Qin Sang and her father have a meal in the garden. Qin Housheng regrets being sued a few years ago. To save him, Qin Sang’s mother, on her deathbed, forced Qin Sang to marry Liankai. Qin Housheng remembers how deeply Qin Sang loved Wangping, but hopefully, she’s moved on and content with her current life.
Qin Sang promises to live by what Qin Housheng taught her, which is to always walk forward and never look back. However, she confesses that her heart died after Wangping abandoned her. She and Liankai are fated to be together, just without love. To her, Liankai is familiar but also like a stranger.
Unbeknownst to them, Liankai walks by and overhears everything.
To improve their marriage, Qin Sang cooks a meal for Liankai, but he’s bitter about what she said and lashes out at her.
Liankai: It’s rare you’re so friendly. I’m not in a high position to help you save more people.
Qin Sang: In the two years we’re married, I rarely leave the house and ignore your mistresses. The only favor I asked was the Jianchi’s matter, but it wasn’t for myself.
Liankai: Since this is your first time cooking, I don’t dare to try it.
Qin Sang: Then go find Hongyu or Yanyun, who probably knows you better and what you like to eat.
Liankai: In your eyes, I’m just a ladder for your ambitions! I’m going to eat with someone who’ll at least smile at me and make me happy!
Liankai goes to Hongyu’s house whenever he wants to look at his mother’s picture. Seeing him in a bad mood, Hongyu points out that Liankai and Qin Sang are torturing each other.
Liankai compares Qin Sang and himself to two blades, which clash whenever they’re together. He doesn’t dare to back down and become cloth. She’ll likely shred him to pieces without realizing it.
Liankai wants to be alone. In front of his mother’s picture, he admits to knowing that Qin Sang is using him. He was hoping she’d slowly fall in love with him after marriage, but her heart’s dead toward him because she loves someone else. Unfortunately, he can’t stop his feelings for her.
Qin Sang walks past Yi Jipei while he practices fencing, prompting him to invite her for a match. When the duel is over, he sees her in a new light, praising her ability to attack him. Although a woman, she can strategize her tactics like a man.
The conversation shifts to politics, and once again, Qin Sang impresses Yi Jipei with her knowledge of Western history.
Yi Jipei and Lianyi hear about another fight between Liankai and Qin Sang. Yi Jipei lives in harmony with six concubines. He doesn’t understand why Liankai has a temper and always argue with Qin Sang.
Like everyone else, Lianyi is aware of Liankai and Qin Sang’s bad relationship. Qin Sang was indifferent, but it seems she’s making efforts to improve the marriage. Unfortunately, Liankai doesn’t care to reciprocate the gesture.
Yi Jipei praises Liankai for choosing an interesting wife. He thought Qin Sang was simple, but after getting to know her, he finds her highly educated and smart. Regrettably, she’s a woman or she’d make a great military strategist.
In front of Li Chongnian’s mansion, Rongcai causes a ruckus, boasting of his ability as a strategist and asking to meet with the warlord.
Chen Pei is with Li Chongnian and convinces him to give Rongcai a chance.
Talking to Li Chongnian, Rongcai stops being haughty and softens his tone. He proposes a plan to deal with Li Chongnian’s main nemesis – Yi Jipei. It’s difficult to attack Yi Jipei directly. Instead, they should target his weakness, which is his sons. If the three sons fight each other, this will tear up the Yi family and destroy Yi Jipei.
Qin Sang and her maid go out to buy osmanthus cakes. Glancing around, Qin Sang sees Liankai and Hongyu together.
Liankai also sees Qin Sang, and locking eyes with her, he defiantly drinks from a cup offered by Hongyu.
Qin Sang turns and leaves in a hurry, forgetting the cakes she wanted to buy. Witnessing everything, Hongyu compliments Liankai on being a better actor than her.
Yi Jipei finds out about Rongcai defecting to Li Chongnian. This doesn’t make sense because Rongcai coveted Advisor Fan’s position, but now he gave up the position to work for another warlord. Yi Jipei tells Lianyi to investigate why Rongcai betrayed them.
Lianyi suggests that they discuss this matter with Lianshen and Liankai.
A while later, Yi Jipei and his sons gather in the study. Liankai arrives last, so drunk he can barely stand straight. He admits that Rongcai did drop by, and the two of them argued, so Liankai told him to go away. Liankai doesn’t think Rongcai is a great strategist who can help the Yi family, just a pretentious liar.
Yi Jipei is furious because it’s up to him to decide whether to keep or kill Rongcai, not anyone else. In addition, he views this as a military matter and threatens to punish Liankai for not reporting it immediately.
Lianshen defends Liankai, stating that it’s better they know about Rongcai’s sly nature now rather than use him and regret later. Lianyi also speaks up for Liankai, reminding him to be careful so people can’t use him to disrupt the Yi family.
Returning to his room, Liankai sees Qin Sang and starts another fight.
Liankai: Who’s your lover? If you don’t love me, you must love someone else.
Seeing him drunk and losing control, Qin Sang slaps Liankai so that he’d wake up and snap back to reality. However, this makes him more furious, and he pushes her onto the bed. She struggles, shouting that she doesn’t love him. Her words stop him cold, but before leaving, he emphasizes who has the upper hand in the marriage.
Liankai: It’s fine if you don’t love me, but you’re my wife. Even if I go to my grave, I’ll drag you with me!!
The day of Advisor Fan’s funeral is approaching. The Sky Alliance and Jianchi plan to disrupt the ceremony and cause trouble for Lianshen.
In the meantime, Liankai has been trying to avoid Yanyun, but they live in the same house. It’s inevitable they’d come across each other.
Yanyun needs Liankai’s help to put away her father’s belongings. Advisor Fan wanted this, so Liankai can’t refuse the request.
Yanyun knows about Liankai driving away Rongcai and suspects his action is related to Qin Sang. Several years ago, Qin Sang’s father worked in the government in a different position. Rongcai used his political influence to impeach the president, which caused trouble for a number of government officials, including Qin Sang’s father. For some reason, all the officials went to jail except him.