TIGR Chapter 48
The Imperial Guard’s Revenge
Chapter 48 Difficult to Eliminate
Lu Heng said such and Wang Yanqing naturally had no reason to refuse, so she nodded and said: “Okay. Second Brother, I am clumsy. If I do something wrong, don’t think less of me.”
Lu Heng couldn’t help laughing. He took Wang Yanqing’s hands and put them in his palm. He turned them over looking at the pair of slender and white jade hands: “They look so beautiful. I didn’t know they were a pair of clumsy hands.”
Wang Yanqing laughed at his words. Lu Heng’s tone was straightforward, his eyes were burning, and his fingers slowly brushed across her palm. Although he didn’t say anything explicit, there was a sense of invasion that was pressing step by step. Wang Yanqing blushed and felt inexplicably embarrassed. She shrank her fingers back and said: “Second Brother, what should I do?”
Lu Heng let go of her hand, patted the spot by his side, and said: “Come sit here, Qing Qing. The acupuncture points on the head are the most complicated, let me teach you.”
Wang Yanqing was actually sitting on the Arhat bed, only half an arm away from Lu Heng. But when Lu Heng said that, she had no choice but to move to the right, pasting herself right beside Lu Heng.
Lu Heng didn’t think it was enough, so he suddenly leaned over and wrapped Wang Yanqing up with both arms. Wang Yanqing felt Lu Heng’s suddenly approaching breath, and froze for a moment.
Wang Yanqing held her neck straight and did not dare to turn her eyes, for fear that she might accidentally bump into Lu Heng’s face. In contrast, Lu Heng was much calmer. He turned his face slightly, so the bridge of his nose almost touched Wang Yanqing’s earlobe, and he watched her white jade-like skin turn pale crimson.
Lu Heng laughed softly and reached out to pinch an area of pink. Wang Yanqing froze: “Second Brother?”
Lu Heng slowly swirled his fingertips on her earlobe and said: “This is the earlobe point. Got it?”
Wang Yanqing was stunned by Lu Heng’s teaching tone. Lu Heng pressed his fingers left and right on Wang Yanqing’s outer ear and absent-mindedly reported the name of the acupuncture point with his mouth. His breath swept across Wang Yanqing’s ears on the place that was the most sensitive. The more Wang Yanqing tried to endure it, the redder her ears became. Finally, the outer edge of the ears connected with the skin on her neck, turning pale pink.
Luckily, Lu Heng still looked like he was seriously teaching, and when he noticed Wang Yanqing was distracted, he pressed her Yifeng point as punishment: “Concentrate.”
|| The Yifeng Acupoint (翳风穴) is located in the depression behind the ear.
Lu Heng’s hands were different from those of scholars. He had practiced martial arts since he was a child, so his joints were obvious and his fingers were slender. Pressing his hand would reveal that it was a pair of men’s hands. Wang Yanqing subconsciously wanted to hide, but Lu Heng leaned forward, leaving only an inch of space for her to move freely. Wang Yanqing was in a dilemma, so she had to say: “Second Brother, I can’t remember this way. I’d better bring the drawings, and I’ll look at the diagrams.”
“No need.” Lu Heng said slowly, “How can such a thing be fake when taught by a real experience. Second Brother will teach you.”
Wang Yanqing thought to herself that if she was taught by hand, she wouldn’t need to use her teaching material, right? Wouldn’t it be better to get a dummy? She asked vaguely: “There should be wooden figures in the house, right?”
Lu Heng sighed regretfully: “No.”
Just now he asked for shadow puppets, such a strange thing, and Ling Xi found them, just within one meal. Now, in a family of Imperial Guards who had been in the army for generations, there were no wooden figures who practice martial arts.
Wang Yanqing didn’t know what to say, but Lu Heng’s fingers had slid across the skin behind her ears and pressed gently on her neck: “This is Fengfu, Dummen, Dazhui, and Shenzhu.”
|| This is a listing of acupuncture points going down the spinal cord. I wish I knew more about them and how to use them, but here is a general description so you get a basic picture. Fengfu (风府) is on your upper neck located in the depression behind your head. Dummen (哑门) is located under Fengfu around your hairline behind your head. Dazhui (大椎) is located on a cervical vertebrae – disks that make up the spine – almost directly between your shoulders. Shenzhu (身柱) is a point on your spine between your shoulder blades.
