When he thought about this point, he thought about treating her even better. Besides, she wasn’t a woman, who was willful and hard to curry favour with, conversely, her frankness was quite likeable, hence he readily agreed to her requests.
“Of course, what kind of reward do you want?”
“Actually, it’s not that much, just bring me to the Yingfeng pavilion for a meal.” When Tang Wan thought about the Yingfeng pavilion’s chef’s proficient cooking skills, her mouth was nearly about to water.
Zhao Shi Cheng’s face distorted. “Wife, aren’t you going to get tired of going to the Yingfeng pavilion every three days? Why don’t you change the reward and get a head ornament, gold hairpin and things like that?”
Is she joking? She could eat up the portions of ten people by herself. This meant that his Ying pfennig pavilion would earn one less table’s money. The little things add up and also became quite sizable.
She understood him quite well right now as well. When she saw his distressed expression, she knew what he was thinking about and glared at him unhappily. “Husband, everything about you is fine, it’s just that you’re a little too stingy.”
He smiled wryly and said, “This is called being frugal. I’m a person who needs to support a large family!”
Originally, his parents plus his ten older brothers who often come home, asking for money, were already quite a few money pits. Now, there’s also her, who was a rice pot [note] Rice pot usually refers to people who eat a lot. [/note]. The speed at which he spends money often caused him to wake up with a start from a nightmare.
“I’m very curious. If there’s day where you had to chose between me and Yingfeng pavilion, how will you chose?” Tang Wan leaned towards him with a curious expression on her face.
She didn’t realize that this, in fact, already counted as her acting coquettishly towards him, especially done by her, this clumsy tiger who didn’t understand a thing, paired with Tang Wan’s goddess-like beauty, it was particularly convincing and almost made him can’t but help but be stunned.
“To be honest…,” Zhao Shi Cheng coughed lightly to prevent himself from being tempted by her beauty. “I don’t need to chose at all.”
Tang Wan’s eyes lightened. “You mean…”
“My Yingfeng Pavilion is almost about to be eaten by you until there’s no more money left. Do I still need to chose.” After saying this, he couldn’t help but laugh heartily.
She glared at him incompliant. “Husband, I thought you were a fair and honorable person.”
“I also thought that you were a gentle and graceful person, hahaha…,” her adorable appearance caused Zhao Shi Cheng to be seized with an impulse to hug her and kiss her lips lightly. “Okay, okay, we have to handle the main matters now.”
He looked towards the direction of the palace. “Everything is ready, all we need is an east wind [note] All we need is an east wind (idiom)- lacking only one tiny crucial item (from Pleco) [/note]? We also have to pay a visit to an important person and then we can release the information.”
“Civil official Lin.”
The Iron Gate fort was annihilated and the scribe and Eunuch Liu’s murder case could also reckon to be solved. Everyone thought that this matter ended here, but they didn’t expect a great matter actually circulated from the capital.
The prisoners whom the magistrate imprisoned in jail actually escaped and their life and death was unknown. Some say that Zhao Shi Cheng already ordered someone to prevent this at an earlier time and the prisoner was already executed. People also said that in fact, the prisoners already escaped to the point where their whereabouts were unknown.
Due to the two cases that previously gave deep trauma to the commoners in the capital, it caused a large area of people to be in a state of anxiety at present. The reputation Zhao Shi Cheng obtained thanks to solving the case before also vanished without a trace all at once.
For this reason, the morning court on this day had a harsh atmosphere at this very beginning. The civil and military officials remained entirely separated, however, it wasn’t like before when the civil officials protected the civil officials and the military officials protected the military officials and then the two groups attack each other once more. Rather the people in the civil official’s group all targeted the magistrate of the capital, Zhao Shi Cheng, who was also a civil official. Furthermore, when they started criticizing him, they weren’t the least afraid to speak out.
“The matter of the prisoners escaping prison already gave arouse the people’s extreme terror. The trade caravans stopped entering the capital and all commerce activities stopped. The magistrate of the capital, Zhao Shi Cheng, can’t escape the blame for this matter. May his majest make a fair judgement.” After an official made a long list of Zhao Shi Cheng’s charges, he withdrew in a natural and unrestrained manner.
