Ming Dynasty: Reborn as Zhu Yunwen
Ming Dynasty: Reborn as Zhu Yunwen Chapter 28

Chapter 28: The Emperor set the Department of Music and Entertainment on fire.

“Your Majesty, the kings are waiting at the Imperial clan court,” Shuangxi interrupted, breaking Zhu Yunwen’s train of thought.

Zhu Yunwen smiled indifferently, looking at the sun outside. It was already afternoon. He couldn’t help but say, “I thought they wouldn’t leave.”

Ma Enhui chuckled and said, “It’s not their fault. The Empress Dowager kept the King of Liao, King of Qin, King of Jin, and King of Min for a chat, and I guess they lost track of time.”

Zhu Yunwen shook his head bitterly. Zhu Di and the others were probably waiting for the King of Qin, Zhu Shangbing, and the King of Jin Zhu Jixi to leave together. But since they didn’t arrive, the delay dragged on until the afternoon.

“Prepare the carriages, I will see them off!”

Zhu Yunwen pinched Zhu Wenkui’s cheek and smiled as he left the palace.

The left gate of Chang’an housed important institutions such as the Imperial Clan Court, Ministry of Personnel, Ministry of Revenue, Ministry of Rites, Ministry of War, Ministry of Works, The court of state ceremonial, and the Imperial Academy of Medicine. The right gate of Chang’an mainly consisted of the Commandery of the Five Armies, Changtai Temple[1]TL’s note: I can’t find any department with this name, the author probably make a mistake, but ill just leave it alone, if you know what this is please comment below., Office of Transmission, Messenger’s office.

The Ministry of Justice, Inspectorate, the Court of Judicial Review, and the Department of Music and Entertainment were located to the west of the Commandery of the Five Armies.

The Imperial Clan Court was the administrative body for the imperial family.

It was actually an invention and creation of Zhu Yuanzhang.

Although Zhu Yuanzhang had vigorous energy, his mind was focused on governing the country. He didn’t have the energy to manage the imperial family. However, Zhu Yuanzhang was a person who valued family bonds, so he couldn’t ignore his relatives from various branches. Therefore, the Imperial Clan court was established.

The main responsibilities of the Imperial clan court were to manage the genealogical records of the emperor’s nine clans, oversee the three ancestral sacrifices, handle the titles and marriages of the imperial family, decide on posthumous names and burial places, and determine punishments for imperial relatives who committed offenses. They also organized gatherings to foster relationships and strengthen kinship.

Zhu Yuanzhang attached great importance to the Imperial Clan court and appointed positions such as director, Left Associate director, Right Associate director, Left Assistant director, and Right Assistant director. Considering that Zhu Biao was the Crown Prince and had a busy schedule, he appointed his second son Zhu Shuang, third son Zhu Gang, fourth son Zhu Di, fifth son Zhu Su, and sixth son Zhu Zhen to these positions.

Unfortunately, Zhu Shuang served for only six years before being poisoned to death.

After Zhu Shuang’s death, the position of Director became vacant, and it was taken over by Zhu Gang, the third son.

However, Zhu Gang also served for only three years before dying of illness.

With the position of Director vacant once again, Zhu Di was expected to succeed, but he didn’t dare to become Director. After witnessing his two older brothers die in that position, he wanted to live longer.

Zhu Yuanzhang probably didn’t want to harm Zhu Di either. As a result, the position of Director remained vacant.

If Zhu Yunwen hadn’t gone to see off the kings, he probably wouldn’t have visited the Imperial Clan Court.

Compared to the mournful scene of a funeral procession, the departure was much grander, with ceremonial attire, music, and escorts. The kings wore no signs of grief on their faces; instead, they seemed cheerful and excited.

Zhu Yunwen understood that these people preferred their fiefdoms. The farther from the capital, the better. They could be kings in their own domains, far away from the emperor.

But it didn’t matter; distance had its advantages.

The number of Kings exceeded nine. Zhu Yuanzhang had twenty-six sons, aside from the Crown Prince and the deceased twenty-sixth son. All the other imperial sons were granted King titles.

In addition, there was another King with different surnames, the King of Jingjiang, Zhu Shouqian, who was the son of Zhu Wenzheng. However, Zhu Shouqian passed away in the twenty-fifth year of Hongwu, and his eldest son Zhu Zanyi became the King of Jingjiang.

They laughed and joked, creating a harmonious atmosphere.

When Zhu Yunwen arrived, Zhu Di led the kings to pay their respects.

