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The Double – Wu Jinyan, Wang Xingyue

The Double is a historical romantic drama directed by Lu Hao Ji Ji, led by Wu Jinyan, Wang Xingyue, and Chen Xinhai, co-starring Li Meng, Su Ke, Joe Chen, and Liu Xiening, with Yang Chaoyue, He Hongshan, and Zhang Yuqi in special appearances.

Adapted from author Qianshan Chake's novel "Di Jia Qian Jin / 嫡嫁千金", it tells the story of a love-hate relationship that spans three lifetimes.


The Double

English Title: The Double
Chinese Title: 墨雨云间
Other Titles: 嫡嫁千金
Genre: Historical, Romance, Drama, Comedy
Tag: Revenge, Identity Swap, Smart Female Lead, Strong Male Lead, Betrayal, Scheme
Episodes: 40
Duration: 45 min.
Director: Lu Hao Ji Ji, Bai Yunmo, Ma Shige
Writer: Qian Shan Cha Ke
Producer: Yu Zheng
Released Date: 2024-06-02
Broadcast Website: Youku,, Viki



Xue Li, the daughter of a well-off and content county magistrate, loses everything after a major upheaval. Saved by her benefactor, Jiang Ruoyu, the daughter of the Minister of Rites, she returns to the capital city in Jiang Ruoyu's identity.

With the help of people like Xiao Heng, the Duke of Suguo, she overcomes numerous challenges, continually fights against injustice, and ultimately rescues her father, who was unjustly imprisoned.

She also aids Xiao Heng in upholding justice and protecting the common people, leading to the eventual restoration of a better life.


The story begins on a thunderous night when Xue Fangfei suddenly awakens from her sleep. Her husband is still lying in her arms, but to her shock, the person before her is not her husband. Frightened, Xue Fangfei quickly moves away. At this moment, Shen Yurong's mother arrives, and they all believe Xue Fangfei has committed adultery. As a result, Xue Fangfei is locked in the woodshed. She doesn't know who has framed her.

At this time, Shen Yurong, her husband, also arrives but treats Xue Fangfei very coldly. Xue Fangfei says she has been framed, but Shen Yurong, holding an axe, starts chopping at the iron chains binding Xue Fangfei. He tells her he will take her away.

On the way, Shen Yurong gives Xue Fangfei a glass of water, and she soon loses consciousness. When she wakes up again, Xue Fangfei finds herself bound hand and foot and thrown into a huge pit, with Shen Yurong standing beside her. Xue Fangfei asks who is behind all this, but seeing Shen Yurong's silence, she guesses it must be him.

Shen Yurong says he had no choice and had to force them to their deaths. He also says that all the Xue family will die. Standing there, Shen Yurong can only say sorry; he has let Xue Fangfei down in this life. Before Xue Fangfei can react, Shen Yurong knocks her unconscious and buries her alive. Although Shen Yurong feels extremely sorrowful, he has no other choice.

After burying Xue Fangfei, Shen Yurong goes to see Princess Wanning. She asks what he did to Xue Fangfei. Shen Yurong has no choice but to comply. Princess Wanning likes Shen Yurong, and to prevent the Shen family from going to the guillotine, he must kill Xue Fangfei. Princess Wanning further says that now Shen Yurong is a murderer, only she can save him, so Shen Yurong has no choice but to obey her.

A man dressed in red breaks into the warehouse; he is actually Duke Xiao Heng of Su. No one expected Xiao Heng to appear here. They are caught smuggling private salt, and knowing Xiao Heng's discovery means certain death, they quickly kneel and beg for mercy.

Wen Ji also intentionally threatens them, so they have no choice but to say the goods came from Young Master Qin. They reveal the next delivery time, and Xiao Heng immediately sends people to take him away. However, on the way, someone tries to silence him, but even though Wen Ji pursues, he doesn't catch the culprit.

At this time, Shen Yurong is holding a funeral, and Wen Ji stands by talking about Xue Fangfei's deeds. Despite her alleged infidelity, Shen Yurong's deep affection for her is rare. By the riverside, Jiang Li and Tong Er see a woman lying on the rocks. They hurry over to check and find it is Xue Fangfei.

They rescue Xue Fangfei, who, upon waking, becomes wary of them. From Tong Er, she learns that Jiang Li is the prime minister's daughter. Having just experienced life and death, Xue Fangfei trusts no one. She remembers defying her father to marry Shen Yurong, but the so-called promises now seem like cruel jokes.

Xue Fangfei feels she has lost the will to live, but Jiang Li grabs her and says she does not deserve to die. Jiang Li hopes to show Xue Fangfei through her own experiences that only by living can she bring those who harmed her to justice.

The next day, Jiang Li and Tong Er plan to bring food to Xue Fangfei, but their senior sister stops them and tells them not to gather firewood today, leaving Xue Fangfei alone by the river. Jiang Li is still worried about Xue Fangfei and, despite the risk of being scolded, tries to go out alone but is caught by her senior sister at the door.

The head of the chastity hall beats Jiang Li, accusing her of meeting someone in private. The head orders everyone to beat Jiang Li, and though Tong Er wants to intervene, she is also held back.

Xue Fangfei remembers Jiang Li's words—since they fear her being alive, she should live even better. Xue Fangfei stumbles into the room and overhears people discussing how Jiang Li was beaten for trying to go out last night. Seizing the chance, Xue Fangfei sneaks in and sees Tong Er.

Tong Er blames Xue Fangfei, saying that if it weren’t for bringing her food and drink, her mistress wouldn’t be in this state. Xue Fangfei enters the room to see Jiang Li covered in wounds. Jiang Li says seeing Xue Fangfei is like seeing her past self; she used to be beaten too but is too sleepy this time. Xue Fangfei plans to find the Jiang family and asks Xue Fangfei to help deliver a letter to her father, saying she’s had enough here.

As a child, Jiang Li once brought chrysanthemums she grew herself to her mother, but her mother, after just a glance, deliberately fell from the stairs and blamed Jiang Li for pushing her, causing a miscarriage. Since then, Jiang Li has been locked in the chastity hall for ten years, with no one believing her no matter how she defended herself.

