Empress with no Virtue

Chapter 14

Empress with No Virtue – Chapter 14

AUGUST 5, 2015 ~ LAMLAM1990

Ji Wu Jiu met up with the western merchant Matthew at Wu Ying Hall, and did not invite Ye Zhen Zhen, but she put on a thick face and went.

Wu Ying Hall is in the front of the palace, the place where the emperor works, normally woman are not allowed to enter, except for Ye Zhen Zhen.

That is because Da Qi was founded by a female emperor, so the term “woman cannot interfere with court matters” can’t really be used. Furthermore this dynasty has a history of formidable empress that helped overlook the court matters.

But if all the ladies from the inner palace also wants to add in their opinions in the court matters, it would be troublesome as well, so someone clever thought of a plan. The empress as the mother of the country, would be allowed to participate in the matters related to the country, and can be considered to help the emperor to relieve some burden, as for the rest of the woman in the inner palace, they should do what they normally do that’s all.

So the empress’s status in the palace is a bit complicated, she is the head of the inner palace, leading the rest of the other woman, and she can also enter the front palace, and help give advice with matters related to the country with the request of the emperor.

Actually, besides those woman that has a hidden agenda they would not really be interested in the court matters. So all these years the rule of only allowing the empress to enter did not really face any problems from the court ladies.

Today, Ye Zhen Zhen held down her dislike of Ji Wu Jiu and still went to Wu Ying Hall.

Matthew is a tall, ginger haired, blue eyes, pale skin, big built and with an eerie feel surrounding him. These years, following the grow of Da Qi, and opening of the ports allowed many types of merchant to enter. Ji Wu Jiu and Ye Zhen Zhen had so far only heard about them, this would be their first time meeting one.

As a smart merchant, Matthew properly learnt how to greet the emperor according to the rules and regulations. He knew that it is a very rare opportunity, at this mysterious and big eastern country, he is going to be the first European to meet the leader of the country. It seems that he could see shimmering gold ingots on his hand soon, as well as the boot licking that will come from the nobles soon. Normally those people would only be polite when they want something new from him.

Ha! Ha! Ha!

This type of thoughts, it made him happy for just thinking about it.

That was why when Ji Wu Jiu thought Matthew will be the same as the stories he heard about westerners where they are arrogant and does not bow to others was shocked when he actually kneeled down and paid his greetings “Greetings to your majesty, may you live tens of thousands of years”

Ji Wu Jiu “……”

The person kneeling on the floor with the ginger hair, was doing it with the right posture.

“You may stand, sit”

Then, outside came a loud announcement “The empress has arrived” the moment the announcement ended, a woman dressed in the full formal attire entered. Matthew suddenly remembered someone told him “You must not stare at the empress, and you must not kiss her hands! Let’s put it this way, if you even touched a corner of her dress, the emperor will definitely cut off your head”

Therefore, even before Matthew can sit down properly he quickly got up, bowed towards the empress and greeted her “Your majesty, may you live a thousand years”. His eyes saw her robes and shoes, the intricate and detailed design of them made him can’t help but to admire them, agreeing that she is the highest ranked woman in this country.

Ye Zhen Zhen first greeted the emperor, then after only looked at the merchant “Stand up, have a sit and talk”

Ji Wu Jiu did not feel bitter towards Ye Zhen Zhen who came without invitation. Both of them were chatting with Matthew, asking this and that, and he would answer, the atmosphere was quite good.

Ji Wu Jiu also asked about Matthew’s home country’s cultures. So he replied what ever he could. But truth to be told, Europe in front of the strong countries really didn’t have much to tell, especially in front of this long historical place. Though some scientific invention would be the plus points, but presenting them here would just be some sort of show. Ji Wu Jiu was only so so with what he heard but Ye Zhen Zhen was very much interested, she also asked about their sea expedition journeys, as well as fight between the few countries in Europe for the ocean territory. The European country’s history is rather complicated and involves a lot of war, so no matter how well they describe it, smart people would definitely catch the bloody history involved.

