MERRY XMAS EVERYONE!!! DOUBLE RELEASE TO CELEBRATE THE SPECIAL OCCASSION!!!
The night was already deep. Together with the cool breeze, it reduced the stuffy heat from daytime, and gave birth to a bit of coolness.
Inside the Xuntai Mansion, Yuan Chongsheng strode into the front hall to discuss official business, where someone was already waiting.
“Daren, why have you hurriedly sent for this official to come here?”
It was Advisor Cao of Xuntai mansion who was talking to him, Yuan Chongsheng’s trusted right-hand man brought from the capital.
Although it was nighttime and the temperature had dropped a lot, he had hurriedly come over all the way, making him sweat all over his body. He pulled his sleeves and started wiping. Seeing Yuan Chongsheng’s complexion was not good, Advisor Cao felt somewhat cautious and solemn.
Yuan Chongsheng’s complexion ashened. He dropped something on the table, it was the account book.
Advisor Cao hurriedly stepped forward and picked it up, flipping through a few pages. Frowning, he looked at Yuan Chongsheng carefully,
Yuan Chongsheng stretched out his finger and pointed heavily on the table: “This is my account book that King Guangan gave to your superior.”
“This… isn’t this the account book of the farmstead field?” Advisor Cao was shocked, he couldn’t help turning a few pages carefully. It was so detailed that it made him even more surprised, “Where did King Guangan take this account book from… …and this detailed?”
Yuan Chongsheng sneered, his eyes narrowed slightly: “In the end, it’s me who underestimated him. I never thought that the son of a despicable female entertainer from the Cold Palace could have such talents. Now it seems that his seven years in Lingnan was not in vain. “
After more than ten years of ups and downs in officialdom, one principle that Yuan Chongsheng understood the most was that since ancient times, the more confused the account book is, the better. If no one could understand it, then it would be even better. But now that King Guangan grasped all of Lingnan’s farmstead field account, it means that Xuntai mansion’s ways of handling things cannot be so nimble.
Cao Shiye was also astute, his eyebrows trembled. He said, “Could it be that King Guangan took this account book in order to beat us?”
Seeing him also thinking the same thing as himself, Yuan Chongsheng felt a little more alert in his heart. After thinking about tonight’s affairs several times, he still couldn’t figure it out.
“Ben Guan* doesn’t know whether the meaning is to beat us or not, but King Guangan didn’t mention anything about it before… He only asked Ben Guan to do him a favor.”
(Ben Guan: same as Ben Wang/Ben Gong. It just that this Ben Guan is used for official to address themselves. While, Ben Wang is used for King(not Emperor) to address themselves.)
Yuan Chongsheng pursed the corners of his lips slightly. His eyes surged, and he slowly said, “Let the Xuntai Mansion take charge of all the income from the farmstead field, while the people from King Guangan mansion won’t touch this farmstead money.”
Advisor Cao was confused for a while: “What? Could it be that they aren’t offering tributes to the imperial court?”
Yuan Chongsheng sneered: “Advisor Cao perhaps got confused now. How can they not offer any tributes to the imperial court!”
He tapped on the account book: “This guy’s meaning is that in the future, all the income from the farmstead will be managed by Xuntai Mansion, and the annual tributes’ silvers, hmph, will naturally be paid by us.”
“Could it be that this King Guangan has gone insane?” Although this matter sounds like a benefit to Xuntai Mansion than harm, but if there is something unusual then certainly there must be a demon(if something is abnormal, there must be something strange). How can someone break their arm without seeking any benefit?
According to the usual practice, the tax and silver from vassal states’ farmstead fields are collected and managed by the local Xuntai government in all parts of the country, and the silver income is shared with the territorial kings. Those silvers that belonged to the local Xuntai government were used to support the soldiers and horses, and the part that belonged to the territorial kings was used as an annual tribute to the capital. The rest naturally fell into the pockets of the kings’ mansion. Therefore, this division of annual income could be considered a profound principle.
