Chapter 120 A Beauty Is Still Less Important Than Wealth and Honor
Only then did Madam Ling find that she was too excited. She had pulled the older female servant's collar so tight that the older female servant rolled her eyes and could not speak. Seeing that, Madam Ling immediately let go and hastily asked, "Whose maid poisoned my food? Tell us now!"
The older female servant coughed violently while covering her throat forcefully as soon as Madam Ling let go. She did not expect Madam Ling to hold her collar so tightly. Fortunately, the Fifth Young Lady had reminded Madam Ling. Therefore, the older female servant bowed slightly to Ning Xueyan to express her thanks while coughing.
But in Madam Ling's eyes, the older female servant's behavior convicted Ning Xueyan of sin. She grabbed Madam Dowager's sleeve with excitement and said while pointing to Ning Xueyan, "It's her, it's her! It was she who asked someone to poison my food and to lead the Marquis of Ping'an into here. She wants to ruin my reputation. Mother, please exercise justice for me."
Madam Ling was in a state of great rejoicing and was overjoyed. She only felt that Ning Xueyan had gone out for wool and come home shorn. How could she not be overjoyed? At last, she found an opportunity to deal with Ning Xueyan, which made her very happy. She even forgot that what had happened between her and the Marquis of Ping'an in Buddha Hall would certainly become a thorn in the side of Ning Zu'an and Madam Dowager.
"Mother... what... what does that mean?" Ning Xueyan looked frightened. She gave a look to Madam Dowager, whose face was gloomy, and then to Madam Ling. She felt wronged and was at a loss. It seemed that she really did not understand Madam Ling's meaning.
"Mother, you see, she still denies it. She dares to frame me. Mother, you have to exercise justice for me."
Madam Ling cried out while pointing at Ning Xueyan. She was pretty sure that it was Ning Xueyan who had framed her today.
Seeing that Madam Ling was so sure, Madam Dowager could not help suspecting Ning Xueyan. She looked sideways at Ning Xueyan's face and asked coldly, "Xueyan, did you really do this?"
Even if Madam Dowager did not like Madam Ling, she still believed what Madam Ling said and suspected her granddaughter. "Sure enough, they won't hesitant to dump the blame on me if there's any possibility. This is the so-called loving grandmother." Ning Xueyan sneered in her mind.
At last, the older female servant stopped coughing and stammered in a hoarse voice, "Madam Dowager... it... it was the Second Young Lady..."
Madam Dowager frowned and asked, "The Second Young Lady? Isn't it the Fifth Young Lady?"
"It's not the Fifth Young Lady. It was the maid of the Second Young Lady who stopped me and talked about the Third Prince with me. She asked if the Third Prince was having lunch in the menfolk place. I didn't want to talk to her. But she kept asking me." At that time, the people in the kitchen were busy and it was in a mess. People from different courtyards and marquis's servants shuttled in and out of the kitchen.
The older female servant could easily remember Ning Yuling's maid because the maid had talked to her for a long time, which had made her almost late to take food to Madam Ling and got her scolded by Madam Ling.
"It's Ling'er's maid!" Madam Ling was very shocked and almost fell down. "How could it be Ling'er's maid? Isn't it Ning Xueyan's maid?
"How could it not be Ning Xueyan's maid? There must be a misunderstanding! No, I can't let Ning Xueyan be free from this. There must be some other clues." But before she mentioned Ning Xueyan again, Ning Xueyan acted first.
Ning Xueyan directly knelt down on one side and knocked heavily on the ground. When she raised her head again, her face was full of grievances and bewilderment. "Grandmother, I was wrong. I shouldn't have asked maids to take food from the kitchen when mother was going to have lunch so that it aroused mother's suspicion. Please punish me."
"Bullsh*t. People of every courtyard went to the kitchen to take food at noon. Do you mean that I also asked someone to poison you?" Madam Dowager was furious. She pounded on the ground heavily with her walking stick. Her gaze was cold and her voice came at Madam Ling like a sharp sword.
Just before lunch, the master of every courtyard would ask people to fetch food from the kitchen, which happened every day. Both people from Ning Xueyan's Bright Frost Garden and people from Madam Dowager's Lucky Garden were asked to fetch food at that time.
"Mother, I... I didn't mean that!" Madam Ling was so anxious that she tightly grasped the handkerchief and almost tore it.
"What else do you mean if you didn't mean that? Ling'er's maid talked to your servant for a while, that is to say, Ling'er wanted to poison you!" Madam Dowager asked Madam Ling with a cold look.
"No, I..." Madam Dowager made Madam Ling lose face, but she still wanted to explain.
"Enough! You made such a mistake, but want to dump the blame on Xueyan. What did she do to make you so unhappy that you try to frame her again? Look at yourself, you should behave so improperly. Have you ever considered the feelings of me and your husband?" Madam Dowager said with anger while pulling up Ning Xueyan.
Ning Xueyan took advantage of this opportunity to stand up while holding Madam Dowager's hands. Then she gently pulled Madam Dowager's sleeve and asked, "Grandmother, don't blame mother first. What should we do with him?"
Ning Xueyan was not in a hurry to deal with Madam Ling now because she had not called off the marriage between her and the Marquis of Ping'an, which was proposed by Madam Ling.
Madam Ling could not clarify today's matter anyway. Qingyu first mentioned the matter of the Third Prince with Ning Yuling's maid, but she did not talk about it in detail. She only said that people from Madam Dowager's Lucky Garden knew about it, then she did not talk to the maid. How could the maid who was trying to please Ning Yuling not ask the older female servant of Madam Dowager's Lucky Garden when she saw her?
The food was still beside the basket and had not been put in it. And the two were talking happily and did not notice that Qingyu had sprayed powder on it when they did not pay attention to the food.
