For a moment, Zhao Zhong Shi didn’t hear clearly and only instinctively repeated.
“Who is the Great general’s youngest son, Zhao Shi Cheng? Ah! Isn’t that my son?” He nearly fell over in the palace. He said with a distorted expression, “No good! No good! How could De Pu be? Didn’t that mean he would be your subordinate?”
The magistrate of the capital was part of the civil official’s group. Of course, he was under Yang Wen Chang. If his son became Yang Wen Chang’s subordinate, then wouldn’t he be under the control of Yang Wen Chang? How will he, Zhao Zhong Shi, endure this humiliation?
Yang Wen Chang replied indifferently, “Isn’t Zhao Shi Cheng good? If we talk about qualifications, Zhao Shi Cheng already serves as the general of the Wudang army for a period. According to the law, the military officials above the provincial governor can all serve as magistrates. A military commander is fourth rank official, transferring to the post of magistrate is more than enough.”
He never said a word about the matter of a military commander being an empty title. Naturally, that was to insist on letting Zhao Shi Cheng becomes the magistrate, or else how will he move on with his plan?
Zhao Zhong Shi was rendered speechless. He looked at him tightly, eyes wide in disbelief.
Yang Wen Chang also said, “Moreover, Zhao Shi Cheng didn’t make any blunders serving as the general. Does the great general not trust your own son’s personal integrity?”
This time he captured Zhao Zhong Shi’s handle again. He was indeed unable of criticizing his own son’s integrity. Although he does things on an impulse, but he still wasn’t foolish enough; to say bad things about his son in front of the eunuch and all the official’s face. Furthermore, on the aspect of morals and integrity, his son really didn’t have anything bad.
Yang Wen Chang was even more pleased with himself in his heart. In the end, he also added in and said: “As an official, Zhao Shi Cheng never had any misdeeds. The position of the military commander also didn’t have any conflict caused by interest. I recommend this person who has both the ability and virtue. This servant won’t write off his talent because of his military official background. You must know that Zhao Shi Cheng also has excellent literary talent. He once made my daughter retreat in face of difficulties at the flower festival!”
On the surface, he made a small joke. But as a matter of fact, he really took it to heart the matter of his daughter facing defeat. Because of the evidence of his daughter stealing someone’s poem was irrefutable, the person who really lost face was him. Not to mention, Zhao Shi Cheng rejected to meet his daughter with the prospect of marriage in mind. This also made him lose face and gnash his teeth in hatred.
Zhao Zhong Shi was unwilling to consent. He couldn’t only risk his last bit of hope and clenched his teeth. “But my son never worked as a local official before. I’m afraid that being suddenly appointed as an official in the capital, and his lack of experience will lead to…”
“Which official didn’t work and learn along the way? Besides, this time, the first thing that the newly appointed official will investigate is the case of Zhao Shi Cheng being robbed. Won’t he do his utmost as the main victim? General Zhao, you must trust your son. Moreover, this official never recommends talent, based on their background and only look at their ability. Zhao Shi Cheng is warming up to his brilliance. It’s hard to say if he won’t amaze the world with a single, brilliant feat in the future.”
Yang Wen Chang’s words didn’t have a single flaw. No matter how unwilling Zhao Zhong Shi was, he could only accept this kind of result silently. It’s just he couldn’t help but feel weighed down by anxieties.
His youngest son was honest and frank. If he ended up in the hands of Yang Wen Chang, that old fox, then won’t he be tortured to death?
“Ok, then Zhao Shi Cheng it is!” The emperor saw Zhao Zhong Shi had nothing to say and used clappers to determine the verdict.
One imperial court and Zhao Shi Cheng skipped a rank soon afterwards. For other people, this was an extremely big bestowal. But for the Zhao family, it was still too hard to say whether it was a blessing or a calamity.
Zhao Shi Cheng was clearly robbed, but before the criminal could be captured, he promoted in a blink of an eye and became the magistrate of the capital. This extremely large change also made the people in the capital burst into an uproar. Those who were unaware of the situation were jealous of Zhao Shi Cheng’s good fortune. While those who were aware secretly broke out in a cold sweat for Zhao Shi Cheng.
