The Princess Wei Yang Chapter 86 - Part 1
Chapter 86: Constant Vigilance
Da Furen laughed coldly. “If I had known this day would come, I should have let Laoye drown you from the very start, rather than allow you to play tricks like this!”
Lao Furen’s reply was not any warmer. “You have the time to criticize others, but forget about teaching your own daughter and son. One could add poison into her Fuqin’s soup, and another dares to harm his own Fuqin; they should die a thousand times over for these sins!
Da Furen gritted her teeth and hardened her resolve; she must save her children, even if it meant sacrificing Du Mama! She raised her voice: “Du Mama, do you know what you have done wrong?!”
Du Mama was shocked to the core, as she did not understand why Da Furen suddenly said this.
Da Furen replied: “Du Mama, I merely wanted to betroth your youngest daughter to Housekeeper Zeng’s son, this is would benefit both parties. Housekeeper Zeng has done much for us; his son had his leg broken when he was younger while trying to protect Da Shaoye. I only wanted to find a good match for him, and I thought that your daughter has a good character and was therefore suitable. Who knew that you’d hate me for this, and try to poison me!”
Du Mama looked at her own master in alarm, for she did not think that the first thing that Da Furen would do upon waking up would be to push all the blame onto her! She gasped like a fish, unable to speak as if her tongue was tangled.
Li Weiyang was unsurprised, at this moment, it was expected of Da Furen to protect her own children. However, she definitely wouldn’t let her escape that easily. She calmly spoke: “Muqin, I think you must be confused, if Du Mama had wanted to harm you, why would she try to stop you just now? If you had drank the soup, wouldn’t she have had her revenge?”
Da Furen tried her best, but she could not smother her heavy coughs, and she felt devastating pain in her chest. She tried to suppress it, forcefully saying: “That was because she found her conscience, or perhaps she regretted her moment of folly now, or maybe.. cough cough.. she feared that her punishment would be greater if she got discovered! Since she had already added the poison, she would definitely accuse you, Weiyang!”
Du Mama cried out. “Furen, please remember all my best efforts, for I have served you for twenty over years!” Ever since Furen married into the Li Residence, she had followed her over, doing everything she had been asked without complaint. And this time, she even helped her set the trap to frame San Xiaojie. Who knew that Da Furen would sacrifice her the moment something went wrong!
“Du Mama, since Muqin has said so, you had better admit your guilt.” Li Weiyang said slowly, and gave a sad sigh. This sigh seemed to be the last straw that broke Du Mama’s back. She gave a sudden wail: “Lao Furen, Lao Furen! Nubi will say everything, Nubi will admit everything!”
Da Furen fixed her gaze on her: “Confess! If you do not, spare a thought for your children!”
This was obviously an unveiled threat!
Li Weiyang spoke calmly: “Du Mama, if you were really guilty of harming your masters, not only you would die, but your whole family would not be able to escape the punishment as well. Think clearly!”
Lao Furen nodded in agreement. “If you, this Nubi, would dare to harm Furen, I will not let you off!”
Du Mama trembled, she knew that Lao Furen was not just trying to frighten her. She gritted her teeth and started recounting everything that had happened. From today’s events, she did not leave out a single detail, describing everything she did, who she wanted to harm, very clearly.
Du Mama reported: “Everything was arrange by Da Furen.” She gritted her teeth in hatred; after all that she had done for Da Furen, sometimes even risking her life, she was actually betrayed by her in the end. No one could escape this now! “Not just this time, what happened to Jiu Yiniang previously, the fire in the temple hall, it was all ordered by Furen, and her purpose was to ----”
“Shut up!” Da Furen was furious.
“The one who should keep her mouth shut is you!” Lao Furen’s face was like frost.
“You continue, if there is half a shred of untruth, I’ll have you dragged out and beaten to death!” Li Xiaoran glared at her angrily.
Li Weiyang stated slowly. “Du Mama, if you tell the truth, I can ask for mercy from Lao Furen to spare your family’s lives.”
