2023 Chinese Drama List

Young Blood 2 – Zhang Xincheng, Zhou Yutong

Young Blood 2 is a youthful suspense drama, starring Zhang Xincheng, Zhou Yutong, Wang Youshuo, Su Xiaotong, Zheng Wei, and Fu Weilun.


Young Blood 2

English Title: Young Blood 2
Chinese Title: 大宋少年志2
Other Titles: Young Blood Season 2, 宋二志
Genre: Historical, Youth, Suspense, Crime
Tag: Investigation, Espionage, Multiple Couples, Multiple Mains, Teamwork, Song Dynasty
Episodes: 27
Duration: 45 min.
Director: Zhou Nan, Wang Fei, Wang Cheng
Writer: Wang Juan
Product Company: MGTV
Released Date: 2023-07-29
Broadcast Website: MGTV, MangoTV Monsoon



During the Qingli period, the Northern Song Dynasty, in order to avoid war and maintain peace and stability among various ethnic groups, trained young spies under the name of the "Secret Court ".

After a rigorous selection and vetting process, six youths - the intelligent Yuan Zhongxin, the beautiful and clever Zhao Jian, the never-killing Xiaojing, the never-lying Wang Kuan, the unsociable Xue Ying, and the cheerful Wei Yanei - formed the "Seventh Team of Secret Court ".

After a series of dangerous missions related, the once young and ignorant youths grow up and unite with each other, using their passion and loyalty to defend peace and eliminate the disasters of the Song Dynasty.



In the fourth year of the Qingli era, during the prosperous period of the Great Song Dynasty, hidden troubles both within and outside the kingdom posed a threat. To safeguard the nation, the Song Dynasty sought to unite the young talents from all over the country. They established a secret pavilion, dedicated to covert operations, to defend the kingdom. This secret pavilion had ten chambers, among which the seventh chamber stood out as exceptional. Within the seventh chamber, there were outstanding individuals like Yuan Zhongxin, known for his high moral character and refined manners; Zhao Jian, recognized for her virtuous and gentle nature; Wang Kuan, admired for his dominance and boldness; Pei Jing, praised for her intelligence, agility, and composure; Xue Ying, known for his knowledge, reason, and emphasis on harmony; and Wei Yanei, respected for his simplicity, honesty, and self-discipline. The six of them gathered together as close friends, working harmoniously with a sense of order and decorum. The teachers of the secret pavilion greatly admired this group, praising them highly.

After the establishment of the secret pavilion, the seven chamber members collaborated and successfully completed various special tasks, facing dangers and uncovering mysteries. Despite the unfortunate disbandment of the secret pavilion, the six members of the seventh chamber remained steadfast in their original purpose, continuing to fight to protect the Great Song and prevent chaos. During one of their missions, they encountered a spy from the Western Xia named Ding Er, who deeply admired the seventh chamber, especially Yuan Zhongxin and Zhao Jian, and offered them sincere blessings. Over time, the Western Xia and the Great Song engaged in negotiations in the city of Binzhou. The seventh chamber also headed to the negotiation site, where they once again encountered Ding Er. However, Ding Er had transformed into a high-ranking general named Mi Qinmubei, determined to disrupt the negotiations and stir up unrest. The seventh chamber united and used internal conflicts within the Western Xia to defeat Mi Qinmubei and imprison him. However, Mi Qinmubei used the capture of Zhao Jian's father as leverage to force her to release him and escape to the Western Xia. The seventh chamber pursued them, prepared to face any truth and bear the consequences together with Zhao Jian, no matter the outcome.

Zhao Jian rode a horse with Mi Qinmubei tied up behind her. She informed Yuan Zhongxin that Mi Qinmubei proposed an alliance with the Great Song to assassinate Yuan Hao. Yuan Zhongxin had no problem with the idea, but he was worried about Mi Qinmubei's true intentions. Killing Yuan Hao was Mi Qinmubei's only wish, so Zhao Jian used the reason of saving her father to send him back to the Western Xia, and Yuan Hao would not suspect her intentions. Facing the perilous task of assassinating Yuan Hao, Zhao Jian did not want to involve the rest of the group. However, to her surprise, Wang Kuan, Pei Jing, Xue Ying, and Wei Yanei appeared, showing their unwavering support and solidarity with the seventh chamber, willing to face life and death together.

The seventh chamber shouted "Advance to Western Xia, facing death to protect the Great Song" and headed towards the Western Xia. Yuan Hao had been undefeated since gaining fame, and this negotiation with the Western Xia was merely to conserve his strength and prepare for future conquests. During this journey, the Ministry of War hoped that Ning Lingge would help in dividing the Western Xia's forces, while the court looked forward to peace through proper channels. As they arrived at a village that had once been a battlefield, now desolate and empty, everyone understood that Yuan Hao must be killed. In times of war, lives were as fragile as grass. Mi Qinmubei led them to a house, but inside, they encountered another person claiming to be Mi Qinmubei, who welcomed the prince (Yuan Hao) back. The real Mi Qinmubei, whom the seventh chamber knew, was Ning Lingge. Ning Lingge asked the imposter to bring the prince, but the imposter hesitated.

