Chapter 120: Trust in Your Majesty and find happiness Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
“I haven’t,” Qin Xuan shook his head empathetically.
Ning Xiaoyao stopped glaring.
Lou Zigui glanced at the map. “The silver mines you’re talking about, can we extract the ores right now?”
“You’ll need manpower and money,” Qin Xuan replied. “Moreover, moving the silver itself will be an issue after extraction.”
Lou Zigui nodded and lowered his voice. “You’ll still need to be on guard against the official circles in Jiangnan.”
Ning Xiaoyao sat there completely ignorant. Why was there so much fuss involved with digging through a silver mine?
“How much money do you need?” Lou Zigui asked next.
“There’s refugees in Jiangnan, so I can solve the manpower issue, but I can’t do anything about the money,” Qin Xuan said honestly. “After going against Xie Wenyuan, I have no hopes of getting any money from him to raise the Jiangnan navy.”
Lou Zigui asked, “How much did Xie Wenyuan used to give you?”
Qin Xuan held up five fingers.
“Fifth….fifty thousand?” Ning Xiaoyao asked weakly.
Qin Xuan said, “Your Majesty, it wasn’t just to support the men, but the battleships as well.”
“Then 500,000?” Ning Xiaoyao added an extra zero.
“5,000,000 taels,” Lou Zigui remarked. “Xie Wenyuan was certainly liberal with his money.”
After all, the Xie Clan wasn’t only raising the Jiangnan naval officers, but the entire navy. The annual cost was already 5,000,000 taels, a testament to the Xie Clan’s extreme wealth. Ning Xiaoyao almost couldn’t take the facts. Still, she was good at consoling herself and said, “Then General Qin, you won’t need the government to issue salaries, right?”
“Government?” Qin Xuan echoed.
“Urk, I mean the imperial court.”
“Your Majesty, this subject hasn’t seen silver from the imperial court in a long time.”
Ning Xiaoyao felt that this was pretty nice. Grand Preceptor Xie had to raise the navy out of money from his own pockets. She had to give the old man a ‘Like’ for that, and then maybe a banner or two as a gift. But upon further reflection, Ning Xiaoyao felt that something was off.
She turned to Supreme Commander Lou and asked, “Then where’s the silver from the imperial court?”
The palace didn’t even need to worry about feeding its navy and still allowed its refugees to die despite seeing them suffer. How could it be so poor? Where did the silver go?!
Lou Zigui said, “Xie Anyi’s the one in charge of the Ministry of Revenue, which overlooks all silver in the imperial court. Naturally, the Xie Clan took all of the money for themselves.”
Ning Xiaoyao fell silent. So in the end, the navy’s silver still came from the government after all? “5,000,000 taels?” she asked Qin Xuan again.
Qin Xuan nodded.
(ノ°Д°）ノ︵ ┻━┻ , went Ning Xiaoyao.
As Regional Commander Qin watched Ning Xiaoyao leave after flipping the table, he didn’t know whether he should laugh or cry. Lou Zigui rested his forehead in his hands before he bent down to straighten up the table again.
He told Qin Xuan, “His Majesty wants some peace and quiet. You can give me a rough estimate of how much money you need to excavate those mines, aside from the 5,000,000 taels to support the navy.”
“And let His Majesty just leave like that?” Qin Xuan asked.
Lou Zigui was about to smooth out the wrinkled map when Qin Xuan’s words made him look up. “You want to persuade His Majesty yourself?”
Qin Xuan thought it over before looking down at the map again. It was hard enough talking to His Majesty, so how would he ever persuade him?
Ning Xiaoyao went to the flower gardens and raised her foot to kick the pear tree in front of her. But when she recalled how that must have cost money too, she used all her strength to kick a pebble near her foot instead. 5,000,000 taels? Even if I sell myself, I can’t raise that much money!
