When Lu You heard this, he immediately knew who he was. His father, Zhao Chong Ti, was a favorite in the imperial court since he was the leader of military officials and the great general who guards the north. However, Lu You didn’t become polite because of this. After all, this was an era that preferred the pen to the sword. He naturally also looked down on Zhao Shi Cheng. Since Zhao Shi Cheng dared to court Tang Wan , he won’t be afraid to lose face.
“I was talking about the beauty of poetry with my friends, but neglected Wan er for a while. Good thing, young master Zhao accompanied Wan er to talk. I thank you.” He hinted that Tang Wan was his and you, Zhao Shi Cheng, was only passing by, so don’t stand in their way.
“No problem, Miss Tang is an outstanding talent. She speaks substantively. Today, I got to know Miss Tang. I regret not meeting her earlier.” Zhao Shi Cheng was also not someone who was easy to deal with. Lu You and Tang Wan were already divorced. He had no qualifications to be concerned with who she interacts with.
“If you can enter Wan er’s eyes, you must be talented. Young Master Zhao is a military official, but actually also appeared here. I can’t help but be a little curious.”
Lu You said politely. But his real intention was to know that Zhao Shi Cheng has never been famous for his literary talent, yet he actually dared to walk so close to Tang Wan. He wanted to make Zhao Shi Cheng feel inferior so he deliberately didn’t give him a chance to speak.
He continued to say, “ I talk with my friends about poetry and principles during the gathering. Naturally, I am very happy. But, I’m afraid that as a military official, young master Zhao is unable to understand the pleasure in it. I’m also afraid that what we talk about will also make Zhao Shi Cheng’s head big and feel confused.”
“Yes, yes, it is the gathering of scholars. Why should martial artists come and mess this things up?”
“Can it be that he ran upstairs? What is the YingFeng Pavillion doing actually letting a military official intrude on the gathering we scholars have.”
In the imperial court, civil officials and military officials were against each other and the struggle was high. This practice naturally extended towards the people, therefore the scholars looked down on the warriors particularly and the warriors did not necessarily give the scholars a good face. And a person like Zhao Shi Cheng ,who was gentle on the surface but also has a proud and unyielding character, won’t just swallow his anger even more.
Tang Wan listened, her face was as heavy as water. She only thought that Lu You, this person, was not only indecisive when there is a problem, his tolerance was not very good. However, this time she was able to keep her calm. She wanted to know how Zhao Shi Cheng would refute. Of course, if he could directly kick Lu You out with one foot, she would admire him even more.
Faced with Lu You’s harassment, Zhao Shi Cheng only smiled indifferently. He said in a calm and composed way, “What poems are everybody talking about? What principles do you speak of?”
“Naturally, we are talking about the famous poems through all ages. It is precisely the principles of life that we talk of.” Lu You said confidently.
“In that case, you studied strenuously at a cold window for many years, for what?” Zhao Shi Cheng asked again.
“For the sake of one day passing the imperial exam and enter the imperial court as an official and then, benefit the common people.” Lu You said in a powerful and impressive way, earning the praises of all the scholars on the scene.
“Well said!” Zhao Shi Cheng took the chance to change the topic. “Since everyone’s final aspiration is to enter the imperial courts as an official and help the people, but is here, discussing ancient poetry and inquiring about life principles, I would like to ask, these famous poems and principles, what kind of help would it have towards the people? What kind of impact would it have on the society? And how can it benefit the common people?
“This…” Lu You immediately stopped talking after Zhao Shi Cheng argued back.
“So small talk is cheap. You should be more realistic. Whether it is scholars or martial artists, isn’t benefiting the country the most important thing?” Zhao Shi Cheng lightly added the last sentence. He also had a hating iron for not turning into steel look [note] hating iron for not turning into steel—to be anxious for someone to improve [/note] on his face.
The two men fought each other for a period of time. It was obvious that Lu You completely lost. Zhao Shi Cheng’s insight was impeccable and was equal to him facing all the scholars head on. Even more was that he utterly defeated the other party. Tang Wan listened as her eyes flooded light. Talented! Zhao Shi Cheng was simply a talent! He was able make Lu You crestfallen without shedding a single drop of blood. She finally knew why Zhao Shi Cheng gave her the feeling of being very delicious. His special expertise was in his head! This person’s clever response was simply top notched. With such a partner, was there a need to be afraid of people scheming them? It’s already enough that he didn’t go and plot against them.
At this time, the organizer of the gathering Sun Ting Cai hurriedly ran over. He was talking with someone at the corner just now and only then did he learn that there was a conflict here. However, he came too late and except for Zhao Shi Cheng, who was still there standing proud like a lonely pine tree, the rest of the scholars who were led by Lu You all had a strange expression on their face.
Sun Ting Cai listened to the servant’s explanation and after learning the whole story from beginning to end, he took out a jar of wine from the servant’s hands. He walked in between Zhao Shi Cheng and Lu You and acted like a mediator. “Aiya, all of you are the pillars of the country. It is me who didn’t show you any hospitality. How could I let everyone stand there and starve? It seems that all of you are blaming me! Come come, let’s drink wine. There’s a place by the window facing the west that has snacks. Allow me to request for everyone to move there. Today, we shall not return home until we are drunk!”
The atmosphere finally became a bit lively. No one felt that Sun Ting Cai knew Zhao Shi Cheng. Even if the two of them conversed with each other to some extent, most of them thought that he was only maintaining the peace and solving the situation with military official Zhao Shi Cheng coming uninvited.
However, Lu You no longer had the face to continue to stay. Originally he had wanted to tell Tang Wan so they could leave together, but he couldn’t find her. He suspected that his loss during his confrontation with Zhao Shi Cheng might have made her unhappy so she left first. Therefore, he said goodbye to Sun Ting Cai and the others without demur and hurriedly went back to comfort his woman.
