Trap of the Beautiful Jade
That night, a piece of shocking news began to spread around the capital. It was said that imperial daughter Ji An had lost a box of beautiful jade. That piece of jade was flawless and had just been brought out of the mine. It was a beauty that could only be found every thousand years.
The news spread quickly among the commoners. When it reached the restaurants, it had already become the most discussed matter of the night.
Who dared to steal imperial daughter Ji An’s things? And something so valuable at that? Did they no longer want their heads?
Finally, word got around to governor Xu Jing Yuan. He did not dare delay for a moment and quickly rushed over to the imperial daughter’s manor for information. When he had ascertained that Feng Yu Heng had indeed lost a box of beautiful jade, he understood that it had been taken away from Nirvana Pavilion by someone that referred to herself as the head madam of Lan Zhou’s prefect. He also understood that this was likely a trap set by Feng Yu Heng. But setting a trap was fine. He was originally someone under the seventh prince’s command. After assuming the position of governor, aside from ensuring peace and safety for the citizens, he also had to cooperate with imperial daughter Ji An, Feng Yu Heng, in many matters.
Thus Xu Jing Yuan nodded and went to take care of the case without another word.
Huang Quan was not with Feng Yu Heng during the day. Now that she heard this, she wiped away some sweat: “Young miss, what if the madam of Lan Zhou’s prefect does not return it, or what if the jade was ruined?”
Feng Yu Heng said carefreely: “Don’t worry. She won’t dare.”
The words she won’t dare immediately allowed Huang Quan to feel at ease.
At this time, such big news had also reached the posthouse. Because the Mid-Autumn Festival was approaching, and victory had been achieved over Qian Zhou, the imperial palace planned for a grand banquet. A large number of officials from out of the province had come to the capital. The posthouse was completely filled in an instant because of this. Without regard for rank, they all lived in the same place, waiting for the Mid-Autumn Festival to arrive.
The matter of imperial daughter Ji An losing a piece of beautiful jade very quickly made its way to the posthouse. The people that had heard began to guess at what would of person could steal a piece of jade from under imperial daughter Ji An’s nose, and what sort of person they would be. However, who knew that on the third floor of this posthouse, the madam of Lan Zhou’s prefect, Jiang shi, was currently staring straight at the white jade. Even her maidservant Ji Xiang had come and gone many times without her noticing. It was only when Ji Xiang quickly walked over to her and raised her voice to call out did she angrily say: “What are you causing a fuss for? Do you not know that jade is the most sensitive? Your actions will startle it. If the jade’s heart becomes a mess, the appearance of the jade will change with it.”
How could Ji Xiang understand such a profound thing. She was just feeling panicked, especially when she looked at this box of jade. She stomped her foot in frustration. “Madam, we might have caused some trouble.”
“Hm?” Jiang shi did not understand, “Caused trouble? What trouble was caused?”
“It’s this box of jade.” Ji Xiang pointed at the thing on the table and said, “Ever since madam came back, you have been guarding this without going outside. Naturally, you did not hear about the news. Apparently, the capital’s imperial daughter Ji An lost a box of beautiful jade. The appearance is roughly the same as what’s in that box!”
Jiang shi furrowed her brow upon hearing this, “Imperial daughter Ji An? What does she care about the jade that I bought?”
Ji Xiang was so anxious that there was nothing she could do. She could only remind Jiang shi: “Did madam buy it? Did you pay any money? In fact, you didn’t even give a deposit! Precisely how you got this jade, can you explain it clearly?”
“But…” Jiang shi could also begin to understand, but she could not help but ask: “But I did not see imperial daughter Ji An today! Even if this jade belongs to her, it was stolen by someone else first then sold to me.”
“Hah, madam!” Ji Xiang stomped her foot, “Have you still not understood? We’ve been tricked by them! The girl selling the jade was most likely imperial daughter Ji An herself! This servant just went to inquire. That Nirvana Pavilion is a business belonging to imperial daughter Ji An. She is the boss. It’s very likely that she would appear there!”
Jiang shi sighed heavily, but she still could not believe that this sort of thing could happen. She asked Ji Xiang: “But there is no enmity between imperial daughter Ji An and I. Why would she seek to harm me?”
Ji Xiang lowered her head and did not move for a long time. Just as Jiang shi was about to ask a bit more, the servant in front of her suddenly kneeled on the floor, “Madam, please forgive me. Thinking about it, it must be this servant’s attitude today that caused imperial daughter to become angry.”
These words pulled Jiang shi’s thoughts back to the scene inside the jewelry shop. It would have been better if she did not think back. When she did, she could not help but feel shocked. But of course, they never treated them as equals from the very beginning. Also, during this time, they had spoken insolently. Thinking about it now, it was not impossible that they might set a trap.
Jiang shi was a bit worried, “Then what should we do? Ji Xiang, get up. What’s done is already done. Kneeling is pointless. Quickly think about how this matter should be resolved. How about we send the banknotes over there now?”
Ji Xiang helplessly said: “But master has not yet come back. Where would madam go to get the 80 million taels?”
Jiang shi heard this and withered up. She did not have enough money, and the item was in her hands. What exactly are they wanting to do?”
“That imperial daughter Ji An is one with a different surname, right?” She thought of something critical and asked, “In the end, an imperial daughter with a different surname is not someone truly from the imperial family. Thinking about it, she does not have much power. Just let them continue causing a fuss. When husband comes back, this matter will naturally be resolved.” The reason Jiang shi was so trusting of her husband was that Lan Zhou was on the Southern border of Da Shun. Although they were all prefectures, the prefectures on the border could not be compared to the ones in the middle of the country. For the sake of preserving the peace, the court treated these prefectures with favor. Although the prefect of Lan Zhou could not compare with the prime minister’s position, they were relatively close. She calmed herself and told Ji Xiang: “Don’t worry! It’s fine.”
