*WARNING*: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. If you DO NOT want to be spoiled, please DO NOT read. You have been warned.
So the conversation resumed with how Yong Mei was still sore over her missed chance of talking to Dong Han with whatever it was that she claimed was so important. Then Yong Mei decided to extract information from Zi Yan. Zi Yan responded that she didn’t know what was going on either, but it was possibly because of work pressures. (Yeah, people actually have things to do aside from catering to rich princess’ commands.) Anyway, Zi Yan had to go into explaining how it had to do with their duties and how dangerous it was, not knowing if they had a tomorrow. Zi Yan asked for Yong Mei’s understanding.
That night, Zi Yan tried to talk to Dong Han about it. Yet Dong Han reasoned that it was Yong Mei whom forced him into taking such drastic measures. Zi Yan pointed out that even if Dong Han did such, Yong Mei wouldn’t give up either. Dong Han asked Zi Yan if she was also forcing him to take actions. It indeed was hard, considering Zi Yan’s standing. Zi Yan then said that seeing how sad Yong Mei was, it had made her sad as well. Then things got quiet. Dong Han seemed so distance and somewhat scary. Zi Yan spoke up again, saying how he was making her worry. He finally spoke up and said that he feared that one day she couldn’t stand it anymore and would hate him. He walked over to her to take her hands into his before saying that if that day indeed come, he hopes that she could say goodbye to him without any hesitation.
Apparently the person whom Dong Han wanted Zi Hong to meet up with was his mother. At least his current mother. Ms. Liu was actually one of their neighbors since ages ago too and known their parents quite well. Ms. Liu said that she was really happy to see them all reunited again. Then she launched into telling them a story, which she said would be right to tell them at that point. It happened 50 years ago, when she was only 6 years old. Basically, their livelihoods were quite good with everyone helping one another within the fields and were like family working together during harvest seasons. It wasn’t just like that, but overall, it paved a nice picture. Yet 30 years later (which meant it was 20 years ago), things changed. That was also the time of the land redevelopment incident occurred and how everyone was forced to move. Like it was said many times before, there were only 3 families whom didn’t sign the papers. However, Qing Ting’s mother reassured them and suggested that they gathered around and planted the trees, and that one day they would return to see their effort flourishing. That day was June 23rd (aka the day they gathered to plant the trees). No one knew what the future would bring them. What they didn’t expect was the accidents that had caused 5 deaths and 4 injuries that occurred several days later. Some of them had agreed to take the kids as a gesture to their old fellow neighbors. At that time, Ms. Liu’s husband was still alive and they didn’t have any kids and their financial situation was stable so they took in Xi Shuai. Xiao Cao was also adopted by another family yet she didn’t want to be disturbed anymore. So that was when Ms. Liu paused and told the others not to go seek out Xiao Cao either. Ms. Liu resumed her story with how not being able to locate Qing Ting until later and heard that he’d been adopted by Shen You Fu. Then there was his mother, so they decided to take turns in visiting her and taking care of her. So whenever Zi Hong came, they knew. At least Ms. Liu saw them together. Ms. Liu blamed herself for what happened, because if they hadn’t moved and had forged together perhaps it wouldn’t turn out like that with how Qing Ting’s mother became that way, and how Xi Shuai’s parents and younger brother had died, and also Xiao Cao’s parents. Then Dong Han had to step forward to comfort her, saying it wasn’t like that. She pulled herself together and said she wouldn’t mention it anymore. It was now about finding out what really happened 20 years ago (aka the real reason behind it all). Miao Miao jumped in to ask if it was the accident. Ms. Liu said it wasn’t just that, but also Project Jing Hai. That got Zi Hong’s interest. Ms. Liu confessed that she only heard about it 10 years after she left the town and didn’t know much about it as she would like to. However, she was sure that it had to do with Jiang Jian Ming. (So it made sense now that Dong Han was glaring at him with much hatred that one time when he came to put pressure on them.) Ms. Liu said it was just them now, but it was about time that they sought justice for the others. (It also made sense how Dong Han kept his goal clear after all these years.) Ms. Liu continued by saying that they have a plan to force Jiang Jian Ming into speaking up and revealing the truth behind it all. (Why are they saying all these to Miao Miao? She was going to rat them out with her best pal.) Dong Han quickly revealed of their next step, which caused Miao Miao to be shocked of it (obviously). Their plan was called “Returning Home” (回家). Miao Miao asked if they were joking with that part of the plan. Zi Hong was still thinking. Ms. Liu said she hoped that they would join in with the plan, but she also told them to think it over. She then excused herself, saying that the person whom drove her there was waiting for her.
