Confiscation was still in the process. Numbers were continuously given to Du Hao. With every book he went through, he became increasingly more agitated.
What’s going on? Although the Wu residence was decorated like a royal palace, it was like an empty shell. Aside from a couple of ornamental items in the house and jewelry from the ladies’ rooms, there didn’t seem to be any expensive things.
However, Wu Liang Zhi was known to be a corrupted official. Where’s all the money he had gotten from his corruption?
“Gu Zuo, what are your thoughts?” Du Hao asked.
Gu Zuo was Du Hao’s trusted aide. Gu Zho had very delicate features and totally looked like a scholar. He had been by Du Hao’s side for many years.
“Based on your subordinate’s views, Wu Liang Zhi should not be underestimated. Through all these years, no one had been able to grab hold of any information that could be used against him. Most likely, this sly old fox had buried or hidden all his possessions.”
Du Hao nodded: “Your views are aligned with mines. I guess we have no choice but to go to the dungeon to find the old sly fox!” As Du Hao spoke, he walked near a window. His eyes caught sight of a small figure squatting next to a tree in the garden. From where he was, he couldn’t tell what the person was doing.
Du Hao narrowed his eyes as he recalled his encounter with Song Luo. He decided to change the topic: “Gu Zuo, what are your thoughts on Song Luo?”
“Please forgive your subordinate for being blunt, but Song Luo does not seem to be as handsome as rumours say he is. In addition, based on his conduct, he acts like a marketplace scammer. He’s greedy and perverted, uncivilized, sloppy, and has terrible upbringing.”
“You really think so?” Du Hao’s eyes suddenly grew deeper. “But did you know that Song Luo released all of Wu Liang Zhi’s family members? I was told each person received a silver tael dismissal fee as well.”
“Oh?!” Gu Zuo was stunned. He would have never thought a rascal-like person would do such a thing.
“I have a feeling Song Luo is not as simple as he appears to be.” Du Hao said aloud to himself. All of a sudden, he was extremely curious about his sister’s husband.
“Let’s go, Gu Zuo. Let’s see what he is up to.”
At this moment, Lin Shan was digging tree bark without thinking.
Her heart was very conflicted. She was already starting to miss the golden ru yi from the house. However, she was even more worried about getting in trouble with Du Hao; the man who looked exactly like Lian Feng.
Lin Shan, oh Lin Shan. You really shouldn’t think of nothing but personal gain! Use your brain and think. Why would Lian Feng be here? Even if he was here, he wouldn’t take his mask off! The man I saw that day at the courtyard must have been the Crown Prince. How could I be such a fool? I’ve already seen him once, yet I failed to realize he is a different person from Lian Feng!
It’s over. I actually went as far as telling the Crown Prince I wanted 50% of the golden ru yi. If I had known who he was, I would have just pushed the entire thing into his hands….
The more Lin Shan thought about it, the more she started to regret. She released all of her anger onto the tree bark. As she squatted next to the tree, she viciously used her nails and dug. In addition, she also screeched at the same time: “What kind of Crown Prince are you? You’re supposed to announce your arrival. You have no manners! Clearly, you wanted to screw me over. And you made me kneel for so long too… I’m going to dig you to death. Dig you to death!!”
Poor tree bark. It was being torn apart as pieces of the bark started to pile up by Lin Shan’s feet.
At that moment, Du Hao and Gu Zuo were almost right behind Lin Shan. Their expressions didn’t look good -especially Du Hao; the corner of his mouth twitched.
“Your….” Gu Zuo was about to step forward.
Du Hao raised his hand and stopped him. He made a hand gesture showing he wanted silence as they got closer to Lin Shan.
By now, her voice was getting clearer and clearer: “Don’t think just because you’re the Crown Prince you’re all that. And you’re a human, not a ghost! Why were you standing behind me without saying a word? Give me back my golden ru yi…give it back…I’m going to dig you to death! I shall dig you to death!!”
Another huge piece of tree bark fell down. Right after, a stripped of white cloth was exposed through the small crack.
Huh? What is this? Lin Shan didn’t bother to think and immediately pulled onto the strip. She used all her strength to tug, and suddenly, the whole thing came out! But it was just a common sackcloth bag. Although, something seemed to be in the bag, and it was quite heavy….
Before she could react, a hand struck out and roughly took the bag away from her.
Lin Shan was bewildered as she turned around. When she saw the face, her mind immediately exploded. This time, she reacted much faster: “Your Highness, I know my wrongs! Your Highness, I know my wrongs!”
Du Hao ignored Lin Shan and signaled Gu Zuo to come closer.
“Look, what is this?”
Gu Zuo stepped forward and took a look. The white sackcloth bag was stuffed with hundreds of banknotes (with a value in silver). There must be at least ten thousand taels in here.
“Come!” Du Hao ordered his men, “Chop down this tree. I want to know how much this guy thinks he could hide!”
The confiscation of the Wu residence was finally over. From the garden, a total of three hundred thousand taels were discovered from all the trees. Three hundred thousand taels was equivalent to the state treasury’s revenue for a year.
Once this new was exposed, Wu Liang Zhi committed suicide in his cell by crashing his head against a wall.
Another person who was also crashing her head on the wall was Lin Shan. She was the one who discovered the banknotes! What the hell!! Du Hao was such a scoundrel. Not only did he take away the golden ru yi, he also took away her banknotes.
I was the one who discovered it! Even if you don’t want to give me everything, you should have at least given me one sheet! You could count it as a digging tree bark service fee!
You think digging tree bark is easy? Digging tree barks is very tiring too, okay!?
After confiscating the three hundred thousand taels from Wu Liang Zhi’s residence, the Emperor couldn’t stop smiling. It was an unexpected amount and since they had just fought a war, the country was short on money. However, in order to keep peace amongst the common people, the shortage wasn’t announced to the people. Now that they randomly came across three hundred thousand taels, it was like having a timely rain. How could he not be delighted?
Since the Emperor was overjoyed, he decided to reward those who has given outstanding service. Aside from Du Hao, Prince Consort Song Luo was also rewarded.
Once this Imperial edict was announced, it gave the sullen Lin Shan hope. She finally thought she was going to get rewarded for digging the tree bark. But it turns out that the Emperor rewarded her an official position instead. She went up two ranking; from a military rank to an imperial censor. Her job was to supervise. Thus, not only did she not receive any materialistic reward, she ended up with a job. Lin Shan almost broke down in tears as she held onto the edict.
Oh my goodness, how could you do this to me, Emperor?
“Xiao Lu, go find out for me to see what rewards the Crown Prince received.”
“There is no need to find out, Prince Consort. It has already been spread throughout the Palace. It is said that the Emperor has bestowed the Crown Prince with a thousand silver taels, ten excellent horses, a cart of silk fabric, as well as a pair of golden ru yi. The ru yi is the one confiscated from Wu Liang Zhi’s home.”
What?! Hearing about the ru yi was the last straw. Lin Shan was raging. She violently slams her hand on the table: “Xiao Lu, I have decided!!”
“Prince Consort, what have you decided?”
“I am going to get revenge!”
Xiao Lu: “…..how are you planning to get revenge?”
“I…I…I’m going to go find Lian Feng!” Lin Shan furiously storms up from her chair.
You stole my golden ru yi! I shall scoop out your scandal! I don’t believe there isn’t a inside story behind this. How can you both look exactly the same! Even if there isn’t an inside story, I’ll still feel better stepping on* someone that has the same face!
Just like that, Lin Shan went to find Lian Feng to get “revenge”.
*not literally stepping on. It’s an expression.