The day when Wang Baobao and his troops set out was a day with good weather. There was no wind and no clouds, neither too hot nor too cold. The soldiers were high-spirited. The soldiers under Wang Baobao’s command had reason to be proud. They were survivors who had gone through hundreds of battles. Each and every one 9f them dared to fight and win. The personalities of the soldiers differ depending on the generals they follow.
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This personality was not personal, but group.
Wang Baobao rode a stallion and waved his horse whip. He was tall with a straight back and a torch-like gaze.
The moment he left for the expedition, he suddenly thought of Toqto’a.
When the news that Toqto’a was recruited by the Southern King reached the imperial court, he remembered that the whole court fell silent at that time, and no one dared to speak. The hall was full of people, but it was as quiet as a funeral hall.
That was Toqto’a, the person they had always looked up to, a direct descendant of a family that had been loyal to the imperial family for generations, and dared to break away from his family relatives for the sake of the emperor.
Wang Baobao still remembered that he had stood among the officials, but he didn’t even dare to lift his head.
He felt ashamed at that time.
Now that he thought about it, he didn’t even know whether it was shame towards the court for being unable to retain Toqto’a’s loyalty.
Or shame at Toqto’a for betraying the court despite being a high-ranking official——even if Toqto’a had been exiled and his wealth and property had been seized and confiscated at that time.
He couldn’t become a second Toqto’a.
He was a Mongolian, and the blood flowing in his veins came from the grassland. He would never bow to Han people.
He must live up to his ancestors and his clan.
All the way on the march, the soldiers ate and slept in the wilderness. Fortunately, they were used to such days. The soldiers came from families that had been soldiers for generations. When they first came to the Central Plains in the early years, they were all big lords, even young children could judge cases——they had just conquered the land of the Han people, and the people above them turned a blind eye to their presumptuousness. This was called conferring a favor.
Later, the earlier emperors passed away. Although they were still higher in status than the Han people, they had to start looking for a livelihood on their own. When there were no battles to be fought they took up hoes, and when there were battles they took up armor and weapons.
Mongolian soldiers conquered the world on the backs of war horses. They were brave by nature. Since they could walk, they must learn to mount horses. They were not afraid of wars. On the contrary, they were warlike by nature.
Today, only Wang Baobao had so many Mongolian soldiers under his command.
Under the command of other generals, there were only a fraction at best, and most of the soldiers were from Han military households.
After setting up camp to rest, some soldiers patrolled the camp, and some sat together to drink some wine and tell some jokes. The spirits in the barracks couldn’t be drunk on normal days, afraid of getting drunk and interfering with things. The wine they brought themselves was not strongly alcoholic, so it didn’t hurt to drink it.
“If you ask me, Xue Chanhan is the greatest! If I was born a few years earlier, I could follow Xue Chanhan!” The soldier looked regretful.
Several other people said: “Our general is also good, better than the others. When the general eats meat, we can also eat meat. Look at the others, when their general eat meat, they may even be able to have a mouthful of broth.”
The soldier asked in a low voice: “Say, if this battle is won, our general should be promoted again, right?”
Someone suddenly said: “Where else can he be promoted? Our general is now the Left Chancellor of the Palace Secretariat, if promoted it will be Head of the Palace Secretariat, but the Head of the Palace Secretariat is Lord Hama. Unless our general is promoted to one of the Three Councilors in one go, otherwise there really is no place to promote to.”
“Then we should still get some rewards at least, right?” The soldier said, “Even some cattle and sheep are good.”
“The scimitar my father gave me has become rusty, and I haven’t been willing to buy another one this whole time.”
Everyone talked about what to do after winning, but no one dared to talk about what to do if they lost.
They didn’t dare to talk or think about it. When they were defeated in the past, at most they could flee back to the capital in a pathetic manner and recuperate for a period of time before fighting again.
But this time if they lost, would Dadu still be stable?
After marching days and nights, they camped in an open space half a day away from Hanyang. The scouts had to observe the surrounding terrain. From preparation to attack, it took at least seven to eight days. Wang Baobao did not feed the soldiers fully these days. They were purposely left half hungry and could only eat fully after winning the battle.
Lin Yuan also received the news.
Now Zhu Yuanzhang and Chen Baisong were both in Hanyang, and Li Congrong stayed in Huangzhou.
Yu Bi was standing behind Lin Yuan when the letter from the informant came. She was now serving in the place of Liu Yi and was responsible for serving tea to Lin Yuan.
Both Liu Yi and Chu Lin were the people who were sent to Lin Yuan to serve as signboards back then. Now Chu Lin had become an official, specializing in dealing with wealthy businessmen. Liu Yi waz still doing her original work, dealing with the female family members of big affluent families.
After Yu Bi came, Liu Yi no longer had to follow Lin Yuan.
The women in the manor didn’t like Yu Bi.
Liu Yi was alright, who let her be so beautiful? Even a woman had to admit that she was born with a lovely face. If she uttered a few soft words and begged softly, even if a woman heard it they would feel their heart soften.
But what was Yu Bi?
Liu Yi was already there early on, and they recognized it, but Yu Bi?
“A born slut that seduces men.” When the maids spoke in private about her they had nothing good to say, “Fortunately, our South Bodhisattva is wise and only let her be a concubine.”
“I heard that she eats swallow’s nest every day, she is but an orphan, yet she acts more noble than a real lady.”
“No matter how she is, she may not really be able to push Sister Liu down? The South Bodhisattva just want to have a taste of something new.”
