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   Chapter 112 Fall Into Disgrace (Part One)

Eight-year-old Princess: Phoenix Reborn By Lan You Ruo Characters: 7648

Updated: 2018-09-09 10:04


The Empress frowned. Early this morning, Xiu Xin had been sent to Prince Shun Qing's Mansion and hadn't returned by the time the Empress had left for Qinzheng Hall. How could Xiu Xin be here?

Lord Zheng entered and stopped in the center of the hall. "Your Majesty, I have interrogated the guard at the west gate. He said that the name Xiu Xin wasn't recorded in the register, but he could recognize Xiu Xin, and she used the name Ya Yun when she left the Imperial City early this morning."

The Empress was taken aback. Her eyes opened wide when she felt that something must have gone wrong. But she didn't know what was going on at the moment.

Emperor Ning turned to her with contempt, "You said Xiu Xin was at Qiwu Palace, didn't you? Why did she leave the Imperial City?"

The Empress clenched an embroidered handkerchief in her hand and gnashed her teeth in anger. "Damn! How dare she cheat me? Her roommate told me early this morning that she had to take a day off as she was afraid that she would communicate her disease to me. I agreed as she has always served me wholeheartedly, but I didn't expect that she would lie to me!"

Emperor Ning said coldly, "Really? I heard that some people were killed by the toxic jadeite peach-shaped carving you sent to Prince Shun Qing's Mansion today. Why did you poison the peach-shaped carving? Did you want to murder Lady Shun Qing?"

The Empress explained lowering her head, "I'm on good terms with Lady Shun Qing. Why would I murder her? Moreover, Lady Gao is my sister. I have to develop good relations with Lady Shun Qing for her sake. Why would I murder her? Shang took the peach-shaped carving there. Someone must have replaced the original one."

Yun Shang knew she was the someone the Empress was referring to. She felt wronged and tears welled in her eyes. "Your Majesty, What do you mean? Do you think I poisoned the peach-shaped carving?"

The Empress answered coldly, "No, but your maid might be involved. Why not ask her about the truth?"

Emperor Ning interrupted her with a snort of contempt, "Li Yiran! You are my wife, so I don't want to embarrass you, but you are persistent in doing wrong and trying to slander Shang. You should know what you have done. If you don't, I will tell you.

Guards, take Lady Gao." The guards did as Emperor Ning ordered.

Emperor Ning said to Lady Gao scornfully, "Tell me the truth."

Lady Gao looked up at the Empress with fear. Seeing the coldness in the Empress's eyes, her heart jolted. Just when she was about to speak, Prince Shun Qing said in a low voice, "Rui'er will be of school age soon…"

Lady Gao hurriedly made three kowtows to Emperor Ning, "I will say whatever I know. About ten days ago, the Empress's maid Xiu Xin secretly came to me at Prince Shun Qing's Mansion. She said that if I did something for the Empress, the Empress would ask Ruxin to adopt my son Rui'er. Since Ruxin doesn't have any sons, Rui'er will be the oldest son. It had always rankled me that my husband wasn't the oldest son, so I agreed happily."

Lady Gao wept as she continued, "Xiu Xin told me that the Empress would ask Princess Hui Guo to present a peach-shaped carving. I was supposed to replace the peach-shaped carving and insist that I saw Princess Hui Guo poison the gift when no one was around. I had succeeded in replacing the gift, but unexpectedly, Prince Shun Qing and his wife were not poisoned. In a panic, Xiu Xin killed Mister Wu and his illegitimate daughter with poison. She wanted me to identify that the cloth and silk threads of the sachet which caused the deaths were from the Empress, and that the maid of Princess Hui Guo had embroidered the sachet. Prince Shun Qing and his wife caught us while we were talking."

Lady Gao told the whole story clearly although she wailed the wh

ole time. The Empress got angry. She sneered, "He who has a mind to beat his dog will easily find a stick. Yun Shang, you must have made a great effort to do this."

Yun Shang smiled and thought, 'She is smart. She knows I am behind all this, but so what? I won't let her go this time.'

She pretended to be weak. "Your Majesty, I don't know what you are talking about. Why should I get myself involved in this? It does me no good."

Emperor Ning said furiously, "Just admit your guilt!"

The Empress grinned with helplessness and looked up at Emperor Ning. "As I said, he who has a mind to beat his dog will easily find his stick. Do you believe what she said?"

Lady Shun Qing couldn't help but laugh. "Your Majesty, you said that you wanted to get close to me for the sake of your sister, Lady Gao. I thought you were on good terms with her, but now you say we can't trust her. Why?"

"It's a trick! She is talking nonsense!" The Empress shouted coldly.

Emperor Ning snorted and said to Lady Gao, "You said that the Empress was behind all this. Can you prove it?"

Lady Gao nodded and replied, "Princess Hui Guo was a complete stranger to me, so I didn't know what gift she would present and thus couldn't make an identical one for replacement. Xiu Xin directed me as the Empress ordered. The replacement was stained with blood, which would bring back luck. Xiu Xin said that if Lady Shun Qing saw it, she would definitely vent her anger on Princess Hui Guo. She also said that Lady Shun Qing would inspect the peach-shaped carving at which time, she would be poisoned. The original gift is still in my room. Your Majesty, you can send someone to collect it from there, and you will know the truth."

Emperor Ning nodded and ordered a servant to fetch the gift. When being brought to Emperor Ning, Xiu Xin was still confused. "Your Majesty? Your Majesty? What happened? Why was I brought here?"

"Where did you go this morning?" Emperor Ning asked in a cold, hard voice.

Xiu Xin trembled with fear. She looked up and saw Prince Shun Qing and his wife. Princess Hui Guo and Lady Gao were kneeling on the ground with tears in their eyes. Obviously, they had been crying. Lady Gao couldn't come to the Imperial City without permission. It was Lady Shun Qing's birthday today, but she knelt here. What had happened?

Xiu Xin broke out in a cold sweat and kowtowed before Emperor Ning. "I stayed at Qiwu Palace the whole morning."

"You are lying! You went to Prince Shun Qing's Mansion!" Lady Gao retorted before Emperor Ning could say anything. As she had identified the murderer, she would be considered an accomplice at most and could save Rui'er.

Xiu Xin nervously bit her lip, realizing that Lady Gao had revealed everything. Yun Shang said, "Xiu Xin, Lady Gao has told us everything. Save your breath."

Xiu Xin became more scared. It had been an unusual day. She planned to go to Prince Shun Qing's Mansion to see how things were going, but somehow, she had felt drowsy and had fallen asleep. It was late when she woke up. By then, she heard that Prince Shun Qing and his wife were no longer at their mansion. She wanted to inquire more, but she was afraid that the plan would be exposed if she was away for too long, so she rushed back to the Imperial City. Unexpectedly, she was arrested as soon as she entered the city gate.

"Why not admit what you did? You did it as Her Majesty ordered, right?" Seeing that Xiu Xin was hesitating, Yun Shang knew she would be difficult to deal with. If she knew the ins and outs, she would be suspicious. If she said something she shouldn't say, all of Yun Shang's effort would be in vain, so Yun Shang goaded her into action. She had always been loyal to the Empress, so she would rather admit to all the guilt than implicate the Empress.

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