Chapter 841 – I'll Make the Ancestral Hall a Mahjong Den
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
If he chose Tang Thirty-Six, the Tang clan was almost certain to face an upheaval, and might even splinter. Moreover, there was a greater chance that the Tang Second Master would win out in the end.
Thus, this multiple-choice question became extremely simple.
The Tang Old Master decided to support Shang Xingzhou, so he naturally gave up on Chen Changsheng.
The Tang Old Master had decided to pa.s.s the Tang clan on to the second branch, so he naturally had to begin suppressing the chief branch.
If Tang Thirty-Six were just a mediocre person, perhaps the matter would have been simpler.
But he was not, and he also had a friend: the current Pope.
So the Tang Old Master could only imprison him in the ancestral hall.
He might be imprisoned for the rest of his life, until, several decades or several centuries later, he transformed into a white-haired madman.
Of course, the more likely possibility was that once Shang Xingzhou subdued the Orthodoxy and killed Chen Changsheng, Tang Thirty-Six would be granted a bowl of poison.
Yes, poison, a dagger, a white string, a pit—regardless of which method it was, they all ended in death.
In the past, Tang Thirty-Six naturally would not have thought his grandfather would do this.
But he had long since understood that the kindly grandfather had been a false appearance, an illusion.
The Tang Old Master had placed him on his lap and talked about stories from the past, described the glories of the future. There was nothing that could describe the pampering Tang Thirty-Six received except love.
But this love was not for the boy on his lap. It was for the Tang clan's future.
Now, the Tang Old Master had arranged a new future for the Tang clan, and he also had a new grandson.
So, for the sake of the Tang clan's future, the love he had once given to Tang Thirty-Six was equaled by his present callousness.
From the moment he understood this, Tang Thirty-Six held no hopes that his grandfather would release him.
He did not want to be imprisoned in the ancestral hall for the rest of his life, nor did he want to silently die.
He wanted to leave here, but he never made a single attempt.
Because on the day after he was imprisoned in the ancestral hall, many subordinates loyal to his father attempted to rescue him.
Those people all died. Afterward, many more people of the chief branch died.
He could only be even more silent.
Whether it was the paper strips tied around the rocks thrown over the wall or the secret messages carved on the bottom of the food plates, he could only pretend not to see them.
Gradually, rocks stopped being thrown over the wall, and no more kites could be seen in the sky.
It had also been a long time since the main gate of the ancestral hall opened.
No matter how well it was preserved, a gate that had not been opened for a very long time would inevitably unpleasantly creak when it was opened once more.
The main gate of the ancestral hall opened. A cold winter wind speckled with snow blew in.
Tang Thirty-Six sat on the prayer mat, staring at the memorial tablet at the very top, not turning his head.
The old Guardian from the Tang clan walked up to him and said, "The Old Master has some words for you."
There was no idle chatter about how it had been a long time since they had met, no exchanging of formalities, not even a little preamble.
The old Guardian looked at his back, his face emotionless.
"You must investigate whether the Second Master has poisoned the First Master and whether he is colluding with the demons or not.
"You have two hours. In this period of time, the entire Tang clan is yours."
Tang Thirty-Six did not turn around. He continued to calmly stare at those memorial tablets that looked just like mahjong pieces in the gloom of the ancestral hall.
After some time, he finally spoke.
After half a year of not speaking, his voice was a little hoa.r.s.e and clumsy.
"That fellow came?"
The old Guardian replied, "Yes."
Tang Thirty-Six still did not turn around as he asked, "What did he and the Old Master talk about?"
After a few moments of silence, the old Guardian recounted Chen Changsheng's conversation with the Tang Old Master in the old estate, not leaving out a single word.
He then added, "You have already wasted twenty minutes."
"This is the Tang clan. If I need to do something, I certainly don't need that much time."
Tang Thirty-Six stretched, causing dust to spurt from his clothes.
This was an incredibly thorough stretch. One could even hear the sound of bones creaking.
