Let Go of that Shou Chapter 40

Chapter 40

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At dawn the next day, the caravan came to a halt once again.

You Mengzhe, still half-asleep, held the young prince, Li Xin, in his arms and looked outside. He saw soldiers along the road pausing with their spears, indicating an unplanned stop. Yu Changqing got down from the carriage behind, his hair disheveled, and hurriedly passed by while adjusting his belt, gesturing for You Mengzhe to wait in the carriage and went to inquire about what had happened with Zhao Feihong.

“I need to pee…” Li Xin said.

You Mengzhe led him out of the carriage to relieve himself by the roadside. Both of them yawned and fully woke up. The convoy had been stopped for quite some time. You Mengzhe sat by the roadside, entertaining Li Xin by making grass dolls. Growing curious about the delay, he couldn’t resist and took Li Xin’s hand, running towards the front of the convoy.

On the other side of the carriage, Zhao Feihong and Yu Changqing were having a conversation. Zhao Feihong said, “So it seems the only option is to send envoys to negotiate with Yu Wenhong.”

Yu Changqing replied, “Given the current situation, it seems we have no other choice.”

“…,” Zhao Feihong.

“…,” Yu Changqing.

After a moment of mutual silence, Yu Changqing asked, “Shall we eavesdrop again?”

Zhao Feihong hesitated for a moment before saying, “Let’s go over it again, from the beginning.”

Yu Changqing couldn’t help but complain. Dragged over by Zhao Feihong early in the morning to act out a scene, he had just woken up and forgot the lines halfway through. As he tried to recall the dialogue, Zhao Feihong quickly gestured to him, and Yu Changqing understood.

You Mengzhe finally arrived and cautiously hid at the other end of the carriage to eavesdrop.

Clearing his throat, Zhao Feihong began, “Since Yu Wenzhen is dead, the person who emerged must not be him. According to our spies, the one they found at the last minute who doesn’t speak Xianbei and possesses exceptional martial arts skills, there’s only one possibility.”

Yu Changqing remained expressionless. “Does that guard have such remarkable skills?”

Zhao Feihong gestured for Yu Changqing to sound even more astonished and replied, “You haven’t seen his strength. He’s the kind of person who can come and go as he pleases in a camp of two hundred thousand soldiers. Who else but him?”

Yu Changqing sighed. “This is difficult. How do we explain it to Mengzhe…”

You Mengzhe was utterly shocked!

The person they were talking about was Yu Wenhong?!

Signaling to Li Xin to stay quiet, You Mengzhe held his breath and listened intently. From the conversation between Zhao Feihong and Yu Changqing, he pieced together a rough idea of what was going on. In an instant, he was overwhelmed by an incredulous feeling.

According to the reports from spies embedded in the Xianbei camp, after being separated from You Mengzhe, Yu Wenhong was desperate to find his son. Unaware of where You Mengzhe had gone, he had directly pursued the Xianbei’s main camp. At the time, the battlefield was only ten miles away from the Dayu camp. Yu Changqing couldn’t understand why Yu Wenhong chose to go further instead of first coming to the Dayu camp to inquire.

But You Mengzhe understood why Yu Wen Hong had taken such actions. General Zhao Feihong from Dayu recognized him, he had tokens bestowed by Zhang Yuanshan, and he could speak the Central Plains language. Being caught by the Dayu army posed no threat. However, if he were captured by the Xianbei, it would be disastrous.

That night, Yu Wenhong ventured alone into the Xianbei camp, swiftly maneuvering through the masses as if the two hundred thousand-strong army were nothing. He stealthily made his way into the king’s tent, only to encounter the Xianbei King Yu Wenzhen, who was barely clinging to life.

Not expecting to see him, Yu Wenzhen was startled. Yu Wenzhen and Yu Wenhong looked almost identical!

 The king was suffering from a severe illness and might not survive the night. With the Xianbei army left without a leader, and with the leader of the Qiang tribe also passing away, if Yu Wenzhen didn’t return to contend for power, the Xianbei would likely be doomed to failure.

But if Yu Wenzhen were to die, how could Yu Wenhong return to vie for power?!

