Chapter 142 – Rogue Scholar (18)
Yes, the name of Yan Da is Yan Jing Ze.
So, Yan Da has become the county exam champion?
Although they have recently heard some rumors about how powerful Yan Da is, it is hard to believe that Yan Da can become the county exam champion.
Generally speaking, even if the county exam champion goes to participate in the prefectural exam and fails, he will still be accepted as tongsheng by the magistrate. Even in some places, the county exam champion can go directly to take the examination for xiucai.
Now, Yan Da has won the county exam, it is equivalent to already being a tongsheng.
Many of them have fallen off the list. Yan Da not only made it in the list, but also became the county exam champion. How could this be possible!
These students were dissatisfied and raised doubts.
County Magistrate Zhu also knew that they must have doubts and he had already posted all the top ten papers.
Almost everyone rushed to Yan Jing Ze’s paper, and if it weren’t for a government officer to protect the paper, the paper might have been torn.
Then those who saw the paper were shocked.
This paper has not been altered at all and every word is amazingly well written. For this alone, the student should be given a ranking in the county exam’s top ten.
Look at the contents of the article…
The county exam mainly depends on the students’ familiarity with the Four Books and Five Classics. There are many topics where people can write sentences silently.
Although the topic of the county exam is relatively simple, how many people can memorize all the Four Books and Five Classics?
Moreover, sometimes they will memorize it today and forget it again after a few days. Even if it’s to review… it’s not so easy to review so many books.
So many people will fill in a mistake.
But Yan Jing Ze will not.
He remembered it all!
He was able to write the county exam papers perfectly.
As for writing essays and poems in it, the level of the county examination is not difficult at all. He has read so many books, he may not be able to write in-depth articles and soulful poetry, but he has no problem writing standard articles and poetry at all.
Perhaps in the opinion of Juren and Jinshi, his article is still not ready, but among a group of people taking the county exam, he has already won the top spot.
This, is this really what Yan Da’s?
How is this possible!
County Magistrate Zhu’s residence.
Yan Jing Ze and Wei Lingxiu were sitting in front of Magistrate Zhu, drinking tea.
County Magistrate Zhu has long known the achievements of the two and congratulated them first—in the county exam, Yan Jing Ze won the top spot, Wei Lingxiu was not bad either and won the seventh place.
And County Magistrate Zhu dared to say that he did not show favoritism.
Wei Lingxiu’s talents and learning are really not bad, even when it comes to poetry, he has more soul than Yan Jing Ze.
County Magistrate Zhu actually admired Wei Lingxiu, and at the same time he became more and more contemptuous of the Wei family.
These days Yan Jing Ze and Wei Lingxiu live in the Wei family’s bookstore, right under the nose of Shopkeeper Wei, that is, he also went to see them a few times, these two are clearly innocent!
More importantly, Wei Lingxiu didn’t have any powdery air all over his body, not to mention Yan Jing Ze. The two didn’t seem to have that kind of relationship at all.
Of course, even if these two have a little something, it’s fine. In the capital, there are still people who think this is a matter of beauty and taste.
Then, County Majesty Zhu talked about going to Fucheng to participate in the prefectural examination.
The prefectural exams are in April, so Yan Jing Ze and Wei Lingxiu can still do another month of preparation, and then it’s time to go to Fucheng. Of course, in addition to that, Yan Jing Ze also needs to do something else.
“All scholars want to make a name for themselves…,” County Magistrate Zhu said slowly.
These days, fame is very important to the scholars.
The names will be mixed up when scoring the papers, even in the later country exams, they will be transcribed and then read by the examiner. However, when the final ranking is done, the original papers will still be looked at, and the originally covered up names will also be opened.
Many people’s answers are actually comparable. And at such times, when a scorer gives a ranking to someone, it will depend on that person’s fame.
For example, a certain talented xiucai is extremely famous, and another talented xiucai is unknown. The champion during the provincial examination must be selected from the two. The examiner will definitely choose the most famous one, lest anyone say that he is playing favoritism.
