ROHYX Chapter 467 : Prefect Tan (1)

This chapter has not yet been edited.

Prefect Tan had been in Xinping City for over half a month, and everyone said that the new official would have three fires when he took up the new post1. But when Prefect Tan arrived in the city, he did everything according to the original established practice. Of course, with his actions, no one would trip him up. Many people thought that Prefect Tan was a mediocre person. The so-called mediocrity was where he would offend no one and leave when his term was up. What they didn't know was that during this time, Prefect Tan had been investigating the tax and legal records of Xinping City.

When Yu Cong arrived at the yamen2, Prefect Tan was still reading the case files. When Prefect Tan heard that someone from Yu City had come, he was a little surprised.

Prefect Tan's attendant handed him a letter and said, "Master, the visitor said that if you read this letter, you will understand."

After reading the letter, Prefect Tan clenched it and instructed, "Invite this person in." Prefect Tan's surname was Tan, his first name was Tuo, and he was listed on the Second List3 of jinshi4. Tan Tuo's ranking in the Imperial Examination was very high in those years. Originally, he could have entered Hanlin Academy. Still, because of the Han family's financial support, he was unwilling to change sides, so he stumbled and ended up at a poor place in Guizhou as a county magistrate.🤔

Originally from a poor family, Tan Tuo was used to a difficult life. Although he was sent to the barren hills and wild rivers6 of Guizhou, he never collapsed even after this single setback7. Instead, he did his best to help the people. He stayed in the position of county magistrate for nine years, and his annual evaluation was excellent, but unfortunately, he couldn't be promoted. It wasn't until Han Jianming took control of the Han Residence and found his character commendable that he helped him smooth out Tan Tuo's relations before he was promoted to an official position. With Han Jianming's support, Tan Tuo's promotion went more smoothly. It took him only eight years to rise from county magistrate to prefect, and the progress was incredible.

Yu Cong greeted Tan Tuo and said, "Daren8, these lost children are all orphans. Please help me find them." Since Tan Tuo was on their side, he naturally had to be more respectful.

Prefect Tan was a man of a strong will. Otherwise, he would not have stayed in that poor place in Guizhou for nine years without becoming discouraged. On the contrary, he managed the county well. "You said that the people from Wangchun House had lured the children away from the charity home, but do you have any proof?"

Yu Cong handed the painting that Yuxi had drawn to Prefect Tan and replied, "Daren8, this is the woman who took four children from the charity home in the name of adoption. Daren8, we have already discovered that this person was a courtesan of Wangchun House." Unfortunately, Old Woman Yin lost half of her life after being tortured by Zijin, so there was no way to bring her over.

Prefect Tan considered what had been said and nodded slightly. It was good to have physical evidence.

Yu Cong stated, "Daren8, our General said that if you need anything, you can just order us." Yu Cong's words also made it clear that they would not act without permission and would listen to Governor Tan in everything.

Satisfied with Yu Cong's attitude, Prefect Tan said, "When I have summoned the bailiffs, you may follow me to Wangchun House to take this person away." Although it was said that the military and the government were separate and unconnected, the fact was that when a significant incident occurred in the local area, he still needed people from the military to step in and shake up the scene.

Yu Cong was overjoyed. "Thank you very much, Daren8." Unexpectedly, the newly appointed prefect had such courage. He thought this prefect would first investigate the news before taking any action!

Prefect Tan summoned more than twenty bailiffs and yamen2 attendants, plus more than twenty people from Yu Cong. These fifty or so people followed Prefect Tan to Wangchun House.

Among the people who followed, a bailiff surnamed Gao jogged over to Yu Cong and asked, "Brother, what's going on here?" Looking at this situation, something big must have happened.

When Yun Qing learnt that the whereabouts of more than thirty children from the charity home was unknown, he closed the city gates. As a result, the news did not spread, and, at least until now, many people in Xinping City were still unaware of what had happened.

Yu Cong replied, "You'll know what's going on when we get to Wangchun House." Who knew if this person was the henchman of the people behind the scenes? Of course, he wouldn't let such information slip.

When they arrived at the entrance, Prefect Tan asked Yu Cong to send some of his men and a few bailiffs to guard the entry and exit. The rest of the people will accompany him to arrest and rescue some people. Prefect Tan made this arrangement because he worried that not all these bailiffs and yamen2 attendants could be trusted. As for Yu Cong, Prefect Tan naturally would not be suspicious of him because of Yuxi's letter. Prefect Tan knew very well that his two-level promotion to Prefect was influenced by Yuxi's help.

