Joy of Life - Chapter 665 - Desire To Quell A Rebellion[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:50:34]
Chapter 665: Desire To Quell A Rebellion
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The Qing Kingdom had sent 10,000 troops to be stationed, but they could not all be housed around Dongyi. Although the city was the biggest one in the world and could handle that number of troops, the new army camp, which should have been built in five days, had yet to be completed. Part of the Qing army had to be housed in a temporary camp.
In the end, 5,600 troops were left in Dongyi. The rest of the people were stationed in various surrounding vassal states as suppression and to intimidate.
After the Great Prince participated in the banquet, he did not hurry to rest. Instead, he waved gently at Fan Xian. The two of them slipped into a silent study.
The Great Prince was silent for a moment. He took out a letter from his clothes. Fan Xian glanced at it. Seeing the style of the letter, he prepared to kneel and receive the Emperor’s secret edict. Unexpectedly, he was stopped by the Great Prince.
“There’s only the two of us. There is no need for your knees to suffer.” The Great Prince gently shook his head.
Fan Xian smiled and did not make a formal greeting. Taking the Emperor’s secret edict from his hands, he opened the seal and read it carefully. He sank into thought and did not speak for a long time.
“I’m to return to the capital. You’re here to take my place for three months.” In the letter, the Emperor’s tone was warm. There was an affection for Fan Xian that he could not hide. Fan Xian felt relaxed. It was reflected in his tone when he spoke to the Great Prince. “This arrangement is viable. The problem is that when you return to the capital, I’ll have to come take over from you again. Are the two of us permanently on business trips to Dongyi?”
In order to subjugate Dongyi with as little disturbance as possible, and to use as little national wealth and military power as possible, the Great Prince and Fan Xian, two sons of the Emperor with blood connections to Dongyi, were, without question, the best choices.
Although Sigu Jian’s will during the opening ceremony wholeheartedly pulled Fan Xian onto the path of being a Dongyi citizen and targeted the Emperor’s heart, the Emperor was a wise man. How could he not understand this ploy? He went with the flow and changed his initial plan. He sent the Great Prince to lead the Qing army that was to be stationed in Dongyi.
Regardless of whether it was the Great Prince or Fan Xian, they were both half Dongyi. When it came to conquering the hearts of the Dongyi people, this was the best weapon. Every time those who were conquered thought about the fact that the Qing noble riding above them was half a Dongyi person, they would presumably feel much better about it.
In particular, the Great Prince was a proper prince. His mother’s identity was known to the world. With him stationed at Dongyi, it also represented the intertwined bloodline between the Qing Kingdom and Dongyi. To truly conquer a territory, the mixing of blood was the best weapon.
The Emperor saw very far and deep. But, the Emperor would not allow both the Great Prince and Fan Xian to linger for a long time within Dongyi. First, he only had these two grown princes at his side. He needed to them to help him with state affairs and military matters. Second, the two of them were too far from Jingdou. As neither prince was much like the Li family, the Emperor had a faint worry.
Fan Xian understood these worries well and was not surprised by the Emperor’s instructions in the secret edict for him and the Great Prince to rotate places. He was just concerned about the future.
“There always needs to be someone stationed in Dongyi.” He looked at the Great Prince and asked, “What is the Emperor’s plan? Will it be you or me?”
“I’m not sure.” A faint worry appeared between the Great Prince’s brows. He was not a common official or person of the Qing Kingdom. Although he felt incomparably happy and stunned that Fan Xian was able to convince Sigu Jian without a drop of blood, subdue the Sword Hut, and swallow the lands and people of Dongyi into the Qing Kingdom, he was more worried about whether this process could smoothly proceed forward.
Although the Qing Iron Riders had effectively intimidated most of the Dongyi people, the behavior of the Sword Hut disciples put the Great Prince on guard.
He glanced deeply at Fan Xian and said, “Concerning the matter of the Sword Hut, although the Emperor does not say so explicitly, it is clear that he is not happy about it.”
“At that time, I had no choice. I could either take over the Sword Hut or start again from the beginning.” Fan Xian laughed coldly. “Do you think I want to be the meat stuck between hard buns?”
“Father’s meaning is clear. You have to at least go back and debrief…” The Great Prince furrowed his brows slightly and sighed. “I am just taking over from you temporarily. Father won’t be at ease leaving me in Dongyi for a long time.”
