Chapter 385 Would You Get the Wrong Person?
“If it had been only a few years ago, you might have had a chance to meet Sister Ziying. But now, what’s the point of talking about this?” Ning Xueyan sighed.
“A beautiful girl often has an unfortunate life. Fifth Young Lady, you’re wrong if you say that I did not have a chance to meet Young Lady Ziying. Look at what this is.”
Wen Xueran stood up with a smile. With a bang, he folded the fan in his hand. Then he put it on the table next to him, turned around, and took a scroll from the young male servant. The scroll was not big, but it was much smaller than an ordinary one, at a glance. There was also a light brown silk cover, which showed that it had been meticulously kept.
Heng Yuqing also looked over curiously.
When the scroll was unrolled, everyone looked sideways and saw a simple street. The people coming and going were lively. The full moon was in the sky. On a bridge in the middle of the picture, a girl dressed in plain clothes and a maid stood there. Ning Xueyan was so familiar with the beautiful lady that she almost trembled.
She had seen that face for more than ten years, so she knew that it was Ning Ziying. As for the one behind, although it was hard to tell, it could be vaguely seen that it was Lanning. Her face suddenly became pale. How could it be possible? How could Wen Xueran have her portrait?
In her memory, the few times when she snuck out to the night market, she was with Xia Yuhang. But when she looked at the other side of the bridge in the picture, she could not help feeling a thunderclap in her head. She had a shocked look, and she subconsciously clenched her slender fingers. There was a slim figure on the other side of the bridge.
“How could it be possible? How could he know? How could Wen Xueran know about my relationship with Xia Yuhang? Was he there at that time?”
This figure looked clearer than Lanning’s image. Although it was just a side view, she could tell that it was Xia Yuhang. He was raising his head and looking gently at the young girl on the bridge. Behind the handsome scholar and the pretty girl, everything had become a background. Even if the two of them did not stand out, one could see them. This was the theme of the whole picture.
“A beauty can be looked at, but not touched. Even if it’s just a painting, you can see that Young Lady Ziying is extremely beautiful. If I had known that there is such a beauty in your manor, I would have visited your manor more frequently.” Wen Xueran said with a piteous look. He pointed at the girl in the painting with the fan in his hand and sighed as if he regretted not having known her before. However, his tone was frivolous.
“Princely Heir, where did this painting come from?” Although her face was still a little pale, she had basically calmed down. She raised her head and asked gently.
“The Princely Heir of Commandery Prince Li gave it to me. I heard that it was Young Lady Ziying from your manor in the painting. Originally, I wanted to visit her. But later, I heard that she had died.” Wen Xueran’s gaze fell on Ning Xueyan’s face, and he suddenly sighed.
He meant that if Ning Ziying were still alive, he would certainly pay her a visit.
“He’s an outsider, a romantic Young Master. How could he visit a young lady in the boudoir?” Ning Xueyan gritted her teeth in anger. She raised her head, glared at Wen Xueran, and said rudely, “Sister Ziying would not have any regrets.”
Heng Yuqing shifted her gaze from Wen Xueran to Ning Xueyan. Her lips moved, but she did not make any sound in the end. She lowered her head and looked carefully at the painting, as if the person in the picture attracted her.
“Fifth Young Lady, you’re not Young Lady Ziying. How do you know Young Lady Ziying will not feel any regret?” It seemed that Wen Xueran did not hear the anger behind Ning Xueyan’s words. He proudly raised his chin to Ning Xueyan and flicked his slender fingers on the paper, which happened to fall on Xia Yuhang.
He turned aside, with some doubts and asked curiously, “It’s said that Brother Huaiyuan has a special relationship with this Young Lady Ziying. Why does he look like Brother Yuhang rather than Brother Huaiyuan? A handsome scholar and a pretty girl are a perfect couple. Does he have a special relationship with this Young Lady Ziying?”
Hearing that, Ning Xueyan could not control her anger. She suddenly stood up, grabbed the painting, and took it. She said coldly, “Princely Heir, don’t you think that the Princely Heir of Commandery Prince Li has identified the wrong person? What’s more, Sister Ziying happened to have met my eldest brother only once. How could they be together?”
She could not help being angry. Wen Xueran’s words did not sound good. It was if he was saying that Ning Ziying was flirtatious. He was ruining Ning Ziying’s reputation.
Sensing the force in Ning Xueyan’s hands, Wen Xueran suddenly loosened his grip and the painting was thrust straight to Ning Xueyan’s side. Wen Xueran seemed to be frightened by Ning Xueyan’s sharp words. His beautiful peach blossom eyes blinked, and he looked a little dull.
He looked completely different from his usual romantic self.
“Fifth Young Lady, don’t be angry. I heard it from the others. I’m not talking nonsense. I have heard of the relationship between Young Lady Ziying and Brother Huaiyuan from your manor. As for Brother Yuhang, I found out from this painting. Anyway, he looks like Brother Yuhang of Xia Manor.”
