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CDCN Chapter 4.1


Chapter 4.1

Zhuque Avenue was coming to an end.

(t/n Zhuque Avenue (refer to the architectural design of the Ancient Capital City: Chang’an)- a wide road which fronted the main gates of the imperial palace and inner city, also strictly segregating the imperial palace and government buildings from the civilians’ dwellings)

The palace gate was getting closer and closer. The whole person donned on  vermilion red, the color that was both bright and solemn, formed a sharp contrast with the palace wall next to it.

The sunset that was almost sinking on the horizon, shone on the dead branches with its fiery red rays.

Yu Beizhou dismounted from his horse and threw the rein to a guard who had been waiting for quite some time. With his hands behind his back, he nonchalantly followed a palace servant holding a lantern inside.

The current emperor of the Great Yuan was very talented and had a broad vision for the future.  Had the foresight of sweeping the world, encompassing the universe, the four seas, and absorbing the heart of the Eight Wastelands.

(t/n sweeping the world, encompassing the universe, the four seas, and absorbing the heart of the Eight Wastelands- means to describe a powerful force that controls the whole world. From the book called “Guo Qin Lun”.)

There were originally seven countries in the early years, but the Great Yuan swept away the three neighboring states, leaving only three to survive. The rest of the little nations amounted to none, naturally, there would be nothing to be concerned about. It would not be inconceivable to look forward to seeing it, given Emperor Yuan’s integrity.

Beizhou had also conquered Nanliang this time. Overall, only the Wei and Yu states have still yet to be amalgamated into the Great Yuan territory, and the accomplishments that no one had accomplished throughout the years were now within reach.

(t/n Nanliang- Liang Kingdom)

Soon, Yu Beizhou reached the front of the palace.

After the palace servant made the announcement, he waited and stood at the door with his head bowed, not daring to take a step beyond the thunder pond.

(t/n dare not to step beyond the thunder pond- warns people to abide by the laws of something, to act within the allowed range and boundaries; refers to not daring to do things beyond a certain range, and mostly refers to being conservative and rigid)

Beizhou then lifted his foot and stepped into the main hall.

Inside, Emperor Yuan, dressed in a black dragon robe and seated on a dragon chair on a high platform, was not angry or arrogant. The twelve jade tassels dangling from the Emperor’s crown obscured the Ninety-Five venerable’s deep and dark pupils, heightening the impression of condescending aggression.

(t/n not angry and arrogant- to describe a person who is not angry, but still has a majestic temperament. Generally used to describe the aura of a leader who is in a high position or is upright and awe-inspiring.)

(t/n Ninety-five venerable (Ninety-five Zhizun) a Chinese idiom, pinyin is jiǔ wǔ zhī zūn- which used to refer to the honor of the emperor. Ancient China divided numbers into yang numbers and yin numbers, odd numbers are yang, and even numbers are yin. Nine is the highest in the number of yang, and five is in the middle. Therefore, “nine” and “five” symbolize the authority of the emperor, which is called “the honor of nine and five”.)

The spacious main hall was extremely quiet.

All the eunuchs and servants inside crouched on the ground, not saying anything to His Majesty to convince him to calm down. It was almost frightening how silent it was.

At this time, only Yu Beizhou, who was greatly favored by the emperor, could still stand. 

Yu Beizhou swept a glance at the scattered letters on the ground with sharp eyes, and knew in his heart which one had caused Emperor Yuan’s rage. 

As the saying goes, accompanying a king is like accompanying a tiger. Especially in front of an emperor like Emperor Yuan, who was normally callous, didn’t say much and  neither joy nor rage could be seen on his face. He had to be wary, as if treading on thin ice.

(t/n accompanying a king is like accompanying a tiger-there is a danger of death at any time. Refers to the moody big people, causing disasters.)

Yet Beizhou was not afraid, and directly made an obeisance. “This General sees Your Majesty.”

(t/n sees- pin yin cān jiàn, the definition means to meet; to meet the superior with certain etiquette.)

Seeing him come in, Emperor Yuan’s expression improved slightly. “Yu Qing.”

(t/n Qing- referring to a minister or a high official in ancient times ;  an emperor’s form of address for a minister ;  a term of endearment formerly used between husband and wife or among close friends)  

In front of Emperor Yuan, Yu Beizhou, who usually lacked courtesy, was forced to stand up straight. His statements were succinct, to-the-point, and without reservation. “Your Majesty, Nanliang has already written a letter of descent, and it will be delivered to the Imperial Capital in two days. “

Emperor Yuan laughed, “Good! As expected of Yu Qing!”

