Chapter 47: The search for one’s mom second spring 15 part 3/For the sake of my mother’s remarriage 15 part 3
[T/N: It is a 10k chapter. I divided it into parts. Sorry for the delay. This is the last part of this chapter]
What is the most talked-about topic among Capital’s madam was not about silk or jewellery, but rather the students who have come to Beijing to attend the imperial examination this year.
It has become a common practice for these madams to look into the candidate’s list before the start of the Imperial Examination. After that, these ladies will find someone to investigate these candidates and see which one has not yet married, and if their appearance is very outstanding, they will be included as the candidates for their son-in-law.
This time, the hot topic in the capital is the Jieyuan who was only a 15 years old teenager.
[T/N: Jieyuan – Top scorer in the provincial imperial examinations [fourth level of examination]. It seemed that there are six levels of examination in this arc.]
“Did you still remember the seven years old boy who was once rumoured in the capital city eight years ago? That Jieyuan this year is that child from eight years ago.”
A group of ladies gathered to share some gossip. Jiang Furen who sat within the crowd had somewhat a pleasant face as she listened to them discussing her husband’s disciple and simultaneously, her future son-in-law.
“He already able to become a Jieyuan at the age of fifteen years old. His future is promising.”
The one who commented this was Jing Furen, the wife of the capital magistrate. By fate or chance, her husband had managed to grab the Tanhua, on the same year when Jiang Shendao became the Champion. So Jiang Shendao had inwardly expressed his hate to this man so much that his teeth itched every time he saw that person.
Magistrate Jing official title was not high. It was only a fourth rank official. However, his jurisdiction is a bit special, and thus his status is far beyond the general fourth-rank officials. This is why Jing Furen can get along with the ladies from the first and second rank family so easily.
“I heard that this young talent is not only talented but also looks very handsome. It is comparable to Pan An’s reincarnation. I don’t know if there is already a marriage match.”
The house of magistrate currently has two daughters. One is a Di-daughter, while the other one is a shu-daughter [T/N Di = Legitimate- wife born, Shu=Concubine born.]
The ladies who were born in the Jing Magistrate household had inherited the beauty of her parents. They were well-praise within the circle. Jiang Furen, who had been paying attention to their words suddenly felt her eyes jumped. She sensed that her favoured son-in-law had become a slice of big, fat meat, and many people were eyeing for it.
“That child is indeed really good.”
Jiang Furen winked as she pretended not to be out of sort as she calmly drinks her tea.
“Listening to Jiang Furen’s words, it seems that you have seen that Jieyuan youth?”
Everyone’s attention suddenly shifted to Jiang Furen. Everyone had only heard about this child prodigy, but they had never actually met him. Therefore, Jiang Furen’s firm response seemed like she was familiar with that youth.
“You might not have known this, but that Jieyuan is exactly my husband’s disciples. As early as eight years ago, my husband had taken him in, so of course, I am familiar with him.”
In the future, it will not become a scandal if Jiang Liu were to yield such a bright prospect. After all, if Jiang Liu were to take a high official post, it was after all due to the mutual affection between a master and its disciple. Jiang Furen naturally did not intend to conceal it.
“What, that Jieyuan youth is a disciple of Jiang Daren!”
The lady, who had previously been dismissive of Jiang Liu looked shocked. If it was a mere ordinary Jieyuan, of course, it doesn’t matter to her no matter how rare he was. Granted even if he managed to become a Zhuangyuan [ T/N Champion – final/ the level six of imperial examination] this kind of individual could be found every three years. After all, those with a brilliant prospect for growth could only be counted with your finger.
But being the only disciple of Jiang Shendao is different. With him standing behind such a teacher, and he had already far surpassed those ordinary scholars.
In this way, the value of that Jieyuan youth is getting even higher in the eyes of these madams. Also if you turned him into your son-in-law, it is not like he will no longer be connected to the Jiang family.
This news started to spread widely, so much that even the Emperor had heard about Jiang Shendao’s genius disciples who had become a Jieyuan at the age of 15 years old.
“My disciple’s article is pretty good. Truly befitting the young blooded, full of impetuous feeling.”
After the morning assembly, Emperial Jin Wen had called Jiang Shendao to his office to ask him about his disciple.
Jiang Shendao also had expected that the Emperor is going to ask him and had prepared his speech in advance.
“Young and impetuous?”
When Emperor Jin Wen heard those words, he becomes even more interested and was increasingly expecting this young scholar’s abilities. He already gotten fed up with the pedantic stereotypes of the minister that came from the predecessors’ era who had always told him that this and that could not be done. It made him feel that he, as the Emperor, was not as good as those ministers.
However, since he entered the court late, he was unable to gather competent ministers under his faction.
This time around, the imperial examination had become the mean for Emperor Jin Wen to find suitable officials to be cultivated as his power. With that thought, the disciple of Jiang Shendao has become one of the members on his list.
