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Hidden Love – Zhao Lusi, Chen Zheyuan

Hidden Love is a romantic drama led by Zhao Lusi and Chen Zheyuan, co-starring Ma Boqian, Zeng Li, and Qiu Xinzhi, with Guan Zijing, Wang Yang, and Zhang Haolun in special appearances.

The drama is based on the novel of the same name by Zhu Yi.

Details

Hidden Love

English Title: Hidden Love
Chinese Title: 偷偷藏不住
Other Titles: 藏不住的秘密
Genre: Urban, Romance, Youth, School
Tag: Secret Crush, First Love, Age Gap, High School to Working Life, Caring Male Lead, Protective Male Lead
Episodes: 25
Duration: 45 min.
Director: Sha Weiqi
Writer: Ou Sijia, Zhu Yi
Producer: Zhang Weilin, Zhang Junbo, Guan Wei, Du Bing
Product Company: WAJIJIWA ENTERTAINMENT
Released Date: 2023-06-20
Broadcast Website: youku.tv, Youku, Netfilx, 优酷

Cast

Synopsis

During high school period, Sang Zhi is frequently asked by her teacher to meet with her parents. In order to solve the problem, Sang Zhi decides to ask her brother to take the blame. However, she fails, she has no choice but to turn to her brother's roommate Duan Jiaxu, who comes to play with her brother.

As a result, Duan Jiaxu helps Sang Zhi to meet with her teacher at school, and they become close, and then Duan Jiaxu treats Sang Zhi as his own sister.

As Duan Jiaxu graduates from university, they are separated from each other, and due to some misunderstandings, they become estranged.

It is not until Sang Zhi is an adult that they reunite when she is admitted to Duan Jiaxu's city, as she had hoped.

Gradually, Sang Zhi discovers the source of Duan Jiaxu's constant stress and wants to protect this older brother who has always been so kind to her and revive her hidden love.

With the company of Sang Zhi, Duan Jiaxu slowly unravels the "knot" in his heart, and he truly falls in love with the grown-up Sang Zhi.

Recap

There are several moments in life that are unforgettable, specifically speaking, a few frozen moments in time. Just like now, Sang Zhi saw Duan Jiaxu up close for the second time, and it turns out time really has magic, bringing them closer.

During junior high school, the lively and active Sang Zhi was often asked to bring her parents to school. After angering the math teacher one day, Sang Zhi was once again asked to bring her parents. Within half a month, Sang Zhi's mother came to school twice. After school, several boys asked their classmates to invite Sang Zhi to the bookstore, but Sang Zhi was in a bad mood and didn't want to go anywhere. She just wanted to send a message to her brother Sang Yan, who was in college, for help. Little did she know, Sang Yan directly refused.

Sang Zhi grumbled all the way back home, intending to talk to her mother about the parent meeting, but to her surprise, her mother said that Sang Yan had come back. Sang Zhi happily held a watermelon and went upstairs to find her brother, but what caught her eye was a face as smooth as jade with distinct facial features. Sang Zhi lost her focus for a moment, thinking that Sang Yan had undergone plastic surgery. Fortunately, Sang Yan appeared behind her with a smile on his face in the next second, asking her what trouble she had caused. He knew Sang Zhi too well. If she hadn't caused any trouble, how could she have been looking forward to his return? Sang Zhi was quite interested in Duan Jiaxu, and Duan Jiaxu quickly stepped forward to greet her. He was Sang Yan's roommate. However, Sang Yan realized that Sang Zhi mistook Duan Jiaxu for his own post-plastic surgery self, and a sibling battle was about to break out.

Sang Zhi begged Sang Yan to help her, but after her tearful pleas were unsuccessful, she immediately conjured up tears and ran to her mother to complain, hiding behind Duan Jiaxu and tearfully pointing at Sang Yan. After Sang Yan was taken away by their mother, Sang Zhi immediately stopped crying. Duan Jiaxu was quite surprised. He didn't expect them to be like this since they were young. Since Sang Yan wouldn't help, Sang Zhi turned her attention to Duan Jiaxu, asking him to pretend to be her real brother and meet the teacher.

Sang Yan needed to change clothes, so Sang Zhi pestered Duan Jiaxu for help, but he had to go to his part-time job and couldn't stay long. Sang Zhi seized the opportunity and pleaded with Duan Jiaxu, shedding tears when her begging failed. Learning that she was in the eighth grade, Duan Jiaxu was also surprised, but it was normal since Sang Zhi was much smaller than regular middle school students. Duan Jiaxu asked her which school she attended, obviously intending to help her. Leaving Sang Zhi standing there in confusion, he should have explained clearly!

Now Sang Zhi is already in her sophomore year of high school. Today, Sang Yan, breaking all records, returned home and said he wanted to borrow their father's car to move things. He moved back to the main campus, which is very close to Sang Zhi's school. When Sang Zhi learned that Sang Yan wanted to move his roommate's things as well, she quickly offered to help him. With her sincere expression, Sang Yan had no choice but to agree under the pressure of their parents. In the afternoon, when Sang Zhi went to help, she saw her father's car downstairs, and then Duan Jiaxu appeared. He immediately recognized Sang Zhi, surprised that she had grown so much in the past few years that he could hardly recognize her. Blushing, Sang Zhi secretly observed him while holding her fox doll.

