No additional releases this week. 😦
Edited by Tnyhy
Chapter 117: Xie Older Brother (Part 2)
Those news naturally had spread out to other places. The Shen family was a big family in the Ding capital, and there were many colleagues that kept contact with them, there were even some who came because of Shen Xin’s prestige, and some of those officials just came to fawn. But when a wall was about to collapse, everyone would give it a push, when the tree falls, monkeys would scatter, and no sooner when a person left, the tea would cool down. This time Shen Xin was considered to be demoted and leaving the capital, so other than the few families that had really good relations with Shen Xin and came to bid farewell, there was no one else.
Shen Miao took a trip to Guang Wen Tang.
Since one was to leave the capital, naturally one could no longer attend Guang Wen Tang. Some time ago because of Shen Miao’s change of temperament, most of the students in Guang Wen Tang were somewhat afraid of her, but now because the military power of the Shen family was confiscated, some unscrupulous persons started to ridicule her. It was just that Shen Miao walked past them without even turning, as if she did not hear them at all, making those aristocratic children feel bored.
When Feng An Nin saw her, she started crying as she grabbed onto her sleeves, “What to do? Shen Miao, once you leave, when will you return?”
Shen Miao was somewhat helpless with Feng An Ning’s tears. To be fair, in her previous life because she was stupid, all the noble females of the the Ding capital were not willing to be associated with her, thus she was cold hearted in this lifetime and deliberately did not make any moves to gain anyone’s likes. One could say that this Feng An Ning accidentally became her only friend. Even though she had an arrogant character, her heart was not bad and sometimes when Shen Miao looked at her, she would think of Wan Yu.
She comforted, “Will be returning not very long later.”
“Liar.” Feng An Ning cried, “I heard Father saying that this time General Shen had angered His Majesty. And if His Majesty is currently angry, how could one return quickly? Shen Miao, you must write me letters, one do not know if I would have been married when you return.”
Shen Miao almost laughed out, but upon seeing Feng An Ning’s red crying eyes, she did not. She knew clearer than anyone else the Feng family’s and Feng An Ning’s ending. Even though two years later the Feng family would not yet collapse, she said to Feng An Ning as she patted her shoulder, “Nothing will happen. I will get to see you when you marry.”
Feng An Ning seemed to want to say something, but saw Pei Lang coming in while carrying a book. Pei Lang was wearing green and stood on the stage. When his eyes landed on Shen Miao, he paused before saying, “Shen Miao, take a walk with me.”
If Shen Miao were to leave Guang Wen Tang, she ought to say her goodbyes to the Teacher, Pei Lang. Everyone did not find anything wrong with this, thus Feng An Ning unwillingly released Shen Miao’s sleeves and let Shen Miao follow Pei Lang out of the class.
Pei Lang brought Shen Miao to a triangle courtyard in Guang Wen Tang. The teachers in Guang Wen Tang stayed in the academy’s residence, and this was Pei Lang’s own courtyard that no one would enter. He pushed the door and entered the nearest study, Shen Miao followed behind before closing the doors.
“You are leaving.” This time Pei Lang did not speak in a roundabout manner like usual, and questioned in a straightforward manner.
Shen Miao nodded her head.
Pei Lang’s expression changed and he hesitated before speaking, “Liu Ying’s matter.”
“Young Lady Liu Ying has been settled down.” Shen Miao interrupted his words, “She is living well in the embroidery workshop. Her double-sided embroidery is originally outstanding, thus she could become an embroidery master who is valued for her skill. Perhaps she will be able to gain a few apprentices.”
Pei Lang’s expression gradually relaxed. Shen Xin and family were about to leave the capital, so he feared that Liu Ying’s matter was not dealt yet.
He was relaxed but saw that Shen Miao was staring at his eyes when she spoke, “Then how about the matter that Teacher Pei is considering?”
Pei Lang was startled.
The matter that Shen Miao mentioned was naturally about him being a spy by Fu Xiu Yi’s side. That day at Kuai Hou Lou, Pei Lang had already showed his attitude on the matter, but as to how the plan was to be carried out, one would need to think about it further. Hearing that, Pei Lang frowned, “What you want to say?”
“Two years.” Shen Miao said, “Within two years I will definitely return back to the capital. By that time, Teacher Pei must become His Highness Prince Ding’s advisor, and become the most relied upon.”
Pei Lang smiled but there was some anger in that smile, “Shen Miao, are you not valuing me too highly? I am only just a poor scholar and have nothing. Even if one was lucky to be associated with His Highness Prince Ding, how would one be the most relied upon?”