As soon as the old priest in the tent saw Yu Wenhong, he immediately had an idea. While Yu Wenhong was still lost in thought facing Yu Wenzhen, the Xianbei army surrounded the tent, ready to attack. Yu Wenhong realized the danger and quickly retreated, using whoever he encountered as shields. Even the old priest dared not shoot arrows, and the two hundred thousand-strong army couldn’t stop Yu Wenhong alone.

Finally, after a night of translation, Yu Wenhong finally learned about his own identity—Yu Wenzhen was actually his twin brother! 

When Yu Wenhong’s mother was pregnant with twins, she was fleeing from the Dayu army in the heavy snow. Along the way, she passed through a mountain village where she gave birth. However, tragedy struck as the village was raided by horse thieves that very night. Yu Wenhong’s mother had no choice but to flee with him, still connected by the umbilical cord, in a cart under the cover of darkness.

Amid the chaos of war, and bearing the only descendants of the Xianbei Yuwen clan, Yu Wenhong’s mother couldn’t escape with him after the village was raided by the horse thieves. She feared the harsh winter conditions might cause the newborn to perish.

Thus, Yu Wenhong was taken in by a kind elderly couple in the village. In his infancy, he was nourished with goat’s milk and even dog’s milk. As for Yu Wenhong’s biological mother, she fled to the city of Yun outside the border and gave birth to Yu Wenzhen before passing away. Before she died, she entrusted her clan with the knowledge that she had another son, saying he was still alive, still alive, he’s…

 Just like countless tragic dramas of separation between kin throughout history, some things are fated, and the final words can never be fully explained.

However, she did leave behind a token—a pair of Xianbei clan totems: the divine marten.

At this moment, the Xianbei people only see Yu Wenhong as a stand-in for Yu Wenzhen, not fully believing in their brotherly relationship…

A realization struck You Mengzhe like a bolt.

Yu Changqing said, “If Yu Wenhong confirms his identity and inherits his brother’s position, wouldn’t that make Mengzhe the Xianbei Crown Prince?” 

 Zhao Feihong added, “His father is undoubtedly Xianbei, but his mother is undeniably from Dayu, carrying the blood of our Great Dayu. There is no deep-seated enmity between the Dayu and Xianbei tribes. A conflict among the four barbarian tribes would only lead to internal strife. It’s better to establish a contract, allowing Yu Wenhong to take You Mengzhe back. This will not only ensure a hundred years of peace for Great Dayu but also reduce border conflicts, ultimately benefiting the people. Now, we have no choice but to send an envoy to negotiate with Yu Wenhong.”

Yu Changqing sighed and said, “Indeed, this seems to be the only option for now.”

After a moment of silence, Zhao Feihong gestured to leave, and You Mengzhe quickly ran off with the little prince.

Yu Changqing peeked out from behind the carriage and asked from a distance, “General Zhao, do you believe that Mengzhe would truly be willing to stand on our side?”  

 Zhao Feihong responded, “I’ve taught him so much about the ways of a gentleman. Mengzhe himself is not a bad person, and I believe he must have all of that in mind. Besides, seeking peace is not a bad thing for Yu Wenhong either.”

Meanwhile, You Mengzhe rushed all the way, almost causing Li Xin to fall. You Mengzhe decided to carry him on his back and ran towards his own carriage. Once inside, he helped Li Xin sit down and began frantically searching through his belongings. His heart was pounding heavily as he pulled out a small stone dog—a gift that Yu Wen Hong had given him years ago outside Zhao Feihong’s home. 

It’s the one! The divine marten! Dad is now the king of the Xianbei. I have to deliver this token to him.

Yue Mengzhe asked a soldier for a horse, thinking about how to deliver the token and discuss the peace talks. But Li Xin shouted from behind, “Where are you going, brother? Take me with you, let’s play!”

Yue Mengzhe said, “Brother has something to do. You wait here, be good.”

Li Xin: “?”

