Please do not repost, reuse, or re-translate this translation without the translators permission.

 

Warning: This translation is based on the script published in the Le Cinq, which may have differences from actual live performances.

 

Warning 2: This is a very rough draft. ;)

 

Principal Cast:

Xing Yǔ (Kou U) Chu warrior hoping to become the Son of Heaven: Matobu Sei

Y Měi Rn (Gu Bijin) The Beauty Y, Xing Yǔs dearest love: Sakurano Ayane

Li Bāng (Ryu Ho) Chu warrior hoping to become the Son of Heaven: Sou Kazuho

 

Wng Ao (Ou Ou) Bar proprietress and spy: Rika Masumi

Fn Zēng (Han Zou) Military advisor to Xing Yǔ: Natsumi You

Hui Wng (Kai Ou) King of Chu, nominal ruler of Xing Yǔ and Li Bāng: Mayuzuki Kou

Sng Y (Sou Gi) Chu general: Yuuma Rin

Hn Xn (Kan Shin) Xing Yǔs retainer: Aine Harei

Zhāng Ling (Cho Ryo) Military advisor to Li Bāng: Misuzu Aki

Hng Ln (Kou Rin) Sng Ys page boy: Sakura Ichika

Wi B (Ei Fu) Kuaiji retainer, later Xing Yǔs retainer: Hanagata Hikaru

J B (Ki Fu) Xing Yǔs retainer: Mano Sugata

L Zh (Ryo) Li Bāngs wife: Hanano Juria

Fn Kuai (Han Kai) Li Bāngs close friend and brother-in-law: Yuugiri Rai

Xing Zhuang (Kou Sou) Xing Yǔs retainer: Yuuzumi Shun

Zǐ Qī (Shi Ki) Y Měi Rns older brother: Asaka Manato

To Ning (Tou Jou) Daughter of the former governor-general of Kuaiji: Nozomi Fuuto

Xing B (Kou Haku) Xing Yǔs retainer and relative: Kouga Asahi

 

Y Měi Rn

 

ACT ONE

 

Scene One Gāozǔ (Li Bāng)s Bed Chamber

 

Overture ~ The Dying of Li Bāng

 

L Zh: His condition?

 

Doctor: L Zh, I have exhausted every possibility. Yet he doesnt open his eyes, and he doesnt speak.

 

L Zh: How much longer does he have?

 

Doctor: I couldnt

 

L Zh: Please tell me.

 

Doctor: Possibly until tomorrow morning.

 

L Zh: Please, leave me.

 

The doctor and servants exit.

 

L Zh: Son of Heaven. Gāozǔ. No- My husband, Li Bāng. You have slighted my son, Li Yng, and made Li Ry, the son of your concubine Qī, your successor as the Son of Heaven.

 

The Death of Li Bāng

 

L Zh: During the war I endured even being your enemys hostage. Is this your final cruel act to the wife who did so much for you? I wont forgive your concubine, or her son. Everything is your fault..

 

: All your fault

 

: If you cant stand it, say something-!

 

Li Bāng begins to sing in a whisper of a voice.

 

Li Bāng:

What was I

To you?

 

L Zh: You-

 

Li Bāng: I fought, became emperor, and it still wasnt enough. From one demand to another, until without realizing it I no longer wanted to return to you.

 

L Zh: How dare you say such things.

 

Li Bāng: But that is all finished. Ah, Xing Yǔ has come for me My enemy. My brother. The only hero who could be compared with me.

 

L Zh:

Li Bāng!

Li Bāng!

 

Li Bāng dies.

 

Scene Two The Hill Where Y Měi Rn Flowers Bloom

(Xing Yǔ and Y Měi Rn)

 

Red Poppies

 

Xing Yǔ:

Red petals, the color of love

Y Měi Rn flowers of a burning heart

 

Xing Yǔ + Chorus:

To bloom is to fall and wither

Ah, why do you bloom so beautifully?

 

Chorus:

Ahh

 

Blooming flowers which live so briefly

I yearn for this fleeting dream

Do you still bloom, red flowers?

 

Xing Yǔ: Y! Now is the time.

 

Princess Y: Great King, at last.

 

Xing Yǔ: Where the flowers bloom, with you.

 

Solo:

Dream which never returns!

Just for a moment, now!

 

Chorus:

Y, Y! What shall become of you?

Y, Y! What shall become of you?

 

Scene Three Kuaiji

 

To Nings Plea

 

To Ning: Father! Father!

 

: I have a favor to ask

 

Yin Tōng: Whats wrong? Why are you in such a fluster?

 

To Ning:

Dont meet with them

 

: Ive heard. Youre going to meet with that Xing Ling and his nephew, Xing Yǔ, arent you?

 

Yin Tōng: Why tell me not to meet them?

 

To Ning: I hear Xing Yǔ is a frightening man who can hold his own in battle against a thousand.

 

Yin Tōng laughs.

 

To Ning:

Father, dont underestimate them!

 

The music stops.

 

Yin Tōng: I am Yin Tōng, the governor-general of Kuaiji who has a thousand soldiers. Compared to that, Xing Ling doesnt have a single soldier. To say nothing of how young Xing Yǔ still is.

 

To Ning: Father, you are a wonderful man. But I have an evil premonition about today.

 

Yin Tōng: On your way. You shouldnt meet those two.

 

To Ning leaves reluctantly.

 

Yin Tōng: A premonition?

 

: China is changing

 

: No, it wasnt just a premonition.

 

: China is changing

 

Wi B and the soldiers emerge.

 

Yin Tōng:

China is changing

 

Wi B: No one is at ease; no one expects another dawn like todays.

 

Yin Tōng: Wi B.

 

Wi B: Not even the Son of Heaven.

 

Wi B + Soldiers:

Not even the Son of Heaven

 

Yin Tōng: My future depends upon this interview.

 

Wi B: Because youre meeting with the son of the general of Chu, a former enemy nation. You, a government official of Qin.

 

Yin Tōng: Is that sarcasm?

 

The music stops. Three chairs are placed in the center of the stage.

 

Soldier 1: Lord Xing Ling and Lord Xing Yǔ have arrived.

 

Wi B: (Without answering Yin Tōng.) We will be waiting close by. Call for us when you will.

 

Wi B and the soldiers withdraw. Xing Ling and Xing Yǔ enter.

 

Yin Tōng: Lord Xing Ling. Lord Xing Yǔ. Thank you for coming. Please, have a seat.

 

Xing Ling sits, but Xing Yǔ remains standing.

 

Yin Tōng: Lord Xing Yǔ, please have a seat as well.

 

Xing Yǔ: Dont put yourself out.

 

Xing Ling: Let us get to business without delay.

 

Yin Tōng: Last year Emperor Shǐ died, and Qin has changed. The people are suffering from the taxes and labor.

 

Xing Ling: Thus the uprisings in Jiangsu.

 

Meeting in Kuaiji

 

Yin Tōng: Yes. The number of protests has continued to rise, becoming an army in the hundreds of thousands and pressing in on the cities.

 

Xing Ling: They are only farmers. They were scattered by the army lead by Zhāng Hn of Qin.

 

Yin Tōng: The insurrection lacked a just cause. Great numbers alone cannot carry the day.

 

Xing Ling:

There is your aim today!

 

The music swells and stops.

 

Yin Tōng: It seems that youve seen through me.

 

Xing Ling: Again, your business.

 

Yin Tōng: Lord Xing Ling. You are the son of the famous Chu general Lord Xing Yan. In other words, if you raise your flag, yours will become the regular army of Chu. So lets join together.

 

Death of Yin Tōng

 

Xing Ling:

Join with you?

 

Yin Tōng: The soldiers I command amount to 7,000.

 

Xing Ling:

An equal partnership with you?

 

Yin Tōng: Fighting together, we could subdue the entire country. Qin is in disorder, and uprisings are occurring in many places. There is no other way to survive.

 

Xing Ling: Xing Yǔ.

 

: This discussion is ended.

 

Xing Yǔ slashes Yin Tōng. He cries out and falls. The soldiers come running in.

 

Xing Ling: Listen, soldiers! I am the son of the Chu general Xing Yan, Xing Ling. To clear away the long-standing grudge against Qin, I have raised here the banner of the Chu State. Choose! Will you follow me? Or will you return to Qin, to spend your entire life as a slave?

 

The soldiers surround Xing Ling and Xing Yǔ.

 

Xing Yǔ: Uncle. How is this gamble looking?

 

Xing Ling: Now, fifty-fifty.

 

Xing Yǔ: We will die, having killed one governor-general and a thousand soldiers?

 

Xing Ling: Or we will gain 7,000 soldiers.

 

The soldiers are torn. One moves as if to attack with his sword. Wi Bs voice rings out.

 

Wi B: Soldiers, withdraw! Lord Xing Ling. Lord Xing Yǔ. My name is Wi B. Congratulations on the new beginning for the State of Chu. All of us gathered here share the joy of being present for the raising of your banner, and intend to serve you with all our might.

 

Wi B stands down. The soldiers also stand down. Xing Yǔ sheathes his sword.

 

Wi B: Take care of the body.

 

The soldiers pick up Yin Tōng. To Ning enters.

 

To Ning: Father? (She sees the body.) Father!

 

Yin Tōngs body is carried off stage.

 

To Ning: Who did this?

 

Xing Yǔ: I did.

 

To Ning: You are?

 

Xing Yǔ: Xing Yǔ.

 

Weeping, To Ning follows her fathers body off stage.

 

Xing Yǔ: (To Wi B) Youre a little too efficient. Did you expect this to happen?

 

Wi B: Someday. I wouldnt expect you to continue in an equal alliance with a mere governor-general of Kuaiji.

 

Xing Yǔ: The governor-general is dead. Does it pain you?

 

Wi B: He was my superior.

 

Xing Yǔ: My heart is quiet. We gambled our lives. The governor-general also gambled with his life. This is simply the result.

 

Xing Ling: This is the will of Heavendivine providence.

 

Xing Yǔ: Divine providence?

 

: I have wings

 

Xing Yǔ goes along the ginkyo.

 

Xing Ling: Xing Yǔ. Where are you going?

 

Xing Yǔ: To review the troops. How about it, uncle? The soldiers that we gained at last. It feels good.

 

Scene Four Ginkyo (Reviewing the Troops)

 

Xing Yǔ: Divine providence. In other words, fate! My father told me:

 

: You should live your life

Without depending on Heaven

Or fate, or compassion

 

I have wings

Wings that others do not have

Because you were born with wings

Flap your wings until you fly

The voice of my late father

Echoes from my childhood

 

Soldiers:

Anyone can become king

 

Xing Yǔ: That is the world we live in.

 

Soldiers:

Anyone can become the Son of Heaven

 

Xing Yǔ: That is the world that has come! And, in the end

 

Xing Ling:

Someone will become the Son of Heaven

 

Xing Yǔ:

I have wings

Wings that others do not have

Because I was born with wings

I will fly with all my power!

 

Soldiers:

Ah

 

Scene Five Pei County

 

Maneuvers

 

Xing Ling, Xing Yǔ, Wi B and the soldiers exit. Soldiers in civilian clothes emerge and begin doing maneuvers with spears while calling out. Li Bāng is among them, a bottle of alcohol in hand. The music quiets. Village women come out.

 

Village Women: Li Bāng!

 

Li Bāng: Oh! Youve come after me even here?

 

Rng Rng: Without Li Bāng, the village is boring.

 

Zhn Zhn: Its mean of you to leave without saying anything!

 

Qiǎn Qiǎn: Are you tired of us?

 

Li Bāng: I wouldnt put it like

 

Fn Kuai: Brother!

 

Li Bāng: What is it, Fn Kuai?

 

Fn Kuai: As usual, youve got some to hand.

 

Xiāo H: Do you have a monopoly?

 

Co Cān: Lucky you

 

Qīng Qīng: (to the men) Are you all pouting?

 

Ho Ho: Weve come to visit our brave soldiers and give them support.

 

Yōu Yōu: Six heads of pork!

 

Men: (Shouting)

 

Women: Plenty of alcohol!

 

Men: (Shouting)

 

Li Bāng: All right! Im tired of spear waving. Its time for a feast!

 

Feast

 

Everyone gets excited. Suddenly, Ls voice can be heard.

 

L: Dear!

 

Li Bāng: Dear?

 

L and Li Bāngs father emerge onstage.

 

L: Beloved husband. Ive found you at last.

 

Li Bāngs Father: Ah, my son.

 

Li Bāng: You. Father.

 

Only Li Bāng and Fn Kuai, L and Li Bāngs father remain onstage.

 

Others:

Well see you at the feast

Eventually

 

The music stops.

 

Li Bāngs Father: What are you doing in this dusty place? Playing at war? Come home and till the fields.

 

Fn Kuai: Sir.

 

Li Bāngs Father: Fn Kuai, is that you? Were you the one who instigated my son doing this?

 

Fn Kuai: People just naturally gather around him. Its his personal virtue.

 

Li Bāngs Father: Dont get carried away. Youll get your fingers burnt.

 

Fn Kuai: Lets go, you seem tired. You can roost in my place.

 

Fn Kuai and Li Bāng leave.

 

L: So, did I interrupt things?

 

Li Bāng: No. How did you know about this place?

 

L: Wherever you are there is the testimony of the Child of Heaven purple clouds hover over you.

