TCPCHW Chapter 57
The Crown Prince Chases His Wife
Chapter 57 Routine
Early in the morning, Qin Yan finished her official affairs with Ji Nanfeng in the study, and stopped Ji Nanfeng who was about to leave, “Mister Ji, strengthen the guards on the plum grove.”
“Yes, master.” Ji Nanfeng got the order and stepped out of the study, looking to the north, across the slope of the plum grove, the halls and pavilions of the Taizi Mansion could be faintly visible in the middle of autumn dew.
This Highness Taizi was coming menacingly, and it seemed that he was bound to win against his master.
Qin Yan sat in the study for a while, and after she had finished her psychological preparation, she took Shen Ying to the plum grove at the north end of the lotus pond.
As she approached the edge of the plum groves, Qin Yan met Song Zhi who was striding down the slope.
“Princess Zhaoren, His Highness Taizi has ordered me to lead the way.” Song Zhi walked to the newly open path and saluted Qin Yan.
Qin Yan nodded and stepped on the already chiseled stone steps. Beside the steps, there were still traces of freshly dug soil. Was this road built by the Taizi Mansion last night in a hurry?
After descending the slope on the other side of the plum grove, Song Zhi led Qin Yan to the Cangtai Waterside Pavilion not far away.
“Princess Zhaoren, His Highness Taizi is waiting for you inside.” Song Zhi stopped outside the waterside pavilion, heaving a sigh of relief.
Finally, this ancestor had arrived. This morning, His Highness rejected the invitation from Shizi of Duan Wang Mansion and ordered to sort out the government affairs of recent days, so that Princess Zhaoren could get familiar and understand them.
Being able to keep His Highness Taizi waiting for such a long time, Song Zhi sighed, this princess was relying on His Highness’s favor and indulgence.
Qin Yan stepped into the water pavilion and looked at Taizi Feng Zhan, who was sitting behind a tea table, boiling water.
Taizi Feng Zhan changed his usual dark outfit and dressed in a moonlight white embroidered dark patterned brocade robe today. His imposing aura had somewhat diminished a little as if he had added a little more warmth, but even when sitting, his aura remained as powerful as before.
Feng Zhan raised his eyes to look at the incoming person, and extended his hand to point across the tea table, “Sit.”
Qin Yan stepped forward slowly and sat down on a chair.
Feng Zhan looked at the woman opposite, “Princess Zhaoren is proficient in tea ceremony, what do you think about the water used for brewing tea?”
Qin Yan swept her eyes at the several urns beside the tea table, and spoke softly, “Mountain water is valued above all else, river water in the middle, and wells water are at the bottom.”
Feng Zhan nodded, “This water is Jade Spring water. Last night during the quiet hours, I ordered people to go to Jade Spring Mountain, dug a spring hole on the mountainside, cleaned it many times, and by this morning, the trickle had already filled the spring hole.”
“Then order the secret guards with high martial arts skills to transport the spring water back to the Taizi Mansion. The water seldom sloshes, so the water will not be murky.”
At this moment, the water in the urn boiled, making a soft bubbling sound. Not long after, the rim of the urn was gushing with spring water continuously. Feng Zhan removed the urn with his hand.
To warm and heat the cup.
Feng Zhan asked again, “What is Princess Zhaoren’s opinion on tea?”
Qin Yan spoke leisurely, “The ones in the wild are the best, and the ones in the garden are second. Don’t harvest when there is rain, and don’t harvest when there is sun.”
Feng Zhan’s thin lips evoked a slight smile, Qin Yan was really a clever person, “The name of this tea is Yongxi Huoqing (a type of green tea). It was picked under the morning dew on a sunny day.”
Feng Zhan took the tea and poured it into a larger white porcelain cup.
The tea pearls were delicate and firm, with a lustrous color and the tea pearls spread out like orchids in the porcelain cup.
Feng Zhan divided the brewed tea into two cups and pushed one cup to Qin Yan.
Qin Yan picked up the teacup and observed the color of the tea, the apricot yellow was bright. The tea was fragrant and the taste was strong and sweet.
It was good tea.
It was also a good tea ceremony.
The corners of Qin Yan’s lips curled up slightly, and it could be seen that Taizi Feng Zhan served Qin Yan the tea in person to show his sincerity.
After drinking, Feng Zhan said, “I will take you to familiarize yourself with the environment of Taizi Mansion.”
The two got up and left the water pavilion one after the other.
Song Zhi and Shen Ying followed behind their master not far away.
Along the way, everyone in the mansion was shocked and puzzled that His Highness Taizi would take a woman for a walk in the mansion!
This woman was probably done for…
On the eighteenth of the eighth month, the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday ended.
