Edited by Tnyhy
Chapter 116: No Future (Part 2)
Xie Jing Xing paused before suddenly pulling the carriage’s curtain aside and stepped out. He came in quickly and also left quickly. Shen Miao did not have time to react when she heard someone outside calling, “Furen, Master, Eldest Young Master.”
Shen Miao parted the carriage’s curtain and saw Shen Xin and wife with Shen Qiu walking over from the corner of the city gate, and they were also surprised for a moment when they saw Jing Zhe and Gu Yu. Shen Miao looked around and did not see any traces of Xie Jing Xing before thinking that this person was very vigilant, and had such a high level of skills that one could appear and disappear unpredictably. He could even be a grandmaster thief.
When Luo Xue Yan saw Jing Zhe, she quickly walked over and just nice saw Shen Miao coming out of the carriage.
After a few days of not meeting, Shen Xin and wife and also Shen Qiu were very haggard. Shen Miao had seen the Imperial family’s means before. Sometimes before a decision was made on how to dispose of others, imprisonment was a torture to a person’s will. Shen Xin’s family were all military people and had strong determination, but to purposely leave Shen Miao in the residence, it was inevitable to make one think more of it.
Luo Xue Yan took a few more steps to hold Shen Miao’s hand and size her up, “Jiao Jiao, did anyone make things difficult for you these days?”
Shen Miao shook her head.
Luo Xue Yan then released a sigh of relief. Shen Qiu asked, “Why did Younger Sister not stay in the residence and come over here?”
“One heard that Father and Mother will be returning to the residence today and fear that there would be no carriage, thus came to pick up.” Shen Miao said with a smile.
Shen Xin’s lips moved as he wanted to say something but at the end did not say it out. He knew that there were a number of people who were watching the commotion, and Shen Miao’s action was to shun others’ eyes and ears, and was truly very considerate. But one had to protect one’s wife and children. With the confiscation of the military tally, how could one not feel oppressed.
He went up the horse carriage silently and Luo Xue Yan did not want Shen Miao to be worried so she pulled Shen Miao in. Jing Zhe and the rest sat in the carriage behind and in the horse carriage in front, only Shen Miao’s family were inside.
“Mother, what did His Majesty say?” Shen Miao asked.
Luo Xue Yan hesitated before smiling, “Nothing much. It is just a misunderstanding.”
Shen Miao replied, “To have the military tally taken away, how could it be a misunderstanding?”
Shen Qiu was surprised for a moment and unconsciously looked at Shen Xin. The most angry person about the military tally being taken away was Shen Xin. He also did not know what went wrong, and the only possibility was that there was a problem in the Shen family’s army, else who would have known about the massacre order.
“Actually the confiscation of the military tally is nothing.” Luo Xue Yan tried to calm Shen Miao down, as she was afraid to make Shen Miao feel unsafe. “Without the military tally, one can still do battle. Your Father is still a General and we will be the same as before.”
Shen Miao frowned as Shen Xin and Shen Qiu looked at her worried. Previously Shen Miao was somewhat arrogant, and that was because she had a Formidable General as a backer. Without that backing, it was common that a precious and pampered Young Lady would not be able to handle it.
“Fight what battle.” Shen Miao softly said, “Bringing the front section to batter or bring the cooking soldiers to fight?”
Luo Xue Yan and Shen Qiu were dumbfounded for a moment. These days they were accustomed to Shen Miao’s gentle and submissive appearance, and were somewhat incredulous when hearing such sharp questions from her.
Shen Xin’s face however turned to iron. The pride of a General could not be trampled by anyone. Emperor Wen Hui retained his life but gave him a deep shame. This was more difficult to bear than taking his life.
“Of course one will still be able to fight battles. It is just that His Majesty would need to assign a Lieutenant General to overview matters. Giving out military commands but still have to see other’s face, commanding three armies but also a paper General. Just a General by name, it is nothing but an empty shell.”
Shen Miao looked up with a pair of extremely clear eyes, as if one was talking about the most common family topics.
However who had seen such an aggressive Shen Miao before? Perhaps Shen Qiu had seen her like this before, but Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan absolutely had not. Moreover, she directly spoke about matters of the court.
Shen Xin clenched his fist but still said comfortingly, “Jiao Jiao, Father will proof oneself and the Shen family’s army will eventually return to Father’s hands again. Jiao Jiao, there will not be any change in your identity.”
Shen Xin’s entire life was spoken through by military exploits. He believed that in Ming Qi, other than Xie Ding, there was no one braver than him. A treasured sword did not fear of being hidden, there would definitely be a day where he would be unsheathed again.
“But one need to wait for how long? Until that time, the Shen family’s army has already integrated to the Yu Ling Army, would they be loyal to Father? Moreover there are spies in the army that Father raised, how would one promise there will none in the future?”
When those words were spoken, Luo Xue Yan face got serious as she asked, “Jiao Jiao, who told you those words?”
Shen Miao know about Shen Xin’s military tally being confiscated, and also know that the Shen family army was integrated into the Yu Ling Army, because these are things that everyone knew of, but the matter of spies in the Shen family’s army was definitely not heard from outside. The person who told Shen Miao of the matter at least had an understanding of the matters of court. Lou Xue Yan was afraid that Shen Miao would be used by others.
Shen Miao shook her head, “I am not a fool, I may not really do not know about things that others do not tell me.”
Shen Qiu said, “Younger Sister is very intelligent.” On the matter of the Prince Yu of the First Rank, Shen Qiu had seen Shen Miao’s abilities. He knew that Shen Miao’s view was not like an unmarried young female, and saw things differently but very clear.
