“Just think about it, who made the Tong family as powerful as they are now?” Duo Long shook his head, “The current Empress Dowager is a member of the Tong family, and now the Empress is also a member of the Tong family. Recently, the Emperor accepted Empress Tong’s sister as a Noble Concubine. He loves her very much as well. The result of these things are quite evident.”
“The relationship between the Emperor and Brother Wei was extraordinary. It should be impossible for him to just watch Shuang’er being bullied like this. I intend to reveal the incidents that happened recently to him in secret.” Song Qingshu pondered for a moment and expressed his thoughts.
Duo Long hesitated for a moment, but finally chose to persuade his fellow colleague, “Brother Song, I want to tell you something. But, I don’t know if I should say it or not.”
“Brother, please tell me.” Song Qingshu referred to the guy as a brother, but he became cautious in his heart. When it came to officialdom, there were not many people who wouldn’t stab a knife behind their colleagues’ backs if it was for their own benefit. Don’t be fooled by Duo Long’s straightforward appearance. If he really was a straightforward person, how could he stay as the commander of the imperial guards for so many years.
“As the saying goes, death is like a lamp going out.” Duo Long’s expression also became a little dark, but he still gritted his teeth and said, “I also thought of Brother Wei as my own, but he is already dead…it is as they say—man walks, tea cools. Now it would be unwise to offend the Tong family who are very popular with the Emperor for him.” (G: This idiom conveys that one’s feelings can become as intangible as an unwanted cup of cold tea once people have left.)
Seeing Song Qingshu frown, Duo Long continued, “I know that Brother Song must look down on me and think I’m not loyal. I also feel sorry for Brother Wei, but Brother Song, you know that I have no way to help.”
“Is that really the case?” Song Qingshu looked at him suspiciously.
“Hah…” Duo Long sighed, “When the Tong family started harassing Miss Shuang’er, although I was worried about the Tong family’s power, I still wanted to reveal it to the Emperor, and let him come forward and stop the Tong family. But do you know what he said? Before I was about to leave, the Emperor told me to visit Shuang’er more.”
“Oh?” Song Qingshu’s heart moved, and he calmly asked, “Isn’t this normal? The Emperor also told me to find time to see her.”
Duo Long glanced at him and said with a wry smile, “Brother Song, your time in the officialdom is too short, and you don’t understand the intentions. In our circle, the most taboo thing is to break the shell and make everything clear as day. One should never directly say what one thinks, but will use various euphemisms. The Emperor told us to find more time to see Shuang’er, do you think he really only wanted us to see Shuang’er?”
“Otherwise?” Song Qingshu frowned, looking confused.
“The current Emperor is extremely wise. There are very few things in the capital that he doesn’t know about.” Duo Long shook his head, “Do you think the Emperor really doesn’t know that the Tong family is so blatantly harassing Brother Wei’s widow?”
Song Qingshu felt a chill in his heart, “You mean?”
“I don’t mean anything.” Duo Long shook his finger and said with a smile, “Anyway, before I even said anything, the Emperor asked me to visit Shuang’er more, and I understood that the Emperor’s attitude was not to help anyone”
“He doesn’t want to help? How can that be?” Song Qingshu felt that his brain cells were not enough to compute all this.
Duo Long explained, “Since the Emperor knows about the Tong family’s recent behavior and considering his friendship with Brother Wei, if he really wanted to intervene, he would have already warned the Tong family….hehe, but the Emperor didn’t say anything, and told our group of people who had a good relationship with the Brother Wei go meet Miss Shuang’er.”
“All these things make it clear that because of his relationship with Empress Tong, he doesn’t want to deal with this matter. However, the Emperor is benevolent and is worried that Miss Shuang’er would be harassed too much, so he told us to meet her more often to take care of her…”
“Is that so?” It was really an eye-opener for Song Qingshu, he didn’t expect Duo Long to interpret so many meanings from an ordinary sentence.
