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When Ming Yu heard that, sure enough, he was interested. He asked in a surprised tone, “Foreign female entertainer? Where are they from?”
“From the west of Suixi Kingdom. There are also many large and small kingdoms there. For example, Wan Kingdom, Madan Kingdom, Huhu Kingdom, and many others. Chen knows about a dozen of them.”
Ming Yu’s gloomy mood finally improved. Very good. It was not that different from what he knew. “Not bad. After I find a place to settle down, I’ll have to go and see these foreign customs”
The people who heard this couldn’t help but smile. The prince from the capital indeed had a young man’s temperament. Seeing novel playthings, he would become over-anxious to seek it.
Only Great General Wei was impatient, with a faint look of contempt. The soldiers in the frontline were fighting desperately, bleeding and sweating, but these people in the rear only knew how to eat, drink and enjoy life. If it were not for having to weigh the pros and cons of his position, he would have long ago waved his sleeve and left. It’s no wonder that Xie youngster would rather receive the mission to scout the enemy’s situation, than wish to stay here.
Prefectural Magistrate Liu had a deep friendship with Great General Wei. Knowing the temperament of General Wei, he secretly winked at him to make him feel at ease, and he brought up another topic.
Civil court officials and military commanders generally looked at each other and despised one another. Each looked down on the other party. You dislike me for being a brash man who only knows how to fight and kill, while I dislike you for speaking with a belly full of trickery and sour water. Prefectural Magistrate Liu was able to become friends with Great General Wei because both of them were from the same place, so naturally, they would be closer than ordinary people.
The two secretly made signs in the dark without letting Ming Yu know. There was another scenery inside the city wall. A lot of people were doing small business here. Loud and chaotic sounds penetrated into the eardrums, and there was a more prosperous smell of fire and smoke. Of course, they also saw many foreigners with bizarre outfits, high noses and deep set eyes.
With guards to clear the way, the group of pedestrians moved quickly. Many people saw the formation and knew that a big shot had come. The common people here had never seen such a scene before, so many people stopped to stand in a circle and watch curiously.
Ming Yu was very pleased. This appearance was what a city should have. Although it was not as bustling with noise as the towns in the Central Plains, it was still popular here.
“This is a place of war and chaos on the frontier, so why are there still foreigners from other countries here?” Ming Yu still had a bit of an odd feeling. Normally, this kind of dangerous place with 10 rooms, 9 empty, should have many people wanting to leave instead.
“Your Highness must not be aware, but a majority of these foreigners came here to do business. Or perhaps, they had fled from the chaos of war inside their own countries. Although there are wars here from time to time, in any case, Liangcheng is relatively stable, thus many foreigners come to Liangcheng.” Liu Daren explained.
Because the people in the hinterland of Central Plain did not understand the foreigners, they had deep prejudices. Therefore, these foreigners did not dare to venture there. They could only do business in Liangcheng, and the people here have long been calm in the face of the unexpected of those foreigners. That’s why many foreigners had settled here.
Ming Yu’s eyes were shiny, “Doing business? You have to pass through Suixi Kingdom when you come here. Is Suixi Kingdom not concerned with these foreigners?”
“The Suixi Kingdom has no supervisors to take care of these foreigners passing through. Also, some small countries have pledged allegiance to Suixi Kingdom, so, the barbarians of the Suixi Kingdom open one eye while closing another for them.” The accompanying officials understood this matter decently and tried to cure Ming Yu’s confusion.
Ming Yu nodded, there were already some vague thoughts in his mind. But, that’s only because he just arrived here. No matter what thoughts he had, he can only let go of them temporarily. It seems that he should find an official who knows the borderland to stay by his side, so that he can inquire more at any time.
This request was made to Prefectural Magistrate Liu, and Prefectural Magistrate Liu did not refuse. He only said he would return and arrange someone for him.
While he was speaking, he saw a commotion on the side of the road ahead. There was a strange burst of swearing and cursing that rang out.
Ming Yu’s group had officers and soldiers guarding them, so the commotion didn’t affect their side at all. Ming Yu didn’t mind it at first. Later, a figure emerged from the crowd. He directly bypassed the gap between the soldiers and guards, and knocked into the front of Ming Yu’s horse in an instant. The horse that was walking slowly was hit and neighed. It’s front hooves were thrown up, almost throwing Ming Yu off the horse. Fortunately, Ming Yu saw the situation was not good and clung to the reins tightly. Leaning on the horse’s back unwaveringly, only then was he not thrown off.
Everyone was losing their head out of fear. If Duan Wang was injured as soon as he arrived, that would mean they did not protect him well. No matter what, they would be implicated. Mo Jiang, in any case, was a military personnel. He reacted very quickly. When he saw the figure in front rushing out and seeing Ming Yu’s horse being frightened, he immediately stepped forward to mount the horse in two or three steps.
Moreover, Great General Wei, who was next to Ming Yu, had also taken action. Both of them were military commanders. Relying on both their hands and body’s strength, they steadily restrained the horse with its hoofs under control.
The surrounding was silent. The people watching the excitement dared not speak out, let alone the officials present.
Ming Yu’s face was pale. At this moment, he had just recovered from the shock, and could only utter a single word, “Fuxk!”
Only then did all the people react. When they saw the perfectly all right Ming Yu, their hearts were placed back in place somehow. Fortunately, the prince was fine, otherwise everyone would need to bear the blame. Prefectural Magistrate Liu repeatedly apologized humbly, and hastily made people arrest the culprit.
Ming Yu’s hand and feet were limp and painful. He has never encountered such a thing prior. He had never ridden a horse before and after he left the capital, he occasionally rode a horse. Thinking about it, he still had some lingering fears. Him being able to be safe and sound was an enormous fortune.
