All Under Heaven – Chapter 16

Either we don't do it, or we go all out.
Yan Manor.

Yan Song had a white beard and grey hair, he sat in front of the bed, clutching his wife, Lady Ouyang’s hand tightly, his eyes full of anxiety.

Since Lady Ouyang got sick last year, she has had her ups and downs. Whenever the weather got cold, her health would deteriorate again. Sometimes, she might even end up sleeping an entire day. Even the doctor couldn’t write any prescriptions, he could only vaguely say to let the old lady Ouyang get more rest.

But how could Yan Song accept this result? He and Lady Ouyang had been married for more than sixty years, and they hadn’t had a single falling out between them.

When he was at his most impoverished and destitute state, Lady Ouyang was by his side, riding through the storm and stress, for better or for worse, never leaving each other.

When he began to achieve meteoric success in his career, it was also Lady Ouyang who was by his side and witnessing countless merits.

A young married couple growing old together. Now that they were old, his wife may have to go ahead of him. Yan Song’s heart was full of sadness, his hands trembling slightly as he looked down at the unconscious Lady Ouyang.

“A-hui, I don’t have many days ahead of me either, you must wait for me…”

“Father!” Yan Shifan charged in. He hadn’t expected to see this sad scene in front of him and he could only lower his voice: “Father, the Prince of Yu Manor…”

He only said half a sentence, but Yan Song already understood, and whispered: “You go out first, I want to say a few words to your mother!”

Yan Shifan frowned: “Father, the matter is urgent!”

He knew the implication, so he didn’t finish speaking and walked out.

Yan Song sighed and let go of his wife’s hand. Then he slowly got up and walked outside.

“What the hell is so urgent in the middle of night?”

After all, Yan Song was old and slow. It took a lot of time to walk from the bedroom to the main hall. Yan Shifan followed behind him with impatience.

“Just now, the spy we placed at the Prince of Yu Manor came to report, saying that Zhu Yijun went out to play, but was lost. Until now, the Prince of Yu Manor still hasn’t dared to make it public!”

Yan Song was stunned for a moment: “Quickly, get the people from the Warden’s Office of the Five Wards to help find him, I’ll go to the palace now and report it to the Emperor!”

“Father, are you crazy? Why are you worried about the Prince of Yu’s Manor? Did you forget that we support the Prince of Jing!” Yan Shifan smiled coldly, “In my opinion, we should strike while the iron is hot, if we find Zhu Yijun first, let’s kill two birds with one stone… without this royal grandson, the Prince of Yu doesn’t have a leg to stand on!”

“Yan Shifan, what are you talking about? Are you insane?” Yan Song heard what he said and couldn’t help but gasp, and pointed at him with trembling fingers.

“Father, you must be confused in your old age. Think about it for yourself. The Emperor had already set his heart on the Prince of Jing. It is only because of ancestral rules and the objections of court officials that it is not easy for him to open his mouth. But this implies that we should be closer to the Prince of Jing.”
“Now there is a great opportunity in front of us, it just depends on whether we take advantage of it.”

“The Prince of Yu’s Manor hasn’t been able to produce many sons. Without this little princely heir, I don’t think there will be another in the next few years.”

“The Emperor takes immortality elixirs all the time, and his body has long been worse than before. We should take some steps to ensure our future.”

Yan Shifan was not in a hurry, and said each sentence slowly, giving his old father enough time to react.

But Yan Song was silent for a long time after listening.

Maybe he is too old. After all, he was already in his eighties, in the eyes of others, he was considered way past his prime. Or maybe it was because of his wife’s serious illness that had made him mentally and physically tired that he just wanted to keep the peace.

Looking back over the past few decades, it wasn’t that he had no fear, but he knew that once things have been done, it cannot be undone and can only continue on the same track until the end.

So, where was the end?

Yan Shifan was the only son of his and Lady Ouyang. His son was extremely clever, but also extremely vicious, and his strategies and schemes were not inferior to anyone. Yan Song could protect him whilst he was still alive, but what would happen once he was gone?

He spoke slowly: “Between the Prince of Yu and the Prince of Jing, which one has a bigger chance?”

“The Emperor is unpredictable, no one can guess, but we can make the Prince of Jing become the one with greater hope.”

Yan Song stared at a Yongle plum-branched vase sitting on the cabinet as if in a daze. He asked an unrelated question: “Your mother has doted on you the most since you were a child. She always spoiled you and never let me discipline you. This has cultivated your temperament today. Once both of us are gone, if you run into problems, how will I explain to her in the Netherworld?”

Yan Shifan was stunned, his old man wasn’t possessed, was he?” Father, are you even listening to me?”

Yan Song sighed, straightened up, and said quietly: “Either we don’t do it, or we go all out. I will go to the palace now to report the missing little princely heir to the Emperor.”

