Who Cares

Who Cares – Chapter 35

Chapter 35 Burning Books


No matter how powerful Emperor Sheng Yuan was, he was still essentially a flesh and blood men, how could he not love beauty? And this beauty was still free-spirited and unrestrained, stood firm despite adversity, which made people more and more absorbed. At this time, he quietly sat closer, a pair of fiery eyes fixedly staring, and every time the woman drank a cup, he would pour the wine in time, took a pleasure in serving her. When she squinted and smiled, he once again adopted a silly and ignorant appearance, for fear that the other person would be able to detected his inner heart impetuousness, which would lead to disgust.

On the stage, Xu Guangzhi was still talking eloquently, but every time he made an argument, he was refuted by Guan Suyi upstairs. Not to mention Qin Lingyun and Emperor Sheng Yuan were already dumbfounded, even Li shi who didn’t know many big characters felt wonderful.

“According to what you say, Confucian scholars are equivalent to insects to the country and are useless?” Qin Lingyun smiled evilly, “I really should invite the Old Master Guan and let him listen to your arguments. The brilliant student that was trained by the Confucian master himself, in the end actually dismiss him to be useless.”

Guan Suyi was already slightly drunk, holding the small wine cup in one hand and shaking it gently, while the other hand supported her chin, her leisurely attitude grew without restraint. Her steamy eyes met the big man of the Jiuli tribe, and the other party immediately raised the jug to fill her cup, the base of his ears quietly turned red.

Only then did she chuckle and slowly said, “Who said my grandfather and father are useless? They preach, teach, solve doubts, enlighten young children, teach them propriety, morality, righteousness, and aspirations. When  they grew up in the future, these young people who know propriety, behave morally, act righteously, and have aspirations will become the mainstay of the Wei Kingdom. This is the merit of enlightenment, the merit is in the society, and the benefits are in the future. After ten thousand years, their names will definitely be engraved in the history books for future generations to pay their respects to, because they have broken through ignorance and enlightened the people of an era. Don’t you think so lord marquis?”

Qin Lingyun was speechless, and after a while, he angrily took out a Buddhist bead, and said sarcastically, “Good and bad, black and white, are all up to you to say, we vulgar people should just shut up.”

Li shi clasped her hands and smiled, “This is the first time I meet a character that can outspoken Little Yun, punish with a big bowl of wine!”

“Sister, please.” Guan Suyi stretched out her hand to invite, turned her face, saw the Jiuli man staring at the wine cup in his hand, and couldn’t help but smile, “Do you think it’s boring to drink a small cup? There is no need for you to serve here, go and drink a big bowl with them.” She pointed at the guards at the next table with her fingertips.

Qin Lingyun covered his face, unable to believe that Guan Suyi ordered His Majesty so naturally. What “no need to serve”? If she knew His Majesty’s identity, it’s unknown what her expression would be like, could she still be this calm and looked down on everything? She probably would scared to cry, right?

Emperor Sheng Yuan was not annoyed at all, but rather enjoyed her care. He did drink from a big bowl, but it wasn’t because he was hooked by the wine bugs, rather fascinated by her transparent fingertips glowing like pink crystals, which made him lost his mind for a moment. He shook his head and said honestly, “It is an honor for this humble one to serve Madam. Besides, Madam’s words are very interesting, and this humble one like to listen to it. There is a saying in the Central Plains, ‘Listening to your words is better than reading ten years of books‘, which I didn’t understand before, but now it touched deeply. Listening to a few words from Madam, it’s more effective than reading thousand of books.”

Guan Suyi was amused by him and waved her hand, “You don’t need to praise me, I still know my own worth, scholarly knowledge is not comparable to my maternal grandmother, and specialize skill is not comparable to my grandfather, just a few sour gossips, all for amusement. There’s still another saying in Central Plains, ‘Reading thousand book is not as good as travelling thousand of miles’. If you have time, go out and walk around more, you will find that I am nothing more than this.” While speaking, she took the wine cup from the big man’s hand, filled it for him personally, pushed it forward, and said in a gentle tone, “Since you like to listen to me, then let’s just drink and talk, don’t worry about your lord marquis.”

