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Fan Family

     Fan Xian (范闲) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/1b4c510fd9f9d72abe764778db2a2834349bbb41.jpeg
Played by Zhang Ruoyun
The illegitimate son of Fan Jian. He is quite skilled in martial arts and has memories from the 21st Century which allows him to use that knowledge to his advantage.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: With Yan Bingyun in the final episode of season one. Until Yan Bingyun backstabs Fan Xian.
  • Bastard Angst: Subverted. Fan Xian couldn't care less about being an illegitimate child.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Fan Xian is protective to both of his younger siblings (Ruoruo more so, but also towards Sizhe).
  • The Chessmaster: A budding one of these, yet to match up to some of the others in the show, but nevertheless pretty skilled in his own right.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Unafraid to use dirty tricks, and frequently coats his weapons with poison (see Master Poisoner).
  • Excellent Judge of Character: One of his skills, helps with his frequent Batman Gambits. However, it isn't flawless and will occasionally leave him blind to true threats, such as Li Chengze and possibly Yan Bingyun.
  • Extended Disarming: When asked to disarm before attending a banquet, Fan Xian pulls out multiple knives, an array of poisons, and even needles hidden in his hair. He explains that after you've been nearly assassinated a couple of times, you try to be prepared for anything.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: His whole background. Used as both a source of humor and a source of drama.
  • The Genie Knows Jack Nicholson: Some of Fan Xian's jokes and references are this.
  • Guile Hero: Fits him to a T.
  • Heroic Bastard: Is an illegitimate son and also the protagonist of the series.
  • Hidden Backup Prince: So much so that not even Fan Xian was aware of it.
  • Hidden Depths: To various people in the capital, Fan Xian's "literary prowess" seems like this.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Fan Jian wants Fan Xian to take over the Imperial Treasury. Chen Pingping wants him to take over the Overwatch Bureau. The Emperor wants him to take over both. But Fan Xian isn't really interested in any of this—he just wants to marry Lin Wan'er and live a quiet, happy life. Despite that, the mere potential of his involvement is enough to motivate people to take action against him.
    Fan Xian: No one has asked me even once. They just want control of the Royal Treasury, right? I can just give it to them. I don't even want it. All they had to do was ask, yet they chose murder.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Fan Xian is skilled in tactics, combat, and politicking his way through the imperial court. He also is seen as a literary genius by many other characters (though that's more due to his A Little Something We Call "Rock and Roll" shenanigans than his own actual skill).
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Before the Northern Qi arc.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: The reveal that Fan Xian’s biological father is actually the Emperor.
  • Master Poisoner: As a result of his apprenticeship with Fei Jie.
  • Mental World: Fan Xian occasionally slips into daydreams or other visual representations of his thoughts. The most notable example is when he briefly imagines dancing with Haitang Duoduo in a modern dancing style.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Fan Xian is a staunch believer that everyone is inherently equal and worthy of the same amount of respect. He bows the same depth whether talking to a common man or the emperor.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Has one of these with Lin Wan'er.
  • Photographic Memory: Fan Xian has this to some degree, as he can memorize maps and such in incredibly short periods of time, and retains perfect memories of hundreds of poems he read back in modern times.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Fan Xian makes use of this initially at his arrival to the capital, pretending to be a country bumpkin with no knowledge of proper etiquette in order to further his own goals.
  • Stepford Smiler: Acts pretty upbeat and carefree most of the time, but underneath suffers from a deep loneliness and disconnection from the world around him as a result of being a Fish out of Temporal Water.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Being an illegitimate son and thus a shame to the Fan family name, Fan Xian spends most of his childhood out in Danzhou, where he is raised by his grandmother.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Fan Xian towards Chen Pingping when he discovers the extent of Chen Pingping's manipulation regarding the entire Xiao En plan.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: Fan Xian is the son of the Emperor. He hasn't quite decided what to do with that knowledge yet.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Most of the series is a direct result of this. If Teng Zijing hadn't been killed, Fan Xian would have married Lin Wan'er and moved back to Danzhou. Instead, he becomes obsessed with tracking down anyone involved.
    • Escalated to another degree when he realizes that he's been an Unwitting Pawn in Chen Pingping's schemes and resolves to never be used again.
  • Running Gag: Fan Xian has embarassingly bad handwriting, to the point that several people comment on it.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Teng Zijing's dagger.
  • Training from Hell: Fan Xian goes through a bit of this in his childhood, with Wuzhu's idea of teaching him martial arts being "I hit you until you learn to dodge my attacks," and Fei Jie's idea of teaching him poisons being "I make you ingest poisons until you can tell them apart and poison me." Mostly played for laughs.
  • Trapped in the Past: Fan Xian, being a modern guy now stuck in imperial China, is this. Though the truth turns out to be a little bit more complicated than that.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Fan Xian suspects he's been used as one by Chen Pingping. He doesn't take it well.
  • Visual Development: Fan Xian begins the series with loose hair, sideswept bangs, and a nice but unobtrusive outfit. As time goes on, he parts his bangs, wears progressively fancier clothing, and wears his hair up. This all coincides with Fan Xian's progressive involvement in poltics, schemes, and the struggle for power.
  • Worth Living For: What Fan Xian is truly searching for.
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     Fan Jian (范建) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fanjian.jpeg
Played by Gao Shuguang
Count of Sinan and formerly Assistant Minister of Revenue. Later becomes the Minister of Revenue. The father of Fan Ruoruo, Fan Sizhe, and Fan Xian.
  • Apology Gift: When he realizes that he punished Fan Sizhe for nothing, Fan Jian grants him one wish. Fan Sizhe asks for his father to play pai gow with him.
  • Overprotective Dad: Fan Jian stands up to the Emperor in order to try and prevent him from sending Fan Xian to Northern Qi, though without success.
  • Papa Wolf: Fan Jian is implied to be this based on his serious vow to cause a ruckus in the capital if Fan Xian suffers any harm while on the mission to Northern Qi.
    • When Fan Xian is being threatened by Xie Bi'an on behalf of Li Chengze, with insinuations made about the future well-being of his family and friends should he choose not to side with the Second Prince, he calls their bluff by saying if anything happened to Fan Sizhe, Fan Jian would tear up the capital.
  • Punny Name: Fan Jian is a homophone for "being bitchy" in Chinese.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Although sometimes cold and distant, Fan Jian is also willing to listen to the words of others (especially Fan Xian), admit his mistakes (but not apologize), and can be much more level-headed than other political figures in the city.
  • Serial Spouse: He has had relationships with three women: Ye Qingmei, Ruoruo's unnamed mother, and Liu Ruyu.

