Chapter 53: Ratting Out
Xie Yu Zhi gave him a meaningful look, and then he reached out to fix Chen Miao Ping’s clothes.
He smoothed the wrinkles away, checking him over twice before saying,
“If so, that’s good.
If you are obedient enough not to go around and spread your seeds, the money will be your money.
If you aren’t obedient enough…… Don’t hold a grudge against me if I take over and manage it for you.”
For the good of money, I would not.
Chen Miao Ping internally was feeling a bit complicated and felt like he had somehow exposed a terrible weakness of his.
He clutched onto his money pouch that was currently in danger and uneasily went out to patrol.
Any entertainment houses that he knew were on a street, he made sure to go in a big circle to avoid them.
Qian Tong joked with him,
“Da-Ren is really an amazing individual.
Since you have taken up the position, there haven’t been any more troublemakers from high status or wealthy families.
There haven’t even been any incidents of them galloping on a horse wildly through the streets.”
Chen Miao Ping said,
“This is only the second day.
What could you see? Perhaps……”
Before he even finished, there was the sound of tables and stands being flipped and destroyed nearby.
All around were gasps from the commoners and even the birds were flying in flocks away from the scene.
He looked over to where the sound originated from and saw four barbaric-looking men in the middle of the road.
Their faces were long and their noses looked like hooks.
They wore long robes made of a leather material tied down with a waist belt and scandals on their feet, with each side of their head tied into braids.
It did not seem like they were people from around here.
Qian Tong had retired from the army and he had never felt his face get slapped this hard since he joined the army.
He narrowed his eyes in uncertainty,
“Da-Ren, those people seem to be from the Liao Empire.”
A year ago, the Liao Empire had invaded the borders of Da Jin.
The Emperor specifically sent General Yuan to hold up the borders, and this one war was waged for more than half a year with the conclusion being a loss for the army of the Liao Empire.
Right after that terrible loss, the head of the empire passed away and the new king sent a letter of surrender, specifically sending emissaries to represent their sincerity.
Counting the days, they should be arriving within these couple of days.
This was related to the affairs of the country, so Chen Miao Ping could not even pretend he didn’t see it and said to Qian Tong,
We should check out what’s going on.”
Seeing that the men were all very buff, he was afraid that there would be an incident that could result in something bad for him.
So he specifically called back all the subordinates patrolling the other areas, and brought them with him to the scene.
Because of the sight of him leading a gang of soldiers behind him, they presented a dangerous aura of people who shouldn’t be messed with, and all the common folk immediately got out of the way to let them pass.
“Ah! It’s Chen Da-Ren!”
“This should be good.
Chen Da-Ren is here, what are those people from Liao going to do now!”
There were some in the group of foreigners that noticed Chen Miao Ping in his official’s outfit with a group of soldiers holding weapons behind him.
They looked at each other, and at once, loosened the grasp they had on the peddler.
Their yellow beady eyes stared at him like wolves eyeing their prey.
“This imperial official is the City Warden Inspector.
What is this racket that is causing so much strife on the streets?!”
Chen Miao Ping knew that he must show his authority in front of the foreigners, presenting himself without an ounce of weakness.
That peddler seemed to have taken the sight of him as if he was seeing his birth parents again, and he ran as if he had peed his pants multiple times, straight towards Chen Miao Ping.
He grabbed onto Chen Miao Ping’s leg and started crying painfully, which made those who saw this really ache in pain for him.
“Da-Ren, please save this tiny speck of a citizen.
These Liao foreigners came to my stand to eat, and they ate more than ten kilograms of lamb meat, drank more than five jugs of wine and devoured even more small dishes of other food.
But they didn’t have the money to pay the bill and forced me to take their daggers as payment.
This insignificant citizen said to them that their daggers aren’t worth any money and they destroyed my stand, and- and they even beat me up! Wu wu wu…..”
That peddler immediately presented to Chen Miao Ping a heavily rusted and corroded blade, the entire shine dulled and grey.
It definitely did not look like it was worth any money.
Chen Miao Ping took a closer look and saw that the blade was filled with a coppery red color.
With this kind of dagger, even cutting tofu would be a hassle.
This was, undoubtedly and purposefully, causing trouble.
Chen Miao Ping’s mind was flying at high speed, analyzing what his options were and should be, and he decided he should follow the ye olden rules and be polite.
And if it didn’t work out, then he’ll just use force.
After all, if a fight starts after, reason would be on his side.
He turned his gaze towards those from the Liao Empire and lightly smiled,
“This blade has already rusted.
It can’t even be worth three copper coins.
You can either present something else that is of worth as payment, or you will all be sent to the courts and be punished accordingly.
Pick the option you want to go with.”
