Mei Ren Long Tang: Episode 8 – Lurking

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

The episode continued with Ren Mei trying to piece everything together. She was trying to assure herself that the events of the previous night were all a dream. She even reminded herself it was impossible since “Long Tian He” had declared that he hated her. Before Ren Mei could come up with more reasons to dismiss whatever it was of the previous night, someone knocked on her door.

It was Wen Zi coming by to visit her. And to give her a little present so she would feel better. She confided in Wen Zi with how she used to fake sickness so she could receive the tangerine plus care that her brother received when he was sick. Yet she was only met with more scolding from her grandma with how she couldn’t take care of herself properly hence getting sick. (Another SAD story.)

That wasn’t all that Ren Mei shared with Wen Zi since they had somehow bonded after the other incident hence Wen Zi even accompanying Ren Mei to the garden as Ren Mei recovered. After hearing Ren Mei confessing that she never had any friends before, considering how fat she was previously. Wen Zi then offered to be her first friend.

Not long after, Long Tai came back and Wen Zi immediately jumped up to chide him about his whereabouts, causing her to search for him, etc. Ren Mei, thinking that she didn’t want to be a light bulb, made up an excuse and left the scene. She didn’t realize that Long Tai was still worried for her and was about to ask her how she was doing.

Later, Long Tai decided to hunt down Ren Mei to ask for her well-being. Yet he stopped short in front of her room, wondering if her strange behavior from earlier was because of what happened the previous night. Before he could back out of it though, Ren Mei walked up from behind. He was too distracted to realize it and almost bumped into her. Luckily he jumped back in time. But what now? He asked her why she was wandering around when she was sick, and she said she was feeling much better already. Soon, he steered the conversation toward Xiao Xiang and told Ren Mei the good news. Ren Mei was more than happy–as expected. After that though, more awkwardness traveled between them. But she recovered and thanked him for helping before excusing herself. If only she could leave because they kept blocking each other’s path–incidentally. Just when they successfully moved out of each other’s way–due to him finally stepping aside for her to move past that was, he called her back and ended up stuttering some more, causing another set of awkwardness to unleash. Or it was more like she pretended not to remember when he told her he could explain everything from last night. Frustrated, he stormed off in a huff.

Still later, Xiao Xiang arrived at the hot spring resort to look for “Long Tian He.” She was met with Lao Tu at first and seemed to send the wrong vibe hence him reacting quite strongly when he realized she was there to see “Long Tian He.” And that little misunderstanding had caused Lao Tu to dismiss Xiao Xiang without caring for further explanation from her. The way she talked was even harder to decipher so it was hard to blame Lao Tu for jumping to a conclusion.

Soon, the whole house was riled up so of course Ren Mei finally came out and the whole situation was clarified. At least somewhat. Xiao Xiang apparently wanted to start over and wanted to stay with them for the time being since she didn’t have anywhere to go. Before Long Shou Cheng or Long Tai could speak up, Lao Tu jumped in to object–still grudging over their feud from earlier. The situation intensified to the point that even Wen Zi woke up to investigate. Yet Long Shou Cheng had no problem with letting Xiao Xiang stayed with them, stating that everyone had their hardship so it would be adequate to let Xiao Xiang stay with them until she was back on her feet again. Although Ah Pan Jie clapped their boss on, Lao Tu was still protesting. Soon, Ren Mei spoke up for Xiao Xiang, revealing that if it wasn’t for Xiao Xiang she would’ve given up after her parents passed away. (That had caused a little reaction from Long Tai.) Ren Mei specifically begged Lao Tu not to object and even Long Shou Cheng spoke up about it, telling Lao Tu to withdraw his protest. Ah Pan Jie–though not saying anything–but she was constantly shoving Lao Tu, waiting for him to respond in their favor. Lao Tu finally responded and even shouted that it was useless that he objected anyway, considering how everyone had already agreed to let Xiao Xiang stay (even Wen Zi who was awakened in the middle of the night). So it was set, Xiao Xiang was going to stay with them for the time being.

