After Being Abducted by the General Chapter 11

Chapter 11

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Yuan Li washed away the bloodstains from his body and changed into clean and tidy clothes.

Throughout the whole process, he remained calm.

In this chaotic world, if one wanted to survive and establish themselves firmly to achieve their goals, killing was unavoidable.

Inflicting severe injuries on a few deserving individuals was nothing more than a punishment. Their screams and blood were insufficient to shake Yuan Li’s determination.

In the afternoon, Yuan Li prepared to return to the county magistrate’s mansion with Chu Hechao.

Before leaving, he called Wang Er over and asked, “Your friends are severely injured. Even if they receive medical treatment, they will likely die from excessive blood loss. Will you blame me for it?”

Wang Er’s mind tensed, and he quickly clasped his fists to express his loyalty. “Young Master, how could you say such things? I, Wang Er, understand right from wrong. They were ungrateful and treacherous first. I don’t have friends who are disloyal and unjust. Even if they die, it’s not worth regretting.”

Yuan Li scrutinized him.

Under his gaze, Wang Er inexplicably broke out in a fine layer of sweat, and his palms became slippery due to nervousness. This feeling was even more anxious than when he intercepted the official’s belongings.

After a moment, Yuan Li withdrew his gaze and smiled. “Wang Er, you are loyal and courageous, with a chivalrous heart. I am currently lacking someone with your discerning abilities by my side. I wonder if you are willing to follow me?”

Wang Er was momentarily stunned, but then his joy surged, washing away all the nervousness from before. He suppressed his excitement and replied with great composure, “Naturally, I am willing to follow the Young Master.”

Yuan Li immediately had his steward bring a horse, a suit of mysterious armor, and a box of gold, silver, and jewels. He handed over all these items to Wang Er, displaying his generosity and magnanimity.

Among these three items, the most ordinary one turned out to be the gold, silver, and jewels. Horses and black armor were not commonly seen. Horses were important strategic resources and were not accessible to commoners, while black armor was even more precious—a rare iron armor that was extremely hard to come by. Yuan Li had spent many years preparing to acquire channels for buying horses, but at present, he only had twenty horses and five sets of black armor.

Wang Er was excited, his face flushed. Amidst his overwhelmed joy, he also felt embarrassed. “Young Master, I don’t know how to ride a horse.”

Yuan Li looked at Lintian.

Lintian took hold of the reins and guided Wang Er onto the horse. Wang Er sat on the horse while being led in a circle. Gradually, he adapted to the feeling of riding a horse. When he looked down, he saw his companions below gazing at him with envy or jealousy. A sense of excitement and pride slowly welled up in Wang Er’s heart.

Yuan Li smiled as he watched this scene. Suddenly, he seemed to sense something and turned his head to meet Chu Hechao’s gaze.

Chu Hechao smirked. “Sister-in-law, you’re generous.”

In the military, only elite troops and officers had the privilege to wear black armor. Yet, Yuan Li had given it to someone who didn’t even know how to ride a horse.

Yuan Li smiled gently at him, with rosy lips and a fleeting curve at the corner of his eyes, before turning his head away.

After handling Wang Er’s matters, Yuan Li left Guo Lin and Zhao Ying at the farmstead and instructed them to move the batch of silver and goods during the night. Then, he hurriedly returned to the county magistrate’s mansion with Chu Hechao, who might have noticed something was amiss.

Late that night, Yuan Li received feedback from the system.

【The Encyclopedia of All Things system has been activated. The task of obtaining the embezzled funds from the Han Prefect has been completed, and the rewards have been distributed. Please explore on your own, Host.】

Yuan Li knew that the batch of silver and goods had already been transferred.

Although Yuan Li had a strong desire to mock the title “Postnatal Care for Sows,” he couldn’t help but be curious about the contents of the book. He waited quietly for knowledge to fill his mind, but after several seconds, there was no response.


Yuan Li sat up from the bed, making sure he hadn’t received any other information like the soap formula.

He looked at the system repeatedly, and indeed, it stated that the task rewards had been distributed.

Could it be that the system had given him the physical version of the book?

Yuan Li stood up and searched around, but found nothing. Instead, he noticed a faint misty light on the horizon, and Guo Lin arrived, covered in dust.

Guo Lin handed Yuan Li the inventory list of the goods and informed him that the four men who were severely injured by him during the day had all died.