After Zhao Shi Cheng had heard this news, he instantly became silent for a while and then he immediately ordered the servants to spread the news first.
This time, Tang Wan was publicly acknowledged as Zhao Shi Cheng’s lucky star. She had just married and already, Zhao Shi Cheng was promoted. She probably also didn’t know that her honest husband used business tricks to wash away her somewhat tragic tales. Now when she walked on the streets, the gazes people held towards her was no longer mostly pitying ones, but rather envy and admiration.
The magistrate’s yamen
[note] yamen-government office in feudal China [/note]
was paired with an official residence. The newly appointed magistrate could choose whether or not he would reside in it, on top of that, there was some matters he needed to undertake, therefore, Zhao Shi Cheng brought Tang Wan with him to the yamen before he assumed office.
When they first arrived at the magistrate yamen, there was already an old man standing in front of the entrance. When he saw the Zhao Shi Cheng couple, he rushed to greet them respectfully, “Ah! Zhao daren, you finally came. I already waited for you in the yamen for three days. My surname is Cao. I have served as the private adviser in the magistrate yamen for ten years and successfully served three magistrates. If you have any questions, you can ask me.”
“Private advisor Cao? You’re really diligent.” Zhao Shi Cheng haven’t told anyone else that he would come to the yamen today. This served to show that private advisor Cao really was always waiting here.
“I’m much obliged. I only wanted to keep my job. Besides, diligence cures clumsiness.” Private advisor Cao revealed a sincere smile.
This private advisor Cao was a really honest person. Because the duties of a private advisor were similar to a privately hired assistant to a ranking official or general, they generally left after the magistrate was relieved of his duties. A three-generation senior private advisor like private advisor Cao was quite seldom seen.
However, with regards to working as a magistrate, Zhao Shi Cheng was also utterly unfamiliar with it. Therefore, with an old man like private advisor Cao advising him nearby, he had a better time working as an official. For the time being, he didn’t have the idea of changing the private advisor.
“Private advisor Cao is worrying too much. This official had just come. It couldn’t be better with private advisor Cao’s help.”
“Phew…since daren said it in this way, I’m relieved. Then allow me to bring daren around to look at the yamen.” Private advisor Cao smiled as the corner of his eyes curved. His face really looked kind.
However, Tang Wan stared at him. Seemingly lost in thought, without saying a word. People who didn’t know her well would most certainly fall for her gentle and graceful bearing.
The magistrate yamen in the capital was on a grand scale. There was a screen wall in front of the government office. The two sides served as the meeting house. After they passed the door of etiquette.
[note] It is the second most important main entrance in the official residence, I think that’s what baidu said. Here’s a picture.
There were a courtroom and a gate stone.
[note] A gate stone is a large pillar that has words carved in it. I translated it to stone memorial gateway previously, that is correct. Sorry. [/note]
That was standing straight in front. The enormous, “Strict and fair,” four words made Zhao Shi Cheng have somewhat of a heavy heart. He suddenly had thorough apprehension of how big of the responsibility that he had accepted.
Inside the courtroom, the lintel of the door was already somewhat faded. The furniture was also extremely outdated. The sticks on either side also seemed like it was about to break. Zhao Shi Cheng looked at it with a half black face. When he walked out of the court room, the two sides in between the doors of etiquette were the attendant room.
Simply looking at the door’s tattered papering, he knew it was presumably not the least inside. When he lightly pushed, open the door plank and saw that the weapons, light amor, etc. was either corroded by rust or cracked. His expression already completely turned black.
Zhao Shi Cheng took in a breath and didn’t say a word. Upon seeing this, private advisor Cao couldn’t control the several drops of sweat rolling down.
After that, the husband and wife entered the dungeon from the room’s side door under the guide of private advisor Cao. It was precisely the prison used to imprison convicts. The prison only locked up a few convicts and the rest were empty prison cells. It looked like it wasn’t because the public security in the capital was great, rather the prison door’s railing was on the verge of collapse. Even people like Zhao Shi Cheng who wasn’t well versed in martial arts had certainty that a single pull will make it snap.
