Chapter 32: This is all King of Yan’s intention…
Inside the Regional Military office, Ping’an and Shengyong had already received news about the commotion outside, but they simply ignored it.
Sheng Yong believed that the fire was not big enough, so he added fuel to the fire by spreading the message: “The Three Guards of the King of Yan are not included in the New Military Policy and will not enjoy the benefits of the New Military Policy.”
This enraged Zhou Duo, and the soldiers behind him couldn’t believe what they were hearing.
What does that mean?
We are serving in the army, eating the court’s food, and sacrificing ourselves for the court. When it comes to implementing the New Military Policy, we are being cast aside?
Why aren’t we given the same treatment?
We are also soldiers of the Ming Dynasty, and we have the right to enjoy the benefits of the New Military Policy!
Why are we being excluded?
Soldiers have their own passions and emotions. In ordinary times, they might get worked up over a few coins and slam tables with unsheathed knives. Now, it’s not just for themselves, but also for their future generations. Can they not be anxious?
Zhou Duo and his followers caused a disturbance, shouting one by one, making people uneasy. Ping An couldn’t stand their vulgar language, so he directly ordered their arrest. More than 120 people, including Zhou Duo, were captured and tied up outside the gate of the Prefectural Military Office.
More and more people gathered to watch, and the situation became more chaotic.
King of Yan’s Residence.
Zhang Yu, Zhu Neng, Yuan Rong, and Li Rang are currently discussing how to respond to the strategies of the New Army. They haven’t proposed a plan to block the news yet when a guard hurriedly reports, “Something bad has happened! Battalion Commander Zhou Duo and his men went to the Prefectural Military Office and were captured.”
Zhang Yu’s face darkened.
Zhou Duo is his subordinate, and Zhang Yu knows that he is just an ordinary man without much intelligence. However, he is brave and loyal, which is why Zhang Yu entrusted him with an important task. But he never expected that this guy would cause trouble for him at this critical moment.
“After hearing about Zhou Duo’s arrest, more than 500 of his subordinates went to the Prefectural Military office, demanding the release of Commander Zhou Duo.”
The guard continued to report.
Zhang Yu felt a chill running down his spine.
It wouldn’t be difficult to solve the situation if it was just Zhou Duo and a few others causing trouble, but if hundreds of people attacked the Prefectural Military office, the Prefectural Military office would have every reason to annihilate them.
What worried Zhang Yu was that the Three Guards of the King of Yan were attacking the Prefectural Military office!
If the Prefectural Military office interpreted this as a rebellion by the Three Guards of the King of Yan, they could mobilize a large army to wipe them out. no one can argue against it. Even if news of this incident reaches the ears of other vassal kings, no one will sympathize.
Because attacking the court’s government office is an act of treason and rebellion.
Kill you, no negotiation!
“Prepare the horses, quickly!”
Zhang Yu knew how serious the problem was. If he was even slightly careless, the Three Guards of the King of Yan would be annihilated! Without the Three Guards, what qualification would the King of Yan have to stay in Beiping Prefecture?
Zhang Yu and Zhu Neng hastily left the King of Yan’s residence, while Yuan Rong and Li Rang went to the backyard of the residence to discuss countermeasures with Xu Yihua.
Ping An and Sheng Yong stood outside the Prefectural Military office, with hundreds of soldiers holding long spears and carrying long knives, forming a crescent-shaped guard formation outside the Prefectural Military office. Archers stationed at higher positions drew their bows and aimed at the soldiers of the King of Yan’s Left Guard who were causing trouble.
The New Military Policy aimed to win people’s hearts.
At this moment, Ping An and Sheng Yong had gained the full trust of the upper and lower ranks of the army. In addition, The fourth policy of the New Military Policy stated that those who followed orders promptly, executed them effectively, and achieved merit could be promoted to the rank of Company Commander.
Who doesn’t want a promotion?
Who wants to remain a foot soldier forever?
As long as Ping An gives the command, all the soldiers will fearlessly charge forward to prove their loyalty to the court and their support for the New Military Policy!
Whether these people are old friends or not, it doesn’t matter anymore.
As soldiers, obeying orders is their duty!
King of Yan’s Left Guard Battalion Commander Yu Qiong led his men to the outside of the Prefectural Military office and couldn’t help but take a deep breath when he saw the situation around him. Why does this look like they want to kill someone?
