Chen Baisong and the others went to Huangzhou and Zhu Yuanzhang stayed guarding Hanyang. Zhu Yuanzhang was a born general. He possessed a military intuition that no matter how hard others tried they could never compare. In truth, Lin Yuan actually most valued him among all the generals.
But value also meant worry. He had already climbed up to this position and once Zhu Yuanzhang took his soldiers to find another road, he could only stamp his feet.
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But Lin Yuan was also willing to believe in Zhu Yuanzhang.
Now it happened that Lin Yuan had an opportunity to learn more about Zhu Yuanzhang.
Lin Yuan first asked Zhu Yuanzhang to send people to patrol and determine the daily curfew time for Hanyang.
In addition to this, he added several new departments, and each department had one of the scholars brought by Lin Yuan in charge, with the generals assisting on the side.
He didn’t want his civil officials and military generals to be as confrontational as those in Anfeng.
That was not conducive to the sound development of the political arena.
“My Lord.” Zhu Yuanzhang handed Lin Yuan the list of military officers who were assigned. He said, “These people are all old veterans who follow me, and I know their temperaments.”
Lin Yuan took a sip of tea and said to Zhu Yuanzhang: “Have a seat.”
Zhu Yuanzhang sat down readily.
For Zhu Yuanzhang, guarding Hanyang with Lin Yuan this time was a good opportunity.
Everyone could see Lin Yuan’s preference for Chen Baisong, and the reason was very simple. Chen Baisong was his nanny brother. The two had known each other for a long time, and Lin Yuan was sure that Chen Baisong would not betray him.
But towards others, Lin Yuan might not be so sure.
But Zhu Yuanzhang rarely had the opportunity to get close to Lin Yuan.
Sometimes, only when those who were in charge trust him and treat him as one of their own, would the future prospects be even greater.
Zhu Yuanzhang naturally hoped to be trusted by Lin Yuan.
But he knew that he and Chen Baisong were different.
Chen Baisong was his nanny brother, while he only met Lin Yuan halfway. Even Yang Zi’an and Li Congrong occupied his sworn brother’s name. Only he had no deeper connection.
So Chen Baisong and the others were Lin Yuan’s own people.
Zhu Yuanzhang would occasionally think that if he was Zhao Zilong, in order to be able to get ahead, don’t even mention putting in the effort to save Ah Dou, he would still do so even if he had to do anything. If he didn’t, he would be destitute for a lifetime while if he did there would be a chance.
Lin Yuan smiled at him: “Have some tea.”
Zhu Yuanzhang picked up the teacup and took a sip absent-mindedly.
Lin Yuan said: “When Huangzhou is defeated, I will have brother Li be stationed in Huangzhou. You and Bai Song will go with me to attack Anfeng. What do you think?”
Zhu Yuanzhang said: “If my Lord commands the armies, it must definitely be a victory.”
Lin Yuan smirked: “Don’t have to say these compliments. I know my own weight and capabilities. You all have been working under me for so many years, and you all know me and my temper.”
Zhu Yuanzhang fell silent. He didn’t know what Lin Yuan wanted to say so the safest way was to keep silent.
Lin Yuan said: “When I used to say this before it made me appear like I was too arrogant, but now when I say this, it is considered to be very natural. When I sit in that seat one day, I will confer you a princely title.”
Zhu Yuanzhang did not dare to look directly at Lin Yuan, but in his heart there were already huge waves roiling and surging.
All those who follow Lin Yuan want to get a merit of supporting the dragon (TN: supporting the future emperor), but everyone knew that it was simple to speak of being conferred a princely title, but since ancient times, there were few that were given such a title. This was undoubtedly a huge temptation, and no one could resist. Zhu Yuanzhang naturally also could not.
Lin Yuan: “I do what I say, as long as you live up to my expectations, I will live up to yours.”
Zhu Yuanzhang looked at Lin Yuan’s eyes, and he naturally must express his loyalty at this time.
After Zhu Yuanzhang was seen out, Lin Yuan began to read the financial statements of Gaoyou and other places. Each quarterly report would be sent to Lin Yuan. The income and expenditures were clearly written. The ancients had the wisdom of the ancients, so when Lin Yuan proposed the simplification of the financial reports, they came up with a new way to simplify and reform it from the original basis. Now it was much easier for Lin Yuan to look through them.
