Chapter 179 – I Won’t Meet
A flash of lightning descending from the skies, as the rain outside gradually got bigger as it splattered across the roof of the ox-cart. The wind was howling, threatening to flip the entire carriage over.
Within the ox-cart, the official was seated in front of Pei Zi Yun. He then pulled the curtains apart and looked at the raindrops falling outside. He then spoke, “This weather, the rain seems unusual.”
“Yes, although it rains frequently in spring, this is way too heavy to be a normal spring rain!” They were quite some distance away from the Crown Prince’s Palace. Pei Zi Yun gazed outside the window, looking very distracted. He extended an outstretched hand, as if to tap something in front of him.
Pei Zi Yun had a grave expression on his face, pretending to look outside of the window when he was actually looking at the information interface which showed up in front of him. He was feeling rather perplexed.
Ever since he obtained the Plum Blossom, the system would always present missions for him to do, or to inform him of some important memory, or to remind him of something. Most of the time, it was related to taking revenge for the original owner.
Principally speaking, plotting against King Lu was not far off from taking revenge. Why then didn’t it appear immediately after speaking to the Crown Prince?
Pei Zi Yun thought to himself. There could be another possibility. The system was also affected by the overwhelming strength of the Imperial Qi surrounding the Crown Prince, and required some time to recover.
Who was this Ren Wei person which he was supposed to convert from King Lu’s camp?
Pei Zi Yun searched his memories. Ever since he became Yin Master, searching through his memories was extremely easy. Pei Zi Yun calmed himself. After a long time, he finally opened his eyes and mumbled, “So, that’s the person. I’ve heard of him before.”
Ren Wei was a strategist and an advisor to King Lu in the original owner’s life time. Ren Wei’s father was an official in the previous dynasty. However, his family’s status wasn’t lofty. He enjoyed reading, and excelled in literature and writing poems. He met with many obstacles in his life, and failed many times over. When he was forty, he met King Lu and started working for him as a lowly official. After seeing that he was effective and wise, he was promoted rapidly. Soon after, he was killed, and the circumstances surrounding his death were very vague.
In actual fact, all these rumors were too fragmented. The original owner had been imprisoned at that point in time, and thus didn’t know much.
However, since the system pointed him out, this man must be of a critical use. For someone like him, how was it possible that he wasn’t being monitored and guarded around the clock? At this point, Pei Zi Yun wondered if he already knew of Pei Zi Yun’s existence. There was another possibility, that this person hadn’t risen in ranks, and thus was just a nobody, and had no one watching him.
Pei Zi Yun had a sort of conjecture deep down. However, one thing that was confirmed was that Ren Wei was somewhat related to King Lu. He decided to conduct a thorough check before acting, ‘A mission as difficult as this, let’s see what the rewards are.’
“Mission : Help the Crown Prince launch an offense against King Lu. Influence a talented individual named Ren Wei to leave King Lu’s service.(Incomplete)”
When he finished reading this line, a message then appeared, answering his question: “Safety when absorbing Legacies.”
Seeing such a situation, Pei Zi Yun was secretly surprised. He then focused on the screen, but nothing else appeared.
‘Is this the wish of the original owner? It’s just that the reward is very touching.’ Pei Zi Yun thought, ‘I’ve obtained three Legacies, which reside within my memories now. I wondered why Xie Cheng Dong could only rely on the Plum Blossom and managed to transform his body to that of a saint. And when I used it, I received backlash from it. So there was this hidden skill, which I had to obtain as a reward. At this point, I have to complete the mission before I can acquire it.’
At this point the Crown Prince’s official who was with Pei Zi Yun noticed that he had been gazing out of the window for a long time, and didn’t speak. He was thus curious, “What is Master Top Scorer thinking about, that he would be distant?”
“I’m just thinking about some stuffs.” Pei Zi Yun snapped back out and replied blandly, “The Crown Prince placed a heavy burden upon my shoulders, and I feel somewhat uneasy. I’m afraid I won’t be able to live up to his expectations.”
“I have an idea, which I might have to rely on brother Zhao to obtain some information for me. I would require the name list of officials who have no relation to the Crown Prince and have some links with King Lu. I have a use for it.”
