The Princess Wei Yang
Chapter 120: Target of public criticism
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(1) 衙门 (yamen) – term used for government's office in ancient times
This voice came out, everyone looked at Li Wei Yang.
Although the expression on Li Wei Yang’s face didn’t change much, the cold in her eyes is not much different from the icy snow: “Dajie, what do you mean!”
The Crown Princess’ brow twitched yet her face remained calm without a ripple: “Li Da Xiaojie, you must not talk without consideration!”
Consort Jiang Lan suddenly stood up and said coldly: “Crown Princess, you didn’t let her finish, how would you know that she is speaking without consideration! Chang Le, continue!”
The Crown Princess humphed coldly and said: “Might as well! Li Da Xiaojie, make sure you speak clearly, what you mean by An Ping Xianzhu hurt Duke's Furen.”
Li Chang Le’s tears are flowing, as if she couldn’t believe it herself, pointing at Li Wei Yang: “You… you were the one who gave that plate of fruits to (maternal) grandmother, you watched with your own eyes her eating those jujubes, aside from you, no one else have come in contact with those things…”
Li Wei Yang’s look cooled, her gaze moving on her face unhurriedly and coldly said: “Dajie, you spoke wrongly, aside from me who touched that fruit plate, there is also our mother, she is the one who gave me the fruit plate, besides, the yatous in this house must have touched the fruit plate, otherwise this fruit plate has flew into the house by itself?!”
Li Wei Yang spoke angrily: “But they don’t have a reason to hurt grandmother, mother and grandmother have always been closed, their yatous are loyal, they definitely wouldn’t do such thing!”
Tuoba Yu felt something isn’t right and immediately spoke: “Da Xiaojie, you have no evidence, why would you purposely say such vicious words!”
Li Chang Le revealed a brusque look instead, her gaze like a sharp sword, itching to stab two bloody holes on Li Wei Yang’s face, she continued hatefully: “I saw with my own eyes, everyone one in the house saw with their own eyes! Mother, didn’t you see with your own eyes that my third sister gave those jujubes to Lao Furen?”
Jiang Yue Lan’s face revealed a shocked look, after thinking over it carefully, answered: “This… seems to be true!”
Li Chang Le glanced again at the yatous who look after Duke's Furen, they looked at each other, recalling the situation at the time, but nodded in agreement.
“Biao (cousin) Xiaojie is right, at that time, only Xianzhu held the plate the longest!”
“That’s right, Lao Furen took the jujube from her hands!”
“Right right right! Only Xianzhu has the motive to place the poison! Moreover no one else could possibly harm Lao Furen!”
Fling enough dirt and everyone thinks that it was Li Wei Yang who placed the poison, because at the time in the parlor, only she has the chance to make a move, Li Chang Le is Lao Furen’s biological granddaughter, Duke's Furen dies, then half of her back support is gone, there is no need to plot against her backer just for the sake of framing Li Wei Yang.
The same can be said for Jiang Yue Lan, she was able to marry into the Lis and established herself so quickly due to the Jiangs’ power, what reason does she have to kill Duke's Furen? As for the Jiang manor’s yatous, there even less possibility.
But it’s different for Li Wei Yang, previously there was no end to the dispute she have with the Jiangs due to Jiang Nan’s matter, especially when everyone has hear about when Duke's Furen cursed at her, perhaps she has nurse a grudge due to this, thus taking this birthday celebration to find a chance to kill Duke's Furen… this kind of deduction seems to be reasonable, the only one who have to the motive and opportunity to kill Duke's Furen, is Li Wei Yang!
Everyone’s suspicious gaze, sharp like a sword, turned to Li Wei Yang, even Li Lao Furen has a look of disbelief: “Wei Yang, just what is this?!”
Li Wei Yang looked at Li Chang Le coldly and spoke: “Da jie, you said that I have poisoned grandmother? Just because I have once touched that fruit place? Or it is because I don’t get along with grandmother? Even so, I don’t have to kill her in front of so many people, could it be that I am not afraid of it failing and implicating myself?”
Li Chang Le’s voice shook, as if she couldn’t stand: “Third Mei, I have never thought that up to now, you would still make excuses, perhaps you made a move while it’s lively during the birthday celebration, wanting to escape punishment when it’s chaotic, just now if it was not for the symptoms appearing on the dead rat, it would be hard for people to think that those jujubes were poisoned! Everything that grandmother ate has undergone strict inspections before being placed on the table, therefore there is nothing wrong with it! But this only went on until you entered the parlor, when you placed the poison there, then it’s different!”
