Bone Painting Coroner is a Webnovel completed by 厘多乌, Li Duo Wu.
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Chapter 643 – Same School, Different Path
After Lin Shu left the Prince Yi Estate, Jing Yi took a sip of his tea. What a refreshing cup of tea this was!
Dou Quan also stepped forward to ask, “Your Highness, this subordinate doesn’t understand. Now that the majority of the officials have been swayed to your side, why would you want to rope in someone who had just entered the Imperial Court?”
You don’t understand me! Jing Yi explained, “It’s precisely because he is inexperienced and has a clean background. Only someone like this can be used for my purposes.”
“But is Your Highness not worried that he would have a change of heart? He is new and his inclinations are still undetermined. Your subordinate is worried…”
“Dou Quan.” Jing Yi interrupted, “If you wanted to sway someone, you must understand what that person desires the most. If you could give him his heart’s desire, he naturally would work for you. This Lin Shu wants the position of zhuangyuan, so this prince would have Hanlin Academy pet.i.tion His Majesty to recommend him.
“He would get what he wants, and this prince would be able to control him. The Hanlin Academy is responsible for composing records and the country’s history; they control the authentic chronicles, the daily records, and draft the laws. In the future, this prince still needs him to help add a few more strokes in the daily records.” 
Dou Quan finally understood. He bowed as he spoke, “Your Highness is most conscientious.”
Jing Yi smirked.
When Lin Shu returned to the inn, he had still not fully recovered from his baffing encounter.
In the evening, when everyone was having dinner at the ground floor of the inn, Shang Zhou noticed that Lin Shu’s chopsticks were about to fall onto the ground and he looked as if he had lost his soul. He asked softly, “Lin Shu, what’s wrong with you?”
Lin Shu didn’t seem to hear him.
“Ah?” He suddenly lifted his head and his eyes refocused.
“What on earth is wrong with you? You look so preoccupied.”
He shook his head. “Nothing’s wrong.” He then took up his chopsticks and casually picked up a piece of meat.
Lin Shu clearly looked like he had something on his mind. Shang Zhuo leaned forward and continued asking, “Where did you go just now? You have been like this ever since you came back.”
“I just went out for a walk.”
“You’re clearly lying. Although you can trick other people into thinking nothing’s wrong, you can’t fool me. Tell me, what’s wrong?”
“I already said that nothing’s wrong. Why are you as annoying as Teacher?” He flung his bowl and chopsticks down, then turned around to go back upstairs.
That guy is even throwing a tantrum! Shang Zhuo was bewildered.
A few scholars that were nearby happened to overhear their conversation. One of them held his bowl of rice as he leaned over. “Shang Zhuo, just now I saw someone come look for Lin Shu. He got into a carriage and I don’t know where he went.”
“Who was looking for him?”
“If I didn’t hear wrongly, it was someone from Prince Yi’s household.”
“Prince Yi’s household?” Shang Zhuo was shocked.
That person started to gossip. “I say, do you think Prince Yi…”
Before he could finish speaking, Shang Zhuo interrupted him, “The walls have ears. Be mindful of what you say.”
“Oh.” That person quickly stoppered his own mouth and smiled awkwardly.
Shang Zhuo took a glance towards their rooms, then put down his cutlery and headed upstairs. He pushed open Lin Shu’s door to enter, then closed the doors securely.
Lin Shu was reclining on his bed, lost in thought. He didn’t realise that someone had entered his room until a figure crossed his line of sight. Only then did he sit up and frown, “Why didn’t you make any noise when you come in?”
“I had already been inside for a long while.”
“Huh? Oh! Did you find something to do?”
Shang Zhuo dragged him up from the bed and questioned him sternly, “Tell me, did you go to Prince Yi’s Estate and meet Prince Yi?”
“You just wanted to ask about this?” He wrenched free of Shang Zhuo’s grip. “What business is it of yours who I meet?”
“What did Prince Yi talk to you about?”
“Is that any of your business?”
