ROHYX Chapter 442 : Thoughts

Edited by Tenkä

As news of the northern barbarians' retreat and the saving of Yu City spread back to the capital, the Crown Prince breathed a sigh of relief. If Yu City had fallen, the consequences would have been unimaginable.

Chen Yu said, "Your Highness, Qin Zhao is unfit to be the Commander-in-chief of Yu City." If it weren't for Qin Zhao's improper command this time, Yu City wouldn't have faced such a big crisis.

The Crown Prince shared Chen Yu's thoughts, but he had his concerns. "No one is both competent enough, and has enough seniority and prestige for this position." After saying this, he sighed, "It's a shame about Yun Qing." He felt that Yun Qing had the talent of a commander-in-chief.[T/C]

After a moment of silence, Chen Yu said, "Your Highness, it is fortunate that Yun Qing is dead, or else we would be in even more trouble." The Crown Prince knew about Yun Qing's defection to the Yu family.

It was because Yun Qing was dead that the Crown Prince said such a thing. If Yun Qing was alive, he would never allow him to take such a high position.

Jing Wang[2] said, "Ninth Ge[3], the northern barbarians have also suffered heavy losses this time. So, Yu City is not in danger for the time being, and there is no hurry to replace the commander. But pensions for the dead and the recruitment of new soldiers are still urgent."

When it came to pensions, the Crown Prince had a headache. With so many casualties, the pensions would run into millions of taels, and there was no way the treasury could come up with such a large sum. The Emperor was no longer in charge, and all matters of state had been transferred to the Crown Prince. With more power came a heavier burden.

Jing Wang[2] said, "Ninth Ge[3], the Ministry of Revenue has run out of money, but this pension matter cannot be delayed." He thought they could save some money from elsewhere, or bring forward other expenses, to ensure the pensions would be given on time.

The Crown Prince smiled bitterly before instructing, "Summon the Minister of Revenue here." They could think of a way to raise a few hundred thousand taels, but it would be challenging to even reach the million. The treasury had little silver, yet they still had to spend money on other things.

Chen Yu said, "Your Highness, the most urgent task is to conscript soldiers." The 20,000-strong garrison of the Northwest Army still had many wounded soldiers, so at least 80,000 to 90,000 new recruits would have to be drafted this time. It would take three or four months from conscription to sending troops to the northwest, so there was no time to lose.

The Crown Prince nodded. Conscription was much easier to deal with than pensions.

After discussing the matter into the evening, Chen Yu returned to Marquis Taining Residence. At this time, Marquis Taining had not yet gone to bed, so Chen Yu went to find Marquis Taining and told him about Yu City. "Father, I think this is an opportunity." Chen Yu wanted to go to the northwest. Even if he could not take over Qin Zhao's position, he could still be the second in command, and when he had gained a foothold in the military and built up enough prestige, he could replace Qin Zhao. However, he could only tell his father about this idea, not the Crown Prince. Otherwise, the Crown Prince would think that he was too ambitious.

Marquis Taining was also somewhat moved. In this world, there was nothing more reassuring than having military power in one's own hands. "Qin Zhao is the Crown Prince's man. Even if he suffers a defeat now, the Crown Prince will not let anyone replace him, let alone you, his right-hand man. The Crown Prince can't do without you right now." He knew very well what his son was capable of and hoped his son would achieve great things. But this was not a simple matter; it had to be carefully planned.

Chen Yu argued, "Father, with Qin Zhao's ability, he is not qualified for the position of the Commander-in-chief of Yu City. We will definitely be able to overthrow him if we plan carefully."

After a brief silence, Marquis Taining Hou pointed out, "The battle report does not say that Yun Qing is dead, only that he has disappeared. Yu-er, we can't make a move until we get definite news." It all depended on human effort[4]. As long as they made the proper arrangements, it was possible to send their son to the northwest. But the problem was that if Yun Qing did not die, all their careful planning would be in vain.

Hearing these words, Chen Yu tried to reason, "Yun Qing has been missing for about ten days. His chances of survival are almost non-existent."

Marquis Taining looked at Chen Yu as he advised, "Yu-er, no matter what you encounter, you must keep a cool head. Otherwise, you will easily do the wrong thing." For a family like theirs, making a single mistake could be fatal.

Chen Yu was startled, and after a while, he finally said, "Father, I've been too anxious." The news from Yu City indeed only stated that Yun Qing was missing, with no factual information that he was dead. If Yun Qing hadn't died, even if he had lost the battle, the primary responsibility wouldn't fall on him, so he wouldn't be demoted. And with Yun Qing still around, even if Chen Yu succeeded in overthrowing Qin Zhao, he wouldn't be able to take over Qin Zhao's position. At that time, he would just be doing useless work.

Marquis Taining said nothing to reproach Chen Yu. He knew there was nothing wrong with his son's determination to make a career for himself. "If Yun Qing is not dead, there will be news within ten days."

When Chen Yu regained his composure, he said, "Father, if Yun Qing is not dead, Han Shi can no longer stay in Yu City. With Han Shi around him, there will be many variables in the future." The family members of high-ranking generals had to stay in the capital. On the surface, they were given a privileged life, but in reality, these people were hostages. In recent years, however, the Imperial Court's control over the local territories and their administrations had been more relaxed than in the past, so this requirement was not tightly enforced.

Marquis Taining shook his head. "Yu-er, even if we can't become allies with Yun Qing and Han Shi, we can't become enemies with them either." Han Shi was no fool and would not want to be separated from her husband. Even if the order came from the Crown Prince himself, she could still find a way to stay in Yu City under the pretext of being seriously ill. With the Yu family's help, Han Shi would certainly not return to the capital.