 Yue Mengzhe tried to mount the horse, but Li Xin clung to his legs like a little monkey, refusing to let go. Unable to find a solution, Yue Mengzhe had no choice but to lift him onto the horse. He swapped his civilian clothes for a set of armor from the soldier’s carriage, threw the cloak back, and signaled for Li Xin to hold on tight. Li Xin, enjoying the ride, giggled and clung to Yue Mengzhe’s waist as he shook the reins: “Let’s go!”  

So You Mengzhe took the prince and headed towards the Xianbei camp without looking back.

After about the time it takes for an incense stick to burn, soldiers came rushing to report.

“Report—The Grand Tutor’s godson, he, he… he took the Little Highness and… and kidnapped him! He took him to the Xianbei camp as a hostage!”

Upon hearing this news, both Zhao Feihong and Yu Changqing were in the midst of drafting a treaty. They simultaneously sprayed each other with the ink of their quills, blood boiling in their veins.

Under the moonlit sky, on the vast grassland, You Mengzhe spurred his horse forward swiftly, with Li Xin sitting beside him, dozing off against his chest. The entire Dayu camp was in turmoil, dispatching all cavalry to pursue them. You Mengzhe fled into the deep mountains, realizing he had forgotten to bring a map. He had no choice but to run northward, hoping to encounter some Xianbei people to deliver a message and the item to Yu Wenhong.

“Found them!”

“We found them, we found them!”

Someone immediately shouted, “We caught them!”

“Don’t hurt the Little Highness!”

Zhao Feihong personally came chasing with a torch, and for a moment, people were coming from all directions. The hundred thousand strong army surrounded You Mengzhe and Li Xin in the center.  

Zhao Feihong was so enraged that his face turned purple, he roared in anguish, “Mengzhe! What have you done to the Crown Prince?!”

Yue Mengzhe: “?”

Yu Changqing came riding over, looking at Yue Mengzhe in disbelief, his voice trembling, “Mengzhe, how could you commit such treasonous acts?”

You Mengzhe: “Treason? What treason? Wait, what are you going to do?!”

Zhao Feihong bellowed, “Don’t think your master doesn’t know! Where do you plan to take the Crown Prince? You beast! You drink Dayu’s water! Eat Dayu’s rice! And now you’re taking the Emperor of Dayu to join the enemy?!”

Yue Mengzhe: “??”

Soldiers nearby came to forcefully drag You Mengzhe away. You Mengzhe shouted, “This is a mistake! Li Xin! You tell them… You… Li Xin!”

Li Xin immediately shouted, “It was me who asked my brother to take me away! Don’t touch him! Don’t!”

You Mengzhe was being dragged back, and Li Xin, furious, yelled, “How dare you! General Zhao, are you planning a rebellion?”

With that statement, delivered with an air of royal authority, the tens of thousands of soldiers fell silent.

You Mengzhe shouted loudly, “Well done!”

Li Xin roared again, “Let him go!”

“Otherwise, I’ll exterminate your entire clan! General Zhao, just wait! Once I become emperor, you won’t have it easy!”

Zhao Feihong spat out a mouthful of blood.

Everyone present belonged to Tang Ze’s faction, loyal only to the emperor’s Imperial Guards. They usually only half-followed orders from Yu Changqing. How could they dare to oppose the young prince? They had no choice but to release You Mengzhe as instructed.

You Mengzhe made a mocking gesture towards Zhao Feihong, then mounted his horse.

The crowd stirred again, and it seemed more people from the Imperial Guards were coming. Orders were being passed rapidly through the ranks. Zhao Feihong’s expression changed instantly, and the Imperial Guards parted to make way.

A figure rode in on a tall horse, clad in black iron scale armor. In the moonlight, his face appeared cold and handsome, causing hearts to involuntarily flutter.

“Greetings, Your Highness, the Regent.”

“Your Highness!” Zhang Yuanshan stood his horse in the moonlight, looking weary from just arriving at the front lines. Behind him were thousands of Imperial Guards, visibly relieved to have arrived.

Dismounting, Zhang Yuanshan sighed heavily. Li Xin immediately called out, “Master—”

Zhang Yuanshan rushed forward, and Li Xin threw himself into his arms. Zhang Yuanshan knelt down, embracing him.

Yue Mengzhe’s heart skipped a beat as he stole a glance at Zhang Yuanshan.

