness? Not really, was just trying to get Ah Pan Jie to quiet down. Even Ah Pan Jie wanted to believe him, but it was so hard. It was super suspicious that he was sneaking around and trying to get in when Ren Mei was taking a shower in the other room. Long Tai didn’t have any more time to explain. He had to leave before Rei Mei found out. So after telling Ah Pan Jie not to tell Ren Mei about it, he left. But that wasn’t the funniest part. The funniest part was how Ren Mei asked if Ah Pan Jie was talking to someone earlier, and Ah Pan Jie responded that she didn’t see Tian He. (What?! That was practically confessing.) That got even more confusing since Ah Pan Jie kept mumbling on and on about how unbelievable it was. Then she told Ren Mei to lock the door before going to sleep that night before leaving the scene. Um…okay… (YUP, Ah Pan Jie definitely misunderstood that Long Tai was a pervert.)

It seemed like Ren Mei didn’t listen to Ah Pan Jie’s advice, because Long Tai was able to get into Ren Mei’s room without a problem later that night. He had to be so cautious that night and he came up with a better plan. There was no snatching involved this time, but he just needed to use his phone to take a picture of the shoe on the necklace. If anyone caught him, they wouldn’t believe his intention was harmless–the way he was sneaking around. And somehow, he ended up taking pictures of her sleeping. YUP, definitely not making it good for his case.

And it seemed like Ren Hu’s feelings might be reproached after all. Or was Wen Zi just admiring his musical talent and not him? Perhaps, Ren Hu’s most truthful moments were when he played his music? Because it seemed like he didn’t realize Wen Zi was there (and wasn’t trying to impress her when he started playing–like I had thought). But who knows? He was so crafty at times with his plans that it was hard to tell. Yet this night was indeed an improvement, considering their past encounters. He was willing to kneel and showed his sincerity in his apology to her. She was more than shocked and told him to get up. Afterward, he got the chance to tell her that he liked her. Some awkwardness passed, but she soon recovered and told him that she didn’t like him. He didn’t mind, because he said that one day she will.

The next day, Wen Zi was out and about again. She was pondering why Ren Hu liked her since she was so mean to him. And while she was at it, she blamed Long Tai for causing her insomnia hence taking a walk and eventually got confessed to. (Really? She was the one who heard the music and got curious hence stepping out of her room.) Then she was reassured by Ah Pan Jie that Long Tai had been busy days and nights working hard to improve the menu at the hot spring resort, not out and about with Ren Mei. She was glad that was the reason for Long Tai not calling her. Yet she was so disappointed again upon hearing Ah Pan Jie say that Long Tai and Ren Mei were getting along quite well. It was really suicidal on her part to ask about the two since Ah Pan Jie went on and on, not even realizing that Wen Zi had left already.

Further down the road, Wen Zi encountered Long Tai. She pretended not to see him and looked down so he could just pass her already. Yet he stopped in front of her and asked her why she was pretending not to see him. She responded by calling him “Long Tian He.” Their conversation was leading nowhere since she was still mad at him and kept cornering him about matters. He, like before, told her not to mess around anymore and to return to Japan. Not knowing what else to say, Long Tai told Wen Zi to take good care of herself because he couldn’t do that at the moment. He left after that and stopped at a red light when he was already out by the main roads.

He had no idea who was in the Taxi next to him as he waited for the light to turn green again. YUP, Long Tian He had returned. That was also the end of the episode. (Yes, keeping the suspense going for the time being.)

*All images were captured by DTLCT