Home Post 2297-chapter-12


Chapter 12

As Feng Liwu spoke, Qin Zhao immediately halted.

Qin Zhao angrily threw away the long knife in his hand, realizing he had lost control of his temper. He bowed to the Crown Prince, speaking in a low voice, admitting that he had consumed too much alcohol and had a verbal dispute with the servant girl of Master Jiang Xiurun. He requested that the Crown Prince punish him.

In truth, as a general, what difference did it make if he killed a servant girl from a weak country?

However, Feng Liwu had just recruited Jiang Herun, who had recently gained the favor of the Crown Prince. Qin Zhao was not foolish; he wouldn’t complain to the Crown Prince like a child, asking him to make a decision and execute the ugly servant girl.

Feng Liwu wanted to give Qin Zhao some face. Qin Zhao was the legitimate grandson of the Qin family. He had been restored to the East Palace because of the support of the martial family, the Qin family, after being deposed and imprisoned.

So, he casually said to Jiang Xiurun, “Does the gentleman indulge his slaves in the same way in the Bo state?”

Jiang Xiurun knew that if he didn’t show any attitude, Feng Liwu might order the execution of Bai Qian to save Qin Zhao’s face. Therefore, without waiting for Feng Liwu to speak again, he bit his lip, bowed to Qin Zhao, and performed a grand ceremony, saying, “It’s my fault for not disciplining her properly. She’s just a dull-witted slave. I shouldn’t have brought her to such a distinguished gathering. I hope General Qin forgives us.”

With such humility, if Qin Zhao didn’t relent, it would be intentionally embarrassing the Crown Prince, undermining the punishment for the newly recruited talent.

Jiang Xiurun had calculated this well. His humble posture made those around him secretly laugh.

Feng Liwu glanced at the servant girl behind Jiang Xiurun and calmly told him that after the Bo state’s prince disciplined his subordinate, Qin Zhao should return home to rest since he had lost control due to drinking.

Handling such a big matter with a lenient and tolerant approach displayed the magnanimity of the heir to the Great Qi.

However, those around them understood clearly: this Master Jiang had tolerated the misbehavior of a wicked servant and insulted a general guarding the Crown Prince; he lacked insight!

Some common friends and followers present took pleasure in the misfortune, thinking that this Jiang guy had low morals and was too arrogant, not knowing how to restrain himself even in front of the Crown Prince.

Well, dogs often reflect the qualities of their owners, don’t they?

Although the Crown Prince appeared gentle and kind now, he was someone who sought revenge for the smallest grievances, a mastermind with hidden traps laid out over a thousand miles.

Thinking about the methods he used against the Emperor of Qi and his younger brother in the past made people shudder.

Now, this Bo state hostage has offended the Crown Prince. It was likely he would follow the same fate as the Yan state hostage who had just been killed; his head might roll one day.

With things having reached this point, staying here any longer would be inviting unnecessary trouble.

When Jiang Xiurun came out of the Duke Jing’s mansion with Bai Qian.

Bai Qian felt guilty and didn’t get on the carriage. Instead, she knelt on the ground, awaiting Jiang Xiurun’s punishment.

Jiang Xiurun, however, smiled and said, “Master was in trouble, and you promptly lent a helping hand. Why should I punish a loyal servant?But in the future, you have to be more careful about beating dogs, not in front of others, so as not to be taken advantage of…”

As he spoke, he noticed Qin Zhao, with a grim face, riding his horse from the side.

In fact, Qin Zhao had seen the young man apologizing humbly, his slender shoulders slumping in an apologetic manner, and much of the anger in his heart had subsided. After all, they would have to work together under the Crown Prince in the future. If the young man was willing to change his cold and indifferent attitude, show some understanding, and know when to advance and retreat, why not be more generous and forgive him?

Therefore, when leaving the mansion, he didn’t rush to leave after mounting his horse. He speculated that Master Jiang probably wouldn’t stay for long. He waited for him to come out, intending to have a conversation.

Unexpectedly, after waiting for a while, he heard the phrase “Avoid people when beating a dog”!

This truly made Qin Zhao so angry that steam seemed to come out of his head. He wanted to confront this ignorant hostage and teach him a lesson.

