The Princess Wei Yang Chapter 74 - Part 2
Chapter 74: Freezing cold like knives
Li Wei Yang noticed but acted like she was moved and hurriedly replied: “Mother, Wei Yang made you worried.”
Li Wei Yang noticed but acted like she was moved and hurriedly replied: “Mother, Wei Yang made you worried.”
“Wei Yang ah, not only was I worried, Mother was dying with fear, afraid that you would encounter danger!” Da furen’s mouth showed a trace of coldness and the venom from her eyes gradually vanished. It was fine if Li Wei Yang came back alive or without harm, it was inevitable to escape death for staying out overnight!
Li Wei Yang was startled and she slightly frowned. With her cleverness, she had already sensed the implied meaning from her words. But she actually stayed naïve and said without any defense: “Mother is so nice to me, Wei Yang thinking about me, feels sleepless at nights!”
She originally thought she would panic but didn’t think she wouldn’t reveal a trace! Da furen bit her teeth and sneered: “Servants said the guards that were with you all died, you were also captured by someone, come let Mother see if you’ve been injured?”
Li Wei Yang gently smiled and said: “Mother, Wei Yang was not injured, look.” After she finished speaking, she turned around and smilingly said to Li Xiao Ran, “Father, Wei Yang is impious, for making you worried too.”
Da furen thought she was pretending to stay calm so she coldly continued to rub salt on her wounds: “Wei Yang, if you have any grievances, don’t endure them by yourself, tell Mother, Mother will definitely do something for you.”
Grievances? Li Wei Yang coldly smiled. She stared at Da furen’s repulsive face and felt that there was nothing much to say to this beastly woman. She spat out coldly: “Mother’s anxiousness is unfounded; Wei Yang was not injured.”
Da furen peered into her eyes and wanted to continue to attack but she realized her eyes were coldly staring at her. It felt like an invisible chill as if a figure being worshipped in a temple of the wilderness, making one terrified. At this moment, Li Wei Yang suddenly smiled, making Da furen feel that her laughter was flowing towards her heart like icy water. She involuntarily hit back and the momentum weakened.
“Wei Yang, are you really okay? Then, how did you come back?” It couldn’t be that the kidnappers let you come back, Li Xiao Ran couldn’t help but ask. He didn’t want to hear Da furen continuously say those words, he must know the ins and outs of this matter so that he could make the most appropriate arrangements!
Li Wei Yang understood Li Xiao Ran’s meaning but she didn’t immediately respond. She only lightly smiled and suddenly acted as if she thought of something: “Oh yes, Father, today, I have to trouble you to prepare a gift on behalf of Wei Yang to greatly thank Seventh Prince and Princess Yongning. If it weren’t for both of their Highnesses, Wei Yang wouldn’t be able to return!”
Da furen’s expression changed and she quickly said: “What did you say?”
Li Xiao Ran also suddenly stood up, his face revealed astonishment.
Li Wei Yang raised her brows and innocently said: “How does Father not know? Ai-ya, look at me who only talked with Mother after surviving from an attack, I actually forgot to talk about the important matters. Yesterday, we didn’t know where this group of people came from that came to snatch our carriage. The guards desperately protected Min De and me but we were outnumbered. Seventh Prince coincidentally passed by and lend us a hand, he was very heroic! After forcing the criminals to retreat, Seventh Prince seeing that Min De was injured, he deliberately sent us back to Princess Yongning’s residence to tend to his injury. The princess allowed us to stay overnight and even sent a physician to Min De. I was fortunate to encounter my lucky stars, if it weren’t for both of their help, Wei Yang wouldn’t be able to return home safe and sound!”
Hearing this, Li Xiao Ran was suddenly overjoyed: “Seventh Prince saved you?”
Li Wei Yang nodded.
“And Princess Yongning took you in?”
Li Wei Yang continued to nod.
“All of this is true?”
Li Wei Yang smiled: “Father, what is wrong, I came home in Princess Yongning’s carriage!” Speaking this, she sweetly smiled at Da furen: “Luckily I survived, if I was really captured by bandits, how would Wei Yang dare to come back, I would have ended my life to keep my innocence, Mother, I’ve came home safe and sound, why is it that you don’t look too happy?”
“No, this is impossible! You must be lying, how could it be that you disappear for a night yet nothing happened!” Da furen said, losing her demeanor.
