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Chapter 107 Part 2: Su Qings Fallout

    Early next morning, after Yun Qian Meng had freshened up, Mu Chun came inside with quick steps and a serious expression.

    "Why are you so panicky? What's the matter?" Mu Chun had been following Yun Qian Meng for so long, yet she was still her usual impatient self. For a moment Mi mama's head ached as she shook it in exasperation.

    "Xiaojie! Laotaijun, Hou furen, and Chu xiang have all arrived together." Mu Chun immediately announced the news she had just received.

    Yun Qian Meng and Mi mama exchanged a look and smiled. Apparently, there had been no need for her to exert too much effort in the battle they were about to face today.

    "You little wench, you are quite caught up on the news. But doesn't Chu xiang need to attend the morning assembly held at the Imperial Court?" Mi mama laughed as she spoke, stretching out her hands to pat Mu Chun's head and teasing her.

    Mu Chun pouted, stroking the spot on her head that was patted then said, "I asked around. Chu xiang had announced that he would take his leave today. Besides, Chu xiang will soon become xiaojie's husband. It's only natural that we exert some efforts to pay attention to the son-in-law's whereabouts on behalf of xiaojie."

    Yun Qian Meng could not help but chuckling softly. If Chu Fei Yang had not purposefully made his whereabouts known to others, perhaps even Emperor Yu Qian would not be able to glean his next move. Now though, Mu Chun was utterly proud of her own efforts.

    However, Mu Chun was quite loyal, so how could she not appreciate her thoughtfulness? Yun Qian Meng picked the biggest honey peach from the fruit basket on the table then placed it in Mu Chun's hands, then as if humoring a child, she said, "This is your reward, take it and eat it."

    Mu Chun's brows creased all of a sudden after seeing her xiaojie flash her with the prettiest smile. She immediately lowered her voice and mumbled, "Xiaojie, I'm not a child anymore."

    Sounds of talking and laughter echoed from the room.

    The gentle sound of footsteps then came from the doorway, along with the voice of a mama, "Eldest xiaojie, xiangye requested you to proceed to the guest hall."

    Yun Qian Meng collected herself, and Mi mama responded on her behalf, "Yes, xiaojie will go there immediately."

    The occupants of the room then stood up and they simultaneously proceeded to the guest hall.

    When Yun Qian Meng entered the guest hall, where Su Qing was already being forcibly pressed down and kneeling at the center of the hall. Gu laotaijun and the old madam were both sitting in the head seats, while Yun Xuan Zhi and Chu Fei Yang were seated to the left and right respectively, and Ji Shu Yu stood behind Gu laotaijun. When Yun Qian Meng came in, she received a loving glance from them.

    Yun Qian Meng's cold gaze swept through everyone's faces until finally landing on Chu Fei Yang. The look in his eyes made her feel more reassured and Yun Qian Meng responded with a gaze that conveyed everything was alright.

    "Yun Qian Meng greets elders, and Chu xiang." She went over and sincerely paid her courtesies.

    Laotaijun's angry face somewhat lightened up a bit upon Yun Qian Meng's arrival, as she immediately said, "Quickly, come over here, my child."

    In response to her words, Yun Qian Meng approached Gu laotaijun, who immediately held Yun Qian Meng's slightly cold hands. Eyes filled with wrath, Gu laotaijun shot a glare at Su Qing kneeling at the center of the hall and angrily said, "Su yiniang, aren't you also a mother? When you look at Meng'er, does it remind you of my daughter's son, who you had drowned? You really have the heart of a serpent. What has my daughter done to you, as well as my grandson who had yet to see the world with his own eyes? That you would go so far as to commit this hideous crime, do you think that our Fu Guo Gongfu has neither men nor power? Where did you get the courage to dare murder furen and the gongzi of xiangfu?"

    After a whole night of mulling it over, Su Qing appeared more calm compared to her previous hysterical conversation with Yun Xuan Zhi. Although the delivery had consumed most of her vitality and her face was still pale, she held no fear in her heart when faced with Gu laotaijun's strict interrogation and only coldly retorted, "Laotaijun, I know you don't like me, but furen and the shaoye's deaths had nothing to do with me. Please do not shove the basin full of ** onto my head. Besides, this is Yun xiangfu, not Fu Guo Gongfu. If you wish to interrogate me, xiangye would be the rightful candidate to interrogate. Please just stand aside and just listen, laotaijun."

    Su Qing then lowered her head and refused to talk any further. Gu laotaijun had not expected that this kind of ruffian still existed in this world. This woman had already made a mistake, yet she did not even have the conscience to repent, making Gu laotaijun's face beetroot red with fury.