Jiang Li tells Xue Fangfei everything and gives her a hairpin, expressing her hatred for everyone in the Jiang family. Xue Fangfei encourages her to hold on and live well. Jiang Li, enduring the pain, walks out of the room, imagining seeing her birth mother, and collapses on the petal-covered ground. Xue Fangfei realizes that innocent people suffer here while the guilty enjoy freedom elsewhere. She vows to avenge Jiang Li.

Tong Er, hearing their conversation, wants to kill the hall master, but Xue Fangfei says she can help. The hall master, upon discovering Jiang Li's death, becomes very frightened. Xue Fangfei appears, suggesting a perfect solution: from now on, she will be Jiang Li.

Xue Fangfei wanted to live under the identity of Jiang Li. After all, if Jiang Li died here, the hall master would also be implicated, so she had no choice but to agree. Tong Er initially wanted to kill the hall master, but since Xue Fangfei had a better solution, she wouldn't kill her easily. Tong Er and Xue Fangfei buried Jiang Li, and from then on, Xue Fangfei lived as Jiang Li.

Tong Er took out scissors and stabbed toward Xue Fangfei, thinking that if it weren't for Xue Fangfei, Jiang Li wouldn't have died. Xue Fangfei kept persuading Tong Er, saying that even without her, Jiang Li would have been tortured to death by the people of the Chaste Women Hall sooner or later.

Now, they had to live well and successfully retaliate to avenge Jiang Li. Xue Fangfei said she indeed needed Jiang Li's identity; they were both unfortunate people. Since Jiang Li died unjustly, she would help clear her name, which was also helping herself.

Soon, Xue Fangfei and Tong Er returned to the Chaste Women Hall and worked diligently. Because everyone had seen Jiang Li's face, Xue Fangfei hadn't gone out recently, only occasionally the hall master would come to check their work.

The hall master said that in a few days, she would arrange everything properly, and by then, Xue Fangfei would truly be Jiang Li. Xue Fangfei noticed the hall master lighting a lamp and heard from Tong Er that only the highest-ranking person could light it there. The next day, Xue Fangfei smelled a different fragrance on the hall master.

The hall master's eyes were a bit evasive, and Xue Fangfei quietly followed her out, discovering that the lamp at the highest point had gone out. Now, someone patrolled every night, making it even harder to escape.

The Chaste Women Hall had always had a rule against going out at night. There was once a chaste woman who went out at night and encountered a female ghost, scaring her half to death. Tong Er told Xue Fangfei about these things, and Xue Fangfei felt something was odd.

At night, Xue Fangfei indeed saw a woman in white wandering around the Chaste Women Hall. The next day, the hall master told everyone that Madam Liu would come, so they had to prepare. Tong Er told Xue Fangfei that Madam Liu used to be good friends with their madam. When Madam Liu arrived, the hall master quickly went out to greet her.

At night, seeing the highest lamp still lit, Xue Fangfei quickly woke Tong Er, saying today was their only chance to leave. Xue Fangfei asked Tong Er to give the hairpin to Madam Liu. If Madam Liu could advocate for them, they could leave.

Xue Fangfei also noticed that the hall master always had a fragrance on her, but this was not a common one; it was ylang-ylang, which a maid had previously used on Xue Fangfei. When Xue Fangfei went to offer incense, she had also scouted the route and found that as long as they went to He Lin Temple, the lamp would light up.

One day, Xue Fangfei deliberately hung the lantern low, and unexpectedly, the hall master hung it high again that night, confirming that something must happen that night.

Xue Fangfei went out that night and saw a tall female ghost entering a room. It turned out that all this was to control others, preventing them from going out while giving the hall master a chance to act alone. She gave a whip to Tong Er, saying that to clear their connection, they must make it convincing.

Tong Er had no choice but to whip Xue Fangfei. Xue Fangfei then went to the temple and found Mr. Qin had also fled there. Xiao Heng followed, and Mr. Qin took Xue Fangfei hostage. Meanwhile, Tong Er gave the hairpin to Madam Liu. Seeing the hairpin, Madam Liu thought Jiang Li was ill and hurried over.

Xue Fangfei was persuading Mr. Qin, who wanted to kill her. Xiao Heng stood by, unmoved. Just as Mr. Qin was about to act, Xiao Heng suddenly threw an orange, hitting Mr. Qin on the head, causing Xue Fangfei's veil to fall. It turned out they had met once before.

When Xiao Heng saw Xue Fangfei again, she was already married, but now her identity couldn't be revealed, so she had to say Xiao Heng had mistaken her for someone else. To avoid suspicion, Xiao Heng said he would take Xue Fangfei back for questioning, actually using this as a way to get her out of the Chaste Women Hall.

Madam Liu witnessed everything, making the situation real. While the hall master was sleeping, a man climbed into her bed, scaring her. The man said he came because he saw the lantern lit. She realized something was wrong and told him to leave, but the man refused, staying and becoming intimate with her.

Little did they know Madam Liu came and saw them. Soon, both were taken out in disheveled clothes. The hall master quickly explained she was framed, but Madam Liu wouldn't believe her. Xiao Heng also demanded to take Xue Fangfei away.

Xue Fangfei had fainted, and they asked Tong Er to come over, knocking her out as well. Tong Er, understanding the situation, played along. Madam Liu felt sorry for Xue Fangfei, thinking she was Jiang Li, and told Xiao Heng to take good care of her.

Soon, the emperor learned that Xiao Heng had captured the salt smuggling criminals from the Chaste Women Hall. Back home, Jiang Li's father discussed the matter of his daughter smuggling salt with his wife.

Ji Shuran proposed bringing Jiang Li back from the Chaste Women Hall, but she had her own plans. Xue Fangfei anticipated that Xiao Heng wouldn't dare to torture her, given her identity as a Jiang family daughter. Xue Fangfei met the hall master and her group, threatening them to keep the matter of Jiang Li to themselves, or else their affair would be exposed.

