To Consummate the Marriage or Not?

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The letter was from Gu Shu, requesting peace, and it had the ruler of Gu Shu’s imperial seal. After Xuan Tian Ming looked at it, he handed it to Feng Yu Heng and said: “It’s within expectations. It’s just that the conditions need to be discussed some more.”

Feng Yu Heng saw that the letter said that Gu Shu was wanting peace. It expressed that they felt apologetic for initiating the offensive on Da Shun. As reparations, they would have no intentions of asking for the three cities that had been taken by Da Shun, and a large sum of gold and silver would be paid. They wanted to once again be subordinate to Da Shun.

She raised an eyebrow: “We had already taken those three cities for ourselves. They want to use our things as reparations. They really are magnanimous, huh?”

“That’s why I said that the conditions need to be discussed some more.” Xuan Tian Ming pondered, “It would be better to set our sights on the capital. If they agree to hand over the capital and all of the cities North to Da Shun, Da Shun will agree on peace terms. If they don’t agree with this, we will charge straight into their capital and not spare a single hair.” After saying this, he turned slightly and said to Bai Ze: “Have things decided like this. Have someone send a report back to the capital for the old man to take a look at.”

Bai Ze happily accepted this task, feeling that his master had become even more skilled at scamming people since marrying the princess! But he was still a bit puzzled: “We have already begun fighting. Why should we accept peace terms? Can’t we just wipe out Gu Shu?” The heavenly lightning that the princess had provided really was quite useful. Not to mention a lowly Gu Shu, but even flattening the world with explosions would not take much effort.

Feng Yu Heng was able to understand why Xuan Tian Ming accepted the peace deal, telling Bai Ze: “The further we advance toward Gu Shu, the hotter it will get. When we reached Yue Ping City, the situation with the soldiers suffering from heatstroke was far more severe than with the two previous cities. If the entirety of Gu Shu was taken by Da Shun, just governing it would be enough of a headache for us. Based on His Highness’ assessment, Da Shun’s soldiers would only be able to endure the heat up to the capital. It would be better to leave Gu Shu to govern themselves while continuing to pay tribute each year. As for leaving them a few cities, even if they have the intention of reversing the situation, they would not have the power.”

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Xuan Tian Ming nodded. His wife’s analysis really was the most accurate.

Bai Ze also admired Feng Yu Heng greatly, quickly going to take care of the report. As for Xuan Tian Ming, he brought Feng Yu Heng back to Yue Ping City. Living in the most beautiful city in the desert, they waited for a response from the Emperor.

During this period of time, Xuan Tian Ming and Feng Yu Heng spoke most about the matter of “consummating” the marriage.

Xuan Tian Ming’s opinion was: “This prince has been waiting since you were 12 years of age. You’ve finally come of age, you need to help relieve some of this prince’s lovesickness.”

Feng Yu Heng’s opinion was: “In the face of a great enemy, you have the mind to consummate the marriage? Also, we are only living here temporarily. It cannot be considered as having married into your house.” But when Xuan Tian Ming continued to question it, she finally voiced her internal thoughts: “My parents passed away. Even if I don’t observe a three-year mourning period, it should be at least 100 days. To consummate this marriage with you at this time, I feel unable to accept it.”

Xuan Tian Ming gently sighed and pulled the person at his side into his embrace, “You’ve been troubled.” He could understand his wife’s feelings. Both of her parents passed away at the same time. Regardless of how well they got along, it was still taboo. It was just 100 days. He could endure it.

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Enduring it was fine. Since they had already gotten married, they had to sleep together. Thus Feng Yu Heng spent her nights being held from the back. At first, she could endure it, but by the end, she truly could no longer endure the heat of the desert combined with the heat coming from another person’s body. Thus the two simply went to sleep inside her space. In a room with constant temperature and things from the 21st century, it felt incomparably comfortable.

The report to the capital was sent by eagle. The main goal was speed. The so-called report was just a piece of paper folded into a square and did not resemble an official report*. The Emperor did not care about such a thing, as he had already become accustomed to communicating with old ninth in such a manner. He did not feel that it was improper. Especially when he saw that they had already taken three of Gu Shu’s cities, including Gu Shu’s largest and most beautiful city, Yue Ping City, he smiled extremely happily.

At this time, the old emperor was presently in Winter Moon Palace eating lunch. Imperial Concubine Yun had granted him special permission to take a nap after eating lunch. Of course, the bedrooms were separate, but it was enough for the Emperor to feel happy. He handed the letter to Imperial Concubine Yun, as he poured himself a bit more wine. While Imperial Concubine Yun was not paying attention, he downed it. Imperial Concubine Yun just looked at him sideways, and the Emperor scratched his head: “Rejoice, rejoice.”

Compared to the Emperor, Imperial Concubine Yun was far calmer. Holding the letter in her hand, she spoke after reading it over: “It’s a result of A-Heng’s efforts.”

The Emperor nodded and said: “I heard that they used a type of explosive, and the people in the South have called it heavenly lightning. Just by throwing one over, everyone in the area would die. Most amazingly, we’ve taken three of Gu Shu’s cities without losing a single soldier. It’s a complete victory!”

Imperial Concubine Yun snorted coldly: “But of course! The enemy was defeated without using much effort. As for your eighth son, the mess that he left behind gave those two children quite a bit of trouble.” She had stayed away from the matters of the court for a long time, but this did not mean that she did not know about what happened. Imperial Concubine Yun also had eyes, and her eyes had been sent by either Xuan Tian Ming or Xuan Tian Hua. None of them had been sent for nothing. Compared to the arrangements made by other princes, the level was a step higher. Imperial Concubine Yun could get a report about the situation in the South nearly every day. She was also quite intrigued by the heavenly lightning mentioned in the rumors.

