Our long wait ends! Li Er finally opens up her heart and accepts Ying Zheng. It’s amazing. Great episode all around.
Ying Zheng pulls Li Er down to join him in sleeping on the steps. They don’t break eye contact and smile at each other as they lie down. We see flashbacks of the moments Ying Zheng and Li Er have shared together, including all of the times that Ying Zheng was really protective and sweet towards her. Li Er gazes and smiles at Ying Zheng as he closes his eyes and goes to sleep.
I’m pretty sure from watching this scene that Li Er’s fallen in love with Ying Zheng. It really reminded me of when Ying Zheng would reminisce about meeting Li Er when they were children, and of how he would watch over her as she sleeps. You can tell by the way that Li Er gazes at Ying Zheng after he’s closed his eyes that she’s developed really strong feelings for him.
Jing Ke continues to persist in practicing the Huluo sword technique, but he has a lot of difficulty in being able to master it. Lan Er continues to save all of the food for Jing Ke, not eating anything herself, and she looks more and more unwell as time goes on.
At royal court, Li Si recommends for Ying Zheng and Qin to attack and take over Han next due to its current state of weakness. Defeating Han will increase the momentum for Qin to take over the remaining kingdoms. Han Fei recommends that Qin attack Zhao first because Zhao is a strong state, and defeating Zhao will intimidate the other kingdoms. Li Si and Han Fei argue as to which is the better approach, with Li Si accusing Han Fei of wanting to keep the Han state alive.
Ying Zheng tells Li Er of his conundrum and asks her what she thinks of Han Fei. I like how he tells her what is going on at court and asks for her opinion. He must respect and value her thoughts and intelligence. She tells him that even though Han Fei doesn’t speak well, he has a strong personality and is a very talented person. It’s difficult for anyone to completely disregard the fate of one’s home state, and Han Fei’s defense of Han even while he knows Ying Zheng’s desire to take over the Six Kingdoms shows his sincerity. She goes on to tell Ying Zheng that all of his advisors have their own reasons and motivations. Ultimately, it is up to Ying Zheng to not let the opinions of his advisors control him and make his own decision.
Just then, Ying Zheng’s mother, the Queen Dowager, arrives at Li Er’s residence and asks her if she has more of the red dates that she gave her in the past. It appears that Li Er and the Queen Dowager have been becoming closer and Ying Zheng is shocked to see his mother there. When Li Er offers the Queen Dowager oranges from Chu instead, she asks Li Er if they were given to her by the old woman of Huayang Palace (lol), and tells Li Er that she shouldn’t eat them because they’ve probably been poisoned. She throws the oranges to the floor. Smart lady.
Jing Ke continues to practice, and we see that he has improved substantially. He’s finally able to master the Huluo sword technique and its different movements and styles. Very impressive.
Ying Zheng tells Li Er that his mother has moments of clarity even in her confused state. It’s a good thing that she can forget the bad memories from the past so she won’t feel so much pain. Li Er tells him that wanting the position of Queen ultimately brought his mother to her current state, so it is not a position to covet. Ying Zheng bizarrely asks Li Er if she’s thinking that if she becomes queen and Ying Zheng dies one day, that she will have to live alone and watch over an empty household. He asks her if she wants some male companions for herself. Li Er is offended by Ying Zheng’s words and asks him why he is so petty. She says that he has so many women in the inner palace, and he wants all of them to only be loyal to him. She says that she just wants to treat the Queen Dowager well because she’s so pitiful. Ying Zheng seems happy with Li Er’s response but says fine, if she doesn’t want to be Queen, he won’t beg her. He storms off and Li Er can’t understand Ying Zheng, finding him completely unreasonable.
Jing Ke returns from mastering the Huluo sword technique to find that Lan Er has fainted. After she wakes up, Lan Er, afraid that she won’t have another chance, confesses to Jing Ke that she really likes him, that she’s liked him from the first moment they met. She knows that he only has Li Er in his heart, and tells him to master the sword technique so he can go save her. She will watch over him, and again faints. Jing Ke realizes he has to get them out of there, approaches the doors and successfully performs the Huluo sword technique. The doors open to the outside. I really hope Jing Ke comes to love Lan Er back.
