Chapter 81 Madam, This is Lord Protector's Manor
Ling Yi felt restless and walked back and forth in the room, making the young male servant behind him feel dizzy.
"Childe, don't worry. The Fifth Young Lady is coming soon. I almost feel dizzy due to your walking back and forth," the young male servant could not help saying.
This was a house facing the water, lying on the way from Bright Frost Garden to Qingrong Courtyard.
Ning Xueyan would surely pass through this remote place if she came from Bright Frost Garden. A maid of Ning Yuling was waiting in the road ahead. When Ning Xueyan arrived, the maid would tell her that Ning Yuling was here and trick her into coming.
"Go and see if the Fifth Young Lady is here." On thinking that the beauty would soon belong to him, Ling Yi was so excited that he could not sit still.
"Childe, the Fifth Young Lady is coming!" suddenly, the young male servant shouted excitedly and waved to Ling Yi while peeping through the door.
Hearing that, Ling Yi quickly went to the door and peeped through it, immediately fixing his eyes on the woman on the road.
A girl dressed in plain white clothes came into Ling Yi's view. The longer he looked, the more beautiful he thought she was. He could not even look away. From now on, such a beautiful woman would belong to him, which greatly excited him.
"Childe, we'd better hide first," the young male servant warned Ling Yi.
Ling Yi was almost dragged behind the screen by the young male servant.
There was a small side door behind the screen. The young male servant skillfully went out from the small side door and hid behind it to eavesdrop.
The door opened. Lanning frowned and asked while looking at the empty room, "Young Lady, the Second Young Lady had you wait here?"
Ning Xueyan took a look at the room and walked in while Qingyu guarded by the door vigilantly.
With a few steps, she walked over to the screen, which blocked half of the layout in the house. It was an ordinary screen. Ning Xueyan pushed it with her hands and found that it was not heavy.
Ning Xueyan tilted her head and hinted to Lanning. Then the two forcefully pushed the screen together. The screen fell down, revealing Ling Yi, who only wore underwear. He was frightened and stepped backward, leaving the place where he had been hiding.
"Ah, there's a thief!" Before everyone could see clearly, Lanning screamed while kicking a chair down on its side, which then hit Ling Yi's feet. Ling Yi took two steps askew, fell to the ground, and could not help letting out a cry of pain.
Ning Xueyan pulled down the curtain and threw it toward Ling Yi while retreating.
Lanning tucked the letter that she had prepared into Ling Yi's clothes before everybody outside came in.
Several older female servants who usually did unskilled work rushed in when they heard the noise in the house.
"Hurry up, there's a thief here," Ning Xueyan said while pointing at Ling Yi, who was entangled by the curtain and could not get free of it at the moment. "He dared to try to steal from Lord Protector's Manor. Beat him!"
The maids and older female servants did not clearly see what had happened and only heard the voice of a man. It was a great event for a male burglar to appear in a courtyard of the womenfolk. So they all rushed in, afraid of falling behind, and then caught Ling Yi and beat him.
These older female servants and maids were strong. So Ling Yi was beaten seriously while shouting loudly, "You bitches... stop! I am Childe Ling Yi."
The older female servants stopped when they heard Ling Yi's words and turned toward Ning Xueyan subconsciously.
"How could Childe Ling Yi dress like this and appear here? Look at those things, aren't they the property of Lord Protector's Manor?" Ning Xueyan coldly said while pointing at the delicate jewelry box on the table.
Originally, Ling Yi had intended to tempt Ning Xueyan using that jewelry box.
But at this time, no one could tell if that jewelry box belonged to the Vice Minister of Justice's Manor or Lord Protector's Manor. Besides, the Vice Minister of Justice's Manor used to be a poor family and many things were taken from Lord Protector's Manor. An older female servant even saw a small "Ning" on the jewelry box, so she believed that he was a thief.
Therefore, she beat Ling Yi even harder at once. Ling Yi was beaten half-dead and could not even speak a word.
"Stop! He's Childe Ling Yi!" At first, the young male servant, who had been squatting by the back door, thought it was nothing serious. Because he had squatted a little far away, when he heard the sounds, he thought that they were being caused by Ning Xueyan's resistance. He tittered outside the house and believed that the Fifth Young Lady would certainly give in because his master had some tools they had gotten from the brothel.
Suddenly, he heard his Childe's screams and felt that something was wrong. So he ran to the side door, opened it, and rushed in while shouting.
He caught those older female servants' clothes and tried to pull them away.
In Auspicious Clouds Courtyard—
Madam Ling was talking to her sister-in-law, Madam Qian. Everything that had happened to Ning Yuling, Madam Ling ascribed it to Ning Xueyan, making Madam Qian share the same hatred toward Ning Xueyan. So they were looking for ways to teach Ning Xueyan a lesson. Madam Qian was giving advice to Madam Ling and repeatedly said that she would teach Ning Xueyan a lesson when she met her.
Madam Ling was satisfied with Madam Qian's words and was secretly happy in her mind.
Madam Ling believed that Madam Qian would certainly deal with Ning Xueyan after listening to her words.
Suddenly, Honglian rushed in with a pale face. "First Madam, something... something bad has happened!"
"What happened?" Madam Ling was not in a hurry at all.
Madam Ling thought that Ning Xueyan had been caught having the affair with Ling Yi. She asked Honglian with a smile on her face because this matter was part of her plan.
But Madam Qian, sitting at the side, changed her looks.
"It's Childe Ling Yi... something bad happened to Childe Ling Yi... in the house over there," Honglian gasped.
