The Story of Minglan Episode 21 Recap

Woohoo! We’re now in the twenties with Story of Minglan episode 21! Gu Tingye decides to chase after Manniang and get his son back.

Where will his journey take him?

Story of Minglan Episode 21 Recap Highlights:

  • Gu Tingye goes off on a journey in pursuit of Manniang and his son
  • Yuan Ruo decides to use his mother’s birthday to express his wishes
  • Gu Tingye encounters a member of the imperial family that is being hunted down

What does Story of Minglan episode 21 hold in store for us? Let’s find out in the recap!

Gu Tingye’s Journey

The Gu household’s funeral procession has begun in the streets.

And Gu Tingye finishes up preparing to go outside. Wearing mourning clothes.

He walks down an ally way and stops before a crowd that is lining up along the streets.


As soon as Gu Tingye sees the funeral procession, he kneels and bows three times.

To pay respects to the dead. At the same time, Changbai is standing at his side.

After making his bows, Gu Tingye stands up and leaves.

Right outside the city, Gu Tingye tells Changbai how he intends to search for his son.

Because he believes Manniang has already left the city and won’t be coming back.

Even if they posted missing posters, Manniang may have changed her appearance.

So Gu Tingye wants to personally look for her. Changbai then wonders how they will be able to find her.

Because the world is so vast.

Then Gu Tingye mentions that Shitou was originally part of a Cao Bang (a business that deals with water transportation).

And so Shitou has connections to people who have access to a greater network for getting news from.

Besides, Gu Tingye wants to take this chance to change his environment. Changbai then mentions that his wedding is in two months and asks him to attend his wedding before leaving.

But Gu Tingye doesn’t want to bring back luck to him. So he’d rather not.

Changbai reluctantly wishes him a safe and quick journey.


Then Gu Tingye takes off with Rongjie and Shitou.

Duchess Qi’s Birthday

At the Qi household, Duchess Qi remarks to her husband that they won’t be able to celebrate her birthday this year.

Because the Gu household is mourning and their ancestors were related. So it doesn’t make sense for them to celebrate.

Duke Qi promises to make it up to his wife next year.

Meanwhile, Yuan Ruo is making a birthday present for his mother and wants Buwei to double-check it.


When Duchess Qi and her husband enter the main dining room at night, they notice that dishes are not set yet.

And wonder what’s going on. Yuan Ruo comes in and tells them that he specifically invited the head Chef from Fan Hall.

Hahaha they introduced stir-fry as a new cooking method!

After serving the dishes, Duchess Qi takes a bite and comments that she’s heard of the new cooking method.

But haven’t had a chance to try it.

So she praises Yuan Ruo for allowing her the chance to do so. Yuan Ruo tells her that he has even more surprises so she should hold off her praises until the very end.

Yuan Ruo takes his parents outside where servants are lined up on the side holding paper lanterns.

Duke Qi recognizes that the woman in these paintings are of his wife.

Duchess Qi takes a closer look and awes.


Duchess Qi is thrilled at the gift and full of smiles. She comments that she feels raising Yuan Ruo was not in vain.

Yuan Ruo’s True Motive

They continue back to their dinner. Yuan Ruo’s parents tell him that he must past the imperial exams and show everyone his worth.

Once that is done, then he can get married.

But Yuan Ruo believes that he should get married first before passing the exams.

And tells his parents that he has someone he likes.

OMG, Yuan Ruo this is NOT the time to bring this up! Especially since it’s your mother’s birthday.

When Yuan Ruo points out that the person he likes is of a slightly lower class, his mother chimes in.

She points out that he likes Minglan, Sheng’s family 6th daughter.

Just when she thought he was being filial, it turns out all this was to help convince her to help him propose marriage prospects to the Sheng family.

So Yuan Ruo immediately kneels in front of his mother. He states that he was truly sincere in celebrating his mother’s birthday.

But he also wants her help to marry Minglan.

Oh Yuan Ruo, by bringing this up now, you are basically implying that you did all this so your mother would agree to help you.

If he can marry Minglan, he promises to pass the exam on the next try.

Duke Qi agrees to compromise. Since Yuan Ruo likes Minglan so much, he can marry her as a second wife (essentially a concubine).

But Yuan Ruo refuses and his mother slams her hand on the table.

Yuan Ruo continues to beg until his mother brings up the upcoming marriage of Changbai and the Hai household.

She tells him that she will attend to bring congratulations to them. His father hints to Yuan Ruo that she’s agreed to him marrying Minglan.

And Yuan Ruo thanks his mother with fervor.

Great News

Xiaotao picked up a letter and is on her way back to the Sheng household when Buwei reaches out to her.

He wants her to inform her lady that there will be great news soon.

And Xiaotao wonders what the great news is.

She returns to Minglan’s courtyard and passes the letter to her. It’s from her aunt.

