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Chapter 240: Not Fluttering Flags, Not Swaying Wind, It’s Your Hearts That Are Moving!
The Empress’s decree quickly arrived, stating that a mysterious expert, comparable to a Grandmaster, had been spotted outside the city. She instructed to strengthen the defenses and be vigilant. If they encountered the said expert, he should handle the situation tactfully to avoid endangering the capital and the court.
Lin Beifan delegated this task directly to the constables since they patrolled the city anyway. This matter didn’t raise much attention, and everyone continued to celebrate the grand New Year peacefully.
Despite his increased strength, Lin Beifan lived his life just as before. He ate and drank as he pleased, leading a very ordinary and unpretentious life. How to describe this feeling? It was like working hard to finally get into one’s dream university. After the initial excitement, life carried on just as usual.
Lin Beifan’s power had grown to become one of the top-tier experts in the world, yet he remained unaffected. He didn’t take delight in material things nor lament over personal matters. He maintained a tranquil and calm demeanor.
How to put it into words? It was as if one studied diligently and finally got into their desired university. They’d be happy for a moment, and then life continued as normal. There was no excessive excitement or overreactions.
This newfound tranquility brought about by increased strength did have some effects. As Lin Beifan sat in front of the warm stove reading a book, one hand munching on peanuts, and sipping hot tea, he seemed very relaxed and comfortable.
Beside him sat the little princess, her hands supporting her cheeks, her big eyes fixedly gazing at Lin Beifan.
“Why are you looking at me like that, little princess?” Lin Beifan asked without turning his head. The little princess had been observing him for several cups of tea’s time, which was quite unusual.
“I don’t know why, but I feel like you’ve changed. You’re not the same as before!” the little princess said.
“Is that so?” Lin Beifan asked calmly, “How have I changed?”
“I can’t quite describe the feeling…” the little princess shook her head, pondering, “I just feel that you…seem to be more good-looking now! But, your appearance hasn’t changed at all!”
Lin Beifan was delighted. Why was this child so articulate? He picked up a few peanuts and placed them in front of the little princess, looking forward to her words, “If you can speak, then say more. I’m all ears!”
“Even though you’ve become better-looking, you’ve also become more shameless!” the little princess continued.
Lin Beifan: “…”
Lin Beifan silently took the peanuts back and ate them himself.
The other girls also turned their heads to look at him.
Li Shi Shi smiled and said, “The little princess is right! Before, I thought it was just an illusion, but now I see that it’s not. Husband, you have indeed become much better-looking! But, I’m with you every day. How can there be such a significant change?”
Mo Rushuang turned her head and said, “Young Master, you have indeed become much more handsome. Why is that?”
Everyone was quite puzzled, except for Lin Beifan, who remained as calm as ever.
Because he had learned the Dao Heart Devil-Seeding Technique!. It was a cultivation method related to spiritual power. As his spiritual power overflowed, it naturally brought about charm, making people perceive him as more attractive.
“I know, of course!” Lin Beifan smiled faintly.
“What is it?”
“Please tell us, Husband!”
“What do you see over there?” Lin Beifan pointed in the distance where there was a banner swaying gently.
“We see a banner gently swaying!” Mo Rushuang said.
“Why is it moving?” Lin Beifan asked again.
“Why ask such a simple question? It’s because the wind is blowing; the wind moves the banner!” the little princess said in a displeased tone.
“Wrong! Completely wrong!” Lin Beifan exclaimed.
“Why is that?”
Everyone was utterly puzzled.
Lin Beifan smiled faintly and said, “It’s not the flags fluttering, it’s not the wind moving, it’s your hearts that are moving!” This sentence was quite teasing, and the faces of all the women present turned red with embarrassment.
“What nonsense is that? Who, who… has feelings for you?” The little princess stammered.
“Mr. Lin, please don’t speak randomly; I don’t have such feelings!” Mo Rushuang lowered her head.
“Husband, let’s talk about this at night! It’s not appropriate to discuss it in public!” Li Shi Shi also blushed shyly.
Lin Beifan smirked, “Where did your minds wander off to? I was talking about Buddha’s teachings!”
“You dare to make excuses?” The three women scolded in unison, feeling both embarrassed and angry.
At that moment, Guo Shaoshuai looked anxious and said, “I also think Mr. Lin is good-looking! Could it be that I also have feelings for Mr. Lin?”
Lin Beifan: “…”
“You step aside and fetch the mirror!” Lin Beifan ordered.
Not long after, the old monk arrived. Lin Beifan shared the allusion with him. The old monk suddenly understood, “Master is right, it’s not the flags fluttering, it’s not the wind moving, it’s our own hearts that are moving! This sentence is full of Buddha’s teachings. Thank you, Master, for guiding me. Amitabha!”
Lin Beifan looked triumphantly at the three women, as if saying, “See, I was right, wasn’t I?”
