Ming Dynasty: Reborn as Zhu Yunwen
Ming Dynasty: Reborn as Zhu Yunwen Chapter 95

Chapter 95: Zhu Yunwen’s deceptive strategy

In the Jinshen hall, a sense of solemn killing intent permeated the air as eunuchs and palace maids outside the gates treaded cautiously, fearing to make any noise.

Xu Huizu’s gaze was filled with anger as he stared intently, his voice raised, “Your Majesty, Jiangxi gentry dare to do this, I request the deployment of our troops to march to Raozhou!”

Ru Chang furrowed his brows and objected, “The findings of the Security Bureau only indicate signs, not actual rebellion. Deploying our forces hastily would not only be a drain on resources and manpower but also detrimental to the implementation of our national policies. In my humble opinion, it should suffice to send a directive to Jiangxi Provincial Commander to exert influence and deter the locals, achieving victory without combat.”

“Minister Ru, do the words ‘signs’ not suffice to prove their rebellious intent? What if they gather thousands and publicly rebel, waving banners and shouting slogans? How about deploying the military then to suppress the turmoil?” Zhu Di said sternly.

Ru Chang’s expression darkened, but he did not retort.

Zhu Di was not only a king but also one of the few seasoned commanders of the Ming Dynasty.

His words carried considerable weight.

Zhu Di turned to Zhu Yunwen and said solemnly, “Your Majesty, Jiangxi is a vital source of taxation, and it must not fall into chaos. If the gentry wishes to defy the court, then the military should be dispatched to quell their resistance. I am willing to lead a thousand soldiers to Raozhou and enforce the national policies in the countryside.”

Ru Chang was extremely frustrated and sighed inwardly.

Even if there was some commotion in the region, it shouldn’t warrant you Zhu Di’s personal intervention, right?

Furthermore, they haven’t even resorted to violence yet, and you’re sending troops over already. Is it kill or not kill?

Once bloodshed starts, what becomes of the prosperity we’re aiming for?

Isn’t a prosperous era all about having enough to eat and drink, without readily losing one’s head?

However, there was no way around it. The Ministry of War still couldn’t outdo the authority of the Five Army Commandery. Xu Huizu, Zhu Di, and Song Cheng were all proponents of military action, while Grand Secretariat’s Xie Jin was clearly aligned with the Emperor’s viewpoint.

With a worried expression, Zhu Yunwen pondered for a long time before finally making a decision, saying, “Although the Jiangxi Provincial Commander has the authority to handle this matter, it concerns national policies and should not be taken lightly with military intervention. It would be best for the court to send troops. Uncle Yan should remain stationed to oversee the reforms in military. It would be imprudent for him to be far away. In my view, we shall appoint He Fu to lead three thousand men to Raozhou.”

Xu Huizu, Zhu Di, and Song Cheng were somewhat disappointed. Such a favorable opportunity slipped through their fingers.

“In that case, all of you withdraw. Let He Fu enter the hall. I have personal instructions to give.”

Zhu Yunwen waved his hand, and Xu Huizu and the others left the hall.

In the Grand Secretariat,

Xie Jin informed Yu Xin and Zhang Dan about the court’s decision to deploy troops to Jiangxi.

Yu Xin was astonished and quickly asked, “The Jiangxi gentry are trying to rebel? Is that even possible?”

Zhang Dan also looked skeptical; the news was too sudden.

Xie Jin furrowed his brows and said, “This information was obtained through investigations by the Security Bureau. It’s hard to determine its authenticity. But from recent reports about Jiangxi, while there is resistance and opposition from the gentry, there’s no evidence of outright defiance against the court.”

Zhang Dan took a report, said “Jiangxi administration commissioner Liu Chen’s report mentioned that there are many among the gentry resisting the national policies, but their actions mostly amount to delaying and non-cooperation. There’s no mention of any region daring to directly oppose the court. Since Your Majesty ascended the throne, freedom of speech has been encouraged. If there were issues in the localities, they could be reported. Liu Chen had no reason to cover up for the region.”

Taking a seat and pouring himself a cup of tea, Xie Jin said, “This matter is strange precisely for this reason. Gentry in Jiangsu and Zhejiang are well aware that national policies must be carried out without deviation. Thoroughly implement it is the only way; resistance would lead to a dead end. Why is it that when it comes to Jiangxi, these gentry fail to comprehend?”

“Ah, let’s hope that His Majesty can restrain He Fu and avoid a massacre.”

Yu Xin let out a sigh.

Xie Jin nodded slightly, realizing that his hopes could only rest upon the Emperor now.

In the Jinshen hall, He Fu paid his respects.

