Ling Zhang told Ling Zhaowen what had happened in Jia’s mansion in detail, and it was not until now did Ling Zhaowen come to know many details he hadn’t known before.
Meanwhile, Ling Zhaowen was observing his nephew carefully.
He thought his judgement was not wrong, and his nephew had indeed changed a lot.
It looked as if his nephew had grown into an adult overnight. The sentimental teenager who had behaved in a fit and proper way the other day turned into a young man who was agile, steady, and tactful at the same time, which made Ling Zhaowen not only feel gratified, but also sad.
What had happened in Jia’s mansion must have upset his nephew much, and the betrayal from his nephew’s friends was heartbreaking too, which made Ling Zhang who had always been kind and gentle change so much.
He felt sorry to his eldest brother for not taking good care of his nephew.
Different from others’ various conjecture, Ling Zhaowen didn’t hold any suspicion to his nephew, and instead he just felt sorry for Ling Zhang.
“I have no idea that Jia family has been bearing a grudge on me stealthily. If I was clear about it, I must have prevented you from getting too close to Jia Yuanling, and you might not have suffered so much!” Ling Zhaowen got quite angry.
“My uncle, it’s not your fault. Jia family has been good at acting. And it is also because I didn’t know people clearly, and couldn’t figure out the true colors of Jia Yuanling,” Ling Zhao said coldly.
If he had found out the true colors of Jia Yuanling and his clan in time in his previous life, then he couldn’t have been framed by Jia Yuanling, and he wouldn’t have got Ling family stuck in a passive situation, which had led to his family being suppressed all the time and couldn’t take a favorable turn.
“Now Jia Yuanling has been sentenced, and instead of saving Jia, Zhang Chong broke off the adoptive father-son relationship with him on the spot. Therefore, the connections between Zhang and Jia’s family are certainly not as close as before. But their ties have depended on Jia Zhong and the mine of the Jias, so I’m afraid even if Jia Yuanling has been exiled, he might be saved. My uncle, I want to do something.”
His heart missing a beat, Ling Zhaowen got slightly confused noticing kind of homicidal intent flash across the face of his nephew. “What do you want to do?”
Ling Zhang looked at Ling Zhaowen, “To kill him.”
Without a slight hesitation, his words sounded flat as if it was an ordinary thing to kill Jia Yuanling.
Ling Zhaowen’s conjecture came true. Having cast a glance at the outside of the study to make sure there were no servants around, he frowned and asked Ling Zhang, “How?”
Now it was Ling Zhang’s turn to feel surprised, and he asked Ling Zhaowen, “Uncle, won’t you be angry?”
Ling Zhaowen got silent for a while, and then said, “It is not too much to say that we and Jia family are mortal enemies now. What’s more, Zhang Chong is glaring like a tiger, and those followers of Zhang won’t mind dealing with us for their master. So it might be well to kill Jia Yuanling. At least, it could frighten those henchmen. But, how will you kill Jia Yuanling?”
Waking up from Ling Zhaowen’s words, Ling Zhang said with a cold face, “The places for Jia Yuanling’s exile are nothing more than the northern and the southern borders. Isn’t it easy to find a vicious killer on the frontier?”
Ling Zhaowen smiled, “Your plan is right, but you don’t have to wait until Jia Yuanling gets to the destination. It is the bailiffs of the prefecture yamen who escort Jia Yuanling to the frontier, so in order to avoid some subsequent troubles, Zhang Chong won’t save Jia midway, and he will wait until Jia Yuanling gets to the destination. We can do something halfway. Since many criminals die in exile, it won’t be too strange if Jia Yuanling dies midway, let alone he has got injured originally.”
Ling Zhang’s eyes shone, “But how to avoid the bailiffs?”
Ling Zhaowen smiled again, “Who said we would avoid them? Leave it to me and you won’t have to intervene in this matter.”
Hearing the words, Ling Zhang realized suddenly that being the right-sub-prefect, and having been working in the prefecture yamen for years, it would be easier than anyone else for his uncle to deal with those bailiffs.
“Then my uncle, you must be careful not to be noticed.”
Ling Zhaowen nodded, “Don’t worry! I know what to do.”
Of course, Ling Zhang trusted his uncle. With his eyes sweeping across the waist of his uncle unintentionally, Ling Zhang caught sight of a delicate jade pendant, and its familiar appearance aroused his memory immediately. Ling Zhang got uneasy by it.
“Uncle, is there any strange guy around you recently?”
Questioned by Ling Zhang suddenly, Ling Zhaowen got confused, “What’s wrong?”
Not knowing how to explain to his uncle, Ling Zhang thought for a moment before he said, “Now that their intention is to get your position, they might think of another stratagem since their current plan has failed. Considering the serious banditry situation in Tangyang and its surroundings, if they spread slanders that we have colluded with those bandits, we will put in a dangerous situation as well. Our servants, especially those personal ones should be sifted strictly.”
Ling Zhaowen felt slightly confused, because Ling Zhang had spoken with a firm tone as if Ling family would definitely be slandered to collude with those bandits.
“Zhang, why do you think they will definitely slander us to collude with the bandits? Have you found something else?”