That night, Ying Zheng visits Li Er’s residence and quietly dismisses all of the servants. Li Er, not knowing that Ying Zheng has arrived, calls him a bad tempered tiger and says sometimes he acts just like a child. Qing Er laughs at her calling Ying Zheng a mean tiger. Li Er says that next time he becomes angry, she’ll hit him so hard that he’ll hurt for days. Awkward. At that, Ying Zheng asks Li Er, “Aren’t you afraid of being eaten by a tiger?” Li Er is stunned at his presence and looks around to see where her servants have gone. Ying Zheng tsk tsks and tells Li Er that she is one fierce tigress. If he really was her husband tiger, he may be eaten by her before he can even catch any prey. Aww, Mr. and Mrs. Tiger. That is adorable. When Li Er starts to storm off, Ying Zheng takes her in his arms and kisses her. This time, compared to the past, Li Er doesn’t protest or try to get away. It even looks a little like she starts to kiss him back. Ying Zheng comes to realize that Li Er is finally willing to accept and be with him. He gently picks her up and carries her to the bed. OMG. Yay! Finally.
Jing Ke brings Lan Er out from the cave and he goes to pick some fruit for them to eat. While he is away, a Dan Ding sect member takes Lan Er and threatens to kill her if Jing Ke does not give him the Huluo sword technique. Jing Ke easily defeats him now that he has mastered the Huluo sword technique. The leader of the Dan Ding sect arrives and he and Jing Ke fight. They are pretty evenly matched and the fight is well choreographed. The other Dan Ding sect member goes to attack Jing Ke, and Lan Er runs over and blocks it, getting herself stabbed in the process. The women in this drama are always getting themselves stabbed protecting their guy.
The morning after they spend their first night together, Ying Zheng holds Li Er in his arms. Although Li Er wakes, she won’t open her eyes, and Ying Zheng says he’ll kiss her until she opens them. He keeps kissing her, and Li Er soon tells Ying Zheng that he’s won. So sweet and romantic, these two. Ying Zheng holds her close and hopes that he’s not dreaming. He’s worried that if he lets go, she will go back to ignoring him. He doesn’t care if Li Er doesn’t want to be queen, as long as she always stays by his side. I love them.
Lan Er’s wound looks really serious, and Jing Ke decides to bring her to see Tian Guang so she can take a few days to recover.
Ying Zheng has decided to send General Fan Wu Qi and his troops to attack and destroy Zhao state. The mission is a great success and Zhao is roundly defeated.
Li Er encounters Jing Liang Ren in the palace and they exchange greetings. Li Er sees that Jing Liang Ren does not look well, and asks her what’s happened. She finds out about her miscarriage and the tea that Madam Chu made her drink.
Li Er decides to pay a visit to Madam Chu, and starts to talk to her about the soul of Jing Liang Ren’s unborn child. She says that she’s been going around the palace to see if the baby’s soul has remained to seek revenge against those who harmed it, particularly Madam Chu. Madam Chu becomes extremely frightened and asks Li Er if she’s seen any ghosts. Li Er advises her to be careful, and then leaves. The way that Madam Chu looks around after Li Er leaves really cracks me up. Who would’ve thought that the way to get to Madam Chu is by mentioning that ghosts might be present? I love Li Er’s tactics.
In the palace, Ying Zheng challenges Crown Prince Dan of Yan to an archery match. Ying Zheng hits the target’s bullseye, whereas Crown Prince Dan’s aim is slightly off. Li Er steps up and challenges Ying Zheng. He calls Li Er a tigress who loves to play, haha. If he loses, his punishment is to drink two cups of wine. Ying Zheng takes an arrow and again hits his target directly. Li Er takes two arrows and shoots, and both hit the target’s bullseye. When Ying Zheng asks her about shooting two arrows, Li Er just says that he didn’t say that it was against the rules. These two are too cute. Ying Zheng willingly accepts his punishment.
After the competition has concluded, Li Er and Crown Prince Dan have a chance to talk. Crown Prince Dan praises Li Er’s skills, but Li Er says that her skills are not that good. Li Er tells him that his fighting skills are actually great, but he purposely lost in his match against Ying Zheng. He may have fooled others, but he didn’t fool her. Crown Prince Dan says that in front of the Ying Zheng, you cannot win when you want to win. You want to go home but you cannot, and you hate Qin for killing your friends but you cannot show that you are upset. You may be treated as a friend, but you are really a slave. That’s what being a hostage is. Oh, I feel bad for Crown Prince Dan. Han Shen looks very contemplative as well.
Ying Zheng and Crown Prince Dan play chess, and Crown Prince Dan asks Ying Zheng if he remembers when they were young kids and he and Zhao Jia were both hostages in Qin. There was a time when it was very cold, and Crown Prince Dan and Zhao Jia put on their heavy coats while Ying Zheng decided not to. At the time, Crown Prince Dan thought that Ying Zheng was being foolish, but when they became older, he realized that it was actually he and Zhao Jia who were the foolish ones.