“I heard that if you end up in the South Wing HQ’s prison, you won’t be able to come out alive without a few thousand taels of silver,” Xu Jingming said.
“There’s nothing I can do about that.” Qiu Tong shook her head. “The world is very chaotic! If I don’t want the benefits that come my way, I won’t fit in! I’ll be ostracized.”
Xu Jingming understood this.
“Fortunately, I’m a deputy captain, so I can secretly slack off,” Qiu Tong said. “My hobby is finding good food, and the capital deserves being the capital! It gathers top delicacies from all over the world.”
Xu Jingming immediately said, “You have to tell me in detail. I’m very free now, so I can slowly savor them.”
At the very least, he was very satisfied with the delicacies in this secluded restaurant.
“Alright, no problem.” Qiu Tong nodded and suddenly asked, “By the way, have you visited Brother Luo recently?”
“I heard that he moved out of the Fei residence the last time I went,” Xu Jingming said.
“Yeah.” Qiu Tong nodded. “I heard that he now runs a small restaurant and has just taken in two concubines. He probably wants to carry on the family line and live a peaceful life.”
“Concubines?” He was surprised.
“He didn’t tell me either. I accidentally found out when I was chatting with the other Blood Rain Guards,” Qiu Tong said. “After all, the three of us came from Lanyue City together. Let’s take care of him a little in the future.”
“Yes.” Xu Jingming nodded. “We should keep a tab on him.”
“Back then, Brother Luo was the most miserable among the three of us. I lost an arm, but Brother Jing, you were the strongest… But now, you’ve been reduced to an ordinary Blood Rain Guard.” Qiu Tong shook her head. “I’ve seen through it all—it’s really difficult to survive in the capital.”
“It’s indeed difficult.” Xu Jingming nodded. He hadn’t provoked Cheng Yanran, but he had attracted trouble.
His brothers like Zhang Ke were also innocently implicated.
“I’ve been in the South Wing HQ for some time now. I can feel that… the world is really chaotic nowadays. Even the Blood Rain Guards in the capital are considering backup plans,” Qiu Tong said.
“Backup plans?” He was stunned.
“The northwest is completely corrupted now, and the south isn’t much better. Only the east maintains the most basic order,” Qiu Tong commented in a low voice. “The Blood Rain Guards in the capital secretly think that this dynasty won’t last long. They naturally want to earn as much as they can for now.”
“40,000 Blood Rain Guards and 200,000 auxiliary guards are enough to guard the capital, but it’s far from enough to stabilize the world.” Xu Jingming nodded.
The two of them had their fill of food and drinks. While they were chatting, they suddenly heard an argument downstairs.
“The appearance of such a huge dead rat in this soup disgusts me. If you don’t give me an explanation, I’ll smash your restaurant!” The entire restaurant heard the loud voice downstairs.
“Let’s go down and take a look,” Qiu Tong said.
“Let’s go.” Xu Jingming got up.
When the two of them arrived on the first floor, they saw a group of people sitting at two tables. One of them pointed at the soup and said, “See this? Isn’t it disgusting to see such a huge dead rat? You guys want to run a restaurant? Just shut it down.”
“Sixth Master, Sixth Master.” An elder stepped forward and said, “We’re willing to make amends. How much do you want? Give us a number.”
The man with a protruding mouth stretched out his palm. “Five hundred taels of silver, and I’ll forgive you.”
“Five hundred taels?” the old man exclaimed.
“Brother Wang, it’s them.” The young female attendant brought in two patrolling auxiliary guards from outside. The two auxiliary guards couldn’t help but frown when they saw the dozen or so troublemakers.
“Wang Cheng, you came at the right time.” The man with the protruding mouth sneered and pointed at the soup. “Look at the dead rat in this soup—it’s disgusting. If I don’t get a reasonable explanation today, how can I, Sixth Master Chang, survive in the capital?”
The female attendant rebuked angrily, “If there was a dead rat in such a big bowl of meat soup, why did you drink more than half of it and finish up all the meat?”
“How dare you say that!? It only infuriates me further!” the man said angrily.
“You scooped up all the meat in the soup and ate it, but you didn’t manage to scoop up such a big dead rat?” The girl rebuked angrily.
“And a coincidence it is!” the man shouted angrily. “Cut the crap. I’ll spare you for 500 taels of silver. Otherwise… my men will smash your restaurant today. Nobody is going to help you today—not even Wang Cheng!”
The girl’s eyes turned red from anger, but she had no solution.
“Boss,” the old man whispered. “Bear with it, bear with it.”
“These people are clearly extorting money.” The girl was extremely angry. “My father fell sick and became bedridden by these gangs, and they’re still extorting money. The constables want money, the Blood Rain Guard wants money, the gangs want money, and even these gang members don’t abide by the rules and continue to ask for money… The money we earn from doing business isn’t enough for them to extort!”
The man scratched his ear and scoffed.
Xu Jingming and Qiu Tong looked at each other as they walked down the stairs.
The two of them were Blood Rain Guards!
All the merchants in this jurisdiction paid the Blood Rain Guard—this was an unspoken rule. Now that he had heard the girl’s words, Xu Jingming felt that it wasn’t right. However, the entire imperial capital’s Blood Rain Guard was like this; it wasn’t something he could change.
“Give her a hand.” Qiu Tong gave Xu Jingming a look.
She had been eating here for a long time and had a good impression of this young girl who ran the business. She wanted to help, but she was a Blood Rain Guard of the Prison Bureau and didn’t have the right to arrest him!
She didn’t have the authority, but Xu Jingming did!
Xu Jingming nodded slightly.
“Huh?” He walked forward with a cold gaze, stunning the surrounding crowd.
Xu Jingming stared at the man carefully.