Chapter 251 Unexpectedly, an Assassin Came
“Marchioness, what do you mean?” Ao Mingyu was also stunned. But then he asked, narrowing his eyes.
Seeing the Third Prince’s expression, Madam Ling thought that for the moment, he could not remember the “Yan’er” that she was talking about was Ning Xueyan. So she explained more straightforwardly.
“Third Prince, Fourth Prince, I am talking about the thing that the Fifth Young Lady has done. She behaved disgracefully just now in the backyard. With a man, she… But it was an accident and a misunderstanding. For she is a Young Lady of the Lord Protector’s Manor, I hope that both of you forgive her. I am here to apologize to you for her misbehaviors.”
Madam Ling heaved a deep sigh, appearing like a loving mother who truly cared for her daughter. Thus, when she indiscreetly mentioned the man, she deliberately stopped talking and successfully aroused everyone’s curiosity. These people present were at a loss. Out of curiosity, they speculated that the Fifth Young Lady must have done something scandalous, and the two princes happened to witness that.
Hence, Madam Ling had to come out and make small talk to explain.
“What’s wrong with the Fifth Young Lady?” Although Ao Mingyu was still smiling, a little cold expression appeared inside her eyes.
“Just now in the backyard, the Fifth Young Lady…” Madam Ling thought she had clearly explained this thing, but she didn’t expect that the Third Prince still looked as if he didn’t understand the situation. She couldn’t help looking up at the Third Prince in surprise. With such a clear explanation and the scene that happened before, how could the Third Prince not understand?
“Hahaha!” Standing next to them, Ao Mingwan, the Fourth Prince, seemed to understand Madam Ling’s words, and he suddenly laughed.
Not knowing what was going on, everyone landed their eyes on the Fourth Prince, who almost stumbled because of laughing, feeling even more confused. Beyond that, Madam Ling stopped halfway abruptly and didn’t even finish her words.
Ao Mingwan finally stopped laughing. Resting his hand on the forehead, he asked Madam Ling, “Are you hinting at the fact that a man and a woman had a secret date in the backyard?”
Bringing up the matter directly, he came straight to the point. Hearing his words, Madam Ling felt delighted. She hurriedly seized this opportunity and rushed to say, “The Fifth Young Lady didn’t know how to behave properly and made a mistake. Please pardon her for doing so, Your Highness.”
“The Fifth Young Lady? What does this have to do with the Fifth Young Lady? Why are you talking about the Fifth Young Lady all the time? Does the woman who was involved in this matter have something to do with the Fifth Young Lady?” Ao Mingyu couldn’t bear her any longer. Looking at Madam Ling’s feigned smile, he smiled coldly.
A wave of inexplicable anger emerged in his heart. When he was in the Cold Mountain Temple, he told Madam Dowager that he wanted to take Ning Xueyan as his co-consort. Though nothing happened after that, Ao Mingyu didn’t care. After all, he concentrated his heart and soul on Ning Qingshan at that time. But no matter what, he had expressed his interest in Ning Xueyan to them.
Thus, merely for his sake, people in the Lord Protector’s Manor should not treat Ning Xueyan too harshly. Moreover, Ao Mingyu planned to let Ning Xueyan marry into his manor through this Beauty Contest. But now, without knowing what exactly had happened in the backyard, Madam Ling frequently mentioned that Ning Xueyan was involved. Obviously, she was determined to ruin her reputation. But by doing so, Madam Ling showed him no respect!
Suddenly, Ao Mingyu burst into anger, which greatly frightened those ladies and Young Ladies there. They immediately felt quite strange when they thought of Madam Ling’s words. Then, the scene quieted down.
Ning Qingshan’s eyelids twitched. Not far away from them, she cast a glance toward Ning Xueyan. Then, she lowered her head. She continued to chat lightly with the girls around her as if she hadn’t noticed them. Now her whole mind was currying favor with Ao Mingyu. It was certainly impossible for her to confront Ning Xueyan directly.
Besides, she also saw perfectly that the lady having a date with a man was Ning Ziyan, so she didn’t know why Madam Ling firmly believed that the lady was Ning Xueyan and what was up to this time.
