Lord Bao, you want me to re-examine Sun Qiang’s case? Correct. But Sun Qiang has already pleaded guilty. Nonetheless, methinks the case still contains unsolved questions. And you want me to preside over the re-examination? Of course. The case took place in Shangzhou. You’re governor of Shangzhou. It’s therefore your duty to address it. However, I’ll attend your session. I… What? You think I shouldn’t be present thereat? No, no! I daren’t think so. But this is just a petty case. How can I disturb you, My Lord? Silence! The value of men’s lives is as high as the sky. How can you think it’s a petty matter? Or, in your opinion, the life of Sun Qiang is so worthless? No, no! I didn’t mean so! I merely intended to… Governor Li. If you didn’t look down upon people’s lives, why don’t you re-examine the case as commanded by Lord Bao? Sir, I’ll comply with your order. But please tell me when the session should be held? Sun Qiang is imprisoned here, right? Yes, sir. Then hold court at once! I should like to see how a governor like you tries and decides cases. Sir, I hereby receive your order. My Lord, this way. My Lord, may I commence the… You may, Governor Li. Sir. Bring Convict Sun Qiang forwards! [Court chant] Power, vigour! I hereby pay respect to you. Sun Qiang. You have been charged with robbery. How do you plead? Guilty I plead. A military officer like you, when guilty of robbery, will be put to death. Don’t you know this? I do know. I have sentenced you to death. Upon approval of the Kaifeng Court, your execution will be carried out in the autumn. Do you have anything to say? I… I have nothing to say. Good! Then I will send you back to your cell. Men! Your Honour! – Take Sun Qiang back to the cell!
– Sir! Hold on! My Lord, anything wrong with my decision? Don’t ask yet whether it is right or wrong. Why don’t you ask him about his grounds for committing robbery? I… What? You think this question shouldn’t be put to him? It should, it should. I’ll ask him. I’ll ask him right now. Sun Qiang! Why did you rob people? State your reasons, will you? Your Honour, I have to take care of my aged mother. But I have no money. I thus needed to do so. Foolishness! You are a member of the army. You surely are given compensation. Why do say you have no money? Your Honour… Only rice has been provided by the army. No money has been given for a half year. How could this be?! Kneel down! Sun Qiang. Why has the army only given rice without compensation for such a long period of time? Relate to me everything. Sun Qiang, do you know who I am? Your Grace, I know not. I am Bao Zheng, Prefect of Kaifeng. Have you ever heard of me? Lord Bao… Lord Bao, “Bao Who Brightens Up the Sky”? Yes. Methinks you have already known about me very well. If you have anything to say, you can say it to me to the full. Now that I am here, no one will dare harm you. Sun Qiang. Do you hear that Lord Bao has permitted you? Don’t hesitate to inform him of everything. Sir! My Lord, I’m a member of the Left Cavalry of Shangzhou. It’s the truth that no compensation has been given for a half year! How did your superior explain? He said the transfer of money from the central government has been delayed. Nonsense! When the transfer of money to the army is delayed, the progress of the nation is delayed. Pursuant to law, this is liable to death. Who would dare do so? Never speak a falsehood before me! My Lord, all that I’ve said are true! Commandant Yang so explained. The officers throughout the cavalry can confirm this! Governor Li. Here, My Lord. Who is Commandant Yang? And how does he work? My Lord, Yang Bao is his name. As for his work and the military affairs, it’s inconvenient for me to check. I then… You then have no knowledge about this, right? Yes, yes. Sun Qiang. Whatever your reason in committing the crime is, it’s the fact that you’ve breached the law. Do you understand? I do understand. Governor Li. Here, My Lord. I shall look into the alleged delay in payment of compensation. For now, you shall take Sun Qiang into custody and await further orders from me. Sir. Men! Your Honour. – Take Sun Qiang back to the cell.
– Sir. Go! – Governor Li.
