Shurei Hong has a dream of one day becoming a government official so she can better the country of Saiunkoku. The plot takes the audience on a journey across several story arcs as her dream matures. While she comes from one of the most revered and powerful clans in the country, she's lived much of her life impoverished; her father has a highly respected but low-paying job, and any wealth the family did have was used up helping those in need.
The emperor, Ryuki Shi, shows no interest in politics or his country. One of his three advisors, Yosei Sho, believes Shurei is just the person to set him on the right path. Advisor Sho makes an offer to Shurei: 500 gold coins to become the emperor's consort for the purpose of molding him into a good ruler. With her family's financial difficulties in mind, she readily accepts - and this is where The Story of Saiunkoku begins.
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