With the Psychic Serpent in Yan Liqiang’s body, Yan Liqiang knew what the officers on the table were thinking . He could clearly tell if they were really indignantly complaining . This was the reason why he gave Commandant Liu a direct answer when he brought up the question .
Although the Deer Villa officers were mentally prepared, they still hoped to hear a different answer from Yan Liqiang . Now that Yan Liqiang had bluntly told them that those who stayed behind were going to die, the officers’ countenances immediately contorted . They exchanged glances with each other and were at a loss for words .
To those who were destined to stay knew that only death awaited them — they instantly grew conflicted and felt as though something had collapsed on them . If they weren’t still sitting, their legs would have given way .
Commandant Liu tried to drink his wine, but his hand kept shaking as he picked up his wine cup, spilling the wine in it .
“The imperial court was well aware that only death awaits them if they stay, so His Majesty is leaving the Imperial Capital with his ministers to tour the south to avert the Heavenly Tribulation . Before this, they even considered moving the capital…” Yan Liqiang replied calmly .
“I heard that the imperial court was already considering moving the capital last year too… but… but then there was no more news on that somehow…” Commandant Liu agreed as he set the half-empty wine on the table again . He retracted his hand, then curled his fist tightly under the table to compose himself .
“The imperial court mentioned moving the capital back then because they thought they could evacuate all the citizens in the capital region before the Heavenly Tribulation struck . When they later realized that it was impossible to evacuate the people in the capital region before the Heavenly Tribulation, they stopped talking about it . The talk about moving capital then became His Majesty’s tour to the south instead . It then became very difficult for the citizens to leave the capital region as they have to obtain travel passes from the bureaucracy…” Yan Liqiang explained .
Yan Liqiang smiled bitterly . “At first, I didn’t understand either . I only understood after I came to the Imperial Capital . The imperial court isn’t evacuating the citizens in the capital region because there are too many of them . Back then, the imperial court thought it was possible to evacuate all the citizens in the capital region under the assumption that the food reserves in the neighboring provinces were full . If the food reserves were full as reported, then they could use the stored food as disaster and emergency relief support and relocate the migrating citizens to different provinces to avert the disaster, then slowly plan out the rest .
“However, the truth is that all the food reserves in the neighboring provinces are severely in the red . They are unable to accomodate the needs of the migrating citizens . If the imperial court allows the citizens to flee and migrate freely under such circumstances, millions would turn into refugees and rebels . The local authorities will not be able to restrain them . You are all soldiers, naturally, you should know what this means to the imperial court . If millions of refugees and rebels appear in the capital region, what will happen to the Great Han Empire…?”
Although Commandant Liu and the others were Deer Villa’s soldiers, their rankings were too low for them to know the secrets behind such imperial court policies . Yan Liqiang’s words shook them out of their dreams as realization dawned upon them . All of them immediately broke into cold sweat . They were no fools . Thinking about everything that had happened in the Imperial Capital lately, they suddenly understood everything .
“This… This means… the imperial court tricked us into staying behind… knowing… that only death awaits us if we stay behind…” Guo Sida murmured in dismay . The expression on the other officers’ faces also turned unpleasant .
“The people held under house arrest in Deer Villa are my friends and former subordinates from ‘The Great Han Times’ . They were arrested because they refused to lie on the newspaper and trick everyone to stay behind and wait for their deaths . They would be dead by now if it wasn’t for the fact that I was the person who established ‘The Great Han Times’, in addition to my close relationship to Lord Sun, Eunuch Liu and His Majesty, as well as my past contributions to the imperial court and the Emperor!”
“Please save our humble families, Lord Yan! We will be forever grateful for it and follow your commands!” Commandant Liu was the first to respond . He stood up, pushed his chair away, and kneeled before Yan Liqiang as a sign of respect .
The other officers finally snapped back to reality as they pushed their chairs away too and kneeled before Yan Liqiang . “Please save our humble families! We will be forever grateful and follow your commands!”
