KYO KAI/QIANG LEI
Japanese Pronunciation: Kyo Kai
Chinese Pronunciation: Qiang Lei
The second word of the name is a pretty rare word for Chinese and probably even Japanese too. There are multiple pronunciations for it and “Hui” is one of them so im not sure which is the correct one. However, i will be using “Lei” as that’s how i pronounce it in my mind after watching the anime’s sub. Many characters in Kingdom has got such rare words in their names but it might have been a regularly used word in the past and the usage gradually decreased as languages evolved over time.
2.Activities in History
Qiang Lei, like Xin, was a pretty unknown general of their era. Nothing much was mentioned about him(yes him, will explain about this later) in ShiJi. His name only appeared a total of 2 times in ShiJi during the invasion of Zhao in the unification war as far as i know but if anyone do know or find out more information about him, do share it lol.
From ShiJi: Annals of Qin Shi Huang:
Original text: 十八年，大兴兵攻赵，王翦将上地，下井陉，端和将河内，羌瘣伐赵，端和围邯郸城。十九年，王翦、羌瘣尽定取 赵地东阳，得赵王。
Rough translation: 18th year(of Ying Zheng’s rule), a huge army was formed to invade Zhao. Generals Wang Jian, (Yang)DuanHe, Qiang Lei invaded Zhao and DuanHe sieged HanDan(the capital of Zhao). 19th year(of Ying Zheng’s rule), Wang Jian and Qiang Lei captured the remaining lands of Zhao and captured the king of Zhao.
As said above, Qiang Lei is a man and not a woman in history. Well there wasn’t any conclusive evidence that Qiang Lei is a man or a woman due to the lack of sources but we can assume that Qiang Lei is a man as woman were rarely seen in the battlefield in the past. Another reason to believe that the author gave Qiang Lei a sex-change is that he needed females in this story dominated by males(same reason as Ten/Diao). Qiang Lei was probably also an ordinary general rather than some sword-dancing assassin too.
According to the author, Qiang Lei was supposed to appear much earlier in the story in Diao’s place but due to some reasons(probably a change in story planning), her debut in the story was pushed back and Diao was created to take her place. As you can see from the picture below, Qiang Lei was supposed to be part of the original trio(bottom left picture) with Xin and Zheng. Oh and that woman in the middle-right part of the picture was supposed to be her mother but that idea was apparently scrapped.
Anyway, similar to Xin, Qiang Lei’s lack of information in history gave the author plenty of freedom to create a story on him/her and IMO he did a great job in moulding him/her into such a deep character.