Part 1[ edit ] In Japanese-occupied Korea , a conman operating under the sobriquet of "Count Fujiwara" plans to seduce a Japanese heiress named Lady Hideko, then marry her and commit her to an asylum in order to steal her inheritance. He hires a pickpocket named Sook-hee from a family of con artists to become Hideko's maid and encourage Hideko to marry him. Hideko lives with her authoritarian Uncle Kouzuki. Kouzuki makes money by selling rare books, and he has Hideko give readings of the books for potential buyers. Sook-hee and Hideko grow closer, and Hideko allows Sook-hee to wear her dresses and jewelry.