In February of the fifteenth year of Yuan Shun, Liu Futong and aides supported Han Lin’er, the son of Han Shantong, in proclaiming himself the Xiao Ming emperor. The capital was to be established in Bozhou, the dynasty name was Song, and the reign name Longfeng.
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By December of the fifteenth year of Yuan Shun, the Red Turban Army in Taikang was defeated by General Dashibadoulu of the Yuan army, thus Xiao Ming emperor moved the capital to Anfeng.
“Too hurried.” Lin Yuan took a sip of tea, “They were able to resist earlier, but now how come they couldn’t bear it anymore.”
Both Song Shizhao and Luo Ben were seated below Lin Yuan. Luo Ben’s seat was after Song Shizhao. Lin Yuan now had civil officials sitting on the left while military officials sat on the right. It was clearly delineated so that everyone could find their own position.
Song Shizhao smiled and said: “To set people’s hearts at ease.”
Lin Yuan: “That’s a reason, but it does more harm than good.”
The territory of the Red Turban Army seemed to be very large, but in fact they were not at all united. Under the banner of the Red Turban Army, they were all in it for their own benefit.
For example, Xu Shouhui and Guo Zixing, although they were both Red Turbans, they were not on the same side as Liu Futong, so naturally they would not have any relationship.
In history, Zhu Yuanzhang proclaimed himself emperor in 1368, the first year of Hongwu in the Ming Dynasty. According to the current reign era, it would be the twenty-eighth year of Yuan Shun. And that happened when the Yuan Dynasty had no power left to quell the rebels. It was also five years after Zhu Yuanzhang’s biggest opponent, Chen Youliang died.
And those who had proclaimed themselves the emperor earlier all died.
Lin Yuan asked Chen Baisong and Zhu Yuanzhang: “Can you capture Jiqing Lu this year?”
Zhu Yuanzhang smiled and said: “It’s not difficult.”
Chen Baisong answered: “The military power of Jiqing Lu is not strong enough, and the grain and grass supply is also lacking. We can fight quickly.”
Lin Yuan nodded: “Is it possible to win with 300,000 soldiers?”
Zhu Yuanzhang and Chen Baisong knelt down together to request to fight.
Generals could only be generals when there was a battlefield.
Lin Yuan said to Song Shizhao and the others after giving them his permission: “Xiao Ming emperor proclaimed himself emperor. It would not be proper to turn a blind eye so send some congratulatory gifts over.”
Luo Ben’s expression changed: “This…..”
Lin Yuan comforted: “It’s just for show.”
Luo Ben was relieved. He finally followed after a ruler who trusted him and used him. If this person said he was going to kneel down to the Xiao Ming emperor at this time, he might actually protest with his own death today.
Song Shizhao had been working for Lin Yuan for so many years, so he had long become somewhat learned in the other’s ways. He knew what Lin Yuan wanted to do, so he smiled and said: “Naturally, we will prepare a heavy gift.”
Xiao Ming emperor was young, and the real ruler was Liu Futong. And Liu Futong was certainly loyal to Xiao Ming emperor.
But what about Xiao Ming emperor himself?
Perhaps Xiao Ming emperor also trusted this loyal veteran official very much, but that was before he became the emperor.
After becoming the emperor, people would naturally change. If he didn’t change, then Lin Yuan would make it so he changed.
Let him feel the grandness and prestige of being an emperor.
What was the emperor? The world belonging to this one person, and all things on the land were his possessions. The beauties of the world, the delicacies and the splendor were all for him to enjoy.
Would anyone not be tempted by such grandness and prestige?
Strong relationships between monarchs and ministers had been rare throughout the ages. So long as one person was in a high position and one was underneath, and the person above was incapable, it was useless for the people below no matter how hard they worked. If they were labelled with “overstepping authority” then it would all be over.
“I heard that someone close to the Xiao Ming emperor named Du Zundao is dead?” Lin Yuan asked suddenly.
