The Plough – Chapter 6

Who knew you were still such good friends
Overnight, everyone at the police station’s attitude towards Ling Shu had completely turned on its head.

When he had first been brought in, the people hadn’t been so impolite.
Shen Renjie was a crafty fellow, even though he was a police officer, he still gave some leeway. Last night, he even brought him in some extra entertainment and supper from the outside. So as the saying goes, money makes the world go around, but it also has to depend on the other person.

But for Ling Shu after a night’s sleep everything changed.

Not only had the policeman interrogating him been changed, even Shen Renjie’s attitude to him was no longer as easy-going and accommodating.
The one that had escorted him out was exactly Shen Renjie.

“Lao Shen, us two brothers could be said to have an understanding, can’t you just tell me, where are going now?”

Shen Renjie put on a blank face and didn’t speak, he was completely different from the man who had his arm over his shoulder yesterday.

Ling Shu didn’t care, it was normal for people to be hot and cold, over the last few years he’d had plenty of experiences like this.

Plus Shen Renjie was a complete stranger, so he couldn’t have developed such a deep friendship with the other party overnight.

“Think about it, I really couldn’t have killed anyone, sooner or later I will be vindicated of this unjust treatment. We can still count as sort of colleagues, you know that my brother-in-law works at the Shanghai City Government right, but you don’t know that he is in charge of the housing and development, didn’t you say that your parents still live in their old house? Don’t you want to move them to a better one?”

Shen Renjie originally didn’t want to reply, but hearing what he just said, he couldn’t stop himself: “Your brother-in-law has been arrested, can he still help? How’s he going to help, help from prison? Now that you are completely helpless, you should just stop struggling.”

Ling Shu: “Lao Shen, it’s not like you don’t know what era we are living in now, to be corrupt and accept bribes, that’s a serious implication. My brother-in-law is an honest man, first of all, he couldn’t do something like that, and secondly even if he has been framed, he is so young but he is already Head of Department at the Shanghai City Government, there must be others above him who are willing to come to his aid? Think about it, once he gets out, he will definitely help me prove my innocence.”

Shen Renjie didn’t say a word, but he didn’t cut Ling Shu off.

Ling Shu knew that he was listening to him.

“Our Ling family, we also have a certain standing, although, it isn’t like it was before, but we still have some foundations. We just need to pull some money out to bail me out, turn a big problem into a smaller one, and a small problem into no problem at all and in a moment, I’ll be coming out the hero again. We are both living in Shanghai, we’ll still be bumping into each other all the time when the time comes that I am cleared. Making things convenient for others, means making it convenient for you, don’t you think?”

“This matter has been decided by my superiors, it’s not something that I can decide.” Shen Renjie finally softened up.

Ling Shu: “I know, I don’t blame you, but where are we going now, and what have the superiors got in store for me?”
Shen Renjie thought about it, sighed: “It’s said that you will be transferred to Central Station, I’m not clear on the specifics, so don’t bother trying to slip out of it, this is a very serious matter! If your family members come to see you, you should tell them to drum up some powerful connections and save your little life. Don’t put your head on the executioner block and not know how you died!”

He was not trying to intimidate Ling Shu. The latter was held on suspicious of murder. The person who had been killed was also not an ordinary person. She was one of Shanghai’s lady’s of note. She had a husband who was even more well-known. In a case like this, once the news hits the public, Ling Shu has basically no room for escape.

Although Shen Renjie didn’t think that he looked like a murderer, nowadays the country was in chaos, so there was no lack of sanctimonious criminals right?

“Hey, Lao-Shen, I have an idea.”

At this moment, the two of them had just reached the entrance, and a car had already stopped out there waiting for them.

Shen Renjie’s eyes widened in surprise when he heard what he had whispered in his ear.

“Are you crazy?!”

. . . . . .

After half an hour, Shen Renjie thought Ling Shu wasn’t the one that was crazy but he was.

The two of them stood in front of the entrance to Ling Shu’s home.

“You only have an hour.”

Shen Renjie said anxiously: “I can’t give you any more time than that if we’re not back after more than an hour, they’ll be suspicious!”

Ling Shu comforted him: “Don’t worry, come in with me, when the time comes you can immediately take me back, I absolutely won’t harm you, my sister loves me dearly, she’ll definitely put things in order for me and it won’t be missing your cut.”

If it wasn’t for this benefit, Shen Renjie would never have taken this risk to slink off in the middle, agreeing to take Ling Shu home to take a look. The other two escorts would also not have turned a blind eye.

Everyone was tacitly aware, but just pretended that Ling Shu needed to use the facilities.

Ling Shu knew that this would be dangerous.

But since he had been arrested for murder, the matter had been slipping downhill uncontrollably.

As if someone had put a net over him and wouldn’t let him leave.

The situation with his brother-in-law was even stranger.

This trip home, he couldn’t not go.

The person who opened the door was Hongyi1Hong is her name, Yi (姨) means Aunt “mother’s sister”. Here it is used to politely address women much older than the speaker.

