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Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 230 - "A surprise" (1)
As a daughter of a noble family, Nie Chenyu had probably never encountered such a scene before.
As soon as she had pushed open the doors, she saw snakes everywhere in the room: long snakes, short snakes, red ones, blue ones, and green ones. There were ones that were rising up and ones that slithered. There was an overflow of them on the table and a group of them encircling a corpse on the floor and hissing at it. Hearing the sound of the doors opening, a couple of them turned their triangular-shaped heads and focused their gaze on her.
"Ah!!!" Nie Chenyu frantically took several steps back, lost her balance, and fell down. The snakes that had noticed the doors were open started slithering towards the outside.
Dengxin hurriedly went over and shut the doors.
Nie Chenyu had been frightened into tears. She grabbed her sister's hand and said while crying, "I knew it. You didn't have good intentions when you asked me to come over. Why are those awful things in your room?!"
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Ji Man pursed her lips. She had also been a bit scared too. She had thought of a lot of ways that Qian Lianxue could choose to harm her, but a room full of snakes hadn't been one of them. She had originally planned on having Dengxin wait outside with other servants and ambush whomever Qian Lianxue would send over. Then, she would bring Nie Chenyu over and put on a show of being surprised to see the detained person. This way, Nie Chenyu could act as a witness when she told this to Old Madame.
After all, they were two members of Nie Clan. If they both said the same thing, Old Madame should at least believe in them a little bit, right?
As it turned out, Dengxin didn't even need to do any acting. Qian Lianxue's big move had caused Nie Chenyu to be scared witless.
"You did this deliberately! I'm going to find Old Madame and tell her what you did!" Nie Chenyu's legs still felt weak. Holding her servant girl's hand for support, she faltering stood up and scurried out of the courtyard.
There was still a corpse inside her room. Such a serious matter, it wasn't something that could be decided by her. As Ji Man followed after Nie Chenyu and walked towards the main courtyard, she ordered Dengxin to send someone to inform Marquis Moyu about this matter.
When Ning Yuxuan arrived in the main courtyard, Dengxin was kneeling in the middle of the room as she said, "After Madam left the estate, this servant had brought everyone to the kitchen to prepare some snacks, so that Madam would have something delicious to eat after she came back. But, servants from Qiangwei Courtyard were already using the kitchen. This servant could only bring everyone back to Feiwan Courtyard. But, right after we went back, there were noises inside the main rooms. Along with the other servants, this servant went over to look. As soon as the doors were open, we saw that the floor was full of snakes. We immediately closed doors. Later, we heard a scream inside the room. It was only at that point we found out that there was someone inside the room."
Why would a servant bring a basket full of snakes to Feiwan Courtyard? Those snakes had even been able to bite that person to death. These were clearly poisonous snakes.
Nie Chenyu was sitting by Old Madame's side and crying. Her body was still trembling as she said, "That scene was too frightening. Dengxin even lied to Chenyu and said there was a surprise inside. If I didn't have a habit of checking a room before entering, I would have definitely been bitten by those poisonous snakes too."
Dengxin gravely said, "This servant didn't misspeak. There really was "a surprise". Old Madame, please find this kind-hearted person that specially had Little Five deliver so many poisonous snakes to my master."
Little Five was a servant that worked in the kitchen. He had been an honest, young lad.
Ning Yuxuan profoundly looked at Nie Sangyu, then he finally spoke, "Of course, I'll have people from the Ministry of Justice personally come here to investigate this matter. I'll send people over to remove the snakes in Feiwan Courtyard too."
Ji Man glanced at Qian Lianxue, who had been sitting on the side without showing any reaction, then she took out the account book as well as a list of prices, "This servant went shopping today. While I was outside, I asked about the prices for some items. Based on the average prices from several places, it should haven't cost more than a thousand silver taels for the materials needed to repair Xuesong Courtyard."
"Furthermore, the relative that Lianxue had recommended had reported over three thousand silver taels as the cost for those materials. This servant had already reported this matter to the local magistrate."
Qian Lianxue finally showed a reaction. She raised her head and deeply looked at Nie Sangyu, then she stood up and knelt down in front of Marquis Moyu and Old Madame. While mildly gasping for breath, she said, "Lianxue wasn't aware of this matter. Old Madame, Marquis, please forgive Lianxue."
She had ingratiated herself with everyone. Who knows how many masters she was secretly serving? Qian Lianxue thought Nie Sangyu's understanding was really too low-leveled. So what if she caught her red-handed? Old Madame and the marquis believed in her. No matter what, they wouldn't blame her. As for those two letters, even if they had both fallen into Nie Sangyu's hands, that was okay too. Those letters only had orders and didn't mention her by name. There was no way that Nie Sangyu could prove that she was the intended recipient of those letters.
Qian Lianxue lightly coughed a few times. She raised her face that looked as if it would never hurt another person or animal and pitifully looked up at the two people in the center seats.
Old Madame was silent for a while, but she surprisingly asked Nie Sangyu, "What do you think is the most appropriate way to handle this matter?"
Ji Man closed the account book and said, "Even though Lianxue's intentions weren't bad, her actions have established a negative precedent. What will we do if more people think they can use their relationship with the other concubines to defraud the marquis? How can the rules of right and wrong be enforced then? This servant thinks, the punishment doesn't need to be harsh. Lianxue has always been a person that didn't compete for favor or status. Rank isn't that important to her. Let's just lower her status to an ordinary concubine in order to warn other people from following her bad example. Lianxue, I'm sure you can accept this as the resolution, right?"
Qian Lianxue's heart tightened in alarm. She raised her head and looked at Marquis Moyu. Nie Sangyu's words left her unable to defend for herself. She naturally couldn't say that she wasn't willing to accept this. She could only pleadingly look at Marquis Moyu and wait for him to help her.
However, this time, Ning Yuxuan only nodded his head and said, "That's good."