All Under Heaven – Chapter 27

He is already so unsettled at this age, no wonder he torments his court officials when he grows up
At this age, it was very easy for children to fall ill and Zhu Yijun was no exception.

A few days before when Zhao Su had gone over to visit, the child was still a round and plump, a chubby little steamed bun, but right now, he looked emaciated, lying on his bed with a high fever.

The medicine was very bitter, and it had been spit back up completely by Zhu Yijin. The anxious Feng Bao could only ask one of the female servants to give it to him with the mouth to mouth method. With this method, he was able to take in about half a bowl, but after an hour or so, he would still spit it back up.

The entire household was in disarray. The Prince of Yu and Consort Li were beside themselves, so distressed and helpless.

They had brought many doctors to come see him, and had even requested the imperial physicians to come from the palace. The child had caught a regular cold, it was not a major illness and could be remedied by taking medicine everyday. The problem was that he couldn’t keep the medicine down.

“Mother….. Candied Hawthorns…. Susu… Cat…” The servant girl was incessantly dabbing the sweat off his little face. Zhu Yijin was still boiling all over, his fever had not subsided at all, he was spouting nonsense, no one knew what he was talking about.

At this moment in Gongyuan Court, it was the third day of the examination, and also the last day.

Zhao Su finished answering the question, and had looked over his essay carefully a few times. He saw that it was still light outside and was not in a hurry to hand in his paper. He leant against the stone wall, he was bored stiff, above the flies on the wall there were some small scribbles.

Many examinees would write their name or some small words on the wall, some of it was encouraging words, some of it were poems. It was a form of commemoration, In the unlikely event that they achieve unparalleled success in the future, this is a place for future generations to pay their respects to them.

There are also many poems left on the wall which were very old, so much so they were hard to read.

Zhao Su thought about it, picked up his brush pen, and then began to draw in the corner.

An arc.

Another arc.

It formed a circle that looked like a circle but is not a circle, with a dip in the middle.

Hm.. and then eyebrows, eyes, nose….

Zhao Su laughed out loud.

A crying child, Zhu Yijun appeared on the wall.

When he’s older, maybe I’ll bring him here to take a look?

Let him see his crying little face when he was younger, that would be fun.

He leisurely added a few more hairs and a few tears to the face on the wall. Zhao Su was in a good mood.

After three days of highly stressful exams, if he didn’t relax, he’d probably collapse.

After Zhao Su finished drawing the portrait, he handed in his paper, packed his brush and inkstone and left Gongyuan Court.

Before him, there were quite a few people who had already left.

But after him, there were still a lot of people who were still trying to muddle through.

He wasn’t the most talented, nor was he the most special.
Wearing light blue robes, Zhao Su leisurely strolled out. It was finally over.

Three goddamn days, he didn’t even want to turn around to take a look, he could only hope that he wouldn’t have to come again in three years…

He had a gentle and elegant face, but he didn’t think so elegantly at all.

He’d just taken a few steps out of Gongyuan Court, when he discovered that his pageboy, Zhao Rong was there and behind him, there was also Feng Bao.   

Seeing that he finally came out, Feng Bao went up to him with an anxious face. “You’re finally out, quickly follow me to the Prince of Yu manor!”

Zhao Su’s heart skipped a beat, he had a feeling that had something to do with Zhu Yijun: “What’s the matter?”

“…. the little princely heir is not very well.”


Ministry of Rites Government Office.

Gao Gong had stayed in Gongyuan Court for three days straight, whilst Chen Yiqin had stayed in the palace for three days. He had just returned two hours ago, and was now reviewing the examination papers with Gao Gong.

It wasn’t that he didn’t want to come back, but it was that he hadn’t received the Emperor’s permission to leave.

During these three days, Chen Yiqin was at the Grand Secretariat the whole time, waiting with Xu Jie for an answer from the Emperor. But who could have guessed that Emperor Jiajing had gone into isolated meditation, and he didn’t care about other matters be it small or large. So the two of them had waited two days before getting an answer from the Emperor.

Do as you see fit.

On hearing the Eunuch’s words, Chen Yiqin felt like he had spilled a five-flavoured spice bottle, he wanted to cry but had no tears. Nothing was enough to describe his frame of mind.

He and Gao Gong had been worried about this incident for three days. They had imagined being dismissed from office, exiled with their whole family or even being executed.

In the end, one word from the Emperor and they were sent away.

Xu Jie had served the Emperor for many years, and had some experience, so tried to comfort him with a few words.

