The Life and Times of a Sentinel
Martial arts expert NIP DOR-PO (Steven Ma) joins the Imperial Guard in an attempt to speak up for the people. He is under the command of PRINCE YUE, FOOK-CHUEN (Ma Kwok Ming), whom he becomes very good friends with in the passing of time. Later, on CHUEN’s recommendation, he becomes the personal guard of CHUEN’s younger brother Emperor HONG HEI (Chan Kwok Bong). Never has PO expected that the palace is a place so full of plotting and intrigue. Nor did he know that CHUEN has long been harboring an earthshaking rebellious scheme.
S01:E01 - Season 1, Episode 1
In the 25th year of his reign, Emperor HONG HEI is forced to abdicate by Prince YUE, FOOK-CHUEN inside the Hall of Supreme Harmony on the grounds that his accession to the throne is completely illegal. The story dates back to years ago…
S01:E02 - Season 1, Episode 2
Annoyed by HO’s arrogance, PO and his cousin SHEUNG-HEI go to ambush the Manchurian and beat him up severely. The following day, HO gets hung in the street with a tag around his neck reading “Manchurian Dog”. Time announcer CHUNG has fallen sick, so PO offers to take up his job tentatively.
S01:E03 - Season 1, Episode 3
PO, HO and the rest of the candidates gather at the examination centre for the recruitment test, which will be invigilated by Imperial Guard Superintendent PO CHAI. PO manages to reach the final, but is said to have failed to finish the designated tasks within a specific time frame. Imperial Noble Consort MAN-KWAN is busy working on her embroideries, with which she hopes to win the Emperor’s attention and later his affection.
S01:E04 - Season 1, Episode 4
Knowing that all the selected Han Chinese do have some relationship with CHAI, PO and CHUEN come to suspect that there may be someone behind the scenes plotting everything all along. Emperor HONG HEI is surprised when he knows that CHUEN is also secretly investigating the cheating incident.
S01:E05 - Season 1, Episode 5
PO believes that the monk, HIN YAN, is just a con man working for YING. But much to his surprise, YAN keeps explaining to him the Buddhist maxims in a friendly manner. CHUEN has finally managed to move the Empress Dowager and is allowed to stay with the Emperor. Knowing that PO is joining the orientation program for the Imperial Guard trainees, SHEK and his mates begin to stay extra vigilant.
S01:E06 - Season 1, Episode 6
PO is alleged to be in league with CHUN. Although he ends up being released, a rigorous probe into his background is already underway. YING is shocked to see the seriously injured CHUN, initially introduced as the son of TONG’s friend, lying inside the firewood shed. TONG arrives with HIN SING to arrest CHUN, who however manages to hold YING hostage within seconds.
S01:E07 - Season 1, Episode 7
CHUEN passes the names of the newly appointed Imperial Guards to the Emperor, and the Emperor would like to have a meeting with them in one go. KWAN and LUN go to choose their dress fabrics, during which LUN reveals that she does not seem to have experienced any sense of intimacy with CHUEN ever since their marriage.
S01:E08 - Season 1, Episode 8
PO is among the first batch of Han Chinese to be appointed as the Imperial Guards, so his friends decide to hold a celebration party for him at Sheung Moon House. Knowing that YING has reserved the whole restaurant for a private function, PO pours scorn on her and criticizes her pharmacy for milking money out of others.
S01:E09 - Season 1, Episode 9
CHU, along with the Banner officials, urges Emperor HONG HEI to convict MIN, which puzzles the Emperor quite a bit. The Emperor and TAK have arrived at the Lantern Depository, where they run into PO and CHAK and get to seek shelter from the snowstorm all together. The Emperor is so impressed with PO’s talent and holds him in high regard.
S01:E10 - Season 1, Episode 10
Knowing that MIN is charged with a serious offence, Lady WAI tries to intercede for him by cutting her hair in front of the Emperor. LUN means to put CHUEN to the test… After giving the Imperial Guards a lecture, CHUEN announces his decision to appoint SIN as Deputy Commander, and to promote PO to the position of Third-ranked Imperial Guard.
S01:E11 - Season 1, Episode 11
TONG reveals to YING that the Sun Moon Society is plotting to assassinate the Empress Dowager so as to knock the stuffing out of the Manchurians. SIN discovers a Sun Moon Society-related tattoo on the assassinator’s body, which makes CHUEN suspect that there may be something to do with the Empress Dowager’s upcoming visit to the Cloudy Monastery.
S01:E12 - Season 1, Episode 12
YAN finds out the truth behind the poisoning plot and manages to prove CHEONG’s innocence. The Empress Dowager asks the Emperor to send her fifth grandson SHEUNG NING, who has been stationed in Mongolia for years, back to Beijing for a family reunion. SIN has soon cracked the case and located the mastermind who has planned the assassination of CHUEN and the Empress Dowager.
