WARNING: This page contains spoilers through the end of the series.
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, Ye Zun, alone in the world. [ep35] 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. (ep35) It released 120,000 tonnes of energy and destroyed the underground where Dixingians lived. (ep34) 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 Cloak Envoy because he always wore black clothes. [ep35]
An extremist Chieftain used his power of manipulation to create the rebel faction and try to take over Haixing. (ep34) 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. (ep40)
The Dixingren, Yashou, and humans allied together to stop the Chieftain's rebel forces. As the Black Cloak 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. (ep34)
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. (ep34)
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." [ep35]
Ye Zun becomes the new rebel leader after devouring the old one and absorbing his powers. They declare war on the allied forces and Shen Wei is determined to take back the Hallows, which they had previously stolen. 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 fails. 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. 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 keeps standing there while the ground under him breaks apart too, and falls into the crack. But he doesn't die.
10,000 years pass, the Hallows have been lost, resources are becoming scarcer in Dixing causing more and more Dixingren to escape above ground. Ye Zun is trying to escape his pillar. The Justiciar asks the supervisory department in Haixing to allow him to investigate, and he appoints Dingdun to do that. The Justiciar's assistant thinks that the Black Cloak Envoy was "quite cowardly" and that they could have lived above ground instead of in Dixing if it wasn't for him. He is sent to check on Ye Zun. (ep35)
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 replies that the Justiciar now has a heavier burden than he himself did 10,000 years ago because peace is easy to obtain but hard to maintain, and that he's not going to challenge the Justiciar's position.
He wants to go to Haixing, to make sure that the escaped Dixingren aren't causing problems and to find the lost Hallows. When the Justiciar asks him what name to use for his cover identity, the Black Cloak Envoy says "Shen Wei." (ep35)
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. (ep01)
Working with the SID
Shen Wei meets Zhao Yunlan on campus, where the SID is investigating the death of a student. Zhao Yunlan gives him his 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. (ep01)
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. (ep01)
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 he comments that the SID has changed.
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. (ep22)
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. (ep40)
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 stomach 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. (ep40)
Shen Wei is reunited with Ye Zun in the Palace after they're dead and says that they can go home now. Ye Zun doubts he has a home to go to, because Shen Wei abandoned him when they were children. Shen Wei tells him what really happened that day they met the rebel Chieftain on the mountaintop and Ye Zun realizes he was tricked all those years ago. He takes Shen Wei's hand and the two of them walk off together.
Shen Wei pauses on the stairs and looks back when he hears his name. In the living world, Zhao Yunlan is lying 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. It contains one of his lollipop wrappers, which Shen Wei picked up 10,000 years ago and has been carrying with him ever since. (ep40)
After Zhao Yunlan sacrifices himself to light the flame of the Guardian Lantern, which will burn him for eternity, he is reunited with Shen Wei in the Hallows' 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. (ep40)
His original given name was 嵬 (wéi), meaning "high; rugged/rocky". Zhao Yunlan, while speaking with him as Kunlun [ep35], suggests that he change it to 巍 (wēi), meaning "lofty; towering". Shen Wei says that he loves the name because it came from Kunlun, and keeps it.
