Chapter 140 - Reactions to the Noble Massacre in Wancheng City (2) Translated by Bloodfalcon, Edited by Krayto
Outside of Shucheng County in Lu Bu's main camp, he is throwing down the Intel he just received to the ground out of anger. Lu Bu was so furious he wanted to kill people.
Hanyang eradicated almost all of Lujiang's nobles? What did he want to do? Lu Bu thought to himself.
“Milord, please restrain your anger!” Chen Gong also read the Intel. He now felt a little regret because he should have stayed in Wancheng city in order to restrain Hanyang’s recklessness.
“Milord, Hanyang truly did not have intend to overstep your authority. You know him inside out! If not for this circumstances, he would not dare to do it!” Chen Gong is trying to appease Lu Bu. He will not have Lu Bu be suspicious of Liu Mang. Once he is suspicious, it is the end of them. No people should overstep the authority of their lord, not even their own biological son, let alone son-in-law.
“What did he not dare?!” Lu Bu steaming “He thinks that I do not know that Sun Ce's wife Da Qiao did not die. He said he hanged herself personally, but that is for changing her identity to He Yu. I had once seen Da Qiao in the Administration Office, and that lady is the same girl that I rescued from the tiger. After lying to me, now he kills those nobles, this is too much already!”
Chen Gong also agreed that Liu Mang really overdid it this time.
“Gongtai, do not persuade me anymore. We return to that boy now! I must see, who gave him courage to do these kinds of things!” Lu Bu had firmly decided that he must re-educate Liu Mang, but Chen Gong did not have these kind of vibes coming out from Lu Bu, only killing intent is emanating from him.
“No need to go back, arrest him now! Someone, return at once to Wancheng city to pass my military orders. Arrest Liu Mang Liu Hanyang for questioning now! QUICK!!!” Lu Bu exclaimed loudly because he is really angry now.
“Milord, please!!!” Chen Gong quickly knelt “Milord, please do not do that!!!” Chen Gong held his fist toward Lu Bu “Milord, Hanyang is a loyal person. I, Chen Gong, am willing to give my life to vouch for that. If Liu Mang is not loyal, I, Chen Gong, will be the one to cut him down! Therefore, I asked for Milord to withdraw the order!” Chen Gong is also afraid that Lu Bu would become suspicious toward Liu Mang. Truly royalty did not know brotherhood.
“Unloyal?!” Lu Bu stunned “Gongtai, what are you saying?!”
“Milord, Hanyang's heart is for our Lu Bu army. Please Milord think, without Hanyang, we should have died in Xiapi, in Kaiyang. Without Hanyang, how can we restore the Bing Province Heavy Cavalry in order for us to escape Kaiyang and how can we restore Formation Breaker without his help. If Hanyang is not loyal, he would have just separated from us... to support himself...!”
After seeing that Lu Bu started listening to his plea Cheng Gong continued.
“Milord, if Hanyang used his Prince of Shu title, he can just boast about his righteous cause like Liu Bei. Please think of the effects that would bring, he would have been able to create a separate force to oppose us. With this, Gong pleads to Milord to think thrice about your order!” Chen Gong pleaded with all his might.
In times of war, there are three types of things that can be used to battle for hegemony.
The first is a righteous cause, the second is food and the third is military. Although a righteous cause cannot be eaten, it can give a meaning to what are you fighting for. Cao Cao, Liu Bei, Yuan Shao, and Sun Ce had this particular thing and that separated them from the rest of warlords. Cao Cao is the greatest of them all, because he had “welcomed” Han Emperor Liu Xie and quickly appointed himself as Regent. Liu Bei also had title of Imperial Uncle and with that, he can fight under the name restoring the Han Dynasty adding his weeping skills, it made his cause more legitimate.
Yuan Shao had the grand general title. And Sun Ce, after he conquered Wancheng city, he quickly presented tribute toward Han Emperor in Xu Du in order to get a title for himself.
