The Princess's Inner Thoughts Were Overheard by Her Emperor Father - C.76


The Emperor waved his sleeve, allowing the guards at the gate to enter, and whispered instructions to them.

"Come, Chancellors, let us depart! Let's see how Mr. Hong is completing the task I assigned him!"

Hong Xing's tears from acting were still smeared on his face. Upon hearing this, he froze for a moment, a flicker of panic in his eyes.

But quickly, he gritted his teeth, raised his head, and stood up with neither arrogance nor humility, "This minister has nothing to be ashamed of!"


The Emperor couldn't possibly know how he previously conducted his official duties.

For the task of overseeing livestock, he had indeed been exceptionally busy these past three days, sparing no effort.

His last time neglecting his duties to privately meet with a concubine was seven days ago.

How could the Emperor know about something that happened seven days ago, and only take action today?

The more Hong Xing thought about it, the more convinced he became in his heart.

Moreover, his attendant's mouth was tightly sealed, and the maid of his concubine didn't know who he was, so they wouldn't reveal his secret.

Besides, the Emperor Xiao Yunzhou had recently been busy entertaining envoys, managing the Crown Prince's schedule, and developing plague medicines.

How could he have time to pay attention to Hong Xing himself?

And how would he even know where Hong Xing's concubine was hidden?

Hah, even his jealous wife didn't know a single detail!

After recounting everything, Hong Xing was full of confidence. "Your Majesty, Chancellors, I'm not afraid of an investigation!"

The Chancellors immediately nodded sympathetically, looking at the Emperor with an expression that said, 'Your Majesty, you're making a big fuss and wronging this man.'

"Your Majesty, Hong Xing has generally been quite diligent in his duties. You should remember, it was Hong Xing who supervised the army during the great battle at Jiakou last year."

Hong Xing breathed a sigh of relief.

Generally, he kept himself fairly clean, not being completely diligent in his duties, but managing to gloss over his shortcomings.

Emperor Xiao Yunzhou rolled his eyes, looking at this group of 'obtuse' Chancellors in his cabinet, and wordlessly boarded the palanquin.

"Further discussion is fruitless; let us depart."

Soon, the Emperor left the palace in plain clothes, accompanied by ministers who had also changed into casual attire, taking a small path from the Censorate to the Capital Official's residence.

The one leading the way was the palace guard the Emperor had previously called in to whisper instructions.

The journey was silent.

But as Hong Xing walked along the familiar path, his eyelids began to twitch.

Yet he remained relatively calm, "Your Majesty, to save time and benefit the people, I often take these small paths to quickly reach the Capital Official's residence. Many times, I have discussed matters in detail with the Capital Official late into the night."

Emperor Xiao Yunzhou narrowed his eyes. So there was an accomplice?

He let out a mocking laugh towards Hong Xing.

Hong Xing: "......"

He didn't know why, but he began to sweat.

Soon, the Emperor's palanquin arrived at the Capital Official's residence, but the Emperor did not speak, and the palanquin continued through the back alleys.

"Your Majesty—" Hong Xing froze as the familiar small courtyard with red walls came into view!

Emperor Xiao Yunzhou raised his hand, and the palanquin stopped in front of the small red-walled courtyard.

The attendants on both sides stuffed cloths into Hong Xing's mouth, practically dragging him like a chicken once he realized something was amiss.

"Your Majesty..." The Chancellors in the cabinet were all shocked.

"What is this place?"

"What does this mean...?"

Emperor Xiao Yunzhou gestured for them to be quiet, then led the way forward.

Soon they reached the interior of the small red-walled courtyard and heard the whispers of several maids.

"The young master hasn't come to see our lady for several days."

"The young master must have been delayed by something, but he may come today. Previously, on the odd-numbered days of the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th of each month, he would come to accompany our lady without fail, arriving at 3pm."

Emperor Xiao Yunzhou stopped in his tracks.

The Chancellors behind him turned around in shock, looking at the now pale and speechless Hong Xing!

On the odd-numbered days of each month at 3pm, court officials should be on duty!

After the morning court session and a noon meal, they were supposed to hurry to their respective offices to be on duty.

The Imperial Censors from the Censorate were more flexible since staying at the Censorate didn't allow them to monitor officials, so they would often visit the duty stations of those they were monitoring.

This scoundrel Hong Xing was using his authority for personal gain, neglecting his duty shift?!

Even Chancellor Fu Cha was rendered speechless.

The gagged Hong Xing shook his head frantically, struggling to deny the accusation!

But soon, his dream of escaping guilt was shattered.

The two gossiping maids from behind the screen in the small red-walled courtyard had already emerged.

When the maids saw the bound Hong Xing, they were horrified. "Young master?! What happened to you!?"

"You haven't come for seven days. Young master, were you captured?"

