In front of the stone table at the Western courtyard of the Shen residence, Shen Miao was playing chess with Shen Qiu.
It was rare that Shen Qiu need not practise swordplay today and knowing that Shen Miao’s chess skills had improved by leaps and bounds, Shen Qiu has long rolled up his sleeves to win one round from Shen Miao. But currently the outcome of the game was not according to one’s wishes.
Shen Miao placed a black piece down and Shen Qiu previously oppressing white pieces were now surrounded by black pieces, unable to get out. Shen Qiu looked for a long time before asking Shen Miao, “Younger Sister, are not this the moves that I used in the first game?”
He felt that the moves on chessboard were very familiar when he saw them. The more he looked, the more surprised he was, as each steps that Shen Miao took were exactly like the moves he made in the first game. It was just that Shen Miao was able to play them better and at least in this game, the route she used was very convenient and filled with ferociousness.
“Using an opponent’s own methods to obtain retribution.” Shen Miao smiled gently, “Eldest Brother, have you thought about countermeasure for your own stuff?”
Shen Qiu shook his head, “My methods is to target the enemy and it was to set up a route to death. Younger Sister let me find a solution to it but I am unable to do so.”
Shen Miao looked at the path of the chess pieces on the board and faintly smiled.
In the previous life, after a few years Shen Qiu was imprisoned after killing Sun Cai Nan and after much thought, more or less the plan had Shen Yuan’s signature in it. One did not know that by throwing the same means back, would Shen Yuan find them familiar? The road of death that he designed for Shen Qiu, could Shen Yuan himself find a solution out of it?
It should not be successful.
When Shen Qiu scratched his head and wanted to put a chess piece down, suddenly someone ran in from outside of the courtyard. It was a second ranked maid who was in charge of sweeping. The maid had a face full of panic as she said frenetically, “Eldest Young Master and Fifth Young Lady, it is not good. Second Young Master has killed someone outside!”
“What?” Shen Qiu frowned as the chess piece fell and spin before finally falling onto the ground.
Shen Miao bent over to pick the chess piece up before she looked at the maid and asked warmly, “Who did he kill?”
In the prison of the Administrator of the Capital, Shen Yuan was locked up in the innermost cell, and his hands and clothes were stained with so much blood that they were shockingly red. Moreover there were also some bruises on his face.
This was Shen Yuan’s first time in such a sorry strait. When he was fighting with Jing Chu Chu’s adulterer, he did not know why but he felt very irritated as if his mind was feverish. When he woke up from it, Sun Cai Nan was already stabbed by him with a knife and because the tavern was made up of wood, the fight had alerted a number of people and with Tao Yuan’s and Jing Chu Chu’s screams, it almost immediately exposed the murder to everyone.
It was until now when Shen Yuan’s heart gradually calmed down. He was simply too impulsive with regards to the matter today.
In Shen Yuan’s life, the most hated thing for him was for others to insult his dignity. He already felt humiliated regarding the matter of the Shen family’s banquet, but because he did not regain consciousness at that time, he could only tolerate it. Now the entire Ding capital’s people knew that he was to marry Jing Chu Chu but she made him wear a green hat. Everyone in the tavern seemed to also be pointing at
him thus Shen Yuan was unable to control his wrath.
One did not know where Jing Chu Chu was brought to, but since she was the root cause of this matter, her fate would not be easy.
It just that… Shen Yuan still find it somewhat strange. How would the people in the tavern recognise Jing Chu Chu and him? Why would Jing Chu Chu pick that particular room to commit adultery. He faintly felt that something was wrong but he quickly shook his head. That place was the location where he would meet up with Fu Xiu Yi’s people. Other than Fu Xiu Yi’s people, no one else would know.
Shen Yuan though deeply. Fu Xiu Yi’s people would have reached the tavern and one fear that they were already aware of the matter.
At this moment, he had completely calmed down and those panicked emotions vanished, the bloodstains and the dark cell no longer shook him.
At this moment, one saw a warden walking over and stopped in front of his cell. Shen Yuan looked up and called out surprised, “Dong Hao!”
Dong Hao was the one that was meeting up with him. At the moment he was dressed up as a warden, most likely to sneak in and talk to him.
“Listen to me, this is a misunderstanding.” Shen Yuan quickly said, “Would request His Highness to help me this time. I will definitely reply His Highness in the future.”
Shen Yuan had never expect Shen Gui to come and save him, as Shen Gui was one would do anything to protect his career so how could he take the risk for him. Now only Fu Xiu Yi could help him, but the Imperial family people were not people who valued relationships so he had to prove his value. Shen Yuan said, “The evidence that was given to His Highness is not complete in certain areas. His Highness will be submitting a report to His Majesty soon, so one request His Highness to save me so that one can assist His Highness to pen the last stroke.”
When Dong Hao heard this, his eyes moved. Shen Yuan’s words clearly indicated that the evidence that he had provided to Fu Xiu Yi to go against Shen Xin was not complete. Shen Yuan left himself a hand as he feared that Fu Xiu Yi would destroy the bridge after crossing the river, but did not expect that he would be trapped in jail, and could only bring out his lifesaving talisman.
