Chapter 102.1 – The Person Behind the Scenes
Luo Yang’s threat was passed word for word to An Zi Ran’s ears.
He was the real fearless person*!
[*T/N: 有恃无恐 – secure in the knowledge that one has backing]
However, An Zi Ran didn’t actually know who was behind Bao Hua Gambling House. Before, he hadn’t planned to pay attention to Bao Hua Gambling House, so he had not send anyone to investigate.
He had not expected that Bao Hua Gambling House would refuse to quit and eventually found Li Zhen. One could imagine that the person backing it must have a high status in Da Ya. If this matter was not resolved, they might become hopelessly entangled with Bao Hua Gambling House.
“Wang ye, do you know who is the one behind Bao Hua Gambling House?” An Zi Ran turned his head and looked at Fu Wu Tian, who was resting with his eyes closed on a rattan chair beside him.
Fu Wu Tian slowly opened his eyes and said, “Among the nine major gambling houses, Bao Hua Gambling House seems to have a rather high ranking.”
An Zi Ran responded, “I heard that it is the first of the nine gambling houses.”
That was why Bao Hua Gambling House had dared to openly attack Feng Hua Gambling House, which had ranked at the bottom of the nine major casinos. It was also why the other gambling houses had sat idly by and watched this cake being swallowed by Bao Hua Gambling House without doing anything. This indicated that the one behind Bao Hua Gambling House also made the other casinos afraid. So An Zi Ran was even more curious about who it was.
“Does wang fei know why after the last arson incident, Bao Hua Gambling House took the initiative to evade?” Fu Wu Tian did not answer his question directly.
An Zi Ran responded, “Because they didn’t want to blow up the matter.” As for why they didn’t want things to blow up, he vaguely had a guess, but he wasn’t sure if it was right. Later, more and more things piled onto his plate, and he didn’t have time to think about this matter anymore, thus he set it aside.
Translations by Vanilla Muse.
“You know that Da Ya values agriculture and looks down on commerce, and the Chong Ming Emperor does not like businessmen, so in addition to being harsher on Da Ya merchants, he also has strict requirements on his children and grandchildren. He believes that if any member of royalty were to get into commerce, it would be an insult to the royal family of Da Ya. So the ban on this is very severe, if found out, the consequences would be expulsion from the ancestral temple. They would also be expelled from the royal family and degraded to a commoner.”
With such an explanation, An Zi Ran immediately understood.
If farmers were the root of a country, then businessmen should be regarded as a necessary condition for the prosperity of a country. Without these businessmen traveling around to do business, the country’s economy would not develop. Therefore, it was incorrect to restrain businessmen, but the Chong Ming Emperor precisely hated businessmen.
If the elder* hates businessmen, then how could the son disobey?
[*T/N: Those familiar with C-novels might be familiar with the term 老子 lao zi, which is the word used here. It means “father, daddy, (aged) experienced one” and has the tone of “I am your daddy,” used in an arrogant manner.]
Moreover, this elder was the country’s most venerated person!
If they couldn’t do business, then all of the civil and military officials, royal members, and concubines in the harem must depend on the stipend issued to them every month from the treasury. The amount of money was dependant on their official position. Asides from this, they also had the land bestowed on them by the emperor. These farms could also earn a lot of income by hiring tenant farmers to tend them every year.
It sounded like there was no shortage of people who could spend money at will.
But it would be a huge mistake to think like this.
Some people spend a lot of money on the daily. Money poured from their hands like flowing water, causing a great number of people to be unable to make ends meet.
There were also some people who spend a lot of money on their manor, like the princes and officials who had their own residences. Their manors had no less than one hundred people, and some even exceeded five hundred people. Even for a wang ye, one year’s worth of official salary was not enough to cover one month of their manor’s expenditures.
So what could they do?
They could only think up ways to make money!
As a result, many high-ranking officials and powerful men began to take risks. They hid their deeds from the emperor while operating various profit-making industries in private.
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Da Ya didn’t restrict gambling, and gambling was a profit-making industry, so casinos became the first choice for many people, but they could not open gambling houses in their own names, so they could only use various names and push their confidants in front of people, and then sit behind the scenes and enjoy the profits.
These kinds of sneaky behavior meant that they could not justly and honorably stand out; otherwise, the first one to cut them down would be the Chong Ming Emperor.
Therefore, when a fire broke out in Bao Hua Gambling House, Luo Yang’s master could only keep the peace for the time being, because if the matter blew up, then he might be the one to be taken out.
An Zi Ran suddenly thought of a question. “You said that the emperor did not allow members of the imperial family to do business, so what about those businesses within the prince’s palace?”
“Actually, it’s not a complete ban.” Fu Wu Tian slowly explained. “The Chong Ming Emperor just doesn’t like businessmen, but he isn’t stupid. If there were no businessmen in Da Ya, then his treasury would have no income, unless he wanted to destroy the country. Therefore, even though he doesn’t like businessmen, he still won’t say stuff like you are not allowed to do business to his courtiers and princes.”
“I understand now.”
To put it simply, all those who secretly run their own industries were afraid of the Chong Ming Emperor being unhappy.
Chong Ming Emperor was the emperor. He controlled the life and death of everyone, and he could make people’s heads roll with one sentence. If a prince made the emperor unhappy, then he would be hated and thrown out in the cold. The emperor wouldn’t care about him anymore. If an official made the emperor unhappy, then it was likely that his career would be halted, forever unable to advance.
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Having an emperor whose head was full of straw; this was really hard on the officials and his descendants.
However, the Imperial Fu Palace so obviously slapped the emperor’s face time and again, it was no wonder that the Chong Ming Emperor wanted to target the Imperial Fu Palace whenever he could.
“According to you, which prince do you think is behind Bao Hua Gambling House?”
Fu Wu Tian raised his finger. “Two possibilities.”
An Zi Ran asked, “Which two?”
“Take a guess?”
An Zi Ran: “…” He refused to guess!
Fortunately, his IQ was not low. In the end, he thought for himself.
Behind the eldest son, Fu Yuan Wu, was his mother’s family, Zhang Sun, to back him. Furthermore, within the Zhang Sun family, asides from Zhang Sun Chang De and the queen, Zhang Sun Tian Feng, there were many other relatives. Not all of them would be government officials. As the prime minister, Zhang Sun Chang De could not be like the Chong Ming Emperor with a head full of straw. He knew that money was the foundation of a family. Also, without money many things could not be accomplished. So he did not encourage all of his clansmen to become government officials. So the likelihood of it being Fu Yuan Wu was not high.
As for the second prince, Fu Yuan Cheng, An Zi Ran thought it might be a possibility.
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