The Southwest citizens had suffered under the exploitation of corrupt officials, natural disasters, and man-made disasters, they were already unable to see the hope of living. Obedience to the imperial household would only lead to a dead end, the only way out was to raise the rebel banner, with this mentality, the Southwest citizens banded together to overthrow Da Qi. As the saying goes, even a dog will turn around and bite when backed into a corner, so they bravely confronted the imperial soldiers, and very quickly, they took over large tracts of the Southwest’s land.
In these kinds of circumstances, the usual way of handling it was to send the army to steam roll the rebels, otherwise, the situation was simply unlikely to quiet down. But Zhou Yun Sheng was, after all, a man from the future, he didn’t appreciate the ancient’s poisonous ‘the Emperor acts alone’, ‘Imperial power reigns supreme’, ‘a human life is as insignificant as a mustard seed’, feudalistic ideas. Although he was very ruthless, that was when he was dealing with the enemy, when dealing with innocent suffering people, he was willing to use a more moderate way to solve the problem. As he already said, as long as he was sitting on Da Qi’s throne, he would be a good Emperor, and take care of his people.
He ordered the army to disperse the nearby rebels, then arrested all the Southwest officials and gave them a thorough trial. According to the severity of their crime, he openly sentenced them, then had their sentence results spread out by word of mouth. In the end, of the Southwest’s 74 large and small officials, 16 were sacked and exiled, and 55 would be publicly beheaded. Because the last three’s crimes were too serious, not only was their whole family convicted, the men themselves would receive death of a thousand cuts.
“Don’t kill the 58 people for the time being, wait for the day I offer sacrifices to heaven, their blood will be used to comfort the people. Master Luo, send men to spread the news that I’ll be offering sacrifices to heaven to pray for rain. Say that I am the real Son of Heaven, and will certainly send up an imperial decree to make the Heavens send down the needed rain. As long as the rebel army’s citizens peacefully return to farming, I won’t hold them to account. I’ll not only return their stolen farmland, I’ll also exempt them from taxation for three years, and from then on, I’ll send an imperial envoy to secretly inspect the country every year. If they find an official raising taxes without authorization, I will severely punish them!” Zhou Yun Sheng fiddled with the rain calling tool in his hands, his attitude was casual, but his tone was full of killing intent.
Luo Zhen admired the Emperor’s care for the common people, but he was also worried that his responses were too mild. Although the Southwest’s chaos hadn’t increased, it was even more turbulent, so he persuaded, “Your Majesty, the decrees you issued are indeed very wise, but please reconsider offering sacrifices for rain. Wouldn’t saying you’ll offer sacrifices to bring rain attract an angry mob? If the rain prayer fails, I fear that they’ll spread rumors that your destiny has reach its end, you’re not blessed by Heaven, you’re not the real Dragon Emperor, and so on. Rather that receiving their criticism for no reason, wouldn’t it be better to have the Qin Tian official be responsible for the rain prayer? What do you think?”
“No, keep the decree, I am the true Dragon Emperor, I will send up an imperial decree to make the Heavens send down rain to the Southwest. The declaration should be written boldly like this, there’s no need to use vague and subtle brush strokes.” Zhou Yun Sheng counted on his fingers, then said “The rain prayer shouldn’t be delayed, I’ve calculated, it needs to be set two days after we reach the top of Fei Lai Mountain, send men down to prepare.”
Luo Zhen painstakingly tried to persuade him, then glanced at the silently standing beside him Duke Yu Gou, surprised to see him looking on in concentration, like he was listening to the Emperor’s every order.
Whatever, since ancient times, how many Emperors offered prayers for rain, and how many were successful? But even if the rebel army used the failure as an excuse to attack the Emperor, as long as Zhao Xuan was here, the upheaval could still be stomped out. Thinking of this, Luo Zhen had no choice but to bow and take his leave, but Zhao Xuan stood in place, he seemed to have something to ask.
“Ask whatever you wish to know.” Zhou Yun Sheng spread out the Fei Lai Mountain map, using the conversion method in the Book of Changes to find the best position to call rain. His background was really complex, he came from the interstellar era where science and technology was very developed, and later, he was sent to a world of immortal cultivation, western fantasy, and other worlds. Although he was now just a mortal, he couldn’t topple mountains and overturn seas, with the combination of his scientific knowledge and teachings of yin and yang, calling down heavy rain was still fairly easy. Recalling the past life, after Qi Jin Yu pacified the rebellion, the Heavens suddenly sent down days of heavy rain, nourishing the Southwest’s dry, cracked soil, giving the people hope of survival.