Shen Wei's individual power is learning. Because of this, unlike most Dixingren who are limited to only the one power they initially manifest, he has been able to learn many individual powers by observing them throughout his life. But, he is constrained by the terms of the Guardian Treaty and by the limitations of dark energy, so he can ‘show only limited power’ in Haixing [ep15-14:38]. Shen Wei needs the SID’s support to catch Dixing criminals because the ‘burden of gravity is too great’ for him to stay long on the surface and he can only use ‘half of his power’ there. [ep10-23:10]
Conjuring his Black Cloaked Envoy appearance
- Shen Wei can only maintain his 'complete form’ (his official role/appearance as the Black Cloaked Envoy) for a limited time in Haixing; he needs to exert an active effort to maintain it. If he overexerts himself using dark energy, he collapses and his Black Cloaked Envoy garb dissolves away. If the robes of his office were just physical objects that he summoned, then it would take active effort to dismiss them; instead, their presence seems to require energy to exist. [ep13-30:20]
- Transformation examples include: Transforming outside the Hanga cave [ep11-21:41], Negotiating with Zhu Jiu to take him as a more valuable hostage in place of Zhao Yunlan [ep13-29:55], transforming in the Dixing bar in an attempt to calm the heckling crowd [ep17-6:44], he changes into his Black Cloaked Envoy appearance before entering the portal to escort Sha Ya and Hua Yuzhu to Dixing [ep30-6:28], then drops it after he has to flee from the palace [ep 30-23:10]
- It is unclear if other aspects of Shen Wei's appearance change aside from the suit/hooded robes transition (ie: The Regent has short hair and Haixing-styled clothing on one side of the portal and reverts back to being long-haired, wearing Dixing-appropriate clothing once he physically crosses back over to Dixing) [ep15-36:18]
- The range of Shen Wei’s ability to freeze time physically covers at least the span of a decent-sized college quad area. He also demonstrates a fine degree of control over who or what will be affected by its influence
- Shen Wei can create individual portals to travel to locations within one land or another and can separately activate fixed portals at specific sites to cross between Haixing and Dixing. [ep15-36:10, ep30-6:15, ep37-15:18, ep36-33:44]
- Shen Wei can portal directly in and out of the SID; he seems to be either immune to, or already keyed for entry past, the SID’s anti-Dixingren shield. [ep2-39:00, ep5-31:56]
- Shen Wei can bring others with him when travels via portals, with them either walking along under their own power or by using a string of dark energy to carry them along [ep2-30:45, ep4-38:59]
- Shen Wei summons up a rapidly-formed storm with thunder and lightning for his first appearance as the Black Cloaked Envoy in Zhao Yunlan's presence [ep1-39:41] and summons an unnatural cloud of fog for his dramatic entrance to the SID building [ep2-35:25].
Materialize/Dematerialize weapons/objects/people & swap out/alter weapon forms
- The mechanics of how this power works is unknown; Shen Wei may have access to a ‘pocket dimension’ which he can reach in to place and remove people/objects that he transports with dark energy. Or he may be accessing physical locations that he has prepared in advance when he summons/materializes objects or sends people/objects away with this power.
- He uses it most commonly to materialize/dematerialize his weapons:
- He can dematerialize other objects, such as vanishing the chains around Chu Shuzhi [ep36-29:30]
- He dematerializes people on multiple occasions, such as criminals he is taking into custody [ep35-34:15], mind-controlled guards about to murder people [ep5-33:55], and former-enemies who have surrendered and agreed to spread the truth for him once they learned it [ep36-41:30]. There is no indication that this results in death.
Pyrokinesis/Setting things on fire [ep3-37:11]
Cryokinesis/Freezing people/things [ep1-39:56]
Illusions - The extent to which he can cast illusions is unknown. At a minimum he can superimpose one person's facial appearance over another's [e23-17:35]
- Shen Wei uses two different styles of teleportation that we see: the speed-step method familiar from Wu Tian’en (Butler Wu) and the more flashy leap-and-vanish method we see Zhu Jui use. A material is always needed to catalyze teleportation power [e17-16:14]; Wu Tian'en's was oxygen while Zhu Jiu’s was light. It is unknown if Shen Wei shares those or requires different materials entirely. Wu Tian’en’s teleportation covered a maximum distance of 100 steps [ep5-17:38]; it is unknown what distance Shen Wei’s can cover.
- He uses the speed-step method many times to hurry from one location to another or to strike quickly at an enemy [e10-22:16, e19-39:50, e20-36:55, e28-21:20]
- He uses the leap-and-vanish method at least once to escape from the mind-controlled guards in the palace [ep30-22:58]
Sharing vision/Mind-link - He can share his perception of the dark energy of the world around them with another person/link his mind with theirs [ep15-34:47]
- He has an ability that causes disorientation/confusion/lack of awareness [ep9-36:49]
- He can rebound dark energy hypnosis aimed at him back at the caster, suggest sleep, and remove associated memories while they are under that influence [ep11-20:00]
- He can send people into sleep/unconsciousness [ep12-36:10]
- When Zhao Yunlan preemptively dismisses the possibility that Shen Wei could erase his memories to make him forget about his identity as the Black Cloaked Envoy, Shen Wei responds with a challenge: ‘Who told you I couldn’t?’ It's unclear whether he truly has that ability when not rebounding someone else's hypnotic suggestion [ep14-7:45]
- Shen Wei has the ability to gather dark energy visibly in his palms and use it to extend his senses outward. He can use this to look for hidden enemies, to seek paths in unknown places, and to spy on nearby conversations [ep4-21:50, ep4-31:32, ep9-19:55, ep10-23:40, ep14-20:18, ep19-39:38]
Enhanced hearing/Passive senses
- There are several instances where Shen Wei seems to sense something passively in situations where an average person would not. Several times he seems to hear something others do not, on one occasion he seems able to see through a one-way mirror, and he notes a strange smell that no one else detects. This can potentially be attributed to the heightened sense of awareness that is typical of a trained warrior in this genre, or it may be evidence he has some form of heightened senses [ep3-11:00, ep4-5:22, ep6-34:11, ep15-35:45, ep18-32:36]
- Shen Wei demonstrates multiple types of healing abilities; it is unclear how much these overlap or should be considered separate categories of abilities.
