Chapter 115 - The Man from Magnificent Jewel Hall
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"Puff!" Jun Mo Xie was drinking a mouthful of wine when he heard that, and started to choke. He unintentionally sprayed out the entire wine on uncle Jun Wu Yi, who was sitting opposite to him, and started to cough.
"Wow...haha....Li Shang, that old self-defeating bastard's Dantian was so badly damaged that it seemed like he was taking his dying breaths. Even his beloved grandson Li You Ran was also badly affected." It had been many years since the old man had laughed in such a carefree manner: "That pretty boy's face was so badly disfigured...haha..."
Jun Mo Xie was holding his wine cup with a flabbergasted look on his face.
I,I,I had only intended on doing minor damage to them. I had never imagined that it would bear such splendid results ah... I only wanted the Jade Coral to be a little damaging, that was all I wanted to do....
As for the imperial teacher Li Shang's injury, and Li You Ran's disfiguration, I really hadn't planned on it! I'm innocent in this regard, but then I guess that if I knew that this would happen, I would have made it even viler.... So I believe that this situation is working out well for me now, just good luck I guess....
"We shall toast to this! Let's get drunk today!" Grandfather Jun burst out laughing, as he reached for his glass.
"Well, this affair has provided a lot amusement to people, but if the imperial teacher Li Shang is really incapable of being cured at this point, then we'll have to be on the lookout for Li Family's movements. Li Shang and his family have always known to be very arrogant, and they consider everyone to be beneath themselves. If he dies, then they will look to vent their anger on others, and if that happens, their first target will be our Jun Family! We will not be able to protect ourselves easily, so we must make our preparations in advance." Jun Wu Yi smiled, even though he had the intention of doing so.
"You're right." Grandfather Jun stopped drinking: "If that old wreck really dies then the Li Family will no longer be what it is today, but still, the death of a senior member of their family will certainly cause chaos. Even if he doesn't die, there will still be a lot of confusion. Wu Yi, at present, the main strength of the Jun Family lies in your hands, what's the best way of dealing with this matter in your opinion?"
Jun Wu Yi tensed his eyebrows and said: "If we start preparing while taking Li Shang's death as a precondition, then all our preparations will go to waste if he survives. The best countermeasure to cope up with this entire situation will be to build up a strong backbone, and not give the enemy any chance to attack us. The best policy would be to tactfully convince them that the Jun Family is strong enough to defend itself. The only thing that worries me is that this will only deepen their hatred for the Jun Family, and they might attack us in the future someday, at a time when we might not be expecting it."
Jun Mo Xie smiled: "Third uncle's words are indeed very wise and thoroughly considered, but I feel that these generals are iron blooded men.... How else could they have survived so many battles? As soon as they find out about the news of these recent affairs, their first response will be to ensure their own safety.... If their own safety isn't assured, then why will they go into the battle to kill the enemy?"
Then, Jun Mo Xie smiled again and said: "Even if they are not very skilled, our clan members can be used to protect us in the battle, otherwise what use do these wasteful people have? Even if they are injured or killed, it won't count as a heavy loss...."
Jun Zhan Tian and Jun Wu Yi were both stunned momentarily, and looked at each other in dismay, not knowing how to respond to Jun Mo Xie's statement. They had both been in command of armies in the past, and had always considered the soldiers under their command to be their sons, and had always treated them like brothers. Naturally, Jun Mo Xie's argument was not acceptable to either of them.
"Mo Xie, are you saying that we simply abandon the men who have been following our Jun family for generations?" Jun Zhan Tian was quite angry, but reconciled to just stroking his beard in displeasure: "This is a matter of personal integrity and ethics, we share trials and tribulations, whether in life or in death, so you might as well give up that idea! Your idea....." Grandfather Jun didn't say it directly, but the criticality of his statement was evident.
"Grandfather, I understand that you don't approve of my opinion, but I'd like to ask, if you're preoccupied with these highly incompetent people, then this might cost the lives of countless soldiers due to their incompetence. Given the situation at hand, wouldn't it be better to weigh the pros and cons here? Over the years, the border has been becoming increasingly unstable, and wars are being raged perennially, and the Third Uncle previously mentioned that these generals are veterans and are likely to lead their armies to confront the enemy, which means that thousands of soldiers are likely to die! For me, if a person is truly incompetent, then it's better to renounce the same, otherwise, they will falter at a crucial moment when burdened with a heavy responsibility, which will result in a defeat! In some key moments, it might even affect the fate of the entire country! How can this be considered a trivial matter? How is my opinion heartless in this perspective?"
