TN: bonus chapter!💕
There were also good friends among the officials, and occasionally they would meet up at restaurants for drinks.
Especially during off days.
There were a few more marriages this year. They all knew what His Majesty cared about, and most of them were not marriages to the Beijing official families.
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There were still a small number of Beijing official families marrying each other, as His Majesty did not expressly prohibit it.
What made them feel the most peculiar was that there was a small seventh rank official in the Ministry of Revenue who did not choose to marry off his daughter, but chose to recruit a son-in-law.
So his daughter became famous among the boudoir ladies to be married.
Even if the ladies to be married say that this was not good, they would still feel envious in their hearts.
After all, when recruiting a son-in-law, the one who made the decision would be themselves. The husband could not take concubines or sleep with servant girls.
And in their own home, their parents were on their side.
There was no need to marry into someone else’s house and be nitpicked by their mother-in-law.
There was also no need to suffer and swallow down a lot of grievances.
They clearly all looked down on the common people’s practices, but when they heard that even a daughter of an official family was doing the same, they could not help but be contemptuous but also envious.
It was rare for Lin Yuan to see someone come to him to beg for a marriage bestowment.
He looked at Lu Hui standing below with a smile at the corner of his mouth. Lu Hui was his former “male favorite”, but he was not willing to be a “male favorite” and was always trying to show Lin Yuan his abilities.
Now he was also a district chief.
Lu Hui was a little nervous, he just mentioned it when he sent up his memorial, and he never expected that His Majesty would really summon him.
His sister was going to marry a husband into the family, and the man was from a small aristocratic family in the capital, surnamed Meng.
They were poorer than the Lu family, after all, when Lu Hui came to the capital, the Lu family sold all their wealth and property and followed to the capital.
In their opinion, even if it was a fifth rank official in an outer province, it was not as good as an insignificant seventh rank official in the capital.
The Meng family was a very bizarre family. They have no money, and their connections were all maintained through marriage alliances. Later, they all relied on their in-laws to give them money for a living. Therefore, the Meng family was a family that was very willing to have children, and preferred girls. When the girl was married off she could always bring more benefits back to the natal family.
But it was not up to them to decide whether to have boys or girls, so while there were a lot of girl children there were even more boy children.
So much so that when all the girls were married off, the house still couldn’t fit all these boys, and now several boys had to share a room.
So since they knew that some officials in the capital began to recruit husbands for their daughters, their thoughts became lively. They tried their best to “market” their sons. They also announced that so long as the eldest son and the second son stayed, all other sons could be married off.
After all, the Meng family was still an aristocratic family. The sons born could not be said to be extremely elegant and handsome, but they were indeed quite good-looking.
The Lu family members were not many, only two sons and one daughter, the eldest son also contracted a disease and died, so only Lu Hui and his sister were left.
So the Meng family asked someone to go to the Lu family to do the matchmaking.
The Lu family also felt that their family was too small. If both son and daughter stayed at home, and all the grandchildren born had the surname of the Lu family, the family could grow bigger again.
Lu Hui also agreed with this.
He was still young, and there were more things to take care of in the district day by day. Although he was only a small official, he was busy every day, and he really had no energy to go sow seeds after he left the office.
It just so happened that his sister also felt that the third Gongzi of the Meng family was quite handsome, and she didn’t want to marry to another family either, willing to stay at home.
The two sides hit it off, Lu Hui thought for a while, and decided to mention it when he went up his next memorial.
After mentioning it he began to regret it.
It was such an insignificant thing, yet he insisted on wasting the emperor’s time on it.
Lin Yuan thought this was a good thing. It had always been the trickle down effect being the most effective. Whatever the above did, the people below would imitate it.
Just like the cities around the capital would imitate the capital, since each district of the capital had a planned market, other cities were also competing to set up planned markets. But on the matter of the man marrying into the wife’s family, from the beginning it was initiated by the common people.
It was rare that officials were willing to imitate the common people.
So Lin Yuan got conferred the marriage.
When Lu Hui walked out of the palace gate, he was still in a daze, he didn’t even understand what happened.
Why did the emperor suddenly confer marriage? Was he going to be given more important tasks by the emperor?