It’s unknown who started it, but this timely rain was placed on Qi Jin Yu’s head, saying that the Gong Prince was ordained by heaven, his good fortune was deep, and he possessed a lucky aura. These remarks circulated throughout the Southwest, and as a result, after Qi Jin Yu sent troops to rescue the king, the Southwest citizens were the first to accept him.
Zhou Yun Sheng had calculated it, that natural heavy rain was at least two months away, but the longer he delayed this, whether it was the citizens or the imperial army, the casualties would be disastrous. He couldn’t afford to delay, and he didn’t have Qi Jin Yu’s protagonist halo- he couldn’t casually say a few noble sounding words and appease an angry mob- so he could only come up with this kind of unpredictable method to awe them.
Zhao Xuan step forward half a step, cupped his hands and asked, “Your Majesty, how do you plan to call rain? Can it be done?”
“It can be done.” Zhou Yun Sheng raised his brush and marked the map, slowly explaining, “The rain is in the clouds. When the small water droplets collide with each other and condense into large water droplets in the clouds, it will turn into rainfall. There are many ways to make the small droplets condense, you can disperse solid particles into the clouds to increase the weight of the water droplets. You can also release an electric current, light waves, sound waves and other things to stimulate the clouds to rub against each other and condense into raindrops. The reason why priests usually pray for rain by beating drums and shouting, is because they’re releasing sound waves towards the sky. Although the success rate of rainfall is very low, it’s not entirely impossible. What I’m going to do is identify the location where the water vapor is most concentrated and use the four tubes, then I can have at least a 70% or 80% chance to get heavy rain.”
The electric current, light waves, sound waves and other things the Emperor mentioned were foreign to Zhao Xuan, but inexplicably, he actually felt like he understood, and couldn’t help nodding in agreement.
Zhou Yun Sheng picked up one of the logs shaped into a tube and said, “This is a rain caller, it’ll help me send the electric current, light and sound waves directly into the clouds. You shaved the logs for so many days, Duke You Gou really worked hard.”
As it turns out, the Emperor had unexpectedly handed such an important errand over to him, Zhao Xuan’s mood brightened, his eyes unconsciously shining in delight.
The imperial declaration quickly spread throughout the Southwest by word of mouth. The rebel army learned that the Emperor personally came, and even had the known as Da Qi’s War God, Duke Yu Gou at his side. If he sicked his Tiger Wolf Northwest Army on them, in not even a few days, their ten thousand men strong rebel army would be crushed. If they could live comfortably, who would want to do such a dangerous thing like take up arms? Not only did the Emperor say that he wouldn’t hold them to account, he would also return the farmlands to everyone, so it was better to lay down their machetes and return to farming. This idea was shared among the vast majority of peasants, but Chen Shisan, the peasant leader of the rebel army, was extremely opposed. During the course of the rebellion, he gradually enjoyed the benefits of having power, and unexpectedly completely lost his senses. He thought he could overthrow Da Qi and establish a new dynasty, become the new Emperor.
If his brothers quit at this time, his dream of becoming Emperor would be completely out of reach, how could he be willing? He ordered his subordinates to find a copy of the declaration and read it over, then sneered, “Inform the brothers, we’ll wait and see for the time being. When that dog Emperor’s rain prayer fails, we’ll say that he was rejected by the Heavens for being tyrannical and abusive, and killing him is for the sake of Heaven, it’s a gift to the world to protect all the people. Whoever is able to take his head, who is the Lord of salvation, will receive immeasurable merit.”
The subordinates sighed in admiration and shouted agreements, but one of them hesitatingly asked, “Brother Chen, what if the dog Emperor actually calls down rain? What do we do??
His voice had barely faded before Chen Shisan burst out into laughter and mocked, “The Southwest has been suffering from drought all these years, you saw those dog officials snatch hundreds of cattle and sheep, and virgin boys and girls to sacrifice to the Dragon God, but how much rain did we get? None! It’s obvious that Da Qi’s fate has reached its limit, even the Heavens are no longer willing to look at us. Look at how crazily this declaration is written, ‘send an imperial decree up to order the Heavens to send down rain’, does that dog Emperor think he’s a god? Don’t ask for rain, it’ll be a miracle if he isn’t struck down by clear sky lightning on the spot.”
The subordinates laughed heartily, as if they’d already seen the dog Emperor’s charred black corpse.
