He had left the Lord Protector’s Manor before supper. The gentle and kind girl who had left three years ago came back. Although she was not as perfect as he imagined, she was still a gentle, graceful and beautiful. What was more, she was much better than Ning Yuling. So Ao Mingyu was satisfied with Ning Qingshan.
He had become the emperor’s favorite prince now and he was quite different from he used to be three years ago, so even he was satisfied with Ning Qingshan, he wouldn’t pay too much attention on her. He had done everything her mother told him to do, and what he needed to do was wait and see how the Lord Protector’s Manor would act to show its sincerity.
What he had to consider about was not only Ning Qingshan, but the whole situation as well. It would be his best choice to connect with Lord Protector by marriage, but unfortunately, Ning Qingshan’s status was too humble, even lower than Ning Xueyan’s.
If the Lord Protector’s Manor didn’t want to do anything to raise Ning Qingshan’s status, he preferred to marry with Ning Xueyan. Since this idea came to him, he took it more and more seriously. Ao Mingyu even thought it was a good choice for him. If he had Ning Xueyan become his concubine, Lord Protector’s Manor would stood on his side. Then he would marry a woman from a more powerful family as his principle wife. That would be perfect!
When he was still in trance, people suddenly retreated to both sides of the street. A luxurious carriage rushed toward them at an incredible speed and the crowd immediately went chaos. Several guards of Ao Mingyu were about to guard him retreat while a person suddenly run to them from a sideroad.
Everyone was focusing on what happened in front of them, and none of them had noticed that someone rush out from the sideroad. This person ended up to bump into Ao Mingyu.
“How dare you!” Seeing that Ao Mingyu was hit, a guard run over at once and pushed away the person who bumped into Ao Mingyu.
The carriage rushed over from behind of Ning Xueyan, so Xinmei didn’t have time to explain to her. She immediately run to her and pulled her to the roadside. Since Xinmei was still some distance from Ning Xueyan, in order to save time, she used all her strength while pulling her. Ning Xueyan was weak and she couldn’t withstand the impact at all. She lost her balance and was sent flying to the street beside her.
She bumped into Ao Mingyu so hard that her hat was almost knocked off!
To her surprise, when she raised her head, she saw a pair of eyes she was familiar with. She lowered her head in a hurry and covered her hat with her hand. Then she took several steps back and was about to slip into the crowd.
How could Third Prince show up here?
“Stop!” Ao Mingyu yelled. Ning Xueyan tried to keep going, pretending not having seen him, but a sword rested on her neck like lighting. She rose her head slowly and looked at Ao Mingyu cautiously.
Her jade-like eyes were special, as they were deep with fascination. Her long eyelashes trembled several times.
“Fifth…” Ao Mingyu immediately recognized that she was Fifth Young Lady from the Lord Protector’s Manor. He froze for a while and frowned slightly. Then he reached out and pulled Ning Xueyan to aside.
“Cousin Mingyu!” A girl’s voice rang out from behind excitedly.
Then the carriage suddenly stopped accompanied by whinny of the horse. Ning Xueyan subconsciously wanted to withdraw her hand from his, but it was gripped by him tightly and couldn’t move at all. She was not a person to yield easily, so she continued to struggle.
“If you don’t want to be found out, don’t move!” Ao Mingyu warned in a low voice.
“Cousin Mingyu, what are you doing here? I was on my way to your manor!” With that, a melodious laughter rang out and the girl walked over. Ning Xueyan stopped struggling. It was not because she was afraid of Ao Mingyu, but because the voice of the girl.
“Why does her voice sound so familiar?” she wondered.
Everything seemed to quiet down to her except for the wind whistling. “No, it’s impossible! It can’t be her!”
Seeing that she stopped struggling, Ao Mingyu let go of her hand. He turned and looked at the girl with a smile. “Qin’er, you came back so early. I was told that you would be back a few days later,” he said.
“I just came back today. As soon as I put down my luggage, I came out and headed for your manor. I didn’t expect that I would have met you here. Cousin Mingyu, I brought you something nice and I’ll show you when we arrive your manor,” Ya Moqin said with a smile, pointing at the carriage.
She was the niece of Honored Consort Ya and the granddaughter of the grand tutor of the crown prince. She had gone back to her hometown several months ago and now had just returned to the capital. After throwing the gifts she would give to Ao Mingyu onto the carriage, she asked the servant to drive her to Ao Mingyu’s residence in a hurry.
Hearing a lot of noise on Ao Mingyu’s side, she immediately asked the driver to stop.
“Thank you for caring about me, Qin’er. But I can’t go back with you now, because I have something to deal with. I’ll go to your manor to visit you tomorrow,” Ao Mingyu said gently. He kept Ning Xueyan behind him and blocked Ya Moqin’s vision with his great stature. Meanwhile, Ning Xueyan also couldn’t see Ya Moqin’s face.
Although Ao Mingyu had let go of her, Ning Xueyan knew she couldn’t get away, because she was surrounded by the guards now. She took several steps back and then walked out from behind of Ao Mingyu, looking quietly at the girl full of joy.
The girl was beautiful but strange to her. Ning Xueyan was clear that she wasn’t the person in her memory. Although their voices were quite similar, she was sure they were not the same person, because the girl in her memory couldn’t be at the age of sixteen or seventeen. When she was in the regions south of the Yangtze River, that girl had already been more than twenty years old.
