Chapters eighty and eighty one have been slightly edited.
This chapter has been brought to you by me, ororomunroe90, vivie and leecherleechleech.
The title says it all.
Chapter Eighty Two The Curtain Drops on Qu and Liang
In the end, the Qu Family didn’t manage to find anyone to help them. Even though they couldn’t examine what had happened sixteen years ago, the taiyi, who had been requested by Tian shi after she had given birth to a daughter, was still alive. He had taken the pulse of Qu Tian shi quite a few times. The pulse had been very steady with no hint of illness. However, the final outcome was that by the end of the month, Qu Tian shi had passed away due to illness. He was inwardly suspicious so he clearly remembered, even after all these years, that he had been the first person to take Qu Tian shi’s pulse at that time.
The testimony of this taiyi didn’t prove that Qu Tian shi was killed by Chang De Gong Fu, but once combined with the others facts: soon after Qu Tian shi’s death, the Duke of Chang De had been in a rush to welcome the new wife, Liang shi, the dragon and phoenix twins who Liang shi had given birth to not even eight full months after entering the fu, all these series of coincidences was enough to prove that Qu Tian shi’s death wasn’t accidental but deliberate.
Once the proof was revealed, it shocked the entire court. If a man was lustful, it meant that his morals were deficient but it wasn’t enough to make others dislike him. But to harm his wife for a woman on the outside, that was being an animal in clothing, a person that everyone could beat up.
Qing De Emperor had originally heard that Duan Wang Fei was estranged from her birth father. Hence, he had been slightly dissatisfied with Duan Wang Fei. Since the marriage had been decreed by him, he couldn’t act on it. But once this matter came out, and Qing De Emperor looked at the memorandums which described how Chang De Gong Fu had abused the eldest di daughter and shu daughters, he felt that his second erxi didn’t have an easy life.
He couldn’t help but say to Jing guifei, who had been grinding ink for him: “Originally, zhen had thought that this was a woman who didn’t respect her parents. I didn’t think that she had such a tragic past. It was fortunate that Official Tian cares for his relatives. Otherwise, our er xi might have been someone else.”
Jing guifei didn’t look at the memorandums and only responded: “Emperor, you don’t even know that Heng’er’s wife is extremely filial. Normally, when she receives something interesting, she would impatiently deliver it to qie. In the beginning, qie thought she was too childish, but only now does qie know that this child most likely thinks of qie as her own mother so she would think of qie at every turn.” The rims of her eyes reddened, “Such a good child, but Chang De Gong Fu abused her. It really is too cruel.”
Qing De Emperor was extremely moved by what Jing guifei said. He reached out to pat her hand and comforted her: “Now you are her popo, that makes you her mother. She remembers beloved fei: one is that she is filial, the second is that you are close to her. It isn’t just that she is a good er xi, you are also a good popo which made the two of you become more intimate.”
Jing guifei was so comforted that she smiled through her tears. At this time, a taijian from the outside reported that Shu guife was asking for an audience.
Jing guifei had a conflicted expression on her face as she said: “Since meimei has something to ask Emperor, then qie will retreat.”
“There’s no need,” Qing De Emperor reached out to pull Jing guifei closer, not allowing her to leave. He turned his head to look at the taijian, “Tell Shu guifei that zhen has no time and won’t see her.”
“Emperor ……” Before Jing guifei could finish, she was interrupted by Qing De Emperor.
“Beloved fei, come see how this drawing is,” Qing De Emperor rolled open a drawing, and started to admire it with Jing guifei.
Jing guifei smiled as she went forward a few steps. After closely examining it, she nodded and praised: “This drawing has both mountains and water, the sky and earth are vast. Not even taking into account how good the artist’s skill is, one can see the artist has a generous personality. Whoever drew this, if Emperor can hire such a person to enter politics and work, he will become a pillar of the country.”
“What pillar of the country? This was just a product of zhen’s leisure time,’ Qing De Emperor contentedly put his hands behind his back. Seeing the shock and awe on Jing guifei’s face, he said happily, “How about zhen teach you how to draw?”
Jing guifei naturally went with the flow and allowed Qing De Emperor to enclose her hand and start drawing.
Watching as a peony formed under the brush, Jing guifei glanced outside at the steadily darkening sky, an indiscernible hint of mirth at the corner of her lips.
Shu guifei looked at the tightly closed gate to the palace hall and unwillingly turned to slowly leave. What was not having the time? How could that whore Wei shi accompany the Emperor?
Twenty-something years ago, Wei shi didn’t manage to enchant the Emperor so how could Wei shi, twenty-something years later, manage to captivate the Emperor? This kind of matter, she wouldn’t believe it, and no one who heard it would believe it either.
Because the matter was connected to the mystery of Qu Tian shi’s death, along with the series of events that had occured at Chang De Gong Fu, Qing De Emperor was so angry that he wanted to execute the Duke of Chang De. In the end, because he had remembered that the Duke of Chang De had the grace of giving birth and raising Duan Wang Fei, he exempted his death sentence. Instead, he took away the Qu Clan’s title, and demoted the family of Chang De Gong Fu to a shu min. The Duke of Chang De Gong Fu was imprisoned in jail. Those not in jail were thrown out of Chang De Gong Fu.
As for the small family that was the Liang Family, Qing De Emperor didn’t have to waste much energy. He just sealed the Liang fu and erased the scholarly honor of Liang Hong, and decreed that the next three generations of Qu and Liang Family could not attend the examinations.
