The Princess Wei Yang - Chapter 105 part1
The Princess Wei Yang Chapter 105 part1
Chapter 105: The Destruction of Dajie’s Beauty
As Yin Tian Zhao motioned for the Emperor to enter the inner hall, Zhou Tian Shou lifted his head and frowned as he watched; what was this old man up to this time?! What a waste that the Emperor was inside, if not he could have eavesdropped! He could not help but worry if the old priest was going to slander him. The thought frightened him; he flashed a glance at the eunuch, and strode out from the Emperor’s bedchambers. He might be unable to hear the conversation for himself, but he’ll definitely have a way to find out! Hmph, the Emperor would tell Consort Lian everything nowadays anyway!
Within the inner halls of the Imperial Bedchamber, Yin Tian Zhao was fiddling with his star chart, visibly not in a hurry to speak.
“Esteemed Priest, for the future of Dali, you have been meticulously tracing the stars day and night; it is truly impressive. However, your words just now seem to hint that there is something wrong. Is there something in the heavens that speak of the prosperity of Dali?” The Emperor asked for good signs, but in fact, he wanted to know if there were bad omens; didn’t Yin Tian Zhao say just now that his longevity was not going to last long? Isn’t that a bad sign?!
“The Kingdom of Dali is stable and safe, I do not need to read the stars to see that.” Yin Tian Zhao’s words were all the more perplexing; it was not an answer, but he seemed to have revealed the future all the same, without explaining his previous mentions of bad omens.
The Emperor tried to hint subtly again. “On the contrary, even though my empire will be stable, there would be minor calamities. You are constantly observing the stars; if you can predict any misfortune, you should report it to me directly, I will not blame you.”
The old priest blinked his eyes, a sharp flash appearing in them. He smiled treacherously, lifting his head slowly and gazing upwards, as if he could see through the roof into the heavens above. “Bi Xia, if you insist on knowing, this humble priest will tell you the truth. You’re right, there will be a huge calamity upon you soon!”
At this same moment, Li Wei Yang was smiling at Min Zhi, who was flipping around in his cot. Tan Shi shook her head. “Such a tiny monkey, making such a fuss so soon after recovering.”
Min Zhi just gurgled happily, not showing if he understood or not.
“This child is really heartless.” Tan Shi sighed helplessly.
Li Wei Yang gently tapped his chubby little hands. “Oh, I doubt that. After all, he is supposed to have great wisdom, isn’t it?”
Upon hearing his sister’s words, Min Zhi started clapping happily, prompting Tan Shi to giggle involuntarily. It was brief, however. “I worry if they will target Min Zhi again.”
Li Wei Yang only laughed coolly. “I can’t wait for them to try.”
Tan Shi was stunned, but Li Wei Yang had already switched to a warm tone. “Mother, please relax. I will make those who try to harm Min Zhi pay for it.”
Zhao Yue, who was stationed outside, suddenly stepped in, whispering into Li Wei Yang’s ear. She gave a small smile and stood up. “Mother, I have an issue to attend to, I will take my leave.”
Tan Shi nodded, and as Li Wei Yang strode quickly from the room, she spoke to Zhao Yue in a low voice. “Have we caught them?”
“Yes, Xiaojie.” Zhao Yue smiled.
Li Wei Yang returned to her own courtyard, but instead of entering her bedchamber, she headed towards a dark, dimly lit room, seemingly a storeroom. A well-built and tall woman was within, bound and gagged. When she saw Li Wei Yang walk in, her eyes widened violently.
With a wave of Li Wei Yang’s hand, Zhao Yue removed the cloth gag stuffed into her mouth.
Li Wei Yang scrutinized this woman from top to toe, smiling. “Oh, I see it’s Zhou Mama.” This woman was dressed in a green cotton dress, with a brocade overcoat. She had little accessories adorning her hair, only a simple wooden hairpin. Zhou Mama’s eyes were alert, however. “San Xiaojie, what is the meaning of this!”
Li Wei Yang stared at her, but Zhou Mama showed no trace of guilt on her face. “Zhou Mama, you were found sneaking around Si Di’s courtyard, what were you trying to do?” she said lightly.
