The Glory After Rebirth Chapter 40
“Ada, don’t push me. I can’t see it.” Ling Maomao stood in front of the dough figurines stall. He stared at the stall’s owner kneading dough figurines. The big dog, Ada, also stood close to him and looked at it excitedly, wagging its tail.
Holding sugar-coated haws on sticks in each hand, Ling Zhang looked at Ling Maomao’s and Ada’s backs and felt somewhat speechless. They were like birds flying out of the birdcage, going everywhere and staring at everything. These sugar-coated haws were soon forgotten before their attention were drawn to another thing.
“Maomao, don’t press the stall so hard! Ada, don’t put your claw on the stall!”
“Hah, hah. It’s fine. My stall is solid.”
The stall’s owner kneaded dough figurines with a smile and talked to Ling Zhang. Lots of kid were around his stall, talking and laughing, which was so lively.
“I also want to knead two dough figurines. One like me, the other my elder brother.” Ling Maomao said with his bright eyes.
“Okay, okay...” The stall’s owner agreed smilingly.
Ling Zhang was a little worried. Many children surrounded the stall and waited for kneading dough figurines. It would take really long to be their turn.
“Maomao, you want to have a dessert in Fengtai Restaurant, don’t you? We won’t get a seat if we have to wait for the dough figurines. Can we just buy two dough figurines of Guan Yunchang and Zhang Fei?”
Note: Guan Yu, courtesy name Yunchang, was a general serving under the warlord Liu Bei during the late Eastern Han dynasty of China. Along with Zhang Fei, he shared a brotherly relationship with Liu Bei and accompanied him on most of his early exploits.
Hearing his words, Ling Maomao began to see Guan Yunchang and Zhang Fei, then turned to look at his elder brother. He wanted to stick to his previous choice. However, after seeing his elder brother’s warning look, he didn’t dare to refute anymore. Then he turned his head and stared at Guan Yunchang and Zhang Fei for a long time. Suddenly, he was attracted by another commanding dough figurine next to Guan Yunchang. His eyes lit up and he shouts, “This one! I want this one!”
The stall’s owner had a look at the dough figurine that Ling Maomao pointed at. Then he smiled, “You have such a great taste. This is the most Supreme Marshal Yuwen, the best man in our dynasty.”
“Wow!” Ling Maomao shouted in surprise, “Elder brother, I want the dough figurine of Marshal Yuwen!”
Ling Zhang didn’t know what to say.
His face changed several times when he stared at the dough figurine called Marshal Yuwen.
“Maomao, Guan Yunchang is better than him. Let’s buy a Guan Yunchang.”
“Elder brother, but I want Marshal Yuwen.” Ling Maomao looked at him with imploring eyes.
Ling Zhang struggled in his heart. He had asked Maomao to give up kneading two dough figurines. How could he refuse Maomao again? Besides, he didn’t believe the stall’s owner had seen Yuwen Tong. So whether this dough figurine was like the real Yuwen Tong was open to question. He’d better buy it for Maomao.
“Okay. Let’s buy it.” Ling Zhang gritted his teeth and agreed.
Ling Maomao cheered and took the commanding dough figurine from the stall’s owner. He took it in his hand and stared at it happily. Ling Zhang threw the dough figurine a detesting glance and paid money unwillingly.
When Ling Zhang saw the two eyes on the dough figurine, he couldn’t help thinking of the dream before he went out. The two dangerous eyes in the dream instantly appeared in his mind.
Ling Zhang’s face turned dark. He cast a fierce glance at the dough figurine secretly when Ling Maomao wasn’t noticing.
Such bad luck! Meeting Yuwen Tong even when wandering in streets! He should have checked the almanac before going out. Ling Maomao saw Ling Zhang not moving for a long time. So he retracted his gaze from the dough figurine reluctantly and asked Ling Zhang in confusion, “Elder brother, aren’t we going to Fengtai Restaurant?”
“Well, let’s go.” Ling Zhang regained his composure and called Ada to follow them. Then he led Ling Maomao, Xiafeng and others to Fengtai Restaurant.
“Brother Ling.” Tao Yi seemed to be surprised to see Ling Zhang. He came over happily to greet him, “Ah, is this your younger cousin? I often heard him from Lord Ling. He is really a smart boy.”
“Yes. He is my cousin. Maomao, come greet Brother Tao.” Ling Zhang said.
“Brother Tao.” Ling Maomao called him politely. He looked at Tao Yi curiously with a dough figurine in his hand.
“Brother Tao, you’re going to Fengtai Restaurant too?” Ling Zhang asked.
Tao Yi nodded. “Today is a good day. So I come to have a drink. I’ve ordered a good place upstairs and it is next to the window. Let’s go there together.”
Having made up his mind to associate with Tao Feng, he naturally wouldn’t refuse Tao Yi’s invitation. He said, “Thanks for your invitation.”
“Well, don’t be so polite to me. Come on. Let’s go upstairs.” Tao Yi said gladly.
Then they went to the second floor of Fengtai Restaurant and sat on a good place near the window. Tao Yi looked at the dough figurine in Ling Maomao’s hand, saying, “Maomao, your dough figurine is so commanding.”
Ling Maomao seemed to have finally met a friend who understood him. He said to Tao Yi excitedly, “This is Marshal Yuwen!”
Tao Yi became interested. “Oh? No wonder it looks so commanding. Although it isn’t like the true Marshal Yuwen, it got some of his verve. Great. Is it kneaded by the stall’s owner across the street?”
