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Chapter 1037 The End of the Ning Sisters

“When can my master return?” This was a question of the greatest importance to Nanny Yu because Old Madam’s main concern was always herself.

“Well, she should come back if there is an important and joyous occasion. After all, the people in charge of this mansion are too young and have little experience. More particularly, the Empress has not issued an imperial edict, has she?”

After receiving some benefits and intending to please Nanny Xi, the Nanny from the Palace thought this over and finally offered them a glimmer of hope.

After that, she ignored Nanny Yu and turned to leave.

It was already the sincerest reminder this Nanny could give to them. As a maid serving in the Palace, she would get herself into desperate trouble if she disclosed more information.

After Nanny Yu had a good think about this sentence, her eyes lit up. She immediately turned around and walked into the room happily.

Old Madam was sitting in the room on the bed, her face malicious and insidious.

“Your Grace, don’t worry. The Empress Dowager’s birthday is coming soon, and you can come back at that time. For the time being, just stay a few days outside to have a good rest. Yuhui Nunnery is a peaceful and quiet place.” Nanny Yu came in and said with a smile, “I’ve asked the Nanny. Her Majesties in the Palace felt displeased because our mansion forced Princess Chen to handle the dispute.”

“Again, it was because of her!” Old Madam patted the quilt with hatred. “I knew she would bring disasters to us.”

“Your Grace, be careful with your words!” Nanny Yu hurriedly stopped her because many servants were serving in the room, though they just stood aside at this time, lowering their heads in silence.

“Get out, all of you!” Old Madam ordered coldly.

One by one, the servant girls bowed their heads and withdrew.

“What else did she say?” After everyone left, Old Madam asked, her face livid with rage. It surprised her that she took all the blame because she disgusted the Empress.

“The Nanny said you could return home if there was a big happy event. You see, no one in the mansion can manage the affairs of the inner court. If something goes wrong, it won’t be good,” Nanny Yu said hurriedly.

Old Madam immediately took the hint in her words. No other occasion could be bigger and happier than the Empress Dowager’s birthday, which was drawing near.

Thinking of this, she felt a little relieved, and her gloomy face brightened a little. If this was the case, she would not have to stay outside for long.

Since her future was secured, Old Madam shifted her attention back to the previous matter. “Who on earth made a complaint about me?”

“I can’t tell it from her words. It seems to be related to Infanta Yuan’an or Princess Chen. She also said the Empress Dowager had to give Princess Chen special consideration when Prince Chen was not in the capital city!” Nanny Yu shook her head. “In my view, Infanta Yuan’an must have gone to the Palace and wept out her grief. Then, Princess Chen also went to plead for mercy in the Palace. After that, something happened, so the Empress vented her anger on you!”

What exactly happened in the Palace was unknown to a humble maid like her. She could only guess it according to what the Nanny from the Palace had told her.

“Good-for-nothing. She couldn’t accomplish such a small thing!” Old Madam patted the edge of the bed hard. Of course, she was referring to Shao Wanru.

“Your Grace, what should we do now?” asked Nanny Yu.

“Let them prepare some joss sticks and candles, telling them I’m going to worship in the Yuhui Nunnery for a period and pray for blessings of the Marquis Xing’s Mansion!” Old Madam said. Not having issued an imperial edict, the Empress showed her enough respect. So, she had to leave for Yuhui Nunnery, even if she was not feeling well.

“Go and inform the marquis to keep an eye on the mansion. Don’t be distracted. First of all, he should deal well with the affairs of our mansion. And Hua’an…” Old Madam paused for a moment. “Ask him to hold back and don’t make any more trouble. We’ll talk about it when there’s a chance in the future.”

When her eldest granddaughter married into Prince Yue’s Mansion and became Princess Yue, she would become the Empress in the future. There were plenty of opportunities to take revenge in the future. But this was not the right time.

“Yes, I know. I’ll go and tell the marquis now.” Nanny Yu said. It was better for her to convey her meaning, lest these young servant girls should not get the point and transmit the message wrong.

The issue of Wang Shengxue had become less important because of his death.

Yan Xi was fine, and so was the maid who was supposed to jump off the building. It was only Wang Shengxue who was in trouble. Wang Shengxue, who was dead, became the focus of the many problems. As for the others, they bore less responsible after his death.

Even Ning Caixian was waiting to get out of prison. Everyone felt it was Wang Shengxue who caused all the things. No matter what the reason was, he was the only sinner. Now that he was dead, what else could the others do? It was not necessary to hold Ning Caixian, a mere accessory criminal.

As for Ning Xueqing, she was even more innocent. She didn’t know what had happened and bumped into this whole thing herself. She was not guilty at all.

At most, she would be confined here for a few more days. If no one could find out who poisoned Wang Shengxue, she would be set free. At least, she had little to do with the original case.

No one expected that Ning Xueqing, who seemed to have no contact with Wang Shengxue’s case, would suddenly confess, saying there had been someone behind Wang Shengxue.

She was a concubine, so Wang Shengxue wouldn’t tell her everything. But she vaguely knew someone backed him up. Once, she saw Wang Shengxue hold a stack of fat cheques for silver, which were simply impossible for him to get.

