Mo Flower: Chapter 2c

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The Mo Flower

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Editor/Beta: Faithless Lady (Many thanks Faithless Lady for edit the story)

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Chapter 2c

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How could an Emperor of De Shao and a low rank minister, the Rites Assistant able to get together? Nevertheless, it was a common question for many people when regarding this presumably hidden affair.
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The story of these two mens’ fates started back about seven years ago.

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It was the fourth spring of the present Emperor’ reign, the sixth yearly Imperial big test. The pre-test qualifiers were selected from every county and the Imperial College of San Baiyu (school for the children of nobleman and officials). Over three hundred candidates tried to advance the test entrance, and then, another selection round of one hundred candidates to enter the palace and test questions was personally conducted by the Emperor on government policies. The first rank (PHDs) is given to the top three scholars, the next sixteen scholars are in second rank (Masters), and the rest of scholars (Bachelors) were recorded into the official register in according to their ability, expertise and will take official post or temporary post to where they are needed.
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In short, it was a test for the nation’s officials.

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The head house of Li Family is Li Cong Yin, who was using rough and gentle method. He forced the nineteen year old Li Qing to agree to join their third brother, seventeen years old Li Hyun, who admitted in takes the National Examination in spring.

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Li Qing did not want to become an Official, only happy to possess one of a shop/factory from his oldest brother. But Li Cong Yin wanted to expand his business and believed that it is possible if one of their family member was to sit on an official position. Hence he forces the second and third brothers to study hard, hoping in the future to have one of them takes an official position so his plan and scheme become fruitful.

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When National Examination pre-qualifiers list was announced, Li Cong Yin was pleased as both of his brothers has been admitted as successful candidates. Even if they did not get into first rank or second rank, as long they get to the third rank they would automatically have an official post and worked their way up the ladder in later dates should not be a big problem.

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Li Qing loves to read at young age, though he has unfortunate experience, to be forced learning history, code of conduct, nation policies and so on. Hence it went into one ear and out another. The one he really likes reading was fiction stories which was more interesting. So every examination he tried to use all his brain powers and could able to assemble about three thousand words which would be incredible lucky while others could hand in millions words at least.
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Therefore, he often wonders that his passing on every examination were actually results from his brother’s bribes to the official and unlike Li Hyun who earned the placement by his own merit.

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Although it may state that successful candidates are to be tested by the Emperor but in fact, the examiner is a high rank officer and there are only a few people that were personally questioned by the Emperor. Normally, it takes only about fifty candidates respond to the weary the Emperor thus the later candidates would be at a disadvantage from not being heard probably, because to arouse the attention of the Emperor would be very difficult.

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Li Hyun was the seventeenth candidate that is the first batch of successful candidates while Li Qing from the last batch, the candidate of number ninety two. He was drowned off, continuing taken naps from the long wait, it was until he called that he had to pinch himself to manage awake.

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After kowtow on the ground with the young Emperor who sitting on throne, Li Qing stood below and listen to those standing in front of him answer. They were impassioned, talking about generosity and justices. They were eloquent on the issues like a massive counterattack on a battlefield, his eyes narrowed again and again open; open eyes and closed them, really a painful struggling effort.

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…………………………………..

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‘I want to sleep …… why I can’t do it, really want to sleep ……’

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“Li Qing…… Li Qing…..”

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‘What a familiar name……’Li Qing was in a trance as someone pushed him, “Hey, they’re calling you.”

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‘Uh, it’s me!’ Li Qing forced to open up his eyelids, and hastened went out of the queue.

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The examiner saw his sleepy looks, eyes dazed, seems not an intelligent person so he picked the simplest question and asked him: “His Majesty asked ‘How can he make the kingdom to be a safer place?’’”

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He did not answer like the others, who attempted to shows off their talents, only replied in a short statement: “Enough food and clothes are sufficient for people to feel safe. People considered food as the most important thing.”

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“Is that all?”

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“Yes.”

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“Why not add a few more statement, which should be fine.”The examiner kindly gives him second chance.
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“Keep the Ruler’s ethics (justices) for the citizen then the nation will not be in danger.”

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“Anything else?”

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‘Still not enough, ah?’ Li Qing contemplated hard and then said: “The nation does not belong only to the Emperor; His Majesty must make effort and use his mind to provide peace to the citizens, to follow the examples of wise sages to have a long life.”

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Suddenly the hall was momentary silenced.

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Li Qing was confused; he really wonders what he had said that could make everyone speechless. He did not think he could excel as one of the successful candidates, always thinking how quickly he could leave here and return home to sleep. He was forced to wake up in the morning before dawn and driven into the palace, it was better off to kill him instead.

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The examiner looked at him from head to toe as if he’d seen a demon, thinking inwardly how this youngster dared to teach ‘How to be a good Emperor’ (Holy Emperor),is it not implied that His Majesty did not rule justly like a wise sage?’

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“What is your thought, of being a Holy Emperor?” The Emperor suddenly broke the silence and shocked the audiences.

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Li Qing was indeed surprised but nonetheless replied: “Eat the food of the people eat, thinking of what the people think, delight in the people’s happiness, sympathize with the people’s trouble, love the people then the people love back, do evil lead people to be evil criminals, respect the people as they are the tiger, and able to see the pain of the people.”

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“What are you trying to say? That the Emperor do not belong to himself but to all the people of the nation?”

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“The Emperor always says: “I am the nation.” Therefore, the Emperor is the head of the nation, if there are no people then there will be no nation.”

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The Hall became quieter.

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In fact, what Li Qing said was the well known truth so nothing new is cliché, except that none would dare to preach the Emperor about it. Even saying the statement “I am the nation” was guilty of disrespect. The person who said this would be an idiot or have a great deal of courage, the audiences at present were sweating coldly for him.

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The Emperor did not show anger, but gives a faintly smile and said: “What you’ve said is correct.”

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The examiner watched over the situation, saw the Emperor seems liked Li Qing response, then with cinnabar pen circled his name.

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‘A blind cat catch a dead rat’ is probably the case for Li Qing. His luck has ranked him into the first group, taken third place, the fifth rank level in government ministry and served in Social Service Department as an entry level. Li Hyun was real gold, who champion of the first place, fifth rank level in government ministry and sent to “River Province”, took over the Head of Government House in the county.

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The two brothers both passed the examination in first rank, one work as a minor official in the capital and the other placed as the high official of a county and both positions are lucrative. Li Cong Yin laughed almost straining his jaw. He took three days to celebrate, set off firecrackers and open great banquets. Although the feast was charged to be able to attend but many rich people still came as they want to make with the right connection. Such feast had helped Li Cong Yin to acquire a few business opportunities and funds. Above all, it was a great fun event!

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———————–

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Posted on November 27, 2013, in translated stories and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Yes, the past with Li Qing and the emperor, was funny. I really like the character of Li Qing. Thank you for the translation.

  2. /(commenting before reading…………)/
    thank you so much .. now I can start with ch2

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