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The Great Ming had two capitals, Beijing and Nanjing, and thirteen provinces, which were the thirteen Government Offices for Continued Development.
When the country had been founded, in order to avert similarities to the Yuan Dynasty, these weren’t called ‘provinces’, but that ‘Government Offices for Continued Development’ thing. Such a long and awkward name had obviously never caught on with the commonfolk, so everyone still distinguished them as provinces.
Henan Prefecture was just one of many territories in Henan’s Government Office; it had one state with thirteen counties under its jurisdiction, Gong County being among them. And yet, that tiny area was especially special, on account of the tombs of Northern Song’s seven Emperors being there.
The people of villages neighboring the county city had also consequently undertaken the duty of defending the tombs. To them, that the Emperors of previous Dynasties had been willing to be buried here demonstrated that this area was rife with feng shui, hence why all the households for li around were quite proud of that fact.
In spite of most of them being illiterate, they seemed to have a bit more inside information than the citizens of other locales. Even old men over seventy would frequently point at a certain chunk of land and tell their descendants that below there was such-and-such Emperor’s tomb, none of them would even see a stele pavilion for it now since Yuan’s people had once robbed them dry, they hadn’t been like this to begin with, and so on.
Those descendants would then tell their own descendants, the tale of the imperial tombs getting passed down through generations.
However, all of this had changed because of the incident. Now, the first reaction the locals had when bringing up the Northern Song tombs was not pride, but inexplicable terror.
Tang Fan’s group set off from the capital, going by land for Henan Prefecture. Sui Zhou left Xue Ling behind to head the Northern Bastion Office while he himself brought twenty personal guards along, Pang Qi included. They left for the South together, in the name of being imperial ambassadors.
Even though this case was not the most pressing, it had still taken human lives, and particularly involved the robbery of imperial tombs. Everyone took off on horseback without delay at the beginning, but after two days of forging ahead, a disparity was gradually revealed.
The Brocade Guards were a bunch of big, thick-skinned ol’ men, and after enduring Sui Zhou’s hell-like training, they had long been polished into having copper skin and iron bones. Having said that, even without his heavy drilling, horseback riding would be a cinch for military officials like them.
The civil officials of the Ministry of Justice were different, though. All of them sat in bureaus all day long, their most labor-intensive work being nothing more than serving tea and fetching water. Riding a horse out of nowhere for two days in a row could really rattle their bones out of place, to say nothing of the embarrassing-to-mention fact that all of them were getting blisters rubbed out onto their inner thighs. Some of those even broke open and bled, giving off scorching pains.
In the capacity of an imperial ambassador, Tang Fan needed to put on a leaderly look, so he grit his teeth and persevered no matter what. However, Sui Zhou still quickly noticed that the civil officials weren’t doing so hot. He ordered the Guards to slow their pace, and even brought out ointment for Tang Fan and the rest to smear on their wounds.
Were both of their leaders to remain steadfast, the subordinating two clerks would have naturally found it poor to complain. Instead of that, though, Yin Yuanhua refused to get back on his horse, and insisted upon requesting for a carriage.
The Guards weren’t accustomed to this group of civils, but they still knew that Boss Sui had a good friendship with Tang Fan; the ambassador was reportedly lodging in the latter’s home, while this Yin Yuanhua had been attempting to make things hard for him the whole journey. The two clearly did not walk the same path. Since they dared not poke fun at the ambassador, they focused their artillery on Yin Yuanhua.
This one gave a wink. “Hey hey, someone thinks that he’s here to have fun. Taking a carriage? Does he want a bead curtain to lift up like a pretty lady that half-covers her face, shy before she even says a thing?”
That one had a weird smile. “How do you know he isn’t a pretty lady? Have you seen him without clothes on?”
At this time, they all had passed into an official posthouse to stop and take a rest. Tang Fan and Sui Zhou were the lead and deputy imperial ambassadors; for the sake of being at ease, no one wanted to share a table with their leaders even for dinner, so they had separate ones. Yin Yuanhua was at one table with the two clerks, while the rest of the Guards had scattered seating — the former had heard all those words come crystal-clear out of the neighboring table.
How could he not know that those guys were talking about him? He got vigorously angry on the spot, slammed his chopsticks down heavily upon the table, and stood up with a bang. “Who are you all talking about?!”
