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Kou Shuurei
Kou Shuurei
Japanese Name 紅 秀麗
秀君
Romaji Translation Kō Shūrei
Shū-kun
Pinyin Translation Hóng Xiù​Lì
XiùJūn
Debut (Anime) Episode 1
Debut (Light Novel) Volume 1
Debut (Manga) Chapter 1
Appears in Light Novels, Manga, Anime
Voice Actor (Japanese) Houko Kuwashima
Voice Actor (English) Kelly Sheridan
Personal Info
Status Deceased
Gender Female
Age 16 years old (beginning of series)
30 years old (end of series)
Family Kou Shouka (Father)
Hyou Shoukun (Mother)
Shi Ryuuki (Husband)
Shi Chouka (Daughter)
Kou Reishin (Uncle)
Kou Kurou (Uncle)
Li Kouyuu (Cousin)
Title Princess (姫 -hime)
Empress (后妃 Kōhi)
Occupation Saiunkoku Imperial Court Official (Former)
Governor of Sa Province (茶州州牧 Sashū Shūboku) (Former)
Censorate (御史台 Gyoshidai) Official (Former)
Emperor Shi Ryuuki's Consort


Kou Shuurei (紅 秀麗 Kō Shūrei) was the daughter of Kou Shouka, the first female Imperial Court Official and Shi Ryuuki's Consort.

AppearanceEdit

Shuurei is a young woman with walnut-brown eyes and long black hair which she inherited from her mother Hyou Shoukun, whom Shuurei is said to share a strong resemblance with. She is very petite, only standing at 153 cm (5'0"). She usually fixes her hair into two loops on the back on her head using a pink piece of cloth. She also has two ponytails made by doubling up her hair and tying it in place by using a length of red string. As a noble of the Crimson Clan, she is most usually dressed in a red hanfu with a yellow sash tied around her waist.

Personality & CharacteristicsEdit

An optimistic and idealistic young woman, Shuurei dreams of becoming a government official so she can help change the country of Saiunkoku into a better place for all. Because women are not permitted to serve in public office, Shuurei dedicates herself to bettering the country by teaching young children. She possesses a practical mind and sense of resourcefulness towards her every day circumstances.

Unbeknownst to Shuurei, she is the daughter or the Red Immortal, and her father, Kou Shouka, was the Black Wolf, a legendary assassin. As the daughter of the Red Immortal, her birth is regarded as miraculous, as birth of a child between an ordinary human and an Immortal was regarded as impossible. As the Red Immortal had been using the body of a daughter of the Hyou clan as a vessel, Shuurei was born sickly due to her body being incompatible with an environment outside of the Hyou clan's lands. To save her daughter, the Red Immortal sealed her spirit within her daughter's body to increase her lifespan; as a result, Shuurei serves as the vessel of the Red Immortal and her body will be taken over by the Red Immortal when Shuurei dies.

It is later mentioned by Hyou Ruka that it was Shuurei's unavoidable fate to attract men, although whether it was meant seriously or as sarcasm is unclear.

PlotEdit

Despite the high social status of her clan, Shuurei grew up in relatively impoverished circumstances. Her father's job brought little income, and most of his personal wealth was given to the needy during the devastating fight for the imperial succession eight years ago.

Because women are not permitted to take the imperial examinations, she teaches young children in hopes they can achieve her dream of changing the country. When Grand Official Sho offers 500 gold pieces as a reward for becoming an imperial concubine for six months, Shuurei accepts, hoping to encourage the immature young emperor to take more responsibility.

Shuurei's earnest behaviour and desire to help her country successfully incites the emperor, Shi Ryuuki to become a respectable ruler. During this time, the Emperor of Saiunkoku fell deeply in love with her, but is constantly rejected.

So that Shuurei will be able to fulfill her dream, Ryuuki opens admission for women to take imperial examinations to become officials. She becomes the first woman in the history of Saiunkoku to take the Imperial Exams and passes with the third highest score, allowing her to obtain the title of "Tanka".

She is first assigned as the governor of Sa province alongside To Eigetsu. She had to go through much ordeal to get into the capital of Sa province. The acting head of the Sa Clan, Sa Chuushou tried to force her into marrying his grandson Sa Sakujun so that she will quit as the governor. However, Sakujun in the end chose to end his life and allow her to continue on her path. Shuurei and Eigetsu together put an end to the unrest in the Sa province.