Liu Mang also had the title of Prince of Shu and General of Southern Expedition whose territory are the four provinces which are Jing, Yu, Yang and Yi Provinces. Much bigger than Lu Bu's Governor of Xu Province which had been rendered useless due to him being expelled from Xu Province.
Second is food and supply line. Chen Gong still had a profound memory. He recalled that Liu Mang brought food, warhorse, and armor sets using a very mysterious method. If he separated from Lu Bu, he will certainly not be lacking in supplies as he was able to provide it himself and that supply line is unbreakable.
Third is military. Who is the one not afraid of hearing the name of Prince of Shu in these days? Chen Gong had also seen Liu Mang's method of training. Although the Urban Army was just formed shortly, its battle efficiency was not weak at all. It can be counted as elites among the Formation Breaker and Bing Province Heavy Cavalry. During Battle of Mt. Bagong they blocked 2000 Yu Province cavalry and was able to destroy Chen Lan and Lei Bo at the same time.
With these three things on his hand, Liu Mang would have been okay to separate from Lu Bu, but he did not until now for his loyalty to his family.
“Gongtai, what are you doing?!” Lu Bu hurried to help Chen Gong up. His brow wrinkled “Speak now, why are you groveling on the floor?”
“Milord, are you not going to arrest and kill Hanyang?!” Chen Gong was also confused, looking at Lu Bu's appearance, Chen Gong knew that he already calmed down a lot, but he is still worried by his angered expression from before.
Hanyang not loyal? Arrest and kill Hanyang? Lu Bu quickly understood that Chen Gong had misunderstood his intention. When he looked at Chen Gong, he did not know whether to laugh or cry!!!
“Gongtai, in your eyes, is Lu Bu, Lu Fengxian still a beast-like person, a person with no virtues?!” Lu Bu asked him solemnly.
“That is exactly the point, a long time ago, Lu Bu was a man of no virtue!” Chen Gong said it in his heart. Chen Gong knows at that time, Lu Bu will resort to all means in order to consolidate his authority. That can be seen from his former subordinates. When Hou Cheng wanted to offer wine to celebrate his success with Lu Bu, Lu Bu who had set up rules for wine prohibition, suddenly wanted to cut down Hou Cheng who knew nothing of that rule and because of that, Wei Xu, Song Xian and Hou Cheng rebelled against him.
However, now Lu Bu already became tamer and a much better person than during Xiapi. From a selfish wolf to a sentiment man.
Looking at Chen Gong's uncertain look, Lu Bu just shook his head “Gongtai. Bu was a selfish wolf before, but that WAS THEN. Now, Bu is not a selfish wolf anymore!” Lu Bu got out of his main camp and look at the skies. He thought in order to achieve fame and fortune, he had sacrificed too much of his brothers and his adoptive fathers. Even almost throwing out his daughter's happiness by marrying her to Yuan Yao. Even after all of that, what did he get? Nothing!!!
Ten years ago, he had nothing when he fought for his adoptive fathers in Luoyang and now ten years later, he also had nothing after being expelled from Xu Province.
Ten years is enough even for Lu Bu to understand his faults.
“Gongtai, do you know why I am angry? Why I wanted to arrest that boy Hanyang? That is because we are spoiling him too much! I am angry because he lied to me, he took that He Yu as his concubine without noticing me! Look, at this Intel. It said that “little lord's wives Madame Lu, Madame Yuan and Madame He Yu are all unharmed”. He is not honest with me, his father-in-law!” Lu Bu was very fatherly nowadays.
“But, he murdered those nobles without informing you, he overstepped his authority!” Said Chen Gong testing him. He needed to see, in the end if it was lie or the truth in Lu Bu's words.
“Kill them, so what? I already wanted to kill those nobles. Do they think it is good bullying this Lu Bu? Devouring the flesh and blood of commoners, taking advantage that they are nobles. Even if Hanyang did not kill them, sooner or later I personally would have killed them all!!! Regarding overstepping my authority as lord, I think the circumstances demanded it, so I will not make a fuss over it!!!” Lu Bu's eyes revealed killing intent and anger.