– Sir. Delayed payment of compensation would surely shock the entire army. It might also result in a mutiny. Now, I fear that it’s not just a petty matter as you thought. Yes, yes, it’s my carelessness. You are the ruler of this city. But you handle public grievances recklessly, never caring the value of people’s lives. If any of your erroneous judgments brings about a great disaster, how will you be responsible therefor? Your salaries are derived from the sweat of your people. Working poorly is how you requite the government and the people? I have repented. I beg you to punish me. Whether or not you’re negligent in office will be checked later. Tell Yang Bao to see me here at this time tomorrow. I want to interrogate him. Sir, I hereby receive your order. Tell Governor Li that I, Yang Bao from Shangzhou’s Left Cavalry, want to meet him. Your Honour. Commandant Yang, why come here so early? Lord Bao wants to see you in the afternoon. You might have mistaken about the time. I’ll come here again at noon. But, now, give me the prisoner. Whom do you want? Sun Qiang. Sun Qiang is a member of my cavalry. When he’s violated the law, he must be punished by me according to the martial law. But, Commandant Yang, this is not right. I want the man! If you have any doubt, go talk with my superior, General Shen, yourself! Commandant Yang! Commandant Yang! Commandant Yang! Why didn’t you stop him?! I… I did stop him. But it’s in vain. You! My Lord, we mustn’t delay. Where’s the Left Cavalry? It’s… It’s… My Lord, it’s outside the city, not so far therefrom. I’ve investigated about it. Good! Royal Guard Zhan, you shall go there at once to save Sun Qiang’s life. I shall follow you in no time! Sir! You will be dealt with later! Walk! Keep walking! Walk! Sun Qiang. Here, sir! You dared go out of the camp and rob citizens. You brought ill repute to the whole cavalry! I’ve repented! If anyone follows your deed, will there be discipline in our cavalry anymore? Financial shortage is a problem of the central government. Even myself hasn’t been paid. Why did you make an uproar outside? He said even he himself hasn’t been paid… Harken, all of you! From now on, no one may have a chinwag about compensation! If someone asks you about it, don’t talk shit to him! Otherwise, you’ll be punished for disclosing military secrets! Sir! Sun Qiang. You robbed citizens. Your sole penalty is death. No one can’t help you. Speak your last word, if any. I… I have an aged mother. I understand. After the central government sends your compensation here, I’ll give it to her. Be relieved. Thanks, Commandant! When any member of my cavalry infringes the law, if his case is brought to a civil court, only ill fame will fall upon us! In line with the martial law, I hereby order that Sun Qiang be killed and impaled! Men! Here! – Prepare the execution!
– Sir! Kill! Stop your sword! Insolent! Who are you? How dare you interrupt the execution? Instead of asking who I am, why don’t you ask him about his reason for committing robbery first? Be sure about his guilt before punishing him, will you? In this Left Cavalry, I can kill anyone I want. Who dares butt in? So you declare yourself to be the law for this place? – Stop blabbering! Men!
– Here! – Seize that man!
– Sir! You all, step back! Sword! Here, Your Honour! So you want to fight with me in person? I’ll fight to the death! – Left Cavalry, hear my command!
– Sir! Kill him mercilessly! Darn it! Quarrel not! Fight not! You all are acquaintances. Be friendly and stop quarreling! Stop fighting! Governor Li, what are you doing here? I’m here to bring Sun Qiang back to my office. Sun Qiang is a member of my cavalry! If you want him, go talk with General Shen yourself! Contemptuous! The chief of a little troop like you dares affront him who is a fifth-class governor? This is how your General Shen trains you? Who the hell are you? Insolent! Here is Lord Bao, Prefect of Kaifeng! Mind your manners! Hurry up and pay respect to Lord Bao! Yang Bao of Shangzhou’s Left Cavalry hereby pays respect to you. Yang Bao, if I want to bring Sun Qiang back, will you have me go and seek permission from your General Shen? This lowly officer dares not do so. If so, why don’t you release him? S… sir. R… release the man! Sir! Go! And you, follow me to the city hall. I hereby receive your command. Royal Guard Zhan. Lord Bao wants you, as well as Zhang Long and Zhao Hu, to stay here and inquire into the compensation problem, before reporting the outcome to him at his residence. Sir. Yang Bao, how will you explain about the allegation that the army has failed to provide compensation for a half year? My Lord, there’s no such a thing. If there’s no such a thing, for what purpose did Sun Qiang have to invent his story? I’m a forthright man. I regularly exert strict control over my cavalry. Moreover, Sun Qiang was once punished by me. Mayhap he bore me malice. He then accused me. Despite that, he’s a prisoner of the Shangzhou Court. Why did you bring your men here and take him back? My Lord, Sun Qiang is a member of my Left Cavalry. As stated by the imperial rules, the cavalry can punish him in keeping with the martial law. However, his crime of robbery came to pass in Shangzhou City. The Shangzhou Court is therefore competent to detain him and prosecute him. My Lord, the Left Cavalry of Shangzhou has always upheld strict discipline. Sun Qiang’s robbery might lead to a rift between citizens and soldiers. I thus wanted to close this case quickly, so that the citizens would feel relieved. Your word sounds quite reasonable. But the sentence of Sun Qiang has been forwarded to the Kaifeng Court and is pending my approval. Now, the case is subject to the jurisdiction of the Kaifeng Court. The military can no longer interfere. Do you understand? Sir. I need more information regarding this case. You shall return to your base and await my orders. Sir. I hereby leave. Governor Li. Here, My Lord. You’re governor of Shangzhou. But you let someone take a prisoner away at will. This indicates your negligence in office. I’ve repented. I beg you to punish me. Surely I shall punish you, but not before I have examined all the cases concerned. Bring Sun Qiang here. I want to interrogate him. Sir, I will go right now. My Lord, Yang Bao and Sun Qiang gave conflicting statements. I fear that solving this case wouldn’t be so easy.