TIGR Chapter 33
The Imperial Guard’s Revenge
Chapter 33 The Encounter
Lu Heng was different from usual military soldiers. His mouth always hung a smile, and his sweet words were different. From Wang Yanqing’s impressions, there was a big gap between the smiles and words between him and the soldiers. She laughed, but there was a sudden doubt in her heart.
She was Lu Heng’s adopted sister, but why did Lu Heng use the words “build a golden house to hide” her? Lu Heng said these words without thinking, which showed that he instinctively felt that it was not safe for her to live in the Lu house. But hadn’t she lived here for the past ten years?
Wang Yanqing thought it was a little strange, but now it was New Year’s Eve, and there were so many things to do, maybe Lu Heng was too busy. Wang Yanqing didn’t think much and said to Lu Heng: “Second Brother, don’t make fun of me. Today is New Year’s Eve and Second Brother has been busy for a year, so let’s take a break.”
These two days were probably the most leisurely days of Lu Heng’s year. If he was busy during New Year, then there would only be more days and nights in the future. It was rare to be in a good mood so Lu Heng deliberately didn’t think about South Fusi, saying: “I have been busy with outside matters these days, and I have neglected Qing Qing. There is time today, what do you want to do Qing Qing?”
This question stopped Wang Yanqing. She was in the mansion all day, and she didn’t feel that New Year was any different from the past days. The only difference was that Lu Heng was here. She thought about it and asked: “In the past, what did I do for fun with Second Brother?”
After Wang Yanqing finished speaking, she looked at Lu Heng seriously. Facing these clear, trusting and dependent eyes, Lu Heng was speechless for a moment.
No matter how flawless a lie was, it could not change the truth. If they were really adoptive brother and sister who grew up playing together, they must have had many common hobbies, but Lu Heng was not.
Lu Heng only paused for a moment, then said with a smile: “There are a lot of activities, depending on whether Qing Qing is willing to accompany me.”
Wang Yanqing took it seriously and immediately said: “Of course, I would. What do you want to do, Second Brother?”
Lu Heng quickly went through the things he was good at, and felt that playing chess was the most suitable for a man and woman to be alone. Others like reading, archery, and martial arts, would spoil the scenery.
Lu Heng said: “You haven’t played chess with your Second Brother for a long time, would you like to have a game?”
Wang Yanqing naturally nodded. At Lu Heng’s words, Ling Xi and Ling Luan quickly set up a chessboard at the edge of the room. Wang Yanqing sat beside the chess game, picked up a white chess piece, and looked at it, instinctively feeling that it was unfamiliar.
She doesn’t seem to play chess often. This was strange, Second Brother liked to play chess. Even if she was not good at chess, she shouldn’t have felt unfamiliar.
Lu Heng sat down and raised his eyes to catch a glimpse of her thoughtfully staring at the white piece and his heart suddenly tightened. He was careless. Fu Tingzhou didn’t like to play chess. Wang Yanqing probably had not touched one before. Could it be that she found something wrong? Lu Heng didn’t change his face, and said slowly: “Why you don’t want to? You have always been reluctant to play chess with me before, but now that you have grown up, you still don’t like it?”
Lu Heng secretly revealed that Wang Yanqing used to be impatient in playing chess. Wang Yanqing thought that it made sense to follow this line of thinking. Lu Heng must have been very good at chess and she could never win when she was young, so she could understand why she was reluctant to play chess. But Wang Yanqing suddenly felt that something was wrong. Even if she always lost, according to her temperament, she wouldn’t be so irritable that she couldn’t sit down, right?
Lu Heng did not dare to let Wang Yanqing think deeply, so he quickly interrupted: “Okay, let’s go. You first.”
Wang Yanqing reminded: “Second Brother, you are holding black.”
Lu Heng shook his head, indicating that she was okay to go first. Wang Yanqing dropped a piece, Lu Heng followed slowly, and when he caught his second piece, Wang Yanqing hesitated.
How should this go?
Lu Heng saw that Wang Yanqing did not know, so he taught her slowly. Wang Yanqing completed a game under Lu Heng’s guidance. Naturally, there was no suspense about winning or losing, but after one game, Wang Yanqing learned a lot of skills. When the second game started, she could already start moving on her own.
