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Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 233 - The winds of change (2)
After looking at the midwife in silence for a while, Ji Man suddenly smiled and said, "Midwife Yang, what do you think of my home?"
Midwife Yang looked around, then she nodded and said, "It's naturally a thousand times better than the home of a poor person like me."
Ji Man continue to smile as she said, "Then, you should peacefully stay here for a while. There are several women in this household, and three babies have been born recently. Two of them were premature births too. A lot of situations might come up that will require your expertise."
Midwife Yang shook her head repeatedly. "My two sons and their wives are waiting to take me home so that I can comfortably live with them and enjoy my golden years."
Dengxin came forward and stuffed a gold ingot into her hand.
Midwife Yang was dumbfounded. She blankly looked at the ingot for a while and felt hesitant. After biting the ingot to confirm that it was real gold, she reluctantly said, "Then, this old one will stay here for a few more days."
Ji Man nodded.
Out of the servants that had been reassigned from Xuesong Courtyard, there was a servant girl named Lianyi. Every time, Dengxin would always assign her the least amount of work. And, after every meal, she would pull her to the side to chat.
Lianyi was very cautious and wasn't the talkative type. However, she had been feeling heartbroken for a while. Dengxin had always kept her company since she had been reassigned here, so she inevitably felt a bit moved.
That night, when no one else was around, she finally said to Dengxin in a low voice, "I was almost engaged to someone. But unfortunately, the person I was going to be betrothed with died."
Dengxin nodded and quietly listened.
"He was a steadyfast man. It was just that his family was poor, and he couldn't afford a betrothal gift. I told him that it wasn't important. I would marry him even if he just gave me two sweet potatoes as a gift." Lianyi's eyes became teary. "But, he said he wasn't willing to wrong me like that. He insisted on earning enough money first. But, who could have known that he would die..."
Dengxin gently patted Lianyi's back. She also felt that it was a huge pity. "How did it happen?"
Lianyi froze. She pursed her lips and didn't say another word. She wiped her tears away and pulled up her quilt to show that she was going sleep.
The next day, Ji Man heard this story from Dengxin. She had specially selected Lianyi to come to her courtyard. After Little Five had died and people from the Ministry of Justice had come over to investigate, they had asked if he was close to anyone. Aunty Zhao from the kitchen had privately told her that Little Five and Lianyi were childhood sweethearts. They were going to be married soon.
Ji Man thought; Lianyi probably knew something. However, Lianyi was a good person, even thought she had been reassigned to Feiwan Courtyard, she didn't say a single bad word about Qian Lianxue.
Ji Man would sometimes think that Qian Lianxue was a person that had conducted herself very well in interpersonal relationships.
Nonetheless, she had to figure out a way to get Lianyi to spill her secrets.
Qian Lianxue's masters were shrouded in dense fog. Intuition told Ji Man that it wouldn't be easy to cause her downfall. Although Qian Lianxue was only an ordinary concubine right now and behaving herself, sooner or later, she would be up to something nefarious again. Every day that she remained here was a day that Ji Man couldn't feel safe.
However, a big event happened in the imperial courts. It was something that hadn't happened since before the founding of this dynasty.
The crown prince had tried taking liberties with an imperial concubine that recently entered the palace. The emperor had caught him red-handed. Furious, the emperor punished the crown prince with house arrest to reflect on his wrongdoing.
The crown prince had a sky-high reputation among the commonfolk. After the crown prince was sentenced with house arrest, there were many common people that felt very angry on his behalf. Poets wrote poems criticizing the emperor for believing in slanderous rumors. There were even some people that felt so outraged, they destroyed the emperor's statue in the temple that had originally been built to thank the emperor and crown prince for their benevolence during the smallpox outbreak. The statue of the crown prince was left untouched and signified that only the crown prince commanded public respect and popular favor.
Since ancient times, all emperors had the same serious paranoia.
The emperor had originally started to soften his stance because of the empress's pleading. But, after the commonfolk had staged such a riotous scene, the emperor stripped away Zhao Zhe's title as the crown prince.
As the imperial court was boiling over, the commonfolk suddenly stop causing trouble. The entire temple was demolished, the crown prince became merely the oldest prince and was under house arrest for an indefinite period. Outside of the palace, with the exception of a few troublemakers that had been arrested, the commonfolk went about their normal business.
The next step was to see when the emperor would bestow the third prince with the title of crown prince.
After this great change was over, Marquis Moyu had a lot more free time. Instead of going to the Six Ministries every day, he stayed home and leisurely played with birds and spent time with his children.
It was around this time that the third prince paid a visit to Feiwan Courtyard. As usual, he was wearing simple, travel-worn clothing.
"Younger cousin, you've always done a good job. Isn't now the time for you to help your older cousin in the final step?"
The meaning of final step was having Marquis Moyu publicly show that he had changed his alliance.
Ji Man looked at Zhao Jie and smiled. "Older cousin, do you still not understand? What kind of person do you think Ning Yuxuan is? He's the type of person that will always leave himself an escape path. His utter loyalty only goes to the position of the crown prince. Whether the crown prince is the oldest prince or you, he'll conscientiously do his job."
Zhao Jue looked at her, then he shook his head and said, "That's not enough."
It wasn't difficult to obtain Marquis Moyu's conscientious work, what he wanted was Ning Yuxuan to do his utmost to assist him. As long as he was helping him, the position of crown prince would fall into his hands sooner.
The third prince thought it over. It was unlikely that Nie Sangyu would be able to help him out much. After a few rounds of small talk with his cousin, he turned around and headed to Ning Yuxuan's study.