Chapter 135: Supreme Commander says, alright, enough already Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Lou Zigui helped Ning Xiaoyao by sucking out poison until he saw that the blood he was spitting out had resumed its red hue. Only then did his pounding heart stopped feeling like it’d burst. Ning Xiaoyao watched Lou Zigui as he held onto her with his trembling hands and swallowed her declaration that she was immune to all sorts of poisons. At the the same time, she was trying to figure out why the heck Supreme Commander was so agitated. He seemed to be terrified at the thought of her dying. So does that mean Supreme Commander is, whatchamacallit, treating me with those you-know-what feelings?
(Author: Why are you thinking about things like that when you’re stuck in these life and death situations?)
Lou Zigui asked Ning Xiaoyao, “Does it hurt?”
Ning Xiaoyao was debating whether she should feign weakness when all of a sudden, cat shrieks came from the crowd of refugees. As the humans were reduced to confused, chaotic shouts, the shrill cries of the cats reached fever pitch, it was a sound that made one’s skin crawl.
“Ah geez, Black Tubby!” Ning Xiaoyao leapt out of Lou Zigui’s arms like bounding off a loosed spring, before diving into the crowd of refugees.
“.....” said Lou Zigui.
“.........” said everyone else.
So, does this mean everything’s alright?
Currently, the head of the Poison Sect was surrounded on all sides by a swarm of cats. He had never been in such dire straits in all his life. Though he wanted to sprinkle poison powder at the animals, there were four to five cats biting on his hands alone. It was impossible to shake them off, much less for him to move ahead. He had always been vain of his hands, but now they were covered in blood from the cat bites. Big Boss Black was perched valiantly on his head, his jaws and all four of his paws, claws out, clamped tightly around the man’s cranium until the blood stained his face red and muddled his line of sight.
There were also cats biting his butt, thighs, and trousers. Others had climbed their way to his chest and were now baring their claws at his heart. All of the cats were exerting more strength against this man than in their daily exercise of catching mice.
“You dared to stab my Xiaoyao with a knife?!” Big Boss Black gnawed on the man’s head again as he slashed at the noggin with his claws. “You had the audacity to hurt my Xiaoyao? Miaow! This cat will kill you!”
With Big Boss Black’s shriek, his fellow brothers all joined in with the biting and clawing. Even the refugees that were around the sect head were terrified by the sight. The cats in the palace eat humans?!
The sect head screamed a couple of times before finally flinging off the cats gnawing on his right hand. Then he went to grab Big Boss Black off the perch on his head.
“Release my cat!” Ning Xiaoyao rushed in front of him. When the sect head saw Ning Xiaoyao reappear, he was stunned. Why isn’t--why isn’t this person dead yet?!
Ning Xiaoyao didn’t waste any words with the shortie but started punching instead, and even managed to wrest Big Boss Black back into her arms. Lou Zigui was about to chase after Ning Xiaoyao when the man who had poisoned her came flying out of the crowd to land by his feet. Without a word, Lou Zigui kicked him in the chest and broke his ribs. The Poison Sect head spat up a mouthful of blood before he lost consciousness.
“Go find His Majesty,” Lou Zigui ordered Shadowgale and his men. It looks like she’s really alright if she can toss a man about like that. He glanced back at the steps to Grand Preceptor Xie, his expression sinister. Peaceful days will never come to Yongning as long as that man remains alive!
Ning Xiaoyao’s resplendent yellow robes stood out vibrantly in the shabbily dressed crowd. Grand Preceptor Xie could pick her out easily from his position. He clearly saw her jumping and prancing around and felt like falling apart. Why is she perfectly unharmed?! Elder Li forgot about dying together with Grand Preceptor Xie after seeing that Ning Xiaoyao was alright. He still wanted to support His Majesty to re-establish his reign.
“I’ll treat you all to dinner tonight!” Ning Xiaoyao promised the cats as she stood in the crowd.
The long-hair, Little White asked, “Xiaoyao, are you alright?”
“I’m alright,” Ning Xiaoyao grinned. All of the kitties felt relieved at that and moved forward to rub themselves against her legs. Afterward, the cat army dispersed. Ning Xiaoyao turned to glance at Big Boss Black, who was resting across her shoulders again. “Black Tubby, you nearly died back there, you know?”
Big Boss Black nuzzled against Ning Xiaoyao’s face and meowed a few times.
“Aiya, how could I have died?” Ning Xiaoyao said. “Did you forget? I know--”
“Demon magic!” Big Boss Black exclaimed. Ning Xiaoyao suddenly felt that she shouldn’t have rescued this fat black furball!
Shadowgale led his Dragon Guards to Ning Xiaoyao’s side before he asked, “Your Majesty, are you alright?”
“Fine, even better than fine, actually,” Ning Xiaoyao replied. “That shortie needs to cultivate a few more years before he can kill the likes of me, hehe. I’m okay.”
Ning Xiaoyao had just finished speaking when someone shouted from the steps, “Release the arrows!”
Like a swarm of locusts, the arrows flew from the skies, sending the crowds of refugees toppling to the ground. Lou Zigui turned around in shock, his sword pointing at the steps like a finger.
“Release the arrows!” one of the leaders of the imperial guards cried out. Immediately, arrows flew from the base of the steps towards the people above. Two Black Frost Cavalry generals led the way ahead of a pack of imperial guards and Dragon Guards to fight their way up the stairs. As weapons clashed and armor crashed, the fresh stench of blood filled the air. Now that the soldiers were fighting, the refugees were even more chaotic. All of them wanted to escape, but they couldn’t do that unless they knocked away the guards surrounding them on all sides. As a result, the imperial guards were attacked from the interior.
