"Alright." Shen Miao's lips hooked, "I would like to ask that day Second Shen was staying in the next door to Eldest Sister's room and was extremely close. If anything were to happen, how would Second Shen not able to hear it?"
Ren Wan Yun was stunned.
"If Eldest Sister had resisted, there would bound to be noises. Seeing that Eldest Sister's body was filled with injuries that day, it seemed that she had struggled for help, then why did Second Shen unable to hear it even so close? Could it be that Second Shen heard it but unable to come out to take a look as one was just too tired?"
"You…" Ren Wan Yun opened her mouth and wanted to refute as her palms were fille with cold sweat.
"Of course, perhaps Second Shen did not hear the calls for help. Why? Naturally because Eldest Sister did not call for help. Why did Eldest Sister not call for help? Was it because she knew that evildoer?"
"You are spouting nonsense!" At this moment Ren Wan Yun could no longer tolerate and interrupted Shen Miao's words sharply.
Shen Gui and Shen Wan were after all man and thoughts were not as meticulous as females and did not think much about the matters in the inner courtyards. But Chen Rou Qiu and Ren Wan Yun almost immediately understood. The former looked towards Shen Miao with eyes filled with surprise, while the latter's eyes filled with fear.
Shen Miao's words actually scary. Yes, that day Ren Wan Yun's and Shen Qing's rooms were that close to one another and if Shen Qing were to call for help, how could one not hear it and if one heard it, then why did one did not go and take a look. Could it be that Ren Wan Yun did it on purpose? Ren Wan Yun naturally would not deliberately harm her own daughter but the person who was supposed to be staying there was Shen Miao. Ren Wan Yun had not reason to harm her own daughter but it wasn't impossible for her to harm her niece. For Shen Miao to say it out straightforwardly, Ren Wan Yun's secret plans would not be able to cover up in front of others.
And she also envisioned another possibility. Shen Qing did not cry for help at all and why was that so? To suffer that much abuse and yet not cry for help, it could be intentional. Why would it be intentional? This matter, if one were to make it a smaller issue, it would be humiliated by an evildoer, if one were to make it a big issue, perhaps one would even spread that Shen Qing deliberately committed the crime of engaging an illicit relationship with others!
This world was already especially difficult for female and it was always better to be safe than sorry. When rumours starts, it would be difficult to put it out.
Shen Miao gently smiled, "Second Shen, I find that there are many doubts to the matter. Since Second Shu is also reasonable and uphold justice, it would be better to send me to the Inspector-General government office to hold an pen trial. I would definitely inform the Daren what I know in its entirety and let Daren make a final decision and maybe that evildoer would also be known."
"No!" Ren Wan Yun and Shen Gui opened their mouth together.
Ren Wan Yun said no as she naturally afraid that the issue would be complicated. If Shen Miao were to speak the matter out, then discerning people would be able to pick up the secret. There were many large families in the Ding capital and it was still alright if the matter was hidden well but if the rumours spread then its wasn't impossible that one would be able to see the truth of her scheme of harming her niece. Moreover, once the truth comes out, what would the result of Shen Qing's innocence? When these rumours were spread, Shen Qing would need to hang herself with a bout of white silk.
However Shen Gui said no was because of a directly opposite thought than Ren Wan Yun. He was only afraid that the matter would implicate Prince Yu of the First Rank. Originally the matter was mucked up and Shen Miao's and Shen Qing's identity was mixed up. When Prince Yu know of the matter, he would definitely be furious and if he was implicated in the matter and infected by troubles, Shen Gui was afraid that his official route would be particularly difficult.
As such, the married couple who were previously menacing, both stop Shen Miao's proposal in unison.
"Then what would Second Shu do?" She Miao's eyes swept to the thick long whip that was in Shen Gui's hands and casually asked, "Still want to use the family rod?"
The people in the room quieten for the moment as Shen Yue stared incredibly at Shen Miao.
Even Shen Yue could see that she was threatening!
As if to reflect the surprise in everyone's heart, Shen Miao softly laughed, "If Second Shu was to use the family's rod then there is no way out, but I have always had a stubborn temper and if I were to carry that evildoer's crime that does not belong to me, when Father returns, then I would definitely think of a way to report to the government office."
She was implying that if Shen Gui hit her today, in the future when Shen Xin returned, she would certainly complain and at that time would also urge Shen Xin to report to the government office. One say it was to report the evildoer but who would know who exactly she was reporting against at the end?
"Second Shu, are you bringing the rod out or not? If it was to be use, then please do it quicker." There was a light smile in Shen Miao's clear eyes and there was also a slight ridicule, "Since there are so many people around, I will not be able to escape from it."
