Good Man Operation Guide - Chapter 50.2
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Seeing the door open, Shen Hu’an softly coughed as he tried not to show the curiosity and expectation in his eyes and strode into the Governor’s Mansion.
“His Lordship is in the study. Your Highness, please allow this one to lead the way.”
Arguably, when a Prince arrives at a Governor’s Mansion, everyone in the residence should kneel down to welcome him. However, it was said that there were many sick people in the Governor’s Mansion, and the masters in the mansion have been too sick to get out of bed as well. Originally Shen Hu’an’s uncle had still considered being assisted by the young man, who hadn’t caught the plague, to come and greet him, but it was just too difficult to manage, forcing him to be rude as such.
Shen Hu’an looked a little nervous. “How is Uncle’s health?”
The page was obviously aware of the relationship between the Prince in front of him and his Master, nodded then cautiously replied, ” The Lord was inadvertently infected 3 days ago while dealing with the bodies of the dead, and this is the most dangerous period.”
Shen Hu’an’s mind immediately came up with a thin middle-aged man bedridden, pale, and coughing up blood.
His face was white, and he couldn’t care less about displaying his authority and calm princely demeanor as he hurriedly urged the page to take him to the study.
Opening the study’s door, he indeed saw a man lying on the bed.
He was incredibly weak, and could just barely kneel on the ground with the assistance of the servant next to him. “I, Liu Qingxian, pay my respects to the Fifth Prince.”
Shen Hu’an stared at the man in front of him stiffly.
Yes, his uncle’s name was Liu Qingxian, a name that filled one with expectations of a jade-like gentleman…
But now, the person kneeling in front of him was a man with bronze skin and a full face of complex grimness. Even with his illness, he was in good shape, and while kneeling, his height was still all the way up to Shen Hu’an’s chest.
Even though he was young and hadn’t yet grown up, his uncle’s height was too shocking.
Perhaps Shen Hu’an’s gaze was too stunned, but Liu Qingxian looked over at him with a slightly confused look, which caused Hu’an to pause again.
There was confusion in his eyes, but with such big eyes with that beard, how could it not look like a glare?
Shen Hu’an stiffly loosened his tightly clenched fist and dryly responded, “Uncle, please rise.”
“Thank you, Your Highness.”
Even though he was weak, his voice was still resounding like a bell.
Uncle Liu Qingxian was barely able to stand up with assistance. But once he stood up, Shen Hu’an could only look up to him.
He became stiffer and stiffer, and coughed, “Uncle is not feeling well, maybe go to bed to rest? I am Uncle’s nephew and not a stranger. Why should I care about these false principles?”
Assisted by a small attendant, Liu Qingxian’s eyes looked down at him with a little relief. “In that case, this minister won’t be polite.”
Then Shen Hu’an stiffly stared as his uncle sat on the bed with the help of a small page. Although because of the size of his uncle’s head, he doubted whether he used such a study much, from a glance he could tell Uncle only used it as a place to rest when under pressure. But now, it was good that he was sitting, at least he didn’t have to look up to see his uncle anymore.
His uncle looked at him lovingly. Although he was weak and couldn’t move, his voice was still loud as he sighed, “Your Highness has already grown so big.”
Shen Hu’an chuckled twice.
“I still remember at the time that Your Highness was just born, I was lucky enough to get permission from His Majesty to visit Your Highness. At that time Your Highness was lying in a swaddle as if you were no bigger than the palm of my hand, yet now you could even reach my chest.”
Shen Hu’an stiffly looked towards his Uncle’s palm lying outside the quilt.
It’s not ‘as if’, that really was the case.
Also, Uncle, you thought too much. He couldn’t reach your chest. He could only reach your chest when you bend your head.
He could hardly recall the information his sister had said about Mother’s family.
Grandfather was a great scholar, Grandmother was the daughter of an influential scholarly family, while his Aunt-in-law wasn’t from an influential family, her Father was also a Juren who resigned.
So no matter whether it was from top to bottom or from inside to outside, they all appeared to be a bunch of scholars…
So, what went wrong?
“Lord Liu of Nancheng, uncle of the Eldest Princess and the Fifth Prince, was born with immense strength. He could lift a boulder at the age of 3, learn martial arts with a master at the age of 5, and lift a giant cauldron at the age of 10. At the age of 25, he led an army to fight back the 3000 Huns who had crossed the border, but he was afraid of being punished by the Imperial Court and never reported to the Imperial Court that he was fighting against the Huns. He was highly respected among Nancheng’s soldiers. Such a powerful man would definitely be able to help the Fifth Highness.”
Zhao He sat across from his friend with a confused face as he listened. “But if I remember correctly, the Governor is a civil servant.”
Wouldn’t you need a Military Officer for this?
“Lord Liu really wanted to take an examination for Military Officers when he was young, but he was suppressed back then by His Majesty. The reason for this was that since his father was such a great scholar, it was only right that he should inherit his father’s legacy, which was why he became the Governor of Nancheng, a job that had remained unchanged for more than 10 years.”
Although Zhao He was born to a merchant’s family where no one was an official, since he entered the school, he has also gained a lot of knowledge on officialdom. So at the moment, he was instantly shocked after hearing the last sentence.
“Unchanged for over 10 years?!”
That shouldn’t be! It was difficult to have an official who hasn’t moved for over 10 years in the officialdom of this dynasty. Typically, if one did well, they would be promoted, while if they didn’t, then they would get demoted or transferred to a new position. On the one hand, it was due to the concern that officials will treat that place as their own personal wealth when they have stayed for too long. On the other hand, with political achievements limited to just one place, it wouldn’t be easy to get a promotion. In short, it might be still okay for someone to stay a year or year, but over 10 years wouldn’t be so great.