When he first came here, the first thing he needed to focus on was this farmstead money. It was not known whether the previous Xuntai was just cowardly and incompetent, or if it was because of another reason. But, besides keeping the farmstead money to supply soldiers and horses, he unexpectedly gave the rest of the money to King Guangan mansion. How could he continue to divide it like this and feel vexed? Thus, he naturally boldly and decisively carried out the reform of the farmstead money, and put a large part of the income under the name of Xuntai Mansion.
Unexpectedly, this King Guangan was surprisingly generous, and he simply gave the remaining silver to the Xuntai Mansion, but how could he feel at ease in receiving it.
He still remembered that person’s quiet smile. It was extraordinarily beautiful: “This account book has given Ben Wang a headache. Every year I have to remove two layers of fat skin when I manage these annual tributes… Xuntai Daren, I will hand everything regarding this to you now. I hope Daren would do this favor and help Ben Wang out.”
At first, he only thought that this King Guangan had been beaten several times, and especially came to the Xuntai mansion with motives in mind.
So, he pushed the boat along the current, and casually mentioned the matter of colliding with a group of children in the neighborhood today. Then,”turned pale with fright” to know that these children were actually people of the King Guangan mansion. Afterwards, he even staged a “great anger” and showered He Jian down with curses and scoldings a bit, then repeatedly apologized to Li Yuanmin with a face full of embarrassment. He patted his chest and ensured that the children would be released as soon as possible.
When King Guangan was sent out of the Xuntai Mansion, his tipsy feeling also sobered up a bit. He tried to chew out what was the thing that seemed wrong.
If it were other vassal state kings, he wouldn’t have been so suspicious. However, this person was the Lingnan’s vassal state king that wasn’t favored. Other vassal state kings were exempted from levying their own annual salary, but if met with a bad year, His Majesty will think of their mutual affection and set aside some silver to supplement the vassal state kings’ mansion’s expenses. However, King Guangan clearly doesn’t have that kind of treatment. Not to mention extra shares of silver, he had to pay at least thirty thousand two hundred silver annual salary every year as tribute too.
This huge income had already been given away. King Guangan mansion was big, so what will it depend on for living expenses?
Thinking up to this, Yuan Chongsheng lost that last bit of tipsy feeling. A cold sweat broke out on his back. The more he looked at the account book, the more he felt flustered. He immediately sent someone to ask Advisor Cao to come and discuss.
Advisor Cao also realized that something was wrong. He pondered about it for a long time, but he couldn’t find any reason. Thinking that they had only been in Lingnan for a short time, they must be unaware if there was something fishy in the meantime.
He immediately bowed his head: “Daren, I will send someone to investigate this matter tomorrow.”
Yuan Chongsheng nodded: “Good, the sooner, the better.”
Seeing that the night was already deep, and tomorrow, they will have to deploy official duties, Advisor Cao no longer stayed. He immediately bid farewell to Yuan Chongsheng. Yuan Chongsheng spent a long time thinking about it in his study alone, but he couldn’t think of a reason, so he called someone to raise the lamp and walked to the inner courtyard.
As soon as he stepped into the inner courtyard, he saw a man swaying in front of him humming a flower song. The boy next to him was struggling to support him. Hearing the movement behind him, the boy turned his head and instantly turned pale.
He flushed, and pushed the man next to him. The man turned his head, drunk, and saw Yuan Chongsheng’s terrifyingly black face. He immediately sobered up.
This man was Yuan Chongsheng’s eldest son, Yuan Fu. He had already become of age and was 20 years old. His build was tall and thin, like Yuan Chongsheng’s body.
“You rascal!” Yuan Chongsheng was furious.
If he said that his son had made progress, that naturally would be to put gold on the faces of the eight generations of his ancestors. The rest is fine, but having come to Lingnan for half a month, he had found all the public street and hidden alley brothels and felt through all of them.
Originally, he was worried about the matter with the account book, but now his heart was full of anger. He quickly yelled for servants to tie this rascal and throw him to the ancestral hall to kneel the night and did not mention the account book anymore.
