Header Background Image

    Subscribe to this series’ Patreon to read ahead.

    The reorganization of the central administrative organization was immediately announced nationwide through express messengers.

    The proclamation documents on the reorganization brought by the express messengers were enormous in volume. The bulletin boards installed in each local government office were not enough to handle them, so one side of the wall surrounding the government office had to be filled with the proclamation documents.

    However, the ones with the biggest headaches were the local governors and clerks of each region.

    “It looks well over 10 sheets.”

    “Precisely 18 sheets.”

    “Oh my…”

    Looking at the proclamation documents on the government’s reorganization plan brought by the courier, the local officials and clerks sighed.

    “Let’s read it before posting it outside. As Hanseong has started to move, it’s certain that the sparks will spread to us soon.”

    “No way… Were those rumors true?”

    At the local official’s words, the clerks’ faces turned pale white.

    ***

    From last year, strange rumors had been circulating among local clerks.

    -The government is doing something strange!

    -They completely renovated the government offices of counties within a day’s distance from Hanseong!

    -They say they will change all government offices throughout Joseon like that someday!

    When those rumors first circulated, clerks working in regions far from where it happened scoffed.

    “Hmph! Do you think it’s easy to renovate the structure of a government office?”

    “We’re already dying from being swamped with work, and they want to create more work? Are they crazy?”

    “Hmph! Do you know how many local government offices there are in Joseon? Where are they spouting nonsense?”

    Most local clerks, except for those in counties near the region undergoing the experiment, denied the rumors with a sneer.

    The majority of local clerks were those who were worn out from practical work.

    They knew well how difficult it was to change the organizational structure. That’s why they scoffed.

    “Although it is immensely appreciated that His Majesty changed the clerks’ positions from unpaid to paid, he really doesn’t know much about the work on the front lines, even if he doesn’t know the details!”

    The clerks at local government offices evaluated it as a reckless act done by Sejong because he didn’t know much about local affairs.

    However, they didn’t know how meticulous Sejong was.

    Even in the history before Hyang’s intervention, Sejong was cautious and meticulous enough to select a place to pilot the reorganization of the tax system before starting it, and then decide on the nationwide implementation of the new system based on the results.

    Although his caution decreased slightly after Hyang’s intervention as his control over state affairs reached its peak, Sejong maintained his meticulousness.

    Therefore, the local clerks did not know that long before this announcement, Sejong had created a scaled-down model of the newly reorganized structure, checked whether it operated properly and how much efficiency improved, and made adjustments several times.

    Likewise, they scoffed without knowing that the reorganization of local government offices had also gone through the same process.

    ***

    However, as the proclamation documents arrived and they saw the governors’ faces becoming serious, the clerks realized that the rumors were true and that the aftermath would soon befall them.

    Therefore, the clerks’ faces turned pale white.

    It was no longer a situation to watch someone else’s house burn but a situation where they had to put out the fire in their own house.

    “Examine these proclamation documents carefully and check how they are connected to the positions you are in charge of. Perhaps some of you will have to move your place of work…”

    “Understood.”

    At the governor’s words, the clerks began reading the proclamation documents in turns. Then someone cursed.

    “Damn it…”

    “It’s really 18 sheets.”

    “…Shit!”

    The joke that followed the cursing made the atmosphere even more gloomy. Even while cursing, the clerks meticulously examined the proclamation documents.

    It was a matter of their livelihood.

    The proclamation documents that the clerks read until they were worn out were posted on the wall of the government office.

    “What proclamation documents all of a sudden?”

    “It’s a surprise, but why are there so many?”

    Seeing the enormous volume of proclamation documents posted on the wall, the people all grumbled but clung to the wall to know the contents of the proclamation documents.

    “Hey! Choi Seobang! Why don’t you read it as a representative!”

    “That’s why I told you to study a bit!”

    “Forget it! Read it!”

    In the end, someone who knew some letters and had a good voice stepped forward to read the proclamation documents on behalf of those who couldn’t read.

    “Let’s see… Ahem… This time, the government’s organizational structure has been changed…”

    As the volume of the proclamation documents was large, the person reciting them drank water and even takju in between while reading the documents.

    After the recitation was finished, people gathered in groups of three or five to exchange opinions.

    “It’s a story about the government in Hanseong, do we need to pay attention to it?”

    “You fool! The place you have to pay taxes to has changed! Until now, you had to pay to the government office, but they say to pay to a place called the National Tax Service!”

