TIGR Chapter 72
The Imperial Guards Revenge
Chapter 72 Promotion
On the twenty-eighth day of the sixth month, the Weihui Palace caught fire. At that time, the fire lit up half of the sky and could be seen from the state capital, hundreds of miles away. It wasn’t until dawn that this weird fire was finally extinguished, leaving only sporadic flames.
This night could be described as a heavy loss. Many accompanying soldiers, eunuchs, concubines, and court ladies were killed in the sea of fire and countless of property were lost. However, this was not the most serious matter. The truly serious one was that the emperor was almost trapped to death by the fire.
As soon as the officials in Henan heard the news, they immediately felt that their lives were on the line. The land was darkened in front of Monarch Zhu of Weihui and he almost passed out at that time.
The local officials were trembling and the Beijing officials who accompanied them were also uncomfortable. The emperor suffered such a catastrophe, so the originally planned itinerary was naturally no longer valid, and everyone stayed in the Weihui Palace. After the emperor was rescued from the fire, Head Auxiliary Zhang, Chen Yin, the Marquis of Wuding, Duke Cheng, and others stood guard all night in front of the palace, but the emperor still did not show up the next day. Empress Zhang ate behind closed doors and was sent back without even seeing the emperor’s face.
When the officials saw that the emperor hadn’t appeared for a long time, they couldn’t help but feel uneasy. They were as cautious as Yan Wei and couldn’t help but inquire about the news. But now even concubines were not allowed to enter and the only ones who could see the emperor were eunuchs and Lu Heng.
Not speaking of the eunuchs, if Lu Heng could get mixed into this team, shouldn’t he reflect a little bit?
Fortunately, the emperor did not let outside speculation last long. On the third day after the fire, the emperor finally summoned the officials.
In the past three days, the news of Lu Heng’s rescue had spread all over the world. The officials outside were scrambling to deliver medicine to Lu Heng. The eunuch was also very obedient and sent the best burn ointment from the Imperial Hospital.
Lu Heng declined visitors and refused anyone who inquired about news or formed a clique. Except for checking it at the palace, he spent the rest of the time in his courtyard to “heal his wounds”. Wang Yanqing saw Lu Heng’s injury with her own eyes that night, and she was very worried and insisted on applying medicine and bandaging him.
Of course, that was exactly what Lu Heng wished for. His biggest injury was on his arm, but other places were also hit by sparks, so if he wanted the medicine to be applied well, he would have to unravel his clothes. Ever since Lu Heng talked to Wang Yanqing, he became less and less willing to withhold himself. When redressing the wound, he couldn’t help holding and stroking her. He was enjoying the best medicine and there was a beautiful woman in his arms to greet him. Lu Heng was in a happy mood and his injury healed quickly. When he went to see the doctor on the third day, his movements were no longer hindered.
Lu Heng rushed to the makeshift palace, and when he entered the door, he bumped into Fu Tingzhou. Lu Heng smiled at Fu Tingzhou and took the initiative to nod his head in greeting: “Marquis of Zhenyuan.”
His tone was easy-going and he seemed very humble, but he stood in front of the palace gate and refused to make way. The eunuch who led the way was a little embarrassed and Fu Tingzhou took the initiative to back down and said lightly: “So it’s Commander Lu. Commander, please.”
Lu Heng was not polite and felt deserving of walking first. When the two of them stopped in front of the palace gate and waited for the eunuch’s announcement, Lu Heng glanced at Fu Tingzhou casually. He asked, troubled: “The Marquis of Zhenyuan’s actions seem a bit inconvenient. Could it be that Marquis of Zhenyuan is injured? Is it serious?”
Fu Tingzhou let out a cold snort, and curled the corners of his lips without a smile: “I was bitten by a mad dog, but it’s not serious. Thanks for your concern, Commander Lu.”