Practically lumping the entire crowd of people in Rong Jing Tang as bandit-like characters, who wanted to see Shen Miao suffer the beating.
Shen Gui never had thought that he would be threatened by his own niece today after all he had been in the official circle for a long time and had the double-face ability to cope with any matter like fish in water. It was not that he had not thought about any way out but it's that Shen Miao did not give him an opportunity to respond at all from the beginning. It was Shen Miao who was speaking in the beginning and as it went along, her words were as sharp as a spearhead and was so aggressive that one could not retreat at all.
A trace of surprise flashed in Shen Wan's eyes. This Second Older Brother of his was a wily old fox in the official circles that even those political opponents had never pushed him to such an awkward position. Moreover the person that pushed him to such a situation was just a fourteen year old young female. The First household… Was really that indestructible? Shen Wan's bright eyes turned cloudy.
"You…" Shen Gui's face was getting somewhat red. Today he did and said everything in a fit of anger as in his heart, Shen Miao was after all a niece that was easy to con and weak in character. Even if she was to beaten and the rod was being used, in future with some coaxing, she would not dare to speak of today's matter. Who knew that Shen Miao would change drastically and he had no idea that she had become a thorn in his head. She not only not submit herself meekly to adversity and still attack him and made him unable to step down from the stage.
If he wasn't afraid of Shen Xin, Shen Gui really could not wait to kill Shen Miao now.
The Old Shen Furen who was sitting in the hall quietly saw that her son was forced into such a situation, she looked at Shen Miao with a trace of anger in her eyes. After suppressing it down, she said deeply, "Enough!"
The hall fell into a silence again, Shen Gui sighed in relief and everyone looked towards Old Shen Furen.
Old Shen Furen was ignorant with the Court's affairs and the outside world but was a good player in inner courtyard. Shen Miao's words to both Shen Gui and his wife made her could not help but raise her eyebrows. The more Shen Miao showed a wise side, the more her heart felt malicious. It was because Shen Miao now held Shen Xin's reputation and could threaten Shen Gui's matters. So for the time being, Old Shen Furen dare not act rashly.
She coldly said, "Fifth girl, what your Second Shu said was rational. Taking into consideration of your young age, the rod can be forgotten but since Eldest girl was suffered in your stead, you will go and kneel in the ancestral hall to atone for the crime against your Eldest Sister. As of today, you are confined and copy Buddhist scriptures in while kneeling in the ancestral hall. Whenever Eldest girl recover, it would be when you are released."
That meant to kept Shen Miao lock up permanently.
Shen Yue was somewhat disappointed when she heard it. She still wanted to see Shen Miao beaten so much that she could not get out of bed or perhaps be expelled from the family clan. Who knew it was just a painless and superficial confinement and when Shen Xin comes back in a couple of months, Shen Miao's confinement would be lifted and at that time everything would be like before.
Ren Wan Yun was somewhat dissatisfied but Shen Miao's words were so shocking that she now dare not act rashly. At this moment her heart was in a mess and she was unable to think of a better method. Even though she had complaints with Old Shen Furen's words, she knew that this was interim tactic so she could only simmer and did not say anything.
"Oh." Shen Miao's voice was slightly dragged out but that words were clearly gentle but one did not know why when others hear it, there were a hundred of different feelings to it. She said, "Understand. I will 'atone' for Older Sister in front of Buddha."
Now every word that Shen Miao said all seem to have other meaning. Ren Wan Yun could not help but have a layer of goose bumps all over her. She did not know what to say so she could only cry.
"Alright, alright," Old Shen Furen was rather intolerable today and could not stop Shen Miao and thus felt a stone blocking her heart. Looking at Ren Wan Yun crying, she felt more frustrated in her heart and said, "Second Son, bring your Furen out. What with all the crying in Rong Jing Tang! All of you leave! Fifth Lady, you now go to the ancestral hall to kneel and don't even bother to take dinner today!"
Everyone retreated and Shen Miao did not bother too much about the matter. She left Rong Jing Tang and headed towards the West courtyard.
Shen Wan said heavily, "Fifth Lady has really grown up."
"Yes." Chen Rou Qiu's lips pulled, "This time Fifth Lady can be considered a real eye-opener."
"Mother…" Shen Yue softly spoke, "Fifth Younger Sister is somewhat scary." At Wo Long Temple her placid expression and ability to let Shen Qing suffer a loss and yet get out of it unharmed made Shen Yue feel a trace of fear. She did not know since when did that stupid and easy to talk to Tangmei acquire such an ability?
