Real Empress from a Noble Family Chapter 27 - Destroying His Future!

Chapter 27 Destroying His Future!

Qiu Yelan was calm, “I can’t go. First, I’m still in the mourning period for my mother. How can I go out and be a guest, let alone in the first lunar month? It would be trouble for you. Second, my grandfather is still in bed. How can I enjoy the festival myself and forget my grandfather’s need of being looked after?”

“No wonder Her Majesty says Your Grace is filial and reasonable,” Nijin said smiling. She implied that Gu Yan and Mrs. Gu were so silly as to invite her to their home and be unaware that she was still in the mourning period and she had a seriously ill grandfather to look after.

As they were chatting, they went out of the gate of the Palace. Nijin helped Qiu Yelan get off the sedan with Su He.

Gu Yan had been jeered at for several times. His face under the veil hat was as cold as frost but he still showed no intent to leave. He clasped his hands behind his back and staring at Qiu Yelan with a deep look behind the veil.

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However, neither Qiu Yelan nor Nijin cared for his existence. Nijin knew that Qiu Yelan was invited to the Palace by Empress Dowager. Seeing she only took one maid Su He with her and worried that it would be inconvenient for her to return, Nijin wanted to get her a carriage. But Qiu Yelan had sharp eyes and had seen on the shafts of the carriage, Ruan Qingyan in his open-fronted robe ordering the driver to come, so she declined Nijin’s offer.

“Please go back, Nijin. The snow is heavy. Thank you for walking me so far,” Qiu Yelan secretly tucked another packet prepared by Ruan Qingyan into Nijin’s sleeve.

“It’s my pleasure,” Nijin pinched it and found it like nothing inside, so she knew there were silver notes. And if exchanged them into silver tael or gold tael, the small packet wouldn’t fit. She was content inside and the smile on her face was blooming, “That’s so kind of you.”

While they were talking, Ruan Qingyan came near. Nijin thought it would be no problem as Ruan Qingyan was near and around them, the guards were watching. Also, she was a favorite of Empress, so she didn’t need to show more hospitality either to Qiu Yelan or Ruan Qingyan—what she had done was enough. Thus, when Qiu Yelan asked her to return again, she turned around to stepped into the Palace gate.

As soon as Nijin’s figure disappeared into the gate, Ruan Qingyan came near. He jumped off the carriage and saw Qiu Yelan’s clothes were neat and her face was calm, which indicated everything was okay. He felt relieved inside him and handed her a small, delicate copper hand warmer with a smile, “You are here. Get on the carriage. It’s too windy here.”

Reminding her was not enough. He quickly took off his open-fronted robe and put it on her.

Qiu Yelan was about to say something, when Gu Yan next to her said suddenly, “Is this Young Master Ruan?”

“My name is Ruan Qingyan. May I know your name?” Ruan Qingyan had seen Gu Yan when he was coming, but he saw Qiu Yelan only talked with the maid who walked her out and paid no attention to Gu Yan. He thought the two didn’t know each other and thus the first thing to do was to make sure his cousin was warm. He had no time to talk to him.

Now Gu Yan said to him first. Seeing his clothes and the guards behind him, Ruan Qingyan knew he was of no ordinary origin and responded politely.

Watching him, Gu Yan gave an implicit smile, “Young Master Ruan is so good-looking!”

Qiu Yelan was frightened by his words!

Gu Yan continued to introduce himself, “I’m Gu Yan and my father is Duke of Guangyang.”

As Empress Dowager’s grandnephew, Gu Yan’s name was known in the capital City’s nobles. Ruan Qingyan, who was ambitious and even asked a famous courtesan to help him make the acquaintance of the higher class, certainly knew him.

Especially according to what he and Qiu Yelan discussed, he thought this time she went into the Palace was to seek refuge with Empress Dowager. Although he wondered why his cousin ignored Gu Yan, he still treated with enough courtesy and made a fist and palm salute, “Young Master Gu, nice to meet you!”

Before his voice died away, his sleeve was pulled by Qiu Yelan, “Cousin, grandpa is expecting us home! Shall we leave now?”

Ruan Qingyan was surprised for a minute, but he soon understood her hint and gave up the intention to keep on talking with Gu Yan. He made another polite but distant fist and palm salute, “My grandfather is waiting for us to come back home and we have to hurry. Hoping to get your understanding!”

“It’s alright,” Gu Yan was also polite. Behind his veil, his smile was strange, “Please go. Give General Ruan my regards. Speaking of this, it’s a blessing for old General Ruan to have a grandson as handsome as you are. But I wonder why there is always a gloomy taint on your face, which really pains me!”

The more he praised Ruan Qingyan’s look, the paler Qiu Yelan’s face became. Now by his saying “pains”, she was terrified! She almost forced Ruan Qingyan on the carriage with a hard dragging.

“What’s the matter?” Ruan Qingyan asked urgently when the carriage left the gate and after he pulled up the curtain to see no one around, “Isn’t Gu Yan Empress Dowager’s grandnephew?”

Qiu Yelan sighed, “Empress Dowager asked Deng Yi to take some people with him and come to me. They almost killed me and Su He!” While she said this, Su He had removed the silk handkerchief on her neck and showed the horrible bruise.

Ruan Qingyan’s pupils contracted immediately and he grasped Qiu Yelan’s wrist.

Qiu Yelan was shocked by his sudden act. She looked at him with fear but saw his face was serious. He put two fingers on her wrist pulse for a while and gave out a relieved breath, “Are you alright?”