Li Wei Yang saw the cruel expression in Li Chang Le’s eye, she suddenly sneered and said: “Da jie, your imagination is very rich! Since you all say that I placed the poison, then what method did I use to put the poison? I must be carrying the poison with me right? Where is the poison? In my skirt?”
Li Chang Le looked at her in cold suspicious, speaking one word by one word: “San mei, since you swore that you did not place the poison, then do you dare to let someone check?”
Li Min De saw the determined look in Li Chang Le’s eye and couldn’t help sneer coldly, yet he only lowered his head and not spoke, this play is too interesting, Li Chang Le even thought of such method to frame Li Wei Yang, it’s really thanks to that dumb brain of hers! Thinking of it, everyone are probably sure, that there is no one in this world who would use their own life to frame someone, Duke's Furen of course would not, therefore the culprit must be in the parlor, thus the only one who has hatred with Duke's Furen has became the target of everyone’s criticism.
Tuoba Yu frowned, the first one to speak: “Li Da Xiaojie, just saying it is not enough, you are demanding a search based on your guesses, this is too arbitrary!”
Li Chang Le didn’t even glanced at him once, just stared at Li Wei Yang overbearingly, a flash of bright hatred in her eyes: “San Mei, do you dare to prove your innocence?!”
Li Wei Yang looked at her, a light sneer gradually appearing on her face, that sneer in Li Chang Le’s eye, made her thought that the other person has been pushed to the end by her so she couldn’t help continuing: “If you don’t dare, this only prove…”
Li Wei Yang stood up slowly and said: “I have a clear conscience, how could I don’t have the courage?”
On Li Chang Le’s face, a peculiar smile appeared, this smile caused the Sun Yan Jun who was watching from the side, to have a weird feeling in her heart, as if Li Chang Le has predicted that something will definitely be found on Li Wei Yang, but, how can that be? Sun Yan Jun walked over to Li Wei Yang, stopping in front of her and said: “Li Da Xiaojie, you are so overbearing, do you want Li Wei Yang to be searched in front of everyone?”
Li Chang Le smiled coldly and said: “Of course there is no need to be searched in front of everyone, there is Crown Princess present, as long as she is here, she can be witness, just need to pick a room and thoroughly search is fine!”
Li Wei Yang’s dark eyes passed over her face lightly, she smiled and said: “Good! Since there will be a search, then you must search carefully, what if a fish escaped the net? Da jie is so selflessly impartial, she probably wouldn’t mind.” Having said this, she looked at Jiang Yue Lan and others who have stayed at the parlor before, showing an interrogating look.
Li Lao Furen spoke: “Indeed, this incident cannot set Li Wei Yang’s crime based just on Chang Le’s your suspicious, unless the person has been caught red-handed, it’s a bit hard to convince people.
But if you are only searching Li Wei Yang, that it is not fair, since you want to search, then you must search all of them.” She is obviously helping Li Wei Yang, but this is no small matter, if this was a normal person who experience this, they would have already been panic-stricken but Li Wei Yang has been very calm, Li Lao Furen couldn’t help hoping, that she has some way of proving her innocence.
Li Chang Le sneered lightly with a bit of contempt: “(Paternal) Grandmother, not only Third Mei, me and all the yatous in the house, even Mother, everyone need to be search! Why don’t Crown Princess be the witness, what do you think?”
Crown Princess glanced at Li Wei Yang, after a moment, said: “What does Crown Prince think?”
Crown Prince nodded and said: “This way then it is most fair, someone go and prepare an empty room.”
Crown Princess stood up and said: “With me personally watching will be the most fair, oh right, is Consort Jiang interested in coming along?”
Jiang Lan has no alternative, she could only stood up and said: “Crown Princess, please.”
Everyone seeing this, a chill appearing on their faces.
If something is really found in a moment, then that is plotting to kill a madam of first rank, accordingly should be sentenced to death, even though Li Wei Yang swore that she did not commit any crime, but if the evidence is found on her…
Li Lao Furen’s expression is most worried, she can feel that today’s incident is very weird.
As if someone is purposely targeting Li Wei Yang, but, she just can’t understand, Duke's Furen being alive is advantageous for everyone, regardless of whether it is Li Chang Le or the Jiangs, there is no need to plot against her in order to frame Li Wei Yang, how is this any different from killing the hen to get the eggs? No one here would do such stupid thing!
