Chapter 51 The Private Meeting with the Painter of a Brothel
It started to rain. The raindrop, with a touch of coolness, fell on the human body from the sky. The sky was dark and gloomy!
Ning Yuling was walking to the Fragrance Pavilion with Xianghong in private, tightly holding a piece of paper in her hand. She was so happy that she didn't found that the umbrella which was held by Xianghong didn't stop the sporadic raindrops from falling on her head and body. Thinking that she would catch the man who secretly dated Ning Xueyan and then murder Ning Xueyan, she could not help being excited.
"Ning Xueyan is so unlucky. The note she dropped in front of my door was picked up by Xianghong." Ning Yuling thought with excitement. How could she give up the chance of exposing Ning Xueyan's scandal and letting people see what kind of person she was? Ning Yuling was very excited when she thought that.
She rushed to the Fragrance Pavilion with Xianghong.
Ning Yuling saw someone in the pavilion far away, but she couldn't see who it was. The sky became darker. It seemed that she had come early, and Ning Xueyan hadn't come yet.
Ning Yuling, hiding aside on a rainy day, felt very uncomfortable. She had waited for a while and still didn't see Ning Xueyan. She was a bit upset. Would Ning Xueyan not come when she found that the note was missing?
"Young Lady, will Fifth Young Lady come?" Xianghong also felt tired because she had held the umbrella for a long time. Now they couldn't see the man in pavilion clearly from a distant place, so she could not help asking.
When Xianghong asked this question, Ning Yuling also felt uncertain. Would they go back empty-handed? Ning Yuling had stayed here and endured the rain and coldness for so long. She was unwilling to go back empty-handed. She took a look at the people in the pavilion not far away and determined to go to the pavilion. "Let's go!"
She couldn't come back empty-handed. Even if she couldn't catch them on the spot this time, at least she had to see who the man secretly dating Ning Xueyan was. Then she would find another opportunity to catch them on the spot. Ning Yuling didn't believe that she couldn't murder Ning Xueyan. She didn't expect that the cold and indifferent Ning Xueyan couldn't stand loneliness and started to date man soon after her mother died.
Chen Qing was also cold on a rainy day. He didn't expect the weather to change greatly at once. In order to pretend to be an encounter, he dressed himself as a handsome scholar. He was quite handsome, but was foppish, two eyes rolling around. He didn't look like a good man.
After sitting for a while, he stood up and looked outside. "Why hasn't she come yet? It will rain heavily. Maybe she won't come." Chen Qing thought in mind. If he couldn't finish the picture today and send it to the Princely Heir of Commandery Prince Li, he would lose his reward. Thinking of that, Chen Qing felt distressed. Besides, he had to report to Madam Ling.
He just wanted to leave, but it wasn't that easy.
When Chen Qing was anxious and looked around, he suddenly saw a master and a maid coming. The one walked ahead must be the Young Lady. She wore a light pink coat with peach blossoms on it and a light green pleated skirt. As soon as she appeared, Chen Qing's attention was attracted by her.
It was a beautiful woman with a pink face, very bright and eye-catching.
Didn't they say that she was a patient? In order to make her more beautiful in the picture, Chen Qing decided to pinken her pale face in the picture. He had to paint her as a bright and charming beauty. But the person in front of him didn't need those embellishments any more. Such a ruddy, healthy, and charming face could attract men in an instant.
Compared with the fair prostitutes in the brothel, she was more brilliant.
"Why are you here alone?" Ning Yuling walked into the pavilion, scrutinized Chen Qing, and asked with a smile. It was unexpected that Ning Xueyan had found a handsome childe who seemed to be from a rich family.
Chen Qing had decided to have a look at her, and then go back to finish the picture. Unexpectedly, this beauty didn't avoid him when she saw him. Instead, she came to the pavilion. Hearing her soft greetings, Chen Qing was intoxicated.
He had been haunting in the brothel and often saw prostitutes' wandering behaviors there. So he didn't feel that Ning Yuling shouldn't have talked to a stranger. Instead, he wondered whether Ning Yuling had taken a fancy to him. Thinking of that, he almost couldn't control himself. Fortunately, he still had some sense and remembered that this was the Cold Mountain Temple where there were many noble people. He couldn't be rude.
"I'm having a rest here and waiting for the rain to stop. My servant went to other Princely Heirs' courtyards to see if there were any extra umbrellas." Chen Qing saluted Ning Yuling in a gentle and elegant way. He had seen many such behaviors in the brothel, so he applied them now.
Ning Yuling's gaze changed instantly when she knew that this man knew those Princely Heirs. She had thought that he was rich but had no right. Unexpectedly, he was the son of an official family. Besides, he was so gentle and elegant. He was in line with Ning Yuling's image of a good husband. Therefore, Ning Yuling became shy for a moment.
"Childe, I have an extra umbrella. You can take it. It's late now." Ning Yuling said in a soft voice.
Ning Yuling really took an extra umbrella. In Ning Yuling's plan, if Ning Xueyan was here, Xianghong would call over all the servants hiding at the back intersection. Then it would be more convenient for them to act if they had two umbrellas.
