ROHYX Chapter 507 : Appalled (1)


This chapter hasn't been edited yet.



The weather in the eleventh month had already become quite cold. However, while the outside was filled with biting cold winds, the inside of the palace was as warm and pleasant as spring.

Song Guifei1 told the Crown Prince: "Next month is your birthday. Last year, your birthday was celebrated very simply, but we cannot have that again this year." Song Guifei1 wanted to host a grand birthday banquet for the Crown Prince.

The Crown Prince immediately responded, "Mu Fei2, considering the current state of the empty national treasury, we don't need all these unnecessary expenses." If he were to follow Mu Fei2's suggestion and organise a grand celebration, it would require several hundred thousand taels of silver. While it would be possible to pressure the Minister of Revenue to provide the funds, he didn't see the need to do so. With the treasury lacking funds, how would the officials perceive him as the Crown Prince if he were to spend the remaining money on his own birthday? Surely, they would consider him unfit for his position.

But Song Guifei1 disagreed, arguing, "How much can a birthday celebration cost? Even if the national treasury is depleted, they can't possibly lack this small amount of money." After all, her son was the Crown Prince, the heir to the throne. He could not be treated poorly, no matter who else was suffering.

At that moment, a eunuch rushed in and reported to Song Guifei1 and the Crown Prince, "Guifei Niangniang3, Your Highness Crown Prince, an eight hundred li4 message has arrived from the northwest!"

The Crown Prince's expression changed dramatically as he rushed out of Liuli Palace.

Song Guifei1 turned to Momo5 Ying beside her and instructed, "Go and find out what has happened." With an urgent message from the northwest, it was most likely about war. Amid this harsh winter, who knew what those northern barbarians were up to?

Momo5 Ying quickly returned and reported to Song Guifei1: "Niangniang6, Imperial Commissioner Cao De and his entourage have been killed by horse thieves."

Song Guifei1 let out a cold snort. "These horse thieves are truly lawless, even daring to kill an Imperial Commissioner. Huang-er7 must make sure they are completely eradicated."🦊

Momo5 Ying immediately flattered him, saying, "His Highness is wise and brave and surely capable of destroying these horse thieves." It sounded as if the Crown Prince himself would participate in wiping out the outlaws.

Song Guifei1 showed little concern for the horse thieves. However, the mention of the Northwest reminded her of Yuxi, who had married there. She remarked, "That cursed girl, Han Shi, has been in the northwest for over a year now."

Momo5 Ying replied, "It's been almost two years. Niangniang6, it's quite strange when you think about it. Master Liao Tong used to say that Han Shi was cursed, but who would have thought that after marrying Yun Qing, instead of bringing him misfortune, she would actually propel him to great heights. Now Yun Qing has become an upper second-rank Great General!" Momo5 Tian, who was killed by Zijin that day, was a sworn sister of Momo5 Ying. She had always wanted to avenge her sister, and now that she had the chance, she couldn't let it slip away.

Song Guifei1 frowned.

Momo5 Ying continued, "Niangniang6, Yun Qing is now the Chief General of the border city, with an army of 100,000 under his command. This Han Shi, whom Niangniang6 bestowed him with marriage, if she holds a grudge..." Momo5 Ying stopped speaking at this point.

Song Guifei1 snorted coldly. "She dares!" She said this, but her heart was still unsure. Yun Qing controlled an army of 100,000 men. If he rebelled at Han Shi's instigation, the consequences would be disastrous.

Momo5 Ying said, "Niangniang6, how can the families of the high-ranking generals in the border city follow them everywhere? Look, even Madam Tong has stayed in the capital with her son and grandson all this time." The generals stationed at the border took their families with them when they went to war, but most of the time, their wives and children stayed in the capital. On the surface, the court claimed to look after the welfare of their families in the capital, ensuring that they could enjoy a comfortable life without worrying about the dangers at the border. In reality, however, it served as a precautionary measure, holding their families hostage to prevent these generals from rebelling. In recent years, the Imperial Court's control over the lower ranks had weakened considerably, and the local officials were even more reluctant to send their families to the capital. And Momo5 Ying's suggestion implied that Yuxi should return to the capital as a hostage.

Mama Ying's suggestion was very malicious. She thought that since Yuxi had only given birth to a daughter and if she was brought back to the capital now, Yun Qing would definitely take concubines to continue his family line. At that time, Yuxi would be left in the capital as a grass widow9, while Yun Qing would take beautiful concubines and have children in Yu City. After a long time, there would definitely be no feelings between the couple, leaving only a nominal relationship. After all, men definitely cared more about the women and children who were at their side. This kind of revenge was much more satisfying than killing Han Shi directly.

