Chapter 178 the Phoenix Earring
The room fell into silence and filled with thick sorrows.
“Fifth Young Lady, did my young master told you in your dream who murdered her?” Mother Wang wiped tears from her face and suddenly asked resentfully. She had totally believed what Ning Xueyan said, but she didn’t believe that Ning Ziying had thrown herself into the river to commit suicide.
She had been outside of the manor and collected information after Ning Ziying’s death. She heard everyone said that Ning Ziyan had been engaged to Xia Yuhang since childhood, and nobody knew that there was an engagement between Ning Ziying and Xia Yuhang. That was abnormal. She had been willing to follow Lanning’s advice and cooperate with Ning Xueyan because she wanted to collect information in the Lord Protector’s Manor.
“Mother Wang, don’t worry. I’ll avenge Sister Ziying. If she didn’t appear in my dream and give me instruction, I might have died,” Ning Xueyan looked at Mother Wang and said sincerely, two cold frames flashing in her eyes. She was Ning Ziying, and she became Ning Xueyan after rebirth just for revenge!
She couldn’t tell Mother Wang how Ning Ziying had died. Maybe she would tell her in the future, but not now. Because she knew Mother Wang well, and if Mother Wang knew that Ning Ziying had been murdered by Madam Ling and Ning Ziyan, she would definitely jump up and rush to them. Even if she gave her life, she would try to get justice for her young master. Every one of the manor kept this murder a secret, so although it was Madam Ling and her daughter who had killed Ning Ziying, actually every one of the manor was involved with her death.
Madam Dowager’s people were everywhere in the manor, so she couldn’t have been unaware that Ning Ziying had been murdered.
And it was impossible for Ning Zu’an, the powerful marquis and general didn’t know how she had died!
But nobody had mentioned it. That meant everyone knew about it, and they all acquiesced. It also meant that if anyone dared fight against Madam Ling and her daughter, she was fighting against the whole manor. Ning Xueyan wasn’t that powerful now, Mother Wang was much weaker than her, so if she went to Madam Ling for revenge, she would die.
She would take revenge for herself, but she wouldn’t let people who wanted to protect her die in vain.
“Fifth Young Lady, are you serious that you’ll avenge my young master?” Mother Wang asked, gritting her teeth. She saw the coldness in Ning Xueyan’s jet-black eyes, and didn’t ask about the murderer anymore.
She had asked the same question when she just came to Bright Frost Garden, and she didn’t believe that Ning Xueyan would really avenge her young master. But now, she began to have some confidence that the gentle and weak girl in front of her would do this for her young master.
“Mother Wang, you don’t have to do anything, and just wait and see.” Ning Xueyan looked at her with a smile, her eyes became softened.
“Fifth Young Lady, take this!” Looking at Ning Xueyan, Mother Wang was about to cry. At that moment, the cold and proud Fifth Young Lady seemed to have transformed into her gentle and kind young master. She calmed herself down and then passed the thing in her hand to Ning Xueyan.
It was a very small jade earring. Although it wasn’t big, it was set with rubies at the bottom. There were some gray-black marks on the golden hook on the top of the earring, and a phoenix carved on it was faintly discernible.
At the sight of this jade earring, Xueyan almost couldn’t stay her calm. She pinched her handkerchief firmly and managed to restore calm.
This earring belonged to Ning Ziying. Her mother had asked her to keep it carefully. Ever since she could remember, this earring had been put away by her mother. At a certain time of each year, her mother would have taken it out and asked her to examine it carefully, and repeated that it was her jade earring, and she must keep it carefully and never let anyone take it away.
At this time, Ning Ziying would have played with it in her hand curiously.
The Nings was influential in the regions south of the Yangtze River, and they were wealthy. Ning Ziying didn’t understand why her mother had cherished this earring that much. When she grew up, she had examined it carefully, but didn’t find anything special. Although jade was precious, the earring wasn’t made of the extremely rare jade. Ning Ziying wondered why her mother had taken it so seriously.
She even had taken it out and asked her to examine it every year.
Before dying, her mother had called Mother Wang to her room and talked with her for a while. Then she asked Ning Ziying in and told her that she had asked Mother Wang to keep the earring for her.
After they arrived in the capital, Mother Wang had never taken it out, so Ning Ziying had forgotten about it gradually. Now when she saw it again, she was mixed with joy and sorrow, and she almost couldn’t maintain her calm. Fortunately, Mother Wang and Lanning were all looking at the earring, so nobody had noticed her excited expression.
“Fifth Young Lady, this is my young master’s earring. Madam asked me to give this to my young master after her marriage, but now… she has…” Mother Wang couldn’t help but burst into tears. “People of the Lord Protector’s Manor turned out to be cold-blooded. I have persuaded madam not to let my young master come to the capital, but she didn’t follow my advice.”
Although Mother Wang didn’t know the specific cause of Ning Ziying’s death, after all, she had died at Lord Protector’s Manor. Moreover, her fiancée who had been engaged to her since childhood married Ning Ziyan finally. Therefore, the Lord Protector’s Manor couldn’t get away with it anyway.
“Fifth Young Lady, please take this jade earring. Madam said it was very meaningful, and if my young master kept it, she might get help from some powerful people. But now… my young master doesn’t need it anymore, so Fifth Young Lady, please take it. It might be helpful to you.” With that, Mother Wang put the earring into Ning Xueyan’s hand, wiping tears from her cheeks with a sigh. Since it was her young master’s legacy, she couldn’t bear to lose it, but she knew it might be more useful in Ning Xueyan’s hand, so she decided to give it to her.
