Owing to the destitution during their youth, LI LIAN-YING (Lai Yiu Cheung) and AN DE-HAI (Raymond Cho) have presented themselves as eunuchs in the court, where they serve their apprenticeship with an old eunuch LAU DOR-SANG (Chung King Fai). Having closely bonded to one another, the two respectively played dominant roles during the rule of Empress Dowager CIXI (Michelle Yim). However, unlike DE-HAI's single-minded obsession with greed, LIAN-YING overcautiously abides by the rules, gradually diverging from the former.
S01:E01 - Season 1, Episode 1
In the Forbidden City, Eunuch YIU SHEUNG-HEI tries to run away from the Xi Hua Gate, but is captured by a eunuch from the Attending Office - PANG SAM-SHUN. While eunuchs from each Palace are waiting in the Attending Office for their allowance distribution, only the allowance for the Jing Ren Palace is unreasonably deducted.
S01:E02 - Season 1, Episode 2
CHAN FOOK intervenes personally for SAM-SHUN, tossing everyone in Attending Office for detention. As Prince GONG is going to discuss with CIXI and CIAN regarding the issue of purchasing guns and cannons from the foreigners, Lady YUEN arrives with DE-HAI, stating that the Attending Office is bullying her.
S01:E03 - Season 1, Episode 3
Throwing herself on the floor in front of the Chang Chun Palace, Lady YUEN insists that she will not get up until she gets to see CIXI, who in turn is bent on refusing to let Lady YUEN leave and return to her hometown. CHAN FOOK overhears the two Empress Dowagers' conversation, maintaining that there must be something unraveled with regard to the premature death of Lady YUEN's little Prince.
S01:E04 - Season 1, Episode 4
During her inspection tour, CIAN finds out that some palace maids are making embroidered shoes in private, which, according to the maids’ confession, turns out to be DE-HAI's private business. CIAN and CIXI then jointly interrogate DE-HAI, resulting in CIXI depriving DE-HAI of his title of Grade Seven Chief Eunuch, which DE-HAI is not exactly prepared to accept.
S01:E05 - Season 1, Episode 5
In view of SHEUNG-HEI's devoting himself to medical science, YI-LAN takes out a copper coin, asking SHEUNG-HEI to hold it and make a wish. The following day, Master TSUI suddenly tells SHEUNG-HEI that he may learn the medical techniques from Dr SUEN. While explaining some medical cases to SHEUNG-HEI, Dr SUEN mentions a palace maid called YI-LAN who died an unnatural death, which shocks SHEUNG-HEI to no end.
S01:E06 - Season 1, Episode 6
CIXI is impressed by LIAN-YING, so DE-HAI suggests that he should serve in the Chang Chun Palace, which is turned down by LIAN-YING. With regard to SIN YUNG's constant symptoms of nausea, each one in the Jing Ren Palace notices that she is bearing a child. However they persistently keep the secret for her since she is leaving the palace soon.
S01:E07 - Season 1, Episode 7
CIXI places a bet with Prince GONG to see whether anyone in the palace is capable of riding the bicycle. Upon his arrival at the Attending Office, LIAN-YING spots TIM-SHAU gambling with other eunuchs, which leaves TIM-SHAU no alternative but to reveal the fact that he needs silver ingots so that his family can tide over the arid climate in their hometown.
S01:E08 - Season 1, Episode 8
Upon his arrival at the Housekeeping, Emperor TONGZHI not only dislikes the eunuchs because of their smelly sweat, but also speaks insolently towards them, who have no choice but to put on a smiling face. Having bumped into Eunuch FUN, SHEUNG-HEI discovers that he is sick so tells him to have his illness attended to by a doctor.
S01:E09 - Season 1, Episode 9
Coming to realize that Emperor TONGZHI has gone missing, LIAN-YING and SAM-SHUN are so frightened that they keep looking around. Thinking that Emperor TONGZHI might hide in a carriage and try to sneak out the palace, SAM-SHUN together with LIAN-YING leave the palace, seeking the whereabouts of the Emperor.
S01:E10 - Season 1, Episode 10
HESHUO sees SAM-SHUN so she takes a vengeance on behalf of SHEUNG-HEI. SAM-SHUN, who dares not to offend the Princess, makes an apology to SHEUNG-HEI in person. CIXI's brother GUI-XIANG sexually assaulted the wife of a Han Chinese SIN-WING, then beat up SIN-WING and broke his right leg. Striking the drum in front of the Judiciary Station, SIN-WING files his grievance against GUI-XIANG.
