- Title: Unchained Love
- Also Known As: 浮图缘, Floating on the Edge, Forbidden Love
- Director: Wu Qiang
- Casts: Dylan Wang, Chen Yu Qi, Peter Ho, Zheng Li
- Screenwriter: Li Jing Ling
- Genres: Romance, Comedy, Historical
- Country: China
- Episodes: 36
- Original Network: iQiyi
- Where to Watch: iQiyi, WeTV
- Adapted from the web novel: Fu Tu Yuan by You Si Jie
List of Recap:
- Unchained Love (Episode 1-2 Recap)
- Unchained Love (Episode 3-4 Recap)
- Unchained Love (Episode 5-6 Recap)
- Unchained Love (Episode 7-8 Recap)
- Unchained Love (Episode 9-10 Recap)
- Unchained Love (Episode 11-12 Recap)
Hello Readers… Unchained Love or Forbidden love was the latest works of art of our favorite demon lord, Dylan Wang. After the high rating drama, Love Between Fairy and Devil ended (I also wrote Love Between Fairy and Devil drama review), this Unchained Love drama was the one that I’ve been waiting for. The story was sweet, funny, and intriguing. So I decided to write Unchained Love episode recap. We started with episode 1 and 2 ofc 😄.
Although I must say that Dylan Wang with a long hair was more tempting than the one with a eunuch hat…😆 But he was Dylan Wang, dear readers… what more can you ask for? His acting and everything was definitely worth to watch. So… what are we waiting for? Lets’go!
Unchained Love Characters
Xiao Duo was infamous for his ruthlessness. Most people feared him but some of them were attracted to his beautiful countenance. Xiao Duo was a cunning man and has great martial arts ability. He could kill people with his moves or angered people to death with his words. Xiao Duo has a twin brother, but his identity was not revealed yet.
Bu Yin Lou
Bu Yin Lou was the illegitimate daughter of the Bu family. Her mother was weak and her father was selfish. She was sent to the palace to replace her legitimate sister as Emperor Yuanzhen’s concubine. Bu Yin Lou was smart but she hid it because she knew when she was in the palace, being too smart could lead you to death. At the Palace, Bu Yin Lou did not care about the harem fight because she aimed for a lazy and fulfilling life with her maid.
Murong Gao Gong
Murong Gao Gong or Fu Wang (Prince Fu) was famous as the Lantern Prince because in his heart there was nothing more important than making a good lantern. Murong Gao Gong was the younger brother of Emperor Yuanzhen. He was weak and when he was young, other princes tend to bully him. He was afraid of the dark and fell in love head over heels with Bu Yin Lou.
Empress Rong’an was the wife of Emperor Yuanzhen. She was cruel and deceptive. She did not have any son but she was yearning for power. After Emperor Yuanzhen died, Empress Rong’an became the Empress Dowager and was in the highest position inside the palace. Empress Rong’an loves young people, especially Xiao Duo.
This naïve girl was the personal maidservant of Bu Yin Lou. Her one-track mind was a comedy and everything she said was hilarious. Tong Yun was loyal to Bu Yin Lou. She did not take any advantage of her, instead, she would do anything to help her master. She hated Cao Chun’ang, Xiao Duo’s attendant. Every time they met, it always ended up in a small scale of world war.
Cao Chun’ang’s orbit was around Xiao Duo. Everywhere Xiao Duo went, he would follow suit. Cao Chun’ang called Xiao Duo his Godfather. As an attendant eunuch, Cao Chun’ang knew Xiao Duo’s secret and he always strive to do anything to help Xiao Duo. He had some kind of love-hate relationship with Tong Yun.
This cold person was the chief of the Zhaoding Bureau. He worked under Xiao Duo and was also one of his trusted subordinates. He did not speak much and was quite a perceptive person.
Sun Tai Qing
Sun Tai Qing was Murong Gao Gong’s personal eunuch. He took care of Murong Gao Gong since his younger years. Sun Tai Qing’s loyalty was unshakable. He would do anything and everything for his master.
Yilan was Empress Rong’an’s personal maid. She was a quiet girl but very loyal to the Empress.
Li Pingru was a 5th rank meiren. Her rank was above Bu Yin Lou, but her bearing was weaker than her. She was afraid of all the time and always looked for someone that she could rely on. Li Pingru still had a mother and a sister at home, and she really wanted to leave the palace, so she could return to them.
Zhang Yujin was one of Emperor Yuanzhen’s concubines. She was also Empress Rong’an niece. The Empress bribed Eunuch Yun so her name could be erased from the Tribute Ladies’ list.