Dong Han then took them to the forest–where the trees were–and told them how his mother had took him there from time to time. Then he had placed the wooden tags on the trees when he returned to accept the mission, and how he was really happy to read Miao Miao’s article. At first when he heard about Zi Hong’s identity being Qing Ting, he didn’t know what to make of it. It wasn’t until they confirmed Zi Hong’s identity through the sealed files that he dared to believe. That was also when he knew Zi Hong still remembered of their childhood, and when he went to check out Zi Hong’s work space, he was really touched to learn about the music cards. Because that was part of their childhood. He also realized that Zi Hong was like him, still wanting to avenge for their families. He wanted the other two to join them in their plan. Miao Miao said she wanted to join their plan too, but with how they wanted to cause some kind of explosion, it seemed too extreme. Yes, that was their plan. And then Zi Hong spoke up to say that many people would be hurt and be out of jobs, etc. Miao Miao also spoke up to agree with Zi Hong, saying how it would cause the ruptures in so many lives. Dong Han asked if they were no longer Qing Ting and Miao Miao, but were using their identities as Teacher Zi Hong and Reporter Yang speaking up now. Miao Miao asked Dong Han what would the others do then. Dong Han said if Jiang Jian Ming were to come out to admit and apologize for what happened then they wouldn’t take that step. Miao Miao asked if Dong Han was sure if it was really Jiang Jian Ming. (Of course she had to speak up for her best pal’s families.) Miao Miao said those things needed evidences to be sure. Dong Han said if they agreed to join in on the plan, then his mother would show them the evidences. Zi Hong said it didn’t matter if there were evidences, the plan would affect too many people, and that they shouldn’t resort to such measures. Dong Han, even more upset by now, asked if Zi Hong had already forgotten what happened years ago. Zi Hong said he didn’t forget. The struggle continued between not wanting to drag other innocent people in versus how some people didn’t lose all family members went on for a bit more before Dong Han lost it and slammed Zi Hong into a tree. Yup, Dong Han totally lost it. He asked Zi Hong if Zi Hong really could get Jiang Jian Ming to admit his wrongdoings, because it seemed like Zi Hong hadn’t kept his promise regarding how the three of them wouldn’t separate and how Zi Hong would take them to Miao Miao. He then reminded Zi Hong how he said he didn’t care that Xiao Cao was gone, but it wasn’t so. He really hated Zi Hong for breaking the promise that time when he woke up in the car and Xiao Cao was gone. After that lash out, Zi Hong couldn’t say anything but words of apologies. Dong Han finally let go of Zi Hong and turned away. After composing himself, he told Zi Hong not to apologize. He said him hating Zi Hong was just like hating himself, because what he promised Xiao Cao, he couldn’t do it either. But what they could do now is make someone else apologize. He wanted to ask them one last time if they wanted to join or not. Miao Miao said it was possible, but they shouldn’t cause the explosion. It was now Zi Hong’s turn. Zi Hong said that he was like Dong Han in the past, hating and wanting to make someone pay. But then he thought it through already. Zi Hong said that his mother wouldn’t want to be the reason that he kills or harm others. Dong Han mentioned about seeking justice, restoring what was lost, i.e their homes, etc. Zi Hong said those weren’t lost, and there were other ways to seek justice. It was Miao Miao whom reminded him of it. Dong Han asked them one last time if that was their answers. Dong then asked if Zi Hong was able to not kill Zhang Guo Tang after finding him and would hand him over to the police. Zi Hong said he would after he could find the answers he needed. Dong Han nodded, saying that they didn’t need to join forces. Zi Hong asked why not. Dong Han said it was because the roads that they were traveling on weren’t the same one. Zi Hong asked if Dong Han wanted to kill “him”. The “him” in question wasn’t too clear, but Dong