To understand why they had to cross-dress, one would have to start with how they avoided Mr. Song's surveillance.
Speaking of Mr. Song, one cannot help but mention the treasures that were transported to Beijing along with the old lady.
Yue Dingtang was afraid that Ling Shu would speak recklessly and reveal everything.
Although the housekeeper was on their side, this matter was of great importance and the fewer people who knew about it, the safer it would be. Knowing too much might not be a good thing for the listener either.
After a bowl of hot soup, the best thing to have is a warm cup of wine. It doesn't have to be high in alcohol content, osmanthus wine or green plum wine is most suitable.
For them, who were tired from the journey, a pot of wine could ease their nerves, awaken their senses, and thoroughly relax their bodies.
Ling Shu casually recounted his observations of the Guan family, describing the absurdity of the brothers.
He spoke of the unreasonable eldest brother who was obsessed with antiques but knew nothing about them, the second brother who was all talk and no action, the third brother who was like a block of wood, and the fourth brother who was a trickster. He also vividly described the fifth brother, who had returned from studying abroad and seemed aloof but was actually very concerned about his share of the family's assets.
The scene of Old Yuan opening the warehouse became a fascinating story in Ling Shu's mouth, successfully diverting Uncle Zhou's attention.
With Ling Shu at the dinner table, even a small group of people could have a lively conversation.
The old housekeeper had seen many things in his life, but he had rarely encountered a family as bizarre as the Guan family. He was completely absorbed in Ling Shu's storytelling and let out a sigh only after Ling Shu had finished speaking for a long time.
"In fact, the Eldest Young Master was right. You should not have gone on this trip. Not only did you suffer, but if Miss knew, she would not want such a thing to happen."
Yue Dingtang put down his soup bowl and wiped his mouth with a napkin.
"But it wasn't for nothing. At least we fulfilled one of Mother's regrets."
They also saved two whole boxes of treasures from falling into the hands of foreigners.
Whether those treasures could be considered national treasures, not even Old Yuan or Ling Shu knew how to distinguish them.
But old master Guan risked his life to protect these things, and went through great lengths to do so. Plus, their origins were already extraordinary.
Perhaps one day in the future, this piece of history will be recorded, and old master Guan's contribution to protecting these treasures will be written into it.
All of their hard work and efforts were not in vain.
"But for now, these things are still a secret and not worth mentioning to outsiders.
When he was at home, he always wanted to go out and explore, but once he spent a long time outside, he began to miss home.
This was a haven where he could relax and rest when he was tired.
Here, he didn't have to scheme and fight for survival, nor did he have to worry about people around him plotting against him. His family would prepare hot meals and soup to help him wash away the dust from his long journey.
Although this was not his home, Ling Shu felt no burden staying here.
If he gave himself psychological burdens, he would not live long.
He never sought trouble for himself.
Uncle Zhou naturally wouldn't let him sleep on the sofa in the living room. He had already tidied up the guest room, changed all the bedding, and even the smell of sunshine could be smelled when he put his nose close to it.
As soon as Yue Dingtang came downstairs, he had two bowls of snow pear stew with rock sugar in his hands.
Uncle Zhou wanted to alleviate all the hardships they had endured outside in one day. He had been cooking non-stop on the stove and was even going to personally bring some to Ling Shu upstairs.
Yue Dingtang couldn't bear to see him climbing up and down the stairs at his age, so he took the bowls from him.
He placed one bowl on his bedside table in his own room and brought the other one over to Ling Shu's room.
He knocked on the door several times before hearing a lazy voice from inside.
Ling Shu was heavily drowsy and was probably about to fall asleep any second.
Yue Dingtang pushed the door open and saw Ling Shu lying on the bed with limbs spread out and no sense of form.
As soon as he saw him, Yue Dingtang frowned. "You're pressing on your wound. Don't sleep like that."
Ling Shu didn't respond at all.
As Yue Dingtang approached, he noticed that the other person had washed their hair but hadn't bothered to dry it, leaving their wet hair to soak into the pillow.
"Get up," Yue Dingtang said, unable to tolerate it any longer.
It was true that when they were outside, he could tolerate anything, but once they were home and he saw how careless the other person was, he began to nitpick.
Ling Shu responded vaguely, but his body was honest and didn't move.
Yue Dingtang couldn't take it anymore and finally took matters into his own hands.
He grabbed a clean towel from the bathroom and covered the other person's head, starting to massage it.
"A little to the left, yes, right there, press on the Fengchi acupoint..."
Ling Shu took advantage of the situation and didn't mind Yue Dingtang's slightly rough movements.
He even started to enjoy it.
Yue Dingtang was speechless.
This was truly a born rich young master. If the Ling family hadn't fallen on hard times, this guy would probably still be a pampered little prince who would complain about a rose thorn prick for half a day.
If Ling Shu had taken his sister's inheritance to study abroad, he might have met Yue Dingtang in a foreign land, because the circle of international students is so small that you can bump into someone you know anywhere.
Yue Dingtang would then know that Ling Shu had not married Du Yunning and would also know about the Ling family's situation.
But what good would it do to know?
At that time, he himself was just a spoiled young master who relied on the tuition and living expenses provided by the Yue family.
He had not yet come into contact with the vast and exciting world, nor had he developed the ability to remain calm in the face of adversity or the experience of seeing the ups and downs of life. He also did not have the corresponding status and ability, so he might not have been able to accommodate the other party within his own sphere of influence as much as he can now.
Perhaps, meeting now is the most perfect arrangement.
As he rubbed and rubbed, he realized that his subordinate's head had completely lost its struggle, flattened and rounded by his hands.