“That’s good it’s not serious.” Lu Heng seemed to not understand Fu Tingzhou’s words, and smiled nonchalantly, “Marquis of Zhenyuan, you should be more careful in the future. If there is another time, you may not have such good luck. After all, the Marquis of Zhenyuan is a rising star, if he is injured somewhere and cannot go to the battlefield, it will be a loss for the court.”
Lu Heng’s words stepped on Fu Tingzhou’s painful feet one after another. Fu Tingzhou gritted his teeth secretly and told himself not to care about the villain. However, everyone knew that Lu Heng was injured, and Lu Heng took the initiative to ask about him. If Fu Tingzhou didn’t say something, it would be embarrassing.
Fu Tingzhou endured his nausea and asked: “Commander Lu is recuperating behind closed doors these days and it’s inconvenient for me to disturb you. I wonder how the commander’s injuries are?”
Lu Heng’s smile deepened, and with a slight smile in his eyes, he looked at him shiningly: “It’s nothing serious, but the person beside me is worried and insists on watching me recuperate. I couldn’t bear to make her worry, so I had no choice but to decline visitors.”
Fu Tingzhou was stunned for a moment and immediately realized who Lu Heng was talking about when he said “the person beside me”. Fu Tingzhou was so angry that his wounds flared up. Lu Heng, this cheapskate. He was just wondering why Lu Heng thought of asking about his injuries. It turns out that his former taunt was fake, and the real purpose was waiting for him here.
Fu Tingzhou stared ahead, not wanting to look at Lu Heng, but his muscles tensed up, and his abdomen began to ache again. Lu Heng hugged Wang Yanqing early in the morning for “recuperation”, but now that he got Fu Tingzhou good, he felt refreshed and happy, physically and mentally.
Let this bastard feel Qing Qing’s decision again. This was just the beginning. Fu Tingzhou tried to take Qing Qing away three times and Lu Heng remembered each time carefully. He would slowly settle the accounts after the southern tour was over.
The eunuch came out of the house and found Master Lu and the Marquis of Zhenyuan standing on the left and right, each looking ahead. Master Lu had a smile in his eyes while the Marquis of Zhenyuan looked cold and serious. The two of them were only half an arm apart and their expressions were not out of place, but there seemed to be thousands of troops in the room, and wind, frost, and swords whizzing past the gap between the two of them.
As soon as the eunuch came in, a quiver shook his whole body at the smell of gunpowder in the air. He shook his head, shook off the irrelevant fantasies, and said to Lu Heng and Fu Tingzhou with a smile: “Commander Lu, Marquis of Zhenyuan, please come inside.”
When Lu Heng and Fu Tingzhou entered, there were already people waiting inside. Zhang Jinggong turned around and saw the two of them. His expression was slightly cold and his eyes unintentionally lingered on Lu Heng for a moment. Xia Wenjin straightened his neck and stared ahead, with a look of rigidness in government and military affairs. Only Yan Wei smiled and greeted the two of them: “Commander Lu, Marquis of Zhenyuan.”
Lu Heng returned the greeting. Once entering, he could no longer speak casually. Lu Heng stood with his eyes on his nose and his nose to his heart. After a while, footsteps were heard outside, and the eunuch led the Marquis of Wuding, Duke Cheng, and Chen Yin in.
Several important people had already arrived, and after waiting a while, a figure walked in. Everyone paid their respect together, Lu Heng looked down at the cracks in the bricks on the ground, the hem of his flying fish suit did not shake at all. There was a rustling sound from above and the eunuch’s high-pitched voice sounded: “You may dispense of the bows.”
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Lu Heng thanked him and everyone stood up one after another. Lu Heng didn’t raise his eyes, but he quickly took a panoramic view of the scene above from the corner of his eye. The emperor changed into his normal clothes and sat down. He looked fine, but his face was pale, he should have been quite frightened. Tao Zhongwen stood beside him, he was the one who accompanied the emperor out just now.
