TCPCHW Chapter 16 Part 2
The Crown Prince Chases His Wife
Chapter 16 Trial (2/2)
Two days later, the Ministry of Justice and the Imperial Censor Bureau, together with the Imperial Court of Judicial Review, held a three-division trial on the fire case at the Imperial Academy, and Xie Changyuan, Shizi of Marquis of Yongding Mansion, and the Commander of the Northern Yamen Imperial Army presided over the trial.
Qin Ming, the son of the Right Prime Minister, had bandages wrapped around his arms and legs and was carried into the Imperial Court of Judicial Review, accompanied by the Right Prime Minister, Qin Wenzheng. The second son of the Left Prime Minister, Wang Jingyu, was accompanied by the Left Prime Minister to await trial. Jiang Mu was accompanied by Shen Huai from the Duke of Zhenguo.
Originally, Xie Changyuan was worried that he would face Qin Yan today, but when he saw that Qin Yan didn’t show up, there was a hint of disappointment in his heart.
They originally thought that the trial of this case would be a bit complicated, but they never thought that Song Liang, the tribute student, would confess his guilt very quickly. Because His Highness Taizi and Princess of Zhaoren’s secret guards had separately identified him, Song Liang did not even make sophistry or deny it.
Song Liang admitted that on the day of the Linyong Ceremony, it was indeed he who beat Qin Ming in a sack and threw him into the Chongwen Pavilion. Later, he tricked Jiang Mu into the library and locked the door because he wanted to frame Jiang Mu. But he denied setting the fire, saying that perhaps it was the candlestick that Jiang Mu accidentally knocked over.
Song Liang immediately testified that Wang Jingyu, the second son of the Left Prime Minister Mansion, instructed him to do so.
There was a commotion at the scene, and the case was troublesome.
And Wang Jingyu of the Left Prime Minister Mansion pleaded guilty very quickly, and he admitted on the spot that he had instructed Song Liang.
The crowd was in an uproar. Whether it was the mastermind or the accomplice, they had never seen such a speedy confession.
The Left Prime Minister scolded Wang Jingyu angrily at the scene, saying that the children were talking nonsense. He was stopped by the people from the Northern Yamen Imperial Army brought by Xie Changyuan to prevent him from disturbing the court.
Wang Jingyu spoke loudly, “My action is open and honest. I admit that I have been disgusted with Qin Ming for a long time. Imperial Academy only accepts children of imperial clans, relatives of the third rank, meritorious officials, and officials above the third rank. Moreover, the officials above the third rank can only be privileged students. He, Qin Ming, is a concubine-born and is not worthy of studying with us, which lowers my status. I wanted to teach this kid a lesson, so I found someone to beat him up.”
The whole audience was shocked that the second son of the Left Prime Minister was so arrogant. Although Qin Ming was the concubine-born son of the Right Prime Minister, he was also the son of the Right Prime Minister Mansion and also the only son of the Right Prime Minister. This Young Master Wang openly admitted that he wanted to beat him up.
Wang Jingyu ignored everyone’s whispers and continued, “I have repeatedly shown my goodwill to Jiang Mu from the Princess of Zhaoren Mansion, but the other party always aloft and never gives me a face, so I framed Jiang Mu because I wanted to teach him a lesson.”
Wang Jingyu denied that he let people set fire after the door was locked and denied harming the lives of the two people. He said that he only admitted what he had done, and with his background, he could act arrogantly and domineeringly, but he was not so insidious.
These remarks shocked everyone at the scene. The son of the Left Prime Minister was really arrogant and unrestrained and only this famous dandy in the capital could say these words.
The Left Prime Minister covered his face with one hand, he wished he didn’t have this son. He really lost all his face.
At this time, Jiang Mu’s words brought the case to a climax again. He said that he saw kerosene on the floor and bookshelf in Chongwen Pavilion that day, and he suspected that someone deliberately set the fire.
Song Liang and Wang Jingyu denied it again. At the moment when the punishment equipment was pulled to the two, Wang Jingyu gritted his teeth and turned his head, looking like a righteous sacrifice. But Song Liang was finished, he was just a scholar with little power, and he couldn’t stand a severe punishment.
Song Liang wept bitterly and confessed on the spot.
“Among the tribute students of the Imperial Academy, the annual tribute will select one person every year from the government school, two persons every three years from the prefectural school, and one person every two years from the county school. The system will select outstanding students every six years, two from the government school, one from the prefectural school, and one from the county school. An excellent tribute student will be selected every three years and one could be selected from an average of 600 or 700 people.”
“We, the tribute students, have been studying hard for ten years and have gone to great lengths to enter the Imperial Academy, but the children of these officials, relying on the background of their ancestors, can easily get the places we dream of without breaking a sweat. It’s unfair! Unfair!”
