The imprisonment of the imperial princes in the palace instantly threw the womenfolk of each residence into a panic, making them run everywhere to find ways to pull some strings.
Noble and gentry clans in Shengjing were all shaken, too.
Many of them gathered together and ganged up.
The only exception was the sixth prince’s residence that had tightly closed gates.
One could not catch sparrows on their doorsteps1.
Upon a glance, it looked as if the people of the sixth prince’s residence were gone and the place was empty.
There was not even one servant going in or out to be seen.
“Mu’shi, what’s the meaning of this” As soon as He Lian Min Min burst in, she saw Mu Xi Yao leisurely teasing two rabbits.
She became so angry her eyes turned red.
When Mu Xi Yao saw He Lian Min Min grace her in person, she got up to welcome her, “Since principal consort has personally graced Danruo Courtyard, qie should properly receive you.” She ordered Mo Lan to serve tea.
All smiles, she asked He Lian Min Min to take a seat.
Unexpectedly, He Lian Min Min didn’t appreciate her kindness.
With pairs of eyes brimming with tears and shaking hands, she pointed at Mu Xi Yao and showered her with scolding.
“You times and again hinder me from going out of the palace to seek help.
His Highness’s deep favor was wasted on you.
In a critical time, he receives such a reciprocation from you!”
Although He Lian Min Min married over only for few days, she understood clearly that all of her prospects laid on Zhong Zheng Lin from now on.
Now that the sixth Highness was in difficulty, how could she watch with folded arms2 This woman not only won’t step in and take some actions, but she also won’t let her go back to He Lian House and seek help from her father.
She clearly cannot bear to see her make contributions at the time of his Highness’s hardship!
What angered He Lian Min Min the most was Mu Xi Yao’s ignorance of the gravity of the situation.
Before she strives for a favor, why doesn’t she look at what is the current situation If something happened to his Highness, will the residence have a good time
While the two crossed swords, Su Lin Rou hurriedly arrived with her maidservants.
As soon as she came in, she started a heart-wrenching cry.
“Mu’shi, you actually dare to retaliate me in private by beating the servant girl I sent to Su House near death.
Princess consort, you have to grant justice to qie.
While the prince’s residence is being tossed about by the wind and rain3, not only she won’t put forward any plans nor ideas, she actually goes as far as to seize the opportunity to eliminate her opponents and oppress the inner yard!”
Su Lin Rou cried until her liver and guts cut to pieces4.
The person servants behind her carried was the maid Tian Fu Shan ordered people to beat badly.
Mu Xi Yao’s brows knitted when she listened to her exaggerating words.
Zhong Zheng Lin was still well in the palace.
Yet, according to her the prince’s residence was being “tossed about by the wind and rain”
He Lian Min Min listened to her insolent words.
Su Lin Rou actually cursed the prince’s residence, saying that it hung by a thread.
Was she pointing at the mulberry tree and curse the locust tree5, implying that she just married over and has already brought an ill fortune upon the whole residence He Lian Min Min became so enraged she slapped Su Lin Rou in the face, hitting so hard the person fell on the ground, unable to recover for half a day.
“The prince’s residence is very stable.
It won’t tolerate you sputtering presumptuous words!”
As Mu Xi Yao watched these two women make the whole courtyard’s atmosphere turn murky, she felt extremely helpless.
Well done, Zhong Zheng Lin! Not only he isn’t satisfied with stirring troubles for her.
He also brings with himself a bunch of love debts.
At the moment, he’s enjoying peaceful days in the palace while turning her courtyard into a complete mess.
Mu Xi Yao ordered Zhao momo to call Tian Fu Shan and have him quickly bring the person over.
She, on the other hand, sat steadily on the seat at the outer room and let Su Lin Rou roll on the ground while screaming.
When Tian Fu Shan took the person and hastily arrived at Danruo Courtyard, what he saw was mistress Yao contentedly sitting under the shadow of a tree, at her feet two cheerfully hopping rabbits sent by his Highness.
He Lian principal consort was supported by people.
