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Chapter 103 Part 1: Emotional Breakthrough

    The group followed Jiang mama quietly back to the garden. They unconsciously looked at the seat of honor and saw that the expressions of Chen wang and Yuan de taifei were pretty normal. There were no signs of them being angry, while Wu furen also looked the same as when they had left a while ago.

    Before Yuan Qing Zhou stepped into the garden, Ning Feng caught him by the collar and pulled him away from the garden.

    Everyone proceeded to their respective seats and sat down. Seeing that Yuan de taifei had no intention of mentioning the incident in the osmanthus forest, they understood that Yuan de taifei did not want this incident to spread out.

    Especially since there were visitors from Northern Qi in Chen wangfu today. Even if they wanted to deal with Wu Qin Qin and Yuan Qing Zhou, they needed to wait for the people from Northern Qi to leave before dealing their own issues.

    Yun Qian Meng sat quietly in her seat. She felt that she was being watched ever since she stepped into the garden. On pure instinct, she raised her head and looked straight at the person who had been staring at her and saw that it was Chu Fei Yang. His pitch-dark pupils contained indescribable feelings, which made Yun Qian Meng's heart beat faster than usual. She felt that Chu Fei Yang's stare contained a look that she herself did not understand.

    Suddenly, Chu Fei Yang smiled at her then looked away, somewhat frustrating Yun Qian Meng; Chu Fei Yang's actions were really unpredictable.

    Now, the whole garden was rather silent with the incident in the forest hanging on everyone's mind. They were all curious as to how Yuan de taifei and Chen wang would handle Yuan Qing Zhou and Wu Qin Qin.

    "What do taifei and wangye think about this recent incident?" the others might not have had the courage to scrape against Yuan de taifei and Chen wang's bottom lines , but as the Tenth Prince of Northern Qi, Qi Jing Han's words still had a lot of weight especially since Rui Wang was still in the hand of the Northern Qi. Even Emperor Yu Qian needed to give him some respect, even more so Yuan de taifei and Chen wang.

    Everyone was shocked and scared to hear Qi Jing Han ask this, but deep inside those horrified eyes actually had hints of enjoyment over others' misfortune.

    Noticing the change in everyone's expressions, Yun Qian Meng kept her eyes on the teacup in front of her. She could not help but sigh deep inside. These gongzi and xiaojie were really well taken care of by their families growing up. They did not even have any compassion for others, and only thought of how to make fun of others. If Yuan de taifei and Chen wang did not have their current position and rank, these people would have already added in their criticism.

    Hearing Qi Jing Han's question, Yuan de taifei and Chen wang looked at each other with similar expressions before they turned away from one another. Yuan de taifei then calmly said, "Bengong doesn't know what Tenth Prince is talking about. If there was some important matter, could I trouble Tenth Prince to please continue the discussion after the party."

    Her words were meant to remind Qi Jing Han to refrain from making up any rumors at this moment of time. Yuan de taifei had already faced so many ups and downs in her life, she would not be afraid of facing a challenge to her prestige from a young person. But now that there were so many people here and so many eyes stuck to Chen wangfu, thought Yuan de taifei was clearly aware of what had happened, she naturally needed to protect the fame and reputation of the Yuan Family so as to not go down the same road as the Ruan Family, who were already being ridiculed by others.

    But Qi Jing Han was a wild and uncontrollable person. Now that he had Qi Jing Yuan behind him, he naturally feared nothing. Thus, he did not mind Yuan de taifei's warning and said, "I don't see Yuan gongzi and Wu xiaojie. There was an excellent scene in the osmanthus forest a while ago, aren't taifei and wangye curious about what happened? Wu furen has been here talking with taifei for so long already, didn't you notice that your daughter isn't here in the garden?"

    Afterwards, Qi Jing Han ignored the cold glares from Yuan de taifei and sat beside Qi Jing Yuan with a cold smile.

    After Qi Jing Han's reminders, Wu furen immediately searched the garden with her clever eyes. After going through everyone, she realized there was no trace of Wu Qin Qin and immediately felt rather suspicious, but she also understood that Qi Jing Han's statement was intended to sow dissension; thus, she did not show any concern or worry and only glanced at Yuan de taifei inquiringly.

    "Wu furen is indeed still concerned of your daughter! But Wu xiaojie had fainted just now and may not be able to come to the garden." Noticing Wu furen's attention on Yuan de taifei, Qi Jing Han explained for her, causing Yuan de taifei to glare at him more viciously.

