Capturing Anfeng was the first priority. Anfeng was now a mess. Both the common people and the court have lost their backbone. The people had fled, and the officials were still embezzling money. Although Han Lin’er had chopped off a number of heads, he was not strong enough. Even now with Liu Futong standing by his side, the officials only stopped for a while, and soon they went back to their old ways.
They used to take more money in order to help them climb up the ladder, but now even if they couldn’t go up, once the opening was opened, no one could control it.
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Anfeng gradually turned into the former Yuan Dynasty, and the people were struggling to live.
Especially with the people under Lin Yuan’s rule living better and better lives. The common people of Anfeng became envious, and many of them sneaked to Lin Yuan’s land.
Even if they were caught and beheaded, they still ran away.
The most fearful thing in fighting wars was when the ruler and his ministers were of a single mind, the monarch was wise, the civil ministers were devoted to their duties, and the generals fought bravely.
The current situation in Anfeng was dark and murky and had nothing to do with the monarch and ministers being of a single mind.
When Lin Yuan sent Chen Baisong off, he warned: “It’s still the old rule, the common people can’t be touched, the officials you can do whatever you want.”
Chen Baisong nodded. He still felt dazed when he saw Lin Yuan, but he was not as restrained as before. Since that night, Lin Yuan had not called Chen Baisong to enter the palace, so Chen Baisong could only stay in the military camp.
Lin Yuan also didn’t want to push Chen Baisong too closely. This time Chen Baisong went on the expedition to give both parties a cooling-off period.
He believed that Chen Baisong would figure it out.
“Han Lin’er…..” Lin Yuan sighed, “Give him a whole corpse and bury him well.”
Burying him well meant that it could not be discarded at will, and at least a coffin must be prepared.
Chen Baisong nodded: “I understand.”
Lin Yuan handed the tiger tally to Chen Baisong: “Go, take care.”
Before leaving, Chen Baisong took a deep look at Lin Yuan, and then he whipped his horse and left with a mighty army of tens of thousands.
After Chen Baisong was gone, Lin Yuan returned to the study to read through the memorials.
When he was reading through the memorials, there was only Er Liang by his side. He had followed him for many years and knew what kind of tea he liked to drink and what temperature he liked it to be. Observing words and expressions was a matter of skill. While Er Liang was not naturally talented, he made up for it with hard work.
The first memorial he picked up was from Zhou Rong, which mainly said: “I have already done what Your Majesty has entrusted, the schools in each district have been completely set up, the children of the common people have also been sent in to study, and the written text has also been mostly simplified. I have come up with a general outline, and they are all attached in the booklet, please take a look. I ask Your Majesty to be sympathetic, and find some more people for this official, the previous scholars have left halfway, and there is no one left in my hands.”
Lin Yuan took a sip of tea, but couldn’t hold back his anger, he took a deep breath: “Er Liang.”
Er Liang said quickly, “The servant is here.”
Lin Yuan: “Go, get Song Lian and Song Shizhao for me!”
Er Liang didn’t know what was going on, so he quickly relayed the order.
He was Lin Yuan’s close attendant, and he would not leave the palace easily. This kind of trivial matter of finding someone only needed to be instructed to the internal officials.
The eunuchs rarely have errands, so they gathered around Er Liang and said, “Good brother, give us some hints, what is His Majesty’s mood? We will have a general understanding in our hearts, which will help us talk when we go out.”
Er Liang: “You just tell them to be obedient before His Majesty.”
The eunuchs understood, these two lords made His Majesty angry.
The eunuchs depended on this to live. Towards the people the emperor liked, when they go to call them over, they must flatter and say good things.
Those the emperor disliked, they would put on the appropriate attitude accordingly.
There was the intention of holding up and stepping down, but the most important thing was to remind the other party what the situation was now, the other party would remember this favor, for the possibility when they would need to ask for help in the future.
Song Shizhao walked beside the eunuch: “Zhao Gonggong, has His Majesty said anything?”
Zhao Gonggong was a young man with a face shaped like a melon. He was not favored in the previous dynasty. He had always been a eunuch relegated to manual labor, such as being in charge of the sweeping. Later, the imperial city changed hands, and he was lucky enough to be assigned to the Yanchun Pavilion as a sweeping eunuch. He then tried his best to have a good relationship with Er Liang, finally allowing him to have today’s dignity.
They were eunuchs, rootless people, and the only thing left to care about in this life was face and dignity.
Only by being loyal to His Majesty could they maintain their dignity.
Zhao Gonggong glanced at Song Shizhao, knowing Song Shizhao’s status his tone softened a lot: “My lord, why not think over it some more?”
Song Shizhao really couldn’t think of anything. He had been busy with the imperial examinations recently. Whether it was the test questions or the system, he was still discussing and negotiating.
Song Lian didn’t know either, he had been preoccupied revising books recently.
Mainly revising the dictionary, this was a job given to him by Lin Yuan, cooperating with Zhou Rong to get the dictionary in simplified Chinese characters. Song Lian’s head almost went bald during this period.
Every morning when he woke up, the pillow was covered with clumps of hair.
He was always afraid that his teacher and the sages would climb out of the underworld and give him a good beating.
Simplifying the orthodox characters, Song Lian didn’t even dare to think about it. Those were texts that had evolved from ancient Chinese characters, and changing even a single stroke was like killing him.
But he also knew that he could not persuade Lin Yuan, because this was a good thing.
This showed that knowledge was no longer monopolized by a small group of people.
Reading was difficult, and the difficulty lay in recognizing words.
Children’s enlightenment began by learning to memorize characters first, and then match the words on books, one by one, the smart learned quickly, but the dense were hard to say.
