Chapter 100 The long dream paid in full Part 6
The way of life for the dead, the cause of death for the living.
A little carelessness and it was h*ll.
Helian Rongchuan put Yan Changqing on the ice bed and gently arranged his clothes and long hair.
“I have experienced the most terrifying thing in the world, so what else can I fear?” Helian Rongchuan stared at Yan Changqing’s snow-like face and smiled.
Yan, Sheng An City.
Thousands of jackdaws spun low, and their shrill cries echoed over the deadly silent city. The murderous aura of the rebels rushing straight into the sky for several days and was mixed with blood-colored flames, almost completely destroying this peaceful and prosperous capital. Outside the city gate, there were thousands of bloody dead soldiers that no one had the time to burn and bury them. Large swaths of blood seeped into the ground, freezing into dirty dark red ice. And the city was filled with starvation, a tragedy.
After the death of Yan Changqing, the general of Yunhui, who held heavy troops and shook the nations, there was an uproar in the court. The tens of thousands of black armoured troops, known as the “Steel Great Wall” of the Yan Kingdom, suddenly lost their core. Hearing the inside story of his death, all the soldiers broke their halberds in tears and broke their swords in anger. Although they could not disarm and returned to the fields immediately, they were no longer able to rush to the battlefield. The vigor of theirs scattered like sand.
On the other hand, the death of Yan Changqing made Taishi Pang and his henchmen, who had always been rebellious, overjoyed. The long-planned coup was finally launched. Taishi Pang’s party successively killed several ministers who were loyal to the emperor and led fifty thousand rebels. The army marched into the capital in a mighty way, trying to usurp power. The rebels and the Sheng An Forbidden Army fought for several days outside the city. The two sides were at a stalemate. The rebels simply surrounded Sheng An City, cut off water, food and rations, and bombed bridges to block the reinforcements. They were trying to turn Sheng An into a dead city, while looking for the opportunity to attack again.
This encirclement had already lasted a full thirty-nine days.
The icy cold wind carried the stench of rot, passing through the gray and ruined city roads. A few pieces of tattered paper money fluttered in the air like gray-white butterflies. The wind blew them higher and higher, but they finally swirled and slowly landed on the high tower.
Murong Xiu, who was wearing thin plain clothes, stretched out his hand and gently caught a piece of paper money that fell.
“Can the lanterns and tributes from General Yan’s mausoleum be presented on time today?”
“Replying to the emperor, this servant has already sent someone to arrange it properly.” The eunuch Liu Quan replied respectfully.
Liu Quan had been in the palace for a long time, and he had already learned to lie without reddening or changing his heartbeat. At present, the city of Sheng An was almost out of ammunition and food, people were dying of starvation everywhere. At this time, apart from this innocent little emperor, who would have the heart to think of a dead person?
Anyway, the little emperor was determined to share the weal and woe with the people in the city, and he had no face to face General Yan’s memorial tablet, so he gave him full authority to take care of the funeral. Now that he had this benefit, it is reasonable for him to fill his stomach desperately. Thinking of this, Liu Quan felt even more that the funeral follow-up funds that he had taken were justified.
Murong Xiu remained silent, only lowered his head and gently rubbed the paper money in his hand. His robes ruffled in the cold wind like ripped silk. His body was clearly clean, but he was filled with an air of pity and decadence, like a ghost.
Already, the thirty-ninth day.
And he had been gone for forty-two days.
Murong Xiu sighed softly, looking down at the entire Sheng An City from the tower.
“Accompany me to the city to look.”
The street was covered with thick snow, and it was dirty because no one was cleaning it. There were few pedestrians on the road, all of them had swollen faces and were staggering and struggling. Every time they walked down a street, they could see a few corpses starved to death, each one with pale white eyes, which made people shudder.
Murong Xiu didn’t need a carriage, he only brought Liu Quan, two qilinwei, and a few ministers along the street silently. The further he walked, the deeper his frown became.
Turning down a long alley, not far away came the sound of beating and screaming.
The two guards immediately protected Murong Xiu, but he shook his head: “Go and have a look.”
In an open space in front of Sheng An government building, dozens of people with pale and thin faces were fighting with each other. The Qilinwei stepped forward to scold them, but none of these people obeyed, and were still fighting each other for something. Murong Xiu took a closer look and saw a thirteen or fourteen-year-old boy in the center of the beating crowd. He was holding a large piece of brown stuff tightly with both hands, his head buried in his chest, and he was kneeling on the ground. With a shriveled posture, he resisted the rain-like fists of the other hungry people.
What’s in his arms? Murong Xiu frowned.
“Do you guys want to rebel!” Seeing that the reprimand was ineffective, the Qilinwei pulled out his long sword. This time, the fighting crowd finally stopped their fists.
The bruised boy staggered a few steps and rolled to the ground. Seeing that no one was vying with him, he laughed twice and said, “I’m going to be a bloated ghost!” After speaking, he ignored the blood all over his body and hurriedly took out the piece of withered brown item he had been protecting in his arms. He didn’t even try to clean it and just buried his head and nibbled it hard, one bite after another. His expression was one of eating a delicacy.