Yan Sun Lang
This greedy eunuch was in charge of the tribute ladies. He took bribes from their families and arrogantly decided on others’ life and death matters.
Madam Bu was the nominal wife of Bu Yu Lu and Bu Yin Lou’s nominal mother. She was greedy and manipulative. Madam Bu bore a son and a daughter. For the sake of her daughter, she sent Bu Yin Lou to the palace to replace her sister and for the sake of her son, she wanted Bu Yin Lou dead as a tribute lady.
Zhou Cheng De
Zhou Cheng De was the Grand Secretary of the cabinet. He yearned for power and fought be the regent minister of Rong Wang.
During the feudal era, as the agent of Heaven, an emperor must be served in life as well as in death. When an emperor died, his wife, concubines, and maid must be buried with him. Those ladies who would accompany him in the afterlife were called Tribute Ladies.
In the 11th year of Longhua, Emperor Yuanzhen passed away. The Ye dynasty was thrown into chaos because the heir, Prince Rong, was still young. Everybody fought for the right to control the young prince as well as the court. And among them was the formidable Zhaoding Bureau, led by Eunuch Xiao Duo who was infamous for being ruthless.
Emperor Yuanzhen passed away in his bed at Shangqiong Palace without leaving a decree. However, only 30 minutes after the passing of the emperor, the Grand Secretariat already got the news. And at the moment, the cabinet led by Grand Secretary Zhou Cheng De was clamoring in front of the palace gate. He led the members of the cabinet and wanted to enter the palace. Yet Xiao Duo was a step forward and already anticipated it. He ordered the guards at the gate to prevent them from entering the palace.
Xiao Duo held control of the inner court. He was the one who would arrange the funeral of the late emperor and the ascension of the young emperor. Xiao Duo told his attendant Cao Chun’ang to invite Empress Rong’an of Fengyi Palace, Noble Consort Shao, and Prince Rong of Chengyuan Palace to the Shangqiong Palace to talk about Prince Rong’s ascension. He also told Cao Chun’ang to ring the mourning bells, hang the white banners, and prepare the tribute ladies. They must be sent on their way (they have to die) as soon as possible.
In a small courtyard of Xiecui Garden. Bu Yin Lou racked her brain to get away from the Tribute Ladies’ list. Even though her maid Tong Yun helped her to raise money. The amount was far-fetched to bribe the eunuch. As the last resort, she instructed Tong Yun to go to the Imperial Service Bureau and reported that Bu Yin Lou has escaped. She also ordered Tong Yun to say that she was released from her position as Bu Yin Lou’s maid.
Contrary to her panic-stricken master, Tong Yun was calmer. She reassured Bu Yin Lou that help is on its way because aside from raising the money, she also sent a letter to the Bu family. But Bu Yin Lou did not feel optimistic about it. Before they could start the plan, several strong eunuchs already came to pick her up.
Bu Yin Lou joined another lowly concubines to kneel in the courtyard and listen to the head eunuch, Yan Sun Lang read the decree. Every childless concubine would be a tribute lady. The emperor had many concubines and many of them had never met the emperor himself. Bu Yin Lou was one of them.
Right now, Bu Yin Lou leaned at the fence looking calm. But in reality, she was too hungry to cry and now she had to rack her brain and find a way to shake off the predicament. But after she thought really hard, she still could not think of anything. She only looked at the fish immortal amulet on her neck and prayed that it would help her in the end.
One of the concubines, Beauty Li Pingru cried incessantly. Eunuch Yan Sun Lang told them that being a tribute lady was an honor because it could count as a repayment for their family. Every tribute lady’s family would receive rewards from the court and a male member of the family would be promoted to officer.
Meanwhile, in another place, Xiao Duo sat on a platform while the cabinet members stand before him. The Grand Secretary Zhao Cheng De demanded the power of reviewing memorials from Xiao Duo’s hand. Then the cabinet members would go and ask the Empress Dowager to appoint a regent minister to assist the young emperor. Xiao Duo mocked Zhao Cheng De because the Emperor has just passed away but he was eager to appropriate the regency power.
Xiao Duo told the cabinet that Zhao Cheng De was involved in bribery and fraud. He revealed that Zhao Cheng De has bribed the presiding judges of the Spring Imperial Examination. He ordered some courtesans to slip the name of scholars to the examination judges.
Zhou Cheng De’s eyes were full of hatred. He mocked Xiao Duo that he was just a eunuch and questioned what kind of rights a eunuch could have. Xiao Duo’s expression was still flat. He turned back and with a flick of his finger, the teacup flew and pushed Zhao Cheng De. The impact was strong that Zhao Cheng De needed some cabinet members to stop him from falling.
