Edited by Angel
Chapter 160: Imprisonment (Part 2)
In the room, after Shen Miao sent Shen Qiu off, she sat at the table with a sigh of relief.
Just now the topic was broached. Emperor Wen Hui had a character of passing like thunder and moving like wind. Most likely he was unable to tolerate the closeness of the Prince and officials and with all those instances started from a few years ago.
From the beginning, one must not forget who one was dealing with. After the rebirth, one had become indifferent to many matters, just like this household of the Shen family, even if she did not do anything, they would still cause their own death. However it was different from Fu Xiu Yi.
Fu Xiu Yi was like the most vicious snake that was hidden in the dark. It looked harmless but one would be caught off-guard and bitten by it. Just like the last time when he got Shen Wan to matchmake herself and Prince Zhou. Even if Shen Miao hid herself from Fu Xiu Yi as much as possible, Fu Xiu Yi still fixed his attention on her.
It was no longer appropriate to endure silently and work out a strategy. Instead it was better to tear off one’s mask and start playing a game with evenly matched adversaries.
What was Fu Xiu Yi most afraid of? He feared that his ambition would be unveiled to everyone.
With regards to Shen Wan’s matter, even though this would make Emperor Wen Hui’s heart suspicious, with Fu Xiu Yi’s methods, it would not be so easy for him to be knocked down. He would definitely think of a method of rebuttal.
However, how could Shen Miao be able to miss this opportunity? Even if one was unable to knock him down this time, she must definitely remove a layer of skin from Fu Xiu Yi.
Just one Shen Wan was not enough. This round of chess must be even more exciting. Shen Miao called Jing Zhe to get Mo Qing in and instructed Mo Qing with a few words.
From the splendid residence to imprisonment, it only took one night.
Shen Wan felt that in these two years the Shen residence was very unlucky. It was just like one had offended someone or something so that nothing went smoothly. First it was the Second household that had mishaps then after that it was the Third household’s turn. Now the entire Shen residence was imprisoned, other than the Eldest household. Currently the Eldest household was valued again by Emperor Wen Hui and regardless how the future would be like, it was at least more impressive than them.
Speaking of which, the continuous misfortune that the Shen residence met with seemed to have started after the separation from the Eldest household. However to be more precise, it started two years ago when Shen Xin returned to the capital. Could it be that someone put a curse onto the Shen residence?
In the prison cell next door, it contained all the females in the Shen family. Old Shen Furen and Cang Zai Qing were both locked up there. When Shen Wan heard the moaning and complaining from Old Shen Furen, his heart started to feel irritation.
Thinking back two years ago, people who came to visit the residence of the Formidable Great General were abundant even though most of them did it for Shen Xin’s reputation. However Shen Xin was not in the capital all year and the Shen residence was not short of money, thus one had an imposing manner when walking about. Although Shen Gui and him were civil officials, they would be promoted each passing year and both of their daughters were elegant and their marriages could be a great help. Shen Yuan Bo and Shen Yuan were still alive and Ren Wan Yun was astute, and Chen Rou Qiu was gentle. It was a good image of a happy and harmonious family. (Editor: I love how he doesn’t mention SM at all… it’s all rosy glasses for this one. Doesn’t remember how the astute and gentle aunts and the elegant cousins bullied her)
However in just two short years things had remained the same but the people had changed and they landed in such a situation.
Shen Gui asked dispiritedly, “Third Younger Brother, what crime did you actually commit that His Majesty actually captured our entire residence?”
“I committed some crime?” Shen Wan laughed coldly, “Second Older Brother is also a person who worked in court and knows that if His Majesty wants to arrest anyone, just any casual excuse will be enough for it. This is His Majesty’s excuse to arrest me.” If it was truly that one’s performance was poor then the entire residence of people would not be arrested. This is clearly intending to attack with condemnations.”
When Cang Zai Qing, in the adjoining cell, heard it, she exclaimed in shock and her words contained some anxieties, “It is unexpectedly His Majesty’s doing on purpose. Why would His Majesty do this on purpose? Could it be that Master had angered His Majesty in some ways?”