“Did madam say anything else?” Ning Xueyan asked in a low voice, bending her fingers and holding the earring firmly.
“She didn’t tell me anything more special. She only reminded to pay attention to my young master’s safety and remember to give the earring to her. She said a fortune teller had told her that my young master would get a powerful person’s help who was related to this earring. But she didn’t expect that…” Mother Wang covered her face with her hands and began to sob.
“Mother Wang, are you the only wet nurse after Sister Ziying was born?” Seeing that Mother Wang was heartbroken, Ning Xueyan asked gently. She couldn’t find answers to many questions. Now since Mother Wang had given her such a precious thing, she knew that Mother Wang was standing on her side, so she asked her without hesitation.
“No, I’m not. I went to the Ning Manor when my young master was about three or four years old. Mr. Ning had just become the local official, and madam took my young master there. I don’t know why my young master didn’t have any wet nurse before. They hired me, but madam didn’t allow me to tell the others that I wasn’t the first wet nurse. She asked me to tell them that my young master was brought on my milk. But actually, I have never nursed her.”
Mother Wang wiped her eyes and said sadly.
“When was Sister Ziying engaged to Xia Yuhang?” Ning Xueyan thought it over and asked. She felt something wrong with the engagement between Ning Ziying and Xia Yuhang. She couldn’t remember it clearly, but she vaguely felt that the engagement wasn’t made at her birth.
“The engagement between my young master and Childe Xia was settled when my young master was eight years old. Official Xia brought his son to our manor and he had a good time with Mr. Ning, so they made a marriage arrangement. Then Official Xia took Childe Xia back to the capital. From then on, no matter when Childe Xia had come to visit my young master or not, he would have sent gifts to her every year. I thought he was a person of righteousness and deep affection, but to my surprise, he was brutal and cold-blooded!”
Her young master had died miserably. As Ning Ziying’s fiancée, Xia Yuhang didn’t investigate her death, but married Eldest Young Lady of the Lord Protector’s Manor instead. At the thought of this, Mother Wang felt an impulse to rush to Xia Yuhang and scold him.
“Mother Wang, you don’t have to be angry. Good and evil must at last have their reward. The evil people will be punished finally, but we still need to wait,” Ning Xueyan persuaded. She stood up, holding the earring firmly. She raised her head and there was a trace of mockery in her eyes. Both Xia Yuhang and Ning Ziyan were involved in murdering her, so she wouldn’t let go of them.
She had come back from the bloody hell, so she would make them pay for what they had done.
After coming out from Mother Wang’s room, Ning Xueyan returned to her own room. She sat before the window and touched the earring. Leaning against the armchair of the soft couch, she gazed out of the window and was lost in thought.
Her intuition told her that something important hid in what Mother Wang had said. But she couldn’t figure it out. Thinking about this, she couldn’t help frowning.
Since the engagement between her and Xia Yuhang had been arranged when she was eight years old, why her parents told the others that it had been settled since their childhood? It was easy to make people think that the engagement between them had been settled when their mothers were pregnant.
Since Mother Wang had been hired when she was already three or four years old, where her former wet nurse was? She didn’t believe that she hadn’t a wet nurse after being born. Why had her mother asked Mother Wang to tell the others that she was the only wet nurse of her and she had nursed her ever since her birth?
In her memory, her mother was smart, and she had never done anything for no reason. But why had she tried to cover up the things about her childhood?
Furthermore, earrings should come in pairs. Why was there only one piece? Her mother had taken the earring so seriously, could it only because she believed what the fortune-teller had said? Her mother seldom took her out of the manor, and she had never asked anyone to tell her fortune. She remembered once she managed to have her mother take her to the market. A maid had been curious when she saw a fortune-teller, and she wanted to ask that person to tell her fortune. But her mother stopped that maid with a smile, saying that all the fortune-tellers were swindlers.
Therefore, it was impossible that her mother had taken an earring so seriously and asked her to check it carefully every year just because of what a fortune-teller had said.
In Ning Xueyan’s mind, that kind of checking could even be taken as ‘worship’!
Her mother had died of illness suddenly. Worried that she might be dying, she had confided a lot to her daughter in advance, but her physical condition hadn’t been that bad, and it seemed she shouldn’t have passed away so soon. Ning Xueyan remembered that a woman had stayed at the Ning Manor for half a year, and she had always been together with her mother. Her mother died soon after that woman left. For no reason, Ning Xueyan felt that the woman’s voice was quite similar to Ya Moqin’s and she was by no means an ordinary person.
She had never been suspicious when she was Ning Ziying, but after becoming Ning Xueyan, she seldom trusted people. She always had the feeling that there was something wrong with the woman who had suddenly appeared in the Ning Manor.
Before her mother died, that woman had taken leave because she had something to do. From then on, Ning Ziying had never heard any news about her, as if she had never shown up. She had asked someone to look for this woman secretly, but failed to get any information about her. The woman seemed to have disappeared from the world.
The other day, Ning Xueyan had heard a familiar voice coming from behind Third Prince. She had thought that she would see that woman again. If not because one voice was young and arrogant, and the other one was gentle and elegant, she would have thought that they came from the same person.
However, although the two voices were similar, there seemed to be no relationship between their owners.