Kingdom Episode 8 — Each One's Dream
Published July 23, 2012
The episode begins with Shin, Ten, and Heki climbing a mountain when a boulder comes falling down the mountainside narrowly missing them. Turning to see if the others are all right, Shin teases Heki about falling behind when he sees how far back the latter is. Offended, Heki tells the boy to not belittle the army and takes his armor off in order to move faster. Ten wonders what the mountain keep will be like and is answered by Heki. The lieutenant says that, based on the mountain people’s dress and habits, it does not seem that their standard of living will be very high. In fact, their keep will most likely be on the level of a country village rather than a country’s capital like Qin’s. Based on these assumptions, Heki believes that getting in and rescuing Ei Sei will not be a problem for them. Upon reaching the end of their climb, each of their face’s are replaced by a look of shock and dropped jaws. The mountain people’s keep is the exact opposite of what they had imagined. There are many buildings built into the mountain, and they look relatively elaborate and well made! As the three are admiring the structures in shock, some mountain people ambush them from behind. Placed into some kind of jail cell carved into the mountains, the three are unable to escape. Shin tries to bite through the bars while Ten attempts to squeeze through, but both are unable to make any progress. At this point, the giant mountain man that Shin had knocked unconscious in the last episode appears in front of them. He does not say anything, but he goes as far as protecting them when other mountain people arrive trying to injure them. Confused as to why they are being helped, Shin is surprised when the mountain troop leader from Episode Seven makes an appearance. The mountain people who tried hurting them were people whose family had been killed by the people in the plains (Qin). Apparently the large man holding a stone mace is named Tajifu and he saved them out of respect for Shin who was able to break the horns on his mask. The troop leader, Ba Jio then tells them that it is hopeless because the mountain king will make his judgment and kill them all, even Ei Sei. In Ei Sei’s case, he has finally reached the king’s palace. Walking into a large throne room, he sees a richly dressed figure lounging on a throne with wolves at its feet. This is the famed mountain king, Yuang Duanhe! Speaking with a mask and a distorted voice, the king tells Ei Sei that he needs to be punished. The alliance made between Mu Gong and the mountain tribes were supposed to be beneficial, but it only ended with tragedy. The mountain people were viciously attacked while in the plains, and, when they tried returning to their homes, Qin soldiers continued to attack them out of spite. Ei Sei apologizes but responds that what happened in the past was not enough reason to take his head, and such a punishment would also not solve such a deep rooted problem. He goes on to say that there are other things that take priority, but the king dismisses the comment by saying that Ei Sei does not understand people’s suffering. Suddenly, a cart carrying Shin, Ten, and Heki enter the room! As Ten’s head is about to be cut off, Ei Sei stops the execution by revealing his true plan to the room. Instead of just taking the throne from his brother Seikyō, the young king plans on eliminating the borders in the Middle Kingdom completely. Everyone in the room is in disbelief but Yuang Duanhe tells him that not everyone will like that idea. Ei Sei responds that he needs to gain power to make everyone accept the idea. In order to stop another 500 years of suffering from happening, he will undo the events of the last 500 years and create a united kingdom. His words cause Yuang Duanhe to reminisce about when he was a child. The scene turns to a younger mountain king and two elders standing on the mountain. He tells them that he wants to either conquer Qin or make peace with them. While the mountain defenses have grown stronger, they have also become more constraining. For the mountain king, conquering or making peace is a chance to broaden his world. At this point, the two elders from his memory enter the room demanding that the king pass judgment on the flatlanders. After not getting a response, they decide to make the decision for him and order one of the men to attack. Shin, however, has slipped out from his constraints during this conversation and knocks the man back before he can cut Ten’s head off. Flying back, the mountain man falls on top of the elder that gave the order and is unconscious. A mob of mountain men then enters the room, and the group is very quickly surrounded. Shin bluntly tells the mountain king that Ei Sei is in trouble and needs help, and he goes on to say that hooking Ei Sei with an obligation now would mean a large payback in the future. The elder on the ground is angry at the request and yells out that they need to be killed to avenge the betrayal in the past. Furious at the words, Shin yells at them to stop talking about grievances and says, “If you really care about the dead, then turn what they dreamed of into something real!” Everyone in the room is shocked, but they are shocked even more when the king asks Ei Sei if he will mind the sea of blood that is likely to come if the mountain people get involved. After the young king replies that he would not mind, the king moves off the throne and takes the mask off. To the group’s surprise, the king is actually a woman! She announces that the mountain tribes will ally with Ei Sei, and she orders her troops to gather. The target is Qin’s capital, Xianyang! What will happen now that Ei Sei has the mountain people’s alliance? Will our heroes be able to take back the throne?