Marquis Zhenxi immediately nodded, “Madam has invites you to drink, you can drink openly. Today, there is no distinction between noble and inferior, and there is no distinction between master and servant.” As for who was the master and who was the servant, they knew it in their hearts, and they only kept it from Guan Suyi.

Emperor Sheng Yuan pretended to be stupid and scratched his head, thanked Madam for the reward, and finally drank the wine. He loved Madame’s flushed cheeks when she was slightly drunk, and he loved her bright eyes that was always shrouded in mist. She spoke softly and gently like a feather across the tip of the heart, but sometimes powerful and deafening. Talking to her was indeed a great pleasure. As for what Xu Guangzhi said downstairs, he had completely forgotten about it.

Several people gathered around the table to drink, and after a short while, thunderous applause came from the first floor, only to see that Xu Guangzhi had refuted the last Legalist scholar, and he wrote four words in cursive writing—the benevolent is invisible.

“Good, good words!”

“Great master Xu indeed has outstanding knowledge!”

“Abolish the hundred schools of thought and respect only Confucianism, these words are exquisite! If my Wei Kingdom respects Confucianism and implements benevolence governance, it will be invincible in the whole world!” The audiences cheered, obeyed completely.

Xu Guangzhi cupsed his hands to everyone under the stage, and finally walked to the Jiuli nobleman who sponsored him to hold the ten-day battle of words, and saluted respectfully. A group of Confucian scholars immediately surrounded him, expressing admiration one by one, and the scene was very lively.

“The benevolent is invincible. These four words are very domineering.” Although Li shi didn’t understand what she saw, but she listened to what people said and asked with a smile, “Sister, what does this mean?

“The one who administers benevolence governance, who return the people’s heart, pacifying the world, is invincible.” This sentence could be said to be words of wisdom, so the emperor would promote Confucianism, suppress many schools of thought, and govern the country with benevolence.” Because Marquis Zhenxi was the emperor’s lackey, Guan Suyi easily said a few flattering words, then got up and said goodbye.

As soon as the sweetness in Emperor Sheng Yuan’s heart surged up, it was suppressed by the loss, and said hurriedly, “Madam, please sit for a while, anyway, the hour is still early.”

“No…” Guan Suyi’s unfinished words were all scattered with anger, when she saw Xu Guangzhi who won the debate actually changed the originally happy event and asked the Legalist scholars to hand over the books they carried and throw them into the brazier to burn. He intended to use his actions to show his determination to abolish hundreds of schools of thought and respect Confucianism alone, but the Confucian scholars around him not only did not stop him, but instead applauded and cheered for him.

Qin Lingyun’s eyes were red with anger, and when he was about to speak angrily, he heard a faint words “incompetent” in his ears, and turned to look, it was Marquis Zhenbei Madam.

The incompetent become famous, really have no shame!” Guan Suyi said in a more serious tone, “On one hand, he keeps pushing for benevolence and universal love, and on the other hand, he imitates the violent Qin Dynasty, where they burned Confucian classics and bury alive Confucian scholars, when words and actions actually contradictory, it’s very ominous! Reading books opened wisdom, reading books make you understand propriety, reading books cultivated one’s heart and mind, build genuine harmonious feeling. If Xu Guangzhi is a serious scholar, how could he be so hostile! Taoism ruled by inaction, unification of the monarchy by Legalist, benevolence by Confucian, non-aggression by Mohist, Military Strategist’s resourcefulness, healing by physician… Each Hundred Schools of Thought has their own strengths, and they are all pearls of history and treasure of humanities. It’s a sin to kill even half a point. Xu Guangzhi that incompetent, you dare!”

