“Brother Ming.” Zhou Rui walked up to Ming Jingzhou, who was busy sorting out the scrolls: “I heard that the kitchen has prepared two new dishes today.
Lets go and have a taste.”
Ming Jingzhou looked at Zhou Rui with a smile: “Brother Zhou, we have known each other for many years.
So just speak whatever you have in mind.”
Zhou Rui pulled Ming Jingzhou to a corner: “I know you may have some opinions on His Highness Chen Wang, but in case words of your conduct inside the bureau of the Ministry of Rites reaches His Majestys ears, I fear that he might get dissatisfied.”
“Chen Wang is lazy and quick-tempered.
Copying stuff can help improve his personality.” Ming Jingzhou patted Zhou Rui on his shoulder: “Dont worry, Brother Zhou.
Even if His Majesty gets to know this, he will not point out my wrongs.”
Zhou Rui was speechless.
Although it couldnt be pointed out explicitly, who didnt know that Ming Jingzhou was deliberately making things difficult for Chen Wang
His Majesty did not issue two decrees bestowing titles upon your family to have you treat his son poorly.
I know that you people of the Ming are usually very stubborn, but at times like this, you should not be behaving as such.
“Lord Ming, Lord Zhou.”
Zhou Rui turned his head and saw Chen Wang coming inside with two big food containers held in each of his hands.
On the contrary, his attending eunuch following behind was empty-handed.
“Lord Ming, please have your meal.” With a slight smile on his face, Chen Wang put one of the food containers on the table.
Ming Jingzhou recognized it.
It was his familys container! He looked at the other one in Chen Wangs hand.
That was also his familys.
Why were his familys food containers in Chen Wangs hand
[T/N: Because theres a little fangirl in your family xD]
Zhou Ruis mood became a little complicated at the sight of Chen Wang smiling respectfully at his Brother Ming.
Though Chen Wang did act bossy in the past, ever since he came to the Ministry of Rites, he had obediently done whatever Brother Ming had asked him to do.
Perhaps he still knew nothing of Brother Mings deliberate perfunctory attitude toward him.
Recalling the increasingly better food in the Ministry of Rites, the new tables, chairs, doors, and windows, and the never-ending supply of high-quality charcoal, Zhou Ruis gaze toward Chen Wang became a lot more amiable.
Before, he only felt that Chen Wang was arrogant, rude, and lacked any kind of motivation to improve himself.
But after working together, he discovered that this prince was actually not as hateful as the rumors made him to be.
As for his merits, if one searched carefully and patiently, one would surely find one or two of those.
“Brother Ming, you and His Highness have your meals at ease.
I will take my leave now.”
A son-in-law who thought of delivering meals to his future father-in-law should not be the worst.
When leaving, Zhou Rui thoughtfully closed the door for this pair of future in-laws.
“Why does Your Highness have a food container of my humble residence” Opening the container and seeing that it contained all his favorite meals, Ming Jingzhous furrowed eyebrows gradually stretched out.
“It was brought by Ming guniang.” Chen Wang thought for a while and sat down in front of Ming Jingzhou before opening the other container.
Ming Jingzhou frowned again.
His daughter came to deliver the food, so why was it Chen Wang who went to get it from her
He glimpsed at the dishes in Chen Wangs lunchbox.
Those were actually different from his
Seeing the dishes, Chen Wang was somewhat stunned.
All these dishes were the ones he usually liked to eat.
He didnt eat that many times with Ming Xiaozhu but she unexpectedly took note of everything he was interested in.
Did she value him so much
When Ming Jingzhou put down his chopsticks and saw that Chen Wang was still not finished eating, he read a few pages and waited.
“Your Highness, you can leave the food container here.
When weichen leaves the bureau today, he will take it back.”
It was fine for Chen Wang to eat his familys food, but he must not take the lunchbox away.
He had spent a full two taels of silver to have this kind of a food container customized.
“Thank you for your trouble, Lord Ming.” Under the attendants careful service, Chen Wang washed his face and rinsed his mouth: “This junior has already finished making a copy of the tax records as asked by you.”
“The tax records of all parts of the Empire are accessible to each of the six ministries.
Weichen feels gratified that Your Highness can focus so well on copying this.” Ming Jingzhou picked up the tea that aids digestion and took a sip: “Its just that weichen is too old and muddleheaded to remember the tax revenue from Liuzhou last year.
Does Your Highness still remember”
“Liuzhou was hit by a drought last year.
Father Emperor could not bear the see the ordinary local people so he exempted 70% of the tax.
As a result, the annual tax revenue barely amounted to a little more than 235,000 silver.
Rice grains, silk, fabric, and so on were all affected.”
After Emperor Longfeng ascended the throne, he diligently handled the administration of the Empire and abhorred wasting manpower and resources.
So it was not surprising that the annual tax of a province came to be more than a million.
“Your Highness has a good memory.” Ming Jingzhou nodded: “His Majesty loves the common people as his own children.
He absolutely cannot tolerate them becoming miserable and homeless, or be wrenched apart from their family.
It is Da Cheng and its peoples good fortune to have such a wise monarch.”
“Only when there are people can there be a nation.
These common people are thus at its very foundation.” Ming Jingzhou picked up several thick texts about farming tools collected by the Ministry of Works from the table: “Your Highness, all these are records about the farm implements for each province and county.
You can go over it at your leisure.”
“Thank you, Lord Ming.” Taking the book and seeing that Ming Jingzhou had no intention of further paying attention to him, Chen Wang lazily walked out of the room.
All the officials who passed by him turned their heads and pretended not to see the book in his hand.