Yu Qiong wasn’t a fool. He knew that his small group of people couldn’t match the forces of the Prefectural Military office. They were prepared with spears and arrows. If they forcefully entered, it would be suicide.
“Drop your weapons and don’t act recklessly!”
Yu Qiong ordered his men.
Upon hearing this, everyone dropped their weapons to the ground.
Yu Qiong, along with Company Commander Ni Qiong and others, stepped forward and stood outside the range of the spears. He shouted to Ping An and Sheng Yong, “Commanders, Zhou Duo was merely inquiring about why the New Military Policy does not include the Three Guards of the King of Yan. There is no need for such a confrontation, right?”
“Who are you?”
Sheng Yong shouted.
“I am Yu Qiong, Battalion Commander of the King of Yan’s Left Guard!”
With Sheng Yong’s order, more than ten soldiers stepped forward and immediately pinned Yu Qiong to the ground, tying him up, the Company commander on the side also tied up, and the soldiers behind them became anxious upon seeing the situation.
If the leaders are captured, how can the subordinates stand their ground in the future?
Rescue the Company commander and Battalion Commander!
Just as the soldiers were getting agitated and ready to take action, Zhang Yu and Zhu Neng finally arrived. Zhang Yu used his whip to lash the soldiers blocking the way aside and shouted sternly, “How dare the Left Guard leave without orders? Who gave you the audacity? Where do you think this is? It’s the Prefectural Military office, is it a place you can come to? Go back!”
Zhang Yu is the top general under Zhu Di’s command, known for his care for the soldiers and his high military prestige.
In the past, as long as Zhang Yu gave the order, everyone would charge into battle without hesitation and die on the battlefield without a second thought. But today, these soldiers didn’t want to leave!
“General Zhang, we want the New Military Policy!”
“That’s right, Commander Zhou and Commander Yu were only standing up for us!”
“The new military policy of the court favors and rewards the soldiers. Why don’t we deserve to enjoy the benefits of the new military policy? It’s unfair!”
“Yes, unfair! We are soldiers of the Great Ming too!”
“Please, General Zhang, uphold justice for us!”
The soldiers knelt down one by one.
Zhang Yu trembled as he looked at the proud soldiers now kneeling before him.
The New Military Policy was a matter concerning the soldiers themselves, their families, and their future generations. Today, they knelt down, not just for themselves but also for the sake of their families and future descendants!
Zhang Yu was well aware of the power of the New Military Policy. It could transform soldiers who were originally loyal to the vassal kings into soldiers loyal to the court!
If in the future, Zhu Di wanted to seize power again and act against the court, these soldiers would not follow his orders!
Because Zhu Di wouldn’t care about their future generations!
Because Zhu Di wouldn’t provide them with generous retirement conditions!
Because Zhu Di wouldn’t have the money to support their families medical expenses!
Because if they died, Zhu Di wouldn’t have enough money to compensate them.
Zhang Yu could imagine that if the New Military Policy were implemented within the Three Guards of King of Yan, the soldiers would pledge their allegiance to the court. If one day Zhu Di rebelled against the court, the first enemy is not the main army of the court, but his own soldiers!
They would never dare to be enemies with the court because they were fighting for themselves, their families, and their future descendants!
No usable troops!
No obedient troops!
How could they fight a war like this?
Zhang Yu couldn’t fight such a war!
Even if Xu Da and Chang Yuchun came back to life, they couldn’t fight this kind of war!
However, if the New Military Policy wasn’t implemented within the Three Guards of King of Yan, how could they be content?
He could handle the current disturbance.
But what about tomorrow?
The day after tomorrow?
People are not troubled by scarcity but by inequalityTl’s note: Its Chinese idiom from the analects. This is the nature of the human heart.
In the past, everyone ate the same Chinese cabbage, and there was nothing to complain about.
But now, some people are eating meat while I still eat cabbage. How can that be satisfying?
Their fellow brothers who joined the army together will be able to retire and enjoy their lives after twenty years of service. When they think about themselves, even if they die in the military camp, they won’t get any benefits. Who would have the motivation to train?
People’s hearts are restless, and big problems will arise sooner or later.
Zhang Yu felt that this was a dead end, tightly constricting him, leaving him breathless.
Unraveling it was not an option. Leaving it unresolved was also not an option!
Zhu Neng rode his horse to Zhang Yu’s side and whispered, “Why not direct your anger toward the court?”
