After Being Abducted by the General Chapter 66

Chapter 66

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Time flew by, and in the blink of an eye, it was the day of Yuan Li’s coronation on March 13th.

The ceremony should be presided over by his father and then conducted by a designated distinguished guest, who would crown the young man three times, representing his authority to govern, serve the country, and participate in rituals.

During the coronation, the guest would also bestow a beautiful character that complemented the young man.

The chosen guest for this occasion was the renowned scholar Cui Xuan, known as Cui Xiaocheng.

Externally, Chu Hechao explained that Cui Xuan was a scholar he invited, originally planning to have him lecture in Jizhou County. Coincidentally, he thought it fitting for Cui Xuan to crown Yuan Li and bestow a character.

Cui Xuan did not comment on this. He knew very well about Yuan Li’s coronation, but he said nothing, cooperating with Chu Hechao by staying quietly in his room, rarely coming out or meeting anyone.

The news of the renowned scholar Cui Xuan personally crowning Yuan Li quickly spread throughout Jizhou County and beyond.

Many people rushed to Jizhou County, hoping to catch a glimpse of the elegant demeanor of Cui Xuan and the talented young man Yuan Li.

On that day, the weather was beautiful, with clear skies and no clouds for miles.

The venue was ready, and everything needed had been checked multiple times by Guo Lin to ensure no mistakes were made.

Yuan Li’s subordinates, filled with excitement and anticipation, finally reached the moment of his coronation.

They sat on cushions, closely watching Yuan Li and Cui Xuan in the center of the venue.

Merchants who had collaborated with Yuan Li sent generous gifts, and Zhang Mi and Zhong Ji also hurried back.

The magistrate of Guangyang County, Cai Ji, did not dare to miss such a grand occasion. He sat with his deputy and various county officials, feeling a sense of envy as they witnessed Yuan Li’s magnificent coronation.

Liu Jixin, Wang Er, Zhan Shaoning, and others were excited, their hearts pounding like drums.

Among Yuan Li’s subordinates, everyone eagerly awaited this day. It was not an exaggeration to say that, upon learning of the patriarch’s passing and his wish for Yuan Li to be crowned a year earlier, everyone except Yuan Lou and Yuan Dan was more thrilled than surprised, including Guo Lin and the others.

They were Yuan Li’s subordinates, and what they valued were Yuan Li’s interests and the benefits they would gain. As long as Yuan Li could rise high, they could rise high with him. The passing of the Yuan patriarch was not a cause for sadness in their eyes; rather, it was a tremendous stroke of good fortune.

They had long been anticipating the opportunity to showcase their abilities after Yuan Li’s coronation.

During these days, they had been suppressing their excitement and anxiety, eagerly awaiting the arrival of this day.

Especially Liu Jixin, who originally thought he would have to wait another year for Yuan Li to embark on his official career. Upon learning that Yuan Li could be crowned earlier, this usually calm and rational strategist couldn’t contain his joy. He supervised all the preparations for Yuan Li’s coronation meticulously, going over the process with Guo Lin multiple times without missing a single detail.

At this moment, watching Cui Xuan help Yuan Li change into the ceremonial attire and crown, listening to the praises sung during the ritual, “The one to be crowned wears a straight robe and a ceremonial cap,” Liu Jixin was overwhelmed with emotions and found himself speechless.

Wu Kai, Wang Er, and the others had similar expressions. Their eyes were burning, and their breathing quickened.

The process of coronation for noble families was complex. After the three crownings, Yuan Li would rise to his feet and bow to the distinguished guests. This was his first adult ceremony, and the guests would rise and return the bow.

Yuan Li received the wine offered by Cui Xuan and finished drinking it. He then bowed to Cui Xuan, who returned the bow, looking pleased.

“In my lifetime, I have rarely performed coronation ceremonies for others, and you are one of the few,” Cui Xuan sighed with emotion and spoke slowly, “You are a disciple of Ouyang Ting, and there is some teacher-student connection between us. When a man reaches the age of twenty, he is crowned and given a character. Yuan Li, today I will choose a character for you.”

Yuan Li bowed respectfully, “Please, sir, let me know.”

Cui Xuan touched his beard and smiled, saying, “‘Leisurely within my courtyard, I also have concerns,’ there is a hint of worry in these words, but I hope that your future days will be far from sorrow and filled with joy.”

As he spoke, Cui Xuan recalled what his son had told him about what he had seen and heard in Jizhou County, as well as the love and praise the people of Jizhou County had for Yuan Li. He looked deeply at Yuan Li and continued, “I can see that you are a true gentleman. You are benevolent, kind-hearted, and have a sense of righteousness. You embody both loyalty and filial piety, with a noble character and upright behavior that are rare in this world. As Mencius said, a true gentleman finds joy in three things, and reigning over the world is not one of them. The first joy is when both parents are alive and well, and there are no unfounded disputes among siblings. The second joy is when one is not ashamed when facing the heavens and not daunted when facing the people. The third joy is when one obtains talented individuals from all over the world and educates them. I will give you the character ‘Le Jun’ (le = joy, jun = gentleman) as your name, and I hope that you can achieve these three joys of a true gentleman and live up to the expectations placed upon you.”