Yuan Hao had already passed away, and Zhao Jian suddenly brought out a knife, holding it to the imposter's neck. Mi Qinmubei said that Yuan Hao died of illness, and another voice from upstairs confirmed it. It was Lu Nanshan, the son of Lu Zhangyuan, who was present when Yuan Hao died. The Ministry of War had given orders to reactivate the secret pavilion, and Lu Nanshan became the new head of the pavilion to meet with Ning Lingge, not expecting that the real Ning Lingge was already in the Great Song. Zhao Jian dropped the knife in her hand, her eyes filled with sadness.

Lu Nanshan intended to carry on Lu Zhangyuan's legacy, and Yuan Hao's body had already been sent back to the capital. They did not wait for Zhao Jian because she prioritized her mission. Wang Kuan argued that this was unreasonable, but Lu Nanshan remained firm and dissatisfied. Suddenly, there were sounds of people and horses outside, and Ning Lingge said they were there for him as planned. He calmly opened the door, and the visitors turned out to be Xia people, just like them, wanting to kill Ning Lingge's father. This time, Lu Nanshan chose the seventh chamber for the plan since the secret pavilion had no one left to use.

Ning Lingge told everyone about a distant sacred mountain called Helan Mountain, which seemed to be within their sight. Ning Lingge even shed a few tears. Helan Mountain was revered as a sacred place, recording the heritage of the Great Xia lineage and serving as both the beginning and end of all things. Yuan Hao would go to Helan Mountain to perform sacrifices for the deceased Xia people in the previous battles, making it the best opportunity to assassinate him. Among the Xia people who came, there was Liang Maixiang, a general of Youzhou. Ning Lingge said they needed to return immediately, and the next day, the seventh chamber and Liang Maixiang would set out. Ning Lingge needed a night to prepare their journey. After they left, the seventh chamber inquired about which chamber had been wiped out. To their shock, it was the third chamber, the price they paid for accomplishing an impossible mission.

Mi Qinmubei believed that Ning Lingge did not genuinely care for Zhao Jian, considering the risks involved in their assassination mission. However, Ning Lingge knew that they were on a mission with only death, no chance of survival. If the assassination succeeded, he would kill them in the name of revenge to recruit his old subordinates. If it failed, he would have to eliminate them to keep the secret, as their lives were at stake on this mission. For the greater cause, Ning Lingge was willing to sacrifice his life at any time, let alone for the person he loved.

Lu Nanshan asked them to decide whether they wanted to take on this mission, and everyone looked at Zhao Jian, leaving the decision to her. In the end, Zhao Jian chose to join. Ning Lingge held many secrets, including the fact that Lu Nanshan's appearance was not to help the seventh chamber. Zhao Jian felt upset, and Yuan Zhongxin went to accompany her while everyone worried about her. Zhao Jian couldn't cry, just staring blankly at the table, although she didn't believe in ghosts and gods. The wind outside the window stopped, and Zhao Jian walked to the window, crying and saying that her father was gone, and now she was all alone in the world. Yuan Zhongxin said nothing, silently comforting her with his embrace.

Wei Yanei noticed that Xue Ying was practicing his sword in the courtyard and knew that he must be troubled, so he brought him a burnt pancake to console him. Pei Jing went to bring food to Wang Kuan and found him sewing, saying he was preparing cushions to put on the saddles to avoid headaches. Pei Jing was surprised that Wang Kuan, a scholar, could do needlework. Wang Kuan told Pei Jing that something was amiss with Lu Nanshan's words, and they must be cautious during the upcoming operation. Lu Nanshan had initially said that the selection was for the entire seventh chamber, but at first, only Zhao Jian had come to find Ning Lingge. They all came on their own, so why did Lu Nanshan want Zhao Jian to keep it a secret from them? Wang Kuan felt that Lu Nanshan harbored murderous intent, but he didn't know who his target was.

Liang Maixiang came to spar with Xue Ying, and among this group, Xue Ying had the most powerful skills. Liang Maixiang was also strong, and they had a satisfying exchange. Wei Yanei was curious about Liang Maixiang's reason for wanting to kill Yuan Hao. Liang Maixiang explained that the Great Xia initially had twelve military commanders, two more than people now know. Among the Xia people, the Yeli brothers were in charge of the Left and Right Xiang Monitors, and Yeli Yuqi was known as the Great King of Heaven in Xia. However, Yuan Hao killed them, and they sought revenge not only for self-preservation but also because Yeli Yuqi had a debt of gratitude to Liang Maixiang's father.

Yuan Hao set off to Helan Mountain for a sacrificial ceremony and met with Ning Lingge. Father and son had not seen each other for a long time and felt distant. Ning Lingge had disappeared for a while after entering the territory of the Great Song, and Yuan Hao was not worried at all. Ning Lingge's words had another layer of meaning.

The seventh chamber and Liang Maixiang's group set out and arrived at Helan Mountain, where they saw many old and young people coming for the sacrifice, but there were no adult men. Liang Maixiang said that most of the men had died in battle, and they no longer wanted to continue the war. Zhao Jian empathized with this sentiment, and Yuan Hao deserved to pay the price. At the main sacrificial ceremony, they could see the full view of the altar from halfway up the mountain. Before Liang Maixiang could explain her plan involving Ning Lingge, Yuan Zhongxin had already figured it out - only dead people could get close to Yuan Hao.

