“Hurry up, we have to register.”

The servants walked in the narrow alleys. Almost all the large families in Ru Ning were located next to each other. The courtyard walls were sometimes even less than one meter apart. The servants could not enter and exit through the main front doors and could only walk through side doors or back doors. And as a result they must pass through alleys which could only accommodate people exiting and entering in lines.

You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )

“I’ve heard that registration is to write down our name, as well as our height, even our teeth number.” The little girl servant walked forward. She was young and she did all the errands, so she could always hear someone discuss the South Bodhisattva. After listening a lot she seemed to have become very knowledgeable on the matter.

At least better than the servants who stayed inside all the time.

The people at the back found it very interesting to hear the young girl’s endless narratives.

Some of them were the family servants of their master family, and some were bought from elsewhere, but without exception, even those who were bought, they were all very young when they were sold. They had only ever eaten the grains at their master family’s house and had only ever seen the sceneries at their master family’s house. Their world was so small and narrow that only their master family’s house was left.

But after all, they were human beings, and they possessed curiosity. It was rare for so many people to come out together. They were extremely curious and excited. Although they also had a little fear, these fears were obviously not enough to overwhelm their curiosity. After all, they had never heard of the South Bodhisattva killing the common people.

In fact, some of them even deeply believed that the South Bodhisattva was a god descended to earth, and gods would not kill people.

If someone said that the soldiers in the hands of the South Bodhisattva had killed people, they would respond that so long as the South Bodhisattva didn’t do it himself, it wouldn’t count as him killing people.

When people trust or admire someone, even if the person did something they could not accept, they would find reasons to excuse that person as well as to convince themselves.

The servants on this whole street of big households had all gone out on this day to the government office to register.

The government office in Ru Ning was a beautifully built structure. Although it complied with the regulations, it was obvious that one of its owners had made improvements on the original basis. Its architecture had statues of five blessings (TN: longevity, wealth, health, virtue, and a natural death). In addition, there were various types of decorations that symbolized wealth and prosperity. This caused the government office to have a unique and low-key gorgeousness that impressed people when they first came in.

Of course, one couldn’t see much from the outside, and most people didn’t ever have the chance to enter the government office.

Zhao Youquan felt that this government office was very good. If one day he had his own government office, he would surely rebuild it like this secretly.

“Brother Zhao, the people have arrived.” A fair faced man greeted him. His surname was Shan and his name was Yang. He was but 20 years old and had been sent to Song Shizhao by his parents to be a student. Compared to Zhao Youquan, he had better luck, at least because of his younger age Song Shizhao would take him by his side and teach him some things. Many of the students like Zhao Youquan were jealous of him and wanted to make trouble for him. Unfortunately, while he might be young, he had a clever head and had never misstepped.

Zhao Youquan was also jealous of him, but rather than jealousy, he was more afraid of his own situation so he never treated anyone coldly, nor did he slander anyone secretly. As a result, his popularity was actually quite good, and he was even taken as a best friend by Shan Yang.

“Coming.” Zhao Youquan strode over. At this time, a minor official brought the people in. The backyard of the government office was very large. It used to be a martial arts practice field and was only used for military training rehearsal. The emphasis was mostly on the rehearsal while the training part was probably not much.

The servants had already lined up in six long lines under the command of the minor officials. The servants of different households stood close together, probably because in the government office, no one dared to speak and it was very quiet.

Zhao Youquan sat behind the table with paper and pen on the table. He then looked up at the person standing in front of him.

This person was more than 50 years old in terms of his facial appearance alone, but if one looked at his figure, he appeared to look less than forty years old.

“What’s your name?” Zhao Youquan raised his pen, and the man cowered and said, “Li Da.”

After Zhao Youquan asked for the basic information, he did not tell him to leave. Instead, he asked, “When did you first arrive at the Sun family?”

Li Da was taken aback. He thought earnestly for a while before he said nervously, “I don’t remember.”

“Five years old, or six years old, maybe seven years old.” Li Da scratched his head.

“What do you do in the Sun Manor?” Zhao Youquan asked.

Li Da replied honestly: “I wash the toilet buckets, and sometimes I chop wood, do rough work.”

Zhao Youquan asked again: “Are you married?”

Li Da shook his head honestly again, and said cautiously: “Those like me can’t find a wife to marry.”

Zhao Youquan asked: “Then who are the maids in the manor matched with?”

Li Da was a person who had been enslaved for a long time. He would not question what the masters above said or asked of him. Whatever the people above asked, he would answer: “The young manservants of the young masters, the sons of the housekeepers. Us who do rough work don’t have a chance.”

Zhao Youquan glanced at him with some pity.

Li Da also noticed it, but didn’t say anything. In his eyes, it was normal for a crude servant to not marry a wife. They were not like the personal servants who served next to their masters and could get rewards from time to time. They had almost no property. Food and boarding were all at the master family’s house, and the monthly money was also the least, only enough for them to drink a little wine every month or a few restaurant meals.

