The Princess Wei Yang - Chapter 97 part1
The Princess Wei Yang Chapter 97 part1
Chapter 97: Jiang Family’s Fourth Son
Note: After reading the comments, I have to say–you all seem to thrive on the suffering of LWY’s enemies lol. I don’t blame you, those parts are the most satisfying to read.
Jiang San and Jiang Si are not actual names but simply ways of referring to the third (san) and fourth (si) sons of the Jiang family.
Jiang Nan calls Li Wei Yang an entertainer, acting and bluffing, but she delivers on this aspect, showing him just how well she can act.
Chen – way of referring to oneself as an Imperial subject; female version – chen nu
Duke Ying’s family is surnamed Zhou
Lit. Old Eldest Jiang — referring to Jiang Hai
Lit. Old Fourth Jiang — referring to Jiang Nan
Li Wei Yang smiled thinly: “I wonder what the likes of Wu Wei General is?”
The man sneered: “Li Wei Yang, you’re not only bold but just as thick-faced, daring to speak to me that way!”
Li Wei Yang continued to smile: “Nan biaoge, you are only a third rank general. I am Xianzhu of the second rank. It’s fine if you don’t greet me, but acting arrogant and discourteous, have you disregarded our hierarchical order altogether?”
Jiang Nan’s surprise was quickly replaced by a faint smile.
She was not wrong. As a second rank Xianzhu, she did outrank him in terms of their positions. He would have to greet her, but his rank was of true military merit, unlike a rank obtained by a woman. In any case, few women in Da Li have earned such a privilege based on genuine merit and accomplishments, so Jiang Nan did not think much of it at first.
Moreover, this was not an official occasion. A general does not need to ceremonially greet her, but it would be unpleasant if the news spread. However, Jiang Nan did not get down from his horse to greet her. Instead, he sat tall and condescendingly looked down at her: “Li Wei Yang, your judgment isn’t half bad. We haven’t met before.”
Li Wei Yang smiled. This was Jiang Xu’s fourth son, Jiang Nan, who seemed to have inherited the refined appearance and noble character of his family. The only person to wear a third rank general’s armor at this age in all of Da Li was none other than him.
In the past, she truly did admire this Jiang Si Gongzi who was always off in battle.
From her impressions of the Jiang family, Jiang Da Gongzi was the most calm and steadfast. Jiang Er Gongzi was the most solemn. Jiang San was the most intelligent. The most capable was Jiang Nan, fourth youngest in the family. Aside from the mysterious Jiang Wu Gongzi, the young Jiang Si was most famous in the family.
Of course, if Jiang Si did not have destiny’s favor, he would be another mediocre person who came from a wealthy, noble family. Being born into the Jiang family, he followed his Fuqin from a young age and was exposed to military strategies.
Jiang Xu brought him to the battlefield when he was eight years old. He was too young to go into battle, so he stayed back at the barracks. Everyone felt intrigued by the rebellious, eight year old child who quietly played by himself. They later found him playing chess with his left and right hand. Although, it was not until Jiang Nan was thirteen when he began to draw people’s’ attention with his military talent and skills sharpened through chess.
One wrong move and all will be lost. Jiang Nan understood this principle very well and enforced it in battle to ensure everything goes smoothly. Not only was he adept at this, he would go step by step, considering every playing piece. He was neither slow nor hasty in battle, displaying the true makings of a general.
When Jiang Xu departed for battle in Min Yang, a rebel army took advantage of Jiang Xu and other forces’ absence to prepare for a night ambush on military barracks. Who would have thought Jiang Nan had soon caught on and had the rebel army captured. Then, under the cover of the night, he attacked nearby rebel army strongholds, taking down four of them. At dawn, he gave the order to charge ahead after the rebel army, his own army in pursuit right behind them, attacking the remaining nine strongholds until the bodies piled up into high mountains, and the rivers ran dry outside Min Yang.
