Chapter 115: Refusing to Avoid Embarrassment


In the evening, Jiang Fifth hobbled into his courtyard, wanting to creep back into his house, but he suddenly saw a shadow waiting for him under the tree.
A pair of deep and cool eyes were staring at him, with an unreadable expression.

Jiang Fifth was aware of how pathetic he looked, and he purposely rubbed his face to check if his disguise was still intact.
He breathed a sigh of relief, before smiling in greeting.
“What is Xian Zhu doing here? Are you feeling unwell?”

Since Li Chang Le was injured, Lu Gong had remained in this courtyard.
Li Wei Yang had found this suspicious; if Li Chang Le had recovered, why was there a need for Lu Gong to stay? Lu Gong had used the excuse that her wounds were not fully healed, that she needed time to condition her health.
No one could question his motives outright.

Li Wei Yang smiled widely.
“Lu Gong left so early in the morning, have you eaten since then?”

Jiang Fifth did not have a single bite of food today, and his stomach was making its protest felt.
He did not believe that Li Wei Yang was truly concerned about his wellbeing, however.
“I’m not hungry.” He returned the smile.

No sooner had the words left his mouth than his stomach growled loudly.
Jiang Fifth was glad that he had his mask on, so that Li Wei Yang could not see his flushed face.
How embarrassing! As he stepped into the house, he gave his betraying stomach a hard whack.

As Jiang Fifth dug into the meal, Li Wei Yang sat leisurely, watching him scarf down the food.

“Physician Lu, you should eat slowly!” Bai Zhi kindly handed him a cup of tea.

Jiang Fifth tipped the contents of the cup down his throat in a flash.

“Physician Lu, did the family who consulted your medical expertise forget about preparing a meal for you? How could they let you go hungry?” Li Wei Yang mused with a small smile.
Lu Gong would leave the residence on the pretext that he had patients to see, and thankfully, the Li family was generous and did not mind.
On the other hand, some officials had gotten wind that there was a skilled physician being hosted by Li Xiao Ran, and often came by to request for a consultation.
As such, Li Xiao Ran actually felt honored for it.

Jiang Fifth put down his chopsticks, wearing a serious expression.
“I attend to the poor, and I do not take a single coin from them!”

“Oh, is it?”

Jiang Fifth knew that he was uttering rubbish, of course.
The moment he’d left, he was accosted by his uncle Jiang Dan, dragged home and given a scolding.
The Jiangs tried to force him to return to his army camp, but he attempted escape.
When he was caught, they made him kneel in front of the family altar for the rest of the day as punishment.
His second run for freedom was not easy, but successful.
Thank goodness only Jiang Nan knew that he was staying at the Li Residence; he wouldn’t have dared to come back if it was otherwise.

“Ehmmn… Of course!” he felt a little spark of guilt.

Li Wei Yang’s smile never faltered as she pushed the dishes towards him.
“You’d better finish this!”

After a whole day of hunger, Jiang Fifth only felt satisfied after wolfing down 3 bowls of rice.

A servant brought another cup of tea, which Jiang Fifth downed.
“Tell me, Xian Zhu, why are you looking for me?”

“Oh, it’s nothing much.” Li Wei Yang replied slowly, not showing a trace of urgency.

“Xian Zhu, the clear-sighted do not claim to be blind.
Please be frank and speak your mind.”

Li Wei Yang fluttered her long and delicate lashes, lowering her deep gaze.
“I’d hope to ask a favour of you.”

“You need my help? What could I possibly help you with?” Jiang Fifth’s curiosity was piqued.

Li Wei Yang merely gave a small smile.
“My family has arranged a marriage match for me, but I’m not willing, so I wish to use sickness as an excuse.
Physician Lu, you would probably have suitable medicine for that, right?”

What?! In a flash Jiang Fifth recalled his conversation with his mother: No matter how wild your Fourth brother is, he is about to take a wife soon.
Out of curiosity, he asked about the lucky maiden’s identity.
His mother got a weird expression on her face as she told him: Prime Minister Li’s Third Xiaojie.

