The Glory After Rebirth Chapter 112
Chapter 112 Concerns
Chapter 112: Concerns
The whole crowd of residents stayed outside the law court for a very long time, looking on. After all, this time, all members of Jia family had been put in jail and were definitely finished. From this day on, there wouldn’t be an inch of land for anybody of Jia family to stand on in Tanyang. Since the verdict had not been handed down and the ownership of the mine still stood undetermined, Tao Feng could not take back the mine even if he wanted to. Therefore, he had no choice but to stand by watching the mine fall into the hands of Zhang Chong.
Li Fu, one of Ling Zhaowen’s men, walked outside, found Ling Zhang and told him, “Young Master, Second Master bade me to ask you if you want to talk with Jia Yin. Necessary arrangements have been made in the prison. You can go there any time you want.”
Ling Zhang thought for a while and then asked him, “Are my uncle and Lord Tao doing additional recording of Jia family’s confessions in the prison?”
“Yes. Jia family is a large family. It’ll take them quite some time to finish the job.”
Ling Zhang wanted to consult with Tao Feng about some issues, so he replied, “I’ll go there and see.”
There were so many members of Jia family involved in this case that all cells in the prison were filled with people, and all staff members of Prefecture Yamen were bustling around. Ling Zhang entered the prison and saw his uncle and Tao Feng recording confessions of the butler of Jia family. In the knowledge that they were very busy, he randomly picked a spot and sat down waiting.
After Ling Zhaowen and Tao Feng finished recording the confession of the butler of Jia family, someone came up to Ling Zhang and led him to his uncle.
Ling Zhang first asked Tao Feng’s pardon for having disturbed him and then said, “Your Lordship, if what happened today comes to Jia Zhong’s knowledge, he will surely flee. Do you have any plan for that?”
Tao Feng responded, “I’ve already sent some men to hunt Jia Zhong. Taking pre-emptive action before the news reaches him is a wise choice.”
Ling Zhang left the prison secure in the knowledge that Tao Feng had already dispatched his men.
After returning home, Ling Zhang pondered for a while and it struck him that he should have Wang Dashan take some men and covertly follow those Yamen runners dispatched by Tao Feng. It was not that he didn’t trust Tao Feng but that Jia family had been a powerful force in Tanyang for many years, so there were, without doubt, some people who were willing to tip off Jia Zhong on this kind of occasion. He would feel more secure if more manpower had been put into the hunt for Jia Zhong.
But currently, Wang Dashan and others were receiving training in Trap-and-Kill Formation. He needed to have them master six arrays in merely half a month, which meant time was short. Moreover, Zhang Chong was still eyeing his family with hostility, so he couldn’t precipitously dispatch so many security guards to another city.
As a result, the shortage of manpower brought him into vexation.
“What’s the matter?” Seeing the troubled face of Ling Zhang, Yuwen Tong walked over and asked.
Knowing that he could rely on Yuwen Tong’s discretion, Ling Zhang told him what he was thinking about.
“It is a breeze. I’ll send a message to the garrison there and have them help with the hunt.”
At first Ling Zhang’s eyes lit up on hearing this, but then he calmed down. “Will there be any trouble if you do this?”
“No. It’ll be merely a request for assistance with a hunt for a criminal, not a revolt. They’ll be very glad to do me this little favor.”
‘Is it really okay for him, the Supreme Commander of armed forces of the Great Yue, to talk about revolt so casually?’ Ling Zhang kept silent for a while. He had noticed some time ago that Yuwen Tong didn’t have as much respect for the imperial family as he had imagined. In fact, Yuwen Tong seemed to scorn them. ‘If any of his opponents finds out his attitude towards the imperial family and take advantage of it…’ Ling Zhang thought in concern.
“Then I’m afraid I’ll have to put you to some trouble and help me out, because I’m really short-handed.”
“Don’t mention it. It’s a piece of cake.”
“Do you… act like this in front of other people as well?”
Yuwen Tong was puzzled. “Like what?”
In a very serious tone of voice, Ling Zhang observed, “Even if you really think little of the imperial family, you should keep it to yourself. If by any chance any of your enemies finds out, they might use it against you.”
