Chapter – 4 : Conspiracy
Both sides bid farewell outside the palace, with Chen Qing taking the Dachu envoy and his party to his own residence, and Su Xuan spurring his horse towards the direction of the Northern Town’s Division.
“Bring Qin Yuanjia and Gu Zhixiong.” Su Xuan had just returned to the Northern Township Department and immediately ordered a random guard.
“Yes!” The guard said, and left at a fast pace.
The nine segregations in the Northern Township set up by Dafeng had four Thousand Household Members managing them. They were also in charge of all the people below them, who were working in the segregation that they managed.
These four members of the Thousand Households were already people with real power, directly following the orders of the provincial governor.
But in Tai’an City’s Northern Township Department, the relationship is a bit delicate.
From the four Thousand Households, Su Xuan and Chen Qing each supported two of their direct lineages.
Qin Yuanjia and Gu Zhixiong, were successors of the direct lineages that Su Xuan supported.
Therefore, if there were any tasks that Su Xuan could not do directly, he would directly instruct these two.
Not long after, two middle-aged men wearing silk clothes that had a silver colored flying fish design on it came to the courtyard where Su Xuan was.
Both of their faces contained a serious expression.
After all, Chen Qing and Su Xuan were noticed by many people when they went to the palace.
The emperor summoned both of them at the same time, so there must be something important happening.
Now, once Su Xuan returned, he summoned both of them, which corroborated their inner suspicions.
“My lord, I had seen you and Lord Chen going to the palace together, did something happen?” Qin Yuanjia’s face showed a hint of doubt as he couldn’t control his urge to ask.
“It’s about the envoys from the Dachu Dynasty who have arrived in Tai’an City. In order to prevent them from having an accident in our Dafeng, His Majesty asked me and Lord Chen to see who is free and entertain them, in order to avoid them from having any accidents.”
Su Xuan explained indifferently.
Gu Zhixiong and Qin Yuanjia couldn’t help but look at each other at the same time, both releasing a sigh of relief in their minds. Since the discussion was just about an envoy, there were no problems at the moment.
“My lord, this is an opportunity.” Qin Yuanjia’s eyes glowed while he rubbed his hands together and said with an excited expression.
After all, no one dared to make trouble in Tai’an city. Even if the two sides had a father-killing feud or a wife-taking hatred, they will choose to settle it outside the city.
The emperor will definitely reward the person who takes care of the envoys generously.
For Qin Yuanjia and Gu Zhixiong, entertaining the envoys was not a difficult task at all. It was like His Majesty would be giving them free money.
Their annual salary was only 300 taels of silver.
Of course, this was the salary they were supposed to get, but secretly they also received some external funds.
Whether it was Su Xuan or Zhao Huan, everyone turned a blind eye to these extra funds they received.
But as a person’s income increases, naturally, the places they could spend it also increases.
For example, staying in the Department of Education and staying overnight there required at least 40 to 50 taels of silver.
But even with such avenues to spend their money, they could only visit the Department of Education once a month.
After all, the Northern Town’s Division had the duty of inspecting the officials, and the officials were naturally waiting for them to make mistakes.
Wait. Your monthly salary is only 30 taels, but a visit to the Department of Education costs 40 to 50 taels of silver, so where did you get the money?
The girls in the Department of Education were each proficient in qin, chess, calligraphy, painting, blowing, playing and singing…
Only being able to go there once a month was like sitting on a mountain of silver, but not being able to spend it.
But in order to retain their position, they could only not think about the girls in the Department of Education.
The law of Dafeng explicitly stated that you didn’t need to pay any money to marry your first wife.
However, for every concubine that you married afterwards, you needed to pay an extra 1,000 taels of silver.
In other words, as long as you had a lot of money, you could even live the same life as the emperor, with a harem of three thousand beauties!
The two men, Qin Yuanjie and Gu Zhixiong, as figures with real power, were naturally surrounded by warblers and swallows all the time.
But on the surface, their annual income was only 300 taels, so if they suddenly took in a concubine, what would outsiders think?
You need to pay 1,000 taels of silver to take in a concubine and you are just a member of one of the small thousand households, with an annual income of only 300 taels of silver. Where did this silver come from?
Therefore, if they wanted to take a concubine in, they naturally needed to get a reward from the court, so that outsiders had no way to question the source of their money.
Having many wives is a deep rooted desire for most men. Qin Yuanjia and Gu Zhixiong were no exception, but reality did not allow the two to bring their lovers in the dark to the public.
For a woman, however, there was a fundamental difference between being a secret lover and a concubine.
A hidden lover was hidden, while a concubine was recognized.
Every hidden lover looked forward to the day when they were publicly recognized as a concubine.
And thus the two men were rearing their heads like bulls, waiting for opportunities to gain credit and win rewards.
“Lord Chen requested for the envoy and his party to be placed in his own residence.” Su Xuan glanced at the two and said.
The corners of the two men’s mouths could not help but twitch when they heard what Su Xuan said.
Aw, come on! They became happy for nothing!
A dull ache took over Gu Zhixiong’s heart as he asked tentatively, “My lord, do you have any orders for us?”
Since Chen Qing had already taken the credit, Su Xuan must have had some other intentions when he summoned them.
Although Su Xuan acted like a person who was indifferent to fame and fortune, Qin Yuanjia and Gu Zhixiong naturally understood that Su Xuan was an extremely ambitious person since they followed him.
Otherwise, he would not plant two cronies like them in powerful positions.
Maybe he acted in this manner in order to get the emperor to give him more cultivation resources.
The two could not guess what was in Su Xuan’s mind, but this did not prevent them from serving him faithfully.
Although the benefits of being by Su Xuan’s side were not as great as the benefits of being on Chen Qing’s side, following a Grandmaster realm martial artist reduced the amount of danger they encountered greatly.
The two men preferred safety over benefits, since in order to spend their hard earned money, they needed to be alive. If they weren’t alive in the first place, what use was all that money?
“My Lord, is there something you need us to do?” Qin Yuanjia could not help but ask.
Su Xuan nodded and said, “Yes, I do have something that needs to be done.”
“Both of you choose a few trusted minions, and wait near Lord Chen’s residence disguised as Jianghu martial artists. As soon as you spot two people sneaking out, send the news to me, and follow them without alerting them.”
Su Xuan then continued after scouring a glance over them, “If this is done, both of you could redeem a girl that you like from the Department of Education.”
“Maybe both of you could also each take two concubines in!” Su Xuan hammered the final nail into the coffin.
The eyes of his two followers could not help but brighten up when they heard Su Xuan’s declaration.
Both of them had someone they liked in the Department of Education. But you needed at least several thousand taels of silver to redeem a woman from the Department of Education.
Both of them could afford to take out such money, but the money came from illegal means. They had the money, but did not dare spend it.
But now Su Xuan told them that if they could perform the task he assigned well, they could redeem the woman they liked from the Department of Education.
The two people instantly had their spirits raised.
“Lord Su, you can rest assured that even if a mosquito flies out of Lord Chen’s house, I will keep an eye on it for you!” Qin Yuanjia said with conviction.
Gu Zhixiong also hurriedly nodded with an excited face.
After Su Xuan briefed them over some more details about the task, Qin Yuanjia and Gu Zhixiong hurriedly left.
“It seems women will always be in first place when it comes to motivating men, ah?”
Looking at Qin Yuanjie and Gu Zhixiong’s rapidly disappearing backs, Su Xuan could not help but dumbly laugh.