The Tang Dynasty fourth year (AD 63)
The Tang Dynasty Emperor had finally eradicated the Eastern Turks, and the Northwest monarchs all pledged their allegiance to the Emperor. They even presented the Emperor with the title of 「Heaven Khan」. The Tang Dynasty Emperor became the reigning monarch of East Asia.
After waging war for many years, the Emperor had finally suppressed the Turks and thus satisfied his Dragon heart. With haste he handed down an Imperial Edict to handsomely reward all the high ranking generals on the frontlines.
The Palace’s Head Eunuch quickly went to deliver this message to the Grand Marshal.
Trembling, with the Imperial Edict in his hand he proclaimed in a clear voice: “Grand Marshal Qi Er Lun prepare to receive the edict.”
Straightening his jacket, Qi Er Lun leaned forward and kneeled on the ground. With a straight back, his posture radiated a sense of dignity.
“Long live the Emperor! Long live the Emperor!”
“Acknowledged by the heavens, the Emperor decrees: For Grand Marshal Qi Er Luns courageous suppression of the Turks, he will henceforth be the governor of the Tai Yuan province. All his descendents will then hereditarily gain rulership and residence in Tai Yuan. You will also guard and defend the Jing Ji area. You shall be bestowed the rank of Marquis, one thousand acres of fertile land, three hundred and two thousand gold and be wed to Prime Minister Feng Xuan Ling’s first daughter. Acknowledge and give your gratitude.”
(TLN: Tai Yuan is a prefecture and the capital of Shanxi Province. Jing Ji is the Gyeonggi province in South Korea. That was such a pain to translate. Stupid courtly talk! \(►˛◄’!)/)
“Thanks to the Emperor. Long live the Emperor. Long live the Emperor.” Standing up, Qi Er Lun went to accept the Imperial Decree, however? his face showed no joyful emotion. The Head Eunuch handed the edict to Qi Er Lun. “Congratulations to the Marquis, congratulations Marquis.”
“Many thanks to Head Eunuch Lian. The journey here was/must have been very tiring, please have some tea and recover some energy Head Eunuch Lian.” To Qi Er Lun, this promotion was nothing to celebrate over. That was because the court was afraid that if he was not there to defend the border it would fall. Unfortunately the general did not have the courage to refuse the Emperor.
He was of Turkish descent, and his father was a leader of these Turkish assaults. Year after year, the Turks would come and attack, but in spite of this the people still live and die. His father, who grew tired of the countless battles, decided to surrender to the Emperor.
After his father died, he had inherited his father’s duty and became the Grand Marshal to the Emperor. Waging war against his brethren; for he was very familiar with the tactics of the Turks as well as the terrain. With his bravery, he held many victories.
For this the Emperor was very grateful and used him to the fullest to wage the battles against his brothers.
Today, after the suppression of the Turks, one by one, each of the monarchs surrendered and pledged allegiance to the Empire. Finally the people could live in peace and he had started to think about this wild, countryside life when the Imperial Edict came. As well as the annoying marriage.
He didn’t want to marry a Han woman, and even though many Turks had surrendered, most remained in the central plains. Even though in his body flowed only half Turkish blood, he was proud of his heritage and wished for his offspring to have pure Turkish blood.
In history, so many heroes were of Turkish descent!
Head Eunuch lightly sipped some tea and said: “Good fortune Marquis!”
“Good fortune? Head Eunuch, you should be aware that of the thousands sacrificed.” Thousands upon thousands of lives must be sacrificed in order to obtain a high ranking military position!
“I wasn’t talking about the position.”
“Then what were you talking about Head Eunuch?”
“I was talking about the bestowed marriage.”
“The arranged marriage?” Perhaps the marriage that the Emperor bestowed was glorious, but to him it was a huge headache. Lan Yun betrayed her uncle to save him from the Turkish King, so he promised to take her has his wife. But now he had sworn allegiance to the Tang Emperor and thus betrayed her.
“Marquis, this Prime Minister’s First Daughter is well versed in literature and even a master in the Qi Huang Technique. Using that, she even cured the Empress’ chronic disease.”
“The Emperor couldn’t have known that I lacked doctors here, so he specially arranged this marriage?”
“Marquis, you must love to joke. This arranged marriage had made him part with a valued person.”
“Part with a valued person?”
“Marquis, you may not know but Fang Prime Minister’s daughter is not delicate like most rich ladies are. Although her beauty is not earth shattering, her temperament and grace is rare. The Prime Minister originally planned for her to become an Imperial Concubine. But because Marquis constantly sacrifices himself for the empire’s well being, the Emperor saw that you are thirty and still unmarried, decided to part with her and let you marry her.”