Han didn’t answer at first so Zi Hong persisted. Dong Han said that those were Zi Hong’s words, not his. Miao Miao interfered again, but it wasn’t to lecture Dong Han, not yet. She asked him if he killed the others hence reassuring her previously that Zi Hong didn’t do it. Yup, it was Dong Han. He followed Zi Hong and thought Zi Hong had the same plan as him when visiting one of Zhang Guo Tang’s henchmen yet Zi Hong left after leaving the music card so he knew it wasn’t the same. Dong Han said that plan was too slow with trying to lure Zhang Guo Tang out, he can’t wait. What he regretted the most was causing Zi Hong to be dragged in as the prime suspect. Zi Hong didn’t blame Dong Han, but he said those two were still innocents. Dong Han asked back if his family was as innocent. Zi Hong brought up what Chief Zheng said previously about a third party, which was Dong Han’s side, NOT Zi Hong like Chief Zheng had suspected. Dong Han said it was all right if Zi Hong used the word “our” instead of “your” side since he still wanted the other two to join. Zi Hong said he didn’t want the whole an eye for an eye type of thing. Miao Miao asked if Ms. Liu knew about the killings. Dong Han said if the other two didn’t say, she wouldn’t know. Dong Han then took out a cell phone and handed it to Zi Hong, saying if Zi Hong dial the number on there, he would reach Ms. Liu and Zi Hong could tell her that they agreed to join. Zi Hong said he hadn’t agreed. Dong Han turned around and smiled (which is creepy for the situation. What he said next confirmed my suspicion). He said that he saw Zi Hong burned the evidences that day so he already filmed a clip of it, and had intended to use it as a joke later when they reunited before destroying the clip. However, at this point, he could use it as evidence against Zi Hong. Miao Miao scrunched up then, calling Dong Han as “Liu Dong Han” instead of Xi Shuai like before, asking if he really wanted to do that. Dong Han said that it was up to that point, he had no choice but to do so. And he didn’t want Zhang Guo Tang to land into their hands. Miao Miao said she could call Chief Zheng up and tell him about the whole thing. Dong Han said she would risked his arrest. He knew the other two wouldn’t do that to him. Miao Miao jumped back to calling him “Xi Shuai” yet he said not to waste anymore time. (Finally!) He gave them the ultimatum, either join or risk Zi Hong’s arrest. Zi Hong said the more Dong Han pressure him, the more he wouldn’t join. Dong Han apologized one last time, saying that he really didn’t want to do it. But regardless of what happened, they were still his family. Miao Miao cried out that if they were really family, it wouldn’t turn out like that. (I thought we were moving forward? Why the roundabout again?) Dong Han said that after it was all done, he would clarify everything and accept the punishment, whatever that might be. Of course that would also mean clearing Zi Hong’s reputation. Then he left.
So it seemed like Zi Hong chose not to join hence the consequences. The special team – minus Dong Han – was listening to the news while figuring out the person whom filmed the clip. Xiao He said he couldn’t figure it out, but had received the e-mail. Elsewhere, Zi Hong was asking Miao Miao if she wanted to return home or follow him to find Zhang Guo Tang. She chose the second choice so they were on their way. After the news segment, Chen Jie asked if Chief Zheng wanted to bring Zi Hong in. Chief Zheng asked if Dong Han was with Zi Hong, and gave the orders to bring Zi Hong in. As Dong Han witnessed Zi Hong and Miao Miao driving away in Zi Hong’s car, he received the call from Chen Jie. Dong Han lied and said that the other two had misled him and had fled already. Chen Jie told Dong Han to get on it, and Dong Han said he got it. Back at the headquarter, Chief Zheng told Xiao He to track their cell phones while he went to call Yang Yong Zhao. As the others were going on their way, Zi Yan was still standing around thinking. Had she caught onto something? Even if she hadn’t figured out that far out conspiracy, could she possibly figure out what Dong Han was doing? Like possibly acting suspicious during their previous get together?