"What is Yue-er scared of?" Shen Wan pat Shen Yue's head. It was clearly a loving look but his words were however gloomy, "She is just a little girl who do not know how high the skies are and would sooner or later pay the price."
Shen Miao really did as what Old Shen Furen had arranged and entered the ancestral hall of Shen family.
The Shen family was of a military lineage and the ancestors that were worshiped were all ancestry of successive dynasties. These ancestors fought on horseback for the Shen family and laid such a prosperous family property. Unfortunately reaching this generation, the Shen family coincidental was not far from falling.
Old General Shen's generation was actually thriving initially. Unfortunately in one of the war, several brothers of the Shen family were killed and only Old General Shen survived. Old General Shen had three sons and only one took the military route. Now the Shen residence inherited the original glory on the surface but other than the formidable Great General Shen Xin, it was only an out and out literally family which was ironic.
"Is Young Lady numb from the kneeling?" Gu Yu asked.
Jing Zhe and Gu Yu also followed into the ancestral hall. Shen Miao was worried that Ren Wan Yun would take action behind her back, even though she had deliberately draw Jing Zhe and Gu Yu away so that they would escape the fate of being killed. But in the huge Shen residence, each one had their own ulterior motives so she kept them by her side. No matter how long Ren Wan Yun's hands were, she would not dare to do anything in front of her.
"Even it is not numb, the humidity is also heavy here." Jing Zhe complained as she look at the small window, "Now it is raining and the ground is wet. What would happen if one were to attain an illness from kneeling? Moreover, they really had nothing better to do. What does this got to do with Young Lady, this is exactly a case of the guilty party filing the suit first. Wait till Master is back, see if they still dare…"
"You should say a few words less." Gu Yu blamed, "If one were to be found out, Young Lady would be at a disadvantage."
Shen Miao smiled and did not care about it.
Jing Zhe thought for a while and asked again, "However it is also out of anyone's expectation today. So many of them go to Rong Jing Tang today but there wasn't anyone by Young Lady's side and could even leave unscathed. Although it is also bad to kneel at the ancestral hall, as compare to what this servant has thought, it is already a lot better."
Before she entered Rong Jing Tang to be condemned, Shen Miao did not bring any maids in. Thus Shen Miao's maids did not know what happened inside.
"Young Lady must have convince the entire roomful of people." Gu Yu said admiringly, "To face so many people and not even be afraid, Young lady now has more of Master's style."
So many people? Shen Miao laughed in her heart. It was only a small little Shen residence and it was nothing more than some jumping clowns that could not be seen in public. At that time when Fu Xiu Yi wanted to change the Crown Prince, the officials stood at Mei Furen's and Fu Chen's side. Her Fu Ming was under house arrest and she wore the formal attire of an Empress and faced the officials from the throne and argued with those officials weeping blood with every word.
How meagre could the power of one person be? Just like she was obviously the most distinguished lady in the world and married to the world's most distinguished man but she could not even protect what her son deserved. No one stood by her side and she could not retreat as she had people to protect.
It was because at that time she was unable to protect her precious people that now she would use more intense means. Cruel? Ruthless? Hypocritical? Cunning? That did not matter, as long as the knife was pointed at the enemy and the one who fell was the opponent, even if the process was cruel, she would shoulder all the sins, what would it matter?
She closed her eyes. The ancestors' memorial tablets were in front of her as Shen Miao softly contemplated, "Ancestors, if your spirits are still here, please grant me the sharpest of arrows and swiftest of horses to kill the enemies with my hands."
After chanting it and opening her eyes, she saw Jing Zhe looking at her while blinking her eyes. She took a bag of snacks from her arms and smiled, "Young Lady has gone hungry for so long and cannot go without eating. This servant has some snacks here for Young Lady to fill up the stomach."
It was not really because of Old Shen Furen's order that she really stopped eating. She reached for the paper bag and when she opened it, she could not help but be momentarily surprised, "This is…"
"This was what this servant found in Young Lady's room in Wo Long temple." Jing Zhe scratched her head and said, "At that time, Young Lady gave the snacks to this servant. After this servant tried a piece, this one had never tasted such a great tasting snack like this and could not bear to eat it. After returning to the residence and head to the ancestral hall with Young Lady, this one did not have time to bring food from outside and is only left with this."
Shen Miao looked at that small and intricate snack. That was the one that Xie Jing Xing left after he talked with her. Thinking of it, it was like she could see that handsome face of that youth in the curtain of rain and that mysterious identity of his.
Xie Jing Xing… Shen Miao muttered to herself irresolutely, just what kind of person was he.