Then Xiaotao looks around before passing along the other message.

Minglan’s like WHAT!

Minglan hesitates but ends up telling her grandmother. So Old Madam Sheng springs into action.

She tells her servants to guard Minglan’s courtyard closely then calls in Xiaotao.

To ask if there was anyone nearby when she reported the news to Minglan.

There wasn’t.

So then Old Madam Sheng asks Xiaotao to keep the words to herself.

Because this issue is of great importance. Xiaotao is aware and promises to do so.

Then Xiaotao is dismissed.

Old Madam Sheng asks Minglan how the management is going to which she responds is well.

So why Minglan cannot handle her own matters well?

Minglan explains that she rejected Yuan Ruo but didn’t expect him to bring it up to Duchess Qi.

She wonders if that means he really did love her then.

Old Madam sighs at the differences in statuses and cautions how difficult her life will be. And asks if she also considered what the ending would be.

Minglan then tells her grandmother that she’s secretly happy so she hasn’t considered the ending.

Minglan didn’t want to wish for it because she didn’t want to raise her hopes. But now it’s coming, she’s okay with it?

An Imperial Member in Danger

In a remote area, out in the wilderness, several military soldiers are running for their lives.

While being under fire.

A younger soldier stops briefly behind and parries some arrows. At the same time, he yells that assassination towards a prince is executable by death.

But the pursuers are relentless.

Who are these guys? Hmm, maybe this is related to the succession of the throne.


The soldiers try to run through the river to escape on the other side. But their armor weighs them down.

Meanwhile, Gu Tingye happens to be in the area and provides some aid. Using his bow and arrow to kill off some of the pursuers.

Before jumping into the fray.

The opponents have crossbows while he has a regular bow and his horse eventually gets shot down.

But Gu Tingye is still able to fight.


Gu Tingye is from a military family after all and has always been good at martial arts. So it’s his time to shine!

While the soldiers struggle against their pursuers and are almost at death’s door, Gu Tingye puts an arrow through them.

And ends up saving the lives of two individuals.

One introduces themself as Zhao Ceiying. They ask for Gu Tingye’s name and don’t know how they can ever repay him.

Gu Tingye introduces himself as Bai Ye.

Using his mother’s maiden family name.

Wang Ruofu Helps Minglan Out

Nanny Liu (Wang Ruofu’s head maid) comes over to deliver the dowry list of Changbai’s future wife.

Minglan protests against checking it because she doesn’t believe she has the rights to do so.

But she does so anyways with the head maid’s encouragement.

She also gets a present of fake flowers and is free to use them or give them to someone else.

In another area of Minglan’s courtyard, servants discuss amongst themselves while Yinxing cries off to the side. Her beloved second master (aka Changbai) is getting married soon.

Jiu’er lectures her for crying like she’s at a funeral and wants her to stop.

Off to the side, another set of servants chime in too but then they start to fight.


And Nanny Liu hear about this. She encourages Minglan to punish them.

So Minglan agrees. These unruly servants will have their next month’s salary cut in half.

But Nanny Liu believes this isn’t enough. So Minglan explains that she can’t treat Changfeng’s goodwill with rudeness. Since one of the maids was originally from his courtyard afterall.

And Yinxing is just missing her previous master.

Nanny Liu reports this to Wang Ruofu and Wang Ruofu believes she needs to step in.

Minglan is just too kind to handle these matters. And especially because their marriage to the Hai household is coming up soon.

So then, Wang Ruofu takes off towards Minglan’s courtyard.

Wang Ruofu lectures the Servants

Minglan greets her “mother” (the main wife is treated as the mother for all concubine children).

Wang Ruofu tells Minglan that it’s her fault she didn’t teach Minglan how to educate the servants.

So she’s hear to teach a practical lesson.

Minglan then tells Jiu’er to serve tea to Wang Ruofu.

After taking a sip, Wang Ruofu gives Jiu’er a stern look and the latter bows deeply.

Wang Ruofu comments that Jiu’er has been more vocal lately, nagging at every turn. Jiu’er explains that it’s only because she’s concerned about Minglan, her mistress.

But Wang Ruofu orders her to return to her courtyard. And Nanny Liu seconds that as well.

So Jiu’er has no choice but to obey.

One down!

Next, Wang Ruofu asks about Ke’er. And when Ke’er shows herself, Wang Ruofu comments how she’s been acting like she’s preparing to be a mistress.

Getting all touchy feely with Changfeng every time he comes over.

So Wang Ruofu orders other servants to beat her.

Two down!

Then Wang Ruofu asks for Yinxing and wonders why she’s kneeling so far away.

Wang Ruofu’s all like: Come hither doggy!

Yinxing quickly crawls to the front.

Wang Ruofu asks her if she’s close to Ke’er because her actions lately have been quite similar. (Yinxing was supposedly seducing Changbai.)

