Who Cares – Chapter 61
Chapter 61 Inspired
Before ascending the throne, Emperor Sheng Yuan was known for making big moves, rough and heroic, if it could be beaten then beaten, if it could not be beaten then beaten later, and he never liked to play any conspiracies and tricks. But after having more contact with the Han people, he suddenly realized: These Central Plains people are too goddamn tricky, if you go straight with them, you may be led into a pit and buried.
After several big losses, he gradually became interested in Central Plains culture, and the more he learned, the more he understood its strength. Of course, among the many learnings, his favorites were the military and legalism schools. Every time he got its classic, he reads it eagerly. Only then did he realize that to govern the people of Central Plains, he had to use the means of the people of Central Plains.
At the beginning of the founding of the country, he couldn’t even figure out how the imperial court mechanism work, so he had to use a large number of Han officials, barely holding up the Wei Kingdom. But new problems came one after another, such as the Wang clan of Langya, the Xie clan of Chenjun, the Yuan clan of Runan, and the Xiao clan of Lanling… each had their own background, each had their own territory, raised private soldiers, and acted as powerful officials, if it weren’t for them to lost most of its strength in the war, they would almost make him a mere figurehead.
Among them, the Wang clan of Langya had the most wealth and talents. As early as the coexistence of various vassal states, they secretly controlled some of the most powerful forces. The head of the family and the descendants of the direct line were all high-ranking officials, and held the power of life and death. When the Wei Kingdom was established, they didn’t want to be outdone, on one hand, they won over the courtiers and on the other hand, they consolidated their power.
Emperor Sheng Yuan was used to being domineering, and naturally impossible to be used as puppet by them, so the two sides looked harmonious, but secretly fought fiercely. In the past, the noble family always had the upper hand, but recently, the people cultivated by Emperor Sheng Yuan slowly infiltrated the court. He also established the Emperor Teacher, and recruited a group of upright Confucian scholars who were famous all over the world and loyal to the imperial power to take on important positions, so the situation improved slightly.
It was just that the noble family was a noble family after all, the family style was clean, and the children were quite promising, unlike the Ye family, which full of shortcoming that was easily exploited by other. Therefore, it may be difficult for the Emperor Teacher to impeach the Wang family and suppress the power of the prime minister.
Emperor Sheng Yuan remembered the arrogance and influence of the Wang family, could not help but gritted his teeth with hatred, and then looked at the Emperor Teacher and Chief of Ceremonies who were always loyal to the country, his heart was finally smooth, and he was more willing to be honest about his mistake.
“What the teacher taught, Zhen has realize the mistake. In those year when entering Yanjing for the first time, and the court was re-established, the Ye family asked for a position, and Zhen pick a position that is not too low nor too high, casually gave it to him and sent him away, how did one expect that the post of Grand Astrologer to be so important.”
He always thought that Grand Astrologer was just looking at the sky, counting the days, and regularly drying the classics under the sun. Anyone could do it well. How could he know that there were so many particulars? When he understood, Ye Quanyong had already taken office, and he could only pretend not to know.
The beard on Old Master Guan’s lips was trembling, showing that he was very angry with the emperor. However, he finally held back, and after pondering for a while, he said quietly, “Your Majesty, you are completely wild!”
Emperor Sheng Yuan’s ears were getting red, and his heart was full of shame, it was just that his skin was dark that it couldn’t be seen, then he said honestly, “Emperor Teacher, you don’t know, when Zhen was young, Zhen followed the wild beasts in the mountains and forests. When I was a little older, I joined the army to fight. I can’t even recognize Jiuli characters, let alone Mandarin characters. The little ink in Zhen’s stomach has also been slowly learned in recent years, and there are still many ignorant things, please ask Emperor Teacher for more advise.”
“Your Majesty doesn’t have to undervalue yourself. You have only started learning in recent years, but to be able to reach your level is already considered an extraordinary talent. No one is born an emperor, let alone know how to manage a country. They all learn from history and take people as a mirror, little by little carve and polish it. Don’t worry, this minister and others will try our best to assist you, help you become the holy monarch of the whole generation, help the people of the world to live and work in peace and contentment, and support the Wei Kingdom for generations to come.”
