Chapter 119: Death of the Birthday Star
Before Li Wei Yang opened her mouth to speak, a beautiful lady walked over with a face filled with smiles: “Wei Yang, how did you end up here? I’ve been looking for you for a while!” With a warm and loving expression, it seemed like she was a senior who took great care of her juniors.
But she was only a few years older than Li Wei Yang so her words carried a bit of discomfort – she was the Li family’s new furen, Jiang Yue Lan.
She usually likes to wear plain colored clothings but today she was the complete opposite.
She dressed herself in a bright red dress with flowers and birds embroidered onto it.
As she walked over, the front of her dress rippled, her face emitting a blissful expression.
Sun Yan Jun hurriedly greeted: “Li Furen.”
Jiang Yue Lan lightly smiled: “Sun Xiaojie, no need to act like a stranger.
I came to invite Wei Yang to see her maternal grandmother, do you want to join us?”
Sun Yan Jun hasn’t married into the family yet so she isn’t a member of the Li family.
Since Jiang Yue Lan used the words “maternal grandmother”, it wouldn’t be proper for her to follow along.
But, under public scrutiny, the Duke’s Furen wouldn’t go too overboard, Sun Yan Jun thought.
She glanced at Li Wei Yang and surprisingly saw her smiling and nodding that she put her mind at rest as she watched both of them leave.
As they circled the garden and turned towards the inner courtyard, she noticed a white marble panel that revealed grandiosity.
In front of it were bouquets of flowers and silks on a huge meadow field.
They’ve reached a small pavilion enclosed by beaded curtains with scented aroma lingering out in the air.
Once Li Wei Yang walked to the entrance, she heard laughter within.
Jiang Yue Lan smiled: “This is the tea room where the Duke’s Furen receives her friends and family.”
The parlor outside was much bigger and noisier.
It was exceptionally quiet here.
Li Wei Yang frowned and asked: “Is Lao Furen inside?”
Jiang Yue Lan smiled: “Yes, Lao Furen, your Eldest Sister and Fourth Mei, they are all inside.”
The serving maid opened the beaded curtains and Li Wei Yang saw how lively the entire place was.
Everyone was clustering around the Duke furen who sat in the master seat.
She was dressed in her usual household clothes with her hair loosely worn in a bun held up by a jade hair comb.
Her demeanor showed extravagance and arrogance.
And by her side was an eighteen, nineteen years old youngster who sat properly next to the Duke furen.
Although he was seated, she could tell he had a rather tall body stature and he wore a jade green long dress, making him stand out in the crowd.
Li Wei Yang raised her brows and noticed the youngster lifted his head.
Even though she had seen many handsome men before, she was still taken aback.
The man’s face was a blossoming lotus white with a red mole between his brows.
His eyes emitted wisdom and hope.
If she recalled correctly from her previous life memories, this person is ——
The Duke furen was just laughing with Li Chang Le.
Her laughter was filled with power and didn’t show any evidence of her illness.
Following the sound of new arrivals, she lifted her head and saw Jiang Yue Lan leading Li Wei Yang in, she smilingly said: “You both have arrived at the right time.” She turned to the man by her side and said: “Hua-er, do you still remember your Maternal Grand Aunt and Wei Yang meimei?”
Frankly speaking, Jiang Hua had been accompanying Duke Jiang out in the military for years so how could he recognize Jiang Yue Lan, who rarely stepped out of the household? And let’s not mention Li Wei Yang who was raised in the countryside, it was impossible that they’ve seen each other before.
But Jiang Hua gave a slight smile and generously greeted them.
He was still young but his demeanor showed his experience and maturity: “Greetings to Maternal Grand Aunt and Third Cousin.” It was as if he knew all of them.
Jiang Yue Lan couldn’t resist but praise: “Third Shaoye is young and dignified, very different from others.”
Jiang Hua was only known as an idler in the military and was far like his three brothers who all had military accomplishments.
But at a young age, he was known for his erudite nature.
At the age of 11, he was known as the top scholar of the capital.
At 15, the Emperor assigned him as a third-ranked scholar.
He had written lots of poetry and many were still widely used.
However, this kind of talented scholar resigned from his position because of Duke Jiang and has been willing to assume the role of mastermind behind the scenes.
This was already a very peculiar situation.
At this moment, after receiving praise, he only nodded and didn’t show a hint of complacent and boastfulness.
