The Devious First-Daughter

Chapter 676 - A Gentle Night

Chapter 676 A Gentle Night

Ao Chenyi was so close that his handsome face was all that Ning Xueyan could see, and he didn’t look all that happy. Then, she realized that she had been holding tightly onto a strand of his black hair.

She flung her hand and hastily released the strand of hair in her hand. She even caressed the hair on his temples with a wide smile. “Why are you here? When did you come? Why didn’t you wake me up?”

Ning Xueyan looked truly confused as if she really didn’t know that she had grabbed Ao Chenyi’s hair until it hurt.

“Playing dumb, huh?” he said coldly, frowning at her. His slender fingers reached out and lightly pinched the wing of her nose.

“Ouch!” Ning Xueyan held her nose pitifully. Her limpid eyes seemed glazed over as if brewing tears.

“Now you know it hurts!” Ao Chenyi’s thin lips were curved into a smile. He was satisfied to see her not daring to voice her frustration.

Ning Xueyan nodded firmly without saying anything, expressing her agreement.

Of course she knew it hurt! But she dared not say anything, not when she had used so much force in grabbing his hair before. There might even be a few broken strands of hair left in her hand! If she didn’t put on a pitiful act and buy his sympathy, he might not let her off later! For some reason, she found him to be quite dangerous today.

And, when did he change his clothes? He had even bathed. It didn’t make sense that he would go to bed now. It was barely getting dark out there!

“Do you remember what you promised me?” Ao Chenyi asked, raising a well-sculpted brow. His mood seemed to have improved.

She shook her head firmly, again and again.

“Didn’t you promise that you’d be obedient to me?” Ao Chenyi tugged at a strand of hair next to her ear with a bewitching charm. His beautiful and delicate face looked so charming that it would make anyone looking at him feel like blushing.

Indeed, she turned red in the face. She continued to shake her head, though. She blinked her limpid eyes to indicate her confusion. “When did I promise you anything?”

Could he be referring to the inexplicable words he said when he inexplicably appeared here the other day?

“Yan’er, you’re the Empress. That’s one matter that you can’t go back on your word on,” Ao Chenyi said seriously. He stared at her with a grim expression and a faint smile.

Feeling him pressing firmly on her body, Ning Xueyan blushed heavily. His smell lingered all around, and she could even feel his warm breath on her ear. She said with some difficulty, “I’m not going back on my word!”

She was beginning to grasp what was happening. It was no wonder he came here and said those things the other day. Coupled with the occasional sighing he would do with her, she would be a fool if she still didn’t understand what he meant.

“What do you think?” He stopped his face right in front of hers and even used that devastatingly handsome face to cast a bewitching wink at her.

“What do you mean?” she retorted with a red face. She was utterly surrounded by his smell.

He lowered his head and gently bit the tip of her fair ear.

Ning Xueyan could feel something exploding inside of her, prompting a terrible heat all over her body.

“I’ve spoken to the physicians. They said you’re fine now. I even had them examine you, and all of them said that you’re in perfect health,” Ao Chenyi said. His words sounded inexplicable because they didn’t seem to be connected to what he was saying earlier but Ning Xueyan understood them perfectly well. It was no wonder that the imperial physicians had been visiting one after another, wanting to examine her, several days ago!

So, it was this shameless man’s arrangement. He wasn’t satisfied with the word of a single physician, so he sent a few more to examine her. How did the monarch of a nation, of all people, have the gall to ask something like that? And repeatedly at that?

“You… You’re the Emperor! You can’t be so shameless!” Ning Xueyan tried to look serious but thanks to her red face, her words weren’t at all convincing.

Her soft, red face just made her all that more pitiful.

“I’m only shameless to you,” Ao Chenyi said softly. His voice was lower than on most days, but his eyes were unprecedentedly bright. He stared squarely at her, bringing with him a scorching heat. She couldn’t help looking down, away from his burning gaze, and bit her lower lip helplessly.

He kissed her gently, with a heartache-laced softness. She peeked at him through her long lashes and saw the gentleness and adoration on his handsome face. Suddenly, she didn’t feel so embarrassed anymore. This was Ao Chenyi. He wouldn’t hurt her. Moreover, he was her husband who truly loved and adored her.

Before she knew it, she had already removed her hands from her chest. She put her hands around his neck instead and gently bit him there.

“Yan’er, Yan’er…” Instantly, Ao Chenyi became excited as if he had fallen for temptation. His eyes were bright and burning with desire when he looked at her. Then, he held her even closer and placed scorching-hot kisses on her, one after another…

Outside the window, the darkness of the night was gradually dying the sky. And yet, noises were coming out of the initially quiet room. Their rapid breathing and gasping were echoing in tandem…

When Ning Xueyan woke up, it was already the next day and Ao Chenyi was nowhere to be seen. She blushed when she remembered what happened last night. She couldn’t recall when she had fallen asleep. All she knew was that Ao Chenyi cleaned her up and hugged her to sleep afterward.

“Your Highness, you’re finally up! I was going to call you if you still didn’t wake up!” Lanning and Qingyu came in to help Ning Xueyan wash up.