Lu Heng’s eyes were appreciative, and he said: “That’s right, you know how to infer the rest.”
Sweet words often came out of Lu Heng’s mouth, and Wang Yanqing didn’t know whether Lu Heng was praising her sincerely or deliberately saying nice things to make her happy. She put down a chess piece and said a little embarrassed: “Second Brother has taught me this, how can I compare with Second Brother?”
Although they had only played one and a half games, Wang Yanqing could already feel Lu Heng’s powerful chess calculation ability. She even suspected that when she gave birth to her first child, Lu Heng would count her next ten steps.
Of course, Lu Heng would not strike down on her, and said with a smile: “It is Qing Qing who has made great progress.”
Wang Yanqing also felt that she was okay and not as hopeless as she imagined. She picked up a warm jade chess with her fingers, and whispered to herself: “I don’t seem to be that stupid, why couldn’t I learn this when I was a child?”
Lu Heng’s smile did not change, but he was quite troubled in his heart. The damage was done, he had dug a hole and then filled it leaving countless holes. If he had known this, he would have spoiled the scenery by playing archery.
In the second game, there was no suspense, but to let Wang Yanqing play for a while, Lu Heng deliberately fed her chess moves and guided her in learning. But there was an end to the concession and when the second game was over, Wang Yanqing asked: “Why does Second Brother like to play chess?”
Lu Heng pointed to his brain and said: “I practice this.”
Practicing martial arts can make him clear-eyed and responsive, so he can better survive in danger. And playing chess could keep him out of danger.
In the courtroom, calmness and patience were the most important things.
Wang Yanqing nodded in response, feeling more and more strange in her heart. It was reasonable to say that whatever Second Brother liked, she would follow no matter how impatient she was. Why did she completely unfamiliar with chess pieces? She thought about it, and then asked: “If that’s the case, why didn’t Second Brother force me to learn?”
Lu Heng paused for a moment, then smiled and said: “How could Second Brother force you. If you didn’t like it, you didn’t need to learn. We are brother and sister, but we don’t have to be the same.”
Was it? Wang Yanqing bowed her head and muttered in a low voice: “But, I want to be the same as Second Brother.”
When Lu Heng heard this, his eyes moved, and he was about to say something when there was a report from outside: “Commander, someone has come.”
In Lu Heng’s position, countless people wanted to approach him during the Chinese New Year. Lu Heng didn’t want to waste time with these people, so he refused all of them. There were only a few people who the Lu family’s gatekeepers dare not refuse, and seeing that Ling Xi also specially came to report…
Lu Heng glanced at Wang Yanqing, already knowing in his heart. Lu Heng asked: “Who is it?”
“The Zhenyuan Marquis.”
Lu Heng was not surprised, his smile did not change but the light in his eyes suddenly turned cold. Seeing that the Second Brother was in a bad mood, Wang Yanqing also frowned and asked: “What is he here for?”
“Why else, some people just don’t die.” Lu Heng put the pieces in his hand back into the chess box and said to Wang Yanqing, “Qing Qing, you don’t need to see such annoying flies. You go back first, and I will find you later.”
Wang Yanqing nodded, stood up without a word, and gently wished him luck: “Second Brother, I’ll go first.”
Lu Heng sat in the same position and watched Wang Yanqing walk towards the door without saying a word, letting the maid tie her cloak. She changed into a brand-new cloud embroidered coat skirt. It was a long jacket with white silk on the front and gold buttons on the neckline and placket. Because at home, she didn’t wear thick clothes, the shoulders and waist of the long jacket were very slender at the shoulders and the waist. After passing the waist, it suddenly widened and split at the knees, revealing the scarlet horse-faced skirt underneath. The pleats of the skirt were thin and exquisite, and the hem of the white velvet jacket was slightly propped up, making her waist particularly slender and graceful, solemn and dignified.
Lu Heng fiddled with the chess pieces for a while, silently watching Wang Yanqing change into her clothes. After watching for a while, he had to admit that she was pleasing to the eye. Today was Chinese New Year and she couldn’t wear plain clothes as usual, so she wore a long red dress, but Lu Song’s grieving period has not yet passed so she specially picked a long white coat and used a large area of the white to suppress the light red. This set of white robes was made of velvet cloth produced in the Songjiang Prefecture. It had a high-quality texture and a particularly good luster. Although the color was plain, it did not look dull at all, but had a low-key and restrained extravagance.