S01:E13 - Season 1, Episode 13
PO is totally clueless as to why CHEONG has to commit suicide. Looking at his puzzled face, YAN decides to reveal to him CHEONG’s true identity. Lady WAI has a miscarriage, and the royal physician implies that this may have something to do with KWAN. With no way to prove her innocence, KWAN is left speechless. CHUEN offers to investigate the case, to which the Emperor agrees.
S01:E14 - Season 1, Episode 14
PO tries to calm Lady CHAN down and finally manages to save the girl in the nick of time. PO arranges a meeting between CHUEN and Lady CHAN, during which Lady CHAN suddenly gets her sanity back and reveals that the previous Emperor did promise to pass the throne to CHUEN while still alive.
S01:E15 - Season 1, Episode 15
NING has returned to Beijing earlier as arranged by CHUEN while Lady CHAN is also summoned to see the Empress Dowager. NING asks the Empress Dowager to allow Lady CHAN, his biological mother, to leave the Palace so that she can enjoy a peaceful life in her remaining days, but his request is rejected. Surprisingly, CHUEN tries to convince NING to follow the Empress Dowager’s instructions.
S01:E16 - Season 1, Episode 16
Lady CHAN loses her sanity again, so CHUEN and KWAN try to calm her down with some hand-shadow tricks. LUN who passes by quickly jumps to the conclusion that they are flirting with each other. PO asks his assistants to stalk TONG while he himself is going to probe into YING’s family history. PO reveals to YING that she may be the long-lost Princess TUEN MAN who was abandoned by Lady CHAN as a baby.
S01:E17 - Season 1, Episode 17
The Emperor is still puzzled by LUNG’s case. Knowing that LUNG’s subordinate SAK LONG MUK is in league with the Empress Dowager, the Emperor urges TAK and PO to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident. PO asks CHUEN if he is trying to suppress his opponents by sacrificing the good and faithful, and CHUEN does not deny it.
S01:E18 - Season 1, Episode 18
PO finds YUK very suspicious and asks to search her, but to no avail. CHUEN is happy to see that KWAN still treasures the handkerchief he gave her. He swears to KWAN that he will recover the throne and win back her heart from the Emperor no matter what. YING summons PO for a word, during which she tries to drug him in the hope of saving him from the upcoming explosion.
S01:E19 - Season 1, Episode 19
Knowing that PO is seriously hurt, YAN rushes into the Palace and finally manages to rescue him. The Empress Dowager has a private meeting with YAN, during which she tries to probe into his relationship with PO. PO is promoted to the post of First-ranked Imperial Guard Commander with the title “Imperial Guard Armed with the Golden Saber”.
S01:E20 - Season 1, Episode 20
Thrilled by KWAN’s pregnancy, the Emperor urges the royal physician to look after her in the best way possible. PO leaves the day-to-day running of Sheung Moon House to HEI but HEI asks him to resign and take up the reins of the family business. Knowing that CHUEN is meeting KWAN inside the Palace, LUN is even more convinced that they are having an affair.
S01:E21 - Season 1, Episode 21
The Empress Dowager decides to execute TONG by slow slicing. To test YING’s loyalty, she needs the Princess to witness the execution. CHING comes to visit YING and LUN with a good assortment of desserts, and is happy to reveal her pregnancy to them. PO confides in YAN inside the monastery, during which he is advised to get out of the political arena as soon as possible.
S01:E22 - Season 1, Episode 22
PO believes that Lady WAI is killed by someone with powerful kung-fu skills. CHUEN reveals to HAK that he has purposely found a scapegoat for LUN so that she can stay out of the trouble and remain safe. He asks HAK not to return his military power to the Emperor, and manages to convince his father-in-law to entrust all the troops to him.
S01:E23 - Season 1, Episode 23
PO is wondering if he has become the prime suspect, but to his great surprise, the Emperor asks him to keep a close eye on TAK. PO and CHAK arrive at the town originally proposed as the canal terminus, and are shocked to discover that the municipal officials are all being controlled by a secret mastermind. YING, CHING and Lady CHAN get poisoned and fall unconscious after eating the desserts offered by the Empress Dowager. CHING is later found dead on the spot.
S01:E24 - Season 1, Episode 24
CHU thanks CHUEN for his help, and is relieved to see that TAK is only dismissed and does not have to face any further punishment. Feeling guilty for causing so many people to suffer, KWAN decides to kill herself. Before committing suicide, she dresses herself as a commoner and writes CHUEN a letter of goodbye.
S01:E25 - Season 1, Episode 25
PO manages to escape capture and flees with YING. SIN comes along and joins CHAI in attacking PO. Left with no way out, PO jumps off the cliff. Having found Emperor SHUN ZHI’s will inside the monastery, PO decides to return to the Palace to settle the long-running dispute.
S01:E26 - Season 1, Episode 26
NING and his troops are all standing by along the major passages leading to the Palace while PO is denouncing the Empress Dowager in front of various ministers. CHUEN claims that he is the only official heir to the throne.
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