Gu Beiyue closed his eyes as his hand stroked Lil Thing. Under his caresses, Lil Thing’s fur was ever comfortable and soft.
He said lightly, “Lil Thing, a big task was completed today. After a while, let’s go back to Yunning. It’s almost time to prepare for work.”
Lil Thing nestled up into a comfortable spot and peacefully fell asleep. It was unclear whether it understood Gu Beiyue’s words.
Han Yunxi and Long Feiye were currently heading back to Yunning Prefecture. On their second day home, they brought Rui’er with them to pay respects to the memorials of East and West Qin royals. Both times, they required the attendance of both East and West Qin factions.
Long Feiye had now formally consecrated his ancestors and reclaimed his original name as Xuanyuan Ye. Rui’er’s official name also became Xuanyuan Rui. However, Han Yunxi liked her husband’s old name better and called him that in private. She said that her Long Feiye was Long Feiye, without any status or title beyond that of her spouse.
After the usual sacrificial rituals, Long Feiye formally announced the founding of his kingdom. Its name was Qin, its era name Eternal Peace in hopes that Cloud Realm would always be serene.
Ten days after that, on the eighth day of the eighth lunar month, Long Feiye officially ascended to the throne and accepted the prostration of the civil and military officials. Dressed in yellow dragon robes and wearing a jade crown on his head, he sat in the dragon throne as a peerless noble with an extraordinary aura. He was handsome and heavenly to behold!
After the courtiers paid their respects, the stood on opposite sides of the court in five separate rows. The large imperial hall was very still, but everyone felt restless except for Gu Beiyue, who stood in the front of the first row on the left.
Next on the agenda was giving awards based on merit and conferring titles and ranks. With all of Cloud Realm now united under one country, everything from civil, military, and other officials and administration areas needed to be formally appointed from scratch. There were a few shoo-ins for the positions, but even the candidates themselves weren’t 100 percent sure that they’d earn the spot without the official proclamation. Nobody could settle their worries just yet.
After all, their master frequently acted out of the norm, making it difficult to read his intentions.
Long Feiye looked coldly at the assembled court. While everyone was nervously waiting for him to begin, a sudden burst of festive music drifted in from outdoors. Everyone looked puzzled, but no one dared to turn their heads.
What...is going on?
Long Feiye rose to his feet and walked off his dais step by step. Then he passed his courtiers and went out the door. Now everyone turned around, including Gu Beiyue. His lips were quirked into a smile as if he expected everything. Soon enough, everyone rushed to the entrance. Baili Yuanlong and a few of the generals had even ran out the doors.
Many people knelt in the presence of His Highness as Long Feiye walked down the center path to the gates. Outside was parked an eight-man palanquin with its door tightly shut. Attending it were shadow guards and a single Mu Linger dressed in red robes.
This scene resembled a bridal procession, but looked a little different as well. A crowd had long gathered around the area while everyone was wondering what was going on. Long Feiye’s expression softened at the sight of the palanquin, three parts helpless and seven parts doting. Many years ago in Tianning’s capital city, he had watched Han Yunxi from a distance as she kicked her own sedan chair door and walked into the Duke of Qin’s estate. Back then, he never thought he’d pay back the debt he owed her.
He hadn’t wanted to kick the door or even look at the person inside the carriage in the past, but now he was perfectly willing. He even made sure to kick the door very carefully in case it startled the person inside. As it turned out, his single kick gave Han Yunxi a fright inside the palanquin.
Long Feiye had ordered people to bring her here and confer her as empress so she could be bestowed the golden seal of her position. She had been puzzled when the palanquin stopped and was planning to ask Xu Donglin what was going on when Long Feiye’s foot met her door.
He’s doing this because…
“New bride, descend the carriage!” Mu Linger shouted.
Han Yunxi finally understood. She looked at Long Feiye in his dragon robes, stern and august, then gazed at his eyes, which were as warm and gentle as water.
So Long Feiye’s paying back his debt!
She couldn’t help breaking into an especially foolish grin as her heart trembled with emotions. In the past, she was forced to get off and walk into the estate herself because she was stuck between a rock and a hard place. That had been her own way to keep living. She never thought she’d fall so deeply in love with this man one day, or that he’d make up for this debt.
Today was supposed to be for his coronation. All of the civil and military officials were waiting inside the court! Yet looking at him now, she suddenly felt like this was their wedding day instead. While Han Yunxi was still grinning like an idiot, Long Feiye stepped forward and picked her up princess style. Everyone around them gaped at the sight. After all, all of Cloud Realm had once taken Qin Wangfei to be a laughingstock for kicking her own sedan chair door!
Today’s events would spread across Cloud Realm Continent as well. Han Yunxi had not only washed herself clean of the previous humiliation, but been given peerless glory by Long Feiye!
“You’re supposed to carry me on your back, not like this!” Han Yunxi was actually conflicted over this minor detail.
“I prefer carrying you this way more,” Long Feiye smiled.
What was Han Yunxi to do in front of all the onlookers? She could only “acquiesce” to him. Long Feiye thus carried Han Yunxi past the kneeling courtiers all the way back to Chengqian Hall. Upon seeing his return, all of the officials inside resumed their posts with respectfully bowed heads. However, they couldn’t help sighing in their hearts.
