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Chapter 57: Greed on the Imperial Court?
“Alright! In that case, We shall continue to reward Sir Lin!”
The Empress then proceeded to shower Lin Beifan with numerous rewards that left him dizzy, and left the officials envious and separated by a wall of jealousy.
However, having learned from past experience, none of them dared to voice their opposition.
They were afraid of angering some asshole and getting themselves killed.
For Lin Beifan, he simply accepted the benefits and loudly proclaimed, “I thank Your Majesty for Your kindness!”
“Next, let us discuss the matter of receiving the foreign emissaries!”
The Empress spoke again, “The emissaries from the Kingdom of Darro have come to mainly discuss compensation. We should send someone savvy and capable to ascertain their intentions. Any suggestions, my ministers?”
At this point, the Minister of Rites stepped forward and respectfully said, “Your Majesty, this matter is best handled by the newly appointed top scholar, Director Lin.”
Lin Beifan, who was idly passing the time, was taken aback.
Why did this have to fall on him again?
“My minister, why do you say so?” The Empress asked, casting a glance at Lin Beifan.
The Minister of Rites replied, “Your Majesty, Sir Lin and Prince Hamu are of similar age and may connect with each other more easily. Furthermore, Sir Lin has quick wits and just debunked the tricks of Darro’s emissaries earlier. I believe that during the reception process, Sir Lin will be able to uncover their true intentions.”
Lin Beifan rolled his eyes. This old man had some scheme in mind again!
Receiving foreign guests was not an easy job. It involved catering to them like they were ancestors, eating, drinking, playing with them, and avoiding offense.
If it was done well, it was ordinary. If it was not done well, it could escalate into a diplomatic dispute.
It was a thankless and exhausting task.
This kind of reception work should have been handled by experienced, mature, and responsible officials. Instead, the task fell to him. It was obvious they wanted to see him make a fool of himself.
His heart was seething with anger!
The Empress, too, saw through the Minister of Rites’ intentions. However, she had some faith in Lin Beifan and asked, “Sir Lin, what do you think?”
Lin Beifan bowed and said, “Your Majesty, I believe that the Ministry of Rites should be responsible for this matter. Furthermore, I was just recently appointed as the Director of the National Academy, and have many burdensome duties to attend to. I fear I cannot ease Your Majesty’s worries. Please forgive me.”
The dozen or so officials present had their mouths twitching.
Burdened with duties?
He spent every day lecturing their sons and daughters.
He busied himself with milking money from them.
And now, he was also dragging the Yunying County Princess into this mess!
The Minister of Personnel, Gao Tianyao, stood up and shouted, “I believe that Director Lin is the most suitable candidate for this task!”
The Minister of Revenue also stood up, “I agree, this task should be given to Lord Lin!”
The Minister of Household Affairs also voiced his support, “I concur!”
Officials began to speak up and strongly recommend him! Not for anything else, but to let their children suffer less!
“Alright, this matter will be handled by Sir Lin!” The Empress said loudly. Lin Beifan was helpless, he couldn’t escape this time! This group of old schemers! Since it was like this, Lin Beifan let go!
“Thank you, Your Majesty and all the lords for your kindness! But this matter is of great importance, and my salary is meager. I am afraid of not providing adequate hospitality, so I would like to apply for a public envoy fee!”
“Makes sense! How much do you need, I will have the Ministry of Revenue give it to you!” The Empress asked.
“I need 300,000 taels!” Lin Beifan bowed.
The whole scene erupted. “300,000 taels?!”
“Do you really need that much to entertain foreign guests?”
“Sir Lin, are you joking?” The Empress’s mouth twitched.
This guy was obviously corrupt! He was even greedily asking for money in front of the officials and her! He was getting bolder and bolder.
Lin Beifan felt very wronged: “Honorable lords, please don’t misunderstand me! If I am to host the Darro envoys, I will definitely take them to eat, drink, and be merry, and give them an enjoyable experience. But all of this requires money!”
“We have inns for them to stay, so I won’t mention that.”
“But we can’t be careless about food! The best restaurant in our capital averages 50 taels per person! They are a group of 20 people, and if they eat three meals a day, it will cost 30,000 taels per day! They will be here for about 10 days, so just for food it will cost 300,000 taels!”
“Furthermore, during meals, we will surely have to arrange some singing and dancing performances. The best dance troupe in our capital costs 30,000 taels per show, so for 10 days, that’s another 300,000 taels!”
“And if they want to go to brothels to find girls, the expenses will be even greater…”
Ultimately, Lin Beifan boldly stated, “Therefore, I dare to ask for 300,000 taels, which is well-founded and based on facts!”
“And this is my first time hosting foreign guests, and I have no experience. It’s better to prepare more money, to be safe than sorry! Please forgive me, Your Majesty and all the honorable lords!” Everyone’s faces twitched again.
This guy really dared to speak up! The Empress looked expressionless at the Minister of Revenue, “Minister Qian, what do you think?” The Minister of Revenue’s face was dark, “Your Majesty, the treasury is tight right now, so at most we can give 200,000 taels!”
“Add a little more!” Lin Beifan said.
The Minister of Revenue’s face became even darker, and he waved his sleeve, “Only 200,000 taels, no more!”
“Alright! Just 200,000 taels!” The Empress said loudly, “Sir Lin, after you receive this money, please host the Darro envoys well, and at the same time, investigate their true intentions. Don’t let me down!”
“Yes, Your Majesty!” Lin Beifan bowed. Although he couldn’t get 300,000 taels, he was still very happy with the 200,000 taels!
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