The Devious First-Daughter

Chapter 663 - As Expected...

Chapter 663 As Expected…

Ning Xueyan stood up slowly. She wasn’t tall, shorter than Ya Moqin even. Yet, when her face darkened and her beautiful eyes turned fierce, Ya Moqin felt a stab of uncertainty. Even the famous scholars were looking around. They were beginning to question their criticism of the poem. If the Crown Princess had truly written the poem, was it right for them to criticize her like this?

Their fear was largely derived from the Crown Prince’s ruthless reputation. Even if they were determined to become righteous scholars, they had to worry for the lives of their families.

“Eldest Young Lady Ya, you’re just a daughter of the Grand Tutor Ya’s Manor. You have no right to discipline my maid.” Ning Xueyan looked at Ya Moqin with a grim expression. “Since when do you have the right to discipline someone from the Crown Prince’s Manor?”

Ning Xueyan was so frank that she sounded like she was reprimanding Ya Moqin. However, no matter how one looked at it, Ya Moqin had overstepped her position earlier. The only person who had the right to discipline the Crown Princess’ servants was the Empress.

Everyone thought it was audacious and rude for Ya Moqin, a minister’s daughter, to speak to Ning Xueyan that way.

Ya Moqin’s actions had been scandalous as of late, too. She was impetuous to order her servants to discipline someone that belonged to Ning Xueyan. Who did she think she was? She had some nerve ordering her servants to hit the Crown Princess’ principal maid.

A strange silence fell over everyone as they focused on Ya Moqin. Even though no one said anything, their disdain was obvious from their eyes.

The attention made Ya Moqin turn red in the face. She felt humiliated in front of everyone but she didn’t know what to say either. The atmosphere was awkward.

“Please don’t be angry, Your Highness. It’s just a little game meant to entertain everyone. Let’s not ruin the mood over something so trivial.” A joyful voice emerged from the side as a smiling Wu Yao walked up from behind the crowd, appearing to have just noticed the commotion.

It was natural for the host not to stay in her seat the entire time.

Ning Xueyan glanced at the familiar smile on Wu Yao’s face. She might not have noticed it on most days, but looking at that gentle, amiable smile from this angle, she could see that smile oddly overlapping with that of a certain someone in her mind. Her long lashes fluttered as a trace of apathetic mockery crossed her limpid eyes…

As expected…

This would explain why Wu Yao would be so desperate to attack her and help Grand Tutor Ya, to the extent of hiding her presence beside Grand Tutor Ya and keeping a low profile.

This also explained Grand Tutor Ya’s trust in her. There was indeed a strong connection between them. Grand Tutor Ya wasn’t the type to trust someone easily, especially a widow seemingly without desire…

Wu Yao had chosen her words very carefully. Not only did she manage to ease the atmosphere, but she also reminded everyone that this wasn’t a serious matter. It was just Ya Moqin misspeaking. Besides, Ya Moqin had always been known to be arrogant and rude among the noble ladies.

Putting it that way, Ning Xueyan seemed to be making a big fuss.

It was just a matter of Ya Moqin using a poor choice of words and offending her. Did she have to get so angry as to slam the table and look as though she would drown the banquet in blood? It was an attitude unbefitting of a Crown Princess.

Wu Yao’s words managed to draw everyone’s attention back to Ning Xueyan.

“Does this mean you think your niece’s words are correct, Madam Wu?” Ning Xueyan smiled coldly, refusing to play along with Wu Yao’s words.

She made the deliberate choice of pointing out Ya Moqin’s identity as Wu Yao’s niece. She wanted people to know that Wu Yao was speaking up for her niece.

Without waiting for Wu Yao’s answer, she told Xinmei, “Go and bring the paper here. I’d like to see what the poem Eldest Young Lady Ya allegedly saw me write looks like. I want to know why she’s so sure that it’s my poem and insists that it’s my work in front of everyone.”

The paper had been in Ya Moqin’s hand until she put it down on the table during the argument. Xinmei walked up to the table to fetch the paper and brought it back to Ning Xueyan.

Ning Xueyan picked up the paper and quickly read the poem on it. She sneered and handed it to Wu Yao. “Madam Wu, can you see if this mark is the same on my paper? I remember that you ordered your people to make a mark on every piece of paper. Tell your people to bring the stamps here. Let’s see who the owner of this poem is.”

When Wu Yao took the paper and looked at it, an embarrassed expression appeared on her face. She was the host of the banquet today and she had also marked these papers beforehand. Everyone had their uniquely marked papers. But coincidentally, this paper that seemed no different than the rest didn’t have a mark on it.

In other words, this paper had appeared out of nowhere and mysteriously found its way to the pile of poems.

Sweat began to form on Wu Yao’s forehead.

It was a bad omen that she made such a careless mistake at the very start of her grand banquet.

