Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 53
After lunch, Hua Yang went to the study to write a second letter of complaint to her father.
Wu Run followed her order and went to the prefect’s Yamen to borrow five prison carriages from Chen Bozong.
Prince Xiang was stupid yet confident, but Princess Consort Xiang was afraid that Hua Yang would really complain, so she sent two servants to secretly watch what was going on in Ningyuan.
When the servants saw Eunuch Wu from Ningyuan pulling five prison carriages back, they guessed that something was wrong. One of them continued to watch, while the other hurried back to the prince mansion to report the news.
When Princess Consort Xiang heard this, her face turned pale and she fell down on her chair.
Shizi, whose face was half swollen, was also frightened: “Mother, is the Princess going to escort those guards to the capital?”
If that was the case, Princess Hua Yang was no longer just complaining. She wanted to tell the world that his father had offend her, and she wanted to fight her father to the death!
The stake was too high, so Princess Consort Xiang took her son to see her husband who was recuperating in bed.
When Prince Xiang heard this, he was so anxious that he couldn’t even care about his injury. He urged the princess consort: “Quick, quick, help me change my clothes, I’m going to Ningyuan!”
It’s too much! He has already been whipped, and his son has also been punched by Chen Jingzong. Why is that damn girl Hua Yang still refuse to stop!
Prince Xiang was complaining bitterly in his heart, but he had to stop Hua Yang. If this matter got serious, he would be the only one who would be unlucky!
The family of three hurriedly went to Ningyuan. When they finally got there, they saw that the lane where Ningyuan was located was crowded with people watching the excitement, and the carriage could not drive in at all. With no choice, Shizi and his guards lifted the fat Prince Xiang out of the carriage, and then the two guards led the way, slowly moving to the front.
But they were still a step too late. Wu Run had already got onto the carriage with the letter written by the princess herself, leading five prison carriages and twenty guards to set off from the other end of the lane.
“Wait a minute, Wu gonggong, stay!”
Prince Xiang, who only had time to see the shadow of a prison carriage, shouted loudly!
The people wished Prince Xiang was unlucky and deliberately blocked the road by taking advantage of the princess’s prestige. Prince Xiang was so angry that he turned around and slapped Shizi: “Why are you still standing there stupidly! Leave it to me here. You quickly take people to the city gate to stop them. No matter what, you have to stop them, even if you have to lie on the road!”
Shizi had no choice but to chase people.
Prince Xiang and Princess Consort Xiang came to the gate of Ningyuan, but no matter whether they knocked on the gate in person or asked Ningyuan’s guards to go in and pass the word, no one paid attention to them inside or outside.
Half an hour later, the servants around the prince came back in panic, knelt down in front of the couple and said, “Your Highness, Princess Consort, it’s not good! Shizi couldn’t stop Wu gonggong, so he lay down under the city gate and refused to allow them to pass. As a result, Wu gonggong sent someone to tie Shizi into a prison carriage and take him out of the city together!”
When Princess Consort Xiang heard this, her eyes turned white and she fell on Prince Xiang.
Prince Xiang was covered in whip wounds and jumped away instinctively, letting Princess Consort Xiang fall to the ground.
The two of them were originally the most distinguished people in Lingzhou City, but now they both lose face outside Ningyuan.
Prince Xiang loved to prey on the people, and the people could only succumb to his power and swallowed their anger. But enduring it did not mean that the hatred in the past was over. Now that they had found someone who could deal with Prince Xiang, the people’s thoughts naturally came to life.
Therefore, there was no need for Chen Bozong to arrange manpower to go to the victim’s family to advised them to come forward. As the news that “the Princess captured the guards of Prince Xiang Mansion and sent them to the capital to complain” quickly spread inside and outside the city, people came to kneel down and complain their grievance outside Ningyuan one after another.
Prince Xiang tried to intercept these people at the city gate and the lanes in front and behind Ningyuan, but Zhou Ji also sent guards to take action. If Prince Xiang dared to block, he would continue to arrest!
In her previous life, Chen Tingjian collected thirteen charges against Prince Xiang. This time, in just ten days, Hua Yang listed seventeen charges against Prince Xiang based on the people who came to sue for injustice, which did not include many cases that could be merged into the same crime. For example, there were more than seventy people who had come to sue Prince Xiang of forcing their daughters and wives! This was only the amount of people who no longer wanted to endure, and it was unknown how many that were still choose to endure it!
After listing the charges, Hua Yang asked the post station to rush to the capital with six hundred miles urgency, and it would take about four days to arrive.
29th of the Third Month, the capital.
