Initially, according to Madam Tang’s plan, her son’s wedding should be grand and impressive. In addition, during the wedding procession, it would also conveniently bring the Tang family the utmost humiliation. It would smash the fairytale of Tang Wan, the capital’s female scholar and remind everyone that she was but an abandoned wife. And as well as avenge the jealousy she had towards her elder brother and his wife plus the hatred of Zhao Shi Cheng hurling insults at her.
But her wishful thinking was destroyed by the Zhao family. Her son’s gorgeous wedding procession was actually surpassed by Zhao Shi Cheng’s proposal party. When her son escorted the bride to the wedding, he also missed the auspicious time and caused the Wang family to be unaccepting of the Lu family. Furthermore, the threat Zhao Zhong Shi put down even made the Lu family hesitate about taking action when they sought revenge.
And her son, he didn’t obtain the slightest happiness for his marriage. After he had married Madam Wang, he was anxious and depressed all day, making Madam Wang gnash her teeth in hatred.
Everyone knew that it was only because Lu You saw with these own eyes that Zhao Shi Cheng sent betrothal gifts to the Tang family. He suddenly realized his beloved Tang Wan was undoubtedly going to marry someone else. Therefore, he received a great shock and collapse after a single setback.
But the Zhao family was wealthy and influential. Even if Lu You wanted to take Tang Wan back
[note]It actually translates to do one’s utmost to stem a raging tide; vigorously attempt to save a desperate situation( Pleco), but I think the author meant this when she/he wrote the idiom. Tell me if you prefer the direct translation or my translation of it which might be wrong and I’ll change it. [/note]
What could he do about it?
It’s possible that it’s heaven that heard his resentment, Yang Xian He. Who did he form successfully formed a team within the flower festival last time, actually ordered someone to send a letter. She asked Lu You to compose a poem for her and also mount it as a hanging scroll to deliver.
Because the right prime minister, Yang Wen Chang’s status was different. Lu You, a mere commoner, naturally couldn’t order the servants in the residence to direct it. He could merely address it over himself.
However, when he came to the prime minister’s residence in the name of delivering the hanging scroll. The person who received him wasn’t Yang Xian He, but Yang Wen Chang. Apart from being surprised, he also understood through Yang Wen Chang’s explanation that Yang Xian He’s invitation was no more than a facade.
“I heard that young master Lu demonstrates significant literary talent. You undoubtedly have the makings of an official. The Song Dynasty has young master Lu, such a talent, why worry that it is hopeless for the nation to prosper?” Yang Wen Chang’s admiring gaze landed on Lu You’s body without the slightest concealment.
As unreachable as Lu You may be
[note] I changed, even if Lu You was aloof like the others, to this because I realized the translation was slightly off. [/note]
when he heard the current head of the civil officials praise him this bluntly, he enjoyed it greatly. It’s merely that he was still humble on the surface and said, “Prime Minister Yang is exaggerating. Lu You was merely a commoner. Even if I cherish my country, when I talk about serving the country, it’s in addition merely that I bear the heart but no power. I merely hope I can attain a decent grade on the general exam, so I will be worthy of the education provided by the country. “
“Hahaha, with your talent, the locked room exam and the general exam is as good as merely a formality. I have high expectations for you. “Yang Wen Chang first properly flattered him and then gave a lengthy sigh. He shifted the conversation to another subject. “Ai, it’s purely that you, promising youngsters. After entering the court as an official, will probably go through even more hardships again. Right now, in the imperial court, the civil and military officials are altogether different. Those military officials relied on their military merit and became arrogant and despotic. They hindered us from passing government decrees again and again. We, the civil officials, want to govern the country well. But we equally possess the heart but no power.”
Lu You wasn’t an idiot. He perceived Yang Wen Chang’s suggestion and said, “Prime minister Yang’s meaning is…”
“In fact, this matter moreover gains something to do with you. Your ex-wife, Tang Wan; will marry into the Zhao family in a few days, right? Great general Zhao Zhong Shi was the head of the military officials and the one who opposes the civil officials with the greatest strength. I have the intention to rectify the unhealthy trend of civil and military officials fighting against each other. But for a moment, I can’t think of a good way. The civil servants in the imperial court are all scared. I can only count on you, young and ambitious people.” He patted Lu You’s shoulders lightly with a magnanimous look. “The future of the Great Song Dynasty depends on all of you guys.”
