2024 Chinese Drama List

Nancheng Banquet – Wang Youshuo, Zhao Zhaoyi

Nancheng Banquet is a historical romance drama, directed by Xu Chi and Yi Kun, starring Wang Youshuo and Zhao Zhaoyi, with Xia Ningjun, Zhou Zixin, and Hu Zhengjun in supporting roles.

The series narrates the story of a passionate and amusing martial arts heroine, Fu Xiao, and the cold-faced commander, Yan Changyun, as they grow from mutual dislike to a lifelong partnership.

Details

Nancheng Banquet

English Title: Nancheng Banquet
Chinese Title: 南城宴
Genre: Romance, Historical, Comedy
Episodes: 24
Duration: 45 min.
Director: Xu Chi, Yi Kun
Released Date: 2024-05-25
Broadcast Website: MGTV, MGTV Drama Channel

Cast

Synopsis

A top-secret assassination mission intertwines the lives of the righteous heroine Fu Xiao and the scheming commander Yan Changyun, who initially have nothing to do with each other. A single misstep leads to Fu Xiao's mission failure, causing her to lose her memory and become an innocent "little white rabbit." She is then forced to become embroiled in Yan Changyun's grand revenge scheme.

Together, they navigate the treacherous court and the perilous world of martial arts, gradually uncovering and rectifying an old injustice, thereby restoring the honor of the loyal and virtuous. When all the dust settles, the two, uninterested in power and fame, choose to live as an immortal couple, retiring to the countryside to spend their lives together in peace.

Recap

Fu Xiao had already mastered martial arts under her master's tutelage. This time, her master sent her down the mountain to eliminate General Guo Zhen, who had been wreaking havoc at the border. She was to kill him on his return to the capital.

Additionally, she had to deal with Yan Zhangyun, the commander of the Qianyu Guards, who held significant power and oppressed the people. As the most skilled disciple of the Wanshi Pavilion, Fu Xiao needed to return to the capital to eliminate this menace. Her master specifically warned her to be cautious of Yan Zhangyun, who was highly skilled in martial arts.

Yan Zhangyun, as usual, went to the brothel to find Lei Chuyue. As soon as he entered, he sensed that the person there was an impostor. Fu Xiao, pretending that Lei Chuyue was ill, claimed she was there to serve in her stead.

Yan Zhangyun tested her martial skills and detected her abilities. When Fu Xiao attempted to use a beauty trap and drew a dagger, Yan Zhangyun saw through her ruse, and they fought. Fu Xiao, unable to defeat him, seized the opportunity to escape, but her masked face was recognized during the pursuit.

That night, Yan Zhangyun, masked, arrived at an abandoned house. At this time, Fu Xiao was resting on a beam. Yan Zhangyun, the young master, had planned to lure Guo Zhen back to the capital to uncover the mastermind behind the Guanyou incident and avenge his family.

However, with Guo Zhen's death, the clues were cut off. As he was burning incense in remembrance, he heard movement from the beam and engaged in a fight with Fu Xiao. She admitted to killing Guo Zhen and intended to send Yan Zhangyun to the underworld but failed to defeat him. She fled after her pouch was knocked off.

Fu Xiao escaped to a passenger boat, changed her clothes, and was knocked out by Xiao Qiang Zi. Instinctively, she killed Xiao Qiang Zi, whose body fell into the river. The next day, she woke up with a headache, having no memory of her injuries or identity.

Holding a waist tag she found on the boat, she arrived at Nanguo City. Seeing Yan Zhangyun, she became fearful and avoided a man with an injured arm, drawing attention. When she presented the waist tag, the guards, recognizing it as belonging to someone from the palace, let her go.

Fu Xiao, looking at her reflection by the roadside, was puzzled by her male disguise and sought a doctor. The doctor diagnosed her with amnesia but, due to lack of money, she was expelled from the clinic.

Meanwhile, Feng Gonggong had dispatched many to search for Xiao Qiang Zi. The Prime Minister, disregarding the guards, barged into the hall to request the Emperor decide on Guo Zhen's replacement. He was accompanied by Duke Wei, who recommended He Wei, while the Prime Minister suggested Yang Xiong.

The Emperor, Zhao Yuan, had already disguised himself and gone to the theater, leaving a eunuch dressed in his place. At the theater, he coincidentally encountered Fu Xiao, who was hiding under a table, stealing his snacks. At this moment, Yan Zhangyun arrived at the theater to search for the assassin. Emperor Zhao Yuan, hiding under the table, became anxious. Initially, they planned to escape together, but Fu Xiao abandoned the Emperor and fled.

Halfway through her escape, Fu Xiao intended to trade Xiao Qiang Zi's waist tag for a bun but was discovered by Dao Ge, who learned of her amnesia and decided to have her impersonate Xiao Qiang Zi and return to the palace. Fu Xiao, hearing Dao Ge promise to feed her, happily followed him back. In the palace, Dao Ge knocked her out.

When she woke up, she found herself tied to a bed, realizing Dao Ge intended to make her a eunuch. Instinctively, she broke free, kicked Dao Ge unconscious, and fled. Lost, she stumbled into Yan Zhangyun's palace. Yan Zhangyun, troubled by his injuries and unable to dress himself, asked Fu Xiao to assist him. He noticed the injury on her arm and was about to verify her identity when he was informed of the assassin's trail, giving Fu Xiao a chance to escape.

In the back garden, Fu Xiao met the Emperor, realizing they were the brothers who had met at the theater. They decided to leave the palace together. Xiao Qiang Zi's body was retrieved from the river, and Yan Zhangyun prepared to investigate from the eunuch's identity. Fu Xiao and the Emperor, having stolen money, were discovered by guards. The Emperor instructed Fu Xiao to wait elsewhere. Yan Zhangyun soon traced Xiao Qiang Zi’s identity and ordered a palace-wide search.