It was rare that Shen Qiu would say that, so Shen Xin frowned as he asked, “Jiao Jiao, what are you trying to say?”
“The Shen family’s army no longer belong to us than one should not want the Shen army. How about giving it up?” Shen Miao’s words were shocking.
“Jiao Jiao.” Luo Xue Yan stopped her but suddenly felt that her tone was too harsh and quickly softened it down, “The Shen family’s army was raised by your Father’s hands and there are innumerable confidants inside. To mention about giving it up is like turning back on one’s own in the battlefield. This is not possible.”
“Then what does Father plan to do?” Shen Miao retorted back with a question, “To bear patiently and endure silently till perhaps there is an opportunity, but if others continue to suppress when one is down, then there would not be any advantage at all.”
Shen Xin stared at Shen Miao like he had never seen this Di daughter of his, and there was a little pensive look on his face as he asked, “What does Jiao Jiao think we should do?”
“When the East is not bright, the West will be.” Shen Miao’s eyes were especially bright, “Father is able to manage the Shen family’s army well, so why is it not possible to manage another army?”
Shen Xin was first surprised before laughing out and caressing Shen Miao’s head, as if the sentence Shen Miao spoke made him open up. He said, “Truly a young girl who has yet grown up. Under these skies, how would there be so many armies for one to manage?” When he said that, at the end there was a faint sadness in the words.
The Shen family’s army was like a child that Shen Xin raised by his hands, thus how could one speak about the pain when a child was snatched away.
Shen Miao finally smiled, “Then, how about the Luo family?”
Shen Xin’s smile came to a sudden stop, and Luo Xue Yan and Shen Qiu thought of something at the same time when their eyes immediately fell on Shen Miao.
Shen Miao leisurely said, “Is not there still a scattered force in Grandparent’s (maternal side) hands? Even though it cannot be compared to the previous Shen family’s army but the number is not small, thus if one where to slowly train them up, it might necessary become the next Shen family’s army.”
Luo Xue Yan’s maiden family was a military lineage, but it was a gradually declining one. It was not false to say that there were troops in their hands but afterwards, Shen Xin was stationed in the Northwestern region, thus those soldiers in the Xiao Chun City unarmed themselves and headed back to the fields. Even though they had the title of soldiers, they only took army provisions and did not do any work. After so many years of that, they were no difference between them and commoners.
“How can this be possible.” The Shen family had been loyal to the monarch and loved the country for so many years, it was already an instinct to service the monarch, thus Shen Miao’s words were considered outrageous. To raise one’s own army at a place where the Emperor did not know about. Luo Xue Yan said, “Jiao Jiao, this is not a topic to play with.” She did not know how to explain to Shen Miao the Imperial family’s taboo on a General who had their own army. How would Shen Miao, a little young lady, understand anything?
But it was Shen Qiu, who said had very little, that now spoke, “Younger Sister wants to use the Luo family’s army to replace the Shen family’s army.”
“It is not considered as replacing.” Shen Miao lightly smiled, “It is just that Father is after all a General, thus one cannot be just alone without any subordinates. Naturally followers are required and since it is so, then what is the difference between the Shen family’s army and the Luo family’s army? By having the Luo family’s army, one would have one additional self-protection amulet. Is not this good?”
Perhaps she had somewhat twisted those words into self-preservation so that it was that shocking to listen to them, and Luo Xue Yan felt that Shen Miao’s words were somewhat outrageous but when she looked up, she saw Shen Xin frowning as if he was seriously thinking about Shen Miao’s words, and felt a headache coming.
Shen Xin looked at Shen Miao and deliberately went along with Shen Miao’s words, “Jiao Jiao’s words are good to listen, but the Luo family’s army is located far in the Xiao Chun City. How are we going there?”
“Then that would depend on Father’s resolution.” Shen Miao smiled as she looked at him, “Perhaps Father can try to tell His Majesty one wish to go to the Northwestern region and voluntarily head to the Xiao Chun City and defend. Setting off in the next few days.”
The three of them were stunned.
The Xiao Chun City was a small town on the Northwestern region, and was a thousand mountains and ten thousand rivers away from the Ding capital. If Shen Xin really requested for that, everyone would think that this Formidable Great General was downhearted due to the confiscation of the military tally, and thus wanted to be stationed at such a small area. As for the prestige of the Formidable Great General, it would be slowly submerged in history.
Shen Xin’s tiger eyes were staring, “This is retreating. No.”
There were always talents appearing in each generation, and it was ideal to conceal one’s strengths and bide one’s time, but Shen Xin was not young. He was already forty years of age and if he was not used, then there would not be any opportunity to return, even if one was able to successfully manage the group of Luo family’s people, he still could only stay at the border. The not realization of one’s lofty aspirations of a hero past prime, was most probably the most tragic thing in the world.
“It is a fine military strategy of advancing by retreating. What is Father afraid of?” Shen Miao did not back down, and faced them with a pair of tranquil and calm eyes. For the first time her eyes became provocative, “Fear that one will be unable to rise after a stumble? Fear that one will keep retreating after the first time, till there is nowhere else to retreat? Or is it fear that the era has passed and one is unable to break clear of all troubles and hardships?”
Just a few questions made Shen Xin heart tighten up, and not only Shen Xin but Luo Xue Yan and Shen Qiu were also dumbfounded. Shen Xin looked at Shen Miao and he suddenly discovered that this delicate looking daughter, seemed to have inherited the tenacity and arrogance in his bones.
“Then again.” Shen Miao chuckled, “Within two years, His Majesty will definitely call Father back to the capital. The day one return to the capital, it will be the time when one soars up.”