Song Shizhao hurriedly nodded: “He was favored by Xiao Ming emperor and hated by Liu Futong. So Liu Futong had soldiers kill Du Zundao. He also named himself the prime minister and Tai Bao (TN: a very high official in ancient China). Now that he is in power, Xiao Ming emperor is no more than a puppet.”
Lin Yuan raised his eyebrows: “I imagine Xiao Ming emperor’s days are not easy.”
With a powerful minister on the side, in a situation where the ministers were strong and the emperor was weak, there would be no conflict if Han Lin’er was a cowardly man.
But what if Han Lin’er wanted real power?
Perhaps Du Zundao’s matter had already planted a thorn in Han Lin’er’s heart?
Therefore, Lin Yuan asked people to prepare the best tea leaves——only produced a few dozen kilograms a year. The tea trees were rare and could not be cultivated artificially. Professional tea pickers had to climb up the trees with bare hands and it was common for tea pickers to slip and fall to their deaths. And after harvesting the leaves, local girls over eight and under fourteen must use their bodies to dry the tea leaves. Finally, it must be processed by old tea craftsmen.
After Han Lin’er drank it and still wanted more, would Liu Futong still be able to give him more?
There were also the most exquisite utensils, tea cups and teapots that were all made of jade, texture smooth and the luster snow white and lovely.
Even the fabrics were all fine silks and satin that dozens of top embroiderers took several months to embroider.
In addition to this, Lin Yuan also had people spread rumors.
Luo Ben wrote many limerick poems that the common people could understand with no trouble. It could also be called a popular piece of doggerel.
The poems talked about how the emperor enjoyed life and how the ministers enjoyed life.
“What are these?”
In Anfeng City, Han Lin’er looked at the boxes carried by the servants to the yard, and turned around and asked, “Tai Bao?”
Liu Futong was wearing brocade robes and said with a smile: “These were sent by Gaoyou.”
Han Lin’er was thin and pale. He had been on the run with Liu Futong since he was a child. Even if he was now an emperor, he still lived in panic all day long. He knew that everything he had was given to him by Liu Futong. His father had died for so long, and even if his father’s prestige was still there, it was impossible for the civil and military officials to bend their knees to him. So when Liu Futong killed his favorite official Du Zundao, he dared not say anything.
He was nothing without Liu Futong.
Han Lin’er asked strangely: “Gaoyou? Is it the Southern emperor?”
Although the common people all called Lin Yuan the South Bodhisattva, they didn’t call him that way. In their eyes, Lin Yuan was going to proclaim himself emperor sooner or later. He didn’t have a title, so they gave him the title Southern emperor. After all, he was called the South Bodhisattva, so it was an easy match.
Liu Futong: “It’s him. I imagine he must also know that Your Majesty is where the righteousness of the world lies. He has come to surrender early.”
Han Lin’er: “Is he a loyal minister?”
Liu Futong shook his head: “It doesn’t matter whether this person is loyal or treacherous, and we don’t have to become antagonistic with him at this time. The imperial court is still watching on the sides after all. Now that he has surrendered to us, we naturally have to make a response for the people of the world to see.”
Han Lin’er said: “Then should Zhen ask someone to pass the decree and make him the Prince of Nan’an?”
Liu Futong glanced at Han Lin’er. The child had become smarter. While he was gratified, he also felt an unspeakable sense of urgency.
After Liu Futong left, Han Lin’er eagerly called the eunuch next to him: “Let’s see what it is?”
The little eunuch was one of Han Lin’er’s favorites. The reason was simple. His age was young, and unlike the older ones who only listened to Liu Futong’s words, the little eunuch was very timid. When Han Lin’er spoke, he immediately hurried to open the boxes.
Han Lin’er was not afraid that the gifts might be something treacherous. Anything that could reach his hands must be something that had been tested several times.
“Is this a tea cup?” Han Lin’er held a tea cup made of fine jade and couldn’t look away.
It was easy to make a tea cup with jade, but this tea cup was not made of ordinary jade. The whole body was white and there was no variegated color. There was even a bit of transparency to it that allowed one to vaguely see through to the other side of the tea cup. When serving tea, one would be able to see the color of the tea by looking through the walls of the tea cup, giving it a faintly elegant and ethereal appearance.