Duan Jiaxu took Sang Zhi to their dormitory, and the roommates' eyes lit up when they saw Sang Zhi. After all, Sang Zhi was really cute, but Sang Yan chased them away. Duan Jiaxu asked her to sit on his side, but Sang Zhi argued against his calling her "little sister." She wasn't little anymore! Helplessly, Duan Jiaxu reluctantly called her "little sister." They discussed going for hot pot in the evening, but Duan Jiaxu had to go to work. Before leaving, he told Sang Zhi that if she liked the fox doll, she could take it. Sang Zhi was curious if it was a gift from his girlfriend, but fortunately, Qian Fei told her that Duan Jiaxu was as busy as a dog every day and didn't have time to date. It was some kind of prize from an event and could be used as a decoration on the bed.

Sang Zhi brought the fox doll home in her backpack and also took one of Duan Jiaxu's books. Looking at those things she couldn't understand at all, Sang Zhi felt a bit frustrated. She intentionally left her homework book at Duan Jiaxu's place, and when he returned, Sang Zhi called her with Sang Yan's phone. The two agreed to meet at 6:40 tomorrow morning, and Duan Jiaxu would accompany her at the bus stop to write her essay. Sang Zhi quickly set her alarm clock to 5:30, then placed the fox doll next to her and fell asleep peacefully. At six o'clock, Sang Zhi got up on time and anxiously waited for him at the bus stop, worried if he would come. It was just like that year in the eighth grade when Sang Zhi spent the whole class period worrying if Duan Jiaxu would come or not.

That day, Sang Zhi waited alone at her seat for a long time after school but didn't see Duan Jiaxu. Feeling frustrated, she muttered to herself and accidentally fell down. It was at that moment when Duan Jiaxu appeared. Sang Zhi complained that he was late, and Duan Jiaxu apologized, unaware of Sang Zhi's school dismissal time.

Now, Sang Zhi is waiting for Duan Jiaxu's figure at the bus stop. When she received his phone call, she thought he was late and cursed him to never find a girlfriend. However, the next second, a bottle of milk was handed to her. Duan Jiaxu had already arrived and even bought milk for Sang Zhi. Duan Jiaxu took Sang Zhi to a breakfast shop to do their homework together. He bought bread for himself and a small cake for Sang Zhi. Sang Zhi occasionally looked back at him, recalling the scene when they went to the teacher's office together that day. Duan Jiaxu pretended to be Sang Yan and took the blame for Sang Zhi. In fact, Sang Zhi's academic performance was excellent, always ranking first in the class. However, the teacher kept talking about her attitude towards learning and even reported to Duan Jiaxu. Duan Jiaxu listened with one ear and let it go. He even asked Sang Zhi to apologize to the teacher and used sweet words to make the teacher happy. In the end, they were graciously allowed to leave.

Breaking away from her memories, Sang Zhi asked Duan Jiaxu where he was from and if he would go back during the vacation. Duan Jiaxu didn't answer and smiled, asking her to focus on her homework. Before Sang Zhi returned to school, Duan Jiaxu put a piece of paper in her backpack. He had secretly read Sang Zhi's composition and wrote a response. The composition was about Sang Yan resembling a stray dog, and Sang Zhi couldn't help but blush.

Sang Zhi hadn't opened the paper yet when her friend, Fu Zhengchu, arrived. Fu Zhengchu was still chasing after Sang Zhi like before and invited her to his birthday party next week. Sang Zhi wasn't interested but went to the classroom, taking out the bottle of milk. Her friend was puzzled because she thought Sang Zhi was allergic to milk. When Sang Zhi returned home, she didn't put the milk in the refrigerator but took it to her room like a treasure. She then opened the paper and started reading the composition. Duan Jiaxu wrote it in Sang Zhi's tone, titled "Helping My Brother Move." As he wrote, the composition shifted to Duan Jiaxu himself, and the ending sentence said, "If I meet Little Sang Zhi again, I'll be very happy."

Sang Zhi's heart fluttered, and she cherished the paper like a treasure. She added Duan Jiaxu on WeChat, and he quickly accepted. When Sang Zhi's mother saw the bottle of milk in her room, she became worried. Their parents were going to a friend's wedding on the weekend, and they decided to let Sang Yan come back to accompany Sang Zhi. On the weekend, Sang Yan came back to pick up Sang Zhi for dinner. At first, Sang Zhi didn't want to go, but when she heard that Sang Yan was going to dinner with his roommate, she quickly changed her mind and hurriedly dressed up. In the car, Sang Zhi looked disappointed because there was only Qian Fei in the back seat. But soon they picked up Duan Jiaxu, and Sang Zhi's heart leaped with joy. Duan Jiaxu looked tired and dozed off in the back seat. When he saw Sang Zhi secretly looking at him, he teased her for not calling him. Sang Zhi timidly greeted him as "Brother," but Duan Jiaxu didn't take it seriously and asked why she blushed every time she saw him. This remark prompted Sang Yan and Qian Fei to mock Duan Jiaxu, saying he wasn't a good person, and Sang Zhi silently agreed.

Upon arrival, Sang Zhi initially planned to stay with Sang Yan to park the car, but Sang Yan handed her over to Duan Jiaxu. Sang Zhi felt uncomfortable and wanted to find a restroom. It was then that Duan Jiaxu noticed the bloodstain on her skirt and followed her, telling her to wait inside while he went to buy something. Only when Sang Zhi saw herself in the mirror did she realize, and Duan Jiaxu saw it too.

Duan Jiaxu didn't have the courage to buy sanitary pads alone, so he called Sang Yan. The two of them secretly and stealthily bought the pads, and Duan Jiaxu thoughtfully bought a skirt similar to the one Sang Zhi was wearing that day. Sang Zhi received the items they asked a girl to bring to the restroom, feeling extremely embarrassed. She came out hesitantly, relieved to see only Sang Yan at the entrance. Sang Yan and Duan Jiaxu didn't mention the incident, only saying that Sang Zhi went to catch dolls and didn't want to come back. Duan Jiaxu poured her a cup of warm water, and Sang Yan made sure she didn't eat any beef or lamb due to her allergies.