Lu You was primarily a patriotic person. This remark has aroused his righteousness. Moreover, he was initially a scholar and naturally also rejected the military officials, not to mention he was now like fire and water with the Zhao family. His prejudice rushed into his head and he said in haste, ” Prime minister Yang must not give up. The imperial court however required you to lead them. “
“Ai, this official is at wit’s end. I don’t know if you have any good ideas?” Yang Wen Chang asked like it was inadvertent.
Lu You thought for a moment and suddenly an idea rises in his heart. A strong desire to somewhat display himself in front of Yang Wen Chang made him blurt out. “I have a method, but I don’t know if it can be used or not.”
Yang Wenchang unexpectedly raised his eyebrows. “Tell me.”
Lu You organized out his train of thoughts and said deeply. “Since the leader of the military officials is Great General Zhao, then we have to aim towards him. As long as he is busy with his own affairs, then the alliance of military officers will naturally collapse. However, General Zhao has eleven sons. Ten of his sons are far away, and most of them are genuine officers. It is difficult to put our hands on them, so we must focus on the youngest son, Zhao Shi Cheng.” When he said this name, Lu You’s eyes flashed. “Zhao Shi Cheng became the commander of the Wudang army only because of his father’s services, that he was granted this empty title. I believe that Great General Zhao was unsatisfied with this. In that case, why don’t Prime minister Yang give him a favor and promote Zhao Shicheng as an official with posts in the capital? “
Yang Wen Chang’s eyebrows knitted. Why should he go promote the son of his sworn enemy? But when he thought about it carefully, his eyebrows; that was like a deep gully, slowly spread out. The look he directed towards Lu You, that followed, was surprise and appreciation.
Lu You said again with assurance and composure. “As long as Zhao Shi Cheng became an official with posts in the capital, his future is equal to be held in the hands of Prime Minister Yang. Great General Zhao will be a little wary. If Zhao Shicheng doesn’t have a good behavior during this period, to the extent that he incurred. A big disaster, why worry if Great General Zhao doesn’t bow to Prime Minister Yang?”
“Good!” Yang Wen Chang praised. “This is indeed a good way to control Zhao Zhong Shi. Once the power of Zhao Zhong Shi is weakened, there’s no need to worry about those military officers anymore. How did this official think about this before? Lu You, you really are a talent!”
Lu You saw that Yang Wen Chang seemed to have accepted his opinion. When he thought that Zhao Shi Cheng’s future may be full of troubles, he can’t help but be secretly happy. However, on the surface, he is neither arrogant nor rash. “Prime Minister Yang flatters me. I am only doing my part for the country. I hope it’ll eliminate the phenomenon of the civil and military officials fighting in the imperial court.”
“Oh, you have made such exceptional achievements. This official will not treat you badly. In the locked room test and the general exam, the official is optimistic about you, ha hahaha!” Yang Wen Chang took out a piece of warm jade and put it in Lu You’s hands. “This piece of jade is the official’s token. With this token, you can enter and leave the house at will. Only the official’s trusted subordinate can hold it. I will give you this jade.”
Lu You thanked Yang Wen Chang with pleasant surprise for his favor. Only then did he get up and leave.
Yang Wenchang smiled as he escorted Lu You out,. The originally warm smile gradually vanished and turned into a face of deep thought.
At this time, Yang Xian He walked out from the side and asked. “Father, are you really going to listen to Lu You’s suggestion?”
“Why shouldn’t I listen? He did suggest a brilliant idea.” Yang Wenchang said indifferently.
“I really don’t understand. Father has so many people of insight. Why do you have to ask Lu You, the civilian?” She didn’t really think highly of Lu You. She believed he had talent, but whether he was capable or not, it remains to be discussed.
He shook his head. “You don’t understand, although Lu You has no official title. But in the scholar’s circle, he counts as a leader. As long as we have this person at hand, then it means the future scholars that will become officials will all be our people. This was the so-called catching brigands, first catch their king. We must gather all the people who may enter the top three in advance. Not to mention…he has a grudge with the Zhao family. If we don’t find him as the scapegoat, then who should we find?” After he had said this, he sneered.
