Chapter 34 – Strip him of his literary position

After sending Fang Daniu away, Fang Yun was worried about the future of the "Three Character Classic". He originally favored "The Story of the Western Wing", but "Dream Record of the Pillow" became more popular.


Although the "Three Character Classic" was good, it was ultimately just a primer for basic education and lacked the grandeur of the Path of the Saints. It also did not require much talent, and while it may be valued in the clan school, important figures may not necessarily value it. It may take many years to slowly gain recognition.


"I hope to get the support of Grand Academician Li, otherwise this book will not spread as easily as popular novels."


Fang Daniu brought Fang Yun's letter and the "Three Character Classic" to the Academy, and was led to the outside of Zhou Zhubu's room by a clerk.


After entering the room, Fang Daniu said, "I have seen Zhou Zhubu. I am here on behalf of my young master Fang Yun, and I have brought a letter and a copy of the "Three Character Classic" for you to peruse."


"The 'Three Character Classic'?" Although Zhou Zhubu didn't know what it was, he was pleased and quickly walked over to grab the stack of papers. He looked at it and snorted.


"Who copied this?"


"I copied it on the orders of my young master."


Zhou Zhubu looked at the letter and found that it was not written in Fang Yun's handwriting, which made him laugh.


"You can go now, I will review this book."


After Fang Daniu left, Zhou Zhubu carefully read the "Three Character Classic". Fang Yun's version was only over 1500 words, and Zhou Zhubu quickly finished reading it.


"This is a monster! How could I not have thought of such a great idea? Three characters per sentence, easy to rhyme and understand, but it explains the simplest aspects of the Path of the Saints, including historical figures, astronomy, geography, and everything else. It's not too complicated, but it's perfect for enlightenment. It has the same charm as "The Story of the Western Wing" and "Dream Record of the Pillow". Although it may not be popular in the entire nation, it can still be promoted in a prefecture or state."


Zhou Zhubu carefully read it again and thought to himself, "It is still just a primer for basic education. Whether it can spread or not is uncertain, and it is unlikely to be published in the "Path of the Saints". Many scholars in various countries have compiled primers for basic education, but only the "Thousand Character Classic" and "Hundred Family Surnames" were chosen to be published in the "Path of the Saints", and supposedly they were selected by a Semi-Saint."


Zhou Zhubu then took Fang Yun's letter and thought to himself, "There's a hidden meaning here. Looking for someone who is respected and virtuous? I am far from that. And to bathe in the glory of the Path of the Saints? He understands the rules, but I am not qualified enough. I can only let the Lord of the Academy explain it. Hmph, he took my manuscript of "Dream Record of the Pillow", so I'll leave this laborious task to him."


Zhou Zhubu brought the manuscript to the Lord of the Academy's hall without knocking, and entered with a stern face. In a voice that sounded like he was about to die, he said, "Lord of the Academy, the Semi-Saint former child scholar Fang Yun has self-written a primer for basic education called the "Three Character Classic", and wishes for someone respected and virtuous to spread the glory of the Path of the Saints. After much consideration, I could not find anyone else who could take on such a great responsibility, so I request that the Lord of the Academy annotate it and distribute it for the clan school's young learners to study.""Put it here."


The speaker was a middle-aged man dressed in black robes. He appeared to be in his thirties, but was actually close to fifty. His eyebrows were black and dense, like two swords hanging over his eyes. Even if he had no expression on his face, he exuded a murderous aura.


This man was Li Wenying, the Grand Academician of the Jiangzhou State Academy, and the Jing Kingdom Empress Dowager had once called him "Sword Eyebrows". This nickname was very apt and soon became well-known.


"Hmph!" Zhou Zhubu snorted coldly, put down his manuscript, bowed and turned to leave.


Li Wenying's face flashed with a hint of a smile. He reached out and took the manuscript, carefully examined it, and found that the handwriting was neither Fang Yun's nor Zhou Zhubu's. The smile disappeared from his face.


"People's hearts are not ancient," Li Wenying thought to himself as he carefully read the "Three Character Classic".


After reading it once, Li Wenying memorized the over 1,500 characters. He then closed his eyes and pondered quietly.


After a moment, Li Wenying smiled again, thinking to himself, "This Fang Yun is truly extraordinary. Even Zhou Zhubu didn't see his true intentions. Well, let me add some notes and promote my literary name. I'll help spread this 'Three Character Classic' throughout the country, and even throughout the Jing Kingdom. Moreover, although this book is of no use to the Child Scholars, it is indeed a good enlightenment reading material. As for whether it can be published in 'The Path of the Saints', I'm not sure. I'll recommend it along with the 'Dream Record of the Pillow'."


"It's a pity that it's not written by Fang Yun himself. The handwriting in his 'Dream Record of the Pillow' is very elegant and worth learning from. Perhaps it can help improve my calligraphy skills."


As soon as Li Wenying put down the manuscript, he heard the voice of Qiu Xuezhen outside the door: "I have something to report, Your Excellency."


"Come in." Li Wenying finished speaking and looked towards the door.


Qiu Xuezhen entered with a smile on his face, holding a stack of manuscripts in his hands. He said, "Your Excellency, you attach great importance to education, which has made the Jiangzhou academic atmosphere flourish. I have just obtained a Mongolian reading material that is at least above the county level, called the 'Three Character Classic', written by a talented scholar in the prefecture city. Although the literary style is limited, it is most suitable for teaching children."


Li Wenying's two sword eyebrows moved slightly, then returned to calmness. He said, "Let me see it."


