Real Empress from a Noble Family - Chapter 305
Chapter 305 Look After Your Sister-in-law for Me!
Jiang Yashuang understood why Zhuang Mo said all that. It was true that he was worried about Empress Jiang’s future. But the thing he really wanted to know was whether the Empress’ party planned to frame Empress Dowager’s party by poisoning the Emperor.
Otherwise, he wouldn’t add “If Empress Dowager’s party isn’t found guilty, she’ll bring it up again”.
“Now my aunt and Empress Dowager are investigating it together. I think the one behind it will soon give himself away!” Jiang Yashuang said with a smile.
Zhuang Mo realized it meant that the Jiang Family wasn’t planning to do so at that moment. That was what he antic.i.p.ated. After all, finding the culprit at that time wasn’t just for a political reason. It was also because Empress Dowager Gu and Empress Jiang were worried about themselves. Under this circ.u.mstance, even if they were going to smear each other, they would do it after they found the real culprit.
Otherwise, if the culprit wasn’t in any of their parties and they both suffered losses by going after each other, they would be screwed by the real culprit, wouldn’t they?
But Zhuang Mo also knew that two empresses had been spying on each other and they had been running a very thorough investigation until that moment. They didn’t have a single clue, let alone the real culprit. It would be more and more impossible for them to have a big break. They might have to find a few scapegoats in the end to keep the royal family’s dignity.
Zhuang Mo couldn’t say it out loud. He nodded slightly, “I hope the culprit would be caught soon!”
Then Zhuang Mo and Jiang Yashuang began to talk about their household affairs. They were finally in a festive mood at last.
When lunch was served, womenfolk’s banter finally livened up the mood in the room.
Zhuang Mo and Madame Wen loved this kind of lively scene. They both had big smiles on their faces.
However, everyone thought although they talked about the current situation for a while, they could still have a nice time for the rest of that day. Unexpectedly, only a few dishes were served. Everyone didn’t even begin to eat. A servant rushed in, “Her Majesty’s decree! It says that Young Master Yadan must resume his post to guard the palace right now!”
“What?” Everyone was talking and laughing before they heard the decree. They were all shocked at that moment, “What’s the situation in the Palace?”
Jiang Yadan who was always reckless was used by Empress Dowager Gu during the summer vacation last year. Empress Jiang and Jiang Yashuang were nearly implicated because of him. So, Empress was so furious that she decided to discharge Jiang Yadan from the Imperial Army. In case he made irretrievable mistakes because of his job which gave him accesses to the royal palace!
So, he was sent home by the Empress and ordered to ponder over his mistakes during the summer vacation. And he had been out of job ever since.
He should be transferred to another post after the Emperor was back to Jing City. However, Madame Tao had her own selfish motives. During the summer vacation, Madame Tao Junior, who was dying and lost her will to live, raised her hope again because of Qiu Yelan’s white lie. She wasn’t fully recovered when she was back to Jing City. But Madame Tao thought Jiang Yadan was under the house arrest so that she could watch over him. It would give her more chances to patch things between him and Madame Tao Junior which might give them a chance to have a kid.
She implied what she thought to Empress Jiang and Marquess Qin.
Empress surely would do her mother this little favour. Marquess Qin agreed to it after considering everything. He thought about two things. First, he could never have too many trueborn grandsons. Second, the Jiang Family was so thoughtful for Madame Tao Junior. When the Tao Family knew about it, they definitely wouldn’t doubt that the Jiang Family had known about their betrayal.
That was the main reason why Madame Tao Junior got pregnant.
Madame Tao Junior was found to be pregnant in December. There was a lot going on at the end of the year. n.o.body had time to make arrangements for Jiang Yadan. And Jiang Yadan wasn’t worried. His family was in the ascendant. There would be plenty of great jobs for him after the New Year.
However, it was only the third day of the first lunar month. The Empress sent people to the Zhuang Family to ask him to resume his post in such a hurry. It was obvious that something serious had happened to the security of the royal palace which made the Empress have no time to care about his moral standard!
“I don’t know!” The messenger from the Jiang Family didn’t take off his hat. But the steam had already come out of his body. He urged, “Young Master Yadan, please depart immediately! Don’t treat Her Majesty’s decree slightly!”