Sang Zhi was craving beef, but Duan Jiaxu noticed carefully and picked out all the beef and mutton for her. Naturally, Sang Zhi didn't dare to say a word. After dinner, Qian Fei insisted on taking Sang Zhi to play claw machines. Duan Jiaxu sneaked up behind her and said, "Brother will help you catch it." Sang Zhi could clearly hear her own heartbeat. Duan Jiaxu successfully caught a doll for her and told her not to cry anymore.

That year, when he accompanied her to meet the teacher, Duan Jiaxu joked about teaching Sang Zhi a lesson. Sang Zhi started crying when she saw him about to call Sang Yan, so Duan Jiaxu stopped. That day, Duan Jiaxu insisted on walking her home. Sang Zhi was worried and scared the whole way, but Duan Jiaxu promised to keep it a secret, on the condition that she had to study well and not get distracted in class. When they arrived at her home, Duan Jiaxu even gave her a light bulb to give to her father because their light bulb was broken. Now, Sang Zhi is holding the doll Duan Jiaxu caught for her and he teases her, calling her a clumsy kid.

Zhenru forcefully took Sang Zhi to see Fu Zhengchu, but they unexpectedly arrived at the place where Duan Jiaxu worked. While ordering, Sang Zhi secretly glanced at Duan Jiaxu many times, and the price she paid was one yuan. Duan Jiaxu made a joke with her and naturally treated her to dessert. Sang Zhi accidentally overheard Duan Jiaxu and the store manager talking about an advance on their salary, which made her curious. Did he work because he needed money?

Fu Zhengchu arrived and immediately called Duan Jiaxu "brother." He curiously asked why his brother was working here since Sang Zhi's family was wealthy. Before they could finish eating dessert, Fu Zhengchu wanted to take them to play. Duan Jiaxu reminded Sang Zhi to go home before it got dark. Sang Zhi left and returned, hoping to tell Duan Jiaxu that he didn't need to treat her to dessert if he was short on money. Duan Jiaxu had money to treat her to dessert, but he quickly left the money on the table and ran off. Duan Jiaxu looked at the extra money and his eyes turned red.

After Fu Zhengchu's birthday party, Zhenru didn't want to pay much attention to Sang Zhi anymore. Sang Zhi was puzzled, but then the homeroom teacher sent her to participate in the sports meet. On the day of the sports meet, Zhenru cheered enthusiastically for Fu Zhengchu but didn't want to watch Sang Zhi's competition. The people in charge of recording happened to be Sang Yan and Duan Jiaxu. After Sang Yan mocked Sang Zhi's height, Duan Jiaxu thoughtfully put a hat on her to protect her from the sun and stood in front of her when Sang Yan bullied her. During the competition, Chen, the teacher from junior high, also came to watch. Sang Zhi rushed towards the bar but stopped abruptly, and her subsequent attempts also failed. In the end, she even twisted her ankle. Sang Yan carried Sang Zhi to the infirmary, and Chen recognized Duan Jiaxu as her brother at a glance. Sang Zhi quickly covered Sang Yan's mouth and said he was her father.

Duan Jiaxu carefully disinfected and treated Sang Zhi's wound, which moved her. She felt that he was better to her than Sang Yan. But how could Sang Yan's nervousness just now not be considered good treatment? Sang Yan wanted to take Sang Zhi to the hospital, and at that moment, Sang Zhi happened to see Duan Jiaxu carefully helping another fallen girl. She felt a bit uneasy because he was good to everyone, not just her. Due to her sprained ankle, Sang Yan and Duan Jiaxu had been taking turns picking her up and dropping her off at school these days.

After school, Zhenru suddenly asked Sang Zhi to accompany her to buy something. Duan Jiaxu was waiting for Sang Zhi at the school gate, but the security guard said there was no one left in the school. Zhenru took Sang Zhi with her to buy things, but they took a long and winding route. Only then did Zhenru reveal her true intention—she wanted to go to an internet cafe. Seeing that Sang Zhi was unwilling, Zhenru went in by herself. Worried about her safety, Sang Zhi had no choice but to follow. However, Zhenru didn't actually want to go to the internet cafe; she was being extorted by senior female students for money. Zhenru didn't dare to resist, so she had to find a way to deceive Sang Zhi into coming today. They rummaged through Sang Zhi's school bag, threatened her, and demanded that she bring money tomorrow. Sang Zhi was disappointed in Zhenru. Finally, she told her to go back and explain everything to her parents clearly. Then, limping away on her own, she wouldn't accept Zhenru's apologies no matter what.

In the alley, Sang Zhi met Duan Jiaxu, who had been looking for her for a long time, and couldn't help but lean on his shoulder and cry. Duan Jiaxu bought juice for Sang Zhi and asked if she had been bullied. At first, Sang Zhi didn't want to trouble him, but seeing that Duan Jiaxu was a bit angry, she told him everything in detail. Learning about how Zhenru treated Sang Zhi, Duan Jiaxu told her not to associate with her anymore and to tell her parents if anything similar happened in the future. Duan Jiaxu escorted Sang Zhi home and learned that Sang Yan had gone to accompany someone for an interview. They were about to graduate from college, so everyone was busy. Sang Zhi felt much better riding on the back seat of Duan Jiaxu's bicycle. When they arrived home, Duan Jiaxu even returned the money that had been taken from her and told her to make sure to tell her parents about what happened today. Limping, Sang Zhi entered the house, but she was feeling very excited. She wrote down her secret, and although she didn't want to admit it, it seemed like she had developed feelings for him. That person's name was Duan Jiaxu. Sang Zhi folded the paper with her thoughts into a star shape and put it into a wishing bottle.

