Chapter 85: The low-profile Madame Li Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Han Yunxi heard Han Yuqi’s words from the side but didn’t find them unexpected. Before she’d gotten married, Lady Xu had said the exact same things to her bridal sedan, and even some thing’s that were worse and more outrageous.
Things like, Han Yunxi couldn’t become a phoenix just because she flew on a branch. Once a slutty woman, always a slutty woman.
Things like, Han Yunxi marrying the Duke of Qin was like a toad wanting to eat swan meat.
Things like, If it were anyone else, they’d long killed themselves by running into a wall. Only she was thick-skinned enough to willingly get on the bridal carriage.
Though it was Grand Concubine Yi’s wedding nanny that led them on the wrong path that day, Lady Xu had made sure the granny played plenty of dirty tricks too. Whether it was her wedding clothes, makeup,or jewelry, she’d interfered with it all, even docking her dowry so that she only took along a chest full of her little sister’s unwanted clothes. Han Yunxi knew all of this. Today, she wasn’t only avenging little Yi’er, but herself as well!
When she saw that Han Yuqi hadn’t moved, Han Yunxi coldly commanded, “Come, someone drag out eldest young master and thoroughly beat him!” Though she’d only brought along little Chen Xiang as her servant, the ones by the sidelines quickly prepared things while a few more towed Han Yuqi out.
“Let me go…let go!”
“Qin Wangfei, I’m begging you, have mercy! Have mercy!”
“I won’t do it again, I wouldn’t dare…”
Han Yunxi remained aloof despite Han Yuqi’s begging. Since she’d already caused an uproar, she might as well make it a big one so all the Han household could see she wasn’t to be trifled with. As Han Yuqi was led outside, the onlookers opened up a path for him on both sides. Han Yuqi was placed on a bench. How could he lie there quietly? He wanted to get off, but Han Yunxi commanded, “Tie him to the bench! Tightly!”
“Yes…yes…” the servants deferred even as their teeth chattered.
Lady Xu chased after them but had to support herself with the wall to stand up. She was afraid to look at her son, so she looked at Han Yunxi, hatred shooting from her eyes. She wished that woman was dead!
Han Yunxi, you better not end up in my hands, or else I’ll tear you to pieces!
Very soon, Han Yuqi was securely tied to the bench. Two servants flanked him on both sides, each holding a long plank.
“50 beatings, not one less! Hit him!” Han Yunxi ordered.
Pah! went the plank, its noise a testament to the strength of the blow.
“Stop!” Han Yunxi glared at the servant. “What, are you too hungry? Should I let you eat some planks yourself?” Terrified, the servant raised his plank and violently smacked Han Yuqi’s behind with a bright, loud, WHACK!
“AhHHH!” Han Yuqi cried out in response. Learning a lesson from his companion’s mistake, the other servant didn’t neglect to smack his plank down, either.
“AHHHhh!” Han Yuqi’s screams were absolutely miserable.
50 planks hit him in succession, each one a heavy blow. The bystanders felt their hearts skip in time with the beatings while Lady Xu covered her mouth and held onto a wall, too afraid to look. In the quiet courtyard, there was only Han Yuqi’s screams amidst the 50 beatings. It sounded like they were slaughtering a pig.
Finally, the 50 bearings finished, leaving the two servants’ hands numb. Han Yuqi’s behind was now a mangled, bloody mess, a shocking sight. He’d long fainted away. Lady Xu rushed over and felt distressed to the point of swooning. “Doctor, come! Someone call a doctor!” she shouted.
She didn’t have time to care about the storehouse key in Han Yunxi’s hands. On one side, she had someone send the eldest young master back to their rooms; on the other, she urged for a doctor. Her entire person was driven to a frenzy. Everyone who saw her were amazed. They’d never see Lady Xu so driven to distraction. After they left, Han Yunxi finally looked at the crowd. Immediately, all of them lowered their heads and withdrew. Third Madame and Second Young Miss were standing behind a tree, but they didn’t reveal themselves or go away…
The two of them had rushed over after hearing that Han Yunxi had the storehouse key, but managed to witness her punishing eldest young master. Lady Xu had the formidable backing of her family and ruled as a despot for many years. It was about time someone taught her a lesson. But neither of them expected Han Yunxi would be the one to do it.
Second Young Miss Han Ruoxue looked at Han Yunxi from a distance, her eyes filled with jealousy. “Mother, her face really recovered!” she said in a low voice.
Han Ruoxue was the prettiest girl in the Han Family, but now that Han Yunxi had no poison scar, her looks were completely eclipsed. On the wedding day, many Han household members had witnessed Han Yunxi’s beautiful looks, sharing the news with the rest of the servants. Han Ruoxue hadn’t seen with her own eyes and so had never believed them.
But now that she saw the actual person, she couldn’t help but recognize her beauty.
“The rumors say that she knows how to treat poisons and rescued the young general. As I see it, they might be true,” Madame Li said lightly, her eyes hooded.
If that wasn’t the case, why would Official Ouyang of the justice courts fear her so much? Why else would she use her wangfei identity to run rampant in her old home? These words turned Han Ruoxue’s expression complicated. But she quickly recovered to laugh, “Mother, you don’t think she’s returned to fight over the storehouse, right?”
Madame Li gave a cold snort. “A married daughter has no right, even if she becomes the empress herself.” Though Madame Li had birthed a daughter, she still invested time to cultivate her thoroughly. In this way, Han Ruoxue could qualify to inherit the position of heir as well.
“Then why would the storehouse key be in her hands? I bet she snatched it away from father just for that idea!” Han Ruoxue said ruthlessly.