“Mother, are you talking about me? What’s the matter? What happened to me that made you think I dated secretly with a man in the backyard?” A fine and soft voice came from behind the crowd. Then, the crowd parted in the middle, and Ning Xueyan, who was slender and pale, came from the back of the crowd with a sick look.
She was paler and thinner than ordinary women. Besides, she now had tears in her eyes, and her light lips were tinged with sourness, which made her look more pitiful. But as a noble Young Lady, she was more or less decorous in appearance—a sweet and charming girl with a bit of indifference and coldness. Only judging by her appearance, people would know that she was cool by nature.
Moreover, her clothes were not messy at all, and she dressed neatly and cleanly. Her appearance was nothing like the sorry figure that Madam Ling had described, plus she looked natural. But Madam Ling told others that two princes caught her dating secretly with a man. Now on the spot, some people had already remembered that Ning Xueyan came here after the two princes with the Third Young Lady of the Lord Protector’s Manor. Thus, how could she be in the scene that Madam Ling had said at the same time?
For a moment, those onlookers were all speechless. They looked at the seemingly untrustworthy Madam Ling and then Ning Xueyan, who looked aggrieved. In their hearts, they could not help feeling pitiful for Ning Xueyan. After all, Madam Ling didn’t give birth to her, and she didn’t appear like she was defending the Fifth Young Lady, who has lost her own mother. They didn’t notice it before, but after thinking carefully, they found that Madam Ling had cast a mist before their eyes. All the time, she kept saying that Fifth Young Lady, whose personal morals had corrupted, was having a secret meeting with a man.
Madam Ling was really a vicious person.
But to Madam Ling’s surprise, Ning Xueyan popped before her in perfectly good condition. When her gaze swept across Ning Xueyan’s face, Madam Ling was immediately shocked. With her mouth wide open, she could not regain her composure for a while. At first, she thought that her plan, which was also confirmed by her maid, was perfect. But now it turned out that her plan failed. How could Madam Ling accept the fact all of a sudden? In an instant, her mind was out of control.
“Obviously, the lady who dated secretly with a man in the backyard was the Eldest Young Lady. Up to now, Yuhang is dealing with the matter in the backyard. Marchioness, you made a mistake.” With a “good” intention, Ao Mingwan bluntly reminded her, and even, he kindly pointed to the backyard for her. He meant that people in the manor were still dealing with the matter. “Will you go and see for yourself, Marchioness?”
Ning Ziyan was dating in private with a man. It turned out that the Eldest Young Lady from the Lord Protector’s Manor who had married into the Xia Manor did something shameful with a man in the backyard. She cuckolded Eldest Young Master Xia.
As soon as such a piece of explosive news came out, everyone was so astonished that their eyes nearly fell out of their sockets.
In the capital, although Ning Ziyan’s reputation was not as good as Ning Qingshan’s, her reputation had always been pretty good. That was why she could marry the Eldest Young Master Xia, who was endowed with both beauty and talent. But no one had ever thought that their marriage would go wrong.
First, when they got married, the Lord Protector’s Manor concealed Madam Ming’s death, which caused a scandal. Then, there were rumors saying that Xia Yuhang had a woman outside his manor. Now, people knew the news that Ning Ziyan had a private date with a man. Initially, people thought that Xia Yuhang and Ning Ziyan were a perfect couple. But now, their flawless images were almost ruined.
Madam Ling’s body trembled. Feeling that her blood rushed up to her head, she almost fell to the ground.
“Fourth Brother, don’t talk irresponsibly. The Eldest Young Lady didn’t go there to date with some man. It was just some strange thing that happened in that courtyard, and Yuhang is dealing with the matter now.” Compared to the sharp Ao Mingwan, Ao Mingyu was milder. To save Xia Yuhang’s dignity, he even made an explanation and made others think that the whole thing was only a misunderstanding.
“Mother, why are you still here? An assassin broke into the yard that the Eldest Young Lady rested in. Father sent many people to search the whole manor to catch the assassin. Has any unusual person ever come here?” Ning Huaiyuan’s voice with a little anxiety suddenly appeared behind them.
“Is there an assassin in this manor now?” Many people were frightened, shivering. An assassination had happened in the imperial palace not long ago, and everyone here still remembered it clearly. At that time, some people from noble families were injured. Shortly after this thing, another assassin entered the Lord Protector’s Manor. What a terrible thing it would be!
