Gongsun Li (GSL)/Li Ji – Main character who bore a son, Tianming, with Jing Ke but is now the Emperor’s concubine.
Emperor/Ying Zheng: Emperor of Qin Kingdom and loves Li Ji
Han Shen: Li Ji’s eldest disciple brother who also has feelings for Li Ji but recently left Qin after realising that GSL truly loves the Emperor.
Jing Ke: Li Ji’s second oldest disciple brother who has immense hatred against the Emperor. He is the father of Tianming.
Qing’er: GSL’s servant who is very loyal to her.
The Emperor takes comfort in the fact that GSL cares for him, “I should thank you…you have been by my side taking care of me…If not for you, I would have already died in Han Dan”.
Then we get a medium shot of Lady Chu just waking up from her nap, “I just dreamed of the Queen Dowager”. Looks like she’s still grieving as she retells her dream to her servant while tearing up. She then tells her servant how she’s getting tired of her life. But then a servant comes in to tell Lady Chu that the Emperor has pardoned her of her crimes and she is going to get back her previous position.
Later, we see Jing Ke sitting alone as Ge Lan stares at him. She approaches him silently and asks him “Jing Ke, must you go?”. She tries to dissuade him even after he asserts his position, “This is my master’s last will…I have to go”. But she becomes emotional as she says that he will be risking his life but Jing Ke argues that only he can do this.
Back to GSL and the Emperor, they talk about how they met for the first time with GSL risking her life to save the Emperor. The Emperor expresses his gratitude towards her, “You are my saviour”, and tells her how happy he was whenever he’s with her. They get rid of their misunderstandings as the Emperor explains everything that has happened from the past.
At court, the Emperor holds court with the ministers. The Emperor quickly get straight to business as he asks the ministers to give their report on their army status and on the other states. Li Si gives a detailed report and tells the Emperor that he has sent spies to neighbouring states for information. However, a minister raises concern that the Emperor still does not have a Queen and Crown Prince. The minister urges the Emperor to pick his first son as the Crown Prince and the Emperor says that he will consider this matter carefully.
That same minister reports to Lady Chu about the matter with the Crown Prince. He express his opinion that the Emperor is biased towards GSL. Listening to this, Lady Chu says that she learnt the hard way that becoming a Queen is not easy even with the backing of Queen Dowager and her mother state, Chu. She tells the minister that she is content if the harem is harmonious and peaceful. However the tutor urges Lady Chu to be a bit more ambitious.
Meanwhile, the Emperor is with GSL again. He tells her that he is thinking about appointing Tianming as the Crown Prince of Qin. This shocks GSL as she expected him to name Fusu, his eldest son, as the Crown Prince. The Emperor tells GSL that Fusu is too gentle and Tianming is more resolute which is a better trait for a future King. He also express concerns about Fusu being half Chu as this will change matters in court.
GSL tells the Emperor that she understands his reasoning but does not want her son involved in the politics and power struggle in the palace. However, the Emperor is confident in Tianming and says that this will be good for GSL as they both can protect her. However, GSL does not want it and says that he is not his biological son. But the Emperor tells her that even he was not his Imperial Father’s biological son and that no one will dare to say anything.
Back to Lady Chu, she is suspicious with the minister. He tells her that times have changed and that they should band together for the sake of Chu. Lady Chu tells him that if they work together the crime is punishable by death. However, the minister tries to persuade her further and is successful, “I will support you wholeheartedly”.
Afterwards, Jing Ke has a conversation with Tian Guang who tells him that he has a long road ahead of him. Qin Wuyang says that he will accompany Jing Ke to Qin which this decision is supported by Tian Guang. Jing Ke initially disagrees as he does not want an another person to die beside him but then later agrees when Qin Wuyang says that he will only be with him on the road. Tian Guang says his final farewell and thanks to Jing Ke before leaving, “Take care”.
His grave farewell raises suspicions and then we see him kneeling in front of the Crown Prince in his palace. Seems like he is going to sacrifice his life for their plan to be a success. However, the Crown Prince is not in favour of this plan as he does not want Tian Guang to die. But Tian Guang quickly stabs himself in order to get rid of suspicions on Yan, “I am dying with no regrets”.
In Qin, Li Si secretly meets with the Emperor. He tells the Emperor that he got something suspicious from Chu, “Someone from the palace secretly gave Chu our military strategy”. The Emperor’s lack of response worries Li Si as he is not ordering him to do anything further. The Emperor says with confidence that if the traitor is still in Qin, he will see if that traitor still has some use or not.
