The True Culprit Admits Their Guilt
Because a girl marrying into a palace would first need to have her body inspected, the palace had a number of grannies standing by. These grannies had fierce eyes. If there was even the slightest bit of anything off about a girl, it would be noticed by their eyes. Apparently, even the girl had been pure, if they had done anything that was slightly improper, it would be found out clearly. It was just unknown how it was found out.
In the past, Feng Yu Heng had reached her own conclusion upon hearing this. She felt that it was definitely that the grannies did not just examine the body. They had also learned something similar to psychology. Through the use of observation, they would be able to more or less guess the situation.
But ever since imperial concubine Yun had entered the palace over twenty years prior, the imperial palace did not welcome anyone new. Those grannies did not have much use. Like this, a number were let out of the palace. The ones that were kept had nothing to do. They just kept their positions.
Later on, the Empress also handed them the job of examining the bodies of the official princesses that were marrying princes. This gave them a bit of worth.
Granny Gui had the longest record of service, and she was the one with the best eyes. Upon hearing that imperial daughter Ji An had invited someone over, the palace immediately sent her over. In regards to this, Feng Yu Heng was very satisfied.
But while she was feeling satisfied, the other side was feeling disappointed. Lu Yao had a look of having lost her mind from fear, as she sat on the ground. Her face was pale as a dead person. Even Lu Song, who was kneeling at Xuan Tian Hua’s feet became panicked. Furrowing his brow tightly, he was pondering something.
Feng Yu Heng watched with a cold gaze. She then looked at the members of the Yao family, and all of them had looks of anger on their faces. A perfectly good wedding had become a funeral. What sort of situation was this? Yao Xian was glaring even more at Lu Song. He had a look of refusing to let go of this situation without a proper explanation.
Granny Gui was also someone that had become accustomed to seeing this sort of scene. Although she had been frightened by the corpse on the ground, she immediately recovered. Without letting out a sound, she walked over to Feng Yu Heng and kneeled on the ground to salute, saying loudly: “This servant greets imperial daughter Ji An. Good evening, imperial daughter!”
Because Feng Yu Heng had sent someone to invite her, she saluted Feng Yu Heng first. After Feng Yu Heng called for her to rise, she then kneeled toward the princes.
After bowing to the princes, she did not pay any attention to the officials present, as she went straight to Feng Yu Heng’s side.
At this time, Xu Jing Yuan, who was seated in the head seat said: “Guards! Bring in the Lu family’s servant that is outside.”
THese words caused the people of the Lu family to freeze. Lu Song was even more puzzled, what Lu family’s servant? Were the people that his Lu family had sent to the Yao manor just the ones present? How could there still be another outside?
Just as he was wondering, he saw a government worker bring another person inside. That person was dressed like a maidservant. Lu Yao saw this, and her heart immediately sank. It was one of Lu Yan’s servants.
Ever since she was young, she did not get along well with Lu Yan. Because they were both daughters of the first wife, and her mother had passed away early, Lu Yan had been hoping with all of her might to move her from her position as daughter of the first wife. This would mean that the Lu family only had one daughter of the first wife. Like this, Lu Yan’s status would be more valuable. Unfortunately, her plots never succeeded; however, who knew that Lu Yan’s servant would come over to cause trouble.
Lu Yao’s heart was trembling. Although the governor had not yet said what his evidence was, she was able to roughly guess what it was. It was nothing more than the matter between her and Lu Cuo. She looked resentfully at Lu Song with a look of once having been friendly.
Up to this moment, Lu Yao still could not figure out why Lu Song gave birth to an eldest son but did not keep him in the manor nor acknowledge him. It was only after she had developed feelings for Lu Cuo that was she told that they were siblings? If there was any blame to be assigned, it would be on Lu Song. Everything that had happened today was caused by Lu Song!
Lu Yao held this anger inside her chest and thought to herself that if she could not pass this trial, she would desperately do her best to drag down this irresponsible father too!
Seeing that Lu Yao was staring at Lu Song with a fiercer and fiercer look, the servant that had been brought in sneered. She then kneeled properly in front of the governor.
Lu Song knew that his two daughters did not get along; however, he never thought that the governor would go and bring Lu Yan’s servant to this trial. This servant had been working in the manor for many years and had been trained by the family. If anything was exposed, everything today would be over.
However, with the situation as it was, it was no longer a situation that he could control. He just heard Xu Jing Yuan say: “Girl, this official has determined that the death of the Lu family’s eldest young master cannot be unrelated to the Lu family’s second young miss. The culprit has also been determined to be her. All that is necessary now is evidence. As for you, do you want to provide this evidence?”
“Servant raised by the family!” Lu Song finally spoke, “You must reply properly to lord governor’s questions.”
The words “servant raised by the family” caused her to hesitate slightly. At the same time, she managed to react. She had only remembered what the third young miss had entrusted her; however, she had forgotten that her father and mother were both in the manor. This trial was not just related to the second young miss’ life. It was also connected to the Lu family’s fortunes!
In the time that she was hesitating, Lu Yao’s wet nurse moved slightly without anyone noticing. Using her body to provide cover, she quietly said: “Young miss must quickly think of preserving yourself. You must not hesitate at a time like this.”
Lu Yao was startled and did not understand what she had meant. The wet nurse quickly continued: “In the end, they’re looking for who killed the eldest young master. He was not killed by young miss. You must not admit to the nonsense being spouted by the lord governor and have the case framed against you.”
