After Ying Zheng asks Madam Min whether withdrawing his troops from Zhao will make her happy, Madam Min responds that even though Zhao is her home state, she lives in Qin now and only looks out for Qin’s best interests. Ying Zheng believes her and tells her that is comforting to hear. Meanwhile I’m shaking my head because seriously, how could Ying Zheng be so dumb in who he believes and doesn’t believe?
Chu Liang Ren’s maid bursts into Chu Liang Ren’s residence telling her that she has good news to report. She tells Chu Liang Ren about Li Er helping Yan Dan escape Qin, and how the whole matter was exposed by Madam Min. Chu Liang Ren cannot believe Li Er’s daring. Chu Liang Ren learns that Li Er has been locked up in Yongxiang Prison after threatening and injuring Madam Min, and that the King has allowed Li Si to harshly interrogate and torture Li Er. Chu Liang Ren’s maid says that this is an opportunity to pay Li Er back and no one would notice if the number of Li Er’s injuries grew a bit. She says that Li Si likely wouldn’t mind too much if Chu Liang Ren paid Li Er a visit in prison. Ugh!
They head to the prison. Prison guards enter Li Er and Qing Er’s cell and tie them against the wall. Chu Liang Ren’s maid slaps Qing Er, and when Li Er tells her to stop, Chu Liang Ren slaps her. She orders for Li Er and Qing Er’s hair to be shaved off. Before anything can be done, Zhao Gao arrives and tells them they don’t have permission to do such things, suggesting they will get into trouble. Chu Liang Ren’s maid says that he isn’t in charge of the prison either, and Zhao Gao responds that he was sent by Madam Min. Since Chu Liang Ren was demoted, Madam Min is now higher in rank than her. At that, Chu Liang Ren decides to leave things be. However, before she leaves, she smugly tells Li Er that she will visit her again in the future.
Zhao Gao tells Li Er that it looks like the King has really given up on her, now that he lets anyone come in and mock her. Li Er tells him to go ahead and say what he has to say. She‘s not in the mood to mess around. Zhao Gao says Madam Min is willing to speak to the King on her behalf if Li Er agrees to work with them and help Zhao. Li Er rejects the offer, saying that she is not willing to do such things like causing a good person like Han Fei to die so wrongfully. Zhao Gao says that even if Li Er doesn’t die as a result of her crime, she would have to go live in exile and do hard labor. He urges her to give up. The guards release them, and Li Er hugs a crying Qing Er. Qing Er says she feels really sorry for Li Er, who blames herself for Qing Er’s suffering. Qing Er blames herself for not blocking Madam Min’s plan to harm Li Er.
In Zhao, General Fan decides that it’s Han Shen’s work that Yan Dan was abducted and Tian Guang was knocked unconscious, since he arrived just before everything happened. Jing Ke tells them that he suspects that the abductors were members of the Dan Ding sect because he recognized their fighting style. General Fan wants to go after Dan Ding sect and rescue Yan Dan, but Jing Ke says that they don’t know where Dan Ding is. He is determined to find out where Yan Dan is before Dan Ding can bring him back to Qin. Han Shen suggests that they go find someone named Qin Xiaodi, who is well connected and may know where Dan Ding is. They know that he’s a person who likes to gamble.
In the prison, Li Er asks a guard to give Li Zhong a message from her. The guard refuses, but Li Er convinces him by telling him that she’s not trying to help herself, she wants to help save the people of Yan Dan’s manor who are from Yan. Since the guard himself is from Wei state, not Qin, he agrees to help deliver a letter. Li Er rips off a piece of her clothing and bites her finger so she can use her blood (!) to write her letter. She says that even if the King hates her, she still has things that she must do. Li Er is so kind-hearted, it makes me so annoyed that Ying Zheng can’t see that and realize she wouldn’t do anything to hurt him.
Ying Zheng reads Li Er’s letter as he is out hunting. Li Er’s letter: “When Yan Dan was a hostage in Qin, he and the King were as close as brothers. The battle between the states is so harsh and it’s difficult to find a close friend. The King hates her and punishes her, but do not include the people from Yan. The people of Yan Dan’s manor are innocent and never got involved in the battle between the states.” Ying Zheng asks Li Zhong if he knows why he blames Li Er. He says that he isn’t upset that Li Er helped Yan Dan escape, but he’s upset that initially Li Er was not a scheming person, but she lied to him for the sake of her martial arts brother. He says that he can’t help but be mad, with one person being his brother, and the other being the woman he loves most. Li Zhong asks if Li Er’s martial arts brother is the one who she was with all the time before entering the palace. Ying Zheng: “Yes.”
Li Zhong tells Ying Zheng that Li Er grew up in a family of noble warriors and is a person who wants to help the world and its people. He says that her personality never changed even after entering the palace. If she was a person who didn’t care about others, she wouldn’t have involved herself in her martial arts brother’s matter before or in Yan Dan’s matter now. He says wasn’t it her personality of caring about others that attracted Ying Zheng to her and made him love her in the first place, because it made her different from the other consorts in the palace? He says that if Ying Zheng really does plan to go after Yan Dan, then Li Er committed a serious crime, but if Ying Zheng was relieved to hear that Yan Dan left Qin, then it’s clear what he really wants. He asks Ying Zheng if he really can’t forgive Li Er.
