The two families Deng and Qian that the governor, oh no, the former governor named were not unexpected to Fu Zhiyu.
Among the inescapable four major families, the Yuan family couldn’t harm itself. Apart from that, the remaining ones could be ruled out one by one. In fact, the former governor’s confession was of no great use to Fu Zhiyu, but it was still necessary to make an example of him.
Fu Zhiyu waited for this information to lead the snake out of the hole.
Three days later, Luanzhou City was really in an uproar over this matter.
There were discussions in the streets and alleys. After all, it was a change of government. The former governor of Luanzhou had a very mediocre reputation here. He had done a few things he was scolded for as a bastard, but he had indeed done a few conscientious things before, not touching the bottom line. He belonged to the kind of official who didn’t make much difference whether he was in power or not, so the fact that he had been replaced was definitely not a cause for outrage. But the people were discussing it with enthusiasm, and it was quite a bit of a spectacle.
But to Fu Zhiyu’s surprise, there were still many people who were willing to stand on his side.
“Wang Zhao has always had a good temper, and there must be a reason for being so angry this time.”
“He looks like a fairy. I have seen him during the sacrifice. He was so beautiful. Such a noble person has to be reasonable, right?”
“That guy was not a good man anyway! It was a good thing to get rid of him and replace him with a new one!”
After three days, some people couldn’t sit still anymore.
The heads of the Deng and Qian families were here, and for the first time in a long while, Fu Zhiyu received an invitation to meet these two officially.
“After all, Jiangnan is the fief of Wang Zhao. We, the people, really don’t have much say here.” The name of the head of the Qian family was Qian Manguan. It was a very auspicious name (mǎnguàn = total success). He was a man with a square face, the kind of face that looked honest at first glance. He held a string of Buddhist beads in his hand and looked at Fu Zhiyu with a very kind smile, “But after all, Governor Liu has been in his post for so many years. If he did something wrong, punishing him with sticks is nothing, but it’s a bit too much to remove him, right?”
He talked about this matter straightforwardly as soon as he came. Although his tone was kind, the content of his speech was less polite, as if he and Fu Zhiyu were very familiar with each other.
Fu Zhiyu glanced at him and said with a smile: “Did something wrong? Master Qian knows very well, what do you think he did wrong?”
“Governor Liu told us all about the sacrifice.” The Deng family’s patriarch also stepped forward. He was Deng Jinghe’s father. The original work basically mentioned him to better describe Deng Jinghe, an important supporting role. This middle-aged man was flirtatious by nature and indeed looked very attractive. He was six points similar to Deng Jinghe, except that his body smelled of alcohol so heavily that Fu Zhiyu could smell it from far away. Who knows which brothel he had crawled out of.
“You see, if it weren’t for it, we wouldn’t have discovered that there was such a thing during the sacrifice at all. And nothing went wrong, didn’t it go smoothly in the end?” He went on trying to gloss things over, “The dragon raises its head on the second day of the second month. It was an auspicious day, why bother to make everyone unhappy? Let’s not make things so serious and make everyone look bad. As we business people always say, harmony breeds wealth. Wang Zhao, don’t you think so?”
“No,” Fu Zhiyu didn’t get wrapped up in his pompous words. “But he did explain to me that it was your two families who were giving instructions behind the scenes. And before I even visited, you had come first.”
“Haha,” Qian Manguan laughed dryly, “Wang Zhao is joking. Governor Liu also said that he was in a daze from the cold water at that time and he didn’t remember what nonsense he said. You can’t talk about such things without evidence.”
“Is that so?” Fu Zhiyu didn’t argue with them. He didn’t bother to make futile accusations at this point in time. The Deng family head was about to say something else when the lid of the teacup Fu Zhiyu was holding fell off and shattered.
The crisp sound of the shattering glass seemed to be a signal, and the soldiers at the door drew out their swords at once but didn’t take the next step.
Generally speaking, it was the default rule to be courteous before being aggressive, but Fu Zhiyu’s anger had not yet subsided and he didn’t want to reason with these people.
“Master Qian, I don’t think you have figured out the current situation yet,” Fu Zhiyu said. “He is no longer the governor. You keep calling him Governor Liu, you also think what I said is useless, don’t you?”
“I didn’t mean that,” Qian Manguan quickly regained his composure, “Please calm down.”
“I can’t,” Fu Zhiyu said, “You see, I just wanted to live a good life in Jiangnan but you had to provoke me, right?”
“You… you must have evidence to speak.”
“I don’t need evidence to speak,” Fu Zhiyu looked at him, “Jiangnan is my place. If I think you have upset me, I can find trouble with you, understand?”
As the old saying goes, a strong dragon can’t suppress a snake on the ground (no matter how much power one has, it’s difficult to deal with local forces), but if you encounter an unreasonable dragon, things will not work this way.
Qian Manguan twisted the beads in his hand. After listening to this sentence, he and the Deng family head looked at each other with indescribable meaning in their eyes.
This conversation seemed very unpleasant, but Fu Zhiyu didn’t stop them from leaving.
However, the way they left was a bit unsightly, as they were pushed out by the soldiers.
As soon as the two of them left, Yuan Jiangxing came out from behind the screen.
“Aren’t you teaching them a lesson now?” Yuan Jiangxing asked him.
