At the age of 18, Chu Yuan faces tremendous pressure to prove his competence as the new emperor of Chu State. He must be careful with his decisions, especially with the ongoing unrest at the borders of Chu and Xinan. However, the matter is taken from his hands when Duan Baiyue—the young Xinan King—puts an end to the rebellion himself. His aid spares Chu Yuan an insurmountable amount of grief, and the people of Chu now hail Duan Baiyue as their hero.
Two years later, Xinan's influence has grown, stirring rumors that Duan Baiyue intends to take over Chu State soon. As he stands before a winter plum tree, a furious Chu Yuan does not know what to think and recalls a promise made long ago. The tension reaches a breaking point when a visiting duke of Ahnu, an ally of Chu State, is found dead in the streets of Chu.