Han Lin’er: “What about the other things, take it all out!”
The tea leaves exuded a delicate fragrance. The fragrance was very overbearing. It did not smell strong, but when one took it out, the surrounding area seemed to be permeated with that fragrance. Han Lin’er took a deep breath and felt that he was standing in a tea tree forest.
The eunuch brought out countless rare treasures, including night pearls that were as big as a fist.
While it was called night pearls, it was actually a stone that was fluorescent. Lin Yuan thought it was a rare treasure at first, but when he took it in his hand, he found that the light was not as good as the light of a glow stick. But using it to fool people was not bad.
The eunuch swallowed: “Your Majesty, this is a night pearl!”
Han Lin’er: “Give it to me quickly!”
Han Lin’er was born in a modest family, and just only modest. When he was a child, his family had to hide from the court to promote the White Lotus religion. He had never really enjoyed anything in his life. Even if he became the emperor, he didn’t have to deal with any government affairs. Everything was taken care of by Tai Bao.
He had a harem and beauties, but the beauties were all the same. They had beautiful appearances, gentle lips, and no substance in their heads.
Han Lin’er looked at these rare and precious treasures and asked the eunuch: “Is it all like this for emperors?”
The eunuch didn’t understand, and looked up at Han Lin’er stupidly.
Han Lin’er touched the teacup in his hand, indistinguishable feelings roiling in his heart.
He was already the emperor!
The master of this world!
Even the Southern emperor bowed his head to him.
But why had he never seen these rare things before?
The Southern emperor was this rich?
Han Lin’er found that the servants around him sometimes sang some easy to remember song-poems. He listened to it with interest and asked the servants to sing it to him.
This song was about the emperor.
It was said that the emperor was born different from others, and he was the master of everyone. Whatever the emperor wanted, everything in the world must be given to him.
Whoever he wanted to live would live, and whoever he wanted to die would die.
Even the immortal deities in the sky adored him, and would even give up their godhood for him. Even if they were to become a maid after descending to the mortal world, they would still choose to follow the emperor.
The emperor didn’t have to do anything, but people still loved him and respected him. If the emperor wanted to drink, he would have the most fragrant wine in the world, brewed with the waters of the Celestial River (TN: Milky Way). If the emperor wanted a beautiful woman, there would be immortal fairies descending down to the earth. The emperor wanted to eat, then he would be given delicacies where even a single grain of rice possessed the most delicious fragrance. If the emperor wanted to listen to a song, it must be a divine song that could cause all people to be immersed into it.
After Han Lin’er listened to all of this, he couldn’t help asking himself: “The emperor can enjoy himself in such a way?”
No one in his family had ever been an emperor. It was the first time for himself and he had no example to learn from. He didn’t know anything about it!
But Han Lin’er discovered one thing.
——The people in the palace were not afraid of him. If the palace people offended him, at most it was just a beating.
But the palace people were afraid of Liu Futong. Whoever offended Tai Bao would not be able to see the sun the next day.
This knowledge made Han Lin’er feel conflicted.
He was not as dignified as Tai Bao! He was not as powerful as Tai Bao!
Except for that Southern emperor, no one else gave him any more rare treasures. But someone must definitely have given them to Tai Bao!
Han Lin’er didn’t want to go to morning assembly.
What was the use of attending morning assembly?
No one listened to him! He was an insignificant person, sitting on the dragon throne, listening to his courtiers discussing matters, but he himself couldn’t even cut in!
What was the use of being emperor? What was the use of attending morning assembly?
Wasn’t it ridiculous?
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If the people outside knew that this was what it was like for him as the emperor, they would likely all laugh until their sides hurt?
Han Lin’er suddenly had a thought.
Why won’t Tai Bao die?
If Tai Bao died, would he be a true emperor?
TN: I’m back ┬┴┬┴|ᴗಥ)╯sorry for the unexpected hiatus, promise there will be a heads up next time (*_ _)人
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