☆ Chapter 80
Ruan Zhu watched as the magistrate’s daughter walked into the inn with Wei Jia, her heart itching terribly. If she did not personally go witness such an interesting affair with her own eyes after running across it, she would regret it at night in her dreams. “Nuan Chun, wait in the carriage while I go take a look.”
Nuan Chun showed his disapproval: “Eldest Miss, forgive this slave for speaking out of turn, but going to the inn may bring danger upon Eldest Miss.” He did not know the details but could tell just by looking that an unusual event was going to take place.
“You also saw it–some of the imperial bodyguards from our residence are inside. Behind the carriage are also the shadows that His Higness sent. What can an insignificant Zhao Hai do to me?”
Ruan Zhu gave an embarrassed smile and reached out to pat him on the shoulder. Ever since he had been allowed to enter the bedroom to attend to her, he had energetically started to strengthen his body. During this time, muscles had formed and he was now quite sturdy.
“This slaves wishes to follow Eldest Miss.” Insistence was all over Nuan Chun’s face. If there was any danger, he would stake his life to protect her.
“Follow if you wish!” Ruan Zhu deflated.
See–one could not treat servants too kindly as now they even refuse to listen to their master’s words! There were still advantages to a strict feudal social hierarchy.
Pushing the carriage door aside, she stepped out and gave a backwards glance. The two imperial bodyguards that Xuanyuan Zong Zhi had assigned to protect her were following behind at a distance that was not far.
She pretended as if she hadn’t seen them and made to enter the inn with Nuan Chun.
Who could have imagined that before she had even reached the entrance, she would be shocked to a halt by a peal of laughter in the street.
Ruan Zhu turned her head yet saw the dashing figure of her husband Xuanyuan Zong Zhi atop a tall Malaysian horse holding a small child in his arms. Behind him was Nangong Xun and an entire squadron of imperial bodyguards, forming a distinctive array on the bustling street.
Xuanyuan Zong Zhi dismounted and little Zhi Xi sweetly called out:
“Ma, hug, hug……”
“Big Brother Lu, why did you also bring Zhi Xi here?” Ruan Zhu withdrew from the entrance of the inn and took her son into her arms. Perhaps because his father was not present, Zhi Xi was very fond of and clung tightly to Xuanyuan Zong Zhi. He clearly should call Xuanyuan Zong Zhi ‘Third Father’ yet the little guy stubbornly always left out the first word. If Yun Shi Yi were to know his own son favored an outsider instead of him, how depressed would he be?
Xuanyuan Zong Zhi loved Zhi Xi dearly and also even frequently brought him along to the training grounds when he was drilling soldiers. Using his words–if one had a strong and courageous hero for a father, the son would indeed become and general in the future, and everything must start from a young age.
Start, my butt! At that time, she had replied such. Zhi Xi in the future would inherit the Yun clan’s businesses and would be a businessman.
“I brought him out to play. Children must come out and see the world; how many prospects could he possibly have from always staying in the residence?” Xuanyuan Zong Zhi’s face was full of righteousness: “I still have not asked you yet, hmm? What did you run here for without any rhyme or reason? If you were to meet with danger, what would you do?”
“Aren’t you here?” Ruan Zhu gave him an embarrassed smile, then tried to curry favor: “I just knew this kind of matter could not do without your honorable presence.”
“I will settle this with you when we return.”
Xuanyuan Zong Zhi indicated towards a hidden sentry disguised as a peddler. That person had continuously been begging in front of the inn’s entrance in tattered clothing with a completely wretched appearance. If he hadn’t come over to give his greetings with a respectful expression, Ruan Zhu would have never guessed he was her husband’s subordinate.
“Reporting to Prince, Zhao Hai had already entered for a quarter of an hour and it has also been a while since the magistrate’s daughter entered with a servant in tow.”
“What about the matter assigned to you all?”