“Teacher need not be unduly humble. Teacher is a fine steed, naturally there will be a scout who could appreciate.” Shen Miao smiled gently, “If one is not a fine steed, in order to let the scout appreciate, one must view oneself as a fine steed.” Her voice was lowered as she provokingly looked at Pei Lang, “If Teacher is unable to do it, why do not you guess how I would tell Liu Ying the story of Prefectural Magistrate Pei, and would also mention that the mastermind of all of it was Teacher. Does Teacher Pei think that Young Lady Liu Ying will be so touched that tears will fall?”
“You.” Pei Lang was exasperated. Shen Miao’s remark was clearly a threat, indicating that if he did not become Fu Xiu Yi’s right-hand man, the entire matter will be told to Liu Ying. Liu Ying still had resentment over that matter from years ago, and if she was told of how it was arranged, Liu Ying might even return to Bao Xiang Lou in a fit of anger.
Pei Lang said, “I have never seen such a vicious and cunning female like you.” The young female in front did not have an attitude of a junior when talking to a senior, and did not honour the teacher or respect his teaching. Pei Lang even had the delusion that Shen Miao was always suppressing him every time. She provoked and threatened, and it also contained some kind of inexplicable grievances that put Pei Lang in tough straits. Who could have thought that this gentle and delicate looking little female, would have a heart scarier and harder than a married woman who live deep in a household.
“Teacher is joking. The ways of the world are difficult, one is just struggling to survive.” Shen Miao laughed modestly, as if she was a disciple who was accepting a teacher’s admonishment, but wordlessly took out a thing from her sleeves, and reached over to Pei Lang’s sleeves before handing it over to him.
Pei Lang was stunned for a moment as those soft fingertips touched his wrist, but after a light moment the sensation disappeared, as if it was the wing of a butterfly. In a curious coincidence, Pei Lang actually had an impulse to stay that way but it was only for a moment, and when he woke up, he felt a letter like thing before looking at Shen Miao puzzled.
“If Teacher is free, naturally one can go over to Young Lady Liu Ying’s embroidery workshop to take a peek. In addition, there are also some other things inside. Hope that Teacher will do accordingly within two years.”
Pei Lang’s body stiffened but he did not get angry and laughed instead, “Shen Miao, you want me to be your puppet.”
“A scholar has the lofty and unyielding character of a scholar, and Teacher is of a great erudition and scholarship that this student respect. If it was other scholars, then this student would not use such a method.” Shen Miao raised her head up and looked at Pei Lang somewhat angrily, but there was a smile on the corner of her lips, “But does Teacher have any choice in the matter?”
“It is alright for Teacher to refuse but even if there are a thousand mountains and ten thousand rivers, I will naturally have a way to tell a story to Liu Ying.” She smiled gently but her words were sharp.
The fire in Pei Lang’s heart started burning and he felt inexplicably uncomfortable. In front of Shen Miao, he did not have any of the dignity of a Teacher at all. Every time he wanted to get angry, he would not be able to do so when he saw Shen Miao’s complacent appearance. Pei Lang even wondered what kind of debt he owed Shen Miao in his past life, that Shen Miao was collecting now.
He suppressed the humiliation in his heart and said, “Just doing what this indicate, one will meet your requirement?”
“I believe in Teacher’s ability.” Shen Miao’s eyes hanged down. That letter, it contained everything that Fu Xiu Yi had been doing for these few years. He looked like he had no ambition on the surface, but he had been recruiting a number of talented scholars. As to what kind of methods were used to unearth these intelligent people, no one was clearer of them than Shen Miao. Pei Lang was not an ordinary person, thus he only need to show a little of his ‘talent’ and naturally he would be able to get into Fu Xiu Yi’s radar.
And to gain Fu Xiu Yi’s attention, one would require a step by step strategy. In that letter, Shen Miao did not indicated wheat Pei Lang should do, but only indicated the moment of opportunity for Pei Lang to get closer to Fu Xiu Yi. As to how one could gain his trust, it would depend on Pei Lang himself.
This was the greatest confidence Shen Miao could give to Pei Lang.
In the previous lifetime Fu Xiu Yi and Pei Lang were people on the same boat, but now she was the first to have talent scouted this fine steed, and had left a footprint on this talent. One must also let Fu Xiu Yi have a taste of being betrayed by the people closest to him.
She swept a look at Pei Lang and her heart suddenly felt some worries. Since things had been briefed, she did not want to speak more with Pei Lang so she turned around to leave.