     Fan Ruoruo (范若若) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ruoruo.jpeg
Played by Song Yi
Fan Jian's daughter, Fan Xian's younger sister, and Fan Sizhe's elder sister. She is known to be the most talented girl in the capital.
  • Ambiguously Absent Parent: It's not clear what became of Fan Jian's first wife, Ruoruo's mother, just that he ended up remarrying to Liu Ruyu.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The responsible to Sizhe's foolish.
  • Hidden Depths: Although Ruoruo is a sweet, proper young lady, she also has a thirst for adventure. More than once, she tries to accompany Fan Xian to a brothel or on one of his more covert outings. Later, she acts as a double agent to protect Fan Xian from the crown prince.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Often wears pink.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Although sweet, kind, and sometimes a little naive, Ruoruo has an iron will and is willing to engage in espionage or use her social connections to protect her family.
  • Socialite: Ruoruo is popular, talented, and well-connected with the other upper class women of the capital.

     Fan Sizhe (范思辙) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fan_sizhe.jpeg
Played by Gao Qilin
Fan Jian's son with Liu Ruyu. Very focused on money.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: At times, though both Ruoruo and Fan Xian can be protective of him.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The foolish to Ruoruo's responsible.
  • Genius Ditz: Fan Sizhe is incredibly lazy and incompetent at anything that doesn't involve money, so it comes as a surprise to Fan Xian when he discovers Fan Sizhe can do complicated calculations at the drop of a hat and has great business acumen.
  • Hidden Depths: Fan Sizhe's skills with business and finance.
  • Punny Name: His name is a homophone for "Versace" in Chinese, which Fan Xian finds fitting giving his "greedy" personality.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Initially has a one-sided one with Fan Xian, but they work out their differences and become friends.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Fan Sizhe’s borderline comical obsession with money is suspected by Fan Xian to have stemmed from this in order to get praise and attention from their father, who is Assistant Minister of Finance and who thinks Fan Sizhe is just a lazy idiot until Fan Xian helps him recognize Fan Sizhe's hidden talent.

