Beloved at the Door - 10
Chapter 10 – Account book
Yan Niang said with joy. “Then is this a promise to take me away?”
Di Jing smiled and appeased her. “Don’t worry. We need to consider this matter carefully. Although this book can threaten Old Master Qin, we must prevent him from killing and silencing us. Let’s take it slowly.”
Yan Niang felt he was right after listening to him. At the same time, she felt happy that Di Jing had finally given her a promise and if she had known this would happen, she would have long ago taken out this book to discuss with him.
“I will listen to you, Di Lang, but you have to hurry up. I’m really tired of that old man.”
After Di Jing comforted Yan Niang for a while, he reminded her with a few words. It was probably because both of them were meeting in secret, so they could not stay for long. He told Yan Niang to return to the reception hall to entertain the guests first to prevent anyone from seeing them. After Yan Niang had left the bedchamber, Shangguan Yan was contemplating whether she should rush forward to snatch the book when a figure suddenly appeared.
Di Jing’s secret guard!
Shangguan Yan inwardly exclaimed at the near danger and had almost forgotten about his secret guard. Fortunately, she did not rashly make a move as his secret guard’s martial skills were not simple.
She saw Di Jing whispered some instructions to him then the secret guard nodded and left. Then she saw Di Jing put the book into the folds of his robes and walked out as if nothing had happened.
She immediately followed and carefully tailed behind Di Jing. He was protected by a powerful secret guard, so she could not brazenly snatch the book from him therefore, she had to find an opportunity.
That account book, ah………she is consumed with jealousy!
She went undercover in the Qin Mansion for several months, chopping firewood, sweeping the floor, and worked as a humble slave and maid. Why did she work so hard? It was just to look for that account book!
Suddenly, Di Jing paused and then immediately pushed opened the door beside him and quickly slipped into the room. It seemed as though he had seen someone and wanted to hide and she stared curiously in the direction he had looked at just now. Sure enough, she saw a familiar face.
If it is not Qin Jikang, who else can it be?
Shangguan Yan humphed silently. As expected, like father like son. Old Master Qin opened a brothel and made a brothel woman his lover. His son also came to patronize the brothel and it was also his family’s premise. However, Qin Jikang’s appearance gave Shangguan Yan an idea.
Other people might not know but she knew that this Qin Jikang not only likes women, he also likes men and he had always greatly admired Di Jing.
His appearance came at the right time! She was wondering about how to deal with Di Jing’s secret guard and coincidentally she could make use of Qin Jikang. Thus she stepped forward decisively and blocked Qin Jikang’s way.
“Eldest Young Master.”
Qin Jikang did not expect someone would suddenly block his way and shouted. “Who is it?”
“Eldest Young Master, it’s me.”
He was startled and widened his eyes to look carefully. “You…….Ma’er?”
“Yes, Eldest Young Master. I am Ma’er who is responsible for serving Di Gongzi.”
“Why are you here?”
“Ma’er had received instructions from Di Gongzi to wait for Eldest Young Master here.”
Qin Jikang’s eyes lit up as soon as he heard Di Jing’s name.
Shangguan Yan had long noticed that the Eldest Young Master of the Qin Family admired Di Jing but did not dare to let Di Jing know.
Now that he is a little tipsy after drinking wine, it is best to make use of him.
She deliberately stepped forward and whispered into his ear and as expected, she saw Qin Jikang’s face turned red and looked abnormally happy.
“You……..is what you said the truth? He is inside?”
“Yes. Isn’t Ma’er ordered by Gongzi to stay here and wait for Eldest Young Master? Eldest Young Master must hurry up and go in.”
The excitement on Qin Jikang’s face could not be concealed. It was unexpected that Di Jing had the same intentions as he and they shared the same feelings for each other. He likes Di Jing and had long wanted to get close to him, so he immediately walked to the room that Ma’er mentioned.
Shangguan Yan followed behind Qin Jinkang and when he opened the door and entered, she also followed into the room.
Di Jing did not expect that Qin Jikang would enter the room suddenly, so he pretended to be surprised and tried to find a reason to stall him.
“You…….” He had only just said a word when Shangguan Yan who pretended to support him, quickly stepped forward and tapped on two of his acupuncture points with lightning speed.
One reason was to prevent him from moving and the second reason was to prevent him from speaking.
After being tapped on his mute acupuncture point, Di Jing was unable to speak and could only stare at her in shock. Shangguan Yan’s movements were very deft. She helped him to the bed and as she walked, she said.
“Gongzi, don’t be anxious and sit down first. Eldest Young Master knows what you want, and today, you will get your wish.” She helped Di Jing onto the bed and with her back facing Qin Jikang, she reached her hand into Di Jing’s clothes, and very quickly she found the account book.
She slipped the account book into her clothes and when she raised her eyes, she met Di Jing’s murderous gaze.
She whispered. “I’m sorry, I’ve been looking for this for a long time. I’m leaving.” Then she turned around to Qin Jikang and whispered. “Gongzi is waiting for you on the bed. Hurry up.” After speaking, she turned around and left.
She must not waste time and must seize this opportunity!
As expected, the moment she left the room, she felt a murderous aura shooting over. Without saying a word, she used her qinggong to escape from Ru Yue Fang.
She knew that it was Di Jing’s secret guard who was chasing her and since she could not beat this opponent, she could only outsmart him. When she felt a murderous air shooting over, she flipped her body sideways and a sword whizzed past her ear.
