inister Li’s pulse—”


Translator: Chau

Editor: Chau


Chapter 134: Debt to Collect Later



Li Lao Furen got nervous, her worried eyes fixated on Imperial Physician Wang: “How is he?”

Imperial Physician Wang’s expression was rather unpleasant.
Under everyone’s suspicious eyes, he swallowed a bit and said: “This—I do not dare to say, Lao Furen, please invite a wiser Lao Ye!”

Li Lao Furen’s expression changed upon hearing this.
Disregarding etiquette, she quickly walked over and grabbed Imperial Physician Wang’s sleeve: “You have been treating my family for many years.
You are our most trusted Imperial Physician, who else can come examine us but you! If even you have doubts, then how can I ask someone else?! If there is an illness, then treat it, please say it outright!”

Li Xiao Ran was still breathing hard.
His face turned from red to white, the facial muscles under his eyes twitching, almost as if he couldn’t stop himself from shaking.
His eyes widened as he looked straight at Imperial Physician Wang: “Imperial Physician Wang, just say it!” He squeezed every word out with some difficulty.

Imperial Physician Wang nodded: “In that case, please send everyone unrelated to this matter away, Lao Furen.”

Li Lao Furen looked around, then nodded at Luo Mama who immediately understood and instructed a guard to take Physician He away and dismissed all the servants for the time being.
Only a few trusted individuals remained, which did include Rong Mama though since she was a key witness.

Imperial Physician Wang’s face didn’t look any better.
He looked around and solemnly said: “This matter is of utmost importance.
I examined Prime Minister Li’s pulse just now, and it is very weak and faint.
I’m afraid it’s not a good thing.
Prime Minister Li, how has your health been recently?”

Jiang Yue Lan glanced at Li Xiao Ran and answered for him: “Lao Ye has been suffering from heat exhaustion these past three or four months.
Every time he is exposed to the sun, he will feel weak and sweat profusely.
His skin will appear flushed and often appear inexplicably.
At times, he would experience panic, shortness of breath, dizziness, numbness in the limbs, and have less of an appetite than usual.” She had just had a miscarriage and staggered, about to fall.
Rong Mama hurriedly moved a chair over for her to sit down.
Once she caught her breath, she continued: “Imperial Physician Wang, are you referring to these symptoms?”

“Suffering from heat exhaustion?” Imperial Physician Wang nodded, but then his expression turned into one of suspicion and surprise as if shocked by a terrible realization.
Everyone anxiously watched him.
Li Wei Yang only looked at them with somber eyes.
Her face didn’t betray her emotions, only blatant indifference and perhaps even a hint of ridicule as if she had expected this.
It’s a pity no one paid attention to her anymore, everyone’s attention was on Li Xiao Ran.

Li Lao Furen grew even more anxious: “So what is going on, Imperial Physician Wang?”

Imperial Physician Wang said: “Prime Minister Li, when did you begin to have these symptoms?”

Li Xiao Ran pondered for a moment and replied: “The symptoms of panic and shortness of breath began half a year ago.
The mild heat exhaustion was diagnosed three or four months ago, but I have gone to see countless physicians.
They all said that it was because I was overworking, shouldn’t be anything concerning—”

“No, it is because Prime Minister Li has used too much cottonseed oil—which is why these strange symptoms appeared.” Imperial Physician Wang rambled, apparently hesitant.

“Cottonseed oil?” Li Lao Furen was even more confused.
She didn’t know what would cause Imperial Physician Wang to make such a face.

“Prime Minister Li, would you please let me check the personal belongings on you?” Imperial Physician Wang asked.
Li Xiao Ran nodded as soon as he heard him.
He removed the jade pendant by his waist and took out his handkerchief.
After some thought, he took out a Tianyan agate snuff bottle and handed it to Imperial Physician Wang.

Snuff was introduced from beyond the kingdom a year ago.
People are used to mixing finely ground tobacco pounder with borneol, mint and other precious medicinal ingredients and aged it in the form of sealed wax pills to last for several years to decades.
Inhaling snuff could relieve fatigue.
This snuff bottle was a congratulatory gift from the Jiang family after Jiang Yue Lan married into the household.
Logically speaking, Li Xiao Ran definitely would not carry this kind of thing with him, but Jiang Xu understood him very well.

Everyone has their own likes and dislikes.
Li Xiao Ran may be cautious, but he is no exception.
When faced with their favorite things, one cannot resist.
Li Xiao Ran liked beautiful landscape paintings the most, and second to that was collecting unique snuff bottles.
This Tianyan agate snuff bottle was both.