Yang Xianhe softly cried out, “ah,” and smiled charming. “This daughter understands now. Whether this plan is successful or not, it will inevitably offend the Zhao family. At that time, everything will be pushed onto Lu You. Who told him to recommend Zhao Shicheng, hahaha. Lu You wants our Yang family to serve as a hatchet man, but we still want to take him as an archery target!”
As follows, a conspiracy was formed.
But no one could predict the future, not only Lu You. Who proposed this, was able to predict it, but even Yang Wen Chang can’t grasp the situation…
Ten days have passed since Zhao Shi Cheng proposed the marriage. The Tang residence nervously made preparations for Tang Wan’s marriage. Tang Yan, which was about to become a bride, equates to be confined. Every day, if it didn’t measure a dress, then it was trying on jewelry. It was exceptionally busy.
After all, the future of in-laws was the Great General Zhao, the Great Song’s stabilizing force. Of course, they have to be careful.
Tang Wan couldn’t bear the distress. If it was before, she would’ve already been screaming and running into the forest, hiding until her shadow could no longer be seen. Why would she be there at the mercy of others? But there was no way out, who depicted the current her that she required an excellent partner like mad. When she saw that if she gained another step and the plan can be achieved, of course, she would desperately restrain herself.
It was only after entering the night and everyone rested that she could breathe a little.
This day, the moon was bright and the stars wide apart. Tang Wan leaned on the soft couch lazily. Initially, she was about fell asleep, but she heard the cries of a cat, which made her annoyed.
After listening to this sound for a while, Xiao Chun. Who was serving on the side, looked strange and stammered. “Young miss… I want to go out for a while.”
“It’s so late. Where are you going?” Tang Wan looked at her askance.
“That… outside… Someone seeking me…” When it came to this, Xiao Chun’s face suddenly turned red.
Tang Yan looked at her fixedly, and it suddenly dawned on her. She teased, “I understand instantly. And I thought what wild cats didn’t sleep and shouted towards my room. It turned out to be Wang Qiang. Is this your secret signal?”
Xiao Chun stamped her foot in embarrassment.”Young miss don’t laugh at me…”
“But it’s so late, how do you hide the guards behind the back door?” Tang Yan looked at her peevishly.
Xiao Chun was dumbfounded. She was set about keeping her appointment with Wang Qiang, but she did not think about how to get out of the residence.
Reflecting her disappointment, Tang Wan wasn’t able to resist and smiled. “Forget it. I will accompany you out. I haven’t been outside for a long time.”
“Young miss, how are you going to take me outside?” Xiaochun asked with a sigh of relief.
Tang Wan’s room was on the second floor of the garret. The distance between the garret and the wall was not far. She went to the window and glanced at a mystical place outside the wall and waved at Xiaochun. “Come over here and close your eyes.”
Xiaochun listened to her words and came. She closed her eyes obediently. After that, she felt her arm was grabbed and then there was a gust of wind. It was like she was floating. She was shocked but before she acquired the time to shout out loud, she overheard the voice of her young miss ringing in her ears —
“Okay, you can open your eyes.”
Xiao Chun gradually uncovered his eyes and was immediately stunned by the scene in front of her. When did she and the young miss leave the room and already come to the wall outside the house?
“Don’t think about it.” Tang Yan struck her forehead and interrupted the slow-witted servant girl’s thoughts. She didn’t want to be questioned. “Where does Wang Qiang wait for you? Go quickly.” After she had said this, she walked out from shadow of the wall first.
Xiaochun also swiftly followed her.
Sure enough, after a while, two black shadows appeared in front of them. One was Wang Qiang, and he swiftly took Xiao Chun away and the other black shadow was a distressed Lu You.
“Wan er… I haven’t identified you for a long time.” He said filled with longing.
“No, you didn’t. You were at my door ten days ago. I haven’t forgotten it.” Tang Yan didn’t expect to perceive him and naturally didn’t provide a face to him.
Lu You thought that she was furious because he was wed and felt comforted. As expected, she had him in her heart.
“Wan er, I married Madam Wang against my will, but you have to know I only have you in my heart…”
T/n: Happy New Years, everyone. I hope you have a great year ahead of you.
Update: Chapter 12 is edited.