Miao Miao finally received the call from her grandpa. They stopped somewhere so Miao Miao could take the call. Her grandpa was wondering if she wanted to return home. She said she knew Zi Hong was innocent so she wanted to go with him. Grandpa Yang pointed out it wasn’t as easy as she put it. The judge wouldn’t see it her way and she would be dragged in as well. She said the more she had to accompany Zi Hong. She reassured him she would be all right. How could he not worry? He wanted to talk to Zi Hong, so Miao Miao had no choice but to hand the phone over to Zi Hong. Grandpa Yang said that Chief Zheng believed Zi Hong was innocent yet things were getting complicated so he couldn’t do anything else but to proceed according to his duties. Zi Hong said he understood. Grandpa Yang told Zi Hong that it wasn’t too late to turn back. Zi Hong said he wasn’t going to turn back, and that he didn’t do anything wrong. Grandpa Yang said that fleeing would be difficult. Zi Hong said he knew. Grandpa Yang knew he couldn’t change their decisions, but told Zi Hong to use his life to protect Miao Miao. Zi Hong promised.
Zi Yan decided to interrogate Tom again. She was prepared this time. She had a recorded clip of Tom’s mom sending her regards to Tom. Tom’s mom wanted him to return home. She said she was still capable of earning money and his sister was going to work soon, so he didn’t need to get into sticky situations to get money. Tom said that the cops were so despicable with using his family against him. Zi Yan told him to listen to another clip. That next clip, his mom told him to let Zhang Guo Tang deal with the punishments, and that they didn’t need to worry about him anymore since he already got captured. She also said that the cops had promised to decrease Tom’s sentence if he were to cooperate. Surprised, Tom wanted to listen to the clip again. Zi Yan asked which part, and then she asked Tom if he didn’t know. She quickly told him how they already arrested Zhang Guo Tang earlier that day–along with some of the other henchmen.
Meanwhile, Zhang Guo Tang was somewhere eating noodles and watching the latest news segment. It was the one they’d been talking about, regarding Zi Hong destroying evidences. He soon turned off the TV and picked up his phone. It was one of his henchmen calling in to report of the latest at Zi Hong’s house. Shen You Fu had returned home already. Zhang Guo Tang told them to make the move. They said that there were also two cops standing guard. Zhang Guo Tang said the more they should take actions. So they did. The two gangsters went in and knocked out the two cops on guard before getting to Shen You Fu.
Zi Yan finally succeeded in convincing Tom to cooperate. Chief Zheng was proud of her. Yet he had to tell her of the bad news with Shen You Fu being kidnapped already. He said it was probably Zhang Guo Tang’s doing. He also told Zi Yan to tell Dong Han to pick her up and join them at the location. So Zi Yan suited up after getting off the phone. As she was on the way out, she tried to call Miao Miao but was unsuccessful. She told Dong Han about it when she got into the car. Dong Han seemed disturbed, and reflected of his bad moods when Zi Yan asked him about it. Yet they had a mission to carry out, can’t talk long. Then elsewhere, Zi Hong wanted to drop Miao Miao off. It was because he wanted Miao Miao to wait for his father and they could go together, if not, then Miao Miao should leave first. He said that if he confronted Zhang Guo Tang, he needed to do it alone. It would be harder with Miao Miao around. Miao Miao said they had guns yet Zi Hong reasoned that they wouldn’t use it since that was like signaling to the cops. Miao Miao finally got out after threatening Zi Hong to keep his promise.
