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Guardian: III.A. Shen Wei

Drama canon

This page contains spoilers through the end of the series
(#) = episode reference, all of which are also listed and linked at the end

Disclaimer: All the information here is based on the subtitles.

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Demographic Information

Name: Shen Wēi. His surname is Shen, and his original given name was Wéi (second tone), meaning "from the mountain". Zhao Yunlan, while speaking with him under the guise of being Kunlun, suggests that he change it to Wēi (first tone), which means towering mountains and water. Shen Wēi says that he loves the name because it came from Zhao Yunlan-as-Kunlun so he keeps it. (35)

Alias: Black Cloaked Envoy (Hei Pao Shi)

Nickname: Xiao Wei (by Zhao Yunlan; xiao means "little") ([21][21])

Birthdate: over 10,000 years ago

Age: he tells Zhao Yunlan that he is 32 years old; Zhao Yunlan said that he was young when he was working with the allied forces (34) and then he slept for 10,000 years (35) and was on Haixing for enough years to complete his PhD and become a professor at University of Dragon City (02)

Early Life

Shen Wei was born over 10,000 years before the start of the show. His parents died when he was a child, leaving him and his brother alone in the world. The two of them decided to leave home to make their own way in the world and around the time that they did, an asteroid collided with Haixing. (35) It released 120,000 tonnes of energy and destroyed the underground where Dixingians lived. (34) The planet became "resourceless" and people's minds and thoughts started to change. They started to get used to it but Shen Wei decided he wasn't going to let that happen to him, so he started coming forward whenever there were fights or troubles. His enemies started fearing him and they called him Black Cloaked Envoy because he always wore black clothes. (35)

An extremist Chieftain used his power of manipulation to create the rebel faction and try to take over Haixing. (34) He comes across Shen Wei and Ye Zun on top of a cliff when they're children and tries to get Shen Wei to join him, because he has potential. Shen Wei sees his bloody hand and says that he just killed someone. Ye Zun, who hadn't been feeling well, coughs so hard that he passes out. The Chieftain goes to check his pulse and Shen Wei slaps his hand away, telling him not to hurt his brother. The Chieftain grabs him by the throat and throws him off the cliff. He survives the fall with just a few scrapes but when he gets up, he trips over a half-buried rusted glaive which he digs out. He runs back up to the top of the cliff to find his brother but no one's there. Shen Wei eventually comes to believe that he's dead but unbeknownst to him, Ye Zun had been told by the Chieftain that Shen Wei abandoned him and was taken in and controlled by him. (40)

The Dixingian, Yashou, and humans allied together to stop the Chieftain's rebel forces. As the Black Cloaked Envoy, Shen Wei led a thousand men at the beginning of the conflict but by the time Zhao Yunlan travels back in time, only a few are left. He and his men are in a fight against rebels and Zhao Yunlan saves him by shooting one of the rebels and injuring their leader. Shen Wei thanks him and says that he has to see to his men and then they leave. He meets Zhao Yunlan again in the allied headquarters, which are in the mountain with the highest peak on Haixing. He tells Zhao Yunlan that he doesn't know how to repay him for saving his life and Zhao Yunlan tells him to take off his mask and smile. Shen Wei replies that when everything is finished, he will fulfill any wishes Zhao Yunlan has to his utmost ability. (34)

During a talk on a cliff side, Zhao Yunlan sticks the lollipop that he's been eating in Shen Wei's mouth when Shen Wei is telling him about how his blade must be fast, before his enemies notice his hands shaking in fear. He tells Shen Wei that it's something he can eat and that he has to lick it, which Shen Wei does. He says that Shen Wei is still a youth and yet his days are bitter but that "the sweet, the sour, the spicy, and astringent. Life has many other flavours waiting for you." Shen Wei asks for his name and Zhao Yunlan says that it's Kunlun, and Shen Wei is awed and says that he has long heard that name. He tells him that the "life I owe you, I will definitely return it to you." Zhao Yunlan says that he has already returned it many times over. (34)

