The Princess Wei Yang Chapter 77 - Part 2
Chapter 77: Massive Fire in the Middle of the Night
窈窕淑女，君子好逑 - My fair lady, the gentleman is good
沙弥 Shāmí - a young, Buddhist monk
主子 Zhuzi - how servants refer to their master
平妻 píng qī - ping qi are recognized with the same social and legal status and the first wife, even though they may not be the legal wife
1双宿双飞 - lit. stay together and fly together, a metaphor for an inseparable couple, like mandarin ducks
Yan Wangye - refers to Yama who judges the dead and presides over Hell, also known as King Yan or the King of Hell
Da Furen nodded, solemnly looking to Li Wei Yang.
Li Wei Yang’s lips had frozen into a cold smile, a genuine one from the bottom of her heart.
Lin mama urgently asked: “The rooms have all been burnt down, what will we do tonight?”
The abbot pondered over it for a moment before saying: “There is a small courtyard behind this, it is small and humble, I fear Furen and Xiaojies will feel wronged.”
Da Furen shook her head: “No one wanted this to happen. Having a place to stay is already more than enough, otherwise, everyone would have to go down from the mountain the middle of the night. However, quite a few Yatous are injured, I hope Abbot will quickly invite a physician.”
“There is a physician in the temple. I have already sent word for him. Li Furen, please rest assured.” The abbot clasped his hands, glanced over the remains of the courtyard and sighed.
However, when arrangements were made, there was a pressing issue.
“What? Now three people must share a room?” Li Chang Xi stuttered.
“Yes, Furen and Da Xiaojie are in one room, and Si Yiniang and Jiu Yiniang are in another, Wu Xiaojie, Si Xiaojie and San Xiaojie can at least try to spend the night in a room.” Lin mama coldly smiled as she said so.
“How can this be, I don’t want to be in the same room as her! Absolutely not!” Li Chang Xi could not forget her pain as she angrily protested.
Lin mama had foreseen this situation and persuaded her: “Wu Xiaojie, this happened unexpectedly, no one can be blamed, Furen is already exhausted, Xiaojie, please do not cause more trouble.”
Of course Li Chang Xi did not want to raise more trouble, but even so, she refused to stay in the same room as Li Wei Yang.
Moreover, that room was small and cramped. Two people were already enough, how could there be a third person?!
Li Wei Yang coldly looked one as if none of it had anything to do with her.
Si Yiniang lowered her voice, coaxing Li Chang Xi, but she would not listen. Li Chang Xiao looked to Li Wei Yang with an unspoken apology.
Wasn’t that implying that San Xiaojie would be left without a place to stay? Lin mama was rather conflicted: “Si Yiniang, what do you think?”
What can still be done now? Li Chang Xi, that Yatou had been provoked, she would not even listen to her birth mother.
In a moment, unrest began to stir amongst everyone.
Jiu Yiniang suddenly spoke up: “How about this, Si Yiniang can stay with the two Xiaojies, I fear San Xiaojie will have to suffer and stay in the same room with me.”
“This ---” Lin mama looked to Li Wei Yang.
Bai Zhi blurted out: “How can that be? Who heard of a Xiaojie sharing a room with a Yiniang?”
“Bai Zhi guniang, keep in mind that Yiniangs cannot share a room with Da Furen.” Lin mama reminded her.
Bai Zhi was at a loss for words. Mother and daughter could not be separated, jiemei Li Chang Xiao could not be separated either, and refused to be in the same room as Li Wei Yang, the situation playing out before their eyes, it seemed Li Wei Yang had to stay with Jiu Yiniang.
Jiu Yiniang smiled: “It is a minor issue. I will not overstep my bounds, I will sleep on a mattress instead, and I will not trouble Xiaojie.”
Since it has reached this point, if Li Wei Yang still refused, she did not have much of a choice.
Bai Zhi and Mo Zhu were frustrated, Bai Zhi wanted to add something when Li Wei Yang said: “Alright then. It is no longer early, everyone should go and rest.”
Compared to the first room, this room was narrower and simpler. However, with the current situation, a place to stay for the night was not easy to find. Although frustrated, Bai Zhi reluctantly helped with sleeping arrangements, she turned coldly to ask Jiu Yiniang: “Where will Yiniang sleep tonight?”
