Joy of Life - Chapter 462

[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:49:15]
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Chapter 462: Duke Of Danbo


Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio


After the edict came down, the officials broke into a clamor. Although none of the leaders of the departments had been replaced, there were now a number of young officials beside them. It couldn’t but make the officials feel a glimmer of fear. No one knew when the Emperor would promote these young officials and push out these elders.


Shu the Scholar furrowed his brows and stepped out to argue a bit with the Emperor. He thought that it was too hasty for such a large number of officials to be appointed without first going through a court discussion, and without the Ministry of Appointments and the Overwatch Council first investigating it thoroughly. However, the Emperor had made up his mind firmly and would not even give him face. He lightly pushed it back. Thus, this imperial edict became a firm reality.


The changing of personnel had already become a necessity. Qin Heng was moved to the Bureau of Military Affairs. Although it appeared that this ranking rose, in reality, he was now removed from the crucial Jingdou garrison. He was a bit startled but could only step out to give his thanks.


The other major officials like the Qu Xiangdong, Deputy of the Bureau of Military Affairs, could only helplessly accept. The Emperor had not deeply investigated the valley attack, otherwise, the military side would certainly pay a heftier price.


However, the gazes of the generals turned on Fan Xian were now even angrier.


Everyone knew that of the civil and military factions, the Emperor adjusted the Bureau of Military Affairs and Jingdou garrison as a show of support to Fan Xian and to vent about the attack on Fan Xian in the valley. As for whatever follow-up actions happened after the court was dispersed, they would have to wait quietly. However, presumably, the military’s future was not too bright.


While in the civil official’s faction, they had the least people being replaced. They were almost all officials that were close to the Second Prince and his faction. What was particularly terrifying was that it seemed like the 32 officials seized by Fan Xian last night did not have an opportunity to come out again.


Fan Xian listened closely to the edict. It was clear that this edict was prepared by the Emperor last night. After listening for a long time, he was a bit surprised to not hear Yan Bingyun’s name. After thinking about it for a moment, he got it. Even if the Emperor wanted to promote Yan Bingyun to a higher position. He wouldn’t move him to a different department. Never mind the fact that it violates Qing law and the rules of the Overwatch Council, if the Emperor wants to use Yan Bingyun, he has to give Chen Pingping some face.


As for promoting Sir Yan, it was also impossible. If Sir Yan rose any higher, he could only take Fan Xian’s Commissioner position. Fan Xian shook his head. He quietly thought that unless the Emperor was going to completely flip the Overwatch Council, he wouldn’t do something like this.


However, Fan Xian was very surprised to hear Cheng Jialin’s name.


He tilted his head slightly and forcefully resisted the impulse to look at the middle-aged man on the dragon chair. A great confusion welled in his heart. Jialin was his student and an official in a different place. How could he have caught the Emperor’s eye? Furthermore, he was to enter the Ministry of Appointments. The department that he had long been unable to stick his hand into. He was promoted two levels at once. This rate of promotion was a bit too quick.


When the officials in court heard Cheng Jialin’s name, they also couldn’t help but be surprised. Everyone knew he was one of Fan Xian’s four students. He had taken his appointment less than two years ago, so how could be moved back to such an important place as Jingdou already? Everyone turned their gazes toward Fan Xian. There was some wariness in those gazes.


It was a strike, but they didn’t know where it landed.


“…Shen Chongwen to become the imperial censor in the Imperial Censorate, the Imperial Censor of the Left He Zongwei will also supervise Overwatch Council business and aid Fan Xian, reporting to the inner court.”




The strike had come so quickly.


Fan Xian suddenly raised his head and a faint light flashed through his eyes. He glanced at the young man who stood out to give his thanks. The Imperial Censor of the Left to enter the Council? Although the Overwatch Council had always been managed, in name, by the inner court, the Qing royal family always prohibited eunuchs from holding power. Adding to that fact was that Chen Pingping was overly powerful, so the Overwatch Council was like its own independent nation.


However, having the Left Imperial Censor watching the Overwatch Council and, at the same time, reporting to the inner court, this was like having the Overwatch Council directly under the gaze of the Royal Palace.


Fan Xian’s back was a bit cold, and the fingers of his right hand were a bit shaky. He knew that because of his identity, it was impossible that the Emperor would trust him as he trusted Chen Pingping. But, he didn’t think that the Emperor would be so ruthless as to hook a rope around his head, tight to the point of pain, long before this matter was over.


What kind of person was He Zongwei? Back in the day, he was a talent equal to that of his own student, Hou Jichang. He was one of the men who had chased after his sister, Ruoruo. He was first under the Crown Prince’s banner and then defected to the Eldest Princess. Now, he had become a student of the Emperor. Without going through the examinations, he was directly promoted into the court and took the position of an Imperial Censor. Because of his meritorious deeds, he took the position of Left Imperial Censor and was responsible for investigating the Ministry of Revenue case.


