Read The Rebirth Of An Ill-Fated Consort Chapter 138 – Lured in by the Mistress of Misfortune

The Rebirth Of An Ill-Fated Consort is a Webnovel made by 千山茶客, Qian Shan Cha Ke.
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Chapter 138: Lured in by the Mistress of Misfortune

Zhao Feizhou was a strapping young man and could have never antic.i.p.ated that he would be belittled by Jiang Ruan today. At that moment, he felt rather disgruntled. Meanwhile, Jiang Ruan instructed Tian Zhu to deposit Guo Meng at the side of an artificial mountain by the pond. As Tian Zhu went about her task, she did not spare any effort in doing so, thus Guo Meng’s head b.u.mped into the artificial mountain and soon thereafter a trickle of blood flowed down.

Although those present were momentarily startled, no one obstructed. As a norm, Zhao Jin utterly loathed anyone who would stab another in the back, as did Zhao Feizhou. Tian Zhu took out a porcelain bottle from her robe and waved it in front of Guo Meng’s nose before standing up to announce, “Miss, she will not awaken for four hours.”

Zhao Feizhou scrutinized Guo Meng for any movement and was rather perplexed, “Even your maidservant knows martial arts? Where did you find her?” Zhao Feizhou was himself trained in the martial arts so it was obvious that he could make out that Tian Zhu’s technique was not at all inferior.

Jiang Ruan looked in the distance when Lu Zhu, who had been sent to spread the news, came running back in haste, “Miss, Xia family’s two madames and a few other furens are heading over here.”

Of course it would be the Xia family. Jiang Ruan’s eyes shone, “That’s good, let us go elsewhere to avoid them.”

Just as she was done speaking, a group of people had just entered the forest and were led by the Senior Provincial Officer’s Furen. Shen Rou was engaging her in conversation while Yu Ya’s eyes were scrutinizing the middle of the forest as if she was searching for something.

A maidservant of Yu Ya was walking at the front of the group before suddenly exclaiming in surprise, “It looks like there is someone over there!”

The furens’ correspondingly shared the same flabbergasted expression- it sounded as if the maidservant had chanced upon something that was too embarra.s.sing for words. A glint of delight flashed in Yu Ya’s eyes but she admonished in a serious manner, “Why are you calling out so irresponsibly, don’t you even know the proper etiquette?”

“Second Madame Xia, don’t be so quick to admonish the maidservant,” Senior Provincial Officer’s Furen patted her on the arm as she turned to question the maidservant, “What’s the matter? Why are you making such a big fuss over merely spotting someone?”

The maidservant hesitated but then said nothing, only lowering her head. Upon seeing her expression, the furens couldn’t help their suspicion nor hold back from making wild guesses in their hearts. The Golden Chrysanthemum Banquet was held especially for young ladies and gentlemen to mingle and should there be anyone they found outstanding, secretly…. Generally speaking, most people were delighted to see such excitement, especially those from any young ladies’ family. However, the furens were still worried about their family’s young lady or gentleman being entangled or implicated in such incidents. As such, they were in a conundrum as they were caught between a rock and a hard place.

On seeing the impa.s.se, Yu Ya continued, “This maidservant is getting more and more insolent, I will go take a look to find out what has caused her to be this excited.” Then, after speaking she took the initiative to head forward.

With Yu Ya taking the lead, the other furens had no reason to linger behind and followed in succession. Shen Rou swept a thoughtful look at Yu Ya. Then the corners of her lips stretched out to reveal a smile showing great delight.

However, when everyone walked to the front, they were shocked by the sight in front of them. They saw a female reclining on the artificial mountain by the pond, her attire still appropriate and intact. It was just that there was a blood stain on her forehead, and she presented a shocking and ghastly sight.

a.s.sistant Minister Guo’s family Ru Mei Yiniang instantly shouted in alarm, “Meng’er!”

a.s.sistant Minister Guo’s Furen was presently lying in bed suffering from a serious illness, and as such wasn’t able to attend the banquet. So it was left to the yiniang, who had given birth to the Guo young master and young lady, to bring them all to the Golden Chrysanthemum Banquet.

