Bai yin di guo (2009) - full transcript

Based on historical events, a saga of China's 'Wall Street' over a century ago. A young man must decide whether to follow his father's path or find his own when he is obligated to assume the role of heir to a banking empire.

The universe is so large,

humans so small.

How should a man live his life?

China, the Middle Kingdom,
my home country

where my dreams drift
between aches and tenderness.

My dear children,

time has blurred my memories,

but the scents, colors, sounds

Ah... and my third older brother...

In our ancestral hometown,

our family owned a bank.
We were in business

for over a hundred years.

The transfer fee is 75 taels.

This is your check for 5,000 taels

to be cashed in Japan
with three days' clearance.

Please keep it safe.

A good merchant is righteous.

Your great-grandfather Lord Kang
was a member

of a powerful guild of bankers.

He had four sons.

All of them were
much older than me.

His third son was his least favorite.

Third Master!

Outside of our family estate
was the other China.

Thank you!

First Master can't hear you.
Move on!

Dusty, poor...

It was a time when...

the hardships of life
stole people's dignity.

Big Brother.

Second Master.

Death to the Kangs!

Let's go.

Second Master, they're here again!


Death to the Kangs!
What use is porridge?

Here are your coffins!

Help, First Master.


Death to the Kang!

Lord Kang's eldest two sons

had different approaches

to this world.

First Master, a Buddhist born
deaf-mute, was a man of charity.

Second Master, a man of action,

settled things with his fists and feet.

Lord Kang's fourth son

found in his arranged marriage

a bride he instantly fell in love with.

They honeymooned

in the seaport city of Tianjin.

Their trip brought

unforeseen changes to our family.



Boxer Rebels were gathering strength
for their war against Western churches.

I will never do it again...

That day,
an ordinary day before the New Year

Master Kang punished

his most valuable manager,
Manager Qiu,

in front of his colleagues in the

This Qiu bastard.
Now we're loan sharks.

Manager Qiu
has certainly disgraced us.

Loan sharks!

Maybe our guidelines were unclear.

He is my bank's failure,
nothing to do with the Guild.

Manager Qiu, you
stepped over the line,

breaching our principle
of righteousness.

You have no place in banking.
You are dismissed.

Go back to farming,
learn to behave honorably.

I'm finished...

Gentlemen, my manager

As penalty,
I'll pay for 3 days of theater.

You'll receive the invitations soon.

We have always supported each

to ensure our reputation.

Our muddled guidelines ruined a

Muddled guidelines...

We should all line up, pull down
our pants and have our asses whipped!

You first!

You first!

Third Master, we arrived.

It's New Year's time,
please spare some food...

Get lost!

Are you gone?

There is too much sadness in this

don't stay here to humiliate yourself.

Thanks, Master.

That day,

our bank was to announce the

All the branch managers
returned from their posts.

"Humility and reposefulness."

He headed the Beijing branch.

Manager Dai!

Third Master!

Easier said than done.
We ought to know better.

I'm always away,
no chance to supervise him.

What's that smell?

This is called "King of Fruits".

South East Asians pawn their pants
to eat this!

I took the boat, rode a donkey
to bring it here. Pick it up!

In memory of our ancestors,
in honor of Heaven and Earth,

to honesty, good faith,
and righteousness under the heavens.

The grand total of fund transfers,
savings and loans

is 26,153,111 taels,

verified without error.

Our turnover amounts

to one-tenth
of the Court's annual income.

It is accomplished by you
and all the managers.

Please accept my family's gratitude.

My fourth son took his bride
to the seashore in Tianjin.

The lovebirds
are getting on extremely well!

- Manager Liu, did he trouble you?
- Not at all.

Where's Third?

Never mind.

Owner holding:


Staff holding:


Each share averages

15,816.5 taels.

The highest bonus goes to...

main branch, Manager Qiu.

Although he is dismissed,

his bonus of this term
is awarded in full.

