Chapter 8 – The magistrate is angry

Wan Xuezheng couldn’t hide his envy and said, “With talent shining in Zhou, a child scholar before the sage, two literary arches in one go, unprecedented in Jing Kingdom. Even Chen Sheng was only a child scholar before the sage. Compared to this examinee, that so-called prodigy is nothing. County Magistrate Cai, your county is hiding dragons and crouching tigers.”

County Magistrate Cai and Wang Yuanjun looked in the direction of the prodigy Fang Zhongyong, then quickly turned back. Wan Xuezheng was right. Compared to being a child scholar before the sage and shining in Zhou, a small prodigy from a county was really nothing.

County Magistrate Cai smiled and said, “Are the two examiners going together on their rounds?”

“Willingly!” Wan Xuezheng and Wang Yuanjun answered in unison.

The three laughed and walked in the direction of Fang Yun’s examination room.

As they passed the examination room, the examinees inside looked up and felt something strange.

“Have the three examiners been possessed by demons? Why are they laughing like they’ve just been promoted?”

“Doesn’t look like they’re just doing their rounds. Has something big happened?”

“County Magistrate Cai is usually a stern and upright official. Has he been bewitched today? He’s smiling brighter than the sun.”

Many examinees poked their heads out, wanting to see what the three officials were up to.

They saw the three officials slow down their pace in front of Fang Yun’s examination room, moving as slowly as a snail.

Fang Yun was still feeling joyful after receiving the infusion of talent, but he was stunned when he saw County Magistrate Cai, Wang Yuanjun, and Wan Xuezheng all turn their heads and look at him with brilliant smiles.

Their actions were really strange, making him think of scenes from horror movies.

The three officials nodded at Fang Yun, encouraging him, then glanced at the test paper on his desk with a hint of envy before leaving.

“They must know that I became a child scholar before the sage,” Fang Yun thought.

Fang Yun looked carefully at “Spring Morning,” feeling relieved. As a child scholar before the sage, Liu Zicheng wouldn’t dare to kill him in Ji County.

After packing up his book box and leaving the test paper on the desk, Fang Yun walked away. Nearby yamen runners immediately came over, taking the test paper and putting it on top of Fang Yun’s request for sainthood.

As Fang Yun passed by other examination rooms, many examinees couldn’t help but whisper.

“Crazy genius!”

“This person is so fast, I admire him.”

“Isn’t that the one who was living off Xi Shi in Jiangzhou? Unlucky!”

Walking out of the examination room area, Fang Yun saw the three examiners sitting in a pavilion looking at him. He didn’t go up to chat, but just bowed and walked towards the outside of the academy.

Wan Xuezheng praised loudly, “What a noble man!”

County Magistrate Cai thought that the child was obviously from a poor family, weak and frail, and covered in wounds. Even ghosts couldn’t see his nobility.

Wang Yuanjun praised, “Clearly injured, yet he still went to take the exam. His spirit is outstanding, the model of examinees, and will be recorded in the county annals, leaving a lasting reputation.”

County Magistrate Cai immediately ordered his men to bring the two soldiers who checked Fang Yun into the academy.

County Magistrate Cai looked at the two nervous soldiers and said, “I have a question to ask. You must answer truthfully.”


“When the injured examinee who just left came in, did he say anything about his injuries?”Two thousand examinees, with only one wearing a bandage on his head, were remembered clearly by the two soldiers. They repeated Fang Yun’s words exactly, saying that he was brought in by a cart and was attacked by four masked men with the accent of Dayuan Prefecture yesterday, almost killing him.

The face of the magistrate of Cai County turned dark.

Wan Xuezhen and Wang Yuanjun looked at the magistrate of Cai County with sympathy.

Although Fang Yun’s poem won the Child Scholar of Mingzhou and the Saint, it was the magistrate of Cai County’s achievement. However, the Child Scholar was almost beaten to death before the county exam, which showed poor public security. If the court investigated this matter, the magistrate of Cai County would likely face criticism and punishment.

The Ministry of Personnel has officials who evaluate the political level of the examiners, which is called appraisal. Originally, the magistrate of Cai County could get an upper appraisal, but if Fang Yun’s beating incident became a big deal, an intermediate appraisal would be good enough.

The magistrate of Cai County slammed the table and said, “Tell Lu the Catcher to investigate this matter strictly! It’s not easy for our county to produce a Child Scholar of the Saint, and we won’t tolerate any lawlessness!”

The magistrate of Cai County looked towards the gate of the academy.

Fang Yun walked out of the academy from the side door. The door, which was crowded with examinees before, was now occupied by parents. Thousands of people were anxiously waiting, chatting with each other in groups, making a lot of noise.

“Poor parents in the world.” Fang Yun thought of his mother and his eyes darkened.

“Have you finished the exam? Wasn’t it supposed to end at five in the evening? Why did you come out before four o’clock?”

“Whose child is he? It’s strange that he can pass the exam.”

“It seems to be the child of Xi Shi’s family in Jiangzhou. They say he’s not bad, but he gave up on himself unexpectedly. What a pity.”

Fang Yun didn’t want to talk to those uncles and aunts, so he walked quickly towards the outside, squeezing out of the crowd. Outside, there were sedan chairs and carriages parked, among which a cart was particularly eye-catching.

Fang Yun walked quickly towards the cart and saw several neighbors and Yang Yuhuan chatting by the cart.

“Little Yun?” Yang Yuhuan looked at Fang Yun in surprise.

The neighbors didn’t say anything and looked at Fang Yun with regret. Those who submitted their papers now were either natural geniuses or those who did poorly and gave up. In their eyes, Fang Yun obviously belonged to the latter.

