C2 – First Step to Revenge

Proofread by Yin Jing

“You’re so undisciplined. Is the daughter of the Prime Minister so ill-bred?”

Yan Ling opens her eyes suddenly, and pats her chest in panic.

In her previous life, she was reprimanded by the Queen because she believed what Yan Shuang said and didn’t attend the banquet until an hour before noon. But Liang Yi, the Third Prince, stood up and helped her, which attracted her. Later, when she got up, she almost tripped over. Again he saved her out of embarrassment.

Liang Yi…

Yan Ling’s heart is full of hatred. After closing her eyes and taking a deep breath, she gets out of bed.

Qing’er, waiting behind the screen, hears the sound and comes quickly. She passes Yan Ling a cup of water. “Isn’t the banquet at noon? Why do you get up so early, my Lady?”

The day breaks. Yan Ling takes a sip of water and puts the cup down.

“… I’m hungry.”

Qing’er is stunned but then brings Yan Ling toilet articles.

“You’d better eat more, my Lady,” Qing’er serves Yan Ling breakfast after washing. “It’s still a long time before noon, and you can only eat little at the banquet.”

Looking at the much richer breakfast, Yan Ling nods slightly and tells Qing’er that she doesn’t need any service.

The banquet at 7 a.m. is approaching, how can she go there after having a lot of food? Yan Ling sneers, and stops eating after taking some porridge.

Taking a look at the bright sky, she walks out.

“Where are you going, my Lady? It’s just 7 a.m.” Qing’er says after hearing the door open. Yan Ling keeps walking and says calmly, “I’m going to wake up Yan Shuang.”

“Don’t!”

Yan Ling stops and glances at her with a fake smile. “Maids in Qiongxin Court are probably busy dressing Yan Shuang up. If I go there now, how can I not know when the banquet is held?” Yan Ling thinks.

She sneers and walks out the gate of her court, leaving Qing’er frightened and panic.

After about half an hour, Yan Shuang stares at Yan Ling, who has been there for a long time, in shock.

“You are here, my sister? I wanted to tell you earlier this morning that I had misremembered the time of the banquet…”

“Really?” Yan Ling pretends to be confused and asks, “The banquet you told me is at 7 a.m., isn’t it?”

Noticing the question in the Third Prince’s eyes, Yan Shuang forces a smile to change the subject and sits up straight, talking with Liang Yi quietly.

Yan Ling pretends not to notice it and turns to look at the Crown Prince who sits right across her. Compared with the jade-like Crown Prince, the Third Prince’s sight makes her feel like that she is being stared by a poisonous snake. How could she fall in love with Liang Yi in her previous life?! The hypocrite really makes her sick!

The Crown Prince notices that Yan Ling is looking at him and nods to her with a gentle smile.

Feeling nervous, Yan Ling hurriedly lowers her head and looks away. She is overwhelmed by guilt the moment their eyes met.

Nominally, the banquet is to welcome the spring, but actually it aims at picking mates for princes. The Queen carefully examines all the ladies of the aristocratic families, but her sight stays a little longer when she sees Yan Ling.

Yan Ling knows it’s because the Crown Prince appreciates her talent very much. In a trance, she sees him smiling and saying to her in a soft voice, “I’ve adored you for a long time…”

“Who can compose a poem in this beautiful spring day?” The grave voice of the Queen wakes Yan Ling up from her distraction, only to see Yan Shuang blinking at her.

It is true that she is famous for the talent among all the young ladies. The Queen is looking at her hopefully, and suddenly she understands.

The Queen is the mother of the Crown Prince, and thus what she actually means is that the Crown Prince wants to read her poem.

The fragrance of pear blossoms floods the banquet hall where Yan Ling takes writing brush and paper with a smile. All people are holding their breath and waiting for her poem.

“I’m finished.” Yan Ling looks up and sees the Queen waving to her.

Two burning glances suddenly fall on her. Yan Ling stands up with a calm face and steps toward the Queen with the poem on a paper roll in her hand.

“Ow!”

A scream rings out from the side, and the paper roll almost falls onto the floor. Shocked by the voice, Yan Ling immediately steps back and looks at Yan Shuang who screamed. “What’s the matter with you, my sister?”

Too much attention… Yan Shuang cannot speak out her suffering in this situation. She frowns and points to her leg.

Her leg, of course, is trampled by Yan Ling, but she will not admit it.

“Why did you stretch your legs in the aisle? Do you feel uncomfortable with the seat arrangement of Her Majesty?”

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The leg with some dust is quickly withdrawn. Yan Shuang stops Yan Ling from apologizing to the Queen, “How could that be possible? I just did not notice… Sorry that I have disturbed you all, and please forgive me, my Queen…”

Yan Ling sneers in her heart and pats Yan Shuang on the shoulder as if she were concerned about her sister. Then she turns around and gives the manuscript to the Queen.

Undoubtedly, the Queen praises her for her good poem and kindness to her sister.

This is to be expected. After all, no one sees Yan Shuang stretch out her leg, and no one sees her step on Yan Shuang. People just think that Yan Shuang is timid.

After returning to her seat, Yan Ling sees the gloomy face of the Third Prince and glaring eyes of Yan Shuang. She just sits down and eats quietly.

After a few quarters, it is time to enjoy flowers. Ignoring the leg ache, Yan Shuang pulls Yan Ling to a place where there are few people. “Isn’t Yuli Garden in the east?” Yan Ling asks while looking down at the tender green ground.

Taking Yan Ling’s arm, Yan Shuang smiles, “Pear blossoms are not worth appreciating. I know there’s a place where there are a lot of primroses. It’s really beautiful!”

Of course Yan Ling knows. She knows that there is a small pavilion where Liang Yi will say that he adores her.

Thinking about it, Yan Ling stops.

“Sister?” Yan Shuang is confused.

Looking at shifty-eyed Yan Shuang, Yan Ling withdraws her arm from Yan Shuang’s hands.

“You can go there alone. I prefer pear blossoms.”

After that, she is going back to Yuli Garden. But Yan Shuang comes up to Yan Ling quickly and says, biting her lips, “Sister, wait a minute! Actually, I bring you here because of Liang Yi… he’s waiting for you in the pavilion.”

Sure enough.

“I’ve never met His Highness before. How could he bother you to take a message for me?” Yan Ling stops walking with the confused look on her face.

Afraid of being seen, Yan Shuang takes Yan Ling’s hand and hides behind a tree. She smiles and says, “Sister, you are so talented and learned. Of course they adore you.”

“They?”

Yan Shuang tries to avoid eye contact with Yan Ling. She swallows nervously and forces a smile, “Nothing…”

Yan Ling cannot refuse after Yan Shuang tells her that it is the Third Prince’s invitation. After all, daughter of a lord has no right to refuse the invitation from royals.

Just when Yan Ling is thinking about an excuse, a maid comes over and curtsies to her.

“Good morning, My Ladies. The Crown Prince invites Lady Ling to go to Li (梨: Pear) Pavilion to appreciate poems.”

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Both of them are taken aback. When regaining her composure, Yan Shuang holds Yan Ling’s sleeve tightly.

It seems that something in her previous life is different now because of her rebirth and the change of her temperament. Yan Ling smiles and nods, quietly removing he sleeve from Yan Shuang’s hand.

“Well, please lead the way.”

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