Edited by Tnyhy & Larkspur (Updated 30th May 2022)
Chapter 40: An Era’s Law Essay
On the stage, the male group’s ‘selection’ continued.
Essay topics on righteousness and poetry conforms with the norms of society, thus many would choose them. As long as one’s memory was excellent and read thoroughly about the topic, it would be easy for anyone to perform well. In contrast, the essays on current affairs were only a few.
An essay on current affairs aimed at the views on the current matters and situation at court and thus was very practical. This was the closest category to the affairs of court and as most of the students present were young, most of them would be ignorant of the court affairs, except for the few who at their residences were disciples of professors, there would not be any good essay on current affairs. Thus these essays were the hardest topics, but if one was able to perform well, it was as good as getting half of one’s feet into the official circles.
Shen Miao looked at the chess in front of her.
In the past life, Pei Lang’s ‘Circulation of Law’ was composed during the third round, ‘challenge’. In this last round, anyone could challenge anyone, males could challenge females and females could also challenge males, thus naturally, students could pick their teachers to challenge.
And one of the male students picked Pei Lang, a teacher. Pei Lang was also a brilliant talent. Within only a few steps onto the stage, he was able to complete an essay on current affairs which was flowing with quotes from classics, but it was not exaggerated and every part of it was extremely crucial. It was simply stunning.
At that time, many princes paid attention to it, but Pei Lang was a smart person and said that he only wanted to be an accounting teacher in Guang Wen Tang and did not want to think about other matters. With such a determined mindset, if Fu Xiu Yi had not approached him a number of times for his service and even Shen Miao had to come out with ideas, Pei Lang would most likely have not entered officialdom.
The game of chess was crisscrossed, just like her previous lifetime. She flicked her sleeves and the whole game was wrecked.
Shen Miao picked up a piece and restarted the game. How about her starting first?
Gao Yan fixed his sleeves and tidied his hair before asking the footboy beside him, “How does this master look?”
“Young Master is suave, romantic, handsome, elegant…” The foot boy’s words flew out quickly as he opened his mouth.
Gao Yan lips curled up proudly and was about to rise to walk over towards the stage. When Gao Jing saw that, he grabbed him and asked, “What are you doing?”
“Selecting.” Gao Yan said.
Gao Jing knitted his brows as he understood how much weight his younger brother had. It was alright if he had no talents, but he loved to be in the limelight. Now, with the entire court in attendance at the banquet, it was not the time to take the wrong turn. So he said, “You know how?”
When these words landed in Gao Yan’s ears, they sounded different. He and Gao Jing were blood brothers from the same mother, but when people mentioned the Gao family, they would first praise Gao Jing. Gao Jing was born with delicate features, but he was rugged and tanned. He helped his father handle things from a young age, however, every time he wanted to talk with his father about court affairs, his father would shake his head with impatience. Gao Jing and Gao Yan were brothers and there should not be any disagreement, but because of how others viewed them, discord bloomed. Gao Yan felt inferior under his oldest brother’s light and to hear Gao Jing’s current words, he became angry. Initially, he had some hesitation as the essay was too well written, but now there was not a trace of hesitation at all.
He spoke in an unkind tone, “Eldest Brother, although this younger brother is not as smart as you but he is not a total idiot. You need not hold me back as I would after all be unable to seize your limelight away.”
Gao Jing heard the meaning behind his words and paused. Before he could speak, Gao Yan pushed him aside and walked up the stage confidently. From afar a loud voice rang, “I choose ‘essay on current affairs’.”
Essay on current affairs?
It was not that no one knew about Gao Yan, so naturally, there were some that looked over. Even though Gao Yan did not have any abilities, it was strange to say that he was rather good in Guang Wen Tang. This was only because his homework and manuscripts were always written by others, thus he was not considered a great talent but was still regarded as outstanding.
As a result when he went up the stage like this, the crowd did not feel that great of a surprise. This was because during the ‘selecting’ category, one would usually prepare their best work in advance. As ‘essay on current affairs’ had always been difficult, the usually noisy audiences gradually quieted down to look at the green-clad youth on the stage.
The few students that had chosen ‘essay on current affairs’ had already read theirs out in public. Even though they were not considered good, Gao Jing still frowned as Gao Yan walked up.
“Did not expect that Gao Yan to dare ‘selecting’ an ‘essay’.” Feng An Ning spoke with curiosity, “If it was Gao Jing, I would feel it would be better.”
Shen Miao stopped the chess game and looked towards the stage.
After preparing everything, Gao Jing took out the sheet of paper and slowly read it out.
“By law, the foundation of the country is set in the framework to support as it soars to the skies…” He read it out in a cadence of his own, making those people who were watching the commotion to gradually settle down. Especially the officials that were sitting in the banquet, who started to look seriously at the youth who was reading.
“Gao Jing’s younger brother is indeed not bad.” A flash of surprise appeared in Prince Zhou’s eyes, “The Darens in court may not necessarily be so insightful as compared to an essay like this.”
“Indeed not bad.” Prince Jing nodded as he praised, “Moreover, at such a young age, with time he would definitely be a significant personnel.”
Fu Xiu Yi watched the person on the stage quietly and there were no fluctuations to his expression. His hands, however, unconsciously twisted up. Whenever he had any thoughts or decisions, he would unconsciously do this action.
Obviously Gao Yan’s actions made him come out with new plans in his heart.
As for Pei Lang, ever since Gao Yan read the first sentence, his entire body stiffened. For unknown reasons, he felt familiar with Gao Yan’s essay on current affairs. But from his outstanding memory, he had not heard it before and was thus puzzled. But this feeling of extreme familiarity that hit onto his face actually made the usually calm him to feel peeved. As if after every sentence that Gao Yan read, he could follow up with the next sentence. It was incomparably familiar as if it was his own work.
Shen Miao smiled and did not continue to look at the youth on the stage but continued to look at the chess pieces on the chess set. She conveniently picked a piece and placed it at the edge of the chess board.
“What kind of chess are you playing?” Feng An Ning asked, “It must be randomly playing. How would one place a piece so far away?”
“Far?” Shen Miao shook her head.
Every chess piece had its own use. How far could this seemingly useless chess piece travel? Even if the current situation was thousands of miles away, for the future General, it would become an integral part of the picture.
Now, could one see it through?
At a distant pavilion, there was a panoramic view of the stage. Su Ming Feng moved his fan and said, “This time, I don’t know where Gao Yan found such an elegant and unconventional piece of essay. I would like to get acquainted with the author of this essay.”
“Acquainted for what?” opposite him, the purple-clad youth said lazily. He was practically sitting in front of the pavilion window as he leaned against the frame with almost half of his body probing out.
“It should be a Daren with an encyclopaedic knowledge.” Su Ming Feng believed his thoughts, “If one can become friends, one would definitely benefit.”
Xie Jing Xing laughed out loud before turning his head to look towards the stage with an additional begonia in his hands.
The begonia had yet to wilt as if it was just plucked. It had a light scent but this seemed to be somewhat harsh.
“That is not always certain.”