The next day, Sang Yan and Duan Jiaxu, accompanied by their two roommates, arrived outside Sang Zhi's school, but they didn't expect that the one who had bullied her was a girl. Sang Yan didn't hit girls, but it was different when it came to his sister being bullied! Sang Yan and Duan Jiaxu, along with Qian Fei, found the three girls who had caused trouble, took back the money that was stolen from Sang Zhi, and explained things to them in a friendly manner before leaving. Sang Zhi, holding a lollipop, retrieved her wallet and quickly handed fifty yuan to Duan Jiaxu.

Qian Fei said that Sang Zhi was like Duan Jiaxu's little sister, and in fact, Sang Zhi had also thought so since she was in the second year of junior high. If only he were her real brother. She wanted to become someone like Duan Jiaxu who brought warmth to others, and she wanted to grow up quickly. Zhenru transferred to another school, and before leaving, she left a note on Sang Zhi's desk saying "I'm sorry." Sang Zhi didn't react much, just gave it a faint glance after opening it. Sang Zhi's final exam results came out, and her grades were very good. She didn't like physics, so she just barely passed that subject. Her parents sincerely hoped that Sang Zhi would think about her future and decided to arrange a course for her during the winter vacation. However, the tutor turned out to be Sang Yan, which disappointed Sang Zhi. During the class, the two of them argued and fought, so they both requested a change of tutor.

Soon, Sang Zhi's mother found a new tutor for her. On the night before meeting the new tutor, Sang Zhi made a decisive decision to sneak out early the next morning.

Sang Zhi planned to sneak out before the private tutor arrived, but to her surprise, she saw Duan Jiaxu in the kitchen at home. Sang Yan told her that Duan Jiaxu was her new tutor. Sang Zhi hesitated and went to the dining table to eat. Duan Jiaxu had prepared instant noodles for her, and he even added a fried egg. Initially reluctant to take extra classes, Sang Zhi suddenly became enthusiastic and grabbed her books to go to Sang Yan's room for the tutoring session. It was only from Duan Jiaxu's resume that Sang Zhi learned his full name. Duan Jiaxu was busy playing games with Sang Yan while Sang Zhi cautiously took out her phone and secretly took a picture of him. When Duan Jiaxu noticed, she compared it to a victory sign, and Sang Yan, who was beside them, didn't suspect anything.

Sang Zhi changed Duan Jiaxu's contact name to "Jiaxu Ge" (Brother Jiaxu). Soon, he arrived with a cut watermelon and a physics book, confidently asking Sang Zhi to show him the photo she had just taken. Sang Zhi quickly changed the topic to the tutoring session. She admitted that she didn't understand physics at all, but Duan Jiaxu was a good teacher. Sang Zhi asked Duan Jiaxu why he chose to attend Nangu University, and he explained that he wanted to work in the game industry, and Nangu had the most developed gaming industry, so he chose to come here.

Duan Jiaxu interned for four days a week, dedicating the remaining three days to tutoring Sang Zhi. Since Sang Zhi had slept late the previous night, she allowed Duan Jiaxu to rest for a while before starting the class. She even carefully draped a coat over him. As Sang Zhi had no interest in physics, Duan Jiaxu planned to take her to a science and technology museum to spark her interest. The fascinating phenomena at the museum made Sang Zhi very happy. Duan Jiaxu took the opportunity to give her sincere advice, and they made a promise to support each other, work hard, and achieve their dreams together.

Sang Zhi enjoyed drawing, and Duan Jiaxu encouraged her to continue pursuing this hobby. Suddenly, Sang Zhi asked if he could refrain from dating because she believed it would distract her from her dreams. She also wondered if he would still treat her well if he had a girlfriend. Duan Jiaxu reassured her like he was comforting a child, saying he would find a gentle girlfriend who would be good to her, as it would be like having another person who cared about her. Duan Jiaxu had some work to do, so Sang Yan took Sang Zhi home. That night, Sang Zhi realized her sketchbook was missing and realized she had left it at the science and technology museum. When she contacted the museum, they informed her that they had given the sketchbook to Duan Jiaxu. Sang Zhi couldn't help but feel a headache coming on because she had drawn his portrait in the sketchbook.

The next day, Duan Jiaxu returned the sketchbook. Sang Zhi couldn't help but overthink, believing that he must have already seen it. Sang Yan noticed Sang Zhi's infatuation and ran back to the dormitory feeling annoyed. Duan Jiaxu comforted him, saying that it's normal for someone their age to have such thoughts. To make Duan Jiaxu believe that she wasn't infatuated with him, Sang Zhi made up a lie about an online relationship. She even acted sad during the class. Duan Jiaxu believed her and solemnly told her that it wasn't the right time to start a romantic relationship.

Sang Zhi confidently stated that she couldn't resist temptation, and if someone close to her was in a romantic relationship, she would also want to be in one. Duan Jiaxu immediately shut down Sang Zhi's idea of finding her old boyfriend, and Sang Zhi breathed a sigh of relief, realizing that she hadn't revealed her true intentions. Duan Jiaxu's tutoring efforts with Sang Zhi yielded good results, but he wouldn't be coming anymore. Sang Zhi felt disappointed, visibly unhappy, but Duan Jiaxu made a promise to reward her every time she made progress in the future, which made Sang Zhi happy again.

