TIGR Chapter 62

The Imperial Guard’s Revenge

Chapter 62 Exchanging Blows

Qingxu Monastery.

Lu Heng and his party stopped in front of the monastery. An official came forward to announce their arrival, but there was no response after knocking for a long time. Prefect Cheng became embarrassed and quickly said to Lu Heng: “Master Lu, don’t get upset, this monastery is old and dilapidated. Maybe the Taoist priests didn’t hear and that’s why they neglected you.”

Lu Heng didn’t distinguish between anger and joy and said indifferently: “It’s okay, I have already knocked on the door to inform the master. Since they didn’t answer, break down the door.”

The Imperial Guards were too familiar with this kind of thing. They immediately stepped forward, used their knives to push aside the latch inside the door, and kicked the door hard.

Prefect Cheng smiled awkwardly. Sure enough, the Imperial Guards were the Imperial Guards. Just because Commander Lu was surprisingly good-tempered, he couldn’t think that the wolf would change in his career and eat grass. This Taoist temple had no incense burning and had been in despair for a long time. When the gate was knocked open, a layer of dust fell, as if even the courtyard walls were shaking. After the dust settled, everyone saw the scene inside clearly, and they all fell silent.

After a while, Prefect Cheng’s trembling voice sounded: “This, this is…”

They could only see many paper figurines densely packed in the courtyard of the Taoist monastery. They were similar to the paper figurine that appeared in the county government yesterday, except that there were more now, and they were arranged in a strange formation. These paper figurines were about the size of a living person, made of white paper, wearing clothes made of colored paper, and holding swords in their hands. What was even more frightening was that there were facial features painted on their faces, and each face was different, with various expressions of happiness, anger, sorrow, and joy. At first glance, they looked like living people who were instantly solidified and turned into paper.

Prefect Cheng was very frightened, he stammered and said: “I was just asking what they were doing with the door closed on a clear sky. So it turns out that they are doing this kind of thing in the yard. Hurry up and find those daring Taoist priests!”

After Prefect Cheng finished speaking, he looked at Lu Heng with a flattering smile: “Master Lu, I even let you see this. You came to the Qingxu monastery in person, so they couldn’t avoid you, and even then, they put more than a hundred paper figurines here to frighten us. Isn’t this despising you, Master Lu? They are too much, I’m going to teach these Taoists a lesson…”

Lu Heng smiled slightly, “Thank you for your trouble Master Cheng.” After he finished speaking, he glanced across the courtyard and addressed, “However, Master Cheng has reminded me. Come forward, please go and count how many paper figurines there are.”

The Imperial Guards accepted the order with cupped fists and advanced to count the paper figurines. Soon, they ran back to report: “Commander, there are one hundred and one paper figurines here.”

Lu Heng stood in the corridor with his hands behind his back, nodding like he was just listening to something ordinary, and said to Prefect Cheng with a smile: “Master Cheng has good eyesight, and you can immediately see that there are more than a hundred paper figurines here.”

Prefect Cheng put his hands together and smiled: “Master Lu, thank you.”

Tao Yiming had been very silent since they entered the Qingxu monastery. At this moment, he suddenly said: “There are one hundred and one paper figurines here and including the one hanging outside the county office last night, there is a total of one hundred and two, isn’t it? Exactly the same number of people missing in Hegu Village?”

“That’s right.” Lu Heng raised his eyes lightly, resembling a vigorous glass of wine, and said with a smile, “What a coincidence.”

At this time, the officers who went to search the monastery had also come back. The officers clasped their fists to Prefect Cheng and reported: “Master Lu, Master Cheng, there is no one in the Qingxu monastery.”

Prefect Cheng was surprised, and asked: “Why is there no one, are there any signs of a fight inside?”


“Were there signs of theft?”

“We didn’t see any, there shouldn’t be any.”

“That’s weird.” Prefect Cheng frowned and murmured, “If there wasn’t theft or fighting, why did the Taoist priests disappear?”

As the officer and Prefect Cheng spoke with each other, Lu Heng listened in silence, then suddenly walked down the steps, checking the paper figurines who were either laughing or angry one by one.