Lu Yao’s mouth moved a bit, as her gaze turned toward the fatter servant. That servant began to have a bad feeling fill her heart, but it was too late for anything. Her status had decided on her fate. In the instant that she had acted for Lu Yao and killed Lu Song, she should have thought about the outcome. She felt that she would die; however, she did not think that it would happen so quickly.
“Lord Xu!” Lu Yao suddenly opened her mouth and spoke up in a loud voice before the servant: “Lord Xu, there’s no need to spill dirty water on me and frame this on me. You are just hoping to use me to expose to the true culprit of the murder. Alright, I’ll speak. Even ignoring the feelings of being master and servant together for many years, this matter today is related to a person’s life. I cannot continue to hesitate.” As she spoke, she pushed the fatter servant forward and loudly said: “The culprit is right here. This servant’s name is Pan Chun, and she has accompanied me for many years. She knows some martial arts and is most proficient with needles. Earlier, after she saw eldest brother present me with a gift, this servant quickly gave chase. I knew that there were some feelings between her and elder brother. Elder brother even mentioned the idea of taking her as a concubine, thus I did not stop her; however, I never thought that she would turn around and do such a vile thing. Speaking of, this Pan Chun was the last person to see eldest brother.”
Pan Chun was pushed forward and personally heard Lu Yao make up this sort of absurd story; however, she could not help but admire her own young miss for having a bit of intellect at a time like this. But the one filling in for that intellect would be her life!
Once Lu Yao finished speaking, Lu Song also began to vent, as they heard him say: “You damn servant, this prime minister saw that you had a bit of ability, thus I left you at the young miss’ side to protect her; however, I never thought that you would be so vile! Has this prime minister treated your family poorly over the years? Which one in your family isn’t relying on this prime minister to survive. Why did you turn around and want to harm this prime minister’s son?”
Lu Song used the same trick once more. The suppression of family caused the servant to have no choice but to lower her head in acceptance. While she was admitting her guilt, she also found an excuse for the murder: “Eldest young master had said that he would take me in as a concubine, but he said some heartless things this time and told me to give it up. I was exceedingly angry and proceeded… to kill him.”
Once these words were spoken, the members of the Lu family let out a sigh of relief. Lu Yao collapsed on the ground and began to cry once more.
Feng Yu Heng squinted her eyes and looked toward the members of the Yao family. She saw looks of disbelief, while Xu Jing Yuan was looking toward her. She, however, helplessly nodded. The culprit was Pan Chun, and this matter could not be assigned to Lu Yao. The opportunity that she had been waiting for to deal with Lu Yao was not this one.
Xu Jing Yuan repeated the case once more then found some bloody needles on Pan Chun’s person. After asking the princes for advice, he formally announced the judgment.
Pan Chuan had killed the eldest young master of the Lu family and would be punished with execution.
When the government officials were bringing Pan Chun out of the manor toward the prison, Pan Chun suddenly began to laugh loudly. While laughing, she shouted toward Lu Yao: “Second young miss, this servant will be waiting for you down below. Quickly come down!”
Lu Yao stopped sobbing and subconsciously looked toward granny Gui. Lu Song thought to himself that this was not good and quickly changed the topic: “Lord Xu, since the case has already been resolved, please allow this prime minister to bring my deceased son back to the manor to prepare for the funeral!”
Who knew that Xu Jing Yuan would not care at all for his face as the left prime minister, only spitting out: “The corpse will naturally need to be taken away by the Lu family, but whether or not prime minister Lu can leave will need to depend on his Highness the seventh prince. This official cannot say anything about it.” Turning around, he looked to Yao Xian and said: “Lord Yao, this official has finished with my job here. Is there still anything improper? If there is nothing else, this official will be going back.”
Yao Xian nodded and said: “I’ve troubled lord Xu.”
“Lord Yao is being courteous.” Xu Jing Yuan finished speaking then turned to salute Feng Yu Heng and the princes. Only then did he bring his subordinates out of the Yao manor. Right before leaving, he told his subordinates to carry Lu Cuo’s corpse and told Lu Song: “It’s a day of celebration. Don’t upset the Yao family. This official will help send this corpse back for prime minister Lu.”
What could Lu Song say? Looking at Xu Jing Yuan’s parting figure, he gritted his teeth.
At this time, Feng Yu Heng led granny Gui forward and heard her say: “The case has been resolved, but our matters here have not yet concluded.” She looked toward Lu Yao, “This imperial daughter will reward you with a great glory. I will allow you to enjoy the treatment only afforded to the imperial concubines and official princesses of the princes.”
Granny Gui stepped forward and said to Lu Yao: “Young miss Lu, get up and follow this old servant!”
Lu Yao trembled: “Where to?”
Granny Gui said: “Naturally, to the bridal chamber. Or perhaps the Yao family has prepared another room.”
Lu Yao let out a surprised scream: “I won’t go! I don’t want to go! You… you are humiliating me!”
Feng Yu Heng feigned ignorance, “Humiliating? Young miss Lu, do not say such a thing. What would the imperial concubines think of this? They have all passed this trial.”
“I…” Lu Yao was tongue-tied. If she continued speaking, it would be disrespectful to the imperial concubines, and that was not a crime that she could endure. After thinking a bit, she came up with an idea and suddenly said: “Alright, but I have a request.” After she spoke, she looked toward Yao Shu and put on a pitiful expression, “Yao’er is afraid. Could husband accompany Yao’er?”