Then came the confrontation. Or more like Zhang Guo Tang’s own interrogation. He, of course, wanted to ask Shen You Fu of Zi Hong’s whereabouts. He wanted to avenge his brothers’ deaths. Yet Zhang Guo Tang didn’t need to wait long. Zi Hong was on his way. (Okay, wait, how did Zi Hong know they were there? Or did Zhang Guo Tang sent out some sort of signal? Because he apparently was really unsuccessful in locating Zhang Guo Tang before hence dragging the situation until now. Or was it because of Miao Miao and all the debates that he couldn’t really get a move on the search until now?) While one of his men went outside to check on the situation, Zhang Guo Tang was saying how he and Shen You Fu used to be “dogs” for Jiang Jian Ming. But the difference between them now was he, Zhang Guo Tang, no longer was. Before he could take any action toward Shen You Fu, he heard more noises outside. He had to go and check it out for himself. When he came out, Zi Hong was in a deadlock with Paul. Zhang Guo Tang told Paul to finish Zi Hong yet at the last minute, Zi Hong managed to turn the situation around and tossed the knife toward Zhang Guo Tang, injuring his hand so he had to drop the gun. (That was seriously fake, lol. Cool in a way, but fake.) The struggle between Zi Hong and Paul continued until the cops arrived. Yet they were too late. They only discovered Paul and another dude tied up outside. No one else was there. Indeed, Zi Hong had already tied Zhang Guo Tang up and was on his way to somewhere. Zhang Guo Tang asked him why killed the other two men and if Zi Hong wanted to do the same to him. Zi Hong said he didn’t kill those guys, and that it would be too easy to kill Zhang Guo Tang off. Then back at the scene, Chief Zheng told them to send out a notice to find Zi Hong.
Then the dramatic confrontation out by the seaside. Zhang Guo Tang said that he already told them time after time that what happened 20 years ago was an accident. He also recounted that he and the other two guys (the same ones who got killed by Dong Han already) had also went toward the hillside to check it out too, but it was too late for some people. Zi Hong, obviously, didn’t believe him. Zhang Guo Tang was done. He didn’t want to play with Zi Hong anymore. He told Zi Hong to kill him already and get it over with. Zi Hong proceeded with tying his hands and legs together, and said that it was getting dark soon (i.e. high tides) so they could find out if Zhang Guo Tang was in fear or not by then. Zi Hong then went to sit safely elsewhere to wait. That was when Zhang Guo Tang started yelling for Zi Hong, and demanded he return. Zi Hong didn’t return until Zhang Guo Tang finally yelled out that he would confess. Zhang Guo Tang stuck with his answer about it being an accident. Zi Hong kicked him back to drink some more water, and asked him the leader behind it all (aka the person giving them the commands). Zhang Guo Tang yelled out that it was Jiang Jian Ming. Jiang Jian Ming wanted them to teach the ones whom didn’t want to move a lesson yet it wasn’t to kill, it was just some warnings. So the accident was really an accident. Zi Hong didn’t want to hear more of Zhang Guo Tang’s nonsense reasons so he said he would go for a bowl of noodles before returning. Zhang Guo Tang, in his desperate attempt, yelled out if Zi Hong didn’t believe, then go ask Jiang Jian Ming for himself. What Zi Hong didn’t expect was how Zhang Guo Tang told Zi Hong to go ask his father too. That stopped Zi Hong from going so Zhang Guo Tang continued on. He said that was why Shen You Fu wanted to adopt Zi Hong, because that incident was really an accident so he felt bad and wanted to make it up for Zi Hong. Zhang Guo Tang said that the three of them were outsiders so how could they know Zi Hong and the other two families. Shen You Fu was in charge of keeping watch and informing them when the three families arrive. That was when they took actions and then caused the accident. Zhang Guo Tang said there were four people in charge of doing that mission, and the fourth person was Shen You Fu. Zi Hong was so riled up by Zhang Guo Tang’s words that he went back to kick him. (Wow, who was talking about not hurting others before when he was lecturing Dong Han?)
