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Jiang Ye - Chapter 51

Published at 16th of March 2016 01:54:47 PM

Chapter 51

Cui DeLu saw this middle-aged man’s back and coldly said, “I know what you’re relying on . Aren’t you just constantly relying on Chang Three or Qi Four, Wu Five, Fei Six, Chen Seven – these people? I know you can fight, and these brothers can very much fight, but don’t you forget, Chang Three and Fei Six are officers in the Yu Lin Army, Liu Five is the Brave Riders Army leader, Chen Seven is further an old man retired from the Imperial Guard . Great men can easily raise one finger, and force you into Hell’s deepest abyss forever unable to stand again . ”

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This middle-aged man suddenly turned around, frowning and gazing at him with two eyes .

“These years your most reliable, best fighting brothers have died in no few numbers, besides that Qi Four useless thing, you can only rely on a few guys, you truly don’t understand the power of nobles . For them, with one word, one written paper, they could easily trap your bit of fighting strength in the barracks . In this city of Chang An, for several years you’ve suppressed demons and monsters, once they know this news, surely they would very happily come out and ruthlessly take a bite?”

The middle-aged man was silent for a moment, and his facial expression gradually became calm, and he continued walking towards the door out .

Cui DeLu behind him coldly laughed and said, “Spring winds blow towards Lao Chao… . . your hands are stretched too far, to have actually already stretched to the Imperial Court……now everywhere you look are enemies . I’d like to see who can still tolerate you!”

The middle-aged man’s right hand was set on the room’s door . After some silence he said, “As long as heaven can tolerate me, I can still live . ”    ……    ……

Red sleeves invited this conversation to the top floor . In a sense, determining Chang An City’s underworld was the historical natural course – when those people loftily residing in the Imperial Court and above, suddenly were interested in the weeds of the JiangHu . No matter how vigorous those weeds’ vitality was, or how strong their desire to live was, it would inevitably be like a grassland after a wildfire, only leaving scorched black stems and roots surviving inside of the soil; never again able to repeat the past prosperity .

This was the taste of power .

Censor Zhang YiQi’s wife in her whole life was in fact very used to this kind of flavor, so after Zhang YiQi suddenly died, she completely had no way of accepting this matter . Bringing a whole gang with her to the brothel to cause trouble, the wife’s army took their lord’s body back home and cried for two days, then began rushing between the DaLi Temple and taking charge of the law and order of the capital city Chang An mansion . Only it was a pity this time it was up to her to sniff this bit of taste of power . This flavor then began tasting bad .

“How could my lord be so short-lived? He said to me once that 27 years ago he had his fortune told by a big state master, saying he would certainly would live beyond 100 years . From my view, my lord definitely was schemed to death by that building’s fox spirits! Mr . Magistrate of the capitol, you must support me . If you dare cover for that building, I will go to the Prince’s Mansion to beg his majesty to preside fairly for my lord!

Sitting at the table, that official appeared to be about 40 or so, with triangular eyes and a red bumpy nose . Under his jaw hung a sparse, net-like beard . His appearance was simply inelegant . For the Great Tang bureaucracy that paid particular attention to good looks, that this person hadn’t been dispatched to lesser various regions’ prefectures, and instead remained at Chang An’s seat of government was simply an unusual figure .

The official looked at the skinny woman standing at the hall below making him get an unceasing headache . Luckily the Great Tang officials were very clear about the legendary existence of the state masters, and he carefully calculated before he understood . Twenty seven years ago the state master was only a boy of the Great Sky Way Southern Gate’s Burning Fire Way, still not able to meet today’s Emperor and thus rise . At the time he told Zhang YiQi’s fortune, perhaps it was just a means to scam money mostly . Thinking of these things, he couldn’t help but to cough twice and then imposingly said:

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“Ahem……madam please don’t mourn too much . First of all you must understand, I ShangGuan YangYu, as an official  of the Judicial Army of Chang An’s government, am not a big magistrate of the capitol . Secondly, the Imperial Censor’s remains have already gone through a detailed post-mortem examination . Indeed it was because the carriage unexpectedly crushed him, and his brain received a heavy blow that killed him . It simply isn’t murder .

Imperial Censor Zhang YiQi died at the side door of the brothel . This matter was buzzing noisily in Chang An, but it was mostly mocking ridicule . And further, within government, no one connected this issue together with some kind of assassination . In order to divert that gang from using the poor censor as a reason to create a ruckus, two days ago Chang An’s government had already determined that the case was an accident .

But no one had thought that the Imperial Censor’s wife would unexpectedly directly complain to DaLi Temple . The Imperial Censor’s job is to offend officials, and his popularity naturally couldn’t be too good . Even though Zhang YiQi was already dead, but his supporter his majesty, the Prince was still present . So, no one would throw stones down a well and splash dirty sewage on the situation, but also no one wanted to interfere too much . Consequently DaLi Temple, without the slightest politeness once again directly pushed back the Censor’s wife to the Chang An seat of government .

Before when the capitol’s administrator heard the drums beating, once he heard it was that fierce, bad-to-provoke Censor’s wife, he slipped out of a side door to the back residence, and then told a servant that his body wasn’t feeling too well and needed recuperation .

