A story revolving around the legendary rise of an ordinary scholar who despite not having the surname of the imperial family becomes a royal highness of the Ming Dynasty.
During the reign of the Hongzhi Emperor, a young scholar named Yang Ling falls unconscious on his wedding day. Many days later, Yang Ling who has just recovered from his illness takes in his family's impoverished situation and feels ashamed for failing to provide for them especially towards his new wife Han YouNiang who continues to stay by his side.
He sells his land in order to travel to the capital to take the civil examinations. Along the way, he ends up helping with a case that clears murder suspect Ma Ang of a crime he did not commit. Yang Ling's intelligence gains the admiration of the county magistrate who puts him in charge of legal affairs. Ma Ang's younger sister Ma Lianer also develops a hidden crush on Yang Ling.
Yang Ling meets the Crown Prince Zhu Hou Zhao in the battlefield and they become lifelong friends. It earns Yang Ling a position in the palace as the Crown Prince's aide and trusted advisor and they learn to conquer the infighting within the palace to rise to power.