Season 4 episode 23 of Kingdom saw the triumph of Qin over the Ai rebellion with the help of Shou Hei Kun and the Hi Shin Unit.
Rou Ai, the leader of the rebel army, is brought to his knees; meanwhile in the city of You, the Coming of Age ceremony has taken place and Ei Sei is officially crowned the 31st king of the State of Qin.
The Battle of Kanyou is won. Sei is king. But what of Shin?
According to the promise Sei made Shin in chapter 179, if Shin could become a general by the time of Sei’s Coming of Age ceremony, Sei would choose Shin to be the first one sent on conquest, taking Shin one step closer to his dream of being the greatest general in Qin.
Did Shin fail to keep his promise? Is Shin falling behind?
Shin failed to keep his promise while Sei was able to meet the deadline and be crowned the king during his 8th year of reign. So, while Sei met the 5-year target, Shin did not. Shin is still a 5000-man commander after the Chiyoyou campaign.
A 5000-man commander is just one rank below that of a general. But still, Shin wasn’t able to keep his side of the bargain. Not just that, but he is far behind in terms of the mental and physical qualities it takes to be a general.
Shin still relies on others to achieve results. His instinctual-type of leadership is only just budding, while almost all of his strategizing is left to Ka Ryo Ten.
Even in the recent Battle of Kanyou, it is only because of Ka Ryo Ten and the efforts of the Subjugation Army that the Hi Shin Unit is able to gain a foothold and cause Wa Tegi, the Duke of Juuteki, to retreat.
Later, when Shou Hei Kun arrives and performs his tactical maneuver, Hourai, it is Ka Ryo Ten who quickly understands what is happening and helps create walls of soldiers to help him take Wa Tegi down.
Granted, Shin has shown commendable physical might, but when it comes to commanding his soldiers, he just isn’t there yet.
Compared to him, Mou Ten and Ou Hon have a better chance at becoming a general.
Shin is also emotional, impulsive, and easily triggered. The final moments of the recent episode also hint that Shin’s resolve is not as strong as Sei’s just yet.
Sei tells Shin that Shou Hei Kun has already outlined a plan for the unification of all of China, not just Qin. He says that the whole nation must possess the same single-minded purpose and high morale shown at Sai.
During the Battle of Sai, Sei had entered the battlefield and acted as a military commander, convincing mere citizens to fight as soldiers against Ri Boku. His effect on them was so strong that he was even able to use them as a secret army against the rebel army of Ai.
Sei’s command on people, military or citizen, is much superior than Shin’s. He not only has the foresight and mettle to make plans and set goals, but the ability to see them through.
In episode 25, Sei sets another deadline, just like he did 5 years ago. He says in 15 years, China must be unified under his leadership since this is the maximum amount of time that Qin can maintain its full focus for the unification campaign.
Like earlier, Shin is in awe, disbelief, and panic, unable to fathom how such a deadline is possible to meet.
Shin failed his first promise to become general but Sei kept his word and was crowned king of Qin. This time, Sei promises that he will take down all the warring states in 15 years.
Both Shou Hei Kun and I am fully intent on seeing this through.
I don’t doubt him.
Sei seems to be evolving at a much faster rate than Shin, which makes me think that Shin truly is falling behind.
Not just has Shin failed to become general while Sei is already king, but Sei has already developed lofty objectives for Qin’s future, and is set to put his plans into actions.
He realizes his ambitions are difficult and is determined to take the necessary steps to make his dream a reality.
Sei says that he will strengthen the Qin army, change the government, review the methods of assessment, and bring on undiscovered talent regardless of their background. He is even willing to invest resources and money from the treasury into doubling the strength and size of the military.
The thing that totally sweeps Shin off his feet is when Sei declares that he wants to revive the 6 Great Generals of Qin.
Again, Sei tells Shin what he said 5 years ago, that he must do his best to join them.
So, now, Shin must become not just a General, but a Great General.
Despite Shin’s determined cry at the end of the episode, there is still a lot he must do and achieve to get a promotion.
Even after he becomes a general, being chosen as a Great General seems near impossible right now, given that according to Ren Pa, a Great General is a warrior with the will, knowledge, strength, and luck of 100 men.
Shin is nowhere close, but going by his slow and steady progress, I am sure he will one day achieve his dream.
Kingdom is a Japanese seinen manga series written and illustrated by Yasuhisa Hara.
The manga provides a fictionalised account of the Warring States period primarily through the experiences of the war orphan Xin and his comrades.
In the story, Xin fights to become the most significant general under the heavens, and in doing so, unifying China for the first time in history.
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