In short, it's a Seiran episode. :P
Hey, I said quick, didn't I? :P And since I get the feeling people would start throwing things at me if I left it at that...
We start the episode with Shuurei and Eigetsu packing in preparation for their departure to Sa Province and their assignment as co-Governors. Shuurei instructs her father as to where things are in the kitchen and hands him a note listening what she's telling him. Shuurei worries a little over whether her father will be all right without her or Seiran there, but Shouka reassures her that he'll be fine. Shuurei hesitates wanting to tell her father something when Seiran comes in the kitchen and asks if it would be all right for him to go out.
When asked where he's going, Seiran only tells them that he'll be back soon. Shouka then asks Shuurei what it was she wanted to tell him, but Shuurei only says she'll tell him later.
Ro Ensei has been assigned as their Lt. Governor, and Shi Seiran has been assigned as their guard and will be accompanying the two on their assignment to Sa Province. Summer is fast approaching as is the date of their departure.
On his way to Shoukun's grave, he remembers when he was younger and Ryuuki would come crying to him after being beaten up by the other princes. Ryuuki cries that it would've been better if he hadn't been born, but Seien tells Ryuuki that he's happy he was there. Seien then takes some medicine to his mother, who is a sickly woman, but she turns her back on him. She mutters how it would have better if he weren't there or that he hadn't been born.
Seiran remembers how she was a sickly and weak person, and that she would likely have been much happier had she lived out a refined life in some quiet country noble's home rather than receiving the emperor's favour and bearing the second prince. While he had five brothers all of different mothers, the only one that loved him was the youngest, Ryuuki. And likewise, for him, Ryuuki was the only one he could believe in. Neither of them needed anyone other than each other, and were similar.
Seiran wishes that if he'd only realised his own intelligence and foolishness back then, he might have been able to live a different life. The previous Emperor, seeing Seien win a competition, presents him with the twin swords Kanshou and Bakuya.
Seien's mother's father plots to have him made Emperor as he's the most accomplished of princes. The grandfather plots to have the other princes exiled and for the emperor to abdicate the throne and tells his daughter not to worry and to leave everything to him.
Seien presents one of the swords that he'd received, Bakuya, to young Ryuuki. He tells Ryuuki to think of the sword as a replacement for himself so that way, he won't be lonely at night.
However, Seien and his mother are arrested for treason and he realises that it had all been a setup by the other consorts and princes. His grandfather was executed while he and his mother were exiled. While Seien didn't have any regrets leaving the Imperial Palace, he was worried about leaving Ryuuki behind like that.
Assassins were sent by his brothers seeking his death before he reached exile. His mother could only shriek how it was all his fault for being born and how it would've been better had she not given birth to him. Thinking about his mother, Seiran didn't know whether he loved her or not, but she had given birth to him so he couldn't resent her.
His mother was killed as he fought off the assassins. Seien challenges the other assassins that if they want to kill him, they would have to come at him with the intent of being killed. Seien killed all the assassins, but his hell didn't end then.
Back in the present and at the palace, Shuuei looks worried, and when asked why by Kouyuu, he admits being worried over Seiran. Kouyuu's surprised at Shuuei's admission, when Shuuei goes on to explain that nine years ago, he'd been ordered by his brothers to trace Prince Seien. Shuuei admits that he wasn't interested in making Seien Emperor, but had been more interested in taking Seien into custody to prevent any undue unrest by others seeking to do just that. Shuuei's brothers figured that Seien was strong enough at the sword to fight off anyone sent to eliminate him.
Kouyuu then comments that he'd heard a rumour once that Kokurou had been sent to take Seien into custody and protect him from assassins after being sent into exile. Shuuei admits that whether Kokurou managed to find Seien or not, he hadn't been able to find him back then. Shuuei then asks Kouyuu if he knows where Seien had been exiled. Shuuei then goes on to explain that Seien had been exiled fourteen years ago shortly after the start of the new year, while Shouka had taken him in at the end of the year. Shuuei wonders what he had been doing during that period.
Seiran, at Shoukun's grave, remembers her giving him his name and meeting Shuurei.
Back at Shouka's residence, Shouka stares out at the garden when Ensei comes and says that things will become lonely at the residence. Shouka comments that it's what Shuurei wanted and that undoubtedly, after nine years, flowers would bloom in their garden this summer again.
Shouka explains that, after the treason of the second prince fourteen years earlier, the country had been peaceful... at least it was on the surface.
Shouka remembers how nine years ago, the previous emperor, fell ill, causing civil war to break out. The emperor's illness at that time, was a plot by the emperor and he told Shou that he was not to do anything at that time. The country had fallen ill and in order to continue in the future, it needed to be reborn.
