Su Mu sat on the dragon chair majestically, his mind gaze swept across the kneeling officials, before saying, “Rise.”
“Thanking Your Royal Highness.”
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“Is there any matter of importance to report?” Su Mu’s unhurried voice sounded in the great hall.
Yun Jing, hair silvery white and with a slow pace, came forward and said, “Your Highness, according to Your Highness’s instructions, three more examination sites for agriculture, industry and commerce have been added to the autumn imperial examinations this year, but the chief examiner and the test questions have not yet been determined. Your Highness, please give your orders.”
Su Mu tilted his head slightly and pondered: “Scholars, farmers, artisans and merchants. For the scholars, Ben Gong has explained earlier, Ben Gong doesn’t want any people who just know to write fancy essays but people who can carry out practical things. Ben Gong will come up with this year’s test questions.”
Yun Jing was a little surprised. In recent years, Su Mu’s reforms had taken drastic measures and almost cut down the entire bureaucratic system of the original Qing Kingdom. However, personally coming up with the test questions had not happened before. The officials all tried to guess the possible test questions based on Su Mu’s previous behavior so as to provide advice for the younger generations at home.
Su Mu was not interested in the thoughts of the officials, and after a pause, he continued: “Considering the possibility of illiteracy among farmers, artisans and merchants, Ben Gong will send three book attendants to record at the same time, and the examiners must also be present as well.”
After Yun Jing retreated, Shen Wei walked out of the queue of officials, and said with loud vigor: “Your Highness, the Shenwu General of the Shi Kingdom Duanmu Tie has been brought to the imperial city. Please decide what to do next, Your Highness.”
What to do next? Su Mu frowned and asked the officials below: “What do my officials think is an appropriate action to take?”
It would be a shame to just kill Shi Ran’s vanguard general in this way.
Lin Siyuan, who was at the end of the queue, looked around and then walked out with lowered eyes: “The Shenwu General of the Shi Kingdom possesses impressive martial arts and godly military talents. If he can be used by Your Highness, it will add to Your Highness’s advantage as well as cause pain to the Emperor of Shi.”
“Your Highness, this old minister thinks this is not appropriate, Duanmu Tie is a vulgar and unruly person, not a good choice for a general. Your Highness, please think about it carefully.” Yuan Fulu’s person was really like a round gourd, and as Su Mu listened to him he could not help but think about how much energy it would save the other if this person rolled out the main hall instead of walking out.
Su Mu had actually already made a decision in his heart, but he just wanted to probe the attitude of the officials. From the faces of these people, Su Mu could already make out most of their attitudes. When he saw someone else wanted to refute aa well, he waved his hand: “We’ll discuss this matter another time, just lock him up for now.”
Su Mu sat on the dragon chair and waited for the next report.
“En?” With some surprise, he watched the Astronomy Supervisor, who had been like a background prop the whole time, walk out tremblingly.
Su Mu still remembered the last time the Astronomy Supervisor spoke, and he seemed to have scolded him for something.
The Astronomy Supervisor, whose face was full of wrinkles, sighed in his heart. It was really more bitter than medicine! Last time, he was half beaten to death by the Crown Prince because he said that the day and time of the conferrence of the Crown Prince’s Consort was unlucky, and also not telling the heavens and the ancestors was an unfaithful and unfilial act.
Yes, that was right, he was beaten. It was not as simple as just the scolding that Su Mu remembered!
The Astronomy Supervisor didn’t want to step out again, but he had no choice this time. He could only toughen his scalp and said: “Your Highness, the afternoon on the 8th day of the month is auspicious and just right to hold the Hundred Days Banquet for the little imperial grandson and the little princess.”
As a “feng shui master” for the imperial family, he had never suffered so much.
Su Mu had a dazed look.
What? Hundred Day Banquet? Whose?
After a while, Su Mu realized that his pair of cheap son and daughter were going to be a hundred days old.
Su Mu sweated a little, and felt that he was a bit of a scumbag. No matter what he could still be regarded as the “father” of others, and yey he couldn’t even remember the existence of these two little guys.
Su Mu felt that it was necessary to compensate mother and children, and waved his hands: “Allowed, reward for the Astronomy Supervisor.”
The Astronomy Supervisor, who completely did not expect this, knelt on the ground with weakened legs, and shouted: “Thanking Your Highness’s favor!”
In Fufeng Tower, Zhao Rou was currently teasing the two chubby dumplings with a happy face, and said in a gentle voice: “Heng’er, Yan’er, I am your mommy, do you want to go out and play with your mommy?”
A palace maid in her thirties brought a bowl of warm chicken soup and put it next to Zhao Rou, saying with a wide smile: “Niangniang is really blessed, the little imperial grandson and the little princess are so adorable, this clever little appearance is truly endearing.”
Zhao Rou also smiled widely, her whole person surrounded by bubbles of happiness, “You praise them too much.”
The palace maid carelessly said: “I am a straightforward person, and I never tell lies.” Suddenly she lowered her voice again, leaning closer to Zhao Rou’s ear and said, “I day, Niangniang, it’s been almost three months since the little imperial grandson and little princess have been born, but why hasn’t His Highness come once?”
The smile on Zhao Rou’s face disappeared, and her brows furrowed slightly: “His Highness visited on their month old birthday, not to mention His Highness is busy with governmental affairs so how could he have time to come here.”
Earlier, the servants in the Fufeng Tower were all replaced by Liu Xi inexplicably. Zhao Rou didn’t say anything, so long as they didn’t hurt the three of them, mother and children then it was fine, but now she was a little unhappy.
The palace maid continued to speak: “Niangniang, I have heard that His Highness often goes to other courtyards. Don’t let those male foxes suppress you underneath them!”
She pointed to the direction where Yun Feiyu and the others lived and said, “When I was working in the Wu family…..”
“Enough!” Zhao Rou suddenly interrupted her, her eyes sharpening for a moment, but then softening in the end. She herself was not a decisive and domineering person.
“This kind of thing is not allowed to be mentioned in the future, otherwise you will ve sent out of the palace.” Zhao Rou frowned and said.
The smile on the palace maid’s face froze when she was suddenly interrupted, and she said with a dry chuckle: “Niangniang, I am thinking of you too. That Liu Xi is too arrogant. He actually had someone to come to Fufeng Tower and drag palace lady Wang away to be beaten, he clearly doesn’t take you seriously…..”
Zhao Rou’s brows furrowed even tighter, and holding back her anger she said: “You can go out by yourself, don’t come in anymore.”
At this moment, a call of “His Royal Highness has arrived” suddenly came from the courtyard, and Zhao Rou hurriedly stood up in shock, preparing to change clothes to greet the Crown Prince.
In the hall, Su Mu waited for Zhao Rou boredly. He could only blame himself for not giving notice in advance, he could just imagine that everyone was rushing around inside.
After a short while, Zhao Rou appeared in front of Su Mu, respectfully and without a trace of overstepping: “Chen qie pays respects to Your Highness.”
Su Mu nodded and said: “Rise, I’m here to take a look at the children.”
The people behind Zhao Rou immediately went back to bring the children over, while Zhao Rou stood below with a respectful expression.
She was not smart enough, but she was definitely not stupid. She knew where her position was. As the Crown Prince’s Consort, the “only” woman in the palace of the Crown Prince and the one to give birth to an heir, no one could shake her position so long as she did not do anything stupid.
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After all, the Crown Prince only liked men!
Zhao Rou had never forgotten the real reason why she became the Crown Prince’s Consort.Previous