Chapter 252 The Thing Got Even Worse
The sharp pain at her wrist finally woke Madam Ling up. When she saw Ning Huaiyuan holding her wrist, her eyes became red, and Madam Ling nearly burst into tears.
“Mother, if you go on acting up, you are forcing Ziyan to take the road to destruction!” Ning Huaiyuan’s low and insidious voice sounded in Madam Ling’s ears, which greatly shocked her. Finally, she came back to her senses.
Suppressing her impulse to vomit blood, Madam Ling forced herself to smile at Ning Xueyan and Ning Qingshan, showing a face that looked uglier than a crying face. Leaning against the maid beside her, Madam Ling turned around and trudged inside. Now the news that Ning Ziyan had an accident occupied her head. More than that, Madam Ling knew it was her fault. “Because of me, my second daughter was disfigured. Also, because of me, my eldest daughter’s reputation was ruined. Now… What should I do?!”
Thinking too much, Madam Ling felt that her whole head was buzzing. At this moment, she appeared quite dull.
After entering the hall, Madam Ling sat down, blankly. Alone, she sat there motionless. Her whole face was all red, and her whole person looked wrong.
Fortunately, at this time, everyone only focused on the assassin, so no one noticed Madam Ling’s abnormal reaction.
But Ning Xueyan saw Madam Ling’s performance. Slightly lifting her lips, Ning Xueyan showed a light, cold smile. Madam Ling became the victim of her own evil deeds, and she would only have herself to blame.
Ning Qingshan had long since sensed that the thing about Ning Ziyan was not simple. But anyway, she didn’t care about anything that would happen to Madam Ling. As long as the banquet today was held, she would be taken as the daughter of the real Legal Wife and became the perfectly justifiable first daughter of the Lord Protector’s Manor. Thus, no matter what happened to Madam Ling today, it would have nothing to do with her.
To retrieve Ao Mingyu’s heart, she certainly did not dare to bring him any trouble at this point. Besides, Mammy Luo had sent someone to tell her that the man who stayed behind the screen when Ning Ziyan was changing clothes was Xia Yudong. When she heard the message, her heart twitched. How could she be in the mood to care about Madam Ling? Even if Madam Ling stayed there and became silly, she could still be capable of cleverly dealing with others in the crowd.
She even dragged Ning Xueyan with her to socialize with others, trying her best to behave great as a young lady from a noble family. Pretending to be very considerate, she intended to show their close relationship in front of others.
Well, Ning Xueyan also didn’t mind to show others the scene of the good relationship between sisters, so she was very cooperative. Thus, in the flower hall, everyone only saw the Third Young Lady and the Fifth Young Lady from the Lord Protector’s Manor went around like they were natural sisters. They smiled and talked with the guests. Everything looked peaceful and gentle.
However, the people who searched for the backyard didn’t find anyone. Nevertheless, they had to say this result to those madams and ladies in the backyard. Thus, they especially sent someone to notify Madam Ling. The person who came here was the young male servant beside Ning Huaiyuan. But before he could finish speaking, Madam Ling, who sat up there in surprise and anger, fainted immediately after spouting a mouthful of blood. Once again, the crowd in the flower hall fell in a great bustle and confusion.
Ning Xueyan and Ning Qingshan, they carried Madam Ling back to the Bright Frost Garden. Then, Madam Dowager came to the flower hall and held the party in person so that the party for Madam Ling and Ning Qingshan could go on smoothly. With the effort of everyone, joy seemed to be overflown in the backyard again.
Of course, they didn’t truly enjoy the party and cared nothing about the things that had happened! Now such a big thing happened, plus one of the leading roles in adopting a daughter here even spit out blood. After all of this, they didn’t believe the atmosphere here could really be as happy as before. Everyone here was sensitive enough and was trying to keep a decent appearance for each other.
Since they were here already, they should pretend to be cheerful as the hostesses here had expected.
In the backyard, everyone could pretend that nothing had happened, but the trouble in the menfolk courtyard got much bigger. It had never occurred to Ning Zu’an that they would attract that person here.
