In the Spring and Autumn Period, General Tang Jiao of the state of Chu goes to war with the king and returns triumphant. Both he and the king's brother-in-law, Xiang Xiang,love Yu Ji. They visit her at the same time and have a quarrel. Knowing that Xiang is wicked, Yu Ji urges Tang Jiao to marry her as soon as possible. Her brother, Yu Cheng,returns from the court and reprimands his sister for offending Xiang. When the king pays her a personal visit and chooses her as his concubine, she has no choice but to refuseTang's offer.?
The king invites his ministers to a banquet on Jian Terrace, where Tang tries to drown his sorrows in liquor. Suddenly a gust of wind blows out the candles. Enraged by Yu Ji’s betrayal, Tang takes out his dagger to stab her but accidentally touches the concubine sitting beside him. In the dark, the concubine takes offTang’s hat and reports the misdeed to the king. Thinking that the transgressor is drunk and has no malicious intentions, the king orders all those wearing hats with red tassels to take them off before the candles are lit again. Thus the banquet comes to be called “the Hatless Gathering.”?
When the state of Jin invades Chu, the king personally leads his troops against the enemy. General Xian Mie of Jin is such a brave and skillful warrior that he lays a tight siege to the troops of Chu. Tang leads a group of soldiers to their rescue, despite his sorrow over the encounter with Yu Ji.