Xiao Duo stared at Zhao Cheng De and said that he was personally appointed by the Emperor and his power was also granted by the Holy One. He controlled the inner court and supervised the outer court. Xiao Duo told Zhao Cheng De that he was the Emperor’s eyes and hands. Zhao Cheng De could not retort his word and only screamed when the guard came and take him to the prison.
Yan Sun Lang was a corrupt officer. While the tribute ladies waited for the auspicious time, he accepted money from the concubine’s family who wanted to redeem their kin. Including the niece of the Empress, Lady Zhang Yujin. After her aunt paid for her, Zhang Yujin could walk away from the hall.
Meanwhile, those who have no support from their family nor money to pay the eunuch could only wait for their death. Li Pingru and Bu Yin Lou were one of them. Li Pingru had no money nor an influential family. While Bu Yin Lou’s father was the Grand Tutor but he never cared about her. He even let Bu Yin Lou replace her legitimate sister as the emperor’s concubine.
At the Fengyi palace, Prince Rong was dragged by two eunuchs from the main hall. He cried and screamed but the eunuchs pretended not to hear him. Inside the hall, Empress Rong’an had Noble Consort Shao detained. She vented her anger and jealousy to the Noble Consort before she poured the poisoned wine into her throat. The Noble Consort was frantic and tried to assault the Empress.
When Xiao Duo came, he immediately throw the Noble Consort Shuo away from the Empress. Then he took the Empress to the inner chamber and asked her why she was in a hurry to get rid of Noble Consort Shao. They already agreed that as long as the Empress supported Prince Rong and Xiao Duo was around, Empress Rong’an would still be the head of Six Palace.
Empress Rong’an face was sullen when she heard Xiao Duo’s question. She pouted and said that she could not stand Noble Consor Shao’s arrogant attitude. However, the pout did not last long when she gave a wooden comb to Xiao Duo. He understood the gesture and took it and started combing the Empress’ hair. His movement stopped when the Empress touched his hand and told him that the palace was too cold and she wanted him to warm her up.
Xiao Duo smiled and said that he was disabled and filthy. He dared not disrespect her. Seeing her not giving up inviting him to her bed, Xiao Duo told her that the Emperor just died. Many eyes were staring at her and the Fengyi Palace. Empress Rong’an said that when Prince Rong ascended to be the emperor, she would be the Empress Dowager. And with Prince Nan Yuan as the regent, nobody would dare to disrespect her.
Xiao Duo scrunched his forehead when he heard the name. He never knew that the Empress secretly contacted the Prince of Nanyuan, Yuwen Liang Shi. Empress Rong’an saw his expression and thought that Xiao Duo was jealous of Yuwen Liang Shi. She coaxed him but Xiao Duo was already angry and then after he bid goodbye, he left the Empress chamber. Empress Rong’an pouted again and throw her buyao angrily.
When he returned to Zhaoding Bureau, Xiao Duo washed his hand. He scrubbed the part where the Empress touched him. Cao Chun’ang noticed the anger and thought that the Empress might have laid her hand on his master. Xiao Duo ordered Cao Chun’ang to investigate who has been delivering messages to the Prince of Nanyuan behind his back. He thought that if the empress wanted to join hands with the Prince, then he would let them die together. Cao Chun’ang’s efficiency was pretty good.
That night while listening to the sound of torture, Xiao Duo set up a small altar and burn incense for the dead. It was his twin brother, Ah Duo who died. Xiao Duo recalled the time when he found his body along with a jade pendant in Ah Duo’s hand. He promised to kill the Prince of Nanyuan to avenge Ah Duo’s death.
Xiao Duo planned to kill the Prince of Nanyuan when he left Western Shu and entered the capital. To lure the Prince of Nanyuan, Xiao Duo must use Prince Rong. However, Xiao Duo could not put the young emperor directly under his control because many people would be against it. Xiao Duo must find someone with a royal status who could compete with the Empress. Suddenly She Qilang came and conveyed a message that Prince Fu, Murong Gao Gong, wanted to meet him. The message gave Xiao Duo an idea. Murong Gao Gong would be the perfect person that he needed.
Xiao Duo sneaked into Prince Fu’s residence. He have to do it because the Empress had ordered that all the imperial clan members must be under house arrest. The Prince wanted him to help him save Bu Yin Lou from death. Xiao Duo agreed under one condition.
Meanwhile, Madam Bu, Bu Yin Lou’s nominal mother came to Xiecui Garden. But unlike other families who came to redeem their family members, Madam Bu wanted Bu Yin Lou to sacrifice her life as a tribute lady. She did that because Madam Bu wanted her son to enter officialdom.