“Servants, bring the distinguishing stamps here so we can verify.” Under such circumstances, she had no choice but to order her servants to bring the book that recorded the different marks.

The book quickly reached Wu Yao’s hands. Before the maids presented the papers at the start of the banquet, the papers had already been marked and registered in the book.

Guests were not allowed to leave their names under their poems so that the famous scholars could have a fairer judgment. To make herself seem impartial, Wu Yao stamped and registered the papers on the spot. The book was left under the maids’ care since, and no one had touched it until now.

The process was as fair as could be.

Of course, she planned such a fair process because she expected Ning Xueyan’s poem to be terrible. She wanted to force Ning Xueyan to admit her mistake.

She never imagined something like this to happen.

The terrible poem didn’t belong to anyone here. Every woman who participated in the competition had found their poems. No one could have thought that Ning Xueyan’s poem was the one in the scholars’ hand; the scholars had been prepared to praise it as the best poem at the banquet and share their thoughts about it.

When Wu Yao heard that the best poem belonged to Ning Xueyan, she stared at the mark on the paper over and over. But no matter how she stared, she couldn’t find anything wrong with the mark.

That was indeed the paper issued to Ning Xueyan. She remembered the mark on the paper very well.

Ning Xueyan put the paper with the worst poem on the table and smiled coldly at Ya Moqin. “Eldest Young Lady Ya, I have a question for you. You said you saw me writing on this paper. What’s your motive? I wonder if you can bear the responsibility of framing a member of the imperial family.”

Ya Moqin’s face turned deathly pale.

No matter how arrogant she was, she knew that she had been too hasty this time. She even said that she saw Ning Xueyan writing that poem just to sound credible. In reality, the poem didn’t belong to Ning Xueyan. Ya Moqin was doubtful about the authenticity of this but she was aware that she was in trouble.

Sensing Wu Yao’s gaze on her, Ya Moqin gritted her teeth and knelt in front of Ning Xueyan with a resounding thud. “Your Highness, I apologize. My eyes… played a trick on me.”

She sounded as if she was forcing her apology through gritted teeth. She could even taste the blood on the back of her throat. In her current state, she couldn’t argue with Ning Xueyan anymore. There was no benefit to it all. Remembering Wu Yao’s reminder from before, she had no choice but to endure this humiliation.

She would let Ning Xueyan be smug for now. She and her aunt had laid an even bigger trap for Ning Xueyan after this…

No one expected that Ya Moqin, who had always looked down on everyone around her, would admit defeat, kneel, and ask for Ning Xueyan’s forgiveness.

“Eldest Young Lady Ya, if Madam Wu Yao didn’t stamp the papers, would you have insisted that the poem is mine to ruin my reputation?” Ning Xueyan’s voice was still brimming with anger. No one could fault her for it. Anyone would be mad to be accused and framed as such.

Wu Yao, whether in her capacity as the host or an aunt, had to speak up for Ya Moqin. She stepped forward with a smile and respectfully saluted Ya Moqin. “Your Highness, please spare her. She’s still so young and ignorant.”

Ning Xueyan accepted her salute without shying away. She returned to her seat and said indifferently, “Is she young? I think she’s a little older than me.”

Her response made Wu Yao’s smile turn stiff. She realized her slip of the tongue. It was obvious that Ning Xueyan, the Crown Princess, was a little younger than Ya Moqin. She was so used to using age as an excuse that the words just slipped out of her mouth.

She didn’t expect Ning Xueyan to be so rude to her. Ning Xueyan had ruthlessly retorted her words, making her too embarrassed to continue.

Still, Wu Yao wasn’t like Ya Moqin. Her stiff smile immediately returned to normal as she said, “Yes, you’re right. I have misspoken. You look so kind to me that you make Moqin look like an insensible child. It misleads me into thinking that Moqin is younger. But I’m not the only one who worries about her attitude. Grand Tutor Ya is also concerned about her. It seems that just about anything slips from her tongue when she’s anxious.”

Wu Yao brought up Grand Tutor Ya discreetly to remind Ning Xueyan about Grand Tutor Ya’s status. It would be inappropriate to punish Ya Moqin for this.

Besides, this was neither a small nor big matter. It was trivial if you consider it to be a small conflict between women. Ning Xueyan would just look stingy if she insisted on punishing Ya Moqin. It wasn’t an attitude that a Crown Princess should have.

Ning Xueyan would have to consider Grand Tutor Ya’s status. She couldn’t really do anything substantial to Ya Moqin because of this. Moreover, Ya Moqin looked like she was repenting…

Wu Yao was confident that Ning Xueyan wouldn’t do anything to Ya Moqin. That was why she was able to maintain her gentle, amiable smile…

If you find any errors ( Ads popup, ads redirect, broken links, non-standard content, etc.. ), Please let us know < report chapter > so we can fix it as soon as possible.

Tip: You can use left, right, A and D keyboard keys to browse between chapters.