Honglian was in a great panic. The whole matter was arranged by her. She asked a maid of Ning Yuling to send the letter to Ning Xueyan and arranged the rest. But now something went wrong. She had a feeling that the First Madam would seriously punish her.
"What happened to Yi'er?" Madam Qian could not sit still and asked urgently when she heard that something had happened to her son.
"Childe Ling Yi was resting in the house. Unexpectedly, the Fifth Young Lady arrived and asked servants to beat him. Now, he's... he's..."
"Ning Xueyan gave Ling Yi a beating?" Madam Ling was shocked by that news and turned pale immediately. She could not help asking, "Where is Ning Xueyan now?"
"The Fifth Young Lady, together with the maids and older female servants, is there now, waiting for your arrival..." Honglian was worried and her forehead was covered in sweat.
Madam Qian had already stood up and rushed out in spite of talking to Madam Ling.
Madam Ling also looked very unpleasant. Finally, she stamped her feet, gritted her teeth, closed her fists, and said with a ferocious expression, "Let's go and take a look."
When Madam Ling and Madam Qian arrived, Ning Xueyan was sitting on a chair in the middle of the room and the half-dead Ling Yi was lying on the ground.
Hearing the tinkling sound of earrings and bracelets, Ning Xueyan turned her head and saw Madam Ling coming in with a woman in similar gorgeous clothes. The woman was not very beautiful, but she looked fierce. At first glance, one would know that it was difficult to get along with her.
She rushed over to Ling Yi and hugged him as soon as she saw him lying on the ground.
"Xueyan, what's going on?" Madam Ling came in and got angry when she saw Ning Xueyan leisurely sitting in the chair, her face darkening. "Come and pay respects to Madam Qian!"
Madam Qian was the wife of the Vice Minister of Justice, but Ning Xueyan was the daughter of Lord Protector's Legal Wife. So Madam Qian's position was inferior to Ning Xueyan's.
Madam Ling called her sister-in-law Madam Qian, which meant that she was the wife of the Vice Minister of Justice. In this way, Ning Xueyan did not need to pay respects to Madam Qian.
However, Ning Xueyan stood up, stepped back, and saluted Madam Qian with a smile on her face. "Nice to meet you, Madam Qian."
Seeing that her son had been beaten half-dead, Madam Qian was very angry. She stood up and did not return the salute, but snorted and sat down. Instead of talking to Ning Xueyan, Madam Qian asked Madam Ling, "Who's this rude girl?"
Madam Ling smiled and replied, "She has been in Bright Frost Garden the entire time for so many years and seldom meets outsiders. So her etiquette has been neglected. Please forgive her, my sister."
Madam Qian then said with a snort, "No wonder she's impolite. Fine, I'll forgive you."
Ning Xueyan sneered in her mind and thought that Madam Qian was so powerful. Madam Qian really took this place as if it were her own place, the Vice Minister of Justice's Manor, and psyched out Ning Xueyan at the beginning. In this case, Ning Xueyan decided not to treat her politely and straightened up.
"Did you ask these people to beat Yi'er?" Madam Qian raised her chin and asked with disdain.
In recent years, His Majesty paid more and more attention to the Vice Minister of Justice's Manor, so Madam Qian became more and more arrogant. In addition, Ning Xueyan had always been bullied by Madam Ling and her daughter before. Therefore, Madam Qian looked down on Ning Xueyan.
"Madam, do you mean him? This is only a thief. I don't see your son," Ning Xueyan answered calmly.
"A thief? He's the Eldest Childe of the Vice Minister of Justice's Manor. You dare to insult my son!" Madam Qian was furious. She pounded the table and spoke aggressively.
"Madam, I really don't know how this thief is Cousin Ling Yi. Look, the jewelry box on the table belongs to Lord Protector's Manor. Why does Cousin Ling Li have it?"
Ning Xueyan answered in neither a humble nor exalted way while looking at the jewelry box on the table with sarcasm on her face.
Originally, items like this belonged to Lord Protector's Manor, but many of them were transferred to the Vice Minister of Justice's Manor by Madam Ling. In front of so many people, Ning Xueyan wondered if Madam Qian and Madam Ling would dare to say that the jewelry box belonged to the Vice Minister of Justice's Manor.
When Madam Qian saw the jewelry box, her face turned pale at once. But then she said sharply, "I want to make some decorations according to your mother's. This jewelry box is one of them. But you said that this was stolen by my son. He's the Eldest Childe of Vice Minister of Justice's Manor, does he need to steal these things?"
Madam Qian resorted to sophistry.
There was a small "Ning" on the jewelry box. How dare Madam Qian say that she made it according to Madam Ling's jewelry box!
"What's going on?" Madam Ling turned her fierce gaze from Ning Xueyan to the maids and older female servants and angrily asked.
Lanning stepped forward and reported, "The Second Young Lady asked the Fifth Young Lady to come here to meet her. It happened that our Young Lady wanted to transplant some trees at Bright Frost Garden. So we came here together. Unexpectedly, we found a person skulking here as soon as we arrived here..."
"Does Yi'er need to skulk here?" Madam Qian was furious and scolded Lanning while pointing at her.
"I'm not lying. I wasn't the only one present at that time. Madam, if you don't believe me, you can ask the others." Lanning had been prepared for it, so now she answered calmly.
Madam Qian was so angry that she was about to slap Lanning.
Ning Xueyan walked forward and took Madam Qian's hands. She said with a cold smile on her face, "Madam, this is Lord Protector's Manor!"