If he hadn’t stood up, things would have been fine. Once he did, his thighs suddenly cramped up on end, making him grimace in pain and inciting the Guard group to laugh at him.
Tang Fan disliked Yin Yuanhua, but he was acting as lead envoy for this trip. Being the other’s superior, he was required to have the bearing of a leader, and thus could not sit by and watch him get humiliated like this. Using the other end of his chopsticks, he poked Sui Zhou in the arm.
The latter coughed lightly, a pair of eyes as sharp as electricity sweeping towards his subordinates. They all quit laughing at exactly the same time, burying their heads in their meals at once.
After they ate, Yin Yuanhua made up his mind to refuse to ride a horse, insisting upon taking a carriage to Henan. The two clerks, equally suffering so much, it was beyond words, looked at Tang Fan with longing eyes.
His expression was a little strange. “You all really want to take a carriage?”
The clerks dared not answer, but Yin Yuanhua did. “It’s necessary to! This humble official is not as good as you, Sir, and doesn’t have the title of an imperial ambassador weighing down on me! Comfort is important! I’m not afraid of being laughed at!”
He had incidentally implied that Tang Fan was going to live through torment just to stubbornly save face.
“The next posthouse might not have enough horses,” Tang Fan replied. “After you all switch over to a carriage, you’ll have to ride it all the way to Henan, even if you come to regret it.”
The more he spoke like this, the more Yin Yuanhua felt that he was deliberately being difficult to him. He still wanted the carriage.
At this point in the conversation, Tang Fan had given them a friendly reminder, they wouldn’t listen, and so he would ‘help’ them out. At the posthouse, he asked the postminder to ready a carriage.
It was quite spacious, enough for Yin Yuanhua and the two clerks to sit in. The postminder found a driver for them, too; once the carriage arrived at their destination, the driver would just drive it back.
As soon as the three saw that the inside was cushioned, thus making it much more comfortable than horseback, they all merrily climbed on board.
The result of that was, after riding out a few tens of li, that they came to learn why Tang Fan had had such an unfathomable expression on his face after he had heard that they wanted to take a carriage.
It was because the fucking thing was somehow worse than riding a horse…
Once they left the terrain of the capital outskirts, the road conditions became uneven, each section being worse than the last. Carriage-riding was often no more relaxing than horse-riding, but Yin Yuanhua hadn’t expected this one bit — he had insisted upon jumping into a pit of fire, and was now unable to pull himself out.
He was right about getting jolted into vomiting blood, his internal organs seeming like they were shifting around in suit. The feeling was really hard to describe — which anyone who was sitting there would know — but it wasn’t like he could go to Tang Fan and bring up getting back on the horse again, because even if he did, there were no horses for him to have…
He wanted to cry, but no tears came out. He was finally tasting the flavor of what it was to smash a rock onto his own foot.
It wasn’t just him, but Cheng Wen and Tian Xuan’s innards were also all soon about to twist up in regret.
After getting shaken around the whole journey, they arrived at Gong County at last, before the three’s souls could yet get shaken right out of them.
Long prior to the group’s arrival, County Magistrate He had brought people to the posthouse on the official road outside the city, head raised as he looked on in expectance.
“Sir, shouldn’t you sit down and rest your feet?” The County Deputy, who was accompanying him in welcome, was almost getting dizzy from watching the other’s non-stop pacing, and couldn’t resist speaking out.
In addition to the County Deputy and a group of minor officials of all sizes in the county’s bureaus, there had been many prominent figures of this county that had wanted to follow Magistrate He, yet had all been rejected by him. He was currently pretty irritated; where did he have the spare time to bring all these people out and show off in the presence of imperial ambassadors?
Facing his trusty Deputy, Magistrate He did not conceal his apprehension. “Ai, little brother… you can’t not know that these ambassadors aren’t here to see the sights. They’re coming to investigate the case, and something happened to these tombs under my governance, at the end of it all! With just one wrong move, I might not be able to keep my black hat!”
“There’s no use in worrying about it now, Sir,” the Deputy urged. “It would be better to cooperate with the ambassadors, lobby for them to move about freely, and let them go back and advocate for you. Maybe they could downplay this.”
Magistrate He sighed. “That’s the only way to go, with things how they are now. I’m such an unlucky Magistrate… now that I think about it, my predecessor and grand-predecessor left awful, uncountable messes behind, but the imperial tombs were always without issue for them. I had to go clean up those messes, a contribution no one acknowledges, but now that something’s happened to the tombs, that responsibility falls on my head!”