When her brother didn't arrive, Fu Xiao decided to leave with the money but was caught by Yan Zhangyun. Yan Zhangyun intended to kill her under the pretext of theft, as she knew he was the young master. The Emperor arrived in time to save her and revealed his true identity.

Finding a kindred spirit in the palace, the Emperor arranged for someone to prove that Xiao Qiang Zi was a pure eunuch and that the money was his reward, not stolen. Despite Yan Zhangyun's intention to take Xiao Qiang Zi, the Emperor insisted on keeping her as an attendant.

Afterward, Dao Ge instructed Fu Xiao that from now on, he would be Xiao Qiang Zi, and she should refer to him as Brother Qiang. After all, he was now an eunuch and favored by the Emperor. Fu Xiao remembered when she was brought to the room by the eunuch for inspection, it was merely symbolic, and he declared her fit without much scrutiny.

She couldn't understand why the eunuch helped her. It turned out the eunuch had been bribed by a masked woman and was rewarded handsomely that night. The next day, during the morning court discussing the candidates for the position left by Guo Zhen on the border, Xiao Quan believed only Yan Zhangyun, brave and skilled in battle, was suitable.

However, this choice faced strong opposition from everyone in the court. Yan Zhangyun didn't trust Xiao Quan's judgment because, after all, the Qin family had been falsely accused and wiped out. Currently, He Sanyuan and Lei Bao might have found clues from the deceased Guo Zhen.

Looking at the Emperor's food, Xiao Qiang Zi's stomach grumbled loudly. The Emperor, eating alone, ordered Xiao Qiang Zi to eat with him, frightening everyone except Xiao Qiang Zi, who ate heartily without resistance. This enthusiasm even lifted the Emperor's appetite.

Lei Bao, who had fled with the young master from Duke Dingguo's mansion, was recognized by He Sanyuan. At a glance, he recognized Yan Zhangyun as the young boy, Qin Yan, from back then. When He Sanyuan refused to divulge the mastermind behind the scenes, Yan Zhangyun began to break his ribs one by one until he confessed that the jade ring on Guo Zhen's hand held a secret.

Yan Zhangyun immediately found Fu Xiao and forced her to reveal the whereabouts of the jade ring. As she was about to be killed, Fu Xiao confessed she had amnesia. After being examined by the imperial physician, the treatment time for recovery varied from person to person.

To help her regain her memory, Yan Zhangyun tied her to a spinning wheel and even inserted needles into her head. Fearing the needles would penetrate her brain, she pretended to remember, and Yan Zhangyun, seeing her genuine amnesia, declared that she had passed the test and hadn't betrayed him even at the point of death. Xiao Qiang Zi, confused, saw Yan Zhangyun making up a story that she had once been his undercover guard.

Until Yan Zhangyun's lies were exposed, she pretended to meet a relative to avoid leaving with him. To protect herself from leaving with Yan Zhangyun, she complained to the Emperor that Yan Zhangyun tortured her secretly. Concerned for Xiao Qiang Zi's safety, the Emperor ordered him not to leave his side.

At the changing of the plaques, all of them were empresses. To let Xiao Qiang Zi appreciate the empress's elegance, the Emperor took him to see her true appearance. The empress, expecting the Emperor but not seeing him arrive, went out to meet him herself. As the Emperor left with the empress, Yan Zhangyun took Xiao Qiang Zi to the woods and simulated the scene when she attempted to assassinate Guo Zhen.

However, facing a group of guards with raised swords, even though it was just a simulation, she was still afraid and fainted. When the imperial physician examined her, he stared at Yan Zhangyun, afraid of saying the wrong thing. As Fu Xiao left, the imperial physician said the red thread in Xiao Qiang Zi's arm was poisonous, and if not detoxified, he would die in a hundred days.

Talking with the Emperor, he lamented being locked in the palace despite the vastness of the land. Every memorial had been modified by the Prime Minister, and even his every move was monitored by the Empress Dowager. When discussing Yan Zhangyun, Fu Xiao criticized him behind his back. Yan Zhangyun arrived at that moment to take someone away, so she pretended to be ill and had the Emperor take him away.

The Prime Minister rebuked the Empress, who had been married for four years without bearing children, leading Duke Wei to propose deposing her. Xiao Quan advised his father not to be angry, suggesting that the problem might lie with the Emperor. He warned his daughter that if she didn't have a child, he would select someone from the Xiao family to replace her.

The Emperor arrived at the Empress's chamber, suddenly speaking affectionately to her, expressing his guilt. He ordered a table brought in and decided to paint a picture for her. It was Xiao Qiang Zi's idea to avoid different chambers, hoping the Empress would fall asleep while being painted, but instead, it was the Emperor who fell asleep first while waiting for her to doze off.

Fu Xiao, who was waiting outside, was found by the masked woman who handed her a packet of medicine, instructing her to drug the Emperor. She also mentioned the poison on her arm, warning that if left untreated, it would be fatal. Afterwards, Fu Xiao found the imperial physician and questioned why he lied about her being feverish when she was actually poisoned.

The imperial physician inadvertently revealed that Yan Zhangyun was behind it. Fu Xiao had the medicine given to her by the masked woman tested, learning it was meant to make one lethargic, not poisonous.

As she debated whether to give the medicine to the Emperor, Dao Ge arrived asking for water and accidentally drank it. He then tearfully claimed Xiao Qiang Zi as his benefactor. Fu Xiao suspected someone didn't want the Emperor to have an heir and decided to tread carefully, administering the medicine bit by bit.

On their way back, Fu Xiao encountered Yan Zhangyun, who deliberately tripped her into the water. The Empress Dowager visited the imperial hospital, where the imperial physician presented a tonic, guaranteeing the Emperor's vitality in the future.

