Imperial envoy Gui Chengxun returns to Nantong County to follow up on a marriage arrangement for his son, Nanping, that was made before Nanping's birth. It turns out that the father of his future daughter-in-law has renamed himself Yu Youcai and has become an infamous loan shark. Nanping meets Yu's eldest daughter, Jiezhen,and falls in love with her after rescuing her from the advances of a rogue. Before long, enmity arises between Nanping and Yu when Nanping sees Yu doing bad business as a loan shark.
Having found the man he has been looking for, Nanping's father unwittingly takes his son to Yu's house for a New Year's visit. As soon as the loan shark sees Nanping, he breaks off the engagement in infuriation. At the same time, the rogue happens to come to Yu to propose marriage. Regarding him as the son of the prime minister, Yu readily agrees.
When Jiezhen decides to pay Nanping a visit, Yu, who assumes that Nanping is of little means, makes a promise through his daughter that Nanpingmay have her hand as long as he can present a betrothal gift. When Nanping obliges, the rogue has also arrived to marry the girl. A dispute soon follows, and finally Yusettles the argument by agreeing to marry his daughter to the rogue. During the night, Jiezhen disguises herself as the bridesmaid, and substitutes her sister, Jiebing, as the bride for the wedding ceremony with the rogue. The parties then take the case to court, accusing each other of different misdeeds. The rogue urges the county magistrate to make a hasty decision when imperial envoy Gui Chengxun finally arrives at the scene. Yu eventually agrees to marry his daughter to Nanping. The opera comes to a happy ending.