PBCW Chapter 23
He really believed that she loved him now. When he felt like he was at the last moment of his life, she unexpectedly appeared like the first light of dawn and saved his life. It was clearly a very dangerous thing to do, but when she did it, it seemed to be a matter of course. Although he didn’t know how she knew the details of the incident and came forward to rescue him, but this deep relationship was like good wine that tugged at his heart strings, making him sink into a state of captivation.
“Husband, it’s great that you’re alright!” Tang Wan snuggled inside his arms and released a long sigh. Fortunately, there was still time to save him.
The couple hugged each other for a short while and only separated slightly just now. However, their eyes were still set closely on each other. It appeared quite abrupt in the middle of the glint and flashes of daggers and swords in this area.
Zhao Shi Cheng lowered his head and wanted to tell her his heartfelt emotions, but Tang Wan suddenly raised her head, her gaze was dark and she gnashed her teeth.
Due to such a striking contrast, he paused for a moment. Soon after that, he saw her raise her broadsword and struck him right overhead. He was so shocked that his handsome face became crooked.
“How detestable! You want to plot against my husband? You think I’m a paper tiger!” With a wave of her hand, the back of the sword immediately knocked out the bandit who wanted to carry out a sneak attack from behind Zhao Shi Cheng’s back.
Before Zhao Shi Cheng could even respond, Tang Wan’s entire temper began to rise. After she kicked the person on the ground flying, she nimbly pushed him to the side.
“Husband, wait for me. Look at how I’m going to cut down eight to ten people down!” After saying this, she brandished the broadsword and charged into the battlefield nimbly.
Zhao Shi Cheng was left in the same place dumbstruck. All the loving words were stuck in his throat and all of his affections seemed have fell on the ground, causing him to have a little chest pain for suppressing it.
At this time, a bright and clear voice that was like a large bell sounded near Zhao Shi Cheng——
“Good, this old man’s daughter in-law is really energetic!”
Zhao Shi Cheng hurriedly turned his head around to the side and sure enough, he saw his old man who was supposed to be in the General’s residence. He asked puzzledly, “Father, why are you…Wan er, she…”
Zhao Zhong Shi brought a large army of soldiers. If he wanted to eliminate this group of bandits, it was but a matter that required several blinks. Not to mention, the great general has killed thousands upon thousands of men and horses on the battlefield, destroying a mountain fort was almost like killing a caterpillar. Hence, he easily came to his son’s side and even laughed leisurely and said, “ In the beginning, when you wanted to marry Tang Wan, I was even worried that she was too delicate and weak and wasn’t able to adapt to our Zhao family’s family style. Now that I see this, she is simply like the reincarnation of Hua Mulan. Fortunately, you’re smart and made a engagement with her first.” As he talked on and on, his smile slowly disappeared.
“Last night, when she came back to the residence, she was ambushed. Someone wanted to kill her. All the sedan chair carriers and guards were knocked out. As a weak woman, she actually had the idea to bring the maid back to the General’s residence herself and ask for help. She even insisted on making me dispatch the smarmy up the mountain to save you and said that you were definitely stranded on top of the mountain.”
When he saw Tang Wan express her female power, Zhao Zhong Shi continuously nodded his head in extreme admiration.
“Originally, I didn’t want her to come, but she insisted. I originally thought that she was only scared that you’ll be in trouble. I was also certain that I protect her well, so I brought her here. I never expected her to actually charge inside first when she saw that you were surrounded in the middle of enemy troops. I was nearly scared to death. In the end, she actually did have some skills and really managed to get you out of there.”
When he heard his father’s explanation, Zhao Shi Cheng’s expression became strange instead. Tang Wan usually appeared to be gentle and virtuous inside the residence precisely because she was afraid of shocking his parents and that they will dislike her for her tendency to be valour and lively. Unexpectedly, when she killed to point where her eyes were red and she forget to conceal her true nature, she actually received father’s praise.
“Father, let’s not talk about Wan er anymore.” Zhao Shi Cheng felt like he had the need to help his wife change the topic, in case she finished beating people up and came back afterwards, she’ll be unable to come up with a believable reason. “Father, this son thinks that the matter of destroying the fort today has a big conspiracy.”
“Nonsense! A thousand soldiers entrapping your three hundred soldiers, even I know that’s a conspiracy. Isn’t it just that they want to kill you?” Zhao Zhong Shi said snappily.
“It’s not like that father. I mean that this conspiracy isn’t targeted at me, rather it’s targeted at father.”
What he observed in addition to the words that he coaxed out of Ying Long just now, it all seemed to prove a fact. “I was ambushed by enemy soldiers and even Wan er was ambushed. If we both died, then that means that the new magistrate in the capital is incapable. In this way, this will greatly affect father’s position in the imperial court. It’s like the previous two daren’s murder case. On the surface, it was Iron Gate fort’s doing, but in fact, because of this matter, isn’t father also taunted and criticized by people in the imperial court?”
When he heard this, Zhao Zhong Shi’s expression became considerably serious. “What you said is right, but who wants to target me?”
Zhao Shi Cheng took a deep breath. “Father, I heard that it’s because right prime minister Yang recommended me that I got promoted to the magistrate of the capital?”
“Yang Wen Chang?” Zhao Zhong Shi was not quite convinced. “But if you get in trouble, Yang Wen Chang, who recommended you, also won’t be that well off.”
“It’s still much better than father, who lost his son at the time and also became discredited.”
Zhao Zhong Shi finally understood. His rough, old face couldn’t help but twitch for a period of time. His breathing also became rough and heavy. Nevertheless, his gaze turned gloomy.
