As they watch this group of imperial clan members, who usually looked extremely imposing from any side, now leave like stray dogs one by one, even the sunlight started to look lovely and the air also seemed to be even more fresh and clean.
Zhao Shi Cheng exchanged a glance with Tang Wan with great rapport. They smiled knowingly at each other.
As long as the two of them are of one mind, they will display great strength.
After assuming office in FuZhou for two years, Zhao Shi Cheng not only solved the financial problem, but also didn’t harass the locals and became what the FuZhou people said as a good official. His reputation spread and he was held in high esteem by the people. Moreover, the public security was well regulated, businesses flourished and trade prospered. The people were able to live in peace and work happily.
Meanwhile, Lu You, who wasn’t allowed to be an official in three years, was now being placed in an important position and wanted to travel to Ningde [note] Ningde is a prefecture-level city located on the northeastern coast of FuJian province, according to Wikipedia. [/note] and assume the post as the official registrar. In the past three years, he kept a low profile while staying in the South and wanted to let himself forget about Tang Wan. However, when the time arrived for him to leave, he realized that even if he already had two kids with Madam Wang, he was still unable to forget Tang Wan.
Apart from that portion of strong, old affection, another portion was because of guilt. Not long ago, he unexpectedly heard that Madam Tang as well as Madam Wang once set up Tang Wan and gave her to Yang Wen Chang after drugging her. For this reason, he lost his temper and wanted to sent the two of them to the yamen. Later on, Madam Tang used her trick of making a terrible scene again, plus the fact that Madam Wang was about to give birth, to actually hold back his anger.
Although the incident passed and things have changed, Tang Wan was rescued safely and went to FuZhou with her husband to assume office, and the despicable matter that Madam Tang and Madam Wang Did was still not exposed to date, which was enough to show Tang Wan and the Zhao family was magnanimous and didn’t hold them liable. However, although Lu You was a little weak, nevertheless, he was extremely upright. He may permit his mother and wife to be willful at home, yet he wasn’t unable to accept the fact that they still left things to chance when they violated the law.
Consequently, he specially made a detour to FuZhou, bringing along his mother and wife and hoped to meet Zhao Shi Cheng and Tang Wan and apologize to them in person. Of course, whether or not there was selfish motives in him wanting to meet Tang Wan was unknown.
“I heard the folkways of FuZhou are swift and fierce. Their style of work is bold and unconstrained, unlike us, the capital are all intellectuals. Furthermore, those members of the imperial clan are also arrogant and despotic. These three years Zhao Shi Cheng served as an official here also shouldn’t be easy, right?” Madam Tang was forced to come and her heart remained discontent. During the journey, she gossiped and satirized several times.
“Mother, we only have a few people in this party. Only Wang Qiang has some strength at best. Is there going to be any danger?” Madam Wang carried her child in her arms. When she thought that she had gone deep into a place similar to the lands of barbarians, she felt apprehensive.
“How about we let Zhao Shi Cheng send people to protect us first in case the moment we enter FuZhou, we get robbed when we encounter those unruly people.” Madam Tang also started hesitate.
“Maybe Zhao Shi Cheng is already unable to protect himself.” Madam Wang knitted her eyebrows tightly. “I heard that those who served as an official in FuZhou were all controlled by the imperial clan in the end. Zhao Shi Cheng’s position in the clan wasn’t very high. He will definitely be grasped in their hands, unable to escape…”
“Have you said enough?” Lu You found it hard to endure his discontent anymore and yelled in a deep voice, “We’re here today to apologize and we should be sincere. You make sarcastic remarks, do you actually have the intention to repent and change your ways?”
For the past several years, Lu You’s official career was unfavorable and his family wasn’t peaceful mostly due to these two women. He also learned a lesson from this bitter experience and stopped appeasing them any longer. As a result, the berating this time, actually possessed quite the prestige of the head of the family. Madam Tang and Madam Wang immediately became quiet.
In fact, even he himself anticipated that FuZhou will surely be noisy and in a mess, the people will be rude and unreasonable and everything will in disorder. To his surprise, once they entered the town, not only were the streets orderly and clean, the willow tree near the riverside was green, giving people a carefree and joyous feeling like poems, what’s more was that everyone wore a smile on their face. When they saw them, these visitors not local to this town, they would also nod their nods and smile as if they welcome them very much.