Back at the headquarter, the others were able to locate Miao Miao and Shen You Fu but no Zi Hong. Chief Zheng guessed that Zi Hong must have gone a different way with Zhang Guo Tang. He told them to send out more people to look for those two. Dong Han was nowhere to be seen either. Zi Yan said he was in the restroom, but who knows? Dong Han was indeed in the restroom, but he was checking to make sure no one was there. Before he could do anything though, he received a message from Yong Mei. She wanted to meet up the next day. He pocketed his phone again before taking the lid off of one of the toilets. He emptied the water before taking out a plastic bag – with a phone inside. (Clever. Old trick but still clever.)
So Zi Hong was still threatening Zhang Guo Tang and getting him to talk. He wanted to know what Zhang Guo Tang had that caused him to gain an upper hand with Jiang Jian Ming hence returning. Zhang Guo Tang soon blurted out “Project Jing Hai”. Zi Hong asked him about it. He said he also wanted to know. Zi Hong then asked if it had anything to do with Jiang Jian Ming. Like some of them suspected, the party in charge of the project was Jiang Jian Ming’s wife’s family. The whole fiasco of years ago had to do with Jiang Jian Ming along with his wife’s family, the Yan. It also had to do with Head Councilman Luo – or so Zhang Guo Tang said. Zi Hong said maybe he was innocent. Zhang Guo Tang said the money was already handed over. Zi Hong asked when, and the response was April 22nd. Zi Hong said if he already achieved his goal, why was he still around hurting people? He said it wasn’t so simple, and that he couldn’t return home, etc. He wanted Jiang Jian Ming to tell Head Councilman Luo to give him a guaranteed letter, and the contents would be giving him special privileges if the man were to advance toward his next rank. Zi Hong said it would be impossible for the other party to agree. Zhang Guo Tang confirmed that the other party didn’t agree hence he couldn’t end his mission. Zi Hong said it was ending now. Before he could say anything else, his phone rang. It was the phone Dong Han gave him earlier. Zhang Guo Tang then spoke up to say that he could give Zi Hong money. Zi Hong said not killing Zhang Guo Tang was already a special privilege so Zhang Guo Tang shouldn’t negotiate with him. As Zhang Guo Tang was still trying to persuade Zi Hong, Dong Han was getting impatient with attempting to make contact since Zi Hong still didn’t pick up. Zi Hong dropped Zhang Guo Tang off at the police station before leaving. Then he decided to pick up Dong Han’s call at last. Dong Han told him not to give Zhang Guo Tang up to the police, because that was part of their plan with calling Zhang Guo Tang to come back (i.e. pressuring Jiang Jian Ming). But it was too late. One of the police officers had already gone out to fetch Zhang Guo Tang. (I knew it! I was right! It was Dong Han! Even if Chen Jie had to apologize to him!) OMG, really? Zi Hong went back and it was too late so he had to go again. He dared to blame it on Dong Han for not saying it out? Dong Han said that he tried to call many times already but Zi Hong didn’t pick up. Then Dong Han said that it didn’t matter anymore since he would find another way. Zi Hong pondered why they had to bring Zhang Guo Tang back. Dong Han said that he didn’t have time to explain. Zi Hong warned him not to go too far or he couldn’t return. Dong Han told Zi Hong he better worry for himself since Chen Jie was out looking for him. Dong Han told Zi Hong to flee.
Dong Han finally met up with Zi Yan and Xiao He in the control room. Zi Yan updated Dong Han on Zhang Guo Tang’s status. Xiao He was commenting on how cool it was to see Zhang Guo Tang being wrapped up like that and tossed out at the police station. Dong Han asked about Zi Hong’s whereabouts. Xiao He said that he was trying to locate Zi Hong. Zi Yan told Dong Han that they should go first. Dong Han made some comments about the signals before leaving. As Chen Jie and Ah Gang were trying to decide of their next location, Xiao He was finally able to locate Zi Hong so they were on their way.
*All images were captured by DTLCT