Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 47
There were two lamps left in the room, and the light in Babu‘s bed was dim and soft.
After not seeing each other for half a month, Hua Yang noticed that Chen Jingzong’s arms seemed to be thicker than before.
She couldn’t help but touch it: “Have you been practicing every day lately?”
Chen Jingzong: “Well, those soldiers are almost useless, I have to lead by example. Why, you don’t like it?”
Even if Hua Yang like it, she would not admit it. She pushed him and said, “There is an envelope in the drawer on the left side of the dressing table. Open it and take a look.”
Chen Jingzong looked at her and smiled: “Are you thinking of me so much that you wrote a letter to express your lovesickness?”
Hua Yang glared at him fiercely.
Chen Jingzong kissed her neck again before getting out of bed to get the letter.
With such a long and strong body, it was okay to be hugged in the bed, but Hua Yang couldn’t look at it openly, so she turned around and lay with her back to him.
Chen Jingzong took out the envelope, got into bed, took her back into his arms with one hand while holding the envelope with the other, then bit open the seal with his teeth.
Looking inside, it turned out to be a stack of banknotes.
He looked at Hua Yang: “You’ve already move that Jade Guanyin?”
Hua Yang: “Yes, Wu Run made a special trip to Yueyang to find rich merchants there to sell it. The total is twenty thousand taels. If not for the time constrain, he should be able to sell for more.”
Chen Jingzong frowned when he heard this.
The Chen family didn’t have much background, relying entirely on the old man to become distinguished. Despite this, the family’s style remained simple. Chen Jingzong had lived for many years and only after marrying Hua Yang did he start seeing jewelry and precious silk and satin on regular basis. For example, the shu brocade bedding she liked to use was so exquisite that he was unqualified to sleep on it without bathing.
Having seen the two gifts given to her by Prince Xiang before, Chen Jingzong could not appreciate the specific value. He only guessed that they were good things and could be sold for a thousand taels of silver.
Who would have thought that between the two pieces, the Jade Guanyin that Hua Yang didn’t even like could be sold for twenty thousand taels!
Wouldn’t the original painting by Huizong of the previous dynasty more expensive?
The fact that Prince Xiang was willing to give tens of thousands of taels of silver to Hua Yang only showed that the interests he wanted to protect could be hundreds of thousands, millions or even tens of millions of taels!
He was silent for too long. Hua Yang looked up and saw his face clearly. Hua Yang could also guess what he was thinking and said with a bit of sarcasm: “Even officials knows how to use their power to prey on people, let alone those vassal princes. A vassal prince of one generation can amass a strong net worth. After a few generations and more than a dozen generations, the wealth can be imagined. If you choose a vassal prince at random, the things in their mansion’s treasury may exceed the national treasury.”
When her imperial grandfather was in power, the treasury was not only empty, but was in deficit every year. Fortunately, father emperor was still good at managing people, and the treasury was able to leave some surplus over the years, but it was still tight.
“Okay, let’s not mention that. How much money do you need for the military station?” Hua Yang patted his chest gently.
The vassal prince was a problem left by Grandpa Taizu. All the emperors had a headache, but they had no choice but to support them. Even the ancestors couldn’t do anything, so she and Chen Jingzong should not worry about it.
Chen Jingzong held her hand, looked at the banknotes again, and said, “Give me one thousand taels. It can solve the current problem of the military stations for the time being. When I get back all the military fields that have been swallowed by those people, I can rely on the military fields along with the military salary allocated by the court to operate the military station normally.”
Xiang Baoshan was right to say that simply relying on private fund to benefit the public was not a long-term solution.
Hua Yang: “There are more than five thousand soldiers, wouldn’t one thousand taels be too little?”
Chen Jingzong: “You and I have only been married for more than a year. As the Prince Consort, my annual salary is exactly one thousand taels. If I take more, those people will suspect that you are subsidizing me. Wouldn’t the previous drama become useless?”
Hua Yang blinked and joked: “Aren’t you just reminding me in a roundabout way that you still have a thousand taels with me, right?”
