Chapter 15 – Year End

At first, those child scholars were a bit dissatisfied, but when they heard that Fang Yun was recommended by Grand Academician Li to the “Path of the Saints,” their dissatisfaction turned into admiration, especially for those younger child scholars who admired him.

In the Holy Origin Continent, entering the “Path of the Saints” is the highest standard for poetry and literature. There may be debates about the poems, but few question the qualifications because only the Grand Academicians have the right to recommend, and then the power of the All the Saints Temple eliminates the candidates, without being influenced by anyone’s will, not even the Half-Sages. Finally, it is up to the Holy Academy to decide when and in what position to enter.

Fang Zhongyong looked at Fang Yun with envy, but soon he felt uncomfortable. Upon careful thought, he suddenly realized that his gaze towards Fang Yun was the same as others’ towards him when he was a child prodigy.

Fang Li was so angry when he saw his son’s expression that he couldn’t speak. He had worked hard to win honor for his son, but the result was that his son had betrayed him!

Fang Li was even more unhappy. If someone else had won the top spot, it would have been fine, but he was robbed of the top spot by someone with the same surname. The title of the first family of the Fang clan in the Dayuan Prefecture was not going to his son.

Fang Li was about to speak when Wang Yuanjun said, “It’s not two literary plaques, but three.”

“Where does the third come from?”

“Fang Yun is a former child scholar of the Saints.” Although the list was released by the Academy of Literature, it did not indicate “former child scholar of the Saints,” and few people knew about it.

The audience was in an uproar.

In the Jing Kingdom, only two former child scholars of the Saints had emerged in the past hundred years, and Fang Yun was the third.

Fang Li suddenly closed his mouth and dared not say a word. He knew that if he dared to continue to provoke Fang Yun, he would be the second Zhen Shopkeeper.

The crowd discussed it excitedly, and many people toasted to Fang Yun. Fortunately, the alcohol content was low, so drinking more was harmless.

When the discussion ended, County Magistrate Cai said to Wang Yuanjun, “Fang Yun’s ‘Spring Dawn’ is the finale of this literary meeting. Let’s discuss it later. Fang Yun, did you write half a poem before writing ‘Spring Dawn’?”

Fang Yun saw County Magistrate Cai take out a crumpled paper and said, “Yes, but that poem had the suspicion of discussing politics, so I didn’t finish it.”

“Good poems and literature written in the Academy of Literature can be sensed by those with high literary positions. Although this poem is only half-written, it still carries talent and may reach the county level. Now that you have a literary position, it is your duty to discuss politics. Can you continue to write this poem? Otherwise, it would be a pity.”

The expressions of the people in the room were even more wonderful. Many accomplished scholars could not even get their poems out of the county, but Fang Yun could easily get his poem to the prefecture level and was willing to give up?

Fang Zhongyong suddenly felt ashamed. He was proud of his poem that got out of the county, but compared to Fang Yun, he was far behind.

Fang Yun said, “Last year, my classmate Lu Lin and I discussed the war, and I was sad and angry in my heart. I always wanted to say something for the soldiers who died in battle, but I was too insignificant to speak out. Now that I have a literary position, I will finish this poem.”

The poem “Year End” criticizes the inaction of government officials, which Fang Yun could not write before he had a literary position. Now that he has a literary position, writing this kind of poem will increase his literary reputation.

Literary position, official position, and literary reputation are all very important.

Some people in the literary meeting had already prepared everything, and Fang Yun stood up and took the crumpled paper, walking to a nearby desk to grind ink.

Fang Yun pondered for a moment and then completed the five-character regulated poem “Year End.”

As a guest far from home, war still rages on the borders;

Smoke and dust invade the snowy peaks, drums and horns shake the river city.

The sky and earth flow with blood, who dares to request a decree from the court?

Saving the time, daring to love death, a lonely heart is shocked.

