Portal:Investiture of the Gods/Chapter 17
|← Burning the Jade Lute Specter||Investiture of the Gods
The Serpent Pit
|Flight From Morning Song →|
|Xu Zhonglin or Lu Xixing|
This chapter is titled "The Serpent Pit". As everyone present gazed at Jade's ability to withstand the fierce fire without the slightest burn on her body, Jiang Ziya unleashed divine fire from his mouth by tempering both his vital energies and spirit into breath. Telling Bi Gan and King Zhou to temporarily head inside less they are harmed, Jiang Ziya summoned forth a large thunderbolt to completely destroy Jade, thus leaving her as nothing more than a large lute on the ground. Daji, who saw her sister meet such a disastrous end, suggested to the king that Ziya should be appointed to a high position—while still harboring evil intentions to kill the former in one way or the other to attain revenge. After thus being appointed as Junior Minister and Director of the Imperial Observatory, Jiang Ziya celebrated for several days with Song Yiren and other relatives in congratulations. While meanwhile placing the attained lute in a position in which it had free access to the spiritual essences of Heaven, earth, the sun, and the moon, Daji could effectively revive Jade after around five years of time. As Daji began to sing and dance in King Zhou's entertainment one day within the Star Picking Belvadere, the former noticed seventy individual maids who only shed tears in silence instead of applauding her beautiful performance. Realizing shortly that these maidens originally served under Queen Jiang, Daji suggested to keep them contained temporarily within the court prison while she supervises the construction of a large pit—240 feet in circumference and 50 in depth—that is to be full of countless lethal snakes collected from each potential household within the capital. Once King Zhou fully unleashed this decree, people from every corner rushed about to find as many serpents as possible—even to the extent of heading to countries beyond Morning Song just to meet the king's demand less they received punishment in any form. As Supreme Minister Jiao Ge inspected as to why people ran about with baskets in their hands all-day long, without any successful information attained, the former discussed this issue with other high ranking ministers in order to devise a way to uncover the reason. After attaining full consent on his plan, Yellow Flying Tiger approached the Chief of Guards and offered him a grand reward if he uncovers the truth from His Majesty. With the pit being essentially filled completely with snakes following the passage of five days, Daji told the king that the maidens should be stripped completely before being thrown alive into the pit to be devoured. With King Zhou's immediate consent for the maidens to be thrown into the pit shortly that day, Jiao Ge attained word of the former's atrocity by the Chief of Guards afterwards. Being stunned with horror and anger at such an outragous decree, Jiao Ge presented himself before the king immediately.
Yelling at the king for his behavior with full words of devotion in the name of the dynasty, Jiao Ge was soon ordered to be thrown into the snake pit in addition for his insolence. Not allowing for such a shameful death to be his end, Jiao Ge smashed his head into the ground instead as an act of suicide. As the maidens were thus shortly thrown into the pit without a moment of hesitation, King Zhou patted Daji on the back in praise of her ingenious methods of torture. After Daji had suggested a 'Meat Forest' to be constructed to the left of the snake pit that possessed thick branches hung with slices of meat all around as a creative punishment game to future disobeying ministers, she additionally suggested the 'Wine Pool': an exceedingly deep pit with wine to drink from for the same toyful purpose of the former. Upon the consention of such strange "torture devices", Daji added in later to King Zhou that both the eunuchs and the palace maids should physically wrestle each other for a set period of time; whoever seemed the weaker would have their bodies thrown within the Meat Forest after being beaten to death by golden hammers. Following King Zhou's consent, this became his favored form of entertainment from that point onwards. The true reason behind why Daji suggested such an outrageous method of torture, however, was to secretly feast on the blood and flesh of the deceased within the Meat Forest while in her fox sprite state throughout each night. Sitting down one day and remembering the humiliation she felt at the death of her sister, Daji drew a magnificent building complex on a sheet of paper and brought it before King Zhou at the Star Picking Belvadere as a chance to attain her long-awaited revenge. Telling the former that this building—newly dubbed as the 'Happy Terrace'—should possess jeweled halls and towers and stand forty-nine feet high, she exclaimed that it will be the perfect manifestation of his dignity and prestige as ruler of the Shang Dynasty. Resembling jade as beautifully articulated as a heavenly palace, celestial beings would be bound to appear for feasts and kneel in respect before King Zhou's magnificent glory. Due to additionally adding the appearance of celestial beings within this terrace, Daji could effectively convince the king that Jiang Ziya is the only present official within the kingdom that would able to perform such an unrealistic task. Following the king's consent, and the order for Jiang Ziya to appear before him immediately, Jiang realized through divination that he was destined to meet one form of disaster shortly. Knowing that he most likely could never attain any chance to repay Prime Minister Bi Gan's kindness within the future, he appeared before the latter quickly and handed him a set of instructions less the prime minister were to meet some form of calamity at a later point. As Jiang Ziya thus appeared before King Zhou and was handed the project's constructional report, he thought to himself how to effectively put reformation into the king's thinking and excuse such a project with full rationality.
- Jade Pipa's true death
- Attainment of the natural essences - revival of Jade Pipa
- Celebration of Jade Pipa's revival; the unfortunate seventy-two maidens
- The Snake Pit plan - continued suffering of the people
- Jiao Ge's suicide
- Snake Pit constructed - death of the maidens
- The external plans - Wine Pool, Meat Forest, and Deer Gallery
- Great sorrow of Jiang Baby Tooth - the performing of the impossible