I Am Supreme - Chapter 166
The old marshal’s current emotional state was similar to that of Shangguan Lingxiu and Yun Yang. However, his was even more volatile!
He could lead troops of a million men to defend against the enemies thousands of miles away;he could command these troops easily and carry out military strategies effortlessly;he could throw himself into the thick of warfare and overthrow the army without fear. Yet, facing these fools who were easily swayed, easily instigated, he was helpless!
To the old marshal, redressing Shangguan Family of Generals’ tainted name was a fortunate event. It was also a reminder, a reminder he could empathize with.
It could be the Shangguan Family of Generals today, it could be words that would bring about the fall Leng Daoyin or Qiu Jianhan tomorrow. They were all militants;the Shangguan Family of Generals who had been the epitome of patriotism, of historical merit, was almost wiped out just like that - he was definitely no safer than them!
In the backyard of the Shangguan residence, the widowed women stood quietly, their faces stoic.
Hearing the old marshal berating the people from afar, everyone in the family suddenly had their eyes rimmed red, their tears falling in streams with their fists tightening;the anger and despair they had been feeling could not be expressed by words.
They did not weep when they were wrongly accused, they only felt anger and resentment.
When the truth was unveiled, when their reputation was recovered, each of them could not help the tears the flowed freely down their faces.
The old mistress lit a joss stick with a trembling hand and raised it high over her head, softly sticking it into the censer before the ancestral tablets.
The smoke rose slowly.
The ancestral tablets were arranged neatly as they watched the rising smoke silently.
Both the living and the dead had nothing to say;all the women’s eyes were trained on the old mistress.
The old mistress’ face was expressionless, but her tears were endless. She quietly straightened her body and looked at the many tablets with moisture in her eyes.
After a very long time, she murmured, "I know what you all want to say… You wish to ask for peace of the heart and the presence of justice. This is what you all want to say, is it not? I knew it! The entire family, you are all wretched rotters! You wouldn't regret what you did, even if you had to die a hundred deaths!"
Her voice trembled as she spoke, "You had your fun, didn't you? All of you roared and charged forward, dying heroic deaths! Dying and leaving everything else behind, isn’t that easy? But all of you left us behind! The peace of heart and the presence of justice all of you wanted, the sacrifices you made for the nation without regret... but you left us – a family full of widowed wives and orphaned children! Do you not feel any guilt at all?"
"Your deaths are an end of everything you, all of you know nothing else. But we are all still alive here! I guess it just serves us right - we have to bear everything that has happened..."
The old mistress was sobbing. Suddenly, she hollered harshly, "But what sins have we committed that we have to bear all these?"
Her skinny hand pointed towards the doors behind her as she shouted, "Why must we bear all these! Come out, one of you, tell this old one, why is it so?"
The ancestral hall seemed to shudder slightly at the vehemence in her voice.
The women were all shaking with red rimmed eyes.
Outside the doors, Qiu Jianhan’s low voice resounded. "Elder sister-in-law, we are here."
Old Mistress said coldly, "Both marshals’ arrival is honorable but this contemptible land is unworthy of your footprints. How can this old one afford such respect? This family is full of widows and orphans that don’t deserve the courtesy of a visit by two influential military officials. Please go back."
Shadow flitted by the doors before Qiu Jianhan and Leng Daoyin’s tall forms appeared at the doors and walked over quickly.
Coming to the front of the old mistress, both men knelt on the ground. "We are late. Elder sister-in-law, please forgive us!"
These two marshals of the imperial court, superiors of the military, old generals of the Empire of Yutang that could shake the nation with one holler, had just gone on their knees before this old mistress subserviently, guilt and remorse colored their faces.
The old mistress’ anger clogged her throat then;the old lady did not speak a word for a long time. Finally, she exhaled a soft sigh;the crutch in her hand shook as she said, "Get up."
"Yes! Allow both of us to offer incense to the family of generals’ ancestors, brothers, and children, to at least show our sincerity."
Qiu Jianhan and Leng Daoyin got up and went to get a joss stick each. They respectfully lit them and raised them up high before bowing;their expression solemn and serious.
There seemed to be a glint flashing across the marshals’ eyes, as if the long forgotten heroic scenes of the Shangguan Family of Generals dictating the battlefield flashed before their eyes.
The atmosphere was silent.
After some time, both the generals straightened up.
The old mistress was still standing straight. She suddenly gave a sigh and said softly, "Young Qiu, Young Leng, let me ask the both of you…"
She wore no expression on her face and there was no emotion in her voice, there was not the slightest bit of feelings;her arm stretched out slowly, pointing towards the doors as she questioned faintly, "Is… the generations of sacrifice of our family to protect… these people outside?"
Old Marshal Qiu and Leng Daoyin replied with their silence, unable to come up with a worthy answer.
A long time seemed to have passed when both men puffed their chests and said bitterly yet resolutely, "We are Yutang’s soldiers, we take the imperial court’s salary and enjoy what the people give. The military food and pay are supplied by the nation as well."