Soon afterwards, a plague spread across the Sa province wiping out villages after villages. Eigetsu recognized the plague as the one that destroyed his home and left only to be captured by Hyou Ren in the body of Ka Shin. Shuurei contacted Dr. You Shikou and found a remedy for the plague, gathered many doctors and headed for the Sa province. She then heard about the Jyasenkyou occult led by 'Senya'. She went to confront them and had Ensei arrest them. Afterwards she was relieved of her duty for overstepping her boundaries.

After a month of being a supernumerary officer, Ki Kouki reluctantly allows her to join the Censorate. She remains a Censorate Official for the rest of her career.

In the epilogue of the series, in the 18th novel, Shuurei will eventually marry Ryuuki. The next year it reads that she will die in childbirth; she was only 30 years old. However, because her life was very short, she became one of the most famed women during Ryuuki's reign for her accomplishments.

Skills & TalentsEdit

Domestic ChoresEdit

Without domestic servants, Shuurei became adept at household chores such as needlework, cooking and cleaning, traits unusual in a lady of her social rank.

WorkEdit

Due to her impoverished household, Shuurei often performed various odd jobs to earn money. These jobs included performing as a professional erhu player, working as an accountant at Kochou's brothel in the red light district, and working as a teacher for young children at a local temple.

ErhuEdit

Shuurei is known as a talented erhu player which was taught to her by her mother. Shin Suou even comments that he knows she is gifted even to his untrained ears. Ironically, Shuurei's daughter is a very poor erhu player.

Healing powers Edit

Due to the Red Immortal being trapped inside her, she sometimes accidentally triggers her healing powers. But using it shortens her lifespan. She triggered it only once when Riku Seiga was mortally wounded causing his wound to heal although he remained asleep for 10 days and she herself was left unconscious for 3 days.

High Alcohol tolerance Edit

Just like her mother she has a high tolerance for alcohol. She caused all the guards at the gate of Kiyou to fall unconscious in a drinking match though she herself was just fine. She also defeated Kan Hishou and Ouyou Gyoku in a drinking game.

Gambling Edit

She has the luck of the devil in gambling like her mother.

RelationshipsEdit

Kou Shouka  and Hyou ShoukunEdit

Shouka and Shoukun were her parents. She deeply loves them both. Shoukun's premature 'death' had devistated Shuurei a lot. And it was for that reason, she grew up to be a hardworking girl. She has stated that her father is her most favorite person in the world. Though she is mostly annoyed with Shouka due to his laziness and openly criticizes his dangerous tea which according to her can be passed for a murder weapon nonetheless she loves him deeply.

Shi Ryuuki & Shi SeiranEdit

Despite her reluctance to allow room for any romantic feelings, she attracts the affection of both Ryuuki and his brother Seien (known as Seiran). This is clearly demonstrated by the fluster and jealousy that is aroused when Shuurei is approached by any man at all. Ryuuki is shown to be rather awkward and obvious but well meaning towards Shuurei, while Seiran is the protector who watches from the shadows or from around corners, secretly worrying for Shuurei's safety.

Shuurei is shown in the epilogue of the last light novel with Ryuuki. It is revealed that she finally agreed to marry him. Shuurei also has a daughter, but later on dies during childbirth.

Ran RyuurenEdit

The eccentric Ran Ryuuren became fond of her and has dubbed her his soul friend #1. He sends her a wedding proposal and comforts her after the death of Sa Sakujun.

Ki KoukiEdit

Her superior Ki Kouki, who is quite an austere person who is sometimes called ogre-like himself began to develop a soft side for her as time passed.

Riku SeigaEdit

Seiga is Shuurei's rival and senior in the Censorate. He has a tendency of harassing her every chance he gets, sometimes verbally and sometimes physically. Apparently, Seiga has a view that every woman are backstabbers of some sort and doesn't trust them for this reason. However, he begins to realize Shuurei is different.

Shin SuouEdit

Shin Suou, at first, didn't care about her and only proposed to her because his father asks him to but when he gets to know her (and after following her around against his will), he realises that he can't leave her alone. He has vowed to show her that the world isn't the great place she believes it is and neither are the people. In the latter parts of the novel, he demonstrates deep loyalty towards her and even though he says that he could never marry someone like her, he has promised to stand by her during her time as an official.

JoukanEdit

All of all the supernumerary officers developed deep loyalty for her as they began to support the current king who they didn't care about for her sake.

GalleryEdit

TriviaEdit

ReferencesEdit

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