My Father in Law is Lu Bu

大哥有枪

Chapter 473

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Chapter 473

Liu Mang’s messenger did not want to do anything to Sun Qian. They knew that they should not force someone to a corner or they would struggle against you. It was true that Sun Qian had been captured by Liu Mang before but it would be impossible for Sun Qian to betray Liu Bei. This is because Sun Qian was already extremely loyal to Liu Bei.

“What kind of opinion does Master Sun Qian have on the Left General’s subordinate, Mi Zhu?” The messenger laughed.

“Mi Zhu?” Sun Qian furrowed his brows. He did not like this person. Mi Zhu was a merchant by fate while he was a n.o.ble recommended to Liu Bei by Zheng Xuan. Naturally, he was of a higher cla.s.s compared to Mi Zhu. However, this was not the reason Sun Qian looked down on Mi Zhu.

To him, Mi Zhu was of equal rank but from a different world. Their lives do not cross. Mi Zhu was an expert in commerce while he himself was an expert in government affairs. It would be difficult for the two of them to become friends even in normal situations.

The reason why Sun Qian had malice for Mi Zhu was because Mi Zhu got close to Pang Tong. In actuality, Mi Zhu had no choice as he was hated by Liu Bei’s brother, the arrogant and proud Guan Yu Guan Yunchang.

Guan Yu was direct and did not hide his hatred. He and Zhang Fei was also close to Sun Qian. On the other hand, Pang Tong immediately tried getting close to Mi Zhu the moment he joined Liu Bei’s Army. Of course, Mi Zhu would choose to receive Pang Tong’s good intentions instead of Guan Yu’s loathe. Since Sun Qian hated Pang Tong, Mi Zhu also became a hated person.

“Mi Zhu is a talented person.” Sun Qian replied. He would not speak of Mi Zhu’s shortcoming as he was a scholar following Confucianism.

The messenger laughed at Sun Qian’s reply and then said, “Master Gongyou. The two of us are the only ones here. Let us just speak without pretense! Milord does not like Mi Zhu so he hopes that Master Sun Qian would help us eliminate this person!”

“Eliminate this person?” Sun Qian was stunned. He did not know how Mi Zhu offended Liu Mang. Although Mi Zhu was rich, this was a thing of the past. Now, Mi Zhu was broke and constantly humiliated. As far as Liu Mang is concerned, Mi Zhu should be a n.o.body.

“It is not Mi Zhu but Mi Fang that offended Milord!” The messenger said as a reply to Sun Qian’s doubts. He said this was retribution to the Mi Family because Mi Fang had almost injured Liu Mang at Yingshang.

“No!” Sun Qian immediately refused. Merchants may be lowly but they were still a necessity. It would be impossible to govern without trade. After all, the common people do not produce iron. Besides that, transportation of provisions also needed merchants. If Mi Zhu was killed, commerce would become difficult. Sun Qian would not betray Liu Bei’s interest.

“Oh? Master Gongyou, do not be in such a hurry to refuse.” The messenger spoke calmly and looked for a chair to sit down.

“Master Gongyou. Do you know where Pang Tong has gone?” The messenger asked. Sun Qian naturally knew the answer to this question. Sun Qian had been planning to have Pang Tong use up all of his resources to help Liu Bei and subsequently weaken himself just like Mi Zhu.1

“Jingzhou!” The messenger answered his own question. “He went to Jingzhou to gain provisions. With the capabilities of the Pang Family and Pang Shiyuan, this is a guaranteed success. The only difference was how much they could obtain. If he only gains a little provision, you would be able to mock him and lower his place in the eyes of your Lord, Liu Bei.”

“On the other hand, if Pang Tong succeeds in bridging a connection between Yuzhou and Jingzhou, you would need to behave with integrity to not to end up getting played by Pang Tong! I am sure the Left General won’t interfere for your sake!” The messenger sneered.

