Another group of people rushed into the east side room, and at the same time the lid of the trunk was opened a tiny crack, an elderly man’s furious bellow could be heard: “Who are you people?! Who allowed you to come into my home and stir up trouble? You have even killed my family’s accountant; simply mavericks, all of you! Xiao Wu, immediately go report this to the authorities.”
The one that was called Xiao Wu responded: “Yes, Master.”
The hand that was lifting the lid of the trunk let go, and darkness was restored inside.
Ruan Zhu breathed a sigh of relief and finally realized how heavy the man on top of her was. Her delicate body could not support him; her hips had all become numb, her lungs were becoming increasingly weaker and breathing was difficult.
She thought for a moment and then supported her hands against his chest. Wanting to remove the two large thighs pressing against her slender legs, she spread her legs outwards and then bent her knees. This position felt much better. Her joints slowly moved, the stagnated blood circulated again, and the numbness gradually faded away.
This sort of arrangement was very embarrassing as the man’s lower half was entirely sandwiched between her legs. But she didn’t care what it looked like as long as she was no longer being pressed to death.
However, Xuanyuan Min Zhi’s behavior was not quite suitable. His body temperature surged, and there was a stiff pillar rising from his crotch that solidly pressed against her secret place.
She was not a young maiden that was unfamiliar with the ways of the world and immediately understood what had happened. No matter how much each era’s views shifted and focused on men who paid attention to chastity, it was impossible to prevent their bodies from reacting involuntarily.
She remained motionless, as she knew that if she were to resist at this time, it would only make the other even more aroused.
The conversation outside continued.
The dignified-sounding man coldly snorted: “We are under orders from the Eldest Prince of the country of Nan Ling to come to the Central Plains to arrest our country’s fugitive. The so-called civilians do not fight together with the government and it is not easy for businessmen to earn money. If Sir does his best/shapes up/behaves, that would make things easier.”
“I was thinking which temple’s God this was, but it turns out to be the small country in the southwest. Even barbarians dare to be this arrogant.” The corner of the old man’s mouth twitched and a very disdainful voice spewed out: “There is no harm in this old man telling you now–Lu Yin Ge is owned by the Fifth Prince of Tian Chu. If you offend His Fifth Highness, none of you need to even think about staying alive.”
The dignified man slightly frowned and thought for a moment before lowering his voice in a profound manner: “We are doing this for you; there is an evil man hiding in your home. If he takes advantage of us leaving and commits another violent crime, it would not be good if anyone dies. The old man sitting in the taishi chair was precisely killed by the fugitive. If our criminal is able to commit such a heinous crime against one where no injustices or animosity were present, how could there possibly be mercy in the fugitive’s heart for you all?”
The old man curled his lip and continued with his jeers: “This old man does not need you to worry about this life; you should worry about your own. If you stay here a little longer, perhaps His Fifth Highness would bring some men over. Lu Yin Ge is very close to the imperial palace, and it’s possible to make a return trip on a horse in half a quarter of an hour. At that time, even if you want to leave, you would still have to ask His Fifth Highness whether he is willing to let you go.”
The dignified man turned towards one of his entourage to inquire: “Is it true that Lu Yin Ge is the property of His Fifth Highness Xuanyuan Zong Zhi?”
His attendant responded, embarrassed: “Replying to Sir, this small one does not remember. However, it seems to be his.”
“Useless thing, didn’t you say that you had asked around and was clear on the matters within the capital?!” The tips of the dignified man’s eyebrows flew upwards and raised a leg, aiming towards the other. His attendant did not dare to evade and was immediately kicked to the foot of the wall, unable to crawl up for quite a while.
“You all have broken into my house and destroyed my property; your courage is not small. If you must stay, then, on the contrary, it fits right into this old man’s original intention.” The old man coldly smiled, then shouted: “Someone come, fasten all of the front and rear doors for Master to come and deal with them.”
The dignified man lowered his eyes and contemplated for a moment before giving a laugh ha ha: “There is no need for Sir to be this angered. We have coincidentally become tired; men, follow this official in returning to have a nice nap.” He waved his hand toward his entourage and led the way in exiting the east side room.
That group of men followed behind him in leaving as well.
