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Chapter 731 Honored Consort Shu Died in the Palace
The plum blossom grove of Duke Xing’s Mansion was actually not big. The pavilion was located on the other side of the plum grove, a bit far from where she had just come in.
A curtain was hung outside in the winter, which was slightly lifted on the side facing them. Someone was standing in the pavilion and it was hard to see who he was facing, but one thing was certain, that person seemed to be facing in their direction. “Miss, there seems to be someone over there!” Yujie also spotted the person in the pavilion. Although she couldn’t see his face, he was a man, and she could see his dark robe.
“Let’s go!” Shao Wanru shook her head and motioned her not to look. No matter who the man over there was, since it was a man, it was always inconvenient.
“Okay!” Yujie nodded. She held the vase behind Shao Wanru and walked back together, and then disappeared behind the plum grove.
Wen Xichi watched Shao Wanru as she was leaving through the curtain. After quite a while, he reached out and rubbed his brows, feeling very uncomfortable. It was an unspeakable feeling.
It was a routine matter for him to visit Duke Xing’s Mansion today, mainly to ask about the Madam of Duke Xing poisoning incident, because it was related to something in the palace of the late imperial. The emperor had asked him to come over and take a look.
He didn’t officially go to the Ministry of Justice for filing. The poisoning of the n.o.ble aristocratic family looked more like a domestic matter. But the poison was a bit special, so he’d better look into the case. If he could find out something, that would be great. It didn’t matter if he couldn’t find anything.
After all, it had happened when the late emperor was on the throne when the harem was quite different from that of the current emperor.
Wen Xichi lived right next door to Duke Xing’s Mansion. The Ministry of Justice had asked him to pay a visit. He first went to see Madam of Duke Xing, and then asked a few more questions. Shao Hua’an, the eldest son of Duke Xing, took him to the yard for a stroll. After a while, a male servant suddenly came over and whispered something in Shao Hua’an’s ear. Shao Hua’an excused himself and asked him to wait for a while before leaving.
There happened to be a pavilion in front of him, so he decided to stand there to admire the scenery of the plum grove. He hadn’t expected to see Shao Wanru and the maid in the plum grove.
He silently watched Shao Wanru looking around under the plum trees to look for most desired plum branches. From time to time, he saw her talking to the maid next to her. Although she was far away and he couldn’t hear what they were talking about, he could tell that she seemed to be in a good mood. She had always looked cold, but now she smiled from time to time.
A girl with delicate facial features was standing in the plum grove, but the whole plum grove had become the background behind her because she was even more beautiful than those flowers!
Wen Xichi had always been disdainful of using the sentences in the books to describe a woman, but now he felt inexplicable that he hadn’t learned enough vocabulary. No matter how beautiful the words were, they weren’t as beautiful as the beautiful girl under the tree in front of him. He felt that he had seen such a scene in the depths of his memory.
A beautiful and distant woman was walking among the branches of flowers and occasionally looking back, which made his heart beat faster. He stretched out his hand and pressed his chest. It was indeed beating a lot faster than before, but he couldn’t tell why, and he felt a little irritated!
There was a faint uncontrollable feeling, which was extremely uncomfortable for him…
The Madam of Duke Xing poisoning incident finally disappeared silently, as if nothing had happened. Occasionally one heard the news that Madam of Duke Xing seemed to have been poisoned by someone with a certain poison that had once been used in the palace. There was nothing else.
Madam of Duke Xing was fine, but she was just not very well. She disliked the noise in Duke Xing’s Mansion, so she decided to go to live in Yuhui Nunnery with a few maids for a while for recovery.
As for the death of Nanny Sheng, who would care how an old maid died, and what was the charge?
People from the Ministry of Justice also came to inquire about it, but that was the end of it. Neither the victim nor anyone felt wronged. The matter was just a formality and was neither filed with the Ministry of Justice nor recorded. It was almost peaceful outside the palace, even if Madam of Duke Xing had set off to recuperate in Yuhui Nunnery, it did not disturb other people. She set off early when even the shops on the street weren’t open.
But some people say that they had seen a horse-drawn carriage of Madam of Duke Xing. It simply did not look like a carriage worthy of the rank of Madam of Duke. It looked like the most common tarp windshield carriage in an aristocratic family. If they hadn’t learned later that Madam of Duke Xing had left early in the morning, no one would have thought that Madam of Duke Xing was sitting in the carriage.
However, there was another rumor that Madam of Duke Xing was not in good health. This time she went to live in the mountain to cultivate quietly and avoid noise. Naturally, she didn’t want to go out on a high profile, which would bother others and herself.
Duke Xing’s Mansion became completely quiet due to the trip of Madam of Duke Xing, but the palace was not quiet. Honored Consort Shu suddenly died! Moreover, she hanged herself.
It was said that she had committed suicide in despair, but no word from the palace explained why she had done it. Honored Consort Shu’s family was allowed to go to the funeral, and then given some rewards by the emperor and the empress, and that was the end of it.
Honored Consort Shu had no children, and had been out of favor in the palace. In addition, her natal family had no power. Her position was not low, but the fact that she had neither children nor favor from the emperor was sufficient to explain why she had been completely ignored in the palace. Even the new favorite concubine didn’t care much about her.
