62 Fugitives in the Border Town

    "Huh, could it be there is another reason for setting up the checkpoints?"

    "Of course." Madam Lu said, she continued, "I heard that there are many fugitives coming north." She said with a shrug, referring to the intelligence report that she had received prior.

    "Fugitives?" Wang Bo asked he did not remember the government attempting to capture any fugitives up here in the north. As far as he knew, the kingdom was at peace, he was sure that within these past six months, there had not been a famed outlaw that made such a grand heist that they must be captured. There was also no way it could be slaves that ran away, considering that it was the job of the masters and bounty hunters.

    Why would the government get involved at such a menial matter?

    "Don't tell me you haven't heard about the most recent purge?" She asked.

    "Nope. besides, wasn't the last one a year ago?" He replied to her with a question. It was so isolated here that he rarely got news from the imperial capital, even if he did, he had an assistant to read it for him. He could remember that the cause was due to Consort Ning dying while giving birth, but didn't it end when they were both buried in the imperial mausoleum? How could a new purge start so soon, when the bodies of the previously killed had not even decomposed entirely yet.

    Either way, he never really had to worry about it, the emperor barely noticed this border town. This place was already considered an exile, and there was a large barrack that was about eighty miles north of the border town, where all the traitors were exiled, to redeem themselves by guarding the northern border from the dangerous invaders that was northern Wei.

    The cold and barren north.

    Although 'Redeeming oneself' sounded good and noble, it was more like sent there to die from hunger and cold from being overworked.

    Therefore, this place was technically where the exiles went.

    "Of course not. This most recent one was started by the officials, I hear they are trying to root out their enemy faction's enemies. You know, the ones that were not rooted out by the emperor." Madam Lu explained.

    Wang Bo thought about the time Consort Ning had died, and the blame was only placed upon the imperial physician's college, and the officials that were said to be part of this matter. Their families were kept relatively unharmed. Aside from the trauma from a few days in prison, and the clan beginning to crumble due to the loss of a great pillar, otherwise, there was really no loss of life to an official's family members after the official was executed.

    But rooting out the executed official's family, that really went as far as weeding the grass, pulling out the roots and even burning a layer of soil that was underneath, to ensure that nothing would ever grow again.

    "And his majesty allowed that to happen?" Wang Bo asked with caution.

    Madam Lu nodded. A silence enveloped them as they began to deeply think.

    They both knew that there would not have been this purge if his majesty did not allow it to happen.

    Truly, it was true what they say: a ruler's mind and heart were difficult to decipher.

    "En." Madam Lu nodded, "That's why most of them are trying to escape to the northern border, where the travel time from the capital to the north is shorter compared to going to the southern border."

    To put it simply, they decided to go to the north simply because it was closer than the south, and the chances of getting caught in a shorter period of travel time were relatively less than the many more miles and the longer time it would take to get to the southern border.

    "Hm, so once all the fugitives are caught, there will no longer be the need for the checkpoints. Then what do you need me to do the delivery for, I'm sure this will blow over by the time the new year rolls around." Wang Bo suggested before he prepared to leave.

    Madam Lu looked at him, in deep thought. She was hoping that this matter would not blow over so quickly. If it did, how was she to drag him down the hole, and make it impossible for him to refuse her?

    "I look forward to having a taste of lady Fen Chun." Wang Bo added in a lecherous manner before he made his leave.

    As soon as Wang Bo left, madam Lu's face twisted into a malevolent expression, as she opened the window and lean her head from the window slightly, disregarding the cold wind outside.  Downstairs, she saw the lone figure waiting for his carriage.

    One of his attendants had placed a warm fur cloak on his shoulders, yet his body was still shuddering from the cold. His hands were under the cloak, grasping at the neckline, trying to stop the coldness from invading his body, but yet the coldness still invaded his weak, overindulgent body.

    It was a while before the carriage arrived, and he quickly jumped in to keep himself warm.

    Little did he know that in a window above, madam Lu was carefully watching him.

    Once the carriage was rolling out of sight, she carelessly closed the window. The slight movement made a disturbance the string of birds, causing them to flutter, as though they were in their natural habitat flying about. Their glassy eyes glimmering in the light of the candles.
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