Given her status, no matter what, Jiu Yiniang could not sleep on the bed with Xiaojie, so she said: “On the lounge in the other room.” After that, she ordered Qiu Ju to clean up a bit.
Li Wei Yang sat beside the bed, wiping away from the ash from her face. Moonlight shone into the room. Her hair was rather long, and now that it was let down, it resembled a roll of exquisite black silk under the moonlight. As she was cleaning her face, she felt a pair of eyes on her and turned around to find Jiu Yiniang staring intently at her, she frowned.
Jiu Yiniang looked at Li Wei Yang, slightly frightened. Li Wei Yang’s complexion was a bit ashen, and the red haze of the candlelight made her skin seem translucent, subtle as an orchid fragrance under the moon. It occurred to her that others usually noticed Da Xiaojie, the beauty of the capital, and not San Xiaojie’s beauty and the different air to her.
Li Wei Yang glanced at Jiu Yiniang and gave Bai Zhi an order: “There is a clean mattress in the horse carriage, bring it for Jiu Yiniang to sleep on.”
Jiu Yiniang was taken aback, although hesitant, she was quick to decline: “There’s no need.”
Li Wei Yang’s voice was low but her words were gentle and warm: “Although it’s spring, the winds at night in the mountains are strong, Yiniang does not have to decline.”
Once the Yatous finished with arrangements and retreated, Jiu Yiniang softly said: “San Xiaojie, you are a good person.”
Li Wei Yang smiled, not saying anything, still in her day clothes as she laid down on the bed.
Jiu Yiniang looked at her and walked over to the table, using her fingernail to prod at the flame of the candle. Unknowingly, a subtle scent began to gather, one that was not easily discovered.
Li Wei Yang suddenly smiled: “Jiu Yiniang, your necklace is beautiful.”
Jiu Yiniang began to panic and quickly turned around but saw nothing out of the ordinary on Li Wei Yang’s face. She suppressed her unease and said: “This a Qibao chain made of pure gold that Laoye gave me.”
Li Wei Yang nodded, pretending to worry as she said: “This necklace is worth a hundred liang of gold, not only that, Fuqin truly dotes on Yiniang.”
Jiu Yiniang’s heart wavered, she asked: “Is it truly that valuable?”
Li Wei Yang smiled and nodded. This necklace was adorned with a pure gold lotus flower and precious cat’s eye stones. Of course it was valuable. Not only that, Jiu Yiniang also had a gold comb in her hair with a strand of bright pearls hanging from it. The jewelry on her ears and wrists were adorned with precious stones and even more dazzling under the candlelight. Now, Jiu Yiniang, her slightly flushed face could be compared to blurred shadows in the water, like something from a dream, stirring others’ hearts, only - her face, she seemed to be panicking.
It seems she was not used to harming others.
Li Wei Yang looked at the candle, smiled and said: “Jiu Yiniang, do you know why Fuqin dotes on Yiniang so much?”
Jiu Yiniang’s heartbeat began to race, she pursed her lips.
Li Wei Yang sighed and lamented: “Many years ago, Father went afar for business and met a beautiful Xiaojie, his admiration was reciprocated. Moreover, he agreed to make her ping qi, allowing her to share the status and position as Da Furen, but… At the time, Father was not the Prime Minister yet, Da Furen’s maternal family was not to be taken lightly. Da Furen refused to let her enter the household, so she came as a concubine, not as ping qi. Da Furen treated her as a lowly concubine. When she was pregnant, Father was overjoyed, but he had to leave for business soon. Da Furen would not allow her to go with him, claiming that she needed to nurture her pregnancy. Who would have thought on the day she was to give birth, her old fiance came to cause trouble, leaving her in a state of shock. She had difficulty giving birth and died. When Father returned, he mourned her passing, but after all, he had taken away someone’s fiance first, so he kept this matter hidden away.”
Jiu Yiniang became fearful, naturally, she had not expected such things.
Li Wei Yang smiled: “After that, whether it was Si Yiniang, Liu Yiniang, even my own birth mother, they bore some kind of resemblance of her. I heard that Father fell for Jiu Yiniang at first sight, perhaps Yiniang reminds him of the woman in his heart.”
Jiu Yiniang recalled the day Li Xiao Ran saw her and his astonishment, she would not dare to believe it. Li Wei Yang did not notice any of it and continued, “They said she had difficulty with childbirth and died, but in truth, the person who came to cause trouble was sent by Da Furen.”
