This release is not fully edited yet… So do drop by later today for an update
Edited by Tnyhy
Chapter 94: Ambiguity (Part 1)
During the Jade Rabbit Festival of the Ding capital, there would always be countless number of females that would be abducted by kidnappers yearly. If the abductees were male children, they would be in a much better position, as they would be sold to faraway families that were unable to bear children to be their sons. If they were female children or young females, they would be miserable, as those that do not have good looks would be passed around the brokers and sold to big families to become low ranked maids, and those who looked good would be worse off than the normal looking ones. They might be sold to troupes or to brothels, or perhaps be auctioned off after being taught for a few years how to be a plaything for some rich people.
Also among these females, there were some that came from big families but to the kidnappers, there was no separations between backgrounds. Who cared if you were a young lady of a big family or a commoner, once one landed in the hands of the kidnappers, everyone was the same.
“Shen Young Lady was abducted by kidnappers?” In the room Ji Yu Shu suddenly stood up and walked to and fro for two steps, showing some worried expressions, “Shen Young Lady look not bad and her bearing is extraordinary. One fear that once landed into the hands of the kidnappers, she would definitely be sold off. Even though I also like Young Lady Shao Yao, but one do not wish Shen Young Lady to become such a Young Lady. Third Xie Older Brother, should we go and save her?”
Gao Yang snorted disdainfully at Ji Yu Shu’s words, “Are you alright? With Shen Miao’s means and methods, how is it possible to be kidnapped. Moreover about the kidnappers, they will only pick single young ladies or lost children to abduct, but Shen Qiu and Shen Xin were not far from Shen Miao. Those kidnappers are not fools, why would they specifically pick such a big thorn? Moreover Shen Miao’s looks are not at the level of national grace and divine fragrance, it would not be worth it.”
These words were actually not wrong as when the kidnappers abduct people they would take advantage of other’s inattention. Even if one were to abduct and sell official families’ young ladies, they would also choose a time where there was no one around that young lady, but hearing from those who inquired information, at that time Shen Miao was by the Wan Li Lake and when there was a commotion in the crowd then the kidnappers took action. Even though it sounded easy, but if one were to be discovered, one would not be able to escape as there were so many people around. For such a dangerous thing, if one were to do it for one with the level of national grace and divine fragrance, it would be worth doing it, but Shen Miao was after all a little young lady and even though she looked not bad, it was not a level where one would lose their sense of logic.
The most important thing was that at that time Shen Qiu and Shen Xin were not far away and since ancient times, the evildoers followed the guidelines of fear the strong and bully the weak, so obviously knowing that Shen Xin’s entire family was looking, it was not a good move to anger them, so why would the kidnappers find trouble for themselves. For one to do such a dangerous, not profitable and unworthy transaction, would only be if the kidnapper was one who had a bad brain.
Ji Yu Shu said with a sudden understanding, “So it is to say that it is not the work of kidnappers? Then who would it be? It is obviously targeting Shen Young Lady. Could it be related to Prince Yu’s residence?” As he spoke, he shook his head, “Prince Yu’s people also did not know that the elimination of the entire household was related to Shen Miao, could it be Shen family’s people? Heard from the grapevine that the Shen family is at odds, could it have been done by the other households?”
Xie Jing Xing, who was quietly sitting at the side, stood up, “It is ‘them’.”
“Them?” Gao Yang tensed up in an instant and looked towards Xie Jing Xing, “They have already discovered?”
“Should not have.” Xie Jing Xing shook his head, “Previously I waited for them to take action but there were no activities. Now one understand, they might have known about the secret chambers and used unknown methods to know that Shen Miao was present. Our identities are not yet exposed as they intend to find it out from Shen Miao’s lips.
“Let the Mo Yu Army’s secret division come out to search along the lake. The more people there are the more the interferences will be, so they should have left far away.” Xie Jing Xing said deeply. He had already put away the casual look he usually had on, and his solemn look was not like of a youth of seventeen or eighteen of age, but there was an indescribable chill to it.
“It is not very good to mobilise the Mo Yu Army now.” Gao Yang said with a frown, “Now there are too many people watching you in the Ding capital and if the head is aware of it, one fear that the troubles would not be small. Why not let people guard the city doors and early tomorrow morning let your residence’s people secretly search in the city. It is not good to beat the grass and scare the snake.”
“Still, wait for a night?” Ji Yu Shu jumped up, “Shen Young Lady’s life would be gone if one waited for a night!” Ji Yu Shu was after all young and impetuous and also rather appreciated her worth, and was unlike Gao Yang who already had a politician’s cruelty and mercilessness. In some ways, Ji Yu Shu still retained the precious sincerity and innocence of a youth.
