Chapter 24: What About Him? Just Average (Part One)
When the morning sun climbed over the city gate of Fangu and shined the sunlight into the city, the people who woke up early and went out were stunned by what they saw.
Soon, the news spread, and all the residents of Fangu rushed onto the wide main street and sighed.
There were hundreds of tables on the street, and they were full of liquor bowls.
There were no dishes but liquor.
Except for Li Xiaozong, more than 700 soldiers of Fangu were all here. Right now, no soldier was patrolling on the city walls, and more than 3,000 liquor bowls on the tables were all filled.
There were four bars, six inns, and about a dozen restaurants in Fangu. The bosses, chefs, and waiters of these places and the workers of Gold Essence Shop worked a full night and moved almost all their liquor onto the street.
The soldiers wanted to help, but they were asked to sit and rest at the tables.
More than 2,000 people gathered on the main street, and they felt complicated when seeing all these tables.
Only those soldiers who protected Fangu for many years deserved to sit at these tables, and even Fang Jie who arranged this stood on the side and looked at them with guilt.
“Fang Jie, are you leaving for real?” someone couldn’t help but ask.
Fang Jie waved his hand and didn’t answer.
He grabbed a liquor bowl and slowly poured the liquor inside onto the ground. “This bowl of liquor is for our peers who died that night. I’m sorry for everything.
[TL Note: In Chinese tradition, pouring liquor on the ground is a way of paying respect to the dead. It is seen as a way for the dead to receive the liquor in the underworld.]
Except for the soldiers, not many people knew what this meant.
What happened that night could be hidden from the residents, but it couldn’t be hidden from the elite soldiers. They knew who Fang Jie was paying respect to, so they were all sad. That night, more than 20 soldiers were killed at the west gate by Fang Jie.
Theoretically, the soldiers shouldn’t forgive Fang Jie. But for some reason, someone suddenly shouted, “Rest in peace!”
Hearing this, all the soldiers stood up and each held a liquor bowl before pouring the liquor onto the ground and shouting in unison, “Rest in peace.”
The most senior member of the military at Fangu, Captain Qu Feng, murmured as he poured the liquor, “Don’t blame Fang Jie.”
More than 700 people poured the liquor on the ground, wishing their peers to be well in Heaven.
After pouring the liquor, Fang Jie kowtowed toward the west gate three times. The soldiers stood on the two sides of the tables, and someone shouted, “Salute!”
All the soldiers placed their right fists before their chests in unison, giving a proper salute of Great Sui.
Qu Feng slowly walked over and pulled up Fang Jie whose forehead was still in contact with the green stone tile. “No one is blaming you. Although we soldiers hate fighting each other, it doesn’t mean that we don’t understand situations and logics. Li Xiaozong didn’t come as he said that he imprisoned himself in his residence, but none of us called him. Look, even the soldiers who were guarding his residence are here. They don’t see you as a foe.”
“Regardless if you are at the Martial Arts Academy or other places, the soldiers at Fangu are always your brothers!”
“For our brother!” Qu Feng raised the liquor bowl and shouted.
“For our brother!” all other soldiers raised the liquor bowls and said to Fang Jie.
Fang Jie wanted to cry but held onto it. He took the bowl that Da Quan passed to him and chugged it.
“I know that you hate Li Xiaozong; we even hate him, let alone you,” Qu Feng placed the liquor bowl back onto the table after chugging it down, and he took out a stack of silver certificates from his inner pocket. “The guards of Li Xiaozong’s residence brought these to you. They said that they are too ashamed to face you, so they asked me to give them to you. These are the dividends that you gave to Li Xiaozong; not all but about one-third. You can hate him, but you made the money. You will need money to gift those officials in Chang’an; they are hard to talk to without gifts. Don’t reject these silver certificates. If you don’t feel like taking them, the more than 700 of us will each drip a drop of blood onto these silver certificates to wash away the resentment in your heart.”
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