Chapter 69.2: Husband, I’ll Wait for You
Around eight o’clock the second morning, Song Qingyun brought a few loyal bailiffs to wait at the inn. The moment he saw Chen Zigong, he flung back his sleeves and knelt. Everyone was stunned. Song Qingyun kowtowed before shouting in a loud voice, “This humble servant respectfully greets wang ye!”
The waiter was the first to react. He hastily flung his cloth to the side and knelt as well. Following him were the diners and tenants. From the looks of it, the scene was still passable.
Song Qingyun needed this type of scene. Even though Chen Zigong was unwilling, he also understood that a lot of unnecessary trouble could be avoided by exposing his identity first. So, although unwilling, he summoned up his dignified air, clasped his hands behind his back, gave an unruffled light ‘en’, and headed out of the inn.
Song Qingyun got up and followed, then waited until Chen Zigong got into the carriage before getting into his own carriage which was behind Chen Zigong’s.
The government office was filled with a heavy lifeless atmosphere. Due to this event, the people that would occasionally crowd the doors to settle little disputes were all steering clear of the office. Master Lin had been haunting the government office entrance this entire time. He hadn’t even been able to go in and get a single glimpse of Lin Zixiao’s carcass due to the bailiffs that blocked the entrance. The moment he saw Song Qingyun step off the carriage, he angrily walked up and said with a voice filled with resentment, “Where’s Zixiao? You, your Song family is being too tyrannical! One can’t even see the corpse of the deceased?”
Song Qingyun sighed. “Master Lin, restrain your grief and accept fate.”
Master Lin’s face swelled as it turned red. Only after half the day did he say between gritted teeth, “Evil will meet its retribution. Song Liangzhuo, he’s finally met his retribution. Haha, he finally encountered retribution.” As he spoke, the rims of his eyes actually turned red.
Song Qingyun sighed as he shook his head and passed Master Lin whose back had turned hunched, then entered the government office.
Chen Zigong headed directly to the death cell. On the way there people tried to stop them, but they were all blocked by the useful safe-passageway waist tablet known as Zhou Cang.
The inside of the death cell was damp and dark. Even though it was gloomy and like a dark ice cave, the fishy scent of blood could still be smelled. Someone lit a torch. Chen Zigong waited until his eyes adjusted to the light before he lifted his eyes to look at the person inside the prison cell.
Song Liangzhuo was leaning against a corner. When he heard the sounds of people entering, he didn’t even stir the slightest bit. When Song Qingyun saw the bloody garment on Song Liangzhuo that was dyed black-ish purple, he lost his self-control. Grabbing onto the door of the cell, his tears fell unhindered.
Song Liangzhuo only made a slight movement upon hearing the sound of those repressed sobs. He was a little flustered and a little clumsy as he turned his back on them and used his sleeve to carefully wipe his face before turning back towards the cell entrance.
The cell door was opened and Song Qingyun stumbled in. He looked at Song Liangzhuo, but didn’t dare to extend his hand to help him up.
Song Liangzhuo smiled. He opened his mouth several times before he could finally say, “Dad, you’ve come. Son is doing well.”
Song Qingyun wiped off his tears, then turned around and knelt on the ground as he said, “This humble servant has been an official for twenty years. This humble servant dares to use this head and the black hat*(officials’ black hat) above it to guarantee that my son, Liangzhuo, definitely did not kill anyone. This humble servant hopes that wang ye will investigate thoroughly!”
Song Liangzhuo’s gaze followed the direction Song Qingyun knelt in. Upon seeing Chen Zigong, his brows imperceptibly knitted a little.
Chen Zigong sighed and moved to help Song Qingyun up before ordering Zhou Cang. “Help him back.”
“You must not!”
Inspector General Li was staying in Song View Pavilion. When he got the report from a bailiff, he rushed as if flying all the way here and hastily broke off Chen Zigong’s command.
Chen Zigong lifted his brows and swept an eye towards Inspector General Li as he said, “Li da ren, long time no see ah.”
