Shen’s father and son did not get to go home without consequences for buying the test. Shen Yi Bin had the Emperor’s ultimatum- after the investigation finished he had to take the new palace test, if he does not win the champion position, he could not become an official in the future.
This shows the high expectations of Tian Chen Emperor for Shen Yi Bin. As long as he really gets the campion spot, his future would be set.
Shen mother turned several laps around her son, happily she said, “I knew my son was the world’s most intelligent son, since he was small he was clever.”
Shen father was proud of his son’s cleverness, but he was also a little angry. He thought his son was a wounded Zhongyong, but he was actually deliberately concealed. Just remembering the past few days really made him both angry and happy.
“Yi Bin, father thought about it, I think you were right, the Seven Princes is too unrighteous. Since your sister is no longer beloved, we will change our lots to another prince.” Shen father stroked his beard and sighed.
“But if we do not help the Seven Princes, wouldn’t Qiao Dan’s position in the house be even sadder?” Shen mother’s eyes were red.
“Mother look to the future, as long as Shen Jia does not fall, the Seven Princes wouldn’t dare to move against sister. Plus, son heard the Seven Princes now only pets concubine Xie, the other women are treated as air. If we support the Seven Princes, the one to profit will not be sister, but the pampered Xie. So, why should we do that thankless thing? “Zhou Yun Sheng patted his mother’s back.
Shen mother thought about the recent events. It’s true that Seven Princes refused to help, and also denounced and banned her daughter. The Shen family was really treated like dirt, so she no longer opposed.
Because the Imperial eunuchs stole the test questions, Tian Chen Emperor went on an inner palace cleaning spree. He put a nail in all the information routes out of the palace, so the Seven Princes still did not know that the master tax strategy was actually written by the unwitting Shen Yi Bin.
Xie Yurou was reborn, she cleverly made the acquaintance of the ministers who supported the Seven Princes in her past life, one of which was the master who was behind the outstanding answers in the past test, Lin Wenjie.
When she learned that the Emperor was impressed by a wonderful strategy and was searching Beijing to find the author, she mentioned Lin Wenjie to the Seven Princes, only saying that she accidentally found a smart master strategist, prompting the Seven Princes to contact him.
Seven Princes wanted to please his father, but also recruit a talent, so he personally found Lin Wenjie.
Lin Wenjie was a concubine’s son who was suppressed by the wife. He wanted to participate in the tests but the wife was not willing to find a guarantor for him, and also instructed the servants to burn his various clerical letters so he couldn’t escape her pressure.
He had a hard life and had to write poetry to earn money, but the passage of time caused his name to become known locally. As the Spring Quarters neared, people flocked to his door all to write an ‘adjust the rent’ paper. They repeatedly told him not to discourse the work, and not to write the same article in public in the future. The payment was also quite a motivator.
But Lin Wenjie was clever and soon thought to take advantage of this opportunity. So he devoted himself to study for a few days and wrote a wonderful article, afterwards he sold the article to as many buyers as possible. He did so in order to escalate the situation so Tian Chen Emperor would notice him.
Therefore, when the Seven Princes came to his door, he was already in his best robe and welcomed him in.
Seven Princes talked with him a lot, feeling that he really was extraordinary, he explained the situation. Lin Wenjie’s article had spread between the examiners, and then spread around the court, but Zhou Yunsheng’s article was cautiously collected by Tian Chen, he also told the examiners not to spread out the article so that people with ulterior motives could not make a profit. So the Seven Princes only knew Lin Wenjie’s strategy, he did not know there was one far better than it.
When he heard that two people had the same article, Lin Wenjie pretended to be fearful, “The original “rent adjustment” was actually written here, cao min is ignorant, cao min deserves to die!”
Seven Princes quickly picked up him, he explained that his father didn’t blame him, but was actually looking for him so that he could serve in the court. Lin Wenjie’s heart was ecstatic, but he pretend to refuse several times before the Seven Princes “convinced” him to work in the palace.
