The Story of Minglan Episode 5 Recap

Here’s the long awaited Story of Minglan Episode 5 recap! My apologies for leaving fans hanging.

I hope everyone is staying safe from COVID-19! And if you find yourself with a lot of time lately, check out some more C-Dramas!

Story of Minglan Episode 5 Recap Highlights:

  • Emperor refuses to select an heir to the throne
  • Time skip and all the children in the Sheng family are now teenagers
  • Minglan’s relationships with her sisters are superficial at best

Let’s jump right into Story of Minglan episode 5 recap!

The Country Needs an Heir

The Emperor feels pressured to name an heir in front of the ministers at court today.

But the ministers are reluctant to let this matter go.

Because they are full aware that the emperor is not young. If an heir is not named and named soon, the country may fall into chaos.

The emperor is reluctant because he lost his son, his sole heir. Yet, he still has to name an heir.

He has to put his country first before grieving as a father.

Another reason why being an emperor is soooo stressful and demanding.


When all of the minister kneel on their knees to beg the emperor to name an heir, the emperor is filled with anger and frustration.

To the point where he comes down from his throne to yell at the minister instigating this issue.

But the ministers refuse to back down.

The reason why the ministers are all adamant about naming an heir is because historically countries have been thrown into chaos if an heir is not named. Wars will start and blood will be shed. They are trying to avoid this.

The tensions mount as one minister tugs the sleeves of the emperor. He know that he’s not following decorum.

So he tells the emperor that as long as an heir has been named, he will take his punishment.

But then the emperor throws a curveball.

“Fine. We will name whomever you want to be named.” – Emperor

The emperor is so stuck in grief that he doesn’t see the bigger picture. He HAS to name an heir soon or the country will be thrown into chaos.

Stunned, the minister takes off his hat (which signifies his position) and puts it to the ground.

Education for the Sheng Family


He explains that he’s 70 years old, and has no children. What could he be possibly plotting?

He just wants the emperor to consider what is good for the country.

And the emperor realizes this but the country can always name another heir, yet he only has one son.

Poor emperor. Things must move on.

Back at the Sheng household, Wang Ruofu (main wife of Sheng family) complains how Madam Lin easily bounced back.

As if she had witch-like powers.

Because Madam Lin is a white lotus. She’s meek and fragile in front of the one she wants to swindle. Hahaha.

But as always, her capable maid reminds her of more important things.

Like getting her son enrolled in studies (to secure his future).

While at the same time, Sheng Hong tells Old Madam Sheng that Minglan might not need the education.

Because she’s the youngest and it’s too difficult for her to get up early.

Grandma to the rescue again!

Old Madam Sheng disagrees. She believes this would help Minglan overcome her grief and be enlightened.

And of course, as the son, Sheng Hong can only nod his head.

It’s too bad Gu Tingye is unable to join.

He’s actually heading off to another academy.

But the good news is that a duke’s son will be joining the Sheng family.

So it’s off to school for the Sheng children!

The Sheng Children Have Grown

A scholar narrates a poem while we see Minglan, Molan, Rulan and everyone else grow from children to teenagers.

I wonder how long the time skip was? 5-10 years?

As the scholar continues to narrate a poem, the girls are playful and mischievous during class.

While the boys are more focused.

When class ends we see Gu Tingye all grown up as well, leaving his academy while the Sheng family welcomes a visitor.

The Duke’s son, Yuan Ruo (also known as Qi Heng) grows up alongside the Sheng children and is in close contact with them.

Yuan Ruo (Qi Heng) – Isn’t he just adorable?

It looks like some things haven’t changed. Molan is still Sheng Hong’s favorite.

She serves tea to her father as soon as he comes home and tea to the guest, Yuan Ruo as well.

Afterwards, she heads towards the back of the room where all the other ladies congregate.

Because Old Madam Sheng’s friend has come to visit. She has come to visit while sharing her worries about her granddaughter, Yanran.

Another grandma who cares about granddaughters. Yay!

It’s very subtle but Molan sneaks a glance at Yuan Ruo who apparently has eyes for Minglan.

As Minglan sits and chats with another girl (it’s assumed to be Yanran) while playing with their handkerchiefs.

Aaaand here we have potential trouble brewing for Minglan in the future. T_T

When Yuan Ruo leaves his seat to change his attire, he leaves a handkerchief that Molan eyes eagerly.

What is she plotting?

A Lost Handkerchief

Molan’s brother grew up to be playful and lazy. Almost like your typical spoiled rich kids.

He later tells his Second Brother that he arranged to have a poetry meet up with his friends.

Despite the family dinner tonight.

So he takes off.

When Yuan Ruo discovers that his handkerchief is missing, he reports the issue to Sheng Hong.

Who orders his wife to help search for it.

Off to the side, Molan looks guilty and requests a maid to come closer.