Whether he did it deliberately or not, he gently smiled at Li Wei Yang.
His smile rendered his face more jade white and the red mole between his brows eerily bought out traces of evil.
Li Wei Yang looked at him and thought: Seems like Jiang Hua’s return must be related to what happened in the court.
Li Wei Yang saw a closeby panel and began to walk over.
He is a male guest after all so she shouldn’t go too close.
But the Duke furen glanced at her and smiled: “No need to be courteous, everyone is family in here.”
Li Chang Le and Li Chang Xiao didn’t sit behind the panel and were only sitting a distance away.
Li Wei Yang glimpsed at Li Lao Furen and saw that she nodded so she gently smiled and without persisting, she sat next to Li Chang Xiao.
Jiang Yue Lan sat behind and gleefully asked: “We’ve heard laughter outside the room, did something happy happen?”
Li Lao Furen’s face was radiant with smiles: “We were listening to how my in-law was telling us some interesting stories about Third Gongzi when he was young!”
Jiang Yue Lan chimed in: “Oh? What happened to Third Gongzi when he was young?”
Li Wei Yang gave Li Chang Le a glimpse and noticed that her face was filled with joy as she listened on.
There was no trace of awkwardness in her expression.
It was obvious that Li Chang Le and Jiang Third Shaoye were very well-acquainted.
Third Shaoye smiled faintly: “A talent like Chang Le will eventually become the princess consort in the future.
Eldest sister-in-law, don’t use me to amuse everyone.
If you do care about me, then you should find me a beautiful wife!”
Han Shi only smiled and pointed at Li Chang Xiao and Li Wei Yang: “How about this, why don’t you choose one out of those two and I’ll be the matchmaker between you two!”
This kind of unrestrained joke caused a change in Li Lao Furen’s expression yet she didn’t voice her anger.
The wedding matter of unmarried women shouldn’t be the subject of a joke.
This Han Shi was very rampant! The teacup cover heavily dropped onto the cup releasing a crisp sound.
Jiang Hua gave a glimpse at Li Chang Xiao and saw that her face was very red from her layers of blush.
But Li Wei Yang lowered her glance as she sipped tea as if she didn’t hear a single word and has zoned out afar.
He thought of his family’s evaluation of Li Wei Yang and he smilingly replied: “Eldest sister-in-law, don’t make me the subject of your jokes, you’re making my two cousins uncomfortable!”
Han Shi gleefully asked: “Since you don’t like any of your three cousins, then it’s hard to find you a wife! Or is it because you’ve met someone you like while you were out all these years with Duke Jiang?”
Jiang Hua broke into laughter and eventually seemed restless that he stood up: “Eldest sister-in-law is coming for me, I can’t stay here any longer.” He turned back and smiled: “Grandmother, I’ll go out to the front.”
The Duke furen smilingly replied: “A room filled with young misses, you sitting here is indeed awkward, go along then!” As she spoke, she suddenly tugged his sleeves and said, “You’re this old already, you must learn to take care of yourself.”
Li Wei Yang suddenly lifted her head and glimpsed at Jiang Hua.
She noticed he was stunned and reacted with an odd expression.
Then the Duke furen momentarily said: “I think finding you a wife will let my heart rest at peace!”
Seeing his grandmother joking with him expressing her sentiments, he said: “Yes, I will find you a granddaughter-in-law out there!” As he spoke, he turned towards every to pay his respects and left.
After leaving for a while, Li Chang Xiao was still in her own world.
Li Wei Yang coldly smiled and noted that the men of the Jiangs were all very good-looking.
But looking at Min De for this long, she didn’t have much affection towards seeing them.
What she cared about the most was what the Duke furen just said moments ago.
Right at this moment, a yatou reported: “Crowned Prince and Crowned Princess have arrived.”
The Duke furen laughed: “Our noble guests have arrived.
Look at what I’m wearing now, I must go change.”
Li Lao Furen looked at her and of course, to receive the Crowned Prince, she must change into her first-ranked furen attire.
She spoke: “How about this, I’ll go and welcome them first.”
The Duke furen nodded and said: “Thank you.”
Li Chang Le smilingly said: “Grandmother, let me accompany you to your changing quarters and then we’ll go out together.” The Duke furen nodded so she gleefully walked forward to support her steps.
Li Lao Furen stood up as everyone also did the same to walk out with her.
But suddenly a yatou shouted and everyone looked back and noticed how a corner of Li Wei Yang’s dress was drenched.
