“Mother, did I make a mistake?” Fu Zhiyu couldn’t help asking Yuan Wanyun in the carriage on the way back, “Why is it like this again? Obviously, we have already left the palace, and we still have to meet these dirty tricks behind the scenes.”
Yuan Wanyun felt distressed for him and slowly stroked her son’s soft hair.
“It was not your fault,” she comforted, “Xiaobao didn’t do anything wrong, it’s just that some things don’t always work out the way one wants them to.”
Fu Zhiyu felt extremely tired, and he thought again that many things couldn’t be considered right or wrong. If he had established a little prestige in Jiangnan at the beginning, how could anyone dare to make a move against him on such an occasion?
Now that this matter was over, if they wanted to continue to attack, it was not a big deal if they only came at him; what he feared was that it would affect others.
He had fixed the things here, but what if they targeted his mother? What if, like in the original story, they were going to reach out to the whole Yuan family?
He hadn’t spoken for a long time in the carriage. Yuan Wanyun knew that he was in a bad mood and needed to be quiet for a while, so she didn’t bother him anymore.
Fu Zhiyu wasn’t a man without a temper, and now his anger was not something that he could just put up with casually. Even if he calmed down, intellectually speaking, if he took a step back at this time, the others would likely think he was easy to bully.
Since he came to Jiangnan, he was afraid that his arrival would disturb the normal lives of others, so he insisted on everything running as it was, and he relaxed a lot.
Yuan Jiangxing received a decree from the emperor to bring troops to Jiangnan to guard the area, and he was clearly a man with military power in his hands. After arriving in Jiangnan, because of Fu Zhiyu’s style, he had always been very polite to others, and Yuan Jiangwen had relied on himself to do business, never relying on the power in Fu Zhiyu’s hands to engage in malicious competition. On the contrary, the family was more cautious than before.
Now it seemed that he did this, but he made a mistake, making people think that they could just step on him, right?
Fu Zhiyu hadn’t slept all night, and he seemed to have made a decision in his heart.
The next day, Yuan Jiangxing knew about this matter.
After discussing with Fu Zhiyu for a while, he directly led his troops to the residence of the governor of Luanzhou. Early in the morning, he unceremoniously pulled the sleeping governor of Luanzhou out of the bed. The four soldiers almost lifted him up and dragged him to the hall outside.
“What are you doing!” The governor was used to being a powerful man and he hadn’t been so humiliated for a long time, “Do you know who I am? Is it so barbaric! Put me down!”
This matter was still not suitable for the people to watch. Fu Zhiyu asked someone to close the door. The mansion of the governor of Luanzhou was very big. After the door was closed, no sound inside could be heard outside.
In front of the hall, the maids and servants of the governor’s mansion knelt, and the governor himself was pressed to the floor, unable to move.
Fu Zhiyu sat on a chair in the middle of the hall. He was dressed formally today. The governor of Luanzhou was still wearing the robe he was sleeping in. When he looked up at Fu Zhiyu, he saw the four-clawed golden dragon on his clothes.
Once Fu Zhiyu made up his mind, he moved quickly.
He was the only Wang in the dynasty who had had the land given to him. The emperor also rewarded him with clothes with a four-clawed golden dragon, which was one claw away from the five-clawed golden dragon of the emperor.
Everyone knew that Fu Zhiyu was very special, and there were all kinds of rumours, saying that it was because he had once saved the life of the current emperor and had an extraordinary relationship with the Xie family that he could have such an honourable status.
Therefore, at first no one dared to touch him, cautious and afraid to get into trouble. But after a long time, it seemed… that nothing happened?
The emperor had not been to Jiangnan in the past three years, and the Xie family seemed to have forgotten this place. The new King of Jiangnan didn’t care about anything, except for not accepting invitations and not seeing people. But other things were good to talk about; such a mild temperament was bound to make people have crooked thoughts.
This entire Jiangnan belonged to Fu Zhiyu. If he was well controlled, wouldn’t it be a great opportunity?
This time with the incense burner was just a test.
The governor of Luanzhou was pressed down to kneel by the soldiers. He actually knew in his heart what it was all about. But Fu Zhiyu was very polite and courteous when he got along with him before. He looked very good-tempered and easy to deceive. Now he was sitting in the hall with his head lowered, and he didn’t seem to be very angry, he was just drinking tea.
It might be just that the Yuan family found out and Yuan Jiangxing was angry, and decided to defend his nephew, the governor of Luanzhou comforted himself. Feeling that he had some confidence in his heart again, he dared to look up at Fu Zhiyu.
At that time, he hadn’t paid attention to the situation of the three sticks of incense penetrating the bottom of the copper incense burner when he inspected the incense burner yesterday. He just looked at Fu Zhiyu’s soft appearance. The deep-rooted impression of the previous three years wasn’t so easy to shake, and he felt that as long as he pretended to be innocent, he could get away with it.
“Wang Zhao,” the governor of Luanzhou looked aggrieved, “is this… what is going on?”
Fu Zhiyu put down the teacup in his hand, glanced at him, and said, “What? Still playing dumb with me?”
The governor of Luanzhou was responsible for all the things of the ritual, and he came to Fu Zhiyu to talk about the process. It was impossible for him not to know these things.
Fu Zhiyu wanted to know who was behind it and who was instructing him to do this.
