“South Bodhisattva said, all those who want to come here are his people, and they must all be treated equally.”
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
“Those refugees are quite lucky.”
The topic among the common people recently became about the recent influx of refugees from Tongzhou.
For the common people, in a whole year it was rare for something interesting to happen that could be used for chatting, and if such an event occurred, they could talk about it for a long time.
Nowadays, their lives got better and better. The children at home were all sent to the school and didn’t delay the parents from going to work. There was a fixed amount of time for work every day. Unlike before when work lasted a whole day and people could only get off work when the boss said so. But now it was different, someone was there to keep order!
Their days had changed for the better. Seeing the influx of people coming from outside, they felt pride in their hearts and became more tolerant and generous.
Because they were the common people under Lin Yuan’s rule, so as the reputation of South Bodhisattva got bigger and bigger they also felt pride.
The woman’s family now lived in Taizhou, and they didn’t conceal their situation from others. People living in the area knew that they were sister-in-laws. The atmosphere in Taizhou was not as good as that of Gaoyou. It was still rare for women to set up households. Sometimes you couldn’t see such a household on a whole street. Households that recruited son-in-laws were also rare. If not for the family having no sons or relatives they would not choose to recruit son-in-laws.
But jobs were still easy to find. The sister-in-laws were all from landowning families and could read and write, so they all went to do the work of transcription. They could now provide for three meals a day. The house could burn charcoal in winter and use ice in summer. Even when compared to when they were young ladies, the quality of life was almost the same.
The woman didn’t understand, so she asked the female supervisor: “Even if women can read and write, they are still women. How can a woman do the work of a man?”
The female supervisor smiled and looked at her: “Then if you are asked to give up this job to a man, will you do it?”
On the one hand, the woman felt that it was not good for them to take away a man’s work, but on the other hand they were reluctant to give up such a good job. How expensive was paper and ink! When they were not yet married, the paper and ink at home were only allocated for their brothers. When practicing writing they could only use the paper scraps left from their brothers.
Female supervisor: “Since you are asked to do this, you can do it with peace of mind, and you don’t have to use these words to test me. Don’t the lords above know the truth better than us? You just do your work well, and if you do it well, there will naturally be benefits. If you do a bad job, there are so many other people who want to take your place. Instead of thinking about this and that, it’s better to do more things and earn a promotion.”
The woman’s eyes widened: “Promotion?”
Female supervisor: “I was promoted. I used to do the transcription work just like you. After two years of work, the boss said that I was diligent, so I was promoted and became a female supervisor.”
The woman asked cautiously: “Being a female supervisor, how is it different from now?”
The female supervisor smiled somewhat proudly: “You earn six hundred coins in one month, while I earn three qian in one month. You tell me what’s the difference?”
Three qian! (TN: qian=1/10 of a tael)
The woman swallowed.
Three qian might have been nothing to her when their family was still wealthy.
At the end of the year, four or five qian were rewarded to close servants.
But since their family had declined, she had never seen so much money again.
The woman hurriedly said: “Then I will go back to work, I will leave now!”
She bowed to the female supervisor and returned to the workhouse with wind under her feet.
When Lin Yuan found out that among the people who had fled from Tongzhou there consisted of moderately well-off families, he knew that the time had come. At this time, going to attack Tongzhou would incur the least loss. The people of Tongzhou were full of discontent, and those who dared to run had already run away, and those who dared not run away would likely run away soon. If the senior provincial official of Tongzhou was smart, he would not allow the common people to flee.
But forcefully closing the city gates was not enough. The people were not beasts that could be locked up inside fences.
The people had their own wisdom.
Most of them went out of the city on the grounds of leaving to visit relatives, and they would come back the first two times. Only when the guards relaxed their vigilance would they flee with their family wealth.
——Unlike the poor, these people with assets were the important pillars to ensure the economic cycle of Tongzhou.
Losing these people was like having the bones of a person being pulled away one by one. Tongzhou was gradually crumbling bit by bit. It would only take a little bit of effort for it to immediately fall apart.
At this time, Li Congrong had already sent his troops out with Luo Ben as the military strategist. They used the old method again this time, surrounding the city but not fighting. What if someone escaped from Tongzhou? That was fine, we’ll accept you and then send you to Gaoyou or Taizhou. The officials in Tongzhou want to leave the city? Sorry, you are all big shots, how could you run around?
As for the soldiers in Tongzhou…..
Lu Hui did try to send troops to attack outside the city, but the huge trebuchet was there, and countless explosives would explode at the gate of the city when they moved. After several tries, Lu Hui could only remain trapped in Tongzhou.
Even if he wanted to send people to request help from the court they would have to be able to leave Tongzhou in the first place.
Moreover, the imperial court’s forces were now concentrated in the Anfeng area. They want to ask for help, but at most they could only ask for help from nearby cities and counties. But how much military force could these neighboring cities have? It was just delaying the end.
“You! You gave me such a good idea!” Lu Hui pointed angrily at the Sub-prefect’s nose in the governmental office, “Saying something like shooing away the poor and lowly and leaving only the rich behind! Now look! The rich are gone too! Just rely on those big households? Will those big households be willing to give me money to support my soldiers?”
The Sub-prefect also felt wronged. He truly felt that his idea was good, but no matter how good the idea was, there would always be a slip-up. This could not be blamed on him, the South Bodhisattva was just too treacherous!
“My lord, it has already come to this point.” The Sub-prefect lowered his head and said, “There is no food, and the big households won’t come out, saying that their family has too many people to feed. They can give money, but the food they refuse to hand over.”
