Li Er looked absolutely gorgeous and amazing in this episode. Her dark red outfit suited her so well. She looked badass and fierce, and ready to take some people down.
Li Si decides to pay Han Fei a visit in the palace prison. Han Fei asks Li Si how he could do this to him when they are old schoolmates, and Li Si tells him that his very existence is a threat to him and he wants him gone from court. Han Fei has become a favored subject of the King, and as such has gotten in his way. He worked extremely hard for years to get where he is today, and he won’t let anyone prevent him from becoming Prime Minister. Li Si tells Han Fei that he should’ve known better than to still continue trying to protect his home state after coming to Qin. Han Fei says that he admires the King, and he truly wanted to help him. He says he never thought of going after the Prime Minister position. Li Si tells Han Fei that his actions greatly angered the King, and Ying Zheng has decided to attack and destroy Han. Before he leaves, Li Si tells Han Fei that he might be willing to ask Ying Zheng to spare his life on account of their past relationship. Han Fei is a complete wreck upon finding out that Ying Zheng is using him as justification to attack Han. I feel so sorry for him. Watching this scene, I think that Li Si very much wants Han Fei out of the picture, but he’s not looking for him to die.
Han Shen walks through the woods trying to find Jing Ke and Li Er, and when he finally sees them, he smiles in relief and calls, “Martial arts sister!” Han Shen thanks Jing Ke for his help, but Jing Ke just tells him to bring Li Er back to the palace. Li Er thanks him for his help, and they just look at each other for a moment. It looks like there is more they want to say to each other, but then Li Er leaves with Han Shen to go back to the palace. Jing Ke looks after them as they walk away with some regret and wistfulness.
Madam Chu and her maid discuss their scheme to poison Lord Chang Ping at his home. After Lord Chang Ping dies, they will push Li Si to take his place as Prime Minister. Madam Chu thinks that this will ensure Li Si’s loyalty to her in the future. Little does Madam Chu know, Zhao Gao and his underling know about Madam Chu’s plan, and they plan to take that poison and use it against Han Fei. It’s Zhao Gao’s vengeance against Han Fei for recommending that Ying Zhang and Qin attack Zhao. They plan to use the glass pearls in their plot, which will not only eliminate Han Fei but will also implicate Madam Chu and Li Si. killing two birds with one stone.
Ying Zheng and Li Zhong ride through the woods on their way to rescue Li Er, and they come across Han Shen and Li Er on their way back to the palace. There’s a joyous reunion between Ying Zheng and Li Er, and they hug each other tightly. Oh, I feel bad for Han Shen seeing this.
Ying Zheng asks Li Er to tell him what happened, but Li Er is more focused on Han Fei’s situation. She promises Ying Zheng to tell him the whole story later on, but right now it’s important for them to go and rescue Han Fei. Li Er is sure that someone both masterminded her kidnapping and set up Han Fei to be imprisoned. She believes Han Fei to be a honorable person and innocent of plotting against Qin. Li Er was able to figure out that Han Fei was framed, and yet Ying Zheng couldn’t. He didn’t figure out that Chancellor Lu had been set up by Li Si either. Is Ying Zheng actually smart? Because I don’t see that he‘s capable of seeing through other peoples’ schemes. He‘s just rash and unreasonable.
Meanwhile, we see Zhao Gao’s underling swap out the tonic that was meant for Lord Chang Ping before he drinks it.
Zhao Gao’s underling goes to visit Han Fei in the prison. He implies that Ying Zheng has forgotten all about Han Fei, and then gives him poison to commit suicide. The bottle of poison has glass pearls on it, the same one that Madam Chu had given Han Zhang Shi as a gift. He implies committing suicide will at least help Han Fei maintain a reputation of being loyal to his home state. Han Fei takes the bottle and drinks the poison. This is horrible and it’s Ying Zheng’s fault. Why didn’t he investigate further?
