|"A Bride in the Vermilion Forbidden City"|
|Original Air Date||June 8, 2008|
|English Air Date||January 24, 2009|
|Written by||Ichirō Ōkouchi|
|Directed by||Kazuo Sakai|
|One Million Miracles||When Shen Hu Wins Glory|
Lelouch learns the Chinese Empress Tianzi is being forced into a political marriage to First Prince Odysseus eu Britannia. The wedding is orchestrated by the High Eunuchs, who will become nobles of Britannia, in exchange for turning over half their land to Second Prince Schneizel el Britannia. As the wedding begins, Li Xingke initiates a coup-d'état to overthrow the Eunuchs, but before he can free the Empress, Zero appears and takes her hostage. Elsewhere, V.V. readies Jeremiah Gottwald against Lelouch and C.C..
C.C. narrates that the Chinese Federation has the largest population of any country in the world, but that it's government, controlled by Tianzi, but her servants the High Eunuchs have become exceedingly tyrannical because Tianzi is too young to rule properly on her own, reducing the populace into nothing more than an oligarchy. The Black Knights, meanwhile, have stationed their Special Zone in a man made Chinese Federation island, which the High Eunuchs gave them permission to have. There, Zero met with the High Eunuchs, along with Xingke, and made peace with them; however, complications remain in their deal.
In the present, the Black Knights continue making preparations to settle down. Minami, Asahina, and Sugiyama, while doing hard labor, discuss how the Chinese Federation would still help them after the battle with Sawasaki, when Tamaki comes up to them and make a joke about how the High Eunuchs have no testicles. After Minami reprimands him, Ohgi asks them for help with unloading their new Knightmares, the Akatsuki Mass-Production Model on loan from India and Rakshata as a way of courtesy in their mutual quest to be liberated from their oppressors (India is ruled by the Chinese Federation); additionally, Tohdoh gets the Zangetsu, the Four Holy Swords get the Akatsuki Command Model Zikisan, and Zero gets the Shinkiro, a variant of the destroyed Gawain. Up in a command tower, Diethard meets with Zero and Kallen about reporting on some leaders before departing. After he leaves, Kallen asks Zero if they can trust Diethard since he acts on his own, and Lelouch, taking on his mask, replies they can because not only can he manipulate him to avoid such occurrences, but Diethard also has the skills and best of intentions. Outside, Tohdoh talks to Rakshata about a gigantic float ship called the Ikaruga that she is making to rival the Avalon, which she has taken a float system for using the Gawain's previous system, which she also placed on the Shinkiro; Chiba asks what happened to Jeremiah's Knight Giga Fortress, but Rakshata said she couldn't find it.
While Kallen is on a stool preparing electrical equipment, she asks about Lelouch's plans, revealing that he wants to take over the Vermillion Forbidden City without coming off as invaders, giving them plenty of resources to fight Britannia. After briefly looking at Lelouch, who is kneeling below the stool to do his own work, she ends up smiling, blushing, and daydreaming about how he is doing much better than he was in Shinjuku Ghetto. Noticing this, Lelouch asks her what the matter is, but she becomes shocked at his comment and ends up slipping off the stool, falling on top of him in a suggestive position so that they nearly kiss, to their mutual shock. After regaining her senses, Kallen, still remaining on Lelouch, asks him why he came back to them when Suzaku tried to kill them instead of continuing to mope. Lelouch begins to say that it is for the same reason that, when the whole situation is over, he wants to return to Ashford Academy alongside her, but after he only finishes that much, C.C. reveals herself to be in the room, asking them what would be a good substitute for Tabasco sauce to put on her pizza, much to Lelouch's and Kallen's embarrassment. After that, Kaguya talks to them on an intercom asking them to come onto the Ikaruga because of a situation; they promptly do so, unaware that they have fallen in love with each other. When Zero gets there, he learns from Kaguya that Tianzi has been forced into an arranged political marriage with the much older Odysseus eu Britannia, and Kaguya has been invited by Tianzi, complicating Zero's plan, as he had planned to kidnap Tianzi beforehand to take the city, and deciphers that the "mediocre" Odysseus and Britannia plotted the whole scenario. Tamaki promptly says that it's no big deal because they aren't involved with Britannia, but the Ikaruga's pilots, Mutsuki Minase, Ichijiku Hinata, and Ayame Futaba say that the Chinese Federation is doing it to make a deal for the Black Knights to get shipped away back to Britannia, along with Tianzi. Diethard and Zero then decipher that a specific Britannian masterminded the entire thing, who is revealed to be Schneizel. At that same time, Schneizel and Kanon meet with the High Eunuchs and Xingke, the latter of whom appears to be horrified at the thought.
