Chapter 323 What Prince Yi Meant
Honored Consort Ya had always been gentle in public, but when she heard the rumors, she was so furious that she even smashed several vases and other utensils. On the one hand, she was annoyed by the rumors. On the other hand, the rumors were consistent with the truth.
What confused Honored Consort Ya most was that she had asked someone to put a lot of flowers in the water that had been soaked in the potion, but instead of being destroyed, Ning Xueyan only had a small amount of rash on her face. If Ning Xueyan had really bathed for a while in the water with the flower, she should have rashes all over at least. Moreover, it was impossible for the rashes to disappear in a few days and Ning Xueyan’s face might have scared even after she recovered.
What was wrong? Why was Ning Xueyan found to have only a few rashes on her face in the physical examination, but soon after the examination, there were only some faint red marks left on her chin? It was obvious that she had been framed and someone had done this on purpose to knock her out.
At the thought of this, Honored Consort Ya gritted her teeth with hatred.
But what annoyed her most was Ao Mingyu’s attitude. After hearing about this, Ao Mingyu rushed to her palace and yelled at her in anger, saying that even if she kicked Ning Xueyan out from the candidates, he would marry her. It did not matter if she failed to be a candidate, as there were no rules in the imperial palace that all the imperial concubines had to be chosen from the candidates.
Actually, Ao Mingyu was right. There was a rumor in the imperial palace that the noble Young Ladies who attended the Beauty Contest might be bestowed to the princes as their concubines. Therefore, those Young Ladies thought that only those who were left to the last could have the chance. But actually, most of them would be kept in the imperial palace.
And only a few of them could marry the princes and moved to the Princes’ Mansions.
What was more, these Young Ladies were usually determined in advance, just like Ning Qingshan.
There were also some noble Young Ladies with a title. If they were chosen by the imperial family, they did not have to attend the Beauty Contest. Of course, it was permitted if the emperor’s sons and brothers wanted to choose a few Young Ladies as their consorts who were not the contest candidates. Since most of the chosen candidates would stay in the imperial palace in the future to serve the emperor, of course, they should be good enough.
After finishing his words, Ao Mingyu turned to leave angrily. Honored Consort Ya felt her heart ache with anger. She covered her chest with her hands and recovered after quite a long time. After venting her anger on the items she smashed in her palace, she became the gentle honored consort again in front of people. She also went to the emperor to admit her guilt and ask for punishment for the rumors.
She said that she should be blamed for her inadequate supervision and if the emperor thought that the contest result was not accurate, he could ask those candidates back and rescreen.
Of course, the emperor would not take Honored Consort Ya’s suggestion. If he agreed to rescreen the Young Ladies, everyone would think that the imperial concubines of the imperial palace were unreliable. The emperor was the most powerful man in the country and the focus of everyone’s attention, so he could not stand himself to be the butt of public ridicule. What was more, Honored Consort Ya was kneeling before him with a sad look now.
Therefore, he immediately said that Honored Consort Ya was fair in the contest and it was because the Lord Protector’s Manor’s Young Lady was doomed to have no connection with the imperial palace, she had rashes on her face. Nobody else should be blamed for that. However, since the rashes on Ning Xueyan’s face were too obvious, it was hard to believe that she was not framed.
The emperor had planned to give some gifts to Ning Xueyan as compensation so as she would not complain about that. However, the empress sent someone to report to him that Master Yuming of the Small Jing’an Temple said that Prince Yi favored Lord Protector’s daughter and wanted to marry her to be his co-consort.
The emperor had a headache, wondering how Prince Yi got involved with the Young Lady of the Lord Protector’s Manor.
After investigation, someone reported that Prince Yi had happened to pass by when Fifth Young Lady of the Lord Protector’s Manor had a quarrel with Miss Ling of the Vice Minister of Justice’s Manor. Prince Yi was amused by that, so he asked his men to bring them to the Small Jing’an Temple to seek Buddhism reason. However, due to Miss Ling contradicted Prince Yi, she was kicked into the flower bed and got her face injured. Therefore, in the end, only the Young Lady of the Lord Protector’s Manor went to the temple.
Many people had witnessed what was happening at that time, and everything seemed to have happened naturally. But nobody could tell why Prince Yi wanted the two Young Ladies to seek Buddhism reason. Everyone knew that Prince Yi was moody, so maybe he had done this just for fun.
The Emperor thought about it for a long time after hearing the news. He did not think that Ao Chenyi had done this on purpose, so he nodded.
Ao Chenyi had not formally agreed to marry the Young Lady the emperor had chosen for him as his principal wife, so the emperor did not want to upset him with such trifles for the moment. Ning Xueyan was only an unfavored daughter of Lord Protector, so she was not competent and could not make much difference. Since Ao Chenyi was interested in her, the emperor felt no need to stop him.
As for whether she was related to Buddha, it was not up to Ao Chenyi himself.
In addition, in the current situation, the emperor felt it would be a making up for the Lord Protector’s Manor. Although Ning Xueyan was eliminated from the contest, she would marry Prince Yi as his co-consort, so it would silence the rumors soon. After all, it was disgraceful for the emperor if other people thought that the contest result had been tampered with.
