Chapter 90: Praying Mantis stalks the cicada
19-5 represents the emperor, since in ancient times 9 represented honor(being the highest odd, or 'yang', number) while 5 signified mediation andharmony since it is in the middle amony the 'yang' numbers. When puttogether, 9 and 5 signify 'harmonic honor'. 2掌上明珠: pearl in the palm: similar meaning to “apple of someone’s eye”3负荆请罪: bearing the rod and taking punishment: means to offer a humbleapology
Afterward, he suddenly stood up and placed a sword against the neck of theperson entering.Zhuo Er's face paled: “Your Highness….
your maidservantforgot to take away the tea tray…” She has just received a jade pendant from Tuoba Zhen, so she was tooecstatic that she forgot to take the tray back.
If she returned, of course, she didn't know how to explain this to the house steward. Seeing that TuobaZhen hadrelaxed, Zhuo Er breathed a sigh of relief. His Highnessseemedto like her, therefore he wouldn’t do anything toher. However,in the next moment, with a sweep of his hand, her headhadfallen off.
Her expression still showed shock, making the scene extremely gruesome. “Take her away,” Tuoba Zhen glanced at the bloody floor and felt onlydisgust. A reckless woman actually wanted to compare herself toLi Wei Yang. Li WeiYang did not attract his attention merely because of her beauty, what heliked was her distinctive personality and cleverness;even for her domineering fierceness, there was still a distinct flavor to it. Incomparison, Zhou Er just has theshape but without her mindnor her personality; she was just like a doll. Tuoba Zhen’s gaze landed onthe face that had already lost its vitality.
SheresembledLi Wei Yang, hisgaze, like the slow sharpening tip of a sword, gradually developed a sharpedge. Right now he has a strange hatred towards Li Wei Yang. What hehated her most, was that she dared to look at other men. He becamemore consciousof the importance of power. He secretly decided in his heartthat when he ascended to the 9-51, even if he has to turn the world over, itmust be to his satisfaction. When Li Wei Yang saw Wei Guo Furen, she was sitting in a daze before GaoMin’s bed. Then when she turned around, she can see that her usualdignified, domineering, imposing manner has disappeared completely.
Hercheekbones that appeared high seemedgaunt at this time andbothcheeks also showed signs of slight sadness. That pair of eyes, that had always made Li Wei Yang feeluncomfortable with the arrogance in her eyes, was swollen from crying and the chaos in her pupil made it seem evenlarger. Unsure of whether it was due to too much energy being spenton her grief, her hair seemedto have grown more strands of white hairand matched with her sullen face, it made her entire person seem evenmore dejected. Li Wei Yang sighed.
She hadalready verified that it was the two of them who sowed discord in frontof Concubine Zhang De, whichstirred Concubine Zhang Deinto takingactions to get rid of her. If they did not use such despicable means to harmher, then they wouldn’t have fallen to this point. Gao Min’s entire backbone had been broken, even if she is forced tosurvived, she couldonly live the rest of her life on a bed for this lifetime. Abeautiful future hadbeen ruined like this, for a proud andarrogant Gao Min, it wasmore unbearable than death. Sun Yan Jun, who came with Li Wei Yang, pushed her slightly, indicatingthat she should stand behind her and then follow Sun Yan Jun in, she spoke words of consolation: “Wei Guo Furen, I know that you are very sad overMiss Gao’s accident, but you must also cherish your own body!” Wei Guo Furen was in a trance.
