The Princess Wei Yang Chapter 94 - Part 1
Chapter 94: Climb the Dragon, Follow the Phoenix
攀龙附凤 Pānlóngfùfèng - lit. “Climb the dragon, follow the phoenix.” It refers to climbing the political-social ladder by clinging onto powerful individuals and their success.
In the context of the chapter, “climb on the dragon” alludes to marrying Huangzi who may become Emperor one day, and “follow the phoenix” implies becoming the Empress.
Dà jiùzi - Eldest brother-in-law
 English reference: something will eventually slip through the cracks [of the wall]
 Disciplining children of the house
Li Chang Le was locked in a room, and no one was allowed to go see her. Once the funeral ceremony ended, she was released.
She thought this was the end of it, but then in the middle of the night, she was escorted to He Xiang Courtyard.
Luo mama stood by Lao Furen’s side. Aside from her, there were four other mamas Li Chang Le had never seen before, who stood solemn and silent.
Lao Furen looked at Li Chang Le. There was no warmth in her eyes, only a hint of contempt that frightened Li Chang Le.
The hall was dark and obscure with only one flickering lamp. Before Li Chang Le could mention it, the four mamas had forced her to kneel down on the cold ground.
Lao Furen’s face had always been kind and never seemed so grave: “Chang Le, you dare to have illicit relations with a man.”
Color drained from Li Chang Le’s face: “Lao Furen, don’t listen to Li Wei Yang’s accusations! Your granddaughter would never dare to such a thing to humiliate the family!”
“There’s no need to continue.” Lao Furen’s face slowly returned to normal, but her eyes still harbored murderous intent, “With your Fuqin’s doting, you would dare to do anything, including that. I once said stunning beauty is a calamity. Your Fuqin had too much faith in you, which led to this disaster, making the Li family lose all of our honor!”
Li Chang Le’s eyes widened. While she was confined for three days, she had thought things through. Li Xiao Ran would not be harsh on her, so she raised her head high: “Lao Furen, since it has come down to this, San Dianxia will certainly marry me!”
Lao Furen had a blank smile.
Luo mama said: “Da Xiaojie, you still refuse to accept that even if San Dianxia marries Xiaojie, in this world, there is no wall that can keep out the wind. Someday, others will find out about this, then what will you do, and what about the Li family?” She waved her hand.
The four mamas forced Li Chang Le down, making her panic. She used her all of her strength to escape the hands holding her down, but she could not break free.
It occurred to her something was wrong! Very wrong! Could Lao Furen want—
One of the mamas brought a porcelain jar over. Under the hazy candlelight, the red-billed crane on the jar seemed even more horrifying.
Lao Furen took a handkerchief out from her sleeve and covered her nose: “Our Li family has raised such a shameless Yatou, my efforts and kindness have been wasted on you… Now, you must die for the Li family.”
What did Lao Furen mean by this? Li Chang Le stared in disbelief… She struggled, lunging forward and vehemently protesting: “I am Da Xiaojie of the Li family, I cannot simply die without reason. When Fuqin finds out, what will Lao Furen say then…”
Lao Furen’s voice was hostile: “Your Fuqin is usually wise, but he has overindulged you and cannot distinguish between right and wrong, and now, he even let you live. Once he has carefully thought about it, he will come to thank me.”
Li Xiao Ran should get rid of this Yatou as soon as possible, but he still had hope for her. Even if Li Chang Le was to be wed, there was no saying Tuoba Zhen will still agree to marry her three years later. Who knows what calamity will break out!
“I don’t believe it! I don’t believe it! There is also the Jiang family, Lao Furen. Think about it, Waigong and Waizumu love me. I also have two jiujiu. They were already furious by Muqin’s death, if you dispose of me too, they will never forgive the Li family!”
There was no hesitation on Lao Furen’s face. She sighed: “You do not understand when to when to retreat. Today, you have reaped the seeds you have sown.”