Zhang Yuanshan lifted Li Xin, placing him back on the horse. With his right hand holding the reins, he gestured with his left hand, and the Imperial Guards stepped back. Zhao Feihong moved to speak, but Zhang Yuanshan waved him off.

Beckoning to Yue Mengzhe, Zhang Yuanshan approached. You Mengzhe hesitated before stepping forward. “Father, I… I didn’t kidnap the prince…”

 “You speak,” Zhang Yuanshan said indifferently. “I’ll believe you.”

Yue Mengzhe breathed a sigh of relief, about to say something when Zhang Yuanshan lifted him onto the horse as well. The Imperial Guards escorted the Regent Prince and the Crown Prince back to camp.

Upon returning to camp, You Mengzhe was immediately imprisoned.

“What’s going on?” You Mengzhe demanded. “Let me out! I need to see the Regent Prince!”

“The Regent Prince ordered that the young master cannot be let out until further notice,” the guard said. “The Regent Prince and General Zhao are in discussions.”

“What are they discussing? At least let me see the Crown Prince!” Yue Mengzhe pleaded.

No one relayed his message. They simply kept him confined, and after struggling for a while, You Mengzhe grew tired and eventually fell asleep in the tent.  

At the break of dawn, the army received orders to break camp. The Imperial Guards escorted You Mengzhe onto a carriage, surrounding him tightly to prevent any escape attempts.

“Hey! Mute!” You Mengzhe shouted, pulling back the curtain. “You’re planning to use me as a hostage! That’s outrageous!”

Zhang Yuanshan glanced at him from afar but didn’t respond.

“Master!” You Mengzhe called out again.

Zhao Feihong was in conversation with Zhang Yuanshan, paying no attention to You Mengzhe.

The massive army set out towards the Layan Mountain Pass. When You Mengzhe was brought out of the carriage, nearly three hundred thousand soldiers from both sides stood arrayed on the vast plain, creating an eerie silence in the air.

A rider galloped forward, proclaiming loudly, “King Yu Wenzhen of the Xianbei has something to say!”  

 The soldiers of Dayu were abuzz with murmurs and discussions. Zhang Yuanshan rode out, and his soldiers shouted loudly, “The Regent of Dayu is here! Summon your king for negotiations!”

Zhao Feihong handed Zhang Yuanshan an arrow wrapped in a small package. Zhang Yuanshan took it, and Zhao Feihong stepped back.

With his left hand holding the bow and his right hand pulling back the string behind his waist, Zhang Yuanshan elegantly shot the arrow in a reverse motion, piercing through the air.

The two armies erupted into chaos, nearly reaching their breaking points with this provocative act. The Xianbei soldiers shouted loudly, beating their drums, while Zhang Yuanshan remained indifferent, and Zhao Feihong wore a look of amusement.

Inside the small package was You Mengzhe’s totem of the divine marten.  

 The Dayu army also beat their drums. After three rounds of drumming, a rider dashed out from the opposing side. The translator shouted loudly, “Xianbei King Yu Wenzhen has passed away. King Yu Wenhong has a message!”

The soldiers of Dayu were puzzled by this news.

Yu Wenhong stepped forward and shouted, “Zhang Yuanshan, where is my Mengzhe?”

“I’m here! Right here—! Father!” You Mengzhe immediately cried out, but his mouth was covered before he could finish his sentence.

After seemingly deliberating for a while, a high-ranking general bowed, followed by dozens of Xianbei commanders who surrounded Yu Wenhong. They loudly recited in Xianbei, evidently acknowledging his status and pledging their loyalty.

Zhao Feihong said, “King Yuwen, now that you have ascended to the throne, I imagine your backyard isn’t very stable either. How do you feel about the documents sent by the messenger yesterday?”  

Yu Wenhong consulted with the old priest for a moment, then said, “My son is in your hands. What else can I do? Let’s sign the contract.”

The Dayu side sent out Zhang Yuanshan’s document, and a messenger, holding the scroll high, rode towards the Xianbei army. After a brief discussion between Yu Wenhong, his generals, and the priests, they signed and sealed the documents, formalizing the peace treaty between the two nations. A Xianbei envoy then raised the signed treaty and returned.