Ji Wu Jiu is the smartest amongst the smart people, that is why he find that something is not right: These people are very brave and cruel, their sea army seems to be very strong, and if one day our prosperous country has been chosen by them… Ji Wu Jiu closed his eyes..

So the emperor also joined in the discussion, the atmosphere getting heated up.

After Matthew left, JI Wu Jiu looked at Ye Zhen Zhen calmly “You are very clever”

“Thank you for the compliments your majesty”, I already told you many times I am super clever.

No, not only clever. Ye Zhen Zhen’s specialty lies on her not locking herself in a fixed square only, but being all over the place, thinking about everything. The Da Qi dynasty’s people normally follow rules and thinks about, family, country and world problems but who knew the way of thinking should be to open up to everything. As a head of a country, one must be open minded as well, there are still good things that we can learn from another that may seem worst then us. Even if they were barbarians, there are also things that we can learn from them.

“Your Majesty” Ye Zhen Zhen suddenly said breaking his line of thoughts.

“hmm?” Ji Wu Jiu turned and looked at Ye Zhen Zhen.

“I heard in a few days you will be going to hunt?” Ye Zhen Zhen said with glittering eyes and a sweet smile “I also admired your majesty’s martial skill, I really want to see with my own eyes how your majesty ride the horse and pull the bow at the same time”

“Such a rarity to hear compliments from the empress’s mouth” Ji Wu Jiu replied. He knew what Ye Zhen Zhen is thinking, but purposely didn’t say anything about it.

Bei Yan is around a hundred miles from the capital, under the Yan Mountain. There are many mineral stones there, and the ground are quite even, the royal family marked out a piece of land, to let people raise some deer, rabbit and all. During autumn, the emperor will bring along some ministers to hunt there. Taking the lesson from the previous dynasty that placed martial skills aside, this dynasty takes martial skills seriously all the man from royal families takes pride in being good in both literature and martial arts. Every year this time, it would be the opportunity for the royal family males to show off their skills in front of the emperor.

Ye Zhen Zhen before getting married, her brothers will also bring back some souvenirs home, she always wanted to experience it a little, but never had the chance, the people at home was always afraid she would get hurt.

Looking at Ye Zhen Zhen’s face full of anticipation, Ji Wu Jiu said “I want to test you first, if you answered them right, I will bring you along”

“What type of test?”

“Now the season for farming is over, the court wants to ask the farmers to fix the Yellow River. I plan to ask the workers to build a dam, and to make a water reservoir, that can help stop flood and to have water for drought. What do you think?”

Ye Zhen Zhen agreed “this is a good idea, you are very wise”

“En, “ Ji Wu Jiu nodded, “but this is a very big construction, and there is no one in charge yet, who do you think should this person be?”

“…” The answer cannot be simply replied, especially when Ye Zhen Zhen’s second brother works in that department. After thinking, she replied, “this… I am not sure of the people there, how can I give my opinion, your majesty you are clever, you would definitely find someone suitable”

“Couldn’t answer?” Ji Wu Jiu asked.

“No.. your majesty, why not you change a question?”

“Fine, this construction will require a lot of money, but there are other places that will require food rations as well, empress, what do you think we should do in order to make sure the money and rations will not thin down along the line?”

To handle corruption matters, this matter cannot be cleared of properly, from last time countless capable ministers are also troubled with this matter. Ye Zhen Zhen think a little longer and said “ Why don’t we take a more drastic measure?”

“O? how so?”

