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  1. #121
    OnApril 9, at the cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Woren as the chairmanbegan, “It'll take too much time for everyone to express hisopinion. So I have drafted a report. I'll read it to you and if noone disagrees, we can hand in to the empress dowagers.” PrimeMinister Zhou saw through him, understanding that he wanted everyoneto accept his opinion. So Zhou said, “We are not in a hurry.Besides, we must discuss the report with Prince Yihuan.” The ruseof Prime Minister Woren failed. Many courtiers opposed to removeYixin from the post of the head of Secretarial Bureau. Anotherprince produced a draft of his that coincided with the opinion ofmost people at the meeting. Even Prime Minister Woren had to acceptit. When the report was handed in, West Empress Dowager realizedthat if she insisted, all the courtiers might send in theirresignations. But she tried another tactics. On April 11, she gaveback only the post as the head of the Foreign Affairs Yamen sincesome of the courtiers had explained their fear that the foreigngovernments would make troubles if Yixin was no more the head thereto deal with the foreigners. Now for the second round. Till the endof April, the investigations of the accusations of Yixin had finishedand produced no evidence whatsoever. How could Yixin be punished forthe false accusations? Besides, to make it easier, Yixin resigned theposition as the head of Royal Family Affairs Management, because WestEmpress Dowager often sent Little An to go there for things and Yixinoften refused to give more than necessary. When Yixin resigned thepost, West Empress Dowager could appoint someone who would obey herand give her everything she wanted. That meant as a condition. Atthe same time the other secretaries persuaded Yixin to file in aself-criticism report. Fear of foreign aggression, realization oflittle support for her among the courtiers and submission shown byYixin, all added up softened West Empress Dowager. She yielded thistime.
    OnMay 8, the empress dowagers received Yixin, who wept tears of beingwrongly accused, but the empress dowagers took it as tears ofrepentance. Even West Empress Dowager was touched and gave an orderto restore him to be the head of Secretarial Bureau. A politicalstorm subsided to everyone's relief.

  2. #122
    Sincea lot of water flew under the bridge, the emperor was not so youngany more. He was fifteen now. The empress dowagers began to selectthe queen and some royal concubines for him. Even weddingpreparations were slowly getting under way. That would be a grandceremony. The empress dowagers and the emperor must wear new gownswith dragons embroidered on them. Generally, these special royalapparels were sewn and embroidered in a southern province where thebest embroidery work was produced, and then transported to thecapital. All southern provinces were well-known for wealth andscenery. People in the north always envied people living in thesouth.
    LittleAn thought to himself that if he could be sent there on a royalerrand, he would not only enjoy the sightseeing, but also get manyexpensive gifts from the governors and local officials. Who wouldn'twish to be in his favor as he was the favorite head eunuch of themost powerful person in the entire empire? Although there were rulesto forbid eunuchs to go out of the capital, who would say NO if WestEmpress Dowager agreed to it?
    Itwas customary that whenever the royal family had things speciallymade, the expenses reported were always much higher than the realcosts. People handling the orders could make some extra money fromit. It was also an open secret.
    “EmpressDowager,” Little An said to West Empress Dowager one day, “Sincethe emperor's wedding needs a lot of money, we can't let them chargeus more than necessary.”
    “Howcan we do that as we don't even know the real cost of everything?”
    “It'seasy. If Empress Dowager send me to oversee the work done there,I'll know how much expense they should report. With extra moneysaved, we can buy more things for the wedding.”

  3. #123
    WestEmpress Dowager acquiesced. So he made preparations to travel. Hewould take two huge ships to sail down south on the Grand Canal,which had been dug hundreds of years ago in Sui Dynasty and ran fromnorth to south through many provinces. One of them was ShandongProvince. The governor of that province was a brave and uprightcourtier, who hated Little An for all the bad things he had done.
    LittleAn thought that it would be better if he could get the consent of theemperor to his journey to the southern provinces. But he could notjust go to ask for the permission of the emperor. He talked to theemperor's head eunuch and asked him to talk to the emperor in hisbehalf. The emperor's head eunuch hated Little An, too, because hewas loyal to the emperor. When he mentioned the request of LittleAn, the emperor asked his head eunuch what he should do, since he wasstill young and had no experience about such things. The head eunuchtold the emperor that he would say whatever was suitable to Little Anand that the emperor should pretend to know nothing of it.
    WhenLittle An saw him next day and asked him what was the emperor'sattitude, the head eunuch said, “The emperor didn't say anything. Ithink he won't have any objection to it since Holy Mother EmpressDowager thinks it's all right.”
    LittleAn was so excited that he bragged about his trip. Almost everyoneknew it, but none said anything to him. When Yixin knew it, he washappy. Most of the courtiers were also delighted. Those who had hadfavors from Little An didn't dare to speak to him about it. This wasreally a serious matter, which involved West Empress Dowager. Everyone knew that they should act very cautiously. A step or a wordamiss, they would be condemned. Through his head eunuch the emperorlearned everything about Little An. He sent a secret message to thegovernor of Shandong Province to instruct him to arrest and executeLittle An if he traveled through his domain.

  4. #124
    Member Sync's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Canada eh
    If you are 'just trying to get your writing out there' then you are doing yourself a dis-service by not going back into your posts and correcting the spacing. Whether it works for one site and not this one, is no reason to let it stand as is.

    Everything you post is a representation of you, as a writer. Everything.

    The story and characters are in rough draft, but they both have possibilities. Then again, what story doesn't, with a little work. You have weak sentence structures which interfere with the story's flow. If this was presented as a rough draft, then I would expect as much. But it doesn't appear to be. So, if this to showcase your work(nothing wrong with that), you are doing it poorly.

    The fact that you have so many chapters with the same problems, due to the fact you don't seem willing to work on them, shows me that there is no forward momentum to your writing.

    As I said, this might be something you just want to get out there in the eyes of the public.

    It's been seen, so what are you going to do now with it?


  5. #125
    Chapter 23

    Sincethe defeat of the government army by the foreign troops, West EmpressDowager and Yixin had realized that they must learn from theforeigners, learn their advanced science and technology. They beganto buy guns and cannons from the merchants of the western countries.They also bought steam ships and warships. But in the long run,purchase was not a feasible way to strengthen the country. They beganto have the factories built to make these things in China. They foundthat they needed their own engineers and technicians. So they sentchildren overseas to study in the foreign countries. Elder Zeng andGovernor Li respectively had the Machine Bureau and the ManufacturingBureau set up in Shanghai. Yixin established the Foreign LanguagesSchool in Peking so that the government could have interpreters inthe diplomatic affairs and translators to render science books inother languages into Chinese. And all the science lessons could alsobe taught there. An order was issued that province governments shouldrecommend students, and young officials working in the centralgovernment could also take part in the entrance exam. All theteachers were employed from foreign countries. That is to say thatall the teachers were foreigners.

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