Before Yan Jing Ze participated in the county exams, he just concentrated on studying. It didn’t matter if he made a name for himself, but now it’s time to start to make a name for himself.
“Thank you for teaching me, Your Excellency,” Yan Jing Ze said.
County Magistrate Zhu gave him a look and sighed secretly.
He doesn’t know what’s going on with God. Such a smart brain has been given to such a person… who doesn’t look like a scholar.
When they were talking, the students outside were already outraged: “How can such a paper be written by Yan Da?”
“Yan Da has never entered school. I’m afraid he doesn’t even know the characters. It is absolutely impossible to write such a paper!”
“Did someone change the paper?”
As they were talking, someone suddenly said, “If someone had such good handwriting, would they be willing to write such a county test answer and help someone cheat?”
The crowd turned to look and saw that it was Li Xiucai and several other Xiucai who had come.
Li Xucai is the government guarantor of Donggu County, everyone knows him and knows that he is the one who is guaranteeing for Yan Jing Ze.
Because of this, there are other government officials who insinuate that Li Xucai does not want his reputation for the sake of money.
This incident caused Li Xiucai to suffocate in anger, but fortunately, at this time, he could wash away the dirty water that others had poured on him.
Seeing everyone around him, Li Xiucai said again: “Even if someone really has eyes and ears and can get such a copy of the answer sheet for him to cheat… Yan Jing Ze has this ability?”
Li Xiucai’s statement is very reasonable.
People who can write such words will certainly not help people cheat, and Yan Da doesn’t have the ability to get people to help him cheat.
There couldn’t be a calligraphy master who was held hostage by Yan Da, could there? But even if Yan Da had held someone hostage, how would he exchange the test papers?
He’s just a thug!
Although the people who participated in the county test were ordinary in all aspects, and some did not appreciate calligraphy very much, but these people all had families.
One of them has a father who is still a juren.
This person attached great importance to his son and felt that his son would definitely win the first place. As a result, his son only got the second place… He had been reading Yan Jing Ze’s papers just now and at this time he sighed long and hard: “The calligraphy of today’s county exam champion is worth a thousand gold.”
“Master Yan, in fact, has an amazing talent,” Li Xiucai added.
Several other xiucai around Li Xiucai also boasted.
Those students who have just finished the county exam: “…” Yan Jing Ze turned out to be such a person?
Some of them were not familiar with Yan Jing Ze before, but believed Li Xiucai’s words, but among them, there were also people who had seen Yan Da’s previous “magnanimity”.
In addition to other things, Yan Da used to collect debts, kicking the door open and picking up the people in the house one by one, he did nothing less.
Although it is true that the gambler owes money, but Yan Da’s appearance made people feel scared.
This person… actually has an amazing talent and also ranked first in the county exam?
These people really found it hard to believe, and it is at this time, Yan Jing Ze came.
Yan Jing Ze came to “make a name for himself”, and immediately said: “Someone suspected that I was cheating? Would you like to discuss your knowledge with me?”
The people present were all mighty and followed Yan Jing Ze to a nearby restaurant.
Yan Jing Ze wrote several characters with a swipe of his brush!
Such a good calligraphy, they could not even see it before, let alone practice it…
When it comes to the Four Books and Five Classics, Yan Jing Ze is even more awe-inspiring. Even the “Zuo Zhuan” with nearly 200,000 characters, he can also recite it backwards.
That’s a book of nearly 200,000 characters!
At this time, besides recognizing that Yan Jing Ze is a genius, what else can they do?
And also, in order to conceal the fact that they have been studying for more than ten years to take the exam and were still unable to pass the exam that even Yan Jing Ze, a person who is said to have studied for less than a year could pass, they praised Yan Jing Ze even more.
For a time, throughout Donggu County, there were people everywhere boasting about Yan Jing Ze.
The people of Donggu County were confused.
