TIGR Chapter 37
The Imperial Guard’s Revenge
Chapter 37 Hallucinating
On New Year’s Eve, Lu Heng pierced Fu Tingzhou’s false reality and told him that Wang Yanqing might have left by herself. Fu Tingzhou didn’t want to believe it nor was he willing, but he knew that Lu Heng was right.
He hadn’t sleep all night, standing in the room where he and Qing Qing grew up, thinking numbly that she had left him. She gave up their ten-year friendship and left without saying goodbye, just because he had the idea of marrying another woman. She didn’t even quarrel, she turned around and left.
So cruel. So decisive.
He was in pain all night, but as soon as dawn came the next day, he sent someone out of Beijing to look for Wang Yanqing.
She may have gone to a small town with beautiful mountains and rivers to live in seclusion, or she might have returned to her hometown of Datong. Fu Tingzhou focused on searching in Datong. She was so ruthless that she gave up their ten-year relationship, but Fu Tingzhou refused to allow it. She took the initiative to come to him in the beginning. This was the most satisfactory gift Fu Tingzhou had received in the past 20 years. Why did she just leave?
It was not easy to find a person at the border. The people who went to Datong hadn’t come back yet, but Fu Tingzhou was one step ahead in the capital and saw a quiet and smiling Qingqing.
Fu Tingzhou was stunned on the spot, everything in the world moved away from him, and only the woman on the other side of the street was in his eyes. She was wearing a white and red dress, holding a glazed lantern in her hand and standing under the lanterns, like a goddess. She was a little lighter than before, but the smile on her face had become more. Her eyes were gentle and bright, and she was at ease, far more relaxed than when she was in Zhenyuan Marquis Mansion.
After she left Fu family, she actually lived happier? It was his fault and Fu Tingzhou was stung fiercely by this knowledge. He shouldn’t have turned a blind eye to the tone and words of the Marquis Mansion. He shouldn’t have been afraid of trouble and ignored Chen Shi’s eccentricity. He should not have paid attention to that and instead should have appreciated Qing Qing’s patience and accomodation. As long as Qing Qing gave him another chance, he would definitely rectify the Marquis Mansion and treat her twice as well.
Fu Tingzhou wanted to step forward and explain to Wang Yanqing, but at this time, a group of dragon dancers came on the street. Young men with red ribbons danced two long dragons, leaping and overturning like the river and the sea, accompanied by the fierce sound of gongs and drums that instantly overwhelmed other sounds on the street. Fu Tingzhou was stopped by the dragon dance. He wanted to change directions, but the dragon dance attracted many spectators, and the people kept cheering around the team, blocking the entire road.
Hong Wanqing squeezed through the crowd, grabbed Fu Tingzhou’s sleeve regardless of courtesy, and said: “Marquis of Zhenyuan, why are so many people suddenly here, I’m scared.”
After all, Hong Wanqing was the young lady of Yongping Marquis Mansion. Fu Tingzhou couldn’t leave her alone so he could only retreat to a quiet corner for the time being. After the dragon dancing team left, Fu Tingzhou immediately walked across the street. However, the place just now was empty and there was nothing left.
Not far away, the gongs and drums of the dragon dance grew louder and louder, and the ten block long street of lanterns was full of people. Fu Tingzhou stood amidst the current, in a momentary trance. Was it real just now? Was he hallucinating?
Hong Wanqing was a little uneasy, she looked back and forth at the crowd and said: “Zhenyuan Marquis, there are too many people here, I don’t want to stay anymore, let’s go back.”
Fu Tingzhou pointed to the position under his feet and asked Hong Wanqing: “Just now, did you see someone here?”
Hong Wanqing quickly bit her lower lip, and finally showed a blank and confused look, and asked: “What person? Wasn’t it just the dragon dance just now?”
Fu Tingzhou’s brows furrowed even tighter. Could it be that it was really his hallucination?
Hong Wanqing quietly looked at Fu Tingzhou and lowered her eyes silently. She actually saw her. The impression left from the Dajue Temple and her party was too deep, and Hong Wanqing recognized at a glance that it was Fu Tingzhou’s adopted sister, Wang Yanqing, who was rumored to be missing.
