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Chapter 394 To Save Qiu Jinglan!
After hearing the news, Jiang Tianqi and his wife also crumpled to the ground, just like Jiang Tianao. By this time, no one in the Jiang Family cared about Madame Dou’s death or whether she was killed by Princess Qi or not. All the attention was given to the sudden and terrible news!
How did Jiang Yayue and Jiang Yaqing die?
Who killed them?
What about the Western Army?
What would happen to the first branch and the third branch?
Would the relations.h.i.+p and power among the various branches of the Jiang Family be changed?
As for this series of questions, not only the Jiang Family was eager to know the answers, but also all officials were trying to get information. In this context, it was natural that Madame Dou’s funeral which was once grand at the beginning became almost unattended at last. And even Jiang Tianao did not pay much attention to it. So, Madame Dou was buried in a very hasty manner.
Jiang Huizhi and other juniors who were favored by Madame Dou had been devastated. Because of this, they had a deep hatred for the fourth branch!
But the fourth branch had no time to bother with them. They were busy thinking about the changing situation in Shazhou!
“I’m afraid there’s something wrong with this news!” Jiang Yashuang hurried back to his yard to discuss with his wife, “It has been some days since the two were a.s.sa.s.sinated and the news reached Jing City. But the news from your brother these days is actually as usual without even mentioning it!”
“I know, right?” Qiu Yelan also frowned, “Someone must have given a gag order… Apart from the youngest grand uncle, there is no one else who can make my brother keep his mouth shut like this!”
Jiang Yashuang frowned, “My youngest grand uncle ordered to keep him quiet. It is somewhat interesting! The deaths of these two are a blow to the whole Jiang Family, especially to the first branch and the third branch. But as long as my grandfather is there, it doesn’t matter a lot to suffer these blows… Why should they be ordered to keep silent so strictly?”
Qiu Yelan guessed, “Could it be because of the murderer? It can be calculated that the two were a.s.sa.s.sinated when my youngest grand uncle arrived in Shazhou. So, he should have started to search for the murderer as soon as he arrived! Perhaps he ordered to keep his mouth shut to confuse the murderer. And now he may have a clue and then speak it out, right?”
“My youngest grand uncle didn’t say much in his handwritten letter. He only said that it was something important and he would tell my grandfather in person when he returned to Jing City.” Jiang Yashuang paced a few steps, frowning, “I’m more worried about whether it has something to do with your brother…”
He thought the only person in Shazhou who had the ability and motivation to kill Jiang Yayue and Jiang Yaqing was Qiu Jinglan.
Of course, everyone knew that Qiu Jinglan loved his sister and he wouldn’t do something that made her in a difficult position between her husband’s family and her maiden family. But what if Jiang Yayue and Jiang Yaqing attacked Qiu Jinglan first? In that case, the situation was so critical that Qiu Jinglan had to kill them first as he was about to be killed.
“If it had something to do with my brother, how come they should raid Ruan’s Mansion?” Qiu Yelan’s face changed slightly when he mentioned this. But after thinking for a moment, she said, “But I haven’t heard of such news now!”
Jiang Yashuang mused, “That’s just my guess. After all, those two men, protected by great guards, are mostly in the army. So, a.s.sa.s.sinating them would be no easy task! Even my brother could hardly make it if he intended to do so.”
The couple, like Marquis Qin, thought that Jiang Yadan was just a fop, and Jiang Qizheng and Ou Qinglan had been killed. Even if the two women were alive, how could they, one gentle and quiet and the other spirited and simple, have planned the deaths of Jiang Yayue and Jiang Yaqing? They were the ones who were likely to be killed!
At last, the only suspect was Qiu Jinglan!
Noticing that his wife was looking increasingly pale, Jiang Yashuang was afraid that her worries would affect her baby and so he sent Jiang Tan out to look for information in front of her.
