The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1245
Chapter 1245: Revealed The Instigator Behind The Curtain Ii
Chapter 1245: Revealed, the Instigator Behind the Curtain! (II)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"So many of them have died in battle! Do you believe that they will just let the matter go? Even if they can't defeat you now, what about in ten years? One hundred years? Once you are dead, they will go to war once more! The hatred will only deepen until it can never be dissolved. This is an intractable problem that will never be resolved, and in the end, the ones facing disaster will be the common people of the Central Plains. The land will be strewn with corpses and flowing with rivers of blood. Is that what you wish to see?" the old woman coldly said, still holding her basket.
Seated in his carriage, Wang Chong smiled at the old woman's words.
"War truly is incapable of solving all problems, but can compromise gain peace? Withdrawing soldiers from Khorasan, allowing Arabia to grow strong, dissolving the prefectural armies, cutting off one's own hands and feet, crippling one's martial arts—is this your solution to neutralize the weapons of war?" Wang Chong coldly said.
Outside the carriage, the old woman froze as if rendered speechless by Wang Chong's argument. But a moment later, Wang Chong knew that he was mistaken. The old woman's body trembled, and her clear and bright eyes swiftly became turbid and dim.
"What is going on? What– what am I doing here?"
The old woman glanced at the reins in her hand, and then at Wang Chong and Zhang Que on the carriage, with a puzzled look on her face. It was as if she had been sleeping for a very long time and suddenly awoken from a dream. A moment later, the old woman muttered to herself, let go of the reins, and disappeared into the crowd. Zhang Que was watching her throughout, and when the old woman left, he was left just as confused.
"What is going on here?"
Zhang Que had originally believed that this old woman was some formidable individual in disguise, but he now realized that he had been mistaken. Everything that had happened just now had been exceptionally bizarre for him, but Wang Chong was as calm as ever, apparently having expected this.
"Ignore her! Let's continue!" Wang Chong indifferently said.
Zhang Que hesitated for a moment, and then he flourished his whip and restarted the carriage. As he set the carriage into motion, Zhang Que glanced around and saw that the people in the crowd were gesturing and looking at the carriage.
Zhang Que felt a tingling in his scalp as the sense of strangeness intensified. Never in his life had he experienced a day as bizarre as this one.
The two white stallions rode forward, but they only managed to get fifty meters before the crowd once more fell into turmoil. From his vantage point atop the carriage, Zhang Que spotted a butcher, his upper body bare, butchering pigs and selling meat. A moment later, however, the butcher seemed to become possessed. Leaving his butcher knife sticking from the cutting board, he squeezed through the crowd, strode onto the street, and blocked Wang Chong's carriage.
"The King of Foreign Lands is truly one for sophistry. To use violence to suppress violence is no solution at all. In these last few years, the Imperial Court has been involved in endless wars on the border: against Ü-Tsang, against Mengshe Zhao, against the Eastern and Western Turkic Khaganates, against Goguryeo… Such is the way it has been for the last few decades, the last one hundred years. And now there is Arabia. The number of wars has not decreased, but increased. The reason for this is that there are no treaties between countries. If countries try to understand each other, interact with each other, coexist peacefully with each other, and assist each other, realizing peace throughout the world, how could wars occur? Only benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and trust can do away with the weapons of war!"
The butcher stood in the middle of the road, his hand still glistening with the grease from the meat he had just butchered. But his expression was stern and upright, and his words were not at all something one would expect from a butcher.
Three or four paces from the butcher, Zhang Que suddenly pulled on the reins, bringing the carriage to a halt. The scene before him left him even more confused.
Wang Chong, however, was completely unperturbed.
"Hah, treaties are made to be broken, so what does it matter, even if you signed a treaty with everyone? Wolves will be wolves, and have you ever seen a wolf that did not drink blood or eat meat? If a piece of paper is enough to resolve all conflicts, why is it that the many wise and benevolent sages of the Central Plains did not resolve this problem thousands of years ago instead of leaving it up to us to resolve? Only strength can win the respect of one's opponents, and only by conquering one's opponents can one implement benevolence, righteousness, propriety, and wisdom. All I am doing is making this country into a wolf, not a lamb. By displaying strength, one wins an opponent's respect, but displaying weakness only garners humiliation and bullying!"
Wang Chong was as immovable as Mount Tai. No matter what that mysterious existence said, his stance remained firm.
On the street, the butcher shook his head as he came back to senses. After looking around in confusion, he returned to his butcher's store.
The carriage continued forward, and a few moments later, a sharp voice came out of the crowd.