Not far away was the female enclosure, where naked female corpses were left for birds and beasts to consume, and after three years, the remaining bones would be taken down and burned. Liang Maixiang said that the female enclosure in the deep mountains was for holding funerals for the soldiers who sacrificed themselves on the battlefield. Their loved ones would die with them and be buried above the female enclosure. The female enclosure was their best hiding place, but there was still one problem with this plan - an escape route. Even if Yuan Hao went up the altar, his trusted followers would definitely be lying in ambush nearby. Even if they killed Yuan Hao, they would have no way to leave alive. Ning Lingge never intended for them to live; the seventh chamber had already thought of this. Liang Maixiang said they had one way to survive, and Yuan Zhongxin had already thought of it too - coordinating inside and outside, finding guards to create an opportunity. Although Liang Maixiang was disappointed, she still decided to help the seventh chamber. The reason was simple: Ning Lingge might be the next Yuan Hao, and they couldn't let their guard down.

Lu Nanshan was very concerned about the assassination environment. The seventh chamber knew he couldn't be trusted, but the assassination had to go ahead. Zhao Jian and Yuan Zhongxin hid among the bones and were the first to launch a surprise attack on Yuan Hao. Xue Ying and Wei Yanei observed the situation from the female enclosure. Wang Kuan and Pei Jing disguised themselves as guards, ready to capture everyone if the assassination failed. On the day of the assassination, Yuan Hao's sedan appeared near the altar. Wei Yanei and Xue Ying observed the surroundings from the female enclosure when suddenly they seemed to hear a woman's voice. Wei Yanei worried about whether they could leave alive.

Yuan Hao was finally going up the altar, and just as Xue Ying was about to look down at the nearby female corpse, a person crawled out from inside - it was Chu Niao from the eighth chamber. Others from the eighth chamber were also here on a mission, and their target was also Yuan Hao. But Chu Niao said they couldn't kill Yuan Hao. Ning Lingge greedily scanned the surroundings, and he had been waiting for this day. Zhao Jian and Yuan Zhongxin had already launched their attack on Yuan Hao on the altar, but the people below did not go up to rescue him because they were confident. Both Yuan Zhongxin and Zhao Jian were unable to do anything to Yuan Hao, and they were even severely injured on the spot. Xue Ying saw this and came on the scene according to the plan, but he was also no match for Yuan Hao. Just as Wei Yanei was about to go down, Chu Niao stopped him, and Pei Jing and Wang Kuan were also discovered. Yuan Hao didn't kill them, instead taunting Yuan Zhongxin for being inferior to his brother. Yuan Zhongxin's expression changed, and only then did Ning Lingge realize that Wang Kuan and Pei Jing were missing.

The outcome on the altar was undecided, and Pei Jing and Wang Kuan were brought here by Liang Maixiang's people. Unexpectedly, it was Lu Nanshan's plan, claiming he was protecting them. Lu Nanshan said this was a test for the seventh chamber - would Yuan Hao kill them? Lu Nanshan believed that someone in the seventh chamber had defected to the Western Xia, but at least he believed in Wang Kuan. However, Wang Kuan didn't trust him. Lu Nanshan's protection was also for the sake of his father. Yuan Hao defeated Yuan Zhongxin and the others and then asked Ning Lingge if he knew them. Ning Lingge answered that he didn't know them, so Yuan Hao ordered him to take the three captives away and find out who was behind the plot. Wei Yanei wanted Chu Niao to help rescue them, but Chu Niao pointed to the sky, saying there were more people who hadn't appeared yet. Soon, a group of birds that looked like the monsters depicted in murals appeared in the sky. The Great Xia called them the Shepherd Gods and regarded them as divine beings.

In Yuan Hao's camp, Ning Lingge also thought the Shepherd Gods might be fake. During the sacrificial ceremony, the divine beings appeared, and Yuan Hao's identity would then be legitimate. Chu Niao and Wei Yanei didn't go down until it was dark, and they saw someone near the Shepherd Gods - it was Wen Wuqi.

This person is Wen Wuqi, the deputy chamber master of the Eighth Chamber. Wei Yanei naturally knows him. The Secret Pavilion only has chamber masters, and the two deputy chamber masters even compete with each other. Wen Wuqi is the one who orchestrated the current phenomenon. However, Wen Wuqi looked at Wei Yanei with relief, as they had a bet among the chamber members about who would take the first step. Wei Yanei was leading the list and was pleased to have persisted until now. This bet was organized by Yuan Zhongxin, but he bet on himself.

In the Western Xia, magpies are considered auspicious birds, also known as "black-headed." Wen Wuqi and Chu Niao have spent a long time in the Western Xia, so they have some understanding of the place. They deliberately created the current situation. Obviously, Ning Lingge and the others firmly believed in the divine phenomenon. They said that the appearance of divine beings should be accompanied by two things: first, the cliffs would emit light, which was caused by mica placed by the Eighth Chamber on the walls. The second phenomenon was the resurrection of the dead bodies, which the Eighth Chamber had also prepared. Chu Niao had initially played dead to perform publicly.

