Coughing Blood and Accepting a Loss
Ji Ling Tian nearly coughed up a mouthful of blood. 80 million taels of silver was not much? Imperial daughter Ji An had such a wide reach.
But looking at the governor and the citizens looking on from the outside, all of them had very natural looks. They did not feel that this sort of requested reparation was too unreasonable or unfair. Or perhaps to say that these people had no concept of how much 80 million taels was? They thought that it was the same as eight taels of silver?
Ji Ling Tian did not understand and could not help but ask the question in mind: “Do you know what 80 million taels of silver mean?”
Xu Jing Yuan was the first to respond: “Naturally, we know. That’s an amount that this office would never be able to earn in this lifetime.”
There were also some bolder citizens outside the court that shouted: “It’s enough to buy half of a small city!”
The people spoke all over the place, expressing their understanding of 80 million taels, and each of them was at least a bit reasonable. Ji Ling Tian heard this and found that they all understood! But since they understood, why was there no surprise about imperial daughter Ji An demanding this sort of reparation?
Seeing that Ji Ling Tian did not respond for a long time, someone from the crowd outside could no longer endure and shouted: “Hey, prefect from Lan Zhou, it shouldn’t be that you don’t want to pay, right? Or do you think that this is too much to pay? That’s not right! Your madam was able to spend 80 million taels to buy the jade. Thinking about it, your family should not be lacking in money. Why are you not accepting to pay reparations to imperial daughter Ji An?”
Ji Ling Tian understood. It turned out that this was what they were waiting for. He suppressed a feeling of disgust in his heart and had no place to vent it. At this moment, he really wanted to see what sort of look imperial daughter Ji An had. How could this sort of girl be so loved by everyone in the capital.
While criticizing her in his mind, Qing Yu spoke up, reminding him: “I forgot to say just now that these reparations are not the idea of our imperial daughter. After all, his Highness Prince Yu was also present yesterday. This girl wishes to tell lord Ji that your madam and maidservant had said some rather impertinent things to his Highness the ninth prince. They even said things about not wanting face to him. Lord Ji should rejoice. If it was not for fear of ruining Nirvana Pavilion, your madam would have been killed by his Highness the ninth prince’s whip immediately, and it would not have been unjust in the slightest. If you want to refuse to pay these reparations, that’s also fine. His Highness said that since you are an official, it can be resolved using methods for dealing with officials. Would lord Ji come with this girl to the Yu Palace after this court session has ended. Then follow his Highness the ninth prince into the palace and have his Majesty decide on the punishment of insulting a prince and imperial daughter. We’ll see if it’s the 80 million taels of banknotes that’s worth more or your madam’s head that’s worth more.”
Qing Yu was not polite in the slightest when speaking. Her words left Ji Ling Tian’s face pale, and he did not dare speak any further.
Insulting a prince was a serious crime. Moreover, the person insulted was the ninth prince. That was not just a matter of a crime. He glared at Jiang shi and Ji Xiang. Seeing that both of them had their heads lowered, he knew that Qing Yu was most likely telling the truth. He sighed in his heart and just blamed that he had doted on his wife too much in the South. Everything went her way. The South was his territory, so how could there be anyone that dared to say no to the wife of the prefect. Not only did this cause his wife to develop some bad habits, it made the servant at her side refuse even more to pay attention to the rules of the world.
Unfortunately, regretting it now was too late. Ji Ling Tian repeatedly thought back to what the eighth prince had said before setting out. Even the dignified eighth prince felt a bit of dread toward the ninth prince and imperial daughter Ji An. Even if he was dissatisfied, what could he do?
“Alright!” He nodded, “We will accept it. Would lord Xu allow my attendant to go back and bring the banknotes over.”
Xu Jing Yuan naturally would not stop him, thus he moved the court to a break. When Ji Ling Tian’s attendant returned, a pile of banknotes was handed over to Qing Yu. Only then was Jiang shi released by the court, and Ji Ling Tian was reminded: “You must remember to say thank you to imperial daughter Ji An.”
The anger inside Ji Ling Tian was about to burst. How could he still think about chatting idly. Grabbing Jiang shi, he left without looking back. Ji Xiang had been following behind them; however, who knew that just after exiting the court, she would be kicked by Ji Ling Tian into the streets. This kick was quite powerful, causing Ji Xiang to cough up blood. There were some that frowned upon seeing this, but there were others that thought that this served her right. This sort of servant would be best off beaten to death. Even Xu Jing Yuan turned a blind eye to this. Servants had no human rights, and their masters had the right to decide whether they lived or died. He just said to Qing Yun: “Take good care of the jade and quickly send it back to imperial daughter!”
Qing Yu smiled and gave her thanks. She then walked a bit closer and said to him: “Our imperial daughter said that she and his Highness Prince Yu will remember the grace of lord Xu acting to help this time.”
Xu Jing Yuan repeatedly gave his thanks then personally sent Qing Yu out.
When Qing Yu returned to the imperial daughter’s manor, it was already noon. Feng Yu Heng was in the middle of eating lunch. Seeing her arrive, she immediately said: “Put 60 million of the banknotes into the treasury. The remaining 20 million will be sent to Hundred Herb Hall and given to Wang Lin to be used for opening more branches.”
Qing Yu smiled and said: “Young miss, how could you be so certain that this case was won?”
Feng Yu Heng shrugged: “If this case could not be won, Xu Jing Yuan would have wasted his position as a governor.”
Huang Quan continued with laughing at her: “Qing Yu, you’re still holding the box in your hands. Is there any need to ask how young miss knew?”
