TIGR Chapter 75
The Imperial Guard’s Revenge
Chapter 75 Tongyan
When they arrived at Lu Heng’s courtyard, the original servants of the Lu family had been entirely replaced by Lu Heng’s staff, inside and out. So, when Wang Yanqing walked in, she thought she had returned to the capital.
This was the place Lu Heng lived before he was eleven years old. After the news of Xing Monarch’s succession came from the capital, Lu Song urgently escorted the emperor to the capital, and the Lu family also moved there as well. It was not until Lu Song’s death that Madam Fan returned to her hometown with their eldest son and daughter-in-law, leaving Lu Heng alone in the capital.
In recent years, Lu Heng’s official position rose steadily, and the Lu family also lived freely in the Chengtian Mansion. Lu Wen received a generous military post, so he didn’t have to go on dangerous missions, and still no one dared to offend him.
Even if Lu Heng wasn’t at home, Madam Chu kept her brother-in-law’s courtyard clean, and the furniture was shiny and gleaming, looking like it had been scrubbed frequently. Even so, there weren’t people living in the house all year round, and there was a sense of desolation.
Wang Yanqing looked around in the room and asked: “Brother, are these the books you read when you were young?”
Lu Heng glanced at the bookshelf, nodded, and replied: “Yes. These things from many years ago have dust on them, so be careful not to choke.”
Wang Yanqing took down a book at the very edge. There wasn’t much dust on it, but the pages inevitably smelled damp. Wang Yanqing thought it was no wonder that Lu Heng could recognize Liang Rong’s books immediately. The books he read were from all over the world, all kinds of things, covering everything.
The Esoteric Scripture of the Yellow Emperor, coroner autopsy reports, geography of mountains and rivers, military strategy, and even astronomical calendars. Wang Yanqing flipped through a few books, making sure that he read every one of them, and didn’t put them here just for show. Wang Yanqing asked: “Brother, you are an Imperial Guard. Why do you still read coroner autopsy reports?”
“A coroner’s level of work varies from good to bad, so instead of wasting time with them, it’s better for me to see it myself.” Lu Heng walked up to her and said, “If you want to crack a crime, you must first understand how to commit a crime.”
Solving a case was a skilled job, and one had to accumulate enough experience to see what was unreasonable. Lu Heng was young and lacked experience, so he could only make up for it by reading books.
Wang Yanqing nodded, pointed to the rest of the books, and asked: “What about these, are they also for solving cases?”
“Not exactly.” Lu Heng said, “The emperor has read many of them, so I learned a little bit about them.”
Lu Heng was the emperor’s companion in his early years, and the emperor was famously studious in the clan. Back then, Yang Ting appointed him as the new emperor because the emperor was good at studying. Even now that the emperor was entangled in government affairs, he had not thrown away his books. The emperor read many books that the cabinet scholars had never read, and many veteran officials fell before the emperor during the ceremony.
Those who handled cinnabar were stained red and those who worked with ink were stained black. The emperor loved to read, and Lu Heng never fell short of studying. Wang Yanqing scanned the densely packed books in front of her and sighed sincerely: “The two of you really accomplished a lot together.”
No wonder Meng’s mother wanted to move three times, the influence of one’s companions was too great.
|| The story of Meng’s mother wanting to move three times comes from the “Three Character Classics” 《三字经》. In this story, a mother moves to three different locations before choosing a place to raise her son after seeing how the environment affected his behavior.
She kept walking just now, but now she couldn’t help but feel a little hot after stopping. Wang Yanqing put the book back on the shelf and fanned her neckline with her hands. Lu Heng glanced at her thick, opaque sleeves, and smiled knowingly: “Qing Qing, isn’t it hot?”
Wang Yanqing had been wearing thin and plain cotton for two days, but recently she changed her clothes to embroidered satin. Even if she was born with a cold body, she couldn’t bear it. Wang Yanqing’s intentions were seen through. Her face blushed, but she tried to save face and said: “It’s not hot.”