People often say, the greater the hope is, the greater the disappointment will be. Da furen thought that she could take this opportunity to get rid of Li Wei Yang completely yet she didn’t think she was still able to return with any harm. She was too lucky that it was difficult for people to accept!
Li Xiao Ran’s face suddenly changed color: “What are you saying! Shut up!”
Da furen was stunned and her expression turned white. She realized she had lost her demeanor.
Li Xiao Ran was anxious after he became furious but now it had all turned to joy. Seventh Prince saved Li Wei Yang and she stayed at the princess’ residence overnight, the impact of these two pieces of news greatly exceeded the news of Li Wei Yang’s disappearance.
But he still had his doubts because everything changed too quickly, making others not know what to do.
Li Wei Yang seemed to know what he was thinking and smilingly said: “Yes, the princess said it was because of the banquet that I encountered such frightful event so she gifted be this silver hairpin specifically to console me.” Saying this, she pointed to the valuable hairpin.
This time, Li Xiao Ran gave a long sigh of relief. This was real --- it was very astonishing! Afterwards, he glared at Da furen.
Da furen was surprised and the mysterious fog had disappeared from her eyes, she forcefully smiled: “Wei Yang, you are really --- fortunate.”
Li Xiao Ran also smiled and tranquilly said: “Wei Yang, your Mother was just too happy.”
Da furen must be very disappointed that she wouldn’t let go of any opportunities to send her to her death. Her heart was as venomous as snakes, she was very vicious! However, Li Wei Yang smiled, wasn’t she also like that?
“Yes, Wei Yang, Mother was too happy, forgive me.” It was as if cotton were stuffed into Da furen’s throat, her words were unnatural.
“Mother, you don’t have to be like this, this was luck bestowed to me by the old Heavens, no one can stop this.” Although Li Wei Yang was saying it modestly, her words still carried thorns.
Li Wei Yang’s eyes were as dark as the water in the well as she looked at Da furen. It was like the ghost stream of the Death Valley haunted by blue flames.
“Of course, this matter, I was fortunate to live. If Seventh Prince didn’t pass by last night ---“ Li Wei Yang calmly said: “I’m afraid I would have died in the wild and feasted upon by dogs.”
Hearing Li Wei Yang’s words, Li Xiao Ran felt that this was the truth. To be honest, he originally felt that Li Wei Yang’s death would affect the family’s reputation and felt that she was bad luck. But now, she was simply very lucky. Pondering upon this, his facial expressions changed and this was all noticed by Li Wei Yang.
Li Xiao Ran didn’t forget to ask: “Where is Lao furen?”
“Father, rest assure, Wei Yang will report to Lao furen immediately.”
Li Xiao Ran nodded his head as he watched Li Wei Yang leave. Afterwards, he turned his body and glared at his wife. He couldn’t believe that she was this intolerant and was being a vicious woman. She was obviously the mother of the residence yet she always seeked ways to trouble the children of his concubines. Li Xiao Ran didn’t demand her to treat his other children as if her own but at least pretend to on the outside. Seeing her express her resentment made him felt chills down his back. No matter how Li Wei Yang was, she was still his very own flesh. Da furen actually wished that something would happen to her and tried to use this opportunity to get rid of her, this absolutely made one felt bitterly disappointed. He cudgeled his own brains in the court so that he wouldn’t reveal his true intentions yet he would have never thought that his virtuous wife was secretly wrecking his reputation behind his back, it was utterly disappointing!
He coldly made a humph and without waiting for Da furen to explain, he flapped his sleeves and directly left! Walking up to the door, he suddenly stopped: “Don’t forget to prepare a gift!”
Da furen was stunned and her face was filled with resentment yet she helplessly said: “Yes.”
Li Wei Yang first went over to Lao furen’s residence to pay her respects and told her what had happened. After, she returned to her own residence and Bai Zhi finally relaxed: “Xiao jie, luckily you are clever, you first went to Seventh Prince’s residence and asked for his help in arranging everything.”
“Da furen would certainly not let go of this opportunity, so how could I let her get her way.” Now Li Wei Yang had confirmed that helping Tuoba Yu out earlier was the right move. He was one who would return favors to those who helped him and additionally, the results were instantaneous. Before returning, she washed and dressed herself and even thoroughly prepared so it was difficult to spot anything unusual.
“Da furen was basically trying to rob during a fire ……”
“She was always this kind of person ……”
At this time, Mo Zhe suddenly reported: “Xiao jie, Qi Yiniang came!”