Previously, when Yan Jing Ze went to take the county exam, they thought Yan Jing Ze would definitely fail, but in a blink of an eye, Yan Jing Ze not only passed the exam, but also took the first place?
It doesn’t matter if he gets the first place in the exam, but those scholars are actually praising him?
Most people are following the trend, so…
“Yan Da… No, Yan Jing Ze has indeed been smart since he was a child. His father never cared about him but he has the ability to fill his stomach!”
“He used to be a thug in a casino but he couldn’t help it… Who let him have such a father?”
“He has never beaten anyone who doesn’t owe money before?”
“He always asks for the bill, so he won’t make a wrong count, he’s really smart!”
Even the people in Donggu County who used Yan Da to scare their children, say to the children: “Look at Yan Da, no one took care of him and he can still become the county exam champion! Learn from him, okay?!”
Child: “……” Father, you told me yesterday, if I don’t behave well, Yan Da will come to beat me!
After Yan Jing Ze gained the limelight, he returned to the Wei’s bookstore and continued to bury his head in books.
Of course, he hadn’t forgotten to hang up a few of his own handwritings in the Wei’s bookstore for those scholars to come and appreciate.
Wei family residence.
They asked the family servants to catch Wei Lingxiu before, but the family servants were all tied up by the officers, and even asked them to take out a ransom to redeem them, making the Old Mrs. Wei almost furious.
Now that she learned of such a result, she was even more directly ill.
After Yan Da ranked first in the county exam, she felt nothing, but Wei Lingxiu actually made it to the top ten…
The Wei family wrote a letter to Wei Zhiyuan in Fucheng and then another person was infuriated.
April was the prefectural exam, Yan Jing Ze took the ship of Shopkeeper Wei and headed to Fucheng.
At this time, his reputation had already spread to Fucheng.
“I heard that the county exam champion of Donggu County never forgets!”
“The calligraphy of Yan Jing Ze, before the Donggu County county exam, are still available in the Wei Family Bookstore. I have read them and they are not at all inferior to a master!”
“This time, I am afraid that he will win the first place.”
“I don’t know what this person looks like…”
No matter what the original owner was like in Donggu County, when he arrives in Fucheng, no one knows what Yan Da has done. Only the various recent news about Yan Jing Ze were brought to Fucheng by the students from Donggu County—the students from Donggu County all talked about Yan Jing Ze’s amazing talent.
At the same time, they had also seen the calligraphies of Yan Jing Ze in the Wei family bookstore, and they all admired Yan Jing Ze.
When they learned that Yan Jing Ze came to Fucheng, everyone went to visit, one after another.
Then they saw a… big guy.
That brilliant Donggu County exam champion turned out to be like this?
How come… he doesn’t look like a scholar at all?
Regardless of whether he looks like a scholar or not, he naturally won the first place in the prefectural examination. Even Wei Lingxiu has passed the prefectural examination. The two became tongsheng together and can participate in the academy examination.
If they can pass the academy exam, they can become xiucai and become real scholars. Yan Jing Ze remembers that Wei Lingxiu’s younger brother won the xiucai exam this year.
This person became famous at such a young age, he had a very promising future. In the original historical trajectory, by then Wei Lingxiu had long since died.
As for the original owner… Soon after Wei Lingxiu’s younger brother got the first place in the academy exam, the original owner was beaten to death.
Yan Jing Ze stared at Wei Lingxiu, thinking that no matter what, Wei Lingxiu had to pass the exam.
At the same time, a ship set out from the capital and headed south.
Sitting on the boat was Zhou Song, who was reprimanded and dismissed from office last year and was reinstated this year.
And Zhou Song went south this time because he was appointed as a provincial academic commissioner to serve in Nanzhou.
It took him a lot of effort to get this task just in order to stop by to see his nephew.
It is a pity that Donggu County does not belong to the Nanzhou Prefecture where he is an official, so he has to wait for the end of the academy examination to see his nephew. Fortunately, the distance between the two places is not far, and it only takes one day by boat.