Jiang Nan earned his reputation overnight because of this battle. The most admirable aspect of him was not his military talent, but the fact that he would lead into battle. The books say: A soldier is vulnerable when facing the enemy alone, but not Jiang Nan. Being resourceful was what he knew best. Whenever he came across stronger opponents, time and time again, he would rise to the occasion and strike, making use of his forces and winning battle after battle! As a result, the Emperor made him Wu Wei General at a young age, and he came to known as the most famous and talented general at the time.
Jiang Nan was extraordinary, so his three gege surely did not fall short either. Who knows how many sticks of incense the Jiang family offered in their past life for every man to be this exceptional.
Li Wei Yang could not help but sigh. She did not want to be involved with this family, but some conflicts are simply inevitable, like Li Chang Le and herself or Tuoba Yu and Tuoba Zhen. In this life, they must stand on opposite sides and fight until their last breath.
She gave an order to an eunuch nearby: “Come here. Help the driver up for me.”
The four mamas who accompanied her were outside the gates. On this wide road, she only had the driver and two Yatous, Bai Zhi and Zhao Yue. Bai Zhi was tense and terrified, unable to say a word. Zhao Yue’s hand subconsciously moved to her waist before remembering her sword had to be left outside upon entering the palace and became frustrated.
The eunuch stood from afar and fearfully looked to Jiang Nan, not responding.
Li Wei Yang raised her voice: “Did you not hear me?”
The eunuch rarely saw a young woman with such a solemn face sharp words, and even a warning in her eyes. Startled, he ran over to help the driver up and pulled him over to the side and began to apply medicinal balm.
She looked at Jiang Nan. He stared straight back. There was a hint of admiration in his eyes that even he was unaware of – she was truly capable. Many powerful men hope their women will be gentle and vulnerable to boost their self-esteem, but men with steeled hearts will admire women as strong-willed as him, only then will it be satisfying to acquire her.
Jiang Nan had been on the battlefield for a while and despised gentle and fragile Xiaojies the most, especially that biaomei of his, the legendary beauty. The wind blew past them, once, twice, and then again. Li Wei Yang was young but rather intriguing, except her lowly origins were enough to make him feel humiliated when interacting with her.
“Why aren’t you answering me?”
Li Wei Yang gave him a lively but mocking smile: “Nan biaoge, I don’t know why you’re blocking my carriage–to rob me or discipline me. If it’s the former, hope biaoge will look around and see where we are! If it’s the latter, biaoge should reflect on whether you are even qualified! If it was Da jiujiu, a first rank general, then fine but what right do you have as a third rank general?! This is a road in the Imperial Palace, do you think this is a vegetable market?”
From the moment he was born, Jiang Nan was treated as a prodigy and had an uneventful childhood. Later, he would grow up, receiving others’ attention and admiration. He was always applauded and deeply admired. No one dared to mock him with something he prided himself in – Li Wei Yang was the first.
He became general based on merit. Li Wei Yang only became a second rank Xianzhu through gentle, skillful words, which was difficult for a general like him to accept. He had no choice but to accept that even if he had a more noble background, he still had to bow down to Li Wei Yang of lowly origins. This was an ironic reality.
Being the kind of person he was, would Jiang Nan simply accept defeat? He smiled coldly: “Bold words for someone who was only born a lowly wretch.”
“There are two kinds of lowly beings. One is born that way, helpless. But the other is always self-righteous and doing as they please! Just asking to be ridiculed.” Li Wei Yang’s innocent smile was appropriate for a girl her age.
Jiang Nan was not furious and even laughed. His handsome face was shining under the sun: “Li Wei Yang, your guard’s martial arts is not half bad.”
Li Wei Yang was about to climb back onto the carriage when she heard this and paused. Zhao Yue came out from behind her: “You’re the one who injured my Dage?!”
Jiang Nan’s cruel smile was clear: “It’s just a little souvenir. If he hadn’t slipped away, he would have left one leg behind.”
Zhao Yue tightly clenched her fist. Li Wei Yang shouted: “Stay back!” Zhao Yue gritted her teeth but ultimately did not dare to unleash her anger. Li Wei Yang looked to Jiang Nan: “Well, what is it that you want to say?”
