Why did the emperor call for his guards to execute the flier?
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The Emperor explains to the flier that he fears that an evil man will manipulate the technology and destroy its beauty - for instance using the flying machine to throw rocks down upon the Great Wall of China. The Emperor says to the inventor, "There are times when one must lose a little beauty if one is to keep what little beauty one already has" (2.)
The emporer fears the machine will be used to throw rocks at the Great Wall of China