This chapter has been brought to you by me, Adnana, and Vivie.
Chapter Fifty-Eight: End of The Matter
Hearing that Xian Wang had come, Assistant Minister Zhou was first shocked and then felt that this was to be expected. With Xian Wang Fei present, it was not strange that Xian Wang Ye would make a trip.
It was just as the people of the Zhou Family expected. After Xian Wang was welcomed in, he exchanged greetings with his brother-in-laws and his cousin-in-law before sitting together with Xian Wang Fei. Their hands were together and he would occasionally bend down to speak to Xian Wang Fei.
“What is going on?” Yan Jin Qiu smiled thinly at Zhou Yun Heng who was kneeling on the ground. He then turned and said to Assistant Minister Zhou, “Assistant Minister Zhou, what great crime has this noble master committed?”
Assistant Minister Zhou did not dare to state it. A moment later he said, “This lowly official was not good at teaching the son, and feels great guilt.”
“Assistant Minister Zhou is of good conduct and a rare good official; there is no guilt to speak of.” Yan Jin Qiu looked at Zhou Yun Heng who was kneeling obstinately on the ground. “However, this young master of yours really has been absurd in conduct. The news that he has favored the concubine and neglected the wife, causing his wife to miscarry, has spread through Jing. Tell me, how will this matter be resolved?”
Assistant Minister Zhou felt helpless and guilty. He said to Hua Qing Mao and Hua Chang Bao, “This lowly official will teach this prodigal son. I will have people send away all the concubines in the fu. Please…”
“I do not think that it is necessary. Otherwise, in the future, it will become that the daughters of my Hua Family have no tolerance.” Hua Qin Mao put down the teacup heavily and then pressed, “My sister has no fate with your son. Our Zhou and Hua families have had a friendship for so many years, but we need to part amicably. Please, agree to my sister divorcing from your son, and at least, save some face for when we meet in the future.”
The words were slightly threatening. If the Zhou Family was not willing to have a divorce, then the Hua Family would not rest. But the Zhou Family really did not want to divorce. If there was no divorce, the Hua Family would be constrained in their actions because Hua Yi Liu was still at the Zhou Family. If Hua Yi Liu left the Zhou Family, then the Zhou Family would not have anything to rely on.
“If Assistant Minister Zhou wants to make this matter a dispute, then we can only meet in the court of the Jing Administrator. I think that a divorce is possible.” Hua Chang Bao had seen what the Zhou Family was thinking, so when Assistant Minister Zhou hesitated, he threw out, “My Hua Family is not an able one, but for our misses, we are willing to go through some trouble.”
Hua Chang Bao who was the eldest of this generation of the Hua Family had spoken. This meant that the Hua Family was already very discontent about this matter. Assistant Minister Zhou also knew that the matter had passed. Unless his daughter-in-law was unwilling, a divorce was certain.
“Young Mistress has arrived.”
Assistant Minister Zhou was joyful. When he turned and saw his daughter-in-law whom he had not seen for many days walk in, she was extremely thin, as though she would fall with a gust of wind. His brow creased. How had his furen abused this daughter-in-law—why hadn’t she thought of this daughter-in-law’s status?
“Bam!” The teacup was smashed onto the ground and shattered. Hua Qing Mao stood from the chair. Pointing at Zhou Yun Heng on the ground, he said, “Your Zhou Family is outrageous!”
The concubine kneeling on the floor shuddered. She wanted to get closer to Zhou Yun Heng, but she was pressed by two servants to the ground. There was also a handkerchief in her mouth that prevented her from speaking.
Zhou Yun Heng looked at how his favored concubine was being treated but did not dare to speak. He buried his head lower and wanted this matter to pass quickly. It would be fine even if this little concubine had to be sent away. Even if this one was gone, he could find one better.
“This lowly servant Hua shi greets Xian Wang, Xian Wang Fei.” Hua Yi Liu’s cheeks were concave from being too thin. It caused her to look older than her years. When she looked at Hua Qing Mao, she had a complex expression in her eyes. Her eyes slowly turned red as she called, “Didi.”
“Jie.” Hua Qing Mao walked in front of Hua Yi Liu. Looking at her ashen complexion and thin body, he was so angry he wanted to strangle Zhou Yun Heng. He said with a cold smile, “Your Zhou Family is outrageous to treat my sister so!” After he said this, he started to pull Hua Yi Liu and walk towards the exit. “Let’s meet at the court of the Jing Administrator.”
The Zhou Family naturally did not dare to let Hua Qing Mao leave like this. They apologized and Zhou Taitai even knelt down in front of Hua Yi Liu. She gave countless promises and even said that the Zhou Family would only have one mistress, Hua Yi Liu, and there would not be any concubines.
“Ha.” Hua Yi Liu looked with a cold smile at Zhou Taitai kneeling in front of her. “You think your son is so good that I will stay with him even if I die? What women he has in the future has nothing to do with me. You are a woman yourself yet you abuse a daughter of another family so. Such a malicious mother-in-law—if I stayed here, not even my bones would remain.”
After saying all this, Hua Yi Liu knelt with a bang in front of Yan Jin Qiu and Hua Xi Wan. “Hua shi is a victim of a crime. Please, Wang Ye, Wang Fei, help me. Ever since qie married into the Zhou Family, this one has been filial to the in-laws above and cared for the younger sisters-in-law below. Even if the husband is one that plays around, qie has never complained. But qie never expected that he would cause qie to lose the child. Qie was also prevented by this family from going out. It has been long since qie has seen the light of day. Please, help give justice to qie.”
