All Under Heaven – Chapter 13

Zhao Su's historic meeting with Qi Jiguang and an old fox reveals himself in the Grand Secretariat
This person couldn’t be considered dumb, Zhao Su looked at him whilst getting up and adjusting his clothing: “I only suspect him, it might not be him at all.”

Zhao Nuan gritted his teeth: “I think 9 out of 10 it’s him, the last few years, whether publicly or privately, he has created problems for you both, and even went around telling everyone you’re a concubine’s son who’s been kicked out of Zhao manor. If it’s not him, I’ll write my name backwards!”

Zhao Su put on a clean set of clothes and drank up the congee that Zhao Nuan had brought. He felt warm all over, nothing like before when he had fainted. He said: “Writing your name backwards doesn’t help me at all, there’s no point in you getting worked up. Why don’t you go over to see Shen Lexing and see how you can help.”

“What about you?”

“I’m going to the County Magistrate’s office.”

At Changle Government office, Yang Rufu was chatting to someone, he looked in good spirits.

Even though this battle was hard, he had still managed to hold out until the reinforcements arrived. Now that this is over, if no more incidents arise, he should be expecting a promotion. However, the neighbouring County Magistrate of Minhou who had fled, would be facing criminal charges, or at least he would be re-assigned or banished to the border with no hope of returning.

Compared with him, Yang Rufu was feeling very lucky.

Although the man in front of him was his saviour, he was humble in his words. He was not as rude as an ordinary General, nor was he proud of being an Official. After a few words, Yang Rufu’s respect for him immediately became much deeper.

Look at this. What’s called accepting credit without arrogance, this is it!

Yang Rufu got up and cupped his hands together and solemnly saluted: “This Official thanks General Qi on behalf of all Changle citizens. If you hadn’t arrived in time, I’m afraid the people in the city, together with my little life, would have been buried here!”

Qi Jiguang quickly helped him: “Yang da-ren doesn’t need to be so courteous.”

Previously Qi Jiguang had just been promoted thanks to the great battle in Taizhou. He was Commander-in-chief in Zhejiang, so a situation like Fuzhou didn’t actually need him to come personally, nor was it in his jurisdiction. Luckily, Supreme Commander, Hu Zongxian had moved to Fujian because of the Wukou, allowing Qi Jiguang to enter Fujian and defeat the Wukou.

Qi Jiguang had set off a few days ago and had arrived nearby in Fuzhou when the Wukou had begun their assault. It was terribly unlucky for the Wukou, they had suffered a terrible defeat in Zhejiang and had relocated to another area, only to bump into a familiar enemy.

There’s no need to repeat what happened next.

So Yang Rufu was still alive to be able to engage in this back and forth praising.

The two were in the midst of conversation, when someone came to report that Zhao Su seeked an audience.

Yang Rufu ordered someone to bring him whilst telling Qi Jiguang: “This is this year’s jieyuan, he’s from this county.”

He then continued to introduce Zhao Su telling him about his background etc.

Qi Jiguang smiled but didn’t say anything.
Zhao Su entered, he bowed to both parties, then he cupped his hands respectively towards Qi Jiguang, with a serious expression: “I’ve long heard of General’s reputation, how fortunate for me to be able to meet you today.”

Qi Jiguang was slightly taken aback, he carefully looked at the person in front of him.

The status of a Military Official in the Ming Dynasty was not particularly prestigious. Even if you win a battle, the credit may not fall on you. Even if it falls on you, the reward will not be rich. Military Officers were used as cannon fodder all the time. The danger of the imperial court is complicated. In case of a setback, the first person who will fall under the knife is often the General.

Like Hu Zongxian, he was previously a Civil official with a jinshi background. Even though he was the Commander-in-Chief of Zhejiang and Fujian provinces, he still had to rely on Yan Song to smooth government decree. No matter how great Qi Jiguang’s credit was, in front of the Civil Officials of the same rank, he also had to bow his head, not to mention one’s above his ranking.

So at this moment, although Qi Jiguang’s reputation was well-known, it wasn’t to the point that Zhao Su was suggesting.

However, the young person in front of him, was not only respectful but he didn’t seem to be faking, so it made him very surprised.

“Zhao jieyuan doesn’t need to be so courteous.”

“My courtesy name is Shaoyong, if da-ren wouldn’t mind, then please address me with this. If da-ren hadn’t made it in time, I’m afraid that the 10,000 citizens of Changle would have been in the fire or water, please accept my eternal gratitude.”

Zhao Su finished speaking and then dropped to his knees to pay his respects, Qi Jiguang helped him up, and turned to Yang Rufu smiling: “You have already thanked me once, now Shaoyong is also thanking me, my hand is sore from helping you both up.”

Yang Rufu also laughed and thought to himself, this new General was certainly good with words, he wasn’t like the usual Military Officials.

Zhao Su was not being contentious. His praise was purely a tribute to Qi Jiguang from the admiration of future generations. When Qi Jiguang helped him up, Zhao Su’s expression had returned to calm.

This deep tribute left a great impression on Qi Jiguang, this back and forth was very congenial. Especially when Qi Jiguang found out that Zhao Su had defended Changle for three days straight, he couldn’t help but praise him more.

The first meeting between the two seemed very simple, even a little plain.

But at this time, neither of them would expect how they would affect each other’s future destiny.

