The Story of Minglan Episode 18 Recap

We’re back for Story of Minglan Episode 18 recap!

Things get more interesting as Gu Tingye pursues Yanran’s hand in marriage. Just so he can get a title for Manniang. But Manniang has other thoughts.

How will she take this?

Story of Minglan Episode 18 Recap Highlights:

  • Gu Tingye’s marriage proposal causes trouble to the Yu household
  • Manniang desperate for own survival, heads off to the Yu household
  • Gu Tingye complains about Minglan’s interference

Without further adieu, let’s discuss Story of Minglan episode 18!

Marriage is Arranged by Parents

An elderly man lectures a younger man about squandering the dowry of Lady Fan.

And how he plans to make connections with Gu Tingye to line his own pockets.

Yanran is secretly listening behind a screen.

This is the Yu household.

Yanran’s grandfather continues to admonish his son for his greed. He wants to accept Gu Tingye’s proposal because Gu Tingye is offering a large bride price for Yanran.

Lord Yu on the left and his second wife next to him
Yanran’s grandfather on the right

The grandparents know Lord Yu favors Yanhong, Yanran’s step sister.

But they refuse to allow this household to get ruined by Gu Tingye’s bad reputation.

Yanran’s marriage is not for them to decide. Lord Yu counters that ever since historic times, parents have always decided their children’s marriages.

So then the grandfather argues back and tells his son to divorce his current wife.

Hahaha. I like this grandpa.

The son is stunned but pleads further. Stating that he only has Yanran’s best interests at heart.

In her room, Minglan comments how her handwriting is still so ugly.

So Danju suggests she use the hare brush gifted to her by Yuan Ruo. But Minglan wants to keep it stored.

Stating that maybe writing on new material will be better.

Danju recalls Changbai got some new calligraphy writing books so Minglan informs her to let Changbai drop some off.

Changbai comes over and waits for Minglan while a maid watches over him. But forgetting to serve him properly.

The maid watches over Changbai with a daze while Changbai writes words on a table with water.

He wonders why Minglan is taking so long and asks the maid to follow up. Meanwhile, Minglan is in her room getting ready.

But purposely drags on.

Yanran Pays a Visit

Eventually Minglan comes out but Changbai is already irritated with the maid who was hovering over him.

The maid, Yinxing was too intimate with Changbai and Changbai lectures Minglan for failing to educate her maids.

Minglan pretends to be ignorant while highlighting the fact that Yinxing is from his mother’s courtyward.

Changbai then comments how Minglan is too soft to manage her servants.

And returns to his living quarters.

I guess Minglan will borrow Wang Ruofu’s hand to get rid of this maid.

Meanwhile, Yinxing runs off in tears and Danju heads off to comfort her.

On the way, she bumps into Yanran. Who’s here to visit Minglan.

Yanran speaks with Minglan privately and shares her concerns.

She doesn’t want to marry Gu Tingye. But her parents want her to.

Minglan decides to share her mother’s painting with Yanran. And then reveals how Gu Tingye helped her when no one else would.

So she wants Yanran to know that Gu Tingye isn’t as bad as he sounds.

Yanran is unconvinced because Gu Tingye is infamous for going to brothels. At the polo event the other day, he was sitting next to Madam Wei (who’s from a famous brothel).

And Yanran doesn’t want to burden her grandparents so if it comes to it, she might as well accept her fate.

To be married to Gu Tingye.

But Minglan convinces her that her grandparents will be fine. Her grandfather especially.

Gu Tingye Convinces the Imperial Tutor

Minglan accompanies Yanran and her grandmother to a nearby temple.

For blessings.

While the grandmother seeks insights for her granddaughter’s prospects and her husband’s reconciliation with her son, the grandfather heads outside.

And Gu Tingye finds him.


He pleads with the imperial tutor to hear him out.

Gu Tingye explains that he wants to marry Yanran because he believes the two of them are alike. Growing up without a mother at their sides.

And he’s more than willing to make it up to her by increasing the bride price.

Yanran’s grandfather hears Gu Tingye out and finds out that he took the exams too.

Back at the Yu household, Yanran’s grandfather tells his wife that Gu Tingye was able to get caught up quickly to qualify for the exams.

Despite his immature days as a teenager.

However, Yanran’s grandmother is not convinced. In the Gu family, there’s a step mother AND a step brother.

Yanran won’t be able to handle it. She’s not going to throw Yanran to the wolves.

So then the grandfather explains that Gu Tingye’s plan is to move out and stay far away from the Gu household.

Manniang Pays a Visit to the Yu Household

Manniang causes a commotion in front of the Yu household.

Pleading to meet with the members of the family.

And Minglan sees trouble on the way so she enters into the Yu household through the side door.