In the Government Hall, Tian Chen only looked at Lin Wenjie with dull eyes, when Lin Wenjie’s cold sweat was resembling a waterfall, he opened: “Since you say that the article was written by you, can you recite it for me?”
Lin Wenjie settled himself and recited the letter.
Tian Chen Emperor’s cold expression turned into contempt, followed by a little pity. If there was no Zhou Yun Sheng, Tian Chen Emperor would’ve picked his article as the winner instead. But he had also been very curious about who was the writer of the other article, he even planned to find him and use him if he had a good character. However, this person heard that there was an outstanding test in the palace and rushed over to claim it. Anyone could see that his utilitarian heartwas very heavy, and his pride was high, compared to the free and easy, pure and natural Shen Yi Bin, he was simply unsightly.
“Enough, this article is good, but not good enough to impress me. You learned well, but don’t be so quick to claim success.” Tian Chen Emperor picked up the read worn article and handed it to a nearby eunuch “Take a look at this, and learn why you lost.”
Lin Wenjie knew that he had miscalculated, he fought against his growing fear to read the article, after a while he paled.
“Young Seven, you look too.” Tian Chen Emperor waved his sleeves.
Seven Princes did according to his words, after reading he was shocked.
“I can’t believe it. Full of grace, elegant, so remarkable, dare I ask father who is the learned scholar who made this?” Seven Princes worshiped.
“Was it not your brother-in-law?” Tian Chen Emperor laughed and said, “He wanted more time to play, so he actually behaved foolishly in front of Shen official for a few years. If he was not forced into a desperate situation, I do not know how long he would’ve stayed hidden.”
Seven Princes’ heart fiercely jump, stunned, he froze before the royal throne.
Tian Chen Emperor was too lazy to explain and walked away, “I am tired, you may leave. When you both calm down, remember that there are people beyond people, and skies beyond skies.”
Lin Wenjie was ashamed, he repeatedly kneeled and bowed behind the retreating back. Seven Princes sent him home, no longer concerned with recruiting him. Sitting in the carriage, he carefully recalled the strategy.
Such a beautiful article was from Shen Yi Bin’s hand, he really didn’t expect that. However, his father is wise and resolute in finding talent, if he said yes, it must not be wrong.
He thought of the embarrassing situation that just occurred because of his desire for his father’s praise; He thought of his father’s esteem for Shen Yi Bin; Then, he thought of his cold treatment of Shen Qiao Dan and Shen Jia. By now, Shen must’ve cast him out of their hearts. Seven Princes’ cheek reddened, like he received dozens of slaps, his cheeks even felt a dull pain.
Shen Yi Bin will definitely be offered a high position, and Shen Hui’s position will also greatly improve. To lose Shen Yi Bin and his father’s support was no different than losing his right arm. Seven Princes’ regret was insurmountable. Then he remembered that his own Xie Yurou misled him to hate them. When he returned to his palace he was incensed with her.
She’d thought that she’d witness the destruction of Shen Hui’s career, but unexpectedly, Shen Yi Bin appeared, and he was even more capable than Shen Hui. Xie Yurou carefully recalled Shen Yi Bin’s last life. In her memory he was a real dandy, she had not seen the slightest bit of talent for learning.
Shen Yi Bin was a dandy, while Shen Hui had his status he was naturally happy to play around. In this life she almost forced his family to ruin, he was also cornered and punished. Did her self-assertion lead to this mutation? Then in the future, wouldn’t her meddling cause more changes? Without the support of Shen Jia, can the Seven Princes even successfully ascend the throne?
Thinking of this, Xie Yurou panicked in uncertainty. She cursed herself for acting too hastily, she actually picked up a stone to crush her own feet. But then she recalled that the Prince had left her behind in her last life when he had full support, giving him more support would’ve also lead to her self-destruction in this life, so she calmed down.
The source of the exam leak was finally found out, a large number of the Crown Prince’s officials were ousted. The Prince himself was also severely reprimanded by the Emperor in front of the court, and he lost a lot of face.
