“It doesn’t surprise me at all that Madame Lu possesses such kind intentions. I just never thought that you’d still be so idiotic after all that you’ve suffered through.” Qin Yining’s tone was measured and gentle, but every word was mental torture to Madame Lu’s ears.
“How dare you!” Madame Lu flushed beet red and looked throbbingly at Pang Xiao, beseeching help.
The prince sat at the head seat leisurely drinking his tea, having cast not a single glance at her. She was trussed up like a chicken and thrown onto the floor, whereas Qin Yining had the right to be on the same footing as the prince and even viciously humiliate Madame Lu!
Flying into a rage out of humiliation, she glared scathingly at Qin Yining. “Are you the only ones allowed to help?? What, other people can’t even do a good deed?”
The princess consort chuckled, amused by the sophistry. “Riling up the people so they rush to their deaths is your idea of a good deed? Then if I want to take your life so that you reincarnate early, is that a good deed too?”
Off to the side, Pang Xiao couldn’t help a grin from spreading over his face.
In the end, Madame Lu was frightened into submission by the furious and violent look in the princess consort’s eyes. The madame scooted backward. “You, you wouldn’t dare! I’m a Lu! My clan will demand an answer from you if you so much as harm a hair on my head!”
“Oh? In that case, you goading the people on to mutiny was authorized by the Lus then? Do you believe me when I say that your clan will be utterly annihilated when the emperor hears of this? Who will stick up for you then?”
“You cheap bitch, cut the nonsense! Don’t you dare think of dragging House Lu into this!”
“Why didn’t you remember that you’re part of House Lu when you did things that would implicate the clan?”
Madame Lu realized to her chagrin that she wouldn’t win an argument against Qin Yining. She wriggled her well-rounded body and looked tearily at Pang Xiao for help, pleading tenderly, “Your Highness, you are wise and noble. You know that I’m not this sort of person.”
This woman’s audacity knew no bounds! There she was, blatantly attempting seduction right in front of Qin Yining, and multiple times to boot! Did she have no shame??
The princess consort rose and stalked toward the madame, finally standing two steps away from the woman and loftily looked down at her. Her positioning also happened to block the woman’s line of sight.
The madame lifted her head upwards and realized with shock that this angle was simply too undignified. She averted her eyes with an angry snort.
“Out with it. Who instructed you to incite the citizens to rebel.” Qin Yining’s voice was neither too ponderous nor too harried, but the look in her eyes raked Madame Lu like a flay.
“No one gave me instructions,” insisted the madame doggedly. “I felt that things were too difficult for the refugees. They’re all crouched by the walls out of starvation. So I had them make a bit of noise and demand food from court. I did this out of good intentions, how is that rebelling?”
“Oh? Do you need to be cross examined? Have you forgotten what you taught that man and woman to say to rile up the people?”
“Qin Yining! I know you don’t like me, but you can’t falsely accuse me like this! You’re taking advantage of the opportunity for revenge!” shrieked the madame.
“You’re not worthy of being my enemy at all, so for what reason would I take revenge? You don’t have to say anything now, it’s already set in stone that you incited the riots. I just need to hand you over to the emperor. His Majesty will form his own judgement of the rest.”
“You wouldn’t dare! I’m a Lu! I…”
“The woman follows her husband after she marries. You’re not only a daughter of the Lus, but a daughter-in-law of the Mis. Ask yourself this, are your actions worthy of your husband, the Marquis of Valiant Faith? As the marchioness, you fed off the benefits of your late husband to keep a harem of escorts. You emotionally tortured your husband while he lived—do you really think there’s no such thing as karma in this world?”
“You don’t know anything!” Madame Lu’s face turned even redder upon this full exposure. She opened her mouth to spit at the princess consort.
Off to the side, quick-witted Jiyun kicked the madame over so that her spit didn’t fly out.
“Stopper her mouth and keep a close guard on her. Don’t let her get away, and most certainly don’t let her die.”
“Understood.” Huzi carried out Qin Yining’s orders and hauled the madame out like a cut of meat.
Pang Xiao rose and flung his arm around his wife. “Jealous?”
Qin Yining nodded seriously. “That’s right, I’m jealous. How dare she scheme about you right in front of me? She’s shameless to the extreme! This kind of woman should be thrown into a bamboo cage and immersed in the lake.” 
The anger on her charming face, bunched up brows, and dissatisfied pout of her pert lips elicited unspeakable delight from Pang Xiao. Though it wasn’t that appropriate in such a serious occasion, he couldn’t help but wrap her in his embrace and kiss her lightly on the lips.
“Don’t think too much, I don’t care about anything they think. I have only you in my heart.”
Sweet honey welled in Qin Yining’s heart and contentment filled her. She hugged Pang Xiao’s waist and buried her face in his chest. “Do you mean that? What if a younger, prettier girl appears in the future? What if you like her? Will you take her as your concubine?”
1. This kind of punishment was reserved for adulterous women in ancient China, with the most severe punishments lasting until the woman drowned.