She scolded incompetent several times in a row, it was obvious that she was really angry. At this time, the art of paper-making had just been invented and had not yet spread widely. Many bamboo slips were burned and destroyed due to war, and books were extremely precious, especially those books that are transcribed with paper and brush, and sewn together with ropes, which were invaluable.

When she was about to get married, Guan Suyi wished she could exchange all her dowries for books and could not. But Xu Guangzhi was good, a few words could burn these many classics to the ground. Even if she was open-minded, but at this moment she felt anger surge into her heart, almost made her crying blood.

Emperor Sheng Yuan felt the same, and quickly reassured her, “Madam, don’t be angry, don’t worry, I will send someone to save the book.” after the words fell he waved waved to the guards standing by the side, and immediately a few people ran downstairs to put out the fire.

“Don’t splash water, find a few stone slabs to suppress the burning flame.” Guan Suyi urgently ordered.

Emperor Sheng Yuan made a gesture to the guard leader again, and the man immediately ran to the backyard, found a few stone slabs, and placed them on the roaring fire. The flames trembled and became smaller until they went out, leaving only the thick smoke billowing out of sight. The legalists knelt down and howled in pain, and the Confucians were furious and unwilling to let go, grabbing a few guards to questioned them.

These people didn’t want to bother, showed their token and quickly returned to report. The aggressive Jiuli nobleman completely stopped, and then looked upstairs in fear. He seemed to want to kneel, and his knees were already half bent, but he was stopped by someone’s ruthless gaze, so he could only cupsed his hands with a pale face, and then left in a daze. As soon as they left, the Confucian scholars, whose mind was turning fast, had already noticed the abnormality, and followed suit. Several Legalists staggered along while weeping and went out of the door.

After around three hundred feet away, Xu Guangzhi asked in a low voice, “My lord, who is that person just now?”

“Don’t ask too much.” Having said that, County Prince Jing pointed in the direction of the imperial city.

Xu Guangzhi was startled at first, then he was ecstatic, and forced himself to suppress his heartbeat and said, “Then His Majesty has seen this humble one’s ability, right?”

“He is fond of Confucianism, so there is no reason for him to not come and watch the battle. This Prince guesses that he had come more than once. You have performed well. You have made a name for yourself in Yanjing. Tomorrow, This Prince will recommend you during the court.” After thinking for a while, he said, “You have some skills yourself, why don’t you ask a few master to write a few words of recommendation, it will be more convenient to do things.”

“The student will immediately visit various big masters. The kindness of the prince’s support, this lowly one will never forget!” Xu Guangzhi said impatiently.

“This Prince helps you only because I likes your talent and learning, not expecting repayment. Go ahead, and  be loyal to the court in the future.” County Prince Jing seemed to be righteous, but in fact he was very ambitious. The two of them understood tacitly, no need to say more, they parted ways after a short while, each went to work out a plan.

In the Wencui Building, the crowd walked and scattered, and after half a cup of tea later there were only three or two tables left. The servants in the hall was busy cleaning up the dishes and cleaning the filth, and there was a loud noise. The private rooms on the second floor were restored to their original state, with screens to cut off the sight, leaving only one exit.

Guan Suyi was sitting upright, her knuckles were knocking on the table frequently, showing that she was very upset. A brazier emitting residual warmth was placed in front of her, and the bluestone slab pressed on it was still smoking. If it was rashly opened, the flames might reignite again, so she could only wait.

Emperor Sheng Yuan was afraid that she would be worried, so he could not help but persuade in a warm voice, “Madam, don’t be impatient, the blazing fire have been suppressed, and the books will not be destroyed again. Let’s slowly put it together when the heat dissipates.”

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5 thoughts on “Who Cares – Chapter 35

  1. Doesn’t take much historic knowledge to be able to tell how harmful burning literature is to a society. This cannon fodder doesn’t only want to mute one collective voice but all others except his own, this is an extremist of the extreme.
    Too much of anything in life never works out.

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