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Chapter Fifty-Three: The Empress’ Hate
The Empress hated Hou shi greatly. Especially when she heard that the Crown Prince was not eating and sleeping well in the prison, she hated to the point that she wanted to skin Hou shi to sate her hate.
How could there be such a coincidence in the world? Just when they were preparing to leave, they heard the scream of the palace attendant, and then they saw the palace attendant say ambiguous words. The Crown Prince was a lusty person, but he knew that the monastery was not a place to play. Also, Li meiren was the Emperor’s woman. Even if the Crown Prince had the intentions, he would not have the bravery.
How could there be such a coincidence? The guards found the Crown Prince and Li meiren with disheveled clothing in the room, and then Li meiren crashed into the wall in suicide before the Crown Prince appeared in everyone’s view. It seemed that someone was purposefully waiting for them to discover this, and to have so many people see it so that the Crown Prince could not be protected even if they wanted to.
Li meiren was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The Emperor had exceptionally favored Li meiren recently, which was why he had taken her along on such an important event like praying for the Empress Dowager. Many of the consorts in the inner palace who were more experienced than her had never had such an honor before.
This was a woman who had skill. The first thing she should have done when she encountered an event like this was to think how to resolve it rather than commit suicide. This did not fit Li meiren’s personality. However, the attendants of the palace said that Li meiren’s body really showed signs of lovemaking, so who had done this?
The Empress thought of Hou shi’s miscarriage. It was true that she had participated in this matter, but this had been very well-concealed. Hou shi should not have detected this. If it wasn’t for this, why would Hou shi retaliate against the Crown Prince?
But other than the Sheng couple, who would have the ability to set up such a trap? Xian Wang had a good reputation in Jing, but he did not like to participate in matters of governance. Even if he wanted to conspire like this, he would not have the connections.
In conclusion… it was Sheng Junwang Fu!
That whore Hou shi! The Empress was so angry that she smashed quite a few teacups. If it wasn’t for that whore, her son would not have to suffer so. Was a place like the Heavenly Prison one where the Crown Prince who had grown up in luxury could stay in?
The more she thought, the angrier she was. The Empress smashed a few more porcelain objects and then thought of the palace attendant. The scream of the palace attendant had not seemed like one of fear, but to attract the attention of the womenfolk, so it had been exceptionally shrill.
“Empress.” Zhao Dong hurriedly walked in from outside. As though he did not see the smashed porcelain on the ground, he bowed respectfully towards the Empress. “Empress, the identity of the palace maid has been found, but…”
“But what?” The Empress had a bad feeling, and her temple couldn’t help but throb.
“The palace maid is gone.” Zhao Dong bowed his head and did not dare to look at the Empress’ expression. “The palace maid was found this morning having committed suicide in her room. She also left behind a letter.” Zhao Dong took out two sheets of paper. “This letter is something that this small one went to the Judicial Office to copy. Niangniang, please read.”
After the empress took the papers and read them, she was so angry she slammed the papers on the table. “What is this she ‘did not see the Crown Prince and Li meiren lying together, and she would use her lowly life in exchange for the peace of her family’?!”
This letter seemed to be on the side of the Crown Prince, but in truth, it was pulling him into the mud. In any person’s eyes, it seemed that the palace maid could not stand up under the threats of those of the Crown Prince’s side and worried for her family, so she committed suicide.
“Good, very good.” The Empress took a few deep breaths before saying, “These people just do not want to leave a path for my son. Bengong wants to see who has the ability to steal the things from my hand that belong to my son.”
The Empress knew that, after this matter, even if the Crown Prince could succeed the throne, he would leave behind in history a mark on his reputation. Right now, everyone in Jing knew of this matter and it could not be concealed. What she was more worried about was those wang ye would use these excuses to rebel after her son took the throne. If this matter was not investigated to the bottom, then it would cause endless trouble in future.
But even if the matter was cleared, would the people believe it?
When the Empress thought about this, the anger in her mind eased greatly. She asked, “Who is responsible for this case?”
“It is Official Zhang of the Judicial Office, as well as Assistant Minister Official Huang.”
“Official Huang?” The Empress said after a moment, “Huang Wei?”
“Exactly this person. Official Zhang was in the Guard Office in the past. Later on, due to the case of Lin Ping Junma’s assassination, he was moved to the Judicial Office to investigate this case.” In order to show his abilities in front of the Empress, Zhao Dong had investigated all these matters before he reported to the Empress.
After the Empress heard this, she sighed in relief. Huang Wei was someone of their side, and that Official Zhang did not seem to be someone important. Otherwise, he would not have been pushed out when they were looking for a scapegoat. Everyone knew just how troublesome the case of Lin Ping Junma was. Being pushed out to investigate this matter at this time meant that there was no one helping him from behind the shadows, and he had to take this hard task.
She did not worry about a person like this, so she sighed and said, “Bengong knows. Take some things to the Crown Prince. Bengong is worried that the Crown Prince is not used to the Heavenly Prison.”
“Yes.” Zhao Dong retreated.
After he walked out the door, and there was no one around, he shook his sleeves. Was there anyone who was used to the things inside the Heavenly Prison?
Even though Lin Ping Junma had been assassinated, the daytime lives of the people was not affected, and it was as busy as usual.
In order to avoid disturbing the people, Yan Jin Qiu had the carriage take a detour to return to the fu. But when the carriage had gone half the way, a carriage appeared heading towards them.
“This subject Zhang Hou greets Xian Wang Ye.” Zhang Hou had not expected to meet the carriage of Xian Wang Fu on a side-street, so he came down from the carriage to bow towards Yan Jin Qiu.
“Official Zhang, there is no need for such courtesy.” Yan Jin Qiu walked down from the carriage and reached out to help him up. He took a few steps back and said, “Official Zhang looks less well compared to a few days ago; you must have had hard days recently.”
“It is an honor as a subject to share the burden for the monarch, therefore this subject does not find it hard.” With the case that he was investigating now, it was not good for Zhang Hou to walk too closely to members of the Imperial House. Therefore, when the two were speaking, they remained a few paces apart. “Wang Ye, thank you for your concern.”
The two said a few more words before they got on their respective carriages and left. In anyone’s view, this seemed to be a coincidental meeting and the two sides were very stand-offish, polite yet unfamiliar.
Though such a major event had occurred, Hua Xi Wan became even more idle. No one had sent any invitations these two days for her to attend any banquets, nor sought her for a chat. She was happy to be at such leisure.
But not long after she became idle, she saw Bai Xia come in.
“Mistress, Sheng Junwang Fei has come.”
Hua Xi Wan was shocked. Sheng Junwang Fei had never sent a card to her before, so why had she suddenly came? This really did not seem like something Hou shi would do. In the past, Sheng Junwang Fei had been perfect in every aspect and would not misstep on this kind of etiquette.
Thinking about Sheng Junwang Fei’s exceptionally bright eyes when they had gone to the Three Pure Monastery, Hua Xi Wan touched the buyao in her hair and said with pursed lips, “Quick, invite her in.”
The other had arrived at the wang fu already, and Hua Xi Wan could not throw her out. If she really did so, then Jing would become even busier.
After thinking, she called a few servant girls to go serve in the guest room.
Translator Ramblings: Now it’s the Empress vs Hou shi. She does spoil her son so … …