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Di Wang Gong Lue - Chapter 8

Published at 12th of October 2018 09:16:26 PM

Chapter 8

[Chapter 8 - Misfortune in the Liu Manor] The mantis, catching cicada (1)


Spring is when the farmers are busy planting; the commoners, after resting for a winter, are all full of vigor . Along the way, they passed by many towns, the two banks of the transport canal are full of noises of people coming and going; it's a scene of prosperity .

Looking at this scene, Chu Yuan is a bit more at ease .

"Emperor . " Today, Eunuch Si Xi, coming forward to help him add on another coat, said, "Yun Shui city (2) should be the next stop . "

Chu Yuan nodded, and did not say much, continuing to look afar, lost in thought .

The county official in charge of Yun Shui city is called Liu Bi, he's a distant relative of Liu Gong . Although it is a insignificant Qi Pin (3) position, a considerable number of people in the court are still eyeing this seat . Once the transport canal is open, fortune will come . Salt, to the south and grain, to the north; tea leaves and china to the western world; all of these must pass by this tiny Yun Shui City . Even if one isn't truly greedy, there are still opportunities to earn coin from all over . Compared to the poor backcountry towns in other areas, it's better many times over .

Upon knowing Chu Yuan wants to go down to Jiang Nan, Liu Bi isn't that worried . From the accounts, no problems can be seen, and in the governmental office are all his men; everybody are in this together; naturally there's no need to be afraid of someone telling on them to the emperor . Moreover in the capital there's a esteemed Old Liu, that is the Liu family's great backer; they won't fall in the meantime . And so today morning, he bathed and changed his clothes, and brought his subordinates to the harbor to receive the emperor . A large number of commoners have also gathered, anticipation in their eyes; they're all waiting to see the emperor .

In the afternoon, a big ship finally slowly approaches; the royal yellow flag waves in the wind; two rows of imperial guards are standing at attention in the sides of the ship, the edges of their swords glinting under the sun, people can't bear but to feel in awe .

"Official welcomes Your Majesty!" Liu Bi leads his men to kneel down to receive the emperor, and the commoners followed suit noisily .

In a courtyard not far away, Ye Jin is still drying his herbs, seemingly never hearing the commotion outside .

"Are you really not going?" Bai Lai Cai is restless .

"If you want to go then go, I'm not stopping you either . " Ye Jin, carrying a small basket, stands up, "The emperor is also a human; two eyes, one nose, why must I go and kneel just to take a look at him . "

"That's true . " Bai Lai Cai squatted on a chair, thought for a while and stands up again, "But I still want to go and see, what if there's money to receive . " That's the emperor after all .

Ye Jin really regrets rescuing him from the mountains .

Chu Yuan got off the ship . Liu Bi, smiling, raises his head: "Your Majesty . "

The surroundings are extremely quiet; the more daring commoners stole a glance, and can't bear but praise in their hearts, the emperor is really good looking . A beautiful head of black hair, eyes shining like stars, a handsome and straight nose, cutting a palatial and imposing figure; the commoners quickly brought their heads down again .

"Official, please rise . " Chu Yuan, coming forward personally, reached out a hand to help him up .

Liu Bi, his smile wrinkling his whole face, and greeted: "Eunuch Si Xi, General Shen . "

"This Yun Shui city is truly lively and flourishing . " Shen Qian Fan said, "Lord Liu really governs properly . "

"General Shen flatters me, this is simply my duty as an official . "Liu Bi turns to give way, "A banquet is already prepared in the manor, please go in, Your Majesty . "

In the crowd, an old man is eating melon seeds while looking at the scene, and even stretching his neck out and tip toeing; a look and one knows he is a busybody . Until when the imperial carriage left, and the crowds dispersed, then did he reluctantly return home .

"You didn't receive any money?" Ye Jin mocked, upon seeing him disappointingly walk into the yard .

"Even the emperor can be so stingy?" Bai Lai Cai sat back by the stone table, and bitterly complained, "Since he looks like you, I thought he is a kindhearted person; don't mention money, there isn't even a bun to take . "

"Who did you say looks like him?" Ye Jin's look turned fierce .

Bai Lai Cai immediately said: "Me!"

Ye Jin coldly snorted, raised his chin, and went back to his room slowly .

