Come, Come, Come, Speak With This Imperial Daughter First

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It had to be said that Fu Ya’s methods did indeed allow Bi Xiu to enjoy himself. Also, this caused him to become addicted. The next day, Bi Xiu announced to the armies that he had taken Fu Ya as a concubine. In the future, Fu Ya would be the madam of the military camp.

Unfortunately, while the title of madam of the military camp was grand, she did not have the ability to put on airs and pretend to be anything because she spent most of her time in bed, under Bi Xiu. Bi Xiu took the humiliation that he had suffered at Feng Yu Heng’s hands and vented at Fu Ya. All of the feelings that had originally been meant for Feng Yu Heng were directed at Fu Ya. This left Fu Ya covered in blue and purple bruises or bite marks from the neck down.

Yet she could not protect herself nor fight back. She needed to welcome it with a smile for the sake of enduring until the battles ended, and General Bi Xiu could bring her back to Gu Shu’s capital. She would be brought to his residence. Even if she needed to be a lowly concubine, there would come a day when she could climb to the position of head wife.

In the distant Jue Ping City, Feng Yu Heng had never expected that the girl that she had met in Qian Zhou would take this sort of path. When Da Shun’s spies reported this to her, she could only sigh that people were difficult to predict. They were also hard to understand.

Huang Quan also never thought that Fu Ya, who had been interested in Ban Zou, would resort to this. Her heart was filled with hatred, as she mentally cussed out Fu Ya.

However, taking over Jue Ping City was a great success, but to Xuan Tian Ming and Feng Yu Heng, not everything was progressing smoothly. For example, Xi Fang had come to report some news: “General, master, the Southern Army’s supplies are running out. They will last for another ten days at most. If the supplies from the capital still do not reach the South, the Southern Army will run out of food.”

Xuan Tian Ming furrowed his brow tightly and muttered to himself: “The matter of transporting supplies was handed to second brother. Thinking about it, it’s old eighth that must have taken action secretly. Second brother heading South will be met with all kinds of perils.”

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Feng Yu Heng was even more pessimistic: “I fear that he’s already fallen to old eighth. Although the matters in the capital can be distanced from him, but they cannot be distanced from his faction. There are so many families of the imperial concubines in the imperial harem, and when their might focused, it is not insignificant. From the capital to the South, I fear that every area will have one of his people. Just any trap would be enough to give His Highness the second prince trouble.”

Xuan Tian Ming tilted his head and asked He Gan, who was also in the tent: “Do we still have enough to eat here?”

He Gan said: “We have enough here. The supplies that had been brought here still has some in reserve. When Master came, she brought so much. It’s enough to support us for a while. Most importantly, we chased off Gu Shu’s army. Just by taking Sha Ping City and Jue Ping City, the supplies that we obtained was a large amount. It’s enough for the army to use.”

Xuan Tian Ming nodded, “That’s good. As for the South, this prince will personally provide some money to have someone begin buying supplies in Lan Zhou and Luo Province. Let’s deal with urgent matters first. If there continues to be no movement from the capital, we can’t just sit here and wait. We need to gradually begin buying our supplies from a larger radius. We can’t just continue to buy from Luo Province. Just Luo Province on its own can’t sustain 300 thousand troops.” Thinking a bit more, he added: “This food is not being given to them for nothing. There are definitely people among them looking to stir the waters. We need to quickly drag them out.”

Feng Yu Heng’s eyes quickly spun, as she said: “We can’t just give them the supplies so easily. Although those 300 thousand troops have already turned toward the righteous path, what you said is correct. There will still be some people looking to stir the waters. It would be better if we used this chance to go fishing to see if we can bring those people out.”

Xuan Tian Ming expressed his approval of this idea.

But before they went fishing in the South, Feng Yu Heng first went around Lan Zhou and the Luo Province. She did not make use of Xuan Tian Ming’s money, as the money that she used was what she had stolen while in the capital. The way in which she spent was quite joyous.

The aura of Xuan Tian Ming’s army had already transformed Luo Province. Even the matter of Imperial Daughter Ji An going onto the battlefield with the ninth prince to take Jue Ping City had become a point of discussion for everyone in Luo Province. Whenever Imperial Daughter Ji An was mentioned, everyone gave their praise. There were even more that said that such heroic female was most suited to the deity of war, His Highness the ninth prince.

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With momentum, Feng Yu Heng’s procurement of supplies was very successful, and she did not need to spend a single extra cent to obtain a large amount of grains. There were even some citizens that suggested going to the merchants to order some. When it was time for the harvests, they could receive the supplies directly.

Feng Yu Heng calculated the situation with the rice merchants in Lan Zhou, and the main topic was whether such large purchases of grains would affect the prices of grains for the common citizens. The result that she obtained was: Absolutely not. It was because the South was too hot that grains could be grown twice, and there would be harvests in both Spring and Autumn. The grains that Feng Yu Heng was buying were not actually grains that had held in reserve. Instead, they were from the most recent harvest.

Only then did she come to understand why the rice in the South was sold for so cheap and in such large quantities. It turned out that there was such a reason. She could not help but lament that outsiders really did not understand the inner workings of another region. She really had no knowledge of this sort of farming method!

Aside from planning the supplies, she arranged for a number of merchants to help raise ducks, chickens, fish and pigs. She also put in orders with merchants for vegetables. She arranged for those merchants to deliver those supplies to the Southern Army’s camp at a set time, and the supplies would then be sent from the Southern Army’s camp to Sha Ping City and Jue Ping City.

She calculated that if this side could be self-sufficient, there would be no need for the supplies to be sent from the capital. Just calculating it based on the monetary cost, it was more practical.