Hong Wanqing’s first reaction was disappointment. She fell off such a high cliff and didn’t die. Her second reaction was nervousness.
Fu Tingzhou had been distracted all night. When he saw Wang Yanqing, his face changed greatly, his spirits were uplifted, and the light that burst out of his eyes could burn people. Hong Wanqing had long known that Wang Yanqing would be her rival, but now she realized that Wang Yanqing’s position in Fu Tingzhou’s heart may have been far more important than she thought.
However, Wang Yanqing had another man by her side, so what was she doing back here? At that time, Fu Tingzhou stared at Wang Yanqing intently and didn’t pay attention to the surroundings, but Hong Wanqing saw the man behind Wang Yanqing. Hong Wanqing thought reproachfully in her heart, Wang Yanqing had a cold and beautiful face, but she had a slim and romantic figure, everything that poked at a man’s fate. No matter where she was, there would be men who liked her. Why did she have to fight with Hong Wanqing?
Just disappear forever, was that too hard?
Therefore, Hong Wanqing lied. Seeing Fu Tingzhou’s hesitation, she quickly said: “Marquis of Zhenyuan, there are so many people today, could you have identified the wrong person? We have gone so far, my mother and the old madam should be in a hurry, let’s go back quickly.”
Hong Wanqing desperately wanted to leave here, for fear that Wang Yanqing would come back again. However, Fu Tingzhou stood there for a while, and suddenly said decisively: “No. I’ve never seen that dress, how could it be a hallucination? It must be her. It turns out that she is in the capital.”
Fu Tingzhou had a sudden realization. He had held a preconceived notion about her and made the mistake of thinking shallowly. He thought Wang Yanqing would leave the capital and go as far as possible. However, there was no one in her family anymore, so what would she go back to Datong for? She lived in the capital for ten years, longer than the time she lived her hometown. It was only logical that she should stay in the capital.
Or, she deliberately left the Marquis Mansion, but did not leave Beijing, just to be angry with him, and she actually didn’t want to really separate? She appeared dressed up beside him today, she must be reminding him.
Thinking of this, Fu Tingzhou became more and more anxious, and he couldn’t wait for even a moment. Qing Qing must still be around, he must find her quickly and coax her back. Today was the outing between the Yongping Marquis Mansion and Chen Shi. He couldn’t shirk it, but if Qing Qing saw him and Hong Wanqing walking together, wouldn’t she misunderstand?
Fu Tingzhou was about to find her immediately. When Hong Wanqing saw Fu Tingzhou’s performance, she snorted in her heart. Regardless of her modesty, she pulled Fu Tingzhou’s sleeve, and was about to cry: “Marquis of Zhenyuan, what are you talking about? This place is full of common people, I have never been to such a place, let’s go back.”
Fu Tingzhou’s eyes quickly swept over the crowd and said: “Miss Hong, my foster sister is probably nearby, I have to find her quickly. Wait a moment, I will send someone to take you back.”
“No.” Hong Wanqing refused, and after speaking, she realized that she was too eager, so she put on a scared expression, saying, “What if there are assassins among these people? Zhenyuan Marquis, I’m afraid.”
Hong Wanqing pulled his sleeve and no matter what he said, Fu Tingzhou couldn’t pull her hand away. Fu Tingzhou scanned the surroundings again, but did not see the familiar back. He knew that it would only waste more time to delay, so he could only suppress his eagerness and say: “Okay, I’ll take you back first.”
Wang Yanqing vaguely heard someone calling her, and when she turned around, she saw Fu Tingzhou.
Fu Tingzhou stared at her, as if she was a lost treasure in front of him. The unexpected and pleasant surprise on his face were natural, not fake.
Wang Yanqing suddenly gave birth to a strong heart beat, and her body instinctually seemed to be calling for something. Why did he look at her with pleasent surprise and sorrow? There was only his one-sided stalking between them, and she was so disgusted that she called him a thief. Would the two of them have such deep feelings?