As the sky brighten, Emperor Jingshun was lying on the bed, smiling and telling Empress Qi about his dream last night: “I dreamed that Hua Yang was pregnant, and she wrote to us to announce the good news.”
Empress Qi thought for a while and said: “Then I would rather your dream this time was the opposite. If she’s really pregnant, she will definitely give birth in Lingzhou. I’m not at ease with her being so far away.”
Of course Emperor Jingshun knew the danger of a woman giving birth. He nodded repeatedly when he heard this: “You’re right, it’s better to wait until they come back to have children.”
He was even considering whether to write a letter to his son-in-law to remind him to exercise moderation.
But these were just small thoughts. Emperor Jingshun got up, changed his clothes, had some breakfast, and then went to court.
The ministers were discussing matters when a eunuch suddenly knelt down outside the palace hall.
Those who dare to disturb at this time must have a big matter to report.
Emperor Jingshun ordered someone to announce his in.
The eunuch bent over and entered, then knelt in the center of the hall and reported: “Your Majesty, Princess Hua Yang sent her chief eunuch Wu Run back to the palace. At this time, Wu Run was outside, saying that there was a letter from the Princess to be delivered Your Majesty. Furthermore, Prince Xiang Shizi has also entered the capital and is waiting outside the palace with Wu Run.”
After hearing Prince Xiang’s name, there were some discussions among the civil and military ministers.
The vassal prince was not allowed to leave the fiefdom without permission. This old system followed for more than two hundred years actually included the vassal prince’s wives, concubines and children. It was still fine for sons and grandsons, but if their daughters or granddaughters wanted to marry outside the vassal territory, then the son-in-law candidate must be submitted to the emperor first, and then the marriage could only take place after the emperor approved.
Without rhyme or reason, what is this Prince Xiang Shizi doing in the capital? If there is no reasonable reason, it’s a crime to just leave the fiefdom.
Emperor Jingshun: “Bring them all.”
The eunuch hurriedly went out to deliver the message.
The ministers all turned their bodies sideways, waiting to see what kind of person this Prince Xiang Shizi would be. Since Emperor Jingshun ascended the throne, no family member of the vassal prince had ever entered the capital.
Not long after, two figures appeared at the door of the main hall. One of them was slender and had a jade-like face, but he was dressed as a eunuch. While the other was half a head shorter with a waist four to five times bigger, he must be Prince Xiang Shizi. Appearance and facial features were something that you born with, but this difference was too much. And why this Prince Xiang Shizi looked so timid and avoiding eye contact, as if he had done some serious crime?
How could Prince Xiang Shizi not be afraid?
He had never left Lingzhou in his more than twenty years of life, and suddenly he was captured by Wu Run and brought to the capital. Now he was about to single-handedly bear the wrath of Emperor Jingshun on behalf of his father!
Before he could see clearly the appearance of Emperor Jingshun on the dragon throne, Prince Xiang Shizi could no longer bear the pressure and knelt down: “Your Majesty, this humble minister is guilty!”
Emperor Jingshun naturally had no uncle-nephew affection for this distant nephew, so he asked curiously: “What are you guilty of?”
Prince Xiang Shizi was very nervous when facing the Holy Emperor for the first time. He couldn’t remember all the mental outline he memorized outside the palace. He could only stammer: “This minister, this minister should not enter the capital without an edict.”
While Emperor Jingshun took the letter from his daughter that Ma gonggong had just taken from Wu Run, he also asked casually: “Since you know it’s a crime, why do you still knowingly commit the crime?”
Prince Xiang Shizi glanced at Wu Run guiltily.
Wu Run said respectfully: “Back to Your Majesty, on the fifteenth day of this month, the Princess went to the outskirts of Lingzhou to enjoy the flowers incognito. While there, she was stopped by Prince Xiang and his guards, and their words were frivolous. The Princess was furious and arrested the twenty-six guards who offended her at that time, then ordered this servant to escort them to the capital to be handed over to Your Majesty. After hearing the news, Prince Xiang Shizi actually tried to lead people to prevent this servant from leaving Lingzhou City, even did not hesitate to lie on the ground to block the way. This servant had no choice but to invite Shizi to the carriage and drive all the way to the capital.”
The discussion among the ministers became louder.
Emperor Jingshun’s face was very bad. When he heard that Wu Run had come to the capital to deliver the letter, he thought that his dream last night had really come true. Unexpectedly, his daughter didn’t send good news, instead she was greatly wronged!
He opened the envelope and discovered that what Wu Run had just said was too tactful. It turned out that Prince Xiang actually sent guards to surround his daughter and her maid, and openly harassed her in front of a crowd of tourists and common people. If it weren’t for the fact that his daughter also brought enough guards, Prince Xiang might do something worse!
