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The Flaws of the Qin

In 1999, an archaeological dig was taking place near Qin Shi Huangdi’s tomb. The leader of the excavation was a man named Kevin Middleton. Kevin’s methods were only just good enough to be accepted. He did not have much physical respect for historical evidence, as the only thing his team would use to hold pieces of evidence were a pair of tacky gloves. The general digging techniques of his team would also lack care, as their digging techniques were far from professional. Often, pieces unearthed by his team would be damaged, but instead of taking the blame, he lashed out at his team, who were only following his techniques and instructions.

In the warm, summer wind of June 15th, 1999, an archaeologist in the team managed to tear from the soil a book. Etched in gold, the title read, “The Flaws of the Qin.” The archaeologist noticed that it was in almost pristine condition despite the fact that it was buried under the soil for centuries. He took the book to the evidence table and Kevin instantly noticed it. This did not make sense to Kevin due to what happened in the time of the Qin dynasty.

In 213 BCE, a man presented ideas from earlier dynasties to Qin Shi Huangdi, suggesting that these earlier ways were better than the status quo. In that period of time, anyone who dared criticise the Emperor was dealt with harshly, and what the man suggested was taken that way. The man and his followers were executed, and all of his books other than those not relevant to the criticism of the Qin dynasty or the Emperor were burnt.

“That’s strange,” Kevin spoke. “Books criticising the Qin Dynasty should be practically ash.”

Kevin opened the book without wearing gloves to preserve it. As Kevin flipped through the pages, his heart began to sink. Over 200 pages of criticisms and secrets lay inside, all related to Kevin. Kevin couldn’t say it was all false, as evidence of it all was in almost every sentence. If this got into the wrong hands, Kevin would look really bad.

Kevin called over the archaeologist who brought over the book.

“Yes sir?” he questioned nervously.

“I’m letting you go, Steve,” Kevin scowled.


“If you think you can get away with this shit, you’re barking up the wrong tree,” Kevin said while showing Steve the book.

Steve walked away with a pale face. Kevin looked back down at the book. He couldn’t leave it here. He would have to take things into his own hands.

That night, as he sat by the fireplace, he pulled the book out of his briefcase. He looked at the cover, before tossing it into the scorching flames. He closed his eyes to fall asleep. It would be all fine in the morning, he thought, but was unaware that he was lying to himself.

He woke up the next morning to find the book in his lap without a scratch or char. His tired eyes widened and his breath grew heavy.

As he drove to work, he stopped at the bridge. He pulled the book out and tossed it into the stream below him. As he got back in his car, he wondered to himself if the battle was over. It was not. 

It appeared to him at work in his briefcase. He opened the book to see a new message.

“You cannot destroy the truth, Kevin. Accept it. Live with it. Learn to take critique. Learn to be better. This is your last warning.”

“The hell I can't destroy the truth,” Kevin growled to himself. Kevin gripped a side of the book and pulled down. It would not budge. Kevin kept pulling, but it would not tear. Kevin opened the book and tried to tear out a page, but no matter what he tried, the book could not be damaged. 

After work, Kevin eventually came to his senses and realised the book was indestructible. He could not destroy it, so he would have to hide it from the world. On the night of June 16th, 1999, he walked to the park near his home. With the shovel he took, he dug a hole into the earth. After checking for anyone looking, he tossed the book into the hole and buried the book.

On June 17th, 1999, Kevin was found in his apartment, dead. His eyes were hollow and nearly every orifice in his body was flowing with mercury. When his team heard of his death, they were not happy, but they were also not devastated. In a way, they were free from his grasp. At his funeral, as they filled the grave with dirt, some saying they saw streams of mercury flow from within.

The strangest part was the correlation with the death of Qin Shi Huangdi. In 210 BCE, Qin Shi Huangdi perished. Even to this day, despite having many theories, his cause of death has still not been confirmed. However, in the tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi, rivers of mercury have been detected inside.