Indeed, this passage clearly expresses Cui Xuan’s admiration and expectations for Yuan Li.

In his heart, Yuan Li silently repeated, “Le Jun.”

Yuan Le Jun.

He liked this courtesy name.

Yuan Li curved his lips into a smile and thanked Cui Xuan, saying, “Thank you, sir, for granting me this name.”

After the coronation ceremony, the guests were invited to a banquet. In the midst of eating and drinking, Yuan Li led his subordinates to the study.

In the study, Chu Hechao and his subordinates, including Yang Zhongfa, as well as the officials from Youzhou who had come today, were all present.

Today was not only Yuan Li’s coronation day but also the day he formally accepted the position of Youzhou’s governor.

The seal of the Governor of Youzhou had been secretly handed over to Chu Hechao by Yuan Li yesterday. The purpose was for Chu Hechao to present it to him in front of everyone today, officially conferring upon him the position of Youzhou’s governor.

According to protocol, Yuan Li was supposed to first be recommended as a filial and incorruptible candidate.

However, Youzhou was the fiefdom of Chu Wang, and all official appointments were decided by Chu Wang. The recommendations for filial and incorruptible candidates in Youzhou would ultimately end up in the hands of Chu Wang. Once Chu Wang made a decision, they would be submitted to the court for review.

For the previous Yuan Li, being recommended as a filial and incorruptible candidate was an impossible task. But for the current Yuan Li, who had gained some fame and had the esteemed scholar Ouyang Ting as his mentor, as well as being personally crowned by the great scholar Cui Xuan, his reputation, prestige, and moral character easily met the requirements for being recommended as a filial and incorruptible candidate. No one would doubt his eligibility.

To avoid suspicion, Chu Hechao would request Yang Zhongfa to recommend Yuan Li as a filial and incorruptible candidate. But regardless of who recommended the candidate, the final list of filial and incorruptible candidates in Youzhou would still end up in Chu Hechao’s hands. It was like transferring something from the left hand to the right hand, so there was almost no need to worry about this matter.

No one present mentioned this matter.

Chu Hechao officially appointed Yuan Li as the Governor of Youzhou in front of everyone. Looking at the young man with his hair tied up and a refreshed appearance, Chu Hechao’s eyes softened for a moment as he said, “I will appoint you as the Military Advisor Lieutenant General in my military. Your contributions in assisting me in defeating the Xiongnu last year will be reported to the court. Le Jun, Youzhou will be entrusted to you from now on.”

Yuan Li humbly declined, expressing that he was still young and couldn’t bear such a heavy responsibility.

This is the current process for scholars accepting official positions. It requires multiple refusals to express their humility. Only after three requests and three refusals did Yuan Li reluctantly accept the seal of the governor. He sighed and said, “I am lacking in knowledge and shallow in learning. Since the general values me, I will reluctantly accept this heavy responsibility. General and everyone else, please rest assured that I will not disappoint your trust and will take good care of the people of Youzhou.”

After he finished speaking, Yang Zhongfa and the others promptly stood up and respectfully clasped their fists, saying, “Greetings, Governor.”

Then, led by Cai Ji, the officials of Youzhou also hurriedly paid their respects, saying, “We pay our respects to the Governor.”

Yuan Li looked at their bowed heads and respectful gestures, and suddenly felt a sense of satisfaction and delight in his heart.

He had finally received his official hat, taking the first step on his official career.

To become a governor immediately after receiving the official hat, and at the young age of nineteen, was an unprecedented event in history.

With this alone, Yuan Li’s name would undoubtedly appear in the history books.

To be able to leave a mark in the annals of history was as exciting and thrilling as finding gold in a riverbed.

Yuan Li had always believed that he didn’t have such great ambitions for officialdom and power. He only wanted to establish a solid footing and do his best to save more people. But when this moment truly arrived, he realized that his heart was pounding faster and faster.

An unfamiliar feeling surged within him.

Only with a high position and power could he do what he wanted and protect more people.

Desires awakened in his heart, leaving Yuan Li somewhat confused yet enlightened.

I have begun to obtain these things.

So, what can I…

Just then, the system that had remained silent for a long time suddenly spoke up.

【The Encyclopedia of All Things system has been activated. Your initial task is completed, and rewards have been distributed. Please explore on your own.】

【System update in progress: 1%, 10%, 90%… Update complete.】

【The Encyclopedia of All Things system has been updated to the Chancellor of the First Generation system.】

【The Chancellor of the First Generation system has been activated.】

【Reward: Access to a weekly weather forecast.】

A series of electronic sounds disrupted Yuan Li’s thoughts, startling him, and he looked bewildered.

“The rewards have been distributed? The system has been upgraded?”

What does it mean that the Encyclopedia of All Things system has been upgraded to the Chancellor of the First Generation system? Can the system be upgraded?

And what is this weekly weather forecast?

Yuan Li was filled with question marks, various questions crowding his mind, but it was clearly not the time to explore. He temporarily set aside these doubts and began to interact with the officials before him.

