Chapter 185 A Note That Conveys an Affair
Ning Xueyan pulled Heng Yuqing’s hand and stopped her. She nodded with a smile and removed a jade bracelet from her wrist. She passed it to the palace maid and said, “Thank you very much for telling me about this. Please accept it as my thanks.”
“Thank you so much, Fifth Young Lady!” From the precious gem set on the bracelet, she could tell the bracelet was very valuable. The palace maid hadn’t expected that she would get this benefit by conveying a note for others. She took the bracelet joyfully and bowed to Ning Xueyan. Then she put the note into Ning Xueyan’s hand and turned to leave.
Ning Xueyan turned her head and said something to Lanning. Lanning nodded and then walked toward a palace maid who was standing behind the banquet table with a smile. She whispered in the palace maid’s ear, looked a little embarrassed. Then the palace maid nodded and led Lanning out.
Ning Xueyan spread the note in front of her and Heng Yuqing, and began to read it.
There were only several words on the note, “Fifth Young Lady, please come to the Graceful Moon Pavilion soon! Xia Yuhang.”
“Graceful Moon Pavilion? Xia Yuhang?” Ning Xueyan was surprised at the beginning, and then her eyes turned to be dark and cold. She had managed to change her direction when she was knocked fly out the gate because she heard Xia Yuhang’s voice. At that point, she would rather die than touch that man.
That was why she had bumped against Wen Xueran, and then fallen into Ao Chenyi’s arms. When Ling Xue was punished, Ning Xueyan had glanced at everyone present, but didn’t find Xia Yuhang. She had heard him call her ‘Ziying’ seemed to be only a hallucination. But Ning Xueyan was sure that Xia Yuhang had been there.
“Could this note be written by Xia Yuhang?” Ning Xueyan sneered. Then she covered the sarcasm in the depth of her eyes.
She knew that was impossible.
She didn’t know why Xia Yuhang suddenly called her ‘Ziying’, but he was a thoughtful man, and he would definitely not ask her to meet him at the imperial palace.
At the cost of her blood, she had known what kind of person Xia Yuhang was. But if it was Ning Xueyan who knew nothing about Xia Yuhang, she would believe that the note was written by him. After all, Xia Yuhang was Ning Ziyan’s husband. She would think that Xia Yuhang wanted to meet her because something happened to Ning Ziyan and she needed her in urgent, so she would definitely go and meet Xia Yuhang.
Except Ning Qingshan, nobody knew Ning Xueyan so well about and hoped something bad happen to her.
Ning Xueyan became more confident when she smelled a faint fragrance on the note. Her contempt for Ning Qingshan grew. To frame her, Ning Qingshan had spared no effort. The fragrant powder was one of the few she was most familiar with. They were made of a kind of herbal medicine named ‘white orange’ and some fragrant powder.
Because the fragrant powder was so special, she remembered it clearly. Besides, she had happened made some yesterday and it was now in her sleeve.
Yes. This kind of fragrant powder was really special!
“What does your brother-in-law want with you? Could something have happened to your elder sister?” Reading the words on the note, Heng Yuqing exclaimed and then seemed to have figured out what had happened.
Ning Qingshan must have guessed her reaction.
“Where is the Graceful Moon Pavilion?” Ning Xueyan crumpled the note into a ball and asked.
“I know this place. Go straight down the road from the Plum Garden, and then turn right at the intersection. Do you see it? The Graceful Moon Pavilion is at the end of the walk,” Heng Yuqing said, pointing at the road outside the Plum Garden.
“Okay! Got it!” Ning Xueyan smiled and stood up thoughtfully.
“Are you serious?” Heng Yuqing suddenly felt a little worried. She pulled Ning Xueyan by the hand and gestured her to sit down. “You’d better not go. Although he is your brother-in-law, it’s improper to meet him alone.”
“Don’t worry. I only want to check it, and I won’t go into the Graceful Moon Pavilion,” Ning Xueyan said with a gentle smile. Of course, she should go and check what Ning Qingshan had prepared for her. But she had made some preparations to deal with something unexpected.
“I still felt unassured. How about I go with you?” Heng Yuqing moved several times and was about to stand up.
“Stop! Sit here. It will arouse attention if both of us leave!” Ning Xueyan reached out and put her hands on Heng Yuqing’s shoulders. She shook her head to gesture her to sit down.
“Be careful. If the person is not your brother-in-law, don’t walk over.” Since Ning Xueyan had made up her mind, Heng Yuqing could only nod and remind her again to be careful.
“Got it. I will be careful.” Ning Xueyan nodded and stood up. Then she walked out, lifting the hem of her long skirt.
The banquet had not started yet. Most of the guests were still sitting where they were, but there were several lively Young Ladies among them who had left their seats and chatted with other Young Ladies. And two of them were enjoying the plum blossom, standing side by side.
They were at the Plum Garden, so they could see extremely beautiful Plum blossom everywhere.
Seeing that nobody had noticed her, Ning Xueyan stood up and walked toward the gate of the Plum Garden.
Lanning appeared from nowhere and followed her. Nobody noticed them as they went out.
Ao Chenyi, the aggressive and cold-blooded prince, was leaning against the back of the chair among the male guests. He glanced at the Ning Xueyan’s back and smiled meaningfully.
“Mingyu, has Third Young Lady of the Lord Protector’s Manor gone to Honored Consort Ya’s palace? So Honored Consort Ya wanted her to be her daughter-in-law?”