Her complexion turned livid from the anger while her lips were white.
Su cefei wept endlessly.
She knelt on the ground and kept wiping her tears.
Tian Fu Shan’s brows beaded with sweat.
What a disaster, he thought to himself.
This kind of situation wasn’t something he could possibly handle.
Since his Highness was absent, the biggest master in the residence was He Lian principal consort.
Unfortunately, the principal consort couldn’t suppress mistress Yao’s imposing aura and was pushed to the sidelines.
Yesterday, mister came back.
He praised greatly and approved of mistress Yao’s actions.
It would be better to listen to cefei for now.
Once his Highness returns, he will report back to him what had happened by then.
“Sent Su cefei back to Fanhua Courtyard.
She’s not allowed out of the courtyard till his Highness doesn’t return.
As for principal consort, qie will have trouble chief steward to personally send her back.
Qie asks big sister to stay at Chanruo Courtyard and set the mind at rest.
Qie doesn’t wish to have an “overstepping the principal consort’s authority” reputation befall on qie’s head.”
Tian Fu Shan quickly did as he was instructed and saw He Lian principal consort with an incredulous expression off to the door.
Shortly afterward, he ordered people to quickly drag away the wailing and scolding lady Su.
Once Danru Courtyard again quietened, Mu Xi Yao got up to go and attend to her son.
What Yuancheng Emperor currently wanted was for them to jump over the wall like a cornered dog6 and hop directly to the pit he dug for them.
She wasn’t as foolish as to walk blindly.
According to Zhong Zheng Lin’s confidentially laid out plans and Di Wu Yi Zhao’s exceptional executions, how could they be so easily exposed
In the current circumstance, the wisest move was to take a quiet approach.
Wasn’t He Lian Min Min’s own father, He Lian Zhang, also quite calm, having not the slightest bit of movement How come his daughter failed to live up to him
However, she had a whole new level of respect for that newly arrived lady Wan.
This person didn’t act on her anxiety or impatience, nor did she cause any troubles.
She strictly followed rules in the residence.
She didn’t even come out of her courtyard, only dispatching people to the front yard every day to make discreet inquiries about Zhong Zheng Lin’s wellbeing.
As for the rest of concubines.
Zeng Yu has been confined by her long time ago.
Lady Kong and Lady Qi were so frightened they lost energy to make a fuss.
However, there were two people whom Mu Xi Yao had paid attention to.
One was the newly arrived lady An and the other was the law-abiding lady Wu.
Both of them were silent, without any action.
However, this wasn’t something a simple “guileless“ could explain.
Such a big thing has befallen the prince’s residence, yet these two were as steady as ever.
When one’s presence was too weak it often produced the opposite of the desired result.
Since Zhong Zheng Lin has been confined, Mu Xi Yao has done her utmost in the prince’s residence.
With all the other things, she was unable to help however much she would like to.
When Yuancheng Emperor looked at the recent reports from each residence, his face was as black as an ink.
This time, his sudden idea of inspection has unexpectedly brought him many surprises.
The first prince and the crown prince’s people were the most active ones.
Even the womenfolk in their residences were busy to pull some strings.
Not only did they involve their parental clan, but they’ve also used their clan’s influence to gather and pull in connections.
At the moment, they were about to ask two ministers to preserve the two.
Zhong Zheng Ming’s forces were clean, on the contrary.
He had only respectable civilian officials pleading for him.
Apart from his princess consort who has returned twice to her parental clan, the rest of the people were quite law-abiding.
As for Zhong Zheng Lin.
Yuancheng Emperor finally had an unexpected harvest.
After browsing through the secret report that had several more pages than others, he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry7.
It was too tragic to look at how was a dignified prince’s residence overseen by cefei of Mu clan.
When she wasn’t punishing this one, she was locking up that one.
From the outside, the residence appeared peaceful.
However, who would know that from inside it was the noisiest one.
When he recalled how clever was that Mu girl, Yuancheng Emperor finally couldn’t suppress himself and let out a cough.
He threw the report from Zhong Zheng Lin’s residence far away.
