It was 1068, Year 1 of the Xining era. Emperor Zhao Xu had recently ascended the throne of the Song dynasty. The widely respected old-guard of civil officials, Ouyang Xiu, Han Qi, and Fu Bi, were in their twilight years. The unorthodox reformer Wang Anshi was full of vigor, wishing to reverse the tide of decline sweeping over the empire. The stubborn Sima Guang would rather leave imperial government than give up on proper orthodoxy. The literary Su Shi watched from the sidelines, unable to pick a side.
With such a talented crop of civil officials, the Song dynasty should have shone brightly. Instead, these geniuses embarked on a mutually destructive course, leaving the Song empire with a gaping, irreparable wound, and leaving future students of history with regret and controversy.
But the sudden arrival of a junior lawyer opens a new path for the Song dynasty. Reformers and conservatives, civil and military officials, domestic and foreign affairs, all shall come under the Law.