2024 Chinese Drama List

The Little Handmaiden – Fang Chutong, Li Peiyang

The Little Handmaiden is a historical fantasy romantic web drama directed by Ma Ding and Yang Haiting, starring Fang Chutong, Li Peiyang, Yang Chuanbei, and Ma Ding.

Details

The Little Handmaiden

English Title: The Little Handmaiden
Chinese Title: 废柴小仵作
Other Titles: Fei Chai Xiao Wu Zuo
Genre: Historical, Fantasy, Romance, Suspense, Drama
Tag: Game World, Forensic Medical Examiner Female Lead
Episodes: 24
Duration: 10 min.
Director: Ma Ding, Yang Haiting
Released Date: 2023-10-13
Broadcast Website: 腾讯视频

Cast

Synopsis

Forensic science female student Jiang Li accidentally enters a forensic trial game world. She can only return to the real world by helping the game NPC forensic investigator Shen Xiuning solve cases together.

Relying on modern scientific methods, Jiang Li repeatedly solves mysterious cases and realizes that she has deeply fallen in love with Shen Xiuning.

However, the two of them must face the inevitable separation.

Recap

Shen Xiuning is a coroner. He and the constable Li Canglang discover someone stealing corpses and getting married in the woods. He is inspecting the body to determine if the death was natural when the corpse suddenly comes to life. Su Momo is a forensic medical student who, in a daze, transmigrates onto a corpse. In this unfamiliar world, she is feeling strange when a chubby girl suddenly appears.

The chubby girl claims to be an NPC in the game. Through conversation with her, Su Momo learns that she has entered the game world of a junior coroner. Her current identity is Miss Jiang Li of the Jiang family in Luoshui County. She can only return after completing trial tasks and clearing the game. The chubby girl gives her a game manual. During their conversation, Shen Xiuning, Li Canglang, and others are frozen. After talking to Jiang Li, the chubby girl disappears.

The person stealing corpses and conducting the marriage ceremony is a servant of the Jiang family. He explains Jiang Li's situation to Su Momo. Jiang Li is the illegitimate daughter raised by the master outside, often bullied by the young miss and madam, leading to her untimely death. When the servant mentions this, the chubby girl reappears and warns Su Momo that a murder is about to happen in the Jiang family. This is the main quest she needs to complete. To fulfill the task, Su Momo takes on the role of Jiang Li and, upon returning to the Jiang family, sees the recently deceased Miss Jiang Li come back to life. People suspect her of shamming death, so they tie her up and summon a Taoist priest to perform exorcism.

When going to the Jiang residence, Jiang Li brought Shen Xiuning along. However, when she was being harassed by the Taoist priest, Shen Xiuning's whereabouts were unknown. Later, she was killed by the Taoist with a sword, and the game restarted. After reloading the game, Jiang Li found herself back at the Jiang residence, her face covered with talismans applied by the Taoist. She was tied up in a woodshed, and it was only then that Shen Xiuning appeared and untied her.

Jiang Li felt that this broken game was too tricky, so she tried to find a way to escape. However, before she could leave the Jiang residence, she was blocked and, to make matters worse, the chubby girl punished her by tying her and Shen Xiuning together with a red string. Helplessly, Jiang Li had to continue with the tasks. However, Mr. Jiang believed that Mrs. Jiang died of natural causes. He even forbade Shen Xiuning from examining the body. Taking a cue from TV dramas, Jiang Li pretended to be the second miss and escaped. While everyone went to the woodshed, she and Shen Xiuning checked Mrs. Jiang's body and discovered that she died from poisoning. Moreover, in Mrs. Jiang's sleeve, they found a letter from Fang Lian to Mrs. Jiang.

After leaving the mortuary, Jiang Li noticed that the troublesome Taoist was still there, scaring people. She ran over, exposed him, and informed everyone of Mrs. Jiang's cause of death. However, Mr. Jiang didn't believe her. Just as Jiang Li was explaining, Fang Yuanwai suddenly walked in. Shen Xiuning noticed that Fang Yuanwai's servant had also followed, suspecting that Mrs. Jiang's death was related to Fang Yuanwai.

