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’s and Jing Ke’s conversation continues in their secret meeting place. He tells her that he would have given up his master’s will if he had known Tianming was his son from the get go. But it is too late. GSL pleads with Jing Ke to abandon his plan as he will die if he continues. However, Jing Ke is not moved as there were already so many lives sacrificed.
He tells her that she is the only woman he will ever love in this lifetime. They hug each other again as GSL thinks to herself that she has to think of a way to save Jing Ke as she can’t bear to see him go towards his death.
In Qin, the Emperor is on his way to see GSL. Luckily, GSL arrives just in time from her outing. The Emperor gets suspicious and asks about her whereabouts but she says that she just went out for a walk. In response to that, he instructs Zhao Gao to escort her back to her residence and that she is not allowed to go out of the palace without his permission. He says that this is for her safety before he leaves.
The sun sets and Jing Ke is back in his residence. Ge Lan knocks on the door and comes in to see him. She tells him that she can’t seem to fall asleep as she knows that he is going to enter the palace tomorrow. She tries to be strong and tells him with a smile that she will support his decision, “Thank you”.
The next day, they set off to the palace. Ge Lan says her final farewell to the boys, “Take care”, as they see her off. Meanwhile, Han Shen and Tianming tries to escape the Qin soldiers.
Then, we see Ge Lan with her father, Ge Nie, who tells her that he has successfully avenged her mother’s death. Ge Lan reveals to her father about Tianming’s birth parents and says that she’s worried for him if he gets captured by the Qin soldiers. She plans to quickly find Tianming.
The next day, Han Shen is still running with Tianming who gives up. He begs his uncle to stop running and says that he trusts his Imperial Father will not kill him. However, as a skilled martial artist, Han Shen knows that there is someone nearby. He tells Tianming that they will play a game in order to save Tianming from the enemies.
Just as he had thought, the four Qin skilled martial arts masters arrive and face Han Shen. They fight to kill Han Shen in order to get Tianming and bring him back to Qin. Han Shen becomes injured but still has the will to fight and protect Tianming.
Unfortunately, the four beat him and slice off his achilles heel 😦
Lying on the ground, bloodied and defenceless, Han Shen reminisces his time with GSL and how he has always protected GSL. Suddenly Ge Nie arrives with his daughter to fend off the four Qin soldiers. Han Shen immediately tells Ge Lan where Tianming is and she immediately goes to find him.
The four soldiers threaten to kill Ge Nie but we can see that they are hesitating. But the fight begins anyways and Ge Nie’s experience is shown as he is able to kill them all quickly and swiftly. Ge Nie goes to see Han Shen to check on his pulse and realises that there’s not much to do for him.
Tianming arrives with Ge Lan who is shocked to see his uncle at a dire state. Han Shen tells Ge Lan to look after Tianming as he grows old. Even at his dying breath, he is still thinking about GSL.
Back to GSL, she has a DNM with Qing’er. GSL tells Qing’er that Jing Ke is her disciple brother and informs her that she wants Qing’er to help her stall Jing Ke. She instructs her to use this drug to make Jing Ke fall unconscious and give her scars to Jing Ke so that he will understand the situation.
Afterwards, we see Jing Ke sitting alone. Qing’er comes in as ordered by GSL who is here to bring him dishes. She pours wine for him and Jing Ke drinks it without hesitating.
Later, we see GSL staring at her grandfather’s dagger. Qing’er arrives to tell her that she completed her job. Qing’er tells GSL to rest as daybreak will soon come. She brings in tea for her to drink to warm up her body as the night is cold. Why do I feel like Qing’er is not the person we thought she was?
The D-Day has arrived and we see the Crown Prince of Yan offering his respects to General Fan and Tian Guang at their graves.
Meanwhile, Jing Ke is getting ready to meet with the Emperor but his head starts to hurt. But he remains strong and sets off to execute his plan.
At the same time, the Emperor is also getting ready to meet with Jing Ke as he polishes his sword. Li Zhong tells him that this is dangerous but the Emperor is confident to face the assassin. Zhao Gao comes in to inform the Emperor that the Yan envoy has arrived, “very good”.
The Yan envoy arrives in a grand procession while the Emperor awaits their arrival in his palace. As Jing Ke walks up the steps carrying General Fan’s head in the golden chest, he tells himself that he must succeed in this plot, “Qin Emperor, you must die!”.
Meanwhile, GSL wakes up from her slumber – seems like Qing’er drugged her. Her servant begs her to not leave the palace and even when she tries to leave her residence, the soldiers order that they can’t let her leave as per the Emperor’s orders. She attacks the soldiers who are obstructing her, fighting her way to the palace.