The battle gradually came to an end. With Great General Zhao’s army’s help, not only did they destroy the enemies entirely, but they also captured several key figures including Ying Long of course.
The soldiers and men called off the battle. Tang Wan wielded a sword and came over with an imposing manner that was astonishing.
“Husband, that Ying Long cried out the most fiercely just now, so I helped you take care of him. In the next few days, I must punish him properly in prison!” She said indignantly with clenched teeth. She didn’t notice that her father in law was standing on one side.
Zhao Shi Cheng anxiously shot a meaningful glance at her again and again, hinting for her to restrain herself a little and don’t make it so that even her words were too vulgar.
She cocked her head as she looked him and asked puzzledly, “ Husband, did your eyes get a cramp?”
Zhao Shi Cheng nearly spit a mouthful of blood out. This wife of his, why was it that when she should be clever she was in such a daze?
On the contrary, Zhao Zhong Shi lightly coughed in a calm manner. “Daughter-in-law, De Pu is warning you that I am here.”
Tang Wan was quite surprised. “Father?! Aren’t supposed to be commanding the army?”
She suddenly remembered that she still had to pretend to be a noble lady and hastily threw away the broadsword in her hands. She rapidly straightened out her dress and appearance and when she turned to face her father in law, she was already that gentle and delicate daughter in law again.
“Father, uh…daughter in law didn’t see you just now and was a little rude. Daughter-in-law was a little scared and was fri-frightened to the point where I speaking illogically because there were too many bad guys here.”
With her delicate and charming expression, it truly seemed like it was the case. It’s just that Zhao Shi Cheng sighed and patted her shoulders lightly. “Wan er, there’s no need to pretend. Father already saw your heroic bearing when you killed off the enemies.”
Tang Wan had a hard time concealing her awkwardness. Her body stiffened and she really didn’t know how to explain herself again. She could only ask extremely cautiously, “Father, can you pretend that you didn’t see that?”
When she said this, everyone instantly became silent. Soon after that, both father and son burst into laughter in unison. She was at loss with their laughter. In the end, even she, herself, thought it was preposterous. Her beautiful face warped and she didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
In the end, it was Zhao Zhong Shi who comforted her heroically. “Relax! I rather like your personality. It is resembles the people of the Zhao family. In today’s victory, your report accounts for first class merit. I will request for your deeds to be recorded. In the future, I will depend on you to protect De Pu.”
Zhao Shi Cheng smiled bitterly and shook his head. “Father, Tang Wan got ambushed this time, precisely because her talents were overexposed and made people think she is a threat to them. Hence, the fact that Wan er is well versed with both the letters and martial arts can’t be revealed for now. It’s more beneficial for our next operation to maintain her unfathomable image. “
As he said this, his profound eyes slowly overflowed with confidence. “As for the mastermind behind this plot, I, Zhao Shi Cheng, promise to definitely capture him. I want to single-handedly end the situation currently with the civil and military officials opposing each other in the imperial court!”
Tang Wan stared fixedly at him and became captivated. Heavens, why is her husband so handsome!
The Iron Gate fort was destroyed overnight. In addition, they assembled the bandits of mountain forts from surrounding areas to kill Zhao Shi Cheng, letting the government annihilate four or five mountain forts that were steeped in iniquity on the way. It may be called a matter of great merit. The emperor was very pleased and granted rewards to Zhao Shi Cheng and even commended Zhao Zhong Shi greatly during morning court. He praised Zhao Shi Cheng for not falling behind others after changing from a military official to a civil official. This caused the momentum of military officials to rise again all of a sudden. One group of civil officials were extremely depressed.
Next, they will be holding an exam for the board of rites. The scholars who passed the examination last time will come pouring in in large quantities again. Because of this, the defense of the capital appeared to be even more significant. Zhao Shi Cheng established a great merit and was entrusted with this important task and the peasants were starting to believe in this magistrate who appeared out of the blue. The traveling merchants, who did business, also came into the capital one after the another to seek opportunities. As a result, the streets were bustling with excitement day by day.
The more it was like this, the more pressure that was on Zhao Shi Cheng because he knew the matter didn’t end yet.
Iron Gate fort was clearly only a chess piece that was taken advantage of. Before they confess the instigator from behind the scenes, he didn’t know when the murder cases, like the kind with the scribe and Eunuch Liu previously, will happen. Even if Zhao Shi Cheng could guess who the instigator behind the scenes was, but before there was any evidence, he couldn’t say anything carelessly.
It’s a pity that Ying Long and the rest of the people captured had their mouths shut extremely tight. They didn’t yield to persuasion or threats. He exhausted all means and still didn’t get them to spit out a single word. He was so furious that he rain curses on the magistracy officer working as well as private advisor Cao. After that, he brought Tang Wan back to the general residence and didn’t enter the yamen for three days.
In the prison, Ying Long and the others ate the dry and cold steamed bun that the prison guard gave them in an expressionless face just like usual, but he quietly grasped the small slip of paper that was smuggled inside the steamed bun in his hands.
The moon climbed on the top of the branch. A large portion of the people in the capital were already sleeping. The prison guard also leaned his hand on his hand and kept watch outside the prison cell drowsily. Suddenly, a call came from outside and after that, a burst of fragrance spread inside the prison.
“Ah Hu, stop sleeping. Let’s go upstairs to drink. I got a roast duck here.”
“Ai, I can’t do that. I still have to look after the prisoners…”
“They’ve been locked inside here for about a month and they haven’t even let a fart out. What are you afraid of? Maybe tomorrow when daren gets angry, he’ll execute all of them. Let’s go and drink wine.”