Hollow Out Qian Zhou
Reality proved that Feng Yu Heng had overestimated Prince Lian as the evildoer. This guy’s voice really was not that loud. It really was not capable of shaking this large hall. The reason that the hall seemed to be shaking earlier was that: “Your Highness, there was a collapse of heaven!”
Qian Zhou viewed the snows as the heavens, thus a collapse of heaven was an avalanche. At the same time, it was accompanied by an earthquake.
This avalanche was centered in Qian Zhou and spread all around. Every part of the nation began to tremble. Even the cities furthest South, Bin City and Luo City, were not spared.
For three full days, Luo City continued to shake. Fortunately, the distance was quite far. Aside from some shaking, it did not cause any other distractions. The citizens’ hearts were fluttering with fear, and they gathered every day in one location. They would then discuss this avalanche.
Ever since making the decision to make a clear distinction between himself and Qian Zhou, Prince Lian truly stopped viewing himself as someone from Qian Zhou. He stayed in the imperial residence all day long, eating and drinking when he wanted. He also sang and listened to songs when he wanted. Not only did he act arrogantly, he even gave an order to the city lord of Luo City to not interfere in any of Qian Zhou’s matters. The city’s gates would be closed tightly, and not a single refugee would be accepted.
Feng Yu Heng respected his desire to act wholeheartedly like a citizen of Da Shun, but the waves of refugees that came to the gates caused her to feel a little troubled.
She discussed with Xuan Tian Ming: “Should we think about a strategy to handle the refugees?”
Bai Ze said with a smile: “Master just thought of a good idea. Princess, do you want to hear it?”
Feng Yu Heng raised an eyebrow, “I want to hear the details.”
Xuan Tian Ming spread a scroll in his hands and pushed it over to her: “Luo City and Bin City already belong to Da Shun. Even if the city lord is the equivalent of a prefect, Qian Zhou’s residential register will become Da Shun’s residential register. If the refugees outside the city wish to enter, they can. Either way, we have so many soldiers set up here. Just free up some tents for the refugees to live in is not impossible. The people can also continue to disperse further South toward Bin City, Jiang Zhou, Song Zhou and Guan Zhou. If that’s still not enough, we can open up the central region to the public for the refugees. There is only one requirement. When entering the city, they would be naturalizing as citizens of Da Shun. Once they set foot in Luo City, they are no longer citizens of Qian Zhou. From this day forward, they would be citizens fo Da Shun. The prosperity of Qian Zhou will be completely unrelated to them.”
Feng Yu Heng’s eyes lit up. While fiddling with her fingers, she began to count, “The avalanche occurred with the capital at its center. That is to say that it started from the liveliest part of Qian Zhou. The more people there are, the worse the disaster, especially if the capital fell into disarray. The people would immediately lose their pillar of support. That would be why the first thought in the minds of those that had survived would be to escape. In order to survive, they first had to escape from the capital and get as far away from the epicenter as possible. Of the four cardinal directions, South was naturally the most reliable choice because the wind and snow were weaker the further South they traveled. This also increased their chance of survival the most. When attacking Qian Zhou, it would be better to hollow out Qian Zhou by taking away their citizens and leaving the imperial family within the borders. Without citizens, how could a ruler still be called a ruler? There would come a day where they would be driven insane.”
Xuan Tian Ming praised: “Heng Heng is one that knows me.”
Xuan Tian Ming’s grand plan was very quickly put in place. With the Luo City’s city lord taking the lead, a registration post was set up outside of the city. All of the refugees that wanted to enter the city had to willingly give up on their Qian Zhou citizenship then sign to become a citizen of Da Shun.
The citizens did not argue too much over whether they belonged to Da Shun or Qian Zhou, especially at a time like this. Whoever could provide them with warm water, food and could allow them to live peacefully would be their master. That would be who they viewed as their ruler.
