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Chapter 253: Crown Prince of Great Xia Visits, Handing Over the Night Fragrance!
Imperial Cat Night Fragrance was extremely active, either suppressing criminals every day or on the way to suppress them!
It was precisely due to his efforts that the security of the capital city was getting better and better.
Under such security conditions, Lin Beifan felt that it was possible to open the night market.
The night market was a major initiative to promote people’s livelihoods.
Many people were busy working during the day and only had time to spend money when their work ended at night.
With more money circulating in the market, the economy could flourish.
However, there were many considerations to take into account under the imperial city, and it couldn’t be done recklessly.
Therefore, Lin Beifan decided to first implement it in Minxin City.
Although Minxin City was also within the jurisdiction of the capital city, it was separated by a certain distance. Problems occurring there wouldn’t affect this side of the capital city, so many issues could be avoided.
Lin Beifan wrote about this matter and obtained the Empress’s agreement.
Lin Beifan announced to the outside world that the night market in Minxin City was being opened, allowing stalls to operate at night.
As soon as this policy was announced, the whole city responded enthusiastically!
“Opening the night market is great. It’s another way to make money!”
“This policy is excellent. I fully support it!”
“Minxin City has become livelier now. Nights won’t be lonely anymore!”
As a result, the nights in Minxin City became exceptionally lively.
In less than a week, the city was brightly lit, with people flowing like a river, bustling streets and alleys filled with the clamor of the common folk, even more so than during the daytime.
In the capital city, many small vendors were envious and rushed over to do business, earning more than usual.
Many people also went there to eat, drink, and have fun, staying out all night.
The Little Princess was one such example.
At this moment, the Little Princess held glutinous rice balls in one hand and skewers in the other. She mumbled as she ate, “I told you, opening the night market is so good! No one has to worry about not finding things to eat at night, and there’s money to be made!”
Li Shi Shi, walking beside her, smiled and said, “Little Princess, you’re blaming my Husband wrongly! Actually, opening the night market puts a lot of pressure on him. If anything happens, he’ll be held responsible! It’s only because the security has improved recently and the conditions are ripe that he’s implementing it. You need to understand!”
The Little Princess nodded repeatedly, “I understand! I really do! It would be great if this night market could stay open!”
Saying that, she picked up another skewer and happily started munching on it.
One word: delicious!
“Actually, my Husband is opening the night market for someone’s sake!”
The Little Princess was taken aback, “Who has such face?”
Li Shi Shi looked at the Little Princess’s blushing face, teasingly saying, “Who keeps thinking about the night market? He’s doing it for that person!”
The Little Princess’s cheeks turned even redder, and she stuttered, “Is that so… like this?”
Li Shi Shi laughed, “Otherwise, who else could it be for?”
The Little Princess fell silent, her face all rosy!
To disguise her excitement and shyness, she kept eating, her gaze unconsciously turning toward the elegant figure walking ahead. After a moment’s thought, she ran up ahead, holding out the skewers, and said, “Have some.~!”
Lin Beifan shook his head, “Thanks, Little Princess, but I’ve already eaten!”
The Little Princess glared at Lin Beifan, sternly saying, “If I offer you food, you better eat it. Don’t refuse!”
Lin Beifan: “Huh?”
He was baffled; was he being coerced into eating skewers?
After all, this was a sincere gesture from the Little Princess. Lin Beifan accepted it and started eating slowly.
The Little Princess ran back, feeling very happy.
So, she casually bought another pack of skewers and started eating heartily.
Inside the imperial palace of the capital city…
The Empress sat in her study, looking through the window at the rising lights in the distance. She then turned her attention to the documents in her hand and smiled as she shook her head. “Under the management of Sir Lin, the capital city is improving more and more!”
During this period, she had witnessed Lin Beifan’s efforts and achievements.
After the Spring Festival, he had vigorously supported spring farming.
He had used cement to build numerous water facilities, greatly improving the agricultural environment.
He had summarized and organized the Eight Agricultural Techniques, allowing farmers to follow systematic and reasonable cultivation methods for fields and the cultivation of vegetables. The results were remarkable.
He had also introduced a variety of fertilizers, enriching the sources of fertilizers and increasing yields.
Although only a month had passed, the effects of his efforts in agriculture were already beginning to show.
In terms of commerce, he was doing even better.
The cement industry had driven the entire city’s development, providing jobs and food for everyone. He had even launched a night market economy, promoting commercial development and making the city bustling.
Regarding public security, his performance was also outstanding.
He had unexpectedly appointed the thief Night Fragrance to manage public security, and the results were significant. There had even been a time when people didn’t need to lock their doors at night, and lost items were left untouched on the streets.
It could be said that since Lin Beifan had taken charge of the affairs of the capital city, its development had been changing rapidly.
The stronger Lin Beifan’s abilities became, the happier the Empress felt. “He can manage a city with millions of people so well. Extending this to the entire country shouldn’t be a problem! Give him a bit more time, and give him even more responsibilities!”
Now, she increasingly felt that Lin Beifan was the best gift sent to her by the heavens.
With him around, many things had become easier and simpler.
With this joyful mood, the Empress continued to review the documents.
At this moment, she received an important piece of information.
“The Great Xia Dynasty is sending Crown Prince Xia Tianqiong for a diplomatic visit?” The Empress frowned.
She was very familiar with this prince from the enemy nation.