At last, the east side room became quiet.
Ruan Zhu relaxed. In her nineteen total years of life from her previous world added with this current world,[a] she had never gone through such a nerve-wracking time. But wait, that was excluding the time after she had finished her college entry exams and were waiting for the results.
However, there was another sort of tension that was creeping now into her body. Who knows when, but a pair of large hands were now twisted around her slender waist, one on each side. Ten slender fingers were tightly wrapped the waist that could not fill a palm, stroking her for a while before slowly moving upwards and grabbing her two plump breasts.
Ruan Zhu’s brows were tightly locked together and indignance grew from within her heart. She wanted to struggle but was also scared that they would then be discovered by those outside, and could only uncomfortably turn her head to the side, not willing to face the one who had placed her in such an embarrassing and awkward situation.
The old man looked at the dead Steward Wang and said towards his servant: “Later, go to the funeral home to buy back and coffin to place the body in, then find a carriage to pull it outside the city to bury him in a hole. Also, do not leave behind any of his things; just drag them all out to be buried with him!”
“Boss, us little ones understand.”
“Who else is in his family?”
“There is no one else. This small one has heard him prattling while drunk before. His parents have long passed away, and he has been married before, but because he drank and gambled, his wife drove him out of their house and also never gave birth to a child for him.”
“Just do it like that, then! Drag him out and bury him. Oh right, the doors and windows that those noisy men broke......” The old man disliked the heavy stench of blood in the room and also felt uncomfortable staring at a corpse, so moved to the courtyard while speaking, but still did not have the intention to completely leave.
This could be considered safe, right? This could be considered as separating herself from danger, right?
Later, when there was no one around, she’ll slip out of the east side room unknown by the gods, not felt by the ghosts.[b] Nuan Chun must be worried to death since she hasn’t returned in so long. Ever since her transmigration, the two bedwarmers had wholeheartedly taken care of her and this arrangement has never deviated for even one day.
She had understood their hearts’ desires since the very beginning but had never extended them any favor to not give them the slightest bit of hope.
She knew her doing this was heartless, but she was already reveling in the undying love pledged by three men, the warmth of three men, and the infatuation shown by three men. Yun Shi Yi’s pampering; Yun Shi Wei’s loyalty; Lu Piao Xiang’s wholehearted devotion–there already was not any space or thought left in her mind to show concern for other men.
Her two soft and full mounds were still being groped by the large hands of the man atop of her, who then stretched through her clothes and into her lapel, directly touching her skin. His two hands grabbed a red plum each and pinched......Ruan Zhu was originally full of resentment but she quickly ignited, like her body had been lit. Her entire frame quivered as if an electric current was running through it, ** stimulating all of the nerves in her brain.
She wanted to stop him, but her body was soft and weak, and she couldn’t muster up the smallest bit of strength.
The breathing of the man on top of her became more hurried. His moist and warm pants sprayed on her neck, creating circular spots of heat around her ear, lightly teasing her.
The tip of Xuanyuan Min Zhi’s tongue gently licked her earlobe. When he had licked enough, he moved over, seeking those delicate lips. Her mouth opened and he pasted himself over it; a sweet taste entering his lips......His brain immediately short-circuited, and he couldn’t help but to extend his tongue into her mouth. Touching that slippery and wet tongue, he promptly encircled it and sucked it into his own mouth, continuously sampling it......
His two hands were still fondling her two soft breasts; every knead bringing about an exquisite sensation. Numbness lingered within his body, endlessly arousing him. The object at his crotch swelled enormously and to the point where it was extremely difficult to bear......He wanted to seek comfort in her body and forcefully pressed himself between her legs; he could feel that behind her clothes, there was a small cave where he needed to enter.
He grinded right against her secret place–extremely hard–wishing he could penetrate through her clothes and send his fiery heat inside for some relief.
He continued to push his hips back and forth at her entrance.
Ruan Zhu ached deeply from his relentless stabs but had also become extremely aroused. If she wasn’t in this sort of place, she would have immediately accepted him. But she couldn’t......There was still a corpse outside and perhaps someone may still rush inside.
And......and there were also three husbands that would be disappointed; no, she couldn’t......she didn’t care anymore......she must resist......