Xue Fangfei returned to her room and unexpectedly found that Tong Er had come, arranged by Xiao Heng. This allowed Tong Er to escape the dangerous situation successfully. Xue Fangfei told Tong Er that she couldn’t deal with the people who hurt Jiang Li just yet, but one day she would make them pay. Tong Er wanted to stay by Xue Fangfei’s side, and Xue Fangfei agreed, as they both had the same goal: to bring the real culprits to justice.

Ji Shuran had prepared fine clothes for Jiang Li’s return and wanted to ensure that the occasion was grand. She knew that the old madam still cared for Jiang Li, and this was an opportunity to erase Jiang Li from her heart.

When Xue Fangfei returned to the Jiang residence, Ji Shuran's attendant, Nanny Sun, pretended not to recognize her. Xue Fangfei identified herself as Jiang Li and showed the hairpin her mother left her. Confirming her identity, Nanny Sun quickly changed her attitude and said Ji Shuran would be delighted to see how elegant she had become. Nanny Sun then brought out the prepared clothes, which Xue Fangfei accepted graciously.

Ji Shuran, to secure her position, didn't want the two to meet. Meanwhile, Xiao Heng was still investigating the salt smuggling case, questioning Qin Gongzi’s father, who refused to confess. Xiao Heng couldn’t take further action for the time being.

Xue Fangfei watched the grand scene outside, reminded of her past meetings with Shen Yurong, but now only Xiao Heng was there. Xiao Heng never believed in coincidences, and he wanted to see what Xue Fangfei was up to. As Xue Fangfei arrived, Xiao Heng prepared to give her beloved items, all of which Ji Shuran vetoed, intentionally sending the old madam’s least favorite Shu embroidery to embarrass Xue Fangfei.

At the entrance, Jiang Yuanbai and Ji Shuran were waiting. Tong Er exited first, followed by Xue Fangfei. Jiang Yuanbai was surprised to see how much Jiang Li had changed over the years. Ji Shuran smiled hypocritically, while Xue Fangfei, not changing her clothes, claimed Ji Shuran’s gifts didn’t fit her. Ji Shuran then took her by the hand into the house.

Inside, Xue Fangfei met her uncle and aunt, thanks to Tong Er’s prior instructions. Xue Fangfei didn't mistake anyone, intentionally mentioning their preferences to avoid suspicion. Ji Shuran, under the guise of rest, declined a planned reunion dinner.

In the courtyard, Xue Fangfei reminisced about her childhood, which comforted Jiang Yuanbai. She inquired about her grandmother's health, hoping to visit her. Ji Shuran had no choice but to take her.

The old madam reminisced about the many gifts she had sent over the years, though Tong Er had told Xue Fangfei they never received any. Xue Fangfei guessed someone intercepted them but kept quiet to avoid embarrassing Ji Shuran. Ji Shuran intentionally had Nanny Sun call her son, hoping his antics would drive Xue Fangfei away. The child, Bing Ji, threw a tantrum, angering the old madam, and Jiang Yuanbai had to calm him down, putting an end to the matter.

Nanny Sun then led Xue Fangfei and Tong Er to Jiang Li’s former, now dilapidated courtyard, overgrown with weeds. Accepting it without complaint, Xue Fangfei saw it as a deliberate slight, but knew refusing it would lead to further accusations. She vowed to reclaim everything Jiang Li lost.

Even Nanny Sun felt Jiang Li seemed like a different person upon her return. Ji Shuran cautioned against such talk, confident that under her watchful eye, Xue Fangfei’s true nature would eventually show.

While Xue Fangfei and Tong Er cleaned the courtyard, Nanny Sun sent two maids, Yun Shuang and Xiang Qiao, who were her spies. The lazy maids left the chores to Tong Er, who harbored resentment. Xue Fangfei joined her in washing clothes to keep her company.

Ji Shuran, surprised that Xue Fangfei hadn’t caused a fuss, decided to continue observing her. Xue Fangfei soon understood the maids’ lazy habits. She cleverly assigned only one to supervise Tong Er, gifting Xiang Qiao, which made Yun Shuang jealous. This pleased Xiang Qiao, and Xue Fangfei used this to subtly create discord between the two maids.

Xiang Qiao had already received a lot of gifts, which made Yun Shuang quite jealous. Xue Fangfei just placed some fresh flowers in the courtyard. When Ji Shuran found out, she deliberately had Nanny Sun spread the word about the Jiang family's second daughter being extravagant and wasteful.

Shen Yurong also visited Jiang's father to express his gratitude. Ji Shuran sent the finest pastries to Shen Yurong and handed over the invitation for the coming-of-age ceremony next month. Just as Shen Yurong was about to leave, he caught a glimpse of Xue Fangfei's back, which seemed very similar to his wife's. However, by the time Xue Fangfei turned around, Shen Yurong had already left.

Xue Fangfei gave a jade bracelet to Xiang Qiao and asked her to look after the flowers in the house. She was trying to find out who had just visited. When she learned it was Shen Yurong, her hand shook, spilling the tea everywhere. To everyone else, Shen Yurong was a devoted man, now highly favored by the emperor. Tong Er, seeing the situation, quickly called Xiang Qiao out, and Xue Fangfei's tears began to flow uncontrollably.

That night, Xue Fangfei remembered the family feast she had thought she was attending. She had been unwilling to drink, but at Shen Yurong's mother's insistence, she had to. Little did she know the wine was drugged. When she woke up, an unfamiliar man lay on top of her, disheveled.

Initially, Xue Fangfei thought it was a trap set by Shen Yurong's mother and daughter, but she didn't expect that Shen Yurong knew all along and even buried her alive himself. Xue Fangfei's father and brother were implicated as well. But evil must be punished. Xue Fangfei vowed to attend the coming-of-age ceremony, inquiring about Jiang Li's ceremony.

Tong Er revealed there had been no proper ceremony. Xue Fangfei decided to restore Jiang Li's rightful status in the Jiang family. By appearing at the ceremony, she would solidify her identity as the legitimate daughter.

Xiang Qiao cut some chrysanthemums, and Tong Er deliberately took her to a sunny place to dry them, intending to send her away. Xiang Qiao continuously gave orders to Tong Er. When Jiang's father arrived, Xiang Qiao tried to impress him but ended up making things worse and got scolded.

