The Royal Barge carries the Twins to the festivities as they play on
the deck. They are entertained by the court with martial arts demonstration
of strength and agility, including Wushu, Chinese Opera, and Brazilian Capoeira.
The Twins display their musical ability with a light-hearted duet on flute. Just
beyond their peaceful kingdom, imminent danger lurks as Archers and Spearmen
prepare to attack.
Angelic vocalizations fill the air as rays of light emanate from the abyss.
We hear the distinct sound of children laughing and playing. Suddenly
we catch our first glimpse of the magnificent Sand-Cliff Deck which rises
from the deep as a ship. Imperial Guards flank either side of the ship and row.
The Twins are happily play-fighting on the deck. The ship's deck raises above
the audience's eye level and several key characters are revealed within as the
massive deck revolves; the Valets, the Chief Archer's Daughter and the Twins'
Nursemaid who is busily finishing the ceremonial robes that the Twins will
don for the reception that awaits their homecoming.
The ship docks, the Emperor, Empress, Court Jester and other members of the
Imperial Court appear at the back of the stage on the Tatami deck which slides
forward to meet the ship. The Court celebrates the return of the Twins by
staging a magnificent pageant. The Imperial Guards engage in a graceful and
synchronized martial arts demonstration as the Sand-Cliff deck revolves
showing the group from different angles, the spectacular effect mimics a
panning camera move in a film. The Imperial Guard's Lady Officer takes centre
stage to perform a solo martial-arts routine where she dances with the Court
Jester and juggles flower sticks.
It is time for the Twins to resume their studies. A Valet brings a large pile
of books but instead of reading them he juggles them to the amusement of the
court. Finally, the Twins serenade the court by playing a sweet, evocative
melody on their flutes.
As the orchestra strikes an ominous chord Archers invade the aisles of the
theatre and the catwalks. They draw their bows and poise to strike. An arrow
hits the stage; the Archers' siege of the Empire begins Pandemonium engulfs
the Imperial court. The Emperor is fatally wounded. The Twins scream in terror
as they witness the assassination of their mother, the Empress.