After Han Fei drinks the poison, Ying Zheng and Li Er arrive at the prison to see him. Unfortunately it’s too late (by two minutes, ugh), and Han Fei throws up blood. Even until his last breath, he advises Ying Zheng on how to unite and govern the world. Good man. He dies and collapses to the prison floor with the glass bottle in his hand.
That evening, Ying Zheng tells Li Er that his greatest weaknesses are his suspicion, envy, and coldheartedness. It is because of his weaknesses that Han Fei died. Well, yeah. I agree. Li Er is nice and comforts Ying Zheng that Han Fei’s death was not his fault. Those who were envious of Ying Zheng’s favor towards Han Fei and plotted to get rid of him are responsible. Ying Zheng asks Li Er who she thinks is behind Han Fei’s death. Li Er recalls the bottle that Han Fei held in his hand when he died, and says that those glass pearls usually can only be possessed by the royal family of Chu. That means Madam Chu. She must be connected to Han Fei’s death.
Ying Zheng asks Li Er if she thinks that Madam Chu was also behind her kidnapping by Dan Ding. Li Er tells him that she doesn’t think Madam Chu – or any royal consort – would be able to make those arrangements with Dan Ding. Based on what Dan Ding accidentally let slip, her kidnapping was the work of Li Si. Li Er hasn’t been able to figure out the connection between the two incidents, but it’s very suspicious that Han Fei was first imprisoned, and then she was kidnapped. Ying Zheng says he won’t easily forgive Madam Chu and Li Si if they are responsible.
Madam Chu and Li Si meet in a hidden area of the palace, and they are both very confused and nervous as to what happened. They don’t understand how the poison meant for Lord Chang Ping was given to Han Fei. Li Si says the only explanation is that a third party knew of their plan and intercepted the poison to kill Han Fei. They have so clearly been outwitted here, wow. Li Si warns Madam Chu that there may be a spy next to her, and they have to be careful in the future.
Lan Er comes to talk to Jing Ke, and she apologizes for advising him to go and rescue Li Er. She thought that since he loves her, he should go save her, but it seems that Jing Ke just became more hurt in the process. Lan Er blames herself and says that maybe it’s better to leave him alone. Jing Ke tells her not to think that way and that he’s fine. She doesn’t need to blame herself for anything. I‘d like to stop seeing Lan Er as a lovesick puppy. I like her better when she‘s more forceful and showing off her martial arts skills.
Madam Min visits Li Er and tells her that both Ying Zheng and her were very worried when she was gone from the palace. Madam Min says that in the palace, rumors had been flying that she left the palace on her own, or had even been conspiring with rebels. They both know the person most likely conspiring against her is Madam Chu. Madam Chu and Li Si have been meeting each other frequently and must have come to some kind of agreement. Hm, she’s subtly turning suspicion towards Madam Chu. Li Er says that since they are both from Chu, it may not be that unusual. Madam Min asks Li Er if she thinks that they had anything to do with Han Fei’s death. Li Er says that even though Li Si and Han Fei were classmates, Li Si has been very envious of the favor that Ying Zheng was showing Han Fei. He may have taken the opportunity to poison Han Fei. However, Li Er says, the whole matter is very unusual. Madam Min asks her what she means, but before Li Er can answer, Qing Er rushes in with urgent news – Jing Liang Ren has died. Li Er: “What?!”
A panicky Madam Chu is on her way to see the Grand Dowager when she runs into Grand Dowager’s personal maid. She tells Madam Chu that unfortunately, the Grand Dowager is not going to be able to see her. She hasn’t been feeling well and was given a strong sleeping tonic to drink. Madam Chu is beside herself at not having the Grand Dowager there to defend her. Well. That was a good way to remove the Grand Dowager from whatever is going to happen next.
Madam Min and Li Er arrive as Jing Liang Ren’s body is being carried out from her residence. Oh, this is horrible. No one can believe what has happened. Madam Min and Li Er question the physician, and learn that Jing Liang Ren was poisoned to death. In one episode we lost both Han Fei and Jing Liang Ren.