In fact, she was familiar with all the important members of the Great Xia royal family.
Xia Tianqiong, the Crown Prince of the Great Xia Dynasty, was an exceptionally capable and ambitious prince. He had become Crown Prince before the age of 20 and had shown outstanding performance over the past decade. He had gained the support of the entire court, especially the military. He also enjoyed the favor and trust of the Great Xia Emperor, which had greatly expanded his power.
Compared to other imperial princes and grandsons, he far outshone them and was beyond competition.
He was undoubtedly one of the most stable Crown Princes in history.
At the same time, he was young and ambitious, a staunch advocate of war and territorial expansion. The ultimate goal he had set was the conquest of the Great Wu region.
He had proposed numerous times in court to initiate military actions against Great Wu, but they had all been rejected by the current Great Xia Emperor, who was aging and cautious, not willing to take risks.
However, if the current Emperor were to step down and Xia Tianqiong ascended to the throne, it was highly likely that he would launch a military campaign against Great Wu.
“At this time, coming to Wu, I’m afraid the intentions of the visitors might not be good!” The Empress said with a sigh.
Even if she was reluctant, since the other side was visiting Wu, they must receive them with respect, maintaining the demeanor of a great nation.
A week later, Crown Prince Xia Tianqiong of the Great Xia Dynasty arrived in the capital city leading his delegation.
The Empress received him in the court.
“Greetings to Her Majesty of Great Wu. May you have good fortune, peace, and may all your endeavors succeed!” The representatives of the Great Xia Dynasty spoke in unison.
Among them, standing in the center was Crown Prince Xia Tianqiong himself. He was dressed in a golden python robe, his gaze sharp and spirited, tall and imposing, exuding the aura of an emperor. Although currently just a crown prince, he already carried the presence of a ruler.
“Crown Prince of the Great Xia, as well as all the envoys, please stand without ceremony!” The Empress said sternly.
“Thank you, Your Majesty of Great Wu!” they all said in unison.
“Crown Prince of the Great Xia, what is the purpose of your visit this time?” The Empress inquired.
“This prince has three main purposes for this visit,” Crown Prince Xia Tianqiong said loudly. “First, on behalf of my imperial father, the ruler of the Great Xia Dynasty, I’ve come to convey sincere greetings to Her Majesty of Great Wu, wishing you good health, national prosperity, and the well-being of your people.”
The Empress nodded and smiled, “It’s thoughtful of Emperor Xia.”
“Second, since ascending to the position of Crown Prince, this prince has been diligently striving. However, my experience is shallow, and my abilities are limited, falling short of the grace of the throne. These reflections have always left me ashamed. Therefore, I have come on this visit to learn from the advanced management practices of Great Wu. I humbly ask Your Majesty of Great Wu for permission.”
The Empress’s mind sneered.
It was clear that they were here to probe for information rather than for a visit!
However, their pretext was valid and reasonable, and she couldn’t refuse them face to face. Otherwise, she would seem petty and afraid.
“I see. We shall assign Minister of Rites Zhao as your guide,” the Empress said.
In matters of state reception, rank symmetry was highly emphasized.
Since the other party’s visitor was a crown prince, they had to send an equivalent-level figure as well.
However, Great Wu’s situation was unique. They had no crown prince, no prince at court, and no prime minister. After some consideration, the Minister of Rites was the most suitable choice.
However, Xia Tianqiong shook his head, “No need to trouble Minister Zhao. I’d like the Prefect of the Capital City, Lin Beifan, to accompany me.”
Lin Beifan, who was currently spacing out, was stunned, “Me?”
Xia Tianqiong turned his head to look at Lin Beifan and smiled, “Although I am far away in Great Xia, I’ve already heard about Prefect Lin! You’ve achieved the triple triumph in the imperial examination at a young age and led Great Wu to victory over Great Yan in the literary war. Your talents are outstanding, and your knowledge is profound.”
“Moreover, since taking office, you’ve shown remarkable abilities and achievements. I deeply admire that! Considering that the capital city is under your jurisdiction, I hope to take this opportunity to get to know you better, and I hope you won’t reject this humble request of mine.”
Lin Beifan clasped his hands and said, “Crown Prince of the Great Xia, you’re too kind.”
The Empress nodded, “Since the Crown Prince of the Great Xia has made the invitation… Prefect Lin, you shall be the one to host him!”
“Yes, Your Majesty!” Lin Beifan accepted the decree.
“Crown Prince of the Great Xia, what is this third matter?” the Empress asked.
“This third matter concerns the great thief Night Fragrance,” Xia Tianqiong said, bowing. “Since coming into existence, Night Fragrance has committed 17 thefts within our territory. These were all precious treasures of our nation, and his crimes are heinous!”
“Furthermore, he has mocked our Great Xia court, behaving arrogantly and causing both man and god to be furious. He is a great thief of the nation, deserving no mercy! I humbly request that Your Majesty of Great Wu hand him over to Great Xia for trial. I would be extremely grateful.”
As soon as this was said, the atmosphere in the room instantly changed.
It should be noted that although Night Fragrance was previously a major thief who had indeed stolen many things and committed numerous wrongdoings, he had now submitted to the court and was a person of Great Wu. He had been doing quite well during this time and was even granted the title of a fourth-ranked guard with a sword. He had also been given the title of “Imperial Cat”.
If they were to hand him over, what kind of image would they present?
How would the world view their court?