Li Wei Yang was stunned.
“Wei Yang ……” Qi Yiniang rushed over, tightly embraced Li Wei Yang and burst into tear.
Li Wei Yang couldn’t cry nor laugh as she watched her weak mother. She didn’t know what to do for a moment. Bai Zhi who was on the side busily rushed over to hold onto Qi Yiniang and carefully said: “Yiniang, don’t worry, didn’t Xiao jie returned safe and sound?”
Qi Yiniang’s eyes were swollen, revealing how worried she was. Once she heard of this, she immediately rushed over.
Li Wei Yang gently explained to her of what happened and the version she told her was similar to the version she told Li Xiao Ran since she didn’t want her very own mother to worry.
“So that’s what happened……” Hearing that it was because she stayed overnight at the princess’ residence, Qi Yiniang let out a sigh of relief.
She originally thought Li Wei Yang was suffering from grievances……
“Originally, Xiao jie was determined to return ……” Bai Zhi smilingly said.
“But it was difficult to turn down such generosity from the princess……” Mo Zhu added.
Li Wei Yang only laughed: “It’s actually nothing much, it’s just that the princess felt that it was because of attending her banquet that I encountered a traumatizing experience, she felt bad……”
“I originally wanted to send someone home to report this but it was already getting late. Instead, I was afraid it would startle Lao furen and others ……” Li Wei Yang said as she watched the sadness that still remained on Qi Yiniang’s face and felt a bit guilty, “It’s my fault, I’ve made mother worried.”
Qi Yiniang had tears in her eyes, she nodded and smiled. She let out a sigh after expressing joy. Watching the streaks of blood in Li Wei Yang’s eyes, she felt uneasy: “It’s because Mother is useless, I’m unable to protect you.”
A hint of warmth flow through Li Wei Yang’s heart.
Frankly speaking, she always had this alienated feeling towards Qi Yiniang. Even though she was her birth mother, she passed away early in her previous life. She was also not raised by her side so their affections weren’t deep. In this lifetime, she actually didn’t know how interact with her so she didn’t know what to do. But today, seeing that she sincerely cried for her, Li Wei Yang felt ashamed of her alienation towards her.
Her expression was warm like jade yet it was bright like stars.
“Mother, I’ve told you this, I will protect you from now on.”
Qi Yiniang watched her daughter, her emotions were intensified: “Wei Yang, don’t go against Da furen, she will harm you.”
Tan shi was a weak woman, she wished for nothing more now but for her daughter to stay safe and marry into a good family. Da furen was ruthless and she didn’t want anything to happen to Wei Yang.
“Mother, as long as one lives, one will encounter countless twists and turns. No one knows what would happen the next day. I’ve chosen this path, no matter what hardships I encounter, or even danger, I would never step back. Since I’ve already prepared thoroughly, you don’t have to worry. Moreover, even if I want to retreat, others won’t allow me to retreat! To live openly and heartily, there is nothing to be afraid of…...” She wasn’t afraid of living nor dying but Da furen was different, which was why she would definitely be the winner.
Qi Yiniang was absent-minded and suddenly thought that Wei Yang’s stubbornness and determination exceeded what she thought of her.
“Wei Yang……” She had decided, “Mother would definitely support you.”
To hear such words coming from the weak Qi Yiniang…… Li Wei Yang couldn’t help but smile and felt delighted, this feeling of having family by the side was wonderful.
The news of Li Wei Yang encountering an attack and was saved by Seventh Prince was spread throughout the capital, making the aristocratic ladies jealous. Everyone was saying Anping Xianzhu was very lucky; a carriage being attacked was very rare, she was even saved by the Emperor’s beloved prince. Of course, there were other rumors, even to the point where people felt suspicious about the unexplained appearance of the bandits. Even more, all of the bandits died so they thought Li Wei Yang deliberately plotted this to get closer to Seventh Princess. These rumors spread everywhere yet the Li family wasn’t too concerned about them because after all, compared to a woman losing her chastity, this was simple matter. No matter how violent the storm was, the involved parties, Tuoba Yu and Li Wei Yang didn’t respond. The two didn’t even interact since that day, this matter was popular for a while before it became old news.
After hearing about this, Li Chang Le originally thought Li Wei Yang was doomed yet she never imagined that she was able to turn calamities into blessings. She was very furious yet was helpless and couldn’t help but feel unhappy.
