Fierce “Husband” – Chapter 225

The Empress naturally couldn’t bear to part with the Crown Prince, and Emperor Yongming was even more reluctant. He was their first child and the Crown Prince. The reason why the Empress “cruelly” entrusted the Crown Prince to Shao Yunan was twofold: he deeply felt that his excessive love for the Crown Prince was partly to blame, but more importantly, he believed that allowing the Crown Prince to grow up beside Shao Yunan would definitely yield better results than letting him grow up in the palace. Moreover, the Crown Prince’s future tutor had already been chosen as Elder Weng, and the Empress wasn’t worried about his education. The Empress also had a personal desire for the Crown Prince to grow up together with Little Xingyi.

One has to admit, the Empress had a remarkably far-sighted vision. Allowing Shao Yunan to take the Crown Prince did not mean that the Crown Prince would become distant from him and Emperor Yongming in the future; he believed Shao Yunan wouldn’t allow such a thing to happen. However, all of this was based on the clear understanding that both the Empress and Emperor Yongming had of Wang Shijing and Shao Yunan’s indifference to power and their loyalty to the imperial family.

Little Xingyi full moon banquet was held in the palace and was exceptionally lively. However, Wang Shijing and Shao Yunan couldn’t invite just anyone to the palace, those who attended were mostly officials from the court. The next day, Wang Shijing and Shao Yunan held another celebration at the Duke’s Mansion for those who weren’t qualified to enter the palace, mostly villagers from Loyal and Brave Marquis Village. For Little Xingyi’s full moon celebration, all who could come from Loyal and Brave Marquis Village did so. People like Wang Wenhe and Uncle Lizheng, whom Wang Shijing had invited by letter, even Wang Dali came. Becoming the Duke meant Wang Shijing had let go of many things from before. Despite the impossibility of restoring the father-son bond between him and Wang Dali, his act made Wang Dali feel much better.

Wang Shijing’s purpose in inviting people from Loyal and Brave Marquis Village this time was clear. Now that he was the Duke, the entire Loyal and Brave Marquis Village was his private property. Although the villagers were still good citizens, the taxes they had previously paid to the court were now all paid to him. Furthermore, any unowned land in Loyal and Brave Marquis Village, including the several hills with Qimen red tea that Shao Yunan had previously wanted, all became Wang Shijing’s private fields and mountains. This meant that the villagers of Loyal and Brave Village would now directly benefit from Wang Shijing’s arrangements, exempt from the court’s military and labor services—a windfall for them. However, it also brought many downsides, Wang Shijing had no time to return to the village. While it had been fine when he was just a marquis, now as a duke, there were matters he needed to delegate. While enjoying the benefits and privileges brought by Wang Shijing, the villagers of Loyal and Brave Village also had to bear corresponding duties and responsibilities.

Loyal and Brave Village had strict rules: anyone who dared to misbehave under the guise of the Duke’s authority and tarnish the Duke’s reputation outside the village would be expelled. Those deserving punishment were punished, and those needing to serve time did so. Wang Shijing did not levy additional taxes, however, barring disaster years, villagers paid the customary taxes each year. It wasn’t about the money for Wang Shijing, rather, he aimed to correct their behavior. Although exempt from military and labor services, villagers had to work annually on fields belonging to the Duke’s estate. Those who worked well were rewarded, slackers were fined. Zhao He returned each year to gather red sour fruit and brew wine, with Zhao Yuande overseeing the Duke’s land in the village. These rules were established by Zhao Lizheng’s return to the capital.

Emperor Yongming rewarded Wang Shijing and Shao Yunan with land, two-thirds of which was for farming, the rest for grapes, red sour fruits, vegetables, etc. Wang Shijing didn’t lease out this land but hired landless farmers to use it scientifically, while Shao Yunan contributed quality seeds. His idea was that by ensuring their own fields produced abundant and high-quality crops, Emperor Yongming would appreciate their efforts.