Later some night, the pre-wedding party takes place, and Odysseus and Tianzi are forced to sit on thrones at the end of the room; Odysseus seems in decent spirits, but Tianzi is quivering like crazy. Suzaku is also there with Cecile, and he asks if Tianzi willingly wanted to have the marriage, but Cecile says it's fine either way because the marriage will force peace between the two nations. Gino promptly comes up to them and shows them a potato sculpture he found and asks how he is supposed to eat it; Suzaku tells him it's just a decoration, leading Gino to reveal that Cecile ate a similar bird sculpture made out of carrots. While Cecile goes to talk to Anya about her electronic diary, Lloyd passes by them where his date, Milly, asks if they are still engaged; Lloyd says they are since they never called it off. Kanon then approaches them and admits being surprised that Lloyd actually has a fiancé and is attending the party, to which Lloyd admits Suzaku made him come. Lloyd then introduces Milly to Kanon as Schneizel's assistant, to which Kanon adds is in ways "public and private"; Kanon quickly passes off the homosexual joke by saying that Schneizel merely has interests in unusual things, him included. The receptionist then announces Schneizel's arrival to the ceremony, where Milly is shocked to see that his date is Nina (surprising Odysseus, who figured that Schneizel would have more than one date). The other guests recognize Nina as the chief of Schneizel's science facility, named In Vogue, before proceeding to insult her. Nina catches on and begins to tense up, but Schneizel promptly keeps her stable by saying that Euphemia always acted strong in bad scenarios, relieving Nina. All three Knights of the Round bow to him and say they are at his service for their time in the land, but Schneizel tells him to relax. Nina then chides Suzaku into getting word on how the Student Council is doing; he says they are doing fine, and she and Milly reunite.
In an underground room, Xingke and his subordinates learn that, when Tianzi is married off, they will not only give some territory away to the Britannians but also gain Britannian noble titles, their real purpose of having the marriage. They then begin planning how to stop the wedding without looking like they are staging a coup de'tat. In a flashback to a few years earlier, it is shown that Xingke was arrested for trying to stop the execution of an inmate, and promptly brought before Tianzi. Tianzi, however, told the man to spare Xingke's life because he should not die for a good deed, and the High Eunuchs agreed. Xingke was then taken in by Tianzi, and later on Xingke said that he wished to become a military officer in the hopes that he can protect Tianzi in any way possible. Tianzi then noted that he is lucky because he can go to the world outside the Forbidden City. As a way of expressing further gratitude, Xingke promised to bring Tianzi to the outside world, and they made a pinky promise on it. Xingke now feels he is in a dilemma between protecting the country and protecting Tianzi. At the ceremony, as Odysseus reflects on whether or not Charles will come, Kaguya is announced to be coming in attendance, to Tianzi's joy and Suzaku's surprise. However, everyone is shocked to discover that Kaguya's date is none other than Zero, with Kallen acting as the bodyguard to them both; as Schneizel gazes at them through a wine glass, Zero realizes that Schneizel actually is the puppet master behind the marriage.
Milly and Nina, meanwhile, go outside to a balcony to chat and talk about Milly's school life. Milly then brings up how Nina is doing good and admits she is relieved because Nina never came for advice. From there, Nina bluntly tells her to shut up, saying that even though they are friends, Nina hates the fact Milly has no depth to her unlike Euphemia. Milly offers to help Nina like Euphemia did, but for some reason this causes Nina to snap and berate her for always "making fun of her" at Ashford and hiding behind her family to get away with it, but that she's now perfectly independent. At the same time, the guards surround Kaguya, Zero, and Kallen, leading to a discussion behind Tianzi and the High Eunuchs over what to do. Schneizel promptly tells everyone to stop, and gets the High Eunuchs to withdraw their guards because it is a time for celebration, only on the condition that Zero not attend the wedding the next day. Suzaku then rushes in front of Schneizel to fight Zero, but Kaguya stands between them and reminds Suzaku that they are cousins, with the conversation also revealing that Taizo Kirihara and the other members of the Kyoto House were captured and executed, with Kaguya questioning why Suzaku would execute a man that once saved him from execution. Zero then offers to play chess with Schneizel. If Zero wins, he can have Kaguya take Suzaku away from the party as a "present", intending to use Geass on everyone else to let him take Tianzi (since he can't use it on Suzaku); however, if Schneizel wins, Zero must unmask to everyone, to Kallen's dismay.
