Chapter 101 Your Majesty, Do You Want to Investigate This Matter Thoroughly?
The hall was magnificent and could accommodate hundreds of people. A large red and gold carpet covered the ground and dragons were carved on walls and pillars.
The emperor was sitting in the middle of the hall and Ao Chenyi was sitting on another chair near the emperor. He still wore a black robe, on which bloody equinox flowers were embroidered. Ao Chenyi was looking at Xia Tian and Ning Zu'an who were kneeling with a faint smile on his face. He was looking forward to what was about to happen.
"Your Majesty, my son and daughter-in-law had already been engaged. And the date of their marriage had been fixed. So they were allowed to meet, so that they made a mistake after drinking. It's my duty. Your Majesty, please punish me!" Xia Tian explained in a natural tone while kneeling there and lowering his head with respect.
Xia Tian did not pass the buck, but said that Xia Yuhang and Ning Ziyan made a mistake because they were drunk and it was not a big deal because they had been engaged.
"Your Majesty, my mother saw Childe Xia was drunk that day and asked my daughter, his fiance, to take care of him. Unexpectedly, they... I'm also responsible for that. Your Majesty, please punish me."
Ning Zu'an also confessed his fault and did not pass the buck.
Their words made the emperor and others feel that both of them were responsible. Many people also felt that this was really not a big deal. Since they were going to get married, such a mistake could be understood.
It had nothing to do with immorality.
"Your Majesty, Childe Xia and the Eldest Young Lady of Lord Protector's Manor misbehaved after drinking. Then the First Madam of Lord Protector's Manor concealed the death of Second Madam of Lord Protector's Manor. I think the reason is the misbehavior of Childe Xia and the Eldest Young Lady. According to what Lord Protector said just now, he knows this matter. But I remember that Lord Protector said he didn't know before."
An official who had a bad relationship with Ning Zu'an at ordinary times stood out and said.
This official directly contradicted what Ning Zu'an said both just now and before. Immediately, the whole hall became quiet. The emperor sitting on the hall coldly looked at Ning Zu'an with a dignified look.
"Your Majesty, I really don't know. My wife was afraid that this matter would be known to many people, so she even didn't tell me." Ning Zu'an paused for a moment and then said what he had already prepared. "This is all my fault. Please punish me."
Ning Zu'an and Xia Tian had discussed this matter yesterday. They made an agreement that they had to say that they didn't know this matter. Anyway, Madam Ling had been punished last time and would not be punished for the same thing.
Ao Chenyi, sitting on one side, suddenly turned his head elegantly and asked curiously, "Lord Protector, are you really the host of Lord Protector's Manor?"
His question made Ning Zu'an blush and sweat!
Would others believe that the Lord Protector knew nothing about such a big matter happened in his manor?
As the saying goes, to regulate the country and the world rightly, one must regulate his family first. How could Lord Protector regulate the country and the world rightly when he could not regulate his family?
Ning Zu'an had thought that the emperor could not do anything with him as long as he insisted that he did not know this matter. But now he realized that something was wrong. He raised his head and looked at the emperor who was sitting in front of them and coldly looking at him. But before he explained, the emperor spoke directly.
"Ning Zu'an, since you're too busy with family affairs, I think you should deal with your own family affairs first. Is a three-month vacation enough for you?"
The emperor was going to suspend Ning Zu'an from his duties, which was unexpected to Ning Zu'an. Hearing that, he became anxious and hurried to say, "Your, Your Majesty, I do not dare to bother you with my family affairs. I will do my best to deal with this matter."
Ning Zu'an was an official with real power. Suspension of three months was equivalent to being demoted. How would Ning Zu'an accept?
Ao Chenyi asked with interest while putting his one hand on the armrest and resting his head on it, "Lord Protector, your family affairs are not troublesome. I heard that the Second Young Lady is also quite special."
What happened to Ning Yuling in Cold Mountain Temple had already been spread. At least half of the people in the court knew that she had misbehaved and seduced other men in the chrysanthemum appreciation grand meeting where some Princes and Princely Heirs showed up. No matter how the people of Lord Protector's Manor explained, it still was humiliating.
Although people of Lord Protector's Manor explained that it was caused by a maid and Princely Heir of Commandery Prince Li was willing to marry Ning Yuling, people of the influential and privileged families already knew the real truth.
The Eldest Young Lady of Lord Protector's Manor misbehaved, and the Second Young Lady misbehaved, too. Many people wondered if Lord Protector's Manor really was okay?
"Enough!" The emperor who was sitting in front of them was reluctant to say anything anymore.
Ning Zu'an dared not say a word. He stood up and stood aside in disgrace. Ning Zu'an also felt aggrieved. His daughter had made a mistake, and he was punished together.
"Official Xia, I heard that not only the Eldest Young Lady of Lord Protector's Manor was pregnant, but also an orphan girl. Instead of marrying the orphan girl, Childe Xia regarded her as a maid. Yesterday, Childe Xia kicked her so that she lost her baby. Does such a fierce and immoral man deserve to be an official?"
Huai Yuming, the Regional Investigating Censor which was admisnistered by Left Censor-in-chief, stood up and asked Xia Tian with a serious look. He asked that for emperor, so Xia Tian did not dare to slight.
