Chapter 29 Inside the Fu Ning Palace
“... Your Majesty, please uphold justice for me!”
Side hall, Fu Ning Palace.
There was a fierce atmosphere in the hall, but the emperor sitting on the throne was looking bored.
On the right of the throne was kneeling Commandery Princess Ningyi Qiu Yelan and scholar Ruan Qingyan. Now Qiu Yelan was crying sorrowfully. As for the person she was crying to, or at least apparently so, the emperor’s sight occasionally swift to a yellowish bottle of GuiGuZi descending from a mountain. He found it quite new for him and wondered if this has been recently changed.
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But not necessarily... he hasn’t been to Fu Ning Palace for a long time, maybe he’s wrong.
He should have been in charge of the royal court since he was married at the age of sixteen.
However, Empress Dowager Gu continued to control the court from behind on the pretext of his lack of experience. Later, the senior officials had too much discontent against it, especially the Jiang Family, which had repeatedly expressed their dissatisfaction. Later, Empress Dowager Gu simply excused that “the emperor is not feeling well”. The emperor was too weak to object.
However, he had been “unwell” ever since then.
He generally did not live in the Fu Ning Palace like every Darui emperor used to. Empress Dowager Gu didn’t stop him from living here, but in addition to being where the Darui emperors live, it was also an inner court used for official discussions. Surely the Palace of Ganquan had replaced this purpose when Empress Dowager Gu was the regent.
However, after Empress Jiang failed to persuade the emperor of seizing power and decided to do it on her own, the ministers were fed up with running around between Palace of Ganquan and Zishen Palace. They unanimously proposed to restore the role of Fu Ning Palace to end the battle between the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law.
It was convenient for the ministers, but the emperor was fed up from being called by the Empress or the Empress Dowager to help out from time to time. He simply stayed in the harem and did not return easily.
“Maybe I remember it wrong. The things in this place won’t change casually.” The emperor was a bit bored. He didn’t want to come today, but by the rules, he had to stay with the Empress on the first day of a month, especially the first day of the first lunar month.
Empress Jiang wanted to wrestle with Empress Dowager Gu, and she brought him here.
The poor emperor had no excuse to escape, so he could only remain seated.
The crying of Commandery Princess Ningyi Qiu Yelan ended with a profoundly sad pleading. The beautiful and delicate little girl was lying under the throne, full of hope in desperation. It was really touching.
But the emperor didn’t pay attention to what she said at all. However, Empress Jiang was wiping her tears with a handkerchief, and she asked him in a sad tone, “Your Majesty, Qiu Mengmin is totally an animal! How could such a person bear the title of nobility? Is there justice in this world?”
“The empress was right.” The emperor said absentmindedly. What he was thinking now was that the Commandery Princess was quite pretty, and she would grow up to be a stunner. However, now that she publicly helped the Empress to go against Empress Dowager Gu, it was hard to tell if she could survive till then.
Empress Jiang’s mouth ticked with a proud smile, but the Empress Dowager Gu on the left side of the throne irritatedly yelled, “What did you say? Son!”
The emperor immediately flinched and said weakly, “Mother... it’s all up to you!”
“Your Majesty was saying that mother should be in charge of ordering the deprivation of Qiu Mengmin’s title as Duke of Xihe, as well as the death of Lu! Empress Jiang pushed her handkerchief into her sleeve and squinted at Empress Dowager Gu. She shamelessly misinterpreted the emperor’s words right on the spot, “So unfaithful, unfilial, unkind and unjust! It would be a joke if he remains the Duke of Xihe!”
Empress Dowager Gu said angrily, “The unfaithful, unfilial, unkind and unjust one is Ningyi! As a niece, she actually complained of her uncle behind his back! In my opinion, the Prince’s Mansion of Xihe had raised a total ungrateful traitor all these years!”
Since the Empress Dowager made such a statement, Madame Lu, Commandery Princess Ningtai and Princess Yang kneeling on the left of the throne cried immediately. Princess Yang stepped forward on her knees. She kept kowtowing and said, “I beg you Empress Dowager to uphold justice for us! The Lord was filial all these years, and I have been taking great care of Commandery Princess Ningyi. I have no idea at all how I offend the Commandery Princess, that she wants to do this to us!”
