The minor officials wanted to give gifts, bribe their way, and save themselves. After all, Lin Yuan didn’t send anyone to go seize and confiscate the homes of these minor officials. They still have some savings in their hands, and even if they didn’t, there were always some rare knick-knacks at home.
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As the saying went, little ghosts were difficult to deal with. Whether they were large affluent families or ordinary commoners, they were unwilling to entangle themselves in troublesome things. Most of them were willing to spend money to avoid problems.
However, the minor officials were unable to find a way despite their efforts now.
It was not easy to give gifts. Gift giving was also a matter of skill, to whom and what to give.
Give it to Chen Baisong? That was impossible. Would the generals lack these little favors? If they really sent it, that was the same as handing out their weakness to the other.
If they want to send a gift, it must be sent to a villain who had access to news, often deceived superiors and kept subordinates in the dark, but did not hold a lot of power.
The minor officials searched for a long time before finally finding this person.
She was a manager, and not a minor manager. She was in charge of reporting matters, and she was responsible for counting the number of reports.
In the eyes of the minor officials, women were easier to deal with than men. What they wanted was simple, either jewelry or money, and just a few sweet words could make them feel dizzy.
Therefore, in addition to being busy with her own affairs these days, Qiu Niang had to meet with these minor officials.
“Manager Zhou, someone outside asks for a meeting.” A soldier stood at the door, bowing his head to report.
Qiu Niang put away the memorized book and said, “Take them to the reception room. I’ll be there later.”
The soldier stood straight, and left after answering with a confirmation.
Qiu Niang was promoted. She was just a small manager before, and there were not many people under her command.
Now she was the chief manager, and she was in charge of more than forty minor managers, and there were also people under those minor managers.
When going out, the look in people’s eyes also changed when they looked at her.
This time coming to Hanyang, Qiu Niang took the initiative to offer herself for the assignment. She had been in Gaoyou for these years, and she had taken care of everything that needed to be taken care of. She knew in her heart that if she didn’t come out, she wouldn’t be able to come out again.
Qiu Niang walked to the reception room. She now lived in a courtyard residence with three attached courtyard houses. Of course, she was not the only one who lived here. The female managers all live here, and Qiu Niang was their leader.
Sometimes they would also have meetings in the reception room, report on work, and communicate with each other about the problems they have encountered.
In the past, Qiu Niang was the only female manager. Later, there were more female managers.
There were too few scholars who were willing to deal with trivial matters. Many of them come from families with wealth and did not lack food or clothing. They would rather be an idle person and wait to die than doing things that they found was below their status.
So, many orphans or widows who had read and studied books like Qiun Niang started to work.
They had no men and no wealth or assets, so they could only rely on themselves if they wanted to survive.
Because Gaoyou’s atmosphere was good and women could work too, so apart from some women who went to Gaoyou to find someone to marry, most of the women who were literate in Gaoyou accepted Lin Yuan’s recruitment, and soon took office and became a part of Gaoyou’s political system.
These women were also unexpectedly united. They would naturally gather together, and slowly, Qiu Niang became their leader.
After all, everyone knew that Qiu Niang was a “veteran”, and that she had been with the South Bodhisattva when he was still a landowner.
This made her identity unique.
“It’s those people again.” Qiu Niang was a little tired. She hadn’t slept well for a long time. Even when dreaming she would dream that she was working.
Yun Niu followed Qiu Niang and whispered, “They must definitely have come to give you something again.”
Qiu Niang smiled: “They all think I am shallow and shortsighted.”
Yun Niu: “Those are all good things.”
Qiu Niang’s expression went cold: “It’s all dirty things stained with blood.”
Knowing that she had said the wrong thing, Yun Niu quickly patted her mouth to indicate that she won’t say any more.
Qiu Niang walked into the reception room. This was the main courtyard, with the best space and the most light. The door was always open. As soon as she entered, she saw five or six people, all with ingratiating smiles that were particularly obvious.
As soon as Qiu Niang stepped in, they began to take turns flattering her.
“This is Manager Zhou, right?”
“Manager Zhou is really a woman who is a match for men!”
Qiu Niang smiled at them and said, “Don’t know what important matters everyone has come with? These days are too busy so if there has been any lack of hospitality, please forgive me.”
“What is Manager Zhou talking about?” Hu Yu pushed the others behind him and stood in front of Qiu Niang with a wide smile on his face. “We all admire Manager Zhou. I heard that Manager Zhou has dealt with big and small matters, loved the people like your own children, and treated others kindly and amiably, so we all came over.”
“It is for the reporting matter, correct?” Qiu Niang sat on the main seat, “Everyone, have a seat.”
The several people didn’t want to sit at all, but Qiu Niang had no expression on her face. They were afraid of being driven out, so they could only sit down.
Qiu Niang: “The reports have not yet been resolved. If you have anything to say, it is better to speak up at this time.”
The several people looked at each other and one of them said, “Manager Zhou, as you know, originally in Hanyang it was not us minor officials who had the final say. There were lords who were in charge of us and the commoners did not listen to us. Sometimes when doing things, it comes across as a little…..rough…..”
“You say, it is not easy for us people, but there is no other way. The common people know nothing and are stubborn. So sometimes we inevitably overdo it.”
“Now that this reporting matter is established, the common people will report the slightest dissatisfaction with us. Then aren’t we very much wronged?”