Long Tai took Xiao Xiang to her new room and left after a few words. Yet Ren Mei arrived with Xiao Xiang’s blanket and pillows, helping her arrange her new habitat. Their conversation soon turned into Xiao Xiang condemning Ren Mei’s grandma and brother. Ren Mei, of course, was still speaking up for both parties. The conversation moved past that and ended up at Long Tai and how he was injured. Ren Mei, after hearing that Long Tai had been injured, rushed off to search for him.

Back in Long Tai’s room, Wen Zi was helping him tend to his wound while listening to his recount of the day’s events. She was chiding him but at the same time wondering why he was willing to go to such extent for Ren Mei. Yet he said he was just worried for Xiao Xiang.  Wen Zi didn’t let it drop though. She continued by saying that Ah Pan Jie had told her how he was really worried for Ren Mei when she was having the fever and how he had tended to Ren Mei the whole night. Yet Long Tai dodged out of that one as well, claiming that he was just trying help. Wen Zi wasn’t easily deceived though since she kept questioning him about how much he cared for Ren Mei, etc. That also led to another misunderstanding because while he was trying to dodge out of Wen Zi’s interrogation, Ren Mei was outside the door listening to their exchanged words about her, thinking that Long Tai was only feeling sorry for her. Upon hearing those words, Ren Mei was once again disappointed and left the scene. Yet she wasn’t going to her room.

Ren Mei was back outside in front of that tree. She didn’t realize Long Tai wasn’t finished. He didn’t mean it. She should’ve stayed to hear the rest of what he had to say. Ren Mei was really hurting this time after another blow to the heart. It was all the while she was crying that Ah Pan Jie walked by the door to see her outside. Lao Tu was still fuming about the whole Xiao Xiang situation but also stopped short at the door upon seeing Ah Pan Jie. Yet he still had no idea what was going on. When he finally realized Ren Mei was outside though, he stopped Ah Pan Jie from stepping outside to interfere since he discovered that Ren Mei was wiping her tears. As they were pondering about the matter, Long Shou Cheng jumped out to say that it was because Ren Mei was missing her family hence crying. (Really?) And so he told the other two not to bother Ren Mei. But it was just too hard not to do something about it.

So Ah Pan Jie persuaded Lao Tu to go with her and cheer Ren Mei up. Though their attempts didn’t work yet it was indeed touching to see that they were all heart, trying to cheer Ren Mei and treating her like family, unlike her current so-called family. It wasn’t until Xiao Xiang finally came out to check on Ren Mei that Ren Mei finally reacted. Indeed, it seemed like only Xiao Xiang’s words were helpful to Ren Mei–regardless of time, the past or the present.

The next day, Ren Mei accompanied Xiao Xiang to see Xiao Xiang’s cousin and talk about the old shop. However, Xiao Xiang was too hot-tempered to carry a proper negotiation of some sort. Yet somehow, Ren Mei persuaded the cousin to give them some more time to pay the fees. Ren Mei seemed positive when she was talking to Xiao Xiang, but she was seen dreading over the matter as she was collecting the clothes outside later that day.

It was also then that Long Tai showed up with a bright smile on his face. Of course, Ren Mei was shocked to see him. It was indeed quite strange to see him there when she had suspected he must be out and about with Wen Zi. The reason why Long Tai was there was because he wanted to know the outcome of their negotiation with Xiao Xiang’s cousin. Ren Mei responded that Long Tai should go ask Xiao Xiang himself and not ask her. Long Tai was more than shocked by Ren Mei’s reaction.

A confrontation was inevitable. He wanted to know why she was hiding from him. Knowing she couldn’t dodge him anymore, she finally spoke up and thanked him for helping her with the Xiao Xiang situation thus far yet she didn’t want him to meddle into it anymore. She continued by saying she would treat him like air from now on and requested he did the same to her, which meant they should treat it like both didn’t exist to one another. That had caused a confused look from him. Indeed, he asked her why. She wanted to leave again but he repeated his question, not letting her leave. She finally looked at him and responded with the same answer she told him the other night in the rain–aka because he hated her and she also hated him. She told him to distance himself from her and not to disrupt her from her job anymore. (It seemed like the same set of words she told him that night.) Unlike what he did the last time–but not so unlike it, he turned and left in a huff.