Fortunately, after some time Jiang Tan returned and said that although there were many rumors outside about the deaths of Jiang Yayue and Jiang Yaqing, there was no mention of Qiu Jinglan. “In Ruan’s Mansion, everything is just the same as usual. On the pretext that I was pa.s.sing by, I went in to ask for a cup of hot tea. Butler Ruan there happened to be free and came to the front to talk with me. I told him that I wanted to deliver a letter to my distant cousin, who had gone to Shazhou with the Eighth Young Master, and the butler readily agreed. He told me to send the letter over at any time and he would arrange to bring it with the letter to young master Ruan. He promised that by then, the letter would be taken to the person unopened!”
“It seems that it has nothing to do with your brother.” Jiang Yashuang was relieved secretly and he said to his wife in a monotone voice, “Otherwise, as almost all the people in Ruan’s Mansion are members of Tianya and they are the most capable and trusted for your brother, how can something happens to him but they are kept out of it?”
Qiu Yelan thought what her husband said did make sense and she settled down a bit. So, she urged her husband to go back to the main hall, “In that case, I won’t worry about it. You should go and see your mother. Has she been much better these days?”
This was what Mrs. Zhou reminded her of, “I can see that Madame Zhuang loves her children very much. But for various reasons they were separated for years. Now she comes back but gets sick! I’m afraid that if young master Yashuang often comes back to the yard here, she will feel lonely and be angry with you!”
Qiu Yelan did not want to create a rift with her mother-in-law because of the time she had with Jiang Yashuang. So, as she was rea.s.sured, she urged her husband to go and spend time with his mother.
This time she was right. Because not long after Jiang Yashuang left the fourth branch’s main hall, Madame Zhuang woke up. As she knew about the a.s.sa.s.sination of Jiang Yayue and Jiang Yaqing and heard that her son had gone to discuss it with her daughter-in-law, she could not wait to see him.
She was extremely eager to see her son. As soon as Jiang Yashuang stepped outside, he ran into Mrs. Chang who went there to urge him, which also shocked him, “Is there something wrong with my mother?”
“Madame Zhuang has woken up and she appears to be in better spirits than a couple of days ago,” said Mrs. Chang quickly, “There’s nothing wrong with her. She just wants to ask you about the deaths of the Second Young Master and the Sixth Young Master!”
Jiang Yashuang was therefore relieved. After rus.h.i.+ng to Madame Zhuang’s sickbed, he paid respects to her first and then took a seat on the drum stool the servants offered, smiling, “Mother, you want to know if the news of the deaths of my second brother and sixth brother is true, right? The news was sent back personally by my youngest grand uncle’s trusted men and so I don’t think it’s wrong!”
“You all get out!” Madame Zhuang waved her hand and dismissed her servants. After that, she said through gritted teeth, “I guess it is poetic justice! I have been thinking about avenging your sister’s death. I count the days, thinking that this happy news would come in over half a month. But here it is!”
Her words made Jiang Yashuang astounded, “Mother, do you mean…”
“The first branch and the third branch murdered your sister. How could your father and I let them go?” Madame Zhuang sneered, “Before I set out, the men your father sent to Shazhou to avenge your sister’s death had already been on the way. But to hide from your grandfather, they pa.s.sed through Beihu’s territory on the pretext of spying on its movements…”
With that Madame Zhuang frowned slightly, “They were too fast. Did they change their route later?”
Jiang Yashuang said, startled and confused, “Mother, my second brother and sixth brother were not a.s.sa.s.sinated recently! If my father had started to make arrangements since he received my eighteenth sister’s blood letters, he must have flown there! Otherwise, it would never have been done by someone of my father!”
Madame Zhuang said, astonished, “Really?” She had been away from Jing City for so many years before returning and she almost had no influence in Marquis Qin’s Mansion. So, the information she had obtained was certainly not very detailed. When she heard the details from his son, she confirmed that the deaths of Jiang Yayue and Jiang Yaqing had nothing to do with Jiang Tianchi. Therefore, she was quite surprised, “And then who did it?”
