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Qinglian Chronicles Chapter 16

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When the time had come to go to bed, Yao Jinzi and I are both wearing blank expressions. I can't tell who's more uneasy. I'm secretly thinking that it's probably me, though, because the other had been long used to this.

I had already asked the maids to lay two beds out to tactfully express that I didn't want him to “service” me. I'm not sure if he understands? He's bright, though, so it should be crystal-clear, right?

The main reason why I'm having him sleep with me – excluding things that I'm subconsciously unwilling to a.n.a.lyze about myself – is the consideration that the at-present Zhang Qinglian has no martial arts, thus has no capability for self-defense. People had snuck into my bed while I was unawares these past two days, so I've suddenly started to worry about the issue of a.s.sa.s.sins.

I don't think there's only one or two people who want Zhang Qinglian dead. If I'm not careful, I'm afraid that after I lay down to sleep I won't be getting back up, and I've also been getting a really bad feeling recently. Speaking of a woman's intuition, mine is still going strong. In the time before, there had been a big boss who was taking great pains for an acquisition, and I had an ominous feeling about it. I used every reason in the book to oppose it in the subsequent meeting. They all thought that I was emotionally unstable and/or on my period, but I actually managed to persuade them as I'm rarely so persistent. Afterwards, it came to light that the company really did have an extremely convoluted issue with its property rights. Instead of acquiring it and feeling like we're getting a very cheap investment, we narrowly avoided getting dragged down with it. This event was extraordinarily effective in consolidating my official status as a threat to our opponents, so I remember it with great clarity.

Seeing that he wasn't moving, I decided to take the initiative to undress. “Jinzi, I'll sleep first. I'll take the inner bed, you take the outer one.” I emphasized once again that I wasn't sleeping with him.

I'd certainly rather sleep naked, but now's not a good time for that – or him – so I decided to leave my underwear on. Hehe, I'm already feeling great about not having those inconvenient things up top anymore. I have no fear.

Speaking of a woman's chest, it's completely for the benefit of others with no practical use for oneself, yet it's still regarded as super important. How inconvenient. Even if you change into a sports bra to go running, it's no use, they bounce hard enough to hurt anyways. Furthermore, they had tiny solid lumps in them when they were beginning to develop, and touching those caused enough pain to to bring me to the brink of death, though I couldn't say so for the sake of saving face. Oy vey, their very existence is clear evidence of Heaven's discrimination against women.

I loosened my belt, disrobed, then suddenly felt a little bashful. To be blunt, I'm not a pure little teenage virgin and it's not the first time I've stripped down in front of a man, yet I'm actually feeling shy. I entirely don't understand myself. What's more, what happened when I met him for the first time… ack, don't think about that, the more I think the redder I'll get.

I slipped out of my inner robes, then raised my head to find him staring at me attentively. Seeing me see him, he stiffly turned away, his face seeming like it was a little flushed. I don't know why, but that immediately puts me into a very good mood, and I'm not even a little nervous. On the contrary, I lean closer to him, beaming. He shoots a glance at my bare shoulders and his expression loosens, eyes gloomy, seeming both angry and ashamed.

Haha, still just a tiny babe in the end.

In regards to my current body, its biggest advantage is that it's truly quite beautiful. Both men and women would have a hard time resisting its s.e.x appeal.

However, if you play with fire, you'll get burned, so I won't go too far with it.

I slipped into my own bed, leisurely enjoying the show of my gorgeous youth graceful un-clothing. He glares at me before turning to undress. Goodness, seeing that beautiful bare body again is truly a treat to my eyes! That exquisitely l.u.s.trous skin is only available to someone of his age. His back, chest, and abdominal muscles are p.r.o.nounced but not excessive, that chest hair that Westerners hate is absent, his upper body and legs are 100% in line with the golden ratio, and he naturally has a delicate, curvy waist… how did I never notice that I liked them young before?

