The Princess Wei Yang Chapter 96 - Part 1
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Chapter 96: No Different From Treason
 Chen qie - lit. concubine subject, essentially a form of “I” that concubines and even the Empress use in presence of higher authority, ex. Empress > concubine, Emperor > Empress
The moment she left the Imperial Garden, Li Wei Yang heard someone approaching, neither quickly nor slowly but calmly.
Li Wei Yang slightly turned back. She saw who was walking towards her and smiled: “So it’s San Dianxia.”
Tuoba Zhen narrowed his eyes. It was unclear at first, but her schemes took him by surprise, one after the other. He was stunned to discover different sides to her, but it was a pity she stood on the other side, opposing him.
He threw out his sleeve. Ruthlessness flashed across his eyes like that of a feral wolf. “Xianzhu knew I’d come.”
Li Wei Yang only smiled, not responding yet as she scanned her surroundings.
Tuoba Zhen smiled thinly and spoke up: “No need to look. I came to look for you, so those watchful eyes and ears have been dealt with.” His words were solemn.
Li Wei Yang was well aware. Her lips curved up, but she declined to comment.
There were many eyes and ears in the palace, but Tuoba Zhen’s efforts over the years allowed him to escape others’ surveillance and find time to do as he pleased. Meeting her here was risky, but his current situation was also far from ideal. Otherwise, why would Tuoba Zhen bother to stop her if she wasn’t the reason behind all the chaos.
The cracks were appearing in this man’s mind.
Li Wei Yang smiled inwardly, but outwardly, her face remained calm and unchanged, free of inner turmoil, as if it did not matter if Tuoba Zhen appeared or not.
Tuoba Zhen’s pupils dilated. His smile turned cold. Warmth disappeared from his eyes. His voice was dangerously low: “I think Xianzhu still owes me an explanation.”
Li Wei Yang smiled: “Dianxia is referring to the incident that day?”
Tuoba Zhen was momentarily surprised. He thought Li Wei Yang would beat around the bush and had not expected her to cut to the chase. His hatred was undisguised, but as time went on, he came to respect and appreciate her even more.
She was clever, sharp, sly, capable and did not hide her talents. Most people were different. To survive in the palace, one must learn to hide their true self, but Li Wei Yang confidently stood out. She did not compromise with anyone to protect her interests. She knew precisely what she wanted and what to do, but this brilliant girl had walked past him. If she stayed by his side, she would greatly contribute to his endeavors!
Tuoba Zhen suppressed his thoughts and slowly began: “I want is an explanation about what happened that day and whether you were responsible or not.”
She chuckled softly and looked straight into his eyes. Her eyes were bright, but there was no arrogance on her face. Stunned, Tuoba Zhen felt as if his soul had flown away.
“Of course not.” She answered without the slightest hint of guilt.
“You dared to do so, but you aren’t brave enough to admit it?” Tuoba Zhen sneered. He knew the answer, but he tossed and turned at night, unable to sleep, with only a single thought in his head: find her and demand an explanation, as if - he wanted to lose all hope.
Li Wei Yang smiled: “You have always suspected those begonias, perhaps out of habit, out of paranoia. You inspected those flowers, so what is wrong with them? You think I did this to you, but did you think about Dajie’s affections towards you? If Dajie didn’t like you, why would she run to the guest hall? How could she cast away her future so easily? It seems to me that Dajie is deeply in love with you. San Dianxia, you should cherish this. Do not forsake a beauty’s affections.”
She seemed to be lamenting, or rather, mocking him. Tuoba Zhen stiffened when he heard this, then recomposed himself before his anger flared. Li Chang Le could be the Mother of the World in prosperous times, but now she would only bring him trouble!
Because of Li Chang Le’s noble background and exceptional beauty, he wanted to showcase her. Someone like her needed others to protect and love, and remain unaware of forbidden things. If several years later, he ascended to the throne, given Li Chang Le’s beauty and family, he would consider marrying her.
She would obediently become a flower vase in the palace for him to appreciate and entertain himself with but not now! Marrying her in two years would be no different from keeping a weapon that could be used against him. Tuoba Zhen was not a fool!
“Dajie is extraordinarily beautiful and excels in calligraphy, chess, poetry, and painting. She is very compatible with Dianxia. Besides, Dajie did not hesitate to destroy her reputation to follow Dianxia. If you refuse someone like that, it will be a lifetime regret.” Li Wei Yang broke into an innocent smile as she cheerfully said this.
Tuoba Zhen sneered and did not offer his opinion. His nails dug into his palms.
The pain let him calm down and breathe normally again: “Li Wei Yang, I have never given a woman this many chances.”