Xiao Xiang’s luck soon turned because someone was willing to help her with lending her the money to pay her cousin. The only thing the other person requested was having a witness to sign some documents to make it all official. Long Shou Cheng ended up taking the part.

The identity of that secret someone was finally revealed. It was Ren Hu. He had some plans of his own. It wasn’t like he was willing to hep so eagerly, considering if nothing was in it for him. But it was just a matter of time before he would attack.

That night at the Long’s hot spring resort, they all sat down at the dinner table to celebrate, not knowing there was a brewing storm ahead. Well, most of them were present. Ren Mei was nowhere to be seen at the moment. But that wasn’t the most worrisome at the moment. The most worrisome thing of the moment was that Long Shou Cheng had used the hot spring resort as a guarantee to the money that Xiao Xiang borrowed earlier. (Oooooh, no wonder Ren Hu was celebrating!) Ah Pan Jie and Lao Tu were indeed shocked that Long Shou Cheng didn’t discuss with them before signing the papers–and Lao Tu had once again voiced his opinion. While Lao Tu was playing devil’s advocate, Long Tai spoke up to support his old man, stating that there were moments when they should take the risk, etc. Long Shou Cheng was more glad to have Long Tai back him up.

The question was finally resolved with Ren Mei’s whereabouts. She was in the kitchen, tending to the soup and she finally brought it out to them. It was too hard to imagine that she wasn’t around to celebrate with Xiao Xiang. And Lao Tu was shooting his mouth off again with how Xiao Xiang would manage the little shop in the future, etc. Yet Long Shou Cheng soon interfered, telling everyone to eat instead of arguing. And because of that command, Long Tai used that opportunity to make Ren Mei jealous by placing food into Wen Zi’s rice bowl. Though childish, this proved that Ren Mei was so not good at these games of pretending that someone doesn’t exist. She sure reacted too strongly. (And I soon take that back since they were both so poor at playing the game, reacting so strong of one another’s behaviors.)

After that outburst, the war was indeed on with Long Tai and Ren Mei. He was still upset and finally decided to pretend she didn’t exist, walking right past her in the garden while she was watering the tree. The game continued on and on until even the others were disturbed by their behaviors. Well, it was more like Lao Tu and Ah Pan Jie were scratching their heads and pondering about matters. And again, only Xiao Xiang was able to talk to Ren Mei. She had promised Ren Mei to keep it a secret for Ren Mei.

Then came another day when Long Tai was seen all distracted. Soon, he spotted Ren Mei walking in. She also saw him but had kept her head down. From the look of it, he really wanted to approach her and talk to her (and he did take a step toward her) yet soon turned and walked straight ahead, ignoring her once again. It was because he had remembered what she told him the other day about distancing himself from her, etc.

And then came the time when Ren Hu found out that Wen Zi was staying at the Long family’s hot spring resort. He was beyond mad but somehow managed to stay calm when he spotted her outside the resort. She was on her way somewhere, even chiding Long Tai for not accompanying her.

The stalking didn’t last long since Ren Hu was stopped by two of the thugs trying to extract money from him. He had no choice but to oblige. But that wasn’t all. He had some terms of his own, wanting to recruit them to work for him. They were, of course, promised a large sum for their work. Who would turn this meaty offer down, right?

Ren Hu’s schemes had also caused the meeting seen above. He had paid those thugs to go in and scare the guests staying at the Long family’s hot spring resort. How underhand is that? Now they had a big obstacle. Not only were the guests scared off, but they also snatched Wen Zi’s purse and passport. But those two thugs didn’t want to snatch Wen Zi’s passport, it was just a coincidence. Yet Ren Hu’s presence at the place and having picked up that passport after the thugs tossed it away after taking the money wasn’t a coincidence. He had to monitor them to see the progress of his work after all.

Instead of fuming away like Lao Tu, Long Tai set a trap for the troublemakers the next night. They had cleared off the hot spring area and used Lao Tu as bait for the pervert to come. The trap was really effective with Long Shou Cheng and Xiao Xiang rounding up the trap. As Lao Tu managed to unmask the pervert, Xiao Xiang soon uttered her shock, considering how she had recognized the thug from that one encounter when Long Tai saved her.

