Chapter 649 Mysterious Madam Wu Yao
It took a long time for Xia Yuhang to compose himself after Wen Xueran left. He walked back to the backyard calmly to meet his mother. Mrs. Xia let out a sigh of relief after hearing that Wen Xueran was gone. Xia Manor had fallen, and if their family was dragged into a rebellion, they would be damned.
Everyone in Xia Manor, including Mrs. Xia, was like a bird that would be easily startled by a mere twang of a bow.
After calming down his mother, Xia Yuhang returned to his study and ordered a maid working there to visit Madam Wu Yao with an invitation under Mrs. Xia’s name.
The invitation soon reached Wu Yao.
Wu Yao was an alluring woman, seemingly only in her early thirties. Though she was not exactly young, she took such good care of herself that she still carried an elegant charm. She had a pretty face too. She picked up the invitation and read it. Then, without taking anyone with her, she headed for the side door in the back.
The side door was usually under the supervision of an older female servant. Upon seeing Wu Yao by herself, she immediately opened the door. She locked the door after Wu Yao went in, sat on her stool, and looked around warily.
The servant belonged to Grand Tutor Ya’s manor, not Wu Yao’s manor.
The side door didn’t lead to the side door of Grand Tutor Ya’s Manor, but a small courtyard. The courtyard was remote, but not secluded.
Wu Yao had just come out of a closet when she found herself pulled into a pair of solid arms. She heard a chuckle in her ears. “Babe, you’re finally here. I’ve sent several letters to you. I’ve been waiting for a long time but didn’t see you. You’ve kept me waiting.”
A hint of resentment crossed Wu Yao’s eyes but she immediately put on a smile. She pushed the man’s hands away and teased, “Don’t do this, Brother-in-law. I have important business with the Grand Tutor.”
She seemed to be flirting with him rather than really pushing him away, seducing the man even further. He felt soft all over. Not caring about her words, he pulled Wu Yao’s clothes with an increasingly lewd smile. “Leave that for later. I’ve been waiting for you for a long time. If you didn’t show up when you did, I would have ignored my father’s words and looked for you directly.”
While speaking, the man tore her belt away with impatience and force.
“Brother-in-law, it’s a letter from Prince Xiang. It’s urgent. We can’t delay it.” Wu Yao had always looked down on her playboy brother-in-law, but she was no saint either. They had been having an affair for a long time.
Though he had fallen for her charm, their affair was also the result of Grand Tutor Ya’s strict supervision of his son. Grand Tutor Ya knew that his son was useless and didn’t have high hopes for him. Even so, he refused to let his son ruin things for him and Ao Mingyu, so his son wasn’t allowed to do anything that would harm Grand Tutor Ya’s Manor in the slightest.
When Grand Tutor Ya’s son met his charming sister-in-law, he immediately fell hard for her.
His sister-in-law was a vixen compared to Ya Moqin’s mother. She was exactly his cup of tea.
His only complaint was that he couldn’t do anything to his sister-in-law even when she was living in their manor. He knew that his father wouldn’t let him off otherwise.
Therefore, even if he was a good-for-nothing playboy, he let go of her helplessly after hearing that she had a letter from the Third Prince. He was under his father’s strict watch and knew that it was an important matter. Stretching out a hand and muttering helplessly, he said, “Where’s the letter? Give it to me.”
Wu Yao straightened her clothes before retrieving the letter from her bosom and giving it to him. He took the letter and scanned it briefly before turning around and leaving. His father must be waiting for this letter at this time, so he didn’t dare to delay. The situation in the palace was always changing at the drop of a hat. Even his sister was imprisoned at the moment.
Though he was just a playboy of Grand Tutor Ya’s Manor, he could still tell how critical this moment was.
If his nephew couldn’t become the Emperor, their manor would lose much of its splendor.
He couldn’t be bothered to seek pleasure with Wu Yao anymore. He rushed forward with the letter in hand. Grand Tutor Ya’s study was just right ahead. There was a good reason that the study was built there.
The powerful Grand Tutor Ya was sitting inside the study, muttering to himself as he read a document.
Hearing the knock on the door, he saw his son rushing in. He put down the document in his hand.
“Father, Prince Xiang sent you a letter.”
“Bring it here.” Grand Tutor Ya nodded. It was about time that Prince Xiang started taking action, he thought. He had been waiting for it ever since he received news that Prince Xiang was awake.
“Yes.” His son presented the letter respectfully.
Grand Tutor Ya picked up the letter and read it. His expression turned solemn. The letter was from Xia Yuhang, but he expressed that his intention was also Ao Mingyu’s intention.
“How is Qin’er doing?”
“Father, Qin’er is still being locked up. I heard that she cried and made a fuss for a while, but she’s fine now. I think she’s repenting!”
The moment Ya Moqin returned after causing a scandal, Grand Tutor Ya sent someone to lock her up. Of course, Ya Moqin wasn’t the kind to stay quiet. Knowing that Grand Tutor Ya had always doted on her, she wept and caused a fuss in her courtyard like an unreasonable child. She was determined to see Ao Mingyu. Grand Tutor Ya had to reprimand her sternly and beat a few of her maids to death to regain peace in the manor.
