TTBE 48

Chapter 48

Edited and Proofread by KitKat

Li An Ming was deeply baffled by his words. He was speechless for a long time but when he finally straightened his thoughts, he couldn’t help but agree. At the moment, besides the Emperor, there was still the Crown Prince; not to mention the Third Prince and the Emperor’s beloved Shu Guifei. No matter who was thrown out of the game, it would still not be Xiao Zhige’s turn to take the throne.

The Da Ye Empire had been in decline for many years now and even if the First Emperor was reborned, he could not bring it back to its former glory with a court full of disharmonious and corrupt officials.

Li An Ming heaved a long sigh. He bowed low and said, “In the future… If Wangye ever needs my service, Li An Ming is at your disposal.”

Xiao Zhige nodded politely, “Minister Li, please take care.”

After Li An Ming left, Xiao Zhige stood by the window engrossed in thoughts.

When An Chang Qing arrived, he met with Li An Ming who saluted him respectfully before leaving. An Chang Qing was surprised but his attention was immediately shifted to Xiao Zhige standing by the window with his back facing the door. Sturdy and silent, a resemblance of the lonely emperor from his previous life.

An Chang Qing worriedly called out, “Wangye.”

Xiao Zhige turned back towards the source of the voice and upon seeing An Chang Qing, the gloom from before dissipated. His eyes softened as he took big strides forward as he questioned, “Why did you come here at this hour? How was your breakfast? I’ve changed the cook. His skills were said to be quite good.”

“I’ve eaten. There’s nothing to do back at the manor so I went out for a walk.” An Chang Qing replied, “Wangye was discussing matters with Minister Li just now?”

Advertisements

Xiao Zhige did not hide anything from An Chang Qing. He briefly explained his plans while walking him to the city’s high walls. 

An Chang Qing frowned after hearing his words, “So you knew from the beginning that His Majesty will not send any support? And that he will have Minister Li come to Yanzhou to investigate?”

Xiao Zhige responded with an ‘en’ and continued, “I sent the censor officer’s head back simply to scare the Crown Prince. As for the Taifu Temple’s secretary, with the treasury empty, His Majesty is sure to demand an investigation. Currently, there are only a handful of people that he can trust and seeing that Li An Ming was also the Imperial Censor, it was inevitable that His Majesty deployed him for this task.”

An Chang Qing followed his line of thought and deduced, “Minister Li dared not expose the two Princes so he will coordinate with your plan and report back to His Majesty accordingly. Even if His Majesty could overlook the involvement of the two Princes, he would still hold the Taifu Temple accountable. At that time, to mitigate this matter, Shu Guifei and the Third Prince will have to cough up the gold to pay for the grains. But for all this to play out, it’s going to take weeks. In the meantime, what will happen to the food shortage in Yanzhou?”

Xiao Zhige looked at An Chang Qing with appreciation, “It seems Nuo Nuo’s reading up on warfare wasn’t for naught. I’ve sent people to borrow grains from Chang Zai Chang of Liangzhou and Zhou Ji of Chenzhou.”

“Did they agree?”

“This is one instance of the slip between the lips and the cup,” Xiao Zhige sighed, “The Third Prince and Taifu Temple are more daring than I imagined. They not only embezzled from YanZhou’s granary but also from those of Liangzhou and Chenzhou as well. When Chang Zai Chang and Zhou Ji received my message, they were prepared to lend us a hand but found that their grains were also mixed with sand. Their reports should have reached Yejing by now.”

Xiao Zhige looked at An Chang Qing and smiled, “It’s thanks to Nuo Nuo that the food crisis in Yanzhou did not turn for the worse.”

“But… what if I wasn’t around?” An Chang Qing clenched his fists as he recalled the past.

In his last life, he did not do anything. Xiao Zhige underestimated the Third Prince’s avarice and Yanzhou had nowhere to turn to for grains, resulting in an arduous battle with heavy casualties.

Xiao Zhige stood on top of the walls and looked down at the numerous stone prisons outside the city. He said with conviction, “I will keep defending this city. Even if we have to eat the flesh and drink the blood of our enemies, as long as Yanzhou still stands, the people will remain safe.”

After speaking, he turned to look at An Chang Qing. Seeing the concern in his eyes, Xiao Zhige realized that what he just said had been too grim. He softened his tone and said gently, “That was just a worse case scenario. Hasn’t the situation been alleviated already?”

That’s right. Yanzhou’s situation had improved.

This time around, he was here.

An Chang Qing reached for Xiao Zhige’s hand. He looked at him and slowly considered the words he wanted to say: “In fact, after you sent the urgent request from Yanzhou, I had another dream.” 

Using another way to relay the secrets from his past, he said, “I dreamed that Yanzhou would face a very difficult time due to the food shortage. The civilians had given away all their food in order to sustain the army and many had then starved to death. The soldiers had fought for over a month and had barely pushed back the Beidi army. After this battle, Yanzhou suffered heavy casualties.”

Xiao Zhige frowned, “That’s why you thought of ways to send food over?”

An Chang Qing nodded and continued, “Afterwards, on the way to Yanzhou, I had another dream…

After the hard-earned victory in Yanzhou came the Empress Dowager’s birthday. To show his filial piety, His Majesty increased taxes and sanctioned forced labor, plunging the people into poverty. Starting with Suzhou, distressed civilians began to revolt. After that, uprisings spread across the country and soldiers were deployed to suppress them. For three years, the Da Ye Empire didn’t know any peace. It was only until His Majesty turned seriously ill that you were called back to Yejing.”

