At royal court, Li Si recommends that Qin send soldiers to pursue Yan Dan. That would prevent gossip among the public. However, Lord Chang Ping argues the opposite. When Yan Dan was in Qin, he and Ying Zheng were as close as brothers, sending soldiers after a hostage prince would be what incites gossip among the public.
Ying Zheng agrees with Lord Chang Ping, and decides to turn the discussion in a different direction, one not that favorable for Li Si. He says that Han Fei died a very wrongful death, and that it is what makes him the target of the gossips that say he is unkind. That sends Li Si into a panic and he kneels before Ying Zheng. He pleads for forgiveness and says that at the time, he really thought Han Fei was working against Qin. You lying liar. It was all a scheme by you and Chu Liang Ren! Ying Zheng says that even if he killed Li Si, it wouldn’t bring back Han Fei. Well. Ying Zheng very neatly moved attention away from whether or not to pursue Yan Dan.
Meanwhile, Yan Dan, Jing Ke, and Tian Guang are entering Zhao state, 300 miles away from Qin. In order to protect Yan Dan’s safety, Jing Ke suggests that they call Yan Dan “Young Master”, instead of Crown Prince. Jing Ke senses that someone is following them, but doesn’t mention anything to Yan Dan and Tian Guang.
During a conversation with his comrades from Dan Ding, Li Si expresses his surprise over Ying Zheng’s decision not to send soldiers to pursue Yan Dan. He thinks that since Li Er is friends with Yan Dan, she must’ve sweet talked him into it. Wrong. I think that Ying Zheng is secretly glad that Yan Dan was able to leave Qin, and he doesn’t plan to keep sending soldiers after him.
Li Si blames Li Er for his current predicament, and comes down on Dan Ding for not executing their task well and getting rid of her. After he questions their abilities and says that they lost to a nobody palace guard, they tell Li Si that Li Er was actually rescued by her second martial arts brother, Jing Ke. Not Han Shen, as everyone thinks. In fact, Li Er was extremely close to her second martial arts brother before she entered the palace. They did absolutely everything together. It’s definitely implied that they were more than martial arts brother and sister. Uh oh. Not good that Li Si knows this secret.
Madam Min visits with Han Zhang Shi and confirms that she is pregnant with Han Fei’s child. Han Zhang Shi says she was also shocked when she found out, and didn’t know how to tell Madam Min. Han Zhang Shi then tells Madam Min something that she was really better off keeping to herself – she had gone to Li Er to ask for her help to talk to Ying Zheng about letting her keep her child. Upon hearing that, Madam Min tells Han Zhang Shi that she thinks it’s time for her to leave the palace. In fact, today. She will make the necessary preparations. Han Zhang Shi says she is very thankful to Madam Min. Madam Min pretends to be kind and tells Han Zhang Shi to travel safely.
Chu Liang Ren is having a great time pretending to be pregnant, when she is shocked to hear that Ying Zheng is there to visit her. Chu Liang Ren jumps into bed, sticks on her fake pregnancy belly, and pulls the covers over herself. Ha. Ying Zheng asks her how she is feeling, and Chu Liang Ren pretends to have not been feeling well. He says that he’s been treating her coldly, and asks how their child is doing. Chu Liang Ren lies that the baby is doing great.
Madam Min always puts on a kind and gentle exterior, while inside she schemes and plots more devilishly than anyone. Chu Liang Ren can’t help but express everything she thinks and feels to all those around her, so her schemes and plots are obvious. Interesting contrast.
Zhao Gao reports to Madam Min that everything has been prepared for Han Zhang Shi to leave the palace. He thinks that Ying Zheng won’t pay much attention to her disappearance, and it shocks even him when Madam Min says that Han Zhang Shi is too bothersome to keep around, and she wants her dead. She doesn’t care that Han Zhang Shi is currently with child. In fact, her family in Han should be taken care of too. Yikes. She says that she wants her helpers to be without any other support, and by Han Zhang Shi asking Li Er for help, it shows that Han Zhang Shi trusts Li Er and is not entirely loyal to her. She’s useless to Madam Min. Wow.
The Queen Dowager sits all alone in her residence when Li Er arrives to visit her. Li Er brought dates with her, and the Queen Dowager eagerly dives in and starts stuffing them into her mouth. Li Er apologizes for not coming to see the Queen Dowager more often, but she’s been too busy lately. The Queen Dowager realizes that the dates taste almost exactly like the dates she used to eat from Zhao. Li Er tells her that she doesn’t know where the dates are from, but that she got them from Madam Min. The Queen Dowager scornfully reveals that she doesn’t think Madam Min ever liked Ying Zheng, and wonders why Madam Min agreed to marry into the Qin palace. Li Er asks for clarification. When they were young, Madam Min was extremely close with Zhao Qian, the current King of Zhao. Madam Min had always told Li Er that Zhao Qian is not a good person or a good King, and that he’s bad for Zhao. The Queen Dowager says that everyone knows what a big womanizer Zhao Qian is, and that he has brought countless women into his palace. Li Er remembers Madam Min telling her that since she married into Qin, she has had no interest in politics or what is happening in Zhao. The Queen Dowager has given Li Er a lot to mull over. Seeing how excited the Queen Dowager is over the dates, Li Er realizes how lonely and sad she is.