The Deputy was thinking to himself, What official doesn’t get tainted with one or two rotten happenstances in their tenures? When has there ever been an official that had a life of peace? And yet, when you fear things, you hate on the Heavens and blame others, not thinking at all about how you’re going to fawn on the imperial ambassadors that are about to get here. What future prospects are you even hoping for?
Yet, who made him be just a subordinate? Even as he thought like this, he still consoled his Magistrate.
While they spoke, a squadron drew closer from afar, pace slow as it kicked up clouds of dust. There appeared to be a carriage in back of it. The two of them went out, and a minor official came over to report that before them was the imperial ambassadors’ group.
“Hurry and follow me in greeting them!” Magistrate He busily said, fixing up his clothes and cap.
The carriage’s speed was not quick, and the decorated horses in front appeared to be intentionally slowing their steps to wait for the vehicle behind them. Following the passage of about a quarter of an hour, the troops that had long since came into view finally strolled up.
In the middle of a crowd of Brocade Guards was a young man dressed in a fifth-rank civil official’s uniform, along with one Guard in a flying fish uniform.
The Magistrate quickly came up to welcome them, cupping his hands. “I am the Gong County Magistrate, He Haosi! Greetings to you, ambassadors!”
Even in cases where it wasn’t clear which one was the lead envoy, paying respects like this was never wrong.
The official documents sent from the Ministry of Justice had written that the lead ambassador was Chief Tang Fan of the Henan Office, and the deputy was Bastion Envoy Sui Zhou of the Brocade Guard’s Northern Bastion Office. But, since the lead and deputy envoys were here… who was seated in the carriage?
Could it be someone even more important?
Magistrate He couldn’t resist shooting a glance at the rear. However, he saw the Guard next to the civil official slightly give some distance, showcasing the disparity in status between him and the other, and opened his mouth to prove Magistrate He’s conjecture. “This is Chief Sir Tang of the Henan Office. He is the lead envoy for this expedition.”
The travel-worn Tang Fan stepped off his horse, then bowed towards Magistrate He. “There’s no need to be overly polite. We have been rushing on our journey for days on end; we should first find somewhere to sit and talk in detail, yes?”
“Yes, yes, yes!” Magistrate He quickly said, snapping out of it. “This humble official has long gotten the posthouse ready and ordered for warm water and meals to be prepared! I request you all to move to the county’s city, which isn’t far from here.”
Tang Fan nodded. “Please do lead the way, then.”
The group arrived at the city’s posthouse. Magistrate He had indeed had people get everything ready in advance — they even had clean clothes for switching into after a bath, which could be called highly considerate. However, because their group still needed to have dinner and a discussion with Magistrate He, they just quickly freshened up and switched into spare sets of official’s robes.
Only after almost everyone had gone in did the carriage that was driving at the very end slowly approach, then stop at the posthouse’s gate.
Curiosity weighed heavily upon Magistrate He, and he contrarily went off the right track. He had long cooked up many scenarios in his head, including stuff like Mister Ambassador having not forgotten to bring a pretty concubine with him when he went out on case investigation. Seeing that the carriage had come to a stop, he couldn’t help but pause in his steps and turn back, wanting to see who was going to come out from inside.
A hand extended from the cabin, then slowly raised the curtain. Magistrate He mentally remarked that the hand was pale enough, but unfortunately looked like a chicken claw, not a bit of beauty to it at all.
Immediately after that, a head popped out of the cabin. The Magistrate couldn’t resist jumping in fright upon the discover that it had a man’s face, which was not what he had imagined in the least.
The man’s complexion was tragic and eyes spiritless, two black bags underneath them. He looked seriously ill, but, seeing as he was wearing a fifth-rank official’s robe, Magistrate He couldn’t resist stepping forth to ask, “Dare I ask if you are also an imperial ambassador? This humble official is the Gong County Magistrate—“
Before he could finish speaking, his counterpart’s upper body stuck out from the cabin, as if he wanted to disembark. In result, his face twisted up, and he couldn’t help but grab the thing nearest to him to stabilize his figure, bow his head, and start puking.
What he had grabbed happened to be the robes of the now-stupefied Magistrate He.
