At the time when northern barbarians are encroaching upon Chinese territory, Emperor Dezong of the Tang Dynasty has theentire Mei family executed for treason on a slanderous charge perpetrated by senior minister Lu Ji. Mei Kui’s son, Mei Liangyu, escapes and seeks refuge under the alias Liangyu. He meets with a good friend of his father’s, Dongchu, a retired official, who finds him extraordinarily smart and hires him as a servant. He is unaware of the boy’s identity. One night, while paying respect to his deceased friend through offerings of plum blossoms in his backyard, a snowstorm descends and withers the blossoms. Surprisingly, the flowers revive when Liangyu prays. Witnessing this, Dongchu realizes who his servant really is. He betroths his daughter Xingsyuan to the young man.
On the day of the wedding, Lu Qi, the senior minister, announces the emperor’s order that the bride is to be given to the head of the barbarians as part of a peace agreement. The couple pour their hearts out to each other on a terrace at the prospect of separation. The next day, the girl climbs a cliff and plunges herself into a river. Fortunately, she is rescued by Zou Yunying, the same man that is harbouring her distressed husband; the couple is reunited away from their hometown. In the autumn, Liangyu wins the highest honors in the imperial examination. At the imperial palace, Liangyu reveals Lu Qi’s crimes of framing a loyal minister and high treason. The evidence is so strong that Lu Qi is executed.