Even though this wasn’t the time to be amazed, Zhou Qi still couldn’t help but admire the craftsmanship of this huge ship.
Looking at the five-sail design that was different from other ships, the armor that could be flipped around, and the interior design… It wasn’t hard to imagine how much blood and sweat it cost the Princess. And to think that originally, the Princess wanted a thousand people to pull the ship and gift it to the Emperor. This filial piety was moving. What kind of expression would the Emperor make after he finds out?
Time was tight and the two parted ways. Wu Heng spent money to encourage people to join.
Zhou Qi went to find the local governor since Huaihe’s governor was the most thankful for Gong Yi Mo. Because of her plan, Huaihe would be the converging point of the north and south in the future. You can imagine how rich Huaihe would become in the future.
That was why when he heard Zhou Qi’s request and learned of the Princess’ wishes, the governor took the risk of being accused of rebellion against the Emperor; he quickly ordered his men to beat the drums and release the announcement!
“The Crown Prince’s life is in danger and yet he was dismissed and pressured to rush back to the capital to receive his punishment! Is there any reason to treat him this way?”
In addition, the gossip mongers spared no effort to spread the news, not just because they were paid, but also because of their anger at this injustice, and with their tacit consent from the local governor.
“The poor Princess was angered to the point of coughing up blood by those people in the capital. Besides, the Crown Prince is in no shape to move right now! The Princess promised that by the time they return to Hengshui, the waterway would be open, but she fears that the boat would travel too slowly and won’t be able to make it to the capital in time. That’s why she’s seeking people to pull the boat! I am someone who once received her benevolence and am willing to do anything to help her!”
“The Princess’ kindness can move both the sun and moon! Now that she had been framed by others, us ordinary people must settle the grievances for her! I, Liu Qing, am the first to join in the mission to escort the Princess safely back to the capital!”
“Send the Princess back to the capital!”
What they didn’t expect was that the students were even more enthusiastic than they were!
None of them went to school today. They not only volunteered to pull the boat, but also went on the streets recruiting more to help them!
“The Princess has done much for us students! Her dedication to the country and its people are no less than that of any man! All of us are willing to escort the Princess back to the capital! Every student in Huaihe shall be absent today!”
“The Crown Prince and Princess did so many good things, but they didn’t even receive any of the rewards they deserved. Now, even the construction of the canal has been delayed due to those short-sighted people in the capital. Who’s good and who’s bad is obvious at first glance! No matter who comes to fix the canal in the future, this old man will only ever recognize the Crown Prince!”
“Let’s all escort the Princess back to the capital and plead for the Crown Prince! They do not harbor wicked thoughts, they are good people!”
For a whole morning, the people in the town seemed to have gone crazy. Students and ordinary civilians wandered the streets, even many fellow women signed up to help this woman hero!
Quickly, there were more and more people. They filled up the entire port! Zhou Qi was stunned, he didn’t expect the Princess to have such an effect on people!
Wu Heng was so pleased that his eyebrows almost disappeared into his hairline! His clever eyes instantly locked onto those students. Those students had the highest status as scholars. After they arrive at the capital, they may be able to help the Princess!
That’s why he continuously bowed and looked at these people. He courteously spoke.
“I never expected everyone in Huaihe to be such righteous people! Now that the Princess and the Crown Prince have been falsely accused and have been ordered to return to the capital with haste, I am grateful for everyone who came here today. However, I want to choose a few people with prestige and ability to come with me that can offer some help in front of the Emperor’s wrath. I am not blaming any of you.”
Even though some people were disappointed when they heard that they couldn’t assist the Princess, they weren’t angry. They were all clear that only those who were scholars, doctors, officials and the like had weight to their words!