Liu Bei could no longer restrain his anger after Yang Jie left. He immediately kicked a table, causing the doc.u.ments on it to scatter everywhere.
“That boy Liu Mang is bullying people too much! I will kill him! I will definitely kill him!” Liu Bei shouted.
Jian Yong smiled wryly at the side and did not step forward to admonish Liu Bei. He knew that interrupting Liu Bei while he was angry would only bring disaster. It was just like how Cao Cao must not be disturbed while asleep. There was one of Cao Cao’s bodyguard that came to cover Cao Cao with a blanket and got himself killed for the trouble. Jian Yong only stepped forward to appease Liu Bei after Liu Bei had tired himself out and calmed down.
“Xianhe. Do you think we should pay the sixty thousand provisions?” Liu Bei asked Jian Yong in a low voiced filled with anger.
Sixty thousand provisions was almost everything Liu Bei have in Nanyang. If he gave it away, his soldiers would go hungry. On top of that, Liu Bei had gone broke giving away gold and provisions to Zhang Xiu to attack Yangzhou. Once he obtained Yangzhou, he would be able to force Zhang Xiu to surrender and increase his own strength. Unfortunately, he suffered a crushing defeat. Then he thought of forcefully take Zhang Xiu’s foundation by killing Zhang Xiu but Jia Xu took away a several thousand heavy cavalry and even burned Nanyang’s provisions.
That being said, they cannot choose not to pay the ransom as well as that would cause his subordinates to become bitterly disappointed. When that happens, people would no longer be willing to risk their lives for him. One must remember that Liu Bei even threw his only son on the ground to win loyalty. At that time, Liu Bei was already fifty years old. His son could possibly be his only child. If his son were to die, his bloodline would be extinguished.
“We will pay the ransom. At the same time, we will not pay the ransom!” Jian Yong replied.1
“What are you talking about?” Liu Bei frowned. He wondered if they were to pay ransom for one and abandon the other. Doing either would still cause him to lose the loyalty of his people as the Mi Family did help him rise to this powerful position. Yang Jie was correct when he said that what Liu Bei needed to pay as ransom was only a drop in the ocean compared to the amount the Mi Family had given to him. Even the provisions that the Mi Family had provided itself was at least two hundred thousand. The rest of his wealth hasn’t even been included yet.
“When I say pay the ransom, I mean we cannot make our people lose loyalty.” Jian Yong said. He understood Liu Bei very well because they grew up together. He even knew things that other outsiders would not know. “At the same time, we cannot pay sixty thousand provisions. If we do, your great cause would fail!” Jian Yong warned. After all, Cao Cao was still in the North. Once he was done with Hebei, he would eventually come after Liu Bei. Lu Bu was also still around to make things worse.
What Liu Bei needed to do now was to expand his army and attack Lu Bu. Right now, time was the most important factor for Liu Bei, Lu Bu and Cao Cao. If he were to give his provisions away, his men would have morale. Even then, they still cannot fight ten people each.
“Xianhe. Do you think I am an idiot?” Liu Bei said angrily. Everything Jian Yong had explained were already things he knew. What he wanted to know was the next step.
“So Milord, you should grief the death of Lady Mi and General Mi Fang. They were killed by Liu Mang at Yingshang! Please accept my condolences.”2 Jian Yong said to knelt down as he spoke with a tear on his face.3
“Aren’t they still alive?” Liu Bei wanted to ask but then he suddenly understood Jian Yong’s words. They were really kindred spirits.
“All is lost! All is lost! This boy Liu Mang killed my wife and general! This person is unforgivable! I will definitely oppose him to my death!” Liu Bei glared with grief. He looked as though someone killed his parents. Yet when his parents actually died, he never shed a single teardrop for them. He is truly talented in acting.
The two actors then stopped and laughed heartily. For Liu Bei, the problem was now solved. Liu Mang wanted to harm him by destroying his reputation or his ability to build an army. Both choices were losses so Liu Bei decided not to play according to the rules.
Both Mi Fang and Lady Mi were ‘dead’. Since they were dead, Liu Bei did not need to pay their ransom. With his crocodile tears, he could give his men a common enemy and gain loyalty.
“Xianhe. What should we do with Mi Fang and Lady Mi reappears?” Liu Bei asked.
“Milord, rest a.s.sured! We can first dispatch people to find Mi Fang and Lady Mi. If we can find them, we can kill them! The dead cannot appear!” Jian Yong suggested. The dead won’t be able to speak.
“What if we can’t kill them?” Liu Bei asked cautiously.
“If we can’t kill them, we can still monitor them to make sure that they don’t appear at Yuzhou. As long as they do not appear, n.o.body would question it. Even if Liu Mang tries to say otherwise, the people would have an easier time believing you instead of him!”
“Milord. You need to add Mi Fang’s name to the list of people to be given t.i.tles!” Jian Yong said. This list would be sent to Cao Cao’s Xudou. It is only after the officials in Xudou approve it with an official seal can Liu Bei give out t.i.tles. He was not like Liu Mang who was a King. He cannot give out t.i.tles without permission.