While the fight over the throne among the princes had been happening below the surface all that time, with the announcement of the emperor's "illness", that fight was brought into the forefront. Other than Ryuuki, the other princes all fought for the throne and that fight resulted in civil war. The Imperial Courts were thrown into disarray over the struggle for the throne and as a result ceased to be able to function. It was the people who ended up suffering from all this.
Drought and flood struck the capital resulting in plague and a crisis. At that time Shouka confronted Shou as to why he did nothing, but Shou said he was waiting. Ensei asks Shouka what Shou had been waiting for, and Shouka explains how Shou was waiting for someone worthy of being to appear. At that time, Shouka asked what was to happen if no one were to appear, but Shou merely tells him that, if someone who would make a great Emperor did not appear, then it would be better for the country to be destroyed.
At the time when everyone lost all hope and thought that it was the end of the country, Shou sees Ryuuki staring out over the city and asks him if he also wanted the throne like his brothers. But at the very end, Shou found the spark that would make a great Emperor in Ryuuki.
Shou then set about bringing aid to the people and rebuilding the Court. Those princes and officials who sought authority for themselves rather than peace for the people were either exiled or executed. As a result, the Courts that had become so rotted before, were made better and young again. Ensei asks if Shouka meant that was all according to the previous Emperor's and Shou Taishi's plan. However, Shouka merely continues with his narrative how the country quickly recovered, as though it had been guided by some unseen power.
Then two years ago, the previous Emperor died.
However, Ryuuki, who took the throne, pretended to be a foolish lord, hoping for the return of Seien. However, he ended up meeting Shuurei and realised his responsibilities as Emperor. Shouka thinks that Ryuuki will make a good Emperor and that the country...
Ensei comments that without doubt flowers would bloom in that garden.
Shuurei comes in and asks if Shouka had seen Seiran and wonders where he'd gone. Shouka says that most likely Seiran had gone...
As Shouka and Shuurei pay their respects to Shoukun, Ensei asks if Seiran was okay with going to Sa Province since he'd remember a lot of things including the satsujinzoku.
However, Seiran declares he will go to Sa Province and protect Shuurei regardless of what may happen.
Shuurei complains mildly to Seiran about not having said anything about going to visit her mom's grave. She then tells Shouka that she had something to say to him. She thanks Shouka for raising her well, listening to what she wanted, and for letting her go to Sa Province. However, Shouka tells her that he hadn't done anything, but that she had done those things all on her own. Shuurei then thanks Seiran for everything up until then, and from there on... Holding her hand out to him, she tells him that she was really happy he was there. Seiran remembers when he first met Shuurei and how she'd held her hand out to him, and he remembers his mother's words that things would've been much better had he not existed, but for him, he was grateful that she had given him life. Seiran swears that he will protect Shuurei, without fail.
Why do you have such a serious look on your face Kouyuu-sama? ?! This weirdo's presence... Ryuuren's coming! A ghost appears in the Ministry of the Enlightened One's Cave? Is that true, Eigetsu-kun?
Zzzz, quiet day.
As for how much of that is actually in the novels / true to the novels... -_-; About the only scene that actually occurs in the books is the one between Shuuei and Kouyuu. The discussion about the emperor's illness early on and the resulting civil war and fight for the throne, happened in a more "theoretical, but probable" manner between Ryuuki, Kouyuu, and Shuuei. At that time, Ryuuki was wondering what had caused Sa Taiho to suddenly gain aspirations towards putting Seien on the throne in the first story when, while he'd gotten caught up in the civil war, he hadn't shown so much inclination to do so despite being around during the civil war before.
While much of what's been presented eventually is found to be true in the novels, the order in which it's revealed is completely out. Otherwise, Seien did realise how the others viewed his accomplishments and cursed that, had he realised it sooner, he could have pretended to be less capable than he was. However, by the time he realised his own intelligence, the only thing he could do was to use it as a weapon to protect his mother and himself.
The rumour that Kouyuu mentioned of Kokurou being sent to protect Seien didn't exist in the novels, but the previous Emperor did tell Shouka that, if he felt like it, he should go take that child in.
During the civil war, most of what was revealed about Ryuuki wasn't concern over the people, but he was hoping his chance had come to slip out of the palace and go looking for his elder brother, Seien. However, at about that time, Shouka stopped coming to the palace (to Ryuuki it was almost as though Shouka had abandoned him) in order to do what he could in town. As a result, Ryuuki didn't know what to do and ended up staying at the palace and missing his chance to slip away.