Translated by Gamer @ endlessfantasytranslations.com
The recruitment of Lu Jin is of extreme importance to prevent embarrassment. To obtain the support of the citizens, it is important to gain the support of the local celebrity. This is because the citizens will feel closer to the lord when they see that their local celebrity is supporting the lord. For example, Sun Ce managed to obtain the support of Qiao Mao, who was known for his practice in Confucianism. His support for Sun Ce allowed Sun Ce to obtain a lot of people.
Liu Kai has volunteered to solicit Lu Jun as the Liu and Lu family had long history together. Although Lu Kang was made governor, their family relationship was still close. When Lu Kang died, the Lu family started to decline but the Liu family secretly helped them. On the other hand, Sun Ce and the Lu family only have deep hatred. Nearly half of the Lu family perished in the hands of Sun Ce. Now the Lu Bu’s Army have made the Sun Ce’s Army suffer. In a sense, the enemy’s enemy is a friend! When Wan Cheng was under Sun Ce’s rule, the Lu family could only hide themselves but now it is different because Wan Cheng now belongs to Lu Bu!
If they were to ask Lu Jun to take up an official position, they believed that Lu Jun will accept. Liu Mang took Liu Kai to the side and asked Liu Kai to bring him along when he goes and visit the Lu family. He wants to see Lu Xun and Lu Ji. Right now, those two should be in their teens.
“Milord, this problem is solved but we are far from finished!” Although the Lu family’s recruitment was mostly secure, the noble families in Lujiang are still mostly dead. Even if the other nobles from other states wanted to become a Lujiang official, it would still take a lot of time. However, Lujiang has an urgent need of people.
“N?” Lu Bu wrinkled his eyebrows again. Chen Deng stood aside. If this was in Xuzhou, Chen Deng could have used his family name to recruit talented people. Unfortunately, this is Wan Cheng. Even Guangling is far away and would also be blocked by Cao Cao.
“Where would the others come from!?” This became a problem. Even though Lujiang is now in the hands of Lu Bu, Lu Bu does not know the locals and would not know who is capable of managing the land.
“Why go through so much trouble?!” Liu Mang could not understand. Lu Bu was lacking government officials? Since when do people worry about lacking government officials in China? “Father-in-law! We do not need to search for talents! We can let them come to us!”
“Come to us?!” Chen Gong and Lu Bu looked at Liu Mang. What do you mean ask them to find us? Let the nobles take initiative to find us? What a joke! Lu Bu was so notorious, who would be willing to serve him?
“There is also no need to search for nobles!” Liu Mang said. “Not all the talented people are nobles! We can also find some in the wilderness!”
“The wilderness? The poor?!” Chen Gong finally understood but shook his head. “The wandering people don’t have virtue!”
“No virtue!?” Liu Mang laughed at that statement. Since when did the nobles have virtue? Look at the Wan Cheng nobles! For their own personal benefit, they rebelled against Lu Bu and almost caused the fall of Wan Cheng. Are these guys noble!? Chen Deng’s father who plotted against Lu Bu. Is he virtuous? Even Liu Kai and his son joined up with Lu Bu for their own personal benefit. However, Liu Mang did not say it because they were all in the same team.
“Now the land is uncertain. There are many talented people. The question is whether or not they are competent and is not for military advisors to find fault with! Most of the people in front of the military advisors are also from the wilderness!” Liu Mang choked Chen Gong with this sentence. It was his vengeance against the old man who always purposefully or accidentally harassed Liu Mang. In the hall right now, aside from Chen Deng, everyone was from the wilderness. It was the same with Gao Shun and Zhang Liao who followed Lu Bu from Bingzhou. Nobody said powerful families are the only one who could have soldiers! Zang Ba was from a small family, and the other new additions like Huang Zhong, Gan Ning, and Xu Sheng, was also born from the wilderness. Gan Ning was even a thief. Even then, all these people were important in the Lu Bu’s Army.
