Kiyo is a lady-in-waiting who serves Aguri, the wife of the young lord Asano Naganori of the Ako domain, at the Asano family’s Edo mansion in the Genroku Period. The first time she displays her koto skills before the lord, she is pitted against the drums of Isogai Jurozaiemon, who is Naganori’s favourite vassal. This is actually a reunion of two childhood friends, but Kiyo does not realise it yet. Kiyo and Jurozaiemon are soon attracted to each other, but forbidden to meet alone because of the difference in their social status. Even so, Kiyo cannot give up on this secret first love. Jurozaiemon feels the same way too. They secretly pledge to overcome obstacles and become husband and wife. One day, Naganori is appointed by the Shogunate to entertain envoys from the imperial court. He has differences of opinion with the master of ceremonies Kira Yoshinaka on everything. Then on the third day, bloodshed occurs when Naganori slashes Kira with his sword inside Edo Castle after enduring Kira’s constant sarcasm. Naganori has to commit ritual suicide on the same day as a result of this, but the injured Kira is allowed to go home without any censure. The vassals of the Asano clan vow to retaliate to avenge their lord. Prepared to sacrifice his life, Jurozaiemon bids farewell to Kiyo. This incident sets Kiyo’s destiny in motion as the 48th “loyal vassal” unable to participate in the raid with Jurozaiemon and the rest of the 47 lordless Ako samurai. After they pull off the raid on Kira’s residence, Kiyo’s second life begins. She gets close to a family positioned to accede to the shogunate and eventually enters the inner palace of Edo Castle with the aim of restoring the Asano family. She goes through a tumultuous life, gives birth to the seventh shogun Ietsugu and later becomes Gekkoin after.