On the ground was a teacup which was obviously knocked over when the tea tray was being removed.
The yatou alarmingly kneeled: “Xian zhu, please forgive me!”
Li Wei Yang looked at Li Lao Furen and saw how she frowned.
Han Shi rushed over: “This yatou, how could you mess up such a small task! Xian Zhu, we are very sorry!” She spoke with a face filled with apologetic remorse.
Jiang Yue Lan also rushed over: “How did this happen? Your dress is drenched! Wei Yang, why don’t you change in our guest room?” After she finished speaking, she looked over towards Bai Zhi and said, “Did you bring a backup attire for your Xiaojie?”
The Xiaojie of prestigious families must prepare backup attires for unexpected needs —— Bai Zhi replied: “It’s in the carriage, Nubi will go retrieve it.” She glimpsed at Zhao Yue and the latter faintly nodded back before she left with ease.
Jiang Yue Lan caringly said: “Wei Yang, I’ll accompany you to the guest room.”
She was showing her motherly affections and if she declined, it will show that she’s unreasonable.
Li Wei Yang smiled faintly and as if she didn’t detect anything out of line, she nodded and turned to speak to Han Shi: “Eldest sister-in-law, I have to borrow your guest room for a bit.”
Han Shi smiled: “Han Xiang, bring Xian Zhu to change her clothes!” A beautiful plain-clothed yatou immediately walked up and spoke: “Please come with me.”
The guest room was very quiet.
Zhao Yue had been guarding from the outside and hadn’t noticed anything alarming until Jiang Yue Lan walked out with Li Wei Yang.
The yatou named Han Xiang lowered her head and said: “The Duke furen invites you both to come.”
Now? Li Wei Yang glanced at Jiang Yue Lan and saw that she was very astonished: “Aren’t we going to receive the Crowned Prince and Crowned Princess?”
Han Xiang apologetically smiled: “The Duke furen only gave these orders, Nubi don’t know about anything else.”
Li Wei Yang calmly said: “If that’s the case, Mother please go ahead.” She turned to leave, revealing that she had no intentions to go along.
Han Xiang was struck with awe as she blocked her path and bowed forward: “Xian Zhu, the Duke furen said, if enmity is not settled amicably, there is no end to it.
She has the intention to resolve the enmity.
Xian Zhu, please reconsider.”
What do those words mean? Li Wei Yang turned to look at Jiang Yue Lan who seemed like she was deep in thoughts.
Li Wei Yang didn’t reply but Jiang Yue Lan walked forward: “Wei Yang, it seems like the Duke furen intends to resolve the enmity between you two.
Why don’t you go and see what happens?”
Li Wei Yang looked at Jiang Yue Lan with a forced smile: “Mother is telling me to go?”
Jiang Yue Lan awkwardly expressed: “Wei Yang, you must understand my position.
Ever since I’ve become your mother, I’ve never harmed you, so why do you have to guard against me like others? If you are worried, then you should bring your yatou along.
Everyone in the room are female members of the family, who can harm you? You have too many suspicions.” Her expression was filled with unbeatable sadness.
Li Wei Yang blinked at Bai Zhi and Bai Zhi smiled as she lowered her head.
Li Wei Yang slowly said: “Since it’s Mother’s orders, I will go.
Mother, you first.”
Jiang Yue Lan unnoticeably let out a sigh: “Let’s go.”
Upon entering the room, she spotted the Duke Furen sitting on her bed as she laid against a soft pillow.
Li Chang Le and other yatous were busy helping her change.
Below her window was a five bat longevity pear blossom table and on it sat a burner releasing the scent of sandalwood, a calming aroma.
The Duke Furen has changed into her festive attire and turned her head once she heard footsteps.
Li Wei Yang greeted the Duke Furen and the latter warmly spoke: “I have a few words I want to say to you.”
Li Wei Yang lifted her eyes and saw Li Chang Le whose hands were trembling as she fixed the tail of the dress.
The Duke Furen quietly took her hands as if she was extending Li Chang Le her energy, helping her calm down.
The Duke Furen sighed: “Li Wei Yang, I know you are the one behind everything, which includes the death of my daughter, the loss of 200,000 army soldiers, the punishments of Nan-er.
Everything was plotted by you.”
Li Wei Yang watched her and slowly replied: “Please forgive me but I don’t understand what you are talking about.”
