Right prime minister’s residence was searched and confiscated. The Yang family clan was sent to exile in the northern wasteland. There was no hope for them to ever return to the capital in their lifetime. Although the emperor already showed mercy to them again and again, after all murdering two important officials wasn’t exactly a minor matter, however, when the Yang family left, their resentment towards Zhao Shi Cheng didn’t lighten a tiny bit, especially Yang Wen Chang, he appeared to be in a state of insanity even more when he threatened to make the Zhao family die a violent death and so on. If it weren’t for the fact that he sympathized that he was already downtrodden to this point and the Yang family was also going to leave, Zhao Zhong Shi would have already ordered someone to kill Yang Wen Chang.
Nevertheless, the imperial court’s atmosphere eased up a great deal. When the enraged emperor saw how good of an influence it actually brought after Yang Wen Chang no longer held a position in the imperial court and it seemed to be even more beneficial in carrying out public affairs, he also gradually laid down his discontentment.
Zhao Shi Cheng continued to serve as the magistrate of the capital and Tang Wan also spent her life leisurely eating her fill and then sleeping, and then sleeping until she was satisfied and then eating.
Yet, today, Zhao Shi Cheng keep on feeling uneasy for some reason while he was in the yamen working. After he finished trying the last case, he walked back to the
official residence irritatedly.
As expected, the courtyard that was always brimming with Tang Wan and her maid’s laughter was now abnormally silent and still. This caused him to be flighty and impatient. Although with Tang Wan’s astonishing strength and the capital’s defense currently, there shouldn’t be any problems that could happen, but he still couldn’t relax.
When he walked into the hall, there was still no one there. He quickly walked inside the room again. He didn’t see Tang Wan, but he did see Xiao Chun sitting in front of the table, nodding off.
A bad feeling flashed through Zhao Shi Cheng’s mind and he asked hastily, “Xiao Chun, where’s young Madam?”
Xiao Chun woke up with a start. Yet, faced with her master’s question, she stammered and was unable to say a complete sentence for quite a while.
“Young Madam, she, she…” When she saw his eyes slowly turn swift and fierce, she swallowed her saliva and then hesitantly said, “Young Madam, she…received a letter and then went out. She even said that I wasn’t allowed to follow her.”
“Who wrote the letter?” He wouldn’t accept this kind of answer that focused on the minor details.
“Look, looking at that letter paper, it seemed to be, be the Lu family…” Xiao Chun lowered her head. In her heart, she secretly repented to Young Madam. Young Madam, it wasn’t that Xiao Chun wanted to harm you, but it’s important for me to keep my life.
Then it’s Lu You! When he thought of this name, Zhao Shi Cheng knitted his eyebrows tightly. He knew Tang Wan well and also believed that she definitely wouldn’t keep an appointment secretly for love. This was something fishy in it that caused her to have no choice but to go. It’s no good, he had to go and see!
He asked again while keeping a straight face. “Did Young Madam tell you where she will go to keep the appointment?”
Xiao Chun shook her head, “Young Madam didn’t say, but Xiao Chun sneaked a peek…it seems like they’re meeting at Yue Lai inn.”
Zhao Shi Cheng raised the tip of his eyebrow. Yue Lai inn was Yingfeng Pavilion’s business rival. She wanted to go and eat their specialty dishes many times, but he stopped her every time. Lu You, that fellow, coincidentally arranged a meeting at that place. No wonder she secretly wanted to go to the meeting and didn’t dare to let him know. This completely makes sense now. It’s just because she was gluttonous!
Although he already deducted her considerations, but the uneasiness in his head became even more heavy. “Xiao Chun, how long has Young Madam been out?”
Xiao Chun tilted her head and thought for a while and then suddenly her eyes widened. “She went out early in the morning. Up until now, it’s already 4 shichen (~8hours).”