After the imperial court meeting ended, Taizi Feng Zhan immediately returned to the Taizi Mansion.
At Lizheng Hall in the Taizi Mansion in Xishan.
Taizi Feng Zhan sat at the main seat, with a row of large chairs on each side of the hall. The front seats were Qin Yan, Princess Zhaoren, and Du Xian, Minister of the Ministry of Revenue.
After that, there was An Wenjing, a Hanlin scholar, and the staff of Taizi Mansion.
Everyone was a little puzzled as to why Princess Zhaoren was arranged to be in the internal meeting of Taizi Mansion.
Taizi in the front spoke in a deep voice, “This is Princess Zhaoren, who will assist me in handling government affairs in the future. When I am not in the mansion, you can discuss any matters with Princess Zhaoren.”
Everyone disagreed and whispered to each other.
Although there were a few female officials in the court, the Taizi Mansion never had any female officials.
Everyone had heard the rumors that His Majesty was currently matchmaking Princess Zhaoren and His Highness Taizi. For the sake of their children’s love affair, the court became a child’s play.
However, this was not His Highness Taizi’s style.
An Wenjing got up and saluted Taizi on the main seat, “Your Highness, all the meetings of Taizi Mansion involve important matters within the court. Isn’t this inappropriate?”
Everyone nodded in agreement.
Taizi Feng Zhan looked at An Wenjing, and with a cold voice, “There used to be another title for Princess Zhaoren, which was City Master of the Gu City.”
As soon as these words came out, everyone was shocked.
How could they not know the strategic town in the northwest, Gu City? To be able to manage Gu City, one must have a lot of courage and tough means.
The City Master of the Gu City was actually a woman!
No wonder His Majesty issued an imperial edict to confer the title of Princess, which was the same rank as the imperial princess.
There was no further objection from the crowd, only admiration and appreciation in their eyes when they looked at Princess Zhaoren Qin Yan.
Feng Zhan spoke with satisfaction, “Let’s start.”
Upon receiving instruction from Taizi, An Wenjing spoke up and presided over, “Merchants often use methods such as hoarding to make huge profits. Rich families buy a large amount of grain and wait for the opportunity. When the people are in short supply or out of reach, they will increase the grain price several times and sell it to the common people.”
“Massive hoarding will inevitably hinder the normal grain distributions, causing a vicious rise in grain prices, which must be curbed.”
“Today, we need to discuss the maximum amount of grain that grain merchants are allowed to store.”
“The last discussion resulted in a hundred thousand stones, but some colleagues felt that a hundred thousand stones were too much, and some colleagues felt that a hundred thousand stones were too little. The amount must be determined today so that the inspection decree can be issued as soon as possible.”
Everyone began to express their opinions one by one, and even escalated to a heated debate, while Taizi Feng Zhan just sat firmly at the main seat, occasionally glancing at the debating courtiers, and occasionally took a sip from the teacup in his hand.
Qin Yan looked at the scene of discussion in the hall and became optimistic. It was rumored that Taizi acted decisively, but he did not act arbitrarily. He had the potential of a wise monarch.
After about a stick of incense, the voice of the discussion gradually subsided, and an older but not loud male voice sounded.
It was Du Xian, the Minister of the Ministry of Revenue, and this matter belonged to the head of the Ministry of Revenue, but Du Xian’s qualifications were still relatively low. He was just a vice-minister a few months ago, so he didn’t have much confidence in his words.
He got up and bowed to Taizi and everyone in the hall, “I have a humble opinion. Since ancient times, merchants have been most afraid of poor sales of goods, and the same is true for grain merchants. If prohibiting grain merchants from hoarding too much, it will easily lead to no stockpiling of grain in the area. In this way, instead of effectively adjusting the demand and supply of grain, it may also cause a sharp rise in grain prices. Therefore, I believe that we cannot blindly prohibit grain merchants from hoarding. If the constraints are too tight, it may backfire.”
After Du Xian finished speaking, he sat down unhurriedly.
After a quiet discussion, the majority nodded in agreement.
Taizi looked at Qin Yan who hadn’t made any comments, “Princess Zhaoren, what do you think?”
Everyone turned their eyes to Qin Yan who was holding a cup and preparing to drink tea.
Qin Yan continued to take a sip of tea, put down the cup, and said softly, “As far as I know, some grain merchants will first pawn a large amount of stored grain to pawnshops to avoid being charged as a “national account”. When there is a shortage of grain in the market and the price of grain doubles, they will redeem it from the pawnshop and sell it at a high price to make huge profits.”
Sitting in the court hall, they didn’t know that there was such an operation in the market!
