Zhaocai was still listing in detail all the marriageable young masters before she came to her senses and found out that the space behind her was empty.
She was taken aback and turned her head to see Ming Huashang huffing and puffing as she walked in another direction.
She hurried to catch up, “Miss, the Shou’an hall is over here; where are you going?”
No matter how hard she tried, Ming Huashang couldn’t forget the pain of dying in that dream, and she was unwilling to doubt the close relatives who lived with her day and night.
She wanted to perform a test to see if the dream from last night was real or not.
She clearly remembered that after her identity was exposed in the dream, she moved to live in a far-off side courtyard.
There was a tall osmanthus tree that filled the courtyard with a light fragrance.
Before she went to bed, she especially collected the fallen osmanthus petals and planned to make osmanthus cakes the next day.
Then, she never woke up again.
When she died, the fresh and soothing floral scent of osmanthus still lingered on the tip of her nose.
Ming Huashang couldn’t bear this kind of suspicion anymore.
She wanted to visit the side courtyard in her dream to confirm for herself whether there was an osmanthus tree.
That place was remote and quiet, few people passed by, and no one swept the snow off the road.
Ming Huashang stepped in, and there was enough snow to reach her calves.
She was steadfast and continued to stride towards the courtyard in her memory.
Zhaocai chased after her, struggling to keep up with her footsteps, “Miss, what are you trying to do right now?”
Ming Huashang didn’t speak.
In front of her was the side courtyard she was banished to in her dream.
She didn’t give herself a chance to hesitate and pushed open the courtyard door.
The inside was covered with snow making it difficult to open the door.
Using all her might, Ming Huashang pushed the door open by a gap.
Zhaocai watched anxiously from behind, and quickly stepped forward to help her open the door, “Miss, how did you think of coming to this kind of place? If you like it, I’ll call a manservant over to sweep the snow.
Please be careful, don’t fall.”
Ming Huashang didn’t have time to pay attention to Zhaocai’s non-stop chatter.
She stared at the scene in front of her and had already lost her ability to speak.
It was a cold first month of winter.
There wasn’t a single hint of greenery in the courtyard, except for the bare tree rooted in front of the window.
Although its appearance was poles apart from the scene in the dream, Ming Huashang already recognized some familiar traces on the tree trunk.
That’s right, it’s right here.
She clearly remembered in the dream that while she was shaking the sweet-scented osmanthus she once saw a bowl-sized scar on the tree trunk.
The size and location of the scar were exactly the same as in the dream.
As well as the furnishings in the yard, the appearance of the house…
Ming Huashang’s shoulders slackened.
She knew that she wouldn’t be lucky again.
She had been held in the palms of Duke Zhen all these years, so she had never set foot in such a remote and cold courtyard.
If she had fabricated the dream with her imagination randomly, then how could she predict so accurately without being a clairvoyant? Was it even possible for her to dream up the actual placements of the scar on the sweet-scented osmanthus tree in the courtyard or the direction of the house?
That dream was not a fantasy, but a reality.
In other words, it was a prophetic dream.
Behind her, Zhaocai was still nagging about calling for someone to sweep the snow.
Ming Huashang exhaled and said softly, “No need.”
Zhaocai didn’t hear clearly, so she leaned in closer and asked, “What?”
“There’s no need to call someone here.
It’s quite a waste of their time.” Ming Huashang turned around, lifted her cloak, and staggered towards the Shou’an hall, “It’s getting late.
Let’s hurry up and go greet grandmother.”
Zhaocai hurriedly went over to support Ming Huashang, and pulled her fur collar tight, “Miss, don’t worry.
You are the Imperial Duke’s only daughter and the pearl in the palm of the Ming family.
What problem can there be regardless of whether your greeting is early or late? Miss, please walk slowly so that you don’t catch a cold.
If you like that sweet-scented osmanthus tree, this servant will get someone to transplant it into our courtyard.”
“Don’t do that.” Ming Huashang hurriedly stopped Zhaocai from speaking further, and said indistinctly, “Zhaocai, you should exercise restraint in the future.
Don’t talk about bullying people all day long.”
Zhaocai was taken aback by these words, “Bullying people? It’s just a common matter, how can it be considered bullying?”
Ming Huashang shook her head lightly and didn’t say much.
She was still one of the precious dragon and phoenix1 twins of Duke Zhen, so giving her greetings later or speaking domineeringly now, no one will care.
But once she is exposed as a fake, that common matter will become a life-threatening mark.
Ming Huashang still didn’t know how she died, when, where, by what, or who was behind it, she had absolutely no clue.
What kind of immortal did she offend to make the other party want to kill her in such haste?
Oh, right, she remembered that in the dream Su Yuji returned when she turned the age of seventeen.
She was the same age as Su Yuji, and she was sixteen this year.
In other words, there was at most one more year before she would die.
Ming Huashang rubbed her face in distress.
She was just a mediocre good-for-nothing who decidedly lived a life of indolence.
During these sixteen years of her life, she would lie down when she could, nor would she ever compete with others.
The only people she offended were probably the ones who taught her the four arts and her needlework and feminine arts teacher.
If there was any grievance, couldn’t they discuss it, why would they want to kill her?
Dwelling on these depressing thoughts, Ming Huashang walked into the Shou’an hall with a dispirited expression.
The maid from the main courtyard saw Ming Huashang arrive, so she rushed out to welcome her.
She enthusiastically helped her open the curtain, “Second Miss, you are finally here.
The Old Madam has mentioned you several times.
Oh, why are Miss’s hands cold and red? Please, quickly come inside.”
In the room, Ming Yu knelt beside the couch and helped massage the Old Madam’s legs.
Ming Shuo snuggled in the arms of the third madam and acted spoiled.
When she saw Ming Huashang come inside, she snorted coldly and stood up reluctantly.
Ming Huashang took off her snow-covered cloak.
After fixing her stance, she bowed to everyone in the room one by one, “I’ve arrived late.
Huashang pays respects to grandmother, second aunt, and third aunt.
Eldest sister and third sister, hope you are well.”
The Zhen Duke Manor’s Old Madam glanced at Ming Huashang indifferently, then withdrew her eyes, and said calmly, “You may sit down.
How are the people below serving you? Why are the second miss’s hands red from the cold?”
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