Ruan Zhu started to struggle with her hands and feet, using all of her strength to push him away.
However, her attempts to throw him off only further aroused him. His kiss became fiercer, the strength in his hands increased, and the rod jabbing her underneath appeared as if it would tear through the thin material of her clothes.
Even in the darkness, Ruan Zhu could still make out that pair of threatening eyes, blazing with passion and arousal that wanted to burn her into ashes.
In the trunk, one man and woman were so tightly pressed together there was no gap between their bodies.
Just when the man and woman nearly lost their minds from their burning desire–right at that moment, a group of people entered the courtyard. Hearing movement, the flames in their bodies gradually extinguished......
The boss of the restaurant saw that this group of people were not the ones he had requested from the Fifth Prince, but were bailiffs from the yamen with swords hanging from their waists and insufferably arrogant attitudes and stances.
“Master, His Fifth Highness has left the city to train the army. This little one was unable to invite him thus went to Shun Tian Hall and invited these bailiff elder brothers.”
As soon as the old man heard this, he became angry. The magistrate of Shun Tian was long a follower of the Crown Prince. However, because the Emperor was fond of the Fifth Prince, he incited frequent clashes between the two princes in the dark.
Wasn’t Xiao Wu bringing over bailiffs from Shun Tian bringing misfortune upon them?
The bailiffs in Shun Tian Hall had mingled in the capital for a very long time now. What building, what garden’s interior–they knew it all like the back of their hand, and knew who the master hidden behind Lu Yin Ge was. Constable Shen was the trusted aide of the magistrate and also knew a bit regarding internal imperial affairs. All of these people had their own masters and wanted to give them some dignity and honor.
“Elder Jia!” Constable Shen barked out a laugh that was neither dark nor bright: “I heard Brother Waiter say there were thieves causing trouble in your Lu Yin Ge. Us brothers have come for a visit.”
Although the restaurant’s boss was a rather able person behind the scenes, these bailiffs could also be considered a sort of authority in the capital. Not having a face full of anger was of course the best: “Thanking bailiffs for your blessings, but the matter has already been resolved. Hearing that Xiao Wu had ran to report the case, they became scared and fled.”
“But your property has been damaged. Would you like us brothers to go capture the thieves and punish them?”
“Heh heh, many thanks, but they are only a few broken windows and doors, not worth much coin.” The boss’s words were accompanied by a smile and he beckoned to his attendant: “Xiao Wu, quickly invite these bailiffs for two drinks in the second floor.”
“Leader, there seems to be a dead body in the east side room. I see bloodstains and there’s a large puddle trickling on the ground.” A bailiff suddenly shouted.
“There’s even a dead person!” Constable Shen smiled insincerely: “For there to unexpectedly be someone committing such a vicious crime of murder in broad daylight, this must be looked at to understand everything clearly. Since we are being fed by the Emperor, we must not be fed in vain. Above, we cannot let down His Majesty; below, we also cannot let down the civilians. Say, Elder Jia, isn’t that correct?”
Elder Jia was gloomy with regret and frustration. Every day, robberies and violent crimes were committed and corpses were piled in carts before being pulled out of the city. How was it that he had never seen the enthusiastic before?
Who didn’t know the Crown Prince and the Fifth Prince were on opposing sides? Shun Tian Hall being the Crown Prince’s hawk talons was clearly to coerce personal retaliation. Elder Jia thought thus, but was unworried, for there was the Fifth Prince on his side and they would not dare to do too much.
Xuanyuan Min Zhi finally became well-behaved, and Ruan Zhu tried to straighten her messed up hair and clothes in the dark, not knowing what she currently looked like.
Constable Shen strode to the east side room and called for someone to take Steward Wang’s corpse to the yamen’s mortuary for the coroner to perform an autopsy. He then swept his eyes around the room once, walked inside the bedroom, and pointed at the trunk, instructing: “Someone come, open this up for me.”
Ruan Zhu knew that there was no way to avoid this, yet her heart was tranquil.
Xuanyuan Min Zhi was full of arrogance. Not waiting for someone to come lift up the lid, he pushed it open himself and jumped out.
“Who are you?”