Bai Lai Cai patted his chest for a bit and breathed a sigh of relief, he's really fierce . . . .

Chu Yuan does not like extravagance; Liu Bi naturally does not dare to hold a large banquet; although the dishes are many but they are all normal household dishes, the wine is also the most average - Shao Xing Huang . (4) Chu Yuan discussed about the diverting of the transport canal, and didn't ask much else . After the banquet ended he simply went back early to his room to rest; he did not even meet with other officials .

Liu Bi breathed a sigh of relief, he thought that the accounts will be examined, but unexpectedly not one mention of it was brought up .

According to the original plan, Chu Yuan is only staying here for two days; when the ship is restocked, he will continue on his way to Qian Yue city . Unexpectedly, probably because of the previous days where he was on the river with cold winds, on the second day in Yun Shui city his temperature rose . The accompanying imperial physician treated him for a full five days, before he got a bit better .

"I heard that the emperor got a fever . " In the small yard, Bai Lai Cai used his elbow to poke him, "You are a physician, why don't you volunteer yourself? If you are lucky and get a cure, you may even get to go to the palace to be an imperial physician . "

"Me, go and be a physician for him?" Ye Jin throw a bunch of can sha (5) at him, and placed his hands at his hips and said, "Fat chance!"

Bai Lai Cai covered his head and ran .

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Regarding this situation, Liu Bi is in a bit of a panic, but he is not afraid that something will happen to Chu Yuan here; after all it's just a fever . What he's worried about, is whether this fever is real or fake; if it's fake, then what's the motive behind it .

"Lord is thinking too much . " The caretaker of the governmental office is called Liu Man; he looks to be more calm than Liu Bi . He slowly raised up his sleeves and said, "The emperor is sick; and you and I will take care of this to the best of our ability; why think so much about it?"

Liu Bi wanted to say something, but stopped; he doesn't understand what he's thinking . He doesn't dare to ask more even though he wants to; a sense of unease pervades him; even till night, when it's time to rest, he is still worried . He toss and turned until his wife complained . He barely fell asleep when the day broke, but just as he closed his eyes, he was dragged out of the bed by the imperial guards .

"General Shen, General Shen, what's the meaning of this?"Liu Bi paled in shock .

"Men, take this treasonous person to the prison . " Shen Qian Fan coldly ordered .

Treason? Liu Bi's face paled even further, wanted to shout his innocence; but his chin was already covered, and he was taken to the prison right away .

The imperial guards surrounded the county office; someone who got up early saw it, and became worried; they do not know what happened . Upon going back and discussing with their daughter in law, they all feel that it's because Liu Bi's recent corruption has come to light, and so he was thrown into the prison by the emperor . When night arrived, however, news spread that it was because the imperial physician found poison in the food in Liu Manor .

Poisoning the emperor . . . . the people all paled, this crime will result in familial execution (6), and yet someone still dares to commit this kind of atrocity .

The news reached Ye Jin's ears; Bai Lai Cai looked at him gingerly: "The emperor is poisoned, and this physician still doesn't want to go take a look?"

Ye Jin put down the pestle harshly: "I'm not close with him anyway . "

"In this world there are so many patients, how can physician be familiar with each one . " Bai Lai Cai said, "after all as long as if someone is sick, then you treat them . "

Ye Jin, vexed by his nagging, went out for a walk by himself .

The government office has already been surrounded securely; not only are there the imperial guards brought by Chu Yuan, but there's also troops called here by Shen Qian Fan . When Ye Jin just heard the news he felt a sense of alarm, but he eventually thought it through — if Chu Yuan was poisoned unexpectedly, who would move such a big number of troops nearby, and wait till today to catch the traitor?

. . . . . . .


Physician Ye stomped his way angrily to a restaurant to eat to release his ire .

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"Your Majesty . " In the study room of the governmental office, Shen Qian Fan stated, "The indictment has been written, and Liu Bi acknowledged it; I will immediately lead them back to the capital . "

Chu Yuan nodded: "This journey will be dangerous; you will have to exert some effort . "

"This is but my duty . " Shen Qian Fan replied, "Only that if Xi Nan King is still in the capital . . . "

"He will not trouble you . " Chu Yuan stopped him, "if he really doesn't know how to act properly, get him to come to Jiang Nan to meet us . "

"Yes . " Shen Qian Fan lowered his head and received the order . After leaving the study, he led a few troops, and rushed back to the capital in secret .

