Chapter 132: Lofty words, rectifying her name
Murong Wanru was already panic-stricken before, so a little bit of exaggeration made her fear seem more realistic. She gave off the aura of a weak and frightened thing that fostered feelings of protection from all who saw her.
She hastily hurried to Grand Concubine Yi's side, tears trembling at the corners of her eyes. "Mufei, I never thought that she'd really...she's too outrageous! I was scared to death!"
Done speaking, she lowered her head to cry while Grand Concubine Yi held her arm for a look. When she saw that it was only a scratch rather than a serious injury, she felt relief. She pulled her into her arms by her side. "It's all right, it's all right, don't fear!"
Han Yunxi wasn't interested in watching Murong Wanru play pretend again. She knitted her brows and looked at Lady Xu, who had lifeless eyes and an expression of despair.
Lady Xu was clearly ready to explode, so why did she suddenly wither up? What exactly happened just then? Murong Wanru must have done or said something. Otherwise, with Lady Xu's personality, there was no way she'd let things go so easily! Han Yunxi whipped her head back to find Murong Wanru, only to see her nestled in Grand Concubine Yi's arms like a pitiful child. Right now, Murong Wanru didn't see Lady Xu as a threat at all. She leaned into Grand Concubine Yi's arms and shut her eyes.
Han Yunxi watched on in anger as her fists clenched. She wasn't sure what Murong Wanru had done, but it looked like she'd gotten the better of Lady Xu.
Abominable...there's no hope in Lady Xu now!
Murong Wanru had escaped once again. Han Yunxi couldn't accept it, but without any proof, she had no way to expose Murong Wanru. How stifling! This disgusting white lotus, she had to find a way to marry her off soon or else her days at the estate would be filled with long nights and bad dreams.
Lady Xu's actions had only further angered Grand Concubine Yi, who cried out, "Someone come and take away this despicable woman! Decapitate her after the New Year's!"
Official Ouyang's face had distorted to the point that it looked all squished together, but he didn't dare plea before Grand Concubine Yi's anger. People were immediately summoned to take her away. Lady Xu didn't resist, nor did she spare any more glances towards Han Yunxi and Murong Wanru. Instead, she looked towards the kneeling Han Congan, who had kept silent on the side all this time.
Her stare was filled with poison, drenched in venomous resentment!
Yes, the one she should truly blame and hate was no one else but Han Congan. It was his choice that had led her to this state!
But the most hateful thing of all was the fact that Han Congan hadn't even noticed her glare, nor did he look her way. Being husband and wife for one day should mean 100 days of mutual kindness. Despite this, he didn't regret his actions.
Even without little Yi'er and Seventh Madame, he still would have chosen Han Yunxi. He could tell that Grand Concubine Yi had been genial to him just so she could get back at Han Yunxi. Once she got rid of Han Yunxi, there'd be no worth in the Han Family anymore. How could Grand Concubine Yi ever place the Han Family in esteem and support them?
Han Yunxi was the true pillar of the Han Family. True jade couldn't be stained by dirt. Her medical skills were consummate, her latent potential astonishing. He trusted that as long as Han Yunxi's heart was with the Han Family and willing to support its successor, the Han Family would be able to start anew and occupy another place in the medical community.
Moreover, it was very possible that her mother, Lady Tianxin, and her mysterious father had formidable origins in the medical world. If the Han Family could form connections with Han Yunxi in the future, their prospects would be inconceivable. For the sake of the Han Family's future, Han Congan could sacrifice everything...
It was only after Lady Xu left that Murong Wanru slowly rose from Grand Concubine Yi's arms. "Mufei, Wanru's lost face for you."
"What are you saying? You had the heart to protect mufei, which makes you the bravest one!"
Grand Concubine Yi said earnestly. She wasn't blind by nature, but she probably trusted Murong Wanru too thoroughly to see through her.
Murong Wanru was all modesty as she replied. "Mufei, now that the truth's been revealed, we should restore sister-in-law's innocence. Moreover, mufei's innocence as well. Getting cursed at for no reason is really unlucky!"
Murong Wanru the white lotus could still speak these kinds of words? Han Yunxi was beside herself with rage as she asked sarcastically, "What, little sister Wanru isn't pleading on the Han Family's behalf anymore? You know how to make allowances for me and mufei now?"
"Sister-in-law, I was thinking in consideration of your face. I didn't expect Lady Xu to be so unbridled, so how could I defend her now?" Murong Wanru retorted instantly. She looked so huffy that someone who didn't know better might believe she was actually disappointed in Lady Xu.
Grand Concubine Yi hadn't been listening clearly to Han Yunxi and Murong Wanru's exchange before, but after listening closely now, she could sense that something wasn't quite right. She blinked as if trying to puzzle something out.
"Little sister Wanru, don't get so excited. I was just asking on the fly. Aiya, this Lady Xu certainly was bold. I don't know what sort of person gave her the guts to kick up a row in front of the Duke of Qin's gates. Whoever that person was should be regretting it now, right?" Han Yunxi said without being mindful at all.
Though she knew it was useless, it was still a reminder to Grand Concubine Yi to think things over and figure out exactly who to blame. Indeed, Grand Concubine Yi wasn't so simple minded and added coldly, "Heheh, I'm curious as well. This person really is daring."
Murong Wanru's lips drew into a line at her words, silently congratulating herself for not being exposed. She quickly changed the topic. "Mufei, there are still people waiting outside. We should give them an explanation."