Fan Xian sank into silence and knew that the Great Prince was speaking from his heart. The Great Prince had always shown care toward Dongyi. After all, Lady Ning had exhorted to him for many years. He also now held military authority. The Emperor would rather have Fan Xian stay in Dongyi than hand it over to the Great Prince.
Splitting territory and crowning kings was not a difficult matter. What was difficult was how the land should be split and who should be king.
“The Emperor isn’t rushing me back. I’ll stay for a while and help you tidy up the situation,” Fan Xian said. “Once the situation is stable, I’ll go back to the capital.”
The Great Prince nodded. “The Overwatch Council still needs you to run it, presumably father will not have you always be away from Jingdou. After you return to Jingdou, have a poke around and see what plans there are for Dongyi.”
“You’re worried the Emperor will send an aggressive figure who will incite the Dongyi people into an uprising?” Fan Xian looked at him with a smile. “You have me handling things here. Don’t worry too much, you half Dongyi person.”
His tone became serious. “Even if you are worried, you have to bury it deep and not let others see it.”
The Great Prince knew that his younger brother was truly looking out for him and felt very touched. He nodded in understanding.
“Is Chen Pingping getting ready to leave?” Fan Xian took a sip of cold tea, feeling his mouth was rather dry. Lifting his gaze, he glanced at him. The Great Prince was close to Chen Pingping, so he was very aware of what was happening at Chen Garden.
“He is already getting ready. He went into the Palace a few days ago to take his leave.” The Great Prince did not know that the Director Chen that he saw as an uncle had previously developed treasonous thoughts against his father, so he did not take the matter seriously. He only thought Director Chen was indeed getting old and should retire. Thinking about the fact that he didn’t know when he would see Director Chen again after leaving Jingdou, the Great Prince actually felt slightly dazed.
Fan Xian was silent. After calculating for a long time, he put aside that matter and asked, “The troops that came to Dongyi, are they actually all from the Western Expedition Army? Can you control them completely?”
“The soldiers are all veterans, but the middle generals are all people I’m unfamiliar with,” the Great Prince said coldly as he narrowed his eyes slightly.
The next few days were still hard pressed and overwrought. Many complicated ceremonies happened everywhere in Dongyi. Fortunately, the Board of Rites and Honglu Temple had sent a large number of capable officials. Only this prevented Fan Xian from vomiting at these events.
What truly pressed down on him was a mass uprising in the Liang Kingdom, a small place to the northwest of Dongyi. During that uprising against the Qing invaders, a well-respected scholar of the Liang Kingdom self-immolated. As the black smoke rose, it immediately lit the fire of hatred in the hearts of the Liang people.
Only now did Fan Xian understand how naïve his initial thoughts were. It was impossible to truly subdue a foreign country completely without the use of soldiers and bloodshed.
The Great Prince had already led the army to quell the uprising. Before he left, Fan Xian had warned him that the Qing army was not to attack unless absolutely necessary. Once the Qing army was stained with the blood of Dongyi people, it would be impossible to wash away. That kind of hatred would never be defused.
Following the plan, the Great Prince sent a sternly worded message toward the manor of the Master of Dongyi, reproaching the Master of the City, Yun Zhilan. He urged the manor of the Master of the City to take the lead with local officials and military as the vanguard in taking action against the uprising in the Liang Kingdom while the Qing army acted as a rear guard, maintaining a certain distance.
After the Great Prince and Yun Zhilan both left Dongyi, all affairs were handed to Fan Xian to deal with. He had hidden out by the seaside thinking of the endless matters in Dongyi like the always burning fires of the stars. A wave of irritation washed over him.
Having the manor of the Master of the City subdue matters would be better. It was kind of like the puppet armies in his previous life. Fan Xian sat on a large stone by the sea and laughed somewhat bitterly. He knew that no matter what he did, no matter how much Sigu Jian’s final words and the disciples of the Sword Hut cooperated with him, he still could not change the fact that in the hearts of the Dongyi people, he was a hateful invader.
“What exactly do you want to do about the matter of the Liang Kingdom?” Thirteenth Wang, who had grown increasingly silent these few months, was sitting by his side. He suddenly asked, “Do you want the army to massacre the people?”