“Bulls.h.i.t!” Sun Qian cursed angrily at those words.

“Am I wrong? Right now, you are only a governor of Yuzhou while Pang Tong is a biejia2!” Both a biejia and a governor have the same salary of a thousand coins. A biejia had less power compared to a governor. However, a biejia reports directly to the highest authority. This position initially belonged to Sun Qian but Pang Tong took it away.

“Master Sun Qian. Do not forget what happened at Ruyin!” The messenger continued. Ruyin was the place Sun Qian had been stationed without a soldier for the empty fort strategy proposed by Pang Tong. Sun Qian intended to use the provisions to survive but Pang Tong burned those provisions. This showed that Pang Tong intended for him to die since the start. Now, Pang Tong’s position is becoming more important in Liu Bei’s eyes. Meanwhile, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei were also starting to slowly change their att.i.tude towards Pang Tong after seeing their brother’s accomplishments.

Once Guan Yu and Zhang Fei joined Pang Tong’s side, Sun Qian would be in serious danger.

“What does this have to do with Mi Zhu?” Sun Qian asked.

“Once a connection with Jingzhou is formed, there will be a lot of merchants coming to Yuzhou. Someone would definitely be needed to manage these merchant. This person will be Mi Zhu! Right now, Mi Zhu is of no importance to Liu Bei. However, once Yuzhou starts to trade with Jingzhou, Mi Zhu would be able to make Yuzhou prosperous again and obtain some authority! Since Mi Zhu is one of Pang Tong’s men, your struggle against Pang Tong would only become more hopeless!” The messenger explained.

Right now, Mi Zhu had no favorability with Liu Bei as a result of Liu Bei putting everything into military matters. Just the matters about provisions alone was enough to give him a headache. He did not have the mood nor the energy to spare on commerce. Once the problem with provisions is solved, Liu Bei would need Mi Zhu’s expertise if he wanted to expand the army.

Commerce was definitely needed if they wanted to buy weapons and provisions. Weapons especially since Nanyang was not a place that produce iron. Even if they do produce iron, Liu Bei had little craftsmen. This was why trade with Jingzhou was indispensable.

Sun Qian hesitated. He hated Pang Tong but was loyal to Liu Bei. Harming Mi Zhu would mean one less helper for Pang Tong but also one less helper for Liu Bei.

“Of course, all of this is said on the premise that Pang Tong could form a connection with Jingzhou.” The messenger said to himself, knowing that Liu Mang was also in Jingzhou. It was still not certain who would obtain Jingzhou’s support in the end.

Sun Qian was faced with a tough choice. If there were no alliance, Mi Zhu would still be useless while if an alliance was formed, getting rid of Mi Zhu would weaken Liu Bei. If an alliance was formed, not getting rid of Mi Zhu would mean that Pang Tong’s position would become impregnable. Liu Mang’s messenger was right. Once Pang Tong’s position becomes stronger, Sun Qian would be at Pang Tong’s mercy. Liu Bei won’t even say anything in the event that Sun Qian was killed.

“What should I do?” Sun Qian asked. He comforted himself thinking that if Mi Zhu would be a useless person anyway if Pang Tong failed to form an alliance. Removing him would not hinder Liu Bei’s ambition at all.

“I don’t need you to do much. You just need to tell him that his siblings are still alive!” The messenger laughed. He was pleased to see Sun Qian agree to his request.

“That’s it?” Sun Qian furrowed his brows. He initially thought he had to slander Mi Zhu or use his contacts. Yet all he needed to do was say a few words?

“Yes. We will do the rest!” The messenger replied. They wanted Sun Qian to say this because they were afraid that Mi Zhu would not believe them. This is because Mi Zhu was also loyal to Liu Bei. Although Liu Bei did not give them any special treatment, Mi Zhu would not believe in Liu Mang for the sake of gaining status and becoming a n.o.ble. On the other hand, Mi Zhu might believe it if the words come from someone in Liu Bei’s Army such as Sun Qian. Even if Sun Qian was being suppressed by Pang Tong, he was still Liu Bei’s second most trusted advisor. The information he was privy to was definitely more.

