You receive a letter from the Emperor. What does it say?
Illustration by Klara Bajlon (Graphic Designer, The Continuist)
By Narishdath Maraj (he/him, IG: @narishdath.maraj)
I still did not fully understand why he would instruct his scribe to do such a tedious and elaborate task of writing me a letter. As a commander of the Imperial army, I resided within the Palace walls of the Forbidden City – couldn’t he have just summoned me to the Dragon Throne? But I knew the Emperor well, and he was a smart and cunning man, and every decision, no matter how small or insignificant, was deliberate.
Moving closer to the burning torch that lit my chambers, I untied the red string and tassels binding the scroll and tossed it aside – I would later add it to the already overflowing box of red imperial strings I had been collecting since the beginning of the Peasant uprising. I was to command a small army to the villages outside of Beijing to identify and capture the men instigating and leading the uprising. A wave of fear washed over me, and my knees went weak, for this was not a task for an Imperial Commander – had the Emperor known? Had the Emperor been informed that the man behind the uprising was my brother?