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Chapter 459: The Department of Appointments (2)

    Chu Lian had just taken a bath in the afternoon and the main bedroom of Songtao Court was warm and comfortable, so she was only wearing a loose and comfy casual dress, which turned out to be to his benefit.

    He Changdi's slightly coarse palm slid right into her dress. He then gently caressed the smooth skin at her waist.

    Chu Lian's mind was churning at lightning speed.

    Although she wasn't well-versed in the bureaucratic system of the Great Wu Dynasty, she still knew a little.

    The system used in the Great Wu Dynasty was pretty much the same as the Ming Dynasty from history.

    Back in the Ming Dynasty, there were four official departments recognised by all as the most lucrative: the Ministry of Personnel's Departments of Administration and Examinations and the Ministry of War's Departments of Appointments and Logistics. He Changdi had just been given a position at one of these lucrative departments. Although his rank wasn't very high, he did hold actual authority. A fifth-ranked administrator like him could stand up to a first-ranked official with an empty post.

    Any military official would have to go through his department in order to get transferred to other posts.

    It was only when the large hand sneaking around in her clothes gradually reached up and touched the ties holding her underclothes closed that she finally returned to her senses.

    She pulled down He Sanlang's misbehaving hands and glared at him.

    Feeling a little speechless, she said, "You're going to be facing trouble soon, how do you still have the mood to play around? What do you think His Majesty's intentions are? Your achievements at the northern border are already eye-catching on their own and the bestowal of your marquisate is unprecedented. Why would he still give you a position like this? Isn't this practically drawing a target on your back?"

    The Chengping Emperor was playing a game of chess here, but doesn't he know that tall trees attract the woodman's axe?

    Bestowing a marquisate on He Sanlang and giving him a lucrative post, just what was the Emperor trying to do?

    He Changdi had only been mentioning this to Chu Lian off-handedly. He hadn't expected her to have read so deeply into it.

    So this little woman who normally only thought of how to eat better actually knew how to navigate the twists and turns in the imperial court. He had truly underestimated her in the past.

    At this point of time, Chu Lian was like a great treasure that had been discovered in the mud and He Sanlang was the one who had discovered her. Each time he found out how different she was, it felt as if his treasure had multiplied, he was both astonished and delighted.

    After recovering from his astonishment, he burst into a bout of open laughter, "Chu Lian, why aren't you happy that I've gotten such a lucrative post? Why are you complaining about your husband's position instead?"

    Chu Lian pushed at him, trying to break free from his embrace, but his muscular arms were like steel prongs, they simply refused to budge. She rolled her eyes at him, "There's no such thing as a free lunch in this world."

    He Changdi tightened his arms around her, "Don't move, let me hug you for a little longer."

    As he spoke, he rested his head back on Chu Lian's shoulder. Chu Lian assumed that he was trying to think, so she stopped struggling and stayed still.

    A good while later, He Changdi said, "Xiao Bojian has gone to the Ministry of Personnel. Although he isn't in the Department of Administration, it's still an important position."

    He Changdi's words made Chu Lian stiffen up as she found this hard to believe.

    If that was the case, then she found it even harder to understand the Chengping Emperor's intentions.

    Furthermore, in this life, Xiao Bojian was actually climbing up the ranks quicker than he had in the book!

    It had to be emphasised that in the original book, it was with the help of 'Chu Lian' along with House Ying's full support that he jad managed to enter the Ministry of Personnel one year from now.

    Who could have thought that his rise would be so much faster this time!

    Chu Lian was in He Changdi's embrace right now, so even though she hadn't made much movement, He Changdi detected the suble stiffening of her body. He raised his head to look at her and stared into her clear eyes.

    He Changdi still didn't understand her. After numerous tests, he had confirmed that Chu Lian wasn't interested in Xiao Wujing at all. Furthermore, her disinterest went further than that. She was actually disgusted by him.

    Yet whenever he mentioned Xiao Wujing, there would be an obvious and strange reaction from his wife. It didn't seem like she was completely ignorant of Xiao Wujing's plight. He Changdi's eyes darkened, he had a faint feeling that Chu Lian was concealing something from him.

    Although he wasn't happy about that, if he turned to look at it from another perspective, he still had his whole lifetime ahead to spend with her. There was no need to worry that she would keep him in the dark forever.

    The couple cuddled for a while before Chu Lian urged He Changdi to take a bath and change out of his clothes.

    It was getting late and they still had to rush to Qingxi Hall for their reunion dinner.

    After he finished bathing, He Changdi donned a navy blue robe and a black cape with a qilin embroidered on the lower half. These were clothes that the estate had specially made for him this winter.

    He Changdi was a lot more well-built than before after training in the army. He had broad shoulders, a slim waist, and long muscular legs. He wasn't too slender and lanky, but he wasn't overly muscular and burly either.

    The robes complemented his tall and slightly muscular build perfectly.

    Even Chu Lian couldn't keep her eyes off him.

    When He Sanlang noticed her unending stare, a spark of delight flared up within him. However, his face remained as icy as ever. He even pretended to be indifferent as he said, "Have you stared enough? If you have, then come and tie my hair for me."

    Chu Lian didn't bother bickering with this weirdo and beckoned him over, "Come on, sit over here."

    He Sanlang walked to the dressing table and sat down obediently like a good puppy. Chu Lian then picked up the sandalwood comb on the table and started combing and tying up his hair.

    Thankfully, the simple hairstyle that Chu Lian had done was still passable. Once she stuck a white jade crown with a design that matched the hairpin she wore on his head, He Sanlang's poker face finally regained some colour.

    He glanced at his own image in the mirror, coughed twice, and managed to squeeze out some praise, "Not too bad."

    TL Note: I couldn't find an official translation for the departments mentioned here, so I did some research on them and came up with approximate titles.

    So if you were an official in the Ming Dynasty, these are the four departments that are known to be lucrative posts. Why? It's because these were seen as easy jobs with the likelihood of bribes coming your way.

    Ministry of Personnel ()

    Department of Administration ()

    Department of Examinations ()

    Ministry of War ()

    Department of Appointments ()

    Department of Logistics ()

    I think it's quite clear why for the Departments of Examinations and Appointments, as you can bribe these officials to smooth your way through the ranks. Even for upstanding officials, it's standard to give gifts in celebration/gratitude for promotions, etc.

    The Department of Administration is in charge of improving bureaucratic processes. From my own perspective, maybe you could bribe officials to push for a certain process that's beneficial for you? *not a historian in any way lol*

    The Department of (War) Logistics is quite clear too, because war supplies would be a huge source of income for merchants. Some bribes going the way of the administrator could help you get that business. OwO
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