Then, he got up from the ground, patted the dust off his b.u.t.t, and then took a palace armchair from the ancestral hall and seated himself.
He was still covered in dust, his hair still disheveled and his face dirty, but his eyes were no longer indifferent. They were dazzlingly bright, even a little sharp.
And there was none of that lifeless air. His body now seemed to brim with an inexplicable vigor.
At this sight, the old Guardian slightly narrowed his eyes.
"That monster from the Longevity Sect is called Chusu? Quite the arrogant name; I approve."
Tang Thirty-Six stretched out his hand, taking a bowl of tea from the hands of the mute servant. After taking a drink from it, he continued, "But if he's already left Wenshui, where can I catch him?"
The old Guardian seemed to have thought of something, as his expression was rather strange. He said, "From the first day he entered the city, the Old Master has had someone watching him. He can't leave."
"Then what need is there for me to do anything?" Tang Thirty-Six wet his forefinger in the tea and flicked it towards the dense collection of memorial tablets behind him, then said, "As for the second condition, that's exceedingly simple. There's no need for Great Guardian to trouble yourself. I have means of proving to the Old Master that Second Uncle is working with the demons."
The old Guardian expressionlessly asked, "Then what does Young Master want to do right now?"
"Call Seventh Uncle over, call Sixteenth Uncle over, and also invite Grandpa Jiu of Jia'er Alley over."
Tang Thirty-Six casually commented, "It's been a long time since I've seen these relatives of mine. I truly have somewhat missed them."
The old Guardian did not know why he wanted to see these people or what relation they had to his two tasks.
The people standing outside the ancestral hall also did not know.
But the Tang Old Master had clearly stated that in these two hours, all of Wenshui City was Tang Thirty-Six's to manage.
Let alone just a few people, if he wanted to call the entire clan to the ancestral hall, the order had to be followed through.
Even though the snow today was rather great, no one dared to defy the Tang Old Master's will. In a short time, those three people arrived at the ancestral hall.
Seeing Tang Thirty-Six seated upon the palace armchair, the three felt a complex mixture of emotions and had no idea how they should act in front of him.
The Pope had come to Wenshui City and the gate to the ancestral hall was open. They had even heard that the Old Master had given Tang Thirty-Six absolute authority. Just what did all this mean?
Could the chief branch which had been waning away be about to revive?
"It's nothing, the Old Master just gave me a rare two hours of fresh air and said that I could do anything I wanted."
Tang Thirty-Six looked at the trio and said, "So I called the three of you over to accompany me in a game of mahjong."
The three were somewhat shocked, glancing at each other and then at the old Guardian.
Tang Thirty-Six looked at the Guardian and said, "Anything is okay, so this naturally includes mahjong, right?"
The old Guardian impa.s.sively replied, "Yes."
The mahjong table was quickly prepared.
The emerald-green mahjong pieces carved of jade were neatly lined up, looking very comfortable.
"Such a sight truly gladdens the heart, wouldn't you say, Seventh Uncle?"
Tang Thirty-Six used his finger to caress the back of the mahjong tiles as he sighed, "I wonder what the scenery of the Bamboo Garden is like on this wintry twelfth month."
The three other people at the table, Seventh Uncle included, just looked at the mahjong tiles before them, not responding or reacting.
"Have the people of the Maple Hall go and see. Seal the Bamboo Garden. Don't let one doc.u.ment or person be lost," Tang Thirty-Six said as he gazed at the mahjong tiles.
The old Guardian said nothing. The un.o.bservant individual would fail to notice his slight nod.
Countless subordinates and stewards of the old estate waited outside the ancestral hall, some of them going to carry out this order.
Hearing these words, Seventh Uncle finally could not help but raise his head to glance at Tang Thirty-Six.
Tang Thirty-Six did not react. Drawing a mahjong tile, he continued, "Send the Cloud Organization to the Quiet Residence, the River Hall to Hesi. I want the maps of the Quiet Residence and the bills from Hesi."
At this time, the two remaining people at the table finally raised their heads.
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