The task given to the Eighth Chamber was also to kill Yuan Hao, but Yuan Hao did not understand the connection between the divine phenomenon and his assassination. Yuan Zhongxin believed that the arrival of divine beings was not a good thing; they could grant but also retract. The Partyanxi clan originated from the ancient Qiang clan and believed in divine beings. So the Eighth Chamber believed that only when the gods were angry could they shake Yuan Hao's foundation. They were waiting for the right moment to use the power of divine beings to turn Yuan Hao's allies against him.

Ning Lingge was somewhat troubled by Yuan Zhongxin and Zhao Jian's situation. He couldn't let them go, but he also couldn't kill them. Ning Lingge couldn't understand why Yuan Hao didn't kill them either. Yuan Hao arrived at that moment, and Ning Lingge immediately showed respect. Yuan Hao was testing Ning Lingge and decided to let them go first and chat alone with Yuan Zhongxin and the others. Ning Lingge led the Beiqin Mubie to leave, and Lu Nanshan had disappeared, which made them realize he must be hiding something. Wen Wuqi only trusted Lu Zhandian and didn't trust Lu Nanshan. He asked Chu Niao to send Wei Yanei down the mountain, thinking that Lu Nanshan might be looking for him, and he assured them he would rescue them. Before Wei Yanei left, he told them what Lu Nanshan had said: the Secret Pavilion's entire army had been wiped out, so they must be careful.

Yuan Hao asked Yuan Zhongxin if Ning Lingge wanted to kill him, and Yuan Zhongxin firmly nodded, saying that as long as Yuan Hao let them go, they could help identify anyone. However, Yuan Hao mentioned Yuan Zhongxin's brother again. When Chu Niao sent Wei Yanei down the mountain, he asked if Wei Yanei was engaged. Upon learning that he was engaged to the daughter of the Minister of Household, Chu Niao was disappointed, but she was relieved when she learned that Wei Yanei's engagement was called off. Chu Niao thought Wei Yanei was sincere, and despite being one of the Four Dandies of the Capital, he was the only one in the Secret Pavilion who saw things clearly. Chu Niao wanted a peaceful life; she was sold to the Secret Pavilion, and her constant laughter was for the sake of her deceased relatives. Lu Zhandian saved her, so she entered the Secret Pavilion. Once Yuan Hao died, she could live her own peaceful life. Wei Yanei said he would consider it carefully.

Chu Niao saw Wei Yanei off at the foot of the mountain and made a promise to live well and meet again. Wei Yanei found Lu Nanshan, who claimed that Yuan Zhongxin had already defected to the Western Xia. Yuan Hao untied Yuan Zhongxin, Zhao Jian, and Xue Ying and told them that during the battle at Qichuan Fort, it was prearranged that only Yuan Dage would survive; none of the others could be spared. The Yuan family had joined Yuan Hao's side as a condition set by Yuan's father, but Yuan Zhongxin was unaware of this. Lu Nanshan also discovered that the Yuan family had joined the Western Xia. Yuan Hao and Yuan Zhongxin shared the same surname, both being descendants of the Tuoba family from the Northern Wei. The assassination was just a test, and the fact that Yuan Hao didn't kill Yuan Zhongxin indicated that Lu Nanshan guessed correctly. However, Wei Yanei couldn't believe it. Was bloodline really that significant? Yuan Hao didn't kill Yuan Zhongxin because of his father. When Yuan Dage refused to serve the Western Xia in the past, Yuan Zhongxin was very disappointed, and now he finally understood why his brother was so eager for death; he was walking a path of no return. Zhao Jian held Yuan Zhongxin's hand, saying that even if they had Xianbei blood, they would still choose to serve the Great Song.

Yuan Hao gave Yuan Zhongxin one night to make a decision. If he didn't surrender tomorrow, Yuan Hao would kill Zhao Jian and Xue Ying. Wei Yanei asked Lu Nanshan what should be done with Zhao Jian and the others, but Lu Nanshan had no intention of helping them and was very disappointed.

Yuan Hao didn't let Ning Lingge guard the camp, but Ning Lingge still couldn't trust him. Yuan Zhongxin, Zhao Jian, and Xue Ying couldn't be left alive. Late at night, Ning Lingge and his men broke into the tent and returned their weapons to them. Zhao Jian knew he couldn't silence them, so he let them go without interrogating them, assuming that they had no mastermind. Before leaving, Ning Lingge reminded them that Yuan Hao was still alive, and their agreement still stood. Not far after leaving, they saw a group of people and were about to rush forward for a life-and-death struggle. However, they saw Wei Yanei's father, Wei Zhuoran. He had defected to Yuan Hao, and Yuan Zhongxin, Zhao Jian, and Xue Ying couldn't believe it. Wei Yanei would be very disappointed if he knew. Wei Zhuoran told them not to tell Wei Yanei about this and let him believe he had a great father. He advised them to take care of themselves and left his horse for them to leave safely.

Ning Lingge ordered Beiqin Mubie to kill his subordinates because Yuan Zhongxin, Zhao Jian, and Xue Ying had seen them earlier, so they were of no use anymore. On their way, Yuan Zhongxin, Zhao Jian, and Xue Ying encountered Lu Nanshan and Wei Yanei. Lu Nanshan wanted to send Yuan Zhongxin back to Kaifeng for trial, but Zhao Jian stopped him, saying they were not criminals on the way back to the capital. Lu Nanshan already guessed that Wei Zhuoran had let them go, and indeed, half of their Seven Chambers had problems.