Lu Bu truly hated these nobles from the very start. When he was in Bing Province, the nobles were better than those of Wancheng city at the surface, but they were as bad as them. They sold swords to invaders in the black market in order to trade warhorses for their safekeeping and also to make gold. Selling at black market, the profit is truly big even much more than selling to their fellow Han.
But by selling their iron products to those invaders, they are inviting the destruction of their fellow Han and also themselves. Those nobles really did not think of long time benefits and only thinking short term, but even with those repercussion, they still sold to the invaders.
Those nobles in Wancheng city were also like them. Were those paddies inside their granaries really theirs? Many of them were snatched forcefully and even killed those who refused to hand their paddies.
But this time, they rebelled against Lu Bu, giving Lu Bu an excused to eradicate all of them.
Lu Bu's anger was not because Liu Mang overstepped his authority or held suspicion toward Liu Mang, he is angry because of Liu Mang direct involvement in killing those nobles. He did not know the consequences of killing. Once killing has been done, it will never stop, it might damage his psyche.
Lu Bu is also angry, because Liu Mang dared to tarnish his reputation by killing those nobles. With this, Liu Mang's righteous cause would be done for.
Lu Bu can bear the title of mass-murderer, because Lu Bu's reputation himself was already damaged. His reputation was already tarnished, so why not add mud and coal? But Liu Mang? Liu Mang is the Prince of Shu, he should be a virtuous lord, a wise lord, not a mass-murderer. Maybe, at this point of time, Liu Mang would already be known as a mass-murderer in this whole nation.
“Milord, I am sorry to misunderstand you!” Chen Gong quickly bowed down to Lu Bu to apologize. Lu Bu just waved his hand casually to dismiss him.
In Xiangyang city, there are several youngsters who are sitting at the western hill. They are sitting near two people playing Go. The one who is playing the white piece is a young man, on his hand there is a feather fan, his clothes are very grand; as if he just descended from heaven. On the other side, the one who is playing black piece is a short young man with black complexion, similar to Cao Cao.
There are also four people who are sitting nearby them. Although the four of them did not have unique characteristics like those two, each of them are talents of this age.
Those four people can be described as shy man, a calm and honest man, a stern man and carefree man.
Those two who are playing Go, is very fast and before long, they are already checked each other.
“Kongming, it looks like your skill in chess have dropped considerably!” The black man now in big advantage. The black man showed happy face because his black dragon in the Go board was almost completed, devouring the white pieces.
“Yeah, yeah” the feathered-fan youngsters who was called Kongming did not care at all and continue to fight back “Shiyuan, sometimes what you see on the surface is not always the fact, is not that right?!”
“HAHAHAHA, Kongming, just admit it you have lost!” The short black man is laughing. That black man did not pay attention to the board due to his confidence but the other four are actually observing the board closely. All of theirs brow are wrinkled, searching the point of that feathered-fan youngster to counter-attack the black man’s offense. The stern man and shy man are unable to find it, but the calm man and the carefree man were able to find that point and they nodded toward the feathered-fan youngster in their heart. This feathered-fan young man is truly good.
“Am I really going to lose, eh Shiyuan?!” Teased the feathered-fan young man.
“Yes, Kongming. This game is mine!!!” The short black man’s dragon only need one more piece to complete its form. Now he is just waiting for feathered-fan youngster to put his piece, then would already win the whole game
“Shiyuan, you are too impatient and not observant!! See, this game is mine!” The feathered-fan youngster put his white piece at the dragon’s critical place, effectively preventing the short-black man to form his victory dragon and also with white piece surrounding it, the black dragon did not have any place to escape. This is his victory.
“Kongming, that wise lord, you always talking about. Always screaming his “Flourish, people suffer; Perish, people suffer”, is nothing more than a devil king. Now, I want to know, how you see him!!!” Said the short-black man while raising his brow.
“Eh?!” Those four people who are sitting nearby wrinkled their brow. In Go game, they can attacked each other relentlessly, but in reality, they cannot fight like that. Now, that short-black man unexpectedly was on the offense against feathered-fan youngster.
