Ming Dynasty: Reborn as Zhu Yunwen
Ming Dynasty: Reborn as Zhu Yunwen Chapter 99

Chapter 99: Zhu Gaoxu also has rebellious genes

The waning moon sinks in the west, casting its reflection on the water on both sides of the north and south. This rare and enchanting scene of ‘one day, three moons’ is so mesmerizing.

Zhu Gaoxu gazes the moon at lugou bridge[1]Marco Polo Brige without turning his eyes away until the day gradually breaks, and the waning moon disappears. He nods in satisfaction and says to Jin Zhong behind him, “Do you remember the poem left by Jin Dynasty Minister of rite and Academician of the Hanlin Academy Zhao Bingwen here?’

Jin Zhong respectfully bows and says, “Your Highness, I remember.”

“Recite it for me.”

Zhu Gaoxu turns around and says.

Jin Zhong recites, “River-dividing bridge pillars stretch like melon vines,

Passersby at the capital’s gate resemble canine teeth.

As the sun sets on the willows of Lugou Bridge,

I’ve seen off friends departing for the capital countless times.”

Zhu Gaoxu’s eyes reveal a hint of sharpness as he says, “As the sun sets on the willows of Lugou Bridge, I’ve seen off friends departing for the capital countless times. This Lugou Bridge, we cannot just bid farewell to those leaving. Sir, you ask, will those who have departed ever return?!”

Jin Zhong looks at Zhu Gaoxu, and his heart trembles. The Prince’s words carry a hidden meaning!

“If one is willing, they will naturally come back.”

Jin Zhong replies cautiously.

Zhu Gaoxu slaps the stone lion on the railing and fixes his gaze on Jin Zhong. He sternly asks, “Master, can you read fortunes? Are they accurate?”

Jin Zhong raises his eyebrows and quickly says, “Your Highness, fortune-telling is based on one’s fate at the time. With the shifting of stars and the changing of fate, one’s fortune may change.”

“Then take another look at this Prince’s future, whether there’s a way to rise to the top!”

Zhu Gaoxu says sternly.

Jin Zhong understands that when Zhu Gaoxu talks about being able to rise to the top, he is referring to the character “仐” that Zhu Gaoxu wrote when they first met.

According to the fortune-telling at that time, Zhu Gaoxu’s future should have been as a vassal king. If he can rise higher, it would mean becoming an emperor!

Jin Zhong trembles slightly. Zhu Di had surrendered to Zhu, Zhu Gaoxu still has aspirations to become an emperor?

What kind of family is this!

Zhu Yuanzhang, with a background of rebellion, toppled the Yuan Dynasty.

Zhu Di also wanted to rebel, to get rid of his own nephew, but halfway through his rebellion, he was suppressed by a series of moves by Zhu Yunwen, unable to catch his breath, pretending to be crazy and stupid, and couldn’t escape. He had to go to the capital to plead guilty.

He thought that the world was peaceful and that he could continue to set up stalls on the streets and alleys to tell fortunes and deceive people. However, after Zhu Di left Beiping, Zhu Gaoxu treated him with great respect and generosity, which made him feel valued.

It turns out that Zhu Gaoxu had plans all along.

Jin Zhong felt a sense of killing intent behind him. Without a doubt, if he didn’t serve Zhu Gaoxu well today, this Lu Gou Bridge would become his burial ground!

“Your Highness is destined for wealth and nobility, and possesses the Jade Steps patterns in hand, bearing the aura of an emperor. However, this path is long and difficult to achieve.”

Jin Zhong looks at Zhu Gaoxu’s palm, ponders for a long time, and cautiously says.

Zhu Gaoxu’s complexion improves significantly. He withdraws his hand and says to Jin Zhong, “Then, in the future, you will work for this Prince. You will be the foremost subject when the time comes!”

Jin Zhong quickly bows and says, “Thank you, Your Highness.”

Zhu Gaoxu, in a very good mood, looks at the brightening sky and says in a deep voice, “Now, the ‘Single Whip method’ and the national policy to curb land consolidation have greatly harmed the interests of the gentry. If we can win them over, and use their wealth to support my elite troops. It may not be impossible to achieve great success. Father didn’t dare to do it, so I’ll take it on!”

Under the coercion of Zhu Gaoxu, Jin Zhong had no choice but to do things for him.

