Chapter 120: The Bold Thief! (Part One)
The building that the Emperor was living in was only a row of connected simple wooden houses. It seemed too crude for the Emperor.
The plants around the building weren’t flowers but cucumber plants and bean plants.
This building wasn’t fancy at all compared to Tai Chi Palace. Some green vines climbed up onto the roof, but they didn’t bloom.
The heatable brick bed was right next to the window, making the Emperor have a hard time concentrating on his work.
Both in Smooth Spring Garden and Royal Palace, the heatable brick bed was the signature of the Emperor’s workplace.
Since the heatable brick bed was next to the window, he could sit on a soft cushion and enjoy the scenery outside.
Without question, this crude place was the heart of Great Sui.
The Emperor would come here to work every summer. This place issued many edicts and received many memorials to the throne.
When Fang Jie came here last time, he only dared to peek once. The stack of memorials to the throne was about a meter tall, and the Emperor had to go through them in one day.
Fang Jie couldn’t even imagine how much work it would be to go through so many memorials to the throne day after day.
Although this was tedious work, the Emperor needed to review all these memorials to the throne to understand the state that Great Sui was in.
Sometimes Fang Jie thought that if half of the memorials to the throne were false information, it would be tough to become a wise emperor regardless of one’s intelligence.
If Fang Jie told the Emperor this, the Emperor would laugh and tell him that out of all the memorials to the throne he had to read daily, probably half of them contained lies.
A qualified emperor would need to identify what was real and what was fake in these memorials to the throne and then see the truth behind the lies.
It wouldn’t be easy to become a wise emperor. Most of the local officials only report the good news and never touched on the bad news, afraid that saying the truth would destroy their future.
However, if enough time was spent, differences could be seen between similar memorials to the throne.
If there was a flood in a county, the county magistrate would try to hide this news, afraid that the central government would blame him for not fixing the dam earlier. Then, he would try to fix the situation and prevent the people affected by the blood from reporting him.
However, this all changed after Heaven-Bless Emperor Yang Yi came into power; he somehow made these local officials not daring to protect each other.
Even though this was the case, there were still lies hidden in the memorials to the throne.
Local officials were different from officials in the central government. The officials in the central government didn’t have real power; they only needed to go to their ministries and departments to work, and they had plenty of free time. If the local officials wanted to manage their regions well, they would still have work to do even if they worked 24 hours a day.
Even the most talented officials would make mistakes when managing a big region.
Therefore, writing more about things that would please the Emperor and less about things that would upset the Emperor in the memorials to the throne wasn’t something that only happened in Great Sui; it happened in every empire.
When Fang Jie got to the wooden building and told the royal guards that the Emperor summoned him. One royal guard went to report, and Su Buwei who was waiting inside the room nodded and went back to the Emperor.
“Let him wait,” the Emperor said without looking up as he wrote something on a memorial to the throne, “We only entered summer, yet the water of Huai River in Yangtze-South isn’t calm. Last year, I sent someone to supervise the construction of a dam, but it still isn’t completed after a year. If this issue isn’t flagged, many people might die. Governor Du Wumei of Huai-Yang State is rare since he never tells lies. Since he said that the situation is dangerous, then we must act. Huai River is more than 500 kilometers long. If it acts up, many people will become homeless.”
Su Buwei replied with his head lowered, “I will ask him to wait outside.”
“Eh.” The Emperor nodded before looking up and issuing another order, “Instantly summon Zhang Chaochong, the Head of the Ministry of Revenue, and Liu Renjing, the Head of the Ministry of Works.”
“As you wish.” Su Buwei walked out of the room and closed the door with his back bent.