Chapter 193 Being Slapped, Ning Qingshan’s Hate Gets Intenser
The male guests only knew briefly about what had happened to the female guests. It was said that a palace maid stole a Young Lady’s stuff. It seemed that the two Young Ladies of the Lord Protector’s Manor were involved in this matter. Someone said that Third Young Lady had sent a note to Fifth Young Lady and caused the trouble.
Since they were all noble childes, they would not gather to watch what was going on. Besides, the powerful Prince Yi was still on his seat. Therefore, none of the male guests walked to the female guest zone. Even Ao Mingwan, who was focusing on Ning Xueyan, did not know exactly what was going on. He saw his mother call another Young Lady to her and said something.
Both Honored Consort Ya and Honored Consort Shu were not stupid, and they did not speak loudly when they were secretly fighting in front of so many people. Besides, it was not that close between the male guest zone and the female guest zone. Therefore, it was normal that one could not hear everything clearly about what was happening in the female guest zone.
Only those who had sharp ears could hear what the ladies were talking about.
But obviously, Ao Mingwan was not one of them. Therefore, he had no idea what had happened. He looked at Honored Consort Shu, who was talking with a smile, and then at Ning Xueyan, who was sitting in a corner quietly. He was confused, and could not tell what the problem was.
“Mother has promised me to ask about Third Young Lady, and if possible, she will marry Third Young Lady of the Nings to me. But why by now, mother still hasn’t come to Third Young Lady yet, but talked to another Young Lady for such a long time?” he wondered.
But it was not convenient for him to ask on such an occasion. He looked at the female guest zone, confused. Ao Mingyu was coming over, and he had to stop wondering and toast to Ao Chenyi with him.
After the banquet, Honored Consort Ya and Honored Consort Shu went back to their own palaces. The Young Ladies and noble childes stayed in the Plum Garden to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Since plum blossom was the theme of this party, of course they should leave time for guests to enjoy the flowers after dinner.
Vivid red plum blossom and plain white plum blossom could be found everywhere in the Plum Garden. Besides, the garden covered a large area. Therefore, people scattered gradually. Ning Qingshan was relieved not have been exposed. She smiled and was about to go to Ning Xueyan. She knew that what happened today had aroused people’s suspicion, so she must show that she got well with Ning Xueyan in front of the others.
“Third Young Lady, Her Highness asked you to her palace,” a palace maid came out from behind a plum tree and said with a smile.
Ning Qingshan recognized that she was the palace maid who had stood behind Honored Consort Ya just now. “Honored Consort Ya has talked with me at her palace just now. Why is she asking me there again?” she wondered.
“Sister, do you know what Her Highness wanted me?” Ning Qingshan asked, uneasily.
“I don’t know, and I dare not to guess what Her Highness is thinking about. Come on, Third Young Lady. Please go with me!” the palace maid said with a smile, and nothing abnormal could be found on her face.
Ning Qingshan examined her expression carefully and did not find anything wrong, so she had to nod.
Honored Consort Ya was resting in a courtyard outside the Plum Garden. When Ning Qingshan walked into the room, she saw Honored Consort Ya sitting there alone, face darkened. Not as gentle and graceful as she used to be, she looked at Ning Qingshan coldly the moment she saw her in.
“Greetings, Your Highness!” Ning Qingshan said cautiously.
“What’s going on between you and Fourth Prince?” Honored Consort Ya did not ask her to sit down, but put it straightforwardly. She looked serious and unhappy.
“I have no idea. I have never met Fourth Prince after returning to our manor. How could there’s something between us!” Ning Qingshan knew Honored Consort Ya was suspicious about her, she immediately defended herself anxiously. “Honored Consort Shu must want to destroy the marriage between Third Prince and me, so she said this on purpose.”
“Although Honored Consort Shu is cunning, she won’t talk casually about such things. If she wasn’t sure, she wouldn’t have mentioned it in front of people. Think it over. Did you give Fourth Prince any hints?” Honored Consort Ya asked coldly. She did not suspect that there was something between Ning Qingshan and Ao Mingwan, but she worried that Ning Qingshan had done something that made Ao Mingwan might misunderstand.
If the emperor knew that the brothers had a crush on the same woman, he would not agree Ao Mingyu married Ning Qingshan.
Then her plan would fall through.
“I, I didn’t. Your Highness, please trust me. I don’t have any relationship with Fourth Prince. I met him today when I walked to the imperial palace, but Third Prince was there as well. Fourth Prince did not say much to me. Your Highness, if you don’t believe me, you can ask Third Prince,” Ning Qingshan said anxiously.
She did not understand why Honored Consort Shu said that she was close to Ao Mingwan. Ning Qingshan only had bowing acquaintances with Ao Mingwan three years ago, and now the same thing. Her target was Third Prince, and she had never changed her mind. She was smart, so of course she knew she would get nothing if she sat on the fence.
If Honored Consort Ya thought that she had an affair with Ao Mingwan, she and Third Prince would be suspicious about her.
Seeing that her face turned pale, Honored Consort Ya knew that she was really worried. She looked at Ning Qingshan for a while, and then said, still sullenly, “Tell me the truth about the note.”
It was the soft underbelly of Ning Qingshan. She might be able to hide the truth from others, but she could not hide it from Honored Consort Ya. The eunuch was Honored Consort Ya’s servant, and he had almost exposed Ning Qingshan. Since Honored Consort Ya had made a quick decision and put all the blames on that palace maid in time, that meant she had guessed what was going on.
