“Second Master, bad news! Young Master met some trouble at Jia family!”
In the Prefecture Yamen, the servant of Ling family ran straight towards the Tongzhi Office to find the second master of Ling family, Ling Zhaowen, who was on duty at that time.
T/N note: Tongzhi, a fifth ranked official, is a deputy of Zhifu, the highest magistrate of a prefecture.
Ling Zhaowen said with a disapproving frown, “Why did you come here shouting so loud along the way? That’s so rude.”
Quickly swallowing, the servant hurried to report the matter after regaining his breath, “Second Master, young master is in trouble. Lord Tao’s attendant, Wang Ke, who took the token of Lord Tao back, urgently dispatched ten yamen runners to Jia family. Seeing me, he told me to inform you that young master got trouble at Jia family. Jia Yuanling of Jia family tried to frame young master for committing adultery with Jia Yin’s new concubine.”
Ling Zhaowen’s face changed greatly, and he suddenly stood up that made the chair bang heavily on the ground with a loud noise. “What did you say?”
The servant quickly breathed again, and continued, “...But it was penetrated by other people. Now young master has sued Jia Yuanling to court. And Lord Tao arranged yamen runners to Jia family to arrest Jia Yuanling!”
Ling Zhaowen breathed with ease, and because of enormous mood swings, his back was full of cold sweat. “Now hurry up! Let’s go to Jia family!”
Rushing to Jia family with the servant, Ling Zhaowen met a bunch of people halfway with Tao Feng and Ling Zhang in the lead.
The coldness and fierceness on Ling Zhang’s face was quickly replaced by surprise, and his eyes brightened up upon seeing Ling Zhaowen. “Uncle!”
Even though he had turned the situation of the previous life around and successfully captured Jia Yuanling and the other conspirators, the joy could not be compared with meeting his uncle at this moment.
It was his uncle who was still alive, safe and sound.
Ling Zhang’s heart grew heavy, and his throat felt tight as if being blocked by something. And his eyes quickly reddened. Looking at Ling Zhaowen with those innocent eyes, it seemed that Ling Zhang would burst into cry when he said a word.
With a quick glance, Ling Zhaowen saw his nephew who wore a look of being severely wronged, and that made he so distressed. Walking towards Ling Zhang quickly, Ling Zhaowen raised his hands and pressed them on Ling Zhang’s shoulder steadily before calming his nephew with a soothing wink. When he turned his head, Ling Zhaowen changed into an angry face to look at Tao Feng, “Lord Tao, what happened?”
“Zhaowen, Ling Zhang was wronged in this case, and I will do him justice.” Tao Feng said.
“My nephew is the most self-disciplined and well-behaved. How dare the Jia family frame my nephew? What a beastly bully!” Ling Zhaowen fumed.
Tao Feng appeased him, “All of us saw everything clearly. You can rest assured that Jia Yuanling and other people who actually committed adultery with Jia Yin’s concubine, have been caught up. And this magistrate will not let Ling Zhang be treated unfairly.”
Ling Zhaowen was shocked, what? He only thought that Jia Yuanling just framed Ling Zhang, but he did not expect that Jia Yuanling had done such an outrageous thing!
Ling Zhang raised his hand and tugged at Ling Zhaowen’s sleeve. He pulled it gently, and said with a hoarse voice, “Uncle.”
Although Ling Zhang had fought hard to keep his cool, his voice was still somewhat hoarse.
“Let’s not block the road of Lord Tao. It’s urgent for him to go back to the Prefecture Yamen.”
Looking at his nephew’s eyes, Ling Zhaowen realized something all of a sudden, and he immediately made the way for Tao Feng. “Lord Tao, please.”
Nodding his head and looking at Ling Zhang cryptically with appreciation in eyes, Tao Feng led the crowd to the Prefecture Yamen.
Walking side by side with Ling Zhang, Ling Zhaowen whispered, “What was all that about? Tell me about it.”
Telling Ling Zhaowen everything that had happened in Jia family, Ling Zhang later said to Ling Zhaowen, “Uncle, please invite Tongpan to Yamen as soon as possible.”
T/N: Tongpan, a sixth ranked official assisting Zhifu.
Ling Zhaowen had already known the whole matter. After listening to Ling Zhang’s words, he frowned as he weighed his words, “Zhang’er, you should know that Tongzhi has already been bribed by Zhang Chong. Even if he came, there is no way that he would help with the case.”
Maybe he didn’t want to upset Ling Zhang, Ling Zhaowen said in a tone of hesitation and embarrassment.
“Uncle, I know that. I don’t expect him to uphold justice, but...” Ling Zhang then leaned closer to whisper by Ling Zhaowen’s ear, “What if Zhang Chong wants to revolt? Tongpan will leave office and return to the capital a month later. After he learns of the case at this subtle time, do you think that the alignment of interest between him and Zhang Chong can still be so stable? Tongpan will have some suspicions and concerns, so is the case with Zhang Chong.”
“Revolt?” Ling Zhaowen was shocked.
Ling Zhang held his uncle’s hands tightly to calm him down, “Uncle, Zhang Chong would certainly not revolt.”
“We only guide in words.” Ling Zhang fixed his eyes upon him, “Then we have to face the big difficulty that Zhang Chong will definitely come here to save Jia Yuanling. We must make Zhang Chong have scruples so that we can hold him back. Otherwise, everything I did today is in vain.”
Ling Zhaowen was not stupid, of course he soon understood, “Would it work?”
“We’ve got the advantage in this case. All people who were present at that time are all my witnesses, and I have already made a foreshadowing.” Ling Zhang told Ling Zhaowen what he said to Fang shi at the time.
Ling Zhaowen was shocked because he didn’t expect Ling Zhang to say those words. Looking at the sharp light shining in Ling Zhang’s eyes, Ling Zhaowen could not help but change his view towards his nephew.
“Uncle, we don’t have much time, you have to hurry up.” Ling Zhang told him.
Ling Zhaowen rushed over here to shelter his nephew at first, but he didn’t expect that his nephew had already arranged everything. And unexpectedly, he was actually convinced.
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