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Chapter 184: Our spy in Great Yan is actually Lin Beifan?
“Your Majesty, this is the delicacy Buddha Jumps Over the Wall sent by Princess Yunying! It is said to be researched by the top scholar, using precious ingredients such as premium abalone, fish maw, sea cucumber, and cooked for 24 hours!”
The empress looked up, somewhat surprised, “Lin, the Principal, can actually cook?”
“Yes, after the old servant heard this news, I was also quite surprised!” the old eunuch laughed, “But the top scholar is versatile and outstanding, it seems not surprising to have an additional skill!”
“That’s true!” the empress nodded and smiled.
At first, she thought Lin Beifan was just a scholar who excelled in studying.
Then she discovered he was also a martial arts expert.
Later, she realized his administrative and governing abilities were exceptional, able to handle both civil and military officials without falling behind, and has helped her solve many troubles, earning her favor.
Later on, she found out he was also an inventor who created the two great national treasures, the hot air balloon and air cushioned ship.
Then, she discovered he was a military strategist, proficient in various military skills, helping the fugitive princess of the Slanted Moon Dynasty build a great foundation.
Afterwards, she discovered he even knew medical skills and corrected many people’s misconceptions about medicine.
Now, he even has culinary skills.
He is like a surprise box that keeps refreshing, with every opening bringing small surprises.
You never know what else he is capable of.
At this moment, the fragrance of Buddha Jumps Over the Wall wafted over.
The empress became spirited, “It smells so good, I’ve never smelled such a fragrant aroma before, quickly bring it over for me to taste!”
The Buddha Jumps Over the Wall was placed in front of the empress, the lid was opened, and an even more intense fragrance spread with the heat, filling the study with the rich aroma of the dish.
“It’s still hot, it seems it was just taken out of the pot and brought over, they are very thoughtful!” exclaimed the empress happily.
Although she ruled alone, she still longed to be cared for.
Lin Beifan, in particular, was her most trusted and favored confidant, and the little princess was her most cherished friend. The friendship they showed by sending this delicacy made her heart feel warm.
She picked up a spoon and was about to eat.
“Your Majesty, how about letting this old servant taste it first?” the old eunuch beside her suggested.
The empress waved her hand, “Don’t worry, they won’t harm me!”
Saying so, she took a sip of the soup and tasted it carefully. A beautiful expression of intoxication appeared on her face,
“Fresh! Fragrant! Delicious! The flavor of this soup is truly unique! I have tasted countless broths, but this one is the richest in flavor!”
She took two more sips before taking a bite of the abalone.
“This abalone is stewed perfectly, not at all mushy, but especially soft and tender, doesn’t stick to the teeth!”
“And these fish maws soaked up the soup, eating them is extremely enjoyable, pure bliss!”
“And these mushrooms, so savory!”
And so, the empress ate and commented as she ate.
In less than the time it takes for an incense stick to burn, she finished the whole bowl of Buddha Jumps Over the Wall.
Her flat stomach slightly protruded.
But the empress felt very satisfied and lazily said, “Sir Lin knows how to enjoy! The delicacies I reward him, he actually plays around with them! This Buddha Jumps Over the Wall can be considered the number one delicacy in the world!”
“Your Majesty, since you enjoy eating Buddha Jumps Over the Wall, why not let the top scholar contribute the recipe and hand it over to the royal kitchen, so that Your Majesty can eat it often!” the old eunuch suggested.
“That’s a good idea, but let’s forget it!” the empress smiled, “The one made by the royal kitchen will always be different from the one made by Sir Lin! For the royal kitchen, it’s just a job! But for Sir Lin, it’s his sincerity! Money can be valued, but sincerity is priceless! Tell the top scholar that I really like his Buddha Jumps Over the Wall!”
“Yes, Your Majesty!” the old eunuch understood her implied meaning.
In fact, it hinted to Lin Beifan that in the future, whenever he makes Buddha Jumps Over the Wall or any other delicious dishes, he should send a portion over because the empress really likes them.
This is also a way of showing favor and enjoying together as ruler and minister.
“By the way, two months have passed! Have the soldier’s night blindness and beriberi improved?” the empress asked with concern.
She had been concerned about this matter. Most soldiers suffered from night blindness and beriberi, though not major issues, they were persistent problems that greatly affected the military’s performance.
Night blindness led to easy defeat in battles at night.
Beriberi posed challenges during marches and battles.
If these two conditions improved, the strength of her army would undoubtedly increase.
“Apologize to Your Majesty, this old servant doesn’t know, but may I suggest summoning General Zhao to inquire as he is responsible for this matter!”
“Summon General Zhao to the palace!”
Not long after, General Zhao entered the palace with a powerful stride.
“Greetings, Your Majesty, may our empress live ten thousand years!”
“General Zhao, no need for formalities!” the empress asked with concern, “Previously, I asked you to conduct experiments based on the ‘Li’s Medical Formula.’ How is the situation? Has there been any improvement in the soldiers’ night blindness and beriberi?”
“Your Majesty, following your instructions, I selected 100 soldiers suffering from these conditions from the military and provided them with the corresponding food as mentioned in the medical book, without interruption!”
General Zhao spoke loudly, “After two months of experimentation, there has been significant improvement in the soldiers’ night blindness and beriberi! Among them, 32 people with night blindness have completely recovered, and 34 people with beriberi have also recovered! Although others have not completely recovered, their conditions have significantly improved, and the severity of the symptoms has lessened!”
