Reborn After Widowhood

Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 169

Chapter 169


He Qingxian’s first proposal was to kill all the vassal princes and corrupt officials who exploited the common people.

But this was easier said than done, and Emperor Yuanyou rejected it in his mind without even having to think about it.

He Qingxian’s second suggestion was to let imperial clansmen who were previously completely exempt from taxes set an exemption amount and pay taxes to the rest, and to let officials and gentry who previously had a large exemption to reduce the amount and pay more taxes.

The second one sounded easier than the first one, but if it was taken out alone, it would still arouse strong opposition from vassal princes, officials and gentry.

Chen Tingjian shook his head: “Taking someone’s money is like killing their parents. You, He Qingxian, are a clean-handed person and don’t have much land at home. Of course you are saying this with great righteousness. Don’t mention far away, just ask Cabinet Elder Lu and the others. Are they willing to give up their previous tax exemptions and pay more taxes as you say?”

He Qingxian suddenly looked at the three elders behind him.

When Cabinet Elder Lu was named, his forehead immediately broke out in cold sweat. He wiped his face with his sleeve and said ashamedly, “This minister doesn’t have much land in the family. This minister doesn’t mind paying taxes according to Cabinet Elder He’s method. But the exemption of land tax for officials and gentry has lasted for more than a thousand years. Many students have studied hard, not only to serve the court, but also to bring honor to their ancestors and benefit their relatives. Especially during the reign of Emperor Shizong, the tax exemption for officials and gentry was included in the law. How can we convince people if we suddenly change it?”

Emperor Shizong was the imperial grandfather of Hua Yang and Emperor Yuanyou, the old ancestor who was scolded by He Qingxian before his death.

When it came to Emperor Shizong, He Qingxian had a lot to say. If he hadn’t held back, he would have talked for three days and three nights without getting tired: “You mentioned Emperor Shizong too. During Emperor Shizong’s reign, treacherous ministers were in power. What else did he manage besides cultivating immortality? The government was handed over to the two corrupt officials of the Yan family’s father and son. What good national policies could such a cabinet help Emperor Shizong formulate? Laws, you still mention the laws. Then according to the laws of the the Founding Emperor’s dynasty, the Yan family’s father and son, and the corrupt officials in the world should have been beheaded long ago. How could they be allowed to bully the people to the point where they are today?”

Cabinet Elder Lu: …

Empress Dowager Qi: “Cabinet Elder He, please do not be disrespectful to Emperor Shizong.”

A drop of sweat quietly slid down Emperor Yuanyou’s forehead.

Behind the door curtain of the side room, Hua Yang looked at He Qingxian’s slender figure standing tall like a pine tree, and she seemed to have seen the scene of this man cursing her imperial grandfather in the past.

After Cabinet Elder Lu was defeated, Cabinet Elder Liu and Cabinet Elder Shen lowered their heads even lower.

He Qingxian glanced at the two people in turn, stared at Chen Tingjian coldly for a while, and then turned to Empress Dowager Qi and Emperor Yuanyou again: “Niangniang, Your Majesty, this minister know that if you want to implement the tax reform this minister mentioned, you must overcome numerous difficulties. But our dynasty has lasted for more than two hundred years, and the vassal princes and officials have been corrupted little by little since the prosperity of Taizu and Chengzu, and they are about to rot to the core. If Your Majesty only wants to maintain the prosperity of you own dynasty, then Cabinet Elder Chen’s “One Whip Law” is indeed feasible, but if Your Majesty wants to pass on the ancestral foundation for another two hundred years or even longer, then you must follow this minister’s method and make major changes.”

Emperor Yuanyou was silent for a long time, then looked at Chen Tingjian: “What do you think, Sir?”

Chen Tingjian frowned and felt heavy-hearted: “What Cabinet Elder He said makes sense, but it is too difficult to implement. This minister still insists on the One Whip Law.”

