The Plough – Chapter 60

Be nice, don’t hit him and don’t scold him.
Ling Shu had a fever.

This was also not any normal fever, he had a temperature of over 48c.

The family doctor was unable to help and told them to take him to the hospital.

Earlier, Yue Dingtang had even believed that he had ‘fallen ill’ in order to get out of being interrogated or reprimanded, until he touched Ling Shu’s forehead, and felt that the palm of his hand was scalding hot, he finally realised that it was actually quite serious.

Ling Shu often got hurt, such as during the Yuan Manor case, or when Shen Shiqi sent men to kill him, or the night he was fleeing for his life with Jiang He. He continuously aggravated his old wounds whilst adding new ones. Even a man made of iron would be unable to withstand this kind of suffering, let alone a slim and tender Ling Shu.

His face was extremely pale.

So pale that there was not even a sign of life especially when one looked at him under the light.

He was still wearing Yue Dingtang’s pyjamas as he lay on the hospital bed and hooked up to the IV.

“Mr Ling’s digestive system may have some issues, he should stay overnight for observation. Remember to bring him some plain food over the next few days, avoid meat and anything too rich and lavish.”
The doctor’s words were still ringing in his ears, Yue Dingtang had a headache.

Didn’t he just have a fever because he had been caught in the rain, how come now it was about his digestive tract, how many problems did this person have?

Yue Dingtang looked back over at the sickbed.

The patient was delirious, his eyes were half-open but a soft moist glimmer escaped from his slightly open eyes – neither asleep nor awake, he was lost in a dense haze.

And he was still murmuring indiscriminately out of the corner of his mouth.

He murmured so softly that it wasn’t possible to hear what he was trying to say.

Yue Dingtang bent over and leaned in closer.

“Lao Yue……”

Ling Shu was calling his name.

Yue Dingtang made a noise of acknowledgement: “I’m here.”

Ling Shu: “Regarding He Youan,”

Yue Dingtang frowned ever so slightly: “You should sort yourself out first. Don’t worry about her case right now.”

“No,” Ling Shu seemed to be very weak and he forced himself to speak more loudly, “I’m talking about the reward that He Youan promised us last time, she still hasn’t paid us. Remember to tell her to change it into US dollars. The US dollars sustain their values, I don’t want Yuan………”

Yue Dingtang: ……..

At this moment, he could only prostrate in admiration of Ling Shu.

But Ling Shu hadn’t finished talking.

“And, Zhou-shu’s1Zhou is the old housekeeper’s surname and ‘shu’ is uncle – a polite way to address someone older than you chicken soup, he spent a lot of time making it and I hadn’t even finished………”

The old housekeeper who was also present was deeply moved.

This kid was even so attentive to recognise the thought that he’d put into that soup. Even with a high fever and being slightly delirious, he wasn’t able to forget that half a bowl of chicken soup.

“I will go back now and ask the kitchen staff to keep it simmering for you, so it will be perfect for when you are feeling better tomorrow. I will deliver it to you tomorrow, I promise that there’ll be enough for you to be satisfied for at least a week. I’ll also bring the little dishes that you love – flaky pastry bun and deep fried prawn balls. I’ll get the kitchen to prepare it all, okay?”

Ling Shu was delighted and muttered: “Zhou-shu is so nice.”

The old butler was delighted.

Yue Dingtang was speechless.

He’d had enough and couldn’t watch this go on for any longer, so he turned around and left the room, and did a lap up and down the corridor.

Although it was the middle of the night, he was not feeling tired nor sleepy.

The smell of snow and ice wafted in from the open window, bringing a chill upon one’s face and instantly refreshing the mind.

He bumped into a family member of a patient who was imploring the doctor for help, emotions were running high, as the fact of life was playing out in front of them.

There was also another who had their door slightly ajar, and the doctor who was shaking their head whilst looking at the patient, and then offering some meaningless comforting words to the patient’s family members.

But, there were even more sick people, who could not afford to stay at the hospital.

Looking down from the third floor window, beside the main road where the snow was falling, there was a group of beggars all curled up together shivering, whilst the passersby walked past them hurriedly, not even bothering to offer even a small donation of kindness.

From not far away came a noise that disturbed Yue Dingtang’s train of thought.
He looked to where the noise had come from, at the end of the corridor of this ward, there was a bunch of people, and amongst them, there was even an “old acquaintance” that Yue Dingtang recognised.

This “old acquaintance” turned around unconsciously and caught sight of him, first he was stunned and then forced out a smile before quickly hurrying over to him.