Zhang Yu’s eyes lit up. If he could shift the blame for not implementing the New Military Policy in the Three Guards of King of Yan onto the court, it would be seen as discrimination and disrespect toward the Three Guards of King of Yan, as if they were not considered soldiers of the Ming Dynasty.
With a little guidance, if the Three Guards of the King of Yan developed resentment toward the court, these soldiers would become completely loyal to the King of Yan and be willing to rebel with him!
This move is ruthless!
Zhang Yu glanced approvingly at Zhu Neng and shouted to the crowd, “The New Military Policy has won the hearts of the soldiers, but the court has unjustly excluded the Three Guards of King of Yan. It is inappropriate. I will personally go to the military court to ask the Prefectural Military office what they are thinking, why they are unfair to the Three Guards, and why they are unfair to us generals and soldiers!”
His words were greatly appreciated by the soldiers of the Three Guards of King of Yan.
Zhang Yu dismounted and walked toward the Prefectural Military office.
Ping An and Sheng Yong ordered the soldiers to make way.
Ping An stepped forward and greeted with clasped hands, “Brother Shimei, it’s been many years, and you’re still in good health.”
Zhang Yu, whose courtesy name was Shimei, was familiar with Ping An, who had accompanied Zhu Di on his expedition to the north along with Zhang Yu, Zhu Neng, and others.
With a cold face, Zhang Yu shouted loudly, “Ping An, we can catch up later. Today, I came here to ask why the New Military Policy is not implemented in the Three Guards of King of Yan?”
Ping An laughed heartily and said, “Since General Zhang asked, I will answer.”
After speaking, Ping An climbed onto a platform and scanned the onlookers, the soldiers of Beiping, and the Three Guards of King of Yan. He shouted loudly, “The New Military Policy was created by His Majesty, and the capital garrison was the first to implement it. Both the military and the people are satisfied! His Majesty appreciates the frontier soldiers’ lifelong service in countless battles and desires to implement the New Army Policy throughout the entire army as soon as possible!”
“His Majesty knows well that the Three Guards of King of Yan have been fighting and working hard year-round, and they should be the first to enjoy the benefits of the New Army Policy. His Majesty personally went to the King of Yan Mansion in the capital to entrust King of Yan with the implementation of the New Military Policy within the Three Guards, and then it would be extended to the other guards of Beiping.”
“However, King of Yan declined repeatedly and refused to implement the New Military Policy within the Three Guards. Even the persuasion of the Chief Commander of the Central Army, Xu Huizu, was in vain. His Majesty then transferred the New Military Policy to the Beiping Prefectural Military office, giving them full responsibility for its implementation, excluding the Three Guards!”
“The Three Guards’ exclusion from the New Army Policy is not because His Majesty disapproves, not because the court disapproves, not because the Prefetural Military office disapproves, but because King of Yan disapproves! Let me make it clear here to all of you, to all the military and civilians of Beiping, as long as King of Yan gives his approval, the Three Guards can immediately enjoy all the benefits of the New Military Policy!”
“Is there anything else you want to inquire about?! Brother Shimei, are you satisfied with this answer? Haha, now it’s clear, isn’t it? This is all King of Yan’s intention…”
After finishing his words, Ping An stepped down from the platform and paid no attention to Zhang Yu and the others. He went straight back to the office.
Sheng Yong approached Zhang Yu and clasped his fists, saying, “General Zhang, the court has received urgent reports about this matter. It is indeed the King of Yan’s refusal and not the court or His Majesty’s disapproval. But regardless of the reason, these soldiers have intruded into the Prefectural Military office without authorization, and they cannot be let off lightly!”
” Then, please follow the law and proceed accordingly, Commander Sheng.”
Zhang Yu had never felt so frustrated before. His face was burning, feeling a sense of shame!
Sheng Yong looked at Zhang Yu’s stumbling figure and sneered. He glanced at the bound people and ordered, “Fifty strokes for each person, and if there’s a next time, they will all be beheaded!”
The crowd shuddered.
Although the soldiers were physically fit, if they were struck with full force, let alone fifty strokes, even twenty strokes would be enough to beat a person to death.
Furthermore, these soldiers who are wielding the sticks have just enjoyed the benefits of the new military policy. They are full of energy and may have exerted excessive force, but it can be understood. As for whether personal grudges are mixed in, that is unknown.
Over a hundred people, fifty strokes each, resulted in the deaths of four: two Company Commander and two Battalion Commander.
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|Tl’s note: Its Chinese idiom from the analects