After being tied with a red string by the chubby girl, both Shen Xiuning and Jiang Li felt very inconvenient. The red string was about 1.5 meters long, tied to one wrist of each of them. In order to break the red string, Shen Xiuning called Li Canglang and asked him to use a knife to cut it. However, the rope was very sturdy, and even after Li Canglang tried cutting for a long time, it didn't break. Jiang Li came up with the idea of using fire. Unexpectedly, after burning, their wrists were bound together. The chubby girl appeared and warned Jiang Li not to destroy the red string, or else they would be tied like that forever.

At night, when sleeping, Jiang Li slept on the bed, and Shen Xiuning slept on the floor beside her bed. In the middle of the night, Jiang Li was suddenly pulled awake by Shen Xiuning. When she opened her eyes, she realized that Shen Xiuning was having a dream. Shen Xiuning recounted the dream to Jiang Li, describing a strong man pressing down on his body, and he felt unable to move. Jiang Li told him it was called a nightmare and explained a bit using her knowledge.

Shen Xiuning noticed that Jiang Li knew so much, he began to see her as a fairy who descended to earth and sought her advice on how to deal with nightmares. Jiang Li playfully teased him, asking him to pass three tests first. When Shen Xiuning fell for it, she, gazing at his handsome face, suddenly became infatuated and kissed Shen Xiuning.

Shen Xiuning saw Jiang Li leaning in for a kiss, quickly dodged, and suspected that Jiang Li's three tests were just a playful trick. Knowing that the game could be restarted, Jiang Li decided to feign cutting her neck and trick him again. However, the chubby girl appeared and told her that she only had one life left.

Li Canglang came to find Shen Xiuning, saw Jiang Li about to cut her neck, and thought Shen Xiuning was mistreating her. Shen Xiuning didn't bother explaining. Knowing that Li Canglang had a close relationship with the local intelligence station, Shen Xiuning decided to go there to gather information about Fang Lian. The three of them arrived at the intelligence station, and the Miss Wanwan at the station told them that Fang Lian and Mr. Jiang were childhood sweethearts, but Mrs. Jiang forcefully separated them, breaking up their relationship.

When Jiang Li began her task, she had encountered Mrs. Jiang before her death. She found that Mrs. Jiang showed fear in her eyes before dying and said, "You're not dead yet." She told Shen Xiuning about this, and he suspected that the "you" Mrs. Jiang mentioned might be Fang Lian. So they found Fang Lian's grave and discovered it was empty when they opened the coffin.

After this discovery, a masked person attacked them. Fortunately, the two cooperated well and managed to defeat the masked person. After the masked person escaped, they returned to the city and coincidentally encountered Master Fang, Fang Runsheng. Seeing Fang Runsheng's injured hand and mud from the graveyard on his shoes, Shen Xiuning suspected that the masked person was him.

The Fang family was hosting a tea-tasting banquet, and Shen Xiuning and Jiang Li attended together. During the tea-tasting event, Jiang Li showcased her skills by creating various milk teas, leaving everyone astonished. The young miss of the Jiang family, watching Jiang Li steal the limelight, felt extremely annoyed. Seizing the opportunity while everyone was in high spirits, Shen Xiuning subtly winked at Li Canglang. Li Canglang pretended to go to the restroom and left the gathering.

Li Canglang arrived at the backyard of the Fang residence and saw the maid Qiuniang burning paper offerings. Upon hearing that she was burning them for Fang Lian, Li Canglang revealed his identity and asked what was going on. Qiuniang then told Li Canglang that Fang Lian was killed by Mr. Jiang. Twenty years ago, when Fang Lian was kidnapped by bandits during an outing, she was abused by them. When Mr. Jiang found out and deemed her impure, he called off their engagement. Later, Fang Lian became pregnant, expecting twins. However, one of the twins turned out to be a monster.

