During the Manchurian-ruled Qing Dynasty, Emperor Yong Zheng established a secret assassination squad known as the Guillotines to eliminate all who opposed him. Once heavily favored by the Emperor, the Guillotines are deemed expendable once Emperor Qian Long ascends to the throne and adopts Western ideas and technology. To consolidate his power under a new regime, the Emperor continues to use the Guillotines to persecute the conquered Han Chinese in a reign of terror and oppression. Led by master fighter Leng, the top ranked guillotine squad consists of five young warriors: Mu, San, Tai, Hutu, Buka. Serving the Qing Court unquestioningly, they have never failed in 348 missions to eliminate their targets. But their success has made them arrogant and complacent.
Their next mission is to eliminate Wolf and his Shepherd gang. During the operation, the squad manages to trap Wolf. Just as they are about to execute him, the squad commander orders that he be captured alive. He secretly plans to use Wolf as a pawn in his bid for power. Wolf's gang of rebels ambushes the Guillotines in their moment of hesitation. Wolf escapes, taking Mu hostage. With reports that Wolf has fled to the outer frontiers, the squad tracks him to a remote village outpost.
On the other hand, the Emperor has sent his most trusted agent Du for the same mission and most importantly, to end the era of the Guillotines by replacing cold weapons with firearms. If only they make one false move, they will become the hunted. Facing annihilation, Leng and his Guillotines must outfight and outwit enemies from both sides.