But thinking about it carefully, Lu Hui felt that this was probably his own delusion.
“Brother!” The girl ran down the corridor, her hair was loose and she was barefoot, but she didn’t look sloppy, and the maids chased after her anxiously.
Lu Hui walked into the corridor and a precious baby burrowed into his arms. He said with exasperation, “Why aren’t you wearing shoes? What will you do if you get a cold?”
The girl smiled at him: “Mother and Father told me that I don’t have to leave the house in the future.”
Lu Hui smiled and said, “And Brother, I, also have good news to tell you.”
The girl’s eyes widened: “What good news?”
Lu Hui looked at his little sister. He and his sister were almost the same age. They grew up together since childhood. His little sister had an innocent and naive temperament, and was simply not very good at the tasks of managing the household that the mistress of the house were expected of. And the family had also spoiled her somewhat. If she was really married off to another family, he, the elder brother, would truly worry that she would be bullied.
“His Majesty conferred marriage to you and Meng Third Gongzi.”
The girl hugged Lu Hui excitedly: “Brother! Did the emperor truly confer marriage?”
In the early morning of the next day, the imperial decree arrived, and along with the imperial decree, there were rewards.
The Meng family was also very happy. Their family wanted to marry their son out of the family, but there were always aristocratic families outside who criticized them, saying that they have no morals and their morals were lost. Now that the emperor had conferred marriage on them, their decision had become justifiable and right.
So the aristocratic families began to persuade Meng Third Gongzi.
Meng Third Gongzi was good-looking, but he was actually just an ordinary aristocratic son. And because his family was not rich, he did not have the bad habits of the hedonistic son of the rich.
The sons of the aristocratic families persuaded him in subtle ways, but Meng Third Gongzi only said that he was willing to marry into his wife’s family.
Later, Meng Third Gongzi said that because there were too many brothers at home, he never had his own study room.
He also had to share a bedroom with four of his brothers. His parents also said that the family didn’t have so much money for every brother to get a wife.
After all, it must be the right match and if the marriage was with another aristocratic family, the betrothal gifts were a lot of money.
And the Lu family promised him that when he married into the family, he didn’t need to worry about family affairs, he just needed to live a good life with his wife.
He could have his own study, his own Four Treasures of the Study, and access to all the Lu family’s books.
Meng Third Gongzi cried while talking: “At home, all the new things are used by my eldest brother. It is only our turn to use the new things when Eldest Brother finishes. Eldest Brother has his own study room, and the rest of us can only practice calligraphy in the courtyard.”
“There are so many brothers in the family, and they can all be filial to our parents. Even if I marry into another family, I’m still my parents’ son.”
Everyone was speechless.
Who would have thought that as an aristocratic family, the Meng family could be so poor.
Sure enough, there were too many children born, and it was not like the children could be raised like animals. They required food, clothing, housing, the Four Treasures of the Study, teachers, and money was needed for everything, spending more than the common people.
Probably because the Meng family’s case was so famous.
Therefore, all the aristocratic families developed lingering fears and felt that it was best to have fewer children in the future.
Lest they were eaten out of their own house by their children.
On the day that the young lady of the Lu family and the third Gongzi of the Meng family got married, the Lu family also sent someone to cook and give out free porridge outside the city.
When the poor go there, they would say a few auspicious words.
The young lady of the Lu family soon became pregnant after getting married, and Meng Third Gongzi got his own study room as he wished, which was full of books from the Lu family. Lu Hui would also bring him along to chat with literati when he had time. The Lu family parents treated Meng Third Gongzi like their own son.
Over time, Meng Third Gongzi was no longer worried, and he really regarded himself as the Lu family.
He even felt that the smartest choice he made in his life was to marry into the Lu family.
Although his wife was a little spoiled, she never looked down on him because of him marrying into the family as a man.
She would compliment him for his good calligraphy skills, and for his pure and innocent heart like that of a newborn. When she learned that a friend invited him to their residence, she would have servants prepare visiting gifts.
He had a wife who gradually became considerate and gentle, and a brother-in-law who was willing to bring him along to get to know the wider world.
There were also his father-in-law and mother-in-law who have never treated him coldly. Meng Third Gongzi sometimes returned to the Meng family house, and when his brothers found out, they were all willing to be married off.
