Chapter 251: Battle of wits

Song Qingshu turned pale with shock, “But…”

“There will be no excuses…” Kangxi glared at him sullenly, “We have already opened Our mouth, what else do you want to say?”

“Even if Wei Xiaobao made mistakes in the past, what does it have to do with his family? I hope the Emperor thinks twice about this matter considering his friendship with Lord Wei in the past!” Song Qingshu said bravely.

“It’s because We still have some affection for that dog slave that We didn’t send his family members to Ninggu Tower to serve as slaves for the soldiers.” Kangxi waved his hand impatiently, “Okay, We are tired, you may leave.”

In fact, Kangxi was very annoyed that Wei Xiaobao had gotten into a relationship with Jianning and ruined his plans as a result. Now that the embezzlement of one million taels was exposed, it broke the camels back, and Kangxi released all the dissatisfaction he had suppressed in his heart. He punished the Wei family so heavily this time with the intention of killing one to warn a hundred others. He wanted to show that, even someone like Wei Xiaobao, who had such a good relationship with him, would be severely dealt with if he committed a crime.

Song Qingshu began to walk out of the imperial study with a gloomy face, wondering if it was alright to do something in secret, and save Shuang’er and the others. But Kangxi suddenly stopped him and said, “Qingshu, the capital is not very peaceful recently. However, as you are strong in martial arts, the matter of punishing Wei Xiaobao will be handed over to you. You will have to send Shuang’er and the others to the Jiaofang Division. We don’t want any problems in the middle. If there is a problem, We shall use military law to deal with it, so you must be more careful.”

After receiving a deep look from Kangxi, Song Qingshu felt a chill in his heart. Perhaps Kangxi also guessed his plans, and was sending him to carry out the punishment. Now, if he secretly rescued Shuang’er, then that would be a serious negligence of duty on his part. Considering Kangxi’s treatment of Wei Xiaobao, Song Qingshu could predict very well how Kangxi would deal with him at that time.

Coming out of the imperial study room, looking at the blue and bright sky, Song Qingshu fell into a very thoughtful mood, and couldn’t help but think, ‘As the saying goes, accompanying an Emperor is like accompanying a tiger. I got to see that with my own eyes today. It seems that in the end, I will live a more comfortable life as my own boss…’

*****

After the investigation, the Wei Mansion was in a mess, and the servants were crying. When Song Qingshu finished reading out the imperial decree, Tao Hong and Liu Lu cursed at him one after another, but Shuang’er remained very calm.  

“I didn’t expect Kangxi to be so cruel, Shuang’er, I will definitely rescue you.” Song Qingshu motioned for his subordinates to go out, leaving the two to be alone.

Shuang’er showed a slight smile, “Brother Song, I never doubted you. I know you must have tried your best. Don’t blame those two girls, Tao Hong and Liu Lu, after they came back that night, they kept saying good things about you in front of me. It’s just that, when you brought people to raid the house today, they could not accept it for a while.”

“I didn’t expect Kangxi to arrange things like this…” Song Qingshu said in distress, “I planned to rescue you and take you far away, but Kangxi sent me to escort you. It’s really…”

Hearing that he wanted to take her far away, Shuang’er’s  pretty face blushed red, even though she knew that the he actually didn’t mean that seriously, “Brother Song, don’t worry, I’m quite proficient in martial arts, and I can protect myself for now. I…just need to trouble Brother Song with one thing.”

“Just say it… as long as I am able to, I will never hesitate to do it.” Song Qingshu said.

Shuang’er was about to speak, but when her eyes fell on the official uniform on his body, she hesitated. After all, this matter also concerns the safety of other people, “Can I trust you?”

Song Qingshu sighed, then he grabbed Shuang’er’s shoulders, and stared into her eyes, “We have experienced so many things, I thought you wouldn’t have to ask such a thing.”

Shuang’er thought back to the first time they had met, when she was mole*sted by a drunk Song Qingshu. She remembered the time when she slept in his embrace all night when she was about to commit suic*ide and die in the name of love. Then she thought back to the incident, when after taking being dru*gged by Orundai that night, the two of them… did those things. 

She actually didn’t know what kind of feelings she had for him at the moment, but she still chose to trust him subconsciously, so she apologetically said, “Of course I believe you, but this matter is related to the lives of other people, so I am really worried…”

Shuang’er paused and continued, “Brother Song, after you are done with escorting us to the Jiaofang Division, go to the market to find a pig butcher named Qian Laoben, and tell him about our current situation. If you do that, someone will come to save us. Then Kangxi wouldn’t be able to punish you for negligence of duty, since you have already done your part.” Shuang’er was really smart, and she had realized Song Qingshu’s difficulties.

Song Qingshu asked, “Are you planning to ask someone from the Heaven and Earth Society to save you?”

Shuang’er was startled, and asked in surprise, “So you already know, Brother Song…”

“I have a good relationship with Chen Jinnan, the leader of the Heaven and Earth Society…” Song Qingshu nodded, “I also know about Wei Xiaobao being the Hall Master of the Qingmu Hall of the Heaven and Earth Society.”

Seeing that Shuang’er’s face was pale, Song Qingshu quickly explained, “Don’t worry, I haven’t told anyone else about this, and no one in the court knows about it.”

Shuang’er finally breathed a sigh of relief, she took a deep look at Song Qingshu, pursed her lips and said with a smile, “Brother Song, only now do I dare to trust you without reservation.”

“It’s not like you showed any reservations in front of me before…” Song Qingshu saw that the sentence made Shuang’er blush, so he quickly changed the topic and said, “By the way, I think it’ would be better not to involve the Heaven and Earth Society this time. I feel that Kangxi is being way too strict with Wei Xiaobao on this matter. Maybe he wants to take the opportunity to get rid of the Heaven and Earth Society as well.”