There was a gold scimitar by the waist of the leader of this group of foreigners, and it was detailed with many jewels, shining and gleaming under the bright rays of the sun.
When he heard Chen Miao Ping, he had one hand on his waist as he laughed out loud.
Arrogant to the brim, he said,
“It has been said that your country is full of goods and wealth, to the point of overflowing.
Since our two countries have signed a nonaggression pact, we are friends, are we not? A friend eating just a little bit from your stockpile, how could you ask for money?”
These years, the Liao Empire has fought with Da Jin for an uncountable number of times already, and has violated the non-aggression pacts no less than ten times.
Being defeated, they shrink back to their holes, but when they have no more food, they come to take from them again.
Just like an unfamiliar white-eyed wolf.
But Da Jin has never properly settled down their roots, and their treasury was almost borderline empty.
War, this was a thing that naturally should be avoided when it can be.
Chen Miao Ping didn’t respond, and others couldn’t tell what he was thinking.
He looked up at the sun and then stretched out his joints a bit.
His black inky eyes stared at those Liao foreigners and raised his hand to block out the bright sun.
He half-heartedly said,
“Da-Jin is a wealthy country, but we are not meek nor docile, yielding in every way if someone bullies us.
It is hard to say if this is an exchange between friendly countries…… Of course, if you don’t have any money, that doesn’t matter.
After all, it’s not as if we can really throw you in jail, being from so far away.”
Chen Miao Ping then sighed before continuing,
“But I never thought that the Liao Empire could be so poor, so poor that they cannot even pay for a meal.
Ah, whatever, whatever.
This official will pay for you.”
And then took out some silver nuggets from the brocade pouch by his waist and tossed it to the peddler.
He said to the peddler,
“Only this once though.
If there are ever any others from the Liao Empire that eat and leave without paying, remember the bill, and let me know.
This official will go ask the Liao Empire’s fifth prince Ye Lu Jun Qi.
They should be entering the capital any day now, so it’ll be no hassle to ask him to pay for his citizens.”
The faces of those Liao foreigners immediately shifted slightly.
These last few days they had come into the capital by themselves and the people here were so afraid of them.
They had eaten meals and meals, over and over, without paying and without a care for the people.
Some officials had seen them, but they did not dare to do anything.
How could they have known that they would smack themselves onto a hard brick wall today?
Although they were not considered under the fifth prince’s command, this period was the key moment in the negotiation between the two countries.
If this incident was really pushed to the forefront as an issue during the discussions, they would either die or be crippled for life as a result.
Some of those in the group immediately wanted to back off and pulled on their leader with the golden scimitar.
After a few words in his ear, they forcefully dragged him away.
Seeing their shadows shrink smaller and smaller, Chen Miao Ping coldly snorted,
“What pieces of shit.”
Qian Tong sheathed his blade again, a bit disappointed,
“Da-Ren, why didn’t you lock up those eat and run assholes? And here I was, wanting to take care of them, you know, take good care of them.
As if we Da Jin are so easily bullied.”
Chen Miao Ping smacked him on the head with the back of his hand,
“Lock lock lock, lock what.
Use your brain! If we lock them up during this sensitive time, we’re going to be at the forefront of this tension.
Are you going to be responsible if those grandmaster censors write you up?”
Qian Tong rubbed his sore head, muttering,
“What’s the difference between writing you up once or a few times?”
Chen Miao Ping’s eyes shook,
“……What did you say?”
Qian Tong widened his eyes in shock,
“Da-ren, you didn’t know? Just yesterday, that Ji Shi Tang’s Sun Zhang-gui and that Zhang Yuan Guang issue.
And when you were at Chun Xiao House, you scam…… cough, won 7000 guan off of Liu Zhen Hu.
Today there have already been censorates who wrote you up to the Emperor, saying that you are failing in your position…… As an imperial official, how could you buy prostitutes blah blah, anyways, it’s all that anyway.”
Chen Miao Ping’s eyes narrowed like a hawk onto him,
“You are pretty well versed in these news.
With what eyes did you see me have sex with a prostitute?”
There were so many dukes and marquises and family members of the Imperial Family there yesterday.
You throw a brick and you will 100% hit an imperial official.
What was this, only ganging up on him? It must be that father of Liu Zhen Hu, wanting to get revenge for his son.
Qian Tong waved his arms frantically,
“No, no, no, everyone saw what you did! You left right after scamming the 7000 guan, and not even one woman was hired.
But those write ups were not written by me, hu, but I already helped you find out who, Da-Ren.
That censorate lives on the east side, the family surname is Liu.”
“What is the point of finding out who! Can I kill him? Or slaughter his entire family, hmm?”
Chen Miao Ping shook his head and fixed his official hat.