Tuoba Zhen did not give her time to respond and continued: “For many years, no matter who opposed me, I would kill them without hesitation, but even if you have lied to me and opposed me, I still want you. Do you know why?”
“I have fallen for you, I like you and even want to marry you.” Tuoba Zhen stared intently at Li Wei Yang, “So I gave you these chances, one after another, do you understand!”
Li Wei Yang almost burst out laughing. She met quite a few bastards but never thought Tuoba Zhen was just as depraved and worthy of her disdain.
Things that were easily obtained are tossed aside like torn shoes, and what could not be conquered was to be pursued to the ends of the earth.
In her past life, he had to have Li Chang Le at any cost and treated her like the moon in the sky. In this life, he could not have her, so he wanted her. It seems he did not love anyone except himself!
His face grew even more serious: “You don’t have to doubt my words. Every word is from the bottom of my heart and not what I would say to just anyone.”
“I’m not doubting Dianxia’s intentions.” Li Wei Yang furrowed her eyebrows: “It is a pity Dajie is wholeheartedly determined to marry Dianxia. How could I destroy her hopes? There are already enough misunderstandings between us. If Dajie knows I am here, speaking with Dianxia, she will resent me even more, and I don’t want trouble. What is done has been done, Dianxia should treat Dajie well. As for me, Dianxia does not need to think of me.”
“You know, Jiang Xu will return to the Capital tomorrow. Your situation is very unfavorable. If I join hands with the Jiang family, will you be able to stand your ground? I’m afraid even Tuoba Yu will have to reconsider, given the two sides that are involved. Then, when you are no longer under his protection, how will you survive?” Tuoba Zhen emphasized every word.
Li Wei Yang smiled. She did not think Tuoba Zhen still had not abandoned his intentions, especially after the last incident.
This man met someone he could not have, so he was willing to resort to despicable means. He was welcome to try, but he won’t succeed! Her eyes shifted over to Tuoba Zhen and sadly prompted: “Why, is Dianxia threatening me?”
Tuoba Zhen bluntly confirmed: “Indeed, I’m giving you one last chance! If you agree, I will have a way for you to marry into the San Huangzi residence instead of your jiejie. I can even let you be Zheng fei! You only need to tell me whether or not you’re willing!”
Li Wei Yang was speechless. These developments surpassed her expectations.
She harmed him to this extent, yet he still wanted to marry her? In her past life, didn’t Tuoba Zhen like the “kind-hearted and noble” Li Chang Le? In this life, she left him an impression of a cruel, selfish and hostile individual. Did he suddenly change his tastes and favor poisonous grasses like her over delicate white flowers? Even if Tuoba Zhen made it clear, Li Wei Yang still could not understand this man’s heart.
“Dianxia doesn’t resent me?” Li Wei Yang asked.
Tuoba Zhen looked into her eyes with a trace of doubt: “I believe that if you are with me, we will be very well off. In the future, if you give birth to a son, I will let him inherit my position. You should understand that I will fulfill this promise.”
He needed a capable, clever woman behind him, and his child needed a sensible mother to protect them. It was easy to want someone’s life, and there will be countless obstacles waiting ahead. In the end, children of the Imperial family that want to peacefully come into the world and grow up simply had no chance unless they had a clever Muqin.
This was a struggle for the Imperial throne. He could gain a greater bargaining chip in the future. He had much better prospects, but the more Li Wei Yang refused him, the more he wanted her. Like his pursuit for the dragon throne, this strange torment unnerved him, so he did not hesitate to offer grand promises to tempt Li Wei Yang.
Last time, he promised the lowly position of Ce fei, which Li Wei Yang disregarded, but now she carefully consider this! He was a Huangzi hardly anyone bothered with, but this was to be Zheng fei of a Huangzi! At most, Tuoba Yu could only make her Ce fei! Children of a Zheng fei will be the children of the official wife whereas the children of Ce fei will be shu-born, this was a world of difference! If she was clever, she would know which to choose!
Tuoba Zhen remained as handsome as the drifting clouds in the sky, but his expressions were cold and revealed his determination!
Li Wei Yang scoffed and firmly raised her voice: “I refuse.”
Tuoba Zhen froze as surprise and other obscure emotions flooded into his eyes. A moment later, he solemnly reminded her: “This is your last chance.”
Li Wei Yang’s voice remained firm: “No matter how many chances there are, my answer will be the same!”
Tuoba Zhen sneered and fell silent. At last, the ruthless, murderous intent appeared on his face. He wanted nothing more than to kill her right now.
This young woman has to disappear! He must kill her without a second thought! In the blink of an eye, he thought up of thousands of ways to force her into a dead end!
