Chapter 55 The Evidence, Beautiful Painting
"Ask the maids to tell which one of them passed the message!" Ning Yuling wanted to rush over as she gritted her teeth in anger. The two older female servants tried to stop her under the command of Madam Dowager.
"You are talking nonsense. How dare you do this? I have no private relationship with you. Why do I need you here? I am a Young Lady of Marquis Manor and I will never like a prodigal like you!"
She remembered the kind of man he was, so she spoke without thinking when she thought of the bad reputation he had.
"Yes, Second Young Lady isn't that kind of girl who will ask you to come over. Maybe you made a mistake?"Madam Dowager said, with great anger on her face.
"How do I know why she is doing this? Fortunately, I have the evidence. It is from her. I can show you if you don't believe me. Honored Consort Ya and madams, please find the truth for me." Princely Heir shouted loudly.
Everyone started to whisper. Their eyes filled with doubts, disdain and unbelievable feelings, were focused on Ning Yuling. People thought it was Princely Heir of Commandery Prince Li who had lusted for her beauty and was talking nonsense. They didn't expect him to have the evidence. Maybe Second Young Lady of Lord Protector's Manor was a slutty girl. She even tried to seduce him.
Even Madam Dowager turned to Ning Yuling in doubt, signalling her with her eyes, whether it was real.
Ning Yuling was furious. The evidence? How could she leave any evidence in his place? She didn't know why a lot of people trusted his words.
"Xian'er, tell us. What is the evidence? Take it out and let Honored Consort Ya comment on it." Consort Dowager said loudly. She had kept quiet all along until now, because she wondered whether it was her grandson's fault. But she became excited when she heard there was evidence.
"You have evidence?" Honored Consort Ya asked. Seeing the drama, she kneaded her temples, and her eyes darkened. She didn't believe Princely Heir had the evidence. No matter what, she had made up her mind, Second Young Lady couldn't be her son's wife.
Looking at Ning Yuling now, what did she do? Luckily, the two families had just discussed about the marriage secretly. It wasn't officially decided yet. Otherwise, this would humiliate her son.
"My second sister won't give you any evidence. You must be talking nonsense because you want to ruin her reputation. Honored Consort Ya, please help my sister to safeguard her reputation. Lord Protector's Manor will never be humiliated like this!" A cold voice came from the crowd. People looked back and saw a skinny lady supported by a maid walking into the area.
Because she was too thin and young, her beautiful face features were not dazzling. Even so, she looked innocent and calm. She was a young girl with a decent temperament. Compared with Second Young Lady, she was much better.
Someone asked who she was, but somebody who saw Ning Yuling blaming Ning Xueyan said it was Fifth Young Lady of Lord Protector's Manor.
"Is there a Fifth Young Lady in the manor? Why have I never heard of it?"
"Is Fifth Young Lady's mother dead?"
"Is she the first daughter? It is a strange matter in Lord Protector's Manor. They hide their first daughter in the backyard. What is this all about?"
Someone teased, some laughed at Ning Xueyan, and some just wanted to watch the drama. Madam Dowager's face turned red when they whispered among themselves.
Princely Heir was in panic after hearing Ning Xueyan's words. His eyes moved quickly because he lied. The evidence maybe wasn't from Ning Yuling. When he found this concerned Lord Protector's reputation, he thought he was unable to take the responsibility. Lord Protector was a powerful being, in charge of troops. He wasn't like the other nobilities who were paid without having to work.
If he was found to be harassing Lord Protector's daughter and making the evidence on purpose, maybe it would need the emperor to handle the issue in the end. His grandmother wouldn't be able to protect him. Even as he thought of the bad result, he was being pushed here. So he said loudly to his servant beside him, gritting his teeth.
"Take out the painting Second Young Lady gave me. Submit it to Honored Consort Ya."
At this point, Princely Heir had insisted that Ning Yuling invited him here. Or else he would be unable to take the responsibility for this.
The servant behind him went forward and knelt in front of Honored Consort Ya in the command of him, and lifted the painting above his head.
A royal maid standing behind took it over and delivered it to Honored Consort Ya.
The other royal maid came over. Two maids opened the painting together. Third Prince, who stood behind his mother snorted coldly and his face turned dark immediately.
"Oh! This... this painting is... so obscene." Consort Dowager shouted after moving her head and taking a look at the painting. She sat beside Honored Consort Ya and wanted to cover her eyes with the handkerchief. But she swung her hands so hastily that her hands hit one of the royal maid. The royal maid's hand trembled, and dropped the painting.
The other royal maid was looking at the painting, together with Honored Consort Ya. Hearing Consort Dowager's shout, she let go of the painting, too.Before she could respond, another shout could be heard. She didn't get the chance to pick up the painting so it fell on the ground.
