The Glory After Rebirth Chapter 46
The back door of Ling Family was closed with a creak. Someone left by the back door with a bundle on his back.
“What on earth happened that so many guards got fired? People have been leaving here every day for the past few days.”
“This is already the seventh person to be dismissed. I heard that there are two people packing up as we speak.”
The two gatekeepers began to discuss the things that had happened in the past few days as they watched the man left.
“I heard that this is the Young Master’s orders,” said one of the gatekeepers in a muted tone.
His partner shrugged and said, “Young Master again? What is he up to? It’s like he’s changed ever since the incident involving the Jia family. Everyone is afraid of him now.”
“The Young Master’s mind is not something we gatekeepers can read. I just hope he wouldn’t fire us too.”
Although Ling Zhang didn’t hear what the servants were saying in private, he could already guess it. However, he paid no attention to it.
“Young Master, I have dismissed those nine people at your command. But now there are nine vacancies. Should we start hiring?” Wang Dashan asked in humble reverence.
After their recent interactions, even Wang Dashan was starting to fear Lin Zhang a little.
Ling Zhang had only been exercising with Guard Wang for a few days, yet he had already seen through everyone in his place. Even Guard Wang himself had spent a lot of time before he could know everyone under his command inside and out. Wang Dashan realized that he could never match Ling Zhang’s ability to perceive the human heart. Therefore, he was more respectful to Ling Zhang out of fear that Ling Zhang would see through any negligence on his part.
“Fill in one vacancy first,” Lin Zhang said. “Oversee the recruitment process yourself. Remember, hire only those who are truly dedicated to the guard service, not those who are just looking for a job. Avoid those who have criminal records and those with complicated pasts. Come to me once you’ve found a few candidates.”
Recruit only one person? Although Wang Dashan didn’t understand what Ling Zhang was doing, as long as it was Ling Zhang’s instructions, he would definitely carry them out to full completion.
Wang Dashan’s obeisance and faithful allegiance to Lin Zhang wasn’t just because he was satisfied with the Ling family’s good wages; but more importantly, he suddenly found himself excited to see what Ling Zhang was planning to do.
After Wang Dashan’s departure, Ling Zhang summoned a servant. “Has Xiafeng replied to my letter?”
“Not yet, Young Master,” The servant answered dutifully.
“Notify me immediately once you receive a reply,” Ling Zhang said.
“Yes, Young Master,” the servant answered.
Ling Zhang asked Xiafeng to run background checks on the remaining twenty-one guards. Since the results of the investigation would only be known when Xiafeng returned, he was not in a hurry to recruit new ones. He only asked Wang Dashan to recruit a person first to see if Wang Dashan was able to carry out his instructions to the letter.
That day his uncle wanted to tell him about his mother’s story but was interrupted by his grandfather. It had been four days since then, during which Ling Zhang had rummaged through all his parents’ things in order to discover useful clues to prove his mother’s life experience and origins. Alas, he found nothing.
Most of his mother’s belongings were buried with her. Even her most useful books were burned. The only things left were some gold and silver rings and a few hand-painted calligraphy and paintings. Other than those, there were nothing left.
Ling Zhang was greatly frustrated by his grandfather’s stubbornness.
All of a sudden, a servant arrived with a report. “Young Master, the Second Master has returned and is asking for you,” said the servant.
What? How come Uncle’s already back? He should still be in Yamen now.
Ling Zhang hurried outside. When he did, Ah Da jumped out of nowhere and began rubbing his feet with a piece of wood in its mouth.
Ling Zhang lowered his head and looked at it. “What’s that you have in your mouth? Where did you run off to again?”
Ah Da dropped the wood at Ling Zhang’s feet as if to offer him a treasure. Ling Zhang took a look at the piece of wood and found that it was a carved little monkey. A dark look formed on his face.
Ling Zhang bought it for Maomao that day on the street. Maomao loved it very much and had been holding on to it every day. But now, it was covered in Ah Da’s saliva and peppered with bite marks.
“Bad boy! How dare you bite it! Let’s just see how Maomao will beat you up once he gets back,” Ling Zhang scolded.
Ah Da whimpered and lowered its head to rub against Ling Zhang’s leg. Ling Zhang took a step back and stared at Ah Da coldly.
Ah Da dared not approach him again. It sat there with its head turned away from Ling Zhang.
Ling Zhang was on the way to see Ling Zhaowen, so he had no time to teach Ah Da a lesson. He ordered a servant to take the wooden monkey away and clean it. He then ordered Ah Da to sit still and not move until he got back. “I’ll deal with you later!”
After Ling Zhang hurried away, Ah Da sat there quietly for a while. Very soon, it got fidgety and slipped away.
“You wish to see me, Uncle? Is there an urgent matter?” Ling Zhang asked when he stepped into Ling Zhaowen’s Court Yard.
“Lord Tao gave the order earlier. Jia Yuanling will be sent to the border in three days,” Ling Zhaowen said.
Three days? Damn, that was fast. A cold glint flashed in Ling Zhang’s eyes. The moment Jia Yuanling left Tanyang, he would no longer be the master of his own life. Then, Ling Zhaowen went on, “Other than the official responsible for watching him in Yamen, I also used my connections to hire someone else to shadow him. We don’t want anything to do wrong. Jia Yuanling will die during the journey.”
“You are meticulous indeed, Uncle,” Ling Zhang said.
“I have another task for you,” Ling Zhaowen said.
Ling Zhang looked at Ling Zhaowen in confusion. What is it?