As Fang Yun wrote the poem, he vaguely understood County Magistrate Cai’s intention.

Because “Year End” had the suspicion of criticizing the Left Chancellor, Liu Shan.The millennium-old non-aggression agreement between Sage Confucius and Demon Barbarian has long been invalidated, and now Demon Barbarian is restless.

Last winter, Wolf Savage marched south, and according to tradition, Jing Kingdom should have deployed all its forces to strike the enemy. But the Left Chancellor, Willow Mountain, used various excuses to oppose the war, missing the best opportunity to start the war, resulting in Wolf Savage’s victory. Jing Kingdom lost a Grand Academician, two Hanlin Scholars, four Imperial Scholars, and twenty thousand soldiers, and hundreds of thousands of border residents were taken captive, shaking the world.

Willow Mountain not only did not admit his guilt but also said that if the war had started earlier, the casualties would have been greater.

After the war, the courtiers were furious and demanded an attack on Wolf Savage, but Willow Mountain advocated peace instead of war, demoted and exiled many pro-war officials, and then sent someone to negotiate with Wolf Savage. Finally, three prefectures were ceded, and ten million taels of silver and a large amount of cloth and minerals were paid as compensation.

Jing Kingdom was severely weakened.

Later, there were rumors that because the young king of Jing Kingdom was only three years old, the queen mother was the regent. If the war had been won, the queen mother’s prestige would have greatly increased, which would have been extremely disadvantageous to Willow Mountain, who wanted to be in power. So Willow Mountain delayed the war by claiming a shortage of food and grass, and then played tricks.

Although Fang Yun did not have deep feelings for Jing Kingdom, he was extremely disgusted with Willow Mountain’s behavior of sacrificing hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians and even ceding territory for the sake of power and profit.

Moreover, Fang Yun originally hated Liu Zicheng, so he had to write this poem to disgust the Liu family. After finishing the poem, Fang Yun loudly declared, “The rise and fall of the world is the responsibility of every man! We scholars should talk about war and fight bravely, how can we fear war!”

Everyone immediately widened their eyes. Fang Yun not only wrote a good poem but also spoke very sensibly and innovatively. Those eight words had great weight and could make people think about them repeatedly.

The county magistrate Cai slapped the table and said loudly, “What a great responsibility for the rise and fall of the world and every man! With your words, I will give you a double armor! Cheers to Fang Yun who is not afraid of war!”

Cai raised his glass, and although everyone feared Willow Mountain’s power, their blood was not yet cold, and they responded with cheers, toasting to Fang Yun.

Especially those young Child Scholars and Accomplished Scholars were extremely excited and almost regarded Fang Yun as a hero.

Fang Li looked ashamed and completely gave up the idea of making things difficult for Fang Yun. He also understood that Fang Yun would always be better than him, just with those eight words of “the rise and fall of the world is the responsibility of every man.”

Wang Yuanjun nodded and said, “I didn’t expect that the abandoned poem would have such a story behind it. County magistrate, please verify whether this poem has reached the prefecture. If it has, I will report it to Grand Academician Li with the matter of the literary meeting, so that this poem can also be published in The Path of the Saints.”


Fang Yun handed the paper to County Magistrate Cai, and Cai put the official seal on the poem page. A two-and-a-half-foot-high orange aura shot up straight into the air.

One foot out of the county, two feet to the prefecture, and three feet to the state.

“It really reached the prefecture. If it can be published in The Path of the Saints, it will definitely be famous in the state! Fang Yun is indeed the top Child Scholar in Ji County!” Su Presented Scholar smiled.

“The so-called Path of the Saints has the education of the people, loyalty, filial piety, benevolence, and righteousness. This poem is in line with The Path of the Saints and is sure to be published in The Path of the Saints!” County Magistrate Cai made the final decision with a hammer.