I’m sure she’s seen enough of these white lotus tricks.

The imperial tutor is not home and the only ones who are are Yanran and her grandmother.

Yanran doesn’t know how to deal with this.

Yanran reminds me of Yuan Ruo, she grew up as a legitimate miss and never had to fight for anything. When her father remarried, she had to fight but didn’t know how.

While her grandmother coughed up blood from anger and fainted.

She just doesn’t know what to do. And wonders what she did to deserve this.

The grandmother wakes up and wants “that woman” (Manniang) to be tossed out but the woman refuses to leave.

Since the woman doesn’t want to leave, Minglan suggests they get to the bottom of this.

Servants try to invite Manniang in to discuss but Manniang wants them to speak out in the public.

And continues to make a scene while bystanders observe.

Nanny Chang would smack that woman if she was here.

So the servants drag Manniang in.

Manniang humbly requests Yanran to drink her tea and welcome her as a concubine.

While her grandmother and Minglan are behind a screen just observing.

Yanran is no match for Manniang as she tells Manniang to leave.

But Manniang gets on her knees and begs Yanran to pave a path for her.

As they will be serving the same husband soon.

Minglan steps in to help after getting the approval from the grandmother.

When Minglan enters, she asks for the identity of the one who is kneeling.

Minglan vs Manniang

And Manniang introduces herself as Zhu Manniang.

The name was given to her because she was born with a bitter life. Minglan doesn’t seem to think so as she points out how Manniang made a scene in front of the imperial tutor’s household.

Most people don’t even have the guts to do that.

Manniang states that she was afraid and Minglan laughs. She didn’t come in when requested nor did she leave as requested.

It’s obvious she’s not scared at all.

Manniang has met her match XD

Minglan gestures for Yanran to sit while she continues to interrogate this woman.

Manniang shares her background. Her parents died early and she used to roam around with her brother when he was alive.

Her brother worked at the docks, moving boxes and simple tasks. A servant then comes up to Minglan and whispers to her that this woman used to be in a troupe.

Like an entertainment troupe I’m guessing.

Minglan brings up the troupe and asks what Manniang’s role was. She was a singer.

Which is no better than the singers or courtesans in brothels.

Then Minglan tells Manniang that her “sister” Yanran cannot give her a status so she should go to the Gu household.

But Manniang refuses to do so and starts begging Yanran again.

Minglan tells her to shut up because Yanran hasn’t married over to the Gu household yet.

Manniang takes another approach and threatens to kill herself on a pillar.

Standing up for Yanran and Herself

Minglan doesn’t fall for this and analyzes Manniang’s intentions.

First, Manniang came here to bully Yanran and force her to drink her tea. Knowing well enough that she’s not welcomed by the Gu household.

Making it seem like Yanran would be unfilial towards her “future” in-laws.

Secondly, Manniang caused a ruckus outside and intentionally made it look like the Yu household is bullying her. Making Yanran seem unrighteous.

And lastly, Manniang keeps referring to Yanran as the main madam as if she’s already married. This will ruin Yanran’s chastity.

Minglan questions what grudge Manniang holds towards the Yu household to do this.

When Manniang tries to explain herself, Minglan tells her to shut up again and gives her two choices.

  1. Either she walks out by herself OR
  2. She gets bound up and tossed out

LOL Savage. I love how Minglan dominates this conversation and shows Manniang who’s boss. (๑>ᴗ<๑)

Manniang knows she’s lost.

Yanran’s grandmother tells Old Madam Sheng that she was so thankful for Minglan’s help.

While the latter admonishes Minglan for her involvement.

At night, Old Madam Sheng lectures Minglan for getting involved. She endures at the Sheng household and ends up releasing her anger over at the Yu household.

If word got out, Minglan would be doomed.

Minglan tells her grandmother that she knew it wasn’t that dangerous because the woman she was dealing with thought she was part of the Yu family.

And besides she couldn’t stand how Yanran was getting bullied just because she’s too virtuous.


Old Madam Sheng understands that Minglan was trying to stand up for Yanran and herself.

Because one day, the same situation may happen to herself. But Old Madam Sheng tells her that as long as she is alive, this will NEVER happen.

Grandma Sheng, you’re amazing!

Gu Tingye Complains to Minglan

Minglan watches as Yanran leaves on a boat out to sea. It looks like she’s returning to the town where her husband-to-be is waiting for her.

Xiaotao then proposes that they try out this new pastry before going home.

And Minglan agrees.


Danju takes this opportunity to ask Minglan when they can get rid of those servants in their courtyard. But Minglan says they must endure.

It’s not time yet.

Meanwhile, Gu Tingye strolls in looking angry and takes a seat opposite of Minglan.

He tells her that he helped her before so why did she ruin his marriage prospect?

