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The Burning Pillar Torture
|Fei Zhong Plots to Depose the Queen→ →|
|Xu Zhonglin or Lu Xixing|
This chapter is titled "The Burning Pillar Torture". As the wooden sword was thus turned into ashes, Daji recovered in immediate pace. Still secretly remaining at Morning Song in order to inspect the outcome of his wooden sword, Master of the Clouds sighed at his inability to change the Shang Dynasty's destined outcome -- and thus wrote a short poem upon the observatory wall within the market area so that all people could understand what future they were to experience. After thus returning to Mount Zhongnan people noticed the poem immediately and attempted to decipher it's meaning. With no true success, Grand Tutor Du Yuanxian appeared, read the poem with partioned understanding, and returned to his personal quarters to make up a report on what future the dynasty will experience if this evil specter is not effectively eradicated. Upon the finishing of this report, Du Yuanxian gave it to Prime Minister Shang Rong so that it could be presented personally to the king. Once Shang Rong left to the royal palace to deliver it to King Zhou, he was admitted in with Yuanxian's report in hand. Reading the report fully, the king believed his words to be rather accurate but decided to have Daji's opinion on the issue. Daji told the king that the Taoist earlier was none other than a wicked sorcerer who spread rumors to put the dynasty into a frenzy -- and Du Yuanxian is assisting this sorceror with full intentions to ensure unrestfulness within the people and should thus be publicly executed. Shang Rong however, immediately retorted, saying that if Du Yuanxian were to be executed, his loyalty would not only be seen as mere rubbish but many ministers would rise up in addition to uphold his innocence.
King Zhou, who told Shang Rong that Yuanxian should be executed as to prevent further unrestful stories from coming about, immediately ordered royal guards to bound Du Yuanxian with thick ropes and chains. As the latter was thus dragged off to the palace gates, Supreme Minister Mei Bo stopped the executioners and immediately asked for an explanation from Prime Minister Shang Rong. After hearing the story fully, Mei Bo flew into a rage at Shang Rong's fear to uphold true justice within the dynasty—and thus grabbed the latter's arm while charging into the Fairy Longevity Palace to talk with King Zhou. With uncontrolled anger, Mei Bo began to shout violently at the king for his ineptitude and thus was ordered to be executed immediately. Just before Mei Bo was to have his skull smashed, Daji told King Zhou to put the former in the gaouls for now while a torture device known as the "Burning Pillar" is to be constructed as his destined punishment. While thus gazing at the king's atrocities and deludness, Shang Rong sincerely asked the king if he could faithfully retire from the dynasty less he were to make any further mistakes in his old age. Following the latter's consent, many ministers gathered at the Changting Pavilion to see their old comrade on his way that evening. Raising their cups to bid their old comrade farewell, Shang Rong wrote one final poem to express his inner grievence before taking leave with tearful eyes. Ignoring his ministers for several more days as usual, tyrant King Zhou obtained a report on the burning pillars completed construction. After Daji had thoroughly inspected the pillar's design, she smiled with happiness and suggested to the king that tomorrow should be Mei Bo's day of punishment. The following day at the Grand Hall, Yellow Flying Tiger gazed at over twenty pillars being lit blood red—and sat in confusion as to why such objects would be in royal grounds. With Mei Bo's entrance into the Grand Hall, King Zhou sat in laughter at what was to soon befall the former. Thus being stripped and chained fully against a burning pillar, a single deathly scream would ring against the royal halls as Mei Bo's flesh and bones were turned to ashes. Now leaving the Grand Hall with his other comrades, Yellow Flying Tiger exclaimed his resolve to do whatever it takes to save the dynasty from it's supposedly destined downfall. With celebrational music and feasting resounding through the walls of King Zhou's inner chambers, Queen Jiang felt personal hatred over the newly heard burning pillar construction and thus ordered her attendants to prepare for her a carriage.
- The rejuvenation of Daji
- Cloud Dweller's written poem on the Noon Gate
- Populace wonder - Du Yuanxi's investigation
- The beheading of Du Yuanxi for "rumor mongering"
- Creation of the 20 ft Bronze Toaster
- The burning alive of Mei Bo
- Shang Rong's sad farewell
- Yellow Flying Tiger's growing hatred