After ascending the throne, the first decree issued by Lin Yuan was to open the imperial examinations, select talents, and govern the country.
The imperial examination system had existed since ancient times. Since the Han Dynasty, there have been the election system and the enlistment system. Only in the Sui Dynasty did the imperial examinations come to be.
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“Us scholars, naturally have to gain promotion through the imperial examination.” The scholars were discussing, “The imperial examination system has existed since ancient times, wasn’t it the same in the Yuan Dynasty? Why do you all look so worried?”
A person also echoed: “His Majesty’s move is to calm the hearts of scholars in the world. If everyone wants to be an official, and seeks an official position, yet there is no way for the scholars of poor families to advance, then the country will have no peace!”
The person on the other side said: “My family has been officials for generations, and it has existed since ancient times. How can we be compared with the poor son of a poor family!”
“That’s right! His Majesty wants to hold the imperial examination, we will not stop it, but we are from affluent families, and never rely on the imperial examination to advance!”
“This is humiliating our aristocratic families!”
Zhou Rong passed by at this time with a disdainful expression on his face.
“Zhou gongzi appears confident, don’t know what advice you can give?” Someone stopped Zhou Rong from going, “Zhou gongzi is already being used by His Majesty, so naturally you do not put out dispute over the imperial examination in your eyes.”
Some people also spoke for Zhou Rong: “What did Zhou gongzi say wrong at the literary gathering before? We have learned and studied from books, saying that it was to govern a country, but it is only rhetoric in the end. Governing a country starts with a single step, and is implemented in practical ways. Knowing the suffering of the people, knowing how merchants do business, if you don’t understand this, how can you govern the country? You think you can govern the country at home?!”
Zhou Rong stepped forward and cupped his hands at the scholar who spoke for him: “Thank you brother Zhao for your help, but Zhou Rong also has something to say.”
“What do you have to say? It’s still the same old rhetoric.” Someone said dismissively, “Saying that we are grandiloquent, but isn’t it you who is grandiloquent?”
Zhou Rong smiled and said, “Everyone, you are all the pillars of the country, and you have great talents. You are familiar with poetry, books, history, and classics. What you learned from childhood was the way to govern the country, and what you see is the people’s livelihood since childhood. Is what Rong said correct?”
Someone said: “You finally said something right.”
Zhou Rong: “His Majesty holds the imperial examination, is it wrong?”
No one dared to speak up and say that the emperor was right or wrong, that was the officials’ job, their duty.
But when a person without an official position talked about whether the emperor was right or wrong, then that was gross insubordination, and when being caught they would face capital punishment.
Zhou Rong said with a smile: “When you can attend the court and be able to discuss the right and wrong of His Majesty, then we shall talk together again.”
“Rong still has something to do, I shall take a step first, please feel free everyone.”
Zhou Rong looked straight ahead, striding forward, and only the scholar surnamed Zhao who spoke for him followed.
Zhao Lin followed Zhou Rong and whispered, “Why did you offend them all?”
Zhou Rong sneered: “Offending them, what should I be afraid of? Incompetent people only know how to enjoy themselves. In this life, they have never left home, have never seen rice fields, don’t understand the old farmers, and don’t know the common people’s livelihood. What’s the use of friendship with them?”
“You…..ai!” Zhao Lin, “Where are you going now?”
Zhou Rong walked out of the scholar pavilion and said to Zhao Lin, “Go see His Majesty.”
Zhao Lin’s eyes widened: “Are the rumors true? Are you really being used by His Majesty? Zhou Second, you really soared into the sky!”
Zhou Rong looked cold and solemn as he said to Zhao Lin, “Brother Zhao, I have a word for you.”
Zhao Lin’s expression became serious, he stood upright, straightened his robes, and cupped his hands: “Please enlighten me.”
Zhou Rong: “His Majesty will not use the descendants from aristocratic families. His Majesty will only use people with lofty ideals and talent. His Majesty has great ambitions and we must be loyal officials, upright officials. Only by being loyal to His Majesty and the Great Ming will we have the opportunity to be promoted.”
“Civil officials die for remonstrance, military officials die in battle, in this way, the country is prosperous!”
Zhao Lin widened his eyes, his nostrils flaring slightly: “Not using the descendants of aristocratic families…..”
Zhou Rong patted Zhao Lin on the shoulder: “Brother Zhao, think about it on your own.”
“What mysterious act are you playing! Can’t you speak clearly?” Zhao Lin shouted at Zhou Rong’s back.