 

Li Bāng: (Looking up) Really?

 

L: Actually, I asked the women. From town girl to village girl. The purple clouds are what hover in the eyes of women when they hear your name.

 

Li Bāng: (Looking innocent) Really?

 

The True Dragon

 

L: When are you going to war?

 

Li Bāng: Ill set off soon.

 

L: On a journey to take the entire world.

 

Li Bāng: It wont be as simple as that.

 

: The real purple clouds

Hover in the south

 

L: Youll go south from here?

 

Li Bāng: In Kuaiji a man named Xing Ling has raised his banner. The son of the Chu general Xing Yan. Theres nothing to fault in his lineage. But the dragon who truly controls the purple clouds

 

L: Dragon

 

Li Bāng:

Is Xing Lings nephew

Xing Yǔ

 

L: Is Xing Yǔ an enemy? Or an ally?

 

Li Bāng: At present, an ally. Im joining the army that Xing Ling has raised.

 

L: Li Bāng. You are a dragon too.

 

Li Bāng:

Yes, I too am a dragon

Who soars in the sky

 

The music stops.

 

Li Bāng: This long journey sounds tiring. You should rest as well.

 

He moves as if to leave.

 

L: Youre anxious to get to the feast, arent you?

 

Li Bāng stops with a start.

 

L: On your way, beloved spouse.

 

Li Bāng leaves.

 

L: You are a dragon too. No, you are the dragon. Just you watch.

 

Scene Six Y Měi Rns Home

 

Y Měi Rns Koto

 

The sound of a koto rings out. Wng Lng comes into view.

 

Wng Lng: Y. Y Měi Rn. I know youre there. Even without a moon, no matter how dark it is, I would know. That is the timbre of your koto playing.

 

: Answer me

Beloved

Adored Y Měi Rn

 

Princess Ys voice can be heard.

 

Princess Y: Wng Lng. You mustnt come here.

 

Princess Y rotates into view. She continues playing the koto.

 

Wng Lng: I cannot stop myself.

 

Princess Y: I love only Xing Yǔ.

 

Wng Lng: That man cant make you happy.

 

Y Měi Rns Love

 

Princess Y: No. I am happy.

 

: Just being by his side

I am supremely happy

 

: Im going to be able to see him soon. Please leave.

 

Wng Lng: Is Xing Yǔ going to take you away?

 

Princess Y: Yes. Tomorrow morning.

 

Wng Lng: To the battlefield.

 

Princess Y: From now on, wherever he goes. No matter how far.

 

The music stops. There are the sounds of insects.

 

Wng Lng: You are not someone who should go to a battlefield. Never.

 

Wng Lng runs away. Princess Ys elder brother Zǐ Qī comes out.

 

Zǐ Qī: Was someone here?

 

Princess Y: No, no one. Brother, look. The moon has come out.

 

Zǐ Qī: The clouds have split. So I thought, but theyve returned in an instant. Your face which shone in the moonlight has melted into darkness too. Sister. Tomorrow comes at last.

 

Princess Y: Yes. Please, come and see me as you can.

 

Zǐ Qī: Dont make mother worry.

 

Princess Y: Is that all.?

 

Xing Yǔs Entrance

 

Zǐ Qī: The moon has come out. Dont look at me like that.

 

Princess Y: But

 

Zǐ Qī: The sun of this land turns towards you. Do you know how proud I am of you?

 

Princess Y: Brother.

 

Zǐ Qī: You were born with a special quality. The sun turns toward you and shines. You should relax until its time to depart.

 

Zǐ Qī leaves. The music swells, and Xing Yǔ enters.

 

Xing Yǔ: Y!

 

Princess Y: Love.

 

Xing Yǔ:

Here you are.

 

Princess Y: Lord Xing Yǔ.

 

Princess Y rises. The music changes.

 

Xing Yǔ:

Dont touch me!

Im filthy with blood

 

Princess Y: Filthy with blood.

 

Xing Yǔ: I hope youll forgive me. Im rather worked up tonight.

 

Princess Y: What has happened?

 

Xing Yǔ: I was struck at from behind. As might be expected, I struck back.

 

Princess Y: Eh-?

 

Xing Yǔ: As I was turning toward my opponent I couldnt see his face and I beheaded him.

 

Princess Y: Are you all right?

 

Xing Yǔ: Its one cut, at most. When the blood stops Ill bathe.

 

Princess Y: A bandage to stop the blood (She moves to leave)

 

Xing Yǔ: I stopped it myself. Im a warrior. (He senses Princess Ys upset) You look as if youre about to cry.

 

Princess Y: Ah!

 

Xing Yǔ pulls her to him. The music swells and stops.

 

Princess Y: (Pulling away from Xing Yǔ) Will you give me a sword?

 

Xing Yǔ: (Moves as if to un-strap his sword) No. (He unsheathes it instead) Ill hold a memorial. I want you to kiss this blade for me.

 

Princess Y: Kiss it? Why?

 

Xing Yǔ: The one I beheaded was Wng Lng.

 

Princess Y: Eh-!

 

Xing Yǔ: He came to strike at me. He premeditated it, without a doubt. He was overcome by his feelings for you.

 

Princess Y: . Give me your sword.

 

Princess Y takes the sword and raises it to her own neck.

 

Xing Yǔ: What are you doing?

 

Y Měi Rns Resolution

 

Princess Y: Why do you tell me to kiss the blade? Do you distrust my relationship with Wng Lng? If you distrust me, please tell me. Ill give you my head.

 

Xing Yǔ: I have no interest in Wng Lng, or anyone else.

 

Princess Y: Then why kiss the blade? And why me!

 

The music stops.

 

Xing Yǔ: I dont distrust you.

 

Princess Y: Really?

 

Xing Yǔ: I suppose you must have distrusted me. But you dont have to distrust me any more.

 

Princess Y: Nor again?

 

Flower Among Flowers

 

Xing Yǔ: Y!

 

: You are

Mine alone

 

Princess Y lowers the blade.

 

Xing Yǔ: I cant trust anyone, or anything. This wound on my back speaks for that.

 

Princess Y: Believe in me, alone. If you can no longer believe in me, then kill me without delay.

 

Xing Yǔ:

This Ill swear to you

Flower among flowers! As you love me tranquilly

I shall believe in you, no matter the events

 

Xing Yǔ & Princess Y:

Ill live with you

Birds, high in the sky

As our wings dance together

Nothing at all can capture us

 

Ill believe in

No one

Nothing

Not in this world

 

Ill live with you

With you

 

The music dies.

 

Scene Seven The Main Street

 

The pub proprietress, Wng Ao enters.

 

Wng Ao: Now then, drink, drink!

 

The Main Street

 

The stage turns to reveal a sprawling pub with tables and chairs. Passers-by and the pub patrons sing.

 

Chorus:

We were born into

An age of war

Victory or defeat?

Survive or perish?

 

Woman 2: And whats the most difficult bit?

 

Chorus:

Who should we support?

 

Woman 1: And if we should make a mistake?

 

Chorus:

Well be killed

 

Man 1: The greatest man in this land

 

Chorus:

Thatd be the Son of Heaven

 

Solo (woman):

The current Son of Heaven

Isnt great at all!

 

Chorus:

We were born into

An age of war

 

Man 4: Who will you ally yourself with?

 

Man 2: Even now, Qin is strong. The nation that Emperor Shǐ built.

 

Solo (woman): Emperor Shǐ is dead! So you should drink this medicine of immortality, mercury (People laugh).

 

Woman 3: The current emperor, the second one, is no emperor at all.

 

Woman 7: Hes a puppet of the eunuch Zhao Gao.

 

Solo (Man): I heard a story. Zhao Gao brought a deer to the imperial palace, and he told the emperor this:

 

Your Majesty,

I have brought

An amazing horse

 

Chorus:

A deer, a horse

 

Solo (man): The emperor was surprised, and he asked his ministers: Is that a horse or a deer? We think it looks like a deer. To which the ministers replied:

 

Your Majesty,

It is a horse

 

Chorus:

A deer, a horse

 

Solo (man): Only one minister answered truthfully. Your Majesty, of course it is a deer. Zhao Gao had that man

 

: Killed

 

The music stops for a moment.

 

Man 1: Is it all right to laugh here?

 

Woman 6: Why not?

 

Everyone laughs uproariously. The music starts again.

 

Chorus:

A deer, a horse

A deer is a horse

An honest man

Made to look a fool

Cheers to a worthless age!

 

Woman 9: Who are you allying yourself with?

 

Farmer: Ive lived plowing my fields. But my crops were all taken by government officials from Qin. What am I going to eat to survive?

 

Chorus:

An honest man

Made to look a fool

A miserable age

 

Farmer: I left my fields and came here. Ill support anyone who isnt Qin.

 

Woman 4: Right now, thats definitely Chu.

 

Man 2: They have Xing Yans son, Xing Ling.

 

Chorus:

They have Xing Ling

 

Woman 7: And Xing Yǔ is there.

 

Chorus:

And Xing Yǔ is there.

 

Woman 8: Li Bāng seems to be joining them too.

 

Chorus:

Li Bāng is there, too

 

Solo (man): The Qin Dynasty is hanging by a thread? Will you join Chu in rebellion?

 

Chorus:

Victory or defeat?

Survive or perish?

 

The music grows quiet. Man 3 comes bursting in.

 

Man 3: Hey! Did you hear?

 

Solo (man): What happened?

 

Man 3: Xing Ling is dead!

 

The Uprising is Over

 

Chorus:

Xing Ling is dead

 

Man 3: He pursued them too far and the Qin reinforcements defeated him.

 

Chorus:

Then, the uprising is over?

 

Farmer: I cant go back to my fields.

 

Woman 5: Please, dont cry.

 

Chorus:

(Sighing) Ahh

 

The music stops.

 

Wng Ao: Youre just going to take it quietly? Pathetic.

 

Is There No Man?

 

Wng Ao:

Is there no man?

A man who will forge ahead

Even if they are going against the current?

 

: You cant float about from side to side, going one way and then another over every little victory or loss.

 

Chorus:

Were searching for a man

A ferocious man

Well follow him anywhere

 

A pub girl (To Ning) enters carrying water and three bravos bump into her.

 

Bravo 1: Oops!

 

To Ning: Im sorry!

 

Bravo 2: Awww, Im drenched.

 

Bravo 3: Hey!

 

To Ning: I apologize. Please forgive me.

 

Chorus:

Although they were at fault

They picked a quarrel

 

Hn Xn: Whats happened?

 

Chorus:

There entered the popular figure, Hn Xn

 

Bravo 1: Who are you?

 

To Ning: Im sorry, it was my fault.

 

Bravo 2: Sorry, but Im not.

 

Hn Xn: Dont say that, please forgive her.

 

Bravo 3: Hey, this guy is wearing a long sword.

 

Bravo 2: How high-and-mighty!

 

Chorus:

Wearing a long sword

It was as good as proclaiming

That you were someone important

 

The music stops.

 

Hn Xn: What can I do to have you forgive her?

 

Bravo 3: What can I do he says

 

The bravo rubs his fingers together pointedly.

 

Hn Xn: I dont have any money. If there is anything else that I can do, please tell me.

 

Bravo 2: Are you hearing this? Please tell me.

 

Bravos: High-and-mighty~!

 

Bravo 1: All right. Crawl between my legs.

 

Hn Xn: Crawl between your legs?

 

Bravo 1: High-and-mighty brother. I stand wide, like this, and then you crawl between my legs.

 

Hn Xn takes his sword in his hand.

 

Bravo 1: Hey.

 

Bravo 2: You wanna start something?

 

Hn Xn hands his sword to To Ning and crawls between the bravos legs.

 

Bravo 3: (Thrusting Hn Xn away) Keh, youre no fun.

 

Bravo 1: Lets go.

 

The bravos leave.

 

Is There No Man?

 

Chorus:

Unexpected, the popular figure Hn Xn

He crawled between his legs

And yet they say that

Someday he will be great?

 

To Ning: For my sake. How can I thank you.?

 

Hn Xn: That is enough.

 

Hn Xn takes back his sword and exits.

 

Chorus:

The alcohol has gone bad

Time to go

 

The people leave. Zhāng Ling comes forward.

 

Zhāng Ling: He is indeed great.

 

Solo (man): Yeah, a great coward, that Hn Xn (He laughs).

 

A Great Person

 

Zhāng Ling:

The value of a great person

Is only understood by other greats

Only a hero can find a hero

 

Fn Zēng comes out.

 

Fn Zēng: Exactly.

 

: The overlooked radiance

Of an average man

Can become a light

That will change a nation

 

The music stops.

 

Zhāng Ling: Master Fn Zēng. It has been a long time.

 

Fn Zēng: Zhāng Ling. You seem well.

 

Zhāng Ling: Are you still with the Chu?

 

Fn Zēng: Its wrong for someone of my years, but Im involved in the government. And you?

 

Zhāng Ling: I am still a wanted man, so.

 

Fn Zēng: You mounted an assassination attempt on Emperor Shǐ that was commendable.

 

Zhāng Ling: Hn Xn didnt draw his sword.

 

Fn Zēng: Yes. He didnt.

 

Zhāng Ling: Which reminds me, did they say Xing Ling is dead?

 

Fn Zēng: No matter how your victories continue, if you pursue too far you will be destroyed.

 

Zhāng Ling: A natural result.