“You can put off everything till tomorrow. Cousin Mingyu, I’m not lying, and I really have some gifts for you. Since I brought them from afar, you should show your sincerity to thank me at least!” Ya Moqin was reluctant to follow Ao Mingyu’s suggestion. She came out in a hurry because she wanted to see Ao Mingyu so much. The two of them had been getting along well with each other from childhood, and she had been fascinated about Ao Mingyu, so of course she didn’t want to miss such a good opportunity to stay with him.
“Qin’er, I’m serious that I’m busy now,” Ao Mingyu said with a smile, gentle and polite.
“Cousin Mingyu, if you don’t go with me, I’ll kill the two ‘gifts’ that grandfather asked me to give you!” Ya Moqin threatened. She was annoyed as Ao Mingyu insisted on not going with her. “Or I’ll send them to the brothel ahead. Since they have to be given away anyway, it makes no difference whether I do it early or late,” she added.
Ya Moqin’s eyes brightened up and she became excited at this idea.
She didn’t like the two girls of sixteen years old she had brought back this time. To add to her annoyance, her grandfather asked her to present them to Ao Mingyu in her name. Ya Moqin had been had a crush on Ao Mingyu, so she was extremely furious about that, but she didn’t dare to disobey her grandfather’s decision. Fortunately, she was a girl of ideas!
She had managed to get the two girls take some pills on the way, so even Ao Mingyu had an intimate relationship with them in the future, they would be infertile for life.
If Ao Mingyu didn’t want to accept them, Ya Moqin would send these two girls to the brothel. If that was the case, she would be happier.
Although Ya Moqin didn’t mention what the “gifts” were, Ao Mingyu had figured it out. Frowning, he said, “Qin’er, you can go back after sending the ‘gifts’ to my manor. Let’s talk about them tomorrow.”
It was bustling around, and it was inconvenient to talk here, so Ao Mingyu wanted Ya Moqin to leave as soon as possible. When he turned around and looked at Ning Xueyan, he found her lowering her head, as if she were really a young male servant. He felt relieved, because he didn’t want other people to know about this.
“Cousin Mingyu, I…” Ya Moqin still wanted to say something, but Ao Mingyu cut her in before she could continue. “Go back now! Or I’m going to get angry!”
With that, he turned and walked toward a restaurant near to them.
Ya Moqin’s eyes reddened as Ao Mingyu seemed really angry. She bit her lip wrongfully, but she didn’t dare to chase him. Since Ao Mingyu had left and she didn’t dare to be mad at him, she vented all her anger on the maid behind her. She pushed her hard and went back to the carriage angrily.
Two beautiful girls were sitting side by side in the carriage. When they saw Ya Moqin get in angrily, they were scared and moved to the corner a little bit.
“Why are you looking at me?” Ya Moqin was losing her temper when she saw them peeping at her. She came closer and slapped both of them. Instantly, a red hand print appeared on both of their faces. They burst into tears, but didn’t dare say anything. Curling up in the corner and covering their faces with their hands, they lowered their heads and didn’t dare to move.
“Miss, calm down. Third Prince must have something important to handle. He won’t be happy if he knows you behaved like this. Haven’t you forgotten that Madam asked you to hold your temper?” her personal maid, Xiangxue, persuaded.
“Humph! B*tches, if I find that you seduced my cousin when I come next time, I’ll kill you!” Ya Moqin threatened. She had to follow her grandfather’s instruction to send these two girls to Ao Mingyu, but at the thought that he might attach great importance to them, she couldn’t help flying into a rage.
“If they dare to seduce Cousin Mingyu, I’ll beat them to death!” she thought.
“We, we dare not to do so,” the girls said timidly. Ya Moqin’s anger subsided a little when she saw how frightened they were. She then ordered the driver to keep going toward Third Prince’s Manor.
Ao Mingyu didn’t enter the restaurant. Ning Xueyan stopped not far away from the gate of the restaurant and looked up at him. She knew Ao Mingyu had already recognized her, so she decided not to dodge his gaze or hide herself at more.
“Third Prince, can I leave now?” she took two steps back and asked him cautiously.
She could tell the girl she saw just now came from a powerful family and she had a crush on Ao Mingyu. Obviously, she was a person of great jealousy, so Ning Xueyan didn’t want to stay with Ao Mingyu any longer. Otherwise, if that girl knew about this and took her as her opponent, she would get into trouble.
“Fifth Young Lady, why did you dress up like this? Where are you going?” Seeing Ning Xueyan stopped there and refused to follow him, Ao Mingyu stopped too. He sized up the young male servant’s dress Ning Xueyan wearing and asked with a smile.
“I wanted to buy some medicine, so I came out,” Ning Xueyan came up with an idea soon and she answered calmly.
“Why did you have to dress up like this to buy some medicine?” Ao Mingyu asked in confusion. “What’s more, you’re the daughter of Lord Protector. I don’t believe you have to sneak out just for buying medicines. Don’t you have medicine warehouse in your manor?”
Third Prince didn’t believe her excuse at all. Even an ordinary officer’s manor would have some medicinal materials, how could a daughter of Lord Protector have to dress up as a young male servant to buy medicines in the evening?
“What kind of medicines can I get if I don’t sneak out and buy them by myself? I don’t want to be poisoned, so I prefer to buy them by myself. That will be much safer,” Ning Xueyan said with a self-mockery sneer, who looked a little sad. Looking at her indifferent smile, Ao Mingyu felt distressed.