Jun Mo Xie proudly retorted: "I suggest that we round up the so-called incompetent and reckless soldiers and use them as meat shields. Their sacrifice will help us prevent this country from the defeat that we might otherwise have to face at the hands of the enemy, and if that happens, then the entire country will set on the path of annihilation! And this is the hard truth Grandfather, Third Uncle, even if you refuse to admit it. At a crucial moment, it might be painful to make such decisions, but the price we may have to pay for this softheartedness will be far too great!"
"They are servants, and must be used in a time of need! We will have to refrain from acting emotionally, and concentrate on the welfare of the majority of our command. As a leader, if you start acting emotionally, then you've already failed! Grandfather, Third Uncle, if my words offend you, then please forgive me, but the gravity of this matter surpasses principles and I cannot compromise on this!"
Jun Zhan Tian and Jun Wu Yi were both silent. They were both sensible and intelligent men; they simply couldn't ignore the hard reality, even if these words weren't very pleasant to hear. But for a leader, compassion and leniency are the biggest taboos.
Although they acknowledged that Jun Mo Xie's words made sense, the idea was still against their character, and they wouldn't agree to it. They deserved their venerable status, even though they were slaves of their pedantic thoughts, but were still admirable men!
Or perhaps, this too was an embodiment of their glorious nature!
Jun Mo Xie chuckled and said: "Naturally, we are still just speculating the course of this matter, and the reality might turn out to be an entirely different affair, but I just wish to remind you Grandfather, Third Uncle, that we must renounce our emotions since we will need to act decisively when the time comes!"
Jun Zhan Tian and Jun Wu Yi inadvertently glanced at Jun Mo Xie and were shocked to see the fierce expression on his face. Jun Wu Yi tensed his eyebrows thoughtfully, and couldn't help but anticipate that Jun Mo Xie would likely forge his path in this world with his skills. But his heart shuddered at the coldness of his nephew. He was aware of his nephew's position in the family, but as a military leader, it was awfully hard for him to part with the affection he felt for his comrades, but Jun Mo Xie was certainly right!
Jun Zhan Tian stroked his beard as his eyes and mind saw the transparency in Jun Mo Xie's character, even though he was fiery but his political prowess has evident. However, too much ambition would end up flooding his hands with blood! Is this a blessing? Or a curse? Grandfather Jun couldn't resist the thought, and sighed as he lowered his head.
The old man was born into poverty and had worked his way through the world to achieve success, which is why he was extremely affectionate towards his soldiers, especially the ones who had worked their way up like him.
In my sixty years of military experience, stricken with wars and politics, I have settled many disputes and taken many lives.... Even those of young children. When I look back on the number of bodies that I've put on the funeral pyre, Jun Mo Xie's idea is quite acceptable, in fact, I have to admire my grandson's vision.
Jun Wu Yi unintentionally arched his head and addressed Pang: "Uncle Pang, this matter is very important, and you must ensure that the necessary actions are taken, this matter takes precedence over all other matters."
His real name is Lao Pang, and he's the housekeeper of the Jun residence. Even though Pang's a servant, but everyone knows that he's very close to Jun Zhan Tian, so much so that he'd follow him to the gates of death and beyond. Jun Zhan Tian has never looked down on Lao Pang and has always treated him like a brother.
After his numerous years of selfless service, Jun Zhan Tian had once decided to reward Lao Pang with the title of a warrior, which would allow him to avail the riches and pleasures of life. But Lao Pang knew that he wouldn't be able to accompany his elder brother if he accepted the title and refused even though Jun Zhan Tian insisted, and still continues to serve as the housekeeper.
Jun Wu Yi has always treated Lao Pang as an Uncle since he deserves the respect.
Lao Pang nodded as he smiled, and walked out.
Jun Mo Xie couldn't help but think: The Jun Family might be bold, heroic, and iron-blooded, but their hearts are heavy with emotions, and righteousness. A righteous reputation is a great advantage, but as an influential family in a political scenario, an emotional heart, and a righteous mind are very unsuitable.
Just then, a sonorous voice sounded: "Brother Wu Yi, it's been a decade; I trust that you've been well since we last met?" The air vibrated under the effect of that powerful voice.
Jun Wu Yi's face suddenly became pale, his lips started trembling, and he almost jumped up from his chair.
Jun Mo Xie gently extended his hand and placed it on his Uncle's lap and shook his head to give an indication. Jun Mo Xie had heard this voice before; the voice belonged to the man who had blocked his way at the auction. This man was the Magnificent Jewel Hall representative who was opposing the Jun Family!