100% The Prince of Herbs / Chapter 2: Prologue

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Chapter 2: Prologue

After experiencing a miserable period full of war and chaos for decades, finally, the Han Chinese succeeded in driving out the Yuan Dynasty who had oppressed the Han for hundreds of years, thus established a new dynasty.

Founded in 1368 AD, this new dynasty was the well-known Ming Dynasty. The founding Emperor called Zhu Yuanzhang, a man of humble status but due to his perseverance and cleverness then succeeded to ascend the throne and became Emperor, being enthroned as Hongwu Emperor.

Under his iron-fisted, perfectionist, and strict government, the Ming Empire achieved great progress. Ming military power became one of the world's greatest forces at the time. Cultivated land rose to 8,804,623 qing and 68 mu, something not achieved during any other Chinese dynasty. The Capital of the Ming Empire Yingtian (the term for Nanjing during the Ming Dynasty era) was believed to be the most populous city in the world during that period.

The Hongwu Emperor paid much attention to education since he came from an impoverished community and thus unable to get a proper education. He wished that Ming could be a great and prosperous country, filled with civilized and well-educated people. And he hoped the same for his descendants. He was very strict with all of them, no less strict than what he did towards his people because he wished that they could become the noblemen who would set a good example for the whole country. Hongwu Emperor also had a farsighted mind. He did not wish to see his descendants kill each other to ascend the throne, as it usually happened in the tragedies of the struggle for power. From afar before he had determined that it was the Crown Prince, Zhu Biao, who would ascend the throne, while he granted the other sons the title of Fan Wang, then ordered them to head a city he had determined before.

One day, Hongwu Emperor was sitting at the Yellow River dam, staring at the ceaseless blue sky. Suddenly he saw a cluster of bizarre clouds appearing in the sky. Consisting of various color, the clouds layer were incredibly beautiful. This scenery would not exist in a normal situation.

The Emperor stood up in a trice. Those are... Seven colored Clouds * ! Fluttering elegantly like Flying Dragon... Yes, it is unquestionably Seven Colored Clouds! Gasping, he kept looking at the wonderful phenomena for a long time, eyes widened. Then, he thought.

The Seven Colored Clouds always become the Emperor's Symbolism. The Son of Heaven's Symbolism! He who is lightened by them will be the next emperor! But... the clouds appear in Kaifeng, not in the capital where Biao lives... Why?

It can't be... Su?!

He remembered the incident of the Xuanwu Gate that occurred in the Tang Dynasty. The emperor's second son murdered his elder brother and younger brother, then proclaimed himself as the new emperor. Now The Seven Colored Clouds appeared in Kaifeng, where his fifth son Prince Zhu Su was enfeoffed there. The Emperor gritted his teeth. He did not wish to see bloodshed occurred tragically among his sons.

He must do something to prevent it.

...

* Seven Colored Clouds = In ancient Chinese belief, Seven Colored Clouds were considered as an auspicious sign, so there is a Chinese idiom "Xiangyun Ruiqi" or "Rui Caixiangyun", which is translated as "Lucky Color, Propitious Clouds".


CREATORS' THOUGHTS
amelia_siauw amelia_siauw

Hello, all! Thanks a lot for reading this story!

I have a great interest in Chinese history and philosophy, and especially Chinese medicine since I work as a Chinese medicine practitioner. I have done some researches to write this story: based on books, literature, articles, scientific journals, myths, legends, and so on. I have tried my best to search based on factual data, however, maybe I miss some data since I'm not a Chinese citizen, and do not live in China either. To get Chinese real books is so difficult for me (I can only get the softcopy), I sincerely apologize.

But many parts in this novel will not be synchronized with real history since I change them for the continuity of this story, please understand and forgive me.

And please excuse any misspelled words and wrong grammars.

Last but not least, I hope you enjoy this novel!

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