After two days, Tian Chen Emperor issued an Imperial edict that ordered the courtyard to reopen the trials.
Zhou Yunsheng straightforwardly passed the prerequisite trails and smoothly qualified for the palace test. This time, the topic of the test was still very simple, only four words – farming business. Its content was complex, the concept was abstract. The difficulty of the problem caused many students to frown, for a long time they didn’t dare to write.
Zhou Yunsheng closed his eyes for a moment, and when he opened his eyes his writing flowed like water- four categories of the people… the people of the country also … … is a man not an official, officials do not matter… businessmen… other countries are different… it is the old farmers and agriculture that have power… and the words and deeds… the worker and the clever speaker… the businesses and the business language… …
He abandoned the average ‘nobility vs lowly businessmen’ remarks, and wrote a comprehensive exposition of the various types of people’s contribution to social progress, especially business development and the major role it plays in a country. He didn’t mince words.
Most of the articles written for the Imperial examinations were stable, preferring peace, not willing to provoke the Emperor. But Zhou Yunsheng’s analysis through 007 reasoned why reform of the current Tian Chen tax system was needed, it also augured to open the sea ban and welcome foreign trade. This article did not poke the Emperor’s sore spots, but it did poke his itchy spots.
Sure enough, when Tian Chen Emperor went to his table, he only needed to see the first two lines to get transfixed, he read until the full text was finished then he actually applauded.
All the students looked up, they could already figure out who was this section’s champion.
The palace test ended and Tian Chen Emperor couldn’t wait to summon Zhou Yunsheng. They debated in the government hall, until the day turned black, then he reluctantly let him leave.
Three days later, a decree came down: Shen Yi Bin became a gold scholar and was awarded a position in the Imperial Academy. It was his first career yet he already became a minister near the Emperor, and he was only seventeen. If all went well for several years, he’d become part of the cabinet someday.
Today’s Shen Yi Bin became the hottest figure in Beijing, the door of Shen Jia was constantly flowing with people trying to flatter them and propose marriage.
Zhou Yunsheng used ‘career first, family later’ as a reason to push it off. Shen and Shen mother couldn’t disagree with his reasons and naturally allowed him to do as he wanted.
Seven Princes’ House.
Seven Princes was looking at Shen Qiao Dan’s gift list, he felt it was wrong and increased it by 30%, he opened warmly, ” After Yi Bin goes into the academy, it won’t be as easy to communicate with him, you are his sister, you should send him more things. ”
“Concubine knows, concubine will go to the treasury to look.” Shen Qiao Dan laughed sweetly, but she no longer felt even half a friendship with the Seven Princes. She already knew that she had been drugged and sterilized, she had long lost the will to fight for pet. But as long as her family was influential, her position in the palace could not be shaken. Rather than trying to please the Seven Princes, she’d try as much as possible to increase her brother’s feelings for her, since her family was all she could rely on.
Shen Qiao Dan went out into the main hall and met the haggard faced Xie Yurou, she couldn’t help but scornfully smile. What can you do even if you’re favored? As long as Shen Jia does not fall, you cannot surpass me! All your past plotting, sooner or later I’ll pay them back!
Zhongyong- Doctrine of the Mean. Britannica “…zhongyong means countless things: moderation, rectitude, objectivity, sincerity, honesty, truthfulness, propriety, equilibrium, and lack of prejudice.”
Cao min- Wild grass man/ grass roots. He’s calling himself a lowly civilian. I guess the equivalent would be calling yourself a country gal/boy.
Utilitarian heart- the strong desire for fame and fortune
People beyond people, and skies beyond skies- there’s always someone better than you out there.
Four categories of the people- Wikipedia “…a hierarchic social class structure developed in ancient China by either Confucian or Legalist scholars as far back as the late Zhou Dynasty and is considered a central part of the feudalism social structure”
Wiktionary “the four occupations of ancient China: scholars, farmers, artisans and merchants.”