Chapter 51: Mo Cong's Identity

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Translated by : shl

Edited by : Anks & Ely

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In her memory of her previous life, although Wang Zi Ling had garnered the top score in the imperial examinations, the Emperor had only appointed him to a previously vacant sixth-rank court position as Shi Du, one of the officials tasked with compiling, editing and reviewing the literature and history of the dynasty, in addition to tutoring duties. After this, for some unknown reason, he had made no further contribution or advancement. However, Jiang Ruan had once heard Eighth Prince say that, although this person's talent and learning were outstanding, it was also clear that his field of knowledge was rather narrow. Moreover, he was fond of seeking connections with those in power. Although, in the capital, the Wang family were considered members of the nobility, in truth, they no longer lived up to their name and were considered nothing but empty vessels.

There was no need to talk about Jiang Chao. In contrast to him, Mo Cong was highly talented. His father, Mo daren, was the Minister of the Imperial clan[1], and Mo Cong was the youngest son. He was gregarious, excitable and inclined to have less regard for propriety, which could admittedly cause headaches for others. However, his opinions on political affairs were considerably advanced, and must have sounded fresh to the Emperor who had to constantly listen to the safe and conventional views of his gaggle of court officials. After Mo Cong placed second in the imperial examination, he was appointed as a fourth-rank junior minister in the Ministry of Horses[2], where he was only two ranks lower than his father. Mo Cong was friendly towards others, and he received favour from the different factions in the imperial court. With someone like this, it was difficult to ascertain which faction he supported, and it could be said that he was neutral. In her past life, he gave the Eighth Prince endless headaches.

[1]Zong zheng ( 宗正 ) - Minister of the Imperial Clan, one of Imperial China's Nine Ministers, who managed royal affairs (including managing unruly Imperial kinsmen and maintaining their genealogy). It was established from the Qin Dynasty and it usually was a close trusted relative of the royal family. 

[2]Tai pu si (太仆寺 ) - the office in ancient China responsible for the breeding,
raising and training of horses.

Of course, neither of these two could compare with Liu Min, who had managed to quietly surpass both of them. The Emperor[3], unlike others, did not believe that one became more muddle-headed as one grew older. He was highly suspicious by nature. Not only that, in order to maintain a firm grasp over his court, he often acted unpredictably. While Mo Cong and Wang Zi Ling had the support of their long-standing families, Liu Min was born dirt-poor. Moreover, he was upright and plainspoken when he interacted with others. This kind of person could be appointed to a position without cause for concern. Liu Min was also highly talented. Thus, this young upstart in the imperial court very quickly became the most trusted official by the Emperor's side. If, in this lifetime, Jiang Ruan managed to win over such an important person, it would be tantamount to having someone speak on her behalf in the palace.

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