S01:E11 - Season 1, Episode 11
Having seen that Prince GONG was chatting and laughing in discussion with CIXI on the national affairs even after his illness, CIAN feels so gloomy about it that she hides in the palace, drowning her sorrows in liquor. Finally she decides to strive for victory over CIXI. GUI-XIANG, being good-for-nothing, has failed to accomplish the mission of receiving donations in exchange for official titles.
S01:E12 - Season 1, Episode 12
LIAN-YING tells SHEUNG-HEI to go out of the palace to purchase some sandalwood without knowing that HESHUO follows SHEUNG-HEI to play around. By the time he discovers this, LIAN-YING cannot help worrying about them having a love affair. Having learnt that SIN YUNG passed out on the street, LIAN-YING leaves the palace to visit her, finding out that PAK-LUN is addicted to opium and sold his wife.
S01:E13 - Season 1, Episode 13
Though CIAN persuades Prince GONG to stay and continue to serve the court, Prince GONG cannot help feeling so downhearted. So CIAN ridicules CIXI, saying that she is going to lose her right-hand man and a loyal court official. Having been told by SAM-SHUN that DE-HAI has joined forces with CHAN FOOK, LIAN-YING feels deeply uneasy and horrified.
S01:E14 - Season 1, Episode 14
Under CIAN's decree of immediate execution on death penalty, SAM-SHUN takes SHEUNG-HEI away from the Forbidden City before killing him. After SHEUNG-HEI pleads with SAM-SHUN to let him meet up with the princess, SAM-SHUN is so touched by HESHUO that he secretly lets them go free. LIAN-YING runs into SHEUNG-HEI and HESHUO, relaying the likely change of reign in the Forbidden City to them.
S01:E15 - Season 1, Episode 15
After the turmoil has been quelled, CIXI awards the eunuchs and palace maids for their merit in rescuing the Emperor, simultaneously LIAN-YING and DE-HAI have been elevated to more dominant positions. In order to save his uncle CHAN FOOK, SAM-SHUN seeks help from the two. While DE-HAI refuses to lay a helping hand, LIAN-YING instead pleads with CIXI to acquit CHAN FOOK of the death penalty.
S01:E16 - Season 1, Episode 16
CIXI has taken extra precautions against CIAN ever since the latter tried to poison her. In an attempt to renew their friendship, CIAN would like to let Emperor TONGZHI stay with CIXI, but is refused by CIXI. As the ongoing disputes between the henchmen of DE-HAI and CHAN FOOK wreak havoc in the palace, CIXI fiercely urges DE-HAI to bring order out of the chaos as soon as possible.
S01:E17 - Season 1, Episode 17
Having learnt about such a world-shaking secret, CIXI is filled with deeper hatred and grievance, feeling tremendously exhausted as she is fighting alone. Fortunately LIAN-YING's comfort enables her to pull herself together, continuing to reign the country. Ever since SHEUNG-HEI takes charge of the Imperial Pharmacy, he strictly forbids the eunuchs or imperial doctors from trading counterfeit medicine in private.
S01:E18 - Season 1, Episode 18
LIAN-YING and DE-HAI spot that both SIN YUNG and PAK-LUN are lying on the floor in an austere room, but LIAN-YING stops DE-HAI from rescuing PAK-LUN, leaving him to die from poisoning. DE-HAI goes to a temporary bamboo framed theatre, requesting the owner to return CHAN FOOK's silver ingots, which was acquired from selling the imperial treasures secretly.
S01:E19 - Season 1, Episode 19
DE-HAI has taken good care of SIU-CHAI, who feels so bored that she intends to adopt a child for killing time, but is objected by DE-HAI. At midnight, while a large group of potential candidates rush into the palace, waiting for the emperor's selection, Emperor TONGZHI instead makes all sorts of excuses in avoidance of the participation.
S01:E20 - Season 1, Episode 20
Emperor TONGZHI decides to confer BAO-YIN as his empress, which is faced with CIXI's objection on all kinds of grounds. Refusing to bend to CIXI's will, Emperor TONGZHI insists that LIAN-YING and SAM-SHUN should help him make BAO-YIN his empress, leaving the two in a dilemma.
S01:E21 - Season 1, Episode 21
ON-HONG is taken back to the Attending Office and subjected to an inquisition by being tortured, owing to possessing the "Thousand Cups Drink" without permission. After learning about the selling location, DE-HAI leads sufficient manpower to arrest a missionary in a small church.
