Chapter 442: Conscience!
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Novel Saga
"Not give them authority? Right? Right? The Tian Xiang Empire was under assault from all sides in those days! Jun Zhan Tian had been stabbed and wounded. So, he couldn't take charge of the military matters anymore. Dugu Zong Heng is a brave man, but he wasn't suitable for that situation. The Yu Tang Empire had attacked the east with six-hundred-thousand men. The Shen Ci Empire had attacked with five-hundred-thousand men from the west like lightning. Furthermore, the Ling Xiao Empire had attacked with four-hundred-thousand men from the south-east, and the Grassland King had attacked with four-hundred-thousand cavalrymen from the north. Our empire had been besieged from all sides!
"I gave Jun Wu Hui an order to take two-hundred-thousand men. He was supposed to take on Yu Tang's six-hundred-thousand in the east, and the Ling Xiao's four-hundred-thousand in the south-east. It was two-hundred-thousand against a million! Jun Wu Meng and Jun Wu Yi were to face those Grassland Wolves in the north, and Dugu Wu Di and Murong Feng Yun were sent with two-hundred-thousand to face the five-hundred-thousand of the Shen Ci Empire in the west. Such a division of troops had required us to even send most of the soldiers from the defensive formations. And, this had left less us with less ten-thousand men to guard the Capital!
"Everyone had believed that the Tian Xiang Empire was done for. And, I was no exception! There was a wide difference in strength. In fact, it was like a mantis trying to stop chariots that were incoming from all sides. Moreover, the mantis was sitting on its deathbed! But, who would've thought that Jun Wu Hui would have such superhuman military talent? He took the lead on the field before the enemy could act, and made a move before them. He then burned the Yu Tang's forces in three months in mid-winter!
"Seven-thousand miles of mountainous forests were burned down. In fact, the biggest tree in those seven-thousand miles of stretch is still no larger than a man's thighs! He then beat Ling Xiao's four-hundred-thousand men in three months as well. He went forward bravely, and took nineteen cities in that campaign! Moreover, he even made use of the prisoners he had captured, and somehow increased his army's size to eight-hundred-thousand! Consequently, he annihilated Ling Xiao's forces, and destroyed their danger in the south. Then, he pounced on the Yu Tang forces at the border. The successive battles were won by systematic attacks. And, the reputation of the 'Great White General' never fell one notch!
"And, Jun Wu Meng and Jun Wu Yi didn't wish to be left behind by their elder brother either. They fought the Wolves of the Grassland in the north. They turned a disadvantageous situation around, and made it an equal one with their systematic strategies. They eventually expelled him, and entered right into the Prairie Grasslands. And, don't forget that Jun Wu Yi was only nineteen at the time. But, his clothes were already covered with many layers of blood. Blood flowed wherever he went, and heads rolled. They started calling him the 'Blood General' due to his achievements. His murderous aura was the densest in the land. Jun Wu Meng was cold-hearted, and maintained strict discipline. He ran a very tightly functioning army. He rarely spoke, and his word was law. He moved swiftly and decisively, and slaughtered each captive in every fight he didn't leave a single living soul behind. He was called the 'Bloody God of Battle!' The population of the Prairie Grassland was reduced considerably, and it hasn't reinstated till this day! In fact, they don't dare to attack recklessly in the face of my imperial forces anymore!
"The fame of those four Jun generals spread everywhere after that! They had fought on all sides, and still hadn't lost. The Jun Family's fighting prowess became increasingly well-known! The fame of the White General, the Bloody God of Battle, and the Blood General started to resound everywhere! And, I wasn't able to curtail their military power even after a few years had passed! The entire world knew of the four Jun Family generals, but not many could remember the ruler of the Tian Xiang Empire!
"The Jun Family could raise the entire country or even areas thousands of miles beyond Tian Xiang! In fact, they could rally the entire world!" His Majesty said this, and let out a long sigh, "'Tough situations bring out the heroes.' These are truly wise words. The families in Tian Xiang were providing long memorial tablets to Jun Wu Hui in just three-and-a-half years! Jun Wu Hui and his brothers became living Gods of War throughout the Xuan Xuan Continent. They were shrouded in eternal glory as they became legends!
"However, legends like these three men are three extremely sharp swords as far as I'm concerned! Moreover, they were swords which were hanging over my head! The entire country celebrated after the crisis ended. But, our treasuries were exhausted, and the economy was growing with difficulty. However, the Imperial Troops were witnessing an unprecedented heyday! The Empire's territory had also expanded to a brilliant degree. We looked boldly at the rest of the world, and no hero could dare to look us in the eye! The oceans became quiet for some time, and the foreign aggressions died down. But there was a crisis in my ear now. And, it was arriving very quickly! I was sure that the one to sit on the throne during Tian Xiang's peaceful period was either Jun Zhan Tian or Jun Wu Hui it certainly wasn't me! That's because Tian Xiang wouldn't necessarily be Tian Xiang when that time would arrive!"
Princess Ling Meng was burning with anger as she listened-in from the side. Countless people had mentioned Jun Wu Hui's military successes to her. But, her heart had been stirred upon listening to her high-and-mighty father speaking of the splendid glory of those days
[He was such a heroic man! Jun Wu Hui!]
[And, Jun Mo Xie is the sole remaining descendant of this glorious and splendid hero!]
"I understand and even acknowledge your misgivings now. But, your plans went beyond Jun Wu Hui, Jun Wu Meng, and Jun Wu Yi! Why did they have to include Jun Mo You and Jun Mo Chou?"
