Scene from Cao Cao's early life depicting his status as a romantic hero.
Coming home from his tenure as Commissar of Dong, Cao Cao and company stops by at a local high-class tavern. He; his brothers, Ren, Hong and Chun; his counsins, Xiahou Dun and Xiahou Yuan; his assistant and dear friend Xun Yu and his bodyguards, Dian Wei and Xu Chu, sit and enjoy a moment of respite.
There, Cao Cao witnesses a music and dance performance of a courtesan brought over for the patrons. Before he can talk to her, he finds her accosted by Hou Wenlin, a powerful lord and landowner, who brazenly attempts to lower before those present. Though the woman insists she is not a prostitute, Hou Wenlin seeks to make her one.
He is stopped by Cao Cao who makes his objection to the lord's antics swift and loud.
As the injured lord yells for his guard, Cao Cao's friends come to his aid as the wandering gallant saves the young dancer from harm.
The woman, Bian Yuexiang, starts regularly meeting with Cao Cao and the two grow close.
When Cao Cao arrives home to find he has been granted a position as Junior Minister of the Royal Court, he takes Bian Yuexiang with him to the capital as a concubine, beginning the love story of the greatest mind of the age and the incredible woman he loved.
Another key moment establishing Cao Cao's love of the arts, music and culture.
And a woman who intrigued him so.
Brought back to the capital as a Junior Minister of the Royal Court, Cao Cao meets with the distinguished Cai Yong, the Imperial Grand Librarian who in turn introduces him to the well-respected Chen Dan, the Imperial Royal Chamberlain, encouraging Cao Cao to speak out against the Ten Attendants in court.
Staying at Cai Yong's stately manor, Cao Cao is introduced to a shy but exceptionally talented musician, Cai Yong's daughter, Wenji.
As they are introduced, the two people who hold Cao Cao's heart, Bian Yuexiang and Xun Yu, watch closely as Cai Wenji in turn is taken up by Cao Cao like a younger sister.
In time, Cai Wenji will become the excalted muse to the mastermind that is Cao Cao.
(If images are cropped. Please open them in New Tabs. Sorry, I don't know how to make them fit here)