[T/N: -_-…Listen, lady, I know the age of consent is only 14 in your country so this is all fine and dandy for you, but can you please it keep it to yourself so I don't have to translate it? Thanks very much.]

He went to the bed at the side of my own.

I feel very warm and safe. I pillow my head on my arm and say, “Jinzi, come chat with me.”

He didn't look at me, eyes fixed to the top of the bed. “What do you want to talk about, Sir?”

I think about it. “Wouldn't it be good to talk about your mindset?"

He doesn't make a peep.

“Do you want to kill me right now?”

He's quiet for a long time, then only says, “I can still wait three years.”

"Do you hate me?"

He doesn't respond, probably because the answer to my question is too obvious. I sigh. I'm a bit distracted with looking at the beautiful shadows his long lashes are casting on his cheekbones.

He bites his lip.

I sigh again, resolving to turn around and go to sleep. He unexpectedly spoke up with a hateful tone, “If you want to, just say it. What are you playing around for?”

I'm stunned.

He suddenly grabbed me extremely roughly, then viciously bit my lips.

I forgot to close my eyes for a moment, looking at him in astonishment.

I've never experienced such a boorish kiss before. I dazedly allow him to attack my mouth until the smell of blood crept into the pain.

This d.a.m.ned jacka.s.s bit through my lip! How am I supposed to go to court tomorrow?

I used all of my strength to push him away, and he didn't persist.

Looking at the still slightly out of breath Yao Jinzi, I know that I'm angry, even though I'm not sure why, or at whom.

“Go to bed,” I say icily. I turn my back to him and lie down.

I declared a cold war with him. Even if we went places together, ate together, and slept together, I won't speak to him.

And, within these past few days, something very shocking was taking place.

The story goes like so; three months ago, the maternal uncle of the ruler of Liuyang's son-in-law and the only son of Shaanxi Minister Cui Yu, had violently raped a young woman, who happened to be the daughter of the powerful local land-owning Yuwen family, after she had dressed up as a man to sneak out and play. The Yuwen family's master-of-the-house dropped by to confront him, but he failed to come out and introduce himself. Young Master Cui was only good at being a bully of the commonfolk; Evil Slave [1] would have had a field day soundly beating him to death. The public was shocked for a time, the case caused an uproar and made its way to the capital, where it was handed over to the office of justice.

This affair is estimated to give Zhang Qinglian a big headache, because that son-in-law is one of his few supporters in the royal family, and Cui Yu is Gao Yushu's best friend; he went to great lengths to promote him to the governor of a border country, so he'd naturally want to keep him there. However, the Yuwens are also quite strong and have intermarried with Shao Qing's family, so they can't be offended either. What happened since then, I have no idea, but that young master of the Cui family was eventually sentenced to death, and got beheaded in Cuis.h.i.+kou over a month ago.

The problem now is that this guy that should have been dead for a month isn't dead. Furthermore, he held solid evidence that he had purchased a “human duck” to die in his place.

“Human ducks” are generally low-cla.s.s slaves or civilians who, for one reason or another – if they're already dying of an incurable illness and want to help their surviving family, for example – sell themselves to members of powerful families who've committed grave crimes to die in their place. Of course, there's also plenty of healthy men whose reasons are even more tragic.

The buying price of a “human duck” is naturally not low. The people in the Ministry of Justice also have to be bribed, as do those supervising the execution, as does the coroner, and so on; if your family isn't rich then you can't afford it.

This sort of event naturally shocked all cla.s.ses of society. For such a dark and hopeless situation to happen under the jurisdiction of the magnificent Son of Heaven, faith in humanity has been destroyed! The Qingliu Party could also take the opportunity to attack our own faction; it's only a matter of course that they'd jump out with unbridled lambasting about righteous indignation and the upholding of justice. As for the Weiqi Party,[2] they aren't surmised to do the same, but they of course would want to kick someone while they're down.

I'm also shocked and indignant, but my current situation does not allow me to take a righteous standpoint on it, as there's people who wish to take advantage of my defects and want my life.

