Kingdom Episode 9 — On To Xianyang
Published July 30, 2012
As our heroes are riding back to camp where Shōbunkun is, Ten and Ei Sei are worried about the upcoming battle, but the serious mood is broken when Shin's horse gallops by with Heki chasing him. Everyone is amused to see that the boy does not know how to ride a horse and is constantly on the verge of being thrown off! After some lessons from Heki, Shin can ride his horse finally, and he is thrown into a memory where a younger version of Hyō and himself talk about riding horses into war. The episode turns back to Qin's capital, Xianyang, where Seikyō is watching his servant Rankai brutally murder their captives. As one man is picked up by the giant man, he cries out in fear and asks why the rebels are being so cruel. Seikyō responds that he is not a rebel—he is merely returning things to the way they were five years ago! Later in the episode, Seikyō has a memory of that time when he was still going to be king. Despite his horrible and cruel disposition, the servants catered to him due to his rank; however, everything changed when Ei Sei entered the palace! Seikyō is in shock because he had never heard of an elder brother before, but Ei Sei's mother was apparently of lower class who was suddenly becoming the king's consort. Along with this impromptu decision, her son was the new heir to the throne! It is at this moment that Seikyō develops an extreme hatred towards Ei Sei and vows to take back what is rightfully his. In the throne room, Seikyō tells Shi Shi that Rankai needs more toys and tells the man to give everyone from Shōbunkun's lands to him. Shi Shi informs him that they had tried to take people before but General Ō Ki had stopped them. Displeased with this piece of news, Seikyō decides that, once everything settles, the general will become one of Rankai's toys for his disrespect. He then demands to know where Ei Sei's head is and says that he has allowed the others to do whatever they saw fit to the kingdom so far only on the condition that his half brother was killed! At this point, Ketsu Shi makes his appearance and says that, since Ei Sei is powerless, the bigger concern right now is Ryo Fui. Back with our heroes, they finally arrive at the camp and it appears that more of Shōbunkun'S troops have made their way to the camp despite being injured. The soldiers all greet the king when he arrives, and many of them also seem to be changing their opinion of Shin since he was able to retrieve Ei Sei! Shin also learns from Ba Jio (who seems to be Tajifu's voice) that the horse he had been given was notorious for being too wild. It is therefore somewhat surprising that Shin was able to ride him, which sets the hot-tempered boy off again! In the meeting room within the resort, Ei Sei, Heki, Shōbunkun, and Yuang Duanhe are sitting at the table in silence, but, with Heki's furtive glances at the mountain king, it seems our lieutenant has a crush! Shin bursts into the room with Ten, Ba Jio, and Tajifu and notices Heki's red face immediately, but the lieutenant is further embarrassed when Tajifu apparently says that his face is not up to their king's tastes! Shin is cowed into silence, however, by Yuang Duanhe who tells the newcomers to be silent if they want to join the meeting. According to Shōbunkun's spies in the capital, Seikyō is gathering troops and has already amassed an army of 80,000 soldiers. Shin and Ten are shocked to hear that the mountain people only have 3,000, but Ei Sei says that the numbers are not that bad! Shōbunkun agrees with him and says that the numbers are perfect for the strategem they are planning... The next day, it appears that the plan involves masks that the soldiers are all carving. Shin's mask is very odd looking and makes everyone laugh when he puts it on. After hitting him in the chest, Ei Sei tells Shin that, aside from making masks, he should be preparing for battle, but the latter replies that he is always ready for battle. Appearing pleased with the response, Ei Sei finally says that it is time to ride out! In the next episode, will their plan of attack really work?