The population flow was very strong in troubled times. In order to survive, the people would keep migrating until they found a place to stay.
Then continue to live, multiply, and work.
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But people were also loyal at the same time. They were loyal to their homes and to the land where they worked hard.
The word “home”, in addition to family members, also represented their house.
With “loans” available, people could now buy their own house and thus take root in that place.
The people were the foundation of a city and even a country.
Lin Yuan thought of many ways, and even emptied the granaries of big households and the court in the early stages in order to make the people have confidence in him.
It was not easy to balance revenue and expenditure by relying on tax alone. The taxes that Lin Yuan currently collected back totaled only one-third of the previous investment.
But at least there were some gains, and Lin Yuan could finally allow himself to feel a little relieved.
He stayed in Gaoyou for three years. During these three years, Gaoyou had been turned into a city that belonged completely to him. The rules were all set by him. The people’s living habits were changed by him. Lin Yuan experimented while adjusting his direction until the outcome of each move was close to his expectations.
In the spring of the sixteenth year of Yuan Shun, Lin Yuan left Gaoyou and went to Pingjiang. The common people saw them off along the road. Some even brought along their entire families to follow Lin Yuan’s procession and follow Lin Yuan to Pingjiang. With the presence of Lin Yuan’s procession the bandits dared not touch them.
Lin Yuan also knew that in history, Zhang Shicheng went to Pingjiang from Gaoyou and designated Pingjiang as his capital. The following year, a Miao general of the Yuan Army defeated Zhang Shicheng’s brother Zhang Shide. Zhang Shide was escorted to Nanjing and died from a hunger strike.
But going to Pingjiang was Lin Yuan’s best choice now.
The Miao general of the Yuan Army was a tragic figure. His original name was Yang Tongguan. After defeating Zhang Shicheng, he was not only promoted, but also bestowed a name by Emperor Yuan Shun. He was also originally a leader of a peasant uprising and was later recruited as an official. At the beginning he was but a qian hu and his life’s highest official title was marshal of the Yuan army.
He died in the end; no matter how powerful he was on the battlefield, he was forced to hang himself in the end.
The thoughts and actions of people depended on their social status and background and what position they stood, and those standing on the court’s side held high the banner of orthodoxy.
Those standing on the side of the rebels called for the rights of the people.
Most of the truths in this world were not completely black or white, but the big people above could turn the truth to become either black or white.
It was Chen Baisong who escorted Lin Yuan to Pingjiang this time. Chen Baisong rode a horse, and Lin Yuan rode a horse-drawn carriage. He didn’t want to try the feeling of having scraped thighs anymore, so he indulged himself in this once in a while laziness.
But the roads at this time were all dirt roads, and even the official roads were full of mud pits. Sitting in the carriage, Lin Yuan felt dizzy and nauseous, but he was afraid of slowing down the journey so he endured it in the carriage.
Chen Baisong was still talking to him by the carriage and the noise only added to his discomfort.
Lin Yuan: “…..When we arrive…..I’ll talk to you then.”
He really was about to throw up.
Chen Baisong could only shut up, and escorted Lin Yuan quietly all the way.
Lin Yuan finally breathed a sigh of relief when he arrived at the gate of Pingjiang City. Pingjiang had been captured for less than a year, and Chen Baisong was in charge of governing it most of the duration. All the generals under Lin Yuan’s command controlled the army through the tiger tally. The soldiers only recognize the tiger tally but not the person. Chen Baisong didn’t know how to govern people, so he stationed the barracks in Pingjiang.
Lin Yuan felt that this was a good method.
There were not too many twists and turns, and only came down to who had the bigger fist.
Chen Baisong did not bother with governing the people and left it to the original minors officials to take care of the city. Faced with huge fists, these people did not dare to have any other thoughts, and obediently did things well, so despite Pingjiang having changed its master for one year, no trouble had occurred.
Pingjiang was richer than Gaoyou, and this wealth was reflected in the small commoners. Even if there were endless refugees and famines recently, the people of Pingjiang had never been hungry——but their food reserves were almost empty, and their money had also bottomed out. So now, if it delayed any longer, who knew what their future would be like.
Compared with other places, Pingjiang was not too chaotic. People lived and worked in peace and contentment, but life was harder than before.
There were also many scholars in Pingjiang. This was the case where there was money. Only people with money could afford to raise scholars.
For example, in poverty-stricken areas deep in the mountains, it was very difficult to cultivate even a single scholar.
Lin Yuan went directly to the government office. It was cleaned daily and was well maintained. The servants filed in and started furnishing the government office according to Lin Yuan’s habits and tastes. Even Lin Yuan’s favorite paperweight was brought along. The lantern covers were also in the patterns Lin Yuan liked to see. In short, the government office had changed drastically after a day. Looking at this high efficiency, Lin Yuan had to admit that capitalism was a powerful corrupting force, he himself was corrupted almost thoroughly.
——Although he was not taking the path of capitalism.
“Lord Zhang.” The small official caught up with the person in front of him and followed three steps behind him.
The person called Lord Zhang was originally just a small official. He belonged to the kind who was unsupervised. He had no real power, no right to speak, and no access to Pingjiang’s core political group.
Ironically, now that Pingjiang had fallen into the hands of the rebel thieves, he had a chance to utilize his capabilities.