Zhu Yunwen looked at He Fu. Although he was nearing fifty, he appeared to be in his early forties, exuding an imposing aura. However, his face bore a scar resembling a long insect’s trail, evoking fear in those who looked upon it.

“He Fu, if I remember correctly, you are also from Fengyang?” Zhu Yunwen asked in a soft voice.

He Fu’s heart warmed, and he replied, “Indeed, Your Majesty, I am from Fengyang.”

Fengyang in Anhui, the place where the dragon rises.

Zhu Yunwen smiled, “It seems that you, I, and the Founding Emperor are distant relatives.”

He Fu quickly responded, “I wouldn’t dare make such a claim, Your Majesty.”

Zhu Yunwen laughed heartily and then turned serious. He said, “In the early years of the Hongwu era, due to your merits, you were promoted to the position of Commandant of the Imperial Guards. Later, you accompanied Duke Ying, Fu Youde, on the expedition to Yunnan, and you were promoted to the position of Deputy Commander of the Front Army Commandery. In the twentieth year of Hongwu, you followed Duke Liang, Lan Yu, in attacking the Northern Yuan outside the border and achieved a great victory in Battle of Buir Lake. In the twenty-fourth year of Hongwu, you participated in quelling the rebellion of A Zi, the leader of the rebel forces in Yuezhou.”

“In the third month of the thirtieth year of Hongwu, West water tribe Zong Bideng rebellion were pacified under your command. In November, as Left General for Conquering the Barbarians, you joined Marquis Xiping, Mu Chun, to suppress the rebel tribe led by Dao Gangmeng in Luchuan. You surrendered seventy thousand of their forces, bringing Luchuan under control! Am I correct?”

He Fu was deeply moved, nearly shedding tears. How could he deserve such recognition in the vast affairs of the Ming Dynasty? Yet the Emperor remembered his deeds!

“Your Majesty, this is the duty of a subject.”

With red eyes, He Fu shouted.

Zhu Yunwen nodded slightly and said, “I remember your contributions and understand that you are weary. This time, after coming from Yunnan to the capital for rewards and titles, I have a task for you. You will need to leave the capital for some time. Are you willing?”

He Fu replied solemnly, “I am willing to follow Your Majesty’s command even to death!”

Zhu Yunwen nodded slightly and said, “Very well, He Fu obey my orders.”

“Here I am!”

He Fu knelt on one knee.

Zhu Yunwen spoke sternly, “I order you to lead three thousand elite soldiers to Jiangxi, specifically to Guangxin, Raozhou, and Wannian. The official mission is to suppress local unrest and enforce the national policies, but in reality…”

He Fu widened his eyes, looking at Zhu Yunwen’s triumphant smile, and couldn’t help but shiver.

Could it be that there was no rebellion in Jiangxi, and this was all a scheme devised by the Emperor?

“Do you understand?” Zhu Yunwen asked.

He Fu exclaimed, “I promise to complete the mission!”

Zhu Yunwen nodded slightly and said, “Attend court tomorrow, and three days later, proceed up the Yangtze River. Pass through Poyang Lake and enter Raozhou. The rest of the details, I entrust to you.”

He Fu issued his military order, “If I fail to complete the mission, I shall apologize with my life!”

“Haha, it won’t be that severe. However, you must remember, this matter is to be kept secret, and no word of it should leak.” Zhu Yunwen exhorted.

He Fu readily agreed.

The next day’s court assembly, Zhu Yunwen issued an edict, bestowing upon He Fu the title of Marquis of Ningyuan. He was ordered to depart from Jiangxi and oversee the local areas. Simultaneously, a message was sent to the Jiangxi Regional Command, granting them the authority to handle obstructions caused by local gentry towards the Land Assessment team and the Agricultural Tax office.

With the change in Jiangxi’s administration commissioner as well, the court officials now clearly recognized Zhu Yunwen’s determination to implement the national policies. They had to put aside their critical memorials.

After several months of acquaintance, everyone had come to understand Zhu Yunwen better. Although he was kind and receptive to the advice of his ministers, he held strong opinions. Once he set his mind on something, he would not consider it complete until it was thoroughly implemented.

At this point, advocating for those gentry, attacking national policies, could very likely lead to being stripped of one’s official hat and donning a bamboo hat, going to conduct land assesment.

Compared to the small benefits offered by those gentry, one’s official position was far more crucial.

Three days later, He Fu set out. Not only did he lead three thousand elite soldiers, but he also brought along three hundred craftsmen. He even took twenty personnel from the Gunpowder Bureau. Riding the eastern wind, he sailed upstream along the Yangtze River, heading straight for Poyang Lake…

1 comment
  1. She-panther has spoken: She-panther 4 weeks ago

    Thanks for the updates.


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