With Tang Wan’s ability, she could even eat three meals in such a long time. As expected, this is fishy! Zhao Shi Cheng couldn’t stay any longer. He stepped out of e room in large strides and just wanted to rush to Yue Lai inn.
However, when he just walked into the hall, he saw his parents walk inside with a panic stricken expression, even the guards behind them were nearly unable to catch up.
“Father, mother, why did you come? What is making you so alarmed?” When he saw his parents’ expression, Zhao Shi Cheng felt like there was definitely an important matter that happened even more and it’s also probably related to Tang Wan.
“De Pu, someone sent this letter to the residence. Quickly look at it!” Zhao Zhong Shi took out a letter from his embrace and handed it to his son.
Zhao Shi Cheng quickly opened up the letter and read it carefully. This was a threatening letter. The signature was also very arrogantly written directly as Yang Wen Chang. He said that Tang Wan was in his hands and wanted Zhao Shi Cheng to prepare three million silvers to ransom for the person, or else he will kill Tang Wan. The letter naturally also mentions the place and time where they would hand over the ransom, but it didn’t inform them that they weren’t allowed to report to an official.
After all, Tang Wan’s husband was the magistrate and her father in law was also a great general. This blackmail letter itself was reporting the case to the authorities. Furthermore, it was the kind that wasn’t even scared of retaliation.
“Yang Wen Chang seems to be pressing his luck!’ Zhao Zhong Shi was so angry he waved his fist in the air. “He actually dared to kidnap my daughter in law and even write a letter to demand money. Where did he get his courage!”
“Yang Wen Chang deceived Wan er to get out of the residence through the Lu family.” After Zhao Shi Cheng knew what happened from start to finish and realized where that uneasy feeling came from, he calmed down instead.
The Lu You he knew, although he once took the wrong path because of jealousy, but after that he also sincerely mended his way, it was unlikely for him to go as far as to help Yang Wen Chang setup Tang Wan. Could it be Madam Tang or Madam Wang who did it?
Zhao Shi Cheng suddenly recalled their encounter with Madam Tang and Madam Wang at Yingfeng Pavilion previously—the resentful expression in their eyes when they left as well as the harsh words they constantly dropped. Tang Wan, with that honest personality, was very likely to be tricked by them.
“My daughter in law has an unparalleled martial arts master, compared with me, this father in law, even I don’t have time for civilities. How could she be kidnapped without fighting back.” Zhao Zhong Shi was puzzled.
When he mentioned this, Zhao Shi Cheng couldn’t help but sigh deeply. He really wanted to cry, but he didn’t have any tears left. “Wan er probably…fell unconscious due to the food. After falling conscious, she will naturally have no strength to fight
Zhao furen was so worried she was about to cry. “Wan er is so pitiful…Where will we get three million silvers to redeem her.”
When money was mentioned, Zhao Zhong Shi, who usually didn’t have any concept of money, also started to look anxious. “How about I find some colleagues in the army to borrow from. After they retired and live in seclusion, each and every one of them are heavy-jowled and pot-bellied. They probably saved quite a lot.”
“How about I also take those jewelry and clothes of mine and sell them as well. It can also more or less gather some money.” Zhao furen always doted on her daughter in law. She naturally couldn’t be stingy at this time. “Also, Shi Cong, Shi Jie, Shi Xin…As Shi Cheng’s older brothers, they all usually receive money from Shi Cheng, it is also time for them to repay him.”
When he saw his parents feel so worried for Tang Wan, Zhao Shi Cheng felt quite comforted. At least, she didn’t go through the great trouble of pretending to be cute and virtuous for nothing. But on the other hand, his parents didn’t know how to broaden their sources of income and save on spending normally. Now when they need to use money, they find it hard to cover the expenses and were at their wit’s end. This also made him feel speechless at his fate.
“Father, mother, it’s alright. I have three million silvers. “ He seemed to have made some decision and stated calmly.
“You have it? How’s that possible?” Zhao family’s father and mother asked in unison.