Hearing Imperial Concubine Yun mention old eighth, the Emperor felt a bit guilty. In truth, he really wanted to take harsh measures like he had with old third, just having him killed to finish things off. But that was his own son. Not only was there a blood relation, but the old emperor also felt a bit of guilt towards his other sons as a result of the matter with Imperial Concubine Yun. It was such that it was inevitable that he would be a bit softer in his handing out of punishments.

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Imperial Concubine Yun knew what he was thinking and did not make any requests. She just reminded him: “Either way, don’t go too far. If more innocents are harmed as a result of your soft heart, you will need to seriously re-examine yourself as a ruler.” She was speaking about the matter with the jade mine. In a case where there was sufficient testimony, the eighth prince, Xuan Tian Mo, was summoned every day by the Board of Punishments. It was extremely passive. But in the end, he had gathered quite a substantial amount of support this time around. For each concubine in the imperial harem that had been treated coldly, there was an official that supported him. It was such that they would counteract every move made by the Board of Punishments. The case remained stuck in place like this, and there was only one benefit to this: It left Xuan Tian Mo with no time to concern himself with the battle in the South. He could only arrange for some trouble to be caused for the delivery of supplies being handled by the second prince. He did not have any energy to do anything else.

The Emperor was truly frustrated with this, but there was indeed nothing that he could do. It seemed as though his life’s work would be ruined by his eighth son during his waning years, but when he thought of how he had doted Xuan Tian Mo when he was young, the ferocity in his heart quickly dissipated.

In the end, he could not bring himself to be so harsh! He smacked himself on the head and helplessly said: “It’s a sin. It’s a sin that I committed. Now that I’m old, I don’t know how to resolve it.” After saying this, he downed another cup of wine.

Today, the Emperor had drank a bit much. Imperial Concubine Yun did not advise against it. She knew that this old man was in a bad mood. They were all his flesh and blood. Although he was able to give up on his feelings for in his imperial harem, his son was his own flesh and blood. It was not her place to say too much. She just felt that this old man continuing to linger on these emotions was not a good thing. With the families of those concubines supporting the eighth prince, the atmosphere in the palace had become even stranger. Those women that had not caused a fuss in a decade or two were now putting on airs and beginning to move; however, who knew what sort of scene they could cause. She just hoped that her son could quickly return and that there would be no trouble before her son came back.

One month after Xuan Tian Ming had sent the letter by eagle, the Emperor’s reply reached the South, and Bai Ze handed it over to Xuan Tian Ming. The Emperor expressed his support for demanding the capital of Gu Shu and all of its cities to its North. At the same time, he extolled his thorough considerations. The desert’s unique climate made governing the entirety of Gu Shu extremely difficult. The capital and the cities to its North could be maintained, but that would also require a large amount of investment. If they continued to advance, they may not be able to digest it.

With the Emperor’s reply, Xuan Tian Ming immediately had someone open communications with Gu Shu. Gu Shu’s ruler also seemed to have realized that only using three cities, especially cities that they had already conquered, would not be accepted. When Xuan Tian Ming’s envoy arrived, he did not think much about it and just agreed.

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To Gu Shu, giving up their capital and the cities to the North meant that the capital would need to be pushed further South. They were not afraid of the heat, but they felt very saddened by the loss of those cities. Gu Shu’s ruler hated Bi Xiu’s family to the core, as he gave the order for the entirety of Bi Xiu’s family to be executed!

Gu Shu’s so-called peace was just surrendering. The ten smaller countries saw this and felt extreme disdain, but there was nothing that they could do. In the past, they were not bordering Da Shun, and they could just live on their own. Although their countries were a bit weaker, they lived freely. Now, things were different. Xuan Tian Ming sent them all diplomatic notes. If they wanted to live, and if they wanted to keep their countries, they needed to obediently surrender and become subordinate. They would need to pay an annual tribute. If they were dissatisfied with this, Da Shun’s army would immediately use their heavenly lightning to completely flatten those countries that refused.

How could the small countries endure this sort of horror? Moreover, they had all witnessed that heavenly lightning. It was truly too frightening. Thus the rulers of the ten countries figured, they had to surrender and accept their fate! Who told them to stand on the wrong side, to begin with?

With just a single conflict in the South, Da Shun had taken half of Gu Shu and obtained ten new vassal states. Xuan Tian Ming’s military service made him a star throughout Da Shun. Word of him being a god of war spread even more. Of course, mentioned alongside him was his wife, Princess Yu, Imperial Daughter Ji An! Because heavenly lightning had already become known throughout the world, Xuan Tian Ming did not deliberately hide it. He simply announced to the world that the heavenly lightning had been made by Imperial Daughter Ji An. It was the exact same as steel. It was all a contribution made to Da Shun.

The people were even more skilled at spreading this than him, as they said that it was a wedding dowry that Imperial Daughter Ji An had prepared for her own wedding. While others were adorned in feminine attire, she was adorned in military attire, domineering and mighty.

In an instant, legends about Imperial Daughter Ji An had spread across the world. This sort of rumor was enough to prop someone up as a deity. Feng Yu Heng felt that it was too conspicuous, but she could not control the speed or scope of information. Xuan Tian Ming was much more lighthearted about it, saying: “Just let them spread it. Either way, it can’t be controlled. It would just be better to accept it. Moreover, this prince’s wife was originally a deity. There was no need for them to say it.”

During the 24th year of Tian Wu’s rule, the god of war finished his duty on the fifth day of the sixth month and returned to court…

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