Ning Lingge acted as if there was someone coming to rescue them. Yuan Hao pretended to believe it and handed the matter to Ning Lingge. However, he also found out that Ning Lingge was behind this. He didn't care about their deaths; he only cared about who was the mastermind behind it. He didn't want to kill his own son, so he had to gradually take back his military power.

Liang Maixiang was puzzled as to why her father was helping Lu Nanshan. But Lu Nanshan didn't answer and said that perhaps they would meet again someday. They boarded a carriage back to the capital, and it was silent inside. Wang Kuan spoke, saying that Yuan Zhongxin was still a member of the Seven Chambers, and this fact would never change. Just as Liang Maixiang saw them off, her father Liang Gewei arrived. He wanted to kill Yuan Hao but couldn't let him die on the altar. Otherwise, Ning Lingge would wipe out their Youzhou Army as well. He believed that it was a deal to trust Lu Nanshan, who secretly sent them military rations. Liang Gewei said that as long as they could keep the Youzhou Army, nothing else mattered.

Back in Kaifeng, Lu Nanshan and his group returned and put Yuan Zhongxin in a prisoner's carriage, to be handed over to the Privy Council for custody in the dungeon. The members of the Seven Chambers were worried, but Yuan Zhongxin told Zhao Jian to leave, as he would be fine. Lu Nanshan let Zhao Jian go and asked questions to the others. They returned to the Secret Pavilion, and Lu Nanshan stated that the Secret Pavilion would no longer be divided into Seven Chambers or Eight Chambers. They moved to a military camp outside the city, as they were meant for battles and not meant to resemble academies. Lu Nanshan sneered at Lu Zhandian's methods, and Wang Kuan was very disappointed. He didn't understand why Lu Zhandian chose young people to join the Secret Pavilion. Lu Nanshan set up defenses around them and forbade them to leave, both to document Yuan Zhongxin's actions and to join the new Secret Pavilion, which required verification. Wang Kuan wanted paper and pen to accuse Lu Nanshan, but Lu Nanshan ignored him and left. Wang Kuan believed that Lu Nanshan was waiting for someone to come for them. Although he didn't know who this person was, he thought it might be related to the Yuan family.

Yuan Zhongxin met Yu Chi Yuan in the dungeon. Yu Chi Yuan shackled Yuan Zhongxin in chains, fearing he might escape. Yu Chi Yuan said that someone was helping the Yuan family from behind, but Yuan Zhongxin was unaware, as he had never addressed his father as "dad."

Zhao Jian returned home and dressed in mourning clothes for her father. The scene when she said goodbye to her father to pursue her dreams was still vivid in her mind. Yuan Zhongxin easily unlocked Yu Chi Yuan's chains and took the knife from him before leaving. Lu Nanshan speculated that Yuan Zhongxin wouldn't have many places to go. Everyone cleaned up the Seven Chambers, and Xue Ying hesitated before telling them about Lu Nanshan's suspicions regarding Pei Jing's connections with Han Duanzhang. Pei Jing was unaware of this. At this moment, Master Liang came. Zhao Jian had asked him before and knew that Yuan Zhongxin was in danger, so Master Liang became serious. Wang Kuan told Master Liang that he only needed him to deliver a letter.

Zhao Jian dismissed her attendants to talk to her father alone for a while, but she knew it was Yuan Zhongxin who had come. Yuan Zhongxin knelt down and said he would accompany Zhao Jian for the second half of her journey to the end. He originally didn't plan to escape, but he was restless, so he came to say what he needed to say and let Zhao Jian's father rest assured. Lu Nanshan learned that Master Liang had taken a letter out, so he rushed to Zhao Jian's residence. Zhao Jian handed the person over, and Lu Nanshan said he wanted to pay his respects as well, but Zhao Jian directly closed the door. Later, Lu Nanshan went to the Seven Chambers. Wang Kuan had just finished writing his accusation against Lu Nanshan. Lu Nanshan said he could guess all of Wang Kuan's methods. He asked Master Liang to deliver the letter to seek help for his father. At this moment, Yu Chi Yuan did indeed catch up with Minister Wang's residence. However, Lu Nanshan said that he was the one who confined Wang Kuan here, and Minister Wang was not unaware. The new Secret Pavilion wasn't just Wang Kuan's idea alone. By confining Wang Kuan here, he was acting on Minister Wang's behalf. Wang Kuan shook his head; he had already considered this, so it wasn't a cry for help but a way to find a solution.

Yu Chi Yuan was the stone thrown by Wang Kuan. He followed Master Liang and came before Minister Wang. Minister Wang hesitated initially but eventually allowed Wang Kuan to read the letter in public. Wang Kuan wrote a farewell letter, expressing that if these young people were still suspected by their families, what justice was there in the world! In Kaifeng, there was a person whose status was higher than Minister Wang's. Wang Kuan's plan was for the Emperor's intended empress, Chen Shi, who had been opposed and forgotten by His Majesty. Official meetings outside the palace were all arranged by Minister Wang. Today's situation was just so coincidental that the person happened to be there.

