These days, Lin Yuan had been visiting most of the aristocratic families in the Yuan Dynasty. The fact that these families could leave their names on the history scroll, even if it was just the Haozhou family, the Li family, was enough to prove how powerful and influential they were.
Aristocratic families did not necessarily consist of high-ranking officials, but they must possess enough reputation in the local area. The local common people rely on them to live, and even officials sent by the imperial court had to curry favor with them.
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After all, officials serve there for only a certain amount of years, but the aristocratic family in the area had remained unchanged for decades and centuries. As the saying went, it was difficult for a strong dragon to suppress the local snakes. The local snakes were intertwined in the local area, making it impossible for people to assert any outside influence.
Dadu also had such aristocratic families, but because it was Dadu, the place where the imperial power was most concentrated, most of the aristocratic families had shrunken, having long lost their position and ability from back then.
But that didn’t mean they had become lambs to the slaughter.
The fact they were able to survive in the hands of the emperors of the Yuan Dynasty, and having survived for so many generations, their tentacles have extended to the interior of the court of the Yuan Dynasty, and many officials were “funded” by them.
After all, the salary of an official was only so much, and there were so many officials and dignitaries in the imperial city. Even if they embezzled money, ordinary officials couldn’t embezzle as much money as one would think.
Putting them outside the imperial city, the fifth-rank officials were already considered high-ranking officials, but in Dadu, if a sign plaque was dropped on the road, it may smash to death several fifth-rank officials or royal relatives.
On the surface, officials were supported by them, but in fact they were actually the ones acting as checks and balances on officials.
They possess their own wisdom, spending money and using people were all to get more benefits.
Of course, these noble families were afraid of Lin Yuan, but their fear of Lin Yuan was not very deep.
To be precise, there were still some of them who thought that with the world having changed masters, their chance had finally come.
So they wanted to talk conditions with Lin Yuan.
They still have quite a few chips in their hands.
First, they have money and food.
Second, they have people, although they dare not be obvious and brazen, but they did have many servants, and even most people of the same surname were attached to them.
Third, they saw that what Lin Yuan was most anxious to do now was to stabilize Dadu.
This was their chance.
It was the opportunity for them to re-enter the court and regain speaking power.
Of course, if Lin Yuan wasn’t the South Bodhisattva and didn’t have such a good reputation, they wouldn’t dare to talk to Lin Yuan about conditions, and they might have fled long ago.
It was precisely because of Lin Yuan’s reputation that they thought that Lin Yuan was a person who valued a good reputation. The more one valued reputation the easier it was to figure out their intentions.
“There are indeed a few smart people.” Lin Yuan looked at the letters of submission.
Song Shizhao also sighed: “It’s just that they did not use their smarts on the right path.”
Lin Yuan shook his head: “You can’t blame them either.”
In an aristocratic family, if there were no officials in it, it wouldn’t be long before they fell into decline, so even though they knew that they might anger Lin Yuan, they still had to risk their whole family’s lives on this gamble.
If a family wants to be strong and prosperous, it must be able to produce a person who could stand by the side of the emperor in every generation.
In the Yuan Dynasty, they couldn’t do it, they could only hole up in their turtle shells, so when Lin Yuan came out, they also came out.
They want to come out of their predicament to the point of going crazy.
Now was the best chance. Lin Yuan had just entered Dadu, and he was not familiar with Dadu. There must not be many people who he could use. After all, it was impossible to bring all his confidants with him. These people were temporarily immobilized as they must guard the other cities for him, so their opportunity had arrived.
You could send their children to Lin Yuan’s side.
Therefore, almost all the letters of submissions Lin Yuan received were all letters pledging loyalty by the aristocratic families, but how they expressed it was very artistic and euphemistic.
“The world has been in chaos for so long, and finally a hero like you has appeared. Although we are foolish, we also know that capable people live in this world. Since you are now here, it must be the choice of the heavens, so we are willing to be at your beck and call, and help you pacify Dadu, but we are the common people after all, and we are not qualified to help you, so we have chosen the best descendants in the family, and we will send them to you as long as you are willing.”
Song Shizhao took the letter of submission from Lin Yuan. After reading it carefully, he smiled and said, “The person who wrote this article is a capable person.”
Articles like this were easy to appear weak and easy to bully or arrogant and domineering if the right degree was not grasped. There were very few that could be written just right like this letter was.
Lin Yuan smiled and said, “There will be places that they could be used in the future.”
These children of aristocratic families have learned how to be an official since they were young, and they studied for the purpose of being an official.
It was impossible for Lin Yuan to not use them, because after several years of ups and downs, it was these people who were most needed.
But he was not going to let these noble families unreined, and would not allow them to have any power that did not belong to them.
Today, they gave up their net worth to rely on Lin Yuan, then in the future they would get more benefits from Lin Yuan. Today’s sacrifice was for tomorrow’s gain.
Song Shizhao understood what Lin Yuan meant. Although he could be regarded as having come from a noble family, his family was too small after all. It was so small that they could only find a place to hide when the dynasties changed. He didn’t much identify himself with the aristocratic families. In some respects, like Lin Yuan, he felt that the aristocratic families got in the way and hindered imperial power.
If it wasn’t for Lin Yuan’s desire to use the descendants cultivated by the aristocratic family, Song Shizhao was even ready to propose that he should take this opportunity to wipe out the aristocratic families, lest they collude and cause trouble later.