Therefore, after making up his mind, the emperor sent people to inform Ao Chenyi that he had given him permission to marry Ning Xueyan, but he would announce it officially only after the Beauty Contest was over. Besides, he would discuss with Ao Chenyi about the principal wife’s candidate later. It was impossible to marry the co-consort before he married his principal wife.
It stunned everyone when they heard that Lord Protector’s two daughters both lost in the contest. And what surprised them most was that Ning Qingshan, everyone agreed that it was impossible to miss, was the first one to be eliminated. Madam Dowager almost got sick when she heard the news. She had a hard time recovering, but she got another heavy blow after hearing that Ning Xueyan was also eliminated. Now she had really fallen ill with anger.
She did not want to see anybody, no matter it was Ning Xueyan, Ning Qingshan or Ning Yuling.
Ning Xueyan went to Foggy Courtyard in the evening after she came back to the manor. Since Ning Qingshan had been seriously injured, as her sister, of course, Ning Xueyan should visit her after getting home.
“Third Young Lady, Fifth Young Lady is coming.” Mammy Luo’s injury was almost healed. When she saw Ning Xueyan coming from far away, she hurried to report to Ning Qingshan.
“Send her in,” Ning Qingshan said, gritting her teeth. Compared with the reason why Ning Xueyan was eliminated, her reason was so shameful. She had never thought that the b*tch was even able to escape the trap her untie set. That was why she was so angry.
Mammy Luo let out a sigh and left.
After a while, a maid lifted the curtain and Ning Xueyan stepped in with Xinmei.
“What are you doing here?” Ning Qingshan asked with a grim look in her eyes. Since there were no outsiders in the room, she did not want to pretend to be close to Ning Xueyan. This little b*tch had even ruined her future, so she would never spare her. Even if she were only a co-consort of the prince in the future, she would trample Ning Xueyan underfoot.
When the imperial edict was announced, she would show no mercy to destroy Ning Xueyan even if she would be despised for it.
Since she had made up her mind, she would not go easy on Ning Xueyan.
“Third Sister, it seems you’re not in a good mood, but I can tell you are in high spirits.” Ning Xueyan looked up with a smile while coming over as if she did not see the viciousness on Ning Qingshan’s face. Ning Xueyan then sat down on the chair Xinmei pulled over for her, looking at Ning Qingshan’s hand which was wrapped with thick gauze with sarcasm.
“Third Sister, is your hand any better? It’s not really broken, is it? I don’t know if Third Prince will mind marrying an incomplete beauty.”
“B*tch, you… how dare you…” Ning Qingshan was surprised that Ning Xueyan dared to say something like this. The imperial physician had told her that because her hand was cut by the strings deep to the bone, the injury was so serious that even if it recovered in the future, she could not lift heavy things with it in the future. Besides, her palm might not be able to stretch straight. And in winter, the knuckles of her fingers would hurt. At the thought of this, Ning Qingshan shivered with anger. “B*tch, how dare you plot against me?”
“Third Sister, you must make a mistake. I didn’t do anything to the strings. How about we go to the imperial palace and ask His Majesty to investigate further? I’m sure he will find some clues at least!” Ning Xueyan smiled gently but had a sharp tongue.
“You b*tch… you’re… so vicious! People will find how viperous you’re one day!” Ning Qingshan grasped the quilt tightly with her hand and almost went mad. She bit her lip hard, trying to suppress the hatred in her chest.
“I’m vicious?” Ning Xueyan raised her brows with a sneer. “Who would have thought that a little girl would be so vicious that she not only framed her adopted mother on purpose but also put toxicant into her medicinal soup. Ning Qingshan, have you ever had a nightmare and felt guilty about this in the past years?”
“Framed, poisoned, adoptive mother?” Ning Qingshan could not help shuddering. She stared at Ning Xueyan in shock and anger, “What do you… mean?”
“Third Sister, didn’t I make it clear? You poisoned my mother years ago. Don’t you remember?” With a sneer, Ning Xueyan stared at Ning Qingshan coldly with her jet-black eyes.
Ning Qingshan immediately sobered up from her anger and blurted out, “You… I don’t understand what you are talking about!”
“Really? What a pity! Third Sister, what were you looking for at our father’s study that day? You must have other plans before coming to the Lord Protector’s Manor. Am I right?” Ning Xueyan said coolly with a smile full of sarcasm. The aggressive aura in her words made Ning Qingshan’s hand tremble subconsciously.
“What are you talking about? How could a child of several years old do such a thing?” Ning Qingshan protested angrily.
“Other children may be naive at that age, but you were not. A person who framed and poisoned the others may do anything terrible. I don’t know if our father has found any clues. But Third Sister, don’t worry. Maybe he will discover your extremely noble identity,”
Ning Xueyan said calmly.
Ning Qingshan shivered at her words, with a trace of panic and fierce look flashing in her eyes. Although she was noble, she could not expose her real identity. Otherwise, she might die.