“Zhao Ying has also dealt with the five people he captured,” Guo Lin said. “After some intimidation, the people in the refugee camp have become much more obedient.”

Yuan Li responded indifferently, “If anyone is dissatisfied with labor in exchange for relief, let those people leave the refugee camp and be driven out of Ruyang County. There is no need to bother with their life or death anymore.”

Through this experience, Yuan Li also realized that he had been too simplistic in his thinking.

Apart from the refugees who had already become their family servants on the farmstead, most of the refugees in other camps understood gratitude and were grateful. The method of exchanging labor for relief would make them feel more secure when receiving food. However, there were also some scoundrels in the market who were extremely slippery and refused to change their ways even in the face of death. Human hearts were unpredictable, and the refugees were not thoughtless puppets.

Yuan Li felt neither sadness nor joy. He had simply learned something new and wanted to turn that knowledge into experience to prevent such incidents from happening again.

Guo Lin nodded and then excitedly took out a bag from his pocket, lowering his voice to a whisper, “Young Master, we found several hidden books in the silk fabric.”

“Books?” Yuan Li was surprised and quickly reached out to take them.

In the Northern Zhou Dynasty, books were harder to come by than gold and silver treasures. Knowledge and most of the classical texts were monopolized by scholars and nobles. Giving books to others was definitely considered a grand gesture.

These books were tightly wrapped in cloth, indicating their preciousness. Yuan Li couldn’t help but feel anticipation.

He silently prayed that they would be rare volumes.

Soon, the fabric was unwrapped, and Yuan Li eagerly looked at the books, but his smile froze on his face in an instant.

The titles of the books were “Postnatal Care for Sows,” “High-Yield and High-Efficiency Breeding Techniques for Sows,” and “Comprehensive Guide to Modern Rural Animal Husbandry Techniques.”

Yuan Li: “…”

Guo Lin was puzzled and asked, “Young Master?”

Yuan Li took a deep breath and said, “Please leave for now.”

This system was formidable.

So, this was what it meant by “explore on your own.” Using the batch of goods, the system had reasonably and legitimately delivered the reward to his hands.

Yuan Li reluctantly opened the books and glanced at them. However, to his surprise, he got immersed in them unintentionally. The more he read, the more engaged he became. He nodded repeatedly and occasionally showed a thoughtful expression.

Although the names may not sound sophisticated, the content is truly effective!

As Yuan Li continued reading, he even became tempted to personally experience what it felt like to help a pig give birth.

When daylight broke, Yuan Li reluctantly put the books away and, along with Chu Hechao and his entourage, set off on the road back to Luoyang.

Bored on the journey, he found an interesting topic and asked Yang Zhongfa, “General, did you not bring anyone with you on this return to Luoyang?”

Yang Zhongfa grinned and replied, “How could I not bring anyone? We have brought one thousand cavalry with us this time!”

One thousand cavalry may seem like a small number, but it was already a considerable force. It was highly likely that Chu Hechao intended to come to the capital to requisition grain and directly escort it back to the northern frontier, which was why they brought so many people back to Luoyang.

Just like the Central Army stationed in Luoyang, the five major camps had slightly over ten thousand soldiers in total.

One cavalryman could match several infantrymen, and the cavalry in the northern frontier possessed exceptional riding skills, making them even more formidable in battle.

Yuan Li pondered for a moment and asked, “Why haven’t I seen these cavalrymen?”

“They have been stationed in the Tunji Camp, where the Chief of Cavalry is taking care of them for a while, saving us the trouble of feeding them. Naturally, Young Master Yuan couldn’t see them,” Yang Zhongfa chuckled, rubbing his hands together. “Is Young Master Yuan interested in our northern frontier cavalry? If you have some free time, I can take you to the Tunji Camp to have a look!”

Yuan Li maintained a composed smile but thought to himself, “Do you really think I believe you?”

Perhaps some of the northern frontier cavalry were indeed stationed in the Tunji Camp, but certainly not all of them. Yuan Song had told Yuan Li that he had seen many unfamiliar faces in Ruyang County these past few days, which were likely Chu Hechao’s men.

Although Chu Hechao had left Ruyang with Yuan Li, it was evident that he had not given up on finding the goods.

Yuan Li had no intention of claiming the money belonging to the corrupt official for himself. However, he had a suitable plan to make the most of those goods and did not intend to reveal them now.

Before that, he absolutely could not let Chu Hechao’s men discover the whereabouts of the goods.