His hand slid down Wang Yanqing’s spine while saying the name of the acupuncture points, he passed through the shoulder blade, back, and finally stopped at the waist. Lu Heng’s fingers were strong and when he pressed on an acupoint on the back of her waist, Wang Yanqing suddenly felt half of her body go numb, and the muscles on her waist faintly trembled.
“This is the point of life.” Lu Heng said calmly while still bracing Wang Yanqing’s waist, “Got it? If you don’t remember, I’ll teach you again.”
After all, Wang Yanqing had studied martial arts, and even if she lost her memory, she still knew a few important points in the human body. But she obviously couldn’t compare with Lu Heng. Lu Heng was not only familiar with every acupuncture point in the human body, but also seemed to know the effect and purpose of each acupuncture point.
Wang Yanqing didn’t dare to ask Lu Heng to teach her again, and nodded quickly: “I have learned it.”
Lu Heng looked at her with a smile: “Really?”
This time it was Wang Yanqing’s turn to nod her head, for fear that Lu Heng would not believe it: “Really.”
“Ok.” The student learned after only one teaching, but Lu Heng was not happy and sounded a little disappointed. Wang Yanqing breathed a sigh of relief and secretly waited for Lu Heng to withdraw his hand, but the hand behind her waist showed no sign of vanishing. She moved and his hand slid up her spine as if it was carrying electricity, crackling all the way, until a tingling sensation ran from her spine to the back of her head, causing her body to stiffen.
But the culprit lowered his eyes and looked at her innocently: “I’ll help you find the acupuncture points on the back of your head. Qing Qing, what’s wrong?”
Wang Yanqing felt that she couldn’t go on like this, so she took the initiative to say: “Second Brother, I can’t remember with all this fuss. Why don’t I do it and you can give me some pointers.”
Lu Heng nodded generously this time, and immediately let go of Wang Yanqing, smiling and leaning against the screen, and said: “Bring it on.”
Wang Yanqing had a good plan in her heart. Second Brother’s hand would always touch some places on her body by mistake. If it was her who gave Lu Heng a massage, this kind of embarrassment would never happen. Wang Yanqing calmed down, took off her embroidered shoes, knelt down beside Lu Heng, and pressed his temples lightly as he did last time.
Rarely interested, Lu Heng regarded this as a small game to relax his mind after handling the case. Lu Heng was a man, and Wang Yanqing was feeling about him. What did he care, he let her take the lead. Lu Heng had been taking his time to relax, but when Wang Yanqing’s hand approached his temple, an idea suddenly flashed across his mind.
If she had been feigning amnesia, now would be the best time for her to kill him. At such a close distance, and going straight to the lethal point, Lu Heng wouldn’t be able to dodge.
Lu Heng’s body tensed in an instant and his arms subconsciously wanted to push the possible danger away, but he hesitated for some reason, thus missing the best opportunity. Wang Yanqing’s soft and cool fingers touched Lu Heng’s skin. She pressed carefully and asked: “Second Brother, is this right?”
Blue veins stretched out on the back of Lu Heng’s hand, he felt Wang Yanqing’s shallow breathing and knew that he was being suspicious. His arms relaxed a little bit, but his joints were still tight: “Yes.”
Wang Yanqing didn’t know that in just a moment, she had walked around the edge of life and death. Wang Yanqing gently pressed Lu Heng’s forehead, her fingertips were soft, and her body still carried a fragrance after bathing. She was a really beautiful woman by his side, a warm and fragrant nephrite. But Lu Heng still couldn’t relax. He sighed secretly, he didn’t deserve the grace of this beauty.
Lu Heng suddenly stretched out his hand, grabbed Wang Yanqing’s waist, and pulled her to his side: “You did a great job. I’m all right, you should rest for a while.”
