Who Cares

Who Cares – Chapter 3

Chapter 3 The Way Forward

The resolute man was exactly Huo Shengzhe who proclaimed himself as the emperor. His father was originally the leader of the Jiuli tribe, but he rose up because of his dissatisfaction with Qin’s tyranny and politics. He wiped out or annexed all forces all the way and eventually became a powerful chief in the Central Plains. However, his knowledge and courage were limited, he only relied on the emperor to make himself a justified vassal lord, and checked and balanced with the other vassal states, live together in harmony. Unexpectedly his son was so outstanding, not only eliminated the rest of vassal lords and a few restless brothers, he also get rid of the little emperor. He then unified the rivers and mountains, ascended to the throne, changed the country’s name to “Wei” with honorary title “Sheng Yuan”, implying that he was the first Holy King to pioneer the world.

This shows how arrogant and self-reliant Huo Shengzhe was.

Although he came from a barbarian tribe, he loved Han culture very much. He possessed superior insight and talent in politics and military affairs. Although he had never governed the country, he understood that as an emperor, the most important thing was not to do it himself, but to be good at discovering and using talents, while at the same time finding the right way to govern the country.

After experiencing the struggle for supremacy among the warlords during the Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States period and the tyranny and fragmentation of the Qin Dynasty, almost every hero who wanted to be the ruler or a literati warrior who tried to save the common people was thinking about the same question, how to govern the country? They were either for personal gain or for common people, and the doctrines of the philosophers and Hundreds Schools of Thoughts had also been greatly promoted.

Legalism, Miscellaneous Schools, Taoism, Mohism, and Confucianism appeared one after another, and they also sent disciples to visit various vassal states to lobby and attempted many progress. Among them, the most successful was undoubtedly the Legalism. Since Huo Shengzhe learned Chinese characters, the first article he read was Han Feizi‘s “Five Beetles”. At that time, he was shocked. He immediately collected all of the Legalism classics. Even if the government affairs was busy, he would set aside two hours every day to study. By contrast, looking at the classics of the Confucian school, he no longer knew where he had thrown them.

Hearing that Jueyin Temple would hold a debate between Legalism and Confucianism, he immediately braved the wind and snow to observe, planning to find a few usable talents.

The white-faced old man was called Baifu, one of the servants left by the emperor of the previous dynasty. Because of his outstanding ability and good at observing people, he was fortunate enough to be favored by Emperor Sheng Yuan and served as Zhongchang Attendant. Seeing that his master only sent death soldier to investigate the two grandfather and granddaughter, but never mentioned the few Legalism scholars who just performed outstandingly, he was puzzled, but didn’t dare to ask more. The new master’s temperament was extremely changeable, sometimes resolute and straightforward, sometimes vicious, sometimes generous and open-minded, sometimes elegant and gentle, even a seasoned courtier could be played on the palm of his hand. He was really unfathomable. Wanting to guess what he was thinking, not to mention Bai Fu was only fifty years old, even if he live another fifty years it would be useless.

The Holy’s ride came and returned in a hurry, actually not as single person knew. As soon as he entered Weiyang Palace, the death soldier had already given a secret letter, which recorded all the circumstances of the Guan family and his nine generations. Huo Shengzhe looked at it for a long time, and sighed, “With both talents and virtues, innocent family background, and loyalty, Guan Qiguang can be used a lot.” After speaking, he raised the brush and wrote two edicts with the handwriting of iron painting and silver hooks. After thinking about it, he felt it was still insufficient, then added three words “Guan Suyi” to the list of candidates for beauties (as in for imperial concubines).

Bai Fu secretly took a deep breath, one moment he understood, then the next moment he became more puzzled: the emperor was planning to promote the Guan family. Not only did he order the Guan family’s father and son to become officials, he also admitted the Guan family’s daughter into the harem, there were no greater grace than this. However, he used to admire the Legalisms so much, but now he didn’t mention a word, what on earth he want to do? What are you trying to achieve?

When others wondered for themselves, Huo Shengzhe had put two edicts into a dark box, then spread a piece of brocade and wrote carefully and slowly. As a Zhongchang Attendant, Bai Fu knew a few words quite a bit, and was stunned after a short glance, he saw the black ink spreading out such a sentence Dismissed a hundred schools and respected Confucianism’.

Baifu blinked his eyes quickly, and finally understood that the rule of the country that the emperor wanted to promote and implemented was not Legalism thinking, but Confucianism. How come?

When Bai Fu secretly sighed that Emperor Sheng Yuan was unpredictable, an unremarkable little eunuch sneaked into Ganquan Palace and reported the emperor’s white dragon fish suit action and secretly checked the Guan family’s matter to the woman in the head seat. The woman was in her early thirties, but she was still well maintained. Her skin was delicate, her face was beautiful, her pale lips and frowning eyebrows showed that she seemed to be suffering from ill health, and her gestures were filled with frail and amorous feelings, which made people feel pitiful.

She was the most beloved concubine of Emperor Sheng Yuan, Ye Zhen, who had just been named Jieyu, only two ranks lower from the empress. The Emperor Sheng Yuan went on expeditions outside the country all year round, and had no time or mind to find a woman. Although he was now on the throne, he was busy with government affairs, which made him even more elusive. His concubines in the harem, when all was said and done, were only a small number, and several of them were selected by the Empress Dowager on her own initiative, and have yet meet him so far.

Because Ye Zhen had a life-saving grace for him, and he had an unspeakable shame to Ye Zhen, his attitude was very different. While the other women still anxiously waiting in the hidden mansion, he immediately received Ye Zhen in Yanjing, gave her a high position and real power, even the Empress dowager couldn’t overstep her.

