Ming Dynasty: Reborn as Zhu Yunwen
Ming Dynasty: Reborn as Zhu Yunwen Chapter 38

Chapter 38: Defection, Capturing Zhang Yu and Zhu Neng

Eleventh month of Beiping Prefecture, the bitterly cold northern wind blew, freezing both the sky and the earth.

The flags above the tent of the King of Yan’s Three Guards Camp fluttered with a crisp sound. Several ice daggers of varying lengths hung along the edges of the camp. On the training ground, only a few withered white poplar trees and a few piles of residual snow remained. Hardly any soldiers could be seen.

As the night deepened, the silence in the main camp grew more profound.

A few figures glanced around, seeing no one in sight. They cautiously emerged from their tents and made their way to a specific tent, carefully lifting the heavy curtain and slipping inside.

Inside the tent, there were already three people sitting around a warm brazier, silent and still.

One after another, more than twenty people entered the tent, dispersing throughout and remaining silent.

“Company Commander, everyone has arrived.”

In the dim light, someone spoke up.

Company Comamnder Ni Qiong rubbed his hands together, glanced around, and lowered his voice, saying, “I believe you all know the situation. The court has set a deadline for the implementation of the new military policy until the last day of November. If we miss this opportunity, we’ll have to wait another ten years. If any of you have anything to say, please speak up.”

“Commander Ni, we will follow your lead.”

“Yes, we’ll follow your lead.”

Inside the tent, voices echoed in a low and uneven manner, uttering similar words.

Ni Qiong warmed his hands by the fire and sighed, “Brothers, I don’t mind telling you that I have brothers serving in the Provincial Military office. They have informed me that the implementation of the new military policy has been highly effective, despite some difficulties. We need to be patient and wait. Now, the Family Affairs Department has been connected to the Beiping Administration Commission. Once the Commission receives any cases related to soldiers’ families, they will transfer them all to the Family Affairs Department, which will handle and coordinate the matters.”

“About half a month ago, you must have heard about the incident at Wang’s Manor outside the city. The son of that farmer who was beaten is a soldier under the Provincial Military office. When the Family Affairs Department received the news, the Provincial Military office personally took action. Not only did they make the landlord compensate the farmer with ten taels of silver, but they also publicly apologized to the farmer and promised to never harm him again.”

“There were many witnesses to this event. I have heard that in the past two months, the Family Affairs Department has resolved over three hundred cases. We can all see whether they can handle the matter or not. As for the imperial funds, the Provincial Military office has released detailed regulations. For minor illnesses like colds, the imperial funds won’t be used. However, if the accumulated expenses exceed three taels of silver, you can submit a report to the Provincial Military office for reimbursement.”

“As long as you provide a prescription from a physician and the payment receipts, the Provincial Military office will immediately reimburse half of the expenses. Liu’s father was seriously ill and bedridden. He passed away a few days ago. When Liu brought the account from Changchun Hall, the Provincial Military office didn’t hesitate to give him twelve taels of imperial funds. Remember, this account covers expenses from the past five years, not just after the new military policy came into effect.”

“Brothers, I, Ni Qiong, may not be talented, and I may not understand profound principles, but I do know that the new military policy implemented by the Emperor is for our own good. Now, there are only ten days left until the end of the new military policy. If we miss this chance, we’ll have to wait another ten years!”

“Ten years! Who knows, within these ten years, some of us might already be dead! I still have parents, a wife, and children. Even if I die, I want to leave something behind for them. My mind is made up. I will pledge my allegiance to Commander Ping An. If you consider me your brother, please don’t hinder me. If you don’t see me as your brother and choose to report this to the Yan Prince directly, I, Ni Qiong, won’t hold it against you!”

Ni Qiong’s words rendered everyone in the tent silent.

Initially, they had believed in Zhu Di, believed that the new military policy wouldn’t last. However, one month, two months had passed, and there was no sign of the strategy weakening. Instead, it overcame obstacles one after another and achieved significant success.