 

Fn Zēng: (Laughs) How like you to put it that way. If youd like, why not come with me? Xing Lings nephew has promise.

 

Zhāng Ling: My way is chosen.

 

Fn Zēng: With whom?

 

Zhāng Ling: I thought I would serve Li Bāng.

 

Fn Zēng: A man without much sense.

 

Zhāng Ling: Isnt that better than serving a man who doesnt listen to what you say?

 

The Conversations of Wise Men

 

Fn Zēng:

Then were allies for a little while

 

Zhāng Ling:

For a little while

 

The two laugh.

 

Zhāng Ling: Let us leave the probing at each others weaknesses for another time.

 

Fn Zēng: Two heroes in one land will only lead to conflict.

 

Zhāng Ling & Fn Zēng:

Sooner or later the time for war will come

 

Fn Zēng: For now Ill take Hn Xn.

 

Zhāng Ling: The faster man wins? Youve put me out. Well, for now lets do it that way.

 

Zhāng Ling & Fn Zēng:

The land will bend toward

Where that man is

 

Zhāng Ling: Were in agreement.

 

Fn Zēng: The only thing we disagree on is our viewpoint.

 

Zhāng Ling & Fn Zēng:

Well then, until we meet again

 

The two exit. The music stops. To Ning begins clearing the tables.

 

Wng Ao: Ah, really! How long does it take you to clean up?

 

To Ning: Im sorry.

 

L enters from the street.

 

L: (To Wng Ao) You.

 

Wng Ao: Look at the sign. Were closed.

 

L: (Pointing to To Ning) I want to talk to that child.

 

Wng Ao: Talk?

 

L: (Slipping her a bribe) This.

 

Wng Ao: Oh, my. Ill ask that you keep it brief. Ahhh, Im so busy.

 

She exits.

 

L: (To To Ning) Come here.

 

L and To Ning sit in chairs at an empty table.

 

L: You are To Ning, the daughter of the governor-general of Kuaiji, Yin Tōng.

 

To Ning: Eh?

 

L: You dont need to be afraid.

 

To Ning: How do you know that name?

 

L: Ive been looking for you. You have suffered a lot since your fathers murder.

 

To Ning: You are?

 

L: I am Li Bāngs wife, L.

 

To Ning: Li Bāng.

 

L: You thought he was Xing Yǔs ally, didnt you? Is there anything else you want to ask? I can answer anything you ask, until you believe what I say.

 

To Ning: (Unable to speak)

 

L: Youre remembering your father?

 

To Ning: There isnt an instant that I have forgotten.

 

L: Do you hate Xing Yǔ?

 

To Ning: (After a moment) I hate him!

 

L: Do you want to get revenge?

 

To Ning: Father, forgive me If I were a man.!

 

L: And if you could get revenge, even though you are a woman?

 

Your Resolve

 

To Ning: Get revenge even though a woman?

 

L: Most important is your resolve.

 

To Ning:

My resolve

 

L: Please go to Chu. And get close to Xing Yǔ.

 

To Ning: Impossible. They know my face. My fathers retainer Wi B is with them, isnt he?

 

L: I have heard that you can play the kikyu. That you admire calligraphy writing, and that your skill at igo is considerable. On top of which, that you can do a sword dance with a long sword in hand.

 

To Ning: My father taught me all of that.

 

L: To have a boy like that near you, always amusing you, would make anyone happy, would it not?

 

To Ning: A boy?

 

L: Thats right, disguise yourself as a boy.

 

To Ning:

As a boy

 

L: Xing Yǔ has a princess named Y Měi Rn. No matter the battle, he always brings her alone. Charm Y Měi Rn. You can do it. Most important is your

 

To Ning:

Resolve

 

The music stops.

 

L: Will you remain here? Or?

 

To Ning: Ill go with you.

 

The two exit. Wng Ao watches after them.

 

L: Since I opened this pub to sound out the movements of the populace, this information is! I have to go and tell my master right away.

 

Scene Eight Pngchng, Chu Encampment

 

The Chu retainers and soldiers are arrayed in lines on stage. In the center on a platform sits the Chu king, Hui Wng.

 

People of Chu:

The great general,

Xing Ling, has passed away

Beside Hui Wng, King of Chu

We will fight all the more

 

King Hui: Is everyone assembled?

 

Fn Zēng: King Hui, only Xing Yǔ is not here yet.

 

The music stops.

 

Fn Kuai: He is late!

 

Li Bāng: Fn Kuai, calm down.

 

Sng Y: Thats right. Dont forget why Xing Ling died. Throw aside impatience, arrogance, and nerves.

 

Zhāng Ling: Easy to say.

 

Sng Y: Zhāng Ling, was there something you wanted to say?

 

Zhāng Ling: My Lord Sng Y, nothing.

 

Fn Zēng: J B. Will you go and take a look?

 

J B: Yes. (He moves as if to exit.)

 

Retainer 8: (Coming out on stage) Lord Xing Yǔ has arrived.

 

Xing Yǔ Comes Out

 

Fn Zēng: Lord Xing Yǔ. The appointed time has passed.

 

Xing Yǔ: Without me, nothing can begin.

 

Fn Zēng: But an engagement is an engagement, is it not so? For you, or anyone. There are people here whom you are making wait.

 

Xing Yǔ: (Thinking a little) That is so. (He bows his head.) I regret making you wait.

 

The music stops.

 

King Hui: May we begin?

 

Sng Y: Please.

 

King Hui: Losing Xing Ling is a serious blow. However, there is no time to go into mourning. Lord Sng Y, please read the royal command.

 

Sng Y: (Reading the bamboo strip) To defeat the Qin general Zhāng Hn, I command Sng Y as general, and Xing Yǔ as his second-in-command. Lead an offensive to the north. In addition, Li Bāng will lead an offensive to the west. Both of you have the same objective, the Qin capital of Xian Yang. I will give that land to the one who reaches it first. Missive complete. King Hui.

 

Everyone except Xing Yǔ bows.

 

All: Understood!

 

King Hui: Xing Yǔ. Do you have some complaint?

 

Xing Yǔ: A serious complaint.

 

Fn Zēng: (In warning) Lord Xing Yǔ.

 

Xing Yǔ: I want to ask King Hui.

 

Like a Broken Blade

 

Xing Yǔ: Is Lord Sng Y a military man? Has he held a sword and gone to war?

 

: Why is a man who doesnt fight

Made general?

 

: In the first place, was this battle not one of revenge for the death of my uncle, Xing Ling? The royal order doesnt touch on that at all. Are we simply to accept an order and fight? Are we to be forgotten when we die?

 

: Like a broken blade

 

Sng Y: I will answer Lord Xing Yǔ.

 

The music stops.

 

Sng Y: Military men are not the only ones who fight a war. There are also men who coolly judge the war situation. That is why I was made general. Moreover, who here could forget Xing Ling?

 

Xing Yǔ: Lord Sng Y, why have you answered? This, also, I have a complaint for.

 

Whose Orders?

 

Xing Yǔ approaches Huis chair.

 

Xing Yǔ:

King!

King Hui!?

This man was only a shepherd!

 

King Hui: Ah!

 

Fn Zēng: Lord Xing Yǔ, you go too far.

 

Xing Yǔ: Master Fn Zēng, I appreciate what you are thinking. To restore the Chu State, you went so far as to locate this shepherd descended of kings, give him the name Hui Wng, and enthrone him.

 

King Hui: I I only became king in the hope that I could help everyone live in harmony.

 

Xing Yǔ: King Hui. Im not blaming you. (Looking around) So? Answer me.

 

Xing Yǔ:

Who borrowed the name of the king

And issued royal orders!?

 

The music stops. Li Bāng laughs.

 

Li Bāng: (Unable to stop) Ah, excuse me. Youre marvelous.

 

Xing Yǔ: You are?

 

Li Bāng: A pleasure to meet you. I am Li Bāng.

 

Xing Yǔ: Youre Li Bāng? Ive wanted to meet you.

 

Li Bāng: Ive only just joined you. I havent yet lost my impartial view. Will you listen to my opinion?

 

Xing Yǔ: Ill gladly listen.

 

Those Who Will Survive

 

Li Bāng: The king is king. The retainers are retainers.

 

Li Bāng:

Listen to the orders

For now

 

Xing Yǔ: The orders?

 

Li Bāng: Those who will survive, in the end

 

: No one knows

Until the end has come

 

Xing Yǔ: I have been longing for someone like you. Let us pledge to be brothers.

 

Xing takes his sword and cuts his own arm. Li Bāng also cuts his own arm. The music swells. The two press their arms together.

 

Xing Yǔ: I hear and comply with the royal orders. I will set out to the north immediately.

 

Xing Yǔ exits and the music stops.

 

Sng Y: Lord Li Bāng, you persuaded Xing Yǔ handily.

 

Retainer 1: We have not been able to get anywhere with him.

 

Retainer 2: Indeed, he is strong in war. He doesnt know defeat.

 

Retainer 3: On the other hand, he is unpleasant in victory. He kills his enemy without sparing a single man.

 

Retainer 4: Somehow, the lineage of Xing Yan always goes too far.

 

Retainer 5: And they destroy themselves.

 

Retainer 6: Lord Li Bāng, we have been waiting for you.

 

Retainer 7: Somehow, please, enter the capital Xian Yang before Xing Yǔ.

 

King Hui: Thank heavens Xing Yǔ bowed assent.

 

Win and Advance Without a Battle

 

King Hui:

We are finished here today

Everyone gets along well

 

All:

We give thanks

For your kind words

 

Li Bāng: If you win, you win. They seem to be saying a lot to me with those words.

 

Fn Kuai: Theyre joining forces, and borrowing the kings name.

 

Xiāo H: Limited fellows.

 

Co Cān: And are you going to join with them?

 

Li Bāng: Even if they hadnt told me to, I would have entered the capital first.

 

Zhāng Ling: Do you intend to wager your life in the fight?

 

Li Bāng: Of course that is my intention.

 

Zhāng Ling: You should let Xing Yǔ pass before you.

 

Li Bāng: Why?

 

Zhāng Ling: You are no match for Xing Yǔ in a flat-out competition.

 

Fn Kuai: Say that again!

 

Li Bāng: (Pulling Fn Kuai to a stop) Then what should I do?

 

Zhāng Ling: Be threatening.

 

Li Bāng & All: Threatening?

 

Zhāng Ling:

Threaten with a smile

Win and advance without a battle

 

Fn Kuai/Xiāo H/Co Cān:

Win and advance without a battle

 

Li Bāng: That sounds interesting. Tell me more.

 

Li Bāng and the others leave the stage together.

 

Scene Nine Pngchng, The Outskirts of the Chu Encampment

 

Xing Yǔ comes out. Fn Zēng follows him.

 

Fn Zēng: Lord Xing Yǔ. Lord Xing Yǔ.

 

Xing Yǔ: Master Fn Zēng.

 

Fn Zēng: Why did you behave like that during the audience with King Hui?

 

Xing Yǔ: I was testing.

 

Fn Zēng: Testing.

 

Xing Yǔ: I cant fight for those worthless fellows who have gathered together, passing down orders. To say nothing of the danger that will come if I cant speak my lone viewpoint.

 

Fn Zēng: If thats so, then I wish you had said that instead. There are ways of proceeding without causing others to have a low opinion of you.

 

Xing Yǔ: Myself or the war, which is more important?

 

Fn Zēng: Why are you speaking in that way again?

 

Xing Yǔ: Those who fight are the soldiers. The fighting soldiers. No, the soldiers who are made to fight.

 

Fn Zēng: Dont soldiers exist because of generals?

 

Xing Yǔ: Because of soldiers, generals. Because of retainers, kings. I have a duty to each of them.

 

Fn Zēng: (Unable to manage him) Ahhh.

 

Xing Yǔ: Did you see Li Bāng?

 

Fn Zēng: I saw.

 

Xing Yǔ: Im relieved. If he is going to lead an assault, the capital, Xian Yang, isnt out of reach.

 

Fn Zēng: Are you saying that you dont mind letting him go ahead of you? Xian Yang is to the west. But you are headed north.

 

Xing Yǔ: Zhāng Hn is in the north, and without me he wont be defeated. From the beginning I was intending to attack to the north.

 

Y Měi Rn comes out.

 

Princess Y: Lord Xing Yǔ.

 

Xing Yǔ: Y! What brings you all the way out here?

 

Princess Y: Master Fn Zēng, how was the audience with the king?

 

Fn Zēng: Ah, well

 

Xing Yǔ: So you ask the master before you ask me?

 

Princess Y: Master Fn Zēngs counsel must be heeded. Because those were the last words of your uncle Xing Ling.

 

Xing Yǔ: If its his counsel, then Im heeding it. (He looks at Fn Zēng) Right?

 

Fn Zēng: Oh dear.

 

J B and Zhōng L Mi laugh.

 

Princess Y: Master. What is todays counsel?

 

Xing Yǔ and Y Měi Rn

 

Fn Zēng: When he is with you, Lord Xing Yǔ is a very gentle man, so he must bring similar feelings to his meetings with the lords.

 

Xing Yǔ: Act towards men the same way I do toward Y. (He thinks about it.) That would be difficult.

 

Princess Y: That is the counsel.

 

Xing Yǔ: If Im going to be treating men as I would Y, then I guess Ill treat Y as I would men? For example, like a tiger. Im a tiger! Rawr!