The Zhou Family was astounded. They almost seemed to have never thought that the usually gentle Hua Yi Liu would do such a thing. She actually directly entered a conflict with the Zhou Family using her future as the stake.
It was not a major matter if a woman divorced and married again, but if one reported the in-laws, it would not be so easy to find a match in the future. No family would be willing to have a daughter-in-law like this—maybe one day, they would also be reported.
But Hua Yi Liu did it and did not give herself any retreat. It was as though she wanted to drag the Zhou Family into death with her.
Zhou Taitai was afraid, but in front of Yan Jin Qiu, she did not dare to make any actions that would be offensive. She could only wring her wrists in distress about her past actions. Inside, she thought, if she knew that this would happen, she should have thought of a way to kill Hua Yi Liu when she miscarried. That would be better than the present situation.
“If that is the case, then let’s make a trip to the Jing Administrator.” Yan Jin Qiu put down the teacup and looked at Hua Xi Wan who had not spoken. “Let ben wang’s attendant accompany you there.”
Now that things had become like this, it was a matter between the Hua Family and the Zhou Family. As a wang ye, there was no reason for him to manage the affairs of another family’s inner compound, and this also applied to Hua Xi Wan. It really wasn’t worth a wang fei making a trip to a place like the court of the Jing Administrator.
Hua Qing Mao also knew this. Also, it was very generous that Xian Wang was willing to send an attendant with them. If Tangmei was not so loved by Xian Wang, Xian Wang probably would not do such a thing.
Hua Yi Liu looked at her embroidered slippers. When she heard that Yan Jin Qiu would not accompany them to the Jing Administrator, a trace of a grimace came onto her lips. When she had married Zhou Yun Heng, she should have ended this thought. Not to mention that, with her present ghastly state, she really was a world away from the beautiful Hua Xi Wan.
It was already a great favor that Hua Xi Wan was willing to put away her honor as a wang fei to argue with the people of the Zhou Family. There were not many cousins who would be willing to do such a thing. Even if she, Hua Yi Liu, was jealous of Hua Xi Wan’s present life, she was clear that she owed Hua Xi Wan a great favor.
If Hua Xi Wan, the wang fei, was not here today, the Zhou Family would not be so afraid. Xian Wang would not pay attention to this matter, and only the Heavens knew what her outcome would be.
Yan Jin Qiu had spoken, so no one dared to stop Hua Yi Liu. Consequently, they proceeded smoothly out of the gates of the Zhou Family, with a line of scared Zhou Family members behind them.
When they came out of the gates, Hua Yi Liu found many onlookers outside. The moment she appeared, many people exclaimed in shock. It was just that the present Hua Yi Liu looked frightening. There was only a skeleton and a layer of skin left on her body. With a glance, it could be seen that she had been abused.
People liked to sympathize with the weaker side, so even though the Hua Family did not say anything, people already assumed that the Zhou Family had favored the concubine, neglected the wife, and also abused her.
In the eyes of the liberal Great Zhao People, if the two did not like each other, they could just divorce. There was no need to reduce a person to something like this. They also heard that this wife had been forced into a miscarriage. Was it that the abuse was too much and caused the miscarriage?
Hua Yi Liu watched as the carriage from Xian Wang Fu left. She slowly moved her gaze away and got on the carriage of the Hua Family.
When the Jing Administrator received the case, he immediately called people into his court. Inside, he found this a hard task. Assistant Minister Zhou was a monarchist, but the Hua Family was a prestigious family of a few hundred years. With a Xian Wang Fu at the back as support, this matter was troublesome.
Most importantly was that the Zhou Family was really in the wrong and brainless. Had they thought that if the Hua Family discovered what they did, they would act as though it did not happen?
Sitting at court, the Jing Administrator recognized a certain person standing at the side was an attendant of Xian Wang Fu. Seeing that Hua shi had really been abused to a state beyond recognition, he already had a decision.
When it was not good to offend either side, he should judge according to the facts. The matter of the Zhou Family favoring the concubine and neglecting the wife was known throughout the entire city. He did not want to become a bad official whom all of Jing scorned. The Hua Family already decided to publicize this matter. If he helped the Zhou Family, that was seeking death.
As Hua Yi Liu’s accusations came out, the Jing Administrator’s expression grew uglier. After Hua Yi Liu stopped speaking, he said towards the Zhou Family, “Do you have any defense?”
The Zhou Family was tongue-tied. They wanted to say that Hua Yi Liu’s words were slanderous, but they did not have the confidence. Adding on the fact that the attendant of Xian Wang was present, in the end Assistant Minister Zhou had to come out and apologize to Hua Yi Liu. He had to agree that Hua Yi Liu could divorce his son. The Zhou Family had to repay three times Hua Yi Liu’s dowry, and would not take the bride price back.
In the end, based on the good attitude of the Zhou family, the Jing Administrator only sentenced Zhou Yun Heng to twenty blows and a divorce for him and Hua Yi Liu. Other than the repayment of the dowry, the little concubine was also exiled to a poor place.
As Hua Yi Liu listened to Zhou Yun Heng’s wails, a trace of a smile came onto her face. With her thin face, it seemed slightly dark and evil.
Translator Ramblings: I really like the Jing Administrator for punishing Zhou Yun Heng with more than just a slap on the wrist. Hua Yi Liu really gambled with her future. If she had failed … … it is pretty much death.