The original chilling atmosphere dissolved in an instant, and a Lang Zhong, who was prostrating on the ground, finally released a sigh of relief. He was well aware of Emperor Yuan’s volatile temperament. He was afraid that if the Son of Heaven remained angry, he had no guarantee that he would be able keep his head.

(t/n Lang Zhong- is a senior official who is in charge of the affairs of various departments, and its position is second only to the prime minister. A general name of an imperial attendant. Its responsibilities were originally to escort, advise at any time, counselor and dispatch. 

Later, the title of Lang Zhong as a physician began in the Song Dynasty. Respectfully calling doctors Lang Zhong is a southern dialect, which was caused by the proliferation of official titles after the end of the Tang Dynasty and the Five Dynasties)

Fortunately, the King of Beining was present. There was no one in this nation who didn’t know how much His Majesty appreciated the young King of Beining.

At the end, the Emperor continued to ask, “I don’t know how Yu Qing broke through the city gate of the Huyan clan in Nanliang?”

In fact, these were already written in the battle report, but Emperor Yuan was concerned about military affairs.Therefore, naturally wanted to ask in detail.

“This General had been laying siege to their capital for a few nights. When the troops of Nanliang were concentrated at the north gate, we took advantage of it and let elite troops surround the rear, and struck simultaneously, smashing the south gate, driving straight in, encircling the officials, and capturing the king to capture the thief. Now Nanliang is at the end of its power, and as long as Your Majesty orders, the Tianji elite troops can help the Liang Emperor to open the city gate at any time and welcome the Great Yuan iron cavalry.”

(t/n to capture the thief, first to capture the king [qín zéi xiān qín wáng ]-capture the ringleader first in order to capture all his followers; Before you can get rid of the petty criminals you must catch their boss; Destroy the leader and the gang will collapse)  

Despite the fact that it’s only just a few words, Emperor Yuan, who’d been likewise eager to lead troops into battle, could not have been ignorant of the risks involved.

Let’s not mention anything else, just taking hundreds of elite soldiers to break through the city gates and just seizing the key point, like beating the snake and hitting it seven inches. A desperate move was enough, and if one weren’t careful enough, you’d wind up surrounded by the Imperial Guards.

(t/n Beating the snake and hitting seven inches -means that one must grasp the main link when speaking and doing things.)

Yuan policy was rigorous, and even minor infractions will be handled in accordance with military law.

But Yuzhou not only invaded swiftly, he also fought such a magnificent battle. The shameful surrender of the Huyan Clan of Nanliang by only a hundred elite warriors will undoubtedly spread around the world and become a laughing stock among scholars and common people.

When numerous nations collaborated and deployed troops to assault Great Yuan, who made Nanliang leap the highest?

Emperor Yuan looked at the high-spirited young general through the hanging jade tassels, and the admiration in his black eyes became even greater.

Beizhou’s reputation outside of Great Yuan was not very good, and it all had to do with his ruthless methods. After capturing several large tribes of Huns, tens of thousands of them were either buried alive by him or beheaded and drowned… Except for women and children, no one was left.

However, Emperor Yuan himself was a tyrant, no matter when he was leading an army or being an emperor. In addition, the rapid expansion of Great Yuan in recent years was also related to his ability to select talents and make good use of them.

Therefore, Emperor Yuan not only did not hate Yu Beizhou’s methods, but fully appreciated it.

The entire country of Great Yuan supplied army provisions to hundreds of thousands of troops. Even if it was handed to the Huns, their own soldiers’ rations would be insufficient. If admitting surrender was that simple, the Huns could still reassemble at any time and make a resurgence as long as they didn’t perish. It will cost men and material resources at the time, and the Great Yuan army would still suffer in the end.

Furthermore, the battlefield was always changing rapidly. Hundreds of years ago, the King Fucha of Wu almost relented and let go of King Goujian of Yue. However, who would have thought that King Goujian would lie down and taste the courage and finally lead an army to destroy Wu after nineteen years. Cutting the grass without eradicating the roots will inevitably lead to endless troubles later.

(t/n lie down and taste the courage [ wò xīn cháng dǎn] sleep on the brushwood and taste the gall- to nurse vengeance. It is a Chinese idiom that first comes from the ” Records of the Grand Historian: The Family of King Goujian of Yue ” in the Western Han Dynasty . 