The Empress's voice belied some understanding. But, she still wasn't completely clear. So, her voice was still sharp, "They were only children at that time. Moreover, they were the sons of someone who had done excellent service for Tian Xiang! How could your heart and conscience endure that?!"
"Jun Mo You and Jun Mo Chou were young, but they were already fledgling talented commanders. They had become popular within the ranks in a few battles alone, and their prestige had reached extremely great heights! What would've happened if such talented generals were to find out that I was the one who had planned to get their father and uncles killed? What would they have done to me? I had already turned my back on the Jun Family once So, why wouldn't I have done it again? I would renounce the entire world if we were in danger! In fact, there's no one that I wouldn't turn on!"
The Emperor flashed a smile of gloom, "Moreover, there were next to no hostilities around at this point of time. The Yu Tang and the Shen Ci empires had been pushed back, and they were suing for peace. So, I was worried that there wouldn't be a fog of war anymore. Therefore, I took advantage of the fact that they still hadn't spread their wings properly. And, I removed them!
"However, there was another reason. I had only given a slight nudge in getting those Jun Family's members killed. But, the ones to kill them were from the Silver Blizzard City! They were the Xiao Family's people Not me!"
"What an excellent justification! You're truly shameless!" The Empress sneered, "But, you still didn't let the Jun Family go! You suppressed them further even after you had done so many things! The only people who remained in a family that could've once shaken the heavens were an old man, a cripple, and a debauchee! But, you still didn't let them off! Why's that? What great justification do you have for doing such a thing?!"
"Why? You're asking me why?" The Emperor's eyes had opened big and wide. He looked at her like she was some strange creature, "You're still asking me this question? You still don't know?"
"I really don't know! They were the family of a great general! Moreover, they were a family of heroes who had saved the Tian Xiang Empire, and posed no challenge to you anymore. But, you've suppressed them, and made them suffer for so many years without ever stopping! I don't understand why you've been doing this? Is this the so-called 'Heart of an Emperor'? The man doesn't bear you, but you bear the man?" The Empress's expression had become even colder.
"Because I'm also a man! Do you understand?" The Emperor snarled in a low voice. "My conscience becomes uneasy every time I face Jun Zhan Tian. Then, I'm filled with guilt! Do you understand guilt? I feel that I've let him down! I've let the entire Jun Family down! So, I feel pain and guilt every time I face him But, things would be better if all of them were dead! My guilt will vanish if they'd died! Do you understand this?!"
"I understand everything you've said. But, couldn't I turn against the Jun Family again if I had already done it once before? I was in danger with myself my own heart! I had to live in this world! And, who could've lived my actions? I killed my own benefactors! I killed the heroes of the Empire! But, I had to find some means to pacify my conscience!"
The Empress remained silent. Then, she started to mutter one thing in a loop, "Conscience conscience conscience conscience explains everything this is the first time I've heard this! Even you are a human? Even you have a conscience? This is nice to hear"
She then chuckled and sneered before she spoke-up, "Then, why don't you continue to oppress the Jun Family now? Why are you defending them this time? Hasn't your conscious been stirring your heart anymore? You've been oppressing them for such a long time. And, you can finally exterminate them by using this depravity of Jun Mo Xie's! Isn't this your cherished dream? So, what has made you change so much?"
"It's because the Jun Family I don't understand it properly. I can't I can't dare to rush in. Who is this powerful person that backs the Jun Family?"
The Emperor frowned in a dignified manner. There was an expression of slight confusion on his face, "Will that person interfere if I try to exterminate the Jun Family? The Dongfang Family had once thrown three-hundred heads inside the Imperial Palace to avenge Jun Wu Hui's death. But, they only had a suspicion on me back then. However, I don't even have the Silver City to use as pretense at this time So, how can I annihilate the Jun Family?"
"So, you're afraid! And, it's not because you care for them!" the Empress sneered, "You had entrapped and slaughtered a loyal general because you were afraid! And, you can't do anything now either. In fact, you can only compromise because you're afraid, right?"
"Compromise? How is this 'compromise'?!" The Emperor became enraged, "Why are my actions always so unbearable to your eyes? Why can't you stand where I do, and look at things from my point of view? Why can't you act as a ruler and weigh the matters of the world?"
"The gaze of the Emperor of the world is always shameless," The Empress's face was cold, "I admire your opinion on conscience! How thick a skin do you need to have to have such big conscience? I'm shocked at your amazing planning. And, I truly admire how shameless your frame of mind is, and how you can keep calm I particularly worship your Emperor's aura! But, I've seen the congealed ugliness of society now. Anyway, I'm quite tired now. So, can you see yourself out?"
"I've always thought that you knew me well. But, I've always been wrong. In fact, you don't know me at all," the Emperor said sadly, "Hundreds of people will die if the Jun Family is exterminated. But, how many millions will die if it's the Tian Xiang Empire in their place? The rise of a dynasty isn't about the emergence of a great general alone! But, how can the sacrifice and helplessness of an Emperor be measured with common sense?"
"I can tolerate a ruler's ambition and ruthlessness. I can even bear his willingness to use both fair means and fowl. I can also tolerate a ruler if he mercilessly slaughters everyone in the land to unify it under their command. But, I don't care about a ruler who acts in a selfish, shameless, and vulgar manner. I don't care what he achieves. Such a ruler will be nothing more than trash in my eyes. In fact, he wouldn't be any different in my eyes even if he was an Emperor for eternity!"