Lu Nanshan panicked and quickly escaped. Yu Chi Yuan told him that Emperor and Minister Wang were both present today and had issued an order not to confine the Seven Chambers anymore. They were allowed to resume their duties. The Emperor was kind-hearted, so Wang Kuan was not worried about how the Emperor would treat him. Although Lu Nanshan was unwilling, he had no choice but to release them.

At that moment, Yuan Zhongxin was imprisoned in the dungeon and being used by Xing. Seeing this, Yu Chi Yuan felt some sympathy. When he learned that Wang Kuan and the others had escaped, Yuan Zhongxin was not surprised. Everyone went to Wang Kuan's house, and Wang Kuan arranged them in his previous courtyard before meeting Minister Wang. Yu Chi Yuan gave Yuan Zhongxin some water to drink, and he asked how the Seven Chambers came together. Yuan Zhongxin had to admit that it was Zhao Jian who brought him here. After being with them for a long time, Yuan Zhongxin believed in the goodness of human nature. The Seven Chambers had no regrets about knowing each other, and Wang Kuan felt the same. However, Minister Wang was very angry. He criticized Wang Kuan for jeopardizing his family for these people, and the actions of the Seven Chambers were absurd. Yuan Zhongxin's situation was also dire. Pei Jing and the other two were taken outside Minister Wang's study to hear Minister Wang's evaluation of them. Xue Ying and Wei Yuan were somewhat disappointed. As for Pei Jing, Minister Wang threw a letter at Wang Kuan. Pei Jing's younger brother had connections with Han Duanzhang, and they might be conspiring together.

Wang Kuan asked Minister Wang why he wanted to investigate the Pei family and how he could convict Pei Jing based on just one letter. Minister Wang thought it was natural because Wang Kuan was his legitimate son, and even the Emperor knew him. Wang Kuan had a boundless future, so how could Pei Jing match him! Pei Jing lowered her head outside the door, and the servant took them to their lodgings. Minister Wang advised Wang Kuan to give up the Seven Chambers, as they were just a group of impulsive youngsters. But if he grew up and betrayed his past self, Wang Kuan would never do that.

Yu Chi Yuan fed Yuan Zhongxin some food, and they chatted casually. Yu Chi Yuan had a benefactor for whom he could even sacrifice his life. Yuan Zhongxin guessed that this person was probably Lu Nanshan. Xue Ying, Wei Yuan, and Pei Jing sat in silence, and Wang Kuan brought the letter to Pei Jing. Pei Jing carefully recalled, and it might be true. Wang Kuan treated Pei Jing sincerely, just as he did to everyone else. Xue Ying, besides martial prowess, had the strength to be his friend, which was his honor. And the one who wanted to marry Pei Jing wasn't Minister Wang, but Wang Kuan himself. Although Wei Yuan was mischievous, his character was not low.

Wang Kuan asked Pei Jing to return with him to her home, and Pei Jing agreed immediately. The reason Pei Jing entered the Secret Pavilion was because Lu Zhandian needed her status, so her parents sent her in. It also cleared their debts and secured a position for her younger brother. Since she entered the Secret Pavilion, her family had never visited her, but Pei Jing was not sad about it; instead, she comforted Wang Kuan.

Yu Chi Yuan guarded Yuan Zhongxin in the dungeon, and Yuan Zhongxin asked about how their colleagues died. At that time, when they searched the Yuan family, they found the place empty. Soon after, a group of people arrived and killed them. Based on the description, Yuan Zhongxin knew the person's identity, the masked swordsman.

Wang Kuan and Pei Jing arrived near their home and saw a swordsman with a mask. They found it strange. Wei Yuan and Xue Ying went to Zhao Jian's house, but she said she was mourning and couldn't receive guests. In the courtyard, Pei Jing found some bloodstains, and her parents' room was locked. Wang Kuan broke in through the window and found Pei Jing's parents and younger brother hiding money on the ladder. Minister Wang had hinted at them before, so they had prepared chicken stew and were waiting for Wang Kuan.

Pei Jing's parents brought her to the courtyard to talk to Wang Kuan. They were pleased that Pei Jing and Wang Kuan were together. Although they couldn't marry officially, Pei Jing could be Wang Kuan's concubine and live a worry-free life. Pei Jing remained silent. Minister Wang sent a message, saying that as long as Pei Jing abandoned her status, he would not trouble them, and he could arrange for Pei Xuan to become an official in the Ministry of Rites with real power. Pei Jing was disappointed; she couldn't believe her parents said such things after being apart for so long. Wang Kuan could hear the conversation inside the room. Pei Jing told her parents that she didn't care about the formal status, but she couldn't agree to their conditions. She had promised Wang Kuan to face the world's difficulties and dangers together, and she wouldn't back down, just as Wang Kuan wouldn't. Her parents were anxious for her brother's future, but she would never give in; otherwise, she couldn't stand beside Wang Kuan. Wang Kuan was relieved to hear her words, took Pei Jing's hand, and confirmed that Pei Xuan and Han Duanzhang had exchanged letters before leaving.