The upper reaches of the rebel army refused to easily give up after getting a taste of power, so they scoffed at the so-called ‘rain prayer’, but the lower level people were still reverent of imperial power, and were secretly looking forward to the event. However, regardless of whether the rebel army was united, the spread of the declaration had its intended effect, the Southwest war had temporarily stopped.
Two days later, at the top of the Southwest’s highest mountain, Fei Lai Mountain, the army built a high platform with planks, a number of sky drums were erected all around the platform, and Zhou Yun Sheng put on his most gorgeous dragon robes, and wore his ancient royal crown. He walked up to the edge of the sacrificial alter, then flicked out his sleeves and slowly kneeled, looking up at the sky in silent prayer.
He was once a priest, and a god, with just a little change in expression, he could naturally exude a noble and holy aura. Along with the accompanying officials, many of the citizens that had not participated in the rebellion, and the spies Chen Shisan had sent were also gathered at Fei Lai Mountain. They were stopped from approaching the sacrificial alter by the soldiers, so they set about making a racket and talking constantly, however, when they saw the handsome Emperor resembling an immortal, stepping on clouds and riding the wind, they quieted down, only able to stare at him dumbly.
“Blood sacrifice.” The Emperor was clearly kneeling a few hundred meters away, above on a stage, but this sentence distinctly echoed in everyone’s ears. It was impassioned, like the sound of soldiers colliding with swords, numbing the people’s ears. This was the voice of an Emperor, full of majesty, but also like the sounds of nature.
The vast majority of the citizens didn’t have to wait for the sacrifice to officially start, as soon as the Emperor’s words were taken in, they immediately understood the true meaning of “Blood sacrifice”, and couldn’t help but inwardly cheer.
The corrupt Southwest officials were brought to the stage one by one, the clerk read each name aloud, and the executioner immediately raised his axe and beheaded them. After chopping off 55 heads, they were piled into a human head tower, and only then were the remaining three men brought into the open, blood soaked space. They were the Southwest Provincial Governor, the Southwest Inspector-General, and the Southwest Circuit Intendant, after the suicide of the Southwest Governor-General, they could be regarded as the three most powerful people in the Southwest. The once prosperous three were now in miserable conditions, fastened to a torture rack, the executioner’s blade slicing into their flesh.
Death of a thousand cuts was undoubtedly Da Qi’s most cruel criminal sentence, common people have only ever heard of it, never seen, so even though they hated the three men, they still covered up their eyes, or turned their faces away. The accompanying officials all stared at their feet, similarly not daring to watch. In no less than three thousand six hundred cuts, the three men finally no longer breathed, the open space under the tall platform was soaked scarlet, and an extremely thick, nauseating smell of blood tainted the air.
The common people peeked at the Emperor’s face through their fingers, seeing his eyes pitch-black and deep, his expression not pleased or angry, he didn’t look like a mortal, he looked more like a merciless god. Suddenly, they gained a deeper understanding on the meaning behind the term ‘Son of Heaven’. The thrill of the corrupt officials being beheaded dissipated, gradually replaced by endless reverence- towards the Heavens, the gods, and imperial power.
Zhou Yun Sheng had arranged an amplifier on the platform, enough to spread his voice throughout Fei Lai Mountain’s summit. His lips opened slightly, and he lightly said, “Start the music.”
The musicians kneeling at the edge of the platform began playing the traditional sacrificial music, and the more physically built soldiers were standing in front of the drums, thumping wildly. Stepping on the powerful and resonating drum beats, Zhou Yun Sheng installed the rain callers one by one, pointing them at the most water vapor rich “Divination” direction. Then he fixed copper mirrors into the rain callers, which would reflect the sun’s light into the clouds, one by one, the beams of light overlaid, eventually forming a huge pillar of light, from a distance, it resembled the legendary golden light that descends after reaching the path of heavenly virtue, it shined into their eyes, shaking the people’s hearts and souls.
Don’t say that the audience was dumbstruck, even the experienced and knowledgeable court officials were stunned, kneeling down in fear and reverence, shouting long live Your Majesty. What was a true Dragon Emperor? To be able to readily attract such a bright golden light of virtue, this was the true Dragon Emperor!
The common people saw the ministers and imperial guards kneeling and woke up from their shock, falling to their knees in quick succession, a thousand mouths frantically shouting ‘long live’. The rebel army spies came to make the atmosphere rowdy, then incite the people after the rain prayer failed, but they never expected to see such a miraculous scene. Suddenly more and more lifeless, they prostrated themselves before the Emperor, unable to get up for a long time.
