When Mu mama entered the inner room and found Mu Fulan lying on the beauty couch, her body curled up like she was in pain, she was shocked and ran up to her.
“Princess, what’s wrong with you”
“Did he hurt you”
She hugged Mu Fulan’s body and asked repeatedly.
Seeing that Mu Fulan still did not move, she hurriedly turned her over and checked her body.
Mu Fulan whispered, “I’m fine.” She closed her eyes for a moment, calmed her mind, then sat up.
Her face was a little pale while her forehead and neck were covered in sweat.
When she opened her eyes, her eyes were clear and she looked very calm.
Only then did Mu mama feel relieved and hurriedly took out a handkerchief to wipe her sweat.
Mu Fulan leaned on the head of the beauty couch. “Did he leave”
“When I saw him come out, his face did not look very good, but he didn’t say a word and just went straight out…”
“Princess, what happened between you and him…”
Mu Fulan did not respond.
At this time, a maid sent word, that the king and queen of Changsha had sent someone to ask about the princess’ situation.
Mu Fulan immediately asked someone to reply, saying that she would go see her brother and Sister-in-law later.
She also invited Lu Lin and Yuan Handing to come along and discuss important matters.
One stick of incense later, she combed her hair and dressed neatly before appearing in front of Mu Xuanqing and Lu Shi.
Lu Lin and Yuan Handing also hurried into the palace together.
Mu Xuanqing said to Mu Fulan, “Xie has taken people out of the city tonight.
The Prime Minister sent him off.
He also said something about letting you stay here to recuperate.
A’mei, what exactly did you say”
Yuan Handing and the Mu siblings grew up together, like brothers and sisters, and Lu Lin was an in-law, so Mu Xuanqing did not hesitate to ask.
Mu Fulan’s judgment of Xie Changgeng was that, although he walked away without saying a word, he should have accepted the compromise she proposed – agreeing to separate, but not announcing it for the time being.
It was exactly as she expected.
“Brother, it’s true.
After I went there, I was a little unaccustomed to the situation.
Although he still hasn’t agreed to divorce, he has agreed to let me recuperate here and no longer force me back.”
Although Mu Xuanqing was a little dissatisfied with this result.
The marriage between A’mei and Xie was decided by their father after all and the person had already passed the door.
At least A’mei was not taken away by him, so he scolded: “Today I know what a shambles person is!”
Mu Fulan said, “Brother, he has left and will not come back in the near future, so don’t worry about it.”
Lu Lin was worried and sighed, “What is going on here Without a reason, how could this situation come about When he left, although he was polite, I was worried that he would hold resentment.
Empress Liu already harbours ill will towards Changsha and Governor Xie is considered one of her people.
To have suffered such a bad loss, I am afraid of his revenge.”
Mu Fulan said, “In my opinion, Xie Changgeng should not be so quick to make a move against Changsha.
He is very ambitious.
Changsha is not even a stumbling block in his eyes.
Even if he has resentment, there is no need to take the trouble to deal with us now.
It may be considered a distant problem.”
In his previous life, after he became Emperor, the first thing he did was to abolish all the remaining vassal states and cleanse them of their vassal kings.
At that time, Changsha had long since been removed and the remaining members of the Mu family were still able to retain a place in Yuecheng because of her, “Empress Yuan”.
They were considered the lucky ones among the many vassal kings.
But in this lifetime, things will probably be different.
Yuan Handing nodded and said, “Then the immediate concern is the imperial court.”
“Last year, there was news that the imperial court intended to attack Changsha.
At that time, the rebellion of Jiangdu happened but it must be over.
Now that the rebellion of Jiangdu has been pacified, when the court recovers, I’m afraid it will cause trouble again.”
Lu shi’s brows furrowed deeply. “Changsha, has gone through several generations of kings to open up wasteland and cultivate fields and now the country is rich in grain and rice fabrics.
In the eyes of those people, it is a piece of fat meat that is easy to bite!”
Although Changsha is not short of food and clothing, its military strength has always been limited, with a standing army of merely 20,000 men.
This is also the highest number of troops that a vassal state can have as stipulated by the imperial court.
Previously, when the court attacked other vassal kings, they often used this as an excuse.
Mu Xuanqing said, “Today is not as good as it used to be! If we don’t make a move, we will die anyway.
I am considering expanding the army as soon as possible!”
He looked at Lu Lin. “In Changsha, how many strong men can be called to join the army now”
“Last year, the household officials reported that there are about 500,000 strong men between the ages of 16 and 40.”
“Good!” Mu Xuanqing nodded.
“Even if we take one out of five, we still have 100,000 soldiers, plus the original troops.
If we have an army of more than 100,000 soldiers in Changsha, why should we be afraid of foreign enemies
“If Your Highness wants to recruit an army, with your current support, the people will surely agree.
But Your Highness, this matter is easier said than done.
Lu Lin shook his head.