Hearing her say this she wiped a tear;as ifwaking up from a dream, she murmured: “Poor Min Er.” Then suddenlyshe raised her head, staring fixedly at Li Wei Yang, she said angrily: “Whyare you here!” In her eyes, Li Wei Yang is the enemy who harmed her daughter, shecouldn’t wait to pounce and tear her up, but seeing Zhao Yue with her cold expression, as she held her swordbehind Li Wei Yang, Wei Guo Furensubconsciously stopped in her pace. Li Wei Yang said lightly: “Aunt, restrain your grief.” Hearing those words, Wei Guo Furen’s immediately showed anger and saidbitterly: “Li Wei Yang, if it was not for you wanting to compete with MinEr, how could she has fallen to this point, all of this is because of you…” Sun Yan Jun looked at Wei Guo Furen with sympathy, in her opinion, thisincident really doesn’t have much to do with Li Wei Yang, if it wasn’t forGao Min being overly aggressive, Li Wei Yang would not have competedwith her, besides, a person getting injured is an accident, just as she wasabout to say something, Li Wei Yang said gently: “Miss Sun, I have a fewwords that I want to speak with Aunt alone, would you mind leaving usalone.” Sun Yan Jun is a decent and understanding girl, she thought Li Wei Yangwanted to apologize to Wei Guo Furen, therefore she smiled and said: “Verywell, I will go out first, later I will look for you.” Having witnessed the plentiful facadesof officials’ daughters, and being born of military lineage, she greatly admiresthe frankness, intelligence, and courage ofLi Wei Yang, and is determined to befriendher. Finishing, Sun Yan Jun left the tent. Wei Guo Furen suddenly felta moment of bleakness, her oldest son wasdead, her younger son is a good-for-nothing, her daughter is left with onlyhalf a life, her husband blamed her for inciting her daughter into alwaysseeking to prevail over others, perhaps at thismoment, he even hates her. Her methods of treating the servants are meaneven under normalcircumstances, aside from her own older sister, there is no one in thefamily that she can speak to. In this not very cold night, facing Li Wei Yangwhose face was like water, she suddenly felta bone-piercing chill. Becauseshe truly feltthat she has now become a loner. “Are you here to laugh at me?” Seeing Li Wei Yang, Wei Guo Furen’s dismalmood felt like frost on snow. “Aunt, why would I laugh at you? Biaojie (older female cousin) becominglike this, I am also sad for her.” Not only is Li Wei Yang not sadbut she alsofelt that Gao Min hadbrought it upon herself, but now, she needed tocontinue: “I understand how you are feeling, but there is one thing that Imust tell you, the incident that day was not an accident.” Wei Guo Furen suddenly raised her head, her face changing drastically: “What did you say!” Li Wei Yang sighed and said: “I originally did not want to mention thisincident, because saying it would implicate many people, but if I don’t sayit, I would feel uneasy in my heart.”
Li Wei Yang sighed and said: “Palace affairs arecomplicated, Concubine Zhang De seems kind and generous on the surface, but in reality, she is anarrow-minded person! I heard that you have constantly said bad thingsabout me before her, therefore I was afraid, I asked Seventh Princetoexplain on my behalf, but Seventh Princecame back only to tell me, Concubine Zhang De feltthat you are trying to sow discords into theirmother and son relationship, and thus becoming angry with your actions. Aunt, you do know, Jiang Guo Gong Residence’s Er Jiujiu has an illegitimatedaughter that has entered the Crown Prince’s residence to become a Ce Fei(side consort), Concubine Zhang Dehas easily connected other thoughts, she felt that there was collusion betweenJiang Guo Gong Residence and BoChang Hou Residence, while you meant well, to her, it appeared you weretrying to drive a wedge, therefore she was prepared to give us a lesson! That day… just happened to be Biaojie’s bad luck!” “What did you say!” This remark was just like thunderthat shook apart WeiGuo Furen’s soul. She wanted to stagger up, her body raising halfwaybefore falling back down to the chair, her face paling, even more, her eyesdulling, shaking nonstop all over, that look as if her soul hadsuddenlydrained away. These words were originally full of loopholes, but Li Wei Yang knew, sayingthese words right now, Wei Guo Furen would definitely believe it, and whatmore, she will trust it completely. She continued on: “Aunt cannot believeme, but I hope that you will send someone to investigate that Zuo Yuan’sbackground, as the deputy commander of the Imperial Army for manyyears, outstanding martial arts and excellent archery, how could he miss ashot for no reason, as it happens that he shot in our direction, this is clearlysomeone using his hands to warn us!” “No! This is not possible!” Wei Guo Furen did not believe Li Wei Yang. Li Wei Yang smiled and said: “Aunt, no matter how we loathedeachother behind closed doors, in the eyes of outsiders, Jiang Guo Residence, BoChang Residence, are all one family. Even though you have said a lot of badthings about me in front of Concubine Zhang De and it is not harmoniousbetween us, but the way others see it, we are related by marriage after all, no? Concubine Zhang De would have felt that you have other intentions tobetrayme in order to gain her trust, wanting to warn you a bit, is thereanything strange about that?” She paused, then glanced at the unconsciousGao Min and said: “What more, Gao Biaojie has always been getting closeto Third Prince, other people feel that in the future, she will become the imperial consort of the Third Prince, if anything happened to her, naturallyit is not a light blow to Third Prince, Third Princeis the Crowned Prince’speople… naturally, there are a lot of complex relationships in the mist ofthis, alas, the bottom line is, Biaojie is just a scapegoat.” Wei Guo Furen sat in her chair as if her soul was lost, her teeth biting herdeathly pale lips tightly: “What are you telling me these!” Li Wei Yang smiled, she was not afraid of Wei Guo Furen checking on this, because this was indeed done by Concubine Zhang De. Right now allshe was doing was just telling this fact to Wei Guo Furen, “Because I amalso a victim, that day I was walking the horse with Ninth Princess, thensomeoneused a tamed eagle to scare the horses, I almost died under thehorse’s hoof.
