NOTE: I realised that different streams have slightly different episode content. The one that I watch first (for the summary) seems to be a bit faster, and will overlap into the next episode (of the HD stream I use for the recap). Thus, the content of the summary and recap may be slightly different!
Recap of Ep 31, Nirvana in Fire:
Ping Jing greets General Kang of Great Yu, who taunts that he has never heard of Ping Jing and that Great Liang should send someone of status to meet him. Ping Jing holds his ground, and rebuts that General Kang had taken advantage of Great Liang’s misfortune to attack and pillage the people.
General Kang’s nephew is released to him, but General Kang simply shoots him down with an arrow even though his nephew had not leaked anything. General Kang cries to his army that Great Liang is demised, and rides off. Ping Jing is also taken aback by the ruthlessness of General Kang, and concludes that a war is imminent.
Despite protests from his generals, Ping Jing insists that he will attend to Great Yu. Pointing out the route on the map, he is clear that there would be thousands of civilians that would be endangered if Great Yu attacks – since war is imminent, he will meet them instead. The generals reluctantly allow Ping Jing to continue his plans.
Taking out the gold soft armour that Mei Chang Su/ Fei Liu had given him, Xiao Ting Sheng reminisces about the past. He sighs that Ping Zhang and the Emperor have both gone, but for the sake of Ping Jing, he needs to hold out as long as possible. He dutifully takes his medicine.
Physician Du (from Jifeng Hall) sighs that Ping Jing and Lin Xi haven’t had the fate to meet, and passes him medicine for his upcoming trip. He also proffers that Lin Xi may be in the vicinity of Great Yu, and hopes that they now have the fate to meet. Ping Jing is hopeful! The next morning, the men send Ping Jing off.
Up in the mountains, Lin Xi hikes alone, and stops to reminisce her time with Ping Jing. She stays over in Great Yu, looking and examining herbs. She decides to climb a mountain to look for some herbs, even though the inn-keeper advises her that it could be dangerous.
Ping Jing sends one of his subordinates to be disguised as a wine trader, to get close to Great Yu’s Guard Hu Song. As Ping Jing goes around the town, he keeps seeing the back of Lin Xi, but they always miss each other.
The following morning, Ping Jing goes to the same mountain to get information on the terrain. He hears that a young woman had also climbed the mountain – and he hurriedly ascends.
Lin Xi and Ping Jing meet!!
Lin Xi is slightly disappointed that they had met by coincidence – not so much that Ping Jing wanted to find her. Ping Jing admits that seeing her still reminds him of Ping Sheng. But Ping Jing does admit that he had always gotten information about her whereabouts, and that she also reminds him of the carefree days. He tells her that she needs to leave the territory as war is coming.
She remarks that Ping Jing has changed a lot, and he agrees. He finally understands why his father and brother didn’t smile much – with the weight of the country on their shoulders, how could they smile easily?
Ruan Ying‘s convoy passes by, and Ping Jing is enraged – this was the war that forced Ping Zhang to delay treatment, resulting in his death. General Kang is also not pleased that Ruan Ying is here (Ruan Ying is like an retired general or something, so the general doesn’t like that his power might challenge him). But Ping Jing knows that he has to stay calm, and decides to visit the camp. Lin Xi promises to wait for him.
Hu Song meets up with Ping Jing, and Ping Jing follows the guard alone into the camp. General Kang and Ruan Ying greet each other tersely. Disguised as a guard, Ping Jing tries to get closer to the main tent to eavesdrop on their conversation.
Ruan Ying advises General Kang not to enter into war, but General Kang is miffed that his skill is being undermined. General Kang wants to take advantage of Xiao Ting Sheng’s presence in the Capital (and not the border) to launch the attack, although Ruan Ying keeps reminding him to think twice before engaging in the Chang Lin army. General Kang thinks that Ruan Ying is here just to obtain the military seal back, and refuses to heed his warnings that now is not a good time to attack Great Liang.