“Responding to Prince, us brothers have secretly notified several scholarly elders. They are all waiting inside for the start of the show.”
“Wife!” Xuanyuan Zong Zhi turned his head and dotingly said towards Ruan Zhu: “Wait outside for us.”
How could that be OK? How boring this happy occasion be if she was absent!
Ruan Zhu coaxed her son with a flattering smile: “Zhi Xi, be good, and go inside the carriage with Uncle Nuan Chun to play. Ma still has something to do and will make you a cake tonight with a candle in it.”
Her cooking skills were no good. On Zhi Xi’s birthday, she had attempted over a dozen times before finally succeeding with great difficulty in making a birthday cake. But because she was afraid that Zhao Hai would find out if the news were to be spread outside, she had never made it again. Who knew why Zhi Xi, the little brat, invested so much of his memory on good food, but after he had tasted it once, he kept it in mind.
“Ma, sneaky.” Zhi Xi scolded and scraped her nose.[a]
Ruan Zhu was embarrassed: “Not this time.” She had indeed been shameless multiple times before, but after today, she would never go back on her words with her son again. That’s because after this day was over, her most formidable enemy in this era would inevitably meet his end.
Ruan Zhu handed her son over to Nuan Chun and let them wait inside the carriage. Xuanyuan Zong Zhi did not feel it was safe and assigned ten imperial bodyguards to guard them.
This inn was extremely grand and wide. The first floor was a hall primarily for guests to eat and drink in while the second floor held the rooms. The entire inn was richly ornamented with beautiful decorations at the same standard as a major hotel in her previous world.
As it was currently time for the noon meal, the inside of the inn was packed with guests. Among them were no lack of high officials and other noble persons and there were many who, as soon as they saw Xuanyuan Zong Zhi, took the initiative to offer a greeting.
The most he did was slightly nod his head in return and there were a few that he ignored completely. Together with his wife, he directly headed for the second floor.
Ruan Zhu, of course, wanted to personally see the outcome because this was her scheme that she had gone over with Dong Fang Hua as early as a month prior. It was best to give Zhao Hai a harsh outcome–have him go through this one situation so that it would be hard for him to then flip his fortune around.
For a man of Tian Chu, chastity was as serious as one’s life. Once a man bore the terrible reputation of being shameless towards a woman, his entire future would be ruined and he would even be inferior to a beggar on the streets. As such, even the bold and arrogant Mister Peacock, Liu Fei Xu, secretly carried out his flower thief activities and did not dare to expose the slightest hint of the cat in the bag.
Ruan Zhu had directed Dong Fang Hua like this: “It is best to make this large-scale and have him become a household name. As the victim, the more miserable you can make yourself, the more sympathy we can garner. Let me teach you some methods……” She taught her some of the BDSM practices she had seen before on the internet.
“Do I truly need to act like that? This will accomplish the task?” Confusion was in Dong Fang Hua’s eyes: “Even if I am willing, will Zhao Hai want to? Don’t tell me his brain is abnormal? Besides, is doing that fun?”
Such a pure child of this generation that has never seen the methods of a modern person. Don’t sweat about the little things she had taught her, and don’t mention things between humans on humans as even all other genera……have been ooxx’d before. But, this was rare in her country of China. Meanwhile, in a certain neighboring small country separated by the sea–that was truly what one would call a dazzling place glittering with magnificence.
The corners of her mouth were a little strange: “Who told you to tie yourself up? You can ask Zhao Hai to help you, ah. It’ll definitely be what he’s been looking for.”
“It will really work?”
“Just do it.”
In the end, the conversation had ended with confusion remaining in Dong Fang Hua’s eyes. But why did she not understand that if she asked Zhao Hai to tie her up, the other would surely agree?
Entering a room on the second floor, Zhao Hai completely stripped himself. Except for being lame in one leg, this fellow still had quite a humanly appearance, being tall and thin. Although he did not have the muscles of a martial artist, he also did not have much visible fat. His eyes squinted from happiness as he cheerfully hugged Dong Fang Hua and stretched out a hand to untie her clothing.