Yan Zhangyun brought Xiao Qiang Zi before the Emperor, ostensibly to spar with him, but without regard for the Emperor's status, he made the Emperor stumble multiple times. To ensure the Emperor's victory, Xiao Qiang Zi added lethargy-inducing medicine to Yan Zhangyun's water, but he saw through the trick and made her drink it instead.

Later, Fu Xiao tearfully complained to the Emperor, claiming she was crippled by Yan Zhangyun and received no favor from the Emperor. At that moment, a eunuch brought the Empress's personally brewed tonic, which the Emperor rewarded to Xiao Qiang Zi.

After drinking it, Xiao Qiang Zi felt unusually hot. The Empress, impatient for the Emperor, stumbled upon the Emperor and Xiao Qiang Zi behaving intimately, becoming jealous and ordering Xiao Qiang Zi thrown out.

Dazed, Xiao Qiang Zi ended up at Yan Zhangyun's palace, where, seeing him, she went to embrace him but was promptly knocked unconscious. To keep Xiao Qiang Zi away from the Emperor, Yan Zhangyun deliberately spread rumors about their intimacy to the Empress Dowager, leaving Xiao Qiang Zi with no choice but to seek refuge with the Thousand Feather Guards.

Fu Xiao arrived at the Emperor's palace, denying the rumors and insisting on their innocence. Just as she finished speaking, sand blew into her eyes, and the Emperor blew it away. The Empress Dowager, unable to find the Emperor, stumbled upon him holding Xiao Qiang Zi's face affectionately.

She immediately ordered the eunuchs to kill Xiao Qiang Zi. The Emperor pleaded with the Empress Dowager to spare Xiao Qiang Zi's life. Just as Fu Xiao was about to be stabbed with a white silk, she faintly remembered something. Instinctively, she injured those around her.

At that moment, Yan Zhangyun arrived to prove that Xiao Qiang Zi was actually a guard of the Thousand Feather Guards, tasked with protecting the Emperor. To save Xiao Qiang Zi's life, the Emperor reluctantly handed her over to the Thousand Feather Guards in front of the Empress Dowager.

That night, the Emperor dreamed of being restrained by the Prime Minister and the Empress Dowager, watching helplessly as Xiao Qiang Zi was killed. To ease the Emperor's nightmares, the Empress sent someone to retrieve Xiao Qiang Zi. Meanwhile, Yan Zhangyun ordered Xiao Qiang Zi to share a room with him that night, even providing her with a mat. Xiao Qiang Zi made various excuses to leave, but the eunuch announced the Emperor's illness, forcibly taking Xiao Qiang Zi away.

Following the Empress's orders, Xiao Qiang Zi administered medicine to the Emperor and was then dismissed by Yan Zhangyun again. Analyzing the current situation, Fu Xiao realized the Emperor was seriously ill and she had offended both the Empress and the Empress Dowager, leaving Yan Zhangyun as her only support.

Yan Zhangyun gave Xiao Qiang Zi a vial of antidote, asking if she resented the Emperor for not saving her, nearly leading to her execution. Xiao Qiang Zi said the Emperor had no choice and sympathized with him, convincing Yan Zhangyun of her perspective.

That night, Xiao Qiang Zi attempted to escape but was caught by Yan Zhangyun, who then slept. Unable to flee, she attempted to steal the antidote while he slept, but he caught her searching and, upon being discovered, pretended to cover her with a blanket, lying back down on the floor.

Xiao Qiang Zi was brought back to the Qianyu Guard and was ridiculed by colleagues, saying how could someone so short come here. On the first day of training, they were made to run with weights. Seizing the opportunity, she escaped from the woods and went back to find the Emperor.

The Emperor thought Xiao Qiang Zi would resent him for not saving her, but she spoke a lot of sympathetic words for him, and it seemed the Emperor hadn't made the wrong friend. At this time, Yan Zhangyun came to find the Emperor and deliberately took Xiao Qiang Zi away, who was avoiding training.

She criticized his training methods and proposed to increase cohesion among colleagues. Yan Zhangyun used this as an opportunity to have him do laundry for everyone. Xiao Qiang Zi took the opportunity to play with bubbles, and her happy appearance reminded Yan Zhangyun of his childhood when a kind family took him in after he was seriously injured, and the memory of the little girl playing with bubbles remained vivid.

He didn't know why he suddenly thought of that little girl. In order to leave, Xiao Qiang Zi deliberately sprayed food on Yan Zhangyun's face during dinner, even brewed worm tea for him, and deliberately scattered dessert crumbs all over the floor to disgust him.

To employ stronger tactics, Xiao Qiang Zi took the opportunity to come and bathe Yan Zhangyun while he was bathing. Her attentive appearance made Yan Zhangyun feel uncomfortable. How could a eunuch have inappropriate thoughts about him? He hurriedly fled in fright. Lord Wei received treasures brought back by his nephew Chen Juncai from abroad, preparing to sell them at a high price.

Wei Tianjiao returned home, and his father was very happy. Before he could say a few words, his son asked him to prepare five hundred taels. Lord Wei's nephew Chen Juncai and Fang You were caught using Zhu Yin powder by the Qianyu Guard. It turned out they were informants here. Yan Zhangyun wanted to torture Fang You, who confessed out of fear, saying that the Zhu Yin powder was hidden in Yinma Lane.

The next day, Yan Zhangyun found Zhu Yin powder and a lot of treasury silver in Yinma Lane, while Lord Wei claimed that someone was framing him, and he wouldn't be foolish enough to steal from himself. The Prime Minister this time didn't hesitate to bring up that Duke Dingguo's mansion was also involved because of Zhu Yin powder.

Whether Lord Wei was implicated is unknown. The Emperor handed the matter over to Yan Zhangyun for investigation. In order to investigate the truth of the past, Yan Zhangyun sent someone to Lord Wei's mansion to check the account books. His subordinates found it difficult, after all, Lord Wei's mansion was heavily guarded. Yan Zhangyun, citing a lack of military funds, designed to involve Xiao Qiang Zi.

