Huang Lee, the spoiled son of a recently murdered Triad boss, arrives by plane in Liberty City with Yu Jian, a sword that Huang's father won in a poker game and has decided to use as an heirloom, to deliver it to the new patriarch of the family, Huang's uncle Wu "Kenny" Lee. Shortly after landing, Huang's escorts are killed by assassins and he is shot and kidnapped. The assailants steal the sword and, thinking Huang is dead, dump his body in the water.
Huang manages to survive and informs Kenny that Yu Jian has been taken. Kenny explains that he had intended to offer the sword to Hsin Jaoming, the ageing Triad boss in Liberty City, as a means of securing a position as his replacement. Kenny is dishonoured and reduced in power due to the loss of Yu Jian, leaving him and Huang working to keep their businesses afloat.
Eventually, Huang is contacted by Zhou Ming, a high-ranking Triad member, and Chan Jaoming, son of Hsin. Both men are also competing to be Hsin's replacement, and employ Huang to combat each other's efforts. After Chan hires Huang for a deal with their long-term rivals that goes badly, Huang is intercepted by LCPD Detective Wade Heston, a crooked cop under pressure from Internal Affairs.
Heston offers an alliance with Huang to find the men responsible for the theft of Yu Jian and the murder of Huang's father. Huang agrees and finds that Heston suspects a Korean gang allied with the Triads is behind the events.