Chapter 193: Then Read the Emperor’s Mind (Part One)
Sui Buwei knew that the Emperor had things to talk about with Fang Jie in private, so he bowed and asked Chen Bolai and others to wait for Huai Qiugong, the Head of the Ministry of Rites, in another place.
These people who were summoned by the Emperor for the first time walked out of East Warmth Chamber slowly, feeling like they were in a dream; they didn’t even know how they walked out.
“Alright, don’t act like this anymore,” the Emperor said as he pointed at a chair not far away, “Did they offend you? Why did you act that way in front of Chen Bolai and others? I only followed along since I know you hold some resentment from being locked up in the secret prison for a while. Sit down; I have things to ask you.”
Fang Jie nodded with his head lowered as he thought, “The Emperor can see many things.”
He knew that this man was great at observing people. Although many officials were known for their intelligence, they couldn’t be compared with the Emperor.
The Emperor might not be innately smart, but he had accumulated enough knowledge and experience.
Fang Jie didn’t sit down. He bent his back and said, “It is better for me to stand before Your Majesty.”
The Emperor nodded and said while writing on a memorial to the throne with a red inkbrush, “The secret prison of the Royal Guard isn’t far away from East Warmth Chamber. It only takes about half an hour to walk there. I know your behavior in there. If Mr. Zhuo and Professor Qiu didn’t convince you, were you going to give up on life? If that is the case, why should I keep you alive?”
Fang Jie didn’t reply as he knew that he didn’t need to.
After a pause, the Emperor asked, “Do you feel like you were wronged?”
Fang Jie replied after a moment of silence, “Somewhat.”
The Emperor said, “If you don’t have any resentment, I should lock you up for real. The Buddhist Sect is the biggest enemy of Great Sui; Mongo-Yuan is nothing compared to it. I want all people of poor backgrounds to look up to your story and be motivated. This is a great thing to raise the morale of Great Sui, but I don’t want to become a laughingstock in the future.”
Then, the Emperor looked at Fang Jie and said with a smile, “Fortunately, you aren’t connected to the Buddhist Sect.”
“Yeah, fortunately,” Fang Jie repeated it, seeming to hold a little grudge.
The Emperor ignored his little tantrum and pointed at the memorials to the throne on the table. He said, “These were delivered this morning. The war in the northwest just started, yet quite a few people are recommending me to pull back the military and negotiate a new peace treaty with Mongo-Yuan. These fools. Do they think this is child’s play? Negotiating for peace after I moved 700,000 soldiers to the northwest and only one battle?”
Fang Jie knew that the important issue was going to be mentioned, so he concentrated and listened.
“Since I got on the throne, I started to plan this war in the northwest. In the last 12 years, I have been preparing non-stop. Expanding Great Sui is one reason; do you know the other reason?”
“I’m too dull to understand,” Fang Jie replied with his head lowered.
The Emperor put down the inkbrush and sat straight before saying, “About 12 years ago, your master, which is my seventh brother and Royal King Zhong of Great Sui, traveled west to kill enemies. Do you know about this?”
“I heard a little about it. Royal Guard Captain Luo Weiran mentioned it to me.”
“Eh, I thought so.” The Emperor seemed pleased with Fang Jie’s honesty, and he continued after a brief pause, “About 12 years ago, Royal King Zhong traveled west with hundreds of cultivation masters from the martial arts circle, killing enemies at Fangu. However, too many of them died, and there was no news on Royal King Zhong. For a while, I thought he died in the northwest. From that moment on, I decided to conquer Mongo-Yuan to avenge him and those heroes who died for Great Sui. I sighed an agreement with the Khagan of Mongo-Yuan to buy time and better prepare for this war. Do you understand it now?”