After being frightened by Ning Xueyan’s sudden burst of anger, Wen Xueran explained hastily.
Did it come from the Lord Protector’s Manor? The Lord Protector’s Manor had ordered that no one was allowed to talk about Ning Ziying. But now, Wen Xueran, an outsider, knew about this groundless thing. Ning Xueyan suddenly smiled with a blood-thirsty chill in her eyes. Those people would not let go of her even when she had died, and they were still ruining her reputation.
“No matter where Your Excellency got this painting, I’ll appreciate it for you on behalf of Sister Ziying. As for Sister Ziying, she had an arranged marriage. As for whom he is, I think you should know!” Ning Xueyan raised her head with sarcasm written all over her pale face. Her bright, shimmery eyes looked like ice chips. They were so cold that they made people feel timid.
No matter who drew this painting, she was unwilling to leave it to anyone else. How could Ao Xian, the stupid Princely Heir, be able to draw such a picture? Moreover, even though she had been out before, she usually wore a veil and had never shown her face openly.
Besides, even if Ao Xian had seen Lanning or her veil had been blown up at that time, she did not believe that in such a short time, Ao Xian could see who the maid behind her was, and what she looked like.
The painter knew her appearance in the previous life, her maid’s look, and the relationship between herself and Xia Yuhang. Coupled with the familiar brushwork, Ning Xueyan could confirm that it was Xia Yuhang who painted it. How could he have painted it?
Judging by the ink marks, it must have been painted not long ago. It must be Xia Yuhang who painted it.
No matter what Xia Yuhang’s purpose was, she could not tolerate the idea that the painting was out there. Just now, she intended to tear the picture apart, if he had not let go. But she did not expect that Wen Xueran would immediately let go of it. Even so, she had to take back the painting today.
If she could not, she would destroy it!
Lanning, who was standing behind her, had already woken up from the horror. Now, she had to hold back her tears. “My Young Lady is such a good person, but there is still someone who would not let her be at peace after her death. Someone even let such a vicious rumor be spread in the manor.” She was filled with hatred and sadness at the moment.
“Has Young Lady Ziying ever been engaged? Is it to Brother Yuhang? How… how is this possible?” Wen Xueran’s eyes suddenly flickered. He reached out and was about to point at Xia Yuhang in the painting. But then he found that the picture was in Ning Xueyan’s hands, so he could only point to it casually in the air, looking a little embarrassed.
“Princely Heir, no matter who Sister Ziying’s fiancé is, it has nothing to do with you. I thank you on behalf of Sister Ziying. I will burn the painting in front of Sister Ziying’s coffin to avoid stirring up any gossip, which will ruin Sister Ziying’s reputation for no reason.” Ning Xueyan said coldly.
She was not in the mood to admire the flowers and drink.
She was no longer in the mood to talk to anyone. Her voice was as icy as the cold wind in March. Although her voice was not loud, it sounded bitter.
Heng Yuqing saw that she looked odd, so she immediately got up and said goodbye to Wen Xueran. Then, she turned around and went out with her.
“Xueyan, are you okay? Or it’s not what you think.” Walking to the gate of the courtyard, Heng Yuqing looked at Ning Xueyan, who looked sullen, and persuaded her gently. After hesitating for a moment, she added, “Or, did you get the wrong person?”
“I’m fine. Yuqing, thank you so much.” Looking at Heng Yuqing, Ning Xueyan smiled slightly, and nodded.
After that, the two of them did not say anything more. They each boarded their horse carriages and returned to their own mansions. They departed unhappily.
Under the peach tree, Wen Xueran sat alone in the pavilion, facing the peach blossoms in the courtyard. He had an enchanting smile on his handsome face. His charming peach blossom eyes curved into two crescents. He picked up the wine cup by his hand and drank it all in one gulp.
“Princely Heir, will the Fifth Young Lady of the Lord Protector’s Manor find anything wrong if she took the painting?” The young male servant standing behind him suddenly asked in a low voice.
“Find something wrong? What could she find out? Anyway, I did not draw this painting. Even if she finds something wrong, it does not matter,” Wen Xueran said with a lazy smile. The corners of his mouth were as beautiful as peach blossoms. The peach blossoms in the garden drifted down slowly, but they were no match for the charming smile on his lips.
“Princely Heir, is the Fifth Young Lady related to this matter?” The young male servant did not understand the profound meaning in his master’s eyes, so he asked carefully.
“Maybe it has something to do with her, or it has nothing to do with her.” Wen Xueran raised the corner of his mouth slightly and unfolded the fan, waving it about gracefully.
He stopped the servant from asking any more questions. The servant secretly looked at his master’s handsome face and did not understand what his relieved look meant. This was not the kind of fake affection that usually appeared on his master’s face. What did that mean?