Making an Issue of Pretext
While Yun Yang was still hurling insults back and forth, rumors had begun to spread in Tiantang City.
“Do you know? I heard Young Master Yun lashing out at someone earlier…”
“These scoundrels have come here, asking Young Master Yun to bring them to brothels…”
“Lecherous maniacs. They’re generals, for crying out loud. What the heck?”
“From which country are they from? Is that even a question? Of course, they’re from Dongxuan, Dayuan, Tianci and the others…”
“No wonder they seek war with us every year… to snatch our women!”
“We can’t let them have their way no matter what it takes. Once they fight their way here, our families will be in danger!”
“F*ck! Your father is enlisting in the army to fight these bastards!”
“We must do what we can. We must never allow these sex maniacs to fight their way here. Young Master Yun has said it, they could do whatever it takes…”
“Say, Young Master Yun is in a tough situation as well, having to fight with so many people alone. He’s not bringing them to the brothels, yet those fellows are forcing him to. Young Master Yun must be suffering immensely…”
“Young Master Yun is really having a tough time…”
“Young Master Yun is a man of justice and benevolence, his actions are commendable! Even if it’s brothels, they belong to Yutang! How can these foreigners visit them just because they want to? No way!”
“Young Master Yun is protecting these prostitutes. He is a man of justice, of righteousness; he’s so upright and caring, a man with a tough exterior yet gentle inside…”
“You’re exactly right!”
Yun Yang’s courage mounted as the ‘battle’ progressed, his eloquence escalating as he hurled insults at the generals and charged in boldly; he was fighting against ten and even a hundred men alone, his sharp tongue carrying him through and rendering the generals enraged yet speechless, without any suitable retort.
This was a grave accusation!
Each and every one of us is a powerful general of a country. We’ve gone from east to west in conquests, we’ve subdued many and our achievements are plenty. How could we have become lecherous creeps who want nothing but sex through this rascal’s words?
Han Sanhe’s forehead was in his hand right now, his head aching from the situation.
How can this rascal be so senseless? He’s making a scene without a care for where we are, and he utters heinous words without a care for decency. This is so…
“Marshal…” The dark-skinned youth beside him slid over and said in a low voice, “He’s instigating the people…”
Han Sanhe was shocked hearing it.
Turning to look around, his eyes saw passersby hearing a few lines and leaving swiftly. People were moving about in throngs so there must have already been a multitude of them who had heard of the argument here and gone back into the crowds, dispersing into every possible direction.
Imagination alone could tell what a wave these people could conjure.
What was the most terrifying was that this incident today was not intentional nor purposefully created. It was just being passed by mouth by these ordinary citizens yet it was exactly such dissemination that possessed the most frightening speed…
“Quit arguing!” Han Sanhe bellowed. “What propriety do you still have?”
Han Sanhe had actually articulated similar words a few times before but their effect had been incredibly limited. Even when someone wanted to listen to him, they would be quickly riled up by Yun Yang’s sharp comments and dive back into the argument.
However, Han Sanhe’s tone this time was sterner than before, shocking everyone. The bickering then stopped right there and then!
“Young Master Yun, let us go straight ahead to the Residence of Nine Supremes. Let us not talk about anything else for now.” Han Sanhe said each word slowly, looking at Yun Yang, “Especially about the scenery along the way; we’re not interested to hear about it.”
Yun Yang knew that Han Sanhe was currently at the end of his limits. Going too far would be as bad as falling short and he would have opportunities for more instigation later; he did not have to be impatient. Therefore, he nodded easily and said good-naturedly, “Right. Marshal Han is reasonable. Look at all of you, talking about brothels and comfort houses each time you speak; what is that all about? Look at Marshal Han… he doesn’t speak of brothels publicly… he sneaks there behind everyone’s backs…”
All the generals were close to losing their tenous grip on civility – Who is the one talking about brothels all the time?
Under the intimidation of Han Sanhe’s gaze, nobody said anything further. They had already chopped Yun Yang into pieces hundreds of thousands of times in their heart.
This bastard, he better not end up in my hands in the future. If there’s such a day, let us see if your father will f*ck you over!
The group continued on their way.
Han Sanhe sighed inwardly. He was a military leader, but he was no politician. If he were a politician, he would have realized Yun Yang’s intention from the very beginning and stopped him then.
This child’s brain was overly active.
Just this argument today that was being broadcasted by Yutang’s citizens would definitely make waves and ripples; when word of mouth spread, Empire of Yutang’s xenophobia would be unprecedentedly united and intense.
Some people could not be bothered with national affairs, nor about the rise and fall of their country but as long as one was human, who wouldn’t be bothered with their parents, spouses, and children?
Therefore, if the rumor about these generals being lecherous creeps spread in addition to countless people being witnesses to it – that even the highest ranked general went in search of a brothel upon coming to Yutang… these countries’ reputations would be entirely diminished.