The Meng family parents were also very willing.
After all, there were too many sons, just too many.
Soon a matchmaker came knocking at the door of the Meng family’s house.
There were also small aristocratic families in the capital city with few family members who were willing to let their daughters recruit a husband into the family.
But they certainly could not recruit the son of a common family, and the aristocratic families were not willing to let their sons be married into the wife’s family.
So the sons of the Meng family became in demand.
Lin Yuan laughed when he heard it.
People were like this, whether it was the common people or aristocratic families, they were the same when facing personal interests and benefits.
Only interests and benefits could change the status quo.
“What are you laughing at?” Chen Baisong brought hot tea over.
He used to act like a guest of this imperial palace, and the kind of guest who might be kicked out at any time.
That feeling of panic and anxiety could not be concealed.
Lin Yuan couldn’t say anything to convince him to let go of such unfounded worries, so he could only let time prove everything.
Now Chen Baisong was much more at ease. Apart from not reading Lin Yuan’s memorials and not moving the jade seal, he had regarded the imperial palace as his “home”.
His mother was with the Empress Dowager, and now she had become a senior palace attendant, and her status in the palace was not low. The Empress Dowager also had a good temper. She had long regarded the palace as her home, and was better at adapting than her son.
There were also two little palace maids serving her needs.
His mother often told him that to be loyal to His Majesty, he must do whatever His Majesty asked him to do.
His mother also kept persuading him to get married and continue the bloodline of the Chen family, but he never agreed.
After a long time, his mother finally saw her son’s thoughts. She cried and sobbed and told him that it was wishful thinking.
Told him that the emperor would one day get married, and one day a noble woman would become the empress.
At that time, what would become of him?
Chen Baisong just knelt in front of his mother, bowed his head and said nothing, letting her beat at him with fists and kicks.
But since then, all his confusion and helplessness had disappeared.
“Look.” Lin Yuan handed over the memorial asking him to confer marriage.
After the Lu family started it, other aristocratic families who married the Meng family also wanted to have such an honor, and they scrambled to hand over memorials begging such.
But Lin Yuan didn’t plan to confer marriage again this time.
After reading it, Chen Baisong said, “They are such a nuisance.”
His tone was full of contempt.
He felt that these people were just looking to make something out of nothing, and now they even want Lin Yuan to take care of things like marriage among his subjects as well.
“There are already a lot of governmental affairs that need to be taken care of.” Chen Baisong rolled his eyes.
Lin Yuan laughed at him rolling his eyes: “It’s all trivial matters.”
Chen Baisong was expressionless: “You sleep for only four hours every day these days.”
Lin Yuan almost spit out a sip of tea: “You could at least take naps into account.”
Chen Baisong looked at him.
Lin Yuan sighed and surrendered: “Alright, alright, I won’t bother with them, it’s their business whether they want to marry into or out of the family.”
“By the way, the diplomatic documents have been sent.” Lin Yuan said, “Envoys from various countries should arrive at Beijing soon.”
Diplomatic documents would be issued to neighboring countries, and these countries would immediately set off to congratulate and pay tribute.
Said to be tributes, but what they sent over was nothing valuable or expensive——it might be valuable or expensive in their country though.
But Lin Yuan must repay them with something that was of more benefit and worth than these things.
Therefore, the surrounding small countries were very willing to pay tribute, and after the paying of tribute, they could conduct trade exchanges.
There were also tribes outside the Great Wall, who would also come this time. This was the most formal opportunity for them to establish a good relationship with the Great Ming Dynasty.
It was also an opportunity for Lin Yuan.
“Military and commerce.” Lin Yuan tapped on the map in front of him, which depicted where several tribes were located.
Lin Yuan added: “Culture and continued tradition.”
Chen Baisong looked at Lin Yuan.
Lin Yuan smiled and said, “I want to try another method this time.”
Methods other than war.
Mongolia still had not converted over to them fully, so what Lin Yuan had to do at this time was to conciliate.
But his form of conciliation was not to make the Mongolian tribes obedient, but to nibble away at them bit by bit.
In order not to let the Mongolian tribes develop and become stronger, generally the previous Chinese dynasties would not do trade and business with Mongolia, nor would they intermarry.
