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Kingdom Episode 7 — The Fearsome People Of The Mountain
Published July 16, 2012
The episode starts with Ei Sei and the others climbing up a trail to get to the mountain king's keep. Ten is confused because he did not know the mountain people had a king like Qin did. Ei Sei explains that there are multiple tribes in the mountains that sometimes would unite for the benefit of all. While there is not actually a king that controls them, the one who speaks for all and advises the confederation is known as the mountain king. At the same time, it turns out that soldiers from Qin are still searching for the group, but, as they are traveling through the forest, they get attacked by a mysterious, unseen force. One soldier mentions Horse & Liquor Force before getting killed by what seems to be a mountain person! As Ei Sei's group continues up the incline, a soldier falls from fatigue and Shōbunkun tells them to go back to the resort if they are unable to keep up. Heki is worried about this order to the troops because, if all the men returned, there would be no one left to protect the king. Shin is confused by his concern because he thought that the mountain people were friendly. Heki then tells the story of the Horse & Liquor Force in order to clear things up. 400 years ago in the 13th year of Mu Gong's reign, he gave liquor to the mountain people who had killed one of his horses. This lead to them creating an alliance with each other, but at the same time there was a famine occurring in Jin, Qin's rival kingdom to the east. Being the kind person that he was, Mu sent aid and food to the enemy kingdom, but, when Qin faced the same predicament a year later, Jin refused the request for help and instead took the chance to attack Qin territory. Furious about the attacks, Mu rallied his troops to fight, but they were too weak from the famine and they ended up surrounded by Jin troops. As things were looking bad, the Horse & Liquor Force came forth looking to repay Mu's kindness. The mountain group's fighting was so savage, however, that even their Qin allies were frightened. Heki ends his story by explaining that, although the mountain people respected Mu and preserved the resort in his honor, they do not hold the same good will towards Qin itself. It does not help that Qin had cut off relations after Mu's death and now they were trespassing. As the group continues, it turns out that a group of mountain people are actually watching them from nearby. Upon reaching a forest, the group is suddenly confronted by a mountain man, and a large group of mountain people emerge from where they have been hiding to surround the group! Caught completely off guard, the soldiers surround Ei Sei to protect him, but the young king orders them to stand down. The mountain man comes forward and they are surprised to hear him speak their language! He tells Ei Sei that they will take him to see the mountain king instead of killing them for trespassing. As Shin tries to get by, the man throws him to the ground and states that Ei Sei alone will see the king. If the rest of the group does not leave, they will be killed. A large man carrying a rock mace as a weapon suddenly approaches and reaches for Ei Sei, but, to everyone's shock, Shin punches him with a monstrous strength that knocks the man unconscious and actually breaks a bit of his mask off! Just as a fight is about to break out, Ei Sei tells everyone to stop and that he will go alone as promised. When Shin asks if he is supposed to return as well, Ei Sei responds that a sword (meaning Shin) is not needed for a discussion. The episode turns back to the capital of Qin where General Ō Ki is carving a statue until he gets approached by a servant. Apparently Ketsu Shi wants him to guard the Hangu Pass in order to keep Ryo Fui from returning to Qin, but Ō Ki declines the order and calls it a boring task. He would much rather see how bloody things can get, especially when Shōbunkun had said in battle that Ei Sei was more formidable than his grandfather, King Zhao. Back with Ei Sei's group, Shin is shocked when Shōbunkun suddenly attacks him with a sword. After Shin kicks the minister in the leg where he knows the latter is injured, Heki runs over to see what is going on. Staying on the ground and bowing to Shin, Shōbunkun is devastated to admit that Shin is more useful than he currently is and he begs him to go to Ei Sei. Heki is shocked to see his commander bow to an unknown boy, but both men are surprised when Shin says that he had meant to eventually go anyway. Walking away with Ten running after him, Shin stops when Shōbunkun finally apologizes for Hyō's death and admits that it was not meant to be this way. Without saying anything, Shin and Ten continue on their journey to get to Ei Sei. Will Ei Sei be alright or will his sword, Shin, have to jump into battle again? What will the mountain king decide?