Chapter 33 Emergency, Madam Dowager Arrives
Ning Xueyan was very relieved now.
She took out a thick stack of letters from her arms, delivering them to Ming Feiyong. She had been out for a long time and was afraid that someone from Lord Protector’s Manor would come to see her. Lanning might be unable to handle this so she had to return now. She said, “Uncle, I found these letters in my mother’s secret dresser. I don’t know whether or not they’re useful to you so please keep them for me because they are not safe with me.”
The letters were brought to her recently by Mother Han’s staff. They were hidden in her mother’s dresser. Ning Xueyan never saw Ning Zu’an come to Bright Frost Garden to see Madam Ming when she lived there. So Madam Ming never did any decorating and the dresser was covered in dust. Mother Han and Ning Xueyan did not notice it before. However, after someone always came to check Madam Ming’s things, they found something wrong there.
Mother Han sent everyone away and checked everything carefully. Then she found these letters from the secret dresser so she delivered them to Cold Mountain Temple at night. She needed Ning Xueyan to make a decision. Ning Xueyan opened them all and found a few contracts from stores and some silver coins in them. This might be her mother’s dowry.
Looking at the letters, Ning Xueyan had no idea that Madam Ming’s dowry was so large. Compared with hers, Ning Ziying, Ning Xueyan’s previous incarnation, had no reason to be killed for a dowry, so she suspected the cause of her death had another reason.
What surprised Ning Xueyan was the last paper, it was a contract with Ning Zu’an’s and Madam Ming’s fingerprints on it. But under theirs, there was another vague fingerprint, which belonged to Madam Ling. This contract could be regarded as the symbol of Madam Ming’s status.
If her uncle wanted to redress the grievance for his sister, this was fit for the entry point. Madam Ling also thought she was the noble marchioness so she oppressed Ning Xueyan’s mother all along so that Madam Ming was restricted to live in the backyard. And Madam Ling still did not let her off. She poisoned her thinking everything was settled down.
But Ning Xueyan, who was reborn, would destroy her.
“Madam Ling, the crime you committed on me and Madam Ming, I will make you pay for that gradually! One day, I will make your life a living hell!”
Shili Pavilion was not a good place to talk, so Ning Xueyan only expressed the key points, then she excused herself. Ming Feiyong knew he could not keep her here for long. He told her to be cautious, and if she needed anything she could send someone to take a message to him. Madam Ming held her hands gently saying the same words over and over.
Only Ming Yuanhua snorted at her indifferently and loathed her deeply. Even now, Ning Xueyan could not figure out what she did to him. But he went near her specifically and said, “Be careful! Don’t die for no reason!”
Ning Xueyan felt he was funny. He was a weird man, so even the way he expressed his concern was weird as well.
Back at Cold Mountain Temple, everything was silent now. She wondered whether Prince Yi had left, but that had nothing to do with Ning Xueyan. She saw a maid of Lord Protector’s Manor squint at the crowd. She had to run back to the yard along a secluded path and got into the room from the back window hurriedly.
“Finally, my lady,” Qingyu said happily when she saw Ning Xueyan’s face. She had been so worried. Then, she helped her lady get in and get rid of the manservant’s clothes.
“Is Madam Dowager here?” Ning Xueyan asked while panting. Her body was weak so she felt ill after running.
“Yes. I heard from the people in the manor that Madam Dowager would come to burn some incense after you leave. I’m so worried. Lanning is waiting for you at the front, you didn’t see her.” Qingyu took off Ning Xueyan’s robe quickly and put the clothes under the bed. She supported Ning Xueyan to lie down.
“I saw Madam Dowager’s maid in the front, so I ran back as quickly as I could. Lanning may be with Madam Dowager now.” Ning Xueyan thought about it. Lanning saw Madam Dowager instead of her at the door, so she had to be stalling now. “What did you tell them?” Ning Xueyan asked.
“I told Madam Dowager you are sick so you haven’t gotten up yet,” Qingyu said. She calmed down and wiped the sweat on her forehead.
She was in a panic with Lanning. If the maids or older female servants came here, they could say that the Fifth Young Lady fell asleep and was sick so she could not see them. But if Madam Dowager wanted to see Ning Xueyan, the maids could not stop her. So Lanning waited outside, hoping Ning Xueyan would come back soon.
In the morning, the powerful Prince Yi came to Cold Mountain Temple with the Third Prince. Now Madam Dowager of Lord Protector’s Manor came here also. Ning Xueyan saw many different carriages in the parking lot when she entered the temple. So, even though it was quiet at the doorway, there were a lot of people inside.
