The Heroic Assassin Jing Ke

This is a work of historical fiction.

A warrior’s greatest asset is his courage. It is what allows a warrior to confront a life-or-death situation with absolute fearlessness. 


Jing Ke was a famous warrior in China’s Warring States period. During his time, the country was under the terror reign of the tyrant king Qin Shi Huang. People suffered greatly in the hand of Qin. Many were forced into harsh labor; others were sent to war to die. The king’s own father was forced to commit suicide. Furthermore, he ordered all the books in the kingdom destroyed and scholars killed. Jing Ke was determined to seek justice for those who had suffered at the hand of the king. 

As the king was naturally a suspicious person (for he feared revenge from the relatives of the numerous people he killed), one must secure the head of a famous dissident general to gain an audience with him. The dissident general, whose family was murdered by the king, came to Ke to offer him his head. When the upright Ke refused, the general killed himself.

After Jing Ke submitted the general’s severed head to the king, he was granted an audience. When he was at a close distance from the king, Ke attempted to assassinate the tyrant with a poisoned dagger he hid in a treasure map. Unfortunately, his initial attempt failed; he was stabbed several times by the royal guards. Despite his wounds, the warrior continued his pursuit of the king chasing the tyrant around the palace. In his numerous scuffles with the guards, Jing’s left arm and leg were dismembered. 

The courageous warrior would make one last attempt to kill the tyrant by hurling the poisoned dagger at him. Unfortunately, his attempt narrowly missed the target and he was brutally killed by the king’s men. Jing Ke’s friends and associates, numbered in the thousands, were arrested and put to death.

How regretful were Jing Ke?
Dagger missed the tyrant by millimeters.
Failed to change the course of history.
Hailed a hero, but were he?