Shen Wei tells Kunlun that aside from him, no one's tried to get to know him. "They love me, respect me, hate me, and reject me. But they are not willing to sit down and share their real thoughts with me." (35)

Ye Zun, after devouring the rebel leader and absorbing his powers, became the new leader of the rebels. They declare war on the allied forces and Shen Wei is determined to take the hallows, which they had previously stolen, back. He and Zhao Yunlan ambush the rebels in the forest and are successful in obtaining the chest containing the hallows. Zhao Yunlan tries to activate them to open the wormhole so he can return to the present but it doesn't work. The rebels show up and a fight ensues. In the process, Da Qing gets hit while carrying the chest and the hallows spill out. They float into the sky and open a wormhole. Shen Wei watches as Kunlun is sucked into it, after he tells him not to regret whatever decision he makes. Then, a column of pressurized force from the hallows traps Ye Zun and he reaches out for Shen Wei, who grabs onto his hand and tries to pull him out. But the ground breaks apart and Ye Zun falls into the pit. Shen Wei's men arrives and he tells them "I hand the world over to you now" and then he stands there while the ground under him breaks apart too. Shen Wei falls into the crack in the earth but doesn't die. His present-day self tells Zhao Yunlan in the wormhole, where they're observing this, that he could have been protected by the hallows or that he was lucky. (35)

Present Day

10,000 years pass, the hallows have been lost, resources are becoming scarcer in Dixing causing more and more Dixingian to escape above ground. Ye Zun is also acting up in his pillar. The Justiciar spoke with a supervisory department in Haixing, which agreed to allow them to send people to investigate what's going on. So, he appoints Dingdun to do that. The Justiciar's assistant thinks that the Black Cloaked Envoy was "quite cowardly" and that they could have lived on the ground instead of in Dixing if it wasn't for him. He's sent to check on Ye Zun. (35)

Dingdun's team is exploring above ground and one of them spots a piece of the earth shifting around and calls out that there's someone there. It's the Black Cloak Envoy, who rises up from the dirt. (35)

The Black Cloak Envoy goes to the palace and the Justiciar calls him their hero and the "real leader of Dixing." The Black Cloak Envoy says that 10,000 years ago, he became the leader and was just leading the people to seek peace and that the Justiciar has a heavier burden because peace is easy to obtain but hard to maintain. He tells the Justiciar that he understands that every generation has their leader and he doesn't have to worry. He wants to go to Haixing, to make sure that the Dixingians who had escaped aren't causing problems and to find the lost hallows. The Justiciar says that they will give him a cover identity and asks what name he wants to use and the Black Cloak Envoy says "Shen Wei." (35)

Shen Wei goes to see his brother in the pillar before he leaves, who tells him that he's lucky and that the gods seem to want to keep them alive so they can fight each other. (35)

On the surface of Haixing, Shen Wei was supposedly born and raised on the east side of Dragon City and is 32 years old when the show starts. He has a PhD from University of Dragon City and is now a professor of biology there. He has a TA named Li Qian. He does research on genetic mutations. He and Professor Ouyang had received "first-hand" information that the mutations he had been studying are real and that he and Shen Wei's former teacher, Old Zhou, are currently investigating them. He's invited to join them but he declines. (01)

At some unspecified point prior to the start of the show, a squad of Dixingren had been dispatched by the Palace to find the holy tools but Shen Wei suddenly lost contact with them one day. (05)

Working with the SID

Shen Wei meets Zhao Yunlan on campus one day when the SID is there investigating the death of Lu Ruomei (a girl who looks like his TA and is also one of his students). Zhao Yunlan gives him a card and says they should chat. The card says "Stewart Mark" with S.D.I Section Chief under it, though the subtitle says it reads as [Zhao Yunlan]. (01)

While reviewing a file he has on Zhao Yunlan, Shen Wei recalls the conversations he had on the cliff with Kunlun and thinks to himself that he's been searching for him for 10,000 years.* (01)

When he runs into Zhao Yunlan on campus again, he lets on that he knows about Dixing. Zhao Yunlan says that he feels they have a "kinship" and Shen Wei says that perhaps they've met before. (01)