Li Chang Le’s eyes widened. She could not believe it.
There was no chance. How could her life be decided so easily? She thought that at worst, Fuqin would marry her Tuoba Zhen, how could he take her life!
“Your mother suddenly died, so you were grieving, grieving too much that you were careless, caught a cold and died. You won’t die without reason, and you will earn the reputation of a filial nu er.” Lao Furen lightly said, “It is much better than your tainted body and reputation, so do not blame me.” She glanced at Luo mama, who understood and signaled to the others.
The mamas immediately pinched Li Chang Le’s nose in order to force her to drink the medicine. Li Chang Le suddenly broke free and desperately tried to run outside. Luo mama snapped: “Quickly seize her!” The mamas pursued her like wolves and tigers and seized Li Chang Le, who seemed to have lost her mind, plunging the entire room in chaos.
Lao Furen had not thought she would refuse to give up and loudly ordered: “Hold her down and pour all of it down!”
The four mamas forced Li Chang Le down. Seeing the medicine come closer and closer, Li Chang Le let out an ear-splitting scream. A mama quickly covered her mouth. Li Chang Le was terrified, and the smell of the medicine made it difficult for her to breathe. Suddenly, the doors were kicked open.
Someone strode in like a gust of wind dispersing the clouds: “Lao Furen, what are you doing?!” Li Xiao Ran paled and rushed forward to seize a mama’s arm, “Let go already!”
Lao Furen angrily responded: “I am cleaning up the house! You shamelessly ask me why?!”
Li Chang Le fearfully dragged herself over to Li Xiao Ran: “Fuqin, Fuqin must save me, Lao Furen wants to kill me!”
Li Xiao Ran did not look at her and only spoke to Lao Furen: “Muqin, I have something to say to you.”
Lao Furen frowned and looked at Li Chang Le kneeling on the ground, her face tearstained and no longer beautiful. She scoffed: “What is there to say?!”
Li Xiao Ran looked to Luo mama. Luo mama immediately gestured to the other mamas, “First off, confine Da Xiaojie in the room next door.”
The four mamas lifted Li Chang Le, whose body had gone limp, and took her to the small room nearby. Luo mama rushed over to close the doors and stood watch outside.
Lao Furen coldly said: “Say it.”
Li Xiao Ran’s face was solemn: “Lao Furen, one cannot act carelessly.”
Lao Furen’s expressions did not change: “This shameless, little wretch here, you still want to keep her and further humiliate us?”
Li Xiao Ran clenched his teeth. He resented Li Chang Le, but there was something he had to say: “Lao Furen, San Huangzi has promised he will marry Chang Le as Ce fei three years later.”
“Ce fei?” Lao Furen echoed, then voiced her dissatisfaction: “He even dares to say this! At this time? Your Furen has just died, and he ran to the Li family to destroy your reputation, yet you simply take his word?! He is a Huangzi, so it is not my turn to discipline him, but Li Chang Le, that lowly wretch, I can still discipline her! She has to die today!”
Li Xiao Ran anxiously came closer and lowered his voice: “Lao Furen, please calm down. The Li family has always been strict, so when faced with such an unfavorable situation, how could I not feel conflicted?! But we must see the bigger picture, I could care less if it were just Tuoba Zhen, but earlier, someone sent a letter from the palace.”
Lao Furen furrowed her eyebrows: “Wu Xian Fei?”
Li Xiao Ran solemnly nodded: “Yes, Wu Xian Fei sent a jade ornament and said to use it as proof of engagement. Three years later when the mourning period ends, she will request Bixia to grant the marriage and marry Li Chang Le to San Dianxia as Ce fei.”
Lao Furen had been concerned about the situation in three years and even more concerned about the rumors. Hearing this, she slowly sat down: “She is rather clever to marry Li Chang Le off, give us an explanation, and even borrow the Jiang family’s strength, hmph!”