Everyone was undoubtedly relieved to see that the emperor was fine, not critically ill or even disfigured as they had imagined. But only halfway through the thought, their skin tensed up.
Such a strong-hearted and good-looking person like the emperor was terrified by being trapped in the fire. When he recovered, would they still have something good to eat?
Lu Heng was glad that he went out to investigate the case at a time like this. He was not in the palace and only came back on the day of the fire. No matter how the score was settled, he could not be blamed. Lu Heng looked calm and waited. He doubted Tao Zhongwen before, he said that a sky fire was inevitable, and the fire started that night. Isn’t that too coincidental? But Tao Zhongwen appeared here in good condition today, and he had a private conversation with the emperor before, which showed that he was still in the emperor’s heart.
The emperor was not a fool, if he dares to use him, it meant there was no problem. If Lu Heng was not asked to investigate, it was the East Department who did the investigation.
Perhaps Tao Zhongwen was really lucky. He pretended to be mysterious and said some ambiguous words, but it really ended up happening. Lu Heng was not stupid, no matter whether the fire had anything to do with the Taoist priest or not, the emperor didn’t respond. What did he do to provoke his suspicion?
Lu Heng didn’t even know. The emperor cleared his throat and finally spoke: “Three days ago, I had a dream.”
All the ministers felt relieved when they heard these words. When the emperor called them here, he had never discussed sleep with them, so there must have been a mystery in this dream. Sure enough, the emperor went on to say: “In my dream, I saw a goddess descending from the clouds in a glorious light riding a red phoenix. She said that she was Xuan Nu and that she came down to earth to grant three volumes of heavenly books. She also said that there was once a sword in the sky that was stolen and obtained by a traitor. However, because the scoundrel was not of fate, they could not display the power of the sword, and fortunately, no catastrophe was caused. Now Xuan Nu recovered the sword and returned it to its rightful place in heaven.”
|| Xuan Nu (九天玄女) is a goddess in ancient Chinese mythology. She is prominent in many folk legends where she holds titles of fairy and goddess of justice who often assists heroes in eradicating evil.
If the emperor didn’t speak, it was all right, but once he opened his mouth, the topic would be raised to the level of gods. Everyone was silent for a moment, and Head Auxiliary, Zhang Jinggong, tried to speak: “Xuan Nu is the God of Soldiers, it is really a blessing to be granted a Bingfu by Xuan Nu. What were these three volumes of heavenly scriptures about?”
|| Bingfu (兵符) refers to the vouchers used in ancient times to convey orders or dispatch troops.
“They were the Three Houses and Five Intentions, the outline of Yin and Yang, and the Ancient Chinese Divination Tradition. I can’t remember the rest, I only remember one section about the method of breaking the ranks.”
|| Here are the three scripture topics listed in their mentioned order: 三宫五意、阴阳之略、奇门遁甲. I could not find details on ‘三宫五意’ so I directly translated it to Three Houses and Five Intentions. If anyone knows, please share!
Even the few scholars present at the scene were a little confused at the moment, not sure what the emperor wanted to do. Tao Zhongwen stood under the throne and said at the right time: “Xuan Nu is the spirit of heaven and earth and the aura of Yin and Yang. Gods have unlimited power, in unlimited forms, they are the leader of all truths. Xuan Nu once taught the Yellow Emperor the Five Elements Formation and helped him conquer China. Now she gifted the Emperor with the Art of War in her dream. It can be seen that His Majesty complied with the will of God and is receiving a lot of help. Though I don’t know why Xuan Nu mentioned it being obtained by a traitor?”
The emperor didn’t say who confiscated Xuan Nu’s property, but only described the appearance of the sword. Hearing this, government servants may not understand, but the Marquis of Wuding, Duke Cheng, and Fu Tingzhou, who had been dealing with weapons all year round, already understood.
