Yuan Hong is kind and intelligent as the 4th prince though complacent for he is well-known to be Yongzheng's favourite and the prince most likely to succeed the emperor. The 3rd prince is the loud, arrogant and brainless one and mostly listens to the sly and manipulative 5th prince.
I like the portrayal of the emperor in this series. Kou Zhen Hai's Yongzheng is smart, perceptive and sharp..too much for his own good as well since he tends to read too much into things and coupled with a high level of sensitiveness (and probably suspicion as well due to his past experiences when he was a prince), tends to apply clouded judgment to things. For now, he starts to distrust the 4th prince and buy into the 3rd prince's nauseating filial son act. At the end of the second episode, a girl who tries to assassinate Yongzheng, is captured and from the shorts for episode 3, it seems that she will lie that she was sent by the 4th prince which causes the latter to probably be expelled from the prince's study. BTW, Chen Baoguo plays a rebel out to get Yongzheng's life.
Yang Mi appears a little in episode 2 and looks dainty as the daughter of an influential household but judging from the credits, ending theme video and screen time, she doesnt seem to be the female lead or Hongli's (4th Prince) actual love interest.
Instead, the female lead is likely to be He Miao, who acts as Zhu Hui Ru, the daughter of Hongli's teacher. Hongli is clearly attracted to her and the ending video shows likewise. Yang Mi's character seems to like Hongli but is keeping her feelings hidden for she knows her good friend (Hui Ru) is in love with Hongli and vice versa.
Sigh, the news articles and Sina site misled me into thinking that the main couple was Yang Mi and Yuan Hong