That wasn’t all because Long Tai, Ah Pan Jie, and Ren Mei were also stationed within the guest rooms to wait for the second thug to come along. They had used Long Tai’s room as the trap to lure the thug in. As Long Tai restrained the thug, Ah Pan Jie managed to unmask him. All three had come to recognize the thug. It made sense for Long Tai and Ren Mei, but what about Ah Pan Jie? Had she also encountered the troublemaker somewhere around town?

So they all gathered in the dining room to settle the matter. OMG, it was revealed that that one thief was actually Ah Pan Jie’s son. Ah Pan Jie tearfully apologized to Long Shou Cheng while Xiao Xiang scolded the little thief for being heartless with not caring for his mother. Yet what occurred between the two thugs were even more hilarious. Because they were tearing each other apart, Ah Pan Jie’s son accidentally called out Ren Hu’s name. So they all know it was Ren Hu’s doing now. It was also because of that that Ren Mei quickly bowed and apologized to everyone present. Yet Long Shou Cheng spoke up to comfort her, knowing it wasn’t her fault. Ren Mei, not knowing what else to say, turned and ran off. Ah Pan Jie soon excused herself to go check on Ren Mei as the others watched. Long Tai soon grabbed the two thugs, forcing them to go with him and confront Ren Hu.

So while Ren Hu was waiting for good news from the two thugs, he was only met with the news of Long Tai coming over. What to do now? Of course, Ren Hu wouldn’t admit or acknowledge the two thugs. Even if it was too obvious it was him, as long as he didn’t admit, they couldn’t do anything about it anyway. Long Tai had a solution for this situation. He wanted Ren Hu to take out his cell phone. He used Ah Xiang’s cell phone to call Ren Hu. (Ah Xiang was one of the thugs.) Of course, the call didn’t go through Ren Hu’s cell phone. He would be too stupid to use his own cell phone. He had another method to cover his ass. It helped to have two cell phones. To much of Ren Hu and the other two’s surprise, Long Tai also knelt to apologize to Ren Hu with disrupting the place. He actually didn’t want to yet he was reminded of what his mother told him. Yet it wasn’t admitting defeat either since he also warned Ren Hu not to use such low tactics to hurt others because he would end up harming himself as well. Of course Ren Hu didn’t care for Long Tai’s lectures. He was on a roll. He thought that he was winning so, of course, he didn’t care to acknowledge Long Tai’s words.

What became interesting of the development was how Ah Xiang apologized to Long Tai outside with causing Long Tai to kneel to Ren Hu earlier. That also led to Long Tai convincing them to stop it with their rouge life, even offering them a place to stay so they could start over and find a job in the meantime. It was indeed quite shocking for both. Even Ah Pan Jie was surprised by Long Tai’s decision when she heard it. It turned out Long Shou Cheng agreed with Long Tai and let the two stay for the time being. Ah Pan Jie was more than grateful by the pair of father and son’s deed. So the two had promised to work harder from now on. Well, Ah Xiang had mumbled that he would be, not sure about Ah Pan Jie’s son.

Since that situation was resolved already, Long Shou Cheng asked where Ren Mei was. It was also then that Long Tai realized Ren Mei wasn’t around. He turned to Ah Pan Jie for an explanation. It was revealed–obviously–that Ren Mei had shut herself in her room since learning of her brother’s schemes. Long Shou Cheng had commented that Ren Mei was taking it too hard and it was her brother’s doing, it had nothing to do with her, etc. Xiao Xiang pointed out that it was hard to blame her for thinking too much and that they should let her be for the time being.

Later that night, Long Tai went to check on Ren Mei. Strangely, Ren Hu’s schemes had brought them closer once again. And soon Long Tai found out he was wasting his time because Ren Mei wasn’t around. When he tried to knock on the door, he realized the door was left open and Ren Mei was already gone. Searching around the room for signs of her, Long Tai soon found a letter left by Ren Mei. It sounded too much like a suicide note. No wonder Long Tai was in a rush to find Ren Mei.

*All images were captured by DTLCT

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