Five years ago, a corrupt official manipulated the emperor into executing his sworn brothers, leaving their children to roam through the country, each seeking peace with their past. After a chance encounter in Chen Liu, Ban Chao and Zhu Cheng team up to topple the drug lord who seeks to take control of the city. Meanwhile, Zhang Xiaolong’s anger about the past has led her to bury her emotions even while her magical powers have led the gods themselves to choose her as their paladin. She rescues a young noble named Liu Yang from a pair of vicious bandits and teaches him how to survive on the jiang hu. They soon become good friends but this is put to the test when Xiaolong discovers he is the emperor’s youngest son. She is forced her to confront and set aside her yearning for revenge in order to help save the emperor from the same official who brought about the death of her parents.
Three months after her adopted brother Liu Yang is crowned emperor, Zhang Xiaolong leaves the capitol for the city of Chen Liu in order to visit her friends who own an inn there. There, she meets Ban Chao and Zhu Cheng, immediately recognizing them to be the other survivors of the political bloodbath during which her own family was killed. Xiaolong is torn between staying in Chen Liu to help untangle the misunderstandings stemming from that tragedy and returning to the palace in order to help Liu Yang and his friend Ma Kelan deal with the enemy Xiong Nu who are about to invade the nation. To add to her headaches, someone has been committing crimes in her name, putting her reputation as a fighter for justice at risk.
With the misunderstandings originating with the politically wrought bloodbath five years ago finally resolved, Xiaolong and her friends can finally get down to the business of defending the Middle Kingdom from the Xiong Nu invaders at their borders. Through the device of a competition, Xiaolong, Zhu Cheng and Ban Chao have themselves named Marshals so they can lead the army north and drive the nomads back. The young Marshals have numerical and tactical advantages but the greatest danger may come from dissenters within their own ranks. Liu Yang, only recently crowned emperor, and his friend Kelan do their best to support the war effort from the palace but are constantly distracted and stymied by scholar officials more interested in currying royal favor than doing their jobs. As time passes, the war effort takes a surprising turn and Xiaolong’s magic may be the only thing that can save the kingdom.
Three years after the Trickster God’s demon army is defeated, Liu Yang’s kingdom is largely peaceful. So peaceful in fact that he and his friends are bored. When rumors of unrest and a potential rebellion reach them, they decided to leave the palace and head to the scene themselves in order to investigate. Determined to get as much out of this vacation as possible, Xiaolong and the others take a roundabout route to their designation. Along the way, the encounter old friends as well as new and stir up about as much trouble as they help solve. Finally though, they arrive, only to discover that this rebellion is much more extensive than they imagined. Far from the capitol, they have to rely on new allies and their own ingenuity to put a stop to this movement, which they soon realize is being led by an old enemy.