ShangGuan YangYu as an officer in Chang An’s Judicial Army was responsible for criminal investigations cases, but couldn’t find an excuse to slip away . In another official’s eyes, the Censor’s wife was a violent woman who wasn’t good to provoke . But in his eyes, all officials’ wives were paper tigers . As long as he seized a hold of the thing that they feared, he could scare them as he pleased . And so he could settle them, and also he could perhaps fish up some benefits from there .

At this time he still didn’t forget to fish up some benefits . It goes to show this Judicial Army’s greed, and this also needed to mention his background origins . ShangGuan YangYu’s ancestral home was South Jin . His ancestor moved to Chang An five generations ago and settled here . The first generation lived impoverished in East City, and didn’t have one promising son . If they weren’t gambling addicts, they were lecherous . A whole five generations could accrue no more than two leaky roof homes and tens of taels of silver . Directly until this generation of ShangGuan Yang Yu, only he had passed the official’s exam . Then, from the lowest level of prison guard he boiled up, up until now when they finally had a genuine official .

When he joined the Judicial Army, ShangGuan YangYu no longer appeared like that low key, cautious manner from past years . His fear of poverty and crazy pursuit of money made him begin the road to taking bribes . The Chang An government was closely watched up and down by the Imperial Court, and with the poor that also incurred taxes, wanting to accept bribes was naturally not possible . However he could corrupt the law .

In Imperial Censor Zhang YiQi’s case, he didn’t want to wrongly accuse that brothel, but wanted to see if he could squeeze a bit of silver from that dead person’s wife . He squinted his eyes, sizing up this shriveled Censor’s wife . Not waiting for the other side to angrily refute, he waved, indicating for the other side to come closer . In a low voice he said, “Lady, the witness was your own family’s accompanying escort . The evidence is still piled up in the back of the government office . On the body of the Imperial Censor there was also the smell of cosmetics, and that day you brought that gang of female servants carrying sticks and charging over, half of Chang An city’s people all saw it . What do you think… . it wasn’t because the Censor was afraid that you wanted to go to the brothel to catch him having sex . Thus panicking and fleeing without minding his path, he crashed his head to death on his own carriage? Who would believe this?”

The Censor’s wife suddenly changed color . Just when she was about to harshly scold him, ShangGuan YangYu smiled, his triangular eyes squinting into little four-sided copper coins . Continuing in a low voice he said, “Actually I as an officer also understand . The Censor died too bizarrely and too stupidly, also… . . this isn’t nice to hear, you must make a ruckus . Then you can appear that your mind has a clear conscience, and also avoid other people saying you forced your own family’s Lord to death . Further, if you really make enough racket, would that business still be unwilling to pay you a big stack of silver coins? Ai, this person has died and gone to the underworld and can’t take care of the living . The Imperial Court sent that bit of pension and lost salary, but what is it enough to use for? To be able to get a stack of silver is naturally the best . ”

The Censor’s wife’s shriveled face had a very unnatural expression . Very clearly had ShangGuan YangYu spoken right on her thoughts . Slowly speaking after a while, suddenly full of expectations looking at him, she said in a low voice, “If this matter succeeds, I’ll split with you… . . two shares . ”   

To dare to directly use Tang law to do business In the courtroom – if this matter was known to Imperial Censor Tai or the Imperial Palace, whether it was ShangGuang YangYu or this imperial censor’s wife, probably all of them would be unable to escape and die . But today, all of the government offices in Chang An feared the imperial censor’s wife making a scene and avoided her . Beyond the courtroom was actually formidable tranquility; she also wasn’t worried someone would hear .

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However, beyond the imperial censor’s wife’s expectations, ShangGuang YangYu’s face suddenly sank, with a clap of the gavel in his hands, he shouted sternly, “A very brazen woman – it’s because your husband was an imperial censor that I offered you three shares . To actually want to find the road to death!”

One shout immediately scared the censor’s wife stupid . ShangGuang YangYu’s face was like it came out of a painting, then rapidly changed again to amiable . Earnestly he said, “I as an official denounce you to save you . Do you know who the supporter of that business is? You actually want to blackmail silver from there? You truly have great guts . ”

The censor’s wife leaned on the courtroom table, and trembling she said, “This……this… . . again I request more advice from you . ”

ShangGuan YangYu naturally couldn’t say that Chang An mansion possessed several shares at that business . Feigning mysteriousness and reaching out, pointing to the sky, in a low voice he said, “That is the Queen Mother’s business . ”

“Ah?” As the censor’s wife heard the words ‘Queen Mother’, it immediately scared her panicking – so much that even her knees felt a bit weak . With a trembling voice she said, “How could this be good? How could this be good?”

“If you want to insist on going and making a fuss, I can’t guarantee that the deceased censor’s reputation can protect you . After all someone saw him run out from the brothel, and at the time he was drunk . ”

ShangGuan Yang Yu gazed at her sternly and said, “The censor was visiting a prostitute . If the Imperial Palace knew, even if he died, they would want him removed from his official position, eliminating the promised lost salary . By then truly all of your efforts would be in vain . ”

The censor’s wife fearfully asked, “Then……then… . . what should I do? If I don’t do it, would it succeed?”