The most current news is no longer about the Jieyuan youth. After the examination, Jiang Liu had broken through the record of the imperial examination and became known as the Huiyuan youth. He will only need to wait for the palace examination to try and see if he can win the title of ZhuangYuan, setting a record of being a top scorer six times in a row.
[T/N: Once again, Jieyuan – Top scorer for the fourth level of examination. Huiyuan – Top Scorer for the fifth level of examination. Zhuangyuan/ champion – Top scorer for the final examination]
For this reason, many casinos had also opened their bid to bet on the odds of the winner among the exam candidates.
Unexpectedly, there are not many people who put their bet on Jiang Liu.
First, the odds set by the casino are too low. Putting a bet on Jiang Liu will not have given them much rewards. Apart from that, many people are not that optimistic about the performance of this young talent in the final hall test.
After all, he is still too young. He may not be able to endure the majesty aura of the Emperor and well as the inspections coming from the other ministers. Even his achievement of being a top scorer for the fifth-time continually was considered as a miracle by others—however, many of them expecting that he will be able to win Tanhua based on his appearance.
By contrast, the other two candidates, a 37-year-old, was considered as a mature and stable candidate. Another candidate is the son of an official who is also a Xueshi and holds a post in the cabinet. Their family had produced two Champions and fifteen Jinshi [T/N Palace Graduate]. During this Imperial Examination, this official’s family had let their best children who have been carefully cultivated to participate in this time around. The chances of these two candidates to win the champion if much higher compared to Jiang Liu.
As the person being discussed, Jiang Liu also did not have it easy this time.
The reason why he was able to come all the way so smoothly was partly that he had eaten the Yizhi Dan. Apart from this pill which had helped in making learning more accessible, another part of it was because the original had left him with the memory about the exam questions as well as the preferences of the officials who reviewed the exam.
These two aspects had complemented each other, thus enabling him to prepare before the imperial examination by allowing him to appeal to the examiner by writing articles that pleased and applauded the officials.
Of course, there was also another factor that cannot be ignored, which was his triple top scorer achievement and his age.
To some extent, as long as you work hard on it, you will be surely able to get a good result. Now that the emperor had just entered the court, even if multiple, never-seen-before, excellent candidates were to appear at the same time, it will only be considered as a good omen for the future of the country.
With this kind of mentality, as long as his paper can be one among the best in the examination papers, the first place will belong to him.
He had been placed the top scorer five times consecutively, but for the last examination. Jiang Liu started to become nervous.
This examination was very significant to him, so he did not only want to complete his task in this world but also to live up to the expectation of his teacher.
His teacher was the champion during the previous emperor’s reign. If he were to only took the second place or the third-place [T/N Tanhua], it would have brought shame to his teacher. Jiang Liu didn’t like to owe people’s kindness. His master has treated him with sincerity. Therefore, he also needs to help his teacher earn his face back. [T/N Brought glory to his teacher]
Time passed quickly, and soon he was on his way to the palace to sit for the examination.
Jiang Liu, who was among a group of older candidates, looked particularly conspicuous. Emperor Jin Wen who sat on the dragon chair [T/N Throne] caught on the first sight of the existence of a young man who looked not only outstanding but also handsome. Therefore he was able to guess his identity.
Not only did Emperor Jin Wen, but even the group of examiners on the spot also realised that this young man was the disciple of Jiang Shendao.
For a while, the pressure that Jiang Liu faced was even higher.
This time, the exam question was written personally by Emperor Jin Wen. The topic was straightforward, but many candidates were afraid to write it.
Even though the question is simple, yet the content is terrifying—two words – Political Reform.
The time of one incense has passed, and there are still a few people who took up their pen and started to write though there was only one exception. Jiang Liu. At this time, he had already calmed down and wholly immersed himself on the topic.
Emperor Jin Wen walked down the dragon seat and started to patrol before he stops in the middle and stood on Jiang Liu’s side, watching the articles written by him. His eyes were evenly stunned that he almost clapped his hand.
The candidates on the side naturally did not miss the Emperor’s expression. This made the pressure on him got even higher as he got even more hesitant to write.
At the end of the examination, many of the candidates had their forehead covered with sweat. They dragged their soft and weak leg as they walked out of the hall. All of the papers were then bound up and were sent to the examination room, only waiting for the top ten candidates to be selected, so that Emperor Jin Wen could look through it.
The top 10 papers had been contested by ministers, with Jiang Liu’s paper being the most controversial.
The article was good, of course. The use of words was exquisite, the composition was well-knit, the classics were quoted excellently and people can’t help but applaud for the case. But the content of the article made the old ministers felt that it was too deviant, too provocative, and a challenge to the existing regulations, especially in his article that encourages widows to remarry, which utterly humiliating to them.
If they remember correctly, Jiang Liu’s mother is a widow. For Jing Liu to make such a big fuss, they wanted to know if he dares to encourage his mother to remarry?
