Young Master Tong led troops to surround Wei Xiaobao’s Mansion—the Grand Secretary’s Mansion had already gotten the news of such a big incident, and on his way there, he just happened to meet Oundai’s messenger and quickly rushed over.
By that point, Song Qingshu and Orundai had already reached a subconscious consensus, and the Grand Secretary quickly took Fang Yi away. Seeing Fang Yi turning back to look at them from time to time as she was being taken away, Song Qingshu had to transmit his voice to her in secret, “Miss Fang, please believe me.”
Hearing his voice, Fang Yi shook her head, nodded slightly, and obediently followed the governor.
Orundai secretly cursed at his own bad luck, not only did he not get either Shuang’er or Fang Yi this time, but he also offended Song Qingshu, a powerful master!
However, he didn’t show it on his face, he just approached Song Qingshu when he was leaving, and spoke in a low voice, “Master Song, you should thank me. If it weren’t for me, how could you enjoy the endless beauty so easily.” After speaking, he laughed and walked away, leaving only Shuang’er with a dark expression.
“Shuang’er, don’t argue with this kind of villain.” Song Qingshu looked at Shuang’er worriedly.
Unexpectedly, Shuang’er just nodded indifferently, “Orundai thought that all men are as disgusting as him, how could he know that there are gentlemen like Brother Song in the world.”
Song Qingshu smiled bitterly and said, “Shuang’er, I am not a gentleman either…actually, I’m even more greedy than Orundai.”
Shuang’er was taken aback for a moment, but she was very smart, and she quickly realized Song Qingshu’s intended meaning. Her body trembled for a moment, as she fell into silence.
“Shuang’er, take a good rest first. It has gotten too late today. I’ll find someone to help solve this issue tomorrow morning. Now Orundai should also stop causing trouble. With Di Yun and the others guarding here, you can rest assured and sleep peacefully.” It was Song Qingshu who broke the silence.
Tao Hong and Liu Lu helped Shuang’er back to the room, while chattering:
“Mistress, Lord Song is really kind.”
“Yes, yes…I thought we were going to die in Tong Mansion tonight, but I didn’t expect Lord Song to rescue us first!”
“Could it be that Lord Song has taken a fancy to you?”
“Bah, bah, it’s obviously because he loves the house for the sake of its Mistress, that’s why he treats us differently.”
Shuang’er blushed at the words of the two maids. She couldn’t bear to listen anymore, so she scolded, “What are you talking about! Brother Song and Xiaobao were good friends. Is there anything wrong with him taking care of us?”
“Mistress, let’s not say that they were good friends, even if they were blood brothers, would anyone be willing to offend the influential Tong Family for the sake of their brother? I’m afraid one can count such people on one hand. I don’t believe that he really cares about his brotherhood with Lord Wei. In this case, the drunkard’s intention is not to drink.” The two maids started talking again.
They had long felt that Song Qingshu seemed to act very differently when it came to Shuang’er. After Song Qingshu rescued them, they immediately changed camps and started to speak for Song Qingshu.
“Stop talking nonsense…or see if I won’t tear off your mouths.” Shuang’er scolded with a smile, knowing that the two maids were not really afraid of their mistress. Even after lying on the bed for a while, her eyes remained wide open. She couldn’t help but think of some of their actions in the middle of the night. She blushed in shame and immediately covered her head with the quilt.
Early the next morning, Song Qingshu walked to the imperial palace. Of course, he didn’t go directly to Kangxi or get Duo Long’s guidance. He also understood that Kangxi’s attitude regarding this matter was to watch from the sidelines.
Wandering around in the palace for a while, he soon found Nalan Xingde, the young master of the Nalan family.
“If life passes as before we first met,
Why is the autumn wind painting me in sorrow…”
“Being able to produce such delicate words, Brother Nalan is really handsome and talented. It is easy to see at first glance, why he is every woman’s dream.” As the young master of the Nalan family, Nalan Xingde was recently given a position as a junior grade officer in the Imperial Bodyguard, and Song Qingshu let out a sincere sigh when he met this talented young poet.
“Master Song is just over praising.” Although he said so, the pride on Nalan Xingde’s face was still hard to hide. He was young, talented and in the prime of his life, although he was born within an aristocratic family, he still wasn’t as immune to flattery as his father.
