Her kowtow frightened all the onlookers, and they could hardly think…For someone as noble as the princess, why would she force herself to kneel?
Gong Yi Mo raised her head and pleaded with a whisper, “Just give me seven days! In seven days, we will leave immediately! After all, if we leave now, whether it be by land or by water, it will take about eleven to twelve days for a troupe as numerous and large as ours to reach the capital. I assure you that as long as you wait here for another seven days, I can still reach the capital within twelve days. Please believe me this time!”
“How is that possible?” Liu Shilang couldn’t believe it.
Gong Yi Mo firmly gazed at him! “I’ll travel through the main water route in seven days! I’ll be heading back to the capital by boat!”
Everyone looked at Gong Yi Mo with doubts. They all knew the progress of the building at Xu Yuan’s side. The last letter received from him said that it would take at least one month to connect the canal to the Longteng River and open the main water route. Moreover, the main route hasn’t been cleared up completely. Generally speaking, ships would be delayed in travel when they encounter floods, strong winds, or rocky beaches. Even if Gong Yi Mo has opened the main waterway on the seventh day, they may not be able to arrive on time in five days.
Gong Yi Mo couldn’t explain her plan. She simply repeated over and over again, “Please believe me! I won’t let you down! I promise this on my name, so please believe in me!”
She had such assurance, eloquence, and sincerity that no one could bear to turn her down. They thought that since the princess had the ability to break apart mountains and stones, perhaps she really just might possess a Godly power that mortals do not have.
It will only take seven days, and the princess assured them that if they arrive within the given time of twelve days, they wouldn’t be blamed for causing a rebellion. They’ve already disobeyed the decree once…they’ll just have to disobey it one more time!
Several people had reached a consensus without discussing it. Liu Shilang supported Gong Yi Mo and raised her up with a hand. She sighed and said in a low voice,
“Our families’ lives are all tied to the princess’ fate! I hope that the princess will keep her promise!”
Gong Yi Mo displayed a smile that was as beautiful as the rain showering from the heavens.
She bowed down gratefully and said, “In this manner, I’ll be taking the first step. Now that prince brother is struggling to survive from the fatal wounds caused by the assassination, please keep this a secret to yourself. I promise that in seven days, I will take you back to the capital by boat!”
“We’ll follow your orders!”
So Gong Yi Mo didn’t dare to delay and immediately left.
As soon as she left, the other laborers didn’t intend to continue their work. Fortunately, they completed building the main canal connecting to the Huaihe River. The water is only held back by a dam. Now, their only hope was that the princess could create a miracle by opening the canal within seven days…
The next day, the sun shone brightly. Many commoners whispered amongst themselves as they watched Gong Che depart with Gong Yi Mo. Before they knew it, the two people they interacted with daily were leaving so soon.
Li Jianzhang, the head of the water department, sighed. He was feeling downtrodden. When he received several inquiries, he explained to the people about the causes and consequences of the incident. However, he didn’t expect the citizen’s reaction to be so strong.
“How could the emperor do that? How can a person as kind as the prince be someone with a rebellious heart?”
“It must be slander against him…Weren’t there a few incidents at the capital in recent years? Among all those princes in the capital, a good number must be jealous!”
“His Royal Highness, the poor Crown Prince is still at death’s door…and yet they’re sullying his name.”
When Lin Jianzhang announced to the people that Gong Yi Mo promised to open the North-South Canal within a week, there were no complaints from the peasant laborers around him. Why didn’t act as if this was an impossible feat? How can they all be so calm about it?
At this time, he heard a shout from a man holding a shovel, saying, “If that was promised by someone else, I wouldn’t believe that person. But if it was that little princess, even if she says she can cover the heavens in a basket, I will readily believe her!”