“Mr Yue, what are you doing here, has something happened to one of your family……?”

This person was the boss of the film company, Teng Sipeng.

Yue Dingtang made a sound of recognition, and didn’t bother to waste any more superfluous words, and instead he asked back: “I just saw Cheng Gong going into the patient’s room, who is inside?”

Teng Sipeng sighed: “Miss He has been injured.”

Yue Dingtang frowned: “It’s not serious right?”

Teng Sipeng smiled bitterly: “We can’t say that she’s got off without a scratch. But it was a narrow escape!”

In He Youan’s new movie, she was playing the role of a progressive student.

In order to resist against the marriage arranged by her family, as well as to rebel against her father’s oppression of her mother, the female protagonist runs away from home, but because she was young and inexperienced in life, she was captured and made to return home.

Her father tried to force her to marry the son of a member of the ministerial class. She strongly refused and went on hunger strike, but her family did not compromise, nor back down. Instead, they plotted with the groom’s family and tied her up and put her onto the bridal sedan chair, hoping she’d accept her fate once everything was in place.

She woke up in the middle of wedding night2洞房花烛夜 dòngfánghuāzhú yè lit. bridal room and ornamented candles – fig. Basically when the bride and groom sleep together after becoming husband and wife, heartbroken and aggrieved and had planned to hang herself but was saved. Unsuccessful in committing suicide, she changed her way of thinking and began pondering on how to run away from there. After numerous setbacks, she was finally able to get away from her sinister in-laws. She headed towards the open-minded and advanced Shanghai, where she wrote an article detailing her own bitter experience, exposing it to the world, which led her to become renowned and she was offered a job at a secondary school for girls where she fell in love with a colleague.

But after becoming famous, the female protagonist was not able to completely rid herself of her woes. Her fame led to her family becoming aware of her whereabouts and her in-laws came to Shanghai looking for her. They sued her in the court of law, accusing her of offending public morals.

This film reflected the tragic state of society in this day and age, and there were many movies of this sort, as well as films with similar plots. However, because this film starred He Youan as its lead, it had already received a lot of media attention before it had even started filming. And there were even famous authors who wrote about the dangers of arranged marriages and the detriment this had on women, creating a surge in discussion of the topic.

When He Youan had been injured, she was filming the part where she had just woken up in the middle of her wedding night.

Amongst the red candles and behind the flowery screen, the beauty wearing the phoenix coronet and adorned in official marital robes was shedding mournful tears. At the end of her tether, the husband that she had never met was drinking outside with guests, whilst she was locked in the bedroom. Not knowing what the future held for her, and being heavily guarded by the in-laws, the weak maiden had no way to resist and could only choose to end it all.

Ever since He Youan had received the threatening photograph, she had been on guard and unwilling to film the hanging scene, in case any accident were to arise.

However, the director believed that this scene was poignantly sad and beautiful and was also the scene that would entice and shock the viewers the most. The two of them had been arguing about it for half a day, neither of them willing to back down that everyone else had had enough.

Listening to the story up to here, Yue Dingtang asked: “So in the end, Miss He backed down?”

Teng Sipeng nodded: “He Youan loves acting and is willing to make sacrifices for her career. She didn’t want the most poignant part of the film to be lost just because of her. But we also understood where she was coming from, so we had arranged for a lot of people to keep a lookout. When she put her head on the white silk, she only had to stand on tiptoes, and then someone would immediately go up and help her come down. The little stool that she was standing on had also been examined multiple times, but who knew even with all this in place, something still went wrong.”

The problem was not the steadiness of the stool, nor was it the silk scarf breaking, causing He Youan to fall. It wasn’t the beam that the silk scarf was looped around either, but it was in fact the beam adjacent to it. When He Youan got her head out of the silk scarf and got down from the stool, the beam suddenly came crashing down, and fell on top of her and a member of the film crew.

The latter was knocked heavily on the head, cracking it open with blood pouring immediately over the floor, and was still currently in a critical state.

He Youan had suffered injuries to her head and shoulder, she didn’t lose consciousness but had still lost a lot of blood, and had scared everyone around her.

Mr Cheng had just come to visit her on set, not long after he left, He Youan was injured. Teng Sipeng was scared witless as he hurried to the hospital, afraid that something might happen to He Youan, but even more afraid that Mr Cheng would blame him.

“Luckily, merciful Buddha, the heavens have blessed us! Youan is not in a critical state, but the doctor said that she has suffered a concussion, her injuries are quite heavy, and may need some time to recuperate, she won’t be able to continue filming for a while.”