Yuan Li smiled and said, “Thank you in advance, Lord Yang.”

On the return journey, the group did not rest midway and arrived in Luoyang even faster than when they had left. Yuan Li dismounted first and, still full of energy, walked briskly into the Chu Wang Mansion.

Yang Zhongfa sighed in admiration as he whispered to Chu Hechao, “General, Young Master Yuan is truly gifted. At such a young age, he has already achieved so much. With proper guidance, he could become a renowned general in the future.”

Yang Zhongfa had also heard about Yuan Li’s feat of fighting against four opponents single-handedly. If it were up to him, he thought that Yuan Li should have killed those four men on the spot. Nevertheless, considering Yuan Li’s young age, his performance was already praiseworthy, and it made Yang Zhongfa somewhat appreciative of his talent.

Chu Hechao dismounted smoothly and lightly tapped his leg with his whip, sneering, “I’m afraid he is capable of more than that.”

After speaking, he walked into the mansion.

Yang Zhongfa watched Chu Hechao’s back and wondered, What does the General mean by that?

Rubbing his chin, he pondered the meaning of that statement for a while but couldn’t figure it out. He decided to turn around and head back to his own home.

Yuan Li rested in the mansion for a day and the next day, he was caught by Madam Yang and put in charge of managing the household.

Unable to refuse, Yuan Li temporarily took on the responsibility. It took him half a day to go through the account books of the Chu Wang Mansion, and he was astonished by the financial chaos he discovered.

The Chu Wang Mansion in Luoyang owned numerous shops and fields, with annual tax revenues from its estates. Logically speaking, it should have been a wealthy and prosperous household without any financial difficulties. However, upon examining the account books, Yuan Li realized that the entire Chu Wang Mansion was riddled with loopholes, and the annual tax revenues were being embezzled by local powerful figures in Youzhou and corrupt officials, leaving only a facade of prosperity!

After drinking a cup of strong tea, Yuan Li got up and took the account books to find Madam Yang, gently explaining the situation of the Chu Wang Mansion to her.

To his surprise, Madam Yang remained calm. She held Yuan Li’s hand and made him sit down. “Good child, it must have been hard for you to go through these account books. Mother knew that with your intelligence, you would be able to identify these issues.”

She sighed softly, “Since Feng Er became ill, I have lost the desire to manage the household, and the situation has worsened. Li Er, I know you have great ambitions and won’t stay in the mansion for long. But trying to manage a noble household can also be beneficial for you. If you want to make connections with these wealthy families and esteemed scholars, you must know what they eat, what they wear, what they do each day, and what topics they discuss. Am I right, my child?”

Yuan Li smiled, pursing his lips. “Madam is right.”

Madam Yang spoke softly, “We don’t have to rely on tax revenues from these account books. As long as the mansion is well-managed, it will be a great help.”

Yuan Li was an intelligent person and understood Madam Yang’s implication. Perhaps Madam Yang also knew that they were far away from Youzhou in Luoyang, and even if they had the intention to discipline the corrupt officials, they had no means to do so and could only let it be.

Yuan Li nodded and tactfully said, “There are many old slaves and household-born children in the mansion. As a newcomer, I’m afraid it’s not appropriate for me to deal with them.”

Madam Yang’s tone was faint but resolute. “You just go ahead and do it. Let me see who dares to object?”

With Madam Yang’s support, Yuan Li completely unleashed his efforts and swiftly began to rectify the Chu Wang Mansion, both internally and externally.

Within a few days, the various masters of the palace could clearly sense the changes.

The servants in the mansion became more diligent, no longer wandering around other courtyards after their designated tasks. They served with lowered heads, following the rules and regulations. Every corner of the mansion became clean and orderly. The managers of the shops and farms worked diligently and respectfully submitted their account books.

At first glance, the Chu Wang Mansion seemed rejuvenated.

Even when Chu Wang was having his breakfast and saw the efficient servants, he couldn’t help but secretly say to Madam Yang, “Madam, our family has married a good daughter-in-law.”

Madam Yang covered her lips and smiled. “My lord, don’t let Li Er hear that.”

Chu Wang touched his beard and whispered, “I know.”

After successfully rectifying the Chu Wang Mansion, Yuan Li intended to return the management to Madam Yang. However, early on that day, the courtyard received a message from Chu Mingfeng, who wanted to meet his “wife,” Yuan Li.

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