The General’s Mansion provided a large group of old and disabled soldiers for the Duke’s estate. Wang Shijing organized them according to their abilities: some to the fields, others to the storehouses, and the capable ones stayed as assistants. After the villagers of Loyal and Brave Marquis left the capital, Wang Shijing tirelessly managed affairs for a month, supported by his foster father at home, Prince Murong and the General’s Mansion in the capital. On April 20th, escorted by Dai Zhanxiao, Wang Shijing departed the capital with his wife, children, and the young crown prince, accompanied by hundreds of wagons, heading for Tiger Pass.

Shao Yunan secretly departed with the young crown prince, given his high status. Meanwhile, the children around the Empress were actually nursed by the crown prince’s nurse. Everyone else thought Little Xingyi was the nurse’s son. They also believed Shao Yunan was kind-hearted and didn’t force the nurse to wean her child. Little Little Xingyi refused to drink breast milk after he had tasted milk powder. The Empress, known for her “toughness,” noticed how well Little Xingyi thrived on cow’s milk and decided he should continue with it. Of course, the Empress didn’t realize her own son was drinking milk powder, not milk.

To outsiders, Shao Yunan seemed crazy for taking his newborn child to the border fort at Tiger Pass. Even his own family didn’t approve, but Shao Yunan was determined. He wanted to show his child to his grandfather at the border, which moved his family. To ensure his child’s safety, Shao Yunan kept him mostly inside the carriage which was actually in his space where Wang Qing, Nizi, and Jiang Moxi cared for him. With Brother Tiger and Little and Big Gold often visited the space. The two children with Shao Yunan truly enjoyed the comfort, not hardship.

Dai Zhanxiao knew the young crown prince’s identity and was tense throughout the journey. Whenever the group stopped, he hurried to check on them. However, the children were in good spirits, eating and sleeping well, which eased his worries. Dai Zhanxiao liked Little Xingyi a lot and often carried him. As the weather warmed, Little Xingyi became less fragile, even riding horses with Dai Zhanxiao. But with the young crown prince, Dai Zhanxiao didn’t dare to even touch him, afraid to harm him. Despite being a mere baby who only knew how to eat, anyone aware of his identity would kneel in respect.

Accompanying them to Tiger Pass was an important hostage, Khan Keqin, who had been imprisoned for almost half a year. Khan Keqin now resembled a beggar, receiving minimal food and water. After being lectured by Jiang Moxi, he suffered both physically and mentally. Now confined to a prisoner’s cart, he bore no resemblance to his former arrogant self. Shao Yunan even worried if he could endure until they reached Tiger Pass.

“Don’t worry, he won’t die. Have you seen his eyes? He’s waiting to return to Huhar to seek revenge on us.”

In Wang Shijing and Shao Yunan’s tent, they ate roasted wild rabbits with gusto, unconcerned. With Brother Tiger and Little and Big Gold, they never lacked for game along the way. Having finished eating, Shao Yunan held the crown prince, Nizi held Little Xingyi, while the other men were still eating. The three adults didn’t hide the children, prompting Wang Qing to ask worriedly: “Uncle, why should we send him back?”

Dai Zhanxiao glanced at his younger brother and said: “Your younger uncle says to send him back.”

Wang Qing immediately looked at his younger uncle. Shao Yunan didn’t explain directly but asked first: “Younger brother, do you think the Khan of Huhar would not attack Great State of Yan just for Khan Keqin?”

Wang Qing shook his head: “Certainly not.”

The master is teachable, Dai Zhanxiao nodded inwardly.

Shao Yunan continued: “If neither Huhar nor the Great State of Yan can avoid a battle without Khan Keqin, it’s better to use him to gain something.”

Wang Qing understood, but then worried: “The Huhar thieves are treacherous. What if they renege?”

Shao Yunan replied: “If they do, we won’t lose anything. The Khan of Huhar will lose some popular support. Khan Keqin holds a high position in Huhar, and he’s the Khan’s own brother. If you were the Khan, would you renege?”

Wang Qing understood completely. “No.” Thinking of the Huhar people’s arrogant attitude, he added: “They must want to defeat us, reclaim the spoils, and take even more.”

Shao Yunan agreed.

