Starting on the 23rd of December, the Yun Prince Estate started getting lively.
Everywhere was swept clean. The palace maids and eunuchs methodically busied themselves. This was the Yun Prince Estate’s first large banquet and there was more involved than expected.
Yan Yan wasn’t experienced with this sort of thing. She could only discuss and work with the meal management center’s managing auntie. Luckily, this Auntie Liu worked in the palace’s esteemed meal department before. Everyone just had to follow her instructions so it wasn’t too difficult.
On the 29th, the various officials of the Yun Province hurried over to the Yun Prince Estate in an endless stream. The Yun Prince set up the banquet in the Hall of Ascension to entertain the officials. They spent the entire day in a lively manner before going their separate ways that evening.
This year the Yun Prince didn’t get summoned back to the capital. The officials were well aware that he wasn’t favored, but no matter how out of favor he was, he was still above them. None of them were tactless enough to say anything. Sun Shi Min did say a few words of comfort to Luo Huai Yuan, whose expression was very weird at the time.
One year ended and a new one began.
As time went by, the Yun Prince Estate got into the swing of things. The state affairs all had officials assigned.
Luo Huai Yuan had appointed his own people to several of the most important positions. On the surface they were managed by Sun Shi Min the old pedant. Although he wasn’t quite normal, he wasn’t a bad person and was also rather capable. He wasn’t going to be breaking new ground, but there was no problem in getting him to run things by the book. Especially since this person was particular about loyalty, righteousness and justice. He definitely wouldn’t let any corruption squeak by.
After the outside matters were arranged, Luo Huai Yuan started living his freeloader life. All the official matters were thrown to his subordinates while he shut himself in and spent time with his consort.
At first there would be people reporting things to the Yun Prince. After Luo Huai Yuan had his subordinates deal with it themselves several times, people stopped bothering him.
Everyone pretty much figured out that this Yun Prince was a lazy person. No wonder he got so large.
Sun Shi Min both lamented and felt gratified by this. He lamented because he seemed to have gone about things the wrong way previously. He was gratified because this sort of vassal prince was one that the court liked. If the person at the top behaved, those underneath would naturally suffer less. Sun Shi Min’s weird emotions were truly unsuitable to be spoken out loud.
However, he worked even harder than before, putting his all into it. He fell just short of telling Luo Huai Yuan “highness, leave everything to this subordinate”.
Luo Huai Yuan was pleased those underneath were so understanding, allowing him to slack off openly. An idle prince’s days should be spent precisely like this. If he needed to worry about doing every little thing, how was he supposed to live?
Of course, Luo Huai Yuan wasn’t as uncaring as he seemed on the surface. Rome wasn’t built in a day and many things in the vassal state needed time. Furthermore, there were other important things he needed to do at this time.
Managing a vassal state wasn’t actually as easy as it seemed.
Once a vassal state was assigned, it would become completely dependent on itself. In times of shortage, the vassal prince would have to make up for the lack of taxes with his own savings. The Yun Province wasn’t a wealthy place. The taxes collected every year was merely enough to keep things running.
Luo Huai Yuan looked over the taxes collected within the borders for the past several years. He compared it to the various expenses and came to a conclusion. If he wanted to do anything else, he would have to rely on money elsewhere. Getting money from his vassal state was a pipe dream. Of course, the vassal prince could raise taxes on the commoners, but how could Luo Huai Yuan try to skin these impoverished citizens?
In his past life, the freeloading Luo Huai Yuan never worried about these problems. Now, he had to consider them all.
The more things he controlled, the more Luo Huai Yuan understood how something minor could affect everything. In the past he felt he had a lot of money. He had more than he dared dream of in his past two lives. Now, it seemed he was a little shortsighted.
Therefore, he pondered for a while before deciding to make a trip to the Fu Province.
When he told Yan Yan this, her face immediately turned dark. She didn’t give him a pleasant expression for several days.
Actually Yan Yan knew she was being unreasonable, but who told him to spoil her?
Yan Yan was a little annoyed and angry that Luo Huai Yuan always did things without consulting anyone. He would merely tell her the outcome after making up his mind. She wasn’t able to get involved, and could only follow along in confusion.
Especially since after hearing his decision, she finally understood why he put on such a lazy appearance and didn’t bother with official affiars. It turns out he had long since made up his mind to leave. Otherwise, why would he make it so that Sun Shi Min and his helpers would be used to not having him around?