Pawning to the pawn shop? They didn’t have any grain reserve for the time being! When the price of grain rose, they would redeem the grain and sell it to the common people at a high price!
Only Taizi Feng Zhan knew that Qin Yan had the famous bank Yu Qingfeng in her hand. Yu Qingfeng had a pawnshop under their name, and of course, only insiders knew the inside story.
Qin Yan had the most say in these matters.
But Princess Zhaoren Qin Yan was the behind-the-scenes boss of Yu Qingfeng and it was Qin Yan’s private matter, Feng Zhan couldn’t disclose it without authorization.
Everyone started discussing quietly again.
Taizi Feng Zhan said, “Draw up a compromise amount and try it out for some time. The Ministry of Revenue will monitor the grain price and the situation of grain merchants in real-time. Then we’ll reconvene to discuss and adjust it again.”
The final tentative plan was the amount of grain stored in the warehouse of each grain merchant should not exceed one hundred and sixty stones of each type. If it exceeds this quota, it will be regarded as hoarding. And the total amount of grain pawned to the pawnshop shall not exceed a thousand stones.
An Wenjing immediately drew up a draft and handed it to His Highness Taizi for review.
After a quick review, Taizi Feng Zhan ordered the decree to be executed immediately.
The discussion in the Lizheng Hall ended, and everyone dispersed.
Du Xian of the Ministry of Revenue hurriedly caught up with Qin Yan outside the hall, “Princess Zhaoren.”
Qin Yan turned around and looked at the minister who had just taken his position.
Du Xian stepped forward and bowed slightly, “Princess Zhaoren, this old man is Du Xian, Minister of the Revenue Department.”
Qin Yan nodded: “Lord Du, I heard your opinion in the hall just now, which is very relevant.”
Du Xian pulled a smiley face, “Princess Zhaoren, the old man is here to apologize to Princess Zhaoren on behalf of my daughter.”
Qin Yan raised her eyebrows, which one was this?
Du Xian saw that Princess Zhaoren seemed to have forgotten that incident, but if His Highness Taizi hadn’t forgotten, he couldn’t pretend to be ignorant.
“Princess Zhaoren, my little girl Du Ling offended Princess Zhaoren at the Qixi Festival of this year at Qianshui Lake in the south of the city. I apologize. My little girl’s nature is too simple, easily instigated, and not suitable for living in the capital. I have sent her back to my old residence in Yangzhou. I hope Princess Zhaoren will forgive me.”
Qin Yan frowned.
Du Ling, she didn’t have the slightest impression of this name in her mind.
Qin Yan had to deal with a lot of people or things every day and didn’t have much free time to remember these insignificant people.
“We are both working for Great Xia, and I will ask Minister Du to give me more guidance in the future.” Qin Yan spoke in an official tone and didn’t have the energy to make false courtesy to the Minister of Revenue in front of her.
“Don’t dare, don’t dare.” Du Xian bowed and smiled.
Qin Yan nodded slightly and then left.
Du Xian was still standing there, he raised his hand and wiped the cold sweat on his forehead with his cuff, how could he dare to give guidance to Princess Zhaoren?
He, with a shallow foundation, by sheer luck was promoted to be the minister. Whereas Princess Zhaoren, who was backed by the Right Prime Minister and Duke of Zhenguo, was once the City Master of the Gu City and was highly valued by His Majesty. Now, with the attitude of His Highness Taizi, maybe this princess would sit in that position in the future…
Du Xian was terrified after thinking about it, but fortunately, he had sent his daughter away in time, and he had to go back to the mansion to warn everyone in the mansion that Princess Zhaoren should never be offended.
After An Wenjing returned to his residence, he went straight to his father’s, Grand Scholar An Shifeng, study.
An hour later, An Wenjing came out with a calm expression and lingered in the courtyard for a long time. Finally, he let out a deep sigh and headed toward his sister An Yanxi’s courtyard.
An Yanxi ordered her servants to make tea for her brother and sat down opposite An Wenjing. An Wenjing, who looked a little troubled, looked at his dignified and stylish sister across him, and spoke with difficulty, “Yanxi, His Highness Taizi mentioned your marriage to me today.”
An Yanxi’s expression changed when she heard the words, and her heart was filled with both surprise and joy, but the years of upbringing as a daughter of the noble family made her try her best to control herself so that she would not lose her composure.
His Highness Taizi finally, finally see me…
“Yanxi.” An Wenjing felt that his sister must have thought differently, so he continued, “I have just informed Father of His Highness’ intentions, and Father will choose a husband for you shortly. If you have a guy who you like, you can also say it…”
“What do you mean?” An Yanxi’s eyes widened.
“What husband to choose? Isn’t my husband His Highness Taizi?!”
