Wu and his wife make a prenatal betrothal with their friend, Ye. Unfortunately, Ye and his wife die young, leaving their daughter, Piaohong, to be brought up by the Wus. Fifteen years later, Wu’s wife gives birth to a son called Xiaopeng. The boy is often sick, and becomes critically ill at the age of one. Wu’s wife expectsPiaohong to marry her son to hasten his recovery, as superstition demands. The girl reluctantly agrees, and the wedding is scheduled to be held eighteen years later.
Eighteen years hence, Xiaopeng falls in love with his neighbor Liu, having always regarded Piaohong as his sister. One day, to pay her father's debt, Liu is made to marry Ling Tianyan. Xiaopeng offers to pay the debt for her, but is stopped by Piaohong. As Liu is taken away by Ling's servants, Xiaopeng rushes to her rescue, only to be overwhelmed and seriously wounded. To ransom Liu and Xiaopeng, Piaohong offers herself to Ling. Adding insult to injury, Xiaopeng scorns Piaohong for having spent the night away from home. His father reprimands him and points out that they should be man and wife.
Xiaopeng intends to run away with Liu. However, knowing of Piaohong’s misfortunes, Liu makes a false promise to marry Ling to make Xiaopeng give up. Deeply hurt by this, Xiaopeng decides to become a monk.Piaohong, meanwhile, is so saddened by her situation that she tries to drown herself in the sea.Xiaopeng’s father arrives and explains everything. Before she dies, Piaohong asks Xiaopeng to make up with Liu, fillingXiaopeng with regret.