Wang Yanqing stood with her waist straightened to help Lu Heng press acupuncture points and was suddenly hugged by him. She was unprepared and fell into Lu Heng. Luckily, Lu Heng responded quickly, holding her waist with both hands, and fixing her firmly. Wang Yanqing’s upper body leaned towards Lu Heng uncontrollably, her palms pressed against Lu Heng’s shoulders, and her hair slipped from her shoulders, covering half of the light.
In the past, Lu Heng looked down at her, but this time, it was Wang Yanqing’s turn to look down at Lu Heng. Lu Heng leaned his body back halfway, his eyes floating in clear waves, as he looked at Wang Yanqing calmly.
He pinched Wang Yanqing’s waist with both hands and intuitively felt how thin her waist was and how soft her body was. He even suspected that his hands could circle her waist. Lu Heng looked at her for a while and asked: “What are you looking at?”
Wang Yanqing realized that she was still supporting herself on Lu Heng, and quickly retracted her hands: “Second Brother, I’m sorry, am I hurting you?”
Wang Yanqing’s hands had been pressed on Lu Heng’s shoulders, but Lu Heng didn’t feel any pain, he just didn’t like being under another. Even if it was a matter of men and women, he had to take initiative.
Lu Heng said slowly: “A little bit. I can’t get up now, Qing Qing, help me.”
Wang Yanqing believed it to be true and leaned over to pull his arm. Lu Heng clasped her waist with the palm of his hand, pressed her down with a little force, and circled her around him: “Okay, I’m all good now.”
Wang Yanqing tried to sit up, but Lu Heng said that he was uncomfortable, and his hand strength showed no signs of fatigue. Wang Yanqing’s attempts were fruitless, so she simply gave up, and leaned on him resignedly.
Wang Yanqing was nestled beside Lu Heng, with her head resting on his shoulder, and their height turned out to fit perfectly against each other. Only then did Lu Heng feel comfortable. He leaned against the screen and closed his eyes to rest.
Seeing him close his eyes and doze off, Wang Yanqing remembered that he hardly slept a full night’s sleep in the past few days. She couldn’t bear to disturb him anymore and snuggled quietly. Wang Yanqing waited for a while, feeling that he was about to fall asleep, and asked in a low voice: “Second Brother, do you want to go to bed?”
It was rare to have such a relaxing moment and Lu Heng closed his eyes, his voice was a little hoarse: “What about Qing Qing?”
Wang Yanqing became serious upon hearing this and said righteously: “Second Brother is resting, how can I disturb you. Naturally, you should go back to your room.”
He knew that would be her answer. Lu Heng put his hand on Wang Yanqing’s waist and said: “Then forget it. If Qing Qing is not here, I can’t sleep well.”
His words became more and more nonsense. Wang Yanqing was embarrassed and whispered: “Second Brother, there are differences between men and women.”
She wanted to please him no matter what she did, but she was particularly firm on this kind of thing. It was a good thing to have a bottom line in her heart, and Lu Heng didn’t want to go too far and take advantage of an unmarried woman, so he said: “I understand. It’s enough for you to just stay with me for a while.”
Lu Heng said so and Wang Yanqing could not bear to refuse. Wang Yanqing raised her eyes and stared silently at Lu Heng’s profile. It seemed that he was really tired during this time, how could Second Brother speak with vulnerability in the past.
Wang Yanqing asked softly: “Second Brother, has Qin Xiang’er confessed?”
Lu Heng hummed lightly. Yesterday, the Imperial Guards found clothes for the ghost, bird cages, and tranquilizers in Qin Xiang’er’s room. Qin Xiang’er didn’t struggle with this either, and even asked what to say.
Lu Heng knew what Wang Yanqing wanted to ask. She didn’t specify, and Lu Heng didn’t rush her, he just waited calmly. Wang Yanqing paused for a while and asked in a low voice: “What are you all going to do?”
Lu Heng laughed, his chest vibrated slightly, and his voice was low and hoarse with a smile, which was particularly sultry: “What does Qing Qing want to do?”