When Prefect Tan brought in his people, he first told them to arrest the old female brothel keeper and then sent some people to find the person in the painting. Unfortunately, the person they were looking for wasn't in Wangchun House.

The old brothel keeper complained, ''I have already said that Qiu Hong has redeemed herself and is no longer a member of our establishment. Daren8, although you're an Imperial Court official, you can't just accuse us wrongly. We have conducted our business respectably."

That was a harsh thing to hear. If brothels were also honest businesses, then there was really no such thing as an honest person in this world.

Prefect Tan had crawled up step by step from his position as a county magistrate, coupled with the fact that he was sent to the remotest part of Guizhou, which was full of barbaric people. What kind of human tricks had he not seen? From the moment he walked in and saw the panicked look on the old brothel keeper's face, he knew there was a problem, and said to Yu Cong and a group of bailiffs, "Search, search every corner of Wangchun House, and be sure to find the children."

By this time, the bailiffs and yamen2 attendants had realised what was happening. Some bad people might be among them, but most still had a conscience. Once they understood what had happened, they began to search the place with all their hearts.

After half a shichen9, more than twenty young girls aged between five and ten were found in the Wangchun House.

Yu Cong didn't know what the kidnapped children looked like, and after looking at the group of children, he said to Prefect Tan, "Daren8, I don't recognise these children. I'll have to ask an old woman from the charity home to identify them." He was only looking for the lost children from the charity home; the others were out of his hands.

Hearing these words, the old brothel keeper immediately shouted: "Daren8, we bought these children with money, and each has a contract of sale." It was not illegal to buy them with money. On the other hand, kidnapping orphans of martyrs from a charity home was a big taboo.

As soon as the old brothel keeper uttered these words, a little girl pushed through the crowd and exclaimed, "Daren8, I wasn't bought by them; I was deceived. My father was Wei Desheng, a seventh-rank lieutenant of the Dingbei Army, a subordinate of General Yun." At this point, the little girl's eyes turned red as she continued, "Daren8, my father died in battle at the beginning of spring, and my mother succumbed to illness when she heard the bad news. There was no one else in my family, so I was sent to the charity home. Under the guise of adoption, these people tricked me and others out of the charity home and brought us to this dirty place." The people of Yu City were strong, and the girl was courageous. However, the little girl had only briefly been in the charity home and had not yet been subjected to inhumane treatment. After a while, that courage might not be inside her anymore.

The old brothel keeper immediately collapsed to the ground. Although this little girl had such an irritating side to her, she was too bright and beautiful for her people to give up.

A noob translator, きつね, translated this noob translation. Please read this chapter at If you read this in another location other than site stated, it has been taken without the translator's permission. Please don't support this kind of act.

When Yu Cong heard they were the children of the Dingbei Army soldiers who had died in battle, his nose became sore, and he said, "Don't worry, I will definitely bring you back to Yu City."

The little girl had already been tricked once, and of course, she would look at Yu Cong suspiciously, "Who are you?" She couldn't let herself be tricked a second time, having been fooled once.

Yu Cong replied, "I am also a member of the Dingbei Army. My name is Yu Cong, and the General has ordered me to look for you." It was hard for Yu Cong to see the child looking at him like that.

Surprise flashed through the little girl's eyes as she said, "You're a guard next to the General. I've heard my father speak of you." She knew then that she was truly saved.

Prefect Tanu was speechless when he saw Yu Cong chatting with the little girl. They continued to chat away, not caring about their current situation. "Take them all back."

Prefect Tan asked Bailiff Gao to escort the old brothel keeper and the others back to the yamen2 first while he took a few people to find the person in the painting. He found the person he was looking for not long after. That person's name was Qiu Hong, who had redeemed herself not long ago and married a local ruffian. Now, the couple lived in a small private house.

After capturing the wanted person, the government people searched the couple's house and found several children. It was confirmed that the four children had been taken from the charity home.

Upon returning to the yamen2, Prefect Tan immediately held a court session.

The old brothel keeper insisted that she had bought those children and still had the sale deed in her hand. Qiu Hong, on the other hand, would not be foolish enough to say that she had bad intentions in bringing the children to her home. ''Daren8, minfu10 is innocent. Minfu10 just heard that there are many orphans living in the charity home. I wanted to do something virtuous, so I went there to adopt these children."

