Da Tang Shuang Long Zhuan

Book 63: Chapter 10: Reign of Zhen Guan

Book 63: Chapter 10: Reign of Zhen Guan

Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling urged their horses out of the city and galloped slowly towards the Wei River. The sun was high in the sky, it was a warm and fine day, making people felt cozy and unrestrained, especially after solving the difficult problems of Tuli and the other brothers.

Kou Zhong said, “It all thanks to Dazhi’s remark that changed the whole situation. If you didn’t stop me and Lao Ba from confronting Dazhi head-on, we would have become enemies early on, how could Dazhi remind us? I think this is what the Buddhists call karma.”

Xu Ziling nodded and said, “Tuli and the others do have the ambition to enter the Central Earth to fight for profit and hegemony, but because of Xieli’s setback, the situation developed rapidly after abrupt turn [idiom: dramatic change], otherwise the situation right now will be a completely different. Shimin Xiong is a standing-tall-and-see-far major talent to rule a country, knowing that he must make the territories beyond the Great Wall to maintain a delicate balance, only then the Central Earth will have a chance to recover and regain its vitality. If you are in a hurry and show off, you will ruin his big affairs.”

Kou Zhong nodded and said, “Ziling’s words, naturally Xiaodi will see, hear and obey. You may go back to accompany Qingxuan with peace of mind, along the way, please pass on to Zhizhi and Xiufang how I miss them. When you come back, we will have a heart-to-heart chat with Xieli together.”

Shaking his head, Xu Ziling said, “In the current situation, we don’t have to look for Xieli, he might be forced to come to us in desperation. The more you make him eat so that he lacks nothing, the more doubts and fears he has. Xieli will see that our power is growing every moment, while he is constantly weakened, becoming a lone army with low morale. After returning to the prairie, Xieli’s prestige is no more, his golden days are gone.”

A sailboat was moored at the dock on the north bank of the Wei River, waiting respectfully for Xu Ziling’s good self, the Tang army stationed at the dock stood respectfully to salute.

They flew off the horseback, Kou Zhong took Xu Ziling’s hand, smiled and said, “I do not have the least bit of hatred in my heart anymore, therefore, I hope Shi Zhixuan’s affair can be resolved properly. He is, after all, Qingxuan’s biological father, your father-in-law.”

Xu Ziling grabbed his hand tightly for a moment, and then let it go, and boarded the boat.

Kou Zhong returned to Wugong. He originally wanted to find a room to rest, but ended up chatting with Ba Fenghan and Hou Xibai. And then a personal guard came to pass on a message that Shimin wanted to see him, so he went to see Li Shimin.

Li Shimin was sitting alone in the study room of the Zongguan Mansion, poring over the piling-up-like-a-mountain official documents and files sent from Chang’an. Seeing Kou Zhong arrived, he laughed and said, “Between Zhen and you, no need to be overly cautious. Sit down!”

Kou Zhong pulled the chair in front of him and sat down, he smiled and said, “I’ve always been a person who doesn’t know how to observe etiquette. Fortunately, Huangshang does not need to put up with me for long. As soon as this matter is over, Ziling and I will leave the capital immediately to enjoy a happy, free and unfettered life.”

Li Shimin sighed and said, “I’m finding more and more that you are smarter than Zhen. When I saw these memorials, I felt a headache like you said before. After handling the withdrawal of your brothers, I have to return to Chang’an to handle some urgent matters. The matter of Xieli will be handed over to you, LaoGe to deal with.”

Kou Zhong laughed and said, “There is a favor I’d like to ask in exchange, would Huangshang please bestow it?”

Li Shimin spoke cheerfully, “How about Zhen granting it first? Would you be satisfied? Shaoshuai, please bestow instructions.”

Kou Zhong said, “I hope that the one leading the army to pacify Xiao Xian is Li Jing. This is Ziling’s and my cherished desire.”

Li Shimin laughed and scolded him, “Why use Ziling to pressure Zhen? Is there a more suitable candidate than your Li Dage? Granted! Ha! He will assemble a large army in Bashu, sail downstream the river to the east, send a punitive expedition against Xiao Xian, and advance to besiege Jiangling.”

Grinning, Kou Zhong said, “Thank you, master, for the dragon kindness!”

Li Shimin spoke in displeasure, “Stop teasing me! I still have a few headaches to discuss with you.”

