During the 135th year of Southern Qi, a time when the emperor was weak and with two generations of Queens from the Xu Family, the imperial in-laws 1relatives to the Empress Dowager or queen held important positions at court. The power of the imperial family was contested.
The Queen wasn’t competent, easy to be jealous, as a result, the imperial heirs were not the best.
While the Emperor was barely handling the imperial in-laws’ situation, the Northern Zhou took the opportunity to wage war. An army of a million soldiers and horses, coming fast and furious was the urgent message from the Southern Qi border.
Since the establishment of the Southern Qi empire, for 200 years, each emperor has advocated in governing the empire by civil authority and serve with virtue, but a lack of focus on military. This resulted in the court having many civil officers, but very few military men. General Su, the only General had also resigned 20 years ago, from the guilt for the death of the Duke and Duchess of Rong-an. Taking his family with him and left the Imperial City.
It is in such a situation, that in the face of the Northern Zhou invasion, the entire Southern Qi court can not choose one person to counter.
The Emperor although angered, had no other solutions, in a moment his hair all turned white from stress.
Guo-zhang2Queen’s Father, saw that things were not turning for the better, nominated his own grand son, Xu Yun Chu, to lead the army, but was met with objection from half of the officials that valued the future of the imperial family. The Xu family has brought up two queens, and at the current time, their influence was still high. If they are allowed access to military control, then, even if they fight off the Northern Zhou, it’s hard to guarantee that the Xu family won’t take things into their own hands and take over the Southern Qi empire.
Besides, Xu Yun Chu at the start of the year was just soft crowned 3ritual for young men’s 20th birthday when they start wearing their first crown. Although he is well known across the imperial city to be talented, and hailed as the Imperial City’s #1 Gong-zi 4almost like #1 bachelor of Imperial City, but he hasn’t even been to a military camp before, how could he lead an army? or fight a battle?
After hearing so, the Empress Dowager and Queen, also wasn’t happy about it.
The Xu family only had this one offspring that was well equipped with talents and sparkles in a pile of silver, their maiden family was the only pillar that allowed them to cast storms and call upon rain in the harem. How could they just allow him to go to the border to die? It’s known that swords have no eyes, what if he couldn’t make it back and died at the battlefield, then who will carry on the Xu family’s status?
The Rong-an Wang-fu7Duke’s Manor was a branch of the Imperial Clan and should be considered a part of the imperial family. The Duke and Duchess of Rong-an were skilled in military tactics. 20 years ago, although they had won big in the battle with Northern Zhou, but the couple had also died at the battlefield. During that time, only leaving behind a young child, and that was Ye Xiang.
The Duchess of Rong-an’s maiden family was the prominent Ye family of Jiang-nan8Today Suzhou/Hangzhou area8. Back then, when the Duke of Rong-an proposed, the Ye family leader stated that the daughters of the Ye family would not marry into the Imperial City, but the Duke of Rong-an earnestly seek to marry their daughter. In the end, he promised that if they bore a son, he would carry his mother’s family name, and the Ye family leader agreed to marry his daughter. So, that is why although Ye Xiang is a heir of the imperial family, but his family name is not Liu, but Ye.
The Emperor had gratitude towards the Duke and Duchess of Rong-an for sacrificing for the empire. After bestowing titles to them, also bestowed the Rong-an Wang-fu9Duke’s Manor with the title of Shi-zi Manor, and Ye Xiang was bestowed the title of Shi-zi, and after his coming of age ritual, would carry on the Duke of Rong-an title.
This year, Ye Xiang was also soft crowned.
When the Prime Minister nominated the only heir of the Rong-an Wang-fu10 Duke’s Manor, Ye Xiang, the entire court also greatly objected.
If one were to say that Xu Yun Chu was the Imperial City’s #1 Gong-zi, then Ye Xiang would be the Imperial City’s # 1 Prodigal.
In the large Rong-an Wang-fu11Duke’s Manor, Ye Xiang rules the house, makes the decisions, and with the addition of the Emperor’s spoiling, the Empress Dowager’s pitying, and losing his father and mother at young age, the orphan never had anyone to control him. Due to that, he is drinking poems throughout the day, hanging around the gentle caves of the brothel with a group of prodigals, being absurd and ridiculous.
A Ye Xiang like this, of course can not lead an army to battle.
Let’s not say that the military men disapprove, even the Emperor shook his head upon hearing the Prime Minister’s nomination.
The Prime Minister continued, “20 years ago, the Duke and Duchess won the battle over the Northern Zhou, their names sounded throughout the land, there’s a saying: like father, like son. Although Ye Shi-zi12Title bestowed to the son of a Duke. has always been absurd, but in his body runs the Duke of Rong-an’s blood. If the Northern Zhou hears that it’s Ye Shi-zi leading the army, they’d have to weight it. To add, Ye Shi-zi although he carries his mother’s family name, but he is of royal blood. So, with him leading the army would show that our Southern Qi imperial family is not to be trampled on. “
After the officials heard, some of them thought it made sense, but there were some that still didn’t feel at ease. Even so, could Ye Xiang really lead an army? fight a battle?