Li Xiao Ran’s expressions were not pleasant either. He had never respected Tuoba Zhen and did not intend to marry any of his nu er to him. Since things turned out this way, he intended to confine Li Chang Le until the funeral ceremony was over, then quietly marry her off, securing her reputation. The problem was Wu Xian Fei had unexpectedly sent someone with a proposal and a jade ornament, so he had to reconsider. If he insisted on refusing and took Li Chang Le’s life, he would offend Wu Xian Fei, and things would worsen.
“I know you are furious, but things have come down to this. Killing her will not accomplish anything, whereas—”
Lao Furen did not think so. She wanted to kill Li Chang Le. Doing so would gain an enemy, but keeping someone like her would only bring nothing but trouble, much less Wu Xian Fei and Tuoba Zhen. Aside from their self-respect, the Li family had nothing to lose.
Li Xiao Ran continued: “Still, my Da jiuzi - he’s on his way back to the Capital.”
Lao Furen raised her eyebrows, suddenly looking up: “What did you say?!”
Li Xiao Ran’s expressions seemed a bit unusual: “Jiang Xu will report back to the Capital in a couple of days.”
Lao Furen suddenly understood his intentions. Jiang Xu was Jiang Guogong’s eldest son and the Feng Zheng Xi General guarding Xi jiang, the western border. He had not returned to the Capital in ten years. His sudden return was hardly a good sign! She stood up: “Why is he coming back?!”
Li Xiao Ran quietly said: “At the time, it is not known, but I’m afraid it has to do with Jiang Rou and Wei Guo Furen’s deaths.”
The Buddhist prayer bracelet in Lao Furen’s hand snapped with a distinct sound, sending the prayer beads scattering to the ground. The sound struck a chord in Li Xiao Ran’s heart and left him uneasy.
“Lao Furen—with Jiang Rou’s death, the Jiang family will not abandon their efforts. They are about to raise an army and come to demand justice. Fighting over Li Chang Le’s situation would only harm both families, so for now, we cannot turn our backs to them.”
Lao Furen slowly sat back down then looked up at the painting above and sighed. She did not care about Wu Xian Fei, but if it were the entire Jiang family, this should be reevaluated. Jiang Xu deeply cared for his meimei Jiang Rou, so her sudden death may have led him to suspect them. If Li Chang Le also followed her down to the yellow spring, the Jiang family will raise immeasurable chaos! The Li family may have the Prime Minister, but compared to the Jiang clan’s deep roots and hundred years of history, they did not stand a chance. The Jiang family also had military authority, so the Li family would have to suffer either way.
In that case, it seems Li Chang Le stays… Lao Furen felt her throat tighten: “That little wretch dares to do such scandalous things. Are we just going to keep tolerating her?!”
Li Xiao Ran fell silent, then slowly began: “To avoid other troublesome matters, we need to lock her up. We will spare her life, and if the Jiang family asks, we will say that there is nothing to negotiate. After all, she was the one who caused all of this.”
Within a large family, even if there are many conflicts, not the slightest hint of discord will be revealed in front of others. Moreover, the incident was closely tied to the Li family’s honor, so they must not let outsiders know. Lao Furen wearily sighed: “Just do it then.”
Li Xiao Ran abruptly asked: “I was afraid this incident would anger Muqin, so I made sure no one was to speak of it. How did you find out?” If Li Wei Yang secretly told Lao Furen about it, then she was rather malicious.
Lao Furen sharply reminded him: “You think you can hide everything from me? Just a few days ago, you had reconciled with that little wretch, and yet you suddenly locked her up! Isn’t it clear that something happened? Insolence!”
Li Xiao Ran sighed and quickly apologized. He had the servants on night watch send Li Chang Le to the temple in the mountains.
Li Wei Yang rarely slept as well as she did that night. The next day, as she got out of bed, Bai Zhi brought a jar of water, so she could wash her face. She smiled and exchanged a few words with the Yatous, then sent them outside. She remained in her room and practiced calligraphy until it was time to go and greet Lao Furen.