Kou Zhong said, “Huangshang forgot to use the unique appellation again, which is against the rules of etiquette. Hehe! Becoming an emperor is really not easy …”

Li Shimin did not want to mess with him, returning to the topic, he said, “I want to hold a funeral for Jiancheng and Yuanji, but in Taishanghuang’s [Retired Emperor, father of the reigning emperor] imperial edict establishing me as the emperor, Jiancheng is conferred the title Xi Wang [Prince of Xi (lit. breath/to cease/stop/rest)] with the posthumous title ‘Yin’ [secret/hidden]; Yuanji is Hailing Wang [King of Hailing (lit. sea mound)], with the posthumous title ‘Ci’ [lit. thorn/sting/to pierce/stab]. According to the posthumous method, ‘hidden refers to the failure to be called hidden, ruthless and disregarding familial relation is said to be thorn’, and I am called ‘filial piety is the foundation of virtue, all around is in the hundred actions, benevolence as heavy responsibility, and all things are in peace’ to emphasize the fact that the legitimacy is passed down to me. ‘Hidden’ and ‘Thorn’ are not good posthumous terms, but of course no one dares to speak up now. However, I feel that it is not too appropriate.”

Kou Zhong understood. Yin Taizi [lit. the hidden crown prince] and Ci Wang [King Thorn] were not good posthumous titles, but since Li Yuan’s imperial edict positioned the two men as such, it was very difficult for Li Shimin, who tends to value harmony and replace hatred with love, to alter it as he wished, hence he was very troubled because of it. And it was difficult to hold a beautiful funeral for the two men, to make up for the deep scars left by close kindred slaughtering one another.

After muttering to himself irresolutely for a moment, he said, “How about letting Wei Zheng do it?”

Li Shimin slapped the table and shouted with praise, saying, “Wei Zheng is a man from Jiancheng’s side, indeed it is a good plan. I will first bestow him as the Shangshu You Cheng Jian Jian Yi Dafu [lit. high official right deputy and senior official political adviser], let him graduate and become famous.”

And then his brows were furrowed in deep thought, his thinking was gushing out like a spring, he said, “I can tell Wei Qing [subject] to find a few high-ranking cabinet ministers to jointly present a memorial, first declare Jiancheng’s crime of sowing discord, colluding with foreign enemies, and damaging the country and causing suffering to the people. Then we will explain clearly that in order to protect peace in the Central Earth, we have no choice but to adopt necessary measures. Both inside and outside of the court, ask them to hold big funeral ceremony for them, and allow their old family to see off to the tomb. This way, we will pacify the people’s hearts and eliminate the contradictions left by the previous dynasty.”

Kou Zhong praise, “In this respect, Huangshang is indeed better than me. If Huangshang could confer posthumous title of some other king to them, perhaps we might get even finer results.”

Shaking his head, Li Shimin said, “Taishanghuang will not be happy, let’s talk about this later. Another issue is concerning Shandong’s towering figures, Jiande and Heita’s death, which provoked enormous public anger in the region. Moreover, they are not aware of Guanzhong’s situation, hearing about the Xuanwu Gate Incident, there are a lot of people who begin to stir. I have sent Qu Tutong to be the Shaanxi’s eastern road’s Xing Tai Zuo Pu She, to go to Shandong to declare publicly and comfort the local populace, hoping to interfere and cease the people’s anger. If you, LaoGe, can help by saying a few words, based on your relationship with Jiande and Heita, we could achieve the effectiveness of half the work, twice the effect. If Shandong is stable, Hebei won’t get into trouble.” [Note: Xing Tai Zuo Pu She (行台左僕射), lit. left servant archer of Xingtai (outside provinces); I could not find English definition, from what I could find, it is basically a representative of the central government in the conquered area. Or something like that …]

Kou Zhong muttered to himself irresolutely for a moment, he said, “As long as you publicly execute Zhuge Dewei and declare to the world that he has betrayed his brother, the people of Shandong will be able to settle their grievances. If you add some setting-up-a-pole-and-see-the-shadow [idiom: instant effect] benevolent government, the result will be even better.”

Li Shimin said, “This is precisely one of the things that bothers me. Apart from the friendship between you and Liu Heita, toward our Great Tang, Zhuge Dewei has meritorious deeds without any fault, killing him will certainly attract people’s talk. Fortunately, his days in Chang’an are still shallow, the effect will not be too big. However, the charges must be carefully considered, merits should not be taken as faults.”

Kou Zhong sighed secretly, he said, “I wonder if Huangshang wants me to let Wang Bodang go? Luoyan will be very unhappy.”