     Liu Ruyu (柳如玉) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ruyu_0.jpg
Played by Zhao Ke
Fan Jian's second wife. The mother of Fan Sizhe and stepmother to Fan Ruoruo and Fan Xian.
  • Affair? Blame the Bastard: Although Fan Jian's affair with Ye Qingmei didn't take place while he was married to Liu Ruyu, she is nonetheless threatened by Fan Xian and what he might mean for the future of herself and her son.
  • Mama Bear: Liu Ruyu is very protective of her family and is not afraid to weaponize politeness or social normals to drive those who would hurt them away.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Unusually for the genre, when Liu Ruyu realises she and her son have much more to gain from treating Fan Xian well, she drops the hostilities and thereafter treats him like one of the family.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Is this initially, until she realizes that Fan Xian isn't interested in usurping Fan Sizhe's inheritance. Then she becomes a Good Stepmother and supports Fan Xian wholeheartedly, even calling him her child.

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Southern Qing Royal Family

     The Emperor 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/emperor.jpeg
Played by Chen Daoming
  • The Chessmaster: No one does anything without the Emperor having already planned on it.
  • The Emperor
  • No Name Given: Besides his surname Li, his given name was never mentioned, as the author said that such a role that could be simply referred as "His Majesty, The Emperor" needed no given name

     Lin Wan'er (林婉儿) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/waner.jpeg
Played by Li Qin
The illegitimate daughter of Lin Ruofu and the Grand Princess Li Yunrui. She suffers from tuberculosis.
  • Bastard Angst: Lin Wan'er is only too aware about how her status has affected her family and how she was raised (i.e. in isolation).
  • First Girl Wins: Is the first, non-related female character Fan Xian meets, and is the one who is his love interest.
  • Gilded Cage: Being the illegitimate daughter of Prime Minister Lin and Crown Princess Li Yunrui, as well as a very sickly girl suffering from lifelong tuberculosis, Wan'er is effectively kept in one of these.
  • Ill Girl: Is this due to her chronic tuberculosis.
  • Meet Cute: Has one of these with Fan Xian.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Wan'er delivers one of these to her mother the night before Li Yunrui is set to be sent out of the capital, telling her that she doesn't even know her favorite foods, anything she likes, or even anything about her, while Fan Xian does, because she never came to see Wan'er when she was growing up.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Is elegant and composed, but also has quite a backbone especially when it comes to standing up for the people she cares about.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The girly girl to Ye Ling'er's tomboy.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Can be considered one of these.
  • You Are Worth Hell: Wan'er states to her mother that even if Fan Xian is doomed to suffer in the political firestorm surrounding him, she will gladly follow him to stand by his side.

     Li Yunrui, The Grand Princess (李云睿) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/li_yunrui.jpeg
Played by Li Xiaoran
The Grand Princess and Lin Wan'er's mother. She controls the Royal Treasury which will be passed on to whoever marries Lin Wan'er.
  • Adopted into Royalty: Yunrui is stated to be the Emperor's sister, but is not related to him by blood.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Yunrui's morality does not hinge on right vs wrong but rather living vs dying. She is distant and neglectful of Lin Wan'er and admits she doesn't care if she's happy or not—but only because Yunrui's priority is for Lin Wan'er to live and live comfortably. Only then will she have the luxury of being happy or sad.
  • Broken Pedestal: Becomes this for Lin Wan'er after her crimes are revealed.
  • Chessmaster: Li Yunrui is a veteran of three dimensional chess. Even if she's losing, she already has a new plan in motion.
  • Cool Crown: Yunrui is always seen wearing beautiful, delicate headdresses that signify her rank and wealth.
  • Double Agent: Appears to be working with the crown prince, but is actually working for the second prince.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: All of her actions are at least nominally to protect her daughter.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Veils her malice towards Fan Xian under a veneer of politeness and geniality, once even inviting him into her quarters to chat.
  • Nothing Personal: Li Yunrui tells Wan'er that her attempts on Fan Xian's life are this—that she has nothing against him, really, and it doesn't matter what kind of person he is, it's just that once Wan'er fell in love with him, she had to kill him to keep Wan'er from being dragged into the political mess surrounding him. Whether or not this is true is debatable.
  • Politically Active Princess: Although most outside of the court see her as fragile, Yunrui is actually very politically involved and is always scheming.
  • Put on a Bus: After Yunrui's actions to betray Qing and sell out Yan Bingyun are exposed, she is sent away to a distant province.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Has a white cat she keeps as a pet.