- He can heal others; these abilities seem effective across a wide spectrum of ailments and injuries, but also have limitations.
- Shen Wei successfully heals Wu Tian’en back from the brink of death in episode 5 (32:50) when he was suffering from the effects of a debilitating poison/serum designed to attack his Dixingren biology
- He was able to successfully (and stealthily) halt the progression of the Dixing dark-energy life-essence stealing ability that had been used on Professor Zhang in episode 3 (34:10) (This may be due to an ability to halt/nullify a power rather than healing)
- When Zhao Yunlan is stabbed through the hand by Ding Dun in episode 16 (22:14), Shen Wei heals the injury; when Zhao Yunlan regains consciousness later in the episode, he seems fully recovered from the stab wound
- In episode 20 (13:00), Shen Wei applies some form of healing energy to the unconscious (hypothermic) Ye Huo and Guo Changcheng. It has some positive effect, Ye Huo wakes immediately after, but he still has some shrapnel/blast damage from the explosion, and Guo Changcheng remains unconscious a few minutes longer (apparently having fainted from ‘hunger’)
- In episode 36 (39:20) Shen Wei uses some form of healing on Guo Changcheng after he has overexerted himself using his power to learn the final wishes/unfinished business of the dying victims of the invasion; Shen Wei’s power seems to strengthen Guo Changcheng, but does not completely heal him
- A passive self-healing ability is possible, but less strongly supported. Shen Wei fell from a roof and he didn’t seem as injured in the wake of it as one would expect in episode 2 (2:30); this could be because of a rapid-healing ability specific to impact damage (he still had the cuts in his shoulder), but it’s more likely he used his levitation ability to control his descent and avoided most damage from the fall. In episode 4 (12:22) he seems to heal immediately from a blow to his arm that drew a few drops of blood; this could either have been a result of a passive self-healing ability, or just a thoughtless application of his active healing powers to a tiny wound that he didn’t realize would draw notice. Soon afterwards (23:47), he deliberately pricks his finger in an attempt to demonstrate normal human vulnerability to injury, so if a passive healing factor is present, he has the ability to suppress it on command.
- There are occasions when he seems to be using his powers in a diagnostic function, such as when he scans Guo Changcheng in episode 36 (39:20) to assess him after his power manifested; whether this scan/diagnostic ability is a distinct power, or just an aspect of his general healing power is unknown.
