In the Song Dynasty, Qin Xiang-Lian learned that her husband Chen Shi-Mei had passed the official examination as the Zhung-Yuan scholar and so she took her son and daughter to journey to the capital city to look for her husband. Meanwhile, Chen Shi-Mei had married the princess and refused to acknowledge Xiang-Lian as his wife. Wang Yan-Ling, the Premier, took Xiang-Lian, disguised as a singer, to the palace. Accompanied by a pipa, Xiang-Lian sang aloud her sad story while Premier Wang tried hard to persuade Chen Shi-Mei to acknowledge his wife, but all their efforts were in vain. Premier Wang thus advised Xiang-Lian to take Chen Shi-Mei to Judge Bao’s court. Meanwhile, Shi-Mei ordered Han Qi, the military officer, to kill Xiang-Lian and their children. Not having the heart to kill them, Han Qi chose to kill himself instead.
Judge Bao was relentless in serving the cause of justice. Employing the ruse of inviting Chen Shi-Mei to his office to discuss some official business, he stripped Shi-Mei of his royal status as the princess’s husband and cast him into jail. Deaf to the pleading of the royal aunt and the royal queen and ignoring the decree of the emperor who ordered him to pardon Shi-Mei for his crime, Judge Bao had the princess’s husband executed out of righteous wrath.