I Am Supreme - Chapter 290
Fu Baoguo had been waiting for Supreme Wind to come question and kill him for quite a while now.
However, Supreme Wind had not appeared.
He did not have any high hopes;concealed as He Hanqing and Jiang Zhong were, they were still incapable of avoiding arrest and had been killed by Supreme Wind through various means...he was certain that Supreme Wind would have no trouble finding him.
He was sure that he had been exposed much earlier.
It was precisely because of this that he had constantly attempted to find solutions in the past few days by utilizing various excuses to transfer his family members, such as paying a visit to relatives and friends, rekindling a past relationship, or to go to a friend's house for a short stay.
However, those who had been forcibly sent out with his authority had disappeared outside the city almost immediately.
These included his own eldest son, daughter-in-law, and his little grandson ...
Fu Baoguo knew that it was all useless, that all his efforts were futile!
No matter how he struggled, there was no use, as the trap had been laid out for him for a long time since.
An escape attempt was doomed to fail.
Furthermore, Fu Baoguo himself did not wish to escape.
In the dead of night, Fu Baoguo could be seen clad in a military uniform. Together with a helmet and armor, he dressed as if he was going for war.
A strange sound could be heard in the dead of the night.
His face betrayed a momentary glimpse of misery, but with a touch of relief.
It was the howling of the wind. It sounded like the opening of the gates of hell, with thousands of devil's souls rushing out, floating across the night sky, seeking for their enemies, slavering for their lives!
"You have come!" Uttered Fu Baoguo softly. His expression was an array of complex emotions.
However, Fu Baoguo’s sentence went unanswered.
He began to realize something. Walking out from his study, his pace was slow but without hesitation.
The clouds above were dark, like black ink. The breeze was as cold as a metallic saber.
The entire horizon was filled with desolation and bleakness.
Fu Baoguo stood unmoving in the yard.
The chilly wind was scraping over his face. The tinge of pain was like his bones were being sharpened by the cold blade.
He raised his head. Watching the billowing of dark clouds, his gaze was strangely calm.
A gust of wind fell from the sky, forming a tornado before him. Although the sudden tornado was not unusually large, it connected the earth and sky, like a flood dragon floating in the air, flying vivaciously.
Several night guards who witnessed the abnormal phenomenon had commanded coldly, "Who goes there? Who dares to cause trouble before the Residence of Marshal Fu?"
Fu Baoguo waved his hand to order them back,"All of you, retreat! No one should ever come near this yard without my permission!"
All the guards, janissaries and the Residence’s experts instantly receded with shuffling sounds.
Fu Baoguo was obviously a capable Marshal of his time. His military command was like a law that commanded immediate obedience. Once the prohibition was ordered, no one had dared to disobey. His orders were instantly followed without question.
The tornado could be seen condensing, growing thicker in its original spot. A moment later, a magnificent figure slowly appeared within the careening wind. Although the tornado was still peripherally whirring and whistling around him, the figure within remained motionless.
At first glance, the face, eyebrows, nose, mouth and other features of the person were blurred and difficult to be identified. Only a cold stare could be felt gazing deep into the soul of Fu Baoguo.
They exchanged glances. Fu Baoguo could sense the fear within himself tremble instinctively.
The silhouette in the wind issued an indifferent sigh, "Marshal Fu, this is probably the last time I would identify you as Marshal. From now onwards, you no longer deserve the title."
Fu Baoguo laughed bitterly, and he replied dryly, "Lord Supreme Wind speaks correctly. It was God’s favor to me to be called Marshal Fu at this juncture."
Yun Yang laughed lightly, "Fu Baoguo, I am here today to end the vengeance with the Four Seasons Tower, the matter is destined to not rest until death arrives. However, considering the efforts that you have contributed to Yutang’s military force all these years, I am willing to listen to your predicament. You have the right to spell out your defense!"
Fu Baoguo was different from Yang Botao. He was the successor elected by the old Grand Commandant, Fang Qingtian. He was to be the next highest authority of the military. His status and identity were already above the northern troop's Marshal Tie Zheng, who was well known as the most renowned militant in Yutang right now.
As for how he could achieve such an honorable status - other than being exceptional in warfare, peerless in the younger generation of Yutang's military, and providing various contributions, he had been protecting Yutang from various wars at each order during his twenty years of enlistment. He was the cornerstone of the Yutang’s military force after the top three marshals Qiu, Leng, and Fang retired from the battlefield and before Tie Zheng had come up in force!
Had he not already confirmed that this person was extremely dodgy, he would not even want to believe that this person had actually joined the effort in going against the Nine Supremes!
Even if the evidence was conclusive, Yun Yang was still willing to give him a chance to explain his betrayal to Yutang.
After all, considering his experiences on the battlefield, if Fu Baoguo intended for Yutang to perish, he could have done it anytime he wanted. As long as he failed in any war he had led as a marshal, Yutang would have inevitably fallen, without a single chance of survival.
Fu Baoguo clenched his fist.