An Chang Qing did not know the minor details and could only tell him the major events that had happened, “The Crown Prince had lost his right to the throne and Shu Guifei’s party had come into power. However, when the Third Prince went on an expedition on behalf of His Majesty, he was assassinated by the rebel army. When His Majesty heard this news, his condition worsened and he died a few days later, leaving you to take over the throne…”

After he finished speaking, An Chang Qing looked at Xiao Zhige with unease.

Xiao Zhige’s expression had turned grim. He sighed and asked, “What happened after my enthronement?”

After hesitating briefly, An Chang Qing replied, “After you ascended the throne, you sentenced numerous courtiers to death and continued to wage war, fueling the people’s resentment. Later…later, the abolished Crown Prince joined hands with Zhu An Liang and Shi Le Zheng and besieged Yejing under the cause of ‘slaying the tyrant to return peace to the land’. They allied with the rebel forces and you… you lost the battle and died.”

Fearing that Xiao Zhige would not believe him, An Chang Qing stated with emphasis, “So far, everything that happened in my dreams have come true!”

Xiao Zhige shook his head and said, “It’s not that I don’t believe you but haven’t you noticed? In all these dreams, you were not there.”

An Chang Qing was taken aback. He was speechless as he stared at Xiao Zhige with widened eyes.

That’s right. In his previous life, he did not partake in any of this; that was why he was not there.

Xiao Zhige looked at him and said, “If I had not married you, I will probably end up like what you have dreamed. Defeating the princes and Shu Guifei and forcing father to pass the throne to me. However the situation now is quite different.”

His eyes were filled with tenderness as he said, “A family man has to be dependable and plan for the sake of his family.”

An Chang Qing’s mouth gaped due to the surprise. He asked with much confusion, “So you won’t fight for the throne?”

“I have to.” Xiao Zhige’s eyes sharpened and he spoke with adherence, “Whether it’s the Crown Prince or the Third Prince, whoever would take over the throne, none of them will let us live. To protect ourselves, we have to have a higher standing.”

“So what should we do?”

Xiao Zhige stroke An Chang Qing’s cheek and whispered in his ears, “His Majesty, along with this country, won’t be able to last much longer.”

An Chang Qing looked at him with wide opened eyes.

Xiao Zhige continued, “What your dreams foretell might come true but the circumstances are ever changing. Just like what happened in Yanzhou this time, didn’t you change the outcome? That’s why you don’t have to take what happened in the dreams too seriously.”

An Chang Qing’s brows eased up. He tilted his head and rested it on Xiao Zhige’s shoulder, mumbling, “Wangye wasn’t this good at comforting others before…”

Xiao Zhige adjusted his position and secured him in place, allowing An Chang Qing to sit more comfortably, “We all learn with time.”

An Chang Qing smiled. He thought of what Xiao Zhige had just said and asked, “If that’s the case… It won’t be long before we have to return to Yejing?”

“It might not be that soon.” Xiao Zhige said, “We have to solve the external problems before we can deal with the internal ones. The war in Yanzhou this time will last for another two to three months. The Beidi army has incurred heavy losses this time and Hu Yan Xun will not be able to answer the Beidi court if he retreats now.

“Then I have an idea,” Having cheered up after hearing that he did not have to return to Yejing soon, An Chang Qing went on to tell Xiao Zhige everything he had learned on the street.

“If Xi Wei jade is the same as those of Da Ye, we can purchase them at a low price from Liangzhou and sell them in Yejing at higher prices!”

Xiao Zhige rarely paid attention to these little things on the street. To think that An Chang Qing had made this discovery, having only arrived in Yanzhou for a short time. 

He contemplated and said, “If the craftsman concluded that they’re the same, I’ll write a letter to Chang Zai Chang in Liangzhou to get him to cooperate with you. We can have the jade transported back to Yejing and further south to sell for a high profit.”

Over the years, having suffered from both internal and external threats, the Da Ye Empire had stopped trading with the neighboring countries of Xi Wei and Yu Ze. However, since the three nations shared borders, their citizens were allowed to interact. If these emerald stones from Xi Wei were indeed jade, then finding a way to procure them cheaply from the Xi Wei Empire or even sending troops to occupy unclaimed jade mines along the border and then selling them to the southern states would prove to be a lucrative business.

Xiao Zhige already had a plan thought out. He looked at An Chang Qing tenderly, “I always felt that Nuo Nuo is like a blessing sent to me by the heavens.”

Ever since they got married, there had not been a time when he had felt any anger. In the half year that they were together, it was the happiest he had felt in twenty years.

“When did Wangye learn to make such flowery speeches?” An Chang Qing looked at him with amusement.

Xiao Zhige smiled at him helplessly, “It’s not some flowery speech. It’s words from my heart.”

An Chang Qing pursed his lips and tried to restrain his smile but his joy was still exposed through his phoenix eyes. Like a child being praised, he tilted his head and looked at Xiao Zhige, “Then I will continue to bless Wangye with good fortune.”

“En,” Xiao Zhige smiled with him as he led him down the city walls, “My future is all up to Nuo Nuo.”

13 thoughts on “TTBE 48

  1. So how long will they stay at battlefield? Months? A year? More???
    I hope nothing bad happen.
    I’m nervous with how they will defeat the Emperor and other Princes after war end…

    Anyway THANK YOU SOOO MUCH FOR THE HARDWORKS IN TRANSLATING THIS NOVEL TO THIS FAR!!! 🙇🙇🙇🙇🙇🙇🙇🙇🙇🙇 FOREVER GRATEFUL

    Like

  2. They’re definitely each other’s salvation and that makes it possible to turn the tide in this life.
    Thank you for the chapter 🌹

    Like

  3. Even truer than either of them really realizes! This rebirth was a blessing cand an enormous one at that. The throne will be grasped much more securely this time around!

    Thanks for your hard work translating!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s