The Princess Wei Yang - Chapter 103 part2
The Princess Wei Yang Chapter 103 part2
Erica – Been without Wi-Fi for a few days, apologies for the delay
 Should the student be better than their teacher
Bai Zhi and Zhao Yue were briefly taken aback. Bai Zhi whispered: “Xiaojie, Jiu Yiniang is locked up in her own courtyard, Laoye said——”
“Father did not say I couldn’t go and ask questions.” Li Wei Yang idly said.
Bai Zhi said: “But the weather is so cold.”
Li Wei Yang didn’t pay any mind to it: “It doesn’t matter. Let’s go.”
Zhao Yue had been solemn and silent. Hearing this, she nodded: “Yes.”
There was no trace of anyone along the way. Perhaps no one wanted to go out in this heavy snowy weather. Li Wei Yang firmly held onto her cloak and walked into Jiu Yiniang’s courtyard but did not run into the caretakers. In the snow not far away, there was a silhouette of a figure moving strangely.
That person’s long hair was unkempt, falling everywhere and seemed to be dragging her feet. Her knees stiff, she walked as if he was awkwardly limping. She was getting closer and closer to Li Wei Yang and could be faintly seen only wearing thin layer of clothes… In this weather, how could anyone wear something so sparse here! A moment later, Li Wei Yang saw everything clearly. The person in front of her was none other than Jiu Yiniang! She was not wearing thin summer clothes but a white nightgown.
Li Wei Yang frowned, how could Jiu Yiniang run outside of the house alone?! Didn’t Lao Furen order to have more servants to guard her and keep her under close watch… How could she run outside without anyone doing anything? Why did she run out in this kind of weather?!
Zhao Yue instinctively placed a hand on the sword by her waist, cautiously eying Jiu Yiniang.
Jiu Yiniang had already discovered them and suddenly stared intensely at Li Wei Yang, clapping her hands and laughing.
Li Wei Yang noticed her voice was rather abnormal and shuddered. She looked at her face and only saw a pair of soulless, hollow eyes as she had with Li Chang Xi!
“Hahaha, so it’s you!” Jiu Yiniang twirled a pale, frozen blue finger. Her hands were always beautiful and untainted by even a little bit of dust, but now they were covered in mud, dirt and blood.
“I know you! You’re that capable San Xiaojie! Ah no! It’s Li Wei Yang! That bearer of misfortune!”
Li Wei Yang raised her eyebrows. Could Jiu Yiniang have truly lost her mind?
Zhao Yue wanted to stop Jiu Yiniang from coming any closer, but Li Wei Yang shook her head. Zhao Yue had to step back. Jiu Yiniang giggled ominously and came closer to Li Wei Yang. The strange light in her eyes intensified as she used the secretive tone of voice of a young child: “Child, aren’t you really capable?! Save me then, save me, I really didn’t harm you! I didn’t hurt anyone! They are harming me! They colluded with one another to harm me! I only felt that thing was beautiful and wanted to borrow it to make one for Jing er. I truly didn’t harm you!”
The words of a madwoman were not necessarily credible, but Li Wei Yang’s intuition told her Jiu Yiniang was telling the truth.
She frowned and suddenly raised her voice: “Where are the people in this courtyard? Did you all die somewhere?”
Her voice was not very loud amidst the wind and snow, but seven or eight people appeared from inside the courtyard, four Mamas and a couple yatous. They all had a fearful look on their faces.
Li Wei Yang coldly said: “All of you were supposed to watch over Jiu Yiniang, what are you all doing?!”
The four Mamas hastily knelt down and apologized. Whenever it was this cold, they did not stand guard by the doors and sneaked in some wine to drink and play cards. They just realized that Li Wei Yang had arrived but did not dare to come out in fear of being punished, but it seemed like it was unavoidable.
A Mama quietly said: “Xian Zhu forgive us, the weather is too cold. All the Nubi’s hands are frozen blue. We thought Jiu Yiniang was mentally unstable and would not run out, so then——”
Li Wei Yang coldly stared at them: “Quickly help Yiniang inside!”
Huh? Didn’t Jiu Yiniang harm Si Shaoye? Si Shaoye was Xian Zhu’s full–blooded younger brother. Why did Xian Zhu continue to treat Jiu Yiniang this well? The Mamas looked at one another. They did not dare to object and quickly directed people to seize Jiu Yiniang, but the strength of a madwoman always surpassed that of an average person. Jiu Yiniang began to laugh, her voice sharp as she broke free from the crowd, swaying as she ran. Everyone rushed to seize her and after some difficulty, they managed to hold her down on the snow. Jiu Yiniang was barefoot, her entire body curled up as if she was getting sick.
Li Wei Yang looked on from afar and had an ominous premonition. She whispered: “Have your older brother watch over Jiu Yiniang.”
