Ji An Prefecture

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Thinking back to when Da Shun was still being built up, the ancestors that established Da Shun might have chosen some lands to be fiefs that could be awarded in the future, these fiefs originally had owners. At the very least, the founding ancestors had already decided who to give these lands to, but who knew that one of the lords would incorrectly guess the ancestor’s intentions. Believing that the ancestor did not want to give him a fief as a reward, he started a rebellion in anger and moved to revolt.

Da Shun deployed soldiers to subdue him, and his forces were quickly suppressed, but it was this that caused the ancestor to note the potential abuses of the fiefs. The lord would reasonably raise a personal army. One generation would be fine, but the position would be hereditary! With it being handed down like this, would this not cause troubles for the Xuan family’s later generations? What if some lords had bad intentions? At that time, their fief would have plenty of troops and weapons, and Da Shun would have a difficult time suppressing them.

Realizing this point, he gritted his teeth and gave up on the idea of rewarding the officials with fiefs. Instead, it was replaced with gold, silver and treasures. As for those officials, they understood the reasoning and were totally loyal, thus they did not dispute this matter.

Later on, the fiefs that the ancestral emperor had designated were slowly canceled. They were slowly reclaimed as part of Da Shun’s territories until the current emperor’s generation, where only Ji An Prefecture remained.

Da Shun’s administrative areas were designated as “province, zhou, county, town and village.” Aside from the capital, the largest were provinces, which were governed by provincial prefects. Below provinces were zhou, which were governed by prefects. Below zhou were counties, which were governed by county magistrates. Below that would be towns and villages, but there was no such existence such as a “prefecture.” There was only one fief in the entirety of Da Shun that was a “prefecture,” and this was a unique existence in Da Shun. Because it did not fall under anyone’s responsibilities, the court had not paid too much attention to the maintenance of the area. Only a position to guard the prefecture was placed there.

Xuan Tian Feng had been obsessed with traveling in his earlier years, and he had once been to Ji An Prefecture. His book told Feng Yu Heng that the current Ji An Prefecture’s guard was surnamed Teng, and his name was Teng Ping. Calculating it, he should be 45 years old this year. Because they had been guarding the land for generations, and the fief had never been rewarded, gradually, the Teng family has already begun to think of Ji An Prefecture as their own family’s land. In that bad land, they build their buildings and act in defiance of the law. But the development by the Teng family allowed Ji An Prefecture to flourish quite a bit more than expected. Although it cannot compare to zhou and counties, it is not as destitute a land as others might believe.

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Feng Yu Heng massaged her temples and did not know whether to laugh or cry. The Teng family believed the fief belonged to them? Carrying out large construction projects was welcomed, but acting in defiance of the laws needed to be reigned in. She still recalled when she had first obtained this fief, and she had thought of having Wang Lin expand Hundred Herb Hall over to the fief, but after having people ask about it, she found that there were too few people over here. It was called a prefecture, but even with all of the residences added together, there were still fewer than in a village. There was no real purpose in opening a Hundred Herb Hall in this area. Later on, Wang Lin suggested just opening one in Yu Zhou City. Like this, it could take care of the fief and the jade mine.

In regards to the fief, Feng Yu Heng did not manage it much. Although she knew that she would need to expand to this place eventually, over the past two years, she always had something happening around her. She had also gone to Qian Zhou for a battle. Gradually, she had put this matter aside. She had also sent someone to collect taxes from this area, but the response without exception was that the people were too poor, thus she did not argue about it. She always thought that she would wait until she began building to take over managing it, but it seemed that she needed to take care of the local bully before building up Ji An Prefecture.

She rubbed her forehead. The matter would not be difficult to do. It was just very annoying. Because they had been stationed there for a long time, they had forgotten their identities? While collecting salaries from the court, they wanted to appropriate the land. The people of the old Teng family really knew how to calculate their debts!

Wang Chuan quickly noticed that she was rubbing her temples then quietly asked: “Young Miss, what’s wrong? Is the bumping of the carriage uncomfortable? How about Young Miss lies down for a bit, and this servant will help massage your head? We will enter Yu Zhou City in another two hours. After reaching Yu Zhou, we can get some good rest.”

“No need.” Feng Yu Heng waved her hand. Seeing that Wang Chuan’s words had woken up everyone inside the carriage, she did not let the atmosphere remain quiet and said: “Do you know what sort of people are managing the fief?”

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Xiang Rong and Shan Cha would definitely shake their heads; however, Huang Quan pondered for a while then said: “I heard that there’s a position called the prefecture guard.”

“That’s right.” Feng Yu Heng nodded and analyzed the situation outlined in the travel notes for everyone. Her original intent was to tell everyone that they could not relax upon reaching the fief. It was possible that they would need to have a difficult fight, at the very least, they would need to deal with the Teng family.

However, who knew that the inside the carriage, which had been drowsy and quiet, would become lively because of her explanation. Even Xiang Rong and Shan Cha had become spirited. Xiang Rong held her arm, as her eyes shone: “Second sister, the fief is your domain. With this, that prefecture guard has bumped into the tip of a sword, right? Second sister won’t let them off easily, right? They’re acting in defiance of the law! How should they be dealt with?”

Even the maidservant Shan Cha clenched her fists and said: “Confiscate their properties! Eradicate their families! Either way, they must not be let off easily.”

Feng Yu Heng facepalmed. Had this long journey driven everyone crazy? Why was it that they were like weasels finding a hen when they found someone bad? All that was left was for them to begin salivating. She asked Xiang Rong: “Are you not afraid of danger?”