“Call Toqto’a over.” Lin Yuan said to Chen Baisong, “He has been idle for so long, and it’s time to let him out to play.”
Taking advantage of this opportunity, he could have Toqto’a visit these various Mongolian tribes.
Toqto’a did not expect that he would become an envoy. After he returned home, he had his servants pack up so he could visit the Mongolian tribes as soon as possible.
This time, Hala Zhang would also go with his father on his envoy mission.
The two left Beijing with a team of men and horses.
Hala Zhang and Chu Lin said goodbye at the city gate.
“You have to be careful.” Chu Lin looked at Hala Zhang worriedly. As he grew older, he lost the youthful aura surrounding him, but he became more refined and gentle, so much that he now had to wear a veiled bamboo hat when he went out.
So as not to be snatched home by some daring girl.
——He had already been snatched twice.
Every time, it was Hala Zhang leading a group of people to snatch him back.
Hala Zhang had also grown up. He used to be a wolf cub, but now he had sharp claws.
He was taller, a head taller than Chu Lin, with a strong physique, strong muscles, thick eyebrows and big eyes, and a high nose bridge, which was very different from the people in the Central Plains.
“I know.” Hala Zhang said to Chu Lin, “You too, don’t go out too much when I’m not around.”
Chu Lin smiled: “It will get better when I’m older.”
When he has become an old man, there should be no young ladies coveting him then.
Hala Zhang also said, “You are not allowed to get married before I come back.”
Chu Lin still smiled: “I know, I know, I will definitely wait for you to come back and invite you to drink at that time.”
Hala Zhang and Toqto’a mounted their horses.
Chu Lin stood there and watched Hala Zhang’s departing back.
“Trade exchanges, intermarriage.” Lin Yuan said while drinking tea, “Except for weapons and horses that cannot be sold, everything else is fine.”
Song Shizhao frowned and said, “Wouldn’t that make them…..”
Lin Yuan smiled and said, “No hurry, take it gradually.”
Trade exchanges would allow more merchants to enter various tribes, which was enough for the merchants to find out the structure of these tribes, where their grain and weapon stores were, and how many people there were.
Also, it would let their culture spread over their place.
Mongolia still had a slavery system.
The child’s status took after their mother’s status.
If the mother was a slave, then the children born were also slaves, even if the father was a noble, it was useless.
There were more slaves in Mongolia than nobles.
Once the slaves find out that they could become common people, they could also have human rights, they could also have their own families and children, and they could live without fearing about being whipped. What would they choose?
And even many slave owners in Mongolia were starving, their productivity was not enough to support the population.
Since they could live a good life in another place, why not?
The concept of national loyalty was only available to educated people.
And uneducated people didn’t have this thinking.
Mongolia did not have clan surnames, or family surnames, only tribal and noble clan surnames.
Dalintai was a slave owner, and he was a typical slave owner who couldn’t even get enough to eat.
He also wouldn’t abuse his slaves, but if he couldn’t eat enough, the slaves were even worse off.
However, he could live in a yurt, with his own flock of sheep and horses. The slaves sleep out in the open, he had clothes to wear, but the slaves did not.
Slaves would have children, and the children were still slaves.
However, these children sometimes lived to grow up, but more often they died of starvation or cold.
A small illness could take away a life.
When Dalintai was born, his grandfather was seventy years old, so his name was the age of his grandfather.
His wife was also the daughter of a nearby slave owner, who bore him two sons.
His sons were getting bigger and bigger, and their appetites were getting better and better, and they yearned for a wider world.
They have been discussing the coming of Toqto’a recently.
“He doesn’t deserve to be a Mongolian!” His eldest son was always like this, he would be angry when he mentioned Toqto’a, “We Mongolians are not afraid of war!”
His younger son had been a follower of his older son since he was a child. He also said what his elder brother said: “Yes!”
But with Toqto’a’s arrival, so did the merchants.
It was the first time for Dalintai to do business with merchants. In exchange for his sheep, he received several times more grain than in previous years, and he also received salt and sugar, as well as sauces from the Central Plains.
The merchant also said to him, “Your sheep are well raised.”
The merchants could speak their language, although it was not fully proficient, he could understand it.
There were more things in the house, and even the slaves could eat a little more than before.
Merchants would also bring some jewelry, which were not expensive. They said that they were gold-plated and silver-plated, not solid gold and silver, so they were very cheap.
They would also bring cotton and silk, as well as cotton-padded clothes for winter.
Dalintai then heard his sons’ tone change when they mentioned Toqto’a.
His eldest son said: “After all, he is a Mongolian, and Toqto’a still remembers us.”
His youngest son also said: “I heard that Hala Zhang is very powerful! His knife is very powerful!”
Toqto’a used interests and benefits to make them change, and Hala Zhang used martial strength to make them change.
Especially after this father and son pair came, their life had indeed improved, getting better day by day.
Dalintai also bought a silver hairpin for his wife.
Copying how the merchant showed him, he put it in his wife’s hair.
“I wonder what a city of the Han people is like.” His wife touched the silver hairpin in her hair with an envious look on her face.
The merchants brought a lot of things. Their family couldn’t afford silk, so they only bought cotton-padded clothes for winter. She had never seen such light but thick clothes, which were soft and warm.
Dalintai said with a smile: “Meat is not worth much here, but it will be worth more in a Han city.”
His wife nodded. They bought a lot of salt this year. Even the slaves could taste a little salt. The slaves now worked harder.
Sometimes the people brought by the merchants also spoke to the slaves.
Merchants would buy slaves from slave owners to carry goods. A slave was even worth more than a cow.
Many slave owners sold their slaves.
There would never be a shortage of slaves.
There were always slaves who have children, and there were always noble families who become slaves.
So the merchants would take these slaves to do business.
When merchants and slave owners negotiate business, the merchants’ slaves would also stay with the slave owners’ slaves.
Clearly they were all slaves, but the slaves of the merchants could wear cloth clothes, and some could also carry short knives.
“Your master is so kind to you?” The barely clad slave looked at his former fellow slave with jealousy.
After his fellow slave was bought by the merchant, he thought that he would go do heavy work and would die soon.
But he didn’t expect that they would see each other again. And when they saw each other, his fellow slave also wore clothes that only their masters could wear, and could also carry short knives.
That was a short knife! Even the slave owners didn’t have many n their possession.
His fellow slave smiled and said, “I now have a name. I am the first slave that my lord bought. My lord said that my name is no Ah Da, and he also said that there are no slaves in the Central Plains. From now on, I will be the servant of my lord, and after my lord finishes selling the goods, he will take me back to the Central Plains, and when I repay the money that my lord spent to buy me, my lord will give me wages.”
The slaves didn’t believe it: “Han people are very treacherous, they are all lies, and when you arrive in the Central Plains, he will kill you.”
Ah Da touched his clothes: “Still, that’s not a loss, I’m not a slave now.”
The slaves were taken aback and looked at Ah Da.
Ah Da said, “I don’t know who my parents are. If I am still a slave, my children wouldn’t know who their parents are either.”
“But I will not be a slave in the future, I can have my own wife and children.”
The slaves said again: “When you go to the lace of the Han people they will beat you.”
Ah Da said, “I have been to a Han city.”
It was the city closest to the Mongolian tribes, with high walls and a lot of people.
“The Han people in the city didn’t beat me.” Ah Da’s eyes widened, “There are also many slaves in the city!”
“After they were sold over, they began to work under the hands of the Han people. One of the slaves is very amazing.”
“He paid back the money that the Han people spent to buy him, and he also bought a house there. He is very good at carpentry!” Ah Da said enviously, “I’ve passed by outside his house, which is built of bricks and tiles.”
Ah Da said excitedly, “He’s getting married!”
The slaves were startled: “Who wants to marry a slave!”
Ah Da said: “His carpenter master’s daughter is willing to marry him.”
Ah Da gestured wildly: “Because he is a great woodworker now! He can make a lot of money!”
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Ah Da said longingly: “After a few more trips, I will be able to pay off the money that my lord bought me with. Then I will go to the city and I can find a job, build my own house, and marry and have children.”
The slaves looked at him stupidly.
They didn’t know if he was the one dreaming or if they were the ones dreaming.
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