Once the war began, the Empire of Yutang would be united from the knowledge of the rumor, their determination would be strong while the flame of patriotism would blaze in every heart!
Trivial it would be for the soldiers to die than to surrender but even if there were to be the day when Yutang had lost and their capital had been conquered, only a city of the dead would await!
Han Sanhe knew that Yun Yang’s words seemed to have been uttered by chance, but he must have planned and even had a backup plot. His ultimate goal would be to use them to spur the protective nature of the people of the Empire of Yutang’s against the enemies, and achieve the goal he had thought of previously!
It was not the most efficient way to just instigate the crowd; the mightiest trick would be to make the entire nation xenophobes, loathing intruders and willing to face death than to surrender or experience humiliation!
When such a time came, the nation’s spine and its people’s spirit would naturally be melded into one, however different Yutang’s people were!
This was the foundation that would be secured!
“Young Master Yun is indeed far-sighted and insightful.” Han Sanhe looked at Yun Yang thoughtfully as he went on his way. His gaze was of wonder and also of regret – why had he chosen such a fellow to keep them company despite the other choices he had?
He was right about his feelings about this fellow, he was a dangerous one indeed… but was this not too dangerous now?
“Not at all, not at all. Old Marshal has really flattered me. Yun Yang has only spoken the truth, how can I be far-sighted?”
Yun Yang put on a triumphant front as if saying, “Justice is in the heart of the people, there is no way you can twist the right and wrong. Sound reasoning is on my side, you folks naturally can’t win in an argument with me. I feel really gratified today.”
Looking at the frivolous façade Yun Yang intentionally wore, the alertness in Han Sanhe’s eyes only grew stronger.
Along their way, there were already a large number of people who watched their group with a strange gaze… There were even some who spat on the ground right after their group passed by.
The Residence of Nine Supremes.
When the group saw their destination from afar, engulfed in a thick fog that did not dissipate, all two hundred of them immediately grew somber.
The legendary Residence of Nine Supremes had just stood there quietly in its majesty, exuding an aura of intimidation, causing everyone who looked upon it to experience a sense of awe.
The sound of brooms sweeping the ground sounded softly yet rhythmically.
When the gazes of two hundred generals followed the sound, their eyes were greeted with the sight of veterans wearing old military uniforms holding long brooms and cleaning fastidiously, scattered all around the Residence of Nine Supremes.
Their bodies were bowed, the large brooms forming an angle against the ground as they dragged the dust away with force yet not a cloud of dust would fly into the air.
The ground was speckled; even if one were to roll around where they had cleaned wearing white, their clothes would remain pristine.
There were small forests on both sides, each tree rising straight to the sky as their branches that stuck out halfway were trimmed away neatly.
The dust and dirt that were cleaned from the ground were gathered and poured away around the tree roots.
The veterans assembling here wore exceptionally serene expressions; it was as if working like this was their ultimate dream in life.
Han Sanhe sighed softly.
“Are these all handicapped veterans?” Han Sanhe saw that these people, who were wearing the old military uniforms, were either lacking an arm or an eye.
These handicapped veterans kept themselves clean and tidy, even their hair was slicked back neatly.
“The Residence of Nine Supremes was also very clean before the Lord Nine Supremes were stricken with a mishap, but it was never as clean as it is now.”
Yun Yang said quietly, “Since the news of the Lord Nine Supremes doom were relayed back, this place has become the holy ground of Yutang’s people!”
“There were never once a person or authority that has summoned the movement, nor had anyone set this up intentionally. The cleaning work here is done voluntarily by these old veterans; they’ve automatically arranged themselves into duty slots and maintained everything here on their own volition.”
“There isn’t any salary or repayment, everything is done voluntarily.”
“To them, their biggest wish is none other than seeing the return of the Lord Nine Supremes.”
“They are worried that the Lord Nine Supremes will be unhappy if they see the place unkempt when they come back.”
“They’re also disallowing the sacred spaces in their hearts to be tainted by any impurities.”
“As time passed, it has become how you see it right now.”
Yun Yang’s tone was heavy as he emphasized each word, “These people, each and every one of them, are all great men who have risen above the battlefields and killed many in their day!”
“The Residence of Nine Supremes is being protected by loyal souls, it is guarded by the lion-hearted.”
The foreign generals were sober as they listened to the narration. They looked upon the Residence of Nine Supremes with reverence.
After some time, they bowed in unison, their actions unusually formal.
“Majestic Yutang, monumental Nine Supremes; they who fought against the world, protecting the nation and its people; they who emerged ever-victorious, the supreme of the battlefield. Battlefields of all sides, you are the army’s heart; hundreds of thousands of warriors, you are the army’s soul…”
Han Sanhe heaved a long sigh. “These heroic souls are still around, long live their heroic spirits; we as militants likewise have come to pay homage to you; your meritorious feats shall always be, your distinguished majesty shall forever be!”