A group of dragon dancers passed in front of him, blocking Wang Yanqing’s sight, and soon she could no longer see the other side. Wang Yanqing’s thoughts were confused, and the back of her head seemed to be throbbing. In just a split second, Lu Heng supported her shoulders. He turned her body gently but firmly, stared into her eyes and asked: “Qing Qing, what’s wrong?”
Wang Yanqing frowned and rubbed her forehead in pain: “I have a headache and I feel as if I have forgotten something important.”
She covered her eyes and didn’t see that Lu Heng’s eyes were gloomy for a moment. Soon Lu Heng laughed again, wrapped her around him, and led her forward: “Maybe the environment is too noisy. It’s all my fault for Second Brother’s negligence. I forget that you are still recovering from an illness, let’s change to a clean place.”
Lu Heng put his hand on Wang Yanqing’s shoulder to half hug and half force her away. Wang Yanqing was still tapping on her head with the back of her hand and a dark light flashed across Lu Heng’s eyes. He held her hand with a smile and said: “Alright, Qing Qing, don’t think about it if you can’t remember it. Since you have forgotten, it means that it was not important at all. If you hurt yourself again, Second Brother will be angry.”
Wang Yanqing’s hand was wrapped by Lu Heng, and she couldn’t pull it out even if she wanted to. She sighed secretly and gave up thinking about it. She leaned against Lu Heng’s arm without paying attention as she was taken to a place she didn’t recognize at all.
Lu Heng found that he was really unlucky today. It was rare for him to create some real memories. As a result, he first shook out a very unfavorable Qian from the stall, and then met Fu Tingzhou again. Now Wang Yanqing was even showing signs of regaining her memory. Lu Heng grinded his teeth silently. If he knew that this would be the case, he would not have gone out today.
But the benefits were not without it. Lu Heng thought about it for a while and found that Fu Tingzhou was simply a scapegoat sent right to their door. Looking at Fu Tingzhou’s expression, he found out that it was only a matter of time before Wang Yanqing was by Lu Heng’s side. Lu Heng could use this time to instill hostility towards Fu Tingzhou in Wang Yanqing. The Qian was an excellent entry point.
Lu Heng thought for a while, and spoke unhurriedly: “Qing Qing, what do you think of today’s Qian?”
Wang Yanqing didn’t care, and said: “It was just for recreation. The Qian is vague and unclear. If the Qian seeker is thinking about something in his heart, he will think about the Qian metaphorically. As for how to interpret the Qian, it all depends on what you think in your heart.”
She was so transparent and free, and she didn’t have the weakness of a female family member that prayed to deities and worshipped Buddha, which made it difficult for Lu Heng. He paused, then said slowly: “Perhaps. Or, perhaps you could believe it.”
Wang Yanqing turned back and looked at him in surprise: “Second Brother?”
Lu Heng turned out to be a person who believed in ghosts and spirits? Obviously not.
Lu Heng’s face was not red and his heart was not beating fast. He said solemnly: “I would rather believe it than not trust it, it’s not a bad thing to be more careful.”
Wang Yanqing’s eyes became more and more strange: “But, you just said that this Qian is not permitted.”
Lu Heng thought to himself that he hadn’t met Fu Tingzhou yet. He felt guilty, and when he saw “don’t trust the person in front of you”, he immediately substituted himself in.
Now, he had found the perfect scapegoat. Lu Heng thought to himself that he had carried so many black deeds for Fu Tingzhou, and in turn to let Fu Tingzhou carry it once, would it be too much? He thought to himself, and vowed: “I saw that this Qian had the meaning of a prophecy at the time, and felt that it was quite ominous. I was afraid that it would affect your mood, so I didn’t say it for sure. Who thought that in a flash we would meet Fu Tingzhou. This makes me think that maybe there is substance in the supernatural.”
Wang Yanqing looked at him silently, and Lu Heng looked back calmly, his eyes bright and open. Wang Yanqing thought to herself that Second Brother just justified the Qian on demand, and even Buddha could not predict his mind.
Wang Yanqing took a step back and obediently accepted Lu Heng’s new explanation. She considered her words and said tentatively: “Second Brother, it is a good thing to be good at thinking and planning, but I think sometimes you are too paranoid.”