Li Shimin stared fixedly at him for a moment, then spoke softly, “I’m giving thought to the overall situation, so I have no choice but to put aside personal grudges. Luoyan’s aspect, let me placate her, I will leave Wang Bodang as an idle government official outside the area, but if you object, I will deal with it according to your thought.”

Shaking his head, Kou Zhong said, “To be honest, since I watched Yang Xuyan’s tragic death under the arrow, my heart suddenly became empty, my hatred disappeared entirely. However Huangshang handle Wang Bodang, I have no objection. At that time, didn’t Huangshang say that you understood the reason behind it?”

After being silent for a while, Li Shimin said, “What I thought at the time was that your goal has changed. In the past, you were determined to contend for hegemony over the world, therefore, all means were carried out in this direction. You will be ruthlessly eliminating anybody who stands in your way of contending for hegemony, to implement that principle, ‘only those who are ruthless enough can survive’. My current situation is also the same, and the goal is the long-term peace and stability of the country, therefore, Wang Bodang’s life must be preserved to offset the bad influence of executing Zhuge Dewei. Everyone will understand that I kill Zhuge Dewei because of you. If you let Wang Bodang go, it will show that the revenge will stop there. I hope you can understand my difficulties. At the same time, I will issue the imperial order to exempt the tax in the Guandong region for one year, which can benefit both sides of the Great River, to let the people, including your Shao Shuai State, enjoy the fruits of the unification of the world.”

Kou Zhong finally revealed a smiling expression, he nodded and said, “Understood! Xiaodi will also pay you back for this. The wealth from the Duke Yang’s Treasure-house and the Four Big Bandits’ treasure caves, I only spend half, the remaining treasures will be presented to Huangshang to make up for the loss of Huangshang’s taxes.”

Greatly delighted, Li Shimin said, “With your understanding, my whole body relaxed. You greatly split open your own pocket has reduced my worry about financial constraints. Another thing is that the Zhen Guan Bank is like fully opened bowstring, how are we going to fix it?”

Shrugging his shoulders, Kou Zhong said, “Naturally Furong Ye will step down for the worthy candidate, Lei Jiuzhi, who knows more about doing business and possesses chivalrous heart – to take care of it, so as to promote the economy of the new dynasty.”

Li Shimin smiled and said, “You mentioned the word ‘New Dynasty’, two characters [xin chao], it reminded me of one thing. I decided to change the era name to ‘Zhen Guan’, to eulogize your and Ziling’s eternal virtues.”

Kou Zhong was greatly stunned, and then laughed without restraint and said, “This action by Huangshang made me feel like I was floating high in the clouds, and continuously disappear and build up, just like my Eight Methods of the Well. Not only it can make Xiaodi’s guys believe firmly Huangshang’s broad kindness and profound intention to us, it can also appease Taishanghuang’s heart, knowing that Huangshang’s heart keeps filial piety and remember his teachings with reverence.”

Li Shimin spoke with serious expression, “From Wude to Zhen Guan, the situation is extremely complicated, difficult problems piling up like a mountain. In order to lay the foundation for the new dynasty, I must advance gradually and entrench myself at every step, the cabinet ministers of the previous dynasty, I will use them all, only one person is an exception, which is Pei Ji. Although there is no way to prove that he is a demonic school man, of course he will deny it, but we know what’s going on.”

Kou Zhong knew that he was still brooding about Pei Ji’s causing Liu Wenjing’s death. As for he led Li Yuan astray and publicly defended Li Jiancheng, he did not care much instead. Frowning, he said, “One saber strike to get rid of him, won’t that do?”

Smiling wryly, Li Shimin said, “Your proposal is naturally the most neat and tidy, but it will make the senior cabinet ministers feel themselves in danger, plus it will make Taishanghuang unhappy. Therefore, I decided to give him a way out, enough to feed a village of 1,500 households. This official salary will be higher than all other minister who have given outstanding service, I will also give him another false title without real authority, and then when everything settles down, I’ll slowly put him in order.”

Shaking his head, Kou Zhong sighed and said, “Huangshang‘s strategy of governing the country and pacifying the people is indeed a hundred times more composed than mine.”

Li Shimin said, “Sitting in this position, just like I said a moment ago, I have no choice but to earnestly consider the overall situation everywhere, various personal gratitude and grudges will have to be put at the back of my head. If Pei Ji is willing to live in peace, he should be able to spend the rest of his life in peace. But if he is a demonic school disciple, it is hard to change one’s essential nature, one day he will get into trouble. There is no harm in us taking a long view to see his end.”

