Chapter 8: The Threatening Uncle
When Ning Xueyan finished, everyone fell silent.
“Who… no one will tell His Majesty!” Madam Ling struggled to speak.
Madam Dowager Liu pounded the desk heavily and stood up. She pointed at Madam Ling, then turned to stare at Ning Zu’an. She knew the Madam Dowager’s decision was not proper and understood the consequences if it was discovered. She disliked people who behaved improperly, and now she saw that Madam Ling wanted Madam Ming to take responsibility for her own mistake. It might bring disaster to the Lord Protector’s Manor!
Madam Dowager Liu was so angry that she could not speak for a moment. After a while, she said angrily, “Madam Ming has died, but you still want to humiliate her. Madam Ling, you have replaced her — aren’t you satisfied? Why do you make trouble? Zu’an, how could you let this happen? Did you hate your wife that much?”
“Aunt, I…” Ning Zu’an trailed off, frowning slightly. He gave a look to Ning Xueyan and sighed, saying nothing further.
Madam Ling pretended to be aggrieved, wiping tears with her handkerchief, acting like she really took the Lord Protector’s Manor into consideration. “Aunt, I don’t want to humiliate Madam Ming any more than you do, but it will affect the Lord Protector’s career if it’s known by others. I have no choice…”
Ning Xueyan was disgusted when she saw Madam Ling pretend to cry. No matter — she would cry for real later.
Madam Dowager Liu realized that it was Madam Ling’s decision to hide the news of Madam Ming’s death. “Mandan Ling, what else do you want to say? You’re the Marchioness ! How can you do such unruly things? Was Ziyan so anxious to marry? Why couldn’t you wait a few months?”
Ning Ziyan was not Madam Ming’s biological daughter, so she only needed to observe a three-month mourning period instead of three years. It was not a big deal to postpone the wedding for three months. Such disrespect was outrageous!
Madame Dowager Liu took the cup in her hand and smashed it at Madam Ling’s feet.
Madam Ling was so frightened she stepped backward, tripped directly on the foot of the chair, and fell to the ground.
There was a noise at the door, and the Madam Dowager waved her hand with an unhappy look. A woman approached with a report. “It’s Mother Han, she said there’s an urgent matter to report to the Fifth Young Miss.”
“What’s the matter?” Madam Dowager she asked impatiently asked.
“Grandmother, maybe it’s a letter from uncle!” Ning Xueyan said before Madam Ling drove away Mother Han.
Ning Zu’an was stunned, then he suddenly raised his head and asked, panic flashing in his eyes. Madam Ming’s brother, Ming Feiyong, had been guarding the border for 10 years and had never returned to the capital. Because of the events of the past, he was unhappy about his sister and had not contacted Madam Ming since he went to the border.
He said, “A letter from your uncle? He hasn’t contacted your mother for 10 years! Why would he send a letter now?”
“I don’t know. Mother Han mentioned it before, saying that there may be a letter from uncle. So I asked her to report to me as soon as she got the letter,” Ning Xueyan said, appearing for all the world as if she really did not know the reason. She noted the fear in the Lord Protector’s eyes. Mother Han was right — Ning Zu’an was afraid of Madam Ming’s brother.
“Bring over Mother Han!” the Madam Dowager frowned and said.
The woman left, returning momentarily with a sweaty Mother Han.
“Madam Dowager, Marquis, First Madam.” After appropriate greetings, Mother Han hurriedly turned to Ning Xueyan and said in a hurry, “Young Lady, the letter says your uncle will arrive in the capital soon to see you and your mother.”
Ming Feiyong was visiting his sister for the first time in 10 years, and he was unaware that she had died.
Ning Xueyan frowned and said with feigned worry, “But my mother… What should we do?”
“What a coincidence!” Madam Dowager murmured, her gloomy gaze turning from Ning Xueyan to Madam Ling. She’d wanted to force Ning Xueyan to be responsible for this scandal, but now she had to reconsider it carefully. Ming Feiyong was irritable. If he found out the truth, he would report it to His Majesty, and the entire Lord Protector’s Manor would get into trouble.
“Mother, what should we do?” Ning Zu’an asked frantically. He didn’t dare push the blame on Madam Ming and Ning Xueyan, and His Majesty was becoming more and more suspicious. This was a women’s matter, but it could lead to the exposure of certain… past events and possibly cause their deaths.
The crime of deceiving the monarch was unforgivable, and the Madam Dowager was terrified of His Majesty finding out. She struggled for a while before finally coming to a conclusion. At this point, no one could assume responsibility for this matter aside from Madam Ling. “There’s no choice. Madam Ling assumes all responsibility. Anyway, this was her own idea.”
Madam Dowager Liu nodded at the side. “Yes, it’s her own fault. We also have to explain that Ziyan has nothing to do with this matter. She was influenced by her disappointing mother.”
Madam Ling sat heavily on the ground, crying, “Marquis, Marquis…”
This time, she did not need to pretend to cry, as tears dropped down from her face.
Ning Zu’an stood up, sparing a single glance for Madam Ling, and left quickly, disregarding her screaming.
Ning Xueyan watched the scene, doing her best not to laugh. This was just beginning — she’d ensure everyone involved in her death paid for their cruelty.