However, engaging in a conflict now would inevitably lead to misunderstandings and make people think he was petty, waiting specifically for revenge.

Thinking of this, he finally turned around, made a sarcastic remark to Jiang Xiurun, “Until we meet again,” and left.

Jiang Xiurun, on the other hand, felt that tearing off this facade was a relief. The memories of her past life were too unpleasant, and if she could avoid seeing them again, it would be for the best.

Yet, the commotion at the Duke Jing’s mansion had turned the recently acclaimed rising star in Luo’an City into a cold figure, and the snowflake-like invitations were no longer seen.

However, this made Jiang Xiurun secretly breathe a sigh of relief – this was good. It prevented any slip-ups from being exposed due to excessive drinking.

After the banquet, she intentionally kept her distance from the Crown Prince and didn’t boldly go to the Crown Prince’s mansion to collect money.

However, secretly, Jiang Xiurun began lending money to the merchants and traders in Luo’an City. With little interest but generous lending, she had a stable source of income. Going back and forth, the monthly interest amounted to a considerable sum, making life less challenging.

On the empty land across the street, the roof tiles of the new building of the academy had been laid. However, due to the numerous established academies in the capital, this newly founded academy without a solid foundation wasn’t well-regarded. Nevertheless, Jiang Xiurun knew that once the academy was established, knowledgeable scholars would come to pass on their expertise. So, she went early to inquire about enrolling her elder brother.

Upon learning that admission to the academy required a written test, after confirming the subjects to be covered, Jiang Xiurun decided to buy more scrolls to help her brother review. This way, she hoped he would have a better chance of passing the exam.

However, when she arrived at the mansion gate to wait for the carriage, there were no guards coming to assist.

After quite a while, a guard finally approached.

Even Jiang Zhi, who was usually good-natured, became a bit angry and said, “Where did everyone else go? Why aren’t they here to attend the carriage?”

The guard whispered that yesterday, everyone indulged in eating dog meat at the market and ended up with upset stomachs.

Jiang Xiurun took a look and realized that this guard was the same person who had helped her boil water back at the inn. This guard’s name was Zhao Guo, one of the younger guards from the Bo state, appearing to be around twenty.

Because he was diligent and kind, Jiang Xiurun held him in high regard. Some days ago, she had seen him secretly shedding tears. Upon inquiry, she learned that his elderly mother was sick, but due to his duty, he couldn’t return home, leading to his tears of despair.

Jiang Xiurun immediately gave him three gold ingots, instructing him to return to the Bo state with the messenger who would come at the end of the month and show filial piety to his mother.

At that time, Zhao Guo was extremely grateful, but today, for some reason, he seemed hesitant to speak.

Soon, two or three other guards arrived. The others explained that they were unable to get up due to illness. Even Bai Qian had fallen victim. It was said that she had eaten a large piece of meat yesterday and was now suffering from continuous diarrhea, unable to leave her room.

Therefore, Jiang Xiurun instructed Bai Qian to rest at home. Taking only the maid Bai Ying and her elder brother, she went to the largest bookstore in Luo’an City.

Jiang Zhi was also a lover of books. Back in the Bo state, there were no bookstores with such a wide variety. These bamboo scrolls were beautifully written, and the quality of the cowhide used to secure them was excellent. Since they were copied by professionals, the price was naturally high. Therefore, those who could afford to buy books in this era, apart from pursuing knowledge, were undoubtedly wealthy individuals.

Otherwise, just one set of books would require half a cart to transport, and the money spent on them would be enough to feed a wealthy family for a year.

However, Jiang Xiurun was generous and bought three sets in a row. Seeing her sister spend money so freely, Jiang Zhi was suddenly alarmed, worried that they might be overspending.

But Jiang Xiurun said that these scrolls would be unavailable elsewhere once they were gone. After reading them, she could sell or exchange them for an even higher value.

However, after buying the books, the issue arose of how to transport them back. In the end, Jiang Xiurun decided that her brother would escort the cart carrying the books first, while she, along with Bai Ying and a guard, would go to the horse market to hire a carriage to bring back the remaining books to the mansion.

Today was a rare mild winter day, and she leisurely walked towards the horse market with Bai Ying and Zhao Guo.

