The Noble Woman’s Guide On How to Tease One’s Husband – Chapter 26
Translated by: Oinkoink
Chapter 26 – Confrontation
This novel is only hosted on Foxaholic, copies found elsewhere are either stolen or plagiarized.
The beastly cloud had swallowed the setting sun while the shooting stars leapt across the crescent moon. The heat that had been seething all day finally subsided at this moment and the air gradually felt cool. However, for Hanzhang Palace, it had long been surrounded with low pressure, just like the polar region.
One would have to say that Bai Zhixuan’s accusation was extremely ingenious as she merely pointed out Ye Huaiyang’s motives for killing Wang Yaru, without voicing out her coalition with Chu Jinglan. After all, this was a major issue of colluding with a prominent family in an attempt to plot rebellion which should not be stated too obviously in front of many people. The Queen Mother would have to perceive this herself. Otherwise, the first to die would be her under the no-evidence circumstances and for her to break the rules of the game. She undoubtedly knew this very well as she had been in the palace for many years. Therefore, the aim now was to simply pushed the murder charge to Ye Huaiyang. As such, her crisis would be considered over.
“Miss Ye, is what Noble Lady Bai said true?”
Ye Huaiyang raised her head slowly, resolutely rebuffed the Empress with four words, “Absolutely far from it.”
Bai Zhixuan snorted frostily, “Lying through one’s teeth.”
“Without a shred of evidence, Noble Lady is ruining my reputation in front of everyone and refuted that I am lying. I have only met Wangye several times without any personal dealings. I can’t bear such a huge responsibility as murdering someone out of jealousy!”
It was rare for Ye Huaiyang’s tone to be a little harsh while her chest rose and fell slightly seemingly unable to restrain her anger. Seeing this, Bai Zhixuan felt she was good in play acting thus her vexation surged and the usual cold haughtiness instantly shattered.
“You are staying on the same street as Wangye and both residences are separated by just a foot of flat beam and roof tiles. Do you dare to say there is no secret contact at all?”
Ye Huaiyang kowtowed to the Queen Mother and asserted, “Queen Mother is knowledgeable and insightful. My father bought that manor many years ago. This subject remembered the environment is quiet and secluded as there is no other neighbour clamoring about when this subject fell seriously ill beginning of last year thus moved over to recuperate. It was truly not within this subject’s anticipation that Wangye would return to Wangdu several months later and resided next door. It’s too late to speak and act cautiously now but how would this subject dare to have personal connection with Wangye?”
Bai Zhixuan bellowed, “You’re talking nonsense!”
“Originally, Miss Yaru could easily testify whether this subject is talking nonsense, but since she is dead, this subject will have to argue more for self defense.” Ye Huaiyang slowly turned to face Chu Jinglan and glanced at him briefly before she bent then kowtowed again, “This subject is disrespectful. Wangye’s handsomeness is comparable to the banished immortal, however he is too old. In view of generations, he should be regarded in the rank of an uncle. Even though this subject has an arrogant and inferior temperament, this subject would still not dare to do such an unethical thing as to be enamored with an uncle. Requesting Queen Mother to return this subject’s innocence.”
Right after she ended her speech, a familiar voice berated, “Presumptuous!”
In the presence of the Queen Mother, the Empress and even all the maids as well as the eunuchs of Hanzhang Palace, she declared that she disliked Chu Jinglan and even criticized him for being too old. Was this not presumptuous? It was simply audacious to the extreme!
Ye Huaiyang glanced at the livid Chu Jinglan, the little devil in her mind was pounding with laughter, yet she could still coldly mouthed for forgiveness, “Requesting Wangye to pardon this subject’s offence for being unable to speak against one’s conscience.”
What a good phase of being unable to speak against one’s conscience, so the one who made out with him in the cabinet was her twin sister!
Chu Jinglan stared fixedly at Ye Huaiyang. Although there was no emotion on his face, his eyes nevertheless were overcast with dark clouds. This woman….she could spew lies without batting an eyelid or palpitating and even dragged him to play along in this performance. How long does she still want to stir up the trouble?
“That’s it. Shut all your mouths.” The Queen Mother finally spoke. Hale and hearty with a scowl. Just a glance from her, one would frighteningly covered in sweat, “Aijia had already heard the statement from the Noble Lady. Ye Huaiyang, do tell what had taken place at that time.”
