- The drama enlightens The Qing Dynasty with a secret book of accounts, and describes a tangled web of relationships among the salt merchant headman Wang Chaozong, Qing Emperor Qianlong, the official, salt miners as well as Earth and Heaven Society.
The salt merchants from Yangzhou were rich to support the government; nevertheless, they failed to donate for military provision during Xinan war. As a result of this, the salt administer of Huaihe committed suicide for self punishment. During the collection, Governor Akjan noticed that there was a secret account book with the salt merchant. The book recorded the fund retrieved from salt system exceeding ten millions were used to welcome the emperor and to entertain the officials for years. The salt merchants served it as amulet against the officials. Although the four greatest salt merchants in Yangzhou always fought with each other, Wang Chaozong had never disclosed the accounts, in contrast, he did his best to prevent the salt business in Lianghuai to turn into a bloody fight.
To maintain the salt economy, he built a rich and prosperous city to benefit the local people. At last, Wang Chaozong surrendered the account book to The Emperor, in view of huge spending issues, he managed to persuade The Emperor to stop traveling to the South meanwhile forbidding the next generations to trek too to the south.
Zhang Jia Yi