Chapter 14: Without the crown prince's death, Your Majesty couldn't be emperor Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
“In the future, Your Majesty should remember to bring some guards with you when you leave the palace. Otherwise, This Dowager will worry.”
At the empress dowager’s hall, Empress Dowager Xie lifted a handkerchief to wipe away the dust on Ning Xiaoyao’s forehead while speaking in a soft voice. Though Ning Xiaoyao had come with the same battle-ready preparedness she used to kill zombies, the empress dowager’s gentle exhortations made her lightheaded. This was the wrong setting, was this woman acting out of character?
Grand Preceptor Xie sat in the next seat of importance to the left of the empress dowager. His gaze on Ning Xiaoyao was kindly as well, as if he wanted to say harsh words but couldn’t bear to, etc. Such a tender and affectionate scene sent all of Ning Xiaoyao’s hairs standing on end. Was he behaving out of character as well?
“Your Majesty, ah,” Empress Dowager Xie took Ning Xiaoyao’s hand.
“Ah?” Ning Xiaoyao was currently at a loss.
“Why did you save a traitor like Lou Zigui? Did someone tell you something?” Empress Dowager Xie raised her head to look at her.
Ning Xiaoyao gave a start. No wonder this person was treating her nicely. It was to get words from her mouth.
Seeing that Ning Xiaoyao wasn’t talking, Empress Dowager Xie lightly patted her hand and said, “Lou Zigui was a good friend of the previous crown prince, does Your Majesty know?”
Ning Xiaoyao made a noise of assent. Lou Zigui just told me, but what did this have to do with me anyways?
Empress Dowager Xie saw that this girl was still wearing a face full of ignorance despite her words. She glanced at Grand Preceptor Xie. How did he raise someone so stupid?! Grand Preceptor Xie covered his mouth with a cough and said, “Your Majesty, putting aside the matter of whether or not Lou Zigui should die, this subject just wants Your Majesty to understand one thing. Without the crown prince’s death, Your Majesty couldn’t be emperor.”
“... …” Ning Xiaoyao was silent. She didn’t want to be the emperor!
Grand Preceptor Xie continued, “Lou Zigui wants to seek revenge for the crown prince. Think about it, Your Majesty. Who would be his greatest enemy?”
Ning Xiaoyao’s way of thinking and reasoning might be incompatible with the people of this time, but she definitely wasn’t a fool. After repeating, ‘without the crown prince’s death, Your Majesty couldn’t be emperor’ in her head three times, she suddenly discovered something that could pain her even if it didn’t ruin her. The no-good father and daughter pair had planned to make her emperor by killing His Highness, the Crown Prince. And so? And so she was Supreme Commander Lou’s number one enemy!
“Your Majesty,” Empress Dowager Xie said, “If Lou Zigui returns to the army, he’ll definitely raise a banner to avenge the crown prince’s death and call out the troops to rebel. When that time comes, what will Your Majesty do?”
Ning Xiaoyao was completely butthurt. The Grand Preceptor and empress dowager wanted to fatten her up before killing her, while Supreme Commander Lou planned to kill her somehow as soon as he was well? Was the only path left for her to flee into exile at the other end of the Earth?
“Who was the person who told you about Lou Zigui’s matters?” Empress Dowager Xie asked.
Ning Xiaoyao’s mouth drooped. She didn’t feel like fighting at all and told esteemed empress dowager the truth. “Heard it from a cat.”
“... …” Empress Dowager Xie and Grand Preceptor Xie were both speechless. It looked like His Majesty was going to stubbornly resist them until the end!
Ning Xiaoyao didn’t hear anything the Grand Preceptor and empress dowager told her afterwards. Her entire mind revolved around three words: What to do?
After prying apart Lou Zigui’s grievances with Ning Xiaoyao yet still getting no response, the Grand Preceptor and empress dowager didn’t even want to talk to her anymore.
“Your Majesty should return,” Empress Dowager Xie forced herself to suppress her anger and patted Ning Xiaoyao’s hand again.
Ning Xiaoyao trailed out of the hall with her head bowed. She needed to find a quiet spot to calm down and think about her future prospects. Once she left, Empress Dowager Xie’s tender and beautiful face that rivaled a peony immediately turned overcast. She quietly asked the Grand Preceptor, “As father sees it, what’s wrong with His Majesty?”
Grand Preceptor Xie sat in his chair, eyes shut for a long while without speaking. Finally he opened them and told the empress, “Is His Majesty unresigned?”
“What?” Empress Dowager Xie was startled by his sudden question.
“Ning Yu doesn’t want to be a puppet,” Grand Preceptor Xie’s expression had turned nasty as his voice grew even lower. “She wants to entice Lou Zigui to her side for her own purposes?”
“How could that even be possible?” Empress Dowager Xie’s voice suddenly rose up.
Grand Preceptor Xie thought back to the first words that Ning Xiaoyao had spoken to him at the execution grounds. Now that he’d thought twice, he realized this little emperor was using him to prove his own identity. Otherwise, why would the little emperor move to suppress him and leave him helpless before a crisis? This Ning Yu, Grand Preceptor Xie’s eyes turned cold as he thought, Have I misjudged this granddaughter?
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