After officially becoming the Governor of Youzhou, Yuan Li gained the power of appointment. On that day, he appointed his subordinates as his officials.

He appointed Liu Jixin as the assistant magistrate in charge of the state’s selection and handling of official documents, essentially the head of the civil officials handling governmental affairs. Guo Lin was appointed as the accompanying secretary, akin to a personal secretary. Wu Kai and Wang Er were given military positions, overseeing the internal security of Ji County.

Others were also appointed to official positions. From then on, they would receive salaries from Yuan Li rather than from the court or Chu Wang. Their relationship with Yuan Li officially became that of subordinates to a “sovereign.”

Yuan Li also gave Zhan Shaoning the choice, asking if he was willing to become his subordinate official.

Zhan Shaoning felt somewhat uneasy and asked, “Le Jun, if I become your subordinate official, can we still maintain our friendship?”

“Of course,” Yuan Li smiled and affirmed.

Zhan Shaoning breathed a sigh of relief and agreed to his appointment.

Today was the day of Yuan Li’s official crown ceremony, and it was also a joyous day for his subordinates. Even Yuan Lou, Yuan Dan, when accepting their official appointments, couldn’t help but feel a hint of joy amid the sorrow of their grandfather’s passing.

The celebration and jubilation continued until the evening, and only then did Yuan Li have some free time.

Once he had some free time, Yuan Li’s first task was to find Cotton.

The reward the system gave him for his appointment was cotton. April happened to be the perfect time for cotton planting, so he could plant it alongside potatoes.

Yuan Li had gained some experience by now and had figured out the pattern of how the system issued rewards. The system rewards would always arrive with various legitimate reasons, and sooner or later, they would end up in his hands. Yuan Li didn’t get as anxious as the previous two times.

He instructed someone to register all the gifts brought by the guests, specifically telling them to pay attention to any white, soft, and round objects or plants. If they came across something similar, they should bring it to him.

After giving out the instructions, Yuan Li stayed alone in his room and began to study the changes in the system.

In the end, he found that the system’s upgrade only added a feature for a weekly weather forecast, and there were no other changes.

Yuan Li attempted various probes, “System, are you a high-tech gadget from the future? Don’t you have anything to say after the upgrade? Shouldn’t you provide a product introduction?”

The system remained silent.

The system was just like a simple tool that assigned tasks and rewards. From the past to the present, it had never uttered a word of nonsense to Yuan Li. He had gotten used to it, but he had never expected the system to upgrade.

“Chancellor of the First Generation system…” Yuan Li rubbed his chin as he pronounced those four words. “Chancellor of the First Generation.”

For someone embarking on an official career, becoming a Chancellor of the First Generation was already the pinnacle of a lifetime.

Yuan Li wondered who he would serve as a minister. And did his previous ambitions stem from the desire to achieve the title of “Chancellor of the First Generation”?

It seemed like it, yet not entirely. Yuan Li sighed and stopped dwelling on it. He decided to continue pursuing his own goals.

Yuan Li’s goal remained clear: to quietly accumulate food reserves, recruit soldiers, and develop Youzhou to attract people to expand the land and increase the population, thereby enhancing his strength.

After reviewing his plan once again, Yuan Li closed his eyes and let sleep take over.

Due to the overwhelming number of gifts he received for his appointment, it took his subordinates two full days to sort and count them all.

These gifts were not only from the local influential clans, wealthy merchants, and officials of Youzhou, but also from Wu Shanshi, the Inspector of Yizhou, and Liu Quan, the Inspector of Bingzhou. Some county magistrates and aristocratic families from Yizhou and Bingzhou also sent valuable presents.

After a year of hard work, Yuan Li had gained enough attention in these three provinces.

Once the gifts were sorted, his subordinates successfully found the white and soft item that Yuan Li had described.

Seeing a box filled with snowy white cotton, Yuan Li couldn’t help but smile with satisfaction. He carefully took out a handful and felt its warm and flexible texture, even discovering cotton seeds within the cotton bolls. Yuan Li was in a good mood and asked, “Who sent this gift?”

His subordinate replied, “It was a gift sent by Gulichi, the leader of the Wuwan people.”


Yuan Li raised an eyebrow. “Is this all they sent?”

“There are also other gold, silver, and jewelry, along with a bag of salt.”

Yuan Li’s expression turned subtle. “Salt?”

His subordinate nodded and handed him a letter, saying, “There’s also a letter that their envoy delivered.”

Yuan Li opened the letter and read it. It stated that Gulichi would lead the other Wuwan chiefs to visit the new Inspector in Ji County in a few days. Since they couldn’t make it in time for the Inspector’s coronation, they sent the gifts first.

In the letter, Gulichi’s tone was somewhat proud and contemptuous. He claimed to have obtained a finer quality salt than what Yuan Li had previously sold to Dadan and sent a bag of it for the Inspector and the Grand General to taste. He asked if Yuan Li had ever tasted such excellent salt before and mentioned that if Yuan Li liked it, he could generously send him half a bag more.

As Yuan Li read the letter, he couldn’t help but feel amused.

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