Teng Sipeng looked relieved.

Yue Dingtang nodded: “It’s good that she is not heavily injured, the other stuff doesn’t matter as much.”

He Sipeng forced a smile: “That’s true, He Youan seems to still be relatively clear-headed, she can still recognise people. I heard that there are some more serious concussions, where the people can’t remember anything. Mr Yue, do you want to go in and see Miss He?”

Yue Dingtang said calmly: “Since Mr Cheng is present, I won’t go in and disturb them. You can ask after her for me, and tell her to recuperate well, I will first go and see my family member.”

Teng Sipeng agreed, and then sent Yue Dingtang off.

When he saw that Yue Dingtang had gone quite far down the corridor, he realised that because he had been scared half to death by He Youan’s accident, he had forgotten to ask about Yue Dingtang and who the latter had come to visit at the hospital, and whether it was serious and what was the patient’s room number.

That was a huge opportunity to get in with the Yue family but he had completely missed it.

Teng Sipeng clasped his hands together and sighed.
When Yue Dingtang went back to Ling Shu’s room, the old housekeeper had still not left and was sitting by the bed chatting to Ling Shu.

The latter was clearly exhausted but didn’t want to sleep, and insisted on keeping the old housekeeper there to chat with him.

When the old housekeeper saw Yue Dingtang, he let out a sigh of relief.

“Si-shao3Reminder – Fourth young master, YDT has two elder bros + one sis, this child is being disobedient, he won’t sleep, I think you need to keep him in line.”

The old housekeeper moved back.

Ling Shu blinked at him and gestured with his hand.

Yue Dingtang did not react.

“No need to worry about him, he’s not a child. At worst, he’ll just fall ill again, but he can just drink some more soups. He might as well just live at the hospital, and you can save up on your chicken soups, duck soups and all the other soups.”

The old housekeeper: “Oh, don’t talk like that. Xiao Ling is suffering, the doctor said that he must stay overnight, how about I stay here and look after him and you go home and rest!”

“No need, you can go, I will stay.” Yue Dingtang saw that the old housekeeper was still reluctant to leave so he added: “I have matters to discuss with him.”

The old housekeeper was worried, he agreed to leave, but his body refused to take a step forward, wanting to leave but not wanting to leave, his feet were sluggish.

Yue Dingttang: “Zhou-shu, is there anything else?”

The old housekeeper hesitated before adding: “Be nice, don’t hit him and don’t scold him.”

Yue Dingtang:………

Perhaps it was because his face was starting to darken that Zhou-shu didn’t dare to say another word and this time he swiftly left.

Yue Dingtang walked the old housekeeper out and instructed the driver to take him home.

When he returned, Ling Shu had already sat up in the bed and smiled at him.

“I knew you saw my hand signal.”

Yue Dingtang: “I just ran into He Youan.”

Ling Shu was taken aback.

Yue Dingtang: “She was injured by a collapsing beam when she was filming, it was the suicide scene.”

Ling Shu expressed his surprise: “That means, that anonymous letter has once again come true.”

Yue Dingtang: “But she escaped death once more.”

Ling Shu: “So what you’re saying is that you still think she’s behind all this?”

Yue Dingtang: “It’s still a possibility.”

Ling Shu: “What about Chen Wendong?”

Yue Dingtang: “Didn’t see him.”

He picked up an apple from the fruit basket.

Yue Dingtang took off his gloves, and picked up the fruit knife, his slender long fingers nimbly turned the fruit as he lightly peeled off the apple peel, going around and around without breaking the peel, creating a work of art.”

Ling Shu watched him closely for a while.

He rarely saw anyone use a knife like this.

There were perhaps many people who were capable of peeling fruit, but to be able to do it as cleanly as Yue Dingtang was doing, making him and the knife become one was extremely rare.

He had only seen one person who was able to do this.

And that person was a skilled assassin.

Ling Shu placed a hand on his own scalding forehead. Just now, he saw himself in a sea of blood, turning around to take a step, and discovering that he was tied up. Conjuring up these kinds of thoughts at this moment, naturally, it was a figment of his own imagination.
Yue Dingtang didn’t exhibit any murderous aura on him, he had no sign of fresh blood on his hands. He was elegant and refined, calm and reliable, his gunmanship was not bad, and his reactions were probably quicker than the ordinary person, but not much more than that.

The apple was quickly peeled, the apple flesh was sweet and fresh, exuding a fragrant odour.

Yue Dingtang passed it to him.