“The epidemic plus the Wukou in the South and the Tartars in the North have been knocking at our gates frequently. Money is needed everywhere, but the Ministry of Revenue hasn’t been unable to allocate money. His Majesty is still thinking about repairing the Palace of Eternal Longevity. This matter… he will want to keep it under wraps.”

Chen Yiqin smiled bitterly: “But we still bear the responsibility for the leakage of exam questions and the sudden change of the exam questions, in case the Imperial Censor impeaches….”

“The sudden change of examination questions was to remedy the situation. You have commited merits and crimes. Although the crime is unavoidable, I estimate that if his Majesty does not want to make a big deal, the punishment for you will not be too severe. Go back and work with Gao Suqing to check the papers. I will put in a good word with his Majesty for you both.”

Xu Jie twisted his beard and showed a slight smile. The Emperor wanted to keep things quiet. Naturally, it was the best solution. The perpetrators were many, but they probably would not have thought of this turn of events.

Only then did Chen Yiqin relax a little, and then he returned to convey all this to Gao Gong.

After hearing this, Gao Gong sighed, but his face looked a bit better: “I thought that the two of us being the Chief Examining Officers this year was a sign from His Majesty regarding the Prince of Yu. I did not expect that so many incidents would arise and we nearly fell into a pit.”

Chen Yiqin had lingering fears: “Who said it’s not, every step is startling.”

“Well, since that’s the case, it’s useless to think about it, so let’s go and look at the papers. The result of the review by the seventeen Associate Examining Officers must be out by now.

“At first we thought it was just a small cold, but the little princely heir couldn’t keep the medicine down, he vomited it out after taking it. The doctors were helpless. If it continues like this, I am afraid that it will be very dangerous. The Prince is out of ideas, Consort Li heard that the little princely heir was shouting your name so she asked me to specifically wait here for you, so that you will come to the manor with me after you finish the exam.”

Zhao Su smiled bitterly. The time he spent with Zhu Yijun was not long. Children were forgetful, so how could he have developed deep feelings? It was probably more likely he was still thinking about the things that he took him to eat.

The carriage drove fast, Feng Bao briefly talked about the little princely heir’s condition, and finally whispered: “Xiongdi, I know this is hard for you. Consort Li didn’t originally think that you could help the little princely heir drink the medicine, but she’d try anyone or anything in a crisis with even a thread of hope. Do your best, the little princely heir is the only son of the Prince, otherwise…”

Otherwise, Gao Gong, Chen Yiqin, and even Xu Jie, who have secretly helped the Prince of Yu, will be disappointed for the most part. After all, between the two Princes, only the Prince of Yu has an heir. If even this advantage is gone, it would be one less bargaining chip for the Prince.

“I understand.” Zhao Su nodded his head lightly, in response to Feng Bao’s words.

Even if he had been mentally prepared to see Zhu Yijun, seeing the child who had always been lively and vibrant, lying on the bed, he was still shocked.

Feng Bao whispered in Zhu Yijun’s ear: “Little princely heir, Little princely heir, Zhao Su is here!”

Naturally, Zhu Yijun could not hear. Although his eyes seemed half-open, in fact, his mind was completely fuzzy.

Feng Bao turned his head and looked at Zhao Su helplessly.

At this moment, the servant girl who had been serving Zhu Yijun the whole time wiped his face, and brought another pot of water.

Zhao Su stretched out his hand and felt his forehead. It was still hot.

“It’s not possible to continue on like this.”

Feng Bao sighed: “We all know, but he just can’t swallow the medicine…”

“Is there any strong alcohol in the manor?”

Feng Bao was taken aback: “There is.”

“Sorry to bother Yongting-xiong but I need a jar of strong wine and a clean cloth towel.”

“What’s it for?”

Zhao Su smiled: “In the South, we have a method that is to wipe the whole body with spirits to cool off the fever. Now there is no other way, right? Let’s try it first.”

“Alright.” Feng Bao reacted immediately, nodded and went out.
After a short while, the alcohol arrived. Zhao Su soaked the towel, then took off Zhu Yijun’s clothes, half-wrapping him in his arms, he wiped under his arms and on his back over and over again. The kid was very peaceful, letting him do it softly.

“¥@#……&@糖……葫芦#¥@……”Zhu Yijun moved his mouth, muttering words that no one understood, but Zhao Su caught one or two familiar sounds from it.

He was impressed, and he felt sincere admiration for Zhu Yijun’s spirit for being in a coma and still not forgetting about the snacks.

