Chapter 136 – Rogue Scholar (12)
The bookstore shopkeeper gave Li Xiucai a deep look and asked, “Do you know Yan Da?”
Li Xiucai said, “You mean the bastard who abducted the young master of the Wei family?”
As a casino thug, Yan Da did not interact with scholars like Li Xiucai before. Li Xiucai devoted himself to reading and didn’t really know this person before.
But recently he became aware of him.
The youngest master of the Wei family actually followed a scoundrel and ran away… In Donggu County, no one doesn’t know.
He also doesn’t know why the Wei family did not cover it up…
“I heard that this Yan Da is a casino thug, always beating people!”
“Why did the boss ask about him?”
“It’s a pity that Wei Lingxiu is willing to fall…”
Several xiucai other than Li Xiucai have made a few remarks.
This bookstore is owned by the Wei family in the capital and the shopkeeper who came from a side branch of the Wei family also has the surname Wei. At this moment, Shopkeeper Wei glances at these scholars meaningfully and said: “If you want calligraphy, I have to ask first.”
“Can there be a reply in more than a few days?” Li Xiucai asked.
“You wait in the store and you will get an answer soon,” Shopkeeper Wei said.
“Is he in the store?” Li Xiucai was surprised.
Shopkeeper Wei nodded and took the “Three Character Classic” returned to him by Li Xiucai and went into the backyard.
When he entered, Yan Jing Ze was copying a famous comment on “University”.
Shopkeeper Wei leaned over and saw a surprisingly good handwriting.
Shopkeeper Wei is literate but he has no academic title. He let Yan Jing Ze copy books in the bookstore because he also wanted to make a good connection but because he was afraid of trouble, he never publicized it.
Unexpectedly, Yan Jing Ze could actually write such characters…
Shopkeeper Wei said: “Yan Jing Ze, I have something to ask for you.”
“What’s the matter, shopkeeper?” Yan Jing Ze asked, not copying the book after speaking, but took a travel note next to it and read it.
He always wants to learn more.
Shopkeeper Wei asked, “How did you write this character?” Although he could not read, he still has the ability to appreciate. Yan Jing Ze’s handwriting is really good!
If not, those xiucai would not have thought it was written by a calligraphy master.
“Practiced according to that unsold writing outside,” Yan Jing Ze said.
Shopkeeper Wei: “…” The writing outside is actually not an authentic copy of the previous dynasty’s calligraphy master, but a fake. But it is enough even if it is fake, it is still very valuable, and it is the treasure of their shop.
“What’s the matter?” Yan Jing Ze looked at Shopkeeper Wei and suddenly realized something: “Someone saw my writing?”
Shopkeeper Wei didn’t conceal it, he directly told the situation outside, and also said that they had returned the Three Character Classic back.
“Who are those few xiucai?” Yan Jing Ze asked.
Shopkeeper Wei talked about their identities—he basically knew all the scholars in Donggu County.
Li Xiucai is a linsheng? Yan Jing Ze was extremely pleasantly surprised.
Shopkeeper Wei said: “Yes, he is one of the guarantors in Donggu County and it is very likely that he will be admitted to Juren.”
Yan Jing Ze was moved and immediately said: “Shopkeeper, tell him that as long as he is willing to be my guarantor during the county test, this Three Character Classic belongs to him, and I am willing to write another calligraphy for him.”
In the bookstore, Li Xiucai and others were waiting anxiously, and they were also a little confused: “Then everyone, are you staying in this small bookstore?”
“That person is probably from the Wei family in the capital city, so when he came to Donggu County, he stayed in the bookstore temporarily.”
“I don’t know what kind of person it is!”
They flipped through the Three Character Classic for a long time yesterday and no character was altered in the whole book!
That person is not only good at calligraphy, but also extremely patient, which is admirable.
Just as they were waiting, they saw Shopkeeper Wei coming out.
Li Xiucai quickly greeted him: “Shopkeeper Wei!”
“Li Xiucai, that person is willing to give you calligraphy,” Shopkeeper Wei said.
“How much silver taels does he want?” Li Xiucai asked hurriedly.
“He has only one request… let you be his guarantor in the county examinations next year,” Shopkeeper Wei said.
Li Xiucai and the others were all dumbfounded: “His guarantor?”
Those who can write such characters must be knowledgeable in their opinion and certainly not young.
They have long since made up the image of a middle-aged literati who is 40 or 50 years old and has a profound knowledge.
As a result, now, that person actually wants them to be his guarantor? Did they get it wrong?
“Yes, if you are willing to be his guarantor, he will give you this Three Character Classic and another calligraphy,” Shopkeeper Wei said.
Li Xiucai always thinks all this is too strange: “Is he born in this county? Is he born innocent?”
Shopkeeper Wei twitched his mouth: “He was born in this county and he was born innocent.” Yan Da’s household registration clearly shows a “farmer”.
“I’m willing to be his guarantor!” Li Xiucai said, “I wonder if I can meet him?” Is this someone obsessed with calligraphy, so that they have never tried to get an academic title?
Li Xiucai thought a lot for a while, but Shopkeeper Wei said: “Yes, please come inside.”
Li Xiucai smiled upon hearing the words and followed Shopkeeper Wei and walked in. As a result, as soon as he entered the courtyard, he saw a very tall man.
People in Jiangnan (South) are generally not tall, those who were from poor families are especially short. Li Xucai’s family is rich and his height is not small.