“Get up, get up, let’s sit and talk!” Yan Liqiang held those officers up . “We’re already at this point, so I can’t possibly leave you all to die and watch your families suffer the Heavenly Tribulation in the Imperial Capital . I have the travel passes with me, please sit down first…”
When Yan Liqiang finally got the officers to sit down, he stood up, went to the next room, and came back with a box . He placed the box on the table and opened it to reveal all the travel passes inside .
When the officers saw the brand new travel passes, they were so excited that it was as though they saw the straws of life .
“Meng Hui said that all of you need around a hundred travel passes . I brought three hundred of them here for you all to distribute amongst yourselves . That means every one of you gets fifty each . Other than your immediate family members, you can give them away to your close friends that need them to save their lives!”
“Thank you Lord Yan for your kindness…!” The officers were moved to tears as they were rendered speechless . The grace of saving a life weighed as heavy as Mount Tai, let alone saving an entire clan .
“I still have travel passes, but you also need to know that it’s best to do this quietly . His Majesty is about to tour the south, and the imperial court is afraid of trouble!”
“Rest assured, my lord . Our friends are mostly former soldiers . Some are law enforcers too . They know what to do!”
“That’s good . ” Yan Liqiang nodded, then asked, “The Heavenly Tribulation will come in half a year . After the catastrophe, I’m afraid that the situation in the Great Han Empire will not be optimistic as chaos will set in . What are your families’ plans after they leave the capital region? Where will they settle down?”
The officers looked at each other with worried faces . They seven-feet tall men, traveling all over the place and spending nights in the open was no problem for them, but these were their families . It was indeed not easy for their families to leave the capital region and settle down in an unfamiliar place, especially since they were still required to be on duty at Deer Villa . However, it was better for their families to leave as soon as possible . It was indeed worrying to see the young and old in their family on the run without their care .
“It’s already a great fortune to receive the travel passes from you my lord . This gives our families a chance to live . We dare not think too much about the rest . As long as they can leave the capital region alive, we will slowly think of something later!” Commandant Liu replied after pondering over it for some time .
“If your family is willing to settle down in the northwestern region, I can arrange people to take care of them along the way . My former subordinates from the newspaper office and their families should’ve almost reached the northwestern region by now!”
The officers immediately felt a burst of energy when they heard Yan Liqiang . They exchanged looks and couldn’t help but feel greatly moved . They knew Yan Liqiang was extremely influential in the northwestern region . He was the Qiyun Protectorate General, and the owner of the Greatest Mill and the manufacturing bureau . Even the Shatu Seven Tribes had to be honest around him . If the Great Han Empire descended into chaos, their families would definitely be much stronger than others in an unfamiliar place with someone influential like Yan Liqiang taking care of them . At least they wouldn’t have any problems living their lives or get bullied .
“You don’t have to give me an answer immediately . You can discuss it with your families to get their opinions first . Just let me know if they agree, then I will help make the arrangements!”
“Thank you, Lord Yan!” The officers were extremely grateful as they expressed their gratitude to Yan Liqiang once again .
An hour later, Yan Liqiang personally sent the officers to the courtyard entrance and saw them off .
When the officers left, they each had fifty travel passes on them . As Yan Liqiang watched these people go off cautiously into the night, he felt as though he was getting people into a pyramid scheme…
With the first batch of travel passes distributed, Yan Liqiang believed that these people would definitely come to him again . This favor he did for them was a huge net that he cast . Just by dragging one end of the net, the entire net would start to slowly move…
Liu Xitong and the other officers weren’t on duty the next day . They changed into plain clothes and left Deer Villa with the travel passes they got from Yan Liqiang . As for Yan Liqiang, he once again met a eunuch from the palace today after a month…
The Emperor had summoned Yan Liqiang to the palace to teach the Crown Prince the art of archery on the 15th day of the second lunar month, which was the day after tomorrow!
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