This matter lead to a mighty uproar and the Lu family also became considerately quiet because of it. Before the examination, the front yard was originally like a market. There was an endless stream of people who came to seek connections. But now, not a single person appeared and there was so few visitors that the courtyard even quickly sprouted weeds. This caused Lu You to unavoidably sigh deeply about the coldness of the world [note] Warmth or coldness is the way of the world.—People are friendly or unfriendly, depending on whether one is successful or not. (Got it from Pleco) [/note].
No longer wanting to see people’s sympathetic or satirizing looks, Lu You developed a desire to leave and didn’t want to remain in the capital anymore. When he told his mother and wife this decision, he encountered the two people’s intense opposition.
Madam Tang threw a tantrum. She was used to luxury and didn’t want to leave the place of prosperity. If they moved to a desolated and remote place, she would definitely become crazy; as for Madam Wang, she softened her stance and admonish in well-meant words tiresomely, saying stuff like if he failed the exam, then he can just wait until the next time; she was already pregnant with the Lu family’s child, of course, she needed to stay in the capital and it wasn’t suitable for her to travel.
Lu You was annoyed by their protestation and simply wandered outside. He went out of the west city gate and arrived at the bank of the West Lake by himself.
In the past, he came here many times with Tang Wan to go boating and admire the scenery. She liked to stay on the side of the river embankment to count to the fifteen willow tree the most. The scenery there was the best. It’s a pity that people change and he could only look back on past events.
When Lu You looked at the willow tree with melancholy, the figure of a woman firmly caught a hold of his head and nearly caused him to be unable to breathe.
It’s Wan mei! It’s definitely her!
He ran towards her, hardly able to contain his excitement. Sure enough, his Wan mei stood still under the willow tree for a long time with a dainty bearing and unmatchable beauty and elegance. He suppressed the deep emotions that was about to flood his heart and gradually walked towards her. But when he was only two steps away from her, he paused and suddenly felt like he was unable to control himself.
In the first place, he divorced her precisely because of his future. But now, he was a scholar who failed the exam. What excuse would he have to approach her?
Tang Wan looked at him indifferently and opened her beautiful lips softly. “Cousin brother, you came?”
Of course, right now, the two only had the relationships of cousins. When he thought she used to call him husband before, that sweet and affectionate look was gone forever, he had an agony that he didn’t know how to explain.
“Wan mei, “ Lu You took a deep breath and constrained the sorrow and tender feelings that filled his heart. “How are you recently?”
According to her personality, she should be saying she was good reservedly and then smile with elegance and indifference. However, she unexpectedly twitched her mouth, her arched eyebrows creased deeply and even snorted finickily, “Not good at all!”
“What happened to you?” He asked nervously.
“I almost died.” Tang Wan said frankly like she was complaining to an old friend. “Wasn’t the magistrate investigating the scribe and Eunuch Liu’s murder cases last time? After discovering that the murderer was the Iron Gate fort, I also seemed to targeted on as the magistrate’s wife time and again. Fortunately, the great general ordered someone to protect me , or else you wouldn’t be able see me anyone right now.”
When he heard this, Lu You’s mind shook severely and he was hesitant to speak. Who possessed more understanding than him about what’s going on with those two murder cases, even the matter in which he failed the exam wasn’t able to escape its influence.
“Cousin Brother, why is your expression so ugly?” She glanced at him puzzledly and then nodded her head like she understood him.
“It’s okay. The Iron Gate fort’s people are already arrested now. I also should be safe. Thank you for worrying about me, Cousin brother.”
“It’s not like that!” He blurted out, a little agitated.
“If it’s not like that, then what else is it?” Tang Wan appeared doubtful.
“Wan mei, trust me. You’re not out of danger yet,” Lu You said anxiously. “If you can, move out of the capital quickly.”
She couldn’t help but laugh. “How’s that possible? Cousin brother, my husband is the magistrate of the capital. Where do you want me to move to?”
This problem was big, precisely because Zhao Shi Cheng was the magistrate of the capital! His lips opened and closed, closed and then opened again. In the end, he steeled his heart and said with gritted teeth, “Wan mei, I reckon I have let you down. My jealousy blinded my eyes and I did something wrong. I hope you can forgive me.”
“What thing?” Tang Wan’s arched eyebrows raised slightly, but there was an unusual light in her gaze.
“Actually, it was because I suggested the right minister a scheme, that Zhao Shi Cheng could became the magistrate.” Lu You might as well own up everything since he already started to risk everything and mention it anyway. “Originally, I only suggested the right prime minister that as long as Zhao Shi Cheng’s government achievements weren’t good, then he would be able to use this as a pretext to suppress Zhao Zhong Shi and weaken the military official’s power. I didn’t expect that Zhao Shi Cheng haven’t even taken office for more than a few days and the scribe’s murder case actually happened. After a another period of time, even Eunuch Liu died, I…,” he was in agony and also felt guilty.
“I know that this was definitely incited by the right prime minister secretly. It is only with such important cases that he could thoroughly crush Zhao Shi Cheng and let the great general’s prestige receive the greatest impact. At the least, in front of the emperor, the great general cannot say any words even more. In the future, if the right prime minister wanted to defeat a bunch of military officials, won’t it be easy?”
Her pretty face turned pale as she listened. “It’s actually…actually like this?”
