Chapter 95

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Chapter 95: Active in Corruption, Sly in Sharing Worries!

As soon as she saw the officials, the empress cut to the chase and asked: “Should we release or keep the eldest prince?”

The officials looked at each other, and an old minister bowed and asked: “Your Majesty, have we asked about the purpose of the eldest prince coming to the capital?”

The empress nodded. “Yes, we have. He just said he was bored and came to play in the capital. But now, with the current tense situation, how could a prince like him, with his special status, come here without any ulterior motive? Clearly, he is hiding something.”

“Moreover, as the eldest prince, he holds a very honorable position and cannot be punished unless he commits a crime. So, we might not get any answers from him. That’s why I called you all here to come up with a strategy!”

“Your Majesty, I believe we should release him!” The Minister of Revenue, Qian Yuanshen, stood up and said loudly. “Currently, Wu Yingjie is still the crown prince, and his father, the Prince of Northern Hebei, has not yet broken ties with us. If we continue to detain the eldest prince, it may anger the Prince and lead to an uprising.”

“The consequences of a rebellion are unpredictable!”

“Our empire not only has to face the Prince of Northern Hebei, but also other neighboring princes who are waiting for a chance to strike. Other countries beyond our borders will also not miss this opportunity. We are facing too much pressure!”

“Currently, the situation is complicated, and it is better to stay inactive than to act. The court cannot afford to make mistakes!”

Other officials from Qian’s faction chimed in: “That’s right, we should release him! Keeping him is too troublesome!”

“Let him go and appease the Prince of Northern Hebei!”

“Our court really cannot afford to be distracted, nor can the empire!”

At that moment, the Minister of Personnel, Gao Tianyao, stood up.

“Your Majesty, I believe we should keep him!”

“Indeed, as Mr. Qian said, there will be endless troubles if we didn’t release the eldest prince. But if we do release him, will that extinguish the Prince’s ambition? It’s impossible to think so! The Prince has been plotting for more than twenty years and will not give up his ambition just because of one crown prince. A war is almost inevitable!”

“Keeping the eldest prince is currently the best option!”

“By keeping him alive, we can at least make the Prince hesitate. Moreover, by keeping the eldest prince, we have a chance to dig out more information about the Prince of Northern Hebei, which would be very helpful in our preparations for war!”

Officials from Gao’s faction also spoke out in support: “Yes, keeping the eldest prince is the best option!”

“This can make the Prince of Northern Hebei fear us and give us more time to prepare!”

“This is the best solution for now!”

Everyone gave their opinion, and they all made sense.

The empress was hesitant and couldn’t make up her mind, so she called for the officials to come up with a strategy. However, they couldn’t come up with a good solution.

At that moment, she thought of someone who always surprised her unintentionally.

She looked towards the person standing at the back with a smile and said: “Sir Lin, everyone has made valid arguments. What is your opinion? Speak up and let me hear it!”

Lin Beifan, who was slacking off, was taken aback. Can’t I even slack off in peace?

The officials were all silent now, looking at Lin Beifan for his opinion.

Lin Beifan stood up and said: “Your Majesty, I believe Minister Qian’s argument is valid. The Eldest Prince’s identity is sensitive, and if we keep him, it may anger the Prince of Northern Hebei and worsen the situation, leading to chaos in both the court and the country. Currently, Wu Yingjie faces too many problems, and it would be unwise to escalate this issue.”

Minister Qian smiled lightly and said: “Sir Lin’s opinion is right. No wonder he was the top scorer in the imperial examination!”

For the first time, Lin Beifan was regarded as sensible and admirable.

“But Minister Gao’s argument is also valid,” Lin Beifan continued. “The Prince of Northern Hebei has ambitious plans, and whether we release or keep the Eldest Prince, he will eventually start a war. By keeping the Eldest Prince, we can use him as a hostage to make the Prince hesitate and gain more information from him.”

The smile on Minister Qian’s face disappeared, and Minister Gao wasn’t pleased either.

Everyone was dissatisfied with Lin Beifan.

“Sir Lin, whose side are you on?”

“You flip-flop between releasing and keeping! You’re making everyone confused!”

“What do you mean?”

Lin Beifan remained calm and said loudly: “Both releasing and keeping have their merits. Your Majesty is wise and all-knowing, and I trust that you have a course of action in mind. So, I won’t worry about it. Whatever decision you make, I will fully support it!”

Everyone thought to themselves: this is just a bunch of useless talk with no substance! He even buttered up the empress!

What a sly little fox!

The officials couldn’t come up with a better solution in the end, so they decided to hold off on their decision for now. They treated Wu Yingjie well and kept him confined to the palace. They also monitored the Prince of Northern Hebei’s reaction and waited for the right time to act.

After the meeting, Lin Beifan returned to his mansion, where Mo Rushuang and Guo Shaoshuai rushed in, asking anxiously, “Is it true that the Eldest Prince has been captured by the empress?”

