The King of Xiliang launches an invasion on China proper, and defeats the Chinese troops led by the emperor himself. The Zhao brothers, Yingqiang andYingjie, together with Guo Chong’an happen to be by the battlefield. The three of them are the apprentices of the same martial arts master. Yingqiang kills the King of Xiliang single-handedly and takes his head. The jealous Guo then injures Yingqiang and claims credit for his heroism by bringing back the head himself. Guo is given the hand of the emperor’s sister when he presents the stolen head. Shortly thereafter, Guo's shame turns into rage, and he kills Yingjie.Yingjie’s father also dies from a mortal wound. Yingqiang’s wife, Wang, who is now a fugitive, meets a district magistrate who offers to take up her case. The violent Guo kills the magistrate during a scuffle. Pursued by assassins, Wang flees to Xihe. At the last moment, Wang is rescued by her husband,Yingqiang,who has recovered from his wounds and is on his way home. The couple meets Zhao’s younger sister, Ying'e, and her fiance, Li Pangui. They plan to take revenge on Guo and decide to first file a grievance with the Lord Protector.
Guo is invited to a banquet by the Lord Protector, but sees through his host’s attempts to make him talk. The emperor’s wife, alsoGuo’s younger sister, tries to get into the Lord Protector’s mansion to rescue her brother. The two parties accuse one another before the emperor. The emperor is unable to come up with a judgment. As a result, he orders Guo and Yingqiang to settle the dispute with a duel. They are evenly matched for the first two rounds. At the last round, mustering the power of righteous indignation, Yingqiangkills Guo and thus vindicates his family.