Afterward, Wang Yuanjun recited “Spring Dawn” and explained the subtleties of the poem. Everyone praised it. The younger ones didn’t feel much about “Spring Dawn,” and the slightly older ones were silent after listening, pondering the sentence “how many flowers fall.”

At this point, everyone was pleased and convinced by Fang Yun.

Liu County Magistrate said, “Fang Yun has written another poem for County Magistrate Cai today, which was heard by the Lu arresters. It is also a very good poem. Fang Yun, why don’t you write this poem at the literary meeting and formally present it to County Magistrate Cai?”

But County Magistrate Cai said, “It’s just a poem. Let’s not make a fuss and waste everyone’s time. It’s okay not to write it.”

Wang Yuanjun smiled and said, “No, I’m curious about this poem and must see it.”Fang Yun knew that it was just Cai County Magistrate’s modesty, so he said, “I’ll show you something.”

As he spoke, Fang Yun walked over to the table again and wrote the poem “To Cai He,” reciting it as he wrote.

Beside the inkstone pool in the Cai family,

Blossoming flowers leave faint ink marks;

Don’t praise the colors,

Leave only the clear air to fill the universe!

After Fang Yun finished reciting, Su Presented Scholar exclaimed, “Fang Yun is truly a genius! The first two lines of the poem are ordinary, but the last two lines are outstanding, the poetic meaning is elevated, and the entire poem is extraordinary. The county magistrate has always been honest and pragmatic, never wasting public funds for vanity. The flower of clear air matches the person of righteousness, complementing each other! What a great poem! It doesn’t need to be verified by the official seal, it is at least a poem that can be presented to the county!”

“Su Presented Scholar, you flatter me. I just did what I could,” Cai He said modestly, without any pride.

“Only a person with clear air can write such a poem; only a person with clear air can receive this poem as a gift,” Wang County Lord said, looking at Fang Yun with a different expression.

At first, Fang Yun didn’t understand, but after thinking for a while, he realized that Wang County Lord also wanted to be gifted with such a good poem.

Everyone praised Fang Yun, many of them, like Wang County Lord, looked at Fang Yun with fiery eyes.

They all knew themselves well, and it was difficult for them to write poems and essays that would be recorded in history. But if they were included in a poem or essay that would be recorded in history, it would be worth more than a hundred thousand taels of silver.

Seeing that the atmosphere was not right, Cai County Magistrate immediately interrupted and continued to discuss poetry, saving Fang Yun from embarrassment.

At nine o’clock in the evening, the literary meeting ended, and Su Presented Scholar, who was in his fifties, invited Fang Yun to ride in his carriage and sent him home.

Su Presented Scholar took excellent care of himself and looked only in his forties at first glance. He had served as an eighth-rank county magistrate in Ji County, equivalent to the deputy of the county magistrate. Two of his three sons were Talented Scholars studying outside.

The Su family was an influential family for three generations, firmly holding the position of the first family in Ji County.

Fang Yun thought that Su Presented Scholar would talk to him about poetry and literature, but to his surprise, Su Presented Scholar asked as soon as he got in the carriage, “Has Fang Gongzi married yet?”

Fang Yun was speechless, and it turned out that Su Presented Scholar wanted to propose marriage to him.

“I’m not married yet, but I have decided to marry Miss Yu Huan.”

Su Presented Scholar said indifferently, “Although Yang Yuhuan is beautiful and unparalleled in Jiangzhou, she is just a child bride. It is already her great fortune to be your concubine. You are now the top scorer in the Double Ninth Exam and a Child Scholar before the emperor. You should marry a woman who is a match for you and knowledgeable.”

Fang Yun said seriously, “I am not after her beauty. We have been together for several years and have relied on each other for survival. Without her, I would not have what I have today! I, Fang Yun, swear that only Miss Yu Huan is fit to be my wife! If I let Miss Yu Huan be my concubine, then I, Fang Yun, would be no different from a beast!”

– – –

This book updates twice between 8pm and 9pm, irregularly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *