The sun was scorching, the sky was filled with yellow powder everywhere, and the withered vines and old trees were even more depressed and dilapidated in this environment. A team of hundreds of soldiers and horses guarded more than a dozen carriages, slowly moving towards the west. Looking from a distance, the team twisted and turned into a long dragon.
The carriage was very luxurious and comfortable, running ahead in the front line. At the end of the group, a few soldiers dragged their steps tiredly. Their mouths were already dry. One soldier took off the bamboo tube around his waist and ferociously took a sip.
The person next to him glanced at him, “It’s better to save some, this place has no village ahead and no inn behind. If there is no water source to replenish, I will see what you will do then.”
The man raised his head to look at the sky, and then sipped a mouthful of water fiercely, “Pei (spitting sound)! I can’t care about that now, at least it won’t make a person thirst to death, right?”
“Hey! You guys don’t say that, the soldiers here are in turmoil and chaos of war, they have no idea when they might die. There was a saying, what was it? Something horse, something bundle of corpse?” Another soldier cried out and said.
“Pei, Pei! Zhou Dadan, you have a crow’s mouth. Saying something bad like that, what about being buried in a horse hide(giving one’s life on the battlefield)? Bad luck! Laozi has to keep his life to go back home and marry a wife!” The man drinking water was called Li Man, and became depressed when he heard Zhou Dadan’s words. But Zhou Dadan was fearless, and always spoke without thinking. “Well, consider it our bad luck to be chosen to follow that kind of master.”
Zhou Dadan paid it no mind, he touched his forehead and laughed twice, “What’s wrong with it? Coming to this side, we can render meritorious service. Wait for when Laozi beat those barbarians. Maybe I’ll be able to be like a general of the Great Yan, and receive people’s praises and admiration.”
(The Great Yan: the name of the dynasty, just like the Great Tang dynasty.)
“Shh! Zhou Dadan, a green onion like you is worthy of being on the same level as a general of the Great Yan?” someone next to him immediately sneered.
Li Man drank the last drop of water, feeling a little unhappy. Hearing Zhou Dadan saying this, he felt even more unhappy. He stretched out his hand and slapped it on Zhou Dadan’s helmet and turned it crooked. He swore while talking: “Get lost, if you want to die, then don’t drag us with you.”
Zhou Dadan was slapped, but didn’t get angry. He just straightened the helmet with a good temper, nevertheless, his eyes flashed brightly.
Everyone around knew of Zhou Dadan’s straightforward character, thus, it was not good to argue with him. Instead, they acted as the middle person making peace, “Fine, it’s just that we don’t have any connections in the capital, that’s why we were instructed to come to this deserted place.”
As soon as this was said, the surrounding people were quiet for a moment. Many people felt perplexed regarding the future. Following this kind of person, will one really be able to have a future? They were all people from the capital, and their living conditions were excellent. After they came here, everything they saw and heard made them tremble, making them more or less a little uneasy.
“Time is also fate*. Now that we’re here, just take it easy.” Someone said soothingly.
(People have to grasp the current situation and timing when they do things >> they said that you will be successful when you start doing business at the right place and right time, and the right time here refer to this ‘Time is also fate’ expression from Confucius.)
“Nonsense and bullsh*t. When there were smooth and steady days to pass, but to run here instead, that fool dragged us here to die with him…” Before Li Man finished speaking, his mouth was covered by one of his companions, hinting him not to talk nonsense.
Fortunately, these people were good brothers and were unlikely to gossip unnecessarily and so on. But be careful sailing a ship for ten thousand years (one cannot be overly careful). If one is not careful, and it was spread to that person’s ear, then the consequences would be fatal. That person was a little stupid, but the reputation of being arrogant, domineering and stingy has spread far.
Li Man struggled to pry away his hand with great difficulty. His lips twitched, and he spat a mouthful of saliva full of yellow sand. Finally, seeing these people looking at him in horror, he finally closed his mouth, feeling meaningless.