Xiao Qiang Zi volunteered to take on Yan Zhangyun's three moves in order to win the reward money. She dodged the three moves and, when she came to the Ministry of Revenue to collect the reward money, there was no money left. In order to get the reward money, Xiao Qiang Zi took the lead in asking Wei Tianjiao for money, after all, his father had embezzled the funds. Xiao Qiang Zi, who was being manipulated, confidently approached Yan Zhangyun, hoping he would be merciful to his subordinates.

Xiao Qiang Zi volunteered to ask for military funds. It turned out that Yan Zhangyun also saw that his background behind him was the Emperor, so even if something happened, the Emperor would protect him. When they arrived at Lord Wei's mansion, she was originally polite and wanted to negotiate with Lord Wei's mansion, but she was discriminated against, and colleagues deliberately came to blows with the people of Lord Wei's mansion to protect Xiao Qiang Zi.

Yan Zhangyun's personal guard, A Cheng, took the opportunity to search Lord Wei's secret room and stole the account books, and found a lot of treasury silver. Indeed, there was no record of Zhu Yin powder in the account books. Could Lord Wei really have been framed?

Unable to suppress the situation, Xiao Qiang Zi ran back to Yan Zhangyun to report the situation. Outside, it was rumored that Yan Zhangyun incited trouble against Lord Wei on purpose. Lord Wei informed the Emperor, and the Empress Dowager wanted to kill Xiao Qiang Zi, with the Emperor pleading on the side. Yan Zhangyun also explained the reasons behind the matter, admitting his inadequate supervision responsibilities and willing to take the punishment for Xiao Qiang Zi.

Yan Zhangyun took a hundred beatings for Xiao Qiang Zi, with blood already seeping through from behind. In order to improve the supervision of the Qianyu Guard, the Emperor appointed Xiao Qiang Zi as the supervisor of the Qianyu Guard.

Yan Zhangyun willingly took the blame for Xiao Qiang Zi this time. Xiao Qiang Zi sincerely apologized to Yan Zhangyun and personally applied medicine for him. When Xiao Qiang Zi lifted his clothes to look, she saw his bloody back, with many scars. It turned out that he not only bravely killed enemies on the battlefield but also once saved the Emperor with his own life.

Xiao Qiang Zi felt sorry for him and blew air for him, making Yan Zhangyun think of the little girl he played with in his childhood. Xiao Qiang Zi showed off in front of the Emperor wearing the uniform of a commanding general, and even wanted an oversized commanding general's badge.

He quietly told the Emperor that he had come up with a solution that could not only solve the problem of the Qianyu Guard's military funds but also solve his own lack of money. After listening, the Emperor always felt that the other party was his uncle, feeling a bit embarrassed.

The tax silver from Jiangnan was transported to Duke Wei's mansion in advance. Duke Wei personally inspected it and signed to confirm. Duke Wei instructed his subordinates to follow the previous rules, distributing half and keeping half, and secretly rejoiced that whether or not the military funds were issued was up to him.

The next day, Yan Zhangyun and Xiao Qiang Zi, holding the imperial edict, came to inspect the tax silver and handle its storage. Xiao Qiang Zi found on the spot that some of the silver was fake. The steward said that the silver had not been touched since it was stored last night, so how could there be fakes?

Duke Wei stated that he had never seen this part of the tax silver before and suspected someone was framing him. Yan Zhangyun directly ordered a search of the mansion and found a large amount of national silver in the secret room. This time, Yan Zhangyun did not find Zhu Yin powder, only discovering Duke Wei's embezzlement.

This scheme by Xiao Qiang Zi allowed the national silver to return to the national treasury, and he received the previous reward silver and military funds. He specially bought antidote from Yan Zhangyun to save his life and had to give him all his belongings.

Just as he was about to take the antidote, Dao Ge beside him started eating it one by one. It turned out that this "antidote" was available to everyone, a tonic made by the imperial physician. Xiao Qiang Zi, feeling wronged, took the hawthorn pills to question Yan Zhangyun, asking why he was so cruel; he was about to die, yet he was deceived by him. Yan Zhangyun looked at the crying Xiao Qiang Zi and admitted that he didn't actually have any antidote.

Yan Zhangyun realized he had done wrong, seeing Xiao Qiang Zi crying sadly, he originally wanted to keep him around to find out about the whereabouts of the jade finger ring, but now he cared so much about him. That night, Yan Zhangyun, in order to express his apology, gave Xiao Qiang Zi a jade whistle, saying that if he encountered danger, blow it, and he would appear to protect him.

At the early court session, the Emperor selected the Minister of Revenue to take over the supervision of the national treasury and took the opportunity to take back the important positions of the inner court. The Prime Minister accused Yan Zhangyun of not being able to clarify the Zhu Yin powder and suggested transferring the investigation authority to the Ministry of Justice.

Before the Emperor could speak, Yan Zhangyun agreed directly. It turned out he was trying to divert the enemy's attention, which was conducive to his investigation of the family's extermination case. Wei Tianjiao didn't know how to get along with his colleagues in the Qianyu Guard because of his father's dereliction of duty.

Although he initially resented Yan Zhangyun a bit, he realized later that Yan Zhangyun was trying to protect him. When Wei Tianjiao returned home, he was scolded by Duke Wei, saying that he was eating from both sides and that all the hard-earned family property was gone. Wei Tianjiao advised his father that a gentleman should love money properly, and handed him a deed to a shop, allowing Duke Wei to engage in the business he liked.

The next day, Wei Tianjiao came to Xiao Qiang Zi and found Yan Zhangyun's cherished jade whistle in his hand. Xiao Qiang Zi explained that she had been wronged, and it was compensation given by Yan Zhangyun. Wei Tianjiao felt that his eldest brother was biased. Xiao Qiang Zi deliberately blew the whistle, and Yan Zhangyun immediately rushed over, asking why Wei Tianjiao didn't have a gift.

