Published at 1st of May 2020 10:50:07 AM

Chapter 33

Chen[I]1, the Marquis of Zhenbei opens:

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When Chen's[my] father was dying, he once urged Chen[me] to return the tiger tally to Your Majesty . He insisted that once he passed, Chen[I] should return to the capital under the arrangements of Your Majesty and become a carefree nobleman’s son .

At the time, Chen[I] was unwilling .

Chen[I] did not wish to be an idle nobleman that only awaited death . Chen[I] wished to secure the border on Your Majesty’s behalf, in order that Your Majesty would sit in Chaotang without worry .

Chen[I] wanted the frontlines . As long as the Ming Army was at there, the barbarians would hear wind and lose gall2, never daring to invade .

Your Majesty, did Chen[I] commit a mistake?

Your Majesty is a sovereign, and Chen[I] is a subject . Should the sovereign want the subjecet's death, the subject is obliged to meet death . Chen's[I] end on the battlefield is well deserved, but what of the soldiers behind me?

They have unceasing thoughts of returning to their hometown and reuniting with loved ones . Every day, their relatives would stand at the gates waiting for them to come home .

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Your Majesty, while Chen[I] is here, the barbarians will not dare to step any further .

However, once Chen[I] is no longer here, would Your Majesty bring those young men home?

The tiger tally is in Your Grace's hands, and 100,000 Ming Army soldiers are at Your Grace's command .

Your Majesty, Chen[I] leaves the Ming Army in Your Grace’s hands and hope they will be led back home .

Long Live Your Majesty .

Emperor Yuan’s lips pursed tightly as he crumpled up the thin piece of paper . He did not move for a long time .

Song Wei finally could not bear it any longer and lost consciousness . Stirred by the sound, Emperor Yuan said to Eunuch Su: “Take him away and have an imperial physician attend to him . ”

Eunuch Su nodded . He summoned the servants and they carried Song Wei out with great care .

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Emperor Yuan’s gaze wandered until it subconsciously landed on the paper with Yan Ge’s wish . The words, ‘may the country be prosperous and the people at peace’ appeared to be dazzling at that moment .

As if realizing something, he suddenly came to his senses and fixated on those words .

He finally knew why Ming Lan’s handwriting was so familiar . It turns out that it was identical to hers .

He compared the two pieces of paper and could not see a trace of imitation .

The two had been engaged since childhood, and it was likely that Ming Lan personally taught Lady Luo how to write that way .

When he recalled how ‘Third Lady Luo’ spoke of her good relationship with Ming Lan, a bit of sourness spread in Emperor Yuan’s heart, and it gradually transformed into anger .

Ming Lan handed over the tiger tally and wrote such a letter at this time, was it to use the 100,000 Ming Army troops to lure him to Fengcheng so he could defeat the enemy by capturing the leader3?

Emperor Yuan’s face darkened and he swept all the papers in his hands to the ground .

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There was a soft clanking noise, and Emperor Yuan glanced over to see a black chess piece fall out of the small envelope .

The sound of the rolling piece created a buzz in his mind, rendering him incapable of thought .

In the next moment, he crouched down at lightning speed and picked up the envelope, and large sheets of writing paper were pulled out .


In operas they often say: Taiping4 is seen to by the military, but the military must not see Taiping!

I believe these words . My father did not allow me to be a general, but I always wished to become one who guarded home and defended the country .

I was born and raised at the border . My childhood dream was to save the people here from the assault and plundering of the barbarians .

I am not afraid of death, but I am afraid of dying before my appointed time .

I did not want to write this letter to you .

I know your situation, and I know how difficult it is for you . I would have made the same choice had I been in your position .

But Qi’an, I couldn't help but write this letter .

I don’t know if it will ever reach your hands . I don’t know if you will see it, or how you will react when you do .

I even faintly hope you may never see it in your life .

Yet I still hope, I hope you may see it in time, when all is not yet forsaken . Qi’an, I’m pregnant .

Chén (臣): pronoun ‘I’ used by ministers when communicating to sovereignty . It kind of means ‘I, your servant’ .   Hear the wind and lose gall (闻风丧胆—wén fēng sàng dǎn): idiom that means to be terror-stricken on hearing something .   Defeat the enemy by capturing the leader (擒贼擒王—qín zéi qín wáng): idiom that means capturing the leader as a way of capturing the leader’s followers .   Tàipíng (太平): can be translated as a place name or as ‘peace and security’ .