Li Mu and Hai Yin are the third of four side story one-shots written by Yasuhisa Hara before he began the official story for Kingdom. It was collected alongside "Meng Wu and Chu Zi" in the second volume of the Kingdom Omnibus books. It follows Ri Boku and Kaine's past. The story covers how the two meet in Gan Mon/Yan Men province of Zhao and how they deal with the Xiongnu tribes that regularly raid the area.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Gan Mon, (Chinese: Yan Men) province was Zhao's equivalent of a lawless area on its empty northern frontier, with the Xiongnu raids inflicting crippling damages upon Zhao's citizens. And generals sent by Kantan end up dying before the year ends due to the vast armies the Xiongnu can muster. They decided upon Ri Boku (Chinese: Li Mu) to go to the battered province. After arriving through the stronghold, he put his tactics on the motion. Knowing he can't take on the Xiongnu with the small garrison that's available, he focused on defensive tactics. Li Mu himself begins drilling the villagers to fall back into Gan Mon castle's walls whenever raiders appear rather than waste outnumbered soldiers' lives on futile stands against the invaders. These tactics made a hot-blooded Zhao youngster Kaine (Chinese: Hai Yin) furious. She confronted Ri Boku during one such raid, despite his orders that nobody must move out and threw her into jail after knocking her unconscious. Despite past orders to execute all who disobey, Ri Boku spares her as he knows she's merely seeking revenge for her parents who died at the Xiongnu's hands. The raid was a failure, and Xiongnu only burns the empty houses. Eventually, they stop raiding regularly. Sometime later, during a banquet celebrating Gan Mon's harvest with no loss to the Xiongnu, Kaine leaves while calling Ri Boku a coward. When Ri Boku confronts her and explains how he can only use defensive tactics due to lack of troops and commanders preventing him from permanently crippling the Xiongnu, Kaine asks if such tactics would disgrace Zhao and their people. The Zhao general then told her about someone who was like her, a hot-blooded man who wanted revenge on his parent's murderers in a war. With his battalion and himself drove berserk, they charged the enemy recklessly. Despite heavy wounds, he succeeded in killing the enemy commander but lost everyone in his battalion, including his remaining relatives and friends. With Kaine realizing this was Ri Boku's past, Ri Boku explains how other people's lives are extremely valuable and that she should learn to treasure them, unlike Ri Boku's past self. But Zhao, one of her friends who was distraught over her frustration, reported what the Great General does to Kantan, which led to Boku to be recalled and replaced by another impatient General.
The raid started by the General ends in disaster, which casualties were heavy, including Zhao, and with the Castle overrun. With the Gan Mon garrison reduced to a handful of survivors, Kaine despairs over how her actions caused all her comrades to die, including her companion, Zhao. While mourning her comrades at their gravesite, Ri Boku returned and promises a relieved Kaine that he won't leave again. The epilogue notes that he helped the province stand up again.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- This one-shot preceded Meng Wu and Chu Zi and Chapter 1 in terms of release. It came after two other oneshots that were collected in the first volume of the Kingdom Omnibus; one being a pilot oneshot on Shin, Ei Sei, and Ka Ryo Ten while the other being a oneshot on Qin King Boku Kou and the Horse & Liquer Force.
- The author said it was this oneshot's popularity that enabled him to serialize Kingdom as a manga series.
- The author mentioned that he might include this short story as a background story for Ri Boku and Kaine in his Kingdom manga, but has doubt as it may be awkward to include an already published manga story in another manga. This story, however, is indirectly mentioned by Yo Tan Wa in a conversation with Ei Sei, and therefore, can be canon in regards to the Kingdom manga.
- The oneshot and the comments on Ri Boku's campaign against the Xiongnu are indirectly mentioned by Yo Tan Wa in Chapter 155 in the manga.
- Link: http://mangafox.me/manga/li_mu/c000/