I really enjoyed watching this series, which I think is much better than Princess Agents. Chinese miniseries are usually slow, but when I was watching this, 40 minutes for every episode went fast.
The original title was Lang-ya List. In the story, Lang-ya Hall in Lang-ya Mountain rated many things. The Crown Prince and Prince Yu from Liang were fighting for the throne and they both were trying to invite the number 1 master in the Lang-ya List, Mei Chang-su. Mei Chang-su was the leader of the Jiangzhou Alliance. It was said that whoever got the divine talent (=Mei Chang-su) would get the world.
Mei Chang-su, using the name Su Zhe as an alias, came to the capital and seemed to be on Prince Yu's side; but he was actually helping Prince Jing. As The Crown Prince and Prince Yu were gradually losing their power and influence, Prince Jing arose in favour. It was then revealed that Mei Chang-su's real name was Lin Shu, and he was the childhood friend of Prince Jing and he came to the capital to prove his family innocence. The Lin family was branded as traitors 12 years ago because the recent Emperor's suspicion.
Every character in this series is good. First time I saw the lead character, he was not interesting at all: thin, pale, ... he was sick, by the way. But the plots and story were indeed very good. I like the battle of wits between Su Zhe and his enemies. Each had to guess what the opponent would do so one could prepare the counter attack. I read critics that the protagonist in this series was too capable, but I like it this way, because I didn't get distressed watching it.
Although Mei Chang-su was ill at the time and could not perform martial arts, we would see why he was ranked #1 on the Lang-ya List.
What had happened to Lin Shu was tragic. 12 years ago he was a handsome, brave, and proud young marshal. In the last fierce battle in Meiling, he was one of the few who could survive the sea of fire and the field of frost snow. His injuries had been so grave that to be cured, he needed to undergo painful operations (something like changing skins and removing bones). When he returned to the capital later, even Prince Jing, his bosom friend, didn't recognize him because the drastic change in his appearance. Also, in the wuxia books it's said that martial arts adepts who have lost their skills are the same as dead.