This particular Ru Mei Yiniang of a.s.sistant Minister Guo’s was originally a songstress from a theatrical troupe, and was accustomed to fawn and curry favor with the young masters in a shady manner. Today, she was dressed colorfully in ostentatious attire, and the ornaments on her head were overtly dazzling and eye-catching. If one didn’t know better, one would think that she was looking for a husband for herself and not for her daughter. Many of the furens present were main official wives, and while there were also a few concubines, they were all dressed modestly in light colours. There was no one else that was dressed in such a frivolous manner. Ru Mei Yiniang had already been relegated to the cold bench and hadn’t been too happy about it, but upon seeing that her daughter was involved in an incident, she cast all of that aside and quickly ran forward to embrace Guo Meng in her arms.

Once she noticed the gash on Guo Meng’s forehead, Ru Mei Yiniang began to rain curses abusively, “What kind of demon’s drug is this to have harmed my Meng’er! For no rhyme or reason, her name has been tarnished. In the days ahead, how can she even get married.” Her voice was shrill and coa.r.s.e, causing the other furens to frown, but Ru Mei Yiniang was totally oblivious to her surroundings as she pointedly addressed the Senior Provincial Officer’s Furen sharply, “It is here in Furen’s fu that my Meng’er has met with a mishap, so Furen must find that nasty vile person and punish him severely. Just wait until I find out who that person is and watch me rip the skin off of him!”

Afterall, she was a low-born and not raised with the n.o.bility so her words carried the shrillness of those shrews from the marketplace. Not only was her appeal offensive, she even had the audacity to be disrespectful to the extent of implicating Senior Provincial Officer’s Furen in her tirade. While the Senior Provincial Officer fu would rightly take responsibility for the matter, the att.i.tude and stance of Ru Mei Yiniang was at present causing the sense of empathy those furens had initially felt towards Guo Meng to dissipate.

“Furen, don’t be overwrought.” It was Zhao family’s Second Madame, Yao-shi, who could not bear to watch the debacle any further, who finally stepped in, “Why don’t we attend to Miss Guo’s wounds first?”

How could this mother’s only concern be to reproach and slur, totally neglecting to see to her own daughter’s wounds. As the furens reflected on this point, they began to despise Ru Mei Yiniang even more. Ru Mei Yiniang might have her ways with a.s.sistant Minister Guo, but in front of these aristocratic born and bred furens, she was like a mindless fool. Even now, she was still unable to sense the change in the gazes that were upon her, only to now anxiously shake Guo Meng in her arms, “Meng’er, Meng’er?”

Guo Meng’s eyes remained closed and she was not responsive at all. This finally caused Ru Mei Yiniang to panic and drop her vendetta, and anxiously ask, “What should I do? Meng’er isn’t waking up? What could be the matter?”

Yu Ya tightly knit her brows, while the maidservant who had earlier pretended to be fl.u.s.tered and embarra.s.sed began to panic, dropping her head in fright. It wasn’t supposed to be like this, how did it turn out this way? Earlier it had all been carefully laid out that when they all arrived at the scene, they would find Zhao Feizhou and Guo Meng in a compromising position. Furthermore, Guo Meng was supposed to have been crying in shame because Zhao Feizhou was not taking responsibility for the deed. How was it then that there was no sign of Zhao Feizhou, and Guo Meng had suffered such a serious injury?

In the past, Yu Ya had made inquiries and knew that Zhao Feizhou’s character was explosive like his father, Zhao Yuan Feng, but he was also not one to hurt anyone without a reason. Moreover, the Zhao family’s men weren’t abusive to females. So what was with this situation? Only to hear Senior Provincial Officer’s Furen say, “Servants, take Miss Guo to the house and take Master’s invitation card to request for a physician.”

Even after the servants had placed a still unconscious Guo Meng on a bed in a room, the physician had yet to arrive. Yu Ya rolled her eyes and said, “How daring of that person to hurt Miss Guo within the fu; the culprit certainly has to be someone from within. There are many people who are here attending the Golden Chrysanthemum Banquet so there ought to be someone who might have noticed something. Why not ask around to find out who was with Miss Guo earlier?”

The Senior Provincial Officer’s Furen concurred with what she said so she instructed someone to pa.s.s the message along asking if anyone had noticed anything today or knew who Guo Meng had been with?