“The problem is that this matter has already caused trouble . However if you can settle with the master of that building, and request to not have this matter passed to the Palace, especially not that one’s ears, perhaps this matter can still be done . ”

“Then let’s do it!” The censor’s wife was already out of ideas, with her shriveled face full of disappointment and nervousness, she asked, “How do you think this matter should be settled?”

ShangGuan YangYu smiled, knowing that right away a stack of silver coins was coming in, he couldn’t help but to feel every pore on his body relax and open . The shriveled woman’s face before him was pleasing to the eye not just a little bit . In his heart he proudly thought, how could consuming a man be as simple as consuming a woman? How could consuming a living person be as easily refreshing as consuming a dead person?

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He was born impoverished so much that it could be said to be the lowest of the low . His ancestors didn’t have any bequeathment, no backing behind him, and he was born with an ugly face . Once something to eat like plaintiff or defendant came he had greed like a locust, and boot-licked as thick-skinned as a wild boar . His moral character was lacking without any point of appreciability . As long as Lord Hao Tian didn’t stop him, he would then continue this kind of stubbornly resolute lowly survival, so-called as long as heaven will tolerate me, I can still live .    ……    ……

Continuous spring rain fell again for two days, the business facing 47th street was still just as deserted .

Ning Que didn’t know that the Chang An government had someone called ShangGuan YangYu of the Judicial Army, that because he was greedy to his bones, after he substituted for him and resolved the little problem of the assassination of censor Zhang YiQi . At the moment he was carrying a small hot bowl of noodles, hoping that the rainy season wouldn’t stop washing the limestone tiles . Thinking about the not too distant entrance exam, and thinking of the expensive tuition and housing, his mood was a bit depressed . Feeling a bit cold, he subconsciously used his left hand to tighten his collar .    

Although that mysterious-background landlord dismissed a whole year’s rent, a careful calculation equaled 320 taels of silver from thin air, but this silver wasn’t at all existing silver, just something on paper . If that landlord truly couldn’t handle the authorities’ pressure, then even without rent, perhaps the Old Brush House wouldn’t be able to keep operating .

Thinking of this, he couldn’t help but to again have a sighing breath . Turning his head he used chopsticks pointed to raise the noodles within the bowl .  He poked the delicious and delicately chopped onion to play with it, entirely without the appetite to eat . These two days, he completely didn’t even have the inclination to write characters, much less eating this bowl for several years . With eyes closed and not even a smelling, he could still guess rightly that there were four peppercorns, and 30 little bits of green onions in the noodle soup .

Outside the shop, more and more rain fell . Loud sounds of gurgling water lashed the surface of the land, splashing foam flying in all directions and turned into mist . Visibility  more and more worsened . The outer wall of the Ministry of Transportation’s storage room couldn’t even be seen clearly . Ning Que carried the noodle bowl and went to the doorstep . Squatting down, he continued to watch the rain, then lowered his head and started eating noodles .

Suddenly he lifted his head, gazing at the right-side direction .

A middle-aged man carrying an oil-paper umbrella emerged presently outside the Old Brush Shop door . Wild rain soaked more than half of that blue garment . The gap above the sword sheath was also full of water beads – this was exactly the landlord of that place that exempted Ning Que from a year’s rent .

The front layer of the chest part was a bit darker, and seemed a bit miserable, but amazingly, this middle-aged man didn’t feel the slightest bit miserable . Supporting his oil paper umbrella calmly standing at the doorway,  he concentrated in front without the slightest distraction from the rain . His expression was calm and tranquil, just like he was looking at a street packed with peach blossoms in sunshine .

Ning Que looked up towards him for a moment . He didn’t speak, continuing to keep his head low to eat noodles .

After a long period of silence, the middle-aged man suddenly lowered his head towards him . Smiling he said, “Noodles are very fragrant . ”

Ning Que squatted down on the ground answered saying, “I’ve eaten this too many times . Even more tasty noodles would still be like this . ”

“I haven’t eaten it before . ”

“Although you excused one year of my rent, but I don’t plan to invite you to eat . ”

“I like the calligraphy that you wrote . ”

The middle-aged man changed the topic strangely fast – just like the heavy falling rain in front of them, unable to seep through the umbrella and then rolling off the surface . From this bit, it could be felt that this person ordinarily was used to issuing orders, and didn’t allow his subordinates to question his commands .

“I’m also very fond of it . ”

“Very well written . ”

“I know my calligraphy is very good . ”

The middle-aged male smiled, saying, “In the calligraphy…… killing intent is very full . I have very rarely seen someone with such unimpeded killing intent .

Ning Que bowed his head in silence . He looked at his hands clasped on the sides of the bowl asking, “Tonight you want to go kill people?”

The middle-aged man lamentingly answered saying, “Yes . Heaven will tolerate me; people won’t tolerate me . Then I can only kill people . ”    ……    ……


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