Chapter 161 - The Princess Is Wise
Actually, Gu Yihan had already considered Gu Nuo’er’s proposal to build a waterway five years ago.
However, at that time, he was busy fighting wars and creating massacres everywhere. He didn’t have the energy to spare to build a waterway.
The further they went, the more difficult it was without the waterway.
The slow exchange of supplies between the north and south had greatly affected the development of the country.
After Gu Yihan’s thought through and tidied up Gu Nuo’er’s proposal overnight, he gathered his trusted officials to discuss this matter in the imperial study the next day.
Constructing waterways was a big deal. Although the people could suffer losses, the outcome it brought was good. Moreover, it could benefit future generations for hundreds of years or even longer!
When Gu Yihan explained to the officials, he was in high spirits.
“This waterway that connects the north and south can not only strengthen the wealth of the capital but also lead to more development and unexpected results.
“In the future, we’ll have one more transport route, and the merchants’ ships will have to pass through it. In winter, when it snows, the roads will freeze, but the waterways never will!
“The waterway is connected to several large rivers in Great Qi’s territory, encompassing eight countries and prefectures. Apart from transporting food and medicinal herbs, there are even more things to do.”
The Minister of Works pondered for a moment, then cupped his hands and suggested, “Your Majesty’s idea is really brilliant. However, building a waterway will hurt the people. I’m afraid that there will be complaints and it will be disadvantageous to the imperial power.”
Gu Yihan placed his hands behind his back as if he had long considered this aspect. “I’ve already gotten the Ministry of Revenue to calculate the expenses. Regarding this matter, all the commoners who came to build the waterway will be given a monthly salary of ten copper coins per day.”
The few trusted officials looked at each other. Ten copper coins a day was already three copper coins higher than the monthly salary of ordinary workers on the market.
In that case, there would be many commoners fighting to build the waterways.
Speaking of which, Gu Yihan raised his voice. “Official Yu!”
Minister Yu from the Court of Judicial Review hurriedly stepped forward.
“You’re noble and upright. I trust your character. I’ll send you north to supervise the construction of the first waterway.
“Not only would you have to monitor the progress of the waterway, but we also have to monitor the prefectural governor to see if he will give the commoners enough monthly allowance according to my instructions.”
Lord Yu hurriedly cupped his hands and agreed.
Gu Yihan put his hands behind his back and thought for a while, then summoned Chunshou. “Write a decree. The first prince doesn’t have to be in a hurry to return to the capital. Get him to head to the north and wait in Yi State. He’ll be supervising the work there too.
The officials were all shocked.
This was because everyone knew that after the first prince had left for so many years, it wasn’t easy before he was finally willing to return from the borders. However, the emperor sent him to supervise the excavation of the waterways.
Building the waterways wasn’t something that could be done in a short period of time.
It would take a duration that could span from four months to half a year.
However, everyone understood what the emperor meant.
He had arranged for his eldest son to go over to show the world and officials his attitude in this matter.
There was no one more suitable than the first prince in this matter. He represented absolute supreme power.
It was just too bad for the empress. She would probably have to wait again!
After giving all the instructions, Gu Yihan rolled up his sleeves and wrote the words “Jisheng1 Canal”.
He handed the words to Chunshou and got him to make a plaque. The plaque was to be brought by Lord Yu and the first prince to Yi State.
“Dear subjects, I have a premonition that a canal that marks the lifeline of the people of this dynasty is about to be born. You and I here are all witnesses to that. This river that will benefit our descendants for generations will bring unexpected good fortune.”
The officials knelt and cheered that the emperor was wise.
Gu Yihan laughed heartily. “This is not my credit, it’s the princess’s wisdom!”