The next thing Wang Qing said made Dai Zhanxiao very comfortable.

“With our uncle, father, and younger uncle, the Huhar thieves won’t succeed.”

Jiang Moxi never interrupted. Even before outsiders, he was careful with his words. After several trips to the private shop, however, Dai Zhanxiao didn’t dare underestimate him. Khan Keqin should be grateful he still had value, otherwise, Jiang Moxi wouldn’t have spared him for daring to covet Nizi, and insult Guo Zimu. Since the murder of the Wu family and Jiang Moxi’s father being exiled, he become more introverted, and sometimes Shao Yunan cannot see what he is thinking.

Wu Jian is still in Loyal and Brave Marquis Mansion, but he can get out of bed. Jiang Kangchen often went to Loyal and Brave Marquis Mansion to see him. This did not cause a rift between the two, and Wang Shijing planned to find a way to sell Wu Jian to Jiang Kangchen after they return from Tiger Pass and let the two men truly reunite.

With Shao Yunan’s guarantee, Dai Zhanxiao did not deliberately slow down the pace because there were essential supplies in the convoy that needed to be delivered to Tiger Pass army. Shao Yunan also wanted to arrive as quickly as possible. Seeing that his younger brother and the babies and children could handle it, Dai Zhanxiao ordered to move forward at full speed. Every day, Wang Shijing would take the opportunity during patrols to add spiritual spring water to everyone’s drinking water and food, so the guards not only kept up but also wondered why they didn’t feel tired.

After another month and seven days, Shao Yunan stood in front of the carriage and saw the two large characters “Tiger Pass”. At the city gate of Huxingguan, a formidable group of men and horses stood there. At this moment, Shao Yunan suddenly felt a sense of closeness rather than fear upon arriving at Huxingguan. It was the anticipation of meeting the “legendary” General Piaoqi, Dai Mingrong: “his” father, that made him somewhat nervous.


The leader saw them and immediately rode over. He had a bearded face, rough skin, clearly a military officer stationed on the border for years. Wang Shijing dismounted first and saluted: “General Dai.”

General Dai was stunned and quickly dismounted. Dai Zhanxiao also dismounted and approached, saying: “Uncle Dai, this is Loyal and Brave Duke.”

“Loyal and Brave Duke!” General Dai hurriedly saluted. Loyal and Brave Duke reputation spread far and wide along the border. Wang Shijing’s transformation was so significant that General Dai couldn’t recognize him.

“General Dai, you’re being too polite.” Wang Shijing warmly embraced Shao Yunan: “This is my wife.”

“General Dai, hello.”

Being called “uncle” by Dai Zhanxiao clearly indicated he was one of their own. This address made General Dai break out in a cold sweat. Facing someone who remained unfazed by the bravest warriors of Huhar, Dai Zhanxiao’s actions were both humbling and impressive. “Uncle, if you don’t mind, I’ll call you that too.”

“Oh, Madam Wang Shao, you shouldn’t…”

General Dai was nearly in tears, not daring to ask what “superior” meant.

“I think it’s fine. That’s settled then.” Dai Zhanxiao grinned: “Uncle Dai, we’ve brought plenty of good food for everyone. Can you lead the way to see my father?”

“This… General!”

Dai Zhanxiao also laughed heartily, touched by his brother’s performance.

“Uncle Dai, just follow Yunan’s lead. Let’s go, see Father Commander.”

General Dai was taken aback but the actions of Wang Shijing and Shao Yunan had already won over the hearts of the soldiers as soon as they arrived at Huxingguan. Many high officials had visited Huxingguan before, but none had ever been so approachable. Even eunuchs dared to put on airs in front of the Grand Marshal. Wang Shijing and Shao Yunan were undoubtedly the first, almost as if they were returning home. In a sense, that was true?

The grand convoy entered the military camp of Huxingguan, and General Piaoqi, Dai Mingrong, stood at the entrance of the camp. When he saw the young man sitting in the carriage looking around, there was no need for introductions. His eyes were moist with suppressed emotion. This was his son, Dai Zhan An!

Edited by: Jaisland



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