Gongsun Li (GSL)/Li Ji – Main character who bore a son 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.
GSL expresses Lady Chu’s innocence in the rebellious plots but the Emperor tells GSL that this is for Qin and his reputation. Hearing this, we can see that GSL is a bit disappointed with the Emperor and his explanation as Lady Chu died because of this. We then see that she is remembering Lady Chu’s last words for her to not trust the Emperor; when the Emperor reaches for her, she immediately pulls back and leaves the room.
Zhao Gao is drunk in an empty restaurant. Han Shen surprisingly comes in which surprises Zhao Gao. He tells him that he is here for a favour. He tells Zhao Gao that he wants to enter the palace to see GSL.
Back to the Emperor, Li Zhong comes in to tell him that the Yan envoys are on the way. The Emperor then orders Li Zhong to spread the message to prepare for war to capture Yan.
Soon, we see GSL walking but is stopped by Zhao Gao. He tells her that he has a verbal message for her from Han Shen. Then, we see her in a dark and empty room to meet with Han Shen. They exchanged small talk and talk about Tianming who is now 9 years old! Han Shen asks GSL whether she knows the status about Yan. She says yes and express her confusion about Yan’s sudden surrender. Han Shen tells GSL that the Yan envoy is Jing Ke and explains that his primary purpose is to kill the Emperor.
He tells GSL to think carefully that if the Emperor dies, her and Tianming won’t live as they are only surviving because of the Emperor. And if the Emperor survives, he will go after Yan but questions Tianming’s safety as he is Jingke’s son. Han Shen also tells GSL that he told Jing Ke that Tianming is his biological child. He asks GSL to leave with him in order to protect herself and Tianming. He complains are the peace the Emperor is trying to achieve as there are so many dead bodies and chaos.
Then, we see GSL crying and thinking over everything, “What should I do?”
In court, the minister express his disagreement towards Tianming being titled as the Crown Prince not knowing that the Emperor knows that he was the mastermind behind the rebellious acts. Li Si calls him out for his traitorous acts while the minister pleads with the Emperor that he is innocent. The Emperor stops their argument and says that Tianming is now the Crown Prince.
GSL goes to see the Emperor but stops outside his door as she eavesdrop on his conversation with Li Zhong. Li Zhong express his confusion about the Emperor’s decision to make Tianming the Crown Prince. The Emperor explains that this is the only way to ensure that he won’t leave Qin and hence, GSL will stay by his side forever. YOU ASSHOLE! YOU SHOULD NOT USE HER SON LIKE THIS!
Hearing this, GSL becomes upset knowing that the Emperor does not trust her 100% and has to use her son to keep her in the palace, “I’m a fool”.
The Emperor even tells Li Zhong that by titling Tianming as the Crown Prince he is protecting GSL but also helping Fusu (his eldest son) to become more vigilant; too early to title Fusu as the Crown Prince but if Tianming becomes Crown Prince, this will cause a rift between them even if they have a good relationship. Basically he is using Tianming to groom Fusu into becoming a stronger king.
GSL: “Does this mean the love he showered Tianming was just for me to see?”
The Emperor (silently): “It will be great if only Tianming was my biological child”.
The Emperor reveals his inner thoughts to Li Zhong that even though he likes Tianming, he is the son of GSL and Jing Ke. You are breaking her heart!
Alone in her room, GSL cries thinking of all the things the Emperor had said. She then remembers Lady Chu’s words and is so conflicted. As she is in deep thought, she hadn’t realise that the Emperor has walked inside her room, “What are you thinking about?”.
The Emperor tells GSL that he told the ministers that he is going to title Tianming as the Crown Prince for both of their safety. She doesn’t go against it which pleases the Emperor who says that he has arranged everything. Hearing this she silently thinks to herself, “You are still deceiving me”.
Meanwhile, Ge Lan surprises Jing Ke, “I followed you guys”. Jing Ke tells her to go back but she says that she has decided to follow them.
Back in Qin, we see that the man who left with Jing Ke and his friend is meeting with the Emperor. He informs the Emperor about Jing Ke’s whereabouts. The Emperor is so informed about this and already knows about Jing Ke’s plan, “I will personally kill Jing Ke”.
Alone in her room, GSL thinks back to Han Shen’s words about taking her away. The Emperor arrives to find GSL sewing an outfit for Tianming. GSL suddenly asks the Emperor if he will allow Tianming and her to leave the palace to see Han Shen. However, the Emperor is suspicious at the timing as Jing Ke is soon to arrive. GSL hopes that the Emperor believes her as this is the only way she can bring Tianming out of the palace. Luckily, he agrees and tells her that he will organise a group of people to protect them.
Afterwards, we see GSL and Tianming smiling happily as they meet up with Han Shen. They have a small chat with Tianming saying that he forgot about his time with Han Shen as he was young back then. Han Shen glances at a direction and then a group of men arrive to fight the guards (looks like they’re hired by Han Shen to help GSL and her son escape from the soldiers).
They successfully escape and GSL tells Tianming that he will no longer go back to the Qin Palace but will stay with Han Shen. She tells him that this is for his own good and he will be safe with Han Shen. She also tells him that his real father is called Jing Ke and that she wants him to live happily.