Chen Jingzong threw away the envelope, turned around and pressed her under him: “Even you are mine, how can I care about those worldly possessions.”
Hua Yang said: “Who is yours! Just like a wife who makes a mistake will be divorced by her husband, if you want to be my prince consort for a long time, you need to perform well.”
Chen Jingzong: “What is considered a perform well? Let you transcend three times like I did just now…”
Hua Yang covered his mouth!
The next day, it was almost noon when Hua Yang woke up.
Her body was so sore that kicking a thousand shuttlecocks in a row was nothing compare to this.
Ringing the bell, unexpectedly the person who walk in turned out to be Chen Jingzong.
She was surprised: “You didn’t go to the military station?”
Chen Jingzong: “I was knocked unconscious last night. I can’t say it’s a serious injury without taking three days off.”
Hua Yang was speechless!
At this time, the news that the Prince Consort successfully returned to Ningyuan and did not leave all morning had spread to the ears of everyone who cared about this matter.
At the Prefect’s yamen, Yu Xiu asked her husband: “Do I still need to go there today?”
Chen Bozong: “No, they should have reconciled. If you’re really worried, wait until Fourth Brother went to the military station again, and you can go over and have a look.”
Yu Xiu nodded.
In Prince Xiang Mansion, Prince Xiang thought over Chen Jingzong’s performance last night from beginning to end, and suddenly sneered.
Falling out of favor, getting injured, and then regaining favor again, this method was very familiar to him. How many beauties in the backyard had use this! Although Chen Jingzong did not want to lend the soldiers for him to enslave, he still liked the beautiful princess. So when he heard that the princess might have taken fancy to an actor, he immediately pretended to be ill and took the opportunity to return to Ningyuan, and then relied on his handsome face and majestic body to please the princess. Men and women were all the same. When your body was comfortable, it was easy to say anything!
That damn fourth son of the Chen family! He lost tens of thousands of taels of silver over here, but all the benefits were taken by Chen Jingzong. He not only gained face in the military station but also obtained advantages with the princess!
After feeling resentful, Prince Xiang walked to the mirror, looked at his plump figure and face that could not be boasted for being handsome, and sighed with regret.
If only he was a handsome man, what about that Chen Jingzong?
At the Lingzhou military station, Xiang Baoshan and others had been waiting for news early in the morning. When Ningyuan sent someone over, saying that prince consort was going to recuperate from his injuries for three days, Xiang Baoshan, Wang Feihu, Lin Yan and Lu Da, those four officials who were usually not from the same faction, unexpectedly breathed a sigh of relief.
They finally made up. If prince consort continued to live in the military station, they would suffer too!
When Prince Xiang relaxed his vigilance, Hua Yang secretly wrote a letter to her father. Attached to the letter was the original painting of Huizong and the envelope containing nineteen thousand taels of banknotes.
In the Imperial Study Room, Emperor Jingshun was very happy. This time his daughter only wrote letter for him, and it seemed that she also sent him gifts!
He picked up the letter first.
However, Emperor Jingshun never expected that his daughter would greet him in the first sentence, and the second sentence would say: “Father Emperor, Prince Consort has bullied me too much!”
Just these few words already made Emperor Jingshun angry, as if he saw the pitiful face of his daughter who had suffered great grievance!
This Chen Jingzong is good, he didn’t dislike Chen Jingzong for being a rough guy with no fame. He reluctantly agreed to the marriage just because of Chen Tingjian’s and Empress Qi’s face, but Chen Jingzong actually dared to bully his favorite princess!
With his chest rising and falling, Emperor Jingshun continued to look down with a sullen face.
This letter could be summarized in four paragraphs:
“Father, Prince Uncle Xiang is so kind to me. He gave me two treasures, and he just wants to temporarily borrow about a thousand soldiers from the military station. Of course, Daughter is willing to grant it.”
“Father, Prince Consort is such a bastard. He even lectured me that the vassal prince cannot mobilize soldiers, and even forced me to return the gift, otherwise he would not return to Ningyuan!”