Song Qingshu didn’t think of this matter that deeply at first. But he realized this possibility after hearing Shuang’er’s request to ask the Heaven and Earth Society for help. According to the original plot, because the Heaven and Earth Society had some traitors, it didn’t take long for Wei Xiaobao to join the Heaven and Earth Society. Kangxi himself already knew about it, but he just let Wei Xiaobao be and kept quiet about the matter. This time, using the incident that Wei Xiaobao’s widow was being sent to the Jiaofang Division, he definitely wanted to wipe out the Heaven and Earth Society.

“Then what should I do?” Shuang’er’s expression turned pale.

“Don’t you still have me?” Song Qingshu said, “We will contact the Heaven and Earth Society and aks them to be on standby. After some time, when Kangxi sees that there is no response from the Heaven and Earth Society, let’s see how he reacts.”

“It’s true that the brothers from the Heaven and Earth Society should not be allowed to take such risks.” Shuang’er nodded, suddenly showing embarrassment, “But I’m a little scared of places like Jiaofang Division”

“Who was the one who said just now that she is skilled in martial arts and can protect herself?” Song Qingshu glanced at her strangely, and when he saw that she was getting angry, he quickly said, “Don’t worry, I wouldn’t bear to leave you alone in that place. That kind of place is full of tigers and wolves. You may be able to handle some ordinary people, but if someone like Orunda comes to cause trouble, you probably won’t be able to handle it.”

“What is with this ‘wouldn’t bear to’? It sounds to strange.” Shuang’er reacted angrily, but she also knew that he was telling the truth. She had listened to Wei Xiaobao describe the methods for dealing with disobedient girls in places like the Spring Beauty Pavillion in the past. What’s more, if Orundai came to the place and asked for her services, she wouldn’t really have a way to reject it due to her status as an official pro*stitute. Thinking of that outcome, Shuang’er body couldn’t help tremble in fright.

“Shuang’er, that’s why I need you to put up an act with me.” Song Qingshu showed a strange smile.

*****  

In the next few days, a strange rumor spread in the capital. 

Song Qingshu, the now-popular Deputy Chief of Imperial Guards, actually lingered in a place like the Jiaofang Division all day long!

It was only after someone investigated the matter properly did they know that he had spent a lot of money and booked a girl named Shuang’er for an indefinite amount of time.

The practice of visiting bro*thels was very prevalent among the high-ranking officials and nobles in the capital, but such deeds were generally done for the purpose of socializing and going home after enjoying themselves. But Song Qingshu didn’t go home at all and even lived in bro*thel at night.

Unlike most officials who secretly despised him for not knowing shame, the girls in the bro*thel admired Song Qingshu very much and called him the second Liu Sanbian. (G: a Chinese poet from Northern Song Dynasty. He spent a lot of leisure days in bro*thels to have fun, which truly influenced his writing style and images in his poems.)

“Liu Sanbian?” Hearing Shuang’er’s words, Song Qingshu shook his head with a wry smile, while enjoying the massage from Tao Hong and Liu Lu, “I don’t want to be like Liu Sanbian, who will be forgotten after death, and a group of brothel women will have to save money to bury him.”

“Brother Song is naturally not Liu Sanbian, but if this continues, your reputation may become the same as Liu Sanbian, which will affect your future.” Shuang’er picked a grape and stuffed it into his mouth. If other people saw this, they would naturally find such a level of intimacy quite strange. However, with the amount of time these two had spent with each other, this had become quite normal.

“Fame is of no importance to me.” Song Qingshu sneered, “My reputation is already as bad as it can be, so I don’t have to worry about it becoming even worse. However, the biggest difference between me and Liu Sanbian is that his future achievements required the Emperor’s grace, but mine depends on only myself. I control my own future…”

There was a sudden noise outside, and the door was knocked open. The old servant looked at Song Qingshu apologetically, “Master Song, I really couldn’t stop Young Master Tong.”

Song Qingshu nodded, motioned her to go out, looked at Orundai, who had entered the room and slowly said, “Young Master Tong, we don’t seem to have any prior friendship. But, during this period of time, you have broken in and looked for me again and again. What are you trying to do?”

Orundai gave a clod snort, “Master Song, I really lost to you. I’ve been trying to get Shuang’er all this time, but I can’t find any chance!”

Song Qingshu was very good at calculations. During this period of time, he spent most of his time in this courtyard with two rooms. When he had something to do in the palace, he would arrange the people from the Pole Arms to guard the door. Once he finished his official duties, he would directly come here from the palace. So, even though Orundai tried to get Shuang’er to serve him over and over again, he didn’t find a single chance.

Orendai’s expression suddenly changed, then he smiled and said, “Master Song, my methods are really too crude compared to yours. I tried my best, but I couldn’t get Miss Shuang’er, instead I pushed her to your embrace. You became the hero saving the beauty, and she willingly fell into your arms! Poor Wei Xiaobao, his corp*se is still warm in his grave, but his wife was taken by his former brother…”

Watching Orundai walk away, Shuang’er’s face got covered with a layer of frost. Song Qingshu hurriedly put away his feet from the stool, signaled Tao Hong and Liu Lu to go out, and cautiously looked at her, “Shuang’er, he is trying to sow discord, there is nothing between us, don’t you know it yourself. “

“Is there really nothing between us?” Shuang’er smiled sadly. However, when she noticed that Song Qingshu was taken aback, she hurriedly changed the subject, “I’m worried that if that bas*tard Orundai fails to bully me, he will go to bully Sister Fang instead.”


Goblin: My finals will begin from January. I have to finish my courses and prepare for the exam, along with other real life things that happens at the end of the year. So the release schedule for FSM will return back to what it used to be before: Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. I hope you understand. Wish me luck!

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