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Book 6 Chapter 28 - Advisor and Art of Politics

Immortal Devil Transformation
     It was now deep into the night. The lotus flowers in the lake were just starting to bud. The fat merchant that Wei Xianwu entrusted all of his hopes onto had his sight removed and soul force crippled, tossed onto the meadow like a straw sack.

    Compared to the empire’s heaven supporting pillar Yuhua Family, the convictions of a mere Thousand Chief like Wei Xianwu were like praying mantis under a carriage’s wheels.

    However, those who wanted to deal with Lin Xi weren’t only these individuals.

    As early as a day ago, Bai Yulou and Hong Shenwu broke out into conflict over Lin Xi’s reward and punishment. After that night, at sunrise, news already reached many people’s ears.

    Liu Ziyu was included among those people.

    Since everyone’s wills were different, the things they wanted also different, even though they were from the same academy, the same batch of students, many of them would still be like water and fire in the royal court, completely incompatible.

    In the dozens of years after Yunqin was founded, it had always been like this.

    Even though there were only some small disputes in the academy, Lin Xi was already destined to become an enemy of Liu Ziyu.

    Since neither side liked each other, this type of most direct emotional opposition, after taking a step on the paths they chose, there was already practically no way of going back.

    News that Lin Xi was going to be stripped of his position had only just gone out a day ago, yet after only a single night, his opponent seemed to have experienced a complete reversal of fortune, instead establishing heaven shocking merit, rising up to major ninth rank, becoming Swallow Descent Town’s Substitute Town Supervisor, moreover receiving a Radiance Medal!

    What did this represent?

    Apart from the medals bestowed by the emperor himself, Yunqin also had Heaven Splendor, Star General, Divine Duck, Thistles and Thorns, Meteor, Fearless, Selfless, Righteousness, Loyal Heart, a total of nine grades and sixteen types of medals.

    This ‘Radiance’ was already above the Loyal Heart level, the Righteousness level emblem!

    This type of Radiance medal was used to award the upstanding, straightforward and upright, those who spoke out for justice, decisive officials who established great contribution.

    The amount of military service this type of emblem represented was enough to promote a major ninth rank to minor eighth rank.

    Liu Ziyu was a golden spoon, and his father was going to be promoted to Provincial Supervisor soon, becoming someone with great authority. That was why he understood it better than anyone, knowing that the reason why Lin Xi was awarded this medal was because his contributions this time really were too great. Deer Seeking Prefecture’s intentions were enough for Lin Xi to directly rise from minor ninth rank to minor eighth rank, but because Lin Xi had just been given an exception and promoted a level, this type of rise in Yunqin’s local areas not following regulations, unheard of, they could only use the method commonly used in Government Sector, first recording the contributions, and then during the following one year evaluation, grant him a formal promotion based on this contribution.

    This meant that if nothing unexpected happened, even if Lin Xi didn’t do anything outstanding, during the Government Sector evaluation a year later, he would still rise up to minor eighth rank.

    To rise from major tenth rank to minor eighth rank, just what kind of promotion speed was this?!

    Moreover, even if Lin Xi was only major ninth rank, he was still a Substitute Town Supervisor! This was equivalent to sitting in a major eighth rank position! Moreover, the Swallow Descent Town officials that were against him were all swept away by the flood, who else would still refuse to bow down to him? For him to not do anything at all would be what was weirder.

    What about him, Liu Ziyu?

    He was still a trifling Civil Sector tenth rank Tax Official, not much chances of promotion in a year.

    Liu Ziyu found it impossible to get rid of his disappointment and anger, so he directly tore up the small scroll he just received, smashing the teacup in front of him.

    “Why?!”

    His handsome face warped as he looked at Su Zhongwen who delivered this small scroll, roaring with a low voice, “Why did father want me to choose this Civil Sector position, not letting me head to the Martial Sector’s border stations?!”

    Su Zhongwen was a thin forty something year old scholar, pale faced and long bearded.

    A golden spoon, compared to a bumpkin, had many more resources available to them through their families. Su Zhongweng was precisely the teacher sent by Liu Ziyu’s father, who was about to rise up to Provincial Supervisor.

    While looking at the youngster whose face was seriously warped from frustration, disappointment and jealousy, he instead stroked his beard and smiled calmly, saying, “I didn’t take the initiative to bring it up, and you didn’t take the initiative to think about why Green Luan Academy sent you all out, as well as the true meaning behind why your father sent you here. In my opinion, this should be something that you should think through yourself, yet you instead came to ask me today.”

    He originally had something else to say, which was that if you can’t even do this, you likely won’t be able to catch up to that Lin Xi in this entire life. However, when he thought about how this line might incur the retaliation and reverse psychology effects in this youngster, he still decided not to say it, only calmly and directly looking into Liu Ziyu’s eyes.

    Liu Ziyu stared blankly for a moment, and then said with a sunken voice, “This student is slow-witted, I must ask teacher to speak forthrightly.”

    Su Zhongwen didn’t wish to waste any time either, directly saying with a calm voice, “All cultivators have to face the massive empire. This is especially the case for you all, you ultimately need to be able to fight against people under Yunqin’s system. The reason why Green Luan Academy sent you out is to let you all learn all types of abilities needed to fight against people. In the end, your father still feels like the art of politics is more important than pure cultivation strength, because in this world, there has never been a cultivator who could defeat an entire Yunqin army alone, not even the past Principal Zhang. During the battle of Meteor Lake, there were Green Luan Academy experts, an army of three thousand men, as well as a natural stronghold for them to achieve victory. In the royal court, no matter how great a single individual’s strength is, it is still insignificant. That is why the most important thing is to know how to use power, know how to borrow influence.”