The Emperor’s eyes meet with Jing Ke’s who glares at him with hatred. Jing Ke bestows his gift to the Emperor and they check it to see if it was truly General Fan’s head.
When it was time to give the Emperor the map, Zhao Gao reaches for it but Jing Ke says that he must personally hand it to the Emperor himself. Boy, they know what you’re planning! It’s so obvious! Smirking, the Emperor says “Ok, come up”. Jing Ke makes his way up to the Emperor as the Emperor gets ready to face the man he has always hated.
They have this weird stare as Jing Ke opens the map in front of the Emperor. Is there a dagger hidden at the end of the scroll? Plus, I like how the Emperor is smirking as he knows what Jing Ke has planned.
But just before Jing Ke unravels the whole thing, the Emperor’s hand quickly stops him and bluntly tells him that he knows why he’s here. He gives him a chance to abandon his plan but Jing Ke would have none of that. Then, Jing Ke gives a painting GSL painted many years ago, “She has never been to the ocean, she painted this in hopes that one day she can go to the sea with him [Jing Ke]”. He reveals GSL’s dream of freedom that is not within the palace but out in the world.
Hearing this, the Emperor becomes mad with anger as his hand shakes, hearing how Jing Ke is talking about GSL. He kicks the table at Jing Ke which pushes him back and the dagger from the scroll comes out. (I knew it!) The Qin soldiers quickly pushes forward, surrounding Jing Ke, protecting the Emperor and they killed Qin Wuyang.
The Emperor surprises everyone, including Li Zhong, as he orders all his guards to leave him and Jing Ke to fight alone.
Meanwhile, GSL is still running and fighting off the guards who are trying to stop her.
Jing Ke rushes to attack the Emperor but before he could get close to him, he spits out blood. But he continues forward and engages the Emperor with the fight. The Emperor tells Jing Ke that he has been poisoned and today is the day he will kill him. He’s not playing fair!
Oh no! The poison is taking effect as Jing Ke is unable to defend himself against the Emperor’s attacks. Taking advantage of the situation, the Emperor steps on Jing Ke’s face and slowly pushes his sword into Jing Ke’s chest, giving him a slow and painful death.
But Jing Ke manages to stand up to give a final blow to the Emperor. But Li Zhong rushes to protect his Emperor and gets stabbed instead. In anger, the Emperor thrusts his sword through Li Zhong to stab Jing Ke. He stabs Jing Ke again who falls to his death.
Soon we see that GSL manages to fight off the soldiers to reach her destination. But she was too late. The Emperor’s faces her in anger as she was not supposed to be here. She looks at the scene in front of her and could not believe it. The soldiers carries him out and GSL stops them to talk to Jing Ke for the last time, “Sorry, I’m late”. They both reminisce their happy times together before Jing Ke takes his last breath. She closes his eyes and tells him, “You wait for me”. The Emperor then orders everyone to leave them alone, “You still came”. He tells her that Qing’er was his person and knows everything that has happened between GSL and Jing Ke. She feels betrayed that Qing’er was not loyal to her and asks her what she drugged Jing Ke with. Qing’er tells her that she gave him poison and the Emperor tells her that he did this to protect her as he does not want her to be hurt, “I do love you”. Qing’er then leaves as ordered as GSL tears up.
She then tells him that since he has completed what he had set to do, it is now her turn. The Emperor realises that she is going to kill him. She tells him that she is doing this for the world, “You think I would not know that you killed so many people?”
She tells him that she is resolute in wanting to kill him since she has to take up Jing Ke’s role. They run forward with their swords aimed at each other.
In the last second, GSL changes her sword direction – she does not want to kill him. But the Emperor was too late and his sword goes through GSL. He looks at her in shock and cries out, “Why? Why!”. She tells him that she thought that if he personally kills the person he loves the most, only then will he know how that person feels.
These two eps were heartbreaking. We had Han Shen’s death then Jing Ke’s, Li Zhong’s and our beautiful GSL!!!!! The Emperor killed off all of his loved ones and now he is all alone to rule his country. Was it worth it? Achieving his ideal world in expense of his loved ones. He is destined to be lonely and he realises it after killing GSL. He hates himself for killing her especially when she had no desire to kill him at the end. It is weird to not have a happy ending but it is realistic as his ambitions will always ruin the lives of his loved ones.
I enjoyed this drama and I can’t wait to see what other shows Zhang Bin Bin and Dilraba will be on next!