While Minglan and Yanran are enjoying pastry cakes.

Minglan on the right, she’s so pretty now!

It’s short-lived though as Nanny Fang whispers to Minglan that she should leave before things get messy.

When Minglan and Yanran leave and walk through the garden instead, they overhear that the thief has been found.

The one who stole the Yuan Ruo’s handkerchief.

It’s a maid named Su Qin.

But it doesn’t make sense. Why steal a handkerchief that’s pretty much worthless?

As Minglan and Yanran analyze the situation, Minglan skillfully reaches a conclusion.

It’s a false accusation because the original thief is stuck in the hall.

Yuan Ruo overhears and vows to help Minglan protect that maid.

Aww he’s so smitten by Minglan. Such puppy love!

Minglan’s Handwriting

At another day in school, Minglan stays behind when scholar Zhuang critiques Minglan’s handwriting.

Her handwriting on Chinese characters is apparently bad and her teacher wants her to write the “yong” character.

If she does well she won’t have to copy the scriptures of a book. But Minglan would rather copy a book instead.

Commenting that no matter how much she practices, she just can’t write that character.

When she’s tasked with writing copies of a lengthy theorization, she haggles with the teacher on the due date.

And uses her culinary skills to get an extra day.

While Yuan Ruo pretends to search for something just to linger around to observe.

He leaves just moments before Minglan leaves.

And bumps into her again on the way out.

Yuan Ruo doesn’t understand why Minglan maintains her distance from him.

And tells her about an event that Madam Wu, a wife of another Duke household, holds every so often.

It’s obvious that he wants her to go.

Minglan is uncomfortable being in his presence for too long so she tries to excuse herself but then Yuan Ruo stops her and gives her some gifts.

More like he just forced it on her so she can’t refuse. Hahaha.

Fancy pens and water chestnuts that are so rare in the winter.

But Minglan knows that she shouldn’t covet what can’t be hers.

Her status and Yuan Ruo’s status are too different.

Molan vs Rulan

As if things can get worse, Rulan picks a fight with Molan and drags Minglan into it.

Telling Molan that Yuan Ruo gifted some expensive brushes to Minglan.

Minglan diffuses the situation by saying her handwriting was so bad so Yuan Ruo gave her better brushes. To help her.

But these brushes would be better appreciated in the hands of more skillful users.

So Minglan gifts the brushes to Rulan and Molan.

One each.

Back at the Sheng household, Madam Lin wonders if Yuan Ruo likes Minglan.

But Molan disagrees, thinking Yuan Ruo pities her and is a kind gentleman.

Madam Lin wants her daughter to keep her eyes on the prize because only by marrying up can they raise their status.

Gu Tingye Returns

Gu Tingye returns and is welcomed by Chang Bai (Sheng’s family eldest son) and his brother.

While they catch up, Gu Tingye reveals he has a family now because he encountered a woman that had difficulties.

So he pitied her and took her in.

Gu Tingye on the left

Of course, Chang Bai is shocked because this is not typical behavior of noble families.

They head off to school together and discover Minglan napping on the road there.

But they leave her to rest as they head off to school with the rest of the regular members.

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Aww they all grew up! We can see that over the course of the years, some people never change.

Molan is still a spoiled girl doted by her father and concubine mother. Rulan sticks to her status and uses it to claim superiority on Molan because that’s all she has.

While Minglan has her grandma, but she doesn’t want to trouble her. She’s honed her observations skills a lot and stays out of trouble.

Or at least tries too because of what happened to her in the past.

The oldest son is a diligent scholar while the second son is lazy and playful.

To me, it’s evident how each mother raised their children differently. I guess we shall see what the future holds for them!

Any thoughts about the Sheng family children and their personalities?

Or about this Story of Minglan Episode 5 recap in general?

Leave a comment below!

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1 year ago

Thanks for these recaps! I had a hard time understanding the names and especially after they grew up. Watching Ming Lan’s mother’s last day and her struggles to save her life were a torture …so was reading. The child actors are exceptionally talented and it was a heart wrenching episode to watch. I will have fun watching it whilst reading your recaps. Thanks again!

4 years ago

Love, love loved it. I adore this show. I totally binged this on the days I didn’t have to work. Then went back and rewatched episodes 20 to the end all over again. I can’t wait till you get to the point where Tingye realizes what a gem Minglan is. I love reading your recaps and reviews and can’t wait till we get to the juicy stuff like when the triangle really starts or ends more like as Tingye decides what he decides. I really love that episode and how you can just tell by his expression during his conversation… Read more »

4 years ago
Reply to  Coco

I’ll admit I enjoyed that episode but it’s hard for me to pick a favorite. I really enjoy 23 for how scruffy Tingye looks, so much like a pirate and because I adore Minglan and Tingye’s relationship and that episode is where it truly starts.

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