Chapter 130: No mercy for a bad end Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
“Old master, think it over clearly!” Lady Xu was too nervous and couldn’t resist interrupting once again. As for Han Yunxi, she chose to close her eyes. She hated people who couldn’t be trusted and betraying backstabbers! Even when Lady Xu spoke, she didn’t open her eyes.
Yet this time, Han Congan didn’t hesitate. His reply was determined and decisive. “This commoner was sincere and willing!”
His words cast the entire scene into silence. Everyone was struck dumb as if cursed, turning into statues in an instant. None of them could move, especially Lady Xu, who seemed to have turned into an ice sculpture without the ability to breathe. Only Seventh Madame’s timid face revealed a gratified smile, faint and slight.
“No! Old master, you can’t do this! You can’t!” the shellshocked Lady Xu was the first to recover and throw herself towards him, falling down in the process. She began to cry and rave to the skies. “Old master, how could you tell a lie? How could you be so biased, so cruel!”
“Lady Tianxin’s been dead for years, Han Yunxi’s already married off! Why did you do this? Why?”
“Old master, I compromised for the greater good to marry you. I had no complaints or regrets being your concubine, but how could you treat me like this? How could you? Old master, say something! Answer me!”
How could this be?
Han Ruoxue was so stunned that it felt like her entire insides had been stripped out. She kept shaking her head. All those expectations, and this had happened instead! Mu Liuyue was still waiting outside for the news. She expected the Han Family to help her stall Han Yunxi for the sake of the bet in three days! But what could she tell Mu Liuyue now?
As for Han Yuqi, he saw his mother crying before it shocked him into pushing his father back. “Father, you’re lying! You were forced, you definitely were!”
Han Congan was shoved to the ground, but his gaze remained steady after sacrificing ties of blood for the sake of righteousness. He crawled back onto his feet and faced Grand Concubine Yi to speak one more time.
“Grand Concubine Yi, I was completely sincere and willing. Qin Wangfei didn’t force me! The Han Family’s storehouse key will be kept in Qin Wangfei’s care, and the Han Family head will be suggested by Qin Wangfei and passed through a test to decide.”
Grand Concubine Yi’s complexion had turned white. She was so self-confident that she’d never seen Han Congan refusing her offer to pick Han Yunxi. She couldn’t help but shake her head, unable to speak.
But Han Yuqi suddenly cried out in anger, “I don’t agree!” He raised his fist and headed towards Han Congan.
“Hold it!” Han Yunxi exclaimed, rushing down to stop him, but she was too far away to reach him. Yet right before the moment of impact, Seventh Madame rushed in from the side to shield Han Congan.
With a punch, Han Yuqi’s fist landed squarely on the back of Seventh Madame’s head. She only felt a sudden shock pass through her skull before her vision turned dark. Then she collapsed on top of Han Congan. Only then did Han Yuqi come to his senses and realized he’d overdid it.
“Unfilial son!” Han Congan raged, holding Seventh Madame as he bristled with anger. His entire body was shaking. A terrified little Yi’er lost his wits and stood stunned before throwing himself at them, wailing.
Han Yunxi finally caught up in time to grab Han Yuqi’s hand and haul him aside. Her fury rose to the skies. “Someone, tie up Han Yuqi for this wangfei!”
Seeing Qin Wangfei so enraged, none of the justice court men dared to delay. How could they have any time to ask Grand Concubine Yi for instructions now? Two yamen runners came forward to take Han Yuqi into custody. He was scared witless and completely forgot to resist as they looped rope around his neck and tied his hands behind his back.
Han Yunxi hastily examined Seventh Madame’s injury, only to see that she’d completely lost consciousness. There was a large lump on her head. As a poisons specialist, she wasn’t experienced with such injuries! Han Congan had been too shocked as well, forgetting that he was a doctor–and a divine doctor at that. He looked at the unconscious Seventh Madame as his heart filled with distress, fear written on his features. For a while, he didn’t know what to do.
“Someone, quick, take Seventh Madame away and find a doctor! Quickly!” Han Yunxi shouted.
A few retainers hurried over to help carry Seventh Madame outside, with little Yi’er crying and yelling as he ran after them. Han Yunxi wanted to go as well, but they still had to finish matters here in the hall! This despicable Xu mother and son. If she didn’t fix them today, she wasn’t surnamed Han!
Because everything had happened too quickly, Lady Xu could only watch on with a pounding heart. It wasn’t until Seventh Madame had been carried out and Han Yuqi tied up and forced to kneel that she recovered her senses. Immediately, she knelt down to beg for mercy. “Esteemed Imperial Concubine, have mercy! Have mercy! Yuqi is only too young to know better. His personality is crude and rash, but he never, never meant to do a vicious deed! Just spare him this once!”
Grand Concubine Yi hadn’t recovered from the shock of Han Congan’s decision before being startled by Han Yuqi. Right now, her face was ashen pale as she scanned the crowd in the hall.
Her confident victory had completely escaped her grasp, leaving her thoughts astir.
“Lady Xu, you still have the nerve to beg forgiveness?” Han Yunxi retorted coldly. She really couldn’t fathom people like this. “Han Yuqi is already sixteen. He’s hardly a three-year-old child, and brazenly committed physical assault in this great hall. He looked down upon the esteemed Imperial Concubine and ignored this wangfei, acting with audacious disrespect. Now he’s made a move against his father and injured his father’s concubine, the greatest treason to filial piety! What’s the use of keeping such an irreverent and unfilial beast?”
Han Yunxi’s question only terrified Lady Xu further until tears poured from her eyes. She knew it was useless to beg Han Yunxi for help now, but seeing that Grand Concubine Yi had no reaction, she immediately sent a pleading gaze towards Murong Wanru. Murong Wanru, ah, Murong Wanru. You were the one who said there was no danger of anything going wrong. How could things turn out like this!
