My Princess Has Been Reborn - Chapter 18.1
Chapter 18.1 – Extra Examination Papers (1)
Spring rain continued falling for several days, preventing people from going out to play.
Lu Qipei’s life in the Lu Mansion these days had been peaceful. At first, she was worried that Qi Bo would ask her about her disappearance, and kept thinking about it over and over again inside. But unexpectedly, no one ever asked her about it.
After thinking about it, Lu Qipei understood that to these people, her words were not as credible as their own investigation – Lu Qipei did not know what they had found, and she never thought that Her Royal Highness The Princess would especially clean up after her. But the situation was currently good, so naturally she would not take the initiative to look for trouble. Plus, she didn’t want these people to put their attention on Qi Yang.
As time went by, Lu Qipei gradually calmed down, and even took the initiative to ask Qi Bo about returning to her hometown. After all, Lu Qicheng had missed the Spring Exam, and it was inappropriate to keep staying in the capital while ‘borrowing’ someone’s residence.
Qi Bo only told her to wait without giving further explanation.
Lu Qipei didn’t say anything else when she saw this. Occasionally, she went to see Lu Qicheng, but she didn’t dare to come near him again. But unexpectedly, after that bout of ‘insanity’, when Lu Qicheng saw her again, he had returned to his old gentle appearance with no trace of his madness from that day.
Generally speaking, Lu Qipei had been doing quite well these days. He just occasionally became distracted when reading a book or looking at the rain, thinking of someone…
Time flew by. The Lu Mansion had been calm, but it was very busy in the Examination Hall.
The Spring Exam was a test for talents from the whole country. Often there were thousands of people being tested, sometimes even reaching more than ten thousand. The examinees were trapped inside the examination room and tortured for nine days. But after they left, it was the examiners’ turn to be tortured there.
The capital city exam was held in the second month, and there would be the palace exam on the third month. With less than one month between them, there could be no delays in grading the exam papers.
Thousands of exam papers were copied and had their examinee’s names obfuscated, then distributed to each of the examiners. Only after going through one, two, three rounds of evaluation were they qualified to be sent to the chief and deputy examiners. But even so, everyone’s work was very hard, especially since everyone had their own differences in judgment. When a dispute arose, even one test paper could end up consuming a lot of time.
The chief examiner for this test was the Minister of Rites, Fang Chengyue. He was over fifty years old, and staying inside the Examination Hall for half a month was really unbearable. In addition to the examination papers, he also had official documents from the Ministry of Rites that he had to review, making him even more busy.
Finally, more than half a month had passed, and the work of grading the papers came to an end. The more than two hundreds exam papers that were selected were organized, and their originals were retrieved and compared one by one. Those whose test paper were stained or whose handwriting was bad would later have their rankings adjusted a little bit. Finally, the ranking was set after an endless debate among the group of examiners, and now it was time to reveal the obfuscated examinees’ names.
This Spring Exam had been outstanding. All examiners had their own exam papers they were biased for, so there was a lot of argument. However, there was one exam paper that no one questioned, and immediately ranked number one. The reason was that it was simply too outstanding, and there was nothing they could criticize about it.
After everyone had been ranked, the matter of unveiling the names was naturally left to the chief examiner Chengyue.
Fang Chengyue was pretty happy about this. First of all, the imperial exam was done to choose scholars for the country; it was an honorable affair. Second, although these examinees would be considered the Emperor’s disciples after the exam, but as the chief examiner he would also be treated well and receive some benefits. And third, after toiling around in the Examination Hall for so long, he was really tired – he just wanted to finish this grueling work as soon as possible.
Most of the people present there had similar thoughts, and they all looked relaxed and at ease. Only the scribe was holding a brush, preparing to write down the names.
Fang Chengyue did not delay. He smiled at the crowd while unveiling the first obfuscated name, “The results of the test are now in front of us. Everyone has worked hard these days. After we finish this, you can go back to take a nice bath and have a rest.”
Everyone was busy replying with humble words, but their eyes were fixed on that test paper with obfuscated name – they had heard of several ‘rising stars’ from various regions before the examination. Right now, they all wanted to know who wrote this exam paper that had convinced everyone.
However, when Fang Chengyue started unveiling the name, everyone became dumbfounded.
Because, under the exam paper’s sealed name was a snow-white blank – there was no name or place of origin written at all!
Although they had been through many things in the court, and had seen all kinds of strange things in the examination room, the examiners present still couldn’t help widening their eyes, as if they couldn’t believe what they were seeing. After a while, someone said in a trembling voice, “This, is this person so careless they even forgot to write their name!?”
His words instantly woke everyone from their daze, including Fang Chengyue who had a very strange look on his face. Fortunately, the exam was divided into three stages, so there were many test papers, each of which would have the name and place of origin written on it. If that person only forgot to write their name on one exam paper, it wouldn’t be a problem, it would just make everyone’s impression of them much lower. But there was something everyone there completely forgot – if that person didn’t even write their name, how could all their test papers from all three stages of the examination be grouped together into one?
But regardless of how, Fang Chengyue quickly flipped through the test papers. And the result was, from the first stage, second stage to third stage exam papers, none of them had a name written on it! Aside from that impeccable hand writing, it seemed impossible to prove that these examination papers belonged to one person.
By now, how could Fang Chengyue had not detected something fishy?
Without waiting for others to react, he immediately handed the test paper to his subordinate, and ordered with a low voice and a sullen face, “Check, go cross-check it with the Spring Exam’s name reference list, and find out who this exam paper belongs to!”