Hearing this request, official Zhao looked at Pei Zi Yun, as if he was trying to decipher Pei Zi Yun’s thoughts, just by staring at his face. However, he couldn’t tell anything. He then asked, “Master Top Scorer, what plan do you have?”
Pei Zi Yun replied casually, “Only when you know yourself, can you know your enemy. Only then can you fight a hundred battles and come out unscathed. As for this matter now, how can it be solved so easily? I have to settle some issues first before I can get down to doing it.”
“That’s easy. Since the Crown Prince instructed me to cooperate with you, please let me know whatever you need, and I shall do my best.” The official clasped his hands and spoke.
“I wish to visit the Grand Princess!” Pei Zi Yun replied. When the official heard this, he then instructed the ox-cart driver, “To the Grand Princess Mansion.”
“Yes, your excellency.” The ox-cart driver was his own man, and thus would agree to go anywhere. At this point they turned around and headed to the Grand Princess’s Mansion.
The ox trod across the puddles of water as Pei Zi Yun could see the walls of the mansion up ahead. The rain was starting to recede as the small drizzle of raindrops were blown diagonally by the wind. The Grand Princess’s Mansion stood unwavering against the wind and rain. From outside the mansion, the abundance of flora and fauna were visible.
Pei Zi Yun stood outside the mansion, and could hear the birds chirping atop the trees around. Scents of flowers wafted in the air, causing Pei Zi Yun to sigh, ‘At first, I didn’t know why the Grand Princess agreed to take my money and help me plead with the Emperor for my sect’s title. Now I understand.’
‘The dynasty decreed that a Prince would receive ten thousand silver taels, and ten thousand stone of grains.’
‘A Canton Prince would receive five thousand silver taels and five thousand stone of grains.’
‘A Princess would receive one thousand five hundred stones of grains and two thousand taels of silver. However, the Grand Princess was special, and received slightly more. She would be paid three thousand stones of grains and four thousand silver taels.’
‘Three thousand stone of grains and four thousand silver taels seem a considerable amount. But just the wages for the guards protecting this place would already exceed the amount of annual salary she receive.’
‘She still has to handle the expenses of everyone working for her within the mansion. How then could she survive without accepting bribes?’
‘Although they were close relatives of the Emperor himself, and were a part of the royal family, they still had to find ways to gather money. Unless they were like King Lu, a capable Prince with many different avenues of income due to his capabilities.’
‘If the person owning this huge mansion was a Canton Prince or a Princess without any other additional income, they would never be able to afford to upkeep such a huge place.’
‘Even the Emperor knows this, and hence always turned a blind eye to the Grand Princess whenever she took bribes. As long as it didn’t interfere with politics.’
“Your excellency, we’ve reached the Grand Princess’s Mansion.” The ox-cart driver didn’t pull to a stop at the main entrance, as that would attract too much attention. He stopped at a secluded corner and spoke to the carriage behind.
Pei Zi Yun pulled the curtains apart. It was indeed an entrance the the Grand Princess’s Mansion. It resembled a moon door. Just as Pei Zi Yun was about to get off, the official held him back, “Hold it, Master Top Scorer. It might not be good for you to show your face. Maybe I should go instead.”
“I would have to trouble you then.” Pei Zi Yun realized that he had a point. The official then opened his umbrella and knocked the door. The guard who answered him exchanged several words with the official.
As the rain continued to fall, the winds persisted. The official waited at the door. After some time, a serving maid came out and spoke to him.
The official returned to the ox-cart and handed Pei Zi Yun a note and said to him, “The way things are done within the Grand Princess’s Mansion is really efficient. Just a short while and they managed to get back to me.”
Pei Zi Yun received the note and opened it. There were several words written: “There’s no point in meeting.”
That was a straight up rejection.
‘Maybe she didn’t want to appear like an Emperor, accepting visitors all the time. At this point however, she was earning double the salaries of a princess. It can be said that her annual salary cannot get any higher than this.’
‘The Emperor is her own brother, and she is thus in the best position. The Crown Prince and King Lu are her nephews. As long as she doesn’t directly intervene with the situation, there might not be any problems for her.’