When Jiang Li served tea to Fang Runsheng, she noticed that his wound had not healed. She used alcohol to clean the wound and skillfully bandaged it. Touched by Jiang Li's beauty and kindness, Fang Runsheng, as he saw Jiang Li off, heard a man's voice in his head asking if he liked Jiang Li and offering assistance. However, Fang Runsheng expressed concern that the voice might frighten Jiang Li and asked the voice not to get involved in this matter.

After returning from the Fang residence, Li Canglang bought some wine and food. The three of them exchanged information while drinking. Li Canglang first mentioned what Qiuniang had said. From this, he deduced that Fang Runsheng was not Mr. Fang's son; he should be one of Fang Lian's twin children. Jiang Li felt that Fang Runsheng's wound didn't seem like it was caused by a weapon but rather resembled an injury from an animal's claws. Shen Xiuning noticed that Fang Runsheng was lying. To prove this, he intentionally engaged in a fight with Jiang Li to verify. During a fight, people instinctively use their arms to block, but Fang Runsheng's injury was on the back of his hand, suggesting it was caused by a struggle for a weapon.

Thinking that she wouldn't get drunk in the game, Jiang Li started drinking freely and ended up heavily intoxicated. Seeing her inebriated, Shen Xiuning began to take a bath. While he was bathing, Jiang Li suddenly turned around. In a panic, Shen Xiuning pulled her into the bathtub, and they ended up kissing. Shen Xiuning anticipated Jiang Li's next move, but instead, she fell asleep on his shoulder.

The next day, they went to find Fang Runsheng. Since he wasn't at home, Jiang Li took Shen Xiuning to see a traditional Chinese medicine doctor. They also treated his nightmares. After the doctor prescribed medicine for Shen Xiuning, Jiang Li whispered something to the doctor, who then prescribed medicine for her as well. Li Canglang helped them prepare the medicine, but Shen Xiuning accidentally took Jiang Li's medication, "Yueyue Shu."

Fang Runsheng took the initiative to visit Jiang Li and bought her a bracelet. Shen Xiuning, feeling jealous, remarked that wearing a bracelet was not suitable for Jiang Li during a post-mortem examination and declined it on her behalf. Seeing that Fang Runsheng's wound had healed, Jiang Li didn't inquire further, understanding he wouldn't reveal the reason. Before leaving, Fang Runsheng and Jiang Li made plans to fly kites together the next day.

Shen Xiuning and Jiang Li investigated at the Jiang family's residence and discovered that the poisoner might be the family's chef. Suspecting that the local specialty brought by the chef was poisonous, Jiang Li brewed a bowl to test its toxicity. After drinking the poison, she pretended that a pillar in the room was Shen Xiuning, teasing him about last night when he wasn't wearing clothes. Once the effects wore off, she laughed about the situation.

During a date with Fang Runsheng, Jiang Li intentionally probed with words. Fang Runsheng visibly showed nervousness and hastily left, citing strong winds as an excuse. After he left, a voice reminded him that Jiang Li was suspicious of him and urged him to eliminate her, but Fang Runsheng disagreed.

On their way back, Jiang Li and Shen Xiuning were attacked again by masked assailants. Luckily, Li Canglang arrived, and the attackers were defeated. In the midst of the fight, Shen Xiuning unexpectedly noticed that the red string on his wrist had come undone. After some time together, he had developed feelings for Jiang Li. To ensure she wouldn't leave him, he quietly re-tied the red string.

Li Canglang came to find Shen Xiuning with the purpose of informing him that Mr. Wu, who can untie the red string, has returned. Shen Xiuning, upon hearing this news, seemed visibly indifferent to it. Li Canglang sensed that he didn't want to untie the red string, and although Shen Xiuning denied it, his actions contradicted his words.

Concerned that the red string on Jiang Li's wrist might come loose while she slept, Shen Xiuning took the opportunity while she was asleep to re-tie the string, even tying a tight knot. Thinking he had executed it flawlessly, he was surprised when Xiao Pang Ya suddenly appeared and informed Jiang Li of the news, congratulating her on completing the side quest with their concerted efforts. Sharing the same sentiment as Shen Xiuning, she decided to keep the matter a secret, not wanting to be separated from him.