The painting lay on the ground. People focused their attention on it.
Ning Xueyan covered her mouth with the handkerchief. It was so chaotic that nobody noticed that she was the one who had shouted.
There was a buxom voluptuous woman in the painting with a thin gauze dress covering her half body. The woman's body could almost be seen clearly through the dress. The woman's shy and charming face looked exactly like Ning Yuling.
It was private. Nobody could draw this unless he or she saw it. The meaning on the painting was sultry. Clearly it was...Thinking of it, the painting wouldn't have been so vivid if Ning Yuling had not lain down and dressed like that.
All the madams and ladies turned around almost at the same time, hastily covering their eyes with their handkerchiefs. It seemed they had seen something dirty. The painting was obscene so it was reasonable that they acted like that.
"No, it isn't me!" Ning Yuling shouted hurriedly, after seeing it.
"Second Young Lady! It is unexpected that you have a relationship with my Xian'er. I am not against it. But Second Young Lady. You can't be his wife. Although my manor is willing to be responsible for this, my grandson can't marry you. Our manor isn't powerful but we act with propriety and we can't let you ruin it."Consort Dowager said calmly.
This meant she wanted Ning Yuling to be Princely Heir's concubine.
Everyone thought Ning Yuling, as Second Young Lady of Lord Protector's Manor, had created the obscene painting herself. She revealed that she was having a private relationship with Princely Heir of Commandery Prince Li. Shame on her!
Ning Xueyan was standing aside quietly. She showed a surprised look like everyone else. But nothing existed in her black eyes. This was Madam Ling's plan for her. Sure enough it was vicious and malicious.
Madam Ling had planned to add Ning Xueyan's face to the completed painting of a prostitute's body. If Princely Heir saw that it was Ning Xueyan, her reputation would be ruined. People would think she was the slutty girl. Nobody would care whether her face fitted the buxom body.
Madam Ling wanted to attract Princely Heir's attention by using the buxom body. However, it fitted Ning Yuling perfectly. She was only 16. Exactly the age of the mature body. The painting with Ning Yuling's face on it looked flawless. Even though Ning Xueyan knew the truth, she could believe that the woman was Ning Yuling after taking a look at the picture.
If Ning Xueyan did such a thing now, especially when Madam Ming died long ago, Madam Dowager wouldn't protect her for Lord Protector's Manor's reputation. She would strangle her with a white silk string. Then Madam Ming's reputation would be tarnished. Then Madam Ling and Ning Yuling would take control of everything after Ning Xueyan's death.
People would only say that Madam Ming and Ning Xueyan were slutty. They wouldn't care about the marriage of Ning Ziyan anymore. Madam Ling and Ning Ziyan could finally get rid of it.
Ning Yuling was as malevolent as her mother. Now that they started this vicious affair, Ning Xueyan would let them take care of it themselves.
Ning Xueyan lifted her lips slightly to cover the frosty coldness.
Wen Xueran, who stood beside Third Prince, happened to see this. His amorous eyes blinked a little when it fell on Ning Xueyan. He sneered a little, after thinking it over and showed a charming smile on his face. He had noticed it.
"It's not me... It's not me...This isn't me..." It drove Ning Yuling crazy. She shouted madly, her face full of shock, swinging her hands around. It gave her a crazy look, the wide open eyes and loose hair.
"This is not you? Oh, I remember. This maid came to visit Princely Heir yesterday," A maid who stood behind Consort Dowager said, pointing at Xianghong, who was standing behind Ning Yuling.
"Yes, it's her. She came over yesterday stealthily. We would have barely noticed her if there wasn't some sound outside."
"Yes, it's her. We thought the maid was seducing someone. It turns out to be our lady. The maid is just a helper."
Several older female servants and maids proved it, too. They all spoke reasonably. It was true that they all saw Ning Yuling's maid showing up in the courtyard of Princely Heir of Commandery Prince Li.
"Second Young Lady, how...how can you explain this?" Honored Consort Ya sighed and asked lightly. She asked maids to pick up the painting and deliver it to Madam Dowager.
Madam Dowager gritted her teeth tightly. She could feel her blood gushing from her chest and almost coming out from her mouth. She couldn't speak a word with her face turning red. She hated her beloved granddaughter who had humiliated Lord Protector's Manor and embarrassed her. She wanted to slap Ning Yuling now.
No... It was wrong. How could it be? It was Ning Xueyan! That bitch!
"What a bold man! Who are you? How dare you intrude into the Honored Consort Ya's Party?" The rebuke could be heard, coming from outside.
Ning Xueyan's face turned dark. She couldn't help grasping her handkerchief. Seeing Ning Yuling in a panic, she turned her surprise into complacency. And her eyes were dark as the black jade and profound as the sea.