“That’s right, we should at least have a place where we can address our grievances and speak reasonably, right?”
Qiu Niang picked up the tea cup and took a sip, a smile on her face: “What the common people have reported is not just a little bit of roughness.”
“Forcibly snatching women and robbing family wealth, these things are probably trivial things in your opinion, right?”
Qiu Niang’s tone was heavy, and the expressions of these people changed, but they did not dare to speak harshly to Qiu Niang.
Even if they used all kinds of foul language to describe these female managers in private, they couldn’t let out even a fart when they were in front of them.
There was also more than one soldier guarding outside the house, and they were holding real weapons. They didn’t want to bet on their heads to test what they could say to Qiu Niang.
“Manager Zhou, it cannot be spoken like this. We are all honest people and we haven’t done the things you said, but some things have been circulating as rumors, and some things can not be spoken clearly, don’t you think so?”
Qiu Niang’s expression didn’t change, and she still continued smiling: “Since it can’t be spoken clearly, then you might as well not say anything. It will save you money as well as trouble.”
Hu Yu was anxious: “Manager Zhou, you can’t do this, we are all honest officials!”
“The common people are talking nonsense. What do they know? All day long, except for eating and sleeping, no different from pigs.”
“If you listened to them, the world would be messed up long ago!”
Qiu Niang glanced at Hu Yu. She knew who this person was. Her superiors had already notified her about him a long time ago. At this time, she smiled and said, “It’s Hu Gongzi. I didn’t expect you to be here. Is the tea still to your taste? Do you want to change to another pot? Do you have anything you want to eat?”
Hu Yu was taken aback for a moment. He had never seen this Manager Zhou before. Before the Southern King’s people arrived, he didn’t even know that a woman could be an official.
“Manager Zhou is too couteous, I…..” Hu Yu was just about to ask questions.
Qiu Niang: “Yun Niu, exchange a pot of tea for Hu Gongzi, exchange it for the Longjing I brought back.”
Hu Yu was flattered. Was it possible that this Qiu Niang was a relative of his own family who had seen him but never met him?
It shouldn’t be…..even if it was a distant relative, she should be named Hu instead of Zhou, and there was no marriage with any family with the Zhou surname in his family tree.
After cycling through his thoughts, Hu Yu ended up dizzying himself.
The other people’s eyes when looking at Hu Yu also became different.
Qiu Niang acted very polite to Hu Yu, and from her words it sounded like there must be a relationship between the two.
Hu Yu secretly thought to himself: This surnamed Zhou was not interested in him, was she?
Although this surnamed Zhou was a bit older, her looks were not bad.
——That wife of his at home, ever since she miscarried, looked much older and haggard, not even as good as the one he kept outside.
Hu Yu was born with an inexplicable confidence in himself.
He began to flirt with Qiu Niang.
Even if Qiu Niang didn’t look at him for more than a few moments, he felt that Qiu Niang was trying to play hard to catch with him.
Even after they were led out, Hu Yu was still dizzy and didn’t know what Qiu Niang had said.
“Too impressive.” His friends surrounded Hu Yu, “Brother Hu, only you have a way. What is your relationship with that woman? Looking at how she talks to you, I even think she will do whatever you tell her to do.”
Hu Yu smiled proudly.
He had a backer before, and he didn’t need to go out and socialize with others himself, instead the little shrimps below would flock over to him.
He was domineering, but he dared not provoke those higher ranking officials. However, he also did not ingratiate himself to them. He just hid in his own world where he became the little overlord.
So he was a very straightforward person. When others praise him, he couldn’t think of anything else.
“Brother Hu, you have a relationship with that Manager Zhou, so please help us say some nice things when the time comes.” They surrounded Hu Yu, like the stars surrounded the moon. Hu Yu had been flattered like this before, but it was the first time he had been treated to such sincere flattery.
It was as if he was their heaven, and he could control everything about them.
Hu Yu had never felt this feeling before. For the first time, he even forgot his first name and last name.
He answered with an affirmative no matter what the others said, as if there was nothing he couldn’t handle.
“Brother Hu, on this matter we are all relying on you, I want to treat you to have a drink tonight at the restaurant, the best restaurant!”
“Then since you will be treating today, I will treat brother Hu tomorrow. Brother Hu, don’t be polite with us, we can only count on brother Hu in the future.”
Hu Yu walked in the middle of them, with arms thrown over shoulders, and went off to drink all night.
After this night, Hu Yu seemed to have become the most popular guy in town. Wherever he went, his former colleagues all nodded and bowed at him.
There were also more people approaching him.
He was originally a gift-giver, but now he had become a gift-receiver.
With more and more money, the gifts received were naturally more and more expensive. Even pearl woven tunics and other things that money might not even be able to buy were now in his possession. Hu Yu seemed to have become a rich man overnight. So much so that even when sleeping the corners of his mouth would be curved up in a smile.
From time to time, he would go to Qiu Niang for a chat. Qiu Niang’s attitude toward him remained consistent, speaking softly and politely. Hu Yu hinted several times, and Qiu Niang did not decisively refuse.
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He used to rely on his uncle before, but then his uncle fell from power.
If he could marry Qiu Niang this time, he could then rely on his wife.
So long as they were a family, then everything was easy to handle.
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