|Sei Kyou's Rebellion Arc|
|Starting Date||Jul 26, 2006|
|Ending Date||March 24, 2013|
|Number of Chapter||47|
Keiyou Campaign Arc →
Sei Kyou's Rebellion Arc is the 1st story arc of the Kingdom manga.
Summary[edit | edit source]
Great General under the Heavens[edit | edit source]
Shin and Hyou, two young boys enslaved from the toils of war, realize that the only way to escape their bitter fate is through steel, to rise up through the ranks of the military and grasp freedom and glory for themselves. To that ends, they spend their childhood honing their skills with a wooden blade, constantly sharpening each other's strengths through a total of 1,253 bouts, with the goal of becoming "Great Generals under the Heavens."
Yet despite this, their dream is simply no more than that, until a carriage carrying a powerful palace official crosses their path. Shou Bun Kun, minister of education, and chief retainer to the young King Ei Sei is astounded by (among the boys' skills with a blade) Hyou's close resemblance to Sei, thinking, this "could be just the meeting needed to drive out the dark clouds from our province."
Later that day, he is seen at the boys' home, conversing with their benefactor, and owner, the mayor. Shou Bun Kun then offers to buy Hyou's freedom and take him to the capital. Upon hearing that Shin will not be freed at well, Hyou is at first reluctant, requesting to be given some time to think about it. But after conversing with Shin that night, he reaffirms his will, stating, that he is 'going on ahead'.
Sei Kyou's Coup[edit | edit source]
Spurred by greed, and the absolute belief that royalty is born to lead the foolish peasantry, Ei Sei's half-brother, Sei Kyou, launched a coup under the claim that his 'pure blood' was more worthy of the throne. But while he managed to slaughter many of his brother's retainers, Ei Sei himself had escaped. Using the new body double, Hyou, and his personal troops as a decoy, Shou Bun Kun sneaked the young king out of the castle, intending to regroup at the king's hidden mountain resort. But the plan went horribly askew when Ou Ki arrived, his army routing Shou Bun Kun's escape.
Engaging Ouki on horseback, Shou Bun Kun has knocked off the cliff into a river below. With his troop's moral dashed, all hope seemed lost when Hyou leaped from the carriage, stealing an enemies horse and creating an opening through which Shou Bun Kun's men could escape.
For his efforts in assisting Sei Kyou's coup (despite having no affiliation with, or interest in, any of the political factions) Ouki requested only one reward; that the lands and properties of Shou Bun Kun be his, claiming to have slain the young king's adviser, and offering a disfigured head as proof.
Assassins[edit | edit source]
Escaping Ou Ki's grasp, Hyou was pursued and fatally wounded by an assassin named Jo Kan. On the edge of death, he made his way back to the mayor's house, where he passed a map and his dying words to Shin, asking that Shin go to the place marked on the map and accomplish their dream, stating that, "Our physical strength, and the strength of our heart, are the same. The two of us are one."
Enraged, Shin begins destroying the mayor's house, until the mayor's son hits him, reminding him of Hyou's last request and begging that his death not be in vain. Shin then takes Hyou's sword and runs to Kokuhi village with a vengeful passion, where he is spotted by Ka Ryo Ten, a young child from the mountain tribes, forced to survive in the village of thieves.
Having reported his location, one after another, he is attacked by the villagers of Kokuhi, and one after another, he knocks them down with his wooden sword. This display of unyielding strength leaves a strong impression on Ten, and Ten follows him to the marked location, where there resides a small wooden shack. Inside, he finds Sei.
Intending to take out his revenge on the young king, his hand stays when Jo Kan enters the fray. Drawing upon his fury, he instead uses Hyou's blade to cut down Jo, deciding to hold off his judgment on Sei until later. With the arrival of Sei Kyou's troops, Ten appears before them, showing them a path under the village and through the mountains to safety.
Before leaving the tunnel Sei request Shin's continued assistance, stating that if he wishes to achieve Hyou's dream the right choice was obvious, and to Ten's surprise, he accepts. From there they travel to the king's mountain retreat, where after dealing with a second assassin, Muta, they are finally reunited with Shou Bun Kun and his men.
The Mountain King[edit | edit source]
Introduced as Shou Bun Kun's lieutenant, Heki tells Shin of Hyou's bravery, stating that he looked just like a true general. Shin then asks Sei what he must do to catch up, stating that he lack's Hyou's intelligence. After hearing that he must first be a free man, he then demands that Sei make him one after he returns Sei to the throne, to which the young king readily agrees.
With Sei Kyou's army of 80,000 holding the capital city of Kanyou, and the young king's former adviser, Chancellor of the Right Ryo Fui, refusing to return until he is dead; Ei Sei is left with only one choice, to seek the aid of the brutal Mountain tribe.
