Chapter 224

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Chapter 224: Building a New City and Accepting Disaster Victims!

Lin Beifan looked at the countless disaster victims around him and felt that the current situation was not sufficient.

It was bitterly cold, and everyone’s clothes were hardly providing any warmth.

They were not adequately fed, and they had to travel such a long distance. During this journey, who knew how many people would perish.

So, he called for the Embroidered Uniform Guards and said, “Immediately inform the relief fleet ahead to unload the grain and send the ships to transport the disaster victims!”

“Yes, my lord!” The Embroidered Uniform Guard officer bowed and replied.

Lin Beifan continued, “Furthermore, I’m afraid some people might take advantage of the situation to cause trouble. So, instruct them to assign experts to guard the food and air-cushioned boats. They cannot be careless at all. Understood?”

“Yes, my lord!” The Embroidered Uniform Guard officer received the orders and left.

After receiving Lin Beifan’s orders, the Embroidered Uniform Guard immediately used special means to inform the fleet ahead. They followed the command, unloaded the grain, and headed south to transport the disaster victims.

At first, there were only a few air-cushioned boats, which could only transport a few thousand people. However, gradually, more air-cushioned boats arrived, allowing them to transport a larger number of victims.

Along the river, the procession continued, and the disaster victims, though fleeing, felt that their journey became smoother and more relaxed as they moved on. Each time they reached a new city, steaming hot porridge was ready to support them. After having the porridge, they could rest immediately, and once they were rested, they continued on without worries.

Although everyone had their families with them, with the help of the air-cushioned boats, the elderly, weak, sick, and disabled were assisted, and this resolved the biggest concern for the disaster victims. With less pressure, the journey became easier, and the speed increased significantly.

As time went on, more air-cushioned boats were available. Many young and strong individuals had the opportunity to hitch a ride on these air-cushioned boats, catching a free ride. Thanks to these thoughtful arrangements, the casualties among the disaster victims were significantly reduced.

Filled with hope, they all headed toward the capital city.

Unconsciously, they drew closer and closer to the capital city.

At the riverbank of the capital city, the Empress, civil and military officials, as well as the wealthy and common people of the city, had already gathered, ready to welcome the arrival of millions of disaster victims.

They watched as the dense crowd poured in from one end of the river.

Everyone was very excited.

“They have finally arrived! So many people!”

“I heard that this time, during the mass migration of a million people, covering a distance of 800 miles, the deaths and injuries were less than 1,000! This is truly a miracle in the history of disaster relief!”

“Yes, most of them died of old age or illness! Not a single person starved to death!”

“Chief Minister, this is incredible!”

Amidst the discussions, the main group finally arrived before the Empress.

Lin Beifan took the lead, bowed deeply, and said loudly, “We pay our respects to Your Majesty, long live the Emperor, long live!”

All the disaster victims followed suit, bowing and shouting loudly, “We pay our respects to Your Majesty, long live the Emperor, long live!”

Some even knelt down to express their sincere gratitude.

The Empress spoke loudly, “My people, rise and be at ease!”

“Thank you, Your Majesty!” they all said in unison.

Lin Beifan reported loudly, “I inform Your Majesty that I was ordered to go on a disaster relief mission, and the whole journey took 15 days, during which there was not a moment of negligence! Now that the mission is completed successfully, I have returned, and I request Your Majesty’s approval!”

The Empress was very excited and said, “Minister Lin, you have worked hard throughout this journey! I know everything you have done! You left the capital and traveled day and night, arriving in Huazhou in less than four days, providing timely relief to the disaster victims!”

“After that, with your thoughtful arrangements along the way, the casualties among the people were greatly reduced! You did a great job, and I am deeply grateful! Take a good rest for a few days; I will take care of other matters! Your contributions will be remembered!”

“Thank you, Your Majesty!” Lin Beifan expressed his gratitude and stepped back, giving up the central position.

Facing the expectant gazes of the people, the Empress spoke loudly, “And to all my people, you have traveled a long distance to reach here, and you have all endured hardships! I have arranged hot meals, tents, quilts, and more for you. After eating and resting well, replenish your spirits!”

“As Minister Lin said, you are all citizens of Great Wu, my people! I will never abandon any citizen of Great Wu, nor will I give up on any one of you!”

“Thank you, Your Majesty, for your benevolence!” The disaster victims replied in unison, filled with joy.

While the relief issue had been resolved, the court now faced a major challenge in resettling the disaster victims. This matter involved the basic needs of over a million people, including food, clothing, shelter, and daily necessities. If not handled properly, it could lead to unforeseen consequences.

In order to find a solution, the Empress had to convene her civil and military officials to discuss countermeasures. Even Lin Beifan, who was resting, was summoned to the meeting.

“My esteemed ministers, do any of you have viable solutions?”

The officials put forward their suggestions one after another. However, due to the vast number of people involved, finding a comprehensive solution proved to be extremely complicated, and there was no perfect way to address all the issues.

At this moment, Lin Beifan stepped forward and said, “Your Majesty, I have already thought of a strategy!”

The Empress said with joy, “Minister Lin, please share!”

