With this episode, I feel myself getting pulled more and more into this drama. I’m really looking forward to watching the following episodes and seeing what happens next with the storyline and with our characters. I was especially impressed with Vin Zhang’s acting since he was really able to convey how torn up Ying Zheng was over losing his brother.
We are in the field where Ying Zheng and Chengjiao are having their confrontation. Since Ying Zheng has asserted that he isn’t willing to turn over his throne as King of Qin to anyone, Chengjiao is determined to battle it out. Either he or Ying Zheng will die today, and he gives the order for his soldiers to raise arms. When Ying Zheng’s soldiers do the same, he reprimands them by saying that he hasn’t given a similar order and commands them to put away their weapons. You can tell that the last thing he wants is a fight.
In a flashback to happier times, Ying Zheng had sworn that if he conquers the Six Kingdoms one day, he would share the power equally with his younger brother. Chengjiao swore that he would always be loyal to Ying Zheng until the day he dies. Knowing how close they were makes the ensuing fallout even more painful and hard to watch.
Instead of engaging in battle, Ying Zheng reasons that the soldiers on both sides are from Qin and that it isn’t right for them to fight and kill each other. Ying Zheng tells Chengjiao that his ties to Qin are permanently severed and that he never wants to meet again. As Ying Zheng withdraws his soldiers, Chengjiao calls out to him, seemingly regretting what has happened, but it’s already too late. It’s really great acting all around, and you can tell how hurt both of them are that their relationship is over.
In the forest, Jing Ke practices sword fighting while Gong Sun Li draws some sketches, smiling sweetly as she observes him. He drops his sword from the pain and we realize that he is still recovering from his fight with the Dan Ding group. He tells Gong Sun Li that he wants to recover quickly so that he can protect her. Aww.
She helps him out and tells him that ever since her grandfather died, she has wanted to leave everything behind and go someplace far away where she and Jing Ke can lead a happy and peaceful life. Gong Sun Li’s drawing is the peaceful life that she wants – where they’re looking at the ocean, riding horses and watching sunrise and sunsets. It’s a beautiful dream and a part of me wishes that they could go off and live happily ever after.
However, even Jing Ke knows that it can’t happen since he needs to live up to his Master’s hopes and use the Huluo sword technique for the benefit of the world. A disappointed Gong Sun Li starts to pack their things up, and Jing Ke grabs her hand. He says that they only have each other right now, and they need to stay together. We get more smiles from the both of them. And aww, they’re just too cute.
Ying Zheng is currently drowning his sorrows by having drinks with Prince Dan, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Yan. Ying Zheng asks Crown Prince Dan what he did wrong to which he responds that there wasn’t anything that he did wrong, it is simply a consequence of being born into royalty. He advises Ying Zheng that Chengjiao wouldn’t have gone against him if he hadn’t been manipulated by someone.
Ying Zheng knows that the one behind this mess is Chancellor Lu, so he confronts him after returning to the palace. Chancellor Lu tries to convince Ying Zheng that everything he did was so that Ying Zheng would become the King of Qin and one day rule the world. Ying Zheng is both sad and angry, and says that Chengjiao was the only person who never tried to manipulate him. In fact, Chengjiao had always known that Ying Zheng wasn’t the biological son of the late King, but he had always overlooked it. Ying Zheng tells Chancellor Lu to leave and go somewhere far away so that they never have to see each other again.
A group of thugs are harassing a middle-aged woman selling ‘zongzi’ (a Chinese dish of glutinous rice and other fillings wrapped in leaves). A young woman named Ge Lan, “Lan Er” for short (Zhang Xuan) intervenes and drives off the thugs with the help of Jing Ke. The trio made up of Gong Sun Li, Jing Ke, and Lan Er become fast friends. Lan Er tells them that she and her father are from Qin but have been under pursuit since they left. It turns out that her father is Ge Nie, whom we met in the first episode. I’m thrilled that we get to see him again. Meanwhile, Ge Nie is fighting against two members of Wind Forest Fire Mountain. Man, he really fights well as he holds his own against the two warriors.