"Yes." Qiu Xuezhen bent over, presenting the manuscript with both hands.


Li Wenying flipped through a few pages and found that it was exactly the same as the 'Three Character Classic' he had received earlier.


"Good! Very good. I want to meet the author of this text. Can you bring him here?" Li Wenying said.


Qiu Xuezhen was overjoyed and said, "He is in the academy. I'll bring him here right away."


"Go quickly. I want to see which talented scholar this is."




Soon, Qiu Xuezhen brought Lu Yingnian in. As soon as Lu Yingnian entered the door, he bowed deeply and said, "Student Lu Yingnian pays his respects to Your Excellency."


Li Wenying smiled slightly and asked, "Did you write this 'Three Character Classic'?"Lu Yingnian said, "Indeed, it was done by me. But during the process of writing the Three Character Classic, I also exchanged ideas with the teachers of the clan school. It was only after numerous revisions that it was completed. The teachers of the Fang clan school also played a part in it."


"Fang clan school? I heard that Fang Dayan invited Fang Shuangjia to teach at the clan school. Is this true?"


Lu Yingnian's heart raced, a hint of suspicion flashing in his eyes as he replied, "The head of the plan is also at the clan school."


Although the two were two zhang apart, to Li Wenying, Lu Yingnian's heartbeat sounded like a drum.


"Since the Three Character Classic was written by you, there is no problem. However, before you arrived, Fang Yun pretended to be the author of the Three Character Classic and submitted a copy that was exactly the same as yours. Don't worry, I will see that justice is done. I will send someone to catch Fang Yun and then report to the court to determine who the true author is. If Fang Yun confesses early, he will only be reprimanded. But if he refuses to admit his mistake, when the truth is revealed, I will strip him of his literary position and ban him and his family from participating in the imperial examination for three generations. Then he will be exiled to a barbarian-occupied area, where his fate will be determined by heaven. Huh? Why are you turning pale, sweating profusely, and trembling?"


During the conversation, Li Wenying's momentum continued to rise, and the power of his talent and strength caused the air around him to stir, flipping through the pages of books and papers.


Lu Yingnian felt a sharp pain in his ears and couldn't help wiping the sweat from his hands.


Qiu Xuezhen, who had been in the officialdom for a long time, realized what was going on halfway through and immediately knelt down, saying, "Your Honor, I have an old relationship with the Fang family, but I really don't know anything about this. Even if I were stupid, I wouldn't dare to conspire to steal Fang Yun's work, let alone bring him to see you. Your Honor, although I am usually a little greedy, I would never participate in anything that involves depriving someone of their literary position."


Qiu Xuezhen spoke with tears streaming down his face, cursing Lu Yingnian and Fang Er's mother in his heart, thinking that these fools didn't even know that Fang Yun was the focus of the entire state academy. Even Liu Zicheng didn't dare to make a move openly. How could these two idiots dare to directly steal Fang Yun's article?


Lu Yingnian was frightened and knelt down involuntarily, continually kowtowing and begging for forgiveness.


"I confess! I was deceived by my aunt and was tempted by the article's quality. I had the desire to possess it and borrowed the Three Character Classic that other teachers had copied. I rewrote it. I confess and am willing to accept punishment. I hope that Your Honor will spare my literary position and not involve my family."


Li Wenying sneered, "I only said that Fang Yun would be reprimanded if he confessed. When did I say anything about your punishment? Get out of here, you despicable scum!"


As soon as Li Wenying finished speaking, Lu Yingnian was hit by an invisible hammer and flew backwards, landing five zhang away, spitting out blood.


The Grand Academician's words were hurtful."Take off the clothes of this talented scholar and send him to the dungeon. Wait for the officials from the Holy Academy to take away his position!"


"Yes!" The soldiers in the courtyard rushed forward like wolves and dragged Lu Yingnian away.


Lu Yingnian was so angry that he passed out after muttering a few words.


"Who is Lu Yingnian's aunt?" Li Wenying asked.


Qiu Xuezhen replied, "She is the legitimate wife of the second young master of the Fang family, Fang Yuanshi. She was granted the title of eighth rank Anren. It was she who brought Lu Yingnian to me. Otherwise, how could I believe that he could write such good articles?"


Li Wenying thought of the struggle between the two branches of the Fang family, pondered for a moment, and said, "As an imperial concubine, she actually instigated her juniors to seize other people's articles. This is a serious crime, but considering that the Fang family has made contributions to the country, we will punish her lightly. Send an order to the court to find a place outside the Fang family for her to live and confine her there for three years. She cannot leave the place during these three years. I will ask the court to revoke her title after that and she cannot be granted any title again."




Li Wenying looked at the two manuscripts on the table again and muttered, "Idiot!"


Then Li Wenying wrote a letter explaining the situation and sent it to Zhou Zhubu, asking the messenger to find out Fang Yun's residence and deliver the letter.


After Fang Yun received the letter, he walked back to his room and opened it. The little fox slave was on the table.


After reading the letter, Fang Yun threw it in front of the slave and smiled, "This idiot is dumber than our little slave."


The slave smiled and nodded vigorously.


"This is called retribution. Come on, let's go to the Fang family and tell my aunt about this."


The slave was excited and jumped up and down. This was the first time Fang Yun had taken her out.


Fang Yun also called Yang Yuhuan and went to visit the Fang family, told them about the incident, and then left.


The night view of Dayuan Prefecture was very beautiful. Fang Yun held Yang Yuhuan's hand on his right and held the slave on his left, strolling and playing in the streets.



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