Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 26
After Chen Bozong won the title Zhuangyuan, he stayed in the Hanlin Academy for three years. Later, he worked in Dali Temple and dealt with various criminals and prison cases.
This time, Chen Tingjian still asked his eldest son to preside over the case.
Considering that the case involved a woman with unspeakable matters, Sun shi, Hua Yang, Chen Jingzong and others did not follow them, choosing to wait for the news in the front yard. Chen Jizong’s wife Guo shi, who could not bear the damage to her reputation, ran back to the east house while crying. Sun shi hurriedly sent her eldest daughter-in-law Yu Xiu to comfort her, so that Guo shi wouldn’t do something stupid.
Chen Tingjian asked his eldest son to take the main seat, and he and his younger brother Chen Tingshi sat on the side.
Zhao shi, her husband and Chen Jizong were kneeling on the ground.
Zhao shi‘s words were filled with tears. Since she was assaulted by Chen Jizong, she had been suffering from nightmares every night. Later, her husband broke his leg because of this, and the couple’s life became even worse, without the sweet love of the past.
They were afraid of the power of the Chen family and were ready to give up. Fortunately, Heaven had eyes and Cabinet Elder Chen was back!
Yesterday, Zhao shi went shopping for groceries and heard someone saying that Cabinet Elder Chen was secretly investigating whether Qi shi had committed other evil deeds and was planning to take this opportunity to clear her up. The fire of resentment that Zhao shi had suppressed for a year suddenly rekindled. After discussing it with her husband, she would rather ruin her reputation, rather accept the backbiting from her neighbors, and came to the Chen family to redress her grievances!
As soon as she finished her story, Chen Jizong retorted it, resolutely refusing to admit it.
Because the incident happened last year, the so-called scratches and bite marks on the body could not be used as evidence.
When Chen Bozong asked Zhao shi whether she had any other evidence, Chen Jizong’s eyes flashed with pride. How could such a thing leave traces unless someone caught it on the spot?
Zhao shi cried and took out a bundle, which contained two broken jade pendants: “This is from the first time he came to my house. He dropped it when I resisted!”
Chen Jizong sneered: “I lost this jade pendant a long time ago. It turns out you picked it up because you coveted it.”
Zhao shi: “You have a gray birthmark on your lower back the size of a copper coin!”
Chen Jizong: “I used to bathe in the river when I was a child. Your husband saw it and now you use it to slander me.”
Zhao shi was so angry that she was shaking all over!
Chen Tingshi looked at his son and then at Zhao shi. The hands on his knees kept shaking. He didn’t want to believe that his son had done something so cruel as a beast, but Zhao shi‘s tears and anger didn’t really seem to be fake.
Just when Chen Jizong continued to insist that Zhao shi tried to slander him, Zhao shi looked at her husband and suddenly lowered her head, tears rolling down silently, her voice sad and desperate: “Cabinet Elder, there is a young servant named Liu Sheng next to Chen Jizong. When he first bullied me by the stream, Liu Sheng was his accomplice.”
Her husband suddenly raised his head and rushed towards Chen Jizong with eyes wide open!
When Chen Jizong was about to fight back, Chen Tingjian slammed the table!
Chen Jizong was so frightened that he was punched in the face by Zhao shi‘s husband. At this time, Chen Bozong rushed over, pulled Zhao shi‘s husband to the side, and said to the outside: “Bring Liu Sheng here quickly!”
Hearing this, Chen Jizong wiped the blood from the corner of his mouth and looked at Zhao shi with contempt. Jokes on you, Liu Sheng had been with him for seven to eight years, how could he betray him? If really testified and he was convicted of rape, Liu Sheng, the accomplice, would not have an easy time.
A quarter of an hour later, Liu Sheng was brought in. He knelt down behind Chen Jizong. He was quibbling at first, but when Chen Bozong asked him sternly what he had done at noon on the ninth of Sixth Month last year, his two answers did not match. Liu Sheng finally collapse and kowtowed his head to admit Chen Jizong’s beastly behavior.
Chen Jizong still wanted to deny it, but Liu Sheng mentioned another servant who had followed Chen Jizong to the Zhao couple’s home and was responsible for spreading the news outside.
Together, the two servants explained clearly how Chen Jizong had insulted Zhao shi.
“Uncle, don’t listen to them, they’re all trying to frame me!”
Chen Jizong, who could not speak more than three words on his own, crawled up to Chen Tingjian on his knees and screamed injustice until his throat was about to break.
Chen Tingjian just looked at him expressionlessly: “According to the law, anyone who rapes a woman shall be hanged. If you feel that you have been wronged, go and tell the prefect.”
“Come here, escort him to the prefect’s Yamen!”
Chen Tingshi slumped on the chair.
When Chen Jizong saw that the people outside really wanted to come and tie him up, he was so afraid and angry that he threw away the two servant and ran out as fast as he could.