Tan Xiang noticed her pale complexion and urged her: “Xiao jie, since all the flowers in the garden have bloomed, why don’t we go out and take a look?”
Li Chang Le coldly looked at her, making Tan Xiang frightened: “Your maidservant is ---“ She had good intentions.
Li Chang Le saw lights of the spring season. Recently, her headaches became more and more painful especially when Li Wei Yang was strolling past her, making her even more infuriated, “Whatever, let’s go.”
Li Chang Le bought Tan Xiang and others to the garden and saw a beauty sitting at the distant octagonal pavilion. She couldn’t help but frowned: “Who is that?”
Tan Xiang took a look and carefully replied: “That is Lao Ye’s newly married Jiu Yiniang.”
Jiu Yiniang? This was Yun Ji, the woman Father bought back without telling Mother beforehand? Li Chang Le watched from afar and frowned. Yun Ji was a Changzhou native and she heard she was in Chinese opera. Father actually bought back such a lowly woman, was he insane?
Li Chang Le bought Tan Xiang as she unnoticeably walked towards Yun Ji. The maidservants on the side wanted to alert their master but was frightened by Li Chang Le’s cold expression.
Yun Ji lifted her head and realized Da Xiaojie had came, she quickly stood up.
Li Chang Le lightly smiled, squinted her eyes, and smilingly looked at the thing in her hand.
In Yun Ji’s snow white hand was a small brocade pouch. On it, a pair of twin lotus flowers were embroidered and on the side was also small jades. Although workmanship was exquisite but from one glimpse, the materials were cheap and it was also old.
“This small pouch is very beautiful.” Li Chang Le lightly smiled yet she didn’t show change of emotion since she started becoming suspicious.
Yun Ji was actually very alarmed since she simply wanted to enjoy the scenery. Who would have known that the scenery evoked old memories that she unconsciously took out a small pouch that she always had with her. She thought her own maidservant would alert her but no one told her about Da Xiao jie’s arrival! She didn’t know what Li Chang Le had seen but ----- a small pouch didn’t mean anything! She tried her best to smile and feigned calmness: “Yes, this is sewed by my mother, I’ve always had it with me like a protective talisman.”
Li Chang Le was a very sensitive person, she still felt that it was a token of love gifted by a man ----- this hypothesis suddenly made her feel excited. She then inhibited this excitement and lightly smiled: “You’ve already married into our family, we are family now, there is no need to be restrained.”
Yun Ji, seeing that she wasn’t going to further question her, quickly hid her small pouch from sight.
Li Chang Le deliberately pretended to not notice and actually harmoniously smiled: “Jiu Yiniang, the distance from Changzhou to here is very far, do you think of home?”
At the very young age of ten, Yun Ji had left home and traveled around with the drama troupe. Her impression of her parents was blurred so it was difficult for her to miss her home. As an actor, she had always been looked down on by others. Then, she was sent to Minister Lou’s banquet to perform and Li Xiao Ran took a fancy to her and bought her back. But after coming to the Li residence, not one person thought highly of her; everyone called her a lowly actor behind her back. But this Da Xiaojie was different, she actually smiled sincerely at her. So for a second, she was amazed and didn’t know how to respond to her.
Li Chang Le switched the topic: “But you are very beautiful, Father would love you dearly, you will never have to sell your performance and live scantily.”
Hearing those words, Yun Ji only bitterly smiled, which meant she didn’t really accept her supposedly good intentions.
Li Chang Le lightly smiled and then they continued to converse about other topics, diverting Yun Ji’s attention.
After half an hour of conversation, Yun Ji began having a good impression of this Da Xiaojie. When she was departing, she even set up a time to talk with her again next time.
Watching all this, Tan Xiang felt the situation was weird. Da Xiaojie seemed to be an amiable and easily approachable person but in actuality, she was an arrogant person. Jiu Yiniang was of a lowly background, Da Xiaojie actually happily chatted with her? This was really weird!
Watching Yun Ji’s silhouette disappear from the garden, Li Chang Le lightly smiled, stood up and said: “Let’s go.”
Tan Xiang, seeing Li Chang Le smiling, couldn’t help but lowered her head.