“How can that be?” Jiu Yiniang clapped a hand over her mouth, stunned.
Li Wei Yang smiled: “What is not possible? This Li family has a Si Yiniang, Liu Yiniang, and even an unfavored Qi Yiniang, they can live peacefully. None of them are a threat to Da Furen, and in terms of schemes, has Yiniang ever asked about Da Yiniang, Er Yiniang, San Yiniang, Ba Yiniang and where they have all gone? I won’t hesitate to tell you, Da Yiniang was a Yatou who was a part of Da Furen’s dowry and had carried out countless schemes for Da Furen, but Da Yiniang’s fate was an ill-fated one. Da Furen heard that she was pregnant with a male child, and for that reason, she did not live past three years here! Yiniang should think about it, Da Furen has grasped your weaknesses, does you think Da Furen will let you go once she no longer has a use for you?”
Frightened, Jiu Yiniang began to panic: “I… I don’t…”
Li Wei Yang waved her hand. Suddenly, a young woman leapt down from the wooden beams, her face cold as frost, her sword against Jiu Yiniang’s neck. Jiu Yiniang nearly screamed, Zhao Yue coldly warned, “Silence!”
Jiu Yiniang took two steps back, stumbled and fell on the ground.
Li Wei Yang came closer, gently snuffling the candle between her fingers.
“This candle releases a hypnotic incense. Did Da Furen tell you to take advantage of when I am asleep to take action or has she thought of something else?” Li Wei Yang prompted.
Jiu Yiniang glanced at the cold, gleaming sword in front of her, her face drained of color and hastily said: “San Xiaojie, spare my life! I had no choice! Da Furen has me cornered, I was forced to do this!”
Li Wei Yang sighed and said: “So, back in the garden, you had pleaded me to help you flee, was also something Da Furen had arranged?”
Jiu Yiniang began to sweat profusely, unable to find her voice.
Li Wei Yang shot Zhao Yue a meaningful glance and her sword immediately left a small cut against her neck. Jiu Yiniang had grown pale, frightened by the pain and fearfully looked to Li Wei Yang.
Li Wei Yang smiled gently: “Yiniang, you know, I am a good person, but if I became a wicked person, I’m afraid you would not be able to bear it.”
Different emotions crossed Jiu Yiniang’s face before she resolved to admit: “That is right, everything I have done, including starting that fire, was arranged by Da Furen. If San Xiaojie had died in the fire, everything would have ended, but if San Xiaojie had survived, I would stay in the same room as Xiaojie. She gave me this - “ She revealed the powder underneath her fingernail: “It can make people fall into a deep sleep, when I burn this, Xiaojie will hallucinate, and she will have someone help me escape, allow me to go with ---”
“And your inseparable lover.”1 Li Wei Yang did not need her to finish what she was saying.
Jiu Yiniang looked to her, stunned.
Li Wei Yang had a wry smile: “It’s not the first time she has done this. San Yiniang had a biaoge she was very close to since childhood. There was nothing between them, but Da Furen had accused them of eloping. They were ultimately beaten to death before San Yiniang could explain herself. Jiu Yiniang, I am willing to say that before you can descend from the mountain, you will be caught and sent on your way to meet Yan Wangye.”
Jiu Yiniang could not help but cry out: “How can that be?!”
Li Wei Yang chuckled softly: “Da Furen has yet to leave anyone a road to live. Since she has let you go, Father will not easily forgive this betrayal and will find you, one way or another. Father is the Prime Minister, many local officials wish to curry favor with him. As long as he gives the word, even if you run to the ends of the Earth, you would be caught and brought back. If you are brought back, you will reveal everything about Da Furen, wouldn’t she be caught in an unfavorable position? Think about it, how could she let you live?”
“No! She won’t! Furen had clearly said --- ” Jiu Yiniang still could not believe it.
“Zhao Yue, tell her the current situation, so she can hear it for herself,” Li Wei Yang scoffed, not wanting to say anymore.
“Yes!” Zhao Yue said, “Nubi told xiong zhang to take note of any movement below the mountain. Earlier, he sent news that there are thirty eight people waiting there, patrolling the three roads down the mountain.”
Even if Jiu Yiniang did not want to believe it, she had to. Her eyes were wide open, brimming with tears that could not fall.
