Beijing, China, 1510
Amidst a school filled of children, a five year old Shao Jun is learning calligraphy. Whilst brushing Han characters upon her canvas, her teacher Hong Liwei calls out to her to leave her brush and states that all children should come outside. When Jun queries as to what is happening, the teacher explains that the execution of a rebel is about to start.
In a nearby courtyard, the rebel in question—Liu Jin—is tied to a wooden frame, with a large crowd gathered to bear witness. An official shouts out his crimes to the people, stating that Jin had plotted to usurp the Emperor, as well as being guilty of manipulating the nation's finances. For his transgressions, Jin is sentenced to the punishment of lingchi, otherwise known as "death by a thousand cuts". Jun is shocked to hear this, at which point a man next to her expresses his desire to question the manner of cruelty of those in power. He introduces himself as Yangming. At this point the punishment begins, right in front of Jun, as Liu Jin is cut repeatedly by a guard.
Yokohama, Japan, 2019
Lisa Huang begins to call out in horror whilst in the Animus, and is taken out of her session by Doctor Kagami. Covered in sweat and tears, Lisa struggles to catch her breath. Kagami explains to Lisa that she has been exposed to a very distressing image, and apologizes to her, though Lisa insists she is fine. Kagami continues to explain that Liu Jin was ultimately exposed to 3,357 cuts over three days before he died. Lisa insists that the experience feels far more real than VR, and that she seemingly feels everything. The doctor therefore suggests that they do not continue further for the day, but Lisa is insistent that they persist if it is the best method for her treatment.
Rural China, 1526
Having successfully survived her Leap of Faith, Shao Jun emerges from the midst of a rolling hay cart. Hong Liwei is also within the hay, having escaped thanks to Wang Yangming, who sits at the front steering the horses along. Yangming was a decorated military man, and was known by many for his success in suppressing three revolts during his time as a national governor. What many did not realise though, was that he was also actually a Mentor to the Assassins. Yangming explains that they should take Hong into hiding, and the cart continues on down the road.
They reach a small village, which supposedly hides a few members of the Chinese Assassins. Hong is left to their supervision. Jun talks to Yangming about her journey to Italy and meeting Ezio Auditore. In turn, he explains that he has continued a crusade against the "Eight Tigers", and that only three now remain led by Zhang Yong. He regrets that their proximity to the newly appointed Emperor makes them difficult to get to, and that the Templars' reach has become even greater with the Palace under their influence.
Yangming asks about the box that Ezio entrusted to her. Jun explains that she did not understand its purpose, nor why the Templars desired to have it. He admits that had she not had the box, the Templars would likely have killed her already, but it remains fortunate that they too now remain mystified by how to use it. He informs her that word has reached him of the Box being transported to a port town to the south known as Macau.
Yokohama, Japan, 2019
Lisa is brought out of her session by Dr. Kagami, who wonders if that Assassin village still exists today. Lisa immediately asks about the Assassins and Templars, and why they fight each other. The doctor explains that Lisa is a descendant of Shao Jun, an Assassin of the Brotherhood, and that despite its name it is not a religious order. She insists that the Brotherhood seeks chaos, and strikes from the shadows to disrupt structures of control. The Templars on the other hand, in her words, are the bearers of peace and order. As a result, the two groups have always been at odds.
Kagami suggests that Jun's genes within Lisa will always seek out chaos and violence. Lisa asks if the Animus treatments will definitely heal her, as she desperately wants to change herself to be better. Kagami insists she is on her side, and that so long as they work together she will do her best to help her.
Meanwhile, outside the building a Japanese man sits in his parked car whilst listening in on the conversation inside with a radio. It is the Assassin Kiyoshi Takakura. He says to himself that most of Kagami's words were filled with lies, and that he is not sure if he can complete his mission quickly, then calls on his mobile phone to someone he refers to as "Granny". He tells her he has found the Abstergo facility and insists that the "girl" is being destroyed, but that he is not sure which Assassin it is they are drawing blood from.
Back inside the facility, Lisa returns to the Animus and starts a new session. Another Abstergo employee enters the room, and he is shocked to see her back in the machine, and is worried that the long sessions may cause issues for her psyche. Kagami snaps back at him, asking why he thinks there is a problem. She explains she is not concerned with the fate of the descendants of the Assassins so long as they serve their purpose – leading her to the "Precursor Treasure".
Characters in order of appearance
- Shao Jun
- Hong Liwei
- Liu Jin
- Lisa Huang
- Kaori Kagami
- Wang Yangming
- Ezio Auditore da Firenze (mentioned only)
- Zhang Yong (mentioned only)
- Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad (indirectly mentioned only)
- Ratonhnhaké:ton (indirectly mentioned only)
- Arno Dorian (indirectly mentioned only)
- Laureano de Torres y Ayala (indirectly mentioned only)
- Kiyoshi Takakura
- Saeko Mochizuki (mentioned only)