Lord Zhang smiled at the minor official. He got up early, and at this time he was still holding the buns made by his wife. There were meat fillings in the buns. He ate while walking, only half filling his stomach. He didn’t dare to eat too full today. Otherwise, if the stomach showed any problem when discussing matters, it would be really indecent, and might even be considered committing the crime of contempt.
Smelling the scent of the meat filled buns, the minor official swallowed involuntarily. He ate a plain bun in the morning. He originally thought he was full, but after smelling the scent of meat he felt hungry again.
“Don’t know which gods came.” The minor official swallowed his saliva, and asked with a bit of confusion, “Actually calling all the lords to go together with us.”
How could big officials and small officials be in the same room for discussion? That was simply too unparticular.
Lord Zhang chuckled and said, “The South Bodhisattva of Gaoyou is here now.”
The minor official: “Oh my!”
They had all heard of the name of Gaoyou’s South Bodhisattva, rumors of him were very popular among the people.
Those who were a little ignorant sincerely believed that the South Bodhisattva was a true god.
Those who were a little clearer, naturally knew that this was just a method, but those who were clear would not say it aloud.
So the ignorant were even more ignorant.
A gentleman should not speak of supernatural things. (TN: from the Analecta of Confucius)
Among the ancients, atheists did exist.
But only those who had learned to read and those with high ideological consciousness may become atheists.
It was impossible for ordinary common people.
The minor official said excitedly: “I heard that the South Bodhisattva can bless promotions. I have an idol at home. Now that the real one has come to Pingjiang, I must kowtow a few times.”
Lord Zhang smiled, looking like a nice easy going guy.
Where was the fun in being drunk alone? Might as well get drunk together.
The minor official turned his head and glanced in a certain direction: “Isn’t that Lord Zheng? What wind is blowing today, blowing all the lords here.”
This Lord Zheng was notoriously slippery, not doing any real business, unwilling to offend any people, and basically too sly for his own good. He was also corrupt with the previous superiors, happily acting the perfect toady. Later, the superiors fell so he went to do other things and befriended new colleagues. He pushed all of his own affairs and responsibilities to his colleagues, and every day he would just clock in to work, his days relaxed and comfortable.
Basically, so long as he could avoid doing any work he would. To put it nicely he could be said to be not greedy for fame and fortune. To put it in an ugly way, he was just unwilling to bear the responsibility, his shoulder unable to bear the burden.
Said to be a sycophantic official? The only way he knew to curry favor with the superiors was through flattery.
Said to be a pure minister? He avoided any work he could.
When the name Lord Zheng was mentioned, everyone knew who they meant, even if there was more than one surnamed Zheng among the officials.
Lord Zhang continued to smile pleasantly.
Seeing the minor official’s puzzled expression, Zhang Dahua cleared up his confusion: “Today’s morning meeting, South Bodhisattva will be attending.”
The minor official’s eyes widened and his mouth gaped so wide that he could swallow a fist. His face flushed red: “Coming today? I, I haven’t changed into new clothes! Ai! Will there be enough time to go back?”
Lord Zhang looked at him.
The minor official slapped his mouth lightly: “I am acting muddle-headed again.”
The so-called morning meeting was a new rule after Chen Baisong took over Pingjiang.
Officials had to report on their work from the previous day at the morning meeting, what they had done, what they had summed up, and what needed to be analyzed and what needed assistance.
This method was indeed effective. Officials could no longer make up nonsense, they could only obediently raise questions and obediently solve them.
After all, there were minor officials recording their words next to them.
These records would eventually be summarized and placed on Lin Yuan’s desk.
Although the imperial court had fallen, they still had to eat and dress, serve their parents, and raise their children.
Lord Zhang glanced at Lord Zheng who was walking not far away, and he was not without envy in his heart.
Everyone said Lord Zheng was a strange official, but they also had to admit that Lord Zheng lived better than most people.
He actually turned being lazy into his personal mark and could be considered a talented person indeed.
They walked into the government office through the side door and found that the servants of the government office seemed to have changed. Compared with the original servants, these new servants looked more orderly, with no expression on their faces, showing neither flattery nor amiability. The only feeling they gave was aloofness and indifference, but their manners and behaviors were full of respect, their actions vigorous and decisive, and there was more than one like this. In fact every single one was like this.
Lord Zhang looked away——what he shouldn’t ponder about it was better to not ponder about.
The servants took them to the newly cleaned and organized hall. Lin Yuan was already sitting at the head seat. There were chairs placed horizontally underneath. Just like a meeting, and indeed it was a meeting. Lin Yuan didn’t have much time to get to know these officials, so he could only use such a simple and crude method to understand them.
Lin Yuan saw that the people were all here, so he said: “Starting from this side, talk about what you have done during this period, what troubles you have encountered, how you solved them in the end, and what experience you have gained.”
Everyone in the audience looked at each other: “…..”
South Bodhisattva! Do you really not intend to give us time to make niceties and government talk? We all made preparations!
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Lin Yuan asked strangely: “What? Can’t understand what I’m saying? Go from here to the right and speak in turns?”
Did this group of people have no sense of right and left?
It couldn’t be? How did they become officials? Was the requirement so low?
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