Kou Zhong said, “It seems that Huangshang is struggling with the issue of employing people in the new dynasty, in this regard, I can’t offer any help.”

Li Shimin spoke cheerfully, “You are willing to listen to Zhen having bitter digestive fluids rising to the mouth [idiom: to complain bitterly], that is enough, Ziling might not have any interest in listening. The new dynasty must have the atmosphere of the new dynasty. Not that the old people are not good, only they are accustomed to comply with Huangfu’s [emperor father] set of previous working style, lacking of enterprising spirit. I already have a preliminary concept, Xuanling, Ruhui, Yuwen Shiji, Wuji, your Li Dage, Wei Zheng, Zhijie, Jingde, Shubao, Shiji, and so on will all be put in important position, but they will not be put in the highest position immediately, rather, in two or three years’ time, to see their actual performance, and gradually promote them to replace the previous team of the highest leadership, so that the change from the old to the new dynasty will not cause a conflict of power, and to maintain the best possible relationship with the highest leadership. This is my top priority right now.”

Speechless, Kou Zhong said, “Huangshang‘s deep plans and distant thoughts make me prostrate myself in admiration. If it was me, I would certainly move the entire Tian Ce Fu, intact in original packaging, motionless, into the Taiji Palace two days ago.”

Li Shimin laughed and said, “Don’t mess and play ghost with me. I know you’ve been listening and is beginning to lose patience, the last worry is concerning Xieli. Among the memorial to the emperor on my desk today, there is a memorial signed by over twenty high-ranking military officers in Chang’an City, saying something like, ‘Yidi [barbarians/non-Han tribes in the east and north of China] cannot be trusted, after the alliance generals and soldiers suddenly tread the frontier, they can take advantage of this convenience and break the agreement, therefore, they ask for armed forces to suppress them, and we must hurry or lose the golden opportunity’, and so on. What do you think we should do?”

Kou Zhong jokingly said, “This is no small thing, Chen [I, your servant] do not dare to speak rashly.”

Li Shimin spoke with serious expression, “When it comes to the decision-making on the military affairs, Zhen only rely on you, Kou Zhong, one person. I am handing this matter entirely to you to handle. Whatever other people say, Zhen will treat it as the wind past my ear.”

Blurted out laughing, Kou Zhong said, “Huangshang is really formidable. How about I am forcing Xieli to vow that he will no longer support Liang Shidu in exchange for his safe passage back to the prairie? This way, Huangshang can placate the cabinet ministers of the war faction.”

Li Shimin reached out to grab his hands, the two men looked face to face with knowing smile, no words needed to be said.

Power is the foundation of all politics, military affairs and diplomacy. Now Li Shimin was gradually grasping the power that can deter the Four Barbarians[1] and unify the world.

When Kou Zhong left the study room that has become Li Shimin’s temporary office, all sorts of feelings welled up in his heart. Li Shimin’s way of governing the country was something he could never imitate, Shi Feixuan indeed did not make mistake.

This time Xieli returned without success, he was destined to be defeated and dispersed. Due to his foundation was not solid yet, Li Shimin postponed the decisive battle with Xieli. There will come a day where Li Shimin would devote all his strength to send a punitive expedition against Xieli, to get rid of this great trouble once and for all, in order to ensure the long-term peace and stability of the Great Tang, and to kill the chicken to warn the monkey [idiom: to punish an individual as an example to others], with the efficacy to tame the Four Barbarians.

Xu Ziling arrived in Chang’an before sunset, Li Jing, husband and wife, personally came to welcome him. Gaiety, lively atmosphere and scenes were still everywhere in Chang’an. To avoid stirring up the crowd’s excitement, three people boarded the carriage, with imperial guards riding ahead and behind to protect them, as they galloped in the direction of Dong Da Si.

Hong Funu happily looked around through the window, she spoke in gratitude, “There has never been a war so close to Chang’an, but contrary to the usual practice, there is no curfew, and no news of casualties is coming. This is very beneficial for Huangshang‘s first ascension to the ninety-fifth position [i.e. the throne of the emperor], a gargantuan lucky omen.”

And then she turned her pretty face around and spoke with serious expression, “What Ziling and Xiao Zhong have done for the world, no one will forget.”

Xu Ziling promptly modestly decline, musing that the sooner it was forgotten the better, the days where ten thousand eyes were staring at him were the most unbearable.

