But no sooner is the couple enjoying their newly married life than they have to part again. Liu wades through thick and thin to find Liniangˇ¦s father, only to be treated as a tomb raider and beaten. Later Liu comes first in the national civil examination. At the imperial court, he is highly honored by the Emperor, and the whole family is reunited.
Scene 1 - Wedding

At Priestess Stone's suggestion, the newly united lovers leave Nan'an immediately to avoid gossip. They are married on a boat, bowing once to Heaven and Earth, once to their parents from afar, and once to each other. Du Liniang tells Liu Mengmei that she is still a virgin. Liu, surprised, asks how that can be possible since they have already been intimate. She replies that what happened when she was a ghost does not taint her real body.

The conversation on virginity establishes a demarcation between the realm of the living and the realm of the dead. Du Liniang returns to her former virginal identity. Thus, Tang Xianzu was still quite conservative about female chastity.

Scene 2 - Armies on the Move

With the enemies approaching, Du Bao receives orders to move his troops from Yangzhou across the river to the city of Huaian. In the confusion, he looses track of Madame Du. He must take leave of his wife and Chunxiang.

Scene 3 - Arrival in Hangzhou

The newlyweds arrive in Hangzhou where they set up house by the river and Liu Mengmei studies for the examination. They also fantasize about the future. Priestess Stone comes to announce that the examination hall is opened. Before Liu Mengmei hurries off, the newlyweds offer each other a toast.

Scene 4 - Frustrating the Enemy

Du Bao puts up a strong fight against Li Quan. When an emissary of the Jin emperor comes on a fact-finding mission, Li Quan avoids seeing him. Instead, his wife greets the emissary. The emissary flirts with Yang, but she, not speaking his language, shows off her martial art. This leads to a fight between the two men and the emissary commands Li Quan to conquer Huaian within three days. While Li Quan and his wife grow anxious about the ultimatum, they capture Chen Zuiliang, who is on his way to see Du Bao to report that his daughter's grave has been plundered. Li Quan's wife Yang devise a ruse by using Chen Zuiliang as an intermediary to tell Du Bao that his wife has been killed, and that he may as well surrender. However, Du Bao makes a counter-offer by promising Yang a high position in the Song officialdom and all the gold she wants. He convinces the couple to surrender instead.

The bumbling Chen Zuiliang once again becomes, unwittingly, an agent for good.

Scene 5 - Reunion with Mother
Madame Du and Chunxiang arrive in Hangzhou as refugees. As night falls, they knock on the door of a house to ask for shelter. Du Liniang comes to the door. Thinking that they have seen her ghost, they try to appease her with spirit money. However, Madame Du's maternal instinct overcomes her fear and a joyous reunion ensues. Du Liniang tells her mother an expurgated version of past events and proudly displays a document certifying she is officially released from hell.
Scene 6 - Stranded at Huaian
While awaiting examination results, Liu Mengmei risks his life to look for his father-in-law, for his wife's sake. When he reaches Huaian, the city gate is already locked for the night. Having exhausted his money, he seeks shelter at an inn and tells the innkeeper that he is Commissioner. Du's son-in-law. The innkeeper accuses him of being an imposter. Liu Mengmei spends the night at a temple and goes to pay his respects to Du Bao the next morning. He is denied entry to the hall where Du Bao is holding a banquet celebrating his victory. Starving and furious, Liu Mengmei tries to barge his way in, and is promptly arrested.
Scene 7 - Searching for the Top Candidate

Unbeknownst to Liu Mengmei, he has placed first in the civil service exams. The imperial guards are looking all over for him, as a banquet will be held in his honor. They run into Hunchback Guo who is also looking for Liu Mengmei. On hearing that his master placed first at the exams, Hunchback Guo is so elated that his back straightens out. The guards carry him on their shoulders as they continue their mission.

Scene 8 - Torture

Sitting at court, Du Bao is about to interrogate Liu Mengmei. Still oblivious of his own precarious situation, he wonders whether his manners are formal enough for his father-in-law. When Du Bao learns that his daughter's self portrait is found in Liu Mengmei's bundle, he is convinced that this is the tomb robber. Liu Mengmei tries reasoning with Du Bao. But sounds more and more improbable and fraudulent.
When he gets to the part about resurrecting Du Liniang, Du Bao is certain the man is a lunatic, and orders him strung up and beaten. Fortunately, Hunchback Guo hears his master's voice outside the gate and comes to the rescue. The imperial guards are happy they have found the top candidate but Du Bao refuses to listen to their story.
The tension in this scene comes from Liu Mengmei's fierce confidence in himself and his version of events. He carries himself with dignity in the face of severe authority.

Equally convinced of his rationality that the dead cannot return to life, Du Bao refuses to believe Liu Mengmei.

Scene 9 - The Emperor's Verdict

Convinced that Liu Mengmei is demonic, Du Bao submits a memorial to the emperor to have him killed. Meanwhile, Liu Mengmei also submits a memorial defending himself. The two argue outside the palace gate and Chen Zuiliang, now promoted to Chamberlain for his role in the Li Quan incident, is caught in the middle. Soon, Du Liniang also arrives seeking an audience with the emperor. Confronted by his daughter, Du Bao accuses her of being a demon. When Madame Du arrives to speak on her daughter's behalf, Du Bao accuses her of being a demon in cahoots with the rest, because to his knowledge, she has been killed in the war.

To settle the issue, the emperor orders Du Liniang tested by a magic mirror. The mirror confirms that she is human as it reflects her form and her shadow. Furthermore, Du Liniang points to the fact that her feet leave imprints where she walks. At the emperorˇ¦s command, she recounts.

her story, proud that she has relied on herself to find such an exemplary husband. A recalcitrant Du Bao demands to know who were the matchmaker and the guarantor at the wedding, implying that the marriage is not valid since it took place without the parents' consent. The daughter, defiant, retorts that the funeral star and the sprites of Hell took responsibility for the wedding. Finally, Madame Du intercedes and the emperor personally certifies that Du Liniang is resurrected. The lovers are vindicated and flower fairies reappear to give their blessings.

For happiness to be complete in the Chinese tradition, it is not enough that the lovers are united, they have to gain acceptance by their respective families, and by society at large. The appearance of the fairies signifies that the cosmic elements are now in harmony.