     Li Chengqian, The Crown Prince (李诚虔) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/li_chengqian.jpeg
Played by Zhang Haowei
Crown Prince of Qing and the third eldest prince of Qing. Born by Noble Consort Yi.
  • Evil Prince: Appears to be this. Ultimately subverted, when it becomes clear that although he is ambitious, he isn't entirely ruthless or cruel.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: The Emperor seems to see him as this. People have noted that he is impulsive and not as skilled at politics as his brother, Chengze. Why he's still the crown prince is unclear.
  • Princeling Rivalry: With the Second Prince.
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     Li Chengze, The Second Prince (李承泽) — Warning: Walking Spoiler 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/li_chengze.jpeg
Played by Liu Duanduan
The second prince of Qing. Born by Noble Consort Shu. He appears laidback but underneath he is calculating and hides his true nature.
  • Affably Evil: Although initially friendly and likeable, it is eventually revealed that Li Chengze has been orchestrating most of the plots against Fan Xian, including the assassination attempt that resulted in Teng Zijing's death.
  • Big Eater: Chengze is almost always seen eating, especially fruits.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Frequently seen without his shoes on, due to his preference to crouch at a table rather than sit normally.
  • Evil Prince: Paired with Affably Evil, above.
  • False Friend: Zigzagged. The second prince seems to genuinely like Fan Xian, even describing him as his best friend/soulmate/confidant in private. That doesn't change that he's been directly involved in many plots to hurt Fan Xian and is continuing to do so.
  • Princeling Rivalry: With the Crown Prince.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Much more popular and well-liked than his brother, Li Chengqian.
  • Walking Spoiler: Once you know who he really is, it's hard to talk about Li Chengze without giving away the truth.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Perfectly willing to threaten Teng Zijing's child's life if it means keeping Fan Xian in line.

Overwatch Council

     Chen Pingping (陈萍萍) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pingping.jpeg
Played by Wu Gang
The ruthless and astute head of the government's Overwatch Department, an investigative agency that monitors other government branches. He is considered to be the second most powerful person in Southern Qing.

     Teng Zijing (滕梓荆) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tengzijing.jpeg
Played by Wang Yang
Originally a member of the fourth bureau of the control department, later Fan Xian's close friend and bodyguard.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: The reason that Teng Zijin decides to stay in in the capital as Fan Xian's bodyguard.
  • The Coats Are Off: While fighting Cheng Jushu, Teng Zijing flings off his cloak while it's on fire.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Fan Xian, almost literally.
  • Flechette Storm: Teng Zijing hides dozens of daggers in his Badass Cape, which he release in a barrage upon his enemies.
  • Hitman with a Heart: The reason why Fan Xian is able to talk Teng Zijing down from killing him at the start of the show, as Chen Pingping had planned.
  • Home Sweet Home: All Teng Zijing wants is for his family to be safe and for his son to call him father. Once he gets that, though....
  • Sacrificial Lion: A major catalyst in the show.
  • Signed Up for the Dental: Teng Zijing professes to only stay behind with Fan Xian because Fan Xian’s paying him enough to support his family comfortably, and even though he’s Fan Xian’s bodyguard, if anything happens, he’s going to ditch Fan Xian and run away because his family comes first. This, tragically, turns out to be a lie.
  • Unwitting Pawn: As of the reveal of how Chen Pingping and the Emperor plotted to get Fan Xian to the capital.