Seeing the chrysanthemum wine, Jiang's father was reminded of Jiang Li's mother, who used to make chrysanthemum tea for him under a tree. He entered the courtyard and found it sparsely decorated with chrysanthemums. Tong Er took the two maids away.

Xue Fangfei deliberately asked her father to stay for tea, and when he touched her, she acted very frightened, telling him she was beaten whenever she didn't finish her work at the chastity hall. Xue Fangfei aimed to gain her father's sympathy and gave him a pair of embroidered insoles. When he returned to his room, he told Ji Shuran about it. Ji Shuran pretended to be very upset and sad.

Xue Fangfei expressed her fear of being seen by others, and Jiang's father decided to let her attend the coming-of-age ceremony. Ji Shuran didn't want Xue Fangfei to attend, but now that Jiang's father had spoken, she couldn't refuse. Yun Shuang and Xiang Qiao were harshly scolded.

Xiang Qiao quickly handed over the items Xue Fangfei had given her to Ji Shuran, but even so, Yun Shuang and Xiang Qiao became enemies, disliking each other. Xue Fangfei's appeal to Jiang's father resulted in her receiving many things from the household.

Someone deliberately threw a turtle on the ground, frightening Tong Er, who quickly ran over. On the roof beam stood a person, and Tong Er had told Xue Fangfei before, so she knew it was her second uncle's son, Xiao Rui Rui, a name given by Jiang Li.

Xiao Rui Rui recognized Xue Fangfei as Jiang Li. From Xiao Rui Rui, Xue Fangfei learned that Jiang Li had an engagement with Zhou Yanbang, but Jiang Ruoyao had intervened, preventing them from seeing each other for a long time.

Yun Shuang and Xiang Qiao always wanted to follow Xue Fangfei. Xue Fangfei deliberately bribed Yun Shuang with silver, but Xiang Qiao snatched it. On her way out, Xiang Qiao even tripped. Xue Fangfei went out to buy something, and Zhou Yanbang happened to come by.

He noticed chrysanthemum petals on Xue Fangfei's hair and quickly reminded her. Just then, Jiang Ruoyao came out and hugged Zhou Yanbang. Xue Fangfei asked Tong Er to help her redeem Jiang Ruoyao's belongings from the pawnshop and went to buy gifts for Jiang Ruoyao, seeing Shen Yurong's handwriting.

However, when Tong Er went to redeem the items, she was told that Xiao Heng had already bought them. Xue Fangfei decided to meet Xiao Heng and clearly stated she was there to retrieve the jade pendant, a memento from her mother that her father had entrusted to her before leaving.

She had to get it back. Years ago, when Shen Yurong was in poor health and had to take an exam, Xue Fangfei had reluctantly thrown away the jade pendant. Although Xue Fangfei didn't reveal her identity, Xiao Heng had long suspected that the current Jiang Li was not the real Jiang Li.

Xiao Heng used the jade pendant to threaten Xue Fangfei into revealing Young Master Qin's whereabouts, but Xue Fangfei said she didn't know. However, she remembered that when she was kidnapped by Young Master Qin, she saw dirt on his hands, suggesting he might be hiding in the backyard of the chastity hall.

Xiao Heng quickly sent someone to investigate, while Xue Fangfei stayed by his side. Sure enough, they found Qin Gongzi at the Zhen Nu Hall. Xue Fangfei asked Xiao Heng to return the jade pendant, which he did. Xiao Heng insinuated that she had an affair with Qin Gongzi, which was an insult to Xue Fangfei, making her eyes redden before she turned and left. Xiao Heng didn’t expect Xue Fangfei to have such chastity, which surprised him. She knew Xiao Heng had started doubting her identity, but Xue Fangfei didn’t care.

After returning, Jiang Yue soon arrived. Jiang Yue, who was Jiang Ruoyao’s lackey, deliberately brought over some music scores and even prostrated herself on the ground. Xue Fangfei, however, wouldn't indulge her, so Jiang Yue had to leave dejectedly. Xue Fangfei knew it was time to meet Jiang Ruoyao. When she arrived, Jiang Ruoyao was playing the qin and, in front of Xue Fangfei, broke the strings, asserting her dominance. Jiang Ruoyao then took out all her heirloom jewelry to show everyone who was the real mistress of the Jiang family.

Ji Shuran, knowing her daughter Jiang Ruoyao had prepared well for the coming-of-age ceremony, felt relieved. However, to prevent Xue Fangfei from attending the ceremony, Ji Shuran poisoned the soup. Luckily, Xue Fangfei was prepared and only pretended to eat it. Ji Shuran wasn’t too surprised, thinking Xue Fangfei had gained some skills from her time at Zhen Nu Hall.

Qin Gongzi was taken to the prison for interrogation, eventually confessing. Xiao Heng had to capture the salt smugglers. Knowing Jiang's family was holding a coming-of-age ceremony and Shen Yurong would attend, he found it intriguing. The next morning, Jiang Yuanbai was watching Xue Fangfei’s room, surprised that the window was still closed, thinking she hadn’t woken up, making him a bit angry. Xue Fangfei woke up to find it was already daylight, realizing someone had tampered with their sleep.

Hurrying to dress, Xue Fangfei knew the poison was just a distraction, another one of Ji Shuran's schemes. Ji Shuran and Jiang Yuanbai were greeting guests when Shen Yurong arrived with his mother and sister. Shen’s mother, unfamiliar with such occasions, tried to make a good impression.

Xue Fangfei, ready to go out, found two strong men guarding the door. It was clear Ji Shuran didn’t intend to let her attend the ceremony. At this moment, Xiao Heng, dressed in red, also arrived. Jiang Yuanbai didn’t expect him. Xiao Heng asked about Xue Fangfei, and Ji Shuran replied she was unwell, but Xiao Heng was suspicious.

Everyone praised Jiang Ruoyao and Zhou Yanbang as a perfect couple, while Jiang Ruoyao clung to Zhou Yanbang. Xiao Heng’s investigation revealed guards at Xue Fangfei’s door, indicating she was confined. Xiao Heng didn't plan to help, wanting to see how resourceful Xue Fangfei was.

