On the snow-covered street, pedestrians were all in a hurry with their clothes wrapped tightly.
An inconspicuous carriage hoofed through the snow. Two bodyguards in green and three or four nannies followed the carriage on foot. It looked like some womenfolk of a normal wealthy family were going out.
Some passersby checked the carriage occasionally and then looked away apathetically.
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Inside the carriage, Su He said excitedly, “Your Grace, you are really resourceful. You managed to make the Prince family agree to let you go to the General’s Mansion. Now we are out and will never go back!”
“How is that possible?” Mrs. Zhou was about to say this. Seeing Qiu Yelan looked more relaxed than she was in Prince’s Mansion, she managed to keep those words to herself.
However, Qiu Yelan said it herself, “That’s not possible. I have an engagement. How can I live at Ruan Family forever?” Besides, the best-case scenario was that grandfather, General Ruan, lived for one more year or so.
Ruan Family didn’t have any womenfolk. Once grandfather died, only step cousin Ruan Qingyan left. Unless he married, she couldn’t go there anymore.
Hearing Qiu Yelan mentioned her engagement, worries in Mrs. Zhou’s looks thickened. She was afraid to dampen Qiu Yelan’s spirits. She looked away and said nothing.
“What kind of person is Deng Yi?” Finally, Qiu Yelan asked about this.
Mrs. Zhou said with bitterness, “He is Duke of Guangyang’s nephew. Empress Dowager felt sorry for him for losing his father at a young age. So, she rewarded him with a level six title Fortitude Commandant. However, he got the Xiucai (students of the metropolitan) title with a good rank two years ago. If he can get the Jinshi (graduates of the metropolitan and the palace state exam) title, Empress Dowager will definitely put him in an important position.”
Hearing this she thought if this man wasn’t up to the point where he liked men too much to endure women, he would make a good husband.
However, if he hadn’t been like that, how could those people from the Prince’s Mansion would have decided to marry Qiu Yelan to him?
Qiu Yelan said with surprise, “Why does Empress Dowager treat him so nicely?”
“His mother is Empress Dowager’s niece and also Duke of Guangyang’s half-sister,” Mrs. Zhou sighed and comforted her, “Maybe he is not like what the rumor says...otherwise, why did he agree to get married? Isn’t it?”
It turned out that Duke of Guangyang was a member of Empress Dowager’s maiden home. Qiu Yelan nodded thoughtfully. Former owner of this body didn’t know all these. She had to find out herself.
“Hope I can find a way to break off the engagement this time I go to Ruan Family,” Qiu Yelan thought, “Although someone says that love between the same gender is true love, gay’s wife is pathetic. I don’t want to be the victim!”
Suddenly, with a bang sound, the carriage flipped over violently.
“What’s wrong?” Three people in the carriage almost got thrown out. They grabbed the crosspiece at the back of the carriage and asked.
“Your Grace, my fault. Ditch at the side of the road is filled with the heavy snow. I didn’t see clearly and let the carriage fall into it,” The carter’s voice came from outside. He apologized. But there was no fear in his tone, “Your Grace, please get off the carriage first. Let me and the bodyguards drag the carriage out.”
Su He said angrily, “How can you be so careless? We don’t have our veil hats with us.”
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“Your Grace, please hurry. Otherwise, the carriage will flip over even more. I can’t afford if you get hurt,” The carter was Madame Lu’s man. Of course, he wasn’t afraid of Su He. Now he was clearly gloating, “Besides, there are only few people on the road. Everyone is trying to get home as soon as possible. Who will have time to stare at Your Grace?”
Qiu Yelan stopped Su He from quarreling with the carter and harrumphed, “They have already searched once before we went out. Still worried?” Knowing the character of the people in the Prince’s Mansion, it was weird that they didn’t come up with anything on the road.
Three of them put on their fur coats and got off the carriage. The carter put on a fake smile and said, “Your Grace, you are overthinking it.”
Qiu Yelan didn’t want to talk to him. There was no Yulu Ointment in the carriage. She walked a little further away from the carriage with Su He and Mrs. Zhou and let those nannies search using help as excuses.
However, those people were either eager to make contributions or not willing to give up. Just one of the wheels stuck in the ditch. A group of people couldn’t lift it up in a long time. Su He was afraid that Qiu Yelan might be frozen. She urged them a few times. They found a lot of excuses to prevaricate. It looked like they must find the Yulu Ointment.
“Don’t mind them. Let’s build a snowman,” Qiu Yelan said with a cold smile, “They have to get us there within today, haven’t they?”
Su He pouted at first. Then she saw Qiu Yelan making a snow ball that triggered her inner childishness. She stopped being angry and built the snowman with her excitedly.
A carriage stopped beside them suddenly when they just finished building the outline. A clear voice came from the carriage, “Young lady, do you need a hand?”
Qiu Yelan was held in a trance and then looked at the carriage. The carriage curtain was tightly closed. But the carriage was big and gorgeous. Beautiful patterns were carved on the wheels. A group of armed bodyguards followed the carriage. Judging by the look, the man inside the carriage was not normal. Then she said, “Thank you. It’s not a big deal. It’s just my carriage flipped over back there. I am just passing time by building a snowman while the servants are getting it out.”
People in the carriage seemed to have a discussion in low voices. The former clear voice said, “Xu Hu, you take a few men and go to the back. Get that carriage out.”
One of the bodyguards behind the carriage answered right away. He took a few men and turned their horses around.
Qiu Yelan thanked them in a hurry.
The clear voice said with a laugh, “Just a small thing. It’s cold and you are young. Don’t be frozen.” Then he asked who she was.
They just helped and Qiu Yelan’s identity was not a secret. She said that she was Commandery Princess Ningyi of Prince’s Mansion of Xihe.
Who knew that just after she said that, a man’s voice came from the carriage, “New Year is about to come. Commandery Princess Ningyi goes out in plain clothes. Are you going to the General’s Mansion?”
Qiu Yelan didn’t know what he meant and said yes.
The carriage curtain was open. A man in a gorgeous outfit with a book in his hand appeared. This man had white and clean skin. His nose was straight and his lips were thin. He looked at her meaningfully with his long and narrow eyes. It looked like he wanted to say something. But after a while, he just smiled and said, “Your carriage should be out of the ditch. Hurry up. Don’t get frozen on the road.”
Qiu Yelan thanked him and walked towards her carriage with Mrs. Zhou and Su He. When she thought that man might not be able to hear her, she asked Mrs. Zhou who had a strange look on her face, “Do you know that man?”
“... He... he is the Young Prince of Duke of Guangyang!” Mrs. Zhou said with a pale face.
Seeing Qiu Yelan’s enlightened look, Mrs. Zhou was afraid she might misunderstand. She sighed and said in a low voice, “It’s said that Young Master Deng and Ruan Qingyan are... However, Deng likes... both men and women.”
It turned out to be a rival in love!
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