After much deliberation, Song Guifei1 said, "Indeed, Han Shi should be brought back to the capital." There was a feud between Yun Qing and the Song family, and even though Han Shi had always seemed harmless, she surely harboured a grudge. These two individuals absolutely could not be kept together; they had to be separated.

The Crown Prince was furious when he heard that the Imperial Commissioner had been murdered by horse thieves. He immediately summoned Grand Chancellor Yu and General Song Huaijin to the palace and told them, "The bandits and horse thieves in the northwest have become far too brazen and must be rooted out."

There was absolutely no need to discuss the matter. If they didn't order the extermination of these bandits, how could the Imperial Court maintain its dignity and authority? Therefore, even though winter was upon them, they could not delay this matter any longer. Grand Chancellor Yu made no objection but only asked, "Your Highness, the bandits and horse thieves have been rampant in the Shaanxi and Gansu region. General Ji Xuan has been trying to suppress them for years but to no avail. Instead, these bandits and horse thieves have become even more brazen, even daring to kill an Imperial Commissioner. Your Highness, the Imperial Court should send its own personnel to root out the bandits this time."

Song Huaijin snorted coldly and asked, "I wonder who Grand Chancellor Yu thinks would be the most suitable candidate for this task?"

Grand Chancellor Yu, a seasoned politician, respectfully addressed the Crown Prince: "I believe Your Highness already has someone in mind for this task."

The Crown Prince did indeed have someone in mind, and that person was, of course, Chen Yu. "Chen Yu comes from a family of military generals and was trained by Marquis Taining himself. He is the most suitable person for this important task." Apart from Chen Yu, the Crown Prince trusted no one else.

Chen Yu was ecstatic to learn that the Crown Prince had entrusted him with the task of suppressing the bandits. When he returned to the Marquis' residence, he eagerly shared the good news with Marquis Taining. 

Marquis Taining was not pleased, however, as the mission was fraught with danger.

Chen Yu's lifelong dream had been to lead troops into battle. Upon receiving this good news, he was so elated that he failed to consider the potential dangers. However, after hearing Marquis Taining's words, he calmed down and asked, "Father, are you saying that Ji Xuan will try to hinder our efforts?"


A noob translator, きつね, translated this noob translation. Please read this chapter at xin-shou.site. If you read this in another location other than the site stated, it has been taken without the translator's permission. Please don't support this kind of act.

Marquis Taining nodded. "If Ji Xuan does not provide you with elite soldiers but only with a ragtag bunch of troops, do you think you can successfully suppress the bandits?" The Crown Prince merely instructed Chen Yu to suppress the bandits without authorising him to bring his own troops. Consequently, Ji Xuan still retained control over the allocation of resources.

Chen Yu's heart sank. His intention in dealing with the bandits this time was to make a name for himself, not to be mere cannon fodder. After a moment's thought, Chen Yu asked, "Father, Ji Xuan is affiliated with the Song family, but we have no close relationship with them." If they wanted Ji Xuan to cooperate, they could only rely on Song Huaijin to intervene. However, persuading Song Huaijin to do so wouldn't be easy unless they were willing to join the Song family, which was absolutely out of the question.

Marquis Taining advised, "Take some time to think carefully about how to break through this situation."

Chen Yu thought for a long time before saying, "If we don't want to be controlled by Ji Xuan, our only option is to deploy the Northwest Army. I'm not worried about the Imperial Court's approval. I will ask the Crown Prince to issue a secret decree ordering Yun Qing to send troops, and the Crown Prince will definitely agree. However, I am very worried that Yun Qing might not agree to do so."

Marquis Taining paused for a moment and asked, "If Yun Qing is willing to send troops, what are your plans?"

Chen Yu stated, "The Northwest Army has extensive experience in fighting the northern barbarians, and their combat skills are formidable. If the Northwest Army were to be deployed, just 5,000 men would be enough to wipe out the bandits plaguing the Gansu region."

Marquis Taining shook his head. "The idea is good, but you have overlooked a crucial point. No matter how brave the Northwest Army may be, it will be in vain if they do not obey your orders. Soldiers who do not follow orders, no matter how formidable the commander, cannot succeed in suppressing the bandits."

Chen Yu froze for a moment before asking, "Father is saying that I can't control these people?" Chen Yu was still very confident in himself.

Marquis Taining said, "It's not a question of your ability, but rather the Northwest Army's fierce temperament, despite their bravery. What's more, many soldiers lost their lives in Yu City during the Early Spring Battle, and the Imperial Court hasn't even provided compensation. The widows and orphans are left without support. Under such circumstances, the Northwest Army will not obey a general appointed by the Imperial Court." The ineffectiveness of the Imperial Court naturally leads to disobedience among the soldiers.

