[TYCDTN] – Chapter 96 Part 2
Translated by: Oinkoink
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Names mentioned in this chapter (which can also be found in the glossary):
-永乐侯府 (Yǒng lè hóu fǔ)- Marquis Yongle manor
-林氏 (Lín shì) – Lin Shi
-老太太 (Lǎo tàitài) – Old Madam
-虞妙琪 (Yu miao qi) – the original fl of the novel and Yu Pin Yan’s Di younger sister
-范娇娇(Fàn jiāo jiāo)- Fan Jiao Jiao, Ninth Princess’s study companion and daughter of General Who Guards the State
“Calm down. Persistent fear would lead the blood to circulate faster which will accelerate the spreading of toxins throughout the body. Keep calm and breathe slowly. Find a stool to sit down. This Marquis has sent someone to get the imperial physicians who will arrive in half an hour.” The dignified voice of Yu Pin Yan sounded like an alarm bell. The Crown Princess who had experienced many trials and hardships, was the first to calm down. She supported the Ninth Princess to a stool as instructed and adjusted her own breathing rate bit by bit which really made her feel much better. Several court ladies hurriedly gathered around to pat and fan her.
Soon after, Madam Fan also supported Fan Jiao Jiao to a seat and tried to suppress the anxiety in her heart. Seeing this, everyone followed suit and the hall gradually quietened down. As Lin Shi and Yu Miao Qi did not eat any dried jujubes, they were both fine and were tremblingly hugging each other at the moment. The banquet was organized by Yu Miao Qi alone and would be the first to suffer if someone had really been poisoned.
It’s secondary for her reputation to be ruined but what’s fearful is if she is to be taken to the Dragon Scale Bureau for interrogation by this cold-blooded and ruthless Yu Pin Yan like last time. When this came to mind, she was scared out of her wits and dragged Lin Shi with the desire to secretly leave.
Yu Pin Yan had already set up guards outside the courtyard and no one was allowed to enter or leave without his permission while a troop of guards was dispatched to bring all the servants who had been in contact with the dried jujubes to the hall. So many guests had been poisoned, including the Crown Princess and the Ninth Princess, hence he had to openly interrogate the suspects in order to give everyone an explanation and to disclaim the Marquis manor to the greatest possible extent. If there is a slightest bit of concealment, the Emperor’s desk will be flooded with impeachment papers to incriminate him tomorrow morning.
His ability will also be questioned by the Emperor as the residence of the dignified All Commander Yu has actually been infiltrated and poisoned by miscreants whereby so many influential people were assassinated at once. In short, if this matter is not resolved properly, not only his official career but perhaps even the Marquis manor cannot be protected.
Old Madam was also clear about this in her heart. She almost passed out several times but bit the tip of her tongue to help her stand firm as she shouted hoarsely, “Bring all those servants for interrogation one by one in front of the guests.”
At the same time, several imperial physicians arrived in a hurry. The poisoned female guests followed one after another to the east room to have their pulses checked, leaving one physician who is skilled in poison to inspect the dried jujubes. Those unharmed female guests sat solemnly behind a huge screen listening to the investigation of the case by All Commander Yu. If they do not find out the truth today, they will absolutely not let the matter go.
Faces pale, Lin Shi’s mother and daughter sat next to Yu Pin Yan after being sent back by the guards as soon as they arrived at the courtyard door
The first person to be interrogated was the steward who purchased the jujubes. Shaking like a sieve, she spilled the beans without waiting for the Marquis to ask. As it turns out, the expenditure of the manor has been reduced again and again since Yu Miao Qi took over the household management. Not knowing how she manages it as one after another of the estates began to dwindle while businesses plummet drastically. She had changed the shopkeepers, switched the sources of goods, swapped the bookkeepers and replaced all the people of significance whom Yu Xiang had used before. As such this made the situation worse that even basic expenses were not enough after a few months.
Having no choice, Yu Miao Qi could only try to economize. She dared not make much changes on others except fiddled with the food. Though the dishes of the Marquis manor were still the original taste, the ingredients used were those most inferior. Old Madam clamored for jujubes a few months ago, so 500 taels of silver were allocated to hire a merchant to go buy the authentic goutou jujubes in Gansu but with a wave of her sleeve, she cut 300 taels off while out of the remaining 200 taels, 100 taels were hacked off by the steward’s greed.
The only remaining 100 taels could not even cover the return trip expenses, so the steward searched around and saw this kind of luscious dried jujubes in a small grocery store that were selling at an extremely low price. Overjoyed, she did not ask for the source and bought them all at once.
Just at this time, the imperial physician had also finished examining the jujubes and came forward to report, “Lord Marquis, these should be moldy out-of-date jujubes which had been fumigated with sulfur to make them vivid and plump then sold as fresh dried jujubes. All the eminences have been poisoned after consuming too much sulfur, requesting Lord Marquis to immediately send someone to boil mung bean and licorice root juice to dispel the toxicity.”
An imperial physician who diagnosed the pulses came out of the east room and confirmed the words of his colleague.
The female guests in the hall were in a great uproar as they did not expect there was such an undesirable inside story hidden in this matter. Fancy Lin Shi still commended Yu Miao Qi’s ability before but it turned out she even hankered after her own grandmother’s silvers. Such a big Marquis manor is riddled with problems and on the verge of collapse after handing it over to her in just half a year. Her profligate ability is simply unprecedented.
They had happily gone to bring the person back yet actually brought back such a jinx which truly depleted the destiny of the Marquis manor!
Old Madam raised her finger to point at Yu Miao Qi yet not a single word could be uttered as her throat was injured by sulfur. Only the flames of fury in her eyes were seething violently dying to burn her to ashes. Jinx, she is indeed the bane of others’ existence. With only one bane, the Marquis manor was brought to the brink of ruin. Was her mind muddled by lard to insist on bringing her back in the first place?
Thinking that she is just a boudoir girl and could not cause too big of a trouble, yet without making a sound, she unexpectedly set the world on fire and pitted everyone. Old Madam felt regretful that her heart and liver almost busted.
Yu Miao Qi’s face reddened at first then gradually turned purplish. If not for Lin Shi’s strong tug on her arm, she would have forced her way out and fled long ago. She had never felt so humiliated like this moment which was a more agonizing experience than the day she stayed at the Dragon Scale Bureau. It was so unbearable that she wished she could peel the skin off her face so that she would never be recognized again.
With a cold face, Yu Pin Yan ordered the shopkeeper who sold the dried jujubes to be brought back for further interrogation then waved his sleeve at Ma Momo who understood and led several servants to decoct the medicine. Just as she stepped out of the threshold, she saw Yu Xiang coming over slowly followed by a group of maidservants carrying trays, on which was exactly the mung bean juice that everyone needed the most.