That powder was just some Chinese medicine powder with no odor. The prescription provided by Aunt Xiang said that the medicine powder was not real poison and would only make people feel sleepy. So a doctor could not discover it.
Being reminded by Ning Xueyan, Madam Dowager immediately returned to her senses. She turned to the Marquis of Ping'an, who was trying to sneak away secretly, with a gloomy face and coldly said, "Marquis of Ping'an, what's your explanation?"
"I... I'm not... I really have no personal relationship with the Marchioness. I just wanted to have a rest when I was drunk. I didn't expect that someone would lead me here." The Marquis of Ping'an stopped with embarrassment on his face and was at a loss for words because of Madam Dowager's question. He also could not clarify this matter, but could only deny it.
"Do you think that you can be free of this just by saying that you're not clear about it? Since the Marquis of Ping'an is unwilling to give us an explanation, I'll go to the Imperial Palace and talk it to His Majesty," Madam Dowager said with anger. Then she stood up with her walking stick and was about to walk outside.
"Mother, please don't..." On seeing that trouble was imminent, Madam Ling rushed over and reached out to stop Madam Dowager. She directly knelt down with a pale look, teetering.
Now Madam Ling could not clarify it. If this matter was spread to the Imperial Palace, her reputation would be totally ruined. After all, she really had hugged a man in Buddha Hall regardless if there was a private relationship between them. At that time, how could she live?
"Madam Dowager, you... don't be impulsive. I... I'll definitely give you a satisfying explanation." The Marquis of Ping'an was also in a great hurry. Defiling someone's wife was an extremely serious matter. Besides, she was Ning Zu'an's wife. How could Ning Zu'an let him off? Maybe he would lose his title this time because of this matter.
Madam Dowager stopped and asked coldly, "A satisfying explanation? Marquis of Ping'an, how will you give us a satisfying explanation?"
"How can I explain it?" The Marquis of Ping'an had said that on the spur of moment. After that, he realized that it was hard to explain, and sweat began dripping from his face.
"Marquis of Ping'an... I heard that you want to marry me. Is that true?" Ning Xueyan asked him at the right time.
"No. How can I marry you? The one I want to marry is the Fourth Young Lady. The Marchioness said that I should marry you, but I like the Fourth Young Lady." When he heard that it was Ning Xueyan who was asking him, the Marquis of Ping'an subconsciously refuted. After that, it seemed that he suddenly remembered something. Immediately, he widened his mouth and his two ugly eyes stared, which looked like dead fish's eyes.
"Jade pendant... yes, the jade pendant. Madam Dowager, I'll give it back to you. The Marchioness said that the jade pendant is very important and the Fourth Young Lady will certainly marry me if I propose marriage with it." The Marquis of Ping'an suddenly realized it now. In order to please Madam Dowager, he told her everything Madam Ling had told him. A beauty was good, but the Marquis of Ping'an knew that his wealth and honor were much more important.
If this matter was spread out, he and Ning Zu'an would become enemies of each other. Compared with the high-ranking and powerful Ning Zu'an, the Marquis of Ping'an was a nominal marquis and was no match for Ning Zu'an. The reason why he wanted to marry the Young Lady of Lord Protector's Manor was that he wanted to ally with Ning Zu'an. Unexpectedly, instead of being relatives by marriage, they would become enemies at this time.
The Marquis of Ping'an felt very regretful in his mind. If he had known what would happen today, he would not have come to Lord Protector's Manor.
After that, he took out the jade pendant from his breast pocket and handed it to Madam Dowager.
He just wanted to solve this problem at this time and had no time to care about Madam Dowager and Madam Ling. Because of his words, Madam Dowager was very angry and her face turned livid while Madam Ling directly collapsed to the ground with a pale look and could not say a word.
How could Madam Dowager not be embarrassed? She had told Ning Xueyan that the Marquis of Ping'an loved her very much and insisted on marrying her. She also said to Ning Xueyan that she would be the Marchioness after she married the Marquis of Ping'an. Unexpectedly, in order to get away, the Marquis of Ping'an had said everything out loud. Most importantly, he did not like Ning Xueyan. The one he liked was Ning Lingyun. Allying through marriage had nothing to do with Ning Xueyan.
But what made her more upset was Madam Ling. This jade pendant was of great importance. But Madam Ling gave it to an outsider and that outsider threatened Madam Dowager with it, which Madam Dowager could not endure. Even though there were other people here, Madam Dowager hit Madam Ling on her shoulder with her walking stick, who then fell to the ground and could not stand up for a while.
Mother Qin took the jade pendant to have a look and then nodded to Madam Dowager.
"Madam Ling, I left the womenfolk courtyard in your hands. When there were problems between you and Madam Ming, I did not interfere because I thought they were not serious. After all, you're the Marchioness. The Marchioness must be powerful enough to hold her place. But now in order to frame Yan'er, you dared to give the jade pendant to an outsider and told him its meaning. You're too unruly!"
Madam Dowager's face looked very livid and she stared at Madam Ling with anger. She said that word by word while gritting her teeth. It was obvious that she was extremely angry.
Ning Xueyan looked at Madam Dowager with coldness in her eyes. It was impossible that Madam Dowager did not know that Madam Ling had killed Madam Ming. It turned out that the lives of Ning Xueyan and Madam Ming were not serious in Madam Dowager's mind and she did not punish Madam Ling at all. Now, when it came to her own affairs, she got very angry and almost wanted to kill Madam Ling. Madam Dowager was so selfish.
For a moment, all the people kept silent, and the atmosphere in the room was frightening.
Suddenly, the door was kicked open and Ning Zu'an appeared at the door with a ferocious look on his face. Madam Ling, who had struggled to stand up, immediately collapsed again.