Chen Yu remained silent for a moment before asking, "Is the Northwest Army no longer an option?" Chen Yu felt a sense of regret because if he could lead the Northwest Army in suppressing the bandits, he could achieve twice the result with half the effort10.

Marquis Taining said, "Even if the Northwest Army were to be deployed to suppress the bandits, only a general dispatched by Yun Qing would be successful." After a brief pause, he continued, "The Northwest Army bears the significant responsibility of guarding the border. They can only be mobilised in the event of a major crisis that threatens the nation's security. A minor issue such as the suppression of bandits does not justify the deployment of the Northwest Army." A crisis that threatened the nation's security would most likely involve an uprising.

Ji Xuan was unreliable, and the Northwest Army was unavailable. Chen Yu himself could not lead troops to the northwest to suppress the bandits, and he found himself in a difficult situation. After thinking for a while, Chen Yu said, "Although Ji Xuan is the Governor-General of Shaanxi and Gansu, he has never gotten along with the Provincial Governor Zhang Wenjie." Chen Yu initially wanted to use the Northwest Army because he wanted to avoid getting involved in local conflicts. The local disputes were no less than those at the Imperial Court, and he only wanted to suppress the bandits and achieve military success, not be permanently stationed in the region and get involved in their conflicts, which would be troublesome. Now, however, he had no choice but to get involved.

Marquis Taining observed his son's troubled expression and remarked, "This time, the Crown Prince has dispatched you to the northwest to suppress the bandits. It presents both an opportunity and a test. Success will pave the way for your further advancement. But if you fail..." Marquis Taining left the consequences of failure unsaid.

Chen Yu nodded with a somewhat solemn expression.

Marquis Taining said, "Although Cao De is talented, he is too eager for success and quick profits. If the Crown Prince had listened to our advice that day and not sent Cao De to investigate the Xu family case, we would not be in this predicament today." Marquis Taining had previously expressed his reservations about sending Cao De to Yu City, but the Crown Prince disregarded his advice, leaving him with no recourse.

As a result of Cao De's eagerness to succeed and make a quick profit, Yun Qing took the opportunity to eliminate Geng Jichen, Kang Donglin, and all other forces opposing him. He now had complete control over the hundred thousand troops in Yu City. With Yun Qing's power firmly established, the Crown Prince's priority was to appease him.

Chen Yu immediately said, "I believe his greatest mistake was not being eager for immediate gains but underestimating the enemy. He underestimated Yun Qing and Han Shi." Underestimating the enemy was a major taboo in military strategy. He would never make such a mistake.

Marquis Taining nodded and reminded him, "When you arrive in the northwest, you must not only be wary of Ji Xuan and Zhang Wenjie's interference but also of Yun Qing. Cao De's death is somewhat suspicious." This statement implied that Yun Qing was the one who killed Cao De.🦊

Chen Yu shook his head and said, "Father, Yun Qing could not have been responsible for Cao De's death." Regardless of who did it, there must have been a motive for the killing. Eliminating Cao De would have been detrimental to Yun Qing's interests.

Marquis Taining did not disagree with Chen Yu. He simply suspected Yun Qing but could not be sure. "When you go to the northwest, be careful in all matters."


Footnotes Full List
  1. Noble Consort
  2. mu=mother, fei=consort
  3. guifei=noble consort, niangniang=addressing or referring to an empress or an imperial concubine
  4. In ancient times, official documents were transported through a network of relay stations, typically spaced every 20 li apart. When a document was marked with the phrase "immediate delivery by horse", it had to be transported at a speed of 300 li per day. In urgent situations, the delivery speed could reach 400, 600, or even 800 li per day. For these urgent deliveries, each relay station used the fastest horses available. While these horses may not have been legendary steeds, they were pushed to their limits, enabling the incredible feat of covering 800 li in a single day. The term "800 li express" became synonymous with urgent communication in such situations.- Baike Baidu

    li = a traditional unit of length, equal to 150 zhang (市丈), and equivalent to 0.5 kilometres or 0.311 miles

  5. a form of address for an elderly woman
  6. addressing or referring to an empress or an imperial concubine
  7. mode of address used by the Emperor's mother to address the Emperor in historical dramas.
  8. Wow, Song Guifei already thinking she is the Dowager Empress.
  9. to stay at home while her husband is away
  10. Idiom: efficient; effective
  11. Um... sorry to disappoint you, Marquis. You guessed wrong.




きつね's Note

I've changed the name of Ji Xuan's position from Governor to Governor-General because of the article I read on Chinaknowledge.


きつね

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