Ning Zu’an faked the assassin incident to save his daughter’s reputation. Initially, he planned to settle this matter only by asking those guards to check around the manor. However, the incident turned into big trouble now. In the living room, staring at Ao Chenyi, who was sitting up there, Ning Zu’an felt so anxious that he almost spat blood.
“How did the small incident in my manor attract this bloodthirsty devil here?”
In the hall, Ao Chenyi sat with his elbow against the chair. Others could not tell if he was angry. There were eight imperial guards with imposing manner standing at the door. All of them stared at Ning Zu’an, who hurried to the hall from outside.
“Prince Yi, I didn’t know that you would come to visit me. I have occupied with too many things at this moment, so I came here too late to greet you.” Ning Zu’an had no idea about why this evil man who would always bring bad luck would come to his manor. He struggled to put a happy smile on his face and asked politely with great respect. Anyone would stay alert when Prince Yi with changing moods came to their doors.
“The Lord Protector’s Manor is quite lively today!” After a gloomy and cold smile, Ao Chenyi cast a sidelong glance at Ning Zu’an. Though, in previous, Ning Zu’an was a general who had experienced the battlefield, he immediately felt that a foul wind and a rain of blood enveloped him, which stiffened his smile. Being covered in coldness, Ning Zu’an thought, “He came to my place with ill intention.”
“Today, my wife held a party to adopt a daughter. It wasn’t a big deal. Those people are my colleagues who came together for fun.” Ning Zu’an responded carefully.
“For fun? But I just heard that there was an assassin in this manor who even dared to go to the backyard. I happened to pass by, and so I came here to help you to find out who this assassin was. He must have been bold enough to bring trouble to the Lord Protector’s Manor.” Slightly narrowing his eyes, Ao Chenyi snorted.
“There was nothing serious. We have driven the assassin away. It’s all right now. Thanks for your great kindness, Prince Yi.” Ning Zu’an certainly didn’t dare to let Ao Chenyi check the thing about the assassin, which was totally made up by him. It was originally an excuse, so how could he find the thing out? Let alone that he was the head of the imperial guards, which even noble families would not dare to ignore.
“Ning Zu’an, you deliberately let the assassin go!” Abruptly, Ao Chenyi’s face became cold. With a somber look, he stared at Ning Zu’an, faintly showing some gloomy and horrifying emotion in his eyes.
“Prince Yi, how dared I do such a thing!” Ning Zu’an was greatly shocked and hurriedly tried to defend himself.
“Didn’t you dare to do that? Ning Zu’an, now you let such an assassin escape. Perhaps, he will assassinate His Majesty in the future. If such a thing happens later on, will you be responsible for this?” With a cold face, Ao Chenyi said in a gloomy voice.
“I didn’t allow him to catch the assassin in my manor, so he said that I didn’t want to catch this person at all. Then, he concluded that my ultimate purpose was to let this assassin kill the emperor by deliberately releasing the assassin!” After he analyzed Ao Chenyi’s intention, Ning Zu’an felt angry and hateful, but he didn’t dare to say no. After all, Ning Zu’an did not associate with Ao Chenyi before.
Though Ning Zu’an had never had any dealings with him, Prince Yi initially could do nothing to him no matter how powerful Prince Yi was!
But today Ning Zu’an did a stupid thing and happened to fall onto Ao Chenyi’s hands. In this case, Ning Zu’an could not peacefully end this thing. And if he refused Ao Chenyi again, he would have to bear the felony of assassinating the emperor.
“Prince Yi, I…” A thin layer of sweat had already appeared on his forehead, and a gleam of harsh countenance flashed across his eyes.
“So? Do you want me to wait a little longer until the assassin goes much further?” There was a hint of evil flashing through Ao Chenyi’s narrow, charming eyes.
