Who Cares – Chapter 139
Chapter 139 Denounced
Guan Wenhai felt uncomfortable in his heart, but he couldn’t flare up, so he had to pretend that he didn’t hear other people‘s ridicule. Just at this moment, a young servant hurried up to the tea house, searched back and forth a few times before running to him, whispering in his ear, “Young master, when Emperor Teacher came back from the palace, he immediately gathered the clan members, saying that he wanted to rebuild the clan school, inviting famous teachers to teach Confucianism to all children in the clan. He also said that the heir of the Guan family must fully inherit his mantle. People who don’t need the teaching and don’t want to change can cling to their mediocre talents…”
This statement was clearly criticizing himself, but Guan Wenhai had no way to refute it, just because he publicized an article with a very wrong topic half a month ago. He also sent that article to Master Xu’s house, asking him to comment, so it received many praises and also spread his name as outstanding talent. Before the outbreak of the literary war, he, like Qi Yu, Ji Chengyue and others, were the hottest talents in Yanjing City.
However, how much praise he had received then was how much ridicule he suffered now. What amazing talent full of knowledge? Just someone who drift with the waves and go with the flow, only know how to follow the crowd.
“What does the old man mean? Don’t want to recognize me as the heir? How can great-grandfather agree?” Guan Wenhai said through gritted teeth.
“Now it’s not a question of whether the clan leader agrees or not. You were very famous before, and you are the best among the Guan clan’s juniors, the clan leader want to pick you to inherit the mantle of the Emperor Teacher, others can’t say anything even if they have any resentments. But now you…” The little servant looked around and lowered his voice, “Now you have lost your literary name. Chief of Ceremonies advised you before, let you go home and read carefully, and then go to consult him again after changing the article. Who expected that after you went out of the Emperor Teacher Mansion you showed the article to the students of similar learning, and publicly mocked Seventh Miss for her poor knowledge, made outrageous remarks, and said Chief of Ceremonies was dissatisfied with you and tried to suppress you. After that, you became even more confused, and went to Xu Guangzhi’s house and asked him to give pointers. You also borrowed his reputation to gain a reputation for yourself. If Xu Guangzhi has always been dominant, that’s fine, the two masters can’t do anything to you. But now Xu Guangzhi’s “Subset Commentary” has been repeatedly criticized by many great scholars, and what even worse is the fact that his Gewu Zhizhi is precisely where he is wrong the most. So the reputation you have accumulated for many days destroyed, and you have become the laughing stock of the students all over the world. I don’t know which meddlesome people informing Emperor Teacher what you have been doing recently, and also sent over the article that Xu Guangzhi revised for you, which angered Emperor Teacher and publicly scolded you for being stupid and uneducated. He also said that such a person is not worthy of inheriting his mantle, let alone becoming the heir of the Guan family.”
The more Guan Wenhai listened, the paler his face became. He shook his hand and put down the brush, and asked, “Does he want to choose another heir?”
“Yes. The old master said that the heir of the Emperor Teacher Mansion can be talentless, but cannot be without virtue. You are disrespectful to Chief of Ceremonies, and you are not friendly to Seventh Miss. When you enter the house you were still smiling, but when you go out you would do your best to slander, neither have the wisdom to understand people nor the talent to differentiate learning. If the Emperor Teacher Mansion is stuck with you like this, then…” The little servant’s voice faded away, he dared not to speak any further.
Guan Wenhai knew that the old man was always outspoken and would definitely not say good things, but he couldn’t help but ask, “How about stuck with me? What did he say about me?”
“He said that if the Emperor Teacher Mansion stuck with an heir who is not filial, without talent without virtue, and two-faced like you, it would definitely decline in the future. He wanted to establish a clan school, and let all the school-age children in the clan to receive Confucian education, choose good seedling from them to personally guide, inspected the talent and morality together, and decided an heir after a few years. Because your article “Gewu Zhizhi” was highly praised by Xu Guangzhi, and it was very famous, the matter of you slandering Chief of Ceremonies and Seventh Miss is known to all the literati in Yanjing. When Emperor Teacher said this, the entire clan agreed with the exception of our family. No matter how powerful the clan leader, he could not go against the will of the entire clan. Even more did not dare to let people in Yanjing point at him and scold him for using power for personal gain, maliciously encroaching on other people’s properties, and corrupting other people’s lintel, so he could only nod his head in agreement. Didn’t you want the respected status of Guan family’s heir? In the future, not only inherit the vast wealth, promoted to a high-ranking post, but also assume the position of the leader in the literary world. Without some real talent and learning, no one can take this mantle. If you had taken the article home and corrected it earlier, there would be no such bad things like now. It’s a pity…”
The little servant frowned and said, “Young master, go home quickly, the clan leader was so angry that he said he was going to use the family law on you, the master and madam are also waiting for you to go back and give them an explanation.”
Guan Wenhai was dizzy and almost fell. He staggered a few steps and asked, “I can’t be adopted into the Emperor Teacher Mansion? Has the whole clan agreed?”
“If you are still the most talented junior in the Guan clan like before, how could the clan dare to oppose you. But now your reputation is ruined like this, it’s reasonable for Emperor Teacher to replace you, because the fault is all yours, not him. Don’t think about it, go home and apologize to the clan leader, study hard in the future, and try to reverse the impression of the two masters on you. Maybe there’s still a chance. The imperial examination will be held in two months. If you come back as a champion, those who slander you will look at you with admiration.” The young servant supported his young master and carefully walked down the stairs.