The minister meets up with Lady Chu again to inform her about his spy network with a Chu minister and tells her that they’ve been discovered, “A lot of the spies are arrested”. He begs her to save Chu (and his life) through his great speech. She says that she understands his intention to let her take the blame for this situation in front of the Emperor. Her servant tells her not to while the minister says that all of Chu will thank her. After taking some time to herself, she tells him that she agrees since this is for Chu, her beloved mother state.
Jing Ke leaves his residence to find Brother Gao outside. He tells Jing Ke that he is disappointed in his decision to assassinate the Emperor, “I told you to take care of yourself and not let anyone use you”. Jing Ke defends the Crown Prince but Brother Gao tells him that the Crown Prince is just using him for his own selfish reasons. Jing Ke acknowledges that he is being used but says that he is using the Crown Prince as well for this opportunity to kill the Emperor, “I am doing this for myself!”.
Then they both fight each other as Brother Gao wants to see his skills. We see that Jing Ke has the upper hand but Brother Gao is persistent in using his life to stop Jing Ke from sacrificing his life. Knowing that he can’t dissuade him further and realising that Jing Ke is doing this for the world, he wishes him the best.
Surprisingly, Lady Chu is with GSL. They have a light-hearted chat as Lady Chu talks about her mother state. She asks GSL for forgiveness for mistreating her so badly back then. GSL tells her that she understood why she did that which pleases Lady Chu. Lady Chu presents GSL gifts from Chu but GSL says that she does not take them as they’re her family heirlooms. Seeing Lady Chu like this worries GSL but Lady Chu does not reveal anything. Instead, she tells GSL that even though the Emperor loves her now, she must always have a back-up plan. This is foreshadowing something right? I don’t like it.
Then we see the Crown Prince of Yan drinking tea with Jing Ke and his friend. They ask about Tian Guang’s whereabouts on this occasion as it was surprising to not see him here. The Crown Prince’s expression becomes grave and says that Tian Guang went somewhere faraway. Jing Ke looks like he does not trust what the Crown Prince is saying as he looks at him with suspicion. The Crown Prince tells Jing Ke that Tian Guang said that he will wait for him there. Jing Ke finally understands what happened with Tian Guang and is saddened with the news.
Jing Ke tells the Crown Prince that he is not assassinating the Emperor for him but for the people in this world. He then points out the Crown Prince’s selfish desires and thanks him for creating this opportunity for him to kill the Emperor. Inwardly, the Crown Prince admits that Jing Ke was right and that he has always wanted the Emperor dead for taking him as hostage for so many years.
Lady Chu meets with the Emperor and tells him that she was the mastermind behind the rebellious acts against Qin. However, he knows that she is protecting someone and is not the real mastermind. He asks her to be honest with him and hugs her, “I have wronged you”. He tells her how he could not trust her ever since she came to Qin because she was from Chu and that she was the Queen Dowager’s backing. With an emotionless face, he tells her that he has no need for her anymore – basically saying that he will let her take the fall for this situation. He orders Zhao Gao to prepare to send Lady Chu on the road. Also, he tells her that he won’t let her suffer pain and that he will scatter her ashes in Chu after conquering that state.
The Crown Prince of Yan says his last farewell to Jing Ke. They then hear music and see Ge Lan with Brother Gao who are here to say farewell as well. Those two say goodbye with their smiles and music as they watch Jing Ke ride away.
Back to Lady Chu, she tells her servant how she feels peaceful even though she knows she is going to die. Her servant cries while Lady Chu remains composed. She tells her servant to go, “I am afraid you will be terrified when you see my face [later]”.
Alone, she walks slowly towards the white rope. What a strong and brave woman! Sacrificing her life for her mother state! She hangs herself but not before wishing that Chu will prosper soon.
Later, Qing’er rushes in and tells GSL that Lady Chu hung herself. This shocks GSL and Qing’er explains the Lady Chu told the Emperor that she was the mastermind. GSL realises that the reason Lady Chu asked to see her was to say goodbye. GSL rushes to see the Emperor for an explanation. He is surprised by her arrival but indirectly says that although Lady Chu was not behind the plot, she supported it.
Oh gosh. I am quite upset that Lady Chu hung herself. She has really matured in these past few eps. And I’m getting disappointed with the Emperor. I think GSL’s relationship with the Emperor will dwindle from here on.