Yan Shifan was taken aback: “What are you going to report to the Emperor?”

Yan Song slowly said: “Tell the Emperor that we heard that the little princely heir is missing, and we are very worried, and because high-ranking officials cannot have contact with princes, so we couldn’t go directly to the Prince of Yu manor to enquire so the only thing we could do is to ask the Emperor for guidance.”

Yan Shifan immediately reacted and gave a thumbs up: “Father, you really deserve to be the Senior Grand Secretary, experience really counts for something! This way, the Emperor will inevitably be grudged because of the Prince of Yu’s concealment, whilst we will be able to garner the Emperor’s favour for our loyalty.”

Yan Song sighed: “If it wasn’t for you taking so many bribes and harming so many people, why would your father still have to run around currying favours at my age…..have you sent anyone out to find the little princely heir?”
Yan Shifan gloomily: “I already sent people ages ago, there should be news of the little princely heir soon, father, let me walk you out. Come, prepare a carriage, the old master is going to the palace!”

Yan Song stood up with the support of his son’s hand, and flicked his white beard: “You go in and see your mother, she should wake up soon.”

“Yes, your son will go now, don’t worry!”

Prince of Yu Manor.

The Prince of Yu’s first wife passed away from illness a few years ago. Now, her successor, the Consort Chen was also frail and often ill. Most of the time, she avoided leaving the manor and rarely showed her face publicly. It was actually Consort Li who was in charge of the internal affairs of the Prince of Yu Manor.

Right now, Consort Li is sitting alone and weeping.

Whilst the Prince of Yu, Zhu Zaiyi was pacing up and down the ancestral hall rubbing his hands anxiously.

Gao Gong was getting dizzy with his pacing, he couldn’t help but say, “Your Highness sit down first, don’t be restless.”

The Prince of Yu was embarrassed, and wanted to smile back, but couldn’t, his expression was a bit weird: “I have embarrassed myself in front of teacher, I am very anxious, alas, I only have one son…”

He was a little incoherent, but Gao Gong could understand his feelings well.

His Royal Highness, the Prince of Yu was kicked out of the Palace at the age of sixteen to establish his own residence. Now for nearly eight years, he has lived everyday in fear. He walked on thin ice with a moody father, and had a younger brother who looked at him like competition. Then there was the trouble from Yan Song and his son, Yan Shifan.

He didn’t know if all this was just too stressful. The Prince of Yu has been married for many years and has taken in a lot of concubines, but he has always had very few offspring, there was only Zhu Yijun who had grown up healthy.

But now even this little princely heir had gone missing, how could he not worry?

More importantly, the current Emperor had not established a Crown Prince, his attitude towards his eldest son was not particularly pleasant, but he still doted on the little grandson from time to time, which could have been regarded as a good sign for some people.

“How about I go to the palace now and report to the Emperor, and beg him to let the Warden’s Office of the Five Wards1五城兵马司 – The Capital was divided into five wards for police purposes. And each Ward Office was responsible for police patrols and fire watchers. The Warden’s Office comes under the Ministry of War.….”

“No, you mustn’t!”

It was Chen Yiqin who had interrupted him.

He and Gao Gong achieved jinshi in the 20th year of Jiajing, and both were Officials in the Prince of Yu Manor. The difference between them was that Gao Gong had a stronger personality, and therefore, the Prince of Yu relied on him more.

The Prince of Yu is a soft-tempered man, he didn’t get angry when interrupted like this, but he was a little surprised.
“Your Highness, please forgive me, this official has a reason to say this.” Chen Yiqin explained: “It’s already quite late. Now, the palace gate has been locked. If you rush into the palace to alarm the Emperor, the consequences are still unknown. I’m afraid your Highness may even be reprimanded.”

The Prince of Yu thought of his father, and the courage he had finally summoned up immediately died down.

Chen Yiqin continued: “Furthermore, Cao Xi, the Commander of the Warden’s Office of the Five Wards2五城兵马司 – The Capital was divided into five wards for police purposes. And each Ward Office was responsible for police patrols and fire watchers. The Warden’s Office comes under the Ministry of War. reports to Yan Shifan. If we allow him to find the little princely heir, I am afraid that even if he wasn’t in danger before, he would be in their hands. Feng Bao probably also thought of this and that’s why he only reported this back to us, instead of going to Cao Xi directly.”

“He is right. We must try to find him ourselves first. By dawn, if he is still not found, then let’s go to the palace to report.” said Gao Gong. How could he not know the urgency of the situation. The Prince of Yu and Consort Li were already at a loss of what to do. There was no point in complicating the situation, he could only try to calm and appease everyone.

