I Am Supreme - Chapter 163
It was about this point that Shangguan Lingxiu, who had been tough and cold the entire time, went lax, walking towards a tree by the side of the drilling ground with hunched shoulders. Under the tree was a stone table with a few stone stools.
Shangguan Lingxiu sat down limply, her eyes gazing faraway as her straight back hunched for the first time.
Gradually, anger clouded her face as she murmured, "The Shangguan Family has splattered its blood far and wide in the mountains and rivers all over Yutang’s territory. Could it just be to protect these people who bite the hands that feed them? What then is the meaning of our sacrifices?! A gentleman will die for the patron who recognizes his worth. The gentlemen have died, but where are the patrons? Have they ever existed in the first place?"
"Generations of the Shangguan Family of Generals have fought in wars for the nation and have never given up. The blood of the men of Shangguan filled the border of the empire just to protect this home that sits behind them! These people who reside in their homes peacefully now call us traitors! Justice in the hearts of the people? Right and wrong will not be swayed by rumors? I must be fooling myself!"
She gritted her teeth as she mumbled to herself in a low voice.
She needed to educate her nephews in a positive manner because they were young, their hearts as pure and untainted as a piece of white paper. If that paper were to be stained with other colors now, it would be hard to clean them up in the future. It would taint the innocence of the Shangguan Family of Generals.
Yet her anger burned far more aggressively in her heart than it did in her nephews who had not yet seen the world. She felt all the more wronged and saddened!
"If you don’t know the truth, can’t you just watch quietly from the side? Why do you attack us widows and orphans just because of hearsay? Where is the conscience of these people?"
"Where is their conscience?"
"Where is their conscience?"
"All of you behave so ruthlessly towards the orphans and widows left by the heroes who sacrificed themselves in wars for the country! "Where is your conscience?"
Shangguang Lingxiu clenched her teeth as she smashed her fist against the stone table, blood splattering everywhere. Her fist had been torn from the force of the blow, but she seemed to not have noticed, shaking and trembling all over.
It was a disappointment that came screaming from within.
It was a feeling of unworthiness that came from her soul.
A soft sigh could be heard coming from behind her.
Shangguan Lingxiu did not bother to turn her head and huffed in irritation. "You’re here again! Are you here to advise me? Is Justice in the hearts of the people? Right and wrong will not be swayed by rumors?"
Her tone was harsh but she had no plans to conceal her feelings.
She knew who it was who had come.
She had witnessed too much of Yun Yang’s elusive appearances these days that she was no longer surprised by his sudden visits.
Behind her, Yun Yang, who was clad in his purple robe, stood under the shade and said gently, "What advice is there for me to give about this? This is just how the world works."
"How the world works?" Shangguan Lingxiu was shaking, her angered eyes about to spew flames. "Could it be that the generations of sacrifices from the Shangguan Family of Generals are to be exchanged for the mantle of a traitor? Could it be that the price paid of being left with orphans and widows is to receive the world’s condemnation?"
Yun Yang replied softly, "You’re overly emotional now. Even if you wanted to vent your frustrations, you need to consider the method."
He sighed faintly and said, "Sister Lingxiu, do you know what is the biggest, most common ailment of this world?"
"What is it?" Shangguan Lingxiu asked.
"It is oblivion!"
Yun Yang continued, "Whether it’s a good person or bad, a wise man or a fool, the biggest, most common ailment is oblivion – forgetting what has happened, forgetting the heroes who once existed, forgetting the kindness once received, forgetting everything in this world…"
"No one from the Shangguan Family of Generals has gone into the battlefield In recent years. Although you women have exerted your all in hopes that these six children can drape the war capes over their shoulders and head into battle as soon as possible, the world doesn’t know of it. Therefore, a lot of people have begun to forget. They forget the sacrifices the Shangguan Family of Generals has made in the past. As for the perpetrator of this scheme, this person has used the people’s common ailment of oblivion to spread these rumors."
"It is an effective tactic." Yun Yang said, "They start spreading the news among the peasants and then to the scholars, like a wildfire. No one bothers to ask for the official explanation…"
"However high and mighty we are, we can’t kill the people even when faced with their rage, even when we’re absolutely angered and in despair."
"All we can do is to bear this grudge, we remain wronged!"
Shangguan Lingxiu gritted her teeth. "There has to be someone behind all of this. Our family has long thought of this as well, but what disappoints us the most is the reaction of the Empire of Yutang’s citizens."
"They have forgotten all the rights and wrongs, forgotten all the history. As long as someone stirs things up, they immediately swarm over!" Shangguan Lingxiu bit her lips, her eyes rimmed red. "Looking at this prosperous nation, everyone generously putting their life at stake one after another for this country, for these people… They have gone joking on their way out and returned only with their remains… they leave behind orphaned children and widowed wives yet they have to bear these humiliations…"
"Why?" Shangguan Lingxiu turned her head to look into Yun Yang’s eyes, her own teary orbs burning. "Yun Yang, you tell me, why is this so?"
