During the Ming Dynasty , theSunflower Manual(葵花寶典) was stolen from the Chinese palace and a team of Jinyi Wei is sent to retrieve it. They attack Lin Zhennan and his son, Lin Pingzhi, and the Lins separate to avoid their pursuers. Lin Zhennan meets Linghu Chong and Yue Lingshan from the Mount Hua Sect , requesting them to inform his son about where the manual is hidden. Just then, Zuo Lengchan appears and a fight ensues, but Linghu and Yue manage to escape.
They journey to meet Yue Buqun at a retirement ceremony and encounter Liu Zhengfeng and Qu Yang along the way. Linghu strikes up a friendship with them and they perform their musical pieceXiaoao Jianghu(笑傲江湖). On the day of the ceremony, Zuo shows up and attempts to force Liu to hand over Linghu, accusing Liu of conspiring with the Demonic Cult. Liu and Qu manage to fight their way out despite being surrounded by several enemies. At the same time, Linghu is wounded by Zuo and he escapes and hides near the river. He hears Liu and Qu playing their musical piece and finds them. Liu and Qu present Linghu with their instruments and the music score.