Fierce “Husband” – Chapter 136.1

In the capital city, after the display of power in the court by Emperor Yongming, the various officials and noble families had become much more discreet, fearing to provoke the Emperor’s wrath and face the confiscation of their wealth or even the extermination of their families. The judgment on the Hengyuan Marquisate came swiftly. The Emperor was furious, and the officials responsible for the investigation dared not delay. With influential figures pushing the agenda behind the scenes, the investigation into the Hengyuan Marquisate, led by Marquis Wei Chonglin and his household, quickly reached a conclusion. A family that had existed for a hundred years was unlikely to be entirely free of wrongdoing, and none of the four great families of the “Red Chamber Dream” were spotless.

Wei Chonglin had numerous descendants, and Wei Hongzheng was certainly not the only disappointing son. When everything was scrutinized, it became clear that the Hengyuan Marquisate had indeed engaged in various unsavory activities over the years.

Emperor Yongming, being relatively lenient – as advised by the older ministers led by Elder Weng and General Dai – did not execute all nine generations, but instead, three generations were executed. Wei Hongzheng’s disrespectful words were closely tied to his father Wei Chonglin’s disrespectful attitude toward Emperor Yongming in private. For this alone, Wei Chonglin’s fate was sealed. If it had been Emperor Kangsheng, the previous emperor, the entire Hengyuan Marquisate would have likely faced immediate execution. Meanwhile, the Hengyuan Marquisate had committed countless land grabs and seizures, and its descendants had committed numerous serious offenses. In the end, Emperor Yongming issued a decree directly: Marquis Wei Chonglin was charged with multiple crimes and was to be executed in the autumn. Among his sons, those already sentenced in court cases were executed, those who had violated the law significantly were executed, and those without pending court cases but had violated the law were exiled to the borderlands or conscripted into the army.

Within the Wei family’s three generations, all male members without pending court cases were exiled to the borderlands and conscripted into the army. Women and children were all taken into the palace to serve as laborers. Wei Chonglin’s legitimate son, Wei Hongru, volunteered to take his father’s place in punishment, demonstrating filial piety. The Emperor, moved by this display of filial devotion, commuted Wei Chonglin’s sentence to twenty years of imprisonment without the possibility of amnesty. Wei Hongru was exiled to Suzhou. Wei Hongwen, who had already been expelled from the Wei family by the Hengyuan Marquisate, was not implicated in this case. However, he was not allowed to return to the capital for five years. He joined Wei Hongru’s group and headed to Suzhou. As for Wei Hongzheng’s branch, all of them were sentenced to execution for their grave offenses.

The entire Hengyuan Marquisate suddenly collapsed. Wei Chunlin favored his younger sons over his legitimate heir, and as a result, Wei Hongru and Wei Hongwen escaped punishment. If they had been deeply involved with the affairs of the Hengyuan Marquisate or had strong ties to Wei Chunlin and his son, even if the Emperor had wished to spare them, he couldn’t, as that would be difficult to conceal from the public. The maternal family of Wei Chunlin’s current main wife was also a prominent family, and when the Hengyuan Marquisate faced trouble, they pressured Wei Chunlin to send a divorce letter to his “beloved wife.” She returned to her family, but Wei Chunlin’s youngest son couldn’t escape punishment and was exiled to the borderlands. Wei Chunlin’s elderly mother was also sentenced to serve in the palace. Empress then arranged for her to accompany Wei Hongru to Suzhou.

As the Hengyuan Marquisate fell into turmoil, all the property was confiscated. All the gold, silver, and wealth found during the investigation were placed in the imperial treasury, while the antiques and paintings were stored in Emperor Yongming’s private collection. Xiao Baichuan was tasked with overseeing the confiscation, with assistance from the Ministry of Revenue. A month after all the Hengyuan Marquisate’s wealth had been transferred to the imperial treasury, Emperor Yongming issued another edict. It was discovered that five chests of gold bars from the Hengyuan Marquisate’s confiscation had somehow found their way into the residence of the Minister of Revenue. As a result, the Minister of Revenue was removed from office and imprisoned, along with his family.

But this was a story for another time.

While the Hengyuan Marquisate was in turmoil, as people were being exiled to their designated locations, the Qintian Observatory received a report from an official who claimed that the Purple Star had dimmed, and a new star had appeared next to it. This new star was considered an ill omen, threatening the Emperor’s reign, and its direction pointed straight towards Yongxiu County. Shortly after, urgent reports arrived, claiming that a strange phenomenon had occurred in Xiushui Village, located in Yongxiu County. Birds and animals were crying, the earth shook, and the waters surged for three consecutive days.

When this urgent report was made, the entire court was in an uproar. Just as the Qintian Observatory had mentioned the ill omen with the Purple Star, urgent reports arrived indicating strange occurrences in Xiushui Village. The courtiers immediately petitioned the Emperor, urging him to send investigators to Yongxiu County to investigate the disaster. Emperor Yongming himself was feeling uncertain. Although the courtiers didn’t explicitly say it, he understood that some of them were pointing fingers at someone: Shao Yunan, who was currently in Xiushui Village. However, Emperor Yongming did not believe Shao Yunan was an ill omen. Since he had known Shao Yunan, he had witnessed nothing but good fortune befalling him.

“Your Majesty, this matter must be clarified, as it could potentially endanger your reign. I beseech Your Majesty to send someone to investigate Yongxiu County immediately,” one courtier implored.

“Your Majesty…”

Duke An, Duke Ning, and Marquis Zhaoyang sent their subordinates to kneel before the Emperor, earnestly requesting his action.

While they kept silent when they saw their lieges had taken action. King Luo Rong spoke out: ”Your Majesty, the situation is of utmost importance. I humbly request that Your Majesty send someone to Xiushui Village to ascertain the truth.”

“Your Majesty, we do not understand these ill omens and celestial matters, but it is clear that this ill omen, or disaster, whatever it may be, is not a good sign. With such reports of unusual occurrences in Xiushui Village, if Xiushui Village has been hit by earthquakes and floods, why didn’t the emergency report say how many people were killed or injured?”


Edited by: Jaisland



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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Drielly Cristhine Freitas de Sena

    A lot of vulture! No one helped the emperor, but now everyone is worried about a damn purple star!

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