As long as they didnt see it, they would not know that Ming Jingzhou was treating Chen Wang half-heartedly on purpose.
“Ming Jingzhou is really perfunctory to Yun Duqing.
Father Emperor conferred two titles upon his family for nothing.” Huai Wang picked the wine cup from the table and gulped it down: “So what if he is biased How can the court officials all tolerate his absurd behavior!”
Among the brothers, he was the eldest.
Back when his Father Emperor lost power, he was placed under house arrest in his then princes residence and the officials who supported him were dismissed.
Each one of the siblings inside the residence was restless and anxious.
Only Yun Duqing was simple-minded enough to pester their Father Emperor to play with him, entirely unaware of their plight.
People who had not grown out of their childishness would very likely be not as mature.
Yun Duqing was conferred the title of awang‘ when he was very young.
Once, his laid-back manner and rashness even made his teacher faint from anger.
However, their Father Emperor couldnt harden his heart enough to criticize him too much.
“Both Ming and Sun families are about form a marital connection with the Imperial family but His Majestys treatment of the two varies quite a bit.”
“Ben Wang and lao er1Lao er [老二] – Refers to this persons position among the brothers as the second (二) eldest brother after eldest prince Huai Wang.
are already married but neither of our Wangfeis natal family were ennobled because of the marriage.” Huai Wang snorted coldly: “Yun Duqing is just a pampered good-for-nothing.
The Ming family is not willing to support him so theres nothing to fear.
On the contrary, Yun Yanze is an expert at winning over peoples hearts and is also quite popular in the court.
He is Ben Wangs biggest trouble.”
“Then we dont have to worry about Chen Wang for the time being”
“What is there to worry about Let him slowly copy the books in the Ministry of Rites.” Huai Wang gloated, “Ben Wang even suspects that the mishap at the Imperial Horse Farm has something to do with Lao si and his mother.
That woman, Ning Fei, is someone who only appears gentle, considerate, and well-educated on the surface.
In reality, she is a treacherous person.”
To date, he still remembered the scene that he witnessed when he was ten years old.
Zheng-shi had pressed a cat into the lotus pond and watched it struggle to death.
After that, she let go and hurled it aside.
With such a mother, how gracious would the apparently gentle-as-jade Qi Wang be
“Your Highness, His Majesty has issued an urgent summon!” An attendants voice sounded outside the door.
Huai Wang put down his wine cup and got up immediately: “Prepare the horse.”
Hurrying all the way into the Palace, Huai Wang discovered that the Ministers of the six ministries and some of his brothers were already there.
He glanced at Qi Wang who was standing with the Minister of Revenue, then at Chen Wang who was standing with the Minister of Rites, and walked toward the Minister of Justice before standing still.
“Lao da2Lao da [老大] – Da (大) means first/oldest so it indicates that he is the eldest son., have you been drinking” Emperor Longfeng frowned slightly when he caught the smell of alcohol coming from his eldest son.
“Father Emperor.” Huai Wang hurriedly apologized: “Please quell your anger, Father Emperor.
The Ministry of Justice is closed today, so erchen had a few sips in his residence.”
“Drinking liquor can be harmful to your health, dont overdo it.” Emperor Longfeng turned his attention to the six ministers: “There is an urgent report from Youzhou: A severe snowfall unseen in ten years has hit Youzhou.
Beloved Officials need to suggest a disaster relief plan.”
“Youzhou is only a few hundred kilometers away from the capital.
Even so, it will take some days to reach there if one travels as fast as possible.” The Minister of Works said: “But we must be prepared to face the snowfall moving south.
Or else, the neighboring provinces and counties may also get wrecked by the snow.”
“Your Majesty, weichen will make an inventory of the relief materials and send those for Youzhou shortly.” The Minister of Revenue hesitated a little before speaking: “Its just… that it is inevitable for the common people to panic after being struck by this calamity.
In Weichens humble opinion, one person should be selected to locally provide relief for the disaster and the victims.”
“Beloved Officials words are reasonable.” Emperor Longfeng nodded, “Do you have a suitable candidate in mind”
The Minister of Revenue bowed: “There are many capable officials in the Imperial court.
It is up to Your Majesty to appoint someone.”
“Father Emperor, erchen has thought of someone.” The drunk Huai Wang spoke up, “The left Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Works, Wu Mian, is very suitable.”
Qi Wang sneered in his heart.
To recommend his own father-in-law to grab the credit of providing disaster relief, this good brother of his had indeed drunk too much wine.
“Lao si, do you have someone in mind” Emperor Longfeng looked at him.
“Erchen thinks that Lord He from the Ministry of Appointments and Lord Zhang from the Ministry of War are suitable for undertaking this heavy responsibility.”
Huai Wang shot a glance at Qi Wang.
How come he didnt know that He Yu and Zhang Yinglian had become Qi Wangs lackeys
“What do you all think”
Regarding the selection of imperial envoys for disaster relief, the ministers had different opinions.
Emperor Longfeng held the teacup and let them quibble, not forgetting to instruct each ministry to prepare disaster relief supplies and send them to Youzhou immediately.
While listening to these people bicker, Chen Wang leaned on the pillar and yawned lazily.
“Duqing.” Emperor Longfeng noticed his bored expression: “Do you have a suitable candidate in mind”
T/N: Sorry for going MIA again! But who do you think our dear Chen Wang will choose xD
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1Lao er [老二] – Refers to this persons position among the brothers as the second (二) eldest brother after eldest prince Huai Wang.2Lao da [老大] – Da (大) means first/oldest so it indicates that he is the eldest son.,-