Magistrate Hwang's daughter Jin-yi, is jilted before her wedding because a shoe maker was smitten with her and commits suicide. Jin-yi becomes a courtesan, and becomes famous for her wits and beauty. She falls for Byuk Kye-su, but he's chosen to be an envoy to a far off kingdom. When he leaves she feels so betrayed she takes to a life of wandering. She meets Lee Saeng, a destitute scholar, and stays with him until she discovers he's going to sell her to a group of itinerate clowns. Instead, she joins them willingly.