Jia Yuanling’s sophistry was useless. The guests present thought they were not fools to be easily deceived and they angrily scolded Jia Yuanling when they saw that he was still framing Ling Zhang at this point.
Jia Yuanling staggered a few steps backwards unsteadily. Looking at Ling Zhang’s cold and sarcastic eyes, he trembled all over. His dull and muddled mind sobered up a bit under the stimulation as something flashed in his mind.
“It’s you!” Jia Yuanling gnashed the teeth in anger as he shouted, “You did all this!”
Ling Zhang queried with a sneer, “Were you not the ones who committed adultery with your father’s concubine? Aren’t you guys in heat now? Isn’t the jade pendant yours? Were you not the ones who were caught on the spot? What does all this have anything to do with me?”
Jia Yuanling was forced to step back by a series of questions from Ling Zhang. He had a guilty conscience and now understood that Ling Zhang had already discovered their conspiracy; so although he was clear that Ling Zhang did not answer his questions directly, he didn’t dare to confront Ling Zhang in front of others.
“If you don’t want people to know it, never do it. Jia Yuanling, you know clearly about what you have done today so you shouldn’t blame me for being ruthless.”
Jia Yuanling looked at Ling Zhang in disbelief and panic, “You, you......”
Jia Yuanling’s awkward appearance afforded general satisfaction. Ling Zhang clenched his fist tight behind the back to hold back all the excitement in his heart. He finally found a tiny outlet for his resentment that he had accumulated after he crawled back from the evil ghost heap. But it wasn’t enough, and he wanted more than that.
“Lord Tao, what is the law for a son who has committed adultery with his father’s concubine?”
This sentence suppressed all the voices. The whole backyard was silent and everyone was staring at Ling Zhang.
Just now Ling Zhang’s vigorous and resolute manner impressed all, and now they looked at Ling Zhang with a subtle exploration.
This Ling family’s young master had become different. The man who used to be gentle and courteous to almost weak suddenly became cruel and fierce, making people wonder if he was pretending to be fragile before, but now he was the real Ling Zhang.
Tao Feng, the prefect of Tanyang, thought the same way. People who were used to schemes of official circles all were crafty. The best way to deal with this matter was to let them solve it privately by themselves. Whoever intervened in the matter would incur trouble for himself. So he tried not to be noticed just now, but unexpectedly he still became the focus because of a word from Ling Zhang. If it had been in the past, Tao Feng might have thought Ling Zhang as a big fool, but now Tao Feng couldn’t help wondering if Ling Zhang did this for any other purpose.
“If Jia family notifies the local government, then according to the law, both Jia Yuanling and the concubine committed adultery. Jia Yuanling should be sentenced to exile for ten years and the concubine executed. If Jia family chooses to solve it privately, then according to the law, adultery can be dealt in private. Jia family can do whatever they want to do with Jia Yuanling and the concubine.”
Tao Feng’s answer was very cautious and it sounded objective without any mistakes.
But Jia family would certainly choose to deal with this matter privately as long as Jia Yin was not completely out of mind.
“And if the crime of framing is added? Although I am not talented, I also have a degree as a scholar. Jia Yuanling just slandered me and everyone here heard it. If I insisted on notifying the government, what should Jia Yuanling be sentenced to?” Ling Zhang asked again.
Suddenly, Tao Feng finally understood what Ling Zhang really wanted to do: He was going to declare war with Jia family completely.
Tao Feng looked into Ling Zhang’s eyes, saying slowly, “Falsely framing a person with fame and reputation, Jia Yuanling is unpardonable; and according to the law, he should bear the crime he himself falsely accused, that is being banished for three thousand miles away and forced to do labor for twenty years.”
With a bang, Jia Yuanling fell to the ground feebly and the servants of Jia family were frightened. However, Jia Yin was in a coma, and no other member of Jia family was there to preside over the situation, resulting in chaos.
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