Now Ye Zhen has neither Zhaoyi nor Empress above her. Except for the Empress Dowager’s Changle Palace, all other palaces would follow her blindly and ordering a few eunuchs even if that eunuch was people by the emperor’s side, it was easy. The death soldier were only responsible for protecting the emperor’s safety. The emperor didn’t talk about investigating, so naturally they would not follow and monitor an inconspicuous eunuch.

“Oh? You said that the emperor added the name of Guan family’s daughter to the Beauties Selection?” Ye Zhen’s beautiful eyes opened slightly, and the lazy body leaning on the soft couch finally sat upright.

“This is absolutely true, niangniang! That Beauties Selection was handed over to Inner Harem Deputy by this slave myself, this slave will never be mistaken. The original list did not contain the name ‘Guan Suyi’, but now it was added at the first place. It’s undoubtedly the emperor’s handwriting.” The little eunuch was a direct disciple of Baifu, and naturally had some sources to learn about these secrets.

It was a rule left over from the previous dynasty to fill up the harem by a wide selection of beauties in August every year. The empress dowager sent out words that she want to continue this tradition, the emperor naturally wouldn’t push out the beauty in vain. Because it was the first time to do such errands, the Palace Senior Officer and Inner Harem Deputy didn’t dare to neglect, they bitterly searched for four to five months to submit the list, and hurriedly let the newcomer enter the palace before the years ended, warmed the emperor’s bed, to open the branches and scatter leaves.

The top ten on the list were all noble ladies of the Jiuli tribe personally selected by the Empress Dowager. Their pedigree overshadowed other people, Ye Zhen couldn’t refute it. But how divine this “Guan Suyi”, to actually pressed on the heads of many noble ladies?

She sent away the little eunuch, and said while pondering, “Yonghe, send a message to my father, let him check this Guan Suyi carefully.”

All the people of the Jiuli tribe were warriors, as long as they were given a sword, both men and women of all ages could go into battle. Therefore, most of women in the tribe were stout, bold in words and deeds, without the gentle and freehand feelings of the women in Central Plains. In the face of these vulgar people who didn’t know a big character, Ye Zhen was not afraid, in any case she was the number one beauty in the Central Plains, and also the number one talented woman, as long as the men were not blind, they would never abandon a beautiful jade for a dross. Furthermore, Emperor Sheng Yuan admired Han learning very much, and in the harem only she could understand what he was talking about and what he was thinking. He often praised her as considerate flower, which showed that this was her biggest advantage in the harem.

However, that old pious Empress Dowager could not bear to see her being pampered in the Sixth Palace alone, and proposed to choose concubines from the two ethnicity. Waiting for more Han women who have studied poetry and full of learning to come in, could she maintain being special? Thinking of this, Ye Zhen felt a little flustered, unconsciously stroked her cheek with her fingertips, and slowly calmed herself down.

She lacked confidence in her talents and learning, probably because the reputation as “first talented woman” was passed down from the army, the soldiers of the Jiuli tribe didn’t even know Chinese characters, so how did they know what a real profound knowledge mean? But when it comes to looks, it’s not that Ye Zhen was boasting, after thirty years of life, she had never seen a woman who looks more beautiful than herself.

“If the emperor doesn’t even look at you, who else can he look at? Ye Zhen, don’t panic, the emperor will definitely belong to you, and that position will definitely belong to you. Everything you throw away and everything you endure will be worth it.” After waiting for the maid to leave, Ye Zhen muttered to herself as she walked to the window and stared at the Jiaofang Hall, her eyes were full of wild hope.

——

After living in the Jueyin Temple for about a month, the newly-purchased house of Guan’s family was finally repaired, and they chose an auspicious day to move in. Guan Suyi paced back and forth in the newly furnished boudoir, with a confused and nostalgic expression on her face.

After more than 30 days of repeated verification, she gradually confirmed that she had been reborn. Perhaps the illusion produced in the mirror of reincarnation could also reach the point for fake being passed as genuine, but she didn’t want to miss any chance to change her destiny. This time, she would never step into the Zhao’s house, and she didn’t want to see even Zhao Luli’s face.

As soon as she put her luggage in order, Guan mother Zhong Cailing sent her servant to call her, saying that she had something to discuss. Guan Suyi knew what she wanted to say, and she couldn’t help but sigh inwardly.

After entering the main hall, Zhong shi passed over a few posts to her, “Because of mother-in-law passed away, it took three years to observe filial piety. With this delay, unknowingly, you are already eighteen, and have missed the time for a lifelong event. I originally wanted to choose among your father’s disciples, the one who have a good moral character. But I didn’t expect that the old master suddenly decided to go north to Yanjing. Right now we are strangers in a strange land, which is really unthinkable, and your age is getting older and can’t be delayed. So mother can only take you to attend more gatherings, so you can take a good look. You can pick these posts first, they all have a son of the right age in the family, the second son of the Zhou family…”

Listening to her mother’s endless narration, Guan Suyi’s eyes were dimmed, remembering the past. In her previous life, Zhao Luli fancied her at a certain banquet. Originally, based on family background of the Guan family, it was absolutely impossible to climb into a high gate and deep house like Marquis Zhenbei. Her parents and grandfather were also very hesitant at first, and only agreed after examining Zhao Luli’s talents and personality. However, after passing the door, she knew that what Zhao Luli fancied was her humble family background and knowledgeable temperament. What he wanted was not a wife, but a servant who would take care of his children and serve his mother.

It’s ridiculous that she did everything he asked for, in exchange for insincere, nevertheless malicious, even cruel treatment. Now to started all over again, she didn’t want to take revenge, she just hopes the years would be well. As for who should be Marquis Zhenbei madam in this life? Who do you love? What it got to do with her?

TN:

Happy New Year everyone!! Wishing you all a happy year of 2022.

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