Xiang Rong asked: “What danger can there be? If it’s soldiers, we have soldiers. If it’s money, we have money. Second sister, you’re also an imperial daughter who was personally conferred the title by the Emperor. What danger could there be?”

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This was true. Feng Yu Heng felt that Xiang Rong’s analysis was correct. Bad people? They could just be chased away. Was it not just reasoning? If it came to being unreasonable, she was an ancestor. With soldiers and money, what was there to fear? That was how willful she was.

Thus the people in the carriage chatted and laughed. After two hours, the group of carriages entered Yu Zhou City.

The prefect of Yu Zhou had the surname Qian, and his name was Feng Shou, but he was not an outsider. He was the father of Xuan Tian Ming’s deputy general, Qian Li. Throughout Feng Yu Heng’s journey East, he had been inquiring about them. Hearing that the group would be entering Yu Zhou today, he immediately had people tidy up a standard courtyard that had already been prepared. When Feng Yu Heng’s group of carriages entered the city, Qian Feng Shou was dazed. was it not said that it would just be imperial daughter with her younger sister and a few doctors? How were there also soldiers and horses? Looking over, there was a large group of people. Those that knew the situation knew that Imperial Daughter Ji An had entered the city, but those that did not know the situation believed that an enemy army had attacked!

There were quite a few citizens that had been frightened back into their houses. Through their curtains, they looked outside. This caused Huang Quan to smirk: “What are you running for! We don’t eat people.”

Qian Feng Shou met with Feng Yu Heng at the city entrance and said a few simple pleasantries before personally leading them toward the prefect’s manor. Arriving at the entrance, the people in Feng Yu Heng’s carriage followed Qian Feng Shou inside. The others were led to the courtyard that had been prepared ahead of time.

Ban Zou could be considered familiar with Qian Li. After finding out that this prefect was Qian Li’s father, he felt at ease and did not follow Feng Yu Heng over. Instead, he also went to the courtyard. As for Feng Yu Heng’s side, after entering the hall and being seated, Qian Feng Shou immediately performed a grand salute. Feng Yu Heng quickly helped him up and said to him: “Lord Qian, there’s no need to be so courteous. You are Deputy General Qian’s father. We are not strangers, and there’s no need to be so polite. That’s why His Highness the ninth prince specifically instructed me to bring quite a few things along this time as an act of filial piety of Deputy General Qian’s behalf.

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She had indeed brought an entire carriage filled with things that had been prepared for Qian Feng Zhou, and it was indeed arranged by Xuan Tian Ming. After all, Qian Li had followed him for many years, and he was a deputy general of the army. Feng Yu Heng going on this trip to the fief would also require a great deal of assistance from Qian Feng Shou. The reciprocation of this kindness could not be lacking. Aside from the gifts that had been purchased, Feng Yu Heng also added quite a few medicines from her space. In just hundred-year-old ginseng, there were five. There was also one thousand-year-old ginseng, and it could be considered an extremely valuable gift. Of course, there could be no shortage of banknotes. Xuan Tian Ming himself had provided ten thousand taels of silver in banknotes for Feng Yu Heng to give Qian Feng Shou. This was just a kind gesture on his part.

When Qian Feng Shou heard that His Highness the ninth prince had thought things through so thoroughly, he was very emotional. Although there were concubines, and children of concubines in his manor, Qian Li was his only child of his first wife. He originally did not want Qian Li to join the army, but he could not persuade that child that only liked martial arts. With no other choice, he could only agree to send his only child of his first wife onto the battlefield. Fortunately, after a few years, he managed to reach the position of deputy general, and he was so valued by his general. Watching the servants carry in the things from the carriage outside, he felt as though his face was shining.

But he was still quite curious about the soldiers and horses that Feng Yu Heng had brought. After much thought, he asked, and Feng Yu Heng told him: “They are a personal army that I brought for Ji An Prefecture. As an imperial daughter, I have the right to raise a personal army in my fief, right?”

Qian Feng Shou quickly nodded: “Naturally, naturally, it’s just that I wonder if Imperial Daughter has any additional insight about Ji An Prefecture before coming? Do you know about the Teng family?”

Feng Yu Heng nodded, “I know a bit but not much. I still wished to inquire more about them.”

The servants brought the best tea in Yu Zhou, and the teacups were made of jade. Qian Feng Shou said that this was made of the jade that had been mined from the jade mine. He felt that the jade was good, thus he went and bought some to be made into a tea set. He told Feng Yu Heng: “The tea here cannot compare to the tea in the capital. This is still the tea that was awarded by the Emperor last year. I was never willing to drink it, and I wonder if it is to imperial daughter’s tastes.” Seeing Feng Yu Heng take a sip then nod, he continued: “It must be said that the fief’s Teng family, hah…” He let out a long sigh, “Imperial Daughter might not know, but given the uniqueness of the fief, although Teng Ping is just a prefecture guardian, and the prefecture is not even as big as Yu Zhou City, Teng Ping still has the right to sit as equals. In addition to this, the development of the fief has always been neglected by the court. It was such that the Teng family has gained more and more influence in that area. There are few people in the fief, and over half a year ago, the Teng family and quite a few merchants from Yun Province reached an agreement, and quite a few merchants opened up shops over there. The Teng family provided the land in the fief for free and just required the merchants to build their own buildings. The merchants felt that this was a deal with great value, thus they were very happy to come. With some merchants taking the lead, some citizens also thought of moving over because the Teng family extended an olive branch. As long as you went to live there, land would be provided for free. You just need to build your own house.”

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