The latter had no time to pick a fight, stained all over in filth — that was ironic, since he was accompanying Tang Fan and the rest in changing their clothes and freshening up. As he hadn’t brought a change of clothes with him, he was forced to bear with the sour stench on him as he ran to his own county bureau to change, no one daring to come near him his whole journey. No need to bring up how unlucky he was; he had a belly filled with fire that he couldn’t vent, now. Who made him be so curious, hm? The other was not only an official of the central government, but of higher rank than him, so he could only pinch his nose and acknowledge his rotten luck.
Just after he had run back to the bureau and changed his clothes, he heard that the imperial ambassador was looking for him, and thusly had to scramble over to the posthouse.
After his entry, Tang Fan and the rest had since freshened and tidied up, no longer having dust-covered appearances. They still looked worn-out, but overall more neat.
“I presume you are clear on why we have come here, Magistrate He,” Tang Fan said to him.
“Yes, and whatever you may wish to ask, this humble official knows all,” the other quickly answered. “However, you gentlemen have not yet eaten, so wouldn’t it be better to speak after dinner?”
“If you also haven’t eaten yet, wouldn’t it be better to sit down and talk while we eat?” Tang Fan smiled.
Magistrate He happened to want to take this chance to complain of his troubles to the ambassador; respecting his command was necessary.
The posthouse’s food wasn’t bad, of course. Since their group was from the capital, Magistrate He dared not slight them. Even all the cooks here had been transferred over from the county bureau beforehand, and they cooked authentic Henan cuisine: eight-treasure chicken, red-roasted mutton, and fish fillets fried in sticky sauce, all permeating with savory fragrances.
Sui Zhou and his group weren’t effected much, and even Tang Fan felt fine, since he had goten used to riding on horseback. On the inverse, Yin Yuanhua, Cheng Wen, and Tian Xuan had no appetite to eat anything because of how bumpy the carriage had been the whole way. Upon now scenting the smell of meat, their faces turned green and white, and they couldn’t resist covering their mouths, running outside, leaning against the porch railing, and heaving. Unfortunately, their stomachs were already empty — they couldn’t even spit up bile.
Magistrate He then realized his own oversight. On account of being carriagesick, these people would definitely not be able to eat heavy meats.
Seeing that he was a bit troubled, Tang Fan spoke to him. “Have the kitchen prepare a few light dishes, then serve a few bowls of fine-grain congee. Hand me one bowl and set up a separate table for the three of them, lest they smell the meat and be unable to keep eating.”
“No need for another table…” Yin Yuanhua weakly said, walking over. “This humble official will just sit here.”
Why he had taken the initiative to volunteer in following Tang Fan thousands of li away for this had two main aims: one was to snatch the credit, and the other to be a nuisance. This had been tacitly agreed to by Assistant Minister Liang, in his description that the assistant following for investigations was a right and proper thing.
Tang Fan was well aware of his little calculations, naturally. Seeing that he was persistent, he smiled, not forcing him. “Very well.”
There was only one table in such a big dining hall. Seated were Tang Fan, Sui Zhou, Pang Qi, Yin Yuanhua, Magistrate He, and the two Office clerks, as well as Gong County’s Deputy, Registrar, and other such people. The other personnel were all in a neighboring room, disallowed from disturbing the quiet of these gentlemen.
Everyone’s stomachs were grumbling, so they were not in the mood to talk business. Upon seeing that the dishes were successively being served, they showed some mutual comity, then picked up their chopsticks.
Yin Yuanhua was seated beside Tang Fan, watching him eat a piece of meat, then insist upon assessing it with no lack of pity. “What a shame that you can’t eat today, Brother Yin. Despite being made with the same ingredients, the flavor of this is different from the capital’s. No wonder they say that an area cultivates its own distinct style. If I could eat such delicious eight-treasure chicken every day, I would be willing to live here forever!”
Magistrate He knew, of course, that this was Tang Fan being polite and praising his hosting, so he urged him to eat more. On the Gong Deputy and Registrar’s end, they had the intent to curry favor with Sui Zhou and Pang Qi, all taking it upon themselves to jump into topics of discussion. This active mood made the ambience of the dining table exceptionally warm.
Yin Yuanhua, who suffered alone at the side, felt the congee he had just eaten surging back up again from all the repeats of the word ‘meat’ entering his ears. In his head, he had long since cussed out Tang Fan’s ancestors eighteen generations back.