Zhang Yuanshan signed the document again, and the Xianbei envoy took it back.

Zhao Feihong declared loudly, “With this, the two nations are at peace. For the rest of my life, the Dayu army will not advance beyond Layan Mountain.”

Yu Wenhong responded, “For the rest of my life, the Xianbei army will not advance beyond Layan Mountain. Let my Mengzhe be returned to me now.”

You Mengzhe was brought down from the carriage, glaring angrily at Zhang Yuanshan and Zhao Feihong. 

 “Brother!” Li Xin shouted loudly.

You Mengzhe angrily said, “Don’t come over! It’s all because of you!”

Li Xin was frightened, tears rolling in his eyes.

Zhang Yuanshan personally lifted You Mengzhe onto a horse, letting him ride one, and took Li Xin along, the two riding together on one horse, galloping towards the center of the gorge. Yu Wenhong had already ridden out to meet them, allowing You Mengzhe to ride with him on the same horse.

Yu Wenhong and You Mengzhe, Zhang Yuanshan and Li Xin, two horses stood twenty paces apart, facing each other from a distance.

“Zhang Yuanshan,” Yu Wenhong said, “I’m taking the person with me.”

Zhang Yuanshan suddenly spoke up, “Wait.”  

Zhang Yuanshan took out a piece of yellow brocade from his bosom, and spoke towards the ink characters on it, “Yu Wenhong , I have something to say.”

The entire army fell silent as Zhang Yuanshan spoke each word slowly, “My adopted son, You Mengzhe, I hand him over to you here. Between the people of the Xianbei and the people of Dayu, there should be no enmity.”

“You Mengzhe is both a Xianbei and a Dayu person…”

“As Yue Mengzhe is the young prince of Dayu, returning to his biological father in the borderlands, Dayu offers… ten thousand gold… thousand pieces of brocade… a pair of jade bi… two sweat-blood steeds… one thousand stones of grain… to send him back to the borderlands.”

“Yu Wenhong, you must treat him well. With this humble gift, I express some of my sentiments.”

You Mengzhe stared blankly at Zhang Yuanshan’s earnest expression, feeling an indescribable emotion wash over him.

“Is that all?” You Mengzhe suddenly spoke up.

The crowd fell silent.

Zhang Yuanshan stumbled through his reading, and the Xianbei people chuckled while the Dayu people remained silent.

Yu Wenhong was also moved, saying, “Yuan Shan, I promise you, Mengzhe is my own son. His affairs need no discussion. From this day forward, with me around, our two nations are friends.”

Zhang Yuanshan nodded earnestly and pointed to Li Xin in his arms, picking up his jade pendant.

Yu Wenhong then picked up the other half of the jade pendant hanging from You Mengzhe’s waist and smiled at Zhang Yuanshan.

Zhang Yuanshan said, “As brothers, for a hundred years of goodwill.”

“Here’s to a hundred years of friendship,” Yu Wenhong replied.

A thunderous cheer erupted from the Dayu side, with all the soldiers shouting excitedly, their eyes filled with tears of joy. Finally, the war was over, and they could go home.

Zhang Yuanshan turned back with Li Xin, while Yu Wenhong and You Mengzhe returned to their respective camps.

Li Xin, still thinking about You Mengzhe, peeked out from under Zhang Yuanshan’s arm and called out to him, “Brother.”  

“Sure thing!” You Mengzhe smiled and turned back. “You have to come find me to play, alright?”

“I will,” Li Xin waved back, bidding farewell.

As the spring water of the borderlands flowed alongside the clouds, the two armies dispersed like tides, leaving only the mist lingering around Mount Layan.

– End of the Epilogue –

Ciacia/N: istg the other men are freaking bs to the core!!! Like wtf so speechless, at the end only Yu Wenhong cares about him. The others are trashsss!!!! Anyway, thank you all for sticking to the end! See ya~

Huge shoutout to @_nyanmaru_ on Discord for commissioning this! The chapter will be posted regularly, show your support for Ciacia at Kofi.

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