To cover up Xiao Qiang Zi's importance, he said everyone had a share, so the treasures in his room were all moved out by his subordinates. Hearing the whistle again, he hurried over. Xiao Qiang Zi said she was thirsty and asked him to pour her a glass of water, and even brought up the identity of a commanding general.

Yan Zhangyun saw Xiao Qiang Zi taking advantage of the situation and advised him not to go too far. Xiao Qiang Zi, holding the oversized commanding general's badge, continued to order Yan Zhangyun to do laundry, cook, and even in front of everyone, asked him to massage her. Over the next few days, Xiao Qiang Zi kept blowing the whistle, even the guards below felt Xiao Qiang Zi was going too far, but he wouldn't be able to do it for long.

Hearing how his colleagues were evaluating him, Xiao Qiang Zi had to climb a tree to pick fruits for Yan Zhangyun. Unfortunately, he couldn't get down from the tree, but fortunately, the Emperor arrived and caught him under the tree. As Xiao Qiang Zi and the Emperor left the palace, he set his eyes on some beautiful jewelry, falsely claiming that he liked to collect them. On the way, he encountered a woman scolding her disobedient daughter, warning her to be careful of being caught by the Qianyu Guard.

Xiao Qiang Zi couldn't stand it and corrected her directly, saying that the Qianyu Guard was the protector of the people, and if they had difficulties, they should find the Qianyu Guard. Xiao Qiang Zi advocated for the Qianyu Guard in this way, even suggesting that the Qianyu Guard should come out to serve the people, after all, representing the Emperor's care for the people's image.

Yan Zhangyun noticed that Xiao Qiang Zi had bought many things when she left the palace, and she specially bought Softening Ointment to give to Yan Zhangyun. She also proposed that the Qianyu Guard should serve the people. The next day, Xiao Qiang Zi brought the Qianyu Guard to the streets and had them clean the streets and help the elderly and disabled.

Xiao Qiang Zi suggested that as the leader, Yan Zhangyun should personally take part. Just as he finished speaking, he saw a father pointing a sword at another father. The people were watching, and Xiao Qiang Zi immediately took the sword away, explaining it was a misunderstanding. It turned out the little boy had brought the teacher's broken pen home to fix it, but his father mistook him for stealing, so he was beaten.

In order to show concern for the people, Yan Zhangyun said that anyone who dared to hit their child again would be punished by military law. Not only did Yan Zhangyun chop wood for the people, but he also cut vegetables for the vendors on the street and even peeled fruit for the children. Meanwhile, Xiao Qiang Zi played games with the children, and Yan Zhangyun watched them with fascination.

The Prime Minister learned that Yan Zhangyun was busy with trivial matters outside the palace and ordered his subordinates to investigate Zhu Yin powder. He instructed his son, Xiao Quan, not to go to the palace and focus on investigating Zhu Yin powder. Xiao Quan retorted, saying he had his own plans. Bai Master still had no news of Fu Xiao.

While discussing how to find Fu Xiao, they discovered that everyone had been poisoned. At this time, Xiao Quan arrived wearing a mask and said that Fu Xiao had lost her memory and was disguised as a eunuch in the palace. He claimed she was lucky to have approached the Qianyu Guard. Bai Master said he had nothing to do with them at this point, so why poison them?

Xiao Quan took out the antidote and used it to coerce Bai Master into cooperating with him. Xiao Qiang Zi found many beggars on a street. It turned out that these people were relatives of those involved in the Guanyou Rebellion and had been sentenced to lifelong begging.

Yan Zhangyun ran over and helped the elderly directly. Xiao Qiang Zi mistakenly thought Yan Zhangyun did it for her sake. Some people in the crowd criticized Yan Zhangyun, but Xiao Qiang Zi was angry and wanted to fight them, but Yan Zhangyun intervened.

Yan Zhangyun personally took care of the beggars on this street. Chuyue came here and brought food specifically for Yan Zhangyun. He directly gave this food to the beggars. Xiao Qiang Zi secretly found Fu Xiao on the street and planned to take her back to the mountain this time.

Fu Xiao didn't understand and didn't recognize her, so she blew the whistle in a hurry. At this time, Yan Zhangyun arrived in time to save her. The junior sister couldn't beat Yan Zhangyun, so she had to escape and said that Fu Xiao had truly betrayed the sect. Xiao Qiang Zi was injured by the junior sister, so Yan Zhangyun had to carry her back to camp.

Xiao Qiang Zi looked silly at the cup, and Dao Ge saw that he was in a good mood. Listening to him talk about Yan Zhangyun, he felt that Xiao Qiang Zi liked Yan Zhangyun. Xiao Qiang Zi immediately explained that she was a man and couldn't like another man. Xiao Qiang Zi specially made some desserts and met the Emperor on the way, but the Emperor took them away.

The Emperor accidentally had an allergic reaction to shrimp snacks and passed out. Yan Zhangyun arrived in time and called the imperial physician. The Empress wanted to execute Xiao Qiang Zi, but fortunately, the Emperor woke up and saved his life. Xiao Qiang Zi said that it was thanks to Yan Zhangyun's timely arrival and using perilla leaf juice to save her.

When the Emperor heard this, he suspected that Yan Zhangyun was Qin Yan. Later, when Xiao Qiang Zi thanked Yan Zhangyun, he guessed that the Emperor already suspected his identity. Since his identity would be exposed sooner or later, he had prepared for it. The Emperor dreamed at night that Yan Zhangyun admitted he was Qin Yan and even stabbed him.

