|“||You could say he's pure to a frightful extent. A crystallization of martial skill.||”|
—Shou Bun Kun telling the court about the mysterious Hou Ken.
Hou Ken is a muscular man with a large build who has long black hair and a scar across his face, There are tattoos on his forearms.
Hou Ken wears a large, poncho-like cloak which goes up to his knees in length.
Hou Ken is very alert of anyone's martial 'potential' and is even willing to kill those as young as Shin and Kyou Kai in spite of them being children just because they might one day be a 'threat' to him, To him, there can only be one being that the heavens fear and that person is him. His daunting presence inspires fear in men, causing them to freeze up when they come face to face with him.
Hou Ken is also quite pragmatic and accepted beating Ou Ki when the general was shot in the back by Gi Ka in spite of Ou Ki destroying his guandao. He always speaks in old Chinese as seen saying "Thou" on many occasions.
The closest thing he has to a friend is Ri Boku who has been able to convince him to become involved with the affairs of the warring states.
Hou Ken is a Bushin but secretly considers himself a failed "Path Seeker" for being defeated by Ouki, In the past, Hou Ken spent most of his time in the mountains training with his guandao.
Hou Ken appeared during the conquest of Bayou to fight Kyou, one of the Six Great Generals, as her presence drew him out of his training. Hou Ken easily cutting through her elite bodyguards before Kyou arrived on the scene. She was killed by him in combat and he was, in turn, severely wounded by an enraged Ou Ki who gave him a scar across his face before his body was riddled with arrows. Then, Hou Ken passed out and was believed to be dead. He came to after the Qin army had left and crawled off the battlefield to recuperate and do more training as his might was nowhere near that of the man who just defeated him.
It took him 3 years to recover from his wounds and he took another 6 years to train before he was approached by Ri Boku to be involved in Zhao's plans against Qin.
Hou Ken is first seen arriving at the Zhao royal capital of Kantan where he is given command over the state's army by King Tou Jou to devastate the Qin. He sets off from Bayou with his generals when he hears that Ou Ki is coming with an army to fight their forces. They arrive at Bayou at the same time that Ou Ki's forces do and he asks Chou Sou why the Qin general does not attack. After the first battle, he retreats to the headquarters to rest leaving the Zhao strategist in charge of the army.
Appearing at night in the campgrounds of Kan Ou and Roku O Mi's armies, he began to massacre the nearby troops. As he makes his way around the camp, his path crosses with those of the Hi Shin Unit and he cut down several of them instantly. After declaring himself a calamity of the heavens, he continued to kill more Hi Shin members until Shin arrives to stop him from killing Bi Hei. He blocked all of Shin's attacks and dodged that of Kyoukai's before stating that they were the ones who summoned him and he would take their lives despite their age.
Hou Ken then attacked Shin, knocking him unconscious, when the two attempt to use a pincer maneuver against him and faced off against Kyou who begins the Priestess Dance. After blocking her attacks, he noted that she was one of the "god summoners" and declares a competition to see which of them is the rightful chosen warrior of the heavens. Though Kyoukai scored a minor blow, he slowly began to match her pace, commenting that it had been a long time since anyone had made him bleed. Seeing Kyou Kai reach her limits, he went on the offensive but she manages to dodge until the recoil from her technique caught up with her and slowed her down. She yelled at the rest of the unit to run, but he cut down several of them, stating that none shall leave until the battle is finished.
Seeing Man Goku arrive on the scene, he was attacked by Kan Ou's forces and started killing all nearby Qin. By now, Shin had recovered and he and his unit devised a plan, which allowed him to land a blow against Houken. He moved in for the kill but was hit in the stomach by the end of Hou Ken's guandao. Kyou Kai tried to stop him from killing Shin and was knocked down as well, After telling them that they were mere offerings to his "god", he attempted to strike down Shin, only to be blocked several times by the Bi brothers and Taku Kei. After this, the Hi Shin unit took that opportunity to retreat with their leader, and Houken returned to the HQ.
Hou Ken appeared at the Zhao camp and was greeted by General Chou Sou. When Moubu's army storms the Zhao HQ, he came face to face with the Qin vice general before retreating, luring the enemy forces into a trap along the way. He leaves some of his men to engage Mou Bu's troops before seeing General Ou Ki appear with his army to assist the Qin vice general. Seeing the Qin general tearing through Zhao troops, he threw a spear at him and misses, killing 3 Qin soldiers in the process, before both armies give way for the two to duel.
They started to fight, and though at first it seemed like Ouki's strength had waned in the nine years since Kyou's death, his wrath was brought out and they continued fighting. To his amazement and bewilderment, was being beaten back by Ou Ki, whose strength begins to overwhelm his own. Ouki was about to deal the final blow when he stopped in light of Ri Boku's army arriving on the scene.