“The manor of the Master of the City doesn’t have an army. They only have the power and status they’ve developed over the years.” Fan Xian knew why Thirteenth Wang was asking this. He was a Dongyi person. At this moment, he had to suppress what he saw as a righteous uprising in the Liang Kingdom. Presumably, his emotions were complicated. He paused for a moment and then quietly said, “I have given instructions to minimize casualties as much as possible.”
“In the end, people will die. Once the knife falls, how can you control it?” Thirteenth Wang’s gaze was frustrated. He kept his eyes focused on the rising and falling waves on the sea.
Fan Xian turned his head to glance at him. His expression gradually grew stern. “Did you know the scholar who self-immolated?”
“In the past, Sir Gu often came to the Sword Hut to talk to the teacher,” Thirteenth Wang replied.
Fan Xian shook his head and said, “There are many unknown talented individuals in the world. Although I have never met this Sir Gu, presumably be was an incredible person. The uprising in the Liang Kingdom started because of him, yet I am unable to punish him. As for his clan, you can relax, I will protect them. Sir Gu’s memorial hall will also be erected quickly after the matter.”
Thirteenth Wang looked at him dazedly and said after a long time, “You don’t truly respect him. You are only putting on this show to comfort the people of the Liang Kingdom.”
“This is a trick all invaders will do.” Fan Xian’s expression was dim. “For you to be able to think of this surprises me. Thirteen, you are becoming quite remarkable.”
“I’ve seen too much. It’s is impossible to stay so simple.” Thirteenth Wang stared into his eyes. “You once promised the teacher that the Dongyi people would not bleed.”
“I don’t like to see blood being spilled. Otherwise, why would I have gotten tied to this mess by your Sword Hut?” Fan Xian smiled self-mockingly but his smile gradually became icy cold. “The blood that needs to be spilled will be spilled. If the uprisings continue, it will become like a whirlpool and swallow Dongyi whole. At that time, even more people will die.”
He turned his head and looked calmly at Thirteenth Wang. “I know what you are angry about and what you are unhappy about, but look at my eyes and think about what I’ve sacrificed. Don’t forget, if I was only thinking about my own interests, the Qing army could come and I could be completely uninvolved. At most, I’ll cry a little for the innocent people of Dongyi. Why would I torment myself to such a degree?”
“If the two sides meet in battle, Dongyi is certain to fall. At that time, the dead would be counted in the hundreds of thousands,” Fan Xian said with his eyes closed. “My life philosophy is simple, Since this matter cannot be stopped, then the fewer people that die the better.”
“There is little difference between the lives of 10 people and 10,000 people,” Thirteenth Wang said.
“Wrong,” Fan Xian said without hesitation. “I am not interested in whether or not life has a price. I only know that each person’s life is unique. A hundred-thousand unique lives are definitely more important than 10, 100, 1,000.”
“If the heavens gave me a multiple choice question, comparing the lives of 100,000 people against the lives of 99,999 lives, I would choose the former because there is one more in the former.”
“The people of Dongyi should learn to be grateful to me.” Fan Xian looked into Thirteenth Wang’s eyes. “I have allowed many people who would certainly have died to continue living.”
After a long silence, Thirteenth Wang said, “But, these people did not need to die anyway.”
“The Emperor’s project requires them to die, so they must die.” Fan Xian rose from the large rock. “Even your teacher didn’t manage to stop him, so you should understand the pressure I am under.”
Fan Xian dusted the sand from his bottom and glanced at the endless ocean with narrowed eyes. “Sometimes, I realize that I’ve almost become LNP [JW1] .”
“What is LNP?”
“An inhuman description.” Fan Xian shrugged. “Thinking back closely, I am not LNP. It’s just that I wanted to do this. I am not someone who will die for an ideal or cause such as the self-immolating Sir Gu. I am just someone who will run away and is very good at running away.”
Then, he turned around and looked at Thirteenth Wang. Calmly, he said, “That day I talked with Sigu Jian in the room, you should have heard the contents of our conversation. Concerning the Tyrannical zhenqi, have you come to any realizations?”
[JW1] The original text uses an acronym. If just the adjectives are stated, it wouldn’t make sense for Thirteenth Wang to not understand. It translates to “lofty, noble, perfect.”