Ye Huaiyang turned to face her and whispered, “In response to the Queen Mother, this subject was playing with the fishes by the shore at that time and didn’t pay attention to who went into the rear room. When the sound of squabbling was heard, this subject opened the door to have a look and the voices ceased. Noble Lady looked at this subject with extreme astoundment, apparently didn’t expect someone was outside. This subject realized the possibility of disturbing her chat with Miss Yaru and wanted to retreat. Who knew someone would bump into this subject as soon as the back was turned and afterwards there is no recollection..…”
Although these words didn’t specifically indicate the murderer was Bai Zhixuan, it however didn’t help her at all. This kind of vague description would lead to more suspicions. Inwardly, Bai Zhixuan knew Ye Huaiyang intentionally said it this way yet anger still momentarily surged into her mind that she lost her bearing and stretched her hand out to clutch her.
“It was obviously you who arranged for Bengong and Wang Yaru to be there, yet you are confusing the truth and falsehood! Bengong knows you have long colluded with Wangye and just wanted to fabricate and shift this blame to Bengong!”
After several attempts, Ye Huaiyang still couldn’t push Bai Zhixuan away. She merely felt her neck wedged within the steel claws which were clamping tighter that the pain nearly choked her to death. Weakly, she glanced over the hall where all the palace personnel tacitly had their heads hung low, seemingly not hearing or seeing. No one came over to stop Bai Zhixuan’s frenzied actions. When she looked up again, she instantly understood.
The Queen Mother was trying to sound out both Chu Jinglan and herself.
Everyone in Hanzhang Palace was shrewd and crafty, let alone the Queen Mother. That old stature had been through the hardships of two sovereignty as well as contained the shrewdness from the peaks and ridges in the imperial harem. Perhaps she had already understood the actual meaning of Bai Zhixuan’s words earlier and by chance, taking this opportunity to test whether both of them truly had dealings. As long as Ye Huaiyang displayed any expression of crying for help from Chu Jinglan, they would not be able to leave the Imperial Palace today.
Ye Huaiyang lowered her head quickly, attempting to throw herself towards Bai Zhixuan while distancing herself from Chu Jinglan.
Chu Jinglan straightened his clothes and sat upright, as cold as the iceberg without a shred of fluctuation on his face.
Unknowing how long had passed when Ye Huaiyang almost passed out from the pain, a profound shout suddenly resounded from above, “Impudent! Pull her back. This is truly unseemly!”
Two sturdy momo immediately rushed forward and pulled Bai Zhixuan off. As she was pregnant, they dared not exert their utmost strength which resulted in more struggles.
Ye Huaiyang laid prone on the ground with violent coughing. Her delicate face was as pale as paper and sweating profusely.
Bai Zhixuan knelt in trance by the side for ages before she regained her senses and looked up at Chu Jinglan. Seeing his expressionless face, she actually smiled sluggishly.
How susceptible was a woman’s heart? On top of those words that were spoken in the waterside pavilion and all those previous actions of Ye Huaiyang, Bai Zhixuan could practically ascertain that she loves Chu Jinglan. But Chu Jinglan actually had not the slightest reaction when Ye Huaiyang nearly died in her hands which proved this man’s heart was truly made of iron.
Ye Huaiyang, even if you had won this round, you would not feel good too?
Bai Zhixuan was still smiling, forgetting that she was still in a perilous situation and didn’t expect Ye Huaiyang to still have the strength to fight back.
“Queen Mother, this subject still has something to say.” Ye Huaiyang slowly knelt with a straight back. Though her voice was hoarse, her enunciation was exceptionally clear and composed unlike someone who had just experienced torment.
“Firstly, why did this subject also fall into the lake if this subject wanted to harm Miss Yaru? Secondly, if Miss Yaru reacted and dragged this subject, shouldn’t this subject be on top of her but at that moment, this subject was below her and was also the first to fall in. Thirdly, if this subject had truly been associated with Wangye in secret, how could Wangye send his imperial bodyguard to save Miss Yaru instead of this subject?”
When Chu Jinglan heard the last sentence, his dark pupils unexpectedly constricted.
These three points were convincingly justifiable as well as distinctly well-constructed which were perfect to argue against Bai Zhixuan, yet when she mentioned his choice of saving others, she was so calm as if she was just an onlooker.
Bai Zhixuan was also dumbfounded, for a moment she almost thought her judgement was wrong. Ye Huaiyang didn’t appear sad at all and practically didn’t seem to care about the choice Chu Jinglan made!
“Then in your opinion, who do you think pushed Yaru into the water?” The Queen Mother raised her brows revealing a touch of imposingness.
After a moment of hesitation, Ye Huaiyang spat out an unexpected answer, “This subject personally thinks it was an accident.”
The Queen Mother gave her a heavy look. The grim light poured out in a flash, the coldness piercing into the body was like a drop into the ice cave.
Accident? The hesitation on the face could be seen clearly by others. There must be some secret matters that she dared not speak. The Queen Mother pursed her lips in ponder when the words Bai Zhixuan said flashed through her mind, like a wandering silk thread that unexpectedly connected all the pieces.
