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6 Unrest within the Imperial City

    That night the guards rode through the imperial city, with a list of names of people they needed to find an arrest. The clouds covered the moon, shielding the light of the moon from shining down upon the secrecy of the guards.

    The entire imperial city was plunged into a state of chaos.

    The night filled with the sounds of horses galloping throughout the city, the sounds of screams of those who were arrested carried by the fierce winds blew throughout the city.

    Screams of those unwilling to silently go along with guards screamed atop their lungs, to let it be known that they were being arrested. They put up a struggle that was useless in the end.

    It seemed that this would not settle down quietly.

    The deployment of guards brought people back to the events that occurred seven years ago.

    To this day, that event still sent shivers down their backs.

    ~

    As morning came, the remnants left from the night before were still in the streets. The debris from the previous night's struggles served as a reminder

    It was early in the morning when there was a notice posted on the bulletin, informing the citizens of consort Ning's grand burial into the imperial mausoleum three days later, the auspicious day on the calendar.

    There was no one that dared to talk about any rumors. Everyone was silent as they went on with their everyday lives, whether they were setting up shops, or working as labors in another place.

    The usually busy and bustling capital that was once the center of noise and gossip was now solemnly going about their everyday lives. In fact, it seemed that the grand burial a few days from today would be even more festive than this current atmosphere.

    There were some citizens who went to the marketplace to buy some meat from the local butcher, only to realize that the butcher had been arrested because his sister was a midwife that had been present during consort Ning's labor.

    The could only hang their heads low to walk away without their poultry. At least they could settle for a nice, good bowl of plump grain rice from the grain seller, who sold the best grains within the capital, no one can deny that every grain is plump and carefully picked at the height of the harvest, for the best flavors of nature.

    Wait, the grain seller had also been arrested because his daughter was also midwife a that was present during that doomed labor.

    Now that their butcher and grain seller had been arrested in the middle of the dark night, they could not get any of the capital's favorite delicious goods, leaving them feeling down.

    But hey, there were some things to be thankful for, such as the emperor passing down the order to only arrest the immediate family and not the nine generations, because let's face it, they all knew a possible distant cousin that worked in the palace. After all, the imperial palace was huge and employed a large number of people.

    It was also impossible to arrest that many people, considering there was not enough room to put the entirety of the population of the imperial capital.

    ~

    Within a tea shop and restaurant, on the second floor balcony looking down on the silence of the citizens walking around, a Taoist priest was silently sipping his cup of chamomile tea. It was a strange sight to see such silence in the always bustling imperial capital a grin could not help but spread on his lips.

    His eyes looked upon the citizens with a sense of pity. As those who could look down upon the whole of humanity, it was a gaze that saw life as nothing, one that could see no worth in anything of the mundane world. Like an immortal having seen the ruthlessness and hypocrisy of humankind despising the falseness that they stood for.

    Just as he finishes drinking his tea, a young waiter comes up to him: "Esteemed customer, is there anything else you need?" he asks, his face had on an amiable expression.

    "No need, young man, may I ask why the imperial city is so quiet today?"

    "Esteemed customer must be new in the capital to not know." The young waiter says with a slight laugh.

    "Yes, I just arrived recently and I am not aware of what is going on." The Taoist priest also laughs as he shakes his head to show that he is clueless about the events that happened recently.

    "Oh, consort Ning recently died and the emperor ordered the arrest of all the doctors and midwives that were present during her labor. Just last night, he ordered the arrest of their immediate family, the citizens are just worried they might get arrested as well." The young waiter explains diligently.

    "Oh, how much will it cost?" The man asks, changing the subject.

    "Oh, chamomile tea, only two coppers." The young waiter says.

    "Hm." The man acknowledges this and pulls out a piece of silver and places it on the battered table.

    "Keep the change." Was the last thing he said as he laid his horsetail whip in his arm and walks away.
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