At that moment, he felt that his mother might be overthinking things, but it was now proven true.
Oh heavens, for Li Wei Yang to marry Jiang Nan? If these two individuals were to clash, they would bring the entire Jiang household down with them! Jiang Nan had so much hatred for Li Wei Yang; thinking of that very fact made Jiang Fifth shake his head.
Li Wei Yang would not survive for more than 3 days after the wedding – no wonder she had come to beg him for help.

He frowned and protested sternly.
“Such foolishness! You want to fake an illness to avoid marriage! This is unthinkable, any mistake on your part would result in the destruction of the Lis’ honor and reputation; I’d advise you to reconsider!”

Li Wei Yang found the situation amusing, but she did not reflect the humor in her expression.
She only laughed helplessly.
“I wouldn’t survive for very long if I went ahead with this wedding…”

This was a truth which Jiang Fifth deeply attested to, but he could choose not to help Li Wei Yang at all.
In fact, he should be looking forward to her downfall.
Moreover, if Jiang Nan were to discover that he was the one who aided her, he would definitely flay the skin from his body.
He wasn’t that much of an idiot to agree!

Li Wei Yang clapped her hands, and Bai Zhi quickly brought out a chest.
Jiang Fifth opened it and was surprised to see it filled with jewels and treasures.
This was bribery – but on the other hand, if he didn’t help her, she would definitely look for someone else to do it! That would cause more trouble; he should find a way to stall her, and at the same time pass news to Jiang Nan so that he take precautions! As he glanced back up at her, he saw that her smile was brimming with confidence.
“I need to return home for these two days and preparing your medicine will take some time.
Give me five days, then come to my residence to collect it.” He replied, cautiously.

“You have my thanks.” Li Wei Yang smiled back.

As they left Lu Gong’s courtyard, Bai Zhi whispered to her mistress.
“Xiaojie, what do you think we should do next?”

“Follow him like a shadow, and do not get discovered.”

“Yes, Nu Bi will make the arrangements.” Bai Zhi lowered her head in obeisance.

Li Wei Yang had long suspected Lu Gong, if nothing had happened, she could have taken her time to observe and probe from the side-lines.
But now, in this situation, time was a luxury she could not afford, and she would make use of him to serve her needs at the same time.

In the middle of the night, the old steward guarding the back door of the Jiang residence was startled by a swift horse.
As he squinted and took in the rider’s features, he sucked in a breath, turned around and sprinted into the residence, shouting joyfully: “Fifth Shaoye is back, Fifth Shaoye is back!” Jiang Tian vaulted down from his horse and tossed the reins to his servants.
Biting his lips, he strode into the main courtyard, and the servants scattered like flocks of hens so as not to block his path.

Second Furen was on the raised platform, and although she did not have any makeup on, she was as luminous as a pearl.
Upon seeing Jiang Tian, she ran up to him and grabbed his hand.
“It’s good that you’re back! After you left, your grandmother’s illness worsened.
Go to her quickly!”

Jiang Tian was shocked and hurriedly rushed in, only to find the room littered with people.
His elder brother Jiang Hai and his wife Madam Han, Fourth brother Jiang Nan, and right next to the bedside was his frowning uncle Jiang Xu and aunt-in-law Da Furen, whose eyes were red-rimmed.
Duke Furen was lying on her sickbed, as pale as snow and breathing weakly.

As Jiang Xu saw him, he seemed to have wanted to scream at him, but at the last moment, swallowed back his anger.
“You’re back.
Good.” He spoke coolly.

“Rou Er.” Duke Furen muttered, her eyes fluttering open.

Jiang Tian did not dare to speak; he quickly stepped up and held her skinny, withered hands.
In such a short span of time, his proud and imposing Grandmother had been reduced to a frail old lady with snow white hair; such a shadow of her old self.

It seemed to take much effort to even nod her head and she could not form coherent sentences; only mutter unintelligible words.
As Jiang Tian wiped away his tears, he only heard a repetitive phrase in a shaky voice: “Rou Er…” 

Her originally weak grip tightened like a vice at this moment, clutching desperately at Jiang Tian.
“Rou Er –” Cold sweat suddenly beaded her forehead, and she closed her eyes.
The gathered family members were thrown into a shock; Jiang Tian quickly took her pulse.
“Grandmother just fainted, it’s alright.” He ordered his medicine box be brought to him, and administered acupuncture treatment.
Thanks to his nimble fingers, Duke Furen finally eased into a more regular breath, albeit still weak, and recovered some of the color in her cheeks.
It was only then that could everyone else relax

Why was Grandmother constantly calling his eldest aunt’s name… Jiang Tian glanced around the room; everyone’s expression was troubled.
Da Furen drew out her handkerchief and started sobbing into it, and the others were similarly upset.
Only Jiang Nan was looking furious.

