This Prince Will Help You Out of the City
Da Shun’s troops fought their way to Qian Zhou’s capital city but did not choose to launch an assault. Instead, they listened to Feng Yu Heng’s orders and began preparing congee. Not only did they prepare congee, but they also prepared soup. This soup was brought out from Feng Yu Heng’s space, and it was a soup that they had asked for from the chef of Refined Deity Building. Having been placed in the space, it could be brought out at any time to be consumed.
The earthquake and avalanche had caused a change in the climate. It caused Qian Zhou, which had always had northerly winds to begin receiving southerly winds. The winds were blowing from the South toward the North, carrying the fragrance of the congee and the aroma from the soup that had a 100-year-old soup base from Refined Deity Building. The fragrances were carried over the high city walls and into the capital city.
At first, the soldiers at the top of the city’s walls did not understand why Da Shun did not engage in a battle with them, instead choosing to begin making food. Now, however, they completely understood. It turned out that they were trying to deplete their morale!
Qian Zhou’s soldiers had not eaten their fill for many days. The capital had been the epicenter of the earthquake. The majority of the four mountains surrounding them had collapsed, and a large amount of ice and snow had poured into the city. The imperial palace had also been quite filled. The citizens’ residences were all ruined. Nobody knew how many people were buried under the snow, waiting to be saved. The food in the granaries was being rationed, the hunters were no longer being permitted to enter the mountains and domesticated animals had already frozen to death. The people no longer had any food to eat. Compared to being buried, dealing with hunger was the most pressing issue.
Outside the city, Xuan Tian Ming and the soldier sat to the side of the pots. Holding bowls and eating congee, the soldiers joked and laughed with each other. The atmosphere was very harmonious.
Roughly half a day later, Prince Lian received some news. He told Feng Yu Heng: “The situation in the city is critical. Not many buildings remain inside, and over 90% of the imperial palace was damaged. All of the citizens are remaining outside, suffering from the cold and hunger. There are many that did not die from the avalanche but have died from being exposed to the cold or starvation. But the imperial granary still has food left. Feng Zhao Yu is a lucky brat and is still alive. A large number of soldiers are also still alive. They have blocked the city’s gates, not permitting any of the citizens to leave. They want to save the capital.” He spoke while taking a large gulp of soup. He then said with a look of admiration, “Apparently, this aroma has almost caused the city to devolve into chaos.”
Feng Yu Heng smiled very slyly. While smiling, she said to Xuan Tian Ming: “An external disturbance is nothing more than an annoyance, but internal strife is truly problematic.”
Xuan Tian Ming laughed loudly, “Just a disturbance is not enough. We still need to find an opportunity to get into the city to take a look. We still have a debt to repay to the Qian Zhou’s imperial family. We still need to personally collect on those fingers.”
Feng Yu Heng squinted her eyes and began to think of realistic ways of getting into the city. She had originally wanted to come to this Qian Zhou, but now that it was in this sort of situation, there was not much point in having it. Once she took care of the Feng family, she would need to think of a way to make use of this wasteland. She could not leave it empty like this.
Outside the city, the food prep continued all day and all night. Xuan Tian Ming’s army had a large amount of rations. In addition to this, Qian Zhou was a land of snow and ice. They could just dig some up and place it in pots for water. There was not enough firewood; however, Feng Yu Heng had numerous ways in her space to start fires without firewood.
The soup and congee continued to be made, and the fragrance continued to be spread into the city. The soldiers standing guard at the top of the wall had been cycled repeatedly; however, there was not a single one that was not enticed by the aromas that came from the outside.
A soldier said: “I heard that all of the cities and city lords to the South have already pledged allegiance to Da Shun. They have changed their registration and are no longer living in their original locations. Instead, they have been sent into Da Shun’s territory.”
To the side, someone immediately agreed, saying: “I heard that Da Shun has four distinct seasons. Their rivers flow, their trees are green, and their flowers are colorful.”
Another group gathered around and joined in the discussion, “That’s not all. The people of Da Shun are able to eat vegetables every day. I heard that they’re grown in the ground. All families grow them, and they’re very cheap.”
“They’re not just cheap! They don’t even need money to be bought. The mountains are filled with them. There are also all kinds of fruit.”
“Say, will Da Shun view those people that have changed their registrations as their own people? Will they be treated any differently?”
“I don’t think so. Da Shun is so large. Over the centuries, Da Shun has swallowed countless smaller tribes and countries, yet we’ve never heard of them treating anyone poorly.”
“If we say it like this, why are we still protecting this capital? It’s uncertain when this wall will fall. Aren’t we just waiting to die?”
Once this was said, the people looked around. They all understood this logic, but the generations of servitude had been deeply ingrained in their minds. Qian Zhou had already left a lasting impression on their bodies. How could they leave so easily.
Thus they only spoke about it; however, there was not a single person that took the lead to take action.
Qian Zhou’s soldiers were looking at Da Shun enviously. At this time, the citizens in the city had already reached the edge of collapse.
The fragrance floated in from outside the city. At first, they believed that they were simply hallucinating. Later on, they thought that the emperor had taken pity on them and had opened up a congee stand for them. But after they searched the city, they did not find any such place. Slowly, someone noticed that the aroma was coming from outside the city. It was coming from the South gate.