But it still took a lot of time.
Lin Yuan sometimes felt that he was just a person who looked for work on his own. He should have officials who would be in charge of financial affairs. However, those officials were sent out by him to govern the common people, and he preferred to check these financial reports by himself.
People die for money and birds die for food, no matter how loyal the people below were to him, in the face of huge interests that might no longer be the case.
The reports from Gaoyou and other regions that had already gone on the right track look good every quarter.
Although it had not yet reached the level of balancing out the previous expenditures, the common people were now already able to support themselves and the economy had begun a virtuous circle. Because of the increase in factories, the gap between the rich and the poor was not large. The rich were still rich, but the poor were already living much better.
After Lin Yuan read the reports, he had people file it away and prepared to go for a walk.
As soon as he walked through the rockery, someone bumped into his arms.
Lin Yuan frowned. There shouldn’t be any clumsy and disorderly people in the place where he was present. When he looked down, he understood——
The person who crashed into his arms was a woman. She was not too old and should not even be twenty years old. She had wet deer-like eyes, her skin was as delicate and white as jade, her lips were red, and her figure was slender but exquisite. She knelt down in a panic to plead guilty.
Lin Yuan: “Rise, be careful from now on.”
The woman’s shoulders were shaking. She wanted to look up at Lin Yuan, but she didn’t dare.
“Put away those thoughts and spend your energy where it should be spent.”
After Lin Yuan said these words, he lifted his foot and left.
Only the woman was left kneeling on the spot.
She looked at the direction Lin Yuan left in, and bit her lower lip. She couldn’t fail. Her parents and relatives were all in Dadu. If she failed, she would never see them again.
So long as the Southern King was still a man, she would definitely be able to occupy a place by his side.
Lin Yuan thought that this frivolous girl was just an episode, but he did not expect that he would keep “encountering” her on various occasions. Her desire was so obvious that she could be seen through with just a glance.
Lin Yuan now didn’t think that women would yearn for him because they loved him. He could no longer be regarded as a human being. He was a combination of power and wealth. Now people approached him in order to get some benefits from him.
The heights were cold and lonely. Lin Yuan sometimes felt that he could no longer tell what was true and what was false.
He also hoped to have a person sleeping on the pillow next to him.
But this seemed to be an extravagant hope.
The human heart was hard to control, and it was hard for him to say whether or not he would one day be influenced by his emotions.
According to Lin Yuan’s own plan, he did not need children. Fortunately, he did not like children very much.
The little maid’s name was Yu Bi, and she would always approach Lin Yuan’s side.
Even Yang Shaowei occasionally said: “That little maid has a deep affection for my Lord.”
In the eyes of these men, it was normal to accept one or two women. Both men and women were attracted to powerful people.
There were still many young people with good looks who were willing to rely on powerful middle-aged men.
The worse the world was, the weaker the moral concept would become, and the more open the social atmosphere.
Yu Bi was also noticed by Lin Yuan.
This weak, deer-like woman seemed to be by Lin Yuan’s side all the time, watching Lin Yuan. When she looked at Lin Yuan her eyes were full of love that was obvious at a glance. It was so strong that it was difficult to be ignored.
Lin Yuan couldn’t ignore it either.
But he had no particular feelings.
There were all kinds of women around him, seductive as Tian Xiang, gentle as Hong Xiu, and there were also a lot who were strong and self-reliant. There were all kinds of beauties around him, but probably because he had never had the idea of looking for a partner, so when he looked at them he had no other thoughts other than appreciation.
Lin Yuan sometimes felt that he was probably asexual.
It was just that he himself hadn’t discovered it before.
Lin Yuan ignored Yu Bi, but Yu Bi still kept trying to find a way to meet Lin Yuan by chance.
Lin Yuan felt annoyed, so he said to his subordinates: “Transfer her away, if just anyone can show up next to me, what use do I have you people for?”
Women were always easier to be underestimated. The servants think that Yu Bi was a lovely girl, young and beautiful. And since the South Bodhisattva came to Hanyang he never had a female companion, so they felt that if they gave Yu Bi a chance they could please their master.