“Tian Er, how is your Grandmother?”

Jiang Tian could only shake his head.
Duke Furen was like a spluttering candle in the wind; she probably only had half a year to live.

“Wastrel, did you hear that! You’re the cause of your Grandmother’s illness!” Jiang Xu roared with fury.

Jiang Tian was momentarily stunned; he thought that he was the one being chastised, and had wanted to kneel down in fright until Jiang Nan shouted back.
“Fuqin, I am simply not willing to marry that slut, so what wrong did I commit! You desire revenge, so use whatever ways to achieve it, but why offer the rest of my life as a sacrifice?!”

Da Furen attempted to grab him, advising in a low voice.
“No one is asking you to sacrifice your entire life! Lao Furen only wanted her dead, and after that, we will choose a younger and prettier wife to make it up to you –”

“You are all mad!” Jiang Nan stalked from the room in outrage.

Jiang Xu sighed deeply, and Da Furen took this chance to intercede.
“Laoye, this method might be a bit overboard.
Do we really need to make light of Nan Er’s lifetime happiness?”

Jiang Xu shook his head.
“A son should obey his mother’s wishes; what other choice do I have?” He also felt that this was a little extreme; how could his son’s marriage be used as a tool for revenge? But Duke Furen was stubborn to a degree, and he was helpless! This was simply unheard of! He understood that Muqin had always held a grudge for the death of his younger sister, and could not rest until she witnessed Li Wei Yang’s death.
The only reason he agreed to the match was this advantageous alliance with the Lis…

This wedding must take place.

Out on the veranda, the wind was howling.
The entire residence was smothered in a blanket of darkness.
Jiang Nan’s voice was as bitterly cold as the weather outside.
“Why are you back so suddenly?”

“For urgent matters, of course.” Jiang Nan sighed.
“It seems like you’re unwilling to marry Li Wei Yang.”

Jiang Nan laughed without a trace of humor, but in his mind, her lovely face lingered.
However, as he thought back on the day of Able Consort Wu’s death, he knew without a doubt that Li Wei Yang was behind it.
As for the assassination attempt, he did not think that she was capable of orchestrating such a powerful move, but she must be linked to it somehow.
That show was not just about killing the Emperor; it was a ploy to destroy the Jiangs.
Of course, they had many enemies, but Jiang Nan’s instincts told him it was Li Wei Yang, no doubt.

“At least both of you agree on the same thing – your unwillingness to wed.” Jiang Tian muttered under his breath.

Jiang Nan whipped his head around.
“What did you say?”

In that moment, Jiang Tian saw the feral anger on Jiang Nan’s face.
He jumped in fright.
“I’m here to speak about this issue.
She requested from me a medicine which could help her feign serious illness, so that she could use this excuse to reject the marriage proposal.
Well, it turned out to be a good thing, because you don’t wish to marry her anyway!”

The expression on Jiang Nan’s face was hard to read, and it made Jiang Tian feel strange.
Based on his fourth brother’s behavior, he was most unwilling to marry Li Wei Yang.
But now that he raised this issue; that Li Wei Yang was willing to sacrifice her reputation rather than marry him, shouldn’t he look relieved more than insulted – wait, could it be that his fourth brother had really fallen for her, but was too proud to admit it? Jiang Tian was smart, immediately identifying the crux of the matter.

Oh, this was getting exciting!

“Fourth Brother, so this medicine, should I give it to her?” Jiang Tian probed, testing.

“Give it to her, why not! Since she would prefer to be embarrassed, then I’ll ensure that she is not even fit to be my concubine!” Jiang Nan barked coldly.
He could only be the one to decline Li Wei Yang, no woman could reject him! Li Wei Yang must have been very bold; since she would dare to decline to being his wife, he would make her regret it! As hatred raced through his heart, a freezing smile appeared on his lips.

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