After he managed to finish the meal, he thought to himself that he should finally be able to rest, only for Tang Fan to set down his chopsticks and say to Magistrate He, “Now that we have eaten enough, we should discuss proper business.”
“Sir, discussing that tomorrow wouldn’t be too late for it,” Yin Yuanhua had to say. “Everyone is quite tired today.”
Tang Fan Nodded. “I know that everyone has toiled hard in traversing such a great distance. However, since we bear a heavy responsibility, we should understand the ins and outs of this before anything else. If you are tired, you may go and rest ahead of time.”
Why would I come with you if I was just going to go rest? Yin Yuanhua thought to himself, gritting his teeth. “This humble official isn’t tired, Sir. I can still hold on.”
“I now know that you’re wholeheartedly dedicated to work and willing to bear with the burden of your post, Brother Yin,” Tang Fan answered with gratification. “You are truly an example to us.”
Done mocking Yin Yuanhua, he turned to Magistrate He. “The documents were ultimately too concise, so a lot of details were not listed. I’ll have to ask you to describe the case in detail, Magistrate He.”
It’s finally here, the Magistrate said in his head. He quickly sat up straight, then explained the depths of the situation.
What he described was actually not any different than what had been reported, but compared to the unfeeling text of the documents, he was naturally more exhaustive and animated. From the side, the County Deputy, Registrar, and others added things, giving Tang Fan’s group an even deeper understanding of the events.
For example, the dossier previously presented to the Ministry of Justice had not mentioned anything in-depth about the ghostly wailing that was happening at midnight, nor about how the nearby villagers had reacted, but Magistrate He did. “The ghost wailing isn’t every night. Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not. After the incident occurred, I once went to the village and never heard it in the few days I stayed, but the bailiffs I dispatched there, apart from the mad one, have all said that they have. The villagers have also all claimed to hear it.”
“The grave robbers haven’t been arrested?” Tang Fan asked.
Magistrate He shook his head, ashamed. “No, only their hideouts have been discovered. No thieves have yet been captured. Ever since the successive deaths, no one dares to go out there anymore. The locals claim that the river gods are angry, and that the Emperors of the previous Dynasty were angry that their own tombs were raided, thus why there’s crying in the middle of the night—“
“Magistrate He,” Pang Qi had to interrupt. “You’re talking about both ‘angry river gods’ and ‘angry Emperors’. Is this ultimately related to gods, or the imperial tombs?”
The Magistrate smiled painfully. “I won’t hide it from you gents. The first group of six that disappeared were only stated to have drowned, so the locals say that enraged river gods had summoned them into the river to become servants. How could we disciples of the sacred sages believe in such fantastical words? That was why I made a report to the Court at the time, while simultaneously sending people from the bureau to check things out. What happened after, you all already know. Ten people went out, and only two came back. Among them was that bailiff that had not only went mad, but had had a hand cut off, and the other was the old village chief, who is up there in age and had also suffered a fright. He can’t give a clear explanation, babbling all day long about ghosts and monsters and whatnot. The rumors of a haunting have therefore started up again.”
He paused. “Of the Northern Song tombs, Eternal Deep and Eternal Shine are not far from Gong County, only about ten li away from the city. On the edge of it is also Luo River Village, which borders said river. So, now there’s rumors in that village that the Renzong and Yingzong Emperors became river gods of the Luo after their deaths, and because their tombs were robbed, they’ve snatched people from the surface as punishment.”
“Those are all ignorant rumors from stupid people!” Pang Qi butted in.
The other nodded. “Agreed, but because two groups have died in succession, no one dares to go there now. My hands are tied. Right as I was waiting for you all to come and investigate, some in Gong’s capital became panicked, to say nothing of Luo River Village. They claim that the river gods are angry and looking for sacrifices, so… so…”
He started stammering, which made Yin Yuanhua impatient. “‘So’ what?!”
“So they’ve been offering sacrifices on their own,” the County Deputy finished.
Tang Fan had an understanding. “They’re sacrificing to the river gods using people?”
Sui Zhou finally said his first sentence since arriving here. “Ridiculous.”
All of Gong County’s people hung their heads and hesitated to speak.
The ancients had always revered the spirits of rivers, and there had been no lack of mountain and river gods getting dubbed with the names of Emperors and Courts of past generations. The biggest river god among them was the one in the Yellow River, of course, and beneath that were river deities of all sizes.
