We continue from the chase of Han Yan. Both Zifu and Wei Qing are safe from the chase of the soldiers as they meet up in their old home. He assures his sister that they won't be in a lot of trouble since to Han Yan, such a popular official, they would seem like negligible blemishes, plus he only had one look at them. (I think Wei Qing is a little hasty in his conclusion; he is totally jinxing it.)
Back at the Pingyang household, the servants are hussling about. We are introduced to Jia'er, a good friend of Zifu and Jia'er's mother Xiniang who clearly dreams of her daughter becoming catching the eye of the emperor and rising in ranks. The man that the young Zifu saved in episode one with her steamed pancakes returns in this episode as the new chef of the Pingyang household, Yi Han. Zifu instantly recognises him from his face and scar.
Zifu is at her annual family reunion and they happily sing whilst reminiscing of their childhood days and promise that one day in the future they won't have to be separated. Wei Qing is walking in the streets with Zifu and is recognised by the soldiers who chased him previously. Han Yan arrives at Pingyang's household and insists on taking Zifu and Wei Qing away. The princess arrives and engages in a battle of words with Han Yan (as all educated people would), where they each indirectly assert their power and influence. Pingyang criticises Yan for his apparent egotism and arrogance, who seemingly believes that having the Emperor's favour means he can boss around the Marquess of Pingyang, who despite not having any important official role has a line of ancestors who were important officials. Although Princess Pingyang is the Emperor's sister, it's clear from this that her husband, the Marquess, is no way her intellectual equal as he doesn't have an intelligent mind nor a determined will, he isn't hardworking and it isn't hard to deduce why he has no important government role and why he probably wouldn't in the future.
Liu Che vows to stop being a puppet Emperor and to repay the officials who have suffered to help him achieve his cause. Duan Hong, now a personal imperial guard to Liu Che, saves him from a snake as the Emperor pays his respects to the such officials and hence catches Liu Che's attention. Liu Che vents his frustration of being unable to read the report of his Prime Minister. Duan Hong tells him that the contents of the report can be summarised in six words, the very six Zifu had written for the Prime Minister (the one encapsulating the corruption of officials). Duan Hong explains that the officials do not show solicitude to the victims of natural disasters and neglect to feel concern of poverty of the citizens. Liu Che is intrigued by these six words and upon hearing that a woman had been the one who came up with the words shows admiration that a lowly woman could use six words to describe the state. He compliments her by saying that she has a worldly heart. The Emperor decides he needs to conduct more incognito visits to understand the lives of his people. (Oooh I feel that this is the beginning of the romance between Liu Che and Zifu.)
Liu Che decides to visit the Pingyang Household and the Princess is busy with preparations to welcome the Emperor. The Marquess takes his exit returning to his feudal land as he feels uncomfortable around the Emperor. The Princess wishes that the Emperor will fall in love with someone from her estate and take her back to the Palace so that she would have at least one of her people in the palace (this all relates to acquiring political power within the palace, something that would prove useful to any member of the royal family). Yep, Pingyang's a scheming princess.
Whilst dances go on, Liu Che is still curious of the woman Duan Hong spoke of, the woman who gave him those six words. Duan Hong is at Pingyang Household as is his imperial guard duties and whilst strolling about sees Wei Qing. They recognise each other and reunite.
She is so beautiful.