“No, please help me find the assassin, Prince Yi.” The eyes of Ning Zu’an jumped a little, and he immediately made a decision. Stretching out his hand, Ning Zu’an invited him to check and showed him the way. But then he hesitated and turned around to Ao Chenyi. “Prince Yi, there are also many other madams and ladies from other manors in the backyard. So if your men directly break in…”
Today, these female members in the Lord Protector’s Manor were not from ordinary families. Even the Third Prince and the Fourth Prince were here. Ning Zu’an did not believe that Ao Chenyi would not show respect for them.
“Relax, Lord Protector. I know how far to go and when to stop. You can send those older female servants in your manor to check the places where these female members stayed. And I will only send my men to check the places where nobody is in. Is it okay?” It was rare that Ao Chenyi behaved so considerate, so Ning Zu’an nodded immediately.
Since the imperial guards were here, Ning Zu’an naturally should send someone to inform those people in the backyard of this situation. Thus, another chaos occurred there. After all, the imperial guards were not from some ordinary government organs. Even if relatives of the emperor made a mistake, Prince Yi would not show any mercy to them. Thus, those guests of the Lord Protector’s Manor now regretted to came here today to join in the fun. At this moment, they could not even pretend to smile.
The air became heavy in the flower hall. There were only several girls who didn’t know much about worldly affairs still whispering to each other, laughing.
Ning Xueyan sat next to Madam Dowager. When she heard the message, a hint of surprise flashed in her watery eyes. But then she showed a knowing expression. Slightly lifting her mouth corners, Ning Xueyan smiled a little and lowered her head to hide the amusing emotion in her eyes. She didn’t know why Ao Chenyi would suddenly show up here, but this person would never do unprofitable things. More importantly, he could always seize the best chance to act.
To offer his help in catching the assassin, Ning Zu’an accompanied Ao Chenyi to the backyard in person, but they did not disturb those madams and ladies in the flower hall. Well, those women had gotten the order long ago. Now, all of them stayed in the flower hall and didn’t dare to go elsewhere.
The imperial guards obeyed Ao Chenyi’s instruction and didn’t go into the houses of the masters in each courtyard. Instead, they asked the older female servants beside Madam Dowager to enter the houses to search and back out if they found nothing. At first, Ning Zu’an was very anxious. But now, he calmed down. After all, the so-called assassin in his manor was only an excuse made up by him. Therefore, Ning Zu’an would never believe that those imperial guards could find an assassin from his manor.
Therefore, following Ao Chenyi at every step, he became increasingly calm and collected.
He no longer feared Ao Chenyi.
“Prince Yi, my co-wife used to live in this house.” Suddenly Ning Zu’an jumped up and rushed ahead to stop Ao Chenyi.
“Your co-wife? Was she the wife who passed away recently?” Ao Chenyi raised his eyebrows and asked, sneering with unclear meaning.
“Yes, it belongs to my deceased wife!” Gritting his teeth, Ning Zu’an finally decided to admit.
“Since she died, you don’t need to care it anymore. Anyway, your wife is not in this house now.” Facing the house, Ao Chenyi lazily raised his chin and said.
“Prince Yi, although she is not here, I really miss her a lot. If your imperial guards mess up the things in the house, I am afraid that her spirit in heaven will be disturbed,” Ning Zu’an said anxiously, secretly clenching his fists under the sleeves of his robe. He had been suspecting that that thing was in this house, but he just could not find it. If he let those imperial guards in, Ao Chenyi probably would get that thing.
Thinking of this, Ning Zu’an had to come out to stop Ao Chenyi, and also he pretended to be very much in love with this deceased wife. He repeatedly mentioned how he cared about her feelings. Those who didn’t know the situation would think that Ning Zu’an had a deep affection for this dead wife, and he still loved her even after she died.
“Lord Protector, but I heard that your wife lived in the Bright Frost Garden. This place was abandoned long ago. Are you suggesting that you also think the assassin is most likely to hide in this abandoned house? That was why you said all of this to remind me, right?” Ao Chenyi smiled lazily. His eyes looked deep and ice-cold, like those floating clouds drifting in the dark space at midnight.
“Yes, please, Prince Yi!” Ning Zu’an had to step back and move out of the way. Standing by, he watched these imperial guards rush into the house and rummaging through the chests and cupboards there.