After Zhang Jiarui went back he searched for a variety of ways to diminish Zhu Jia’s good name.
He first spread out that one of Zhu’s servants were lawlessly bullying the villagers. But the person who was arrested ended up being Zhu Lao Si’s loyal confidant. Everyone knew that Zhu Ziyu had long ago cut all ties with Zhu Lao Si. They didn’t even consider associating his confidant’s actions with Zhu.
Then some people reported that a village gentleman was modifying the scale when paying rent, there was suspicions of violation of the court tax. Zhang Jiarui sent officers to check. The result was tax evasion was found from Li and Wang house, only Zhu house had honest books.
He repeatedly investigated several cases, any that he suspected were related to Zhu, but it always turned out that Zhu was completely blameless. Not only did he not diminish Zhu family’s ‘Benevolent house’ brand, he actually made Zhu Ziyu’s fame spread farther. Zhang Jiarui was sleepless for several nights in anger. He deeply hated Zhu Ziyu, he vowed to one day make Zhu collapse.
Meanwhile, Qin Ce had returned to the capital, but he was severely wounded. If the doctors hadn’t tied him down and medicated him to clean up the festering wound on his abdomen, he probably would’ve rushed straight to Qing Min County.
“You must hand this box personally to Ziyu today.” He carefully told this to Yucheng before falling into a coma.
Yucheng didn’t delay, he personally carried the box and rode a horse to Zhu House.
“General come in, come in. Can I ask why you were in such a hurry? Do you need something?” Zhou Yun Sheng greeted the man in pleasant surprise.
“This box is for Zhu Gongzi.” Yucheng placed the box on a table, a strong smell of blood spread in the air.
Zhou Yun Sheng’s heart shook. He immediately untied the knot and opened the lid. Impressively, there was a head inside. Tweety and Lushi screamed in fright, but Zhou Yun Sheng laughed cheerfully.
This person had a giant Roc face tattoo, it was the legendary leader of the Luo Shui Mountain Bandits Wang Zhanpeng. He was the murderer of Zhu Ziyu’s father. The two hundred thousand parcels of food was not given in vain.
Zhou Yun Sheng let out a relieved breath and slightly smiled, “General Yu, you’re my benefactor. I will always remember this kindness.” After only a brief mention that day, this man actually recorded his wants in his heart. After settling the situation in the capital, he must’ve immediately departed for Lou Shui to get revenge for him. He also diligently personally sent him the head. To do this task for no personal benefit, who would do such a thing?
Could he really be the man he is looking for?
Zhou Yun Sheng’s heart suddenly overflowed with heat. He impulsively pressed the sturdy man into a chair, and while the other man was stunned, he slipped his tongue into the other man’s mouth. Stirring and sucking.
Yucheng was shocked, his refusal was pushed down by a feeling of weakness. Zhu Gongzi’s kissing skill was too superb, he felt like his soul was being sucked out.
However, Zhou Yun Sheng’s soul didn’t feel that familiar throbbing. Yucheng wasn’t his favorite man. Where was he? Zhou Yun Sheng felt depressed. He stopped his tongue exploration and took a few steps back. “General Yu, I’ve offended you. Please, forgive me. Goodbye.” He bowed and thrust his hand out, indicating that the other man should leave.
Yucheng was kissed forcefully, but he actually forgot how to resist. When his thinking ability returned, he was already riding on horseback, a few miles outside of Qing Min County. He reached the camp and sat by the Commander’s beside in a daze, his lips still tingled.
After an hour, the anesthesia drug’s effect gradually dispersed and Qin Ce opened his eyes.
“Did you send that thing to him?” He immediately asked.
“I sent it.” Yucheng’s cheeks reddened again, he whispered,” Hou Ye, if, if a man is interested in you, what do you do?”
“Which man finds you interesting?” Qin Ce scoffed.
“Zhu Gongzi. He just kissed me.” Yucheng covered his face and muffled out, “I didn’t even find it disgusting, I found it…. Hou Ye, I’m really hopeless. If Zhu Gongzi was a Ger, I’d immediately marry him. But even though that’s not the case… I can’t think straight anymore.”
Qin Ce nearly fell off the bed. His eyes froze into a sharp edge, cutting into Yucheng’s exposed skin. Yucheng jumped back and stammered, “Hou, Hou Ye, what’s wrong with you? Why are you glaring at me like that?”
“Why did he kiss you? Did you not tell him that the box was from me?” Damn this guy, he robbed his credit again! First from the guarding, now from the bandits!
“…. I didn’t have time to say it before Zhu Gongzi kissed me.” Yucheng suddenly realized his mistake, he turned around to see the Commander running out of the door in a thin, half open robe. In a blink of an eye, his silhouette was out of sight.
Zhou Yun Sheng was still in distress over the whereabouts of his love, when a servant informed him of Shen Wei Hou Shizi’s visit.
Shen Wei Hou… Little Black? What’s he doing here? While he was pondering, a haggard looking man ran down the hall. He was casually dressed in a black robe, a blood stained white bandage was easily exposed through the gaps. His handsome face was filled with ferocious wrath.