S01:E22 - Season 1, Episode 22
Prince GONG thinks that CIXI should hand state power back to Emperor TONGZHI since the emperor is married, however, CIXI refuses to withdraw from her reign behind the curtain. Ordering LIAN-YING and SIN YUNG to make an audience with her, CIXI reveals her understanding of the reason why SIN YUNG is not willing to marry court official CHAN as his second wife.
S01:E23 - Season 1, Episode 23
HESHUO suffers a miscarriage after taking the fetus-stabilizing medicine prepared by SHEUNG-HEI. Though CIXI fully understands that SHEUNG-HEI has no alternative for the sake of saving HESHUO's life, she has to have SHEUNG-HEI detained in jail. After uncovering the truth about her miscarriage, HESHUO forgives SHEUNG-HEI in the end.
S01:E24 - Season 1, Episode 24
In spite of her withdrawal from rule from behind the curtain, CIXI worries that Emperor TONGZHI is unable to control the court officials, so she requests her close confidant to come to the Chang Chun Palace and report the state affairs discussed by TONGZHI after each morning court audience. Eunuch FAI commits suicide by hanging himself from a beam and dies.
S01:E25 - Season 1, Episode 25
CIXI overrides the dissenting opinions and is determined to preserve DE-HAI’s life, so TONGZHI merely deprives DE-HAI of his position and inflicts flagellation as punishment. DE-HAI, LIAN-YING, SAM-SHUN and SHEUNG-HEI run into CHAN FOOK, who persuades SAM-SHUN to come over and pledge allegiance to them, but is rejected by SAM-SHUN, who intends to act in concert with the others.
S01:E26 - Season 1, Episode 26
With CIAN's help, CHAN FOOK resumes his position as the Grand Eunuch. In order to save DE-HAI, CIXI condescends herself to plead with CIAN, but to no avail. LIAN-YING intends to arrange DE-HAI to sneak out of the palace, yet DE-HAI merely asks for an arrangement to make an audience with CIXI.
S01:E27 - Season 1, Episode 27
After leaving the palace, LIAN-YING moves to the South Region of the Yangtze River and stays with DOR-SANG, who persuades LIAN-YING to make up with SIN YUNG. Emperor TONGZHI suddenly gets too sick to leave his bed, and is preliminarily diagnosed of having smallpox by Dr. SUEN and Dr. LO.
S01:E28 - Season 1, Episode 28
The couple, LIAN-YING and SIN YUNG, work in union to run their Buns Shop. As they make their way home, they spot an abandoned baby so they bring him home, planning to adopt him. TIM-SHAU brings a bunch of singers and prostitutes in gaudy attire back to the palace to serve Emperor TONGZHI, but is stopped by BAO-YIN.
S01:E29 - Season 1, Episode 29
Inspired by KANG YOU-WEI, LIAN-YING agrees to return to the palace with SAM-SHUN, assisting CIXI to bring order out of the chaos. TIM-SHAU, who has become Emperor TONGZHI's favorite, takes the Emperor unbridled out of the palace to have fun.
S01:E30 - Season 1, Episode 30
Having recognized CIAN's true intention, Emperor TONGZHI decides to draw a line between him and CIAN. SAM-SHUN gets down on his knees, begging SHEUNG-HEI to spare CHAN FOOK. SHEUNG-HEI opines that he can forgive CHAN FOOK since LIAN-YING and SAM-SHUN are able to do so, but CHAN FOOK suddenly dies soon after leaving the palace.
S01:E31 - Season 1, Episode 31
Bumping into Granny SO whose hand injury was inflicted by CIAN, SHEUNG-HEI sharply denounces the pros and cons to her, indicating that he could help her out of the abyss of misery. Confronted with SAM-SHUN's allegation of murdering CHAN FOOK, SHEUNG-HEI admits frankly that he has had Granny SO deliver the poisoned bird's nest congee to Emperor TONGZHI in an attempt to convict the East Dowager with the crime of murdering the Emperor.
S01:E32 - Season 1, Episode 32
With the strict control of the disease in the Forbidden City, LIAN-YING sees through SHEUNG-HEI's plot, successfully preventing him from poisoning CIAN. BAO-YIN reveals CIXI's evil conducts to Prince GONG, hoping him to lay a helping hand, unexpectedly, Prince GONG tactfully persuades her not to act against the West Dowager.
S01:E33 - Season 1, Episode 33
Having gone through all the ups and downs, LIAN-YING behaves so vastly differently than before, trusting no one. What's more, he even approaches CIAN and BAO-YIN, intending to submit to them. In order to show his loyalty, LIAN-YING not only takes initiative to make suggestions to CIAN, but also goes to the cell and kills SHEUNG-HEI in person.
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