Leading courtesan Mu Suhui admires the talent of Yu Shuye. At their first meeting, Mu sings “The Limpid Chu River” to express her love. The two take an oath of marriage. After learning about the love affair,Shuye’s father barges into the brothel and admonishes his son for loving a prostitute. Zhao bullies the madam into taking Mui to Qiantang to live in seclusion. Mu writes a letter to Yu, but she is in such a hurry that she accidentally puts a piece of blank paper into the envelope.
That night, Yu’s father comes to the study and warns him with eight maxims on the heartlessness of prostitutes. After his father leaves, Yu finds the blank paper and considers it a sign from Mu that she has broken off their engagement. Later on, while experiencing an out-of-body state, Yu dreams that Mu has denied the oath. Once conscious, Yu decides his father is right and tears the blank paper into pieces.
Chitong, the son of the prime minister, loves Mu. He bribes the madam and tries to marry Mu, who would rather die than comply. Misinformed that Yu has died, Mu visits Hunzhen Temple to pray for his soul. Yualso happens to be at the temple to give thanks for being spared from a life with Mu, but he fails to see her.Mu is rescued by knight errant Changgong and his wife, Qinghong. From the knight’s house, Mu one day seesYu parading down the street as the new champion of the imperial examination. The two meet and clear up the misunderstanding. By a clever plan, the knight helps the two get married.