Lu Heng didn’t like women who were ignorant and unreasonable, but she was too well-behaved and sensible in this regard. She took the initiative to participate in the grieving period for an adoptive father who did not exist, and when she heard that Lu Heng had a guest, she left without complaining. Did she know that the person Lu Heng wanted to see was the second brother who had been kind to her since childhood and had been looking for her?
She was so well-behaved that sometimes Lu Heng couldn’t bear to lie to her again. However, this unbearable feeling, after all, was only momentary.
Wang Yanqing put on a white fox fur over her jacket, bowed to Lu Heng from a distance, and then turned around and went out. Lu Heng watched her leave with a smile. After everyone left, Lu Heng stood up from the chessboard and walked slowly to the bright room.
Lu Heng waited for a while, thinking that Wang Yanqing should have gone out, and then said to someone: “Bring the Zhenyuan Marquis in…”
His voice fell as a panicked voice came from the servants outside: “Marquis of Zhenyuan, wait a moment, it is inconvenient for the commander to see guests now…”
Lu Heng’s face changed suddenly, and he stood up abruptly.
Wang Yanqing had not gone far!
It was very rude to come directly without permission, but Fu Tingzhou didn’t care about it at all. He thought that after he expressed his attitude, Lu Heng would definitely take action, but Lu Heng went straight back to investigating the case and searching houses in a blink of an eye, without any intention of sending Wang Yanqing back. Fu Tingzhou thought that Lu Heng was busy and so he waited patiently for about ten days. As a result, Head Auxiliary Yang resigned, and Lu Heng still didn’t see anyone.
Fu Tingzhou understood. Lu Heng didn’t plan to let anyone go. Fu Tingzhou couldn’t bear it any longer, so he went straight to his door, wanting to find Lu Heng and make his intention clear. The Lu family was a family of the Imperial Guards, and the servants in the house knew some martial arts, but Fu Tingzhou was also raised by a general’s family. The Lu family’s servants couldn’t stop him and didn’t dare to really do it. They could only send someone to the commander to deliver a message while scaring Fu Tingzhou with a tiger-like tone.
Fu Tingzhou couldn’t bear to listen to this. He strode into the main courtyard of the Lu Mansion, and out of the corner of his eyes, he glimpsed a white figure, walking through the corridor, and leaving through the corner door.
Fu Tingzhou stopped abruptly, he was stunned for a moment, then took steps to chase in that direction: “Qing Qing…”
At this time, the door of the main room slammed open, and a cold voice came: “Marquis of Zhenyuan, this is the Lu residence, what do you want?”
Under Lu Heng’s instruction, the servants of the Lu family finally dared to let go and firmly blocked the path in front of Fu Tingzhou. Fu Tingzhou’s face tightened, staring in the direction the woman was leaving.
It was not that he couldn’t break through, but this was the Lu family. He forced his way into the inner courtyard of the Lu family and he suffered both emotionally and rationally. Now, it was not the time to break face with Lu Heng.
However, the woman’s back was so similar to her that Fu Tingzhou couldn’t tell whether it was because he was thinking too much and hallucinating, or whether he really saw Qing Qing.
Lu Heng had already approached from the porch, stopped not far away, and said slowly: “Marquis of Zhenyuan.”
Lu Heng’s voice was low and unhurried, with a hint of coercion. Fu Tingzhou could only withdraw his gaze and turn back unwillingly. His jaw tightened, his eyes stared hard at Lu Heng, and he asked: “Lu Heng, who is she?”
Lu Heng glanced at the corner door, and asked in return: “You have come into my inner courtyard. Who do you think she is?”
Fu Tingzhou didn’t believe that there was such a coincidence in the world, and was still pressing him little by little: “I have never heard of Master Lu taking a wife, how could a woman suddenly appear in the Lu residence?”
“Because I’m keeping my filial piety, it’s not convenient to get married.” Lu Heng said, and glanced at him with a half-smile, “Why, the Marquis of Zhenyuan even takes care of my personal affairs? Or is it that the Marquis Zhenyuan is lovesick and when he sees someone he thinks it’s his sister? Wake up. When you forced your way in, she heard your name and your voice but she still sped away and left. She is not your sister at all but one of mine.”
