Wary of a power struggle, the Tiansheng emperor decides to send away Ning Yi, who spends his days weaving silk and rueing a traumatic event in his past.
Feng Zhiwei intervenes when Madam Yuhua bullies courtesan Zhu Yin. An assassination stirs the court. The other princes see Ning Yi as a growing threat.
Ning Yi keeps up his disguise when Zhiwei arrives at the Prince of Chu's residence. Zhiwei is forced by her mother to swear she'll never marry Ning Yi.
The emperor confronts his sons about the rumors regarding the Dacheng prince. Yuhua suspects a link between Zhiwei and the fallen Dacheng Empire.
Following Ning Chuan's campaign against the Bloody Pagoda, the suspicious emperor appoints Ning Yi to investigate -- but Chief Gu's cooperation is key.
Chief Gu uncovers the conspiracy behind the Bloody Pagoda. Madam Yuhua goes to town and hears a story about Gu Heng and the infant Dacheng prince.
Ning Yi finds the document inscribed with information about Zhiwei's and Feng Hao's identities. Qiu Shangqi sends out a search party to catch Zhiwei.
After making a fateful pact, Chief Gu and Ning Yi involve Qiu Shangqi and Qiu Mingying in a scheme to ensnare Ning Chuan.
Zhu Yin helps Ning Yi get to the bottom of the killings linked to the Bloody Pagoda. Headmaster Xin suggests a ploy for Ning Chuan to test Ning Yan.
Ning Chuan reveals to Headmaster Xin his plans to overpower Duke Chang. Disguised as a man, Zhiwei begins work at the House of Lanxiang.
Ning Yan falls for Headmaster Xin's sorcery trick, confirming Ning Chuan's suspicions -- and Headmaster Xin increasingly gains Ning Chuan's trust.
Zhu Yin and Zhiwei suspect a plot by Ning Chuan to poison Ning Yi, but the emperor also falls ill. Duke Chang struggles to regain Ning Chuan's trust.
A mysterious new bodyguard stalks Zhiwei. Ning Yi sends Zhiwei to the East Palace to swap an artifact, resulting in grave consequences for Ning Yan.
Ning Yi confronts Ning Yan about his role in Ning Qiao's downfall. Ning Sheng suspects Ning Yi is involved in the scandal surrounding the wooden figure.
Headmaster Xin brings the sorcerer to Ning Yan, but an imposter hides behind the mask. The guilt-ridden emperor scrutinizes Ning Chuan's story.
Princess Shao Ning complains to Ning Chuan about her encounters at Qingming Academy. Ning Yi struggles to solve the mystery behind his illness.
Ning Chuan sees the ring on Zhao Yuan and thinks it's a trap. Ning Yi orders his men to find Zhiwei, but Duke Chang is a step ahead.
Ning Chuan plans a staged Bloody Pagoda assassination, but a counterscheme is in motion. Zhiwei appears at the imperial ceremony to select top scholars.
At court, Chief Gu reveals Ning Chuan's Bloody Pagoda connections. Disillusioned with Ning Yi, Zhiwei ingratiates herself with the emperor.
The emperor gets to the bottom of Ning Qiao's case. Shao Ning unknowingly helps Zhiwei identify the culprit behind an attempt to poison Ning Yi.
Ning Yi warns Zhiwei about the Chang clan and confronts the emperor over his mother's death. Duke Chang and Ning Sheng try to conspire with Ning Chuan.
Ning Yi anticipates Duke Chang and Ning Chuan's next move. Zhiwei struggles to convince Ning Yi to spare Ning Chuan's life.
The courtiers pass verdict on Duke Chang's fate, but Ning Yi takes matters into his own hands. Shao Ning asks Qiu Shangqi about Zhiwei's past.
With Ning Yi's help, Zhiwei forces Qiu Shangqi to retract his ultimatum and cave into her demands. Shao Ning is determined to avenge Ning Chuan.
Ning Qi's return worries his mother, Lady Wang. Zhiwei comes up with a solution when Ning Qi expresses concerns about the horse market to the emperor.
Suspecting intrigue, Ning Yi secretly sends a crew to capture corsair Chen Shao, who's accused of assassinating courtier Lin Renqi.
Qiu Mingying pressures Zhiwei to resign from the court. Ning Yi helps Ning Qi realize that he's become Ning Sheng's scapegoat in the Chen Shao case.
Zhiwei encounters Helian Zheng on her way back to the Qiu household. Chen Shao tells Ning Yi how he became a mercenary of the corrupt Lord of Minhai.
Posing as Ning Yi, Ning Sheng uses Noble Consort Chang's hairpiece to deceive Zhan Bi, whom Ning Yi confronts about the death of his mother, Ya Le.
Zhan Bi falls for Ning Sheng's plot to dishonor Ning Yi in front of the emperor, but the scheme backfires when Zhiwei intervenes.
Helian Zheng tells Ning Yi he intends to ask for Zhiwei's hand in marriage -- right in front of Wei Zhi. Zhiwei urges Shao Ning to keep a low profile.
As the Censorate chief, Ning Yi presents to the emperor evidence incriminating Lord of Minhai in Lin Renqi's case -- but Chen Shao ruins his plan.
Zhiwei objects when Lord of Minhai asks the emperor for permission to train Ning Sheng. Headmaster Xin aims to put distance between Ning Yi and Zhiwei.
Ning Yi brings up Lin Renqi's case when the emperor mentions Lord of Minhai's return to his dominion. Shao Ning suspects Ning Yi caused the blood marks.
Shao Ning and Noble Consort Chang collude to keep Lady Wang silent about a past scheme against Ya Le. Wei Zhi is asked to guard the golden box.
