In 9th century China, a corrupt government wages war against a rebel army called the Flying Daggers. A romantic warrior breaks a beautiful rebel out of prison to help her rejoin her fellows, but things are not what they seem.
The daughter of a right-winger, schoolgirl Jing Qiu (Zhou Dong-Yu) is sent to the countryside for reeducation, and tasked to help write a textbook. There she meets Lao San (Shawn Dou), a young soldier with a bright future ahead. Despite the class divide and parental disapproval, romance blooms against turbulent times.
Lu and Feng are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner during the Cultural Revolution. He finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife no longer remembers him.
During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.