Chapter 617 A Piece of Delicate Jade and A Piece of Rubble
Shao Yanru wouldn’t be able to clear her name indeed!
She had a big fight with Young Madam of Duke Yong’s Mansion. Everyone in the capital knew how notorious Young Madam of Duke Yong’s Mansion was. Even it had been two or three years, everyone still looked down upon her every time they mentioned her deeds. No mansion would mention Young Madam of Duke Yong’s Mansion when they sent an invitation card to Duke Yong’s Mansion.
That was the reason why Young Madam of Duke Yong had been confined to her courtyard since she married into Duke Yong’s Mansion. Even if some close relatives of Duke Yong’s Mansion held some events, the Young Madam had always been absent with the excuse of getting sick. In fact, everyone knew that Countess Yong forbade her to go out because of feeling ashamed for her.
It was indeed a scandal that Shao Yanru had a big fight with such a lady and even had her hair pulled and her face scratched.
Although Shao Yanru had always enjoyed a great reputation, her reputation was tarnished because of this incident.
It was not a good thing for Shao Yanru to confront such a notorious Young Madam in any way. Moreover, what the Young Madam said was reasonable. It was said that she instructed the old maid to deliver the message in this way in front of plenty of people without dodging anyone.
They could be considered witnesses to prove that Young Madam of Duke Yong really had no malicious intent and just intended to get an opportunity to restore her relationship with Shao Wanru, who used to be her younger sister.
Regarding why the old maid did something going back on Young Madam of Duke Yong’s original intention, the Ministry of Justice made the old maid tell the truth. She said that someone from Duke Xing’s Mansion came to ask her to do that, give her a lot of money and promise that she could go far away after that.
However, there was another question about it. The old maid said so, but there were no such witnesses in Duke Xing’s Mansion. The officers of the Ministry of Justice brought her to search the witnesses but failed to find the old maid and the maid who told her to do that before.
There was another lady involved in this incident. Qi Rongzhi, the daughter of the magistrate of Jiangzhou, claimed that she knew nothing about it at the beginning, but later it was found out that she had met Qin Yuru before in a private room of a restaurant. Nevertheless, no one knew what they had talked about.
With the testimony from the shop-boy, when the Ministry of Justice came to Qi Rongzhi again, she finally told the truth that it was the First Miss Shao who asked her to deliver a message to Qin Yuru rather than to plot a conspiracy with Qin Yuru, and the Ministry of Justice asked her to repeat the First Miss Shao’s words.
The words seemed to be vague and didn’t mean to instigate Qin Yuru to deal with Shao Wanru, but you could find that it might have conveyed such information after reading them carefully.
The Ministry of Justice reported what they had found to the Emperor. The Emperor got so furious that he summoned Duke Xing, Duke Yong, and Qin Huaiyong, scolded them severely, and even threw several memorials to the three of them.
These were all the memorials for impeaching them. Some impeached Duke Xing for indulging his daughter to commit evils. Some impeached Ningyuan Army General for indulging his daughter to be vicious. Some even complained that Duke Yong, who failed to manage his back yard, was obviously incapable of managing state affairs.
The writing brush in a scholar’s hand had always been a sharp blade. The officials severely criticized all three of them. Although each of them had his explanation, no one could stay out of it. No one got killed in the incident and Shao Wanru survived luckily, but the Emperor decided that he couldn’t just spare them.
The Emperor decided to stop payment of their salary for three years and severely scolded them. After that, Qin Huaiyong and Duke Yong were allowed to leave first, leaving only Duke Xing to be warned.
Duke Xing, who was fat, knelt on the ground with several memorials scattered around him. Hearing that the Emperor asked him to stay, he became increasingly flustered, stole a glance at the Emperor, whose face darkened, and had a bad intuition.
It became quiet in the imperial study. After a long while, he heard the Emperor threw a memorial in front of him with a snort and said coldly, “Take a look!”
Duke Xing cautiously picked up the memorial and read ten lines at one glance. When he finished reading it, he said in a trembling voice with his forehead covered with sweat, “Your… Your Majesty, I…”
“What do you think of the idea?” The Emperor suddenly interrupted him.
Duke Xing didn’t hear what the Emperor at the moment and looked up at the Emperor in astonishment.
“I said what do you think of the idea? At least it can show others that you are indeed fair and impartial and certainly would not send your eldest daughter to set up the Fifth Miss Shao!”
The Emperor repeated impatiently.
“But… but…” Duke Xing said. Despite his bad intuition, when he saw the memorial in front of him, he still felt as if he were at the center of raging waves and his hands kept trembling.
“Only in this way can you prove your innocence. Otherwise, others will say that you set up the daughter left by the eldest branch for the title of nobility. The daughter left by the eldest branch is quite pitiful. She was forced to go to the Yuhui Nunnery for meditation soon after reclaiming her identity. Don’t tell me that she volunteered to go there. On that day accidents occurred in your mansion one after the other. Not only did someone walk around that night, but someone also attempted to burn her courtyard. If it weren’t for the alert maid, she would have been dead for years!”
The Emperor said coldly while staring at Duke Xing gloomily.