A shudder ran through Du Mama’s body, and she continued after lowering her head. “Not only Jiu Yiniang, Da Yiniang, Er Yiniang, San Yiniang, and Ba Yiniang, all their deaths are linked to Da Furen. She also added medicine into Qi Yiniang’s food, causing her to give birth to San Xiaojie half a month early, if not she would have been born in March.. Furen has committed countless evil deeds after so many years, and Nubi has kept all the evidence. Since I will not be able to escape death today, I might as well reveal it all!” She was someone who knew too much, and since Da Furen has decided to betray her, she would not care for her life either. She might as well spill all of her secrets, as long as her family would escape the blame.
“Jiang Min!” Li Xiaoran could barely form the words through his gritted teeth. He never would have thought the numerous deaths of his concubines would be due to all these!
But Du Mama wasn’t done yet. Her face was as grim as death. “That year.. Wu Yiniang was pregnant with a boy, and after Furen heard about it, she immediately got someone to incite trouble with Wu Yiniang’s former betrothed’s, causing her and her unborn child’s death..”
Da Furen’s face was corpse pale, but she had not a single sentence to rebut Du Mama, because these crimes were indeed committed by her. However, even at this moment of her exposure, she had to protect her own children; since Li Xiaoran knew that the poison was to frame Li Weiyang, it would at least prove that it had nothing to do with Li Changle!
Li Xiaoran’s face was filled with uncontrollable rage. In the past few years, he had many women by his side, but Da Yiniang, Er Yiniang and San Yiniang were either Lao Furen’s or Da Furen’s ladies, and meant to help him expand his family tree. Wu Yiniang was the only one whom he shared mutual love with. He could never forget Wu Yiniang, as he was but an ordinary man without power or wealth when they first met; it was purely love at first sight. She did not care much about his background either, eloping with him without a moment’s hesitation. He would have granted her the title of legal wife*, but as he had not ascended in status to prime minister yet, Li Xiaoran could not fulfill his promise. Not only she had to make do with her status as a Yiniang, she would unexpectedly die of complications from childbirth. All the women he desired for afterwards would have a certain degree of similarity with Wu Yiniang… However, Du Mama has now revealed that Wu Yiniang’s death was caused by Da Furen, and he could have had another son if not for her as well! He had his suspicions in the past, but had a lack of evidence to prove it. Nobody would have guessed that the beans would be spilled by a Nubi after all these years.
Li Weiyang sniggered coolly, this was the effect she intended. She purposely drove everyone into a corner today; be it pinning the blame onto Li Changle, or dragging Li Min Feng in, her main target was to force Da Furen to make Du Mama the scapegoat, then with Du Mama as the mouthpiece, announce all of the secrets she wanted Li Xiaoran to know!
She sighed softly, “I pity the tragic loss of Wu Yiniang and Er Di.” By saying the words ‘Er Di’, she accorded a rank of seniority for Wu Yiniang’s unborn son, knowing clearly that Li Xiaoran would hate Da Furen to the core upon hearing it.
Indeed, Li Xiaoran was shaking with fury. Compared to framing Li Weiyang, he cared more about Wu Yiniang’s death; he never would have thought that his official wife, who appeared gracious and magnanimous, would commit such a deed! He was sleeping next to such a devious woman for such a long period of time!
Lao Furen was speechless; those concubines were meant to expand his family, and some of them married in with the permission of Da Furen. She wanted to live up to her reputation as a respectable wife, but it was just a tactic for her to be able to control her husband. She even caused their deaths one by one, resulting in Li Xiaoran having only one living son now!
Adding fuel to the fire, Li Weiyang commented: “Aye, no matter how you say it, Wu Yiniang died due to a difficult birth, Muqin did not directly harm her…”
A flash of emotion darted across Du Mama’s eyes, and she gritted her teeth. “No, Wu Yiniang did not die due to complications. She could have given birth to Er Shaoye, and she was willing to lay down her life to do so. However, Furen spiked the medicine which the midwife brought. The medicine was supposed to help with the childbirth, but it became a conflicting brew which would be fatal…”
Upon hearing it, Li Changle broke out in cold sweat. Li Min Feng was similarly nervous, as he had never thought that this would force Muqin to betray Du Mama, and for Du Mama to reveal all the dirty work she had done for Muqin.
