Chapter 353: With Swords Unsheathed and Bows Drawn

Qin Yining couldn’t be bothered spending another second dawdling in this ludicrous farce. She whirled and left, Xianyun hastily coming forward with Qin Yining’s cape and Jiyun helping her over the door threshold.

Li Helan was shaking in her fury and roared, “Servants, take her!”


The princess’ bodyservants instantly sprang into action and surrounded Qin Yining and her maids. They would pounce as soon as Li Helan gave the order.

Any ordinary girl would be quailing at the sight of so many unfriendly guards and servants circling them in unfamiliar territory. But Qin Yining was an old hat at life-threatening scenes. She naturally wouldn’t cower or tremble like any typical noble daughter.

She turned back calmly, looking at the princess with a supercilious smile. Her tone was mild, as if discussing what to eat for dinner, but the edge in her words glinted keenly.

“Princess of Anyang, I’m here today due to Madame Lu holding a banquet. My entire family saw the invitation, so is it really appropriate for you to act like this, in a banquet that someone else is hosting? The Qins won’t easily let things go if I lose so much as a single hair here. Or are you actually acting on behalf of an imperial decree?”

The words of ‘imperial decree’ jabbed most deeply into Li Helan’s greatest fear!

The princess knew that her happiness depended on Li Qitian’s favor; thus she never defied her royal brother’s will. Just as she had with her marriage, only in obeying Li Qitian would she find stability and happiness.

The empress dowager had once privately told Li Helan that it was a given the emperor would make heavy use of the Qins. He needed to rope in the Great Yan faction. If she really erupted in all-out hostilities with their fourth miss today and Li Qitian misunderstood her for it, there would be no happiness in her future!

The princess was both fearful and infuriated, but didn’t dare give the order to take down Qin Yining. Incensed glaring was all she could settle for.

Having spent many years hunting, Qin Yining never backed down even when faced with hungry wolves, much less a spoiled brat of a princess.

“The Princess of Anyang would be well served with reflecting over your own deeds. Even if you don’t think doing all this behind Prince Consort Ji’s back is breaking the rules, you should consider the matter of imperial dignity.”

This was insulting Li Helan for not keeping to the principles of a married woman and cheating on her husband!

Enflamed cheeks burning like mad, the princess pointed a shaking finger with red nail polish at Qin Yining. She shrilled, “Who the hell do you think you are?! How dare you try to teach me a lesson!?”

“There’s always bound to be someone who smooths over a bumpy road. I’m just indignant on the prince consort’s behalf. Besides, why be so angry if you’re not feeling guilty?”

Roused to new heights of fury, Li Helan was about to shriek back when Madame Lu raised a hand.

She’d been quietly enjoying the show but rose at this time, pushing aside the beautiful twins who wanted to support her. The banquet host sashayed slowly down the stairs, an unadorned hand caressing the golden hairpins stuck in her hair.

“Does Miss Qin plan on making an enemy out of the Lus?” she jeered.

“Madame Lu represents the entire Lu clan?” exclaimed a surprised Qin Yining.

The singular question jabbed painfully at the madame’s weakness. Her face turned beet red and she screeched after a long moment, “Even your father or the Faithful Prince of the First Rank needs to mind their manners and behavior in front of my family. Who the hell are you to throw your weight around in my territory?? You’re just a broken, discarded toy. How dare you think you’re superior and innocent!? I invited you here today to give you face. You won’t turn it down if you know what’s good for you!”

The Qin fourth miss almost burst out laughing.

She could never bother arguing with fools—that was what, well, fools did. 

“Oh? So Madame Lu can represent the entirety of the Lu clan? Does your family know about your all-encompassing abilities?”

“How dare you! You refuse a toast only to be forced into a forfeit! I’ll have them force it down your throat!” The madame jabbed a finger back at the beautiful male selection, her intentions quite clear.

If Qin Yining didn’t back down and submit, the madame would force her into enjoying the ‘hospitality’.

The Qin fourth miss narrowed her eyes, frosty glares leveled in all directions to stab into onlookers like arrows of ice. “I’ll even lend you some courage. Why don’t you try it!?”

She’s not afraid of even this?!

Is she a woman or not??

“You…” Madame Lu’s lips trembled from rage, unable to say a word for the longest time.

She really didn’t dare do anything to Qin Yining. If anything serious happened, that'd be at complete odds with what her family wanted to do.

She’d been able to invite the Qin fourth miss here today because she’d heard that the family patriarch wanted to strike up a friendly relationship with Qin Huaiyuan. Even if they weren’t in the same faction in the future, a friendly relationship was preferable to animosity.

But to think this girl, who normally looked quiet and biddable, would be so intimidating when she decided to bare her teeth!

Bored by everything, Qin Yining turned and carelessly thrust a granny servant out of her way, leaving with Xianyun and Jiyun.

The granny servant snuck a peek at the wordless Madame Lu and Princess of Anyang. Reading the situation, she directed the other servants and guards to back off to the side. Even if they were part of the princess’ household, they would still come in for their share of punishment if something went wrong.

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