Gu Tingye demands Minglan to explain.

Minglan tells Xiaotao and Danju to prepare snacks for their trip back. So the two maids leave Minglan and Gu Tingye alone.

On the way out, Xiaotao glares at Shitou who remarks that these ladies are so fierce.

Hahaha do we have another ship here?

Minglan questions Gu Tingye’s intentions for marrying Yanran. But since he doesn’t answer, she can guess the reason.

Yanran is gentle and virtuous so if she marries Gu Tingye, he can keep his mistress on the side.


As the two of them continue to talk, Gu Tingye fails to see Manniang’s true colors.

Despite Minglan hinting to him that she’s not a good person.

Gu Tingye then calls Minglan out for stringing Qi Heng (Yuan Ruo) along.

Is she not a good person then?

Minglan argues back, offended that he’s accusing her of playing with Yuan Ruo’s feelings.

Gu Tingye teases her afterwards, saying that maybe it was better if he went to propose marriage to her instead.

Minglan tells him that she would fight to the death with him.


Telling him that she would never marry him even if she had to live in poverty.

Nanny Chang’s Suspicions Grow

Wang Ruofu gets pissed off when she hears that Yinxing has eyes on her son. The marriage date is almost here and her son cannot have any scandals.

Then complaining that Minglan is too soft and weak to handle household matters.

Meanwhile, Nanny Chang warns Manniang that even though she got rid of Miss Yu, there’s another woman who may marry Gu Tingye for the main wife position.

Someone who won’t be easy to bully.

Manniang continues to attempt to go outside but Nanny Chang is suspicious. So she starts guarding outside with various excuses. Then assigns a servant to block Manniang as well.

So Manniang tries to bribe the servant. Telling her that she will eventually outlive Nanny Chang so she should help her.

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Minglan saved the day again in this Story of Minglan episode 18! Her friend Yanran is just too gentle. Maybe her mother shielded her from everything?

Manniang was no match for Minglan at all! Because Minglan has been fighting against a bigger white lotus: Madam Lin. So I loved seeing how Minglan showed Manniang her place.

At the same time, Minglan and Gu Tingye’s bickering was so cute. She says she will never marry him but from the synopsis, we know she ends up with him.

The journey of their relationship is what’s so interesting to watch. She respects him because he helped her as a child. And she wants him to watch out for Manniang.

But he’s not listening. At the same time, Nanny Chang is watching out for him though. Because she cares for Gu Tingye like a son.

No mother wants a flimsy woman to ruin their son. What were your thoughts on this Story of Minglan episode 18? Leave a comment below!

Two more episodes until we reach episode 20, yay!

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4 years ago

Thanks for the great recap! I am a little confused by one aspect of the episode. The Grandmother gets upset with Minglan for going against Manniang like that and getting involved in the Yu family’s troubles. She says that she would be doomed if that got out. Why is that? Is it because she sort of lost her temper and that’s not ladylike? Or is it something else? I’m just a bit confused by the societal rules! Thanks again for the recap, it’s great to watch the show along with someone else 🙂

4 years ago

Yeah another 2 episode day. I thought about giving you another goal to reach for next week but couldn’t settle on a number. I thought about going with 32 by Friday maintaining your pace of 2 episodes a day but thought that might be a bit ambitious especially as we never know what real life may throw at us. I love this episode if only because we get Minglan and Tingye snarking. I love them snarking with each other.

I love how after they get married he goes out of his way to rile her up an make her mad. He loves getting her worked up and getting what he feels is a true reaction out of her.
To use a fanfiction term this is the ultimate slow burn, aquaintances, to frenemies, to friends to lovers ship. I feel for Yanran an agree that she likely led a much more sheltered life. In reality she never fought with her siblings for any favor, she stayed quiet we saw that in episode 16 when her sibs were so shocked that she was going against them for the hair pin. Obviously Yanran didn’t fight back ever. Unlike Minglan, Yanran might have had difficulty but she was still slightly protected by her legitamate status and by her grandparents so long as she kept the peace in her home she didn’t have to worry. We don’t know when Yanran’s mother died but either way her character is very different from Minglan’s, softer not as, i don’t want to say hard because I don’t necessarily think that Minglan is hard but she definitely is better at surviving a vast array of situations unlike Yanran. We see in this situation that Yanran’s grandmother is made of different stuff than Grandma Sheng so we have to account for that when we examine the two girl’s different characters.
we know when Grandma Sheng is called in to confront a potential concubine insurrection on Minglan’s behalf when she’s muddled by pregnancy she doesn’t collapse from anger but she got shit done finding out the truth and unmasking Auntie Kang and Big Madam Gu’s plans
Loved the recap as always. Love that we are getting closer to the meat of the story between our two main leads. I love them so much.

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