There were stories of some veteran soldiers wanting to retire and return home.

Ping An arranged their retirement, organizing a grand farewell ceremony with a high-standard military send-off. The sight of this moved the veterans to tears, and they vowed that if there were ever a war, they would immediately return to the military camp upon a single call.

The new military policy had resolved many seemingly impossible problems, and it seemed as if the imperial funds were inexhaustible. Whether it was the imperial funds, the Family Affairs Department, or military resources and retirement fees, not a single person had experienced any shortage.

These stories had spread among everyone.

After all, no matter how intense the training was, Zhu Di couldn’t possibly keep everyone inside the camp for two months. Besides, Ping’an represented the emperor and occasionally brought things to visit the King of Yan’s Three Guards. Naturally, the people accompanying him would naturally discuss the policy of the new military.

The end of November was the deadline for the new military policy. If they missed it, they would have to wait another ten years. This was what Ping’an personally said when visiting the Three Guards, and he explained the reasons behind it: once the logistics supply line was established, making adjustments would consume a lot of resources and affect the overall situation.

Advised the Three Guards, if they didn’t join the new military policy before the deadline, all the supplies originally prepared for them would be sent to Great Ning. In the next ten years, this supply line would belong to Great Ning.

Naturally, this news caused panic among the Three Guards.

Taking advantage of the fluctuation in morale, the personnel from the Great Ming Security Bureau took action and thoroughly investigated the background of the hundred households in the Three Guards, selecting those with elderly and young family members and a relatively short period of following Zhu Di as targets for defection.

One of them was Company Commander Ni Qiong.

“Company Commander, we’ll go with you!”

Someone stood up, their voice slightly hoarse.

“I’ll go with you too!”

“I’m going too!”

“We’re going too!”

Everyone in the tent stood up.

Ni Qiong stood up, satisfied, and said solemnly, “In that case, we will all go to join the Commander of Provincial Military office and join the Beiping Guards, serving for the glory of the Great Ming!”


They all agreed and dispersed quietly.

King of Yan’s mansion.

Zhu Di had been feeling a bit irritable recently, with blisters forming at the corners of his mouth.

Zhu Yunwen appointed Tie Xuan as the Commander of Jinan Garrison and ordered Geng Bingwen, the Marquis of Changchun, to lead 50,000 elite troops to the region of Hebei to reorganize the soldiers of Zhending, Baoding, and Hejian Prefectures.

Zhu Di was well aware of this news, and whether it was Zhending, Baoding, or Hejian, these three important towns, as well as Jinan, both by land and by water, were obstacles to his southward march.

What was even more infuriating was that Zhu Yunwen had designated Jinan Garrison as the logistical base of the northern expedition, demanding that the reserves and supplies be stored in Jinan. This meant that in the future, Beiping prefecture would no longer have a large number of military provisions.

Once he initiated the rebellion, the small amount of food in Beiping would be completely insufficient to sustain the army’s rations for three months. If Jinan couldn’t be captured within three months, they would face a situation without food!

Although Jinan was under the command of the relatively unknown Tie Xuan, Geng Bingwen in Zhending, Baoding, and Hejian was not ordinary figure.

Marquis Changchun, Geng Bingwen, was an extremely skilled defender. During the battle between Zhu Yuanzhang and Zhang Shicheng, Geng Bingwen held his position in Changxing, defending it for ten years and leaving Zhang Shicheng helpless and frustrated.

Zhu Di didn’t have the confidence to capture the three prefectures under Geng Bingwen’s control!

And what troubled Zhu Di the most was the new military policy. He could spread anti-propaganda, and brainwash people, but Ping’an could also spread propaganda. Moreover, this guy carried the title of inspecting the Three Guards on behalf of the “emperor,” and no one could stop him from entering the camp of the Three Guards.

While the new military policy flourished like fire, Zhu Di felt as if he had fallen into an ice cave.

The situation was changing day by day, and the morale of the army became increasingly unstable. If this continued, it wouldn’t take two years, but just six months, for the army’s morale to collapse.

