The Phoenix Mountain

The Phoenix Mountain, an anonymous work from the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), depicts a spy scheme that implicates the life and death of a princess.

Suspicious of a possible rebellion act by Lord Anxi, the Yuan government dispatches Liulang Jiang, a young strategist, to submit himself to the lord’s court for employment under the name of Haijun. While the lord finds Haijun to his liking and grants him power and privilege, Bala, a minister of the lord, thinks otherwise. One day, Bala coerces Haijun into much drinking and has him, in a state of drunkenness, escorted into the inner chamber of Princess Florets, the lord’s daughter. Haijun’s violation of the royal code of conduct is supposed to lead to his death, yet he is first helped by his sister who serves the princess. After Princess Florets catches him, she develops feelings for him and gives him one of her pair of swords as a token of love. Later Princess Florets assists her father in rising up against the government. Yet with Haijun’s collaboration from within the court, the lord’s coup eventually fails. Princess Florets in the end commits suicide.

Princess Florets

Princess Florets depicts the episode in which Haijun inadvertently enters the chamber of Princess Florets due to Bala’s scheme. His sister, Huayou Jiang, tries to hide him away but their plan is quickly discovered by the princess. Falling in love at first sight, Princess Florets spares Haijun’s life; instead of killing him, she expresses feelings for him. They then pledge their mutual love to the heavens. Before Haijun departs, Princess Florets offers one of her pairs of swords as a token of love.

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