The smart and sweet Hong Niang and her mistress Ying Ying shares a deep bond. Both of them were in the prime of their youth and both harbor thoughts of finding a good match. One day, at a lantern festival, Hong and Jun each picked up half of a Mandarin Duck jade. The two tried looking for the owner of other half but missed seeing each other. Just as Hong starts to develop feelings for Jun and they almost had a chance to be together, fate threw the chance to Ying.
The Prime Minister’s wife, Ying and Hong went to the temple. A group of bandits from Feng Yun Clan barged into the temple and abducted Ying in order to blackmail the Prime Minister. In her anxiety, the Prime Minister’s wife promised Ying’s hand in marriage to whoever that could save her. Jun, who was studying in the temple, saved Ying. After the ordeal, the two fell in love at first sight. On seeing that fate has thrown the two together, Hong wished them the best with all her heart. She felt that Jun and Ying is the real couple, while she is only a lowly maid and not at all compatible with Jun. Therefore, she willingly tried to help pair the two of them.
However, the materialistic Prime Minister’s wife felt that Jun’s background was too lowly, and tried to trick Ying and Jun into becoming sworn siblings instead so that she can cancel the wedding agreement. The Prime Minister’s wife pretended to be magnanimous and tried to delay the wedding by wanting Jun to become the top scholar before he can marry Ying. However, with so many contending for the position, how many can truly become the top scholar? Jun was apprehensive about the task ahead. However, on seeing how Hong helped him numerous times, and suffered the beatings from the Prime Minister’s wife while trying to help him and Ying, and remembering how his own family had sacrificed for him, Jun made up his mind to study hard and moved to the West Chamber.
However, their love was not without its problems. Ying is used to a good life, while Jun is a commoner. Jun and Ying’s relationship was not smooth, and in fact, he had more chemistry with Hong. Ying believes that love is all she needs, but a poor couple will have many troubles ahead. The dashing Wang Wenbin’s appearance created a crack in Jun and Ying’s fairytale romance.
The Empress Dowager, on seeing that the Emperor is of marriageable age, chose a virtuous empress for him but the Emperor would not accept her choice as he wanted to find his own love. Therefore, the Emperor disguised himself and roamed the country. He met Ying and was bedazzled by her. Although he knew that she had a marriage agreement with Jun, he is relentless in his pursuit of her. Ying felt that she has many things in common with Wen Bin. Faced with 2 men, Ying was indecisive about whom she should choose. Hong was afraid that Ying would make a wrong move, and at the same time worried that Jun’s studies would be affected by the relationship problems, tired herself out by trying to help both sides.
At this time, Jun found out about Hong’s feelings for him and after spending so much time with her, developed feelings for her as well. However, due to the wedding agreement with Ying, Jun felt that he had to keep his word and buried his feelings for Hong. On the other hand, the Emperor found out how the wedding agreement came about and decided that as long as Jun does not become the top scholar, the wedding arrangement would be cancelled and he would be able to win Ying’s hand. Jun subsequently found out that there is a Wenbin between him and Ying, and realized that the foundation of his relations with Ying is so weak. Jun knows that Ying’s heart already belongs to Wenbin, while his true love is Hong. He decided not to be bound by the wedding agreement and expressed his feelings for Hong.
Just as Hong thought that her perseverance had finally paid off and was about to accept Jun’s love, they found out that the Prime Minister had been siphoning money from the court and the Empress Dowager, on discovering this, had forbidden the Emperor from marrying Ying. She also wanted to banish the Prime Minister and his family to the plains. Hong thought of a plan to save Ying from being banished. If Ying marries Jun, she will belong to the Zhang family and will be spared the banishment. Therefore, when Jun expressed his love for her, Hong hardened her heart and rejected him. She pretended that she has found another love. However, Jun knows Hong’s character and refused to believe she had a change of heart. Just as he was going to get to the root of the matter, he found out that Hong is a Tubo Princess, who had been missing for years. Hong already had a wedding agreement with the Emperor and they have to marry or risk war between the two countries…