Chapter 324 Two Princesses from the Previous Dynasty?
Ning Xueyan did not say much to Ning Qingshan. Now they both knew that they had officially broken up with each other. Since everyone present was their henchmen, it was unnecessary for them to pretend to be close sisters in front of them.
Before, Ning Qingshan might not deliberately say something in front of others. But now she only wanted to get rid of Ning Xueyan, so she did not care that much. After Ning Xueyan left, she stared at the candlelight in a daze for a while, thinking if she had known that Ning Xueyan was so difficult to deal with, she would have killed her soon after she came to the manor.
If she had not taken too much into consideration, she would not have let her live until now.
After seeing Ning Xueyan off, Mammy Luo saw Ning Qingshan in a daze gloomily. “Miss, you haven’t recovered yet. You need to rest early,” she could not help persuading her master.
“Mammy Luo, will Ning Zu’an find anything?” Ning Qingshan asked uneasily.
“Impossible! The marquis won’t find any clues. That person said all the evidence had been destroyed. What’s more, it was Grand Tutor Ya who asked Ning Zu’an to adopt you, so it’s impossible for other people to discover your real identity.” Mammy Luo comforted Ning Qingshan in a low voice.
“Then what about Grand Tutor Ya? Ning Qingshan thought Mammy Luo’s words were reasonable, but she still felt not assured. She did not want her own identity to be exposed, and she did not want the identity Grand Tutor Ya had set for her to be found out either. So she had to keep the matter about Grand Tutor Ya’s granddaughter from the public.
“Miss, I don’t know. But people like Grand Tutor Ya must have made some preparations. Since there are rumors about the marquis’ suspicion about you, I’m sure Grand Tutor Ya must have done something to deal with the problem.” Mammy Luo could not tell if something bad had happened to Grand Tutor Ya, so she could only say something to comfort Ning Qingshan.
Although she was arranged for Ning Qingshan by the manor, she was truly loyal to Ning Qingshan and followed her wholeheartedly after serving her so many years. Watching her growing up from a little girl to a beautiful Young Lady, she had gone through many difficulties with her together.
Besides, Ning Qingshan really regarded her as her henchman. Not only did she tell her about her relationship with Grand Tutor Ya, but she also told her the most secret identity that even Grand Tutor Ya didn’t know. Furthermore, she also asked her to contact that woman. In Mammy Luo’s opinion, this meant Ning Qingshan completely trusted her.
Mammy Luo had married and had a daughter. However, her husband died in the war and her daughter was gone in the chaos. Afterwards, she came to the Lord Protector’s Manor and served as Ning Qingshan’s servant. After staying with her for so many years, she almost regarded Ning Qingshan as her own daughter. In her opinion, everything Ning Qingshan had done was correct, and she framed the others because she had no other choices.
“Mammy, can you ask that woman to kill Ning Xueyan?” Ning Qingshan said, looking ferocious in the candlelight.
“Miss, she is still blaming you for what happened last time. She asked you to investigate it carefully before you do anything. Otherwise, they, they…” At the thought of that woman’s cold face, Mammy Luo lowered her voice.
Ning Qingshan had told her about what had happened in the Cold Mountain Temple. Although she did not see anything wrong with Ning Qingshan asking someone to kill Ning Xueyan, she was still shocked by Ning Qingshan’s words. Obviously, those people were not easy to fool. And so it turned out that the woman in white almost killed her when she saw her last time.
Because Ning Qingshan had told that woman that Ning Xueyan had known her real identity, she needed to kill her. But in fact, Fifth Young Lady of the Lord Protector’s Manor knew nothing about it.
The woman in white made it clear that if something like this happened again, Mammy Luo might lose a part of her body. When she recalled that the woman pointed at her throat with a sword, Mammy Luo could not help feeling chill. Actually, she really wanted to persuade Ning Qingshan to stop associating with those people.
It was obvious that what those people did was an act of rebellion. If her master was involved, she might face serious consequences.
“Don’t worry, Mammy. They’re just bluffing and they won’t do anything to me. Without me, how can they prove that their actions are justified.” Ning Qingshan sneered with disapproval. Although she said so, she could not help feeling scared at the thought of what had happened in the temple that day. From that man’s momentum, she could tell that he was no ordinary at all.
Ning Qingshan still did not want to give up. “Mammy, tell them that I was injured because of Ning Xueyan and my current situation in the manor. Let’s see what they will do!” she said after thinking it for a while. She was confident that since those people had a hard time to find her, they would not watch her being trampled underfoot.
“Yes. Miss, I will pass on the message to her when I see her next time.” Mammy Luo nodded.
At Bright Frost Garden, Ning Xueyan was browsing the Book of Family Names which her mother asked her to carefully keep.
Things she had not found time to think about because of confusion, sadness, and panic unfolded one by one in her mind now.
First of all, she thought of Xia Yuhang. Did he really know nothing about Ning Ziying’s identity?
