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Chapter 294: I Want to Be a Good Person, but Reality Forces Me to do Otherwise!
Empty Void Daoist trembled in fear.
Once he realized what was happening, he felt extremely embarrassed that he had been frightened by someone without any apparent strength.
“Lord Lin, you are adding false charges. What’s there to fear when I have nothing to hide?” Empty Void Daoist’s expression turned stern.
“Empty Void Daoist, are you still being stubborn? We’re both fox spirits of a thousand years. What’s the point of playing games with me about supernatural tales? If the empress gets wind of this, or if the entire court, civil and military, learns about it, how do you think they will treat you?”
Lin Beifan chuckled and said, “You must understand, this is a grave offense of deceiving the emperor. The entire court, civil and military, have been fooled by you! Great Wu won’t tolerate you; even beheading would be a light punishment!”
Empty Void Daoist’s face turned pale once again.
Lin Beifan sipped his tea lightly and continued, “In fact, verifying this is quite simple! This substance should not be consumed excessively or consecutively. So, all we need to do is find a death-row convict and have them consume the Divine Enlightenment Pill for multiple days in a row. Whether it’s real or fake will become clear at a glance! Empty Void Daoist, how much longer do you intend to resist?”
Empty Void Daoist wearily took a seat and asked, “Lord Lin, what is your intention in telling me all of this?”
Within his dejected gaze, there was a hint of killing intent.
“Empty Void Daoist, are you considering killing to cover up your tracks and prevent future trouble?”
Empty Void Daoist immediately shook his head and said somewhat nervously, “Of course not. I am a monk; how could I commit such heinous acts?”
Lin Beifan grinned and said, “It’s best you don’t! Because I visited your residence, and many people know about it. If I don’t leave your place, regardless of your true capabilities, you won’t escape the legal net!”
“Furthermore, you should be aware that I have a Grandmaster in my residence who has been locked onto this location! As long as you dare make a move, he will dare to kill in return. Who lives and who dies isn’t certain!”
Empty Void Daoist broke into another round of profuse sweating, realizing he had just crossed the gates of death.
If he couldn’t hold back his actions, he would be the one who died.
Upon careful recollection, he had been manipulated by Lin Beifan since his introduction at court.
“Lord Lin, what do you intend to do?” Empty Void Daoist asked once again.
“I’ve come here to remind you specifically not to cause a ruckus or deceive on my turf. It’s better if you come and go as you came, otherwise, I won’t be so forgiving!” Lin Beifan’s tone grew stern.
“Why didn’t you expose this when we were in the palace? Why are you telling me now, in private?” Empty Void Daoist inquired.
Lin Beifan grinned, pointing at the piles of gold, silver, and jewels in the room, “If I had said something back then, would Daoist have had the chance to acquire these riches? Remember to deliver them to my residence; this could also be considered your ‘life-preserving’ fee!”
Empty Void Daoist exclaimed, “What the heck!”
So, the other side had been eyeing the treasures in his possession all along!
He had only been a porter for a moment, and he was already being asked to deliver these riches to the other party’s residence!
“The tea has been mostly consumed, and it’s time for me to leave!” Lin Beifan stood up. “Empty Void Daoist, I’m giving you three days! Within these three days, you must leave Great Wu. I don’t care where you go, but you absolutely cannot cause trouble within the borders of Great Wu! If I find even a single Divine Enlightenment Pill within Great Wu, consider the consequences!”
“Also, don’t forget to deliver these items to my residence, not a single one missing! If you can’t manage to do so by tomorrow night, you can forget about leaving Great Wu forever! I keep my promises!”
With that said, Lin Beifan walked away, leaving Empty Void Daoist with a face that turned pale and then red.
“Master, what should we do?” the young disciple of the Daoist asked anxiously.
Empty Void Daoist clenched his teeth, saying, “We need to deliver the items and leave. We can’t stay here any longer.”
On the second day, Empty Void Daoist sent all the gold, silver, and jewels from the room to Lin Beifan’s residence. He then went to the palace to resign, stating that he was in search of special rare treasures to concoct an elixir of immortality, and thus he had to leave.
Although the Empress and the court officials tried to persuade him to stay, he had made up his mind, so they had no choice but to agree.
Fearful of persecution by Lin Beifan, the master and disciple packed up their belongings overnight and left the capital.
Empty Void Daoist’s eyes looked lost. He had initially come for wealth and power, but he hadn’t gained any riches and had instead attracted a killer’s attention. Now, he had no idea where to go.
“Disciple, where do you think we should go?”
Just then, the young disciple by his side suddenly had a vacant look in his eyes, emitting a faint purple light, and he murmured, “Master, how about we go to Great Yan?”
“Why Great Yan?” Empty Void Daoist asked.
“After all, Great Yan is an empire that rivals Great Wu. It would be a suitable place for us to settle! Moreover, I heard that the Emperor of Great Yan is particularly enthusiastic about seeking longevity and immortality. We might have opportunities there!” the young disciple explained.
Empty Void Daoist nodded vigorously and declared, “Good! We’re going to Great Yan!”
In Lin’s study, Lin Beifan was explaining the origins of a box of jewels to Bai Guanyin. Naturally, this led to a discussion about Empty Void Daoist.
After hearing the story, Bai Guanyin was shocked. “I can’t believe that the widely rumored divine pill is actually a poisonous pill! That villainous Daoist is trying to overturn the state, utterly mad and wicked! Why not just kill him?”