Qing Yu looked down at the wooden box in her hands and smiled bitterly: “I really was muddled.” After she finished speaking, she placed the box on the table and opened the lid, “This servant already inspected it. Nothing is missing, and it hasn’t been damaged.”
Huang Quan saw the piece of jade for the first time. For a while, she was speechless in shock. But she was a servant that had practiced martial arts. she was not quite as sensitive to these things as Qing Yu. She just knew that it was beautiful; however, she could not see why it was worth so much money.
Feng Yu Heng nodded and said: “Just leave it. In a while, I’ll put it away. Oh right, did you see the prefect of Lan Zhou?”
Qing Yu replied: “I did. He’s a person with arrogance and force. During the trial, he was filled with anger, and he had expressed a certain amount of dissatisfaction with young miss. As this servant sees it, if his Highness the ninth prince was not brought up at the end to shake him, he really would not have been stopped.”
Feng Yu Heng snorted coldly, “The South is currently being supported by the eighth prince. Even a lowly prefect has this sort of arrogance. I really don’t know what sort of situation will arise when that eighth prince comes back for the new year.”
Qing Yu asked with some concern: “Is young miss worried about the eighth prince?”
Feng Yu Heng let out a long sigh and had Huang Quan find a servant to take away the dishes. She then said: “Princes, you know, most of them are up to no good. In the current Da Shun, aside from the eldest prince, who is fully devoted to doing business, and the second prince, who does not concern himself with politics, which one of them leaves us feeling at ease? Even the unreliable old fifth, who knows what sort of colorful insides he has. The eighth prince has been setting up his strength in the South for many years. He has been setting up a stable foundation, and he has set up a small government. Although it is still being managed by Da Shun, you know that the people of the South have unruly personalities. It’s easy to rule over them with force like the eighth prince, but to have them obey the court of Da Shun, which is far away, is too difficult.”
Huang Quan frowned upon hearing this: “Young miss is saying that the eighth prince is wanting to use the forces in the South to rebel?”
Qing Yu covered Huang Quan’s mouth: “This sort of thing must not be said so carelessly!”
Feng Yu Heng, however, waved her and, “It’s fine. We’re just talking. It’s better if nobody hears it, but even if someone with ulterior motives heard it and spread it, it would just act as a reminder to the people far away in the South. According to his Highness the ninth prince, the Emperor has called so many of the officials from out of the province for this Mid-Autumn Festival’s banquet to see the reactions from each province. Regardless of whether it’s in regards to the South or Qian Zhou, it will all depend on the attitudes of the officials. Most important is for us to pick out the people with ulterior motives, especially the officials from the South. We need to have some understanding.”
The two of them understood what Feng Yu Heng meant. For a while, nobody made a sound. The situation in the court was constantly changing. Nobody could clearly say what sort of thing would happen tomorrow. For servants like them, they just needed to worry about the wellbeing of their master. They were just a little uncertain about the threat. After some thought, they were still worried.
But Feng Yu Heng was not worried in the slightest and very quickly brushed past the issue. When she spoke once more, she was laughing while saying: “That Lan Zhou’s prefect is really rich! 80 million taels, yet he was able to take it out with just a few words. With this, it seems that he had made some plans for this trip to the capital. This imperial daughter has always liked getting along with rich people. Since he is so giving, how about we send him a gift.”
Huang Quan was puzzled: “Young miss’ meaning is…”
"The second prince had always been responsible for investigating the corruption of officials. I see that he’s been very idle recently. During the Yao family’s wedding, Fei Yu was talking about how his imperial father was preparing to take him to Jiang Nan after the Mid-Autumn Festival’s banquet for a trip. How about we give him some work. Have him investigate." How could a lowly prefect have that much wealth and bring it to the capital? What was it for?
Everyone knew that there was no good ending possible after offending imperial daughter Ji An, yet madam Ji, who had come from far away in the South, did not take it to heart. Even the eighth prince had reminded them beforehand, they still went against the wind. When Ji Ling Tian realized his grave mistakes, it was too late to repent.
Of course, this would be a story from later on. At present, there were not many days left until the Mid-Autumn Festival’s banquet. There was also no rush to tell the second prince to investigate Ji Ling Tian. Feng Yu Heng planned to personally talk to him about it during the banquet. There was another matter that she remembered, thus she informed Qing Yu: “When you go to send the money to Hundred Herb Hall, tell grandfather to come over. Just tell him that there is something that I need him for.”
Qing Yu complied and immediately left.
Yao Xian arrived in the imperial daughter’s manor in the afternoon. Feng Yu Heng told him about the matter with imperial concubine Yun. Yao Xian did not seem to refuse too much, only saying: “I keep feeling that there’s not much to it. I may as well just see her and see what sort of relationship we had.”
Feng Yu Heng saw that he agreed and let out a sigh of relief. She then said: “Then we’ll do it on the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival’s banquet. We both need to enter the palace, and it will save us an extra trip.”
The two settled on this matter then went to visit Bai Fu Rong. Ever since Bai Fu Rong had coughed up mouthfuls of blood, her situation had begun to visibly improve. At present, she would be able to remain awake for a few hours each day. Yao Xian changed the medicine and told Feng Yu Heng: “She will have recovered within three months. When the new year comes around, she will be able to move around freely without a problem.”
Only then did Feng Yu Heng calm down.
With the case of the beautiful jade taking two days, on the day that the governor had resolved the case, it had become a story that everyone in the cafes and restaurants could talk about. There were also some storytellers that tell this story to the people that were eating or drinking tea at these cafes. The people that listened would applaud these stories.
Feng Yu Heng had never paid attention to these things. If people wished to spread these things, they could. She did not care; moreover, there was a matter that was causing her a major headache.