What can be done? Boss Song, who was with them, learned the news early on. Thus, secretly using a lot of money, in addition to his maternal uncle who was an imperial guard, now, he was living comfortably inside the capital city. How could he resemble these people who didn’t have any ranks or connections, and was instructed to come here to protect this fool. From here on, they were afraid they could only live in this deserted place for the rest of their life. Wanting to return to the capital would be difficult now. Thinking to this point, the feeling of unwillingness rose in his heart.
The silence didn’t last too long as someone saw Elder Shen trotting from this team returning from the front. So they changed the subject naturally, and said with experience: “Let’s walk faster, maybe the frontline is about to set up camp.” This was already the usual time to give command to rest and reorganize.
After he finished speaking, Li Man looked at the front and could almost see a small carriage. His heart was broken: This fool had better be attacked and killed by those barbarians. He hadn’t realized that if the person they were protecting died, none of them would survive. The crime of failing to protect one’s master would be enough for them to have their heads chopped off eight or ten times.
That’s right, the person inside the carriage in the frontline was the Fourteenth Prince of the Kingdom, and was bestowed the title of Duan Wang* not long ago. While they were the guards assigned to protect the Fourteenth Prince. This trip was to follow the Fourteenth Prince to head for the territory–Liangcheng.
(Duan Wang: or King Duan, a title bestowed to territory or vassal state’s kings by the Emperor)
The Fourteenth Prince, Ming Yu was a little foolish since he was born. Because he was born from the late Empress Yuan, and because he was stimulated while in the womb, he was born prematurely. The Emperor felt a little guilty and pity for him. In order to compensate him, the Emperor originally wanted to arrange a rich territory near the capital city. Thus, what if the Fourteenth Prince was a little stupid? He could live comfortably like this for a lifetime.
However, a fool is a fool. He actually gave up the prosperous land of the capital and pestered the Emperor to request for the westernmost Liangcheng. What could that place possibly have? Besides being desolate, it was still just desolate. The most terrifying thing is that Suixi Kingdom was next to it. At times, they would invade the Great Yan from time to time. They burned, killed, robbed and oppressed. Liangcheng was the closest to the Suixi Kingdom. Therefore, whenever the barbarians from Suixi Kingdom invaded, Liangcheng always bore the brunt.
Now this foolish prince has taken things too hard and wants to go forward to throw away his life? For this foolish prince, these guards who followed to protect him didn’t have zero complaints. To make this many people accompany this fool to die, who would be willing?
Inside the carriage, Ming Yu’s hand was holding a book “The History of the Great Yan”, which he held in his hand every day for the past few months. Although he still didn’t understand the traditional Chinese characters, he could make a wild guess, guessing eight or nine out of ten. Plus, there were many pictures in it, which was clear. Thus, in combination with the pictures, he could still read it with keen interest.
After he arrived here, he learned about the entire Great Yan Dynasty based on this book. That’s right, Ming Yu was not a person from here. He was a lone soul from the modern generation who had traveled through time and was called Ming Yu. He had the same name as this Fourteen Prince. He also didn’t know the reason, but when he opened his eyes, he had arrived at this never seen in history, Great Yan Dynasty and woke up in the body of the Prince with the same name.
The owner of this body was Ming Yu, the Fourteenth Prince of the Great Yan Dynasty, who was the second son of the late Yuan Empress. He was born from the same womb as the crown prince, Ming Ye. The Empress and the Emperor were a married couple since they were young and had a deep love. It’s just that since giving birth to the crown prince, the Empress developed a deep-rooted illness. Her body’s bones became a little weak. Later, after being pregnant with the Fourteen Prince, there were accusations of witchcraft in the palace. The Emperor was in great anger. Implications spreading wide, Empress Yuan’s health being not good, and being frightened by the witchcraft matter inside the palace, led to her giving birth prematurely. She died soon after giving birth to the Fourteenth Prince.
The Fourteenth Prince did not develop well in his mother’s body. Also, being born prematurely, his body was weak from birth. After the death of Empress Yuan, the Emperor was full of sorrow, and he had no heart to take care of such a child, so he issued an imperial decree bestowing Hui Guifei* to raise him instead.