After all, offering beauties for the master above was also one of their responsibilities.
Behind heroes, there would always be beautiful women.
Er Liang said lowly while serving Lin Yuan to wash up: “The young master is now in Hanyang and the people below are always worried that the young master is not served properly. In the past, when we were in Gaoyou, there were Hong Xiu and the other sisters serving at your side. Now after coming to Hanyang, if the young master is not pleased they also won’t get any benefits.”
Lin Yuan: “…..” It seemed that they were all very concerned about his bed affairs.
Er Liang chuckled and said: “Young master, that Yu Bi doesn’t look too bad, and she also has a good temper, so if she comes and serves the young master it will also be appropriate.”
Lin Yuan wouldn’t be angry with Er Liang. Er Liang had been following him for so many years and they naturally developed a companionship. Lin Yuan sighed and said, “Er Liang, why have you defected too?”
Er Liang was shocked: “…..How can this be called a defection!”
“Sharing the worries for the master and offering the master beauties is part of our duty as servants.” Er Liang was very aggrieved, “If you are a woman, I will certainly seek out and offer handsome young men of good upbringing.”
Lin Yuan didn’t know whether to laugh or cry: “If you are an eunuch, you’ll definitely take the role of Zhao Gao.”
Er Liang covered his crotch, his face appearing both blue and white: “Young master, I am married. It is nothing to cut that place for the young master, but I am afraid that I will not be able to keep my wife. If in the future she cuckolds me, I will have nowhere to cry.”
“Fine, have Yu Bi serve me.” Lin Yuan took off his robes and lay on the bed, saying to Er Liang, “Don’t let me feel bored.”
Er Liang laughed.
Lin Yuan put his hands under his head and looked at the beam of the bed, wondering who had sent Yu Bi.
It now appeared that she was either from the Yuan imperial court, or from Fang Guozhen. Now that the Yuan imperial court was on the verge of collapse, Fang Guozhen must definitely try to find a way out again.
Either find someone to seek refuge with, or stand on his own.
But the world today, except for him and Anfeng, those who stood on their own hilltops were all just playing house, literally occupying a hilltop and proclaiming themselves the emperor of the land.
Since he sent someone over, then he would kindly accept.
Even if she was not Fang Guozhen’s person, she could act as a piece of bait, and when the time came he could see who caught the bait.
Lin Yuan turned over and closed his eyes to brew sleepiness.
Early the next morning, Yu Bi was sent to Lin Yuan and became Lin Yuan’s personal maid.
Lin Yuan did not ask her about her background. Er Liang said that she had come as a refugee, but he knew that among refugee women fleeing from disaster, most of them stayed in Gaoyou. The servants who followed Lin Yuan were the old servants of the Lin family. Lin Yuan was nostalgic for the old, and liked to use old people. Moreover, he didn’t want to get acquainted with new servants either. The old servants knew him better, knew his temperament, and what he hated, so they wouldn’t step on his bottom line.
What was more, the old servants were not too afraid of him. There was awe, but it did not reach the point where they would be scared to death by just a look from Lin Yuan.
Yu Bi was a careful person. She was good at observing expressions and picking up moods. Lin Yuan didn’t have to say anything and she would naturally bring over the thing he wanted.
It would be fine if she had been serving Lin Yuan the whole time, but she had just arrived at Lin Yuan’s side, which only showed that she was nurtured in this way since she was a child.
How to observe people, how to please, she had studied all of it.
Moreover, Yu Bi had a very good relationship with his servants. The servants all believed that she would become Lin Yuan’s woman, so they were willing to treat Yu Bi nicely either intentionally or unconsciously.
Yu Bi had become the unofficial female master in Lin Yuan’s manor.
She herself was probably also blinded by such an atmosphere.
After all, Lin Yuan had a good temper and always had a smile when facing others. Even if she occasionally did something wrong, Lin Yuan never scolded her.
Sometimes when their eyes met, Yu Bi would blush and feel her heartbeat quicken. She discovered that there was no woman beside Lin Yuan, not even a maid to relieve his needs. Lin Yuan was extremely self-disciplined.
But it was such a person who was more likely to be drawn into the temptation of vices.
