Chapter 232 - Command that Shocked the World
Chapter 232 Command that Shocked the World
The order to recruit talented people was issued: Since ancient times, rulers who reigned and prospered have always obtained capable nobles to help govern the country! Is it due to chance encounter that a ruler who has not left his alley to have talented men? It is because a person seeks far and wide to scout for talent. The world today is still in turmoil and it is urgently in need of talented men. Meng Gong Chuo excelled as a supervisor for the Zhao and Wei clans but he was not qualified as a senior official in small states such as Teng and Xue. If only men of honesty were recruited, how could Duke Qi Huan conquer the world? Are there no talented people dressed in ordinary clothes waiting to be discovered? Are there no talented people who were accused of crimes waiting to be discovered and be found innocent? You all must help me find talented men, who are in the lower classes and whose capabilities have been overlooked. Recommend people with talent and I will use them.**
The order to recruit talented people was not only issued in Hefei. It began to spread because Yang Hong became very knowledgeable of Yangzhou when he was still serving with Yuan Shu. He never told Lu Bu and Liu Mang about it but he still had his intelligence network from when he served Yuan Shu! The intelligence personnel were of no value after Yuan Shu’s death but Yang Hong persevered and continued to supply the intelligence personnel with money. Therefore, the network spread across Yangzhou within a few days. The order did not only reach Shouchun but it also reached Runan and other territories owned by the Runaway Liu. The order was also posted on several border cities in Cao Cao’s Yanzhou.
As a part of Jiangdong was located in Yangzhou, they were also not able to avoid it. Jingzhou was also busy fighting with Jiangdong so Liu Biao had no time to manage the territory. The recruitment order soon became a children’s song.
“Recruitment order?” Although Cao Cao was busy defending Guandu from Yuan Shao’s fierce attacks, he was not able to ignore the surrounding intelligence especially the Lu Bu’s Army that he fears. He was now looking at one of the recruitment orders. “Only talented people chosen?” Cao Cao gave it a meaningful glance. This Liu Mang Liu Hanyang is truly bold! The recruitment order was a slap to the noble family’s faces. Previous talented personnel were all recommended by nobles which is why they were mostly the children of nobles. Even if there was a poor person, they were probably a disciple of a noble!
However, Liu Mang’s recruitment order, recruits anyone regardless of birth or life experience as long as they have talent. It was a challenge to the noble families they do not want to work alongside the poor and common people.
This may be a challenge to the nobles but it was a blessing to the common people. A lot of talented commoners would seek refuge there. It was similar to Guo Jia when he worked for Yuan Shao. Guo Jia was given a small post precisely because he was from a poor family. Even then, he was recommended by someone. Otherwise, he would not even be able to work for Yuan Shao.
Liu Mang’s recruitment order would give the common people a better chance. As he only wanted talent and did not care about their background, everybody would have the same opportunity. Cao Cao could imagine all the common and talented people going to the Lu Bu’s Army. This is especially true since the noble families were minority but was able to horde all the wealth.
Cao Cao truly admired Liu Mang! Even though Cao Cao wanted to do something similar, he dared not because once he sent out such a recruitment order, all the cities under Cao Cao’s control will fall into chaos! The noble families would not hesitate to abandon their post, contact the young Emperor or change allegiance to Yuan Shao. The order would put an end to the privilege of nobles!
According to the original history, Cao Cao only dared to use this recruitment order after Jian’an 15 years1. At that time, Cao Cao has already captured Hebei and has even fought the battle at Chibi. At that time, it could be said that Cao Cao has the largest influence. Only after capturing Hebei was Cao Cao brave enough to stand against the nobles. The Cao’s family at that time was the land’s largest and mot influential noble. That is why he was brave enough to give out this kind of recruitment order. The other nobles did not dare to speak against it. He gave out this recruitment order at Jian’an 19 years and Jian’an 22 years. These three recruitment orders added a lot of talented personnel to Cao Cao’s Army. One of them was Deng Ai. Although there were not many talents, the officials were all outstanding. This was the foundation of Wei during the Three Kingdoms.
After conquering a large part of China, it was Cao Pi’s turn to rule. Cao Pi was also pressured by the nobles. In the end, Cao Pi removed the talent recruitment order and changed it into the nine-rank system to calm the hearts of the nobles. Now Liu Mang and the Lu Bu’s Army did not even control an entire prefecture.They don’t even own half of Yangzhou and Liu Bei is occupying Shouchun. For people with such weak influence to dare and oppose the nobility of the world! Cao Cao did not know what do say to Liu Mang! He was unsure if he wanted to praise Liu Mang’s bravery or ridicule Liu Mang for not knowing the right time to do it.
“Feng Xiao. What do you think of this?” Cao Cao turned and asked his advisor Guo Jia.