Ji Xiang felt a little powerless. They were usually on the southern border and were very far from the capital. They naturally knew little about the matters on this side. In addition to this, they did not ask any proper questions, so they were even more clueless as to the situation in the capital. But after she heard about the news, she had inquired about imperial daughter Ji An, Feng Yu Heng. It would have been better if it was left unanswered. After inquiring, the servant nearly dropped to the ground and began crying out of fear! No matter what, she never would have thought that an imperial daughter with a different surname would actually have such a strong standing. Even more troubling was not that she herself was strong. Her life was even better, as she was actually the future official princess of the King of Hell, the ninth prince. Even if their family could control the single area of Lan Zhou prefecture, they could not control the entire world. This sort of person could not be offended!
The servant was so anxious that she began crying. The more she looked at her madam’s reassured look, the more anxious she felt, thus she recounted what she had inquired about imperial daughter Ji An while crying. In the end, she reminded: “Madam, you must remember how the leader of the three northern provinces, the Duan Mu family, was beaten, right? It was this imperial daughter Ji An and the ninth prince leading soldiers to handle it!”
Jiang shi’s heart trembled from hearing this. How could a wealthy madam living in the South know about these matters. Hearing it now, it sounded like a fable, and she did not dare believe it. “There’s actually this sort of girl in the world?”
Ji Xiang nodded, “There is. Imperial daughter is. Master, what should we do? I heard that imperial daughter Ji An is very petty and will seek revenge for a mean look. Her letting out word that she had lost a piece of pretty jade makes it clear that she has declared war against us! What if master returns later…”
Just as she was speaking, the door was suddenly pushed open with a “bang.” The two people inside the room were startled and saw the prefect of Lan Zhou, Ji Ling Tian, push the door open and enter. With a gloomy expression, he stared straight at the box of white jade on the table.
Jiang shi subconsciously used her arm to cover the jade, calling out in a timid manner: “Husband!”
Ji Ling Tian gestured for the servant behind him to close the door. Quickly walking forward, he brushed off Jiang shi and took a look inside the box. He could not help but slap the table, “I remember you saying this morning that you would be going to take care of acquiring accessories. After hearing this, I feared that you would go to the shop run by the imperial daughter, but who knew that you actually ended up going.” He quite favored this head madam. After all, there were feelings from a childhood love. Even now that there were many beautiful concubines in his family, this first wife was still the one that he valued most. “How could my wife be so foolish. Since you knew that Nirvana Pavilion was the biggest and the best jewelry shop in the capital, why do you not inquire about what sort of person owns it? To be able to own the best shop in the capital, how could it be someone without a backing.”
Jiang shi was feeling very saddened, and tears immediately appeared in her eyes, “I was just buying some jewelry. How could I have known that such a powerful figure would be supporting them. How could I have thought that the dignified imperial daughter would not obediently stay in her manor, actually going around with a man? Wait a moment…” She paused and thought back to the scene from the day, and she could not help but say: “Imperial daughter actually dared to privately meet with a man?”
Ji Ling Tian was dazed from hearing this, “What private meeting with a man?”
Ji Xiang managed to react at this time and quickly described the man that Feng Yu Heng was with during the day to Ji Ling Tian. They had thought at first that they had received some information that could be used against Feng Yu Heng. If she pushed them too far, they could bring it up to threaten her; however, who knew that these words would cause Ji Ling Tian’s complexion to become poorer. By the end, his face was completely pale.
He asked: “You said that man was wearing purple robes and looked very handsome?”
Ji Xiang nodded: “Indeed.”
Ji Ling Tian let out a long sigh, “It’s fine if he looks handsome, but do you know what those purple robes represent?” Seeing that the two were in a daze, he continued: “The current court’s ninth prince likes the color purple, and he has always worn purple clothes. Over the years, this has never changed. Thinking about how that imperial daughter Ji An could be meeting anyone in private, the one at her side was without a doubt the ninth prince.”
While he spoke, there was some noise from outside the room. There was a large group of people that had rushed into the posthouse. Ji Ling Tian’s attendant went to the door to take a look then turned around to say: “Master, madam, it’s not good. It’s the city guard.”
Just after this was said, the city guard went up to the third floor, heading straight for their room.
Faced with the governor personally conducting the search, Jiang shi had no power to quibble. Ji Ling Tian could not delay Xu Jing Yuan’s enforcement. He could only watch as his wife and the maidservant Ji Xiang were taken away. He could only say a few words to Xu Jing Yuan: “This official will naturally provide an explanation to imperial daughter Ji An for this matter. I hope that lord Xu will not trouble the madam out of consideration from me standing guard in the South over the years.”
The city guard had come quickly and left quickly. In just a few moments, the posthouse had returned to its former state.
Ji Ling Tian frowned and sat in the room. He thought back and forth about how he should handle this matter. He thought even more about what the eighth prince, who had been staying in the South, had told him on his way to the capital. He was to keep a low profile in the capital, and he was to pay close attention to not conflict with old ninth and his wife. Good days would come, and there was no need to rush. Unfortunately, his wife had ruined things.
Ji Ling Tian clenched his fist and fiercely slammed the table, “Imperial daughter Ji An, you actually dare to set such a trap for this official. Do you really think that everyone is afraid of you?”