Since he had decided to marry Ning Ziyan, they must have planned it for some time. But why did they kill her only after her dowry was carried into the Xia Manor? Could Xia Yuhang had waited for so long because he had known her real identity and wanted to get something from her?
Otherwise, he would not have rummaged through her belongings. Besides, that thing he was looking for must be flat, because people could only hide something flat and light in the brocade box if they did not want them to be found out. It was impossible to put something bulged like a seal in it.
It was said that the military medallion of the previous dynasty was in Ning Zu’an’s hand. Ning Ziying was just a down and out princess. Was it possible that the emperor of the previous dynasty had left a decree before his death? But since the regime had changed, even if there was a decree, a fugitive former princess could make no difference.
But if Xia Yuhang did not mean that, what did he mean? Ning Xueyan felt more confused.
Because of Ning Ziyan, Xia Yuhang had been disqualified from the spring examination in the following three years. It should be a catastrophe for a person as ambitious as Xia Yuhang. However, Ning Xueyan had met him several times and he did not seem to have been impacted by this. Could that because he had already had an opportunity to become an official?
Could there be some secret that she did not know? After all, what happened in the imperial court were unknown for a Young Lady like her who seldom went out. Even in her last life, Ning Ziying had no opportunity to get to know something about that.
Thinking of this, Ning Xueyan frowned slightly.
What was more, from Ning Qingshan’s attitude, Ning Xueyan was sure that she had identified herself as the princess of the former dynasty. “If that’s the case, what’s Ning Ziying’s real identity? If I was not the previous princess in my last life, why my mother left me the letter and asked me to inquire about this to Senior Nun Jing Kong? Senior Nun Jing Kong won’t lie to me.”
Besides, Ning Xueyan had been having nightmares these days. In her dream, she saw a fire burning. Many people were running for life while the others had died. She was soaked in cold sweat every time she woke up. She must have witnessed the scene when she was a child and now she understood her mother’s strange behavior in the past.
And that was why her mother had been strict to her on the training of her etiquette.
That was why her mother had demanded her to be proficient in music, chess, calligraphy, and painting.
That was why her mother had hidden her from others.
That was why after the funeral for her mother, Ning Ziying immediately came to the capital city to visit Lord Protector to ask for shelter and lived in his manor for three years. Before that, she had never heard of Lord Protector.
She also remembered the words in the Book of Family Names her mother left for her.
All these had made Ning Xueyan believe what Senior Nun Jing Kong said was true. However, Ning Qingshan did not seem to be lying. Both the way she talked and what Xia’er had said showed that Ning Qingshan knew her own identity.
In fact, there were some similarities between Ning Ziying and Ning Qingshan.
They were about the same age and they were all orphans. It was said that Ning Qingshan had been found in the south of the Yangtze River. She was the daughter of a general who died to protect Ning Zu’an. To make it up to this general, Ning Zu’an had adopted her as his daughter.
It was said that before coming to the Lord Protector’s Manor, Ning Qingshan had been living in the south of the Yangtze River.
However, everyone knew that there was only one princess in the former dynasty. How could there be two? So one of her and Ning Qingshan must be a false princess.
There was something else that confused Ning Xueyan. Why was the birthmark on her shoulder the same as Ning Ziying’s? Was there any unknown connection between her present and past life?
However, no matter whether she was the princess of the previous dynasty or not, she could not have anything to do with Ning Xueyan. One was in the south of the Yangtze River and another one was in the capital city. Besides, Ning Xueyan was two or three years younger than Ning Ziying. How could they have the same birthmarks on their bodies? It could not be just a coincidence.
The candlelight in front of her flickered just like the doubts haunted in her heart. She could not find any evidence, but everything seemed to be correct. She was so confused. If she was really the princess, where was the empress of the former dynasty? Was she still alive? If so, where was she? Why had she never seen such a woman in her life?
Xinmei came in with a snow-white pigeon in her hands. “Miss, a message from Prince Yi.” She took out a note tied to the pigeon’s leg and passed it to Ning Xueyan.
Ning Xueyan took the note and bit her lip at the words on it, speechless.
There were only a few simple words on the note. “Come out! I’m outside the wall.”
This man was always so domineering and had never considered that as a noble Young Lady, it was very inconvenient for Ning Xueyan to go in and out of the manor. Even if Xinmei was with her and they could go out over the wall easily, her reputation would be ruined if they were found out by the others.
Of course, Ning Xueyan knew it was useless to reason with him. He had sent her some news in the imperial palace, but why he was asking her out again?
She did not dare to neglect his demand at the moment. After washing herself up briefly, she put on her garment and a curtain hat before asking Xinmei to bring her out over the wall.
As soon as she landed on the ground and before she could stand firmly, she fell into a warm, familiar embrace. Hearing a burst of flirtatious laughter, she found herself being held up. Ning Xueyan hooked that man’s neck subconsciously.