“That’s what I said, but you also know that I’m not such a reckless person,” Fu Zhiyu glanced at him and said, “They are deeply rooted in this place, and touching one hair can make the whole body move. The governor of Luanzhou could be made an example of killing a chicken to warn a monkey, but when you meet a real monkey, you can’t do whatever you want. But if I don’t talk about it to this extent, they’ll really think I’m just making a little fuss.”
You can’t say anything about Qian Manguan, but seeing the appearance of the Deng family head, he came to visit reeking of alcohol. When he came, he didn’t take the matter of the governor too seriously, just feeling that it could be negotiated. In other words, he still didn’t take Fu Zhiyu seriously.
Fu Zhiyu wanted to show them that he wasn’t a man to be trifled with and that he would make up for every loss he suffered.
Now he was a target, and unlike the time when he was in the capital and could afford to retreat, here he had retreated too much, which was why they dared to be so arrogant and use all kinds of underhanded tricks.
Yuan Jiangxing nodded, thinking of something again, and said, “By the way, I went through the Luanzhou documents. It is very complicated. The entire Luanzhou is intertwined from the top to the bottom. Replacing everyone is definitely not realistic. After all, our people are unfamiliar with it for now, and it always… takes time.”
“Don’t worry,” Fu Zhiyu waved his hand. When he faced Yuan Jiangxing, his voice softened, “It is easy to make mistakes when you’re in a hurry, so take your time. This matter is also my fault, I didn’t let you take care of it before, and now I’m picking it up again, I know in my heart that it is not that easy. Uncle, I’m bothering you.”
Yuan Jiangxing didn’t say anything and just patted him on the shoulder.
His parents were alive and by his side, and his daughter was now living happily. Yuan Jiangxing’s biggest regret in his life had been his sister and nephew, who always made him worry about their bad life.
Now he was very happy to do something for Zhiyu while he was still active.
After that, the Deng and Qian family sent some gifts, saying that they were shocked and trying to make amends. They looked as if they were lowering their heads, but in fact they were still dead set.
Fu Zhiyu knew that they hadn’t given up on the idea of putting back the removed governor.
For one thing, they needed the government’s help to do business, and they had easily managed to arrange a smooth relationship with the former governor. Now he had been replaced with Yuan Jiangxing, although there was no major action in the short term, it would definitely not be better in the long run. Secondly, they wanted to know what else Fu Zhiyu could do in this situation.
While the Deng and Qian family lowered their heads on the surface, there were no fewer troublemakers. On the sixth day after removing the governor of Luanzhou, Yuan Jiangxing showed him a stack of memorials.
“They were all sent by the governors of other cities in Jiangnan,” Yuan Jiangxing said, “They all said that the governor of Luanzhou had been removed innocently, making them… panic.”
Fu Zhiyu smiled angrily, threw these memorials on the table, and said, “Do they mean to force me to abdicate?”
Yuan Jiangxing sighed and said, “I’m afraid this Jiangnan power is more deeply rooted than we thought, but we can’t yet find those roots.”
When Fu Zhiyu decided to act, he had already expected the current situation.
He should have known that Jiangnan wasn’t the peach blossom garden he thought, and there was no peach blossom garden without challenges in this world.
“Jiangwen’s caravan will come back in about two days. He knows more about things here. Let’s discuss it with him carefully at that time.” Yuan Jiangxing said, “I don’t believe that I still can’t control these people!”
Fu Zhiyu thought the same way. Here, the method of the stick was not suitable for widespread use. It could easily hurt innocent people and do them a disservice.
Those officials were making trouble, but they were just being instructed by wealthy merchants behind their backs. Cutting off their wealth was the way to deal with them.
To fight the snake you have to grab it seven inches from its head. To shoot a man you need to shoot a horse first. He needed to really overcome these people, so that they wouldn’t rush to do anything casually in the future.
“They won’t be proud for long,” Fu Zhiyu glanced at the memorials on the table and softly said word by word, “I will let them know whose Jiangnan this Jiangnan is.”
Yuan Jiangwen came back a day early, and as soon as he came back, he arrived at Fu Zhiyu’s mansion. Before Fu Zhiyu could speak, he spoke first: “The Qian family is out of luck! Zhiyu, did you do it?”
“What?” Fu Zhiyu didn’t understand; staring at his uncle’s obviously flustered face with an inexplicable expression, he asked, “What happened with their luck?”
The Qian family started out in the silk and satin business, but later the business grew bigger, and fur, ornaments and the like were also included; their buyers were the big families and the prices were high.
“When it comes to fur, the best ones naturally come from the barbarians. The Qian family collected several carts of snow wolf furs there. I heard that there was also a piece of excellent-quality firefox fur in it. The business was already negotiated before the goods arrived. The money was collected. They were only waiting for the caravan to deliver it,” Yuan Jiangwen said quietly, “But this batch of goods didn’t even come out of the barbarian territory and was directly intercepted. I heard that it was the barbarian King Xidan who brought soldiers and personally stopped it.”
Fu Zhiyu frowned: “…King Xidan? Does he have nothing better to do?”
The countries didn’t care much about the business of the caravans nowadays. Although it was common for some officials to take bribes, the major caravans had established relationships early and were prepared for it. How could such a direct robbery happen?