“Where’s the evidence?”
“Nubi has always kept it; the spiked recipe for the medicine has been hidden in my home...” Du Mama lowered her head, she had always been prepared for the one day that Da Furen would decide to sell her out.
“Drag her out and give her 30 strokes of the cane, heavy strokes!” Li Xiaoran was extremely furious, with his face like thunder.
30 strokes of the cane; that would take almost half of her life! Du Mama was alarmed and cried out: “Nubi has admitted to everything I know, Laoye please spare me, Laoye!”
A Yatou stuffed a handkerchief into her mouth, effectively silencing her before dragging her out.
Li Weiyang observed coolly without another word. Da Furen has chosen to push out Du Mama, which was equivalent to breaking off all ties with her, so of course she would expose all of those misdeeds. Da Furen would definitely have expected this to happen, but made this choice all the same; she was sacrificing herself to protect her children.
When faced with such a critical decision, Li Weiyang bet that Da Furen would still choose to jump into such an obvious trap!
Li Min Feng was still stunned in shock, and unable to respond to the events unfolding before him. How could it be? How could it be that his Muqin was the perpetrator, and those damn Yiniangs and their illegitimate children became the victims; impossible! He fixed Li Weiyang with an evil glare. “Fuqin, this must be all an evil set-up by Li Weiyang, it must be! She must have bribed this old servant to say all these, it must be! This is a plot to harm Muqin! Fuqin, Lao Furen, you have to see the truth, do not be tricked by Li Weiyang!”
Li Xiaoran closed his eyes, this ugly incident, this trio of schemers; they should not be allowed to stay in the Li Residence. However, one of them is his official wife, and the other two his legitimate children, how could and how should he punish them?! At the peak of his anger, he felt confused and did not know what to do next.
Lao Furen nodded: Da Furen’s actions were indeed scary, and most importantly, she actually killed a few of her grandchildren. From an outsider’s point of view, conflicts between wife and concubines are not major issues, but the use of such sly and evil methods to harm Li Family’s descendants is definitely going overboard. If Da Furen had come from a commoner’s family, Lao Furen would advise Li Xiaoran to divorce her immediately. However, she was Jiang Guo Gong’s eldest daughter; if they were to get rid of her just like that, the Jiang Family definitely wouldn’t let the matter rest.
Her brows knit in frustration: How should she be dealt with?
Li Weiyang sighed deeply: “No matter what Muqin has done, she is Li Family’s matriarch, and this is an irrevocable fact. Since she is ill, she should rest quietly at home, isn’t it, Lao Furen?” She knew that the Jiangs would never allow Li Xiaoran a divorce.
Lao Furen lowered her head and thought for half a second. In the moment that she made her decision, she glanced at Da Furen. Seeing the unwillingness and hate on her face, she was now doubly sure. “Yes, she indeed requires time to recuperate. From today onwards, everything will be handed over to Er Furen to handle. We should get someone to take care of her too.”
In other words, she would be grounded. Announcing to society that she needed to rest, and keeping her in the gardens, would be effectively imprisoning her like the crazy Wu Xiaojie. This would give the Jiang Residence a good explanation, as well as retain the reputation of the Li Residence. However, to Da Furen, it was a total removal of her power as the matriarch of the family.
“As for Dajie.” Li Weiyang said slowly, “She was indeed framed in this incident, but since her emotions are in a whirl, perhaps she needs some peace and quiet for a period of time…”
Lao Furen gave it a thought. “Let her return to the temple hall to reflect!”
Li Changle could not believe that these people were letting themselves get controlled by Li Weiyang. Her eyes widened in shock, and she cried out hoarsely, “No, I refuse, I don’t want to go to that damnable place! I won’t go!”
Li Weiyang smiled. “Dajie, would you rather accompany Wu Mei Mei?”
Li Changle quickly snapped her mouth shut, staring at Li Weiyang with hatred. She twisted about, pleading: “Muqin, say something!”
Da Furen had to grit her teeth to defend herself before, and she was now currently breathless. She widened her eyes as if to speak, but her vision reddened and her next breath hung as if by a thread; how could she have the strength to berate Li Weiyang?
