Zhuege Yue who had been very drunk is not anymore on the bed when CQ returns to the yard, instead, she finds him in his study in front of his working desk, pretty sober and writing a letter. She stands there in silence, watching him finishes his writing and seals the mail, then she slowly approaches to him, she keels down, and quietly leans her head on his lap. He combs her long hair with his dry and slender fingers, “Xing’er,” he calls her name, in a deep fatigue and exhaustion, then there is nothing. But she answers him with her voice soft as a roll of gentle waves, “I understand.” His knees slightly quivered with her words, then he grips her hand tighter.
Yes, she knows all about it. Understands his hard work, understands his tiredness, understands his disappointment over this country, and understands his profound disguise of everything around him. The emperor’s drowsiness, the princes’ fight over thorn, the officials’ corruption and inability, all made this old empire paralyzed to collapse. Experienced the suffering of the war, witnessed the tragedy of the grass-root people, as a man who has returned from the desolated barren land, how could he stand such a rot country and shameful nobles? Moreover, he is one of them, one that is essential in this battle over the thorn. He had hold the naïve hopes that everything can be changed once Zhao Che steps on the thorn, but now he is quite suspicious. He doesn’t even know that once all their enemies are defeated, what else can be left in the world when they stood on the top of the bones of people. With civilization destroyed, people slaughtered, army strangled, and country destructed, what is the meaning for them to be the only survivors? If everything must be destroyed to win the fight, can they really afford such price?
“Xing’er, I’m really NOT a good person.” That’s the only sentences from him until dawn arrives.
Five days later, the state of Daxia, perhaps the whole continent of Ximeng is shocked by an outrageous riot of the refuges in the west of Daxia. The devastated refugees finally violently broke into the mansions of the nobles and robed their money and grains. The unarmed civilians opened the heavy doors of the riches with stones and woods, and the violence was soon expanded and lost control. The local defenses of the west was fragile as paper, countless rich households were robed, burned, and countless people dead. Despite the constant urgent reports about the rebels, the central government lacks any response. Those central cadres who had just reported the countrywide harmony and peace were reluctant to eat their own words in front of the emperor, thus, they would prefer to secretly send military force to stop the riots.
“What riots?” asks Zhuge Yue, the head of military defense, “our country is full of peace and prosperous as usual, how could there be riots in the west? That’s nonsense! ”
The military intervention on the riots is therefore postponed and postponed, until one day, a wounded messenger from west dead in front of the royal palace, half way to the royal court. The emperor is shocked to furious, Zhao Yang, who is in charge of the matters of the west is deprived with his titles, and all the officials who had neglected the famine and the riots of the west has been punished. Zhuge Yue is also punished for not being able to send the military force to stop the riots in time, the emperor asks him to take a long holiday and to conduct self-reflection on his mistakes at home. Zhao Che, who has attempted to plead for him, is rejected by the emperor for several times.
Yet CQ knows exactly who was behind all this. The civil unrest has caused great casualties of the rich families in the west. Almost seventy to eighty percent of the noble families had experienced great jeopardy, also nearly 80 000 civilians died in the violence. However, as Zhuge Yue said, with the riots, the casualty is 80 000, without, it would be millions, so it is a good deal. Yes, it is indeed a good deal. The refugees of femine received the governmental aids finally. The two biggest supporters of Zhao Yang in the west, the family Mu and the Duke Ling were severely weakened due to the riots. Zhao Yang was punished and also weakened on the military power. And, the only cost from the other side, is Zhuge Yue himself being laid off and unpaid for several months.
Everything has developed as he had planned, but CQ recalls it clearly how he had been worried and kept sleepless when the news about the slaughter of people, the suffer of the normal riches, the damage to the cities, and the loss of the soldiers arrived to him one after another. Had there been any single bias, had his secrete forces lost the control of the rebels, had they failed to protect some of the local defenses, the whole west of the state will be submerged in wars and the results will be hard to imaging. For those who had slandered him, one thing from them about him is correct, he is insane.
ddmcmc: This is where we learn more about Zhuge Yue, as a great leader, instead of just a good lover.