Chapter 73: The Competition (1) (Part One)

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When the shadow of the three-story wooden building overlapped with the shadow of a big tree beside it, it looked like a giant appeared.

In order for Beckon of the Red Sleeve to open for business in Chang’an, complicated procedures had to be completed. Therefore, Butler Tu Five went to the local government with gifts. Even if those officials didn’t give them a hard time, all the procedures couldn’t be done in a few days.

Xi Huamei who hadn’t slept all night stood by the window and looked at the backyard.

At this moment, several people in the uniforms of the Ministry of War walked in the door, and the servants who were cleaning up the grand hall quickly walked up and greeted them.

After asking, they learned that these people were here for Fang Jie.

A servant poured cups of tea for these people and quickly reported to Xi Huamei on the third floor.

Upon thinking, she said, “Since these people are here to find people, there shouldn’t be any trouble. Go get Fang Jie and invite Grandpa Luo over; I have something to talk to him about.”

The servant nodded and dashed down the stairs before going into the backyard.

Fang Jie and Grandpa Luo both walked into the building. Out of courtesy, Fang Jie went to the third floor first and said farewells to Xi Huamei

Xi Huamei looked at Fang Jie’s broken arm that was stabilized by a tree branch, and she picked up a pack of ointment that she found earlier and handed it to Fang Jie. “Sometimes, it isn’t good to be so obsessed and extreme.”

Fang Jie thanked her and replied, “I couldn’t help but feel a little anxious at this time.”

Xi Huamei didn’t talk about this anymore. Instead, she thought for a moment and said gently, “The Capital isn’t like Fangu. The people here aren’t as friendly and kind, especially the officials in the government. Try your best to be lowkey and compromise even if it is tough.”

Fang Jie felt warm inside, and he bowed and left.

Xi Huamei didn’t say anything else, but she sighed for some reason as the young man walked downstairs. The crippled old man who just got onto the third floor seemed to have understood something, so he asked, “Something wrong?”

Xi Huamei shook her head and thought, “Perhaps I’m overthinking this.”

When Fang Jie got to the grand hall, those people from the Ministry of War were surprised to see him in such terrible condition as his broken right arm was tied up and hanging on a piece of long cloth that went around his neck.

The person in the lead looked at Fang Jie and said, “Come with me to the Ministry of War for a talk.”

Then, he walked out of the building.

Fang Jie nodded humbly and showed enough respect for these low-ranking officials. In the Capital, perhaps even a small governmental worker who had no real power could end his future. For example, if those rank 7 and 8 officials of the Ministry of War refused to stamp on the certificate that he needed to participate in the entrance exam of the Martial Arts Academy, it would be truly troublesome.

Seeing such a cold attitude from these officials, Fang Jie could only smile bitterly and shake his head.

The biggest difference between officials in the Capital and those in other regions was that they act more arrogantly. A rank 7 official would be a county magistrate outside Chang’an, and such a figure managed and controlled everything in a county. However, there were almost countless rank 7 officials in Chang’an, and most of them had no real power. The extremely arrogant attitude of these people made others feel uncomfortable.

After leaving Beckon of the Red Sleeve, Fang Jie saw a horse-drawn carriage parked on the roadside, and he was surprised by it; there was no symbol on it.

In Great Sui, different governmental agencies and big families had their unique symbols that represented their identities. For example, the horse-drawn carriages of the Ministry of War should have the black symbol that contained one saber and one shield, and the horse-drawn carriages of the Ministry of Revenue should have the symbol of a scale with a booklet on one side and a silver tael on the other.

Big families liked to use symbols of plants and beasts. For example, the Yu Family used vivid green ivy, representing longevity. Long-West Li Family’s symbol was a tiger with a pair of wings. It was given to the family by the previous emperor, representing courage and loyalty.

The horse-drawn carriage before Fang Jie was too ordinary. Fang Jie’s expression changed slightly and then looked down at his broken right arm with a frown. It was hard to tell if his arm was in pain or he was worried about something else.

When the official in the lead got close to the horse-drawn carriage, his attitude became a lot warmer. He lifted the curtain of the compartment for Fang Jie and said, “Please.”

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