Returning to King Jing Manor, Tong Yan, as he had done before, took out the book that looked old after being used for so many times; and then he began to record all the happenings that day.
If Master Mo were not there, Zhuo Rusui and the royal guard behind the tree would have killed him.
Even though he had prepared beforehand and the crossbows on the boats were rather powerful, he doubted all of those preparations were enough to stop them.
Did Jing Jiu really have the intention to kill him? Was it because of the matter mentioned in the message?
In the summer, a significant event happened in the capital of Chu State.
A tall man wandered in front of the gate of Royal Palace one early morning. The royal guards felt it odd and approached him to ask questions. The man took out a stick and wielded it wildly in an attempt to flee; but he was captured in the end. Later, a weapon was found hidden inside his clothes. It was discovered that he had attempted to break through the palace gate to kill the Emperor. The officials of the Justice Ministry employed the relentless torturing methods when they interrogated him; but the tall man had kept his teeth gritted from beginning to the end. All he said was that he intended to kill the incapable emperor. Besides that, he didn't confess anything, let alone divulge the master-mind behind the scene.
The tall man was finally recognized as a lieutenant who had served at the Lanyu Pass and was a bodyguard of General Pei.
General Pei was a famous military leader in Chu State; his reputation was only a bit lower than King Jing. He had been stationed at the border with Zhao State, facing off the army of Zhao State. He was a hero for Chu State.
Most of all, it was well known that General Pei was a trusted friend of the Grand Scholar Zhang.
All the attention now focused on the Grand Scholar Manor. And the Justice Ministry didn't dare press the tall man too much. The capital city was shrouded in an eerie quietness.
It was then that the tall man all of a sudden committed suicide in prison.
Afterwards, all sorts of people came out to make their voices heard, including those who were truly just and moral and those who were good at utilizing the political situation for their own benefits and some who were really ambitious about power. Innumerable petitions were brought to the palace like piles of snowflakes; and the drum outside Dali Temple was beaten every day. Some people even went to the Royal Palace at night to meet the Emperor in secret; but nobody knew what they had talked about.
It was evident that this event was partly instigated by King Jing and his son; more importantly, the new policy made by the Grand Scholar had some detrimental effects for many nobles. He had ruled the state on behalf of the Emperor for so long;, yet he refused to move up a notch. Some people seemed to notice certain weakness in the Grand Scholar and had the intention of replacing him. The undercurrent against the Grand Scholar would soon turn into the turmoil, and the whole capital seemed to be on the verge of being carried away by the torrent. If the Grand Scholar Zhang didn't take decisive action, the situation would be out of control soon.
On the other hand, if the Grand Scholar employed forceful methods to contain the unrest, nobody could predict what kind of mayhem would ensue.
It was at this critical moment that the Emperor, who had never come to a court meeting since taking the throne, suddenly appeared in the court meeting, in front of all the chancellors of the imperial court.
Those chancellors who were against the Grand Scholar felt overjoyed, thinking that the Emperor had finally come to his senses and would use this unrest to get rid of the Grand Scholar Zhang.
Unexpectedly, the Emperor left the court meeting after having said one sentence.
"The Grand Scholar has done a good job; you people stop causing troubles."
The situation in the imperial court, the support of the populace, and the political turmoil were just like a real storm, a force caused by many complicated elements. People would think it senseless afterwards, regardless of its cause, process or result. The Emperor was well known for the titles of "incapable emperor" and "slow"; and what he had just said was groundless. Normally, his words shouldn't have had any effect; but for some mysterious reason, or perhaps because of the machinations on the part of the Grand Scholar, Jing Jiu's words dispelled potential turmoil that had been building up in the capital.
The counterattack ensued. Using this event as an excuse, the Grand Scholar had purged the imperial court and counties one more time, picking out all those potential enemies who had hidden for many years. By now he had nobody who could challenge his position in the imperial court.
Though Tong Yan was aware of why Jing Jiu had done so, what he couldn't understand was why Jing Jiu was not afraid of the possibility that the Grand Scholar might overthrow him someday.
There were so many people who wanted to kill Jing Jiu, including Tong Yan and that junior master of his own sect. If he lost the emperor's position, how could he survive?
Liu Shisui's parents in this world were servants in a Cultivation sect.
The first thing he saw when he opened his eyes were flying swords.
He started learning the word work when he could walk. From that day on, he did nothing but to focus on learning the sword work.
When Liu Shisui was fourteen years old, he became the best swordsman in his Cultivation sect and the youngest elder in the history of that sect.
As a result, his parents didn't have to work as servants anymore.
Later, he left the mountain, joined an assassination organization, and found out that his Young Master was in the Royal Palace in Chu State.
What happened next was the bloody incident involving the water carts that early morning.