The carriage stopped in front of the two stone lions of King Guangan mansion.
As soon as the sedan curtain was lifted, a little servant carried the mansion lantern to welcome him.
Ni Lie hugged the person tightly in his embrace, got out of the carriage lightly, and ordered people to prepare hangover soup, hot water, towel, and other things.
When he stepped into the bedroom, he put the flushed person on the soft bed lightly. The person on the bed frowned in discomfort, struggled a bit, and slowly opened his eyes, and gasped a few breaths.
“Help take me to Jingfang….”
Ni Lie immediately carried him to the Jingfang to relieve himself. The pattering sound came from behind the curtain. Ni Lie was walking around outside, trying hard to not pay attention to the sound.
After a long while, Li Yuanmin staggered out. Seeing that he was about to fall, Ni Lie hurriedly embraced him by the waist and carried him up.
“A Lie…” Li Yuanmin weakly leaned against his chest. The young man’s muscles were tight and well-proportioned, with solid strength. The familiar odor had a magical power to make one relax freely.
The tipsy feeling rushed to his mind, and he let himself fall into that misty feeling, floating like warm water. This was the only time he could let himself go. He didn’t need to think about anything, he didn’t need to guard against anything, just in the steady and powerful pace of this youth. He thought dazedly, as long as A Lie was here, he was safe.
They were each other’s chest and back, two people who depended on each other in this world.
He couldn’t help but rub against him, his nasal voice whispered: “A Lie…”
Ni Lie looked down at the drunk person in his arms, and hugged him tighter.
When they returned, Li Yuanmin’s drunkenness became even stronger, he couldn’t even open his eyelids. When the hangover soup came, Ni Lie coaxed him to drink a bit. Perhaps the soup was a bit irritating to the nose. Li Yuanmin couldn’t help but struggle slightly. A lot of the soup was spilt on his garment. There was a little wet mark on the blouse, and Ni Lie sighed. He handed the bowl to the servant woman aside, and ordered her to withdraw.
Ni Lie called him softly, holding his face and pressing his head against his neck. There seemed to be some hesitation on his face, but he quickly reached out and pulled off the embroidered belt on the slender waist. The outer cloth was gone, leaving only the moon-white silk inner robe inside.
The alcohol on his body didn’t smell good, but after he untied his outer shirt, the alcohol fainted a little, and a cold scent penetrated into his nostrils —-He seemed to be born with this good smell, born out of his snow-white flesh. Ni Lie couldn’t help but get closer, letting the faint fragrance envelop him.
Li Yuanmin felt his face was burning, both hot and dry. Thinking of something, he was struggling in a daze.
“Bring water to… bathe…”
Ni Lie knew his nature, he loved to be clean, even more in this spring-summer humid and hot weather.
Perhaps because of his special body, his bathing had always been done by himself. He never allowed any subordinate to help him. However, a drunk person couldn’t distinguish between heaven and earth, how can he bathe by himself?
Ni Lie’s tone was unconsciously coaxing: “Your Highness, let’s take a bath tomorrow.”
Li Yuanmin frowned and let out a dissatisfied sound. His face was red after drinking, and the snow-colored neck was also smeared with a dark and light pink.
Ni Lie’s eyes floated, his throat moved up and down: “… Then I will help wipe Your Highness a little.”
He took a deep breath and laid him down. The towel was already washed, exuding a slight heat. Ni Lie’s fingers pinched the lace of the inner robe, but it was stuck there. After a while, he gently pulled it apart.
His pupils shrank suddenly, and something in his heart that had been suppressed for a long time exploded.
Under the dim candlelight, Ni Lie’s breathing was unsteady. His movements were a bit awkward, and his hands that could stretch a hundred-stone great bow unconsciously shivered.
He turned his face away, wiped it hurriedly, and put on a clean inner robe for him.
Ciacia/N: Damnit, I thought I’m going to see some juicy scenes… Nevertheless, this chapter is extremely seductive~