Hanyang had gradually stabilized, everything was back on track, and people had begun to adapt to the new order. And judging from the current situation, the common people had adapted well.
This was beyond the expectation of many people, such as the original upper class in Hanyang. This group of people consisted of scholars, officials, and wealthy merchants. None of them thought that the common people could change. After all, in their eyes, the common people were ignorant and only cared about what was in front of their eyes.
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But now they suddenly discovered that the common people were not afraid of change. To be precise, it was not that they were not afraid, but that they adapted quickly. When they found that this change could not be reversed and could not be stopped, their acceptance was even higher and stronger than that of the people above.
Lin Yuan looked at the aristocratic patriarchs and wealthy businessmen sitting below, and said gently, “Have some tea.”
Although most of the social units today were small families, patriarchs still existed. They would integrate the power of the entire clan and seek greater development. Such families would have many conflicts, but one thing was clear, that was, they could gather a huge organization, and this organization was tied by blood, coupled with traditional ideas. It seemed that it could be easily disintegrated, but in fact it had its indestructible side.
The ones who could be invited over by Lin Yuan were naturally the ones with the most presence and were the most powerful among all the clans.
They also knew that Hanyang had changed hands, and they didn’t give Lin Yuan a cold face. From now on, they had to make a living under Lin Yuan’s hands, and so wasn’t fighting against Lin Yuan just looking for death?
So all of them were aa docile as quails in front of Lin Yuan.
The merchants didn’t care who the boss over their heads was. They only cared about whether they could continue their trade routes and whether they could continue to make money. So long as Lin Yuan didn’t seize and confiscate their wealth, and allow them to continue making money, then of course whatever Lin Yuan said would be the law.
The scholars in Hanyang were more sensible than the scholars in Changshu, and they were all very well-behaved. They didn’t even lift their heads as they sat below in the hall.
They had already undergone a change. Hanyang moved from the hands of the imperial court to the hands of the rebel thieves. Besides, they had no support for the Yuan Dynasty in the first place, and no one in their family was an official of the Yuan Dynasty. They had lived perfectly fine in the hands of Xu Shouhui so now when it came to Lin Yuan’s hands, they naturally also wanted to live well.
If they could get an official job, it would be an unexpected delight.
After the meeting was over, Lin Yuan had a good idea of what they were thinking, and only after returning to his room at night could he have a good rest.
Chen Baisong was always following him today. Lin Yuan also deliberately brought along Chen Baisong. It was not a bad thing to only know how to fight wars, but when he captured a place in the future, he must be able to keep guard over the place. It was never a bad thing to learn more. Lin Yuan himself had no example to learn from and had to do things while feeling along the way. As a result, he had also accumulated some experience and insights, which was just right to teach Chen Baisong.
“Having talked to them all day, what did they say?” Chen Baisong poured Lin Yuan tea.
Lin Yuan smiled and said: “Those opportunists who go whichever way the wind blows, what can they say?”
“It’s the minor officials at the bottom who are intricately intertwined and are much more interesting. Don’t see that they don’t have much power in their hands and just dismiss them. If they really want to make a move, even ants can swallow the elephant, and all they need is a leader.”
Chen Baisong looked at Lin Yuan: “Has the leader come out?”
Lin Yuan shook his head: “No, but these minor officials, if they are not used, I think it will be a waste. After all, they have been working for a long time, they know more than the people I brought, and they are also familiar with Hanyang. But if I use them, I am afraid they will be rebellious and become a concealed danger.”
Who knew if there were any loyal supporters of Xu Shouhui, or informants left by Ni Wenjun?
Lin Yuan asked: “What do you say?”
Chen Baisong: “Kill a batch and keep a batch.”
Lin Yuan laughed and said, “It’s easy to kill, but how do you kill? How do you know who is right to kill? A wrong step will make it difficult later.”
Chen Baisong looked at Lin Yuan, and the two met eyes. In the end, Lin Yuan couldn’t help but smile and said, “Think about it again.”
Chen Baisong: “Let the common people…..how do you say it again?”
Lin Yuan: “Report.”
Chen Baisong seemed to breathe a sigh of relief: “Yes, report, the common people can report, and if it is verified, behead.”
Lin Yuan asked strangely: “How to verify?”
Chen Baisong: “Whoever gets the most reports, cut off his head.”
Lin Yuan: “…..Although it is crude, it is not useless. It is a method that can be used. Then how do you distinguish an informant?”
Chen Baisong looked at Lin Yuan seriously. Just when Lin Yuan thought he would have an idea, Chen Baisong said straightforwardly: “I can’t think of it.”
Lin Yuan: “Think again.”
Chen Baisong poured himself a cup of tea, and after drinking the tea he still said, “Difficult.”
Lin Yuan sighed and said, “If the one who has been reported the most is kept, the informant will naturally go look for him.”
Chen Baisong: “Why?”
Lin Yuan smiled and said: “The one who oppresses the common people the most is naturally the one with the strongest backer. When the informant finds him, he can also get more information. In addition, we are also protecting him. The informant will naturally believe us to be his original backer or one of our people. So it’s easiest to find him to dig for information. After all, they were both originally Hanyang’s minor officials and had greeted each other before, so there is already a relationship there.”