Plants and trees covered the sky while insects sang long and loud. One hundred and one paper figurines stood in the decaying monastery, with exaggerated expressions painted on their faces. It was like the image had given way to a painting, where soldiers cleared away the darkness, but where the sun shone the strongest, there was a hint of gloom.

And Lu Heng stood among the ranks of those soldiers, looking at their faces one by one, as if observing a friend he hadn’t seen for a long time. He stood so close without the slightest hesitation or fear. Prefect Cheng and County Magistrate Tao looked at this scene, feeling cold to the soles of their feet, not knowing who to be afraid of.

Prefect Cheng plucked up his courage and asked cautiously: “Master Lu, what are you looking at?”

Suddenly there was a voice in the silent Taoist monastery, which was a bit intrusive, but Lu Heng didn’t react at all. He even turned around leisurely and waved to Prefect Cheng calmly: “Prefect Cheng, County Magistrate Tao, would you come and have a look. How many of these figures look like the people we met in Hegu Village?”

Although Lu Heng didn’t know the one hundred and two people who disappeared, they were still fathers, sons, and brothers to those in Hegu Village. When comparing their facial features, it was not difficult to see the similarities. Prefect Cheng took a look at Lu Heng’s line of sight and his scalp felt numb: “Master Lu, you mean that these paper figures are the one hundred and two missing men from Hegu Village?”

Lu Heng nodded: “That’s right. If Master Cheng thinks it is not credible, he can call the villagers of Hegu Village over and ask them to identify them in person.”

“No need, no need.” Prefect Cheng quickly waved his hand, “I believe in Master Lu’s judgment. However, those people were clearly living people, how could they become like this…”

Prefect Cheng’s face was troubled, he obviously wanted to say “why did they become these immortal monsters”, but he was afraid of overstepping his boundaries. Lu Heng slowly rubbed the paint on the paper figurine’s face, holding his hands behind his back and saying nothing. At this moment, an official came running from behind the monastery, saluted, and said: “Masters, I want to tell you, I saw the ritual space behind the monastery.”

“What?” Prefect Cheng was shocked, and quickly looked at Lu Heng, “Master Lu, do you…”

Lu Heng withdrew his hand, wiped his fingers with a handkerchief, and said with great interest: “There is even a ritual space, let’s go and have a look.”

The Qingxu monastery was not big. There was a three-room hall in the middle, side halls on each side, and behind it stood a massive and simple room. There was nothing else. The officials had already pushed open the door of the hall, and Lu Heng stepped into the threshold. The first thing he saw was the offering table in the center. The altar was covered with yellow silk cloth, which was pure in color. The cloth was covered with lights, candles, and paper symbols, yellow Taoist flags were hung on both sides. Lu Heng approached and saw a lot of paper ashes scattered on the altar table, with faintly visible handwriting. Lu Heng picked up the most complete piece and looked at it: “Liu Shan, year of Gengshen, month of Wuyin, day of Yiyou, time of Bingzi, the Qi County River…”

If you are enjoying the novel, please support this translation and get direct access to new releases by reading it at the translator’s original website: https://justforfuntrans.com

|| The terms Gengshen (庚申年), Wuyin (戊寅月), Yiyou (乙酉日), and Bingzi (丙子时) are derived from the Chinese Ganzhi Calendar (干支) which is a very interesting and complex system of tracking time.

The handwriting after was burned, and the birth date of another person remained under the paper, but the name and time were no longer visible. Lu Heng held the edge to identify it, and vaguely saw the words “Shou Fu”.

Liu Shan and Liu Shoufu were the two missing men in Hegu Village. Lu Heng picked up other fragments, and complete information could not be seen, but through the intermittent handwriting, it was not difficult to see that this was a prayer. The first few were sacrificial texts, and after was a list, which recorded the disappearances of the Hegu Village residents by name, place of origin, and date of birth.

Lu Heng waved his hand, signaling his subordinates to collect the debris. The Imperial Guards carefully collected the scattered fragments and picked up a piece of debris from under the corner of the table. Although there were words written on it, they were obscure, and they couldn’t figure out what was written after reading it for a long time: “What is this?”

A voice faintly sounded from behind: “Qingci.”

|| Qingci (青词) translates to “green words” which refers to the green paper that Taoist priests use to work on a heavenly level.

Prefect Cheng was startled, and looked back at Lu Heng with surprise: “Master Lu even understands Qingci?”

