Towards the end when Jin Mi and Night Deity had a really long confrontation about Night Deity being manipulative from the very beginning, that gave me pause.  I didn't read the novel so I'm not sure what to think of their argument.  Jin Mi thinks he planned everything since they met, I always thought he took a turn after his mom's death.  She accused him of scheming to be Emperor while I thought he only took it for vengeance. He didn't really want it in the very last episode.  So all in all, was he always a psychopath or was it just a phase?

I feel the same as you about this, I believe he only took this turn because of vengeance, however I did predict something like this would happen because of the way he was treated from the start. 

There's only so much one can take! He was ALWAYS second compared to Xufeng, the Empress not only disregarded him but she had a hand in turning him into this vengeful character. The Emperor was also quite self absorbed as well- he didn't have the best parents growing up tbh.

 VLE92:

I feel the same as you about this, I believe he only took this turn because of vengeance, however I did predict something like this would happen because of the way he was treated from the start. 

There's only so much one can take! He was ALWAYS second compared to Xufeng, the Empress not only disregarded him but she had a hand in turning him into this vengeful character. The Emperor was also quite self absorbed as well- he didn't have the best parents growing up tbh.

Ah, so glad you think this way too!  For a minute I was like, wait, was I oblivious the entire time?  Psychopaths are extremely good at deceiving people.  But yeah, I just found it hard to believe all the stuff Jin Mi was accusing him of.  I mean, she also killed Phoenix without looking into things, so it shouldn't be a surprise she's randomly accusing Night Deity of things too.

"There's only so much one can take!"  My thoughts exactly!  Virtual high five =P

@Charlee

While the drama follows the novel in broad strokes, there are also quite a lot of places that the drama differs from the novel. This is both for plot/ story and also in terms of characterisation. In the novel, Night Immortal was always an enigmatic character and one never really knew where his true intentions stood. Jin Mi's confrontation of him was one of the big and key milestones in the novel and that long speech rips apart his mask and gives context to a lot of his earlier actions. Some of Night Immortal's actions have been changed, including his backstory, in the drama but Jin Mi's denunciation of him should still make some sense. 

To give context, let me first try to explain Night Immortal's situation. He's the Heavenly Emperor's offspring but not from the Empress hence an illegitimate son. However, he is the eldest son even if illegitimate and ancient chinese throne succession policies tend to favour 2 types of sons: 1) eldest son or 2) son of official wife i.e. Empress. Night Immortal fits criteria #1. Fire Immortal (Xu Feng) fits criteria #2.

This is the reason why the Heavenly Empress has always been suspicious and wary of Night Immortal as he grows older. She's afraid that he will try to fight her son Xu Feng for the throne. This is also why the Heavenly Empress is very anxious to try and strengthen Xu Feng's claim by ensuring that he has strong support of influential immortals at court and also by pressuring the Emperor to officially name him as his heir via the Crown Prince title.

Night Immortal is very intelligent, as we can see throughout the show, and he has an innate talent for strategising and manipulation (seen via his skill with chess and also with how he manipulates events to his gain via Jin Mi and also the Bird Tribe leadership switch). He is also very aware of the Empress' distrust of him (from his conversation with Jin Mi before the Empress' birthday celebration event) so when he matured into an adult, he learnt that he needed to be very careful and cautious with how he conducted himself so as not to raise suspicions and invite attacks. This is why from the beginning you can see that he is always very careful with what he says and how he says things when he is in front of the Emperor and Empress. He also tries to limit any monitoring activities on him for fear of spies or a mole which leads to adverse recruitment policies (seen during the soldier recruitment process and in how he first tried to discourage Kuang Lu from joining his household). 

So, his gentle and meek demeanour is one which he has cultivated out of self-preservation and necessity, to be seen as un-threatening and compliant so that the Empress' suspicions and attacks on him are as limited and minimal as possible. There was a conversation he had with Kuang Lu in the drama where he says that as long as he doesn't get caught doing anything wrong, the Empress cannot touch him. All this shows that he has already adopted a strategy of being extremely careful and cautious with how he conducts things so as not to invite suspicion or a reason for attack.