Meanwhile, a farmer freaks out when he finds Han Zhang Shi’s dead body in the woods. Poor woman.
Madam Min and Li Er meet for tea, and Li Er notices how distracted Qing Er is. After Li Er asks her about it, Qing Er tells Madam Min and Li Er the terrible news that she recently heard – Han Zhang Shi is dead, the victim of foul play. Li Er is shocked to hear this news. Madam Min pretends to be clueless and asks how she could be murdered while she lives in the palace, and Qing Er says that she was found in the suburbs outside the palace. Soldiers had investigated and uncovered her true identity. Madam Min wonders how Han Zhang Shi was able to make it past the palace guards. She hints that Han Zhang Shi was likely a part of Li Si and Chu Liang Ren’s plot to kill Han Fei, and they had her killed so the secret would never be revealed.
Li Er sees that Madam Min is acting strangely and starts connecting the dots. She realizes that it might not have only been Chu Liang Ren who had the glass pearls that were on the bottle of poison that killed Han Fei. In fact, Han Zhang Shi had told her that she still had the bottle that Chu Liang Ren gave her. Li Er tells Madam Min that they can’t be sure that it was Li Si and Chu Liang Ren. After all, they have already been punished for what they did. Why would they take the risk? Madam Min says that maybe Han Zhang Shi was involved in other nefarious deeds with Chu Liang Ren, or she was blackmailing Chu Liang Ren. Li Er is suspicious that Madam Min is trying to hide something by continuing to push Han Zhang Shi’s murder on Chu Liang Ren.
In Zhao, Jing Ke pretends to have something to take care of and separates from Yan Dan and Tian Guang. In fact, he is trying to catch the person who has been following them. He circles back and tackles the man who has been following them. It’s General Fan of Qin! I guess Ying Zheng wasn’t totally off when he asked Yan Dan if he and General Fan were communicating secretly.
Chu Liang Ren hears the news that Han Zhang Shi has been found dead, and realizes her plan has been ruined. She tries to figure out who is working against her, and her maid tells her that she found out that Madam Min frequently makes secret visits to Han Zhang Shi. Chu Liang Ren realizes that it was Madam Min and Han Zhang Shi working together all along, and goes to confront her. When Chu Liang Ren goes to see Madam Min, Madam Min pretends to be asleep and ignores her. Chu Liang Ren accuses Madam Min of being responsible for Han Fei and Han Zhang Shi’s deaths, but Madam Min mocks her that she wouldn’t dare reveal the truth to the King. After all, her initial target was Lord Chang Ping, a court official. That’s worse than killing an official visiting from another state. Chu Liang Ren goes to slap Madam Min, but Madam Min grabs her arm. She is not playing around. Li Er arrives and puts a stop to what is happening. She tells Chu Liang Ren to take care of her child and return home.
Li Er catches up to Chu Liang Ren outside, and Chu Liang Ren swears she really had nothing to do with Han Fei and Jing Liang Ren’s deaths. She had no reason to kill Han Fei. Li Er wonders then where the glass pearls in the prison came from, and Chu Liang Ren shares that after she entered the palace, she gave glass pearls as gifts to the Grand Dowager and Madam Min. Why isn’t Madam Min a suspect? In fact, Madam Min had great motive to eliminate Han Fei after he recommended that Qin attack Zhao. Good on these two finally talking so the truth can be revealed. Li Er advises Chu Liang Ren to stay away from Madam Min if she wants to avoid the same fate as Jing Liang Ren and Han Zhang Shi.
Ying Zheng and Li Er discuss what has been going on over a game of chess. Li Er tells Ying Zheng that she feels very sorry over Han Zhang Shi and her child’s deaths, and Ying Zheng says Han Zhang Shi will be given a funeral befitting a royal concubine. Li Er reveals that she’s also learned that Han Zhang Shi’s family all died recently. Ying Zheng asks Li Er if she thinks that Han Zhang Shi was involved in Han Fei’s death, but Li Er tells him that Han Zhang Shi was truly very regretful over Han Fei’s death.
Ying Zheng suspects that it was Chu Liang Ren behind Han Zhang Shi’s death. Li Er tells Ying Zheng that she doesn’t think so, because it would only make things worse for her. She tells Ying Zheng to not be too harsh on Chu Liang Ren, especially since she’s now with child. Ying Zheng doesn’t understand how Li Er can speak up for Chu Liang Ren after the bad things she’s done to her in the past. Li Er says that as a woman, she can understand Chu Liang Ren. Chu Liang Ren wants to be Queen, and if Li Er doesn’t take it, they won’t fight. Ying Zheng: “You just won’t let me name you as Queen. If you were running the inner palace, there wouldn’t be so much trouble.” Li Er says that if no one comes after her, she won’t go after anyone either. She’s content as long as she can raise Tian Ming until he’s grown. She doesn’t need anything else.
Ying Zheng pulls Li Er onto his lap and asks her, “Do you need me?” Li Er, “You ask when you already know the answer.” Aww. Li Er asks Ying Zheng not to get upset, before she asks him to go and visit the Queen Dowager. She tells him that the Queen Dowager is not doing well. Ying Zheng says he would be angry if it were anyone else asking him, but he agrees to visit the Queen Dowager with her.
Chu Liang Ren meets with her physician and threatens him into helping her solve this mess.
Thank you everyone for reading!