Zhu Yunwen looked at everyone and smiled, saying, “Uncles, you are going to your fiefdoms, a long journey awaits. Please take good care of yourselves, especially Uncle Yan and Uncle Ning. The Northern Mongols are still a threat. I ask you two imperial uncles to defend and safeguard our Great Ming.”

Upon hearing this, Zhu Di and Zhu Quan had smiles on their faces, but their hearts were filled with bitterness.

After exchanging pleasantries for a few moments, Zhu Yunwen waved his sleeve and solemnly bowed, saying, “Go now, protect the borders and the people, safeguard our Great Ming! Your names will surely shine in history. Even after five or six hundred, no, a thousand years, people will remember you!”

The eunuchs in the palace knelt down neatly.

The Kings also knelt and bowed, saying in unison, “We will not fail Your Majesty, we will not fail Great Ming! We take our leave.”

Zhu Di stood up, gave a slight smile to Zhu Yunwen, and said, “Your Majesty, take care of your body.”

After saying that, he entered the carriage.

The other kings also bid their farewells and got into their carriages.

The convoy slowly departed.

Zhu Zhi, Zhu Shangbing, Zhu Jixi, and Zhu Geng did not leave but stood beside Zhu Yunwen.

Zhu Yunwen waved his hand and said, “You all go and take a stroll. Enter the palace tomorrow to discuss specific matters.”

The four men nodded quickly, bid their farewells, and left.

Seeing that it was still early, Zhu Yunwen instructed Shuangxi and Liu Changge to change into casual attire. They walked through the right gate of Chang’an and headed towards the Department of Music and Entertainment.

“How many people are currently in the Department of Music and Entertainment?” Zhu Yunwen asked Liu Changge.

Liu Changge replied, “Your Majesty, there are more than 6,800 people listed on the roster of the Department of Music and Entertainment.”

“So many?” Zhu Yunwen frowned.

Liu Changge hesitated for a moment and said, “Your Majesty, in the 26th year of the Hongwu era, General Lan Yu conspired to rebel and was executed by Emperor Taizu. The repercussions were extensive, so…”

Zhu Yunwen glanced at Liu Changge but did not blame him.

It was true that Zhu Yuanzhang had been too ruthless in his executions. In the four major cases during the Hongwu era, the number of people killed in the “Lan Yu case” alone exceeded 15,000. Almost all the brave and valiant generals in the military were wiped out. This was also one of the main reasons why Zhu Yunwen, after ascending the throne, repeatedly failed to defeat Zhu Di.

Most of the people who died were officials or military officers, and some of their families were killed together with them, while others were sent to the Department of Music and Entertainment or the Palace Laundry Service.

Inside the Department of Music and Entertainment, it was bustling with activity.

On the upper floors of the buildings, half-opened windows revealed women standing behind them, some even leaning out to catch a glimpse of the visitors.

A charming woman came forward and, seeing Zhu Yunwen’s extraordinary bearing, deduced his distinguished identity. She smiled and said, “This young sir, is it your first visit? Is it for your beloved in your heart?”

Zhu Yunwen smiled and replied, “Beloved? I wonder who among them is the best here?”

The woman flirtatiously smiled and said, “In this Department of Music and Entertainment, there are thousands of women, each with their own charms. If we consider looks alone, it would be Xiaoyue’er. If we consider talent, Miss Mo Qiusheng must be the leader. And if we consider allure, it would be Murong Jing’er.”

“Oh, how intriguing. Bring these three over,” Zhu Yunwen said softly.

The woman’s face revealed a surprised expression as she looked at Zhu Yunwen and said, “Young master, unfortunately, Xiao Yue’er and Mo Qiusheng are already occupied. How about letting Murong Jing’er accompany you?”

“That’s fine.”

“Young master, hehe, haha…”

The woman laughed naturally.

Zhu Yunwen looked at Shuangxi and said, “Don’t you have any eyes?”

Seeing this, Shuangxi quickly took out some silver and gave it to the woman. Only then did the woman smile with joy and lead Zhu Yunwen up to the Warm Fragrance Pavilion. They stopped in front of a door and she said, “Miss Murong is inside. Please enter, young master.”

After entering the room, a fragrant aroma filled the air, as if they had entered paradise.

“You all wait outside.”

After Zhu Yunwen spoke, Shuangxi nodded repeatedly and closed the door. He muttered to Liu Changge beside him, “This matter must be kept secret. If anyone finds out, it will be a big problem…”

Liu Changge nodded silently.