 

Princess Y: Kyaa! Scary!

 

Xing Yǔ chases Y Měi Rn, and she runs away in high spirits.

 

Fn Zēng:

Once this man goes into battle

There is no one whom he would not terrify

 

Xing Yǔ: Hahaa, Ive got you!

 

Princess Y: Help me! My Lord Xing Yǔ!

 

Xing Yǔ: Xing Yǔ is here. Ive driven away the tiger.

 

Princess Y: And the tiger inside of you, too?

 

Xing Yǔ: Hes sleeping now. I mustnt kill him.

 

Wi B: (Coming out) Lord Xing Yǔ.

 

The music stops. Wi B and Jīn Xing Fng (actually To Ning) emerge.

 

Xing Yǔ: Wi B?

 

Wi B: Ive brought a cute child.

 

Xing Yǔ: A child?

 

To Ning: I am Jīn Xing Fng.

 

Wi B: Hes been earning a living playing the kikyu for the soldiers.

 

Princess Y: You can play the kikyu?

 

To Ning: Yes.

 

Princess Y: I play the koto. We could do a performance.

 

Wi B: The path of war is a long one. I thought he might suit to stay by the princesss side.

 

Xing Yǔ: I see. We arent taking any women other than Y. There will probably be times when she is lonely.

 

Princess Y: Im not a bit lonely.

 

Wi B: Ill bring him to the princess in a bit.

 

Xing Yǔ: All right.

 

Fn Zēng: Which reminds me, about the matter of Hn Xn.

 

To Ning: (Without thinking) Lord Hn Xn!

 

Fn Zēng: You know him?

 

To Ning: No. Ive only happened to see him.

 

Xing Yǔ: (Leaving) Ive been keeping an eye on Hn Xn.

 

Fn Zēng: (Following) Well, youre treating him too unimportantly. He has an unparalleled and outstanding talent in this land.

 

Xing Yǔ, Y Měi Rn, and Fn Zēng leave, still talking.

 

To Ning: Lord Wi B. Thank you very much. Thanks to you I am able to be near Lord Xing Yǔ and Lady Y. I shall do my best and work hard.

 

Wi B: Do as best you can (he grabs her arm). Princess To Ning.

 

Wng Ao comes out.

 

Wng Ao: What should I do?

 

Wi B: Xing Yǔ will be setting out for the north soon. Follow after us.

 

Wng Ao: Understood. Ive prepared the place you asked for, over there.

 

She exits.

 

To Ning: Let me go

 

Wi B: Dont you want revenge for the governor-general?

 

To Ning stops fighting him.

 

Wi B: Quite the transformation. If I hadnt been told, even I wouldnt have suspected.

 

Secrets

 

Wi B: With this, supplanting Xing Yǔ may no longer be just a dream.

 

: Now we know

Each others secrets

 

Wi B kisses To Ning, against her will.

 

Scene Ten Anyang, Chu Encampment

 

Rain Falls

 

Hn Xn stands in the center of the stage, chilled soldiers gathered around him.

 

Soldiers: Hn Xn:

Rain falls Oooh

Like thin arrows

Piercing the skin, rain falls

The Yellow River is before us,

But will the day ever come when we cross it?

 

The soldiers continue singing in a low voice. J B emerges.

 

J B: Hn Xn.

 

Hn Xn: Lord J B.

 

J B: This is the forty-sixth day of waiting in this rain. If this continues the soldiers will freeze to death.

 

Hn Xn: The problem isnt only the cold.

 

J B: Meaning?

 

Hn Xn: One glance at the food coming to us and you understand. Well starve soon.

 

J B: Oh, thats Zhōng L Mi over there. Hey, Zhōng L Mi!

 

Zhōng L Mi: (Emerging) Hey. Cold as ever, eh?

 

J B: Yes. How much longer will the provisions last?

 

Zhōng L Mi: Im sorry, but I cant tell you that.

 

Hn Xn: At a guess, four or five days?

 

Zhōng L Mi: Uh-

 

Hn Xn: (Watching him) I was right.

 

Fn Zēng: Heeey! Has anyone seen Xing Yǔ?

 

Hn Xn & All: No.

 

Fn Zēng: I think he was listening intently to the soldiers moaning, and suddenly he burst out into the rain.

 

Hn Xn: What about letting him go?

 

Fn Zēng: What?

 

Hn Xn: What makes that man dangerous is that it comes from nowhere. Hasnt he made mistakes about those following him before?

 

Fn Zēng: You are truly

 

Hn Xn: Im someone who can see from the view of the oppressed.

 

Fn Zēng leaves without a word.

 

Soldiers:

Ahh, rain falls

 

Scene Eleven Anyang, Sng Ys Room

 

Love, Love, Love

 

Sng Y rises up gradually from below the stage. Hng Ln is singing and dancing, with Sng Y filling in the pauses.

 

Hng Ln:

I love, love, love you

And you love, love, love me

Beloved sweet one

Beloved

Love, love, love ,love

Love, love, love

Is to like, like, like

Like, like, like is the flower of the heart

Open and link, love, love, love

 

Sng Y: Link, ho! Open, ho!

 

Hng Ln: Open, ho! Link, ho!

 

Sng Y: Ah, Hng Ln, my cute little child. I dont understand men like Xing Yǔ who bring women with them into war.

 

Xing Yǔ enters. The music stops.

 

Hng Ln: Ah, Lord Xing Yǔ!

 

Sng Y: What do you mean by creeping into my room?

 

Xing Yǔ: General Sng Y. When do you intend to cross the Yellow River and engage the enemys army?

 

Sng Y: Its too soon yet.

 

Xing Yǔ: The soldiers are freezing. Before long, the provisions will run out.

 

Sng Y: Xing Yǔ, youre no different from Xing Ling are you? Impatient for the moment you must wait for. Read this. (He gives Hng Ln a cloth.)

 

Hng Ln: (Reading) Those who are ferocious as a tiger, as impossible to compel as a sheep, as greedy as a wolf, and brutally disobey orders, will all be beheaded.

 

Sng Y: That seems like your description. If you dont want to be beheaded, leave now.

 

Xing Yǔ: Lord Sng Y.

 

The Death of Sng Y

 

The soldiers from the previous scene crowd into Sng Ys room.

 

Xing Yǔ: When my uncle met his death on the battlefield, what were you doing?

 

Sng Y: On Xing Yǔs orders, I was traveling there as an envoy. Yes, shall I tell you? On the way, I met a messenger. Then he informed me without hesitation: You mustnt go so quickly. Xing Ling will surely be defeated. If you go slowly you may narrowly escape death, but if you proceed in haste youll get tangled up in it. And so thats exactly what I did! (He laughs.)

 

Xing Yǔ:

You knew

He would be defeated?

 

Sng Y: Thats right.

 

Xing Yǔ:

You knew

And you laughed?

 

Sng Y: What else was there to do?

 

Xing Yǔ: Sng Y. You should have been born in an age of peace. But this is a battlefield.

 

: The soldiers freeze

And in the end they shall starve

We do not need someone like you

 

Xing Yǔ slashes Sng Y, and Sng Y falls. Hng Ln begins to wail.

 

Xing Yǔ: Soldiers! Just this minute, Sng Y has died. Will you serve Xing Yǔ now? Or will you kill me, and wait till you freeze and starve to death?

 

J B and Zhōng L Mi fall back.

 

J B: Lord Xing Yǔ. We are with you.

 

The soldiers draw back. The music stops. Fn Zēng comes flying in.

 

Fn Zēng: My Lord Xing Yǔ!

 

Xing Yǔ: Master Fn Zēng. For three days only, let me do as I will.

 

Fn Zēng: Three days only?

 

Xing Yǔ: Two days to move the army forward, and one day to defeat the Qin general, Zhāng Hn.

 

Scene Twelve Julu, the Qin Encampment

 

The Fall of Julu

 

In the center of the stage is the Qin general, Zhāng Hn.

 

Zhāng Hn: Dont falter! Our Qin army is 200,000 strong; we have no need to fear the Chu with their few tens of thousands!

 

Messenger 1: (Coming out) Message for Lord Zhāng Hn. The enemy army has crossed the Yellow River and is headed here to Julu in a straight line.

 

Zhāng Hn: Why was the advance permitted?

 

Messenger 1: Well

 

Messenger 2: Lord Zhāng Hn! The Chu army soldiers are terrifying; every one man kills ten men. They will be meeting the main body of the army momentarily.

 

Zhāng Hn: Every one man kills ten men? Impossible. What is going on?

 

Battlefield music. Xing Yǔ advances alone across the ginkyo.

 

Xing Yǔ: Cross the river!

 

Shadow Chorus:

Cross the river

 

Xing Yǔ: When youve crossed, burn the boats!

 

Shadow Chorus:

Burn the boats

 

Xing Yǔ: Theres no way back. Win and advance, or die.

 

Shadow Chorus: Yes!

 

Xing Yǔ: Smash the pots!

 

Shadow Chorus:

Smash the pots

 

Xing Yǔ: Now there is nothing left to eat!

 

Shadow Chorus:

We are

 

Xing Yǔ: There is no way to survive this day, except by victory.

 

Shadow Chorus:

Gambling everything

On this one day

 

Xing Yǔ: (From the center of the ginkyo) Go!

 

With their voices raised in a shout, the soldiers come running up to the stage through the audience.

 

Xing Yǔ: Climb up!

 

Soldiers: Yes!

 

The Chu soldiers climb up onto the ginkyo.

 

Xing Yǔ: Did you see? That is the main body of the Qin army.

 

: Go!

 

The Chu army moves onto the stage and surrounds Zhāng Hn.

 

Scene Thirteen Xian Yang

 

Fn Kuai: Meanwhile, were.

 

Our World

 

Li Bāng and two women of the inner palace, Yo Hu and Ru Hu, emerge onto the ginkyo.

 

Yo Hu: Lord Li Bāng!

 

Ru Hu: Lord Li Bāng!

 

Both: Tribute.

 

Li Bāng: Tribute?

 

Yo Hu: The tribute is

 

Both: us.

 

Li Bāng: (Uneasily) Ah, I cant. From now on take care of yourselves. Those of you whom Emperor Shǐ locked up in the inner palace are free now.

 

Li Bāng and the two palace women, along with Li Bāngs retainers, walk along the ginkyo.

 

Li Bāng:

We

 

All:

We

 

Li Bāng:

Were faster than anyone

 

All:

Were faster than anyone

 

Li Bāng:

In crossing the border

 

All:

Moving forward constantly

 

Li Bāng:

We reached the capital

 

All:

The capital, Xian Yang

 

Li Bāng:

The Son of Heaven

 

All:

The king

 

Li Bāng:

Admitted defeat

 

All:

Without fighting

 

Li Bāng:

Everyone, cheers!

 

All:

Cheers to the populace!

 

Li Bāng:

Our world

 

All:

Cheers to it!

 

On the main stage, the palace women are praising Li Bāng.

 

Chorus:

Lord Li Bāng,

Tribute!

Alcohol and fish, chicken and vegetables

Please eat them

 

Y Hu: (From the main stage) Lord Li Bāng!

 

Palace Women: Lord Li Bāng!

 

Y Hu: I love you!

 

Palace Women: We love you!

 

Fn Kuai: Brother, youre popular.

 

Xiāo H: Look at all of this.

 

Co Cān: Its because even if we tell them not to come, they just come at us from another direction.

 

Li Bāng: (Not as upset as hes putting on) Nothing for it, I suppose.

 

Zhāng Ling: (Emerging) Is it all right to get carried away?

 

Li Bāng: Master Zhāng Ling.

 

Li Bāng and Zhāng Ling remain, while everyone else returns to the main stage.

 

Li Bāng: Thanks to you we were able to enter the Qin capital of Xian Yang without any unnecessary blood being shed.

 

Zhāng Ling: We can avoid rash behavior.

 

Li Bāng: Whats rash? We set the palace women free. We didnt even touch the Qin Dynasty treasures.

 

Zhāng Ling: The rashness I care about has yet to happen.

 

Retainer 1: (Emerging) Lord Xing B is here to see you.

 

Li Bāng: Lord Xing B?

 

Xing B: (Running out) Lord Zhāng Ling. And Lord Li Bāng.

 

Li Bāng: You are attached to Xing Yǔs army?

 

Xing B: I slipped away from there.

 

Li Bāng: Has something changed with my brother, Xing Yǔ?

 

Xing B: Xing Yǔ is attacking here tomorrow.

 

The music stops.

 

Li Bāng: Attacking here?

 

Xing Yǔs Decision

 

Xing Yǔ and his followers go out along the ginkyo, while Li Bāng and his men freeze on the main stage.

 

Xing Yǔ: The gate of Hangu Pass is closed against us. Why?

 

J B: By order of Li Bāng, who went through ahead of us.

 

Xing Yǔ: Li Bāngs order? But isnt he my sworn brother?

 

Zhōng L Mi: Perhaps it is as a security against whomever might come?

 

Xing Yǔ: This, now, when I want to let the troops rest as soon as possible.

 

Fn Zēng: Lord Xing Yǔ, we have received a secret communication from one of Li Bāngs retainers, named Cao Wu Shang. It seems that Li Bāng has opened the inner palace, attacked Qin law, and gained the hearts of the common people. Li Bāng, who has eyes for nothing but women, has controlled himself that far.