Lu Heng smiled lightly and asked unhurriedly: “Is it really not hot? Anlu is no better than the capital. The sweltering heat lasts for a long time. Don’t let yourself suffer from heat stroke.”
Wang Yanqing actually felt a little regretful. There were many lakes in the Chengtian Mansion, the climate was warm and humid, and the embroidered satin was heavy and airtight. She wore several layers inside and out, and it was hard in this kind of weather. Wearing yarn cotton was indeed light and breathable, but when Lu Heng looked over, Wang Yanqing always felt like she was not wearing any clothes. She changed into thick clothes just to guard against Lu Heng, if she changed back again, wouldn’t it appear that she was playing hard to get.
Wang Yanqing refused to admit it and Lu Heng didn’t force her either. He waited until Wang Yanqing’s heat had almost dissipated, and then said: “It’s time for the meal to be set. Don’t keep the elders waiting, let’s go and say hello to Mother.”
Wang Yanqing nodded and followed Lu Heng to the main hall. Madam Fan and Madam Chu had long heard that Lu Heng was back. Lu Heng sent someone to deliver his message, saying that he would go back to the yard to rest first and come see them after cleaning up. Knowing that Lu Heng was back, Lu Wen also left the office early today. They were talking, but when they heard a shout outside, “Second Master is here” they all stopped.
Everyone in the room stood up except Madam Fan. Lu Heng stopped by the door and waited for Wang Yanqing to follow before opening the curtain and entering. Wang Yanqing was a little nervous, and Lu Heng noticed it and secretly squeezed her hand.
Wang Yanqing took a deep breath and reminded herself that these were relatives she had been with for many years, and there was nothing to be nervous about. She raised her head and plucked up the courage to look ahead.
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
There were not many people in the Lu family. A fair and beautiful middle-aged woman sat at the head. She should be Lu Heng’s mother, but she only looked like she was in her early forties. She had an oval face and willow-leaf eyebrows, and her skin was still fair and firm. Her pair of eyes were particularly outstanding, hooked on the inside and curled up outside, her eyes were slightly pink, her eyeballs were watery, and she had a three-point smile when she wasn’t smiling, which looked very amiable.
When Wang Yanqing saw Madam Fan, she knew that Lu Heng took after his mother’s eyes. Only when Wang Yanqing saw Madam Fan did she understand the meaning of an undefeated beauty of the years. The corners of Madam Fan’s eyes were wrinkled, but it did not affect her soul-catching eyes. From a look, one could tell that she had a smooth life and a gentle temperament, and the hardships of life did not show on her face.
Sitting next to Madam Fan was a couple. The man was tall, broad-framed, and his facial features were rather cold and hard. He looked more like a soldier than Lu Heng, but she could find traces in his nose and lips that were similar to Lu Heng’s. It was obvious that he was Lu Heng’s elder brother — Lu Wen. The woman next to him was petite and slender, with a small nose and a small mouth. She had a very peaceful and elegant appearance. She should be Lu Wen’s wife, Madam Chu.
Behind Madam Chu, a wet nurse held a child in her arms with eyes like grapes, eagerly looking at them. She didn’t need to think about it, this was Lu Zhan, Lu Heng’s nephew. Wang Yanqing noted these people one by one in her heart and followed Lu Heng to greet them.
While Wang Yanqing was looking at the Lu family, Madam Fan, and the others were also looking at Wang Yanqing. Madam Chu heard from her mother-in-law in the afternoon that Lu Heng brought a woman back, and because it was inconvenient to announce a marriage because of the funeral, he brought her under the title of his younger sister. Madam Fan also said that the woman accidentally hurt her head and had forgotten her entire past, so she specifically told Madam Chu not to irritate her.