Second goes to
Beijing Manager Dai Ying.

Drinks on me tonight!

No one goes home sober!

Tianjin Manager Liu...

I get 0.7 shares.

You do the math!

Party at his place,

but the drinks are on me!

Bring in all our managers' sons!


Third Master.


Mrs. Landdeck,
the Congregation Church.

Mrs. Landdeck.

Third Master Kang.

Third Master...

Madame Kang was a mystery.

My family members
never mentioned her.

When servants talked about her
they whispered.

But she played a key role

in our family history.

Tell me about the porridge.

Lord Kang's ancester
was a poor camel boy

whose master abandoned him
in the Gobi Desert.

The boy saved the life of a stranger.

He gave a starving man
his last bowl of porridge.

The stranger left quietly in the night,

giving him 30 pieces of silver,

which the family considered a loan.

That loan is worth millions today.

Did your husband tell you this story?

A boy told it to me when I was young.

I drew this little book ten years ago.

I was eight.

I loved the story.

Do you like it?



Follow them! Follow them!



Hurry up!

Catch up!

Walk into the crowd!

Sweetheart, did you see what I

Who stopped my palanquin?

Where's my wife?

Where's Fourth Mistress?

Urgent telegram!

Urgent telegram!

Last month
we lent the army 50,000 taels.

They'll help find Fourth Mistress.

The gangs, the churches, the
Boxers... We didn't offend any of them.

Manager Liu, then it's a family
matter, I won't bother you.

I'm fully responsible.
I'll go back to find her.

I'll go with Manager Liu.

Beg bodyguard companies for help.

This is a kidnap.

Keep it quiet,
don't affect our bank.

Third, we'll go help.


I'll arrange for bodyguards.

You cannot go!

Our own blood,
rescued by others?

Blood ties overtake judgment.

Let the handlers do it.

We don't risk our own blood.

Deaf-mute, go to your room.
Useless man!

Third, we leave for Tianjin now.

We're all useless...

Our ancestors won wars for us,
handlers take care of the rest.

Our job is to learn how to live.

Let's go have a drink.

She is family.
You spineless good-for-nothing!

This isn't right.
You've led me the wrong way.

We ought to be going South
but we're heading West.

You've set me up!

Second Master, please!
Old Master wants to stop you...


Second Master!

- Are you all right?
- Don't touch him!

Old Master.

Father, I really...

Second... No need to say anything.

Go rescue Fourth's wife.

You can't move, so don't try to.

Tianjin Branch Help me!

Fourth Master, it's me, Dai!

There's a letter!

A letter!

Get out!

"Considering our past relationship,

"please go to the riverbank
to receive Fourth Mistress Kang."

"Past relationship"?

Go there with bodyguards.

I'll stay here...

Just in case.

A prostitute in love
with a bank manager.

What could I have wished for?

They said eating opium
is the most painful way to die.

Do you think this punishment

is harsh enough for you, dear?

What will your bank do to you

when they find out about us?

You came after all.

You did it.

I did it.

I knew you'd come back
after you read my letter.

Now that I've seen you again,
I'll die in peace.

Whore! You want to destroy me!

We found something!
Over here!

You shouldn't have left me,

however harshly
the bank would punish you.

Didn't you say:
"If we die, we die together"?

I took Fourth Mistress hostage

to force you to come back.

But the low-lifes I hired raped her,

she killed herself.

Fourth Mistress is dead. I'm sorry.

You destroyed me...

and I destroyed you.

You hate me now.

Stab me.

I'll kill you!

I will kill you!

Branch managers
cannot bring their families,

cannot go to brothels
or keep mistresses!

These are the iron rules of the

Your people have some nerve!

50 Liu killed his woman?

So he hung himself?

He has already rocked my family
to the core.

Now he tells the world

that my foundation is rotten.

Fourth Master...

What about Fourth?

Fourth Master...
has had a mental breakdown.