Whether he has always wanted the throne or not from the beginning is not clear in both the book or the drama but one thing's for sure, the minute he found out that he had an opportunity or an advantage to improve his lot, he took it. I think it is obvious from the show that when he secretly found out about Jin Mi's true birth circumstance, he immediately engineered a meeting with Jin Mi to get her to say she liked him in front of Water Immortal. He knew at that time that Jin Mi did not love him in a romantic way, that she liked him the way she liked her friends (from that conversation after the Empress' birthday banquet, in the presence of the Flower leaders and Xu Feng too) but he still manipulated her to say that she liked him so that her father could hear. Why? He overheard the tragic story between the Flower Goddess and the Heavenly Emperor and he knew that because of such a blood debt, Water Immortal would not want to attach his daughter to any member of the Imperial family and would likely cancel the engagement so in order to prevent that from happening, he had to sow doubt in Water Immortal's heart. 

That conversation was a starting point but it still didn't stop Water Immortal from trying to break off the engagement. Night Immortal knew it which was why he was standing outside the hall during the whole scene when Water Immortal declared before everyone that Jin Mi was his daughter. The drama showed Night Immortal and Kuang Lu standing outside the hall and Night Immortal said that this would be a huge turning point for him, once he stepped in there, there would be no turning back. He knew the stakes were high and the timing needed to be precise so right at the moment when Water Immortal was about the confront the Empress about her killing the Flower Goddess, Night Immortal stepped into the hall and his presence was announced. It forced Water Immortal to swallow his words and the Empress and Emperor took the opportunity to divert the topic to his engagement. It was a subtle but clever move.

Jin Mi was a very important chess piece for him so he didn't want to lose her. She carried with her the support of Water Immortal, Wind Goddess and the Flower Realm with her. She was also very close to Fire Immortal (Phoenix). On the day Jin Mi signed and ratified the engagement (she had to put her name on the scroll alongside his and the two fathers'), Night gave her a Dream Beast. Why? Partly a gift for her to play with and to make her happy, but the Dream Beast was also a way to monitor her movements. It would stay by her side and capture whatever dreams she had - the reality dreams and the desire dreams. That would give him an idea of what she has been up to, who she has been meeting, etc. This was how he knew about her liaison with Phoenix after it happened. 

All this happened before he found out about his mother and before his mother was killed by the Empress so you can see that it wasn't all about vengeance. Night is not stupid. He is very clever and patient. When the right opportunity came along, he knew he had to grasp it. In chess-speak, he was playing a very defensive game and was waiting for an opening from his opponent to exploit.

His mother's death by the Empress' hand only strengthened his resolve and his determination, and made his motivations more personal when previously it was more coldly objective. I mean, think about it - his mother and her clan were killed by the Empress only so his vengeance should only stop at her. So why did he then also plan to eliminate his father and Phoenix? What had they really done to him that incurred him revenging himself on them? Perhaps the Emperor wronged his mother hence that motivation but really, what had Phoenix really done to Night that deserved vengeance and death? I think it was pretty obvious that Night manipulated Jin Mi  into killing Phoenix - the repairing of the Pill, the manipulation of the dream, the guilt-tripping during the wedding itself, etc. That was pure clever calculation. With that one master stroke at the ill-fated wedding he achieved 4 things:-

1) Retribution on the Emperor, his father; 

2) The Heavenly throne;

3) Eliminated a powerful opponent and threat (Phoenix); and

4) Obtained Jin Mi for himself because the minute she killed Phoenix, her ties with Xu Feng were irrevocably severed. 

It wasn't all driven by vengeance. Vengeance added oil to the fire but the fire was always there - it was just cunningly hidden from sight. Maybe if you re-watch the show again, you'll be able to see it better. :)

@MusicalVeggies I want to say first, gah deg that was a long post, lol.  Second, I really appreciate you breaking down all the key points in Night Deity's plan.  I knew he was fronting with Water Immortal when they first met.  Thought him playing coy was pretty lame.  However, I thought it was all because he wanted to marry Jin Mi, nothing else.  Your explanation makes sense, however, if he really wanted to be calculating having Jin Mi announce that she liked him, he wouldn't have explained her meaning of like to the Flower Realm when she said it the first time.  He even had her announce that she liked Phoenix too.     

What didn't sit well with me was when Jin Mi accused him of wanting to use her from the start.  I felt that she made an unusual impression on him and that's why he pursued a friendship with her.  

Your post made sense and it actually made me appreciate his intelligence and planning even more.  I just don't know if I can consider every move of his was due to sheer power hunger but more so for companionship.  That could just be me...