It was not a secret that the Lu family had an outstanding Second Master. Everyone in Anlu knew that Lu Heng made great achievements in the capital and held great power. No one would dare cause offense if they reported the surname “Lu” in Chengtian Mansion. Madam Chu was not familiar with her brother-in-law, but after hearing that he hadn’t been married for many years, her mother was interested and secretly asked her to inquire. Madam Chu probed her mother-in-law before, and it was just that her father-in-law’s grieving period had not passed, so the matter was left alone. Unexpectedly, today, she suddenly heard that Lu Heng was going to bring a woman back.
There was no doubt in Madam Chu’s heart. Now that she saw the real person, she was shocked and finally understood why her brother-in-law, who had been waiting for many years, suddenly wanted to take a wife.
The female members of the Lu family were all pale-faced beauties of Jingchu, but this Miss Wang was glamorous, with a tall figure, thin bones, sharp creases on her face, and bright features. It may have looked vixen-like on someone else, but her expression was cold. Her skin was snow-white as if ice was mixed in her beauty, and she suddenly became eye-catching and not disrespectful.
She was as gorgeous as peaches and plums, and as cold as ice. Madam Chu noticed that before entering the door, Lu Heng held Wang Yanqing’s hand. With such a good appearance, coupled with Lu Heng’s care, it was likely that this was her sister-in-law. Madam Chu was also a sensible person, and she would treat the matter of Lu Heng’s marriage as if it hadn’t happened and she wouldn’t mention it again.
When Madam Fan heard what Lu Heng said today, she was already prepared to take care of a daughter-in-law with a child’s mentality, but she didn’t expect Wang Yanqing to be so glamorous and graceful. She could not tell her difference from an ordinary person at all. Madam Fan was overjoyed and was completely satisfied with Wang Yanqing.
The two sides greeted each other and took their seats one by one. Lu Heng’s official position was higher than Lu Wen’s, but he refused the superior position and took Wang Yanqing to sit down on the right. Seeing her two sons and daughter-in-law sitting at the table, one on the left and one on the right, Madam Fan was very satisfied and said happily: “The family is finally all together today, it’s a pity that your father didn’t have the chance to see it.”
As soon as Lu Heng heard that she was about to reveal his secrets, he quickly changed the topic: “Mother, it’s a happy day, don’t worry about the past anymore. I came back late today, and it was unfilial to bother my mother, elder brother, and sister-in-law to wait for a long time.”
How could Madam Chu dare accept these words, she quickly said: “We are at home all day, it is nothing to wait for a while. The matter before the emperor is the most important thing.”
Lu Wen also said: “Yes, I heard that everything in the Imperial Guards is under your control now, so be more careful about business. There is no rush to come home.”
Madam Chu blinked but did not follow. Lu Heng was used to scheming with the emperor and goblins in the cabinet, so he understood Madam Chu’s thoughts at a glance. Lu Heng smiled and explained: “A few days ago, I was promoted to Chief Commander of the capital and temporarily in charge of Imperial Guard affairs.”
Madam Chu hissed slightly. He was promoted again. Madam Chu could never dream of such a fast promotion.
After Lu Heng opened this topic, Lu Wen naturally asked about the affairs of the Imperial Guards, and Lu Heng also mentioned the personnel changes in the capital during this period. The topic changed to the court, and no one cared about Madam Fan’s words just now. Wang Yanqing found that the people of the Lu family were indifferent when they saw her. They didn’t inquire or prod as if they had known her for a long time. Wang Yanqing secretly breathed a sigh of relief and focused on listening to Lu Heng’s words.
Once the affairs of the officialdom started, they couldn’t stop. Seeing that it was time to eat, a group of people moved into the dining room. When they were seated, Madam Chu finally found an opportunity to bring Lu Zhan out and said: “Didn’t you ask about Second Uncle who was in the capital all day long? Second Uncle is back, hurry up and say hello to Second Uncle and Auntie.”
Although Wang Yanqing’s identity was tacitly understood by everyone, Lu Heng regarded her as his younger sister, and of course, Madam Chu would give Lu Heng this face. Lu Zhan was pushed by his mother and walked to Lu Heng and Wang Yanqing in a daze. He was only three years old not yet as high as the table. Wang Yanqing was a little surprised and flustered when she saw the child approach.