There was a particularly unusual scene here and that was among the foreigners shuttling back and forth the marketplace: some had golden hair and blue eyes, some had suntanned skin and deep facial features, yet they got along harmoniously with the locals in the area, not the least bit abrupt. The goods sold on the streets and lanes were of wide variety and many of them were new toys that couldn’t be seen even in the capital.
Madam Tang’s expression was a little perplexed. “This FuZhou…seems to be very different from what we imagined.”
Madam Wang even looked till she was dizzy and confused. “It’ll be nice if Ningde could also be like this. Husband, the prosperity here didn’t lose to the capital, but the poetic flavor was even better to some degree.”
Lu You nodded his head hard and murmured, “Zhao Shi Cheng really had quite the skills. I even ridiculed that he didn’t know how to be an official before…”
Zhao Xing happened to past by and hear Lu You’s words. He couldn’t help but stop his footsteps and snorts angrily, “Where did this outsider come from, actually daring to criticize our Zhao Daren? If Zhao daren didn’t know to be an official, then there won’t be anyone in this entire land who knows how to be an official!”
His words lead to other people’s resonance—-
“Yeah, yeah, Zhao Daren is the best official in the whole world.”
“Without Zhao Daren, how will FuZhou have this kind of scene today!”
As soon as Lu You saw that he incur public wrath, he bowed with his hands held in the front hastily and said, “Sorry, I am not criticizing Zhao Daren, rather I am Zhao Daren’s friend, who came to pay a visit. I made in an error in speaking for a moment, that’s all.”
“You’re Zhao daren’s friend?” Zhao Xing sized him up for a while and also saw that their party had uncommon clothing. In addition, there was indeed a refined manner of a scholar in his body. He nodded his head, “Then I’ll lead you to the department of imperial clan affairs.”
It was this easy? Lu You was stunned. He thought he offended someone and still had to be bullied for a while.
Zhao Xing easily perceived his thoughts and scoffed, “Relax, Zhao Daren taught us to hospitable and well-mannered. The members of the imperial clan in FuZhou now are all gentle and polite like me. Let’s go.”
Whether or not Zhao Xing was actually gentle and courteous was unknown, but Lu You experienced the friendliness of FuZhou.
The party arrived at the department of imperial clan affairs. When Zhao Shi Cheng heard that there was a friend who came to pay a visit to him, he came out with Tang Wan to welcome the guest. As soon as he actually saw Lu You and his family, he instantly pursed his eyebrows and pulled her behind his back.
Upon seeing this, Lu You smiled wryly. “Zhao Daren, don’t blame me. This time, I brought my mother and wife to come and apologize to Zhao furen. The matter three years ago was truly our fault. Zhao Daren’s family was magnanimous and didn’t blame us even further, yet I still had a guilty conscience.”
He pulled Madam Tang as well as Madam Wang forward. The two of them bowed and apologized to Tang Wan and Zhao Shi Cheng earnestly, even a few of his kids all kneeled in the ground, kowtowing a few times to the husband and wife.
When Zhao Shi Cheng saw that Lu You really had a lot of sincerity, Madam Tang and Madam Wang was also remorseful, although those few kids had a dazed expression, but were also cute and clever, he lowered his guard and calmly accepted their apologies with Tang Wan.
“Before coming to FuZhou, I really had a good deal of conjectures about the local conditions and customs of FuZhou, but once I reached this land, I discovered that when an outstanding person arrived at a place, the place becomes a famous place for its scenery and everything is neat and orderly. That’s when I realize that those rumors really are inaccurate. Previously, I once said Zhao Daren didn’t know how to serve as an official in a moment of desperation. Lu You also wants to apologize for this, Zhao Daren truly is a good official who is hard to come by.”
“It’s very kind of you to say that.” Zhao Shi Cheng also wasn’t unreasonable. Before he placed his efforts in making money for the sake of supporting his family, but now he doesn’t have this worry and could give free rein to his talent as much as he likes. When he was serving as the magistrate of the capital, his track record wasn’t bad at all. The department of imperial clan affairs now was even praised highly by everyone so he accepted Lu You’s praise with no misgivings.
Afterwards, Lu You turned to Tang Wan. His eyes continued to overflow with feelings of lovelorn, no matter how he tried to conceal it as he looked her beauty, that was just like before, which even had an indescribable heroic spirit and coquettish after receiving the nourishment of this region’s soil and water.