@Charlee

Thanks for your response and yeah, that was a long-ass post but I'm afraid I'm the sort who loves analysing and rambling so you caught me at my weak spot. :P

I'd like to clarify that not every move Night Immortal made was all due to sheer power hunger. I never said that in my post at all so I hope you didn't take it the wrong way. What I was trying to say was that Night Immortal is one very smart cookie who knows how to adapt himself to his circumstance and environment. When he was oppressed with little power, he went into defensive mode to protect himself (which was at the start of the show). But if ripe opportunities were presented to him, he would grasp them and if they were critical or important enough, he would make every effort to make them count. He's not a master chess player (shown in the drama) for nothing.

My personal take about his evolving relationship with Jin Mi is as follows:-

1) When he first met her, he was intrigued by her because she was frank, friendly and unusual. She got his attention definitely but whether it was of the romantic kind or of the 'looking for friendship' kind, I seriously doubt it. If he was 'looking for friendship', why didn't he open up to Kuang Lu? He had to live under the Empress' oppression for years and has been careful to keep an arms' length away from people, is always very wary of others, so it doesn't make sense that he would go against this self-defence habit for a girl he had just met and whom he didn't know well at all.

I think he wanted to find out more about her, which was why he quizzed his uncle the Moon Immortal about it later and then found out that she was part of Phoenix's household. He even went to visit Phoenix to check but didn't manage to meet her because at that time Phoenix had trapped Jin Mi in a stool (which Phoenix sat on). Not quite sure why he went out of his way to do this - it could be out of simple curiosity or it could be to figure out her place in Phoenix's household which might be useful information.

2) He got to know more of Jin Mi during the Demon Realm excursion to apprehend Qiong Qi and I think it is pretty self-evident that from that whole experience Night could already see how important Jin Mi was to Phoenix by then. I'm sure Night made a mental note of this because you can see him watching their interactions very closely and contemplating them silently whenever the camera panned on him. He was even there when Phoenix confessed to the Flower leaders that he was in love with Jin Mi.

To say at this point that Night was in love with Jin Mi is a huge stretch of the imagination to me because, seriously, he had barely any basis to fall in love with her, unlike Phoenix who had by then spent oodles of time training her and teasing her and having her live in his household. 

3) But Night still tried to pursue a connection with Jin Mi by taking her to the mortal realm for play-time (remember her jaunt with the 4 mortal pleasures of eating, drinking, gambling and whoring?). One wonders why this move came about. He's not someone who readily cultivates friendships with others, what more someone who is close to Phoenix and who could so easily be a spy planted by the Empress in her own son's household. 

I personally think he wanted to know more about Jin Mi, get a better idea of her character and take note of her strengths and weaknesses so that he would be in a better position to manage her. She's an unknown variable but clearly an important one by virtue of Phoenix's feelings for her. 

To put it in chess terms, Jin Mi is like a single stone on the board which may look innocent or inconsequential but which may actually become a critical piece later on when the game progresses. This is the beauty of the chinese chess that you see them play all the time in the show. The pieces are black or white - all are equal in status  and power - but it is their position on the board which will later influence the outcome of the game and sometimes determine winning or losing. 

I get the feeling that Night is making a mental note about Jin Mi and intellectually categorising her position on the board. 

4) But I also do believe that as time passed and the more time he spent with Jin Mi, the more he grew to genuinely enjoy her company and her open and friendly nature. She is someone without guile and I think he found that he could spend time with her without having to pretend or be cautious in his actions unlike with other people so Jin Mi was a breath of fresh air into his dark and lonely life.

5) Which is why I think when he found out about Jin Mi's birth circumstance, he was a little conflicted. The drama showed this internal conflict too in his little chat with Kuang Lu after he returned from the Flower Realm and shared with her the fact that Jin Mi was the Water Immortal's daughter and his betrothed. He confessed to Kuang Lu that he was uncertain about his next step and what to do, which was very unlike his normally decisive self. There was definitely some internal conflict going on about using her.

6) But in the end, he decided that the stakes were too high to ignore and so he went ahead and grasped his opportunity to secure the betrothal in both that 'thank you for liking me' scene with the Water Immortal and in that hall announcement scene I mentioned. I think, despite the fact that he knew Phoenix was in love with Jin Mi and that Jin Mi had zero romantic feelings for himself (Night), the advantages of having Jin Mi for himself both for power purposes and for companionship/ friendship purposes was just too great to pass up.

And I think the rest really is history because after that he was continually manipulating Jin Mi, both to secure his power base and also to obtain her for himself without caring about her own feelings in the matter. I believe that at this point, there were multiple motivations for his actions which only intensified as the drama progressed (his mother's death was one of them).