On the contrary, Lu Heng smiled, but his eyes were tense. Children did not have complete logic in thinking, which was a variable that Lu Heng had no way of controlling. Lu Zhan looked at the two people in front of him, then turned to pull his wet nurse’s sleeve: “Why is she called Auntie, shouldn’t she be Second Aunt?”
The dinner table was quiet for a while, and Madam Chu hurriedly pulled her son over, and said angrily: “Don’t talk nonsense.”
Lu Heng thought to himself that if he didn’t do anything wrong, he wouldn’t be afraid of ghosts knocking on his door. Those who have done immoral things like him were always worried and restless. Lu Heng smiled gently at his nephew and said: “It’s not time yet, so you have to call her Auntie first.”
The people at the dinner table suddenly understood and good-natured laughter resounded from inside and outside. Wang Yanqing blushed, embarrassed to look up again.
What Lu Heng said was vague. Wang Yanqing naturally thought that she was still the adopted daughter of the Lu family, so she had to be called Auntie, while Madam Fan and the others would think that Lu Heng hadn’t passed the grieving period yet, so they had to use the title Auntie to deceive others.
Both sides would think it was reasonable. Seeing that Wang Yanqing was shy and didn’t want to be embarrassed, Madam Fan announced that dinner was ready. Lu Heng picked up a dish for Wang Yanqing and said in a low voice: “He’s still young and doesn’t remember anything, so don’t take it to heart.”
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
This was another sentence that could be understood in many ways. Wang Yanqing thought that Lu Zhan was three years old this year and would have just turned two when she left for Beijing, so it was normal for him not to remember her.
But why did he forget her yet remember Lu Heng? Wang Yanqing began to think about Lu Heng being an official in the capital. There must be people inside and outside the Lu family constantly mentioning his outstanding Second Uncle to Lu Zhan, and Wang Yanqing was a female family member in the inner house, and her sense of existence was far less strong than that of Lu Heng. It was not surprising that Lu Zhan remembered Lu Heng but forgot her.
Wang Yanqing thought of a reasonable explanation, shook her head slightly, and said to Lu Heng: “I understand.”
The dining table was only so big, and the interaction between the two of them was seen by everyone. The smile on Madam Fan’s face became more and more warm, and she was already thinking about the issue of naming her grandchildren in the future. Lu Wen pretended not to see it, and Madam Chu lowered her head to feed her son, thinking in her heart, that this woman was very fond of Lu Heng.
As expected, Lu Heng didn’t shy away. In front of everyone in the house, in direct or hidden observations, he calmly scooped a bowl of fish soup for Wang Yanqing and said to Madam Fan: “Mother, it was inconvenient for us to bring a lot of luggage when we set off from the capital. Her clothes were all made in the capital, and there were no clothes suitable for the punishing climate. Tomorrow, I will need to trouble my mother and sister-in-law to order some clothes for her. It just so happens that I haven’t seen my nephew for a long time, so I will also add a few golden locks for Zhan’er.”
Whenever Lu Heng opened his mouth, it was known that all the expenses would be covered by him. Madam Chu was slightly stunned and hurriedly said: “Brother-in-law, you are too polite, the girl is short of clothes, and it is my duty as a sister-in-law. There is no need for other things, Lu Zhan has several Longevity Locks, and he can’t finish wearing the others…”
|| Longevity Locks (长命锁) are a long-standing Chinese tradition of usually metal ancient locks or pendants to be worn by children to ward off evil.
Lu Heng said: “These are my wishes for my nephew. If he cannot finish wearing them, just put them away. On the contrary, I have been in the capital for a long time and unable to fulfill my filial piety. Thanks to my brother and sister-in-law, someone is taking care of the family business and honoring my mother these years. Qing Qing has never been to Anlu, so she is not familiar with anything. Tomorrow, sister-in-law will also be guiding Qing Qing. If my mother or elder sister-in-law find anything they like, then buy it as well and regard them as my apologies.”