After convincing Sun Qian, the messenger left to do other things.

_____

“My brother and sister are not dead?” Mi Zhu was ecstatic after hearing this news. He believed this news as it came from Sun Qian, one of Liu Bei’s most important advisors.

Sun Qian had claimed that he had seen Mi Fang and Lady Mi at Ruyin. He heard that Liu Mang wanted to use them as a bargaining chip. At that time, Sun Qian had been captured and thrown into a fiery building. Sun Qian narrowly escaped with his life.

Although Mi Zhu was not close to Sun Qian, his expression turned brighter after hearing the good news. Mi Fang and Lady Mi were Liu Bei’s brother-in-law and wife. Killing them won’t be good for both Liu Bei and Liu Mang. To a merchant, benefits were the most important factor. All of these Lords were also merchants in their own way. The only difference is that benefit from wealth while the Lords benefit from territory and t.i.tles.

Mi Zhu end up being in a good mood for a few days after receiving that news. Though he initially worried about the price to redeem his siblings, he was confident that the money can be earned back.

“Master. The Left General had sent people over to summon you to discuss official business!” Mi Zhu’s housekeeper called out while Mi Zhu was thinking

“I understand. Prepare me a horse!” Mi Zhu vigorously replied and then quickly left for the governor’s residence. Mi Zhu was the first one to arrive and he even greeted the others that arrived later but they all ignored him.

After some time, the Liu Bei slowly entered. When the others saw him, they were shocked. This is because Liu Bei was not wearing the clothes of a general but those uncomfortable clothes meant for a funeral.

As expected, Liu Bei started to wail and scream at the sky as his tears dripped to the floor.

“Who died?” The others questioned when they saw Liu Bei’s actions. They did not know who died but they could not laugh when they saw their Lord so dejected.

Mi Zhu also knelt down. He did not know who died but the only ones close enough to Liu Bei that warrants such grief was Pang Tong, Sun Qian, Jian Yong, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei.

Jian Yong and Sun Qian were right there so it can’t be them. Guan Yu was in Yuzhou and was unlikely to have a sudden death. Did Pang Tong die? No. Based on Liu Bei’s reaction, it had to be someone that sacrificed their life. Was it Zhang Fei? Also unlikely as Zhang Fei was very powerful.

While Mi Zhu was thinking, one man came out and read an order from a scroll loudly. Mi Zhu would become a Marquis Ting. His brother Mi Fang would become a Marquis Xiang and Lady Mi would become a Loyal Wife.

Normally, Mi Zhu would be happy. For his family to earn three t.i.tles, they had already become n.o.bles. Instead, his face turned pale. The fact that his little brother gained a t.i.tle higher than his while his sister, a woman, also gained a t.i.tle could only mean that they are both dead. “Impossible!”

The words of the man reading the order was like a nightmare. His brother was killed in battle while his sister remained unyielding to her death was to become a Loyal Wife.

“Impossible! Impossible!” Mi Zhu staggered while shaking his head. How he had wished for all this to be a lie. However, the scene before him told him otherwise. It was not possible for Liu Bei, the Imperial uncle, to make such jokes.

“Zizhong, restrain your grief!” Liu Mang’s tears flowed freely like the Yangtze River. It was definitely free. The way he cried even made others feel sorrowful.

Liu Bei and the others could not find Yang Jie even after several days. Jian Yong had even dispatched a.s.sa.s.sins to Yangzhou. Liu Bei quickly decided to cry about their deaths. Once he declared them dead, those in Yangzhou would not be able to do anything.

“Could all this be fake?” Mi Zhu thought to himself. He had believed that his siblings were still alive and was even thinking about how to pay the ransom when he heard news of their deaths.