The Heavenly Sword, wasn’t this Tang Sai’er who claimed to be enlightened by a god back then? Fu Tingzhou vaguely touched on the emperor’s intention, but he didn’t understand why the emperor wanted to go in such a big circle. The emperor insisted on saying that the gods entrusted him with dreams and he composed them precisely. Why bother to involve the White Lotus?
Fu Tingzhou’s mind suddenly flashed, as if thinking of something, and he looked to the side. Lu Heng looked down at the ground, his eyelashes covered the shadows in his eyes, but his expression was too indifferent.
Fu Tingzhou seemed to have caught wind of something, but before he could put it all together, Tao Zhongwen frowned, revealing the charade with a look of surprise: “The person in Xuan Nu story is Tang Sai’er, the head of the White Lotus?”
The emperor sighed and said: “I can’t believe it either, but the details in the dream were vivid, and Xuan Nu also said that these things were taken from a cave in Lingshan. I think this place is strange. Lu Heng.”
Lu Heng stepped forward, lowered his eyes, and cupped his fists: “Here.”
“Take people to this place to look for it and see if you can find the cave that Xuan Nu spoke about.”
After a long story, then flattering, and then calling out, the Head Auxiliary already understood what the emperor wanted to do. The emperor talked so much, but he wanted to tell them nothing more than that Xuan Nu taught the Art of War to the Yellow Emperor, the king of China. Now the emperor had the same dream, which meant that the gods in the sky recognized the emperor as legitimate. If the gods in the sky had no objection, what nonsense were the others talking about?
Xuan Nu taught the emperor how to break the ranks, specifically restraining Tang Sai’er from using paper-cut soldiers; the emperor would not be able to conjure a magic sword for a while, so he said that Xuan Nu took back the sword that had been missing from the sky. This not only showed that the White Lotus was not upright but also cut off the path for some forces to take advantage of Tang Sai’er’s disappearance. Most importantly, it proved that Emperor Yongle and Emperor Jiajing earned the throne.
As for why it was the White Lotus… then Lu Heng would need to be asked. Otherwise, the emperor was inseparable from eunuchs and in the palace all day long. How would he know that there was a cave in a certain mountain?
Zhang Jinggong knew in his heart that Lu Heng recieved a military order in front of everyone, saying that the case would be solved within three days. The day the fire broke out was the end of the three days. Seeing that there was no publicity, Zhang Jinggong thought that the matter was over, but it seems that Lu Heng did it.
It also gave the emperor an excellent way out of the pressing situation.
The younger generation was truly terrifying.
Lu Heng accepted his orders under everyone’s eyes, each holding different meanings, and calmly retreated to his position. He could definitely find the mountain because he just delivered the news about it yesterday.
After Lu Heng saw through Cheng Youhai and Tao Yiming’s tricks, he searched for the gold mines non-stop, and finally sent back the news yesterday. Lu Heng immediately reported the progress to the emperor in secret. The emperor was very satisfied and made up such a story to give himself the money.
Why did the emperor wait until today to meet the officials? On the one hand, he was really frightened by the fire, and on the other hand, he waited until the things under the table were dealt with before he came to the stage to speak. The emperor couldn’t say that the officials of Weihui Mansion were colluding and abducting and selling people for personal gain, which would affect the authority of the government; the emperor couldn’t say that the officials were colluding with the White Lotus, as doing so was critical to giving other rebels material to use. After thinking about it, dreaming was the safest thing to do.
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When Lu Heng went to look for the miracle of Xuan Nu, he would “coincidentally” find the missing people. At that time, all the crimes would be pushed to the White Lotus. The emperor would gain fame and wealth, and cut off the White Lotus’s back road, while also building the reputation of the Ming Dynasty’s ruler. Wouldn’t it be serving multiple purposes?
As for whether the people below would believe it or not… the emperor believed that his subjects were all smart people.
Twirling his beard, Tao Zhongwen sighed: “It’s really a poor man’s fortune to see such miracles in his lifetime. Xuan Nu often wears the Star of Venus, her ears bright with pearls, shining all over her body. Xuan Nu entered His Majesty’s dream to teach the Art of War and then the palace caught fire. Could it be that the fire was caused by the Star of Venus?”