“You need to know this. I was the one who ordered Yucheng to guard your mansion, and the Luo Shui bandit tribe was personally destroyed by me for you. And…” He strode toward Zhou Yun Sheng and stretched out his arm, his eyes were burning bright.
“….this.” The smell of tobacco was so intense that it made Zhou Yun Sheng feel dizzy.
“So, the person you should feel grateful to is me. The one you should be interested in is me, not Yucheng. The one you should kiss is me, not Yucheng. If another man steals my kisses again, I’ll pull out their tongue.” Qin Ce roughly said this, then leaned over to cover the young man’s red lips.
At the touch of their tongues and the blending of their fluids, a familiar trembling passed through Zhou Yun Sheng’s soul. Their minds exploded in a warm, bright fire. It felt as if they’d obtained all the feelings of joy and satisfaction the world had to offer. The two clung to each other, constantly changing the angle to deepen the kiss. A quarter of an hour passed before they parted, a sliver line stretched between their lips.
“…It really was you!” Zhou Yun Sheng gave a satisfied sigh, then his face darkened, “You’re not already engaged to Zhang Shulin?”
“Have I been with him?” Qin Ce erased the powder on Zhou Yun Sheng’s forehead and repeatedly kissed the bright red dot.
“The rumor has become old news already. Everyone was clamoring about how Zhang Shulin is the future partner of Hou Ye. You gave Zhang Jia so many gifts and benefits, wasn’t that to pave the way to marry Zhang Shulin? If that’s how it is, why are you bothering me? Get the hell out!” Zhou Yun Sheng kicked at Qin Ce.
Qin Ce grabbed his face and stared into his eyes as he explained, “I’ve cleared my debt with Zhang Jia. I only gave them so many high-profile gifts to repay them for saving me. Kindness is kindness, love is love. I will not lose a lifetime of happiness to repay a kindness. Zhu Ziyu, I love only you. Even when I thought you were a man, I still loved you. I will dedicate my life to you and never make you regret it. If you don’t believe me, you can dig out my heart to look.”
He brought his lover’s hand to his heart, which was covered by a sipping gauze.
Zhou Yun Sheng saw the spreading blood and immediately forgot his anger. He quickly let Tweety get the medicine box and Qin Ce naturally stayed overnight.
They wrapped around each other for half month, then Qin Ce reluctantly left him to return to the capital and prepare for the wedding. Yes, Zhou Yun Sheng had promised to marry the powerful Shen Wei Hou Shizi. They were already an old couple, they’ve been together for several lifetimes, wouldn’t he be a hypocrite to suddenly play hard to get? He would cherish all the time they had together while he could. Especially since he really couldn’t guess what would happen in the next reincarnation. Next time, who knows where that man would wander off to or if he would fall for someone else again.
But Zhang Jiarui hadn’t stayed idle this half a month. He’d gathered as much of the people who were around Zhu Ziyu as he could in order to dig out a secret. His persistence finally paid off, he really did find an insider, a disgruntled maidservant that was kicked out of Zhu Jia. She astonishingly told him that Zhu Ziyu was a Ger, he had a Zhusha Zhi between his eyebrows, usually covered by powder.
Zhu Ziyu’s face really was unusually beautiful for a man’s, Zhang Jiarui didn’t have to struggle to believe the information. He set things in motion.
While Zhu Ziyu was wandering through the market, a bucket of water poured onto his head, and an old woman suddenly rushed out to wipe at his forehead, revealing his Zhusha Zhi. The onlookers were in a buzz with the new gossip.
With this kind of rare gossip, it took less than a day for the whole village to find out. Zhang Jiarui timely forwarded a marriage candidate to Zhu Ziyu, an infamous gambler. The same gambler from the original drama who’d bankrupted Zhu Jia and made Zhu Ziyu live a life worse than death.
When the matchmaker led the gambler to the door, Zhou Yun Sheng smiled and welcomed them in. They’d just sat down, no one had even started speaking yet, when a servant said, “Shen Wei Hou has arrived.”
“Hou, Hou Ye? How can he be here? What is the relationship between you two?” The matchmaker had only heard about a relationship between Zhang Jia and Shen Wei Shizi, there was no talk of a friendship between Zhu family and Hou. Otherwise, Zhang Official would not openly attack Zhu Ziyu.
“You’ll find out when he comes in.” Zhou Yun Sheng held up his tea cup and slowly sipped his tea. He hadn’t told Qin Ce what had happened. Since Zhang Jiarui wanted to rush towards his own death, he would never stop him. He’d obviously allowed the farce, otherwise, how could the old woman get close to his body?
Qin Ce sent his people to store the hundred and twenty sets of dowries in the warehouse while he stepped into the main hall. He saw his favorite person sitting on the couch and immediately walked over to kiss his hair. His usually cold eyes were filled with deep love and warmth.