“Shen Miao.” It was Pei Lang who stopped her and he hesitated for a moment before he finally spit out two words. “Take care.”
Shen Miao was somewhat surprised but only said faintly, “Many thanks.” She then left after that. Only Pei Lang was left standing and his gaze was complicatedly fixed on Shen Miao’s back.
When Shen Miao left Pei Lang’s courtyard, she saw a soft white dumpling standing in the garden outside the academy and upon seeing her, that pair of eyes brightened as it ran over and cried in surprise, “Older Sister Shen.”
Su Ming Lang rolled over like a dumpling.
Shen Miao, “…”
In fact, Su Ming Lang had passed his tenth birthday. One did not know if the Su family raised him too well, that he was different from his matured but still young Older Brother, as Su Ming Lang looked even more childlike than a five or six year old. He ran a few steps and was out of breath so Shen Miao walked to him and held his chubby hands, “What is the matter?”
“Older Sister Shen, you are leaving?” Su Ming Lang whimpered for a while, “I will wait for you here obediently till you return, alright?”
Shen Miao froze. After everyone knew that Shen Xin would be heading to the Xiao Chun City, the first words were either ‘when you will return’ or ‘is it that you will not be returning’. Everyone always feel that this time once Shen Xin leave, perhaps he would be staying in the Xiao Chun City forever. Su Ming Lang’s first words was to wait for her return, as if he was assured that Shen Miao would certainly return back to the Ding capital. Shen Miao felt interested and tapped on his head before deliberately teasing him, “Who say that I will return? Perhaps I will not come back.”
“Would not?” Su Ming Lang looked up and made a solemn vow, “Older Sister will definitely return.”
Shen Miao looked at him from the side of her head. When Su Ming Lang spoke those words, his eyes were firm and there was no trace of doubt, so she asked, “Why are you so sure?”
“Older Brother Xie said that you will definitely return before two years.” Su Ming Lang said excitingly.
Older Brother Xie. Shen Miao’s mind turned, Xie Jing Xing.
“Even though Father and Eldest Brother all think that once Older Sister and family leave, one would not know when will you return. Father also say that this time General Shen had angered His Majesty, and one fear that His Majesty would never recall General Shen this lifetime.” Su Ming Lang was a child whose words carried no harm, and he did not pay attention if his words would hurt Shen Miao, and only said as he wished, “But when Older Brother Xie came to visit Eldest Brother, he said to Eldest Brother that General Shen will inevitable return to the capital within two years.”
Shen Miao felt some horror in her heart of how Xie Jing Xing, could actually guess so accurately what was in her mind.
“Even though Xie Older Brother is very bad, he bullies me, also bullies my Eldest Brother and also bullies my Father but everything he says will become true.” It was the first time Su Ming Lang spoke so nimbly, as if to prove something. He continued, “He said that you will return, so you will definitely return. Older Sister Shen, you will return, right?” After he finished speaking, he was looking at her with eyes filled with hope.
All of a sudden Shen Miao thought about Fu Ming and her heart softened as she smiled, “He said correctly. I will return.”
“That is great.” Su Ming Lang jumped up and pulled his index finger out before saying each word, “Then I will wait here for Older Sister’s return. When Older Sister returns, I will treat Older Sister to candied hawthorn, dough figurine, steamed sugar cake…”
Shen Miao could not help but laugh again. Being with Su Ming Lang seemed to sweep away all the dark and hazy emotions instantly. It was as if time became carefree and without worries. She said, “You just have to listen to your Father’s words. It is just that these words you said to me today about me returning, you must never tell another person about it.”
If others heard these words, when it spreads out and gets told to Emperor Wen Hui, one might be able to discover tiny traces. In this word, it was alright for one person to know of her mind, but it would not be good if there were many.
Su Ming Lang saw Shen Miao’s solemn face and immediately spoke obediently, “Understand. I only said it to Older Sister and will not tell to others.” Then he softly said to Shen Miao, “Older Sister Shen, you also must not tell Older Brother Xie about these words because I eavesdropped them. If Older Brother Xie know that I eavesdropped him, he will beat me up again.”
In the Second Young Master Su’s eyes, the graceful and noble Little Marquis Xie was an out and out black-hearted bandit.
Shen Miao agreed, “Alright, would not tell.”
Translator’s comment: I hearts Su Ming Lang!!! So freaking adorbs… Can I have one of him?
Ed: No, you’ll eat him and they will sell those like him by the pound, no amount of donations can cover that T_T