The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1285
Chapter 1285: The Hu Enter The Capital
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Elder Song is overthinking it."
Li Junxian waved his hand and confidently paced forward.
"There are hidden schemes and open schemes. Hidden schemes are easy to avoid while open schemes are difficult to defend against. This time, we are using a plain and open scheme with no tricks. No matter how intelligent and shrewd the King of Foreign Lands is, there is nothing he can do. And everyone is watching this time. If he dares to try anything, he will debase himself. After all, what he needs to contend against isn't just us, but the people of the capital, the hearts of the entire realm.
"The Great Tang has been embroiled in wars for many years, in one direction or the other. The common people were already beginning to detest war and long for peace. No one likes war and everyone desires peace in the first place. This is the irresistible trend. We've only clearly displayed it before him. This is not a scheme… but reality!"
Li Junxian raised his head, his eyes seemed to peer into the infinite.
Everyone silently listened, their eyes shining with belief. The young master's martial arts, schemes, and intelligence were acknowledged as the best in the entire Confucian Sect. No one dared to question his plans.
"But a long night will lead to many dreams, and the King of Foreign Lands is an opponent that can never be underestimated. Elder Song, Junior Sister, alter our agenda to hasten the plan," Li Junxian sternly said.
"Yes, Young Master!"
Elder Song and the white-clothed woman simultaneously bowed, smiles in their eyes.
A few moments later, with the discussion settled, everyone withdrew, leaving only Li Junxian in the room.
Li Junxian raised his head and muttered, "King of Foreign Lands, swords and sabers are easy to block while the hearts of people are difficult to defend. Let me see how you deal with this one."
As the talk regarding the devastating damage inflicted by wars on the economy of the Great Tang grew increasingly critical, all the proposals passed earlier began to be implemented on the borders of the Great Tang. The army retreated two hundred li while treaty cities were opened up.
More and more Hu were entering the interior through these treaty cities to trade, and an increasing number of them were able to speak, albeit awkwardly, in the language of the Great Tang. Li Junxian had even had a proposal passed through the Imperial Court stating that all Hu who bought products while speaking in the Tang language would enjoy a twelve percent discount in price, with the Imperial Court paying the difference.
As everything was smoothly and silently proceeding along, half a month later, a piece of news shook the Great Tang.
After a discussion between the Six Bureaus and the Secretariat, the Imperial Court had decided to invite a group of Turks, Mengshe Zhao, Goguryeons, Tibetans, and other foreigners who were currently studying the Tang language and who admired the Tang culture into the capital. The Imperial Court would provide them an allowance so that they could enjoy the customs and traditions of the Great Tang.
This visit was also so that the ordinary people could understand the Hu, so that both sides could understand each other and reduce their misunderstandings, advancing friendly and peaceful relationships with the foreign countries.
When the appointed time came, the entire capital turned out to watch.
"Son, let's go! Your father will take you to see the Hu!"
Early in the morning, a father and son excitedly rushed toward the city gate. Although the capital was the political and commercial heart of the Great Tang, often frequented by Hu merchants, this time was different. The announcement from the Imperial Court had clearly stated that the ones coming this time were not big-bellied and affluent Hu merchants, but actual ordinary Hu.
They were just like the ordinary people of the Great Tang, possessing flesh and blood and living out ordinary lives, not the savage and bloodthirsty Hu warriors that everyone imagined. And the Imperial Court had also said that there were many Hu women, elders, and children. All of these were normally very difficult to see in the capital.
When the father and son reached the western gate of the city, they were greeted with an immense crowd, all of them excitedly waiting with enthusiastic looks on their faces.
As everyone was waiting, there was an enormous boom and a metallic groaning, the gates suddenly began to open, and cheers could be heard from up ahead.
"They're coming! They're coming!"
"Everyone, hurry and look! There really are a lot of Hu!"
A turmoil ran through the crowd, and a few moments later, many figures could be seen riding toward the city on camels and on horses, escorted by the soldiers of the army.
"Son, look there!"
The father raised his child up and excitedly looked forward. Up ahead were thousands of Hu lined up in orderly ranks as they proceeded toward the city gate. The father and son watched with wide eyes and immediately noticed that the person at the very front was an old man with a wrinkled face. Unlike the Hu of their imaginations, a savage warrior covered in armor and flailing around with a saber or sword, this was just an ordinary old man.