You were the one who promised me that Grand Concubine Yi would definitely stand on my side.
You should help me put in a good word!
Right now, Murong Wanru was like Grand Concubine Yi, still recovering from the shock of Han Congan’s choice. After being scared by Han Yuqi, she hadn’t even noticed Lady Xu’s obvious staring.
“Official Ouyang, since Han Yuqi incurred the worse offences of treason and heresy, how should he be dealt with?” Han Yunxi asked on.
The frightened Official Ouyang quickly stood up, glancing between Grand Concubine Yi and Lady Xu without knowing how to reply.
“Answer!” Han Yunxi said angrily, extremely fierce.
Afraid, Official Ouyang didn’t dare delay any longer. “To act so brazenly in a court of law, the statutes state that…that…that it’s a three-year prison sentence!”
“No!” Han Yuqi suddenly roared like a wild beast, struggling madly to get free. Fortunately, the yamen runners held him firmly in place. His howl made the still-stunned Grand Concubine Yi unconsciously scoot back.
She’d never faced such an intense, horrifying scene before. She really was scared. Who cared who Han Yuqi was? She shouted out, “Someone! Hurry! Hurry and take him away! Lock…lock him up in the imperial prisons! Too horrific, he doesn’t obey the laws of the land at all!” At her words, the yamen runners started dragging their prisoner away, but Lady Xu rushed over to stop them.
“Esteemed Imperial Concubine, spare him! Spare him! Esteemed Imperial Concubine, I beg of you…”
“Madame Xu, what right do you have to beg the esteemed Imperial Concubine?” Han Yunxi cut her off sternly with her question.
Lady Xu gave a start, but didn’t dare answer. She only kept pleading with Grand Concubine Yi. “Esteemed imperial concubine, have mercy! Have mercy! Yuqi was only…”
But Han Yunxi only cut her off again. “Madame Xu, you sullied the wangfei’s name and made a racket before the Duke of Qin’s fates, damaging our name and reputation. Do you admit to your crimes?”
Without this reminder, Lady Xu might’ve really forgotten that she was hard-pressed to even preserve herself. She suddenly turned calm at the words as she remembered her unfavorable plight. Her crimes were much more severe than Han Yuqi’s. She slowly turned to look at Han Yunxi, meeting that relentless gaze with her weak one as she fell backwards. Meanwhile, the yamen runners dragged Han Yuqi ouside.
“Mother, save me! Save me!”
“Mother, find grandfather to save me, I didn’t mean it! Mother!”
In the silence of the hall, Han Yuqi’s ludicrous pleas for help were even more distinct and ridiculous. His grandfather was the magistrate of the Board of Civil Offices. If he knew what had happened today, it be hard for him to save his own life, much less theirs.
It was better for Han Yuqi to bear the burden of his own crimes.
As for Lady Xu’s crimes, it’d depend on circumstances. If something went wrong, even the magistrate of the Board of Civil Offices would be implicated with her.
Han Yuqi’s cries of help grew fainter until silence returned to the courtroom. Lady Xu knelt on the floor, while Madame Li had already long dragged back an unsatisfied Han Ruoxue. Neither of them dared to make a sound. As for Han Congan, he’d kept his head down from beginning to end, kneeling disconsolately. Everything had finally quieted down, but it was just the calm before the storm. Han Yunxi took a deep breath and returned to her seat by Grand Concubine Yi. She arranged her clothes neatly before sitting down. As long as Han Congan didn’t defame her and stood by her side, she had nothing to fear!
She looked towards Grand Concubine Yi and emphasized word by word, “Mufei, the truth is out. Please make the decision on how to deal with Lady Xu.”
Grand Concubine Yi calmed herself down before slowly turning to look at Han Yunxi. She knew she’d lost again! Han Yunxi was just a young girl with no backing or supporters, but why was she such a difficult opponent? Why would Han Congan leave the future of the Han Family in her hands while refusing her help?
Had she really underestimated Han Yunxi?
Grand Concubine Yi’s heart wavered for the first time. But before she could speak, Murong Wanru interrupted. “Mufei, I think there’s a misunderstanding here! Only a misunderstanding could have led to this!”
At this point, Murong Wanru was due to speak even without Lady Xu prompting her. Truthfully speaking, she’d schemed this up behind the scenes using Lady Xu as her chance. If she didn’t do something, Lady Xu, with her personality might very well sell her out. Then she’d be a goner!
“Little sister Wanru wasn’t the one defamed. Won’t your back get sore from talking standing up?” Han Yunxi asked with a cold laugh.
Murong Wanru instantly grew anxious as she rose. “Sister-in-law, don’t say such things. How could that be what I meant? I’m only thinking on behalf of your Han Family, aren’t I? After all, you’re all one family.”
Han Yunxi sighed with emotion in her heart. This Murong Wanru was acting as a quintessential white lotus. But Han Yunxi had never been a clumsy, inarticulate speaker. She lazily asked back, “Little sister Wanru, by this you meant that the Duke of Qin’s household affairs aren’t my family’s affairs? Little sister Wanru doesn’t see me as part of the family?”
 yamen runners (衙役) – yayi, men employed for ‘general services’ in a yamen, or the office & residence of a magistrate. They could work as gatekeepers, wardens, policemen, sedan-chair bearers, gong-beaters, lantern-carriers, night watchmen, etc.
 won’t your back get sore from talking standing up (站着说话不腰疼吗) – zhan zhe shuohua bu yao teng ma, to blabber on, to be an armchair expert, to speak up for others without getting anything done.