TN: bonus chapter!💕
In truth, the sons of the Yuan family and the Zhang family did not make any serious mistakes. As a young person who suddenly achieved success, at most they would go out drinking and bragging with their former classmates and find a few more female lovers. But their family members were a different story. With a family member now being an official——although there was no real power in this position, their name was still known to Lin Yuan.
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They might be able to control themselves, but they could not control everyone in their family. Of the crimes spread by the common people, at least one or two of them were not just rumors and really were committed.
When things came to a head, and it seemed that the situation was unable to be suppressed, those family members who committed major mistakes now carried the banner of righteousness instead. They forced the child who had the official position to death. They thought that with these two dead, they would be all right.
“Execute them all.” Lin Yuan had no expression, as if he was not deciding life or death, but just talking about the weather today.
He was no longer able to feel angry.
No one tried to persuade him to show mercy. Everyone knew that except for immediate family members of the two young men, such as their parents and siblings, everyone else would not be able to escape death.
Only their deaths could preserve the reputation of the two young people who were conferred official positions.
Lin Yuan also said: “Treat their parents kindly and reward them with brocade and gold.”
After all, they were the officials appointed by Lin Yuan himself, and they were also the first batch of officials. The reputation could not be too bad, so Lin Yuan could only fix this mess.
However, recently there were more and more people visiting Song Shizhao. Even if two died and one was dismissed, for those scholars who were frustrated with now having any achievements for half their lives, being an official was still a huge temptation. This temptation was enough to make them forget the threat of death.
Lin Yuan also understood these scholars more and more.
In modern times, when he was a child, he used to watch TV. In particular, the 11th Central TV channel would play opera. He and the other orphans did not have the right to control the remote control, so they could only watch it with the adults. Over time, they could even understand Chinese opera.
He clearly remembered that there was an opera about scholars, and the scholars described were very impressive. There were no officials in the family, and the entire family was poor and lived at the foot of the mountain. The men hunted and the women weaved. After they finished hunting they would read and study. Later, the emperor heard of this family of scholars, and he even personally invited them out of the mountain. The family were unsuccessful in refusing, so they could only follow the emperor outside. And when they left the mountains, they were even frowning, as if they were forced into prostitution.
Now that he thought about it, the writer of this play must have been a scholar, or a scholar with no achievements, as those who had achieved their ambitions couldn’t make up something like this.
The truth of the matter was that if the emperor was diligent he would be so busy he barely had time to rest. How could he be able to have the time to see whether there were talented people in the mountains? Towards whatever kind of talents he wanted, all he needed to do was to just open his mouth, and countless people would rush to him.
If the emperor was not diligent in government, this kind of situation would be even more impossible. With the harem being so much fun, why play with those stuffy old men with faces full of beard?
But this also indirectly expressed the attitude of scholars.
They needed someone who could recognize and appreciate the hero, and they all felt that they were this hero. But they also didn’t want to express such desires too frankly as that would not look too good.
Like a beauty with her clothes half shed, she must be beautiful enough and romantic enough, but also not appear vulgar and cheap.
So they went and asked Song Shizhao for an official position, and they asked in a very subtle and introverted manner. Song Shizhao had recently received many handwritten works from these scholars, some of which were poems, and some of which were opinion essays on political affairs——towards this type Song Shizhao would not read. It was not their turn to point and criticize. He would write down all the names of those who sent such essays and these people don’t even have to think about being an official in this life.
However, Song Shizhao was now fully back in power. Most of the people who saw him lose favor before and went and stepped a foot on him all shrunk again. Apologizing would be impossible as wouldn’t apologizing prove that they were indeed targeting Song Shizhao before? It was better to pretend to be dumb, since in any case, it was not like Song Shizhao could get back at them so obviously. So long as they reined in the young ones at home and didn’t allow anything to go wrong, then nothing would happen.
However, soon someone took over referrals for official positions. Fewer people went to see Song Shizhao for a referral, so Song Shizhao was able to be more relaxed.
Zheng Qingfeng was the man who suddenly took over this job, someone who was notoriously lazy.
After all, Zheng Qingfeng was a well-known romantic talent in Pingjiang when he was young, and his name was bigger than that of Song Shizhao, a foreigner. In addition, Pingjiang’s big families were all related to each other in some way, and scholars were more willing to go his way.
“I see that he can’t sit still anymore.” Song Shizhao said to Lin Yuan, “He has taken a risk. If he’s lucky, you will see him. If not, his actions would be that of stepping over authority.”
Lin Yuan took a sip of tea and ordered the servants to bring in some snacks. The monarch and his minister sat in the hall chatting. He smiled and said, “He has shared a lot of the burden for you. Are you not happy?”
Song Shizhao had now found a new way to get along with Lin Yuan. Which was to be straightforward——speaking whatever that needed to be said. It was not a good thing for the monarch and his ministers to doubt each other, especially in his current position. Just a little carelessness and what would greet him would be an abyss. He was not afraid of death, but he had yet to see the unity of the world, and he was reluctant to die.
Song Shizhao said: “This person is usable, but his method is too ugly, and in the future he will not be lacking in scoldings and curses.”
Song Shizhao felt thay Zheng Qingfeng was truly a smart person. This job looked good on the surface, but anyone with a brain would know that this was a thankless task. He knew very clearly that Lin Yuan would not confer an official position again, and yet he took the job. When the time came and the scholars were unable to get an official position, they would not dare to scold Lin Yuan, so their anger would be aimed at him instead.
The disadvantages were clear, and the benefits were also obvious. He had finally succeeded.
At least Lin Yuan would remember him and remember him well. If there was something to be done in the future, there would always be one or two things where his name would come up.
