Ch490: The debate of destiny
- After meeting King Jian of Qi, Sei returns to court and meet Riboku.
- While Riboku tries to be formal, Sei went straight to the point and asked for Riboku’s true intention of coming to Kanyou himself.
- Riboku only came to Kanyou to ensure the safe passage of the king of Qi. Now that the Qi king is in Kanyou, there is no need for Riboku anymore. Moreover, the recent war at Kokuyou ended badly for Zhao, which makes the visit even more unusual.
- Riboku started by saying that he hope the king of Qin drop the idea of unification here and now. While he do admire Sei, who was unfortunately born in Kantan but rose to the top and manage to lead the people in the Battle of Sai by putting himself in danger and now that he dreams of ending all wars and unite China. This is the king that Riboku wants to serve.
- However, if he does serve Sei, he will go all out to stop him from uniting China.
- He spoke of the strong power of people when facing the destruction of their homeland. If Sei were to unify China, he will definitely flood China with the blood of their people.
- While he too desires a world without war, and thinks that there are others who think the same in the other 5 states, he thinks that Sei should negotiate peace with all the other states. SHK interrupts and said that there is no other way outside of unification.
- Riboku denies that and suggests that Sei invites the king of all 6 states to Kanyou for a negotiation of eternal peace between the 7 states. If any state start a war against another, the 6 states will all attack the starter of the war.
- Sei rebuts and says that it is impossible to end wars with this. While it is possible to end all wars today with the power of Qin and Riboku, it is impossible to ensure that this alliance stands in the future world where none of them is alive anymore.*
- Ribuku argues that the violence of unification will never be accepted by the other states while Sei did not expect any of them to accept this method.
- With this, he declares that Qin will do everything possible to destroy the 6 states and unite China.
- Riboku accepts this invitation to war and promises that the loser will definitely be Qin.
*Sei was right as the history of the Zhou dynasty was just like what Sei said.
In fact, these 500 years+ of war in the Eastern Zhou dynasty was started by the greed of the rulers. During the start of the Western Zhou dynasty, the king of Zhou, who defeated the last king of the Shang dynasty, rewarded lands around the then known area of China to his advisors and royal family. These land owners were then free to expand their territory into other neutral territories. They were all friendly towards each other and loyal towards the king of Zhou. If the capital where the king lives is attacked by barbarians, they will return and defend the capital. If the land owners start a war against another, they will unite and defeat that particular owner.
As time passes, the area of influence for each of these land owners(i.e. nobles) increased, and diplomatic relations between them starts to fall after generations passed, they hunger for more power. The kings of Zhou gradually lose their power and control towards the other states owned by nobles. This coupled with the rapidly declining quality of Zhou kings such as King You of Zhou, transformed China from a land ruled by the Zhou king to various states ruled by nobles, who are loyal to the king of Zhou by formality or for their own selfish gains(such as bringing justice by destroying a state in the name of the king). This period of feigning loyalty to the effectively powerless king of Zhou lasted from the start of the Spring Autumn era around 770BC to some time around 440BC when the era of the Warring States started.
When the era of the Warring State started, the entire China was in chaos and the capital of Zhou became just another powerless state which was eventually destroyed by Qin.
What Riboku suggested was already done multiple times, mostly in the Spring Autumn era when a leader of the strongest state would usually rally other smaller state to attack any weaker state who “bullies” the others in the name of the king of Zhou. As we can see, it ended up a failure and China plunged into chaos in the era of the Warring States. For more information, you guys can read up on the Five Hegemons of the Spring Autumn era.