“Aunt, I…” Ning Qingshan immediately came up with an idea. She looked at Honored Consort Ya piteously with tears in her eyes.
“Shut up! I have told you many times that I was the honored imperial concubine, not your aunt! Honored Consort Ya said angrily, her expression fierce. She lowered her voice and continued, “If you can’t remember this, you’d better not come to the imperial palace.”
Seeing that Honored Consort Ya was so angry, Ning Qingshan was scared and did not dare to call her ‘aunt’ again. After a while, she uttered, “Your Highness!”
“Qing’er, although I made the palace maid your scapegoat, it doesn’t mean that nobody knows about it. Honored Consort Shu could guess, and so could other Young Ladies. Maybe even Yu’er will suspect you and think that you framed Ning Xueyan on purpose. If he finds out that you’re not as kind and gentle as you used to be, what you have done three years ago would have been in vain,”
Honored Consort Ya said coldly, without being moved by Ning Qingshan’s sad, pathetic expression.
“No, aunt! I didn’t want to frame her. But she went too far in bullying me. She took use of the account book to set me up at Lord Protector’s Manor.” Ning Qingshan became angrier. At thought of being humiliated in front of Madam Dowager, losing her personal maid, and what the others of the manor whispered, she could not help but hate Ning Xueyan to the core.
“Aunt, she is just a daughter of the supporter of the previous emperor. It will be a piece of cake for you to get rid of her. If Ning Xueyan died, I’ll follow everything you ask me to do. I promise I won’t make any mistakes again, and anything like what happened today won’t happen again.”
Ning Qingshan promised, aggrieved. At thought of the calm and graceful face of Ning Xueyan, she really wanted to tear it apart. The expression should belong to her. How could that useless b*tch look even more generous and graceful than her!
Her beautiful face twisted at hate.
“Pa!” Ning Qingshan was slapped heavily. She staggered and almost fell onto the floor. She covered her face subconsciously, and looked at Honored Consort Ya with disbelief. She asked with reddish eyes, “Your Highness, why did you… slap me?”
“You’re too arrogant! You must think that you’re something because Yu’er hasn’t forgotten you after three years, and you enjoy a good reputation for your loyalty and filial piety in the whole capital. You think that Yu’er will definitely marry you and you’ll be Third Prince’s wife, and if Yu’er became the emperor in the future, you may become the most distinguished woman in the country. Am I right?”
Honored Consort Ya yelled, pointing at Ning Qingshan. She was so disappointed in her. She was so angry that she became trembling. She looked at Ning Qingshan, eyes full of disappointment.
“If I knew that you were such a person, I wouldn’t have given you the opportunity to approach Yu’er. He didn’t need a rash woman beside him. Only a smart, tolerant and well-behaved woman can match him. Maybe I should consider about Fifth Young Lady of your manor. She behaved much better than you at the party today. You were not only be suspected by others, but you were not as experienced as her. How can you win Yu’er’s heart and assist him?”
“You can leave now. After leaving here, you’ll still be Third Young Lady of the Lord Protector’s Manor, but you’ll have nothing to do with Yu’er anymore. You can frame anybody you want. Don’t come to me for help anymore,” Honored Consort Ya said angrily, pointing at the palace door that opened slightly.
Ning Qingshan became extremely anxious. Hearing that Honored Consort Ya asked her to leave, and even wanted to cancel the engagement between her and Third Prince, Ning Qingshan knew she was really angry. Ignoring the pain in her face, she knelt down in front of Honored Consort Ya. She crawled forward and grabbed Honored Consort Ya’s leg.
“Aunt! Your Highness! I know I have made a mistake. I won’t act rashly and let anyone get a hold of me in the future, and I won’t let Ning Xueyan find any flaw in me. After marrying Third Prince, I’ll do everything that he wants and assist him wholeheartedly. Even if he wanted me to die, I’ll do it without any hesitation,”
Ning Qingshan promised, tears streaming down her fair face. She trembled slightly and sobbed, looking at Honored Consort Ya with her hand holding high.
Seeing her pitiful and determined eyes, Honored Consort Ya calmed down gradually. Her anger subsided a lot. She reached out and wiped tears from her eyes. Then she pulled her up and said with a sigh, “Shan’er, people who do great things shouldn’t stick to trifles. Sometimes, you have to be tolerant. Swallowing a grievance is some kind of torture. I know it’s hard. But you’re not Moqin. You’re smarter and more capable than her. I choose you not only because you were the adopted daughter of Lord Protector. Do you understand?”
“Yes. Your Highness, I understand. I know I was too reckless today. It won’t happen again in the future. I’m sorry I made such a scene. Please forgive me,” Ning Qingshan said obediently. She grabbed Honored Consort Ya by the hand and deliberately moved closer to her to show that she was submissive. She repeated that she would not mess with Ning Xueyan easily.
Ning Qingshan’s attitude made Honored Consort Ya relieve a little. She believed that Ning Qingshan would not make trouble again, but she did not see the resentfulness in her eyes.
Of course Ning Qingshan would not mess with Ning Xueyan easily, but if she had planned carefully, she would not let go of her. If not because of Ning Xueyan, she would not have been cursed by Honored Consort Ya.
After so many things, she drew a conclusion, that was, Ning Xueyan must die!