“My Lord, this is the new fruit wine offered from below.” Yu Bi came in slowly. She knew how to walk to appear her best, and look the most graceful. She brought the wine to the table in front of Lin Yuan, and softly persuaded, “Please have a taste.”
It was probably due to Lin Yuan’s indulgence during this period that Yu Bi had a lot more courage.
Lin Yuan was not worried that there would be poison in the wine. The poisons of this period were not colorless and tasteless. Most of them were accompanied by a pungent smell. They would not be put into the wine when they were used to poison people. Lin Yuan lightly sniffed the wine and smiled: “This wine is good, sit down and have a drink with me.”
Probably due to Lin Yuan’s smile being too gentle, Yu Bi involuntarily sat down as if she was bespelled.
It was only after sitting down that she realized that she was not qualified to sit, but standing up again at this time would seem like she was defying Lin Yuan’s order, so it would be better to just sit like this.
Lin Yuan asked her: “Do you still remember where you are from?”
Yu Bi had already memorized her story, and quickly said: “This slave was born in the Hezhong prefecture.”
Yu Bi held her breath and waited for Lin Yuan to continue to ask.
But Lin Yuan didn’t ask any more, but drank wine on his own.
Lin Yuan appeared to be tipsy and he undressed and went to bed.
Yu Bi just waited, waited for Lin Yuan to fall still on the bed before she walked over cautiously.
She untied Lin Yuan’s clothes, revealing Lin Yuan’s chest, and then took off Lin Yuan’s pants.
But a drunk man was unable to do anything, so Yu Bi made a small cut on her waist and let the blood fall on the bedding.
The cut here would not be as conspicuous as on the hands, and it would basically scab over by the next day. This was the method she learned before, but she didn’t expect it to be used one day.
After all, she had never had a relationship with anyone, and Yu Bi was not clear about the affairs between men and women.
She only knew that seeing red meant it was done.
She lay next to Lin Yuan, covered herself with the quilt, and also took her clothes off.
Yu Bi didn’t sleep all night, keeping her eyes open, thinking about her family.
She had known that she would have such a day. She looked more beautiful than others even when she was a child. Her parents and brothers thought that she had potential. So even when she reached marrying age, they did not marry her off, thinking that one day the family could ride on her success.
But in Dadu, were there few beauties?
Beauties of all kinds, Han, Mongolian, and ethnic minority women who each possessed their own beauty and style.
When she got older, her beauty no longer shone as much, no longer as bright and lovely as she was when she was a child.
Her father and brothers sent her to her foster father’s manor to be a handmaid, hoping that she could climb onto the master’s bed, and at least become a concubine.
There were a lot of women in the manor, and each of them wanted to climb high. The sisters there taught her a lot of things when she went over.
But her foster father didn’t touch her. He said that she was beautiful, and that her beauty was an innocent, childish beauty. From head to toe, only eyes were the most beautiful.
So she was accepted as a foster daughter.
Yu Bi always thought that she would be offered to the emperor by her foster father.
So long as she was favored by the emperor, her father and brothers would be satisfied, right? They would praise her as a good daughter and sister, and her mother would be proud of her.
But she was not offered to the emperor.
She waited year after year, holding expectations every year until that year passed.
When her foster father told her to go to Haozhou, she was not unafraid. She had never left Dadu her whole life. She only ate the food of Dadu and only saw the scenery of Dadu. She knew every street, and she also knew which pastry shop had the most delicious cakes.
But she did not dare to ask her foster father to let her stay, because she knew that this was her only use.
But she was not the only girl sent to Haozhou by her foster father.
There were more than a dozen who went with her, all of them were very beautiful, adorable type, ladylike type, and seductive type. There were beauties of all kinds. They knew what they were sent to do, and the expressions on their faces were full of resignation.
Yu Bi also accepted her fate.
They only want to protect their families or people they value. Their weaknesses were held in the hands of their foster father. Even if they died in Haozhou, they could not betray their foster father.
But when they arrived in Haozhou, they tried everything possible, but in the end only Yu Bi became a maidservant and had the opportunity to come into contact with Lin Yuan.
And most of them, after the money ran out, could only find work on their own to support themselves.
It was not that no one wanted to stay in Haozhou.