Yun Yang remained speechless for a while and finally said softly, "We ask for the peace of heart and the presence of justice…"
Shangguan Lingxiu snorted. She was tempted to ask Yun Yang if he felt the irony;saying so as an outsider reflected his high moral standing, but what about the person who was in the thick of things?
"This matter goes on incessantly mainly because the scholars are still going at it…" Yun Yang said slowly.
"Especially those scholars who have ulterior motives are exaggerating these rumors wholeheartedly."
Shangguan Lingxiu smiled coldly. "This is why I am even more despaired and saddened! It is fine if those who instigated or leading these are the public who are illiterate. These scholars are intellectuals, full of knowledge from the sages. How can they really not know the details of this case? How can they not differentiate the right and wrong of this matter? Why are they still doing this? It’s not even just one person, it’s a whole big group! There are plenty of them! Have their conscience been eaten by dogs?"
Yun Yang said faintly, "Justice usually comes from the lower class, heartless ones are mostly intellectuals. It’s exactly because they have knowledge and experience that they want to kick up some fuss and they are able to do so."
Speaking of which, Yun Yang suddenly thought of something and was stunned.
Seeing that Yun Yang had bid his leave so abruptly, Shangguan Lingxiu pondered about it before sighing and going to check on her nephews.
She was doubtful inwardly, what had Yun Yang thought that he had left so abruptly?
"Everyone under the Nine Heavens Dictum, investigate those who have spread the rumor carefully, check where they have been before they began spreading the rumors."
Yun Yang sent out Nine Heavens Dictum.
He had faintly noticed something from the information sent back previously and was only verifying them by sending a dictum now.
In the early hours of the morning, the messages returning had indeed verified Yun Yang’s guess.
"This particular scholar has been summoned by his teaching to visit his home. When the visit ended, the scholar began instigating the case of Zhuo Wenlong…"
"This official has…"
"The central figures of this movement are famous scholars of Confucianism. These renowned scholars were all invited by Old He before this…"
Yun Yang’s eyes lingered on the two words – "Old He", not moving away from them for some time.
Supreme Lord Spring Frost.
I’ve not found fault with you recently since I want to go through this festive militant event peacefully but who knows that you wish to destroy the militants from their very foundations!
The Empire of Yutang’s military was the party that was most proud of Shangguan Family of Generals! The family was also a family of militants that had once garnered the respect of soldiers across the continent!
The Shangguan Family of Generals had always been the best material of promotion for generations of enlistment. Once the promotion involved the Shangguan Family of Generals, all the youths in the nation seemed to be injected with patriotism!
This was what formed the Empire of Yutang’s militant soul that was indestructible.
If the Shangguan Family of Generals were to be accused and the case to be reversed, befalling the loyal souls to treacherous officials, it would be no different than to pick away at the spine of Yutang military!
As for a nation and its people who condemned the heroes that protected them… how united could they be? How spirited could they be?
"His motive alone is enough to warrant execution! This person should be condemned to death! His crime is worthy of a thousand deaths! Even a thousand deaths cannot pardon it!"
Yun Yang gritted his teeth.
The next day, the emperor had come to Old Marshal Qiu’s residence in secret as per usual;so did Yun Yang.
In the study room, Yun Yang ended his narration calmly.
"There is such a thing among the people?!" His Majesty stood up slapping the table, anger filling his face.
Qiu Jianhan was infuriated as well, growling menacingly.
How could both men, as two of the highest ranked figures of the Empire of Yutang, not know of the consequences if this matter was successfully perpetrated by those people?
If it did happen, the men in the military would lose their faith – a disaster waiting to happen.
If the military troops had broken down… where could the safety of this nation be?
"Scholars who wronged the country, this is an act of destroying the nation!" Qiu Jianhan was fuming. "Your Majesty! This must not be forgiven!"
"Of course it must not be forgiven nor tolerated!" His Majesty’s face was icy as frost. "Yun Yang, do you know who is the perpetrator behind this?"
"This nephew really doesn’t know who the culprit is." Yun Yang said carefully, "Actually, how can the mastermind appear so easily behind such a massive case? This nephew thinks that it’s already impressive I was able to even get a rough view on the situation…"
The emperor and Qiu Jianhan instinctively felt that this child was hiding something;Yun Yang knew the mastermind behind this but he was not saying a word, no matter how they asked.
It was not that Yun Yang did not want to exterminate Supreme Lord Spring Frost. It was simply a matter of timing.
Even if he said it aloud, His Majesty would probably not be able to do much about him!
Supreme Lord Spring Frost’s open identity was He Hanqing was a teacher of the emperor. Even now, the emperor was still very respectful of this person.
He was the teacher of three generations of emperors, an old official who had taken care of the emperor himself!
He was the leader of intellectuals, a teacher of a generation!
Even if it were the emperor himself, he would not dare to simply do anything to such a person. The consequences were simply too severe.