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Chapter 221: We Fear No Opponents Ahead!
Under the order of the Prefect, all the officials immediately sprang into action. The famished surrounding victims saw this scene and a glimmer of hope ignited within them.
“Are they setting up fires and cooking? Does that mean there’s food?”
“Great! We won’t have to go hungry anymore! But where is the grain?”
“Where is it? Where is the grain?”
Facing the hopeful gaze of the victims, the Prefect glanced at the nearby Embroidered Uniform Guard and reluctantly said, “According to this Embroidered Uniform Guard official’s words, the imperial disaster relief grain will arrive in about an hour! Everyone, please remain calm and be patient a little longer. Soon, there will be food!”
“The imperial disaster relief grain is coming?!”
“Fantastic! We can finally eat to our heart’s content!”
“I was afraid we wouldn’t make it!”
The victims cheered with excitement.
As such, everyone waited with eyes wide open.
Each minute and second felt agonizingly long.
Time flies normally in an hour, but under the current circumstances, it felt so protracted, making everyone’s wait unbearable.
With their hearts set on it, they finally saw, on the other side of the river, a massive fleet coming steadily towards them. The fleet occupied almost the entire river, led by Mo Hongshou and fully loaded.
Although the fleet was enormous, its speed was astonishingly fast. Even the escorting soldiers on the shore had to ride their horses to catch up with it.
The Embroidered Uniform Guard official shouted loudly, and his voice spread across the whole scene, “This is our imperial grain delivery fleet! The ships are filled with grain, enough to relieve millions of victims!”
The victims became even more excited.
“The grain has finally arrived! Haha!”
“What a massive ship! It must be loaded with grain!”
“We can eat to our heart’s content now!”
Even the Prefect of Huazhou breathed a sigh of relief. The imperial grain had finally arrived, and the victims would no longer starve. Half of his burden was lifted.
“Fellow villagers, the imperial grain has arrived, and everyone will have food to eat! Now, please don’t rush, maintain order, and line up! Once the porridge is cooked, we will immediately distribute the grain!”
Everyone formed a long queue, waiting for the grain distribution.
The hovercraft, carrying the expectations of the people, gently docked at the shore.
As soon as it docked, Lin Beifan waved his hand, and the people on the ship immediately began unloading the grain. The officials on the shore, who were already prepared, took the grain and put it into the boiling water to cook porridge.
The porridge cooked quickly, and in less than half an incense stick’s time, the aroma of rice wafted through the air, indicating that it was ready to be eaten.
As a result, the waiting victims excitedly lined up to receive their porridge.
“This rice smells heavenly! It’s so comforting to eat!”
“Sir, could you please give me a bit more? I’ve been hungry for two consecutive days!”
“Sir, I have three children at home, all growing up. Can I have a bit more?”
While the officials were distributing porridge, one of them said, “Rest assured! Everyone will have enough food, the grain supply is sufficient!”
At this moment, the Prefect of Huazhou approached Lin Beifan with a smile, and respectfully cupped his hands, saying, “You must be the imperial envoy, Lin Beifan, the Vice Governor of Dedian Prefecture, and the Principal of the Imperial Academy, right? Haha, I’ve heard about you for a long time!”
Lin Beifan smiled and replied, “You are correct, that’s me! And you must be the local Prefect, right?”
The Prefect bowed again, “I am Li Yuanyou, the Prefect of Huazhou, paying respects to Lord Lin!”
“Mr. Li, we are both appointed officials of the court, serving Her Majesty, no need to be so polite!” Lin Beifan extended his hand and embraced the Prefect, saying with a smile, “Seeing your exhausted appearance, you’ve worked hard these days!”
“You’re absolutely right!” The Prefect smiled bitterly, pouring out his grievances, “These days, I haven’t returned home for three days, working hard to settle the victims and ensure they have something to eat. However, despite all my efforts, I still couldn’t gather enough grain. If you hadn’t arrived in time, I wouldn’t know what to do!”
“I can tell, I can tell! Being able to hold on for four days, Mr. Li, you must have exerted tremendous effort, and it’s definitely not easy! I will report to the court and make a commendation on your behalf!” Lin Beifan said with a smile.
The Prefect was delighted and thanked him, “Thank you, Sir Lin! But I have a question. The distance from the capital to this place is about 800 miles! Even if you travel day and night by boat, it should take eight or nine days! How did you manage to arrive in less than four days?”
“Because we had the heavens’ help!” Lin Beifan pointed at the sky, “Since we boarded the ship, a north wind has been blowing from the north to the south! Coupled with the hidden currents in the water, we relied on the assistance of wind and water to travel southward quickly!”
“No wonder! The heavens have shown mercy and blessings!” The Prefect was extremely excited.
At this moment, a few individuals disguised as victims among the crowd had gloomy expressions while watching the long queue of people receiving porridge.
“This is not good. The imperial grain has arrived, and the prince’s plan is ruined!”
“Yes, who knew the imperial forces would be this fast? It’s only been three days, and they’ve already delivered the grain. What should we do now? If we can’t complete the mission, the prince will punish us!”
