Chapter 138 – Rogue Scholar (14)
Such a character for twenty wen is definitely a very good deal.
But County Magistrate Zhu just watched him write quickly, and within a short while, he filled a piece of paper.
On this piece of paper, all in small print, there are three or four hundred characters… Is this money too easy to earn?
“This is the county magistrate!” Shopkeeper Wei pulled Yan Jing Ze for a moment and knelt down to salute himself.
“Your Excellency.” Yan Jing Ze hurriedly came out from behind the table, ready to salute, but was pulled by County Magistrate Zhu: “No need to be polite.”
“Thank you, Your Excellency!” Yan Jing Ze said.
“Are you Yan Da?” County Magistrate Zhu looked at the person in front of him curiously.
Officials are not allowed to be officials in their place of origin, and County Magistrate Zhu is not a southerner, but a northerner.
Northerners are tall, but there are few like Yan Jing Ze who can be this tall. In addition, this person’s face is as sharp as a knife, the sword eyebrows are straight, the complexion is dark, and there is a tough air. In short, he is not like a scholar.
“Caomin’s name is Yan Jing Ze, people outside call me Yan Da,” Yan Jing Ze said.
“It’s really better to see than to know… I didn’t expect you to write so well!” County Magistrate Zhu asked, “I wonder who your teacher is?”
“Caomin learned it by himself,” Yan Jing Ze said.
County Magistrate Zhu: “…” Did you learn such a good handwriting by yourself?
County Magistrate Zhu found it hard to believe, but Li Xiucai and others said one after another: “Your Excellency, Master Yan has the gift of seeing and not forgetting!”
“As long as he has read it, he can write it without fail!”
“Your Excellency, you can write a few words for him to learn!”
Just a moment ago, Li Xiucai and others had already admired Yan Jing Ze and called him “Master”
If a literati is only slightly better than others, everyone may be jealous of him, but if he is so much better than others, everyone can only look up.
Yan Jing Ze now belongs to people they can only look up to.
Hearing them say so, County Magistrate Zhu immediately wrote a few words to Yan Jing Ze: “Can you write as well as I do?”
Yan Jing Ze is best at imitating, he immediately wrote the exact same words, even more powerfully.
County Magistrate Zhu: “…” Jinshi exam can be taken once every three years and only two or three hundred people will be selected as jinshi at a time. As a jinshi, he is also a little arrogant. Forget about the others, this Donggu County’s xiucai and juren, he did not even put them in his eyes.
How many scholars have failed to pass the jinshi exam in their lifetime?
But now, he met Yan Jing Ze… Even if this person is not even a tongsheng, he dared not look down upon him.
County Magistrate Zhu immediately asked about others.
These days, Yan Jing Ze had already copied and remembered all the books for the examination. He also read a few commentaries that can be bought in bookstores.
Therefore, when the county magistrate Zhu asked these questions, he could answer them, but the answer was average.
This kind of knowledge is really not worthy of his handwriting… The County Magistrate Zhu asked: “How long have you studied?”
“Just studied for a few months,” Yan Jing Ze said.
County Magistrate Zhu: “…”
County Magistrate Zhu didn’t know what to say anymore, so he slowly asked, “Why do you suddenly want to study?”
“Your Excellency, I was in the county one day and saved Wei Lingxiu. He talked to me about reading and I became interested in reading,” Yan Jing Ze said.
County Magistrate Zhu had forgotten about Yan Jing Ze and Wei Lingxiu before. Now he heard Yan Jing Ze talk about it and couldn’t help asking: “You and the young master of the Wei family…”
“Your Excellency, caomin has been wronged!” Yan Jing Ze said: “Caomin originally went to discuss with Young Master Wei that day, I never thought that in the middle of the day, suddenly someone rushed in and said that we had done something illicit, and also arrested us to use personal punishment. Caomin could only take Young Master Wei and ran out…”
When he just arrived here, Yan Jing Ze only had the memory of the original owner, so he was straightforward. He just wanted to take Wei Lingxiu away so that Wei Lingxiu would not be beaten.
But now that he has read many books, he knows that things are not that simple.
Among other things, if Wei Lingxiu really receives a bad reputation, it will greatly hinder his future.
Some things still have to be covered up.
Nobody knows whether County Magistrate Zhu believed it or not, in any case he said: “So it is! Really, it only takes three people to create a tiger, rumors harm people!”
Li Xucai and others have responded.
As for Yan Jing Ze and Wei Lingxiu, when they left Wei’s house, they took so many things, it didn’t seem like they were running in a hurry… They were all rumors!