The matchmaker and gambler sat straighter, their bodies filling with ice. The hidden lover wasn’t in Zhang Jia, but right here in Zhu Jia ah! It seems that Zhu Ziyu was the real fiancé.
“Who are they?” Qin Ce raised his eyebrows at the two people.
“One is a matchmaker, the other is the husband Zhang Jia personally selected for me. You didn’t know? A few weeks ago, Zhang Shulin wanted to buy my west facing hill, I didn’t agree, so they thought of taking my marriage. They’re trying to clean out my Zhu Jia. Also, I don’t know who, someone started spreading rumors that I’m a rich and heartless monster, now look at this situation…… ” Zhou Yun Sheng gave a contemptuous smile at his own words.
Qin Ce was furious, he held Zhou Yun Sheng’s hand to his lips and kissed it, then he said coldly, “What Zhang Official? If I’m happy, he can be called that, if I’m not happy, he is less than nothing.” He looked at the paralyzed matchmaker and said “Give Zhang Jiarui a message, I helped put him into the clouds, so I’ll push him down into the abyss. He better be prepared.”
The matchmaker repeatedly nodded and grabbed the gambler’s arm to leave, but was frozen by Zhou Yun Sheng’s next words, “What a dog ah. He dared walk into my Zhu family home to marry me, he really doesn’t know life from death! Somebody, give me his hand!” Those dirty hands had repeatedly pushed Zhu Ziyu to the brink of death, how could he just let him freely keep them.
The gambler screamed in fear, begging for mercy, but Qin Ce burst into unprecedented laughter. He waved his hand at the guards, then leaned down to kiss his lover’s delicate cheek. Two guards neatly held down the gambler and disposed of his hand.
The two who’d walked arrogantly through the door ran out in a panic. All the villagers witnessed this. The matchmaker didn’t dare delay, they immediately ran to the magistrate’s office and repeated the words.
Zhang Jiarui paled, he hurried home to discuss with Zhang Shulin. After all, Zhang Shulin was Hou’s savoir, he couldn’t act ungratefully.
Zhang Shulin’s heart soured, but for his brother’s future, he had to run to Zhu home to find Shen Wei Shizi. They would not let him enter the door, so he could only wait at the corner. It wasn’t until the next morning that he saw Wei Hou walk out of the mansion.
“Little Black, please wait.” He quickly followed.
“Who are you calling?” Qin Ce darkly asked.
“Hou Ye please wait, I have something to say.” Zhang Shulin immediately changed his call.
“But I have nothing to say to you. I owed you, but the debt has all been paid off. I gave you food, land, and riches. As long as you were content, you could’ve lived a smooth life. But you were greedy and tried to bully away my wife’s land. After trying to rob his riches, you tried to rob his life by forcing him to marry. You passed yourself off as a saint, but your true face is clear for all to see, looking at you makes me feel nauseous. Go back and tell Zhang Jiarui that I will never let this go!” Anyone who attacked his lover deserved no amnesty!
Zhang Shulin was speechless, he could only stand helplessly as the other man rode off.
Zhang Jiarui stood up all night, waiting. His face was twisted, his hair was falling off, and his regret colored his intestines green. When his brother returned, he took one look at his frustrated expression and lost the strength to stand up. He sank down, his whole body limp.
He should have predicted it. Zhu Ziyu was beautiful, carefree and proud, how could Qin Ce resist.
“Big Brother, what can we do?” He was like a child again, crying his heart out, his treasured power and prestige was slipping through his fingers.
Zhang Shulin also had no hope, he could only comfort him that Little Black wouldn’t be so unfeeling.
But in fact, Qin Ce was very unfeeling. All his gentleness was devoted to Zhou Yun Sheng. Anyone who moved against his love would suffer his crazy revenge.
Zhang Jiarui was soon involved in a major corruption case. He was sent to prison, his fame and title stripped from him. Zhang Shulin sold off all the family property to redeem him out of prison. Zhang Jia’s reputation was thoroughly ruined, they were scolded harshly everywhere they went. The people whispered that Zhang Jiarui framed his subordinates, his end was deserved, and that Zhu Ziyu was really more suitable for Hou Ye etc…….
The Zhang family could never hope to wash out their shame in Qing Min County, so they had to move far away to start again. But they had no foundation, no connections, and no money, how could life be easy? Whenever Zhang Shulin thought up a good idea to make money, it would swiftly be copied or robbed away. These difficulties really made him realize how lucky he was to have meet a good landlord like Zhu Ziyu.
Zhang Jiarui’s ambition was very high, but he couldn’t handle setbacks. After his career road was destroyed, he felt that life was hopeless and became dispirited. He fell into a bad crowd and picked up alcohol, drugs, gambling and other bad habits. He thoroughly became a rogue ruffian.
The locals always shake their heads in pity when someone mentions him.
Roc- Wikipedia “Roc, from Arabic رخ (ruḵḵ), itself from Persian رخ (ruḵ), is an enormous legendary bird of prey in the popular mythology of the Middle East.”
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