Who Cares

Who Cares – Chapter 21

Chapter 21 Storytelling

 

The Wencui Building was no longer overcrowded. In the big hall downstairs there were two or three scholars who seemed to be composing poems and flaunting it at each other. On the second floor, only Guan Suyi’s and Qin Lingyun’s table were left.

In her previous life, Guan Suyi was not an orthodox Confucian scholar. To be more precise, she liked to extract the essence from the hundreds school of thought, and removed the dross that did not conform to her own ideas, even the contradicting world’s view. However, due to filial piety, she never revealed her true inner thoughts, and was forced to hold back for two lifetimes.

It felt really uncomfortable to accumulate words for two lifetimes and couldn’t tell them, especially since she also carried a huge secret that needed to be guarded day and night. Therefore, when she suddenly encountered someone with indifference relationship but could talk to, she changed from being reticent to a chatter, pulling the two of them to talk endlessly.

At first she just said it to Qin Lingyun, but then she noticed that his personal guards were more interested in her topic and had a little knowledge of the history of Central Plains, so the addiction of being a teacher naturally appeared, and the talk became more ups and downs and unrestrained.

After revealing the truth about the renunciation system, she drank the hot tea handed over by the tall man, and continued, “In fact, there is no need to verify from elsewhere. Just based on the records in the ‘Classic of History’, you can see many contradictory details, so as to deduce the local style at that time. Before he took the throne, Shun was persecuted in every way by his father, stepmother, and the son of the stepmother Xiang. Since they didn’t like Shun, then just live separately, why did the three of them want to force him into a dead end? Why don’t you guessed the inside story?”

The tall man didn’t know much about the history of Central Plains, and he thought about it for a moment and said, “Is it to fight for family property?” Most people would think this way.

“It’s half right,” Guan Suyi smiled lightly, “both for family property, but also for status and power. To be precise, Yao at the time was not the God Emperor, but the leader elected by many small tribes. Gusou was the chieftain of one of the small tribes. At that time, there was already a hereditary system, and it stands to reason that the position of the chief must be passed on to the eldest son. Shun was the eldest son, and he is popular among the people and had a high prestige. It would be impossible for him to pass the position of the chieftain to the incompetent and unworthy Xiang, unless Shun died accidentally. So you see, even the position of a small tribal chief were obtained by killing, and it was still a biological father who killed his child. So why would Yao be willing to practice the system of renunciation? He had long established Danzhu as the crown prince, and he was also his only di son.”

“This is the reason!” The tall man was convinced.

Guan Suyi pushed the tea cup in front of him, tapped her very delicately manicured nails, he then immediately served tea with a courteous attitude.

Guan Suyi was not in a hurry to sip, she held it in her palm and turned it around twice, saying, “It’s recorded in the ‘Classic of History: Canon of Shun’, after Shun ascended the throne, he selected and appointed worthy people, used ‘eight kai’ and ‘eight yuan’ to govern civil affairs, exiled the ‘Four Evils‘, appointed Yu to control the floods, complete Yao’s unfinished business, and support Emperor Yao to the end of his life. As long as the order of this sentence is reversed, the truth of history will be revealed. According to my great ancestor’s textual research, Shun selected the “Eight Kai” and “Eight Yuan” before his succession, and the exile of the “Four Evils” was also before his succession. Only the appointment of Yu to control the floods was after his succession. When you think about it, what mystery hidden here?”

The tall man scratched his head and smiled, “What is the seniority of great ancestor?”

Qin Lingyun was choked by his unexpected answer, and Guan Suyi couldn’t help but chuckle. She smiled and tapped the belly of the teapot with her fingertips, making a crisp sound.

The tall man stretched out his hands and kneaded his earlobes, smiling even more foolishly.

“The great ancestor is my Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather.” Guan Suyi stretched out a palm, bending a finger every time she said the word ‘Great’, just like oriole’s beautiful voice that was full of joy and lightness. This man of the Jiuli tribe was both studious and honest, really interesting.