Meanwhile, the mama at the empress dowager’s palace had hung up her dance clothes to dry in the gardens. These silk dresses had been buried at the very bottom of the chest, so their water damage was slight at most. The mama figured that some time in the sun would restore them to their former state.
Empress Dowager Xie held Ning Xin as she sat on the veranda, staring at the clothes hung up to dry. Her eyes were filled with nostalgia as she spoke to her child. “Those were given to imperial mother by Xin’er’s imperial father. Aren’t they pretty?”
The innocent and naive Ning Xin simply sucked on his thumb and babbled a few times.
“But imperial father’s not here anymore,” Empress Dowager Xie said as she grew saddened. She kissed Ning Xin on the cheek and said, “So Xin’er has to grow up quick. Only then can imperial mother and your grandfather stay alive.”
At this very moment, a dusty pebble fell down from the air and crashed into the clothesline pole. There was a loud crack before the pole split into two. A wind blew in from outside the gardens, whistling through the leaves like the crashing of ocean waves. Empress Dowager Xie’s resplendent dance clothes were caught up by the breeze and sent flying into the garden pond, where they soaked up the water before sinking to its depths.
“.........” said the mama. Empress Dowager Xie slowly rose to her feet before she gave a shrill cry.
“Wahhhhh---!” Scared by the exclamation, Ning Xin started bawling.
“Who threw that rock?!” Empress Dowager Xie screeched, on the edge of falling apart, again.
The mama raised her head to look at the skies. They were a bright, clear blue and speckled with fluffy white clouds. She didn’t understand why a rock would suddenly fall out of the air. The eunuchs on duty ran out the courtyard to look around, but there was nobody there. They exchanged looks with each other before a cold chill ran down their backs. What a terribly fantastical event.
“Esteemed Empress Dowager!” Cries of alarm came from within the courtyard. The eunuchs hurried back in, only to see that the empress dowager had fainted again.
How are we supposed to live our lives from now on? Worry and anxiety pervaded the mood at the empress dowager’s palace.
Ning Xiaoyao stood in the gardens of Supreme Splendor Hall and rubbed her nose. She glanced at the building where Supreme Commander Lou and Regional Commander Qin were sitting. There was no way she could stand hearing about 5,000,000 taels again, so His Majesty Ning went to find comfort from her fellow womenfolk.
Ji Yuerong blocked Ning Xiaoyao at the entrance to Qin Xin’s quarters and rolled her eyes. “Your Majesty, elder sister Qin is a married woman. She can’t see outsider males.”
Ning Xiaoyao stuck her head past her to peek into the room, only to see that someone had set up a screen in front of Qin Xin’s bed. “Do we have to be like this?” Ning Xiaoyao muttered. Ji Yuerong noticed Ning Xiaoyao’s look and silently told her that yes, it had to be this way.
Mute Nanny came from the room and paid respects to Ning Xiaoyao, before signing to say that Qin Xin’s luggage was all packed and done. Ning Xiaoyao thanked her before turning to Ji Yuerong. “You’re only paying attention to the fact that I’m a man? I’m also a doctor. If I don’t go in, how am I supposed to know how much Miss Qin’s recovered? I don’t know when I’ll see her again after today’s farewell. Are you going to take responsibility for your elder sister Qin’s health?”
Now Ji Yuerong had no reason to hold Ning Xiaoyao back. Ning Xiaoyao strutted in with her chest held high. See who’d stop her from seeing Miss A’Xin now! (Author: Why do you insist on competing for such things….) Qin Xin was half reclining on the bed, all dressed for traveling. When she saw Ning Xiaoyao, her expression grew grateful as she attempted to rise and pay her respects.
“No need,” Ning Xiaoyao strode to her bedside with a grin. “Miss Qin, your complexion looks much better today.”
Qin Xin said, “This commoner thanks Your Majesty for saving my life. This commoner…”
“What ‘commoner’ business?” Ning Xiaoyao said as she sat on the stool by her bed. “You’re going to be Lady Qin soon, ah. The wife of the Regional Commander, how trendy.”