Li Wei Yang knew what he was thinking but was not worried. Once Tuoba Zhen had decided on something, he would not change his mind. She opposed him, so she should prepare herself for what was to come. If he wants to wage war, then we shall see which one of us will die at the other’s hands!
Not too far away, a clamor rose in the Imperial Garden.
A palace maid rushed over and whispered a few things to Tuoba Zhen. “What?” His face changed, then his eyes shot over to Li Wei Yang in disbelief.
The palace maid was trying to catch her breath. She opened her mouth a couple times, but no words came out. She seemed to be in a state of shock.
Tuoba Zhen did not anything else. He cast Li Wei Yang one final glance, then turned and left. Li Wei Yang looked off in the direction they were heading in and faintly smiled. She stood there, watching terrified palace maids pass by. Her smile widened.
With no one to lead her out of the palace, should she find her way out or stay for the show? Li Wei Yang considered it. She wanted to see how the person who dared to offend her ended up! Perhaps it was a bit harsh for Tuoba Yu. Just when she was about to turn and leave, someone ran into her. That person looked up in surprise and cried out: “Wei Yang jiejie!”
Wei Yang smiled: “What happened, Jiu Gongzhu? You seem frantic.”
Jiu Gongzhu was never as terrified nor afraid: “The Imperial Garden… Something has happened over there!”
Li Wei Yang casually asked: “Oh, what happened?”
Afraid she would not believe it, Jiu Gongzhu nodded firmly: “Something big happened! I have to go and see, come with me, Wei Yang jiejie!”
Li Wei Yang shook her head: “I have to return.”
Jiu Gongzhu looked around and hurriedly said: “The palace is in chaos right now. You can’t just wander around. If something happens, it will be troublesome. You should come with me, I will protect you.” Her Mufei was ill and bedridden, so she didn’t dare to go alone!
Li Wei Yang chuckled. Jiu Gongzhu only wanted her to tag along for advice. She did not want this to be a repeat of last time, when she helped that person out. In the end, she was still a child. Having been warned once, she knew the punishment will not be as light the next time. Yet some people who will never heed warnings unless they paid a terrible price!
The sound of breaking porcelain rang out in the Imperial Garden. Jiu Gongzhu’s face paled as she pulled Li Wei Yang over. When she saw the situation in the Imperial Garden, her soul almost flew away in fright as her face turned stricken pale.
Li Wei Yang looked on from afar. Over there, among the palace maids gathered, a woman stood tall and proud. She wore the garments of an Empress, a nine-tailed phoenix crown on her head, an elegant, silk dress with a long, sweeping train and intricate designs, especially the beautiful embroidery of pearls and bits of gold.
In sharp contrast, her face seemed dead as a dried leaf. Her weak and frail body seemed like it could not hold up under the heavy garments, and her neck seemed to have shrunken. She barely managed to stand, supported by the nu guan beside her. Of course, this was someone who was severely ill. However, at this moment, she seemed absolutely livid.
Across from her, the formerly cold and noble Zhang De Fei was kneeling. The Empress ordered the palace maids to pull her hair, leaving it disheveled, which made her seem like a lotus struck by a heavy downpour. She fearfully knelt on the ground, her face drained of color and panic in her eyes, desperate.
“Niang niang, please don’t be too angry!” Zhang De Fei saw that the Empress was seething with rage. Despite the countless palace maids and eunuchs present, she remained on her knees and hastily went over to catch the hem of the Empress’s dress, pleading: “Empress, please do not be too angry. Chen qie would not dare to overstep my bounds, someone must have harmed…”
The Empress fiercely swatted Zhang De Fei’s hand away. The veins on her face contorted as she gritted her teeth: “I regret entrusting you with the responsibilities in the palace. You dare to act so boldly, hoping I die a bit sooner, so you could become Empress?! This is an act of treason!”
The Empress was always gentle and neutral, rarely as harsh and solemn as she was now, stunning everyone. When Li Wei Yang arrived, she humbly knelt down like many others, but a smile lingered on her face. The Empress’s condition had not improved. Her state of mind continued to decline, leaving her to fall victim to paranoia. Palace affairs had always been left to Zhang De Fei and Wu Xian Fei. If anything happened to her, those two would be greatly promoted!
Zhang De Fei hastily said: “Chen qie does not dare, Chen qie would never!”
Wu Xian Fei beside her seemed just as terrified, kneeling in front of the Empress, not daring to interrupt.
Even in the state they were in, the Empress was still not appeased. She sneered and closely eyed Zhang De Fei.
Zhang De Fei’s slender face and thin, with willowy eyebrows, bright almond-shaped eyes, and her tall nose bore resemblance to a celestial maiden. The years that have passed seemed to have left no marks on De Fei’s face! The Heavens were truly unfair!