Jiang Ruoyao arrived, and Ji Shuran personally combed her hair for the ceremony. After the rites, everyone praised her. During the fireworks, there was a dud, and peach blossom petals scattered as Xue Fangfei appeared. In shock, Shen Yurong saw her, as everyone thought she was dead. Xue Fangfei ignored him, terrifying Shen's mother and sister.

Xue Fangfei completely overshadowed Jiang Ruoyao. Aunt Liu praised Xue Fangfei, even presenting her with coming-of-age gifts, sidelining Ji Shuran. Xue Fangfei took back everything that belonged to her as Jiang Li, stealing all the attention. Jiang Ruoyao, enraged, fainted.

As the fireworks started, it felt like Jiang Li was helping Xue Fangfei. Ji Shuran was furious, knowing she couldn’t let Xue Fangfei stay. Zhou Yanbang approached Xue Fangfei, mentioning their engagement, but she ignored him. Shen Yurong’s mother worried Xue Fangfei was their former daughter-in-law, but Shen Yurong insisted she was Jiang Li.

Xue Fangfei held back tears, maintaining her composure until they left. Then, Xiao Heng appeared. He admired Xue Fangfei's resourcefulness, having worked with Xiao Jingrui to escape. Xiao Heng wanted to unmask her, but Xue Fangfei wouldn't fall for his tricks.

When Jiang Ruoyao woke up, she felt unbearable itching all over her body. Her maid mentioned that Jiang Ruoyao only discovered the problem after wearing the earrings that Xue Fangfei had given her. Xue Fangfei knew that someone must have framed her.

Xue Fangfei pleaded with her father to let everyone leave, assuring him that she could improve Jiang Ruoyao’s condition. Xue Fangfei insisted she had no intention of framing Jiang Ruoyao, knowing full well that Jiang Ruoyao had orchestrated the whole scenario herself. Xiang Qiao even falsely accused Xue Fangfei, claiming she saw Xue Fangfei put the spices in the earrings. Xue Fangfei countered, saying the earrings she gave were of good quality and must have been swapped by someone.

She even had Tong Er follow Xiang Qiao and witnessed Xiang Qiao switching the earrings. If this matter were to be exposed, the suspicion wouldn't fall on Jiang Ruoyao, which was Jiang Ruoyao’s ultimate goal. Jiang Ruoyao was left speechless by Xue Fangfei’s accusations. Xue Fangfei stated that she returned to reclaim what was rightfully hers.

At this moment, Ji Shuran was still fanning the flames. Xue Fangfei opened the door, and Ji Shuran, confident, walked in only for Jiang Ruoyao to claim she was feeling much better, thanks to Xue Fangfei. Jiang Yuanbai, reassured, allowed everyone to leave. Afterward, Jiang Ruoyao scolded her mother for giving bad advice.

Upon hearing about the incident, the grandmother summoned Xue Fangfei to her room. Rumors spread that Xue Fangfei was malicious, but Xue Fangfei explained that her maids were behind everything. The grandmother then ordered the two maids in Xue Fangfei’s courtyard to be apprehended.

Xiang Qiao and Yun Shuang, upon seeing Xue Fangfei return, hastily defended themselves but were taken away nonetheless. Little Jingrui emerged, boasting about how well he handled the situation. The grandmother couldn’t understand why Ji Shuran continued to trouble Xue Fangfei after so many years.

Ji Shuran, still displeased, wanted to mess with Xue Fangfei, feeling overshadowed by her during Jiang Ruoyao’s coming-of-age ceremony. The grandmother decided to assign a new maid, Bai Xue, to Xue Fangfei. Upon seeing Bai Xue’s address, Xue Fangfei asked if she knew a woman named Hai Tang. She needed to find Hai Tang to possibly uncover clues about that night’s events.

Ji Shuran pretended to be considerate in front of her husband, apologizing for the incident involving Xue Fangfei, but her real intention was to quickly find a husband for Xue Fangfei so she wouldn’t compete with Jiang Ruoyao for Zhou Yanbang. Ji Shuran emphasized that Xue Fangfei had never studied at the Zhen Nu Hall, making an early marriage a good idea.

The next day, Jiang Yuanbai discussed marriage with Xue Fangfei. Knowing Ji Shuran was behind it, Xue Fangfei reluctantly agreed, aware that Ji Shuran had ulterior motives for wanting her out of the Jiang family. Soon, Ji Shuran arranged a match with Zhao Qi from the Zhao family, intending to trap Xue Fangfei in a disadvantaged marriage.

Xue Fangfei and Zhao Qi met privately. Zhao Qi, frank and open, mentioned that after marriage, they should have many children, but Xue Fangfei firmly stated she wouldn’t marry him. Zhao Qi criticized Xue Fangfei, thinking she should feel honored. Xue Fangfei retorted, pointing out his crow’s feet and insinuating he had a lover he couldn’t bring home.

This left Zhao Qi speechless. Later, Zhao Qi suggested postponing the marriage, which frustrated Ji Shuran despite her silence. That day’s events passed, but Tong Er worried Ji Shuran wouldn’t give up. Xue Fangfei realized she needed to take action.

Xiao Heng went to the Qin family. With only Lady Qin left at home, Xiao Heng threatened her, and she revealed her husband’s hiding place. However, they found Qin’s father had hanged himself, leaving a confession. With the trail cold, Xiao Heng had to report the situation to the Emperor.

Shen Yurong, now favored by the Emperor, proposed establishing girls’ schools. Princess Wanning invited Shen Yurong for a meal, and he dared not refuse. Wanning suggested that for exams, young men and women could pair up freely, but Shen Yurong quickly rejected the idea, emphasizing the seriousness of the exams. Laughing, Princess Wanning demanded Shen Yurong to kneel.

Princess Wanning could be described as a beautiful but mad woman. Whenever things don't go her way, she makes Shen Yurong kneel, yet she also likes him. Shen Yurong is forced to comply with Princess Wanning's arrangements.

Shen Yurong reported the exam situation to the Emperor, and at this time, Princess Wanning came forward and suggested having men and women cooperate in the exam. The Emperor, however, believed the exam to be a serious matter and could not be taken lightly.

