The Seventh Voyage (1431-1433)

It has been 10 years since my last voyage as after we returned in 1422, the Emperor passed away in the year 1424. His son took over as emperor and  canceled the voyages of the Treasure Fleets and ordered ship builders and sailors to stop their work and return home. I was then appointed military commander of Nanjing.

The leadership of Zhu Gaozhi did not last long – he died in 1426 at the age of 26. His son and Zhu Di’s grandson Zhu Zhanji took Zhu Gaozhi’s place. Zhu Zhanji was much more like his grandfather than his father was and in 1430 he resumed the Treasure Fleet voyages by ordering me to resume my  duties as admiral and make a seventh voyage in an attempt to restore peaceful relations with the kingdoms of Malacca and Siam. It took a year to get ready for the voyage which departed as a large expedition with 100 ships and 27,500 men. Now, we are on our way back home after the relations with the envoys of malacca and Siam were a success. I, however, art 60 years of age, fear that this might be my last voyage as I have not been feeling very well. I might not even get to see my beloved homeland for one last time. I am getting weaker by day and thus, will be taking a rest and hopefull, recover long and well enough to see China one last time before i die. May the merciful deities grant me this last dying wish…

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