Li Er has pretty much settled into life in the Qin palace and her lovey dovey relationship with Ying Zheng, but dark times look like they‘re ahead. Especially given how many people in the palace are now circling like vultures to destroy her.
Chu Liang Ren’s royal physician pleads with her not to involve him in her latest scheme. It means execution if the King finds out. Chu Liang Ren says there‘s no way for him to back out now; after all, he was the physician who confirmed her pregnancy. If another physician examines her and discovers she was never pregnant, he would be implicated and executed regardless. The best way forward is for them to work together and never let anyone else know this secret. The physician still resists becoming involved, so Chu Liang Ren lies that she plans to go confess everything to the King. Right now.
Of course, she won’t leave out the physician’s part in her plan. Besides helping Chu Liang Ren fake her pregnancy, the physician had also given her the medicine that made Jing Liang Ren miscarry. Chu Liang Ren further twists the knife by saying that given the nature of the crime, all of the physician’s relatives will be executed too. Of course, Chu Liang Ren has no intention of confessing anything, but this scares the physician into agreeing to do whatever she says. Now smug that she’s won, Chu Liang Ren tells her maid to go inform the King that she is having a miscarriage.
I don’t understand why the physician was so resistant to this plan. Isn’t it much easier to pretend that Chu Liang Ren has a miscarriage than continuing to pretend she’s pregnant? A baby would eventually have to be produced from somewhere.
Ying Zheng and Li Er visit the Queen Dowager to see that she is not doing well. She’s practically stopped eating, and she goes back and forth between episodes of being clear headed and being insane. She’s even started to carry around her pillow like it’s her two deceased children. Oh, no. Li Er takes a seat next to the Queen Dowager, which causes her to panic. Li Er is very kind and patient with the Queen Dowager, and tells her that she and ‘Zheng Er’ (his mother’s nickname for Ying Zheng) have come to visit her. Li Er reminds her that she is Li Er, Zheng Er’s wife. The Queen Dowager recognizes her and remembers that Li Er would occasionally bring her dates.
She asks if she and Zheng Er have any children, and Ying Zheng tells her that they have a son, Tian Ming. The Queen Dowager says that Tian Ming must be cute, and they should make sure to have a lot of children. She says that she will love them a lot, and then she won’t be lonely anymore. Aw, this is sad. It is nice to see how close Li Er and the Queen Dowager have become.
Ying Zheng sadly asks Li Er if his mother is always like this, and Li Er says that sometimes she is clear headed and they are able to talk with each other. Just then, Chu Liang Ren’s maid comes in and tells Ying Zheng that Chu Liang Ren accidentally fell.
Ying Zheng goes to visit Chu Liang Ren, and the physician informs him that although Chu Liang Ren had a miscarriage, she is still in good health. Chu Liang Ren pretends to heartbroken and blames herself for losing their baby. Ying Zheng tells her not to blame herself and to rest well before he leaves.
After he leaves, Chu Liang Ren and her maid talk about Li Er. They think that her behavior is very suspicious. She and Madam Min have been close as sisters, and yet, she recently told them to be careful of Madam Min. Furthermore, she‘s grown very close to the Queen Dowager. They suspect whose side Li Er is really on, and they think that she must be scheming something. Li Er must be making allies to go against Chu Liang Ren. Chu Liang Ren says that Li Er must’ve directed Madam Min regarding Han Fei and Han Zhang Shi. Chu Liang Ren blames Li Er for everything she is going through, and swears to pay her back. Oh my god…
Ying Zheng and Li Er are relaxing on the steps in her residence. Can I just say, Li Er looks absolutely gorgeous. I love that red outfit. Ying Zheng shares with Li Er that he feels very uneasy because everyone he is close with seems to be leaving him. His mother is lost in her own world, and he also just lost his child. Yan Dan and Chengjiao have also left him. Li Er is now the only one that he has. Ying Zheng thinks that Yan Dan was right when he told him that he is suspicious of everyone. He seems genuinely sad.
Li Er tells Ying Zheng that she remembers him and Chengjiao being very close from Luoyang, but after she entered the palace she heard that Chengjiao was exiled as a result of betraying Qin. Ying Zheng is very upset and says no, he was the one who had betrayed Chengjiao. He says that Chengjiao always respected him and treasured him as a brother. However, Ying Zheng believed the lies of those around him that Chengjiao was rebelling and turned his back on him when he was having a difficult time. He realizes now that his brother never wanted his throne, but he was too kind and young to know what to do. He says that Chengjiao always treated him well, and Ying Zheng repaid him by exiling him. He feels very sorry towards Chengjiao for betraying him. To comfort him, Li Er wraps her arms around him.