“Your Majesty!” Duke Xing said and looked at the Emperor pleadingly. Unfortunately, the Emperor, who was sitting on the throne, stared at him with completely cold eyes.
“If you can allow yourself to remain involved in it and your eldest daughter to be as notorious as Young Madam of Duke Yong’s Mansion, just keep arguing! I’ll just take it as a farce, and the Empress Dowager will probably have the final say!”
The Emperor said in an increasingly calm voice. He picked up the teacup, took a sip of tea, fixed his eyes back on Duke Xing, who was kneeling on the ground, waved his hand and told the chief eunuch Derong, who was beside him, “Just tell him to leave!”
Derong came over, looked at Duke Xing, who looked pale and said, “Duke, you’d better leave with me. His Majesty is tired now and needs a rest. You can handle it after thinking it through. Before that, if the Ministry of Justice sends some officers to your mansion, please cooperate with them as much as you can!”
After that, he reached out to help Duke Xing up.
“Your Majesty,” Duke Xing shivered, suddenly withdrew his hand, looked towards the Emperor, who was sitting in his throne with his eyes slightly closed and said, “Your Majesty, rest assured. I will definitely… definitely write a memorial based on this after returning!”
Duke Xing felt as if his heart were bleeding. Since his eldest brother left, he had always thought that the entire Duke Xing’s Mansion belonged to him. He had never expected that he would be forced to do this.
How could the notorious lady with a completely ruined reputation compare with his daughter? His daughter was a piece of delicate jade, while Young Madam of Duke Yong was a piece of rubble. How could he risk a piece of delicate jade against a piece of rubble?
Moreover, he had attached even more importance to his daughter, who carried the hope of the entire Duke Xing’s Mansion, than to his son. So he could never allow his daughter’s future to be ruined.
What was more, it might not only ruin his daughter’s future but also arouse the Emperor’s suspicion.
“Great. You can leave now!” The Emperor waved his hand coldly and said with a frown, “You’d better end the mess as soon as possible. I have to deal with this kind of mess for you every day. Rui’an Great Elder Princess troubled me and so do you. Can you possibly end all of these? If the Empress Dowager hadn’t asked me to deal with your issue, I wouldn’t have been willing to handle the case!”
“Yes, Your Majesty, it’s our fault!” Duke Xing lowered his head and said respectfully.
“You’ve done wrong indeed. Both of you and Great Elder Princess have done wrong. Just get out of here!” The Emperor said, getting increasingly impatient.
Duke Xing didn’t dare to hesitate anymore. After bowing to the Emperor again, he stood up, retreated to the door, turned around, and left…
The next day the memorial presented by Duke Xing shocked the entire imperial court because Duke Xing proposed to determine the Third Young Master of Duke Xing’s Mansion, who was the son of the former Heir of Duke Xing, rather than the First Young Master of Duke Xing’s Mansion as the heir of Duke Xing.
After Duke Xing finished reading the memorial on the spot, everyone in the imperial court fell silent. It was so unexpected. Many of them knew that Duke Xing had presented a memorial before, but he intended to determine his son as the heir!
What was going on?
Some sensitive officials had thought of the rumors. The incident was said to have something to do with the title of nobility. Duke Xing’s daughter got involved in what had happened to Rui’an Great Elder Princess’s granddaughter, the daughter left by Duke Xing’s eldest brother. Although the members of the Ministry of Justice weren’t allowed to disclose any information, the officials present, who were not ordinary people, could find out something anyway if they wanted to.
The Emperor, who was sitting on his throne above the officials, just waved his hand. Derong came down in measured steps, took the memorial presented by Duke Xing, went up the stairs bending over, and presented the memorial to the Emperor.
“We’ll talk about it later!” The Emperor said lightly.
Duke Xing secretly wiped off his cold sweat and stepped back to the front of the stairs after bowing respectfully to the Emperor.
It was not so easy to determine the heir, and it required more than a memorial. Now the memorial had been kept for later discussion, and the result depended on his next memorial.
After all, he now was the undisputed Duke Xing, and his son was good. It would be controversial for him to give away the title of the heir of Duke Xing to his nephew.
Although he comforted himself in this way, he kept feeling uneasy. So he didn’t pay attention to the discussion in the imperial court later.
When he finally went through the court meeting, he hurried out with less smile than usual and went straight to Duke Xing’s Mansion after getting out of the palace gate.
In the carriage, with no smile on his darkening face, Duke Xing reached out to draw a note from the hidden compartment of the carriage and read it slowly. He didn’t expect that he would get involved in such a small incident, but it was just a small loss in this round…
The Ministry of Justice settled the case quickly. On one hand, no one got killed in the accident. On the other hand, they acted on instructions from Rui’an Great Elder Princess. Although there were still some doubts about the incident, Great Elder Princess thought that it might be related to some trivial matters among the ladies. Despite the grudges among them, it was just a minor case. So the Ministry of Justice investigated it in a big way, but finally handled it as a minor case!
The incident had given rise to much discussion and even the rumor that Duke Xing’s Mansion intended to kill Shao Wanru for the title of nobility. However, Duke Xing said that it was just a rumor and specially presented a memorial against the rumor.
At this time, a piece of news came out of Rui’an Great Elder Princess’s Mansion.