“Yes.” Zhao Yue quietly responded.
Li Wei Yang’s intuition was rather accurate. One day later, Jiu Yiniang was found dead in her room.
“The physician said Jiu Yiniang committed suicide by swallowing gold.” Li Wei Yang slowly said.
Zhao Nan shook his head: “No, Nucai stood guard outside the entire time. If she committed suicide by swallowing gold, Nucai would have seen it.”
Li Wei Yang sighed and said: “Of course she didn’t commit suicide, she was murdered.”
“Xiaojie, when yatou brought dinner in that evening, Jiu Yiniang was still well. Nucai had also tested the food with a silver needle. There was no poison, but after six hours, Jiu Yiniang stopped breathing.
At first Nucai suspected she had been poisoned, so Nucai had checked all the furnishings in room but could not find any trace of poison anywhere. Then, Nucai examined Jiu Yiniang’s corpse and found that she looked as if she were dreaming, as if it had been painless.
“So, the person who killed her must have used a poison that could not be detected or acted in a way we couldn’t have possibly imagined.”
Li Wei Yang had lived in the palace and knew about many types of poison that could not be detected. For the most part, those were ingredients that contained arsenic, so it was not surprising that Zhao Nan could not find the cause of Jiu Yiniang’s death.
“It seems our only clue has been lost,” Zhao Nan frowned. In his opinion, the winding troubles in this grand residence have made people’s heads hurt. Someone peacefully living out their days could suddenly die in front of everyone’s eyes. He really could not understand it; he would rather go to the battlefield to fight and kill than to be afraid, worrying about when an arrow will come for him out of nowhere.
“Didn’t any of you think that Jiu Yiniang going mad is strange?” Li Wei Yang prompted.
Zhao Yue nodded: “She was in good health, but from the moment she left He Xiang Courtyard, it’s as if she turned into a different person.”
Li Wei Yang nodded and said: “Li Chang Xi lost her mind because of the trauma I caused her, but why did Jiu Yiniang go mad?”
“Maybe… She made a grave mistake and was afraid of being punished——” Bai Zhi supposed.
Li Wei Yang shook her head: “If she was daring enough to do it, she certainly knew of the consequences. How could she go mad so easily?”
Bai Zhi did not speak anymore. She also felt there was something wrong with Jiu Yiniang suddenly going crazy. Perhaps someone had a hand in it.
Only Mo Zhou sighed and said: “Poor Liu Xiaojie, she has already lost her mother not long after being born into this world.”
Li Wei Yang smiled: “This is actually a good thing for her. Although Jiu Yiniang was beautiful and clever, she did not grow up in a large prestigious household. She is easily manipulated by others. With a mother like her, Liu meimei will be involved in many troublesome matters. Now that she is dead, Jiang Yue Lan has to establish her image of a gentle, good mother in front of everyone. She will expectantly treat her well.”
Bai Zhi nodded; “Xiaojie has a point.”
Mo Zhou disagreed: “Who knows where the new Furen’s heart is. What if she also disposes of Liu Xiaojie?”
Li Wei Yang laughed: “Foolish yatou, why would she need to act against Liu meimei? Liu meimei is only a concubine–born daughter. In future, she only needs to give her a bit of dowry. She could also use Liu meimei to further her family interests. Of course, she must be carefully raised –— for the sake of Jiang Yue Lan’s good name. But Min Zhi is different…”
First of all, suppressing the concubine–born son is to keep the inheritance for the legitimate son. Even if the concubine–born son moved out, he will always have a share. If he doesn’t move out, you would have to put money towards supporting his household. When it comes to a narrow–minded and unfavored main branch of the family, they will naturally treat money as their flesh and blood and resent not being able to remove the concubine–born son from existence.
The second reason is to protect the eldest, legitimate son’s status in the household. Among the officials in Da Li, there were many concubine–born sons that have surpassed their legitimate counterparts. With achievements in hand, not only could they wrestle favor from the legitimate son, but their mother gains honor as her son’s position rises and may even be able to compete with the official wife’s.
Like the current prefect of Zhangzhou, Liu Fang, who was originally a concubine–born son. He was raised by the legitimate mother Liu shi from a young age. When he returned and saw that his birth mother, Li shi, with a head of white hair, still had to abide by etiquette towards the legitimate mother and couldn’t bear it. He purposely asked for Bixia’s edict to allow him to bring his birth mother to Zhangzhou Prefecture with him to share his prosperity. The Emperor saw that Liu Fang had endured many years of hard work and hardships, but the news spread, and his legitimate mother Liu shi felt this son was too unruly and was furious. She ordered the servants to choke Li shi to death. So, it seemed like she raised this concubine–born son with her guard raised. This was also human nature. This was the main reason Li Wei Yang did not want to leave Min Zhi with Jiang Yue Lan. If she didn’t have a son, she may treat Min Zhi well, but what if she had her own son? The problem would become rather complicated.