“An… assassin?” Dizziness overcame Madam Ling, blurring her vision. At a loss, she looked around and saw Ning Huaiyuan, murmuring.
“Yes. Yuhang and the Eldest Young Lady are identifying the assassin in the backyard. You should also be more careful here. Father was afraid that you didn’t know this thing, so he especially asked me to tell Mother that you and these madams should stay in the living room for the time being. Never stay alone, or it may cause unnecessary harm.”
Ning Huaiyuan said in a solemnity. But as soon as he finished speaking, those madams and ladies around the two princes immediately scattered in all directions. All of them went to the flower hall. The glory, splendor, wealth, and rank were important, but they were not as important as their lives. Once people died, everything was meaningless.
The crowd dispersed, leaving there only Madam Ling, Ning Huaiyuan, the two princes, Ning Xueyan, and Ning Qingshan.
“Fifth Sister, you go to accompany Mother with the Third Sister, and all of you should go in together. Remember, never provoke the assassin.” Smiling gently, Ning Huaiyuan turned around and gave Ning Xueyan a look with profound meaning.
“Is there also an assassin in the backyard?” Ning Xueyan smiled lightly. Lifting her mouth corners a little, she sneered and immediately understood.
“Sure enough. Ning Huaiyuan is better at plotting than Madam Ling. In this emergency case, he could think of such a countermeasure, which kept Ning Ziyan from losing all her reputation. But so what? Madam Ling’s plan failed. Ning Ziyan fell into the trap made by Mother. Moreover, Xia Yuhang had seen that Ning Ziyan, not properly dressed, stayed with his brother.”
Sometimes, when those scandals were combined, it was enough to ruin a person!
Madam Ling knew how to calculate and manipulate people’s hearts… So could Ning Xueyan.
“Yes, Fifth Sister, Third Sister, you stay here to help Mother together. I will go to the front yard with the two princes,” Ning Huaiyuan said gently, in an earnest way. After he said this, he gave a sincere salute to Ao Mingyu and Ao Mingwan. At this time, he didn’t need to say too much. All of them understood the present situation so that no word was necessary. In any case, Ning Ziyan was also the daughter of the principal wife of Lord Protector’s Manor.
“Mother, let’s go inside and take a seat. The Eldest Brother-in-law will handle the matter about the eldest sister, so you don’t need to worry, Mother.” Of course, Ning Xueyan had witnessed the interactions between them. Since Ning Huaiyuan explained the thing to such an extent, merely for the sake of the Lord Protector’s Manor, Ao Mingyu and Ao Mingwan would buy Ning Huaiyuan’s excuse and kept this matter a secret. More than that, they would even try their best to support any remarks that Ning Huaiyuan would say.
Ning Xueyan thought, “Sure enough, it is amazing to be powerful and rich. Even two noble princes have to compromise.”
A hint of sarcasm flashed across her eyes, but Ning Xueyan hid her emotion deep in her eyes. When she looked up, she looked indifferent again. Politely, she bowed to the Third Prince and the Fourth Prince, and her deep eyes flickered. Pretending to be obedient, she reached out to support Madam Ling.
But just when her hand touched Madam Ling’s clothes, Madam Ling, who had initially been in a daze, suddenly made a movement, a big one. Violently, she shook off Ning Xueyan’s hand and almost screamed out of control. “A demon! You are a demon! Stay away from me! I don’t want your help!”
This thing occurred all of a sudden. Several madams who walked behind heard Madam Ling’s cries. Involuntarily, they stopped and looked back.
Ao Mingyu slightly lifted his lips. Although he was still laughing, his smile became a little bit cold. Ao Mingwan’s eyes turned sharp and vicious. Obviously, he was about to lose his temper.
A hint of jealousy appeared in Ning Qingshan’s eyes, but then she smiled gently and covered the emotion.
“Mother, is it because that you worry about the health of the Fifth Sister and the Third Sister such that you don’t want them to help you? Well, you can rest assured, Mother. They are all right now.” Quickly, Ning Huaiyuan grabbed Madam Ling’s wrist and squeezed it hard. His eyes suddenly turned fierce. Slowly dropping the words one by one, he said to Madam Ling.