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Peaceful Cloud County City.
To the east, in the area where the noble aura is concentrated, there is a luxurious house that covers a few acres with green tile walls and pavilions.
In front of the house is a lacquered door with two stone lions with open teeth and squatting claws. There is also another plaque which read "Zhou Zhai" in gold paint.
At this time, the main door was not opened. A few men in green hat were sitting on long benches, some yawned lazily. The side door was open for people to enter and exit.
This is the house of a Great Household in the county, the Zhou Family!
According to the rules of the Zhou Dynasty, only the Prefecture Gentry's house or the 5th Grade Hall is qualified to be called 'House'.
Although the Zhou Family is strong, it can only affect one county. It is suitable to be called a 'Home'.
Although the Zhou Dynasty was declining and the etiquette system was corrupt, some rules were strictly observed, especially in the county seats and county seats.
At this time, two people in the study were holding a game of chess and were talking.
The two men had a clumsy face, one had three strands of beard hanging down, wore a scribe hood; quite the emotional scholar. Swearing the smell of Fang Qi but his eyes are dark and warm; unfathomable. This is the contemporary master of the Zhou Family, Zhou Tongan.
Opposite of him is a young man warm as a jade, holding a white baby as he concentrated on it.
Soon, the youth's forehead saw a sweat, and a big dragon was killed. He couldn't help but say: "Father's chess skill is strong and as his son, I'm ashamed to not be as good!"
This person is Zhou Tongan's son, Zhou Bingli. He is very quick with his brain and make a poem in seven steps, and is also known as a 'child prodigy', accruing some fame for himself.
Zhou Tongan saw this and slightly sighed.
Although a large family patriarch has a large amount of power, it is extremely bad when he helped his son promote some fame and temper but now, it seems that he is only at the First Layer of Skin and Flesh.
Of course, in a peaceful world, this Skin and Flesh Layer is enough but now it isn't.
Then he asked: "The festival is approaching, are gifts and rooms for every official in the county, ready?"
"Already prepared, according to Father's instructions, it's 50% thicker than usual!"
Zhou Bingli respectfully said: "In addition… Second Uncle's side also sent 2000 taels of silver, personally escorted Martial Master Song!"
Zhou Tongan stroked his jaw: "Your second uncle is an official in a different place, experiencing ups and downs, this is indispensable… He is my hope for Zhou Family in the future, enough to protect the family for 40 years, it must not be neglected…"
This is Zhou Tongan's second brother, Zhou Tongren.
This person gained early recognition of his merits and although he did not pass the exam, he built his official position. By this time, he had achieved the position of 8th Grade County Deputy.
The county deputy is the county magistrate's assistant, who usually do not manage much. But the county magistrate must also give some thin noodles and then going up, is the 7th Grade County Magistrate a hundred miles away.
Just not in Peaceful Cloud County.
This is understandable, the Zhou Family is already so powerful. If there is another 8th Grade County Deputy or even the county magistrate, wouldn't the entire Peaceful Cloud County surnamed Zhou?
It is the instinct of a superior to divide people by appointing offices far away.
Now that the Zhou system is corrupt, it is still in the same county, not too far away. If it was before, it wouldn't even be in the same state.
"My son woke up!"
Zhou Bingli should be respectful and immediately said: "Also, the Wu Family's matter… Is the suppression too much? For this reason, it has worsened the relationship with the Dao Institute, it seems that losses outweigh the gains… The reputation is also…"
Zhou Tongan snorted and immediately jerked Zhou Binglin: "I'm afraid it's more than that? I know, you've always been interested in that Wu Qing… It's inevitable to have some 'love for a person extends even to the crows of her roof'."
This world's rituals and etiquette is very strict, the son cannot disobey his father. Otherwise, he will be disdained by the secular world and disaster will come. Zhou Bingli sweated and immediately apologized: "The son does not dare!"
"You really think so…"
Zhou Tongan said sensibly: "Suppressing the Wu Family is not only the only channel to connect with the county's family. What's more… Wu Qing, this woman is not someone you can enjoy, understand? The nobles are watching!"
Zhou Bingli's mind emerged out of the shadows and his heart was in pain but he didn't dare reveal anything: "Son understands!"
Regardless of what he thinks, at least this statement, Zhou Tongan is very satisfied and his face turned warm: "As long as father's arrangement is correct, as long as that child Wu Ming is taken, someone in the Dao Institute will make trouble for us… It's a two-pronged approach, by this time…"
Suddenly, a rush of footsteps interrupted Zhou Tongan's words.
His brow furrowed, Zhou Binglin suddenly felt awkward in his heart, knowing that this was the expression of his father's anger reaching to the extreme, and he, even more, bowed his knees and dared not speak.
"Patriarch, the villain has something to tell!"
"Come in!" Hearing the sound outside, Zhou Tongan suppressed his anger. He knew that the other party, knowing his temperament, would disturb for a hundred thousand minor matters.
"Reporting to Patriarch!"
Coming in is a middle-aged man wearing a black suit, with a dark face, kneeled to Zhou Tongan: "Deacon Yu and Guest-Official Qingping haven't contacted us for one day and one night. According to the news, Qingshi Village found a demon, claiming to be Qingping who manipulated bodies and practice black magic. He had been killed, soaked into a dung pit, and become ashes!"
This shattering news suddenly made Zhou Tongan silent, sweeping the black and white pieces off the chessboard.