Lu Heng’s words were like a basin of cold water on his head, pouring on Fu Tingzhou’s body. He couldn’t help but feel discouraged. Yes, he called out “Qing Qing” so clearly. If it really was Qing Qing, how could she turn around and leave? Probably, it was just one of Lu Heng’s women.
Was there anyone in the world with a back like this?
Seeing that Lu Heng successfully intimidated Fu Tingzhou and Wang Yanqing walked away, he was secretly relieved. Lu Heng had no guilt that his lies were almost exposed on the spot, but instead, put on the air of a victim and said in a forgiving tone: “Today is a holiday and I don’t want to be angry on a good day, so I will let you go. I hope that next time, the Marquis of Zhenyuan will not do such a rude thing again. Marquis of Zhenyuan, if you have something to say, just come and say it.”
After Lu Heng finished speaking, he turned around. Fu Tingzhou looked in the direction just now and followed with a sullen face.
Lu Heng sat on the main seat, and regardless of what the guest did, he picked up the tea cup himself and blew the heat slowly. After entering the room, Fu Tingzhou glanced around quickly and noticed that there was a game of chess at the edge of the room. The chess pieces had not been completely put away. It seemed that someone was playing chess here not long ago, but it was suddenly scattered due to some accident.
Fu Tingzhou’s thoughts were shaken again. Could it be that the woman just now was really by Lu Heng’s side? However, being a concubine was not a shameful existence. If guests came to visit, they would naturally bump into each other. Then why did Lu Heng send that person away?
Fu Tingzhou’s mind was in a mess, and after he took his seat, he asked tentatively: “Master Lu is so intrigued that he still has the patience to teach a woman in the backcourt how to play chess?”
Lu Heng nodded and admitted calmly: “Yes. It is a rare good day with beautiful scenery, and a beautiful woman on the side, but unfortunately it was ruined by the Zhenyuan Marquis.”
Fu Tingzhou sneered coldly in his heart. It was fine for other men to say such things, but he didn’t believe that Lu Heng would indulge in beauty and waste his time with unrelated people. Fu Tingzhou half smiled and said: “I heard that third Miss Zhao, a talented and beautiful lady, offered to become a pillow seat for Master Lu, but Master Lu refused. Since when did Master Lu know how to pity the jades?”
Lu Heng smiled leisurely and said calmly: “My own people are of course different from other women.”
Fu Tingzhou felt an indescribable unsightliness when he saw the small smile in Lu Heng’s eyes. He pulled the corner of his lower lip coldly and said: “Unexpectedly, Master Lu’s reputation is so prestigious, and he is so affectionate to his family. This has opened this Marquis’ eyes. Master Lu should know why I came here today, right?”
Lu Heng gave a slow “oh”, and the smile in his eyes deepened: “The Zhenyuan Marquis’ sister hasn’t been found yet?”
With a sympathetic tone, Lu Heng raised Fu Tingzhou’s fire again. Fu Tingzhou took a deep breath, held back, and said calmly: “Master Lu has sharp ears and keen eyes, you have hands and eyes everywhere, and any wind and grass in the capital can’t hide from you. Now that Master Lu has made great contributions again, he will be promoted to commander soon. Master Lu is so magical, so I want to ask Master Lu to help me find my sister.”
Lu Heng smiled. He lowered his head and lifted the tea lid, slowly removing the foam on it, but he didn’t drink after waiting for a long time. Fu Tingzhou waited patiently for a while, until he couldn’t bear it any longer, and said: “Master Lu?”
“I have heard for a long time that the Marquis of Zhenyuan is arrogant and never bows his head to ask for help. If I could get the Marquis of Zhenyuan to ask for help, I should do it with all my strength but…” Lu Heng raised his eyes, finally willing to look away from the tea, with eyes full of innocence, “But I really don’t know the whereabouts of your younger sister. Among the health centers around the capital, there have been no reports of missing women recently. Marquis of Zhenyuan, is it possible that your younger sister is not missing?”
Fu Tingzhou sat on the Huanghuali chair, his fingers clenching unconsciously. When Lu Heng glanced at them and noticed, his smile became more sincere: “Marquis of Zhenyuan, I don’t mean to offend you, but your sister can be engaged, did she have any thought of a man?”