Gong Sun Li and Jing Ke immediately join in, each taking on one warrior of Wind Forest Fire Mountain as Ge Nie and Lan Er look on. The battle is extremely well-choreographed, and Gong Sun Li and Jing Ke both fight impressively. Ge Nie deals the final blow that causes the enemy to flee. Gong Sun Li wants to chase after them to avenge her grandfather, but Ge Nie stops her and says that she has no chance of beating them and needs at least another ten years of training. Ha.
After the fight is over, Jing Ke asks Ge Nie to accept him as a disciple. Jing Ke doesn’t believe that his skills are up to par, and he wants to be able to always protect Gong Sun Li. I’m really liking Jing Ke who is so sweet and protective towards Gong Sun Li. Ge Nie says that he has never accepted any disciples and refuses Jing Ke’s request. Gong Sun Li says that even if Ge Nie doesn’t accept Jing Ke as a disciple, they can still be friends.
Two of Ying Zheng’s consorts, Madam Min (Qiu Yi Nong) and Madam Chu (Wang Ting) are having tea with the Grand Dowager. Grand Dowager tells them that Qin requires more heirs and that they need to provide Fusu (Ying Zheng’s eldest son) with younger brothers. Madame Chu tells the Grand Dowager that in actuality, neither she nor Madam Min have ever spent a night with the King. Grand Dowager tells them that she will have a talk with Ying Zheng about this.
Madam Chu is played by Wang Ting, who played Cheng Yu in Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms. I absolutely loved her in that and I’m so excited to see her in this, where she is reunited with Dilraba and Vin, even if she is meant to be Gong Sun Li’s main rival in the palace.
Gong Sun Li and Jing Ke are now staying with Ge Nie and Lan Er and getting along really well. Gong Sun Li plans to tailor some clothing for Jing Ke, which eggs him to start teasing her: “What more could a husband ask for?”. Omg, so cute. Lan Er offers to help Gong Sun Li while Jing Ke goes off to practice his martial arts. As the ladies sew, they talk about their families and realize that they have a lot in common so they decide to become sworn sisters – Gong Sun Li is the elder sister and Lan Er is the younger sister.
Back at the palace, the Grand Dowager tells Ying Zheng that his consorts and concubines can help him relieve his burdens which is why he shouldn’t neglect them. Ying Zheng says he is just more interested in having military discussions with his generals than having tea with his consorts. Lol. Grand Dowager says it’s about time for Ying Zheng to name a queen, and pushes Madame Chu to be chosen.
Ying Zheng thinks back to all of the moments he shared with Gong Sun Li, as children and also as adults, and it sure seems that she is his first (and only) choice to be his queen. He admires her intelligence and her fighting abilities and wants her to be the one at his side as he conquers the world. Well, that backfired on the Grand Dowager. Instead of getting what she wanted, Ying Zheng now has plans to make Gong Sun Li Queen.
At royal court, Ying Zheng orders Duke Chang Xin’s execution as his punishment for rebelling. His clan is to be eliminated as well. Now that the matter is over and done with, it’s time for Ying Zheng’s next order of business, the finding and capture of a woman – it’s Gong Sun Li! Gong Sun Li, Jing Ke, and Lan Er are in the marketplace when they hear a commotion outside, and they see the notice posted by a group of Qin soldiers. In the preview for the next episode, it looks like Gong Sun Li and Jing Ke have to fight those determined to capture Gong Sun Li for Qin.
Comments: Gong Sun Li and Jing Ke are adorable and I can’t help but root for them, even knowing that she’s going to leave and stay with Ying Zheng in the palace. I like the relationship between them because it’s so sweet and innocent, and it sucks that it’s doomed.
I feel sorry for Gong Sun Li because it seems that she’s just been able to settle down a bit and find some peace, and now that peace is going to be destroyed. Far from living the peaceful life that she wants to lead, Gong Sun Li is doomed to live a difficult and complicated life in the palace with Ying Zheng.
She’s going to have to deal with the Grand Dowager, Ying Zheng’s other consorts, and being away from her martial arts senior whom she adores. I’m a bit annoyed with Ying Zheng right now since he’s essentially breaking apart Gong Sun Li and Jing Ke, doing what he wants and throwing his weight around without consideration for the other person. I’m hoping that there are going to be plenty of sweet scenes between him and Gong Sun Li later on so we can enjoy them as a couple.