The Legendary Tale of China’s First Emperor Qin Shi Huang and His Bizarre Quest for Immortality
8 He forbade anyone using the first-person pronouns
When the king was convinced that he was on his way to becoming an immortal God, he rejected his old title of “king” and adopted a new title called “Huangdi” which roughly translates in to GOD. He also made an official rule that no one would call him by his first-person pronoun “Zhen” and every Chinese had to call themselves “WO” which meant “worthless body”. All nobles had to bow and accept his suzerainty. He soon declared that he was to be called “the True Man”- a title which announced that he was already immortal.
7 Decoys rode his horses
The emperor had to remain alive till Xu Fu came back with the elixir. Since it was dangerous considering the many attempts on his life, he put decoys in his royal carriages. His rival Zhang Liang wanted him dead and plotted his death by towing a 72.5 kg hammer on top of a hill and dropping it on the royal carriage which killed everyone inside. The emperor though wasn’t travelling in his c carriage but in a common one at the back of it. Zhang Liang escaped with the help of his strongman Gan Ba.
6 He traveled through tunnels
In later years he stopped going outside completely and created a labyrinth of tunnels for his free and secure movements. These tunnels were connected to the royal place and were a mile long. Surrounded by ten buildings, there was a majestic elevated walkway that crossed over a river and was designed to look like Milky Way shining in the sky. He was afraid of assassins waiting for him outside the castles. The emperor’s quest for immortality increased to the level of insanity.
5 A Meteor fell prophesying his death
Legend has it that a year before the unfortunate emperor died, a meteor fell to earth inscribed the words “The First August the Emperor Will Die and his land will be divided”. The Emperor did not believe it as a heavenly sign but the handiwork of common men after the rock had landed. He demanded the identity of the man or his wrath would fall on everyone. When no one owned up he brutally killed all the people of the nearby area and eerily called musicians to play songs of his immortality.