"Daoist Elder Qingping…"
Zhou Bingli was also in trance. He remembered that Daoist in a bamboo crown and feather coat pointing to the beautiful scenes of the mountains. Even his father was very respectful to him, how could he actually die?
Even his end is miserable?
"… How did Daoist Qingping die? Can the case be reversed?"
After a deep breath, Zhou Tongan asked coldly.
"Before the arrangement for Daoist Qingping to capture Wu Ming, there should be a battle of wits with no one killed! As for the case…"
The man in black: "There are joint certifications of Lizheng villagers and there are also copper corpses and iron corpse that have been trained. Several of them had been stolen in the county. This one case… when there are already criminal records and material evidences are present, it is a piece of hard evidence like a mountain, truly difficult!"
Hearing this, Zhou Tongan's face was darker: "What about Deacon Yu? Where are others?"
"Deacon Yu is missing; it is suspected that he had fallen in the hands of the Wu Family!"
The man in black bit the bullet and said it. But it came out, Zhou Tongan did not fly into a rage but instead, turned gloomy.
After a long time, Zhou Tongan sneered: "Good! Good! Good! I didn't think that in the Wu Family, there would an expert!"
Immediately, he ordered: "You go on, you will get back all the treatment which was sent to Daoist Qingping and… manufacture evidence that Yu Cheng has been into fiscal corruption in the family. He has driven away out of the door early, understand?"
Zhou Bingli listened, stunned. Looking at the man in black who bowed and left, his heart turned a little cold.
Once something goes wrong, it is normal to clear the relationship.
After all, the Wu Family is also a large household in the county. Some methods to deal with small people can't be used. Once they are in court, they would passive. It is only natural to abandon the car to protect the commander-in-chief, it is simply human nature.
But knowing is one thing, but doing it is another.
Although the descendants of Yu Cheng and Qingping, if they knew what to do, they could still take care of them in secret. But smelling someone leaving the tea cold? I am afraid that their fate won't be good.
To do this, it's chilling!
At the same thing, within Wu Family Fort.
Wu Ming was wearing a fox fur and a silver crown. When the god of abundance is like a jade, a good incense burner is lit in the house and the atmosphere was like a fairytale.
According to the rules of the Zhou Dynasty, there are fifteen rows in the crown's ceremonies, high officials above 3rd Grade, and eunuchs uses jade crowns, Prefecture Gentry or 5th Grade Houses uses gold, scholars and nobles use silver. As for civilians, they can only use wooden and bamboo crown.
At this time, he was listening to Feng Han: "The Zhou Family has been living in Peaceful Cloud for a long time, which can be traced up to 270 years. Zhou Yong followed General Wu Qi to calm down the chaos and spent half of his life to obtain land. From this on, the Zhou Family began to rise and from several generations, there had many uplifting people, and the trend continues booming. Now, there are more 4500 acres of field, clansmen in the thousands, and the number of servants is like the clouds in the sky. The current highest-ranking official is the brother of Patriarch Zhou Tongan - Zhou Tongren. For the Chengmu County Deputy and Peaceful Cloud County, the one with the most intimate relation with the Zhou Family is Official Registrar Hu and this person can become a county official registrar. The Zhou Family has made great efforts so they have gained the favor of the Lord… In addition, the Zhou Family sent servants to secretly support several families to do business and it has been lucrative…"
Wu Ming nodded from time to time and Feng Han could be said to be attentive.
In a short amount of time, the Zhou Family's general strength was explored which made Wu Ming seem to see a behemoth spreading its influence in several counties.
"And… there's also the Official Registrar which is a little difficult!"
Wu Ming's eyes flashed coldly.
In Great Zhou's system, there is a county magistrate in every county who is a 7th Grade and has total power in his territory. The county magistrate's assistant is the 8th Grade County Deputy. The County Deputy oversees pretty much everything in the administrative branch while the county magistrate handles the troop.
And under this core, there are local officials who administrate punishment and labor, such as the small six, who are all 9th Grade.
In addition, there is a 9th Grade Inspector, responsible for thieves, and Official Registrar, responsible for managing various documents, communication between the upper and lower echelons, and organizing confidential locations, is very important.
It is just that the weight of an Official Registrar is almost none, almost like the prime minister. If the grade is even higher, it would over the county magistrate's head, so it's only 9th Grade.
In addition to these official bodies, coming down is the office clerk, the warehouse clerk, fast class Constable, Township Inspectors, and a larger number of officials who can't even enter the office.
Only the county government is a small sparrow and all the internal organs, it is still a small center.
At this time, Wu Ming compared that Wu Family and Zhou Family are both Great Household in the county. On the surface, they are both treated equally and the means to destroy small people's families could not be used.
However, compared with the connections, Wu Ming is one more step away.
Although there four gifts, Ice Charcoal is a sign of respect but it's only that. Compared to the Zhou Family who support the Official Registrar, it's a bit shallow.
At least, Wu Ming was sure that if it really got to the courtroom, the county magistrate may still treat them equally but he is afraid that the main family would be biased to the Zhou Family.
At that time, even if he had iron-clad evidence, there will still be some suspense.
"Not to mention… in the worst-case-scenario, the Zhou Family may still borrow the county relationship, even the county magistrate can be suppressed… it is simply undefeatable!"
Therefore, Wu Ming did not intend to solve this matter on the public side.
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