Entering the imperial city, the first trouble Lin Yuan had to deal with was the arrested civil and military officials——they all followed Emperor Shun of Yuan and wanted to escape, and for convenience, most of them only brought their sons with them, while their wives and daughters were left behind. And whether or not they could survive or not, it didn’t matter to them at all.
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These people were now locked in the side hall.
There were both Han Chinese and Mongolians. The Mongolians were alright, most of them grit their teeth and refused to open their mouths.
While most of the Han officials were begging the soldiers.
“Soldier ye, I am a Han Chinese, we are of the same ancestors.” The official’s attitude was very servile, he had always looked down on these soldiers in the past, but now he had to beg these soldiers. He spoke ingratiatingly, “I am an official in this Yuan court, but that is because I have no other choice. Think about it, we Han people still have to twist into one rope, I am suffering patiently, but firmly resolved on revenge, please talk to the superior for me…..”
The soldier almost didn’t laugh out loud, he had seen shamelessness, but such shamelessness was still rare.
But of course he wouldn’t let this Han Chinese out.
When this person returned, he would inevitably be beaten up. As for whether he would be dead or alive after the beating, it was uncertain.
Lin Yuan didn’t have the mind to deal with this now, and left it all to Luo Ben. He only looked at the results, and the process was left to Lup Ben to carry out at will.
They could be executed, but they must be executed in a good way.
He himself was discussing with Song Shizhao about the common people.
The common people of Dadu were different from the common people in other places. The common people in the imperial city were all considerably well-off. Except for the poor on the edge of the city, those who could settle in the inner city were all wealthy folks with library collections and servants. Most of them were literate with ancestors who may not have been officials, but they definitely have had education.
Some of these people fled outwards——but most were stopped.
Dadu was a very inclusive place. Kublai Khan made a good start. He opened up business routes, and he was gentle with the common people. He lowered the land tax, and even many places did not have land tax. His eyes were not on the taxes of the common people, but on the merchants.
The Yuan Dynasty was once a dynasty that bloomed and flourished. It had its progressive and brilliant features. Otherwise, with a short history of less than a hundred years, why should it be included among the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties? There was also the Jin Dynasty in the front as well.
So Dadu not only consists of Han people, Mongolians, but also blond, blue-eyed, or red-haired barbarians.
This was already the period of Emperor Shun of Yuan, and it was not the most prosperous period of development of the Yuan Dynasty for a long time, but Dadu could still attract so many people to come here.
Food from all places, people from different regions, and different architectural styles.
Lin Yuan couldn’t help but sigh with emotion when he entered the city.
If Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan knew about what their descendants had done, they would probably be so angry that they would come back to life and kill all their unworthy descendants.
Ancestors made a good start, but their successors didn’t manage to keep it. It was indeed really regretful.
After all, Lin Yuan was a modern man. He was educated in modern China. In his eyes, ethnic minorities were also compatriots.
He did not look at the Yuan Dynasty with hatred of the Mongols like others, but looked at it with a more rational eye.
The Yuan Dynasty naturally had their good qualities. Kind to the common people and benefited the common people, opened up trade routes, allowing the common people to migrate without travel papers. There was also the use of paper currency, a reform that was ahead of the times.
But the Yuan Dynasty also had bad points. To be precise, it was not bad, but going bad too early.
This was the case at the end of every dynasty. Corrupt officials making life difficult for the people. The people could only stand up and find a way to survive, but the Yuan Dynasty collapsed faster than a solution could be found.
There were too many changes in emperors, and each emperor had different ideas and issued different decrees.
Perhaps they died before they learned how to be a good emperor.
Lin Yuan said to Song Shizhao, “I can’t let them go. It doesn’t matter if the poor people on the edge of the city leave, but if the people in the inner city leave, the capital may take five years or more to regain its liveliness.”
As soon as Song Shizhao heard the term capital, he repeated it twice, and suddenly said: “The capital! This is a good name! The kingly aura is expressed completely!”
Lin Yuan smiled and said, “You only heard this part?”
Song Shizhao then replied: “The people all chase profit, they want to leave now because they are afraid that after the capital got a new owner they would be killed, or they would be robbed of their wealth, and their wives and sisters would be insulted.”
“As long as they discover your generosity and kindness, they will naturally stay.”
“How about killing a group of corrupt officials who used to oppress them, so that they could feel at ease.”
The reasoning was simple, it was to tell the people: “You listened to the words of the emperor of the Yuan Dynasty due to being forced by these officials, so I won’t trouble you, I will only blame these officials. If these officials die, then you will be fine.”
Lin Yuan smiled and said, “Mister kills officials without mercy.”
This also made Lin Yuan feel a little shocked.
After all, officials were the ruling class, and Song Shizhao was also part of the ruling class. Although the masters of their allegiance were different, the essence was the same.
So officials didn’t like to kill other officials, and they didn’t want to see someone suing officials——no one knew whether it would be them who would die next. If a colleague falls, would he also fall one day? The more you think about it, the more you would feel sympathy for the like-minded person in distress.
Officials protect each other, and sometimes it was not necessarily just because of getting benefits in exchange, but more about self-interest.
