Wuxiaworld > The World Online > Chapter 543- Su Zhe“s Choice

Chapter 543- Su Zhe“s Choice

Chapter 543- Su Zhe's Choice

Translator: ryangohsf

Editor: Nora

Gaia 2nd year, 12th month, 2nd day, Tianjing City.

This was Ouyang Shuo's third day here, and the atmosphere within the city had changed entirely.

The site of the king's palace was bustling with activity. The precious materials that were torn down were stacked up on the square in front of the palace like mountains.

On the square, batch after batch of procurators appeared.

Even merchants from Xunzhou Prefecture and Zhen An Prefecture had rushed over to Tianjing City to take part in this auction.

When Ouyang Shuo heard this news, he immediately ordered the Business Division to choose some of Hong Xiuquan's personal items from the ten carriages of precious items for the auction.

"Remember, purposely choose all those secretive but not too valuable products for the auction."

Ouyang Shuo reminded the official from the Business Division.

"Yes, my Lord!"

"Also, make the starting bids higher and advertise more."

"Yes, my Lord!"

The Business Division official carefully accepted the task, while wiping off some cold sweat. He had a completely new understanding of the Lord’s meticulous planning and great schemes.

Of course, Cui Yingyu would just call him greedy and black-hearted. However, this person was just a basic level official from the Business Division. Naturally, he would not dare to voice such words.

On the other side, the barracks situated at the west of the city was also exceedingly busy. One hundred thousand Taiping Army troops were using the time to pack up for their journey tomorrow to their respective areas.

As for the hidden currents in the military, after Ouyang Shuo threw out the bait, the situation calmed down.

The only exception would be last night when the city protection force general Lin Qirong actually got dead drunk in a restaurant. After which, he even went to a brothel.

As he was drunk, he ‘accidentally’ fell into a river and died. Only during the next morning did the road cleaner find his body floating on the river. The road cleaner immediately reported the matter.

The government office ascertained that he had died from drowning and excluded the possibility of him murder.

This matter was left just like that.

When Ceng Tianyang heard the news, he felt that something was suspicious, but there was no way he could confirm his doubts. After all, Lin Qirong did like drinking and based on his subordinates’ words, they did drink together with him last night.

After they left, Lin Qirong had separated from his subordinates and left alone. The next they heard of him, they learned that he had drowned.

In the end, Ceng Tianyang could only say that this matter was a total coincidence.

"Preposterous!"

Ceng Tianyang was furious at Lin Qirong’s uselessness.

Seeing a huge matter ahead of them, losing a valuable ally would obviously leave Ceng Tianyang angry. What made matters worse was that last night, he had once again tried to probe Shi Zhenji's position.

This time, Shi Zhenji had actually rejected him outright, catching Ceng Tianyang utterly off guard.

"Ungrateful idiot!"

From Ceng Tianyang's point of view, Shi Zhenji's refusal was a betrayal toward the old king.

As Ceng Tianyang cursed out at Shi Zhenji, he also started to feel an added layer of worry about the Lord. Just a simple meeting had changed the viewpoint of Shi Zhenji.

"Unfortunately, I have no way out, and I need to repay the king for his kindness."

Ceng Tianyang was alone in the room, sighing out loud. He looked unusually lonely.

Probably every bad person had a past that no one knew about. Thinking about it, from another viewpoint, wasn’t Ceng Tianyang the most loyal minister of Hong Xiuquan?

One's evaluation of others would often reach an extreme for people standing on different sides.

Lin Fengxiang Residence, Ouyang Shuo's reading room.

After dealing with the two problems regarding the king's palace and the Taiping Army, Ouyang Shuo finally had time to meet the officials in the city.

Amongst which, the one he paid the most attention to was Su Zhe.

Compared to his bold brother Su Shi, Su Zhe was more calm and composed. This personality trait allowed him to walk further than his brother.

Of course, at the core, the two of them were similar.

Su Shi had once commented on his brother like this.

"Zi You is a really humble servant. If one does not know him, they would think that he has no ability. His skills are so good, but he does not want others to know about it. He is a simple person that does not like to show off."

From this, one could see Su Zhe’s low profile nature.

Su Zhe's education and thinking were greatly influenced by his brother and father, and he was exceedingly good at political and history theory. It was because of this specialty that the then prime minister Wang An Shi chose him. At that time, Wang An Shi was hell-bent on pushing through reforms and moved to the division of regulations.

Su Zhe absolutely opposed the reforms that Wang An Shi suggested. Unfortunately, the ambitious Wang An Shi did not agree with his words, so they ended up on opposite ends of the revolution.

Not long after, because of his differing opinions, he was chased out of the city, and his career was affected.