Looking at the man in front of him who had become popular in the country because of An Yir*u’s book “Life Passses as Before We Met”, Song Qingshu couldn’t help being a little dazed. He chatted with him for a while, and soon received Nalan Xingde’s goodwill.
While chatting with Song Qingshu, Nalan Xingde felt that he had met a lifelong confidant. He was good at writing poems, and his colleagues often praised him for that, but it was mostly because of his father’s influence, as well as his family background.
Song Qingshu, on the other hand, was different. His comment on “Seeing things with natural eyes and expressing feelings with natural tongues” was really in line with his ideals. But he didn’t know that Song Qingshu was just stealing the words of Wang Guowei. (G: A Chinese historian and poet.)
After Song Qingshu saw that the relationship between the two of them was familiar enough, he put forward his own agenda. He wanted to use Nalan Xingde to get himself introduced to Nalan Mingzhu. Although Song Qingshu was now considered Kangxi’s favorite, he wasn’t like Wei Xiaobao, who had a close relationship with everyone. As he had no prior friendship with Nalan Mingzhu, he was worried that it would seem inappropriate if he went directly to meet him.
“Master Song is an ally of justice and righteousness. It is really a rare ideal of our time.” Nalan Xingde sincerely praised him. As the saying goes, after a person is pleasing to the eye, his shortcomings would no longer be shortcomings. Nalan Xingde was a literati who aspired to be lofty and had long disliked Orundai’s disgraceful behavior of bullying Wei Xiaobao’s widows.
Under the arrangement of Nalan Xingde, Song Qingshu met Nalan Mingzhu, the current head of the Nalan family, at the Nalan Mansion that afternoon.
The man who gave birth to a son who was as handsome as Nalan Xingde was naturally not like the wretched image portrayed in the TV series. Although he was in his late forties, he still looked quite heroic, but it is a pity that a rosacea ruined the overall image. (G: A kind of skin condition.)
Before Song Qingshu could speak, Nalan Mingzhu sighed, “Master Song, we are officials in the same court. Although we don’t have any personal relationships, I have been aware of your character for a long time. I already know what happened last night. Master Song remembers the friendship with Lord Wei in the past, and strives to support his family. I have great admiration for Master Song in my heart. But…”
When Nalan Mingzhu’s tone changed, and Song Qingshu’s heart suddenly fell, “This Old Man will use my age and experience to persuade Mr. Song to leave this matter alone… if I don’t do so, I am afraid that even you might fall from grace.”
Song Qingshu said in disapproval, “Although the Tong Family is powerful, this Song is not afraid of them.”
Nalan Mingzhu shook his head, his eyes looked into the distance, and he seemed to fall into a recollection, “With the current power of Master Song, you naturally have no reason to be afraid of the Tong family. Although the Tong family’s actions today can be regarded as a retaliation for Lord Wei’s past actions, they are bullying an innocent widow, which is a bit inappropriate. To tell you the truth, this Old Man and Lord Wei have always had a good relationship in the past. Do you know why I have been watching from the sidelines?”
Song Qingshu actually despised both Suo Etu and Nalan Mingzhu in his heart. After Wei Xiaobao’s death, they seemed to have become indifferent as they let Shuang’er and the others get harassed for so long. However, after hearing him now, Song Qingshu immediately understood that there might be other complex reasons and he hurriedly asked, “I will be grateful to get Lord Nalan’s advice.”
“My advice is not worth much…” Nalan Mingzhu smiled bitterly, “It’s not that we don’t want to help, but that we can’t help.”
“Can’t help?” Song Qingshu was at a loss. Although the Nalan family and the Suo family were not as powerful as the Tong family, which had several Empresses in a row; but together, they wouldn’t have to be afraid of the Tong family.
“Yes, I can’t help.” Nalan Mingzhu nodded, “Master Song, this morning, the minister of the Ministry of Punishment made a statement to impeach Lord Wei for embezzling one million taels of silver when he raided the Oboi Mansion.”
“This!” Song Qingshu was startled. According to the original book, that one million taels were divided equally between Wei Xiaobao and Suo Etu. Who would dare to take the risk and bring that up again.