Zhou Rong raised his hand and waved it with his back to Zhao Lin: “It’s boring to say things too clearly.”
Zhou Rong walked into the palace gate, he looked up at the doorpost and then towards the steps.
During the Yuan Dynasty, the children of the Zhou family had been living in the countryside and farming together with farmers. He knew that the people’s livelihood was hard, and that farmers farmed all their lives and yet find no support in old age. When he was young, his only dream was to one day be able to enter this palace gate. Achieve his aspirations and dedicate all his hot blood to the monarch.
But in the Yuan Dynasty, traitors were in power, and even loyal officials of their own clan could be manipulated to their deaths.
Let alone the Han people like them.
He had the thought of serving the country, but could not implement it.
Now, the new dynasty had been established, and the new monarch had ascended the throne. He knew who he should be loyal to.
He wanted to be an upright official, an official loyal to the monarch.
Lin Yuan watched Zhou Rong salute him, smiled and said, “Rise, come and sit, at Zhen’s side.”
Zhou Rong walked to Lin Yuan’s side.
Lin Yuan took his hand: “Zhen has something for you to do.”
Zhou Rong hurriedly said: “Your Majesty, please speak, caomin will never refuse.”
Lin Yuan smiled and said: “There is no need to rush on the matter of the aristocratic families, but regarding the public schools, Zhen wants you to be the prefectural governor. This is a new official position, from the sixth rank. If you think the official position is small, it is best to say it at this time.”
Zhou Rong said eagerly, “Your Majesty is being humorous, no official has ever complained that their official position was too small.”
Lin Yuan took a sip of tea and said, “Then that is the best. Zhen wants you to promote the public school and have the children of the common people become literate.”
Zhou Rong looked at the teacup in his hand and asked, “Your Majesty…..caomin is slow-witted.”
Lin Yuan looked at Zhou Rong: “How are you slow-witted?”
Zhou Rong: “If Your Majesty wants to promote the public schools, you will definitely not find caomin to do so. Caomin has no fame. Whether it is Lord Zheng, Lord Wu, or even Prime Minister Song, they are more suitable than caomin. There must be a reason why Your Majesty looked for caomin instead.”
“Implementing public government schools will inevitably lead to infamy.” Lin Yuan looked at him with eyes like torches, “For a long time, literary knowledge had been monopolized by the upper echelons, even poor scholarly families, it is only three generations without anyone being an official.”
“To implement a public government school today is tantamount to competing with aristocratic families. If you accept this task, you will be in a dangerous situation.”
Lin Yuan added: “Besides, it’s not just the school, there is another important matter.”
“Creating written characters.” Lin Yuan looked at Zhou Rong.
As soon as these words came out, Zhou Rong was shocked and extremely frightened.
Lin Yuan smiled: “Are you able? Do you dare?”
Zhou Rong pursed his lips and said, “If caomin obeys, all the scholars in the world will be my enemies, and want nothing more than to slash me with a thousand knives.”
Lin Yuan: “Do you dare?”
Zhou Rong raised his head, looked directly into Lin Yuan’s eyes, and said word by word, “Zhou Rong dares!”
“Excellent!” Lin Yuan ordered, “Serve the wine! Zhen wants to get drunk with Zhou qing!”
“Such courage, such daring, Zhou Rong, if you can succeed, Zhen will definitely honor you as shang qing (TN: name that referred to the most noble and high ranking officials)!”
The two drank until half drunk, and Zhou Rong asked, emboldened by the wine, “Your Majesty, why did Your Majesty choose caomin?”
Lin Yuan’s face was flushed. He hadn’t drank wine for a long time, and now just a little was enough to make him tipsy: “Those who are not afraid of death and dare to give up everything for fame, Zhou Rong, a person like you is rare.”
Zhou Rong smiled bitterly: “Your Majesty puts this official in a desperate situation.”
Lin Yuan: “Do you have the confidence to survive in a desperate situation?”
Zhou Rong was lying on the table: “This official has waited for this time for ten years, even if there is a dragon’s pit and tiger’s den in front of me, this official is willing to enter, I only beg Your Majesty’s kindness, don’t…..don’t take the head of this official to settle the resentment of the aristocratic families.”
Lin Yuan laughed loudly: “How do they speak of Zhen outside? They say Zhen is a cruel tyrant, but towards a cruel tyrant, what fear do we have of the tongues of mediocre people?!”
Zhou Rong: “The tongues of the public are like swords…..”
