An Iron Bodyguard (head of a security firm) called Wang Wu (Chen Kuan Tai) meets a scholar (Yueh Hua) and forms a strong friendship with him after they fight some villains together. The scholar is a member of the reformists - a group of scholars pressing for social reform in China towards the end of the Qing dynasty. The Emperor is actually all for reforms, and appoints this group to run the country. This doesn't suit the Empress Dowager though, as she has no intention of losing her power. She orders the reformists to be arrested, and Chen Kuan Tai hence gets drawn into politics despite having no real political views himself.