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Chapter 35: They’re greedy, but I’m even more greedy! They’re deceitful, but I’m even more deceitful!
Lin Beifan turned around and closed the door. Then, he looked at the familiar figure before him with a complicated expression and asked, “Why do you say this?”
“For a long time, there have been rumors outside that you, sir, are also a corrupt official! However, during our long-term interactions, I have found that you, sir, are not that kind of person at all! You are indifferent to fame and wealth, do not indulge in pleasure, are not afraid of power, and treat people with sincerity and equality! Such a person, how could they be a corrupt official?”
“But this morning, I saw two boxes of silver being delivered to you, which aroused my suspicion and uncertainty. Not opening them made me uneasy! So tonight, I came over and found that you were gone, and the silver was also gone!”
“Taking into account the recent emergence of a nighttime hero in the capital, who is generous and charitable to the poor, but no one knows his identity, no one knows where his wealth comes from! This person’s timeline of corruption coincides completely with yours, starting from your appointment as top scholar. So, I made a bold guess! Seeing you come back wearing nighttime clothes, it confirms the guess in my mind even more!”
“So, sir, you are the nighttime hero, right?” Li Shi Shi gently held Lin Beifan’s cheeks, staring at his eyes with intense yet tender gazes.
Lin Beifan nodded, “Yes, I am the nighttime hero!”
“Mmm~” Li Shi Shi excitedly covered her own mouth.
“I give all the money I’ve earned through corruption to the poor people! I hope they can live a better life after having this money!” Lin Beifan continued.
“Why do you do this, sir? Do you know how dangerous this is?” Li Shi Shi grabbed Lin Beifan’s arms and said excitedly.
“Why of course I know, but I have no other choice!” Lin Beifan sighed.
“I was born into a poor family and witnessed how corrupt officials exploited the people, making it hard for them to survive. I felt indignant and worked hard to become the top scholar just to seek revenge on them! I only steal back what they took from the people! This is the only thing I can do!”
“You can still be a good official and benefit the people!” Li Shi Shi advised.
“You are thinking too simply!” Lin Beifan smiled bitterly. “The court is already corrupt! There is an incompetent ruler and cunning officials. Even if you are not corrupt, others will try their best to make you corrupt! If you still refuse to be corrupt, they will find ways to remove you from power! The current court cannot tolerate a clean official!”
“Yes, the court cannot tolerate a clean official…” Li Shi Shi murmured, understanding deeply. Her father once aspired to be a good official, but being in a government that was rampant with corruption and dominated by wicked officials, self-defense alone was already a problem.
Not to mention anyone else, all the civil and military officials in the court are corrupt, but you are an honest official who cannot even fill a pot of urine, so you are isolated. It is very difficult to do anything at all. In the end, under the sugar-coated bullets of others, you also fell.
“Just like a pot of black and muddy ink, if a drop of clear water drips into it, it can never be washed clean!”
“If that’s the case, why not join them?” Lin Beifan sneered, “They’re corrupt, so I need to be even more corrupt than them! They’re cunning, so I need to be even more cunning than them! Otherwise, how can I fight against them?”
Li Shishi shuddered.
There was also a grayish-white figure outside the window, and her figure trembled slightly. “But your reputation…”
“My reputation doesn’t matter!” Lin Beifan smiled casually, “Anyway, I’ve never thought about being an official all my life. What’s the point of these reputations? If I can be an official for as long as I can, I will run away if I can’t. Being a hero while hiding one’s identity is just as good! In this big world, where can’t I go?”
“To be honest, my biggest dream has never been to be an official! It is to be a hero in the martial arts world, walking the rivers and lakes, helping the weak and fighting the strong, enjoying the thrill of revenge! If there’s something unfair, I’ll take care of it. If I don’t like someone, I’ll just stab them with a sword. Why make things so complicated like now?”
“Sir…” Li Shi Shi’s teary eyes became blurry. But Lin Beifan’s image in her mind became even clearer.
He was originally a young man who pursued freedom and romance! But for the sake of the people, he had to give up his martial arts skills and enter the dirty officialdom, doing things that he did not want to do, being a corrupt official who was hated by everyone, including himself!
For the sake of the common people, he abandoned his baggage of freedom, carried a heavy burden and marched forward! At that moment, Li Shi Shi cried like rain!