Liu Mang’s words made the crowd comfortable. This is because they know that their birthplace is not an issue. They were valued for their skill and strength.
“Put up a recruitment order!” Liu Mang continued. “Dispatch soldiers throughout the entire lands of the Han to post recruitment notice. ‘We, the Lu Bu’s Army, do not care about your birthplace and the salary is adjusted according to rank. We are not afraid of the high demands, we are just afraid that you are not capable!’ “
“A recruitment order?!” Chen Gong was shocked. He could imagine the consequence of this move.
“This cannot be done Milord!” The first to object was the Liu family’s Liu Kai. He did not want to offend Liu Mang but he does not think this is a good plan. Recruitment orders? Without caring about birthplace? Anyone with talent could become an officer?
It should be known that those with official positions rarely come from poor and humble families unless they have extremely big talents. Why is that? This is because the country selects officials from examinations. Although that was the premise, it was true that the nobles have power over the examination. A family who had someone who could handle work was more likely to become an official. Besides that the starting point of becoming an officer was also higher. For example, Cao Cao was very studious and became a government official at 20 years old. He was then immediately made district captain. He managed to obtain that position at 20 because his family was also an aristocratic family and had distant family ties to Empress Song.
With such a big family, it would be more difficult if Cao Cao did not want to be an official.
Yuan Shao and Yuan Shu also does not need to be mentioned. Their two families have lasted for generations and, excluding the royal family, are the world’s largest family. They were like the Morgan family in America. Yuan Shu became a governer and Yuan Shao a military officer in the west of Yuan.
(TN: Or you could not mention it at all and save me the headache.)
(TN2: Morgan was an American financial and banking family. So says Wikipedia.)
On the other hand, Lu Bu did not have such luck. Without any family to help him out, he could only climb step by step with dangerous methods. If he was a bit careless, he would get killed. While Cao Cao and Yuan Shao have proper family backing, Lu Bu has his ‘Slave of three surnames’ nickname which made his reputation worse.
Now Liu Mang wants to allow anybody to become a government official. What is he trying to do? Is he trying to discard the noble’s privilege and examination system! The reason why the nobles could survive for so many generations is because they are able to become officials. The only ones that can eliminate nobility aside from war are nobles. It does not matter how many generations or what kind of person the individual is. All the nobles had a chance of becoming government officials.
If Liu Mang abolished this system, then the nobles may not necessarily become officials and their family may die off after one generation.
“Milord. This way of recruiting will make the nobles hate us more! All the nobles will be more unwilling to become government officials!” Liu Kai immediately opposed.
“Yes! This method must not be used!” Chen Deng also spoke up. Although he was the only one left in the Chen noble family, if he managed to get enough merits, even he would be able to start a new noble family.
Besides these two, even Liu Neng and Yan Hong opposed to this idea.
“N?!” Liu Mang did not expect so many people to oppose his idea. The ones that was able to give Lu Bu advice was Chen Gong. The others that could give opinions are Chen Deng, Liu Mang, Liu Kai and Yan Hong. Now out of the other 4 people, 3 already opposed to this idea. Although Chen Gong did not speak, his expression showed disapproval as well.
“What are you afraid of!” Liu Mang did not understand. Didn’t Cao Cao do the same thing! How come Cao Cao was successful in searching for recruits while Liu Mang was met with so many opposition.
In fact, Liu Mang did not know that Cao Cao only did this in the future. On top of that, the process of change took several years. Cao Cao’s recruiter, recruited a lot of poor and humble children but at the same time, the ones objecting to this method was also the poor and humble children. This is because when those guys became officials and nobles, they wanted to preserve their own privilege and started to object to this system. They were not so obvious in their actions when Cao Cao was around. However, after Cao Cao’s death, they all started to object openly. Cao Cao’s son Cao Pi, did not have such a benevolent government. He knew he needed to appease the hearts of these nobles as he requires their support to remain on the throne.