From now on,

I handle discipline and personnel.

You take care of operations.

Chairmen have to stay out of
management, now I broke that rule.


I thought four sons would be


You're the only
able-bodied man left.

Go to Tianjin
to bring your brother back.

Don't push!

Stand back!

You'll get your money!
There's plenty of silver.

Other banks have offered
to bail us out.

If other banks help stop a run
on our bank, our name will be ruined.

I've written to my staff.

Maybe my Beijing branch can help.

Go see if there's a telegram
from Beijing.

I'm your brother!

I'm your brother.

Look at me!

I'm your brother.

I know you mourn for her.

We want our silver!

Give us a bit more time.

Don't let them see us.


You mentioned a package?

If Third Master could possibly...

Manager Liu made a mistake,
but his family is innocent.

He had a mother, a wife

and a son.

If our rules didn't force change
on human nature,

only allowing managers to see
their wives every three years...

How many men can stand that?

I'll take it to his family.

Thank you for understanding.

Manager Dai,
I have heard of your great skills,

but this problem came from within.
How should we resolve it?

Crises test our guts and smarts.

All right.

Your burden is great.

Please take care.

You also. Take care.

What have I done to deserve this?

What are my ancestors
trying to tell me?

Time to close the doors,
draw the curtains!

To keep up with the times,
I hired you an English tutor.

Ambassador Du's daughter.

Her knowledge commands respect,
so behave yourselves.

No monkey business!
I'll be next door.

Take it away.

Master hasn't come over for months.
He must need you now,


Take it away.



I carved a book seal for you.

Put it there.

Have you heard
about Second and Fourth?

Suddenly we're left
with only one heir.

It's been along time...

Yet you're still so stubborn.

When will you grow up?

Bring me the scissors!

Get out!

Being Western-born
doesn't entitle you to this.

You can refuse me, but not my

All these years I let you be!

Now with one heir left,
you still spit on your duty?

I'll be coming everyday.

I won't give up until I have a son.

Believe me, I'm wilder than you are.

Tell the boss the silver's here!

Beijing Branch of Tian Cheng Yuan

60 cases of silver delivered!

Manager Dai.

- Let's go have tea.
- Our treat.

Tianjin has been unsafe.

We had no choice

but to mislead our clients.

River rocks in place of silver
helped us out this time.

No one compares to us
when turning a crisis around.

A crisis calls attention.

Solving it smartly
builds our reputation.

Now that Tianjin city knows who we

it's up to you to build upon it.
Good luck!

You have great foresight, Sir.

The price of salt has doubled again.

Keep it from the Government
or we'll be in trouble.

We'll sell when each kilo
is worth a tael.

Yes, Sir!

Third Master!

Get up, Son,
we'll go visit Manager Qiu.

Manager Qiu,
I'm here to bring you back.

I've reconsidered.
You're lucky.

A simple farm boy!

I fired him in order to re-hire him

What's it about?

I've given him a life after death.

He'll be eternally grateful.
From now on he's ours.

He's my choice
for our next Chief Manager.

Use your men's strengths
and weaknesses both.

Saints are the worst employees.

What about Manager Dai?

Manager Dai is a saint,
too spotless to be controlled.

I know Manager Dai
to be wise and earnest.

Dai surpasses you
in competence and intelligence.

If he became Chief Manager,
you'd be his lackey.

Rulers command by reward,
recognition and fear.

We may reward and recognize
Dai's accomplishments,

but we can't make him fear us
if we can't punish him for his flaws.

Qiu pales before Dai in every way,

which is why Qiu is our safest

Third, I'm getting old.
It's up to you now.

You've got the look of a warrior,
there's a leader in you yet.

Our future rests with you.

Be nice to your wife.

Our bloodline
depends on the two of you.

You must sleep in your wife's

Tell her we the Kangs
forbid concubines and divorces

but she can't smoke opium.
Make her quit.