He suddenly asked.
Ao Mingyu, who was by his side, didn’t notice that Ning Qingshan had left. Hearing what Prince Yi said, he raised his head and found Ning Qingshan’ seat was empty. He looked a little embarrassed. “My mother has been impressed with her since three years ago. Maybe she just asked her to chat with her. There couldn’t be anything special,” he explained.
He hadn’t protested when Ao Chenyi said that he wanted to choose Ning Qingshan as his concubine. Now being asked by him, he blushed with shame.
He knew that Honored Consort Ya liked Ning Qingshan. In the last few years, although she had made an arrangement with the Lord Protector’s Manor to marry Ning Yuling to Third Prince, she had always talked about Ning Qingshan in front of him. And she requested him to promise that even if he had married Ning Yuling, he should marry Ning Qingshan as his co-consort in the future. She repeatedly reminded him to give back to those who had helped him.
Since Ning Qingshan had saved his life, of course he should repay her well.
It was three years ago when he had been saved by Ning Qingshan. He had been sick at a remote part of the imperial palace, with nobody by his side. If Ning Qingshan hadn’t found him and managed to help him to the palace of Honored Consort Ya, he might have already died.
By that point, Ning Qingshan had been only thirteen years old. In order to help him out the room, she had fallen twice, and her hand gotten injured. When the imperial physician arrived, he had tried his best to cure Ao Mingyu, and only after Ao Mingyu was out of danger, had the imperial physician begun to treat Ning Qingshan’s wound. Since Ning Qingshan had paid so much to save him, Third Prince was grateful to her.
Therefore, he had promised his mother that he would marry Ning Qingshan, no matter as his principal wife or his co-consort.
Now he was a little annoyed. His mother knew that his father had invited Ao Chenyi to attend the party today, but she still asked Ning Qingshan to her palace. Obviously, she still wanted Ning Qingshan to be her daughter-in-law. Then what Ao Mingyu had said could be mistaken for betraying his woman. The others would think that he had to push Ning Qingshan, his fiancée, into Prince Yi’s arms because he was afraid of him.
“Oh? Honored Consort Ya is really laid back. She even had time to summon an official’s daughter she liked three years ago!” Ao Chenyi smiled meaningfully, didn’t seem to have seen Ao Mingyu’s awkward expression.
At this point, Ning Xueyan had walked out of the courtyard. Lanning took several steps forward and passed her something she had taken out from her sleeve.
They fiddled with that object in hands while walking, and after a short while, Lanning put it back into her sleeve again.
“Miss, do you want me to have a look first?” They moved on for some time and a pavilion appeared in the distance. They saw a tall and slim man in the pavilion. He looked out thoughtfully, standing there with his hands clasped behind his back. Although they could only saw his back, they could tell that he was both handsome and elegant.
It was really Xia Yuhang!
Ning Xueyan suddenly stopped, her smile fading. “How could Xia Yuhang be here? Is it by chance or is he really waiting for me?” she wondered. She was Ning Xueyan now, and she didn’t think there was anything to say between Xia Yuhang and her.
They had met only a few times, and hadn’t said much. Besides, they had never talked about Ning Ziyan.
In her last life, they were an unmarried couple who had known each other in childhood.
But in her current life, they were like strangers. They had little contact, and there seemed to be no reason to meet in private.
She rolled her eyes and took a look at the surroundings around the Graceful Moon Pavilion.
This pavilion’s geographical position was very special. It was located in the middle section of a big artificial hill, and one side of it was blocked by a wall. From where Ning Xueyan was, she couldn’t see what behind the wall.
Half of the pavilion was covered by the rockery, and half of it was exposed. There were several plum trees on the artificial hill. Such a semi-sheltered place with beautiful scenery was really ideal for dating.
“Lanning, take this with you and ask Mr. Xia what he wanted with me.” With that, Ning Xueyan took out the crumpled note from her sleeve and handed it to Lanning, turning her head and pointing at Xia Yuhang, who was in the Graceful Moon Pavilion. She was sure that it was impossible for Xia Yuhang to have asked her here, but why he happened to show up here?
Could Ning Qingshan have tricked him into coming here?
Ning Xueyan didn’t think that Ning Qingshan was that capable.
Lanning took the note and nodded. When she was about to walk to the pavilion, Ning Xueyan suddenly stopped her and pulled her behind a big tree.
They looked forward and saw Xia Yuhang turn around. He walked downward the artificial hill, and it seemed he was going to leave.
Before leaving, he hadn’t looked around and showed no signs of waiting for someone. He lowered his head, as if he had something difficult to solve, and frowned tightly. Obviously, it wasn’t him to have asked Ning Xueyan here!
Ning Xueyan and Lanning exchanged glances surprisingly.
It seemed Xia Yuhang hadn’t had an appointment with anyone, but had deliberately come to this quiet place to soothe his worries. After walking out of the pavilion, down the hill, he slowly walked to the side of a road. He kept his head down along his way, as if something was bothering him. There was loneliness on his graceful face.
Ning Ziying had worried about him when he was unhappy. But now she had become Ning Xueyan, and she had nothing but indifference and sarcasm for him. She looked at his back with a sneer.
“Miss, look!” Lanning suddenly pulled Ning Xueyan’s hand and exclaimed in a low voice, pointing at the Graceful Moon Pavilion.
Ning Xueyan raised her head and looked in the direction Lanning was pointing at, a gloomy coldness immediately appeared in her beautiful eyes.