Ross and Lin Chucheng
“Lord Lin, welcome back!” Ross got up from his seat faster than if he saw his superior chief and didn’t dare to sit back down until Lin Dongqing gave him permission. Ross picked up a bag from his armchair. “Lord Lin, I was very worried after hearing about your serious illness. These are supplements from the North. I hope they can help you.”
Lin Dongqing nodded and sat down in an armchair with a smile: “I’m doing all right. It zapped all of my energy by the time I recovered from it, though. I just want to rest my body now. I also want to spend more time with my wife and…”
Lin Dongqing suddenly paused for he didn’t say he wanted to spend more time with his son. Clearly he still had a childish side to him, feuding with his son.
“Lord Lin, I agree that you should not continue working. You have been busy running around all these years. You are not young anymore; you just need to watch the lively young generation now. Whether there will be a war or not, they will not disappoint you.”
“Hah.” Lin Dongqing’s condescendingly tugged up the corners of his lips.
Lin Dongqing wasn’t being toweringly arrogant; the young generation just didn’t share his experiences. Their representative in the imperial palace was unquestionably Lin Chucheng. The young generation were oddly proud and literally crazy about their glory due to the empire’s prosperity and the other nations bowing to them. They treated the agreed terms, conditions and balance that Lin Dongqing worked so hard to achieve as a matter of course. Whenever any nation made the slightest move, they’d start screaming to start a war and subdue the nation in question.
The young generation took for granted all of the glory and privileges they were born with, oblivious to the fact that Lin Dongqing risked his life to negotiate with those nations. He spent over a decade in nations speaking different languages, having different religions and located at different locations to convince them to come to an agreement with the empire. The neighbouring nations didn’t stay friendly with the empire because the empire wowed them. They only showed respect owing to their fear and admiration for Lin Dongqing.
Lin Dongqing didn’t rely purely on military might to bring peace and stability. He relied on keeping others in check and creating balance. He struck fear into neighbouring nations using his sharp political observations and speaking skills.
When Lin Dongqing was instated as prime minister, his foreign politics approach was to prevent them from communicating with each other and maintaining balance. The empire didn’t consider war. After he stepped down, however, the young generation, which took his place, only ever thought about conquering more lands. Their ambition continued to grow endlessly. Their continuous harassment and disrespect for other nations led to the neighbouring nations losing all respect for the empire. As a result, conflict and rifts in their relationship popped up more and more until they were one step away from war.
Lin Dongqing didn’t like the young generation that sabotaged everything he worked so hard for. He knew he couldn’t handle running around again. Consequently, he decided to not concern himself at all. Based on the empire’s might at present, they might not lose if they fight a war.
During their conversation, Lin Chucheng came down stairs rubbing his eyes, so Ross looked to the stairs with a smile. “Hello, Chu.”
Lin Chucheng was delighted to see Ross. As Ross was chief of staff in the Northern military, Lin Chucheng considered the former to be more of a man than his father. Half of Lin Chucheng’s dream to serve in the army was inspired by stories his mother told him. The other half was from Ross, who served in the military. He saw Ross as a tall, cool and dominant man. That was a much more ideal image of his crippled father.
Ross shifted his gaze from Lin Chucheng to Lin Dongqing and noticed Lin Dongqing’s displeased look. Lin Chucheng ignored his father. It was a clear indication that the two argued again. Ross didn’t know what to say, but he always believed that Lin Dongqing wouldn’t be wrong. He, therefore, judged it to be Lin Chucheng’s one-sided wilful affair. Nevertheless, it was Lin Dongqing’s family’s issue; he was in no position to intervene.
“Uncle Ross, I want to enlist in the military!” Lin Chucheng asserted.
Lin Dongqing coldly snort was enough to tell Ross how to answer. Ross asked, “That’s nice to hear, but you haven’t come of age, have you?”
“I’m just one y-. No, I’m not even one year short! But so what?! Bullets I fire are just as lethal as one fired by anyone else!”
“But we adults built this empire. We were also the ones who instigated the war. That is why we have to take all the responsibility for it, not your generation that belongs to the future,” explained Ross. Being Lin Dongqing’s pupil, Ross inherited Lin Dongqing’s persuasion tactics and language. “Plus, it’s not up to you alone to decide. Your family has a right to a voice on the matter. You need Lord Lin and Lord Veirya to agree.”
“Give up already,” demanded Lin Dongqing, as Lin Chucheng was about to speak with a frown. “As long as I’m breathing, I won’t let you enlist in the military. Stop wasting your energy. Have you made a decision? Do you plan to work as an assistant for a tax officer or return to school? In my opinion, you’d just be wasting school resources with your grades. You should go and help a tax officer. Use your vigour and passion for the military on something realistic.”
“Tell me what else the tax bureau does besides robbing the poor people of their money?” sarcastically remarked Lin Chucheng. Pointing around, he blustered, “Look at all this. You’re enjoying all of this when you never did a thing. Other people are barely scraping out a living, yet have to pay taxes. You’re just the useless nobles’ lapdog!”
“Chu!” shouted Ross.
Before Ross could continue, Lin Dongqing extended an arm to stop Ross. Ross never allowed anybody to disparage Lin Dongqing, not even his son. Lin Dongqing coldly looked at Lin Chucheng and laughed. “Don’t mind the idiot. He just has to work there for a month to understand the tax bureau. Right now, he’s just an ignorant moron.”
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