Then he turned around and continued his patrol,
“One is worthless if one does not get attacked by jealousy and envy.
Let them do as they wish.
Censorates only rely on their mouths anyway.
They even dare to scold the Emperor, what’s the matter if they write me up once or twice?”
They didn’t patrol very far, before the sky started to darken, and black clouds crowded above the capital.
And not long after this, it started to rain, pitter-pattering onto the cobblestones.
Many pedestrians were rushing to and fro, and the boisterous main streets were suddenly emptied in the blink of an eye.
Chen Miao Ping did not want to wear the straw capes, as when they got dripping wet, it felt disgusting.
He sat inside of a tea stand to avoid the rain and Qian Tong naturally went to procrastinate with him,
“Da-Ren, you might get written up again for not doing your job.
There is still about half of the streets left that have not been patrolled yet.”
“It’s raining so heavily, all those thieves would have gone home to sleep.
Look around you.
Are there even anyone on the streets? Maybe you will be happy if you get to bump into a ghost.”
The temperature was drastically cooling and Chen Miao Ping was cold enough to shiver uncontrollably.
He lifted a cup of hot tea to warm his hands and decided to find an opportunity to slip away when he was finished.
And the more he thought that, the more Qian Tong this sticky duckling irritated to his eyes.
The cobblestone floor suddenly transmitted the clear sound of a horse galloping through the streets, and from far away, they could see a very lavishly decorated horse carriage coming closer.
It stopped in front of the tea stand, and the curtain was lifted with an oval shaped beauty stepping out.
Out from the doorway she appeared with a cloak in one hand and an oil-covered umbrella in the other.
Chen Miao Ping could immediately recognize that this was Ren Dong.
Hearing her call out to him, Chen Miao Ping unconsciously straightened up,
“Hmm? Why are you here?”
“The rain has gotten heavier, and Second Master was worried that Gu-Ye would be freezing as you dressed very lightly when you left the estate this morning.
He specifically sent me to bring this cloak over to you.”
And then Ren Dong signalled for him to step up to the carriage, her eyes hiding a smile.
Chen Miao Ping immediately got the signal and received the cloak from her hands before heading straight into the horse carriage.
Qian Tong, noticing this from the corner of his eye, immediately pulled away from the trance he was in from seeing such a beauty like Ren Dong and stretched out his neck to yell,
“Ack! Da-Ren, where are you going!”
Chen Miao Ping didn’t even turn his head back to reply,
“You drink your tea! This Da-Ren will patrol the streets in this carriage!”
Qian Tong: “……”
When he flipped open the curtain doorway, he could see Xie Yu Zhi sitting on his knees, leaning on the soft cushioned area and reading a book.
And when Xie Yu Zhi noticed Chen Miao Ping, he straightened up, grabbing the towel by his side to throw it towards Chen Miao Ping,
You are completely soaked.”
Chen Miao Ping wiped his face and then wiped his hands.
His hair was damp, and with his face, the more you look at him like this, the more good looking he was.
He made a face at Xie Yu Zhi, laughing until the dimples on his face were showing,
“What, missed me?”
Xie Yu Zhi placed down his book, not wanting him to be so satisfied,
“Today, the Emperor called me into the Imperial Palace, and since it was along the way, I came to take a look at you.”
Oh, so it was along the way huh.
Chen Miao Ping recalled Qian Tong’s words of him being written up and had a flustered moment of fear, hoping that the Emperor was not mad enough to tell on him.
He couldn’t help but ask a few questions,
“What did the Emperor beckon you to the palace for?”
Xie Yu Zhi looked down at him with his hand on his chin,
“Hmm…… there will be a few emissaries from the Liao Empire heading into the capital in the next couple of days, and the palace will be setting up a banquet to welcome them.
He wanted me to go, and then we discussed a few random things.
He also told me about the morning assembly this morning too.”
Today, there was a write up of Chen Miao Ping presented to the Emperor by a Grandmaster of Censor, and Chang Guo Gong naturally would not just blink his eyes, passively watching his son-in-law be told off.
The two of them exchanged battles of spit the entire morning, their saliva flying everywhere.
And so everyone, from the administrative officials to the military officials, knew that the newly appointed City Warden Inspector had gone to an entertainment house yesterday.
But it wouldn’t be considered a big deal, as what kind of man does not have a sexual drive? Who in their youth has not gone?
They just purely think that for Chen Miao Ping to live past the second day under Xie Yu Zhi was a curious case.
There was an official from the Ministry of Rites1, Assistant Minister Shen2, who had gone to Chun Xiao House just once, and his brutish wife, who was well versed in martial arts, chased him down eight streets, brandishing a broadsword at him.
His life almost flew away that day.