Han Shen then arrive and tells them that it is safe for them to leave. GSL informs Han Shen that she will not be following them but he tells her that her life will be in danger if she goes back alone. She hugs Han Shen for the last time to thank him and hugs goodbye to her son.
Han Shen leaves with Tian Ming as GSL looks on in sadness, knowing that she won’t probably see her son ever again in this lifetime.
Back in the palace, the Emperor rushes into her room. He asks her for an explanation as to Tianming’s disappearance, “Why won’t you let me send guards to chase him?”. GSL tells the Emperor that it was her doing to let Han Shen take Tianming away. This angers the Emperor but GSL says that she’s doing this to protect Tianming.
The Emperor tells GSL that he knows about Jing Ke’s motive for coming to Qin and talks about how she’s been in the palace for 10 years now and still does not trust him to look after her and Tianming. GSL gets up from her seat calmly and tells him “Don’t deceive me”. She then gets on her knees and begs the Emperor to not kill her loved ones and go to war against Yan, “I will always be by your side and won’t leave…I beg you”. However, he hates the fact that she’s pleading him to not kill Jing Ke. He tells her that Tianming is his son and that he will find him before leaving the room in anger.
Soon we see the Emperor ordering his trusted men to capture Han Shen and to bring Tianming back to Qin.
We also see Jing Ke arriving in Qin and thinking back to the past when he came here before. He sees Li Si arriving to greet him who’s a Yan envoy. They exchange pleasantries and Li Si tells them about the Emperor’s arrangement for them. Jing Ke asks Li Si for when they can meet with the Emperor. Li Si does not answer this question but instead changes the subject. But Jing Ke says that he needs to show General Fan’s head to the Emperor as ordered by the Crown Prince of Yan. Li Si tells them that he will arrange for the meeting and will notify them.
Later, we see Qin Wuyang practising his sword skills and Ge Lan teases him as he is usually aloof. Then two ladies come to escort them around the town. Jing Ke refuses while Qin Wuyang accepts and leaves with the two ladies. Ge Lan and Jing Ke talk about Qin Wuyang. Then Ge Lan brings up GSL and whether he has any plans to see her, “Even if I want to see, how can I?”. But Ge Lan says that she can try since she knows the customs of Qin as she was from Qin but Jing Ke refuses.
In the palace, GSL walks with Qing’er and asks her for help. Qing’er does not hesitate to express her loyalty and agrees. GSL knows that Qing’er is very trustworthy and asks her to help send a letter to the Yan’s envoy.
Later, we see Ge Lan and Jing Ke walking along the streets of Xianyang. They skirt around his impending doom by talking about the town and the six states. Then, Ge Lan asks Jing Ke whether he still needs to go down this road and he tells her that he has to as he already promised. Plus, General Fan and Tian Guang already sacrificed their lives for this plan.
Meanwhile, Qing’er was walking until she passed by the Emperor and Zhao Gao. She tells them that GSL is not feeling well. The Emperor then tells them that he won’t visit her now to let her rest and will see her later. He instructs Qing’er to look after GSL.
At night, Jing Ke and Ge Lan arrive back to their residence. They find Qin Wuyang with the two ladies drunk. Jing Ke immediately asks the two ladies to leave and Ge Lan scolds Qin Wuyang for his behaviour, “You are about to meet the Emperor!”. Jing Ke warns him to not forget their primary purpose for coming here and Qin Wuyang says that drinking a glass or two will not hinder their goal.
Soon, we see Qing’er. She walks to Jing Ke and explains that she’s here on behalf of GSL. She personally hands him a letter which asks him to meet with GSL.
Ge Lan: “Jing Ke, you will soon meet GSL, what do you plan to say?”
Jing Ke: “To me, this is a hard question”
Ge Lan offers her advice but Jing Ke tells her that their relationship is different now. He is curious about his son Tianming but he was never a father to him.
Then Xia Houyang interrupts their conversation. They exchange nasty words before fighting each other. Just as Jing Ke was about to deliver the final blow, Ge Nie stops him. Ge Nie compliments Jing Ke’s sword skills and tells them to leave Xia Houyang with him, “I finally found you”. Ge Nie and Xia Houyang engage in a sword fight and both seem to be on par.
Later, we see GSL and Qing’er arriving at the meeting place. Qing’er tells GSL that they can’t stay here for too long or else they might be in danger.
Jing Ke and Ge Lan finally arrive to the meeting place. Jing Ke runs inside to meet with GSL and hugs her. He asks her when she started to deceive him and she explains it was when she was about to meet him.
There’s no more lovey-dovey scenes between GSL and the Emperor as their relationship is just beginning to sour. I’m so disappointed with the Emperor as he will go through unjust means just to keep GSL by his side. He’s so selfish. It’s hypocritical for him to ask her why she does not trust him when he, himself, does not trust her 100%.
And Jing Ke. Too bad the Emperor knows the the whole plan. I wonder if Jing Ke is successful since his sword skills are on a different level now. But I know GSL is going to persuade Jing Ke to not go through with the plan.