“Something’s wrong, something’s wrong!”

Qiu Fu shouted in a flustered manner.

Zhu Di furrowed his brow and looked at the unruly Qiu Fu, coldly saying, “What’s the matter? Don’t make a fuss!”

Qiu Fu’s face turned pale, his hands trembling as he said to Zhu Di, “Over five hundred people from the Three Guards have left the camp and defected to the Provincial Military office. Ping’an has incorporated them into the Beiping Garrison, and among them are three Company Commander.”


Zhu Di stood up abruptly, feeling the world spinning around him. His vision darkened, and he collapsed.

“Your Highness, Your Highness!”

Qiu Fu shouted loudly.

Chaos erupted in the King of Yan’s mansion. After the physician’s diagnosis, they concluded that it was fainting caused by excessive worries and anxiety, and Zhu Di only needed to rest for a period of time.

Consort Xu Yihua personally took care of Zhu Di. Seeing Zhu Gaochi, Zhu Gaoxu, Zhang Yu, Zhu Neng, and others anxiously pacing inside the room, she asked them to wait outside.

Zhu Gaoxu stood at the door, his face icy, and gritting his teeth, saying, “These bastards! He treated them so well in the past, yet they turn against him at a time like this! If we don’t kill them, it won’t be enough to shake the army’s morale!”

Zhu Gaochi shook his head and refuted, “How can we kill them? They are no longer our people but Ping’an’s people! Besides, there are over five hundred of them. Can you kill them all?”

“If we don’t kill them, the entire Three Guards will desert!”

Zhu Gaoxu shouted in frustration.

Zhu Gaochi understood the problem, but killing might not solve it. On the contrary, it would cause panic among the Third Guard and accelerate their alignment with Ping’an.

“Mr. Jin, what should we do in the current situation?”

Zhu Gaozhi asked Jin Zhong for advice.

Jin Zhong sighed and said with a bitter tone, “It will be difficult to restore the morale of the Three Guards. For the current plan, we should immediately block off the Three Guard camp. Once the deadline for the new military policy passes, the situation may improve.”

“Blocking the camp is easy, but if Ping’an uses the emperor’s order to forcefully enter the Three Guard camp, what should we do?”

Zhu Gaochi frowned.

Jin Zhong pondered for a while and slowly said, “Then, in front of Ping’an, conduct training for the new troops without breaks and without giving Ping’an the opportunity to speak.”

Zhu Gaochi glanced at Zhang Yu and Zhu Neng. The two of them hurriedly saluted, then quickly left the Yan Prince’s Residence.

Beiping, Provincial Military office.

Ni Qiong and over five hundred people submitted a letter of allegiance, confessing their involvement in inciting rebellion and hostility towards the court, all under the influence of Zhang Yu and Zhu Neng.

Ping’an and Sheng Yong urgently summoned Zhang Bing, and the three of them discussed countermeasures.

After long contemplation, Zhang Bing said, “This matter is of great importance. If mishandled, it will lead to a major war. It’s best to send a report to the capital and let the emperor decide.”

Sheng Yong spread out a map of the mountains and rivers and said solemnly, ” Even if it’s an urgent matter of 800 miles., it will take ten days for it to go back and forth. And within these ten days, once our information leaks, the King of Yan will take action. By that time, it will be too late for us to make a move.”

Zhang Bing hesitated and said, “That’s true, but Zhang Yu and Zhu Neng are still the most powerful generals under the King of Yan’s command. They have high prestige in the army. Once we arrest them, how can we ensure that the situation won’t deteriorate rapidly? Moreover, without the emperor’s decree, if any mistakes occur, who will take responsibility? Who can bear it?”

Ping’an looked at the ongoing debate between Zhang Bing and Sheng Yong, then knocked on the table and said solemnly, “I will take responsibility for capturing Zhang Yu and Zhu Neng. To prevent chaos in the Three Guards, Sheng Yong, you will strictly control Beiping Prefecture. I will personally go and capture them!”

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