Chapter 2: If you want to be greedy, be greedy for big things, and give the scraps to the Empress!
The junior official raised his head and looked at Lin Beifan in shock. He never expected that someone would say such audacious words! “If you want to be greedy, be greedy for big things! Give the scraps to the Emperor! The rest we can divide among ourselves!” This was such a daring statement!
He had been an official for over twenty years and had met many talented youths and corrupt officials, but he had never encountered such a bold and reckless person before! To eat the meat himself and give the Empress soup, he had no sense of self-preservation!
If he were caught, his head would definitely roll! “SirZhao, what’s wrong with you?” Lin Beifan asked with a smile. “If you don’t speak, I’ll take it as your consent!” The junior official trembled in fear and replied, “No, I didn’t consent!” “Then speak up!” Lin Beifan said.
“Sir Lin, two million taels is too much, isn’t it? If we’re caught, we’ll lose our heads. How about 500,000 taels? It’s still risky, but not as dangerous,” the junior official cautiously suggested. Lin Beifan was not satisfied.
“How is 500,000 taels enough? After splitting it with everyone, I’ll only get 300,000 taels. Real estate in the capital is incredibly expensive. It takes tens of thousands of taels to buy a good house. That’s not enough!”
The junior official was sweating profusely and frightened. “It’s too greedy. It won’t work,” he said.
“Stop talking nonsense. I’ll ask you a question. Do you want to do it or not?” Lin Beifan asked.
“No, I don’t want to. Please let me go, sir,” the junioy official quickly replied. He didn’t dare to take a single penny of the money, fearing that he would be implicated and killed with Lin Beifan.
“Hmph, you’re a coward! If you don’t want it, I’ll take it!” Lin Beifan took the account book, tore off a few pages, changed the numbers to 200,000 taels, and returned it.
“That’s it! It’s done!” Lin Beifan nodded in satisfaction and glared at the official.
“Forget about this. Be careful, or I’ll turn you in, and we’ll all be doomed!” The junior official nodded in fear and shame.
Lin Beifan returned and closed the two boxes filled with jewelry.
He called out, “Dali!”
A tall and powerful man in coarse clothes walked over. Dali was a servant that Lin Beifan had acquired when he first arrived in this world. Dali’s father had just passed away, and he had sold himself to bury his father.
Lin Beifan felt sorry for him and, being filial himself, gave Dali all the money he had earned. Dali then stayed by Lin Beifan’s side, loyal and hardworking, doing any kind of manual labor. With Dali’s protection, Lin Beifan was able to focus on his studies and eventually passed the imperial examinations.
Lin Beifan instructed Dali to carry the two boxes back home, and Dali did so expressionlessly. That evening, after dealing with the matter of raiding the house, Lin Beifan went back home. He quickly locked himself and the two large boxes in the room and eagerly said to himself, “System, settle my account immediately!”
[Ding! Host has embezzled two million taels of gold and silver jewelry, a huge amount. As a reward, the merging of the template of the Prince of Zhennan (later period) is granted!]
A terrifying force fused into Lin Beifan’s body. He knew that it was the Prince’s internal strength. The Prince had cultivated the “North Sea Divine Art” and absorbed the internal strength of dozens of people, making his internal strength very powerful. In just a moment, Lin Beifan was almost overwhelmed.
But it didn’t end there. A huge amount of memory was also fused into his body. The Prince’s martial arts, cultivation experience, and everything else flooded into his mind. Lin Beifan couldn’t help but sit on the bed and crazily absorb this internal strength and memory.
At this moment, deep within the palace, a Embroidered Uniform Guard was reporting to the Empress about the situation. If Lin Beifan were here, he would be surprised, as the report was about his embezzlement. The report was clear about how he embezzled and how much he had taken. After listening, the Empress was furious and slammed the table: “Lin Beifan! You just became the top scholar, and before your butt even warmed the seat, you embezzled 2 million taels. You have betrayed my trust in you!”
The Embroidered Uniform Guard who was kneeling on the ground was trembling with fear and did not dare to raise his head. The Empress paced back and forth, becoming more and more angry, while also feeling very sad. Lin Beifan was someone she had high hopes for. He had a clean background and was not from an aristocratic family, but he was also very talented. She promoted him to the top scholar despite opposition just to have him work for her. However, after just one try, he couldn’t resist the temptation. He had embezzled 2.2 million taels and only gave her 200,000 taels as the remainder. This was like begging for food. She had never seen such a greedy person in her life.