Li Wei Yang thought up until this point, then looked at the branches outside the window that were swayed by the wind: “This is the last snowfall of the year.”
Bai Zhi and Mo Zhou looked at one another, not understanding why Li Wei Yang suddenly mentioned this.
The person who had the same thoughts as Li Wei Yang was Li Xiao Ran. He felt Jiu Yiniang’s madness was strange and suspected someone poisoned her. As he pondered over it, she suddenly died. Perhaps someone murdered her. At first, he wanted to thoroughly investigate. Unfortunately, the shop owner was dead and with neither a witness nor a testimony, the only clue was with the yatou by Jiu Yiniang’s side. Her words became the only doors to the truth. No matter how she was interrogated, the yatou only repeated that: Jiu Yiniang poisoned Si Shaoye, and she did not know anything else. Later on, Li Xiao Ran sent for an expert in torture, but that yatou still did not change her confession.
“No matter what it is, it has no effect. Either the yatou is telling the truth or she believes that what she’s saying is the truth.” Li Wei Yang said to Zhao Yue.
Zhao Yue did not understand: “What is the difference?”
Li Wei Yang smiled: “The difference is that she really did see Jiu Yiniang put the poison inside or someone else made her mistakenly think that Jiu Yiniang dealt with poison.”
Zhao Yue suddenly understood: “Then, is there a way to investigate it?”
Li Wei Yang coldly said: “It happened once, so there will inevitably be a second time. As long as we pretend not to know anything for the time being, the other party will continue to act.”
Zhao Yue nodded: “Nubi certainly will carefully watch over Si Shaoye.”
At that moment, Zhao Nan quickly came in and knelt down to say: “Xiaojie, following Xiaojie’s instructions, Nucai searched through Jiu Yiniang’s food in the recent days…” He handed over a stack of papers.
Li Wei Yang looked at it for a while but still could not see anything out of the ordinary. She lowered her voice: “There is nothing strange with food preparation. What is going on here?” A while later, she frowned: “Go find a physician.”
Zhao Nan responded and quickly disappeared. Li Wei Yang solemnly looked at his retreating figure.
Two hours later, Zhao Nan brought back an old, white–haired and bearded physician. Li Wei Yang looked at Zhao, and he immediately said: “Nucai told the guards at the gate that a yatou in Xiaojie’s courtyard was ill, so the Li family physician would not be summoned.”
Li Wei Yang nodded and said: “Please take a look, is there something wrong with these foods? Or would consuming too much of any of these be harmful?”
The old physician was trembling and still did not know what happened, but he saw the luxurious furnishings in the room and Li Wei Yang’s manner of dress and understood. He lowered his head, not daring to look at Li Wei Yang. He accepted the papers and scanned through each one.
These papers recorded Jiu Yiniang’s daily meals in the past month.
The old physician examined them and pointed at a dish that was prepared for every meal: “This steamed cassava——”
Li Wei Yang said: “Cassava is unique to Jiu Yiniang’s hometown and something she loves to eat. Fuqin always dotes on her and sends for it to be delivered from her hometown. She did not touch it when she was pregnant. It’s nothing new. Why, is there a problem with it?
The old physician looked a little hesitant: “The leaves, stems, and roots of cassavas are toxic, and fresh roots are the most toxic. If raw or undercooked cassava is eaten, even through a sip of soup, it may still contain toxins. Consuming too much of it will lead to death. Therefore, most people don’t like eating it.”
Li Wei Yang frowned and then said: “This is unlikely. The kitchen staff would not serve up poorly prepared food.”
The old physician did not dare to say more and pointed at another dish: “This Enoki mushroom and daylily dish … Ah… The mushrooms contain a type of colchicine. If it’s not carefully cooked and consumed in large amounts, it can easily lead to toxins disrupting the digestive system. Ordinary people can still digest it, but if someone weak and frail was to eat it …”
Frail? Jiu Yiniang gave birth a few months ago. Her health naturally could not be at its best, but daylily was often used in cooking. Li Wei Yang never heard of it being toxic, so she made an expression of disbelief.
The old physician explained: “This old man has seen with his own eyes a patient with gastrointestinal bleeding for seven days who seemed perfectly normal but suffocated to death in the end…”
Bai Zhi made a face of disgust. This old physician dared to say ‘suffocate to death’ in front of Xiaojie — he was truly out of line!
Li Wei Yang shook her head. This could not explain Jiu Yiniang’s death. To say she died because of the toxins in mushrooms or daylilies was absurd. Everyone eats these things, and no one has ever died from this. The old physician was speaking of a special case that would only happen under certain circumstances. No, wait a moment, what if someone deliberately undercooked the cassava or intentionally let the frail Jiu Yiniang consume a large amount of cassava?
