T/N: Thank you patrons for sponsoring this chapter part.
Title: ChongFei Manual
Chapter: 136.1 out of 171
Elder Princess Gao Yang knew that this was a thorn in Empress Chen's heart. As long as she grasped this thorn, she could stab her in the part that hurt her the most. This was why she didn't give up after hearing Empress Chen's words. Instead, she continued, "Back then, Liuli had just turned one year old when she was poisoned by someone. Elder sister-in-law, your must know that although Consort Shu was related to this matter, she was only being exploited by someone else. The chief culprit was Noble Consort Ning."
Empress Chen closed her eyes. Her nail guards gripped the chair's armrests. She didn't reply.
(T/N: Below is a picture of golden nail guards.)
Elder Princess Gao Yang thought her words were effective and her eyes couldn't help brightening. She continued to fearlessly say, "At the time Noble Consort Ning was very favored by imperial brother, so he pretended to not notice anything. If I act as a witness for elder sister-in-law now, imperial brother will definitely..."
Empress Chen couldn't restrain her emotions and interrupted her, "Enough." Soon after, she opened her beautiful, long and narrow phoenix eyes, "Do you think that this empress will help if you say these words? Back when Liuli had been poisoned, you concealed the truth. If you want to use this matter to threaten this empress, this empress will only feel more annoyed towards you."
In the end, she was a woman that had led armies and fought battles. She had a bone-deep majesty of being above others. A single flat look from her made Elder Princess Gao Yang speechless.
"Do you think you're the only person that can act as witness for what happened back then? Zhao Xuan, you think too highly of yourself."
Back when Zhao Liuli had been poisoned and Consort Shu had been executed, Empress Chen did think that the circumstances were strange. But, she wasn't able to find evidence at the time. Moreover, when she mentioned the matter to Emperor Chong Zhen, he had only said she was too suspicious and reprimanded her for begin biased against Noble Consort Ning. At that time, Emperor Chong Zhen had heavily favored Noble Consort Ning.
From that time onwards, Empress Chen's feelings toward Emperor Chong Zhen started to fade. She slowly thought things through. Even if she got rid of Noble Consort Ning, there were still Noble Consort Wan and Noble Consort Xu. It would better for her to leave Noble Consort Ning alone and hold onto information could be used against her.
In addition, the poison hadn't been completely removed from Zhao Liuli's body and her body was extremely weak. Empress Chen whole-heartedly focused her attention on Zhao Liuli's health. She had searched for all of the famous doctors in the world. She only occasionally thought of what had happened back then after Zhao Liuli's health had improved during the recent years.
Now that Elder Princess Gao Yang had reminded her of this, Empress Chen only felt more disgusted towards Zhao Xuan instead of feeling happy.
If she hadn't drawn Emperor Chong Zhen and Noble Consort Ning together back then, the following events wouldn't have happened.
In addition, her husband was loyal to Zhao Zhang and was always opposing Zhao Jie. Where exactly did she get the self-confidence to believe that she would be willing to help her?
Zhao Xuan's face became deathly white. She realized that Empress Chen was determined to not help House Li. In her heart, Zhao Xuan was still a lofty and unyielding person. She gritted her teeth and bid farewell to Empress Chen, "Since it's like that, then I won't bother imperial sister-in-law further." She stood up and walked out of Zhao Yang Hall.
Li Xiang followed behind her. This was the first she felt desperate and uneasy. With red eyes, she asked, "Mother, what will we do next? Will daddy really be beheaded?"
Although Elder Princess Gao Yang wasn't overjoyed with her rough and warlike husband, in the end, they had been together for many years and she did have feelings towards him. She couldn't stand by and do nothing as he was sentenced to death.
In addition, House Li would perish if Li Zhi Liang died. Although she was an elder princess, she was no longer the previous emperor's favored young daughter. If Zhao Jie became the emperor, her days would become even worse. Thus, she was also pleading for a guarantee for herself as she asked for leniency for Li Zhi Liang.
