T/N: Thank you patrons for sponsoring this chapter part.
Title: ChongFei Manual
Chapter: 135.1 out of 171
When they returned to Prince Jing's residence, Wei Luo poured out all of the loot she had won today onto a round, rosewood table that was carved with a picture of lions playing with balls. There were many silver and gold ingots (Ming Dynasty currency), jade accessories, and a few pearls. Gao Wan had been very extravagant. More than half of the items here had been hers. Wei Luo separated out the silver and gold ingots and rewarded them to the servants in Zhang Tai Courtyard. She bestowed the small jade fish to Jin Lu and the jade bracelets to Bai Lan. Seeing that the quality of the pearls was pretty good, Wei Luo said to Jin Lu, "Order the servants to grind these pearls into powder. I'm almost out of pearl powder."
Jin Lu nodded and quietly glanced at Zhao Jie. Seeing that his expression wasn't good and that there was clearly something he wanted to say to Wei Luo, she tactfully retreated from the room after saying, "After the pearls have been grinded, this servant will bring them over for Your Highness to look at."
Wei Luo agreed. After all of the servant girls had withdrawn from the room, she looked at Zhao Jie. After thinking for a moment, she hugged him from behind. "Were the things that Li Xiang said today true?"
Zhao Jie held her hand and carefully stroked it. His expression still didn't look very good. "What did she tell you?"
Wei Luo's arms were wrapped around his neck and her check was right against his face. In a calm tone, she said, "Prince Ru Yang had rebellious intentions and hid a stash of weapons that was found by Xu Zhou's prefectural magistrate. His Majesty is going to dispose of him."
Then, she paused and blinked her large eyes. "Li Xiang said that you framed Prince Ru Yang and that I incited you into doing this."
Zhao Jie pulled her to his front, cupped her small face in his hands, and asked, "Do you think this prince deliberately slandered him?"
Wei Luo's limpid eyes were bright and threatening. Although she had been born with a face that looked innocent and harmless, the words that came out of her small mouth were ruthless. "Prince Ru Yang has a massive military force under his control and he's doing evil things with fifth prince. His Majesty had already warned him of the consequences, but he still hasn't shown restraint. People in high positions are likely to be attacked. Even if you don't deal with him, His Majesty will still deal with him. So what if you slandered him? If I were the one that incited you, I would think this crime is too light. You should have used a method that would destroy House Li and fifth prince at the same time.”
She had said too much. Wei Luo pursed her lips. Lacking in confidence, she sneakily glanced at Zhao Jie. "I was just casually saying these words. Big brother, you don't have to take these words seriously."
Unexpectedly, Zhao Jie smiled. He rubbed her earlobe and in a delighted tone, he said, "My Ah Luo is really clever."
Wei Luo looked at him. "Then is Prince Ru Yang innocent?"
"No." Zhao Jie held her hand and fiddled around with her fingers with great interest. Wei Luo's fingers were slender and cute. Each white and soft finger was like a bamboo shoot after rain. Her ten fingernails were pink and smooth. A person would feel happier just by looking at them. "Li Zhi Liang really did hide a stash of weapons, but he did it for fifth brother. This matter will be traced back to fifth brother. Imperial father isn't a fool. He naturally knows who was behind Li Zhi Liang's actions. Prince Ru Yang won't be the only that suffers. Fifth brother will also be implicated. Imperial father gave the matter to me to handle instead of fifth brother because he wants this matter handled fairly without any bias."
(T/N: Just in case it was too long ago, Li Zhi Liang is Prince Ru Yang’s name.)
Wei Luo lifted her head and looked at him, "How are you going to handle this?"
Zhao Jie slightly curved his lips. His dark eyes silently looked at her for moment before he said, "Since they dared to harm my Ah Luo, they naturally have to pay with their lives."
Within a few days, the outcome of Prince Ru Yang secretly hiding weapons was determined.
Prince Ru Yang's crime couldn't be pardoned. His military power was completely stripped from him and his official stamp was taken back. Seven days later, he would be decapitated at the southeast gate on a main street. As for his wife and children, in light of Elder Princess Gao Yang's sibling relationship with the emperor, discretion would be exercised. The children would become normal citizens. The current generation of males wouldn't be allowed to participate in the imperial exams or serve as officials. Half of the financial resources in their household would be added to the national treasury. This punishment would also serve as warning to others.
When Elder Princess Gao Yang heard of this news, she collapsed into a chair with an empty expression. She was unable speak.
Standing at her mother's side, Li Xiang burst into tears as she mumbled, "How can this be.... How can this happen to daddy..."
On that day, she had gone to the palace to plead with Empress Chen. Unfortunately, Empress Chen wasn't feeling well and didn't grant her a visit. At the time, she had planned on going to the palace again tomorrow. She couldn't have expected that Prince Ru Yang's punishment would have already been decided.
A judicial officer led people from the Ministry of Justice into Prince Ru Yang's residence and started to take away almost all of the valuable items. Before the judicial officer left, he saluted Elder Princess Gao Yang and said, "This subordinate is only following orders. Your Highness, please excuse me."
Li Xiang couldn't stand to see the people from the Ministry of Justice. She picked up a colorful teacup lid from an eight immortal-style table and flung it at them, "Scram!"
The judicial officer and the people from the Ministry of Justice were used to seeing turbulent changes. His expression didn't change much as he recorded the items down one by one. Then, he led the people out of the residence.
Li Xiang fell down at Elder Princess Gao Yang's side. She helplessly asked, "Mother, what are we going to do? Is daddy really going to be decapitated…”
Elder Princess Gao Yang was also beside herself with panic. She hadn't expected that the emperor would be so heartless. He didn't show any mercy on behalf of their relationship as siblings. He might as well be preparing to exterminate the entire House Li. She lifted her head and look at the doorway. Li Song had an indifferent expression as he stood there. His eyes showed that he was focused on some unknown thought. She called out, "Song-er..."
Before she could finish speaking, she saw a servant girl wearing a green jacket and skirt rushing inside. She said, "Madam, bad news! Young Madam committed suicide by hanging herself!"
Rats will leave a sinking ship.
Elder Princess Gao Yang felt as if the sight in front of her had turned black. She fainted.