Plane Supermarket Plane 1: Da Liang Dynasty C32
For several consecutive months, refugees only traveled from north to south. It was rare to see any refugees traveling from south to north.
This time, Lin You returned to the north and was once again shocked by the tragic conditions of this world.
They had journeyed all the way, but they scarcely encountered any living souls. They found only deserted villages, and when they pushed open the dilapidated house doors, the interiors were covered in cobwebs and dust. It seemed like this land had already “died.”
The desolate fields, the dilapidated houses, and the occasional sight of dry bones on the road made it seem as if this place was not part of the mortal realm, but rather a depiction of hell itself.
The imperial court had indeed dispatched officials to quell the disaster, but this calamity seemed beyond human capability to resist.
Furthermore, the north was beyond saving, and the south was no paradise either. Numerous local powers had risen, demanding a rebellion against the imperial court.
The imperial court was overwhelmed and had little time to deal with the north.
Lin You thought of his father, the governor of Anyang City. Since the influx of refugees, he had been working tirelessly every day. The refugees were pitiful, but they could only accommodate a small fraction of them within the city. They had to watch countless refugees die at the city gates, starving to death.
They couldn’t let the refugees in, and if they did, how would they feed them?
With so many people, how much food and how many soldiers would they need?
Anyang City didn’t have that much food! They didn’t have that many soldiers! Letting the refugees into the city would result in even more deaths.
Lin You dared not recall that scene, nor did he dare to remember his father’s words.
He still remembered asking his father about why they wouldn’t let refugees into the city. Those were real lives at stake! Men and women, young and old, had traveled long distances, endured countless hardships, and lost numerous lives just to reach Anyang City. They believed they could start a new life, carve out a place to live.
But his father just let him kneel. He knelt there for an entire day, his legs numb as if they were no longer his own.
His father spoke sternly, “I’m not a Buddha. I can’t save everyone!”
“Let me ask you, letting them in might be easy, but what comes after? How do we support them? If we don’t support them, how will they survive? It’s either resorting to robbery or theft. They want to survive, but the people in the city also want to survive!”
“Even if I exhaust all my wealth, how many people can I save?”
At that moment, Lin You was not angry. He believed his father was only evading responsibility, choosing to stand idly by to avoid trouble. “There are several big families in the city. Which one has no grain? If they bring out the food, they can save tens of thousands of people! They take their food and property from the people. Shouldn’t they use it for the people?!”
His father only looked at him as if he were looking at a fool. “Do you think they would willingly give away their food? Even if by miracle they are willing to take 10,000 steps back, they agree to share, how many days will that food last? And what happens after it’s consumed? To support refugees, it’s not just about food. It’s about land! It’s about giving them something to do!”
“Besides, your father, I, have to consider the opinions of the influential families,” his father sighed bitterly. “Do you think being a governor is all about being glorious? Do you think my words carry that much weight? I’ve only been here for a few years. How many years have those people been in Anyang City?”
“Even a strong dragon doesn’t crush the local snakes. Do I look like a mighty dragon to you?” his father remarked.
So, Lin You came. He wasn’t here to navigate the political turmoil or think about court affairs. This time, he came to buy food.
Buying food could save lives.
Even if they couldn’t bring refugees into the city, at least they could distribute gruel outside the walls, so that they… wouldn’t resort to desperate measures.
But he wasn’t certain if he could find the immortal’s home.
He took note of the path, worrying that the immortal might have left long ago and moved to another place.
“Even if we manage to bring the provisions back safely,” his cousin Gao Sheng dismissed the idea of relying on immortals. It wasn’t that he disbelieved in gods and Buddhas. Rather, he believed when there was a need and didn’t when there wasn’t. “There are just the two of us. How much can we escort back? And even if it’s a lot, we won’t be able to protect it all.”
Lin You didn’t look good. Throughout the journey, Gao Sheng had poured numerous buckets of cold water on him. So he could only say, “How can you easily give up on something you haven’t even tried? Cousin, stop saying that.”
Gao Sheng wasn’t annoyed either. He knew his younger cousin had a naive disposition. After all these years of studying, he had absorbed the teachings of sages and philosophers into his bones. Although he teased, there was an admiring tone in his words.
Many scholars racked their brains to infiltrate the court, quoting the wisdom of sages, but those principles were merely their tools for navigating the political landscape, not the foundation of their character. How many of them in the court accumulated knowledge but formed factions and pursued personal gain? How many still remembered the teachings from their books?
On the contrary, Lin You, having crossed through countless challenges, returned to Anyang City with a resolute spirit. Despite that, he dared to volunteer once more, embarking on the path of famine.
When Gao Sheng arrived, he issued a military order, pledging to safely bring back his cousin. If anything happened to Lin You, he wouldn’t live alone.
“That’s the forest!” Lin You pointed excitedly at the familiar grove not far away. “The immortal is in there!”
Gao Sheng questioned, “Shouldn’t he be on the mountain?”
Aren’t immortals supposed to prefer hanging out on mountain peaks?
Lin You felt that his cousin was full of questions. They argued all the way, and Lin You didn’t want to argue anymore. He spurred his horse and entered the forest.
Gao Sheng had no choice but to lead the others and follow.
Even though it would take several more days on horseback to reach the immortal’s abode once inside the forest, Lin You wasn’t in a hurry. He dismounted where the terrain became difficult, leading his horse through. Despite being a pampered young master, he could still find comfort sitting on the ground, eating dry rations without complaining.
“It’s much better than when I traveled alone. I didn’t have enough rations before encountering the immortal,” Lin You took a sip of water. “Ah, and I got sick again. Every day, I feel both hot and hungry, and I’m thirsty too.”
Gao Sheng frowned, “Wasn’t someone escorting you?”
Lin You waved his hand, “Don’t blame them. The provisions were tight on me, and they were hungrier than I was.”
“My parents are searching for people in the south. People from the south have no idea about the current situation in the north,” Lin You added.
They traveled for another three days before finally arriving at a vast open space guided by Lin You.
This place seemed intentionally arranged, but upon closer inspection, there were no signs of deliberate carving or sculpting. It was as if this clearing in the forest had always been devoid of trees.
With just one glance, Gao Sheng was awed by the square-shaped building not far away.
This house lacked the traditional eaves and blue tiles. It appeared as a seamless whole, resembling a giant stone hollowed out by meticulous craftsmanship. The cuts and chops were exceptionally neat, without a single indentation or protrusion. It was something even the finest craftsmen today couldn’t replicate.
Might as well double update ~~ See you ya all next week ( ˘͈ ᵕ ˘͈♡)
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