After spending some time at the Martial Saint’s Mountain, Qin Wushuang departed for home. The Purple-Robed Martial Saint along with a few other Honored Warriors saw him off at the imperial capital.
Along the way, Qin Wushuang kept a low profile as he rode his horse. In less than a day, he arrived at the main path that was a few dozen miles outside the Southcloud State City. However, what he had seen along this trip had left him extremely surprised.
On the way, Qin Wushuang had seen hundreds of thousands of strong young men each carrying a large wicker basket. Quills and other things were tied on top of the wicker basket and inside the basket, there seemed to be food.
With one look, these people appeared as if they were refugee escaping from a disaster. However, after a careful look, they did not seem to be running away from something.
It was apparent from their expressions that they did not have any fear and helplessness, nor sadness and despair of refugees. Each of their faces wore a happy expression. They seemed to be looking forward to something.
Qin Wushuang was confused. He wanted to stop and ask them, yet he restrained himself.
In a moment, he had arrived beneath the gate of the Southcloud City State. To return to River County, he must pass through the north gate and exit out through the south gate. It would be much faster to travel to the River County through the south gate.
Qin Wushuang saw that along these few dozen miles of the main road, many young and strong people filled the road. They did not seem to be a group of thugs that intended to cause trouble. They seemed to be ordinary peasants. Despite having the strength to do farm work, they could never resist against regular forces. And they did not carry any weapons.
People had even piled up outside the gate. Over the side of the city gate, there were a few hundred guards. Each of them maintained order with a careful expression. Although they did not turn away these peasants, they did not let them pass either.
"Captain, please let us in. We promise to not cause trouble and we will just quickly pass through. We will not tarry. We are not here to make trouble or to make a complaint."
One peasant guy that appeared somewhat meticulous negotiated with the captain of the guards with his imperfect use of official words.
Qin Wushuang walked over with his horse. Those guards was about to refuse in when they saw that he was dressed in fine clothing. Just as Qin Wushuang’s horse was about to pass through, those peasants tried to rush in.
Under the rush, those guards immediately formed a human wall and blocked the struggles of these peasants.
That captain drew his sword from his waist and said: "Stop right there, if you try to charge forward, we will not show any mercy."
With a look at that sword, those peasants were stunned. These country people naturally feared the officers and guards. When they saw the shiny sword, they retreated to the side with a depressed look.
A few of them said: "Ah, we are not allowed to pass through the city gate. It’s ok, we can just go around and walk a few hundred miles. We will arrive either way."
"Yes, isn’t this Southcloud state governed by the Heavenly Royal Territory? The Heavenly Royal King is kind to civilians, why is the Southcloud state being so discourteous?"
Inwardly, Qin Wushuang felt curious. He turned the horse around and asked one of the guard: "Where are these people going?"
That guard said with distaste: "Who knows where they are going. In these past few days, these people have gone crazy. Each day, tens of thousands of farmers continue to rush toward the Southcloud City."
Qin Wushuang pulled the reins and walked over. He said to those peasants at the front row: "Friends, it’s forbidden to charge into the state city. Even if you want to go under special circumstances, you must get a pass from the government. Special circumstances would be treated with special treatments. You should all step back and tell me your situation. Let’s see if you can apply to get special permission to pass through."
Those peasants saw Qin Wushuang’s unique temperament and beautiful clothing, they were sure that he was a Young Master of an aristocratic family. One of them said: "Young Master, we are all good people of the Heavenly Royal Territory. It’s winter now, and we have no work in the fields. We heard that the Heavenly Royal Territory is building a royal city, we just wanted to help them."
"Yes, the entire Heavenly Royal Mansion is blessing our entire land. The Heavenly King’s son, Marquis Wushuang is even protecting the entire Bai Yue. For such good family, despite our low status and although we cannot provide much help, it would be fine to do some physical work. We are not here to cause trouble, we just want to help them during the three or four month of winter."
"Yes, Young Master, please tell them for us. If we go around a few hundred miles, it would cost us a few days. We don’t have much time, and we just want to help them. We will not become a burden to the Heavenly Royal Mansion. You see we all brought our own quilts, and food. We will eat our food when we are hungry, and drink from the stream if we are thirsty, and we also have our quilts for when we are tired…"
One could see that from their plain faces and sincere looks, these peasants wanted to contribute from the bottom of their hearts.
Qin Wushuang did not expect that in less than two years when the Heavenly Royal family had taken over the original Redwood area, they would gain such reputation and the power to rally people.
Inwardly, he felt much warmth and pride. Thus, he nodded: "You guys, why do you support the Heavenly Royal family so much? The Heavenly Royal King protects the land, and Marquis Wushuang protects the country, it’s something they should do."
"Although it’s something they should do, they are different!" One of the forthright guys yelled. Peasant folks could not speak clearly in such a situation, they could only express their feelings through talking loudly.