Lu Heng stood beside the candle holder with his hands behind his back, fiddled with the piles of candle tears gathered on both sides of the candle, and said casually: “I don’t really understand, but I can get a general idea.”

Prefect Cheng immediately said with awe: “Master Lu actually has such literary talent, I admire you.”

Qingci was a very difficult style of writing. Theories and poems were written for people to read anyway, and there were specific examples in them. However, Qingci was an article dedicated to heaven, requiring gorgeous rhetoric, neat antithesis, elegance, and beauty, without staining the world. If someone didn’t read enough books, they couldn’t write in this style at all.

Qingci was difficult and mysterious, and one sort had many small meanings, but unfortunately, Emperor Jiajing was an emperor who had read many books and respected Taoism. The emperor was able to write Qingci and appreciate Qingci, so he often asked people around him to write Qingci, and he personally corrected it. It even became a small game to promote communication between the monarch and officials—a game for the emperor’s mind.

All the cabinet elders were good writers, and Lu Heng had also written his fair share, but they were not as good as those who specialized in studying. There was even a saying in the ruling and opposition parties that the current chief assistants did not rely on their real talents and learning to get to the top, but replied on writing youthful poems and favoring the emperor, so the emperor could open the back door for them.

Lu Heng just laughed at this statement, it was really sour. They spoke as if they couldn’t be promoted because they refused to flatter the emperor. Even if they were given this chance, would they be able to flatter the empero

Lu Heng was not as good as those literati in writing Qingci, but his level of appreciation was still sufficient. For example, he saw that the Qingci written by the Qingxu monastery was written in a very general way.

The Imperial Guards searched everywhere in the house in an orderly manner while Prefect Cheng stood in the hall, seemingly doing nothing. He led the officials to Lu Heng’s side, looking for something to say: “Master Lu, is there any mystery about these candles?”

Lu Heng pointed to the long rows of candle holders on both sides of the gate and said: “I just counted, there are fifty-one candles here, a total of one hundred and two on the left and right sides, which is the same as the number of missing people in Hegu Village. So I guess, the birth dates of one hundred and two people are also written on the list behind the Qingci.”

Prefect Cheng immediately cupped his hands loudly and said: “Master Lu really knows everything, both wise and martial, I admire you.”

The windows of the ritual space were closed tightly, and Prefect Cheng’s exaggerated tone echoed in the hall, which was quite ridiculous. Lu Heng glanced at him lightly and said: “Master Cheng, that praise is absurd. After tossing around for so long, only a bunch of paper figurines were found. Other than that, there were no living or dead bodies. How could there be any wisdom to speak of?”

Prefect Cheng said with a sneer: “Time is already short, if Master Lu can find Qingxu Temple so quickly, it is already amazing. The Taoist priests of the Qingxu monastery can make paper figurines, and there are indeed more than one hundred paper figurines on display here. The witnesses and physical evidence are all there. According to the official opinion, the disappearance of the villagers in Hegu Village is inseparable from the Taoist priests of the Qingxu monastery! ”

Lu Heng looked at Prefect Cheng, seemed to smile, and said slowly: “It’s amazing that Master Cheng has figured out this problem in just this time. According to the prefect, what relationship do those villagers have with the Qingxu monastery? Are they still alive?”

Prefect Cheng laughed dryly, rubbed his hands together, and said: “I… I haven’t figured that out yet.”

Lu Heng glanced at the sky and didn’t want to delay any longer. He ordered: “Chen Yuxuan, take a team to search the Qingxu monastery, check every room, and don’t miss anything. Fang Ji, take people to search the mountains, you must find the traces of those Taoist priests.”

Chen Yuxuan and Fang Ji took their orders and led their teams out. When Prefect Cheng saw this, he made use of this opportunity and said: “Master Lu, it is almost Shen Shi, why don’t you go back to the county government to rest first, and leave the search to the rest?”

|| Shen Shi (申时) 3-5 pm.

Lu Heng said lightly: “If Master Cheng is tired, you can leav e on your own, don’t worry about me.”

“I’m not tired.” Prefect Cheng forced a smile, “What are you talking about, Master Lu?” ”

Lu Heng was still walking around behind the palace hall, not knowing what he was looking at. After a while, footsteps suddenly came from outside the hall. Chen Yuxuan stopped at the entrance of the hall and clenched his fists with a tense face: “Commander, I found something and I dare not make a decision, please take a look.”