    While looking at the quiet Liu Ziyu, he directly stated in a calm voice, “Even though the position of Civil Sector’s Tax Official doesn’t seem rather remarkable, not having many areas in which one can accumulate merit or opportunities to rise up for promotion, you have to understand that this official position is the biggest opportunity to come into contact with trading companies, give people favors, win over these trading companies, establish relationships. The only reason your father could rise up later and establish great contributions is not because he had many supporters in the military like his competitors, many times instead relying on the support of his merchant company friends.”

    Liu Ziyu was a bit stunned, becoming speechless.

    Su Zhongwen revealed a faint smile. “Everyone wants a bit more military authority, having some more support in the Martial Sector and Government Sector, but how large is that pie? So many people are eyeing these things, it’s better to just seize some of the streams easier to obtain.”

    “Turns out my father had this type of deeper intentions.” Liu Ziyu took a deep breath, doing his best to calm himself down. His face sunk as he thought to himself, and then raised his head to look at Su Zhongwen, asking, “Bai Yulou has always been the softer type and Hong Shenwu has quite the backers behind him in the army. Why is it that this time, Bai Yulou dared challenge Hong Shenwu, moreover won in the end?”

    “It’s good that you were able to calm down and think over these things. Regardless of whether it is me or your father, we won’t stop you from fighting with others. It is because the more difficult the opponent, the more one has to consider various factors, the more benefits it will bring you in the future, the better you will be at struggles against others in the royal court.” Su Zhongwen chuckled, first saying this before slowly instructing, “Your previous assessment of those two was correct. Many times, in the royal court, the struggles will often lead to struggles between factions. Bai Yulou is someone of the low profile faction who will endure silently and bear patiently. These people are led by the Leng Family, but they have always remained neutral to the military and Imperial Censor’s factions. That is why for Bai Yulou to engage in conflict with Hong Shenwu, there isn’t any advantage for him to speak of. Even if something identical happened several years ago, Bai Yulou stepping out, there shouldn’t be any way for him to win, no way for him to transfer Hong Shenwu to the border army.”

    “However, Bai Yulou’s low profile faction is best at seizing timing, the best at seizing an opportunity. When there is a chance for him to bite you, it will be hard for you to defend yourself. He managed to wait until this type of great situation… Right now, Dragon Snake Border Pass’ battle situation is tense, shaking up Central Continent Imperial City, precisely about to transfer over many cultivators. This time, the ships that collided were even those from Thriving Prosperity and Fortune Memory, the two great merchant companies. By rewarding Lin Xi, he will inevitably receive the favor of these two great merchant companies. Moreover, normal officials aren’t aware of it, but that Government Sector Liu Xueqing has already received the recognition of those above, after next year’s evaluation, he will definitely be transferred to the Justice Sector, become another Imperial Censor! Liu Xueqing has always been at odds with Hong Shenwu, so by breaking relations with Hong Shenwu, Bai Yulou can even obtain the support of Central Continent Imperial City’s unbending and resolute Imperial Censor faction.”

    Su Zhongwen looked at Liu Ziyu, chucking and saying, “This is precisely what is called the irresistible trend. No matter how strong Hong Shenwu is, how can he resist Bai Yulou’s years of enduring, this fist that is backed by such accumulation? Moreover, if the information I received is not wrong, when the dam collapsed that day, Bai Yulou’s beloved nephew and advisor just happened to be sightseeing on Breath River, both of their lives saved by Lin Xi personally. Since the conflict between some Martial Sector official and Lin Xi almost harmed his nephew and advisor to death, this breath of resentment completely erased the last shred of misgivings and hesitation. When he attacked this decisively, it would be more weird if he didn’t win.”

    “Art of politics…” Liu Ziyu frowned, thinking to himself. A moment later, he looked at Su Zhongwen seriously. “Many thanks for mister’s guidance. In mister’s opinion, what is the best way to seize the opportunity and face Lin Xi?”

    “As long as you are willing to think and willing to learn, I am willing to teach, and you will have a chance of inheriting your father’s position.” Su Zhongwen said with a calm smile. “We can also learn a bit from Bai Yulou, wait… Lin Xi being promoted further isn’t difficult, we might even be able to create some chances of promotion for him. He is right by Dragon Snake’s side, when the time comes, we can just promote him to Dragon Snake’s side.”

    Liu Ziyu’s eyes immediately lit up. “Mister’s strategies are excellent, there are many people in the academy who are not fond of him… I can also borrow some of their strength to find out which areas are the most dangerous.”

    “The cultivators who sacrifice their lives for the country are most fitting for those medals.” Su Zhongwen nodded. He looked at Liu Ziyu, and then said with deep meaning, “It is rumored that Xu Chengfeng’s Silver Hook Lane case is going to reach a decision soon.”

    Liu Ziyu was slightly distracted.

    Su Zhongwen said calmly, “If nothing unexpected happens, the verdict should be execution. However, if Xu Ningshen’s son is put to death by a thousand cuts, together with himself being stripped of his Three Towns Battalion Commander position, I wonder if this ambitious and ruthless character will be able to endure it.”

    Liu Ziyu’s eyes lit up again, now starting to laugh. “Mister really is great at devising strategies. Since this is the case, then we’ll just have Xu Chengfeng be publicly executed, and then have it carried out precisely in East Port Town, see if Xu Ningshen will go crazy.”