Ling Shu opened his mouth wanting to bite it.

He bit into thin air.

“Oh too bad, I forgot that you have stomach issues.” Yue Dingtang said and then put the apple into his own mouth.

An extremely sharp and clear crunch.

This was definitely revenge.

Ling Shu sighed, he took out a piece of paper from his pyjamas pocket, he had brought it from home.

“When you go and see He Youan in a bit, give her this piece of paper.”

Yue Dingtang: “How are you so sure that I will go and see her?”

Ling Shu said innocently: “Unless you were going to force me, this heavily sick person, to crawl over there?”

Yue Dingtang: “You seem pretty lively to me.”

Ling Shu lay down, and pulled up the covers.

“I’m dizzy, I can’t sit up any longer, do as you wish.”

Yue Dingtang waited for a long while.

Ling Shu closed both his eyes, his breath evened out, and his body relaxed, he resembled a little helpless animal.

Yue Dingtang poked his arm, there was no response.

He poked him again, still nothing.

He was actually asleep.

He put the half-eaten apple on the table and then picked up the piece of paper and walked out of the door.

It was already the dead of night.

Mr Cheng had left, the bodyguards at the door had also lessened, only leaving two guards wearing traditional Chinese clothing watching the door.

Yue Dingtang approached, and was immediately blocked.

“I’m a friend of Miss He, I’ve come to see how she’s doing, please could you let her know.”

Seeing him wearing a western coat, and speaking in a courteous manner, they replied: “Miss He is already asleep, please come back tomorrow.”

Yue Dingtang: “I’m busy tomorrow, please go in and tell her, it’s Yue Dingtang, she will definitely want to see me.”

The guards were hooligans from the Green Gang, and knew that separate dishes should be served to different people4Expression – basically means to choose how you treat people depending on their social status/power etc., seeing that he had announced his surname and he had an extraordinary air about him, they didn’t dare to be rude.

Yue Dingtang added politely: “If Mr Cheng was here, he’d also need to come out and greet me. If you are afraid, you can also send someone to ask him for instruction.”

Seeing that he was also familiar with Cheng Gong, the two guards didn’t dare to be impudent any longer.

At this moment, He Youan’s weak voice could be heard from inside.

“Who is outside?”

The guard opened the door slightly.

“Miss He, it’s a gentleman surnamed Yue.”

Yue Dingtang: “It’s me.”

“Mr Yue? Please, come in!” He Youan said quickly.

The guards did not dare to obstruct him any longer and they opened the door for Yue Dingtang, gesturing him to enter.

He Youan sat up from the bed.

“Mr Yue, is something the matter?”

Yue Dingtang: “Ling Shu is ill, he’s also in the hospital. I brought him to the hospital, and heard you were also here, so I came over to visit. Apologies, I haven’t brought any gifts this time, I will send some over another day.”

He Youan smiled faintly: “Mr Yue is too courteous, I’m already very fortunate for you to find time to come visit me in your busy schedule. How is Mr Ling?”

“He’s okay.”

Yue Dingtang nodded, inadvertently sizing up He Youan.

She had indeed been injured.

She was not looking too well and was forcing herself to interact with him.

Under the hospital robes was a heavy gauze around her neck, thick and bulging and travelled all the way down to her elbow.

There were also rolls of gauze around her head, there were even traces of blood seeping out from the area by her temples. This was an extremely dangerous place to get injured, and she could easily have lost her life.

Right now, He Youan was probably in her weakest state, would he be able to find any clues from her?

Yue Dingtang put the piece of paper in front of her.

“Why did you write this note and give it to us?”

He didn’t ask if she wrote it, but got straight to the point and decided that it was indeed her who had written it, not giving He Youan a chance to deny it.

He Youan stared blankly for a moment.

Her injuries had made her a little sluggish, she stared blankly for a while, before revealing her astonishment.

“Mr Yue, what are you trying to say?”

But it was already too late.

Yue Dingtang said with incomparable certainty: “So it was you!”
Author Note:

Please call me Ling “annoy you to death” Shu.

Please call me Yue “the exceptionally distinguished” Dingtang.

Yeeesh – late night translations = typos + weird turn of phrases.

06/12/21 – Typos fixed. Links and notes added.

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2 thoughts on “The Plough – Chapter 60”

  1. I couldn’t get enough of that “family member” when we already know that’s Ling Shu 💘… but almost fell with that last interaction, bc I’m TOO nervous, ah, you’re alone there, Lao Yue!

    Thanks for the translation. ♡


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