Ling Maomao nodded. He asked Tao Yi with a strong thirst for knowledge, “Have you ever seen Marshal Yuwen?”
Straightening his back, Tao Yi said proudly, “Only once.”
“What does Marshal Yuwen look like? Is he so strong, clever and commanding?” Ling Maomao asked quickly.
Tao Yi nodded, “Of course. Let me tell you. Marshal Yuwen looks so strong and commanding. He is not only clever, but also extremely handsome. All the girls in capital dream to be his wife.”
Hearing that, Ling Maomao ignored the dough figurine and was attracted by Tao Yi’s words totally. He asked, “Is him as tall as two average persons?”
Tao Yi laughed, “Yes. He is much taller than me and your elder brother.”
The comparison couldn’t make Ling Zhang happy at all. He even felt that he was so unlucky today. Was he doomed to hear the words “Marshal Yuwen” today?
It was a very unwise move for him to accept Tao Yi’s invitation. He forgot that Tao Yi was the big fan of Yuwen Tong. “Wow, I will be that tall in the future!” Ling Maomao became excited.
“Maomao, you can only be as tall as me in the future.” Ling Zhang said with a dark face.
‘You are a member of Ling Family,’ Ling Zhang thought. ‘How can you be as tall as Yuwen Tong? Besides, it is just a rumor. Maybe Yuwen Tong is shorter than me.’
Ling Maomao was a little disappointed. He asked, “Why?”
Tao Yi comforted him in a hurry, “It’s fine. You will grow tall.”
Probably moved by Ling Maomao’s admiration for Marshal Yuwen, Tao Yi even took the initiative to console Ling Maomao.
Ling Zhang’s face turned darker. He wanted to say something. But after seeing the disappointment on Ling Maomao’s face replaced by smile, he paused for a while and swallowed back the unfinished words.
Forgot it, he thought. It was Yuwen Tong’s only value if he could let Maomao be happy. Anyway, he wouldn’t have any relationship with Yuwen Tong in the future. There was no point in making Maomao sad because of this little thing.
Ling Zhang calmed down and called the servant to prepare some dessert, dishes and a pot of hot alcohol.
Tao Yi was telling Yuwen Tong’s stories to Ling Maomao. Ling Zhang looked at him in confusion. It was said that Yuwen Tong stayed at frontier all the time. When did Tao Yi meet Yuwen Tong?
And Ling Zhang didn’t hesitate to speak his mind.
“It has been many years. It was my first time to the capital. Then I met Marshal Yuwen who came back to the capital from frontier and was about to enter the city. I only saw him for a moment. But I never forget it till now.” Tao Yi answered.
Ling Zhang had goosebumps all over. Was Tao Yi insane? How could he say such disgusting words?
“It’s a pity that I never meet Marshal Yuwen since then because he stays at frontier all the time. He only came back to capital a few times and left soon. I wasn’t that lucky to see him again.” Tao Yi said in a rather regretful tone.
“I also want to see Marshal Yuwen.” Ling Maomao said.
Ling Zhang was speechless.
He was a little jealous in his heart. Maomao always admired him. But now, Ling Maomao looked so excited when talking about Yuwen Tong.
“Maomao, I’ve never talked about Yuwen Tong with you. How did you know him?”
“The teacher in school told me as well as my father and grandfather. The cousin in mother’s family also said that he would save money to buy the portrait of Marshal Yuwen.” Ling Maomao answered.
Ling Zhang couldn’t conceal his envy at this time. He said, “Maomao, you have me. Isn’t that enough?”
Ling Maomao didn’t understand. But Tao Yi who sat opposite couldn’t help laughing, “Well, Brother Ling, are you jealous?”
Were it not for the fact that Ling Zhang had to be on friendly terms with Tao Feng, he would have slammed the table and left.
Fortunately, the servant brought the dessert, dishes and a pot of hot alcohol in time, which relieved Ling Zhang of the killing embarrassment.
“Here comes your favorite dessert. Now eat,” Ling Zhang said to Ling Maomao.
Seeing his favorite dessert, Ling Maomao’s attention was diverted. Gradually, he forgot all about Marshal Yuwen.
Tao Yi was still laughing. But he didn’t mention it when he found Ling Zhang was a little angry. He changed another topic. They talked about the things happened recently in some families of Tanyang, especially about the actions from Jia Family and Prefecture Guard.
Tao Yi didn’t say much because they were in the restaurant. Overall, Ling Zhang knew from him that Jia Family began to contact with Zhang Chong frequently. After Jia Zhong came back, he often went to Prefecture Guard’s place.
“You’d better be careful lately,” Tao Yi finally reminded.
“Thanks for that.” Ling Zhang said gratefully. He realized the reason why Jia Family and Zhang Chong didn’t take revenge was Jia Yuanling was in prison and it would attract too much attention if they did anything. However, they must be plotting something against Ling Family. When the event was gradually forgotten, they would surely take actions. That was why he was hurried to train the guards.
Now he had checked all the servants in his family. Even the close servants had also been investigated seriously. All his stuff that could testify his identity had been listed and put into a safe place, so there was no way that they would be stolen. But it was still too early to say so. He still had to prepare everything in advance.
He had discussed with his uncle about counterplotting. It was time to take action now.
After drinking a few cups with Tao Yi, Ling Zhang took Ling Maomao and others back home. Leaving what he bought to Xiafeng, he went to find Fu Caiwei in Ling Zhaowen’s yard to read the list of guards. Since he had decided to train the guards, he should select the proper ones first.