The servant returned quickly and said that a servant who was sweeping the courtyard had earlier seen both Guo Meng and Zhao Feizhou pa.s.s by together heading somewhere.

When this was said, Yao-shi’s eyes twitched. Today she had brought Zhao Yulong and Zhao Feizhou to attend the banquet as both Zhao Yulong and Zhao Feizhou were of age to be married, yet both were as stoic as a rock- blank slates without any thoughts of having any intimate relations with any young miss. Thus Yao-shi and Zhou-shi had discussed it before deciding to bring both their son and nephew to this event. Who would have expected for such a thing to have happened.

Yao-shi had a scholarly family background and since childhood had been taught proper etiquette and decorum so when she heard Zhao Feizhou being implicated, she was immediately indignant, “I have watched Feizhou grow up and am very certain that he could not have done such a despicable thing!”

“You may know the child for a long time but still cannot know his true nature.” Yu Ya stated, “Moreover we haven’t said anything, only that someone saw Third Young

Master Zhao and Fifth Miss Guo together, so what is there for Madame Zhao to worry about?”

“You….” Yao-shi was furious. She could see that Yu Ya was out to stir the pot, and when she glanced over at Shen Rou she suddenly recalled a certain matter. At that time Jiang Ruan’s matter had spread to the Zhao family, and it turned out that this woman was the mother of Xia Jun. So today’s incident was looking like an intentional provocation- a form of revenge?

Ru Mei Yiniang began to shout again creating a ruckus and chaos all around, “So it was you! Who would have thought that Third Young Master Zhao is a shameless scoundrel. I could care less, but Third Young Master Zhao has hurt my Meng’er. I must return home to report this matter to Laoye, then we will raise this matter to the courts. You will not be able to get away with it!”

“Ru Mei Yiniang,” Yao-shi was really irate at this point. With great emphasis, she clearly enunciated and drew out each word, “Please explain why our Feizhou would hurt your family’s daughter? Without any rhyme or reason for such an action, it definitely demands an explanation.”

“Maybe your son fell for my Meng’er’s beauty, and had some filthy wayward thoughts. Then when Meng’er refused his advances, he raised his hand in anger and hurt her!” Ru Mei Yiniang shamelessly said, and yet the furens standing about chuckled at her words. This Ru Mei Yiniang was certainly a shrew, without any care nor understanding of the repercussions that her spoken words would have on her daughter. Sadly after today’s incident had spread, in the future, Guo Meng would have trouble finding a good family to marry into. If her own mother was so shameless, then as her daughter, would she be any better?

Ru Mei Yiniang was gleefully carrying on with her tirade but was unaware of how defensive and protective the Zhao family were regarding their own, and were certainly no pushover. And although Yao-shi might look warm and gentle, after being married into the Zhao family for so many years, some of the fierce and intrepid valour of the Zhao family had been ingrained in her very being. At that moment, a cold laugh was heard, “Ru Mei Yiniang must be p.r.o.ne to jest. Feizhou has so many choices of young ladies to choose from, why would he choose a shu daughter? Or does Ru Mei Yiniang feel that because Miss Guo can sing a few songs, Feizhou must be enamoured. How does she compare to Xiao Tao Hong from the capital’s east alley’s theatrical stage, and who is better?”

Among the furens present, those that were on good terms with Yao-shi all knew that Yao-shi was usually even tempered and would never utter such biting sarcastic words. However, she had been forced to the point that her temper had flared.

At Yao-shi’s words, even the Senior Provincial Officer’s Furen felt an urge to laugh. The Xiao Tao Hong from that east alley theatrical troupe could sing very well, and on a daily basis there was the welcoming and sending off many customers. Moreover, it was unknown how many officials were entangled with her. It can’t be denied that Yao-shi’s words were malicious.

Yu Ya herself had never thought that Yao-shi, who looked easy to bully and a pushover, could be so witty and eloquent. The blockhead Ru Mei Yiniang was also able to grasp the mockery and sarcasm in Yao-shi’s words and felt so much hatred that she burned in resentment. Moreover, she did not possess Yao-shi’s wit and was thus unable to come up with a suitable comeback.

