Zhong Yutang led a huge group of people to Duke Lu Residence. Since they could not find Prince Qin in the palace, there was only one other possibility. Fu Rou did not bring Prince Qin back to begin with. And there was only one place outside of the palace that could safely hold Prince Qin. It was here!
The shops along the street near Duke Lu Residence have been watched over by Duke Lu Residence. When they saw this aggressive group, they were all deeply concerned and came up to see what was going on.
Zhong Yutang waved his hand. “Knock the door!”
His subordinates immediately ran forward. Their palms had yet to hit the door when the door opened by itself.
Two rows of white-haired servants, made up of men and women, walked out with their heads up high and chests stuck out. The last two servants carried the grand chair and placed it in the middle of the formation. Madam Sheng wore a Lady Gaoming Court Attire. She held a long pole and a broadsword in her hands. She sat in the grand chair with a startling aura.
Zhong Yutang was momentarily stunned. However, he remembered that he had Prince Zhou and Concubine Yan supporting him and immediately stood straight. “I came today on Prince Zhou’s orders to search for an escapee. Madam Sheng, you are a first grade Lady Gaoming, you should understand your duties and cooperate with me.”
Madam Sheng made an oh sound, “Back then, when I followed the Duke to fight wars all around the country, I could recognise quite a number of generals. Now in peacetime, I have been enjoying the peace in my home and don’t know a lot of junior generals. May I know your name?”
Zhong Yutang’s rank was lower than Madam Sheng and he had to be polite. “I am the Imperial Guard Commander, Zhong Yutang.”
Madam Sheng seemed to recall something. “I do know someone else with the surname Zhong. He is called Zhong Yuman. He was the Duke’s soldier and was later promoted to become a military official at Ji City. It is a pity that he died from illness at a young age.”
Zhong Yutang chuckled blandly, “Zhong Yuman was an elder brother of my clan.”
“There is another one with the surname Zhong. Back then when the Duke was fighting in battles, he was fighting alongside as well. He wields a long spear well. Unfortunately, he got shot by a shower of arrows. When he was buried, the Duke personally placed the long spear in his coffin…”
Zhong Yutang’s expression froze. “He was my uncle.”
Madam Sheng looked astonished before expressing delight, “Oh you are one of us then! We have to treat you well!”
As soon as she finished her sentence, someone carried a table and chair out and placed fruits as well as snacks on it. They even brought out a jar of wine.
It was only then that Zhong Yutang had a chance to speak, “This...Madam, you don’t have to be courteous, I came today--”
Madam Sheng suddenly stood up. “General Zhong is on duty and it is not convenient to drink. However, we have already brought out this good jar of wine from the Duke. We can’t leave it untouched. Today, let me invite a protector of Great Tang to drink. If anyone present believes that they are worthy of a drink, come and drink.”
A one-eyed white-haired house servant stepped out. “I fought at Jiande County with the Duke and an enemy shot one of my eyes. However, I did not retreat but continued to fight into the enemy camp. After asking myself, I believe I can drink a cup of the Duke’s wine.”
Another house servant pulled open his top and exposed a mottled scar. “This is a scar gotten for Great Tang. I can drink the Duke’s good wine as well!”
More and more servants came up to talk about their courageous past. They all walked forward to pour and drink the wine.
The old female servants stepped up for their husbands and sons who sacrificed their lives for Great Tang. They offered the wine and poured it on the ground, toasting their spirits.
The entire street was moved as they watched the scene and they cheered them on. Zhong Yutang felt extremely pressured but he gritted his teeth, not giving in. “Madam Sheng, the wine has been drunk and past relationships have been told. Can I continue on my duties now?”
Madam Sheng was composed. “General Zhong, what do you have to do?”
Zhong Yutang was patient. “I have been tasked to search Duke Lu Residence and capture the escapee, Sheng Chuling. Whoever dares to interfere will be considered going against the court!”
Madam Sheng sat back down on the Imperial Tutor’s chair. “I will momentarily not pursue the matter on what crime Chuling committed. I believe that the court has their own laws to punish those that committed a crime and ensure that the innocent is not wrongfully committed. If you want to search, you can go ahead.”
Zhong Yutang’s eyes lit up. “Thank you for your understanding.” He lifted his hand to signal the start of the search.
“But, you will have to wait for me to die before you can search!” Madam Sheng reached back and held the long sword in front of her. The sword reflected the midday sun and was blinding.
Zhong Yutang’s eyes hardened. “Madam, you are…”
Madam Sheng declared loudly, “Duke Lu has helped Great Tang fight wars for tens of years and all that is left is a body of scars and old injuries. My oldest daughter married Prince Han and was poisoned. In order to pledge his loyalty to the Emperor, my third son died during the rebellion in the Eastern Palace. My eldest son, Sheng Chumu, almost lost his life pacifying the rebellion. The Emperor then made him the general of the Hundred Army. However, he went missing for no reason last night! I have been waiting and waiting for any news of him. I did not receive any news of him and instead was informed that Princess Xinnan has died and my second son, Chuling, has turned into an escapee. Now, a bunch of impressive looking juniors are trying to force your way into my house! You want to search my residence? Sure. After all, I only have my old life left. If you can step over my body, you can go ahead and search!”
The group of old servants shouted, “Step over our dead bodies!”
Zhong Yutang’s embarrassment turned to anger. “The imperial guards are acting on the court’s orders. How can old things like you people stop us? Attack them!”
All of a sudden, an egg flew through the air and smashed into Zhong Yutang’s head. The split egg flowed down his face.
Zhong Yutang turned back to glare at the street. “Who threw that?”
The people on the street were all expressionless and no one answered. In the next moment, they all exploded and started to throw rotten eggs, spoiled vegetables and mud.
Zhong Yutang opened his mouth, wanting to vent but ended up with a mouthful of mud.
“Injuring loyal and honest people. You are despicable and vile!”
“Duke Lu Residence is made up of martyrs. Get lost, you scoundrel!”
“Get lost! Get lost! Get lost!”
The crowd was furious! Zhong Yutang looked a sorry figure as he could not even lift his head. He was afraid of triggering a mass revolt and could only retreat with his tail between his legs.
The crowd and the servants all cheered.
Madam Sheng silently breathed a sigh of relief. A small smile on her face. She looked at how enthusiastic all these old but good people were. All of a sudden, she noticed Fang Xuanling, dressed in commoner clothes, silently standing in the crowd. He wore a comforted expression and nodded a greeting to her. She nodded back slightly.Previous Chapter Next Chapter