On the way, they encountered the masked swordsman again, who was apparently waiting for them. Late at night, Zhao Jian asked the servant to prepare some millet porridge and a carriage for her. She would rest in the carriage and be awakened when they arrived. Zhao Jian went to Lu Nanshan's residence and asked him what he had learned from Yuan Zhongxin. Zhao Jian knew Yuan Zhongxin and offered to persuade him to tell them what they wanted to know. Lu Nanshan took Zhao Jian to the dungeon, where rebellion was a crime punishable by execution, even if Yuan Zhongxin was innocent. Yuan Zhongxin was injured all over, and he looked up and said that he must look terrible now. Zhao Jian hadn't rested since she returned to Kaifeng. She wanted to apologize to her father for her past recklessness. Zhao Jian made two pairs of birthday stickers, one for herself and one for Yuan Zhongxin. She wanted to marry Yuan Zhongxin. Yuan Zhongxin was stunned, and Lu Nanshan and Yu Chi Yuan couldn't understand. Zhao Jian skipped the conventional procedures of a proposal and engagement; instead, she cut a strand of their hair with a small knife, sealing their private agreement. Zhao Jian kissed Yuan Zhongxin and accepted the tokens, and the contract couldn't be changed naturally. Lu Nanshan and Yu Chi Yuan were speechless; they had expected Zhao Jian to ask Yuan Zhongxin something, but she said she just wanted an excuse to see him. Lu Nanshan threatened to execute Yuan Zhongxin in a few days, and he would carry out the sentence immediately after three days. Yuan Zhongxin indeed didn't want to die, so he told Zhao Jian to bring Wang Kuan and the others to rescue him at the execution ground. Lu Nanshan was even more speechless; were all the Seven Chambers so unruly?

After Zhao Jian left, she went to Wang Kuan's house. Wang Kuan and Pei Jing hadn't returned yet. Xue Ying and Wei Yuan were wondering when Zhao Jian arrived. Zhao Jian told them that Yuan Zhongxin would be executed in three days but found out that Wang Kuan and Pei Jing hadn't returned. When Zhao Jian mentioned Pei Jing's family's address, she took the two with her to check it out. In fact, Yuan Zhongxin was the one who wanted to go back, and Xue Ying and Wei Yuan were relieved. To find out Wang Kuan and Pei Jing's whereabouts, Xue Ying broke another window pretending to be a robber. The three were frightened but said that Wang Kuan had come last night and left. Obviously, they didn't know where Wang Kuan was. Zhao Jian had initially wanted to handle this matter herself without involving Xue Ying and Wei Yuan, but Yuan Zhongxin said they should join, so she had to find them. She had wanted to use Wang's connections to inquire, but now she had to wait for Yuan Zhongxin to reveal information himself.

Yuan Zhongxin asked Yu Chi Yuan to tell Zhao Jian about the time and place of his execution, which made Yu Chi Yuan think he might have gone crazy. Yuan Zhongxin explained that if he died, Yu Chi Yuan wouldn't be able to avenge him, so leaking information about his execution might lead to the capture of the Yuan family. Yu Chi Yuan followed Yuan Zhongxin's instructions and presented this ingenious plan to Lu Nanshan.

Yu Chi Yuan told Zhao Jian the location of Yuan Zhongxin's beheading and said he felt that Yuan Zhongxin's nature was pure and not like a rebel. Wei Yuan was skeptical about this; a pure and kind nature, are they sure it's Yuan Zhongxin? Yuan Zhongxin was taken outside the city for execution, even before the scheduled time. However, Zhao Jian actually arrived, and Lu Nanshan confidently called out his arranged men, but after a while, there was no sign of anyone. Yuan Zhongxin freed himself from the ropes, and then Wei Yuan released smoke bombs. When they reacted, a group of black-clothed people suddenly appeared to help Yuan Zhongxin. Lu Nanshan and Yu Chi Yuan were astonished, thinking that the Yuan family members had been lured out.

Yuan Zhongxin had already opened the cage and left with Zhao Jian. Lu Nanshan tried to pursue them but was blocked by the masked swordsman. Zhao Jian and Yuan Zhongxin didn't know his identity and had to leave first. Yu Chi Yuan recognized the masked swordsman immediately; he was the one who killed his colleagues. Xue Ying asked about the identity of the black-clothed people and assumed they were Yuan's clan members.

Yu Chi Yuan chased Zhao Jian and Yuan Zhongxin all the way and found them with Wang Kuan. Yuan Zhongxin thought Wang Kuan was the one who had truly joined the Yuan family, and the masked swordsman was obviously from the Yuan family. However, Zhao Jian believed that Wang Kuan had no reason to betray the Song Dynasty and advised Yuan Zhongxin to hear Wang Kuan's explanation first. Wang Kuan wanted to take them away first, as he had a clear conscience. Yu Chi Yuan came out and helped Yuan Zhongxin and Zhao Jian escape, then asked Wang Kuan how he had gotten involved with the masked swordsman, but Wang Kuan ignored him and left. Lu Nanshan realized that Yu Chi Yuan had given false information about the execution time and place, obstructing his plans.

The black-clothed people were also Yu Chi Yuan's men, and he went to see Xue Ying, asking why they had teamed up with the swordsman. However, Xue Ying said that Wang Kuan had gone missing. Yu Chi Yuan couldn't understand what was going on and had Xue Ying tell Yuan Zhongxin that they would meet in the ghost market today, where he would reveal the truth. Yu Chi Yuan returned to deceive Lu Nanshan, while Zhao Jian took Yuan Zhongxin back home, and Xue Ying and Wei Yuan also returned, understanding that they shouldn't disturb the two of them alone.