Dong Fang Hua feigned shyness, but this was all taught by Ruan Zhu. She was a naturally frank and straightforward woman and didn’t normally adopt the bashfulness of a a woman that stayed in her boudoir; thus, she had practiced alone in front of a mirror for quite a while.
She saw that Zhao Hai was not behaved and she sent a push over: “Sweetheart, there’s not even the slightest mood that’s been set. One prefers something special.”
The Zhao Hai from his past life had always dragged his disabled leg around and had never been liked by a female before. But this did not mean that he did not know what ‘special’ meant as he had seen quite a few Japanese clips: “Hee hee, Beauty, if you want to be special, do not hesitate. Elder Brother guarantees you will be delighted.”
Dong Fang Hua held back her dislike and got up from his body, coquettishly saying a few of the strange moves that Ruan Zhu had taught her. After she had finished, she then gazed towards Zhao Hai: “Just like that. En, I’ve heard that it’s very thrilling.”
She held doubts in her heart about whether the Princess of Qi was abnormal or not. How could there be people who played like this?
Zhao Hai smiled exultantly and was so excited he stood up straight. So it turned out the women here were even better at playing: “So Beauty still had this kind of preference. You have truly thrown yourself into Older Brother’s hands.”
Wildflowers were much more fragrant than the flowers at home. The tigress in his home often came to blows with him and was also affectionate with other men in his presence. This was…….never mind, in any case, he was also not that fond of that shrew. But the most hateful thing was that she would actually hurl abuse at and mock him in front of the servants. She had never called him ‘Lord Husband,’ and only the words ‘crippled man’ hung from her lips, so if one were to ask him not to hate, how difficult would that be?
If it weren’t for being able to climb up by having a relationship with that slut, he would have long dismembered her and thrown her into a river to feed the fish.
Ever since he had known Dong Fang Hua, he had retrieved a man’s dignity. Such a cute and sweet beauty was in his arms and mind and this made half of his bones become limp.
Zhao Hai had become fanatically distracted by the beauty before his eyes and did not suspect her. Tying up Dong Fang Hua, he used a towel to block her mouth……bang bang–suddenly, sounds of pounding on the door sounded out.
“Motherfucker. Who is it? Who’s courting disaster?” Zhao Hai cursed.
He did not feel nervous at all as he believed that this was a normal relationship between a man and a woman based on mutual consent. For what reason could Xiang Shao Long and his son, Xiang Si Long, be able to cross into the Qin dynasty, hold a beauty with both arms, have three wives and four concubines, and marry a whole bunch of princesses and talented maidens, while he, another transmigrator, could not exceed the bounds a single step?
The Heavens had allowed him to cross over into this world, so this was precisely giving him the right to enjoy and live the happy fate of a man from Qi[b]; otherwise, what would be the meaning in transmigrating?
Zhao Hai wrapped a bed sheet around himself and went to open the door. Standing outside the entrance was precisely the honored daughter of Shun Tian Hall’s magistrate.
With a sweep of her eyes, the magistrate’s daughter understood her husband’s scandal. Immediately becoming so angry that flames shot out of her eyes, she resolutely walked towards Zhao Hai to kick and trample him while curses rained from her mouth: “You shameless and vulgar bastard, this aunt might as well smash you to pieces today, you trouble-making thing!”
As soon as Zhao Hai saw that it was his own family’s broad, he became apprehensive and forgot to dodge when he saw her raising her leg. He was too late to block her kick against his family jewels and the kick was successful. In addition, the magistrate daughter was currently full of rage and had used all of her strength.
Zhao Hai wretchedly howled in pain as he crumpled on the ground, face-up, while both his hands cupped his lower half and his body twitched incessantly.
How could the magistrate’s daughter care that much? Advancing a few steps forward, she continued to violently kick him over and over.