Although Zhou Mama was tied up, she still managed to look innocent and wronged. “San Xiaojie, Nubi was acting on Da Xiaojie’s orders to come over and check if Si Shaoye has recovered fully. Look, Nubi has even brought a bowl of ginseng soup, but Qi Yiniang said that Shaoye was too young for it. That reckless yatou however, has caused it all to be split!”
She fixed a piercing glare on Zhao Yue as she spoke, who only huffed and retorted. “It is your fault for sneaking around, and not answering my questions!”
Zhou Mama chuckled coldly. “Aiyo, Miss Yue, I’m not sure if you understand the situation. I had wanted to bring this ginseng soup back for my own grandson instead, but your sudden attack on me caused the whole bowl to be wasted. How would I have the mood to answer your queries!”
Angrily, Zhao Yue answered back, “That is utter rubbish! I was calling out to you from behind, but you ignored me!”
Watching the exchange, it was clear to Li Wei Yang that Zhou Mama did not bother to acknowledge Zhao Yue. She broke into a smile, which made her eyes sparkle and lit up her features. Momentarily dazzled by her beauty, Zhou Mama blinked, only to hear her clear voice. “Have you checked thoroughly?”
“Yes Xiaojie, Nubi has searched every nook and cranny of the place; nothing suspicious was found.”
Li Wei Yang showed no sign of anger at hearing this piece of news, merely replying calmly, “There is no rush, I have the patience to make her speak the truth.”
Contempt was written on Zhou Mama’s face. “San Xiaojie, Nubi has done no wrong, what are you trying to do?!”
“Zhou Mama, there many things that we are well aware of, deep in our hearts. Why do you bother asking the obvious?” Li Wei Yang replied, a small smile playing on her lips.
Zhou Mama’s expression faltered slightly, and under the scrutiny of those cold eyes, beads of sweat began to trickle down her face. However, she gritted her teeth; she knew of those cruel punishments and methods of torture, but she refused to believe that Li Wei Yang would put them into use. Another two more hours; if she did not return by then, Da Xiaojie would definitely think of a way! No matter how powerful Li Wei Yang was, she was only a concubine’s child, what could she possibly achieve?!
In the end, Zhou Mama was simply relying on the power of the Jiang household, and dismissing Li Wei Yang as a threat.
Maintaining her cool exterior, Li Wei Yang pressed on. “Zhou Mama, the poison on my Si Di was planted by you; Jiu Yiniang was only a scapegoat.”
Zhou Mama couldn’t help but tremble, her mouth turning dry. “San Xiaojie, Nubi does not know what you are saying! Nubi is but a servant, I do not know anything about my masters’ matters. Nubi only knows that Jiu Yiniang tried to harm Si Shaoye, and she is now reaping her just desserts for it; what does it have to do with Nubi!”
Li Wei Yang let out a laugh. “Such a ridiculous joke! You abused your power, tried to harm Si Di, attempted to hide the truth, and you claim that you had nothing to do with it?”
“Whether Nubi has done wrong or not, it is decided by Da Xiaojie. If San Xiaojie doesn’t believe me, you can confront her to find out!” Zhou Mama replied coolly.
Bai Zhi was furious. “Such a mouth full of hot air, you are just a servant, yet you dare speak to Xiaojie like this!”
“Nubi is from the Jiang household, my actions are not for San Xiaojie to judge.” After getting past her initial panic, Zhou Mama had managed to control her fear. Li Wei Yang would not be able to harm her, and she must keep her mouth sealed tightly; no tripping or any chance of leaking secrets. Only then would she be able to turn things around. So, no matter what Zhao Yue threatened, she stuck to her fixed answer of “I am not a servant of the Li Household”, ignoring everything else.
Li Wei Yang watched the proceedings with a smile, acknowledging Zhou Mama’s stubbornness and knowing that she would be a tough nut to crack. “Bring the charcoal,” she instructed.
Stunned, Zhou Mama watched as Zhao Yue carried the brazier over. “The weather is cold and chilly, I’m afraid that Zhou Mama will be uncomfortable, so let’s warm her up.”