As they continued their fight, inflicting serious wounds on one another, both Hou Ken and Ou Ki were at a stalemate until the Qin general broke the blade on Hou Ken's weapon. Ou Ki was about to deliver the finishing blow when an arrow from Gi Ka pierced his back, halting him in his attack which allowed Hou Ken to pierce through his chest with his broken guandao, inflicting a fatal wound. After the battle, he stated that he still didn't feel like the victor and retreats to the mountains for more training.
Sanyou Aftermath ArcEdit
A few years later, he was approached by Kei Sha who convinced him to accept the command of their army and invade the state of Yan. He personally killed Yan's Great General Geki Shin and ended the war in a day. He told Ri Boku that it was boring, but Ri Boku reassured him that it was just the beginning of a greater battle.
Coalition Invasion ArcEdit
Hou Ken wasn't present during the attack on the Kankoku pass, but was secretly sent as part of Ri Boku's army, which used a mountain passage that lead to middle of the southern pass to Kanyou, bypassing Qin's defenses. Houken suddenly appeared when Duke Hyou broke through Ri Boku's Ryuudou. He engaged in a dual with Duke Hyou, and killed him. However, in the process, Duke Hyou had found out who Houken was. Houken was a buffoon who would never feel the strength that flowed through men from the battlefield, and would never understand why he was defeated by Ouki. The battle continued, which ended in Duke Hyou's death and Houken's broken arm.
He made another appearance at the last days of the siege of Sai and dueled Shin. Noting that Shin had encountered him three times and lived, he stated that he cannot allow him to survive and engages him in battle. During the duel, both Houken's and Shin's horse fell. Despite serious injuries, Shin managed to wound Houken, scarring him on the face exactly where Ouki scared him as well. After that, Houken retreated with Riboku and the rest of the Zhao army, saying that he would remember Shin's name.
|Intelligence||I am not stupid|
|Bushin degree: 100!|
|Intelligence||I am not stupid|
|Bushin degree: 100!|
|Intelligence||I am not stupid|
|Bushin degree: 100!|
Hou Ken is a master at using his guandao as he can instantly cut through multiple enemies with one swing. He is skilled enough to not only block multiple javelins thrown at him but redirect them to damage those nearby. His massive frame belies his impressive speed as he dodged Kyou Kai's attack, essentially moving as fast as the swift assassin herself. In addition to this, his constitution is superior to that of the Shiyuu as he outlasts Kyou Kai when she used the Priestess Dance to its furthest extent. He was able to follow her movements and block some of her moves when she was using the same technique that beheaded 5 assassins in the blink of an eye. His body is also very durable, as seen when Shin's sword strike barely injured him.
He is shown to be an intelligent fighter as he spun two dead bodies with his weapon as a shield to block oncoming crossbow bolts from Kan Ou's troops, shocking all present. Hou Ken can throw a spear with enough strength to kill 3 men.
It has been revealed in chapter 217 that Hou Ken martial strength is Over 100. Which puts him as the strongest character in strength in the series.
Hou Ken's abilities are limited to being perhaps the strongest single warrior in the story thus far. His character is shrouded in some mystery as to his capabilities as an army commander. He has however still been a great asset to the armies of Zhao as a symbol for morale and by his mere presence causing enemies to have fear and the armies of Zhao to fight harder. In combination to his own independent actions, many opportunities were created that allowed Zhao to overwhelm the opposing armies.
Man Goku used Hou Ken as a rallying point to launch a devastating attack on Ou Ki's fourth army, forestall him and prevent his retreat leading ultimately to his death in the Battle for Bayou. Riboku has been noted to use Hou Ken as a lynch pin for his own army.
He is also extremely formidable without his glaive; having killed a tiger with his bare hands and crushing a Yan soldier's helm-clad skull with just one hand.
- vs Kyou: Won
- vs Ou Ki round 1: Lost
- vs Shin round 1: Won
- vs Kyou Kai: Won
- vs Ou Ki round 2: Won (due to outside intervention)
- vs Geki Shin: Won
- vs Duke Hyou: Won
- vs Shin round 2: Interupted
From Hou Ken: "The "violent god" that resides within me will not allow the existence of any other powerful warriors."
From Kei Sha on Houken: "I finally understand the rumors of you being known as the "manifestation of violence"."
Hou Ken to Shin: "Just this once, I will allow you to live. However, I shall remember your name, Shin."
- Hou Ken is similar to Lu Bu, whose great skill as a military commander is replaced with pure martial skill.
- He is still chasing Ou Ki's shadow as his targets while training have the general's face on them.