With a “bang”, Emperor Jingshun slapped the letter on the imperial desk, left the desk angrily, and asked Prince Xiang Shizi who was kneeling below: “The Princess sued Prince Xiang for making inappropriate joke, is this true?”
Prince Xiang Shizi’s forehead touched the ground as he shivered: “Your Majesty, Father, Father, he didn’t do it on purpose. At that time, the Princess was traveling incognito, and Father didn’t recognize her.”
Emperor Jingshun: “Then is it okay for him to harass ordinary women? Does he still have laws in his eyes?”
Prince Xiang Shizi was sweating all over his body, he could only bite the bullet and carry on for his father: “Back to Your Majesty, Father, Father has already realized his mistake, and he has also been punished by the Princess. The Prince Consort also came to the mansion to settle the account. This minister, this minister also took the Prince Consort’s punch on behalf of Father…”
Emperor Jingshun sneered: “Are you going roundabout way to accuse the Princess and Prince consort of abusing their power on you father and son?”
Prince Xiang Shizi: “This minister doesn’t dare!”
Emperor Jingshun: “Zhen see that you are very daring! The uncle prince molesting his niece, is it wrong for him to get a beating? Let Zhen tell you, Zhen is too far away, otherwise Zhen would also whip him dozens of times! And Prince Consort only gave you a light punch!”
The emperor was angry, and all the civil and military ministers knelt down.
At this moment, the eunuch who had just been kneeling outside the hall knelt over again, holding a letter over his head with both hands: “Your Majesty, there is a six-hundred-mile urgency message from Lingzhou!”
Emperor Jingshun said angrily: “Bring it here!”
The eunuch ran in, and as usual, Ma gonggong went down the steps to take it, and then turned back and handed it to Emperor Jingshun.
As soon as Emperor Jingshun saw the words on the envelope, he knew that it was written by his daughter again. His daughter had suffered so much grievance but she didn’t use six-hundred-miles urgency before. What happened this time?
He opened the envelope and found a thick stack of letter paper inside.
From the second paper, the crimes of Prince Xiang were listed, and it was not until the twelfth paper that his daughter complained about her grievances again: “Father, Daughter just found out today that Prince Xiang actually built more than twenty private mansions to keep the married women and common girl that he forcibly captive. Father, fortunately you sent guards to Lingzhou to protect your daughter. Otherwise, your daughter might be like those poor women who would rather die than obey, would have already committed suicide and will never be see you again!”
Emperor Jingshun himself was a lustful person. How could he not know what would happen to his daughter if she really fell into Prince Xiang’s hands?
“You come and read it! Not a single word can be left out, lest after Prince Xiang Shizi listened to it, he feels that they have been wrongly accused!”
Taking out the last piece of letter paper, Emperor Jingshun stuffed the rest into Ma gonggong‘s arms.
Ma gonggong simply sorted it out and then read the letter to the civil and military officials of the court.
How vicious was Prince Xiang?
In addition to common evil crimes such as seizing people’s fields, kidnapping women, and oppressing people, he also believed in witchcraft. A living human head was required for each practice. He actually ordered the prince mansion guards to go to the street to pull a random beggar and cut off his head. But the person the guards took away was actually a drunken man from a poor family lying on the street. His family only found out about it after seeing that he didn’t return and searched for him. They started crying and were finally threatened by Prince Xiang Mansion, so they had no choice but to endure it.
There were so many crimes, but if any one of them was true and dealt with according to the law, it could cost Prince Xiang’s life.
In order to be fair and to convince the other vassal princes, Emperor Jingshun asked the Jinyiwei to interrogate Prince Xiang Shizi and the guards of Prince Xiang Mansion, and at the same time asked the cabinet to recommend two ministers and appoint them as imperial envoys to go to Lingzhou for a thorough investigation.
When Empress Qi learned about this, she cried in front of Emperor Jingshun: “The 18th of Fourth Month is Hua Yang’s birthday. I was still thinking about what gift to give her, but I didn’t know she was almost bullied. Now even if I took the moon in the sky, she would not in the mood to appreciate it.”
Emperor Jingshun hugged her and blamed himself: “Blame Zhen for being too tolerant to Prince Xiang. Zhen should have punished him a long time ago!”
The eleven-year-old crown prince also got the news. He was so angry that he ran to the prison and whipped Prince Xiang Shizi several times: “You blind dog! You even dare to bully my sister!”
Prince Xiang Shizi:…
He really didn’t do anything!
The Author has something to say:
The Emperor, the Empress, the Crown Prince: The sweetheart of our family has been wronged!
Hua Yang: Actually it’s not bad.