TIGR Chapter 63
The Imperial Guard’s Revenge
Chapter 63 Demolished
The embroidered knife was placed on its holder accompanied by a muffled sound unique to fine steel. Lu Heng knew very well in his heart who had been here today, and who Wang Yanqing went to see in the afternoon, but he still smiled when he turned around, talking to Wang Yanqing as usual.
He thought that his patience was not bad. If Wang Yanqing didn’t want to reveal herself, he could play along.
Lu Heng asked her what she had eaten today and whether she felt unwell, and Wang Yanqing answered his questions one by one. This kind of dialogue happened almost every day and Wang Yanqing was already used to the routine, but listening to it today made her feel very worried.
Basic necessities could easily be dealt with, but how could someone who could even calculate the date of her monthly period be lying to her?
Wang Yanqing finally couldn’t bear it any longer. She finally raised her head and asked: “Second Brother, where is my household registration?”
Wang Yanqing raised her face halfway revealing her eyes, as clear and deep as the starry sky after rain. Lu Heng thought to himself that these eyes were really beautiful. Such eyes made people want to give up everything just to protect the stars inside.
It was a pity that Lu Heng was not a gentleman after all, protecting this virtue had nothing to do with him, he just wanted to have it. He only paused for a short moment before he said naturally: “Of course it’s in the capital. How could I carry such an important thing with me?”
It was a sufficient reason and Wang Yanqing fell silent after hearing this. Lu Heng watched her expression silently, and asked with a smile: “Qing Qing, why are you asking these questions, did you encounter any issues?”
Wang Yanqing lowered her eyes, shook her head after a long time, and said: “It’s nothing, I was just asking.”
Lu Heng raised his eyebrows, and without saying a word, he casually walked to the table and sat down, calmly pouring a cup of tea. The tea was twisted into a column and gurgled into the teacup. The sound changed from shallow to deep, gradually rushing: “Qing Qing, there is one thing I can’t figure out about the case. Can you please help me sort it out.”
When Wang Yanqing heard this, she immediately sat next to Lu Heng, as expected: “Okay. Second Brother, what’s the problem?”
Lu Heng put the cup in front of Wang Yanqing, picked up another teacup for himself, and said: “I followed the paper figurine that appeared last night, and asked at a shop in Linxian County. When the shopkeepers were offering incense at the Qingxu monastery, they happened to bump into the practice and saw paper figurines that were lifelike on both sides. The shopkeepers were very surprised and hurried forward to ask where the paper was bought. The Taoist priests didn’t want to put up with them and said they did it themselves. Because those paper figurines were so realistic, the shopkeeper never forgot them. When the officials asked about them today, he remembered them.”
Wang Yanqing nodded: “The shopkeeper earns his living through handicrafts. It’s normal for him to think that way if he saw someone doing better.”
Lu Heng said: “So I went to the Qingxu monastery. It’s a pity that there was no one in the Qingxu monastery, only one hundred and one paper figurines remained. Counting the one from yesterday, it happened to correspond to the one hundred and two missing men from Hegu Village. There was also an altar behind the palace hall, and the identities, names, and birth dates of the one hundred and two people were attached to a sacrificial text. I checked and they are all correct.”
Wang Yanqing frowned slowly after hearing this: “Do you suspect that the Taoist priests of Qingxu monastery are responsible?”
“According to all the evidence so far, it can only be them.” Lu Heng held the teacup but didn’t drink it, and said slowly, “They can make paper figurines themselves, there is ready-made evidence in the Taoist monastery, and the Taoist priests in the temple are missing. I also found a portrait of Tang Sai’er under a Taoist priest’s bed.”
Wang Yanqing was even more surprised: “Tang Sai’er?”
“Yes, the leader of the White Lotus in the early years of Yongle.” Lu Heng nodded and said, “If they believe in the White Lotus, then all their actions could be explained. They wanted to imitate Tang Sai’er’s paper-cut soldiers, so they became proficient in the art of making paper figurines. There were traces of someone performing rituals behind the palace hall. They likely controlled over one hundred men in Hegu Village by using some sort of sorcery to turn them into paper figurines and keep them as servants. The paper figurine suddenly appeared on the roof yesterday, fled away despite being surrounded by everyone, and appeared again at the gate of the county government office in the blink of an eye. It must have been the Taoist priest who was controlling them.”
Wang Yanqing listened silently, and after a while, she asked ambiguously: “Second Brother, do you really believe that living people can become paper figurines?”
Lu Heng smiled when he heard her address, lifted the tea cover calmly, and said: “I don’t want to believe it either, but now all the witnesses and evidence point to this possibility. The evidence is right in front of us, so we have no choice but to believe it.”