Fang Runsheng visited Jiang Li and shared unexpected news – he planned to propose to her at the Jiang family tomorrow. Upon hearing this, Shen Xiuning, infuriated, pulled Jiang Li away, inadvertently breaking the red string due to his force. To facilitate the marriage, Fang Lao Ye invited Jiang Li to a feast at his home. Wanting to investigate, she agreed, and Shen Xiuning, worried about Jiang Li, accompanied her along with Li Canglang.

During the meal, Fang Runsheng signaled Jiang Li not to drink the mushroom soup, but she pretended not to notice. Fang Lao Ye was very hospitable, and as night fell, he insisted they stay overnight, a plan that played into Jiang Li and others' hands. Just as Jiang Li was about to rest, Fang Runsheng rushed over, nervously informing her that the place was very dangerous, and he was going to leave. He grabbed her and hurried away.

Jiang Li ran to the gate while questioning Fang Runsheng. She asked who the person he mentioned was, but Fang Runsheng didn't answer. At the same time, Shen Xiuning and Li Canglang, hidden by the night, found Fang Lian's memorial tablet and skeletal remains. When Lord Fang appeared at the door, the two pretended to faint.

Jiang Li and Fang Runsheng ran to the main gate. A voice suddenly sounded in Fang Runsheng's ear, saying that if he took Jiang Li away, all their previous efforts would be in vain. Seeing that Fang Runsheng didn't listen, the voice took control of Fang Runsheng's body. Seeing Fang Runsheng's eyes turn fierce, Jiang Li was scared and fell to the ground. Fang Runsheng extended the iron claw of his right hand, about to grab Jiang Li's chest, but Shen Xiuning suddenly intercepted him.

After Lord Fang was captured, he asked Shen Xiuning and the others in confusion. They had clearly drunk mushroom soup, so why were they unharmed? Jiang Li smiled and told him that they had discovered the problem with the mushroom soup early on and had taken an antidote in advance.

Lord Fang voluntarily admitted that he had disguised himself as a female ghost to commit murder. Shen Xiuning knew he was lying and pointed out that he was not the murderer. Jiang Li realized that Fang Runsheng had a dual personality. In desperation, Lord Fang kidnapped Jiang Li and warned everyone that he could do anything for Fang Runsheng. A voice in the room ordered him to immediately kill Jiang Li. Unable to bear harming Jiang Li, Fang Runsheng suddenly drew his sword and committed suicide.

After Fang Runsheng's suicide, Shen Xiuning explained to everyone that the murderer of Mrs. Jiang was Fang Runsheng. Because mushroom soup can paralyze people, Fang Runsheng disguised himself as a chef, infiltrated the Jiang family, gave Mrs. Jiang mushroom soup, and then performed a ritual by digging out her heart. To confuse the truth, they also created the illusion of a female ghost committing murder.

After completing Jiang Li's main quest, Little Fatty appeared again. Jiang Li originally thought she had come to take her back to reality, but unexpectedly, there was a bug in the game. Little Fatty suddenly got stuck in place. After Little Fatty disappeared, Jiang Li was sent into another illusion. In that illusion, she and Shen Xiuning got married.

After coming out of the illusion, Jiang Li felt reluctant to part from Shen Xiuning, and Shen Xiuning's feelings mirrored hers. He still had the red string tied to his hand, reminiscing about the time when he and Jiang Li were bound together. He brought Jiang Li to the market, intending to buy a floral headband for her, but was suddenly interrupted by Li Canglang.

Little Fatty appeared again and told Jiang Li that the game bug had been fixed. Jiang Li originally thought that Little Fatty was going to send her back, but she breathed a sigh of relief only when Little Fatty mentioned entering the second chapter of the game, "Avenging Souls." The main quest of "Avenging Souls" was triggered by the sudden death of Lord Jiang. Shen Xiuning and Jiang Li went to the crime scene and found Lord Jiang dressed in red, hanging from a large tree. Jiang Li inspected the body and discovered that he had been killed before being hung up.

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