Yu abi still remembered that before she left, the sisters were sitting together, and a little sister said: “I want to stay here…..my parents don’t love me, and my brothers don’t love me either. They pushed me out to die. I don’t want to listen to them, I can work on my own here. I will find a man to marry in the future and live my own life.”
No one spoke at the time.
But when Yu Bi left the next day, she didn’t see the little sister.
Don’t know if she was smothered to death or strangled to death, whether or not her death was miserable.
Yu Bi left numbly.
Their lives and deaths could not be controlled by themselves, just like duckweeds, they could only drift with the waves.
Yu Bi turned to look at Lin Yuan’s profile.
If she was not the foster daughter of her foster father, if he was not the Southern King.
How wonderful it would be.
She would serve her husband and take care of their children. She would be worried and proud of her husband and children like all ordinary women.
But she had no choice.
She had such a face and such a family, which determined that she could only walk on such a path and walk all the way.
Lin Yuan looked to his side when he got up. Yu Bi was pretending to be asleep. It was very natural. Lin Yuan just stared at her face. He clearly knew that nothing had happened between him and Yu Bi. Such a young girl, she was born in the wrong era and was destined to be the victim of the era.
Lin Yuan sighed silently.
At the end of the day, if he could save her life, then he would.
When the world was at peace, a girl like Yu Bi could probably be an ordinary person.
“My Lord?” Yu Bi opened her eyes at the right time. She looked at Lin Yuan in fright, and then looked at her body under the quilt. She lowered her head and started to sob, “This slave, this slave drank wine with my Lord last night, this slave don’t know when…..”
Lin Yuan acted very tender and protective. He said softly: “Don’t panic, I will give you a status.”
Yu Bi looked up in surprise, status?
Lin Yuan: “Although I can’t let you be the official wife, but I can also let you be a concubine, I am only afraid of wronging you.”
Yu Bi hurriedly sobbed softly: “I don’t feel wronged, as long as this slave can stay with my Lord, thus slave don’t need status, just being a servant, and this slave will be satisfied.”
Lin Yuan stretched out his hand to wipe the tears on Yu Bi’s face, and coaxed: “Don’t cry, go wash your face.”
Yu Bi thus became Lin Yuan’s concubine and the only concubine.
This time, Lin Yuan’s rear court was shaken. Although Lin Yuan’s rear court was made up of just cooks and servants, their shock and added to the fact that Lin Yuan deliberately did not restrain it, the news that the South Bodhisattva officially accepted and greatly pampered a beauty was spread all over.
In the absence of entertainment activities, this was big news.
Though the beauty was just a concubine, and her status was not high, she was serving the most powerful person. Even just a handmaid could reach the sky.
As a result, many people in Hanyang began to send beauties to Lin Yuan.
Whether it was their own daughters, slaves bought from outside, or the maidservants at home, so long as she looked beautiful, they were all given to Lin Yuan.
Lin Yuan also kindly accepted them all.
He still lacked female officials. Regardless of their origin, these women must know how to read and write. While they might not be proficient in music, chess, calligraphy and painting, a rough understanding was still certain. In this era of illiteracy, both men and women, Lin Yuan had use for them so long as they were literate.
After the initial fear and worry, Yu Bi gradually calmed down.
Lin Yuan treated her kindly, and she was the only concubine. He pitied her for her fragility, cared about her body, and refused to carry out matters of the bed with her.
In the eyes of Yu Bi, who was used to seeing the ugly side of men, this was a true display of caring for her, loving her, and respecting her.
In Yu Bi’s eyes, Lin Yuan was a perfect man that could only be found in the books. He was gentle and amiable, modest and polite, the picture of an elegant gongzi. She was willing to use all beautiful words to describe him.
She would always receive gifts from Lin Yuan, whether they were expensive or cheap, every time Lin Yuan went to see her, he would bring a gift to her.
Sometimes when Yu Bi was alone, she would take out all those gifts and put them on the table, staring in a daze.
She wanted to forget about Dadu, her parents and brothers, her foster father, and her sisters who were still in Haozhou. She only wanted to be herself and only do what she wanted to do.
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As she looked, tears fell.
She had no choice, she never had.
No one cared about her thoughts, no one cared about her needs, she was just a trivial piece on the chessboard.
Her life was in the hands of others, and she had no right to say no.
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