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Kingdom Episode 4 — The King And The Sword

Published June 27, 2012
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Ei Sei, Shin, and Ten are running to get to the meeting point Shōbunkun set up but Shin seems to be very tired because he is the only one sweating. While leaping from rock to rock, Ten suddenly slips and rolls down a hill, and it is at this point that Ei Sei decides they can take a break. Ten finally notices in the daylight that Shin is still covered in bruises from his fights with the outlaws, Jo Kan, and Ei Sei. While trying to bandage Shin up, the latter collapses from exhaustion but Ei Sei decides to carry him and the group continues running. At this point, the scene turns to Muta who is hot on their trail. With his amazing sense of scent, he seems to be on the right path after he sees Shin's blood on the ground. While tracking the trio down, he is also leaving markers on the trail for the army to follow behind him. When Shin wakes up, he finds out that Ei Sei had carried his body quite a distance. He offers to do the same for the king after seeing him stumble, but gets embarrassed when the latter refuses, saying that it is not manly at all to be carried. This causes Ten to start laughing, which Shin does not like at all. After running for three days, they still have not reached the rendezvous point. Ten and Shin are suddenly nervous when they remember that Ei Sei has never even been out of the palace until now, and they are worried that he is leading them around in circles. As Shin reaches for Ei Sei to get his attention, the young king sees a stone marker and suddenly stops, which causes Ten and Shin to collide since they were not prepared. The group enters the mountain through a narrow path and finally end up at a pond with a beautiful building surrounded by mountain walls. The building was an old summer resort built four centuries ago by the king's request. As they go into the resort, they see that it is quite clean and has been stocked with an abundance of supplies. Ten is very excited to see the food and eager to prove Shin wrong about his cooking skills. After cooking a huge feast, Ten and Ei Sei are disgusted to see Shin eating like a pig, but Ten takes the opportunity to ask Ei Se to tell them more about the building. Apparently the king who had the resort built was a man rarely seen but very respected. One day, his war horse was killed by the mountain people and eaten. Instead of seeking retribution, the king gave the tribe some wine to go with the horse meat! King Mu Gong loved people whether they were from Qin or from another land (as stories go, he even respected a slave from another country). He eventually formed an alliance with the leader of the mountain tribe and the palace in the mountains was built for meetings between the tribe and the king. This alliance opened up roads even further west from Qin, but after the king's death, Qin cut off the alliance and the palace was forgotten. The resort remained clean, however, due to the respect and love the mountain tribe had for King Mu Gong and what he did for them. Shin and Ten are awed by this piece of history, and Shin wonders if they will be able to meet any mountain people for Ten's sake. The next day, Ten is picking oranges outside the resort, but he is thinking about the story Ei Sei told and what Shin said. He is sad because he doesn't think he could even be considered a mountain person anymore after growing up in the plains and living there for so long. He briefly entertains the thought of living with Shin and Ei Sei but quickly tries to shake the thought out of his head. At this point, Muta makes his appearance! He has finally caught up with the trio and is ready to kill them all. As he prepares a poison dart for the unsuspecting Ten, he is surprised from behind when Shin throws his sword scabbard at him. The two are prepared to fight, but Shin does not think that Muta will be hard to defeat because he looks so weak and does not have a visible weapon. However, tables are turned when Muta suddenly glows with a mysterious power and Shin is paralyzed! What is next for our heroes?