Who Cares

Who Cares – Chapter 20

Chapter 20 Fascinated


Although Xu Guangzhi was eager for quick success and narrow-minded, he was extremely skillful and knowledgeable. At the beginning of the debate, he threw out many arguments and defeated the legalism scholars. What Confucianism called Fagu (ancient law) was exactly what the Zhou Dynasty followed, followed the rituals then followed of the Zhou dynasty rituals.

There were more than 30 emperors during the Zhou Dynasty, which lasted for more than 700 years. It could be called an era with the longest ruling time, the brightest civilization, and the relatively stable life. It was precisely because there were few disputes and wars in that era that Confucian scholars especially praised and advocated the superiority of various systems of the Zhou Dynasty, and appealed to those in position of authority to uphold benevolence and to emulate them, so as to return the people to a peaceful and prosperous age, when the Yellow River is clear and the sea has no wave.

Xu Guangzhi was able to cited many historical evidences, and he was full of words and eloquence for a time. On the other hand, legalism scholars, when it came to governing the country, almost 80% of the cases ended in failure. Even the Qin Dynasty, which reformed the country and eventually unified the Central Plains, quickly perished in tyranny and politics. Then the people of Central Plains fell into wars that lasted for hundreds of years, and they were forced to leave their homes and in precarious state since then.

Wei was established less than two years ago, and the cruelty of war was still imprinted in the hearts of the common people. When it came to peace and stability, everyone yearned for it. When it came to tyranny and political warfare, everyone hated it. The benevolence ideology of Confucianism was easier to move the heart at this time, but the severe punishment of legalism has caused many boos. The debate off-stage was almost one-sided, and in just three quarters of an hour, the challenger had lifted up the white silk and completely surrendered, while Xu Guangzhi used a sonorous voice to draw the conclusion, “Therefore, now the Wei should be like as the Sage said, abolish the hundred schools of thought and respect only Confucianism!”

Thunderous applause erupted in the hall, and Old Master Guan and Father Guan stepped forward to congratulate Xu Guangzhi one by one. He spoke to the two of them with neither humble nor arrogant tone, and then frequently bent over to thank a Jiuli nobleman who sponsored his debate. People from the Legalism school did not dare to stay longer, so they hid their faces and left.

“It’s over?” Qin Lingyun didn’t speak, only his expression was extremely ugly. Instead, his personal guard asked in a non-standard (ancient) Mandarin.

Guan Suyi looked up, because the other person had a thick beard and couldn’t see his expression clearly, but she could detect the incredibly bright light in his slightly bluish pupils, as if he was extremely dissatisfied with the result. They all say that servants followed their masters, and it seemed that this person was also a loyal supporter of the Legalism school.

“It’s over.” Guan Suyi raised her teacup and sipped, inside she was anxious. In terms of eloquence, afraid only Qin Lingyun could compete with Xu Guangzhi in the whole Wei. From this, it was conceivable that the results of the next nine debates would be the same as today.

Total victory of ten battles, sooner or later he would become famous throughout the land. Emperor Sheng Yuan was eager to seek for talents, afraid he would specially call Xu Guangzhi to become official as he did in her previous life. So naturally, Xu’s Neo-Confucianism would prevail, and women would start a life of invisible end, being despised, controlled, and restrained by others.

It stands to reason that as long as she didn’t repeat the mistakes of her previous life, this change would not have much impact on Guan Suyi, but she just couldn’t understand Xu Guangzhi’s hypocritical face, and she hated his theory even more. But after all, she was Guan Qiguang’s granddaughter, so she couldn’t stand up and slap Confucianism in the face, she could only watch from the sidelines.

Glancing at the opposite Qin Lingyun, she secretly shook her head. Forget it, this person was practising closed-mouth meditation, afraid he would not get involved in this debate. In his mind, Li shi was the most important, and the face of Legalism School was worthless. Besides, she couldn’t find any excuses to persuade the other person, could she tell him that if Xu Guangzhi succeeded, it would indirectly kill his sister-in-law? Wouldn’t it just cause suspicion and trouble for herself?

After thinking and thinking, Guan Suyi finally suppressed the hatred, but the resentment was hard to settle, and sneered, “Ancient law followed the rites. If it’s really like Xu Guangzhi said, the ancients have no disputes and wars, nor do they harm their compatriots, and all were benevolent person, then why did the Zhou Dynasty perish? You people of the Legalism School are also useless. Many arguments can be easily overturned, but you can’t seize the opportunity at all, and become Xu Guangzhi’s stepping stone for nothing. When it comes to the way of governing the country Confucianism is far from legalism!”