“This was completely unimaginable before, the methods recorded in the medical book are indeed effective!”
General Zhao couldn’t contain his joy, “Your Majesty, due to the short duration of the experiment, the number of fully recovered individuals is relatively small! Give me another two months, and I am confident that more than half of the soldiers will recover!”
“Good!” the empress applauded, delightedly saying, “Since this method is effective, implement it throughout the entire army!”
“Your Majesty is wise!” General Zhao exclaimed loudly before leaving.
Military affairs are not trivial matters, and news of this quickly spread, astonishing the people.
“Is it true that the treatment methods for night blindness and beriberi recorded in ‘Li’s Medical Formula’ actually work?”
“How can it be false? The court has secretly conducted experiments for over two months and obtained very positive results, which is why it is being promoted throughout the entire army!”
“It seems that Mr. Principal, the imperial physician, is truly a skilled doctor. His methods are effective!”
“The other treatment methods recorded in the medical book might also be true!”
There was a lot of discussion among the people, and once again, “Li’s Medical Formula” became popular.
At this time, a young nobleman dressed in luxurious attire walked down the street and listened to the discussions of the people, greatly surprised.
“I didn’t expect that there would be effective treatments for beriberi and night blindness! If this treatment is promoted, the Da Wu army will undoubtedly improve by 1 to 2 percent! This is not good news for our dynasty!”
“Well, Your Highness, think about it from another perspective. If we bring back this treatment method, it would be a great achievement for you!” a elderly man behind him whispered.
“You’re right, it would be a free gain! Can’t let it go to waste!” the young nobleman laughed, “But what interests me even more is the one who proposed this medical formula, Lin Beifan! It is said that he is the first top scholar to pass all three imperial examinations since the founding of Great Wu. At such a young age, he is highly favored by the empress, so he has been steadily promoted and has even jumped several ranks to become Principal!”
“The flying divine artifact, the Air Balloon, and the water weapon, the air-cushion ship, were invented by him and greatly enhanced Great Wu’s strength! I never expected him to also be a doctor, haha! Truly interesting!”
“That young man is indeed talented!” the elderly man next to him admired and said, “I heard that he is less than 20 years old but has already made a name for himself in the court! His talent is remarkable, especially in poetry and writing. He has composed numerous classic poems that have spread throughout the countries! He may be the strongest opponent in our Yan and Wu Competition!”
“We should indeed take him seriously, but no matter how strong he is, there is only one of him!” the young nobleman laughed, “The group of scholars we sent this time is the most outstanding since the founding of our Yan Dynasty! They are bound to dominate this literary contest! And if they can’t do it, I will!”
As he said this, he stood proudly, with a radiant expression.
“What Your Highness says is absolutely right!” the elderly man flattered, “Your Highness also possesses the talent of a top scholar! If it weren’t for your royal identity, you would have been nominated as the top scholar!”
The young nobleman burst into laughter.
“Your Highness, the Yan and Wu Competition is a major event and cannot afford any mistakes! Should we contact the insider in Great Wu in advance so that we have a better chance of obtaining information about our opponents? Our chances of winning will be greater!”
The expression on the young nobleman’s face turned serious. “Who is this insider?”
“Actually… it’s Lin Beifan, the Imperial Academy’s Principal of Great Wu!”
“It’s actually him?” The young nobleman was somewhat dumbfounded.
The young man he had just praised turned out to be their insider. What kind of situation is this?
“Sir Wang, are you mistaken? How could it be him?” The young man furrowed his brows. “According to my knowledge, Lin Beifan is highly favored by the empress, which is why he has been steadily promoted and enjoys endless glory and wealth! It doesn’t make sense for someone with such a bright future to betray Great Wu. How could he be our inside man?”
The elderly man sighed bitterly. “Your Highness, it is indeed him! Although he is highly favored and has a promising future, he has one major characteristic, and that is greed! It is because of this that we were able to buy him off!”
“Greed? How greedy can he be?” the young nobleman asked.
“Your Highness, let me tell you, he leaked the manufacturing methods for the Air Balloon and the Air Cushion Boat to us! In order to obtain these two divine devices’ manufacturing methods, we paid a total of 8 million taels of silver. He wouldn’t agree to anything less!” The elderly man winced.
“8 million taels! Truly greedy!” Even if he, as a prince, combined all his wealth, it wouldn’t amount to one-third of what the other party received.
“And it is said that during his time in office, he embezzled tens of millions of taels of silver, taking even the money of other ministers for himself! He truly is insatiable!” The young nobleman gasped.
“He embezzled tens of millions of taels! With such greed, isn’t he afraid of losing his life?”
“To be honest, I don’t know why he is so audacious, perhaps he relies on the empress’s favor! The entire Great Wu court, from top to bottom, is corrupted to the core! Your Highness, if we were to visit him and ask for his help, we may need to prepare more money!” the elderly man said again.
The corners of the young nobleman’s mouth twitched. “Lord Wang, I think it’s better not to do that! I don’t have that much wealth to satisfy his appetite! Besides, we don’t really need his help in this Yan and Wu Competition!”
“Your Highness’s words are absolutely right!”
The two of them laughed and disappeared into the street.