Looking at his relaxed expression, it seemed that he had fallen asleep.
Yue Dingtang touched the other's hair and felt that it was dry enough, so he wouldn't wake up with a headache the next day.
At this point, he should have naturally gotten up, turned off the light, and quietly left.
But he saw the bowl of untouched snow pear soup with rock sugar on the bedside table.
Yue Dingtang reached out and gently pinched Ling Shu's cheek, his thin lips approaching and exhaling hot air in his ear.
"Tomorrow is payday, 300 dollars."
Ling Shu suddenly opened his eyes and bounced off the bed!
Yue Dingtang sat calmly on the edge of the bed.
Ling Shu: "Tomorrow is payday?"
Yue Dingtang looked at him like he was a fool.
"Tomorrow is only the middle of the month, how could it be payday?"
Ling Shu said, "But I heard it was 300 dollars?"
Yue Dingtang remained calm, "You must have heard it in your dream."
The two stared at each other in disbelief.
Ling Shu was firm, "I couldn't have misheard!"
Yue Dingtang handed him a bowl of sweet soup and said, "Since you're awake, drink this bowl of sweet soup. It's a gift from Uncle Zhou and we shouldn't waste his kindness."
He handed the bowl to Ling Shu and left.
Ling Shu pondered, 'Did I dream it or did I really hear it?'
Ling Shu stayed at Yue Dingtang's house for a whole week.
During these seven days, he didn't go to the police station because of his old injuries. He just sat around and had the family doctor from Yue's house come to change his bandages. He didn't dare to go home, otherwise his sister would notice his thin face and limp, and she might break his other leg.
At least Yue Dingtang still had to go to school, while Ling Shu just rooted himself and grew mold at Yue's house.
But he wasn't bored, every day he would drag Uncle Zhou and perform all kinds of plays for him.
Today it was "The Romance of the Western Chamber", and Ling Shu didn't need any extra help.
He would switch between playing the coquettish Cui Yinging with delicate eyebrows, to jumping over to the other side and becoming the melancholic Zhang Sheng, and then transforming into the lively and playful matchmaker Hong Niang.
Sometimes he would pinch his throat, sometimes he would lower his voice and speak roughly, making Uncle Zhou laugh uncontrollably.
Ling Shu himself was also having a great time, even the servants in Yue Dingtang's house found it amusing. Whenever they had free time, they would gather around to watch and cheer for Ling Shu.
This only made him more enthusiastic, until Yue Dingtang came home from work.
Yue Dingtang wasn't as idle as Ling Shu.
The police station may not have much going on most of the time, but he still had students to attend to.
This time, he had been delayed in the northeast for far too long, well beyond the time he had originally requested off.
Besides having to return to school to cancel his leave, he also had to attend several extra classes to make up for the ones his students had missed.
When the news of his return reached the Zhen family, they quickly came to visit.
It was Zhen Shulan again.
As soon as Yue Dingtang saw him, he knew what he was there for.
Before going to the northeast, Zhen Shulan had come to them about his sister Zhen Congyun's disappearance, hoping that if they saw her in the northeast, they would help contact the Zhen family.
But Zhen Shulan had no idea that Yue Dingtang not only encountered Zhen Congyun in the northeast, but she had also teamed up with Russians to try to kill and steal treasures.
In the end, they died in Yue Dingtang and Ling Shu's hands, and the Buddhist pagoda taken by Zhen Congyun is still missing to this day.
Of course, Yue Dingtang could not tell him the truth and only said that they did not encounter Zhen Congyun at all and did not know if she was still in the northeast.
Zhen Shulan did not show any extra suspicion.
"Well, to be honest, when I asked for your help, I also felt that the chances were slim. My younger sister's personality, I know her best. She is too stubborn and thinks that the whole world revolves around her. This kind of personality is indulged in the Zhen family and by us, it simply won't work outside."
As he spoke, Zhen Shulan showed a bitter smile.
"Father was furious and declared that from now on, the Zhen family would act as if she never existed. He also found another sister to replace her in the engagement with the Liu family."
Yue Dingtang remained silent for a moment before saying, "I am sorry."
He was accustomed to saying these polite words, and his calm expression gave no hint of his true feelings.
However, Zhen Congyun was not related to him in any way, and Zhen Shulan had no doubts.
"Well, let's not talk about it anymore. We have troubled you enough. When my younger sister gets married, we will send an invitation to your mansion and hope that you and your brother can come and have a drink with us."
Yue Dingtang replied, "Of course, Mr. Zhen, you are too kind."
Regarded with favor in the past, Zhen Congyun was a special existence to the Zhen family.
However, having many sisters, her absence would not be felt.
Zhen Congyun believed her uniqueness was unparalleled and that leaving the Zhen family would grant her freedom.
Little did she know, her arrogance would become her downfall.
In her attempt to escape the confines of her predetermined fate, her story shared similarities with that of He You'an, yet their outcomes were vastly different.
At the very least, Yue Dingtang would always remember the name He You'an, but perhaps not that of Zhen Congyun.
Aside from her immediate family, it was unlikely that anyone would remember her.
On his way home from work, Yue Dingtang encountered an unexpected person.
After exchanging pleasantries, the person was invited to join Yue Dingtang on his ride home.
After a day at work, Yue Dingtang almost thought he had entered the wrong house when he returned home.
The Yue Manor was always quiet, with servants speaking in hushed tones.
But now, he could hear laughter and chatter from behind the door.
The servant who opened the door looked at him cautiously, afraid of displeasing him, and explained, "Fourth Young Master, Young Master Ling didn't know you've come back."
Yue Dingtang just grunted in response, unable to discern his emotions.