“Father, mother, think about it. After this son matured, the food and drink expenses in the residence; Father, the silvers you use to reward your subordinates or comfort and compensate a bereaved family; the silvers mother used to dress up and also the occasional shortage of money from my ten older brothers; wasn’t it all my responsibility to earn it back? If I didn’t any capabilities, the Zhao residence would have already collapsed.” Zhao Shi Cheng said helplessly.
When his parents heard this, they appeared to be ashamed at the same time.
Indeed, they don’t understand how to manage the finance of the residence at all. It could be said that they depended on their son to live. Ordinarily, they were used to it and didn’t pay any notice to it. With this out in the open, the responsibility their son beared really wasn’t the normal large.
“Moreover, father and mother, it’s rather too ridiculous for you to not know what I used to support the people at home.” Zhao Shi Cheng couldn’t help but roll his eyes. “The Yingfeng Pavilion, who was known across the world right now, is my property. Tell me, how can I not be able take out 3 million silvers?”
“Yingfeng pavilion is yours?” This time Zhao family’s two elders really was flabbergasted.
Yingfeng Pavilion’s branch stores were open across the land and could even be said as the number one restaurant in the country. It was actually their Zhao family’s?
“It’s just that…” Zhao Shi Cheng sighed deeply, “three million silvers will destabilize Yingfeng Pavilion’s foundation, perhaps we will have sell several stores. In the future, we won’t be so well-off at home anymore.”
Zhao Zhong Shi’s bushy eyebrows was knitted so tightly that it almost joined into a line. In the end, he patted his chest and said, “If worse comes to worse, we’ll use money sparingly. The more pressing matter at the moment is to first gather the money to save someone.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Zhao furen also felt awkward. “Let’s get Wan er out first, we can still earn the money back. At this juncture, mother won’t buy any new clothes…I believe the matter of Wan er being captured, even if Shi Cong and the others knew, they will also experience it together in times of trouble and try their best to help.”
Zhao Shi Cheng’s eyebrows raised slightly, “Alright, you said these words. Don’t back out at that time!”
Zhao family’s two elders nodded their heads like they were pounding garlic.
Zhao Shi Cheng came out of the official residence like the wind and got ready to raise money.
He clenched his fist tightly and thought indignantly in his mind, Yang Wen Chang, Tang Wan better not lose a single strand of hair, or else, he will definitely make the Yang family disappear from this world!
Although Zhao Shi Cheng knew of Tang Wan’s strength, but Yang Wen Chang’s schemes and intrigues couldn’t be looked down upon similarly. He certainly couldn’t have his beloved wife’s life as a stake. Hence, he still sold the stores off in an extremely short time and scraped together three million silvers for ransom.
For the sake of convenience, Yang Wen Chang wanted it all to be banknotes. Moreover, he indicated clearly that it has Wan Bao Private bank so he could take anywhere and it will be in common use.
On the surface, the father and son of the Zhao family went up the hill without looking worried. But in reality, there was still several troops of picked troops who followed behind them, making sure to bring Yang Wen Chang to justice once and for all.
However, Yang Wen Chang also wasn’t someone who was easy to deal with. If he dared to kidnapped Tang Wan, then he must have the certainty of escaping. He already made thorough preparations. The meeting place was a barren hill. They simply couldn’t hide too many people. Even if the Zhao family brought men and horses here, it was impossible for them to advance forward in one line for a period of time and naturally he could calmly run away.
This time, he will not only take the ransom money, but he will also make Zhao Zhong Shi’a family, who caused the Yang family clan to suffer miserably, to remain on the mountain forever!
At this time, Yang Wen Chang already took off his official robe. With civilian clothes, he still appeared to be gentle, but he was unable to conceal his ruthlessness. He brought along several family soldiers from the Yang family. Among them, four people held a sword and surrounded Tang Wan. She, on the other hand, stood inside the encirclement helplessly, persuading them patiently—