In the front hall, Sun shi was handing Hua Yang the letter that Chen Tingshi had sent them before, and said helplessly: “The capital and Lingzhou are separated by 2,500 miles. Except for sending people to the ancestral home during the New Year and holidays to give festival gifts, we really have no way of knowing what happened here. Even so, if what Zhao shi said is true, then your father and I cannot shirk the crime of negligence. We are really ashamed of the people of this town and the emperor.”
Hua Yang: “Mother doesn’t need to blame yourself. According to historical records, many virtuous ministers and generals have been implicated because of relatives’ crimes. Because people’s energy is limited, it’s difficult to restrain relatives who are close to them. What’s more, they are thousands of miles away. As long as they can be promptly investigated and impartially dealt with, then the people will not be wronged and evil relatives will not run rampant, and the reputation of Father and the Chen family will not be damaged.”
Chen Xiaozong showed admiration and was glad that the princess was reasonable and did not look down on them because of the matter in the east house.
Chen Jingzong looked at Hua Yang’s moist and delicate lips, but what he thought about was that this woman’s mouth felt like honey when she coaxed the two elders, but she was always picky with him.
Suddenly, there was a commotion outside.
Chen Jingzong was the first to rush out of the hall. When he saw Chen Jizong running away like a beast, he guessed that the case had a result. He sneered and chased after him.
Not long after, under Sun shi‘s worried eyes, Chen Jingzong twisted Chen Jizong’s arm and escorted him back.
Chen Jizong’s hair bun was in a mess, and the left half of his face had obvious traces of rubbing on the ground.
Chen Bozong had brought Zhao shi and her husband over, and he would personally accompany them to the prefect’s Yamen.
Chen Tingshi knelt down in front of his brother, tugging at the hem of his brother’s clothes with both hands, crying more miserably than ever before: “Brother, although Qi shi is hateful, Jizong is my son and the flesh and blood of our Chen family. How could you watch him die!”
Chen Tingjian looked at the courtyard with a cold look: “There’s no family affection in front of the law, not to mention, what flows in his body may not be the blood of the Chen family.”
Chen Tingshi cried for a while before raising his head in disbelief.
Chen Tingjian pulled out his clothes and sat on the main seat. He was angry and didn’t want to say anything.
But Chen Tingshi still looked at him with tears in his eyes, looking stupid and sluggish.
Chen Tingjian paused, then said to the tear marks on the hem of his clothes: “When something happened to Qi shi, I asked Bozong to interrogate all the servants in the East House. As you know, Bozong used to be on duty at Dali Temple, and it was difficult for those villains outside to hide anything from him, much less the servants at home. Among them there’s two that looks suspicious. After Bozong carefully interrogated them, they confessed that Qi shi and Steward Yang had an affair for a long time, and they often spent time alone together on the pretext of settling accounts.”
Qi shi and Steward Yang were cousins, and also the mistress of the house and the steward that took care of the account. It seemed nothing to spend alone time together, but if they happened more often, there would always be one or two leaks that would make people guess that they were having a clandestine relationship.
In addition, Chen Bozong had already found out Chen Jizong’s evil deeds from Liu Sheng and the other servant, but he had to wait for the imperial decree to convict Qi shi before he could deal with it, so it had been delayed to this day.
Of course, there was no need to tell his brother this.
Chen Tingshi opened his mouth in shock. At first he didn’t believe that Qi shi dared to do something like that, but then he remembered some scenes. The smiling face that Qi shi gave Steward Yang was much more than she gave him.
But he had slept with Qi shi so many times, was Jizong really not his son?
His eyes rolled, and Chen Tingjian knew what he was thinking, his face became a little darker: “Based on appearance alone, Jizong looks like Qi shi, it’s hard to tell, but look at Brother Hu, he has a pointed nose and fat earlobes, almost exactly the same as Steward Yang!”
Chen Tingshi’s eyes were filled with tears, but he said: “Steward Yang is Qi shi‘s cousin and Brother Hu’s uncle. Isn’t it normal to have similarities?”
At the end of the day, he could not accept that his wife had cuckolded him for more than twenty years, and he could not accept that his children and grandchildren were not his!
Chen Tingjian: “No matter how much you and I argue, it’s hard to come to a conclusion. But don’t worry, I have told Bozong to ask the prefect to put Jizong and Steward Yang together, and he will observe in secret. If Jizong is Steward Yang’s son, he will definitely be anxious about his son being imprisoned. If Jizong is your son, Steward Yang who hates you and me, will only take pleasure in Jizong’s imprisonment.”
This was indeed a good idea. Chen Tingshi couldn’t deny it, and asked while holding on to the last glimmer of hope: “If it’s proven that Jizong is my son, can Brother save him?”
Chen Tingjian lowered his eyes: “Death penalty can be avoided, but living crime cannot be avoided.”