After Song Shenzong fell, Song Zhezong inherited the throne. However, he was too young, so his queen mother Xuanren made the political decisions for him and removed the new reforms Wang An Shi had pushed out. Only then did Su Zhe start to be favored. In the end, he became prime minister.

After some time, Song Zhezong took over, and the reforms started to be favored once more. Hence, Su Zhe, who had opposed the reforms, was ridiculed.

From his experiences as an official, one could see the intensity of the political power struggles at that time.

Due to the official system during the Song Dynasty, the writers then had a high status. This was the golden age of politics in China. As such, they all participated actively.

The political specialty focused on fighting for power.

After Fan Zhongyan, all the famous writers were embroiled in this power struggle without exception. This decided their fates and also affected their works.

The Su brothers Su Zhe and Su Shi obviously could not exclude themselves from the situation.

Probably because of the previous harmed he had suffered from his political opponents, Su Zhe strayed far away from the politics of Taiping Country. He maintained his neutrality and dealt with matters with a low profile.

Even during the fight for power between Shi Dakai and Yang Xiuqing, Su Zhe, as the head of the civil servants, chose to keep silent. After Ouyang Shuo moved in, Su Zhe even decided to just lock his doors and not go out.

He only received the personal summon of Ouyang Shuo this morning.

Before this, when choosing the three governors, Ouyang Shuo had not considered Su Zhe. It was important to note that he did not doubt Su Zhe’s abilities or made the choice out of bias.

In truth, with Su Zhe's ability to be the prime minister of the Song Dynasty, it was not hard for him to run a prefecture. During the North Song Period, the official system was perfected, and the training of officials had already reached a reasonable level.

During that time, the Yamen were really busy with matters and demanded skilled officials. Hence, compared to the civil servants of the Warring States Period, Su Zhe was around the same level.

In truth, when he found out that Su Zhe was an official of Taiping Country, Ouyang Shuo thought of a role that was really suitable for him. This was the role of director of the Science, Education, Culture, and Health Department.

Along with Fan Zhongyan becoming the Wuzhou Prefecture governor, Xiao He would become the administrative director. However, Xiao He still had to perform his previous role as the Science, Education, Culture, and Health Director.

Out of the four departments, the Administration Department was the busiest.

Having two roles was exceedingly inconvenient for Xiao He. As such, he had written letters to beseech the Lord to choose a new director.

The problem was that the Science, Education, Culture, and Health Department involved the revolution core of the territory and was exceedingly important. As such, Ouyang Shuo could not hurry this decision.

As a person that was both a writer and a prime minister, Su Zhe was a very orthodox person. Naturally, he entered Ouyang Shuo's eyes as a suitable choice for the role of director.

Apart from that, the Science, Education, Culture, and Health Department focused on public work. It had nothing to do with political powers and badly needed someone to steer it in the right direction. This was a great match with Su Zhe's personality.

As a result, Ouyang Shuo had the confidence to convince Su Zhe to work.

Ouyang Shuo chose the reading room and not the main hall to express his willingness to get close.

Their meeting could be called really calm and tranquil.

The reputation and title of a Lord did not have much of an effect on Su Zhe. The part of Shanhai City that attracted him was the presence of Fan Zhongyan.

During the North Song, be it in the official field or the debating platforms, Fan Gong had a special status. For the Lord to be able to gain the loyalty of Fan Gong, it was a tremendous recognition to Su Zhe.

Especially after he heard of the introduction of the Lord toward the Science, Education, Culture, and Health Department; his already calmed heart started to move once more. Out of all the writers that came out of North Song, none would be unwilling to throw themselves into becoming an official.

He did not want to become an official to enjoy fame and riches. Rather, he wanted to work for the people and show what he had learned.

Just like what Fan Gong wrote in Renovation of the Yueyang Tower: a leader should be first to show concern and the last to enjoy oneself.

Just that sentence was the most moving statement to describe how the North Song people were willing to care for the people and work for the future of the country.

Naturally, Su Zhe was not an exception.

Taking charge of the Science, Education, Culture, and Health Department was a good chance to work for the people.

"Greetings, my Lord!"

At this moment, Su Zhe had officially pledged his allegiance to Ouyang Shuo.

Name: Su Zhe (King Rank)

Title: Eight houses of Tang Song

Dynasty: North Song

Identity: Shanhai City official

Occupation: civil servant

Loyalty: 70

Command: 35

Force: 25

Intelligence: 75

Politics: 80

Specialty: Cultural Calmness (15% increase in territory administrative efficiency, 5% increase in cultural index, 15% increase in honesty of territory)

Evaluation: Su Zhe, also known as Zi You, a writer and prime minister from North Song.

He was an extremely talented official well-versed in Confucianism teachings. He was sensitive to issues and meticulous. Su Zhe excelled in the shi, ci, and fu forms of poetry.