Chapter 18 – Holy land, Book Mountain

Fang Yun didn’t expect his uncle to be so bold. The Marquis was equivalent to a Hanlin scholar, capable of breaking through a city on his own, very powerful.

“Thank you, uncle, for lifting my siege. I was worried I couldn’t go to the Prefectural Academy. With your words, I can go to Dayuan Prefecture with peace of mind.” Fang Yun stood up immediately to express his gratitude.

Fang Shouye laughed and said, “Our Dayuan Fang family finally produced a Child Scholar before the Holy One. How can I watch you die in vain? However, although Liu Zicheng dare not kill you, he will definitely strike your literary reputation. He ranked in the top ten in the Prefectural Examination and climbed Book Mountain. He has both literary talent and ability, and he is also in the Prefectural Academy. You need to be careful when you enter the Prefectural Academy. If he doesn’t use extreme methods, I can’t do anything to him.”

“I understand, uncle. But can you tell me more about Book Mountain?” Fang Yun asked curiously.

Fang Shouye showed a nostalgic and regretful expression and said, “That is a holy place. Not only can you cultivate ‘The Courage to Write,’ but you can also obtain ‘The Heart of Literature.’ Book Mountain has nine mountains, with three pavilions on each of the first three mountains. It is said that every three mountains you pass, you can obtain a ‘Heart of Literature.’”

“I have been there twice. The first time I passed the Talented Scholar Examination, but unfortunately, I only climbed to the third pavilion of the first mountain. I can’t say that I gained nothing, after all, my literary talent has been enhanced. The second time I passed the Presented Scholar Examination, but unfortunately, I stopped in front of the second pavilion of the second mountain. However, after passing the Presented Scholar Examination, I cultivated ‘The Courage to Write,’ and the second time I climbed Book Mountain, I tempered my ‘The Courage to Write,’ which can also be considered a gain.”

“What is inside Book Mountain?” Fang Yun asked curiously.

Fang Shouye shook his head and said, “I don’t remember. People who have been there only remember what they obtained when they climbed to a certain position. Besides that, they don’t remember anything else. Book Mountain has been constantly blessed by all the saints throughout history, and it is a place to test Talented Scholars and Presented Scholars. It is said that there is a very small chance of obtaining ‘Holy Books’ after entering Book Mountain, which are literary treasures made by consuming the saints’ own literary talent.”

“That’s a shame.” Fang Yun thought he could learn more about Book Mountain from Fang Shouye.

Fang Shouye said, “Remember, when you climb Book Mountain in the future, you must climb as high as possible! We are not a family of all the saints, and we can only enter Book Mountain twice in our lifetime. However, people from all the saints’ families can enter for the third time after passing the Imperial Scholar Examination, and their achievements in the future will be much greater than ours. Oh, by the way, the ‘Nation’s First Scholar’ also has the opportunity to enter Book Mountain for the third time.”

“The Nation’s First Scholar?” Fang Yun vaguely knew, but didn’t understand.

“Above the top scorer in the Imperial Examination is the Nation’s First Scholar, the top of the ten nation’s literati. The top scorer is every year, but the Nation’s First Scholar is not necessarily. Back then…” Fang Shouye’s face suddenly dimmed, and he smiled self-deprecatingly, “The title of Nation’s First Scholar is too rare, it’s useless to talk about it. What you need to do this year is to study hard and take the Talented Scholar Examination next year.”

Fang Yun said, “I plan to take the Talented Scholar Examination this year.””Oh? Your invitation to the saints and your poetry may be impressive, but have you not studied the classics? With less than three months until the Prefecture Exam, do you have confidence?”

“I can’t say that I have confidence, but I will try.”

“Very well, then you will naturally know that the Talented Scholar Exam is not so easy to pass.” Fang Shouye had a hidden meaning in his words, and then continued, “You don’t have any livelihood, so before you pass the Talented Scholar Exam, you can teach the children of the Fang family in the ancestral school. Twenty taels of silver per month, how about it?”

“Uncle, is the amount you’re offering too much?” Fang Yun asked.

