Pampered Into Being the Empress – Chapter 35
Translated by: Cozy Translations
Chapter 35 – Sweet (2)
Because there were many cases coming from all the different provinces, Mu Huai just picked a few priority ones from provinces of Qin, Yong, and Xun. These three places were originally part of Jin Kingdom’s territory. After he had conquered Jin, many of the local officials there were the surrendered officials from Jin.
Mu Huai and Zhuan Emperor had a discussion and concluded to continue using the Jin Kingdom’s government system for these three provinces.
Jin Kingdom’s governance was very harsh and strict, unlike Great Qi’s. Jin Kingdom had kept the five extremely cruel punishments. These five punishments included cutting off the nose, cutting off a foot, execution, etc. These torture methods all destroyed one’s body. Even after undergoing the punishment, one would not die but would wish they were dead.
Although Jin Kingdom had laws, the commoners were unfamiliar with their country’s laws. This was because the ruler of Jin kingdom had always upheld one principle: Punish in secret, grow power without others’ knowledge.
As a result, many of the commoners would only know that they had committed a crime after being arrested and dragged away by officials.
In his past life, not only did Mu Huai allow the provinces of Qin, Yong, and Xun to continue their old system of governance, in order to build more prestige for Great Qi in the eyes of the Jin Kingdom’s commoners, he used the strictest and cruelest methods of governance and punishment. Although the commoners in these three provinces were in awe of his sense of justice and tyrancy and most of them followed the ways of Great Qi, not daring to harbor any ideas of treason. However, the three provinces were not as resourceful and wealthy as before. Even though he had lowered the tax rates for these three provinces, they were still the poorest areas in Great Qi.
Yan Juxu had advised him in his past life. Do not administer harsh punishments in these three provinces, give them a chance to change their ways. If the commoners commit a crime, they should be punished under the laws of Great Qi, punish to reform not to maim.
In his past life, he did not heed this advice.
Thinking of this, Mu Huai rubbed the space between his brows. Whether he should change the laws in the three provinces in this life, he still needed to discuss this with Yan Juxu. At this time, his wife’s illness must have subsided already.
After Mu Huai had looked through some more cases, Xue Rui had also finished looking over all the recent case files that Zuo Dingzhi was in charge of. Without sparing his dignity, Xue Rui ruthlessly pointed out the legal mistakes Zuo Dingzhi had made. Although strictly speaking these case files would be reviewed a second time by the Ministry of Justice, as an Assistant Magistrate, he shouldn’t be making such low level mistakes.
When Mu Huai saw Xue Rui pointing out Zuo Dingzhi’s mistakes with a slightly aggressive and huffing expression, he let out small chuckle.
Xue Rui’s personality perfectly suited his tastes.
If his personality was not so straightforward and if Zuo Dingzhi was not his colleague of the same cohort1, he would not be scolding in such a manner right now. On the other hand, the mistakes that Xue Rui pointed out were compelling and were not because of the grudges between the two.
Xue Rui truly was an official who kept the citizens’ welfare in mind. He did not want Zuo Dingzhi’s mistakes to result in false accusations. He was someone worthy of the praise of the commoners.
Mu Huai wanted to test Xue Rui’s legal expertise again. If he met his expectations, then this Xue Rui would become Great Qi’s Court of Judicial Review’s future Chief Minister.
After Zuo Dingzhi was called out for his mistakes, his face lost all color as his ears turned red. He frantically looked towards Hong Guang in a plea for help. But no matter how much Hong Guang was biased towards this subordinate, in front of Mu Huai, he did not dare to do things on his own.
Mu Huai gave a cold sneer, then addressed Zuo Dingzhi in a stern voice, “An assistant magistrate in the Court of Judicial Review is still a seventh-ranked court official. You dare to even mix up my Great Qi’s laws, what’s the point of keeping someone so stupid as you?”
He cast a icy gaze at the rest of the officials present, then scolded, “This is also a warning for the rest of you. The salary you receive, the food you eat, they all come from the taxes the commoners pay. If you do not do honest work for the commoners, then just take off your caps. Hurry and resign and scram back to your hometown!”
The crowd of officials were so frightened they immediately kneeled on the ground, each agreeing with his words. All of them chorused how they will heed the Crown Prince’s advice from today and remember it.
Hong Guang knelt on the ground and stuttered, “Then…then how does Your Highness want to punish Assistant Magistrate Zuo? A demotion or a fine?”
Mu Huai stared at him before replying in a heavy voice, “Heh, you want to just demote him? Piece of worthless trash, he will never be able to be an official in my Great Qi’s court. Strip his official rank then have him scram.”
Zuo Dingzhi was so frightened by Mu Huai’s sharp glare that he peed himself. He had never thought that he would encounter such a big calamity today, letting the Crown Prince grab hold of his weakness.
After Zuo Dingzhi was dragged out of the Court of Judicial Review, Mu Huai ordered Hong Guang to promote Xue Rui to a sixth-ranked official. After today’s events, not only did Xue Rui get a promotion, he was finally able to gain some leadership control as well.
When Xue Rui heard he was getting a promotion, he was very moved as he spoke to Mu Huai, “…This subject thanks Your Highness.”
Mu Huai told him to rise with an indifferent expression on his face, but inside he was thinking that he needed to remember each of these pests and eliminate them one by one. He needed to utilize people with actual talent and skills to fill in the gaps.
As the skies began to turn dark, there was one more important matter that Mu Huai had yet to finish.
The reason why he came to the Court of Judicial Review today was mainly to investigate that matter. Getting rid of Zuo Dingzhi was just something done out of passing by.
Thinking of this, Mu Huai asked Hong Guang, “The exiled Minister of Ceremonies, Rong Bing’s case, did you find it?”
Hong Guang observed Mu Huai’s expression and hesitated for a whiel before timidly replying, “…Replying to Your Highness, Rong Bing’s case file…could not be found.”
Mu Huai raised an eyebrow and coldly asked, “Just a case file from seven or eight years ago, how could it be lost?”
Hong Guang’s forehead oozed out cold sweat. Bearing through his fright towards Mu Huai, he respectfully answered, “This subject…this subject searched for a long time, the case file from that year has indeed disappeared.”
Mu Huai frowned.
He always felt that Rong Xi’s father’s case was not as simple as it seemed.
Now that he wanted to investigate, the Chief Minister of the Court of Judicial Review, Hong Guang, told him that this case file actually disappeared?
He suddenly remembered that the current Chief Minister of the Ministry of Rites was the Empress’s biological younger brother, Di Zhuo.
And when Rong Bing had yet to be stripped of his position, this Di Zhuo had already become the Chief Minister of the Ministry of Rites. Mu Huai deeply believed that Di Zhuo was connected to this matter.
Rong Xi’s identity as a convicted official’s daughter was a hidden danger.
Although, strictly speaking he would definitely grant a nationwide amnesty after he ascends the throne, if someone were to spread Rong Xi’s identity as the daughter of a convicted official before then, then things would go awry.
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