He woke up to find Yan Zhangyun in front of him and took the initiative to kneel down and apologize, saying he had discovered that perilla leaf juice could save people on the street and tried it out. The Emperor rewarded Yan Zhangyun with gold and silver. The Emperor specifically called Xiao Qiang Zi to have a meal, and Xiao Qiang Zi praised Yan Zhangyun in front of the Emperor.

The Emperor inquired about the wound on Yan Zhangyun's chest, which Xiao Qiang Zi had never seen before. The Empress wanted to find the Emperor and unexpectedly encountered Xiao Qiang Zi accompanying the Emperor to practice swordsmanship. In order to separate them, she decided to transfer Xiao Qiang Zi to her side.

Xiao Qiang Zi returned to his room late at night, and Yan Zhangyun questioned him about his late return. Xiao Qiang Zi said that the Emperor had been personally teaching martial arts recently, and he believed that with diligent practice, he would be able to defeat Yan Zhangyun in a few days.

Yan Zhangyun suspected the Emperor's intentions and still doubted Xiao Qiang Zi's identity. He used Xiao Qiang Zi's martial arts to probe his own identity. As expected, a few days later, the Emperor asked Xiao Qiang Zi to spar with Yan Zhangyun, using the Qin family's techniques that Yan Zhangyun had practiced with the Emperor as a child.

Yan Zhangyun guessed the Emperor's intentions and deliberately did not avoid Xiao Qiang Zi's moves, resulting in being injured on the spot. The Emperor insisted on taking care of Yan Zhangyun and checked the wound on his chest. Not seeing any old wounds on Yan Zhangyun's chest, he left with half-belief.

When everyone left, A Cheng felt that Yan Zhangyun's martial arts should not have been injured at all. At this moment, Yan Zhangyun tore off the old skin covering the wound, luckily having prepared in advance to evade the Emperor's scrutiny.

On the way back to the palace, the Emperor recalled how he was forcibly given the imperial seal by others when he was a child, leading to the massacre of his friend Qin Yan's family. Whenever he thought of Qin Yan, he felt guilty.

Xiao Qiang Zi apologized to Yan Zhangyun for injuring him in the spar, blaming himself for being too eager to win, which led to hurting him. He promised to take good care of him in the future and not leave his side. The Empress decided to transfer Xiao Qiang Zi to her side to attract the Emperor's attention, but Yan Zhangyun, with his stubborn temper, was worried about letting him go.

Yan Zhangyun was in a bad mood, and the Empress did not directly explain her intentions but instead pretended to visit him for his injury. When she saw the opportunity, she pretended that there was a shortage of manpower and wanted to borrow Xiao Qiang Zi.

On the way back, the Empress did not expect that Yan Zhangyun not only agreed but also immediately threw Xiao Qiang Zi's luggage out. Xiao Qiang Zi, knowing that he had offended the Empress before, flattered her to save himself. The Empress was pleased and asked Xiao Qiang Zi to write a hundred secrets that would please the Emperor overnight.

The next day, the Empress, holding a thick stack of secrets, immediately tested one of them. However, the maidservant beside her did not trust Xiao Qiang Zi, so the Empress ordered Xiao Qiang Zi to use this secret on Yan Zhangyun first. Soon, Xiao Qiang Zi, with a gentle demeanor, approached Yan Zhangyun, who directly refused him. Seeing the failure, the Empress had to test whether the next secret was effective.

Xiao Qiang Zi, with meaningful eyes, picked up a dagger and begged the Empress to spare him repeatedly. Xiao Qiang Zi, with a crying face, showed his injured arm to Yan Zhangyun, hoping to be transferred back to the Qianyu Guard. Yan Zhangyun, seeing the wound from a distance, felt heartache, but sternly rejected him. Xiao Qiang Zi, feeling sad, returned to the Feng Palace, expressing that he no longer had Yan Zhangyun's favor.

The Empress, seeing the failure of the secrets, ordered Xiao Qiang Zi to be tortured. Xiao Qiang Zi was held down by everyone, with feathers touching the soles of his feet, and he laughed heartily all day. That night, Xiao Qiang Zi lay still on the bed, and his comrades came to visit with white flowers. Wei Tianjiao said that Xiao Qiang Zi liked silver rather than white flowers.

Xiao Qiang Zi blew the jade whistle a few times, then sadly threw it away, expressing that he would no longer trust Yan Zhangyun. In the middle of the night, Yan Zhangyun came to Xiao Qiang Zi's room to bandage his wound but found that it was a fake wound, angrily leaving. When Xiao Qiang Zi woke up and found that the wound had faded, he was urged by the maidservant beside the Empress to go to work.

To avoid going to the Empress's side, Xiao Qiang Zi deliberately wrote a farewell letter and placed it conspicuously on Yan Zhangyun's desk, but it was buried at the bottom by Chang Sheng's books. Xiao Qiang Zi deliberately walked slowly, hoping that Yan Zhangyun and his comrades would come to stop him. But when he reached the last palace gate and still saw no one coming, he was disappointed.

Just as he was disappointed, Chang Sheng caught up, and Xiao Qiang Zi mistakenly thought he was coming to stop him, but Chang Sheng was there to interrogate a prisoner. Xiao Qiang Zi was stunned. Since joining the Qianyu Guard, he had always been taken care of by Yan Zhangyun, but he didn't expect Yan Zhangyun to be so heartless. If he wished to leave, Xiao Qiang Zi would fulfill his wish and left the palace alone.

Fu Xiao left the palace, expecting Yan Zhangyun to stop her. But now, she found herself without a place to go after leaving in anger. Qing Yun saw Fu Xiao and hurriedly introduced himself, taking her to a secluded forest. He informed her that he was a senior disciple of the Wanshi Pavilion. To gain Fu Xiao's trust, Qing Yun revealed his arm's poison condition and gave her a bottle of antidote.