“So that’s it!” The man suddenly realized, and asked, “What is the mystery?”

This topic was too jumpy, one moment turned to the horizon, the next moment turned back instantly, if it weren’t for Guan Suyi’s quick thinking, afraid she would really be confused by him. She pointed at the man and shook her head and laughed. “The mystery is to suppress, more precisely, to kill Shun, who has a high degree of merit. Emperor Yao ordered him to remove the “Four Evils” in the hope that both would lose. Unexpectedly Shun was unscathed, and still fulfilling his mission. After his safe return, he became wary of Yao, so he began to cultivate trusted aides with the intention of usurping the throne. ‘Eight Kai’ and ‘Eight Yuan’ had noble blood but no real power, and they had been ignored by Yao for a long time, and they became the first target he wanted to win over. After taking the throne under the recommendation of many aides, he first imprisoned Yao, then exiled and forced the crown prince Danzhu to death. When he was old, he saw the prestigious Yu, and naturally thought of the past. So he also imitated Yao and sent Yu to control the floods, trying to kill people with other’s knife. So you see, the same things, arranged in a different order, can come to the completely opposite conclusion.”

This was the first time the tall man heard of such an ingenious remarks, and he was a little silly when he thought about it repeatedly.

Guan Suyi chuckled and sighed, “History is written by humans, so it’s inevitable to bring the will of the writer. As the so-called “winner become the king and loser become the bandit”, the winners will leave a good reputation forever, the losers will be stinking for thousands of years. But the real history, who can tell exactly what it looks like? Maybe these “truths” that I explained to you are nothing more than malicious speculations of future generations. But the fascinating part of history lies in this, the diligent pursuit of the truth and the unexplained doubts about it can only be a little satisfied in the midnight dream.”

The tall man pondered her words carefully, and he found it interesting, he couldn’t help but agree. “But I think your statement is more credible and more in line with common sense. Really worthy of Zuo Boxiong’s descendant, indeed very knowledgeable.”

Guan Suyi smiled without saying a word, raised the slightly cool tea to her lips and drank it, got up and said goodbye, “It’s getting late, and Guan will leave first.”

“Just now we talked about Yao, Shun and Yu, then let’s talk about Xia, Qi, Shang and Zhou that happened next.” The tall man immediately urged her to stay, his eyes full of meaning.

“If you want to know what happened next, please listen to the next breakdown.” Guan Suyi picked up the small tea lid and patted it on the table lightly.

The tall man was startled at first, and then laughed loudly, but then he saw her walking a few steps and turned around, raised an index finger at Qin Lingyun, and hushed, “Today’s conversation, I hope Lord Marquis Zhenxi will keep it secret for me. ”

Qin Lingyun nodded slightly, and saw her flung her wide sleeves and walked along the winding stairs. The cold wind outside the window lifted a corner of the black veil, revealing a slender snow-white neck and half a small exquisite chin, a strand of dark black hair was swept into the crimson lips by the wind, gently holding it, and the tip of the pink tongue slightly exposed a little clove, as if to push it out. Only this startling glance, the ordinary details, was already touched the heart and intrigued the soul.

The tall man’s simple and honest expression stiffened for a moment, and when he returned to his senses, the person had already left. Several guards hurriedly waved to shop assistant to erect the removed screen again, isolating the world.

“Guan Suyi, it turns out that this is the real Guan Suyi!” At this time, the man still had a Jiuli accent, but he spoke mandarin more fluently than the native Yanjing. He sat down with a golden sword, raised his teacup and drank, his domineering phoenix eyes slightly squinted.

If Guan Suyi was still here, afraid she would be shocked by his sudden change.

“Didn’t you say before that Old Master Guan’s granddaughter is just like him, also full of mouths, all the traditional virtues and sour teeth? Why the real person is not like that at all?” Qin Lingyun took out a Buddhist bead and threw it into the teacup, smiling gleefully. Even though he already had someone in his heart, he had to admit that Guan Suyi was a wonderful person who was well-informed, brilliantly knowledgeable, and very witty. It was very enjoyable and relaxing to get along with her. And this person in front of him was most fond of Han learning, and also loved to discuss Han learning with others, but unknowingly, he actually given up the considerate flower that suits him the most to others. Should he regret it now?