Seeing Dong Hao not speaking, Shen Yuan was somewhat anxious, “This matter is just a misunderstanding and it is not a complicated matter to settle. I will fork out the money and His Highness only need to take care of the other side. Such matter had happened before.”
A large reason as to why Shen Yuan could be this calm was because this matter did not look that bad. So much so that it was even simpler than the family banquet in Shen residence. The matter of the family banquet was because it was in front of all the Furens that showed he and Jing Chu Chu slept together, so no matter what happens it was Jing Chu Chu who would be at the disadvantage and coupled with the Jing family unreasonableness, he could not do anything. As to him killing Sun Cai Nan, only Jing Chu Chu and her maid saw it and as long as Jing Chu Chu and the maid testify, he could escape. As for that adulterer, as long one give money to appease and also let Fu Xiu Yi’s people hang a charge over him, such as that person wanted to assassinate Shen Yuan but was kept controlled by Shen Yuan and the likes. As for killing, as long as one did not kill a noble, one would be able to cover it up at the end.
Moreover it seemed that his identity had not been discovered yet. In the eyes of others it only looked like one had killed another, but do not know the name of the killer.
Dong Hao shook his head and said, “Shen Yuan, this time you got into a big trouble.”
Shen Yuan’s smile suddenly stopped as he did not understand the meaning to Dong Hao’s words.
“Do you know who you killed?”
A hint of a bad premonition appeared in Shen Yuan’s heart as he saw Dong Hao slowly opening his mouth.
“That was the only Di son of the Minister of Personnel, Sun Tian Zheng’s son, Sun Cai Nan.”
At the moment in front of the General’s residence, there was a large group of people surrounding it, and those people had a vicious look on as they waved the sticks they were holding, that even the guards of the Shen family were unable to stop them. In the house, Shen Yue was hiding in Chen Rou Qiu’s embrace and was so scared that she was shivering, “Mother, Second Older Brother really killed someone?”
As Chen Rou Qiu was pacifying her, her heart had some uncertainty. The people outside claimed to be from the Minister of Personnel and said that Shen Yuan had killed the Minister of Personnel’s Di son, Sun Cai Nan. They were making such a ruckus to enter and smash things up, but why would Shen Yuan ended up killing Sun Cai Nan?
Shen Gui and Shen Wan were already outside obstructing but if Shen Xin’s Shen army was not there, one fear that those people would have really broken in.
Wan YiNiang was hiding in her room and held Shen Dong Ling nervously, “If it was really Second Young Master who killed someone, will those people do anything to us?”
“Do not worry.” Shen Dong Ling said, “If others want to deal with Second Older Brother, what does it got to do with us?” She sat behind the screen but the pages of the book in her hand were not flipped open.
“Young Lady!” Jing Zhe ran into the room vivaciously and said, “The people outside were so fierce that even Old Furen was startled!”
Shen Miao’s eyelids did not even raise as she asked, “Oh? How is Old Furen?”
“After hearing that Second Young Master killed someone, she then fainted away.” Jing Zhe was taking joy in their misfortune.
“Young Lady, this matter would not implicate us right?” Gu Yu was deeply worried, after all they all knew that Shen Yuan killed another because Shen Miao was adding fuel into the flames behind the scenes.
“No worries, there will be someone covering us. Sun Tian Zheng has a high position and great power but the Shen residence is not considered inferior to them. Furthermore the final purpose is for Shen Yuan, so when he pay a life for a life, they would not have anything else to say.”
“But will Second Young Master really pay a life for a life?” Gu Yu asked, “Second Master would not let Second Young Master lose his life this easily.”
“If there was not Shen Yuan Bo then Second Shu would put in all effort to defend Second Older Brother.” Shen Miao said, “But with Shen Yuan Bo, Second Shu have a retreat route. In the eyes of Second Shu, it is worth it if one were to lose a son to quell the Sun family’s anger.”
Among the three sons, Shen Gui view family relationship the more indifferent. At least Shen Wan dotted on Shen Yue to the maximum but Shen Gui’s treatment of his own children, be it be the Di born Shen Yuan, Shen Qing and Shen Yuan Bo or the Su born Shen Dong Ling, one was unable to see a strain of sincere care. To Shen Gui, children were either helping his career or as his successor. No wonder the children of the Second household did not have any emotions.
If there was no Shen Yuan Bo then Shen Yuan would have been Shen Gui’s only son and Shen Gui would definitely fight. But with Shen Yuan Bo, Shen Gui still had a son thus Shen Yuan was no longer necessary. Not to mention that it is the Sun family that easy to send away? In the previous life the person who killed Sun Cai Nan was Shen Qiu, and Sun Tian Zheng’s entire family sent Shen Qiu to the prison, and Shen Xin spent almost his entire fortune to safeguard Shen Qiu’s life. Sun Tian Zheng only had one Di son and with the death of his only one son, how would he easily let go of the murderer?