Qin Lingyun and the tall man looked at her in unison, with stunned expression on their faces. It should be known that Guan Suyi was Guan Qiguang’s granddaughter, logically speaking she should be a fan of Confucianism. But at this time, she bluntly declared her admiration for Legalism. Could it be that she had lost her mind?

Guan Suyi put down the tea cup and leaned against the back of the chair, instantly changed from a dignified lady to a lazy idler, and her gentle temperament suddenly became sharp. If the other side was any other person, she would definitely not easily express what she thought, but that person was Qin Lingyun. Qin Lingyun who was very trustworthy, and even more so Qin Lingyun who cultivated closed-mouth meditation. She believed that he would never reveal today’s conversation to others.

This change made the two opposite people even more surprised. They looked at her up and down, as if they didn’t know who she was. Especially the tall man wanted to open her veil hat to see if her expression was the same as he had imagined, showing disdain and cynicism.

After rebirth, Guan Suyi had long been suffocated, and urgently needed to find an outlet to vent. Right now, Qin Lingyun inevitably had become her tree hole, couldn’t wait to spit it out.

“Abolish hundred schools of thought, respect only Confucianism, puih…” Seeing that there were only three or two tables left on the second floor, most of the first floor was emptied, and her grandfather and father had disappeared, Guan Suyi looked like a prisoner who had taken off her shackles. Arrogant and aggressive, she said word by word, “With only these eight characters, he is not worthy to learn Confucianism, and with only these eight characters, he is not worthy to challenge the Legalism as a Confucian.”

Qin Lingyun suddenly raised his head, as if touched. The tall man took a seat opposite her, staring at her with a serious and focused gaze for the first time.

Gaining the attention of the audience, Guan Suyi knocked on the table and said freely, “The original words of this are ‘Explain Confucianism, suppressing a hundred schools of thought’. When it come to Xu Guangzhi, it turned into ‘Abolishing the hundred schools of thought and respect only Confucianism’. Suppress and abolish, the difference between these two word is like heaven and earth. What is the core idea of Confucianism, do you know?”

The object of her question was Qin Lingyun. As for the tall man who stared at her with a burning gaze, he was naturally ignored. A member of the Jiuli tribe whose (ancient) mandarin was not so smooth, she didn’t expect the other party to understand her own words, so this person was also a tree hole, and she was not worried he would reveal her secrets in the future.

Qin Lingyun took out a Buddhist bead from his purse, threw it into a teacup, and uttered two words, “Zhongyong“.(T/N: I will use the term ‘Constant Mean’ to flow better in English)

“Of course, impartiality, fair and honest, moderate, this is Constant Mean. The Constant Mean can involve all aspects of life, and it is the way of the life that Confucius most respected. Too far is as bad as not enough and it is against the doctrine of Constant Mean. Changing the ‘suppression’ to ‘abolishment’, Xu Guangzhi’s desire to exterminate the hundreds of schools of thought is clear, and he also exposes his academic methods. There’s Confucius’s words that are the most appropriate to describe him.”

At this point, she flicked the edge of the cup with her beautiful fingertips, and made a crisp ‘ding’ sound, signaled Minglan to pour tea to moisten her throat.

The tall man couldn’t stand her gasping effort, so he quickly raised the teapot to fill it up for her, and then looked over eagerly. Qin Lingyun’s face was not reveal a thing, but glanced over and over again with the corner of his eye, thinking that this person had previously disliked Guan Suyi’s sour speech, but now he was so diligent that he was not afraid of being slapped in the face.

The tall man pushed the teacup forward, urging her with an awkward (ancient) mandarin, “Hurry up, what words?”

Guan Suyi took a small sip and continued, “Confucius said: ‘Study a heresy, and it’s done harm’.”

Fearing that the Jiuli man would not understand, she followed up and explained, “In the vernacular, it means – if you blindly delve into heretic school and fallacious evil doctrines, the harm will be extremely great. What is heresy? To use Xu Guangzhi’s comment, all schools except Confucian orthodoxy are heretics. However, in the Spring and Autumn Period, Confucianism was not orthodox, so where the heresy come from? Here, heresy should be interpreted as the two ends of the matter, and the two ends of the matter are balanced by  the Constant Mean, that is ‘over’ and ‘under’. To understand the scriptures too much, or not enough, is wrong and extremely harmful. This is the real thought that the Sage wanted to express. Look at Xu Guangzhi again, he misinterpreting a sentence today to the level of ‘Abolishing the hundred schools of scholars’, his academic spirit has shown a sign of going crazy, which is really too much. In the words of Confucius, he has stepped into heresy and lost his upright and peaceful mentality. How can he be qualified to criticize Legalism on behalf of Confucianism? With just this sentence, I can see through him, and it is enough to describe him in eight words…”

The tall man was fascinated by what he heard, and when he saw her stopped and gasped again, he hurriedly took the initiative to pour the tea, and his hoarse voice sounded very simple and honest, “Drink the tea, drink the tea, you go on.”