People outside had heard unusual sounds of activity in this room and came over, one after the other, to see a woman tied on the bed with a miserable expression while her clothing was in disarray. On the ground was an entirely naked man who was being beaten beyond recognition. There was no need for anyone to make inquiries as the scene before their eyes explained what was going on.
At this time, a few men led by Nangong Xun burst into the room. As soon as he rushed in, he mournfully cried out: “Wife, this husband has finally found you. Yesterday, this husband heard you had been abducted, and this husband could not find you anywhere. Unexpectedly, you had been snatched by this beast.”
After Dong Fang Hua had been untied from the bed by her husband, she threw herself into his arms and burst into tears. While sobbing, she recounted what happened: “I didn’t want to come with him here but he forced me with his strength. He had said that if I didn’t immediately go with him, he would kill me. I was so scared……”
“This beast actually dared to do such a disgusting thing that offends Heaven and reason. Wife, this husband will surely demand justice for you.”
The hallway was packed with bystanders who were here to enjoy the scene and they stretched their heads inside to continue looking. One spread to ten; ten spread to one hundred; the entire tavern quickly became aware of the story. In walked several scholarly elders. When they saw Zhao Hai was being beaten half to death, they called for someone to restrain the magistrate’s daughter.
The magistrate’s daughter saw Dong Fang Hua and her two eyes burned with rage: “You blind hussy dared to touch my man. If I don’t tear you to shreds today, this aunt will crawl outside.” Saying this, she rushed forward.
Dong Fan Hua was currently acting and could not reveal her martial arts skill. But how could Nangong Xun allow someone to bully his wife? Waving an arm, he swept the magistrate’s daughter aside.
The magistrate’s daughter had never been subjected to something like this before and sat on the ground, loudly wailing: “I won’t live anymore. You damned good-for-nothing cripple dared to turn your back on your wife and steal someone, doing this sort of shameless thing. You blind evil creature, dogs have more dignity than you.”
As a servant, Wei Jia did not dare to hit his own family’s Master, but seeing his Madam sitting on the ground while bawling, he stepped forward to support her. The magistrate’s daughter was currently in a rage, unable to distinguish between black and white and gave him a resounding slap. The slapped Wei Jia dared to become angry but did not dare to speak. Burning with rage inside, he lowered his head as he could not make a sound.
The several scholarly elders had been invited over to drink some tea and had never expected to see such a scene that they thought was simply too outrageous. After they had discussed it among themselves for a moment, they called for someone to drag Zhao Hai into the streets to publicly expose him and to serve as a reminder for the common people to abide by the laws.
There was no need for an objection. Several men stepped forth from the crowd and removed a door before lifting the half-dead Zhao Hai onto it and out of the inn.
An endless stream of horses and carriages made their way through the broad Zhu Que main street that was over a hundred meters wide, sharing the road with people hurrying to and fro. Adults led children; commoners conducted business with goods on poles that they balanced on their shoulders; there were traveling merchants from various regions; large groups of carriages and carts……Even though it was currently wartime, caravans still gathered.
Precisely on this large and lively main street, a group of people paraded over. The one in front hit a gong and beat on a drum, declaring news had just occurred within these city walls.
Such-and-such man, surnamed Zhao and given name Hai; a hooligan by nature and indecent. Had used an incapacitating agent on a young girl in an attempt at vulgarity, but his plot unexpectedly fell through and was exposed when they were found by the female’s husband.
Afterwards, the person who spoke pointed towards a raised door in the back and loudly shouted: If you wish to know who this evil person is, it is precisely the man atop the door plank.
Commoners crowded on both sides of the street to watch, gesticulating towards the source of shame as they also picked up rocks, twigs, and other objects, throwing them at Zhao Hai. The injuries that he had received from the magistrate’s daughter were already not light, so with the onslaught from the commoners, he quickly became badly bruised and blood flowed freely.