Because Chen Yiqin and Gao Gong were both officials of the Manor, Consort Li did not have to be suspicious, and continued to listen on the sidelines. At this moment, she wiped her tears and choked up: “The two tutors are right, but the little princely heir is his Highness’ only heir, we should be more cautious. If we can’t ask the Warden’s Office of the Five Wards to help, can we turn to the Embroidered Uniform Guards for help?”

Gao Gong thought for a while and shook his head: “Since Lu Bing’s death, the new commander of the Embroidered Uniform Guard is Liu Shouyou. He’s known as a wise man that looks after his own hide, aside from the Emperor, no one will be able to command him.”

Chen Yiqin frowned: “So even if the Prince of Yu Manor requests, he still won’t help?”

Gao Gong sneered: “Do you think everyone has the same backing as Lu Bing? Even so, Lu Bing was still poisoned to death. Do you think Liu Shouyou would dare to not take extra care?”  
Lu Bing that they were talking about was the foster brother of Emperor Jiajing, and the honourable former Commander of Embroidered Uniform Guard. But unexpectedly, he died in his home last year, the Emperor Jiajing was furious and asked for a thorough investigation. Until now, it’s still not known what was the result of the investigation.

Chen Yiqin sighed silently and stopped talking.

Most of the servants in the manor had been sent out to search for the little princely heir. Once the two officials stopped talking, the entire hall became hauntingly quiet.

Consort Li’s grief erupted and couldn’t help crying out loud.

The Prince of Yu sat in a daze, no one knew what he was thinking.

Seeing that they were both downcast, Gao Gong was about to say something, unexpectedly, a loud shout came from outside: “The little princely heir is back!”

The four of them got up and rushed out of the door.

Outside Prince of Yu Manor.

Zhao Su looked at this house, which was more like a haunted house. If it weren’t for the four words “Prince of Yu Manor” lit up by the dim yellow lantern above the door, and Zhu Yijun pointing it out himself, Zhao Su would never have thought this could be the residence of the Emperor’s son.

Judging from the decoration of the gate and the two stone lions at the entrance, it is estimated that this house had once been magnificent, but it had long been left unattended to become what it is now.

It could be considered another level for a real-life Prince to end up like this.

If this was during a later time period, even a second-rate official’s house would look better compared to this.

What was even stranger was that the gate of the Prince of Yu’s Manor was closed, and there were no guards at the gate.

“Where are your people?”

“They must have gone out to look for me, it’s all your fault, bringing me back so late, my mother must be wanting to punish me now.”

The kid was tired from playing, rubbed his eyes, put his head against Zhao Su’s neck, and refused to come down.

The corner of Zhao Su’s mouth twitched: “If you hadn’t insisted on going to see the street performer, why would we come back so late?”

He’s so shameless blaming me.

After the two had watched the street performance, the little child had clamoured to eat Ludagun and sweet pease pudding3A Beijing dessert – Wandouhuang (豌豆黄) is a sweetened and chilled pease pudding made with yellow split peas or shelled mung beans, sometimes flavoured with sweet osmanthus blossoms and dates.. So in the end, the two of them had wandered everywhere in the city in search, Zhao Su was tired to death.

The little troublemaker had been carried from start to finish, he had not needed to walk at all.
Zhu Yijun was obviously not aware of this, little by little, he was already dozing off.

Zhao Su sighed recognizing his fate, and knocked on the door,

Within a moment, someone came to open the door.

When the servant saw Zhu Yijun, he4I don’t actually know if it’s a he or a she because it’s not explicit in the OG so I just picked he to not make the sentence so awkward and repeating “the servant” was stunned for a while, then ecstatic, and then turned his head and shouted inward: “The little princely heir is back!”

Thus, the previous scene appeared.

Zhao Su, who was still holding Zhu Yijun, had four pairs of eyes sizing him up.

Someone nearby reached out to take the little princely heir, but the little boy was holding onto his neck tightly, and would not let go while he was asleep.

Zhao Su smiled bitterly: “Prince5王爷 Wangye, formal address of a first-rank prince, Princely Consort6王妃 Wangfei – formal address for the wife of a prince, please forgive me for not being able to greet you properly.”

God knows his hands were so numb.

Although Consort Li loved her son, she was not ignorant of manners. She smiled and said: “This gongzi has brought the little princely heir all the way back? Please come inside and have some tea.”

The Prince of Yu came back to his senses and said hurriedly: “Yes, yes, please come in.”

This Prince really didn’t have any airs about him at all, Zhao Su thought to himself.
13/12/21 – Typos fixed, notes added, rephrasing 28/12/21 – Embroidered Uniform Guard

1 thought on “All Under Heaven – Chapter 16”

  1. Now, I can’t wait for the new chapter to see what will happen XD Thanks for translating <3 Sending lot of love and support~


Leave a comment

You cannot copy content of this page