Zhao Yue suddenly said: “Xiaojie, someone’s coming!
Li Wei Yang motioned for them to stay quiet. Jiu Yiniang fearfully looked outside the window.
Three sounds rang out beyond the window, clearly a signal.
Zhao Yue’s sword was level against Jiu Yiniang’s neck, so she did not dare to make a move.
The window suddenly flew open, Jiu Yiniang was about to move when a young man jumped in, with Lin mama in tow, tied up and gagged, Zhao Nan grinned: “Zhuzi, Nucai saw this person sneaking around and knocking against the window and immediately tied her up.”
They had clearly heard the knocking moments ago, Bai Zhi had to admit his abilities were rather frightening.
Li Wei Yang smiled thinly and stopped before Lin mama: “Lin mama, you came to my room this late at night, did you have something to do?”
Lin mama noticed Li Wei Yang’s clear, piercing stare and began to panic.
“I did not think Lin mama and Jiu Yiniang were on such good terms.” Li Wei Yang’s mouth slightly curved up, she then said: “I was wondering, even if Da Furen wanted to harm Jiu Yiniang, then she would have taken advantage of the fire and chaos to let you go, why would she arrange for youto be in the same room with me, but now, I finally understand.”
Jiu Yiniang’s shoulders trembled as if she were sobbing. Hearing Li Wei Yang’s words, she immediately looked up, stunned.
The next morning, someone was already at the door, knocking urgently: “San Xiaojie, Furen has arrived, Xiaojie and Jiu Yiniang should quickly wake up!”
Then the exchange was followed by Mo Zhu’s voice: “Please have Furen wait a bit, Nubi will immediately call Xiaojie and Yiniang.”
Li Wei Yang sat up. It was still dark out, and Da Furen had sent someone over? She changed her clothes, washed her face and brushed her hair in a simpler manner than usual before she heard the urgent knocking again.
Li Wei Yang frowned, and Bai Zhi went to open the door: “Xiaojie is still washing her face and brushing her hair!”
Du mama, a trusted confidant by Da Furen’s side, stood outside. She was not looking at Bai Zhi, or rather, looking past her, scanning the room as she asked: “Where is Jiu Yiniang? Furen wants to know why Yiniang has not arrived!”
Restless and impatient! However, on the outside, Bai Zhi remained calm and responded, “Jiu Yiniang woke up before us.”
Du mama’s voice rose sharply: “She woke up early? It’s still dark out, where did she go?”
Bai Zhi indifferently said: “Nubi does not know, Nubi does not look after Jiu Yiniang.” Having said that, she turned around to find Qiu Ju, but Qiu Ju was gone.
Du mama smiled coldly, turned and shouted: “This is not good! Jiu Yiniang is nowhere to be found!”
Her voice alerted everyone in the small courtyard. Da Furen had been drinking tea in her room and walked out, scolding: “What nonsense!”
Du mama rushed over and fell to her knees: “Furen, this is not good, Jiu Yiniang is missing!”
Da Furen’s face changed at once, her expressions grave as she loudly asked: “Where is the Yatou looking after Jiu Yiniang? Where is she?”
Du mama’s expressions were innocent: “Nubi has searched but has not found any trace of her!”
Li Wei Yang had just stepped outside, modestly dressed, with a faint smile on her face: “Mother, what can be this urgent this early in the morning?”
“That is not important, where is Jiu Yiniang? Was Jiu Yiniang not in the room with you last night?” Da Furen’s expressions seemed to be out of genuine concern.
Li Wei Yang was about to say something when she heard someone report: “Furen! Furen! Laoye came up the mountain!”
Da Furen feigned surprise and quickly saw Li Xiao Ran enter the courtyard, at the same time, everyone else had also arrived and were all stunned to see Li Xiao Ran.
“Father, why did you come here?” Li Chang Xi asked.
Li Xiao Ran looked to her and said: “Last night, your mother sent word of the fire. Although no one was severely injured, Lao Furen was rather worried and told me to come and see.” After that, his gaze swept over Li Wei Yang and Li Chang Le: “Everyone is fine?”
Li Xiao Ran was concerned for his daughters, after all, they were his flesh and blood.
Because of the previous incident, Li Chang Le did not try to curry favor with him, so she only smiled and said: “Yes, Father, we are alright, except - Jiu Yiniang is nowhere to be found!”