    Yun Qian Meng gently patted Gu laotaijun's hand comfortingly, afterwhich, she turned around and stared at Su Qing, laughed and said, "Su yiniang, you are quite arrogant. Even father has to treat wai zumu with respect, where are your manners as a yiniang? You even offended your superiors by speaking rudely in front of them. Could it be that you are still relying on the fact that you had given birth to a son? Have you seen the child already? You wouldn't have been so calm and composed otherwise."

    Su Qing suddenly lifted her head, a malicious gaze shot from her eyes, but when she saw the cold smile on Yun Qian Meng's mouth, Su Qing immediately composed herself, then indifferently retorted, "Xiaojie, what are you saying? Being able to give birth to a son for xiangye already makes me fortunate. The child is protected by xiangye's blessing so I believe he must be a healthy boy."

    Before she even finished speaking, the old madam had already pointed a finger at her and cursed, "Su yiniang, that good daughter of yours had already ruined the life of my grandson. And as a yiniang, you even boast shamelessly in this place. Are you planning to make our Yun fu lose all our reputation?"

    Although Su Qing's expression remained calm, after hearing her son repeatedly mentioned this way, her heart became inevitably anxious and feared that something might have happened to the child. She looked at Yun Xuan Zhi with eyes full of tears and persistently pleaded, "Xiangye, nubi has carried this child since the tenth month then gave birth to him, please let me see him at once!"

    Yun Xuan Zhi originally had no plans to bring out the new born child. After all, he was uncertain whether a disabled child would be able to grow up normally, so he really had no inclination to show the child off to the public. When he was just about to reject the request, he heard the old madam ordered, "Bring the child over here."

    Yun Xuan Zhi's face sank, he shot a hateful look at the old madam but the wet nurse had already brought the child in. It was already too late for him to stop it so he only watched as Su Qing snatched the child from the wet nurse's arms, then tightly hold him in her arms. Immediately, she loosen the swaddling clothes and inspected the child...

    "This..." Glancing at the child's sewn shoulder, Su Qing's mind went blank. For a moment, she did not know how to react and only stared at Yun Xuan Zhi with lifeless eyes as the sound of old madam's cold laugh echoed in her ears, "What a good thing your daughter has done-forcibly breaking off the child's arm. Su yiniang, it should have been enough for you alone to have a wicked heart, but to my surprise, you even brought up my granddaughter to be like this. How can she get married in the future? What gongzi would be willing to marry this kind of woman?

    As the old madam spoke, she secretly stole a glance at Chu Fei Yang. He showed no signs of displeasure, so she herself suddenly felt at ease and looked at Su Qing much more complacently.

    When Su Qing heard the old madam's words, her eyes shot a malicious glance at the old madam with narrowed her eyes, then said in a cold voice, "Old madam, you never really liked me, so I wouldn't dare believe your words. My Xue'er is kindhearted, she would never do such a thing!"

    "Oh dear, it's not important whether the sister did it or not, what's important is the younger brother's arm is already disabled! Yiniang, the child that you delivered with great trouble has become like this, how pitiful." Yun Yi Yi walked in from the backyard and spoke very much like she was rejoicing in other people's misfortune.

    Yun Yi Yi intentionally approached Chu Fei Yang as she paid her courtesies, but to no avail. Chu Fei Yang did not even glance sideways, making Yun Yi Yi unable to extricate herself gracefully, and she eventually retreated behind the old madam with some trace of embarrassment.

    Su Qing's face went pale, seeing the fragile son in her arms, she could barely feel his extremely weak breathing. Su Qing suddenly felt the pain like a knife being twisted in her heart. This was her son, he had likely been harmed by this group of demons. Su Qing suddenly stood up, with one hand tightly hugging the child, the other hand pointed at Yun Qiang Meng and the rest of the people present as she roared, "It's you! It was you who fetched Xia mama back, making me feel ill at ease, causing me to have a difficult birth, then caused trouble to my son. Yun Qian Meng, you slut! You-"

    Before she could finish, her body, as if being kicked from behind, fell down and she was back to kneeling once again. The pain in her knees had spread through her body, but right then, Su Qing realized she had said something wrong. But since she had already spoken them for everyone to hear quite clearly, that even if Su Qing were to express great remorse right now, it would already be too late.

    "Feel ill at ease? Su yiniang, why would you be afraid of Xia mama? Could it be that you really had my brother drowned and was witnessed doing so by Xia mama? You were afraid that Xia mama would reveal all your wicked deeds, and consequently you were unable to eat or sleep after you learned that Xia mama had re-entered xiangfu? If you had not done it, why would you be so afraid? As matters stand, what else would you like to argue about? All of these means that you are getting what you deserve."

