Chapter 50: Fishing in the snow

 Li Wei Yang lightly smiled: “Thanks for Da jie’s concern.” Ever since she suffered a defeat at He Xiang Yuan, Li Chang Le seemed as if she has changed into another person.
Not only did she acted gently towards her, but also acted courteously, and ensured that she kept her composure. It was obvious that Da Furen must have given her a scolding. Compared to Li Chang Le, Li Wei Yang lacked the luxurious makeup powder, making her seem much more young and budding.
But once Tuoba Zhen saw her, he thought of her being overbearing and confident in the main room.
He couldn’t help but notice her more and smilingly said: “San Xiaojie, please sit.” Li Wei Yang didn’t decline and as if she hasn’t seen Li Chang Xi’s cold face, she sat right next to her.
Li Chang Xiao furtively showed a genial smile, Li Wei Yang felt a bit astonished. In the past life, Li Chang Xiao was the same as she was now, weak and goodhearted, obedient and understanding.
Eventually, Da Furen married her off to Wu Huangzi (fifth prince) but since the mother of Wu Huangzi was of high nobility, she could only be a concubine.
The main wife was domineering so her days were not easy.
After she suffered two miscarriages, her mentality was slowly deteriorating and she became an abandoned child of the Li family.
Seeing Li Chang Xiao’s genial smile once again, Li Wei Yang couldn’t help but feel sympathy.
She couldn’t change everyone’s fate but if there was a day when she gets rid of Da Furen and others, would the fate of this sister take a favorable turn? 

Looking to her other side, she saw Tuoba Zhen smilingly conversed with Li Chang Le.
Li Wei Yang unwillingly smiled, Da Furen was considering the crowned prince and Qi Huangzi then, once she weighed each power, she eventually gave Li Chang Le’s hand to the powerful Qi Huang Zi.
Who would have known that Qi Huang Zi was framed by Tuoba Zhen and lost his chance to the throne.
Da Furen immediately used Lao Furen’s passing away as an excuse for Li Chang Le to be in mourning and prevented the marriage.
Until Tuoba Zhen actually ascended the throne, it was then that Li Chang Le was sent home.
In the capital, she was already a twenty-five years old spinster, everyone was mockingly laughing at the Li family for keeping this beauty1 until she has become a spinster.

 At that time, she felt very sympathetic for her, under Da Furen’s pleadings, she often received her in the palace to help her relax.
Yet she wouldn’t have realized the most idiotic person was herself, they have fallen in love already, but it was because of the political instability2, they still needed her as a shield for Li Chang Le …… thinking about it more, Tuoba Zhen had his eyes set on Li Chang Le from the start but because of his lower status, he was rejected by Father, and married her instead.
Based on his personality, he would remember this3 and once he achieved success, he eventually would win the beauty and eradicate the mockery. Tuoba Zhen noticed Li Wei Yang’s eyes were drifting away, revealing an absent-minded expression, making him feel rather uneasy. Li Chang Le suddenly said: “Actually, Chang Le has an idea, to resolve this catastrophe.” Tuoba Zhen was stunned, slits of interest drifted up into his deeply quiet eyes.  

Li Chang Le confidently voiced: “In the end, snow disasters are natural catastrophes so they cannot be avoided but we can make use of manpower to resolve this issue.
One way is to open the granaries and set up gruel stations outside major yamens4 in order to resolve this critical matter.” Opening the granaries once again, hopelessness flowed out from Tuoba Zhen’s eyes, yet his face still kept on an expression willing to listen respectfully. Li Chang Le spoke at a normal speed: “The second way is to have the emperor hold a worshipping ceremony and invite all officials and nobilities to offer their blessings.
The palace will lead a charity with officials playing a part in donating.
With the royal family and officials taking part, the nobilities wouldn’t dare to back out.
At that time, we can accumulate all the funds and resolve this critical situation.
This way we can also reveal the emperor’s benevolence and kindheartedness to the world.” A hint of admiration flashed across Tuoba Zhen’s eyes: “Well spoken! Da Xiaojie has come up with a great idea this time.” He thought about it and said, “At that time, we have to ask Prime Minister Li to take the lead at the charity.” Li Chang Le and Li Min Feng glanced at each other and then simultaneously smiled: “This is a definite.” Tuoba Zhen smilingly said: “Of course, I will ask the Crowned Prince to propose this to the emperor and announce to the world that this is the Li Family’s Da Xiaojie’s philanthropic act.
Fu Huang most likely will reward you and Da Xiaojie’s name will be known throughout the empire.
At the same time, the possessions donated by Prime Minister Li will, of course, be returned to its owner5.”

