Forced into slavery in ancient China two boys become like brothers. Aspiring to be free one day they train to hone their skills. The training almost pays off, but one of them is whisked away by one of the emperor's men before its completion. The dream of reuniting with his brother are dashed when the older boy returns mortally wounded only to extract a promise from his younger friend to visit a location. There has been a coup in the palace and the Emperor is bereft of his throne and supporters.