Chapter 195 Mean and despicable
Gu Xiran led Shu Huan to his place.
After Shu Huan got free from worry, she though back about the past event and was suddenly worried. She asked, “I didn’t get you in trouble, did I?”
“Huh?” Gu Xiran had other things on his mind, so when he was suddenly inquired by her, he hadn’t come back to his senses yet.
“I meant the matter of dealing with Shu Yue and the fact that you brought so many people to find me.” Shu Huan already knew that he was now working under the prefectural magistrate and had the power to order those bailiffs, but Shu Yue was right about something. Gu Xiran wasn’t a government official after all. If a moment of jolly would cause trouble for him, she would rather find another way to deal with Shu Yue. She just hoped that she could stay with him safely, and never have accidents or twist and turns again.
“Don’t worry, there won’t be any trouble,” Gu Xiran smiled. “Master Du will inform the magistrate of this matter. We haven’t overpunished her (SY) for the crime she has committed.”
Only now did Shu Huan feel relieved. After remembering what she had seen and heard when she entered the city, she smiled and whispered, “I was stupid. When I entered the city, I thought the prefectural magistrate was quite capable but didn’t think of asking if there was a capable person helping him. Otherwise, the matter with Shu Yue wouldn’t have happened.”
Gu Xiran smiled and said, “Are you praising or humiliating me? These days I’m almost badly burned about the head. What I can do were only these things. Trying to save one more is one. Now I’m still waiting for the people above to distribute money and provision and send more manpower here. At that time, the situation may be improved. In fact, Doctor Ji was more than enough to help the prefectural magistrate with these things. But he (JD) made it clear that he will only seeing patients and won’t deal with other things, so the mess fell on me.”
- Badly burned about the head: hard-pressed
To be more elaborate, it was earthquake that day. Gu Xiran first went to Danqing’s place to find Ji Danqing to inquire about the whereabouts of Shu Huan. Afterwards, he rushed in the dark to the small courtyard rented by Shu Huan and saw that the place had collapsed. He didn’t care much at that time and rushed in to find her, but he didn’t find anyone. So, he guessed that Shu Huan had escaped with the maids already.
However, fleeing might not be safe. The ground was falling apart and it was crowded with people. Many people were injured or even killed in the process of fleeing. Even though Ji Danqing had been comforting him and said that Shu Huan had made preventive preparations during the days before the earthquake, so, she would be safe and sound. However, he still couldn’t be at ease before seeing her with his own eyes.
Afterwards, the torrential rain fell. It was impossible to find someone in that kind of dark night and that kind of rain that caused one unable to keep one’s eyes open. He didn’t find Shu Huan, but he accidentally met the prefectural magistrate who was injured in the earthquake. As luck would have it, Ji Danqing was a doctor. In this kind of circumstances, he (JD) came in handy and thus handled the injuries of the prefectural magistrate.
The next morning, Gu Xiran was still in a hurry to continue to search but didn’t think that the prefectural magistrate was so frightened that he wanted to leave here and seek refuge elsewhere. In addition, he refused to let go of Ji Danqing, because at this moment it was very difficult to find a skilled doctor.
At such a time, the head of a city actually only wanted to abandon the people and escape on his own!
Gu Xiran exploded on the spot, but he was a person who had experience in the workplace. He didn’t point directly at the nose of the prefectural magistrate and scolded him. Instead he asked faintly, “Sir, do you only want to live and not care about this black gauze hat on your head?”
- Black gauze hat: a headwear worn by the government officials in ancient China.
After asking, he first spoke of the general knowledge of the earthquake to the prefectural magistrate and then clearly analyzed the situation that might be encountered after the disaster. In short, he (GXR) described the plague, famine, bandits, and so on that might occur as extremely grave.
After the prefectural magistrate heard it, he was stupefied. The people above might catch another scapegoat for the natural disaster and might not blame it all on him. But if the city was so chaotic and they verified the crime that he only cared about running for his life and that he didn’t care about the fate of the citizens; it was one thing that he wouldn’t be able to keep that black gauze hat on his head. If His Majesty was furious, he might not even be able to keep his head on his body. He immediately lost half of the thought to run away.