“Of course! He died for me and the country! He must be given generous treatment! What t.i.tle should I give him? Is Marquis Guannei4 too high?” Liu Bei was actually being generous as this was actually quite a big t.i.tle. When Emperor Ling was selling the t.i.tles in the past, Guan Neihou was worth several thousand gold.
“It might be too high. I think Marquis Ting5 should be enough.” Jian Yong scowled. Even Guan Yu was only recognized as a Marquis Ting.
They were not afraid that Cao Cao would not give this t.i.tle. Even if Cao Cao refused to give this t.i.tle, the Emperor would as the Emperor was hoping for the Liu Family to help him regain the country. n.o.body expected all the people surnamed Liu to work alone.
“Let’s just make him a Xianghou!6” Liu Bei thought to himself and agreed that Guanneihou would be too excessive. He seldom felt this generous. After all, handing out t.i.tles don’t cost him any money.
“Mi Fang is not the only one that must have a t.i.tle. Lady Mi and the others must also have a t.i.tle as good as this!” Jian Yong suggested. They were already conferring a t.i.tle to Mi Fang so they might as well confer t.i.tles to the others. After all, Mi Fang and Lady Mi would no longer be able to come back!
“We will make Mi Zhu a Marquis Ting!” Those that are still alive cannot have too big a t.i.tle.
“The Lady also needs to be an example. I hope she will be known as Loyal Wife!” Jian Yong said with a smile.
“Loyal Wife? Haha! I like it!” Liu Bei laughed louder the more he thought of this ‘t.i.tle’.
Loyal Wife was a t.i.tle granted to loyal, dependable and unyielding women, posthumously. A woman’s t.i.tle was more precious compared to a man’s t.i.tle. If this t.i.tle is granted, it would be a huge slap in Liu Mang’s face. After all, Liu Mang was the one that ‘killed such a person at Yingshang’.
“Haha! Xianhe is a genius! I will immediately start writing now!” Liu Bei immediately became cheerful and energetic once he could make Liu Mang’s life difficult. He then ordered for his men to deliver him writing utensils and quickly wrote out two requests for t.i.tles to be given to Mi Fang and Lady Mi. The one for Mi Zhu was separate as he was still alive.
“Haha! We can get rid of Liu Mang’s scheme with just a few strokes of the brush!”
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“Milord, we are not done yet! We must not be careless. There is still one thing to do!” Jian Yong warned. As he was cautious, he would definitely take plenty of things into account.
The contents of the second bag were also heads. However, they were not heads of people but the heads of dogs, chickens, and other livestock. The guard had indeed performed according to the letter by sparing nothing.
Jian Yong was angry but he restrained himself. It was not the time to get angry. He immediately cupped his fist towards Liu Bei and reported, “Milord! Yang Jie’s head is not here!”
“What? What do we do now?” Liu Bei asked. The person they wanted to kill the most was Yang Jie. If Yang Jie was still alive then the ma.s.sacre at the relay station were all in vain. This was a disaster. Yang Jie still had the plate of an envoy. If this matter gets exposed, Liu Bei would turn into a joke.
“Don’t worry Milord! One insignificant Yang Jie can’t have gone far! Don’t forget, the troops of Yangzhou belong to us!” Jian Yong said.
At first, Liu Bei was stunned that Liu Mang dispatched an envoy while the two sides were at war. If it was not because of the letter, Liu Bei would think that Yang Jie was a fake. If Liu Bei himself had a hard time believing this, the others would too. When Yang Jie appears, Liu Bei could accuse him as a fake since envoys come in a group. Yang Jie’s group had already been killed.
“Good! Men, transmit my order! Close off the gates and dispatch the soldiers to find me Yang Jie!” Liu Bei commanded.
“Milord, there is no need to muster a large number of people! We should just quietly look for Yang Jie. Let the a.s.sa.s.sins7 look for him. If he doesn’t appear, there would be no harm. If he appears, we kill him!”
Meanwhile, Yang Jie was staying in Zhao Yun’s military camp.
This stupid s.h.i.t again. Doesn’t make sense.
Could have just said “We pretend your wife and general have died” from the start. Saves the world the headache of reading your flip flops. “Pay but don’t pay.” Ends up in “Nope not paying” anyway.
Romance of the Drama Kingdom.
It is a va.s.sal t.i.tle. Paper t.i.tle, doesn’t come with an estate. Something like knighthood. In English, “Marquis within the pa.s.ses” http://www.chinaknowledge.de/History/Terms/wujue.html
Actually a rank in a DIFFERENT cla.s.s system. Lower than Guanneihou(?) “friendly Neighborhood spiderman marquis”
Loyal death soldiers that sold themselves to their master to repay grat.i.tude. They generally do a.s.sa.s.sinations but not all of the time.
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