The Plough – Chapter 37

Three successive questions came from Yue Dingtang's soul
This punch could be counted as astonishing.

Since Shen Shiqi was a child, he had never even been bumped into, let alone been punched in such an unforgiving manner.

Almost all of his pride and self-esteem from a lifetime of bullying others and running rampant, had all smashed to the ground.

Hearing yelling from inside, two bodyguards rushed in and without saying a word, they both took a swing at Ling Shu, only to be quickly toppled to the ground by the latter.

These two men were called bodyguards, but in reality they were just gangsters from the Green Gang who knew how to throw a few punches and kicks. They followed Shen Shiqi to make a living, and usually on a normal day, they’d just be following him around in his private car, and would usually not encounter any danger.

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Today they underestimated their opponent.

Shen Shiqi’s howl became even louder and could be heard for almost a few dozen li1里 – li, ancient measure of length, approx. 500 m around.

Ling Shu’s wounds were also starting to hurt.

The cut to the abdomen was deep and it had not completely healed yet.

The wound seemed to have a tendency to open up again when he made too erratic movements.

But no matter what Ling Shu was still better off than the state that Shen Shiqi was in now.

He took a step closer towards Shen Shiqi.

He Youan thought Ling Shu was going to hit him again and quickly went to stop him. Her eyes gestured for him to leave immediately.

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But not only did Ling Shu not leave, but he squatted down and said to Shen Shiqi: “Shen Gongzi, if you keep on howling, tomorrow’s headline will be that Mr Shen broke the law and committed times to kick people around, but instead was subdued and became a laughing stock lying on the ground.”

Shen Shiqi did actually stop howling at this point.

He stared viciously at Ling Shu.

“You dare to appear before me again.”

Ling Shu: “I came to see the film. Just now Miss He was attacked and I acted bravely, if it wasn’t for me, what you see now would be Miss He’s corpse. Instead of thanking me, you even threw a punch at me, it doesn’t really make sense, does it?”

Shen Shiqi sneered, “Don’t think I don’t know that you’re a toad lusting after the flesh of a swan2癞蛤蟆想吃天鹅肉 – expression to mean a man who is going after a girl out of his league, punching above his weight etc. I’ll remember what has happened today. Stay in Shanghai if you dare. As long as you are in Shanghai, I will have ways to deal with you!”

Ling Shu laughed, “How would Shen gongzi like to deal with me?”

Shen Shiqi said with sorrow: “Your name is Ling Shu, right. I heard that the Ling family used to have some standing, but now you’ve lost everything. I heard that your brother-in-law is only a minor employee for local government right?”

Ling Shu’s face straightened and he said solemnly, “If Shen gongzi can really take care of my brother-in-law, I really have to thank you!”

Shen Shiqi:???

Ling Shu: “You have no idea, back then when my sister decided to marry my brother-in-law, I was very dissatisfied with this marriage. But luckily the two of them have no children yet, so if you make my brother-in-law lose his job, won’t I be able to persuade my sister to marry someone else? As you saw last time, the reason I was able to attend the Consulate soiree was because of Yue si-gongzi’s unforgettable old love for my sister, so if Yue-Si3Yue Fourth as he is the baby out of four kids in his family becomes my new brother-in-law, shouldn’t I thank you?”
Shen Shiqi was speechless for a moment, not knowing whether he was so angry he couldn’t speak or he had been rendered speechless from the rebuttal.

Ling Shu patted off the dirt from his body and then got up.

“Since Shen Shiqi has come to escort Miss He, then I will take my leave.”

He Youan was feeling extremely apologetic, “I’m really sorry, I’ll explain this matter to Shen gongzi, you can go, I won’t see you off.”

Ling Shu waved his hand without looking back.

After leaving the cinema, Ling Shu then leisurely headed back to the PSB.

Yue Dingtang was waiting for him in his office.

“Ling da-gongzi has finally decided to come in then?”