“Leave the thing behind or I will kill you!” The opponent’s internal force pushed every word clearly into her ears.
“You’d better go back and save your Di Gongzi! If you’re a step too late, then Qin Jikang’s lustful heart would explode and your Di Gongzi’s chastity can’t be saved!” As she ran, she yelled back at him.
“I’m not talking nonsense! To snatch this account book, I tapped on your Di Gongzi’s acupuncture points to make him mute and unable to move. That Qin Jikang is a broken sleeve and had long admired your Di Gongzi. Just now, I told him that Di Gongzi is waiting for him on the bed. If you still don’t go back to save him and you’re a step too late, the result will be disastrous!”
This was the idea she thought of and it was the only way to stop this secret guard from pursuing her.
Qiu Dan became anxious and frustrated. He was ordered by the Emperor to protect Di Jing in secret and if he truly let that man surnamed Qin get his hands on Di Jing……..not to mention Di Jing will not have the face to carry on living………he, Qiu Dan, will also not be able to keep his head!
Forced to make a decision, he gave up chasing Ma’er and immediately rushed back to Ru Yue Fang to save the chastity of his Lord while Shangguan Yan seized this opportunity to make her getaway.
Time rolled back to the present and Shangguan Yan came back from her memories of the past. That was the process of the link of enmity that she and Di Jing formed and she believed that he must hate her to death. Looking back, she must have caused him to lose both body and wealth!
However, calculating the time, the secret guard should have made it back in time to rescue him, so he could not have lost his chastity to that Qin Jikang.
That time, after she presented the account book, the Emperor was determined to take disciplinary action against the Salt Administration and it had earned her a huge reward. As a result, she started to open these shops in the imperial capital.
Two years later, she did not expect to meet Di Jing again in the imperial capital. In the past, she had a face covered with pockmarks but her appearance was restored after taking some medicine. At that time, she did not leave any clues behind, so Di Jing should not be able to recognize her as Ma’er.
“Shangguan Yan, I don’t want to marry her.” The drunk Ninth Prince was complaining to her.
She looked at the Ninth Prince in front of her who was extremely drunk and pacified him. “If you don’t want to marry then don’t marry. If you are not willing, who can force you?”
Her eyes were focused and her attitude appeared serious as though she had not been distracted from start to finish.
Heavens, she does not even know which woman the Ninth Prince is unwilling to marry!
She was just picking up his words.
“Huh! Besides that Consort De, who else will dare to stuff her niece into my mansion, no way!”
Shangguan Yan thought about this carefully and recalled Consort De is the Mother of Ling Wang, Si Liujing, and also the mother-in-law of Fourth Junior Sister. Ever since Consort Yu made an assassination attempt on Ling Wang, she lost her power. To appease Consort De, the Emperor particularly favored her and in addition, the Emperor attached great importance to Ling Wang, the Third Prince. Now Consort De’s power had replaced that of Consort Yu.
Consort De’s elder sister is married to Cheng En Gong* and she gave birth to two daughters. The one who can be considered of marriageable age is the eldest daughter who is fifteen years old and Consort De wants to marry her niece to Si Liuyin, the Ninth Prince. The Ninth Prince is the son of Consort An and she is from the Zhangning Hou Mansion. She also has an uncle who is serving in the imperial court as the Secretary in the Ministry of War and this Lord Li Buji is also one of Ling Wang’s people……..
(Cheng En Gong – This is not a person’s name but a title or knighthood bestowed by the Emperor. This prestigious title was mainly bestowed to the relatives of the Emperor and the ranking starts from first-class to third-class depending on the person’s merits or the Emperor’s decision.)
Shangguan Yan charted out the court’s influence network in her mind. The power in the imperial court and the relationship between the people were intricate and complex. The concubines in the harem of the inner palace represented different families. To protect their families, they would do everything possible to make friends with the influential and consolidate their power.
Marriage is the fastest way to expand power. Although ever since Consort Yu lost power and Consort De had replaced Consort Yu to become the most popular concubine in the harem, the Ninth Prince is still the son of the Emperor.
How is it possible for Consort De to arrange for this marriage? Unless the Emperor agrees…….
Shangguan wrinkled her eyebrows.
It seemed the Emperor had deliberately pushed Consort De to a higher status so that Consort De will contend with the Empress for power which was a way to maintain a balance of power in the imperial court.
When she goes back, she will send this news to Ling Wangfei, her Fourth Junior Sister so that she will be mentally prepared.
Shangguan Yan asked with curiosity. “I heard that the eldest daughter of the Cheng Family is very beautiful.”
“Hmph, no matter how beautiful, this Prince is not interested! They delivered an invitation over for a banquet to be held three days later. They want me to attend this matchmaking event but I’m not going!”
“Alright, alright…….If you don’t want to go, then don’t go. You are the Ninth Prince, will they dare to force you?”
“Only you understand me…….this is loyalty between brothers.” As he spoke, he placed a big hand on her shoulder and pulled her over to rest his head on her shoulder. He muttered. “Don’t you have a younger sister? I can just simply marry your younger sister.”
She smiled and said. “My younger sister has long been engaged. How can I have this blessing? Come, let me help you to rest.”
She winked and a guard immediately stepped forward to help support the Ninth Prince on the other side while a worker came forward with a bowl of sobering soup that was prepared beforehand.
After she coaxed the Ninth Prince to finish the soup then she coaxed him into the carriage and finally he was sent back.