Chapter 598 Things in Those Days and Numerous Schemes
As expected, the imperial edict announcing Ning Huaijing to be the princely heir of Lord Protector was issued the following day. Immediately, Lord Protector’s Manor held a banquet. Ning Xueyan paid a visit here but left early with the excuse that she was not well. Therefore, Madam Dowager, who wanted to come here and chat more with her, had no chance to do so.
When Ning Xueyan came to see Ao Chenyi, the latter was discussing something with his aides and staff on the second floor, so she went to wait for him on the third floor.
The third floor was Ao Chenyi’s living room. After leading her to the place, Eunuch Zhu retreated. Sitting on the couch, Ning Xueyan casually picked up a book and read it at the table, but she put it down after only leafing through a few pages and frowned. The room was quiet. Lanning brought her tea and stepped aside.
When Ao Chenyi came upstairs after a while, he saw her leaning there with barely closed eyes as if she was asleep.
He walked over, touched her head, and asked softly, “What’s the matter? Is there anything wrong with you?” Ning Xueyan rarely visited his Moon-embracing Tower.
“You’ve come!” Ning Xueyan was half asleep indeed. Now when she heard Ao Chenyi’s voice, she immediately woke up and suddenly opened her eyes. When she saw Ao Chenyi, she sat up.
“Is there anything from the palace that gives you a dilemma?” Ao Chenyi’s evil-looking eyes were deep. He observed Ning Xueyan’s face carefully but didn’t find that she was so different from usual, and then he heaved a sigh of relief. Just now, he had received the news that someone had come from the imperial palace for Prince Yi’s princess, and the servant of the mansion had taken the messenger straight to the Pear Flower Garden.
“Chenyi, how much do you know… that Ning Ziying was the princess of the previous dynasty?” Ning Xueyan asked softly and coyly, tearing the edge of his clothes.
“She was the Great Elder Princess of the previous dynasty, who fled to the Ning Manor in the regions south of the Yangtze River and was taken in by the madam of the manor and renamed Ning Ziying. To find out the legend of the “military medallion of the previous dynasty”, all the people were looking for her. Since the hometown of the king of Annan is in the regions south of the Yangtze River, Hua Manor found Ning Ziying. Guessing that she was probably the princess of the previous dynasty, they wanted to build a marriage bond with her, so as to get the ‘military medallion of the previous dynasty’. But after a strange combination of circumstances occurred, they thought that she was the wrong person, so they broke up the engagement.”
“Then Xia Manor picked up a treasure by taking the chance. Of course, their aim was also to get the military medallion of the previous dynasty or please the emperor. Later, it should be that Xia Yuhang didn’t think she was the one and acquiesced in Madam Ling and her daughter’s killing of her.” Ao Chenyi sat beside her, caressing her beautiful hair lazily, but the long eyelashes, which left two irregular shadows beneath his eyes, stopped the beholder from seeing his eyes clearly.
Ning Xueyan remained silent for a moment and realized that Ao Chenyi should know so much about this.
She took a deep breath and asked, “Do you know if the Grand Tutor Ya’s Manor also made schemes in it?” Although her investigation of it hadn’t yielded a clear result, she believed that Ao Chenyi should have an answer. Now she and Ao Chenyi were one. Except for the secret of rebirth that she was unwilling to share with him, there were no other things that she couldn’t reveal.
But she still didn’t know how to talk about some things at the moment.
Ao Chenyi raised his long eyelashes, and his handsome eyes glistened. He had a small smile and reached out, taking her soft hand in his and squeezing it a bit. Obviously, he had a good mood. At least, he was a little sunnier than the moment he had been up here just now. He liked the feeling that Ning Xueyan relied on him.
“Ya Rui is an old fox. He has been looking for the Great Elder Princess for years. His wife’s younger sister is a widow, but she was a noble lady in the previous dynasty at least. Back then, she had good relationships with a few noble ladies, who were good friends of the empress of the previous dynasty, so she was responsible for searching for those ladies. Ya Rui thought that the Great Elder Princess was most likely to be hidden in the places of those ladies.”
Ao Chenyi spoke lazily, leaned back, put his arm around her shoulder, and pulled. Instantly, Ning Xueyan fell into his arms.
“You mean Grand Tutor Ya’s Manor was also plotting against the Great Elder Princess?” Ning Xueyan turned and laid prostrate on him. With her watery eyes glistening, she had a brainwave, pondered it over, and couldn’t help asking, “Is the military medallion really so attractive?”
“Not only the military medallion. It is said that there are also some treasures of the previous dynasty.” Ao Chenyi arched his eyebrows and showed somewhat ridicule on his handsome face. “Every time a dynasty falls, there will be such a rumor, and some treasure legends have been handed down.”
“Treasure legends? It is really this way!
“Really, this was not only for fawning on the emperor but also for luring people with money. If there had only been a few guards with excellent martial arts, it wouldn’t have been so attractive, and so many people wouldn’t have been lured into the trap.
“In it, Grand Tutor Ya’s Manor has many schemes, and their strength influenced lots of people, including Honored Consort Ya, Madam Ming, the mother of my previous life, and the aunt of Ya Moqin. Besides, the strength also influenced Ning Qingshan’s entering into Lord Protector’s Manor and the current emperor’s ascending of the throne. Otherwise, Honored Consort Ya couldn’t have been noble because of her husband, and her son couldn’t have become the prince.
“Can those be… true?” Ning Xueyan asked with doubts on her face. She needed to know the clearest fact.