She couldn’t let this go unpunished. She called the innocent Embroidered Uniform Guard over and impatiently waved her hand: “You can go now!” The Embroidered Uniform Guard left in a hurry. The Empress let out a sigh and sat heavily on the throne, her eyes still full of anger. After a long time, she called out softly, “Sister Qingxuan!”
In the dim light, a slender figure suddenly appeared. “Your Majesty, what are your orders?”
The Empress angrily said, “Sister Qingxuan, you also heard it just now! The new top scholar Lin Beifan embezzled 2 million liang before taking office. He did not pass my test! If he is allowed to continue, he will definitely become a huge greedy person who harms the country and the people!”
“What does Your Majesty plan to do?” The white figure in front of her spoke calmly.
“You help me investigate. If it is true, you will confiscate all the money he embezzled for me! As for him…”
“Will you still kill him like before?”
The Empress thought of Lin Beifan’s young and vibrant face and couldn’t bear it. “No, talents are rare. He is still young and may have lost his mind for a moment and gone down the wrong path! Therefore, I will give him a lesson first! If he still refuses to repent in the future, it is not too late to kill him!”
“Yes, Your Majesty!” The white figure gradually disappeared.
Shortly afterwards, the white figure silently came to Lin Beifan’s courtyard.
Through the dim light, she saw Lin Beifan inside the house.
“Hmm? This Lin Beifan knows martial arts?”
At this point, Lin Beifan had already absorbed the prince’s strength and was very satisfied.
“Now, I should be considered a peak 7th rank warrior, and finally have some self-protection ability!”
This world is a high martial world, where one in ten people practices martial arts.
Martial artists are divided into nine ranks, with the first rank being the strongest and the ninth rank being the weakest!
Among them, the 1st to 3rd ranks are called Grandmasters.
They are extremely powerful, capable of single-handedly fighting thousands of soldiers and horses, and are the rarest and most respected martial artists standing at the top of the pyramid!
Even the high-ranking officials of the imperial court treat them with respect.
If one becomes a first-class grandmaster, even the empress would treat them with great respect!
The 4th to 6th ranks are innate strongmen.
Their meridians are unobstructed, and they can absorb the aura of heaven and earth to supplement their true qi at any time. Their powerful true qi can be released outward, and they can fight a hundred people alone with amazing destructive power!
These strongmen are also very rare, and are generally the heads and elders of various schools.
If they serve the imperial court, they can at least be promoted to a sixth-rank official.
Even Lin Beifan, who defeated thousands of new scholars, started as a sixth-rank official.
The 7th to 9th ranks are acquired strongmen.
Their true qi cannot yet be released outward, and they cannot yet absorb the aura of heaven and earth. Their strength is limited, and they can only fight about ten people alone.
Prince Zhennan of Dali is a fictional character in many wuxia stories. Dali is a kingdom that existed in what is now southwestern China during the Tang dynasty. In many wuxia stories, Prince Zhennan is portrayed as a skilled martial artist who fights for justice and righteousness.
In some stories, Prince Zhennan is depicted as the ruler of Dali who is forced to go into hiding after his kingdom is invaded by a more powerful enemy. He then becomes a wandering hero who uses his martial arts skills to protect the weak and innocent. In other stories, he is portrayed as a member of a secret martial arts sect who fights against corrupt officials and evil martial artists.
Overall, Prince Zhennan is a popular character in wuxia stories due to his bravery, skill in martial arts, and sense of justice.
Jin Yi Wei (锦衣卫) is a term in Chinese that translates to “Embroidered Uniform Guard” in English. It refers to a secret police force that existed in China during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).
The Jin Yi Wei were known for their loyalty to the emperor and their willingness to carry out his orders, even if they involved acts of violence or brutality. They were responsible for protecting the emperor, investigating treasonous activities, and eliminating political enemies of the ruling dynasty.
The Jin Yi Wei were highly trained in martial arts, espionage, and assassination techniques. They were often called upon to carry out covert missions and to maintain order and stability within the empire.
In popular culture, the Jin Yi Wei have been portrayed in many novels, movies, and television dramas as skilled fighters and fierce defenders of the throne. However, they have also been criticized for their role in suppressing dissent and for their often ruthless methods.