Censor-in-chief was in charge of supervision, impeachment and suggestions. Censor-in-chief supervised all officials and could impeach anyone. There were Left Censor-in-chief and Right Censor-in-chief. And the lower positions were Regional Investigating Censor and Chief Investigating Censor.
"Official Huai, it's a misunderstanding. That maid is indeed an orphan girl. She came here and sought refuge with her relatives. When she was at the end of her rope, my son met her and brought her to my manor to help her. My son said she would be sent to her relatives' place when he found her relatives for her. Unexpectedly, she has already been pregnant. My son didn't know that and got angry when she talked irresponsibly. Therefore he kicked her so that she lost her baby."
Hearing Xia Tian's explanation, Huai Yuming asked with a smile on his face, "You mean her child isn't Childe Xia's?"
"Yes. My son has only known her for a few months. How can her baby be my son's? Official Huai, if you don't believe it, you can go to my manor to inquire about it. Everyone in the manor knows her and how she came to my Xia Manor."
Xia Tian stated positively.
Ao Chenyi sitting on the side coldly looked at Xia Tian. People in the court knew that those who were targeted by Prince Yi almost would come to a bad end.
Ao Chenyi's gaze made Xia Tian panic. Although he knew that his explanation was watertight, he still felt nervous!
This should have nothing to do with Prince Yi.
Xia Yuhang had promised Chen Hexiang that she would become his concubine as long as she helped Xia Manor successfully settle this matter. Chen Hexiang agreed with that. And there was nothing unusual.
"Official Xia, that's your explanation, but what I heard is different. This is the letter I received last night. Your Majesty, please make a judgment!" Huai Yuming took a letter from his arms and presented it respectfully.
An eunuch came, took away the letter, and placed it on the emperor's table.
After reading the letter, the emperor immediately changed his face. He shouted at Xia Tian with great anger, "Xia Tian, your son dared to disrespect the Buddha. Show him this letter! I wonder how he can explain this time."
Before the letter was shown to him, Xia Tian had already felt bad. He picked up the letter and read it while his hands were trembling.
It was Chen Hexiang's statement. She clearly said how she and Xia Yuhang knew each other. She and Xia Yuhang had sex in the Buddha Hall, then she got pregnant. After that, Ning Ziyan met them when they were together. In order to separate them, she was deliberately brought to Xia Manor by Ning Ziyan and became Ning Ziyan's personal maid.
The letter was very detailed. Chen Hexiang also specifically mentioned the monks in Cold Mountain Temple, and the specific days when Xia Yuhang spent the night with her.
These matters mentioned in the letter could not be concealed from others. They could be easily checked out.
"Official Xia, I went to Cold Mountain Temple on purpose after I received the letter. And I found that everything is true. Official Xia, how do you explain for that?" Huai Yuming asked, "Do you need to confront that woman now?"
Although Xia Tian had prepared well, his words were based on Chen Hexiang's cooperation. At this time, Huai Yuming asked him one question after another, which was unexpected to Xia Tian. So he could not say a word and sweat broke out on his head immediately.
It seemed that Huai Yuming was asking Xia Tian, but in fact he was stating facts. Was there any need for confrontation?
Now that this woman had sent her letter to Huai Yuming, it meant that she had decided to tell the truth. If Xia Tian chose to confront with her, it would bring shame on himself!
Looking at the silent Xia Tian, the emperor who was sitting there realized the problem and his face darkened immediately.
"What else do you want to say, Official Xia?" Huai Yuming gave him a heavy blow.
"Your Majesty, the woman deliberately frames my son. It's true that it has been some time since my son saved her. She was allowed to stay in the temple because she was poor and had no place to go. The temple is a sacred place. If my son really had a relationship with her, why did he place her there? Why didn't he place her in a secret place?"
Xia Tian showed resourcefulness in an emergency and explained loudly.
Huai Yuming asked while frowning, "Official Xia, do you mean that the woman deliberately frames your son?"
"Yes. The Spring Metropolitan Examinations is coming soon. And my son has scholarly honour. In order to concentrate on study, he usually goes to Cold Mountain Temple to study. This is not a secret. Why did the woman happen to appear in Cold Mountain Temple? Why did she happen to be saved by my son and was placed in Cold Mountain Temple? And why did she happen to be pregnant? Your Majesty, my son wasn't the only one in Cold Mountain Temple!"
Xia Tian not only defended his son, but also hinted that someone had framed Xia Yuhang.
Ao Yun, the present emperor, ascended the throne by many foul means. So he was the most suspicious one. After listening to Xia Tian, he started to suspect the whole thing and gloomily looked at several officials with anger on his face.
The hall was so silent that the gasp could be heard.
Suddenly, a cold voice came to their ears. Ao Chenyi lazily said, "Your Majesty, do you want to investigate this matter thoroughly? I happen to be free these days. I'm willing to help you investigate this matter."
His slightly narrowed eyes were bloodthirsty. He showed a faint smile on his face, but the smile was not warm at all.
Xia Tian who was kneeling suddenly felt cold from the bottom of his heart and his face instantly turned pale.
In the past, Prince Yi had brought casualties when he investigated every case!
And a few families were exterminated in the end. So neither XiaTian nor Ning Zu'ang wanted Prince Yi to interfere in this matter?
Xia Tian said with an embarrassed smile on his face, "I don't dare to trouble you, Prince Yi!"