The Rebirth Of An Ill-Fated Consort

千山茶客

Chapter 78.2

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Chapter 78.2

On that very day, the news of the General fu taking out provisions to distribute congee spread like the wind throughout the capital . In a matter of time, on every street and in every alley, people were discussing this matter, as such the news naturally reached the residence of Eighth Prince .

With a ‘pa’ sound, Xuan Li threw down and shattered the china cup in his hands . Although his expression still maintained a gentle smile, if one looked closely, one noticed the muscles around his mouth convulsing minutely . Obviously he was utterly infuriated .

He chillingly exclaimed, “Well played Zhao Guang!”

One of his advisors then asked, “Your Highness, how did this news leak out, could there be a spy in our midst?”

Xuan Li sneered chillingly, “What other reason could there be . For Zhao Guang to have only played this hand now is an eye opener for me!” He had initially thought to take the upper hand by pa.s.sing an edict forcing Zhao Guang to cough up his residence’s provisions to aid the disaster relief, then using his people to make sure this came to pa.s.s . Since the national treasury was in a deficit, and the Emperor was anxious, the Emperor would readily agree to this action . This would have crippled the Zhao family’s influence and power so that he could easily deal with them in the future . Furthermore, when he made the suggestion, he would not only have gained the pleasure of the Emperor, but also the combined accolades of both the imperial court and the common folks would have significantly risen .

However, since Zhao Guang had taken the initiative to distribute congee, even though the outcome of reducing and weakening the wealth of the Zhao family was similar to his plans, in actual fact the underlying significance to him was vastly different! With Zhao Guang taking the initiative to distribute congee, not only had he received the Emperor’s commendation and praise, in the hearts of the common folks he had gained a higher prestige . On the surface it would seem that influence and capabilities were weakening but in actual fact, they were not weak at all . Rather, their powers had increased exponentially . Furthermore, with regards to this matter, the opportunity for him to meddle now no longer existed . After all of his furious plotting, it was such a waste of such a brilliant opportunity!

“How in the world did Zhao Guang think to take the initiative to aid the disaster relief?” the advisor asked . “He usually has such a foul temper and is very stubborn For the Zhao family to so frivolously spend their collected wealth from many generations, how could they even bear to harden their hearts?” To actually take out all their hard earned savings truly required great valor .

“He is surely very courageous,” Xuan Li replied . “All the more he can’t be allowed to live . ” To have the ability to think up the strategy to retreat in order to advance… it would not be easy to take down the Zhao Family, who was a force to be reckoned with after many generations within the imperial court . However, never would he have imagined that it was actually someone else who had used Zhao Guang’s banner to distribute congee . Afterall, at this point in time, provisions were more valuable than gold, and no one would be willing to fork out such a huge sum of silver to aid others .

The advisor hesitantly asked, “Your Highness, what about the spy in their residence… . . ”

“To even allow for messages to get to the Zhao family under my very eyes, naturally it won’t be that easy to ferret the person out . Kill them all and change the whole lot,” he commanded .

“Your Highness,” The advisor’s face lost all its color, “these were all people who were meticulously hand-picked . ” To train, nurture and groom each person required a lot of time and money and to just kill the whole group was totally not worthwhile and such a waste of all that effort .

Xuan Li remained unmoved, and with a callous, snide smile said, “I would rather kill a thousand in error than to let one slip by . Kill . ”

The news that the General Zhao Guang had used his personal savings and family wealth to help with emergency relief for the commoners and refugees very quickly spread far above the imperial court . Upon hearing this news, evidently the Emperor was very pleased . This action of Zhao Guang had given the Emperor a reason to make requests from the other officials . Therefore, everyone from the top officials to junior officials had to all take out silver to help fill the deficit within the national treasury . Zhao Guang was conferred a verbal reward, and also earned a good reputation among the ma.s.ses . By all appearances, he was not at a disadvantage at all .

Just as the person distributing the congee had proclaimed, every morning they were there in the city centre handing out congee to the commoners . With the regular provision of food, the number of robberies and vandalism within the city had decreased significantly, resulting in a sense of security and peace . Zhao Guang neither denied his involvement nor did he visit the distribution tent . He just maintained a harmonious facade .

On this day, Zhao Yi from the city’s garrison took a group of soldiers on horseback to patrol the city as usual . These days with the refugee situation stabilized, his daily duties were much easier . Yet at this moment, he saw a fl.u.s.tered junior soldier galloping at neck breaking speed towards him . “Daren, on the Chong Xin farmstead in the east of the city, a group of refugees who were living with the commoners suddenly erupted into a fight over rations . ”

Zhao Yi knitted his brows . He was the Zhao family’s eldest di grandson and had inherited Zhao Yuan Jia’s upright and plainspoken character . What he most loathed were these robbers who came and robbed their households . He spoke in fury, “Nowadays there is someone distributing congee everyday, yet they are still so rampant . This is utterly preposterous!” At the end of his tirade, he directed instructions to the soldier behind him, “Come with me to take a look . ”

“Daren!” the soldier then reported, “in the west of the city at Dong w.a.n.g hill, a fight has also broken out among some refugees and the commoners, and it involves even more people compared to what is happening in the east of the city . We should have another squadron of brothers head to Dong w.a.n.g hill in the west . ”

Zhao Yi contemplated for a moment before stating, “Since there are not many people in the east city, I’ll just take two people with me . Considering they’re unarmed and defenseless refugees merely seeking food, make sure you don’t hurt them or cause any death . ”

As he was speaking, he turned to two junior soldiers behind him, “You two come with me . ”

When the soldier who had delivered the message saw Zhao Yi depart, he faced a group of soldiers commanding, “Follow me . ”

The two groups each headed off separately, with Zhao Yi taking only two people with him . He had outstanding skills in martial arts, and to suppress these refugees, he wouldn’t require that many people, so he didn’t take the whole situation too seriously .