The original meaning of this idiom means that after the defeat of King Goujian of Yue, he sleeps with firewood and often licks his gall, so as to always be vigilant and not forget the story of his suffering. Later, it describes a person who works hard and strives hard)

After Nanliang, only the Yu and Wei states were left. The long-cherished wish of the several generations of emperors of Great Yuan to unify the Central Plains was about to be fulfilled, and even the ruthless reigning Emperor Yuan couldn’t help but be overwhelmed.

Thinking like this, Emperor Yuan showed a rare smile, “It is the great luck of Great Yuan to have Yu Qing. Tomorrow morning, We will reward Yu Qing heavily!

“This General isn’t worthy of His Majesty’s compliments.”

Beizhou also laughed, with an air of high spirits.

Seeing that he was in such a good mood, Emperor Yuan asked one more question. “We noticed that Yu Qing was in a good mood when he entered the palace today, but what’s the happy event?” 

The general in red bent his phoenix eyes. “It’s not a happy event, but this general just saw an old friend.”

Emperor Yuan was also polite, so he naturally did not continue to ask questions after hearing what Beizhou said and just nodded. “Since there are only Wei and Yu left, and the Guishan Army has not yet returned, there will be no war until the end of the year. Yu Qing, you should take a good rest and prepare to siege the Yu Kingdom in the future.” 

“Thank you, Your Majesty, for your concern. If nothing happens, this subject will now retire.”

On the other side, Zong Luo and Gu Ziyuan led the Confucian disciples and successfully arrived at their designated destination.

It was purported to be a residence, but it was actually just a few modest courtyards. The Great Yuan was eager for talents, so they set aside a section of the imperial capital for the students to settle in.

For example, next door to the Confucianists resided physicians and Mohist disciples, and they all greeted and saluted one another just now, and the atmosphere was harmonious.

During this period of time, the number of schools stationed in Great Yuan increased significantly, all for the Baijia Banquet that was about to be held in the Great Yuan capital. 

(t/n Baijia Banquet (Hundred Family Banquet)- is a unique and ancient traditional folk culture, which belongs to the Lantern Festival custom. Developed from the original “doing spring blessings”, it is a prayer ceremony held within a tribe. It was gradually reduced into a gathering of social nature later.)

The Baijia Banquet held every three years was a feast for disciples and hundreds of scholars to exchange knowledge and ideas. The banquet lasted for several months. The main competition included martial arts, hunting, writing, ceremonial rites, music and debate. There were a total of six categories and for each category, a leader would be chosen. 

Furthermore, there were a sequence of activities such as discussions by hundreds of schools of thought, Taoism debate by various schools, ritual sacrifice on a Laba Festival, drinking wine during the winter moon, and so on, which continued until the New Year’s Day.

(t/n winter moon- another name for November in the Lunar Calendar)

(t/n The Laba Festival- which is the eighth day of the 12th lunar month every year, is also known as the “Dharma Treasure Festival”, “Buddha Enlightenment Festival”, “Enlightenment Meeting” and so on. Originally a Buddhist festival to commemorate the enlightenment of Sakyamuni Buddha, it has gradually become a folk festival.)

The varied perspectives from the different schools of thought will complement each other, and Qing Dafus will also ultimately monopolize a large number of high-ranking government positions. If the commoners want to make their mark and join into a school of thought, this would be the best opportunity.

(t/n Qing Dafu-high ministers and nobles)

And the Baijia Banquet, the banquet that draws the attention of the entire world, was the ideal prospect to ascend the sky in one leap, and students from low-income households would naturally not pass it up. All schools of thought would also contend furiously for the position of an official.

Zong Luo had only just put his stuff away when he noticed Gu Ziyuan knocked on his door.

“Something wrong Ziyuan?”

Gu Ziyuan said, “It’s not a big deal. I just happened to pass by a bookshop around the corner and noticed that they were selling some exquisite annotation sheets. There were also five-color wax papers with golden clouds and dragons for sale, as well as Chengxintang Paper and fine silk books.” 

(t/n five-color wax paper with gold clouds and dragon-Five-color wax paper depicting the golden cloud and dragon, is a kind of paper. It is made of vellum paper, which is painted with pastels, then calendered with wax, and then painted with mud gold to depict the pattern of cloud dragons. In addition, it can also be painted into patterns such as flowers and birds, landscapes, broken branches and flowers, and Bogu. )

(t/n Chengxintang paper- was first produced in the Southern Tang Dynasty. There was a book collection in the palace of the Southern Tang Dynasty named “Chengxintang”. The special paper refined from here, namely “Chengxintang paper”, was the imperial paper.)

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