The Imperial Family of Qian Zhou Appears
On the afternoon of the 29th of the end of the year, snow filled the air of Song Zhou. The clouds were dark and were very low. It was as though they were pressing down the people’s heads. Everyone could feel a bit of the oppression.
Three inns had been filled with officials from Da Shun, but after that large fire, at least three-tenths had run away. As for the remaining people, they were all ordered out of the inn by the bearded man. They were all brought out of the inn and gathered in the central plaza of Song Zhou.
Feng Yu Heng and Ban Zou were already mingling with the crowd. Feng Yu Heng even put on a maidservant’s disguise, and she was not too far away from magistrate Lu. There were a large number of people tied up in the middle of this plaza. One portion was tied to totems, and another portion was kneeling in the snow. There were men, women and children.
Someone recognized the people tied there, blurting out: “Isn’t that lord Sun from Dan Zhou? And his daughter!”
At the same time, more and more people were recognized. They finally understood that the people tied up in the middle of the plaza were all people that had tried to run after the fire at the palace. Unfortunately, in just a short span of time, they were all caught.
The people began to discuss, guessing at how these people would be taken care of. At this time, they saw the bearded man wave his hand and loudly say: “Everyone, quiet!” When it finally quieted down, he finally pointed at the people in the middle of the plaza and said: “Since you have already committed yourselves to leader Duan Mu, yet you made use of the fire at the palace to try and escape. Through this, it can be seen that you cannot work with the great leader to handle the trials and tribulations. What use are people like this? Today, this general has received an order from the great leader. Propagate the might of the northern provinces and behead all of the deserters!”
An uproar broke out from the crowd once more.
“There are so many people. He said that they will be beheaded?”
“Impossible. At most, one or two will be killed to keep up appearances. Three will be killed at most. Look, there are at least 50 people that tried to escape. How could they all be killed?”
“That’s right! I heard that there were at least 60 officials that came North to celebrate Duan Mu An Guo’s birthday. Adding in their families, that is at least 200 people!”
“Guys, say, if these people really are killed, what sort of outcome will we suffer?”
This sort of discussion was omnipresent. The bearded man heard it very clearly; however, he did not care. He just continued in a loud voice: “If this general said behead, that means behead. Not a single one will be left alive! Lord Duan Mu said that the people that had come to seek help from him, the North definitely will not mistreat you. But if you are lacking in resolution and want to run away some panic, do not blame the North for lacking in mercy!”
After he finished speaking, he gestured to the executioners that had already arrived in the plaza long ago. The fiends carrying swords immediately started walking toward the middle of the plaza in large strides.
All of the observing officials inhaled sharply. The cold light radiating off of the blades held by the executioners told them that this was all real.
The madams and young misses had already closed their eyes. Some of the more frightened ones were paralyzed on the ground, while a man muttered: “This is practically just a slaughtering ground.”
These words had given voice to what everyone was thinking, including Feng Yu Heng.
She and Ban Zou were standing in the crowd. In this crowd, there were officials and normal civilians, but they did not pay attention to the two. Ban Zou lowered his head and quietly said to Feng Yu Heng: “Duan Mu An Guo is doing this for real. Do we save them?”
Feng Yu Heng frowned, “How can they be saved? Two fists will struggle to beat four hands. Even a hero will struggle when there are many people. Based on the two of us, will we get these 40-odd people out from under the noses of the North’s generals and soldiers? Moreover, even if they are brought away, where can they be brought to?” She felt an irritation surface in her heart. Looking again at the middle of the plaza, the executioner had already put the necks of the officials in place. The sounds of their cries and pleas filled the air. This sort of feeling was far more frightening than when she was in the palace and setting fires.
When she had started those fires, she had chosen buildings with nobody in them. Even if someone was burned to death, they were Duan Mu An Guo’s guards or retainers that helped him mistreat others. But now, even if these officials were guilty, their family members were innocent. For her to watch on as these people were executed, that was something that she could not do.
But if she did not watch on, what else could she do at this time?
Feng Yu Heng was thinking rapidly. She knew that the best method of delaying or stopping this execution was to cause another mess at this location.
The bearded general seemed to greatly enjoy the looks of horror. He even smiled at a girl that was about to faint. Feng Yu Heng asked Ban Zou: “Say, if I killed the bearded guy, will this matter slow down?” While she spoke, she moved her right hand into her space, and she was in the middle of deciding between a handgun and a tranquilizer gun.
But at this time, a gong suddenly rang out from behind. It shook the skies and caused everyone’s heart to tremble. Even Feng Yu Heng and Ban Zou were shocked.
She was extremely shocked and subconsciously turned back to look; however, her wrist was grabbed by Ban Zou, who then quietly said: “Don’t look back. That gong just now was clearly struck by someone using internal strength. Look at everyone else.”
Only then did Feng Yu Heng notice that everyone at her side had frozen in place following that gong. All of them looked to be suffering; however, their eyes were a little dazed. It was as though their bodies had become rigid and incapable of movement.