    Yun Qian Meng would never forgive Su Qing for this greatest sin that she had done, she allowed her no explanation and was quick to cut her off. Chu Fei Yang glanced at Yun Qian Meng, her eyes turning slightly red, but her words stayed sharp and keen, like a sword piercing straight at Su Qing. Yun Qian Meng must be really mad, or else, with her usual calm composure, nobody would have ever been aware of any change in her emotions.

    "What are you talking about young Yun xiaojie? Xia mama had originally been reported as a missing person. After so many years have passed, everyone thought that she was already dead. Now that she was suddenly being welcomed back to xiangfu, not only my pregnant sister would suffer from fright, even ordinary men who knew of this matter might also be scared. Yun xiaojie's words seemed like they're deliberately trying to falsely accuse other people, convicting my sister at your leisure." Su Yuan's voice sounded from the doorway as he walked into the guest hall wearing his official uniform and body covered in dust.

    Su Yuan had a vicious look as he rushed inside the hall, which made Yun Qian Meng laugh, she then coldly said, "Su daren, your sibling love runs quite deep. Having heard of Su yiniang's offense, Su daren was quick to rush over to save the show. But this matter concerns a human life, will you bend the law in order to favor your sister and not handle things justly, Su daren?"

    Su Yuan knew very well that Yun Qian Meng was sneering at him, so he immediately brought forth the tone he usually used to interrogate criminals, and he said aggressively, "Su yiniang is my younger sister, don't tell me that I have no right to ask her questions for my own interest? If I'm not qualified for that, neither are Fu Guo Gongfu and Chu xiangfu, yet laotaijun and Chu xiang are both present here. Xiaojie ought not to favor her own side while discriminating against your opponents. If word of this spreads, are you not afraid that people will say that you are bullying a yiniang in your own house?"

    Yun Qian Meng was well aware that Su Yuan was not soft of heart, and now, she acknowledged his ferocious attitude. But if hethought that this would make her surrender so easily, then he was gravely mistaken.

    However, Yun Qian Meng's expression remained calm, neither indignant nor fiery, as she stated in a clear voice, "Su daren, your words are without basis. Qian Meng didn't mean to say that Su daren is unwelcome here, yet Su daren was quick to show discontent. Could it be that you were afraid that your younger sister's scandal might get exposed in public, so you were quick to blow a fuse out of humiliation?"

    "You-" Having been pestered endlessly by Yun Qian Meng, Su Yuan's eyes exposed an ominous glint, before he could continue, he heard Yun Xuan Zhi's annoyed voice, "Since you are here, then sit down. Liu huwei, bring Wang mama and Xue'er over here."

    Yun Xuan Zhi originally planned to quietly handle this matter, but those present today were people of great influence and they simply had not allowed him enough time to handle the matter before they came over here one by one.

    Since this matter needed to be dealt with immediately, yet the outcome would eventually be handed over to these people, Yun Xuan Zhi bluntly commanded Liu huwei to bring over the people concerned in order to avoid the assumption that Yun xiangfu was a place where one could come and go as they pleased.

    Yun Xuan Zhi coldly glanced at Su Yuan, ire inevitably rose up from his heart. Although Su Yuan's position was lower than his, ever since he claimed connection with Chen wang, his power became even greater than his own. Now he had so brashly rushed inside the xiangfu, apparently, regarding himself as some important person. Even if Yun Xuan Zhi wanted to side with Su Qing, with the presence of this kind of brother, the pity he felt for Su Qing had slowly drifted the longer this went.

    Soon after, Wang mama in worn-out clothes was being dragged inside the guest hall by two guards, her face was deathly pale, while Yun Ruo Xue, with a lifeless expression, was helped inside by two yatou.

    "Wang mama, are you aware of your crime?" before waiting for any other person to interfere, Yun Xuan Zhi took the initiative to question her first.

    With such an assured question, Su Qing's face went rigid as she incredulously looked at Yun Xuan Zhi, and spoke while she was weeping, "Xiangye, you are so cruel to try to obtain a confession from Wang mama under torture. Are you not afraid that you might settle the case unjustly? Up until now, I still do not know what happened. I only know that my child's arm was snapped off, don't you feel pity for your own child? Why did you put your hands on my people? Aren't you afraid that I might get disappointed in you?"