Everyone rushed over to the South gate. They could no longer worry about the relatives that had been buried. That aroma was like a lease on life. It poured a large amount of hope into these people that had given up on life. They rushed toward the South gate in a frenzy and loudly shouted: “We want food. Give us food!”
Qian Zhou’s soldiers were frozen in shock by this scene. Faced with these begging citizens, they were a little helpless. The soldiers were also people, and they were also raised by their parents. In this crowd, their parents and relatives were also present. If they went to stop them, that would be the same as killing them themselves.
A citizen asked: “Why is it so fragrant outside? Who is outside?”
The same question was asked a few times before a soldier could no longer hold back and told the truth: “It’s Da Shun’s army that had arrived at the capital. They have set up pots to make their food!”
“Da Shun?” The people were dazed. Over the months, there had been a number of refugees running South; however, there was not a single one from the capital. Because the imperial family had sealed the city, not a single person could escape. The citizens were very unfamiliar with Da Shun. Hearing that they had fought their way to the capital, the horror of battle immediately filled their hearts. This had dropped their desire for food by a large amount.
The citizens stood inside the city gates in a daze. They did not want to leave, but they did not know what they should do. It was at this time that a young person in the crowd suddenly said: “I heard that aside from the capital, all of the cities already belong to Da Shun. The citizens took the initiative to change their family registrations. Da Shun provided them with food and water, and they sent them to a warmer place where green grass could be seen. Only the capital could not!”
The citizens were simple people. They did not investigate how this person had managed to hear about something when the city’s gates were tightly shut. They only felt that what the young person had said was very enticing. In addition to all of this, the people outside the capital had changed pledged allegiance. Was this not the same as saying that they had been left behind?
Someone said in horror: “Could it be that Qian Zhou’s imperial family wants us to accompany them to the grave?”
These words caused a panic. This sort of panic spread through the crowd and very quickly filled their hearts.
The young person from earlier took advantage of the situation and said: “Qian Zhou is nearing its fated end. Even the king of heaven wishes to abandon Qian Zhou; however, the imperial family wishes to struggle to the end. It’s fine if they want to court death, but us citizens just want to live peaceful lives. Why should we accompany the Feng family to the grave? The heavens collapsed in the capital, and the imperial family sealed the city. They did not give us food or clothes. So many people have been buried underneath, but we don’t know if they’re dead or alive. Da Shun’s soldiers have been rescuing people along the way and rescued an uncountable number of Qian Zhou’s citizens. If we don’t pledge allegiance to this sort of master, could it be that we intend to watch the Feng family cause all of our deaths?”
These words caused the citizens to finally begin another discussion. They gave up on their last line of mental defense. Their feelings began to tilt in the favor of Da Shun, and their hatred for Qian Zhou’s imperial family had reached an all-time high.
Nobody knew who took the lead and began rushing at the city’s gate. They wanted to push the gate open. With one person moving, tens and hundred began to follow. Later on, thousands joined in. The soldiers guarding the city quickly tried to stop them in fear.
But these were Qian Zhou’s citizens. They could stop them but could not kill them. There were numerous citizens and few soldiers. Moreover, the soldiers were feeling less resolute as a result of the enticing smells coming from the outside. With the citizens causing this much of a stir, their defense was rather powerless.
Who knew who started, but someone began shouting: “Let us out! Let us out! We want to cut ties with Qian Zhou!”
Very quickly, everyone was shouting something similar while forcefully ramming against the city gate.
Outside the city, Xuan Tian Ming suddenly stood up. Staring straight at the city gate of Qian Zhou’s capital, the corners of his lips curled up.
Feng Yu Heng looked at Prince Lian with a proud look and said: “Do you see that? Without unsheathing a single word, I hollowed out the entirety of your Qian Zhou. So easy!”*
How could Prince Lian understand what she just said, but the look of pride on her face was something that he could understand. He rolled his eyes, “If it wasn’t for one of my people on the inside helping give them a push, do you think that it would have been so easy?”
When this was said, Xuan Tian Ming nodded, “This capturing of Qian Zhou could not have been done without your Highness Prince Lian.”
“Hah, forget it, forget it. You two shouldn’t be trying to curry favor with me here. Since I have already left Qian Zhou, I am no longer Prince Lian. There is no need to bring up my past brilliance. You should think about how you should receive the citizens once they have broken out of the city.”
Xuan Tian Ming laughed and used his internal strength to broadcast this laugh along with the aroma toward the city.
After he finished laughing, he spoke with a strong voice, telling the citizens of Qian Zhou: “There is a lease on life outside of the city. There is food to eat. Da Shun welcomes the citizens of Qian Zhou. We have ample food and clothes and can provide you with peace and safety. You will no longer need to worry about the cold ice and snow nor the possibility of the heavens collapsing. Da Shuns’ soldiers will help you dig out the remains of your loved ones and bring you to a warm place where flowers bloom. There is congee outside the city that you receive in an orderly fashion. The elderly, the weak and the women will come first. Do not create a swarm, do not become disorderly, do not fight and do not steal. If you can do this, this prince will help you out of the city!”
*TN: So easy was said in English