Jiang Yadan had a low moral standard. But he wasn’t stupid. He knew that one mistake could lead to the ruin of his whole family. He had already sent the servant to get his fur coat when the messenger urged him. He said goodbye to Zhuang Mo and his wife while putting on the coat, “I must leave now. I’ll come and make it up to you for another day!”
Zhuang Mo and his wife weren’t in the mood of listening to his polite words. They urged at the same time, “Be careful on the road! And be even more careful in the Palace!”
“Yadan, shall I go with you?” Jiang Yashuang also stood up. Jiang Tan handed over the fur coat at once. However, Jiang Yadan refused without hesitation, “Aunt only asked me. Why are you going? These are extraordinary times. Don’t go to the Palace as you please. Not only will you cause her trouble, but you will also give others chances to use you!”
He was fully dressed while talking. He said, “Enjoy your lunch!” And then left in a hurry!
When he went out of the room, he suddenly stopped. He said without turning around, “Look after your sister-in-law for me!”
Everyone was silent for a while. Then Zhuang Mo said with hesitation, “Our lunch?” The lunch was already served. However, were they still in the mood of having lunch here?
Even Zhuang Mo himself was eager to go out and ask for information, let alone his nephews!”
“Yadan had to leave. But we’ll be here keeping you and aunt company!” Jiang Yazhu and Jiang Yashuang looked at each other. Jiang Yazhu smiled reluctantly and picked up the chopsticks. Jiang Yadan refused to let Jiang Yashuang go with him. Judging by this and what he just said, he was clearly entrusting his wife and his unborn son or daughter to his brothers and sisters-in-law if something happened to him in the Palace. Even he, who was a playboy, made such an entrustment, let alone others.
“The worst is yet to come. Otherwise, the Empress won’t just ask Jiang Yadan to resume his post. She will ask Marquess Qin for help…” Qiu Yelan bit her lips, “But it won’t be any better. Lasciviousness is Jiang Yadan’s second nature. This weakness isn’t a secret and it’s easy for others to use it against him. Judging from the current situation, people like him aren’t suitable for important positions. But the Empress still asked him to do it. Clearly, she can’t trust anyone else with the palace security but her relatives!”
She was absentminded until Jiang Yashuang touched her hand stealthily. She picked up the wine cup in an attempt to mask her feelings in a hurry.
“Relax. Although it was an urgent decree, only Yadan was summoned and no one asked us to go home. Obviously, there is nothing to worry about!” Jiang Yashuang raised his wine cup as well. He put it near his lips without drinking. Instead, he whispered, “It’s already a b.u.mmer. Don’t embarra.s.s uncle and aunt any further.”
Qiu Yelan pulled herself together in a hurry and began to talk to Zhuang Man.
The banter of young girls livened the mood a bit. But everyone unconsciously moved faster and faster. Everyone finished eating and tidying up within a much shorter time than usual. Then Zhuang Mo and his wife made a random excuse. Jiang Yazhu took the chance and said goodbye.
They went out of the Zhuang Family’s house in a hurry and rushed back to theirs.
Of course, they would ask different persons respectively for information. Jiang Yazhu and Jiang Yashuang went to ask Marquess Qin. Sheng Shishui and Qiu Yelan went to visit Madame Tao.
As smart as Madame Tao, she knew what they wanted to know when she saw them rushing in. After greetings, she said voluntarily without them asking, “It’s nothing serious. The culprit hasn’t been found yet. So, Empress Dowager gets worried and mobilizes some of the royal army. Your aunt feels she must do something as well since Empress Dowager has made her move. If she doesn’t do anything, when the words get out, others will say that she doesn’t care about the Emperor.”
Smart people should be able to understand others’ implications. As sophisticated as Sheng Shishui and Qiu Yelan, they got the implication after some thinking: It was obvious that Empress Dowager Gu started to mobilize the royal army using the excuse that the royal palace was unsafe while the culprit was still out there. Empress Jiang thought the Palace would only be unsafe with Empress Dowager mobilizing the army. Since Empress Dowager had made her move, Empress Jiang must, too! Otherwise, how could she rest a.s.sured? That was why she gave Jiang Yadan his job back!