Lu Hui’s eyes widened: “Are my soldiers dead? If they won’t hand it over, don’t they know to take it?”
The Sub-prefect was taken aback: “Isn’t this robbery?”
Lu Hui spat at him: “Then you think of a way instead of saying this doesn’t work, that doesn’t work? If I kill you, the meat on your bones won’t even be enough for each of my soldiers to eat one bite!”
Thinking of the money and food at home, the Sub-prefect said quickly: “My lord’s idea is the best. It is me with no knowledge. Please do not waste your time with me.”
Lu Hui snorted and ordered his soldiers to take food from the big households that day.
These soldiers couldn’t beat the soldiers besieging their city, but it was not difficult to deal with the big households who only have family servants as fighting power.
At the beginning, the big households did give out food. After all, there were brutal demons outside the city, and no one wanted to give up their life for just some food.
But the soldiers came more and more frequently, and the food asked for became more and more. After several times, their own food supply was about to bottom out.
The large households gathered together to discuss countermeasures.
“We must let him know that we are not this easy to bully.”
“If we let his appetite become greedy, aren’t we the ones to suffer?”
“Without food, we will also starve to death.”
“We must think of a solution.”
“I have a miraculous medicine. After taking it, it can make people feel like they are in paradise.”
“This medicine is good, but jusr don’t know how to make him take it.”
“How is this difficult? His most favored concubine was gifted to him by me.”
“Brother Zhao is wise, Brother Zhao is wise!”
“Brother Zhao, if you have any requests in the future, we don’t dare to refuse!”
Lu Hui was not too indulgent when it came to women. He had only one wife and two concubines. He also didn’t keep any entertainers. His wife was determined by his parents and was a young lady from an affluent family. She was in charge of the inner courtyard and he treated his wife with respect.
Of the concubines, one was taken to fill the spot. She was of a commoner background and served both the mistress and Lu Hui. Although she was not beautiful in appearance, she was gentle and attentive.
The other concubine was given to him by the Zhao family. Lu Hui originally didn’t want to accept——if it was spread that an official of the imperial court accepted a woman by the people below him, it would be enough to earn him reprimand. But the woman charmed him helpless, sometimes gentle and attentive, sometimes proud and willful, and sometimes natural and unrestrained. How was this just a woman, this was practically a dozen women in one.
Not to mention that this woman was proficient in music, chess, calligraphy and art. When she was given to him, she was also a virgin. Lu Hui could only take the risk of accepting this concubine.
After she entered his house, he would visit his wife on the first ten days of each month, and then spend the remaining 20 days in this concubine’s room. As for the other concubine, she became just a decoration.
If he was frustrated from outside matters, when he returned to his house he would go straight to the concubine’s room. The concubine wore a red gauze dress and kept her long hair down. She did not appear as strict and proper as the mistress, with a few strands of hair hanging down. Slender fingers plucked at the strings of a qin, her whole person appearing romantic and charming. Seeing Lu Hui entering the door, the concubine smiled: “My lord, what awe-inspiring authority, did this door provoke you?”
Lu Hui glanced at the door he pushed open vigorously, his irritability already dissipating. He sat next to the concubine and took up her hand in his own. He showed a rare weak appearance: “Tongzhou nowadays is not so good, Jiao’er, you have suffered living with me like this.”
The concubine Jiao’er shook her head: “Where my lord is, then that is where this slave will be. What bad days haven’t I experienced? Being by my lord’s side means good days to me.”
Lu Hui hugged Jiao’er’s shoulders and Jiao’er’s head rested on his shoulders, her face smiling and affectionate, as if she really loved this man. Lu Hui’s hand traveled down from her shoulders and Jiao’er’s belt slid open. Her fingertips touched Lu Hui’s shoulder, putting a distance between them.
“My lord, you must also take care of your body.” Jiao’er frowned slightly. “Mistress also reminded this slave that no matter how much this slave is favored, this slave must be considerate of my lord’s body.”
Lu Hui was taken aback for a moment, and also smiled: “I am getting older, and I am indeed a little bit less full of energy.”
Jiao’er said softly: “This slave has come into possession of a certain good thing.”
Lu Hui: “What is it?”
Jiao’er: “Do you know that Chen Half-Immortal?”
The smile on Lu Hui’s face became suggestive. Chen Half-Immortal was a specialist in aphrodisiacs, but none of the people who had taken the pills he made did not say good things about it. His pills did not hurt the body, but Chen Half-Immortal did not live in a fixed place, often traveling everywhere. It was not easy to find him to request for medicine.
Jiao’er took out a small package and unfolded it to show it to Lu Hui.
Lu Hui picked up the white pill and said to the servant outside: “Bring a dog.”
Lu Hui broke off a little bit of the pill and fed it to the dog. Sure enough, he saw the dog’s four claws pawing restlessly, and the thing under was also raising a head.
“It’s truly a good thing!” Lu Hui swallowed the pill in one bite, and with a big wave of his hand, he took Jiao’er into his arms.
Jiao’er’s arms wrapped around him like snakes, exhaling a fragrant breath: “My lord loves this slave?”
Lu Hui was in the middle of working hard: “Be good, wait until this lord has finished then I will talk to you.”
Jiao’er entangled Lu Hui in her embrace. After the clouds had dispersed and the rain stopped, Jiao’er shook the person lying on her body: “My lord?”
No one answered her.
Jiao’er stretched out her hand to test Lu Hui’s breathing, and after confirming that the person was dead, she sneered and pushed the person away.
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
She walked to the window without bothering to cover herself, and said in a grim tone: “Tell the lord that the thief, Lu, is dead.”
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