He Qingxian spat directly at him: “You wily old fox, really just corpse meal!”

Chen Tingjian took two steps away and looked at him coldly, but said nothing. He only asked Empress Dowager Qi and Emperor Yuanyou to make the decision.

This matter was of great importance and could not be decided in a short time. Emperor Yuanyou asked the five cabinet elders to step down first while he and the Empress Dowager carefully considered the matter.

When the cabinet elders left, they left behind two memorials, one was Chen Tingjian’s “One Whip Law” and the other was He Qingxian’s “Imperial clansmen, officials and gentry pay taxes together.”

Hua Yang walked out with weak steps.

He Qingxian was not scary, but the passionate momentum in his speech made Hua Yang feel that she was the corrupt imperial clansmen and official he mentioned, or her imperial grandfather. In short, she was the object of his scolding.

The three people looked at each other and had the same feeling.

After a moment of silence, Emperor Yuanyou asked, “What do you think, Mother Empress?”

Empress Dowager Qi did not even look at He Qingxian’s memorial and said, “I agree with Cabinet Elder Chen. It’s better to be cautious.”

Even the late emperor did not dare to take such risks, let alone them, mother and son. If they listened to He Qingxian, if there was chaos in the world and the dynasty collapsed, she and her son would become the empress dowager and the emperor of a fallen country. They could not bear such eternal infamy.

Emperor Yuanyou lowered his eyes and looked at his sister again.

Empress Dowager Qi’s eyes suddenly became sharp. She was willing to indulge her daughter, but if her daughter crossed the line, she would have to continue to be a strict mother.

Hua Yang didn’t seem to notice her mother’s gaze. She wiped her forehead with a handkerchief and said weakly, “For such an important matter, you and Mother Empress should make the decision. I don’t understand anything and I don’t want to get involved anymore.”

After saying that, Hua Yang took her leave first.

Empress Dowager Qi watched her daughter leave before admonishing her son: “I know you two are close to your sister, but you must not ask your sister about state affairs in the future.”

Emperor Yuanyou looked respectful, but there was a hint of sarcasm in his eyes.

If the harem is not allowed to interfere in politics, what is Mother Empress doing now?

During the day, the three of them were busy with their own things, and then they got together for dinner in the evening.

Hua Yang: “Tomorrow is a day off. Prince Consort will probably come to the palace to pay his respects. Then I will go back with him.”

Emperor Yuanyou: “You only live here for just how many days?”

Hua Yang: “I can still be called sensible if I leave the palace by myself, but if I didn’t leave, Mother Empress will be annoyed with me.”

Empress Dowager Qi: …

Emperor Yuanyou pursed his lips.

Since his sister was going to leave the palace the next day, Emperor Yuanyou invited her to the imperial study to talk and play chess after dinner.

Empress Dowager Qi had no reason to stop her and simply gave her daughter a subtle look.

Hua Yang understood that her mother empress didn’t want her to discuss the tax reform that had happened that morning.

Emperor Yuanyou insisted on listening to his sister’s opinion and handed both memorials to her.

Hua Yang smiled and said, “You are obviously moved by what Cabinet Elder He said. Otherwise, you should just follow Mother Empress’ example and choose Cabinet Elder Chen’s One Whip Law.”

Emperor Yuanyou said sternly, “Don’t you think what Cabinet Elder He said makes more sense?”

He was the emperor, why should he live in such poverty and had to extort money from the common people to strengthen national defense and provide disaster relief, while those vassal princes, officials and gentry were all wearing gold and silver?

Hua Yang picked up He Qingxian’s memorial.

There was not a single word of nonsense in the whole memorial. It first outlined the many crises facing the collapsing empire, then proposed two new policies. One was that clansmen, officials and gentry should pay taxes together, and the other was to take advantage of the national land measurement to implement the tax distribution according to the land area, abolish the previous poll tax, and levy taxes entirely according to the land owned. There were some details in it. In summary, the lower-middle-class and poor people almost did not have to pay taxes, the upper-middle-class people’s taxes were almost unchanged, and the taxes of the richer landlords and large landlords were greatly increased.

