Jiang Pengji stumbled upon Liu Heng and Huai Yu talking in such an intimate way that she felt she could not interrupt them. The scene would have made her suspect their relationship if she not already observed that this was normal for them. She would have thought this era was so open that all of its inhabitants were gay.
Jiang Pengji sat quietly and watched from the afar.
"Lanting, I want to introduce someone to you."
Liu Heng had always cared for his younger cousin, and this was the best opportunity to introduce his close friend to Lanting.
"Heng, there's no need to introduce us. I know him. Huai Yu is a mischievous person." Jiang Pengji studied Feng Jin. They had not seen each other for two days, and Feng Jin looked pretty good after he cleaning up. "Why are you fooling my honest cousin?"
Liu Heng stared at them in a daze. "Huai Yu" was Feng Jin's familiar name. Did they know each other well enough to use their familiar names?
Feng Jin blinked innocently. "Clearly it was Yaozhi who didn't give me the time to tell him that I know you. How is that my fault?"
Liu Heng: "..."
Feng Jin set down his tea and anxiously asked, "Let's reminisce about the past another day… I heard what you said, and it intrigued me. What you said was reasonable. Which prince do you think the royals in northern Xinjiang are interested in?"
Jing Pengji was already bored of the topic because it was so obvious.
"The first prince is the crowned prince. That emperor isn't stupid enough to marry the prince with a wife of a different race. Moreover, there is no shortage in women in the Eastern Palace. Anyone could become his wife…
"Even if the princess from the north of Xinjiang was very capable, she would be bound by the marriage and would not be able to pull any tricks if she married the crowned prince.
"Secondly, the third prince's mother is from the prominent Feng family. Having a pure bloodline is important to them. Do you think they would accept their son marrying a foreigner and having mixed-blood grandchildren?"
Jiang Pengji studied Feng Jin, who felt goosebumps on his skin.
"Lastly, according to rumors, the fourth prince's mother died an unnatural death, and he was not treated kindly by the palace people. The emperor is on guard against him. If the prince were to marry the princess and gain support from his in-laws, do you think the emperor would feel at ease?"
Feng Jin nodded his head as he listened. What Jiang Pengji was saying was similar to what his father had said. But the way they said it was a little different.
"That's why…" Jiang Pengji looked at her fingers and smiled. "The second prince is the best candidate. The emperor is quite fond of him, he was born from a merchant family, and he doesn't have many relations in the court."
The second prince was perfect from the perspectives of both Dongqing's emperor and the royals of northern Xinjiang. The second prince was a stupid musclehead who had hay in his head instead of brains. He was rash and impatient. And without the support of any important people, he would be the easiest to control. The perfect husband!
Feng Jin: "..."
Feng Jin's father had said the second prince was "uncultured, even though he considered himself special." Jiang Pengji thought the second prince was worthless and unlikeable. Even though both of their views were stylistically different, their conclusion was the same.
The second could not be placed into power. He would be practically abandoned by the court.
As he thought of his father, Feng Jin could not help but ask another question. "Lanting, if you were the king of northern Xinjiang, what would you do?"
Jiang Pengji blinked before her lips curled upward. Feng Jin felt the unease in his heart grow.
"If I were the king, I'd happily sleep with the Donqing's concubines, have a taste of the Han girls, and then send my ambitious daughter into the second prince's palace… And, by the way, the princess would still be considered an empress… Then I would sow discord and control that brainless second prince…"
Jiang Pengji could not be bothered with phrasing her words carefully. When she was in school, she had barely passed her history culture classes.
"The second prince is pretty interesting. But you can't blame his parents for his stupidity. If he's easy to control, he could become a sharp blade for you to use. Isn't it Dongqing's custom to take the crown by killing off your own brothers and father? Also, the second prince was never on good terms with the court on the northern border. All the other side needs to do is to incite some confusion… Heh, the emperor has been eyeing the the northern borders too. He's already planned to get rid of the military there once they've outlived their usefulness…"
Once they started the peace treaty, Dongqing would no longer have to worry about the northern borders. But the garrison post located there with more than half of Dongqing's military would be in danger.
Dongqing needed a cautious and wise ruler. But its current ruler was only cautious.
If he discarded the ones they had outlived their usefulness, they would die or live a life worse than if they had died.
"The moment a problem arises in the north borders' garrison, the royals in Xinjiang will turn against them. By then, I think the princess will have accomplished her goals by setting the second prince against the emperor. Or maybe she will have completed some other tricks she has up her sleeves…"
Jiang Pengji had not shown the Dongqing emperor any respect with her words. She had even implied that he had killed his own brothers and father.
After the chaotic battle of the Sixteen Kingdoms of Five Non-Han people, Daxia had ruled over all before it was split into five countries. The emperor's authority had been questioned many times as the other clans had grown stronger in power. And now, the scholars had the freedom to speak their minds.
Jiang Pengji's words would have cost her head if she were in any other previous dynasty. In the current one, however, she would merely be scolded by people on the street. Therefore, Liu Heng and Feng Jin only slightly frowned when Jiang Pengji criticized the palace.
Feng Jin sighed after listening to her. "My father had the same thoughts. If they did sign the peace treaty, it would be a small price if scholars had to denounce the word and brush. He is afraid that northern Xinjiang could use the emperor to do their dirty work and remove the garrison in the northern border…"
It was important to note that in Dongqing, literacy was worshipped while military combat was suppressed.
Dongqing's first emperor came into power because the military rebelled against the court. Dongqing was terrified of the military. They exalted scholars in each generation, and thus, the military might grew weaker...
The military currently stationed in the northern borders were the last good men. If they were to be sabotaged by their own people, well...
"This is brain retardation. There is no cure for it," Jiang Pengji said seriously.
"What's that?" Feng Jin asked, just as seriously.
The stream screen became flooded with comments.
Wufa Wutian: "Ohhhhh. Brain retardation means "born stupid." Can't be cured. Hahahaha."
Da Zhuangzhu Furen: "Hahaha… Those words. If you put them into a TV drama, you can probably annihilate nine clans with it. I can't believe the cousin and pretty-boy-Feng are so calm. Especially the cousin. He had this expression like he wanted to drag his disgraceful brat home. And then you were blind to it all and just continued. LMAO I got a screenshot. New emote!"