Perhaps many years later, when scholars opened various Ming history books, it would not be difficult to find such a passage:

The fortieth year of Jiajing, Wukou invasion in Fujian, Qi Jiguang rushed to the rescue, passed by Changle, capturing more than two thousand people, then met Zhao Su. At the time, Su was a jieyuan, the two people met with familiarity at first sight. Su narrated the defeat of the Wukou, Jiguang gladly listened. Meeting again after many years, Jiguang brought up old topics, Su smiled and said: Isn’t it a sign of harmony?

Of course, these are all just transient clouds at this moment in time.
Beijing, Grand Secretariat.

The triumphant victory in Changle was ten days ago, but the court had already just received the news, Grand Secretary Xu was looking over the accounts.

There have been many battles on the border over the last few years, big and small battles, whether you win or lose, the Grand Secretariat has long been apathetic, and Secretary Xu was no exception. He opened it carelessly and swept across it in a glance.

Suddenly, he saw a name that made him pause for a while.

Zhao Su.

Xu Jie thought about it, wasn’t this the student of Dai Gongwang?

The teacher was strong-willed, looked like the student was as well, might as well, do him a favour.

Xu Jie laughed, and took his brush pen and wrote a few sentences, then put the memorial on top of the left pile.

“Secretary Xu, what are you looking at that’s made you so happy?” Someone asked, smiling.

Xu Jie looked up: “Oh, it’s Zhi Fu, come over and sit!”

Guo Po greeted him in a salute, seeing Xu Jie enthusiasm, he took the opportunity to sit opposite him.

He had just entered the Grand Secretariat this year, and his position in the Grand Secretariat naturally was low. In age, he was no older than Xu Jie, but he was well-known within the Grand Secretariat and to the public. Although he is not so daring as to scold Yan Song face-to-face like the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Revenue, Zhao Zhenji. He was also not a supporter of the Yan family and could be considered neutral, so Xu Jie naturally liked him.
Guo Po took the memorial that Xu Jie had just put to the side, casually looking over it: “Secretary, this is about the grand victory in Fujian?”


“Fujian jieyuan guarded the city with the County Magistrate? He is indeed a young and promising youth. If this memorial is presented, the Emperor will be happy.”

Xu Jie laughed and nodded: “Yes, recently, the Emperor has been worried about the situation in the North. The report of success in the South is definitely good news.”

Whilst the two were chatting, there was an unexpected laugh that came from nowhere.

“You both are really wrapped up in work, lao-fu is ashamed!”

Yan Song walked in, stroking his beard, followed by another person, his son Yan Shifan.

Xu Jie and Guo Po quickly got up and cupped their hands together in a salute.

Xu Jie said: “Last night, there were loud sounds of thunder throughout the night, how was your rest?”

Yan Song waved his hand, motioned him to sit down, and sighed: ” I’m old and sleep lightly. I wake up at the slightest noise, I didn’t sleep well for half the night.”

Xu Jie worriedly said: “In the Capital there is a doctor’s cabinet, who has a famous doctor whose skills are not bad. The last time I had sleep troubles, he gave me a few medicines and my sleep improved greatly.”   

Yan Shifan, seeing the two chatting leisurely, turned his gaze to Guo Pu, he picked up the memorial that the two were previously discussing, with a smile, “Secretary Guo, who were you just saying was young and promising?”

Guo Pu was stunned: “This great victory in Fujian was due to Qi Jiguang’s assistance, but Changle held back the enemy, the County Magistrate Yang Rufu and the jieyuan, Zhao Su, were on the frontlines. It is a delightful move.”

Yan Shifan glanced over the memorial, and snorted: “Just a juzi, it’s nothing to bother the emperor with!”

After he finished speaking, he took the memorial and threw it into the middle pile.

Xu Jie caught a glimpse from the corner of his eye, and the corner of his mouth was slightly stiff, but he did not object.

There were three separate piles of memorials that had been carefully placed.

When the Grand Secretaries presented the memorials, they drafted their opinions and attached them to the scroll and presented them to the Emperor Jiajing.
The Emperor was busy in search of immortality so unless it was a big issue, he was usually too lazy to look over everything, this long had been the case. Over time, the Grand Secretariat had figured out something and it also formed a habit. The stack of memorials on the left were mostly good news for awards and merits, when the Emperor saw those he was usually elated. The pile on the right was usually to impeach someone or even report bad news about the disaster in various places. As for the stack in the middle, it is naturally not bad or irrelevant content. Unless Jiajing was feeling extremely bored, usually he would not look through the middle pile.

The wonder was thus.

Yan Shifan and Zhao Su had no grievances, and he certainly wouldn’t pay any attention to an insignificant person far away in southern Fujian. It was just that he disliked Guo Pu so anyone that Guo Pu praised naturally made him feel uncomfortable.

As for Xu Jie, he was just trying to do someone a favour, but he would never offend Yan Shifan for such a small thing. That’s why Zhao Su is unlucky. There might have been an opportunity for him to meet the Emperor, but it was lost just like that.

Meanwhile, at the time, Zhao Su was preparing his trip to the Capital to take the Metropolitan Exam next year.

But before he left, he still had a few things to resolve.
Author’s Note:

Zhao Su’s growth will be based on the plot, he will not suddenly have a meteoric rise to the top, nor will he step on others to get ahead. Everything will progress naturally, so don’t worry.

As for the ML, I counted, in about two chapters he will appear, hehe.
13/12/21 – Notes added.

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