The emperor knitted his eyebrows and pointed to the end of the troop of officials and said, “Zhao Shi Cheng, we [note] We is used by royalty to refer to themselves. [/note] have also heard the matter of the Iron Gate fort murder suspects escaping prison. How do you explain this matter?”
Zhao Shi Cheng stepped out of the troops neither too fast nor too slow. The emperor’s unhappiness completely didn’t seem to affect him. He also turned a blind eye to the officials who eyed him covetously. With just this kind of bearing, there was few people in the younger generation who could rival him. Some old officials couldn’t refrain from starting to envy that Zhao Zhong Shi had such a son. He was hardly inferior to his father. It’s a pity this young man was drawn inside a conspiracy. Under a certain person’s plot, his future was about to be smothered in the palace.
After Zhao Shi Cheng saluted towards the emperor, he said in a clear loud voice, “Reporting to his majesty, the chief of Iron Gate fort, Ying Long and the thirteen convicts who are all involved didn’t escape prison, rather someone broke in and rescued them. However, under the magistracy officer’s hard pursuit, I have already executed all of them in the process of arresting them. This offices originally wanted to confirm the identity of the person who broke into the prison and rescued the convicts and then report this matter to His majesty. I didn’t expect that…”
“They all died?” The emperor nodded his head. “If that’s the case, then inform the public of the matter that the convicts are executed first so as not to make the public restless…”
Yet, Yang Wen Chang walked out and interrupted him and said, “Your majesty, this official is only afraid that this matter has some other secrets.”
Even if the emperor didn’t like Yang Wen Chang’s attitude, but he also couldn’t reject this number one civil court official’s face. His eyebrows knitted and he said, “Right prime minister, please elaborate.”
Yang Wen Chang looked at Zhao Shi Cheng coldly. “According to what this official knows, those convicts wasn’t rescued from prison, instead they escaped from the tunnels of the yamen’s prison. At the same time, they also weren’t executed, rather they were nowhere to be found.”
“How did right prime minister know about this?” The emperor didn’t understand how he was so clear about the things in the magistrate’s yamen.
It was already at this point anyway, Yang Wen Chang didn’t mind revealing one of the cards in his hands. “The yamen’s private advisor Cao was originally studying under the Yang family. This person was clever and resourceful so this official recommended him to take up a job at the yamen. Private advisor Cao was cautious and conscientious for many years and has also helped this official expose many matters of the magistrates taking bribes and bending the law. This time the matter in which the Iron Gate fort’s bandits escaped from prison had quite a large influence. The official summoned private advisor Cao before to ask some questions and it was private advisor Cao himself who told this offices that the convicts already escaped without a trace.
While the emperor was muttering to himself, Zhao Shi Cheng suddenly looked at Yang Wen Chang. His eyes were calm. “If that is so, than right prime minister can invite private advisor Cao to come and testify. He just happens to follow this official to
the imperial palace today. He should be outside the palace waiting right now.
Yang Wen Chang fixed his gaze upon him. He didn’t understand where Zhao Shi Cheng’s composure came from, but he has more faith that private advisor Cao won’t betray him. After all, for the past many years, the dirty laundry private advisor Cao helped him dealt with if not a hundred then at least fifty. If he fell, then private advisor Cao also wouldn’t be well-off.
Under the emperor’s permission, private advisor Cao was quickly brought inside the palace. After he finished saluting, the emperor stared at him sternly and said, “Private advisor Cao, with regards to the case of Iron Gate fort convicts escaping prison, tell us everything you know. You must not lie!”
Private advisor Cao was so scared his legs felt like jelly and he promptly kneeled down. He took a peep at Yang Wen Chang first and the latter shot him a ruthless gaze that was like a sharp arrow, making him tremble for a moment. After that, he also looked towards Zhao Shi Cheng. It was only when Zhao Shi Cheng nodded his head secretly that he just mustered up courage to speak. “Reporting to his majesty, actually…actually the two murder cases the Iron Gate fort committed was a big plot and also a big plot that was directed towards great general Zhao.”