They didn’t like Liu Yi before, but now Yu Bi had come, they were fine with Liu Yi. They would often chat with her every day, giving her better treatment than when Liu Yi was still serving at Lin Yuan’s side, causing Liu Yi to be flattered for several days.
Liu Yi still had to go to Lin Yuan’s side occasionally. Although she had a beautiful face, she did not have an arrogant and domineering character, otherwise she would not be sent to Lin Yuan’s side.
But every time she went over, she would see Yu Bi.
The two had also exchanged several verbal barbs.
Don’t know why, she always felt that Yu Bi hated her. This hate could not be expressed so Liu Yi could only pretend not to know.
She was just puzzled, Yu Bi was the only concubine the South Bodhisattva accepted. The South Bodhisattva should love her somewhat, so why didn’t he tell Yu Bi that she had never actually been favored by the South Bodhisattva?
But she couldn’t say anything, she could only pretend to be deaf and dumb.
Liu Yi was stopped by someone: “Good sister, the South Bodhisattva asked this humble one to accompany you over there. It seems that that little hussy will not be able to jump around for long. With you there, how can there still be a place for other people to stand?”
Liu Yi smiled and said, “No, no, what the South Bodhisattva likes and dislikes is not up for us to decide. This is just one’s duty.”
The person was retorted by her, and could only lower his head respectfully.
Liu Yi arrived at the study with the attendant. After walking all the way, her heart began to beat extremely fast, and she felt that something big had happened.
When she stood outside the study room and reported her identity, the voice of the South Bodhisattva came from inside.
Liu Yi opened the door.
The South Bodhisattva was sitting at the desk, holding a newsletter in his hand, but Yu Bi was collapsed on the ground, looking dazedly and with terror at Liu Yi who opened the door.
Lin Yuan said to Liu Yi: “Bring her away for now.”
Liu Yi swallowed and nodded.
The South Bodhisattva had her come, and it was clear that the reason was because he didn’t want this matter to spread.
She stepped forward, took Yu Bi’s arm, and said softly: “Lady, come with me.”
But Yu Bi screamed at this moment: “You lied to me! You lied to me!”
Liu Yi covered her mouth and had the servant drag her out.
The attendant looked weak, but his strength was not small. He grabbed Yu Bi by the hair and dragged her out easily.
Liu Yi’s daily dealings with women had let her gain much experience. Lin Yuan called her over and it was clear that he wanted her to keep a look on Yu Bi, and pry Yu Bi’s words out.
If she couldn’t pry it out, torture would be used.
The fewer people who knew about this, the better, and Liu Yi was also clear about this in her heart.
Lin Yuan took a sip of tea after Liu Yi dragged Yu Bi away.
He had Chen Baisong and Zhu Yuanzhang go muster their troops. The two often cooperated and they had a tacit understanding. They would not fight for command over the troops. This gave him a lot of peace of mind.
Yu Bi was no longer of use. She had relayed the news and let the court believe in it. So whatever information she knew did not really matter.
However, the imperial court could not believe Yu Bi alone.
So Lin Yuan made several preparations.
Don’t know how many spies were in Hanyang City. So long as they kept it from their eyes, the people behind them would naturally not be able to discover the truth.
Lin Yuan pursed his lips.
If Wang Baobao’s army could be defeated this time, whether it was killing Wang Baobao or imprisoning him, Lin Yuan would be able to direct his troops to Dadu. As for Anfeng, let them continue to be chaotic for some time yet.
Liu Yi dragged Yu Bi to the corner room not far away. The people here had received Lin Yuan’s orders and had the place sealed. No one could enter without Lin Yuan’s order. Liu Yi watched Yu Bi gritting her teeth, with tears on her face, and sighed: “Lady, if you want to live, just say everything you know. People are raised by one’s father and mother. If you don’t have any pity for your own life how can outsiders pity you?”
Yu Bi glared at Liu Yi: “You don’t have to pry my words! When I came here, I never thought about going back alive!”
Liu Yi smiled and said, “The lady actually has a strong temper.”
Yu Bi closed her eyes: “You don’t need to say anymore, just give me a sharp knife, so I can go to the underworld to reincarnate.”
Liu Yi looked at Yu Bi and thought that this child was probably brought up in wealth and love, and she had never suffered any real hardship. She said softly: “Lady, listen to this sister’s advice, there is nothing more important than one’s own life. Even if you die, who will shed a tear for you?”
Yu Bi sneered and said, “A prostitute like you actually want to teach me a lesson!”
Liu Yi was taken aback for a moment, her old wounds uncovered in such a way. She glanced at Yu Bi, stood up, and straightened her back.
The attendant next to her smiled and said: “Sister Liu, what is the point in talking to her, she is a noble person, with eyes on the top of her head.”
Liu Yi glanced at Yu Bi one last time, and said to the attendant: “Leave her some dignity when sending her off.”
Attendant: “It will definitely be decent.”
Liu Yi walked out of the room.
Yu Bi’s screams sounded from inside.
This attendant was originally in charge of the prisons, and he had his own set of skills on how to torture prisoners and force prisoners to open their mouths.
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He was originally a person in Xu Shouhui’s palace, after cutting off that thing he had become an attendant. The nice way to call what he was was attendant, the unpleasant way was eunuch.
The attendant said to Yu Bi: “Lady, in the next life reincarnate in a better family and be a rich lady, this humble one will send you off.”
AN: “Xue Chan Khan”: The Mongolian name for Kublai Khan.
TN: aiya, sorry for the confusion, I seem to have mixed up the dates when scheduling the posts. Here’s a double update to make up for it!
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