Wang Yanqing sighed and said: “What can I do? I just feel that it’s a pity. She was the female official in charge of the classics in the Shangyi Bureau, and she had high requirements for calligraphy, which showed that she already had good talent and knowledge outside the palace. She could have married and had children normally, and with her abilities, she would live well. But she gave up the easy and stable life and chose to enter the palace, where she served others, trembling in a whisper. All this was just because she wanted her sister to leave cleanly.”
What was wrong with avenging a loved one? What’s more, Qin Ji’er’s death was wronged, she was raped and then silenced. What did Qin Ji’er do wrong, why should she be treated like this?
Qin Xiang’er endured twenty years for this day. It was her fault for pretending to be a ghost, but these sins should not be repaid with her life. Could it be that just because the frightened person was Empress Zhang, Qin Xiang’er should be put to death?
After Wang Yanqing guessed Qin Xiang’er, she understood why Cui Yuehuan lied. Cui Yuehuan was ordinary in intelligence, but she was not stupid. She was inexplicably lethargic. The next day she learned that the empress had run into a ghost while she was sleeping, and she guessed Qin Xiang’er at once.
Cui Yuehuan could have revealed the truth to Empress Zhang, to redeem her merits and save the suffering of flesh and blood. But Cui Yuehuan didn’t speak, and would rather take the blame at the risk of being beaten to death. The board was lessened a lot by Qin Xiang’er’s influence, but in the end, she was hit and the pain and injury were real.
The Forbidden City was solemn, majestic, and supreme. Who could see the countless numb and silent palace maids and eunuchs under the gorgeous glazed tiles. These low-level palace people looked like small ants to the big people, but among the flies and ants, they also had tenderness.
The kindness at the bottom level was very fragile, and any sympathy may drag oneself into the abyss of doom. Cui Yuehuan and He Ding were all tragically destroyed because of their kindness.
Some people lived in the mud, but their hearts were still clean, while others were dressed in fine clothes, but their hearts were corroded and empty.
Lu Heng didn’t comment on this, and he mentioned a sentence without thinking: “Qing Qing, did you know that the mynah also had a name, Qin Ji.”
Wang Yanqing was puzzled and asked: “Why this name?”
Lu Heng shook his head and refused to say any more. When he saw that it was almost time, he got up and rushed Wang Yanqing back to her room to sleep.
He joked and teased Wang Yanqing on purpose, but he couldn’t really keep her in his room late at night. Even siblings at seven years old engaged in different conversations, and they were not even brother and sister.
Besides, Lu Heng suspected that if someone slept next to him, he would not be able to close his eyes all night. That was one of the reasons why he didn’t marry.
After Wang Yanqing returned to the Lu Mansion, the chaotic court life of the past two days gradually faded away, and she became the secluded and leisurely Miss of the Lu Mansion. After several days, news from outside the mansion gradually reached Wang Yanqing’s ears.
Lu Heng, the commander of the Imperial Guards, flipped through the files and accidentally saw the He Ding case from many years ago. He felt that there were a lot of doubts and restarted the investigation. It would be better if he didn’t, however, after such an investigation, it was revealed by Lu Heng that Zhang Yanling raped a maid in the palace many years ago, and then forced the woman to death.
Brothers Zhang Heling and Zhang Yanling peeped at the emperor’s crown, and Emperor Hongzhi didn’t hold them accountable. There was no reason for the emperor’s brother-in-law to attack. But the nature of the palace maids changed. In theory, the palace maids were the emperor’s women. Zhang Yanling was so bold that he raped the maid at the banquet. Who knew if he continued to commit crimes over the years. If there is a child born in the palace, wouldn’t it obscure the emperor’s bloodline?
After this incident was disclosed, the whole court was in an uproar, the emperor was furious, and immediately ordered the Imperial Guards to imprison Zhang Yanling, and severely reprimanded Zhang Heling in the morning court. The emperor scolded him for a while and was still not relieved, so he ordered the execution of Zhang Yanling.
Empress Zhang never expected that while she had only been ill for a few days, the situation suddenly changed. Empress Zhang also did not care whether the Ciqing Palace would continue to be haunted. She went to the emperor several times to intercede, but the emperor avoided seeing her. In the end, Empress Zhang couldn’t help it, she knelt down to the emperor outside the Qianqing Palace, with tears in her eyes, embarrassed, and begged the emperor to spare Zhang Yanling’s life.