The Emperor had to part with such a rare talent, and had to risk offending the Prime Minister. Though the Emperor only did that because he knew that the Prime Minister knew that he held great respect for the man. If he hadn’t, then their two families could have united and strengthened his court power. Not only would it have helped him from the inside, it could help from the outside and also help him better deal with the Turks.
Although he was dubious, he still obeyed the edict. Raising both his hands into the air, the Marquis said: “Thanks to the Emperor’s kindness and benevolence, it’s just….”
“It’s just what, Marquis?”
“Head Eunuch, his marshal has one thing he requests.”
“Marquis, you are too polite. Straightly speak it.”
“This marshal has already long had a fiancee, and asks if the Emperor could recall his order?”
“Marquis, this is unacceptable! This is not a joking matter! Once the Imperial Edict is made let alone you, not even the Emperor’s own siblings can disobey. Otherwise you would be treated as criminals and nine of your generations will be killed. You must think carefully!”
This make Qi Er Lun’s face darken, he most certainly knew of the consequences from disobeying the edict; that it would result in killing nine of his generations. Not to mention, following his Emperor would be like following a tiger, and that many intellectual people were behind the Emperor to assist and support him.
He was just one step late.
The Head Eunuch advised: “Marquis, this servant advises that you abandon your idea of defying the Imperial Edict. This servant now must hurry back to the Palace and resume his duties. You must also prepare to return to Tai Yuan and prepare to wed the Lady Fang, for she is preparing to leave Chang’an now. One month later, she will arrive at Tai Yuan.”
“Thank you Head Eunuch.”
Cupping his hands towards Qi Er Lun, the Head Eunuch exited the camp, mounted his horse and left.
Qi Er Lun’s Lieutenant Ai Li, was also of the same descent, a fellow Turkish brother. He had followed him to war for the Emperor, and saw off the Head Eunuch and immediately entered the main tent.
“Congratulations to the Marquis. Congratulations Marquis.” The Imperial Edict that the Head Eunuch proclaimed, he had heard very clearly outside the tent.
“Ai Li, are you mocking me?” He knew that his marshal wanted to retire and settle in a fairly peaceful land.
“This subordinate dares not. Marquis, I cannot disobey the Emperor.” He also wanted his marshal to dispel his previous plans.
“The Imperial Edict really impedes people. What is really the best way to go?”
“Marquis are you referring to the arranged marriage?” He is Qi Er Lun’s personal guard, and knew him like the back of his own hand.
Helplessly, Qi Er Lun nodded his head.
“Marquis, do anything you have to do. Currently our people mostly reside in the central plains, marriages, businesses and life are all far better than before.” Ai Li reported the facts.
“Ai Li, Li Shi Min is a good Emperor and I betrayed the Turkish King in order to stop his greedy plans of invading here. But I will not betray our people’s proud bloodline.”
(TLN: Don’t know what the author is thinking putting that name there. This is the Emperor’s true name and few knew it, let alone a couple of generals. If you were to say the Emperor’s true name, it would mean nine generations of your family dead.)
“But you can’t possibly reject the marriage.”
Qi Er Lun just shook his head: “I know that the marriage cannot be refused, but I will not have any children with her. I genuinely want heirs, but I will only have children with Lan Yun.”
“You couldn’t possibly intend to receive Lan Yun and let her enter the mansion? Would you?
“Of course I intend to receive her into the mansion.” Previously the war was still ongoing, resulting in his reluctance to marry. That was the reason why he still had not married Lan Yun yet, but now he had to break her trust in him. “Ai Li, go send someone to escort Lan Yun to Tai Yuan City Lord Mansion now.”
“Marquis should you not wait until you have married, before asking Lan Yun over.” Ai Li suggested.
“Why would I need to wait until I have married to do this?”
(TL: Hmm I wonder why? Two women in one roof and they don’t even know each other, sharing one husband. I really wonder…….>_> ED: One woman is already troublesome enough, poor fellow)
“Marquis, this is the primary marriage. Usually you would not ask the concubines to attend.”
“Ai Li, that year when she rescued me in the plains, she was supposed to be the first wife, and yet now she is my concubine. She has been neglected enough, you don’t need to worry too much.”
Was it because he missed her unique fragrance?
Being apart for such a long time, it had been such a long time since he last smelled that fragrant orchid scent from her. Was that smell something he imagined from the extreme blood loss back then?
“Understood. This subordinate will immediately send to someone to escort Lady Lan Yun to Tai Yuan.”