Excluding Fan Xian, He Zongwei was definitely the most popular figure in the Qing court the past two years. it was him, who Fan Xian loathed greatly, that would become the Emperor’s eyes that watched the Overwatch Council. Fan Xian felt unreasonably angry, strangely angry.


“Your Majesty!”


Fan Xian stepped out and stood beside He Zongwei. He faced the man on the dragon chair and said in a heavy voice, “I object.”


He Zongwei glanced warmly at Fan Xian beside him. Although he felt an incomparable anger in the depths of his heart every time he thought about the beating he received from the other party in the Fan manor, he still hid it very well. His eyes perfectly revealed a glimmer of strangeness and admiration as if he was expressing his emotions to the officials in the Palace. He was very admiring of Sir Fan junior for daring to clash with the Emperor head on.


There was already a great deal of clamor in the Palace. When the Emperor had an order, officials were to accept it. Other than elders like Shu Wu, who dared to oppose the Emperor, no one had ever directly expressed their objection and resentment on the appointment of officials.


The Emperor furrowed his brows and said, “What objections do you have?”


Fan Xian raised his head and spoke with a blank face, “The Overwatch Council doesn’t need an Imperial Censor to criticize or give orders.”


“How dare you!” The Emperor smacked the dragon chair and roared in anger. “The enforcement of the law is to the side, and the Imperial Censor is to the back. The country has clear laws, and my mind is made up. There is no room for juniors such as you to talk so much.”


A fire of rage grew in Fan Xian’ heart. He knew that he couldn’t back down. Otherwise, the Overwatch Council would really fall at his hands. If that were to happen, how could he explain it to that woman and the old cripple in Chen Garden?


He straightened his body and straightforwardly said, “Your Majesty, the Overwatch Council is responsible for investigating the governance of other officials, with the inner court watching the Overwatch Council. Now that there is suddenly an Imperial Censor, if this Imperial Censor becomes corrupt and abuses the law, should the Council investigate? If yes, how should it investigate?”


The officials broke into a clamor while, on the contrary, the Emperor smiled coldly and said, “You’ve always been clever, yet you forcefully pretend to stupidity here. Step back.”


Beside him, He Zongwei insincerely tried to persuade him a little, but Fan Xian couldn’t be bothered to look at him properly. He also didn’t step back. His mind spun and suddenly in a high voice, he said, “I object!”


Now, he had stepped over the line. Once the Emperor decide something, there was no place for an official to object. This was not a lawsuit in a court of law. Fan Xian was not Song Shiren, and the Emperor was not a mere Zhifu.


The Emperor was enraged. The beard on his chin quivered. He pointed down at Fan Xian from his lofty position and scolded, “I want to see, just how will you object?”


Fan Xian set his heart and said, “Naturally, I dare not defy the edict. However, I am only a Commissioner of the Overwatch Council, Director Chen is still in Chen Garden. Logically speaking, it is not my place to debate this edict. However, I am the leader of the Overwatch Council in the Palace today. If I accept it, there are problems. If I don’t accept it, there are also problems. After thinking about it…I…can only quit my position as the Commissioner of the Overwatch Council. Your Majesty can directly send the edict to the Overwatch Council. That would be for the best.”


Quit the position of Commissioner of the Overwatch Council?


Quit?


All of the officials broke into a clamor. No one understood how the situation at the court conference today become what it was right now. They had originally thought the Emperor was using the Overwatch Council to deal with the court. How was he now bullying Sir Fan junior? However, Sir Fan junior was indeed worthy of being an immortal poet and the pride in his bones was not something anyone could compare to. He actually…dared…to quit his position in the court conference as a threat and not accept the edict.


The officials had never seen such boldness since the beginning of their country. For a moment, the noise of discussion rose. In the gazes that were cast toward Fan Xian standing in the center, other than the initial fear, there were also a few begrudging glimmers of absurdness and admiration.


Shu the Scholar and the Hu the Scholar couldn’t just look on. They stepped out, one playing the bad cop and one playing the good cop. Shu the Scholar took the lead and harshly scolded Fan Xian for not knowing his place as an official and speaking out of turn. While Hu the Scholar spoke in an even and comforting voice from beside Fan Xian and helped the Emperor explain the edict.


In any case, Fan Xian just stood straight, refusing to accept the edict and also refusing to do anything else.


This scene was like an older kindergarten child whose lunch box was missing fruit and was being comforted and tricked by two teachers.


The Scholars Shu and Hu then turned and asked forgiveness from the Emperor on behalf of Fan Xian, saying that Fan Xian was very young and such. They guessed that it was rare for the Emperor to hit on such a headstrong case in a court conference and was likely about to go crazy with anger.


On the dragon chair, the Emperor laughed with anger. Cold light spilled from his eyes and he said, coldly, “Fan Xian, are you using quitting your position to threaten me?”


“I dare not.”


“OK, OK, OK.” The Emperor repeated it three times and faintly said, “You’re depending on the fact I cherish you and think that I will not dare to punish you…you want to quit then I will…”


The Emperor hadn’t yet finished speaking when Fan Xian was already expressing his thanks with sincerity, “Thank you, Your Majesty, I am willing to return to the Imperial Academy to teach.”