“Ignore them alone for now.” Lin Yuan said, “Re-improve the employment system first.”
He wanted to make the servants of the aristocratic families become common people again, and have the common people create value, and these values did not belong to the aristocratic families, but to him.
Song Shizhao agreed, and he suddenly said: “This official has been busy these days, and I am afraid that my energy will be insufficient, so I can leave it to one person at this time.”
This was to recommend talents to Lin Yuan, Lin Yuan asked with a smile, “Who?”
Song Shizhao said: “This son is the son of the Zhao family. He is proficient in mathematics and his character is upright.”
Saying that this person was good at mathematics, but he was a bit rigid and didn’t know how to adapt.
Lin Yuan nodded and said, “Then call this person over.”
Not knowing to be flexible was a good thing in this case.
At this time, what he needed was someone who was not flexible.
In this way, even if the aristocratic families develop hatred, they would not hate him.
Although he was not afraid that the families would hate him, it was better to have less trouble, was it not?
So Zhao Jiazi took office. He was the only person of the Dadu aristocratic families who became an official after the imperial court changed hands. His parents couldn’t believe it when they received the decree from the eunuch. It was simply…..it was simply because they know their own son too well. Their son was fine with academics, but he only knew what was written in the books, whatever was written in the books he would take it to heart completely. When he was a child, his family thought he was too stubborn, and they tricked him into climbing to the roof to read every day, saying that he would get twice the result with half the effort.
One could not sit on the roof for too long, the butt would hurt after sitting there for a long time.
Not saying that he should sneak down the roof to study against his parents’ orders, he should at least find himself a plank or a cushion.
But the result was, he actually sat on the roof honestly and obediently. If it rained, he would use an umbrella because he was afraid that the books would get wet, and only covered the books from the rain.
The family members were really convinced by him, and they no longer paid attention to him, cultivating the second and third sons with all their heart instead.
After all, there was no shortage of sons, and one could always find a smart one among them.
The son of the Zhao family’s name was Zhao Rong, and he looked very tall and upright. After all, he was from an aristocratic background, and was not lacking in daring. After he received the verbal decree, he immediately reported to his post and took over the official affairs regarding the servants.
The first to fall under his knife was his own family.
It angered his father into cursing loudly at home: “These are aristocratic servants who have been serving our family for generations. Now letting them go, do you think your mother can cook, or your father can sweep the house?”
Zhao Rong was neither angry nor timid when his father scolded him. Instead, he said, “It’s hiring, it’s not that they’re not allowed to stay in our house.”
“It’s just that they now have a fixed salary and are not allowed to be beaten or killed at will, it’s the same as before.”
His father scolded again: “Where is there no difference!”
He hated himself for teaching his son to be a gentleman!
Why were slaves so loyal to them? If something went wrong at home, the slaves would save their master first even if they have to put their lives on the line.
Why? Was it because they were born servile?
No, it was because the lives of their family depended on the master, their wives and children, their relatives and friends, everything was entrusted to the master.
Once they find out, even if there was no master, they could live well by themselves, or if the master was not good to them, they could just change to a new master. Then towards the aristocratic families, it was the same as turning the world upside down.
Of course, noble families didn’t place much regard on slaves, but they have many places where they could use slaves. Outsiders could never make them feel at ease as their own people, but what if their own people also became outsiders?
“They will hate you and our family!” His father thumped his chest and stomped his feet in pain, “That Southern King is forcing our family to die!”
Zhao Rong said, “Father, as an official, loyalty is the first thing. Although this son is not talented, I know that we will have a bright future when being loyal to the Lord. If I retire today, there will always be someone else who wants to take over my job. If this son succeeds, our Zhao family will have a place in the new dynasty, and if I lose, father should not panic either, this son will use my life to compensate them, and should not implicate the whole family.”
“Father has sons, and this son also has sons. The Zhao family has no shortage of sons. Father, let this son go.” Zhao Rong knelt down in front of Father Zhao.
His two younger brothers also said, “Father, let eldest brother go.”
Father Zhao looked at his eldest son and finally said, “You…..go then.”
Zhao Rong went, and he turned the aristocratic families of Dadu upside down with just strength of himself.
Every moment there was someone cursing him to death.
At first, these people gave gifts to the Zhao family, tried to pull connections with the Zhao family, and even offered to give up their daughters to be Zhao Rong’s concubines, but the Zhao family did not agree.
They have already chosen their side and could not change it anymore.
So Zhao Rong didn’t dare to drink the alcohol outside, didn’t dare to eat the food outside. If his past friends invited him for gatherings, he mostly shied away.
After Lin Yuan found out, he said to Song Shizhao, “This person is indeed usable.”
Able to faithfully complete the tasks assigned, without holding anything back, even if he was not flexible and didn’t know how to adapt, he could still be called a loyal and virtuous official.
He must walk a new path, and what he needed were people who followed him wholeheartedly, there could not be two voices in his team.
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“Have someone protect him.” Lin Yuan added, “Even if I set a target, this target can not be touched by just anyone.”
Song Shizhao lowered his head.
Today the aristocratic families would hate Zhao Rong.
But in the future, they would find that it was because of Zhao Rong that they escaped complete ruin.
The South Bodhisattva’s methods have changed, he no longer relied on killing to intimidate and establish his power, he had learned new methods.
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