The painted scenery on the bottle were the works of famous artists, in a faraway ancient times with steadfast and leisurely poetry.
The subject of the painting is a fashionable scholar, holding an exquisite, clear and luminous glass with his right hand and a book with his left hand, lying on his back amidst the rockery, his eyes hazy with the intoxication of wine, savoring its sweet aroma, watching the moon and drinking.

The strokes of the subject’s clothes flowed like drifting clouds and flowing water, fully expressing the scholar’s leisure and elegance.
Light and freeform brushstrokes in the background, sometimes splashed ink, sometimes dripped ink and flying white expanses.
Its abstract beauty was just to Li Xiao Ran’s liking.
Although the agate snuff bottle had a large bore, the walls were very thin, and the contents of the bottle could be seen from the outside.

The most amazing aspect was that the artisan with skilled hands made so that there is no difference when looking at the front or back side.
If he was to put the cover on and put it in water, the snuff bottle would not sink.
It can be regarded as an excellent treasure, so Li Xiao Ran immediately held onto this snuffle bottle after he had initially inspected it and found nothing out of the ordinary.

Imperial Physician Wang carefully checked every item, and finally, his gaze stopped on the snuff bottle.
He picked it up and closely examined it, smelling it again before he made up his mind.
Finally, he said: “It’s this item.
Although it is hardly noticeable, there is a cottonseed oil smell!”

Li Lao Furen was confused: “What is cottonseed oil, is it poisonous?”

Imperial Physician Wang looked at everyone and said: “Cottonseed oil is squeezed from cotton seeds.
It is darker in color than other oils and can be edible after processing.
However, the use of pre-processed cottonseed oil has a relatively high probability of harming the body.
It is especially toxic to the liver, blood and gastrointestinal system.
The most deadly thing is that it can lower men’s libido for most men and their wives.
An adult man that has used cottonseed oil for 40 days…
Will no longer have the ability to have children…”

“What do you mean! What do you mean by no longer have the ability to have children!” Li Xiao Ran suddenly stood up from the chair.

“That is to say, someone put something in the snuff bottle to hinder his father's bloodline—” Li Wei Yang unexpectedly interrupted him in a regretful voice.

“Nonsense! What cottonseed oil! Impossible! Yue Lan was clearly pregnant!” Li Xiao Ran couldn't bear it anymore and turned violently thunderous.

“Prime Minister Li!” Imperial Physician Wang exclaimed, “I would never lie.
If you don't believe it, you can find other doctors to examine your pulse.
If I have spoken as much as half a word of untruth, I will never practice medicine from this moment forward!”

Li Xiao Ran was completely stunned, struck hard by Imperial Physician Wang's conclusive words.
His legs softened, and his whole body collapsed into the chair again.
He blankly looked straight ahead and muttered, “Cannot have children anymore?”

Prime Minister Li, you cannot have children anymore.” Imperial Physician Wang slowly repeated.

Li Lao Furen was completely shocked.
Her body swayed.
She stumbled and fell down onto a lounge chair nearby.

Li Wei Yang coldly looked at her father’s collapsed state without a single trace of sympathy.
She no longer pretended to be a filial daughter in front of her father.
In any case, they were only deceiving one another.
She initially knew that there was something wrong with the gifts the Jiang family had sent, but she pretended not to know because she was waiting for this day.
She didn’t expect the Jiang family to use a lower-dose in fear that they would be discovered, so Jiang Yue Lan could still get pregnant…
Fortunately, as soon as this revelation came out, everything changed completely.
Li Wei Yang only walked over to support Lao Furen, softly saying: “Lao Furen, you must take care of your body.”

Li Lao Furen gritted her teeth.
Her voice sounded warped as if underwater, struggling and caught in circles before finally coming out of the water: “Imperial Physician Wang, is what you’re saying true?”

Imperial Physician Wang solemnly responded: “I have been practicing medicine my whole life to save people.
I may not have extraordinary medical skills, but I will never lie to patients.”

The entire room was quiet.
No one said anything once they heard this, but the face of the person speaking became even more chilly.

Jiang Yue Lan almost felt like her throat had been burned by fire: “No, impossible, that’s absolutely impossible! You’re lying! You must be lying! How much silver did Li Wei Yang give you so that you would say such blatant lies!”

“There’s no need for Imperial Physician Wang to tell lies that could be easily exposed.
We only need to find another physician to check, and we will know if what Imperial Physician Wang said is true or not.” Li Wei Yang said slowly.
No matter how many physicians they found, they would all determine that Li Xiao Ran’s poor health is a result of the cottonseed oil.
Then, no matter how Jiang Yue Lan tries to explain it, it will be difficult for people to believe that the child in her womb belonged to Li Xiao Ran.