He later appears as the Black Cloak Envoy on the rooftop of the university after the SID have apprehended the Shadow Man, to bring him back to Dixing. Zhao Yunlan says that this is the first time he's visited since he became Chief. (01)

He opens a portal and appears in the SID headquarters as Zhao Yunlan is trying to use the Longevity Dial to save Butler Wu's life. He cautions Zhao Yunlan against activating a holy tool and asks him if it's worth exchanging half his life to save a Dixingren. The SID all then ask him to save Butler Wu and comments that the SID has changed. He does save Butler Wu and then brings him and his son to Dixing. Before they are able to make it to the Palace, the guards who have come to take custody of the two try to kill them under orders from the King, and Black Cloaked Envoy vanishes them in a cloud of black energy. He then asks Butler Wu what had happened to the team years ago, that Shen Wei suddenly lost contact with them and Butler Wu tells him that they were ambushed in a forest by youchu (ghost beasts) and killed. The only survivors were the team captain and Old Wu (who had been knocked out). The team captain stayed on the surface and caused problems before being shot dead; however, his wife had just become pregnant before they had set out on their mission. (Old Wu some time later took a position as a butler in Huang Chaoyang's household. Huang Chaoyang is the richest magnate in the machinery industry in Dragon City. Butler Wu has a son who has the ability to manipulate water; when his son was young, Huang Chaoyang had him taken to a mountain and abandoned there while Butler Wu was away on business. They told him that his son had run off and went missing; he was later presumed to have died. Twenty years after that, Butler Wu is reunited with his son when his son targets Huang Chaoyang's son and his fiancee.) (05)

During his first confrontation with Ye Zun, Zhao Yunlan is blinded. After a tip from Li Qian, who's now working in Professor Ouyang's lab, Shen Wei uses the Longevity Dial to share his life force with Zhao Yunlan and heal his eyes. ([22][22])

Death

Zhao Yunlan and Shen Wei are both captured by Ye Zun and his forces in the Dixing Palace. Zhao Yunlan is chained to a pillar while Shen Wei, already grievously injured, lies on the floor. Shen Wei gets up and throws himself in front of Zhao Yunlan, taking a hit of black energy from Ye Zun that was meant for Zhao Yunlan. After he falls to the floor again, Ye Zun forms an icicle and stabs him through the heart with it while Zhao Yunlan screams. Ye Zun then devours Shen Wei and Zhao Yunlan shouts for him to kill him too. (40)

Inside Ye Zun's body, Shen Wei is reunited with Lin Jing and makes him promise to push the icicle the rest of the way into his heart when the time is right, so that the rest of his power can be released. The Justiciar and the King are also devoured and end up in Ye Zun's body with them. When Shen Wei gives the signal, Lin Jing does as he promised and Shen Wei uses his power to send him, the Justiciar, and the King back out into the real world while he stays. He then uses his power to extract the icicle, so that his blood, which has been changed into more human and therefore incompatible with Dixing energy, can spill out and kill Ye Zun from inside. (40)

Shen Wei is reunited with Ye Zun in the Palace after they're dead and says that they can go home now. Ye Zun asks if he has a home to go because Shen Wei had abandoned him when they were children. Shen Wei tells him what had really happened that day they met the rebel Chieftain on the mountaintop and Ye Zun realizes he had been tricked all those years ago. He takes Shen Wei's hand and the two of them walk up the stairs into the unknown. However, Shen Wei pauses on the stairs and looks back when he hears his name. In the living world, Zhao Yunlan is laying on the floor whispering Shen Wei's name. An amber pendant rolls down the stairs and stops near him. He picks it up and opens it and sees one of his lollipop wrappers stored in, which Shen Wei had picked up 10,000 years ago. (40)

After Zhao Yunlan sacrifices himself to light the flame of the Guardian Lantern, which will burn for eternity, he is reunited with Shen Wei in the Holy Tools' wormhole. Shen Wei says that he's "finally arrived." Zhao Yunlan asks if he's leaving now and Shen Wei says yes but asks that they make a promise to each other: that no matter what happens or where they go in the future, they would find a way to meet up again. Zhao Yunlan agrees. (40)