Empress Zhang really didn’t understand, she was just a palace maid. Why should her brother lose his life? When the palace maid and the eunuch died, they just died, but her younger brother was the Marquis of Jianchang.
Empress Zhang knelt down and begged, and her subjects also begged for mercy. In the end, the emperor couldn’t bear it. He took a step back and exempted Zhang Yanling from the death penalty, but proceeded to remove the titles of Duke of Chang Guo and Marquis of Jianchang, and banished the Zhang brothers to Nanjing, so they were not allowed to stay in the capital anymore. At the same time, the title of Empress Zhang was lowered from Empress Dowager to Aunt.
Wang Yanqing listened to Ling Xi and Ling Luan’s retelling of the outside world. After hearing it, she did not express her opinion but instead took the opportunity to ask Lu Heng: “Second Brother, some time ago, the East Palace was haunted and there was a lot of commotion. How will this matter end?”
Lu Heng’s eyes were light, and he said casually: “You also said that it was haunted. It just so happened that Master Shaotian was coming to deliver new medicinal pills and did a ritual on the way, so there should be no little ghosts making trouble.”
Wang Yanqing was silent for a moment and asked: “What about Qin Xiang’er?”
Lu Heng’s tone became more casual: “She missed getting married to be a female official, so she was abruptly delayed from society until she was thirty-five years old. The emperor remembered that she had served in the court for a long time, without credit or hard work, so he let her go home.”
Wang Yanqing looked at Lu Heng and Lu Heng also looked back with a smile. In the end, Wang Yanqing didn’t ask any more questions, nodded, and said: “Okay, I see.”
Wang Yanqing thought quietly in her heart that everyone got what they wanted, and this case could only end here.
For Qin Xiang’er to achieve her goal, it is also a matter of seeking benevolence.
As early as the first month, Qin Xiang’er paid close attention to the news of the emperor’s intention to strip the title from the former court. Later, Qin Xiang’er heard that the emperor had given up the idea of expelling Zhang’s title under the pressure of Empress Zhang. She was angry and unwilling and finally came up with a plan.
She wanted to make things bigger under the guise of ghosts and spirits and wanted someone to retry the Qin Ji’er case. Therefore, she did not choose to end the other party while Empress Zhang was sleeping but took a different approach – pretending to be a ghost.
She did indeed attract the Imperial Guards, and not surprisingly, she was also arrested. She finally found an opportunity to convey her sister’s injustice to the people above. This kind of thing was not because the evidence was difficult to find or about how clever the perpetrator was, but because the superiors don’t want to investigate. If a higher-ranking person had a heart, he could find it out about it with the simple movement of his finger.
Sure enough, Lu Heng found out the cause and effects in just one day, and the next day the report was sent to the Qianqing Palace. After that, the emperor took the opportunity to attack the Zhang family and finally removed the thorn in the flesh that had been rooted in him for twelve years.
And Lu Heng once again precisely scratched the emperor’s itch, handed over the knife in time when the emperor needed a crime, and took care of the Zhang family for the emperor. After a while, Lu Heng was afraid that he would be promoted again.
Qin Xiang’er provided Lu Heng with information, and because she had merit, Lu Heng let her live. As for the haunting of the East Palace, it could only end with strange power and chaos. The emperor wanted to attack the Zhang family, but he didn’t want to make another mess. If the haunting was revealed, Empress Zhang would definitely take the opportunity to sell it badly, and the group of officials would be forced to chatter about it. It was better not to say anything, and after a month, the world would forget about it.
Anyway, there were so many things going on in the palace, it didn’t hurt to add a haunting to the talk. Maybe many years later, only the long-lived old palace maids would still remember that there was a bizarre case of the haunting of the empress in the East Palace, which was never solved.
Wang Yanqing didn’t want to think about what role she played in it. She only hoped that after Qin Xiang’er left the palace, she could really display her talents, live her own life and not come back again.
In this majestic and solemn capital, there was no justice, only politicians.