As if guessing what he was thinking, Nalan Mingzhu said, “Master Song is not an outsider, and I am not afraid to tell you the truth. I have also heard about the incident of the Oboi Mansion raid that day, and the embezzled one million taels of silver was finally divided between Lord Wei and Suo Etu.”
“However, this kind of thing is commonplace among important ministers in the court, and we didn’t take it seriously. If Lord Wei was still alive, it would be fine. But now that he is dead, the Tong family naturally has no worries, so they dug up this old incident. When a thing like that comes to light, no one would dare to fall in the eyes of the Ministry of Punishment. Not even this Nalan!”
Nalan Mingzhu snorted coldly and continued, “The Tong family is quite clever, and they planted all the five hundred thousand taels embezzled by Suo Etu on Lord Wei. Lord Wei is dead anyways, so there is no way to prove it wrong. For that reason, in order to avoid suspicion, Suo Etu naturally did not dare to speak out, and it was the same for all our former friends.”
“Firstly, after all, Lord Wei was indeed greedy for the money at the beginning. Secondly, hehe, he was not exactly a good person. If we wanted to save him, we would have to pull Suo Etu into the water as well… no one wants to do such a thankless job, and to offend the Suo family at the same time. Master Song, do you understand the situation now?”
Song Qingshu couldn’t help but feel a chill in his heart, thinking that these politicians would really eat people until not a bone remained.
“Master Song, you can rest assured that Madame Fang will not face any difficulties in the Grand Secretary Mansion. I will pass on a message to my subordinates to treat her well. But that’s all I can do. As for how this case will be judged will be up to you and the Emperor.” Nalan Mingzhu picked up the tea bowl and stroked the water surface with the tea lid.
“Thank you, Lord Nalan.” Song Qingshu understood that the other party was hinting him to take his leave. He got up, and as he walked to the imperial palace, his heart became colder and colder along the way. If the situation was this severe, the Wei family, who was the victim, was in a dire situation. Not to mention Fang Yi, but even Shuang’er may not be able to escape from this.
Back at the imperial palace, Song Qingshu asked the guards where Kangxi was, and found out that he was now in the imperial study, then hurried over. After entering through the door, before he even opened his mouth, Kangxi angrily said, “Qingshu, you are here just in time! It was a waste for Us to place Our trust in Wei Xiaobao. We didn’t expect him to be so daring. We also could guess the matter of his embezzlement, but We thought it was only a matter of a few thousands of taels…hehe, We just found out today that he actually dared to embezzle one million taels!”
Kangxi threw the teacup on the ground, “Heh…Wei Xiaobao, one million taels! There was a severe drought in Shandong that year, and We wanted to relieve the disaster. We did everything We could to get two hundred thousand taels from the treasury… and that dog slave unexpectedly embezzled one million taels!” After speaking, he threw the memorial in his hand on the ground.
Song Qingshu picked up the memorial on the ground with a dark expression and looked at it, then realized that it was the result of the investigation sent to Kangxi. It had the confessions of the guards and housekeepers who were present while confiscating the Obai Mansion. According to the memorial, it was Wei Xiaobao who had the audacity to steal such a large sum of money and privately swallow it all up. There was no mention of Suo Etu’s involvement in this matter.
Song Qingshu only felt a chill run down his back. No wonder no one dared to speak. Those who spoke at this moment would not only offend the Tong family, but also the Suo family!
Thinking of Shuang’er’s gentle appearance, Song Qingshu was about to speak out for justice, but Kangxi directly said, “Wei Xiaobao, that dog slave, not only greedy and broke the law, but was also pervert*ed and lust*ful. The harm he caused to the imperial court is simply unforgivable. Pass on the decree to deprive Wei Xiaobao of all honors during his lifetime, and all his family members will be sent to the Jiaofang Division as an example.” (G: Think of it as a state owned institution for forced labor. In this case, a bro*thel.)
Goblin: Please whitelist this site in your ablocker to support the translation. G00gl-Senpai is making things hard for me these past few months. You can also use this amazon affiliate link to early Black Friday Deals to support me.
Please consider becoming a Patron at Patreon to support the translator, and read advance chapters. There’s even a $1 monthly support option, which won’t affect yout wallet. You can also motivate me by buying me coffee at BuymeaCoffee!
Patrons, please visit the Patreon page for your advanced chapters.
If you enjoy this novel, please take some time to rate it on NU