    “Oh? Is that so?”

    At first, people thought lightly of it as a story that happened in Hanseong, but upon realizing that it was deeply related to their lives, they started exchanging opinions with serious faces.

    It was the same for the rural scholars.

    “Officer Oh, what do you think?”

    The noble who visited Officer Oh’s office after seeing the proclamation documents asked Officer Oh.

    At the nobles’s question, Officer Oh stroked his beard and answered.

    “His Majesty seems to have considerable confidence.”

    “Confidence?”

    “If you look at the proclamation documents, didn’t he distribute a significant portion of royal authority to his subjects? This shows confidence that he has firmly grasped the government, doesn’t it?”

    At Officer Oh’s explanation, all the nobles nodded their heads.

    “Indeed…”

    Looking at the contents of the proclamation documents, Sejong transferred authority to the government—which would now be renamed the cabinet—except for a few essential powers such as the command of the military and the right to execute the budget.

    Officer Oh continued his explanation.

    “With this system, if done poorly, the king may be dragged along by his subjects. Even a mere villager and commoner like me knows this danger, so how could His Majesty not know?”

    “Ah…”

    At Officer Oh’s explanation, the nobles all nodded their heads.

    As the nobles gathered in the office nodded as if they understood, Officer Oh continued.

    “Those gathered here who are still young or have sons of age to take the state examination should pay some attention.”

    “Ah…”

    At Officer Oh’s words, the eyes of the nobles gathered in the office began to shine.

    The contents of the proclamation documents were not simply a change in the signboard of government ministries. As the government organization was reorganized, the demand for officials was also certain to increase tremendously.

    Even until now, the government had recruited a large number of new officials every year, but judging from the contents of the proclamation documents, even the number of people selected in that way would be insufficient.

    Entering government service was the glory of a family, so the eyes of the nobles began to sparkle.

    ***

    Of course, not everyone viewed the contents of the proclamation documents positively.

    In a small village near Gongju, Chungcheong Province, a father and son who had returned after finishing a day’s work were talking.

    “Father. Did you see the proclamation documents?”

    “I did.”

    “What do you think?”

    “I have no thoughts.”

    As the son’s eyes widened, the father answered with an indifferent face.

    “What’s the point of paying attention to the lofty words of nobles whose heads are full of ink? If it’s something that will go well like that, it will go well even if we don’t pay attention, and if it’s something that will go wrong, it’s the law that it won’t work no matter how much we struggle. For bottom-dwellers like us, the best way is to just live like that without any thoughts.”

    At his father’s words, the son’s mouth twitched as if he was full of dissatisfaction, but he didn’t talk back. If it was his father’s personality, a chamber pot would fly at him the moment he talked back.

    Instead, the son made a firm resolution inwardly.

    ‘They say they will soon select people to work on road construction, so that’s when I’ll leave this rural corner!’

    The son was reaffirming his thoughts of leaving his hometown and going to a bigger place.

    ***

    Not long after that, express messengers scattered nationwide again from Hanseong.

    Local officials who received the order delivered by the express messengers immediately summoned the clerks.

    “Gather skilled carpenters right now.”

    “Carpenters, you say?”

    “Yes. As expected, a royal command has arrived from Hanseong. We need to renovate this government office, and there are quite a few buildings that need to be newly constructed, so recruit them quickly.”

    “Yes, understood.”

    As it was something they had already expected to some extent when the previous proclamation documents arrived, the clerks moved swiftly.

    However, the number of carpenters skilled enough to build tiled-roof houses was far insufficient compared to the demand. As a result, a competition to host carpenters broke out throughout Joseon.

    It was an unexpected boom for carpenters who built houses.

    ***

    In the reclaimed land of the northeast region.

    “Hey, Jongseo!”

    “Yes, My lord.”

    Hwang Hui, who had called Kim Jong-seo, handed him the order sent by the express messenger and asked a question.

    “It’s an order from the government to reorganize the local administrative organization. Are the preparations finished?”

    At Hwang Hui’s question, Kim Jong-seo immediately answered.

    “We just need to attach the signboards.”

    “Is that so? Then let’s attach the signboards.”

    At Kim Jong-seo’s answer, Hwang Hui began writing the order with a gold pen in his hand.

    The officials who heard Hwang Hui and Kim Jong-seo’s conversation nearby lightly shook their heads.

    ‘Those two. Even though they bicker, their work skills are no joke.’

    ‘Is that why they are called His Excellencies and are candidates for Prime Minister?’