 

Xing Yǔ: Master, what is your opinion?

 

Fn Zēng: You should attack and utterly destroy them in the morning.

 

Xing Yǔ: All right.

 

Xing Yǔ and his men leave the stage. The music stops.

 

Li Bāng: They speak of me with contempt. Eyes for nothing but women and such.

 

Xing B: Xing Yǔs army has absorbed those of Julu and Yin Xu, and now has numbers in the 400,000s.

 

Li Bāng: 400,000.

 

Zhāng Ling: We have 100,000. There is no chance of victory.

 

Xing B: Lord Zhāng Ling, I am in your debt from when you saved my life. Although it means I have betrayed my own family, Xing Yǔ, I came to apprise you of the situation.

 

Zhāng Ling: I am greatly obliged.

 

Li Bāng: Since it has lead to this, it would have been better not to close the gates. What shall we do?

 

Zhāng Ling: Lord Xing B, I am very sorry to trouble you again, but could you bring us with you to Xing Yǔs army?

 

Li Bāng: (Preparing to leave.) Here we go again.

 

Zhāng Ling: Is that your response? Your life will depend upon this audience.

 

Li Bāng: (Thinking a bit and sighing.) Here we go again.

 

Zhāng Ling: Do you have courage, or dont you?

 

Scene Fourteen The Feast at Hong Gate

 

Sword Dance (Rehearsal)

 

Xing Yǔs army is rehearsing a sword dance. All of his retainers are arrayed. Xing Zhuang dances in the center.

 

Fn Zēng: Good. The sword dance is well synchronized.

 

Soldiers: Ha!

 

Fn Zēng: Xing Zhuang.

 

Xing Zhuang: Ha!

 

Fn Zēng: Are you resolved?

 

Xing Zhuang: (Holding up his sword.) If my sword can achieve it

 

Fn Zēng: If you can move together as you did just now, you will make Xing Yǔ the Son of Heaven.

 

Xing B: (Emerging) Xing Yǔ and the princess are.

 

Xing Yǔ and Y Měi Rn Arrive

 

Xing Yǔ and Princess Y enter. To Ning follows after them.

 

Xing Yǔ: Y. You bring that page with you everywhere now.

 

Princess Y: Yes. But I know This child goes out somewhere in the middle of the night.

 

To Ning: No. I mean

 

Princess Y: Theres no need to be flustered, precocious one.

 

Fn Zēng: Lord Xing Yǔ.

 

The music stops.

 

Fn Zēng: When I point to this jade, that is the signal for your decision, namely, for the death of Li Bāng.

 

Xing Yǔ: Li Bāng is coming to see me, alone. His companions are waiting for him in the rear. So, first I shall hear his story.

 

Fn Zēng: Such a half-hearted resolve shall

 

Xing B: Lord Li Bāng has arrived.

 

Li Bāng Comes Out

 

Li Bāng comes out and kneels. The music stops.

 

Fn Zēng: Lord Li Bāng. It has been a while.

 

Li Bāng: You seem in the best of health.

 

Wi B: Theres no need to be so formal.

 

J B: You were invited to the feast, after all.

 

Zhōng L Mi: The food and drink is prepared.

 

Li Bāng: It is more than I deserve, to be allowed to soil the lowest seat at your table.

 

Fn Zēng: Before the feast, there is something I should like to ask you. Why did you close the gate of Hangu Pass?

 

Li Bāng: To defend against raids by thieves.

 

J B: Thieves. That seems unlikely.

 

Zhōng L Mi: It was we, and not thieves, who couldnt pass through.

 

Li Bāng: I instructed them to let Lord Xing Yǔ pass when they saw him.

 

Wi B: Yet we couldnt pass.

 

Li Bāng: The man I instructed left his post.

 

Fn Zēng: An excuse.

 

Demanding an Explanation

 

Fn Zēng points to his jade as the music begins. Xing Yǔ says nothing.

 

Fn Zēng: There are still things I would like to ask. Why did you free the women of the inner palace?

 

Li Bāng: I was thinking of the honor of the Chu State.

 

Fn Zēng: Honor?

 

Li Bāng: The women of the inner palace are an unsavory inheritance of Emperor Shǐ.

 

Fn Zēng: The question is: Why did you decide to liberate them, of your own volition?

 

Zhōng L Mi: To gain the favor of the populace?

 

Wi B: Such a makeshift strategy

 

J B: no warrior would have anything to do with it.

 

Fn Zēng points to his jade. Xing Yǔ says nothing.

 

Fn Zēng: Furthermore, you attacked the laws of the Qin.

 

Li Bāng: The people were suffering.

 

Zhōng L Mi: So you were grabbing at popularity.

 

J B: You are a supporter of the common people?

 

Wi B: You wont fight with spear and bow and sword, but plan to become the Son of Heaven through popularity?

 

Retainers:

How far do you plan to excuse yourself?

 

Fn Zēng lifts the jade. The music stops.

 

Xing Yǔ: Lord Li Bāng. I would also ask a question.

 

Xing Yǔs Question

 

Xing Yǔ:

Are you my sworn brother?

 

Li Bāng: I am.

 

Xing Yǔ:

Have you forgotten it?

 

Li Bāng: I have not. Never.

 

Xing Yǔ: I see. Nor have I. .Incidentally, what kind of man is Cao Wu Shang?

 

Li Bāng: He is the man who left his post at Hangu Pass.

 

Xing Yǔ: Cao Wu Shang has sent me secret communications slandering you. When you return, I advise you to behead him.

 

Li Bāng: When I return

 

Xing Yǔ: Brother. We have both had a long journey.

 

Li Bāng: Lord Xing Yǔ.

 

Xing Yǔ:

The suspicions are cleared away

Let the feast begin!

 

The music stops.

 

All: Ha!

 

They begin filling the cups.

 

Fn Zēng: I have not yet finished my questioning.

 

Li Bāng: I have something that I would like to give to Lord Xing Yǔ. Zhāng Ling!

 

Zhāng Ling comes out and kneels before Xing Yǔ. He raises a gold seal.

 

Zhāng Ling: Testimony to the Son of Heaven, a gold seal. With this, all of the treasure of Qin belongs to you.

 

Fn Zēng: Zhāng Ling!

 

Xing Yǔ: (To the seal) The downfall of Qin? A fleeting thing. (He gives the seal to Fn Zēng, then addresses everyone.) Have the cups been passed around?

 

All: Ha!

 

Xing Yǔ: A toast!

 

All: A toast!

 

My Mood Has Also Cleared

 

Xing Yǔ: (Drinking several cups.) Pour. Pour more. Y, the end of our journey is near.

 

Princess Y: Lord Xing Yǔ. No, from now on I will call you Great King.

 

Xing Yǔ: As you prefer, Y.

 

: My mood has also cleared

 

Fn Zēng beckons Xing Zhuang to him. The music stops.

 

Fn Zēng: Xing Zhuang.

 

Xing Zhuang: Ha!

 

Fn Zēng: Use the sword dance as a pretext, and kill Li Bāng.

 

Xing Zhuang: But-!

 

Fn Zēng: I will take responsibility. If we let this pass by here, sooner or later the land will go to that man.

 

Xing Zhuang: (Stepping forward.) We would like to be permitted to perform a sword dance as entertainment at this feast.

 

Xing Yǔ: I shall allow it.

 

All: Ooo!

 

The Sword Dance

 

A great many join in for the sword dance. Xing Zhuangs sword pursues Li Bāng in a casual manner. Zhāng Ling moves as if to step out and away from his position on the high platform.

 

Fn Zēng: Zhāng Ling. Where are you going?

 

Zhāng Ling: Im not.

 

Fn Zēng: You have an auspicious seat. Sit quietly.

 

To Ning: (Assuming an air of innocence.) Princess, I can dance with a sword too!

 

Princess Y: Oh! You mustnt!

 

To Ning snatches Wi Bs sword and joins in the sword dance, saving Li Bāng.

 

Zhāng Ling: All right. Now. (In a loud voice) Ladies of the inner palace who have come to visit us so far out of their way! Your last job raise the mood of this place!

 

Ladies of the Inner Palace: Aaaaaiiiiii!

 

The ladies raise their lovely voices and join in the dancing. Assassination in this place becomes unthinkable.

 

Fn Zēng: Damnation.

 

Fn Kuai and the others come forth.

 

Fn Kuai: Allow us to drink as well!

 

Xing Yǔ: Who are you?

 

Fn Kuai: Have you forgotten us? I am Fn Kuai.

 

Xiāo H: Xiāo H.

 

Co Cān: Co Cān.

 

Fn Kuai: Lord Xing Yǔ, isnt it too cruel?

 

Xiāo H: We could hear you having a wild time all the way from the rear.

 

Co Cān: Must Li Bāngs retainers wait?

 

Xing Yǔ: Apologies. Drink! Sing! Dance!

 

The sword dancers and the palace ladies twist into a swirling whirlpool.

 

Li Bāng Escapes

 

Li Bāng, Zhāng Ling, and Fn Kuai duck out from the whirlpool and go onto the side of the stage.

 

Fn Kuai: Brother. Lets go.

 

Li Bāng: I havent taken my leave of Xing Yǔ, my sworn brother.

 

Zhāng Ling: Your life is in danger. Such a small thing is overshadowed by the larger.

 

Li Bāng: But-

 

Zhāng Ling: The one who takes the ruling power is the Son of Heaven. The result is everything. Fn Kuai, leave the rest to me.

 

Fn Kuai: Ha!

 

Li Bāng and Fn Kuai flee out onto the ginkyo. Xing Yǔ watches over them. The music stops.

 

Fn Zēng: Where is Li Bāng!?

 

Zhāng Ling: He went home, with his apologies. It seems he drank too much and felt ill.

 

Fn Zēng: We let him escape!

 

Xing Yǔ: Attend me!

 

Flower Among Flowers (Act One Ending)

 

Xing Yǔ: Each of you fought well to this point. I would like to distribute territories based on your performances, and promote you to kings.

 

Fn Zēng: Wait. You must receive King Huis permission to distribute land.

 

Xing Yǔ: Then, Master, you may present yourself to King Hui and persuade him.

 

Zhāng Ling: In his absence, please rely fully on me.

 

Fn Zēng: Zhāng Ling! (Caught.)

 

Xing Yǔ: An auspicious day.

 

Xing Yǔ sings. With Y Měi Rn beside him, he descends from his throne dais to the main stage.

 

Xing Yǔ:

Ill celebrate with you

Flower among flowers! In the fullness of bloom

Sunny days, kept in my heart

They will not be forgotten, no matter what comes

Flower among flowers!

 

END ACT ONE

 

ACT TWO

 

Scene One Xiang Yang

 

From Light Into Darkness

 

Xing Yǔ:

From light into darkness

The flames burn out

Nearly everything disappears

 

In the night behind Xing Yǔ and Y Měi Rn, the palace of Qin burns. Seated off to the side, To Ning holds her kokyu.

 

Xing Yǔ: Y. The palace of the First Emperor of Qin burns itself out. The flames which dye the night sky grow weaker and soon everything will return to darkness.

 

Princess Y: Watching like this feels cruel.

 

Xing Yǔ: It feels cruel because we regret the loss of what was.

 

The music stops. The sound of the flames grows softer.

 

Xing Yǔ: Qin is destroyed. I am still young. What should I do with myself from now on?

 

Princess Y: Lets live together in happiness.

 

Xing Yǔ: I am a soldier. I have found my happiness in battle.

 

Princess Y: There are many kinds of happiness and joy in this world.

 

Xing Yǔ: I dont know them at all.

 

Princess Y: Great King. Then, please become a child again.

 

To Ning begins to play her kokyu.

 

Become a Child

 

Xing Yǔ: A child

 

Princess Y:

Become a sweet child

In these arms

Become a young child

Held in this lap

Forget the words

Of fear

And pain

Live with

A smile on your face

No passed opportunities

Nothing that must be done

Now, just for a moment

Become a child.

 

The music stops.

 

Xing Yǔ: (Turning to look at the palace) The flames have died out. The end of the Qin Dynasty.

 

From somewhere a childrens song without musical accompaniment can be heard.

 

A Homecoming Without Triumph

 

Shadow Chorus:

The glow has died out

It has become pitch dark

A homecoming without triumph

Is like walking in the pitch dark all dressed up

 

Children can be heard laughing.

 

Xing Yǔ: That again? Its a popular childrens song in the city right now.

 

Princess Y: This late at night

 

Xing Yǔ: A triumphant homecoming, eh? Y, do you miss your home?

 

Princess Y: I would not say.

 

Xing Yǔ: I understand. It has been a long journey. You cant help but worry over the health of your frail mother.

 

Zhāng Ling comes out.

 

Zhāng Ling: Hegemon King.

 

Xing Yǔ: Zhāng Ling, you would call me that?

 

Zhāng Ling: You have no rival in this world, and so.

 

Xing Yǔ: What is it?

 

Zhāng Ling: A message for you from Master Fn Zēng. I thought it best to bring it to you as quickly as possible, so instead of the messenger, I have brought it personally. (He brings out a bundle of bamboo strips.)

 

Xing Yǔ: What does King Hui say?

 

Zhāng Ling: He says, Do not distribute the land.

 

Xing Yǔ: Meaning, do nothing for anyone?

 

Zhāng Ling: Yes.