After Ling Yao got married, she took his younger brother and Hongyi, the Ling family’s old housekeeper to live with her.

This old housekeeper had watched brother and sister grow up and could be considered like one of the family.

But standing before her now, Ling Shu felt that something was off.  

Hongyi’s expression was not different from usual.

It was because of this, that he felt like something was wrong.

If Ling Shu’s brother-in-law had been arrested on suspicion of corruption and Ling Shu himself had also been arrested for murder, the home should have been in chaos, but the old housekeeper acted exactly like she usually did, slowly opening the door, she was completely relaxed. She didn’t show one bit of anxiety.

Seeing him, the old housekeeper even looked pleasantly surprised.

“You’re back! I haven’t seen you for a day and a night, where have you been? You didn’t even let us know, da-xiaojie2Refers to the eldest daughter of a family – female counterpart of “shaoye has been very worried. You need to be a bit careful, there is a guest in the house so you shouldn’t provoke da-xiaojie in front of others!”

Hongyi was going on and on, Ling Shu was getting a headache, especially hearing the last thing she said and asked without thinking:“Who came?”

“Your old classmate, a gentleman surnamed Yue.”

An old classmate surnamed Yue, aside from Yue Dingtang, who else could it be?

Ling Shu’s mind was ringing alarm bells.

He suddenly realised, he might have fallen into a trap, he wanted to retreat but it was too late.

Xiao-di?”

Ling Yao came out, her expression changed from surprise to worry, furrowing her eyebrows.

“Why have you been all day, and last night you didn’t come home either!”

Ling Shu forced a laugh: “I bumped into an old friend, just catching up and forgot to send word back home. I’ve made you worry, jie, sorry!”

He moved his gaze behind Ling Yao and quickly changed the subject.

“Is there a guest?”

“It’s Dingtang, do you still remember him? When you were at school together, you were good friends, he even came over for dinner a few times. He only just came back after studying abroad, it’s been a few years, you must have a lot to chat about.”

Ling Yao smiled and led him to walk in, then suddenly sniffed and frowned.

“Why do you smell?”

Ling Shu: “Perhaps because I had a few drinks last night and slept over at a friend’s.”

Lingyao: “But how come I heard from Cheng Si you went to the Dancehall to see a dancer and even spent the night?”

Her gaze moved to Shen Renjie next to Ling Shu.

“Who is this?”

Ling Shu’s face didn’t change: “This is a friend I met from work, he works in the International Settlement, he’s the old friend I was on about, I was drinking with him all last night.”

Shen Renjie didn’t know if he should laugh or put on a serious face, so for a second, he actually looked quite awkward.

“Welcome, since you’re here you’re our guest, please come this way.” Ling Yao was unconvinced but fortunately, she didn’t wish to ask.

While they were talking, Ling Shu and Shen Renjie had already seen Yue Dingtang sitting on the sofa in the living room reading the newspaper.

The latter was wearing a clean and tidy, three piece suit, his hair wasn’t entirely combed back, he had used a bit of hair gel but not a lot, he still looked relaxed, his upper nose was supporting a pair of thin framed glasses. To Ling Shu he seemed like a despicable two-faced person.

Yue Dingtang heard noises, lifted his head and smiled at him.

“Ling Shu is back?”

This smile was like he was reuniting with an old friend, especially amiable and joyous. In the midst of the calm, there was a sense of a difficult stir of emotions.

But to Ling Shu, the other looked like a hunter wanting for his opportunity to shoot, who had chanced upon a stupid little rabbit.
That was Ling Shu himself.

Shen Renjie was flabbergasted; it was the first time he discovered that he didn’t have sufficient brain capacity.

To the point that he should have gone forward to salute Yue Dingtang and greet him but he was still standing there not able to move.

“Yue, Mr. Yue!”

Looking at Yue Dingtang he didn’t look like he’d come to the Ling residence to enquire about the crime, it was like two different people compared to how he was in the interrogation room.

Shen Renjie didn’t know how to behave.

“You came as well.” Yue Dingtang nodded quickly, his face was slightly mocking showing a trace of as expected, you’re guarding a tree-stump, waiting for rabbits3idiom which means to wait idly for opportunities.

Shen Renjie suddenly was hit with a bright idea: “I suddenly remembered I have an urgent matter to attend to, I must go now, I won’t disturb you guys catching up!”

Ling Yao, seeing that he wanted to leave, quickly tried to keep him: “Why not sit for a while?”

“No no!” Shen Renjie gave out a weak smile, turned towards Ling Shu to mouth: I’ll be waiting for you outside.

He hurriedly left after speaking and didn’t even exchange any more plaisanteries with the others. Ling Yao, not being able to stop him, could only say: “Xiao-di, quick go see your friend out!”

Ling Shu: “No need, he knows the way.”

Lingyao thought that the two of them were very weird but in front of Yue Dingtang she didn’t want to ask further.