“If we look back now, we will stand out too much.” Ban Zou said quietly: “Watch the crowd. Whenever they can move, we will also begin moving.”
Fortunately, this sort of situation did not continue for too long. Feng Yu Heng counted, and it was no more than eight seconds before people slowly began to recover. Everyone then looked back with horror in their faces. This included the executioner and the bearded man, who also turned toward the back, delaying the execution for the time being.
Only then did Feng Yu Heng and Ban Zou turn back to see an extremely large carriage slowly coming in their direction. Perhaps it was because it traveled on the road, but the driver of the carriage controlled the speed of the horses. They were practically strolling over, but even if they were strolling over, the steps were filled with power. A crunching sound came with each step in the snow.
This large carriage was pulled by five horses and needed two more horses than Xuan Tian Ming’s imperial carriage. The body of the carriage was very unique. It was not made of wood, as it was clear. It seemed to be made of crystal, but after closer inspection, it was not crystal. Rather, it was a type of extremely hard ice.
Outside the carriage, there were two girls in white robes. With bamboo hats on their heads, they each held lotus flower ice lanterns. The curtains of the carriage would occasionally shift slightly with the blowing wind. The person sitting inside could faintly be seen wearing red robes.
“The horses look strange.” Feng Yu Heng squinted her eyes and looked over. No matter how she thought, she could not think it through. Why did this horse not look like a horse? Rather, it seemed to have the eyes of a wolf?
Ban Zou told her: “That is a species unique to Qian Zhou. Apparently, it’s the result of a child between a hunting horse and a white wolf. It is very suited to surviving in the icy North. In fact, it can even bring someone over a mountain and will not slide down.”
Her desire for knowledge was renewed once more, “A horse can be bred with a wolf? And this thing will be the result?” Feng Yu Heng’s mind was in disorder.
Ban Zou, however, told her the reality: “Qian Zhou relies on these horses and their ice-cold world to remain in power without collapsing for so many years. That’s why Da Shun has not wanted to try and touch them for so long. I heard that back when the ancestral emperor was alive, after conquering the three northern provinces, taking over Qian Zhou would not have been a problem at all, based on military strategies. But once they passed through Jiang Zhou, it was already so cold that the people of Da Shun could not survive at all. Not to mention the soldiers, even the warhorses were frozen solid. The ancestral emperor also led his people to push forward, but in the end, they were chased away by the people of Qian Zhou riding their wolf horses.”
Feng Yu Heng took a deep breath and was feeling uncertain. She had never been to Qian Zhou. Based on her impression, if it was based on a map, Qian Zhou should be within Russia’s border. But in reality, it might not be that far. After all, the countries of this era could not compare tot he countries of the modern world. It was not that large. In fact, the people of Qian Zhou spoke the same language as the people of Da Shun. Xuan Tian Ming once said that on this content, everyone spoke the same language. Many years ago, he had once met someone that was not from this continent. Thus what that person said was not something that anyone could understand. In the end, they needed to rely on pictures to understand where he had come from.
If she thought about it like this, if Qian Zhou was also in Asian territory, it should not be that cold. For warhorses to be frozen solid, just how cold would it need to be? Did Asia have a place like that?
“What is it?” Ban Zou saw that she was in a daze and could not help but ask.
Feng Yu Heng shook her head, saying: “It’s nothing. I was just wondering why Qian Zhou was so cold.” It seemed that this was not the Da Shun country that was a part of 5000 years of history. Even the geography of the area was different. She could no longer use her modern knowledge to infer things.
At this time, the ice carriage being pulled by the five wolf horses arrived before them. The people standing at the sides immediately moved away to open up a path; however, the ice carriage did not continue any further. It stopped very quickly, and the two girls holding lotus flower ice lanterns lifted them, and one of them asked in a loud voice: “What happened up ahead?”
This voice was clearly asked using internal strength. The bearded man heard this from quite a distance away. He was given a shock, as he quickly ran forward.
Wolf horses and an ice carriage, just based on these two things alone, he knew that the people that had come were from Qian Zhou’s imperial family. Only people of the imperial family were noble enough to sit in a carriage drawn by wolf horses; moreover, there were five wolf horses.
He arrived in front of the ice carriage and immediately bowed respectfully. At the same time, he replied, saying: “This lowly one received an order from lord Duan Mu and was about to execute the officials that had come from Da Shun to celebrate a birthday but used a fire to try and escape.” While he spoke, he glanced at the ice lanterns being held by the two girls. Once the two lotus flowers entered his vision, he immediately trembled. He had been standing at first, but he immediately kneeled. At the same time, he kowtowed on the snowy ground, saying in a loud voice: “This subordinate greets your Highness Prince Lian! Long live your Highness!”
TN: The lotus flower in Chinese is lian hua. That’s why beardy mcbeardface recognizes that it’s prince Lian from seeing a lotus flower ice lantern.