The Emperor choked badly on his extremely quick response and said in a great anger, “I refuse to let you quit!”




In a flash, the Palace sunk into a shocked silence. No one had expected to see such an exciting show at the great court conference. Everyone knew in their hearts that the Emperor’s trust and favor toward Fan Xian had not weakened. They were just afraid that he would not mete out any substantial punishments to Fan Xian. However, they didn’t know how to break this stalemate.


The officials didn’t understand why Fan Xian would be so angry and rash about the Imperial Censorate watching the Overwatch Council. If it was to maintain the Overwatch Council’s power, given Fan Xian’s tricks, there would certainly be methods in the future. Furthermore, the Overwatch Council still had a senior that hadn’t come out yet.


It was clear that the Emperor also didn’t know what exactly Fan Xian was thinking. He furrowed his brows and said to Fan Xian, “Get back here.”


Fan Xian didn’t roll [JW1], but he eagerly ran forward and moved closer below the dragon chair. His expression was stubborn and ruthless.


The Emperor lowered his voice and asked, “Are you accepting the edict or not?”


“I’m not.”


The Emperor furrowed his brows and said, “Why not?”


Fan Xian answered very directly, “I don’t like He Zongwei.”


The Emperor roared in anger, “Last night, you had already made the court lose face. Do you also want me to lose face today? Step down!”


Fan Xian sighed and retreated.


To the side, Eunuch Yao had a pained face. He held his horsetail whisk, resisted smiling, and felt very unhappy.


Fan Xian retreated back into the Palace. The officials on both sides looked at him a strange gaze. To whisper with the Emperor on a great court conference, this kind of favor…was truly…ahem.


The Emperor did not give Fan Xian any more chances to talk and ignored the fact he wasn’t accepting the edict. He directly nodded at Eunuch Yao, who immediately used Eunuch Dai’s distinct low and raspy voice to call out, “Jiangnan Imperial Envoy Fan Xian, come forward to listen to the edict.”


Fan Xian started. He lifted the front of his robe and knelt down.


The edict was slowly read. It didn’t bring up the matter of the Imperial Censorate entering the Overwatch Council again, rather, it gave a general summary of everything Fan Xian had done this year in Jiangnan. The matter of the palace treasury transport company was particularly highlighted. It commended the contribution Fan Xian made to the national treasury and also mentioned the matter of Fan Xian helping Governor Xue Qing to investigate Jiangnan’s style of governing. It also talked about some other trivial matters.


In the middle, the Emperor opened his mouth to say, “I think, Fan Xian has been loyal and considerate to the nation and should be heavily rewarded.”


The officials were all silent. Although no one liked Fan Xian being rewarded again, the 10 million liang of silver the palace treasury shipped back to Jingdou was true. This true and honest meritorious service was on par with military merit. If it wasn’t heavily rewarded, the court didn’t know how to explain it to the people under heaven.


Xue Qing stepped out and gave some additional information about what Fan Xian did in Jiangnan. He was filled with praise. Hu the Scholar also stepped out and thought that Sir Fan junior should receive a heavy reward.


However, Shu Wu, this old man, thought for a while and glanced at Fan Xian again. Finally, he couldn’t resist it anymore and stepped out, “Your Majesty…half a year ago, the Hall of Governmental Affairs once suggested that given Sir Fan junior’s reputation and solid learning, he is capable of joining the Hall to handle matters. However, officials of the Overwatch Council could never take on another official position, as there is a previous old precedent. However, earlier, Sir Fan junior had the intention of quitting his position as the Commissioner of the Overwatch Council…”


The Emperor coughed.


Hu the Scholar also couldn’t resist glancing at Shu Wu with a strange gaze, thinking, This old man was indeed stubborn. Clearly, he knew that the Emperor would not allow Fan Xian to enter the department or allow him to leave the Overwatch Council. Yet, he still had the idea that the two of them had entertained half a year ago.


Shu Wu had already spoken, so he could only express the same hope and was willing to recommend Fan Xian to enter the department.


In the past, Fan Xian heard of this matter from Council reports. Seeing it in person, he couldn’t help feeling a bit surprised. He thought to himself that he was only 20 years old, it was a bit absurd to enter the Hall right now.


As expected, the Emperor still did not allow it. He only had Eunuch Yao finish announcing the edict. After hearing the edict, Fan Xian was frozen in shock. It took him a moment to remember to express his thanks. He thought to himself that being a scholar was indeed absurd, but the Emperor’s reward was also very absurd.


Duke of Danbo.


The court was filled with sounds of shock and approval. Fan Xian stood in a daze thinking, How could he suddenly be given a dukedom? Didn’t this mean that this position was higher than his father’s? The Emperor struck hard, but this reward was also quite a size. He was only one step away from Marquis, the incomparably honorable position. He tilted his head and glanced at the awkward He Zongwei, thinking, In the future, could he beat him whenever he wanted for fun?


[JW1] The phrase “get back here” and “roll” share a common character, hence the second comment.


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