Princess Wanning then used the Emperor's current status to threaten him, and eventually, he agreed. Shen Yurong realized that even if he didn't comply with Princess Wanning, she would find a way to achieve her goal; he ultimately couldn't defeat her.

Soon, Xiao Xuefangfei informed Xue Fangfei about the mixed-gender team exams at Mingyi Hall and the Imperial Academy. This was the first time in history. Xiao Xuefangfei wondered who would be on his team, and Xue Fangfei offered herself. Xiao Xuefangfei laughed, saying that Xue Fangfei had never attended a school, so she wouldn't know anything. To team up, she must first enter Mingyi Hall.

Xue Fangfei then went to see her grandmother, ostensibly to thank her for choosing a good maid for her, but in reality, she wanted her grandmother to agree to let her study at Mingyi Hall. Her grandmother agreed readily, and Xue Fangfei showed her the calligraphy she had practiced.

Her grandmother warned her that studying was tough. Originally, her grandmother wanted Xue Fangfei to ask her father herself, but Xue Fangfei claimed she didn't dare, so her grandmother went to speak to her son about letting Xue Fangfei study at Mingyi Hall.

Ji Shuran naturally opposed this and suggested bringing in a scholar to test Xue Fangfei's abilities. Initially, her grandmother chose someone, but Ji Shuran said that person wasn't suitable and proposed her own candidate. Xue Fangfei's father approached Shen Yurong, hoping he could test Xue Fangfei's knowledge. Shen Yurong remembered Xue Fangfei's face and didn't dare refuse.

Ji Shuran first called Shen Yurong over and gave him a large sum of money, saying she wanted Jiang Li to pass the exam but actually aiming to make Shen Yurong despise Jiang Li. When Xue Fangfei entered the room, she was surprised to see Shen Yurong. She held back her tears, putting on a distant expression.

Shen Yurong was very polite, saying Xue Fangfei resembled someone he used to know. He then handed her the test paper. Before leaving, Xue Fangfei asked Shen Yurong if he had ever been to Qingcheng Mountain, indirectly reminding him not to cheat.

Seeing Xue Fangfei's calligraphy confirmed for Shen Yurong that she was his deceased wife, but he didn't dare look at her directly. Xue Fangfei, now in tears, couldn't understand why Shen Yurong had killed her. She realized she had misjudged him, leaving Shen Yurong speechless.

Shen Yurong reported to Jiang's father that Xue Fangfei's skills were enough to enter Mingyi Hall. Although Ji Shuran smiled outwardly, she was furious inside. Xue Fangfei had once told Shen Yurong that she hadn't misbehaved and that he should visit Mingyi Hall. Jiang Ruoyao felt very uneasy when she learned Xue Fangfei would also be attending Mingyi Hall.

Soon, Xiao Heng heard about the new rules proposed by the Princess and that Shen Yurong had helped Xue Fangfei get into Mingyi Hall. Xiao Heng thought it would be an interesting show. Shen Yurong returned home, haunted by Xue Fangfei's questions and the storm outside, driving him to tears. His sister knocked on the door, and Shen Yurong stumbled out, determined to go to Qingcheng Mountain. There, he found a body and his flute, confirming Xue Fangfei's death. Xue Fangfei had anticipated this day.

Now that Xue Fangfei was going to school, Tong Er worried about her. When Xue Fangfei got on the carriage, she saw Jiang Ruoyao and Jiang Yue, who ignored her, forcing her to get off. Luckily, Xiao Xuefangfei invited her to ride in his carriage. He assumed Xue Fangfei was going to see Zhou Yanbang.

The ones most likely to win first place were the two sons of the Li family. Since their father, Li Zhongnan, was an enemy of Xue Fangfei's father, they couldn't collaborate. Jiang Ruoyao and Jiang Yue would be with Zhou Yanbang, and the third tier included Shen Ruyun. They were in the fourth tier, and Xue Fangfei saw Ye Shijie, her cousin, who was always alone.

When Xue Fangfei entered, people looked down on her, knowing she came from the Maiden Hall. Jiang Ruoyao pretended to be considerate but aimed to embarrass her. During class, Xiao Deyin started teaching, and Liu Xu fell asleep, scaring Xue Fangfei into standing up.

Shen Yurong couldn't face Xue Fangfei directly. After class, Zhou Yanbang prepared pastries for Jiang Ruoyao, but when he saw Xue Fangfei, he was captivated by her. Someone made a joke about Xue Fangfei, but Liu Xu beat them up. Xue Fangfei wanted to approach Liu Xu, but she wasn't easily won over.

Xiao Heng went to eat but found that the Li family's sons had taken his seat, so he naturally went to question them.

Xiao Heng deliberately went to sit beside the two Li brothers. Since Xiao Heng's official rank was higher than theirs, they had to give up their seats for him. Xiao Heng happened to see a woman surnamed Meng upstairs causing trouble for Ye Shijie, the second young master of the Ye family.

Soon, Xue Fangfei came over and immediately recognized the painting as a fake, pointing out its flaws. The Meng girl wanted to argue, but Xue Fangfei stopped her. Naturally, Miss Meng wasn't willing to let it go, and Ye Shijie also didn't plan to give up. Xue Fangfei helped to ease the tension between the two, though she didn't gain a good reputation from it. Xiao Rui told Xue Fangfei to avoid getting involved in such matters in the future. Xiao Heng saw Xue Fangfei about to leave and sent someone to bring her back. Reluctantly, Xue Fangfei went up.

Xiao Heng addressed Xue Fangfei as "A Li," indicating he already knew her identity. Xue Fangfei drank the tea Xiao Heng offered her. Xiao Heng couldn't understand why she stood up for Ye Shijie. On the surface, Ye Shijie was Jiang Li's cousin, but Xue Fangfei aimed to win him over. Xiao Heng deliberately mentioned that Shen Yurong was the examiner this year, questioning whether Xue Fangfei could pass this hurdle.