If Empress Jiang only said about death to Lu, Princess Yang could not wait to raise both hands and feet to approve it. However, Empress Jiang also wanted to deprive Qiu Mengmin’s title of nobility. What position would this put Princess Yang and the two Commandery Princess Ningxin and Ningtai? Ningxin was born by Qiu Mengmin’s first wife and Princess Yang didn’t really care. However, Ningtai was her own daughter! Not to mention that she was still trying to win the position of Young Prince for her own son Qiu Yinzhi.
Now Princess Yang could only try her best to discredit Qiu Yelan in order to preserve Qiu Mengmin’s title.
But Qiu Yelan was so vicious!
It was her and Ruan Qingyan who beat Qiu Mengmin till he’s beyond recognition and fainted.
However, at this hall, the course of the incident became Qiu Mengmin’s unwillingness to Empress Jiang’s order when she said it. And Qiu Yelan made up that Qiu Mengmin tried to intimidate her by harming himself and made her deny the disrespect of Qiu Mengmin to her official mother. As for Ruan Qingyan’s entry, breaking the window, was described as a righteous act in a hurry as he was too worried about Qiu Mengmin. Qiu Yelan specifically emphasized the word “righteous” when she said it was obvious that she was asking for a reward for Ruan Qingyan.
Princess Yang had been in charge of the mansion for years, and she has seen many shameless people. But someone at Qiu Yelan’s age who righteously accuse otherwise after beating her elders was far beyond her imagination.
“If I don’t get rid of her this time, I’m afraid she’ll get better and better at this in the future.” As amazed as she was, deep fears came to Princess Yang’s mind. She was just a little girl and already so vicious. If she was allowed to grow up, could the Prince’s Mansion of Xihe be able to restrain her?
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Although Princess Yang did not know about the poison Youmianxiang applied to General Ruan, but she knew that the death of Princess Ruan was closely related to Madame Lu... The hatred between the Prince’s Mansion of Xihe and Qiu Yelan was not something that could be compensated by the Prince’s Mansion side.
Therefore, Qiu Yelan must die!
Thinking of this, Princess Yang became cruel and ruthless. She cried fiercely, “Yelan! Do you have to see your uncle and aunt die? Alright, I’ll die in front of you right now. I just beg you not to treat your poor brothers and sisters in the future.” She barely finished her sentence before she slammed her head towards the nearest staircase.
“Mother!” Qiu Jinzhu was terrified by the accident and she screamed.
It was already too late when she realized what’s happening and tried to hold her mother back.
Fortunately, a eunuch ran out quickly and stopped her somehow with a Horsetail Whisk. Although Yang was bleeding heavily, she was not in danger.
However, even though her life was not at risk, everyone else in the hall was shocked.
Empress Jiang slammed on the table angrily and shouted, “It’s the Lunar New Year and you are in front of the emperor! How dare you do such an unlucky thing here? How did the Yang family teach their daughter? Drag her out immediately, don’t let her die here, it’s too unlucky!”
Empress Dowager Gu had also straightened her face. Yesterday, the Empress Dowager summoned Qiu Yelan who was still in her mother’s mourning period into the palace. She did not take the “unlucky” omens that seriously. However, seeing blood in front of the emperor is way more serious than summoning a person in mourning period! The former, even in normal families, was an omen of the disaster of blood. As for the royal family... the more superstitious people might think of it as an omen for war!
If there’s really a war, the Jiang family in charge of the army would be more arrogant! This sign was too bad!
However, Empress Dowager Gu hated being dominated by Empress Jiang even more, so she said immediately, “If it wasn’t for being driven to death by Commandery Princess Ningyi, Yang was a daughter of an official and a formal princess, how could she make such a known mistake? Yang did it wrong, but Commandery Princess Ningyi also cannot be forgiven!”
“You must be kidding me.” said Empress Jiang coldly. “The Princess was forced to commit suicide in front of the emperor by the fatherless and motherless Commandery Princess, how dumb does that sound? Even if Yang really is so dumb, do you think nobody in the Prince’s Mansion of Xihe would intervene? Will they just sit there and watch the thirteen-year-old Commandery Princess bully her Princess aunt in her thirties?”