All the ministers also cupsed their hands in obeisance, and the solemn atmosphere instantly washed away the gloom in the hall.
Emperor Sheng Yuan even said a few “good” word, rebuilding his confidence and at the same time more respectful to the Emperor Teacher, and hurriedly asked him to go to the back of the palace to wash and change clothes. With this episode, today’s proposal could only be left unsettled, all the ministers withdrew, only Guan Father sat in the hall while waiting for the old man.
Seeing that there were no other people around, he said meaningfully, “If the emperor wants to realize his ambition, the first thing is to restrain the Prime Minister. Now the power of Prime Minister and the power of the monarch are almost equal, all your decisions can be vetoed by him, then this revision of the law and reconstructing the system cannot be carried out, in the end it may shake the foundation of Wei Kingdom and cause the people to fall into trouble.”
How could the Emperor Sheng Yuan didn’t know this? But how to suppress the Prime Minister’s power, this was a difficult problem. In fact, the conflict between the monarch and Prime Minister had existed since a long time ago, and many monarchs had also made great efforts. They divide the prime minister’s power from one person’s monopoly into several people working together, and successively had the left and right Prime Ministers. When they felt that it was not safe enough, they proposed the inner attendant to be the central minister. In the end, it made the court became even more chaotic.
Emperor Sheng Yuan would never let eunuchs take on important positions, and made his surrounding become dangerous, so he shook his head and continued to think bitterly.
Guan Father had some ideas, but it was inconvenient to propose it himself. Before he took office as Chief of Ceremonies, he was a teacher, and he was best at giving example to illustrate the point, guide patiently and systematically, let the disciples learn to think independently, make judgement and resolve the problem themselves, instead of doing everything for them. If not so, not only people would not be able to mature, but would also gradually degenerate.
Emperor Sheng Yuan, this disciple, was even more special. If you think more and do more for him, he may not be grateful to you, but may even have a gap in his heart and secretly guard against you. The best thing to do was to steer him in the right direction and make him realize how to take the helm. When the goal is achieved, he will be happy and confident, and others will be safe.
Both of them were thinking about the countermeasure, but one was still ignorant and the other had a plan. Just at this moment, an inconspicuous-looking inner attendant walked in quietly, and presented a secret letter with both hands, saying that it was sent from the border.
Emperor Sheng Yuan took the secret letter and said apologetically, “Chief of Ceremonies please take a sit, Zhen will go for a while.”
Guan Father did not dare to delay the military situation, only let the emperor handle it himself.
Entering the side hall, Emperor Sheng Yuan opened the letter and read it carefully, he could not help but breathe a sigh of relief. Madam and Zhao Luli actually divided the mansion and lived separately? Good, she deserved to be the proud and arrogant daughter of the Guan family. When she make a decision, she was unhesitating and hits the mark. Even if Zhao Luli had regrets, it was too late, right?
The trick of dividing the mansion was really wonderful. Based on things that Zhao Luli had done, it was not unjust to seize his title. If Madam did not divide the mansion, the gold plaque of the Zhao family would not be able to be preserved, and its end would only be the same as the Ye family, end up in ruins. However, if the east and west mansion were divided, they each re-establishing their main gates. As soon as the plaque of “Marquis Zhenbei” was taken off, the plaque of “General Zhengbei Mansion” could be hung immediately. Who would dare to be rash? Who dares to throw stones at them? The whole family was also saved. (T/N: General Zhengbei is Zhao Luli’s brother)
And that’s not all. The West Mansion had no head, and old madam Zhao and Ruan shi respected her, she then could control the power and do whatever she want. While the East Mansion had cut the title and reduce the expense, and when people’s heart were scattered, they could only rely on the West Mansion, so they also resigned themselves to her. Even if Zhao Luli was her husband and should have take the lead, but he also couldn’t touch her.
In the future at Zhao’s house, she could live however she want, whoever got in the way, she wouldn’t have to deal with it, just kick it away. It’s really a sharp method and an open layout.