Zhou Yun Sheng adjusted the rain callers, then wrote down an imperial edict on the spot, calling to lightning goddess Dian Mu to quickly send rain clouds towards the Southwest, to save the people from distress. He ordered the Qin Tian official to throw firewood into the huge copper cauldron and ignite the bunch into a roaring fire, then he read out the imperial decree and tossed it into the scarlet flames. The imperial edict instantly combusted, changing into billowing thick smoke floating up to the sky, then the wind suddenly blew it towards the “Divination” position, fusing together with the huge light pillar.
Zhou Yun Sheng raised his hand to test the air’s humidity level, and knew that the rain prayer performance had succeeded. He once again kneeled down in prayer, and recited the ‘Great Compassion’ mantra in the most pure Sanskrit. The Emperor’s voice was clear and melodious, like precious stones, coupled with the Sanskrit and mysteriously misty pronunciation, he sounded like a Ninth Heaven oracle, making all those who listened feel relaxed and happy, their hearts filling with reverence.
Even the officials were too enraptured to get up, not to mention the civilians, the previously noisy Fei Lai Mountain was now completely silent, except for the Emperor’s prayer, there was no other sound. About a quarter of an hour later, the blaze inside the copper cauldron slowly extinguished, but the black smoke didn’t dissipate in the sky, on the contrary, it thickened, unknowingly turning into a large dark cloud. The dark cloud was like a hood, wrapping Fei Lai Mountain’s summit in darkness.
Someone exclaimed, “Rain! The Heavens received the Emperor’s decree, they really sent rain!”
The imperial decree finished burning and dark clouds immediately started drifting over, it was difficult for even the most cynical men to call this marvel a coincidence. How on earth could there be such an astounding coincidence?
“Long live the Emperor!”
“The Emperor is certainly not a man, he’s an Immortal!”
“A god has descended to the world, he’s come to protect Da Qi!”
“Oh, we’re saved! The Emperor really is the true Dragon Emperor, even the Heavens have to listen to his orders!”
The citizens kowtowed and cried out in excitement.
“It’s not raining yet, don’t count your chickens….” The rebel spies pushed out rebuttals, but before their voices faded, bean sized rain drops immediately plopped down, ice-cold water splashing onto their faces. Suddenly dumbfounded, they looked up at the platform. The Emperor had stood up and was walking off the platform, a trace of killing intent in his eyes. Except for kneeling down in worship, the rebels couldn’t afford to think of any other ideas. The person they banded together to overthrow was unexpectedly such a matchlessly powerful, and incomprehensible character. What did it mean to ‘produce clouds with one turn of the hand and rain with another’? This was it. Before now, they always thought this saying was just exaggerated, they never thought such a god-like man would actually exist.
The rebel army’s slogan, “We Move by Heaven’s Light”, suddenly seemed like a big joke.
The rain was falling heavier and heavier, it seemed to have majestic momentum. Zhou Yun Sheng took off his heavy crown and stepped into the open space where the guilty officials were just beheaded. The blood mixed with the rain water, splashing up scarlet sprays, contaminating his bright yellow imperial boots and robes. His black hair hung loose, and he was soaked from head to toe, but it didn’t diminish his grace in the slightest. He looked solemn, noble, imposing, causing the citizens and the officials to fall over in prostration one after another.
Zhao Xuan was hidden in the rear of the crowd, his dark eyes glued to the drenched yet even more alluring Emperor. He loved his holy expression and indifferent eyes, and wanted to possess him even more, to let him transform from a merciless god to a flesh and blood man. If his holy face was contaminated by crimson lust, his indifferent eyes clouded by a mist of desire, the scene would certainly be beautiful and soul-stirring. Although the rain was pouring down on his body, Zhao Xuan still felt very thirsty, he licked his dry lips, and quietly disappeared into the crowd.
Zhou Yun Sheng quickly returned to the Southwest governor’s residence after ceremony. Lin Ann had already prepared hot water and ginger soup, and waited upon him as he washed.
After changing into clean casual clothes, Zhou Yun Sheng fell onto the couch and let out a comfortable sigh. The copper furnace was ignited with some kind of sandalwood, the smell of which was actually starting to make him feel dizzy.
Fuck, that animal’s here again. Are you still not finished? Can’t you just make love to me openly for once? Zhou Yun Sheng clutched his forehead, grinding his teeth in dark thoughts. Soon, Zhao Xuan, wearing all black, sneaked into the house, chuckling, he brought the collapsed onto the couch Emperor into his arms, and skillfully blindfolded him.