At that time, those would be the days when he would finally welcome success.
There was never a shortage of smart people in this world, only a shortage of luck.
For example, Lin Yuan allowing Toqto’a to stay. Was it really because he valued Toqto’a’s knowledge on flood control and water conservancy? Or his abilities on the battlefield?
Lin Yuan was not short of generals, even if Chen Baisong and Zhu Yuanzhang were gone, there would be many who would rise up from the bottom of the ranks.
Fame and fortune shook the will. Even if there was danger and death at any moment, so long as there was prosperity and a bright future ahead, some people would still rush forward, throwing themselves at the opportunity like a moth to the flame.
Just like Zhu Yuanzhang cut down so many corrupt officials in history, but did the people wanting to be officials lessen?
Tens of thousands of heads were chopped off, and still there were so many people who wanted to be officials.
In front of power, life and death, pride and self-respect, could all be left behind.
Song Shizhao sometimes envied Toqto’a, and felt that Toqto’a had really good luck in this life. He was born into aristocracy, and his uncle who controlled the court was overthrown by him. How young was Toqto’a at that time! Later, Toqto’a took his uncle’s place but even if he fell from his position in the end, he was found by Lin Yuan and used to appease the Mongolian people. Although he would never become a powerful minister in the future, so long as he did not make a big mistake, Lin Yuan would continue to favor him, and the glory of three generations of his family could be expected.
Lin Yuan put down his teacup: “If Mister has the time, then help me go visit that Lord Zheng for me. Have a nice chat with him and make him feel at ease.”
This was to officially give Zheng Qingfeng the right to receive those scholars. Even if someone raised this issue in the future, Zheng Qingfeng would have the excuse of acting on his orders, and not be accused of stepping over authority.
Song Shizhao quickly said yes.
He could see that Lin Yuan’s heart had softened once again and was willing to protect Zheng Qingfeng.
Otherwise, if someone sued Zheng Qingfeng for stepping over authority in the future, even if Lin Yuan wanted to protect him, he would not be able to.
Sometimes Song Shizhao felt that more and more he couldn’t see through Lin Yuan.
He still remembered the first time he met Lin Yuan. Lin Yuan was just a boy, so to say that he was smart? It was only in the scope of teenage boys. He was not a genius, nor was he stupid, and on top of that he possesed a lot of unnecessary kindness.
But now, he couldn’t see through him anymore.
After Song Shizhao left, Lin Yuan had someone invite Song Lian over.
Song Lian was very famous, but Lin Yuan didn’t really know him well.
Although his name as a child prodigy had spread far and wide, Song Lian was already 47 now, and had nothing to do with children.
But Lin Yuan knew that Song Lian majored in Yuan Dynasty history and was one of the three great poets in the early Ming Dynasty. Zhu Yuanzhang even hailed him as the “head of the founding civil officials”, so whether it was literature or politics he was a capable man in both.
But Lin Yuan also knew why Song Lian lost power in the end.
He participated in the case of Hu Weiyong. Not only did his family die, Song Lian himself was also exiled to Maozhou, Sichuan.
Lin Yuan had to be more alert.
Corrupt officials could never be killed completely. He did not hope that in the end, he could only raise his butcher knife like Zhu Yuanzhang.
Song Lian was more than 40 years old, his appearance mediocre, but his aura very good. That was, one could pick him out of the crowd at a glance. In fact, he could be called refined and cultured. Although the description “refined and cultured” was overused, of the many people Lin Yuan had seen, only Song Lian could stand up to these two words, making people feel like a spring breeze had just blown by when they saw him.
“Lord Lin.” Song Lian was about to kneel, but Lin Yuan quickly helped him up and laughed, “Mister Song, please sit down.”
Song Lian sat down readily, neither humble nor overbearing, demeanor refined and cultured.
Lin Yuan: “I was too busy a few days ago and I didn’t have time to call you to have a chat. It is Yuan’s fault.”
Song Lian also chuckled: “Now Pingjiang and other places are all tied to my Lord. Song is not a person who doesn’t understand reason and can’t distinguish priorities.”
He also relied on this period of time to figure out the people around Lin Yuan.
Song Shizhao was now very favored. If he was said to be very favored before, now he was even more so.
Having just arrived, he naturally needed to socialize with Song Shizhao. The two of them also called each other brothers in private. After all, they were both surnamed Song. Maybe they shared the same ancestor hundreds of years ago.
Lin Yuan and Song Lian exchanged some more polite talk before getting to the point.
“Since Mister Song is here, Yuan has something that I must ask for your help.” Lin Yuan said politely.
Song Lian also replied politely, cupping his hands, “My Lord can be straightforward.”
Lin Yuan: “I brought a group of people over with me who are all literate. I want to ask Mister to lead them in introducing literacy to the common people.”
Song Lian was a little confused: “Introducing literacy?”
How many common people were there? Tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands? How could they spread literacy to all?
Lin Yuan smiled and said: “Not exactly. I would like to trouble Mister to think about how to make them understand some truths, so as not to be used by traitors and thieves.”
This was asking Song Lian to brainwash the common people.
But this was a good job, and the risk was not high. Although it was a bit troublesome, it was a great and beneficial thing for the people.
Song Lian thought for a while and agreed.
He had just arrived, and the most important thing now was to make achievements, not to show off.
Sometimes it was not a good thing to be in the limelight.
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For example, Zheng Qingfeng’s choice was made because he had no other choice.
Just don’t know what Zheng Qingfeng would end up like in the end.
Song Lian smiled. It was only because he had gotten a good job, so he had the free time to worry about others.
He was truly too idle.
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