The Soothsayer’s tone struck Qin Yining in an odd way. She didn’t know if the priestess knew of her animosity with Anari. Regardless, whatever would the khan think if she heard that her destiny was similar to the princess consort’s?
Anari was a sensitive sort and highly strung when it came to Siqin, keeping a very close eye on her husband. Qin Yining felt nothing for the man and had never tried to approach him, but that in itself was already sufficient fodder for wild speculations from the khan. What would happen to all the delusions of seduction plots once the Soothsayer’s words were thrown into the mix?
The priestess was renowned for her accuracy in divining the futures of others.
Qin Yining furrowed her brow and looked thoughtfully at the other woman, meeting Mu Jinghu’s eyes by accident. He smiled apologetically at her.
Anari reacted just as the princess consort expected. Her face sank and she growled, “It’s quite rare to meet another with the same destiny as this kahn. I hail from noble origins and knew what my future held even when I was a babe. Does the Faithful Princess Consort of the First Rank feel the same way?”
Qin Yining responded with a smile that irked her captor. “I naturally cannot measure up to the khan. Not everyone shares a fate with the mandate of heaven.”
The Soothsayer looked merrily at the princess consort, then cast a glance at Anari’s belligerent assessment. “This humble nun is never wrong. The two of you have a similar destiny—your childhoods are difficult, but you later see an eruption of accumulated fortune. Both of you are destined to marry true men with talent in both the martial and civil subjects.”
Anari’s eyes moved rapidly back and forth, more paranoia sprouting when she looked at Siqin beside her. Given the Soothsayer’s words, there was a very real possibility for something to develop between Qin Yining and Siqin, right?
This was a persistent fear that weighed on Anari’s mind. She knew that her looks didn’t hold a candle to Qin Yining’s, and that all men loved beautiful women. Ever since Siqin returned to her with the princess consort in tow, he’d never treated her with the same gentle tenderness that he’d always shown her. They’d grown up together, but it would appear that she didn’t occupy nearly the same position in his heart as the Great Zhou princess consort did.
She’d been thinking that Siqin favored Qin Yining’s looks, but now that she thought more about it, it was much more likely because of their similar destinies! Did Qin Yining mean to first take her consort and then her position?
Cold sweat broke out all over Anari’s body when her thoughts traveled here. Her pupils contracted violently when she met the priestess’ all-knowing gaze and the pity hidden within it. More fear, more anxiety.
No, she wouldn’t resign herself to death. She wouldn’t just wait for Qin Yining to steal everything from her!
Looking at Anari's expression, Qin Yining knew that the khan was completely barking up the wrong tree. The princess consort had met Priestess Liu back in Great Yan, and there seemed to be some sort of patron relationship between the priestess and prince. Why was she falsely incriminating Qin Yining now?
She really couldn’t fathom when she’d offended the Soothsayer and why these words were being uttered. Unfortunately, she had no control over what the priestess wished to say. She could only focus on the silver lining that all this was happening right in front of her. That was forewarning enough for preparations, so that sudden developments wouldn’t catch her off guard.
The Soothsayer lifted her tea cup and took a delicate sip, smiling so merrily that her eyes creased to slits in her round face. No one could clearly identify the emotions in her eyes.
“Servants,” summoned Anari. “Escort the princess consort back to her quarters. She’s tired.”
“Understood.” Qin Yining’s maid answered and hauled her up on her feet.
Mu Jinghu took a worried step forward when he saw the princess consort forcefully tugged away, but a singular glance from his master stopped him in his tracks.
The corner of Qin Yining’s eye caught the man’s movements, putting her more at ease. At least Mu Jinghu still cared about her safety, which meant that his relationship with Pang Xiao hadn’t soured. Perhaps she could ask the man for help in the future.
The eyesore removed, Anari smiled at the Soothsayer. “Is the priestess free today to join me in a walk?”
Simply dressed and not in the mood to chat, Siqin rose as well. “Enjoy your walk, khan, I will take my leave as I happen to have some duties to attend to.”
Anari nodded with a smile, but still didn't want to let her husband leave on his own. She looked meaningfully at a follower, who followed the khan consort out of the hall.
“Honored priestess, I understood what you said earlier. Is it true that Qin and I have the same destinies?”
“Naturally,” the Soothsayer responded amiably. “This humble nun has read the faces of many people and never made a mistake. Does the khan not trust me?”
“Of course I do.” Anari was quick to reassure. “The futures you divined for Li Qitian, Ji Zeyu, and Pang Xiao were very accurate, and so were your lots casted for the khan consort. How would I doubt you? It’s just that I must exercise more caution when it comes to my happiness for a lifetime.”
“This humble nun understands the khan. You and your consort are very much in love and don’t wish for the intrusion of a third party.” The priestess smiled warmly at this, like she was a benevolent elder.
Anari bobbed her head rapidly. “You are very right, honored priestess. We share a love that stems from our youth and only made it to today through supporting each other all this time. I really don’t want any unpleasantness to develop between us, and don’t wish for there to be anyone else in his eyes.”
“But the destinies of people are laid down by heaven. Though your origins are noble, you hardly have a unique destiny. It’s one thing if two people with similar destinies are physically separated, but if they meet… who knows who will end with all the good fortune?
“In this humble nun’s view, though the khan and princess consort are born of different stature and countries, and are different ages, your paths of fate when it comes to the khan consort are exceedingly similar.”
“So, that means Qin might very possibly take my husband away from me?!” Anari stared wildly with outrage, gnashing her teeth. “My husband is wholeheartedly devoted to me and our relationship is something that no outsider can ever intervene in. If there really is such a day, then it’s Qin trying to seduce my husband!”
The Soothsayer shook her head with a smile. “You’re going off on a tangent, noble khan, née Qin isn’t frivolously wanton like that.”
“Are you defending her?”
“Not at all, great khan, this humble nun is just speaking the truth. However, though née Qin isn’t licentious like that, her looks are an original sin. She may not take action, but others will approach her of their own accord.”
“So you meant that the consort will like her??” Anari shot to her feet, staring anxiously at the Soothsayer, but received no response in return.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Friggin'... the Soothsayer just condemned her to death, no?