So the appearance of one Bao Qingtian (TN: Northern Song official renowned for his honesty) was enough for the common people to sing about for so many years.
Even though many of Bao Qingtian’s deeds were added later, the wishes and expectations of the common people could be clearly seen.
They were afraid of officials and hoped that the people above them could control these officials and not let officials bully them too much.
But they didn’t dare to resist themselves, so they could only hope for a Bao Qingtian, or an emperor who mingled with the common people incognito.
Song Shizhao quickly cupped his hands and said, “This official does not want to be like them.”
This was Song Shizhao’s first time referring to himself in such a way. Lin Yuan was not angry. The two looked at each other with smiles of clear understanding in their eyes.
“Since that’s the case, I leave this matter to Mister.”
Song Shizhao got up quickly, then knelt on his knees and performed the ritual bow.
Lin Yuan didn’t stop him.
“Mother, eat.” The little child, who barely reached an adult’s waist, held a piece of bread in his hand and moved it to the woman’s mouth.
The woman smiled at her son: “Mother is not hungry, you eat.”
The little child didn’t believe it, he insisted on watching the woman eat before putting down his hand.
The man on the side spoke, “Just eat it, or he will make a fuss for a long time.”
The woman just took a small bite of the bread: “Mother ate it.”
The little child was happy, and went to his father with the bread.
After the child fell asleep, the woman asked her husband, “When can we leave here? Those soldiers…..didn’t kill anyone, maybe they’ll let us go?”
Their family originally lived in the inner city. After the couple got married, they moved out of their parents’ home and had a small home of their own. Because the man was the youngest son, he was favored and had no obligation to support his parents. Such obligations were the eldest son’s duty.
The wife wove and spun at home, and the husband had a stall outside. The cloth woven by the wife was just enough to cover the tax on the husband’s business. The family could not be said to be very well-off, but it was not bad either. They build up savings very early to send their son to study with a teacher. If he could study well under the guidance of a good teacher, maybe he could become an official. If he couldn’t become an official, he could still do more profitable jobs.
Whether it was an accountant or a restaurant shopkeeper, they all made more money than ordinary labor workers.
But what they didn’t expect was that the world changed before the child even fully grew up. When the child was born, there were sounds of rebellion outside. Although Dadu was still full of song and dance, the common people were already panicking.
What if war reached Dadu one day?
After a few years, there were still wars outside, but Dadu had never been attacked, and the common people were relieved.
They thought that the rebels would not be able to reach them, and they could continue to live happily in Dadu.
Although taxes were getting higher and higher, and the lords were asking for more and more offerings, they could still live on. There was always food in the grain stores, and while the price was higher, they wouldn’t die of starvation.
Later, the price of food became higher and higher, and they heard that some people in the outer city had starved to death.
In winter, some families could not afford coal, the fire went out in the middle of the night, and the whole family froze to death.
Although it was a bit exaggerated to say that they froze to death, it was also true. At this time, coming down with a cold, and without enough clothes to keep out the cold, and in addition to not being able to afford medicine, there was almost no possibility of survival. It was the same as freezing to death.
People finally found out that Dadu was not as safe as they thought.
The merchants drove up the price of grain, and because it was profitable, the imperial court did not care about it. The lords above still demanded offerings, and the more they demanded, the more the common people could not survive.
This was Dadu!
Even in Dadu, there were people selling their daughters!
Just for a mouthful of life saving ration, even one’s wife could be given away.
And then…..the soldiers of the Southern King arrived. They heard the sound of hooves and footsteps as loud as thunder, and saw countless soldiers marching down the streets. They looked so mighty, so strong, and so frightening.
They were afraid, afraid that these soldiers would burn their houses, snatch their wives and daughters, torture them and insult them.
So they fled, fled to a farther place where they could live without fear.
But when they tried to escape, they found that they couldn’t get out. The whole city was surrounded, and they were only allowed to go in, and not come out. But those soldiers just drove them back, they didn’t kill them, so many people settled on the edge of the city. They even built thatched huts and lived there.
But there were always various inconveniences, the water source was a problem, they were too far from the river.
So someone went to the soldier to beg for water——this man was too thirsty, and when he saw the soldier drinking water, he begged the soldier in a momentary loss of self-control, the people around him couldn’t even pull him back.
Surprisingly, he actually managed to get some water! A water flask! It was full of water and after drinking it, he shared it with relatives and friends, and then returned the water flask to the soldier. Later, he actually even became friends with the soldier.
A few days later, the man who asked for water appeared among the soldiers, he had also joined the army.
This mightily surprised the common people.
The wife said to her husband: “Or…..how about we go back, living in this thatched hut every day, it’s wet and damp, how can it compare to our own home? Didn’t father-in-law and mother-in-law also not leave the city? That South Bodhisattva, maybe he really is a good person? Those soldiers, they probably won’t come to kill and set fire, right?”
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The husband hesitated for a long time, so long his son fell asleep on his wife’s lap before he said softly, “Let’s go back in the middle of the night.”
They had run out with the neighbors. If they ran back with the neighbors looking, wouldn’t they be traitors?
It was better to avoid the eyes of outsiders.
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