Yinxing furiously shakes her head so Wang Ruofu orders her to count the hits on Ke’er.

When Ke’er faints from the beating, Wang Ruofu orders for a doctor to take a look and then orders someone to send her back to Madam Lin’s courtyard.

Then calls on Yinxing again. Who’s terrified for her life.

Wang Ruofu orders her to return to her own courtyard and Yinxing pleads for Minglan to save her.

Minglan speaks up but Wang Ruofu cuts in.

Minglan Admits her Wrong

She warns Minglan not to intrude. But before Wang Ruofu leaves, she eyes another servant.

She comments how this one servant broke several tea cups and precious items sent from Youyang (a former home town).

How bold!

Wang Ruofu remarks that their family can’t afford to raise a servant such as her. So she orders Nanny Liu to find her servant contract and sell her off.

Then Wang Ruofu leaves.

Minglan then paids a visit to Old Madam Sheng’s courtyard. Noticing the eery silence, she attempts to pick a fragrance for her grandmother.

But Old Madam Sheng tells her to put it down.

Uh oh. Is Minglan in trouble?

And comments that everything was deliberate.

But Old Madam Sheng wants to know what she thinks she did wrong.

<<Previous Episode|Home|Next Episode>>


Several things happened in this Story of Minglan episode 21. Gu Tingye sets off on a journey and ends up saving someone who appears to be important.

Why are these people being pursued yet? We don’t know. However, this may be a good opportunity for Gu Tingye to start his own military career. After all, the military runs in his blood and he has the skills to prove it.

Ah Yuan Ruo, you could have timed it better. Why did you ask for something that would make your mother upset on her own birthday?

Since she agreed, that’s good for you but she’ll nurse a grudge for the reason behind your wish. Or person.

Wang Ruofu was like such a whirlwind when she barged in to take care of the unruly servants. The servants quivered in her presence. LOL

Between her and Madam Lin, I prefer her. At least she’s honest and straightforward. If she doesn’t like you, she’ll tell it to you straight.

Did she truly intend to give Minglan a lesson on teaching servants? Maybe? But her real motive was getting rid of the trash before Changbai’s wedding.

Nothing can get in her way.

I wonder why Old Madam Sheng thought Minglan’s tactic was wrong. Maybe she shouldn’t have borrowed the hand of another?

What do you think? If you also have thoughts on Story of Minglan episode 21, leave a comment below!

Notify of
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

I can’t believe Gu tingye is roaming around the country with his young daughter in tow. That’s not the kind of journey you take a young child on lightly! But then again, given how wild he is, I’m not surprised he lacks proper fathering skills

4 years ago

This was an enjoyable episode I will admit. I forgot how much I liked this episode. We get to see the culmination of Minglan’s first long term manipulation. We also got to see for the first time how good Tingye’s military skills are. I have to admit I love watching our ML move. Then again I have a weakness for a good alpha male. All in all it was a good episode. Yuanruo made his first misstep in what will be a series of missteps when it comes to his journey to trying to make Minglan his wife which will have some tragic consequences

RIP Buwei
I think Wang Ruofo has convinced herself that it’s not only for her sake but Minglan’s sake. She doesn’t love Minglan the way she does Hualan or Rulan but neither does she detest her the way she does Molan. At best she’s ambiavalent towards her which is why she’s so easily led where Minglan is concerned.We have to remember until Minglan’s mother died and she went to be raised by Grandma Sheng Ruofo was raising Minglan. The only child who wasn’t raised by her was Molan. This get’s commented on often in the series about how Madam Lin was allowed to raise her own children instead of allowing Wang Ruofo to raise them and why I think despite everything she does care for Minglan in her own way, she just has her own prejudices she needs to overcome first.
Which she does eventually. She does eventually make that journey and while her advice to Minglan isn’t exactly what Minglan wanted to hear at the time it was effectively the same thing Tingye was planning himself and it came from a place of caring which I think said a lot about her growth as a person who put a lot of emphasis on legitimate born and concubine born. She’s obviously where Rulan got that attitude from
I’m pretty sure that Grandma Sheng is just making Minglan sweat a bit to make sure she is rock solid in her decisions but I’m not 100% in my memory and I didn’t want to jump ahead in the recaps so I’m waiting till you drop your recap for episode 22. Love it as always.

4 years ago
Reply to  Coco

Legend of Dugu was my first C-Drama. Like I’ve mentioned before I got started with K-Dramas which led me to the Viki service which led me down the rabbit hole of asian dramas. I wasn’t 100% impressed with Legend of Dugu. It wasn’t horrible. It had it’s good points but it also had it’s bad points. I watch Queen Dugu as well in part because it was show based around the same central characters and I wanted to see how they played it out differently. I enjoyed the romance between the 2 mains in Queen Dugu better then I did… Read more »

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x