The Devious First Daughter Chapter 521
Chapter 521 The Secret Of The Hua And Ning Manors
After hearing that Ao Chenyi would be building a greenhouse and planting flowers in the manor, Ning Xueyan put aside her embarrassment and looked up. “Your Highness, you’re picking a garden to build a greenhouse in the manor?” she asked in surprise. That meant that she wouldn’t have trouble making her face powder anymore. She could procure the flowers necessary to make powders to match every season.
“Yes, just do whatever you want in my manor. Even if you want to demolish the neighboring few gardens to expand your Pear Flower Garden because it’s too small for you, I won’t say a word about it,” Ao Chenyi nodded and said earnestly.
“No thanks.” Ning Xueyan’s beautiful eyes flickered as an idea came to her. “I only want a person from you.”
“Who is it?”
“Me?” Ao Chenyi’s half-squinted eyes were filled with mirth and his voice sounded more playful than usual. “If it’s me that you want, all you have to do is tell me. I’ll serve you well.”
“I don’t want you!” When Ao Chenyi leaned in, Ning Xueyan pushed his face away. Her cheeks were red from embarrassment.
“Who is it if not me?” Ao Chenyi became unhappy, and his expression darkened as well. Immediately, he was surrounded by a cold aura.
Ning Xueyan was speechless. This man was so unpredictable! His mood would change quicker than the turn of a page. She reached out to hold his large hand and drew a big circle on his palm. “Your Highness, I want a guard from you. I want a male guard to help me with matters outside the manor. Xinmei is a girl working in the inner courtyard; some matters are inconvenient for her to deal with.”
“All right!” Ao Chenyi’s mood improved greatly after feeling the numbness in his palm. It was rare that she would be this proactive. His face was full of smiles again as he agreed to her request.
“Aren’t you going to ask about my plans?” Ning Xueyan asked curiously.
“Just do whatever you want!” Ao Chenyi raised an eyebrow. His charming, almond-shaped eyes carried a touch of softness yet mostly exuded an inherent domineering air. “My woman can do whatever she wants.”
He didn’t seem at all concerned that she would flout the law.
Ning Xueyan stared at his handsome face, momentarily speechless. How could he trust her not to get up to some tricks, such as doing something to Commandery Princess Xianyun? Not only did she have Xinmei on her side, but she would have another aide soon. She was much more powerful in Prince Yi’s Manor than the Princess.
“What’s on your mind? Remember that you’re the one that I married willingly. Don’t worry about other women.” Ao Chenyi reached out to pinch Ning Xueyan’s nose sweetly and carried her to her feet. “I’ll head to the Fragrance Garden first. Come with Xinmei later,” he said, letting her go.
“You still need me there tonight?” Ning Xueyan asked, blushing.
“If not? It’s not like you’re willing to let me stay here.” Ao Chenyi raised an eyebrow. A look of realization suddenly crossed his face, and he acted as if he would sit down again.
“Your Highness, please go ahead. I’ll join you in a while.” Ning Xueyan decisively gave up trying to persuade him. Judging from the Princess’ expression today, she knew that the Princess wouldn’t let her live easy if Ao Chenyi dared to sleep at her place again.
“I’m hungry.” Ao Chenyi didn’t feel like leaving anymore. He tugged Ning Xueyan’s hand so that she would sit down, looking like a hooligan who refused to leave until he was fed. Such a cheeky Prince made her speechless indeed, so much so that she began to wonder if she had misunderstood him all along. Was this that arrogant, powerful, and cold-blooded Asura, Prince Ao Chenyi, who would claim lives each time he lashed out?
Why was he making her question her previous judgment of him?
Not only was he no longer cold and ruthless, but he even had a childish and shameless side!
“Your Highness, I’ll tell the servants to fetch you some food. It’s been prepared a long time ago.” A helpless Ning Xueyan gave him a little push, indicating for him to let her stand up.
“Don’t worry about it. They’re bringing it over.” Ao Chenyi wasn’t ready to let her go. The woman in his arms was so soft and gentle. His only complaint was that she was too thin. His eyes were half-squinted as an idea came to him. This made him look enchanting and seductive.
His gaze made Ning Xueyan’s heartbeat quicken. She glared at him.
A knock came outside the curtain, followed by Lanning’s voice. “Your Highness, Master, the food is ready. Should I serve them?”
“Bring them in!” Ning Xueyan said, giving Ao Chenyi a push.
Ao Chenyi was more obedient this time. He let go of her, allowing her to sit down opposite him. Lanning entered the room, carrying a box of food.
The dishes were simple, but they were all Ning Xueyan’s favorites. The taste was exquisite too. Perhaps the meal at the Lord Protector’s Manor was so horrible that these dishes seemed particularly palatable to her. She ate enough to fill a small bowl, the same amount of food she usually consumed for lunch.
Ao Chenyi didn’t linger in the Pear Flower Garden. After putting down his bowl and chopsticks, he stood up and headed to the Fragrance Garden with his servants.
By the time Ning Xueyan was ready to leave, the light in the main and wing buildings had been extinguished. She put on a cloak and left through the backdoor, where she made her way to the Fragrance Garden. She used a small path that few used but had neat paving. Using the path, she was able to reach the backdoor of the Fragrance Garden quickly.
