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Kingdom Episode 3 — Oh My Friend
Published June 20, 2012
After Ten tells Shin and Ei Sei he knows about a secret tunnel they can use, Shin demands to know why he wants to help them. Ten responds that he overheard Ei Sei was the king and he expects a lot of money in return for his aid. Ei Sei agrees to the exchange and they run off after narrowly avoiding Qin's army. While the trio is moving through the secret tunnel, the army is completely destroying Kokuhi village and killing everyone in their path. The massacre is so great that blood is slowly slipping through cracks in the ground and into the tunnel that the three boys are in. When the group stops due to bickering between Ten and Shin, the latter suddenly remembers that he has a score to settle with Ei Sei and he begins to attack him. Ten tries to stop the fight but is thrown back by a very emotional Shin. Ei Sei finally has enough of the abuse and pins Shin against the ceiling before explaining why he could not do anything to save Hyou. Ei Sei's grandfather had died on the third day of being king and his father had died 3 years after taking the throne. Ei Sei was thus only a child when he took the throne, but he was only a figurehead for the officials in the palace fighting for power. Ryo Fui, who was the right wing minister and Ei Sei's supporter, gained the most power, but the second most powerful was Ketsu Shi, the left wing official. When Ryo Fui left for Wei kingdom on an expedition, Seikyou and Ketsu Shi took the chance to start a large revolt. Seeing that the king was in danger, Shoubunkun created a plan for his escape, which included the outlaw village. The village was only to be part of a series of rendezvous points, but, after Shōbunkun saw Hyō, the plan was changed so that Kokuhi was the hiding spot. Seeing that Shin is getting angry again at the mention of Hyou, Ei Sei bluntly tells him that Hyou knew what he was getting into when he agreed to help. In a memory Ei Sei has, Hyou agreed to be his double in order to reach his dream of being remembered in history as a great general. Ei Sei then gives Shin two choices: return home and be a slave again or help a king with no power and accomplish his dreams. Back at the palace, Ketsu Shi is infuriated that Ei Sei had escaped and demands that Shōbunkun be dealt with for causing the mistake. At this point, a large man known as General Ou Ki enters the room and tells Ketsu Shi to not worry because he has personally dealt with the matter. Ou Ki apparently decided to ally with Ketsu Shi in return for the land that Shōbunkun had possessed. Upon exiting the tunnel, Ten is horrified to learn that Ei Sei has no money to give him because he left it all in the shack at the village. Shin decides to go with Ei Sei to complete the dream that he and Hyō had, and Ten also decides to tag along only because he wants to get the money he deserves! While the trio begins their journey, the Qin army has called on a new assassin to help them find the king. The strange man called Muta is sniffing around the area and immediately picks up the scent of the three boys. The episode then ends with him holding his axe with a threatening and bloodthirsty look on his face as he promises to find Ei Sei, Shin, and Ten.