Li Chang Le is the first one to be searched, Crown Princess ordered someone to carefully search her clothes, sachet, even the hair accessories on her head have been checked, but nothing was found, following was Jiang Yue Lan and the other yatous, similarly, nothing was found on them, the last one, was Li Wei Yang.
Because everyone was suspicious of her, her search time was the longest, when she came out, it was already an hour later, everyone seeing Crown Princess leading her out, they couldn’t help asking: “Find anything?”
Li Chang Le looked sneeringly at Crown Princess, they definitely found it, she is confident of this! However, Crown Princess, under the eyes of everyone, shook her head and lightly said: “Nothing, there was nothing.”
Li Chang Le’s smile seems frozen for a moment, laughter in her eyes, but there was a scowl on her lips.
Her smile and anger are originally beautiful, but at the moment, it became a strange but delicate look, the more it appears, the more a chill appear in people’s heart, she immediately look that that servant called Han Xiang, just now it was her to led Li Wei Yang to change her skirt that was soaked by tea…
But on Han Xiang’s face, at this moment showed both a shocked and dazed look, something must have went wrong at a certain segment, how could nothing be found? Clearly she let the yatou put sew the poison into the crack of her hem! Li Chang Le couldn’t think anymore, rushed forward a step to say: “Although nothing was found, it is also not a proof of Third Mei’s innocence!”
Li Xiao Ran scolds angrily: “Chang Le! What are you saying?!” It’s not that he wants to help Li Wei Yang, it’s just that at this time, Li Wei Yang is tied to the Li’s reputation!
Li Chang Le looked at Li Xiao Ran sorrowfully: “Father, do you want me to watch grandmother who adored me since young to die wrongly?”
Li Xiao Ran said coldly: “Chang Le, then what do you want to do! Let the Capital Administrator take your sister back to the yamen (1)?”
Li Chang Le’s pearl white teeth bit on her lip softly, as if unintentional said: “Before this matter is cleared up, we can only wrong Third Mei.”
Li Lao Furen is the first to oppose: “This can’t do, where is the principle of having a young lady from a big family enter a yamen!”
Jiang Xu’s expression was cold as he said: “Li Lao Furen, this matter concerns my mother’s life! If you don’t want to give an explanation, we wouldn’t let it be!”
Crown Prince’s face was troubled: “Seems like, we will need to trouble An Ping Xianzhu to follow Official Yao to the yamen.”
Is the Capital Administrator’s yamen a place that anyone can enter? Li Wei Yang is a daughter of a big family and An Ping Xianzhu, if she enters the yamen, even if she can come out safely, she will turn into the laughing stock of the capital.
Tuoba Yu’s brow furrowed, just as he was about to speak on Li Wei Yang’s behalf, he heard Li Wei Yang spoke first.
Li Wei Yang, faced with layers of force, spoke slowly: “Da jie, do you really want to find out the truth of grandmother’s death?”
Li Chang Le’s expression is cold, and said loudly: “Naturally, I would not let the culprit go free!”
Li Wei Yang’s expression shows a shadow of a smile, Li Chang Le couldn’t help getting angry.
On the side, Li Min De’s expression changed, in the end turning heavy like a bottomless abyss, and said heavily: “Since Dajie is so persistent, I have an idea.”
Everyone looked at the Li third young master who is so beautiful that one cannot stare straight at him, his gaze is colder than the winter snow: “As long as we do an autopsy, then we can find even more clues, then it wouldn’t be just sticking to the so-called jujube, instead we can be one step further in knowing just what kind was poison was used on Duke's Furen, even who used the poison.”
Li Chang Le became paled, feeling her palms filled with cold sweats, yelled: “I disapprove!”
This yell, have aroused the attention of the third young master of the Jiangs, Jiang Hua, his eyes looked over at this cousin carefully, as if falling into a deep thought.
Without waiting for someone to speak, Li Chang Le already realized her loss of control, she hurriedly said: “Grandmother has already passed away, therefore should be properly laid to rest, why do we need to move her body? This is too disrespectful!”
Yao Chang Qing is also shaking his head, of course he knows that they should perform an autopsy, but from the common practices of the current imperial court, coroner is used for examining material evidence, while at the same time, only examines the surface of a body, not cutting open a body for examination.