"We only ask for the peace of heart and the presence of justice! Nothing else!" Both old generals chanted the mantra simultaneously.
The peace of heart, the presence of justice!
It was these words again!
These two phrases were terribly convenient.
Old Mistress erupted into another fit of rage, tears gushing out of her eyes as she scolded them, "Is this what you two ask for as well? The peace of heart and the presence of justice? Good, good. You are all-righteous with justice, you are all-passionate with generosity! Get out! Get out now! Go and get your peace of heart! Go find the presence of justice! Out, out, out!"
She sobbed as she berated them, the crutch in her hand landing harshly on the two old generals.
Both aged generals took it in their stride without a single movement, their gazes clouded with heartache and grief.
They shared the same sentiment about the treatment that the Shangguan Family faced, the bitter disappointment that was endless and the icy chill that went to the core.
Old Mistress threw her crutch on the floor and collapsed in front of the ancestral tablets to bawl her heart out.
The endless bitter disappointment and heartache were poured out through her heartbreaking sobs.
The numerous memorial tablets stayed stationary amidst the rising smoke, as did Qiu Jianhan and Leng Daoyin who remained still as statues.
All the women in Shangguan Family did not move as well, their expressions grieved but there was also a hint of relief.
"We ask for the peace of mind and the presence of justice!"
There was a latter phrase to the line – "It is enough!"
Yun Yang who was blissfully unaware of the developments on the other side had returned to his residence with delighted ease but was surprised to find out that Yun Zuiyue had sent someone to send him an invitation, citing an urgent matter that required his presence.
Yun Yang could not help being shocked when he heard it. Why was Yun Zuiyue looking for him at this time? What did she want?
Just as he was about to leave to find out what was going on in the Cirrus House, a girl in black appeared, accompanied by two men.
It was Ju Chen from the Twelve Golden Flowers of Cirrus House;she was not close to Yun Yang but they knew each other.
"Young Master Yun." A smile hung on Ju Chen’s delicate face. "Sister Yue knows that Young Master is busy and the meeting is not at the Cirrus House so she has sent this young sister to escort you."
Yun Yang returned her smile. "This is fine. I wonder where Sister Yue is now."
Ju Chen smiled again and said, "Sister Yue is waiting for the young master at an... exciting... place, and is looking forward to your speedy arrival."
Yun Yang scanned Ju Chen’s face thoughtfully and nodded. "Since Sister Yue is calling for this meeting, let us make haste."
He turned to wave his goodbye but secretly winked at Fang Mofei.
Fang Mofei lowered his head to ask softly, "Young master, do you want this subordinate to go with you?"
"No need. Whatever for?"
"Lao Mei, watch the house." Yun Yang rejected his offer and said, "You watch the house too."
Before he departed, Yun Yang blew a whistle that saw Whitey Two catapulting over and into Yun Yang’s embrace.
Yun Yang laughed, pushed Whitey Two deeper into his robe and followed Ju Chen.
Fang Mofei chuckled after Yun Yang left and immediately dissipated into the air. "Lao Mei, I’m the first wave, you’re second. Don’t get yourself noticed or else young master’s trick will be spoiled."
Lao Mei snorted and mumbled angrily, "Are you starting to order me around now? Does the order of arrival matter?"
He then followed with a disgruntled expression.
The sky was gradually growing darker, it was nearing sunset in the evening.
Ju Chen led the way, all smiles as she chatted with Yun Yang;her two guards followed beside her with blank faces.
"How these two certainly looks unfamiliar. Have I met them before?" Yun Yang asked with a grin, looking at the two guards.
Ju Chen chuckled softly covering her mouth. "Does the young master recognize all of us in Cirrus House?"
Yun Yang laughed. "Right, right. How could I possibly recognize all of you?"
He stopped speaking then but each glance towards Ju Chen bore more coldness deep in his gaze.
Recognize all of you in the Cirrus House?
I can recognize each and every one of you in the Cirrus House. Not only the guards but also the maids and chefs… I know each and every one of them.
He maintained his leisurely stroll with hands behind his back, like a wealthy young master who was out to relax while accompanying a beautiful lady. He exuded grace and leisure, as well as an air of romance.
Ju Chen’s occasional glances towards Yun Yang’s face could not help but reveal hints of sympathy.
It was too bad that the gentle young master had unsurpassed looks and demeanor…
The further they went, the further they seemed to move away from the normal paths;they were approaching the red-light slum.
Looking over, the people on the streets had suddenly increased in number.
Finally, they came to an area that had both sides crowded with street vendors after turning past a filthy street.
Why were there so many people doing business from their stalls at this point of time?
Yun Yang’s lips quirked as he asked nonchalantly, "Ju Chen, where are you bringing me to? How can Sister Yue come to this place? What is so exciting about this place?"
Ju Chen forced a smile and said, "Young master is impatient. We are already here."
"Here?" Yun Yang turned his head to point at the street and asked, "Right here? How fun can this place be?"
Seeing that Yun Yang had his head turned, Ju Chen took a few quick steps back as she hollered, "Attack!"