“De Pu, how did you fall out with Lu You?” After waiting for everyone to disperse, Sun Ting Cai couldn’t help but inspect Zhao Shi Cheng curiously, even forgetting to put back the wine jar that was in his hands.
“Brother Sun, I just couldn’t stand the fact that Lu You is… uh… sitting on the toilet and doing nothing [note]sit on the toilet but do nothing—occupy a post without doing any work yet not let anyone else take over (copied from Pleco) [/note]” Zhao Shi Cheng thought about it for long time but still felt that the vulgar language was in line with the current situation, although Tang Wan may not be happy to hear it.
“Sit on the toilet… pfft!” Sun Ting Cai ponder slightly before understanding, almost choking with laughter. “You are an anomaly among the military officials. You usually seem pretty upright and not pedantic like the scholars. But unexpectedly when you start to talk, your words are shocking. As expected, even heroes can’t go against the charms of a beauty, it was actually for Miss Tang.”
He also had a considerably high position among the scholars. It was by accident that he became friends with Zhao Shi Cheng. He naturally understood this military official friend who didn’t know a single thing about martial arts. Zhao Shi Cheng was indeed gentle and upright. He rarely became enemies with people in the imperial court. However, he unexpectedly fell out with Lu You for a girl. This was not like his style.
Managing to stop smiling with great difficulty, Sun Ting Cai shook his head and sighed, “Oh, before Miss Tang got married, she was a fairy like figure in our circle. Now that she and Lu You was divorced, although her reputation was damaged, but there are still plenty of people who are eyeing her in our circle. It’s just that Lu You is just as you said,that… sitting on the toilet and not doing anything, so even if everyone is angry, there’s no way to talk about it. After all, Lu You is very talented and his family is also well off. The wall of the examination is like thin paper to him. In the future, he will definitely enter the courts,be promoted and rise quickly in the world. Not many people are willing to anger him.”
“Then I’ll wait and see.” With the position of Zhao Shi Cheng’s clansmen, he didn’t really keep Lu You in mind. “Although Lu You has outstanding talent, he isn’t a official yet. There is nothing to worry about. In any case, I can’t stand seeing Miss Tang being wronged. Maybe tomorrow, there will be a rumor of Zhao Shi Cheng defeating Lu You in the YingFeng Pavillion spreading in the streets of Beijing.”
“You usually don’t show your abilities. So, suddenly pulling this move now, can actually bring your YingFeng Pavilion business? You made Lu You and Tang Wan agitated. The scholars and military officials are fighting. Everyone will want to see the place where Lu You was first humiliated.” Sun Ting Cai was not an idiot. His brain turned and he suddenly understood his intentions. He scolded jokingly, “It’s such a waste for you to have the job of a general. When you are an official, you’re so normal. But in reality, your heart is completely focused on doing business. If you’re placed in the frontier, you’ll probably be able to buy the entire gold country.”
How could he not know Zhao Shi Cheng’s shortcomings? Zhao Shi Cheng, this person, everything about him was good, except that he saves money to the extreme. Although he looked gentle on the outside, but this guy doesn’t need to go to morning court, yet he goes the palace everyday to attend to business after assuming office, it looks like he’s diligent, in fact it’s just to get free meals in the palace.
But it’s no wonder Zhao Shi Cheng was extremely stingy to the point where people’s hair bristled in anger. His father, Zhao Zheng Shi, was a boorish man. He only knew how to fight and not how to increase income and reduce consumption. He was also wasteful when rewarding his subordinates with bounties. In addition, his mother came from an illustrious family and also never cared about money, assuming that sitting in the hall will make money fall from the sky by itself. Not to mention, Zhao Shi Cheng has 10 brothers on top of him,either they were away at a station or they were in assuming command in the frontiers, ten military officials ten money pits. Their family’s affairs were simply beyond the reach of help. Sometimes, they would send letters home lamenting the problems of their armaments. If not for the fact that Zhao Shi Cheng had a hand in business, forcibly maintaining it, the Zhao family would probably collapse many times even if it was his clansmen.
“It’s very kind of you to say so, but there are no discounts for flattering me. Also, Brother Sun, you should eat more. At my YingFeng Pavilion, the food that hasn’t been finished could still be said to be in good condition and I will pack them to bring back home.” Zhao Shi Cheng laughed heartily and then left.
Sun Ting Cai glared at him in anger and wanted to quickly go and attend to his guests. Originally he wanted to pass the wine jar in his hands to the servant, but when he looked back at Zhao Shi Cheng’s stinginess, he lifted his head and drank the wine until the jar was empty.
“Hmph, I already paid the money for this wine. If I didn’t drink it, then it will be taken back to your house. There’s no reason I shouldn’t drink this!”
The scholars’ gathering always cared about their image. Although Sun Ting Cai prepared lots of food, everyone just had a taste of it. Most of the time was spent in the wind, flower, snow and the moon [note] wind,flowers, snow and the moon—
1 referring originally to certain types of literary works and later to effete and sentimental writings in general
2 love affair [/note] and engaged loud and empty talk. Afterwards, they became tipsy so they slowly walked home. They had the manners of the famous scholars of Wei and Jin[note] Wei and Jin—Wei (220-265) and Jin (265-420) dynasties[/note].
Only this gathering, the leader of the scholars Lu You left earlier. The others somehow also lost their spirits. The atmosphere was not only a little bad. In the end, they hastily disbanded and Sun Ting Cai could only smile bitterly as he send the guests away.
As soon as just about enough guests left and there was dine again, the meticulous planner, Zhao Shi Cheng began to pack the food.