This large migration of people began to spread rapidly. Before a full three days had passed, 100 thousand citizens had entered the city. Under Xuan Tian Ming’s guidance, they were split between Luo City, Bin City and the three northern provinces. At the same time, they spread the word that Luo City had opened its gates to help the refugees. All of Qian Zhou’s refugees began to head in that direction. Those that were not affected by the disaster could also choose to live in a warmer Da Shun. As long as they wished, and as long as they could give up everything in Qian Zhou, Da Shun would bring them to a place where Spring was warm and flowers bloomed. They would be able to see colorful flowers and green trees.
These sorts of conditions were truly too tempting, thus more and more people that had both been affected and not affected by the disaster began to gather in Luo City. When Qian Zhou’s imperial family reacted to try and stop them, a third of the citizens had already completed their registration procedure. There were also soldiers from Da Shun leading these people further into Da Shun’s territory.
Qian Zhou had fewer and fewer citizens, and it was becoming a deserted country.
Xuan Tian Ming ordered the soldiers bringing the people from Qian Zhou to Da Shun to not concentrate the people from Qian Zhou too much. Each area could only have five to six families living there. Either way, Da Shun had a large territory. All of Qian Zhou’s people had to be dispersed all over. They definitely would not be given the opportunity to gather together. This was called assimilation! If assimilation could not be completed in one generation, then there would be a second, third and fourth generation. Qian Zhou’s impression would begin to fade from their minds, and they would eventually become people from Da Shun in their entirety.
Xuan Tian Ming and Feng Yu Heng worked together. With Prince Lian adding fuel to the fire, the plan to hollow out Qian Zhou was a great success. As the number of refugees dwindled and the majority of the people had already pledged their allegiance, Xuan Tian Ming finally gave another order to the army: “Continue marching North!”
This time, Prince Lian went with them, bringing along General Hei and the 100 thousand troops that belonged to Feng Yu Heng. Having received Feng Yu Heng’s promise, Prince Lian finally felt a bit more certain, thus his back did not feel sore, and he did not feel out of breath. His legs didn’t even cramp up. He had improved drastically. As if he was an information officer, he offered Xuan Tian Ming some advice: “Head straight toward the capital. Although an avalanche has occurred there, it’s where the Feng family’s lair is located. Feng Zhao Yu must be feeling reluctant to leave. Even if he did leave, the Feng family has been in power for a few hundred years. Just moving would require half a year. If we move faster, we can completely surround the capital and encircle them successfully.”
Xuan Tian Ming was very puzzled, “Aside from the ruler of Qian Zhou, the other people with the surname Feng are also your relatives. Could it be that you have some hatred for them too?”
Prince Lian nodded and replied naturally: “That’s right! I hate them all! I’ll tell you that of the people alive with the surname Feng, not a single one of them is good. Back then, my father and his supporters were killed by Feng Zhao Yu and his father. Not only did he kill his cousins, he even killed countless siblings. Do you believe that even his own father was most likely killed by him.”
There was nothing about it that Xuan Tian Ming struggled to believe. The imperial family had many enemies. This was not just the case in Qian Zhou. Which country did not have these sorts of struggles? Their Da Shun was also the same.
From Luo City to the capital, the path advanced further and further North, and the effects of the avalanche became more and more severe. There were times when the army had no choice but to stop and pursue humanitarian efforts to help those that were trapped in the disaster. Through doing this, they saved the lives of countless Qian Zhou citizens.
The city lords that sustained these cities no longer had any desire to defend these cities. The city gates were opened wide, but entire city walls were knocked over in more severe cases.
Da Shun’s soldiers went to work, providing relief to those affected by the disaster. Xuan Tian Ming personally handed out orders, very quickly allowing for a number of cities in Qian Zhou to enjoy a leap forward in quality of life. In addition to this, Prince Lian was also helping. The citizens saw viewed Prince Lian as a new pillar of support. Seeing that even Prince Lian had submitted to Da Shun’s ninth prince, why the hell would they hold out!
