YOU KA/YAO JIA
Japanese Pronunciation: You Ka
Chinese Pronunciation: Yao Jia
2.Activities in History
Background info: He was the son of a guard who do not have much social status then. He was once a thief in Wei and an exiled court official of Zhao.
Zhao, Yan, Wu and Chu wanted to invade Qin with another coalition army. Qin Shi Huang panicked and ask his subjects for ways to stop them. While most of the subjects remained silent as they do not have any brilliant ideas, Yao Jia stood out and assured the Qin Shu Huang that he could stop the 4 kingdoms from forming an alliance. Qin Shi Huang rewarded Yao Jia handsomely for his bravery and tasked him to carry on with his plans. Yao Jia spent 3 years traveling to the 4 states, bribing them and persuaded them against forming an alliance with each other. His success was later rewarded by Qin Shi Huang again.
Han Fei, an official in Qin was unhappy with Yao Jia’s method, blaming him for spending large amount of wealth in bribery, reducing the economic power of Qin and at the same time framing him for bribing the other states for his own benefit and not for the king. Digging up Yao Jia’s past as a theif in Wei and an exiled official of Zhao, he emphasizes that Yao Jia should not be allowed to participate in the discussion of important state matters
Yao Jia rebutted that if he wasn’t loyal to the king, there would be no reason for the enemy states to trust him with his bribery. Regarding his past, he quoted stories of past saints who were also from humble past but ended up helping their kings achieve great feats, persuading Qin Shi Huang to look past his dark past. With that, Qin Shi Huang was persuaded and ordered to punish Han Fei.
As of now(Ch 388), Yao Jia is still currently a court official of Zhao and made only one appearance in Ch 369. According to history, he will be removed from court in the future and will travel to Qin to serve Ying Zheng/Ei Sei.
KAKU KAI/GUO KAI
Japanese Pronunciation: Kaku Kai
Chinese Pronunciation: Guo Kai
2.Activities in History
Guo Kai is a highly corrupted yet also the most trusted court official of the last two kings of Zhao. It is not an exaggeration to say that he is the reason for the fall of Zhao. During his early years, he prevented Lian Po(Renpa) from returning to Zhao and his words persuaded King Qian of Zhao to execute Li Mu(Riboku) and Sima Shang.
1)Preventing Lian Po from returning to Zhao
From Shiji: Biographies of Lian Po and Lin Xiang Ru
赵孝成王卒，子悼襄王立，使乐乘代廉颇。廉颇怒，攻乐乘，乐乘走。廉颇遂奔魏之大梁…廉颇居梁久之，魏不能 信用。赵以数困于秦兵，赵王思复得廉颇，廉颇亦思复用于赵。赵王使使者视廉颇尚可用否。廉颇之仇郭开多与使 者金，令毁之。赵使者既见廉颇，廉颇为之一饭斗米，肉十斤，被甲上马，以示尚可用。赵使还报王曰：“廉将军 虽老，尚善饭，然与臣坐，顷之三遗矢矣。”赵王以为老，遂不召。
After Lian Po battled Yue Sheng and left Zhao for Wei(Flashback in Ch 194 of the manga), Zhao’s border was constantly harassed by the Qin. The king of Zhao wanted Lian Po to return to serve Zhao and sent an envoy to check whether Lian Po was still fit for war. However, the envoy was bribed by Lian Po’s enemy, Guo Kai before he left for Wei. When the envoy met Lian Po, Lian Po proved that he was fit for war by eating a bucket of rice, 10 kilos of meat and even wore his armor and rode on his horse. However, the envoy returned to Zhao and reported the following:” Lian Po may be old, but he is still able to eat plenty. However, during our meal, he went to the toilet 3 times.” With this false report, the king of Zhao deemed Lian Po too old for war and did not summon him back to Zhao.
2)Removing Li Mu and Sima Shang from the front lines.
From Intrigues of the Warring States:
秦使王翦攻赵，赵使李牧、司马尚御之…王翦恶之，乃多与赵王宠臣郭开等金，使为反间，曰：“李牧、司马尚欲 与秦反赵，以多取封于秦。”赵王疑之，使赵葱及颜最代将，斩李牧，废司马尚。后三月，王翦因急击，大破赵， 杀赵军（应为葱），虏赵王迁及其将颜最，遂灭赵。
Qin ordered Wang Jian(Ousen) to attack Zhao. Zhao sent Li Mu(Riboku) and Sima Shang to counter the Qin forces…Wang Jian bribed a close subject of the king of Zhao, Guo Kai to spread rumors that Li Mu and Sima Shang’s were planning a rebellion. The king of Zhao replaced them with Zhao Cong, executed Li Mu and removed Sima Shang from his military duties. 3 months later, Wang Jian defeated Zhao Cong, captured King Qian of Zhao and another Zhao general Yan Zui, destroying the state of Zhao.
Initially, Li Mu’s plan was to go for an all out defense strategy similar to what Lian Po did in the Battle of Chang Ping years ago. As the battle dragged on, Wang Jian was frustrated with the Zhao defense and decided to break Zhao internally. By bribing the Guo Kai, he could sow discord between the king of Zhao and Li Mu, forcing the defense of Zhao to collapse internally as a less experienced general was sent to replace Li Mu.
Similar to Yao Jia, Guo Kai has yet to do much in the manga yet but will definitely play an important role in the future of the story.