Just when the situation was beginning to turn frosty, there was the sound of footsteps coming from outside. It was a group of n.o.ble ladies returning from playing out in the courtyard.

Leading the group was Guo family’s Eldest Miss, Guo Xiang. Just as she stepped through the door, Ru Mei Yiniang venomously began to reprimand, “Eldest Miss, how come when Meng’er and you went out to admire the flowers and play, something bad happened to Meng’er. Tell me, did you fulfill your role as eldest sister? Don’t tell me that you didn’t know that you needed to look out and care for your meimei?”

Eldest Miss Guo was only around fifteen to sixteen years old this year, and because her mother was very sick, she wore a dark green dress, and appeared very simple and unadorned. Her eyes were like the rest of her features, quiet and plain. After listening to Ru Mei Yiniang’s venomous reprimand, she merely shook her head saying, “Yiniang, I am not a worm in Fifth Sister’s stomach, so how could I have eyes on her all the time. Moreover, I requested Fifth Sister to accompany me but Fifth Sister herself turned me down.”

Ru Mei Yiniang was shocked, only to see another young lady come forth from behind Guo Xiang, “That’s right, Guo Jiejie planned to head out together with Fifth Miss Guo, and who knows why, but not only did Fifth Miss Guo refuse to come along with Guo Jiejie, but even insultingly abused Guo Jiejie.”

The other n.o.ble young ladies began to nod their heads, claiming that they too had witnessed the event. To begin with, these young ladies did not have any regard for a shu daughter, and on top of that, Guo Meng’s character was not one that invited any good feelings. So in sympathy towards Guo Xiang, they did not leave it to chance and trampled on Guo Meng. Ru Mei Yiniang was so angered that she almost vomited blood, but there were so many n.o.ble ladies present and she could not afford to offend the n.o.bility, so she could only continue to direct her intense fury upon Guo Xiang, staring daggers at her.

Guo Xiang remained stoic, however, it was Yu Ya’s gaze that began to sweep around before it landed on Jiang Ruan who was standing towards the back with Zhao Jin. As if sensing Yu Ya’s gaze, Jiang Ruan returned her gaze and smiled at her. Immediately a foreboding premonition arose in Yu Ya’s heart, and she couldn’t help feeling that she had overlooked something.

“Yiniang, someone has to be the culprit of Fifth Sister’s injuries.” Guo Xiang stated.

“What?” Upon hearing this, Ru Mei Yiniang immediately asked a question in return, “Do you know who it is?”

“This….” Guo Xiang felt awkward, but it was Zhao Jin who spoke up, “It’s because Fifth Miss Guo stumbled upon another person’s secret.”

“What secret?” Ru Mei Yiniang asked doggedly, but Zhao Jin found it quite awkward to respond and refused to further comment.

“What in the world is this secret?” Seeing Zhao Jin’s reaction, Ru Mei Yiniang felt even more anxious and she reached out to grab hold of Zhao Jin’s sleeve. Zhao Furen frowned when she saw this.

The young lady, who had spoken up on Guo Xiang’s behalf, once again spoke, “Oh, everyone learned about it a while ago so it can’t be considered a secret anymore.”

This young lady was the daughter of a scholarly official and she was still not of marriageable age this year. As such she did not have any qualms about being straightforward and blunt with her words. The company of n.o.ble young ladies cast looks among themselves before lowering their heads. Their actions implied that this secret was something that was not easy to talk about and was too embarra.s.sing to mention.

Yu Ya’s heart jumped as she looked towards Jiang Ruan. The smile on Jiang Ruan’s face seemed to deepen, and no matter how one looked at it, there seemed to be something suspicious. She continued to pin her eyes on Jiang Ruan as her brows began to knit closer together.

“Just what is the matter?” Senior Provincial Officer’s Furen gently coaxed, “Just say it, there’s nothing to be afraid of.”

The same young lady nonchalantly replied, “Alright, I’ll just say it. The secret is that the Xia family’s Eldest Miss is in fact the Second Master Xia’s child.”

Once this was uttered, everyone present was thunderstruck.

Originally Shen Rou was like a fly on the wall watching the show being played out, but never had she imagined that the sudden shift of focus would suddenly land directly on her head. Immediately she turned ashen.