Of course this is all my own personal take on the whole situation and after having seen the drama several times. I'm sure some people will have different opinions and viewpoints on this matter but I just thought I'd share mine. And once again, apologies for the long post. :P

@MusicalVeggies wow not just one but two lengthy posts!  You must really love the series =P  I find your analysis interesting.  Definitely makes me rethink some of the scenes.  But I have to say,  a lot of viewers wanted Night Deity to just be with Kuang Lu and it's like nah bruh.  First of all she's kinda an idiot and it makes sense that he wanted nothing to do with her because she comes off as "deceitful" with her little armor cover.   He was obviously not down for that.  Jin Mi on the other hand was genuine and pure hence his intrigue and eventual obsession.  

All in all I do agree that he was cautious with everything he did and although I do not condone his methods, I do believe him when he said he did everything to keep Jin Mi by his side  ='(  

@Charlee

I do love this show but in general I love analysing interesting dramas so my ramblings are not exclusive to just shows I like. 

Am glad some of the things I said made you re-think some of the scenes and just to add additional interesting tidbits, here's a few more things for you to consider:-

1) Night Immortal had an interesting one-sided dialogue with an imaginary Phoenix after Phoenix was killed by Jin Mi at that crazy wedding: "Xu Feng, you're already dead. How come you still kept appearing in front of me? You're always so high and mighty, being doted by everyone, being loved by everyone. Everyone treats you as the blazing sun. Everyone admires your excellence. Eulogises your achievements.
Am I not excellent too? I just don't have a choice. I never had one. It's always been you giving all things to me, but none of you have ever asked if I want them or not. Let me tell you now that I don't want them. I don't want those pretentious rewards and pity from all of you. What's more, I won't accept your handouts.
Xu Feng, do you know that one day, I wanted to become stronger because I hope that one day I can give you whatever you want. But afterwards, I finally understood that as long as you're around I can never become that strongest one."

I think you can see from this monologue the kind of complicated feelings Night had for his younger half-brother. There are threads of resentment, bitterness, envy and even inferiority when it comes to Phoenix. But that last line was really telling on why he wanted Xu Feng dead and gone. He felt that with Xu Feng around, he would always be on the losing end of things. Clearly there's no vengeance for Night when it came to killing Phoenix. It was Night's own personal demons that drove him to rid himself of the insecurities and inferiority complex he had whenever he was with Xu Feng. During that wedding scene before Xu Feng was stabbed by Jin Mi, Night said these words: "Xu Feng, if there's a next life I wish that there will only be me and you don't exist."


2) Night and Phoenix's conversation after Phoenix restored Night from Qiong Qi's internal possession and torment in the second last episode of this show. Very insightful conversation:-

Night: "In the past, everything I thought and planned was all just to seek justice. Seeking vengeance. Killing my father to usurp the throne. Imprisoning Heavenly Empress. I don't regret them even until now. Everything I said were personal grudges. Don't let it harm Heavenly Realm. A public official should be selfless. This is the moment to turn everything onto the right path. Xu Feng, you have outstanding talents but are unyielding. You've once made a lot of enemies here in the Heavenly Realm. Topple my tyrannical rule. Kill me. This would be a great achievement resulting in the other immortals choosing a righteous person to be their ruler and support your acsencion to the throne. This is the best method to achieve success. It can also allow the situation here in the Heavenly Realm to achieve a smooth transition."

Phoenix: [cuts off both of Night's imprisoning chains] "That day, my father granted me the Red Heaven Sword to kill Qiong Qi, and not my own brother."

Night: "I once was blinded by my hatred and obsessions and committed irreparable mistakes. I'm willing to accept my deserved punishment. Xu Feng, this is your chance. You mustn't be soft-hearted."

Phoenix: "Your whole life, you kept weighing the pros and cons and thinking of things all the time, but for what purpose? Is there nothing that you feel?"

Night: "I have also loved. Xu Feng, I have also loved. It's just that... my love was just too weak. It got swayed by my gains and losses. I wanted it but was unable to have it. Then one day, it got cold and what was left is hatred, envy, competitiveness. In the end... in the end it got so twisted that even I was disgusted with myself. In this life, it looks like I can't escape the fate of being disliked. When I look back, all I see is a mess. Enough. I'm tired."

Phoenix: "Do you think I'll just accept your handout? I already told you that from the start I never had the intention to compete with you. From the start, the only thing I ever cared about was Jin Mi."

