After drinking the farewell cup, Chu Yu let a servant help Jiang Yan pack and prepare to leave. She herself stayed in the apricot woods and leaned on an apricot tree, her uninjured hand playing around with the empty cup.
“What do you think about my handling of the situation?” She gazed at the edge of the cup, but her words were directed toward Rong Zhi, who was standing beside.
Rong Zhi smiled: “Very clever. I never knew the princess was so eloquent; with a short speech, you easily melted the unhappiness in Jiang Yan’s heart. If there ever is a chance to meet again, he will also remember the princess’ kindness today.”
Chu Yu twitched her lips. To tell the truth, she didn’t want to stay in the Princess’ Palace and think of ways to deal with all the male concubines’ matters, but since she inherited the Princess of Shanyin’s body, it was her duty to inherit her everything else too. Dealing with these matters was her responsibility.
Not long later, a good-looking youth walked back. He stood by the edge of the apricot woods, hesitating whether to approach Chu Yu or not. In the end, it was Chu Yu noticing him and calling him over to talk.
This youth was one of the male concubines too. Chu Yu remembered that his surname was Shen but she couldn’t recall his name. The youth walked over, his expression a little conflicted. Finally, he came up with the determination to kneel down and say, “Princess, Shen Guangzuo has very important information to report to you.”
Chu Yu’s hands tightened: here it comes.
Rong Zhi smiled lightly, “Well, he sure is playing the cards fast.”
Shen Guangzuo came clean up with everything he knew about Huan Yuan’s plan. So Huan Yuan had bribed people at the Princess’ Palace, and was now able to communicate with some prestigious officials that currently have great power in their hands.
Hearing this, Chu Yu couldn’t help but be amazed, amazed at Huan Yuan’s ingenious method. Really, although his method was basically bribery, bribery needed skill too. Who could be bribed, who couldn’t be bribed, how much to pay, the relay of information from the inner court to the outer court, confidencial concealment, check and balance between the bribed and the briber… Because there were so many aspects that needed to be considered, plus Huan Yuan himself was restricted, the process was carried out relatively slowly, and was cut off by Chu Yu before it could be finished. But the clever and detailed parts of the whole plan was enough to make people awe.
Chu Yu had to say that Huan Yuan was a scholar after all; his methods of planning was still relatively civilized. There was no intention to fight and kill. His plan was basically to use pressure from the outside world to force Chu Yu to release them. The meeting of weapons was only to be used if they absolutely had to.
Afraid that Chu Yu wouldn’t believe him, Shen Guangzuo’s report was very detailed. Although Chu Yu listened with a smile on her face, she felt uncomfortable in her heart. After all, she had just gave out the recommendation letters a short while ago, and now this youth came up to her to tattle on Huan Yuan; by this she could see how powerful the tempting of one’s interest was, and how easy humans could waver.
If this Shen Guangzuo was an official, he would probably be one that would cling to whoever was in power.
But since his doings benefited Chu Yu, she wasn’t stupid enough to make any capricious decisions based off of her own feelings. She helped Shen Guangzuo up warmly, and smiled, “After I confirm that what you just said is true, I will reward you greatly. It’s been some time since you came to my place; do you want to go out and make yourself a career and future?”
Shen Guangzuo became eager, but he didn’t really dare to say it out loud. Chu Yu asked casually, “Are you good at scholarly studies or martial arts?”
Shen Guangzuo’s eyes brightened, and replied: “I have trained martial arts since very young……”
Chu Yu interrupted him, “Very good.” She tilted her head to Rong Zhi, “Who do you say I should recommend him to?”
After thinking about it carefully, Rong Zhi answered, “I suggest, to recommend him to the general of Longxiang, Shen Youzhi.” Among the officials in power Shen Guangzuo had said Huan Yuan was contacting, the most notable was Shen Qingzhi, one of the most important officials of the day. Shen Youzhi was Shen Qingzhi’s nephew.
Hearing his words, Shen Guangzuo couldn’t hold in his elation anymore. Even though Chu Yu didn’t know who this General of Longxiang was, judging by Shen Guangzuo’s expression, she could tell that it was a good place to go to.
Dismissing Shen Guangzuo, Chu Yu couldn’t resist to ask Rong Zhi, “This Shen Guangzuo is a snob that jumps sides to whoever is in power quickly, so why did you give him such a favorable treatment?” Although she agreed, but because Shen Guangzuo surrendered to her so quickly, Chu Yu still looked down on this person. Even though Shen Guangzuo jumped to her side, Chu Yu still liked people who stood their values better.
Rong Zhi smiled, “The current situation is turbulent; sending him to Shen Youzhi would be more helpful. I have investigated Shen Guangzuo’s background; he is a distant relative of the Shen family. With this relationship, his promotion would be faster. Do not disdain him for being a snob. Just because he is a snob, can we use him easily and conveniently. If he were someone like Jiang Yan, I would contrarily not be able to use him comfortably.”
What Rong Zhi meant, was that this Shen Guangzuo would still be useful in the future. Chu Yu pondered in her heart and didn’t say more.
Sometimes emotions and logic cannot come together. She understood this principle.
After waiting for some more, and seeing that no one else came to tattle on others, Rong Zhi told Chu Yu: “I’ll go and tell Shen Guangzuo some things he needs to take note of.” Then he left.
Finding Shen Guangzuo, the two conversed for almost a full hour. After that, as Rong Zhi walked out of Shen Guangzuo’s bedroom, he suddenly remembered something, and turned to head towards Distant Dwelling, which was not far away.
Distant Dwelling was Huan Yuan’s residence, also an independent dwelling. In the entire West Wing, besides the princess’ husband He Ji, only Huan Yuan and Rong Zhi had their own residences. All the other male concubines shared living spaces with others. But different from Rong Zhi’s residence’s quietness and peacefulness, Huan Yuan’s residence was guarded. When the two guards at the door saw Rong Zhi coming, they immediately saluted and made way for him: “Master Rong, please enter.”
With a rectangle lacquer tray in front of him, carrying a flagon and two winecups, Huan Yuan knelt in the shadows of a corner, his expression hard to perceive; only his slender brows and eyes could be seen.
When Rong Zhi came close to him, Huan Yuan suddenly jumped up from the ground and grabbed his collar, slamming him onto the wall. Rong Zhi’s shoulder blades struck the wall with force. Piercing pain immediately spread to every limb and bone in his body.