Ying Zheng and Han Shen play chess, and Ying Zheng notices that Han Shen is very distracted. Han Shen tells Ying Zheng that he has a favor to ask. Ying Zheng: “Very well. If you telling me what is distracting you will let you focus on this chess game, then I am willing to listen.” Han Shen tells Ying Zheng that he would like to leave the palace for a month to take care of an assignment for Li Er. It would look inappropriate if Li Er personally discussed it with Ying Zheng because she is a palace consort. Ying Zheng questions Han Shen as to what this assignment is, and Han Shen tells him not to worry, it is not anything which will harm him or Qin. Li Er doesn’t want him to reveal what it is, because it will end up hurting Ying Zheng if he’s not successful. Ying Zheng mentions how much he always protects his martial arts sister, and if he can really never marry to stay at Li Er’s side. Han Shen says yes, he’s satisfied to see Li Er safe and happy. Oh, I like him so much. Ying Zheng agrees to his request.
Chancellor Lu and Zhao Jia discuss how to protect Zhao from Qin. Chancellor Lu says that Ying Zheng will not let this matter go – the more he loses, the more he wants to win. With Madam Min and Chancellor Lu working with Zhao Jia, if they can hold off Qin, it won’t be long before Zhao Qian is toppled from the throne.
General Meng Wu has come across a book of military strategy that he thinks was very well written, and he wants to share it with Ying Zheng. Meng Wu is willing to take the punishment if Ying Zheng reads the book and doesn’t favor it.
After reading the book, he calls the author to come see him at court. The author of the book is named Wei Liao. Ying Zheng asks him why he didn’t give the book to the King of Wei, and if he came to Qin to seek fame and position. Wei Liao laughs and gets a dig in by saying that in the past, officials must have come to Qin to offer Ying Zheng their counsel for those two things – fame and position.
Wei Liao tells Ying Zheng that what he wants is to have world peace and not see any more wars. He lost all of his family members, including his sons and brothers, to war. Uniting the world is the only method to stop these wars from happening. He chose to come to Qin because only Qin has the ability to conquer and unite all the states. He decided to offer his book of military strategy to Ying Zheng because he observed the state and was impressed by how it is run and by its people. Wei Liao says that he believes the best strategy to destroy and conquer the other states is not through military means, but to use the state’s funds to bribe the ministers of the other states to make trouble at home. That will divide the states and make conquering them easier. Ying Zheng is very satisfied with Wei Liao’s strategy and gives him the title of Guowei.
Li Er tells Madam Min that it looks like Ying Zheng will be using Wei Liao’s military strategy against her home state Zhao. Li Er suggests that Madam Min discuss the matter with Ying Zheng, and Madam Min says that Ying Zheng will never change his mind. Li Er says there might be room to change course, but Madam Min says she’s always told her that she’s not interested in court affairs and politics. Trying to help, Li Er says that they have been as close as sisters, and Madam Min can tell her anything. Madam Min becomes defensive and says that she doesn’t have any problems to share with Li Er. Madam Min asks Li Er if she’s found out anything regarding Han Zhang Shi’s death. Li Er: “Yes. I know who killed Han Zhang Shi.” Madam Min: “Who is it?” I think this conversation only served to make Madam Min think of Li Er as a huge threat.
At that moment, Ying Zheng arrives and pulls Li Er aside. He asks her what she’s asked Han Shen to do, and Li Er (just like Han Shen did) tells him not to worry because it is not anything that will harm Qin. Li Er tells Ying Zheng that she wants him to be at ease and wouldn’t do anything to hurt him. She asks Ying Zheng to trust her this one time. Ying Zheng: “Okay, I’ll believe you then. If I take a loss from this, I’ll get it back from you in other ways.” Madam Min looks on, and it looks like her gears are turning furiously.
Han Shen goes to Zhao and visits Yan Dan, Jing Ke, Tian Guang, and General Fan. General Fan is deeply suspicious of Han Shen because he is a guard in Qin palace, and demands to know if he was sent by Ying Zheng. Han Shen says that Ying Zheng knows he’s left the palace but he doesn’t know the reason. Tian Guang defends Han Shen by telling General Fan that even though he is a palace guard, he played a big part in helping Yan Dan. He’s a great person, and he wouldn’t betray them. Yan Dan says that he also believes Han Shen is not there to harm them. Han Shen asks to speak with Tian Guang privately.
Madam Min with Zhao Gao next to her, holds a meeting with Li Si. Madam Min and Zhao Gao have been working together for a long time to protect their home state, Zhao. Madam Min tells Li Si that even though she and Zhao Gao were responsible for poisoning Han Fei, they’re not the ones he should be most angry with. The one he should hate most is Li Er, because it was her fault that Li Si was punished and lost his standing at court with Ying Zheng. If only Li Er hadn’t persisted in investigating the matter, he and Chu Liang Ren could have gotten away with everything. In fact, Li Er has gotten in the way of too many people. Madam Min says that given their common interest, she wants to join forces with Li Si to take Li Er down. Uh oh.
Thank you everyone for reading!