It had been eighteen years since Liu Shisui came to this world. He spent all his time here learning the sword work in that Cultivation sect and serving as a bodyguard in the Royal Palace. This was his first time travelling to a distant place.
He was in a hurry to return to the Royal Palace; but the scenery was just outside the window of the carriage, and he couldn't help but look at them.
The lush mountains and green lakes were wonderful to look at. He often enjoyed watching them so much that he was almost in a stupor. It was inevitable that something would happen on the road, like carriage robbers or frightened horses. He killed a few robbers and saved a few people from the frightened horses. These encounters reminded him of similar experiences in the past; the corners of his mouth curled up.
After he returned to the capital of Chu State, he suddenly found that this city was strange to him now. As he entered the Royal Palace, he felt that he had never seen these buildings before, except that the red walls and yellow roof tiles seemed familiar to him.
He came to the grand hall and arrived by the window. Seeing Jing Jiu lean against the bed, he opened his mouth slightly, intending to say something, but he didn't in the end.
"Speak," prompted Jing Jiu after shooting a glance at him.
Liu Shisui scratched his head and said, "I think my memory is getting worse and worse."
Jing Jiu asked, "How fast does it get worse?"
"Who are you?" Liu Shisui demanded while looking at Jing Jiu with wide opened eyes.
Jing Jiu laughed, and asked while staring into Liu Shisui's eyes, "Who do you think I am?"
Liu Shisui thought about it for a long moment and said while shaking his head, "…I don't remember. All I can remember is that you treated me really well, and I have to protect you."
Liu Shisui was very smart, but meanwhile he was a simple person. He was not alert enough about the Illusionary Realm and was not prepared for its effect.
He had not been affected before; it was because he had something important on his mind, which was to find Jing Jiu.
He had already found Jing Jiu, so he had nothing to worry about any longer. And he was engrossed in the sceneries outside the palace and felt like he was actually living a life in this world. As a result, he started forgetting the things from the outside world.
Jing Jiu was aware of the reason and knew nothing terrible would happen; what he didn't know, however, was what Liu Shisui would do next.
Liu Shisui pat Jing Jiu's shoulders as he said, "Don't be afraid. I won't abandon you."
Jing Jiu arched his eyebrows, but didn't say a word.
Liu Shisui walked out of the grand hall and watched the surroundings cautiously, like he had done the past three years.
It was the twentieth year of the Dao Competition.
The situation had been mostly settled in the world.
But the turmoil would occur soon.
The rebels within Qin State were all suppressed. With the brutal penalties for wrongdoing and handsome rewards for good deeds, the state grew stronger.
Yet, nobody had seen the Princess, who was imprisoned in the palace; many people thought she was dead.
After the death of the famous incapable emperor, Zhao State finally had an outstanding emperor.
The young emperor of Zhao State had done an excellent job in managing the state. He didn't give in to the powerful Qin State, and threatened Qi State as much as he could. The only worry was that he was in poor health.
Qi State had a large amount of land as well as a large population. The inhabitants of Qi State were quite wealthy, and the commerce was well developed. Yet, the chancellors and generals of Qi State were weak, so they were constantly threatened by Zhao State.
The Master Eunuch He was especially a threatening figure. He used the most brutal methods to exploit the local populace. Even the most generous merchants were unwilling to withstand his exploitation any longer.
Some of those wealthy merchants had paid the assassins to kill him in many attempts, but all failed.
After Luo State was wiped out, people forgot about it very quickly. The largest part of the former Luo State belonged to Qin State, and the rest was taken by Zhao State and King Jing of Chu State.
Chu State and Qi State were similar in terms of the temperament of their people. The populace aspired for the luxurious lifestyle and was not competitive, devoid of ambition and farsightedness.
Chu State began to enjoy the relative prosperity and supremacy not enjoyed since the Grand Scholar Zhang started governing the state in the recent years.
However, the seemingly prosperous and powerful Chu State had always had a fatal weakness.
It was the ambition of some to replace the emperor.
In the last few years, the Grand Scholar Zhang's ambition had been controlled effectively by Jing Jiu. Yet, King Jing in the distant Cangzhou had tens of thousands of soldiers, and the land under his rule surpassed the third of Chu State after taking over part of the former Qi State. Who would be able to contain his ambition?
In the late autumn, the Emperor of Chu State suddenly announced a royal decree, which astonished everybody.
Though every word the Emperor uttered was a royal decree and was a normal thing for the emperor to do, the problem was that the Chu Emperor of this reign seldom spoke given that he was said to be a retard.
The royal decrees regarding appointing and deposing the officials and the essential decrees during the significant festivals were said to be written by the chancellors of various ministries, and then stamped with the royal seal by the Grand Scholar Zhang.
Why would the Emperor suddenly issue a decree by himself this time?
The most surprising part of the royal decree was its content.
The son of King Jing was summoned by the Emperor to come to the capital.
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