Inspector General Li knelt on the ground to give his salutations, then said in a loud voice, “Death row prisoner Song Liangzhuo has already confessed to his crime. During the process, he even hit the bailiff. This humble servant has already judged for him to be sentenced to execution by beheading. Wang ye must not carelessly release him.”
Chen Zigong nodded. “What Li da ren said is reasonable. However, today, there was someone that stopped ben wang to cry out his grievance. Ben wang has His Majesty’s vocal order to act first and report later upon encountering criminals that run rampant breaking the law and committing crimes. Ben wang was just worrying about not having a capable assistant when Li da ren’s patrols just happened to bring you to Ruzhou. Wonder if Li da ren has any interest in helping ben wang investigate a case?”
Inspector General Li wiped his forehead and hastily replied, “Ten thousand deaths would not prevent this humble servant from helping.”
Chen Zigong laughed. “As expected, Li da ren truly is dedicated. Ben wang heard that the gongzi of the Fu family has broken the law and committed crimes that treated human life like grass while relying on Wei niang niang’s influence. If the details were brought up, this daughter of the Fu family can only attribute her current life to having recognized Wei da ren as an adoptive father. Even though she already sold her ancestor’s surname, the Fu family are still taking such advantage of her influence. Truly an example of riding on a single person’s success to reach the skies. Since Li da ren has such dedication, help ben wang look into the whereabouts of the innocent young girls that went missing in Ruzhou a while earlier. Ben wang heard that those two had disappeared at the Fu family. It’s truly strange.”
Zhou Cang threw an accusation paper over and Chen Zigong said, “The case of Song Liangzhuo committing a murder has yet to be discussed. Allow the people from the Ministry of Justice to once again hear the case. Li da ren can just focus on investigating the case regarding the Fu family.”
Inspector General Li gritted his teeth and said, “Death row convict Song Liangzhuo has already admitted to his crime, this subject…”
Chen Zigong broke off his words and rubbed his chin as he said, “Ben wang doesn’t recall that Inspector General Li has the power to act first and report later. Not to mention, the person in question seems to even be an official in office.”
“This subject… if there is a cause, it’s not forbidden.”
Chen Zigong nodded, then turned towards Song Qingyun in a ridiculing tone to say, “Song da ren, ben wang will just stay at Song View Pavilion for the next few days. The responsibility of watching the suspect before the people from the Ministry of Justice arrive should just be left to Song da ren. As for the matter ben wang had asked Song Liangzhuo to help investigate, let’s just wait until this case has finished before discussing it more.”
Song Qingyun hastily responded, “This lowly official thanks wang ye for dealing with this case impartially.”
Chen Zigong paused for a moment before continuing, “Song da ren must assist Li da ren in thoroughly investigating the Fu Dejia murder case. Even princes that break the law must suffer the same penalties as the common people. And he is just a commoner.”
Inspector General Li continuously wiped his sweat. Chen Zigong was in a good mood and said, “Li da ren’s hot? It’s good to go out and enjoy the breeze a little. Even though it’s warmer outside than it is in this death cell, it’s not as stuffy.”
“This, this subject thanks wang ye for thine empathy. It’s just, wonder, wonder… This subject will be so bold as to ask, wonder what matter was wang ye having criminal suspect Song Liangzhuo investigate?”
In an instant, it changed from death row convict to criminal suspect. Inspector General Li’s sensitivity was still passable. Chen Zigong lifted his brows as he asked, “What was the matter? Once I return, I’ll ask His Majesty whether it’s possible to leak the secret. Once I find out, I’ll let Li da ren know.”
Inspector General Li immediately became dripping with sweat and hastily knelt down while bowing his head as he said, “This subject dares not. Since it was His Majesty’s directions, this subject dare not show an interest.”
Chen Zigong sighed. “Looks like you dare show an interest if it’s simply ben wang’s instructions. Li da ren has a rather honest personality, it seems.”
Inspector General Li was tongue-tied. As he struggled to speak, Chen Zigong turned and left with a disappointed look.
Chen Zigong still met with Song Liangzhuo in a normal prison cell. Song Liangzhuo had already changed out of his bloody garments and cleaned his face. When he saw Chen Zigong enter, he only sat up straighter, without showing any intention to kneel. Chen Zigong didn’t hold it against him either. He just stood next to the jail door after entering and met his gaze silently.