    Presented with Su Qing's resistance, everyone watching had a look of disgust. But when Yun Ruo Xue heard 'arm snapped off', she crazily screeched and her body doubled back as if she wanted to keep herself as far away as possible from Su Qing and the child, then she yelled fanatically, "I didn't do it on purpose! I didn't do it on purpose! I only wanted him to come out faster! Who would have thought that his arm would break off just like that! Aah!"

    For a while, only Yun Ruo Xue's miserable shrieking could be heard inside the guest hall.

    Once Su Qing heard her daughter's words of confession with her own ears, her body suddenly went soft and she collapsed onto the ground. Wang mama was frightened and immediately took the child from Su Qing's arms to hand over to the wet nurse, then she supported Su Qing up and cried out, "Yiniang, yiniang, what happened? Don't scare me!"

    Su Yuan immediately handed over a cup of tea, allowing Wang mama to help her drink a mouthful.

    Su Qing turned around with unexpected strength and jumped off the ground as she suddenly dashed towards Yun Ruo Xue. Grabbed Yun Ruo Xue's arm, she raised her palm, aiming at Yun Ruo Xue's face as she ferociously slapped her more than ten times as she scolded, "You can just die! Why did you harm your own brother? He is just a child, how can you do such thing? Why did I give birth to a brute like you?!"

    Yun Ruo Xue seemed to have woken up after being hit so viciously. She suddenly knelt down before Su Qing and cried bitterly, "Mother, it's not my fault, I really didn't do it on purpose! I had my good intentions, I wouldn't cause any trouble to my young brother. Mother, you must believe me, oh, you must believe me!"

    Eventually, Yun Ruo Xue could only sob quietly, but Su Qing's gaze was too frightening, like two sharp daggers peeling the flesh off of Yun Ruo Xue's body, bringing great fear to Yun Ruo Xue's heart.

    "Alright, have you finished venting out all your anger?" Yun Xuan Zhi felt that he had lost so much face, so he no longer allowed Su Qing to see Yun Ruo Xue as he commanded Liu huwei to take Yun Ruo Xue back. Afterwhich, the two remaining women were again compelled to kneel down onto the ground.

    "Wang mama, in the presence of all people here, repeat what you told us last night without missing a word." Yun Xuan Zhi did not feel like looking at Su Qing, so he addressed Wang mama instead.

    Instantly Su Qing regained her senses, since her heart knew that there were still matters waiting to be resolved. Seeing Wang mama sadly glance at her, Su Qing's heart tensed abruptly.

    Wang mama respectfully faced Su Qing as she knocked her head on the ground three times, then she knelt down and slowly said, "Xiangye, back when furen gave birth, it was indeed twins of mixed sexes. But at that time yiniang, was also pregnant, consequently she was not allowed inside the delivery room. All the arrangements were done under my command. I was the one who directed the midwives to do everything, even drowning the little gongzi. Yiniang knew nothing about it, as I handled everything myself. Xiangye, please do not listen to Xia mama's words and harbor suspicions towards yiniang. That Xia mama was the wet nurse of the deceased furen, naturally she would side with furen. Of course she would say some hurtful words towards yiniang, please see it clearly, xiangye! Today, laotaijun and Chu xiang are here to bear witness. What I've said is all true, and none of it is false! Please think upon it, xiangye!"

    After speaking, Wang mama's eyes looked straight at the red pillar outside the guest hall, and Chu Fei Yang suddenly became alert, yet it had unexpectedly been Wang mama's way of creating a diversion. When everyone thought that she was planning to knock her head against the pillar to demonstrate her sincere convictions, she unexpectedly committed suicide by biting off her tongue. Before she died, she kept her eyes open and fresh blood slowly flowed out of the corner of her mouth as she collapsed beside Su Qing.

    Su Qing could not help the shaking of her body as she looked helplessly at her wet nurse committing suicide in order to save her. A flame of anger suddenly ignited within her heart, and she suddenly rushed at Yun Qian Meng, "You slut! It's all because you brought Xia mama inside xiangfu! You must pay for my son and my Wang mama's lives, you little slut!"

    Su Qing's mind and heart were now brimming with the flames of fury, she very much had the desire to kill Yun Qian Meng right at that moment.

    But Chu Fei Yang had already been prepared, shielding Yun Qian Meng, as Xi Lin who had been guarding outside the hall quickly approached Su Qing from behind. With a chopping motion, he made a blow to the back of Su Qing's head and her eyes rolled as she passed out.

    "Su fu's upbringing is quite amazing. A yiniang would actually shout and quarrel with a future wangfei. Such disrespectful conduct. Even if Su daren went to his new master today, perhaps it will only draw out your time of reproach." Chu Fei Yang's eyes and expression were ice-cold, causing Su Yuan, who had been about to get angry, to immediately swallow the words that he had prepared to say. With a dark expression, he remained seated.