To cater to the Emperor’s preferences, this kind of person really knows how to be flattering. If he were to be chosen as an official, he probably would become the Emperor’s jester.
But they had seen the Emperor’s performance, and it was clear that the Emperor appreciates his article. If they didn’t send it up, he probably going to be furious.
Moreover, Jiang Liu was still Jiang Shendao’s disciple. Although Jiang Shendao did not become an invigilator this time around to avoid suspicion, everyone was still in the same department, and they have to give him some face.
After some dispute, Jiang Liu’s paper was presented alongside with other papers, only to be pressed to the end.
When Emperor Jin Wen looked through the nine other papers, his face was looking rather angry, but when he saw the last roll of paper belonged to Jiang Liu, his face started to become much happier in a blink of an eye.
“Jiang Liu had become the top scorer for the last five examinations. It is better to set him as the champion. By becoming a consecutive top scorer for the sixth time, it will also become a beautiful story for the citizen.”
With the circle of the red pen on Jiang Liu’s name, Jiang Liu position as a champion was undisputed.
Some of the ministers were kind of “you look at me” and “I look at you”. In the end, they decided not to have a dispute with the Emperor over this little thing.
As for the second place and the Tanhua, they decided to pick up the other two popular candidates for the champion. The 37-year-old candidate became the 2nd place while the son of the cabinet minister become the third place.
The ministers were also satisfied with the result.
Afterward, except for the second rank candidates, which was drafted by Emperor Jin Wen, the remaining lists were drafted by the marking officials, before they were finally handed over to Emperor Jin Wen to be stamped.
After time for a joss stick to be burned, the candidates waiting outside the palace finally were informed of the result. Some people like it; others were sad while some felt that the stone in their hearts was finally gone.
Unable to take part in the examination papers, Jiang Shendao, who was outside the palace with a group of officials, also learned the result for the examination.
When others knew that Jiang Liu had become the champion, all of them naturally smiled and congratulated him. Only Jiang Shendao had a blank face so much that others could not interpret his current mood.
Everyone’s heart lamented on Jiang Shendao’s incorruptible will. Even if his disciple was placed as a champion, he did not even appear to be moved by it. He was truly deep and unmeasurable.
But, they didn’t know that the little man in Jiang Shendao’s heart was currently already crying out.
Flower snatcher! My flower snatcher, ah!
“Is that the Champion? He seems very young!”
On this day, the streets were crowded, and the teahouses along the roads were all booked by the madam of the wealthy families. All of them were hiding behind the windows as they were quietly looking at the parade of the champion and the flower snatcher [Tanhua= 3rd place]
Today, the common people’s daughter did not have to observe the line between man and woman interaction. Many of them stood on both sides of the street, holding flowers and fruits in their hands as they prepare to throw it to the champion once he passed through the streets.
Jiang‘s family was also not an exception. Jiang Furen has booked the best room since early morning and she also had considerably invited Meng Yun-niang to sit with them.
At this time, the parade had already reached their location. Jiang Furong too had no other choice but to throw her long prepared purse towards Jiang Liu who sat on the tall horse.
It seemed as if the two of them shared the same heart and soul. As Jiang Furong threw over her purse, Jiang Liu looked up and his eyes collided to her hiding position.
With a gentle wave, he raised his hand and snatched her purse up in the air. He also did not forget to wave his hand and smiled in her direction.
“Ah, ah, ah! Did that handsome champion smile at me just now?”
“Of course not! That champion is smiling at me.”
It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t smile, but once he did, not a few of well-bred young ladies found their soul to be flown away as their heart was captured by it.
For a while, many flowers and fruits were thrown towards Jiang Liu, but he deftly avoided those things from falling on him. The only thing that sat firmly in his hand was the embroidered purse that was thrown by Jiang Furong.
This strange move attracted others’ attention.
Some of the ladies sent their maid to inquire about the owner of the box where Jiang Furong was located. When they learned that the owner of the box was Jiang family’s madam and the young lady, they finally linked the relationship between Jiang Liu and Jiang Shendao. They guessed that the Jiang family might have a wish to match-make Jiang Liu with their daughter and suddenly they were discouraged from trying to recruit Jiang Liu as their son-in-law
As for those young girls, they started to tear up a few handkerchiefs with envy when they thought of that handsome young man who had just walked past them on the streets. Why could not their daddy find that kind of disciple to bring home for them?
As the involved party, Jiang Furong naturally paid more attention to Jiang Liu’s action.
The previous ambiguous atmosphere seemed to be smashed around finally and Jiang Furong’s heart was full of sweetness.
In this happy atmosphere, only one person’s mood was extraordinarily complicated.
Jiang Shendao, who was with his peer, looked far away into the street and couldn’t help but sigh.
It seemed that he and his disciple’s beauty was being held back by their talents, ah!
The author has something to say: Today, the three chapters are merged and uploaded, and there are no later chapters!
T/N: Thus the end of 10k chapter. OTL.
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