The landlords in the world were mostly powerful people, officials, gentry, and relatives of vassal princes and imperial clansmen.

In other words, He Qingxian took out two big swords, and every sword was used to snatch money from imperial clansmen, officials, gentry, and powerful people.

Her father-in-law’s One Whip Law was also intended to snatch money from these people, but compared to He Qingxian’s big sword, the one used by her father-in-law was more like a farmer’s rake. He would rake out the edges and corners, which would make these big landlords uncomfortable. At most, they would have some superficial injuries, but would not cause any serious damage to their bones.

By reducing the privileges of the imperial clansmen, officials and gentry, the common people would feel at ease, and the national treasury would be filled.

If didn’t want to harm the imperial clansmen, officials and gentry, then the court could only target the common people to fill the treasury.

The advantages and disadvantages of the two paths were clear, it just depended on whether the ruler dare to take them.

Hua Yang thought about her previous life.

Her father-in-law was just taking out the rake, but after his death he was still framed and cursed by all the officials and gentry in the world, and his entire family end up in exile.

This time He Qingxian raised two big swords, then both he and her brother would have to take greater risks.

Hua Yang looked at her brother and said bluntly, “This is your country. Which path you want to take can only be decided by you. I only know that the most difficult path, looking all over the world, only Cabinet Elder He dares to propose it. There may be others like Cabinet Elder He, but he is the only one who can stand in the cabinet and give advice in person. Once Cabinet Elder He is gone, even if you want to use such a person in the future, you will have nowhere to find him. As for your descendants, if they can a helper like of Cabinet Elder He or Cabinet Elder Chen, it is all thanks to the blessing of their ancestors.”

Emperor Yuanyou’s heartbeat was rapid, his eyes were as bright as stars: “Sister, what you mean is…”

Hua Yang shook her head, not letting her brother speak out, and asked: “Do you dare to use Cabinet Elder He’s method? Think it over before answering.”

Emperor Yuanyou: “I dare!”

The newborn calf is not afraid of tigers. Hua Yang asked again: “If one day in the future you back down and those opposing courtiers force you to punish the cabinet, will you support them without hesitation?”

Emperor Yuanyou: “I will!”

Hua Yang’s eyes felt sore.

The young man in the storybook was sincere in his feelings when he was in love, and his vows were from the heart. But people’s hearts were fickle, and the young man could go back on his word, and in the end, the only ones who suffer were those who have been let down by him.

This was especially true for the young emperor.

Experiencing the past life, Hua Yang already had a rough guess. But she was destined not to have an accurate answer as to what her brother was thinking when he really wanted to punish her father-in-law.

In this life, the choice lies in the hands of both her brother and the cabinet.

Hua Yang: “A new policy requires the unity of the monarch and his subjects. If you dare, you still have to ask the cabinet if they dare.”

Ask He Qingxian if he dares to be hated by all the imperial clansmen, officials and gentry in the world. While he was still alive, he may die at any time. Even after his death, his coffin might be opened and his corpse be whipped at any time.

Also ask her father-in-law if he dares to walk a similar path again. He worked hard when he was alive, but after his death he was punished by his most beloved disciple, bringing disaster to the entire family.


The next day, Chen Jingzong came to the palace early.

Hua Yang said goodbye to her mother and brother with a smile, left the palace on a sedan chair, and then got on the carriage of Grand Princess Mansion.

Chen Jingzong came in later, sat down, and before he had time to make any jokes, the grand princess actually took the initiative to sit on his lap, with her face against his chest and her hands around his shoulders.

Chen Jingzong lowered his head and saw that she had long eyelashes drooping, her cheeks were pale, and she seemed to be a little depressed for no reason.

