With his betrothal canceled, Lou Yao intends to follow Cheng Shaoshang to Hua County. Cheng Shaoshang explains to Lou Yao that she was kind to him to annoy He Zhaojun.
Despite Cheng Shaoshang’s explanation, Lou Yao continues to follow her.
Third Uncle gives Lou Yao food. Lou Yao eats while looking at Cheng Shaoshang.
Cheng Shaoshang and Third Uncle fight for Third Aunt’s attention. Copying what Third Uncle did for Third Aunt, Lou Yao uses leaves to provide shade for Cheng Shaoshang. Cheng Shaoshang hides in her carriage.
Lou Yao offers to be their guide because he has a map, which he stole from his brother. Third Uncle tries to convince Cheng Shaoshang to give Lou Yao a chance. However, Third Aunt tells Third Uncle that Cheng Shaoshang doesn’t want to see Lou Yao, and he immediately obeys her.
Cheng Shaoshang plans to marry someone like Third Uncle: gentle, considerate and, most importantly, obedient. Third Aunt never thought she would marry Third Uncle because she was betrothed to Yuan Shen’s teacher, Huangfu Yi.
Having had a betrothal that ended after seven years, Third Aunt prefers a husband like Third Uncle. Cheng Shaoshang doesn’t know if Lou Yao is unreliable like Huangfu Yi or reliable like Third Uncle.
To pass the time, Cheng Shaoshang draws mechanical traps, reads Third Uncle’s war books and wants to learn to play the flute like Third Aunt.
A military maid named Miao entertains the group with her singing. Cheng Shaoshang yearns to live a life without constraints, like a hawk soaring in the sky.
The group takes a detour to Qing County so that Third Uncle can visit a friend. Qing County appears strangely desolate, so Third Uncle wants to stay to investigate while everyone else continues to Hua County.
Lou Yao assures Cheng Shaoshang that their route is safe because Emperor Wen, protected by Ling Buyi and his guards, has just passed by.
Bandits ambush Cheng Shaoshang’s group. The group manages to kill the bandits, but Third Aunt is injured. There could be more bandits, so Cheng Shaoshang assigns Lou Yao to go get help.
Then Cheng Shaoshang checks the map left by Lou Yao to find a place to stay while waiting for help.
There’s a hunting lodge nearby.
Cheng Shaoshang tells everyone to abandon their belongings.
Upon arriving at the hunting lodge, Cheng Shaoshang instructs everyone to build mechanical traps using whatever materials that are available.
Third Aunt worries about Third Uncle. Cheng Shaoshang realizes that the people of Qing County shut the gates to protect themselves against the bandits, so if Third Uncle makes it into the city, he should be safe.
The mechanical traps stop the bandits from breaching the hunting lodge. Miao protects Cheng Shaoshang and is captured by the bandit leader, Fan Chang.
Recalling what Ling Buyi said about the armament case, Cheng Shaoshang thinks the bandits are rebels from the Shu region lying in wait to assassinate Emperor Wen, thus they will kill anyone who crosses their path to keep their plan a secret.