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“I’m good,” Qiu Yelan knew that most imperial exam candidates have some medical knowledge and was not surprised at his quick but right judgment through feeling her pulse, “That’s why I have to stand by the Empress’ side.”

Ruan Qingyan relaxed his face obviously and nodded, “Empress Jiang is a good choice, better than Empress Dowager Gu.”

Qiu Yelan sighed, “But you may be schemed against because of me!”

“You mean Gu Yan?” Ruan Qingyan smiled, “With the Empress there, he can’t do anything easily and openly, let alone I can protect myself.”

Seeing Ruan Qingyan was so calm, Qiu Yelan was silent for a moment and said in the end, “Gu Yan... He likes man! What he just said....”

Gu Yan liked both men and women. He and his cousin liked each other and looked like a couple. It was not a secret in Jing City, or else Mrs. Zhou would not know at all.

Ruan Qingyan looked handsome, carried a melancholy temperament and had an identity as the inheriting grandson in a declined General’s Mansion. If in her last life, the people who strongly wished he and Gu Yan were a couple could not be more.

Although there were not so many insane guys in this life, with the power of Gu Yan, he didn’t really have to do anything to Ruan Qingyan. As long as he privately implies that there was an affair between them, it was enough to destroy Ruan Qingyan!

In particular, the Ruan family was now in a state of decline. If thinking for the worse, some people might suspect that Ruan Qingyan wanted to get an advantage from Gu Yan with his good look!

Even though Ruan Qingyan was brilliant and knowledgeable, with this reputation, no matter how good his article would be in the examination, it would leave a bad impression on the examiner. How could there be any hope of passing the exam? Taking 10,000 steps back, even if he passed, what about the future? Such a bad stain would be a stumbling block in his career!

This scheme of Gu Yan was so extremely vicious!

Qiu Yelan was in a heavy mood. Ruan Qingyan was not only the closest relative she could rely on, but in these days, his meticulous care and support had accumulated feelings in her heart, even if she still had some doubts.

Now, because of her, her cousin, who was supposed to have a bright future, was facing the threat of ruining his fame. Thinking about this, she couldn’t wait to kill Gu Yan directly at the Palace gate!

However, Ruan Qingyan comforted her with an air of self-assurance, “The clear one is clear, the turbid one is turbid. Now that it’s not a secret that Gu Yan likes men, even if he says some rumor, what else can he actually do to me? At most, the rumor will be spread among the common people. But I don’t live among them!”

“But the exam...” Qiu Yelan’s words were interrupted by him, “Master Xue has always been known for his fairness and rigor! If not, how could he have been neutral for so many years in the struggle for power between the Empress and the Empress Dowager? How could he be easily blinded? After I pass the exam and become his disciple, even if Gu Yan wants to stigmatize me, he has to think twice!”

This was true. Xue Chang was an important minister. Certainly, both the Empress and the Empress Dowager hoped to have him as a supporter. And the reason why he could be neutral for so many years, in addition to sufficient status and methods, must be his integrity. Otherwise, he would be caught for something and joined one camp long ago. In a situation of even rivalry, the neutral party had always been the most difficult. It was impossible to handle it without real ability.

In this case, of course, Gu Yan should not offend his disciple. Otherwise, Xue Chang would lose face. In worse situation, he might be forced to support the Empress Jiang, which Empress Dowager Gu absolutely would not want and allow to happen.

Of course, there was a premise for this beautiful vision, that is, Ruan Qingyan could withstand all the open and secret attacks of Gu Yan from now to the imperial examination in spring and he’d better get Xue Chang’s recognition.

The problem was that however fair Xue Chang was, what his integrity could do was restricted within the examination room. In terms of power, Ruan Qingyan couldn’t compare to the Duke of Guangyang. No matter how strictly Xue Chang supervised the examination, if Ruan Qingyan couldn’t enter the examination room, it was all useless.

There were still two months before the exam....

Qiu Yelan suggested, “Cousin, don’t stay in General’s Mansion. How about going somewhere else and studying without distraction for some days?” They couldn’t go against him but had to hide from him.

However, Ruan Qingyan shook his head, “My grandfather needs me to take care of.” In private, he did not need to take care of General Ruan directly because no one would know from the outside, but he must stay in the General’s House!

Because General Ruan now only had Ruan Qingyan as the grandson. Not taking care of his grandfather because of the exam was a big disobedience against filial piety. If it was revealed, even if he became a Jinshi, this title would definitely be removed from him, even if he became an official!

“I’ll take care of him!” Qiu Yelan said, “I have made some trouble to the Prince’s Mansion of Xihe, and now I can’t go back without preparation....”

She didn’t finish talking, but the carriage stopped. A cold voice came from outside the carriage, “Your Grace, you are finally here. Something happened in the Prince’s Mansion. Please go back quickly!”

Qiu Yelan and Ruan Qingyan frowned at the same time. Although this voice was strange to them, they knew that the owner was a servant of the Prince’s Mansion of Xihe—as the saying went, “Speak of the devil and he shall appear.” This also suggested that it was an illusion of Qiu Yelan to think the people from the Prince’s Mansion of Xihe had no time to pick up her back.

She motioned for Dong Ran to lift the curtain a little, and saw a butler in his thirties, with a horse, standing glumly beside the shaft of the carriage and saying coldly, “The Lord and Lady are both waiting for you. Please go back with me. It’s Spring Festival. Though old General Ruan is lonely, but your last name is Qiu. Shouldn’t that the Qiu Family come first?”

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