The corners of Lu Heng’s lips twitched as if he didn’t hear clearly and he asked: “Huh?”
Wang Yanqing lifted her gaze and quickly looked at Lu Heng. He was still smiling, his eyes were crystal clear and moist, but his eyes were flat, without any bulges or lines, which was obviously not a real smile.
Wang Yanqing was a little uneasy: “Second Brother, aren’t you angry?”
“No.” Lu Heng was really not very happy, no man could laugh happily after hearing such words, but it was not enough to say that he was angry.
He knew he was paranoid, to the point that he was torturing himself. But he had no choice, if he didn’t think much about it, it would be his head that would fall tomorrow.
Everyone in the Lu family knew that he was deep-minded and suspicious, but no one dared to tell him, even Lu Song and Fan avoided talking about it. Lu Heng watched as he sky rocketed, he was able to do anything, and even called the emperor a brother. In reality, like the emperor, he had no friends.
Through good and bad the emperor still had the Empress Dowager Jiang, but Lu Heng had a very average relationship with his family. The position of the Lu family skipped the eldest son and fell on him. The relationship between him and his elder brother could not be good. Although his mother, Fan, relied on him, she was also afraid of him.
If his relatives were even like this, the other maids, servants, and subordinates were silent when they saw him. How could they dare say such things to him? This is the first time that Lu Heng heard “you are too paranoid” from someone else’s mouth.
Not in a mocking and sneering tone, but genuinely worried. With this alone, it was impossible for Lu Heng to be angry with Wang Yanqing.
Lu Heng quickly denied it and Wang Yanqing quickly observed the expression on his face and judged that he was really not angry. Wang Yanqing breathed a sigh of relief and said: “Second Brother, I’m not accusing you, but you will be very tired of living like this.”
“I know.” It was rare for Lu Heng to speak the truth, he lowered his eyes and glanced at Wang Yanqing lightly, and said, “When you can correct the habit of observing the expressions of the people around you, I will stop being paranoid.”
These words made Wang Yanqing speechless. You could infer the other party’s true thoughts by relying on expressions. It seemed to be very powerful when handling cases, but in life, it was not pleasing at all.
Who liked to be spied on? Although Ling Xi and Ling Luan were Wang Yanqing’s personal maids, they didn’t speak beside Wang Yanqing at all, and so did the rest of the Lu family. When they saw Wang Yanqing, they bowed their heads and said nothing. Sometimes everyone was talking cheerfully, but as soon as Wang Yanqing passed by, they all kept silent.
Only a person like Lu Heng who was mentally strong and not afraid of being judged could talk and laugh freely with Wang Yanqing. Wang Yanqing also felt helpless, but she couldn’t let go of her instinct to analyze other people’s expressions, and ordinary women were also reluctant to approach someone who could see through their hearts. This became an unsolvable situation.
Both of them calmed down. Lu Heng felt that the atmosphere of the festival had been dissipated, and there was no point in going around anymore. He was about to say it was time to go home, but he didn’t expect a group of people to come out of the restaurant next door, and they happened to meet Lu Heng and Wang Yanqing head-on.
The person in the lead was over fifty years old, with a big belly and a sullen face, and needed someone to help him when he walked. When he saw Lu Heng, his eyes widened, and mixed emotions such as surprise, jealousy, fear, and disgust crossed his face, until it finally turned into a cookie-cutter smile. Cupping his hands, he said: “Master Lu, I didn’t expect to meet you here. Master Lu has made extraordinary achievements again. After he is restored to the court, he will be officially promoted to a third-rank commander, right?”
While his mouth was saying flattering words, his eyes moved and he looked at Wang Yanqing, glancing her up and down, his eyes making her very uncomfortable. Lu Heng smiled faintly, but he stretched out his other hand, clearly protecting Wang Yanqing behind him: “Duke of Chang Guo, it’s been a long time.”
|| Author’s Note:
Lu’s decided Qian: When there is a Qian in a box, it may or may not be accurate. Whether it is accurate or not depends on the moment he sees the Qian. And with the change of time, the accuracy and the permittance can transform. All conversion principles and interpretation rights belong to Lu Heng.