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“They are still alive!” Mi Zhu suddenly remembered Sun Qian’s words and looked at Sun Qian. However, Sun Qian lowered his head and avoided Mi Zhu’s gaze. Mi Zhu did not know what Sun Qian was thinking of.

“My Lord only sent me here to deliver your family’s letter!”

“My family’s letter?” Mi Zhu became emotionally stirred but managed to calm himself down.

“Where is this letter? Show it to me!”

“The letter is currently not with me!”

“Hm?” Mi Zhu frowned.

“Please wait a moment.” Liu Mang’s messenger replied indifferently and then turned around to leave. The housekeeper tried to block his way but was instead stopped by Mi Zhu. After a short while, the man returned with the letter.

“Where did you hide this?” Mi Zhu asked. They had body searched the messenger after capturing him but found nothing.

“Sir. Is there a need to know where?” The messenger replied, his face pale.

“The smell of blood?” Mi Zhu was a merchant but he had also fought before and could recognize the smell of blood on the letter. He then noted that the messenger had turned pale and his back had turned red. This fierce man had sewed the letter onto his flesh.

When Mi Zhu opened up the letter, he recognized his little brother’s handwriting. He was the one that taught Mi Fang how to write. However, Mi Zhu remained cautious as handwriting can be forged.

As he continued to read the letter, he realized that this was truly written by his little brother. This is because he wrote about himself and told Mi Zhu not to surrender. It was very unlikely that Liu Mang would write and deliver a letter like this.

“Since you can’t obtain any benefits, you want to kill my brother and sister?” Mi Zhu snarled.

“Kill? Why are you saying that? My Lord may be enemies with the Left General but he has no habit of killing captives! He even dispatched an envoy a few days ago to discuss about returning General Mi Fang and Lady Mi!”

“Return them? They are still alive?” Mi Zhu asked. If he had not heard Sun Qian’s words before this, he would not have believed the messenger but now, he could not entirely disbelief the messenger’s words.

Sun Qian’s said he saw them at Ruyin. Liu Bei said they died at Yingshang. These two statement contradict each other. When he questioned Sun Qian again, the man acted as though he was hiding something. How could Mi Zhu not suspect him? Naturally, he would end up believing Liu Mang’s messenger.

“That’s right. Although General Mi Fang was an enemy, he was simply working for someone else. My Lord would not kill him for no reason. He is also the Left General’s brother-in-law. Killing him would bring no benefits. It was better to ransom him for sixty thousand provisions.”

Mi Zhu was stunned at the number.

“That’s right. Initially, my Lord did not want to do this but you yourself know that Yangzhou is in dire need of provisions for all the citizens after the Left General’s scheme.

It was then that Mi Zhu realized why his siblings needed to ‘die’. This amount of provisions was too much even if it was not an amount that could not be paid. Basically, Liu Bei did not want to pay the sixty thousand provisions. It was not too bad if this had been any other general but the ones that needed ransoming were his siblings. Mi Zhu had given his entire wealth for Liu Bei. The total amount was no less than a million provisions. The sixty thousand provisions now was a miniscule amount in comparison. Yet, Liu Bei refused.

“Milord!” Mi Zhu laughed bitterly. If Liu Bei had discussed this with him, Mi Fang would not have blamed him. He was loyal and he was also not unreasonable. In the original timeline, Lady Mi was dead and Mi Fang had betrayed Liu Bei. However, Mi Zhu continued to stay loyal.

Even then, Mi Zhu remained cold hearted.

“Men! Capture this person and sent him to Milord!”

_____

1. Give an applause for the ‘intelligent’ Sun Qian.

2. 别驾 Something like an a.s.sistant to the… governor… The “Liu Bei kind of governor” not the small ones like Sun Qian. Also kind of like their representative. There is no English name for this post. Direct translation is “Don’t drive”. I will just be using biejia from now on for my own sanity.

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