“Lin Shu.” Shang Zhuo called out to him in disappointment, “Have you already forgotten what Teacher briefed us about before we came to the capital? After we are inducted as officials, we are not to curry favor and connections. We should be conscientious in performing our duties as we are supposed to. The moment we step into the murky waters of faction politics, we would not be able to extricate ourselves and eventually meet with a tragic end.”
“Enough, it’s not as horrifying as you make it sound.” He tutted impatiently. “You don’t have to keep repeating Teacher’s words to me either.”
“I just wanted to remind you.”
“I don’t need your reminder.” Lin Shu flung his sleeves aside. “I won’t stop you if you want to be an obedient little official, but you can’t obstruct me if I want to climb up the ranks to gain power and wealth either. Although we are cla.s.smates from the same school, there are some things where we are bound to take a different path. You can’t decide that my choices are wrong just because we disagree.”
Same school, different path! These four words pierced through his heart painfully. Shang Zhuo’s personality tended to be calm and aloof, but hearing these words now truly left him at a loss for words.
After a long moment, he took a few steps backwards. “Alright, I will not stop you if this is what you wish to do. However, you should also have some plans in place for what you would do after this. Don’t wait till you have been forced into a corner before you think of a backup plan.”
“Don’t worry, you’re not the only smart person in this world. I know what I should do. After all, you are still my cla.s.smate; when I achieve success in the future, I won’t forget you either.”
Haha! Shang Zhuo laughed. “No need. As the saying goes, those who walk different paths cannot plan together. Since you’ve already chosen Prince Yi, I can’t say anything else either. I’ve already said all there is to say anyways. I wish you good luck on your own.” As he finished speaking, he pushed open the door and left.
Lin Shu’s brows pinched together and he thumped on the table with a fist.
Lord Yan, the Imperial Secretary of Hanlin Academy, had received the secret message from Prince Yi. The message clearly stated that he wished for Hanlin Academy to recommend Lin Shu as Zhuangyuan. With that, Lord Yan didn’t dare to do anything but obey, so he immediately sought an audience with the Qizhen Emperor.
Now that Prince Yi’s wedding was over, the Emperor had also intended to finally decide on the candidate for zhuangyuan. At this time, Lord Yan arrived and got straight to the point. “Your Majesty, after discussions within Hanlin Academy, we all agreed that Lin Shu’s scholarship is excellent, as is his wisdom and ability; he would be a better choice than Shang Zhuo.”
Qizhen Emperor looked at the name written on the booklet by his hand and nodded, “Shang Zhuo’s essay was rigorous and cautious, while Lin Shu’s essay was very detailed instead. The duty of the Hanlin Academy is to compile records and current affairs; it is a role that concerns Great Lin’s secrets and candidates must be carefully considered. The Hanlin Academy has recommended Lin Shu and We also agree that he is a good choice, after having ruminated over the decision for several days. The announcement for the Examination rankings have been delayed for a long time, so… it shall be so.”
Lin Shu has been awarded the position of zhuangyuan!
Lord Yan bowed, “Yes, Your Majesty.”
The next day.
The seal was placed on the Imperial edict and sent to the inn. Witnessed by a crowd and accompanied by the celebratory cacophony of firecrackers and drums, Lin Shu was declared zhuangyuan, and Shang Zhuo the bangyan.
The former would enter Hanlin Academy as Historian, while the latter would be a Compiler. 
Everyone started giving their congratulations and the scholars that had lingered in the inn also started to curry favor with them, every sentence full of flattery. Lin Shu was delighted and yelled out that he would treat everybody to wine.
The crowd was full of joy, but Shang Zhuo brooded by one side, steeped in worry. He wasn’t upset because he came in second, but was instead worried that Lin Shu had entered Prince Yi’s faction and would not be able to turn back.
As he landed on this thought, he could only sigh again. Truly, he couldn’t ask for his schoolmate to also walk the same path.
 I can’t find a direct reference, but I gather that these historical records are typically sealed until the end of the current emperor’s reign, and unsealed after his death (i think) to use as reference for subsequent Emperors. idk how much of it is true history and how much of this is cdrama/kdrama canon. So if someone changes what is recorded, they literally change history. which is written by the victors anyway.
 Guys i’m pulling these t.i.tles out of thin air. If you know the official TLs let me know.
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