Prefect Tan sneered. He slapped the jiangtangmu11 on the long table and shouted, "Serve her with severe punishment." Even though she had come this far, she still had no intention of telling the truth. Prefect Tan would have to subject her to severe torture before she would be willing to confess.

After being severely punished, Qiu Hong could no longer hold back and confessed, "Daren8, minfu10 had heard that Wangchun House had recently acquired many beautiful little girls. Upon inquiry, minfu10 found out that these children had been taken from the children charity home in Yu City, and minfu10 wanted to use some children to make money. When I arrived in Yu City, I saw that the old woman in charge of the charity home was greedy for money, so I gave her some benefits and chose four children. Since many of the good-looking children had already been taken away, the ones I chose were not so outstanding."

The old brothel keeper escaped from the hands of the yamen2 attendant, pushed Qiu Hong to the ground, and slapped her fiercely a few times. "You lowly wench......" A string of foul and insulting words came from the old brothel keeper's mouth.

The old brothel keeper did not act like Qiu Hong, who would personally show herself up. The people she sent out back then were all new faces, and after the matter was settled, she had those people leave Xinping City. Even if someone noticed their actions and traced them back to Wangchun House, she still had the children's sale deeds in her hand. At that time, she could honestly say that she didn't know anything about it and that they had also deceived her. However, Qiu Hong's words had just pulled her into the water12.

Prefect Tan slammed the jiangtangmu11 again and instructed, "Pull them apart." It seemed he needed to get rid of some people inside and outside the Prefect's office.

After being severely punished, the brothel keeper finally confessed. But she only said she did it for the sweet deal. The girls kidnapped from the charity home were all good-looking, and the cost of getting them was minimal, which was why she had this twisted idea. That was her only explanation on the matter.

Prefect Tan aimed to expose the people behind the scenes. It was said that a new official would have three fires when he took office, and it was time to let his fire burn. However, the brothel keeper insisted that it was all her idea and that no one had told her to do it. This statement made Prefect Tan passive for a moment.

Unable to resolve the stalemate, Prefect Tan angrily shouted, "Adjourn the court session!"

After retreating to the yamen2, Prefect Tan told Yu Cong, "Take one of your men to guard the old brothel keeper secretly, and if anyone tries to harm her, catch them." He did not believe that a brothel keeper would have such courage, and someone must have orchestrated this matter. He speculated that the mastermind would try to kill and silence the brothel keeper.

However, Prefect Tan miscalculated this time. No one came to kill the old brothel keeper, but she committed suicide instead, which Yu Cong's secret guard had prevented from happening.😅

Footnotes Full List
  1. Chinese idiom: (of a newly appointed official) to make bold changes upon taking office
  2. government office in feudal China
  3. In the specific process of the Imperial Examinations, the results of the "Provincial Examination" held in a province would be publicised after the results were released. Those who passed the examination would be placed on a list and given the title of "Juren" ("举人"). This list was called the "B List", or the "First List". Once a person had become a "Juren" and had the qualifications to be an official, he was also qualified to attend the "Metropolitan Examination" held in the capital. If one could successfully pass the "Metropolitan Examination", and then the "Palace Examination", one would be promoted to the "Jinshi List". This list was called the "A list", also known as the "Second List". - Netease
  4. a successful candidate in the highest imperial examinations
  5. The author wrote that Tan Tuo was appointed as a tongzhi (deputy prefect) of Guizhou in chapter 413, but in this chapter, she wrote his position as xianling (county magistrate). I don’t know if she forgot about it. 🤷🏻‍♀️
  6. Chinese idiom: inhospitable natural environment
  7. Chinese idiom: did not fall into despair
  8. title of respect toward superiors
  9. 2 hours
  10. min=citizen, fu=married woman. This term was used as a pronoun for a married woman but was not commonly used. Literally, it means this married woman.
  11. (dated) wooden block used by a magistrate to strike the table in calling for attention or order. It has the same function as the gravel used by the judge today. The author had mistakenly used the word jiangmutang (jiang=startle/shock, mu=wood/wooden, tang=room/hall) instead of jiangtangmu.
    The legendary Justice Bao with a jiangtangmu.
    Image Credit | The rightful owner via Sohu (惊堂木:古代封建权势的象征,用起来都有哪些说法?, Jan 02, 2020)
  12. to get sb into trouble
  13. Slight correction. At first, I wrote that the secret guard was unable to save the old brothel keeper's life when, in fact, the guard was able to save her.

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