“The disaster victims are currently left with nothing—no homes, no land, no food, and no money. So the most crucial thing now is to provide them with employment. With jobs, they will have money, food, and homes.”

One elder official furrowed his brow and said, “But how can the capital city offer so many job opportunities?”

Lin Beifan smiled and replied, “The capital city may not be able to provide them, but our court can!”

The Empress’s eyes lit up, “Are you suggesting ‘work-for-relief’?”

“Exactly, Your Majesty!”

“But what about the food?”

Qian Yuanshen, the Minister of Household, sighed, “Our most significant problem now is the shortage of food! Do we intend to support them indefinitely? If we do that, our food supplies won’t last until next year!”

“In addition, with ‘work-for-relief,’ what kind of work can we offer?”

Wang Rushui, the Minister of Public Works, stood up and said, “In the capital city, most of the feasible projects have already been undertaken! There are only some minor projects remaining, which are not sufficient to employ a million disaster victims.”

“And then there’s the housing problem!”

The Minister of Justice also stepped forward, “Now, the weather is getting colder! The disaster victims are living in tents, wrapped in quilts, and they still feel the cold. But in another two months, during the severe winter, if we can’t solve this problem, there will inevitably be a large-scale freeze to death! How can we address this issue?”

As everyone expressed their concerns, the situation seemed even more complicated.

The Empress furrowed her brows, “That’s enough! I summoned you all here to find solutions, not to raise more problems! Since you are currently unable to come up with a plan, let’s hear what Minister Lin has to say. Let’s see if he has any ideas! Minister Lin, please share your proposal!”

After she finished speaking, all eyes turned expectantly to Lin Beifan.

Since this fellow took office, he had already solved many difficult matters.

They hoped he would do the same this time!

“Yes, Your Majesty!” Lin Beifan smiled faintly, “Your Majesty and esteemed officials, resolving this matter is not difficult at all! Have you ever considered building a subsidiary city within the capital city?”

The crowd was shocked, “Building a subsidiary city?”

“Yes!” Lin Beifan nodded with a smile, “Once we build a city, all the problems will be solved effortlessly! Establishing a new city will require a large labor force. Isn’t a million people enough?”

“After constructing the city, it will address the disaster victims’ food, clothing, shelter, and other issues once and for all!”

“Furthermore, our capital city is already overcrowded! The city’s area remains the same, but the population keeps growing, making it difficult to manage and develop! Building a new city can accommodate some of the population!”

“This idea might sound good, but it’s not so easy to build a new city,” said the Minister of Rites with a wry smile. “Every city in Great Wu has taken decades to establish, bit by bit. We simply don’t have that much time now! Even if we manage to build the city, not just the disaster victims, but we all might be on the verge of death by then!”

“Besides, it would require an enormous amount of resources! I don’t need to elaborate on the resources needed; all of you should be aware of it! Our court simply cannot afford such resources!”

“Minister Lin, your idea seems far-fetched and unrealistic!”

“Let’s consider other alternatives!”

Everyone was skeptical.

At this moment, Lin Beifan bowed and said loudly, “Your Majesty, I have a method to build a new city within three months! Moreover, it absolutely won’t cost any of the court’s resources!”

The crowd was shocked and dismayed.

“Building a city in three months? How is that possible?!”

“This must be a joke!”

“Minister Lin, the matter is of great importance now, please don’t make such jokes!”

Lin Beifan remained composed. “I dare to make such a promise because I have the capability. It involves one of my inventions, which is no less remarkable than the flying sky balloon and the air-cushioned boat! Once I present it, it will undoubtedly solve the city’s construction problem!”

The people were astonished once again!

This invention was no less remarkable than the flying sky balloon and the air-cushioned boat?

One must know that Lin Beifan’s previous two inventions were absolutely astonishing! One could carry people into the sky, fulfilling humanity’s dream of flying for thousands of years! The other enhanced water transportation, enabling the massive transportation of troops and food, significantly strengthening the military’s logistics capabilities!

Now, he had come up with an invention that rivaled these two remarkable artifacts?

As a result, the court officials were no longer composed!

Even the Empress was no longer composed!

“Minister, what exactly is this invention? Tell me quickly!” The Empress was extremely excited.

The officials eagerly awaited Lin Beifan’s explanation.

However, Lin Beifan said leisurely, “Your Majesty, this invention involves state secrets! In order to research and develop this invention, I have sacrificed sleep and meals and paid a great price. So, could you provide some research funding to help me?”

The Empress almost burst into laughter!

This cheeky fellow!

At such a critical moment, he still thinks about money!

The Empress said in a displeased tone, “Enough, enough! Minister Lin, if your invention truly benefits the country and its people, solves the problem of millions of disaster victims, and can build a city within three months, I will grant you 2 million in funding, alright?”

“Your Majesty, can you give a little more? It’s really not easy for me!” Lin Beifan asked eagerly.

The Empress was so infuriated that she wanted to tear off his cheeky face and roll it into a ball to kick!

“Another 500,000, but the Ministry of Revenue is also short on funds! Your contributions will be remembered, and you will be rewarded later. Alright? Now quickly tell us about your invention!” The Empress urged.

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