Upon learning her identity, Fu Xiao expressed her intention to return to the Wanshi Pavilion. However, Qing Yun revealed that Senior Sister had previously attempted to assassinate her and slandered her reputation by falsely accusing her of being intimate with Yan Zhangyun. Now she was considered a traitor to the sect. To prove her innocence, Fu Xiao agreed to return and kill Yan Zhangyun.

Yan Zhangyun accidentally found Xiao Qiang Zi's farewell letter on his desk but still needed the secrets on him and couldn't let him leave. Xiao Qiang Zi walked on the street, recalling Qing Yun's words, mistakenly thinking she was a master. When she raised her hand, a passerby fell, mistakenly believing she possessed extraordinary martial arts, unaware that the passerby slipped on a banana peel. Xiao Qiang Zi met Yan Zhangyun at the palace gate, lied about seeking a marriage charm for the Empress, and presented a precious book to her.

After Xiao Qiang Zi pleaded repeatedly, the Emperor finally agreed to visit the Empress that night. The Emperor nervously sat on the bed, and the Empress, with narrowed eyes, finally succeeded in seducing him. The next day, Xiao Qiang Zi kept apologizing to the Emperor, explaining that she acted for the country's sake.

The Emperor expressed his thoughts, saying he couldn't have a child with Empress Xiao, fearing her family's influence might destabilize the country. Xiao Qiang Zi sympathized with the Empress, stating she came to the palace alone for her family's sake and was lonely, regretting her family's background. The Emperor suddenly realized he had neglected the Empress's feelings and agreed to Xiao Qiang Zi's advice.

In the middle of the night, Xiao Qiang Zi's poison recurred, and she reluctantly took the antidote Qing Yun gave her. Yan Zhangyun came to see Xiao Qiang Zi at midnight, knocked on the door for a long time with no response. He then entered the room and found Xiao Qiang Zi lying unconscious on the bed, realizing she was a woman. Embarrassed, he hurriedly covered her with clothes to conceal her identity.

The Imperial Physician later examined Xiao Qiang Zi and found that the poison had been relieved but not eradicated. Yan Zhangyun ordered him to research the antidote. Xiao Qiang Zi woke up and found herself alive and the poison on her arm gone. She believed Qing Yun's words that she had a family but also realized she had come to kill Yan Zhangyun. She was torn whether to warn Yan Zhangyun that someone wanted to kill him.

Wei Tianjiao and A Cheng followed Fang You to the embroidery workshop, finding his behavior suspicious. To see if Fang You betrayed the Qianyu Guard, Wei Tianjiao wanted to enter but was refused by the shopkeeper, so he thought of Xiao Qiang Zi and asked her to help disguise as a woman to enter the workshop.

He also promised to help Xiao Qiang Zi return to the Qianyu Guard. Xiao Qiang Zi sneaked into the backyard while the shopkeeper wasn't paying attention. At the same time, Fang You begged for help as his identity had been exposed. Xiao Qiang Zi hid in the attic, while Yan Zhangyun arrived with his men upon hearing that Xiao Qiang Zi had infiltrated the workshop.

Worried for her safety, he ordered a search and inadvertently touched Xiao Qiang Zi, mistaking her for a suspect and taking her away. When the Qianyu Guard left, Xiao Qiang Zi came out of hiding. Later, Xiao Qiang Zi felt resentful towards Yan Zhangyun for not appreciating her and even instructed his subordinates not to get too close to her.

After finding out about the Qianyu Guard's intrusion into the embroidery workshop and learning that his son was there, Minister Xiao's steward made a slip of the tongue and fled. That night, Minister Xiao heard about the issue with Zhu Yin powder and suspected his son's involvement in the Guanyou Incident fifteen years ago.

He ordered his son to immediately stop dealing with Zhu Yin powder. To retaliate against being wrongly accused by Yan Zhangyun during the day, Xiao Qiang Zi falsely accused him of indecent behavior under the pretext of learning martial arts. As they argued, news of Chuyue's accident reached Yan Zhangyun's ears.

Chuyue was asked by procuress to attend to guests. She cried, saying she was Yan Zhangyun's woman and wouldn't entertain anyone else. Yan Zhangyun timely sent her monthly silver and showed concern for Chuyue. Seeing this, her procuress tactfully withdrew. At this moment, Xiao Qiang Zi followed Yan Zhangyun to the Fengyue Pavilion.

Disapproving of their affectionate behavior, she directly scolded Yan Zhangyun for neglecting his commanding status. Seeing Xiao Qiang Zi's audacity, Yan Zhangyun scolded the eunuch away, and Xiao Qiang Zi's female identity was exposed by her mother. To retaliate against Yan Zhangyun, Xiao Qiang Zi deliberately set up traps in his room. Later, feeling guilty because Yan Zhangyun had saved her, she returned to warn him about the traps and confessed that Qing Yun's junior brother had approached her, revealing the truth that she was sent to kill him.

After several days together, she realized Yan Zhangyun was a good person and didn't want to kill him. Unable to control his feelings for the sincere Xiao Qiang Zi, Yan Zhangyun desperately trained himself to remind himself not to be moved.

Xiao Qiang Zi continued apologizing to Yan Zhangyun outside his room, unaware that he wasn't inside but observing from a distance, unable to face her and restraining his feelings. Fang You went crazy on the street, shouting about ascending to immortality, then coughed up blood and collapsed.

At this moment, A Cheng and the Qianyu Guard appeared, followed by officials from the Ministry of Punishments who came to claim the body. Minister Xiao came to question Yan Zhangyun for illegally removing Fang You's body. The two argued, even bringing the matter to the Emperor. Knowing this in advance, the Emperor avoided them by hiding in the Empress's chambers.

Minister Xiao and Yan Zhangyun arrived at the Empress's chambers. Xiao Qiang Zi, unwilling to let the Emperor and Empress be disturbed, spoke up, causing Minister Xiao to retreat. Xiao Qiang Zi vehemently stopped Minister Xiao, and the Emperor, pleased, sat down. However, Minister Xiao returned with a blank imperial decree and even cited the late Emperor's decree, claiming the right to act first and report later.