Empress Dowager’s face straightened, “It’s exactly because she’s fatherless and motherless that she’s got such a bad manner! That she would bully her aunt! The Commandery Princess is just thirteen and she lost her parents. Everyone who knows this would sympathize with her at once. It was right that Yang treats her well, but she cried and shouted once she was aggrieved. As an aunt of hers, she has to accompany his husband, take care of the Prince’s Mansion, take care of her own children and the social relationship during festivals. Who could withstand her endless provocation?”
She glanced at Empress Jiang and sneered, “So don’t get all empathized just because someone lost their parents at a young age. Often, it’s the kind of people who are the most vicious and the most unreasonable! They fool others with their unfortunate life experience into thinking that they are helping them! But they don’t know that who really needs help are dying!”
Wow, now this was a real master!
Qiu Yelan was completely speechless and she admired the speech so much!
She thought that it was already shameless to describe how Qiu Mengmin fainted, but at least Qiu Mengmin was still fainted now and was not in the hall! However, Empress Dowager Gu made things up even she knew that Qiu Yelan was kneeling right there, and it sounded so reasonable!
Qiu Yelan’s most sympathetic thing had turned into her most despicable one as Empress Dowager Gu described it, and it had even become the reason for the Empress Dowager to scold the Empress for being too young and inexperienced!
Fortunately, Empress Jiang was not so easily defeated, and she stared back unabashedly, “According to what you just said, it is likely that Yang deliberately bang herself against the stairs to win over your sympathy. You are indeed much older than me, but you shouldn’t be so soft, and protect whoever tries to die. If so, there’s no need for debating over official business in the future. Everyone should just simply jump into the Jinming Pool! How does that sound?”
Empress Dowager Gu said coldly, “What do you mean by protecting Commandery Princess Ningyi like this?”
“I am just trying to reason you!” Empress Jiang pointed at Madame Lu who was too old to bare kneeling for so long and sneered, “This Lu, was officially expelled from the Prince’s Mansion by Xihe old Princess at that time. However, after Qiu Mengmin inherited the title, he took her back to the Prince’s Mansion and even respected her as Madame Lu. Despite that Qiu Mengmin ignores the order of his official mother, I don’t remember the court giving her the title Madame.”
Madame Lu’s arrogance back at the Prince’s Mansion was now long gone, and she argued timidly, “It... it was just a name from the servants, the Prince did not...”
“Shut up!” A young eunuch in front of the Empress shouted loudly with a contemptuous tone, “Did the Empress let you speak? You rude thing!”
Empress Jiang didn’t even bother looking at her, and she continued to say to Empress Dowager Gu, “Qiu Mengmin was not filial to his official mother, how could he treat her granddaughter well? I have heard that the Prince’s Mansion of Xihe treated Princess Ruan’s funeral very casually. This Princess Ruan was the mother of Commandery Princess Ningyi. They did not even wait for Commandery Princess Ningyi, who was not in the Prince’s Mansion at that time. Fortunately, the heir of the Ruan Family came to pay homage, so that they barely buried her after the Ruans paid money and effort.”
“The only daughter of Princess Ruan was not with her when she died?” Empress Dowager Gu narrowed her eyes and keenly found a breach. She immediately asked sternly, “You unfilial thing! How could you treat your mother like this?”
Qiu Yelan burst into tears in a second, “My uncle forced me to visit my sick cousin in Mount Dizi.”
“Nonsense! How could someone ask a female cousin to visit a male cousin alone?” Empress Dowager Gu was furious. “You must be too lazy to serve your mother and make excuses to run away from her!”
“It’s not the truth that Empress Dowager has just said!” Qiu Yelan was relieved that she didn’t accuse her of trying to seduce her cousin... Perhaps the marriage contract with Deng Yi had given the Empress Dowager a little bit of shame. She said without hesitation, “I had failed your expectations, and I didn’t dare to have a relationship with your junior relative anymore. I plead your Highness to terminate the marriage contract between young master Deng and I.”
Didn’t you say that I’m bad in every way? Please despise me more, don’t ever let me become part of the Deng’s family!
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