“Even if we take the risk and train our troops in secret, the question is, where can we get so many armour and weapons Is it possible to let 100,000 soldiers go into battle naked with sticks Now that there is chaos outside, who is not trying to save their supplies Even if we pay, we can’t buy armour and weapons, so we’ll need iron to make our own.
But a few years ago, when the chaos of the vassal kings began, all the iron-producing places were taken over by the imperial court and the vassal kings that wanted to rebel.
When the late king was alive, he also thought of expanding the army, and secretly searched for mines but never found anything and had to give up.
Now, where can I go to find iron in Changsha Even if we get it, such a large military manufacturing site, how can we avoid it from the eyes and ears of the imperial court”
“It’s difficult, it’s too difficult.”
Lu Lin sighed.
Mu Xuanqing was silent for a moment and looked at Mu Fulan.
“A’mei, you just said that you have something important to discuss.
What is it”
Several gazes turned towards her.
Mu Fulan said, “I know that Brother wants to expand his army.
What I want to say is related to this.”
“I know where there are mines to be mined.
It is very convenient.
It is in Changsha.”
They were all stunned.
“You should all remember how I sent a letter back to save Brother, right It was a sign from the gods and I was informed about it at the time.
Brother can send someone to investigate the area tomorrow.
If it is true, we may use Feng Shui as an excuse to build another Mu family ancestral mausoleum as an excuse to relocate all the people there and secretly mine iron and stone in the mountains.”
Mu Xuanqing was overjoyed.
“Could it be that the heavens really want to help us That’s great! I’ll send someone to inspect it tomorrow!”
Lu Lin was also excited, he stood up and walked back and forth a few times with his hands behind his back before stopping.
“If the princess’ dream is true, the expansion of our army is expected.
But mining, casting, conscription and training will take a while, at least a year and a half will be needed for effective results.
By then, the imperial court will have already attacked Changsha.”
Mu Fulan said, “I have a solution.
Although it can not eliminate the evil, it should be feasible to buy some time for Changsha.
Among the ministers of the court today, the traitorous Empress favours Zhang Ban who on the surface looks honest, but is actually a greedy man.
Why not bribe Zhang Ban with a lot of money and let him say positive things about us in front of the traitorous Empress”
“Although the rebellion of Jiangdu has been settled, Lu wang and Pingyang wang are still troubling the court.
If Zhang Ban can persuade the traitorous Empress to deal with Lu wang and Pingyang wang first, we can gain the opportunity to expand our troops.”
“This is a good idea, but how do you know he is greedy for money” Lu Lin was puzzled.
Mu Fulan knew about the mines because after the extermination of Changsha, the people of the land fled into the mountains in order to escape the oppressive taxes and accidentally found a large amount of iron and stone and the news spread.
It’s just that the country was eliminated before there was time to mine it in large quantities.
As for this Zhang Ban, after he was later killed, a huge fortune was found under his home.
The whole country was in an uproar and his giant greed was revealed to the world.
“Just take my word for it,” Mu Fulan said.
Because she sent a letter in time to save Mu Xuanqing, even if they were surprised by her words, they dared not disbelieve it.
Lu shi said, “Uncle, it’s about the fate of Changsha.
Since A’mei said so, why not give it a try”
Lu Lin pondered for a moment before nodding.
I used to be an official in Shangjing and I know some people.
Although it’s not convenient for me to go in person, it shouldn’t be difficult to find a trusted contact.
Leave this matter to me, I will make the arrangements tomorrow!”
“I will take the workers to the area as soon as possible!” Yuan Handing said.
Mu Xuanqing looked at his sister.
Regardless of the inconvenience of his legs, he got up to thank her.
Mu Fulan said there are gods above and the ancestors’ virtue so she dare not take credit.
After the discussion, it was late.
Before leaving, they finally agreed to act in secret and keep it confidential.
Ever since the old Changsha wang passed away, Changsha seemed to have lost its backbone.
At this moment, it was as if they suddenly saw hope and the faces of Mu Xuanqing and Lu shi showed joy.
Mu Fulan stopped Yuan Handing alone and asked, “Brother, I asked you to pay attention to Xie Changgeng’s entourage earlier, do you remember their appearance”
Yuan Handing nodded.
“There are six people in total, all recorded.”
He hesitated and looked at Mu Fulan. “Princess, why did you ask me to remember them”
Mu Fulan said, “Xie Changgeng is gone, but he is suspicious by nature, not to mention his relationship with Changsha has separated.
I am afraid he will leave someone behind.
At dawn, keep an eye on the city gates to see if any of his men have entered the city in disguise.
If not, it is best.
If there is, don’t be alarmed, just take note of their location and tell me the news when the time comes.”
Yuan Handing immediately agreed.
Mu Fulan was most at ease with Yuan Handing’s work.
After instructing him, she watched him hurriedly leave.
She was lost in thought for a moment before turning around and headed back to her residence.