However, unintentionally, she noticed that Zhao Guo’s expression became increasingly odd. He kept looking around, so she smiled and asked if he had another stomachache and was looking for a place to relieve himself.

A guilty expression flashed across Zhao Guo’s face, and just as Jiang Xiurun was about to take a shortcut through an alley, he quietly said as he walked to her side, “It’s safer for Master to take the main road…”

Jiang Xiurun’s face remained unchanged, but her mind had a sudden jolt. In that moment, many thoughts flashed through her mind.

The other day, the Bo state sent a messenger, and besides the letter from the emperor to her brother, the other guards all received letters from home.

It seems that after receiving the letters, those guards occasionally disappeared, gathering in their sleeping quarters in the backyard to discuss something. Bai Qian mentioned a few times that there were people guarding the door…

But when she asked in detail, the guards awkwardly explained that they were gambling and were afraid that the young master would punish them if he found out.

Now, thinking about it, it all seems suspicious.

What did Zhao Guo mean by advising her not to take the small road? Could it be… an ambush?

After this thought flashed through her mind, Jiang Xiurun stopped in her tracks and turned to look at Zhao Guo.

There was a mixture of slight regret and relief on Zhao Guo’s face, indicating that he regretted giving the warning but felt relieved for being honest.

If those guards had murderous intent, it was highly likely that they were following secret orders from Shen Yong, who had already returned to their country.

Shen Yong’s target must be her. Only if she died could he erase the incident of her deceiving the Qi Emperor about the national document. Therefore, the guards kept her brother and the skilled Bai Qian occupied, intending to plot against her in this dark alley. If her guess was correct, they would likely disguise the attack as a robbery to leave no evidence!

What should she do? Avoiding the small road now would only delay the inevitable. As a hostage, she had no authority to change the guards around her.

Just then, Jiang Xiurun suddenly saw the carriage of the Crown Prince passing by and hurriedly walked over, blocking the path.

The guard protecting the carriage, Qin Zhao, frowned and stared at Jiang Xiurun disdainfully, saying, “Doesn’t the young master know that this is the Crown Prince’s carriage? According to Qi’s law, anyone who dares to obstruct the carriage shall be whipped fifty times!”

As he spoke, he raised his arm as if to strike.

At that moment, the cold and clear voice of Feng Liwu came, “Please, Master Jiang, board the carriage.”

Jiang Xiurun didn’t even glance at Qin Zhao, lifting her robe and climbing into the carriage. Once inside, she knelt in front of Feng Liwu and pleaded, “Please, Prince, save my life!”

Feng Liwu glanced at her and asked, “Who is trying to harm you?”

Jiang Xiurun gritted her teeth and said, “My elder brother and I have been staying in Luo’an, but the new empress is still suspicious. She has sent her elder brother, Shen Yong, to plot against our lives to ensure her son can inherit the throne of the Bo state.”

Since the conflict at the previous banquet, Feng Liwu had called her to the Prince’s mansion several times for discussions. However, Jiang Xiurun adhered to her principle of enjoying life, only agreeing with Feng Liwu’s words without contributing any useful strategies.

After a few times, Feng Liwu stopped summoning her to the mansion, and Jiang Xiurun was also self-aware, refraining from going to the Prince’s mansion to collect money. Three months had passed in a flash.

But now, she urgently came to the Prince, seeking his help. It was evident that this was a last-minute plea, fearing that the gods might not favor her if she was not devout enough.

Indeed, after listening to her, the Prince remained silent, letting Young Master Jiang kneel in front of him for quite a while. Eventually, while looking at the scrolls in his hand, he said, “The Prince of the Liang Kingdom is hosting a banquet at the Lu Ming Terrace. You should go as well.”

When they arrived at the Lu Ming Terrace, Jiang Xiurun was somewhat dumbfounded. The entire room was filled with scantily clad, beautiful women, wandering among the young masters seated on the floor.

Although she had lived two lifetimes, it was the first time she had encountered such a scene. Liu Pei, with his clothes half undone, revealing a broad chest, embraced two women. Seeing Young Master Jiang also following, dressed in thick cotton clothes, he smiled and pushed the two women in his arms, saying, “It’s very hot inside. Go and help the Prince and Young Master Jiang undress!”







Verified by MonsterInsights