If it was on normal days, Shen Wan would surely say some words to relieve her anxiety, but once he thought of the information that he received from Liu province that Cang Zai Qing already had a husband and child, he felt very disgusted. Cang Zai Qing wholeheartedly chased for a wealthy future so she concealed her true appearance but now that the wealth has become bubbles and shadows, one feared that it was too late for regrets.
He waved his hands and said impatiently, “One does not know.”
However his heart was thinking about the letter that he received.
The letter that his servant gave was from his private and considerably close personal friend in the official circle. One did not know where that official heard that Shen Wan’s arch-enemy had submitted a report. That report did not indicate other things but the evidence of the exchanges between Shen Wan and Fu Xiu Yi over these years.
Even though Shen Wan did not really work for Fu Xiu Yi these years but because he was indecisive in the early years and did not want to give up the Prince Ding as a chess piece, his attitude was rather warm. From the eyes of others, it looked like he had an alliance with Prince Ding very early on. When Emperor Wen Hui saw the pile of evidence, it was conceivable that Emperor Wen Hui would be furious thus one feared that it would be difficult for the matter to be settled well.
As to how his arch-enemy would be able to suddenly gain all the information, Shen Wan could vaguely think of a person. Chen Rou Qiu had been his wife for so many years and because Chen Rou Qiu did not know about court matters, Shen Wan would not deliberately guard against Chen Rou Qiu. Some of the matters were very secretive thus if Chen Rou Qiu stabbed him in the back then everything would be plausible.
Thinking that how Chen Rou QIu treated him with graceful tenderness in the beginning and now it was a matter of ‘either the fish dies or the net splits’, Shen Wan’s gaze landed on Cang Zai Qing and his expression got solemn. If there was no Cang Zai Qing, Chen Rou Qiu and he would not be a separated couple and things would not be like this. Thinking like that, Shen Wan also felt indifferent even to the child that Cang Zai Qing was carrying.
On the surface the imprisonment of Shen Wan and family was due to poor performance but those who were aware of the situation knew that this was Emperor Wen Hui’s wrath for Shen Wan being close with Fu Xiu Yi in secret. This matter implicated the entre Shen residence and of course, Prince Ding, Fu Xiu Yi, was also inevitably affected.
Fu Xiu Yi had a network of numerous spies and informants thus he quickly learnt about the truth of the matter. Fu Xiu Yi had never thought that Shen Wan’s and Chen Rou Qiu’s family affairs could involve him. Currently the crucial thing was to never let Emperor Wen Hui be suspicious of him at this time.
At the same time, Fu Xiu Yi was also very puzzled. This year Emperor Wen Hui’s health was not as good as it was previously so he was very sensitive towards the relations between the Princes and the officials. Just at this sensitive period, it was spread that he was close with Shen Wan, he felt that it was indeed too much of a coincidence. Even though Shen Wan was in the pits, but in actual fact, what he lost was not necessarily lesser than Shen Wan. The more he thought about it, the more irritated he felt. Fu Xiu Yi said coldly, “Not good enough to accomplish anything but more than enough to spoil everything.”
Pei Lang said after thinking, “It is best for Your Highness to indicate early that there is no relation to the matter. No matter what method is used, one have to prove one’s innocence.”
“Naturally I know that.” Fu Xiu Yi said, “What does Gentleman think?”
“The evidence is undeniable so by denying it, it would look like it is deliberate. Your Highness can admit to it and push all of it onto Shen Wan. Even though it is His Majesty’s taboo for Princes to form fractions, but if it was Shen Wan who took the initiative to defect to you and Your Highness could not withstand the annoyance, perhaps His Majesty would feel better.”
Fu Xiu Yi nodded his head, “Gentleman’s analysis is exactly the same as mine. Shen Wan, this chess piece can only be sacrificed. However it would be more troublesome to leave this chess piece alone therefore it is better to get rid of it.” The meaning of these words was to sacrifice Shen Wan. There was no choice but to admit to the incidences in the report as there were plenty of evidence threads in each one and those who were interested could discover it if they dig. However all these were Shen Wan’s desires. It was Shen Wan who wanted to climb and attached himself onto Fu Xiu Yi and it was Fu Xiu Yi who remained unmoved. All these would be pardonable and Shen Wan would be the one who would be implicated.