There was already difficulty between the Cui and Yuwen families, and now this “human duck” incident came about out of nowhere. First of all, the Cui family didn't confirm it, then immediately linked it to the Minister of Justice, Gao Yushu. Although this “G.o.dson” of mine is kinda trash, I'm backed into a corner with no ideal outcome in the end. As a result, I can't show my hand and sacrifice my pieces for the greater good just yet.

Sweat can already be seen on Gao Yushu's forehead. I snuck a peek at him. He was sneaking one right back at me. I sent him a meaningful look, bowed my head, and mouthed the words “make an excuse”, regardless of whether he could see that or not.

This old boy is really proficient. He coughs a bit, then speaks in a vigorously upright tone, “In the name of the sanct.i.ty of the court and the world, such an unconsciencable thing happening will not not be tolerated! An official will be sent to the Ministry of Justice and ordered to investigate this matter thoroughly. If it's confirmed to be true and those officials' governance is lax, please demote and penalize accordingly.”

The man's already set up an escape route. If it's true, then it's merely a crime upon the heads of people below him. For “lax governance”, the penalty is nothing more than a demotion one or two levels down.

The people in the opposing group jumped up to ridicule him as expected, but given that there was no evidence otherwise, there wasn't much weight to their words.

The Ministry of Justice and the Judicial Office finally resolved to jointly investigate the case. The Office's official is a member of the Qingliu Party.

My heart's inevitably very heavy when I get back to the carriage. In one respect, I considered whether or not if I might as well give up Gao Yushu for the sake of justice, but Qingliu and Weiqi wouldn't let it go just like that. I'm up here with Gao Yushu, so they must want to pull me down from the top as well. Even if I managed to escape, the hearts of the higher-ups would inevitably grow cold. Moreover, Liuyang's son-in-law is the husband of its eldest Princess, and Liuyang's Eldest Princess is the only younger sister of the previous emperor. She holds significant power in the royal family, and I can't offend her.

Now what am I going to do?

Yao Jinzi saw that I was in distress and gave me a look that could just barely be considered concerned. I say with a little aggrievedness, “Hey, Jinzi, my life is yours after three years anyways, so I won't keep any secrets from you; if you seem like you can't wait three years and want to sell me out right now, be my guest." I recited the series of events, then ranted out my anger. “That Cui family punk is a real idiot! Why provoke the Yuwen family in the worst way? And that d.a.m.ned Gao Yushu, why in the h.e.l.l did he mess around with that “human duck”?”

Yao Jinzi was silent for a while, then looked at me and said, “The one behind the “human duck” plan is you yourself. The “duck” was a slave laborer under your providence outside the capital. You detained his younger sister, forcing him to agree to it.”

I'm wide-eyed and speechless, mouth agape.

“You don't remember,” he looks at me in astonishment, then smiles coldly. “You were in a dilemma, sandwiched between Liuyang's son-in-law and Shao Qing, so you thought up this “two birds with one stone” scheme.”

My mind is full of the rumbling hoofbeats of a herd of horses whizzing past, with only one conscious thought remaining: I'm in big trouble!

What if someone finds out that this stand-in “human duck” is one of my workers?!

Is Zhang Qinglian a G.o.dd.a.m.n moron? Don't look for one of those in your own property!

(press F to pay respects for the MC

…and also me, because that chapter was really wordy)

[1] The text mentions 恶奴, which is the t.i.tle of a web novel where the MC's reborn into the body of a slave, endures abuse, gets real mad about it, then goes on a revenge spree against corrupt officials or something like that. I sure hope that's what it's referring to, anyways, because otherwise I have no idea what it could mean.
[2] Weiqi (外戚) stands for the family of the emperor's mother (she's dead) and/or his wife (he's 7?!). I'm not sure why they wouldn't be on the emperor's side, but the higher cla.s.ses of ancient China seem to all be a.s.sholes for little reason anyways.

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About Qinglian Chronicles Chapter 16 novel

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