Yuan Zhongxin was so tired that he dozed off; it seemed like he hadn't had a good sleep for days. Zhao Jian told him to sleep on her bed and tried to wipe his face, but Yuan Zhongxin fell asleep before she could speak. Xue Ying and Wei Yuan were still hungry, and Yuan Zhongxin and Zhao Jian couldn't attend to them. Wei Yuan decided to cook for themselves, and surprisingly, the taste was not bad.

Zhao Jian stayed by Yuan Zhongxin's side, and when he woke up, she knew he had dreamt of his elder brother, Yuan Da Ge. Knowing that he had Xianbei blood in him, Yuan Zhongxin felt complicated, but Zhao Jian believed that they were born in the Song Dynasty and grew up in the Song Dynasty, so they were people of the Song Dynasty. Zhao Jian suddenly realized that she had forgotten about Xue Ying and Wei Yuan and quickly checked on them; the two had eaten quite a lot of pancakes. Yuan Zhongxin analyzed Yu Chi Yuan's words and found them illogical and suspicious. He believed that Yu Chi Yuan might be the one who leaked information to the Yuan family, leading to the death of his colleagues. The group decided to go and meet Yu Chi Yuan, and then they would have the answers they sought.

Yu Chi Yuan was confident, thinking that they must be confused and unable to understand, and pretended to have a well-thought-out plan, but Zhao Jian and Yuan Zhongxin were speechless. Yu Chi Yuan admitted that he was involved with the Yuan family, but he saved Yuan Zhongxin not on the orders of Yuan's father but by his own plan. However, he didn't know who the masked swordsman was, and he was also puzzled why he was with Wang Kuan. Yu Chi Yuan said that he would take Yuan Zhongxin to Tanzhou to meet Yuan's father in two days. After meeting with Yu Chi Yuan, the group went to see Wang Kuan and Pei Jing. The masked swordsman was also there, and he was the witness to Yu Chi Yuan's killings.

The masked swordsman was entrusted and followed Yu Chi Yuan to the Yuan family. Executing Yuan Zhongxin was Lu Nanshan's private punishment, as the Song Dynasty's death penalty process is complicated. Of course, Lu Nanshan wouldn't take such a risk; the execution was entirely unreasonable. He knew long ago that Yu Chi Yuan was a disciple of the Yuan family. The purpose of the staged execution was to learn about Yuan's father's whereabouts through Yu Chi Yuan. Lu Nanshan appeared confidently, telling Yuan Zhongxin that the Yuan family was in Tanzhou, and they would depart in two days. Lu Nanshan would accompany them, and the masked swordsman would also go along. Lu Nanshan owed the Lu family several favors.

The staged execution was fake, but capturing Yuan Zhongxin was real. Now he had escaped privately. Lu Nanshan didn't trust Yuan Zhongxin, so he must find the Yuan family. The masked swordsman and Yuan's father used to be colleagues, but when conflict arose among their colleagues, the masked swordsman chose to disappear. He later joined the Secret Pavilion, and Lu Nanshan chose young talents to avoid repeating the past. The masked swordsman informed Yuan Zhongxin that his father was once called the Chi You Flag. Now, in Tanzhou, he was looking for his former colleague, Bei He Xing, as he possessed a roster that must not fall into the hands of the Western Xia people. The so-called spies were deeply entrenched in enemy territory and couldn't even leave their names behind after death.

They were to depart tomorrow, and Zhao Jian asked everyone to bid farewell to their families. Yuan Zhongxin and Zhao Jian returned to his elder brother's residence. In this world, besides Zhao Jian and his elder brother, no one else could bid farewell. Zhao Jian was now alone as well. In the past, Yuan Zhongxin might have left them and headed south alone, but now he might truly be afraid to be alone. Pei Jing returned home but only glanced at her parents from afar. Wang Kuan bid farewell to Wang Xiang Gong, who said that if he left, his prospects would be cut off. If one day he reached a dead-end and realized that everything he had done was a joke, he would surely regret it. However, Wang Kuan didn't think so; he wouldn't regret it. Wei Yuan had no family, so he went to Lu Nanshan to ask for money since they would need a lot for the journey. Xue Ying's father gave him a cherished knife, which was said to be as sharp as mud-cutting iron, but it had rotted due to being kept for too long. Xue's father said they would keep a jar of wine to drink together when Xue Ying returned.

Wei Yuan brought a large sum of money from Lu Nanshan. They split into two groups, with Lu Nanshan, Wei Yuan, Pei Jing, and Wang Kuan in one group. Unexpectedly, Lu Nanshan also called Pei Jing. Yuan Zhongxin, Zhao Jian, and Xue Ying went with Yu Chi Yuan, while behind them, Wang Kuan and the others also set off.

Yu Chi Yuan, Yuan Zhongxin, Zhao Jian, and Xue Ying traveled together, with Wang Kuan and his group not far behind. They heard the rooster crowing of the masked swordsman, but of course, Yu Chi Yuan's intelligence wouldn't be suspicious. Yu Chi Yuan claimed that the abandoned post ahead belonged to Yuan's father, and they would likely meet him there.


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