Chapter 416

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Chapter 416: Did Empty Void Daoist Get Captured?

Next, Lin Beifan remained in White Elephant to handle the lingering issues of the White Elephant Kingdom. There were indeed many problems, but fortunately, the people of White Elephant were quite understanding and cooperative, so many things gradually smoothed out and became well-organized. Princess Ziyue knew that Lin Beifan had arrived and took the time to come over.

Her expression held a hint of resentment as she said jealously, “Strategist, you’ve already helped that woman conquer two territories. When will you help me? I’ve been working hard all alone in Dayue!”

Lin Beifan shook his head with a smile, “Princess, haven’t I helped you a lot already? You should know that I’ve been planning and strategizing for you, risking my life for over two years! Moreover, if we conquer Dayue, the territory will be many times larger than White Elephant, and isn’t that enough?”

“Well, that’s true!” Princess Ziyue brightened up. In these two years, the strategist had indeed risked his life to plan for her. And if they truly conquered Dayue, that territory would be vast and rich, far surpassing White Elephant and Darro combined. Just based on that, she would outshine that other woman.

“It seems that the strategist still has me in his heart!”

Princess Ziyue leaned closer, her hands encircling Lin Beifan’s waist, and her head resting on his chest as she exhaled gently, saying, “Eight, nine, three. Strategist, when will you accompany me to Dayue? As long as you come, our Slanted Moon’s treasures and I… will all be yours!”

Lin Beifan was so frustrated that this woman had come again!

Didn’t she know how tempting she was to me? “Princess, this matter isn’t urgent. Let’s wait until we’ve conquered Dayue.”

“Alright, when I ascend to the throne as Empress after conquering Dayue, you must come to Slanted Moon and become my prince!”

Because the grand undertaking had reached its final stages, Princess Ziyue stayed with Lin Beifan for two days and then hurried back. Lin Beifan continued to stay in White Elephant and the Western Martial Lands to handle White Elephant’s affairs.

The sudden addition of 5 million people was a massive issue in terms of their clothing, food, shelter, and transportation. If handled well, it would be an asset, but if not, it could become a burden. So, Lin Beifan had to put in a lot of effort.

During this time, he stumbled upon a rather absurd situation. One day, while Lin Beifan was dealing with official matters, a group of White Elephant citizens came to petition, looking very anxious.

“Lord Prime Minister, something terrible has happened!”

“The crops we planted are being eaten by a group of furry animals. Someone said they’re rabbits!”

“There are too many rabbits, they run too fast, and we can’t catch them. What should we do? If it affects the harvest, it’ll be a disaster!”

At that moment, Lin Beifan hadn’t realized yet, “Where did these rabbits come from?”

“These rabbits came down from the Qinglong Mountains! We sent people up to take a look, and there were just so many of them, one nest after another! We can’t figure out how, in just one year, there are so many rabbits up there!”

Lin Beifan suddenly felt both amused and exasperated because this situation was his idea. Initially, when there was a shortage of food for the Slanted Moon army, Princess Ziyue specifically came to him for advice.

So, he suggested introducing rabbits, which could multiply quickly, into the Qinglong and Fenghuang Mountains to address the food shortage for the Slanted Moon army. Now, after a year, this group of rabbits not only survived a once-in-a-century ice disaster but also began to reproduce wildly, threatening the food supply below the mountains.

“Take me to see them!”

Lin Beifan followed the local villagers and enthusiastically arrived at the farmlands below the mountains.

Sure enough, they found many rabbits, fat and agile, nibbling on crops, while a group of farmers chased after them, making the scene look somewhat comical. Lin Beifan chuckled, “My fellow villagers, this isn’t a bad thing; it’s actually a great one!”

“A great thing?” The villagers were puzzled.

“Indeed, it’s a good thing,” Lin Beifan laughed, “These rabbits, not only are they delicious, but they’re also highly nutritious. You can catch them and enjoy their meat!”

“These rabbits are edible, and they taste good?” The villagers were a bit perplexed.

These villagers were originally from the White Elephant Kingdom, where rabbits were not common, so they didn’t know whether these creatures were edible or how they tasted. “Why don’t you try it, and you’ll know?” Lin Beifan suggested with a smile. “You don’t often eat meat, so you can catch some rabbit meat to supplement your diet. These creatures multiply rapidly, giving birth to a litter every month or so, and a litter usually has seven or eight rabbits. They grow quickly, so feel free to catch them; you won’t run out of them!”

The villagers cheered up upon hearing this.

“What a great opportunity!”

“It’s been a while since I had meat; I’ll catch some to enjoy!”

“I’ve never tasted rabbit meat; I must see what it’s like, haha!”

Many were eager to try.

“And there’s another significant benefit!” Lin Beifan continued with a grin.

“What benefit?” Everyone asked eagerly.

“You can make dried rabbit meat, which is easy to store and transport. This way, you can sell it all over the country, and you’ll have an additional source of income!” Lin Beifan explained with a smile.

The villagers’ eyes lit up; this was indeed a tremendous opportunity!

“What a great opportunity!”

Lin Beifan waved his hand and said, “Tonight, let’s catch some rabbit meat and give it a try!”