He waved his hand to indicate that he was okay, then raised his eyes to look at the culprit. It was just a scrawny little poverty-stricken boy with scraggly hair, and his whole body filthy. There were some purple bruises on his body from beatings he had gotten before. He tightly squeezed the half-piece of dusty bread in his hand. His big and conspicuous eyes on his small face stared at Ming Yu and the rest nervously. With a bit of viciousness in his appearance, he was like a little beast protecting his food.
After Ming Yu was frightened, his legs and feet were still limp and painful. With Mo Jiang’s support, he got off the horse and walked in front of the little boy. Then, he waved his hand for the guard to release him.
He smiled amiably, “What’s your name? Did you know that it’s dangerous to just rush out like this and bump into the horse?”
The little boy didn’t say a word, but watched closely at Ming Yu who was approaching. He hid the bread in his arms.
Ming Yu raised his eyes and looked at the commotion just now that was next to him. Not long after, a guard picked up a bearded foreigner from the crowd.
That foreigner tremblingly saluted at Ming Yu and the others, “Xiaoren*, Bu Atan greets prince daren.” He spoke Chinese fluently, obviously having been here for many years.
(Xiaoren: I, or this lowly one)
“What’s going on?” Liu Daren’s beard was almost raised up in anger. The common people in Liangcheng had already heard that Liangcheng would be the territory of Duan Wang, and they had been noisily discussing it for a while now. Today, Duan Wang arrived in Liangcheng, and all the officials went out to greet him. The people in the city had heard about it a long time ago, so he had already given repeated orders to his subordinates. When Duan Wang entered the city, they must not cause any trouble. Unexpectedly, someone violated the order.
“Daren, Xiaoren didn’t mean it.” Bu Atan knew that the crime could be big or small. So, he hurriedly cried out injustice. “Daren, this little brat stole my shop’s flatbread. Who would expect that this boy when turning around to run away would collide with the prince. It really has nothing to do with Xiaoren.”
It turned out that the boy’s name was called Gouzi and was an orphan. Wandered about, he arrived at Liangcheng not long ago. Usually, he helped the shop to do some work, barely being able to get a bite of rice. However, he was still young, and he couldn’t do heavy work well. Sometimes he would slip and get beaten and scolded. Today, the injuries on his body from the beating still haven’t recovered, so he couldn’t go and work. He was so hungry that he could not help stealing a piece of bread, but he was chased and beaten by the shop owner. Running away in a panic without looking at the road, he knocked against Ming Yu in the end.
Ming Yu felt a little uncomfortable. He raised his hand and wiped the dust on the boy’s face. Bu Atan said that he was twelve to thirteen years old, but looking at his thin and weak body, he seemed to only have the appearance of an eight to nine years old. It really makes a person feel sorry for him.
“Why make such a big ruckus for a piece of flatbread? How much is this flatbread? Ben Wang will buy it.” After saying that, he motioned to the guard on the side to give the money. It was already good that the prince didn’t blame him, so how could Bu Atan dare to receive payment? He waved his hands again and again with a resolute face, firmly refusing to accept it.
In fact, it wasn’t about that piece of bread. His reason was actually because he had a quarrel with his wife, and had no place to vent the fire in his heart. He just happened to encounter Gouzi stealing bread. Thus, with the fire in his heart rising, he wanted to vent it on this boy’s body and that’s why this happened.
Ming Yu didn’t care about him anymore. For such an orphan, it would be pitiful to let him live by himself. Ming Yu sympathized with him in his heart and blurted out, asking: “Gouzi, are you willing to follow me?”
Gouzi looked up at him in surprise, with doubts in his eyes, as if he didn’t understand what the person in front of him meant.
“If you follow me, at least you will be able to eat well and wear warm clothes, without having to be beaten or scolded.” Ming Yu smiled, looking like a Pai Hua Zi * kidnapper.
(Pai Hua Zi: name for people who kidnap children.)
Hearing that he can eat until he was full and wear warm clothes without being beaten, how could Gouzi be unwilling? There was a radiance glowing in his eyes, and the small head kept on nodding.
“It’s good that you are willing. Gouzi, this name is really hard to listen to. I will help you choose another name. En, let’s call you A Bing then, is it alright?”
(Gouzi= gou here literally means dog)
The current Gouzi, and the future A Bing only thought that this big brother’s smile was really good-looking. No matter what he said, he could only nod his head.
Ming Yu touched A Bing’s scraggly hair and asked some people to go to the back of the troops to call Qingping to come over, and bring this child to settle down. Qingping had already learned what had happened from the people nearby, and she had lingering fear in place of her master. She also felt sorry for this child and immediately brought out some refreshments for A Bing to eat.
There was no major trouble. Ming Yu turned big problems into small ones, and small problems into no problem at all, then he let Bu Atan return.
Bu Atan finally breathed a sigh of relief in his heart, and left thankfully.
Just a brief interlude, no one took it to heart when the matter was resolved. Prefectural Magistrate Liu had long been prepared to hold a welcoming dinner feast to wash away the dirt. Since ancient times, the drinking tables in a banquet were places to make friends with each other and to worm one’s way into being friends with someone. Ming Yu sat in the upper position, among the wine goblets and the gambling chips lying intertwined. He squinted his eyes while feeling tipsy. He aloofly looked at the officials below, the faint smile on his face, from the beginning to end, never faded.
From now on, he will take root here and strive with great effort to make his territory better. He will use all these people, and they will become his people in the future. It was a long road ahead, a heavy burden, and a long journey!