The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1294
Chapter 1294: Shaking The World Iii
Chapter 1294: Shaking the World! (III)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
There was no question that if the King of Foreign Lands were allowed to succeed, he would not just be deciding the outcome of a single war, but settling all the wars far into the future. A Great Tang whose people were all soldiers, adhering to the principle of the strong, and carrying a desire to expand was a nightmare for all the countries around it.
"Your Majesty, now is not the time to consider this. Kuluo, send your people to tightly watch for any movement in the capital," Wunu Shibi suddenly said, his eyes turning to a fierce Western Turkic general at his side. "If things go bad and that kid's ideas are accepted by all of the Great Tang, a war will be coming!"
The general swiftly left with this order.
"Gurlan, pass on my order! All the troops should be ready to go to war at any moment!"
With Wunu Shibi's prompting, Ishbara Khagan also returned to his senses. The Western Turks were too far away to do anything about the events going on in the Great Tang's capital. They could only prepare themselves for the worst-case scenario and see how the situation developed.
Goguryeo, the Xi, the Khitans, and Mengshe Zhao to the southwest all felt fear and unease upon learning of the events in the Great Tang's capital.
Meanwhile, Wang Chong's 'Might Makes Right' had been like a match setting alight the powder keg that was the capital, and it was having far greater influence than anyone had expected. At this time, it had the attention of both the court and the people.
The marchers swiftly quieted down while the tea houses were filled with people discussing this book.
"…Swords and sabers can destroy the bodies of humans, but they cannot destroy a man's ideals. In the relationship between countries and peoples, in that boundless dark forest, if one does not recognize the importance of courage and martial might, the only thing awaiting one is death!"
In a tavern of the capital, a man gripped the book in his hand as he muttered to himself. This phrase written on the final page of 'Might Makes Right' had attracted his notice.
There were many phrases in Wang Chong's book that had elicited fierce discussion from the crowds, and this was one of the most famous lines. As the man muttered to himself, a hint of understanding appeared in his eyes, and he somewhat calmed down as he began to look back on his fierce anti-war stance.
"Perhaps peace isn't bad, but it's not as easy to achieve as I imagined and requires great price and effort. Just like this book says, only courage and martial might can maintain this peace!"
The man tightly clenched the book as if it was the most precious treasure in the world. He had read so many books, but none of them had ever given him such a unique feeling, had ever enlightened him like this.
Similar events were taking place in every corner of the capital. The words 'might makes right' were spreading like a flame throughout the entire empire.
Opening the minds of the people and having them examine in depth the ideas they held in their hearts had a greater effect than imagined. In the space of a single night, all the anti-war voices fell silent. But in this calm, undercurrents were surging.
"Presumptuous! This is far too presumptuous! This is merely a warrior with no attainments in learning, and yet he writes a book advancing his theories. Just who gave him this audacity!? He actually dares to question the millennia-old teachings of Confucius and Mencius!"
"That's right! We cannot permit such heretical teachings! Everyone, let's join together and censure the King of Foreign Lands. Once this pig-dog theory gets out and starts taking root, it will poison the land for one thousand years. That youngest son of the Wang Clan wouldn't even be able to pay for his crimes with one hundred deaths!"
"The three principles and the five virtues1, ruler as ruler, subject as subject, father as father, and son as son—these things are the root of the world, the origin of all things! If all this is destroyed, what will we be left with?!"
In a school in the western part of the capital, ten-some erudite Confucians had gathered together, all of them seething with anger. The ideas in Wang Chong's book had become so widespread in the capital that even their own students had a copy. The Confucian school emphasized benevolence and righteousness, but now they were studying heretical ideas like the strong eating the weak. It was simply a disgrace.
They had already confiscated these books from their respective schools quite a few times, but their bans proved fruitless.
Finally, an influential Confucian suddenly stood up, his expression agitated.
"Report this matter to the school master! No matter what, we must stop it from continuing to be published!"