The exceptions and honor this woman received were far beyond their expectations! The delegates from the south were deeply affected and unresigned. If Han Yunxi received such glorious honor now, how could any future woman hope to suppress her when they entered the palace? Would they be trampled to death instead?
Long Feiye carried Han Yunxi to the front of the hall before setting her down. He returned to his dragon throne and proclaimed loudly, “Han Yunxi, come forward to receive your title!”
A eunuch stepped out and loudly announced the imperial edict to confer her into the empress. Han Yunxi made a grand bow as she respectfully accepted the decree. When facing the man before her, Cloud Realm’s current master, she was both willing and pious to bow. After all, this man would also be the master of the rest of her life!
The eunuch presented the empress’s golden seal, a symbol of her imperial might as the mother of the nation. Han Yunxi accepted it with both hands before kneeling to express thanks for the grace. Long Feiye looked at her from above, his cold gaze hiding the tender feelings and joys within. The spectators couldn’t see any of it, but he knew better than anyone that the kneeling woman before him was his true master!
When Han Yunxi rose, all of the courtiers bowed down to say loudly, May the empress live thousands and thousands of years. Under their cries, she walked step by step to Long Feiye. He extended a hand and led her to the dragon throne with him.
Actually, Han Yunxi was already filled with emotions from the moment she stepped off the palanquin. She desperately wanted to give Long Feiye a tight hug, but under these circumstances, she sat majestically in her phoenix robes, looking noble, luxurious, and elegant. Truly, it was the descent of a phoenix on Earth.
Everyone had expected her to be conferred as empress, but nobody expected Long Feiye to kick her palanquin door and carry her all the way here. This was a first-time precedent for the empress conferring ceremony! Yet while they were reeling from their surprise, Long Feiye did something even more astounding.
He had the eunuch read out his first imperial edict of appointment and made Han Yunxi the master of all armies and head of all generals, leaving her in control of Cloud Realm’s four major military factions.
Everyone was stunned. Only Gu Beiyue remained smiling with his head bowed. No one else could believe or accept this until Han Yunxi accepted the master military command token. The assembled crowd noticed that there were still other military tokens on the eunuch’s plate meant for various region generals. None of them dared to speak out under such circumstances because they hadn’t been conferred their posts yet. If they ruined Long Feiye’s mood now, they might get nothing at all.
Each military faction had sent two to three representatives, so Long Feiye had plenty of candidates to choose from. In the silent court, no one was willing to be the fool who spoke up first. Because of that, the matter ended without protest.
This was also the reason while Gu Beiyue was grinning. Long Feiye had give a blow to his courtiers in his first day on the throne!
The official system of Great Qin government was built upon its previous iterations with some adjustments. There were a total of Six Ministries divided between Personnel, Revenue, Rites, War, Justice, and Works. There were various levels situated below each Ministry that took care of managing different affairs in the country. The highest office reported to the emperor himself. Han Yunxi’s master command token meant she was the leader of Ministry of War!
Typically speaking, one shouldn’t start conferring titles with the military, but Long Feiye chose them first. Moreover, he gave a title to Han Yunxi before anyone else. This was telling them that anyone who dared protest would lose a chance at their own title too!
It was a veiled threat, the first show of force from the throne!
Han Yunxi made sure to cast her gaze at the various generals before openly accepting the command token. Nobody would know she had just made a private vow to not favor any faction in the future. Her priority laid in protecting Great Qin and its citizens to the greatest advantage!
After that, Long Feiye issued titles to the east, west, south, north, and central region’s generals and officials. Baili Yuanlong was put in charge of the central region while Jin Zi guarded Northern Li. Chu Tianyin and a few western frontier generals shared custody of the three prefectures in the west while the southern generals watched over their own territory. A personal team of Long Feiye’s crack troops joined forces with some of the Baili Army to guard the east, the future location of the permanent capital city.
According to Han Yunxi, it wasn’t wise to leave snakes in their old haunts for long lest it brought about future disasters. But for now, it was easier to station them where they were instead of making the effort to redeploy troops. Furthermore, they needed locals to understand the present situation in the different areas after war.
The military participated in battles during war, but in times of peace they were integral to construction and rebuilding!
Cloud Realm Continent’s map was redivided into different regions totalling 30 prefectures and 15 major cities. The previously independent Medical and Medicine City, as well as the City of Daughters and Carefree City, all fell under the rule of their respective prefectures. Yunning Prefecture was made the site of the temporary imperial capital while Tianning’s imperial capital was renamed the Celestial Capital of the Great Qin Empire.
Long Feiye personally conferred ranks to officials of fourth rank and above. Gu Beiyue was made the first-rank Grand Tutor, head of all civil servants, the teacher of the imperial princes, and the emperor’s representative.
Once all the titles and ranks were distributed, Long Feiye made Rui’er the crown prince. The little boy had yet to reach one-year old when Zhao mama carried him into the palace. He didn’t cry in the face of such a grand gathering, but began to laugh. Besides the story of Long Feiye kicking the empress’s palanquin door, the crown prince’s conduct also grew into a source of stories around the land.
When everyone thought the court could adjourn, Long Feiye conferred a final rank, that of Great Qin’s one and only Qinwang.
1. Qinwang (亲王) - Different from 秦王, or Duke of Qin, this Qinwang refers to a Prince of the First Rank. Tianning had its own Qinwang too, who showed up back in C224.
Deep breaths guy...one more chapter left to the end of the main story! Ahhhhhhhh~