The County Magistrate Zhu said a lot to Yan Jing Ze before leaving. He also wished that Yan Jing Ze would have a smooth test. Obviously, he had a good impression of Yan Jing Ze. And with his words, Yan Jing Ze will be able to participate in the county exams, there is no obstacle.
As for Wei Lingxiu… Yan Jing Ze had another idea!
After County Magistrate Zhu left, Yan Jing Ze counted the words he had written, Li Xiucai and others also took out silver to pay.
They wanted to buy calligraphy today, so they brought silver taels.
It is inconvenient to use silver to pay the bill. At this time, the silver color varies, and the number of copper coins that can be exchanged is also different. They need to weigh…
It took a lot of effort just to pay.
After receiving the money, Yan Jing Ze went to the market to buy things.
The restaurants in Donggu County also sell cooked food. The most famous ones are roast chicken and braised duck. Yan Jing Ze bought six each, bought some wine, and went to the casino again.
He gave the wine to his former little brothers, leaving five roast chickens and five braised ducks, and seven or eight scattered pieces of silver.
Before long, some news spread in Donggu County.
“Have you heard? The young master of the Wei family was not expelled because he had an affair with Yan Da.”
“It was Mrs. Wei who was not used to this son left behind by the original wife, so she set him up to drive him out!”
“Who would even do such a thing in their own home and in broad daylight…”
“I heard that Wei Lingxiu’s maternal uncle was originally an official, and now something has happened, the Wei family wants to get rid of him!”
Such rumors are still very widespread.
Especially… Didn’t they always say that Young Master Wei is not educated? But recently, Zhao Xiucai always said that Wei Lingxiu was talented and smart, and even the questions that Wei Lingxiu asked were too difficult to answer, so much so that Zhao Xiucai finally went to ask other scholars.
It can be seen that the words of the Wei family are not credible.
So, when Wei Lingxiu went out, he found that more people looked at him with sympathetic eyes.
Wei Lingxiu: “…” What the hell is going on?
What shocked Wei Lingxiu even more was that that night, Yan Jing Ze was surprisingly generous and took out half a chicken and half a duck to share with him.
“Brother Yan, did you make a lot of money?” Wei Lingxiu asked. Yan Jing Ze is really frugal in spending money!
Yan Jing Ze immediately said about his own twenty wen per character, and then said about today’s encounter with the county magistrate, and finally said, “In the next two months, let’s focus on preparing for the exam, we must get a good score!”
Wei Lingxiu froze: “My father is going to remove my name from the genealogy… I…” If the Wei family really do this, he can’t go to the examination at all.
“You can rest assured that he will not!” Yan Jing Ze said.
The removal was mentioned by the younger brother of Wei Lingxiu before, but the ancestral hall is not something that can be opened whenever you want.
Generally speaking, at the end of the year, each family will open an ancestral hall together, and if there are more children in the family, or if a man marries a wife, the names of these people will be added to the genealogy.
Although the Wei family said that they would remove Wei Lingxiu, they hadn’t had time to do it yet—it was not yet time to open the ancestral hall for ancestor worship at the end of the year!
When the rumors spread… The Wei family is not only Wei Zhiyuan’s family, there are also other people, and those people may not necessarily agree to expel Wei Lingxiu.
The next day, after Yan Jing Ze sent Wei Lingxiu to Zhao Xiucai, he went to buy many things, including beds.
It’s so pitiful, he didn’t have a bed before, so he always slept on the door panel! Fortunately, many sheets and bedding were moved back from Wei Lingxiu’s house. He later bought a quilt, so the two of them were not frozen.
In addition to these, of course, he also spent money to have a few clothes made for himself to wear as a scholar.
Initially, when the merchants in Donggu County saw Yan Jing Ze they wore an expression of “I’m going to be unlucky, I can’t believe I met this person.” They hoped that Yan Jing Ze would not come to their family business to buy things, but a few months passed, the situation has changed. When they saw Yan Jing Ze, there were people smiling and greeting him.
This is the way in this world. A good person suddenly does a bad thing, which will make people’s impression of him worse, but if the bad person suddenly changes for the better… everyone’s impression of him can quickly improve.
Yan Jing Ze has never bought anything on credit recently, and has successively paid back the money owed by the original owner, flattering some merchants.
“So, Yan Da has really changed for the better?”
“He came to buy things from me recently and paid for them all.”
“Is he really planning to have a good life with that young master Wei?”