Xiao Heng wanted to convey that even those close at hand might not be reliable in the end. Nevertheless, Xue Fangfei remained unafraid. Xiao Heng said that they would eventually end up on different paths, frightening Xue Fangfei, who quickly left.

Originally, Xiao Heng gave Xue Fangfei a pastry, but she threw it on the ground soon after walking away, indicating her unwillingness to cooperate with them. Xiao Heng didn't get angry; instead, he smiled meaningfully. When Xue Fangfei returned home, Tong Er was very worried because the family had already learned about what happened at the academy today.

Ji Shuran intentionally informed the old madam, who severely reprimanded Xue Fangfei. After all, Miss Meng's father was a renowned military instructor, and provoking trouble could affect the entire family.

At this moment, Jiang Ruoyao pretended to apologize, claiming it was her fault. Xue Fangfei explained how she had seen through the fake painting, and Jiang Yue added a few more harsh words. Jiang Ruoyao intentionally remarked on the close relationship between Ye Shijie and Xue Fangfei.

Xue Fangfei explained that Ye Shijie was her cousin, and failing to help a relative would tarnish her father's reputation. Ji Shuran had nothing to say and could only scold her daughters temporarily. Xiao Rui came over to testify for Xue Fangfei, confirming that his sister wasn't lying today. Xiao Rui also mentioned that Xiao Heng praised his sister, so the old madam didn't pursue the matter further, and Ji Shuran had to leave.

The old madam was very pleased, seeing that Xue Fangfei was no longer easily bullied. Ye Shijie was reading when he learned that the young master of the Li family wanted to see him. When Ye Shijie went out, the eldest son of the Li family clearly expressed his desire to win Ye Shijie over, ensuring his official career's security. Zhou Yanbang greeted Xue Fangfei when he saw her, and Jiang Ruoyao witnessed this, feeling resentful that Xue Fangfei might steal her man. Liu Xu agreed to team up with Xue Fangfei, who expressed her intention to win over Ye Shijie.

Xue Fangfei then went to find Ye Shijie, who remained very cold towards her. Thirteen years ago, the Ye family had planned to take Jiang Li back, but Jiang Li was very cold to them at the time. It was later that Xue Fangfei learned from Tong Er that Ji Shuran had sowed discord between Jiang Li and the Ye family, using Jiang Li's innocence to manipulate her.

Xue Fangfei told Ye Shijie everything, hoping to resolve his grudge. Ye Shijie mentioned that Li Lian had approached him, and Xue Fangfei speculated that Li Lian promised no future troubles if they cooperated. Ye Shijie was surprised that Xue Fangfei had guessed this. Xue Fangfei also revealed that Miss Meng was one of Li Lian's people. In the end, Ye Shijie agreed to cooperate with Xue Fangfei. Liu Xu didn't expect Ye Shijie to join their team, completing their group.

Their team attracted a lot of dissatisfaction. Miss Meng demanded Ye Shijie kneel and apologize to her publicly. Liu Xu and Xiao Rui stood in front of Ye Shijie, who agreed to a bet with Miss Meng that he would win, or else she would have to kneel and apologize to Xue Fangfei. Li Lian arrived and proposed that if Xue Fangfei lost, she should return to the Maiden's Hall. Xue Fangfei readily agreed.

Soon, Shen Yurong learned from his sister about Xue Fangfei's bet with the Li family. Shen Yurong told his sister not to tell him about these things. She thought it was because Xue Fangfei influenced his brother. Shen Yurong directly drove his sister away. Xue Fangfei used to dance in red clothes, and Shen Yurong played the flute beside her.

It was also the scene of their affection, but now Shen Yurong was awakened again when he thought about burying Xue Fangfei alive. The lonely young master was flirting with his beloved woman. Unexpectedly, Xiao Heng came over, and what he never expected was that the woman by his side was Xiao Heng's person.

Xiao Heng wanted to know what the deficit of the Salt and Iron Department had done and even wanted to castrate him. He was scared and revealed all the secrets of the Kong family. Xiao Heng took the money and gave it to the woman, but she refused and said she did all this to repay a favor and also wanted to know the real cause of Sister Yu's death. Xiao Heng stood alone on the bridge. When he was young, his father took him to the military camp, but now he had to go to war, and his father had to leave first.

Xiao Heng's mother was Sister Yu at that time. Initially, when his parents went to war, they did not expect only his father's body to return. Xiao Heng felt that his father's death must have been unusual, but his grandfather asked him to accept it. Soon after, Xiao Heng's mother became ill due to her husband's death. In the end, she also left. Xiao Heng couldn't help but shed tears when he thought of this.

Xiao Heng also learned about Xue Fangfei's bet with Li Lian. After Tong Er learned about it, she was also very worried. Xue Fangfei wanted to investigate who the real culprit behind the scenes was. Although she didn't know who the other party was, the palace banquet was a good way. Shen Yurong went to see Princess Wanning, and she also mentioned the bet between Jiang Li and Li Lian.

Princess Wanning also mentioned Jiang Li, but Shen Yurong didn't want to answer the question. Princess Wanning also asked Shen Yurong to help her bet on Jiang Li's victory. After Jiang's father learned about this, he was very angry, and Ji Shuran deliberately fanned the flames on the side. She just didn't want Xue Fangfei to have an easy time. Jiang's father originally planned to teach his daughters a lesson.

As a result, he didn't expect Xue Fangfei to kneel outside the door all the time. Xue Fangfei looked very aggrieved. She said she didn't want her father to be humiliated in front of Li Xiaoguo, which gained her father's approval. This time, his father planned to help Xue Fangfei with all his strength. Jiang Ruoyao and Jiang Yue also gave the best things to Xue Fangfei.

Ji Shuran also helped Xue Fangfei, just to make her fall from the highest point. However, they did not expect Xue Fangfei to be very good at playing the piano. After all, when Shen Yurong bought her a piano, he was scolded by his mother-in-law. When Xue Fangfei played the piano, she accidentally cut her hand. The doctor said it might take a month to heal.

In fact, Xue Fangfei's hand was injured because Shen Yurong buried her alive. During this time, Nie Xiaoshuang was still practicing chess, Ye Shijie was still reading, and Liu Xu was practicing archery. Xue Fangfei's wrist was injured, so she couldn't play the piano completely, but even so, she wanted to do her best this time.

