This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.Chapter Eleven: The Past And Family Affairs
“Some stories are legends that cannot be replicated, like Ba Mountain Sword Field, like the old powers of Changling.”
The old woman smiled emotionally. She looked at Ding Ning and said, “The businessmen of Changling have always been the best at doing business. I hear the businesses of the old powers are all over the dynasties. When the Lu Family was destroyed, Yuanwu’s armies worked for five days before moving everything of value from their compound. Is that true?”
Ding Ning nodded and slowly said, “The wealth in the Lu Family compound was just a tenth of the Lu Family’s true wealth. Most of it should have ended up in Yuanwu’s hands, and a part in Zheng Xiu’s hands.”
The old woman stilled and could not help shake her head. “That is indeed unimaginable.”
Ding Ning looked at the old woman and said, “A country, a dynasty, they are just a few centuries old, or just a few decades. Some sects, some families, they are thousands of years old.”
The old woman thought for a moment and smiled. “When an emperor dies, the dynasty changes. But a family will live if one person lives. So a country easily dies, but a family does not. But governing a country is as difficult as governing a family.”
Ding Ning slowly turned his head to look at the snow and wind outside. He said slowly, “Govern with law, govern with kindness, think with you in the other’s place in order to last for long.”
The old woman became more serious and asked, “What did Ba Mountain Sword Field, or rather, your master, think back then?”
“Be quick, govern after uniting the world.” Ding Ning said, “The faster, the less things will change. Yet when some things happen to oneself, you then learn that there are many limitations.”
The old woman thought of everything that Ba Mountain Sword Field had given and said sincerely, “It was not easy.”
There was a forest in Changling’s imperial palace. It was a forest and not a garden because due to Emperor Yuanwu’s orders, no one took care of the forest, and the trees grew freely.
Emperor Yuanwu’s cultivation place was behind this forest. Opposite his cultivation place, on the other side of the forest, was the courtyard where the two ministers took care of the matters of court.
The forest was desolate, and extremely cold right now. Emperor Yuanwu was still dressed in cloth robes. He sat on the ground, facing two old men. One was dressed in black robes, thin, cold and dark. The other felt old, but had young features. He even felt handsome, and he had a warm presence, like he was easy to talk to and make friends with.
These were the two ministers above the bureau.
The straightforward people of Guanzhong would say, other than some matters controlled by the empress in secret, most of the public matters of court were managed by these people working together. Most of the matters of the emperor were given to these people to manage, and they were truly his men.
But now, these two people were asking Emperor Yuanwu at the same time.
“There is no reason.” Emperor Yuanwu looked at these two important officials that could influence the entire Qin Dynasty. He said calmly, “No matter what she does, they are all this Lonely One’s family matters.”
The two ministers exchanged a look. In the end, the cold Minister Yan spoke, calmly but with immense courage, ” Holy One, can you guarantee that this will always be your family matter?”
Emperor Yuanwu did not get angry. He just looked up towards the sky above the winter forest. He said slowly, “Do not forget what price this Lonely One paid along with you in order to reach this place.”
The two ministers frowned slightly at not getting what they wished.
Emperor Yuanwu looked down, his gaze landing on Prime Minister Yan. “Do not forget, when she came from Jiaodong, it should have been this Lonely One who appeared in front of her first. This Lonely One represented the city, she represented Jiaodong. This was the meaning in her coming to Changling. Because of your arrangement, she saw that person first.”
“This was not your mistake.” Seeing Prime Minister Yan pale, Emperor Yuanwu shook his head. “But because of that, this Lonely One got the world. But you must remember, she should have been this Lonely One’s empress to start with. If not to get the world, she would not have had such an experience. So that was not her mistake.”
“This Lonely One will not forget what you paid for me.” Emperor Yuanwu’s gaze turned to Prime Minister Li. “Having Shen Xuan get such a position is not to make people remember that you are from the Li Family, and received your position because you betrayed them. It is to remind the world, you could betray the entire Li Family for this Lonely One.”
“Now, this Lonely One and you all have high positions, and there are not many higher in the world. But you cannot forget, the reason this Lonely One and you have such positions because we had forbearance.” Emperor Yuanwu said with slight self deprecation, “Before the Deer Mountain Conference, who in the world noticed the existence of this Lonely One? Even back when this Lonely One gained the throne, most people in the world thought that was because the empress was cold and powerful. In these years, including the previous ones when we fought the three dynasties, almost everyone in the world forgot my existence.”
“Do not know to have forbearance back then,” Emperor Yuanwu was silent for many moments, and then looked at the silent ministers and said, “but not know forbearance at this time and place. As to the empress, this Lonely One can bear her, and these matters naturally are this Lonely One’s family matters.”
“I did not know that her meeting with that person in Changling back then was not a coincidence.” Prime Minister Li looked at Prime Minister Yan next to him as they walked out of the forest and said slowly after taking a deep breath.
Prime Minister Yan smiled scornfully. “Young people’s love is commonly blind, the love of adults cares about pros and cons. First come, first served is more important than having good talent. She disliked arrangements the most. So even though she accepted the family’s demands to come from Jiaodong Commandery, she may not have accepted the marriage with the Holy One back then.”
Prime Minister Li was silent for a long time. He knew this matter that even he did not know of was the greatest secret of the past matters.
In this matter, the arrangements of his fellow may have been the most correct and brilliant. Because in the end, he still achieved his goal, and had Jiaodong and Changling come together. But even more importantly, the woman who did not know of the arrangements became the empress, and her strength far surpassed everyone’s expectations.
“You really think that this will always be a family matter, just as the Holy One says?” Prime Minister Li looked up and asked Prime Minister Yan.
Prime Minister Yan smiled coldly. “If you believe, why ask me.”
Prime Minister Li shook his head, and said nothing else.