“However, evidence can be forged, it still has to be in line with common sense.”
“Yes.” Lu Heng’s eyes fixed on her, and he said unhurriedly, “Evidence can be forged, but feelings can’t.”
Wang Yanqing was startled, feeling that Lu Heng meant something. Almost like he went around such a big circle and brought out a set of bizarre paper-changing techniques from living people just to say this sentence.
Evidence can be forged, but feelings can’t.
Wang Yanqing paused and was taken aback for a while as if her mind suddenly opened up. Yes, how did she make such a mistake. The brain was seeing, hearing, smelling, and sensing all the time, but less than one out of ten thoughts were conscious. The first instant feeling when seeing a certain person or a certain object was often the intuition developed by the brain after a long period of accumulation and processing of countless details. When reason cannot make a decision, then listen to the first feeling.
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
When she saw Fu Tingzhou today, he asked her if she was feeling well and the confusion in his expression was real. Fu Tingzhou didn’t even know that she was in pain when she was young, but Lu Heng knew what she liked to eat and what she used, and remembered when her monthly period came every time, so he could understand what she meant without speaking. He knew her very well and had a perfect understanding. How could she doubt Second Brother just because an outsider made a casual claim?
Wang Yanqing couldn’t help but think of what Lu Heng said before. He said that Fu Tingzhou would use any means to achieve his goals. He dared to say anything when he was crazy. Maybe he would pour dirty water on Lu Heng and sow discord between their brother and sister relationship. At that time Wang Yanqing thought that she would be able to see through it, but unexpectedly, she almost fell into the trick today.
Wang Yanqing suddenly admired Lu Heng very much. He had guessed what Fu Tingzhou would do so early on, and he predicted it exactly. It was amazing.
Wang Yanqing said sincerely: “Second Brother, you are really amazing.”
Lu Heng’s eyes seemed to contain the scenery of lakes and mountains, the moon, and the sea of stars. He smiled and looked at Wang Yanqing calmly: “How am I amazing?”
Wang Yanqing said: “Predicting the future is the ability of a god, it can be called miraculous.”
Lu Heng lowered his eyes, suppressing the smile in his eyes. How could anyone have predicted what would happen in half a year? This was just the most likely reaction of a normal person after learning the truth.
In terms of calculating people’s hearts, Fu Tingzhou was still too young.
Lu Heng held back his smile, and when he raised his eyes again, he was full of glory: “Qing Qing has praised me too much. It’s because my teacher was amazing and taught me well.”
For this point, Lu Heng really wanted to thank all the elders in the cabinet. These thousand-year-old swindlers hid needles in their words and they didn’t speak clearly when they wanted to bad mouth another. They only lightly touched the periphery, and let the emperor think about the rest. Lu Heng suffered greatly from this, so he copied them and tried it out, and the effect was really good.
After hearing this, Wang Yanqing didn’t ask any further questions, she was quiet for a moment, and suddenly said to Lu Heng: “Second Brother, there is something I want to tell you.”
Lu Heng already had a guess in his mind but pretended to be ignorant, nodded, and said: “Okay, take your time.”
Wang Yanqing sat up and looked at Lu Heng seriously. As soon as she opened her mouth, there was a thunderclap: “I saw Fu Tingzhou today.”
Lu Heng raised his eyebrows slightly and motioned her to continue. Wang Yanqing then went on to spill the rest: “Not only today, but actually, on the day of the Shangsi Festival, I also saw him.”
Lu Heng felt that he had gone too far by pretending not to know, so he slightly restrained his smile, and said seriously: “Is that the man you hid in the dressing room?”
“I didn’t hide him.” Wang Yanqing hurriedly dismissed, “When I went in, he was already hiding there. I was afraid that things would escalate, so I kept silent about it.”
Lu Heng, a liar and cheat, turned around and even dared to teach Wang Yanqing a lesson with very righteous words: “Nonsense, you want to pretend nothing happened, but you can’t say that he and I have absolutely no sentiment or face for each other? You are naive and want to have a good talk with him, but how do you know what Fu Tingzhou is up to? What if he knocked you out and took you away?”
Wang Yanqing was lectured until she couldn’t hold her head up. In fact, Fu Tingzhou really knocked her out and took her away. Seeing that Lu Heng was right again, Wang Yanqing felt more and more guilty, and muttered: “Second Brother, I was wrong, I thought too simply.”
Lu Heng’s outburst was half real and half fake but he felt that it was enough, so he showed a soft side at just that time: “You went out this afternoon to see him?”
