Prime Minister Wang Yun has three daughters, of which Baochuan is the youngest, the most talented, and the prettiest. Wang Yun holds a party to choose a husband for Baochuan, and promises that his daughter will marry whoever—rich or poor--can get the silk ball. The ball is caught by Xue Pinggui. Considering Xue Pinggui’s poverty and humble origins, Wang Yun wants to go back on his word, but Baochuan insists on marrying him. At her insistence, Baochuan is disowned by her father and the couple goes to an old cave to live in poverty. When the emperor seeks a person who has the ability to tame a horse, Pinggui volunteers and accomplishes the task. The emperor intends to assign Pinggui to a government post, but finally makes him a petty official because Wang Yun speaks ill of him.
Ordered to go on an expedition to Xiliang with the army, Pinggui vows that he will not return until he becomes a general or marshal. For eighteen years nothing is heard from him. Despite the rumor thatPinggui has been lost for fourteen years, and Baochuan’s parents’ repeated advice for her to remarry,Baochuan is determined to wait for her husband. In truth, Pinggui was actually rescued from death by a Xiliao princess, and the two are now married.
When the king of Xiliao dies, Pinggui takes over the throne. He returns to the rundown cave dwelling to findBaochuan and takes her to Xiliao, where both Baochuan and Princess Daizhan are made his wives.