Chapter 49: The search for one’s mom second spring 17/For the sake of my mother’s remarriage 17
A few days later, when Emperor Jin Wen was about to end the morning court, Lu Guang suddenly came forward.
“When this courtier went back home yesterday, this courtier was stopped by a ragged farmer couple who handed this blood book to sue Champion Jiang Liu for being unfilial to his father.”
Lu Guang took a peek at Jiang Shendao before he handed over the blood book to the court eunuch to be presented to the Emperor.
Jiang Shendao already had a bad feeling when he saw Lu Guang coming forward, and when he heard this remark, he sighed that things had happened as expected.
Lu Guang was a student of the Left Prime Minister, and the Left Prime Minister was one of the Assistant Ministers left behind by the previous Emperor. When Emperor Jin Wen came to power, the Left Prime Minister had refused to relinquish his control fully. Since Jiang Shendao had been in the Emperor’s faction, naturally he was considered as a thorn in their eyes.
Now, it seems that they had used the matter of his disciple to make trouble for his master.
In the Jin Dynasty, the criminal law against unfilial son and daughter was extremely severe that it could even lead to the death penalty.
The range of abandonment of filial piety is pretty broad, such as from not providing life support to the elderly, to beating and abusing parents, as well as disobeying parents’ wishes… All of the actions that were under the limits of filial piety are subjected to the law. Penalties such as torturing, amputation or death penalty will be imposed on various degrees according to the seriousness of the offense.
Typically, if a scholar were accused of being unfilial, he will be stripped off of his qualification to sit for the imperial examination qualification. As for the courtier who defies this law, he could be dismissed from the court.
Jiang Shendao had never heard his disciple talked about his uncle and aunt, nor did he know what was written in the so-called blood book by that uncle of his.
But he wasn’t too nervous at this time. After all, Jiang Liu’s father was already dead. Compared to his father being alive and then complaining about his son on this matter which might lead to a dead-end, the current situation is still within a favourable scope. In the end, the living could not really speak for the dead.
Although Lu Guang wished to use the matter of Jiang Liu’s intention to marry off her mother as a way to attack his disciple on his filial piety, this matter to a large extend should still be considered as groundless.
At best, they could only use public opinion to attack and smear his reputation as a scholar.
Therefore, Jiang Shendao had been in a calm state and not as alarmed as Lu Guang had thought he would be.
“Call the new Champion Jiang Liu to come forward.”
Emperor Jin Wen carelessly skimmed over the two indictments and called the internal staff with an ugly expression on his face.
His displeasure was not aimed at Jiang Liu, who in Emperor Jin Wen’s view is Jiang Shendao’s disciple, therefore, he belonged to the Royalist faction. Moreover, in a strict sense, Jiang Liu could be considered as the disciple of the first son of heaven. With those people planning to attack Jiang Liu, it seemed as if they were planning to threatened his position as the Emperor. [T/N: Jiang Shendao was the Emperor’s teacher. Jiang Liu is Jiang Shendao’s disciple. So……]
Emperor Jin Wen could have dismissed these two indictments, but he also wanted to see how Jiang Liu will respond to the attack by the Left Prime Minister’s faction and whether he is befitting to be promoted to a prominent position within the court.
Therefore, Emperor Jin Wen commanded the internal staff to summon Jiang Lu to test his skill.
About half a sichen times [T/N: Approximately 1 hour], Jiang Liu finally arrived after the summon and looked ready to deflect the onslaught from the leftist.
“This small courtier ask permission from His Majesty to present several surveys on the population growth of the Jin Nation and the subsidiary Qiang’s tribe in the 24 years following the end of last war.”
When Jiang Liu took out a numerous memorial and presented to the Emperor, Lu Guang’s eyelid started to jump madly. Lu Guang turned to look at Jiang Shendao. The more he looked at that calm old man, the more he felt that his planned action had been leaked in advance. This old fox of Jiang Shendao must have notified his disciples in advance and prepared himself for the counterattack.
However, he felt that even if Jiang Liu were full of glib, it would not be able to erase the fact that he had been trying to marry off his widowed mother and thus betraying his late father.
“The minister is young and inexperienced, and if anything is wrong, please ask Your Majesty and other ministers to understand.”
Lu Guang harrumphed coldly as he watched Jiang Liu bowed.
“The report in Your Majesty’s hand is the written account on the population growth of this courtier birthplace. Twenty-four years ago, the permanent residence of the prefecture was 13,724. However, 24 years later, the permanent residence of the prefecture had dropped to 11,764. Additionally, 24 years ago, 945 new babies had been registered by the prefecture office; however, 24 years later, only 678 babies were recorded by the government.”
Standing at the center of the hall, Jiang Liu exuded a steady and self-confidence that does not match his age. The way he talks with ease was totally unlike a 15-year-old boy. He did not appear to be someone who had never stepped into the court nor had ever been appointed as an official.
“From this, we can conclude that the number of babies born in this official’s prefecture had seen a trace of decline. Additionally, the number of permanent residents was down by nearly 2,000 compared to 24 years ago.”
