I wish you luck and a bright future ahead.
The tables and chairs of the noodle stand had been flipped over, and even the pinwheel stall next door had been overturned. The colorful windmills trampled on by countless feet, until they were no longer recognisable.
Feng Bao didn’t dare to lose sight of them, trying to protect the little princely heir; he’d also followed them over there.
Screams and cries for help all mixed together, it only got messier.
Everyone was anxious to leave, so no one could actually leave.
The two guards who were with them had long been swept away by the masses of people.
If they left now, it would be even more dangerous, the best thing to do was to wait until things had calmed down.
Feng Bao looked extremely anxious, he scolded out loud: “Where the hell are the Warden’s Office of the Five Wards, and the people from the Shuntian Government office, how can this kind of thing happen during the Lunar New Year, this is really… Ah!”
He quickly stopped talking and didn’t continue on, but Zhao Su knew what he was trying to say.
It was indeed ominous.
For people of ancient times, winter lightning and summer lightning were rare occurrences. Frost in June was also an ancient grievance, so thunderstorms during the cold winter were also not a good thing.
The chaos continued on. They had the tall tree to bear much of the grunt, so they did not follow the crowd trying to run and the impact from the crowd was not too large. However, they did witness people being hit in the head and bleeding. Under these circumstances, even if they wanted to lend a hand it was impossible. Zhao Su and Feng Bao could only look at each other helplessly.
Feng Bao said very quietly: “If this goes on, the injured and the dead will just continue to mount up, this isn’t good.”
Zhao Su replied: “We can’t even leave, the only thing we can do is wait until the soldiers come to disperse the crowd.
Feng Bao nodded his head and didn’t say anything.
Zhu Yijun’s little hands were gripping Zhao Su’s collar, he didn’t let go even for a while, his eyes were open wide, tears were rolling around but he wasn’t fully crying, it was a pitiful sight.
At this moment, he was still only a four year old child, he had grown up peacefully in the Prince of Yu manor, he would never have guessed that one day he would see in a scene like this with so many people in front of him suffering and even dying.
“Don’t look.” Zhao Su sighed, he pressed his little head against his shoulder and started to stroke his head.
“I want to go home! *Booohoo*….”
“Little Princely Heir, we will be leaving really soon, just endure it a little long.” Seeing Zhao Su’s plead for help, Feng Bao swiftly moved in to help coax the little child, Zhu Yijun gradually stopped crying, lying on Zhao Su, tears still hanging from his eyelashes, his nose was twitching.
Nearby there was someone who had been shoved, stumbling backwards towards them, Zhao Su quickly helped him, sparing his head from whacking into the tree trunk.
“Thank you, thank you!” That person quickly expressed his gratitude, he was a woeful mess.
Zhao Su took the opportunity to ask: “Xiongtai do you know what happened over there, we came late, and only heard the thunder.”
“Just now, the thunder struck the stone lion in front of the bridge, the lion’s head fell, and hit someone. I was not in the front, so I also could not see clearly. I saw everyone running backwards, as there are so many people, the chaos is increasing.”
The man shook his head and sighed, said something similar to Feng Bao: “Who could have expected on the second day of the year, at the foot of the Son of Heaven1Another name for the Emperor, there could be such an incident, winter night thunder, it’s indeed ominous.”
Zhao Su couldn’t explain to them that it was just a relatively rare natural phenomenon. One could imagine though that this place was already in such a mess now and the bridge was naturally even worse.
The scholar saw that he could not leave for a while, so he stayed with them, chatting a little.
“This is my first time in the Capital, has this happened before here?”
Zhao Su shook his head: “Sorry, I’m a country bumpkin, this is also my first time in the Capital.”
The man was amused by him: “I see that xiongtai has a great sense of humour. So are you also here to take the metropolitan exam?”
“Exactly, I am Zhao Su, courtesy name Shaoyong, could I ask for your name?”
“Oh then it’s fate, my name is Xu, Xu Shixing, I’m also here for the exam, you can call me Ru Mo, you….”
There was suddenly a sweaty fellow who ran over, cutting him off: “Ru Mo!”
I finally found you, didn’t you see the fight just then, I nearly got hurt, you’re alright though?
Who are these two, are they your friends?”