The three women were both embarrassed and angry. He clearly meant what they thought he meant, yet he still dared to make excuses and deceive them? They rushed over and pinched Lin Beifan’s soft waist.
This irrational scene of women venting their anger was displayed to the fullest.
Only Lin Beifan was quietly shedding tears.
Clearly, they wanted to be teased, but after being teased, they’d start to use their hands and feet. Men were truly in a difficult position!
Time passed unknowingly.
The Spring Festival came to an end, and the new year officially began. The court once again operated at a rapid pace. Various officials returned to their posts and carried out their duties to handle government affairs.
Common people also left their homes and started working to earn a living and support their families.
Minxin City, the newly built city, also began to operate efficiently. Various major businesses had settled in Minxin City, establishing factories, recruiting workers, and conducting trade.
The local residents continued to produce cement, work for the major businesses, engage in farming, or start their own small businesses. They did whatever they wanted and went wherever there was money to be made.
The local people in the capital saw the vitality of Minxin City and rushed over to do business. The era of street stalls economy had revived!
The whole city exuded a vigorous vitality!
Lin Beifan estimated that within a year, this city would become the economic center of the Great Wu.
Spring was here, and the most important thing was still farming. Cultivating fields and growing crops ensured everyone had food to eat, which was essential for everything else.
Historical experiences had proven that without food support, a country would be unstable, and the economy would falter. Just look at the southern regions where the shortage of food had led to serious inflation, high grain prices, and a complete collapse of the economic system. No one was faring well!
To maintain a strong economy, it was crucial to ensure good agricultural production.
Lin Beifan used cement to build and repair various water facilities, promoting food production.
Saving time, effort, and money, with surprisingly good results! Other officials from various regions learned about this and started applying for the use of cement.
As a result, besides selling eighty percent of the cement produced by the cement workshops, the remaining twenty percent was used for their own purposes, such as building water facilities and repairing city walls. To accelerate the construction, the cement was transported to various cities through air-cushioned boats and waterways. Massive water conservancy construction projects were launched with Minxin City at the center.
Everyone was very busy, but Lin Beifan was not as busy as before. During the construction of the new city, he was practically working non-stop, managing many tasks. However, after the city was built, it no longer required such attention. With so many officials under his command, he could delegate their responsibilities, and as long as he kept control of the overall direction, there would be no problems. Everything was steadily developing for the better.
But in other places, the situation was not so good. In the Northern Hebei, due to the previous threat of bandits, many people had fled, leaving not many farmers tending the land. As a result, the grain production was limited, and the economy struggled to recover, causing everyone to live frugally. Prince of Northern Hebei was also facing similar difficulties and had to tighten his belt. He was waiting for everyone to fully practice the Sunflower Treasure Manual before launching a war.
In the Southern Jiang, due to the lack of grain, the economy completely collapsed. The shortage of labor for farming, caused by Lin Beifan taking most of the farmers to the capital, hindered the productivity from improving. Without enough grain, they had no means to wage war, and the enemy could simply hold the frontline to wear them down.
In Wuxi, Duke Wuxi was having the hardest time. The previous incident involving the Slanted Moon Treasure caused him to lose many soldiers, and most of the grain was burned, leading to a severe shortage. Now, he was also being targeted by the remnants of the Slanted Moon Dynasty.
In a seemingly ordinary small village in Wuxi, Princess Ziyue faced the people excitedly, saying, “Everyone, after more than half a year of effort, it’s time for us to reveal our fangs! From today onwards, we will take the initiative to attack, using Duke Wuxi’s soldiers to train our own troops and ultimately create an iron-blooded army to march towards the Dayue and restore the dynasty!”
“March towards the Dayue, restore the dynasty!”
“March towards the Dayue, restore the dynasty!”
Everyone was extremely excited. They had been waiting for this moment, putting in so much effort, and now it was time for them to reap the rewards.
“Princess, we have received the news! Tomorrow evening, Duke Wuxi’s army will pass through the Daliang Village, with approximately 3,000 men and horses. It’s a perfect opportunity for us to strike!” one person excitedly reported.
“Good! This is our first action, very important. Follow all the commands!” Princess Ziyue declared.
The next day, the remnants of the Slanted Moon Dynasty led their troops and ambushed in Daliang Village.
As they saw a group of soldiers in black armor riding tall and majestic horses, returning with grandeur and preparing to set up camp and rest, Princess Ziyue waved her hand and shouted, “Attack!”
Suddenly, a group of people emerged from the grass and rapidly shot arrows.
“Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh…”
After a round of arrow rain, dozens of people were killed.
“There’s an ambush! There’s an ambush!”
“Get them, kill them!”
The army reacted quickly and swiftly wielded their weapons to counterattack. However, the ambushers shot their arrows and immediately ran away without any hesitation, displaying swift movements. Even when the soldiers mounted their horses, they couldn’t catch up with them.