The culprit behind this not only wantedto kill Biaojie, but alsowanted to raise internal fighting amongst us, tell me Yimu, would my hatebe any less than yours?” “What raises internal fighting? I don’t understand!” Wei Guo Furen openedher eyes wide. A layer of regret arose on Li Wei Yang’s face: “The reason why Biaojieraced her horse with me merely stemmed from a girl’s desire to excel overothers, we do not have any deep-rooted hatred, but in the eyes of other, Ihave become the culprit who caused Biaojie to be injured.
As a result, Unclewould not say it, but in his heart, there is already a grudge against Father, in the imperial court, our families have always been supporting each other, now if we have a fallout, our power will be weakened.
If at this time, someone exploits the situation, it is not impossible for both familiesbecoming opposing enemies, making it easier to take out the enemies oneby one.” “Ah…” Wei Guo Furen awakened as if from a dream, now her anger hasgradually calmed down, she only sighed deeply, looking dejected as if herentire body is emptied of strength: “You should go back, go back and do nottalk to anyone.”
Li Wei Yang smiled lightly and said: “Aunt, you should take a rest, I willleave first.” Wei Guo Furen gritted her teeth, looking at her back, and spat heavilytowards the ground, beside Wei Guo Furen, her confidante Liu Mama, said: “Furen, Xianzhu is trying to sow discord.” Wei Guo Furen slowly leaned back against the chair, her gaze like dyingembers, staring at the top of the tent, holding her hand in a fist forcefully, her nails piercing into flesh: “She is trying to sow discord, but what shesaid is a fact, at least in regards to the real person who harmed mydaughter, she did not lied. That arrow is definitely arranged by Consort Wu Xian!” There was no reason for Li Wei Yang to lie at this point, because if at thatmoment, it would be absolutely impossible for her to escape if she did notdodge quickly. What more, the scene at that time, both of the girls’ horseswere racing neck to neck, regardless of whether the other party was tryingto kill Li Wei Yang or Gao Min, both of them have entered into dangertogether! Wei Guo Furen only thought that Li Wei Yang was lucky but neverthought that she was already prepared for this, after all, who in this worldwould risk their own life? Even more impossible to devise such terrifyingtrap! She resented Li Wei Yang, but loathed Concubine Zhang De, evenmore, they originally wanted to borrow her hand to get rid of Li Wei Yang, instead were harmed by the killer sent by her! Li Wei Yang came out of Wei Guo Furen’s tent, looked back and couldn’thelp but smile slightly. Zhao Yue felt it was weird: “Xiaojie, why did you do this?” Li Wei Yang smiled and did not answer. On the last day of hunting, the white wolf was captured by Seventh Prince, the Emperor was happy and held a banquet to celebrate. This was originally a harmonious banquet, but chaos came out of thebanquet.
Apalace maid was actually an assassin that snuck in, an attempt toassassinate the Emperor, however, the royal palace hadalready assignedexperts to personally protect the Emperor and the important concubines.
That palace maid had just pulled a knife from the tray andwas immediately discovered by someone before she hadthe chance to takeaction and was captured on the spot. The Emperor ordered aninterrogation, that palace maid slit her own neck and died from suicide. The Emperor was enraged and ordered someone to search the body. Theresult was that an imperial pass was discovered on the palace maid’s body. Upon checking the imperial pass, it actually came from Concubine Zhang De’s palace. At that moment, everyone’s faces changed. Concubine Zhang De hadalways been favored by the Emperor, still standingto this day, but this time the Emperor was furious, taking the imperial passand threw it hard: “Concubine Zhang De, you have done a good job!” Concubine Zhang De’s face suddenly became pale, she hasbeen in thepalace for a long time, she was already used to this kind of matters, but shehas never seen the Emperor being this furious before, that she fell straightto the ground from fright of this sudden mishap.