‘Now was the critical juncture where there were two candidates fighting for the throne. At least she must not appear to take the support of either sides. As for internal affairs, where there were blood feuds in such a situation was very normal. However, she must not directly take anyone’s sides.’ Pei Zi Yun wasn’t too bothered by this rejection.
The official then looked at Pei Zi Yun, “It’s understandable that the Grand Princess doesn’t want to meet you. She’s afraid that people might think she is supporting the Crown Prince over King Lu!”
Hearing these words, Pei Zi Yun laughed, “Then please pass these few books to her.”
The official then got off the ox-cart, and Pei Zi Yun pondered for a second before shouting out, “Hold it, I wish to write some words.”
Pei Zi Yun retrieved a quill and wrote on a piece of paper before stuffing it into a book, “Apologies for troubling your excellency Zhao.”
The official laughed, “Please relax!”
The official walked to the door and spoke to the people at the door before handing the materials over without issue.
Within the mansion, the Grand Princess was lying down within a red tent. A serving maid was massaging her legs for her, and another maid brought in a silver platter, where there were slices of melons on it. A man walked to the door and spoke to the granny maid, “Granny, the person who delivered a note asking to meet earlier on delivered these books.”
The granny who was standing at the door received it, “Wait, I shall deliver these books.”
The granny then talked in and whispered by the side of the bed, “Grand Princess, the person who delivered the note just now handed us these books to pass to you. Would you like to take a look?”
“Oh? He sent books here? Let me see.” The Grand Princess stretched herself while lying down.
The granny then handed over the four books allowing the Grand Princess to pick one. She held onto the first book and flipped it open. There was a note within the book. The Grand Princess picked up the note, and saw familiar writings, “I’ve written several novels in my spare time. This is to thank the Grand Princess for helping me some time ago. Hence, I came to the capital today to deliver the actual copies.”
On the back of the note, he wrote the titles of the books which he had written. –The Woman Assassin–, –The Butterfly Lovers–, –Nie Xiao Qin–, –Romance of the West Chambers–.
“Who would’ve thought that this person could even write stories and novels.” The Grand Princess smiled as spoke. She placed the note to the side, and started reading the first book. All of a sudden, she stopped reading before sighing, as though she recalled something, “These books are probably not for me. It’s for the Canton Princess right? He’s very thoughtful.”
She felt a sudden impulse within her heart, and wanted to meet with him, before she stopped herself. She then closed the book, her expression was one of uncertainty. She thought to herself, ‘The Peace Document which you wrote for the Crown Prince was actually very good. Just that, why did you have to give him that document?’
‘The succession of the throne was a family matter between the royal household, and outsiders must never intervene, as there would be consequences to such meddling. As the Grand Princess, I can never meet with you again!’
“Grand Princess, are these books for the Canton Princess?” The granny standing by the side looked at the perplexed expression of the Grand Princess and stepped forward to ask.
The Grand Princess didn’t immediately reply, and started flipping through the books before sighing, “Leave the books. I shall take it to her myself.”
She then continued, “Tell the person waiting outside, I won’t meet with them.”
“Yes!” The granny relayed the message, and the guards outside walked up to official, “The Grand Princess insists, she will not see you.”
The official then relayed the message to Pei Zi Yun, who wasn’t surprised by this. He then ordered the ox-cart to turn around. His brows were furrowed, which the official took to mean that he wasn’t in a good mood, and thus didn’t speak.
Actually Pei Zi Yun’s mood was rather upbeat. All the books that he had handed over to them had an element of romance to them, and were very suitable for female audiences. He had distributed the books to the merchants for distribution, which didn’t seem to spread too quickly. Just by giving it to the Grand Princess, he was assured that in no time, the entire capital would hear of it.
Once the Grand Princess and her daughter have read the books, they would naturally speak of it. Since their words would carry weight, his prestige would increase in no time, spreading all around the capital.
Although this was how he expected things to turn out, he was still troubled by something else. He had been in this world for two years, and issues kept coming up, wave by wave, unrelentingly. He wondered when he would next have peace and quiet.
“Ai…….” Pei Zi Yun sighed deeply.