The Plough – Chapter 51

Be careful, to take advantage at the expense of others won’t do, but instead you’ll be playing with fire and get burnt
The rumba was a passionate dance, Ling Shu had heard people say and he had also seen it when others danced it.

Now being in the position of dancing the rumba, he found that the rumba was actually a far more passionate dance than what he had envisaged.

Yue Dingtang had done his best to slow down the dance steps, but Ling Shu was still at a loss.

Someone who had previously learnt to dance, should have at least some foundations, but now he resembled more like a newbie with two left feet.

Ling Shu began to regret it a little.

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He felt like he was a marionette puppet, so when Yue Dingtang pulled the left string, he’d go left and when he raised the right string, he’d go right, he had no control whatsoever. He was also feeling a bit dizzy, perhaps because that bowl of bone broth soup had not completely digested, the tender flesh and the bone marrow upon that bone was still sitting in his stomach, swaying and bouncing around with each dance step, causing his inability to return to the real world at that moment, and could only rely on the foundations of the ballroom training that he had received before, making full use of this muscle memory.


Ling Shu couldn’t take it anymore and had to shout stop.

But Yue Dingtang ignored him.

As long as the music hadn’t stopped, there was no use in anyone asking to stop.

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A dance must have a start and an end, especially a dance like that rumba that is filled with emotion and creative concept, whether a person had fully invested themselves into the dance was incredibly important, and this affected the way that the person learned and interpreted the tempo of the dance.

It was obvious that it would be impossible for Ling Shu to fully grasp the dance in just a half hour crash course, he’d perhaps be able to hold himself for a few beats on the dancefloor and make Miss Zhen think that he had some understanding of the rumba and to not bring shame to himself for being completely ignorant.

However, Ling Shu still thought that there was something quite odd here.

He couldn’t resist any longer and raised his own suspicions——

“You want me to curry favour with Miss Zhen, but why does it feel like I’m currying favour with you right now?”
“Do you mind trying to curry favour with me?” Yue Dingtang’s facial expression did not change.

Ling Shu laughed and said: “If Yue Sir would increase my monthly salary, I’ll inevitably put all my efforts into it, to try my heart out, to make you feel as if you are bathing in the spring breeze, super comfortable.”

In order to match the ambiance of the dance, the lights in the living room had been turned off for the most part, purposefully leaving only a little side lamp, and the servants had retreated elsewhere. At first glance, the setting looked rather charming and romantic.

That is, if one overlooked what they were talking about.

Yue Dingtang: “You still haven’t told me, when you went to study abroad all those years, what exactly were you doing?”

Ling Shu: “Why, if one studies abroad then one must definitely know how to dance the rumba, Yue Sir, that’s a bit presumptuous don’t you think?”

Yue Dingtang: “Someone who went to study abroad in France for a few years and doesn’t know how to dance the rumba is quite normal. But to forget how to even say hello in French is highly unlikely. Last time at the US Consulate soiree, if I hadn’t helped you, how were you planning on dealing with the US Consul-General?”

Ling Shu said indifferently: “If I couldn’t deal with him, then I couldn’t have dealt with him, I would have simply uttered some nonsense, the US Consul-General doesn’t even know who I am, so why would he bother with an insignificant person like me?”

Yue Dingtang: “You weren’t like this before.”

Ling Shu replied lazily: “Yue Sir, your expectations of me are perhaps too high. Going abroad is something quite ordinary that you are making out to be quite special. After coming back to the country and finding work, just take a look at those sons of the high-ranking officials in Nanjing, the majority of them are exactly the same as me, what’s so strange about it? Plus my old dad is dead, however hard I work, I’ll never be able to climb to the top, so why not pass my days idly in peace. Isn’t it great now, I’ve bumped into you again, this esteemed person, I don’t even have to do night patrol anymore, my sister is super happy!”


Yue Dingtang declined to respond, he swept his thumb along the web of Ling Shu’s thumb and forefinger, and unexpectedly massaged the palm of his hand with ambiguous intentions, making Ling Shu huff in an exaggerated manner.

“Yue Sir, if you are teaching me to dance, then teach me to dance, why are you trying to put the moves on me? Is this the reason why you never had an assistant, it turns out that you scared them all away, so you could only put the moves on an old classmate?”