Chen Yuxuan’s face was serious, and Lu Heng knew something was wrong, so he turned around and walked out immediately. Upon seeing this, Prefect Cheng and the others hurriedly followed.

Chen Yuxuan led the way, walked straight to a room, and stood sideways: “Commander, look.”

This was one of the east halls of the palace. There were many daily utensils, seats, and beds here, it looked like the place where a Taoist priest lived. However, the owner of the hut was nowhere to be found. The originally clean room was turned into a mess, and even the bed boards were lifted. Although the Imperial Guard’s behavior was a bit excessive, they actually found something under the bed.

An Imperial Guard lifted the quilt and showed Lu Heng what was underneath. Lu Heng looked at it for a while, then slowly pulled out the paper from between the boards.

This was a portrait of a woman, wearing armor, holding double swords, and riding on a horse, glaring and shouting. People outside the painting could not hear what she was shouting, but they could imagine that her voice would be extremely loud and clear, drawing all with her call.

If you are enjoying the novel, please support this translation and get direct access to new releases by reading it at the translator’s original website: https://justforfuntrans.com

Seeing that Lu Heng was staring at the painting without moving for a long time, Prefect Cheng couldn’t help asking: “Master Lu, what’s wrong?”

Lu Heng handed the portrait to Prefect Cheng and said: “Master Cheng, come and see.”

Prefect Cheng accepted the letter with suspicion, and Tao Yiming stood behind Prefect Cheng, also looking at the portrait. Prefect Cheng’s expression was puzzled at first, then he froze, and finally frowned deeply: “Could it be, this…”

Lu Heng stood with his hands behind his back, which made him look particularly slender. Lu Heng looked at the two of them calmly, and said slowly: “That’s right, this is Tang Sai’er.”

Some officers and soldiers were illiterate, so they quietly asked: “Tang Sai’er is…”

“White Lotus’ female bandit leader.” Lu Heng’s eyes swept over the crowd, his tone so calm that it was frightening, “Even if you don’t know about White Lotus, you should know about the Binzhou rebellion during the reign of Emperor Yongle.”

|| White Lotus (白莲教) was a religious and political organization first formed in the Song and Tang dynasty.

In Emperor Hongwu’s final years, Monarch Yan launched the Jingnan Campaign and later moved the capital to Beijing. Shandong was the main battlefield during the Jingnan Rebellion. Later, when the capital was moved, hundreds of thousands of civilian husbands were recruited to build palaces, transport grain, and dig canals, resulting in heavy casualties. Coupled with continuous droughts and floods, the prevalent people in Shandong were miserable. During the turmoil, a woman from Binzhou took over the mountains and led the people in a rebellion. The counter-tide once swept nine prefectures including Qingzhou, Laizhou, Juzhou, and Jiaozhou.

That woman’s name was Tang Sai’er. Later, the rebel army was suppressed by the imperial court, but Tang Sai’er escaped amid the chaos. The government searched many years for her but failed to find any trace. This incident was widely known in Shandong and Henan. Even though the imperial court tried its best to suppress it, many people still secretly worshiped Tang Sai’er. Some people even called her the Mother of Buddha. It was rumored that after the war, Tang Sai’er was promoted to Taoism and was ranked among the immortals. That’s why the imperial army couldn’t catch her no matter their efforts.

It seemed that the Taoist priest living in this house was one of Tang Sai’er’s believers.

The drop of a needle could be heard in the room, and Prefect Cheng hurriedly said: “Master Lu, you must clearly observe that this official is innocent, loyal to the emperor, and has absolutely never colluded with the White Lotus Sect.”

Lu Heng glanced at Prefect Cheng lightly, and said: “Then why did these things appear under Weihui’s government?”

“I don’t know.” Prefect Cheng shook his hands and said urgently, “I am in charge of the large Weihui Mansion, how can I see everything. Don’t worry, Master Lu, after you go back, I will definitely investigate and find all these rebels!”

Lu Heng scanned the prefect, and his eyes fell on Tao Yiming. Tao Yiming also bowed his head and clasped his hands: “I was negligent and didn’t know that there were White Lotus Sect members hiding in the Qingxu monastery, please fault me.”

