Chapter 11 Chip Chip Chip Chip Chip Chip Chip Chip Chip
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The efficient Prime Minister Ye submitted a portion of the memorials.
Li Jinyu rushed into Jiaolan Palace with the memorials and handed them to Huo Caiyu. “These are for you.”
Huo Caiyu looked surprised at the several memorials with black seals and didn’t reach out to take them. “What does Your Majesty mean by this?”
“Aren’t you going to teach Zhen how to read?” Li Jinyu coughed and sat down on a pearwood chair a little away from Huo Caiyu. “Just use these memorials.”
Huo Caiyu frowned, feeling a little strange. Who would use memorials as teaching materials?
He still had some doubts about whether Li Jinyu really couldn’t read.
After a long while, Huo Caiyu closed the memorial with a furrowed brow and pushed it aside. He couldn’t help but ask, “Are these what Your Majesty handled before?”
Li Jinyu didn’t quite understand and shook his head to maintain his image of incompetence. “Zhen never dealt with political affairs before. These were submitted by the Prime Minister.”
Huo Caiyu lowered his gaze and pursed his lips. “Using these as teaching materials may not be appropriate. Your Majesty, please use the classics such as ‘The Analects’ and ‘The Strategies of the Warring States’.”
Li Jinyu, who wanted to introduce Huo Caiyu to state affairs by teaching him how to read, was unwilling to choose other documents and immediately refused, “Zhen hasn’t even approved any memorials yet! Zhen wants to use these.”
Huo Caiyu remained silent for a while before picking up another memorial. “This lowly commoner obeys the order.”
Most of the memorials presented by Prime Minister Ye involved capital punishment decisions.
According to the laws of Di Dynasty, capital punishment required multiple levels of approval and the personal seal of the Emperor in order to be carried out to prevent wrongful convictions.
Of course, the actual implementation of these laws was another matter entirely.
The case they were currently reading was a murder case in a rural village on the outskirts of the capital.
A family surnamed Ge had lost their eldest son to illness shortly after his marriage, leaving behind a widow, an elderly mother, and a younger brother. Earlier this year, the elderly Ge had woken up in the middle of the night feeling restless, only to discover that the widow had stabbed her younger brother-in-law’s throat with scissors. She immediately reported the incident to the authorities.
During the county’s investigation, the young widow confessed that she couldn’t bear the hardships of poverty and had wanted to steal the family’s money and run away. However, when the younger brother-in-law discovered her intentions, she panicked and stabbed him.
The case was straightforward, and no one had raised any objections as it made its way up the bureaucratic chain until it reached the Emperor.
As Huo Caiyu taught Li Jinyu how to read, he waited with pursed lips for his reaction. Li Jinyu was still learning how to hold a brush, and the characters he wrote on the paper were crooked and unclear. He only half-understood the question Huo Caiyu asked, “A widow killed her younger brother-in-law for money. Should Your Majesty decide to sentence her to death?”
“Yes,” Li Jinyu replied, without a clear understanding of the situation. He took the opportunity to ask Huo Caiyu, “What do you think the verdict should be?”
Huo Caiyu didn’t expect Li Jinyu to ask for his opinion. He glanced at Li Jinyu’s expression, gritted his teeth slightly, and answered seriously, “There’s something not right about this case.”
Li Jinyu’s eyes lit up, and he asked, “What’s not right?”
Huo Caiyu couldn’t tell whether Li Jinyu was testing him with these reports or genuinely seeking his advice.
He pointed to the report and said, “Firstly, all the money of the Ge family was kept in Elderly Ge’s room, but the crime occurred in Widow Ge’s room. Secondly, Ge Shi was almost an adult and physically strong, while Widow Ge was a weak woman. How could she have stabbed Ge Shi to death with scissors after being caught stealing from him? Thirdly…”
Huo Caiyu pointed to a section of the report and said, “When Ge Shi was found, his lower body was…”
Li Jinyu didn’t understand. “What does that mean?”
Huo Caiyu gave him a glance, his eyes flashing with a hint of embarrassment, then becoming somewhat wary. He pursed his lips and said, “This lowly commoner speculates that it was Ge Shi who had inappropriate intentions toward the widow, so she stabbed him in the throat with scissors while struggling… As for the specifics, Your Majesty will need to review it again.”
The future Emperor’s words were naturally correct, so Li Jinyu nodded enthusiastically. “Zhen will review it right away.”
Huo Caiyu was taken aback by his quick agreement. He looked at Li Jinyu’s hopeful expression and rubbed his fingertips lightly over the memorial, considering what to say next, but decided against it.
He opened several more memorials, all of them related to similar murders, and almost all of the results were clearly suspicious.
Huo Caiyu analyzed them one by one for Li Jinyu.
Li Jinyu listened until his eyes was spinning, unable to understand why people inexplicably hurt each other, and why all those suspects confessed.
Huo Caiyu’s eyes were full of sarcasm, “They were tortured until they confessed.”
In the current corrupt court of Great Di Dynasty, where even the important military pay at the border could be embezzled, what did a few human lives matter?
Li Jinyu took the opportunity to say, “Now we need a wise person to put things in order.”
Yes, that’s you! Rise up in anger and take charge! Zhen will kneel down immediately and hand the throne over to you!