Yue Dingtang: “I’ve already said before that your gunmanship is really good, you have excellent aim, and don’t hesitate to pull the trigger. An ordinary policeman would not have the skills that you have. There are calluses on the web between your thumb and forefinger on both your left and right hand, that means that you’ve practised on both hands, but why do you only use your left hand now?”

He spoke in a very low voice, like an intimate whispering, accompanying the music, as if he was speaking words of love.

But in reality, the contents had absolutely no link to any words of love, and they could even be considered to be ice-cold.

Yue Dingtang continued to trace the form of Ling Shu’s right hand from the palm of his hand all the way up to the tender inner side of his wrist, but his hand was suddenly grabbed!
“Yue Sir, there is something that I’m very suspicious of.”


“You’re quite old now but you still haven’t gotten married, is there something unspeakable that you don’t want others to know? Don’t worry, I won’t look down on you, I also won’t spread it outside, anything you say tonight, I will keep to myself.”

Yue Dingtang paid no attention to him trying to change the subject, he just continued: “I asked someone to investigate and found out that the years that you left the country, in all of the schools in Paris, not one of them had a Chinese foreign exchange student called Ling Shu. So, I have a bold conjecture.”

He looked straight into Ling Shu’s eyes, Ling Shu also stared back at him with indifference, his gaze was clear, and perhaps even brought a hint of mockery in his eyes.

“You never went to France, you never went to study in France, so all those years, where were you, what were you doing, does the fact that you swapped your right hand for your left hand have something to do with this matter?”

Ling Shu suddenly laughed out loud.

“Yue Sir, you’ve been interested in this matter for a long time, continuously asking me about it. Are you interested in me or are you interested in this part of my history, will you not let it go and must keep chasing me for an answer?”

Yue Dingtang: “I’m very interested in your change in personality. Someone who was incredibly ambitious who has suddenly become completely idle – there must be something that happened that caused this change. I want to find the root of this problem, to help you to become the Ling Shu you were before.”

Ling Shu: “Then first of all, you’ll have to resurrect my old dad, if he’s alive, our family will have everything again.”

Yue Dingtang: “What I said before was wrong, you’re not only very ambitious but you’re also someone who has incredible resilience. The fall of the Ling family is not sufficient to cause these huge changes in your personality. Plus, your father died from natural causes, coming to the end of his life due to aging. You and your sister as the next generation were powerless, for the Ling family to fall into the position of no power was the most probable outcome. The odd things about you make me suspect that——”

He purposefully paused here to create suspense.

But Ling Shu did not react in the slightest, he even opened his eyes wider in anticipation of what surprising thing Yue Dingtang was going to come out with next.

Yue Dingtang was slightly disappointed, it wasn’t the reaction he wanted at all.

“What do you suspect?” Ling Shu asked with much interest, urging him to announce the answer.

Yue Dingtang: “I suspect that you have received some special training, been out on a mission and even suffered a heavy injury.”

Ling Shu laughed heartily: “Why don’t you just go ahead and suspect me of working for the Japanese? To be honest, the Zhen family are very close to President Wang, and President Wang is very close to the Japanese. Right now, I am missing a stepping stone to worm my way in with President Wang, otherwise why would I have to go and curry favour with Miss Zhen.”

The first part was utter nonsense, the latter part seemed to contain some information of interest, Yue Dingtang couldn’t help but frown.

“What do you want with President Wang?”

“When I did go to study abroad, but I didn’t go to France, I went to the United States. Haven’t you noticed that my English is quite good? The person who took me there duped me, said that the US was like a goldmine everywhere. At that time, our family situation had already become dire. I also knew that, my sister scraped and begged to get together the money for my tuition fee. I didn’t want to resign myself to working part-time to support myself whilst studying, and after coming back I might even get a job, so at the last minute, I added some money to my boat fare and changed my trip to follow that person to the US.”

“And then?”

“Naturally, I had been duped, not only was the US not a goldmine, but as long as you were Chinese with an asian face and black hair, you’d be discriminated against, the Chinese Exclusion Act made things even more difficult. I spent a few months working in Chinatown, and then found the opportunity to come back to the country, but I didn’t dare to go home and face my sister, because I had pretty much squandered all of the money that she had given me for my tuition, so I went to Yunnan, Sichuan and some other places and lived over there, I became a bandit1马贼 mǎzéi – bandits that ride horses in groups, and even became a member of the Gelaohui. Aren’t you very interested in why my right hand is incapacitated? I got into a fight and was injured heavily, the tendons snapped in my right hand, so I can’t lift anything heavy, I can’t aim so I changed to my left hand.”
He said everything openly and candidly, making the truth become a lie, and the lie becoming the truth, even Yue Dingtang was having trouble telling the difference at this moment.