It is said that murder is criticizing what one believes to be their ulterior motive, and Lu Heng was just stabbing a knife into a sore spot. Fu Tingzhou’s face changed, and he could no longer maintain his dignity, so he burst into anger: “How is that possible? She has always lived in the Fu’s house, and the Marquis Mansion is her home. Where could she have found someone?”
“This can’t be said for sure.” Lu Heng unhurriedly sprinkled salt on his wounds, “Zhenyuan Marquis also said that your sister is an adopted daughter. No matter how well the Zhenyuan Marquis Mansion treated her, at best she was just a maiden family. As the daughter grows up, she will always have her own ideas. Maybe she disappeared under the guise of giving incense, but actually eloped with her sweetheart.”
Lu Heng undoubtedly said what Fu Tingzhou was most afraid of. This was the third time Fu Tingzhou approached him, but Lu Heng still said he didn’t know. Even if Lu Heng was uncertain, he wouldn’t be so inky. Could it be that Qing Qing was indeed not in Lu Heng’s hands, but left by herself?
In fact, Fu Tingzhou also had a faint hunch. After they came back after giving incense, the maid found a map and family note in Wang Yanqing’s room. Fu Tingzhou was sure that Wang Yanqing never colluded with another man except him. Elopement was nonsense. But what if she left by herself?
She was already thinking about leaving and even packed up her baggage. Unexpectedly, people’s calculations are not as good as heaven’s calculations. She was attacked in the western suburbs one step ahead of schedule. Maybe she took this opportunity and left naturally?
Fu Tingzhou’s heart ached when he thought of this possibility.
The Fu family once accepted that he and Wang Yanqing were a couple, but as soon as the old marquis left, he was set to marry another new person. Fu Tingzhou even took her to meet her new relative on her birthday. He should have thought that ordinary women could not tolerate this kind of insult. Wang Yanqing had such strong self-esteem, how could she accept this?
It was him who was naive. Relying on Qingqing’s dedication to him, he recklessly trampled on her sincerity. He was confident that Qing Qing would not disobey him, and Qing Qing was indeed reluctant to embarrass him, so she chose to leave by herself and walk out of his life and the Zhenyuan Marquis Mansion.
It can’t be! It was only at this time that Fu Tingzhou felt scared. He would rather fight with Lu Heng over and over again than accept that she wanted to leave him. Fu Tingzhou shook his fists vigorously, his tone resolute, he didn’t know if he wanted to convince Lu Heng or himself: “No, she would never leave me.”
Lu Heng looked at him with a little broken light floating in his eyes, as if he was sympathizing and watching with excitement: “Really? The Zhenyuan Marquis is really confident. If she left the city, I could help the Zhenyuan Marquis find her, but if she just disappeared, then I would be helpless.”
Fu Tingzhou still looked at Lu Heng suspiciously: “Master Lu, there is no one else here, you don’t have to go around in circles with me. You were in the western suburbs that day, didn’t you take her away?”
“Of course not.” Lu Heng denied with a smile, and spread his hands innocently, “If it was me, I would have found you long ago, there is no need for all these excuses. It’s been a month, and any strong woman would have already killed herself a long time ago. There’s no good in this. What’s the point?”
Lu Heng’s words were disgraceful, and his calculations were clear. But it was such a straightforward interest in relationships that made Fu Tingzhou completely speechless.
Yes, what was the point for Lu Heng?
Fu Tingzhou didn’t know whether he felt more regret or pain. If she fell into Lu Heng’s hands, he could at least deceive himself. She had to come back. If she wasn’t in Lu Heng’s hands, he wouldn’t even have an excuse to deceive himself.
Fu Tingzhou’s brain was buzzing and he got up like a walking corpse. He didn’t have the heart to say anything, so he turned around and left. Lu Heng watched Fu Tingzhou go out, and the smile in his eyes deepened. In the end, he couldn’t help it. He covered his eyebrows and laughed silently.
Never guess the psychology of a real villain, he may indeed be unprofitable, but he is just pure wicked.
|| Author’s Note:
Fu Tingzhou: What is his point?
Lu Heng: The point is wickedness.