The horse he rode sped at high speed, however, just then a carriage rushed towards him at an angle . Zhao Yi was stunned and swiftly reined in the horse to come to a stop . The horse carriage also suffered a scare and the other horse neighed and finally came to a halt too .

Zhao Yi was full of concern as he dismounted from his horse, calling out, “The person within the carriage, did you suffer any injuries?”

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The coachman was obviously only recently employed and looked helplessly towards the inside of the carriage . Shortly, the curtains were lifted, and a pretty maid dressed in jade colours hopped out of the carriage .

The two soldiers behind Zhao Yi were startled, hesitatingly enquiring, “Daren… . ”

Zhao Yi had taken up the position of city garrison guard so naturally he wasn’t some ignorant, juvenile child who was totally oblivious to current matters . From the insinuation behind Jiang Ruan’s words, he was immediately skeptical about the present situation being an orchestrated, conspiratorial plot . Drawing from this thought, his brows unconsciously furrowed .

Jiang Ruan smiled slightly, “How about I give you a suggestion . There are too many east city refugees, and it’s obvious that Daren and these two soldiers would not be sufficient enough to deal with the situation . Why not approach the Capital Magistrate to lend some men to go to the east city . The Capital Magistrate would not sit by and not lend a hand if he was made aware of the situation . ”

Zhao Yi was invigorated . Indeed he had only two soldiers and to rashly enter into such a situation would definitely not be the best plan of action . However, if he did not go to Chong Xin farmstead and get to the bottom of the matter, he would not be able to catch the mastermind behind all this . The Capital Magistrate’s role was also to defend the city’s law and order, so lending some men should not be a big task . As he reached this conclusion, he took an intense look at Jiang Ruan . This young lady had appeared out of nowhere, almost as if she had appeared here specifically to inform him of this matter, even though it appeared to be an unscripted, accidental conversation . However… Zhao Yi could not wrap his head around the fact, was Jiang Ruan truly unaware of the situation? Regardless, the fact remained that if what Jiang Ruan had spoken was true, it meant that she had inevitably saved his life . Zhao Yi cupped his hand in salute, “Thank you Young Lady for the information . ”

“You’re too polite Daren . ” Jiang Ruan slightly smiled in response as she lowered the curtains and Lu Zhu also returned to the carriage . Jiang Ruan’s voice emerged from within the carriage, “Daren, a final word of caution, those east city refugees are most definitely not regular bandits, they’re quite fierce and evil . When you request for manpower from the Capital Magistrate, the more the better, otherwise the result will be a complete annihilation of the troops . ” On that note, the carriage departed .

Zhao Yi watched as the carriage slowly disappeared from his sight before he leapt onto his horse whilst giving a directive, “Head to the Capital Magistrate’s fu!”

Within the horse carriage, Jiang Ruan was leaning against a cushion lost in her own thoughts . She had used the excuse of paying a visit to the Lin fu to see Lin Zhi Xiang, and was ultimately able to rush to save Zhao Yi’s life . In her previous life, Zhao Yi had indeed been slaughtered at the east city’s Chong Xin farmstead while attempting to suppress the upheaval caused by the refugees . Initially Jiang Ruang could not grasp how those harmless and unarmed refugees would suddenly become violent and savage . Moreover Zhao Yi’s skills weren’t average and therefore, under such circ.u.mstances, he should not have been brutally slaughtered . But this time, as soon as the refugees started to enter the capital, she had a.s.signed Lu Zhu to have someone pay close attention to the situation at Chong Xin farmstead . It was only yesterday that someone brought news that not only had a group of people armed with weapons arrived at Chong Xin, but they had also disguised themselves as refugees .

Normally, it was unheard of refugees to carry so much weaponry, and they had also come as a group . With this thought, it could only be a.s.sumed that they were only disguised as refugees on a mission with every intention of entrapping and killing Zhao Yi, and then laying all the blame on the refugees . If Zhao Yi died, the Zhao family would be without their eldest grandson and the family would suffer a severe loss . Inevitably their ascendancy would significantly diminish and the opposition would collude and take advantage of the situation… It was very likely the Zhao family would not be able to rise up after that .

Who can this person be? Jiang family? Xia family? Li Family? Jiang Ruan’s eyes deepened, surmising that Xuan Li was without a doubt somehow implicated in this matter . Seeing the Zhao family’s dominance weaken would be an outcome that he would be most delighted to witness .

However, in this life, she had undertaken the Zhao family’s disaster relief aid of food rations and Zhao Yi would not die . The Zhao family could safely stand steadfast and upright amongst the n.o.bility and aristocracy . If Xuan Li was made aware of this matter, it’s a wonder what would be his state of mind?

Regardless, once Zhao Yi had captured that group of people, he would immediately be alerted to the fact that there is a spy within the garrison army . Upon his return, he would inform the Zhao family, and knowing the Zhao family, they were not people who could be easily trifled with . In their ‘cleaning’ process to get to the bottom of the matter, they would be most vigilant . For Xuan Li to make another attempt in the future would no longer be that easy .

Most importantly, Jiang Ruan softly let out a sigh, from the start the situation with Zhao Guang was like a chasm . She wondered, since she had rescued the Zhao family and saved Zhao Yi, would these events provide leverage for her revenge and allow her to enter the front door of the General fu . Come what may, for Jiang Xin Zhi, she would try .

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