“Brother Song, I really didn’t want to talk about this too much. However, considering that you and I have suffered together in Yangzhou, I talked so much with you.” Duo Long signed, “It’s not that we are weak in nature. It’s just that we understand the Emperor’s attitude, and sometimes… it can be a little chilling, so we don’t dare to push forward. Master Suo and I both have a family. If we offend the Tong family, I’m afraid the consequences will be unpredictable. If Brother Song intends to help, we will definitely help you secretly.”
“Alright.” Song Qingshu pondered for a while, “I’ll think about it first.”
Duo Long sneered in his heart, ‘It seems that you are no different than us’, but his words were completely opposite, “Brother Song, if you need anything, just ask.”
Back in the mansion, Song Qingshu was still thinking about how to solve such a problem. The most straightforward way was, of course, to eradicate the Tong family. If he did that then everything would be settled naturally.
It’s a pity that the Tong family is deeply rooted in the system now, and their presence is spread throughout the court, that is, at least half of the officials in the court were from the Tong family. So, no wonder Duo Long and Suo Etu were unwilling to offend the Tong family. Therefore, it was not realistic to eradicate the Tong family, at least with Song Qingshu’s current strength, it was still impossible. The only thing left was to reconcile with the Tong family, but according to what Duo Long said today, Wei Xiaobao had hurt the face of both the elder of the Tong family and the current head of the Tong family, so it was not easy to reconcile.
“Wei Xiaobao, Wei Xiaobao, it was easy for you to die, but you just had to leave behind a lot of troubles.” Song Qingshu said to himself with a wry smile, suddenly thinking of Concubine Tong who he had met in the imperial garden today, he thought in his heart, ‘Looking at the appearance of Concubine Tong, she seems to have a good heart. She should not be as difficult to deal with as her sister, should I start with her?’
As Song Qingshu was still thinking about the matter, someone suddenly came to report that someone from the Wei residence was asking to see him. He couldn’t help but be stunned, it’s so late, why would someone from the Wei residence come to find him?
When he saw Fang Yi’s pale face and the knife wound on her shoulder, he couldn’t help but be shocked. He hurried over, raised her arm, and asked with concern, “Miss Fang, why did you suffer such a serious injury?”
Fang Yi was very satisfied with Song Qingshu’s remark. In fact, she had always hated Tao Hong Liu Lu, who kept calling her Second Madame. At the beginning, due to her lover Liu Yizhou was too incompetent, she had no choice but to acquiesce to the identity of Wei Xiaobao’s eldest wife. But deep down in her heart, she had always looked down on Wei Xiaobao, a rascal, and was unwilling to consider herself as his wife.
What’s more, she didn’t want to be the Second Madame. Hearing Song Qingshu calling her Miss Fang all the time, she felt very happy, her expression softened a little, and she gently replied, “Brother Song, after you left today, those two girls, Tao Hong and Liu Lu, went to the street to buy things. But unexpectedly, they didn’t come back!”
“We searched around and found out that they were kidnapped by a group of masked men. After thinking about it, Shuang’er and I thought it was the Tong family’s work. With the things that were happening recently… Shuang’er felt that Tao Hong and Liu Lu were implicated because of her, so she decided to visit Tong’s Family at night and rescue the two girls.”
“I couldn’t persuade her, so I had to accompany her, but I didn’t expect that the Tong family had many masters, and we were quickly discovered, and Shuang’er was trapped inside in order to save me, and now, now I’m afraid…”
Before Fang Yi could finish speaking, she looked like she was about to cry. Song Qingshu applied the Golden Sore Medicine on her wound, and said in a slightly reproachful tone, “With the kind of prestige the Tong family has, it’s normal for them to employ a few good martial artists. How could you two even think that you would be able to rescue the two maids from the Tong family. You are really…” Song Qingshu didn’t finish his sentence, but the meaning was obvious.
