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Chapter 60: Since he’s greedy, let’s bribe him!
In the end, everyone came to the banquet in high spirits, but left disappointed. The young princess, on the other hand, ran excitedly to the palace to tell the empress about her experience.
“Empress sister, let me tell you something fun! Today, Lin Beifan and I went to receive the envoy from Darro Country. Do you know what Lin Beifan did?”
“He invited them to have breakfast at Liang Ji Breakfast Shop, then invited them for lunch at the same place. And in the evening, he invited them to a terrible restaurant and served them porridge that had water mixed with rice wine!”
“My goodness, he only spent less than 50 taels of silver in total to send them away! And during dinner, he even invited a group of fat, old, and ugly women to accompany them!”
“Empress sister, do you know how he tricked the envoy? He said that in our Great Wu Dynasty, being fat is beautiful and being old is respected, and he fooled them!”
“Today was really laughable for me, hehe…”
The empress was shocked to hear this. “Lin Beifan… is he really that reckless?”
The princess laughed, holding her belly. “It’s even worse than what I just told you, there are so many things I haven’t said yet, hehe…”
“Oh my god!” The empress sighed, feeling overwhelmed. She never expected Lin Beifan to act so recklessly.
Using such an outrageous method to treat foreign envoys, how would that reflect on their reputation? Even if he was corrupt, he should at least show some hospitality.
She couldn’t help but feel sorry for the envoy from Darro Country. This was not a small matter! If it was not handled properly, it could directly affect the diplomatic relations between the two countries, and another war could breakout!
And because of this, Lin Beifan may be impeached and removed from office.
“Yunying, watch him closely and don’t let him do anything reckless again!” The empress ordered.
“Don’t worry, Empress sister, I will keep an eye on him!” Yunying replied.
On the other hand, at the inn, Prince Hamu and his companions returned with sour faces. Losing the war was enough to make them unhappy, and now, they were ridiculed by a small official from the Great Wu Dynasty.
If they weren’t so well-bred, they would have thrown a fit right then and there.
Prince Hamu has made up his mind to report Lin Beifan to the Empress when he sees her again. Just then, someone walks in and respectfully reports that the investigation Prince Hamu requested has been completed.
Among the civil and military officials in Great Wu, the most powerful ones are listed along with their official positions. Prince Hamu frowns, remarking that these people are all cunning and sly.
Their main purpose for this trip is to negotiate and discuss compensation. As a defeated nation, they want to pay as little as possible. Therefore, in order to achieve this goal, they plan to bribe one or two important officials to speak on their behalf.
When the name of Lin Beifan emerges as a possible candidate, Prince Hamu feels a wave of disgust. The informant explains that since becoming the top scholar in the imperial examination, Lin Beifan has received many rewards from the Empress, including a luxury mansion, a large sum of silver, silk fabric, premium wine, daily meals from the imperial kitchen, top-notch carriages, and several excellent horses.
Prince Hamu feels jealous and inferior to someone who has gained so much in so little time. However, the informant also reveals that Lin Beifan has a weakness for money and is very corrupt.
He has already embezzled more than two million silver from two households, and has also stolen two million silver from his students while serving as the director of the Imperial Academy.
According to spies, he also received a reception fee of 200,000 silver from the Ministry of Revenue and only spent less than one hundred silver on that day, keeping the rest for himself.
Prince Hamu decides to choose Lin Beifan as their target, as he is favored by the Empress, easy to approach, and very eager for money. He believes that once they bribe him, they will have a greater advantage during the negotiations.