Therefore, he used the Nine-rank system. The system was polished with the help of Chen Qun. The system allowed the nobles to have their privilege by making them high ranked nobles while the top scorers of the normal-class citizens would become low ranked nobles.
Chen Gong stood at a side thinking about the proposal. He did not speak as he observed the two sides.
“If we do not give the order, then I ask elder brother. Who is the one that is going to administer Lujiang? Are the common citizens going to do it?” Liu Mang said as he looked at Liu Kai. Huang Zhong and Gan Ning could not say anything.
“If we send out this order, we will offend all the nobles in the world!” Liu Kai earnestly persuaded Liu Mang. The recruitment order would really offend the nobles as the nobles always relied on the family heritage to become and official and a free party. What would the nobles think if this order was given out? If their privilege is gone, how could they be nobles?
They were only called nobles because all of their family members can become scholars.
“Who cares! Who cares about offending those who extort from the common citizens and only think of their own benefits!” Liu Mang did not give up. He who has killed almost all the nobles in Lujiang would definitely not rely on them.
Lu Bu felt a little bit awkward. He understood this even if he was an idiot. If he used Liu Mang’s proposal, he would earn the hearts of all the poor citizens in the land but would lose all the support of the nobles. There would not be much problems in Lujiang because there were not many nobles left. However, when they expand to other states, it would no longer be a matter of earning the support of the nobles. The nobles will definitely use underhanded methods to harm them. The nobles have a really strong influence. They may only be a few of them in percentage, but they owned more than 80% of the wealth. They were so strong that they would even scheme against the emperors who dared to offend them.
(TN: Nobles, the cancerous plague of every story… and my brain cells.)
Lu Bu also lost Xuzhou because the Chen family plotted against him.
However, if he listened to Liu Kai, at the end of the day, there would be no progress and Lujiang would still lack government officials.
“There can be a compromise!” Chen Gong finally spoke out as he analyzed Liu Kai and Liu Mang’s reasoning. “We can use the recruitment order but only once! After we have gained enough capable people, we will remove the recruitment order!” Chen Gong’s compromise was to use the order in Lujiang first, and then deal with the aftermath later. There are no nobles in Lujiang to become a nuisance anyway so they could deal with that problem later.
“Let’s do it this way!” Lu Bu pointed at Liu Mang. “Hanyang. Since this is your proposal, you will be in charge of it!”
“Understood!” Liu Mang bowed his head and could only agree to the compromise.
“The issue of talent is resolved. The next issue would be how Milord wants to expand the territory!” Chen Gong raised the third question. Most of the management issues would be left to the governor. The rest is how to expand their territory.
“Expand the territory?!” All the warriors’ eyes shined. Expanding the territory means more battles which mean more merits.
“Territory!?” Now Lu Bu was surrounded by Cao Cao, Sun Ce and Liu Biao. According to Chen Gong’s plan, they should wait for Sun Ce to act first. This is because if they were to attack Sun Ce, it would be helping Liu Biao. If they were to enter the fight between Sun Ce and Liu Biao, they would harm themselves more compared to the benefits earned.
After that, there is Cao Cao! They were just chased out by Cao Cao so it would be difficult to send troops back. Although Lu Bu had the idea, he knows that there is an even more powerful person at Hebei. Yuan Shao! Yuan Shao has already occupied 4 provinces. It would be a huge joke if he was defeated by Cao Cao. Yuan Shao would be a big headache. Besides that, it is impossible to rely on the Central Plains as there are many warlords targeting the place because of it is rich in resources. Although Cao Cao was defeated at Chibi and lost 800,000 soldiers, his foundation was barely disturbed as the Central Plains was rich in resources. If it was not because the Shu had mountains and the Wu had rivers, they would not have survived.
Since these neighbours cannot be attacked, where would Lu Bu expand his territory to?