Xie Yu Zhi then said,
“Wu An Hou sent someone to deliver your 7000 guan today.”
Hearing this, Chen Miao Ping’s eyes lit up and automatically shuffled closer to him,
“In coins or banknotes?”
Xie Yu Zhi smiled very meaningfully before saying,
Chen Miao Ping immediately squeezed himself beside Xie Yu Zhi, attentively looking at him.
He lifted Xie Yu Zhi’s right leg into his embrace, gently and carefully massaging him,
“The days are getting cold, and your knees will easily ache with pain.
When we get back home, you should treat it with some medicine.
I’ll help you.”
A handsome, elegant, princely man, no matter what he did, it was as if his entire being was in love with you, doing everything drenched with love.
The other’s warm palm was slowly sliding along his legs, and Xie Yu Zhi couldn’t help but remember the last time Chen Miao Ping helped him with his medicine.
His ears blushed, but he coldly snorted before saying,
“You don’t get up early if there’s no value in doing so.
I don’t see you being this attentive and caring normally, you must be scheming for a scam.”
This phrasing was not right.
Sleeping with his own husband is not scheming, taking back his own money cannot be counted as scamming.
Chen Miao Ping sighed,
“Second Master, you have such a ruthless heart.
How I normally treat you, do I not scrape out everything I have in this body for you? How could it be that I am not attentive and caring towards you?”
Xie Yu Zhi smiled,
“And here I thought you wanted your money.
So it was me who created such a misunderstanding.”
“What’s mine is yours.
What’s yours is mine.
A family should not talk about splitting.”
Chen Miao Ping pulled on Xie Yu Zhi’s slightly cold hands, warming them up in his hold.
“Money should not be so carelessly placed.
A thin flimsy wavy sheet, what should you do if you lost it?”
“Where did Second Master put it?”
Xie Yu Zhi brushed off his hands and continued to read his book,
“Oh, I forgot.
My memory’s bad.”
Hearing this, Chen Miao Ping’s eyes subconsciously drifted to the camouflage green pouch by his waist.
It was not too big, nor was it too small.
It should just perfectly fit a stack of banknotes.
Xie Yu Zhi seemed to sense his gaze and untied it to throw it at him,
“You like it? I’ll give it to you.”
Chen Miao Ping thought he was really quite pitiful.
He silently stuffed the pouch into his sleeves and then wrapped his hands around Xie Yu Zhi’s waist, burying his face in the hold.
He didn’t speak, and only kept the action of trying to bury himself in, brushing back and forth, left and right, as if he was a cat.
Xie Yu Zhi lowered his eyes to look at him and a flash of laughter seemed to pass through them.
But he only retracted his gaze and continued to look at his book.
When Chen Miao Ping discovered that Xie Yu Zhi was not paying attention to him, he turned boneless on top of his legs,
Xie Yu Zhi calmly stated,
“I really don’t remember where I put it.”
The rain was getting heavier and heavier outside.
Ren Dong held up the umbrella as she jumped down from the front of the horse carriage,
“Second Master, Gu-Ye, we have arrived.”
Chen Miao Ping first jumped down and then opened an umbrella to help Xie Yu Zhi down.
The two of them did not enter very far into the estate when they saw a group of servants rushing hastily back and forth.
Ren Dong caught a small maid and asked,
“Ah, what happened? Why are you all rushing like this?”
The maid answered,
“We don’t know what happened today, but there was a shingle missing from the roof of Dian Yun Pagoda.
The rain was raining down nonstop through the hole, and all the work documents were drowned in water.
Even the extremely high quality Narra statues were soaked in water.
Gong-Ye is blowing up in anger, and he’s looking for people to fix it right now.”
Hearing this, Chen Miao Ping and Xie Yu Zhi for some reason became silent.
“I remember…… last time, didn’t you……”
Chen Miao Ping let out a “szz” sound and turned his eyes to look at Xie Yu Zhi in amusement.
As if just recalling that this guy climbed up on Dian Yun Pagoda and pried open a shingle to spy on his test.
Did he forget to put it back?
Xie Yu Zhi looked at him emotionlessly and didn’t say a word.
Chen Miao Ping turned his head to head towards Dian Yun Pagoda, pitching up his voice,
Xie Yu Zhi immediately pulled him back, his voice full of anger,
“You can’t rat me out!”
*1 Ministry of Rites- a division in the Imperial Court that oversees all imperial and court rituals, managing visits by foreign dignitaries, supervising state-sponsored education, managing the civil service examination recruitment system and more along these lines.
*2 Assistant Minister Shen- there’s actually different positions that this title could be referencing based on the dynasty such as moving up in the ranks based on three categories, being an vice minister, an assistant to the head of the ministry, or an assistant to anyone in the ministry itself…
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