These officials of the Ministry of Justice had been searching for the people behind Wang Shengxue. When they heard Ning Xueqing’s words, their spirits were lifted. They specially searched his mansion and found a lot of large silver drafts.

Everybody knew Wang Shengxue was from an impoverished family, so how could he get so many notes? If they investigated his matter further, they might get to the bottom of something big.

The minister of the Ministry of Justice sorted out the evidence he got and hurried to see the Emperor.

The Emperor exploded with anger in the Imperial Study. He called Prince Zhou over and scolded him harshly before he drove him out.

When Prince Zhou went out, his head was bleeding — the Emperor must have struck him hard with something. As soon as he arrived at the Empress’s Phoenix Palace, the Empress sent for the imperial physician. There was another flurry of activity.

Everyone in the Palace felt insecure. To avoid causing trouble, they even lowered their voices.

Prince Zhou enraged the Emperor, who got into a rage. Since then, the servants of the Emperor and the Empress served their masters with extreme caution.

After Prince Zhou left, the minister of the Ministry of Justice also walked out of the Imperial Study with sweat all over his face. It was a quarrel between father and son. However, for an official like him, it was a heated dispute between the monarch and his subject. The Emperor was Prince Zhou’s father and his master. Either way, it was fatal for Prince Zhou to offend him.

Helplessly, he shook his head. Prince Zhou did whatever he wished utterly without self-knowledge. There was no direct correlation between the large notes and Prince Zhou, but it was connected to a supervisor of Prince Zhou’s mansion who was Prince Zhou’s trusted subordinate.

The Ministry of Justice had been investigating the poisoning of Wang Shengxue. It focused on the things occurring around the incident, so they did not look into matters that had happened long ago. Now, according to the time shown on the notes, they could inquire into the past and get pretty close to the truth.

Prince Zhou’s supervisor gave Wang Shengxue a sum of money. After that, nothing serious happened and Wang Shengxue appeared incapable. In any case, Prince Zhou couldn’t be cleared of suspicion about Wang Shengxue’s poisoning death case. Moreover, the Ministry of Justice had a nasty suspicion that it also had something to do with Shao Jing, Marquis Xing.

Shao Jing, Marquis Xing, was initially supposed to be the guy of the highest status behind all of this, but now, with the evidence of the bank notes, Prince Zhou became the prime suspect.

The Ministry of Justice didn’t dare to dig into this matter, and the minister of the Ministry of Justice packed up all the evidence and sent it to the Emperor, pleading with him to give his verdict.

Prince Zhou was the Empress’s legitimate son who had a distinguished status. It was impossible for him to fall from power merely because of Wang Shengxue, a nobody. The development of this matter depended on the Emperor. If he wanted to go on investigating, it meant Prince Zhou would not ascend to the throne so that the Ministry of Justice could dig out the truth. But if the Emperor did not allow the investigation, Prince Zhou stood a chance to win over the supreme power of this country.

If Prince Zhou was to be a crown prince, he should never be charged with such a crime.

At present, the Emperor still seemed to regard Prince Zhou as one of the candidates for the crown prince, so he expressly forbade them to investigate this case thoroughly. Then it was the end of Wang Shengxue’s matter: all the blame was fixed on Wang Shengxue. As for the others, they were just women and could be released.

After making everything clear, the minister of the Ministry of Justice shook his head and strode out of the Palace. He didn’t have a good prospect of Prince Zhou winning the throne. Compared with him, Prince Yue was more cool and controlled.

Of course, dealing with Wang Shengxue’s matter was not easy. The Emperor decided not to pursue the issue, but it was not suitable to end it at this time. Fortunately, there was an announcement of the examination result. The minister of the Ministry of Justice thought it was better to release the results of the exam and the case together. In that case, those candidates for the Palace Examination could no longer pay so much attention to Wang Shengxue’s case!

Wang Shengxue’s matter had caused quite a stir because it was somehow bound up with those candidates. Since they were waiting for the examination result, a small thing would become a big deal. It became the most talked about topic among them.

At present, the case was quickly cracked, and Wang Shengxue was the chief offender, who set up such a vicious trap out of his envy of Yan Xi. But now, Wang Shengxue died in prison. Was this the end of the matter?

Those candidates were not convinced, feeling there must be an inside story.

Luckily, the list of successful candidates was issued at this time. While everyone kept a watchful eye on their rankings, they surprisingly saw Childe Yan’s name on the list. More than that, he got a high placing. It was great news for Childe Yan, whose luck finally came after hardship.

Their final rankings would come out after the final imperial examination presided over by the Emperor.

Some people not on the list lamented their unhappy fate, while those who succeeded delightedly called their friends to celebrate. Few paid much attention to Yan Xi’s matter. They were too engaged with their own business to care about someone else.

Moreover, it was indeed Wang Shengxue, who caused the trouble for Yan Xi. Now that he was dead, he could no longer rock the boat. In particular, he was said to have committed suicide. It should be because he knew he had committed towering crimes and deserved death.

With this in mind, people were no longer willing to care about this matter.

Ning Xueqing was let out of prison, squinting at the sunshine outside she hadn’t seen in a very long time. With a strange look, she turned to Ning Caixian on the other side who had not been released, for she was an accessory.