Ying Zheng has gathered everyone – Li Er, Prime Minister Lord Chang Ping, Madam Chu, and Li Si – at the royal court. Ying Zheng asks Li Si about the book that Han Fei authored, and asks him to recite a few lines. Li Si nervously does, and Ying Zheng asks him why he has suddenly started speaking with Han Fei’s stutter. Li Er asks Ying Zheng’s permission to see the letter supposedly written by Han Fei to the King of Han, and Zhao Gao asks her why she wants to see it. Well, because all of the states have differences in their characters. That seemed like a planted question. She wants to review the letter to see whether the letters were written in Qin or Han. After all, the letter should be written in Han since it was from Han Fei to the King of Han. Li Er asks Madam Chu if she thinks the letter would be written in Chu. Madam Chu: “How is that possible? Why would it be written in Chu?” Oops. Looks are exchanged. Zhao Gao and Madam Min also observe the proceedings with some definite smugness.
Li Er says that Lord Chang Ping is very knowledgeable, and asks Ying Zheng for his permission to have him and herself review the letter. Madam Chu looks like she’s about to have a breakdown. Li Er and Lord Chang Ping review the letter and exchange looks. Ying Zheng asks Li Si who else in the palace besides him would go after Han Fei. Oh, Zhao Gao looks smug. Li Si says that even though he was envious of Han Fei, he would not harm him. Ying Zheng asks Li Er if the characters of the letter are similar to Chu, and Lord Chang Ping says that the letters in fact do have some similarities. Heh. I think Lord Chang Ping has picked up on what is going on. Madam Chu: “How is that possible? How can they be similar to Chu writing?” Li Er: “Madam Chu, you decided so quickly. Is it possible you’ve seen this letter before?” Madam Chu tries to brush off the question and says that she’s from Chu so she can help make the determination. Li Er asks Madam Chu straight out if she’s the one who poisoned Han Fei. Madam Chu denies it, and Li Er says that she knows in her heart if she did it.
Madam Chu tells Ying Zheng that she had nothing against Han Fei and had no reason to poison him. She asks Ying Zheng to investigate and find the real culprit. Zhao Gao hands Ying Zheng the bottle with glass pearls that Han Fei drank the poison from, and Ying Zheng asks Madam Chu if it’s hers. Oh, Madam Min looks smug. Madam Chu doesn’t know how the bottle could’ve been found in prison and says that there are other people in the palace from Chu. Ying Zheng: “Ridiculous!”. Oh. He says the glass pearls are products of the highest quality and only the royalty of Chu would have it. So who else in the palace could have them? Madam Chu pleads that she‘s been falsely accused.
Ying Zheng says that it was the same poison that killed Han Fei as Jing Liang Ren. He asks Madam Chu for an explanation that he can believe. Zhao Gao and Madam Min love this. Ying Zheng tells Madam Chu that he knows Li Er’s kidnapping was her work as well, only he can’t find proof. Madam Chu says she’s also given the glass pearls to Han Zhang Shi, and an angry Ying Zheng tells her that everyone knows that Han Zhang Shi is one of Madam Chu’s people. Madam Chu pleads innocence, but it doesn’t do any good. Ying Zheng demotes Madam Chu to a Liang Ren (fourth rank) and expels her from living in Zhao De Palace. Madam Chu is dragged away.
Li Er asks Li Si to read the letter, and he confirms that the letter is written in Han, not Chu. Li Er says that she knows, and she was just using his and Madam Chu’s guilt to trap them. Li Er tells Li Si that obviously he never read the letter, but was so quick to blame Han Fei for conspiring with the King of Han. Ying Zheng punishes Li Si with fifty plank hits but spares his life. Although the truth has been revealed, I feel so bad for Han Fei. He seemed like such a good, genuine person. He would’ve been better off staying in Han. Ying Zheng just had to bring him to Qin.
Thank you everyone for reading!