Has anything happened here?
When Ning Xueyan was thinking of that, the voices of the maids and older female servants were heard. “Be careful, Madam Dowager.” “The steps!” “Madam Dowager…” She knew that many people were coming.
“Qingyu, give me a cold handkerchief so that I can wash my face!” Ning Xueyan said, leaning on a soft cushion and pointing at the handkerchief in the basin.
“My lady, the water is so cold!” Qingyu said with shock.
“I can’t wait. If Madam Dowager sees me lying here with a healthy face, she will suspect me.” Ning Xueyan said. Because she was running just now, her face looked better than when she was in the pavilion. A hot face with a little blush on it did not look sick.
“But my lady, you can’t stand it…” Qingyu hesitated.
“Come on, it will be better than death!” Ning Xueyan showed sharpness in her eyes. Of course she knew that the cold water would damage her body. She got sweaty first, then got cold. It was a late autumn day, if she used the cold handkerchief, her body would get worse. But she had to.
She noticed Lanning’s peaceful voice with anxiousness in it.
Seeing Ning Xueyan insisting on this, Qingyu knew it was emergency now. The people got closer, so she grasped the cold handkerchief while gritting her teeth and gave it to Ning Xueyan. The moment Ning Xueyan put it on her face, she shook a little because of the coldness.
Her body was too ill to take it. She could feel her shaking once the coldness entered her body.
But she did not stop. She wiped her face hard and bit her lip. Blood emerged in her mouth so that she could keep conscious. She asked Qingyu to soak the handkerchief in the cold water again.
She repeated it several times until the heat blew away. Ning Xueyan lay down with her hair disheveled. Her pale face was bloodless, not to mention any blush, and her body was trembling now. Qingyu noticed something wrong with her and wrapped her using a quilt while tears almost flowed out from Qingyu’s eyes.
The door opened when they finished those acts in a panic. Madam Dowager showed up with the maids and older female servants at the door. Lanning walked ahead to guide them. When she saw the bed gauze was lifted, she was relieved and almost fell down. She had been stalling again and again just now so Madam Dowager was not happy. So she had no choice but to take her here.
It seemed that the Fifth Young Lady was back.
Ning Xueyan was on the bed with her eyes closed. It was unclear whether or not she was dizzy, but it could be seen that she was not well. She forced herself to open her eyes and raised her head, pretending to be surprised when she saw Madam Dowager. She struggled to get up, seemingly supporting herself with the bed, but she was too weak, so she failed. She panted hard lying there.
Qingyu and Lanning rushed to the bed and shouted. Ning Xueyan opened her eyes slightly and said weakly, “Grandmother.” Then, she could not say anything more.
Madam Dowager was unhappy just now because Ning Xueyan had been informed that she was coming but did not wait for her at the temple door. So, she showed her unhappiness all over her face.
But when she saw that Ning Xueyan was sick on the bed, she turned around and looked at the older female servant behind her angrily because she had told her that Ning Xueyan had recovered from her illness. However, she got worse than when she was in the manor.
The influence of Madam Ming’s accident had not passed yet. Madam Dowager did not expect anything to happen to Ning Xueyan. She did not blame her, seeing how sick she was. So, she asked other people to wait outside and she entered the room with two close maids.
“My fifth granddaughter, what happened? How did you get worse? I heard that you had gotten better days ago,” Madam Dowager said gently, sitting on a chair beside the bed.
Qingyu and Lanning supported Ning Xueyan to sit upright. The cushion behind her was warm now. Qingyu knelt on the ground after Madam Dowager’s question and said, “Madam Dowager, the Fifth Young Lady was better before. But she heard from the abbot that she must take a shower and change her clothes before copying the scripture. That would show her sincerity while she prayed for you and the family. She wrote until midnight yesterday and we couldn’t stop her, so she became like this today.”
“Qingyu… stop talking…” Ning Xueyan said weakly. It seemed she tried to stop Qingyu, but she was too ill to do so. She could not catch her breath after talking.
“Okay, my fifth granddaughter, please stop talking. Were the doctors asked?” Madam Dowager showed some kindness on her face after hearing Ning Xueyan had gotten sick due to praying for her, even though she did not like Ning Xueyan at all.
“It happened in the morning. I planned to ask for a doctor but there were none in the temple. I heard a master was good at medicine here, so I was about to invite him. But some big shots came today, so I waited for a while and couldn’t get in. I had no choice but to go to the front, and that’s where I came across Madam Dowager.” Lanning took over the conversation and completed the whole story.