Why did the Emperor come to the Department of Music and Entertainment when there were so many beautiful women in the palace? This was a taboo, as officials were not supposed to have any involvement with the female musicians of the Department of Music and Entertainment…

Inside the red curtain,

A chill breeze blew, bringing a touch of autumn.

Zhu Yunwen lifted the curtain and looked at the graceful young woman standing quietly by the window. He murmured, “A skyful of autumnal light, Deprives me more and more of my delight. The golden blooms tell me the Double Ninth is nigh. I try my autumn clothes plain And taste new wine with green-ant bubbles old. A gust of wind comes by and by, And then a gust of rain, And then a gust of cold….”

Zhu Yunwen walked over, startling the woman who turned around. He softly said, “The evening courtyard would appear, So sad and drear. The bygones grieve me when I am sobered from wine. How can I bear the endless night. The empty bed and the moon bright! To hear the washerwomen pound the clothes, I pine, And then the crickets sing their song, And then the waterclock drips along..”

Murong Jing’er looked at Zhu Yunwen and bowed respectfully, saying, “Murong Jing’er greets the young master.”

Her black hair danced in the wind, swaying around her slender waist.

Exquisite and ethereal.

Gentle and sorrowful.

Zhu Yunwen looked at Murong Jing’er, nodded slightly, and said, “Please have a seat, Miss.”

Murong Jing’er was somewhat surprised. Seeing that Zhu Yunwen’s gaze held no desire, but rather went straight to the table and started reading the poems she had written, she couldn’t help but feel puzzled.

He was different from other people.

Zhu Yunwen flipped through several pages and accepted the tea that Murong Jing’er handed to him. He thanked her and asked, “How long have you been in the Department of Music and Entertainment, Miss Murong?”

“Replying to the young master, it has been six years.”

Murong Jing’er sat down beside him and replied softly.

Zhu Yunwen frowned. This time coincided with the Lan Yu Case, which made him ask, “Is your family a military officer?”

Murong Jing’er shook her head and said with a touch of sadness, “My father is just a clerk in the military.”

A clerk!

An inconspicuous low-ranking official.

But these people also died because of the Lan Yu Case.

Zhu Yunwen felt guilty.

One of the biggest reasons Zhu Yuanzhang, had massacred the meritorious official was to secure his own position.

“Is the Department of Music and Entertainment a paradise or a hell?”

Zhu Yunwen looked at Murong Jing’er and asked in a deep voice.

Murong Jing’er was somewhat surprised, looking at Zhu Yunwen with a hint of confusion. The young master before her was not seeking intimate pleasures, nor did he appear to be a libertine or a reckless person.



Murong Jing’er had never heard anyone ask such a question. Seeing that Zhu Yunwen was serious, she forced a bitter smile and replied, “For the young master, this place is paradise.”

Zhu Yunwen shook his head slightly and said, “It seems that hiding is the most important thing. Never mind, would you like to leave this place and start a new life?”

Murong Jing’er stared at Zhu Yunwen, astonished and unable to speak.

Zhu Yunwen stood up, walked in front of Murong Jing’er, and said slowly, “You haven’t answered my question yet.”

Murong Jing’er took a step forward, almost pressing herself against Zhu Yunwen’s body. She raised her head slightly and pleaded, “If the young master can let Jing’er leave this place, Jing’er is willing to be a cow or a horse, serving the young master.”

The women of the Department of Music and Entertainment were not treated as human beings, but as objects.

To be precise, playthings.

No one truly saw them as human beings.

Zhu Yunwen placed his hand on Murong Jing’er’s fragrant shoulder and gently pushed her back a step, saying, “For you, the Department of Music and Entertainment is hell. For me, it is the same. But the Department of Music and Entertainment is built on the earth, not in the underworld! So, wouldn’t it be better to burn it down?”

“Burn it down?!”

Murong Jing’er looked at Zhu Yunwen in astonishment, and in a daze, she asked, “How? How do we burn it down?”

Zhu Yunwen smiled and said, “Miss, may I borrow your matchstick?”

Perplexed, Murong Jing’er fetched a matchstick from the side and handed it to Zhu Yunwen. Zhu Yunwen opened it, blew out a flame, and then, in front of Murong Jing’er’s widened eyes, he threw the match onto the bed.

Zhu Yunwen watched as the fire ignited the sheets and calmly said to Murong Jing’er, “See, isn’t it burning now?”

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 TL’s note: I can’t find any department with this name, the author probably make a mistake, but ill just leave it alone, if you know what this is please comment below.

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