Once she quits opium, have a baby

All right?

Look at the result of salt deficiency.

We've hit it big!

Time to sell the salt!

1 tael of silver
for 1 kilo of salt?

Look how sick they are.
The market could not be better.

The time is ripe.
Sell it.


Be careful so no one sees you.

Third Master!

I come to pay Mother a visit.

How are you, Mother?

I'm fine.

Have a seat.

I came to say goodbye.

Where are you going?

The Gobi Desert.
To follow in my ancestors steps.

- Your father allows it?
- Even if he doesn't, I'm going.

I see...

Maybe someday

I can persuade your father

to let me visit your ancestral site.

I'll visit you.

Then I'll show you

all the fun things
and all the best places.

I'm good at that.

When do you leave?


When are you coming back?

I don't know.

I'm leaving.


Take care of yourself.

Take good care of yourself.


You get up!

All these years,

it breaks my heart
to watch you self-destroy.

Now you'll see the outside world.

I'm happy for you.

Mother, please stay well.


But I heard you may hurt.

I'm scared.

Me too.

Should I?

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry...

Did it hurt that much?


we're grown-ups.

I want to marry you.

I will marry you.

Third Master!

I have something for you.

My father bought it in Paris.
Useful in the desert.

Your father didn't leave you much.

Please keep it.

You don't have anything from me.

I want nothing from home.

It's from me.

Even if I took it,
what difference would it make?

You're no more than my stepmother.

Let's accept our fate.

Take care, Stepmother.

You listen to me!

I encouraged your
friendship with Madame Kang

because I wanted us to move closer to
the centers of power of the town.

That proved to be a mistake.

Now with these Boxer rebels in sighting,
violence against foreigners all over the country,

it is very important that
we do not antagonize her husband.

So, I want you to go home.

I'm doing God's work just like you are.

I haven't done anything wrong.

If I'm becoming a problem to the Church,
I'll leave the Church.

And if you...

so object to my association
with Madame Kang...

I'll leave you too.

You did not tell me that's why
you wanted to see Dr. Wilson.

You know your family enjoys all sorts
of advantages from your husband.

Why would you do this to him?

Life is a compromise.

You think my marriage is any better?

Haven't you seen my husband drinking?

What are you going to do?

Don't do this, you could die.

If you do this,

and you change your mind,

you will always regret it.

With or without your help,
I will do this.

If we only remove the uterus
it will be a simpler procedure.


Say it!

She asked the foreign doctor...

to cut out...

her... uterus.

She can't bear children anymore.

Oh, Master!

Manager Qiu!

I went by your
house but you had left.

Young Master.

What's with your horse?

I'm training my legs
to serve Old Master better.

Come on!


A graveyard for foot traders.

Some of my ancestors
may be lying here.

It's haunted.

Wolves are around, too?

If you're tapped on the shoulder
after sunset, don't turn around.

The wolf will rip your throat out.

- That's a tall tale!
- It's for real.

I've got a lot to learn.
You have to teach me.

How dare I?

You watch me.
I won't make mistakes now.

Believe me, Manager Qiu.

I come to learn.

Anyone can punish me
if I make another mistake.

Manager Qiu.

You're a man with ambition.
Don't degrade yourself.

Lord Kang's here.

- Who?
- Lord Kang.

Lord Kang.

Manager Dai,
an unwanted guest's here!

I came to buy guns.

Westerners and churches bought
theirs. It's time we did the same.

Beijing is in trouble.

The Boxer rebels
seem to be making inroads.

We should move our silver South.

But the roads aren't safe anymore.


I'll go to Fujian.


Perhaps I can persuade the
Governor to transfer

his tax fund through us.


Silver in Beijing
goes into the Treasury

and silver in Fujian
stays in the South.

Other provinces can follow.

We'll empty our vaults
before war comes.

There's another matter
I want to ask you about.

The difficult national politics...

and my own domestic problems.