In Beiping Prefecture, the gentry who have been severely affected by the ‘Single Whip method’ and the anti-land consolidation policy see that Zhu Gaoxu wants to stand up for the gentry. They are flocking to Zhu Gaoxu’s side. Those with money are contributing money, and those with connections are offering their connections.

In summary, these gentry hope that Zhu Gaoxu can convey a message to the court, that the policy of curbing consolidation is not feasible, and the abolition of the gentry’s fiefs and tax-exempt lands is also not viable.

They hope that Zhu Yunwen will turn back and restore the ancestral system to protect the interests of the gentry.

They do not know Zhu Gaoxu’s true intentions, and if they did, they probably would not have joined in.

After all, Zhu Gaoxu is the son of Zhu Di, and he has learned some acting skills, coupled with his study of Machiavellian tactics. He has indeed won over a group of gentry, all of this happening in secret, not even Zhu Gaochi noticed.

Capital, Central Army Commandery.

Zhu Di had just returned from observing military exercises at the training ground when he said to Xu Huizu, “We must strengthen the training of the cavalry in the capital. The current level of our cavalry is still unable to directly confront the elite cavalry of the Tatars and the Oirats!”

Xu Huizu frowned, then relaxed and said, “Your Highness, the Tatar and Oirats cavalry have grown up on horseback from a young age, while our cavalry mostly undergo training as adults. It’s not easy to catch up with the elite cavalry of the Tatars and Oirats.”

Zhu Di shook his head and said firmly, “The Mongol cavalry is powerful due to well-structured training, strict discipline, expert horseback archery, and effective tactics. Although our Great Ming has often defeated the Tatars in the past, looking at the current tactics of the capital’s cavalry, I’m afraid they will suffer a devastating defeat in actual combat.”

“Is it that serious?”

Xu Huizu, who was well-versed in military strategy, had heard of the strength of the Tatar cavalry, but they had ultimately been defeated. Moreover, after half a year of special training for the capital’s cavalry, their combat strength had improved significantly. Wasn’t this enough to satisfy Zhu Di?

Zhu Di sat down and said, “I want to ask the Emperor to transfer some of the Duoyan Three Guards to the capital.”

“Duoyan Three Guards?”

Xu Huizu was suddenly surprised.

Zhu Di nodded solemnly and said, “The Duoyan Three Guards are mainly Mongols and are experts in cavalry tactics. Since you believe that the capital’s cavalry has already achieved something, it might be a good idea to let them have a real competition and let the capital’s cavalry see what real elite cavalry is like! If we don’t wake them up completely, the cavalry of the Great Ming will only reach this level. Duke of Wei, what do you think?”

Xu Huizu understood Zhu Di’s intentions: use cavalry to train cavalry.

“The Doyan Three Guards are the elite troops under King of Ning’s command. If they were to be transferred to the capital, how many soldiers would be optimal?”

Xu Huizu agreed with Zhu Di’s suggestion.

Zhu Di thought for a moment and said, “At least one thousand cavalry.”

After considering it, Xu Huizu finally nodded and said, “Then please write a memorial, and I will endorse it.”

Zhu Di smiled and said, “Very well.”

If one cannot match others in skill, then one must learn and surpass them, then surpass them again, that is the right path.

“Your Highness, it is difficult to train cavalry, and it is even more difficult to produce elite troops. If we look at our generation and the previous generation of cavalry, we are already weaker by twenty percent. If we wait another ten or twenty years, will we become weaker by thirty to fourty percent? What should we do when that time comes? In the end, our Great Ming will still rely on infantry.”

Xu Huizu expressed his concerns.

Zhu Di also saw this problem. Over the years, cavalry had been gradually weakening, and this was an undeniable fact.

Just like the Yuan Dynasty, the cavalry swept the world during its founding, how majestic it was!

They destroyed the Western Liao, defeated the Western Xia, expelled the Khwarazmians, step on Jin, and swallowed the Song!

But in less than ninety years, the Mongol cavalry had become so weak that they couldn’t even ride horses properly.

The decline of cavalry was not unique to the Yuan Dynasty; the Great Ming must also consider this issue.

“It seems that we need to retrain our formations.”

Zhu Di walked to the sand table on the side.

On the sand table, there were models of cavalry, infantry, and arquebusiers, and a bold idea was gradually taking shape…


1 Marco Polo Brige

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