The more Song Liang explained, the angrier he became. He struggled to get up but was held down by the Northern Yamen Imperial Army.
“For what reason? Qin Ming is just a concubine-born, and Jiang Mu is just the righteous brother adopted by the Princess of Zhaoren. For what reason? How can they? I want them to die, I want them to die…”
Because Song Liang was too emotional, he was knocked unconscious by the Northern Yamen Imperial Army, and everyone became silent.
Song Liang was disheartened after being splashed with cold water and made a confession. It was Wang Jingyu, the second son of the Left Prime Minister, who instructed to beat Qin Ming and then put the blame on Jiang Mu. Song Liang was good at making suggestions when he did this, locked the two in Chongwen Pavilion, and set them on fire.
After the case was closed, the tribute student, Song Liang, was convicted of attempted murder and was expelled from Imperial Academy. He was exiled to Shuobei for ten years of border repairs, naturalized as a lowly citizen, and never able to enter the officialdom.
The second son of the Left Prime Minister, Wang Jingyu, instructed the beating and framed others. He would stay behind the closed door in the mansion for three months and was banned from taking exams for two years.
After that, the Left Prime Minister compensated Qin Ming, the son of the Right Prime Minister, with ten thousand taels of silver for injury medicine, and the Imperial Academy with twenty thousand teals of silver.
Princess of Zhaoren sent Shen Huai to apologize to the Chief Officer of the Imperial Academy, saying that this matter was also related to Young Master Jiang of their mansion, and Princess of Zhaoren Mansion donated twenty thousand taels of silver to Imperial Academy.
When the Right Prime Minister Qin Wenzheng heard that Qin Yan had donated money to Imperial Academy, he was so angry that his heart was dripping with blood.
The Left Prime Minister’s son was the initiator of this case, and it was reasonable to compensate the Imperial Academy. But Qin Yan joined in the fun and was so generous. This was to roast his Right Prime Minister Mansion on fire.
According to Qin Yan’s statement, the matter this time was also related to Qin Ming, the Left Prime Minister compensated, Qin Yan donated money, and the Right Prime Minister could not sit still.
His son was beaten and almost died, and he had to donate money! The ten thousand taels of silver sent by the Left Prime Minister in his pocket were not warm yet, but he had to add another ten thousand taels to send out.
Qin Wenzheng gritted his teeth, but still asked Zhang Quan, the housekeeper, to go to the Imperial Academy with twenty thousand taels of silver. Zhang Quan also used Shen Huai’s words, on behalf of Prime Minister Qin, he apologized to the Chief Officer of the Imperial Academy.
The Chief Officer of the Imperial Academy was still distressed about his collection of books. Some books could be re-purchased, but those unique and rare books were his heart and soul, which was enough to make him sad for several years.
The compensation from the Left Prime Minister Mansion and the donations from the Princess of Zhaoren Mansion and the Right Prime Minister Mansion eased a little of his depression. After all, the three young masters of the mansion still needed to go to school in his Imperial Academy, and they were quite decent.
But what a scholar treasured most was the library, and he still suffered in his heart…
Qin Wenzheng was sitting alone in the ancestral hall for a few hours. His mind was full of the day when the fire case at the Imperial Academy was jointly reviewed by three divisions. The second son of the first wife of the Left Prime Minister and that tribute student, Song Liang, repeatedly mentioned that Ming’er was a concubine-born and the contempt in their words poked his heart.
He went to great lengths to send Ming’er to Imperial Academy, hoping that he would go to school and honor his ancestors. But he didn’t know that the humiliation Ming’er usually suffered in school had reached such a level.
A few days ago, he had already sent a letter to invite the clan leader and the clan elders to come to the capital, intending to raise Song Mei as his equal wife, and his Ming’er would naturally be called his legitimate son.
But at that time, he was concerned that Qin Yan, who had been conferred the Princess, was a celebrity in front of the Emperor. He was worried that he would lose His Majesty’s trust if he didn’t handle this matter properly at that moment, so he put the matter on hold.
He had been an official for many years, and he had always been wise to protect himself. He had never tried testing on the edge of danger.
But now, the Duke of Zhenguo Mansion had adopted an attitude of drawing a clear line with him. In Qin Ming’s accident this time, Qin Yan not only didn’t care about her younger brother Qin Ming, but from the beginning to the end, she only protected that annoying Jiang Mu. She also didn’t discuss the donation matter with her father. If he handled it improperly, Qin Ming’s life in Imperial Academy would be even more difficult.
Qin Yan, this daughter, didn’t take his father seriously, then she couldn’t blame him.
Now that he had no way out, Ming’er’s identity must be resolved.
Qin Wenzheng exhaled a turbid breath and finally made up his mind. He immediately asked Zhang Quan, the housekeeper, to invite the clan elders to the capital again, and put Song Mei as the equal wife on the agenda.