That’s two down, what about the other?
Li Xiaoran looked at Li Min Feng, a murderous intent in his eyes. If his surname was not Li, he wouldn’t have to worry about how to deal with him; a rebellious son who dared to harm his father should be dealt with in the harshest way possible. However, he was a descendant of the Li Family, so he could not be killed.
“You had dared to harm your own father, you’re not fit to remain at the Li Residence.” Lao Furen spoke slowly. “We’ll send him to Lao Er, you can send him a letter; he should know what to do.”
As she spoke, Lao Furen did not even glance at Li Min Feng. The little love she had felt for this grandson had vanished the moment he directed the blade at her son.
Standing by the side, Li Min Feng was stunned speechless at these words. He totally did not expect himself to get sent to his second uncle, who was staying in a more run-down countryside. Moreover, Er Shu was old-fashioned and strict. He was fierce to even his own sons; if he were to find out that he actually pointed a sword at his own father, he would be treated like a prisoner! No, he could not go, he definitely could not! Did Fuqin and Lao Furen go mad, how could they decide on this?!
“Fuqin! Please think clearly, if not you’ll regret it in the future! I’m your own son, how could you treat me in this way for an illegitimate child!”
Li Weiyang smiled coolly, Fuqin did not make this decision because of her, but Li Min Feng totally could not understand his thoughts; no wonder he wound up in such a pathetic state. What forced Li Xiaoran to decide was the pain of losing the woman he loved, as well as the precious son she bore for him.
Li Min Feng was still foolishly shouting. “Li Weiyang, you will die a horrible death, just you wait! I will see you dead before my very eyes!”
Lao Furen frowned. “Get him to shut up!” She waved her hands to get the guards to gag him and throw him out from the room.
Da Furen clawed desperately to reach her own son, but returned nothing but air. She cried out pitifully: “No matter what has happened, it is my fault, and it has nothing to do with my two children! Laoye, Laoye, please let them off, they are innocent!”
Li Xiaoran turned away, not even glancing at Da Furen. Looking at her made him feel a chill in his heart. Having lived in a huge mansion when he was young, he of course knew and understood about the conflicts between his mother and the concubines. So when it came to his turn to pick concubines, he usually followed the wishes of his Muqin and wife to satisfy their demands. Da Furen was strong-willed by nature, and he knew that she was no innocent soul; but he never expected such evil deeds by her hands. Today’s events had greatly disappointed him.
Seated at the side, Lao Furen took a sip of tea. Because Da Furen was from a well-established family, and the Li Family’s lawfully wedded daughter-in-law, she naturally couldn’t be scolded or beaten up like the Yatous and Mamas, but it doesn’t mean she had no way of punishing her. Grounding her within the Li Residence was already an act of generosity.
Da Furen suppressed the sharp pain in her chest and rushed forward, grabbing Li Xiaoran’s sleeve and trembling as she spoke. “Laoye, Laoye! Min Feng is your only son! You’ve said before that everything would be handed over to him in the future, how could you allow him to be sent to a place like Gun District?! It’ll be akin to taking my life!”
“Let go!” Li Xiaoran flicked his sleeve, shoving Da Furen away with his wave. He retreated a step, glaring at her chillingly, with not a trace of emotion on his face. With a cold and resolute voice, he chastised Da Furen. “Jiang Shi, you have done whatever you’ve liked in the Li Residence, even ordering servants to harm my beloved concubine… You think that just because you’re from the Jiang Family means that you can do whatever you want! However, don’t forget, you have married into the Li Residence and you’re my wife now, and I can punish you according to my family rules! From today onwards, you’d better stay in your own courtyard, without my permission, no one is to visit her!”
Li Min Feng had already been dragged out by the servants, and at Lao Furen’s signal earlier on, a Mama had already gone to bring Li Changle.