After all, no matter how raffish Jiang Yadan was, he had worked for a long time. He hid in the corner to fool around every now and then and it was normal for him to neglect his duty. But the biggest mistake he made on the job was nearly getting caught when he was stealthily meeting with the former Fair Concubine. Judging from that, he was capable of his work. He was talented after all. He learned things unconsciously and grew up in a powerful family.
Besides, Empress was worried about his moral standard. But his origin rea.s.sured her.
However, Sheng Shishui and Qiu Yelan weren’t satisfied with knowing so little. Madame Tao spoke in such a vague way. She didn’t tell them how many soldiers two empresses mobilized, what happened next, and what the impact was. It seemed that she wanted to send them away without giving them more information.
Sheng Shishui didn’t dare to ask because of her origin and her husband’s status. Qiu Yelan had fewer scruples than she had. She asked, “Grandmother, what is the royal army doing now?”
“What can they do? Guard the royal palace, of course!” Madame Tao said flatly, “I know that you are worried. But it’s really nothing serious… Okay. You can leave now. Don’t tell your eighth sister-in-law, understand?”
It put Sheng Shishui in a pickle, “But Yadan has been living at home these days. And it’s the first lunar month… How should I tell the eighth sister-in-law about it?”
It was no problem saying that Jiang Yadan stayed in the guest room in the front yard last night. It was the Chinese New Year Festival and he was with the elders after all. Madame Tao Junior wouldn’t suspect that he went to his mistress’s place. But now it was different. Jiang Yadan went to the palace. Clearly, he wouldn’t come back in a few days. Judging by how he used to be, how couldn’t Madame Tao Junior suspect that he went to see his mistresses, especially An Zhenshang?
Madame Tao Junior was used to it in the old days. Because Jiang Yadan was grounded at home these few months, Madame Tao patched things up between them and set Jiang Yadan off against his concubines and the kids of the concubines. They became much closer than before. This could be seen from Madame Tao Junior’s pregnancy and Jiang Yadan asking his brothers to look after his wife before he went to the Palace.
So, if Madame Tao Junior thought that Jiang Yadan betrayed her again, even if she could see it coming, she must be devastated… Then her pregnancy… She was already an elderly parturient woman.
There were three sons in the fourth branch hence three daughters-in-law. Sheng Shishui was Qiu Yelan’s older sister-in-law. They both took care of their eldest sister-in-law. Of course, Sheng Shishui bore more responsibility than Qiu Yelan. How couldn’t Sheng Shishui get an answer from Madame Tao?
With what she mentioned, Madame Tao also felt it was a tough call. She thought for a while and then said, “Do like this. Bring Huan with you when you go talk to her. Let her play with Huan and then tell her that Yadan needs to go on a business trip.”
That was choosing to let Madame Tao Junior suspect that Jiang Yadan went to his mistress’s place. Otherwise, why did he need to go on a business trip during the holiday? Especially, as an offspring of a powerful family, he didn’t need to go even if there was an emergency. However, Sheng Shishui and Qiu Yelan would make the same choice if they had to make the decision. If Madame Tao Junior found out about the truth, considering how she was, she definitely would be worried about Jiang Yadan’s safety, Empress’s safety, and the Jiang Family’s safety. She would be worried and sick!
It was better to make her believe that it was hard to change Jiang Yadan’s nature! She was used to grieving over such things!
Sheng Shishui was relieved after getting an answer from Madame Tao. She stood up and said goodbye, “Then I’ll go back to my yard and bring Huan with me!”
Huan was her daughter. According to the rank of Huan’s generation in the Jiang Family, boys should have the word “Jing” in their given names, and girls should have “Hui”. And the fourth branch had an additional rule about names. Kids of Huan’s generation all must have the letters “an” in their names. So, she was named Jiang Huihuan.
Sheng Shishui was leaving. Qiu Yelan surely didn’t want to stay either. She stood up as well. But before she could say goodbye, Madame Tao said, “Yelan, you stay. You got your answer. Now it’s my turn!”