Lu Heng was very good at talking. These words seemed to be gifts for Madam Chu and Lu Zhan, but they were actually for Lu Wen. When he was young and strong, the Imperial Guard position passed Lu Wen to Lu Heng. Although Lu Heng later helped Lu Wen find a better official position, it ultimately became a knot between the brothers. Money had lost its meaning to Lu Heng, but if he could use gold and silver to win over his elder brother and ensure the stability of the Lu family, then it held worth.
Lu Heng took care of Wang Yanqing, Madam Fan, Lu Wen, and Madam Chu at the same time. Seeing that her husband did not object, Madam Chu smiled and agreed. She glanced across the table calmly, thinking that Lu Heng, a person who oversaw the Imperial Guards and was feared, both inside and outside, calling Wang Yanqing “Qing Qing” in public was really sappy.
Once again Wang Yanqing felt Lu Heng’s superb speaking skills and she was somewhat embarrassed. Although Lu Heng didn’t say it clearly, both inside and outside his words, he showed his dislike for Wang Yanqing’s clothes. Wang Yanqing looked down, and well, compared with everyone else in the room, she really wasn’t dressed for the same season.
Lu Heng found a decent excuse to ask her to change clothes. Wang Yanqing could choose the fabrics by herself, and she could choose fresh and not revealing ones. Wang Yanqing took the fish he brought to her mouth and silently accepted his kindness.
The meal was enjoyable, and after the meal, Lu Heng took Wang Yanqing to leave, and the others naturally didn’t hesitate to keep them. The sky in Chu was high and the water was wide. In the evening the wind blew on people very comfortably. Lu Heng took Wang Yanqing’s hand naturally, and Wang Yanqing, immersed in the beautiful and quiet night, accepted without struggling.
At the dinner table, Lu Heng noticed that Wang Yanqing’s appetite was bigger than usual. She shouldn’t have been suspicious, but to be on the safe side, Lu Heng still asked tentatively: “Qing Qing, after coming home so suddenly, are you used to it yet?”
Wang Yanqing nodded: “Auntie and sister-in-law are very kind. Zhan’er is also very cute, there is nothing to get used to.”
Lu Heng secretly breathed a sigh of relief and said: “As long as you like it, that’s good. You don’t need to be stressed. If you really can’t remember the past, you don’t need to force it. Just pretend that you, your mother, and elder sister-in-law have just met and cultivate your relationship again.”
Wang Yanqing had no doubt about him and nodded, touched: “Okay.”
Lu Heng continued: “Tomorrow I will accompany the emperor to Xianling, and I may not have time to accompany you in the next few days. That thief, Fu Tingzhou is still eyeing you, follow your mother and sister-in-law these days, don’t go out alone, understand?”
Wang Yanqing nodded and agreed.
After Lu Heng settled what he was most worried about, his thoughts drifted to Lu Zhan somehow. Lu Heng asked: “What do you think of Lu Zhan?”
Wang Yanqing found his words strange: “Good. He doesn’t seem like a big brother, but more like a sister-in-law. He looks icy and cute, and he will be a smart kid in the future.”
Lu Heng nodded: “I think so too. With you here, our future children will definitely look better.”
Wang Yanqing paused for a moment, then said leisurely: “You must be thinking too far.”
Lu Heng smiled lightly and said: “These are the words of a sage.”
Wang Yanqing rolled her eyes inwardly, which sage taught him to take advantage of a woman like this? Wang Yanqing deliberately asked: “Which sage said that?”
“Confucius.” Lu Heng said unhurriedly, “‘Everything can be prepared in advance, and if it is not prepared for, it will be abolished.’ Is it wrong for me to act according to the words of a sage?”
Wang Yanqing was silent again for a moment and said sincerely: “That’s right.”
It was she who was wrong. This person knew how to step on her nose and her face, so she shouldn’t argue with Lu Heng.
|| Author’s Note:
Lu Heng: What an exciting day