After all her thinking, Grand Concubine Yi had found a solution and looked towards Han Congan. "Han Congan, this matter started from your Han Family. Since you chose Qin Wangfei, shouldn't you explain yourself to those people outside? Otherwise, Qin Wangfei wouldn't be able to afford holding on to the Han storehouse key."
Actually, Han Congan had planned to do this even without Grand Concubine Yi's demand. He'd long foresaw that Han Yunxi would incur many misunderstandings after accepting the storehouse key, including inviting rumor and gossip. He wanted to find a chance to alert Han Yunxi to the fact, and now his chance had come. He could justify Han Yunxi's ownership of the key and prevent any more troubles for the Han household in the future.
"Yes! This commoner obeys your command." Han Congan rose to his feet.
At this moment, Third Madame Li pulled Han Ruoxue along as she drew closer with one word, "Old master..."
Han Yunxi looked over, silently laughing in her heart. Li Mingmei, ah, Li Mingmei, you can certainly hold yourself back, waiting until now to speak up. Even if you're even-tempered and indifferent, saying things now is a little too late. It makes it look even more intentional. Just wait, you'll be exposed very soon!
Han Congan glanced over with a soft sigh. "Mingmei, this matter..."
Before he could finish, Madame Li quickly bowed. "Everything will be as old master says. It's better for esteemed wangfei to have the storehouse key than those other uncles, qieshen understands."
Han Congan had accepted this Third Madame in the past because 1) she liked to read medical books and could talk with him on the same topics, and 2) she wasn't weak or feeble, 3) and she held herself apart from strife as well.
Her mother was peaceful and tranquil, but Han Ruoxue's face was ashen pale. She had no desire to go outside.
"Official Ouyang, set up the platform!" Grand Concubine Yi lazily rose to her feet. She didn't spare a glance toward Han Congan or the others before passing by them. Han Yunxi brought up the rear, but sent Han Congan a grateful look before catching up to her mother-in-law.
After all that had passed, a sizable crowd had gathered outside of the justice court gates. Right now, they were still gossiping amongst themselves. The ones who'd managed to wait this long were all busybodies who liked to talk behind people's backs. Of course, Mu Liuyue hadn't left yet either. Her heart was filled with anticipation to see Han Yunxi brought out tied up with her hands behind her back.
As soon as Murong Wanru emerged, supporting Grand Concubine Yi by the arm, the entire area fell silent. When they saw Han Yunxi come out afterwards by herself, the crowd was astonished. Mu Liuyue's bright eyes immediately narrowed as they filled with doubt. How could Han Yunxi be perfectly all right?
Suspicion and doubt fell onto the crowd. Judging by Qin Wangfei's state, nothing calamitous had occurred. So what was the final conclusion?
When Third Madame came out supporting Han Congan, the crowd fell into an uproar. Mu Liuyue actually backed up a few steps, realizing that things had gone terribly wrong.
"Where's Lady Xu?"
"Why did Divine Doctor Han come out personally?"
"Heavens, I thought we'd never see Divine Doctor Han again!"
"Where's the Seventh Madame? And that little young master?"
"Exactly what happened? What are they doing?"
Between all the commotion, Grand Concubine Yi had no way of discerning what they were talking about. She could tell that they were calling things into question, though. Her face remained dignified and calm, but her heart was wholly sick of everything.
These were all boorish, uncultured commoners!
If not for the fact that her reputation was at stake, she wouldn't even had bothered standing around to be the subject of their gossip! She'd long ordered them punished for their crimes and imprisoned. After all, she was Tianning Country's most respected Grand Imperial Concubine, the only one left. She was also mother to the revered Duke of Qin, the mufei to the country's only Imperial Uncle! It wasn't simple for mere citizens to see her! Grand Concubine Yi didn't want to stay a moment longer. She cast an unhappy glance towards Official Ouyang, who hastened forward and raised his hand to silence the ground.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the results of the hearing show that Qin Wangfei coveting the Han Family properties and stealing the storehouse key was all a fabrication made to frame her! Lady Xu spread groundless rumors with ill intentions to smear the innocent. She assembled a crowd before the Duke of Qin's gates, not only harming Qin Wangfei's name, but Grand Concubine Yi's name as well. She's already been given the death sentence according to our Tianning laws, and will be beheaded after the new year..." Official Ouyang's words cast a quiet stillness over the entire crowd, enough to hear each and every breath clearly.
How could this be?
Lady Xu was framing Qin Wangfei, and now she had a death sentence?
In an instant, all the old ladies that Lady Xu had brought along, along with the people who'd vocally expressed support for her, fell into terror. Their fear was such that their legs lost strength and their breathing stopped, afraid that they'd be found out and implicated in the mess. Of course, it was impossible for everyone to not fear. Who would be so bold as to call things into question now!
Grand Concubine Yi looked at the silent masses before casting another cold glance over. Official Ouyang hurriedly dragged out Han Congan from the shadows. Han Congan took a deep breath and stood forward, speaking in a loud voice.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the Han Family storehouse key was willingly given by me, personally, to Qin Wangfei. I earnestly requested her to take care of it on my behalf. In the future, Qin Wangfei will aid in assisting and selecting the next clan head. As for Qin Wangfei hankering after the Han Family properties, that has no basis in fact. From this day on, cease these preposterous censures against my Han household's matters. I exhort those who are observant and conscientious to stop inciting discord on the relationship between Qin Wangfei and my Han Family matters!"
 Li Mingmei () - Third Madame Li's name as known in the Han Family.
 qieshen () - form of self-address used by a wife when speaking to her husband. Also means 'concubine.'