245 What Smell is That?
The next day, Jiang Danhe woke up early because he was so excited that he couldn’t fall asleep.
He felt a little amused. Imagine him, a grown man losing sleep over something like this. He would become a laughing stock if word got out.
Jiang Danhe got out of bed and put on the woolen socks that he had put aside earlier. Then, he put on the wool vest and took out the new set of clothes that Xiaoguo had made for him some time back.
Just as he was about to leave, he suddenly remembered that he had to attend the morning court assembly.
Hence, he put on his official uniform over his outfit. In any case, he couldn’t bear to take off his new clothes. It was winter anyway, so the additional layers should be fine.
He then got into the carriage wearing two layers of thick clothing.
The coachman was also wondering about his appearance. “The general seemed to look rounder today. Had he gained weight overnight? Is that even possible?…”
The carriage stopped at the entrance of the palace. Jiang Danhe got out of the carriage as usual. However, before his feet even touched the ground, a group of ministers quickly surrounded him.
“Greetings to you, General.”
The ministers greeted Jiang Danhe all at the same time. Those who didn’t know better would have thought that the meeting venue was shifted outdoors.
Although Jiang Danhe’s official position was higher than the other officials, he was considerably younger than most of them. Therefore, as a junior, he cupped his fists and greeted them in return.
What followed was a flurry of praise. Jiang Danhe felt embarrassed just listening to it. Not to mention the fact that he was the person in question. If he had not led the way and started walking, these people would not have let him go.
Even though he was walking in front, the group of ministers followed behind him. They were fawning over him, talking about how good of a person he was. Everything they said seemed to imply something more. Jang Danhe was not interested to find out what they were trying to say, so he relied on his youth to shake them off.
“Sigh… the general walks so fast.”
A minister said breathlessly. He could barely keep up.
“Walking fast is good. This means that the general is in his prime and in high spirits. Good for him!”
The other minister looked at Jiang Danhe like he was looking at his son-in-law. The more he looked at him, the more satisfied he became.
As soon as he finished speaking, the other ministers nodded in agreement. “Look at his vigorous footsteps. He walks with such firm and stable strides. And that arm swing is so powerful. He is not even panting while walking around at that speed. He is truly in his prime!”
Jiang Danhe’s ears were twitching. Although the ministers were not too close to him, he could still hear them if he tried hard enough. He had wanted to hear what their scheme was, but he did not expect to hear all those words instead. Were they trying to destroy him by lavishing him with praise?
First, they would send him to the sky with their flattery. Then, they would find an opportunity to deal with him.
With those speculations in mind, Jiang Danhe decided to take precautions in the near future. He would try to avoid interacting with them as much as possible.
He walked quickly to the throne room and found his seat.
The ministers behind him walked in one after another. They wanted to get close to Jiang Danhe, but before they could speak, the emperor arrived. They were so frightened that they immediately stood still and looked straight ahead.
Jiang Danhe heaved a sigh of relief. He just wished for them to leave him alone.
Halfway through the morning court assembly, Jiang Danhe felt a little uncomfortable— perhaps due to too many layers of clothing. He quietly tugged at his clothes to let in some air to ease the discomfort.
The ministers standing near to him suddenly detected a fragrance. They couldn’t figure out what it was, but it definitely didn’t smell like a man’s fragrance.
Some of the bolder ministers twitched their noses and sniffed vigorously when the emperor was not looking at them.
At this moment, Jiang Danhe happened to stop tugging at his clothes because the emperor had called upon him to ask him some questions.
In an instant, the fragrance disappeared. That surprised the ministers around him. The fragrance came and disappeared so quickly that the small episode was over in a flash.
When the morning court assembly was almost over, Jiang Danhe was already sweating from the heat. His clothes were thick to begin with, not to mention that he was wearing two layers. Moreover, the stove in the hall was especially hot today. With the three layers of heat surrounding him, it was difficult not to sweat.
He sensed the increasing sweat on his body, so he quietly lifted his clothes to let in some air.
The ministers behind him detected the fragrance again.
This time, even the officials in the main hall could smell the fragrance. The fragrance had also reached Shao Zhan, who was sitting on the throne.
Shao Zhan, who was listening attentively to a minister, suddenly detected a whiff of the scent. He frowned subconsciously and sized up the group of people below with his eagle eyes. He did not find anything unusual, but the fragrance was getting stronger.
The protagonist seemed to have just noticed the fragrance too.
Jiang Danhe stopped tugging at his clothes after taking a breather. However, the fragrance that suddenly entered his nose frightened him. Then, he became a little irritated. This smells like a girl’s scent. He wondered who was so shameless as to use a girl’s fragrance!
The ministers were tempted by the fragrance and wanted to find the source. Everyone in the hall, including the emperor, became restless. They were having difficulties focusing on the meeting.
Those who were listening could not hear a word, and those who were talking could not continue. Everyone was trying to find where the fragrance came from.
However, the fragrance suddenly disappeared again. Everyone was immediately jolted back to their senses.
Shao Zhan cleared his throat and hurriedly ended the morning court assembly before leaving the hall.
After Jiang Danhe bowed, he quickly left, leaving no chance for the ministers to stop him.
He had intentions to stay away from them, and he felt even more determined when he smelled the fragrance. He had subconsciously decided that the fragrance came from the civil officials.
He wasn’t biased against the civil officials. Neither was he looking down on them. The reason was because military officials were with the troops and horses every day, so they wouldn’t have the time to put on powder and incense. Even if they did, they would sweat and stink after a while. It was unnecessary for them to do something like that.
After the meeting ended, the ministers did not leave. Instead, they gathered together and discussed the source of the strange fragrance.
Civil and military officials were at odds with each other. The civil officials felt that the military officials were sweating every day, so they must have applied fragrance to cover their odors. The military officials, on the other hand, felt that the civil officials were mostly in the office, and only knew how to dress up every day. Therefore, it was not surprising that they were wearing fragrances.
Just as things were getting heated up between the opposing ministers, Jiang Danhe arrived at the military camp in a carriage.
The temperature was lower outdoors and there were no stoves around, so he finally stopped perspiring.
As soon as he arrived at the military camp, he was just in time for the training inspection. Jiang Danhe stood on the high platform and looked at the outcome of the recent training. He was quite touched.
These people were new recruits. It was commendable that they were able to achieve so much after a few days of training.
Seeing that the general was in a good mood, some of the bolder recruits asked the general to spar with them so that they could see for themselves how highly-skilled he was.
Jiang Danhe was indeed in a good mood today. In order not to disappoint these recruits, he readily agreed.
“Prepare some clothes for me.”
Jiang Danhe was not going to fight them in his uniform or his new clothes. He took off his official uniform and put on the outfit that his subordinates had found. He carefully put aside the new clothes that Xiaoguo had made for him before getting on the sparring grounds.
The subordinate took the general’s official uniform and suddenly smelled the fragrance. While he was surprised, he secretly leaned closer to the official uniform in his hand and took another whiff. Immediately, his eyes widened as if he had discovered a new continent. Disbelief was written all over his face. He felt like he had stumbled upon an unspeakable secret.
As soon as Jiang Danhe went on stage, the recruits instantly let out rioting cries. He smiled and said in high spirits, “Come on.”
“General, I’ll go first!”
Newborn calves are not afraid of tigers. The recruits came up quickly, but they went down quickly too.
Looking at the man who was grabbing his butt and leaving the ring, Jiang Danhe smiled even more widely. “Next person!”
“General! I’ll go!”
“Let me do it!”