Night: "How ironic. I also only have Jin Mi in my heart and I don't need your handouts either. It was I who did wrong. It was I who repaired her Yun Elixir."

Phoenix: "What did you say?"

Night: "At that time, when the both of you were going through your trials in the mortal realm, her Yun Elixir cracked. She fell deeply in love with you but you didn't realise it. But I could see it so clearly. She was determined to leave and be together with you and she wanted to cancel our wedding arrangement. I knew I had no chance. But every time I saw her thinking about you, I would feel so angry. Seeing how our wedding was soon approaching, I'd rather that she didn't love anyone forever and chose to bind her tightly to my side. In the end, I hindered the both of you. Doomed everything."

Phoenix: "So that was what happened. Her heart had never changed. Why didn't you tell me? Why are you only telling me this now?!"

Night: "I once thought that we were competitors of equal strength. As long as we held fast to our pride, our stand, spending all our time on this, refusing to give in, there will eventually be one party who will end up the winner. Only now did I realise that I was wrong. We were both wrong. I calculated the start wrongly while you calculated the end wrongly. We lost out on too much (i.e. we were both badly defeated). Perhaps... if I had met her first, maybe the ending could have been entirely different."

Phoenix: "It wasn't a loss (i.e. defeat). It was a mistake. Or could it be that up until now you still can't see it? From the very start, there was no such thing as victory or loss. You should never calculate when it comes to love. From the beginning it wasn't that you calculated wrongly, it was just that I never calculated. Now she's not around anymore. What's the use in talking about this?"

Night: [sighs and takes out a box and hands it to Xu Feng] "This was left by Jin Mi. She probably wanted you to have it."

This was a very long conversation but very worth sitting through because it fleshes out the differences in approach among the two brothers. And as you can see from what Night let on, he definitely did calculate his steps, even when it came to Jin Mi. And that he had multiple motivations for his actions (which I mentioned in an earlier post). 

Also note the kind of terminology that was being used - competition, gains and losses, victory or defeat. In Night's mind, everything was like a chess game with calculations, plans, steps, winners and losers. In Phoenix's mind, there was never a competition ('I never had the intention to compete with you') so there wasn't a need to calculate and there are no winners or losses to consider.  

I'm only only episode 15 but I think he started going down the bad path on this episode. He overheard the Water Immortal talk to the Flower Chief about Jinmi's background and then caught them in heaven and did a spiel about how he loves JM and he can't fulfill his promise to marry Water Immortal's daughter with the Wind Goddess. And then he pops up on in the heaven conference room, and acts surprised, "oh you're my fiance?!" Lol. 


But he's still cute tho. ????

 Kimberly:

I'm only only episode 15 but I think he started going down the bad path on this episode. He overheard the Water Immortal talk to the Flower Chief about Jinmin's background and then caught then in heaven and did a spiel about how he loves JM and he can't fulfill his promise to marry Water Immortal's daughter with the Wind Goddess. ???? Then he pops up on in the heaven conference room, and acts surprised, "oh you're my fiance?!" Lol. 


But he's still cute tho. ????

That scene didn't sit well with me either!  It was the first time I was like what the hell was that?!  Totes lame.   Sadly, it tainted his character for me, but yeah the actor is very good looking ;P

I'm a very suspicious person, if I was the JM's dad, I would have said gtfo of my face xD it was too convenient to me. But yes, the actor is very handsome. ♥️

I don't doubt for one minute that night deity loved Jin Mi however his views on love were warped but I can always empathize with this because its easy for Phoenix to give everything up for Jin Mi because he always had everything and has never not gotten what he wanted; not the same with the night god.  He fell in love and obtained love the best way he knew how, its just that Jin Mi loved phoenix.  It isn't uncommon for our female leads to be in the same position and fall for someone like night deity its just she loved Jin Mi and they constantly seem to heavily imply that she is Jin Mi's soulmate, hence they have their doomed fate.  Why?  Heaven is caprcious it just is.

 Jordan:

I don't doubt for one minute that night deity loved Jin Mi however his views on love were warped but I can always empathize with this because its easy for Phoenix to give everything up for Jin Mi because he always had everything and has never not gotten what he wanted; not the same with the night god.  He fell in love and obtained love the best way he knew how, its just that Jin Mi loved phoenix.  It isn't uncommon for our female leads to be in the same position and fall for someone like night deity its just she loved Jin Mi and they constantly seem to heavily imply that she is Jin Mi's soulmate, hence they have their doomed fate.  Why?  Heaven is caprcious it just is.

Preach!