    At Qi Jing Han's explanation, Wu furen felt that something bad must have happened. Her delicate brows tightly knitted, but she still maintained the image of an upper-class lady and did not lose her manners and scream out of worry.

    But Wu Qin Qin was nevertheless the daughter she had brought up carefully since birth. How could she not be concerned? So she asked softly, "What happened to Qin Qin? She was always healthy, how could she faint for no reason?"

    With those words, Qi Jing Han had succeeded in his intentions, but it was still up to Yuan de taifei whether or not Qi Jing Han's schemes would fully push through.

    She lightly smiled and comforted Wu futen, "The wind is strong in the forest. That child was too happy in there and wasn't too aware of the weather. She fainted because of the harsh winds. Don't worry, bengong has already ordered the mamas to bring her to a room to rest. She will surely wake up in a while. If furen is still worried, bengong will have Jiang mama take you to her."

    Wu furen's worries had slowly faded. She then stood up and bowed towards Yuan de taifei, excusing herself in order to follow Jiang mama to go to Wu Qin Qin.

    But before she was able to leave the garden, Qi Jing Han spoke again, "Why is furen leaving in a hurry? Is it that in furen's mind, whatever taifei says is the truth? Doesn't furen want to hear about the whole course of events? If you miss it, I'm afraid that Wu xiaojie wouldn't be able to raise her head up high for the rest of her life."

    Qi Jing Han's words immediately stopped Wu furen from moving. She looked at Qi Jing Han curiously, then turned to Yuan de taifei, watching her every move.

    Yuan de taifei gave Wu furen a pacifying look which worried Wu furen even more. She immediately understood that something bad had truly happened, and that Yuan de taifei already knew what, but still pretended to know nothing, making her into a laughing stock in front of the younger generation.

    But Wu furen also knew that as the Tenth Prince of Northern Qi, Qi Jing Han's words undoubtedly contained words to incite dissension. Moreover, he mentioned Wu Qin Qin's reputation a while ago so she needed to react to the situation even more carefully. She could not make any mistakes at this time, otherwise, she might ruin her daughter's life.

    Yuan de taifei also understood Wu furen's concerns which was why she ordered Jiang mama to bring Wu furen to Wu Qin Qin. But unexpectedly Qi Jing Yuan, who had been silent, also laughed and said, "Taifei, since the incident has already happened and so many people had seen it, bengong feels that it is most appropriate for taifei to settle this issue in front of everyone. Otherwise, once someone spreads this incident, it would not only harm Yuan gongzi and Wu xiaojie's reputations, but it would also bring shame to Chen wangfu and Yuan fu."

    After the Tenth Prince and the Crown Prince kept associating Yuan Qing Zhou with Wu Qin Qin, no matter how well Wu furen's manners were, she still felt extremely angry. She ignored Jiang mama's urging and went back to her seat. She looked at Yuan de taifei coldly and said, "Taifei, what has happened to Qin Qin? I hope that taifei could explain it directly to prevent Wu Guo Gongfu's reputation from being harmed."

    It seems like this Wu furen was also very clever. She only mentioned Wu Guo Gongfu but made no mention of Wu Qin Qin. This way, she not only prevented her daughter's reputation from being harmed, but also made it clear to everyone who wanted to laugh at Wu Qin Qin that although she was just a xiaojie, she has Wu Guo Gongfu behind her. And not everyone could afford to offend Wu Guo Gongfu.

    Yuan de taifei was somewhat annoyed at Wu furen rejecting her kindness. It now seemed that if she did not settle this matter in front of everyone today, even the people from Northern Qi would be unwilling to let go of this matter. If these talkative gongzi and xiaojie spread this incident, it could also harm Chen'er's reputation.

    Moreover, now that Wu furen was brave enough to ask for the truth, Yuan de taifei no longer sought to hide anything. She had Jiang mama come back and slowly said, "It actually wasn't a huge issue. It was just a joke among the children."

    Yuan de taifei glanced coldly at Qi Jing Han, then resumed her usual calmness and said to Wu furen more pleasantly, "It was exaggerated by people who have no good intentions which is causing you to worry for no reason. Furen, please relax, don't scare yourself."

    Suddenly being glared at by Yuan de taifei with her calm yet cold eyes, Qi Jing Han felt that this taifei was really as difficult to deal with, just as rumored. No wonder she was able to compete with Western Chu's Empress Dowager her whole life. She really could not be underestimated.

    But Chen wang was currently the total opposite of Yuan de taifei.

    He just sat there, leaving all matters of the house to Yuan de taifei and did even not attempt to get involved in the discussion.