Chen Yu made no reply.

Marquis Taining added, "Yu-er, unless necessary, do not make enemies with others, especially with someone as clever as Han Shi."

When Chen Yu heard this, he stated, "Father, I didn't believe what Teacher Song said before, but now I do. If Yun Qing hasn't died, Han Shi would become a scourge." Chen Yu didn't believe that Yuxi's actions of giving food and lending some of her men to the frontline soldiers were to help them. He was sure that she did it to buy people's hearts. If Yun Qing hadn't died, it wouldn't be long before he would control the 100,000 troops in Yu City. With a scheming and unscrupulous person like Han Shi aiding him, the Imperial Court might be unable to control Yun Qing over time.

Marquis Taining had a completely different view from Chen Yu. "Yu-er, that woman surnamed Song, is Han Shi's teacher. Even if Han Shi isn't her official student, they still have a teacher-student relationship. When that woman Song said that, she clearly wanted to kill Han Shi. Han Shi has done nothing wrong to her, but she still wants to end Han Shi's life. Do you think the words of such a person are still credible?"

Chen Yu had no feelings for Teacher Song, but he did scorn Han Yuxi. "Father, I think this woman, Han Shi, is terrible. With her by Yun Qing's side, there will be trouble sooner or later." What he said was also based on what Han Shi had done.[T/C]

Marquis Taining reminded him, "This is not something you should interfere with. Even if something goes wrong in the future, the Crown Prince will take care of it, and it has nothing to do with us. Yu-er, I want to remind you once again, if you don't have to, don't make enemies with smart and powerful people. Otherwise, you'll be the one to suffer a great loss." He felt there was no need to offend Yun Qing and Han Shi; they had no enmity and no conflict of interest with each other.

Chen Yu silently listened for a moment before saying, "Father, as people paid by, and loyal to the ruler, we cannot look upon such a great scourge and do nothing about it."

Marquis Taining laughed at his words and asked, "Didn't you tell the Crown Prince what the woman surnamed Song said? How did the Crown Prince react?"

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Chen Yu replied, "The Crown Prince said to put this matter off for a while."

Marquis Taining hummed with approval as he said, "Why did the Crown Prince make such a decision? For one thing, he thought that Han Shi would not be able to make any waves; for another, he was afraid that killing Han Shi would anger Yun Qing, which would lead to serious consequences. And if you let Yun Qing and Han Shi know what you just said, it would be like creating a powerful enemy for the Chen family." After a pause, he continued, "Yu-er, even if Han Shi returns to the capital, Yun Qing is still qualified enough to take over Qin Zhao's position. Yun Qing may not be good at scheming for power, but he has a natural talent as a commander-in-chief." The last sentence was the main point.

Chen Yu's face stiffened. Since it was his father sitting across the table, he didn't argue.

Just then, the guard guarding the door announced, "Lord Marquis, Master Shizi[6], the Chief Steward is waiting outside and says he has something to report."

Marquis Taining looked at the Chief Steward and asked, "What is it?"

Chief Steward Chen reported, "Lord Marquis, Master Shizi[6], the Han family just received a letter from Yu City. Not long after, Duke Han went to see Grand Chancellor Yu. The people we put in the State Duke's residence sent word that Duke Han's expression looked more relaxed when he left his study." Marquis Taining had asked people to monitor the Han family's movements closely, so Chief Steward Chen reported this news as soon as he got it.

Marquis Taining Hou nodded. "You can withdraw."

After the chief steward left, Chen Yu said with an ugly expression, "I'm afraid that Yun Qing isn't dead." If Yun Qing had died, it was unlikely that Duke Han would be relaxed.

But Marquis Taining frowned instead. "It is not wise to jump to conclusions on this matter. It would take eight or nine days for news from Yu City to reach the capital. The messenger must have left at least nine days ago. At that time, the northern barbarians were still attacking Yu City, and it is unlikely that Yun Qing would have returned even if he were still alive." However, if the letter did not contain the news that Yun Qing was not dead, Han Jianming would not have gone to the Yu family as soon as he received the information, let alone with a relaxed expression. Therefore, this felt a bit odd.

After parting ways with Grand Chancellor Yu, Han Jianming returned home. However, Mr Zhao was a little worried and said, "My Lord, the Fourth Miss said that General Yun had not died, but the real person had not yet returned to Yu City. In case...... he did lose his life, how would we explain it to the Yu family?"

Han Jianming smiled. "Mr Zhao should be well aware of Si Mei[7]'s temperament. Since she said that Yun Qing will be fine, he will be fine." It wasn't that he trusted Yuxi blindly, but Yuxi was a cautious person. If she wasn't very sure, she would not have said anything.

Mr Zhao thought for a moment and nodded.

Han Jianming smiled and said, "We can bring Qin Zhao down this time." With the two crimes of losing the war, and then leaking military information, plus the other crimes that had been dug up by the Yu family, this time Qin Zhao would not be able to be the Commander-in-chief of Yu City again.

Mr Zhao expressed, "I hope everything goes well."

Footnotes Full List
  1. Erm…General Zhao? I suddenly feel sorry for him.
  2. king
  3. older brother, short form for Gege
  4. Chinese idiom: human effort is the most important factor that decides whether a thing is a success or a failure
  5. Why is that? Is it because she's a clever woman? Or because she's not on your side? 🤨
  6. an heir to a noble family
  7. si=fourth, mei=younger sister, short form for Meimei

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