"King of Foreign Lands, you are truly misguided!" The carriage had traveled seventy or eighty meters when a girl wearing a pink dress and combing her hair suddenly thrust out a finger and sternly rebuked Wang Chong. "People are people because of benevolence, righteousness, propriety, and wisdom. If everyone believed in this principle of yours, the strong eating the weak, how would we be different from the birds and the beasts? Although I am no general and have never fought on the battlefield, the examples of the past serve as lessons for the present. More than one thousand years ago, the Great Qin Empire united the world, vanquishing the other six states. Through formidable martial might, it established the first powerful empire of the Central Plains. Is this not the country of tigers and wolves that you desire? But in conquering the world, the King of Qin lost the hearts of the people, and after only a few decades, the people rebelled. King of Foreign Lands, you repeat the mistakes of the past!"
The surrounding crowd began to buzz, as everyone had finally begun to notice this extremely bizarre scene. Zhang Que strenuously pulled on the reins for fear of injuring the girl on the side of the road. He no longer found this scene strange, but he was still left extremely unsettled. He no longer had any idea when someone else would rush out from the crowd.
An old woman selling vegetables, a butcher, a girl on the side of the street combing her hair… this person seemed to be omnipresent, instilling Zhang Que with a chilling fear.
"That was then and this is now," Wang Chong calmly said. "The Great Qin Empire spent its entire existence fighting internal wars, and the greatest opponent they ever faced was the Xiongnu to the north, certainly not an opponent as strong as Arabia. The Great Tang is surrounded by tigers and wolves. Rather than strength, should we use benevolence and righteousness to deal with them? Moreover, the reason war is a burden to the country and loathed by the people is that the way we have fought wars is incorrect. In the three campaigns to the west of the Cong Mountains, the Great Tang extinguished one million enemy soldiers while suffering extremely few losses itself. And at the end of the war, it even obtained one billion taels of gold. This gold could have been used to support the country, not only reducing the financial pressure on the Imperial Court, but also improving the lives of the people.
"For this war, I constructed that cement road, and do you know how many merchants now use it? This allows the economy to thrive, and this is only the tip of the iceberg! There are bad ways to fight wars and good ways to fight wars, and I use the good way!"
At this moment, the girl suddenly awakened. Meanwhile, a middle-aged man in the sumptuous attire of a merchant suddenly emerged from a tavern and began to holler at Wang Chong.
"Ridiculous! Whether it's the bad way or the good way, it is all war in the end. No matter how much you embellish it, you cannot change this point. When a nobleman obtains wealth, he must do so in accordance with the Dao. So it is for the people, and so it should be for the country! This is the reason I returned your gold to Arabia."
Wang Chong's pupils constricted and his face became like a sheet of ice.
"That was not your money. Countless soldiers exchanged their lives for this money, and you did not have the authority to use it as you pleased. That money was what the Great Tang deserved! If not for your softheartedness, this money would have been sent back to the Great Tang to pay compensation for the soldiers, benefit the common people, construct schools, repair roads, take care of orphans, renovate cities. This money had nothing to do with you, so what right do you have to speak of it in front of me!"
"Money obtained through slaughter, no matter how much, is only a curse upon a country, not a blessing. King of Foreign Lands, withdraw your hand. The militarists have completed their mission, so now it is the time for we Confucians to act! Only by implementing benevolence, righteousness, propriety, and wisdom can the world be at peace. You are one of the leaders of the militarists. If you give up, you will be remembered as a hero of the Great Tang for centuries to come, your name praised and eulogized!"
The merchant spoke with a solemn expression, and his words were heavy as if he was making a promise. But Wang Chong replied with a sneer.
The distant merchant was clearly stunned by this reply.
Another figure emerged from the crowd. "King of Foreign Lands, even killing must come to an end. You have killed one million. Is this still not enough? Just what will make you retract your hand?"
"When the world is at peace, Wang Chong will naturally sheathe his blade!" Wang Chong slowly said from within the carriage.
For a moment, time seemed to stop. All was quiet as that pedestrian in the middle of the street gave Wang Chong a profound stare.
"King of Foreign Lands, I thought that we were the same kind of people with the same goal, but I now see that I was wrong!"
A moment later, the pedestrian gave Wang Chong a deep bow, and then the brightness in his eyes faded away. At the same time, the ripples of Psychic Energy that had been hovering around the area vanished like the wind.
Everything seemed to be frozen in time, with no one saying a word. Finally, after a long while, the crowd seemed to awaken from a dream and began to chatter once more. That pedestrian and merchant who had been blocking Wang Chong's carriage also walked away, muttering to themselves with baffled looks on their faces.
Whew! Zhang Que breathed a long sigh of relief, his back drenched in cold sweat.
Zhang Que turned to the carriage and asked, "Milord, is that person really gone?"
Wang Chong nodded, his face calm and emotionless.