     Wang Qinian (王启年) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wangqinian.jpeg
Played by Tian Yu
A notary of the first bureau. Loves money and is afraid of his wife.
  • Acrofatic: Although not as large as some examples of this trope, Wang Qinian is definitely much more plump and stout than you would expect for someone of his speed and skill.
  • Con Man: When he's not working for the Bureau, Wang Qinian moonlights as this.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Played for laughs. Wang Qinian will staunchly refuse to do what Fan Xian requests of him until there's a bank note involved.
  • Henpecked Husband: Although deeply devoted to his wife and daughter, Wang Qinian shows strong shades of this.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Wang Qinian might be a con artist and a bribable city official, but he's a genuinely good person who cares for others.
  • Secret Test of Character: Wang Qinian pulls these on Fan Xian from time to time. They're considerably less convoluted and damaging than the tests that others put Fan Xian through.
  • Those Two Guys: With Gao Da in the later half of season 1, providing comedic moments as Fan Xian embarks on a dangerous diplomatic mission to Northern Qi.
  • Wall Run: Wang Qinian's advanced lightness skill allows him to do this. Later, it plays an essential role in some of Fan Xian's schemes.

     Fei Jie (费介) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/feijie.jpeg
Played by Liu Hua
Head of the third bureau of the Overwatch Department, the branch specializing in poison and gadgets. Fan Xian’s first teacher. Master of poisons and medicine.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Fei Jie, Fan Xian's eccentric poisoning/medicine mentor, turns out to be the head of the Overwatch Council's third bureau, a branch filled with equally eccentric people obsessed with poisons and gadget creation.
  • Eccentric Mentor: To Fan Xian.
  • Love Is a Weakness: Fei Jie's love for Fan Xian is this.
  • Master Poisoner: All of the Third Bureau specialize in poisons.

     Yan Bingyun (言冰云) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/yan_bingyun.jpeg
Played by Xiao Zhan
Yan Ruohai's son. He is dispatched as the spymaster in Northern Qi.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: With Fan Xian in the final episode of season one. Until Yan Bingyun backstabs Fan Xian.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Subverted. Fan Xian initially suspects that Yan Bingyun may have broken under the torture he was subjected to. After Fan Xian tests him, Yan Bingyun earns his full confidence.
    • Possibly double subverted, if his attack on Fan Xian at the end of season one is genuine.
  • Blind Obedience: Yan Bingyun is a staunch patriot who strictly adheres to the Overwatch Council’s rules, something that may have been brainwashed into him as a child on Chen Pingping’s orders.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Makes a brief appearance in episode 2, but doesn't appear again until episode 38.
  • Cathartic Exhalation: A subtle example. After Yan Bingyun is Cruel to Be Kind to Miss Shen (see below), he lets out a breath.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: Yan Bingyun deliberately says things to break Miss Shen's heart and make her flee while in tears. It's all to keep her from becoming caught up in the dangerous web of political intrigue. It doesn't work.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Although not particularly prone to sarcasm, Bingyun does show a knack for it when Shen Zhong asks him for the identities of the spies within Northern Qi. Yan Bingyun simply replies that they're all the people in the council and they should be killed immediately. Shen Zhong isn't amused.
  • Deceptive Legacy: Played for dramatic irony. Yan Bingyun does not know that he is Xiao En's grandson and Shan Shanghu's adopted nephew. Time will tell if and how he will find out the truth.
  • Distressed Dude: Enters the plot after being captured in an enemy state and held for interrogation. Fan Xian rescues him.
  • Foil: To Fan Xian. They are both prodigies in the Overwatch Bureau, lost their mothers at birth, and have been lied to about who their real father is. The difference is that Fan Xian is motivated by personal desires, while Yan Bingyun is motivated by order.
  • Freak Out: Has one almost immediately after being rescued and learning that Xiao En is still alive. Despite being badly injured and barely able to stand, he attempts to seek out Xiao En himself. Fan Xian manages to appeal to his Blind Obedience to talk him down.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: Yan Bingyun literally backstabbing Fan Xian at the end of season 1.
  • Ice Queen: Yan Bingyun is so cold to others that upon first meeting him, Fan Xian remarks on it in frustration. Later he shows shades of a Defrosting Ice Queen as he becomes warmer to Fan Xian, although this may have been a ruse.