“There is a batch of important supply herbs from our Herb Farm that we’ll be selling to the north. I’ll ask Supervisor Zhou to brief you on the specific details of the order. Go to them later to supervise them, make sure everything is done perfectly. Also, I intend to transfer the ownership of our Herb Farm to others,” Ling Zhaowen said.
Tanyang had a special geographical location; there were many forests here, so it was easy to grow herbs. In fact, some of the rarer herbs were hard to grow elsewhere. As a result, some farmers grew herbs and managed to make a fortune out of it. This was also why so many businessmen were stationed near Tanyang, despite the threat of bandits.
The Ling Family also owned a large Herb Farm, which covered a piece of land directly in the south of the mountain. A lot of herbs were produced there, just that was a little far away from Tanyang City. Because of that, most matters of the Herb Farm were delegated to Supervisor Zhou Quanfu.
There was also a small village at the farm, where a lot of farmers lived.
The Herb Farm was one of the Ling Family’s main sources of income.
“Uncle, why are you suddenly selling the Herb Farm to someone else?”
Ling Zhaowen said, “It’s too far away from us. I am going to let go of our current farm, and set up a new one, but this time on the land on the east side of the city.”
The east of the city? It was indeed closer to the center of the city, but the herbs produced there were of inferior quality than those produced on the south.
Why did uncle make such a call?
Ling Zhang frowned and thought for a moment. All of a sudden, it hit him.
The Herb Farm in the south of the city was very close to where the Prefecture Guards stationed...
“Uncle, is Zhang Chong causing trouble for our Herb Farm?” Ling Zhang asked.
Ling Zhaowen froze for a moment, then nodded. “Lord Tao clued me in on some news. He said that Zhang Chong had already submitted a writ to the court a few days ago. He wanted to expand the scope of the garrison. The place he wanted was the Herb Farm of our family.”
A cold look formed on Ling Zhang’s face. No wonder Zhang Chong has been so quiet recently, it turns out that he has begun to act in secret.
The Herb Farm was one of the pillars of the Ling Family’s economy. Forty percent of the Ling family’s source of income would be cut off if it was turned into an encampment.
“Is there no way to stop Zhang Chong?” Ling Zhang said, unwilling to give up.
“It is very difficult. Unless someone in the court rejects Zhang Chong’s request,” Ling Zhaowen said.
Ling Family had little contacts with the Capital ever since the incident twenty years ago.
Ling Zhaowen’s method wouldn’t work.
“What about Lord Tao?” Ling Zhang asked.
Tao Feng was different from them; he had a lot of connections in court.
“It’s not that I don’t want to bring this to Tao Feng’s attention. Although the business of Herb Farm is very important to us, owing favors to Tao Feng will not be beneficial to us in the long run. What’s more, Tao Feng’s jurisdiction and influence applies to the court, so it’s best if we use Tao Feng’s favors for something truly dire. Let’s just let go of the Herb Farm for now,” Ling Zhaowen said.
Ling Zhang had a feeling that there was something else that his Uncle wasn’t telling him. His Uncle sounded as though he was concerned about something else. After a moment of hesitation, Ling Zhang said, “Uncle, are you still concerned that accident may happen due to negligence because the Herb Farm is too far away from us?”
If it were built in the east of the city, it was easy for them to manage because it was quite close.
Ling Zhang looked at Ling Zhang with approval. Although he didn’t show his worries, his nephew still understood his intention.
“Correct, we haven’t decided whom to transfer the Herm Farm. So I’m asking you to watch over it until we do.”
Ling Zhang answered, “Okay, I will leave right away.”
Ling Zhaowen added after mentioning something else that Ling Zhang needed to pay attention to, “I will ask Wang Qing to assist you. He is quite familiar with the Farm. If you have any questions, ask him for help.”
He had to leave for several days this time, yet the things at the Guards Yard weren’t settled yet. He must think of a way to deal with this.
When he was about to leave, Ling Zhang suddenly remembered something. “Uncle, have you received a letter from the butler?”
Ling Zhaowen said, “Not yet, don’t worry about it. If there’s anything urgent, he would certainly send word. If he doesn’t, then it means that he should be safely on the way. He should have arrived at the Capital by now.”
Ling Zhang nodded and said, “If any letter comes, please let me know.”
Ling Zhaowen couldn’t help but feel a little bit amused when he noticed that Ling Zhang was still hung up over the divorce agreement.
Ling Zhang returned to his yard and told servant to start making preparations for his trip. After some thought, he sent a servant to summon Wang Dashan.
“I am going to the Herb Farm in the south of the city for a few days. Pick 12 people to come with me.”
Wang Dashan asked, “Do you...need me to accompany you, Young Master?”
“No, you should stay at here. Other than recruiting a new guard, you have to wait for any news from Xiafeng. If he sends a letter back, bring it to me immediately,” Ling Zhang said.
“Understood,” Wang Dashan replied.
Fu Caiwei knew about Ling Zhang’s upcoming trip to the Herb Farm in the south of the city, so she was busy preparing for Ling Zhang’s clothing and other items of daily use. When Ling Zhang noticed the increase in the number of luggage, he quickly stopped her. “Aunt, take it easy. I’ll only be away for a few days.”
“Bring more of these thick cloaks. The village at the Herb Farm is primitive. You won’t be able to find these things there.” Clearly, Fu Caiwei had no intention of stopping.
“I already packed an entire case of them,” Ling Zhang said in a hurry.
Fu Caiwei hesitated for a while, clearly thinking that whatever he had packed were far from enough.
“Big brother, I want to go as well!” Ling Maomao said from behind Ling Zhang, grabbing Ling Zhang’s clothes and refusing to let go.