Without saying anything, Lu Heng signaled Chen Yuxuan to put away the portrait, and walked out of the courtyard by himself. Prefect Cheng breathed a sigh of relief, lowered his voice, and scolded Tao Yiming: “Look at the disaster you caused, you alone neglected your duty, and have subjected everyone in Weihui’s government office! You watch here, I’ll go and plead with Master Lu.”

Tao Yiming lowered his head, allowing Prefect Cheng to scold him. After Prefect Cheng reprimanded his subordinate, he quickly caught up with Lu Heng.

Lu Heng once again stood in front of the neat array of paper figurines holding swords. He didn’t say a word, and Prefect Cheng waited behind him under the scorching sun, not daring to speak out. Lu Heng watched for a while, then said suddenly: “Master Cheng, do you remember that rumor.”

“I am ignorant. Please enlighten me, Master Lu.”

“It was said that Tang Sai’er found the heavenly book and the sword in the crevice of the stone. She learned the spells in the heavenly book, cut paper into soldiers, and turned stone into gold. The sword was also a magic weapon, but only Tang Sai’er could use it. She used her ability to cut paper and appeal to troops, recruiting a large number of people. One hundred answered the call and there were many responses from the people. Later, the rebellion was suppressed, and all the rebel leaders in the mountain stronghold were beheaded. Only Tang Sai’er was missing alongside the heavenly book and sword. Unexpectedly, a hundred years later, a portrait of Tang Sai’er could be seen in a Taoist monastery. These paper figurines were so similar to the legendary paper figurines and horses.”

Prefect Cheng stopped a moment, and asked in a low voice: “Master Lu, do you mean…”

“The Taoist priests of the Qingxu monastery secretly hid the portrait of Tang Sai’er and there was an altar in the back hall. Tell me, would the Taoist priests of the Qingxu monastery learn Tang Saier’s demon technique and turn the villagers of Hegu Village into paper figurines for their own use?”

Prefect Cheng let out a cry, and said: “Master Lu, what do you mean, that these paper figurines are actually transformed from living people?”

“That’s right. Otherwise, what else could explain the things in the Qingxu monastery?”

Prefect Cheng half-hung his body and cupped his hands. He couldn’t see Lu Heng’s expression clearly, he could only feel Lu Heng standing in front of him, his stature extremely straight and tall. The children who grew up in the family of sixth generations of military guards had their behavior etched into their bones. They always sat straight and stood upright at all times. His shadow cast down like a pointed javelin.

Prefect Cheng was sweating on his forehead from the sun, and finally, he deliberately smiled and said: “Master Lu is joking again.”

Prefect Cheng laughed exaggeratedly, and Lu Heng also laughed softly in front of him. Prefect Cheng’s hairs stood on end when he laughed, but Lu Heng turned around, patted Prefect Cheng’s shoulder affectionately, and said seriously: “I’m not joking.”

Prefect Cheng’s face froze. Lu Heng’s face was cold and serious just now, and his somber face was scary, but he laughed in an instant. It was so confusing and uncertain that Prefect Cheng was completely unable to figure out what he wanted to do.

Lu Heng looked directly into Prefect Cheng’s eyes and said meaningfully: “Master Cheng, don’t be nervous. I’m just having a heart-to-heart conversation with Master Cheng. In the early years of Yongle, natural disasters and man-made disasters continued, which gave the rebels an opportunity, but in only sixty days, the rebellion was completely suppressed. Not to mention that the current emperor brought a peaceful and prosperous age, even if a villain enshrined the White Lotus Sect and wanted to follow the actions of Tang Sai’er back then, it is doomed to fail. However, the emperor is kind. If he could find Tang Sai’er’s heavenly book and sword, with such a great contribution, Prefect Cheng’s tomorrow would be really precious.”

Prefect Cheng’s eyes moved quickly, and the muscles on his face were stiff. It was as if he wanted to laugh, but felt it was out of place: “Master Lu, I am just a dull official, I hope Master Lu will make it clear.”

Lu Heng just smiled and didn’t say much. He turned to look at the paper figurines again and sighed: “Looking at it this way, these paper figurines are really lifelike. If it weren’t for the unfinished paper, some people would believe it was a real person.”