Feeling the temperature of his fingertips, Fang Yi was starting to feel a little embarrassed. She retracted her arms, and shyly said, “I said the same thing as well, but Shuang’er just wouldn’t listen! I even said that we should go ask you for help, but after thinking for a moment she directly refused…Brother Song, did you offend her in any way?” While speaking, Fang Yi carefully sized him up.
Song Qingshu was taken aback for a moment, wondering if Shuang’er had become a little wary of him because of the previous incidents? However, he didn’t intend to tell Fang Yi about those matters, so he could only say, “Sister-in-law is soft on the outside and strong on the inside. So it’s understandable that she doesn’t want to trouble others. By the way, Miss Fang, when did you come out of Tong Mansion?”
Fang Yi was successfully misled by him, and quickly replied, “About half an hour ago, after I left Tong Mansion, I hid outside for a while, but I didn’t see Shuang’er coming out. Listening to the voice of the servant inside, she seemed to have already been caught…” Fang Yi was feeling extremely complicated at the moment.
On the one hand, she actually didn’t like Shuang’er, the reason being that after she and Princess Mu Jianping were caught by the Mystic Dragon Cult, they asked Wei Xiaobao for the Sutra of Forty-two Chapters, but Wei Xiaobao directly lied, saying that he didn’t have that thing.
In stark contrast to that, not long after the Fat Monk captured Shuang’er in Qingliang Temple, Wei Xiaobao didn’t hesitate at all, and took out the Sutra of Forty-two Chapters in exchange!
Since then, Fang Yi has had a thorn in her heart. She had actually planned to commit herself to Wei Xiaobao, but after that incident, she understood that in Wei Xiaobao’s heart, Shuang’er was the most important. So Fang Yi quickly removed those budding feelings in her heart.
But today, Shuang’er, who was more skilled in martial arts, obviously had a chance to escape, but in order to save her, she was caught by Tong Family forces instead. Fang Yi, who had managed to escape, felt extremely uncomfortable due to that.
Hearing what Fang Yi said, Song Qingshu said in a deep voice, “Miss Fang, you should go back to Wei Mansion to recover from your injuries. I will go to Tong Mansion to see if I can save Shuang’er.” After he finished speaking, he hurried outside without even waiting for her answer.
Fang Yi was stunned, and her expression turned a little ugly, ‘Shuang’er, Shuang’er…why do all the men care about her so much!’
In this generation, the Tong family was divided into two houses, one was the eldest son Tong Guogang, who inherited the title of first-class duke belonging to the Tong family, and the other was the second son Tong Guowei, who was the father of Concubine Tong. Because of the noble status of his daughter, the father was still named first-class official by Kangxi.
Orundai was the direct son of Tong Guogang. He dared to act so recklessly because he was the legal heir of the Tong family, and also because his aunt was the Empress Dowager and his cousin was the Empress. The Tong Mansion that Shuang’er and Fang Yi had infiltrated was of course Tong Guogang’s house. Song Qingshu had been in Yanjing for a long time, so he naturally knew where that house was.
Hiding his figure in the shadow of a secluded courtyard wall in Tong Mansion, Song Qingshu took out a black cloth to cover his face. He did so not because he was afraid of the Tong family, but because he still had some use for his status as an official. As long as he didn’t want to go on an open confrontation, he should keep some leeway.
Even if the Tong family knew that he had rescued Shuang’er, thay had to step down because of his current identity and the fact that he had covered his face. Even if they were itching with hatred in their hearts, they would still have to greet him with a smile.
As Song Qingshu quietly entered the Tong Mansion, he was not discovered by anyone. With the current level of his movement technique, as long as it wasn’t someone like the freak who lived in the inner courtyard of the imperial palace or Hongli who had turned his palace into a military base, Song Qingshu could come and go freely in most places.
After searching for a long time and finding nothing, Song Qingshu couldn’t help but feel a little annoyed. However, he suddenly heard the sound of heavy breathing from the firewood room, then quickly and quietly leaned closer.
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