Ying Zheng says it’s not that he can’t forgive her, he doesn’t know if he can believe her. He says that Li Er kept the truth from him about being rescued by Jing Ke, since he believed all along that she was rescued by Han Shen. Li Zhong asks if Jing Ke is Tian Ming’s real father, and Ying Zheng confirms it. He says that he gave Li Er back her family sword, let Tian Ming return to the palace, and let Han Shen stay in the palace all to make her happy. He said that he’s done all he can, and Li Er still isn’t willing to trust him one bit. He says that even though Li Er is suffering, he is as well. Yeah, whatever. What a jerk. There isn’t anything that I like about Ying Zheng right now. Li Er was happy and doing just fine before she met Ying Zheng. Li Zhong notices a deer in the distance, and Ying Zheng raises his arrow to shoot it, but can’t bring himself to do it at the last moment. I guess this is is a metaphor for something. Maybe that he can’t bring himself to destroy Li Er. How is that Li Zhong can see what a kind and good person Li Er is and Ying Zheng can’t.
Jing Ke and Han Shen track down Qin Wuyang, who is currently engaged in a gambling match against Gao swordsman. Qin Wuyang can’t believe it when Gao swordsman beats him and complains that he never wins. Jing Ke and Han Shen tell Gao swordsman and Qin Wuyang that they need their help.
Back in the palace prison, Li Er is resting her head on the table in the cell when she and Qing Er hear someone coming. Qing Er worries people are coming to torture them again. However, it’s Li Zhong with the members of Yan Dan’s household from Yan. Li Zhong tells Li Er that they wanted to come and see her before they left, because Ying Zheng has decided to allow them to return home. Yan Dan’s tutor is among the group, and to express their thanks to Li Er for helping Yan Dan and them, everyone kneels and bows before her. Li Zhong can’t believe it. Li Er tells them to rise, that she is glad as long as they are able to return to Yan safely.
Ying Zheng takes out Li Er’s Gongsun family sword and contemplates the events of the past few days.
Jing Ke and Han Shen are gathered with Gao swordsman and Qin Wuyang, and they ask Qin Wuyang if he has any insight into where Dan Ding might be. It turns out that Han Shen and Li Er’s grandfather had saved Qin Wuyang some years ago. Qin Wuyang is not willing to give out information so freely, and Han Shen mentions that they are there to help Yan Dan. Qin Wuyang is from Yan so he would definitely reap the benefits in the future. General Fan is furious and gets into it with Qin Wuyang when he still won’t help them until Jing Ke steps in and stops them. Jing Ke asks Qin Wuyang to name his price. Qin Wuyang asks them to teach him a few moves so he can defeat Gao swordsman. Jing Ke demonstrates the Huluo sword technique for Qin Wuyang, and says he will teach him one of the moves. He also threatens Qin Wuyang a bit, which convinces him to tell them what he knows. It turns out that Dan Ding are traveling to Qin through Wei state. They don’t expect Jing Ke to be smart enough to figure out their plan. They mention that they have informed Li Si of what is going on and are awaiting a response.
Back in the palace, Li Si comes to see Ying Zheng and asks if he will be sending soldiers after Yan Dan. When Ying Zheng says he will let the matter go (it looks like Li Er was right, Ying Zheng really didn’t want Yan Dan to have to stay in Qin as a hostage), Li Si tells him that he sent mercenaries secretly after Yan Dan and they have already captured him. Ying Zheng is furious and says that he never gave orders to go after Yan Dan. He calls Li Si’s actions criminal. Li Si says that he only went after Yan Dan because he saw how angry Ying Zheng had become with Li Er. Ying Zheng says that Yan Dan came to Qin as a hostage for Qin and Yan to maintain a good relationship. It’s up to him if Yan Dan rebelled against Qin or not. As far as Li Er is concerned, that is a matter of the inner palace, and none of Li Si’s business. He tells Li Si that he better clean up his mess. If anything happens to Yan Dan, he will have Li Si answer for it. Li Si hurries out, and Ying Zheng tells Zhao Gao to investigate who Li Si’s mercenaries are. He orders Zhao Gao to keep an eye on Li Si for him.
Jing Ke, Han Shen, Gao swordsman, and Qin Wuyang catch up to and surround Dan Ding sect, who are transporting Yan Dan in a cage. Xia Houyang threatens to kill Yan Dan, but Jing Ke uses the Huluo sword technique to chase off Xia Houyang and they rescue Yan Dan. Dan Ding is not about to let them go, but then they receive a message from Li Si to let Yan Dan go and return to Qin and they head off. Yan Dan thanks them for coming to his rescue again.
Li Si tells Madam Min about what happened with Ying Zheng and wonders why he reacted that way. Madam Min tells Li Si that Ying Zheng hates it when people operate outside his control because he wants everyone to listen to him. Madam Min says that Li Er’s mistake was thinking that no one would discover that she helped Yan Dan to escape from Qin. She wants to help and protect too many people including her two martial arts brothers and Yan Dan, so she isn’t able to be ruthless. Madam Min tells Li Si that to win back Ying Zheng’s trust, to look at Lord Chang Ping as an example. Ying Zheng has an extremely suspicious nature, and is willing to keep Lord Chang Ping around because he sees how many people are angry with Lord Chang Ping. However, it’s impossible that Lord Chang Ping hasn’t made a few allies of his own.
Thank you everyone for reading!
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