“But only Second Young Master will be out of luck?” Jing Zhe’s words were nothing striking but were relentless, “Biao Young Lady is let off like this? She is still hiding in the residence and did not come out.” After the accident, Jing Chu Chu actually slipped back in and hid in the Shen residence with the entire Jing family.
“How can it be?” Shen Miao smiled gently, “After all she is the main cause of the disaster.”
Outside the residence’s door, Shen Wan was persuading in a sorry straits, “Everyone listen to me, the matter of the situation is not clear yet and may everyone head back first, I will give everyone an answer.”
A women spit her saliva onto Shen Wan’s face and with her arms akimbo, “Pay money when owe debt, pay with one’s life for a life! Our Young Master was killed by Shen Yuan so pay a life! This matter will not end!”
Shen Gui was somewhat shrinking and was cursing Shen Yuan in his heart. At this moment other than the people of the Minister of Personnel, there was a crowd of commoners gathering to watch the spectacle. Some people laughed loudly, “Was it not because of rivalling the affection of another than the murder took place? How does the beauty they were competing with look like? How about letting us get an eyeful? To be that impulsive because of a beauty, that beauty must be very gorgeous!”
When those words were spoken, the surrounding people also echoed them. The Minister of Personnel’s people suddenly reacted to this. Now that the Sun family was in a mess, a perfectly fine Sun Cai Nan left the house but came back as an ice old corpse. At this painful time, they only wanted Shen Yuan to pay with his life and had forgotten about Jing Chu Chu thus when they heard what was said, they were reminded of it. It was because of Jing Chu Chu that Sun Cai Nan and Shen Yuan fought, and after words Shen Yuan accidentally killed Sun Cai Nan, so that Jing Chu Chu was a beauty that brought on disasters!
The Sun family people immediately said, “Yes! Surrender that slut over! It is her who seduced my Young Master, that shameless little whore! Quickly surrender her!”
Not to mention the Sun family, even Shen Gui himself could not wait to personally kill Jing Chu Chu. Ever since Jing Chu Chu entered the Shen residence, their Second household of the Shen family continuously fell into misfortune. First it was the family banquet that tainted Shen Yuan’s reputation, and now it was getting Shen Yuan involved in the case of taking another’s life. Without a second word, Shen Gui instructed the servants and in not much time Jing Chu Chu was tied and brought out.
Shen Gui gave a look at Shen Wan and Shen Wan said, “Everyone do not need to be angry, we will naturally be reasonable. Since the matter was caused by Chu Chu, I will hand her over to you all and let you handle her!”
Jing Chu Chu called out miserably but how would the surrounding people tolerate her resistance. The Sun family people pulled Jing Chu Chu over, who was tied up like a pig, and gave her tens of slaps to her face. Jing Chu Chu fainted on the spot.
“You all better not bully intolerably!” Jing Guan Shen and the Jing family’s husband and wife rushed out and were furious at the scene. But they saw the Sun family sneering, “It is no wonder one come from a small place like SuZhou. It is one thing to be short-sighted but one has such bad morals. One is already an engaged person and still go around seducing other men. This matter is not over yet, you all better not think about it!”
The Jing family was angry and scared. They were angry at the arrogance of the Sun family and were scared that other than the Shen residence, they had no other backing in the Ding capital. And currently the Shen family was already not happy with them. Now seeing them fall into misfortune, it was good that the Shen family did not throw stones when they were down. How could they just stand and watch!
After making so much noise at the Shen residence’s doors and seeing that the skies had darkened, the people who came from the Sun family who had been holding onto Jing Chu Chu finally left. Before they left the woman who was leading sneered, “Today is just the beginning. You Shen family should wait. Master had already written a report to the Emperor. In this world there is no logic of letting another live freely after taking another’s life. A life for a life. No one can think otherwise!”
Shen Gui watched as the Sun family’s people swaggered away while leaving a mess behind, he almost could not breathe. The last sentence mentioning that Sun Tian Zheng had already submitted a report to the Emperor was even more ghastly to him. Sun Tian Zheng only had one son and once Sun Cai Nan was dead, even if the fish dies or the net splits, Sun Tian Zheng would not let him live well. Now it seemed that even if Shen Yuan died, it would not be able to quell the Sun family’s anger.
When Shen Qiu returned to the Western courtyard, he wiped his sweat and complained to Shen Miao, “The Sun family is just too rude. They almost smashed the main doors. My soldiers could not even stop them.”
“The pain of losing one’s son.” Shen Miao comforted, “Naturally have to be vented.”
“This time Father and Mother do not intend to intervene.” Shen Qiu mumbled to himself, “But Shen Yuan was never impulsive so even if Jing Chu Chu privately meet up with Sun Cai Nan, how would he kill another in a fit of anger?”
“Who knows?” Shen Miao said indifferently, “Perhaps Sun Cai Nan was doomed to die and it would be same in anyone’s hands.”