On that day, under Lin Beifan’s organization, the local villagers went into the mountains to catch rabbits. They then prepared various rabbit dishes, and after eating them, they couldn’t stop praising the flavors. At the same time, they saw a path to wealth through these rabbits.

So, some skilled farmers and salt traders spontaneously formed rabbit-catching teams and went into the mountains to capture rabbits. They processed the meat into jerky and sold it nationwide through local merchants. Lin Beifan naturally welcomed this development and shared some techniques to make the rabbit meat even more delicious.

After the affairs in White Elephant were settled, Lin Beifan returned to the capital and reported to the Empress. In the imperial court, Lin Beifan said, “Your Majesty, I am pleased to report that I have successfully taken control of the White Elephant Kingdom and ensured the welfare of its local citizens. They are deeply grateful for our protection.”

“Your efforts are commendable!” The Empress was delighted. “I am aware of the situation in the White Elephant Kingdom. You have achieved this with minimal cost, bringing another expansion to our empire. I am pleased! However, I am not sure what reward to give you. Feel free to request anything from my private treasury!”

“Thank you for your graciousness, Your Majesty!” Lin Beifan replied loudly. “I would like to inform Your Majesty that although the land in Wuxi is barren, it offers some delicious delicacies. I have brought a special dish from Wuxi to present to Your Majesty!”

The Empress became curious, “My dear, what delicacy have you brought for me?” Lin Beifan signaled for someone to bring it over, and it turned out to be a platter of aromatic dried meat.

The Empress became even more curious, “My dear, what is this?”

Lin Beifan smiled and explained, “Your Majesty, this is rabbit meat! Suddenly, there was a surge of rabbits in the Qinglong and Fenghuang Mountains, and they were devouring crops! Originally, this was a significant problem for the farmers, but I saw that they were large and well-fed, so I ordered them to be made into jerky. The taste is incredibly delicious! So, I brought some for Your Majesty to taste!”

The Empress was momentarily stunned. Rabbits from the Qinglong and Fenghuang Mountains? Weren’t those the ones that the other woman released up there? However, the Empress didn’t dwell on it and smiled, “My dear, it’s rare for you to be so considerate. Let me taste it!”

The rabbit meat was brought over, and the Empress picked up a piece, taking a delicate bite. She nodded and smiled, “Indeed, the taste is excellent. I really like it! All of you, try some too!”

“Yes, Your Majesty!”

So, everyone had a taste, and they all found the flavor to be excellent…

Subsequently, Lin Beifan publicized this matter far and wide, presenting it as rabbit meat from Wuxi. The fact that the Empress praised it highly became the most significant advertisement in the realm. After all, which celebrity could surpass the current reigning Empress? Consequently, the Wuxi rabbit meat industry quickly gained popularity, as everyone wanted to taste the rabbit meat that the Empress couldn’t stop praising. Lin Beifan had effectively turned the rabbit meat industry in Wuxi into a thriving business.

In the following days, Lin Beifan remained in the original capital, working alongside the Empress to handle state affairs during official hours. In his leisure time, he enjoyed playing and having fun with various women, leading a low-profile yet fulfilling life. It was now summer, and the Taiping rice, sown throughout the realm, had grown vigorously.

Whether it was the fertile lands of the capital, the regions of Southern Jiang and Northern Jiang, or the relatively barren areas of Northern Hebei and Wuxi, the Taiping rice was flourishing.

Lin Beifan was eager to see what kind of yield they would achieve at harvest time. However, during this time, whether it was Great Yan, Great Xia, or Dayue, things were becoming increasingly chaotic.

The Dayue Dynasty was primarily in turmoil due to Princess Ziyue’s actions. Using the advanced revolutionary theories taught by Lin Beifan, she led a peasant uprising that gained tremendous momentum, sweeping through the entire Dayue region. The dynastic change was imminent this year.

As for the Great Yan and Great Xia Dynasties, their main source of chaos was the pursuit of the Elixir of Immortality. The Emperor of Great Yan had witnessed the creation of the Elixir of Immortality with his own eyes and became obsessed, disregarding the suffering of the people and neglecting state affairs.

He was collecting rare treasures from all over the world once again, preparing to refine the Elixir of Immortality and fulfill his dream of eternal life. The Emperor of Great Xia, due to his limited remaining lifespan, was also obsessed with the idea of immortality. Now that he saw a glimmer of hope, he became equally fanatical, hoping to refine the Elixir of Immortality to extend his life and continue ruling the realm.

As for the other smaller kingdoms, they had not yet recovered from the recent ice disaster, so they continued to experience turmoil.

Meanwhile, in Great Yan, a shocking event occurred. One dark and stormy night, a large group of formidable experts infiltrated the imperial palace of Great Yan. Among them, there were forty innate experts and even three grandmasters. This terrifying force had the potential to overthrow any kingdom under the heavens.

However, they did not come for the Emperor of Great Yan or the precious treasures within the palace. Astonishingly, they had come for Empty Void Daoist. They captured him and swiftly vanished without a trace. The Emperor of Great Yan roared in anger for three days, and countless heads rolled as a consequence.

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