He was wearing a coarse cloth robe and his two wrinkled palms were lean and tough. He also seemed no stronger than an ordinary Han elder. Behind him were two Hu youths. Although they were Hu, they were wearing Han clothes and were courteous and refined, not at all like the boorish Hu they expected.
Farther back, the father and son spotted two young Hu women with flowers thrust in their hair. The two of them had flushed complexions as they avidly took in their surroundings. It was obvious that these two had never before been to the Great Tang's capital, nor had they ever seen such a flourishing and bustling city. All this gave them a fresh and new feeling.
"Zayali, look at that! What beautiful houses! This place is truly wonderful!"
The young woman on horseback was paying little attention to the crowds watching her. Her eyes had spotted a restaurant of flying eaves and painted beams, and she stared excitedly at that protruding eave made from ceramic. Everything she was seeing was far more beautiful than she had imagined and far more grandiose than her teacher back at the school had described.
The rows upon rows of buildings, the banners snapping in the wind, and the vast crowds of people packing the streets wearing all kinds of exquisite silk clothes and shoes—all this was completely different from what they could see on the Great Steppe.
"It really is too beautiful! It's like I'm dreaming."
The girl called Zayali was even more shocked than her companion.
As the two girls chatted, a Hu youth behind them suddenly slid off his horse and rushed over to a stall selling meat buns on the side of the street.
This action was so abrupt that the soldiers responsible for keeping order were frightened out of their wits, but it was too late for them to stop the youth. The owner of the steamed bun stall was even more frightened, his face paling.
"No, no, don't come over!" the owner said, his eyes filled with fear.
"How… how much is a steamed bun?"
The Hu youth spoke in rather awkward Tang and was rather shy. As he spoke, he took out the few copper coins he had and offered them.
The stall owner's jaw dropped in surprise, and it took him some time to come around.
"Those who come from afar are guests. I will take only one coin; just one coin is enough."
As the stall owner spoke, he passed over two piping hot steamed buns.
"Thank you, thank you!"
The Hu youth took the two steamed buns and took a large bite out of one as he murmured his thanks. He was so excited that he was shedding tears.
"I ate it! I ate the steamed meat buns that Teacher was talking about!"
The youth raised his arms high in the air as he rushed back to his companions and yelled.
After witnessing the youth's 'heroic feat', the other Hu loudly cheered. And all the people of the capital who had seen this sight, after a brief moment of astonishment, also began to loudly cheer.
These were not the affluent Hu merchants who usually frequented the capital, but ordinary Hu who lived on the plains. For the first time, the people of the capital discovered that the Hu were just like them. They had graying and wrinkled elders, but also youthful and enchanting young women who were interested in everything around them.
Their young men also had their shy, kindhearted, and anxious side.
They were all just like the ordinary people of the Central Plains, completely different from what they had imagined.
When they realized this, the crowd began to cheer even louder, and the soldiers keeping order sensed this and began to smile. After many long and endless wars, the Hu and the Tang were finally welcoming a cherished period of peace.
Without any more strangeness or misunderstandings, the ordinary people of both sides were able to see the true faces of the other side.
"Hahaha, son, look! The Hu are nothing to be frightened of! Right?"
At the edge of the crowd, that father who was raising his son up on his shoulders had also sensed the joyous and harmonious mood in the air.
Escorted by the soldiers and cheered on by the crowd, the thousands of Hu passed through the city gates and gradually headed deeper into the capital toward the hostels that had been arranged for them.
And at this moment, no one noticed a pair of eyes looking down from a restaurant on the street. The owner of these eyes slowly turned away, a hint of worry on his face.
"Milord, if this continues, the people will make an incorrect judgment! They will think that these kindhearted and pure Hu represent all Hu, believe that the reports from the border were all made up by the soldiers to achieve false fame! The people of the Confucian Sect are misleading the common people!" said Su Shixuan anxiously from beside the window.
Before the time announced by the Imperial Court, he had accompanied his master to this restaurant. Although the scene before their eyes gave off a relaxing and harmonious feeling, and those Hu elders and children seemed to pose no threat, Su Shixuan couldn't feel happy at all. It was easy for the people to see one side and completely forget about the other side.
Yes, these kindhearted, shy, and pure people were all Hu, but those vicious, cruel, and aggressive people were also Hu! The warhorses raised by that graying elder that were scattered across the steppe could become the mounts of butchers. Those youthful and energetic young women could produce dried meat and drive herds of sheep and cattle to serve as the supply train for the army. And as for those shy and bashful young men…