Liu Xu once fell from a horse because she was very scared of riding, and of course, she couldn't shoot accurately. At this time, Xiao Heng came over and gave Liu Xu some advice. Liu Xu could shoot accurately in one shot. Xiao Heng also taught Xue Fangfei archery. He personally taught her. When Xue Fangfei pulled the bow, her wound hurt. Xiao Heng told her that if she wanted to heal, she should come to his mansion.

After Xue Fangfei went back, her hand was still not good. Xue Fangfei had to go to Xiao Heng, but because she did not come to see him on time, Xiao Heng deliberately made her wait at the door. After waiting for a long time, Xiao Heng sent someone to call Xue Fangfei in. At this time, Xiao Heng was eating barbecue. Situ Jiuyue was a famous doctor.

She said that if Xue Fangfei wanted to be treated, she had to gamble with herself. Xue Fangfei also agreed. There were two poisonous spiders, one poisonous and the other not. She asked Xue Fangfei to choose, but Xue Fangfei found a loophole. Since she did not say whose life, Xue Fangfei tested Xiao Heng's hand, actually wanting to see Situ Jiuyue's expression.

Of course, Xue Fangfei guessed it right. Situ Jiuyue helped Xue Fangfei heal her injuries. Xue Fangfei's injuries were serious, so she had to use poison to fight poison, but even so, Xue Fangfei was still willing to try. She had no retreat now. Fortunately, Xue Fangfei's injury would be healed in a few days. Situ Jiuyue also saw that Xiao Heng had feelings for Xue Fangfei. Otherwise, he would not stay here overnight, but Xiao Heng did not admit it.

Xiao Heng tossed the leaves in front of Xue Fangfei, then invited her to have a meal in his room. The food reminded Xue Fangfei of the breakfast she used to share with her father and brother back home. Soon, it was the first day of the exam. Li Lian and his group also arrived. Xue Fangfei had only four people behind her now, but they were still full of confidence.

The teacher announced that the examiner, Shen Yurong, was coming. Everyone greeted Shen Yurong politely, except for those who were absorbed in their studies. The competition officially began. Several examiners sat at the front, and Shen Yurong's eyes met Xue Fangfei's, his fists tightening involuntarily. This time, Xiao Heng was also betting outside, believing that Xue Fangfei would win.

The first round of the exam tested knowledge, and Ye Shijie and Li Jin faced off. Ye Shijie failed to answer several questions in a row. In the final question posed by Shen Yurong, both of them provided solutions targeting Shen Yurong's query.

Just when everyone thought Li Jin would lose, it turned out only Xue Fangfei knew Ye Shijie would win, as Shen Yurong had once shared his perspective on problem-solving with her. Therefore, Xue Fangfei knew Ye Shijie would definitely win this time. In the first round, Ye Shijie and Li Jin tied for first place.

The competition for the day ended, and everyone prepared for the next round. Xue Fangfei, Lu Ji, Wen Ji, and Ye Mingxuan joined hands. Liu Xu held Ye Shijie's hand, feeling a hint of affection. In the second round, Xiao Ruirui participated, hoping not to encounter Li Lian. Shen Yurong, at home, would always think of Xue Fangfei whenever he saw Jiang Li's name, recalling what Xue Fangfei had said to him, which often gave him a headache.

During this time, Xue Fangfei had been playing chess with Xiao Ruirui, noticing Xiao Ruirui's significant improvement. Xiao Ruirui advised Xue Fangfei to practice the piano diligently. For the second day of the competition, Xiao Ruirui was matched against Shen Ruyun. Xue Fangfei remembered how Shen Ruyun used to get upset whenever she won their chess games. This time, Xue Fangfei urged Xiao Ruirui to defeat Shen Ruyun thoroughly.

Intentionally letting Shen Ruyun make moves, Xiao Ruirui played defensively, causing Shen Ruyun to lose the match. Shen Ruyun found Xiao Ruirui's chess strategy surprisingly similar to Xue Fangfei's, leading to her complete disarray.

Shen Ruyun even felt as if she saw Xue Fangfei right in front of her, causing her to faint. Xiao Ruirui won this round again. Next up was the archery competition, and Liu Xu was still somewhat worried due to her fear of heights. Xue Fangfei encouraged Liu Xu.

Shen Ruyun told her brother that Jiang Li was Xue Fangfei, only to be scolded harshly by Shen Yurong. Shen Yurong's emotions were running high, especially since he was the one who had buried Xue Fangfei with his own hands.

Two more rounds of competition were ahead, and Xiao Heng sent someone to check on Xue Fangfei's hand. That evening, Xue Fangfei was still practicing the piano, but her hand had not fully recovered. The subordinate quickly relayed the news back to Xiao Heng.

As the archery competition approached, the rules had changed. Zhou Yanbang and others participated in the first round. Jiang Ruoyao kept a close eye on the competition, hoping Zhou Yanbang would win. Zhou Yanbang successfully hit the target, and Jiang Ruoyao praised him afterward.

Soon, it was Liu Xu's turn to compete against Meng Hongjin. In the first shot, Liu Xu missed. Ye Shijie noticed that Liu Xu seemed to have a fear of heights, as she missed twice in a row. However, Liu Xu did not give up. In the end, she managed to hit the target and tied with Meng Hongjin.

In the next round, which required hitting five targets, someone suddenly threw a hidden weapon at the person holding Liu Xu's rope. As a result, Liu Xu lost her balance. But even while hanging upside down, Liu Xu managed to overcome her fear and hit all five targets. Everyone cheered for her, tossing her high in celebration.

The final round was the competition in piano skills. Only if Xue Fangfei won against Jiang Ruoyao could she defeat Li Lian. Jiang Ruoyao had no intention of letting Xue Fangfei win. Xue Fangfei suddenly saw Xiao Heng's subordinate and decided to go see Xiao Heng alone. After a brief examination of Xue Fangfei's hand, Xiao Heng took her to see Situ Jiuyue, informing her that she had only one day to fully recover.

Original Soundtrack


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