Unexpectedly, she saw Zhao Jie walk out of Xuan Shi Hall just as she got there. He was wearing a dark reddish purple robe embroidered with serpents. He glanced at Zhao Xuang and Li Xiang as he walked out. He ordered the eunuch that was guarding the hall, "The emperor has ordered that unless someone has an urgent imperial court matter, no one is allowed to enter the hall and bother him."
The eunuch swung his horsetail whisk and respectfully said, "Understood."
Zhao Jie's line of sight swept past Elder Princess Gao Yang and Li Xiang’s faces for a moment. Then, he left.
Within a few days, news about Prince Ru Yang's family had spread to every corner of the capital.
In order to protect himself, Fifth prince Zhao Zhang had to abandon his chess piece, Prince Ru Yang, and cut of all contact with House Li. He didn't take the risk of pleading with the emperor.
House Li was completely finished.
On the day before Prince Ru Yang would be beheaded, when Wei Luo was coming back from outside in a carriage, a person rushed out from a corner right after the carriage had stopped at Prince Jing's residence's entrance. The person stopped in front of the carriage without any explanation. With a resolute expression, the person's gaze was focused on the carriage's dark curtain that was embroidered with golden thread.
The carriage driver lifted up the whip. He was originally going to berate her. But once he had a clearer look of her face, he suddenly stopped.
Wei Luo stepped on the carriage's pedal and came down from the carriage. She didn't even look at the other person before she started walking towards the residence.
The other person quickly went around Wei Luo and stopped in front of her, "Wei Luo, stop!"
Wei Luo stopped walking and looked at the other person. It was Li Xiang's tenacious and unyielding face. Although Wei Luo didn't know why Li Xiang was here, Wei Luo wasn't interesting in finding out why. She pretended that she didn't see her and walked around her. She didn't expect that Li Xiang would kneel without any warning.
Li Xiang raised her head and looked at Wei Luo. “Wei Luo, I know that older cousin Prince Jing listens to your words the most. Treat it as if I was wrong about everything in the past. I shouldn’t have opposed you. My daddy is going to be beheaded tomorrow. Older brother Prince Jing is handling his case. If you say a few words in front of him, he’ll definitely listen…”
So, she wanted her to plead with Zhao Jie. Wei Luo only found this matter laughable. Where did Li Xiang get the face to ask her for a favor? A few days ago, she had solemnly said that she and Zhao Jie had framed Prince Ru Yang. Without allowing her any time for an explanation, she had tried to slap her. Now, that she was at a dead end, she came here with pitiful appearance to beg her. Wei Luo couldn't help thinking. Did Li Xiang think she was a weak person that could be easily bullied?
Wei Luo wasn't in a hurry to enter the residence. In the midst of this chaotic moment, she calmly glanced at Li Xiang. Wei Luo curved her limpid almond-shaped eyes and dealt with her by saying, “Then tell me, why should I help Prince Ru Yang?”
Li Xiang lowered her eyes for a moment. When she looked up again, there was a complicated glimmer in her eyes that was difficult to discern. Before Wei Luo could figure out what that glimmer meant, Li Xiang started speaking, “After we came back from the hunting competition in Chang Xun Mountain, my older brother was holding a hairpin in his hand. Later, I found out that the hairpin was yours. My older brother once called out your name when he was sleeping. He didn’t want to marry Wei Zheng. The person that he likes is you. My older brother wasn’t the one that injured Wei Chang Hong back then. It was me, who shot him. He only took responsibility for my crime. My older brother can never participate in the imperial exams in the future. He’ll be an ordinary citizen for the rest of his life… Even if you can’t save my daddy, my older brother is innocent. I hope that older cousin Prince Jing can be more lenient with his sentencing…”
Wei Luo slightly froze. She looked at Li Xiang again. A long time later, she finally said, “You were the one that injured Chang Hong?”
Li Xiang lowered her head and frankly admitted, “It was me.”
She thought that Wei Luo’s heart would soften if she said these words, so she mumbled, “Wei Zheng committed suicide by hanging herself. Older brother has always liked you. I’m the one that you have conflict with. I’m begging you. Please let off my older brother…”