That person’s words made Xu Shixing a bit dumbfounded for a second and he took a while to answer: “We just met.”
Whilst they were talking, the soldiers and guards finally appeared long overdue. The Warden’s Office of the Five Wards and the Embroidered Uniform Guards had been dispatched together to evacuate the crowd.
They followed the flow of people to leave. All the while, Zhao Su had to protect the little kid in his arms and was bumped into a few times.
Zhu Yijun was quietly laid on Zhao Su’s shoulder, unbeknownst to Zhao Su he had already fallen asleep, his little face is quiet and well-behaved completely the opposite to when he was awake.
At this moment, Xu Shixing finally had the opportunity to introduce his friend: “Wang Xijue, courtesy name Wang Yuanyu, this is Zhao Su, Zhao Shaoyong. Shaoyong is also here for the metropolitan exam.”
Wang Xijue showed his surprise, looking Zhao Su up and down and then said: “Not even 20 and he’s already achieved juren?”
It is true that there are talents from generation to generation, a new generation replacing an old one, Ru Mo, we are getting old!”
Feng Bao coughed lightly and said quietly, “It’s getting late, Shaoyong, it’s time for us to take the little gongzi home.”
Zhao Su felt that the names of these two people were vaguely familiar, but could not think of how for the moment, and his thoughts were cut off by Feng Bao, so he no longer thought about it, anyway they were all here to take the exam, it wouldn’t be long before they would meet again.
And it was at this moment that they said their goodbyes, Zhao Su carried Zhu Yijun all the way to the Prince of Yu manor, then handed him over to Feng Bao before going home.
The 41st year of Jiajing, the second day of the Lunar New Year began with a lantern festival in the Capital, and ended with a thunderclap that struck the stone lion, causing panic among the people, trampling on each other and killing and injuring several people.
But what everyone was talking about the most was not the winter thunder. Heaven’s will is ominous, and even Emperor Jiajing began to reflect on whether the amount of offerings he recently burned to the gods were not good enough or he was not pious enough, so much so that there was a heavenly warning that this year would not be a good year for him.
As if to confirm everyone’s fears, this year would not be a peaceful one for the country.
Since the tenth day of the first month, Fujian had began to report on one epidemic after another, at first the Grand Secretariat did not take it to heart, because during the start of the year there were too many of these types of reports received. The Grand Secretariat has long become numb to this and just told the Fujian Inspector-General to deal with the people according to the rules of disaster relief.
However, the epidemic did not end there. Instead, it gradually got out of control. By March, there was a horrible situation of deaths in Quanzhou Prefecture, with dead bodies lined up in the streets of the cities.
With the epidemic outbreak combined with the winter thunder in the Capital at the beginning of the year, the Imperial Censor, Zou Yinglong seized the opportunity to submit a memorial to the Emperor. He said that the heavens were sending a warning about greed and corruption and there were even traitorous villains in the imperial court. He urged His Majesty to not fail to investigate, and the spearhead was pointed directly at Yan Shifan.
The imperial court was in an uproar, all eyes were focused on Zou Yinglong, some were watching exactly, others were thinking his death was near, most people thought that he would inevitably end up being dismissed from his post or sent into exile. But what was most unbelievable was that the Emperor Jiajing actually crushed the memorial, and he did not send out any orders to investigate, nor did he make a comment on the matter.
Back in February, these dark tides were raging but for the time being, they had nothing to do with Zhao Su. Even if he heard about the epidemic in Fujian, he could only worry about Lady Chen and the others whilst he prepared for the metropolitan exam.
There was also a small incident in between this time. Zhao Rong spent two taels of silver. He didn’t know where he had heard it from but someone had said that they could sell him the exam questions. He excitedly presented this treasure to Zhao Su only to be severely scolded by Zhao Su.
Seeing Zhao Su open his eyes, still dazed and confused, Zhao Rong hurriedly brought a hot towel: “Was shaoye dreaming?”
“Hm.. I had a very confusing dream…” Zhao Su rubbed his head, took the towel and wiped his face.
In the dream, he is still in the past life with a cross-over into this life. One moment he was at home with his sister2Not important but specifically his younger sister (妹妹 – meimei) eating and watching TV, and then the next moment he was in the examination hall writing a never-ending paper. After waking up he was still having trouble discerning fantasy from reality.