Qin Lingyun almost couldn’t hold back a smile, and could only turn his face and pretend to be coughing.

Guan Suyi was pleased by his earnest and keen for knowledge attitude. While blowing her tea, she said softly, “Eager for quick success, make a name for yourself. Do you think so?”

“Yes!” The tall man clapped his hand and smiled. He had long been overgrown with dark fire by Xu Guangzhi’s theory of imitating the ancients. What Yao Shun Yu, what Renunciation, what benevolence and wisdom, the world in great harmony, it sound fake at first listen. People in the Central Plains really know how to make up stories.

As soon as he thought of this, he listened to Guan Suyi slowly said, “The Renunciation system that Xu Guangzhi frequently listed is actually a lie, and the truth of history is often hidden under bloody battles.”

“Oh? What do you mean by that?” The tall man leaned forward, his eyes focused. Qin Lingyun, who said nothing, was squeezed and squeezed out by him, and now he could only shrink at the corner between the wall and the railing, smiled bitterly. The history of the Central Plains was the thing this person was most interested in, and he would be attracted when he heard it. If he hadn’t changed his face today and his whereabouts had become a mystery, Qin Lingyun would have doubted whether Guan Suyi was deliberately creating a conversation.

“The theory of advocating Renunciation were first seen in ‘Classic of History’ compiled by Confucius and his disciples, and its authenticity cannot be verified. However, in ‘Han Feizi’ and ‘Bamboo Annals’, the exposition of this period of history is completely opposite. It’s recorded in ‘Han Feizi: Doubt’: Shun forced Yao, Yu forced Shun, Tang exiled Jie, and King Wu attacked Zhou; these four kings are the ministers who killed their rulers, and the world praised them. It’s recorded in the ‘Bamboo Annals’: In the last years Yao, his morals declined, and he was imprisoned by Shun. Shun imprisoned Yao, return Danzhu to Yan, so that he would not meet his father. Shun imprisoned Yao in Pingyang and took the throne. Leaving aside Han Feizi’s statement, the ‘Bamboo Annals’ is several years earlier than ‘Records of the Grand Historian’, and it is the official history of the Wei State during the Warring States period, which is more credible…”

Such an interesting conversation, Guan Suyi talked about the life of Yao, Shun, and Yu from the Renunciation system. How the three came to power, how to fight openly and maneuver covertly, how to win over people’s hearts, control the political affairs, etc.. Her witty language, rich plots, and twists and turns could be written into a wonderful storybook.

The tall man was fascinated by this, he simply sat next to her holding the teapot, and took the initiative to help refill the tea. The attentive attitude formed a sharp contrast with the previous dislike, making Qin Lingyun utterly stupefied.


Translator’s notes:

A little bit of historical background. Renunciation system refers to monarchs in ancient times ceding the position of tribal leader when they still alive to the talented and capable people, instead of choosing to let their children inherit it. The most famous of these is when Yao ceded the position of leader of the tribal alliance to Shun, because he thought his son Danzhu has only average ability and not enough to govern the world. In the pre-Qin period, Confucianism, Mohism, etc. praised the Renunciation system. However the ancient sages were full doubts about this Renunciation system, thinking it was just a beautiful legend.

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11 thoughts on “Who Cares – Chapter 20

  1. Oh luckily that appearance was only a disguise 😂😂😂😂

    But man, she’s amazing for remembering all those history, facts and philosophy.

  2. Guan siyi is so amazing, I don’t understand half of what she’s saying yet I’m still enthralled. Just imagine how Mr fanboy must be feeling

  3. Honestly, I can’t say I understand what Suyi is talking about with the ruling system and all those terms. But poor Suyi, she didn’t know the real tree hole that she had choose the vent her frustration of being suppressed by simple law, that damned Neo-Confucian teaching. Can’t wait to see more of the dynamic of well learnt vs barbarian with thirst for knowledge.

  4. Hehe, her knowledge got the best of her even though I’m clueless as to what she’s taking about.

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