Northern Qi

     Xiao En (肖恩) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/xiaoen.jpeg
Played by Yu Rongguang
Zhuang Mohan's younger brother. Former Northern Qi spymaster. Was captured and imprisoned by the Overwatch Department more than a decade before the start of the story.
  • The Chessmaster: Even after spending years in prison, he still has his edge.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Xiao En, the fearsome Northern Qi warrior who was responsible for Chen Pingping's disability, seems to care very much for his family, treating Fan Xian kindly when he becomes convinced that Fan Xian is his grandson, and telling him to notify his brother about his death.
  • Faking the Dead: When Shang Shanhu's rescue attempt goes awry, Xiao En swaps clothes with a dead soldier and takes his place.
  • Knee Capping: Or rather, leg-breaking. But the same principle is at play when Shen Zhong does this to Xiao En.
  • Locked in the Dungeon: Spent about two decades like this.
  • Peaceful in Death: Spends his last moments breathing fresh air and feeling the warmth of sunlight, never to be trapped underground again.

     Shen Zhong (沈重) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shenzhong.jpeg
Played by Yu Xiaowei
Commander of the Jinyiwei Guards. He is highly skilled in martial arts and appears cunning and sadistic.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Shen Zhong shows this in spades when Yan Bingyun breaks Miss Shen's heart and makes her cry.
  • Cassandra Truth: Kept insisting that Fan Xian's plan regarding cutting Northern Qi into the profits of the Qing imperial treasury was part of a bigger plan to meddle in Northern Qi affairs despite the fact that no one would listen to him.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Shen Zhong, the villain of the Northern Qi arc, cares very much for his younger sister, to the point where he fakes stabbing her to let her be taken to Qing to start a new life before he’s arrested by the Northern Qi imperial guards.
  • Evil Laugh: Gives one after taunting Shang Shanhu about the deaths of his men and Xiao En.
  • Neat Freak: Frequently seen obsessively cleaning his hands, usually after doing some sort of horrific deed.
  • Promoted to Parent: Shen Zhong's parents died not long after Miss Shen's birth, forcing him to raise her like his own daughter.
  • Snow Means Death: It begins to snow just before Shang Shanhu executes Shen Zhong.
  • Torture Technician: On behalf of the Empress Dowager. Specifically targets Yan Bingyun and Xiao En.

     Haitang Duoduo (海棠朵朵) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/duoduo.jpeg
Played by Xin Zhilei
Blessed Maiden of Northern Qi. A 9th level martial artist and the youngest disciple of the grandmaster Ku He.

     Si Lili (司理理) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/si_lili.jpeg
Played by Li Chun
A spy posing as a courtesan. She later develops feelings for Fan Xian.
  • Ambiguously Bi: People seem to be under the impression that Si Lili has a sexual relationship with Zhan Doudou. While it's not clear if that's actually true, they're both women and Si Lili is also clearly interested in Fan Xian.
  • Corporal Punishment: When the Crown Prince suspects her of lying during her testimony, Si Lili is inflicted with this. Fortunately, it stops short of Fingore.
  • Enhanced Interrogation Techniques: Subjected to this by Fan Xian. Although he never lays a hand on her, Si Lili still tells him what he wants to know.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Si Lili has many fans while working as a courtesan and when she comes ashore, they all gather in hopes of glimpsing her. Easily half are female and are just as frantically devoted as the men.
  • Femme Fatale Spy: Si Lili, the most popular and revered courtesan in the capital, is actually a spy for Northern Qi.
  • In Love with the Mark: With Fan Xian.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: Si Lili is actually related to Qing's previous emperor and was driven out of the country along with her brother to avoid being killed.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The girly girl to Haitang Duoduo's tomboy.

     Shang Shanhu (上杉虎) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shang_shanhu.jpeg
Played by He Ziming
A general in Northern Qi and the adopted son of Xiao En. It is not known whether his surname is Shang or Shangshan

     Zhan Doudou, Emperor of Northern Qi (战豆豆) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/d439b6003af33a87050c577fc95c10385343b576.jpeg
Played by Liu Meitong
  • The Emperor
  • I'm Your Biggest Fan: A big fan of Fan Xian's writings and will occasionally ask him about them and encourage him to write more of Dreams of the Red Chamber. Doudou manages to avoid becoming overbearing, however, and usually sticks to business.
  • She Is the King: Although addressed and treated as a man, Zhan Doudou is actually female.