Light dawned on Yuwen Tong and he raised his eyebrows. “Are you worried about me?”
“I’m serious.” Ling Zhang knitted his brows.
Seeing that he was really in concern, Yuwen Tong gave a smile and answered in a voice just as serious as that of Ling Zhang, “I know where the limit is. Apart from Yao Yi and his men, you’re the only one to whom I’ve said these words.”
This reply brought Ling Zhang into a brief trance of amazement and gave him mixed feelings. ‘Why does he trust me so much?’ he wondered.
“So there’s no need to worry,” Yuwen Tong continued.
“Are you not worried that I might disclose this to other people?” Ling Zhang couldn’t help but ask him.
“You won’t,” Yuwen Tong replied.
Ling Zhang’s mouth tightened in amusement. “You’re having too much faith in me. I’m not the kind of person you can entrust all kinds of secrets to.”
Yuwen Tong chuckled, “I’m a shrewd judge of character.”
Ling Zhang was a little unhappy. ‘He sounds like he knows me quite well.’
In the knowledge that Ling Zhang was somewhat displeased, Yuwen Tong wisely steered the conversation away to another topic. “Jia family is no longer a threat, and it won’t be long before Zhang Chong becomes suspicious of what happened in Lu family. I’m afraid he’ll go to Lu family and force Lu Fengnian into burying Lu Kui in the next few days.”
Indeed, since the ‘burglar’ who had murdered Lu Kui had been at large for such a long time, Zhang Chong probably had already became suspicious. It was just that the news of Jia Yuanling’s death had come out of the blue and blindsided Zhang Chong, leaving him too occupied to conduct any investigation. Now that he had successfully eliminated Jia family and also taken control of the mine, he had plenty of time to find out the truth about the matter of Lu family.
“If all goes as planned, Yao Yi will reach the capital city tomorrow at the latest. We’ll have to wait another four days in order to give enough time to people in the capital city to think it through. It’s best if Zhang Chong is caught unprepared. In that case, the situation will be the most advantageous to us,” observed Yuwen Tong.
“Have you had any news from the capital city? Did word about your presence in Tanyang reach there?” Ling Zhang asked him.
“The latest courier pigeon hasn’t arrived yet,” responded Yuwen Tong.
Ling Zhang pondered, ‘If word from people in capital city arrives in Tanyang earlier than that of Yao Yi, we’ll have to face squarely up to Zhang Chong.”
Yuwen Tong said, “There are only two eventualities. Either Zhang Chong has misgivings and decides to stand by making no move, or he takes such bold action as to launch an attack on me. I tend to believe the former will be the case. Even if he has a well-trained and powerful army, it’s not the right time for him to stage an armed revolt, because his allies in the capital city are far from ready. His death is certain if he takes action under the circumstances.”
Ling Zhang did some thinking and asked, “So it’ll be favorable to us if the news is sent back?”
Yuwen Tong nodded. “Exactly. Now is the perfect time. By no means could Zhang Chong have guessed that I’ve already found out about everything he’s been hiding in the Grand Mang Mountain. Instead of trying to kill me, he will only treat me with the utmost courtesy, but…”
“But once people from the capital city arrives, everything will come to his knowledge and Ling family will be facing dire danger.”
Ling Zhang abruptly rose to his feet. ‘That’s right! Why hasn’t this ever crossed my mind? Once Zhang Chong finds out that all his deeds have been exposed, he will no doubt go to extremes. In that case, my family will be the most vulnerable target and Zhang Chong will surely come at my family!’
“I can’t let that happen. I must transfer my grandfather and others immediately!”
Yuwen Tong pressed his hands onto Ling Zhang’s shoulder. “There’s no need to be anxious. They will be transferred, but we must do it without arousing Zhang Chong’s suspicions.”
How could Ling Zhang not be anxious? Keeping his family safe was his lifelong goal in this second incarnation. ‘If anything happens to my family, what is the point of me coming back to life?’