Venturing into the mountains, it is not long before they make contact with members of that tribe, an elite group of warriors that quickly surround them. Their leader, Ba Jio, steps forward, demanding that Sei, and Sei alone, come with him to meet their king. Noting, that if they refuse, they will die. Before they have a chance to respond however, the mountain tribe's largest member, a man named Tajifu advances on Sei, just to be thrown back by Shin, his mask cracking on impact. Shin then demands that they all be taken to the mountain king, causing both sides to draw blades until they are ordered to stop by Sei, who agrees to accompany the mountain people alone.
Refusing to let Sei go alone, Shin, Ten and Heki set off to pursue him, but are noticed almost instantly by the mountain people, and captured after making camp for the night. Brought to the mountain capital, a city built into the cliffs, they are shocked to see how modern the buildings are, the entire city arranged as a formidable fortress.
Brought before the Mountain King, Yo Tan Wa, Sei is questioned, not as to why he is there (as Yo Tan Wa is already aware of his plight), but as to whether or not he is guilty of generations worth of hate crimes that his people have committed against the mountain tribe. Suggesting that he go through the same pain, Yo Tan Wa summons her captured retainers, intending to lop off their heads before him. But together Sei and Shin manage to convince her to join them and complete the dream of peace that their ancestors shared, but were unable to fulfill.
Retaking the Throne[edit | edit source]
Still unsatisfied after murdering all of Shou Bun Kun's supporters, Sei Kyou orders his wife and children to be brought before him, but is rejected by Ou Ki, who claims them to be slaves by right of land ownership; suggesting perhaps, that the reason he knowingly presented Sei Kyou a false head, was to protect his old friend's family.
Ordering his faction to dress as mountain people, Ei Sei and company join Yo Tan Wa's army of 3,000 and advance to the capital under the pretext of establishing an alliance with Sei Kyou. Planning to wage war with Chancellor Ryo's army of 200,000, Ketsu Shi is unable to refuse reinforcements from a tribe whose brutal war prowess had made them legends on the battlefield.
Yet even this was only enough to get them a foot in the door, as only 50 men were permitted to advance to the Crimson Turtle Gate, where they would then be required to disarm before entering the throne room. This was where the battle would begin.
Suddenly advancing, the enemy troops are caught off guard, and Ei Sei quickly draws first blood, cutting down the enemy commander before they even have a chance to react. From there it breaks out into a full-on melee. Shin leaps over the pikemen and ascends the walled courtyard to open the gate from the other side. Yo Tan Wa's troops quickly flood into the larger courtyard, forcing Ketsu Shin to withdraw in panic.
Stealing a horse, three of the mountain men chase after Ketsu's chariot until they are mowed down by Shi Shi's crossbow unit, who, having noticed the shine of armor under a few of their cloaks, had suspected a trap and prepared in advance. Including Shin, Heki, Ten, Ba Jio, and Tajifu, a small fraction of their troops split off to enter the throne room through a side corridor, intending to finish off Ketsu Shi and Sei Kyou while the main force holds off Shi Shi's men.
To Shou Bun Kun's surprise, Yo Tan Wa advances upon the crossbow unit, a feat that appears suicidal until the trio that was thought to be dead, suddenly stand up, cutting down the crossbow unit and allowing the mountain tribe to enter the fray without suffering too many casualties.
Shin's group's progress is suddenly halted, however, when they cross paths with the top assassin enlisted with Sei Kyou's faction, a swordsman named Sa Ji, who quickly cuts down their men to size. With the help of Heki, Shin defeats him and they advance into the throne room, where one last opponent stands between them and victory.
Bought off the black market as the last of a rare ape species, Rankai, is a towering beast trained to crush and rip apart Sei Kyou's enemies. In the battle that ensues, it is shown that he has high resilience to blades and strength that puts even Tajifu to shame, requiring the collective efforts of Tajifu, Shin, Ba Jio, and Shunmen to defeat him.
Having lost their last shield, Sei Kyou's retainers abandoned their leader, fleeing for their lives. Breaking through the palace door, however, they are quickly cut down by Ou Ki's right-hand man, Tou, forcing Ketsu Shi to make a run for the maze, where he is shot down by Ten, and then finished off by Ba Jio and Shunmen.
Escaping the throne room, Sei Kyou rebukes Shi Shi for failing to suppress his brother and the mountain queen, before drawing his sword to face Ei Sei himself. Bested in combat and strength of character, Sei Kyou is imprisoned for his crime and the rebellion draws to a close.
Notes[edit | edit source]
Characters Introduced[edit | edit source]
- Hyou †
- Ri Shin
- Shou Bun Kun
- Ka Ryo Ten
- Ei Sei
- Yo Tan Wa
- Ba Jio
- Sei Kyou
- Ran Kai
- Ou Ki
- Ketsu Shi †
- Shi Shi
- Jo Kan †
- Muta †
- Sa Ji †
- Gi Kou †
[edit | edit source]