“What in the world is this? Yu Ya sternly questioned, as she cast her eye towards Shen Rou. She noted that Shen Rou’s disposition was not like her usual self and her heart paused. Gradually she felt her heart sink, while an overwhelming hatred arose.

As sisters-in-law, Shen Rou and her had fought for many years, and she very clearly understood the meaning behind Shen Rou’s expression. It clearly confirmed what that young lady had said….. was true.

When she had married into the Xia family, she was aware that Xia Tian Cai was a philandering dandy. However, since she had given birth to Xia Jun, she had secured a firm place as the matriarch in the household. As such, no matter how much Xia Tian Cai fooled around, he would always defer to her.

In fact, Yu Ya was by nature a churlish person and always p.r.o.ne to jealousy. The eldest son of Xia family, Xia Tian Yi, was wooden and unsophiscated, yet he was able to marry a beautiful and pampered person like Shen Rou as his wife. Women were always p.r.o.ne to make comparisons, and she disliked the fact that Shen Rou had only given birth to a daughter but was still loved by her husband. Whereas she had given birth to a son and yet Xia Tian Cai’s heart was never towards her. The most hated fact was that occasionally Xia Tian Cai’s gaze would linger over Shen Rou’s body in appreciation.

Now that she thought about it, it was because there had already been some history between the two of them. It was no wonder then that even though it couldn’t be said that Xia Tian Cai was all that close to his eldest brother, he was always very doting of his niece, Xia Jiao Jiao. Yet now it was clear that Xia Jiao Jiao was actually the fruit of their shared adultery!

The elder brother’ wife had an affair with the younger brother, and not only was Xia Tian Yi wearing a green hat, he had even raised someone else’s daughter; this was indeed the most ridiculous thing in the world!

“Why not let me explain,” Jiang Ruan said nonchalantly. “Earlier we were walking about when a maidservant came looking very fl.u.s.tered and in shock. All she could say was that Fifth Miss Guo had stumbled upon a secret, and that a person had murdered Fifth Miss Guo and was going to silence her too. That maidservant was very terrified and when we questioned her further, she finally revealed the secret. This led to what we see now.”

“Very good indeed, so it was you who hurt my Meng’er!” Ru Mei Yiniang was one to take advantage of any situation, so when she heard the explanation, she immediately turned her focus towards Yu Ya and Shen Rou and spat out, “Both of you have done such scandalous and shameless deeds and even want to murder people to silence them. If my Meng’er suffers any mishap, my Laoye will not let you both off!”

Yu Ya took a deep breath; she was well aware that now was not the time to delve into all the other matters. This was because she was well aware that if such rumours were to spread concerning the Xia family, then this would not be a good thing for her. So she replied, “Ru Mei Yiniang, you don’t even know where this maidservant came from and yet you believed her words and jumped to conclusions. Isn’t that too unfair (of you)?

My sister-in-law and I have been here all this time so did we leave our bodies to go harm Fifth Miss Guo?”

“This….” Ru Mei Yiniang was dumbstruck.

Jiang Ruan smiled, “How come we haven’t seen Second Madame Xia’s personal maid?”

Normally, any furen who went out would always have two maidservants to wait on them, but until now, there had only been one maidservant by Yu Ya’s side while the other was nowhere to be seen. Furthermore if it was said that the maidservant was delayed in returning from retrieving something, then wasn’t it taking way too long for her to return.

Yu Ya’s pallor changed- she knew where that maid went. That maid was meant to be hiding to then provide information that would lead Zhao Feizhou to Guo Meng, but she had yet to return. So naturally, she(YY) couldn’t tell the truth. Unfortunately, Jiang Ruan had no intentions of giving her any time to react. Walking up to face Guo Meng, who was still lying on the bed, she very gingerly pinched the edge of a silk handkerchief and quietly remarked, “This handkerchief seems to have something strange on it…”

Coincidently, the physician who had just seen to Guo Meng had just finished writing out a prescription, so he took the handkerchief from Jiang Ruan and had a whiff of it, “I’ve looked over this young lady and have concluded that she is not waking because she has been drugged. This handkerchief does in fact carry the scent of a sleep- inducing drug.”

———-

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