This incident had caused a stir in the city, and almost everyone knew about it.

Lin Beifan didn’t hide anything and nodded. “Yes, it’s true.”

“Ah, this is troublesome!” Both siblings looked worried, and Guo Shaoshuai said anxiously, “If the Eldest Prince is caught, how do we explain it to the Prince?”

Lin Beifan chuckled and said, “What does this have to do with you? It’s not like he was caught because of you!”

Guo Shaoshuai hesitated and said, “That’s true, but…”

Lin Beifan interrupted him, saying, “If you ask me, it’s his own fault! He knew his identity was sensitive but didn’t stay in Northern Hebei Province. Instead, he came to the capital, revealing his identity for all to see. What was he thinking? If I were the Prince of Northern Hebei, I’d be so angry that I’d slap him against the wall, and still not get any useful information out of him!”

Mo Rushuang’s face looked a bit unnatural. She vaguely felt that the Eldest Prince had come to the capital because of her.
“By the way, Mr. Lin, how was the Eldest Prince arrested?” Mo Rushuang asked.

“Don’t you know? It’s already been spread outside!” Lin Beifan blinked his eyes.

“According to rumors, the Eldest Prince was arrested because he refused to pay after hiring a prostitute, so he was reported to the officials by the prostitute. But this is impossible. The Eldest Prince is noble and has high standards. How could he fall for a prostitute? And those women were old, ugly, and fat, it’s impossible!” Guo Shaoshuai said anxiously.

“Although it’s hard to believe, it’s the truth!” Lin Beifan said with a sigh.

Mo Rushuang and the others exclaimed, “Wow!”

“I can’t understand it either. How could a prince like him fall for those ugly old prostitutes? I think he must have been eating too many delicacies and wanted to try some wild vegetables from the countryside! It’s just that the world is full of wonders!” Lin Beifan shook his head.

Mo Rushuang and Guo Shaoshuai trembled when they thought of the Eldest Prince being intimate with those old, fat women. It was really too disgusting!

Especially Mo Rushuang, who felt a bit nauseous and decided to stay away from the Eldest Prince in the future.

“Mr. Lin, you’re extremely intelligent. Can you save the Eldest Prince? After all, he’s the Prince’s own son. If something happens to the Eldest Prince, the Prince will surely go crazy and it will affect the future…” Mo Rushuang asked with hope.
Lin Beifan sighed and said with a bitter smile, “I’ll do my best, but the chances are slim! You should tell the Prince about this as soon as possible and see what he can do!”

Mo Ru Shuang and Guo Shaoshuai nodded heavily with a heavy heart.

This news quickly reached the Prince in the far north.

The Prince was furious, “I told him before not to let his affairs get in the way of the country’s affairs. He didn’t listen! Now he’s in that girl’s hands and I’m being forced to act passively! Damn it!”

He shook with all his might, and his powerful internal force erupted, shattering all the tables and chairs around him.

Zhuge, the advisor, said cautiously, “Your Majesty, it’s possible that the Eldest Prince is being victimized by wicked people! It’s said that the Eldest Prince was resting in his room at the time, and there were many guards outside! However, he was kidnapped unnoticed and sold to the prostitutes, resulting in this current situation!”

The Prince continued to angrily ask, “Are you trying to defend him? If he hadn’t gone to the capital, would this have happened? I’m supposed to be wise in my life, how could I have given birth to such a bastard?”

Even the words “bastard” were spoken, indicating how angry the Prince was.

“Your Majesty, are you going to save the Eldest Prince?” Zhuge asked.

“He’s my son, of course I will!” The Prince clenched his fists.

Two days later, a large group of black-clad experts suddenly broke into the Eldest Prince’s residence.

“Help! Someone’s trying to assassinate the Eldest Prince!”

“Archers, get ready! Fire!”

“Don’t let the assassins escape!”

They fought fiercely for a whole night, but the group of black-clad experts had no gains and had to retreat. The same thing happened the next night, and the night after that.

In fact, they could never succeed because the Empress had prepared a well-equipped army of 2,000 soldiers to guard the Eldest Prince day and night, in order to prevent him from being rescued.

Even if the black-clad experts were very powerful, facing such a well-equipped army would put them in a difficult situation.

One person could fight dozens of soldiers, but what about hundreds or thousands? Sometimes manpower was stretched too thin, and just one mistake could lead to the entire army being wiped out due to the enemy’s overwhelming numbers and tactics.

In addition, the Empress had also arranged for dozens of powerful experts, including several innate ones. This force was more than enough to wipe out a large faction.

With the advantages of advantageous timing and geographical location, the court could send troops to support at any time, and troops could be replenished continuously, so these experts could only retreat without success, and even suffered losses.

Too many powerful people had sacrificed, so the Prince of Northern Hebei dared not send anyone else. They finally turned to Lin Beifan for help.

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