The wrinkles on the Duke Furen’s forehead seemed to have been smoothened, she calmly said: “You’ve done it so why be pretentious?”
Though her voice was light, her words were deep.
A gust of wind from the window blew in as the leaves on the ground flew around creating a sha-sha sound.
Unknowingly, the room was enshrouded with cold intentions.
Jiang Yue Lan witnessed this scene and quietly retreated to the side.
Li Chang Le bit her lips: “Li Wei Yang, besides you, me, Mother, grandmother is here.
If you want to say something, there’s no need to hide it.
Let’s be frank and put our cards on the table!”
Li Wei Yang smilingly said: “Are we having a trial today? Grandmother invited me here to ask for the truth or to punish me?”
“Punish you?” The Duke Furen lightly sneered and dejectedly said, “I’m old, Chang Le is incompetent, my sons can only kill on the battlefield so in regards to the battles within the inner harem, no one can rival you, what is there to punish you for?”
Li Wei Yang responded, “You are right, you are the undisputed elder, I don’t dare to argue.”
She uttered a few “pity” as if she was very sad and dreary.
Li Wei Yang attentively watched her showing a rather odd expression.
This pair of old and young were scrutinizing each other with expressions showing dancing fire.
The Duke Furen stopped talking for a while until Li Wei Yang thought she wasn’t going to speak again that she suddenly said: “I’ve called you over today not because I want to be your rival but I was thinking we should resolve our enmity towards each other.”
Li Wei Yang calmly smiled: “Wei Yang doesn't understand your meaning.”
Li Wei Yang lifted her face and declined to comment.
Momentarily, she responded in a low voice: “Grandmother really thinks this way?”
The Duke Furen slowly let out a sigh and said: “Frankly speaking, I still feel hatred towards you but —— we must consider the overall situation.
I want to resolve our enmity and from today onwards, we will mind our own business.”
Hearing those words, Li Wei Yang felt very strange.
She observed the Duke Furen’s expression as if she was pondering and also waiting for something.
The Duke Furen smiled, “You are only a 15-years old young girl.
You have to wed in the future.
What is the point in fighting with your sisters?” She stopped temporarily, “Once someone dies, their misdeeds dissemble.
Rao-er has already left this world and I won’t be here for long.
To live until such an age, haven’t I seen through all this? I don’t want to seek revenge on you as long as you promise that you won’t harm Chang Le and the Jiangs, I will also promise you that you can peacefully be your Xian Zhu until you die.
But if you don’t promise me, through all the Jiangs’ resources, we will make your life difficult!”
Li Wei Yang smiled: “Grandmother, from the start, I was never the instigator.”
The Duke Furen coldly laughed, revealing that she didn’t think of this, she said: “You only have to say, you promise or don’t promise!”
She was the same old unyielding person! Li Wei Yang spoke: “There’s no reason for me to not promise.” But would Li Chang Le be able to do it? She held unbound hatred towards her and had already left a blood feud, how could this be resolved this easily?
The Duke Furen finally laughed and warmly remarked: “You are after all 15-years old.
If you are too stubborn, it’s not a good thing, now this is all good.” As she spoke, she stood up, “From today onwards, I hope you all can live together in peace, then I came rest in peace.” After, she looked at the red-painted fruit platter on the table and said, “Now, bring my platter of jujube over.” She instructed her warmly as if she was her own granddaughter.
If it were others, they would rush over to help her to show their loyalty.
But Li Wei Yang simply raised her brows and didn’t move.
Live happily together? This is indeed a very beautiful scene.
Li Wei Yang looked at Li Chang Le and said: “I hope so.”
The Duke Furen had finished changing and was slowly led over by the yatou as if she found it difficult to walk alone.
She took a jujube from the platter in Li Wei Yang’s hands.
She only took a bite and sighed: “At this age, I can’t taste anything!” As she spoke, she didn’t look at Li Wei Yang again and walked out.
The Duke Furen didn’t say anything but only suddenly raised her head to look at him with expression of desolateness.
Ultimately, her body started trembling and she spat out blood.
All of the blood landed on Crowned Prince’s face.
Li Chang Le who was on her side shouted: “Grandmother! Grandmother, are you okay?”
The Duke Furen fell backwards and sank into unconsciousness.
As for the Crowned Prince, he was frightened to the point where he didn’t know where he was with his face covered in fresh blood.
Everyone’s eyes gaped wide open and within moments, everything solidified.
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