“Don’t talk nonsense, I heard that Young Master Wei and Yan Da have no relationship.”
“I heard people say that Yan Da is still studying recently…”
When all kinds of news spread, someone in the Wei family was fuming.
After driving Wei Lingxiu out, Wei Zhiyuan returned to Fucheng to teach, and only recently came back for the New Year.
He originally thought that after his eldest son was kicked out of the house, he would live in poverty, and it would not be unusual for him to die one day. As a result…
This guy had a good time and he even went to school?
Then Zhao Xiucai even praised him in every possible way?
There are also the rumors that have spread… It is difficult for Wei Zhiyuan not to be angry.
The old lady and Mrs. Wei were also angry, if Wei Lingxiu was at home, they could manage it. Now that Wei Lingxiu is not at home, what are they going to do? They can only say that Wei Lingxiu is unfilial when they go out to attend parties.
“Your eldest son is only eighteen and he didn’t even get married… Saying the he is unfilial, did he beat you or scold you?”
“Aren’t all people of this age studying, what unfilial things can be done?”
“Speaking of which, other people’s children, at the age of fifteen or sixteen, began to look for a wife, and you guys, before, were not at all anxious for him.”
Some people in Donggu County have a good relationship with the Wei family, and some have a bad relationship with the Wei family. Wei Lingxiu, this person… Ordinary people outside think that Wei Lingxiu used to eat and drink well, and seems to be favored by the Wei family, but they don’t think so.
They haven’t heard the Old Mrs. Wei and Mrs. Wei talk about Wei Lingxiu when they go out.
Wei Lingxiu was already eighteen but they didn’t worry about his lifelong affairs at all.
Even if Wei Lingxiu and that Yan Da have something wrong… When something like this happens to their child, how can they make such a big noise about it? Wei Lingxiu was talked about like this and it was definitely because the Wei family didn’t care about him.
The old Mrs. Wei was so angry that she couldn’t speak.
Meanwhile, a certain Lord Zhou, who returned to his hometown because of mourning in the next county, received a few more invitations.
These days, don’t know how many people have sent Lord Zhou invitations, among them there are juren and also xiucai, Lord Zhou is tired of it.
The good thing is, those xiucai, he can simply refuse to see.
“Who’s here?” Lord Zhou asked.
The Zhou family servants said they did not recognize, so Lord Zhou opened the greeting card.
After opening, Lord Zhou was stunned.
The characters on the greeting card… This handwriting is so great!
“This… this… good writing!” Lord Zhou said: “Quickly invite the person in! Have someone serve good tea!”
Lord Zhou held the greeting card and didn’t let it go. He wanted to copy it right away, but he wanted to see the person who handed the greeting card… He put down the greeting card in his hand, took a deep breath, and opened another greeting card to calm himself.
And these people came together, he always had to see the kind of people who came.
As a result…
“This…this…” The characters on this greeting card are as good as those on the previous greeting card! It’s just that the rings are fat and thin, each with its own characteristics.
Lord Zhou suddenly thought of something and went to read the rest of the greeting cards.
The remaining characters on the greeting cards are equally outstanding!
The calligraphy on these invitations varies, but they are all masterpieces. What’s even more amazing is that the authors of these invitations are still only xiucai from Donggu County.
He hasn’t returned to his hometown for a long time. Are the xiucai of Donggu County next door so good?!
Caomin – grassroots / humble one
- Jinshi (Advance Scholar) – Country Magistrate Zhu
- Gongshi (Tribute Scholar)
- Juren (Recommended Man) – Wei Zhiyuan
- Xiucai (Student Member) – Zhao Xiucai, etc.
- (Linshi/Top Scorer) – Li Xiucai
- Tongsheng (Child Student) – Wei Lingyuan
The Chinese idiom “it takes only three people to create a tiger” tells the story of a young but inexperienced Chinese emperor in ancient times.
This young emperor easily believes the words of his corrupt councilors, their flatteries and rumors. One of his few loyal councilors thought of a plan on how to teach the inexperienced emperor. Each day, this councilor will say that there was a man who reported a sighting of a tiger roaming down the streets. The first time he was told about this, the emperor did not believe it, the second time, he became apprehensive, the third time, he believed it. He checked it out and found it was not true. At this point, the loyal councilor, who had accompanied the emperor, turned to him and said, “Your highness, now can you see the dangers of rumors? Even you believed there were tigers in the street when only three strangers had said it was so.”
The emperor learned his lesson and decided to investigate first before believing. LINK