Ming Dynasty: Reborn as Zhu Yunwen
Ming Dynasty: Reborn as Zhu Yunwen Chapter 26

Chapter 26: Palace encounter between Zhu Yunwen and King of Ning

King of Ning, Zhu Quan, the 17th son of Zhu Yuanzhang, in the 24th year of the Hongwu reign, was granted the fief of Great Ning.

The region of Ning was located outside the Xifeng Pass, belonging to the ancient Huizhou territory. It bordered Liaodong to the east and Xuanfu to the west, serving as a crucial stronghold in the You-Yan region.

There was a reason why Zhu Yuanzhang entrusted such an important stronghold to Zhu Quan.

When Cai Dongfan, the esteemed author of the “Ming Tongjian,” wrote about this, he made the following assessment: ‘Among the offspring of the Great Ancestor, the Prince of Yan excels in warfare, while the Prince of Ning excels in strategy.’

According to Cai Dongfan[1]Cai Dongfan (Chinese: 蔡东藩; Wade–GilesTs’ai Tung-fan; July 23, 1877 – March 5, 1945), was a Chinese historian and prolific writer of historical novels.’s evaluation: “Among the offspring of the Taizu, the King of Yan excelled in warfare, while the King of Ning excelled in strategy.”

In other words, according to Cai Dongfan’s judgment, Zhu Di, such a schemer, and rebel was only skilled in warfare, while the Prince of Ning was truly a person of great wisdom and strategy.

In fact, directly interpreting the text is one-sided.

Beyond the term ‘skilled,’ there are other abilities intertwined.

King of Ning not only possessed vast intelligence and strategy but was also a brave and skilled warrior. He had repeatedly joined forces with other frontier kings, exerting his dominance in the northern wilderness.

Eighty thousand archers and six thousand war chariots!

That was the true strength of Zhu Quan!

And mind you, those eighty thousand were all mounted troops! Furthermore, they consisted mainly of Mongolian mercenaries known as the famous Duoyan Three Guards, whose combat capabilities were unparalleled in the Ming Dynasty!

Side hall.

After the King of Ning Zhu Quan paid his respects, Zhu Yunwen smiled and asked Shuangxi and the others to leave. He then sat down and said to Zhu Quan, “Uncle Ning, before parting, I summoned you to the palace because I have some concerns and hope that Uncle Ning can help me.”

Zhu Quan, who was only twenty years old, had fair skin and a long beard, exuding an air of elegance. Seeing Zhu Yunwen speaking in a calm manner, without the airs of an emperor, he also relaxed and said lightly, “The affairs of the Emperor are the affairs of the Ming Dynasty and the subjects. Whatever Your Majesty entrusts, I dare not refuse.”

Zhu Yunwen held a tea bowl, gently savored its aroma, and said, “I wonder, Uncle Ning, how do you view the King of Yan?”

Zhu Quan was suddenly startled, looking at the calm Zhu Yunwen, his vigilance grew, and he replied, “The King of Yan is a pillar in the northern part of the empire, possessing both strategy and courage. He excels in military affairs and is unmatched in his swift movements. There are few who can rival him.”

“Hehe, this evaluation is quite accurate. However, the more so, the more uneasy I become.”

Zhu Yunwen took out the confidential report written by Li Jinglong. Zhu Quan respectfully received the secret report, returned to his position, and opened it. His face instantly turned pale.

Although Li Jinglong primarily focused on Zhu Di, even implicating Xu Huizu, he also indirectly involved himself!

This traitor!

He actually betrayed me and the King of Yan!

Li Jinglong, from this day forward, there is no reconciliation between you and me!

What else is there to say!

Zhu Quan hurriedly knelt down and exclaimed, “Your Majesty, I have no ulterior motives. These are fabricated words by Li Jinglong…”

“I wasn’t referring to you, but to the King of Yan,” Zhu Yunwen asked in a stern voice.

At this moment, Zhu Quan had no intention of worrying about the King of Yan. He continued, “Your Majesty, I have been feeling unwell lately and would like to stay in the capital to seek medical advice. As for Great Ning, I kindly request that Your Majesty select another capable general…”

The best way to ensure one’s safety was to stay under the Emperor’s watchful eye. In Ming Dynasty, distance only increased suspicion, not favor.

If, while he was fighting outside, some minister accused him of having excessive troops, colluding with the Five Army commandery, and having malicious intentions, he wouldn’t even have a chance to explain himself.

Better to relocate fief, resolutely relocate the fief!

Zhu Quan felt anxious and uneasy.