A complex look flashed through Madame Li’s eyes as she studied Han Yunxi. “Xue’er, you haven’t paid any recent calls to Miss Mu, right?”
Han Ruoxue nodded. Though her relationship with Mu Liuyue wasn’t as intimate as Mu Liuyue and Princess Changping who were best friends, she was still on good terms with her. Han Ruoxue would always give Mu Liuyue a few rare playthings to cheer her up every time. Of course, this was what Madame Li had taught her to do. She said that being associated with Mu Liuyue was equal to be associated with Princess Changping. With Princess Changping’s support, they’d be a lot stronger than the Ministry of Appointments’ magistrate. But ever since Han Yunxi married into the Duke of Qin’s residence, Han Ruoxue hadn’t dared to see Mu Liuyue. She feared that Mu Liuyue would lose her temper and implicate her with the marriage since she was Han Yunxi’s little sister.
“The affairs of the general’s house, as well as the crown prince’s strange illness, I think you should find their meanings behind Mu Liuyue’s words,” Madame Li said simply.
“I’ll do my best,” Han Ruoxue was sincere. Seeing that her mother was about to leave, she held her back. “Mother, are we just going to let her go? Even if father gave her the storehouse key, it’s still unreasonable. She’s already been married off so we should ask for it back.”
Madame Li stilled her steps, her cold, severe gaze traveling from Han Ruoxue’s hand to her face. Seeing this, Han Ruoxue resentfully released her, knowing that her mother was angry.
“Lady Xu’s in no rush, so why are you? Even if it’s to provoke her, that’s not our place,” Madame Li’s voice was both frosty and serious.
Ever since childhood, her mother had been a cold woman. Han Ruoxue was already used to it and lowered her head. “Yes, daughter understands.”
Lady Xu had strong backing and Han Yunxi had beaten Han Yuqi up this time for Han Yunyi’s sake. With Lady Xu’s personality, how could she forgive Seventh Madame or not seek reparations against Han Yunxi?
If Seventh Madame Helian Zuixiang could be said to be the patient, forbearing type, then Madame Li was the most subdued. She was ever clear-headed and leisurely, the eternal bystander like a fisherman waiting for fish to bite. By the time Madame Li and daughter soundlessly left the scene, Han Yunxi had already assisted Seventh Madame into the rooms. Yi’er was still unconscious, and Han Yunxi felt his forehead to make sure he hadn’t contracted a fever before feeling relieved.
“Qin Wangfei, today…today, if it wasn’t for you, I don’t even know if…”
Seventh Madame looked towards her quiet son on the bed, then at Han Yunxi, too choked with emotions to speak. Han Yunxi gazed at Seventh Madame, her heart filled with helplessness. How could such a delicate, patiently enduring mother protect Yi’er? It was more likely that he protected his mother instead. This time, she had revealed the storehouse key and punished Han Yuqi. For awhile, Lady Xu wouldn’t dare to touch this duo. But it was a temporary measure at best, not a long-term solution.
The Han Family needed a new head of house soon. Even if Yi’er was still young, as long as he was a head of house, those people wouldn’t act so unbridled. Too bad she had her bet with Mu Liuyue first and no time to help these people in their struggles. If she said it was Han Congan’s idea, Han Congan was already in jail, and she guessed that neither Ms. Xu nor Ms. Li would agree.
Han Yunxi indicated that Seventh Madame didn’t need to say anymore. She sat down first and thought a bit before saying, “Chen Xiang, stay here to take care of Seventh Young Master.”
“Yes, Mistress needn’t worry. With your servant here, I won’t let anyone bully Seventh Young Master!” little Chen Xiang accepted immediately. This girl was getting smarter.
Hearing this, Seventh Madame was pleased beyond expectations. She rose to kneel in gratitude. “Many thanks to esteemed wangfei. For Yi’er to have esteemed wangfei’s care is his good fortune cultivated from three lifetimes!”
Han Yunxi personally held her back and spoke in earnest. “Seventh Madame, take good care of Yi’er. Sometimes…you have to be tough when it’s time to be tough. That Lady Xu isn’t even an official wife. Han Yuqi might be the eldest young master, but he was born of a concubine just like Yi’er. With Chen Xiang here in the future, just tell her if there’s anything, understood?”
Seventh Madame was so moved that she didn’t know what to say. She only nodded repeatedly, tears streaming down her face. Han Yunxi instructed Chen Xiang another task before leaving the rooms. She saw that the day was already getting dark, but she hadn’t even completed her motive for visiting yet!
The little pageboy from before was still waiting in the courtyard, afraid to leave. Seeing Han Yunxi emerge, he ran over like a lackey. “Esteemed wangfei, this one has been waiting for you the whole time.”
This pageboy counted as clever. Han Yunxi nodded her head. “Lead the way.”
She really did come for the storehouse this time, not for the things inside it, but to investigate whether it contained the three snake poisons she was looking for. Under the little pageboy’s guidance, she quickly reached the Han Family storehouse.
Original Chapter Teaser: Official Ouyang: T-there’s more?
Chen Xiang: There’s more!
Lady Xu: Why is there more?!
Han Yunxi: Well…
Han Yunxi: W͎͇̻̜̟̥̺̒̓̀h̨̗̹̟̣͖̖̾̊͘y̨̗̖̤̰̖͚̝̎ͥ̽̆͂̉ͧ̓̚ ̄͐̓̽̚͏̬̠̪͔n̴̦̮̦̲̓̌̎ͬͤ͗ͣ̆͘͟ȏ̸͈̖̤̲̩̣ͮ̅͟t̶̵̨̹̪͎͔̒̌͛ͨ͊͐?̧̛̱̮͊̉̀͌̚
Official Ouyang: T-there’s more?