Jiang Nan coldly stared at her: “I wanted to remind you of your place. Do not dream of things that do not belong to you!”
“Like what?” She arched her eyebrows.
Jiang Nan slowly began: “You and I both know that you are an inferior, concubine-born girl daring to oppose the children of the official wife. That is already bold enough, and now you have sent someone to assassinate your elder brother. How ruthless. If you do not know when to retreat, do not blame me for telling your Fuqin, and he will know about the things you have done! Then, everything you have sought after will fall apart altogether!”
Li Wei Yang smiled faintly: “Just say what you want to say. Too slow, and you will miss your chance.”
Jiang Nan frowned: “What do you mean?”
Li Wei Yang’s smile was strangely kind: “You can go and tell Fuqin about the assassination attempt. I also must report to Bixia that the Jiang family went ahead and left the battlegrounds without an Imperial edict. You see, defying an Imperial edict is no different from treason. Between us, let’s see who dies first!”
Jiang Nan tightly gripped the reins, wanting to raise his arm back to strike. He could not contain his rage because his San ge had also warned him of this! This was the reason the Jiang family had to hold back for now! When he received the letter, Fuqin had sent someone on the way. Fortunately, he was not reassured and personally went ahead.
Otherwise, Li Min Feng would have died at the hands of the skilled assassin! Back then, he wanted to get rid of the assassin and the evidence, but Zhao Nan unexpectedly escaped! The Jiang family could not simply dispose of Li Wei Yang yet!
Jiang Nan was furious, but his face remained expressionless: “Li Wei Yang, in our eyes, you are only an entertainer jumping back and forth.”
Li Wei Yang had to smile: “Oh, I’m an entertainer now?”
Recalling that Li Min Feng said Li Wei Yang had close ties with Qi Huangzi Tuoba Yu, Jiang Nan smiled maliciously: “A lowly concubine-born girl bestowed the rank Xianzhu could wear nice clothes and jewelry and others’ admiration has her head in the clouds. You have been acting for too long that you have completely forgotten who you were… Trying to climb the dragon and follow the phoenix. You make others disgusted! I am telling you, your mother was a Yatou who washed others’ feet. If I killed you when no one is around, no one will come for you!” Jiang Nan sneered: “You should be a little wiser.”
“Then… What are you waiting for?” Her voice was soft but dismissive, “You can kill me with a slash of your sword! But remember what kind of people the Jiang and Li family are. Between my safety and a scandal where a general from the Jiang family killed his biaomei for no reason, which is a greater concern? Wu Wei General should carefully reflect on this…”
Jiang Nan was taken aback. He thought he could use his reputation on the battlefield to intimidate a young woman like her. Who would have thought she would see through it and grasp the situation more clearly than he did!
He was angry but could not find his voice, even a while later.
“If Nan biaoge wants to kill me, then I have nothing else to say, but I occasionally come to copy Buddhist scriptures for the Empress Dowager. If something happens to me and the Empress Dowager asks, it will be difficult to explain. Oh right, when you meet the Emperor and Empress Dowager, remember not to mention Dajie. They don’t like Dajie very much…” Li Wei Yang softly added. She suddenly looked at a carriage not too far away and quickly said: “I must go and greet someone important and cannot keep talking with you.”
She quickly went on ahead. As she walked over, she disheveled her clothes and hair and adopted a frightened expression of helplessness.
Stunned, Jiang Nan saw her run over and offer a ceremonial greeting in front of a refined, elaborate carriage not far away. He did not know what was said, but she was allowed to climb onto the carriage.
He narrowed his eyes. There was a way to distinguish carriages in the palace, and that one was clearly… Moments later, he was preparing to leave when an eunuch came over: “Wu Wei General, Gongzhu invites you over.”
Jiang Nan was momentarily surprised but quickly dismounted and went over. He solemnly performed the ceremonial greeting: “Jiang Nan greets Gongzhu.”