Huo Caiyu’s eyes flickered slightly, a strange expression taking over his face.
Li Jinyu looked at him dumbly.
If he wasn’t mistaken, that expression seemed… mocking?
After returning from Jiaolan Palace, Li Jinyu kept pondering the meaning behind Huo Caiyu’s mocking expression.
Can it be possible that he was ridiculing his own unrealistic aspirations of seizing the throne as a commoner?
No, he couldn’t think like that! He was the future Emperor, and the whole world would belong to him!
Li Jinyu sent all the approved memorials to the Prime Minister and instructed the eunuch to bring him more memorials.
He was going to use state affairs to build Huo Caiyu’s confidence!
Even the eunuchs, who were usually unfazed, were taken aback by how hardworking His Majesty was today. They cleared their throats but didn’t say anything.
Does that Young Master Huo really have such charm that even His Majesty is now working hard and showing concern for his people?
The eunuch left with a confused expression, holding one petition in his hand and returning shortly after with another.
Li Jinyu eagerly went to find Huo Caiyu with the new pile of memorials.
Huo Caiyu flipped through one and frowned. He closed the memorial and said, “Your Majesty, these memorials are inappropriate.”
“Why are they inappropriate?” Li Jinyu asked.
Huo Caiyu spoke frankly, “These memorials should have been handled by the Dali Temple. But now they have been passed on to Your Majesty unchanged. Either the Dali Temple is derelict in their duties, or…”
Or the Prime Minister’s faction was fooling the current Emperor.
Most of these cases involved petty family disputes that should have been dealt with by the county yamen and only sent up for higher approval. Now, the cases were being hastily judged, with suspicious details, indicating that no official from top to bottom was truly fulfilling their duties.
Huo Caiyu’s eyes darkened, and he glanced at Li Jinyu who was still a bit confused.
He had previously thought that this Emperor was the root cause of the corruption in the court, but now it seemed…
Li Jinyu took a long time to react and was surprised as he exclaimed, “Is the Prime Minister fooling me?”
He didn’t come for the purpose of being a judge. He came to help Huo Caiyu familiarize himself with the state affairs and cultivate the basic abilities of a future wise ruler.
Huo Caiyu remained silent.
Li Jinyu stood up and walked around. “No, Zhen needs to talk to the Prime Minister again.”
He was about to go out when he suddenly remembered something. He turned to look at Huo Caiyu and said seriously, “You come with Zhen.”
Prime Minister Ye arrived quickly when summoned by the Emperor.
Upon entering the palace gates, he immediately saw Huo Caiyu standing next to Li Jinyu. His eyes flickered, then he bowed and took his seat.
“Your Majesty’s presence is as majestic as a dragon and as graceful as a phoenix…”
Li Jinyu couldn’t stand another long string of flattery like the last time, so he interrupted, “Zhen has summoned the Prime Minister here today to discuss something.”
The one worthy of such praises was standing next to him!
Prime Minister Ye didn’t show any unusual reaction to being interrupted. “What can this humble minister do for Your Majesty?”
“Are the petitions you gave me before too perfunctory?” Li Jinyu pointed to the seal on the petition on the desk. “Zhen wants serious state affairs!”
Prime Minister Ye coughed lightly, and discreetly appraised Li Jinyu with a smile. “Your Majesty has been away from political affairs for a long time. Handling state affairs rashly may pose difficulties. Why not start with the finer details and learn slowly?”
If it was Li Jinyu himself, he naturally wouldn’t dare to directly handle major affairs, but the future Emperor beside him was a talented ruler.
Li Jinyu insisted, “As the Emperor, managing court affairs is not a problem. Prime Minister need not worry.”
Prime Minister Ye remained silent for a moment and unexpectedly acquiesced, “Which aspect of governance does Your Majesty want to handle?”
Li Jinyu was momentarily at a loss and sought help from Huo Caiyu with his gaze.
Their eyes met.
…and he couldn’t see anything.
Well, they had not reached the level of being able to communicate telepathically.
Prime Minister Ye noticed Li Jinyu’s actions and his gaze darkened slightly.
Li Jinyu withdrew his seeking gaze and coughed, trying hard to recall the content of the novel. Suddenly, his eyes brightened. “Taxes!”
He remembered from the novel that after taking the throne, Huo Caiyu implemented important reforms related to taxation.
Standing behind Li Jinyu, Huo Caiyu listened to the conversation between Li Jinyu and Prime Minister Ye. At first, he didn’t say a word, but then he lifted his head slightly and looked at Prime Minister Ye.
Taxation was the most important source of national revenue, and even Prime Minister Ye himself was from the Ministry of Revenue. Would he be willing to give up this part of the power?
Contrary to Huo Caiyu’s expectations, Prime Minister Ye readily agreed, “This minister will have the Ministry of Revenue prepare a report for Your Majesty to review.”
Huo Caiyu was taken aback. Then he sensed Prime Minister Ye’s slight glance at him and noticed a hint of malice and dislike in his eyes, which was completely different from the curiosity and innocence that he often received from the Emperor.
Subconsciously, Huo Caiyu looked at Li Jinyu and met his expectant gaze, with a hint of a smug smile on his lips.
Whether it was in contrast to the malice of the Prime Minister or not, Huo Caiyu inexplicably found His Majesty quite adorable.
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