Chapter 214 I’m Going to Leave the Lord Protector’s Manor
Except for Foggy Courtyard’s main bedroom, the candles of most courtyard had been put out. A ferocious look had replaced the gentleness and elegance and appeared on Ning Qingshan’s face. She gritted her teeth and looked in the direction of Bright Frost Garden, the veins on her forehead swelling.
She had had her wound bandaged again. She had not been bumped against too heavily, but because her former injury had not recovered yet, it opened again. She had applied medicine on her wound, which Mammy Luo had secretly brought to her from outside recently.
“Mammy, what did Madam Ling say?” Ning Qingshan asked, still looking angry. Thinking about what had happened today, she became even more upset. She grabbed the jade porcelain vase beside her made of Runan County and threw it hard toward the wall, and she still felt it was not enough and wanted to smash more things to vent her anger.
She had not only been humiliated in front of people, but had gotten the short end of the stick as well today. But she could not argue with Ning Xueyan about her wound. Otherwise, Madam Dowager would have asked the doctor to check her injury. She had lived sixteen years and had never swallowed her grievances in silence like this in her life, so it was no wonder that she was so angry.
“Miss, calm down. First Madam said that she could not decide anything now. She asked you to discuss with Eldest Young Lady about finding a suitable person.” Seeing that Ning Qingshan was in a rage, Mammy Luo immediately persuaded, “Miss, having a scar is not a big deal. Maybe Third Prince will feel sorry for you after knowing that you were injured. It’s better to let him know it than to keep it from him. And you don’t have to behave secretly any more, as if you have something on your conscience.”
Even Mammy Luo did not understand Ning Qingshan’s perfectionism. It was not a big deal to have been injured at the imperial palace. If Ning Qingshan had not hidden her wound from the others, how could she have been so awkward today!
Ning Qingshan snorted and did not take Mammy Luo’s suggestion seriously. She took several deep breathes and then resumed to her composure. Madam Ling was at the Buddha Hall and she could not even protect herself. Ning Qingshan was an unmarried Young Lady, so it was inconvenient for her to frequently get in and out of the manor. So Ning Ziyan was the best choice.
“Tell Concubine Ma to hurry up if she wants to leave. Otherwise, she will have no chance anymore!” Ning Qingshan said with an icy look. Her pale face flickered in the candle light, making her look extremely ferocious.
Mammy Luo understood what she meant. She immediately said, “Concubine Ma really wants to leave and she has agreed to follow Caifen’s request. However, she still hasn’t made a move yet. Maybe she is still hesitating. Miss, do you want us to urge her?”
“No!” Ning Qingshan immediately denied her suggestion, a creepy sneer on her face. “Ask Caifen to persuade Concubine Ma to stay in the manor. Tell her that First Madam will be released from the Buddha Hall in two days. She’d better think about how to escape from First Madam’s punishment!”
She was trying to put an end to Concubine Ma’s desire to stay.
“Got it, Miss!” Mammy Luo immediately understood Ning Qingshan’s intention and she said excitedly.
“Let Caifen try to satisfy all Concubine Ma’s requests and tell her she doesn’t have to ask me. If we can’t meet Concubine Ma’s requirements, just take First Madam as an excuse. As for how to act, it’s up to you. Let’s talk about Ning Ziyan after Concubine Ma has done what we asked her to do,” Ning Qingshan continued.
“Okay. Got it!” Mammy Luo understood what Ning Qingshan was thinking about. Her young master did not want to involve herself too much in Concubine Ma’s business.
In the early morning next day, Concubine Ma appeared at Bright Frost Garden’s gate again. This time, she stood there without making any trouble and asked a little maid to report to Ning Xueyan.
After a short moment, Ning Xueyan asked the maid to let her in.
Concubine Ma looked weary. Obviously, she had not slept well last night. “Fifth Young Lady, I’m going to leave the Lord Protector’s Manor!” As soon as she saw Ning Xueyan, she said this determinedly.
Ning Xueyan was playing with a pink round fan with beautiful women painted on it. Touching the tassels of the round fan, she smiled lazily and raised her black-jet eyes. “Concubine Ma, are you bidding farewell to me?” she asked.
“I…” Concubine Ma was a little surprised at Ning Xueyan’s question. She had thought that Ning Xueyan would have asked her how she would leave. She opened her mouth but could not utter a single word. She suddenly lifted her skirt hem and knelt down in front of Ning Xueyan. After kowtowed to Ning Xueyan several times, she said, gritting her teeth, “Fifth Young Lady, I’ll do anything for you as long as you can help me leave!”
Concubine Ma banged her forehead to the ground so hard that her forehead swelled up quickly. It was obvious that she wanted to leave the manor from her heart.
“Concubine Ma, you are really desperate to get out of the manor!” Ning Xueyan said meaningfully with a slight smile.
“Fifth Young Lady, I offended First Madam, so she will definitely get back at me after she is released from the Buddha Hall. The marquis has been giving me the cold shoulder, so I can’t have a… baby with him in the future. It will be my best ending if I can die of old age at the backyard of the manor. So I prefer to run away from here. At least I can have a chance to survive. If I continue to stay here, I may die at a young age!”
Concubine Ma gritted her teeth and said emotionally. Apparently, what she said came from the bottom of her heart.