Within the crowd, Ruan Zhu felt unspeakably relaxed. Since the day Steward Wang had been killed, her heart had continuously been suspended with worry and she could now finally release that pent up breath. The stone at her chest had disappeared and she no longer needed to tuck her tail between her legs.
The public condemnation became even more intense.
Very quickly, some people disclosed that Zhao Hai was the son-in-law of the magistrate of Shun Tian Hall. As a result, everyone lifted up Zhao Hai and marched towards his father-in-law’s residence.
At the entrance to Shun Tian Hall yamen, the doorway became as busy as a marketplace as it became packed full of commoners–those who were here to watch a good show and those who wished for the Lord Magistrate to come out and stand for justice. But the gate of the yamen remained tightly shut. The magistrate could not toss aside this person and hid in the rear courtyard as if he was deaf. Not long after, once again, it was disclosed that Zhao Hai was one of the Crown Prince’s aides.
Some people took advantage of the confusion and heckled that the Crown Prince indulged in his aides being shameless and drugging and raping innocent women.
The magistrate that was hiding in his rear courtyard received a letter that the Crown Prince had sent via an envoy, saying for him to do official business according to official principles.
That same evening, the Zhao Hai who only had one breath remaining was tossed inside Shun Tian Hall’s prison.
Had the curtains dropped because the matter had been satisfactorily settled? Not yet! With each day that Zhao Hai did not die, Ruan Zhu could not be at peace; Xuanyuan Zong Zhi could also not be at peace. Ruan Zhu was afraid her secret would be exposed; Xuanyuan Zong Zhi was afraid this formidable opponent would become his largest resistance.
The day had yet to brighten when a group of people, under Xuanyuan Zong Zhi’s prompting, congregated in front of the entrance of Shun Tian Hall, expressing their opinions and theories. Among them was no lack of a few women that were here to join in on the fun.
Inside the prison, Ruan Zhu was accompanied by Nuan Chun as she passed through the corridors. This was the second time she had come to the prison of Shun Tian Hall. The first time was to the female prison and this time was to the male prison.
She wanted to verify one thing.
The stench of rot crammed into her nostrils, and both sides of the fences were crammed with pairs of starving eyes.
In a prison cell in the corner, Zhao Hai was sprawled on his back. His face was like gold paper[c] and his eyes were lifeless. The physical pain from his injuries no longer affected him and his entire body seemed to be in a state of numbness while his brain seemed to have stopped in his puzzlement.
He did not understand. Why did the Heavens let him cross over yet did not allow him to enjoy the material benefits of a transmigrator?
No, he was the transmigrated male lead and the Heavens surely must be testing him. When the Heavens drop great responsibilities onto people, they must first suffer before their will will strengthen, have them toil their muscles and bones, expose his stomach to hunger……[d]
“Qin Hai Dong!”
Ruan Zhu coldly called out this name. In the past world, the reason why this person was also surnamed Qin was because her father had needed a son. He had thus abandoned her mother, married a new woman, and that woman’s son had followed in taking his surname.
All men wanted sons. Even if they were not biological sons, they would still surpass their biological children.
Zhao Hai trembled and raised his cloudy eyes to look over: “Who……Who are you?”
[a] The author used a play on the slang “羞皮刮脸” which translates to ‘shamefully shave (one’s) face.’ The meaning is–if someone says or does something wrong or stupid, the other person would use their finger to scrape their nose or face to humiliate/make fun of the one who did wrong. This is only done with people that one is comparatively close to.
[b] 齐人之福, idiom translated literally above that has an unspoken part of ‘…man from Qi (who had a wife and a concubine)’ so pretty much, enjoy a fate of having a harem
[c] Face like gold paper = face that is yellow, either from being angry or from being sick
[d] Lines from 生于忧患，死于安乐 (Life springs from sorrow and and calamity, death comes from ease and pleasure). This is a super famous philosophical debate between Mencius and Gao Zi on human nature.