Other

     Wuzhu (五竹) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wuzhu.jpeg
Played by Tong Mengshi
A blind martial arts grandmaster and loyal servant of Ye Qingmei. He serves Fan Xian under orders from his mother. Only a few people know of his existence.
  • The Comically Serious
  • Eccentric Mentor: To Fan Xian.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Called "Xiao Zhuzhu" translation  by Ye Qingmei. Somewhat subverted in that although Fan Xian thinks it's embarassing, Wuzhu seems unaffected by it.
  • Handicapped Badass: Blind, but still a martial arts grandmaster who can stand his own against the highest level martial arts grandmasters in the land though whether or not he's actually "blind" by human standards is questionable.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Wuzhu is missing parts of his memory, but has general knowledge that is still intact. Whenever Fan Xian asks him something plot-relevant, Wuzhu usually replies, "I don't know."
  • Literal-Minded: Wuzhu doesn't get figurative speech, let alone Fan Xian's jokes and references to stuff from modern times.
  • No Sense of Humor: Wuzhu takes everything people say to him literally and rarely, if ever, smiles.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Pulls these frequently, much to Fan Xian's chagrin.
  • Underestimated Badass: Lin Gong does this to fatal effect when he doesn't see Wuzhu as a threat due to his blindness and lack of noticeable aura.

     Gao Da (高达) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gaoda.jpeg
Played by Li Shen
A guard escort accompanying Fan Xian to Northern Qi.
  • Nice Guy: Gao Da might be a talent fighter, but he's also sweet and supportive.
  • Punny Name: His name translates to Gundam. Fan Xian remarks upon it the first time they meet.
  • Those Two Guys: Wang Qinian and Gao Da in the later half of season 1, providing comedic moments as Fan Xian embarks on a dangerous diplomatic mission to Northern Qi.
  • Shipper on Deck: Seems particularly invested in Fan Xian's relationship with Haitang Duoduo.
  • Spirited Competitor: Gao Da delights in spending his whole day fighting Fan Xian's many challengers.

     Ye Ling'er (叶灵儿) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ye_linger_0.jpeg
Played by Han Jiunuo
Lin Wan'er's friend and daughter of the head of the Garrison

     Guo Baokun (郭保坤) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/guo_bao_kun.jpeg
Played by Jia Jinghui
Guo Youzhi's son. Friend of the Crown Prince.
  • Bandage Mummy: Briefly, after Fan Xian brutally beats him while searching for information on Teng Zijing's family. Played for laughs.
  • Butt-Monkey: Is this for the majority of season one. No matter what he does, Guo Baokun's goals always meets a hilariously bad end.
    • Subverted later, when he agrees to help Fan Xian maintain a spy network in Northern Qi.
  • Character Development: Initially an incompetent nuisance. Later, he matures and begins to take in the full weight of what's happening around him.
  • Everyone Has Standards: When Fan Xian asks if Guo Baokun gave the order to arrest Teng Zijing and threaten his family, Baokun balks at the implication that he'd go to such lengths over a minor dispute. He might be a resentful, petty person, but no one is that resentful and petty.

     Yan Xiaoyi (燕小乙) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/yan_xiaoyi.png
Played by Li Zifeng
Commander of the Palace Guards. The only 9th level archery martial artist in existence. He was saved and promoted from a hunter by Eldest Princess Yunrui, to whom he is very loyal.

     Xie Bi'an (谢必安) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/xie_bian.jpg
Played by Zhao Zhenting
The Second Prince's bodyguard. A martial artist who is highly skilled in using swords.

     Ye Qingmei (叶轻眉) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ye_qingmei.png
Played by Yuan Quan
Fan Xian's birth mother. Her inventions made the royal family wealthy, which created the Royal Treasury and also founded the Overwatch department.
  • Did Not Die That Way: As Fan Xian learns more and more about who his mother was, he comes to realize that what he was told about her all his life is most likely untrue.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: She is a survivor of an apocalypse who was in suspended animation for an unknown amount of time.
  • Human Popsicle: How Ye Qingmei and others survived into the present.
  • Inventor of the Mundane: Ye Qingmei was this, resulting in the creation of the royal treasury.
  • Missing Mom: Ye Qingmei is dead before the beginning of the show. Who she was, where she came from, and what happened to her is a key element of the show.
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