In fact, the death penalty was inevitable, but he just said it first so that his brother would not feel too anxious for the time being.
Not to mention fake nephews and real nephews, even if his sons dare to rape common women, he would personally send them to prison!
Lingzhou City, the prefect’s Yamen.
When Prefect Li heard that the eldest son of Cabinet Elder Chen was coming, he came out to greet him enthusiastically.
Chen Bozong did not exchange some pleasantries with him. When something like this happened at home, he was not in a good mood. He only explained the whole story and asked Prefect Li to judge the case impartially and give justice to Zhao shi and her husband.
Prefect Li’s mind turned several times. Did the Chen family really going to exterminate their relatives out of righteousness, or was it just a show?
Chen Bozong glanced at him and said: “According to the law, what Zhao shi said and Liu Sheng’s oral testimony are consistent, which is enough for the verdict. If you feel that the evidence is insufficient, I will find other witnesses to assist you. ”
Prefect Li immediately understood that the Chen family really wanted to kill another relative!
He said hurriedly: “It’s enough, it’s enough. Eldest Master works as an official in Dali Temple and he is like a god in solving cases. We have heard about it for a long time. Eldest Master has said so, so it must be right.”
Chen Bozong didn’t like his flattery, but there was no need to break the harmony. Then he suggested that Chen Jizong and Steward Yang be locked up together.
That night, Chen Bozong came to the prefect’s prison.
He hid in the dark and observed Steward Yang and Chen Jizong in the cell.
Chen Jizong, who came in at noon, had already scolded Chen Tingjian and his family with Steward Yang. A villain like him naturally didn’t think it was a big deal to force a woman. Instead, he was sure that Chen Tingjian looked down on them, these useless relatives, and would rather send them to die viciously rather than letting them became an embarrassment for him.
Steward Yang did not dare to underestimate Chen Tingjian. He guessed that Chen Tingjian had discovered that he had an affair with Qi shi.
Not to mention, that child Brother Hu actually inherited some of his facial features…
He and Qi shi had done capital crimes, and the rape of his son was also a capital crime. Since they were going to die, they should recognize each other as father and son before they died.
Steward Yang hugged his son and whispered something.
Chen Jizong was stunned. After a while, he suddenly grabbed Steward Yang’s collar and punched him over and over again!
He hated it. If he was a genuine heir of the Chen family, how could Chen Tingjian be so cruel as to kill him?
Steward Yang did not resist, and bore his son’s anger with loving and distressed eyes.
Chen Bozong left as quietly as he came.
Early the next morning, Chen Bozong rode out of prefecture capital and arrived at Chen House half an hour later.
Chen Tingjian called his younger brother to listen to his eldest son’s report.
In order to make his uncle give up completely, Chen Bozong depicted the scene of Stewards Yang and Chen Jizong’s father and son recognizing each other as “crying in each other’s embrace”.
Chen Tingshi lowered his head deeply, but the exposed side of his face was as white as paper.
Chen Tingjian signaled his eldest son to retreat. He held his younger brother’s shoulders and said, “Guo shi did nothing wrong. It was our Chen family who wronged her. If she is willing, I will write a separation letter and send her home with generous gifts. As for Jizong, he violated the family’s principles and broke the law. He’s not worthy of being the heir of the Chen family. Write him a letter severing all ties and cast him out of the family. This way, it will not only cut his connection with the family but also cover up what Qi shi has done, preserving your reputation.”
Chen Tingshi hadn’t thought that far yet, but his elder brother had thought of everything for him.
The concern from his brother made Chen Tingshi found the feeling of being alive again, tears burst out again, and he knelt down in pain.
He looked at the door irritably.
After Chen Tingshi cried enough, he said: “I listen to Brother. It has nothing to do with me whether that evil seed lives or dies. Guo shi is still young, it’s good to go home and remarry, but what should I do with Brother Hu? I don’t want to raise him, but I can’t just throw him away, he doesn’t understand anything.”
Chen Tingjian: “The Yang family lives in the city. I will let someone to send Brother Hu there quietly. They will naturally understand. Then we will tell the outside world that Jizong’s sins were too heavy, and you send Brother Hu to the temple to practice and chant sutras every day to alleviate his father’s sins. We can report his supposed passing due to illness in a couple of years.”
Chen Tingshi nodded repeatedly. His brother was so smart and was born to be an official.
He left with red eyes. Chen Tingjian sat down on the chair tiredly, pinching his forehead with one hand.
Sun shi walked out of the side room and silently poured him a cup of tea.
Chen Tingjian let out a long sigh.
Sun shi showed no sympathy, and her tone was sarcastic, “Now you see how good the Old Four in our family is. He neither commits crimes nor needs you to help wipe his butts at his age.”
The Author has something to say:
Old Four: Bah, only the princess can touch my butt!!
Hua Yang: ….