Our bank's future

now rests with you.

We ought to be one family.

What do you think
about becoming my godson?

Lord Kang...

please don't overburden me.

I admire you.

I don't have to be your son
to be loyal to you.

Please don't worry.

I mean well.

It's my responsibility to be loyal.

We'll speak no more of this.

Please get up!

I'm grateful for your trust.

Manager Dai...

How I wish you were my son!

Your 3rd load of tax silver.

Don't close down
even if you've emptied your vaults.

The market counts
on banks like yours.

We're only trying
to earn transfer fee, Sir.

Allied Forces landed in Tianjin.


Have you come this way often?

At 18, when I finished training,
my first post

was the Gobi Desert.

Want some wine?

Horses are a handful.

Take a torch!

Manager Qiu.

Don't move.

Wolves are scared
of the sound of traps, right?


My life is yours from now on.

Lives, men's or horses',
are lost in the blink of an eye.


This experience was good for us.

Get up.

Get up!

I'm not my father,
you don't have to do this.

I'll take this.

Thank you.


Break your engagement to marry
her? But she's your teacher!

You're way out of line!

Madame has stayed in bed for a
month. Can she go bathing tomorrow?


Madame! Please come back!
It's not safe!

Madame! Please come back!

It's not safe! Come back please!

We have to get help!

Who can swim?



Madame passed away.

It's been 8 days.
The family's waiting for you.

Third bow.


Ceremony over.
Back to your places.

Back to your place!

Get up.

You're out of line! Save some face.

She was your stepmother.

No more than your stepmother...


Third Master...

The family needs you.
I must know your whereabouts.

I'll go join Manager Dai.

How was Manager Qiu?


You'd best stay home
until your wife gets pregnant.

Our family line depends on you.
Act responsibly.

Our bloodline's at risk.
Don't leave!


Chief, the armies are coming.




Are you Tian Cheng Yuan Bank?


- Is Manager Dai back?
- He's in Shanghai.

The French and German United
Army is coming.

The Imperial family has already left.

The sooner you leave the better.

Our ancestors will bear witness.

Read this carefully.

“Under the hillock,
beneath the rose bed,

"left of the ancient pine..."

Memorize it!

These nine secret vaults

hold 3 million taels of silver
accumulated over a century.

Your brothers and I
will stay behind to guard them.

If the vaults survive,

we'll rebuild our bank after the war.


Manager Dai
has achieved too much for our good.

In addition, he has three male heirs.

You choose him,
our bank will become his.

Manager Qiu, however,
is without sons.

He's the only one you can rely on.

You have to trust my experience in

This is our final parting,
allow me my last wish.


Your choice between Dai and Qiu
decides the future of our family.

I'll do as you say.

- Don't ever forget.
- I won't.

But I can't leave my family behind,
engulfed in war.

We live only to continue our

From now on, you are our future.

For the family's sake,
take care of yourself.


Don't let it fall.

Hurry up!

Get the harness on!

Third Master!

Come with me.

Lies, all lies!

We faked the funeral
because divorce wasn't possible.

When will you stop
messing with me?

Don't think you can just leave.

Speak... Say it!

Why did you marry him?
You said you'd stay single.

My father told me
I was to be your concubine.

From the day I taught
in your house

your father had plans for me.

He had a deal with my father.

You... my concubine?

Why didn't you leave?

At least I could still see you.

But now...

I'm leaving.




Mrs. Landdeck's waiting for me.

I really have to leave or I'll go mad.

I trapped you...

yet I held a grudge against you.

I hated you...

I hated you.

Many nights I dreamed of you
holding me like this.

In the dream I told myself
not to wake up...

Please don't wake up.

In the night,

it hurts so much wanting you...

I'm leaving with you.

You head a family now.
How can you?

I'll just leave.

You'll regret it.

And then you'll blame me.

Then what are we to do?

I took only this
when I left your house.

Whenever I look at it,

I feel we're together.

