Chapter 545 Separate and Go Different Ways after Going Down the Mountain
The Empress Dowager looked toward Old Madam of Duke Xing’s Mansion and asked coldly, “Why is that?”
“I… I don’t know…” Old Madam said with her lips trembling, feeling that her hands and feet went cold.
“How dare you ruin the future of a member of the royal family and make the Fifth Miss shave her head and become a nun in secret without finding out the truth!” The Empress Dowager said sternly. She had always been kind to some Old Mesdames, but she could not hold back her anger this time. Since she had agreed with the engagement between Shao Wanru and her grandson, she could not allow Old Madam of Duke Xing’s Mansion to torture Shao Wanru in this way.
A palace maid hurried in and whispered to Rui’an Great Elder Princess. After that, Rui’an Great Elder Princess stood up with a livid face, knelt in front of the Empress Dowager and said, “Your Highness, please uphold justice for Zhuozhuo. Not only was her jewelry smeared with honey, but they also intended to hand her to a fake Taoist nun. They just intend to ruin her!”
After saying that, she kowtowed to the Empress Dowager, stared at Old Madam unkindly and said, “Tell me why you intended to hand Zhuozhuo to a fake Taoist nun. You claimed to go to shave her head and make her a nun, but actually intended to send her to the fake Taoist nun’s harem. As her grandma, how can you be so unamiable?”
“Wha… what?” Old Madam said and opened her eyes widen in shock. She felt her legs went weak and fell to her knees from the chair.
“Don’t you know what you have done? Now you pretend to be ignorant about it like you always do!” Rui’an Great Elder Princess said with continuous sneers.
With Rui’an Great Elder Princess’s faint voice in her ear, Old Madam waved her hands in the air in an attempt to grab something to support herself. As everything went black in front of her, she went limp and passed out…
The official document instructing the Ministry of Justice to investigate into the case of the Baiyun Taoist Temple was issued the next day, and Wen Xichi was in charge of it. Numerous wealthy and influential families got involved in it. The fact that a man allowed to enter the backyards made some men feel cuckolded.
Receiving the transfer order, Wen Xichi hurriedly went down the mountain to handle the case of the Baiyun Taoist Temple. This case happened to be taken over by him at that time, so he was temporarily in charge of it. Before the truth was found out, they had better keep it a secret as much as possible. No one knew which families got involved in it.
Nevertheless, no matter which families got involved in it, they would certainly come to no good end.
After Wen Xichi went down the mountain, the Ministry of Justice sent another chief here. But this time, they did not guard the Yuhui Nunnery and transferred the personnel of the Ministry of Justice down the mountain. The pilgrims could leave if they wanted to.
On hearing that they could leave, most pilgrims packed up their luggage and hurriedly went down the mountain. They had been forced to stay in the Yuhui Nunnery. Now they were allowed to go down the mountain. Who was willing to stay?
Shao Wanru had intended to stay, but Shao Yanru was urged to go down the mountain by a letter from Old Madam. The letter said that Old Madam was seriously ill and asked Shao Yanru to go down the mountain to serve her. After thinking for a while, Shao Wanru went down the mountain with Shao Yanru to visit Old Madam. She got the news from Great Elder Princess that Old Madam of Duke Xing’s Mansion had not woken up yet after passing out in the Empress Dowager’s palace that night!
Old Madam was really sick!
Since she was seriously sick indeed, how could Shao Wanru not visit her as her granddaughter? Observing mourning for her parents was filial piety, so was visiting her sick grandma. If she did not do that, it would inevitably cause controversy.
Old Madam of Duke Xing’s Mansion got sick after passing out in the Empress Dowager’s palace. It was said that the Empress Dowager had sent someone to see her. But it was said that the visitor went there with no present for Old Madam of Duke Xing’s Mansion and came back with nothing.
There was another news that Old Madam of Duke Xing’s Mansion set up the Fifth Miss of Duke Xing’s Mansion by smearing the Fifth Miss’s jewelry with honey and intended to make the Fifth Miss become a nun with the excuse that she was possessed by an evil spirit.
The Emperor was furious because of this matter in the imperial palace and found an excuse to beat Duke Xing up. So Duke Xing had been recovering from his injuries in the mansion recently…
The news about Duke Xing’s Mansion came out one after another. They were not necessarily true, but it was absolutely true that Duke Xing had been beaten. Now he could not even attend the court meeting and was indeed recuperating at home. It happened the day after Old Madam passed out in the imperial palace.
Among plenty of aristocratic families, there was a rumor that Duke Xing’s Mansion had fallen out of favor with the emperor and even Duke Xing was beaten. Duke Xing’s Mansion seemed to be decaying gradually!
Shao Yanru and Shao Wanru did not sit in the same carriage. Each of them sat in their own carriage and went down the mountain together.
In the carriage, Shao Yanru stared at somewhere of the curtain with a gloomy face, angry and frustrated. What did her grandma do? Her grandma not only failed to get rid of Shao Wanru, but also implicated her father so that her father was punished by the emperor and was beaten.
It was not only a punishment but also a disgrace to Duke Xing’s Mansion. She heard that there were fewer people contacting their mansion. It must be because others did not dare to visit Duke Xing’s Mansion at the thought that Duke Xing’s Mansion had fallen out of favor with the Emperor.
It was supposed to be a sure thing, but it ended up like this. Although she wasn’t directly implicated in it, she was obviously affected by it. If her father really fell out of favor with the emperor, it would no good for her, and it could even affect her marriage.
As long as she thought of this, she was in a bad mood!