All of this combined with Feng Yu Heng deliberately pushing back the delivery date of the supplies left it such that the Southern Army’s supplies had run completely dry; however, the incoming supplies were late to arrive.

That day at dawn, the officer responsible for the management of supplies opened up all of the food stores. The insides were very empty, and he just shrugged towards the soldiers that had come to collect the rice and wheat to make breakfast: “There’s nothing we can do. The newly appointed general doesn’t provide us with any food to eat. We can either go out and beg or stay in the camp and wait to starve to death!”

The soldiers that had come to fetch supplies felt that he had phrased it a bit too harshly. These days, they spent their days hearing about news relating to the ninth prince and Imperial Daughter Ji An. Through the efforts of Xi Fang’s teachings, Xuan Tian Ming and Feng Yu Heng had already become incredible figures in the eyes of the Southern Army. In addition to this, they had taken Jue Ping City in a single night. It had been done so smoothly and easily. It left these people feeling endlessly impressed.

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Thus one of the soldiers argued back: “This can’t be blamed on the general. Even if the supplies are to be transported, it will pass through the South first. These days, there have been no supplies passing through. We don’t have food, so the troops in the desert also don’t have food!”

The officer reminded them: “Have you forgotten that when Imperial Daughter Ji An arrived in the South, she brought ten carriages filled with food!”

The soldiers waved their hands and said: “Ten carriages sounds like a large amount, and it does look like quite a lot, but in any case, they have over 100 thousand troops. How many meals would ten carriages of grains last them? It can’t be relied on at all.”

“Ten carriages? That’s just the ten carriages that Imperial Daughter Ji An brought!” The officer still had more to say: “They took Sha Ping City and Jue Ping City. Do you know how much food there is in those two cities? Gu Shu’s army suffered massive defeats. How much grain did they leave behind? Gu Shu and the coalition armies added together account for more than 500 thousand people! Food to feed 500 thousand people fell into their hands. Would that not be enough to feed them for a year?!”

Thinking about it like this, the soldiers that had come also realized that something was off! That’s right! Sha Ping and Jue Ping both had food stored up. With the army winning, they did not hear about Gu Shu burning the supplies. This meant that the food that had been left behind was taken by the ninth prince’s army! It was enough food to feed an army of 500 thousand! With this, what was there any need for them to transport more food from the outside?!

Seeing that the soldiers were no longer speaking for the ninth prince, the officer’s lips curled up, as he continued: “What did we become soldiers to fight in battles for? It was just to earn a bit of a salary from the military to allow our families to eat their fill. But now, not to mention our families, but even we ourselves are unable to get fed. Everyone knows that being a soldier looks prestigious, but who knows how many comrades will go out to fight a battle and be unable to return? We are working a job that does not have a guaranteed tomorrow. Even criminals about to be executed are given a meal to eat right before they die. Why are we treated so poorly? To put it negatively, His Highness the ninth prince is extremely brave; however, when His Highness the eighth prince was around, when have we ever run out of food?”

He spoke with righteous indignation, and even by the end, there was a bit of sorrow. It made it so people could not help but reminisce about the past. Following the eighth prince, they did not fight in any battles. They were just stationed in the South and spent their days eating, laughing, and drinking a bit more with the girls in the red tents. They could visit the girls in the red tents many times more often than now, as there were no limits on how often they could visit. The treatment in the past was much better.

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That’s just how people are. Comparisons and being emotionally incited were frightening. When comparing and being incited, things were a bit harder to bear. Moreover, they had not accepted Xuan Tian Ming for very long. They relied on hearing the news about the battles; however, there was never much actual contact. The one time that Xuan Tian Ming had visited the Southern Army camp, all that he had done was cause some shock.

The soldiers did not continue to argue, as their heads hung low. They returned to the camp in low spirits. The empty food stores were there for them to see. They would be without rice or wheat for the day. There was no need to make food, but who knew what sort of commotion would be kicked up by the 300 thousand troops.

When soldiers had no food to eat, it was obvious that there would be trouble. When they noticed that they were not called when it was time to eat, and when they realized that the soldiers responsible for cooking had not gotten up early, they reacted and rushed to the food stores to investigate. The empty food storage caused all of the soldiers to become indignant.

Someone took the lead and went to find Xi Fang, pointing at the food stores and asking: “What exactly is your intention? Since His Highness the ninth prince took over the army, we should be one group! Why is it that our side doesn’t have any food to eat? Is it that you earnestly want us to starve to death?”

Xi Fang had communicated beforehand with Feng Yu Heng, and he had an understanding of the situation. Faced with these questions, he just shrugged and said: “The groups sending supplies from the capital have not yet arrived. There’s nothing that I can do! But His Highness the ninth prince has already sent someone to investigate. Precisely why the supplies have not yet arrived will require an explanation from the capital.”

“Explanation?” Someone loudly said: “Why do we need to wait for an explanation from the capital? We want to hear an explanation from His Highness the ninth prince! He has the ability to command an army but not the ability to provide it with supplies. Whenever there is trouble, the blame is pushed onto the capital. What sort of general is this? We don’t want this sort of general!”

This person spoke with an imperative tone and with a great deal of agitation. There were many people that were infected by his words and also felt that they were being treated unfairly and began shouting: “Have His Highness the ninth prince give us an explanation!”

At this time, the voice of a young girl came from the entrance of the military camp. It was very loud and very sharp; however, it did not sound like it had been amplified using inner strength. Spreading all around, it carried a feeling of oppression.

She said: “Who was it that wanted an explanation from His Highness the ninth prince? Come, come, come, speak with this imperial daughter first!”

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