The constable immediately went on guard and raised a blade defensively while the bailiffs accompanying him surrounded them in a circle, all of them pointing their weapons at the stranger.
“Leader, there’s still another one in the trunk. It looks to be a female.”
Ruan Zhu stood up from the chest, brushing her hair and reinserting her hairpins. The clothes on her body could still be considered proper, and because the material was good, the messy areas were quickly fixed after she smoothed them. Against expectations, she was not very scared. No matter how it was said, the husband that had remained in the capital was a fourth-rank generalissimo and was in charge of the capital’s most elite Fei Sheng army. Was it possible for him to not even have the ability to protect his wife?
Xuanyuan Min Zhi had left the capital for the country of Nan Ling in his childhood and did not know many people as he had not returned for long. He was not able to comfortably speak of his background. Perhaps that group of traitors that wanted to kill him did not go far; it was very possible for them to be waiting outside the restaurant door, just waiting to capture him.
He was still poisoned and could not use his qi to fight against these men. If by chance he made a move and qi was used, it would trigger the poison to spread even further, making the situation more dangerous.
“Who are you?” Constable Shen pointed at him with his blade.
“I am your grandfather.” He had made a decision in his mind. Since leaving the restaurant was not a good idea, why not let these idiots lead him away? No matter how reckless those traitors that were after him were, they would still not dare to go against the authorities of Tian Chu.
“It was you that killed that old man. Arrest him.” Constable Shen was angered and pointed at Ruan Zhu: “This female is surely his accomplice. Arrest them both.”
“I do not know him.” Ruan Zhu hurriedly tried to explain herself.
But Xuanyuan Min Zhi spoke sarcastically and lazily said: “You must not wrongly accuse people. She is innocent, and didn’t do anything at all. At most, she helped with the small matters of intoxicating the old man and helped me hold the blade so that the blood would fly out.”
This counted as ‘doing nothing at all’? This counted as ‘small matters’?
Ruan Zhu nearly died from anger.
As a result, both people were trussed up and led out of the east side room.
Elderly Sir Jia was still in the courtyard and glanced at their direction when his eyes suddenly widened at the sight of Ruan Zhu, his mouth falling open: “Wu......wu......”[FOOTNOTE HERE, C]
Ruan Zhu also recognized him. Wasn’t this no one else but Lu Piao Xiang’s father? When she had gotten married several months ago, the two Lu family elders had stayed in the Ruan clan as guests. Who would have thought that her own husband’s father was in charge of Lu Yin Ge?
“Elder Lu, I have let you see a mockery. Troubling you to please inform Lord Husband; tell him I have created trouble for him.” Ruan Zhu laughed and bowed towards him.
How could Elderly Sir Jia dare to accept her bow? He hastily cupped his hands and bowed in return, saying: “This one does not dare.”
Ruan Zhu thought in her mind: This elderly man has always been so polite; truly a benevolent man who has never hurt anyone else. It was a pity that his son was only a secondary husband and she could not in good grace call him ‘Father.’
Master Jia felt his torso and fished out a few silver banknotes from his lapel before offering them to the constable, a smile plastered on his face: “Brother Shen, this is two hundred taels of silver for you and your brothers to have some drinks. If it is not enough, I can go retrieve some more. Requesting Sir to please be magnanimous; this Madam is my family’s relative; asking Sir to take it easy on us.”
Having received silver banknotes, Constable Shen was all smiles. His life nowadays was not easy or good; the ones at home all took off the lid before the pot even had the chance to boil. If he still didn’t bring money back home, his wife would flip out. This was truly a good thing; it was the same as a person handing over a soft pillow just when one wanted to sleep. He heartily laughed: “Elder Jia can be at ease. When you send over those silver banknotes, I will certainly release the person. Someone come, take them back to the yamen.”
Thus, for the first time in her life, Ruan Zhu went to prison.
[a] I had to think about this bc 18 + 16 = 34 which is not 19, but she means 18 in past life as Qin Zhu + 1 year in this life as Ruan Zhu.
[b] 神不知鬼不觉, idiom meaning top secret; hush-hush
[c] He actually says “五.....五.....” here which means “five......five” but since that sound could mean a number (heh) of things in Chinese, I left it in pinyin.
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