The chess game has to be moved to another room in order for Odysseus and Tianzi to be protected, with Odysseus betting on Schneizel. Suzaku and Kallen each stand beside their respective party's leaders and glare at each other when Kallen notices Anya and Gino staring at her and commenting on her looks. Kanon quickly notes that Schneizel is losing after some time, which is odd as Zero notes that Schneizel is the only person to (fairly) beat him at chess. Lelouch then moves his king before giving his typical quote about leading with kings. Schneizel comments on the impressive strategy, then decides to follow suit. This results in both of them advancing their kings forward one space at a time, ultimately resulting in a single space between them, while Nina comes back from the balcony and wonders what is going on. With both acknowledging that, under the circumstances, the game would be impossible to win for either of them, Zero decides to call the game a stalemate. However, Schneizel refuses, proceeding to move his king so that the two kings are on connecting spaces (which, in reality, is an illegal chess move and therefore cannot be performed under any circumstances), dumbfounding everyone. Zero comes to the conclusion that Schneizel is deliberately trying to lose, and therefore is setting a trap. In an attempt to avoid it, Zero moves his king diagonally backwards, but then Schneizel says that Charles would not hesitate to take it, and that Zero's move caused him to learn something about Zero's personality, enraging Zero. All of a sudden, Nina snaps again and rushes in brandishing a giant stabbing knife and charges at Zero with tears in her eyes, only to be stopped by Suzaku. Suzaku tries to calm her down, but after she screams at him that he should want it because he was Euphemia's Knight, he lets her go, only for her to be then stopped by Kallen, who proceeds to wrestle the knife on the ground while Zero and Schneizel back away from them. Nina backs away from Kallen and questions why she would defend Zero when she's a Britannian. After Kallen reveals her true heritage to Nina, Nina proceeds to accuse her of pretending to be her friend, then demands to give back her "goddess" Euphemia (in a brief flashback, it is revealed that Suzaku had Nina brainwashed into thinking that Rolo is Lelouch's brother, as with the other Student Council members). Nina then collapses on the ground, leading Suzaku to decide that Zero caused her insanity also. Kallen gets on the ground to pick up the knife and give it to Gino; Milly then comes in and sees Kallen apologizing to Nina before they lock eyes, leaving them both happy. With Nina's outburst, Schneizel decides to end the game, but not before reprimanding Zero not to attend the wedding.
Watching the whole scene, Tianzi is reassured of the whole scenario by Odysseus. However, Tianzi comes to the realization that, once she's married off, she will be finally be going to the outside world, but never imagined it would be as a hostage. She thinks of this all the way to the altar, where everyone from the party except Zero (including Kaguya and Kallen) is present, and Rolo, Shirley, and Rivalz watching on live video. In the middle of the ceremony, however, Xingke and some of his troops barge into the hall and object to the wedding, believing it isn't what the Chinese want. All of the guests are soon evacuated while the video feed is cut off, while Xingke has doubts throughout as to whether or not to do this, since although he wants to save Tianzi and to that extent the people, he doesn't even know if she remembers that day. Tianzi, however, gives a signal that she has, so Xingke defeats several guards in hand-to-hand combat. He rushes forward Tianzi, who reaches out for a big hug, but a curtain suddenly falls down between them. When it clears, Zero is revealed to be standing over Tianzi, thanking Xingke for making it easy for him to make his move with everyone gone. Xingke tries to approach him, but Zero takes out a gun and points it at Tianzi's head. Xingke reprimands Zero, saying that he owes him a debt for helping to establish the United States of Japan, but Zero says that that is the exact reason that he is taking Tianzi away, as Xingke had wanted. Xingke calls Zero scum, but Zero only laughs at the comment. Elsewhere, V.V. sits on an ancient set of stairs, and tells someone that, if Zero plans to come there and destroy what they and Schneizel have built they're in trouble. To this end, V.V. has made preparations for the man to go out and kill Lelouch and C.C., after some preparations - and the man is a fully "repaired" Jeremiah.
Characters in Order of AppearanceEdit
Knightmare Frames in Order of AppearanceEdit
- Skirmish at Zhengzhou (Started)
Powers or Abilities usedEdit
- "I'm dumbfounded to find Lloyd interested in anything human." -Kanon
- Conversation between Kaguya and Suzaku
- "Suzaku Kururugi, do you remember me? We're cousins you and I." -Kaguya
- "Of course I do." -Suzaku
- "We're the last remaining survivors of the six houses of Kyoto. Aren't we?" -Kaguya
- "Taizo Kirihara and the others supported terrorists. Nothing could have stayed their executions." -Suzaku
- "But this is different. Cousin did you forget that master Zero once saved your life? Do you plan to execute someone you owe your life to?" -Kaguya
- "There's no comparison." -Suzaku
- "Oh how sad! It's a good thing we're not able to kill anybody merely with the words we say." -Kaguya
- "With no hesitation whatsoever the emperor would have grabbed it. I've now learned just a bit about what kind of man you really are Zero." -Schneizel
- "Yes, if Zero's true objective, turns out to be here, we're in trouble." -V.V.
- "Even if they try to move now it is too late. The empress, the symbol of the chinese federation, has fallen into my hands. Xingke, the high eunuchs, schneizel too, let them all dance to my plan. I'm through positioning my pieces. this is no game of chess. I intend to checkmate the nation known as the Chinese Federation. And once I have, I'm coming for him. I'll possess the power to confront the emperor of Britannia. And for that I swear I'll..." -Lelouch (Preview for the next episode)