The Marshal’s Marriage
In the Spring and Autumn Period, the weak state of Songis subject to invasions from neighboring states. The king of Song and his daughter, Caifeng, decide to find her a husband that can be a champion and defender of the state. The king invites the princes of different states to come contend for the princess by showing the treasures they bring. Princes arrive in Song one by one and present treasures from their states, yet none of them manages to win the princess’s favor.
Marshal Gai Shiying from Cai arrives on behalf of the crown prince, bearing no treasure to display, but he impresses Caifeng so much with his civil and military skills that she agrees to marry him. This enrages the princes of Hanand Zhao who, after returning home, join forces to attack Cai in revenge. The new husband’s pride prevents Gai from listening to the princess’s advice on the first day of battle, and he belittles her for knowing nothing about war. He learns his lesson, however, after suffering a humiliating defeat and having to be rescued by the princess. Having reassembled his men with the counsel of the princess, Gai finally beats the troops of Hanand Zhao, capturing the princes alive. From then on, the two states pay tribute to Song every year in gratitude for sparing the princes’ lives.