Remembering how Minister Xiao had used this tactic to harm Qin Yan's family when he was young, the Emperor reluctantly pressed the seal again. That night, Xiao Quan handed the list of names involved in Zhu Yin powder to his father, willing to sacrifice loyal officials to protect his son.

Xiao Quan said his father was already superior to others and didn't care for such a position. He desired the highest position. Minister Xiao was shocked that his son wanted to seize power and warned him not to tarnish the reputation of the loyal officials of the Xiao family. Minister Xiao stayed up all night writing on the blank decree.

The next day, the Emperor, feeling remorseful, asked Xiao Qiang Zi if his actions the previous night were excessive. Xiao Qiang Zi listed the Emperor's faults, making him realize his mistakes. Considering his status, he didn't want to apologize but planned to fulfill the Empress's wish.

The Empress, who had always wanted to return to her family, finally got her wish. Wei Tianjiao and Xiao Qiang Zi escorted her, with Xiao Qiang Zi planning to steal the list of names involved in Zhu Yin powder that night. Although the Empress was at the Xiao family's home, she was always concerned about the Emperor.

Xiao Qiang Zi reassured the Empress not to worry too much since there were many people attending to the Emperor. Xiao Quan came to the courtyard to chat with the Empress's sister, and Xiao Qiang Zi took the opportunity to leave. He gave his sister a sachet, a gift from when he was fourteen. At that time, because the Emperor didn't like the scent, the Empress put her most beloved sachet in the house.

Xiao Qiang Zi seized the opportunity to search for the list at the Prime Minister's residence. Meanwhile, Yan Zhangyun unintentionally learned that Xiao Qiang Zi had already infiltrated the Prime Minister's mansion to get the list. Worried about Xiao Qiang Zi, he immediately sneaked into the Prime Minister's residence.

When Xiao Qiang Zi finished stealing the list, she was spotted by patrolling guards. Luckily, Yan Zhangyun pulled her into a corner just in time. When Minister Xiao discovered the list was stolen, he intensified the search efforts, suspecting an inside job and suggesting everyone gather.

However, Xiao Qiang Zi, who wasn't present at the moment, raised suspicions due to her absence. Xiao Qiang Zi hurriedly arrived, claiming she had just been to the restroom. Xiao Quan, however, deemed her suspicious and ordered her arrest for interrogation. At this moment, the Empress stepped forward to vouch for Xiao Qiang Zi.

From the shadows, Yan Zhangyun intentionally created a disturbance while fleeing to divert the guards' attention away from Xiao Qiang Zi. Minister Xiao secretly instructed Xiao Quan to take action, ensuring the elimination of the people on the list.

Meanwhile, Yan Zhangyun could use the incident involving Zhu Yin powder to arrest the people on the list. Both sides began their confrontation, with some of the people on the list already taken care of by Xiao Quan. Unable to sleep all night, Xiao Qiang Zi heard the signal and hurriedly left the Prime Minister's mansion.

As expected, Yan Zhangyun was waiting for her in the distance. Grateful for obtaining the list, Yan Zhangyun thanked her and offered to escort her back to the palace. Upon learning that Yan Zhangyun intercepted many people related to the list last night, Minister Xiao suspected the Emperor's involvement.

He intended to impeach Yan Zhangyun, originally planning to control the Emperor through Xiao Heng, even if it meant giving birth to a dragon son. Unexpectedly, his eldest daughter turned out to be incompetent. Determined to replace her with his second daughter, the Empress Chun Ri was heartbroken to hear her father's intentions and left for the palace.

Yan Zhangyun informed the Emperor of the mistaken arrests, and the Emperor secretly tasked him with investigating Minister Xiao while searching for evidence. Xiao Qiang Zi returned to the Qianyu Guard's kitchen, lamenting the good food there. Wei Tianjiao tried to prove that the food was bad by making Xiao Qiang Zi taste it.

However, they were caught by Yan Zhangyun sharing a bowl of porridge, making him openly jealous. Using the excuse of poor service, Yan Zhangyun punished Wei Tianjiao by making him run laps. The Emperor, in a whimsical mood, personally played a female role in a play. Xiao Qiang Zi indirectly asked the Empress if she sensed any feminine traits in her. The Empress denied it.

Xiao Qiang Zi lamented inwardly that after pretending to be a man for so long, she had lost her feminine touch, understanding why Yan Zhangyun treated her differently. Xiao Quan intended to send his sister's favorite toy to the palace. Minister Xiao scolded his son for not focusing on his duties and constantly thinking about entering the palace.

Xiao Quan retorted publicly, recalling the times when his father punished him severely, and only Xiao Heng accompanied and cared for him. He revealed that Xiao Heng was not their biological sister but the product of their father's lustful conquest, which resulted in the death of her mother after giving birth to Xiao Heng. Xiao Quan had long surpassed mere sibling affection for Xiao Heng and vowed to ensure her ascension to the throne. This revelation sparked a dispute between father and son.

The next day, Yan Zhangyun visited Minister Xiao's residence, guided by Xiao Quan. After knocking for a long time without response, they entered to find Minister Xiao's corpse lying on the ground, with bloodstains nearby bearing the words "关酉". Xiao Quan wept bitterly while holding his father's body, and Yan Zhangyun immediately secured the scene.

Upon hearing of Minister Xiao's death, the Emperor convened a meeting, outwardly expressing deep sorrow. He entrusted Yan Zhangyun with investigating the murderer, while Xiao Quan vowed to avenge his father and personally investigate, accusing the culprit of being related to the old incident of "关酉". The Emperor ordered everyone to investigate, promising a hefty reward for capturing the culprit.

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