After class, Sang Zhi's parents invited Duan Jiaxu to celebrate the Chinese New Year's Eve together, but he politely declined, saying he would return to the school. Sang Zhi was somewhat disappointed and quickly went back to her room to fetch the prepared red envelope. Worried that he might refuse it, she wrote a small note wishing him a happy new year, folded it into a small star, and put it inside the red envelope, discreetly making her way downstairs. The family was busy with New Year's Eve preparations, and Sang Zhi secretly stuffed the red envelope into Duan Jiaxu's coat. On New Year's Eve, Sang Zhi and Sang Yan had agreed to visit their parents and receive red envelopes. Sang Zhi received a new mobile phone as a red envelope gift from her father, while Sang Yan's red envelope was thinner, and Sang Zhi even snatched it away from him. Duan Jiaxu sent a New Year's greeting, and Sang Zhi's lips immediately curved into a smile as she quickly replied with her own well wishes.

Duan Jiaxu spent New Year's Eve alone in the school dormitory but received a call informing him that his father had a lung infection and needed immediate surgery. He was asked to come and sign the consent form. So, Duan Jiaxu returned to Yihe on New Year's Eve. After the school reopened, Sang Zhi received the reward sent by Duan Jiaxu and only then learned that he had returned to Yihe.

After their first meeting, Sang Zhi began to look forward to whether Sang Yan would bring Duan Jiaxu home. She was disappointed when Duan Jiaxu didn't come with Sang Yan on one occasion. Sang Yan said that Duan Jiaxu was focused on making money, which piqued Sang Zhi's curiosity. However, when she learned that none of Sang Yan's roommates had partners, she felt relieved. Sang Zhi was delighted to receive the gift sent by Duan Jiaxu, a small black dog plush toy that seemed familiar, like Sang Yan. She also wanted to send something to him but was rejected by Duan Jiaxu. They agreed to meet at Duan Jiaxu and Sang Yan's graduation ceremony, so Sang Zhi planned to consider that as her graduation gift. After hanging up the phone, a girl came to meet Duan Jiaxu and gave him some money, expressing her concern about him working so hard, but Duan Jiaxu's reaction was indifferent.

On the day of the graduation ceremony, Sang Zhi arrived with her father and saw Duan Jiaxu wearing a graduation gown. Her eyes sparkled for three minutes, and she quickly handed him the flowers she was holding, but she didn't have time to take out the gift she had hidden behind her back. Duan Jiaxu bid farewell to his classmates, knowing that they might not see each other often in the future. Sang Zhi couldn't help but worry if she would be able to meet Duan Jiaxu after graduation, but he quickly reassured her that he was different from those people, and whenever he had time, he would come back to visit Sang Zhi. Duan Jiaxu called a nearby classmate and took a photo with his sister. During the evening gathering, everyone was having fun, but Duan Jiaxu seemed infinitely sad. He was going back to Yihe, and Sang Yan was also feeling upset.

Duan Jiaxu intended to take the intoxicated Sang Yan home and stay at a hotel, but Sang Zhi's mother insisted that he stay and sleep in Sang Yan's room. Sang Zhi quickly led Duan Jiaxu upstairs and went to prepare toiletries.

Sang Zhi prepared toiletries for Duan Jiaxu. Fortunately, Duan Jiaxu didn't drink alcohol, so he didn't need a hangover remedy. In the middle of the night, Sang Zhi was puzzled to see that Duan Jiaxu wasn't sleeping. Duan Jiaxu was worried about his father's condition, so Sang Zhi approached him and asked why he wasn't sleeping. Duan Jiaxu replied that he wasn't used to the bed. Sensing that Duan Jiaxu was unhappy, Sang Zhi encouraged him to open up and share his concerns. She assured him that she would stay with him even if he didn't want to talk about it. Duan Jiaxu couldn't help but open up and share that he had many creditors. Sang Zhi immediately became worried, thinking that he owed a lot of money, and she wanted to give him her own money. However, Duan Jiaxu clarified that he meant creditors in different aspects of life. Unable to sleep, Sang Zhi wrote her wish on a piece of paper, hoping to save money and help her brother repay his debts.

Before dawn, Duan Jiaxu secretly left, but Sang Zhi happened to see him from the balcony. Duan Jiaxu waved goodbye to her, and Sang Zhi waved back, watching him leave. Duan Jiaxu sent a message saying that he would catch an early flight back to Yihe and reminded her not to forget about her exams.

When school started again, Sang Zhi entered her senior year, and her goal was Yihe University, all for the sake of Duan Jiaxu. It became her new target, and she worked hard towards it. Every time she made progress, Sang Zhi received gifts sent by Duan Jiaxu, which became her motivation. Sang Zhi accidentally overheard Sang Yan talking on the phone with his friends, gossiping that Duan Jiaxu had a girlfriend. Sang Zhi's heart sank instantly, and she wanted to send a message to ask, but she didn't have the courage. A sour feeling emerged in her heart. Duan Jiaxu had promised to show her his girlfriend first.

Sang Zhi decided to personally ask Duan Jiaxu about it. When Sang Yan found out that she had gone to Yihe, he was angry and quickly asked Duan Jiaxu to go and pick her up. Sang Zhi told them that she was going to meet her online dating partner, and Sang Yan and her parents were angry and worried, unaware that Sang Zhi's real target was Duan Jiaxu. Duan Jiaxu appeared with another girl, and seeing this scene, Sang Zhi had many questions in her mind. Was she Duan Jiaxu's girlfriend? Sang Zhi couldn't hear clearly as Duan Jiaxu scolded her, and he could only patiently reason with her. Sobbing, Sang Zhi said that her online dating partner didn't like her and found her too young. Duan Jiaxu comforted her, saying that she would find someone better when she grew up. Sang Zhi felt even more aggrieved, thinking that Duan Jiaxu had already found someone better. She ran off with Duan Jiaxu's coat and cried nearby, crying even louder when she saw Duan Jiaxu with that girl.

