Chapter 65: Tempted (Part One)
Chen Qingshan didn’t live in the same inn as Fang Jie. Perhaps she really wanted to give Fang Jie a chance to get to her without others noticing.
Clearly, after Fang Jie thought for a long time, he ditched the idea of going to see Chen Qingshan in another inn; it had nothing to do with courage.
Sitting in his chair, Fang Jie suddenly wanted to drink liquor. He grabbed the liquor jar in Mu Xiaoyao’s hand and chugged. Mu Xiaoyao drank half a jar already, but Fang Jie didn’t mind drinking directly from it, and Mu Xiaoyao didn’t mind him doing so.
“Mr. Zhuo, can I ask you a question?” Fang Jie asked Zhuo Buyi who was looking at the night sky through the window.
“Ask.” Zhuo Buyi didn’t turn around; it was hard to tell which star caught his attention.
“Who should I visit first when I get to Chang’an?” Fang Jie asked seriously.
Zhuo Buyi hesitated for a second before laughing. He turned around and said, “With your identity, you don’t need to visit anyone.”
Fang Jie understood what he meant, but he didn’t give up. “I hope that you can give me some pieces of advice.”
Zhuo Buyi took another look at Fang Jie and sighed, “A person like you sure is suitable to become an official.”[Support the real translators and read on Noodletown Translations for free.]
He sat back down at the table, and Fang Jie stood up and poured him a cup of tea. Zhuo Buyi thought for a moment and said, “If you really want your journey in the Capital to be smooth, you should first visit some small figures instead of the influential figures. For example, those rank 6 and rank 7 officials. Although their positions aren’t high, some of them are in charge of processing your documents.”
“These people are easier to please compared to those high-ranking officials, but their tastes are unique. They are frustrated by their superiors all day, and they can only vent their frustration and trouble small border soldiers like you. It wouldn’t be easy to establish good relationships with them; giving them expensive gifts might not solve anything. It is best to gift them unique items that fit their tastes. You are a scout, so it shouldn’t be hard for you to figure out what these people like and hate.”
“Second…” Zhuo Buyi continued, “You should quickly establish good relationships with other participants in the upcoming entrance exam, especially those who came from the military. You know that there are only two types of people who could participate in the exam; one group is comprised of so-called talents selected from each city but are members of big families, and the second group is comprised of soldiers like you who are the real talents. Therefore, participants always separate themselves. Those members of big families would look down on soldiers like you, and those from the military would unite and fight back.”
“Find those who you need.” Zhuo Buyi summarized what he said.
Fang Jie nodded and said earnestly, “Thank you for your advice.”
“It doesn’t really count as advice,” Zhuo Buyi laughed, “I think you are an interesting young man, and I feel comfortable around you, unlike those from big families. They clearly look down at those with poor backgrounds, but they act like they are polite and kind toward those who are inferior to them. It is disgusting to see.”
“That is true.” Fang Jie nodded and smiled. “The more prestigious someone is, the more they would act like they are down-to-earth.”
Zhuo Buyi said, “After arriving in the Capital, I will inform the Intelligence Department and ask them to take more care of you. Although this doesn’t fit the rules, since we met, it is in fate. Besides, it doesn’t cost me anything to do this, but my bet might just pay off.”
After saying that, Zhuo Buyi couldn’t help but ask, “What did you prepare? Why does it seem like you are confident that you will become an official?”
“Although I don’t have great knowledge, I know some useful skills.”