“Concubine Ma, what do you want my master to do for you?” Before Ning Xueyan could say anything, Lanning had walked over to Concubine Ma and said coldly, “My master can hardly even protect herself. How can she help you?”
“Fifth Young Lady, I won’t… ask too much. It’s easy. If you can let me dress up as a maid and leave the manor following behind you, you will be saving my life. Fifth Young Lady, I will do anything to pay you back in the afterlife!” Concubine Ma said and banged her head twice to Ning Xueyan. She then took out a jade pendant from her pocket, raised it high with both hands and walked closer to Ning Xueyan.
“Fifth Young Lady, this is our family heirloom. My mother told me that the jade pendant has been passed down for generations. It’s warm in winter and cool in summer. Fifth Young Lady, you’re weak, so this jade pendant suits you best.”
“You want this in return for my helping you escape the manor?” Ning Xueyan asked calmly, looking at the jade pendant and then Concubine Ma’s face.
“Yes! Fifth Young Lady, please save me!” Concubine Ma pleaded. She looked at Ning Xueyan with her reddish eyes while raising her hands.
“What if I won’t help you?” A cold smile suddenly appeared on Ning Xueyan’s face. She lowered her head slightly and looked at Concubine Ma.
“She won’t help me?” Concubine Ma was shocked. She looked at Ning Xueyan with disbelief in her eyes, looking both sad and angry.
“Okay, I agree!” With the cold smile on her lips, Ning Xueyan’s moisture eyes looked as cold as ice. “Then you won’t have to hit your head here and make my place ominous!”
She said such ruthless words so naturally. Concubine Ma’s face turned ashen under her meaningful and fierce gaze.
“I… Fifth Young Lady… I… Thank you, Fifth Young Lady!” Concubine Ma stammered for a while and then suddenly realized that Ning Xueyan had agreed to help her to leave. She cried out emotionally and was about to kowtow to Ning Xueyan again.
Her face relaxed slightly.
Finally she made it!
“Concubine Ma, since you have no place to stay after leaving our manor, my master has a suggestion for you. The actor of the theatrical troupe is a spoony man and he is still waiting for you. My master had thought to help you out the manor, but she didn’t know if you would like to leave. It’s really a coincidence that you’re asking her to help you for the same thing! Since you love each other, it will be a wonderful thing if you can marry that actor!”
“He, he is still waiting for me?” Concubine Ma suddenly raised her head, her hands clenching and her body shivering with excitement.
“Yes, he is still waiting for you. After you leave the manor, you can go everywhere you want with him. As soon as you leave the capital, people of our manor can’t find you,” Lanning continued.
“Re-really?” Concubine Ma repeated it with a dull expression. When she saw Lanning nod, she instantly burst into tears with overwhelming joy. She could not stay at the Lord Protector’s Manor anymore. Otherwise, she would die here. She had never thought that her lover was still waiting for her. Could anything be more exciting than this?
“Concubine Ma, the jade pendant smells very scented. I’m curious what did your ancestors do? How could they keep the fragrance for so many years?”
When Concubine Ma calmed down again, Ning Xueyan asked curiously, pointing at the jade pendant in Concubine Ma’s high raising hands.
Concubine Ma’s heart trembled. She immediately went back to herself and explained cautiously, “Fifth Young Lady, the fragrance is not emanated from the jade pendant itself. As I always took it with me and it perfumed with the smell of powder, it smells scented. Fifth Young Lady, if you put it outside for a while, the fragrance will fade away.”
“Is the jade pendant really so precious?”
Ning Xueyan asked, staring at the jade pendant. Concubine Ma’s back began to sweat and she could not utter a single word.
“It’s said such jade pendants carved with dragon are from the court. Concubine Ma, is any of your family members the prince or princess of the previous dynasty? That will be terrible! It’s said the emperor ordered to capture the princess of the previous dynasty not long before. If his men find that the jade pendant is from your family, all your family members will be headed. Its fragrance comes from ambergris and people who touch it will get the smell on their hands. There’s a kind of special small hound at the imperial palace. Their sense of smell is extraordinarily acute and as soon as they smell it, they will know who touched the jade pendant,”
Ning Xueyan said gently and her moisture eyes filled with a faint smile, as if she was chatting with Concubine Ma casually, not talking about the great sin that might cause the beheading of a family.
Concubine Ma’s forehead began to sweat as well and she could not even hold the jade pendant firmly. She trembled and her face was ashen.
“Concubine Ma, as long as you have touched this jade, the manor’s people will find you. Third Young Lady is going to marry Third Prince, so it’s easy to borrow such a special hound from the court. With the help of the hound, they will find you and your lover following the scent, and you two will definitely die. Of course, in addition to you two, all your family members will die. Concubine Ma, it’s said you have a nephew less than a year old. What a pity! Such an innocent kid will be killed because of you!”
Ning Xueyan smiled, looking so friendly. However, Concubine Ma had collapsed. Her face was as pale as a sheet with fear and the jade had slipped onto the ground from her hands.
She suddenly crept forward in a hurry and grabbed Ning Xueyan’s skirt hem. “Fifth Young Lady, please save me! Third Young Lady gave me this… this jade pendant. Fifth Young Lady, I have no other choice. If I don’t follow Third Young Lady’s words, I can’t escape from the manor and I will die here!”