The life of an illegitimate daughter in exchange for a position in officialdom seemed a good deal for her. Madam Bu gave banknotes to Eunuch Yan and promised that she would gave several properties in town for him. Madam Bu wanted Eunuch Yan to make sure Bu Yin Lou would enter Futu Pagoda.
The tribute ladies still waiting for their death at the hall. Bu Yin Lou busily coaxed her maid, Tong Yun. She even told her that she had left some money and jewelry in her room. She wanted Tong Yun to have a good life after she was gone. When Eunuch Yan came and told them that their time was up, Bu Yin Lou broke a sharp ornament and hid it in her sleeve. After that, she got up and follow Eunuch Yan and other concubines to the Futu Pagoda.
Inside the Futu Pagoda, there were many eerie dragon carvings on the wall. Bu Yin Lou protested the reason why they have to die with the Emperor. Eunuch Yan laughed at her and told her that she could reason it with him in her next life. His answer awakened Bu Yin Lou that her life was about to end. While she was in trance, white silks were dropped from the sky.
Every tribute lady must put it on their neck and later a eunuch would pull the silk so they would die hanged. Bu Yin Lou used the sharp ornament to cut the silk but failed because her white silk was already pulled by a eunuch.
She almost lost her breath when Xiao Duo came and asked for Bu Yin Lou. Eunuch Yan pretended that he did not know who Bu Yin Lou was. Fortunately Bu Yin Lou is still alive but she could not answer Xiao Duo’s calling. The only thing that she could do was rip off her amulet necklace and throw it to Xiao Duo. Eunuch Yan still tried to buy some time, so Bu Yin Lou would die before Xiao Duo found her.
But finally, the silk on her neck was torn and Bu Yin Lou fall hard to the floor under the feet of Xiao Duo. He stared at her and also at the sharp ornament near her foot. He realized that Bu Yin Lou was not an ordinary woman. Before he left, Xiao Duo told his people to take her away.
Eunuch Yan tried to stop Xiao Duo. He used the rules to reason with him. Xiao Duo smiled and patted Yan Sun Lang cheek. He told him that he knew that Eunuch Yan had taken bribes from the Tribute Ladies. However, Xiao Duo still came prepared. To replace Bu Yin Lou, Xiao Duo already brought a dead body to the pagoda. Eunuch Yan was shocked when he saw that the body was the dead Noble Consort Shao. Yan Sun Lang realized that he could not continue to offend Xiao Duo.
When Bu Yin Lou awaken, she was inside a bed chamber. When she opened the door, the first thing she saw was Xiao Duo’s back. She immediately recognized his identity from the embroidered uniform and a phyton belt. Xiao Duo thought that Bu Yin Lou knew Prince Fu would save her. However, when he saw her timidity, he deliberately hid the information.
Bu Yin Lou never had any contact with Xiao Duo. She did not know the reason why he saved him. Moreover, Xiao Duo had done more than save her. He brought Tong Yun back and helped Bu Yin Lou to confer a title, Zhensun Consort Dowager Duan. A title that emphasized her loyalty to Emperor Yuanzhen.
Even though in reality Bu Yin Lou had only entered the palace for three months and never saw the face of the late emperor. Bu Yin Lou did not know that Xiao Duo did not really cared about her. He only thought that Prince Fu’s feeling for her was real and to control Bu Yin Lou means that he could control Prince Fu as well.
It was funny to see how they interacted with each other. Bu Yin Lou tried to conceal her suspicions about Xiao Duo’s motive, while Xiao Duo also tried to probe her despite being disgusted by her pretentiousness and flattery. Until Bu Yin Lou misinterpret Xiao Duo’s gesture and thought that he wanted her to kiss him, while the truth was Xiao Duo tried to tell her that she got something on her lips…😂
Bu Yin Lou panicked when she realized Xiao Duo’s motive to help her was because he liked her. She kneeled and begged him to find another person because she was not suitable to be his wife. Xiao Duo’s face was dark. Her words have offended him and he has never been angered like this. Bu Yin Lou knew that she had done something terrible. She chased Xiao Duo who strode out of the room to apologize to him. But she said the wrong words… again.