Zhao Yue used a pair of tongs to pick up a blistering red piece of coal, attempting to stuff it directly into Zhou Mama’s overcoat. With a terrified squawk, the older woman squirmed backwards, shouting out, “San Xiaojie! You’re mad, you’re utterly mad!” Despite her protests, two strong servants came forward and grabbed her arms on each side; Zhao Yue plunged the coal into Zhou Mama’s clothes with nary a hint of hesitation. As it came into contact with her skin, a disgusting sizzling smell permeated the room; letting out a scream, Zhou Mama almost consciousness from the pain.
Li Wei Yang watched with a cold expression, not feeling a shred of pity. If this Zhou Mama had any bit of conscience, she would not have harmed a weak child such as Min Zhi, causing him so much suffering. If Min Zhi had really perished, no one would pity him! So, towards such a cruel old woman, she would have to been even more ruthless!
Zhou Mama originally thought that the little wretch Li Wei Yang would only get her servants to give her a few strokes of the paddle, but she never would have imagined that her enemy would be so merciless. Despairingly, she watched Zhao Yue take a step closer, raising the red-hot tongs; a shriek rang out from her. “San Xiaojie, Nubi really does not know anything, please spare Nubi!”
“How noisy.” Li Wei Yang commented, her tone freezing.
Zhao Yue’s response was immediate. “Xiaojie, we can just burn off her tongue, so that it won’t be noisy anymore!”
Zhou Mama was overwhelmed by fear; this was the first time she felt such deep horror seeping into her bones, the first time she knew ruthless how this fifteen year old girl could be. In terms of cruelty, she had never seen anyone like her!
As Zhao Yue spoke, the sparks flew and landed on Zhou Mama’s left cheek, causing her to scream like a pig facing slaughter; the pain was too excruciating! The agony was driving her insane; she started crying out in an inhuman voice, “Nubi knows my mistake! No! Please kill me! Just kill me!”
Li Wei Yang slowly said, “Min Zhi is so young, but thanks to you, he had a close shave with death. Before you harmed him, did you think of showing any mercy? For the pain, you’ve caused my brother to suffer, I will ensure that you will have a taste of it as well!”
Zhou Mama was truly regretting it now; why did she volunteer to help Da Xiaojie? She had made a vow to Guo Gong Furen to teach Li Wei Yang a lesson, but she never predicted her to be such a cursed soul! She had brought harm upon herself!
The small shed was filled with the scorching smell once again, and Zhou Mama passed out this time.
“Splash her, make her wake up.” Li Wei Yang ordered.
As she came to, Zhou Mama decided that she would keep her mouth shut for real this time; she had already endured such a cruel torture method, so what was there to lose? So long as she persisted, Da Xiaojie would protect her to keep her own secrets safe; she might even be on the way right now! Zhou Mama fixed a cool gaze on Li Wei Yang: “San Xiaojie, Nubi does not know anything! You do not need to waste your efforts, Nubi will not listen to your plot to frame Da Xiaojie!”
“Frame her?!” Li Wei Yang looked like she had heard a joke. “I was only trying to find out how you all managed to pull it off, but who knew that you’d be so petty. Sigh, since you are so stubborn, then don’t blame me for this.” She stretched out her hand to Zhao Yue, who immediately handed her the dagger hanging by her waist. With a swish of her arm, Zhou Mama felt a cool sensation on her wrist, followed by a sharp pain and the sound of blood dripping on the floor.
“This is the artery in your wrist, and if you’re still bleeding in an hour, not even resurrecting the famous physician Hua Tuo will save you.” Li Wei Yang displayed a small smile. “By then, Da Jie will be quite at ease too; after all, what she needs is a tight-lipped servant, but she doesn’t require that person to be alive. I’m doing her a huge favor as well!”
As she sank deeper into a pit of horror, her breathing became increasingly labored. She felt the blood trickling away from her, her body temperature dropping by the minute. The coldness creeping across her body was resulting in spasms, and her teeth chattered in fear; she was obviously at her breaking point.
The most horrible moment on Earth was not death, but the process of dying. No one understood this better than Li Wei Yang.