It’s just that with this method, the crimes that were placed on Shen Wan would be much heavier and with Emperor Wen Hui’s wrath, the punishment for Shen Wan would be even more severe. However Fu XIu Yi would definitely not care of the ending of Shen Wan. Fu Xiu Yi would not be even troubled to those who brought trouble to him.
“I am really fated with the Shen family.” Fu Xiu Yi had an aloof expression on, “Again and again, matters were ruined in the hands of the Shen family. One did not know why but even though this time it started from Chen Rou Qiu, I still feel that it is not that simple. It is like someone is manipulating from behind the scenes.”
Pei Lang’s heart jumped but his face remained as calm as it was previously, “The top priority now is still for Your Highness to testify personally. The longer this is dragged on, the worse His Majesty’s anger would be and it would even implicate Your Highness.”
Fu Xiu Yi smiled, “Even though it is a little more troublesome, it is not a deadlock situation. However one asks Gentleman if the Shen family should remain or not?”
Pei Lang replied warmly, “Since they have hindered His Highness’s great cause, then of course they cannot remain.”
Fu Xiu Yi grinned and stared at Pei Lang, ”Gentleman’s words are exactly to my thoughts. I still have some matters so Gentleman can withdraw first. If there is matter, I will then discuss with Gentleman.”
Pei Lang nodded his head in compliance and turn around to withdraw.
However he did not see that Fu Xiu Yi was starting at Pei Lang’s back as he left with a clouded look in his eyes.
The matter of Shen Wan and family being imprisoned was well known to everyone thus it was also naturally spread into the residence of Prince of Qin. In front of the stone table in the gardens, Shen Yue was stunned when she heard the news and it was HuangFu Hao who gave a look to the scout and asked, “Oh? Really the entire residence is imprisoned?”
“It is absolutely true.” That scout said, “One heard that Emperor Wen Hui is very furious and wanted to give a death sentence.”
HuangFu Hao turned around to look at Shen Yue’s expression. Apart from being overwhelmed and finding it incomprehensible, there was no sadness or heartbroken expression. Involuntarily Chen Rou Qiu’s words from that day floated up in her mind. At that time Shen Yue felt that there was an additional meaning behind Chen Rou Qiu’s words. Could it be that the current situation of the Shen family was due to Chen Rou Qiu’s handiwork? Shen Yue dared not let HuangFu Hao discover her emotions and lowered her head to display a look of grief, “How could this be?”
“With only the reason of poor performance, how could Emperor Wen Hui seize the residence? One fear that it is not just this reason.” HuangFu Hao said, “There should be another reason.” After finished saying he then looked at Shen Yue and asked, “Does Yue-er want to take a look at Shen Daren?”
Shen Yue jumped in shocked and stammered, “One fears that if one were to go now, it would only make Father sad and bring trouble to Your Highness, so it is not needed.”
The Shen family was being seized and she was a female who had ‘married’ into the Wang family thus she was not implicated. However if someone discovered that Shen Yue was still here, who knew if she would also be locked up. In face of a great calamity at hand, each one would fly in different directions. The Shen family was merciless to Shen Yue so Shen Yue did not have any morality towards the Shen family. One feared that it would implicate oneself and was looking at hiding herself so why would one approach it?
Hearing this, HuangFu Hao did not get tangled with this issue and only laughed before dropping the subject. Shen Yue sighed with relief in her heart. After HuangFu Hao left, Shen Yue thought of writing a letter to Chen Rou Qiu to ask if this matter was related to Chen Rou Qiu.
Even though there was still some fear in her heart, seeing that the entire Shen family was imprisoned, Shen Yue felt that there was some joy in the calamity. This was especially so for Cang Zai Qing as she was the woman who took her Mother’s position and now had to suffer with Shen Wan. Thinking of that, Shen Yue did not find that it was lowly for her to be HuangFu Hao’s concubine and even felt complacent. If she had remained in the Shen residence, now she would also be imprisoned.
Shen Yue had thought so but on the very next day there was a secret which was spread in Ding capital. This secret was just like a stone that was thrown into the water and set off thousands of waves. The people who stood outside to watch the commotion found another interesting thing to talk about and the entire streets kept on constantly talking about it.
This also made the Shen family become a joke for others to talk about after meals and tea.