“Father, Daughter have been in a cold war with Prince Consort for half a month, and my heart is still angry. However, Prince Consort was injured and unconscious all night. Daughter saw how pitiful he look and couldn’t bear it, so Daughter sold the Jade Guanyin and wanted to give him the banknotes, allowing him to use it for military supplies, it was considered as payment for Uncle Prince’s previous loan of soldiers. Prince Consort was actually still angry, saying that many soldiers didn’t even have winter clothes to keep out the cold, so he only took a thousand taels for emergency use, and the rest he doesn’t care.”
“Father, he is too proud, and Daughter doesn’t care for it either. Let me borrow flowers and present Buddhas to honor you, please ask Father to make the decision for me and issue an order to reprimand Prince Consort. It’s all his fault for causing me to lose face with Uncle Prince!”
Emperor Jingshun read the letter back and forth three times, and then looked at the two gifts. The banknotes were nothing, but the other treasure was actually an authentic work by Huizong!
This is an authentic work by Huizong. Prince Xiang is really rich!
Emperor Jingshun thought of the time when he was still the crown prince. At that time, the court was short of money for many years. Some people died of starvation, some soldiers who fought in the war had no food to eat, and batches of officials could not receive their salaries. He didn’t know whether his father emperor was anxious or not, but he was so worried that he couldn’t sleep night after night. But those princes never contributed any silver to help the court through difficult times. They only urged the court to quickly pay them their due salaries!
Especially this Prince Xiang, there were officials from the Lingzhou Prefecture offered him bribes before, but Emperor Jingshun did not pursue it for the sake of his clansmen. Prince Xiang did not regret it and even dared to mobilize soldiers from the military station!
Today he dared to mobilize soldiers to build a house, wouldn’t he dare to mobilize soldiers to do something else tomorrow?
The most hateful thing was that Prince Xiang, a man of his age, dared to take advantage of his daughter’s innocence and kindness, and almost ruined the relationship between his daughter and her prince consort!
In the whole matter, in Emperor Jingshun’s opinion, his daughter was right, his son-in-law was even better, and Prince Xiang was the only sinner!
Emperor Jingshun really wanted to call Prince Xiang to the capital and give him a scolding. Unfortunately, if Prince Xiang was held accountable for such a trivial matter, what would the other vassal princes think?
The head of a noble family need to be fair and virtuous in his dealings with his family. He should also adhere to this approach when dealing with the vassal princes. If he arbitrarily abused his emperor status and chilled the hearts of the vassal princes, it could potentially undermine the foundation of the country. In the past, an ancestor who initially wanted to remove the vassal ended up losing the throne. Guess who he lost it to? He lost it to their founding ancestor, who was originally one of the vassal princes!
Founding ancestor then forbade people from removing the vassal. If his descendants touch any of the vassal princes easily, they would slap founding ancestor in the face!
All kinds of emotions passed through his heart, and finally turned into a heavy sigh.
After calming down, Emperor Jingshun began to write a reply to his daughter, tactfully reminding his daughter to have less contact with Prince Xiang, and then praised his son-in-law’s uprightness inherited from Chen Tingjian, and told his daughter not to get angry with him again.
After writing the letter, Emperor Jingshun walked to the window with his hands behind his back, imagining the soldiers in the military stations scattered all over the place.
Local officials could be corrupt, the vassal princes could be greedy, but these vermin should not destroy the millions of troops of the imperial court!
If soldiers couldn’t even wear cotton-padded clothes to keep out the cold, and some people could transfer them to toil for free, who would think about serving the country with loyalty? Not rebelling would be a blessing from their ancestors!
“Call the Minister of War to come see Zhen!”
He wants to send several teams of men to inspect various military posts. He wanted to see what kind of soldiers the imperial court had produced by paying such a large sum of military salary every year!
However, he would give officials from all over the country three months to prepare. If they were willing to make up for it, he would let bygones be bygones. But if they continued to be greedy, he would not be merciful.