A palace maid lifted the curtain, revealing the face of the person inside, a desolate face amidst vivid, floral silks: Yongning Gonzhu. She looked at Jiang Nan with some displeasure. Li Wei Yang sat off to the side, her shoulders shaking as if she was quietly sobbing.
“What is the meaning of this?” Jiang Nan felt this was not right.
Yongning Gongzhu coldly began: “I often hear that the sons of the Jiang family are talented. Today, I personally saw one of them dare to draw their sword to kill someone in front of the Imperial Palace gates. Such a frightening and shocking sight!”
Jiang Nan was taken aback. Then, his subtly fierce glare fell on Li Wei Yang.
Li Wei Yang looked up, her face full of fear and eyes brimming with tears of unease, weak and pitiful as if plagued with great grievances. Seeing Jiang Nan glare, she became even more afraid and shrank back behind Gongzhu.
Jiang Nan was at a loss for words. He saw her cleverly respond, completely unfazed earlier, but now, she became another person altogether. Was she born an opera singer?She even left him speechless earlier, only to turn around and cling to Yongning Gongzhu, appearing to be wronged, this – how could there be such a shameless woman in this world?!
He almost trembled out of anger.
Yongning Gongzhu comforted Li Wei Yang: “No need to fear. This is the Imperial Palace, not the Jiang residence. I don’t think he would dare to draw his sword here!”
Drawing a sword in the Imperial Palace was no different from treason. Jiang Nan hastily cut in: “Gongzhu, this is only a misunderstanding! Chen was only playing around with biaomei…”He reluctantly smiled, “Wei Yang, you are too much. I was only joking, but you went and told Gongzhu, you really don’t understand!” There was undisguised anger in his voice.
Yongning Gongzhu frowned. From what she saw, this was clearly a threat.
Terrified, Li Wei Yang adamantly held onto Yongning’s arm: “Gongzhu, please let chen nu hide in the carriage for a bit! Although Wu Wei General is chen nu’s biaoge, General only sees Dajie, daughter of the official wife, as his meimei and is disgusted with those who are concubine-born. If chen nu is unfortunate and dies here, leaving zumu and Fuqin to prematurely send chen nu off, it would be truly unfilial…”
Her voice was emotional and sorrowful. Yongning comforted her. Anger crept onto her face, concubine-born! Concubine-born! What children of the official wife and concubine-born! Her own birth mother was Hui pin, one of the Emperor’s concubines. Even though she was adopted by the Empress, palace servants often gossiped behind her back, reminding her that she was not a Gongzhu of the official wife, the Empress. Hearing this infuriated her to no end!
Jiang Nan stood to the side, embarrassed. He gritted his teeth in resentment, this wretched girl! Too insightful, damn her! No wonder she ran over so quickly. He had barely reacted when she ran to Gongzhu, pretending to be weak and even using Yongning’s background to lament. He underestimated her indeed, letting a xiao Yatou trick him and play with him!
Jiang Nan could not be blamed. His thinking revolved around military strategies and battle formations. When it came to reporting others and underhandedly striking, he fell short of Li Wei Yang.
Yongning Gongzhu reassured her: “Don’t cry, he wouldn’t dare to do anything here. Don’t say things like losing your life, it’s inauspicious! You are still Xianzhu, a position bestowed by Fuhuang. I want to see who would dare to touch even a strand of your hair…”
The nu guan beside them also reassured Li Wei Yang. Jiang Nan’s face turned a bit green. He shot a pleading look at the nu guan. He was clever enough to know not to say anything to a strict widow like Gongzhu and take a detour instead.
Tao nu guan saw Jiang Nan look at her and was left in awe of his handsomeness. She blushed and began to say: “Gongzhu, perhaps there has been a misunderstanding. The general would not dare to be so bold. This is a road in the Imperial Palace. If Bixia knows our carriage is here, this conflict here will not be good for Xianzhu either.”
Li Wei Yang knew with a glance that Jiang Nan pulled a trick with Tao nu guan. Her tears fell: “Chen nu will immediately leave, so this will not get out of hand…”
Everyone looked to her in astonishment.