Furthermore, the prefectural magistrate was a person who had been in the officialdom for more than half of his life. He was frightened, so he didn’t think it through. When he calmed down and thought about it, even if the world was very big, all territory belongs to the emperor. He could run away now but where could he go? As long as there was a word from someone above, even if he reached the ends of the earth, he would be chased and brought back. The best way to keep his head and black gauze hat at the moment was to atone for his crimes by meritorious acts! He couldn’t control the natural disaster, but he could still work hard by providing relief for the disaster and minimizing the loss.
At the same time, Gu Xiran continued to say, “One wanted to become an official is to seek wealth and fame. If sir walks away now, sir will lose both. If you stay, even if you have no money, even if your head is on the verge of collapse, but your clean image would be spread far and wide. You may even go down in history.”
After the prefectural magistrate analyzed the situation calmly and meticulously, he found that the result for both was getting beheaded. The difference was the death of all nine generations or the death of only him. He then looked at his young children and lovable wife and beautiful concubines. He gritted his teeth and said, “Let’s do it!”
“Haha!” When Gu Xiran spoke till here, Shu Huan couldn’t hold back her laughter. “You made that up, right?!”
Gu Xiran just looked at her and smiled. He didn’t agree nor disagree.
Shu Huan urged, “What happened afterwards?”
“Afterwards?” Gu Xiran raised his eyebrows and said, “Nothing. It was just helping the magistrate to plead for forgiveness in the booklet. Then, list all kinds of plans and countermeasures for the relief of disaster in the booklet too and sent it to the people above.”
Here was very close to the imperial capital. The emperor was probably also afraid that if Jingtian City became completely chaotic, it would affect the imperial capital too. Therefore, not long after the booklet was sent, it was approved and returned to them. It didn’t criticize the prefectural magistrate much. It even said that it would be best if they could do as planned. The rest of the document were words of leniency and urging, telling the prefectural magistrate to do his best to relieve the disaster.
In fact, this was expected. In this kind of situation, the most important thing was to appease the people. Since the prefectural magistrate was still able to do his work, it would be unlikely to replace him now. But he (GXR) didn’t think that in this way, the prefectural magistrate became at ease and all the more, he (magistrate) didn’t want to let him (GXR) and Ji Danqing go.
“After considering it through, I thought that if I could help relief the disaster, I would also have more people to look for you. This is the best of both worlds, so I stayed.” Gu Xiran smiled bitterly and said, “There was also no other way. I have thought you might have gone to another city, but this is the only place we can find each other, so, you will always come back.”
Although he thought like that, but before he found Shu Huan, he still couldn’t suppress his worries. It was better to be safe than sorry. What if Shu Huan didn’t go to another city, but was trapped inside the city and waiting for him to go safe her? He searched all the places she might go, including Shu residence! Although Shu Huan wouldn’t go to Shu residence by herself, but he couldn’t rule out the possibility that she was accidentally forced to go. But he didn’t think that he didn’t find her in the end, but found the outrageous Shu Yue.
This was really an accident arising from many causes!
As they spoke on the way, they reached Gu Xiran’s place. Before they went in, Gu Xiran suddenly said, “Let me take a look again at those things you used to defend yourself.”
Shu Huan didn’t suspect him and very obediently handed him the bottle of knockout drops and hidden weapon. However, he put on an act and looked at them for a while, and suddenly turned his hands and put both things in his sleeve.
“You…,” Shu Huan was dumbfounded.
Gu Xiran smiled evilly, “I’ll keep them for you for a few days.”
Shu Huan hadn’t understood yet and asked, “Why?!”
Gu Xiran lifted the curtain and pulled her in. He then hugged her and whispered in her ear, “If such dangerous things were left on you, this husband’s situation would be very perilous…”
Shu Huan was stunned, then she immediately understood what he meant. So, her face couldn’t help but turn red little by little. Finally, she kicked in his direction and yelled “Gu Xiran! You’re too mean! Too despicable!”