Lin Yuan: “If you succeed, the aristocratic families would not be worth fearing. Zhou Rong, what you have to do is to open up a new path. If you succeed, your name will be remembered in the history of the world and will last for eternity!”
Zhou Rong said loudly: “This official, obeys the order!”
After Zhou Rong was supported to his bedroom by the eunuch, Lin Yuan washed his face with cold water.
He couldn’t have Song Shizhao or Wu Changqing do this. They were all from the upper class. Even Song Shizhao, who had the worst background, was from an aristocratic family. They all felt that the common people were not worthy of reading the books of sages.
When Lin Yuan launched primary schools in Gaoyou and other places, Song Shizhao and the others did not object, because those teachers did not teach the way of governance, but the livelihood skills of the common people.
Lin Yuan asked Zhou Rong to create new written characters that followed in the steps of the simplified characters used in the modern world.
This was the cultural foundation that would impact the entire feudal society.
He could think of what the scholars in the world would say about him and Zhou Rong.
That Zhou Rong dared to accept this task meant he had put his life and death to the side.
Lin Yuan said to Er Liang, “This man is a madman.”
Er Liang didn’t understand, but he still followed suit: “Yes, having you drink so much, he is indeed a madman.”
Lin Yuan laughed.
Er Liang said again: “General Chen has been waiting outside for a long time, will you see him tonight?”
Lin Yuan stood up: “See, why wouldn’t I see him? I’m in good spirits at this time!”
Er Liang reminded in a low voice: “Your Majesty, you should used ‘Zhen’ to refer to youself.”
Lin Yuan: “Don’t worry about it, just invite him in.”
When Chen Baisong walked in, he saw Lin Yuan smiling at him. Lin Yuan’s cheeks were flushed, his eyes were moist, and even if he was not smiling they would still appear to be full of tender feelings. Chen Baisong paused, he hadn’t fully examined Lin Yuan for a long time.
Lin Yuan had changed, his aura had changed, but his face had not changed. The heavens treated him kindly, and even now after many years he still looked like he did in his youth.
“Your Majesty.” Chen Baisong was about to salute when Lin Yuan waved his hand, “Stop, come here.”
Chen Baisong walked over, he was still wearing armor, his steps like the wind, physique tall and powerful. He had walked through blood and fire, grew up on the battlefield, and already had the temperament of a warrior.
“You look a little old.” Lin Yuan said suddenly.
Chen Baisong knew that Lin Yuan was drunk, he looked at Lin Yuan: “I’m already thirty-eight this year.”
Lin Yuan: “…..Really?”
The ancients were short-lived, with an average age of forty. Even if not counting the ordinary people, there were also not many nobles and dignitaries who could live to their sixties.
Not to mention the generals who killed enemies on the battlefield, their bodies covered in countless old injuries.
Lin Yuan suddenly said, “You are thirty-eight years old, and you haven’t married yet.”
Chen Bosong: “Too busy, no time.”
Lin Yuan: “You are still so honest.”
Chen Baisong looked at Lin Yuan with fire in his eyes: “Young master, did you only know now?”
Lin Yuan seemed to be attracted by the fire in Chen Baisong’s eyes, and looked at him with an intoxicated gaze: “I always knew.”
Chen Baisong’s breathing stopped.
Lin Yuan asked him, “There are so many people around me, but I trust you the most.”
Chen Baisong closed his eyes: “This official…..knows this.”
Lin Yuan suddenly asked him: “I ask you, do you dare to commit insubordination?”
Chen Baisong suddenly became dumb and mute.
“I won’t marry a wife, and I won’t have any children in this life.” Lin Yuan suddenly said, “If I have children, what I want to achieve will be hopeless in this life. This road may be a dead end, do you dare to accompany me? And walk this path together?”
Chen Baksong opened his mouth, and what he said was loud and firm: “I dare!”
He didn’t know when he developed such feelings, he just discovered that he didn’t want anyone to be closer to Lin Yuan than himself.
This thought was rooted in his heart, and he had deliberately avoided it for a long time without thinking about it. So long as Lin Yuan did not marry, he would not marry.
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 )
He thought that he would be like this for the rest of his life, that he would witness Lin Yuan’s ascension to the throne that oversaw the great empire, and he would shed the last drop of his blood for Lin Yuan.
Not for the common people, not for the world, only for Lin Yuan.
AN: Chen Baisong had always been very possessive.
Any feelings when reaching to the extreme were like this, so his feelings for Lin Yuan were very complicated.
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