Li Wei Yang’s smile was as gentle as summer. “I’ve realized, it is such a joy being the villain. Zhou Mama, depart this world in peace. When you’re gone, I shall take care of your last rites; I’ll send you down through the 18 levels of hell, and ensure you will never see the light of day!”
Zhou Mama’s last tether finally snapped; she cried out in anguish, “Nubi will admit it, Nubi will tell you everything!”
Li Wei Yang waved her hand, and Zhao Yue stepped up, using gauze to apply pressure on the wound. As she did so, she said in a low voice. “Just try, if you dare speak even half a lie…”
There were tears and snot smeared all over Zhou Mama’s face. “Nubi doesn’t dare! Nubi doesn’t dare to lie! Jiu Yiniang is innocent, it was me who bribed her yatou called Yu’er to help me do my dirty work. It was me who purposely arranged a scene to let another yatou see the gold taels melt, let her think that Jiu Yiniang had added something inside… Jiu Yiniang’s death is also because I asked Yu’er to modify her food and drink; it is not any detectable poison, but rather, Yu’er gave Jiu Yiniang uncooked foods with poisons within, and to make her confused…”
Li Wei Yang had already guessed this, so she was no interested. She was focused on one answer that she wanted. “Did you sabotage anything else?”
Zhou Mama hesitated for a moment, glancing at the freezing stare dancing in Li Wei Yang’s eyes. She blurted out, “Yes! In Qi Yiniang’s food; we know that Qi Yiniang loves to eat fish, so I bribed the merchant who provides the Li Residence with fish. He fed mercury to the fish in low dosages; not enough to kill the fish, but just enough to allow it to accumulate in the body over time. Isn’t Qi Yiniang complaining of frequent giddiness and weakness? That’s due to the mercury in the fish…”
“Continue!” Li Wei Yang ordered.
“There’s… there’s… it’s…” Zhou Mama clenched her teeth, unwilling to say more, but a chilling huff from Zhao Yue sent her spilling it out. “I’ll say it! I’ll tell you everything! There is a wooden hairpin in my hair…”
Zhao Yue reached over and plucked the wooden hairpin, which she had already inspected just now. “What is this?!”
The grime and sweat on Zhou Mama’s forehead trickled down and marred her carefully drawn brows, but she was beyond caring for that; fear was written all over her face. “This hairpin is actually hollow; a switch can release poison contained within… I had wanted to find the chance to poison Si Shaoye again…” But she never expected to be caught by Li Wei Yang. No one could blame Li Chang Le for trying to do this; during this month, every household had sent Si Shaoye a gift to show their sincerity, so she was simply trying to make use of the opportunity. While everyone was busy, Zhou Mama could make use of the hustle and bustle to harm Li Min Zhi.
Li Wei Yang actually had a small smile on her face. This Da Jie had finally decided to use her brains. Coming up with an idea like this – poisoning the fish with mercury – had shown how much improvement she made. Li Wei Yang had prepared her defenses, but as capable as she was, she could not have anticipated everything; she had allowed her enemy to penetrate her barriers this time.
Zhou Mama forced down the bile and fear in her heart, fixing her stare on Li Wei Yang.
“Xiaojie, we should hand her over to Lao Furen for punishment.” Bai Zhi said in a low voice.
Li Wei Yang let out a cold laugh. “Hand her to Lao Furen?” The Li family was cautious in matters concerning the Jiang family; Lao Furen would at most give her 50 strokes of the cane, and send her back to the Jiangs. Then what about Min Zhi? Who would pay for the suffering he endured? Li Wei Yang murmured, “This hairpin is quite pretty, but I wonder how are the effects of the poison…”
Zhao Yue immediately understood; she twisted the hairpin, snapping it. A light brown powder spilled out, and laughing coldly, she grabbed Zhou Mama’s chin and forced the medicine into her mouth. Zhou Mama screamed wildly, attempting to beat off Zhao Yue but unable to do so as her hands and feet were still bound. She could only cry like a wounded animal on the brink of defeat.
“Zhou Mama, I had wanted to let you bear witness against Li Chang Le, but it’s a pity that the Jiangs have great power. Even if I had proven that Li Chang Le was behind the plot to poison Si Di, no justice would be served for him. I have had enough of your continuous attempts at harm; since you are so ruthless, do not blame me for being cruel! When you reach hell, remember to make your complaint against Da Jie; it was her scheme that condemned you to your death!”