Thus the people that had been dug out by Da Shun’s soldiers and their families that did not run away in time or could not run because they were buried, they were all added to Da Shun’s register. All of the city lords also pledged allegiance.
This entire way, they took in people and took in land. Xuan Tian Ming’s army enjoyed a good harvest, and the household registration officer that accompanied them was working quickly!
This trip was stop-and-go. Two months later, they finally arrived outside of Qian Zhou’s capital city.
Halfway through the trip, Xuan Tian Ming sent Qian Li ahead with half of the soldiers, not stopping to save anyone. When they arrived, Qian Li was already waiting for them outside the city wall, and he told Xuan Tian Ming: “The army has already surrounded the city. We have just been waiting for your Highness to arrive.” He spoke while rubbing his hands, “Your Highness, I don’t know if we had exaggerated it too much before, but the comrades were all charging forward with the resolve to freeze to death; however, it now seems that Qian Zhou’s capital is not that cold?” As he spoke, he pointed at the high city wall, “Your Highness, please look. The ice on the city wall surrounding the city is showing signs of melting. It’s no longer as sturdy as when we first arrived.”
These words caused Feng Yu Heng’s heart to go “thunk.” She quickly looked toward the top of the wall. Sure enough, it was as Qian Li had said. The ice on the wall surrounding the city was beginning to melt. In the places where it was thinner, it had already become translucent. An earthquake had caused an avalanche. The severe changes resulted in a shift of latitude and longitude. This ended up causing a change in climate.
She suddenly recalled the melting of the arctic ice in the modern world. Scenes of ice caps melting into the boundless seas flickered in her mind like a movie. That was a rather frightening memory.
Xuan Tian Ming saw that her expression seemed off and wanted to ask, but it was at this time that they heard Prince Lian suddenly begin laughing, “Hahahaha! The ice has melted! The ice has finally melted! Feng Zhao Yu being buried by the snow was not enough, it would be best if you drowned in this patch of snow and water. This great one will definitely fish you up with a fishing pole. Don’t worry, I remember all of the things that you enjoy eating. I’ll tie them all to you.”
Feng Yu Heng angrily said: “Shut your mouth! Do you know what the ice in Qian Zhou melting means? At that time, the ice will become part of the sea, and everything will become covered in water. The snowy mountains will melt, and the snowy grounds will collapse. Even if you are in Luo City, you cannot escape that sort of disaster. Feng Zhao Lian, you want to die, but this grandaunty does not wish to die with you.” She was truly angry. At the same time, she became horrified of Qian Zhou’s rapid melting.
Xuan Tian Ming very rarely saw Feng Yu Heng so horrified, but he also knew what Qian Zhou’s melting signified. At this time, it was not just Feng Yu Heng that felt horrified. A feeling of horror was also creeping into his heart.
“Think of a way to get into the city first. Let’s see what it’s like on the inside. We’ll see how many citizens are still there.” Xuan Tian Ming looked at Feng Yu Heng to try and get her opinion, “How about we head inside?”
“How will you get in?” Prince Lian lost it once more, “Although the capital was hit the hardest by the disaster, look carefully. The firmest part of the wall has not fallen. There are still soldiers there. You two are the head generals of the army. Going in is too dangerous. This sort of situation requires me!”
“You?” Feng Yu Heng looked at Prince Lian and said: “You still think that you can use your status as Prince Lian to stroll into the city? Your brilliant actions have already spread across the entire country. You want to get into the city? You’ll be chased away before you even reach the city’s gate.”
Prince Lian smiled brightly, “Who said that this prince would personally go in. In any case, I’ve been Prince Lian for many years. How could I not have some of my people in the city?”
Prince Lian had used some sort of unknown method to send a message into the city. As for Feng Yu Heng, she was thinking about how to deal with this city because she did not want to attack a city that had suffered the brunt of such a disaster.
She said to Qian Li: “Give the order to bring out all of our pots and begin making congee!”