What made Yan Yan even angrier was that he had long since made up his mind before telling her.
Luo Huai Yuan was a little agitated. Ah Yan had never been a petty woman. She was quick to anger but it was also quick to fade. She would vent her anger on the spot and it was very rare for her to ignore him like this.
Especially since she didn’t let him get in bed at night, making Luo Huai Yuan feel the heavens were collapsing.
However, based on the thickness of his skin, not letting him in bed wasn’t able to stop him. He acted shameless, pitiful, and would wail and make a fuss, making the servants raise their eyebrows. Yan Yan could only swallow her anger and let him roll into bed before turning her back to him.
The chubby claws rubbed at her from behind and Yan Yan scooted further inwards, acting extremely distant. He wasn’t discouraged at all and perservered until Yan Yan was forced to the innermost part of the bed.
“Just what are you trying to do?”
She suddenly turned around and sat up, glaring at him fiercely.
Luo Huai Yuan shrunk his chubby claws back to his chest and looked pitifully at her, saying quietly: “Yan Yan, did I make you angry? Speak if something’s up and vent if you are angry. As your husband, I will accept it all.”
Yan Yan had never been able to endure such an expression and these types of words. Normally she would be coaxed into laughter. However, this time she was truly angry so she didn’t laugh out loud. Her mouth twitched imperceptibly.
Luo Huai Yuan saw this and capitalized on it. He rolled over and buried his face in her lap, wrapping his chubby arms around her waist.
“Just tell me if I did something wrong. It’s also fine if you hit me. Just don’t ignore me. When you ignore me I panic. I’m not able to eat or sleep.”
She exerted herself as she tried to push the face that was rubbing against her legs away, but unfortunately didn’t succeed.
Yan Yan gritted her teeth in anger. It was always like this. Such a large man had no reservations about acting cute. The term “acting cute” was something Yan Yan had heard from Luo Huai Yuan. This fellow was praising himself for being cute and accidentally let it slip.
“You keep acting! You’re planning to go to the Fu Province, but what about me? What should I do?”
Her tone was off. Luo Huai Yuan stopped his movements and carefully looked at Yan Yan.
“I definitely have to stay here and cover for you. Then tell me now, what are you going to the Fu Province for?”
His voice was tiny, “I’m going to earn money.”
Yan Yan didn’t hold back and slapped his outstretched chubby hand, “Don’t lie. The private ledgers are in my hands. We have enough to last two lifetimes. There’s also the taxes from the vassal state. Why do you need to earn so much money?”
His chubby face had a flattering smile, “To spend of course. To buy Ah Yan tasty things, fun things, and beautiful clothes to wear. Men earn money for their woman to spend.”
Yan Yan’s face darkened, “You’re still not telling the truth even now. I could understand dealing with Sun Shi Min since that old man is truly annoying. But what’s going on with Luo Bi Shi? He has nothing to do with us, so why put so much effort into him?”
Seeing him not answering, Yan Yan pushed him away. This time she succeeded. Actually, based on Yan Yan’s strength, she could push away two Luo Huai Yuans, let alone just one of him. When she wasn’t successful at times, it was because she didn’t want to in her heart.
She lay back down and turned her back to him once again, no longer speaking.
After a long while, a deep and drawn out sigh sounded out. Someone stuck to her back.
“Ah Yan, do you trust me?”
Yan Yan didn’t speak.
“Trust me. Everything I do is for us. Everything is so we can stay together forever.”
Yan Yan still didn’t turn around but her voice was a little choked up.
“Then why can’t you tell me your goal? You do everything by yourself and I only find out about it afterwards. It doesn’t feel good.”
Luo Huai Yuan pulled Yan Yan into his arms. His face was filled with heartache as he tenderly kissed the tears from the corner of her eyes, “It’s all my fault. I will definitely tell you before I do anything in the future. As for the reason, trust me. I will definitely tell you at a suitable time.”
After a long silence, Yan Yan suddenly said: “Are you after that seat?”
The air froze.
Actually this wasn’t hard to guess. As the emperor’s son, he just had to be content with his place and could spend his days worry-free in his vassal state. From Luo Huai Yuan’s actions, he seemed to be working a little excessively. Of course outsiders couldn’t see this but that didn’t mean Yan Yan, who slept by his side, couldn’t see it.