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Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 286 - Sister Complex? (1)
Just like that, Princess Pengyue shocked everyone by choosing the second prince. The empress would do the wedding planning and a good date was selected.
Today was the day that Ning Mingjie was leaving the capital with the army. Although he wasn't the commander of the army, as the assisting general, he also needed to make a ceremonial vow before departing.
On the military training ground, Ning Yuxuan was quietly standing behind the emperor and between the first prince and the third prince. Ning Mingjie was standing in the army procession. Along with a group of soldiers, he raised his sword to the Heavens and vowed, "With the blood flowing in my veins, I will guard my country. I will not return until the enemy has been defeated! Our swords will be stained by the blood of a thousand enemies before we return to the capital!"
With a faint smile, the third prince looked at the men on field. Han De was the commander of this army. This was a young general that he had personally promoted, and Consort Han's older brother. The assistant generals were Ning Mingjie and Chen Bozhong. Surely, the meritorious credit for a victorious battle was already in the bag for him. When the time comes, the first prince would no longer be able to compete with him.
Zhao Zhe stayed silent and quietly looked at Chen Bozhong.
On the surface, the army was leaving the capital to protect the country. But, underneath, it symbolized the struggle between the princes. Right now, Ning Yuxuan should be figuring out a plan for the first prince. And yet, he was lost in his thoughts.
"Who are you really?"
"I'm just me. I'm Ji Man. The character Ji is from huaji (flowering season), and the character man is from jiman (graceful, soft and beautiful season). My English name is Ji Man too."
Early on, he had already considered the idea that the current Nie Sangyu wasn't the same as the original one. But, she had been able to clearly and easily say their shared memories. Another person wouldn't have known about these moments. Besides, Liu-mama had previously been keeping a close watch over her. It had to be impossible for her to have been replaced by someone else while she was so closely watched, right?
And yet, when he had used the pear wine, which had contained a difficult to find hallucinogenic herb, to test her, she had actually said, she was Ji Man.
Who was Ji Man? Why did she look the same as Nie Sangyu? He had touched her face. It wasn't fake. She even had the birthmark behind her neck that Nie Qingyun had describe. What was going on?
Could it be that Nie Sangyu was possessed by a demon?
He had avoided her for a long time. He had thought about inviting a monk over, but he didn't have the heart to do so. He didn't like people that he had no way to control. And, he didn't know what she was planning on doing or why she had come here. To avoid her gradually adversely influencing him or ruining a major event, he should kill her now.
His fingers slightly drew together. Marquis Moyu raised his head and met the first prince's gaze.
Watching him, Zhao Zhe slightly narrowed his eyes and asked, "Yuxuan, are your household matters taking too much of your attention?"
Secretly feeling as if his heart had frozen for a moment, Marquis Moyu lightly smiled and said, "How could that be? There's not much going on in my home."
In a low voice, Zhao Zhe said, "I heard that your oldest child is almost one year old, but I don't even have one child myself."
"Your Highness, if you want a child, you can just let your princess consort give birth to a child." Ning Yuxuan turned his face away. "Yuxuan has recently been busy with reassigning people for the Six Ministries and hasn't had time to care about the children in my household."
"Really..." Zhao Zhe smiled and said, "Once everything is done, you'll be able enjoy watching your children running around you and living out the rest of your life peacefully."
A small amount of sweat had gathered in his palms. The vow ceremony had ended, and the soldiers were sorting things out and preparing to leave for the battlefield. Ning Yuxuan pretended to feel unwell, boarded his carriage, and returned to his estate.
Ji Man had also finally returned from Nie Residence today. She hadn't seen Nie Qingyun during this visit either and had told a dependable servant girl to follow after him to see what exactly he was up to.
The two of them met as they were coming down from their respective carriages. Ji Man looked at Ning Yuxuan and slightly paused before deciding to walk forward and salute him.
However, the outcome was that damn person walked around her and headed towards the estate.
Ji Man's lips twitched. He was being too obvious with ignoring her. She had been right in his line of sight, but he had deliberately turned his head away and walked towards the estate.
This was truly intolerable. Ji Man immediately strode after him and grabbed his sleeve. "My lord."
Ning Yuxuan's body stiffened. He stopped walking, but he didn't turn his head to look at her. "What?"
Feeling angry, but also wanting to laugh, Ji Man simply used a handkerchief to wipe the corners of her eyes. Leaning against him, she said, "When our relationship was at it's best, my lord would always warmly ask me what's wrong. Now that your feelings have dimmed, you'll only curtly ask me "What?" with an unsmiling face. What exactly did this servant do wrong?
Marquis Moyu was silent for a long time. He finally looked at her and said, "I'm just busy. I didn't say that you did anything wrong."
Who was he trying to fool? Ji Man pressed her lips together, straightened her posture, and said, "My lord, regarding the inner court's account book, this servant needs to discuss it with you..."
In a low voice, Ning Yuxuan interrupted her, "Just hand that over to Ling-er. You've always been so busy, and now you have to help manage Mingjie's estate too. Just hand over management of the inner court to Ling-er."
Ji Man froze in shock.
Looking into the distance, Ning Yuxuan said in a very light voice, "I'm going to bring the children to a temple outside of the capital in a few days. Stay at home and watch over the estate."
Without any good reason, he was telling her that she had fallen out of his favor. Ji Man was at a loss. What had she done wrong for this man to treat her like this?
"I'm going to go see Xi-er now." As the beautiful silk robes brushed passed her, it brought a small breeze.
Standing in place, Ji Man seriously thought for a while. In the end, she could only conclude that Ning Yuxuan was in a bad mood from the male equivalent of PMSing.
Translator Ramblings: I think Ji Man was kind of close to death this chapter. Ning Yuxuan has been avoiding her because he views her as a threat that should be killed, but he doesn't want to do it. By stubbornly insisting to appear in front of him, she's unknowingly forcing him to make a decision soon instead of continuing to delay it. On the other hand, Ning Yuxuan doesn't seem like the type of person that would kill his wife or concubines.