Wang Yanqing didn’t dare tell Lu Heng that she was knocked out and taken away, so she lied a little: “Yes.”
“What did he tell you today?”
Wang Yanqing lowered her head and confessed obediently: “He said you were lying to me, pretending to be my second brother during my amnesia. He also took out my household registration and my father’s family letter, saying that it was the Zhenyuan Marquis Mansion that adopted me, not the Lu Mansion.”
Wang Yanqing felt ashamed and didn’t dare to raise her head, so she naturally missed the thoughtful look in Lu Heng’s eyes. Lu Heng narrowed his eyes slightly, this villain Fu Tingzhou actually hid Wang Cong’s letter?
This was troublesome. The Imperial Guards managed the intelligence system, and it was not a problem to fake a household registration. Lu Heng could guarantee that it would be more authentic than the original one. But family letters were not easy to forge.
Lu Heng had no way to explain it, so he didn’t explain it at all, and muddled the scene with his fists: “You just listened to what he said. So you lied to me just now, and even tried to find out where your household registration is? Do you really doubt me?”
Wang Yanqing felt even more guilty after being told off. How could she dare to ask about the household registration and family letter: “No.”
However, Lu Heng looked very hurt, and said, heartbroken: “I warned you a long time ago, and you didn’t want to believe it. But when an outsider made up a few random sentences, you deceived me just because of him. If I didn’t ask today, how long were you going to hide it?”
“Really?” Lu Heng narrowed his eyes slightly, and pressed forward step by step, “Qing Qing, there are no outsiders now, you might as well tell the truth to your Second Brother. If there was a conflict between him and me, who would you believe?”
Wang Yanqing was overwhelmed by guilt, and upon hearing this, she raised her head and looked at Lu Heng seriously: “Of course, I would believe you.”
Her pupils were serious as if she was making a sacred promise. Lu Heng pretended to snort coldly and said: “This is the second time. Things happen once or twice, but not repeatedly. Next time if you do it again…”
Lu Heng should have finished with a threatening statement, but after thinking about it, he couldn’t think of how to punish her. However, Wang Yanqing was very obedient, and immediately answered: “There will never be a next time.”
Lu Heng wondered how far he should act, and he felt that it was enough, so he showed a look of resentment, and tapped Wang Yanqing’s forehead forcefully: “You are not even married yet, and you are more suspicious of your brother than outsiders. When you have a husband in the future, won’t you turn against me?”
Wang Yanqing answered subconsciously: “I won’t.”
“What do you mean you won’t?”
Wang Yanqing was stuck, unable to say whether she wouldn’t turn against Lu Heng, or wouldn’t marry. Lu Heng glanced at Wang Yanqing calmly and lightly moved the topic away: “It’s okay. You were also deceived, so let me spare you for now. Stay away from Fu Tingzhou in the future and don’t talk to him.”
This time Wang Yanqing didn’t answer right away, she was quiet for a while, raised her eyes, and said: “Second Brother, even if he could forge the household registration, how did he know about my experience?”
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
Lu Heng didn’t expect that Wang Yanqing would remember this. He smiled calmly and said: “How do I know about him?”
“I think there is a problem.”Wang Yanqing looked at Lu Heng stubbornly, and said, “I want to try again.”
Lu Heng’s heart was conflicted, but as a “real brother” with a clear conscience, it seemed a bit wrong to block her this time: “But it’s too dangerous…”
“That’s not a problem.” Wang Yanqing said seriously, “What if we have his spy around us? This matter must be investigated clearly.”
Lu Heng had a headache. He smiled sincerely, gritted his teeth, and nodded: “Okay.”
After Wang Yanqing told Lu Heng about Fu Tingzhou’s incident, she felt relieved, and even the dull pain in her stomach seemed to have eased. Sure enough, one’s physical condition was closely related to mentality. As long as they were in a good mood, their body would not be sick at all. Wang Yanqing felt relaxed and immediately remembered the paper figurine case that they were distracted from just now. Wang Yanqing asked earnestly: “Second Brother, is this case really committed by a Taoist priest from the Qingxu monastery?”
Lu Heng rubbed the porcelain cup with his fingers, and looked at a place with vacant eyes as if he was thinking about something else. Hearing Wang Yanqing’s words, he casually responded: “Maybe.”
Wang Yanqing frowned, thinking it was outrageous: “Second Brother, there are no outsiders now, so you don’t have to hide it. There are no ghosts and spirits in the world. How could one hundred and two living beings become paper figurines?”
Hearing this, Lu Heng returned to his senses and glanced at her with a half-smile: “You can’t talk nonsense. The emperor believes, how can there be no ghosts and spirits in the world?”
