Chapter 31 The Household Servant Selection Contest (Part 2)
“What business do you have with me?” Assistant Steward Pang found Lin Wanrong's behavior satisfactory, but he wasn't a fool.
He knew that this sudden bootlicker must have an ulterior motive.
Lin Wanrong gave Assistant Steward Pang a thumbs up, “Speaking with an intelligent person like you is such a relief.” He glanced around and whispered, “To be honest with you, Assistant Steward Pang, I was supposed to attend the interview today, but unfortunately, I was held up by some urgent matters at home.
Now, I'm late.
I was hoping you could make an exception and let me in.”
Assistant Steward Pang took on an official tone, “How could you be so careless with your time? Time is gold, and gold can't buy time.
Do you know how many people want to work as servants in our household? Do you know how many people want this opportunity to be in the initial selection?”
Assistant Steward Pang repeatedly asked, “Do you know?” Lin Wanrong was furious but had to act subservient for now.
He nodded vehemently, “You're absolutely right, Steward.
I hope to have more chances to learn from you and listen to your teachings, so I can grow stronger and healthier.”
After saying this, he felt nauseous, cursing Assistant Steward Pang and his ancestors in his mind.
Assistant Steward Pang saw that Lin Wanrong could be taught and was excellent at flattery, so he considered him a promising candidate.
For the assistant steward, this request was an easy favor to grant.
However, officials tend to exaggerate minor matters and make them sound significant.
Assistant Steward Pang was no exception.
He frowned deliberately and said, “Well, I can try to give you some guidance, but it depends on your luck.
Although I am part of the management, this recruitment is handled by the subordinates.
There are too many people involved, and it's not easy for me to interfere—”
Before he could finish, Lin Wanrong flashed another tael of silver before him.
Assistant Steward Pang's eyes lit up, and his smile grew wider.
Suppressing the urge to punch this scoundrel, Lin Wanrong said with a fake smile, “I hope you can help me, Assistant Steward Pang.”
I'll give it a try.
Maybe they'll still do me this small favor.
Wait here for a moment.” Assistant Steward Pang cleverly grabbed the silver and tucked it into his sleeve, then disappeared into the examination room.
Lin Wanrong spat on the ground as he watched Assistant Steward Pang's retreating figure.
What the hell was going on? To become a servant at the Xiao family, he had to beg them to take him in.
The low-ranking servants in the Xiao family earned less than two taels of silver a month, and he had already spent two taels on bribes.
Wasn't he just asking for trouble by losing money and serving others?
Feeling pathetic, Lin Wanrong couldn't help but despise himself.
After getting in, he vowed to make back his investment tenfold or even a hundredfold.
He was also deeply resentful of old man Wei, who had set him up in this situation.
With silver paving the way, everything went smoothly.
Assistant Steward Pang emerged after a short while, smiling, “Alright, they've agreed to let you in, thanks to my little influence.
However, whether you succeed or not is entirely up to you.
Given the current situation, this is all I can do.”
The current situation? Lin Wanrong, being the intelligent person that he was, understood the meaning behind Assistant Steward Pang's words.
A mere two taels of silver could only buy him an interview opportunity.
If he had spent two hundred taels, perhaps Assistant Steward Pang would have directly handed him the interview questions.
Annoyed by Assistant Steward Pang's greed, Lin Wanrong managed to hide his anger and responded respectfully, “I'm grateful for your support and care, Assistant Steward.”
Assistant Steward Pang nodded officiously, “You're clever, and I have high hopes for you.
Don't disappoint me.”
“Of course, of course,” Lin Wanrong said with a forced smile.
“Oh, by the way, what's your name?” Assistant Steward Pang asked.
“I'm Lin San,” Lin Wanrong replied.
“Lin San?” Assistant Steward Pang's face changed instantly, “You're Lin San?”
“Yes,” Lin Wanrong stared in surprise.
Was he famous? This guy seemed to recognize him.
Assistant Steward Pang's expression changed immediately.
He quickly pulled out the two taels of silver he had hidden in his sleeve earlier and handed them back to Lin Wanrong, saying awkwardly, “Heh, um, Young Master Lin, I'm sorry.
I didn't know it was you who honored us with your presence.
Please forgive my ignorance.
Please, go in.”
Lin Wanrong was now the one puzzled.
What was going on with this guy? Why had he suddenly become so polite? It seemed like he recognized Lin Wanrong.
Could it be—
A lightbulb went off in Lin Wanrong's head.
That must be it – Old Wei must have given instructions before leaving.
Rumor had it that Old Wei was a high-ranking servant in the Xiao family, equivalent to a white-collar worker.
The fact that he lived by Xuanwu Lake instead of the Xiao residence showed that he had significant influence in the family.
It would be a piece of cake for him to handle such a matter.
Lin Wanrong, smugly attributing the credit to the now-absent Old Wei, was annoyed at himself for having wasted his breath flattering the assistant steward.
Seeing Pang's obsequious expression, which resembled his own demeanor earlier, Lin realized that their situations had completely reversed.
Not wanting to offend someone who was now friendly to him, and feeling a bit embarrassed himself, Lin Wanrong didn't exchange more words with Assistant Steward Pang.
He took the silver and went in.
Upon entering, he first came to a registration desk where a servant sat, asking irritably, “Name—”
“Lin San,” Lin Wanrong replied.
“You're Lin San?” The servant glanced at him, stood up, and his expression softened.
He respectfully said, “Young Master Lin, please have a seat.”
It seemed that Old Wei had done his job well, as everyone had been informed.
Lin Wanrong's opinion of Old Wei improved slightly, and he sat down confidently.
Seeing Lin's attitude, the servant in charge of registration became even more respectful.
He stood there, carefully recording Lin's name on a slip of paper, and handed it to him with both hands, “Young Master Lin, please proceed inside.”
Lin Wanrong nodded, thinking that Old Wei, as a high-ranking employee of the Xiao family, had arranged everything meticulously.
Inside the next room, several applicants for servant positions were holding brushes, staring at the blank papers in front of them, looking frustrated and perplexed.
Lin Wanrong glanced at the crooked and awkward characters on their papers, which looked like squirming worms.
“Recite the Three Character Classic, ok? Write a few lines from memory.” One of them handed Lin Wanrong a brush, glanced at his nameplate without the respect shown by others earlier, and impatiently told Lin to write.
“Write the Three Character Classic from memory?” Lin Wanrong inhaled sharply, finally understanding why the others looked so distressed.
These people had come to apply for servant positions and were likely from impoverished backgrounds, with few able to read and write.
They might be skilled in chopping wood in the mountains, but asking them to write with a brush was like trying to make a sow climb a ladder.
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