Emperor Sheng Yuan read the secret letter over and over again, suddenly a flash of inspiration struck him and he clasped his hands while laughing. It turns out that managing a country can actually follow the same way. Since Zhen can’t beat you with power play, well, then Zhen simply don’t play any more. Divide the powers, divide the military force, divide the functions. When people are confused and the factions are scattered, even the prime minister cannot be the master, won’t they still turn around and rely on Zhen to make decision? Madam is really a wonderful helper!
Father Guan heard the emperor’s extremely leisurely laughter, it seemed there was a good news from the border. He was secretly recalling where there had been frequent wars in recent times, when he saw the emperor walking in with a tiger’s stride, before he sat down he said, “In Zhen’s opinion, to control the Prime Minister is by dividing and transformation.”
“Oh? How to divide?” Guan Father’s eyes brightened slightly, there’s was a surprise expression on his face, obviously he didn’t expect the emperor to think of this step without his own advice.
“It is not the division of left, center and right, but the division of authority, just like there are specializations of academic studies. Didn’t the prime minister say to let the specialize ministers and military officers handle the court affairs? Then let the specialize army, criminal, household, work, ceremonies officials, or whoever proficient in certain areas be in charge of this., everyone has their defect, and no matter how omniscient and omnipotent prime minister is, there is always something he is not good at. And although those people under him only follow him blindly, if they are given a portion of the prime minister’s power, Zhen thought no one will object. But in case the prime minister will resist, causing the court to be shaken, Zhen want to separate the military powers and re-establish Ministry of Commandant, and Zhen will be personally in charge in order to suppress the whole territory. In the past, one person ate a big cake and the rest of the people starved. Now it’s a big cake shared by everyone, except the person who originally took the cake, who will refuse? Afraid no one will refuse, still fight until the head broken and blood flowing. When the voice of supporting this motion increased, Zhen wants to see if Prime Minister Wang can withstand it and whether he dare to take the risk of defying the world.”
“The emperor already has a massive military force. If you want to set up a separate Ministry of Commandant, it will be easy. If Prime Minister Wang loses military power, it’s equivalent to cutting off the tiger’s claws and teeth, there is nothing to be afraid of, and everyone flocks to divide the power. Afraid the thousand years glory of Langya Wang clan will soon come to an end.” Guan Father couldn’t help but admire the emperor.
“Exactly. In the past there are already three divisions of left, center and right, so Zhen will follow the old example and come up with a three-divisions, each with its own special department, and the specific arrangement still need to be discussed with Emperor Teacher, Chief of Ceremonies, and all the beloved minister. After that, the two powers of military and government were divided, and each opened the office. From then on, the management of the government should not involve the army, and the army should not involve with political affairs, and they would constraint each other.” Emperor Sheng Yuan had a prototype of a new bureaucratic system in his mind. Under this system, the power of the emperor would climb to the peak. At that time, he would reform whatever he want, and no one could stand in his way.
Of course, his wisdom alone was extremely limited, and he still had to listen to the opinions of the ministers.
Guan Father was amazed by the Emperor Sheng Yuan’s comprehension. It was not easy for a non-Han emperor who came from a barbarian background to realize such a delicate way of manipulating people without anyone’s guidance! The first Holy Monarch who split heaven and earth apart? He really has this potential!
“The emperor has great talent and insight, brilliant and benevolent, loves the people like his own children, which is indeed the blessing for the Wei Kingdom and the common people. The emperor’s strategy is not only feasible, but it may become a model for future generations to control the officials. This minister thought about it repeatedly, how about naming this law the Two Governments and Three Divisions system? As for the specific division of powers, after returning, this minister will write a memorial and present it to the emperor and the court for discussion.”
“Two Government and Three Division,?” Emperor Sheng Yuan clasped his palms in praise, “Very good!” At the end, his face was quietly stained with a blush. If Chief of Ceremonies knew that the idea of dividing the government was learned from Madam, it’s unknown how he would react. That’s it, in the future, it’s better to find a way to make Madam reconcile, and then confess to the Emperor Teacher and Chief of Ceremonies.
He did not dare to take Madam’s credit.