The two of them stared at each other, Ling Shu had answered him with the slightest hint of hesitation.

Yue Dingtang asked: “Then after that how did you get back here?”

Ling Shu wasn’t the least bit flustered: “I regretted my actions and wanted to repent, one day I suddenly came to my senses, and thought about my sister who was waiting for me at home. If I lost my life because I had squandered it, then it didn’t really matter. But if my sister found out that I never went to study abroad and instead got mixed up with the Gelaohui, and ended up achieving nothing, she might have died from anguish.”

Yue Dingtang: “The Gelaohui and the horse bandits are not particularly strict organisations in theory, but one must lick the blood off the knife2刀口舔血 dāo kǒu tiǎn xuè – fig. Something cruel and dangerous, why would they let you just leave because you wanted to?”

Ling Shu laughed: “Of course they didn’t, when I became a member I left myself a way out, I used a fake identity, and pretended to only have one eye, I wore an eye patch all year round, and I also disguised myself a bit, using the experience I had gained from travelling all around, I mean I’ve even been to America and I’ve beaten up foreign devils, how could I not take on a couple of bandits? I faked my death to escape, they thought I died long ago and that the grass on my burial ground has already grown to three chi high!”

Yue Dingtang: “What does all this have to do with you and President Wang?”

Ling Shu: “Now the Great Powers3At this time – it would be countries like Great Britain, the United States, France, Prussia/Germany, and Japan. have settled all over China, even Shanghai has been divided in three, everyone is saying that the Nanjing government is leading the country but in reality it’s Great Britain, America, Japan and Russia who are pulling the strings. And within those, the Japanese are the most ambitious, they’re already occupying the fatty meat that is the three provinces of Northeast China4东三省 dōng sān shěng the three provinces of Northeast China, namely: Liaoning Province 辽宁省, Jilin Province 吉林省 and Heilongjiang Province 黑龙江省, since President Wang is close to the Japanese, if I can get in with President Wang, not only am I gaining a worthy contact, but who knows I could even get some benefits from the Japanese, so isn’t there a necessity to do so?”

His analysis of the state of affairs was logical and clear, but he spoke with a frivolous tone, as if he was a spectator of some comedic play, a matter of no concern to oneself, he was completely callous.

Could he really believe what he was saying?

Yue Dingtang continued to question it in his mind.

From his own experience, of course there was no way of being certain.

If what Ling Shu was saying was true, his experience was quite abundant, and naturally this also explained his expertise in gunmanship.

If someone went through so much, naturally they would mature, their lofty ambitions would be obliterated, becoming wholeheartedly just wanting to live a peaceful life, be gluttonous, goof off and be lazy, pulling pranks, this could make sense.

The song ended but neither of them moved.

Yue Dingtang didn’t let go, and instead got up even closer and said slowly pausing after each word.

“Be careful, to take advantage at the expense of others won’t do, but instead you’ll be playing with fire and get burnt.”

Ling Shu smiled mischievously: “Don’t I have Yue Sir to cover me? Even if something happens, I can just come find you. Don’t worry, aside from Shen Shiqi, have you seen me offend anyone else? I am usually loved by everyone I meet.”

Yue Dingtang snorted, and then suddenly softly pushed him away, and then poked Ling Shu with his finger.

“The Zhen family event will have dragons mixed in with the fish5鱼龙混杂 yúlóng hùnzá fig. crooks mixed in with the honest folk, there will be plenty of people like Shen Shiqi, and some who will be even harder to deal with. You’d better behave yourself.”

Ling Shu saluted him in a fake and exaggerated manner.

“Yes Sir!”
Translator Note:

Do you think he’s lying or telling the truth? Hehe.

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3 thoughts on “The Plough – Chapter 51”

  1. I don’t think it’s the truth, opening up about a painful memory would make him react differently unless he is completely dead inside. Anyway these two chapters have been so ~intense 🤭
    Thank you for the chapter!

  2. 🌸🌸🌸 Thank you for the update.🌸🌸🌸 I can’t help but think what LS told YD was full of nothing. Smh. 🤔 💭


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