The Rebirth Of An Ill-Fated Consort
Chapter 21 part1

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Chapter 20: Who Is Worse Off Than Whom? (Part I)
Ibuki Satsuki
After being silent for a while, Jiang Ruan asked, “Have you been here for a long time?”
The woman saw that Jiang Ruan was willing to speak. On ordinary days, she was afraid she would get stifled and choked in this prison. Therefore, she immediately came clean and spoke, “I have been here for almost a year. And for more than half a year, not a single person has been brought in. Little girl, what have you done to be locked in here?”
Jiang Ruan smiled faintly, “I did nothing.”
“How is that possible…” The woman was surprised. She wanted to ask more questions in order to understand the situation further. “Is it that you have also been wrongly accused ? When I look at you, you seem to look like the daughter of an influential family. How could they dare…?”
Jiang Ruan looked at her. “What do you mean?”
The woman shrugged. “No, nothing.”
Jiang Ruan sighed gently. The sigh contained her helplessness, as if she had experienced great grievances in life, as if there was a heavy load in her heart that made her feel immense sadness. The woman secretly looked at Jiang Ruan through the hair covering her eyes, and in seeing this, made Jiang Ruan smile. Her eyes were full of strength and warmth. They seemed to immediately make one feel comfortable around her. The person in front of her was clearly just a young girl like herself, however, she was full of a kind of charm and exuded an aura of enchantment that made it so that others couldn’t help but look twice.

The girl swallowed. “You are not aware, since you have just come. To get out of this place, you have to rely on silver. I was just an ordinary young woman and when I got married, my husband went to the sea on business. But, unfortunately, he met with some gangsters there and never came back. Only my mother-in-law and I lived together. Who knew that my husband had a brother… he had invested some money with my husband and one day when I was out of the house, he strangled my mother-in-law and then blamed me. The prefectural magistrate here was a muddle-headed official who had been bribed by my brother-in-law. I was forcibly taken to the prison and eventually had to confess under torture. Although I wasn’t sentenced to beheading, I was confined to live in this prison for a long time.” When the young girl told her story, she appeared sad, but her voice was toneless. She didn’t have any tears. She had been in the prison for a year already and her tears had already dried up. Although it was painful, she could only accept life as it was.
Seeing that Jiang Ruan remained silent, the girl slowly grew comfortable with her, saying, “But, little girl, I see that you are different from me. Although your clothes don’t look very good, I can see you are not an ordinary family’s daughter. How have you ended up here?
Jiang Ruan smiled slightly. “Even a small family has its share of scheming and intrigue, so will a large and wealthy family lack those backyard politics?”

When the woman heard this, she felt that it was reasonable. Her gaze towards Jiang Ruan became more compassionate. “Little girl, this prison is no better than the outside. I have lived here for a year. No one can stay here. Since both of us share the same cruel fate, it will be good to talk to each other often. My name is Shu Fen. You can call me Fen jiejie[1].”
[1] Jiějiě ( 姐姐 ) – Elder sister; A girl friend who is almost a sister to you.
Jiang Ruan nodded, “Fen jiejie.” She looked around, “Have all the prisoners here been wrongly accused?”
Shu Fen shook her head. “Not everyone, but the experiences of most people here are just like mine. Some of them are really guilty, but they don’t have enough silver to bail themselves out. But anyone who is guilty of crime, yet possesses the monetary resources, will easily be able to get out.”
Qian Wan Li was the prefectural magistrate of this area. Jiang Ruan remembered clearly that this person loved money and was extremely greedy. Even with a dead goose, he would want to pluck off a few feathers to make profit. Over these past few years, there had been no lack of opportunity to fleece others. This time, he took Chen Zhao’s money, but he really thought far ahead of Chen Zhao's means. Knowing her identity, he locked her up wanting to extort more money from Jiang Quan.

Translated by : SamAtrey
Edited by : Anks & Ely