She also suspected Qiu Jinglan, “Is that your brother-in-law? His men, those descended from Prince’s Mansion of Xihe, are specialized in a.s.sa.s.sination, aren’t they?”
“I do think so!” In front of his mother, things he could not say to his wife could be open to discussion, “Although there isn’t news of the raid on Ruan’s Mansion and the search for Tianya, I guess maybe it is because my youngest grand uncle is considerate. He knows that Lanlan is pregnant and is afraid that she will not be able to bear the news. That’s why he has suppressed it first, isn’t it? Otherwise, as it would not be too much to say that we, the Jiang Family, have all the power in the court now, what can’t we say directly about who the murderer is? Is it necessary to reveal the answer when my youngest grand uncle returns?”
Madame Zhuang frowned, “If so, it is indeed a problem! Your eighth brother is not interested in the army and you will have to take over your father’s position in the future. An and the others are too young… If Qiu Jinglan could not control the Western Army now, we could only watch others take it away!”
“And if my brother-in-law did it, we, the fourth branch, couldn’t get away with it!” Jiang Yashuang said, “It’s not certain what the first branch and the third branch will do at that time!”
“Who cares what they will do?” Madame Zhuang sneered, “Anyway, the two sons they most expect to steal the military power are dead!”
She did not hide her gloating, “So, G.o.d forbids their being greedy! Great! How great to see their death! Let’s see if they still dare to want the military power!”
Jiang Yashuang coughed, “Lanlan only has one brother from her maiden family that she can rely on. If it is true that her brother is considered a murderer, I am afraid that even though she is concealed now, one day she will…”
“You don’t need to tell me about that. As Qiu Jinglan is a talented person and is on our side, your father and I must try to keep him!” Madame Zhuang readily said, “Go to the cupboard over there and get my mother’s personal seal! I will tell you the code word that I have agreed with your father’s commanders… Write a letter at once and send someone reliable to send it to Shazhou!”
“If there are no accidents, he should arrive just in time for when the men your father arranged to avenge your sister’s death arrive! If Qiu Jinglan is really the murderer, your youngest grand uncle will definitely bring him to Jing City alive to give an explanation! When he does, let your father’s men disguise as bandits and take him away. Hide him in the Western army and after a couple of years, we can give him a new ident.i.ty and arrange him to be an official again!”
What Madame Zhuang said meant that in a couple of years when Marquis Qin and the others were old and dying, Qiu Jinglan could show up again. As for what the first branch and the third branch would think, was it important?
“My youngest grand uncle is there now!” Jiang Yashuang quickly laid out the paper and ground the ink while saying, “If my youngest grand uncle takes charge in person…”
Madame Zhuang snorted, “Take it easy! Those men are one of the cornerstones of your father’s command of the Northern Army. Your youngest grand uncle couldn’t bear to kill them! If he has his hands tied like this, there will be no problem with getting Qiu Jinglan out!”
The foundation of the Jiang family was too shallow at the beginning. And it took a lot of hard work to cultivate a man like Jiang Tianchi who can take charge of the Northern Army. There was simply no alternative! Even though the fourth branch had repeatedly held that against the real power of the Jiang Family, as the elders, they could only endure it. Even if they had reached their limit, all they could do was endure it all over again!
While Madame Zhuang and Jiang Yashuang were trying to find ways to save Qiu Jinglan, in Shazhou, Qiu Jinglan was frowning at Qiu Feng in the hall, “What are you saying? Are you really going to take Chunfu Princess with you to wander all over the world? Are you awake?”
“Wander all over the world?” Qiu Feng frowned at him as well. The meaning was almost the same, but as Qiu Jinglan changed the wording, it sounded different and seemed not to be good. “After this, Qizheng feels tired of the court and is no longer willing to go back to Jing City. I don’t like that kind of environment either and so I thought I could just take her around… Of course, we need to pick our son up. It’s not a good idea to always entrust the Jiang Family with him.”
Qiu Jinglan looked at him as if he were stupid, “Don’t tell me that you do not know the true reason why Chunfu Princess said that!”