Remember you had a soft heart
when you were young.

Don't become like your father,

then we will always be together.

In my entire life,
you are my only thought.

If I perish in fire,

my heart will be
the ashes on your clothes.

Maybe someday...

wherever you are,

I'll come to see you.


You will let me know where you are.

You will write me.


Stay well.


Stay alive.

Good news!

The foreign army has changed

Old Master tells you
to go visit Manager Qiu.

Tell my father
I'll go visit Manager Dai in Shanghai.

Man's stronger without desires.

I never wanted to head the family.

Old Master wants only the best
for Third Master.

Give this message to him:

If he wants me to care for myself,
he shouldn't mold me in his image.



I saw her, alive.


Will they continue this thing?

Madame's on board the ship.

I taught him the art of controlling
men, now he uses it on me.

I told you Third's a warrior,
he's got what it takes.

Third Master
has Master's blood in him.

If he plays it hard, I'll play it soft.

Tiger father, tiger son.
I won't ruin our family for a woman.

Let him go carve out his own world.

If he fails,
I'll pick up the pieces for him.

How about you, Sir?

A widower remarries.

No one can criticize you for that.

This time I'll listen to you.

Find me a country woman
who can bear children.

No more fancy stuff.

Much obliged.

What can we learn?

Taking on small clients is easy,
getting loan collaterals is not.

We lend to the Court,
we can't ask for collaterals.

Peace treaty signed!
The Court will return to Beijing!

The silver market
will be moving again.

Using your passage again!

You're welcome. Safe journey!

Bring some women back!

This is from our new National Bank.

This is the first time I see one.

Such a light piece of paper
is worth 100 silver taels!

How can that be?

The Court used to
forbid paper money.

Our trade was born
from the danger of shipping silver.

Now paper money...

We should just retire and go home!

I have a suggestion:

Silver transfer is obsolete.
The National Bank took over our clients.

We can't fight the Court.

But they forget China
has the largest population in the world.

If we take on small clients,
together they are a force.

Like ants build anthills,

the working people
can build us a mountain.


I've never seen so much cheer
at a bank.

Bringing working people in...

Feels good.

Mutton buns, steamed buns!

- Cabbage, Sir?
- Get lost!

Manager Qiu!

Manager Dai.
Lord Kang sent me to visit you.

Third Master!

It's been a year since the Gobi
Desert. How are you?

Why are you in Beijing?

I'm here to see if “One Tael Opens
an Account” can go nationwide.

Are you to be the Chief Manager?

I'll go home to inform Father
that I'm moving headquarters to Beijing.

He won't be
making the decisions anymore.

These dirty children are now
our source of income.

This may not be to your taste.


Manager Dai.

Before I went to Shanghai,
I told Father

I needed you as Chief Manager.

What do you think?

These are dangerous times.

That's why I need you.

I speak from the heart,
please consider it.

Lord Kang will never agree.

He has already agreed.

He wants Manager Qiu.

But he has already agreed.


Do you want me
to swear by my ancestors?

I will do my very best.

We're taking on
the challenges of our time.

I thank you.

Command as you wish.



Dear Father:

The nation is suffering.

Though our situation is dire,
I can still manage.

Five branches in Nanking and
Canton were plundered and burned.

Shanghai Shipyards was burned,

the Court debtor has disappeared.

Our debt collection rate
is now under 10%.

Liquidity and staff loyalty
are my greatest worries.

Manager Qiu's en route
with the silver back to Shanxi.

I don't know if he has arrived
and I'm concerned.


Manager Qiu, find cover.

Manager Qiu!

Manager Qiu,
from now on we don't know each other.

Qiu hasn't arrived.

The bodyguard company
knows the road well.

Let's wait.

We'll wait.

If mass withdrawals begin nationwide,
the situation will be hard to control.

If the Qing dynasty falls...

If the Qing dynasty falls...

its paper money will be worthless.