Qin Xin didn’t understand what ‘trendy’ meant, but she still smiled thankfully at Ning Xiaoyao. Ning Xiaoyao brushed her finger against Qin Xin’s right wrist, sending in a ball of pale green light as she remarked, “You’ve recovered quite well. After you get home, rest and recuperate well.”
Ji Yuerong said, “Your Majesty, will elder sister Qin be able to walk again?”
“Sure,” Ning Xiaoyao replied. “Not only that, she’ll be able to have babies as well. Miss Qin, live a good life with Qin Xuan and let that jerk Xie Anyi go die.”
Qin Xin nodded. “Your Majesty, this commoner will forget about the Xie Clan.”
“That’s right, forget them,” Ning Xiaoyao said, “They’re a bunch of bastards not worth remembering.” Ji Yuerong couldn’t approve more of Ning Xiaoyao’s words. In terms of Xie Anyi, they were on common grounds.
“But don’t hate him too much,” Ning Xiaoyao added when she was done. “Because he and that little white flower definitely won’t live as well as you. He can’t be compared to General Qin, and that little white flower’s nothing compared to you. So Miss Qin, you just go on and be happy.”
Qin Xin smiled. “This commoner will remember Your Majesty’s words.”
“That’s right. Trust in Your Majesty and find happiness, hahaha,” Ning Xiaoyao laughed.
No matter what Qin Xin’s worries were, Ning Xiaoyao’s teasing made her feel much better. Ji Yuerong was even more delighted. More and more, she found His Majesty quite congenial. No matter what he said or how foolishly he smiled, she was still fond of him. Next door, Qin Xuan paused in the middle of his hushed words with Lou Zigui. Just earlier, His Majesty had looked like the world was ending, but now he was laughing like this? More stifling was the fact that His Majesty had sought peace and quiet through a chat with his elder sister?
“His Majesty has superb medical skills,” Lou Zigui explained on behalf of Ning Xiaoyao. “He must have felt that Miss Qin recovered greatly and congratulated her as a result.”
Qin Xuan felt a bit better upon hearing that.
“Your Majesty,” Qin Xin’s face was red, but she still kept her eyes on Ning Xiaoyao for her question. “Can this commoner’s body still get pregnant?”
“Yes,” Ning Xiaoyao nodded hastily. “You just need to nurture your body for it to recover. There’s no need to fear. You’ll have your share of babies and plenty of money--ah, geez.” Ning Xiaoyao suddenly recalled something at the mention of cash and leapt up from her stool. She ran out of the room as she cried, “I still have to tell General Qin something, talk to you later!”
Qin Xin quietly asked Ji Yuerong, “Is His Majesty always like that? So hustling and bustling?”
Ji Yuerong hemmed and hawed but didn’t reply. She wanted to say that His Majesty had always been a little insane, but it seemed greatly disrespectful to voice those words out loud.
Ning Xiaoyao dashed all the way to Qin Xuan and blurted, “General Qin, can you let me take over the Grand Preceptor’s smuggling business in Jiangnan?”
“.........” said Qin Xuan.
“I’m really short of money,” Ning Xiaoyao said seriously.
“Half of it, maybe,” Lou Zigui spoke up. “I don’t think it’s possible to take over the entire venture.”
Qin Xuan felt his head swell as he looked at the pair before him. He wasn’t the final say when it came to the seaports and official circles of Jiangnan. They shouldn’t pretend the Grand Preceptor had passed away already, right?
“Let me borrow as much money as I need from you first,” Ning Xiaoyao said. “When I have money of my own, I’ll definitely pay you back.”
Qin Xuan was stunned. His Majesty wants to borrow money from me?
“I’ve got all of Prince Fu’s lands. There’s so many other vassal lords that I’ll definitely be able to scrounge up the case,” Ning Xiaoyao did her best to prove to Qin Xuan that she could pay back her loans.
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