“I’ll ask my grandfather and others to…”
Suddenly, Ling Zhang paused. A thought had just struck him and he immediately walked towards the outside.
“What’s the matter?” Seeing this, Yuwen Tong hurriedly stopped him. “Don’t be impulsive.”
“There are some arrangements I have to make.” Ling Zhang made this remark in haste and quickly ran outside.
In resignation, Yuwen Tong followed in his wake.
“Recall the one staking out the Rising Sun Inn. Now!” Ling Zhang gave an order to Xia Feng.
Xia Feng nodded and left the mansion immediately.
Yuwen Tong arrived at Ling Zhang’s place shortly after. Seeing that Ling Zhang was standing in the ante-room with a grave expression, he asked, “Rising Sun Inn? Those two traveling merchants from Jiangzhou?”
“You know about it?” Ling Zhang watched him in surprise and then added, “That figures. By no means could your bodyguards have not investigated this matter.”
“What are you going to do about it?” Yuwen Tong asked him.
“Those two men…” After a fleeting pause, Ling Zhang continued, “Originally, those two people intended to invite my grandfather to Jiangzhou to authenticate a couple of antiques for them. I didn’t let them, because I don’t trust them, but now, as chance would have it, this is a good opportunity to get my grandfather and others out of Tanyang.”
“You said that you don’t trust them. Why do you still want your grandfather to go with them?” Yuwen Tong was confused.
“It’s just a pretext. After they leave Tanyang, I’ll send my grandfather and others to somewhere else,” replied Ling Zhang.
If his guess was right, in his last incarnation, those two traveling merchants from Jiangzhou indeed came here to invite his grandfather to authenticate antiques for them, but Jia family took advantage of that matter, ruined the reputation of his grandfather and disgraced Ling family’s name. They brought the renown of Ling family to oblivion step by step and eventually framed Ling family for collusion with brigands, which sounded like a believable accusation. After all, he had “committed adultery” previously, and then his uncle had been removed from office due to “wrong doings”, and after that his grandfather was disgraced – in outsiders’ eyes, people of Ling family had every reason to collude with brigands. Who would still believe people of Ling family were innocent under the circumstances?
“Okay. I’ll have someone go with them and escort them to Yanzhou,” offered Yuwen Tong.
“All of your bodyguards have more important issues to deal with. How can any of them find the time?” asked Ling Zhang in the knowledge that Yuwen Tong had only two bodyguards around him currently, and all others had been dispatched elsewhere.
“It’s okay. I only need one bodyguard,” replied Yuwen Tong.
Ling Zhang tightened his mouth. ‘Yuwen Tong is a Marshal. Adequate protection of him must be ensured. It’s too risky to leave only one guard protecting him.’
“Trust me. One is enough,” said Yuwen Tong. “Getting your grandfather and other relatives to a safe place is the first priority.”
Ling Zhang hesitated for a while and gave a bob of the head eventually. “I’ll do my level best to protect you. Wang Dashan and others will also prove helpful. If anything does happen, we’ll do whatever we can to get you out of Tanyang, even if the cost is our own lives.”
Yuwen Tong was sent into a fleeting trance of surprise, and then he smiled, “Okay.”
“By the way, Yuwen Qi is still here. What do you think we should do about him?” asked Ling Zhang. It was not that he had any concern for Yuwen Qi but that if Yuwen Qi died here, Yuwen Tong would have great trouble handling the matter.
“Him? I’ll make arrangements for him to leave tomorrow,” answered Yuwen Tong unconcernedly.
Xia Feng soon recalled that servant, who asked, “Young Master, may I ask what it was that you urgently called me for?”
“Where are those two traveling merchants from Jiangzhou? What did they do?” asked Ling Zhang.
“This morning they went to Prefecture Yamen to look on as well. After returning, they stayed in the hall of the inn discussing with others. Then they said something about buying some gifts and paying Old Master another visit. Incidentally, they bought a couple of waiters of the inn, asking them to help find out whether Old Master is at home,” answered the servant.
“Send word to them that I agree to let them have an audience with my grandfather. Tell them to come here right away,” Ling Zhang instructed.
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