The emperor’s expression changed. “Explain it clearly.”
Private advisor Cao swallowed his saliva, he will die no matter what at any rate, so he braced himself and said,”The Iron Gate fort…is actually the right prime minister’s force.”
When he said this, the imperial court was in an uproar, even the emperor also had a hard time concealing his shock.
Private advisor Cao continued to say, “The people of the Iron Gate fort obeyed the right prime minister’s orders and killed the scribe and the palace caller. His intentions was to throw the capital into chaos and make Zhao Daren look bad. If Zhao Daren lost his position because of this, it will definitely greatly affect Great General Zhao’s prestige. In addition, the right prime minister originally wanted this commoner to lay an ambush on the mountain and assassinate Daren, but it’s a pity that it didn’t succeed. The right prime minister didn’t expect the Iron Gate fort would be annihilated so he wanted this commoner to kill Ying Long and the other bandits to silence them because he was afraid the information will leak out. When Zhao Daren requested to repair the yamen, this commoner secretly set up a tunnel in the prison first. Sure enough, it was used to aid Ying Long and the rest’s escape later on and then this commoner could do away with them again afterwards…”
“You’re talking nonsense!” Yang Wen Chang was so enraged his inflamed eyelids were at its limit and split. The gaze he used to glare at private advisor Cao seemed like he wanted to to use his eyes to kill him.
Private advisor Cao was a coward for so many years. When he recalled that Yang Wen Chang even wanted to kill him, he was ready to risk everything again today,
“His majesty, after Ying Long and the others escaped, Zhao Daren ordered his men to stop them. They didn’t actually die. They can also come out to testify that they have accepted right prime minister’s financial aid for many years and helped the right prime minister do a great deal of shady matters.”
Soon afterwards, Ying Long and the others were also brought in. They were a bunch of rural bandits. Wherever could they have saw an impressive scene like the imperial court? They were frightened to the point where they blurted out everything all at once. The spearhead was all pointed at Yang Wen Chang.
The emperor was so furious, his complexion turned both black and blue. “Yang Wen Chang, do you still have anything left to say?”
Yang Wen Chang took a step forward. “Your majesty, all these matters are just nonsense that is only used to target this official. This official’s entire heart is put on serving the country and can’t possibly train any evil organizations. I also couldn’t possibly frame Magistrate Zhao intentionally. You have to know that this official was one who recommended Magistrate Zhao. If the magistrate caused trouble, then this official also couldn’t escape responsibility.”
When Zhao Shi Cheng saw that the emperor’s gaze appeared to irresolute again and said lukewarmly, “But if I, this magistrate shamefully fell from power, my father,s reputation will definitely be worse than you, right prime minister.As long as right prime minister retreated in order to advance, the prestige and power you will obtain will probably be even more vast than before. Who doesnt know that right prime minister has been fighting against my father for many year? You don’t need to quibbble. You already confessed that private advisor Cao was your subordinate previously. Do you still have anything to say?”
Yang Wen Chang glared at Zhao Shi Cheng with detest. He had always underestimated this fellow. Unexpectedly, he could actually cause him to fall into such a difficult position. Fortunately, he usually handled matters carefully and already made some plans. Naturally, it was also impossible for him to not take precautions against someone betraying him. Hence, he said calmly, “Private advisor Cao is indeed my subordinate, but I also didn’t realize that he would do such a thing,”
In any case, it wasn’t that hard to have thick skin. He was certain that Zhao Shi Cheng couldn’t get his hands any evidence that proved he had connections with Iron Gate fort.
T/n: I’m proud that I remembered the word dirty laundry existed when i was translating. It somewhat fitted the context of the sentence, I guess, although the matter private advisor Cao helped Yang Wen Chang with wasn’t embarrassing but very shady. If they didn’t hide all the things they did, he would probably go to jail. I can’t wait until I translated chapter 28. It’s one of the funniest scenes I read. By the way, is there any romance and comedy novels you guys recommend me to read? I’m out of books. Thanks in advance.