Chapter 82 – A head to head with the prince
“My ancestors were a big family in Jiang Hu. They were called East Mountain’s Tie Family. Before we entered the royal court, we did rule over a whole region.” Without turning back, Tie Bu Tian continued to speak slowly, “But once a force from Jiang Hu becomes involved with the political arena of the royal court, it has to follow the rules of the royal court. The management methods of Jiang Hu might be fine for ruling over a family or even a people in one region, but they cannot be used to rule a nation. This is Jiang Hu’s limitation.”
“There comes a time when you have to decide to get rid of something in exchange for something new. That something you have to get rid of is usually… good people! In Jiang Hu, all are brothers. In the royal court, it’s emperor and subject. If the subject still sees the emperor as a brother, then the situation of brothers killing each other would be bound to happen!” (TLN: Killing for power because of a lack of clear divide.)
In history, it has always been so. If there are no more rabbits then the dog goes in the pot; if there are no more birds then you break the bow. If there are no more shields and swords, then get rid of the cavalry. If the emperor and subject relation thrives, then get rid of the brotherly relation!” (TLN: Get rid of the unnecessary stuff?)
“Such a method may be ruthless, but they are necessary! Those who spend their days lamenting about this method are all failures. To rule a nation, you have to remain indifferent to these things. Moreover, you must be willing to accept the ridicules of history. Once you are capable of carrying these burdens, then you are suited to be a leader of a nation! You cannot lead a nation with your heart or brotherly love, but with rules. This is the biggest difference between the royal court and Jiang Hu!”
Chu Yang frowned as he thought about these words. He was wondering why Tie Bu Tian was saying these things to him.
“So people say emperors are ruthless!” Tie Bu Tian concluded, “Because if an emperor uses his heart, he would not be able to rule a nation. Everyone knows that brothers are valuable and reliable, but once a brother is praised and eclipses the leader he must be put down. Even if this brother is faithful, it has to done to fortify power. An emperor lives in constant torment. Their days are filled with ridicules and their nights are filled with agonizing tears.”
“But that price is fair, for stability of the kingdom and for peace in the world!”
Tie Bu Tian turned his head and looked at Chu Yang, “Senior Chu has no desires for the royal court. Senior Chu came to Iron Cloud as a person of Jiang Hu. But Senior Chu wants to borrow the strength of Iron Cloud to topple Diwu Qing Rou!”
Tie Bu Tian took a deep breath and said slowly, “This is Senior Chu’s main purpose!”
“Senior Chu does not want have a subject/ruler relationship with Bu Tian. You want to work with Bu Tian as brothers. After everything is done, Senior Chu wants to return to Jiang Hu. These are Senior Chu’s thoughts!”
“Senior Chu is a Jiang Hu person to the core! This Jiang Hu pride is as high as a mountain so Senior Chu would never be content under anyone’s command! And certainly not under anyone’s control!”
He smiled showing a trace of sadness, and slowly asked, “Senior Chu, is Bu Tian correct?”
Chu Yang was terrified as he looked at Tie Bu Tian. Even though his eyes remained calm as if his mind was completely innocent, he was shocked. This was Tie Bu Tian’s first conversation with Chu Yang, but he saw right through Chu Yang’s thoughts.
Such a mind made Chu Yang see the person in front of him in a different light.
“Your Highness is correct.” Chu Yang said casually, “That is exactly how I feel.”
“Haha…” Tie Bu Tian laughed bitterly, “This is our first meeting; I wanted to make this issue clear. Because if Senior Chu continues to work with this mentality, then there will surely be contradictions with Bu Tian. And these contradictions between the royal court and Jiang Hu are irreconcilable.”
“Your Highness worries too much.” Chu Yang said sincerely, “What Your Highness worries about is the contradictions that will rise after peace is restored. I have never been interested in the power of the royal court. Once Diwu Qing Rou is toppled, you will never have to see Chu Yang again!”
“I know that this is, of course, Senior Chu’s decision!” Tie Bu Tian sighed, “But I am also sure that, when that time comes, many territories of Iron Cloud would not be maintained with Senior Chu gone! The moment Senior Chu leaves, Iron Cloud Nation would fall into turmoil!”
“Your Highness, may I ask how old you are?” Chu Yang asked.