Commonfolk were ignorant; once river water overflowed, they would believe that its god was angered, and would have to place their hopes upon appealing to them to quell their rage. For this, they wouldn’t hesitate to hand over all sorts of offerings, humans incorporated among them.
As a branch-off of the Yellow River, Luo’s area was quite important. Owing to the Court having issued multiple orders, people getting sacrificed to river gods hadn’t occurred in many years, but with such an abnormal incident happening in Gong County where even the authorities had been of no use, everyone had remembered this idea of sacrificing to the river gods.
Tang Fan reprimanded them with no mercy. “You all are local officials in charge of enlightening commoners and making them stay far away from such supernatural things. How could you hear about this and just leave it be, allowing them to sacrifice living people?”
Magistrate He smiled bitterly. “Pardon me saying so, Sir, but there’s actually further information on this matter.”
“Ever since eight out of the ten of the second group I sent died, Luo River Village, and even Gong County, have had profuse rumors all over the place that say that the river gods are mad, and sacrifices to them are needed to calm them. Therefore, half a month ago, everyone prepared animal sacrifices, then went to the river for worship.”
“No. At that time, everyone believed that offering up animals and objects would be enough.”
Tang Fan hummed. “Proceed.”
“Before, I said that the two Emperors in the tombs became river gods; that was purely just the locals forcing an interpretation. In truth, it has long been noted in the county’s records that Luo River’s god is actually Fuxi’s youngest daughter, but, well… you gentlemen know that that no one can be accurate in these things. For the sake of being sure, they deliberately prepared three separate offerings for presentation to the three river gods. The ceremony went from morning ’til evening, reportedly lasting for nearly all twelve shichens. When I saw that they still knew morality and weren’t using people for the sacrifices, I closed my eyes and didn’t go to interfere.”
This Magistrate gabbed for half a day without getting to the main point, occasionally needing to clear himself of blame so as not to be reproached by Tang Fan. The County Deputy wrung out a sweat as he listened to his boss, but Tang Fan thankfully still had the patience to hear him out.
“Late that day, after the animal and other sacrifices were cast into the river, the crowd gradually dispersed. The only ones that remained behind were a few old women keeping watch at the incense table. This is a local tradition, where the table needs to be watched for a full night to show devotion, after which it can be thrown out. However, on that night, the rain and wind were said to have suddenly picked up, and then the villagers heard that ghostly wailing, which scared them into being too afraid to come out. By the time they did the next day to take a look, they discovered that the incense table had collapsed onto the ground and the fruits that had been on top of it were a mess, yet the old women were nowhere to be seen.”
“Why did they use old women for the night vigil, instead of healthy men?”
“They feared that the yang qi of men would be too heavy, and upset the river god when… gods when they came across them. Oh, but this is what the commoners said — I never approved!”
Tang Fan nodded, indicating for him to go on.
Magistrate He had obviously not been on-scene, and yet he spoke so vividly, as if he had actually seen it with his own eyes. Were it not for the occasion being inappropriate, Pang Qi would mock him, but… seeing as his two superiors were listening earnestly, he had no choice but to quietly listen as well.
“At first, others believed that the women had seen that the weather was bad and fled back home, but when their family members were questioned, they learned that the women had never returned; they had simply vanished. This incident was reported to me, so I sent people to go search, but their locations are similarly unknown. Since the report had already been sent to the Court, I thought to wait until after you ambassadors came to report the incidents together.”
“What’s going on with the human sacrifices?”
Magistrate He smiled bitterly. “It’s caused from all the commoners saying that the river gods vented their anger out on them for not offering people, just animals, hence why they took those women away in warning. They all became terribly frightened, and several large households in the county are preparing to sacrifice their own servants.”
“You haven’t stopped it?”
The other held an expression of suffering. “Stop it? It hasn’t even started yet. I told them that the Court will be sending imperial ambassadors to come investigate the case, and they’ll be certain to discover the truth, so they absolutely must not sacrifice any people. They’ve listened for the time being, but commonfolk are ignorant, and ultimately jittery at heart. If this case isn’t cracked and an explanation isn’t given to them, I’m afraid that they won’t listen to persuasion — they’ll just go make the sacrifices in private.”
The translator says: Channel Ximen Bao. Throw the rich people into the river and see if it ever stops lmao