“If you quickly take your medicine and get better, I’ll come and play with you everyday and eat some…”

“Not only food from the Capital but osmanthus cake from the South, Crispy chicken.”

“Even further to the South, there is also the sea. There are very big boats and you can go out to sea on the boat. You can go far away. There are exotic animals living in the sea with ducks and sea otters… um, what is a sea otter? Well it lives in the sea, when it is young, it has fur all over its body and is very cute but when it grows it becomes rather large….”

“If you went to the North, leaving the border of the Great Ming, well.. that’s the country of Russia, oh no, at this time, it should be the territory of the Tartar. People from Russia, they all have blond and blue-eyed, and they are as white as snow. They are the foreigners I told you about. Over there it’s icy and snowy, even colder than Beijing…”

Zhu Yijun was dizzy, and only felt that someone kept talking in his ear, his voice was soft and pleasant, and very familiar.

His eyelids were so heavy that he just wanted to sleep the whole time, but the person was so funny that he couldn’t help but want to open his eyes, even when he was fed the bitter medicine he no longer resisted.

“Okay, okay, the princely heir’s forehead is not hot anymore!” The maidservant almost cried with joy. These days Zhu Yijun’s illness has made the people around him extremely restless. The most dumbfounding thing was that he could still recognize people, so Zhao Su had to hold him and not let go. If it was someone else holding him to feed the medicine, he wouldn’t drink it.

“Quick, go report this to the Prince.” Zhao Su found it was useful to talk to him. These two days, as soon as he was free, he would tell stories in his ears so much so that his voice became hoarse.

“Look at this servant’s memory, I was so happy I forgot, I’ll go right away, I’ll trouble Master Zhao to stay with the little princely heir!” The maidservant ran out happily.

Zhao Su also felt too tired. No one would be comfortable holding a big fat bun for two days. He was relieved when he saw his fever go down.

“He is already so unsettled at this age, no wonder he torments his court officials when he grows up, and doesn’t bother to attend morning court for twenty-seven years!” Zhao Su twisted his little nose and murmured.

“Um… Susu…” The little kid tilted his head and nuzzled it against Zhao Su’s robes, as if he knew what Zhao Su was thinking.

Back at the Ministry of Rites office, marking the papers was underway.

The preliminary results reviewed by the seventeen Associate Examining Officers had to be presented to the Chief Examining Officers for the final decision. That is to say, if the Chief Examining Officers are lazy, maybe the final rankings will be according to their results.

That was actually the case for Chen Yiqin who almost felt like vomiting after reading the papers for a few days. He wished there were a few more pairs of eyes to help out. When he looked at Gao Gong, who still looked so energetic, he couldn’t help admiring and complimenting: “Suqing, you are really a God, look at me, even my bones are almost falling apart…”

“Good!” Before he finished speaking, Gao Gong slapped the table, startling him. “Well written!”

“What has he written?” Chen Yiqin leaned forward curiously, and then read, “Those who suffer from worries will live, those who indulge in peaceful happiness will die. There are foreign invaders at our border, and internally…”

Before he finished reading, he had a weird look on his face: “Do you like this one?”   

——Today’s little history lesson——

Last time I went out, I was chatting to my friend about Ming Dynasty princesses. So let’s talk about this today.

During the Ming Dynasty, aside from Princess Changping who lived during the Ming-Qing Dynasty changeover, there is almost no other that comes to mind.

But she isn’t well known for her talent, power or happiness but because her family was utterly devastated, and she led a tragic life – that’s why she is well-known.

Because during the Ming Dynasty, it was taboo for relatives to get involved in politics, so normally all the imperial harem were chosen from noble, rich families, and the men that the princesses married were also thus.

Although during the Ming Dynasty there were no marriage alliances. However, between the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty princesses neither were particularly lucky.

Perhaps it was even more tragic during the Ming Dynasty, as you could at any moment be betrothed to the wrong person by the Emperor, for example married to a swindler, or married to the young and pure son of a concubine.

Everyone must be asking, the Ming Dynasty actually had quite a lot of talented men including Wang Yangming, Xu Jie, Zhang Juzheng and the others, so why didn’t they have the right to marry a princess?

But during the Ming Dynasty, normally when a man marries a princess, he cannot also be a government official, in order to prevent royal relatives from getting involved with government affairs.

And this obviously meant that a lot of talented or ambitious people were not willing to marry a princess.

So if you transmigrate into the Ming Dynasty, remember don’t become a princess, it would be better to be a commoner than a princess…

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