After crying, the girl had already left, and Duan Jiaxu had bought the plane ticket for Sang Zhi. They had some time before the flight, so Duan Jiaxu took her out for a meal, but Sang Zhi had no appetite. She took out the gift she had prepared for Duan Jiaxu, a small black dog in her bag, but she didn't have the courage to give it to him. While Duan Jiaxu was on a phone call, Sang Zhi secretly put money for the plane ticket into his wallet. Before boarding, Duan Jiaxu accompanied Sang Zhi, and she suddenly said that he didn't need to tell her if he started dating someone. She returned the teddy bear she had given him and wished him happiness every day. Duan Jiaxu smiled as he held the bear, and Sang Zhi finally revealed a long-lost smile.

Sang Yan was already at the airport to pick up Sang Zhi. He didn't scold or lecture her, but Sang Zhi cried hysterically, leaving Sang Yan at a loss. When they arrived home, her parents didn't say much either, just greeting her to come and eat as usual.

After Sang Zhi went upstairs, her parents finally dropped their pretense and carefully observed her reaction. Sang Yan told them that Sang Zhi realized her mistake and cried all the way back home, asking them not to criticize her anymore. They decided to act as if nothing had happened, but they agreed to keep Sang Zhi's ID card away to prevent such incidents from happening again. Sang Zhi packed everything related to Duan Jiaxu in a box, and the paper stars with her goal of getting into Yihe University were still there. Silently, she crossed out that wish and sat alone with the box for a long time, realizing that she really had to say goodbye to Duan Jiaxu.

Not long after, Sang Zhi successfully entered Yihe University. Between military training and classes, she led a fulfilling life and met a group of lovely roommates. There was Ning Wei, who loved making videos, cool girl Yu Xin, and Wang Wang. The four of them happened to meet Wang Ming, a student from the Sports Institute, and lively Ning Wei added him on WeChat, suggesting a get-together with Wang Ming's classmates from the Sports Institute. Today was Ning Wei's birthday, and they all celebrated together. In the lively KTV, Sang Zhi, squeezed in the crowd, didn't see Duan Jiaxu.

Li Xun was doing well at the company, and people even arranged blind dates for him. For example, today someone brought a beautiful girl named Xiao Xu. The atmosphere on Sang Zhi's side was relaxed, and someone came to chat with her, but she wasn't used to it. When she went out for some fresh air, she happened to run into Duan Jiaxu sitting on the stairs. Sang Zhi accidentally brought a friend's cigarette with her, so the first thing Duan Jiaxu said was to criticize her for smoking. Sang Zhi came here to attend college, and after military training ended, she didn't come to see him during the National Day holiday. Duan Jiaxu seemed somewhat unhappy, scolding her for being a bratty kid. For so long, Duan Jiaxu had sent many messages to Sang Zhi, but she hadn't replied to a single word. He couldn't understand what he had done wrong. Sang Zhi insisted on correcting the way he addressed her. She was no longer a child.

Sang Zhi refused Duan Jiaxu's offer to drive her home and returned to the private room to continue celebrating Ning Wei's birthday. As usual, Sang Zhi's mother was about to call her, but Sang Zhi told her friends that she had to leave. She had been building herself up mentally, realizing that she had grown up and wasn't a child anymore. She even muttered a curse, calling Duan Jiaxu an old geezer. Unexpectedly, Duan Jiaxu was waiting outside the door and became even more unhappy when he heard those words. Nevertheless, he decided to drive her back to school. In the car, the atmosphere was awkward, and Duan Jiaxu wanted to have a serious conversation with her to understand why she had a problem with him. Sang Zhi still avoided answering and strongly resisted being called a child. She had grown up!

Sang Zhi was still curious about Duan Jiaxu's current situation and heard that he was now involved in gaming. Duan Jiaxu, on the other hand, thought that Sang Zhi chose to attend Yihe University because of her old online friend. Sang Zhi quickly explained that they had lost contact. Sang Yan also believed the same and was quite angry about the situation. Duan Jiaxu drove Sang Zhi back to school and gave her some honey to drink, advising her to prevent a headache the next morning. Being alone on this side, Duan Jiaxu was very happy when he heard that Sang Zhi was coming to study at Yihe University. Hearing Duan Jiaxu's words, Sang Zhi's mood became bittersweet, and she couldn't help but become even more curious. Wasn't his home in Yihe? And moreover, did he have a girlfriend?

Sang Zhi rarely replied to Duan Jiaxu's message, but today she responded. Early the next morning, she was busy explaining to Sang Yan that she hadn't been drinking, and Jiang Ming also sent a message, suggesting that he could accompany her when she returned late in the future. However, Sang Zhi only replied to Duan Jiaxu's message. She told her roommates about a friend who liked her brother's friend, and she was conflicted about whether that friend had always treated her as a sister. Of course, her roommates understood that the friend was herself, but they didn't reveal it.

Sang Yan asked Sang Zhi to invite Duan Jiaxu to have a meal when she had time. He genuinely cared about Sang Zhi. Over the years, on Sang Zhi's birthday, when her exam scores were good, and during festivals, Duan Jiaxu would always send her gifts. Despite being poor, he never failed to give something to Sang Zhi. Suddenly, Sang Zhi reflected on her actions. Was it not right for her to treat him this way? After all, Duan Jiaxu hadn't done anything wrong and had always been good to her. Duan Jiaxu was in a meeting at the company. He presented a Tianyan system, and the draft received a lot of recognition. However, due to the technical difficulties, there might be increased risks, so it didn't pass temporarily. Duan Jiaxu didn't lose heart; instead, he encouraged his team members to keep working hard.

