There was a thumping sound as her head knocked against the inside of the carriage. After she was tossed into the carriage, the servants boarded the carriage too and blocked the way out. The carriage flew down the street and away from the marquis's estate.
Clutching her head, Ji Man looked at the person in front of her and said, "There's no need to be so rough. I'll cooperate."
Where was Liu Hanyun sending her? She probably wouldn't dare to kill someone. At worst, the carriage would be driven to a distant place, and she would be told to not return. Thinking of it like that, she relaxed. This worked out perfectly. Liu Hanyun could be considered to have helped her out by giving her an excuse for not being available to send off Zhangjun Prince when he left the capital.
During the carriage ride, Ji Man remained very calm as she sneakily transferred the money she had on her into her boots. She was a very well-behaved captive that stayed leaning against a corner of the carriage. Her gaze was blank as she watched the servants.
It was late, and Ning Yuxuan was about to go to sleep when a servant girl came over with the bag that Ji Man had given her.
"Teacher Ji told this servant to bring these items over to Your Lordship," the servant girl said, "and said that he was going out with Madam."
Going out with Liu Hanyun? Ning Yuxuan paused before taking the bag and opening it. It was the concentric knot items they had bought while walking around the market back then.
What was she trying to tell him? Ning Yuxuan chuckled. She had actually kept these unremarkable items. He had thought that he was the only one being foolishly sentimental. Why would a woman that would go as far as to steal his signature seal keep these mementos?
"My lord, do you want to go over there to visit Teacher Ji? "Guibai quietly asked.
"Why would I go over there?" Marquis Moyu lightly tossed the items down by his bedside as he got into bed. "Isn't he terribly clever and capable of scheming against anyone? He'll naturally have his own plans."
Guibai nodded and obediently extinguished the lamps in the room.
"Wait," Ning Yuxuan called out in low voice.
Guibai turned his head and questioningly looked at his master in the dark room. "Yes?"
After a period of silence, Ning Yuxuan threw back his covers. "Let's pay a visit to Linghan Courtyard. I haven't seen Xi-er in a while."
"Understood." Guibai felt as if his master had been very capricious lately. Anyways, he just needed to listen to orders. It was fine if he didn't understand these complicated matters.
Liu Hanyun hadn't gone to sleep yet. She was holding and waiting to hear the news. She had originally wanted to finish this matter once and for all, but she wasn't clear on this teacher's background, so she couldn't silence him permanently. She could only send him away as far as possible. If someone blamed her for this matter, she would just pretend to not be aware. The heir had already monopolized the marquis' attention. No matter what, she couldn't allow a man to come here and muddy the situation further.
Ning Yuxuan entered the room and was slightly surprised to see her. "Yun-er, you already came back?"
Liu Hanyun was initially startled to see him here, but her surprise was quickly replaced by joy. Holding Xi-er, she went forward to greet him. "My lord, why are you here? Why are you saying that? This servant has been in the estate all day and hasn't gone out at all."
It was rare for Ning Yuxuan to take the initiative to come here, so Liu Hanyun was extremely happy. She put Xi-er down and nudged him towards Marquis Moyu. "Go on, say father."
Xi-er looked at Ning Yuxuan blankly. He took a tiny step back before hiding behind his mother. He clutched her skirt and silent.
Ning Yuxuan half crouched down to ruffle Xi-er's hair. He quietly repeated his question. "You didn't go out today?"
"No." Liu Hanyun shook her head. She had only gone as far as the back gate.
Ning Yuxuan paused, then he turned to look at the doorway. Guibai had already returned from the back of the residence. He saluted with his hands and reported, "Teacher Ji left the estate and hasn't come back yet."
Liu Hanyun's heart skipped a beat.
Ning Yuxuan smiled as he asked, "Where did the teacher go? It's already so dark outside."
Guibai shook his head and glanced at Liu Hanyun.
Liu Hanyun lowered her eyes and said, "This servant only spoke a few words with him before returning to my courtyard. This servant doesn't know where Teacher Ji went afterwards."
The smile on Marquis Moyu's face dimmed. He stood up and looked at Liu Hanyun as he said, "Yun-er, I don't like it when people lie to me."
Liu Hanyun straightened her back, pursed her lips, and said, "This servant hasn't lied."
Ning Yuxuan kept his gaze on her as he said, "Teacher Ji is very important to the heir. Just like how your brother is very important to you."
This was a threat. Liu Hanyun's heart turned cold. Her older brother, Liu Rufeng, was about to be promoted to be an official that worked in the capital. The Marquis was arranging the matter. Because of his relationship with her, the paperwork for her older brother's promotion would soon be completed. Their foster mother was getting old, and she wouldn't able to take good care of her, so she could only hope that her older brother could return to the capital sooner.
(T/N: Ning Yuxuan originally mentioned Liu Rufeng as Liu Hanyun's younger cousin in chapter 313. Either the author forgot about this, or Ning Yuxuan doesn't know Liu Hanyun's family tree very well.)
Right now, the marquis didn't have any evidence that she had anything to do with Teacher Ji leaving the estate. Why was he directly jumping to threatening her like this? Liu Hanyun furrowed her brow. She kneaded the handkerchief in her hand. She didn't know what to do. Behind her, Xi-er felt even uneasier by the mood in the room. He turned around and half-stumbled and half-scurried into the wet nurse's arms.
"Since you haven't lied, then I'll just go look for myself." Ning Yuxuan was smiling as he tucked a wisp of her hair behind her ear. "Have a good night's sleep."
"My lord!" Her eyes widened in incredulity. "It's already so late. Are you really going to personally go out to search for him?"
"En." Ning Yuxuan continued walking without turning backing.
Liu Hanyun felt panic creeping up. She wasn't panicking that the marquis would find and bring back Teacher Ji. She was panicking because she realized that Teacher Ji already had such an important spot in the marquis's heart. Then, what about the women in his harem? What place did they have in his heart?
Translator Ramblings: During my first read of the novel, I only thought, aww, what a nice romantic gesture for Ning Yuxuan to go out and search for Ji Man himself. But, it feels sad and unfair that Ning Yuxuan only thinks of his second son, Xi-er, when he wants an excuse to check on Ji Man, but doesn't want to admit it.