But even so, this person is much taller than him.
Such a tall person… Li Xiucai blurted out, “Yan Da?”
He had also seen Yan Da before, but he didn’t care about it at the time, and he didn’t get to know Yan Da until after Wei Lingxiu’s incident happened.
This kind of person, Li Xiucai is contemptuous in his heart and disdains to be with him. Now he points to Yan Jing Ze and asks Shopkeeper Wei: “Why is this person here?”
Shopkeeper Wei ignored Li Xiucai, instead looking at Yan Jing Ze: “Li Xiucai is willing to be your guarantor.”
Li Xiucai and the others were dumbfounded when they heard the words of Shopkeeper Wei.
Just now, they only promised to give a guarantee to the calligraphy master who wrote the Three Character Classic, they didn’t promise to give a guarantee to this Yan Da. And this Yan Da… why does he need them to be his guarantor?
Guarantee for him so he can borrow the money?
“Shopkeeper Wei, what do you mean by that?” Li Xiucai asked.
Shopkeeper Wei pointed to Yan Da and said: “That book of Three Character Classic, he wrote it.”
Li Xiucai and others: “……” Are they still dreaming and not awake?
While Yan Jing Ze was discussing with Li Xiucai about guaranteeing himself, on the other hand, his casino underlings have been drinking and chatting with the county magistrate.
By the way, the constable belongs to the “lowly profession”, their descendants are not allowed to take the imperial examination to avoid dishonoring themselves. Not only that, they can only receive about ten taels of silver from the county government every year. There is no problem if they only want to support themselves, but it they want to support their family, it is difficult. So, they often think of other “money making” ways.
Receiving money is a small thing, they can also do extortion. It is more common for them to work part-time in a casino as a thug.
Yan Da is very familiar with them, and have some friendships.
The magistrate of Donggu County, Surnamed Zhu, has just arrived in Donggu County not long after.
In a relatively wealthy county like Donggu County, the local squires have great powers. Many county officials have come. They have no way to control affairs outside the county office. They are always restricted by others and can only follow the old rules. This county magistrate Zhu is one of them.
But the local squires will not oppress the people. The good of the people is the good of all… So even if the county magistrate can only do things according to local rules, he still has some political achievements, and some filial piety can also be taken. Peacefully work for a few years, he can be promoted and make a fortune elsewhere.
But it is still quite depressing.
The good thing is, even if the local rules are strong, such things like the county test is still in the county magistrate’s control.
The county test next year received the attention of the County Magistrate Zhu.
On this day, County Magistrate Zhu was wandering in the county office, and suddenly heard a few constables talking, he said quickly: “Yan Da, that bully, has he concentrated on learning?”
“Indeed! After the young master of the Wei family gave him a few enlightenment books, he vowed never to be a loafer again, and to concentrate on his studies!”
“There is such a thing?”
“This is still false! Our Donggu County is really a place with great people, and the county magistrate is even more capable, so much so that he can make such a bully like Yan Da start studying!”
County Magistrate Zhu’s family is rich and his family also have some skills, so he could come to such a wealthy county seat with good political achievements as the magistrate.
The only bad thing about coming here is that there is nothing to do and it’s too leisurely, so much so that the County Magistrate Zhu likes to hear people talk about gossip.
He had heard about that Yan Da thing.
He originally had a good impression of Wei Zhiyuan. After all, this person had been teaching in the capital city and didn’t cause him trouble, but recently, he had a lot of opinions on Wei Zhiyuan.
If your child is wrong, you should educate him behind closed doors. But Wei Zhiyuan actually kicked his son out of the house and also made a lot of noise…
But those things had nothing to do with him, so he just watched a joke, and by the way inquired about who Yan Da was.
Isn’t that Yan Da said to have been running rampant in the countryside? Now he’s started studying? Is there such a thing?
County Magistrate Zhu hurriedly called the constables to inquire.
Those few constables said quickly: “Your Excellency, we heard that too.”
“I heard that Yan Da has a great memory ability and he plans to take the county test next year!”
“Recently, he has been copying books at the Wei family bookstore.”
While talking, a constable said, “Your Excellency, if this bully changes his ways and starts studying, is it a political achievement?”
County Magistrate Zhu was moved and thought for a while and said, “I’ll go to the Wei’s bookstore!”
He has nothing to do, so it is better to watch the excitement.
Yan Jing Ze went to find his little brothers yesterday because he saw that the former officials were able to make “reforming the bullies” a political achievement, so he asked them to find a way to say a few words in front of the county magistrate.
He is not hoping for the County Magistrate Zhu to really take him as a political achievement, as long as it can leave an impression in front of Magistrate Zhu, it is good.
After that, he naturally had other ways to make County Magistrate Zhu pay attention to himself.
For example, he has already planned to do “good deeds” everywhere after saving some more money.
As for doing good deeds… It’s still very simple, just let his subordinates cooperate with him and let them pretend to fall in the water, and then he will come and save people in front of the county magistrate!
Then try to let the county magistrate know about his talent, as long as the County Magistrate Zhu is not pedantic, he will be able to look at him differently.
You know, a county that has more scholars than other counties is also a political achievement!
It’s just that, Yan Jing Ze himself didn’t expect that the characters he practiced casually would work so well, and he didn’t know that County Magistrate Zhu loved to gossip and was planning to come and see himself.
I felt bad for that cliffhanger in c135 so I uploaded another chapter today. XD