The Qu Family who had caused so much fuss in Jing City fell down just like that. Among the people, there were even ones who had started to use Chang De Gong Fu as the basis for many plays. A fickle man who killed his wife to marry again. A cruel father and step-mother who abused the previous wife’s daughter. And how the first wife’s daughter endured such humiliations and in the end, married an ideal husband.
No matter how much the story had changed, the Duke of Chang De and Liang shi were eternally known as the most malicious villains and Qu Qing Ju was the abused little white cabbage.
After she had finished reading how she had married an ideal husband and the aggressive and contemptible paternal family story, Qu Qing Ju laughed so much that she cried. As expected, the plays were based on reality but larger than life.
When did she ride a twelve-person gold sedan? When did wang ye, full of rage, drag everyone of the Gong Fu out to be beaten? Those points were too drastic.
Mu Jing saw wang fei crying from laughter as she read the story and came forward to attentively help rub her stomach. She smiled as she commented: “Wang fei, don’t choke. Nubi heard another version before. How about wang fei take a listen?”
“Tell me,” Qu Qing Ju took a drink of tea and asked in interest.
After Mu Jin finished narrating, Qu Qing Ju felt that the creativity of the ancient people was extremely strong.
The main idea of the story was that she, the little white cabbage, endured the snow in the middle of winter to buy red bean buns for Liang shi. She struggled in her journey in the midst of the harsh winds wearing very little and encountered Duan Wang on a white horse. The two of them fell in love at first glance. In the end, a romance that moved the heavens was written.
Did the logic of this story get eaten by the author? Liang shi would eat red bean buns in the winter and not sparrow’s nest? And in that kind of weather, who would be selling buns? Even if people were selling, who would go buy them? The most strange was that in such a snowstorm, He Heng wouldn’t sit in a sedan or carriage outside but would masochistically ride a horse.
Just as Qu Qing Ju was going to laugh herself silly, Ming He unexpectedly came over. He said that wang ye wanted to take her out of the fu. Qu Qing Ju didn’t know what it was for, but seeing Ming He’s state, it was an emergency. She glanced at her attire to see if anything was wrong and didn’t change before following Ming He out.
When she got on the wang fu’s carriage, Qu Qing Ju saw He Heng was already sitting inside. She asked with some confusion: “Wang ye, where are we going?”
“The play has to go on til the end. If you don’t get to see the conclusion, there’s no meaning,” He Heng smiled and held her hand. He ordered the driver outside, “To Chang De Gong Fu.”
Qu Qing Ju looked in surprise at He Heng. After the carriage started moving, she asked: “Why does wang ye want to take me there?”
“Today is the day that everyone of Chang De Gong Fu is being evicted completely. That place was where you used to live. Before the fu is sealed, I’ll get you to check if there is anything wrong,” He Heng cheerfully responded, “I know that Qing Ju is a person who remembers the old times.”
Hearing He Heng give such a dignified reason for going to spectate, Qu Qing Ju smiled and followed: “Wang ye is right, I am one who remembers the old times.” The saying, ”the clothes should be new, the people should be of the past”, had its own logic.
When the carriage made its way to the front door of Chang De Gong Fu, there was a great mess at the gate. Loud sobbing and pleading made the entire place sound like the market.
Ming He came up to pull the curtain at the front of the carriage slightly open, allowing the two zhuzi inside to have a perfect view of the great play occurring outside the fu.
The uniformed Imperial Guards were forcefully escorting some people who didn’t want to leave. On the ground were dropped luggage and clothes. There were many servants who had left with their heads down. Seeing Duan Wang Fu’s carriage, they carefully came forward to bow before hurriedly leaving.
Qu Qing Ju watched apathetically as Qu er xiaojie supported Qu lao taitai out the front gate. Behind the two was Liang shi, her face full of panic. Qu Wang Zhi was trailing Liang shi, his crestfallen attitude like a duck plucked of its feathers.
The family stood at the gate, watching as the servants who had once served them all leave. Gradually, the crowd grew smaller and smaller, and then there was silence.
Qu lao taitai watched as the plaque, on which “Chang De Gong Fu” was written, got taken down and smashed onto the ground. Then continued watching as the crimson red doors of the gate got sealed with papers from the government. A long time later, she sighed: “Karma, karma.” She pointed at Liang shi who was wiping her tears to rant, “That year, if it wasn’t for taking this person of bad luck into the fu, would my Qu Family be like this?”
By now, Liang shi wouldn’t listen to what Qu lao taitai said. She instantly retorted: “Lao taitai might have forgotten that it was lao ye who had married erxi into the fu. Lao taitai, rather than blame me, blame lao ye!”
“You,” Qu lao taitai was so angry that she staggered. It was only because of Qu Hui Xue’s support that she barely managed to not fall down, “Did the Liang Family teach you to not respect your elders like this?”
“There’s not even a Liang Family now. Wasn’t it impacted by your Qu Family?” Liang shi felt that her paternal family had been indirectly affected by the Qu Family. She instantly shrieked, “Why is lao taitai turning around to blame our Liang Family?”
“Mother, don’t speak any more,” Qu Wang Zhi heard Liang shi’s words becoming nastier and couldn’t help wading in, “Now that our family is like this. What are you fighting over?”
“I will disturb everyone. This is our wang fei’s gift to everyone, please receive it.”
Qu Wang Zhi heard that this voice didn’t belong to a normal man and turned around. He saw a taijian wearing a blue robe standing behind them, a pouch of silver in his hand. He couldn’t resist looking behind the taijian and saw a magnificent carriage parked not too far away. Inside the carriage was Duan Wang and da jie sitting together.
Because of the distance, he couldn’t distinguish the expression on the two’s faces. But in this instant, he felt that he was entirely mired in an awkward and embarrassed state.