In the past, he has come across a case, a man named Zhou Cheng, after drinking alcohol at a friend’s house, felt great pain in his abdomen when he returned home, throwing up continuously, even throwing up several poisonous worms from his mouth.
Seeing that he threw up so many worms, he was scared into having a nervous breakdown that he died, while he was still conscious, he told his wife, Zhang-shi, that when he dies, she must cut open his stomach and see just what kind of worm is causing this, and find evidence to report the friend who did all of this.
Zhang-shi followed her husband’s wish, after her husband’s death, personally cut open his body for examination.
When the neighbors learned of this, they reported her to Yao Chang Qing for destroying her husband’s body.
Even though there is a reason for this matter, Yao Chang Qing still had to arrest Zhang-shi, while, because Zhou Cheng’s son, Zhou Jin, did not stop his mother’s action of destroying his father’s body, he was arrested as well.
Da Li’s laws only stipulate: those who harms dead body, must be sentenced to four years of hard labour, wife hurting husband, should be sentenced to five years of hard labour, sons not being filial to parents, sentenced to death.
These three laws cannot be applied to this case, at the time of this incident, Yao Chang Qing and the Minister of Justice at the time, Official Shi, has differing opinions, he felt that Zhang-shi was carrying out her husband’s wish reluctantly, Zhou Jin as a son, did not have any reason to stop her.
Considering motive for this case, it’s not a matter of cruelly hurting her husband’s body, thus can be dealt with leniently.
But Official Shi felt that Zhou Jin has committed the crime of not being filial, while Zhang-shi should be dealt as a case of wife hurting the husband.
The result of their confrontation is that the Emperor came to judge, the Emperor didn’t think much, soon commented that this case should be tried in accordance to the Minister of Justice’s views: both people should are punishable by death, unexpectedly, he once again encounter this kind of incident, he unconsciously looked at the current Minister of Justice, Zhang Hui, the other person is the apprentice that Official Shi is most proud of…
As expected, the next instant Zhang Hui suddenly said angrily: “An Ping Xianzhu, do you not know that autopsy is humiliating the deceased? Or perhaps you are not clear that my teacher has once judged such case! The judgment passed by the Emperor at the time, do you not know of it?! Seeing that you are young and unlearned, I would not blame you, do not continue to speak of nonsense!”
This case is very odd, at that time it was so sensational that even babies know of it.
Li Wei Yang smiled slightly and said: “Dare to ask Official, at the time that the Emperor judged that Zhang-shi has committed a crime, why is that?”
Zhang Hui immediately said: “Of course it is because she opened the casket and perform an autopsy…”
Li Wei Yang laughed and said: “No, it is because she privately dissect a dead body! Therefore destroying her husband’s body, thus this is her crime! If she has done it through official means, and public dissect, then it wouldn’t have been a crime, instead it would be seeking justice for her husband! What's more, although the laws of the current court does not state that there must be an autopsy on the deceased, it does not state that there must not be an autopsy! Bixia’s edict also just stated that a woman cannot easily destroy her husband’s body privately, but it didn’t state that one cannot ask for an official to perform an autopsy did it?!”
Zhang Hui was stunned, silent while thinking over carefully, he coughed twice heavily and said: “Even though so, you still need the consent of the deceased’s family! Official Jiang, do you consent?!”
Jiang Xu’s face was livid as he said: “Posthumous execution, separating bones from corpse, it is an ancient punishment! Of course this can’t do!” Not to speak of dissecting the remains, even revealing the remains of a family in front of everyone for someone to check, it is considered to be an extreme humiliation, it is blasphemy towards towards the family’s remains.
Li Wei Yang looked at them coldly: “Did you want to find out the cause of grandmother’s death? Did you want to give her justice? Now what do you mean by blocking it in every way possible? I know, although the laws of Da Li does not state that there must be an autopsy before burial, but you would rather see the culprit who murdered grandmother go free than to have an autopsy, what logic is this?! Perhaps you rather protect the culprit?!”
Jiang Hai said exasperatedly: “Li Wei Yang! You’re too much! Grandmother died suddenly , it’s already unfortunate, you kept saying that you are seeking justice for my grandmother, but clearly you are trying to cause her to cut open after her death and received more torment, your heart is really vicious, how could you bear to!”
Li Chang Le said quietly: “Yes Third Mei, your heart, how could it be so cruel!”
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