Chapter 170: The Li Family (Part One)

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It was hard to keep secrets in the secret prison in the Royal Guard.

Fang Jie was always being monitored; it felt like the people outside even recorded when he relieved himself.

This was Fang Jie’s first time living in such an environment; he wasn’t sure if he was going to make it out of here.

-Smooth Spring Garden-

After hearing the report from Mou Liangbi, the Head of the Ministry of War, the Emperor reviewed the detailed war plan once more. Then, he heaved a long sigh and didn’t meet any other officials. He sat by the lotus pond and zoned out a little. This was rare for the Emperor to do; he was busy every day.

Heaven-Bless Emperor Yang Yi was the most low-key emperor in the history of Great Sui, and he was also the most diligent.

When managing Great Sui, he could sit on his heatable brick bed for a long time. He would only sleep for four hours a day, and he never wasted any time.

In the past, the emperors rarely reviewed all the memorials to the throne. Great Sui was giant with 24 circuits and thousands of cities. More than a cart of memorials to the throne would be delivered to the Royal Palace a day. Long ago, there was a position called Brush-Holding Eunuch. The most trusted eunuchs would be asked to filter through all the memorials to the throne, and they would pick out the most important ones to let the emperors review.

Most of the unimportant memorials to the throne would be marked and handled by the bush-holding eunuchs, so they had more power than a ton of important officials. This rule had been in place for a long time.

However, Heaven-Bless Emperor Yang Yi abolished this rule. Like a machine, he handled all the memorials to the throne as if he would never be tired. Since he became the ruler, the power that brush-holding eunuchs had was gradually weakened. Now, a brush-holding eunuch was not much different from an ordinary eunuch.

Although the Emperor had been diligent, he was still too busy and needed someone to share the load of work. Therefore, the Deputy of the Chancellery grew more important. Comparatively, Heaven-Bless Emperor trusted officials more than eunuchs.

The Deputy of the Chancellery was a position that the Emperor created; the task of this official used to belong to brush-holding eunuchs.

However, in other fields, the Emperor seemed to still have a ton of trust in eunuchs. For example, there was Su Buwei, a eunuch who was extremely close to him and appeared humble and silent.

Since people were used to the Emperor being extremely busy, it was strange to see him sitting by the lotus pond and blanking out.

“Su Buwei, how many years has it been since you entered the Royal Palace?” the Emperor asked after a long silence.

Su Buwei who was standing close by with his head lowered replied, “It has been 26 years. I entered the Royal Palace at the age of 15, and I first became an apprentice in the Royal Kitchen. Since I was clever, Eunuch Wu Peisheng asked me to assist him. After about ten years, Wu Peisheng was promoted to the position of Brush-Holding Eunuch, so I came to the Royal Study as well. Now, I have been in the Royal Study for about 14 years.”

[TL Note: The Royal Study is the name for places that the Emperor used as workspaces.]

“Your memory has always been great,” the Emperor said while nodding, “My father promoted Wu Peisheng, and even rank 2 and rank 3 officials tried to get on his good side. After I removed most of the power of brush-holding eunuchs, I’m sure that Wu Peisheng was angry. I have never asked you this question, and no one knows more about him than you who had been with him for more than 20 years; I heard that he had a private meeting with you before he went to the northwest?”

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