Li Chang Le entered Da furen’s residence and spoke with her for half an hour. When she came out, her face was full of smiles. As Tan Xiang watched, she felt more terrified. Each time Da Xiaojie showed this smile, it always meant someone was out of luck. It was just that --- who would it be? If it was just Jiu Yiniang, it was not enough to make Da Xiaojie this happy……
Half a month later, Da furen sent someone to summon Li Xiao Ran over. Li Xiao Ran just returned to the residence and said he had something urgent to do in the book room. Da furen had been waiting until the night settled and she still hadn’t seen him yet. Da furen ordered someone to summon again. After waiting for him for a while longer, she finally saw him enter through the door. She personally walked forth to help him take off his jacket. She watched his expression and smilingly said: “In two days, it will be Jiu Yiniang’s birthday, I was thinking we should liven up things for her.”
Li Xiao Ran looked up and coldly glimpsed into Da furen’s eyes.
Da furen felt anxious inside yet her face still had on a delightful smile.
Li Xiao Ran couldn’t spot anything odd, rejected Da furen’s hand, and calmly answered: “I understand, I have other business, you should rest early.”
“Lao Ye, I’ve prepared sweets, you should try some.” Da furen eagerly said.
Li Xiao Ran shook his head: “No.” After he was done speaking, he turned to leave and went to Jiu Yiniang’s residence.
Lin Mama felt uneasy as she looked at Da furen. Da furen coldly laughed and revealed a sharp smile. The goods on the table had been left untouched for a while, now the sweetness had mixed with the air and become cold.
On the other side, Bai Zhi whispered to Li Wei Yang about everything that happened in the Li family in the past few days. Following her Xiaojie’s orders, she reported matters big and small, including Da Xiaojie and Jiu Yiniang’s friendly conversation and news that Da furen will be preparing for Jiu Yiniang’s birthday celebration.
After Bai Zhi was done reporting, she continued: “Xiao jie, with what’s happening, it seemed like Da furen is starting to draw Jiu Yiniang over to her side.”
Li Wei Yang gently smiled and shook her head: “As the family’s mother figure, if she can’t take control of her husband’s concubines, then she would think of ways to get rid of them. Si Yiniang and Liu Yiniang were already difficult to deal with, now that Father is favoring Jiu Yiniang and doesn’t even care about giving her face, do you think Da furen would let Jiu Yiniang continue to live?”
Bai Zhi was stunned and then said: “Xiaojie’s meaning ---“
“Simply a Jiu Yiniang is certainly insufficient to satisfy their appetite. If they were able to implicate a thorn in their flesh, then it would be perfect.” The candlelight shown on the blossoming crabapples on the wooden window, creating a shadow on Li Wei Yang’s face, making it seem like a veil on her face.
Lin Mama solemnly walked past the corridor as sunlight shone on the courtyard’s walls, making them gleamed. She couldn’t help but frowned. The maidservants on the side watch her hurried past with a few strong Mama following behind her.
“Where did Lin Mama go? Why was she in a hurry to leave?” The young maidservants whispered to one another.
“Don’t you know, Jiu Yiniang is celebrating her birthday, Da furen wants to personally plan her celebration! All the antique plates, fabric and silk ….. everything are bought out, Furen treats Jiu Yiniang very good!”
“Yes, Si Yiniang’s face turned green, Liu Yiniang also left her doors closed and didn’t step out! Jiu Yiniang’s treatment had never before been seen in the Li family.”
“Who told Lao ye to favor Jiu Yiniang! You all didn’t see but she is dearly favored, she rested in her residence for almost half a month. After Jiu Yiniang married into the family, she is like half a master and hasn’t touched her Chinese opera clothing. But because Lao Ye favors her, he made a new set of opera clothing for her and she sang for Lao Ye behind closed doors!”
“What! You didn’t know!” Another young maidservant quietly said, “I heard from Zhou Mama from next door that Jiu Yiniang wasn’t someone ordinary. She is young and beautiful and even know how to pleasure men, how would you all understand!”
As Li Wei Yang walked past the garden, all the young maidservants shut their mouths and stood there gazing at one another.
Li Wei Yang lightly smiled and said: “Disperse this, be careful of Lin Mama hearing this and punishing you all.”
The young maidservants became joyful and quickly dispersed. San Xiaojie was a good person, she usually wouldn’t berate the maidservants, unlike Wu Xiaojie, who would snitch behind their backs.
Li Wei Yang watched as Lin Mama’s silhouette disappeared from the corridor. She couldn’t help but frowned, she didn’t know this time what Da furen was planning for organizing a large-scale celebration for Jiu Yiniang.