Not to mention the children of common people, the whole family was illiterate, they have no enlightenment, and they wouldn’t be able to keep up even after being sent to school.
Oh, the word illiteracy was said by His Majesty, Song Lian thought it was quite appropriate.
So Song Lian toughened his scalp and continued and his work without shirking his duties.
This was a good thing, but it would lead to infamy, and it might take decades and hundreds of years for his name to be corrected.
For this reason, he was now editing books at the Hanlin Academy, and he did not have contact with anyone except his colleagues.
He didn’t want to hear how the outside world scolded him.
Song Shizhao and Song Lian met each other at the entrance of the Yude Hall. Seeing that the other party also had a confused expression, they knew that neither of them knew what made Lin Yuan unhappy.
But no matter what it was, if the emperor was unhappy, then it must be the fault of the official, don’t care who was in the wrong, just admit their wrong first.
As soon as the two entered, they saw Lin Yuan sitting behind the desk with a dark face, the tea by his hand still steaming.
Song Shizhao and Song Lian wanted to make greetings, but Lin Yuan’s tone was cold and hard: “No need, come here.”
Lin Yuan threw the memorial to them: “Take a good look at it, what do you see?”
Song Shizhao and Song Lian didn’t dare to dally, they read the memorial together, and they were shocked after reading it.
Song Shizhao secretly scolded those scholars for being stupid, not only were they stupid they were poisonous. What did they mean to act this way? Was this slapping Zhou Rong in the face? It was slapping His Majesty’s face! To say it lightly, this was great disrespect, and to say it seriously this was duping one’s sovereign! This was a death penalty whether light or serious!
They were just relying on the fact that there was no one in His Majesty’s hands, it was just to use the so-called literati style to force His Majesty. No wonder His Majesty had displayed such anger.
Even if His Majesty had ordered those men to be arrested and killed, Song Shizhao would still feel that it was entirely appropriate.
When the emperors of the Yuan Dynasty were on the throne, why didn’t they have such a noble spirit?
Song Lian’s expression also changed, Song Shizhao was angry, he was frightened.
What he was afraid of was that Lin Yuan would get angry and kill people, and the court, which had finally stabilized, would be thrown into turmoil again.
After all, apart from those who resigned on their own, there were still a lot of sons from well-behaved families doing practical things. He was afraid that killing those disobedient ones would result in chilling the hearts of the obedient.
“Your Majesty.” Song Shizhao was about to speak, but Song Lian interrupted him at this moment, “Your Majesty, according to this official, it’s better to send them home and ask them to discipline themselves.”
Lin Yuan sneered: “They slapped Zhen in the face and you say to send them home to enjoy themselves?”
Song Lian: “Your Majesty can punish one person, but if you punish as many as ten people, I’m afraid that rumors will spread wildly and chill the hearts of more people.”
Lin Yuan couldn’t swallow his anger, he had a cold face, his gaze causing Song Lian and Song Shizhao to tremble with fear.
Lin Yuan was now more imposing, even just curving the corners of his mouth down, he could scare the people who were serving him.
“Fine, then bestow a plaque to every household!” Lin Yuan, “Bestow them with the words “stubbornly sticking to old ways”!”
Song Lian lowered his head a little lower. So long as he didn’t kill people, it would be fine. With these words used to label them publicly, those families would not be able to get up again for generations.
Song Shizhao said: “These words are good.”
The plaques were ready very quickly.
When the master artisan was making the plaque, the apprentice asked, “Master, what does this mean?”
The old master artisan was illiterate and did not know: “Making it into a plaque, it must be a compliment, right? Those families are blessed!”
When they heard that His Majesty bestowed a plaque to them, the several families rejoiced.
It must be that His Majesty saw their benefits, so he gave them a plaque to recruit them.
But the result was, when the plaque was hung up, the red silk was pulled down, and four large characters appeared in front of their eyes, the family patriarch was unable to stand the impact, eyes rolling back and fainting.
Everyone in the family was silent, only the sound of a child reciting: “stubbornly sticking to old ways.”
His mother covered his mouth, and the entire family could no longer make a smile.
This was the plaque given by His Majesty, they couldn’t put it down, everyone who came and went could see it, and those literate would laugh at them.
These words came from “Self-litigation” written by Liu Shu of the Song Dynasty.
“Stubbornly sticking to old ways, not changing with the times, becoming stagnant and broken, toiling but accomplishing little.”
This was to say that their family was stagnating and conservative, ignorant of progress, and advocating old-fashioned laws.
It was only then that the matter of the younger generation in the family was revealed. The one who was chosen by Zhou Rong had already gone home, and even his parents only thought that their son had a falling out with Zhou Rong.
The old patriarch fell ill from anger, lying on the bed gasping for breath.
As tree bark to a tree, keeping up appearance is important to a person, their family’s face was lost completely, no matter who walked past this house, they could point fingers at them.
How could the ignorant family personally pointed out by the emperor not be seen with contempt?
The other families were in a similar situation.
There were ten families who received this plaque in the capital. They used to be wealthy affluent families, but now their faces have been trampled on the ground.
Even other aristocratic families didn’t pity them.
Aristocratic families have the wisdom of aristocratic families, and they felt that these families were short-sighted.
If you have the guts, go to persuade the emperor, kowtow your head, kowtow your life away, that way at least you would have a good reputation from using your life to persuade.
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But in contrast, you only dared to show your attitude to the unimportant Zhou Rong and slap Zhou Rong in the face? Standing behind Zhou Rong was the emperor!
Such stupidity caused people to be unable to develop even a speck of pity.
It just made others feel that such stupid people were better off going back to their hometowns and be a farmer.
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