Wang Yanqing frowned slightly, looking at Lu Heng ambiguously. Lu Heng smiled slightly into her gaze and said: “Don’t think about it, go and pack your luggage first. Today is the second day, and tomorrow, we will return to the palace.”
The emperor only gave Lu Heng three days. No matter whether there was any result tomorrow, he must go back to report. Wang Yanqing sighed softly, got up, and walked towards the bedroom: “I still don’t think it’s a ghost, but man-made. Taking a step back, even if it was true that the Taoist priests of Qingxu monastery committed the crime, and they worshiped the White Lotus in private, did the county magistrate really not know?”
Lu Heng took a sip of tea and asked lightly: “Do you doubt Tao Yiming?”
“Yes.” Wang Yanqing nodded, “Magistrate Tao was born into a poor family. He studied hard for many years and finally became an official. But he was still lingering at the bottom, depressed and unwilling, and even bullied by a flatterer like Prefect Cheng. If I were him, I would never be willing. I don’t know much about the White Lotus, but this kind of sect is not recognized by the mainstream and generally absorbs the poor, women, and children. County Magistrate Tao is unsuccessful in his official career, but he is the local head official, so he should be the key target of the White Lotus.”
Lu Heng nodded: “That’s right. After entering the Qingxu monastery today, Cheng Youhai chattered endlessly, but Tao Yiming was exceptionally silent. In other words, since he saw me yesterday, he has rarely spoken.”
While folding her own clothes, Wang Yanqing asked: “Then do you want to investigate him?”
Lu Heng turned his head, looked at the sky outside the window, and said: “It’s getting dark, that will be tomorrow’s business. You go to bed first.”
Thinking of what she saw last night, Wang Yanqing felt a little uneasy. But it was getting late, and she knew that Lu Heng would definitely not let her go out, so she could only suppress her worry, and answer helplessly: “Okay.”
Life here was unfamiliar, and once it got dark, there was nothing to do except sleep. After Wang Yanqing finished washing, she saw Lu Heng standing in the west room looking through things, walked over, and asked: “Second Brother, what are you looking at?”
Lu Heng turned around and saw Wang Yanqing holding a lamp, her long hair was loose, and she was only wearing a middle dress. Because she had just washed up, her skin was fair and her eyes were wet, reminiscent of a deer. Lu Heng thought that she trusted him too much. Even dressed like this, she came to him directly.
In her eyes, was he not a stranger to her, or was he not a man?
Lu Heng didn’t know what to think for a moment. He turned his eyes restrainedly, stared at the file in his hand, and said: “Just take a look.”
Wang Yanqing suddenly thought of something and went to the table to rummage through it: “I read half of a file during the day, and it was related to the Qingxu monastery. I remember putting it here…”
She leaned over and her collar couldn’t help but open. Lu Heng saw the scene unravel before his eyes, and when he lowered his head, he could see the snow-white skin between her collar, and down her neck. He could even faintly see the white skin rising and falling. Lu Heng’s Adam’s apple moved slightly, and he finally turned his gaze to the side. He pressed his fist to the corner of his lips and gave a low cough.
Wang Yanqing raised her head and Lu Heng deliberately looked to the side, and said: “The book you are looking for is here.”
Wang Yanqing realized and hurriedly said: “I marked those pages…”
She was afraid that Lu Heng would not be able to find it, so she stepped forward to help him find it. Lu Heng really didn’t expect that she would dare to approach him. A burst of warm jade fragrance involuntarily burst into his nose and Lu Heng’s fingers clenched tightly. He was struggling with what he should do when suddenly there was a sound of hurried footsteps outside. Lu Heng moved faster than he could think, immediately threw the file on the table, and turned around with his arms around Wang Yanqing’s shoulders.
He had just stood with Wang Yanqing in his arms when the door was pushed open: “Commander, something serious happened…”
Chen Yuxuan was in a hurry to report. For a moment he forgot that this was a foreign place, and took this place as South Fusi, so he just opened the door and entered. After he came in, he found that the commander was standing with his back facing him. His back was completely solid, but a section of a woman’s clothes was faintly exposed below.
Chen Yuxuan’s mind froze, and he suddenly forgot what he was going to say. At this moment, Lu Heng turned around and stared at him with a very dangerous gaze.
Chen Yuxuan woke up suddenly and he didn’t dare to look anymore. He quickly lowered his head with his palms high in front of his eyes: “Commander, there is really something big. Tao Yiming hung himself.”
|| Author’s Note:
Lu Heng: He actually hid the family letter, that’s too despicable. Although I have no evidence, it doesn’t matter. We’ll talk about feelings.