She forgot her intelligence and quick wits and knowing how to explain herself, cried loudly: “Your concubinehas been wronged! His Majesty, your concubine has beenwronged!” Li Wei Yang watched from afar, a trace of a smile appeared on her face. Concubine Zhang De’s face was full of tears and kept saying: “His Majesty’sgreat kindness is deep, how could your concubineplot against HisMajesty?!”
The Emperor has experienced many changes in the palace, often fallingprey to others’ machinations since childhood, that what he loathed andfeared most were these underhand methods. Without thinking carefully inhis fury, he shouted: “Take Concubine Zhang Deaway, to be dealt with.” Once the words came out, everyone was shocked. “Imperial Father —” Tuoba Yu quickly stepped out, then suddenlythought, no matter what, now is not the place or time for him to anger theEmperor. Even if he wanted to address the injustice for his Imperial Mother, he still has to wait until the Emperor’s thunderous furydisappeared, no matter what is said now, he would not listen! “Concubine Zhang Dehas definitely been wronged!” In the midst of thisdiscussion, suddenly a childish voice spoke. The crowd was taken aback, all looking at Ninth Princess, Originally Ninth Princesshas deliberately gone to sit with Li Wei Yang, nowshe rose from her seat and quickly stepped out, kneeled on the ground, bowed a couple of time and said: “Imperial Father must not decide the sinsof Concubine Zhang Debased on a single imperial pass.” Concubine Rou suddenly stood up: “His Majesty, Ninth Princessis still achild, she does not understand anything!” Ninth Princess said courageously: “Imperial Father, there are a lot ofpeople here, how hard is it to get an imperialpass? If this imperial pass isreally from Concubine Zhang De’s palace, why would she let that personwear it, is she notafraid that other people would know? This is a setup!” Everyone lowered their head, of course, they could see that this is a setup, however, in front of the Emperor’s fury, no one dares to say a word ofdefense for Concubine Zhang De. The Emperor looked at his favorite little daughter in surprise, she was notparticularly close to Concubine Zhang De, but today she suddenly came outto speak up for Concubine Zhang De. Thinking about it, the relationshipbetween Concubine Rouand Concubine Zhang De was not on good terms, but Ninth Princess did not avoid it, in the end she is still a child— it isbecause she is a child, therefore she dared to say what others do not dareto, even the fact that the Emperor did not think of in his moments of fury, she actually dared to say it in public. Thinking of it carefully, the evidence was here;such clever and wiseEmperor, because Concubine Zhang Dewas respected and dear to him, therefore he was unable to take such blow, especially when angered. If hewronged Concubine Zhang De due to such simple set up, even if he made upfor it in the future, a rift will still remain, especially between husband andwife, between father and son. Having thought over this, he looked at theearnest gaze of Seventh Princewho is watching Concubine Zhang Desilently, his face calming down. Concubine Wu Xian who has been silent this whole time suddenly openedher mouth: “Yes, His Majesty, this is someone who is jealousthat Concubine Zhang Dehas received His Majesty’s favor, therefore theydeliberately framed her, you must investigate carefully, to ensure you didnot wrong Concubine Zhang De.” Concubine Zhang De choked with tears, she threw herself in front of theemperor crying, both hands seizing the bottom of his gown and beggedbitterly: “His Majesty, your concubinewould never dare to do anything thatwould harm His Majesty!” The emperor has already understood everything, but feeling that he is at anawkward place, he went with Concubine Wu Xian’s words to get out of theawkward situation: “You should rise, zhen (emperor addressing himself in first person) knows. You should return and rest, zhen will give you justice.” Then, turning to face the crowd: “The banquet cannot continue on, everyone should disperse.” Seventh Prince, Tuoba Zhen was really disappointed, he really hoped for Concubine Zhang De's downfall, although it seemedlike this poorlythought out plan couldn't shake the concubine’s position, but as long as aseed of suspicion was planted in the emperor’s heart and and roots had formed, ata certain point of time, it will play a significant role, only for it tobe destroyed like this today. He glanced at Ninth Princess grudgingly, onlyto find that she is chatting happily to Li Wei Yang. It was Li Wei Yang who taught Ninth Princessto say those words! TuobaZhen was the first one to understand! His fingers, unconsciously tightenedeven more, almost drawing out blood.
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