Liu Bi, fearing the consequences, committed suicide in prison; his family are all released to Hainan; the new county official took up office within ten days . The troops replaced the guards at the city walls; checks are conducted strictly on the people everyday; even a fly can't move freely in and out . The mood in the city turned somber rapidly; even walking on the streets feels oppressive .

Ye Jin started planning if he wants to go somewhere to stay for a while, and wait till things have calmed down before coming back .

"You are not able to go . " Bai Lai Cai held firmly onto his parcel, "Yesterday I was reading the skies —-" (7)

"You even know how to read the skies?" Ye Jin, irked, interrupted him .

"Of course . " Bai Lai Cai nodded .

Ye Jin asked: "What did you find out?"

Bai Lai Cai said: "The lamb has gone into the wolf's den . "

Ye Jin shook his head: "If you go on the street and tell fortune like this, you will definitely not earn any money . " Not knowing how to speak how to speak effusively is one thing, but not even knowing how to speak a bit more auspiciously; what kind of thing is called "the lamb has gone into the wolf's den" .

"The emperor searched Liu Bi's house, but did not find much money . " Bai Lai Cai clicked his tongue, "He was a very corrupt official; whatever advantages he had, he took it . "

"What do you want to say?" Ye Jin frowned .

"As for where the money went, you can ask Commander Ceng of the Xi Nan troops that was called back here; I'm afraid that will clear up this situation . " Bai Lai Cai continued to crack his melon seeds .

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Ye Jin stood up suddenly .

"I heard that General Shen has already returned to the capital . " Bai Lai Cai stated calmly, "Liu Bi is dead; who can say that the mastermind behind all this is him?"

Ye Jin turned and ran out of the yard .

In the office, the newly assigned county official Lin Yong is tied up, and thrown into prison . Within a night, most of the southwest troops mutinied, and trapped Chu Yuan in the manor quietly .

Chu Yuan, with his hands crossed behind his back, stood in the yard, and coldly looked at Liu Man and the commander of the troops, Ceng Xuan .

"The audacity!" Eunuch Si Xi stood at the front, "Quickly leave . "

Liu Man said emotionlessly: "Now that it has come to this, Your Majesty should stay here for a while longer; it's not too late to go back after there's news in the capital . "

"Fine . " Chu Yuan ignored him, and only looked at Ceng Xuan dispassionately, "We have really misjudged you . "

Ceng Xuan did not say a thing; his face paled — he was originally a small mess cook in the southeast troops; only due to the support of Chu Yuan, was he able to slowly climb to the rank of a commander . However once the power was in his hands, it's hard not to become greedy; and so he was caught in Liu Bi's schemes . Chu Yuan has never been lenient towards corrupt officials; death is the only outcome . And so he had no choice but to be in cahoots with Liu manor; but he did not expect that they will be so bold .

Now that he has embarked on this treasonous journey, even if death is only way out, he can only continue on .

(1) The mantis, catching cicada: full version is 螳螂捕蝉,黄雀在后 - lit . the mantis catches cicada; the yellow tit is behind . Means only caring about the benefits in front of them while ignoring the adverse consequences after . The yellow tit in this case seems to be commonly depicted as the black-naped oriole .

(2) Yun Shui city: 云水城 - lit . cloud water city

(3) Qi Pin: 七品 - lit . seven rank . Name of a rank of an official, it's a relatively low position .

(4)Shao Xing Huang: 绍兴黄 - lit . shao xing yellow . A local specialty of Shao Xing, a place in Zhejiang province .

(5) can sha: 蚕沙 - . . . well it's dried feces from silk moth larva, used in traditional chinese medicine . Collected between June and August, between the second and third molting of the larva .

(6) familial execution: 诛九族 - as written in the novel; full (correct) phrase is 株连九族, lit . implicate nine of a clan . The most serious capital punishment in ancient china; involves executing all the relatives of an individual that committed the crime, grouped into nine groups .

(7) read the skies: 天象 - lit . shape of the skies, basically seeing the stars to predict what will happen . Astrology, basically?

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