At the start of the film, Kim Yoon-Seo, an Inspections officer (police inspector) is seen at his home where his brother has been beaten almost to death. His family wants to submit a false appeal to the king accusing the family of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Lim family. The Lim family had by the past submitted a false appeal against Yoon-Seo's family. However Yoon-Seo does not wish to submit such an appeal, much to the anger of his elders.
He returns to the court where the King hands him an important assignment. The King's concubine, Jung-bin, had a painting she had drawn mounted, but it was replaced by an exct copy, she only realised because of the lack of a scribble she had drawn on the back. The King would like Yoon-Suh to find the culprits. Yoon-seo is impressed by the talent of the artist who made the fraudulent copy. Jung-bin is in turn impressed by Yoon-Seo's knowledge on the subject and invites him to talk to her some more about art some day.
Yoon-Suh teams up with Lee Gwang-hun, an inspector who likes to torture people in his dungeons, to try and hunt down the culprit. They enter a shop in their search for the criminal. In the basement Yoon-Seo encounters an old man transcribing an erotic story book. Back upstairs a group of men from the village enter the shop and engages in a fight with Gwang-hun, who beats them away with his truncheon, however Yoon-Suh is knocked out so Gwang-hun takes him back to his house with him. When Yoon-Suh awakes he admires Gwang-huns painting artwork. Back at the shop the old man confesses to Yoon-Seo that he does not wish to protect the mounter either, but that one of his friends is involved and he does not wish to betray him. After Yoon-Seo has promised to protect his identity, the old man gives him an address he may go to. Out of curiosity before he leaves he reads few verses from the book the old man is reproducing. He is at first outraged by the content (pornography being illegal at the time), but when the old man says the whole city is waiting for the book he shows some interest and perhaps embarrassment about never having heard of the author. He reports later to the King that he found the culprits and had each flogged fifty times.
Jung-bin invites him around for tea, to thank him. When a bee lands on her he violates all protocol risking his death, by going beyond the curtain and brushing it off her shoulder. Jung-bin however does not report his attitude, and thanks him instead. She also appears to be very fond of him.
Yoon-Seo writes an indecent book himself and returns to the shop to present to the shop keeper, asking him to read it. The shopkeeper, Hwang is impressed and they decide to copy and sell his work. His book becomes a best seller.
To get his books to sell better he asks Lee Gwang-hun to illustrate them for him. At first he is outraged but in the end accepts. Meanwhile Jung-bin sends him an embroidered kerchief, by means of her eunuch, who asks him to not accept the present, or else Jung-bin will be wanting to meet him. He does accept though, and later meets Jung-bin, in private. They start to cuddle, but Yoon-Seo leaves when she attempts to kiss him.
The illustrator has trouble understanding some of the things he is supposed to draw, so next time Yoon-Seo meets Jung-bin, he has him hide behind a wall, and spy on them while they have sex. Yoon-Seo writes about his affair with Jung-bin in his next book. When she forces the one of her maids to tell her, she goes to the shop and confronts Yoon-Seo. She tells him to divulge the name of the illustrator Gwang-hun. However he refuses to betray him.
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