Ling Zhang didn’t expect Ling Zhaowen would be so keen to realize something strange so quickly.
If he could, how he wished he could tell all things he knew to his uncle so that his uncle could take some precautions. But he didn’t know how to start it, and even if he did, would his uncle believe him?
“Just tell me! I won’t blame you no matter how you know it.” Seeing Ling Zhang’s vacillation, Ling Zhaowen thought Ling Zhang might have some difficulty speaking out for some unknown reasons.
“Uncle, I had a dream.” Breathing deeply, Ling Zhang decided to tell Ling Zhangwen all he knew in the form of a dream.
Ling Zhaowen looked at Ling Zhang, and suddenly noticed that the atmosphere around Ling Zhang got depressing and serious with grief on his face. Even the emotions in Ling Zhang’s eyes told Ling Zhaowen that his nephew got extremely uneasy in the heart as if he had borne too much sadness and grief, which made Ling Zhaowen’s heart ache.
Ling Zhaowen got serious as well, believing the dream must have been unusual.
“In my dream, I was framed for committing adultery with a concubine of Jia Yin, and was accused of a crime which was hard to shake off. Your promotion to the position of right-sub-prefect had been implicated and thus failed. Then my grandpa went to Jiang Zhou to authenticate scripts and paintings for others; however, the originally well-appraised works were exposed to be fake ones, and grandpa was driven out by others and his reputation was greatly affected. And then all members of Lu family were killed by those ferocious bandits overnight, their belongings ransacked. When the government investigated in the mansion of Lu, they found one of your jade pendants had been gripped tightly in the hand of Lu’s family head. Because of the jade pendant, we were accused of colluding with those evil bandits, and murdering the whole Lu family. But in fact, that jade pendant had disappeared long before that, and you had searched for it but got nothing. You didn’t pay much attention to it, thinking you might have left it somewhere carelessly…”
Ling Zhaowen’s face grew more and more solemn, and he got quite shocked after hearing the last part.
“Uncle, you also think I have changed a lot all of a sudden, don’t you?” Ling Zhang asked Ling Zhaowen.
Composing himself from shock, Ling Zhaowen asked, “Does it have anything to do with the dream?”
Ling Zhang nodded, “Uncle, do you believe it? I had this dream when I got drunk in the pavilion beside Jia Yuanling’s yard, before everything started. I just felt it so real that I couldn’t help but become alert in the heart. Therefore, I kept the medicinal jade left by my mom in the mouth to detoxify the effect of knockout drops. That’s why I could leave in time before those guys came over, and even had the time to set a trap for Jia Yuanling.”
“Uncle, I don’t think it was just a dream, and it is like something that was once alive.”
The more he said, the coldness and hostility on his body got even more obvious, and the cruelty and homicidal intent in his eyes couldn’t be concealed any more.
Even Ling Zhaowen realized his nephew’s change, which immediately pulled him back from shock. Ling Zhang’s state startled him so he hurried to hold Ling Zhang’s hand tightly, and shouted, “Zhang.”
The warm palm and calling of his uncle pulled Ling Zhang back from those terrible memories of the previous life. The coldness and hostility on his body melted slowly and the cruelty and homicidal intent in his eyes faded away gradually as well. “Uncle.”
Looking at him, Ling Zhaowen said seriously, “You have been put a spell.”
It was not a spell, but real memories. Breathing in slowly and deeply, and then exhaling, Ling Zhang suppressed his rolling emotions.
“Sorry, uncle. I didn’t control myself well.”
Shaking his head, Ling Zhaowen said, “My stupid boy! Don’t say sorry to me! You had such a terrible dream, and all those things you had dreamed became reality after you woke up. Anyone would have been suppressed by that situation, however you didn’t lose your head, but got an advantage over Jia Yuanling calmly. You did very well.”
Even Ling Zhaowen himself couldn’t keep his cool now.
He was sure his nephew wouldn’t make up a dream to cheat him. The dream was just so weird and real that it would be far-fetched if all these things were just coincidences. He didn’t dare to imagine what would happen if his nephew hadn’t had that dream, and hadn’t been alert to rid himself of the knockout drops.
Maybe everything would develop as his nephew had dreamed, and then Ling family would...
Ling Zhaowen couldn’t help trembling in the heart.
“Zhang, tell me what you have dreamed in detail once again. Don’t rush, and speak slowly! Now you are not framed, and our family is safe and sound as well. So just calm down.” Ling Zhaowen finally decided to analyze the dream of his nephew carefully.
Although it sounded absurd, Ling Zhaowen would rather make more preparations.
Ling Zhaowen thought of a secret hidden deep in his heart. He thought of his sister-in-law, Zhang’s mother, who had died long before. His nephew got the blood lineage of her clan, so maybe he was different from the ordinary people in nature.
Those dreams might be some warnings.
Ling Zhang got slightly surprised by his uncle’s desire to know more details of the dream, “Uncle, do you believe my dream?”
Ling Zhaowen nodded, “I believe it is a warning from heaven, or you wouldn’t have escaped from the misfortune.”
Ling Zhang was overjoyed and felt it so wonderful that his uncle chose to believe him.
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