The feathered-fan youngster just casually replied “Shiyuan! I believe, I have already said it to you repeatedly! Sometimes what you see on the surface is not the real one, you need to look much deeper beyond the surface, and there you can find the truth!!!”
“You want the truth?!” The short-black man sneered “The moat of Wancheng city is full of corpses and its river was crimson red, is that truth enough for you?!”
“Hahahaha!!!” The feathered-fan youngster did not argue, instead he just give a calm smile. This topic needed further research in order to get answer. If this discussion continued without additional information, it will only damage themselves. Being silent did not make the short-black man to shut up, he needed to be stopped by the carefree man.
“Shiyuan, you are too attached to one person! This nation has many heroes, you need to overturn all leaves and look carefully!!!”
“Oh, then Zhouping, tell me, who in your opinion is the wise lord!” After hearing that the short-black man quickly face the carefree man in order to start conversation.
TL: Carefree man is Cui Jun, Cui Zhouping. One of Zhuge Liang’s best friends
“Wise lord?!” the carefree man was really surprised on Shiyuan’s question, he thought maybe Shiyuan will not speak this topic with him, so he just shook his head “Jun does not understand regarding wise lords, so Jun does not have the rights to speak about a wise lord!”
The short-black man is unsatisfied with the carefree man’s answer and quickly asked the remaining three men “Guangyuan, Gongwei, Yuanzhi. Same question to all of you!”
“According to Jian, lord Cao of Xu Du is a wise lord!” The stern man opened his mouth first.
TL: Stern man is Meng Jian, Meng Gongwei, also one of Zhuge Liang’s best friends
The shy man also replied “Yes, lord Cao is a wise lord!”
TL: Shy man is Shi Tao, Shi Guangyuan, one of Zhuge Liang’s old buddies.
“Wise lord?!” The calm and honest man just shook his head “Shu still cannot see clearly. Shu need time to assess all of lords carefully!” The calm man quickly glanced toward feathered-fan youngster and the short-black man. They had chosen their own wise lord, but their choices are not his, so he need time to further assess them.
TL: Calm and honest man is Xu Shu, Xu Yuanzhi. One of Liu Bei’s earliest strategist historically and best buddies with Zhuge Liang.
“Let me tell you, this nation wise lord is Liu Bei, Liu Xuande!!!” The short-black man looking at the feathered-fan youngster provocatively. “This man aims to uphold and restore the Han Dynasty. Definitely a man of high stature. He is also a Han Dynasty clansmen and a benevolent ruler. He is the only one fit to be a wise lord and receive our service!”
The Short-black man’s words made the four’s brow wrinkled. If you said it to yourself, that Liu Bei is a wise lord, it is your right, we will not stop you. But your words “He is the only one fit to be a wise lord and receive our service!” Is not that just demeaning our judgement? Is it only yours eyes that are clear?
In order not to prolong this bad feeling, the stern man quickly stood up and said “Kongming, Shiyuan. Jian is not healthy today, so Jian would like to go home to rest!”
Seeing the stern man gesture, the shy man also quickly stand up “Tao needs to accompany Gongwei until his place. Goodbye!”
“Um!” The carefree man also stood up “Jun also would like to excuse himself!”
“Shu also needs to go back home, to take care Shu’s old mother. So, goodbye!” The calm man also left.
In the field, remained only short-black man and feathered-fan youngster.
“Kongming, looks like only you and me left. Do you dare to bet with me?!” Short-black man is a very competitive person and the one who he dislikes to lose is this feathered-fan youngster.
“Shiyuan, what bet do you want?!” The feathered-fan youngster replied.
“You and I each follow each master. In ten years, we meet again. We will see whether The Sleeping Dragon’s or The Fledgling Phoenix’s judgement is better!” the short man stated.
“What is the stake?!” The feathered youngster asked.
“The loser works as a servant for ten years!” The short man replied.
After contemplating for a few moments the feathers youngster then said "Ok!"
A smile rose from the short-black mans face as he said "Let’s seal our bet with our palms now!”