Sitting in the back row, Li Jing asked, “How is the situation on the front line? The vanguard troops from inside and outside the Pass [Guan] passed through Chang’an in the afternoon, heading toward the front line. According to my estimation, the 170,000-strong army will gather in Wugong in three or four days. I heard Tuli and several tribal chiefs went to see Huangshang, they agreed to immediately return north of the border, is that true?”

Xu Ziling nodded and said, “It’s true, Xieli only has his 100,000-strong Golden Wolf Army left. Encountering the Golden Wolf Army, whose prestige in plain battle shook inside and outside the border – in head-on confrontation, although our side’s military strength is superior, it will still be difficult to talk about certain victory. Fortunately, Xieli’s odds of winning are lower than ours, if the stalemate persists, in the end Xieli will submit, Kou Zhong will let him retreat with dignity.”

After a short pause, he asked, “Any news from Song ErGe’s side?”

Li Jing replied, “Song Er Gongzi and his party returned safely yesterday morning. More than a dozen leaders of the Xiang family were caught in the net, Xiang Gui committed suicide. Before arriving in Wugong, Huangshang ordered to hand over the people of the Xiang Family to you.”

Xu Ziling said, “A nation has the national law, there should not be too many exceptions. The matter of the Xiang Family should be handled by the Ministry of Justice. Only the criminal ringleader should be investigated, do not implicate innocent people. Those who follow blindly will be given a chance to reform and start afresh.”

Hong Funu spoke in delight, “Ziling really understands reason, this moment Song Gongzi and the others are in Xing Qing Palace, Song Gongzi was entangled by Lei Dage very badly, he couldn’t stop talking about working out a strategy and making plans for the Zhen Guan Bank that is about to open on selected auspicious date, Xiao Jun is in distress about how to resign with honor and glory.”

Warm feeling welled up in Xu Ziling’s heart. After arriving in Chang’an, they had had extremely difficult and frustrating moments, but everything was over, the happy days of living together, perching together with Qingxuan were just ahead to welcome him. Since leaving Yangzhou, this was the first time that he felt that the bright future, with real flesh and blood, was grasped in the palm of his hand.

Feixuan ought to be happy and pleased by this ideal outcome. Under Li Shimin’s leadership, unprecedented flourishing period was about to appear in the Central Earth, the suffering of the people would become a thing of the past.

The first group of vanguard troops arrived by flywheel boats, with Ba Fenghan in command, accompanied by Yin Xianhe and Xiao He’er, they even brought along Kou Zhong’s beloved eagle Wuming.

Li Shimin and Kou Zhong joined hands to hold a welcoming ceremony in Wugong, representing the Shao Shuai Army being officially incorporated into the Great Tang Army, vowing loyalty and devotion to the House of Tang. The busiest person was Wang Xuanshu, who not only had to deal with Xiao He’er, whom he had just met again after a long period of separation, but also directing the Flying Cloud Guards in welcoming their comrades-in-arms coming to the west. However, seeing the constant smile on his face, it was obvious that he was overjoyed.

Kou Zhong hugged Yin Xianhe and said with a laugh, “The son Saozi [(older) sister-in-law] gave birth to, does he look like you, or look like her?”

Yin Xianhe’s old face turned beet red, he smiled wryly and said, “How could it be that quick?”

Kou Zhong wanted to help him calculating the date, but Yin Xianhe begged for mercy, “Please let me go!” he said.

Kou Zhong roared in laughter and said, “Saozi is really amazing, unexpectedly she can turn such a tough guy like Yin Xiong to be so soft that she could wrap it around her fingers.”

On the other side, Ba Fenghan laughed and said, “Lucky that Yin Xiong listened to instruction and being obedient by not coming with us, otherwise, I’m afraid that we would have to go all the way in vain. Xiao Hou and I didn’t even have a chance to move our fingers, and the matter is over.”

Sneering, Hou Xibai laughed and said, “Don’t pull me together with you, that would be discussing two disparate things together. At least you pulled a bow and shot an arrow, while I was just jumping high and leaping low, running to the left and rushing to the right, ha!”

Amidst the roar of laughter, Li Shimin sent his men to invite Kou Zhong to come and see him. Kou Zhong was instructing Wang Xuanshu to reward and comfort the troops who had set up camp outside the city. With Wuming perching on his shoulder, he entered the city to have an audience with the emperor.

In the main hall of the Zongguan Mansion, Li Shimin received Fang Xuanling, Du Ruhui and Wei Zheng who came from Chang’an. Seeing Kou Zhong’s arrival, he praised Wuming without ceasing first, then handed part of the memorial to the emperor to Kou Zhong, and spoke cheerfully, “Shaoshuai, take a look!” Then he continued to talk with Fang and Du, three men.