She insisted that Ye Huaiyang ridding Wang Yaru was due to hatred out of jealousy. However, the one who really hated her (Yaru) out of jealousy was herself (Bai Zhixuan)!
Bai Zhixuan and Chu Jinglan originally had a marriage contract. Although she had entered the palace later, no one could pledge she didn’t keep Chu Jinglan in her heart anymore. Wang Yaru didn’t mention Ye Huaiyang having any dealings with Chu Jinglan when she reported to the Queen Mother last time. She had been residing everyday in King Lan mansion and would naturally clear about it thus it would be impossible to be a sham.
Before the connection, the matter of Chu Jinglan secretly rescuing Bai Xingzhi even more confirmed the Queen Mother’s thoughts. It was not surprising of Ye Huaiyang’s hesitation and not daring to speak out. Chu Jinglan was still sitting on the seat above, so how could she be brave enough to speak bluntly?
It was no wonder once the incident happened, Chu Jinglan unprecedentedly entered the Imperial Palace that even others claimed he must have profound affections for his concubine, but it turned out he actually had another ulterior motive!
The thoughts kept circling in her mind before it finally returned to what was in front of her. The Queen Mother realized Ye Huaiyang would definitely not utter anything under such conditions thus she could only look for another opportunity to interrogate her alone.
At this moment, the Empress opened her mouth slowly, “Younger Sister, if it was truly an accident like what Miss Ye said, the Queen Mother will unlikely to blame you. In light of the fact, you might as well be honest so Bengong can give the Wang family an explanation.”
Hearing what was said, Bai Zhixuan almost gnashed her teeth to pieces. Although it was she who accidentally pushed the person, she absolutely would not let Ye Huaiyang who planned all of this off!
“Queen Mother, this was not an accident! It’s Ye Huaiyang’s intention to infuriate Chenqie that…”
The Queen Mother flew into a rage and sternly shouted at Bai Zhixuan, “Shut up! Are the ridicules you caused today still not enough! If it isn’t for the sake of the dragon descendant in your belly, Aijia would have dealt with you!”
This was already regarded as extremely serious. Bai Zhixuan had dealt with the Queen Mother before and had never seen such a ruthless stance, her complexion immediately turned pale and she couldn’t utter a single word. The Empress took this opportunity to finish the conversation to smooth things over.
“Do quell your anger, Queen Mother. Younger Sister is likely muddle-headed momentarily, It would be better to stop the inquisition here. When she returns to Zhuo Xin Yuan and thinks it through, everything will be clear.”
The Queen Mother’s anger was slightly restrained and snorted coldly, “Zhuo Xin* Yuan? It would be great if it could purify her heart!”
[T/N : Zhuó (濯 – cleanse) xīn (心 – heart)]
“Don’t worry, Queen Mother. Erchen will make sure that Younger Sister reflects upon herself properly. You mustn’t be beside yourself with rage and harm your health.”
After saying that, the Empress hinted towards several court ladies by the side who immediately stepped forward to take the disheartened Bai Zhixuan away. Unknowing if she was intimidated or unwell, she allowed them to manipulate her without a word.
The Queen Mother’s gaze soon returned to Ye Huaiyang who silently knelt with pale lips and labored breathing which evidently had her strength spent. The Queen Mother waved her hand and said, “Miss Ye should return to the manor to rest. Bengong will summon you to the Imperial Palace after a detailed investigation.”
“This subject will comply with your wish.”
With perfunctory steps, Ye Huaiyang withdrew from the main hall. Soon after, Chu Jinglan also stood up and took his leave, “It’s getting late. This subject will leave first. If the truth has been ascertained, request Niang-niang to notify this subject.”
“Of course.” The Queen Mother smiled faintly and gazed after Chu Jinglan.
At this moment, it was already dark outside and the bright moon had escaped behind the clouds. The long palace alleys were pitch-dark as there was no illumination of candle flames which made it nearly impossible to see the end of the path. The artistic ambience of willows and vines during the daytime was now swaying back and forth like the ghostly shadows which were particularly creepy.
Along the way, Ye Huaiyang kept recalling whether there were any slip-ups with what she had said earlier and didn’t pay attention to her surroundings. Within the shadow at a corner, a hand suddenly extended and pulled her into the crevice of a rockery. Afflicted with vertigo, she sniffed the familiar sweet pine scent.
“Ye Huaiyang, you are really good.”
In the dark, she looked and smiled softly at the man who was grinding his teeth.
“King Uncle Lan is so fast and managed to catch up.”
 Āi jiā ( 哀家) – roughly translated as ‘the grieving one’. Illeism for the Queen Mother/Empress Dowager/a widowed empress as she is in mourning for her deceased husband.
 Er chén (儿臣) – self-appellation of the child to the Emperor/Empress/Queen Mother.