    But the more Chen wang acted as such, the more people believed Yuan de taifei's words, that it had only been a joke among the children and was not something worth noticing.

    If they really attempted to press the matter, it might not be household matter anymore, but a disagreement between the different factions in the Imperial Court.

    Wu furen felt more relieved at Yuan de taifei's words, and Chen wang's non-involvement. But Qi Jing Han spoke again, "Taifei, since it is just a small matter, I suppose it wouldn't affect anything. Why don't you tell Wu furen, so that she won't be so worried?"

    His words were rather reasonable. Since Yuan de taifei herself said that it was only a small matter, then even if she said it in public, people would treat it as a joke. There was no need to be so mysterious and refuse to even tell the person's mother. If she kept quiet then that would meant that her words had been a lie to cover up the fact that the seriousness of the matter exceed what she had stated.

    But right as Qi Jing Han finished speaking, he immediately felt rays of an intimidating glare from Chen wang, the ice cold look made Qi Jing Han feel as if it was winter. Before he was able to react, he already heard Qi Jing Yuan's voice, "I suppose wangye is also very curious of the incident. Why not take this opportunity to totally clear this incident and clear up Wu xiaojie's situation?"

    Yuan de taifei furiously looked at the two brothers. She felt that today's incident was really strange. If the people from Northern Qi were joining up about this matter, could it be that the jade pendant and the handkerchief were really plotted by Northern Qi?

    But Chen wang only coldly retorted, "Crown Prince, please don't forget yourself. When did the matter of Chen wangfu need people from Northern Qi to handle? Crown Prince and Tenth Prince shouldn't supersede the host and forget who the owners of Chen wangfu are."

    Most people in the garden were threatened by Chen wang's words and cold tone, and their mood for making fun of others also gradually dimmed. After all, compared to laughing at others, their safety was still more important. Moreover, Wu Qin Qin's reputation was already ruined, there was not much more she could do. They naturally did not need to offend powerful people in the Imperial Court for a xiaojie who was not no longer a threat to them.

    "Wangye is mistaken. The Crown Prince was merely concerned for wangye's reputation. Although he spoke out of turn, he did it with good intentions." Chu Fei Yang calmly said.

    Chu Fei Yang was rather cunning. He had not spoken for either side, but was still able to shut both sides up at the same time. Chen wang unable to reject Qi Jing Yuan's good intentions, but Qi Jing Yuan had been reminded of his position. Just because he was an honored guest, he should not be so arrogant and unruly in the land of Western Chu.

    In reality, Chu Fei Yang remembered what these two people had done to Yun Qian Meng and he made use of this opportunity to suppress both of them.

    Chu Fei Yang's statement received admiring stares from the other xiaojie. Although Yun Qian Meng already occupied the position as the legal wife, if they had equal family backgrounds and asked the Emperor to grant them a marriage, they might still be able to obtain an equal position. Thus, everyone exerted more effort and threw glances at Chu Fei Yang more frequently. Unfortunately, Chu Fei Yang did not say anything else and just picked up the cup of wine and tasted it, seemingly cutting himself off from the rest.

    "Would taifei please give a true account of what happened." Wu furen said with a cold demeanor.

    As matters stood, more clues pointed to Yuan de taifei's evading the issue in every possible way. Today, there were so many pairs of eyes that saw what had happened, if the matter could not be settled in front of everyone, she was afraid that both Wu Guo Gongfu and Wu Qin Qin's reputation would be affected.

    Wu furen had once again forfeited her good intentions, and with the aggressiveness of the people from Northern Qi, Yuan de taifei was already rather displeased so she uttered coldly, "Jiang mama, bring the evidence."

    "Taifei, this..." Unexpectedly, Jiang mama was hesitant to bring the matter forward. She secretly sent Yuan de taifei meaningful glances, but was noticed by Wu furen, who felt even more infuriated. She had not expected that after things had already reached this state, this pair of master and servant were still being so secretive. "I would like to trouble mama to please bring out the evidence."

    Jiang mama did not have any choice but to bring out the two items that she had wrapped up in a handkerchief from her sleeve. Then she opened the handkerchief and presented the items to Yuan de taifei and Wu furen as she explained, "A while ago, when Wu xiaojie took out her pouch in the osmanthus forest, this broken hetian jade pendant fell out. It was proven that it had not originally belonged to Wu xiaojie's. Then..."

    When she reached this point, Jiang mama hesitated and slightly raised her head to look at Yuan de taifei. Seeing that her expression was cold and had no traces of panic, she continued, "Then, everyone saw that Yuan gongzi had Wu xiaojie's handkerchief in his possession."