Sang Zhi planned to invite Duan Jiaxu to have a meal to show her gratitude. She edited and deleted a sentence several times. When Duan Jiaxu received the message, he found it amusing that Sang Zhi used the formal form of "you" ("您"). He decided to call her directly and asked if her phone was broken since she couldn't even type the word "you." Sang Zhi quickly made an excuse, saying that Sang Yan told her to address people five years older than her with respect, and coincidentally, Duan Jiaxu was exactly five years older. Ning Wei quickly found a boyfriend, and someone invited Sang Zhi and her roommates to watch a movie. Sang Zhi initially wanted to refuse because she had plans with Duan Jiaxu on the weekend, but her roommates were looking forward to it, so she had no choice but to agree.

Duan Jiaxu received a package from Jiang Ying, but he treated it as trash and threw it away. He transferred the final compensation money to indicate that he didn't want any further contact. Jiang Ying was nervous when she saw the message, but Duan Jiaxu completely ignored it. The new plan decided to incorporate the Tianyan system, but it was challenging, and Duan Jiaxu seemed uninterested and not feeling well. In the evening, Sang Zhi arrived at the agreed-upon restaurant, but Duan Jiaxu said he couldn't make it. Sang Zhi sensed that something was wrong with him and quickly asked for his company's address to rush over.

Duan Jiaxu's face turned pale from stomach pain, and Sang Zhi supported him to the roadside to catch a taxi. Accidentally, she ended up in his arms. Before they could feel awkward, they headed straight to the hospital. Duan Jiaxu was diagnosed with acute appendicitis and decided to undergo surgery immediately. Sang Zhi nervously watched as he was wheeled into the operating room but could only wait outside. She knew that if it weren't for her, Duan Jiaxu would probably have endured the pain and not come to the hospital at all. Sang Zhi told her mother about the situation, and her mother lamented that the child had a tough life with no one in the family. Sang Zhi was puzzled. Her mother had never mentioned anything about him before. At that time, when his mother was sick, they borrowed some money from Sang Yan's parents, and within half a year, Duan Jiaxu had repaid the money. Unfortunately, his mother still passed away, and that was why Duan Jiaxu had a difficult time in college.

After the surgery, Duan Jiaxu urged Sang Zhi to quickly return to school, saying that he was fine. Although worried and unwilling, Sang Zhi had no choice but to obey. On the way to the hospital, Duan Jiaxu thoughtlessly kissed Sang Zhi's forehead, and she wondered if she would mind this gesture. Just then, Sang Yan called to offer his condolences, but Duan Jiaxu didn't say anything. In the end, Sang Zhi decided to stay and take care of Duan Jiaxu because if she were the one who fell ill, Duan Jiaxu would surely stay. Sang Zhi sat next to him, eating bread to satisfy her hunger, and Duan Jiaxu couldn't help but laugh at how her mouth was stuffed like a pufferfish. Today, Duan Jiaxu couldn't get out of bed, so Sang Zhi dampened a towel and wiped his face. As she looked at his attractive face, her emotions became complicated.

Duan Jiaxu suddenly opened his eyes, and the two of them locked eyes. Sang Zhi quickly excused herself and went to the restroom to calm down. She placed a makeshift bed next to Duan Jiaxu and slept there. Duan Jiaxu felt sorry for her, but Sang Zhi found joy in it. She took out her phone and sent a message to her friends. Just as someone's voice message played halfway, Sang Zhi quickly pressed the volume button. Duan Jiaxu kept his eyes closed, but at that moment, he suddenly spoke up, asking her to tell him who wanted to invite Sang Zhi to watch a movie. Sang Zhi told him not to try to pry into the lives of young people, as he wouldn't understand the world of the youth even if she explained it to him.

The next day, Sang Zhi helped Duan Jiaxu wash his face and went to class early. Duan Jiaxu asked her to retrieve his computer from his home, but Sang Zhi refused. She told him that since he was sick, he shouldn't continue working. Hearing Sang Zhi scold him, Duan Jiaxu couldn't help but feel that she had indeed grown up. Sang Zhi hurriedly went to class, and her roommate said that Jiang Ming had been asking about her all day. Sang Zhi could only tell Jiang Ming that a relative of hers was sick and apologized, promising to invite him to watch a movie when she had time.

Duan Jiaxu couldn't stay idle and wanted his supervisor to send a computer over, but he was refused and told to rest properly. Sang Zhi went to Duan Jiaxu's house and curiously looked around. To her surprise, she saw a photo of herself and Duan Jiaxu displayed there. Seeing the photo of Duan Jiaxu with his mother, Sang Zhi introduced herself. She helped Duan Jiaxu get some clothes, including two pairs of underwear. As she closed the wardrobe door, her hand couldn't help but tremble. Just as Sang Zhi left, Jiang Ying arrived. Unaware that there was no one at Duan Jiaxu's home, she was emotionally distraught.

Sang Zhi carried bags of items and went to the hospital. An old man in the neighboring bed mistook her for Duan Jiaxu's wife. Duan Jiaxu explained that she was his sister, but the old man, with poor hearing, misunderstood and earnestly advised Duan Jiaxu to marry her soon and not delay the young girl. Duan Jiaxu could only agree and comfort Sang Zhi, saying it was just a joke. Sang Zhi was indignant and loudly told the old man that Duan Jiaxu could even be her father. Unexpectedly, the old man thought Duan Jiaxu was going to be a father, leaving Sang Zhi furious.