They were sold by their parents and no longer had their own home. They had no other contact with their family and relatives except when their family members asked them for money. Gradually, they would grow distant from their family and relatives.

They couldn’t marry a wife and lived alone. The master family took care of their food and housing. They didn’t know how to save money, and even if they did there was not much meaning to it.

“You can go.” Zhao Youquan said to him. Li Da lowered his head and left the line. The next person who walked forward was a woman. She was no longer young, at least over forty years old. She was better dressed than Li Da and clearly her status in the Sun Manor was not too low.

After asking the basic information, Zhao Youquan asked: “What do you do in the Sun Manor?”

The woman said lowly: “This slave is in charge of the small kitchen.”

The small kitchen only cooked for specific people. The kitchen was a place where money could be easily pocketed. Most of the master families know this and would also look the other way. For example, one egg costs one coin, but the kitchen could report three coins for two eggs, and this extra money would naturally fill her pockets.

Zhao Youquan smiled and asked, “Do you have children?”

The woman replied: “Three sons and one daughter, my sons are all serving as manservants in the manor, and my daughter is already married.”

Zhao Youquan: “Who did she marry?”

Woman: “The eldest son of Housekeeper Zhang.”

Zhao Youquan: “You can go.”

After everyone was registered, Zhao Youquan got the information of all the servants and the relationship composition of these servants.

After Zhao Youquan collected all the information, he sent all these things to Lin Yuan’s desk. As for preaching to these servants that they need more standardized work contracts, this was not under his charge.

Lin Yuan was a little surprised when he received the information, and asked the person who came: “Why are these records different?”

Some of them were carefully recorded and included the composition of each servant’s life and their relationship network in the manor, while the other only recorded basic personal information in a conventional manner.

This proved that the former’s approach was not discussed and decided by all of them. It should be the former’s own whim, or something he had thought of but did not tell the others.

If it was a whim, then this person should be botj an attentive and capable person.

If he had come up with this a long time ago, but didn’t tell the others, then he was a speculator, disregarding the overall situation in order to stand out.

The one who came was a minor official. He lowered his head and said, “There are six lords who made the records. The records you are looking at are the records of Lord Zhao.”

Lin Yuan tapped his finger on the desk and said to the minor official: “Bring him to see me tonight.”

The minor official hurriedly answered with an affirmative.

After the minor official left, Chen Baisong walked to Lin Yuan and picked up the records made by Zhao Youquan. By now he had come to recognize a number of words and was no longer illiterate. But his handwriting could probably only be compared with children who just learned to read and write.

“It’s written in great detail.” Chen Baisong often had to read military books and he already knew what kind of military books were good and what was bad. He said to Lin Yuan, “This man is not bad.”

Lin Yuan smiled and said: “He is indeed not bad, but it depends on what kind of not bad he is.”

Chen Baisong raised his eyebrows: “En?”

Lin Yuan: “If he thought of it all of a sudden, it proves that he is decisive and thoughtful. If he had thought of it a long time ago, but did not share it with other people, then he is being deliberately scheming and disregarding the overall situation for his own benefit.”

Chen Baisong answered: “If he’s deliberately scheming, this person can’t be of use?”

Lin Yuan shook his head: “There are also usages, but he will not be entrusted with important tasks.”

The superiors must have a tolerant heart, and they must also have a sharp vision, and the prime minister’s heart is big enough to sail a boat in (TN: meaning a great person is large-hearted or magnanimous). This was not just a saying 

The reason why he was willing to tolerate Song Shizhao’s little schemes and personal motives was because Song Shizhao didn’t care about money. What he cared about was glory and his reputation. For the sake of his reputation, Song Shizhao would not become a petty and narrow minded person in a position of power.

When Zhao Youquan was led away by the minor official, everyone behind him looked at him with envy, which made Zhao Youquan feel refreshed and pleased. He had never been looked at like this before, whether at home or in the Song Manor. Everyone thought he was just a mediocre scholar, but today he proved to them how different he was.

This was his credit, and no one could take it away.

One day, he would stand in a position where these people could only look up at him. Those who used to look down on him and laughed at him behind their backs would be afraid of what they had done and said to him before, and live all day long frightened and wracked with nerves, for fear of his revenge.

As Zhao Youquan walked on the road, he felt that he was full of strength for the first time, and it was also the first time that he felt powerful.

Lin Yuan was a little surprised when he saw Zhao Youquan, because Zhao Youquan seemed——honestly he was a bit wretched looking.

He had a beard, but it didn’t make him look dignified at all. His aura emitted from all over his body was full of the feeling of a “little villain”.

Even people who didn’t judge people by their appearance would find him uncomfortable to look at.

You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )

“Zhao Youquan?” Lin Yuan almost thought the wrong person was brought over.

Zhao Youquan hurriedly knelt down, and gave a big salute: “This official, Zhao Youquan, pays respects to my Lord!”

Lin Yuan was sure now. This person wanted to be an official so much he was crazy for it.

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