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Chapter Twenty-Six: Country Settling
Yan, Zhongshu Commandery, was now called Zhengguo (Country Settling) Commandery, the fief that the Yan Emperor had given Zhang Yi.
When Zhang Yi reached Zhongshu Commandery, he was very shocked. The city was very large and prosperous, and had some of the air of the Yan capital.
Such a large city was given to him like this as his fief?
When he reached the former Zhongshu marquessate establishment, the present Country Settling Marquessate Establishment, Zhang Yi was so shocked he could not speak. Not because the compound took up a shocking amount of land, and not because there were many retainers and cultivators in the marquessate establishment. In reality, the Zhongshu Marquis had been the leader of the rebels against the Yan Emperor, so the retainers and the private army had been destroyed long ago.
What shocked him so much were the beauties.
In the guest hall of the marquessate establishment, there were dozens of beautiful young girls and women who welcomed him, not including the attendants who were standing outside. These beautiful women were the wives and concubines of the Zhongshu Marquis, all of them with their own special beauty, and some were even foreign women from beyond the forts.
Zhang Yi had not expected that the Zhongshu Marquis would leave him such “riches.” When he heard the official responsible for the handover recite and give the “wives and concubines” to him seriously, he was at such a loss as to what to do he almost fainted.
Le Yi and Murong Xiaoyi who came with him had not expected such a thing. Looking at the extraordinary attire of these women, the two were blushing harder than Zhang Yi.
“What, Country Settling Marquis does not like these beauties?”
When Zhang Yi unconsciously started to refuse such “riches”, bright laughter sounded from inside the hall.
A young man walked out of the hall, hands behind his back.
When Murong Xiaoyi saw this handsome man’s face, she grew serious, bowed solemnly and said, “Greetings, Crown Prince.”
Zhang Yi was stunned and then reacted, bowing immediately.
This laughing handsome man was the crown prince of the Yan Dynasty, Ji Dan.
Ji Dan had a good reputation in the Yan Dynasty, especially when he had gained experience since young with the border army and close ties to many generals. Murong Xiaoyi had met him many times so recognized him at a glance.
“I did not know Crown Prince was here, and have embarrassed myself.” Zhang Yi felt that his face was burning after he bowed.
“There are some expressions which cannot be concealed. Such beauties that will move those who see, but just now, when I saw you, you were bashful, but you had no greed in your eyes, and you were going to seriously refuse. So just like the rumors say, Country Settling Marquis, you are a gentleman.” Ji Dan smiled again and said, “But I want to ask you seriously, you accepted the award from my dynasty. If one day, my dynasty fights the Qin, you may become a person the Qin spits on, why do this?”
These were things that Zhang Yi had thought about. He grew sad, and unconsciously hung his head. “I want to help my junior sect brother.”
“So you are truly a gentleman.” Ji Dan put away his smile, he looked at Zhang Yi and said seriously, “Having you become the Country Settling Marquis was my desire. Or rather, my arrangement.”
Zhang Yi looked up at the grave Ji Dan. He did not know how to respond.
“I do not know if the Zhongshu Marquis truly liked beauty, or he wanted people to feel that he was just addicted to women. For these years, he kept on obtaining beautiful women.” Ji Dan’s gaze turned to the beautiful women filling the hall and said coolly, “These are all worth thousands of gold. They are not just beautiful, they all have skills. If you do not like them, you can sell them and get a large sum. But no one knows whose hands they will fall into, they may end up lost, and some may end up in miserable states. Now, it is up to you. Will you choose to sell them?”
Hearing this, Zhang Yi understood that Ji Dan was asking him. He stilled, hesitated and said, “If it is really up to me to deal with, I will have them choose a good family and respect their choice.”
The women in the hall looked at Zhang Yi with mostly respectful, fawning, fearful gazes, and at his handsomeness, some had secret joy. At his words, most women in the hall had true gratitude and respect in their gazes.
“I understand your meaning. You will let them get married off like your daughters. This is how you are different from others.” Ji Dan looked deeply at Zhang Yi. “So when you act, you do not act purely for benefits.”
Zhang Yi did not know how to answer. However, out of the corner of his eyes, he saw the changes in expression of these women. He thought inside, if he really was in charge, then doing this was good.
“There will be a battle between Yan and Qin. I actually have stayed for a long time in the Qin lands. In reality, starting from the Ba Mountain Sword Field, after many years, all of the Qin have naturally accepted the thoughts that the world will be united. But the final result can be the Qin destroying the Yan, or the Yan destroying the Qin. For me, of course I hope that the dynasty that unites the world will be the Yan dynasty.”
Ji Dan was silent for a long time and then slowly said, “Fortunately, the Ba Mountain Sword Field is not tolerated in Changling. This way, there is the possibility that we will stand with the Ba Mountain Sword Field. The Ba Mountain Sword Field wants the world to be united, to not have fighting dynasties. The final result does not no matter whether it is the Yan or the Qin. The reason that I have you become the Country Settling Marquis is not for an empty title, but after so many years, I do not understand the elders of the Ba Mountain Sword Field. I can see that you are a true gentleman. If I can express my determination and true sincere feeling, you will not fail me. Of course, you being able to become the Country Settling Marquis also has to do with what you possess yourself.”
Ji Dan stopped, glanced at Le Yi and Murong Xiaoyi next to Zhang Yi. He continued, “You and Le Yi represented the two true branches of the Celestial Seal Sect. Now, you and Le Yi have become true friends and represent the entire Celestial Seal Sect. You and Murong Xiaoyi also have a close relationship, you can also be accepted by the military.”
Zhang Yi started to sweat. He was slightly confused and said, “I have not thought so much. I just want to help my junior sect brother.”
“You will be a great help to him.” Ji Dan looked seriously at Zhang Yi and said, “You will truly possess the entire Zhengguo Commandery. I will have the entire Murong Xiaoyi help you. You will quickly possess a powerful army, and many cultivators.”
“The previous Zhongshu Marquis was not completely useless. Some of these women were the results of alliances. They are here because their families or tribes need the support of a true Yan Dynasty marquis. So even if you give them freedom, they cannot leave. But you are different from the previous Zhongshu Marquis. You will treat them well, and they will treat you well, and give you great help.” After dismissing the women back to their rooms to rest, Ji Dan added.
After the women left, the enormous hall grew empty and quiet. With him, Zhang Yi, Le Yi and Murong Xiaoyi left, his expression grew serious.
“In reality, there is another reason that I want you to quickly become the Country Settling Marquis. My father-emperor’s health is a big problem.”
“What?” Towards this, the one who reacted most acutely was Murong Xiaoyi. She immediately sank into a great shock.
“In reality, everyone knows that my father does not have much talent in cultivation. His cultivation and combat power is not as strong as mine.” Ji Dan took a deep breath and said as calmly as he could. “In reality, many years ago, a problem occurred in his cultivation, and left behind a great problem. In reality, by the Deer Mountain Conference, his health was in a bad state, and he only disguised it through medicine. Recently, his health is quickly growing worse, and there will not be a lot of time. So in reality, I have taken over the court matters.”
“So I need you to possess true power, I need you to truly settle the country.” Ji Dan exhaled deeply and bowed to Zhang Yi.