An Wenjing had expected his sister to have this reaction, and heaved a deep sigh, “Yanxi, you have been very intelligent since you were a child, you should be able to understand what brother means. Your Highness issued an ultimatum. Your words and deeds have caused troubles to His Highness. Even if your marriage cannot be settled, you will have to leave the capital.”
After An Wenjing finished speaking, he looked at his sister Yanxi with heartache.
“Father also agreed? Didn’t Father say he wanted me to enter the Taizi Mansion?” An Yanxi couldn’t believe it.
An Wenjing couldn’t bear to hurt Yanxi anymore, but if Yanxi’s thoughts were not stopped, it would be hard to explain to His Highness Taizi.
An Wenjing gritted his teeth and continued to finish what his father had told him.
“His Highness has always been a man of his word, and there is absolutely no room for change in this matter. The An Mansion and His Highness Taizi cannot be disaffiliated because of you. Father has made a choice and the biggest allowance he can make is that you can choose your future husband.”
An Wenjing stood up to leave but was stopped by An Yanxi’s screaming.
“Is it because of Qin Yan?”
An Wenjing turned around. He had never seen his sister Yanxi have such an intense side before. Yanxi should be extremely disappointed at this moment.
“Yanxi, since you were young, you have groomed yourself with the highest requirements of a noble daughter. Brother knew your hard work and your persistence. But there are people beyond people, and there is a sky beyond the sky. I just learned today that Princess Zhaoren Qin Yan was once the City Master of the strategic Gu City in the northwest.”
“Yanxi, Brother has never avoided you when discussing official matters with his father. Therefore, you should be able to understand what the City Master of the Gu City represents and what kind of power and means she has.”
“To be favored by His Highness Taizi, Princess Zhaoren will not be a simple person.”
“Yanxi, stop struggling in vain. This is fate and also your destiny.”
An Wenjing left.
An Yanxi collapsed on the chair, unable to speak for a long time.
What to do…
In the Chenghua Hall study of Taizi Mansion.
Agarwood was burning in the animal stove in the corner, mixed with the fragrance of tea and ink, adding a touch of elegance to the quiet study.
It was already dusk when Qin Yan finished handling the affairs at hand.
Qin Yan stretched her sore shoulders and neck, looking across from her.
Taizi Feng Zhan was still sitting upright behind the desk, with his eyes looking down at the memorials, while the man’s well-defined right hand occasionally raised a brush to annotate and occasionally frowned in contemplation.
Qin Yan praised in her heart, it’s really beautiful!
“Shen Ying, what time is it?” Qin Yan asked outside the hall.
“Master, it’s already evening.” Shen Ying came in.
Shen Ying felt a little resentful, half an hour had passed from working hours since His Highness Taizi announced yesterday, and her master had suffered.
Qin Yan got up and said to the other side, “Your Highness, the memorials have been annotated, and I’m going back now.”
Hearing this, Feng Zhan put down his brush, raised his hand to press the space between his eyebrows, and then glanced at the sky outside.
Feng Zhan got up, walked slowly to Qin Yan’s desk, and reached out to take the topmost memorial. At the end of the memorial, several lines of writing were significantly different from the text of the memorial, which were the annotations by Qin Yan. Her stroke was firm, and the opinions were concise and incisive.
Feng Zhan thought to himself, that he indeed employed the right person.
Feng Zhan put down the memorial and raised his eyes to look at Qin Yan who looked a little tired.
“You’ll have dinner with me at Taizi Mansion today and after dinner, we’ll continue to discuss the issues of flooding, which will be discussed in the Lizheng Hall tomorrow.”
Without waiting for Qin Yan to reply, Feng Zhan gave an order outside, “Prepare the meal.”
Qin Yan: …
Qin Yan, in the end, stayed in the Chenghua Hall of Taizi Mansion and continued to handle official affairs with Taizi Feng Zhan.
At the beginning of the haishi*, Feng Zhan got up to see her off in person.
(haishi* – 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.)
The night was cool and the moon was clear.
The two walked leisurely and after passing through the plum grove, Feng Zhan still did not stop.
Qin Yan stopped and turned to look at Feng Zhan, “The surrounding area is surrounded by the secret guards of the two mansions, Your Highness doesn’t have to see me off.”
Feng Zhan, with deep eyes, looked at the beautiful woman in the dim night and spoke slowly, “I will have someone to prepare a sleeping hall for you. If you work too late in the future, you can stay in the Taizi mansion.”
Qin Yan: …
Wouldn’t it be nice to take two extra steps back to my den?
Song Zhi: …
His Highness has a lot of tricks up his sleeves in chasing his wife…