"How is it different?"
"They are just too different. They are so much better than the previous Redwood King! The Redwood King issued heavy taxes and did not care about the livelihood of us civilians. All year long, we had to hand in ninety percent of the harvest from our rented field. The remaining ten percent is not even enough to feed ourselves!"
"Isn’t that right? Under the reign of the Heavenly King, we only need to hand in fifty percent of our harvests and we can keep the other fifty percent. Not only could we feed ourselves, we still have some extra remains to buy other things."
"Which other Marquis should we support when they let us eat well and dress well, and to live safely!?"
"We support the Heavenly King, we support Marquis Wushuang!"
This group of peasants had become even more excited the more they spoke. From their expression, one could see their humility and sincerity. This was not being faked, and nor acts of flattery.
Qin Wushuang could understand their feelings. Weren’t the simple and honest farmers from his former world the same? Whenever someone had been kind to them, they would repay them ten times more. They did not ask for much, except to live peacefully. They did not care much for riches, and just desired to live comfortably.
"Young Master, please help us talk to them. We promise that we will act obediently and would not cause any trouble."
"We promise to not cause any trouble."
While feeling their sincerity, Qin Wushuang nodded: "Ok, all your kindness will be received by the Heavenly King and Marquis Wushuang. I will thank you guys on their behalf."
"You should all gather together, without chaos. Every one hundred people will form a group and organize. Gather outside the city and pass the word. Let those people who are coming after also form a line. I will talk the guards into letting you pass." Qin Wushuang comforted them and at the same time, he asked them to organize themselves.
As soon as Qin Wushuang had said the words, these peasants immediately cooperated with his request. Each of them passed the word along and soon, they had become organized. Like Qin Wushuang had instructed, every one hundred people formed a group.
Qin Wushuang walked to the city gate and said to that captain: "Mister Captain, please deliver this thing to the mansion of the Xi Men Feudal Lords. Tell the head of the Xi Men family that an old friend is visiting. He will guess who I am when he sees this object. Then, tell him to contact the Southcloud government to draft a special permission to let these people pass."
Hearing Qin Wushuang’s eloquence in words and witnessing his kind temperament in his actions, that captain knew this person had a deep background. How could he have a simple identity when he asked to see the head of the Xi Men Feudal Lords?
Instantly, he took that symbol plate and tucked it into his chest without daring to look at it. Then, he bowed: "Ok, I will go. However, before I come back, could you please stop these peasants?"
He also noticed that this group of peasants was listening to Qin Wushuang’s words.
"Ok, go for it."
That captain turned around and gave some instructions before dashing off on a horse. In a moment, he arrived at the Xi Men mansion and stated his name and requested to see the head of Xi Men.
Initially, a mere captain that guarded the gate was not qualified to see the Xi Men Feudal Lords. However, since he had come with orders from someone, they could not care about these details.
The door guard to the Xi Men Feudal Lord mansion said when he saw that this captain had lowly status: "Mister, the head takes care of many things and is already sleeping. Why do you need to see him?"
That captain knew that this guard was making things difficult because of his low status. Inwardly, he could not help but feel frustrated, yet he did not become enraged as he said: "There is a noblw outside the city gate that wants me to deliver this. He said he is an old friend visiting. He said that the head would know who he was when he sees this object."
"Hmph, I don’t know where this random person has come from that wants to use the name of the Feudal Lords." As that door guard spoke, he glanced at the captain, "Wait here, I will pass it up."
He took the object from the captain and walked in. After passing the word to numerous people up the hierarchy, the word finally reached the Head of the Xi Men. Currently, Xi Men Yu was resting and felt somewhat unhappy when he heard the announcement from his trusted aides. Ever since his son, Xi Men Xing had become a disciple of the Stargaze Palace, Xi Men Yu began to enjoy life.
"Feudal Lord, a captain of the city guards wants to see you. He said that an old friend has brought an object to see you. He said that you would know who he is when you see this thing."
Xi Men Yu nodded: "Come in."
After the trusted aide walked in, he handed that token forward respectfully.
Xi Men Yu turned it around when he saw this object. It was an ancient looking symbol plate. On the front, the words "Great Luo" were inscribed on it. On the other side, the two words "National Scholar" was written.
Xi Men Yu almost trembled as he brought the symbol plate closer to look—The National Scholar of the Great Luo!
With a "soaring" sound, Xi Men Yu jumped up from the couch. He grabbed his official Feudal Lord clothing and finished dressing as fast as lightning.
"Hurry, prepare a horse, prepare the fastest and the best horse!"
Vividly, Xi Men Yu felt uneasy as he seemed to have put on too much of an attitude. From the door outside the mansion to him, there were at least five layers of checkpoints. Back and forth, he had wasted too much time.
When he thought here, cold sweat emerged on his forehead.