“Don’t need to support the funds from here, hold the money at our finance department first. The construction can be done by the people nearby there, and let the state people there take care of it themselves. Those who participate in the building of the water reservoir, the whole family will be free from tax for 2 years according to the numbers in the family, it can be reduced or increased. Wait until the next year, when they collect tax, the local tax government just have to minus out the tax money from their accounts and the finance department will only need to note down and do the accounting. The farmers after autumn harvest until the next year spring, will have some free time in the middle, since nothing to do they will also just be loitering around, there should be many people that takes the initiative to take this job. With many people joining, the work progress will speed up, perhaps by next year summer the work would be completed already”

Ji Wu Jiu was tapping the table lightly, without a clear expression.

“O, right, if nearby there are army camps, and if they have nothing to do, they can go work too, just to take is as an exercise for health”

Ji Wu Jiu suddenly nodded, smilling at Ye Zhen Zhen “this is good”

Ye Zhen Zhen got surpised, according to her experience Ji Wu Jiu is not a person who likes to smile, once he smiles nothing good will happen. She does not feel too good, “I just said it simply, your majesty does not need to take it too serious as well”

“No, you answered very well” he stood up “Let’s go, accompany me to visit the empress dowager at Ci NIng Palace”

I just saw her this morning… Ye Zhen Zhen thought unwillingly.

At Ci Ning Palace, the empress dowager are seldom able to see the emperor and the empress coming together, and JI Wu Jiu even seems to be in a good mood. She doesn’t feel good about this, but on her face you wouldn’t be able to tell, and when facing Ji Wu Jiu, she smiled liked a blossoming flower.

“It was hard on you to visit me even if you were busy with work”

“What are you saying mother, looking at you all healthy makes me able to do my work better”

This two person starts to perform the loving act between a mother and son.

Ye Zhen Zhen was starting to get bored, looking at them caring for one another, but not saying a thing. She knew that it will be hard for the empress dowager to like her due to where she came from, so in the end she don’t even want to waste her energy to make the empress dowager like her.

“This was given to me by Xian Concubine few days back, this praying beads, look at it in detail, it also has a nice faint smell, while I pray it almost seems like I can see the Buddha. She really is thoughtful.” The empress dowager starts to say, praising the praying beads but not forgetting to bring up Xian Concubine together.

“As long as you like it” Ji Wu Jiu always never take the Buddha chants/prayers seriously, but because the empress dowager is his real mother, he also won’t say anything rude.

“Xian Concubine is really likeable… are you both doing well?”

In Ye Zhen Zhen’s heart she was thinking, in front of the empress you are saying things like that, what cunning plans are you thinking about your majesty.

“I have not seen her these few days” Ji Wu Jiu answered honestly.

The empress dowager let out a big sigh.

Ji Wu Jiu added “mother, the matters in the inner palace, I will know what to do, other things are also properly done by the empress, you don’t need to worry”

Ye Zhen Zhen raised her ears, why does she feel Ji Wu Jiu is implying something else?

Looking unhappy the empress dowager replied “ You are my child, how can I not worry?”

“To let you worry, I feel bad. But the empress needs to do what she has to do since she holds the title, and not letting her hide behind you and be lazy” Ji Wu Jiu said while taking a look at Ye Zhen Zhen.

Ye Zhen Zhen upon receiving the glance from Ji Wu Jiu, “Yes, mother you don’t have to worry ,if you worry too much you will make me feel terrified”

Only some will understand what is implies, the empress dowager after listening to Ye Zhen Zhen almost couldn’t control her facial expression anymore.

Ji Wu Jiu felt surprise, don’t tell me she found out?

Then they continued some small stalk, then Ji Wu Jiu brought Ye Zhen Zhen leave with him. When they leave he asked the empress dowager for a person, a not eye catching eunuch.

Ye Zhen Zhen couldn’t guess why, thinking maybe that eunuch angered Ji Wu Jiu, looks like the little eunuch will receive some bad luck.

The moment he reached Gan Qing Palace, Ji Wu Jiu ordered one eunuch to be flogged to death.

Tsk tsk.. so cruel.. Ye Zhen Zhen thought after hearing about this.

Note: Aww, she doesn’t know he killed the eunuch for her… hehe..

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