Gao Yang was aggravated, “With the situation as it is already, and you are still thinking of Shen Miao. If one is not careful, our identities will all be exposed!”
“Send the secret division out to search now.” Xie Jing Xing coldly said, “I do not wish to say it a third time.”
“Third Xie!” Gao Yang Looked at him, “Do you want to destroy the entire plan because of a girl? Do not forget what you previously said,”
“Gao Yang, be mindful of your position.” Xie Jing Xing suddenly snapped and his brows slightly wrinkled, as the darkness in his peach eyes surged making them look darker than the night of the Ding capital. The sudden wrathful expression startled Gao Yang.
When Ji Yu Shu saw this, he quickly smoothed things over, “Today’s events were so sudden and no one had expected them, but the situation might not be that bad so let us think about what is going on.”
Xie Jing Xing was silent for a while before he said, “It is not for anyone, but for them to take such drastic actions in my territory, it really made one feel uncomfortable. Since they have the guts to come, tonight they will have a taste of what it means leaving but not returning!”
Due to the surging crowd along the Wan Li Lake, the cheers and laughter slowly drowned the rest of the noise. The matter of an official’s daughter did not seem to cause many waves, and this was because the Shen family did not spread it out, as if it was spread out they fear that people would still be busy watching the grand celebration.
The Jade Rabbit Fairy had finished dancing leaving the males into a daze while the females were secretly cursing her as a vixen. The gigantic Jade Rabbit lantern was made from snow white silk and was painted with a thick layer of grease, it depicted the scenes of the Jade Rabbit having fun. This was all lined with the flickering candles which were slowly floating around the Wan Li Lake.
As the people cheered, they ran up to the lake to set off their handmade lanterns. They had written their wishes for the year, and rolled them into little pieces of paper before putting them inside the lantern and gently placing this in the water.
Snow started to fall a little from the skies, and since the Wan Li Lake was lit up by the bright lights from the fireworks in the sky. For a moment of time, it made one unclear which one was the skies and which the water. This kind of beautiful scenery of brightly lit fireworks, was seldom seen even in previous years’ Jade Rabbit Festival. There were a few sightseeing boats floating on the middle of the lake, and normally the rich would book the exquisite boats to entertain, but no one knew who was inside those few sightseeing boats as the lake was filled with lanterns, making the boats unnoticeable.
An unlit sightseeing boat was leisurely floating downstream of the Wan Li Lake, it was less crowded at the downstream as the lanterns floated towards this direction. From afar, it seemed as though the lanterns were surrounding the boat but the more it floated downstream, the more it went further away from the city center and there were gradually less people until at the end, there was almost no one.
Shen Miao was sitting in the innermost room of this sightseeing boat, coldly looking at the two people in front.
In the dark drawing room, there was an small oil lamp lit, a piece of rag was tied around Shen Miao’s mouth and her hands and legs were tied so tightly that it would not loosen no matter how one struggled.
The two people on the boat were wearing linen and looked very strange. The skinny and tall one stood at the head of the boat and took a look before walking into the cabin, he then nodded to the shorter one and said, “Alright, there is no one here.”
The short one laughed and pulled out the rag that was inside Shen Miao’s mouth and said, “Shen Young Lady, there is no one here so you better not shout. We still have energy to kill you and escape if you were to shout.”
Shen Miao’s eyes slightly moved but she did not speak.
These people were going against the flow as the boat drifted downstream. Shen Xin and the rest would only search for her in the surroundings, and would not think that she would be in the centre of the lake in full view of everyone.
Just now when she stood at the stone platform waiting for Shen Qiu to return, she was grabbed from behind and her mouth and nose were covered. Both actions were too fast and she did not had time to react when she was already tied in the boat.
Seeing that Shen Miao was not speaking, the short one appeared to be quite satisfied. The skinny tall one walked over and sat opposite her with a dark gaze, “Shen Young Lady, a straightforward person does not resort to insinuations. We brought you here to inquire one thing from you.” The skinny and tall one had a unique temperament which was not like ordinary gangsters.
He said, “You went over to Prince Yu’s residence’s secret chambers that day.”
Shen Miao’s eyes flashed. When she was abducted, she did think about many possibilities. Perhaps it was Second or Third household’s people, perhaps it was Shen Yuan or the old subordinates of Prince Yu. She even also connect it to Fu Xiu Yi, but she did not expected that the person who came was for the reason of that secret room. Those secret chambers’ secret was only known to Xie Jin Xing and Gao Yang, and most likely no one knew of it so could it be that Fu Xiu Yi was aware of it a few years ahead of time?