 

Xing Yǔ: Those whom I have parceled land to and made kings have already gone their various ways. King Hui tells me to take it from them, and yet no one but King Hui can be made to take it from them.

 

Zhāng Ling: Understood. It shall be done.

 

Xing Yǔ: Anything else?

 

Zhāng Ling: That is

 

He draws Xing Yǔ aside so that Y cannot hear. As a result, they end up near To Ning.

 

Zhāng Ling: He says, Kill Hn Xn.

 

Xing Yǔ: For what reason?

 

Zhāng Ling: If you continue to give Hn Xn such ill-treatment, he will go to Li Bāng. He says he wants to avoid that at all costs.

 

Xing Yǔ: Does Fn Zēng think so much of that man?

 

Zhāng Ling: What shall you do?

 

Xing Yǔ: Do as the master says.

 

Zhāng Ling: Understood.

 

Xing Yǔ draws Y away.

 

Princess Yǔ: (To To Ning) Goodnight, my kitten.

 

To Ning: Goodnight, kind Princess Y Měi Rn.

 

Xing Yǔ and Y Měi Rn depart.

 

Zhāng Ling: Youve become quite natural at playing a boy, To Ning. (Calling) Hng Ln.

 

Hng Ln comes out.

 

Hng Ln: Lord Zhāng Ling. (He hands over a long sword.) The sword you asked for. How was the childrens song?

 

Zhāng Ling: You did well. If you continue like this, Xing Yǔ and Y Měi Rn will become homesick.

 

Hng Ln: Its nothing, if its to get revenge for my murdered Lord Sng Y.

 

Zhāng Ling: (Handing over money) Give this money to the children.

 

Hng Ln: Thank you.

 

Hng Ln takes the money and departs.

 

Zhāng Ling: They say childrens songs are the voice of Heaven. That is why they become popular all over the land. Xing Yǔ will leave the capital and go away to the east.

 

To Ning: Lord Zhāng Ling, I heard. Lord Hn Xn will be killed.

 

Zhāng Ling pulls out a cloth.

 

Zhāng Ling: A map to Lord Li Bāngs land, a map to the Han State.

 

To Ning: The Han State.

 

Zhāng Ling: If he follows the agreement he made with King Hui, Lord Li Bāng will gain the capital, Xiang Yang. But from Master Fn Zēng, I have gained an interest in Han in the west. I advised Li Bāng to burn the bridge to the capital. It will seem as if his ambitions have disappeared and he doesnt mean to return.

 

To Ning: And what am I to do?

 

Zhāng Ling: Because the bridge has been burnt, the roundabout way is long, but I want you to bring Lord Hn Xn to Han.

 

To Ning hesitates to take the map.

 

Zhāng Ling: I understand your feelings. But you will never be permitted to assassinate the Hegemon King, Xing Yǔ.

 

To Ning: What will become of Princess Y Měi Rn?

 

Zhāng Ling: You alone can save Hn Xn.

 

To Ning: All right. (She takes the map.)

 

Zhāng Ling: (Handing her the sword.) Take it. After Ive arranged my plans to assassinate King Hui, Ill also be heading for Han.

 

Zhāng Ling departs. To Ning heads off in another direction, but before she can leave the stage, Wi B and Wng Ao step out to block her way.

 

Wi B: What were you talking about?

 

Wng Ao: This child managed to even wrangle a sword out of him.

 

To Ning: He was congratulating me on my sword dance the other night.

 

Wi B: Dont play innocent. In the sword dance too you were protecting Li Bāng.

 

Wng Ao: Tell us. If you dont tell us well expose your true colors.

 

To Ning thrusts Wng Ao away and kills Wi B with one blow.

 

Wng Ao: M-m-murderer!

 

Wng Ao flees.

 

To Ning: (To Wi B) I am the daughter of a governor-general. I wont allow you to strip my soul bare. Lord Hn Xn!

 

She exits. Wi B dies.

 

Scene Two Han

 

To the East

 

The King of Han, Li Bāng, crosses the ginkyo.

 

Li Bāng:

A gentle wind blows

Over the land where the sands dance

When was it that I saw that shining sea

Which calls me to the east, to the east

To the east, to the east, to the east!

The far-off roar of the sea

Calls to me

To the east, to the east, to the east!

The spring breeze calls to me,

Blowing from afar

 

The soldiers join him. L and the ladies come on stage.

 

Li Bāng + Chorus:

To the east, to the east, to the east!

We advance into

Lands we have never seen!

 

The music peaks.

 

Fn Kuai: King of Han.

 

Li Bāng: Cut it out. Brother is fine.

 

Fn Kuai: I cant go on like that now

 

Xiāo H: Long life to the King of Han!

 

Soldiers: Long life to the King of Han!

 

L: Dearest.

 

Li Bāng: Queen L.

 

L: The happiness of being called queen is compounded when I think of the day I will be empress.

 

Li Bāng: Now is the time to hoard our strength. We dont know what tomorrow will bring.

 

Xiāo H and some soldiers are talking.

 

Xiāo H: King of Han. Lord Hn Xn has come with a message from Master Zhāng Ling.

 

Li Bāng: Lord Hn Xn? Bring him with full honors.

 

Co Cān: (To somewhere off-stage) Lord Hn Xn, please come forth. All, bow!

 

Hn Xns Entrance

 

The soldiers genuflect deeply. Hn Xn emerges with To Ning.

 

Hn Xn: Your Majesty, King of Han.

 

Li Bāng: Lord Hn Xn? I am pleased that you made it.

 

Fn Kuai: Hn Xn? That man who crawled between someones legs?

 

Li Bāng: From this moment on, if someone speaks ill of Lord Hn Xn, I will regard it as slander against myself.

 

Fn Kuai: (Bowing) Ha!

 

Li Bāng: Listen, all! Master Zhāng Ling has said this: The land will bow to the side where Hn Xn goes. The day is near when we will attack Chu. Prepare yourselves and wait.

 

Soldiers: Ha!

 

Co Cān: Dismissed!

 

The soldiers and ladies leave and the music stops.

 

L: To Ning?

 

To Ning: It has been a long time.

 

Hn Xn: Without her, I very likely would not have made it here.

 

L: (to To Ning) You have earned the trust placed in you.

 

Li Bāng: You came here from the capital, Xiang Yang?

 

Hn Xn: Yes.

 

Li Bāng: Then I would like to ask you No. I hate to ask it of you so soon when you are exhausted, but I would like to test you.

 

Hn Xn: I am grateful to hear it. I have been nothing but confused by your faith in me with no cause.

 

Li Bāng: You have served the Hegemon King. The Hegemon King or I, which of us do you think excels at battle?

 

Hn Xn: (thinking a moment) Without a doubt, the Hegemon King, Xing Yǔ.

 

Fn Kuai: You would say that to the King of Han? You

 

He is held back by his friends, but continues struggling.

 

Li Bāng: An honest opinion. I think so as well.

 

Hn Xn: However

 

Hn Xns Reply

 

Li Bāng: However?

 

Hn Xn: He cannot delegate anything to his followers. At times he doesnt even attempt to listen to Master Fn Zēngs words.

 

: One who fights

Does not necessarily govern

 

: The King of Han has supporters he can rely on. Even your signature when you entered the capital Xiang Yang was to open the inner palace, strike down the laws of Qin, and have the power to capture the hearts of the people. In other words, if you do what the Hegemon King does not, your power will increase.

 

: If you observe people

Whats more, if you make good use of them,

There is nothing to fear

You will certainly take the land

 

Fn Kuai: (Crying) Well said!

 

Xiāo H: Supporters he can rely on, he said.

 

Co Cān: Ive started crying.

 

Li Bāng: Lord Hn Xn, we will welcome you. Now then, this way

 

Hn Xn: (pulling out a bamboo bundle) I received this from Master Zhāng Ling.

 

Fn Kuai: What does the master say?

 

Li Bāng: (Taking the bamboo) Through the good offices of the master, soon the Hegemon King Xing Yǔ will kill King Hui. We will have cause to hold a funeral for King Hui.

 

Fn Kuai: When that time comes

 

Li Bāng: We will raise an army.

 

Hn Xn: I will come after. (He motions to To Ning) I have something to say to To Ning.

 

Hn Xn and To Ning remain, Li Bāng and all depart. The music stops.

 

To Ning: I am relieved that I could bring you here safely.

 

Hn Xn: Truly, thank you. My beloved one.

 

To Ning: Beloved

 

Hn Xn: I often felt it during our journey. I respect and love you dearly.

 

To Ning: I am humbly grateful for this token gesture.

 

She begins to run off stage.

 

Hn Xn: Please, wait! (She stops.) Where will you go?

 

To Ning: Anywhere, so long as it is not here.

 

Hn Xn: I didnt mean to bring this up so abruptly.

 

To Ning: No, thats not it I am dirty!

 

Lets Dream

 

: Wi B was once a retainer of my father, Yin Tōng. And he found out my identity, threatened me, and made me his plaything. There is no woman less suited to you, who watches over the King of Han and travels along a prosperous path.

 

She seems about to flee when Hn Xn pulls her to a stop.

 

To Ning: Please let me go. I am the daughter of a governor-general. If you would allow me what small shreds of pride remain, let me go!

 

Hn Xn: Please throw aside that pride, so that we can live our lives together from now on. All right? Please listen closely.

 

: Lets dream a large dream

Until this moment I felt unfulfilled

Lets dream together

Forgetting all of the pain thats come before

 

Both:

So that we can live our lives together

From now on

 

To Ning accepts his feelings.

 

Scene Three A Y (Y Měi Rns Hometown) Triumphant Return Home

 

A Homecoming Without Triumph (Triumphant Return Home)

 

Drums. The Hegemon King Xing Yǔs triumphant return home. The Hegemon King, Y Měi Rn, and the others enter riding a portable shrine. The stage fills with people.

 

Chorus:

Lets return home in triumph

The drums beat gloriously

Lets return home in triumph

 

The music subsides.

 

Scene Three B Y (Y Měi Rns Hometown)

 

Hometown

 

Princess Ys older brother, Zǐ Qī, and her mother, emerge.

 

Zǐ Qī: Sister!

 

Ys Mother: The princess, where is the princess?

 

Princess Y: (Rushing over to her) Mother! Is it all right for you to be walking outside?

 

Zǐ Qī: She cannot see, but otherwise she has gotten very well.

 

Xing Yǔ: Mother.

 

Princess Y: (to her mother) It is the Great King.

 

The Hegemon King gently takes the old woman in his arms and rubs her back.

 

Ys Mother: Ah, you are too good.

 

Xing Yǔ: Y. I have caused you to neglect your filial duties for a long time.

 

The music stops. Fn Zēng emerges.

 

Fn Zēng: Lord Xing Yǔ. No, Hegemon King.

 

Xing Yǔ: Master Fn Zēng.

 

Fn Zēng: I want to ask you Why have you let go of the capital?

 

Xing Yǔ: I have not let go of the capital. I have returned home.

 

Fn Zēng: Why did you entrap King Hui?

 

Xing Yǔ: If I did not silence King Hui, I would not have been able to reward my retainers who risked their lives in battle.

 

Fn Zēng: When at long-last I have caught up and met you, how deplorable it is!

 

Brat

 

Fn Zēng:

You are a brat at home in a swamp,

Wandering about in the dark night

 

Xing Yǔ: A brat. Are you saying I am a child?

 

Fn Zēng: The Great King who should be at the center of the kingdom has personally withdrawn to the hinterlands. And furthermore, he had King Huiwho placed him in the position he has todayentrapped by someone, and actually killed.

 

: A brat!

 

The music stops.

 

Xing Yǔ: Fn Zēng!

 

Princess Y: Great King!

 

Fn Zēng: Take this old head; I shall tell you what will happen next. The King of Han, Li Bāng, will take the capital without fail.

 

Messenger 1 comes running onto the stage.

 

Messenger 1: I have a message! The State of Q in the south has risen in rebellion!

 

Messenger 2 arrives.

 

Messenger 2: Hegemon King! The Han army has invaded! The armys size continues to increase; theyre now in the 500,000s!

 

Fn Zēng: A pincer attack? This lone head has become worthless.

 

Xing Yǔ: Command the lords! All warriors save myself will turn to the suppression of Q!

 

Messengers: Ha!

 

Fn Zēng: And what of Li Bāng? What of Han?

 

Xing Yǔ: Only the 30,000 singled out shall follow me!

 

J B & Zhōng L Mi: Ha!

 

Fn Zēng: Only 30,000 soldiers, and you intend to fight a Han army exceeding 500,000?

 

Xing Yǔ: You think I will lose? They called me the Hegemon King, but perhaps a defeat will see me called a brat

 

The Hegemon Kings Second Coming

 

Xing Yǔ, to Fn Zēng.

 

Xing Yǔ:

Would I take.

Such an irreplaceable head?

 

Scene Four Pngchng

 

Great Banquet

 

Drums ring out. Xing Yǔ, Y Měi Rn, Fn Zēng, and everyone are swallowed up in a crowd of people. The King of Han and his men come out.

 

Fn Kuai: We won! We wooon!

 

Xiāo H: A banquet! A banquet!

 

Co Cān: Xiang Yang, not to mention the Chu capital of Pngchng, have surrendered to us.

 

Li Bāng: Quiet down!

 

: The age of repression through power

Is finished

Now we begin the age of the people

Everymans age

So, celebrate!