“The Jiang family has no reason to do this! Both families are in-laws, so why should they need to—” Jiang Yue Lan said resentfully.

Li Wei Yang smiled: “The Jiang family has put in a lot of effort indeed.
On one hand, they married Mother off to get Father and our Li family’s attention.
On the other hand, they gave away such a controversial gift.
As long as Father does not have any more sons and since my younger brother, Min Zhi, is concubine-born, Father will certainly forgive Eldest Brother.
At least no one will be able to threaten Eldest Brother’s position as the legitimate wife’s son.
The Jiang family will naturally guard against you too, Mother, afraid that if you give birth to a legitimate son, you will threaten Eldest Brother and Eldest Sister’s status.
I’m afraid that when they prepared this trap, they didn’t expect Eldest Sister to commit an unforgivable crime and be executed, so there is no way to control the Li family.
Speaking of which, if the Jiang family decided to act on Mother, then it may not completely sever Father’s ability to bear heirs because there will be other women to give birth for him aside from you, so they simply—” She glanced at Li Xiao Ran and revealed a regretful expression: “Simply acted against Father, completely cutting off our Li family’s line of descendants.”

When everyone heard this, the expressions on their faces changed.
They looked at Li Wei Yang, seemingly pondering over the meaning of these words.
It wasn’t that their minds were slow, it was too much to accept all at once.
If Lao Ye cannot bear children, then—

Li Wei Yang slowly began to smile, but her lips had yet to curve up when it turned into a soundless sigh: “There’s one thing I still want to know.
Why did Mother suddenly get pregnant when Father cannot have children? Does this child even belong to the Li family?!” Li Wei Yang’s eyes shifted from Jiang Yue Lan to Li Xiao Ran, who was blankly sitting on the chair, unable to say a thing: “Father, perhaps you should thoroughly investigate.
Not how Wei Yang harmed Mother, but who the child in Mother’s womb belongs to!”

“Li Wei Yang, you’re venomously slandering me! You—you’re deplorable, who would this child belong to if not your Father!” Jiang Yue Lan was immediately flustered, almost fainting as her eyes turned bloodshot, “I have never left through the gates, nor have I slipped out the back, how could I—”

Li Wei Yang sighed: “It’s hard to say.
This child seemed to be conceived around the time of Maternal Grandmother’s death.
At the time, Mother stayed with the Jiang family for a few days—”

Jiang Yue Lan’s face turned white.
She had indeed conceived the child with Lao Ye after returning from the Jiangs, but now Li Wei Yang was using the fact that she once stayed with the Jiang family to fabricate her involvement! She dropped everything and sank down by Li Xiao Ran’s side: “Lao Ye, Lao Ye, I wouldn’t dare to do anything to betray you, Li Wei Yang is lying about all of this to frame me, Lao Ye, don’t believe her! She must have bribed Imperial Physician Wang, it must be it!”

Li Xiao Ran raised his head and sternly looked at Li Wei Yang for a while.
He proceeded to glance over to Imperial Physician Wang and Li Lao Furen.
At last, he looked down at Jiang Yue Lan and gently said: “Imperial Physician Wang has been examining me since I was a little more than ten years old.
He has never deceived us.”

That single statement cast Jiang Yue Lan into the depths of hell.
Her entire body trembled as her breath quickened: “Lao Ye, are you suspecting me?!”

A smile lingered in the depths of Li Wei Yang’s eyes, but an unspeakable kind of pity appeared on her face: “Mother, Father is kind to not talk about it.
In my opinion, Mother should just be honest.”

“Li Wei Yang…
Where is your heart, how could it be so poisonous?” Jiang Yue Lan’s voice was hoarse, every word forced out between clenched teeth.
She suddenly understood the reason why Li Wei Yang appeared to give up earlier.
Her opponent intentionally angered Li Xiao Ran to prompt his illness to break out.
She had been waiting for all of this to happen, everything had been accounted for! Jiang Yue Lan thought she was clever, yet she fell into her opponent’s trap!

“I’m just saying, Mother, you insisted that you were pregnant, so you should explain who the child belongs to, don’t you?” Li Wei Yang had an unusually calm expression, which seemed cold and merciless at first glance.
She slowly continued, “During the time that Mother was with the Jiangs, Mother had the opportunity to contact outsiders…”

A sudden clap of thunder could be heard from outside.
Startled, everyone jumped, and moments later, lightning flashed across the screen window as if simultaneously tearing apart Jiang Yue Lan’s face.
The rain and wind beyond the window raged like no tomorrow, the heavy rain pouring down onto the earth, pitter-pattering with the beat of everyone’s hearts.

