The Marchioness stared at the Crown Princess. Her Highness was still very young in age and used to be well-known for her graceful demeanor. Now that she was a mother, there seemed to be a layer of soft aura on her, even more dazzling than the most lustrous pearl.
The Marchioness secretly envied Cheng Yujin. Whether a woman was doing well or not in her marriage life could be seen by observing her. Putting aside the matter of beauty, observing the subtle expression on a woman’s face, the slight emotions in her eyes, and the small bearings of her every move could reveal her real feelings. People who lead a satisfying and comfortable life would naturally be more relaxed and surrounded by the aura of happiness. Just like the glaze on porcelain, this aura brightened their whole person.
But thinking again, there was nothing strange with that. The Crown Princess had a handsome husband who, despite his status and position, was always gentle and considerate to her. She also had a pair of lovely children, and there were no other women in the house. Such a blissful life — who wouldn’t feel envy of her?
The Marchioness gradually shifted the topic and began asking about the other imperial members, “Why is Empress Dowager absent this year?”
Empress Dowager Yang contracted an illness last year and had never fully recovered. Her health had been on and off throughout the winter, and it was clear that her body was no longer as strong as before. The weather had been dry these few days, causing Empress Dowager Yang to fall ill again.
Cheng Yujin explained: “The weather has been cold and dry recently. Her Majesty’s body seems unable to bear the internal heat and fell ill as a result. She is in the Cining Palace now, recuperating, as we don’t dare risk her health by asking her to attend the New Year’s ceremony.”
Hearing this, the Marchioness nodded in understanding, “Indeed, food at the end of the year tends to be on the heavier side with all the year-end banquets. All those fish, meat, and whatnot are surely too heavy for Her Majesty’s body. On top of that, the earth dragon was burning day in and day out, so it was easy for internal heat to accumulate as a result. Thankfully, Her Majesty is an auspicious person. She will definitely be able to turn bad luck into good luck and get well soon.”
Cheng Yujin just nodded with a smile. Speaking of Empress Dowager Yang, the Marchioness seemed to be reminded of interesting gossip, “Speaking of which, there are quite a number of people who seem to be embroiled with internal heat recently. It is said that the young master of the Yang family took a fancy to a commoner woman he saw on the street and took her as a concubine on the spot. The woman was unwilling, however, and made quite a ruckus in public.”
There was only one young master in the Yang family. Yang Shoufu has two daughters and one son — Yang Yan, Yang Miao, and his only son Yang Shilong. Yang Shilong was lecherous and had many concubines, but he had only one single child — a son named Yang Xiaoyu. As the only child in the Yang family’s third generation, Yang Xiaoyu had always been regarded as the family’s lifeblood. Naturally, the elders spoiled him to no end. Even Empress Dowager Yang and Empress Yang valued Yang Xiaoyu very much and gave him rewards at every turn.
Growing up in such an environment, it was no wonder that Yang Xiaoyu became what he is now. He didn’t inherit his father and grandfather’s acumen in politics, but perfectly inherited all their bad traits instead, including the former’s womanizing habits. In fact, Yang Xiaoyu was even worse than his father, as he was not only lustful but also liked to obtain women by force. Girls from respectable families, daughters of the officials, even commoner women — as long as they were beautiful, Yang Xiaoyu wouldn’t hesitate to get his hands on them, and their reluctance and resistance only excited him even further.
In short, an extremely vile and horrible young man.
The topic of the Yang family was a sensitive one for Cheng Yujin, as it was easy for someone to catch her fault if she was even a bit careless. Therefore, she just replied nonchalantly to the Marchioness’ words, stating that she wasn’t aware of such an incident. The Marchioness also didn’t mean to exchange trivial gossip with Cheng Yujin, and the reason she mentioned Yang Xiaoyu was no more than an effort to curry favor. The news had been passed, but the Crown Princess clearly didn’t want to dwell on this topic, so the Marchioness naturally changed to another topic in haste.
The matter of Yang Xiaoyu didn’t leave a lasting impression on Cheng Yujin. She was aware of the scandal, but didn’t pay much attention. But no one thought that this matter still had a bigger follow-up, which caused a lot of commotion due to the horrible nature of the incident.
Yang Xiaoyu saw a beautiful girl when he was passing a street and harassed her on the spot. The girl endured the humiliation, refused firmly, and left. To her surprise, however, the man was persistent. After his repeated attempts to seduce her ended in vain, Yang Xiaoyu directly resorted to violence and ordered his men to bring the girl back to the Yang Manor.
The girl’s older brother found out about it and hurriedly ran after Yang Xiaoyu to take his sister back. Yang Xiaoyu had been accustomed to being lawless. Seeing that someone dared to confront him, he immediately ordered his men to teach this ignorant guy a lesson. Unexpectedly, the older brother was a strong laborer. He managed to break through the siege of the Yang family’s servants and punched Yang Xiaoyu a few times. How could Yang Xiaoyu, who never suffered the slightest grievance in his life, bear such a humiliation? His violent nature broke out, and he ordered the servants to hold the man in place as he personally used a chain whip to beat him. A chain whip was a lethal weapon made of iron and steel. In the end, the man ended up dead.
All of this happened on a busy street in broad daylight. When the people of the magistrate’s office arrived at the scene, the woman’s brother had already been whipped to death in the street.
The sinister nature and the bloody scene of this incident caused an uproar in the capital.
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