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Chapter 403: Now that the four seas are peaceful, can’t I enjoy myself a bit?
Lin Beifan received a report from Princess Ziyue, and after about a week, he hurried back to the capital.
He then entered the palace to meet the Empress and report on the affairs of the White Elephant Kingdom. The Empress, upon hearing the report, was very pleased and said, “I knew that with you in charge, we would surely succeed! It won’t be long before the White Elephant Kingdom becomes our territory, haha!”
Lin Beifan raised three fingers and said, “Your Majesty, according to the current situation in the White Elephant Kingdom, it will probably take only three months for it to fall into our hands!”
The Empress became even happier and said, “Very well! After three months, trouble you to go and capture the White Elephant Kingdom!” Lin Beifan responded, “I obey your command!”
“Sir, it’s almost noon. If you don’t have any other matters, please stay and have lunch with me. After lunch, stay and help me review the memorials. There’s so much work to be done lately, and I can’t handle it all by myself!”
Lin Beifan looked at the mountain of memorials piled beside him, his face turning a little green. So many memorials were equivalent to several days’ worth of work. With the world at peace, why were there so many memorials? Lin Beifan felt that the Empress had deliberately left them for him, as she had also learned to be lazy. “Your Majesty, there is one more matter I need to report!”
“Sir, what is it?” The Empress asked.
Lin Beifan said with a heavy heart, “Not long ago, our Great Wu experienced a once-in-a-century ice disaster, causing heavy losses to the court and the people. And now, as we are in the spring planting season, whether Great Wu can recover from the ice disaster depends on this moment. It’s a major issue, and we can’t afford to be careless. So, I would like to inspect Great Wu and ensure agricultural production. I respectfully request Your Majesty’s approval.”
The Empress remained expressionless, her beautiful eyes glancing at him briefly as she said, “Sir, are you trying to avoid political affairs and go on a leisure trip?”
Lin Beifan felt uneasy, realizing that the Empress had seen through him so easily.
He said with a wry smile, “Your Majesty, how could you doubt my intentions? Everything I do is for the prosperity of Great Wu! Great Wu is vast, with abundant resources, and we can’t truly understand it by staying in the capital. Only by going out, conducting on-site inspections, and gathering specific information, can we make better arrangements.”
“Well, that’s true,” the Empress thought for a moment and said, “Alright, I’ll accompany you!” Lin Beifan was shocked, and he stammered, “Your Majesty, you’ll accompany me?”
The Empress nodded with a smile, “Yes! It’s been a long time since I left the capital. It’s time to see what Great Wu looks like under my rule, whether the people are living well, and if they have enough to eat and keep warm.”
Lin Beifan felt even more anxious.
His plan had been to take his beautiful companions and close friends on a sightseeing tour while discreetly assessing the situation. But with the Empress accompanying him, could he really go on such a leisurely trip?
He immediately exclaimed, “Your Majesty, this is absolutely not possible!” The Empress furrowed her brows and asked, “What’s not possible?”
Lin Beifan earnestly advised, “Your Majesty, you are the Emperor of Great Wu, responsible for everything. With the four seas under your control, the entire empire relies on you. How can you easily leave the capital? If you’re not presiding over the court, the country could fall into chaos!”
The Empress waved her hand dismissively and said, “Sir, you don’t need to worry. Even though I’ll be going on an inspection tour, I will still handle state affairs. Throughout history, there have been precedents. As long as everything is arranged properly, there won’t be any chaos!”
Lin Beifan persisted, “But Your Majesty, your inspection tour is not a small matter! To ensure your safety and daily needs, a large number of personnel will be accompanying you, and officials will need to make arrangements along the way. It will be a significant burden on the people, and they will criticize you for being an extravagant ruler. I implore Your Majesty to reconsider!”
The Empress waved her hand again, indifferent to his concerns, and said, “Sir, I am already considered an extravagant ruler in the eyes of many. What does it matter how they criticize me?”
Lin Beifan was utterly shocked.
Even if people criticized you for being extravagant, you’re not concerned at all?
“But, Your Majesty…”
“That’s enough, Sir!” the Empress interrupted firmly, “Now that the country is unified and the four seas are peaceful, can’t I enjoy myself a bit?”
“Your Majesty, it’s not that you can’t. Could you consider changing the timing?”
The Empress became angry, saying, “Sir, you’re usually quite clever. Why do you always make things difficult for me at this moment? If you say one more word, I will punish you… I will punish you… by having you stay in charge of the court and handle state affairs until I return!”
This was truly a powerful move, and Lin Beifan immediately fell silent!
The Empress secretly chuckled, confident that she could control him. Seeing Lin Beifan’s distressed expression, the Empress couldn’t bear it and said, “Sir, don’t be unhappy. I allow you to bring your family along. That way, the journey won’t be lonely!”
“Thank you, Your Majesty!” Lin Beifan silently shed tears, realizing that this was a stroke of good luck in his misfortune.
On that day, the Empress announced this decision to the outside world.
After three days of preparations, a fleet of luxurious ships set sail from the capital.
The itinerary was as follows: first, they headed south to Southern Jiang. Southern Jiang had always been an economic hub of Great Wu, and its strategic importance in terms of grain storage was significant. Therefore, the Empress wanted to start by inspecting Southern Jiang to ensure there were no issues with the grain supply before moving north to Northern Jiang.
