After he said this, even if he didn’t want to give up, he left quickly.
When he left, Fu Zhiyu opened his mouth blankly, but didn’t say anything.
“Really…” he muttered in a low voice, “It’s just a bad fate.”
Fu Zhiyu lay on the bed for a long time in a daze, unable to sleep, and fell asleep only in the early hours of the morning.
He got up late, and when he had breakfast, he found Steward Zhou’s face to be a little weird.
“What’s the matter?” Fu Zhiyu looked at him, rubbing his eyes, “Is there something wrong?”
Steward Zhou set up the snack plates for him on the table and said, “I went to the pastry shop at the door to buy some desserts this morning, but the shopkeeper saw it was me and didn’t take any money. I thought he saw that I was a regular customer and I didn’t buy much today, so he just gave those things to me. Who knew he would say that there would be no need to pay in his shop in the future. I asked him why, and he said… your master knows.”
Fu Zhiyu: “……”
He did know, but at the same time, he didn’t know how to explain the mess to the steward. He just lowered his head and took a sip of porridge, frowning more and more severely.
“Don’t go there in the future,” he said, “If Mother wants to eat something, let Mingdao bring it from a trip.”
But bringing it from a trip was not as convenient as buying it at the door of your own house.
However, the master said so, and there was no reason for the servants to disobey. Steward Zhou nodded, cleaned up the table and left.
After eating breakfast, Fu Zhiyu went to the government office. He had too many things to discuss with Yuan Jiangxing today.
Before Fu Zhiyu’s plan was implemented, the two of them discussed whether the governors of each city should be removed. Fu Zhiyu still remembered that after removing the governor of Luanzhou, he received pleading memorials from various places.
“They are all very disobedient people,” Fu Zhiyu said with emotion, “Even if they restrain themselves when they see that the wind has changed, who knows how many favours they received in normal times.”
Fu Zhiyu didn’t plan to remove all the officials in Jiangnan completely based on his own preferences. He would like to do so; after all, it was best to replace them all with his own people. But the whole Jiangnan was too big, and the time Fu Zhiyu had was too short. Yuan Jiangxing had soldiers under his command, and he had fighting skills. But each profession has its own specialisation. In the peaceful and prosperous world, few of these skills could come in handy.
The evaluation of these governors among the common people was also similar to that of the Governor Liu of Luanzhou. They had done asshole things, but they had occasionally done some useful things, too. According to the overall level of officials of Jilin, they were in the middle, the kind of people who made little difference whether they occupied an official post or not.
But there was at least one thing they did better than Fu Zhiyu – they understood Jiangnan.
They were all officials who had been in Jiangnan for a long time, at least twenty years. With this, there was still room for them to be of use.
“For the time being, Uncle, please send someone to keep an eye on them and let me see which of them dares to snub me at this time,” Fu Zhiyu casually threw the flattering memorials on the floor, “When the right time comes, Jiangnan can also hold its own imperial examination. I don’t believe that no one can be selected.
Meanwhile, it will be regarded as the trial period I give them. If they have good results, they can keep their position. If they don’t agree with me and don’t meet the requirements, I don’t care how long they have been here, they can go home and farm!”
Fu Zhiyu’s overall plan included many aspects, and it also needed to be realised step by step. The most important step at the moment was the most suffering part in Jiangnan – the poorest villages.
The first village Fu Zhiyu visited was Heshun, an ordinary village, and according to Zhang Lin’s guidance, he visited some of the poorest places in Jiangnan.
Poor places had their own reasons for being poor. Some were in the mountains, where it took two hours to get out of the mountains. There were also some villages by the river. The terrain was low, and the crops were easily flooded when it rained a little, so naturally the harvest was not good.
The problem of these villages couldn’t be solved by simply moving, not to mention the question of where to move them. All places were currently limited in resources, and moving these people would not be agreeable to the people who used to live there. In Jiangnan, the idea of returning to one’s roots was very significant, and unless one really couldn’t survive, as long as there was a ray of hope, these people would not leave easily.
“In places that are prone to flooding and water accumulation, in addition to repairing dams to prevent deaths, don’t grow rice anymore. Tell them to dig ponds and plant lotus roots,” Fu Zhiyu said. “The villages in the mountains are suitable for growing more expensive medicinal herbs. They don’t occupy much space, are high in price and relatively easy to transport.
My uncle bought a lot of seeds that can be distributed for free. Poor places should adapt to local conditions. Not sticking to the old ways stubbornly will at least allow them to eat.”
Having said this, Fu Zhiyu paused and showed Yuan Jiangxing a map of Jiangnan where he had marked the poorest villages.
“Of course, changing from rice to other crops requires a run-in period, and medicinal herbs can’t be harvested in a short time. If necessary, the government can advance a part of the money,” Fu Zhiyu continued. “Jiangnan can be considered lucky. This part that suffers hardships is not too large. There are not many poor villages that starve, and there are not many households in poor villages. Most of them have only a few dozen households. So the expenses will not be large for the time being, and more importantly, here…”
Fu Zhiyu turned a page and pointed to the second chart. Yuan Jiangxing glanced at it and saw the drawings of some machinery, such as a weaving machine, but when he looked closely, it seemed to be different from a common loom.
