Many thanks to Anne for writing the recap for episode 21!
Ying Zheng and Li Er continue to banter over the sleeping situation. Li Er tries to arrange an individual bed for herself, but Ying Zheng disrupts her efforts and tells her that his bed is big enough for two. He even lies down to show Li Er that her bed can only fit one person. Li Er says she knows, that’s why the individual bed is for her and the bigger size bed is for him. Ying Zheng says that he won’t be able to sleep without her, and will spend the night watching her sleep then. Li Er tells him to do what he wants and goes to sleep like she doesn’t have a care in the world. Ying Zheng: “You’re really sleeping like this??” Cute scene. It’s not intense, more teasing and playful bickering.
Jing Ke and Li Er discover and enter into a mountain cave, where they find four plaques with names on them, one of which belongs to a swordsman who assassinated the King of Han a hundred years ago. The assassin was able to escape and lived in seclusion for the rest of his life. Jing Ke and Lan Er find a sword resting in a box before the plaques. When Lan Er takes the sword from the box, a door opens to another section of the cave. On another set of doors, it reads that the doors will only open when the Huluo sword technique is achieved. Images of the sword technique play on the doors.
Ying Zheng really does watch over Li Er as she sleeps. She suddenly wakes up from a nightmare, and Ying Zheng holds her and comforts her. “It’s all right. I’m here. I’ll protect you.” Aww. Li Er: “Did you really not sleep the entire night?” Ying Zheng: “Of course. Didn’t I say that I would watch you sleep? All right. Go back to sleep. I’ll protect you.” So. sweet. Li Er looks touched as she goes back to sleep.
Jing Ke ponders the sword technique while Lan Er explores the cave. She tells Jing Ke that there really is only one exit and that it will only open when the Huluo sword technique is achieved. Lan Er says that she found water, but didn’t find any food. If Jing Ke doesn’t figure out the sword technique before they run out of food, they’ll end up starving to death. Well that provides some motivation, doesn’t it. Jing Ke tells Lan Er to have some food and rest while he practices the sword technique. He doesn’t do well and continuously fails.
Madam Chu learns that Jing Liang Ren is pregnant, and it makes her furious and bitter that she has done so much in trying to have a child, only to have Jing Liang Ren become pregnant first. Madam Chu summons Jing Liang Ren and asks her whether the rumors that she is pregnant are true. Jing Liang Ren’s voice shakes and is not at all convincing when she says that the rumors are just that. Madam Chu treats Jing Liang Ren to have tea, and Jing Liang Ren realizes immediately that drinking it will cause her to miscarry. When Madam Chu threatens to tell Grand Dowager that Jing Liang Ren will not drink the tea she gave as a gift, Jing Liang Ren knows she has no choice but to drink. Poor girl.
Madam Min has heard of Jing Liang Ren’s miscarriage, and she says that Jing Liang Ren is too young to have known better. To improve her chances of successfully giving birth to her child, she needed to have a trusted physician diagnose her and then kept the news a secret for as long as possible. Even if Ying Zheng finds out what happened when he returns to the palace, there wouldn’t be much that he could do. Because after all, It’s not Li Er.
I think the situation with Jing Liang Ren really goes to show how difficult it is to have a child in the palace. Li Er was only able to give birth to Tian Ming because Ying Zheng was there to protect her and he did everything he could to make sure that no harm came to her or her child.
Meng Wu tells Ying Zheng that he doesn’t understand why Qin had to deploy 100,000 soldiers just so they can bring Han Fei back to Qin. He’s afraid that they will be mocked when the rest of the world finds out. Ying Zheng tells Meng Wu that as a military man, he doesn’t understand the importance of having scholars to provide guidance on the ruling of a nation. The only way for the King of Han to willingly let Han Fei go is for Qin to deploy a massive number of troops and scare him into agreeing. Ying Zheng plans to use Han Fei’s knowledge to attack the other Six Kingdoms, and then everyone will know that the King of Han was stupid for letting him go.
The King of Han is a weak man and he and his advisors are frightened to death when they see Qin’s 100,000 soldiers gathered outside. They don’t have nearly the same number of troops. The King of Han doesn’t understand what he’s done to provoke Ying Zheng into sending troops to his state. After Meng Wu and Li Er enter the city, the King of Han offers women, riches and anything else in return for Qin to retreat. Li Er tells him that they’re not there to kill or harm anyone, but they want to take someone back with them to Qin – Han Fei.
Back in the mountain cave, Lan Er is not looking well. She’s become very pale from the lack of sustenance as she’s been saving all of the food for Jing Ke so that he will have the energy to practice and master the Huluo sword technique. That is the only way to save them both.
Back in the Qin palace, Ying Zheng is holding a celebration to welcome Han Fei. On the side, Madam Min tells Li Er that given their success in bringing Han Fei to Qin, he may be naming her Queen soon. Li Er tells her not to take Ying Zheng’s words seriously.
Ying Zheng toasts Han Fei, who stutters as he awkwardly thanks Ying Zheng for arranging the welcome celebration. Li Si decides that he has to say something and compliments Ying Zheng on bringing Han Fei to Qin, saying that it will be a great benefit for their state. It turns out that Li Si and Han Fei were old classmates. Ying Zheng formally invites Han Fei to be a guest subject of Qin and help him in conquering the world, for which Han Fei is very grateful. He openly asks Ying Zheng about his desire to take over the world, and Ying Zheng tells him his purpose in uniting the kingdoms is to bring peace. The wars and fighting will only stop when everyone is using the same characters, the same currency, and the same paths.
That night, Li Si and Han Fei are very complimentary to each other’s talents and agree to work together for the benefit of Qin. Just then, Han Zhang Shi (another one of Ying Zheng’s consorts) is brought to Han Fei’s rooms. We find out that Ying Zheng is granting her to Han Fei since they are both from Han state. Li Si takes his leave to leave the two of them alone.
Madam Min and her maid discuss what has happened and agree that Han Zhang Shi must’ve been given to Han Fei to provide him with company and help him adjust to Qin. Madam Min’s maid questions if Madam Chu will take advantage of Han Zhang Shi being close to Han Fei to once again cause trouble in the palace, but Madam Min doubts that Madam Chu would ever able to accomplish anything significant. Madam Min says that it’s more worthwhile to look into why Han Fei so willingly agreed to work for Qin. She wonders if Han Fei is there to serve the interests of his home state.
Ying Zheng and Li Er are playing around and having fun as Ying Zheng chases Li Er through her residence, and he’s finally able to catch her. Ying Zheng tells Li Er that he’s tired from playing, and he will stay the night with her, even though it breaks his normal rule of sleeping alone. He tells Li Er that he will sleep on the steps (that must be so uncomfortable), and he pulls Li Er down next to him. Li Er doesn’t protest, and they sleep there that night. It’s so great to see that these two have become a lot closer. They’re so cute.
Thanks everyone for reading!
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