“What are you talking about?” The governor of Luanzhou looked confused, “Did this official do something wrong?”
Fu Zhiyu kindly reminded him: “Yesterday, the matter of the sacrifice.”
“Is there anything wrong with the sacrifice?” The governor still looked puzzled, “Wasn’t everything going well? You see, the temple fair is about to start today, and it is lively outside, and there are still a lot of things on the government’s side to do…”
Fu Zhiyu pushed away the teacup, rubbed his brow and sighed.
Sure enough, you can’t be too nice to people. Things had reached this point. This person dared to play dumb in front of him, which was enough to show how much room for fantasy his previous actions had given others. So much so that this man thought he could escape this way, and even start to look around.
Fu Zhiyu raised his hand and made a gesture of gently swiping down.
Yuan Jiangxing understood, took a step forward, and what he said could be heard throughout the hall.
“Thirty military sticks, let’s talk about it after the beating. If he faints, pour a pot of cold water and continue after he wakes up.”
The governor of Luanzhou had never been beaten by a military stick in his life. He even had a smile on his face, feeling that Fu Zhiyu was just scaring him.
But as soon as the soldiers brought up the execution weapon, he felt that something wasn’t quite right.
But the soldiers didn’t listen to him, and after pressing him to a long wooden bench, they tied his hands and feet.
The governor was still wearing the clothes he was wearing in bed, and they basically gave no protection against the beating. When a solid military stick went down, he trembled all over, and then let out a howl like a slaughtered pig.
“It was too noisy,” Fu Zhiyu said, “Find something to gag him with.”
While someone was looking for the cloth strip, the third stick was hit. In fact, the governor of Luanzhou couldn’t bear it after the first stick. Yuan Jiangxing brought his own soldiers; they used to guard the border. Naturally, they were more than a little heavy-handed in comparison to the soldiers of the government.
“I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you everything!”
“No, it’s not too late to talk after the thirty sticks are finished,” Fu Zhiyu said. “I also brought two doctors, so the governor won’t die. I gave you a chance, but you didn’t cherish it and brushed off my words.”
There was no such thing as forgiving casually when killing a chicken to warn a monkey (to punish an individual as an example to others).
After the thirty military sticks were finished, the governor had already fainted, and the whole mansion was silent, no one daring to come out to stop them.
“Bring a basin of cold water,” Yuan Jiangxing glanced at the governor, “Didn’t he want to say something? Now it’s time to speak.”
Now it was just the beginning of spring, and the weather in the morning was still cold. Many people still had to wear cotton-padded clothes at this time. The water that had just been brought from the well was biting cold. After a bucket was poured down, the unconscious man woke up immediately.
The governor who had been beaten was red with obvious anger. He struggled on the bench twice and couldn’t stand up, so he stared at Fu Zhiyu as if he wanted to eat him alive.
“You are crazy!” Looking at the soldiers who were still surrounding him, the governor didn’t dare to say anything too excessive, “You, you, you, do you think there is no law here! I am an official of the imperial court. Which law do you use to carry out the execution?!”
The governor of Luanzhou was really used to the happy days of the past three years, and now he couldn’t contain his anger. When he said this, Fu Zhiyu laughed.
“This wang thinks you are confused. The thirty army sticks haven’t awakened you yet,” Fu Zhiyu said. He stood up slowly from his seat and looked at the governor condescendingly. “This wang is the king of Jiangnan. Jiangnan is the fief of this wang. This wang’s law is the law here.”
The governor of Luanzhou was speechless, his teeth clenched, and cold sweat broke out on his face.
“Who instructed you to do this?” Fu Zhiyu asked him.
The governor knew that this was almost an ultimatum and if he didn’t speak up at this point, he was afraid that it wouldn’t be a matter of thirty military sticks.
The soldiers behind him were standing in line, just waiting for Fu Zhiyu’s order.
“The Deng and Qian family asked me to help,” he said quickly, “I…”
“You wanted to test my depth too, didn’t you?” Fu Zhiyu raised his eyebrows and looked at him, “So many ideas.”
Luanzhou City was the head of Jiangnan and the most prosperous place here. The governor of Luanzhou used to be under the jurisdiction of the governor of Jiangnan. When Fu Zhiyu came, the governor of Jiangnan couldn’t control him anymore, so he became the most powerful official in Jiangnan, and it inflated his ego.
“By all accounts, I’m not without blame. When I first came to Jiangnan, you wouldn’t dare to make such a move, right?” Fu Zhiyu sighed. “My thoughts were too simple. Since I accepted the decree, I can’t leave it alone. Sooner or later, there will be problems.”
“You…” The governor of Luanzhou looked at him, spat out only one word and was interrupted by Fu Zhiyu.
“However, if there is a problem, it must be solved,” Fu Zhiyu continued, “So, from now on, you will not be the governor of Luanzhou.”
Fu Zhiyu waved his hand and said, “Don’t get excited, you should have thought of this from the moment I entered the door.”
He wasn’t a fool, how could he still keep him as an official?
“Let Uncle temporarily assume the duties of the governor of Luanzhou,” Fu Zhiyu said, nodding to Yuan Jiangxing. “There are many people you can trust under your command, and you can use them everywhere. Jiangnan is big. I don’t believe I can find a few people who I can use instead of using those with crooked thoughts.”