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Nightfall Chapter 358

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Chapter 358: Looking for Sangsang

Ning Que put a chopper on his waist, held the arrow box in his hands, and carried the big black umbrella on his back. He left the Old Brush Pen Shop and arrived in the street. He began his journey of looking for Sangsang.

He first came to Wu Laoer's fake antique shop next door. He pushed the door open and came in, asking directly, "Aunt Wu, have you seen Sangsang?"

The Old Brush Pen Shop was now a legendary shop on Lin 47th Street. Many things had happened there within just over a year. It made many people realize that the shop was not a simple place. Aunt Wu saw Ning Que's expression and naturally felt a bit frightened. She kept shaking her head as she said, "No, I haven't."

Ning Que did not hesitate at all. He turned around and left.

Later, he came to a casino in West City and directly found the gang leader of the Fish-dragon Gang, Mr. Qi.

"Have you seen Sangsang?"

Mr. Qi said with a slightly different expression, "I saw her when I sent a note there a few days ago. But I haven't seen her recently. What happened to her this time?"

Ning Que slightly frowned and asked, "What happened to her before?"

Mr. Qi said, "Before you came back, the Chang'an Local Government took her back for an interrogation. No one knew what case she was involved in. The Military Ministry took her away, so I could not stop it. But, you didn't need to worry about her, for Sangsang came out without being bullied the same day. Maybe the Academy meddled in it?"

Ning Que did not know about this matter. After a short moment of silence, he thought that it was more important to find her first. So, he looked at Mr. Qi and said seriously, "Have your men help look for her in Chang'an. I'll owe you a favor."

Mr. Qi said, "I promise you that I can find her as long as she is still in Chang'an City."

Ning Que felt a little relaxed in his heart. He thought that, as the biggest gang in Chang'an, the Fish-dragon Gang had an official background and countless men spread out in all the streets and allies. No matter where Sangsang was hiding, they could surely find her. But, then he thought that it had been a long time since she had left so in the early morning. What if Sangsang had left Chang'an City?

So he went to the palace immediately.

"Close the gate of Chang'an City? Ning Que, are you crazy? Even the prime minister does not dare to do this kind of thing. Even if you kill me, I still can't do it because I don't have that authority and I don't want to make His Majesty think that I am a rebel!"

The Deputy Commander of the bodyguards, Xu Chongshan, looked at Ning Que, who had his head lowered in front of him, and was thinking of continuing to scold him further. But he was stunned by the grimness that Ning Que had revealed. He quickly comforted Ning Que. "Rest a.s.sured. Now I'll write a letter asking the Chang'an Local Government to find her for you. Okay?"

Ning Que looked up at him and said, "It's not enough just to ask the Chang'an Local Government. Can you help me issue an arrest warrant?"

Xu Chongshan gave a gasp of surprise. He could tell that Ning Que was about to be mad today. So he did not dare to directly refuse Ning Que, but explained in a whisper, "Your little handmaiden has not committed a crime. How could the Criminal Ministry issue an arrest warrant?"

Ning Que took a small portrait from his arms and put it on the Xu Chongshan's chest, saying, "I am reporting a crime that Sangsang stole more than 10,000 taels of silver from me. Would that make the Criminal Ministry issue an arrest warrant?"

Xu Chongshan took the portrait and looked at it. He thought that Ning Que's painting skills were not nearly as good as his writing. He was about to say something further, only to find that Ning Que had already left the Imperial City by the time that he looked up. He could not help sighing.

Xu Chongshan looked at the grim back of Ning Que and sighed as he kept shaking his head. He thought that if anyone carelessly ran into a nearly mad person like Ning Que today in Chang'an, they would be likely be killed. Suddenly, he thought of a certain rumor in the Imperial Court and hurriedly chased after Ning Que. However, Ning Que had gone too fast and had disappeared without a trace.

With the help of the imperial court and the Fish-dragon Gang, Ning Que prevented Sangsang from leaving Chang'an. He continued the search in Chang'an City, including the morning market in the south of the city, the Chenjinji Cosmetics Store famous for its cosmetics, the Building of Pines and Cranes, as well as the House of Red Sleeves. But, he still could not find Sangsang. Everyone who had seen him was stunned by the grim intention coming from his body, as if he was about to uncover the entire city of Chang'an.

In the end, he went to the Princess' Mansion and heard the answer that he had wanted from Lee Yu. However, this answer completely exceeded his expectation, making him suddenly feel lost.

Ning Que looked at Lee Yu and asked, "Why didn't I know about this?"

Lee Yu looked at him and said mockingly, "Maybe you were busy hanging out with the Calligraphy Addict in Chang'an City recently. How could you have time to care for your little handmaiden?"

Ning Que looked at her and asked seriously, "Your Highness, are you laughing at me?"

"No." Lee Yu looked at him and said coldly, "I'm mocking you."

Ning Que asked, "Why?"

Lee Yu answered, "Because Sangsang is my friend."

Ning Que said after a short moment of silence, "I see."

It was quiet today in the Imperial Library Grand Secretary's Mansion, especially in the study, where it was even more tense. This kind of atmosphere was all because of Ning Que, who was blankly standing in the study with a dangerous aura exuding from his body.