Yue Dingtang assumed the attitude of someone who had been eagerly awaiting their guest for a long time, he had a slight smile and a gentle disposition.

But to Ling Shu, this smile indicated to him that a storm was brewing inside.

Ling Shu lifted the paper bag in his hand and shook it.

“Have you had lunch yet, sir? I brought you meat baozi, some stuffed pork and cabbage, and some stuffed with bean paste. I remember that you loved bean paste when you were at school, so I bought two more, you won’t blame me, will you?”

Yue Dingtang smiled, “You’ve been missing all morning. So you went out to buy baozi?”

Ling Shu: “Naturally no, I was out doing research on yesterday’s feasibility report on the necessity to rectify public security around the periphery of teahouses in Shanghai. Because you looked kindly on me and gave me a month’s time, I was immensely touched so after returning home last night, I thought hard about it and stayed up all night – I finally had a flood of inspiration and finished the whole report.”

Yue Dingtang: “And then you decided to surprise me early this morning by submitting the report directly and even applied for funding?”

Ling Shu looked as if he was embarrassed: “I originally intended to surprise you, I didn’t expect you to find out.”

Yue Dingtang found that, after not seeing Ling Shu for a few years, this old classmate had become even more thick-skinned.

Even if he had to put a cowhide in front of him now and poked it with a needle, the cowhide would break but Ling Shu’s face wouldn’t even puncture.

Yue Dingtang said coldly, “You haven’t even shown me the project yet and you submitted it directly. Have you forgotten who your supervisor is?”

“Sir, in all honesty, I have to say a few words for myself on this one. When I arrived at the PSB early this morning, I happened to meet Deputy Mayor Chen passing by the entrance of the PSB. As you know, City Hall and the PSB are next to each other, so I naturally had to say hello and salute him. He was so easy-going that he asked me what I was up to. Since I’ve just arrived, I’m not used to it yet, so I reported everything back to him.”

Ling Shu painted him a pretty picture and sang him a song with an innocent face.

Yue Dingtang knew that Ling Shu was acting, but he wanted to see what else he was going to say, so that contradiction in his mind prevented him from interrupting Ling Shu immediately.

“As a result, he not only listened patiently, but also took the initiative to say that he could help us. I thought, ah, this is fighting for your face after all. I certainly can’t make you lose face, sir4mianzi – the ideas of honour, dignity, self-worth and prestige that a person feels when in social situations. Face can be lost, given or even fought for. Fighting for face: gaining more respect, self-worth Losing face: being the butt of a joke. Giving face: Being respectful towards someone else. So I summoned up the courage to apply for funding for the project, and Deputy Mayor Chen approved it right away. I’ve been out and about all day doing exhaustive research for the plan in order to carry it out as quickly as possible!”
Yue Dingtang looked at him and said, “So what did you find out from your investigation?”

Ling Shu: “The people who live in and around these teahouses, for the most part, are just ordinary citizens living a mediocre existence. Usually, seeing these kinds of families in difficulty will receive a small sum of financial aid to help them overcome their obstacles. However, these families are usually large with many mouths to feed for several generations. They have lived for several decades in the area, and know the people who are coming and going in the area like the back of their hand. So even if any crime happens in the area, they will be able to serve as our witnesses.”

Yue Dingtang didn’t say anything for a long time.

Ling Shu also ignored him and continued to speak.

“You see, nowadays, the government has to approve a lot of funding every year, and I don’t know how much of it can actually be put into practice. Since there is an opportunity now, it can bring you benefits and help others at the same time, why not do both?”

Yue Dingtang smiled, “I didn’t expect that Ling da-shaoye still had such a warm heart to help the people in need.”

Ling Shu bowed: “I’m undeserving of your praise, Sir. It was all just to aid you, Sir, to gain some extra funds. Although you don’t care about this small amount of money, you are now considered a member of the PSB, so you have to build up your prestige first so that people can’t look down on you. I, as your subordinate, don’t have many skills, I can only pour my heart and soul into helping you advance forward!”

