Zhang Peng is a notorious womanizer and on one fateful day, three of his ex-girlfriends crash a party to hunt him down. Amidst all the commotion, Zhang Peng accidentally pushes a woman into the pool and perhaps it’s the adrenaline rush from wanting to run away but Zhang Peng hurriedly breaks free and dives headfirst to save the drowning woman. I was bracing for a heroic moment but no, the woman’s knee jerk reaction deals a fatal blow to Zhang Peng and the scene goes black.
The world is still round but everything changed in an instance. Zhang Peng wakes up horrified, muttering to himself, “I didn’t die?” In comes servant Lu Li and the imperial doctor and after a bit of digging, Zhang Peng finds out that not only did he time-travel but he also body-swapped into the body of a woman named Zhang Peng Peng (Zhang Tian Ai), the wife of the crown prince.
Concluding that death is the solution to travel back into the future, Zhang Peng Peng tries to commit suicide albeit failing every single time, even after she asked and was given fake He Ding Hong, a poison often used in wuxia dramas.
Despite being on the brink of exasperation, Zhang Peng Peng has a light bulb moment when she learns that whoever pushed the real crown princess into the water before the body-swap happened can be sentenced to death. She flees to the scene where where Zhao Wang and the Crown Prince (Sheng Yi Lun) are begging the Queen to release Jiang Yingyue, the woman accused of the crime and an indignant Crown Prince tells her to get lost.
As the Queen finally arrives, Zhang Peng Peng rushes to her side begging for her own execution. Her words translate to, “Queen, I orchestrated the whole thing. All the ji (schemes) such as 36 ji (a military strategy), Gong Xin Ji (a reference to popular Chinese palace drama), I planned it all! My heart is undoubtedly evil and I did everything to harm the Crown Prince.”
Seeing that the Queen was unconvinced, Zhang Peng Peng continues, “I’m no longer the kind, bright and cute Zhang Peng Peng. You just don’t know but my heart is treacherous, I jumped willingly into the water, dragged the Crown Prince and even Jiang Yingyue down with me. Basically, everyone who almost died… it was me. Queen you have to order my death, Queen please.” The dialogue is definitely funnier on screen but in a nutshell, Zhang Peng Peng fails again and is sent back to her quarters.
At this point, the dynamics among the royal family becomes clearer. Crown Prince hates the Crown Princess but is blatantly in love with Jiang Yingyue who is married to his 2nd brother Zhao Wang. There is also an ongoing rivalry between the Crown Prince (left) and his 9th brother (Yu Meng Long on the right) as seen by their silly competition of who’s carriage moves faster.
The two men face off in a stare down where the Crown Prince warns 9th Prince to stay out of his business especially since the 9th Prince was the man who saved Zhang Peng Peng from drowning. Resigned to her fate in the palace, Zhang Peng Peng decides to make the most of her stay by visiting a brothel.
Continue to episode 3.