Chapter 168: Refusal of Entrance
The capital city was swarming with spies, which was why news of Yuwen Tong’s leaving the imperial palace soon reached the ears of all those who believed they ought to be informed of it…
Yuwen Tong didn’t go back to the residence of Yuwen family. Instead, he went to a residential compound where a board engraved with the name “Ling Family” had just been fixed above the front door.
Everybody knew Yuwen Tong was going there to see Ling Zhang.
Apart from other people’s reaction, Yuwen Zhi, on being informed of this, smashed his teacup to pieces, an extremely sullen look on his face. Yuwen Tong’s not returning home first after entering the city had already made him feel shamed, and he had been struggling to keep his temper all along, but now, after leaving the imperial palace, Yuwen Tong had gone to Ling Zhang’s place instead of returning home, which he found unbearably humiliating.
Yuwen Zhi had always been highly status-conscious and cared about face very much, regarding himself head and shoulders above all other dignitaries in the capital city. Except for members of the imperial family, he never compromised with anybody in any circumstances, and almost everybody would think twice before doing something that might be offensive to him. It was true that he had not really been on good terms with Yuwen Tong, but in the past, every time Yuwen Tong returned from the border areas, he would always come back home to visit him first. Never once had Yuwen Tong been so disrespectful to him like this.
‘How am I supposed to show my face after this?! What would others in this city think of me?!’
Yuwen Zhi was within an inch of failing to catch his breath, feeling that nobody had ever inflicted such humiliation on him.
“I told you so. That Ling Zhang guy is a male courtesan. Feng’er criticized me for using that word. Now you see what’s happening. Didn’t that male courtesan bewitch Yuwen Tong and have Yuwen Tong in the palm of his hand?! He forgot where his home is. Does he still have a shred of respect for us? Does he still remember you’re his uncle and I his aunt? I doubt he still remembers his surname is Yuwen!” Zheng shi was also very indignant.
Yuwen Tong had repeatedly humiliated them on this day. How was she supposed to show her face in front of those officials’ wives in the future? She felt that she might have to stay at home for the rest of her life!
Yuwen Qi angrily sprung to his feet. “I’ll go to Ling Zhang’s place. I don’t believe that Ling Zhang guy would be so shameless and bold as to take my cousin from us like this!”
Yuwen Feng also had a frown on his face, but he was not an impulsive man like Yuwen Qi was, and neither did he lose his head. “Sit down,” he said.
“Elder Brother! How could you bear to just sit there after this? Yuwen Tong refused to return home, showing a total disregard for our feelings!” Yuwen Qi was very displeased.
“Sit down,” Yuwen Feng repeated, looking at Yuwen Qi.
Consumed with indignation, Yuwen Qi sat back into his seat and replied, “If I’m not to go there, what do you think we should do? Just sitting here watching that Ling Zhang guy swaggering around?”
Brow furrowed, Yuwen Feng said, “Father, I think he’s doing this because he’s angry with you for sending my younger brother to Tanyang. Judging from what happened earlier this day, he cares about Ling Zhang very much.”
Yuwen Zhi looked at him and responded, “Are you laying blame on me?”
Yuwen Feng said, “I don’t dare, Father. I’m just trying to point out the fact to you. Currently, our first priority is to mollify him. No matter how displeased you are with Ling Zhang, it should be a family matter concerning nobody but us, rather than a laughing stock of the whole city.”
“That’s easy for you to say. What do you suggest we should do?”
Though anger was bubbling inside Yuwen Qi, he had no choice but to obey his elder brother. It was just that his obedience was tinged with unwillingness. He didn’t know why, but he just disliked it when Yuwen Feng acted as if he had got everything sorted out, as if he was better than him in everything.
Yuwen Feng rose to his feet. “I’ll go to Ling Zhang’s place.”
On hearing this, Yuwen Qi also stood up and said, “I’m going with you!”
Yuwen Feng declined. “That won’t be necessary.”
Yuwen Qi was displeased. “Why? Why can’t I go there?”
Zheng shi chipped in, “Maybe you should let Qi’er go with you, so that the two of you can keep each other company.”
Yuwen Feng’s brow corrugated in a frown, as if saying that only a three-year-old child needed company. However, it was inappropriate for him to contradict his mother too often, so eventually he inclined his head.