The Prime Minister, to sway the majority, yet once again proposed another nomination, that General Su Che to go with Ye Xiang to the border. Upon hearing Su Che’s name, the officials eyes all lit up, but then quickly dim down.
Su Che is Southern Qi’s very few military prodigies. Even the Emperor who advocated a civil rule, commended him. Honoring him the title of Commander General, and bestowing his manor the title of Commander General’s Manor. Although in Southern Qi military men held low rankings, but his position across all the entire court was not low at all.
However, due to 20 years ago, during the battle with Northern Zhou, the Duke and Duchess’ death, lead him to be guilty thinking it was his own faulty military plan that caused the death of the Duke and Duchess. Even though the Emperor and the court did not think he was at fault, just that the cunning Northern Zhou had used immoral tactics, but he couldn’t get past himself and resigned.
Back then, the Emperor had tried hard to keep him, but Su Che was set on leaving. Helpless, the Emperor could only allow it.
Now, 20 years have passed, could Su Che still return to the to the Imperial City to take on the duty of defending against the enemies at the border?
The officials weren’t sure and for a moment, there was no sounds of objection.
The Prime Minister spoke up again, “Back than, Su Che left the Imperial City due to guilt from the death of the Duke and Duchess of Rong-an. Now, if it’s Rong-an Wangfu’s13Rong-an Duke’s Manor Shi-zi is to lead the army, how could Su Che reject?”
After hearing so, the officials all nodded. It made sense, although Ye Xiang was out of place, but if Su Che is there, it would be a victory against the Northern Zhou.
The Emperor saw that the whole court’s opinion was unified, and besides sending Ye Xiang and Su Che, there seems to be a slim chance against the invading Northern Zhou. He nodded, approving the Prime Minister’s nomination and sent someone to call Ye Xiang to court.
At this time, Ye Xiang was drunk and sleeping soundly with a big white cat in his arms.
When the eunuch sent to deliver the imperial message couldn’t wake up this master no matter what he tried, he ordered servants to carry him to the palace to see the Emperor. When the Emperor was angry when he saw Ye Xiang in this state and ordered someone to shout at him, but still wasn’t able to wake him up. They splashed water, pushed and pulled him, tried everything, but he was still sleeping soundly. After calling the imperial doctor, after one look, found out that he had just drank the Sanyuezui [wfn]A wine called Three Month Drunk[/wfn].
The Sanyuezui, means what it says, after you drink one cup, you’ll feel fluttering, and drunk for 3 months.
There’s no anecdote.
To wait 3 months for him to wake up, the Northern Zhou would probably be riding up to the gates already and already on Southern Qi soil. The meal would already be left cold.
The Emperor was mad but had no ways to deal with it, Ye Xiang had always been inappropriate. This type of situation wasn’t the first or second time already. All he could do was call back the Prime Minister to the palace to discuss.
When the Prime Minister saw that Ye Xiang could not be woken up, also shook his head and sighed. After a thought, he presented his request to the Emperor, for Ye Xiang to be carried out to see Su Che and request him to go to battle. The Emperor approved it.
And so, the Prime Minister had servants carry Ye Xiang out, departing overnight to Su Che’s residence.
Three days later, they arrived at Su Che’s residence. The Prime Minister saw Su Che and told of his reason for coming. Su Che saw the drunk and sleeping Ye Xiang. After a moment of silence, agreed to lead the army to battle, but his only condition was that Ye Xiang didn’t need to follow. He didn’t want Ye Xiang to repeat the fate of his parents dying at the border.
The Prime Minister was happy to agree, as long as Su Che went to battle, whether Ye Xiang went to the border or not wasn’t important. He only dealt with the hassle to carry out Ye Xiang so that he could get Su Che to agree. With Su Che leading the army, the Southern Qi empire would be protected.
And so, the Prime Minister yet again carried the drunk Ye Xiang back to the Imperial City. Su Che took the Tiger General Stamp, and lead the army towards the border.
Two months later, a message from the border said that General Su had won the battle against Northern Zhou. The entire court rejoiced. The Emperor was very happy and sent a messenger to bring Su Che’s family to the Imperial City. The message was: although the General’s Manor had been left vacant ever since General Su left, it is cleaned periodically. Since the General is back to post, then his family shouldn’t be left in the countryside.
And so, half a month later, the Su family was brought to the Imperial City and returned to reside in the General’s Manor.
Su Che has 3 sons and 1 daughter. They had all went with him to the border, only his wife was picked up and brought to the Imperial City. The Emperor had personally invited Madam Su and after finding out that their youngest daughter, Su Feng Nuan, was of suitable age, and not engaged yet, he was in the mood to bestow an engagement for her.
After the Empress Dowager found out about the Emperor’s plan, she to was very interested and had mutual thoughts. The two had coincided without having discussed.
And so, in the Imperial City, it starts to spread that the Emperor and Empress Dowager wish to select one from the gong-zi in the Imperial City manors to marry Su Feng Nuan. Everyone begins making guesses on who would be the final candidate and quickly, this becomes the hot topic.