Ning Xiaoyao shouted at them to stop fighting, but who could hear her at a time like this? Even Shadowgale and the rest were too busy pushing away the refugees surrounding them to heed her words. Elder Li was pulled aside by his own guards to avoid the scuffle. When he thought to look for Grand Preceptor Xie, he found that the other man had already descended the steps to head for the southern end of the plaza with guards in tow.
A sweat-soaked Dragon Guard ran in front of Lou Zigui and reported quietly, “Supreme Commander, Third Commander’s already taken Prince Cheng from the empress dowager’s palace, but with people blocking the paths, he has no way to return to Supreme Splendor Hall.”
Lou Zigui turned to face another one of his generals. “You, go bring Shadowrain and his men out of the palace and head for Old Huo’s place. Don’t come back to the palace unless I send men to find you.”
The general nodded his head in assent before leaving with the Dragon Guard who had come with his report. As soon as they were gone, Ning Xiaoyao ran over from the crowd with a ghastly expression. Anxious and impatient, she cried, “Why did a fight break out like this?!”
Lou Zigui pulled Ning Xiaoyao in front of him and bent down to check on her wound.
“I’m fine!” Ning Xiaoyao huffed impatiently.
Blood had stopped flowing, that was true, but one could still see the exposed muscles flexing beneath her skin. The loose skin flopped back and forth like a baby opening and closing its mouth.
“Where’s the imperial physician!?” Lou Zigui roared. Someone pushed Imperial Physician Gao out of the crowds.
“Treat His Majesty’s wound,” Lou Zigui ordered him. Imperial Physician Gao glanced at Ning Xiaoyao’s injury and gave a start. Here was a deep knife wound straight to His Majesty’s stomach. How could she still be lively enough to bounce and jump around?
Lou Zigui wanted to lose his temper when he saw Imperial Physician Gao just standing there and staring at the injury. But after a second glance at Ning Xiaoyao’s wound, he suddenly realized she was a girl. He took off his outer robes and used them to wrap her up, before telling the physician, “Hand me the gauze.”
Imperial Physician Gao was still standing there, stunned. Lou Zigui gave up on talking to him and took the medicine chest directly from Imperial Physician Gao’s hands. He brought out a roll of gauze and personally bandaged Ning Xiaoyao’s injury. Currently, Ning Xiaoyao herself was still jumping up and down in her excitement.
“Supreme Commander, make them stop fighting!” she cried.
Lou Zigui pressed down on Ning Xiaoyao to stop her from moving about, his voice cold. “Xie Wenyuan was the one who made the first move. He wants to kill us all off. If we don’t fight back, aren’t we just waiting around to die? Stand still and stop moving.”
Ning Xiaoyao raised her head to look towards the steps. “Well, dang. Where did Grand Preceptor Xie go?”
A Dragon Guard piped up, “To reply Your Majesty, the Grand Preceptor headed to the south.”
South? Ning Xiaoyao thought it over. The empress dowager’s palace was located in the south, so was that old Xie geezer going to find her to cook up more dastardly plots? Lou Zigui speedily bound Ning Xiaoyao’s wound and asked, “Does it hurt?”
“Why would I be in pain?” Ning Xiaoyao pointed at the poison victims still sprawled on the ground, then told Shadowgale, “Windy, we have to carry them aside. I’m going to treat their poison.”
By now, the victims had stopped rolling around in pain and were heaving for breath on the ground. They looked like they were at death’s door. The old man that everyone had forgotten about had already, ran over to the side of his youngest grandson during the ruckus. When he heard Ning Xiaoyao’s words, he carried his grandson in his arms and ran to kowtow to Ning Xiaoyao. “I beg Your Majesty, please save his life. May Your Majesty have mercy…”
“Finefinefine, alright already,” Ning Xiaoyao grabbed the little boy and took him into his arms. She rested a hand against his stomach as she said, “Why didn’t you show me any mercy? Now, do you know how untrustworthy the Grand Preceptor is?”
The old man had already seen his family laying on death’s door. Of course he knew by now that Grand Preceptor Xie had tricked him.
“Let me tell you,” Ning Xiaoyao said as she handed the child in her arms to a Dragon Guard. “Right now, the Grand Preceptor’s men are far too busy fighting to bother with you. Otherwise, someone would definitely kill you now to silence you. Do you believe me?”
Would the old man even think to doubt Ning Xiaoyao at a time like this?
Lou Zigui looked coldly at the man. “Shouldn’t you hurry up and tell the truth to the people you’ve tricked?”
The old man watched as Ning Xiaoyao picked up another one of his grandsons before turning to kneel towards the crowd. He burst into tears as he sobbed, “Stop it, stop fighting! It’s all my fault! I was the one who lied to you all!”
His loud cries and shouts caused the refugees around them to still. The old man explained through his snot and tears how Grand Preceptor Xie had found him and instructed him on what to do. He even revealed the benefits and compensation he’d get for completing the deed. The refugees couldn’t believe their own ears. Meanwhile, Elder Li was beyond furious. That base wretch, Xie Wenyuan! He should be made into mincemeat!
“W-why would you ruin us like that?!” one of the refugees recovered enough to snarl back. The old man knelt on the ground with his forehead pressed against the dirt, crying too hard to even speak. Ning Xiaoyao treated another poisoned refugee and saw her vision waver momentarily. She couldn’t keep this up for long.
Lou Zigui had been keeping an eye on her the entire time. Though he didn’t know exactly how Miss Ning was treating her patients, he bent down and pulled her into his arms after seeing her sway while standing in place.
“Alright, enough already,” he murmured in a low voice. “Leave the rest of the detoxification job to the Poison Sect head.”
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