His face was twisted by conflicting emotions. However, in the end, he unclenched his hands helplessly and uttered bleakly, "There is no need. There are too many heinous criminals out there who have their own reasons. All of them would have had thousands of personal justifications. How could the felony of treason be forgiven with just the excuse of hardship?"
Yun Yang coldly replied, "So you actually acknowledge this. Why then did you do it?"
Fu Baoguo took a deep breath, "Like I said, the reason is not important. What is important is the outcome! What I had been waiting for is also an outcome, for the judgment of the Nine Supremes. Since I had implanted the cause, why should I evade the effects?"
Yun Yang indifferent laughter was coldly piercing to the bones. He calmly uttered each word, "Fu Baoguo, you can say it bluntly, but are you really at ease in your heart as your words indicate? If I had not appeared, could you've gotten this judgment and effect?"
For a moment, Fu Baoguo's square face twitched, filled with malevolence.
"On that very day, if all the members of the Nine Supremes were to perish at the Tianxuan Cliff - none left alive, all your deeds would have been forgotten, gone without a trace. If that was the case, will you still have said what you did just now?"
Yun Yang’s voice was growing colder.
Fu Baoguo did not speak but just lowered his head.
"You have never thought of admitting your guilt!"
Yun Yang was as cold as ice, "The reason you are pleading your guilt is that you have no way to escape nor resist. You are being forced by circumstance because you know that you have no way to go but a dead end. The only path left to you is death!"
"This is the real reason why you are waiting here so quietly. It seems that you are waiting for a punishment that you deserve, but the truth is that this is the only choice that has been left for you!"
"Fu Baoguo, what you are doing today clearly shows that you are a coward and nothing else!"
Yun Yang’s voice was cold, wintry and frosty. Each and every word uttered by him had pierced deeply into the heart of Fu Baoguo.
His burly and upright body could be seen shaking uncontrollably.
The originally robust body stooped slightly. With a hoarse voice, he uttered, "Yes, my sin is great and unforgivable even if I were to die a thousand times!"
Yun Yang smiled sardonically, "You have been going here and there these days , trying everything possible to send your families to safety. Fu Baoguo, is that because you know that your death is impending, and trying your best to preserve your family? "
Across the mighty face of Fu Baoguo, there was nothing but desolation. He whispered, "Lord Supreme Wind, my own wrongdoings should not affect my family."
Yun Yang uttered coldly, "Then did you ever think of the families of the brothers that were killed because of you?"
Fu Baoguo’s face turned chalk-white instantly.
Holding in his irritation, Yun Yang uttered, "Have you ever thought of our family?"
Fu Baoguo let out a regretful sigh, "Great mistakes have been made. I have nothing to say to that."
He then chuckled miserably, "In fact, from that day onwards, I knew that my sins will in no way be forgiven, no innocence to even speak of! The only escape was death. Now that this day has finally come, it could be considered as having... one of my wishes fulfilled."
Looking at this military veteran, Yun Yang let out a long sigh in his heart.
He was still waiting, waiting for an explanation from Fu Baoguo.
Among the people who had colluded with the Four Seasons Tower, Fu Baoguo was the only one that Yun Yang did not wish to kill. Besides his previous achievements in Yutang, he was the one who could be considered as caught in a real predicament!
Although the reason was not great enough, nonetheless, it was worth forgiving.
"All this while, I had been slowly waking up from a nightmare. Even though I told myself I had my own reasons, I never wanted it to turn out this way.
Fu Baoguo uttered, "However… great mistakes have been made. No matter what was the reason, the outcome was the same. All the reasons were nothing but excuses. So was the case to me, the offender, so it was the same to the victims."
Fu Baoguo looked down and glanced at his armor, "This is my favorite armor. Since Sir Fang had summoned me back due to his sickness, this armor has been hanging on the study wall ever since."
"Perhaps, I have to wait for very long, or I might not even have a chance to wear it again to fight on the battlefield. I have only one request for now. Lord Supreme Wind, will you allow me to die in this armor?"
Raising his head to look at Yun Yang, Fu Baoguo pleaded sincerely.
Yun Yang uttered indifferently, "Do you still think that you deserve to die while wearing this armor that belongs to the Yutang’s militants?"
Fu Baoguo lowered his head for a long while without saying a word. Trembling vigorously, he drew in several brisk breaths and looked up. Hw, he uttered, "Lord Supreme Wind, how could you begrudge me such a small request? Do you know what I have experienced? Do you know the agony of being controlled against my own will by the Art of Soul Shifting?"
"No, you wouldn’t know. How could you know? How could one know without immersing himself in the same situation! Every single time, I did not mean to betray the country! The Shangguan Family of Generals accumulated generations of loyalty but the Fu Family is nothing less inferior than them. We've remained patriotic to Yutang for generations as well. In order to defend the country, five consecutive generations of my families had all been sacrificed in devastating battle. To die on the battlefield and returned wrapped in horsehide was not only the province of the Shangguan Family of Generals! To what extent do you know of all these? Since I had made this mistake, I should not be forgiven for my sins. However, my family should not be involved in this guilt!