“Haven’t you stay there long enough?” Chen Jingzong asked deliberately.

Hua Yang closed her eyes and said, “Next year the imperial court will make some big moves. Father and Cabinet Elder He each have new policy suggestions. No matter whose suggestion we listen to, both of them will be hated by officials and gentry all over the world.”

It goes without saying that she should listen to her father-in-law, but she should also listen to He Qingxian, as He Qingxian was also transferred to the capital by her father-in-law.

And the reason why her father-in-law used He Qingxian was also because of her.

If her father-in-law used the One Whip Method, and considering what Hua Yang had done before, she felt that even if the opposition pursued her father-in-law after his death, her brother would not have to exile three generations of the Chen family.

But if He Qingxian’s two big swords were used, the resentment would increase a million times, and the counterattack would also suck blood and eat bone.

How could Hua Yang not be afraid. She was afraid that the new policy would fail, the two cabinet elders would be destroyed, and her brother, this emperor, would become disgraced and suppressed by the vassal princes, imperial relatives, officials and gentry all his life.

How strange! Even though she was so scared, she still acted on impulse and secretly pushed her brother!

She also lamented that her brother was young so he dared to take on that extremely difficult path. She had lived two lives, so wasn’t she also bewitched by He Qingxian’s passion?

Perhaps there was also a trace of hatred. In the previous life, her father-in-law had to use a rake but he still didn’t have a good ending. If the ending was already doomed, then why not take bigger actions in this life, at least make those vassal princes and officials bleed and wounded!

Chen Jingzong could feel grand princess’s trembling gradually becoming uncontrollable.

He hugged her shoulders tightly: “These two old men are more stubborn than each other. They will not change what they want to do, no matter how much others resent and hate them. They are not afraid, so what are you afraid of?”

Hua Yang couldn’t tell whether she was afraid or nervous, and replied casually: “Looking at the reformers in the previous dynasties, none of them had a good ending.”

Chen Jingzong said calmly: “Some things must be changed, and someone must do it. Cabinet Elder He understand this, and the old man also understand this. They want to be at peace with their conscience and be worthy of the country.”

Hua Yang raised her head, looked at him and said, “If something happens to Father, it may implicate the entire Chen family, including you.”

Chen Jingzong smiled: “To be able to marry you, my life is already worth it. Let the old man do whatever he wants. My family has done nothing wrong. At most, we can go home and farm. There should be a way to make a living.”

Hua Yang wanted to say more, but Chen Jingzong touched her face and said, “Don’t be afraid. There are 300 young and strong guards in Grand Princess Mansion. Even if I am gone, there are still others to keep you company.”

Hua Yang: …

Chen Jingzong: “Of course, as long as I am alive, don’t even think about it.”

Hua Yang twisted his arm.

Chen Jingzong smiled instead of feeling pain, hugged her with both hands, and kissed her forehead again: “Don’t underestimate these two old men. One is famous for his integrity, and the other is feared by the entire officialdom. The border has been stable in recent years, and it is a good time for them to make drastic changes.”

Hua Yang thought of her father-in-law’s tyranny and autocracy when he implemented the examination law, and thought of He Qingxian’s fearlessness when he talked about her imperial grandfather.

Which one is the soft persimmon?

Qianqing Palace.

After his sister left, Emperor Yuanyou read in the imperial study for the whole morning. Empress Dowager Qi was very pleased to see that her son was so diligent even on his day off.

After lunch, Emperor Yuanyou lay in the dragon bed for half an hour. When changing clothes, Emperor Yuanyou ordered: “Call Cabinet Elder Chen and Cabinet Elder He to the palace.”

The author has something to say:

Emperor Yuanyou: Come on, let’s form an iron triangle!

Cabinet Elder He: You only need me.

Cabinet Elder Chen: …. Okay, I’ll go home and farm.

Emperor Yuanyou: No, Sir He is better at farming!

Cabinet Elder He: ….

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