Li Changle took in the situation; if she got sent to the temple hall, she’d probably have to stay there for the rest of her life, so how would she give up without a fight? She quickly rushed over, kneeling before Li Xiaoran. “Fuqin, I did not know anything about this, and you know I have done nothing wrong, you shouldn’t blame me for everything that Muqin has done… I don’t want to go to the temple, I won’t go, Fuqin, I don’t want to go…”
Li Xiaoran lifted his head and said sternly, “Bring her away!” Immediately, four Mamas came forward to carry Li Changle out. Li Changle was crying pitifully, messing up her hair and jewelry. She was indeed unlucky this time, and under very confusing circumstances. Actually, if not for Du Mama revealing all of Da Furen’s past, she would not have been dragged into this mess. But right now, Li Xiaoran and Lao Furen had such deep hatred for Da Furen, so how would they let her off?
“Somebody, help!” Da Furen shouted, leaping forwards in panic and blocking those Mamas. “If you want to bring Changle away, you’d have to take me too!” She was breathless and clutching tightly to her chest, on the brink of fainting.
“Do you want me embarrass you in front of everyone?” Li Xiaoran stared at her directly, his tone resolute. “Isn’t the mess you’ve created enough? Do you want to force me to divorce you before you’re satisfied?”
“No! No! No!” Da Furen cried out heartrendingly, reaching out to grab Li Changle. She turned around to look at Li Xiaoran, fear and chills in her eyes. “It is my fault! Please? Don’t send my daughter away... I won’t let you take my daughter away...”
However, at this point, the Mamas did not dare to listen to her, prying her fingers away from Li Changle and pulling her out. Da Furen’s soul shattered, as she saw that she couldn’t keep Li Changle. In a fit of panic, she kneeled before Lao Furen, tears pouring like a fountain. She clutched tight to Lao Furen’s feet, pleading and wailing: “No! Please don’t! Lao Furen, I beg you, I’ll kowtow to you, please let Changle off... I’ll kowtow to you!” Peng peng peng… went her forehead as it knocked against the floor.
Lao Furen turned away and frowned, but she still had no intention of letting Li Changle off the hook. From her point of view, this overly attractive granddaughter of hers would no doubt bring trouble, and even if they kept her, she would definitely hate and blame them for treating her mother and brother like this… Might as well get her out of the way.
Upon seeing her pleas go to waste, Da Furen actually grabbed onto the hem of Li Weiyang’s skirts. “Weiyang! Weiyang, Muqin is in the wrong, Muqin shouldn’t have tried to harm you, and everything happened due to me, it has nothing to do with your Dage and Dajie! Please let them off, help me to beg Lao Furen to forgive them! From today onwards, I will not go against you, never again!”
Li Weiyang looked upon her coolly; in her heart, she was supremely satisfied at the outcome, but on the outside, she looked conflicted, reaching out to support Da Furen. “Muqin, Weiyang is unable to accept this, please get up and speak!”
Da Furen refused to budge an inch, hanging on for dear life. Li Weiyang blinked at Zhaoyue, who immediately pulled Da Furen away by the wrist with a clacking sound. A bolt of shock went through Da Furen, and she was lifted up by Zhaoyue like a wooden puppet.
It was completely unacceptable. Lao Furen knitted her brows, “Quickly, bring her away from here!”
Nobody dared to delay any longer; Li Changle was forcibly dragged away despite her desperate struggles.
Losing her children one after another, Da Furen was utterly defeated. She kept muttering under her breath: “Changle, Min Feng, Changle, Min Feng, Muqin is useless…” A few Yatous and Mamas carried her out of the hall.
In a few moments, the great hall quietened down.
Li Weiyang glanced towards Lao Furen, sighing deeply. “Lao Furen, about Jiang Guo Gong’s Residence…”
Lao Furen laughed coldly, eyeing Li Xiaoran, who was getting his arm wound bandaged. “Since she has married into the family, she is our daughter in-law, how we punish her is our own business, we won’t need to give them an account of it.”
By this, she meant to keep the entire incident a secret from the Jiang Residence. “Then how should we explain why Muqin is staying behind closed doors, and the fact that Dage and Dajie are not in the mansion?” Li Weiyang fluttered her eyelashes wonderingly.
“This is not difficult, we’ll just say that your Muqin is resting and recuperating, that your Dajie is at the temple praying for her health. Your Dage was sent to Gun District to help your second uncle. I’d like to see, what the Jiang family can do to us!” Li Xiaoran stated angrily.