Jiang Nan was taken aback. He was not used to seeing Li Wei Yang willing to compromise so easily.
Li Wei Yang’s tone changed: “Wu Wei General is still of the third rank, so it is reasonable for him to greet chen nu, but he should not strike chen nu’s driver without warning. Now, chen nu wants to leave but cannot. Hope Gongzhu can give chen nu a carriage driver. If not, chen nu will go back and ask the Empress Dowager to borrow one…”
Yongning’s face changed. What? He even struck her carriage driver. This Jiang family has truly gone too far!
Li Wei Yang understood that Yongning Gongzhu was not naive nor willing to intervene in Li and Jiang family disputes. The problem was Yongning’s previous fiance came from Ying Guogong’s Zhou family, and both the Zhou and Jiang families were always at arms.
However, that year when a husband was to be chosen for Gongzhu, Jiang Hai, zhangzi of the Jiang family, came of age to marry. Well versed in literature and martial arts, he was considered to be the best choice, but if Jiang Hai married a Gongzhu, he would not be able to go into battle and earn medals of honor. Likewise, others in the Jiang family could not hold military authority either, so less than half a month later, Jiang Hai married Han shi.
When Yongning Gongzhu learned of this, not even ghosts would believe that she did not bear a grudge against the Jiang family. Recalling how Lao Da Jiang refused her many years ago, and now Lao Si Jiang’s disrespect made even more furious.The Jiang family was large and formidable and great authority indeed, but they would always be subjects of the Imperial family! They should never forget this!
Tao nu guan was perceptive and caught onto Gongzhu’s unpleasant face. She also thought of what happened back then, and her will to help this young general dwindled.
Li Wei Yang continued: “Gongzhu, Wu Wei General is going to see Bixia and perhaps has urgent matters to report. Gongzhu should let him go, so Bixia does not punish him for being late. Then, Wei Yang will be wholeheartedly responsible…”
Tao nu guan felt cold all over.
Yongning Gongzhu seethed, urgent matters? So important that he did not need to respect a Gongzhu like her, right? She coldly eyed him: “Apologize to Li Xiaojie and compensate a driver for her. Then, you may go and meet Fu Huang.” Her voice was dangerously low.
Jiang Nan was conflicted, but he still knew what to do and not do. He immediately bowed: “Biaomei, I momentarily misspoke. Please do not take it to heart.”
Li Wei Yang innocently blinked: “Biaoge will never say that you want to kill me again? If so, then–”
Yongning coldly scoffed: “If so, then if you are scratched in the slightest way, I will report this to Fu Huang and have him punished for wanting to kill Xianzhu!”
Jiang Nan felt his anger boiling, resenting not being able to drag down this hypocritical girl playing victim to Gongzhu. He only smiled: “I wouldn’t dare, wouldn’t dare.”
Seeing Gongzhu off, Li Wei Yang smiled at Jiang Nan: “I feel much safer this way.”
Jiang Nan gritted his teeth: “Should I still compensate for your carriage driver?”
Li Wei Yang straightened up. Her eyes became calm again, like the undisturbed waters of a well: “No need. Ah, right, didn’t biaoge say I was disgusting earlier? I forgot to say, you will see far more disgusting things in the future. Take your time trying to digest this.”
She climbed into her carriage. Zhao Yue did not look back and leapt up. She tightly gripped the whip and raised it before letting it fall. The horse reared back and took off.
Jiang Nan watched the carriage depart and remembered what San ge said: Li Wei Yang is clever and deceptive, wicked and ruthless. Try to avoid direct confrontations with her. There are other things at hand. He was not naive and had seen many things. Even if Li Wei Yang was capable, it was only to an extent. Why be angry with an ant? It wasn’t worth it! A man’s energy should be concentrated on official court affairs.
Jiang Nan clenched the reins in his hands. Thinking of Da gu’s sudden passing and Li Min Feng’s exile… This girl was quite an eyesore.
Fortunately, even if she got what she wanted, it would only last a few more days!