The tall man, that was the Emperor Sheng Yuan in the white dragon fish suit, was indeed in a subtle mood. But he was used to be tyrannical and didn’t know what “regret” was. Only felt something blocking his heart for a while before returned to normal.

“I think because of filial piety, she didn’t dare to speak her mind directly. Listening to what she said, she seemed to disagree with Confucianism. Guan Qiguang’s granddaughter didn’t like Confucianism, so funny, really funny!” Emperor Sheng Yuan wanted to laugh again and again. He was in a good mood, and ordered the guards to bring two jars of spirits and slapped the clay stopper to drink.

Qin Lingyun laughed too, and asked the shop assistant for a big bowl, slowly filling it up.

The two of them sat for a while, and suddenly saw Emperor Sheng Yuan patted the table and sighed, “No, I just forgot to invite her to come again tomorrow. If she doesn’t come, when will I be able to hear the next breakdown. When you go back later, you send her a post in the name of Marquis Zhenxi, and you must invite her out.”

Qin Lingyun endured and endured, but finally could not hold back, and pointed out, “Your Majesty, who are you visiting in plain clothes for? Shouldn’t you have forgotten it by now?” After speaking he reluctantly took out a Buddhist bead.

“I haven’t forgotten, wait until nine days later.” Emperor Sheng Yuan remembered Guan Suyi’s evaluation of Xu Guangzhi, and his originally not very eager to solicit intention, had faded eight or nine points. Since the Guan family had been promoted, there was no need to set another benchmark.

After the two had eaten and drunk to their heart’s content they quietly return and parted ways in front of the palace gate. Emperor Sheng Yuan stepped into Weiyang Palace, ripped off his beard, revealing a resolute and stern face, Baifu and others hurriedly went up to undress him and wiped the dust off.

He quickly changed into his regular clothes and ordered someone to bring the box with the history books over. He planned to use the lamp to read at night, but after only reading two pages he found it uninteresting, it was not as exciting as Guan Suyi’s dictation. In a daze, scenes of chatting with that person began to emerge in his mind, and many of the neglected details became extremely clear at this time, and they were also extremely touching.

Although he couldn’t see her appearance due to the veil hat, how did she chuckle gently; how she held the teacup slowly in her palm; how she stretched out her jade-white index finger, pressed it against her lips through the black veil, and pressed it into a small indentation; and at that time when half her face was revealed by the cold wind was magnified over and over again by concentrated memories, and tasted over and over again.

Emperor Sheng Yuan unconsciously fell into fascination, but at this moment he heard a sharp voice from outside the palace, “Your Majesty, Ye Jieyu is outside asking to see you.”

All the pictures that were both hidden and full of brilliant color were shattered into pieces in an flash. The empty eyes of Emperor Sheng Yuan quickly focused, and he said solemnly, “Let her come in.” Then, he put aside this unfamiliar and momentarily throbbing, as if the previous indulgence and absentmindedness had never happened.

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Translator’s note:

The characters above, Yao, Shun and Yu, are mythological rulers or deities in very ancient China, we’re talking about 2000 something BCE, that’s more than four millenniums ago. All the books/records mention above are real, Classic of History or Book of Documents were credited to Confucius and his disciples, Records of the Grand Historian, Bamboo Annals, all of them were published hundreds of years Before Current Era, and they were talking about figures two millenniums older than them, which I found particularly mind-blowing. Chinese’s history are profound but more than that it’s well-preserved, you can find text of those thousands years old book online.

2 thoughts on “Who Cares – Chapter 21

  1. I found this chapter enthralling. Although I didn’t understand all the philosophy, there is something about Guan Siyi being in her element and showing her passion without barriers.

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