The old physician continued: “Xiaojie is young and it’s normal that you have never seen this. When I was young, I used to examine corpses for the Imperial Court. I saw with my own eyes all the strange, primitive ways people kill one another! Take this roast pork and potato dish. The blossoms, leaves, and roots of these potatoes contain a lot of toxins, especially in the shoots. Young green potatoes or dark spots due to improper storage contain extremely high levels of toxicity. As long as one makes good use of it, they can easily put someone to death. Of course, to grasp this, one must need to experiment with it many times and have direct access to the victim’s food…”
Li Wei Yang understood everything. She waved a hand. Bai Zhi immediately placed a large silver bag in the old physician’s hand. The old physician panicked: “This … I did not examine anyone yet, I cannot accept so much money…”
Li Wei Yang smiled: “Thank you for clarifying my suspicions.”
The old physician was rewarded but frightened. He intended to say more, but Zhao Nan had showed him out.
Bai Zhi softly said: “This old man scares people with what he says! We eat those things every day and have yet to see anyone die!”
Li Wei Yang shook her head: “Indeed, if you want to use it properly, you must know Jiu Yiniang’s health very well and use this chance to kill her. This is not something the average person is capable of. I’m afraid a poisons expert has appeared in this household.”
“Xiaojie is saying it’s——” Zhao Yue was stunned.
A chilling light crossed Li Wei Yang’s eyes: “To put her to death like that, I know why this person would want to step foot into the Li family!”
In a different residence in the Capital…
Zhou Tian Shou worriedly walked in through the doors and greeted the young man in ceremonial garments standing in the hall. The young man turned back with a smile: “No need to stand on ceremony, Taoist leader.”
Zhou Tian Shou originally lived in mountains, but for some reason, he was invited to this place a month ago. He met the young man here, who arranged this residence for him. Zhou Tian Shou led a modest lifestyle and had never received such a courtesy. He could not help but walk around the courtyard and glanced around. The tables and bed were made from precious rosewood, the four–paneled screen divider was inlaid with gold, the curtains embroidered with silk, the bedding, and even the sleepwear were made of silk. Everything in the house, even the chamber pot, was lacquered with gold.
At meals, the table would be full of seemingly simple vegetarian dishes with mushrooms, winter bamboo shoots, fungus, chestnuts, cauliflower and vegetables. However, he knew that while meat was hard to come by in these seas, fresh vegetables were even more rare than abalone and ginseng. He was blinded by such extravagance and could not believe what fortune he stumbled upon. However, something made him uneasy, not knowing what the other party wanted him to do.
Now, the young man appeared before him a second time. Zhou Tian Shou knew that this time, it would be to give him a task.
“I invited Taoist leader here to ask that you leave this place.” The young man smiled as he said this.
Zhou Tian Shou was shocked. How could he leave such a wonderful place behind? His face revealed his reluctance, but the young man continued, without waiting for him to speak: “Don’t misunderstand. I have no other intentions. Someone will come and invite Taoist leader into the palace.”
“Into the palace?!” Zhou Tian Shou was even more astonished: “Invite me?”
The young man smiled and said: “Indeed.”
Zhou Tian Shou felt rather strange. He couldn’t help but look at the young man’s appearance, feeling he had a noble and handsome appearance. His eyebrows were like mountains, his eyes like a pond in autumn, and everything from his nose to his mouth was perfectly sculpted, but most importantly was his fate … Zhou Tian Shou had an idea of this young man’s identity. He was good at looking at faces, but there were many things one can see but cannot say for sure.
“You should return to your original residence, Taoist leader. In three days, Qi Huangzi Dianxia will invite Taoist leader into the palace.” The young man said.
Zhou Tian Shou fearfully said: “Into the palace… My master…” His master said matters in the palace were complicated and told him not to be involved with questionable people, but he knew that his master was afraid he would steal his bowl of rice.
The young man’s smile seemed even more charming: “Everything will be taken care of once you are in the palace. However, if you want to surpass your master in Bixia’s eyes, you need to bring Bixia a unique gift.”
Zhou Tian Shou looked him, puzzled: “I am only a poor Taoist, what gift could I send?”
The young man only smiled and said: “Ah, a gift. I have already prepared one for you.”
Zhou Tian Shou followed the young man’s gaze out the window. He suddenly stopped, his eyes immediately fixated on a young woman. He had never looked closely at beautiful women and kept himself pure, but at this moment, he stared unblinkingly. The beauty in front of him had soft hands, a fair complexion, sharp phoenix eyes, beautiful eyebrows, and a clever, charming smile that made one’s heart quiver. After all, he was a religious practitioner and immediately recollected himself: “This is——”
The young man had a slight smile: “The emperor is missing a flawless beauty by his side, right?”
Next: Chapter 104 Part 1