 

The people praise Li Bāng. Hn Xn comes on stage.

 

Hn Xn: King of Han. It is too early to celebrate. We dont have the Hegemon Kings head yet.

 

Li Bāng: The people adore us. They call out to us in joy wherever we go. To have gained the support of the people is the same as to have divine providence.

 

Hn Xn: The support of the people There is nothing more apt to change than the hearts of the people.

 

Messenger: (racing onstage) The Chu army is attacking! They have 30,000 soldiers!

 

The music stops.

 

Li Bāng: 30,000? That is an order of magnitude different from our 500,000.

 

Messenger: Our allies are in a rout, please hurry and flee!

 

Li Bāng: A rout. (confused) What on earth.

 

Hn Xn: The forged steel 30,000 that are lead by a furious Hegemon King are strong, and can kick about our 500,000 like a lump of soft bean curd.

 

The Furious Hegemon King

 

The Hegemon King floats high above the stage.

 

Xing Yǔ:

King of Han! A sneak attack.

 

Hn Xn: We aimed for a time when the Hegemon King was absent. He must think it was a sneak attack.

 

Xing Yǔ:

Sworn brother! Shameful!

 

Hn Xn: The Hegemon King has always hated battle outside of the moral principles. He may have driven you back to Han, nonetheless, you are his sworn brother. His terrible anger will grow worse.

 

Li Bāng: What should I do?

 

Hn Xn: Right now there is nothing to do but flee.

 

The Hegemon King waves his sword and the soldiers on stage are kicked about.

 

Xing Yǔ:

I will never

Never

Forgive!

 

Scene Five The Wasteland

 

The music stops. The King of Han is alone.

 

Li Bāng: The soldiers have been scattered. My wife, Queen L, is a hostage. My father is also imprisoned. I ran, and I am alone. For the first time in a long time, I am alone.

 

I Have Never Loved Anyone

 

: Alone, I understand

 

: (laughing lifelessly) No. I knew before, and I didnt dare to search my own heart.

 

: I have never loved anyone

I have never loved anyone other than myself

Not my wife, not my family

No man, no woman

No child

That is the truth

 

: It is a strange thing. Although I have never loved anyone, everyone is drawn to me.

 

: I have never loved anyone

It seems that

The punishment

Has finally come knocking

 

: Does the Hegemon King know what I really am?

 

The music stops. Powerless, the King of Han collapses to his knees. A village girl, Qī, comes out.

 

Qī: You there. You there.

 

Li Bāng: Leave me, please. I am in despair.

 

Qī: Despair. You mustnt. Please dont give up.

 

Li Bāng: I havent given up, but I despair of myself.

 

Li Bāng lifts his head and sees her beautiful countenance.

 

Li Bāng: Young lady

 

Qī: Im not someone who merits a young lady.

 

Li Bāng: What is your name?

 

Qī: I am Qī. I live nearby with my father. Can you walk?

 

Li Bāng: Yes, I can walk.

 

Qī: This way.

 

Li Bāng and Qī

 

Qī:

Ill walk

 

Li Bāng:

Ill walk

 

Qī:

At an easy pace

 

Li Bāng:

At an easy pace

 

Li Bāng trips, Qī saves him.

 

Li Bāng:

With you

 

The two exit.

 

Scene Six The Prison

 

Surviving

 

In the center of the stage, the imprisoned L and Li Bāngs father. To Ning is in attendance beside them. Court ladies surround them.

 

Li Bāngs Father: My son! Li Bāng! This is why I told you: Till the fields. Dont get involved in war and that sort.

 

The ladies lament.

 

You Lan:

Until yesterday we were gaining a nation

 

Chun Lan:

From today we are defeated prisoners

 

Ladies:

Rather,

An average life is best

Raise the children, cook the meals

Smiling as a family

An average existence

 

L: Ladies. Please stop your lamenting. This normal you speak of doesnt exist. What you thought was normal was a fraction of an instant before the new age devours the old age. What is important is

 

: Surviving

 

Ladies:

Surviving

 

Y Měi Rn enters. The music stops.

 

Princess Y: Everyone. I am Y.

 

Shi Lan: Did she say Y?

 

Yu Lan: That Y Měi Rn?

 

Qiu Lan: The Hegemon Kings woman.

 

The Ladies Lament

 

Jin Lan:

What did you come here for?

 

Mu Lan:

To make fun of us?

 

Bai Lan:

Or to kill us as were gathered?

 

Ladies:

Aaahh~!

 

Princess Y: Please dont weep. I havent come with intent to harm, much less to kill. If there is something you lack, please dont hesitate to tell me.

 

L: I suppose we are hostages.

 

Princess Y: For the present.

 

L: Then youll get no thanks from me.

 

Princess Y: (to To Ning) You were a girl. You dont have to explain. Thank you for the happy times.

 

To Ning: Lady Y Měi Rn .

 

Y Měi Rn turns to go.

 

L: Wait.

 

The music stops.

 

L: You came to laugh at the Queen of Han in an airy manner.

 

Princess Y: Depending on the outcome of the war, I may be in a similar position.

 

L: You intend to sell favors. For the time when you are imprisoned.

 

Princess Y: No. I said only, similar. I didnt say, the same.

 

I Will Disappear

 

Princess Y: I think of it, from time to time. I think loving may be the same as living, in that bit by bit we die.

 

: I will never

Be imprisoned

 

L: Not even if the Hegemon King is defeated?

 

Princess Y: Dont ask me what will happen, please. I didnt come here to tell my story. Just to ask if there was anything I could do.

 

L: I dont understand people like you at all.

 

Princess Y: I will tell you this much:

 

: All I do

Is devoted

To him

Sacrifice

Sacrifice

With my sacrificial devotion

I will disappear

No one other than he

Can capture me

 

L: (laughing) Just like we speak of a butterfly dancing in a garden.

 

Princess Y:

If you will excuse me

 

Y Měi Rn departs.

 

Scene Seven Hanoi

 

Zhāng Ling emerges. Li Bāng emerges, accompanied by Qī.

 

Zhāng Ling: Do you want victory against the Hegemon King?

 

Li Bāng: I want victory. Soon, the soldiers will be assembled once more.

 

Zhāng Ling: Do you want victory at any cost?

 

Li Bāng: Thats right. Ah-! (His body pains him.)

 

Qī: Your Majesty!

 

Li Bāng: For Qīs sake as well.

 

Zhāng Ling: Then you will probably be victorious. There are things that must be done. (He calls into the wings of the stage.) Now then, Zǐ Qī. Please come straight in.

 

Feast

 

Sprightly feast music. Zhāng Ling claps his hands.

 

Dancing Girls: Aiii~!

 

Dancing girls appear bearing serving trays laden with food. Zǐ Qī comes out.

 

Zǐ Qī: I think there has been some mistake, for me to receive such a welcome.

 

Zhāng Ling: No, no. I understand. A journey on which you concealed your social status. It is natural that you should be on your guard.

 

Zǐ Qī: My social status is thus concealed

 

Zhāng Ling: It is so like Master Fn Zēng, that he should send the older brother of Y Měi Rn as a messenger. In this way it is not official; this is how he deals with me.

 

Zǐ Qī: Did you say Master Fn Zēng?

 

Zhāng Ling: You dont need to tell me.

 

Zǐ Qī: I am not the masters messenger. I came here at the request of my sister.

 

Zhāng Ling: Your sister. Meaning Y Měi Rn.

 

Zǐ Qī: Thats right.

 

Zhāng Ling: In other words, the Hegemon Kings.

 

Zǐ Qī: Yes. As you said, it isnt official, but

 

Zhāng Ling claps his hands.

 

Dancing Girls: Aiii~!

 

The girls hurriedly lower their trays.

 

Zhāng Ling: Please wait over there.

 

Zǐ Qī: But

 

Zhāng Ling: (Sharply.) Now.

 

Zǐ Qī withdraws. The music stops.

 

Zhāng Ling: (To Li Bāng) Do you want to know why you cant defeat the Hegemon King?

 

Li Bāng: Id like to know.

 

Zhāng Ling: Because he has Master Fn Zēng. To that purpose, I have spread a rumor in the Chu State that the master has come to our side.

 

Li Bāng: The messenger just now?

 

Zhāng Ling: Probably Y Měi Rn is anxious for Master Fn Zēng, and sent her brother, Zǐ Qī, to ascertain the truth.

 

Li Bāng: You saw through it?

 

Zhāng Ling: Zǐ Qī will return and inform them. How at first he was greeted lavishly when he was thought to be Master Fn Zēngs messenger. However, when he informed us that he was the Hegemon Kings messenger, he was treated coldly.

 

Li Bāng: In other words, proof that he is a traitor? Ah-! (His body pains him.)

 

Zhāng Ling: Will you support this kind of battle? More than the pain of your battered body, the pain of your soul will increase.

 

Scene Eight Pngchng

 

Y Měi Rns Plea

 

The Hegemon King enters. Y Měi Rn and Zhōng L Mi follow him.

 

Princess Y: Great King, Great King!

 

: Please, I have a plea

 

Xing Yǔ: Y, you are nagging.

 

Princess Y:

Have mercy on Master Fn Zēng

 

: I was foolish. I sent my brother, Zǐ Qī, as messenger.

 

Zhōng L Mi: (Kneeling down on the ground) Hegemon King. Please take my life in exchange! Please retain Master Fn Zēng!

 

Xing Yǔ:

Dont belittle me!

 

The music stops.

 

Xing Yǔ: I know the master has committed no crime!

 

Zhōng L Mi: Hegemon King.

 

Xing Yǔ: But from this lie, suspicion spreads throughout the soldiers. Suspicion is a mold on the heart. No matter how you scrub and scrub, new mold springs up. Zhōng L Mi-

 

Zhōng L Mi: (In a tearful voice) Ha.

 

Xing Yǔ: Can you return the solders hearts to how they were?

 

J B comes out, holding a cloth.

 

J B: Hegemon King. Master Fn Zēng has gone. He said he has grown old, and so would take his leave. He said he thanked you for your care of him.

 

Y Měi Rn and the retainers weep aloud. Xing Yǔ turns his back and cries.

 

Scene Nine The Wasteland

 

Have We Grown Old?

 

Fn Zēng is riding in a cart. He is whipping an exhausted horse. The horse doesnt move an inch.

 

Fn Zēng: Go! Though I tell you to go (He coughs)

 

: Have we grown old?

This horse

And I

 

Zhāng Ling emerges and the music stops. The wind can be heard.

 

Zhāng Ling: Master Fn Zēng.

 

Fn Zēng: Zhāng Ling. You did it well.

 

Zhāng Ling: I have a carriage prepared over there.

 

Fn Zēng: With this, the Hegemon King has no strategist. From now on the battles will be like stabbing naked soldiers with a spear.

 

Zhāng Ling: If you continue to spend the night here like this, you will freeze to death.

 

Fn Zēng: I shall tell you something. Regardless of appearance, someone who has gone on winning looses faith in people. Because they think that others behave as they would. After the King of Han wins battles, he will change.

 

Zhāng Ling: Please, come this way.

 

Fn Zēng: But you. You will withstand even that.

 

The wind blows.

 

Fn Zēng: Have restraint with your horses. Ive ruined one. Theyre valuable in battle. Go.

 

The wind blows.

 

Fn Zēng: Go! (He has a coughing fit.)

 

Zhāng Ling leaves.

 

When You Grow Old

 

Fn Zēng:

When you grow old

You are ruined

As am I

 

Fn Zēng collapses in the cart. It sinks down into the stage.

 

Scene Ten Guǎngwǔ

The Battle of Guǎngwǔ

 

The Chu and Han battle is illustrated with a battle dance.

 

Xing Yǔ & Li Bāng:

The time for battle has come

 

Soldiers: Ooo!

 

The Chu army enters stage left, the Han army enters stage right.

 

Their numbers swell, and the two sides clash. The tide of battle sweeps back and forth.

 

Xing Yǔ: Continue!

 

Soldiers: Ooo!

 

The King of Han and the Han soldiers dance. Han soldiers fall in great numbers.

 

Xing Yǔ:

King of Han!

 

Scene Eleven Peace Treaty

 

To End the War

 

Xing Yǔ walks out onto the ginkyo, with Y Měi Rn following. They cross with wounded Chu soldiers.

 

Li Bāng: Hegemon King.

 

Xing Yǔ:

Look at the piles of corpses

Strewn at our feet

 

Li Bāng surveys the scene and looks at the bodies.

 

Xing Yǔ: We have been coming here every day to look, as if it is a routine. Returning to our armies as evening comes on

 

: The blood-stained earth

Lit by the setting sun

Glittering like a red sea

Tomorrow, once more, we must surmount

Todays corpses

The blood has flown incessantly

For the sake of we two

 

Xing Yǔ: King of Han. Let us end this war.

 

Li Bāng: To end it.

 

Xing Yǔ: The soldiers are tired, and the people grow thin. Would you see the people disappear from this land, at any cost?

 

: I to the east

You to the west

Let us split the land and return home

If you nod assent

 

Li Bāng: I understand. Let us end it.

 

Xing Yǔ: I trust you.

 

The Hegemon King raises the arm he swore brotherhood with. Understanding, the King of Han does the same.

 

Xing Yǔ & Li Bāng:

I swear

To my brother!