“Yes, I can still participate in the imperial examination.” Guan Wenhai, who was depressed, immediately pulled himself up and gritted his teeth, “If I win the top spot, I will definitely wipe away today’s humiliation. If Guan Qiguang doesn’t choose me, that’s because he’s blind as a bat!”
The two left the tea house in a vain footstep, and not long after they walked out, they saw Old Master Guan entering Wencui Building with his son and granddaughter, they then greeted all the great scholars, chatting and laughing. They stood on the terrace on the second floor, it’s unknown what they were talking about, they actually caused all the literary giants to change color, and repeatedly asked whether it was true or false. After getting the positive reply, those literary giants were all laughing and looking ecstatic.
“Shopkeeper brings the wine! Wei Kingdom has such a wise monarch, and the literary world is having this grand event, we must have a good drink, and we won’t go home if we don’t get drunk!”
“Hey, wait! In order to show all the gentlemen’s skills, we should drink after the battle. Whoever wins will be the main writer!” Old Master Guan pointed to the literary notice across the street, his eyes full of fighting spirit. Last night, he had already written a good draft, and he was just waiting for today to splash ink and write, cut down other outstanding heroes with his brush.
There were not a few great scholars who had the same idea as him, and now there was also a main writer position as the jackpot. They became more and more unwilling to miss this opportunity, and hurriedly took up their brush to write with their thought gushing.
Guan Wenhai saw his cousin chatting and laughing and being praised by all the great scholars, his eyes were about to burst into flames. He was supposed to be the heir of the Guan family, and all the praise and respect, as well as high official post, honors and wealth, should belong to him! If his cousin had not written an article to criticize Xu Guangzhi, his article would not have become the laughing stock of the whole capital, and his reputation would not have been destroyed.
My good cousin, you wait for me! Glaring upstairs viciously, Guan Wenhai walked quickly along the wall.
At the same time, Xu Guangzhi was also waiting for news at home. He guessed that the emperor should approve the memorial for his appointment today. If Guan Suyi hadn’t interfered with it, it might have been done, but now it was hanging.
He was on fire inside, his thoughts were disordered, but his face was very calm. He read Guan Suyi’s article again and again, but he couldn’t find any flaws. The education of the Guan family was indeed very good. With her being a woman, she was actually proficient in Confucianism. All the errors and omissions listed have undergone extremely rigorous examination. Only the words of the Sage were used to annotate the chapters and phrases, and there was rarely any personal opinion, which made him want to write an article to refute but had nothing to write.
When he wrote the book, he was indeed had some selfish intentions, secretly integrated his academic thoughts into Confucian classics, so his intention was indeed not pure. But which great scholars in the world was not like this? Otherwise, various schools of Confucianism would not appear. Many seniors haven’t opened their mouths yet, as a junior why was she made a fuss? The first time was like this, and the second time was also like this. He had to suspect that Guan Suyi’s actions were all instigated by Emperor Teacher and Chief of Ceremonies.
Could it be that the matter of framing Guan Yunqi last time was exposed? Already knew that he was my mastermind, but couldn’t bring himself to fight with him, so let the junior find the other way? Even if Guan Suyi made the matter bigger, just one sentence “Don’t care about women” could completely shut his mouth and made him suffer a dumb loss. Thinking like this, Xu Guangzhi was actually timid, because he understood that now he had no ability to compete with the Guan family’s father and son, unless he gave up being a pure minister and re-attached himself to the County Prince Jing or the aristocratic family. But after this, his literary road was completely destroyed, and had no value for others. Even if he came to the door and knelt down to beg, afraid there was no way out.
He put down the manuscript with a look of trepidation.
Xu Yayan who accompanied him nearby asked anxiously, “Father, can you write an article to refute Guan Suyi? How old is she? How can she compare to you in terms of knowledge, it must be all nonsense.”
Although Xu Guangzhi was eager for quick success, he would not deceive himself, shook his head and sighed, “Her articles are very rigorous, and they all criticize my views using the Sage’s words. If I write an article to refute her, then I am refuting the Sage. Not only will I not be able to get anything good, but it also confirm the accusation of ‘usurping the Sage’s position and changing the Sage’s words’, then I will never be able to stand up in the literary world again in the future. Don’t be as ignorant as Guan Wenhai, thinking that because the person is young so their knowledge is shallow. Father will give you a thorough understanding of her knowledge, not below me, and even slightly better.”
Xu Yayan clenched the corner of her skirt tightly and said in a trembling voice, “Father, will you be alright this time?”
“The last time I lost to her, I can start all over again, but this time it’s hard to say.” Xu Guangzhi’s eyes were red, and his voice was rough, “This time she didn’t hold back at all. Not only cutting off my literary road, but also cutting off my way of living. What is the crime of competing with the emperor for his disciples, there is no such thing in ancient times, but I also understand that it will definitely not be a good thing. I only hope that the emperor is merciful and doesn’t want to care about me, just cut off my official career and that’s all.”
“What if the emperor wants to care about you?” Xu Yayan unknowingly shed many tears, showing that she was very frightened.
“If the emperor wants to care about me, the whole family will be executed. I was really confused at the beginning, why didn’t I think that this generation’s students were also disciples of the emperor, how could I leave such a deadly handle to others! It is father who harmed you, father is useless!” Xu Guangzhi leaned back, his heart felt like ashes. Blame him for being too ambitious, but forgetting the danger of imperial authority.
Xu Yayan cried and comforted, “Father, don’t say that, it’s not that you are useless, it’s that Guan Suyi has ulterior motives and deliberately misinterprets your meaning.” It was only at this moment that she understood what it meant to be denounced by speech and writing, words were used like a knife. It turned out that when the soft brush was held in some people’s hands, it could be turned into a murder weapon in an instant!