It was simply a circus! Too unbearable to look at.
Yuancheng Emperor was both happy and angry at Mu Xi Yao’s performance.
This cefei whom he has personally appointed marriage to, promoted ranks and praised of, didn’t she live up too well to his expectations At the pivotal time, she has, to one’s surprise, controlled neatly the situation.
She has played an extremely beautiful deterrence game.
However, this puts his plans at a great disadvantage.
It seems like he can only forgo on Zhong Zheng Lin’s residence this time.
On the contrary, that newlywed He Lian’shi greatly disappointed Yuancheng Emperor.
He Lian Zhang’s daughter didn’t fall just a tiny bit short compared to her old man.
When he called to mind He Lian Zhang’s impressive reputation in the Ministry of Justice, Yauncheng Emperor shook his head and sighed.
In just seven days, Yuancheng Emperor has completely cleared up each faction’s forces in the court and disposed of all the officials involved in the fraud case.
When Zhong Zheng Lin and the rest were released and well-behavedly arrived in the imperial study, Yuancheng Emperor has already lost the anger he felt on that day.
He calmly sat behind the table and watched them silently.
“From today on, the first prince will be transferred to the Ministry of Rites.
All the military power in his hands will be taken back.”
“The crown prince has merits in the fraud case.
Originally, he should have been rewarded.
However, upon investigation, it has been verified that he accepted bribes and conferred official ranks for money.
This time, his merits offset faults.
He will lead academics of Hanlin Academy and compile three-volume of《Buddhist Canon》.
Afterward, he will continue with his errands in the Ministry of Justice.”
Once Yuancheng Emperor’s orders came out, Zhong Zheng Chun immediately slumped to the ground, dumbfoundedly looking toward the front, uttering no more words.
The crown prince’s expression was distorted.
His eyes were crimson.
He stiffly received the imperial decree and thanked for the grace.
When everyone withdrew, Yauncheng sent them their residence’s secret reports.
His eyes carried quite a meaningful glance.
Apart from the sixth Highness whose corners of mouth kept twitching, all of the rest were drenched in sweat, so scared they quickly asked to retreat.
Once Zhong Zheng Lin read the report attentively, he took a deep breath, feeling extremely helpless.
Mu Xi Yao clearly could use the help of He Lian Min Min to oversee the residence fair and square.
Yet, that woman kept making good shows and let Yuancheng Emperor see a joke! She was clearly paying him back for bringing her troubles.
When Zhong Zheng Lin recalled Mu Xi Yao, he was both filled with anger and love.
Since he received her help this time, not only the inner yard was stable, even the shadow guards haven’t been exposed.
In comparison, she surpassed He Lian Min Min too much.
His officially wed princess consort, on the other hand….Zhong Zheng Lin bowed his head to look at the report.
She was a year older than Mu Xi Yao, yet had no shrewdness nor calculations.
She only thought of how to go back and look for He Lian Zhang Fortunately, Mu Xi Yao has stopped the person.
Otherwise, he and He Lian Zhang both will be remembered by Yuancheng Emperor.
He Lian Zhang was circumspect and farsighted.
This was a very clear-headed person.
He was a pure royalist.
No matter whether it was to him or to Zhong Zheng Lin, this identity was very beneficial.
If it was unintentionally spoilt by He Lian Min Min and they’ve drawn Yuancheng Emperor’s suspicions then the gains won’t make up for the losses.
 Catch sparrows on the doorstep is a Chinese idiom meaning there are few and far between visitors
 Watch with folded arms is a Chinese idiom meaning sit by/sit back and watch
 Tossed about by the wind and rain is a Chinese idiom meaning unstable
 Liver and guts cut to pieces is a Chinese idiom meaning heartbroken
 To point at the mulberry tree and curse the locust tree is a Chinese idiom meaning fig.
to scold sb indirectly
 A cornered dog will jump over the wall is a Chinese idiom meaning to be driven to desperate action
 Not to know whether to laugh or cry is a Chinese idiom meaning both funny and extremely embarrassing