Fang Yusheng, who was beside him, remained silent. He was a Talented Scholar and only earned five taels of silver a month teaching Child Scholars in the county academy. Fang Yun was only a Child Scholar, but he could earn twenty taels of silver by teaching children. It was truly a case of the grass being greener on the other side.

“This is the price for breaking the record of the first dual-jinshi in the history of Jing Kingdom.” Fang Shouye said.

“Thank you, Uncle. I will try to finish the affairs here within ten days and then go to the prefecture city.” Fang Yun knew that this was Fang Shouye’s good intention. As long as he was a teacher in the Fang family ancestral school, no one, including the Liu family, would dare to harm him. This was a form of protection for him.

“Alright, have you reconsidered?” Fang Shouye stood up and looked at the two unopened boxes of treasures.

Fang Yun smiled and said, “As far as I know, although there are few Child Scholars before the saint, not everyone has such high achievements. Moreover, it takes twenty or thirty years for a Child Scholar to become an Imperial Scholar and make a name for themselves. Why does Uncle value me so much?”

Fang Shouye rubbed his scruffy chin and said, “First, your poem ‘Year End’ was well-written and scolded the Willow Mountain, which made me very happy. As for the second reason, if you can create a ‘heritage’ war poem or war verse, not only is it worth 20,000 taels of silver, but it’s also worth 200,000 taels of silver.”

Fang Yun finally understood.

In poetry and literature, only a small part of it has talent.

Among those with talent, only a small part can arouse the essence of heaven and earth.

Among those that can arouse the essence of heaven and earth, only a small part is war poetry or war verse that has a killing effect.

And among the war poetry and war verse, only a very small part can be taught to others and mastered, becoming a “heritage” war poem or war verse.

The Half-Saint Chen Guanhai of Jing Kingdom had been enshrined for more than a hundred years, and he had written countless poems and literature, but there were only two war poems or war verses that could be passed down.

One Half-Saint could withstand a million soldiers, but he could not teach everyone to withstand a million soldiers.

“I see.” Fang Yun said.Fang Shouye said, “It’s a pity that poetry and literature developed too slowly in the past. Due to the millennium-long peace treaty, although the human race fought internally, there was no external crisis. The minds of all the saints were still on the ‘Path of the Saints,’ emphasizing the classics, and even believing that governing the country was a minor matter, let alone poetry and literature. All the Half-Sages wanted to become Semi-Sages or even Sages, becoming the second Confucius. It wasn’t until the expiration of the millennium-long peace treaty that the Demon Barbarians repeatedly invaded our ten human nations, and the saints realized the danger. The Half-Sages were not afraid of Demon Saints, but those below the Half-Sages, especially those below the Imperial Scholars, lacked enough power to kill the enemy.”

Fang Yun knew this history and interjected, “So they discovered that war poetry and war literature were the key to defeating the enemy, so they adjusted the imperial examinations, and that’s why the literary style of the ten nations changed dramatically?”

“Exactly. You’re young but have already written excellent poetry, and you have a righteous heart, which is what my military needs the most. As a soldier, I hope you join my army, but as your uncle, I hope you choose the path of literature and become a Grand Academician for our Fang family.” Fang Shouye patted Fang Yun’s shoulder and was about to leave.

Fang Yun immediately said, “Uncle, wait a moment. I want to discuss something with you. I plan to open a bookstore to sell my poetry, some novels, and I wonder if you’re interested in investing?”

“Oh? How much for a share?” Fang Shouye asked.

“You’ve helped me a lot, so I’ll only charge you one-tenth of the price, one thousand two hundred taels per share,” Fang Yun said.

“Do I look like a fool to you? Renting a shop plus various expenses wouldn’t cost more than five hundred taels a year. You dare to ask for one thousand two hundred taels for a share?” Fang Shouye widened his eyes.

The people around them were also surprised, even Yang Yuhuan felt confused. The asking price was too high.

“Can you lend me one thousand two hundred taels, Uncle? I’ll pay you back two thousand taels before the New Year, but you have to tell others that the Fang family is investing in my bookstore.” Fang Yun said.