Zhu Yunwen approached and helped Zhu Quan to his feet, smiling as he said, “Uncle Ning, if I didn’t trust you, why would I bring out this confidential report? I am well aware of your actions in Great Ning. Sigh…”

Zhu Quan thought himself, to trust him meant not trusting the fourth brother, Zhu Di?

As he heard the Emperor sigh, he wondered if the Emperor worried about the Fourth brother rebelling.

That couldn’t be, right? Although fourth brother was fierce, he wouldn’t be foolish enough to seek his own death.

After all, there were four hundred thousand troops in the capital, plus another four hundred thousand around Beiping Prefecture, not to mention the garrisons in other places and the Navy.

“Your Majesty, I am willing to share your worries!” Zhu Quan gritted his teeth.

Better for you to die than me[2]TL’s note: This is Chinese Idiom 死道友不死贫道, Fourth Brother, I’m sorry, I was forced into this too. If you want to blame someone, blame that shameless traitor Li Jinglong.

Zhu Yunwen looked at Zhu Quan and burst into laughter, saying, “Sharing worries? Let’s forget about that for now. How about we deduce the situation in Beiping for the next year?”

“Deduce?” Zhu Quan was puzzled.

Could this thing be deduced too?

My lord Emperor, do you think you’re Zhuge Liang, capable of deducing the world divided by three from a straw-thatched cottage? This is the Great Ming Palace we’re talking about…

Zhu Yunwen walked to the table, unrolled a scroll, revealing a map of Great Ming, and picked up a bamboo stick. He pointed to the location of Beiping Prefecture on the map and said to Zhu Quan, “The King of Yan possesses remarkable talent and great ambition. Considering our family relationship, I have been on guard and deployed troops to Beiping, with the sole purpose of the King of Yan’s loyalty.”

“However, ambition is like a raging fire, difficult to extinguish. I am deeply worried. It’s only the two of us now, so I’ll be frank. If the King of Yan truly has ulterior motives, how do you think he would act?”

As Zhu Quan looked at the map and listened to Zhu Yunchuan’s words, he almost wanted to pray for the King of Yan. The rebellion hadn’t even started, and the Emperor had already concluded that you would rebel and even planned to deduce how you would rebel.

Fourth brother, your life is too miserable…

“Your Majesty wants to know how Fourth brother, I mean, King of Yan, would act?”

Unable to do otherwise, Zhu Quan went along with it.

Zhu Yunwen pointed to the location of Beiping Prefecture and said, “The King of Yan won’t simply take action without careful planning. First, he will gather weapons and provisions, and train his troops. As for soldiers and provisions, they are relatively easy to handle. But weapon production requires some movement. Therefore, he will arrange for people to dig tunnels in the King of Yan’s residence to secretly manufacture weapons. On the surface, he will raise poultry to cover up the activities…”

Zhu Quan’s mouth twitched slightly. Such methods, the emperor can figure it out?

Zhu Yunwen continued, “To buy more time and alleviate my concerns, he will employ a ruthless tactic…”

“Uh? What tactic?” Zhu Quan looked at Zhu Yunwen in astonishment.

Zhu Yunwen chuckled and said, “Without relinquishing military authority, how else could he make me dismiss my worries? It could be that he pretends to be severely ill, seriously injured, or even… insane.”

“Insane? Mad?” Zhu Quan widened his eyes as if listening to a story.

However, the storytelling skills of the Emperor seem to be quite poor.

You see, Zhu Di is known for his bravery and can easily ride a horse for hundreds of miles. Would such a strong man really go mad?

Zhu Yunwen smiled calmly and said, “Of course, there are many people who feign madness to avoid calamity, such as Sun Bin, Sima Yi, and Tang Bohu…”

“Wait, Your Majesty, I know about Sun Bin and Sima Yi, but who is Tang Bohu?”

Zhu Quan, considering himself a scholar with extensive knowledge, had never heard of anyone named Tang Bohu in history.

Zhu Yunwen felt frustrated.

You may not know who Tang Bohu is, but your great-grandson Zhu Chenhao does. 

However, if he changes history, Zhu Quan doesn’t go to Nanchang, then his great-grandson won’t have the opportunity to rebel, and Tang Bohu won’t have the chance to feign madness.

Zhu Yunwen didn’t know how many unpredictable events will happen because of his action. Will those amazing and brilliant figures in history still appear?

As an emperor, where will the Ming Dynasty go?

Can he really handle this colossal wheel of fate?

Zhu Yunwen’s eyes gradually grew determined as he glared at Zhu Quan and continued, “The King of Yan will seek opportunities and buy time. And his biggest opportunity is not to seize the north area of North Zhili, but you!”

Zhu Quan was startled and exclaimed, “Me?”

Zhu Yunwen smiled and pointed in the direction of Great Ning, saying, “I have made countless arrangements in Beiping, and the only loophole is you.”

Zhu Quan’s soul was nearly scared out of his body. He quickly kneeled down and shouted, “Your Majesty, I am fully devoted to the imperial court and have no ulterior motives. I humbly request Your Majesty’s permission to change my fief to Jiangnan and find a place to settle down for the rest of my life.”

Zhu Yunwen looked at the map and ignored Zhu Quan who was kneeling. He continued, “The King of Yan will secretly send people to find you or come personally, and he will use a scheme to take away your Duo Yan three guards, forcing you to accompany him south. This will break the siege of Beiping and allow him to acquire most of the territory of North Zhili.”

“Afterward, I will engage in a battle with you. If I win, you guys will die. If I lose, the King of Yan will usurp the throne. As for you? Heh, the best outcome is to be exiled and become a King in captivity.”

Zhu Quan trembled all over. Zhu Yunwen’s words were merciless, directly striking at his heart!

Zhu Yunwen put away the map and looked at the trembling Zhu Quan calmly. He said, “Uncle Ning, I’m telling you all of this because I hope you can stand on the right side. I need you to keep an eye on the King of Yan. If he shows any signs of betrayal, I hope you will perform well.”

Zhu Quan had never felt such fear before, even in the face of thousands of troops.

Zhu Yunwen’s words were direct and life-threatening!

“Please rise, I trust you, and I trust your abilities. Therefore, I will relieve your worries. When you grow old and wish to return, I will give you Shaoxing Prefecture.” Zhu Yunwen bent down and lifted Zhu Quan, speaking to him with seriousness in his voice.

“Shaoxing Prefecture?!”

Zhu Quan was shocked.

Shaoxing Prefecture was a prosperous place, encompassing eight counties including Shanyin, Kuaiji, Shangyu, Xiaoshan, Shengxian, Xinchang, Zhuji, and Yuyao. It was very close to Hangzhou Prefecture.

This place was even better than Songjiang Prefecture!

Such places, The fact that the Emperor promised it to him was unbelievable!

Zhu Quan also understood that as a vassal king always leading a powerful army, he would eventually be dealt with.

During the time of his late father, Zhu Yuanzhang, he had complete trust and no concerns. 

But now, the Emperor was Zhu Yunwen, who might not trust him. It would be better to handle the situation early, return to the south, learn from the King of Liao Zhu Zhi, and become a peaceful vassal king, ensuring a way out for future generations.

“I will follow Your Majesty’s orders in all matters.”

Zhu Quan made up his mind and stood beside Zhu Yunwen. As for his fourth brother Zhu Di, it would be best if he lived a peaceful life. But if what the Emperor said was true, then Zhu Quan wouldn’t hesitate to “sacrifice family for righteousness”!

Zhu Yunwen watched Zhu Quan leave and smiled faintly. Sitting at the desk, he picked up a memorial and read it. Soon, he burst into laughter and issued orders, “Summon Xu Miaojin.”

“Li Zhigang, Guo Lian…”

Su Chang He[3]TL’s note: Author write 苏幕遮, (Su Mu Zhe) in the raw, I think he meant to write Su chang he which is the mc original name, so ill use su chang he recited the names on the list and glanced at Xu Miaojin’s talent report written by Xu Miaojin herself. He couldn’t help but burst into laughter. This girl really had some tricks up her sleeve.

These talents weren’t found; they were tested. It seemed that Xu Miaojin’s reputation for cleverness was well-deserved.

Dear Readers, Sproutling here translating Ming Dynasty: Reborn as Zhu Yunwen, If you have enjoyed my translation and would like to show your support. Please consider donate to my Ko-Fi (Click here) page. Your help mean so much to me, Thank you in advance!


1 Cai Dongfan (Chinese: 蔡东藩; Wade–GilesTs’ai Tung-fan; July 23, 1877 – March 5, 1945), was a Chinese historian and prolific writer of historical novels.
2 TL’s note: This is Chinese Idiom 死道友不死贫道
3 TL’s note: Author write 苏幕遮, (Su Mu Zhe) in the raw, I think he meant to write Su chang he which is the mc original name, so ill use su chang he

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


error: Content is protected !!