The group of people returned to the courtroom. Zhao Shi Cheng sighed solemnly and said, “The building is extremely worn out. The weapons are corroded by rust and outdated, this is our capital’s yamen? How much silvers will it take to repair everything?”
Private advisor Cao didn’t even think and said, “Replying to daren, thirty-seven thousand five hundred sixty-three silvers is probably enough.”
Zhao Shi Cheng was startled. “You remember it rather too clearly. How will I pay all of that money?”
“Daren, if you want to repair the yamen, the government will distribute the silvers. It’s just they won’t allocate that much for a single time. The time it takes to repair will probably be delayed for a bit longer.” Private advisor Cao answered earnestly.
“As long as you tell me to pay, then it’s good.” Zhao Shi Cheng let out a breath. “But how did the yamen in the capital become so worn out like this?”
Private advisor Cao struggled to say, “Zhao daren, the capital’s yamen was always a place where there was little money and many works. You also must provide for a bunch of magistracy officer. You also can’t toss the convicts in the prison aside and not take care of them. It was used from several hundred years to now. It’s already not bad it can still be used.”
“How come none of the previous darens didn’t want to repair it?” Zhao Shi Cheng didn’t understand.
“This…This is not something I can intervene in.” Private advisor Cao still smiled wryly.
Zhao Shi Cheng understood it now. Private advisor Cao just said that the government will allocate funds to renovate. But the reason it wasn’t renovated all along was obviously the money entered the previous magistrates’ pockets.
It seems that when Qian Yi was forced to retreat, he really wasn’t treated unjustly. If he continued to serve as the magistrate, then he reckoned even the magistracy officer’s clothes will all have to mend to be able to wear it.
“Alright, this official understands.”
Zhao Shi Cheng pressed his faintly aching forehead. He didn’t need looking at the following areas of the official residence. Even if he didn’t mind this run-down place, he still didn’t want Tang Wan to live in this place. It would be better for him to go the for an extra mile and walk to the yamen to work from the General residence every day.
“Private advisor Cao, you said the government will allocate funds, right? Then we’ll repair out yamen’s weapons first so it will be more effective when capturing criminals.”
Yet, the first order Zhao Shi Cheng made after he became the magistrate was interrupted by private advisor Cao. “Daren, I advise you to start repairing from the prison cells first. Or else, even if we arrested them, there would be no place for them to be locked up.”
Zhao Shi Cheng pondered for a while and nodded his head, this private advisor Cao really seemed to have some ability. “Then, we’ll handle this according to what you said.”
Originally, the course of visiting the yamen was going ending here. But Tang Wan, who had stayed silent the entire time, suddenly opened her mouth and said. “Private advisor Cao, you don’t like us that much?”
Private advisor Cao was shocked and speedily shook his head. “This servant doesn’t dare. Why does furen say this? It is my first time seeing daren and furen ah!”
“Because you seem to be…” Not that tasty! She knitted her eyebrows and slanted her head, staring straight at him.
It was undoubtedly a pair of eyes that was clear as water, but for some reason private advisor Cao felt scared in his heart as he looked at her.
“Alright, Wan er, maybe it’s because private advisor Cao is a little strict which is why you had some misconceptions. He is already a three-generation senior advisor. It’s natural that he acquired a little bit of the magistrate’s imposing manner.” Zhao Shi Cheng helped private advisor Cao absolve kind heartedly.
At last, private advisor Cao sent Zhao Shi Cheng and Tang Wan off. When the yamen’s main entrance closed, his respectful attitude disappeared and then changed into an imposing and dignified expression.
“This Zhao Shi Cheng was just like what the rumor said, honest and straightforward. Its Tang Wan who seemed to be rather shrewd. I have to pay more attention…”
T/n: Sorry for posting it late again. We’re halfway through the novel. I’m so excited. I can’t wait to reach the end. I made a poll for you guys to decide what the schedule would be like in the future.
Update: Chapter 17 is edited.