Lu Heng sincerely admired him, he was so good at talking. Tao Zhongwen won the favor of the emperor, not entirely because of his link to Taoism. According to Tao Zhongwen’s words, the White Lotus, some people’s grievances, and the fire in the palace were predestined by heaven.
He didn’t know if Cheng Youhai and Tao Yiming would recognize this story when they heard it.
Everyone knew that Tao Zhongwen was talking nonsense, but this was really a decent reason. Otherwise, why burn the emperor alone? Because it was enlightenment from a goddess, this was a heavenly fire.
The people present were all good people, who didn’t understand yet. However, when they realized the intention, they followed Tao Zhongwen’s words to flatter the emperor. The crowd in the hall sang with praises, but Lu Heng remained very silent and stopped talking after a few words. Crucial words were expensive and if they were not crucial, they were excess fluff, just a bit was sufficient.
At this time, the disadvantage of reading less was revealed. Military generals were not as rich as government servants, and they couldn’t be said to be the few great masters who could flatter and quote classics. The Marquis of Wuding and Duke Cheng were squeezed aside, holding their breath in their hearts, and they couldn’t help but glance at Lu Heng from the corner of their eyes.
If the emperor dozed off, he handed him a pillow. If the emperor wanted to kill someone, he would happen to be sharpening his knife. Lu Heng was so lucky, right?
However, being lucky once could be an accident, but every time he could forge ahead despite the changing situations and add fuel to the flames, that was ability.
The Marquis of Wuding sighed silently in his heart, he realized very clearly that he was old. When he led the army to support Empress Jiang, he was still young and full of vigor. Now he had become the old-fashioned aristocrat that he looked down upon back then. He had to look over his shoulders when doing anything and could no longer show the courage of a young man.
The emperor enjoyed a bit of bragging, paying himself gold, but after finding the way out of the pressing situation, it would really get started. The emperor believed in the principles of wisdom and followed them, but he was not stupid at all. His heart was very clear, could he not know that this was a man-made disaster?
First, he would cover up his reputation, and then when the time was right, he would settle the score.
The old foxes in the room continuously one-upped each other, but when they saw the emperor’s face, they realized that the emperor was going to break out. They had expected it a long time ago, all of them drooped their eyes, and the old monks stood in the hall as if in meditation.
The emperor first spoke to the local officials: “There was a fire in the palace, and the magistrates of Weihui and others were not prepared to carry water, which caused a catastrophe. Arrest all the officials of the Weihui Mansion and take them to imperial prison for interrogation.”
Lu Heng stepped forward to accept the command and responded without any surprise. For the sake of the court’s reputation, the emperor couldn’t directly say what Cheng Youhai and the others did, but the fire alone was enough to kill them several times. Cheng Youhai was taken to the Imperial Guards for trial, and how to convict him was completely up to Lu Heng.
After the emperor scolded the magistrates and scolded the monarch, even the cabinet was convicted of negligence in the end. Guo Xun and Chen Yin tensed up together. After dealing with the administrative officials, it was their turn.
Chen Yin was dripping with cold sweat. The Imperial Guards were the emperor’s own army, and his greatest duty was to defend the emperor. The Marquis of Wuding, Duke Cheng, and the others were at most incapable of escorting the emperor, while Chen Yin, the person in charge of the Imperial Guards, had seriously neglected his duty.
Once before, Chen Yin was scolded by the emperor because he was not at the scene when someone complained of grievances, who knew that a fire would break out later. The emperor’s inner anger was as one could imagine. How awful was a leader of the Imperial Guards who had lost his emperor’s heart.