    "It is indeed my family's misfortune that, to my surprise, such a vicious thing really existed!" the old madam looked towards similarly serious Gu laotaijun as she cursed and pointed her finger at Su Qing lying on the ground.

    Yun Xuan Zhi then said out of extreme impatience, "Since mother, you are so capable of raising a child, then, I will entrust Su yiniang's child to you, mother."

    Upon hearing these words, the old madam immediately refused, "Why? The child's yiniang is still alive, why would I have to discipline the child? Besides, there are many yiniang inside the fu who are still childless. You can just hand him over to one of them to foster."

    The old madam seemed to have had enough of today's excitement, after she had been demonstrating her authority these past few days, giving out orders but refusing to do anything herself. But after witnessing Su Yuan's wield his official power so formidable, Yun Qian Meng indifferently said, "Grandma, you raised two brothers and one sister to become remarkable young people. I believe that if younger brother were to be under your guidance, he will certainly become someone worthy of respect."

    "But this child's life seems..." the old madam was about to say that the child was not long for this world, but upon seeing Yun Xuan Zhi's dark expression, she swallowed her words into her stomach.

    Su Yuan was beginning to see how bad this old woman actually was as he spoke, "Yun xiang, if you feel that nobody will be able to take care of the child inside xiangfu, I will welcome Xue'er and the boy in Su fu. Although Su fu isn't as vast and grand as xiangfu, we have enough to spare for bringing up two children ."

    Yun Xuan Zhi only coldly snorted at that and said, "He is a child of Yun fu, why do we need other people to bring up the child? Su daren, if you don't have any other concerns, please leave."

    Yun Xuan Zhi then had Liu huwei drag out Wang mama's dead body, as well as let a few yatou carry Su Qing to the rear courtyard. He himself faced Gu laotaijun and said, "Laotaijun, the truth of the matter has been revealed. The murderer of Ruo Li and the child has already committed suicide to escape punishment. Please do not concern yourself with this matter anymore so that Ruo Li being will be able to rest in peace under the ground."

    But laotaijun was not someone who was easily fooled. She had wanted to see Yun Xuan Zhi punishing Su Qing today, but he had found himself a sacrificial lamb. Gu laotaijun's grew seriously grave as she said, "Is that so? Then how do you plan to punish Su yiniang, Yun xiang? For Wang mama to be able to have the guts to murder her master, don't tell me that Su yiniang is not responsible for that? Or it could be you who is avoiding the responsibility."

    Yun Xuan Zhi's brows immediately wrinkled, and after a long moment, he came to a firm resolution as he said, "Please do not worry, laotaijun, I will certainly bring justice to Ruo Li's death."

    Afterwhich, he turned around and left the guest hall.

    Laotaijun and her people had witnessed a huge farce today, so her mood was extremely dour now. Every time she was reminded of her daughter and the grandchild she had not even seen, laotaijun seemed to age ten years.

    Sensing the dark atmosphere that settled in xiangfu, laotaijun climbed into the horse carriage with Ji Shu Yu's support. But before Ji Shu Yu climbed in herself, she pulled Yun Qian Meng close and gently said, "Meng'er, sometimes, you can't blame laotaijun, she has moments wherein it is difficult for her to make decisions."

    After that, Ji Shu Yu stepped inside the horse carriage, leaving Yun Qian Meng to ponder over the statement.

    When she was collecting her thoughts, she felt warmth on her shoulders and saw Chu Fei Yang drape a silk brocade cloak over her shoulders. Holding a horsewhip in his hand, it seemed that he was about to leave xiangfu.

    "Go in now, the wind outside is quite strong." Glancing up at the almost noontime sun, Chu Fei Yang pulled up his war horse, afterwhich he flew up onto the horseback and quickly rushed towards the Imperial Palace.

    At this time, Feng He Yuan was already far from its usual scene. In only a day's time, the yatou and pozi of Feng He Yuan had already been dismissed elsewhere, and only Liu huwei's men stayed behind to stand guard.

    Yun Xuan Zhi was now holding a bowl of congee in his hands as he slowly entered the inner room.

    On the bed, Su Qing was awake, but turned a blind eye at Yun Xuan Zhi's arrival.

    "You've been tired, you must be hungry, eat some congee to warm your body." Yun Xuan Zhi attend to himself as he sat down by the bed. Personally scooping a spoonful of fragrant rice congee, he brought it to the corner of Su Qing's mouth.

    "Was Wang mama's death not enough? Now, you won't even allow me to slip by?" Su Qing suddenly said.
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