Originally, what Su Mu wanted to find was just a fraud who could fool people. After all, people with knowledge in this world, where civilized thinking was not all that prominent, were not so easy to find. Su Mu’s original plan had to be adjusted. The mainstream culture of the world now emphasized that the weak being the prey of the strong was justified, and the ethical order was not developed. The existence of this kind of philosopher who talked of benevolence was somewhat beyond Su Mu’s expectations. It was no wonder that he was so destitute as advocating “benevolent integrity” in a world where strength was respected was simply not popular to the public.
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Su Mu said: “Mister’s profound knowledge is beyond the reach of this world. Ben Gong can’t bear the pearl being covered by dust, so I want to invite Mister to give lectures in our Qing kingdom. I hope that Mister will not refuse.”
Although Jiang Rende was a proud man, he was not a fool. He had been to many countries and seen many princes and nobles, but who among them didn’t throw him out and call him a fool? He had long heard of this Crown Prince of the Qing kingdom, and the rumors of him being brutal, bloodthirsty, greedy and lustful caused him to have no desire to meet him at all. But now he was forcibly kidnapped over by this Crown Prince just so that he could give lectures in the Qing kingdom? Although Jiang Rende was a bit moved, he still noticed that there was something tricky in this matter. However, his complexion was much better than before and he asked: “This old one has traveled around and seen many princes and nobles. As such, I do possess self-awareness about myself. In this world, power and strength is the norm and to be respected, so why does the Crown Prince want to promote ‘benevolent integrity’?”
Su Mu smiled and said: “The respect towards strength does not conflict with ‘benevolent integrity’. Force is hard power to conquer the human body, culture is soft power to conquer the human heart, and thus only using both soft and hard power together is the right way. From ancient times till now, countless warfare among kingdoms has continued. Among them, there are kingdoms powerful enough to unite most of the world, but still no regime has persisted for more than a hundred years. This is because none of them had conquered the hearts of the people.”
This Crown Prince seemed to be a little different from the rumors. As this thought flashed past in his mind, he soon felt greatly shaken in his heart. What the other meant was that his beliefs were a form of soft power which could conquer the world. Jiang Rende could feel the flow of blood accelerating in his veins. No one in this world could be indifferent to power, but what he advocated was benevolent integrity after all. Power was a derogatory term in his eyes. After calming down, he looked at Su Mu with contempt and said: “This old one advocates benevolent integrity and what I hope for is that the people of this world will treat others with generosity, humility, and kindness, rather than consolidate power for influential people like you.”
Su Mu patiently said: “Why can’t the consolidation of political power and ‘benevolent integrity’ coexist? Only when the government is stable and without internal and external strife can the people live and work in peace and develop respect for benevolence and virtue.”
Jiang Rende was a person who possessed wisdom and convincing him was not an easy thing. After talking for a long time, until he was dry in the mouth, he finally convinced Jiang Rende.
Fortunately, the world where Su Mu lived had thousands of years of cultural accumulation. Although he only scratched the surface, it was enough for Jiang Rende to think about for a lifetime. After all, it was the essence of a world, and what had been passed down for thousands of years were all priceless treasures.
Su Mu watched the old man sitting motionless on the stool, completely immersed in thinking and not the least bit disturbed by the outside surroundings. He picked up the cup of ginseng tea that Yuzhu brought over to moisten his throat. But before he could even put down the teacup, he saw Huang Xuan and Liu Xi walking in with solemn faces, and even the usual courtesy was just hurriedly performed.
“What’s wrong? Looking so panicked.” Su Mu put down his teacup and asked.
The two looked at each other, and Huang Xuan turned his head to look at Su Mu and said: “Your Highness, Madam Shen is pregnant?”
Su Mu frowned. He didn’t know of any Madam Shen, but when looking at the wary expressions on their faces, Su Mu instantly guessed the identity of this “Madam Shen”. She must be the woman of this body’s father. The emperor’s women were collectively called “Madam” whether they had any titles or not, and it seemed that this woman was not very favored. Su Mu immediately got up from the stool and said to the two of them: “Lead the way.”
Su Yuan was only fifty or so, but it had been ten years since he began taking various medicines and the palace had no news of any concubines falling pregnant this whole time. Following Su Mu as he hurried to the harem, Huang Xuan and Liu Xi were a little puzzled. Whether the Crown Prince wanted to get rid of the baby or not, it was not necessary for him to go in person.
At the moment, Madam Shen, who lived in a more remote part of the palace, shrunk back in the quilts with a look of despair. She had entered the palace at the age of fourteen and was now eighteen. She was one of the few women who managed to survive in the palace for such a long time, so she knew very well of the horrors in the harem. Let us not mention those imperial concubines who deliberately scheme to prevent others from giving birth to imperial heirs, just the person living in the Crown Prince’s Palace and his people were enough to send her to the abyss. From the moment she was diagnosed with pregnancy, the outside of her residence was completely surrounded by troops and forbidden entrance by anyone. The only thing she could do now was choose whether to die early or late.
But survival was a human instinct. She still lacked the courage to take her own life. Of course, she didn’t know that even if she wanted to die, she would not be allowed, because the Crown Prince had already given orders that all pregnant imperial concubines were not allowed to come into contact with anyone or have any accidents.
“His Royal Highness is here!”
The eunuch’s shrill voice sounded outside like a death call, and Madam Shen wiped her tears and lifted the quilts. The door was opened as soon as she got down from the bed. This was the first time facing this notorious god of death in person and Madam Shen was so scared that she trembled all over. She knelt down on the hard stone slab while trembling and said with fright: “Paying…..paying respects to…..Your Royal…..Highness.”
“You should protect yourself when you are pregnant, so don’t kneel anymore.” Su Mu stood at the door and glanced at Yuzhu.
Yuzhu immediately walked to Madam Shen and helped the completely limp Madam Shen up.
The Crown Prince’s move caused everyone present to be very puzzled, but no one dared to say anything. However, Su Mu’s next words nearly scared everyone present to death.
“The child in Madam Shen’s belly is mine. From now on, she shall live in the Fufeng Tower of the Crown Prince’s Palace.”
Before Su Mu’s words even finished, everyone looked at him as if they were looking at a madman, including Liu Xi and Huang Xuan. As for Madam Shen, she was completely struck senseless by this thunderbolt, leaving her brain blank and completely unable to reason. Even as she was helped to stand by someone, her whole person was still dumbfounded.
This child was of course not Su Mu’s. Madam Shen had no power or influence, and it was even more unlikely that she would have illicit relations with others. This child was undoubtedly Su Yuan’s. Su Mu preventing Liu Xi and Huang Xuan from doing anything to the emperor back then was exactly for this reason. Although the chance was not big, there was nothing wrong in trying. And it turned out that Su Yuan was still a bit useful after all. Su Mu knew that his decision was crazy and unbelievable, but so what? He would send anyone who dared to gossip about this down to hell.
It’s just that another stroke would be added to the various black history of the Crown Prince.
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 )
Su Mu personally took her to Fufeng Tower and had his most trusted maid Yuzhu to serve Madam Shen. Huang Xuan and Doctor Hu were appointed to check Madam Shen’s physical condition on a regular basis. The number of guards outside Fufeng Tower were even more than those in any other parts of the palace. The importance that the Crown Prince exhibited towards this was enough to attract everyone’s attention. No matter the origins of this child, he/she was now the Crown Prince’s and he/she was given enough importance that no one dared to regard this child lightly.
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