There’s a Reason for Everything
Although the reasons for the frequent natural disasters in Nanjiang ten years ago were unknown, they triggered a panic in refugees. In turn, the general stationed there had to offer them his supplies, send envoys to reassure them and distribute funds the imperial court entrusted him to distribute to victims.
According to reports from the eleven sovereigns of the eleven states in Nanjiang, there were water, fire, wind disasters, earthquakes and all sorts of other testimonials that made it impossible to determine the legitimacy of what was taking place. The imperial court’s vassals at the border, consequently, were accused of scamming the imperial court for money.
Nanjiang had been a vassal state to the imperial court for thirty years. Howbeit, they had since raised their own military, procured taxes through their own system and prospered thanks to them eschewing war for three decades. Needless to say, the imperial court didn’t take kindly to their development, while Nanjiang gradually saw no reason to bow their heads all the time.
Owing to the refugees’ situation, Nanjiang and the imperial court started doubting each other, ultimately plotting against each other until it became open hostility. As such, Nanjiang’s leaders convened to prepare for imminent war. Fearing a repeat of perpetual warfare, Emperor Yuansheng dispatched Yan Shisan to assassinate, assault or employ whatever other means necessary to thwart the eleven leaders of Nanjiang if they showed signs of mutiny.
To the imperial court’s astonishment, instead of mobilising troops, the eleven leaders sent letters and gifts to the imperial court for a month straight as an apology for their previous actions. They, in fact, increased their tributes. The imperial court assumed it was some sort of ploy until the states of Nanjiang asserted they truly never intended to challenge the imperial court three years later.
To this day, Emperor Yuansheng still doesn’t understand what the whole fiasco was about and is still puzzled whenever he thinks about it. He wasn’t informed that one of the people attending and contributing considerably to the conferences back then was his fifteen year old son.
Green Prince, prior to officially being bestowed the rank of Prince, visited the border to find out about the natural disasters and attended the meetings on his own, promising the eleven leaders that he would sort the matter out.
Subsequent to considering the places that the disasters occurred, Green Prince noticed one place everyone ignored, the former capital of Beussent – Nieyao. The men Green Prince sent there to research came back reporting that it was where the refugees stayed and they’d quiver as they uttered, “Monster.”
“Without a shadow of doubt, these natural disaster sagas are the works of beasts.” When the heads heard that confident assertion from Green Prince, they were blanched in fear.
People of the Central Plain can’t fathom why the states of Nanjiang are close. In spite of borders dividing them, their culture shares the same roots. Their beliefs are the same, and their people are allowed to interact with each other. By the same account, they share the same fears.
Since Morcher’s demise, the imperial court has designated Nieyao as their territory, so the people of Nieyao City naturally fell under the imperial court’s jurisdiction. That was how Nanjiang’s twelve states were reduced to eleven states. None of the eleven remaining states wanted to be the next Princess on the run.
There was a rumour going around that the Central Plain’s monarch sent a titanic beast to Nanjiang to prevent the rise of a second Beussent, thereby wasting all of their nation’s resources. No matter if the reins change hands in the imperial court or not, the beast would continue to guard Nieyao, mortifying the warriors of Nanjiang. If someone could set aside their emotions to look at the claim objectively, they’d realise it was nothing more than an effort to sow discord.
The eleven leaders piled praise onto Green Prince, oblivious to the fact the credit belonged to Yan Shisan.
“Rest assured. I have a plan to subdue the beast. All I ask is that you agree to return it with a favour.”
Green Prince asked the leaders to serve him once he was stationed in Jiangnan the same way they would an Emperor. Otherwise, he’d be no different to any other official Prince.
The leaders agreed to the deal because what could have been more fearsome than the beast of legends? Green Prince high fived all of the leaders as a token of good faith and laughed his way off, assuming it would unfold the way he hoped.
“Why did he do that?” I questioned.
“His Majesty… has never liked His Highness. People in the palace claimed His Majesty was going to banish His Highness to border guard duty since the term of the individual guarding the southern border was coming to an end. His Highness was concerned he’d be at the mercy of others since he didn’t have any associates there. Furthermore, while his siblings were still young, all of them were establishing their own factions. In contrast, he didn’t have a faction of his own, and his parents didn’t value him. Hence, the idea of decreeing himself sovereign of Nanjiang and building his own faction flourished in his mind,” Yi Wangyou elucidated, breathing and speaking much smoother thanks to my internal energy supporting him.
Both Shen Yiren and I were reminded of Orange Prince.
“The helper he sought out to slay the beast was Luo Ming.”
Yi Wangyou signalled I was on the money.
“I don’t blame Luo Ming for coveting his life after he did something so contemptible.”
Yi Wangyou looked more stunned than when he sensed my internal strength. “Wh-what?”
“What sort of man is Luo Ming? Would Luo Ming have aided His Highness in his personal conquest if he didn’t deceive Luo Ming? Poor Luo Ming had no idea what he was walking into and even brought his sons along, resulting in him losing almost all of his family in a foreign land. If Luo Ming isn’t vengeful after that, I’d question if he’s even human.”