Sure enough, the emperor aimed his spearhead at Chen Yin as soon as he came up. Even though he was in charge of more than six thousand brocade guards, he was unable to protect the emperor, which was enough to make the emperor’s patience with Chen Yin fall to the pits. The emperor was furious and scolded Chen Yin in front of important government and military officials, and even in front of Chen Yin’s subordinate Lu Heng. Chen Yin was extremely embarrassed, but he didn’t dare to refute it at all.
Chen Yin knew that his reign as the commander had come to an end. The emperor was a nostalgic person and Chen Yin followed him from Monarch Xing’s mansion. If Chen Yin didn’t refute and let him have his way, the emperor would take care of his old feelings, and maybe he wouldn’t kill him; if Chen Yin was not convinced, and argued with the emperor, it would be more than a dismissal.
Leaving aside the fact that the brat surnamed Lu standing behind him was just watching and waiting for him to make a mistake.
The emperor treated everyone equally, even the head auxiliary received scolding, how could Duke Cheng be exempt from the same. The emperor remembered the friendship of the Marquis of Wuding when he supported Empress Jiang, so he didn’t scold Guo Xun, but Fu Tingzhou, Guo Xun’s nephew and son-in-law, was not treated so decently, and was scolded on behalf of the Marquis of Wuding. Seeing that everyone present was counted down, only Lu Heng was left standing.
The emperor was tired of scolding and sipped his tea. The room fell into a tense silence and everyone’s attention turned to Lu Heng.
Lu Heng lowered his eyes and waited. When the emperor put down the teacup, his tone softened, and he said: “Lu Heng did a great job in rescuing me, and he was injured in the fire, so he deserves a reward. I heard that your clothes were burnt in the fire, so I will give you a python suit, a gold belt, and ten pieces of brocade, and you will be promoted to Chief Commander.”
After the last few words were settled, everyone numbly thought “Sure enough”, and didn’t know whether they should be surprised or not. Less than half a year after the last promotion, Lu Heng was promoted again, this time from a second-rank Commander, to second only to the Commander of the Imperial Guards. But Chen Yin had just fallen out of favor with the emperor, and Lu Heng, who was now Chief Commander, was no different from having the real power of the Imperial Guards.
Although Chen Yin was still Chief Commander, everyone present understood that Lu Heng had now officially replaced Chen Yin and was in charge of the Imperial Guards.
When Lu Heng heard the first few rewards, he was calm. The emperor was like this, if he gave benefits in power, he would not give too much money. Moreover, the emperor was rich all over the world, gold and silver were just a number to him, but the gift of clothes truly reflected intimacy.
When Lu Heng heard the final hammer, a slight smile finally appeared on his lips and disappeared in an instant. He raised his hand, straightened up, and thanked him: “I thank the emperor for his kindness. I will not disgrace you with my life.”
After coming out of the palace, the eunuch flattered Lu Heng obviously. They smiled and all paid their respects to Lu Heng: “Congratulations, Master Lu.”
Lu Heng also returned his thanks with a smile. The sun shone on his red flying fish suit, and the golden light shone brightly, making it hard to look directly at.
At the age of only twenty-three, from the second rank, he became Chief Commander and held the complete power of the Imperial Guards in his hands. Anyone who saw this kind of experience would be amazed.
Truly a dream come true for a youngster, full of resilience and spirit.
|| Author’s Note:
Xuan Nu is the spirit of heaven and earth, the aura of Yin and Yang, and the leader of all truths. God has unlimited power in unlimited forms. Xuan Nu is also an ancient god and the leader of all truths. —— “Annotation to the Ancient Dragon and Tiger Classic”
Therefore, Xuan Nu often wears the Star of Venus, her ears bright with pearls, shining all over her body, so that she can prolong her life without dying. ——”Scripture of Taoist Laozi”
3 thoughts on “TIGR Chapter 72”
Thanks for the chapter! Happy Belated Lunar New Year!
thank you for the chapter! haha Lu Heng provoking Fu tingzhou is always fun to read
I can’t wait to read the the FL knows the truth…😆