The chill of the night reached down to the bones, everyone in the room was terrified.
Only Li Wei Yang was calm yet unforgiving, looking down at Jiang Yue Lan from higher ground like looking at an ant seeking its own death.
She quietly walked over to Jiang Yue Lan and visibly smiled: “Now, can Mother give us a reasonable explanation?” Li Wei Yang spoke very softly.
That statement echoed throughout the room, taking everyone by surprise.

A clap of thunder, a flash of lightning followed, and under this light, Jiang Yue Lan’s face was of visible terror.

Imperial Physician Wang said: “Third Xiaojie, nothing is absolute in this world, perhaps—”

Li Wei Yang smiled faintly: “Imperial Physician Wang wants to say that perhaps the medicinal side effects aren’t as severe?”

Imperial Physician Wang closed his mouth.
If he was to say that Li Xiao Ran may still have a chance of having children—it really did seem baseless, he could not guarantee that under these circumstances, anything he said would be wrong.
Not to mention, as a man himself, once suspicion has taken root in one’s heart, it is hard to remove it.
Li Xiao Ran will not believe it.

At this critical moment, Rong Mama suddenly fell to her knees and prostrated at Li Wei Yang’s feet and cried: “Third Xiaojie, it’s all because Nubi was wrong, all because Nubi was wrong! It was Nubi who persuaded Furen to fake her pregnancy to frame Third Xiaojie! Everything is Nubi’s fault!”

Fake her pregnancy? Li Wei Yang sneered.
If she was actually pregnant, everyone will suspect that Jiang Yue Lan’s child has unclear origins, especially given that Imperial Physician Wang’s conclusion could not be overturned, but if it was a faked pregnancy, then it was part of a plan to frame Third Xiaojie, Rong Mama certainly knew how to choose between two evils!

“Oh, faked her pregnancy?” Li Wei Yang seemed to murmur to herself.

“Yes, it was a faked pregnancy!” Jiang Yue Lan was about to speak when Rong Mama tightly held her back, “Nubi bribed Physician He to present false evidence, he also prescribed medicine for Furen to make it seem like she was actually pregnant, everything was faked, Furen was not pregnant, she really wasn’t pregnant, if Lao Ye doesn’t believe it, ask Imperial Physician Wang to verify!”

Imperial Physician Wang coldly looked at Rong Mama: “Earlier when I examined her, the Furen of your household clearly showed symptoms of miscarriage—it was unmistakable!”

Li Xiao Ran suddenly stood up, his face turning green: “Imperial Physician Wang, I will handle this matter, but please keep this a secret.
I do not wish to hear any rumors of this matter outside of those present in the room.”

After a moment of confusion, Imperial Physician Wang came to an understanding and nodded: “Very well, I promise you.” He turned and said to Li Lao Furen: “I must go.”

Lao Furen tiredly told Luo Mama: “Send Imperial Physician Wang out.”

After Imperial Physician Wang left, there was a strange silence in the room.
Li Wei Yang smiled.
She had been all too clear about what Rong Mama was up to, seizing Li Xiao Ran’s pride to save face, there was no way he would look for another person to verify.
If Jiang Yue Lan faked her pregnancy to oppress Li Wei Yang, then it was not quite the worst-case scenario, just a matter of the official mother oppressing the illegitimate daughter, but if she was truly pregnant, then it goes to show that Jiang Yue Lan had put a green hat on Li Xiao Ran.

Since Li Xiao Ran believed Imperial Physician Wang, he would never trust Jiang Yue Lan again.
In his heart, he had long determined that Jiang Yue Lan’s child was not his own.
However, he will not allow anyone to check again and only accepted the first possibility: that is, Jiang Yue Lan had framed Li Wei Yang, that is much better than being forced to admit that he had been cuckolded.

However, Li Xiao Ran is by no means a simple person.
He is very suspicious and even more paranoid than anyone…
Therefore, Rong Mama’s actions were no different than drinking poisoned wine to quench her thirst.
Of course, this play still has to go on, it’s a pity that the person under the blade had become Jiang Yue Lan now.

Li Wei Yang didn’t pursue the matter.
She never rushed when it came to removing the weeds by its roots, she only said: “Since Rong Mama has admitted to unjustly framing me, Father, how do you plan to deal with it?”

Li Xiao Ran turned and eyed Jiang Yue Lan with a rather cold and vicious expression.
Jiang Yue Lan trembled, involuntarily shaking out of absolute terror.
She couldn’t explain herself anyways, and he wouldn’t believe in her anymore…
It’s over, it’s all over, her wealth and glory, her marriage, everything that had belonged to her!


Translator: Chau

Editor: Chau

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