(Guifei: High ranking imperial consort)
Since he wasn’t her own child, she didn’t take care of him with all her heart. She threw the child to the nanny and never took care of him on her own. Thus, no one noticed the abnormality in the Fourteenth Prince’s foundation at all. This was until he was six or seven years old and was foolish and silly, and could not use words to communicate properly. This time, it was spread everywhere in the palace that the Fourteenth Prince was foolish.
Only then did the Emperor take notice of this son. After having the imperial physician in the palace check on him, he also shook his head. This was a congenital deficiency, and he could use cherished medicinal supplements to slowly nourish him.
The Emperor owed this son a little, and now there was no other method. Since they said he needed to be nourished, could their imperial household lack those good medical ingredients? Thus, his nourishment was overly nourished and made him into a chubby little fatty.
Over the years, the Fourteenth Prince’s reputation had been labeled as foolish and stupid. But actually, according to the modern Ming Yu, the Fourteenth Prince was just a little slow to react and not good at conveying or communicating. There was nothing else that was different. As for the rumored domineering and stingy reputation, hehe, Ming Yu knew very well in his heart that a large part of it was exaggerated and spread from the mouths of others, while the other part was deliberately done by Ming Yu after he transmigrated through.
The imperial palace was a big dyeing jar.
In the dark corner, what kind of snakes, rats, insects and ants aren’t there? The Fourteenth Prince, the kind of person who stood aloof from worldly affairs, and was a bit foolish, surely it was impossible for him to stand in the way of others. However, those people who caused the Fourteenth Prince to fall into the water for their own purposes were tantamount to killing a human life directly. If he hadn’t transmigrated in the Fourteenth Prince’s body, there would be no such individual now. In the eyes of those people, if such a person was gone, he would be gone. It didn’t matter at all, right?
Ming Yu inherited all the memories of the Fourteen Prince, and naturally knew the causes and consequences. Inside the harem, in order to fight for favor, it was a common matter to fight openly and maneuver covertly. He was entrusted under Hui Guifei’s name and care, and the Emperor was getting more emotional in recent years. He often longed for Empress Yuan and often came to see Ming Yu. Because of this reason, the time coming to Hui Guifei’s palace increased, thus, he would have some affection towards Hui Guifei as well. This was something that even if one requested, they may not get. So, those people who had bad intentions held even more hatred to the Fourteenth Prince. This made them plot a scheme against the Fourteenth Prince to let him accidentally fall into the water. Firstly, one can dispose of an insignificant but incomparable irksome fool. Secondly, making this fool meet with a mishap, in the event of an accident, Hui Guifei, who was in charge of looking after him, will also be punished because of this. When the moment comes, how much care will the Emperor have for her? Isn’t it satisfying to kill two birds with one stone like this?
According to later generations, over decades of thought, these people were murderers and criminals. They killed the Fourteen Prince and deserved to be punished, but it didn’t work like that here. The greatest power was the imperial power, and the Fourteen Prince did not die. He was only a little frightened at most. Thus, big problems are turned into small ones and small problems turned into no problems at all. Even the Emperor didn’t thoroughly investigate it. He mentioned it strongly, then let it go gently, only forcing the people involved in the matter to forfeit their salaries and restricting their moment for the penalty.
How can this anger be swallowed? Only Ming Yu knew that the Fourteenth Prince had already passed away. Although he couldn’t have those people be punished as they should be, he still had to take the Fourteenth Prince’s place and vent for him. As a result, Ming Yu, who had transmigrated, didn’t care of any concerns. He simply burned the Pingfu Palace of imperial concubine Shu today. Tomorrow, the Eleventh Prince of De Guifei was beaten. And the day after tomorrow, the head eunuch of Yonghe Palace was whipped. All in all, the Fourteenth Prince Ming Yu launched a ruthless attack that was not foolish, but rather like a little lunatic.
As a result, for a while, the people in the palace, everyone talked about his change in colour. Seeing this little lunatic from a distance, everyone fled immediately.