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Chapter 136: Redeeming A Vow (II)
Qin Yining and Cao Yuqing shared a carriage as they sped along the government-built roads to the nunnery. Bingtang was with the fourth miss, while the concubine had brought an old mama. The four occupied two different sides of the carriage, escorted by six house guards outside.
Qin Yining and Bingtang were both sitting prim and proper, their manners elegant and to code. The mama that Cao Yuqing had brought was slightly more relaxed, while her mistress was lazily reclining against a round cushion. She was holding a small pouch filled with snacks and her pert lips were bunched together as she sucked on a plum, their owner reading a playbook.
She chuckled softly every now and then, her tones gentle and tender. Her laughter rang out like an oriole's, particularly pleasant to the ear. The light peeking in through the cracks of the carriage curtains alighted on the pearl dangle of the gold hairpin stuck in her hair. The soft hue cast its radiance over her skin, enhancing the concubine's snow-white flesh and further illuminating her looks.
Bingtang was playing with a small wooden box the width of a thumb and three inches long. Her head was lowered and her hatred of the Caos well concealed. Meanwhile, Qin Yining was openly admiring a beauty.
Cao Yuqing spat out a pit and lifted her eyes to meet Qin Yining's. She smiled in spite of herself. "Why is the fourth miss looking at this concubine this way?"
"Auntie Cao's looks are enough to conquer cities. Everyone has a heart for beauty, so I naturally have to make full use of us riding the same carriage to have a good look." Qin Yining smiled as she spoke with a completely serious tone. If a man had reeled off those words, it would've been blatant flirtation. But given how solemn the girl was being, no distaste developed from that spiel.
"You're joking, Fourth Miss." Cao Yuqing chuckled. "I'm already a middle-aged woman, what cities could my looks conquer? But the fourth miss has spoken truly. When a beauty is in front of us, we must make full use of the opportunity to take our fill."
She tossed the playbook to the side and indolently supported her upper body with an arm, turning to admire Qin Yining instead. There was no enmity in her eyes. Her gaze upon the Qin fourth miss was that of admiration for a valuable antique.
If Qin Yining had been any regular girl, she would've quickly felt embarrassed by the fixation. But she wasn't and felt that Cao Yuqing could look as much as she wanted to. It wasn't as if she hadn't been admiring the concubine either. They were both women, so what did it matter?
Cao Yuqing's eyes on Qin Yining gradually softened until they were as warm as spring. However, her look grew remote, as if she was looking through Qin Yining to see someone else.