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World of Crystals > The Legend of Ming Wu Jen... 1 > The Legend of Ming Wu Jen... 2

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The Legend of Ming Wu Jen... 2

By Scen

The messenger from the Harbor eventually found both High Protector Zong Duo and Grand General Ren Cang together, with the former entertaining the latter at his estate in the Northern Quarter of the Imperial City. The two men excused themselves from their friends and families and guests and received the messenger privately, along with the message from Ming Wu Jen.

"That Mindu," Zong Duo said, "How dare he presume to issue an order to me, the High Protector of the Imperial City! I do not take orders from Astrologers. I answer only to the Emperor... erm, and to you as well, of course, my lord Grand General."

"Indeed," mused General Ren. "But we cannot disobey Lord Ming. It would harm our standings at Court, and possibly sour the Emperor against us. The Emperor is most fond of the Court Astrologer, and heeds his word above all others."

"I believe you and I have the prerogative in this case, Lord Ren," countered Zong Duo. "It is our mandate from the Son of Heaven to protect the Imperial Province and the Imperial City from all aggressors. While any threat posed by this new ship is not yet known, we have a responsibility to put forward a presence."

"Again, I agree," General Ren said. "But we cannot act against Lord Ming's command."

"We need not," Lord Zong said. "Mindu himself gave us our opening: we shall go above his head and send a request to the Emperor to mobilize the Imperial Honor Guard. What's more, we can report that Lord Ming has ordered us to stand down against all good sense. That will surely reflect poorly on the Court Astrologer's own judgement and better our standing with the Emperor."

General Ren initially expressed misgivings about implicating Lord Ming in their message to the Emperor, but inwardly would have been glad to pull the sometimes arrogant Astrologer down a notch or two. After some more convincing from Lord Zong, General Ren wrote out a quick letter and asked the messenger to carry it to the Emperor. The messenger was amazed at the Court Astrologer's foresight, and so carried both the Generals' letter and the first letter from Ming Wu Jen back to the Imperial Palace.


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