No. of episodes: 40
Genre: Historical, Investigation, Politics, Romance, Action, War
Native title: 嘉南传
Original network: Tencent Video, iQiyi
Adapted from the novel Mu Nan Zhi (慕南枝). The historical drama took place in Jian An country, story of Jiang Bao Ning (Ju Jing Yi), the princess who did not want to be locked behind the palace walls. She met Li Qian (Joseph Zeng), an Imperial Army leader by chance and they went under the radar to dig out truth behind cases.
Jiang Bao Ning is grew up in the palace with the Grand Empress Dowager after her parents passed. The favourite girl of the Grand Empress Dowager, she is well taken care off but many jealous of her position. At the age suitable to get married, she was the natural choice for Emperor Zhao Yi (Zhou Zhao Yuan).
Growing up with the puppet emperor, she did not like the ideal of marrying this cousin even though he is the most powerful man in the country. But she did not disobey to the arrangement by the elderly, just that the smarty pants find multiple ways to push it back.
Bao Ning is passionate about science, building machinery no matter big or small. She sneak out of the stuffy palace and participate in a competition using her creation. Bao Ning met Li Qian and Zhao Xiao (Wang Zhou Cheng) as her strongest competitor in the Top 3. Even though they are enemies in the competition, it was a friendly competition and they became acquittance.
Li Qian wanted to investigate and find out the truth of the mastermind behind his biological mother’s death. Trail leads him to the competition where he met Bao Ning and the rest. He was impressed by the smart girl and interested to know her better.
Against all odds
Finally found the loophole and get herself off the marriage plans with Emperor Zhao Yi, Bao Ning caught herself in another round of finding the best husband. Just when Grand Empress Dowager locked her eyes on Zhuo Cheng after rating everything. Bao Ning found herself falling for Li Qian.
Even though Li Qian knew his feelings, but did not even dream or dare to pursue due to the social status difference. Born as peasant, he was looked down and treated as a mere guard by the royal blood line, but not Bao Ning.
Before the deal is closed, the visiting barbarian prince from neighbour country want to marry Jiang Bao Ning and bring her back to his country. Before anything, Li Qian confessed his feelings to her and everyone is trying their best to prevent her from marrying off to the barbarian prince.
After the narrow escape, Grand Empress Dowager gave Bao Ning 2 imperial decree; one is for death and one is to marry Li Qian. Of course, Bao Ning chose the latter. Finally marry the man she love, this couple enjoys their newly-wed live.
Li Qian did not carry the big man’s ego but he has a big heart and support his wife. Marrying into a commoner family definitely have its challenge. One is the biggest sabotage from Gao Miao Rong (Li Yi Zhen), one-sided love towards Li Qian since young and was determine to marry him some day. Bao Ning’s addition to the family disrupted her plans and since, she gets ruthless day by day.
Li Dong Zhi (Wang Yi Ting) is Li Qian’s younger sister from another mother, they share a strong bond and Dong Zhi is a warrior who loves to stay outside in the camp defending the country. Her mother was worried about her happiness as she is of age to get married and start a family.
Dong Zhi then met the neighbouring country’s 2nd Prince Qing An (Li Yun Rui) who choose not to face his real identity and live as a merchant. After she knew his real identity, they are caught in between the cross fire of both countries.
Leading the empire
The war between both countries, Bao Ning went back home to the capital to help defend the country after her cousin wrote her the Imperial Decree. Emperor Zhao Yi passed away on Bao Ning’s arms, him asking her to take care of his young son who will be succeeding the role as the emperor.
Bao Ning was renounced as the country’s Princess and will help to lead the country along the young emperor. Amongst all the chaos, Li Qian was out at the boarder defending the country. The distance between the couple was getting even further with the sabotage from Zhao Xiao (Wang Zhuo Cheng).
Overall, it is a good historical drama that worth the time watching from the beginning to end. No moments to take a break from the screen at all.