Chapter 1050: Hundred Times Stronger
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
In just a month, the official system of Great Gan was on the verge of collapsing.
Even in the Meeting Hall, they were many of them who reported sick or just decided to resign.
Not only was it because of the threat of the Demon Sect striking and killing all around, but it was also because of the 17 million troops gathered near Henglian Mountain Range.
A full 400,000 Xuan and Huang Grade Dao Soldiers were already at the border.
Apart from that, there were 20 Nine Tooth Giant Ships as well as hundreds of Seven Tooth Warships which were gathered in the cloud ocean near to the south.
It formed a suppressive atmosphere, they were just waiting for everything to be prepared before they would sweep the south.
At this point, the large majority of Great Gan still trusted in Zong Shou. Especially those martial generals who trusted him almost blindly.
Since Zong Shou took to the throne, he did many preposterous things but he won every battle and conquered everything he attacked. Many times, he won against armies that outnumbered him and he helped to solidify Great Gan’s foundations.
This was why even if they knew that Zong Shou was living life leisurely during this month, they were still unfazed.
However, there was a portion who had higher hopes for Great Shang.
“Great Gan has problems both inside and outside while Ruler still hides deep in his palace. How unbecoming is that?”
“In the past, Qin Emperor burned the books to get rid of Confucianism, and in the end his country was wiped out in a generation. Great Gan won’t be any better.”
“Although Ruler is really talented, he is just too young. He is too confident and arrogant, what a waste…”
“Great Shang is going all out and they are really strong, having six times more troops than us! Actually, if we take a step back and defend Huizhou and South Wind Cloud Continent, we might still have a chance of winning.”
“Looking back to a month ago, he didn’t touch any governance matters and didn’t meet any officials. What is the difference between him and those Ignorant Rulers who didn’t care about ruling in the past?”
“Although Gantian Mountain, at the moment, is more prosperous than Imperial City, I think it is not far from collapsing. Like a Blooming Cereus, it is only beautiful for just that moment. What a waste…”
Although Zong Shou was within Hanyan Palace, he was still able to receive news. The Hidden Guards would naturally copy the words and writings of those officials over.
Zong Shou didn’t take them to heart. What those people were talking about was the truth. He did hate governance and wasn’t willing to spend too much time on it.
Actually, just resigning to avoid trouble was light once. There were many nobles who were tempted by Great Shang and the two factions and joined them in the dark.
At this moment, Great Gan was relying solely on Renbo and the others to barely survive and maintain governance.
However, with large numbers of officials and Meeting Hall participants quitting, it was really tough on Renbo and the others, but there were still some benefits.
Although Zong Shou didn’t bother about those complicated matters, during the month that he was back, he had been planning and pushing out several policies.
With those officials leaving, their interference was reduced to the lowest point.
The first thing was to gather scholars to fix and change the country laws. Naturally, Renbo didn’t oppose this matter.
At this moment, Great Gan’s laws still carried on from the barbarian times and it really wasn’t appropriate.
Zong Shou wanted to remove all kinds of punishment that involved breaking arms and whipping people’s backs and turn them into labor punishments.
He wanted to change the three law divisions and merge them into one, being totally independent out of the six ministries, only controlled by the Censorate and the Meeting Hall.
The Ministry of Justice would be removed and one more Ministry of Trade would be added.
“However, if punishments are too light, how will the people follow the laws? Why is there a need for the three law divisions to be independent?”
Not only Renbo, but the many officials within the cabinet were filled with questions.
“Physical punishment is painful and cruel, such that normal people wouldn’t be able to recover and it will affect the labor in the nation. I feel that the importance is not in the punishment but in making them guilty and learning from their mistakes, to persuade them to become better. To make the people follow the laws, it doesn’t depend on the weight of the punishment but in fairness. We must follow the laws and let there be no selfishness and unfairness.”
Although Great Gan had laws now, there were cases of people abusing their power.
Gantian Mountain City was still okay but there were cases of nobles acting preposterously in other cities. There were some who even avoided punishment, totally ignoring the law.
If this continued, how would the people of Gantian be willing and happy?
Regarding the three original law divisions, Zong Shou was disappointed. He decided to make them independent, only controlled by the Meeting Hall, Censorate, and him. In the future, the nobles in the cabinet wouldn’t be able to influence things.
“We have to follow all laws?”
Renbo muttered and then gave out a bitter smile. Even if he was an honest person, actually he had many flaws too.
The Confucians in the Cloud World always felt that kindness was much more important than laws. This was why loved ones helped out one another. They felt that since the Saints taught that, then it was true.
If people didn’t follow laws and everyone helped out people they wanted to, even a strong country would become weak and slowly become corrupted.
Ruler, as expected, was really annoyed with the Confucians.
The officials who remained now were either loyal toward Zong Shou and believed in him all the way, or they were pure and honest, not afraid of the threats of the Demon Sect. Either that or they had high hopes of Great Gan and wanted to show support.
