Hua Zirong smiled faintly. “Since all officials are present, we shall enter the hall for the banquet.”


His words caught the officials off guard, and some even began wondering what Hua Zirong was getting at. However, the officials still followed their monarch to the banquet hall despite their doubts.


Su Xi-er shared a knowing smile with Pei Qianhao and Du Ling before following the rest to the banquet hall.


Hua Zirong sat at the highest seat, while Pei Qianhao and Su Xi-er in the two seats to his left. As for Du Ling, he sat at the lower seat to Hua Zirong’s right, allowing the trio to face one another.


“This Monarch has assembled all of you officials here to discuss Meng County’s flood.” Hua Zirong went straight to the point.


The officials were even more perplexed as to what Hua Zirong was getting at, and could only continue to listen.


Hua Zirong sneered inwardly upon noticing the audience’s baffled expressions. “This Monarch knows the interests of the civilians matter greatly to all officials, so I am sure that all of you already have ideas on how to alleviate the disaster.”


He looked down at the audience, but was surprised to not see Prime Minister Wen.


His gaze instantly frosted over. “Why did Prime Minister Wen not come?”


The atmosphere quickly took a turn for the worse before a coughing noise broke the silence, and Prime Minister Wen appeared. He was dressed in his official attire, but his complexion was pallid, as if he had suffered tremendous pain and hardship.


Hua Zirong was baffled. I haven’t met him for only a few days; how has he fallen to such a state? Or is it a pretense so that he can avoid going to Meng County?


The temperature in Hua Zirong’s eyes plummeted even further. “Prime Minister Wen, what’s the matter with you?”


“Replying to Your Majesty, this old official caught a cold, and the cold air has already entered my lungs.” Prime Minister Wen used his sleeve to cover his nose, along with the sly glimmer that flashed past his eyes.


Reactions among the officials present were mixed. Some bore pitiful gazes, while others watched with evil intentions.


Su Xi-er calmly watched the farce as Pei Qianhao doted upon her. As for Du Ling, the King of the Western Region simply downed one cup of wine after another as he watched the show.


Hua Zirong stared at Prime Minister Wen, getting the sneaking suspicion that something was going on. However, he had no leads to go on.


“Prime Minister Wen, since you are so sick, you should quickly take a seat.” Hua Zirong said indifferently.


Prime Minister Wen showed a sincere expression. “This old subject thanks Your Majesty for the concern.”


“Are there any objections from everyone present?” Hua Zirong quickly dove back to the main topic.


The officials expressed approval swiftly. “This humble subject obeys the imperial decree, and we dare not have any objection.”


A smile spread across Hua Zirong’s mouth. “SInce that’s the case, let’s start.”


“Although this subject is upright, I do have a sublime Linglong chessboard that has been passed down by my ancestors. I would like to offer it up for auction.” An official stood up and said.


Another official eagerly followed. “Although this old subject is already getting on in years, I am willing to donate three years of my salary to aid the refugees.”


Hua Zirong looked in Prime Minister Wen’s direction, but found that the latter had no intention of standing up. He simply kept staring intently at everything else.

His sixth tense tingled. Could Prime Minister Wen be thinking of breaking the agreement? It looks like this Monarch has been too lenient on him.

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translator: Rakumon

Editor: Lunarlark