The Feast – 242.2 – When It Rains, It Pours

The Feast – 242.2 – When It Rains, It Pours

Chapter 242 (Part 2): When It Rains, It Pours

 

Translated by Gumihou

Edited by Vinisha

Please read this at kitchennovel dot com

 

When he said that, Su Nuan Nuan suddenly recalled something else, “You’re right, it’s because the Northeast Plain is so desolated nobody knew about the fertile land. In my time, many people fled up here to escape an ongoing war. These people eventually settled down and developed the land. It was after the war that this place finally became the breadbasket of China. For now, the current dynasty is thriving and there are lands aplenty, but the majority of them are owned by a few. The common people either lose their land through malpractice or are unable to buy land at all.

In the future, if anyone wants to own land, they would usually have to go out to Luzon or Ryukyu. What if you think of a way to include the Northeast Plain as well? It would only work if you could think of a way to help the common people pass through the Guanzhong pass safely. In the beginning, the first group of people would probably complain about how cold and desolated the place is, but as long as they have land to call their own and could eat their fill and sleep soundly at night, they would soon find that this is also a good place to live.”

“Yes, I’ll remember this. It is as you’ve said. You’ve certainly given me a big help.” Duan Tingxuan held his wife’s hands tightly and stared deeply into her eyes.

The romantic atmosphere was broken by an inelegant snort from Su Nuan Nuan, “What do you mean ‘It is as I’ve said? What if I’ve been lying to you all this while?”

“Yes, I am in the wrong. It’s all fine, I’m used to being on the wrong. Though there are times when I doubted my ears, I forgot that you wouldn’t lie to me. Hahaha! This husband of yours apologizes, alright? Madam wife, please don’t be sad.” Duan Tingxuan quickly grinned up at her ingratiatingly.

Just then, Long Pingzhang and Chu Xiu scooted over, both complained, “What are the two of you whispering together about? Have you managed to work out a way to settle food issues for the flood victims?”

“In the short term, not yet. But in the long term… heheh!” Duan Tingxuan laughed out loud. While he was still laughing, a guard came out and spotted them sitting together at the steps and were horrified. “My Lord Heir and Excellency Long, how could you sit at the steps with the commoners like this? Please come inside the government office, the Governor has something he would like to discuss with my lord heir.”

Duan Tingxuan stood up and entered the government office with Long Pingzhang. When they reached the second hall, they saw the Governor of Jinzhou, Cang Jian, going around in circles. When he spotted them, without even bothering with any kind of salute or greeting, he latched onto Duan Tingxuan’s arm and wailed, “My lord heir, ah. What should I do, ah? Is the Imperial Relief Provision coming, ah? It has stopped raining for two days now, but the people refused to go home if we don’t give them food, ah. Look, look, they have all gathered in front of my Jinzhou Streets and, and I don’t care about my Jinzhou Governor’s face anymore, but those mouths, ah! I have to feed them, ah.

I’ve already started giving out the military provisions three days ago, but these peasants are too good at eating, ah. Even my soldiers don’t eat as much. Those peasants could swallow five days’ worth of soldier’s ration in one bite! If the Imperial Relief Provision don’t come soon, even my soldiers won’t have anything to eat. When that time comes, not only the peasants but even the soldiers would want my head, ah. My dear Lord Heir, they say you’re born under the Wen Qu Star [5] and Wu Qu Star [6], so you must help this humble official gain justice, ah… just where the f*ck did so many disaster victims come from? When we set out to collect pelts, I never saw that many people before, ah.”

Duan Tingxuan didn’t have the heart to correct this guy over this ridiculous claims of him having born under the Wu Qu and Wen Qu star. In such a difficult time, even the cleverest housewife could not make rice out of nothing. No matter how intelligent or high born he was, not even Duan Tingxuan would be able to negotiate with thousands of starving peasants and soldiers. Unless an immortal happens to appear and conjure food out of the thin air… ah, but that’s just impossible…

Duan Tingxuan turned to Long Pingzhang, “What about the people who were sent to meet the Imperial Envoy? Aren’t they back yet?”

He had just finished speaking when two guards came running in. They threw themselves onto their knees and howled tearfully, “Your Excellency, things are very bad, ah. The Imperial Envoy with the Imperial Relief Provision had been robbed at Qing Sha Crossing. His Excellency sent us here to gather all nearby officers and men to mount an attack to snatch the supplies back. However, it all looked very hopeless.”

When it rains, it pours. Cang Jian felt his vision darken and nearly fainted dead away. When he finally managed to scrape his consciousness together, this bold, but not very intelligent commander appeared completely stumped by the situation. All of his guards and soldiers had been sent out to keep the peace and make sure nothing untoward happened. There was not a single person beside him. Therefore, the only people he could count on to assist were these few noble people from the Capital.

Duan Tingxuan and Long Pingzhang were shocked too. The shock was swiftly followed by rage. However, the imminent problem of how to solve the matter of food supplies was not something that could be solved even if they fly into a rage. Therefore, they could only buckle down and think hard. While they were thinking, another person ran into the second hall. This person was covered in mud and did not even bother to kneel. He merely bowed hastily at the room. Looks like this man was not a mere guard, but an actual official. The news he brought, however, was not good.

“My Lord Heir, Your Excellency Long, Your Excellency Cang, we found more disaster victims on top of Tu’er hill, above the wetlands of Fuzhou. There are more than a thousand victims. I’m afraid they have been starving for days, if we don’t send someone to rescue them, they might die, ah.”

“Why should, I, your father, cares if they die?”

Cang Jian flew into a rage. To be fair, the governor was not a heartless person. He had listened to Duan Tingxuan’s command and opened up the military provisions for the people as a stopgap while waiting for the Imperial Relief Provision. He had even sent all his men out to keep the peace.

However, after being hit by news that Imperial Relief Provision won’t be coming soon, half of the military provisions had all been eaten and streets full of flood victims were still crying piteously for food… under these circumstances, news of a thousand more hungry mouths was like a death sentence to Cang Jian. In his mind, it was either he dies or the flood victims die. Under such great pressure, he finally broke and spat out these terrible words.

 

 

[Gumihou: So many obscure facts… My eyes are all in spirals…]

 

[5] Wen Qu Star – Chinese astrology

People born under this star is bright, smart, clever, and intelligent. The individuals, studies and learns a lot of subjects, and is of many abilities. In behaviour and conduct the native is graceful, elegant, in good taste, and polished, but he or she is also fond of 粉飾 fěn​shì = to prettify stuff; to gloss over, to whitewash, to cover up.

http://zwdsastrology.blogspot.com/2011/02/wen-qu.html

[6] Wu Qu Star – Chinese astrology

http://zwdsastrology.blogspot.com/2010/11/wu-qu.html

People born under this star is unbending, staunch, and firm. The heart and mind are fair and reasonable, and not poisonous. Although the individual is frank and straightforward when making a decision, he or she is also somewhat rash, lacking in thinking things over.

 

 

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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.

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