Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty has come to the throne at a young age, though the actual power is held by Empress Chen and her brother. The emperor has to bide his time. Missing his sister Pingyang who lives as a widow in Baling, he pays her a visit in plain clothes. Because of Pingyang's love for Wei Qing, a husbandry serf for the mounted, she arranges a meeting between the serf's sister Wei Ziqing and the emperor. The emperor is immediately taken with Wei Ziqing and soon makes her Lady Wei, promoting Wei Qing, her brother, to imperial bodyguard. After that, the emperor returns to his palace with the Weis.
When Huns invade China, Wei Qing is recommended to be a general leading troops against the enemy. A wicked and jealous woman, Empress Chen speaks ill of Lady Wei before Empress Dowager Dou, causing Lady Wei to be banished to the palace for disfavored imperial concubines. The empress eventually tries to murder Ziqing.
Fortunately, Wei Qing has returned, in triumph. Pretending to obey the empress's wish to kill his sister, he hides her in a stable. Leaving the palace safe and sound, Lady Wei gives birth to a son. Thinking that she is dead, the emperor meets Lady Wei in a dream. Wei Qing has won the empress's trust and has gradually taken control of the army due to his distinguished service in repelling the Hun invasion. Finally, with his help, the emperor deposes Empress Chen, regains control of the government, and reunites with Ziqing.