If you are enjoying the novel, please support this translation and get direct access to new releases by reading it at the translator’s original website: https://justforfuntrans.com

After Lu Heng said these words, the Imperial Guards, who went to search the back mountain, also returned, saying that he did not find any trace of Taoist priests. Seeing that there were no more clues in the Qingxu monastery, Lu Heng sent the order to return to the city.


At the county government office, Wang Yanqing came back from outside exhausted, and the guards at the door were very surprised when they saw her: “Miss Wang? When did you go out ”

She didn’t know how Fu Tingzhou’s men bypassed the guards, up to now, these people still didn’t know that Wang Yanqing was missing. Wang Yanqing’s mind was very confused now, and she didn’t want to disturb Lu Heng, so she said lightly: “It’s nothing, I just went out for a walk by myself.”

The guards felt something was wrong, but Wang Yanqing came back unscathed, so it should have been fine, maybe they didn’t notice when they changed guards? While the guard hesitated, Wang Yanqing had already entered. He looked at Wang Yanqing’s back and swallowed the words in his mouth silently.

Forget it, maybe he didn’t see.

After Wang Yanqing returned to the house, she immediately laid down on the bed, wrapped herself tightly in the quilt, and went to sleep. She was extremely tired from this trip, and she was only able to get here thanks to her willpower. She didn’t know how long she slept, but finally, she was woken up by the intensifying cramps in her stomach.

Wang Yanqing looked towards the window and it turns out that it was almost You Shi. She hadn’t eaten well all day, no wonder she had a terrible stomachache. Wang Yanqing was suffering from menstrual pain and hunger, and she didn’t even have the strength to speak. Just at this time, the people from the kitchen came to ask if she had dinner. Wang Yanqing saw that it was the maid from yesterday, and said silently: “Thank you.”

|| You Shi (酉时) 5-7 pm.

The maid quickly came over with the food box, and while she was putting down the dishes, she said: “Miss, at noon, Master Lu’s people came and said that you didn’t need lunch, so we left it alone. It’s a pity that the old hen on the stove has been cooking for a long time.”

Wang Yanqing listened quietly. She knew in her heart that it was not Lu Heng’s people who went to the kitchen to inform them at noon, but Fu Tingzhou’s subordinates. Afterward, they pretended to be kitchen staff and brought food boxes with drugs to deliver food to Wang Yanqing. The guards, not knowing truth from lie, were fooled.

This was the disadvantage of being unfamiliar with the place. Now there were three groups of people in the county government, people with Lu Heng, Prefect Cheng, and County Magistrate Tao. These people don’t know each other, and that made it easy to be taken advantage of. If you were in the Lu Mansion, you would come and go with acquaintances, so it would not be easy to play tricks.

Wang Yanqing suddenly remembered Fu Tingzhou’s words. She didn’t tell the truth for some reason, but covered it up: “That’s right, I wanted to go out and look around, so I didn’t eat at the mansion.”

The maid didn’t think much about it, a little lady came to a new place, and it was normal to go out for a walk. She arranged the dishes and left obediently. Wang Yanqing was the only one left in the room again. She looked at the hot food in front of her and lost her appetite, but she knew that if she didn’t want to be in so much pain that she couldn’t get out of bed tomorrow, she had better eat.

Wang Yanqing forced herself to pick up the bowls and chopsticks, and numbly picked up the vegetables to eat. Although Qixian County was a small place, the cooks were good at cooking, and the dishes were cooked authentically, which was completely different from the flavor of the capital. It was a pity that Wang Yanqing couldn’t taste the flavor at all. She drank the soup calmly as her mind was full of what Fu Tingzhou said during the day.

He said that Lu Heng was lying to her. She was not Lu Heng’s adoptive sister, but a hostage taken after Lu Heng set up an ambush. Later, when Lu Heng learned that she had amnesia, he schemed a plan.

Not to mention, Lu Heng could do such a thing.

Wang Yanqing reflected quietly in her heart. How could it be false when Lu Heng could tell her identity and childhood anecdotes accurately? But even Wang Yanqing couldn’t convince herself of this excuse. Others might not be able to do anything about it, but for an Imperial Guard, checking a person’s life was as easy as pie.