Yue Dingtang did not say anything and looked at Ling Shu for half a long time.

Because he really didn’t know what to say.

He was also wholly unaware that his feelings at the moment were not so different from those of Shen Shiqi, who had just been punched to the ground not long ago.

“This matter, it ends here, and in future you must not take matters into your own hands again without my permission, especially in the case of contacting superiors above your rank.”

Yue Dingtang smiled.

“I know you don’t want to stay under me and want me to chuck you out, but the more you are like this, the less likely I am to let you go.”

“Ling Shu, think of how many favours you owe me since we reunited, not to mention anything else, even if you leave now, will da-jie let you off?”

Yue Dingtang’s words managed to silence Ling Shu.

The two men look at each other for a moment.

*Growl*

Ling Shu’s stomach was growling.

Yue Dingtang:……

Ling Shu looked innocent: “Sir, I haven’t eaten lunch yet, and the steamed buns are getting cold.”

Yue Dingtang felt like he was playing the lute to a cow5对牛弹琴 – idiom to mean that the other person is not actually listening, paying attention to the speaker. English equiv: falling on deaf ears, so he didn’t bother to talk to him anymore and turned around and left the office.

Perhaps Yue Dingtang had really gotten mad at him, as he didn’t come back all afternoon.

Ling Shu was unhurried, when it was time to finish work, he leisurely tidied up the office and then headed to someone else’s home for dinner.

When Yue Dingtang finished work at his University, it was completely pitch-black outside.
The coldest days of the year were especially hard to bear, even if he was wrapped up tightly, after only being outside for a short while, Yue Dingtang wanted to be back inside in the warmth as soon as possible. Especially on a day like this, it would be particularly nice to have a hotpot, putting in all sorts of meat and vegetables, dipping the thin-slices of meat into the pot to cook it and then dipping the meat in various sauces, what a glorious thing that would be.

Yue Dingtang was really hungry.

For him, the afternoon was a mere blip.

Although Ling Shu had taken matters into his own hands, Yue Dingtang had read that proposal and there was nothing wrong with it.

Admittedly Ling Shu had crossed the line when he had gone over his head and applied for funding directly before consulting him, but this old school friend was so determined to get himself fired that his small offense had become a minor and irrelevant issue to Yue Dingtang.

What’s more, these days, it is an unspoken fact that funds are misused and misappropriated, or embezzled, or even used to stuff one’s own pockets, and this had already become a tacitly understood fact.

One more is not more, one less is not less, frankly speaking, deep down in his heart, Yue Dingtang even had a hint of approval for Ling Shu applying for this funding.

But he could not indulge this kind of behaviour, if not as the days go by, wouldn’t his reputation be completely lost?

“Did you tell san-jie that I want to have hotpot tonight?”

As he entered, he did not forget to ask the old maid the question.

“Yes I did, san xiaojie has prepared a lot of food, there’s even enough for a guest.” The old servant said with a smile.

What guest?

Before the question in Yue Dingtang’s mind could be voiced, he saw his sister sitting in the dining room picking up a chopstick of beef and putting it in Ling Shu’s bowl.

They were chatting whilst she was putting food into his bowl.

“Eat more, before Dingtang comes back, he really loves beef, don’t let him eat all of it!”

Yue Dingtang:……

Am I not her real brother?

Was I swapped at birth back then?

Why does my sister treat Ling Shu better than me, her own brother?

The questions from the depths of his soul exploded completely in Yue Dingtang’s head.

His mood resembled a cat who had just returned home after a fight outside to find out his home had been completely taken over.

He was exhausted and disheveled, with even a slight hint of shocked jealousy.
Author Note:

Ling Shu: Where there’s a cause, there’s a consequence, and I am your retribution.

Yue Dingtang:……

Translator Note:

Hahahaha.. Ling Shu is such a potty mouth. Don’t know why that thing about Lao Yue x his sister made me laugh a lot.

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