The Grand Secretary, Zeng Jing, had offered him a seat and the chamberlain had already served tea. But Ning Que did not sit down, for he had sat next to the table of the Old Brush Pen Shop for a long time. He did not drink tea, for he had felt bitterness in his mouth and had no mood for chatting.

Ning Que looked at the bed in the corner of the study and frowned slightly. "Did the Grand Secretary sleep in the study all year round? Did they have a bad relations.h.i.+p? Such a couple might not be suitable parents. And it was a bit strange. How could Sangsang's parents suddenly appear?"

Over the past years, he had never thought about what he would do after Sangsang found her biological parents. So, he was now in a strange mood and felt somewhat strangely nervous.

"First, I want to know whether Sangsang is in your mansion," he asked.

Zeng Jing nodded and said with a smile, "Since we've recognized each other, of course, she has to come back home to live."

Ning Que asked him directly, "You say that she is your daughter. Do you have any evidence?"

Zeng Jing said sincerely, "To tell you the truth, there is indeed no hard evidence. But a mother knows her own daughter. My wife remembers some of the characteristics of Sangsang. And the time that we lost our child matches with Sangsang's age. So, I don't think that we're mistaken."

Ning Que looked up and said, "Please forgive me, for I am not in any mood to verify your wife's evidence. I only want to do one thing in your mansion— to take Sangsang back."

Upon listening to these words, Zeng Jing slightly frowned and thought that, as the Grand Secretary, he could not tolerate it, though Ning Que's had an extraordinary ident.i.ty. So he said unhappily, "How can you break up my family? Since Sangsang is my daughter, how can she be your maidservant again?"

After a short moment of silence, Ning Que said, "We can discuss this matter later. But shouldn't you first let me see her? After all, she is still my handmaiden."

Zeng Jing frowned and said, "According to the law of the Tang Empire, only the Chang'an Local Government has the right to judge whether she is your handmaiden."

Ning Que looked at him and said, "You'd better not forget that I'm the head of the household. As long as I don't agree, no one can relocate her. And you'll lose the lawsuit in the Chang'an Local Government because you have no evidence."

Zeng Jing frowned even more. Before he had time to react, his wife, who had been waiting beside him with a forced smile, responded in advance. She angrily rushed to Ning Que and cursed, pointing at his nose. "You're such an unscrupulous master. You want my daughter to be your handmaiden? You wis.h.!.+ A lawsuit in the Chang'an Local Government? My husband is the Imperial Library Grand Secretary. He can just write a letter and the guy, Shangguan, would not dare to rule in your favor!"

Ning Que had been at a loss and felt terribly scared, for Sangsang's parents had suddenly appeared. At this time, he was cursed by the wife of the Grand Secretary and suddenly became furious. He looked at the woman in front of him and said in a low voice.

"You still don't know one fact. I'm the core disciple of the Headmaster of the Academy and a disciple of the Second Floor of the Academy. I've been in the Imperial Study and had tea in the Princess' Mansion. If you dare to write a letter to the Chang'an Local Government, I can let His Majesty send people to check whether your husband has committed corruption."

Upon listening to his threat, Zeng Jing became furious and hit the table as he stood up and walked to the side of his wife. He pointed at Ning Que's at Ning Que's nose and exclaimed, "How rude you are!"

Ning Que did not feel scared. He looked at them and said calmly, "What the Academy has taught me is how to use a fist. Grand Secretary, you should understand that I will directly burn your mansion and hide in the back of the mountain of the Academy if you force me again. There will be no place where you can look for justice."

At this time, a noise came from the bamboo curtains of the study and a thin person came out.

"You don't need to be afraid of him. The princess will definitely listen to me and he simply does not have the means if I want to come back here to live. As for the Academy, Second Brother promised me that he will not let Ning Que bully me. If he dares burn this mansion down, Second Brother will certainly burn him."

Sangsang walked over to Mrs. Zeng and looked at Ning Que. She said those words with no expression.

Ning Que looked at her slightly dark face and became startled. He smiled with a complicated emotion, as if he had jumped off of a cliff and finally caught onto a pine tree. He nearly fell down because his legs had suddenly became powerless.

From the early morning up to this moment, from the Old Brush Pen Shop to the Grand Secretary's Mansion, he had gone to many places today. He felt exhausted to the extreme from his spirit to his physical body. Now, he finally saw her. That kind of tension and fatigue changed into a feeling of exhaustion.

The moment that he saw her, he felt relaxed.

Because he would not let her leave again.

At this time, Ning Que finally relaxed and recalled the fear in his heart from the entire day. He thought of the terrible feeling and could not help feeling a sense of flame-like anger mixed with a totally unexplainable sorrow. Finally, this mixed feeling became his innumerable words.

"Good for you! Do you think you can get rid of me after finding your own parents? Second Brother? How could you have any support in the Academy? I've already been cursed by Lee Yu in the Princess' Mansion. Do you still want me to be beaten by Second Brother after returning to the back of the mountain? Ah, you really deserve the t.i.tle of the Grand Secretary's daughter. You acted like a beauty lifting up the curtain. Unfortunately, you don't have fair skin and can't be a beauty, but only be a little ugly girl!"

His words were extremely harsh and unkind. Anybody who heard those would so annoyed as to quarrel with him. Mrs. Zeng had already covered her chest out of anger. However, there was no expression on Sangsang's little face. She just looked at Ning Que's eyes and said very calmly, "It's none of your business."


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