Zhou Mama had gone silent, clawing at the ground uncontrollably. She then started gouging at her own face, not stopping even when her skin was torn apart. As she moved on to her abdomen, everyone was frozen with fear at the sight; they had never seen such a horrendous death. Zhou Mama had shredded through her clothes to her abdomen; it was a grisly mess of flesh and blood, with scarlet body fluid pumping and trickling out. Bai Zhi couldn’t help but cover her eyes at the hideous sight.
After an hour of excruciating pain, with a snapping sound, Zhou Mama’s eyes widened and bulged out suddenly; her arms twitched outwards, her abdomen split open and head twisted. She had finally breathed her last.
Bai Zhi uncovered her eyes, daring to watch at last. She was deeply shocked; Zhou Mama’s insides were perforated and there was blood all over the ground. It was a hellish way to die.
“Bai Zhi, throughout her entire ordeal, she could not make a single sound. You understand this point?”
Bai Zhi nodded; indeed, from the moment she ingested the poison, Zhou Mama never stopped rolling and twisting, as if there was some strange force within her that was toying with her. If it elicited such a response from a grown adult, if it had been Si Shaoye who had taken the poison, it would be… This Zhou Mama was really too cruel! No wonder Xiaojie had insisted that she had a taste of her own medicine; if not, the alternative punishment would have been too kind for her!
“Xiaojie, Nubi will get our people to dispose of the corpse right away.” Zhao Yue said in a low voice.
Glancing coolly at the tainted blood near the edge of her embroidered slippers, Li Wei Yang stated slowly: “I regret it.”
Zhao Yue couldn’t help herself. “Xiaojie, this kind of person is not worth your regrets.”
Li Wei Yang lifted her gaze, her eyes filled with cold scorn. “If I had saved some of the medicine earlier, Li Chang Le could have had a taste; how perfect would that be.”
From this, it was evident that Li Wei Yang hated Li Chang Le to the core. In the past, no matter how Li Chang Le schemed and plotted, Li Wei Yang did not care as much as she was not afraid. However, she was now targeting a child who was only a few months old, and she had made multiple attempts on his life already. If she could, she would definitely rip Li Chang Le’s heart out! That being said, with experts like Zhou Mama serving Li Chang Le, she was bound to have good protection against such schemes as well; it would be an unwise move for her to attempt to poison Li Chang Le personally, the way she did to Zhou Mama. Even manipulating her dishes would be a challenge…
Back in her own rooms, Bai Zhi helped Li Wei Yang change out of her soiled shoes, and carefully cleaned away the droplets of blood clinging to the hem of her dress. Li Wei Yang suddenly stood up, walking over to the bronze mirror; Bai Zhi took in her expression, which was a little strange. However, in a flash, Li Wei Yang started to smile.
She picked up a delicately carved rosewood box, opening it and drawing out an intricate, beautiful porcelain bottle. As she removed the cap, a heady osmanthus fragrance filled the air. This bottle of hair oil had been distributed to her, but she had never liked strong scents adorning her hair, so she usually gifted it to her servants. Judging by the days, she would soon be sent a new batch; Jiang Yue Lan would always send her the more exquisite and expensive fragrance oils as a way of expressing her love.
“Xiaojie?” Bai Zhi queried.
“This osmanthus oil… It must not have been easy to make.” Li Wei Yang said wonderingly.
Bai Zhi paused for a moment. “Not very. Servants will pluck the fresh osmanthus when the flower is blooming and releasing its fragrance. The small flowers will then be dried under the shade; once that’s done, it will be added into a pot with oils. After a number of days, the osmanthus infusion is ready for use. That’s the common method anyway; the type of osmanthus oil Xiaojie is using is top grade, something the poor could never afford.”
Hearing this, Li Wei Yang only revealed a small smile. “Ask Zhao Yue to come to me, I have a task for her.”
“Yes.” Bai Zhi replied quickly, leaving in nimble steps.
Next: Chapter 105 Part 2