“Let’s wait and see if we can incite a riot!”
They stopped discussing further and continued pretending to be victims, lining up to receive their porridge.
After about two hours, all the victims had received their porridge and eaten their fill. Though they were only about 40-50% full, they were already satisfied and no longer in such dire straits.
Moreover, with so much grain from the imperial supply, they no longer had to worry about going hungry in the future.
With hope comes direction.
At this time, the Prefect of Huazhou called Lin Beifan over and loudly proclaimed, “Fellow villagers, allow me to introduce someone! Standing by my side is this remarkable and distinguished young man, the imperial envoy sent by the court for disaster relief! He is Lin Beifan, the Vice Governor of Dedian Prefecture, the Principal of the Imperial Academy, and a high-ranking official in the court!”
The scene erupted in an uproar!
They hadn’t expected that this young official before them was an imperial envoy sent by the court!
And not only that, but he also held multiple prestigious positions, including the Vice Governor of Dedian Prefecture, the Principal of the Imperial Academy, and a high-ranking official in the court…
Each title was remarkably significant!
“Next, let Sir Lin say a few words!” The Prefect led the applause.
“Clap, clap, clap…” Applause resounded throughout the mountains.
Amidst everyone’s anticipation, Lin Beifan spoke loudly, “Fellow countrymen from Southern Jiang, Her Majesty and the court have been deeply concerned about the continuous heavy rain in Southern Jiang. The court has repeatedly issued orders to urge local officials to perform disaster relief work, with the preservation of people’s lives as the top priority!”
“However, fate is beyond human control, and the dreaded calamity of flooding still occurred! Upon hearing that millions of people were displaced, Her Majesty felt heartbroken and immediately ordered to open the granaries and use the entire nation’s strength to aid the victims!”
“The distance from the capital to Huazhou is a total of 800 miles! From opening the granaries to transporting the grain to Huazhou, if everything goes smoothly, it would take at least eight to nine days! However, we managed to do it in just four days!”
“Wow!” Everyone was greatly astonished, and the whole scene buzzed with excitement.
Four days to cover 800 miles!
An average of 200 miles per day!
And they had to transport enough grain for one million people!
Just thinking about it, one could understand the difficulties involved!
It was almost an impossible task!
Yet, the court had miraculously accomplished it!
A person’s irreplicable miracle!
Many people became excited, their hearts filled with fervor. Lin Beifan loudly proclaimed, “The reason I am sharing all this with you is to let everyone know that Her Majesty has never forgotten you! The court has never forgotten you! You may be in Southern Jiang, but you are still the people of Great Wu!”
“As long as you are the people of Great Wu, our Emperor and the court will keep you in their hearts!”
“We will never abandon any Great Wu citizen!”
“Nor will we forsake any Great Wu resident!”
“So, no matter the cost, Great Wu will spare no effort to rescue all of you!”
“Even if it seems impossible, we will still strive to achieve it! Regardless of the price or loss, we will accomplish it!”
“Our Emperor and the court are your strongest support!”
Lin Beifan raised his arm and shouted, “Long live Her Majesty! Long live the court! Long live Great Wu!”
Everyone was moved, joining Lin Beifan in an enthusiastic chorus.
“Long live Her Majesty!”
“Long live the court!”
“Long live Great Wu!”
Their voices thundered, resounding through the sky!
The Prefect standing behind also saw this and was filled with admiration. He followed suit, loudly cheering along.
He glanced at the young figure beside him, filled with admiration. No wonder he managed to rise to a high position within less than a year, gaining favor from both the court and the Empress. His eloquence is truly remarkable!
In just a few words, he ignited everyone’s fighting spirit and significantly boosted the court’s reputation!
“Although we are facing difficulties right now,” Lin Beifan continued to shout, “these challenges are only temporary, and nothing can defeat us! Because we are proud citizens of Great, behind us, we have our wise and martial Emperor, officials in the court who petition for the people, and the entire country!”
“Though the road may be arduous, it is not to be feared! Though the path may be winding, hope lies ahead! My fellow countrymen, let us unite as one, stand strong together, and march forward with our heads held high!”
“Nothing can conquer us!” Lin Beifan raised his arm high and proclaimed, “We fear no opponents ahead!!!”
“We fear no opponents ahead!”
“We fear no opponents ahead!”
Everyone seemed hypnotized, fervently shouting.
One wave after another, the momentum surged, deafeningly loud!
An unprecedented sense of confidence and determination surged within their hearts, as well as trust in the Empress and the court!
The hidden individuals who had been scheming witnessed this scene with their plans collapsing!
Everyone had been swayed, fully embracing the court’s cause, wholeheartedly following the Empress’s commands. How could they still cause any disruptions?
They had driven these million victims out to burden the court, not to strengthen it.
If these one million victims sided with the court, their long-planned schemes would be ruined.
At this moment, a sharp voice sounded, “Stop spewing nonsense! Everyone, don’t listen to him!”