When Fu Tingzhou was speaking today, Wang Yanqing kept observing his expression. Wang Yanqing didn’t see any trace of lying, and her household registration and family letters couldn’t be more real. It was as if two energies were fighting in Wang Yanqing’s mind, and she was in a state of confusion, unable to understand anything.

She thought, maybe she was wrong. Fu Tingzhou was actually lying, but she didn’t see it. Or it may not be accurate to judge the truth from the expression or behavior…

Wang Yanqing slumped in the chair. She realized that she was using her emotions to interfere with her judgment. When a person’s standpoint was no longer objective, the detection of lies lost its meaning. One would only see what they wanted to see.

Holding the soup bowl in her hand, she didn’t know where her eyes settled, and she didn’t move for a long time. Suddenly, the sound of greetings came from outside. Wang Yanqing woke up suddenly, put down the bowl, and stood up.

She had just stood up when the door opened. Faced with Lu Heng, Wang Yanqing panicked for a moment. She squeezed her hands tightly, smiled, and said to Lu Heng: “Second Brother, you are back.”

Lu Heng glanced at her face, then looked at the dish of soup in her hand that was no longer steaming, and smiled calmly: “Why are you only eating now? Didn’t I tell them to bring you food at You Shi?”

In fact, the delivery time was right, it was just that Wang Yanqing was restless, so she delayed until now. Wang Yanqing pursed her hair, lowered her eyes, and said: “I took a nap in the afternoon and woke up late.”

Lu Heng responded with a sound, and sure enough, he didn’t pursue it anymore. He pressed Wang Yanqing’s shoulder, and Wang Yanqing dodged subconsciously. Lu Heng had a full view, but acted as if he hadn’t noticed anything, and said: “You continue to eat, don’t worry about me.”

Wang Yanqing shook her head: “I’ve already finished eating. Second Brother, why are you only back now?”

With a smile in his eyes, Lu Heng said tactfully: “It’s a bit complicated.”

It was not an ordinary sort of complicated, even the White Lotus Sect was involved.

Wang Yanqing called someone in to clean up the dishes, followed Lu Heng, and asked: “What’s going on?”

Lu Heng walked to the other side to untie his sheath and protective gear, sighed, and said: “It’s hard to say. I heard the guard say that you went out this afternoon. Why did you go out alone?”

Wang Yanqing looked at Lu Heng quietly. He lowered his head and unbuttoned his cuffs, with a casual expression and peaceful eyes. His skin was fair, and his eyebrows and eyes were particularly handsome. From this angle, he looked like a bodhisattva with downcast eyes, with silent compassion, and beauty. He seemed to be just asking casually, not like he found anything. Wang Yanqing bit her lip and said in a complaining tone: “The ones you left behind are all men, how can I bring them when I go out to buy women’s things?”

Lu Heng smiled and raised his eyes. With a sincere smile and sparkling eyes, he fixed a look at her and said: “It was my negligence, it won’t happen again.”

He seemed to admit his mistake, but in fact, his gaze had already fallen behind Wang Yanqing. When he first entered the door, he noticed that the side of the dining table facing the door was crooked. The changes were very subtle, but Lu Heng had been walking in assassinations all year round, so he was very sensitive to changes in the position of any equipment.

He looked at that place again. The northwest corner of the dining table was skewed by a small angle. Someone must have come in from the door, bumped into it, and forgotten to restore it later. Lu Heng loosened his sleeves and took off the slender and cold embroidered knife. He walked around disguising his movement by storing his knife, and sure enough, there were chrysanthemum petals swept to the corner of the flower pot.

The chrysanthemum petals had lost their color and should have been used for soup. Chrysanthemums were cold in nature, he didn’t order them, and neither did Wang Yanqing, so who brought them?

Lu Heng smiled for real this time. He had to solve a case within three days, and everyone in the palace knew about it. Lu Heng wondered why Fu Tingzhou didn’t take advantage of such an important opportunity. It turns out that he was waiting for him here.

|| Author’s Note:

Lu Heng: In the next chapter, I will show you the battle of defending the title of best actor.

|| Translator’s Note: Thank you all so much for waiting patiently 🥰. We have moved in, we are just constructing, organizing, and cleaning everything. TIGR translations are now back on schedule!

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