The Warring States Period is a time of plots, deception, and endless conflict. Lin Xiangru is a citizen of Zhao who is clever, eloquent, and familiar with current affairs. However, for the time being he is only a guest under the roof of Miao Xian, head of the eunuchs.
Learning that the king of Zhao has acquired a precious jade disk, the king of Qin sends an envoy to offer the king of Zhao fifteen cities in exchange for the disk. The king of Zhao discusses the matter with his ministers, but they fail to make a decision— since Qin is a more powerful country than Zhao, the king and ministers are afraid that Qin may refuse to give up the cities after the disk is presented and send their troops to the capital of Zhao. Being an advisor to the king, Lin tells him that Qin will be blamed and have no right to invade if the king of Qin goes back on his word. Lin offers to take the disk to Qin as an envoy and promises to bring it back intact.
At the Qin court, the king and ministers show no serious intention to keep their promise. Pointing out a tiny flaw on the disk, Lin takes it back. When the king of Qin tries to seize it, Lin threatens to smash it against a pillar and sternly accuses Qin of dishonesty. Eventually, Lin arranges to have someone smuggle the disk back to Zhao. Though infuriated, the king of Qin has to releaseLin. When he returns to his country, Lin is received with a banquet by the king of Zhao, who gives him a handsome reward for returning the disk and helping to maintain the dignity of the state.