Yuzhu was a very clever girl. She was obedient and capable and never spoke out of turn in front of Su Mu. And in front of the servants, she was kind but dignified, able to keep in line all of the palace maids. In front of the obviously frightened Madam Shen, she was like a gentle and caring friend. Of course, she would also make sure to never step out of bounds. Yuzhu changed the wooden face she presented in front of Su Mu to a kind and amiable face as shr brought over the ginseng soup to Madam Shen. She said: “Madam, please be at ease. With His Highness’s protection, there will definitely not be any trouble that will find you. Doctor Hu specially asked me to cook this ginseng soup for you, which will be good for you and your child.”
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Madam Shen took the ginseng soup carefully, and seeing that Yuzhu was about the same age as herself and had a kind smile on her face, her fluctuating mood suddenly calmed down a lot. She obediently drank all of the ginseng soup in the bowl before putting it down. Hesitatingly she asked: “My…..my Lady…..His Highness…..why…..”
Yuzhu picked up the bowl on the table and handed it to the maid next to her. She smiled and said: “You are now the wife of His Highness, and the child in your stomach is the child of His Highness. It is natural for you to live in the Crown Prince’s Palace.”
Madam Shen shut up, but she was still very uneasy. She was a person with normal IQ, and she naturally understood that the Crown Prince wanted the child in her stomach. But she was afraid that if it was a girl child in her stomach, would the Crown Prince still want the child? What if the Crown Prince was displeased with the outcome and killed both her and her child? It was frightening just thinking about it.
Yuzhu did not miss any of the expressions on Madam Shen’s face and comforted her until she fell asleep. She then carefully walked out of the room and towards the Crown Prince’s study.
The officials who had been following the news in the imperial palace were immediately awakened by this huge piece of news. And despite it being the middle of the night, they all rushed to the side hall of the Taihe Hall early to wait for the morning assembly, completely unable to sleep anymore.
Li Gaosheng of the Ministry of Industry walked up to Yuan Fulu, who looked like a corpse with two thick dark circles under his eyes, and asked in a low voice, “Lord Yuan, did you also get the news?”
Yuan Fulu said in a bad tone: “The Crown Prince did not intend to conceal it at all, otherwise we could not have heard anything. It has been a night, and I am afraid that most of the imperial city already knows this. The son taking the father’s woman, such a thing can only be done by our Crown Prince! And he did it so blatantly! This is simply…..ai!”
Li Gaosheng leaned in towards Yuan Fulu’s ear and continued: “That woman is pregnant and the Crown Prince says it is his. Are you saying this is true?”
Yuan Fulu said: “The Crown Prince hasn’t touched a woman for so many years, how can he be suddenly charmed by such an inconspicuous woman.”
A gasp sounded. Although he had some suspicions, Li Gaosheng still couldn’t believe that the Crown Prince would be so bold. “Then…..that child…..”
Sun Wei, the Shangshu of the Ministry of Revenue next to them, saw that these two people were discussing with such gusto, and couldn’t help but remind them: “If you don’t want the Crown Prince to use you to sharpen his blade, then shut your mouth tightly. In any case, this kingdom still belongs to the Su family. What are you worried about?”
Peng Han of the Ministry of Rites walked over with deep worries: “Recently, the Crown Prince has been very close to the newly appointed officials, and various imperial orders have even been sent out to the whole country without going through the six ministries. Is the Crown Prince planning to dismiss us all?”
Li Gaosheng said with some uncertainty: “The Crown Prince still goes to court to discuss politics with us every day, and he doesn’t show any intention of promoting those brats. We haven’t made any mistakes lately, so the Crown Prince would not do anything to us…..I think.”
Peng Han glanced at Yun Jing, who was sitting on a stool with his eyes closed, and said: “Let us ask Lord Yun.”
The three nodded and followed Peng Han over to Yun Jing.
Yun Jing noticed that someone came and slowly opened his eyes and said, “Is there something the matter?”
Li Gaosheng smiled and said: “Lord Yun, you are well informed. I wonder if you have received any important news from the palace recently.”
Yun Jing wondered: “Didn’t you all learn of the news yesterday?”
They also didn’t hold out all that much hope to get any important information from Yun Jing, it was just to maintain their friendship through chatting. He was not only a colleague but also an opponent. The buzzing and noise in the side hall continued until the Crown Prince arrived. Instantly, everyone closed their mouths neatly and uniformly as if the pause button had been pressed.
Su Mu sat on the golden dragon chair in magnificent court robes. He glanced around and said, “If there is nothing then submit your reports.”
The officials underneath especially wanted to point at Su Mu’s nose and yell “You say, as the Crown Prince of a country, how can you take your father’s woman for yourself? Who knows whose seed it is in that woman’s belly. The entire royal family’s face is shamed by you, and us officials also feel ashamed to see people! Don’t you have any sense of shame…..”
However, the submissive officials who had been suppressed into obedient sheep by Su Mu only dared to yell in their hearts. They didn’t even dare to look at Su Mu, fearing that the Crown Prince would discover their dissatisfaction and thus murdee them on the spot as a way of venting his anger. Although the Crown Prince did not seem to have killed innocent people indiscriminately in a year. However, no one dared to be the early bird due to the Crown Prince’s long held prestige.
But there were still some smart people. A gray-haired old official slowly walked out of the queue, holding a piece of yellowed paper in his hand. He bowed towards Su Mu and said, “Your Highness, this was written by a scholar from the imperial city pinned on the streets. While walking by, this official saw this and feeling the importance of this matter, this official brought it along to present to Your Highness.”
Upon seeing this, the eunuch on the side immediately went over and brought it over to Su Mu.
Su Mu took over the slightly worn paper and glanced over it. He then slapped the paper to the ground, and said furiously: “A bunch of nonsense. This person must be tired of living. Madam Shen had always been Ben Gong’s woman, and the child in her stomach is also of Ben Gong’s blood. Whoever wants to say another word, Ben Gong will exterminate his nine clans as punishment. You all take a salary and yet don’t do any real business, instead showing interest in such nonsense. Have you finished digging a canal in the Xijiang River and building a reservoir for water storage? Have you re-categorize and counted the various kinds of taxation? Have you made preparations for the autumn harvest? Don’t think that Ben Gong doesn’t know your thoughts, you all take the people’s salary and don’t work hard for the people, but you are all quite interested in criticizing the family affairs of Ben Gong! The way Ben Gong sees it, you have eaten too much and have too much energy! From now on this matter will not be mentioned again, otherwise, don’t blame Ben Gong for being ruthless!”
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Seeing Su Mu’s anger, all the officials immediately knelt down, “This official is guilty.” The official who presented the paper was scolded to death by the others in their hearts, all of them vowing to teach the old guy a lesson afterwards. After following the Crown Prince for so long, why didn’t some people know that whatever good deeds the Crown Prince had already done did not tolerate any say from others? This person was really looking for trouble!
Su Mu stood up, harrumphed and turned to leave.
The officials below remained kneeling tremblingly until it was confirmed that Su Mu had gone far away before getting up and wiping the cold sweat on their foreheads.
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