    "You're lying!" before Jiang mama had even fully closed her mouth, Wu furen stood up from her seat, face blanched. She finally understood why Yuan de taifei had been preventing anyone from revealing this incident at every turn.

    The accusation of a man and a woman privately exchanging personal belongings was not something anyone could bear. Moreover, Yuan fu and Wu Guo Gongfu were both large high-ranking clans. If this kind of disgrace were to spread, the whole family would surely suffer dishonor. There was even chances that the directly involved parties would be criticized for rest of their life.

    Since Wu furen already recognized that the handkerchief did indeed belong to Wu Qin Qin, it made her tremble in anger. The hand holding a handkerchief tightened into fist and she could feel her neatly trimmed nails slowly piercing through her palm. In moments, the handkerchief already had hints of blood. Evidently, Wu furen was really extremely angry right now. If she was not in Chen wangfu and if Jiang mama was not Yuan de taifei's mama, she might have already told the servants to stuff Jiang mama's mouth and beat her to death.

    Currently, Yuan de taifei's expression was not any better than Wu furen's, but compared to how Wu furen was losing control, Yuan de taifei's composure towards the chaotic situation was rather impressive.

    She took the piece of broken jade and examined it carefully in her hand, still maintaining her proud and cold expression, not showing any traces of bewilderment. Yun Qian Meng, who was staring at her, become confused, wondering if perhaps Jiang mama had changed the jade pendant.

    But from the osmanthus forest to the garden, Jiang mama had not disappeared from her sight for even a moment. How could she have had the time to find a similar jade?

    "Wangye's belt today is rather unique. Benxiang remembers that Wangye was wearing a belt mounted with Hetian jade before. Why did Wangye change it?" Chu Fei Yang smiled as if he was oblivious to the heavy atmosphere. Even ignoring the panic-stricken expression on Wu furen's face, he talked about Chen wang's accessories as if they were close friends.

    But Chu Fei Yang's statement left a mark in everyone's hearts.

    Everyone started to feel curious about Chen wang, who was sitting silently. Why would Chen wang change his belt for no reason? Could it be that he gave the other half of the jade from his belt to Wu Qin Qin, then changed into another belt to prevent other people from realizing it?

    But why was Wu Qin Qin's handkerchief discovered in the hands of Yuan Qing Zhou instead of Chen wang?

    Oh god! What was happening? Could it be that the Yuan Family cousins fell in love with the same person?

    But if that Wu Qin Qin had already accepted Chen wang's jade pendant, why did she still give her handkerchief to Yuan Qing Zhou? Did Wu Qin Qin want to have both of them at the same time? If that was the case, then Wu Guo Gongfu actually raised a fickle lady! This was really too horrifying and outrageous!

    At once, everyone's eyes were fixed on Chen wang, Yuan de taifei, and Wu furen.

    Hearing Chu Fei Yang's words, Wu furen rushed to Jiang mama, forgetting her manners, and took the piece of jade. She examined it carefully, her eyes seemed to shoot flames that would readily burn the jade in her hand. But though she had regularly kept contact with Yuan de taifei, she seldom saw Chen wang, and would naturally be able to recognize whether or not this jade piece was really Chen wang's property. She was suddenly puzzled. How could Wu furen have anticipated that this kind of spectacle would happen in such an ordinary gathering?

    Chen wang was currently glaring at Yun Qian Meng and Chu Fei Yang with hostility. His hands tightly grasped at the armrest as he could not help but feel outraged. It was so obvious now that this had all been plotted by Yun Qian Meng and Chu Fei Yang.

    First was to have Yun Qian Meng go to the rock garden, then look for an opportunity to steal something of his and make everyone think that he had exchanged personal belongings with Wu Qin Qin. Yuan Qing Zhou being added to the situation might have been Yun Qian Meng making use of Yuan Qing Zhou's feelings for her to frame all three of them.

    Humph! He would let it continue and see if Yun Qian Meng's plan would succeed. Did she think she really can do anything to him using this kind of clumsy trick?

    Yun Qian Meng felt the outraged look from Chen wang and naturally knew that for such a small matter, if Chen wang did not admit to owning the jade pendant, even if other people were suspicious, they still could not do anything to him.

    But even so, Yun Qian Meng was in good mood right now as she enjoyed the changes in Wu furen's expression and her light smile made Chen wang unable to continue with his questioning look.

    Having received Chu Fei Yang's hint, Wu furen immediately looked at Chen wang hopefully and said, "Wangye, this..."
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