Similar scenes were taking place throughout the schools of the capital, and all this news was gathering in the Secretariat Advisor Residence in the western part of the city.
At this moment, all the chairs and tables used in the reception hall for guests had been cleared away.
Li Junxian sat cross-legged in the center of the hall. Around him were piles of letters and petitions from various illustrious Confucians.
Almost all these letters censured Wang Chong and his 'Might Makes Right', each letter steeped in wrath. What worried Li Junxian the most was the information inadvertently revealed in these letters.
The ideas in this book were spreading like a plague, gaining more and more influence in the people.
"No matter what, we have to stop this!"
Li Junxian's eyes had long ago lost their vim and vigor, leaving behind only concern, unease, and determination.
His entire life, and the life of the entire Confucian Sect, had been used to prepare for one thing. At a crucial moment like this, Li Junxian could not permit anyone to ruin his plans.
Anyone who dared to do so was his enemy.
A gust of wind caused the pages of the many books in front of Li Junxian to stir. If one looked carefully, all of these were copies of 'Might Makes Right' that Li Junxian had had his people buy. These formed an arc in front of Li Junxian, and he had long ago memorized their contents.
"Wang Chong, you brought this on yourself!"
Li Junxian raised his head, his eyes shining with sharp and vicious light. At this moment, all that he had learned and all his aspirations gathered in his mind. Raising his brush, he wrote three large words on the paper before him: 'Benevolence and Righteousness'!
Hwoooo! A gale of wind spread out from Li Junxian's Secretariat Advisor Residence, spreading over the entire capital.
After Wang Chong's publishing of 'Might Makes Right', another storm began to engulf the capital…
The capital was bound to remain restless, as eight days after Wang Chong had published 'Might Makes Right', two more books, called 'Benevolence and Righteousness', and 'Doctrine of Birds and Beasts', began to sweep through the Great Tang like a hurricane. And the author of these two books was none other than the illustrious Secretariat Advisor Li Junxian, whose silver tongue had caused the surrounding countries to reduce their armies by a total of nearly one million soldiers.
The two books were targeted at Wang Chong's 'Might Makes Right' and criticized every word and sentence of it. One was the Secretariat Advisor while the other was an Advisor-in-Waiting, and both had rendered great service for the Great Tang. The conflict and struggle between the two quickly had all of the Great Tang shaking.
"Shopkeeper, give me a copy!"
"I want one too!"
"It's not one book, but two! What? Gone so fast?"
The book shops of the capital were thronged with crowds.
In a single day, 'Benevolence and Righteousness' and 'Doctrine of Birds and Beasts' were both sold out. Even though all the printing shops of the capital were working overtime to print more, they still could not satisfy the demands of the capital's populace.
This was an unprecedented storm, even surpassing the previous factional dispute. Although no one had said anything, everyone knew that Li Junxian represented the Confucians while Wang Chong represented the militarists. The book 'Might Makes Right' had fully described the standpoint of the militarists, and the ideas Wang Chong had espoused had undoubtedly enraged the entire Confucian school.
This was precisely why Li Junxian had written 'Benevolence and Righteousness' and 'Doctrine of Birds and Beasts'.
This clash symbolized a full-on battle between the militarists and Confucians, and was highly likely to decide the future of the entire Great Tang and the Central Plains. Each person and each faction could smell an extreme danger in the air.
"Winds will herald a coming storm. The Great Tang is about to experience a transformation!"
In a massive estate in the western part of the capital, a clan patriarch held 'Might Makes Right' in one hand and 'Benevolence and Righteousness' in the other, his eyes tinged with deep concern. Even major clans like his felt fear over the conflict taking place in the capital. This was an extremely precarious state, and the slightest lack of caution would send one plunging into the abyss, their body crushed to powder and their bones shattered.
"To not know of propriety, to not understand benevolence… if everyone respects only strength, then how are men any different from birds or beasts!?"
1. The three principles are that ruler should guide subject, father guide son, and husband guide wife. The five virtues are benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and trust.