Helian Zheng discovers Wei Zhi's secret. Zhao Yuan reports to the emperor that Shao Ning has been orbiting around Noble Consort Chang and Ning Sheng.
Ning Yi visits Ya Le's old home, Yilan Palace, and encounters a former servant. Noble Consort Chang arrives soon after -- and thinks she's seen a ghost.
During an imperial gift ceremony, Lady Wang is agitated by false accusations -- and Ning Yi seizes the chance to reveal the truth about Ya Le's death.
After Ning Sheng fails to access the golden box, Shao Ning and Peng Pei plant another distraction -- but someone else lurks in the shadows.
Ning Yi gets wind of Ning Sheng's charade -- and a plan to take Wei Zhi's life. Shao Ning swaps the emperor's scroll, falling for Ning Yi's trap.
Wei Zhi advises the emperor to send an envoy to Minhai. Shao Ning asks Ning Qi to help her obtain the emperor's approval to wed Wei Zhi.
Headmaster Xin scrambles to keep Wei Zhi from blowing her cover. After rejecting Shao Ning's proposal, Wei Zhi makes a shocking revelation at court.
As Zhiwei's execution looms, Qiu Mingying draws up a dangerous rescue plan with the Bloody Pagoda, but Ning Yi intervenes just in time.
Ning Yi sends Qiu Mingying a message through Chief Gu. Against their father's orders, the Chang brothers set out to block Ning Yi's arrival in Minhai.
Chang Zhongxin sets a trap for his brother, Zhongyi, and turns against his own father. Feng Hao steals an artifact from Qiu Mingying's closet.
Zhongxin puts on an act to cover up his crime and prepares his troops for a rebellion. Zhiwei encounters Yan Huaishi's fiancée, Hua Qiong.
Zhongxin takes advantage of Ning Yi's illness to put his plan in motion, but Yan Huaishi convinces Zhou Xizhong to help thwart Zhongxin's ambitions.
After Feng Hao escapes from jail, Peng Pei seeks information on the Qiu family's link to the former dynasty -- and reports his suspicions to Ning Qi.
After confronting Qiu Mingying about Feng Hao's identity, Headmaster Xin falls for Ning Qi and Peng Pei's trap, and Qiu Mingying is apprehended.
Ning Qi orders his men to capture Master Zong. Qiu Mingying tells Headmaster Xin the only way to protect Zhiwei is to sacrifice herself and Feng Hao.
Zhiwei forces her way into the emperor's court to defend her family. Ning Yi arrives soon after and implores the emperor to spare Zhiwei's life.
Master Zong tells Zhiwei the truth about her birth origins. To protect Zhiwei, Ning Yi gives the emperor a life-or-death ultimatum.
After granting permission for Helian Zheng to marry Zhiwei and return to Jinshi, the emperor orders Ning Yi to accompany them on the way.
Ning Yi meets with the prince of Dayue with a proposal for an alliance. The emperor orders Gu Heng to keep a close eye on Ning Qi and Peng Pei.
Helian Zheng confronts Helian Lie with an edict to dispute the succession, but Liu Mudan intervenes. Ning Yi investigates the Liu and Si families' past.
Ning Yi frees a prisoner in order to help Zhiwei and Helian Zheng. Ning Qi orders fragrance-maker Yueling to replicate the emperor's incense box.
Zhiwei grabs Liu Meiduo's sleeve and foils Helian Lie's plot against her and Ning Yi. Helian Zheng learns the truth about his father's death.
Yueling steals a talisman from Ning Sheng's box before handing it to Ning Qi. Unrest in Jinshi interrupts Zhiwei and Helian Zheng's nuptials.
Yueling overhears the emperor's conversation with Lingying, Ya Le's former servant. Ning Qi uses Shao Ning to frame Ning Yi.
Ning Yi finds a way out of Zongzheng Temple and takes Lingying with him. To ferret out the real Zhiwei, Jin Siyu makes a deal with Zhiwei and Hua Qiong.
Lingying tells Ning Yi a secret about his mother. Yueling hands the talisman to a man connected to the Dacheng Empire and schemes to expose Ning Qi.
Jin Siyu identifies the real Zhiwei. To aid in Zhiwei's escape from Puyuan, Ning Yi asks Jiarong to deliver the map of a secret exit.
Zhiwei wakes up with little recollection, and Jin Siyu leads her to think she's his consort. Ning Yi demolishes Puyuan with his rescue plan.
The emperor refuses to grant Ya Le's wish to see Ning Yi and plans to make Ning Qi his successor. Yueling and Zhang Sunhong plot to undermine Ning Qi.
Ning Qi delivers gift chests to Ya Le's residence -- but it's a Trojan horse. Ning Cheng arrives at the scene and clashes with Master Zong.
After overhearing Zhang Sunhong and Ning Qi, Gu Nanyi takes matters into his own hands -- with fatal consequences. Two murders stir the palace.
Zhiwei asks Zhang Sunhong to let go of the past. Headmaster Xin mentions Ning Qi's imminent revolt to Ning Ji, who doesn't intend to pursue the throne.
Flanked by courtiers, Ning Qi rounds up troops outside the emperor's room, but Ning Yi and Zhao Yuan walk through the gate with a shocking announcement.
Zhang Sunhong turns Zhiwei against Ning Yi, and Yueling leverages Ning Qi's grudge. Ning Cheng stops Zhiwei and Helian Zheng on their way to Jinshi.
Gu Nanyi asks Yueling to tell Zhiwei the truth about Helian Zheng's fate. Zhiwei accepts Ning Yi's offer to make her empress, but she has other plans.