Chapter 32.2: In the Face of Father-In-Law
In the study room, the Count donned a frosty look. He sighed and said, “Shen Lang, do you know what you did wrong?”
Shen Lang shook his head. “Father-in-law, your son-in-law does not know.”
The sound of cicada seemed to echo and roam about in the study room as awkward silence filled the air. The Count was astonished, awkward even—unsure how to reply.
Shen Lang’s reaction surprised him.
Usually speaking, as the Count donned a straight face looking at the other party… he would soon feel a tyrannical aura and dared not breathe. Once the Count asked what he did wrong, no matter if he knows or did not know, he would immediately kneel to the floor and ask forgiveness.
But Shen Lang reacted the opposite.
He said he did not know with a straight face.
The Count cleared his throat and said, “Then I would like to hear it.”
Shen Lang nodded. “Father-in-law, Da Sha is my friend. All my life he protected me from those with malicious intent. I can’t return the favor and save him from dying? I did not know that it was improper of me to bring a stranger inside the House of Jin, but… the doctor here is well-versed in medicine and should have various collections of medicinal herbs. It’s more likely his injuries would be treated here, but of course, I apologize for breaking the rules.”
“No, you did the right thing,” Count Jin sighed. “Have you done any other ridiculous thing today?”
“Does it have to do with Tian Heng and the Black Warrior Gang?”
Father-in-law… how did you hear the incident so fast… so soon…?
“So you know?” Count Jin questioned. “Shortly after you left the Black Warrior Gang’s territory, they came knocking on the door—said that you blackmailed Tian Heng 1000 gold coins and threatened to break his son’s legs. Ah… do you not know that Tian Thirteen and a few of them are officers in the Civil Army?”
Ah, so Tian Heng complained like a chicken? What else is new, father-in-law?
“The city lord came in person and asked that I restrain you, a lawless man.”
Shen Lang lips formed an ‘o shape.
So the city lord made his timely appearance? Huh… so they want to use me as the friction to stir trouble between the old and new powers?
“But father-in-law,” Shen Lang retorted. “When the Xu Family drove me out of their house, they hired Tian Heng 100 gold coins to rid of me in the face of the world. To save my life, I gave Tian Heng an oath. I owed him one 1000 gold coins else he’d kill me and my family if I did not make due with the promise in three days time.”
“Go on,” Count Jin said.
“I created a new golden dye recipe intending to sell the recipe to Lin Mo of Silk Pavilion for 2000 gold coins. Right before the conclusion of the deal, Xu Jiazhu appeared, stating that stole the recipe from his house…”
Shen Lang recounted the past event to the Count.
“Father-in-law, Xu Jiazhu, Tian Heng, and Lin Mo want to kill me,” Shen Lang said solemnly. “Tian Heng especially. To force me to hand over the recipe to them, he sent Tian Thirteen to capture and possibly bring about the death of my family. Retaliating against Tiang Heng, is it wrong, father-in-law?”
The Count remained silent. He sighed and rubbed his face. “No, you did nothing wrong. But Shen Lang, what Tian Heng did was perfectly legal when they made a move against your family. Your father and mother hadn’t paid their due taxes. The arrest documents sent out was perfectly legal.”
Of course. Shen Lang knew that.
“Shen Lang, I’ll be honest with you. At first, I had no good impression of you. I didn’t really like you much, but since Mulan chose you as her husband, then you are the House of Jin’s son-in-law. Like this, you are now half my son. If somehow you suffered any wrongs, then I will bring you justice. No one who dares to bully my son-in-law will remain free and unfettered before my very eyes.”
Shen Lang’s heart trembled, moved at what he had heard.
“But the Count’s Palace has no choice but to behave well. As the New Deal is in full swing, Tian Heng and the new powers in the government are rising. Many old nobles like us are not to interfere with the affairs of the local government,” Count Jin explained. “There are countless eyes watching us: Zhu Rong… and many of those high-ranking governors awaiting for us to make a mistake. Once they see a flaw, they’ll immediately come to bite us. This is the problem many old nobles face, myself included.”
What he said, it was by no means an exaggeration. Matter of fact, the condition was much worse. Just that… the Count was a highly conservative man.
“Shen Lang, as your father-in-law, I will bring you justice. This I will do my very best, but we must wait for an opportunity and not violate the laws of the New Deal that won’t implicate is. Do you understand?”