 Li Wei Yang softly smiled, Tuoba Zhen’s reaction was quick.
Since he still has to depend on the Crowned Prince, he couldn’t get ahead of the Crowned Prince and directly offer the proposal.
But if he stated clearly that this was Li Family’s Da Xiaojie’s idea, first, the Crowned Prince will give face to the Li Family and wouldn’t reap all credit.
Second, this would be a way to get on Prime Minister Li’s good side.
Third, Tuoba Zhen would most definitely find a way to ensure the Crowned Prince couldn’t attend so that he could personally go to the catastrophe-stricken areas and be deeply respected by the people of the world. He was very calculative, Li Wei Yang unconsciously gave a calm and cold smile. Li Chang Xi saw that Li Wei Yang was absorbed in thought and coldly voiced: “Seeing San jie’s expression, could it be that you’ve thought of an idea better than Da jie’s?” Li Wei Yang gave her a glance and calmly said: “Da jie’s idea is naturally good but it cannot resolve the critical situation the commoners are facing, what the emperor is lacking the most is not wealth but strategies to provide disaster relief.”  “Oh? What strategies do you have, let us hear them.” Li Min Feng raised his brows, this sister of his was raised with the commoners, her skills in lyre-playing, chess, calligraphy, and painting were average, it can be said that she has nothing to show off, he didn’t believe that she could offer a better idea. 

Li Wei Yang deliberately revealed an expression of awkwardness. Li Chang Le scowled, puckered her lips, and stared at her, her expression deeply grieved to speak, “Every time we indulge in our extravagant lives while the commoners have to lead homeless lives and suffer from hunger and hardships, it has become difficult for me to sleep and eat well, sister, if you do have a strategy, say it so San Dianxia can offer his thoughts, please don’t keep it to yourself.” Li Wei Yang calmly smiled, what sympathy for the commoners, what difficulty in sleeping and eating well, you, Li Chang Le spends more than five hundred tael of silvers on a bowl of bird's nest, why pretend to be a charitable person here? It’s nothing but to establish a virtuous name for herself and wait for the best proposal. She coldly smiled within yet nothing was revealed in her expression, instead she smiled: “To provide disaster relief, it’s nothing more than implementing these few steps.
First, we have to make a registry for all victims that need aid.
Then, we provide relief to each registered victim to ensure the aids from the emperor are distributed among the victims of the catastrophe, especially widows and greatly sick patients must receive more of the relief, to prevent stealing and uneven distribution.
Second, a reward system has to be implemented.
We have to make the aristocrats supply relief to the victims without charge or sell food supply to the victims at a discounted price and in return, those who participate will be rewarded and those who do not will be punished.
Third, set up gruel stations.
This will be implemented by all major yamens where they will set up gruel stations for the victims.
This is consistent to what the government has been doing for years, the only issue was that officials didn’t wholeheartedly care.
But if the results of providing relief to the victims are associated with their promotions, they would indubitably put in greater effort —“ Everyone was initially waiting for her to humiliate herself, listening until now, they unconsciously revealed a stunned reaction. 


Seeing Li Chang Le displayed envy and hatred in her expression, Li Wei Yang lightly smiled, the fish has been hooked by the bait.

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