But since the other side had come prepared, they would be clear of the ins and outs of her background so Shen Miao did not bother to hid and replied, “Yes, that day Eldest Brother was dealing with matters in Prince Yu’s residence and I waited in the tea room, and inadvertently found those secret chambers so one went to take a look out of curiosity.”
Facing the two of them, the short one said, “You should have met someone else in the secret chambers. Who is that person?”
Shen Miao’s fingers slightly shrinked.
It was not because of the secrets in the secret chambers or the things inside, but it turned out to be about the ones inside it. Xie Jing Xing and Gao Yang? These people were targeting Xie Jing Xing and Gao Yang? Shen Miao’s mind very quickly worked, it was presumed that these people knew that there were other people than her in the secret chambers that day, but did not know who that person was. Perhaps Xie Jing Xing and Gao Yang were hiding something, if she were to speak of it, Xie Jing Xing’s and Gao Yang’s secret would be exposed.
She looked puzzled at the other person, “Someone else?”
That skinny and tall one looked at her viciously, “Shen Young Lady, do not play tricks in front of us. That day you entered the secret chambers and we believed that it was by chance, but the things in the secret chambers had been taken away. Who did you meet in the secret chambers? Say it and one would leave your life be.”
Shen Miao stared at him but her mind was quickly calculating. It was because of her previous lifetime that she came to know about the secret chambers in Prince Yu’s residence, thus in these people’s eyes she could only ‘accidentally’ have found out about the existence of the chambers. Perhaps these people were also investigating some matters but did not know which specific person they were after, and Xie Jing Xing and Gao Yang were the people they were looking for.
She shook her head, “That day when I entered the secret chambers there was no one else inside. As for the things that you were talking about, I did not see them either. The people that you were talking about must have already left.”
“Not possible!” The skinny tall one looked at her and suddenly a cruel smile appeared in his face, “Shen Young Lady, since you are not willing to say, then one would let you suffer…”
When the voice just finished, the eyes of the short one lit up and one of his hands reached out to touch Shen Miao’s face, and there was a look of immorality appearing on his face as he said, “Little beauty’s skin is smooth and fair, why not serve this older brother, perhaps one can remember.” Finishing, he reached out to Shen Miao’s buttons.
“If you really touch me, I will commit suicide by biting my tongue and you will not be able to inquire anything.” Shen Miao faintly said, “When I lose my innocence, my heart would be like ashes and under such despair, do you think that you have the opportunity to get it out of me?”
When those words were spoken, the short one’s hands suddenly stopped and he turned to look at the skinny tall one. The skinny tall one stared at Shen Miao before asking, “You know who it is?”
Shen Miao gently smiled, “Perhaps I can remember.”
The short one was somewhat flabbergasted and the skinny and tall one’s eyes were gloomy. Perhaps Shen Miao’s overly calm attitude caught them somewhat unaware, or perhaps they were surprised that Shen Miao could turn the situation around and threaten them. There was no female that did not cared about her innocence, but Shen Miao’s attitude was that of a hoodlum on the streets. Correct, if Shen Miao really knew who the people in the secret chambers were, if they were to touch her Shen Miao would fully hate them, and would never reveal the truth in her entire life.
Shen Miao’s gaze was slightly cold, everyone would have their own weaknesses. Facing these two people who seems needed to must know who the person in the secret chambers was, and now she was perhaps the only person in the world who knew about it. If she was just a delicate official’s daughter, it was certain she would speak the truth when scared, but unfortunately she was Empress Shen who before fought in the Inner Palace.
“What do you want?” The short one did not touched her again and had an amiable look on, “Say who that person is and we will all agree to you.” His tone of voice was like one which was coaxing a child.
Shen Miao did not even blinked as she asked, “Who are you?”
The two of them were startled for a moment before the skinny and tall one sneered, “What good does it do for you knowing who are we?”
“Perhaps I would be able to remember who that person is.” Shen Miao gently smiled as she looked at him.
“You are prolonging the time.”
Shen Miao did not express an opinion.
The short one quickly stood up and without even thinking he gave a slap to Shen Miao. It seemed that his patience had exhausted as he said, “Smelly bitch, since you would not do this the easy way, then we will do it the hard way! Do not talk any more nonsense with her. Shen Xin’s army is outside guarding and we cannot get out, so first bring her back and when we return…” His smile became somewhat twisted, “Naturally one will have a way for her to speak the truth!”
He leaned over and touched Shen Miao’s face with his disgusting hand, “Little girl, this grandfather just took the trouble to treat you well but still you do not wish to live, then do not blame others!”