Yes, he was Zhao Su, today was the day of the metropolitan examination, all the examinees needed to report to the entrance of the government office at maoshi, and then suffer through three unbearable days of torture.
Whether you were talented or incompetent, whether you had a bright future or missed out on an official’s position, all would be determined at that moment.
Of course, after the metropolitan examination, there was still the court examination in which the essay questions were written by the Emperor himself. But if you were able to get a good ranking in the metropolitan examination, then the court examination was usually not much of a big hurdle.
With Zhao Su’s mentality, he was not looking to fight with these ancient people who had studied all their lives for Zhuangyuan. He’d be happy getting into the second rank3Reminder: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Place make up the first rank. 4th place and below is the second rank and after that third rank for the rest or fail. There is no real set number for second and third rank it can be anywhere between 50 to 100 people, for him and for his teacher that was already a great achievement. Back then, the talented Yuan Shu4Reminder: He’s Susu’s little shixiong had also only achieved jinshi of the second rank.
”Shaoye, were you thinking about the exam all night, so much so that you didn’t sleep well and now you are lacking in concentration?” Zhao Rong said with a cheeky grin.
“Master, I had a dream that you were feigning intelligence like you understood everything!” Zhao Su tapped him on the head, and threw the towel at him.
Zhao Rong scratched his head: “Well you can’t blame me for guessing randomly. Last night outside the door there was someone who didn’t sleep the whole night.”
“Chen-shaoye, he said that he was rolling around and couldn’t sleep, he got up super early, his two eyes…” Zhao Rong gestured with his hands, puffing and laughing.
The sun came out late in the winter, and it was still dark outside at this hour. Zhao Su walked out of the door, and a cold wind blew towards him, causing him to shudder. He immediately felt more awake.
‘Shaoyong!” Chen Zhu was already waiting outside for him with a lantern in his hand.
Zhao Su looked closer, only to realize that there really was a faint circle of blue and black under his eyes, and he smiled and comforted: “We can only do our best, but it’s up to the heavens to decide, don’t be too nervous.”
Chen Zhu nodded, he felt a bit embarrassed but he discovered looking into Zhao Su’s eyes actually made him calm down a bit.
“I wish you luck and a bright future ahead.” Zhao Su smiled and said slowly.
Chen Zhu was stunned for a moment, he then smiled back: “I wish you luck and a bright future ahead.”
——Today’s little history lesson——
Today someone called Wang Xijie appeared. Perhaps not everyone is familiar with him. But he had a great grandson, those of you who like Shuzi Juntuan5数字军团 – this is a term that denotes those who like fiction, series etc revolving the princes of the Qing Dynasty, more specifically the struggle for the throne between all the sons of Kangxi. If you like cdramas it’s stuff like Scarlet Heart, Dreaming back to the Qing Dynasty. Oh and MXS actually wrote a Qing Dynasty novel, it’s a BL between the 4th prince (Yinzhen) and 8th prince (Yinsi) but its completely locked down due to it being inc*st. might be more familiar with him, his name was Wang Shan (王掞).
He was the Crown Prince Yinreng’s teacher. In the tv series Yong Zheng Dynasty, he was the Tutor Wang crying and begging the Kangxi Emperor not to depose the Crown Prince haha.
History is actually very amusing, his ancestor was once the Grand Secretary of the Ming dynasty, whilst the later generation had defended the legitimacy of the Qing dynasty’s Crown Prince position.
This is not to criticize, I just want to say that, in reality during the reign of Kangxi, many Han6Reminder: The Qing Dynasty was ruled by the Manchus, Ming Dynasty is the last dynasty ruled by Han Chinese. Officials considered the crown prince Yinreng as the legitimate heir.
And it was because of this, when Yongzheng succeeded the throne that he considered Yinreng’s son, the former Emperor’s eldest grandson, Hong Xi, as a thorn in his side.
During the reign of Qianlong, the pitiful Hong Xi was finally imprisoned under false accusations and finally hung himself.
Being born of royal blood, he was destined to live a tragic life. If you’re not wearing the halo of the protagonist, please be careful…..
07/05/22 – Naming conventions updated