“What did Puming Nun say?” Suddenly, she thought of something and asked. When she was about to go down the mountain, a disciple of Puming Nun’s came over in a hurry. She had got in the carriage, so she instructed Shuqi to communicate with the disciple.
“Puming Nun gave this back to you!” Shuqi said, drew a purse from her bosom and handed it to Shao Yanru.
“She returned the notes!” Shao Yanru glanced at the purse and said with a snort. This was the reward she gave Puming Nun for bringing up Taoist Priest Xiushui of the Baiyun Taoist Temple.
“Yes… yes. Puming Nun said that she didn’t know anything and only mentioned it occasionally. She has met Taoist Priest Xiushui of the Baiyun Taoist Temple and considered her at a high level in practicing Taoism after talking with her. But now, she found that she has been deceived.” Shuqi lowered her head and said.
“Coward, she became timid as soon as the matter was exposed!” Shao Yanru said with a sneer. Fortunately, Puming Nun was not stupid, and it was true that she was acquainted with Taoist Priest Xiushui.
It was said that they met each other in a religious rite held at the foot of the mountain. Some wealthy families invited some nuns and Taoist nuns to their mansions for a religious rite after their family members passed away. After joining several religious rites together, they could be considered acquainted with each other. The Ministry of Justice wouldn’t find any clues in this.
Regarding the acquaintance between Puming Nun and Taoist Priest Xiushui, it was mentioned by Pushan Nun during her conversation with Shao Yanru.
“First Miss, what should we do now?” Shuqi asked uneasily.
“Just put the notes away. I don’t think that she will say anything bad about me. This is the reward I gave her on instructions from my grandma!” Shao Yanru said disdainfully.
Puming Nun did not look like a stupid person. If the surface was torn apart, it would be no good for her. If she claimed that Taoist Priest Xiushui was an acquaintance of hers and she introduced Taoist Priest Xiushui to Duke Xing’s Mansion at the thought that Taoist Priest Xiushui was good at exorcism, she wouldn’t be blamed for this. After all, no one in the capital city knew about Taoist Priest Xiushui’s real identity.
“Tell Shao Wanru to go to Great Elder Princess’s Mansion first when we go down the mountain later!” Shao Yanru gave an order. She still owed Shao Wanru an explanation for the affairs of the Baiyun Taoist Temple. If she explained it late, it would do harm to their relationship. It was much more important than Old Madam’s illness. She had to give an explanation first.
Of course, she should keep it secret from Shao Wanru and send her away.
“Uh…what should we do, First Miss?” Shuqi asked uneasily.
After thinking for a while with her head down, Shao Yanru raised the corners of her mouth and said with a cold smile, “Tell the coachman to stop the carriage by the side of the road for a short break after going down the mountain.”
“Yes, Miss!” Shuqi put away the purse, pulled up the curtain, and told the coachman outside.
They went all the way down the mountain. When they arrived at the foot of the mountain, Shao Yanru’s carriage stopped, and then Shao Wanru’s carriage also stopped.
When the carriage stopped completely, Shao Yanru got out of her carriage with the help of Shuqi and said, “Go and ask the Fifth Miss to get out of the carriage for a rest!”
Shuqi walked to the front of the carriage behind and said to Shao Wanru, who was in the carriage, “Fifth Miss, the First Miss asks you to come out and have a rest. You must be tired out after the journey.”
In the carriage, Yujie looked at Shao Wanru, who opened her eyes slightly and nodded silently.
Yujie picked up the curtain hat at hand, helped Shao Wanru put it on and then helped her get out of the carriage. Shao Yanru had been waiting by the side of the road. Seeing Shao Wanru coming down with a curtain hat on her head, she smiled and waved to her under the shadow of a tree.
Shao Wanru walked over.
“Fifth Sister, it’s unnecessary to wear a curtain hat during a rest!” Shao Yanru said with an amicable smile.
Shao Wanru looked at her face through the veil and found that she looked quite amicable and seemed to be in a good mood. She, who still seemed to be in a good mood at this moment, was really amazing!
“It was at hand, so I picked it up and wore it.” Shao Wanru smiled and said lightly.
“Fifth Sister, you can go to Great Elder Princess’s Mansion first to give your greetings after going down the mountain later!” Shao Yanru said softly with the smile on her face fading, seeming to be a little embarrassed, “My mother sent someone to tell me about what happened before. No one expected that… the Taoist priest of the Baiyun Taoist Temple is actually…”
Shao Yanru couldn’t go on for a while and lowered her head. It was a little inappropriate indeed for an unmarried girl to talk about something like that. Thinking about the sordid thing, she felt as if she would be stained when talking about it.
“Big Sister, who do you think smeared my bracelets and longevity lock with honey?” Shao Wanru asked without hiding the fact that she already knew about it, “I remember that the two pieces of stuff were sent by our mansion. I have never worn them before!”
“Uh… I don’t know. It was probably done by a servant. I believe that grandma will definitely give you an explanation. Although you were not raised by grandma, you are her biological granddaughter. She won’t let you suffer losses. Nevertheless, grandma feels sorry for Great Elder Princess. So you should go to meet Great Elder Princess first!”
She suggested Shao Wanru go to Great Elder Princess’s Mansion and put in a good word for Duke Xing’s Mansion.
“Okay, I’ll go to see maternal grandma first. I hope you can explain it to paternal grandma so that she won’t blame me again!” Shao Wanru said meaningfully.
“It’s what I should do! It’s what I should do!” Shao Yanru nodded repeatedly and said.
After talking for another while, they got in their respective carriages again. After turning a corner, they separated and went different ways, but neither of them went to Duke Xing’s Mansion first…