 

Xing Yǔ and Y Měi Rn exit. Zhāng Ling enters.

 

Zhāng Ling: King of Han. Your father and wife have been allowed to return.

 

L: Dear Dear!

 

Li Bāngs Father: My son! Ooo!

 

L and Li Bāngs Father go to Li Bāng. The ladies also emerge.

 

Li Bāng: It was a long war

 

Zhāng Ling: Surely you dont really intend to end it?

 

The music stops.

 

Li Bāng: Eh?

 

Zhāng Ling: Lord Hn Xn has arrived.

 

Hn Xn and To Ning enter.

 

Hn Xn: King of Han. Good. I made it in time. I heard that you temporarily contracted a peace treaty, to buy time.

 

Li Bāng: Temporarily?

 

Zhāng Ling: Lord Hn Xn, it seems that the King of Han has no more stomach for war.

 

Hn Xn: Impossible! After all of my hard work, to subjugate the State of Q and come running with reinforcements. If you dont defeat the Hegemon King now, when will the land be put in order?

 

Zhāng Ling: He is satisfied with half of a divided land. On the contrary, he seems to be content to wait and allow the Hegemon Kings army to recover.

 

Hn Xn: Wait, where is the guarantee that we will win the next time? In a little time, what will have been the point of fighting our way here to this point?

 

Retainers: King of Han!

 

A Bitter Decision

 

Li Bāng:

Deceive an opponent who has turned his back

And cut at him from behind

Is that what you say to me?

 

L: Dear! Am I to end being a queen? Will the day Im called an empress never come?

 

Li Bāng:

Break an oath

Sworn man to man?

 

Zhāng Ling: The only one who can make the decision is the King of Han himself.

 

The King of Han looks about. Without his noticing, the Han soldiers have surrounded him. . He makes a bitter decision.

 

Li Bāng:

Go!

 

Scene Twelve Gaixi

 

Red Poppies

 

Humming. All of the principal characters emerge, beginning with those who have died. The Han soldiers gather. The King of Han and his retainers. . At last the Hegemon King, Xing Yǔ, and Y Měi Rn rise up from below on a couch.

 

Xing Yǔ: When did I fall asleep? It has been a month of continuous fighting since the Peace Treaty. One long month that feels like a year, like ten years, like a hundred years of fighting. (He notices the singing voices.) That is a song from the State of Chu. The singers are in the midst of the battle. Then, my homeland Chu has already become Hans? (Falling in to memory) My strength uprooted mountains, my spirit overstepped the world. But the times are against me, and my horse can gallop no more. When he can gallop no more, what can I do? (As if calling to her) Y! Y! What is to become of you!?

 

Y Měi Rn wakes up.

 

Princess Y: Great King. Did you call me?

 

The Hegemon King simply smiles at her.

 

Princess Y: That is a song from the State of Chu. Amid the battle

 

Xing Yǔ: I want you to feel at ease. I make them sing for you.

 

Princess Y: For me

 

The humming and the music stops.

 

Princess Y: Great King. Do you remember? The night we were first bound together? Bathed in the moonlight, the night you came for me.

 

Xing Yǔ: Could I forget?

 

Princess Y: You sought a kiss for your sword.

 

Xing Yǔ: I have received many wounds, but none so deep as the one to my back that night.

 

Princess Y: You doubted me.

 

Xing Yǔ: Only once.

 

Princess Y: But on our first night together. How cruel you are.

 

Y Měi Rn pulls his swords from his belt.

 

Xing Yǔ: Ah, hey!

 

Princess Y: That night, I waited for you in maidenly anticipation. And yet you gave me such a terrifying look.

 

Xing Yǔ: Give them back.

 

Princess Y: This was all, all it took to suspect there was something between me and another man? Did you think you would run me through with the sword you were given? (She pretends to stab at him) Yes? Yes? Like this?

 

Xing Yǔ: Youll make me angry.

 

Princess Y: Dont be angry. Please, kiss me. Like you did that night.

 

Xing Yǔ kisses Y Měi Rn.

 

Princess Y: Seven years have already passed since then.

 

Xing Yǔ: You are always young.

 

Princess Y: Then, so are you, Great King. Always young. Always strong. No man is a match for you.

 

Xing Yǔ: For your sake, I wish it were so.

 

Princess Y: Great King, please sing.

 

Xing Yǔ: A song?

 

Princess Y: Louder than that singing earlier. Since that night we were first joined, my home has been one place only in your heart.

 

Flower Among Flowers

 

Princess Y: I will present a sword dance with your singing. Though I dont know if I can match that girl who dressed as a boy.

 

Xing Yǔ:

Ill sing, for you

Flower among flowers! As you love me tranquilly

I shall believe in you, no matter the events

 

Ill live with you

Birds, high in the sky

As our wings dance together

Nothing at all can capture us

 

Xing Yǔ takes one of the swords from Y Měi Rn and dances with her.

 

Xing :

Ill believe in

No one

Nothing

Not in this world

 

Xing Yǔs and Y Měi Rns eyes meet.

 

Xing Yǔ:

Ill live with you!

 

In the moment when Xing Yǔ looks away, Y Měi Rn raises the sword and cuts her own neck.

 

Xing Yǔ: Y! Y! What have you done?!

 

Princess Y: Now, as the Han army draws near, I am already a burden.

 

Xing Yǔ: Y!

 

Princess Y: Always strong

 

Y Měi Rn breathes her last. The music stops. J B enters.

 

J B: Hegemon King.

 

Xing Yǔ: Y is dead. Y, who is always with me. She told me to be strong.

 

J B falls to his knees in grief.

 

Xing Yǔ: How many men are left whom I can call mine?

 

J B: (In a tearful voice) Some twenty. Zhōng L Mi also didnt return today.

 

Xing Yǔ: (Picking up his swords) I have no intention to take my own head while I have one retainer remaining. J B you have always followed me well.

 

J B: Hegemon King.

 

Xing Yǔ: Let us go!

 

J B: Haaaa!

 

Scene Thirteen Wu River

 

Pursuit

 

Han soldiers come out and Xing Yǔ and J B disappear. The soldiers dance a pursuit dance. The music stops. The commanding officer of the troops pursuing Xing Yǔ, Wang Yi, emerges.

 

Wang Yi: Today is the third day.

 

Music. The pursuit dance. The music stops.

 

Wang Yi: Where is the Hegemon King?

 

Music. The pursuit dance. The music stops.

 

Wang Yi: We havent taken him prisoner yet. Thousands of soldiers against one man.

 

The music crescendos and stops.

 

Soldier: There is the Hegemon King!

 

The Hegemon Kings Final Valliant Figure

 

The soldiers run to where the Hegemon King is in the center of the stage.

 

Wang Yi: Is there someone here who knows the Hegemon Kings face?

 

Lǚ Mǎ Tng: Lord Wang Yi. I, Lǚ Mǎ Tng, know it. I was born in the same state.

 

Wang Yi: Good. (Turning toward the center stage) Hegemon King! The soldiers of Chu have betrayed you; they have all changed sides and joined the Han!

 

Soldiers:

Joined the Han!

 

Wang Yi: Your retainers were all taken prisoner long ago!

 

Soldiers:

All taken prisoner!

 

Wang Yi: If you come out quietly, we will spare your life!

 

Soldiers:

If you come out quietly!

 

The center piece of the stage has been raised, and the Hegemon King appears at the top, haloed by backlighting.

 

The music stops.

 

Wang Yi: Take him!

 

Soldiers: Oooo!

 

The soldiers cry out, but dont move. No one goes near the Hegemon King.

 

Wang Yi: Wh- What are you doing? The Hegemon Kings head is worth a thousand gold pieces and 10,000 parcels of land. Hes only one man, go!

 

Soldiers: Ooo!

 

But they still will not close on the Hegemon King.

 

Wang Yi: Hey. Is that the Hegemon King?

 

Lǚ Mǎ Tng: It is.

 

Xing Yǔ: Is that Lǚ Mǎ Tng? How nostalgic. Come here. I have something I want to give you.

 

Lǚ Mǎ Tng is afraid, and wont come near.

 

Xing Yǔ: Do you not believe my words? I have never betrayed anyone. And I have never plotted against anyone. Now then.

 

Lǚ Mǎ Tng draws his sword.

 

I Lived Happily

 

Xing Yǔ: What I want to give you, is my head. Now, with no retainers left, why should I hold my life dear? I want you to tell the King of Han that the Hegemon King spoke these final words:

 

Ill believe in

No one

Nothing

Not in this world!

 

: (Turning toward Heaven) Y. Youve been waiting. With you

 

: I lived happily!

 

The Hegemon King cuts his own throat.

 

The soldiers mob him, and he disappears from view in an instant.

 

Scene Fourteen The Glorious Path

 

The Founding Emperor of the Han Dynasty Makes His Entrance

 

The retainers of the King of Han enter. So does L, now an empress. Also, To Ning.

 

Zhāng Ling: Although the Hegemon King was alone, he felled more than a hundred men. That night if we had not had the men sing Chu songs, so that he thought he was surrounded on all four sides, I doubt the battle would be over yet.

 

Hn Xn: It is a strange tale, but I hear that on the hill where Y Měi Rn died a red flower never before seen has bloomed. Without anyone realizing it, the flowers have been named Y Měi Rn flowers.

 

Zhāng Ling: The Hegemon King's final words remain. That he lived happily as a warrior.

 

The founding emperor of the Han Dynasty rises up from below the stage. The music stops.

 

He seems troubled by something, hiding what may be the first signs of his illness.

 

Li Bāng: And those who remain are to be pitied?

 

L Zh: Eh?

 

Li Bāng: I will pass down an imperial command, as the Son of Heaven.

 

Everyone steps back.

 

Li Bāng: The Hegemon King's remains are to be buried on the hill where the Y Měi Rn flowers bloom. I will also participate in the funeral rites. I want to sing that Chu song once more, to give compassion to those red flowers with these lyrics, so:

 

Red Poppies

 

The founding emperor remains, alone while everyone else departs.

 

Li Bāng:

Red petals, the color of love

Y Měi Rn flowers of a burning heart

To bloom is to fall and wither

Ah, why do you bloom so beautifully?

 

Scene Fifteen The Hill Where Y Měi Rn Flowers Bloom

(Xing Yǔ and Y Měi Rn)

 

The Grand Staircase. The hill where the Y Měi Rn flowers bloom. Xiang Yu and Y Měi Rn are there. The Y Měi Rn flowers are represented by young women.

 

Xing Yǔ + Chorus:

Blooming flowers which live so briefly

I yearn for this fleeting dream

Do you still bloom, red flowers?

 

Xing Yǔ: Y! Now is the time.

 

Princess Y: Great King, at last.

 

Xing Yǔ: Where the flowers bloom, with you.

 

Chorus:

Dream which never returns!

Just for a moment, now!

Y, Y! What shall become of you?

Y, Y! What shall become of you?

 

Grand ending. The story is complete. The finale begins.

 

Scene 16 Finale 1

 

Finale A  Rockette

 

Young women representing the Y Měi Rn flowers dance the rockette.

 

Rockettes: Ya!

 

Scene 17 Finale 2

 

Finale B

 

A number featuring Finale Man A (Sou Kazuho) and eight Finale Women.

 

Finale Man A:

A gentle wind blows

Over the land where the sands dance

When was it that I saw that shining sea

Which calls me to the east, to the east

The spring breeze calls to me,

Blowing from afar

 

Scene 18 Finale 3

 

Finale C

 

A number featuring Finale Man S (Matobu Sei) and the Finale Men.

 

Finale Man S:

Da da da...

 

Scene 19 Finale 4

 

Finale D

 

A dance by Finale Woman S (Sakurano Ayane).

Finale Woman S searches for Finale Man S.

At last Finale Man S appears on the Grand Staircase.

A duet dance between Finale Woman S and Finale Man S.

 

Finale Man S:

You are

Mine alone

Ill live

With you

 

Scene 20 Parade

 

Parade

 

Etoile:

Red petals, the color of love

Y Měi Rn flowers of a burning heart

 

Asaka:

I love, love, love you

Nozomi/Shirahana:

La la la la Love love love

Asaka:

And you love, love, love me

Nozomi/Shirahana:

La la la la Love love love

Asaka:

Beloved sweet one

Nozomi/Shirahana:

Ooo... la la la

All Three:

Beloved

 

Hanagata/Mano:

We were born into

An age of war

An age of war

 

Misuzu:

The value of a great person

Is only understood by other greats

Only a hero can find a hero

 

Aine:

Lets dream a large dream

Until this moment I felt unfulfilled

 

Sou:

A gentle wind blows

Over the land where the sands dance

When was it that I saw that shining sea

Which calls me to the east, to the east

We advance into

Lands we have never seen

 

Sakurano:

No passed opportunities

Nothing that must be done

Now, just for a moment

Become a child

 

Matobu:

Ill celebrate with you

Flower among flowers! In the fullness of bloom

Sunny days, kept in my heart

They will not be forgotten, no matter what comes

Flower among flowers!

 

All:

I have wings

Wings that others do not have

Because you were born with wings

Flap your wings until you fly

"A dancing flight, for as long as you live"

The blue sky calls to me

 

Anyone can become king

Anyone can become the Son of Heaven

Our time has come

 

I have wings

Wings that others do not have

Because I was born with wings

With all my might, for all my life, I will fly!