Bu Yin Lou said that she knew that Xiao Duo saved her because he was a good person. Xiao Duo could not be a bad person because he was too good-looking. After he was bombed with flattery, Xiao Duo’s mood improved. Until Bu Yin Lou said that to express her gratefulness, she would consider him as her sister… 🤣
Xiao Duo came to borrow her hairpin. It was not a hairpin from the palace, but she brought it from the Bu residence. After Xiao Duo left the courtyard, Bu Yin Lou’s leg weakened. She had put out a strong facade when Xiao Duo was present because she was afraid of him. But she still has not found the reason why Xiao Duo saved her. Her suspicion arose when she learned that Xiao Duo did not save her because he liked her. On contrary, Tong Yun was excited because in her eyes Xiao Duo and Bu Yin Lou seemed close (while Bu Yin Lou regarded it as a near-death experience).
Xiao Duo’s doubts about Bu Yin Lou have increased. He thought that Bu Yin Lou would cause danger in the future. Cao Chun’ang did not understand why his powerful godfather must cater to the useless Prince Fu. Xiao Duo explained that Prince Fu was the only son of the late Emperor and Prince Rong’s uncle. It would be appropriate if Prince Rong stayed at his uncle’s residence before he ascended to the throne.
Xiao Duo went to Prince Fu’s residence with Bu Yin Lou’s hairpin. The Prince was elated when he knew that Bu Yin Lou was saved and wanted to meet her. However, Cao Chun’ang told him that Bu Yin Lou was still recuperating. But Xiao Duo had arranged everything to make her life better. Murong Gao Gong was grateful for Xiao Duo’s help. And since he had helped him, it was Prince Fu’s turn to repay his help.
Xiao Duo told Prince Fu that he must help Prince Rong to get away from the Empress Rong’an clutch. Prince Fu cowered in fear. Xiao Duo explained that Empress Rong’an had colluded with the Prince of Nanyuan. It was just a matter of time before she replaced the Murong family.
Prince Fu was a coward. He said that he could not do anything to help him. Xiao Duo reminded him that he was the only one who survive while his 17 brothers died. In his eyes, Murong Gao Gong was not an ordinary person. When everything he said could not bring out Prince Fu’s fighting spirit, Xiao Duo mentioned Bu Yin Lou. He used her name to threaten and manipulate the prince until he agreed with his request.
That night was the night that changed Murong Gao Gong’s life for good. Xiao Duo has taken him out of his shell and thrown him into the center of the power struggle.
Cao Chun’ang reminded Xiao Duo that the medicine he took to suppress the growth of a beard was harmful to him. Xiao Duo originally was not a eunuch. He disguised himself as a eunuch to avenge his brother’s death. Xiao Duo was uninterested to respond to Cao Chun’ang’s words because he had to take precautions against the empress. He would meet her the next day, and he could not be careless.
The next day, Xiao Duo went to the Fengyi palace at night. Empress Rong’an told him to smell the incense that she just made. Xiao Duo told her that he needed to measure Prince Rong so the embroidery girls could start to make his mourning clothes.
The Empress looked indifferent but she could sense that Xiao Duo was there late at night for Prince Rong. Xiao Duo reassured the Empress that no matter who would be the emperor, she would be her master. Yet, the Empress did not let him meet the young prince. She also gave Xiao Duo an indirect warning that he should not meddle in her business.
Xiao Duo and Cao Chun’ang made a plan to kidnap the young prince. But he needed someone to distract the Empress. And it would be Bu Yin Lou. On the day when the funeral would be held, Xiao Duo personally comb Bu Yin Lou’s hair. Contrary to Empress Rong’an who enjoyed his care, Bu Yin Lou’s face showed uneasiness when Xiao Duo acted nice to her.
Xiao Duo threaten Bu Yin Lou when he applied a bruise cream to her throat. Bu Yin Lou had imagined how Xiao Duo would kill her. To preserve her life, Bu Yin Lou offered herself to help him. She said that they were family, therefore she would help him with all her might.
Xiao Duo told her that she should stall The Empress at Shangqiong palace until a certain time and he believed that Bu Yin Lou would do everything to make it happen because she was smart. And smart people know how to keep their lives. But Xiao Duo still did not know that Bu Yin Lou was clueless about Prince Fu’s affection for her. Let alone wanted to join him in the same boat.
At The Shangqiong Palace, Bu Yin Lou joined the other concubines to kneel before the Emperor’s nameplate. The ceremony was led by Empress Rong’an.
Meanwhile, Prince Fu flew several lanterns in the direction of Fengyi Palace. The lantern would serve as a decoy to distract the people of Fengyi Palace while Xiao Duo kidnapped the young prince.
Dear readers… What do you think about this drama? Do you find it entertaining?
One thing that came across my mind after I watched these two episodes. Did Xiao Duo use to work at the beauty parlor? He was so good at combing hair…😂
And I think I found my favorite character in this drama, it was Tong Yun. This little maidservant was soooo adorable 😍