For the next few days, the court was busy arguing about the flood in Jiangnan. This endless rain had become the central topic inside and outside the palace. In the face of a national disaster, everything had to take a step back. Even if Empress Yang was unwilling to see the concubines she prepared being blocked by Cheng Yujin, she could only temporarily stop her action.
At this point, a consensus had been made that disaster relief would be sent to Jiangnan, but the selection of personnel was an even bigger problem. During the mourning court, all kinds of officials from different factions had been arguing for several days. Finally, Yang Fucheng made a decision and sent Xu Wen, one of his proteges.
Xu Wen was a student of Yang Fucheng, and he was very much used and trusted by the latter. Currently, his position was an assistant minister of the Ministry of Revenue. An assistant minister was the deputy of the head minister, and the fact that he was placed in such an important and lucrative place as the Ministry of Revenue showed his importance in Yang Fucheng’s heart.
After Li Chengjing returned to the Ciqing Palace, Cheng Yujin saw that he was frequently distracted. He was reading, but his mind was obviously still full of the affairs of the court. Seeing this, Cheng Yujin went to fetch a bowl of soup for Li Chengjing and personally went to deliver it to the study: “Your Highness, you have been reading for almost an hour. Drink this soup a bit and take a rest.”
Seeing that it was Cheng Yujin, Li Chengjing put down the book, quickly held her arm, and said, “You are pregnant and cannot be tired. Why are you still doing this kind of tiring chore?”
Cheng Yujin found it funny, “It’s just serving a bowl of soup; how can this make me tired? Your Highness, I know my own body, and I am not as fragile as you think. Imperial Physician Zhao also said that my fetal position is mostly stable now. On the contrary, I have to put on exercises to avoid difficult delivery.”
Li Chengjing felt worried when he heard the words ‘difficult delivery’ and quickly interrupted Cheng Yujin’s words: “Alright, I understand. Do not mention this word again.”
Cheng Yujin glanced at him and joked: “Your Highness, didn’t you always say that you don’t believe in superstition? Why are you suddenly believing it?”
Li Chengjing sighed: “I used to think that worshipping Buddha and whatnot was self-deceiving. But now that I have you, I understand a little bit. I don’t ask a fulfillment of my wish, only for peace of mind.”
Li Chengjing helped Cheng Yujin to sit down. After Cheng Yujin sat down, she took off the lid from the bowl, stirred the soup with a spoon to even up the temperature, and handed the bowl to Li Chengjing: “Your Highness, you look distracted today. Is it because of the disaster relief?”
Li Chengjing took the bowl and sighed, “You are right. Senior Grand Secretary Yang chose Xu Wen against public opinion. Although Xu Wen is talented, he is very greedy for money, and he is also self-willed and sometimes reckless. Although he has experience serving as a prefect in the Jiangnan area, governing during normal times is completely different from governing during a disaster. With his high self-esteem and greediness for money, I am afraid that he will not be able to control himself and cause a delay in the relief effort.”
Cheng Yujin also felt heavy when she heard it, but this was a matter of the government, and she couldn’t help Li Chengjing. Not to mention that this candidate was recommended by Senior Grand Secretary Yang, which meant that no one in the court dared to object. Cheng Yujin asked softly, “Has the candidate been confirmed?”
Li Chengjing nodded, “Yes.”
Then the matter was already impossible to change. Cheng Yujin had a very high ability to adapt, and she never troubled her mind with things that had become an established fact, so she softly persuaded: “Your Highness, since the candidate for the leader has been determined, it is useless for you to worry about it. Since Senior Grand Secretary Yang has chosen the leader, he will need to compromise during the selection of the members. Your Highness may as well take this opportunity to insert a few trusted subordinates into the disaster relief team. You don’t need to care about gaining fame when the country is in trouble. As long as you can make a difference, it’s enough.”
Li Chengjing let out a long sigh, put his hand on Cheng Yujin’s palm, and said, “You are right. Thanks to my beloved wife’s wise and benevolent heart. Otherwise, I don’t know how much work I’ll waste.”
Cheng Yujin glanced at him, smiled, and said: “You always lie to me. I don’t believe you. How can His Highness the Crown Prince fail to think what I can think of?”
“That’s not the same.” Li Chengjing put down the porcelain bowl, got up, and sat next to Cheng Yujin. Gently hugging her shoulders, he put down his chin on her hair. His voice was low, almost as if talking to himself: “To have a wife like you, what else can I ask for?”
Feeling the weight on the top of her head, Cheng Yujin didn’t move or avoid him. Although she couldn’t see Li Chengjing’s face, Cheng Yujin could feel that he was very tired.
There was a great disaster in the country. Countless people were displaced and many otherwere dying with each passing day, yet the court was still quarreling in order to seek benefit.
Cheng Yujin sighed inside and gently held Li Chengjing’s hand on her lap: “Your Highness, sailing against the current is very difficult. Don’t worry. Everything will be fine.”
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