“She used to be good friends with Commandery Princess Muling, right?” Grand Tutor Ya nodded.
The King of Yunnan’s daughter, Commandery Princess Muling, had been staying in the capital for a long time. She was on good terms with all the young ladies from the noble and powerful families in the capital. Ya Moqin’s status meant that she was destined to have known Commandery Princess Muling.
Grand Tutor Ya looked at the letter in front of him and felt his eyes twitch. Then, he said gently, “Tell Qin’er to come here. I’ll give her a chance.”
One wouldn’t tell from his expression that he was the current Grand Tutor of the court. He looked like a kind old man.
“Yes, Father.” His son didn’t dare to go against his words at all, even if he didn’t know why he had to tell Ya Moqin to come here.
Ning Xueyan wasn’t aware that Wen Xueran had returned to the capital. Though she was the Crown Princess, she continued to live peacefully in Prince Yi’s Manor. However, her peace had been shattered by an invitation.
Ning Xueyan frowned as she looked at the name on the invitation, her eyelashes fluttering. “Madam Wu Yao? The woman who Ning Qingshan met before?” she asked Xinmei. She once instructed Xinmei to investigate Ning Qingshan and learned that Ning Qingshan would never visit Grand Tutor Ya’s Manor directly. Instead, Ning Qingshan would visit Wu Manor, which was beside Grand Tutor Ya’s Manor.
“Madam Wu has a good reputation. She’s considered a role model to all noble madams in the capital. I heard that her husband used to be a scholar-official from the previous dynasty, but died for the country. She requested to leave her husband’s home, set up a new home with her dowry, and live independently. Even so, she continued to stay faithful to her late husband. Therefore, all the new nobles and nobles of the previous dynasty respect her.”
“Madam Wu used to be known as a talented lady before she got married and had the admiration of many scholars. She rarely associated herself with other madams, but her reputation spreads far and wide. It’s a surprise that she’d throw a poetry exchange at this time,” Xinmei said, sounding disdainful.
If her master hadn’t instructed her to investigate Madam Wu Yao, she would have thought that the latter was a chaste, faithful woman. It took further investigation for her to learn that Madam Wu Yao was simply angling for fame.
Madam Wu Yao made herself out to be a dignified woman but was in actuality the same kind of trash as Ning Qingshan. Both were hypocrites.
“Xinmei, do you think I should go?” Ning Xueyan leaned against the chair with a sneer. It seemed that Madam Wu Yao couldn’t hold back from targeting her anymore. Was it because of Ning Qingshan?
“You shouldn’t go, Master. You’re the Crown Princess now. That’s a whole other level from your status as Princess Yi before. Why should you get yourself involved in this troublesome matter? I think you should just kidnap her if you want to know what she’s up to. She’s just a hypocritical, pretentious woman.”
Xinmei never liked women like Ning Qingshan. She couldn’t help but persuade Ning Xueyan not to go.
In her opinion, her method was simple and rude, but most suitable for women like Wu Yao and Ning Qingshan.
“No, I’ll go. Since Madam Wu Yao, a woman with such a stellar reputation, is inviting me to attend her poetry exchange, I’ll look cowardly if I refuse.” Ning Xueyan smiled with an unreadable emotion in her eyes.
Poetry exchange? What a graceful name for a meeting. The whole affair was likely centered around elegance. If she were to embarrass herself at the poetry exchange, she would also taint Ao Chenyi’s reputation.
She was quite interested in meeting Wu Yao, whose voice was similar to Ya Moqin’s. Her mother had been the one to receive Wu Yao when the latter first arrived in Jiangnan. Her mother had treated Wu Yao like a sister and allowed the latter to stay in their manor for some time. That time coincided with her mother’s severe illness.
Even though Wu Yao left before her mother finally succumbed to illness, she refused to believe that Wu Yao was innocent in the matter.
Her mother had always been healthy when she was alive. In her opinion, even though her mother would mourn her father’s early demise, she would never succumb to her illness so quickly.
She remembered vividly that her mother had been well, except for some minor illness, when Wu Yao first arrived in Ning Manor. It was inexplicable how her mother’s health suddenly worsened at a speed visible to the naked eye. By the time Wu Yao left, her mother couldn’t even get up anymore.
Ning Xueyan had been good and kind in her previous life, so she never suspected anyone. In this life, however, she wouldn’t be so easily fooled.
She had planned to meet Wu Yao soon. Who knew that Wu Yao would reach out to her first? This was the perfect coincidence!
Wu Yao had always hidden behind Grand Tutor Ya for an unknown purpose, but it was evident that she was Grand Tutor Ya’s most helpful female aid. She wondered if Wu Yao would still be that sociable, cunning woman from before. Now that Ning Qingshan was ruined, Wu Yao was unlikely to be patient anymore…