He wanted to speak briefly but paused for quite a while and just said, “I want to go to Ningde this time. Perhaps, from then on, there will never be a day when we meet. Wan mei, do you have anything to say to cousin (referring to himself)?” He couldn’t bear it in the end and his form of address also went from Zhao furen to the nickname he called Tang Wan by before by instinct. It’s just that in front of everyone, his tone wasn’t able to be so ambiguous, that’s all.
Tang Wan only said indifferently, “Have a safe trip.”
Her answer was so indifferent that it caused Madam Tang and Madam Wang to let out a sign of relief. Zhao Shi Cheng smiled faintly, yet Lu You’s heart sank to the bottom of the valley and he could only swallow the bitterness in his heart. It was he himself who gave up. Now, no matter how much he regretted, it will still be useless.
After Lu You and his companions apologized to Zhao Shi Cheng and his wife, who escorted them out, they were about to leave the department of imperial clan affairs. Who would have thought that at this time, Tang Wan suddenly opened her mouth—-
“Cousin, please wait.”
Her call caused everyone’s hearts to start to be raised high again. Lu You even turned around with a pleasantly surprised expression.
She smiled unperturbed. “Cousin, your family’s Wang Qiang and my family’s Xiao Chun have an affinity with each other. Although they haven’t met for several years, but they also exchanged letters and their affections haven’t reduced. At present, Xiao Chun is almost about to be an old lady. I want to help act as a matchmaker for Xiao Chun right here and bring the two of them together. What do you think, Cousin?”
Only then did Lu You realize that he had mistaken her intentions. His heart squeezed together and he pretended to look happy. “This is great. I will send Wang Qiang over to propose marriage within a few days.”
This time, Lu You finally left and it was also thorough departure.
When he was gone without a trace of his shadow, only then did Tang Wan turn around peevishly and looked at her husband, who laughed proudly.
“Don’t think that I don’t know,” she snorted charmingly and pinched his cheeks, “Husband, you were jealous again just now. You held my hand more tightly than when you held your wooden block [note] The wooden block is used by magistrates to strike the table to call for attention or order (Pleco) [/note]!”
“When did I get jealous? I always held your hand tightly like his, in case you suddenly become unhappy and another person will suffer calamity again.” Zhao Shi Cheng prompts held her in his arms and kissed her secretly when no one was around.
“Then why are you holding back your laughter?” She glared at him, not knowing whether or not to laugh or cry.
“I’m laughing—-” Zhao Shi Cheng originally wanted to make up an excuse again, but in the end, he still confessed while laughing heartily, “I’m laughing because Lu You finally scrambled and is no longer my opponent, hahaha—-”
Tang Wan glared at him helplessly and soon after that, she also laughed together with him.
Her husband was simply a big bucket of vinegar. Although he was never willing to admit it, but this kind of him seemed particularly cute, making her lose her heart completely on his body.
She, this dumb tiger, who lorded over people in the heavens for several millenniums, finally also understood what was love in this world. This kind of sincere feelings, even if she had to lose a thousand years of cultivation, she also wouldn’t be willing to give it up.
She, who was immersed in happiness, suddenly raised her head and looked up at the sky and thanked the many immortals who gave her the chance to go down to earth which caused her unexpectedly find her true live; she’s also grateful that Zhao Shi Cheng looked so delicious, letting her take a fancy to him with one glance amidst the vast sea of faces.
She truly found a good teammate, who was hard to find for all eternity!
T/n: I’m sorry for posting a day late. I went shopping for shoes yesterday and didn’t expect that it would take the whole day for me to find some nice shoes for the summer. That’s why I didn’t have enough time to translate and post the chapter yesterday. Anyway, I thought there was going to be another chapter after this, but apparently this is the last chapter of the novel. Of course, I still have the epilogue to do.
I want to ask some questions since it’s the last main chapter of the novel. Who’s your favorite character and why? My favorite character in the novel is Tang Wan because I really like how she judges people based on whether or not they look yummy. It’s very funny. Plus, she’s kind of a symbol of not judging people by what they look like. Which characters do you think are similar to you? I think I have Zhao Shi Cheng’s stinginess. I’m not that stingy, but I have the desire to save my money. Even now, I remember my heartache when I see how much a graphing calculator costs. ??? I am similar to Tang Wan because I love good food. Food is life, people.