- It is the late 10th century, and the Liao dynasty is at the zenith of its power. The powerful Liao rule much of what is now Northeast China, Mongolia, and Russia, as well as much of the Korean Peninsula. Prime Minister Xiao Si Wen and Princess Yan of the Liao have three daughters, but their favorite is the youngest – the hard-working and diligent Xiao Chao. Xiao Chao’s heart belongs to aspiring military commander Han De Rang, whose family have loyally served the Liao for decades. But her parents have other plans for her – and succeed in arranging for her to marry the Liao Emperor, Jin Zhong. She obeys and goes on to become the Emperor’s queen, as well as a fierce defender of the Liao – helping to mobilize the army, heading a 10,000-strong cavalry regiment and providing support for the civil administration. Eventually, she is named Empress. In the meantime, however, Han De Rang has continued his own rise through the ranks of both the military and the government, becoming a powerful general and a minister. Xiao Chao is prepared to do anything to help the realm…but can she contain her feelings for Han De Rang? And can he, in turn, control his heart, which still beats for his childhood sweetheart, now the Empress?