What about
the working people's deposits?

They trust us.

Business is business.

What else can we do?

I want real silver!

Hurry up!

Hand over the silver
or we'll arrest you.

- We are reputable...
- Real silver!

Paper money is silver,
it's backed up by silver...

I want real silver!

Arrest him!

Either silver or arrest!

Real silver!

Take him away!

Please, I beg you!

I beg you!

We'll release him when you pay up.

If not, we'll arrest your chairman.
Take him away!

Take the back door.

Those commoners outside...

Please, out the back way!

Give us back our silver!

Burn the place down!

Don't set a fire!
Listen to me!

Not to worry,

If you think the Court
can't back up these bills,

come and...

burn them!

You and the Court are in it together!

We'll never betray your trust.
But our vaults are empty.

Burn the place down!

The Court's paper money
is as good as silver.

If you want to withdraw,
please come in.

Silver to buy rice!
Nobody takes paper money now.

You deposited paper money.

It's only fair that we repay you
in paper money.

Call that fair?

It was money when deposited.
Now it's scrap paper.

That's right!

Our life savings!

Have pity on us!

Get up, get up.

Give us back our silver!

We want silver,

I won't live anymore!

Hold him!


Hold him.

Someone! Come! Help!

Someone! Help!




What would you do if you were me?


You think you can use
our savings to pay the Court's debts?

We have substance,
we won't starve even if we go bankrupt.

But the small people...

"Be righteous."
Isn't it our company code?

You use the Code against me!

The stench of a man burning...

I seduced them into banking with us.

30 taels of silver.

Your ancestor borrowed it
to start our family fortune.

Read this carefully.

Your ancestor decreed

with interest,
it equals 1/3 of our worth,

5 vaults of silver.

You can take the remaining 4 vaults
to help the poor.

But you can't touch what's not

You talk about being righteous.

This is being righteous!

Our ancestor got the silver

because he gave
his last bowl of porridge for a life.

When I said
you've got the air of a warrior...

I didn't know you'd
be hurting your own.

One man, one life...
How it's lived determines its worth.

Doing business is
but conducting oneself.

You're lecturing me?

I betrayed someone.
My life's now a shell.

I owe you two nothing!

She told me to stay true to my

If I ever see her again,

I want to hold my head up.

I don't talk to you about her,
it's shameful!


Our name was
built up over a century.

Those who win
hearts rule the world.

We will earn our money back.

All the generations of our family,

in your eyes,
cannot compete with a woman.

Nine vaults of silver in exchange
for a son's heart.

Is it worth it?

So be it.

So be it.

You do well by her,
but you betray your ancestors.

You'll be heavily in debt.

I will repay them.

Such naiveté...

I will repay them.

You won't be able to.

Get up!



Open the vaults tomorrow.
Summon the family.

Yes, Sir.

My first memory as a child

happened that fateful evening,
cradled at my father's chest.

I bore a son
for you to carry on our line.

If he grows up to be capable,

then we'll have done our duty
to our ancestors.

The smell of his tobacco,

the rustling of his silk robe,

his beard on my cheek...

Bring him up well.

The candlelight...


This is all I can do for our family.

Make our ancestors proud!

Even at that age,

I knew it was a moment
I had to remember.

Third Master.

I've searched everywhere in vain.

- You've looked everywhere?
- Everywhere!

But a horse
is missing from the stables.

My father, your great-grandfather,

disappeared that day.

No one saw him again
nor found out where he went.



Life is mysterious...

We all pray

that it doesn't challenge us
with hard choices.


We haven't betrayed our ancestors.

No matter where you are...

feel comforted.

We did the right thing.

We did the right thing together.

But it is when we face hard choices

that we become in touch
with our true natures

and define who we are.


Our trip to Beijing

will bring you
great danger on my account.

I thank you.

I grew up under my brother's care
during the wars.

I admired him

not only because
he was my surrogate father,