Emperor Jin Wen was very puzzled by the written report, but he also knew that Jiang Liu would not dare to manipulate such a figure to fool him.
“Your Majesty, please continue to peruse the next written document.”
Jiang Liu urged the Emperor before he continued.
“Yuchuan province was a close neighbour to the Tongzhou province. In those days, the Qiang tribe had attack Tongzhou province which led them to ask for emergency assistance from the Yuchuan province. To respond to the emergency call, Yuchuan had recruited the maximum number of soldiers. The troop from our country had continued to fight the invasion, and finally, we managed to defeat the Qiang tribe and let them bow to our feet. However, this incident had left us with numerous departed spirits. For this reason, my prefecture had lost nearly 1,000 young people and leaving nearly 1,000 widows. Among these widows, apart from around 70 women who had been registered for remarriage, the remaining of more than 900 women stayed as a widow to observe their dead husband. Thus, this is the reason why there is a decline in the number of new babies born in this courtier’s prefecture in the past two decades.”
The ancient times were not as good as modern times. If the country’s population reaches 1 to 2 billion, it will already have been considered as a vast country.
According to Jiang Liu’s understanding, the entire population of Jin Country already accumulated to more than 10 million people. The prefecture he was born to could be considered to be equivalent to a city of later generations. With more than 10,000 residents, in the future, this place could already have been regarded as a very prosperous and developed city.
“Your Majesty, please go to the next page.”
Without waiting for everyone to digest the information, Jiang Liu signalled the Emperor to turn to the next page.
“This courtier had also collected some data from the Jin country’s merchant who had a business dealing with the Qiang Tribe. This Qiang tribe was right now neighbouring the Long city. Those Qiang people who had acted as a subordinate to the Jin Dynasty was still harbouring wolf ambition. They had been encouraging the widows to remarry, and whenever the family managed to produce one newborn, they will immediately reduce the tax imposed on the family. Therefore, after 24 years since the last war, the number of population of the Qiang tribe had returned to how it was pre-war. It can be summed up that the moment all those newborns grew up; they will surely wage war against us once again.”
As soon as Jiang Liu’s words came out, Lu Guang was so agitated that he ignored his image as he pointed his hand at Jiang Liu’s nose and scolded him.
At the moment, the Qiang tribe had been exceedingly well-behaved. Every year, the Qiang tribe had been sending the tribute to the Imperial Court to display their capitulation. He felt that Jiang Liu’s words were intended to stir up the suspicion towards the relationship between the Qiang tribe and Jin’s Dynasty. His motives were so sinister, ah!
“Jiang Aiqing please continue.” [T/N Aiqing – Beloved official]
Emperor Jin Wen’s expression was solemn as he waved Lu Guang to return to his position.
“Perhaps Lu Daren might feel that I am the kind of a vile person with a gentleman’s belly. However, if I were permitted to say, the ancient people had always reminded us to nip it in the bud as well as to be vigilant during the peace times. I dare to ask Lu Daren if one day, those people were to tear up the peace treaty and led their people to wage war against us, how are you going to fight those people? What will you use to reign over those force?”
Jiang Liu’s questions left Lu Guang speechless
As early as the end of that war, the government should have encouraged the widows to remarry. However, at that time, due to the great defeat of the Qiang tribe, Emperor Jin Yang in a moment of complacency felt that the Jin Dynasty had become a prosperous national under his management and turned proud over it. Consequently, after a long time, this former misjudgment had gradually beginning to affect the country.
“Under the eyes of the heaven and earth as well as the Emperor, in this small official observation, the so-called being faithful to the memory of betrothed was extremely harmful to the future population of our country. But many clans, for the sake of the so-called clean and upright ways, had forced these widows to continue being alone and even resorted to lynch and execute any women who want to remarry. This behaviour is, at a minimum, a contempt to the laws of the Jin dynasty, and at a higher level, a threat to the Jin dynasty’s social stability, and a betrayal to the state.”
“As for my uncle and aunt, to seize the family property left by my late father, they had conspired with the outsiders to frame my mother. The head of the Jiang family had long been expelled from the clan, and the couple’s name had already been erased from the family tree of the Jiang clan.
Jiang Liu’s word was like a machine gun as he explained the situation with proper reasoning and justified it not only with fact but also linked it to the general interests of the country. It appeared that if any of the officials were to refute his argument, those people could be blamed as someone who bent on the destruction of the Jin dynasty.
After that, Jiang Liu turned sideways as he asked Lu Guang a question.
“Dare you to ask Lu Daren, what wrong this small courtier had committed, ah?”
Whether it was friendly advice or a malicious word, he had said all of it. This had made Lu Guang’s face started to ashen as he felt like as if he had been forced to eat his shit.
The author has something to say: There will be another chapter today around 10 in the evening.
T/N: No more from me today though??! I am jealous of those translators who had more or less 1k original RAW for each chapter OTL. There will be continuous 3k chapters and another 5k at the end though…
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