Song Liangzhuo’s gaze was calm and tranquil as water. After a moment, he took the initiative to speak first. “Don’t tell Xiaoqi about me getting injured.”
Chen Zigong looked around the inside of the cell. The only item inside was the bed Song Liangzhuo was sitting on. It seemed to have been specially placed inside for him. Chen Zigong sat at the end of the bed and said with a smile, “How do you know she hasn’t left? And how did you know she came to find me?”
Warmth suddenly appeared in Song Liangzhuo’s eyes. He lowered his eyes and said, “I understand her.”
Chen Zigong shook his head. “Now I’m actually a little envious.”
Chen Zigong looked at Song Liangzhuo who had revealed some warmth for a few moments, then laughed and said, “Xiaoqi came to beg me to save you. She said, if I did it, she would marry me.”
Song Liangzhuo’s hands that were lowered at his sides abruptly clenched. Even his brows tightly furrowed. However, a moment later, he slowly relaxed. Song Liangzhuo smiled mildly. “She wouldn’t.”
Chen Zigong lifted his brows. “You’re that self-confident?”
“I understand her.”
Hsss! Chen Zigong disdainfully twisted his lips.
Song Liangzhuo lifted his head. “I’m afraid Inspector General Li is linked with the case of bribery. Perhaps it’s not just him either. In the past, we’ve only delayed our movements due to the fact that we weren’t able to find the evidence to prove that officials were being bribed. However, it’s unexpected that the Fu family actually pulled out such a hand.”
Chen Zigong jeered. “The scene of the bureaucracy has always been filled with twisted roots and intertwined joints. How could a little seventh rank official like you and a fourth rank official hope to get to the bottom of this? Song da ren has also been too risky with this move.”
“When one bribes officials, it’s either for the sake of money or power. The money that’s used to bribe officials, in the end, is all spread out for the commoners to shoulder. If a malignant tumor like this is not gotten rid of, it will be difficult for the citizens of this country to live in peace and work happily with this hidden damage. If we do not investigate thoroughly at the start, we will have to forever suffer its effects.”
Chen Zigong declined to comment. Instead, he switched the topic. “After the matter is resolved, you’re planning on returning to Tongxu?”
Song Liangzhuo gave Chen Zigong a strange look. “I’m planning to ask for an imperial decree in order to continue being Tongxu’s county magistrate. It’s still best if the construction of that dam is sped up.”
Chen Zigong was silent for a moment before he said mildly, “That person, before she died, what wish did she have?”
Song Liangzhuo sighed. A while later, he finally said, “It was my negligence. Unexpectedly, I was struck unconscious. When I woke up, she was already… her wish was nothing more than to have someone that she could attach to without worries.”
Chen Zigong thought: there were only two types of women. Those who were vines or those who were osmanthus flower trees. The former must creep and wind around others in order to exist. The latter are born with a little luck and do not have to meticulously climb onto others, having the ability to exist independently and steadily, and could even, with their small amount of power, fill the room with fragrance. Zixiao was a dodder. Not only did she wind tightly, she even wanted to draw her hosts’ blood. Even though she was beautiful, people wished to avoid her the moment they saw her.
Chen Zigong silently sighed. Her sin wasn’t so bad that she deserved to die. If she had encountered a more muddled person, perhaps everything would be different. Or perhaps it should be said, if she had been born in a different family, perhaps everything could have been different.
The two were silent for a while before Chen Zigong inhaled and got up. “Let’s make a deal.”
Song Liangzhuo lifted his brows and quietly listened until Chen Zigong finished speaking. Then, he hooked the corners of his lips up into a smile as he said, “It still seems that I’m the one that made a profit.”
Chen Zigong also hooked his lips into a smile. “You are moving for your own sakde, I am doing this for the sake of the country. We’re each taking what we need, so profit and losses can’t be calculated from this.”
Song Liangzhuo nodded. “Give me five years. Water transportation will become prosperous!”
Credits: Translated by Chiyomira, Proofread by Ocelot
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