“You’re really cunning, kid,” Fang Shouye laughed. He finally understood that Fang Yun was afraid of being obstructed by others, so he wanted to use the prestige of the Fang family to block countless hidden arrows.

However, Fang Yun didn’t argue. Although he wanted to leverage the power of the Fang family in Dayuan Prefecture, he mainly wanted to thank Fang Shouye for his support. With Qishu Tianxi, he believed that his bookstore would bring in a steady stream of revenue, and his literary reputation would spread quickly, which was the most important thing.

“Are you willing to lend me the money, Uncle?” Fang Yun asked.

“No! I’ll give you five thousand taels to buy five shares! I want half!” Fang Shouye said.

“Sorry, I’m only selling one share. I’m not selling more.” Fang Yun thought to himself that Fang Shouye was a crafty old fox.

“What about three shares?”

“Not selling!”

“Two shares?”

“No.” Fang Yun was not polite at all.”That’s fine, I want to see what you can do!” Fang Shouye immediately produced a silver ticket worth one thousand two, placed it on the table, and then left, with the other two taking the box away.

Fang Yun saw Fang Shouye off, then went back to the room and picked up the silver ticket on the table, thinking that he now had some startup capital.

Yang Yuhuan curiously asked, “Little Yun, are you really going to open a bookstore? There are already many bookstores in the city, but they are mostly old brands. It’s hard for a new bookstore to survive. And you also want to study, where will you find the time to manage it?”

“I have you, you are the bookstore’s landlady. Once I teach you how to read and do arithmetic, you can help me manage the bookstore.”

A light blush rose on Yang Yuhuan’s fair face, and she said shyly, “Don’t talk nonsense! Let’s talk about business.”

Fang Yun said, “I don’t have time, but Liang Yuan does. He didn’t pass the Child Scholar exam this time, so he can only run a rice shop, but he doesn’t like it. If I hire him to help me manage the bookstore, he will definitely like it. After all, he will have the opportunity to read and take the imperial examinations while being responsible for the bookstore.”

“Liang Yuan and his wife are both good people,” Yang Yuhuan nodded.

Fang Yun continued, “You should go around and find a reliable woman to help with the household chores at Dayuan Prefecture. I will try to find a reliable young person in the clan to serve as a retainer at Dayuan Prefecture.”

“Okay, I know. I’m going to the Holy Temple soon, you should go quickly,” Yang Yuhuan said.


Fang Yun handed the one thousand two silver ticket to Yang Yuhuan and said, “You keep the money safe and use it when we open the bookstore at Dayuan Prefecture.”

“Okay,” Yang Yuhuan suddenly became excited. She used to earn money to support Fang Yun, so managing money was nothing new to her. But now that Fang Yun had given her so much money, she felt that he truly regarded her as his wife.

As Fang Yun walked out of the gate, he saw four classmates walking towards him. Ge Xiaomao excitedly waved his hand and said, “We were just looking for you.”

Fang Yun walked over and went to the academy with the four of them.

They had met at a drinking table yesterday, but they were too busy to talk. Now that the results were out, this was their first official conversation, so everyone was excited.

“Fang Yun, I didn’t expect you to hide your abilities so well. You are truly a role model for us!” Lu Lin praised loudly. Although his ranking in the Child Scholar exam was lower than Fang Yun’s, he had no jealousy at all. Instead, he was genuinely happy for his classmate.

“Congratulations on becoming a Child Scholar, Lu Lin,” Fang Yun smiled.

“You two don’t need to flatter each other. Don’t you consider our feelings?” Ge Xiaomao half-jokingly said, showing his childishness.

But Lu Zhan said, “I feel great! Fang Yun, you’re amazing. You completely crushed Fang Zhongyong’s arrogance. What kind of prodigy is he? You’re the real prodigy! Double armor, even Chen Sheng couldn’t do it. Maybe you’ll become a Semi-Saint in the future! I don’t believe Fang Zhongyong can compare to you.”Although Liang Yuan was happy for Fang Yun, his mood was a bit low.

At this moment, a passerby took the initiative to congratulate Fang Yun, and he immediately politely returned the gesture and thanked them.

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