Zong Shou was adamant about it and although Renbo wanted to stop him, there was nothing he could do.
The second policy was to help out the farmers.
This matter was something that Renbo had no objection to. With the Spiritual Wave rising up, martial artists and spirit masters would easily obtain large amounts of riches.
On the contrary, the farmers were getting less and less. Giving them monetary help would allow the farmers to maintain their livelihood. It was a good plan and it helped to bring in more farmers.
It was the third one that shocked Renbo and made him feel a chill down his spine.
Zong Shou actually wanted to set up minimum wage and restrict work hours. He also wanted to set up many benefits in terms of income. He ordered the Cabinet to set up an old age plan like the army people had.
This method was to open the eyes of all people in Great Gan, to allow the workers to be able to live comfortably.
Renbo knew that if this plan was pushed out, who knew how many nobles in Great Gan would hate him to the bone.
As for the benefits, to set up an old age policy for them, it was still okay. Zong Shou wasn’t willing to put the money into the military and he couldn’t do anything about that.
However, he would definitely try to persuade Zong Shou regarding this policy.
“The pay should be decided by the employer. If the pay is high, then naturally it will be popular and more people will join; if it is low, people won’t bother. Why does the court need to stop them? Moreover, this isn’t the right time either…”
Zong Shou shook his head. He didn’t call to see Renbo, he just told someone he trusted to send out an unofficial document.
“The way of economics is in spending! At the moment, Great Gan has many laborers but little jobs. With employees lowering salaries and if this goes on, sooner or later, our people will starve. If the people have no money, even if we build many artifacts, who will spend money to buy them?Restricting working hours will help to increase jobs. As the Prime Minister, you should understand and you can’t be controlled by those rich people.”
Gantian Mountain looked prosperous on the surface but Zong Shou knew that in the dark there were many people who didn’t eat, working 20 hours a day, spending their time like they were dogs…
Actually, he was too lazy to bother about the life and deaths of those people, but if they worked for long, they would occupy the position of others and it was really inappropriate.
“As for the timing, this will be pushed out after the battle with Great Shang ends. Prime Minister doesn’t need to worry! If you are unwilling, you can resign and let Zhang Huai take over…”
After knowing that it was going to be pushed out after the war, Renbo heaved a sigh of relief.
If they really did this before, then before the war even started, Great Gan was going to enter a chaotic state.
As for the last statement, Renbo burst out laughing. Was the Ruler trying to provoke him?
Speaking of which, his second period of appointment was about to end.
Great Shang prevented Cabinet Prime Ministers from holding two consecutive terms in office but he could take over 10 years later.
However, if Ruler really wanted to run that policy, he didn’t fear.
Although it would anger those merchants, those nobles didn’t bother with that bit of money.
Once it was pushed out, it would accumulate huge fame among the commoners. 10 years from now, he would easily become Prime Minister once more.
However, as for this economic path, how restricting work hours and setting a minimum wage would help the nation, that was something that he didn’t trust. He needed to investigate it and balance the pros and cons before he could make a decision.
If it harmed the country, then even if he offended Zong Shou again, he would go all out to stop him.
The fourth one would be to clear out the farmland in the world and for the government to control grain. Grain was prohibited from being privately sold and only Great Gan could sell it to the people without land.
This was another policy that offended all nobles.
There was plenty of farmland in the world and the farmland of those nobles were mostly not taxed.
Zong Shou, with just this policy, had taken away numerous benefits of those people.
Luckily, very few people knew about these two policies and they were people really close to Zong Shou.
Otherwise, if this spread out, it would definitely cause a huge wave.
Zong Shou also seemed to want to push out this policy after the battle with Great Shang.
Renbo was both nervous and also shocked.
The Ruler was prepared to push back Great Shang before starting to work on the nobles in the country.
“Prime Minister, don’t worry, this policy is much easier to do than expected. With the Spiritual Wave rising up, martial experts will rise. We just need a Grade Four Mind Stone to live well. Our Great Gan is prosperous and trading is much better than farming. My family was planning to seel the farmland out too.”
Of course, Xu Shu knew about the few policies and knew about the details within.
“This is a good policy. If the officials can standardize taxes, it would be a huge benefit to the dynasty. Since we collect grain, then we will hand out reliefs, so there won’t be many losses.”
Renbo was stunned and then smiled bitterly, “Naturally, it is a good thing. Even if the opposition is too much, I will go all out. However, I really can’t understand Ruler.”
“Ruler really can’t be bothered with politics but looking at his methods, he is rebuilding a house. He is changing the pillars and restructuring the system.”
Xu Shu laughed, his eyes glowing, “I don’t know what others think, but in my eyes, Ruler is undoubtedly a Saint Ruler! He is hundreds of times stronger than that Great Shang Yinyu!”