Honored Consort Shu was one of the senior concubines of the emperor before he was enthroned. She committed suicide inexplicably. They couldn’t find out anything after the investigation. Although some ministers asked the empress to look into it again and suggested that everyone in the harem should be questioned carefully. But they were angrily scolded by the emperor.
It was his harem, and he didn’t need the meddlesome ministers to meddle with his domestic affairs.
At this time, the Imperial Inst.i.tute of Medicine presented a report, which explained why Consort Shu had committed suicide very well. It turned out that Honored Consort Shu had an incurable insidious disease, so she was often in a bad mood. As depressed as she was, she had gotten into a fight with a new concubine on the day of the accident. In a moment of despair, she had killed herself.
The report of the Imperial Inst.i.tute of Medicine immediately calmed down the entire court, and no one stared at the emperor’s harem anymore. A concubine in the harem was sick all the year round and depressed, and after a quarrel with an arrogant new concubine, she committed suicide. It had happened all the time in each dynasty, which was something beyond investigation.
But the new concubine ended up being directly thrown into the Cold Palace by the empress. The new concubine had entered the palace and treated an older higher-ranked concubine in the palace so arrogantly, which was a serious violation against royal court rules…
Shao Wanru had heard all these things from Qing’er. Of course, Qing’er finally said specifically that the reason for the accident was that the poison powder in the hands of Madam of Duke Xing could be traced back to her. It was said that the emperor had personally asked about the poisoning incident, and then the empress ordered her to hang herself with a piece of white silk.
Qing’er didn’t know why it had been traced back to Honored Consort Shu, but she believed that someone must have tampered with it.
Shao Wanru didn’t care much about the death of Honored Consort Shu. Although she hadn’t seen much of the woman, the latter had plotted against her with Duke Xing’s Mansion twice, so she didn’t like her. Did she think that she had no opponents in the harem when she was making trouble? She had reaped the consequences of her fate.
In her last life, she had never seen this Honored Consort Shu in the palace. She thought the latter must have had died before she entered the palace. As a troublemaker with a humble background, she had asked for it.
She hadn’t expected that Madam of Duke Xing would be forced to go to Yuhui Nunnery. But it made sense when she thought about it.
Madam of Duke Xing thought that she had put all the blame on Nanny Sheng. But she could deceive others, but not Shao Jing. The Old Madam might have been deceived at the time, and how could she not punish Madam of Duke Xing after learning the truth? Taking advantage of Madam of Duke Xing’s bad health, the Old Madam had sent her away directly. It was a common excuse used by the wives and young ladies of the aristocratic families when they committed crimes.
Madam of Duke Xing had overreached herself this time.
“Miss, Nanny Xi is not coming? It has been several days.” Unlike Qing’er, Yujie cared about another matter.
“She is not coming!” Shao Wanru shook her head and narrowed her eyes slightly.
After such a thing happened, even if Duke Xing’s Mansion tried to keep it low-key, many other aristocratic families were secretly guessing if Nanny Xi would come back at this time. It would inevitably bring a lot of troubles for Duke Xing’s Mansion, which wasn’t what the empress and Duke Xing’s Mansion wanted to see.
What Duke Xing’s Mansion needed now was to keep it low-key. What the empress wanted to show was also impartiality. When no one paid special attention to Duke Xing’s Mansion before, she could privately send her maids to give special favor to the daughters of Duke Xing’s Mansion, and even give Shao Wanru a hard time. Now everyone’s attention was focused on Duke Xing’s Mansion, the empress certainly would not do anything to her.
“That’s great! You don’t have to learn things all day long! You have had a good command of the rules!” Yujie was overjoyed. She felt that there was nothing to learn from Nanny Xi for her master. Shao Wanru had mastered the rules very well, and Nanny Xi couldn’t find fault with her, no matter how picky the woman was.
Shao Wanru smiled faintly, but she didn’t say anything. She would never be good enough because everyone in the palace was striving for perfection!
Besides, even if she learned it very well, could she argue with people from the palace when someone found fault with her and said that she hadn’t learned it very well? If she argued with them, she would be criticized for being ignorant and impolite, and she would even be punished. She remembered that she had been punished for misbehaving. Shao Yanru had sent someone to watch her salute sideways in the hot sun until she couldn’t stand it and fainted. Later she was even told to go to apologize to Shao Yanru again the next day.
The palace was no place for a reason.
The winter of the year was so cold that Shao Wanru didn’t want to go out. Fortunately, the entire Duke Xing’s Mansion looked extremely quiet this year. Everyone seemed to want to have a peaceful New Year and didn’t intend to make trouble.
Although it was the first time that Third Madam had taken charge of Duke Xing’s Mansion’s affairs, it was organized. Regarding the absence of Madam of Duke Xing, everyone slowly accepted the fact that she was not in good health now, and she was living in Yuhui Nunnery to heal her body. Naturally, she couldn’t work hard.
As soon as the Chinese New Year was over, the court draft was started. It had been prepared early. As long as the specified date was set, the girls would enter the palace according to the list.
Duke Xing’s Mansion had four ladies who were going to enter the palace for the court draft, so the originally sluggish mansion became lively. The Old Madam would give out rewards from time to time, and people from the garment shops outside would also be invited directly into the mansion to make a few more fitting clothes for the ladies.
On the sixth day of the first lunar month, when everyone was still busy visiting relatives, the beauties officially entered the palace…
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