Zhao Yue saw and became anxious. She stopped Li Wei Yang in the doorway and quietly reported: “The servants secretly sent Da Xiaojie away last night.”
Li Wei Yang did not falter and nodded: “I know.”
When she came to He Xiang Courtyard, Luo mama was leaning close to Lao Furen’s ear, whispering something. Lao Furen looked up and saw Li Wei Yang and immediately dismissed Luo mama.
“Your Fuqin is too soft-hearted.” Lao Furen seemed a bit embarrassed. Her voice was a bit strained, “San Huangzi is willing to take responsibility, but we must wait until the mourning period for your Muqin ends before they can marry. Moreover, it is not the position of Zheng fei but Ce fei, which is disgraceful, but it is something we must accept. Therefore, I am rather conflicted, what do you think should be done about this?”
Lao Furen’s willingness to speak of this conveyed how much she valued Li Wei Yang. If she insisted that Lao Furen take Li Chang Le’s life, it would be too abrupt and cruel. Of course, Li Wei Yang was not that foolish. Likewise, Wu Xian Fei had quickly intervened, and the pressure from the Jiang family was fierce, leaving the two sides to warily eye one another. Naturally, they must spare Li Chang Le’s life.
Li Wei Yang pondered over it for a while, “You are the head of the household. In the end, how this matter should be resolved is up to Lao Furen and Fuqin.”
She could not help but sigh to herself. It was a pity she was a step behind.
Take for instance, Li Chang Le. Her Muqin had died, and the funeral ceremony had not ended before she had acted dishonorably. If it were a Xiaojie of any other household, they would have no choice but to die, but she was fortunate to have the formidable Jiang family to protect her. All of her wrongdoings can be forgiven.
How could Lao Furen not agree? She also sighed, “I am sick and tired of these things. A family that is not righteous will eventually collapse. At first, Wu Huangzi took a liking to her and was determined to make her Zheng fei, I was already reluctant. Now in the light of this incident, it has tainted our Li family. Someone like that must be disposed of, yet she is still alive. If not for the Jiang family, your Fuqin would not be forced to compromise.”
Given the disastrous granddaughter under their roof, one can sympathize with Lao Furen. Li Wei Yang nodded as if lost in her thoughts. Lao Furen continue to say: “That despicable, little wretch is foolish and only thinks about herself, disregarding our family’s reputation. It is all good now, isn’t it? Now that she has committed a heinous crime, she wants us to clean up the act and protect her.”
Lao Furen was rarely this saddened and disappointed. Li Wei Yang did not reveal her true feelings, only advising: “Lao Furen, how can you say that? Dajie is still part of the Li family. She made a terrible mistake, but we will not just abandon her, not for her sake but for the Li family’s sake. We must think of a way to settle this. As for Wu Dianxia, San Dianxia will have a way to silence him. On our part, not much can be done by arguing, for us or Fuqin. A Xiaojie has lost her virtue. If this spreads, her unpleasant reputation is not crippling, but it will be troublesome. As for San Dianxia, it will be a fatal blow. His lifelong efforts will be wasted, so he is even more concerned. Fuqin can use this against him in the future. Few people know about this in our residence, and even if they knew, they would not dare to make it known to others, but - Dajie, someone needs to keep an eye on her, so nothing else happens.”
Lao Furen had nothing to say. Li Wei Yang had addressed every aspect of the issue. She nodded and told Luo mama: “Send more people to watch over that Yatou and ensure nothing else like that happens again.”
Luo mama quickly answered: “Yes.” She glanced at Li Wei Yang, San Xiaojie is really… She seemed gentle and friendly, graced with a soft smile, but her words were like hidden needles. Da Xiaojie wanted to regain Laoye’s favor and trust, but, pity she did not have the chance. Forget that, she may not even be able to keep her life now...
Lao Furen thought about it some more and felt this matter was still not settled, but for now, there was no other way. “Just proceed with that then.”
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