“Jia! Jia!2” Guo Jia had a complicated feeling. This is because the recruitment order would benefit those with humbler background, including Guo Jia. Guo Jia also knew that if this order came out earlier, he might place hopes that his talents would be appreciated there. However, Guo Jia also knew that Liu Mang acted this way because he was anxious! For the Lu Bu’s Army, it has its own benefits and disadvantages. The benefit is that the talented common people would all go to the Lu Bu’s Army. Guo Jia was envious of these group of talented people. The disadvantage is that the Lu Bu’s Army has completely lost the support of the nobles. At the very least, His Highness the Prince of Shu has already become the public enemy of all the nobles in the land! Before this, Cao Cao was afraid that Liu Mang might want to establish a new Han Dynasty. That is because Liu Mang’s reputation was quite good. Whether it was from a military standpoint or otherwise, Liu Mang had better reputation than Liu Xie. If Yuan Shao had dispatched an envoy to nominate Liu Mang as Emperor, things would become difficult.
Now, this threat no longer exists. The nobles would not support a person that opposes them to become Emperor.
“Milord! Let us help this Prince of Shu to issue out this recruitment order.” Guo Jia thought that this decision is good! Since His Royal Highness was not afraid of offending the nobles, He decided to help Liu Mang to offend more people. Guo Jia wanted to know how far Liu Mang was willing to go.
“Good! We will do as Feng Xiao says.” Cao Cao also knew that Guo Jia had selfish motives. He was from a humble family and understands the suffering of those people. So, he wanted to send out the recruitment orders. If Cao Cao wanted to stop distribution of the recruitment order, he was also able to do so. Cao Cao decided to do as Guo Jia says so grant his wish. Secondly, he also want to make the Prince of Shu offend the nobles. If the nobles of the world are offended, how would Liu Mang and his Father-in-law fight for the land?
Cao Cao pretended to be a good guy. Cao Cao ordered people to handcopy the recruitment order and distributed it everywhere.
Jingzhou, Xiangyang, Liu’s Government office.
Liu Biao also got the recruitment. When he finished reading it, he passed it around to the others such as Cai Mao, Kuai Yue and Kuai Liang.
“Yi Du, what do you think of this recruitment order?” Liu Biao laughed as he asked Kuai Yue.
“Sigh” Kuai Yue shook his head. Originally, he had a good impression of this Prince of Shu. Although he fought one battle against Liu Biao’s Army, it was as Sun Ce’s knife and also because Huang She went too far. Otherwise the battle would not have happened. The Prince of Shu also demonstrated great talent since the last Emperor. It can be said that the noble family had good impression of this Prince of Shu. Some time ago, the noble families wanted to ally themselves with the Prince of Shu and the Lu Bu’s Army but now His Royal Highness the Prince of Shu decided to go against everyone!
“What about Zhong De?” Liu Biao felt very happy. He knew that as a member of the Han, they could take up righteous cause and obtain blind devotion as long as their reputation is good. Otherwise, Liu Bei would not be able to repeatedly call himself a royal. Liu Mang had a much higher position compared to the Emperor’s Uncle. On top of that, Liu Mang is the South General, a title given to those who controlled Jingzhou, Yuzhou, Yangzhou and Yizhou. Officially, Liu Biao is serving under Liu Mang. However, something good happened. The Prince of Shu has dug his own grave by issuing that recruitment order. Nobody would show their support for Liu Mang now! This made Liu Biao truly happy! Although he suffered huge losses in the frontlines, Sun Ce’s Navy and this were completely different matters!
“Hmph! The boy is not worth forming a stratagem against.” Cai Mao spoke bluntly. The recruitment order was detrimental to the profits of nobles. So Cai Mao felt disdain towards it. Fortunately for him, his plan was to wait for Cao Cao and Yuan Shao to kill each other. Cai Mao would bow his head to whoever that won. That way, he would remain as the primary noble family in Jingzhou.
“Haha! Since His Royal Highness wants talents, then I, as his uncle, should help him! Come! Someone get me 100 copies of this recruitment order and distribute it across Jingzhou!”
Sun Ce also did the same things as Liu Biao. They spared no effort in destroying Liu Mang’s reputation.
At Jingzhou, Nanyang, a youth with a feathered fan was packing his luggage when he saw the recruitment order. He looked at its contents and made a wry smile. “Milord, what are you doing! Don’t tell me you do not want to conquer the lands!”
“Teacher, everything is packed!” A page boy entered and told the youth with the feather fan. “Teacher. Yangzhou is far away from Jingzhou. You must take care of yourself on the way there.” The page boy has been following him for almost 10 years! Naturally, he felt a bit sentimental now that this person is leaving and requested him to take care of the cottage.”
“I know! We are not going!” The youth with the feather fan put down the recruitment order.
“Not going anymore? Really?” The page boy was surprised. “I will go and unpack and then cook for you!”
“I meant that I am not going to Yangzhou! We are going to Xiangyang!” The youth spoke again.
“Xiangyang?” The page boy was puzzled. Why Xiangyang? To find teacher’s teacher?
“Yes. Xiangyabng.” The youth sighed. Originally, he wanted to go to Yangzhou but now he cannot go there. At the very least, he cannot go yet. For now, he is going to get help to settle something that needs to be done.
“Milord! I hope you do not make Liang disappointed!” Let the great Liang of Jingzhou help you!
1 Jian’an xx years is something like a date similar to A.D xxx. In this case, sometime during the later Han dynasty
2 Guo Jia is speaking in third person but was unable to say anything useful.