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Backstory

        The army had just fought a fierce battle. However, before the soldiers could clean up the battlefield, they heard the Grand Preceptor bawled from afar, “We are heading back to the palace!” The soldiers raised their heads to see the Grand Preceptor wiping blood off his clothes. He pulled on the reins of his horse and quickly rode towards the barrack.

        Whenever Wen Zhong the Grand Preceptor led the army, he would hand over to his generals after victories as he went off alone to return to the palace at a pace. From privates to generals, no one could understand why the Grand Preceptor always hurried. To them, rushing an army after a battle was very inconsiderate as the soldiers who died on their way back were as many as those who sacrificed in the battle, not to mention those injured in the army.

        When Wen Zhong arrived at the northern entrance of the capital city, he saw a few servants carrying a coffin, covered by a flag imprinted with the name of an official who had been serving during the reign of three emperors. As the funeral procession wobbled towards the destination, the official’s wife tumbled down in front of Wen Zhong and cried, “My husband died tragically! We can’t even find a piece of his body!” The Grand Preceptor had no idea what happened, yet he still offered his condolences, sighing for the way life and death were predetermined. As he reached the palace, the Grand Preceptor saw a large bronze pillar outside. He asked what it was and the palace guards answered, “This is a torture instrument made of bronze. Any officials who questioned the Emperor’s decisions will be tied to the red hot pillar until they are burnt into ashes.”

        The Grand Preceptor dismounted swiftly as he learnt that the old official was executed on the scorching pillar. He snatched the drumsticks from the guard and banged the drum at the gate, demanding to see the king. King Zhou, who was awakened by the deafening noise, hastily entered the palace only to see the Grand Preceptor standing in the hall with the drumsticks in hand.

        Wen Zhong yelled, “All these years, I have been put through all those bitter battles away from the boundary! I thought that your majesty must be working hard to govern the country and treating your people well back here. I have never expect your majesty not only to be indulging yourself in lust and alcohol, but also persecuting all the loyal ones! You are no King at all!” Wen Zhong then threw the drumsticks to the ground and left.

        Wen Zhong knew that he could say no more to King Zhou. He went back to his place and found out the Scroll of Ten Crucial Arrays. He had the scroll opened in his hands and sighed, “The country could hardly survive with such a king who is devoid of sense. The founding fathers of Shang had left us with the Ten Crucial Arrays. Now that the fate of our country is at stake, and blessing from our ancestors is the only thing we could rely on at the moment.”

        At the same time, Jiang Shang was leading a rebellion, snatching the wise and the hermits thus imprisoning them in the Heavenly Kingdom. Seeing that all faithful officials in the government were gone, the Grand Perceptor consequently fought from place to place to rescue the talents. On the other hand, he realized that government affairs had been neglected and falling into decay. However, Wen Zhong had been spreading himself too thin serving as a general in the army and the Grand Preceptor in the government at the same time, and could hardly remedy the situation.

        Soon after, a rebellion erupted in the East Sea, the Grand Preceptor rode into battle once again to settle it. The rewards to the soldiers, including gold, silver and satin, were supposed to be awarded after their return, but the Grand Preceptor was aware that the army never have the time to enjoy the rewards. He listed them as supplies for the troops instead, carrying them to the battlefield, as a motivation for the soldiers to march rapidly back to the capital.

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