- His ability to heal has significant limitations. In particular, injuries/ailments caused by or exacerbated by energy corruption/energy incompatibility seem to be immune/resistant to healing effects
- While he was able to prevent Professor Zhang’s death, he doesn’t seem able to reverse the aging that resulted from the life-energy drain [ep3-34:10]
- Shen Wei tries to heal Zhu Jiu but his injuries are too severe and he was already weakened by Zhao Yunlan's anti-Dixing gunshot prior to his injury from Shen Wei’s sword [ep20-6:34]
- He uses his healing power on Zhao Yunlan after his confrontation with Ye Zun in the park, and while it seems to do some good (Zhao Yunlan is roused from unconsciousness), it fails to heal his dark energy-induced blindness [ep20-41:18]
- Shen Wei tries and fails to heal the Shadowman after he is wounded by breaking the chains at the pillar; although he makes the familiar gesture, he seems to be so drained of energy the attempt fails [ep33-30:40]
- He tries and fails to heal Lao Li after he is attacked by Crow Yashou; this was likely due to a combination of Lao Li’s injuries being too severe and Shen Wei’s powers being significantly diminished by this point in the show [ep37-2:46]
- Shen Wei is not affected by Wang Yike’s life-essence stealing powers. This is possibly a nullification effect, but could also be due to another factor (Wang Yike’s power may only be effective against Haixingren, he may be able to resist it because he is stronger than her and able to overpower her energy, or it may be that he learned her specific ability and is able to prevent it from affecting that way, rather than reflecting a more general ‘nullification’ power application) [ep3-29:47]
- In episode 13 (7:43), Shen Wei sends his dark energy outward in a pulse that knocks down the mind-controlled wedding guests and breaks them out of their violent frenzy. (It is unclear whether this was just a wave of generic dark energy so powerful that it effectively cleared out Zhang Yi’s previous influence, or whether he used a specific power that was able to negate/dispel her ability.)
- In episode 18 (27:47), he stops Ye Huo’s fire ability before it reaches propane tanks
- In episode 20 (40:21), Shen Wei seems to nullify/banish Ye Zun’s projection from Haixing back to the pillar in Dixing when he swings his glaive through it
It is unclear exactly what power he uses, if it even is a specific power and not just raw dark energy, but the bar patrons immediately hush and recognize that he is not an imposter when he strikes out with a powerful wave of dark energy to snuff out all the candles in the Dixing bar in episode 16 (7:00). (Their reaction may be because he is using a recognizable second ability after he already demonstrated one power by changing his appearance to that of the Black Cloaked Envoy)
General use of dark energy: Shen Wei uses these abilities, but they do not seem tied to a unique manifestation of power, so other Dixingren characters are able to use these abilities as well. Using these generic abilities likely requires an active personal dark energy power, and level of dexterity/strength in using them probably varies based on inherent individual power level and effort put in to train/cultivate use of dark energy to achieve one's desired outcome
- Enhancement in combat
- In episode 15 (3:02) Shen Wei slams his office door shut telekinetically
- In episode 18 (27:29) he flings a rope and telekinetically manipulates it to tie up Ye Huo
- In episode 10 (19:33), he uses dark energy to float a note to Zhao Yunlan in the cave, and the waves of dark energy also seem to repel the Dixing beast
- Shen Wei can levitate himself and others [ep12-33:40, ep4-20:45]
- At the end of episode 2 (31:20), Shen Wei seems to be pinning Gao Tianyu down; this could be generic dark energy ‘pressure’/telekinesis or Shen Wei using a more specific ‘gravity’ power
- This method appears painful and manifests visually in a different way than when healing is applied to someone else (self-healing with raw energy has a much more concentrated and almost crystalized appearance, whereas when Shen Wei heals someone else, there is no evidence of pain and the energy appears more diffuse and smoke-like). We see both Shen Wei and Zhu Jiu using this self-healing method [ep2-2:55, ep14-10:52]
- In episode 2 (35:23), when Shen Wei enters SID HQ after being summoned by incense (while deliberately making a dramatic impression) the electricity throughout the building flickers. It is unclear whether this is an active/individual power, an ability any Dixingren can use by manipulating dark energy, or a side-effect of proximity to strong dark energy usage. Suggesting the ability is either a side-effect or at least non-individual-power-based, in episode 2 (29:30) Gao Tianyu directs dark energy at Zhao Yunlan’s car, causing the headlights to blink out and Shen Wei’s door to stick shut
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. (ep33) He can use his powers offensively and defensively.
As the Black Cloak Envoy, he wears a black robe. He has always worn black clothes, which is how he earned his moniker. [ep35] 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 Kunlun that his blade must be fast so that his enemies won't notice his hands shaking. (ep34)
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 Cloak Envoy. (ep05) 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). (ep01)
Quotes about him
- 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."
- 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: "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."
- ZYL: Wherever you go, you are the outstanding one. [ep35]
- SW: "If I had a choice-"
- ZYL: "You will still do 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." [ep35]
*There's a bit of inconsistency about whether 10,000 years have passed. 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 Cloak Envoy woke up and was found. So Shen Wei hasn't actually been awake for 10,000 years to be looking for Zhao Yunlan.