Chapter 132: His Good and Evil Deeds (1)
In the end, Bai Sheng had no choice but to follow the prince’s order. When he first arrived at Xi Zhou, he saw that its citizens had indeed suffered terribly from the water shortage. He was reluctant, knowing that just a sip of poisoned water could cause the people to experience dizziness, weakness, vomiting, and other such symptoms, although the poison itself wasn’t life-threatening.
But even so, these citizens had suffered much. There was a shortage of food and water and people were beginning to feel ill–it must be a plague! It was easy to see how deeply frightened the citizens felt.
When their despair and mournings had reached the heavens, His Highness Gong Jue suddenly came to them like a God to save them.
This young man had many faces; in front of his grandfather, he was proud, stubborn and uncompromising. When standing before his grandmother, the princess, Gong Jue was a highly intelligent, yet lonely boy. In truth, he was a ruthless person who would resort to any underhanded means to achieve his goals, and yet the commoners saw him as a reincarnation of a fairy who was merciful and compassionate.
For the past days, Gong Jue knelt on his knees to feed medicine to a dirty old man. He stayed awake for several nights and helped the medical officers cure all the ill. He didn’t have strength to collect food, but he would send his share of meals to another family. When he was finally served his porridge, the prince fainted in front of the common people.
Those who were familiar with the Chaoyang Princess and the Ninth Prince may believe the two children to be similar in that they had many faces or masks when interacting with people. But Bai Sheng knew that the princess and His Highness were completely different; the princess had many faces but deep inside, her heart was tolerant and kind. Meanwhile, Gong Jue’s different masks was just to cover up his dark heart, allowing those around him to lower their vigilance.
(**T/N: a face or mask represents the different “roles” or characters the actor would play)
‘When you’re in a sticky situation, you keep a low profile, and when you’re ready to strike, you eradicate the roots!’
Just when Bai Sheng thought of this sentence, Gong Jue happened to see him and smiled. Although the prince’s smile appeared as gentle and warm as the sun, Bai Sheng froze in fear.
Time flew quickly and a year had passed.
Gong Yi Mo originally thought that it would take two years to build the main canal, but now she wants to expand the project and push inland.
During this period, the project funds were delayed several times until their team finally received it. She didn’t know the exact details of what happened at the capital city, but she heard that the arguments at the palace were fiercer everyday.
There were three main princesses fighting against each other, then what about the twenty or thirty concubines behind them? Coupled with the powerful women who backed them up, there was always a new piece of news from the palace everyday.
But recently, there was a particular rumor that caught Gong Yi Mo’s attention.
In the past year, Gong Yi Mo had done many good services for the people. But since she was seen as someone invited by the His Highness, Gong Che, the people’s gratitude naturally extended to the prince.
In addition, Gong Che loved the citizens like his own children, and the canal building he had overseen this past year miraculously had no deaths from overwork or any major accidents.
And the project had progressed considerably, almost reaching to Huai Yang. The Yulong Inner Canal was completely cleared up, and there was only one last step remaining.
After arriving at Huaiyang and entering the Huaihe River, three-quarters of the main route’s construction had been completed. After all, before getting here, Xu Yuan had already repaired the Heng Shui river from the upper reaches of the Huaihe River. Heng Shui itself is very close to the Longteng River in the imperial capital.
When the time comes, the team plans to break through the barriers one by one,by reinforcing the embankments, introducing water sources, and extending the rivers inland.
Nowadays, in addition to building the canal, Gong Che also investigated people’s livelihoods and looked over their provincial cases. He resolved several long-pending cases along the way. Meanwhile, Gong Yi Mo continued to create small inventions on her free time. Many items that weren’t paid much attention to in modern life were of great use in ancient times.