"Er... I'm afraid I won't have the chance to return the umbrella!" Seeing the beautiful woman was delicate, Chen Qing was delightful. But he deliberately frowned and hesitated for a moment.
"It doesn't matter. It's normal to forget to take an umbrella when people go out. If there's a chance, you can return it next time. If there's no, just keep it." Said Ning Yuling.
"Well, thank you very much!" Chen Qing didn't refuse this time. He smiled and took the umbrella handed by Xianghong.
Ning Yuling also remembered that she shouldn't stay any longer. So she turned and left with Xianghong.
Looking at her disappearing in sight, Chen Qing smiled proudly. He didn't expect her to be a beauty. He hoped that the Lord Protector's Manor wouldn't murder her. After all, it was a pity that such a vivid beauty died.
Last time, when his aunt came back and told him about another Young Lady, he sighed in mind. It was a pity that a beautiful woman was drowned.
This one was also good. When the Princely Heir disliked her, he could ask her out in the name of today's encounter. It would be a romantic affair. Chen Qing's eyes brightened when he thought of that. He didn't care the coldness and strode back, holding the umbrella. He didn't dare to disobey the order of the Marchioness of Lord Protector. He had to finish the painting as soon as possible.
Neither Ning Yuling nor Chen Qing noticed that Ning Xueyan had been standing under a big tree at the top of the mountain with Lanning and Qingyu for a long time. They happened to see the whole thing. Ning Xueyan was in a high position, so she couldn't see and hear them clearly. But she clearly saw that Ning Yuling left an umbrella to that man in the end.
Seeing Chen Qing left, Ning Xueyan made a look at Qingyu. Qingyu busily went down the hill from the other side to inquire about him. A male outsider could never appear here without any reason. And it was impossible that someone deliberately asked her to come just in order to see such a man. Ning Xueyan coldly smiled, with a deep gaze.
Madam Ling's method was superb. She wasn't here, but still could frame Ning Xueyan.
Madam Ling framed Ning Xueyan again and again. At this time, this matter must be related to the chrysanthemum appreciation grand meeting... Ning Xueyan hoped the intention of this matter wasn't the same as what she thought. The matter that Madam Dowager was poisoned just was revealed. Madam Ling couldn't wait to wipe out Ning Xueyan. It seemed that Ning Xueyan was Madam Ling's most hated person and Madam Ling wanted to kill her as soon as possible.
Ah, that was a great honor for Ning Xueyan!
It was too strange that Madam Ling always aimed at Ning Xueyan. Madam Ming had died, Ning Xueyan wouldn't be superior to Ning Ziyan and Ning Yuling. But Madam Ling refused to let Ning Xueyan go. Was it because she hated Madam Ming very much and didn't want her daughter to live a good life? But Madam Ling didn't treat Ning Lingyun, who was not born by her, like that. It was quite interesting.
Qingyu came back very quickly. When Ning Xueyan came back to the courtyard, she had inquired about that man.
"Young Lady, he's a painter. It's said that he's good at painting. This time, he came here with the Princely Heir of Commandery Prince Li. The Princely Heir of Commandery Prince Li hasn't come yet, but he has already come and lived in the courtyard where the Princely Heir of Commandery Prince Li will live. I asked several maids about him. They all look down on him. They said that he lives in a brothel. They didn't know how he knew the Princely Heir of Commandery Prince Li and also didn't know why the Princely Heir of Commandery Prince Li brought him to the Cold Mountain Temple. "
"When did he come?" Ning Xueyan narrowed her eyes and asked.
"He came here today. He came at lunchtime today with a young manservant of the Princely Heir of Commandery Prince Li. After he settled down, the young manservant said he had to accompany the Princely Heir of Commandery Prince Li and then went back. So he was left alone." Qingyu just chatted with an older female servant and asked for it clearly.
He came here with the Princely Heir of Commandery Prince Li. But the people came with the Consort Dowager of Commandery Prince Li's Manor disliked him and looked down on him. He was the friend of the Princely Heir of Commandery Prince Li. He must be another libertine. Maybe he was a pander. He was good at drawing the portraits of beauties, the meaning of which was doubtful. Recently, there were many Young Ladies in the Cold Mountain Temple. What did he want to do?
A painter, the Princely Heir of Commandery Prince Li, the meeting at night...
An invisible line slowly extended out in Ning Xueyan's mind and strung those matters together. Ning Xueyan understood why a painter was here. She clenched her fists tightly and her fingernails hurt her hands, but she didn't care about that.
The painter... the portrait... the portrait that was believed to be a token of her love... the portrait that became the evidence and Ning Xueyan couldn't explain in her Last Life. In her Last Life, Madam Ling and Ning Ziyan took out a portrait of half-naked Ning Xueyan and said she secretly dated a man. Thinking of that, Ning Xueyan felt headache, as if she were pressed in the water now.
Madam Ling and Ning Ziyan planned it in her Last Life. Ning Xueyan had decided to look for the evidence of that day. Now she found out that they were right here. Madam Ling wanted to repeat her plan again to kill Ning Xueyan!
"Madam Ling, since you gave me such a big gift, I should give you a gift too. I hope you can bear it..."