“Exactly! You didn’t even eat dinner yesterday,” Qingyu said unhappily. But when she saw the hickeys on Ning Xueyan’s neck, she blushed and stopped speaking.

Lanning was helping Ning Xueyan put on her dress, so the hickeys didn’t escape her eyes either. She chuckled with a red face.

She was very happy for Ning Xueyan. If the Emperor and Empress were blissful together, servants like them would naturally be happy too.

After Ning Xueyan had her breakfast, Lanning reported, “Your Highness, Aunt Xiang said that she’ll stay with us once she has packed up. She said to tell you that you can rest assured in leaving the powder-making to her.”

Aunt Xiang didn’t leave when Honored Consort Ya was evicted from the palace. Ning Xueyan went out of her way to ask Lanning to invite Aunt Xiang to their place. Lanning and the others were the few personal maids that she had, but they weren’t young anymore. They could only spend a few more years in the palace before she would have to let them leave. She couldn’t very well delay their marriages.

She wouldn’t let any of her girls down in this life, whether it was Ning Ziying’s maid Lanning or the protective Qingyu or the faithful Xinmei who stood by her. That also meant she wouldn’t let them sacrifice their lives for her. Moreover, she knew that Qingyu had a close relationship with Mother Han’s son, Han Dazhuang.

She had never intended to bring Qingyu to the palace but the girl was worried about her safety. So, she brought Qingyu in with the plan of letting her go later on. Mother Han had been working hard nearly her entire life, worried about her and Madam Ming. She should at least let Mother Han enjoy life with a large family filled with grandchildren. As for Lanning and Xinmei, she would let them decide for themselves!

Aunt Xiang wasn’t young anymore. It was usually impossible for someone her age to leave the palace. Moreover, Aunt Xiang was once her biological mother’s trusted aide and had an inkling about her identity as a princess of the former dynasty, though she wasn’t completely sure. Moreover, Madam Ming had once saved Aunt Xiang. Back when she was still living in the Lord Protector’s Manor, Aunt Xiang had given her face powder prescriptions many times.

No matter how she thought about it, Aunt Xiang was trustworthy.

Ning Xueyan had once examined her reflection in the mirror. She realized that except for the eyes, her appearance in this life wasn’t all that similar to her appearance in her past life. If one were to look at her eyes with the rest of her face covered, one wouldn’t be able to tell if she was Ning Ziying or Ning Xueyan.

Of course, her eyes in her present and past life weren’t completely identical. Ning Ziying’s eyes were more gentle while hers were colder.

Remembering Aunt Xiang’s reaction when they first met, she speculated that she looked more like her mother. Otherwise, Aunt Xiang wouldn’t have made such a terrible gaffe. However, she wasn’t willing to tell anyone about her identity as a princess of the previous dynasty, even to Aunt Xiang.

The world only knew the Grand Elder Princess of the previous dynasty, and many had guessed that it was Ning Ziying. Since that was the case, there was no need to attract attention to herself.

Besides, Aunt Xiang was much older. It was more convenient for her to deal with various matters in the palace.

“When Aunt Xiang arrives, show her around and help her get familiar with this place. Let her handle everything that needs to be done outside the residence. You all can focus on serving me.” Ning Xueyan nodded and gave Aunt Xiang the position of the senior housekeeper of their palace hall. Lanning and the others were, naturally, the Empress’ senior maids.

“Yes, Your Highness!” Lanning nodded.

Xinmei had rushed here in the morning. She had been sleeping in the bedroom of the main palace hall the past few days.

“Your Highness, I think I heard some noise yesterday but it lasted only for a while. I don’t know if I made a mistake or if someone came to the hall,” Xinmei said.

Did someone really come? Ning Xueyan frowned. She didn’t really care about the secret tunnel in the Empress’ palace hall because the late Empress said that no other people knew about it. Even so, she was more than happy to do as Ao Chenyi asked and ease his worries.

“Do you roughly know what time it was?”

“Sometime around midnight, I think? I woke up suddenly, and I immediately listened to any noise from behind. But nothing happened afterward. It was as if I was hearing things, but I don’t think so.” Xinmei was quite confident in her ability.

After so many nights spent in that bedroom, yesterday was the only time that she suddenly woke up in the middle of the night.

“Go and inspect the bedroom later. Don’t enter the tunnel, just the opening. No matter what, they wouldn’t show up in broad daylight.” After thinking about it, Ning Xueyan gave Xinmei her orders. No matter what was going on inside the secret tunnel, the best thing to do was to inspect the opening lest Xinmei was caught off guard.

Besides, it was broad daylight. No one would attempt anything fishy at this time.

“Qingyu, I need you to go to the Lord Protector’s Manor and deliver some tonics to Madam Dowager in my place.” Ning Xueyan had been sending medicinal ingredients to the Lord Protector’s Manor in the past few days. Regardless of their relationship, Madam Dowager was still her grandmother. Even if she didn’t care for the old woman, she still had to do enough for the public’s sake.

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