“No!” Ao Chenyi’s eerie and cold voice sounded in her ears. “The so-called ‘military medallion of the previous dynasty’ is untrue. My father, the former emperor, found those treasures a long time ago and used them as military pay. Otherwise, how could the Aos with so little manpower back then, have been able to take the throne? But only my father and a few of his close senior officials know it, and my brother, the emperor, even has no idea about it.”
Ning Xueyan was shocked and asked, “The others don’t know, but why was the news not announced at that time?”
“Why was it necessary to announce it? Since so many people were so greedy and wanted to get the treasures, let them think that they still had hope, and when they got them, they could have the throne. How good!” Ao Chenyi’s voice sounded so insidious that Ning Xueyan could even feel it clearly.
He caressed Ning Xueyan’s face with his thin, long fingers, which were cold and bloodthirsty. “To find out the rumor of the treasures, the old woman vilified my mother with this and forced her to death when my father went out to war. If I had not been lucky, I would have died a long time ago. Since so many people wanted to struggle for them, let them do it!”
“Yichen’s mother died like this, but the rumors outside say that she died of a disease.” Subconsciously, she held his slightly cold hands, wanting to warm his hands with hers. “Surely, he must have been young at that time, so he had been in the army since that young age. When he got used to killing in the army, his heart naturally became as hard as iron.
“Without scruples in doing things, he kills whenever he wants to kill and talks ruthlessly. He doesn’t care about himself, let alone caring about others.”
She should be honored to have become his biggest concern because this would stop him from becoming completely insane.
As long as he was himself, she didn’t care whether he would go insane or not. She could sense that when he was with her, he was no longer the ice-cold Ao Chenyi.
“You have been working so hard these years, right?” Ning Xueyan asked softly. Step by step, he had grown into today’s man who was comparable to the emperor from a little boy, so the hardships in it were never anything that others could imagine.
“No, I haven’t. Since I lost my mother, let those who coveted the treasures die with her or become homeless, and let the blood run like rivers.” Ao Chenyi was so soothed that he held Ning Xueyan’s hands in turn, but his eyes were freezing, fierce, and bloodthirsty.
“Of course, the hatred between me and those who forced my mother to death is irreconcilable. It seems that there are some hidden facts in it. The Empress Dowager should be the main murderer. That is to say, Lord Peace’s Manor is actually on the side of those who forced my mother, Honored Consort, to death. In fact, she was not Honored Consort Chen at that time. It should be a posthumous title that my father, the former emperor, gave her after his enthronement.”
No matter what, she, Ning Xueyan, would always be with him.
After feeling his fierceness and evil, Ning Xueyan became silent, bit her lips, and took the initiative to rest her head on his chest, while her other hand reached his chest secretly. She already had her decision, and then she picked up a topic, “The message that came from the palace just now is: the palace is going to hold a banquet to celebrate the event that the two sons of the emperor have been honored as princes.”
When a son of the emperor was honored as a prince, the celebration just needed to be held in the prince’s mansion. But now, it was going to be held in the imperial palace, so what it meant appeared not to be simple.
Ao Chenyi was the crown brother of the emperor, but the emperor had been working to make it ambiguous deliberately. This time, he decided to hold a banquet to celebrate the event that his two sons had been made princes. Under such circumstances, others would unavoidably think that the emperor thought highly of the two sons, wanting to make either of them the crown prince, so he had done such a thing.
“Don’t worry. He has such a hint, and I will naturally add fuel to the flame to help him.” Ao Chenyi narrowed his eyes slightly and gave her an evil sidelong glance. Although his tone was fierce, he softened his voice unconsciously. When he sensed that she felt distressed for him, he even smiled slightly.
“Do you want to disclose the incident of Ning Ziying? It is said that Xia Yuhang keeps quite a close relationship with Ao Mingyu now. After losing his position in the officialdom for three years, Xia Yuhang has chosen a new master, ready to make surprising achievements. Indeed, he is a man who can endure suffering.”
The engagement between Ning Ziying and Xia Yuhang was the most important cause of Ning Ziying’s death.
“Well, I still have some evidence about Xia Yuhang’s concubine.” Ning Xueyan nodded unhesitatingly. This time, she had come here to tell Ao Chenyi about the banquet that was to be held in the palace. Since Ao Chenyi had a countermeasure, and it was Ning Ziying’s case, that was best.
She always had a wish to make the cause of her death in her previous life known to the world and bring herself justice.
Yet, she was not powerful enough. If she were just an ordinary woman, this would be easy, but the problem was that she was the Great Elder Princess of the previous dynasty. Since so many things were involved, she couldn’t get it done only with her strength in the inner courtyard.
But now she had Ao Chenyi!
Since Ao Chenyi had the wish, she would naturally join him. On the one hand, she could avenge herself and end her obsession in this rebirth; on the other hand, because of Ao Chenyi, she was willing to advance and retreat with him. Even if they couldn’t retreat in the end, she was willing to die with him.
“We need to publicize this incident, but don’t use your methods now. The situation of Xia Manor’s inner courtyard is very unstable, and you should ask someone to go and take a look first,” Ning Xueyan said softly. If Ao Chenyi made a move, he would get an effect directly in a sweeping manner. But Ning Xueyan thought that it was better to use the means of the inner courtyard. Although this was soft, the emperor would never find Ao Chenyi’s connections with it.
He was not afraid to be found by the emperor, but subconsciously, Ning Xueyan still didn’t want others to guess that he was the one behind this. Doubt was one thing, but factual evidence was another.
“OK!” Sensing Ning Xueyan’s sincere care of him, Ao Chenyi smiled broadly. The previous insidious look in his eyes was gone, and now it was with some tenderness and pampering. He couldn’t help hugging her even more tightly, almost wishing to squeeze her into him. He didn’t care how unreasonable the girl before him was, and he wanted her, only her.