These neighbors didn’t say anything harsh, but instead comforted Fang Yun.

“Little Fang is still young, don’t worry. It would be strange if he passed the Child Scholar now.”

“Yes, it’s all because of his injury. Otherwise, Little Fang would definitely pass with high scores.”

Fang Yun smiled and said, “Thank you, aunties and uncles. Sister Yuhuan, let’s go home.”

“Okay, the stewed chicken is ready at home, waiting for you to come back.” Yang Yuhuan smiled and didn’t show any disappointment or blame. She didn’t even ask how Fang Yun did in the exam, afraid that he would be upset.

Fang Yun became even more grateful to her and went home with her.

On the way home, the two of them talked and laughed. Yang Yuhuan deliberately said some happy words.

After returning the cart to the neighbors, Yang Yuhuan tied an apron and said with a smile, “Little Yun, sit still, sister will make you a feast of meat! Not only is there stewed chicken and braised pork, but also a fish. Eat your fill today and tomorrow! “

Fang Yun looked at Yang Yuhuan tying an apron and said, “Sister Yuhuan, there’s something I want to tell you.””Tell me, I’m listening.” Yang Yuhuan looked up at Fang Yun with her beautiful eyes. Even though she was three years older than Fang Yun, she was shorter and delicate.

“Have you noticed that the wounds and bruises on my face are unusually light?” Yang Yuhuan examined carefully and exclaimed, “The wounds are gone, leaving only faint marks. It’s strange!”

Sensing something in Fang Yun’s smile, Yang Yuhuan thought for a while and vaguely guessed a possibility but found it absurd.

Suddenly, Fang Yun approached Yang Yuhuan from the side and lifted her up.

“Ah…” Yang Yuhuan screamed and quickly wrapped her arms around Fang Yun’s neck, looking flustered and confused.

Fang Yun asked with a smile, “Yu Huan, do you know of any power that can make a person suddenly strong and quickly heal my wounds?”

Yang Yuhuan stared at Fang Yun. In her eyes, Fang Yun had always been a little brother who was timid, weak, clumsy, and unable to read. But now, she saw a never-before-seen confidence in his eyes.

That was the look of a real man!

“Did you receive the divine talent?” Yang Yuhuan asked cautiously.

“I am already a Child Scholar before the Holy Court!” Fang Yun stared at Yang Yuhuan and said.

“Really? Really?” Yang Yuhuan hugged Fang Yun’s neck tightly and looked at him in amazement, afraid that it was just a dream.

“I will never lie to Yu Huan!” Fang Yun said firmly.

Yang Yuhuan nodded vigorously and said, “I know. Our Little Yun would not lie to his sister.”

Tears fell down like beads from Yang Yuhuan’s eyes. She had suffered a lot to support Fang Yun’s education. She knew that there was almost no hope, but she persevered.

Countless matchmakers came to her secretly, not only rich merchants but also prominent families in the county, even Liu Zicheng’s family, but she refused them all for her own beliefs.

Now, the dawn had come after the dark night!

But the light was too bright. Even if she was not a scholar, Yang Yuhuan knew the significance of being a Child Scholar before the Holy Court. It was a higher status than an ordinary Talented Scholar and could even become a Presented Scholar without accidents.

“Great! Little Yun, you are amazing!” Yang Yuhuan choked up and wiped her tears with one hand.

Fang Yun understood the bitterness and joy in Yang Yuhuan’s tears.

He slowly put down Yang Yuhuan and helped her wipe her tears, saying, “Yu Huan, don’t cry. This is a good thing.”

Yang Yuhuan’s hands were rough, but her face was as smooth as white jade, cool and moist in his hands.

“Well, I’ll go wash my face.” Yang Yuhuan suddenly turned around and hurriedly lifted the door curtain to return to the west wing. She quickly washed her face and looked at herself in the bronze mirror, blushing and her heart beating faster.

“Why is my heart beating so fast!” Yang Yuhuan thought shyly.”Although I am going to marry him in the future, I only see him as a younger brother in my heart. I have never had any other thoughts. What’s happening to me today? It’s normal for a younger brother to wipe his sister’s tears, why am I feeling this way? I must be too tired lately, I should sleep early tonight.”

Yang Yuhuan quickly calmed down and was about to go back to her room, but she inexplicably looked at herself in the mirror, carefully combed her hair, and then used a little rouge, which was rare for her, to make her complexion better. She never wanted to buy these things, they were all given by her neighbors.

After a while, Yang Yuhuan came out and found Fang Yun clumsily scaling fish. She smiled and said, “Let me do it. We don’t often eat fish at home, how would you know how to do this? I have done it for others before, let me help.”


Fang Yun stood up, and Yang Yuhuan walked over, carrying a fragrant breeze.

Fang Yun looked at Yang Yuhuan’s beautiful face and couldn’t help but say, “Sister Yuhuan.”

“Hmm?” Yang Yuhuan lowered her head to deal with the carp.

“You are so beautiful!”

Yang Yuhuan’s hand stopped, she didn’t raise her head, her fair face turned red, even her earlobes were burning. It took her a while before she said, “Go check on how the stewed chicken is doing. If there’s not enough soup, add some hot water, don’t add cold water.”

“Okay.” Fang Yun knew that Yang Yuhuan was shy, and he smiled as he added water to the pot.

The two of them quickly finished their work, stewed chicken, braised pork, braised carp, and finally, crisp shredded carrots. This was the most sumptuous meal the Fang family had in years, even the New Year’s Eve dinner couldn’t compare.

Before the meal, Yang Yuhuan lit three incense sticks for Fang’s parents and her father’s memorial tablet.

But Fang Yun lit six incense sticks and respectfully inserted them into the incense burner.


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