The fools ruined him!

Hong Xing was so enraged, his vision went black.

He looked at Emperor Xiao Yunzhou and the Chancellors who had just defended him in utter fear and panic.

In an instant, he knelt down, kowtowing repeatedly against the ground.

Emperor Xiao Yunzhou let out a cold laugh, "So this young master who comes here on the odd-numbered days is none other than our esteemed Mr. Hong."

"My, I thought I had misheard earlier. Isn't that the time when officials should be on duty?"

"Your Majesty—" Hong Xing rubbed the cloth from his mouth against a rock, immediately spitting it out and speaking frantically, "This minister was wrong!"

"I was foolish. I swear, I have carried out the tasks you assigned me diligently!"

"I will never do such a thing again! Your Majesty—"

"You carried out your duties diligently?" Emperor Xiao Yunzhou narrowed his eyes, turning to the group of Chancellors watching the spectacle.

"Chancellor Fu Cha, Hong Xing just asked you to judge him. Now I ask you to judge as well."

He looked at the maids beside him. "Tell us, how does this young master take care of your lady, his thirteenth concubine?"

The maid was terrified.

Hong Xing was even more distraught.

How did the Emperor know this was his thirteenth concubine?

So precisely?

He himself hadn't even counted!

Hong Xing's mind was in turmoil, and what made him break out in a cold sweat was that after recounting, this really was his thirteenth mistress kept outside...

At one point, he had almost overlooked a woman he had only kept for a month before she died of illness!


The Emperor knew his situation better than he did himself?

Hong Xing's face was as white as a sheet, his lips trembling uncontrollably!

The Chancellors beside him were also shaken. The Emperor's intelligence network not only reached the courier stations to know the prices of warhorses, but it even penetrated the private quarters where officials kept their mistresses...?

"I had always intended to give you a chance before this," said Emperor Xiao Yunzhou, turning slightly and acting arrogant again.

"I wanted to let you properly carry out your duties, which is why I didn't expose you until now."

"But Hong Xing, you have broken the hearts of the people."

"The livestock that commoners value more than their own lives are less important in your eyes than your thirteenth concubine."




The Chancellors were utterly baffled.

Wait, what kind of analogy was the Emperor making?

Ah? For a moment, they were completely confused.

Xiao Yunzhou didn't bother with summoning a maidservant. He directly launched into warning Hong Xing about the Little Princess's extravagant lifestyle.

"Hong Xing, your concubine consumes one pound of bird's nest every day, fifty taels of ginseng nourishing pills, and drinks only spring water that requires four hours of manpower to transport from the mountains."

"Where does the money to support your concubine's indulgences come from?"

"Is it not from taxing the commoners?"

"If you devoted even a fraction of those funds to caring for the commoners' livestock and piglets, at least some peasants could have a prosperous year and afford to eat some pork."

"Hong Xing, you have deeply disappointed me and the common folk!"

Sweat poured down Hong Xing's forehead.

The Emperor knew the details all too well!

He had sourced the nourishing pills for his concubine at a low price, yet the Emperor called out the precise daily amount of fifty taels!

This was too frightening!

Hearing the Emperor's thunderous voice, Hong Xing was filled with dread, fear, and regret for his actions.

If only he had focused on raising pigs back then instead of—no, if only he had diligently carried out his duties, it would not have come to this!

Hong Xing hung his head in remorse.

"I have tolerated your arbitrary behavior due to your advanced age," said Xiao Yunzhou, shifting his gaze from Hong Xing to the other chancellors as he spoke with his hands behind his back.


The elderly cabinet ministers shuddered.

"But while the commoners eat gruel, you feast on ginseng."

"This, I cannot allow!"

"Today, Hong Xing, I will make an example of you!"

"You could not grasp the simple techniques of raising piglets in three days, but I have understood them!"

"You should cherish the commoners' livestock as you do your concubines."

Hong Xing's eyes widened.

Xiao Yunzhou turned dramatically, "Bring writing materials!"

"I will speak, and you will record!"

"Before farrowing, carefully select healthy, well-muscled breeding boars..."

"During gestation, provide the sows with precious but not excessive feed...keep the pens clean."

"After birth, monitor the sows' milk supply and health, and examine the piglets' condition."

"Piglet feed..."

The cabinet ministers' jaws dropped as they listened.

Hong Xing's face turned pale, then flushed as tears streamed down.

The way to properly govern was hidden in the care he had lavished upon his concubine!

He did not know, because he had neglected the commoners!

And now, he would have no further chance.

"Hong Xing, for dereliction of duty and failure to grasp even the basics of raising livestock while oppressing the citizens, your property is hereby confiscated, and you are banished to serve in the army for three thousand li!"

Follow current novℯls on f(r)eewebnov𝒆l