“I have wasted nineteen years already.” Tie Bu Tian’s eyes suddenly showed a melancholy and lost look.
“Your Highness has been immersed too deep in the tactics and strategies of the royal court.” Chu Yang said sharply, “With you, everything has to be measured by the royal court, has to be thought over before a choice is made, has to be weighted by the benefits, and has to be seen as a part of a greater picture; all of these things are too tiring and unnecessary!”
“Your Highness worries too much, but forgets one thing. This one thing must be measured and considered; it is life or death, victory or failure that is about to come.”
Chu Yang continued coldly, “Currently, Iron Cloud Nation is like a candle in the wind; it could go out at any moment. Great Zhao has ten times the national strength of Iron Cloud Nation; it has daring soldiers and strong leaders. Great Zhao Nation also has ten Great Dragon Tiger Generals, each one with a thousand victories under their belts. Diwu Qing Rou is especially talented, Great Zhao’s best resource. He is an incredible tactician, with an icy heart and an ambition to rule the continent.”
“Iron Cloud could fall at any time, six hundred million people at the border of life and death. Facing such enormous danger and Your Highness could only think about the peaceful future.” Chu Yang sneered, “I did not know Your Highness is that confident, or perhaps arrogant is the right word! If Your Highness keeps holding on to the mentality that you could fight with Diwu Qing Rou, Chu Yang might as well retire to the wilderness and just not care about any of this.”
Tie Bu Tian’s countenance changed. He looked at Chu Yang for a while, then suddenly tilted his body and bowed, “Senior Chu’s words are true. Bu Tian is honored to learn from you. Currently, we should not talk about that future…”
In this meeting, the two people had sparred with each other. And Chu Yang currently seemed to have the upper hand.
Tie Bu Tian went through all the trouble of saying those things to eliminate Chu Yang’s conviction to Jiang Hu and make Chu Yang willingly become one of his subjects. Even though there were some truths in what he said, they were somewhat overexaggerated and biased.
Chu Yang’s counterattack was proof that his decision would not change. Moreover, he pointed out the errors of Tie Bu Tian’s thoughts. His words were naturally overstated, not giving Tie Bu Tian any room for rebuttal. Chu Yang also knew that Tie Bu Tian was suffering under great pressure from Diwu Qing Rou; how could Tie Bu Tian not think about life and death, victory and failure?
If anything, Tie Bu Tian probably thought about this every day.
Chu Yang’s counterattack simply made use of the wordings, not Tie Bu Tian’s actual thoughts.
Tie Bu Tian used the whole world to pressure Chu Yang. Chu Yang immediately countered with Diwu Qing Rou as well as the six hundred million people of Iron Cloud Nation for good measure.
Both somewhat overstated their points. Both also understood each other’s intentions. They just did not say them outright, because such directness would be too confrontational. At that time, Tie Bu Tian’s loss would not be minimal, and Chu Yang’s purpose would be difficult to achieve. Therefore, the two sides naturally formed a delicate balance.
Under pressure from Chu Yang’s last statement, Tie Bu Tian had to take a step back and admit defeat in this battle of wits. However, it helped him prove that he was a person capable of accepting the ideas of others.
“Senior Chu, your words are definitely as sharp as a knife.” Tie Bu Tian smiled.
“Your Highness also had a solid defense.” Chu Yang smiled likewise.
“Senior Chu has wasted much thoughts on your journey to Iron Cloud. First,your appearance was like a bolt of lightning, giving me quite a shock. At that time, I immediately wanted to recruit your talent. After that, you had Saintly Physician Du’s help in recommending you, taking advantage of my urgent need for talents!”
Tie Bu Tian sighed and smiled, “After the completion of all this, Senior Chu did not even bother to come and see me. Instead, you used Heavenly Armament Pavilion as a force that Iron Cloud Nation could not resist. Because of that, Senior Chu’s position went up another level. Moreover, it created a strong impression at the highest level of Iron Cloud Nation’s royal court. So much so that Royal Uncle, himself, went to see you. From there, you showcased your strength and great insights on worldly matters! Finally, Senior Chu simply sat at Heavenly Armament Pavilion and waited for my invitation. Step by step, everything happened just as Senior Chu planned, not one thing out of place!” (TLN: I let you win. Now, gotcha!)