Powers

Learning others' powers and being able to use them himself

Opening transdimensional portals between Dixing and Haixing (01, and many others)

Stopping time (01, 05)

Calling forth lightning and thunder (01) - to make his grand entrance as the Black Cloak Envoy at the end of episode 1

Freezing enemies in ice (01)

Materializing and de-materializing his glaive (01)

Healing himself and others (02) - in episode 2, he uses black energy to heal the claw marks on his left shoulder from the Shadow Man

Negating powers (02) - in episode 2, while the telekinetic Dixiangian (who's never named in the show) has Li Qian suspended in the air, Shen Wei does something that seems to send out a burst of light that cancels out the other Dixiangian's power

Reflecting attacks? (02) - in episode 2, when the telekinetic Dixiangian tries to hit him with his power in the hospital room, Shen Wei counters with some black energy of his own; the resulting backlash throws them both off their feet; alternately, this could be when Shen Wei absorbs the telekinetic power and uses it to bounce back the Dixingian's power

Killing/vanishing others with a burst of black energy (05)

Telekinesis (15)

Mindlink (15) - Shen Wei is able to share what he is seeing (the energy patterns around the invisible doorway between Haixing and Dixing) with Zhao Yunlan by touching him

Fighting Style

Shen Wei is skilled in hand-to-hand combat and he also fights with a sword which he can transform into a glaive. He calls it a GongGong blade. (33) He can also use his powers offensively and defensively.

Wardrobe

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As the Black Cloaked Envoy, he wears a black robe. He has always worn black clothes, which is how he earned his moniker. (35) He wears a mask because when he is killing his enemies, he feels afraid and the mask hides his expression so that his enemies will be scared of him instead. He tells Kunlan that his blade must be fast so that his enemies won't notice his hands shaking. (34)

As Professor Shen, he wears a pair of round wire-rimmed glasses and is usually well put-together in a full suit. When he wears his glasses, other Dixingren don't appear to recognize him as the Black Cloacked Envoy. (05) He doesn't own a mobile phone and says that he's not good with technology (he writes on a chalkboard during his lectures, has Li Qian advance his presentation slides). (01)

He wears a necklace with an amber pendant, inside which contains a lollipop wrapper from when he first met Zhao Yunlan 10,000 years ago. (35,40)

Shen Wei's sword is a yu tou dao or 'fish head sword', a single-edged blade with a distinctive concave clip point. His glaive can be called the same since the blade is the same shape; it is a variant on a podao or zhan ma dao. (It is not a yan yue dao because it does not have a sharp protrusion on the back of the blade.)

Quotes about him

Episode 34:

ZYL, when SW is questioning if it's fair to win peace through bloodshed for those who died: "But you would still choose this road. Sacrificing a few people in exchange for thousands of years of peace for the majority. You just lack the final step to fulfill it."
SW responds: "But this step, I must take it on my own. I don't want my remaining brothers to sacrifice themselves anymore."
ZYL: "You still have me."

Episode 35:

SW: If I had a choice-
ZYL: You still still the same thing. Even if it is not what you want, you still fight with the bad because of your conscience and for the sake of everyone. If you don't like it, then it is better not to live in this world.

Episode 2:

LJ: Dixing's Black Cloaked Envoy is said to be ruthless. Why was he lenient towards our Chief? He isn't biding time for revenge, is he?
...
CS: The Black Cloaked Envoy is our hero. He is not fodder for gossip.
WZ: I nearly forgot. We have a huge fan of the Black Cloaked Envoy here.

*There's a bit of inconsistency with the 10,000 years thing, since in episode 35 which is set before the show starts, the Justiciar says that it's been 10,000 years since the war ended and it was after that that the Black Cloaked Envoy woke up and was found. So Shen Wei hasn't actually been awake for 10,000 years to be looking for Zhao Yunlan.

Episode References

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 5
Episdoe 15
Episode 33
Episode 34
Episode 35
Episode 40