In addition to agriculture, Jiangnan also had a more important handicraft industry, which was the basis for the flourishing merchant caravans. Jiangnan produced the best silk, embroidery, clothes, jewellery, and so on.
This part was not about shortages, it was about the interests of the majority of people.
Fu Zhiyu’s idea was to improve the efficiency of farmers by transforming agricultural tools, creating more productivity and providing ordinary families with more options to earn money. At the same time, he planned to step by step change the current monopoly position of the four major merchants, encourage the development of small and medium-sized merchants, and increase the purchase price of the bottom handicraft industry, thereby improving the current situation in Jiangnan.
The Yuan family was also among the four great merchants. Fu Zhiyu didn’t intend to favour one over another. He had already discussed it with Yuan Jiangwen.
In fact, changing the monopoly status didn’t mean that they would make less money. If the entire Jiangnan developed well, the wealthy merchants would only earn more, but the monstrous wealth that could hold the whole country hostage would no longer exist.
Jiangnan couldn’t be held hostage by anyone’s selfishness, Fu Zhiyu thought, even his own.
These were all big issues. It took time to realise these ideas, and it also took a group of people to implement them without stepping back. He alone couldn’t do it.
What Fu Zhiyu told Yuan Jiangxing about wanting Jiangnan to hold its own imperial examination was not just for fun.
Among the top-notch talents selected in the civil and military imperial examinations in the capital, there were not many talents from Jiangnan. Obviously, there were many scholars in Jiangnan, but they couldn’t compete with the locals of the capital. In addition to regional restrictions, Jiangnan was too far from the capital. For scholars, every time they went to the examination, it was almost like losing half of their lives. When they arrived in the capital, they were not acclimatised, which also made it difficult for them to compete on their true level.
Jiangnan was the land that had been given to him, and according to the emperor’s decree, Fu Zhiyu was allowed to organise his own imperial examinations.
“Why not do it?” Fu Zhiyu said, “With so many people in Jiangnan, is it so difficult to choose excellent and usable people?”
Yuan Jiangxing flipped through Fu Zhiyu’s plans page after page and listened to him say this with a pleased smile on his face.
“Your uncle can only lead troops in war and doesn’t understand this. I’ve taken a closer look at it over time, but I haven’t thought about it as fully or as deeply,” he said. “Zhiyu, you originally…”
“Don’t talk about this,” Fu Zhiyu seemed to guess what his uncle meant and interrupted him softly, “There is nothing that was originally. This is just a plan for Jiangnan. Jiangnan is a small place, less than one-tenth of Jilin’s territory. If it was the entire Jilin, the situation would be much more complicated than here. It is already very good for me to be able to manage this part of Jiangnan.”
Fu Zhiyu knew that this was actually just the world of the book, and for a while he felt that what was before him wasn’t real, but just a game.
But so many people in this world didn’t know it, and they worked hard to live without knowing it. The so-called real or not didn’t matter so much.
As far as Fu Zhiyu saw, each and every one of them was very much alive, could one say that it was all fake?
Finally, this was a rare free world, and this world could be changed by him. Why not seize this opportunity to change it?
This body would grow old, get sick and die. Fu Zhiyu didn’t know where he would go after he left this world again. He was a bug, he shouldn’t disappear that easily; maybe he would go back to the Lord God’s space and live his life timelessly.
Before that, at least let’s do something worth remembering, something really meaningful, so that it was not in vain to be reborn. Stop falling into the quagmire of your love and my love, and do something really useful.
However, when it came to the space of the Lord God, Fu Zhiyu realised that the Lord God seemed to have not contacted him for a long time.
It had been more than three years. The last time the Lord God looked for him, it seemed to have found a way to contact him, but then the contact was lost.
Forget it; Fu Zhiyu shook his head and went on to focus on the important things at hand.
The Lord God was very busy, so maybe it forgot him when it got busy. And the time flow of the two worlds was different, so maybe it hadn’t been long at all on the Lord God’s side.
Never mind it.
Fu Zhiyu was ready. The last thing he did before implementing his plans was to hand a memorial to the capital, where roughly stated his thoughts to the emperor and asked for the emperor’s opinions.
Even if it was his domain, the necessary procedures still had to be followed, and there should be no reason for the capital to disagree.
The memorial was sent to the capital as quickly as possible, and as Fu Zhiyu had hoped, Fu Yanran didn’t oppose his ideas, but instead allocated another sum of money to Fu Zhiyu from the state treasury.
There was also a letter written by Fu Yanran in the things that were sent from the capital. The reason why it could be called a letter was because the tone of it wasn’t as formal as in the decree, and it was a lot more relaxed.
“Imperial Brother, just do it,” it said. “If you succeed, I will also send someone to learn. Imperial Brother will not be allowed to keep it secret when the time comes.”
Yuan Jiangxing had always been a little worried about Fu Zhiyu’s handing over the memorial. He was afraid that the emperor would be jealous, but after reading this letter, his heart was relieved a lot.
“Not everyone will be dazzled by the throne,” Fu Zhiyu said with emotion, “Yanran… is quite suitable for that position, and I am also very fortunate that he is the emperor at that time.”