Looking at Lin Shiheng, who was still sitting quietly opposite him, his brain was turning at a rapid speed. “Does His Majesty value the maternal home of the Fifth Prince?”
That was already a polite way of saying it, what he actually wanted to say was that, although he thought Brother Lin was very good, he was still only a humble student. His Highness married an Imperial Princess to a poor student and sent the youngest of his Royal Highness, the Fifth Princes, who had never left the capital, to Nancheng, where the plague was erupting. The uncle of the two was obviously more suitable for military affairs, but he was forced to be a civil servant, and the Emperor hadn’t moved their position for over 10 years. This was no longer being unfavored, it was simply disliked.
Lin Shiheng lowered his head and smiled, his eyes were a bit cynical, “When His Majesty ascended the throne, Lord Liu was in the limelight. Although he was not an official, many of the court officials were his students. His Majesty had just ascended to the throne and was at the height of his prosperity, so although the late Emperor had promised Lord Liu he didn’t need to be an official, His Majesty still issued a decree ordering Lord Liu to do so.”
“That I know.”
Zhao He added, “After Lord Liu refused, His Majesty praised Lord Liu for being indifferent to fame and fortune. His Majesty admired him greatly and that was why he married his daughter as his consort.”
The indifference to fame and fortune was true, but the admiration was false.
A novice emperor who had just ascended the throne thought that the whole world was his own. And just when he was full of ambitions and wanted to have the great scholar enter the court as an official, the other refused. In addition, after he issued the edict, a group of civil officials kept saying that it was unreasonable to do so since the late emperor had already promised the other… How could the novice emperor not be upset?
He was the Emperor, the master of the world, but he was opposed by so many people.
Of course, the Emperor at that time didn’t consider that it was because the late Emperor had promised, thus there would be so many people against it. Instead, he only considered which of these people were disciples of Lord Liu and which were in good terms with Lord Liu.
Although they were all civil servants, it made him very uncomfortable to realize that between himself and Lord Liu, this group of officials, who ate food bought from the salary he gave, would choose Lord Liu over him.
You’re on Lord Liu’s side, aren’t you? You think he’s not interested in fame and fortune?
The late Emperor promised Lord Liu that he didn’t need to be an official in the Imperial Court, but he did not say that his daughter could not enter the harem as a concubine.
So an imperial edict came, and Lord Liu’s eldest daughter was sent to the palace. In the end, she became Consort Liu, who died early in life, leaving behind a pair of unprotected children.
At that time, the Emperor also found out when he recruited Liu’s daughter into the harem, although she didn’t have an engagement, it was tacitly agreed for her to marry her maternal cousin. So if nothing had happened, Liu’s daughter would have married this maternal cousin.
The novice Emperor willfully just considered this an accident.
He was only recruiting the person into the palace to vent his frustration after being opposed by the full court when asking Lord Liu to join the court as an official.
Yet after Liu’s daughter entered the palace, the Emperor actually began to take a little liking to this beautiful woman who was knowledgeable and had a gentle temperament.
The two had a very blissful period. Otherwise, Shen Huyang wouldn’t have been the Eldest Princess and wouldn’t have been given the ‘Hu’ letter birthright that belonged to the princes.
After the sweetness, the Emperor’s temperament of liking the new and hating the old appeared again, which happened to be another year’s consort election. He went to this palace today and that palace tomorrow, and the days were not pleasant. The daughter’s maiden family was full of worries, while the Emperor, who had previously been gentle with her, had already moved on. So, of course, the Liu girl would be sad.
She wasn’t one of those aristocratic women who was taught from an early age that ‘to be a virtuous wife, if her husband liked other women, she should take the initiative to help him, anyway as long as her contract was in your hands then it’s fine’. Lord Liu devoted himself to his wife his entire life, while her brother treated her sister-in-law in the same way, but she entered the palace. The Emperor was destined to have a harem of three thousand beauties and would never love her alone.
[E/N: So that thing about the contract. Depending on the time period, though this doesn’t really apply to the imperial consorts directly anyway, concubines might be considered property and are bought thus being considered servants. Therefore there is a ‘deed’ or a ‘contract’ that gives someone power over them. Thus a madame of a family would feel secure as long as she has the contracts of the concubines.]
If the Emperor didn’t care about her, she would be sad for a while. But either way, she could clearly see her reality and adapt to the new life.
It so happened that the Emperor noticed this sadness.
He didn’t consider that she was unhappy because he doted on the other concubines. Instead, his mind flickered and his thoughts fell on the fact that even after marrying him, she was still thinking about that maternal cousin.
The Emperor flew into a rage when he realized that he was probably wearing an invisible green hat.
(TNote: wearing a green hat = being cuckold; invincible green hat = a lover thinking of another person, even though they are not seeing each other.)
In his anger, he was even more reluctant to go to Consort Liu’s palace and continued to live a life of ‘going here and there, but just not coming to you’.
Consort Liu became more and more depressed. It was at this time that she found herself pregnant again.
But so what if she was pregnant? The Emperor didn’t care, and the child born would be abandoned by their Emperor Father just like her daughter.
And at this time, the Emperor had even forced her brother, who had always liked martial arts, to become a civil official.
What if her brother had trouble communicating with a civil subordinate, got angry, and just kill them?
So, Consort Liu became even sadder.
And the Emperor noticed her sadness again.
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