“Reveal your true face at once if you have the guts! Don’t do these surreptitious things!”
“You’re the only person in the world that knows I’m a coward!” Zhao Xuan laughed more wantonly as he neatly stripped off the Emperor’s casual clothes and took a set of dragon robes out from the clothes trunk to dress him in.
“I really liked seeing you in these dragon robes, you’re not only beautiful, but also noble. I’m positive I must’ve saved the common people in my former life, so the Heavens gave you to me in this life.” His voice was husky, his hands never pausing.
I was given to you by the Heavens? If I was someone else, you’d be a fucking rapist, you know that?! Zhou Yun Sheng considered cursing him out, but Zhao Xuan blocked his mouth, kissing him wildly. When he opened his eyes again, not a soul was in sight, but a blood red Chinese rose was on top of his pillow, and 008 had more code snippets. Zhou Yun Sheng smashed all the furnishings in his room, then called Zhao Xuan over, pointing to his nose as he cursed, “What kind of guard captain are you? Just now an assassin came in, and you didn’t even notice! If not for my outstanding martial arts, I would’ve already died a few hundred times!”
His sweetheart really did have incredible martial arts, he almost squeezed him dry last night. Zhao Xuan’s expression was fearful, but his heart was trapped in a sweet memory, seeing the Emperor pick up a whip as if to flog him, he started trembling in excitement.
Zhou Yun Sheng felt a chill all of a sudden, he raised his arm a few times, but finally couldn’t bring it down, he tossed the whip away and growled: “Get out! Search the city at once, bring that bandit to me!”
Zhao Xuan felt quite disappointed, but then he started thinking that the Emperor’s heart was not able to bear hurting him, and his mood brightened. He led his men to clean out all the rebel parties.
The heavy rain fell for a full three days and three nights, by the fourth day, the Emperor’s rainfall marvel spread throughout the Southwest. The rebel army’s “We Move by Heaven’s Light” slogan was no longer able to resonate with the people, no one was willing to defy a god. The peasants who were part of the rebel army tossed aside their weapons and fled their home villages overnight. They fearfully hid for a few days, but after seeing that the court truly wasn’t sending troops after them, but was even counting up and dividing the farmland among the people, opening up the granaries and distributing food, providing work to relieve poverty, and declaring decrees that greatly improved the disaster victims’ lives, they traveled back to reunite with their families.
Half a month later, less than two thousand people remained of the more than one hundred thousand man rebel army. They were driven away by the imperial army and slowly dispersed, reduced to a few scattered rebel bands, who started killing and looting wherever they went, completely ruining their reputation. At this point, Zhou Yun Sheng didn’t have to be courteous with them, so he ordered the army to surround and wipe them out.
After properly dealing with every trivial matter, Zhou Yun Sheng decided to leave the Southwest on the day the natural heavy rain would fall. When the citizens lining the streets to see him off felt light drizzle, their reverence for the Emperor rose to an unmatched height. Even Luo Zhen and the other officials were gazing at the Emperor as if looking at a god. They reflected over the rain prayer scene over and over, and decided to write it all down in a biography after they returned, so the future generations could pay tribute.
At this moment, Zhou Yun Sheng didn’t know, because of his people-oriented concept of governance, advanced scientific knowledge, governing policies, and his mystical ability to order Heaven, his evaluation in the history books far surpassed Da Qi’s 24 other monarchs. He’ll be labeled as the Holy Emperor by future generations, and even scientists will constantly study him, trying to prove that the Holy Emperor came from a space of more developed technology, otherwise, how could his knowledge of astronomy, geography, art of war, and his extreme versatility and progressive viewpoints be at least thousands of years ahead of everyone else?
But no matter how future people evaluated him, the current Zhou Yun Sheng didn’t care. His goals were very simple: One, get revenge; two, govern this turbulent country that had sunk into chaos because of his previous muddle-headedness. Now that the Southwest’s chaos was pacified, it was time to settle his private debts.
Qin Tian official- official in charge of observing the astronomical phenomena, formulating calendars, etc.
Fuck, that animal’s here again. Are you still not finished? Can’t you just make love to me openly for once?– 媽的，那牲口又來了，還有完沒完？能不能讓我明明白白，清清楚楚的爽一次？- Unsure of translation. The author has a way of saying everything while saying nothing when it comes to sex. But I’m pretty sure ZYS’ just asking to be fucked without being blindfolded and drugged. He repeats the same line later.