Murong Xiu couldn’t help but tremble. He finally saw clearly what this young man was holding was a piece of tree bark.
What these dozens of people were desperately robbing turned out to be a piece of tree bark!
The young man seemed to be very hungry. Although the bark was tough and hard and covered with dirt, he was afraid that he would be robbed again, so he forcibly swallowed it. He turned red several times and almost choked. After eating a few mouthfuls, the young man raised his head and looked at Murong Xiu with a pair of blood-red eyes proudly and arrogantly.
“What, does this official want to eat too?”
“How dare this peasant, in front of the son of heaven, you dare act reckless!” The Qilinwei halted.
The young man was stunned for a moment, his face full of shock.
Son of Heaven?
Like a rock, the Qilinwei’s sentence made all the hungry people around him stunned.
The emperor? !
He was the emperor!
The emperor actually came here? !
The hungry people stared at Murong Xiu in shock. Although he was dressed in plain clothes, his clear and detached face, the golden silk coiled dragon crown on his head, and the two columns of mighty Qilinweis still confirmed his identity immediately.
The crowd was stunned for a while, then suddenly there was a scream with a weeping voice.
“Your Majesty, save us!”
As if it was the first thunder when a storm came, the crowd suddenly erupted.
Yes, at this time, only the emperor can save them!
Countless pairs of desperate, desperate eyes turned to Murong Xiu, and everyone knelt on the ground.
“Your Majesty, we haven’t eaten food for half a month. The bark and grass roots in the city have been stripped. Please save us. Give us something to eat!”
“Your Majesty…I’m starving and can’t even wear my shoes. There’s a hole in my body… if there is no more food… I… I’ll starve to death within three days, please think of a way-”
“Our whole family is so hungry that we can’t move. We beg the emperor, beg the emperor…”
The crowd gathered more and more, there were white-haired old women leaning on crutches, kneeling on the ground and begging, there were skinny men beating the snow and crying, and even more hungry swollen young women rushed over after hearing the sound. Their faces were full of tears. They put down the crying and hungry babies in their arms, wiped their eyes and ran.
Heart-piercing howls, tears and pleadings, waves of Sheng An people with skinny or swollen faces surrounded Murong Xiu and the others. They were so hungry that they had no strength. One fell and no matter how the Qilinwei drove him away, he didn’t move, he just kept begging. Murong Xiu’s face was pale, and he looked at the refugees around him, only to feel that every cry made him have a splitting headache.
It hurts! Murong Xiu covered his ears abruptly, but the sound of pleading still poured into his mind like an overwhelming sea, dazzling every nerve in him.
Help me… help me… help me…! ! ! !
That’s right, this is exactly the cry that appeared in his dreams countless times, the cry that tortured him every day.
It was the mountain of corpses in Qixia Village, the gate of Ningcheng that was hammered by countless bloody hands but never opened, and the deadly sword mark on the neck of the person he loved the most in his life in the middle of the snowy night.
The eyes were red.
It was blood!
Blood! ! !
Murong Xiu stumbled and nearly fell to the ground. Liu Quan quickly supported him and said urgently, “Your Majesty! You haven’t eaten for two days. Your dragon’s body is more important, why not let this old slave take you back?”
Murong Xiu reluctantly stood still, his face pale, and he shook his head. Although Sheng An City was besieged for more than a month, the emperor did not need to starve when he enjoyed the worship of the world. However, Murong Xiu had not thought about eating and drinking since Yan Changqing’s death. After witnessing the tragic situation of in Sheng An City, he dispersed the remaining food in the palace and lived on only plain water and rough cakes.
But what he did was still a drop in the bucket for the 300,000 households in Sheng An City. All the food in the city will be completely exhausted in less than three days. At that time, Sheng An City will completely become a dead city.
“Please, Your Majesty, save us… We really don’t want to die, we don’t want to starve to death…”
“Please… please…” Amidst all the wailing and begging, an out-of-place, incomparably loud voice suddenly erupted.
“What’s the use of begging him!”
The boy who gnawed on the bark staggered and stood up from the kneeling crowd. He was covered in wounds, the corners of his eyes were blue, and there was blood on his mouth, but his eyes were surprisingly bright, staring directly at Murong Xiu with a burning hatred.
“What’s the use of begging him!” Pointing directly at Murong Xiu, he said angrily, “If it wasn’t for his brutality, forcing General Yan to death, and making Yan Kingdom lose its last barrier, we would not have ended up in such a spot!”
“Openly slander the emperor, someone come, take him—” Liu Quan scolded him angrily, and was about to attack, but was stopped by Murong Xiu.
Murong Xiu looked at the boy quietly, his eyes were full of guilt and sadness, and he smiled desolately.
“You’re right. I shouldn’t have made him bear an unbearable blood debt in the name of protecting him again and again. I shouldn’t have forced and threatened him again and again, so that he would be stuck in a dead end. It’s my fault, It ‘s all my fault.”