“Yes. I found out how ruthless the right prime minister’s methods are because of this. That scribe as well as Eunuch Liu are both right prime minister’s followers! Even Iron Gate fort was the right prime minister’s underground force, for the sake of defeating his political enemies, the right prime minister actually gave up those several hundred lives. Working under the leadership of such a person, it was no different than asking someone to act against their own interest. Originally, the right prime minister wanted to promote me during the current exam, but I was scared…so I intentionally gave up the exam this time.”
“So that’s how it is. I was thinking about how you could’ve possibly failed the exam at first.” Tang Wan looked at him with sympathy. “Then what are you going to do next, Cousin Brother?”
“I need to escape from the capital, or else the right prime minister definitely won’t let go of me. He will kill all the people who knew the details of this event…Wan mei, you also have to escape. General Zhao’s family are all currently the right prime minister’s thorn. I’m afraid that you will also be implicated.” Lu You reached out his hand to hold her hands as he spoke.
She took a step back, avoiding his hand.
He panicked and nearly threw himself on her, wanting to hug her. Unexpectedly, he actually directly collided with her and right in the middle of the bridge of the nose. It hurt so bad that his tears exuded out of his eye socket. However, he didn’t forget his intentions and hugged her tightly, afraid that she would run off again. It’s just that…
When did her slender waisted suddenly become so thick? Her body ought to have a whiff of fragrance, but at this moment, the smell also didn’t seem to be right…
“Ahem, young master Lu. This official doesn’t have this kind of interest. There’s no need for you to hug so tightly.” The person who was ‘hugged’ by Lu You spoke out coldly.
Lu You’s body stiffened and hastily straightened his body. What entered his eyes was actually Zhao Shi Cheng’s slightly furious expression. This caused him to feel awkward and embarrassed. He retreated a big step and said not that willingly, “Zhao Daren, I’m sorry for my rudeness.”
“It’s alright. It is actually this official who single handedly arranged for Wan er to wait here for you.” Zhao Shi Cheng said honestly.
Lu You’s expression changed slightly and suddenly recalled the matter he confessed to Tang Wan just now. His expression turned livid. “You told Wan mei to probe my words.”
“I indeed schemed against you.” Zhao Shi Cheng didn’t deny it. “But I did it like this because I want to save you.”
“You want to save me?” Lu You started to be wary.
“With Right prime minister Yang’s power, even if you leave the capital, he can still cause your entire family to die without anyone knowing just the same.” Zhao Shi Cheng looked at him with sharp eyes. “And I already have the evidence that right prime minister Tang incited the Iron Gate fort to kill people now. I only need a witness.”
Lu You was little irresolute, after all, he didn’t really want to leave the capital that much. Not to mention, the two women at home was causing so trouble that it almost lift the house up again. “You need to know that if I help you, if by any chance you can’t defeat right prime minister Yang, I will definitely die without question.”
“Not just you, if by any chance I can’t defeat right prime minister Tang, then we’ll all
die without question.” Zhao Shi Cheng tossed out good intentions and hinted that he was currently on the same boat as them. “But if you agree to charge right prime minister Yang then I have certainly that there’s an eighty percent of chance that we’ll succeed. However if you don’t agree, then I reckon that you also offended our Zhao family. My father’s temper isn’t any better than right prime minister Yang.”
When Zhao Shi Cheng saw that he was somewhat convinced and also advocated and said, “Of course, if you help us, under the law, it’s impossible for you to not be punished, but your crime isn’t likely to be punishable by death. In addition, after atoning for a crime by good deeds, you can count as entering the emperor’s eyes as well. You can quickly restore your innocence and return to the official circles.”
Lu You looked at Zhao Shi Cheng profoundly and sighed deeply in the end. “You coupled threats with promises and clutched all of my weak spots. I really underestimated you, Zhao Daren. Your skills didn’t actually lose to any of the old foxes on the official circles at all.
Zhao Shi Cheng recognized his intentions and said, greatly pleased, “Then, let our collaboration be pleasant.”
Lu You nodded his head and was about to take leave. Before leaving, he looked at Tang Wan nostalgically and still couldn’t help but ask, “Wan mei, if I abandon everything and only wish to have you, would you chose me?”
Tang Wan looked at him coolly and didn’t directly answer his question. “You won’t be able to let go of everything.”
She was right. As long as Madam Tang or Madam Wang made a scene, he would submit at once. What was there to even say about abandoning the country for a beauty? Hence, Lu You didn’t talk anymore and left in large strides.
Zhao Shi Cheng looked at Tang Wan with profound meaning and stammered out his question. “You…why didn’t you answer his question?”
His question that slightly carried some jealousy received Tang Wan’s scornful glance. “Husband, if I frankly told him, you f** don’t even think about it in this lifetime, do you still think he will be willing to help you?”
He was stunned at first and then he laughed heartily. “Wife, I like your vulgar language.”
“Husband, today, I sacrificed my sexual appeal and helped you seduce Lu You. There should be some rewards right?”
When he heard her tone, when she was mentioning Lu You like she was mentioning a stranger and clearly didn’t pay any attention to him, Zhao Shi Cheng couldn’t help but think that his act of eating dry vinegar just now was quite laughable. It’s just that his wife was elegant and beautiful…alright, when she doesn’t speak, she was elegant and beautiful, she originally attracted many men already. The chances that he will eat vinegar in the future will probably only be more and won’t be less.