Lin Beifan shook his head with a smile. “It would be a shame to kill him! He’s actually quite useful. By driving him out of Great Wu, he’ll go harm other countries instead. If those other countries turn corrupt, wouldn’t that be beneficial for Great Wu? Plus, I have leverage over him, so I can continue profiting from him. It’s a win-win!”
Bai Guanyin also shook her head and laughed. “You… you’re so cunning!”
Lin Beifan sighed. “If I weren’t a bit cunning, I wouldn’t have survived till now! Honestly, I’d love to be a good person, but reality forces me to do otherwise. Sigh!”
The inept empress, corrupt officials, ambitious vassal kings, neighboring countries, martial artists who kill officials at the drop of a hat, and even the dog system… they were all pushing him!
If he wasn’t a bit cunning, he would have met an early end! Bai Guanyin thought of all the challenges Lin Beifan had faced and felt a sense of sympathy. “You’ve been through a lot!”
“It’s not that bad. I’ve made it through. With my current strength, position, and authority, I can fully realize my ambitions!” Lin Beifan chuckled.
“That’s true!” Bai Guanyin agreed. “Where do you think that Daoist might go?”
Lin Beifan smiled mysteriously. “They’re going to Great Yan.”
“Why Great Yan?”
“Because I said so!”
Not long after, Lin Beifan learned through the court’s information channels that Empty Void Daoist had indeed gone to Great Yan. He successfully concocted the Divine Enlightenment Pill there, gained favor with the Emperor of Great Yan, earned the trust of the court’s officials, and became the royal tutor of the current dynasty. Once again, he rose to prominence, with wealth flowing in.
The current Emperor of Great Yan, in order to support Empty Void Daoist’s alchemical endeavors, collected rare treasures from across the realm, causing both a strain on resources and the people.
For instance, they spent several million taels to purchase dragon bones from Lin Beifan.
While Great Yan’s strength remained robust, and envoys from all directions continued to visit, the future was uncertain.
After all, there’s no dynasty that remains prosperous forever!
Rise and fall are the natural order of things!
Moreover, this decline often starts from within!
Once the emperor is inept, chaos ensues!
Lin Beifan was keeping a close watch!
Since Lin Beifan became the Principal of the Imperial Academy, almost a year had passed. During this time, he had quietly reformed the curriculum, gradually increasing the proportions of practical subjects such as arithmetic, agriculture, medicine, and engineering. He was subtly influencing the students of the Imperial Academy.
Though Confucianism still held sway and serving the people remained the primary goal for Imperial Academy students aspiring to hold office, there were now more options available, and the academic atmosphere was more open and liberal.
As for those idle young scions, they had become well-behaved under Lin Beifan’s “loving fists,” their conduct had improved significantly, and they had made notable progress in their studies.
Behaving was necessary; anyone who didn’t would either be fined or beaten. Even if the God of Heaven came, it wouldn’t matter!
Under Lin Beifan’s management, the Imperial Academy was flourishing.
On this day, a group of outstanding students finally graduated.
Outstanding students of the Imperial Academy always received attention from the court. They could choose to take the imperial examination for official positions or follow the court’s arrangements, gradually rising through the ranks in various ministries and offices.
In essence, as long as you graduated from the Imperial Academy, you could become a government official and enjoy the imperial stipend.
As the Principal of the Imperial Academy, Lin Beifan naturally took care of his students. He handpicked a group of outstanding graduates and personally guided them.
“You’re all the most outstanding students of this year at the Imperial Academy! I’m very pleased that you’ve learned so much and are ready to serve the court and the people. You’re about to step into officialdom, so for this first lesson, I’ll teach you the way of being an official, how to serve as a government official!” Lin Beifan said with a smile.
The students were all excited!
The Principal of the Imperial Academy, the Prefect of the Capital, and the loyal and valiant Count Lin Beifan was going to personally teach them the ways of being an official. They felt truly honored!
In unison, they said, “We respectfully listen to the Principal’s guidance!”
Lin Beifan nodded in satisfaction. “Good!”
At this moment, he noticed an old man with an unhappy expression approaching.
“Lord Yao, what brings you here?” Lin Beifan asked.
The person before him was none other than the former censor Yao Zheng, who used to clash with Lin Beifan frequently. Now, Yao Zheng had become his subordinate, serving as the Vice Principal of the Imperial Academy, responsible for academic affairs.
Yao Zheng cupped his hands in salute. “Principal, I’ve heard that you’re preparing to teach the students about the way of being an official. This is similar to what I’m responsible for! So I came to observe and learn from your experience, seeking your approval.”
Lin Beifan inwardly shook his head and smiled.
This cantankerous old man is obviously worried that I’ll lead the students astray!
“Very well! Since Lord Yao is interested, I naturally agree! Come with us!” Lin Beifan said.
Leading the group, Lin Beifan arrived on a bustling street. “As the saying goes, ‘Read ten thousand books, travel ten thousand miles.’ Today, through real-life examples, I’ll teach you the true path of being an official!”
“Yes, Principal!” the group chorused.
Just then, two elderly men laboriously carried an open sedan chair, and a young man with an oily face and powdered hair sat inside.
The stark contrast between the two elderly men, sweating and hunched over, and the comfortable and content young man sitting in the sedan chair evoked a sense of pity.
Lin Beifan pointed. “I ask you all, what do you think of this situation?”