Xiao Yan Zi, played by Vicky Zhao is a common girl who is good at martial arts. She is feisty and full of spunk and a little bit crazy in her own way which makes you laugh. She uses her martial arts to earn money and sometimes even steal. She acts like a tomboy and is like a boy as she brags about things that she is good at. She has mainly street smarts and has no bad intentions at all except for earning/getting money to survive. She is a very care-free and childish character.
One day, she meets a elegant young lady with her servant. This young lady is Xia Zi Wei. Xia Zi Wei is played by Ruby Lin. Her mother had had an affair with the emperor and she was the result. So she had come to the capital city to find her father after her mother passed away. Her father just happened to be the Emperor, with the evidence of the poem he wrote to her mother and everything, she sets out to find him and be with her father. However, no one listened to her or took her seriously and shoved her aside. She doesn't know what to and her loyal servant looks after her young mistress well. Then, they met Xiao Yan Zi and they talked for a while and they become friends.
For the time being, Zi Wei and Xiao Yan Zi got very close and pledged to be like sisters from then on. The two had completely different personalities; one was wild and like a boy and the other an elegant and young lady. Xiao Yan Zi decides to help Zi Wei get to her father. Xiao Yan Zi believing Zi Wei's story decides to help her. Xiao Yan Zi finds a way to sneak into where the Emperor hunts by climbing through a mountain.. However, Zi Wei and her servant couldn't handle the tiring and dangerous mountain climb. Xiao Yan Zi took Zi Wei's evidence of being the daughter of the emperor and said that she will go explain for Zi Wei and sets off. However, the Emperor was hunting and Xiao Yan Zi got shot by an arrow by the fifth prince. She was unable to explain her story and it made the Emperor mistaking her for being the princess. He takes care of her after her wound is taken care of which makes Xiao Yan Zi feel loved as she never felt fatherly love before and did not reveal the truth and even labeled as the princess that returned resulting in the name of "Returning Pearl Princess/Princess of the Returning Pearl."
However, Zi Wei believed that Xiao Yan Zi had betrayed her. As Xiao Yan Zi gets used to the life in the palace for she lacks in having proper manners and knowledge of books, she ends up befriending the fifth prince. On the other hand, Zi Wei is confiding in Er Kang who is friends with the fifth prince and much admired by the emperor. She explains her story and he decides to help her. When Xiao Yan Zi finally was able to get in touch with Zi Wei, she explains the situation and Zi Wei forgives her and decides to continue with the plan in order to save Xiao Yan Zi from death for pretending to be the princess. Xiao Yan Zi forms a relationship with the fifth prince and Zi Wei with Er Kang. Zi Wei works as a maid for Xiao Yan Zi and because she looks much like her mother, the emperor even starts to like her for her looks and elegance.This drama is about people getting their proper places, possibility of getting a death sentence of anyone lying to the emperor, an evil Empress who is suspecting of Xiao Yan Zi pretending and will do anything to torture Xiao Yan Zi about it, and a lot of jealousy as Zi Wei was constantly hurt by the Empress because she was believed to be liked by the emperor. How things resolve will be up to you to watch as I thought this drama was really good.