Then they would continue north to Northern Hebei and eventually return. If everything went quickly, it would take two months; if not, it could take three months. At this point, they had just set out and had not yet left the capital’s territory, so the Empress hadn’t gone sightseeing yet. Instead, she sat in her cabin, engrossed in reviewing memorials.
She planned to handle state affairs first and then enjoy some leisure activities. She was indeed a diligent and responsible Empress.
Meanwhile, Lin Beifan began to slack off, playing and frolicking with the ladies on the ship.
“Look, there’s a group of fish chasing us here!”
“And here… there’s a big black carp. It looks so plump!”
“My mouth is watering. Let’s catch it and make a braised dish!”
“Braising it would be such a waste! We can use the head to make fish head soup, braise one half of the fish, and steam the other half. And we can make chili sauce with the fish tail!”
“Young Lady, you make a lot of sense!”
The sounds of laughter and play echoed from outside into the cabin.
The Empress’s heart was in turmoil, and she couldn’t sit still. She gritted her teeth and said, “I’m working hard to review memorials inside, and you’re having such a great time outside? Go, bring Lord Lin in!”
Not long after, Lin Beifan walked in and respectfully asked, “Your Majesty, what are your orders?”
“Sir, you came at just the right time!” The Empress smiled and stood up, pulling Lin Beifan to sit in her chair and resting her hand on his shoulder. “You will be in charge of reviewing these memorials!”
Lin Beifan was somewhat surprised. “But, Your Majesty, what about you…?”
The Empress stretched lazily and said, “I’ve been sitting for too long and feel a bit tired. I’ll go for a walk, stretch my bones! Before I return, these memorials will be your responsibility!”
Lin Beifan nodded understandingly. “Understood, Your Majesty!”
Lin Beifan took on the Empress’s work, while the Empress enjoyed her leisurely stroll. “Empress Sister, you’re here!” the Little Princess enthusiastically exclaimed as the Empress returned.
“Your Majesty, we, the humble subjects, pay our respects. Long live our Emperor!” Li Shi Shi, Mo Rushuang, and others immediately bowed.
“You don’t need to be so formal,” the Empress smiled and said, “Since everyone rarely comes out to have fun, let’s focus on enjoying ourselves. You don’t need to worry too much about formalities; just maintain a respectful tone.”
“Yes, Your Majesty!” everyone agreed.
The Empress curiously asked, “What are you all doing?”
“Empress Sister, I was planning to catch this big black carp and make it the centerpiece of a fish feast tonight,” the Little Princess said, her mouth watering as she spoke.
The Empress became interested. “Fishing, eh? I know how to fish. Let me do it!”
With that, she took over the fishing rod.
Mo Rushuang advised, “But, Your Majesty, this carp is quite large. It might be too much…”
The Empress took a look and nodded with a smile. “Indeed, it’s big. I haven’t caught such a large fish before, so I might not have enough strength. Therefore, later on, all of you must help me together to catch this fish!”
“Yes, Your Majesty!”
So, everyone worked together to catch the carp.
Meanwhile, Lin Beifan sat in the Empress’s position, rapidly reviewing the memorials. Unconsciously, a stick of incense burned down.
The number of memorials hadn’t decreased much, but Lin Beifan was growing impatient. He turned to the old eunuch beside him and asked, “What is the Empress doing? A stick of incense has passed, and she still hasn’t returned.”
The old eunuch replied, “Reporting to Prime Minister, Her Majesty is fishing and thoroughly enjoying herself!”
“She’s fishing?” Lin Beifan frowned. “Could you please go and remind Her Majesty to return to her duties?”
“Well…” the old eunuch looked hesitant. “Your Majesty is having so much fun, and I dare not disturb her enjoyment. Prime Minister, please be patient. She should return soon!”
“Alright, I’ll wait a bit longer.”
Another stick of incense passed, but the Empress still hadn’t returned.
Lin Beifan couldn’t help but ask again, “Where is Her Majesty?”
The old eunuch replied, “Reporting to Prime Minister, Your Majesty is still fishing.”
“Can you please remind her? It’s been half an hour, and it’s time for her to come back!”
“Prime Minister, aren’t you making it difficult for me? If you endure a little longer, Her Majesty will return soon!”
“Fine, I’ll endure a bit longer.”
Another stick of incense burned down, and the Empress still hadn’t returned.
This time, Lin Beifan didn’t ask. Instead, he used his spiritual power to understand the situation outside.
And then, he was stunned.
Because the Empress had actually become completely engrossed in fishing!
She had caught fish after fish, filling two water tubs, and one big carp had already been dissected.
The problem was that she was so carried away with her fun that she had left me behind.
It’s as if she brought me to the door and then treated me like a laborer, making me handle state affairs!
At this moment, the Empress, who was enthusiastically fishing, suddenly furrowed her brow.
“Empress, what’s wrong?” the young lady asked.
The Empress frowned and said, “I don’t know why, but I feel like there’s something I need to do, but I can’t remember it right now…”
“Is it something important?” the young lady asked again.
“It’s important and not important at the same time,” the Empress waved her hand. “Never mind. Let’s continue fishing and having fun!”
Lin Beifan: “…”
I’ve added chapters of [My Incompetent Reign: Gifting the Kingdom at the Beginning, Becoming an Eternal Emperor] on https://faloomtl.com.