    ***

    Hwang Hui, who had obtained information that Sejong was selecting targets to experiment with the reorganized local administrative organization, immediately took action.

    Hwang Hui sent letters to the Prime Ministers and ministers in Hanseong to obtain the structural diagram of the new local administrative organization to be implemented, and immediately called Kim Jong-seo.

    “What do you think?”

    “Did His Majesty conceive this?”

    “Probably? Such thoughts could never come from the rigid minds of the Prime Ministers and fellow Excellencies that I know.”

    “Hmm…”

    Kim Jong-seo, who was examining the structural diagram, answered Hwang Hui.

    “Although it looks complicated on the surface as it’s split into small parts, if it operates properly, I think the work will go well.”

    “Right? Then the possibility of realization is high?”

    “It was conceived by His Majesty. Then even if the possibility of failure is high, won’t it still be implemented? Look at the ox-horn law.”

    “Hey!”

    Hwang Hui looked around and warned in a small voice.

    “Don’t mention that. You might lose your head if you’re not careful.”

    “Ah…”

    The ox-horn law was not only Sejong’s achievement but also a taboo for Sejong and the ministers.

    It was because senior ministers, including Ryu Jeong-hyeon, were purged as a result of the political struggle over the issue of nationwide implementation of the ox-horn law.

    After cautioning Kim Jong-seo, Hwang Hui tapped the desk with his finger and analyzed the situation.

    “Even if it’s not His Majesty’s idea, the possibility is quite high, right?”

    “That’s right. It’s divided quite efficiently.”

    “Hmm…”

    Hwang Hui, who had made various calculations again, turned to Kim Jong-seo.

    “What if we configure the local government offices in the northeast region that are currently being organized to fit this?”

    “…”

    At Hwang Hui’s question, Kim Jong-seo shut his mouth tightly and began to glare at the structural diagram.

    Kim Jong-seo, who had been silently staring at the paper until it was pierced, finally opened his mouth after a long time.

    “I think it would be fine. The possibility of realization is high, and as the northeast region also has the issue of Jurchen adaptation, there’s no harm in preparing in advance.”

    “Then reorganize the structure to fit this. You have three days.”

    “…Yes.”

    “Instead, I’ll move up your trip to Hanseong by three days. The return date remains the same. Then you can spend three more days in Hanseong, right?”

    “I’ll do my best!”

    ***

    In this way, the northeast region was put in a situation where they only needed to attach the signboards.

    Want to read ahead? Support Kirara on ⬇️

    🌟 Unlock a World of Exclusive Content: Join the Donation Drive Now! 🌟

    ⏰ Update: Due to popular demand, the deadline has been extended until the end of May! Hurry, Donation Drive 4.0 Ends in:

    00
    Days
    00
    Hours
    00
    Minutes
    00
    Seconds

    Dear BlossomTL readers, an incredible opportunity awaits you! From March 25th, 2024, until May 31st, 2024, you have the chance to unlock a treasure trove of advanced series on our secret site. Don't let this limited-time offer slip away!

    By participating in this donation drive, you'll gain exclusive VIP access to all current and upcoming series, free from any limitations, individual subscriptions, or pesky ads. Imagine having unlimited access to your favorite stories, whenever and wherever you want!

    🔑 Here's Your Key to Unlocking the VIP Experience:

    1. The donation drive ends on May 31st, 2024 - act fast, as time is running out!
    2. Your donation directly supports the continuous translation of the series you love.
    3. Once the drive concludes, all participants' accounts will be upgraded to VIP status.
    4. As a VIP member, you'll have unlimited access to all current and future series.
    5. Pledge a donation worth a 1-year subscription to become a lifetime VIP member!
    Exclusive Content

    Unlock access to all current and upcoming series

    Ad-Free Experience

    Enjoy your favorite stories without interruptions

    Lifetime Access

    Become a lifetime VIP member with a one-off donation!

    🌱 Help BlossomTL Grow:

    Your donation plays a crucial role in the growth and improvement of our platform. The funds raised will be used to acquire new series, maintain the site, and invest in upgrades to enhance your reading experience. Together, we can create a thriving community of passionate readers!

    Stay tuned for more updates about the donation drive on our Discord server. If you have any questions or want to learn more, feel free to reach out to Kirara on Discord or via email at translationblossom@gmail.com.

    Seize this rare chance to become a VIP member and unlock a world of endless reading possibilities! Donate Now and secure your lifetime access before it's gone forever!