Yue Dingtang smiled and said: “hm… it’s been a few years since we’ve seen each other, Ling Shu seems not too happy to see me after all these years?”

Who didn’t know how to put on an act, Ling Shu put on a fake smile.

“How could I not be happy, I was just too excited, lao-yue, look at you, you’ve aged, I almost couldn’t recognise you, how long has it been since we last saw each other?”

He accented on the words “how long”, asking after Yue Dingtang amiably and turned it into a warm smile, and then opened his arms, welcoming an embrace.

In front of Ling Yao, Yue Dingtang could only reluctantly move closer, but he was unconsciously pulled over by Ling Shu and hugged tightly, Ling Shu rubbed the filthy dust that had been accumulated in prison for a day and night against him.

Yue Dingtang:……

Lingyao was delighted:“I can’t believe after all these years, you’re still so close.”

Yue Dingtang twitched his lips, and finally understood what was called to move a stone and smash it on one’s own foot.

He froze and let Ling Shu hug him tightly for one second, two seconds, three seconds.

“Don’t go overboard!” Yue Dingtang had enough, he spoke through gritted teeth.  

“Same same.” Ling Shu sneered without making a sound.

“Sister, I’m hungry, can you go and prepare something to eat, lao-yue and I haven’t seen each other in so long, it’s a good opportunity to catch up.”

After a few seconds, he finally let go of Yue Dingtang with compassion, and turned back to explain to Ling Yao.

Ling Yao frowned, disgusted to see his dirty clothes: “You don’t want to take a bath first!”

Yue Dingtang: “No worries da-jie. Ling Shu and I are old classmates, since we’re both here, why not let us catch up.”

Ling Yao gave Ling Shu an angry glance, meaning for him to behave.

“I’ll go and prepare you both some lunch, Dingtang, please stay here for lunch, I’ll ask Hongyi to add some dishes!”

“Ok, thank you for the trouble da-jie.”

Yue Dingtang was gentle and polite, but very happy, so Ling Yao couldn’t help but leave with a smile on her face.

Ling Shu clearly saw that his sister had a very good impression of Yue Dingtang, and she probably wished that the one surnamed Yue would even stay over for dinner.

Seeing that Ling Yao had turned the corner into the kitchen, the corners of Ling Shu’s mouth changed from a warm smile to coldness.

He looked over at Yue Dingtang who was sitting on the sofa, putting on a fake smile.

“My brother-in-law was arrested on suspicion of corruption and bribery, presumably you let someone deliberately release false news to scare me?”

“That’s correct.”

Without Ling Yao and Hongyi present, Yue Dingtang didn’t bother to pretend, adjusting to a slightly relaxed posture.

“Am I sleeping with your wife, or did I set a fire that killed your whole family, why must you go against me?”

Ling Shu was actually getting quite angry. The originally lazy philanderer no longer existed after the prison episode. his scarf had been roughed up and was a mess, casually thrown around his neck, and the owner of this scarf ressembled a flustered and exasperated wolfdog, ready to make a mess here at any time.

Yue Dingtang thought that this analogy was quite accurate but it was a pity he couldn’t say it out loud, lest the other party pounce over to bite him.

“If I hadn’t forced you then you’d still be beating around the bush with me.”

Ling Shu sneered: “I don’t understand what you’re saying.”

Yue Dingtang: “In your confession, there were some elements that were not completely false, or at the very least you still have something to say.”

Ling Shu: “Solving the crime is your responsibility.”

Yue Dingtang: “But your life is yours. Even though your brother-in-law is okay, you still bribed a policeman to come home without permission what crime do you think you have committed?”

Seeing that Ling Shu didn’t reply, he continued: “I think that you understand, all the evidence in this case points to you. If you want to prove your innocence, you’ll have to work with me. Be honest and tell me everything, this is the best thing to do for not only Du Yunning but also for yourself.”

The two people looked at each other in silence.

Could he trust him?

Ling Shu had a huge question in his head.

Many years ago, he and Yue Dingtang were fellow classmates, who began to fight and then it turned into an all out cold war, in actuality, it was not pleasant at all.

Therefore, when he saw the other party participating in the arrest and interrogating him, it was difficult for Ling Shu not to link the one surnamed Yue with the word retaliation.

Wanting to change an established impression was an awfully difficult thing to do.

But because of what was to come, he had no other choice.

“I suspect,”

Ling Shu finally slowly opened his mouth to speak.

“Du Yunning hasn’t died at all.”
Author Note:

Ling Yao: Old classmates should be like this, meet each other with a smile, come on, smile.
Yue Dingtang: hehe.
Ling Shu: hehe.
08/01/2022 – Formatting fixed and re-editing of phrases.

2 thoughts on “The Plough – Chapter 6”

  1. Woah…the ending! I didn’t expect that at all! And I love how Yue Dingtang dug his own grave at one point kkkk

    Thank you for the chapter! (´꒳`)♡

    Reply

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