Duan Jiaxu worked throughout the night, and Sang Zhi regretted allowing him to use the computer. Duan Jiaxu was about to be discharged from the hospital, but the old man was still advising him and Sang Zhi to get along well and marry soon. Sang Zhi decided to say that they would marry soon. Sang Zhi felt down and didn't want Duan Jiaxu to make jokes about their relationship. With bags in hand, Sang Zhi accompanied Duan Jiaxu back home, but she was still feeling gloomy. She thought that perhaps Duan Jiaxu believed they couldn't have a relationship beyond siblings, which was why he joked like that. Sang Zhi left many sticky notes in Duan Jiaxu's house, reminding him to take care of his diet and not stay up late. She mentioned that she had to go back to do homework and couldn't come often, but she would treat him to a meal after he recovered. After leaving, Sang Zhi comforted herself, thinking that it was fine that way since she was just Duan Jiaxu's sister. However, Duan Jiaxu listened to Sang Zhi's words and promised to eat well, take medicine, and not stay up late.

Duan Jiaxu was very worried that Sang Zhi was angry, so he specially found Jiang Siyun. Jiang Siyun advised him to find a time to have a meal with Sang Zhi and talk things out. Jiang Ying still called, but Duan Jiaxu was determined that they didn't need to contact each other anymore. Sang Zhi went to watch a movie with Jiang Ming, but unexpectedly, Jiang Ming was afraid of chickens and was quite scared by the movie.

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Reviews

  • 2023-07-15 11:15:44

    Hidden Love's Unforgettable Charm

    Hidden Love is, like, a totally unexpected and awesome drama that shows the journey of Sang Zhi, this pure-hearted girl, as she grows up. The drama has this super unique romantic vibe from Taiwanese directors, and the way they express emotions is seriously moving. Zhao Lusi absolutely kills it in playing Sang Zhi, bringing so much energy and joy to the screen.

    In the drama, Duan Jiaxu brings happiness to Sang Zhi, and she's all about enjoying every little thing and the good times they have together. Even though some people have different opinions about their relationship, the happiness Duan Jiaxu brings to the main character is a totally legit reason for this drama to exist. Through Zhao Lusi's portrayal of Sang Zhi, you can seriously feel her happiness and how it rubs off on you.

    Yo, when was the last time we felt this kinda joy? Are the reasons and opinions of those who are against them really enough for Sang Zhi to say no to such pure happiness? They might fight, break up, or grow apart when they're old, but who cares, right?

    Lusi absolutely nails that captivating young girl vibe in the drama, totally nailing the lovable and innocent character of Sang Zhi. Sang Zhi's personality is so relatable to every girl deep down, showing a real picture of a innocent schoolgirl. Her happiness comes from simple and pure things like food, breaks between classes, and hanging out. She's not afraid to go after what she wants despite her brother teasing her, finds satisfaction in food, and gets all excited when her brother keeps his promises. Lusi really captures all the different emotions of Sang Zhi, giving a seriously amazing performance.

    Lusi's smile is contagious, her pretty features and expressive face always hit you right in the feels. When she's interacting with Sang Yan, her cute pouting when she's mad just makes you wanna pinch her cheeks. And when she's waiting to see Duan Jiaxu at school, her eager expression is seriously adorable, like a kid waiting for their parents to bring back snacks. And when she finds out that Duan Jiaxu is working at the dessert shop 'cause he's going through some money problems, she handles it with care, not wanting to hurt his pride. Lusi totally owns the role of Sang Zhi, showing off her amazing acting skills.

  • 2023-07-14 13:16:38

    A Journey of Courage and Triumph

    “Hidden Love", although lacking major conflicts and having a sparse overall plot, is not without charm. It documents the detailed daily life of Sang Zhi and Duan Jiaxu's developing relationship. Although the outcome can be guessed from the beginning, many viewers are still deeply moved after watching the ending. It feels as if they have personally experienced the romantic and sweet love between Sang Zhi and Duan Jiaxu.

    Compared to previous Chinese dramas, "Hidden Love" clearly offers a different experience for the audience. The series doesn't involve too many characters, yet the actors' performances skillfully depict the romance, as well as the delicacy of family and friendship.

    Zhao Lusi's brilliant performance allows people to feel the inherent charm of the character Sang Zhi. For many young people, Sang Zhi is an ideal partner for dating and even marriage because she fulfills many people's expectations for a companion.

    Sang Zhi possesses distinct characteristics: privileged background, good upbringing, loving parents, a happy family, faithful in relationships, outstanding appearance, strong personality, and a clever mind. She has always been the top student in her class since childhood, making her the type of girl who would undoubtedly attract many admirers in real life.

    However, she has also experienced many setbacks in her life. During her school days, she was betrayed by classmates, and when she entered the workplace, she faced unfair treatment due to a misunderstanding with Jiang Ying. For a newcomer in the professional world, this was undoubtedly a significant blow. She also lacks confidence in her unrequited love.

    In reality, Sang Zhi is an extreme character. She can be described as a guardian standing in utopia, but at the same time, she must also experience the harsh reality. That's why during their growth, many people hope to meet a partner who is kind, resilient, faithful, beautiful, and wealthy. They hope such a partner can save them from their own darkness and accompany them through the challenges of life.

    This is also why the audience's attitude towards this love story changes from "the world owes me a Duan Jiaxu" to "the world owes me a Sang Zhi" after watching the TV series. Zhao Lusi's sincere portrayal brings out the best qualities of this character. Who wouldn't want to have a true knight-like girlfriend to protect them?

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