Chen Baisong understood: “This is putting up a target.”
Lin Yuan finally picked up the teacup at this time: “It’s good that you can think of having the common people make reports. Take your time.”
Chen Baisong had already satisfied Lin Yuan if he could think of the common people.
Most scholars who have received higher education in this era believed that the common people didn’t need to think about anything. They only needed to reproduce, work and farm food. The people had very little power. Even if there is a law protecting them, generally, this kind of law was only useful when the imperial power was strong.
When the imperial power fell and the centralized power dispersed, the officials below became the local emperors, and the regulations became a piece of blank paper.
If Chen Baisong was replaced by Wu Changqing to accompany him today, Lin Yuan clearly knew that although Wu Changqing would also want to kill a batch and leave a batch, he would never think of letting the common people make reports.
Because “common people” were useless, and “public opinion” was useless.
The common people had no power, and their thinking was not taken seriously by the upper echelons. The common people themselves were also used to this behavior pattern for thousands of years, and no one thought it was wrong.
Over time, the people at the upper echelons would naturally not have any regard for “public opinion” in their eyes.
After all, this stuff was vague and useless.
It was impossible for anyone to become the emperor by relying on “public opinion”. Even to be a good official who won the hearts of the people, when the emperor wanted to behead him, it would happen, if only after a little delay.
Public opinion was neither a golden tablet that allowed exemption from death, nor could it allow one to climb up the official ranks or gain an aristocratic title.
Soon, Hanyang began a vigorous reform movement——as named by Lin Yuan himself.
The common people gathered together, and they told the inspector of the names of the minor officials they remembered who had bullied them. The inspectors would write it down and then count them. There was such an office in every three streets.
The common people reported during the day and they would tally up statistics at night.
After working so hard for half a month, a much clearer and more general data had come out.
The most reported person was a minor official named Hu Yu. He was the nephew of a county official and was a product of nepotism. Because he had never studied books, he couldn’t become a proper official and could only be a minor official. There was no shortage of oppression of the people he committed. He clearly didn’t have much salary, but every meal contained meat and fish dishes, and he also often entered and exited gambling houses.
He had a lovely wife at home, and his wife was also a beauty, who was forcibly snatched home by him at that time.
He also had a mistress outside.
Many minor officials who had no backing were willing to follow him, so long as they followed him, they could get more and bigger benefits.
When Hanyang City was breached, Hu Yu stayed curled up at home. He didn’t dare to go anywhere. He didn’t care about his wife either and forgot his mistress. He packed his own things and fled when the situation was not right.
Now it was peaceful, and the newly-arrived Southern King seemed to be ready to reuse original Hanyang officials like them, so Hu Yu appeared again, but this time he didn’t dare to act domineering like before. After all, his backer had fallen and he must now live with his neck tucked in.
After he found a new backer, did he dare to return to his previous behavior.
The minor officials had their own circle, and the original friends gathered together once again to discuss the most popular thing now, which was the reports from the commoners.
“I don’t even know if I am on them…..” One of them frowned and took a sip of wine.
“Then, let’s run away?”
“Can you escape? There are heavy guards everywhere, unless you can fly out?”
“What are you worried about? There are many who did bad things, could the common people remember all of them? Surely they can’t remember.”
“Easy for you to say, did you forget? Last year, you saw that someone’s ancestral jade jade was good, but they won’t give it to you so you almost beat him to death. Tell me, would they go to report you now or not?”
“Don’t talk about me, aren’t you the same? Going to a brothel and not paying money, and even smashing the store. It is like killing one’s parents to cut off one’s livelihood. They will definitely report you.”
“You played to death two prostitutes! Throwing them out in the wild, you will definitely not have anything good waiting for you if they find out about this matter!”
“Don’t say anymore! We are just getting ourselves flustered here. Naturally, some people are more flustered than us. We know what other people are like. We may not be directly cut down as soon as the Southern King comes? Take a few steps back and think about it, if he really wants to cut us down, it won’t be now. He would have just cut us down when he entered the city as it’s most convenient then.”
“So don’t worry, don’t panic, maybe the Southern King is just scaring us, and then chop off a few heads as an example. This is not uncommon, don’t you think?”
Hu Yu said on the side: “What about me? I should be okay, right?”
His friends glanced at him, smiled with some difficulty, and comforted: “Maybe you’ll also be fine.”
Although he called them friends, Hu Yu used to have eyes growing on the top of his head, and had no regard for anyone. Even if they were all minor officials, he would act violently if he was unhappy with someone, and the others would also not dare to fight back.
In the long run, the people who ended up following him were all yes-men.
And these yes-men also wished misfortune on him.
Hu Yu was still worried: “You say, should I find a way to give some gifts?”
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When these words were spoken, everyone had an expression of realization that conveyed “there is actually this way.” Having been corrupt officials for so long, they had actually forgotten the nature of their own jobs. Bribery was their own job!
“Right, right, find someone to give gifts, find a way.”
“Go and ask around tomorrow, and be careful!”
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