Ning Xueyan was carried back to the Pear Flower Garden early the next morning by Ao Chenyi, blanketed and all, and woke up in her courtyard. After getting out of bed and washing up, Lanning brought Mother Wang in to see her. Lanning had brought Mother Wang into the manor last night, but with Ao Chenyi around, it wasn’t convenient for Ning Xueyan to ask questions.
The moment Mother Wang entered the room, she rushed up to Ning Xueyan with her wizened eyes filled with tears. Her lips trembled for a long time before she finally said, “Fifth Young Lady, had my lady really died so horribly?”
It had been a while since Ning Xueyan last saw Mother Wang. Seeing Mother Wang again, she noticed that this elderly woman had become thinner. Mother Wang’s eyes were red and swollen; it was obvious that she hadn’t slept well last night. She was still referring to Ning Xueyan as the Fifth Young Lady as well.
“Mother Wang, please sit down and talk.” Ning Xueyan sighed. What happened in the Cloud Reflection Courtyard wasn’t a secret in the capital. Everyone knew that a young lady had died with grievances in the Lord Protector’s Manor. Even now, her murderer had yet to be found, resulting in plenty of gossips.
Despite trying her best not to let this news reach Mother Wang, it appeared that Mother Wang had heard about it. Ning Xueyan requested for Mother Wang to be relocated yesterday, but Mother Wang insisted that Lanning take her to Prince Yi’s Manor. She must have heard about the incident.
Lanning carried a brocade-covered stool over and helped Mother Wang sit on it. Her eyes were framed with tears as well. She looked away and used a handkerchief to wipe the corner of her eyes before standing next to Ning Xueyan.
Mother Wang raised her head and looked at Ning Xueyan. Her voice trembled as she asked, “Fifth Young Lady, did my lady really die in the lotus pond? Had she really been abused?”
Ning Xueyan nodded quietly. She opened her mouth, but words escaped her. Mother Wang had been very kind to her in her previous life. Back when she had just lost her mother, Mother Wang was the only one who kept her company, comforted her, and accompanied her to the capital. When Mother Wang realized that something was wrong with Xia Yuhang, she had warned her as well.
But at that time, she was firm in her belief that Xia Yuhang was sincere about her. She thought that she must return the favor, and paid no attention to Mother Wang’s suspicion. Thinking about it now, Mother Wang was the one who treated her sincerely and truly. She had such mixed feelings seeing Mother Wang grieving for her, so much so that her heart hurt.
“Fifth Young Lady, Madam Ling must have killed my lady! And how did the Eldest Young Lady become the first wife all of a sudden? There must be a conspiracy! They must have wanted my lady’s fiance! That was why they killed her and sent the Eldest Young Lady from the Lord Protector’s Manor in her place! And my lady used to say that the Eldest Young Lady is a good person. What… What a despicable act! They’re worse than animals!”
Mother Wang could no longer hold her tears back after receiving Ning Xueyan’s affirmative answer. Tears fell from her red and swollen eyes as she exclaimed in anger.
“Sister Ziying might be gone now, but we must avenge her. Mother Wang, do you know someone called Hua Yunheng?” Ning Xueyan’s eyes had turned red as well. She took her handkerchief and dabbed it on the corner of her eyes. When she looked up again, her expression was calm as she changed the topic.
“Hua Yunheng? Young Master Hua?” Mother Wang stopped crying and wiped her eyes with her handkerchief. Her face was filled with astonishment.
“Yes. Young Master Hua said he was once engaged to Sister Ziying. What’s going on?” Ning Xueyan asked, staring closely at Mother Wang. “Mother Wang, if you wish to avenge your lady, tell me everything you know. She’s gone now, and her secrets have been buried in the soil with her. Sister Ziying died so miserably too”
“Fifth Young Lady, rest assured. I’ll tell you everything I know,” Mother Wang said decisively, gritting her teeth. With her Young Lady Ning Ziying gone, she was just a lonesome old woman. What else wouldn’t she dare to say? She had no more secrets to keep.
“Young Master Hua used to be fostered in the Ning Manor. Madam told me that his family had plans for him to marry my lady. He stayed at the manor so that they could cultivate a relationship. It was said that the young master’s grandfather brought the matter up.”
Mother Wang, as a nanny concerned about her lady, went to see Young Master Hua when he first arrived at the Ning Manor. He was a beautiful young man decked out in beautiful clothes, seemingly a gentleman with great manners. It was obvious that he had been well-educated. Even though Mother Wang didn’t know that he was Childe Yueming, she found him to be a fitting partner for her lady.
“Why didn’t they get married in the end?” Ning Xueyan asked, confused. Since both families appeared interested in match-making their children, so much so that they were willing to raise them together, it was evident that they intended for Hua Yunheng to marry her. However, the outcome was that she didn’t even know about this engagement at all.
“It was said that the engagement was about to happen, and the Hua Manor had even delivered the engagement gifts. But, my lady still didn’t know. They wanted to talk to her about it one fine day, but who knew A hiccup happened out of the blue. The Hua Manor sent someone over, saying that Young Master Hua’s father didn’t approve of the engagement.”
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