Kou Zhong ostentatiously sat down on the side, holding the memorial with both hands and reading it carefully. It said, “Chen [I, your servant – plural] have received Taishang’s order, to be entrusted the East Palace, entering and leaving Long Lou [the Dragon Building], bequeathing the generals and uphold the discipline. The former palace tied dispute with clan and society, committing an offense to men and deities, Chen [plural] must not perish, willing from the massacre, bearing our own guilt and cruelty, really record all around travel, exhaust livelihood, what else is there to report? Bixia’s [Your Majesty] virtue shines over the four oceans, the crown of the way over the former king, sensing steep deceit, reminiscing over the tang and di [cherry-apple and (Japanese) rose (Kerria Japonica)], clearly the state’s righteousness, the deep grace extends over one’s flesh and blood, the burial of the two kings, and the long-term future. Chen are forever in the past, and the old Chen of the past, losing their lord, gaining their lord. Although laying out the matter is the courtesy of the lord, the grass that has grown on the grave since last year will be arranged, not yet extended to send away the grief. Looking far ahead at the Nine Sources [Jiuyuan, the most logical definition that I can find is the cemetery of the ministers of the state of Jin in the Spring and Autumn Period], the meaning is profound and all-encompassing, looking towards the day of burial, will be sent off to the grave.” [Apologies, this part is beyond my understanding.]

Smiling wryly, Kou Zhong said, “At most I only understand half of it, but it must still be a good essay written by a master.”

He handed the memorial back to Li Shimin, Du Ruhui hurriedly took it on Li Shimin’s behalf, and deferentially put it back on the table.

Li Shimin could not help laughing, he said, “Zhen must return to Chang’an to deal with this matter immediately, and report the current situation to Taishang personally. The matter here, I must trouble Shaoshuai to spend the effort.”

And then he said, “Du Qing [subject] will stay in Wugong to discuss with Shaoshuai the details of how to incorporate the soldiers and generals under Shaoshuai into the military, as well as all other matters, such as how to manage their official position and their duties, and where they should be located, everything will be dealt with according to Shaoshuai’s wish.”

Kou Zhong spoke cheerfully, “Thank you for the dragon’s kindness! I wonder if this matter could be delayed for a day, waiting for our side’s men and horses assemble one after another, after they are settled, I will send a suitable candidate to deliberate the particulars with Du Gong [Duke].”

Li Shimin laughed openly and said, “I wonder if that candidate is Xu Xingzhi, Xu Xiansheng?”

Amazed, Kou Zhong said, “Huangshang really knows my situation like the back of your hand; without Xingzhi, definitely I would not be what I am today.”

Li Shimin cast his gaze on the darkening sky outside the hall, tranquil and calm, and composed, he said, “Shaoshuai is able to have the shaking the old and illuminating the new [idiom: surpassing the ancients and dazzling contemporaries, glorious and world-shattering] achievements, it is entire because you are an expert at appointing people according to their abilities [idiom: to put the right people in the right places], to use people without suspicions. Zhen should take this as a lesson, the way to use people seems to be easy but is actually difficult, the so-called self-appointed worthy or virtuous person may not necessarily be perfectly virtuous, what the crowd call damaged, may not necessarily be completely wicked. Knowing one’s ability but not using it, this is called missing a talent. Giving up the short to acquire the long, and then act for the sake of beauty. Knowing people is difficult, using people is even more difficult.”

Kou Zhong was about to respond, a personal guard came to report, Shang Xiufang’s boat has reached the Wugong City.

[1] Four Barbarians is the common English translation of the Chinese term sìyí 四夷 for various peoples living outside the borders of ancient China, namely, the Dōngyí 東夷 ‘Eastern Barbarians’, Nánmán 南蠻 ‘Southern Barbarians’, Xīróng 西戎 “Western Barbarians’, and Běidí 北狄 ‘Northern Barbarians’. Ultimately, the four barbarian groups were either partly assimilated through Sinicization and absorbed into the Chinese Civilization in the later Chinese Dynasties or emigrated away from the Chinese heartland. (Source: Wikipedia) Translator’s note: notice how the Chinese text uses four different characters for one English word: barbarians.

If you find any errors ( Ads popup, ads redirect, broken links, non-standard content, etc.. ), Please let us know < report chapter > so we can fix it as soon as possible.

Tip: You can use left, right, A and D keyboard keys to browse between chapters.