Chapter 171: A wannabe wife's most venomous heart Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
“Then what do you want me to do?” Ning Xiaoyao asked.
“Shouldn’t a servant like him be put to death to pay for his crime?” Empress Dowager Xie raged.
Ning Xiaoyao stopped talking at that. As the courtyard fell into silence, everyone waited nervously for Ning Xiaoyao’s answer. Nobody believed that His Majesty would capitulate so easily.
Ning Xiaoyao cupped her ears with her hands and asked Empress Dowager Xie, “What did you say? The wind was too loud so I didn’t hear you clearly.”
“.........” said everyone else. As expected, His Majesty won’t be defeated by Empress Dowager Xie.
“What wind?!” Empress Dowager Xie roared. At this, a gust of wind blew past the wall to whisk away the brocade handkerchief in Empress Dowager Xie’s hands. Ning Xiaoyao simply spread out her hands in silent acknowledgement. Need I say anything else?
A few of the the mama standing behind Empress Dowager Xie began to consider whether they should start coaxing Empress Dowager Xie to head back to the palace. Their mistress was a formidable woman, but she couldn’t stand against a hooligan type like His Majesty. Would any noble lady lower themselves to argue with a rogue? The best way to deal with those ruffians was to bludgeon them with a club, but who would dare raise a weapon again His Majesty?
“This Dowager won’t let that servant Shadowrain get away with this,” Empress Dowager Xie declared ruthlessly.
Ning Xiaoyao said, “As long as Esteemed Empress Dowager’s people can beat my Third Rain in a fight, you can do whatever you like with him.”
“Your Majesty is still planning to protect that servant?” Empress Dowager Xie asked.
Ning Xiaoyao said, “Esteemed Empress Dowager, I’ve already said so much and yet you still don’t understand my intentions? It’s no fun if you’re just feigning ignorance.”
Empress Dowager Xie shot Ning Xiaoyao a look of absolute loathing, as if they were deadset enemies. Ning Xiaoyao only looked innocent.
“Someone, come,” Empress Dowager Xie said, “Bring over that low-priced slave girl that bumped into This Dowager.”
Two eunuchs dragged a servant with them into the courtyard. Her hair was reduced to a messy braid, and she sported injuries over her hands and face. She was rather young, and it was obvious that she’d already been thoroughly beaten. When Shadowbolt saw her, he gave an exclamation of surprise.
“Who’s that?” Ning Xiaoyao asked, curiously.
Shadowbolt murmured, “Your Majesty, that’s Little Peach Blossom.”
“........” said Ning Xiaoyao. Meanwhile, Empress Dowager Xie glanced at Shadowgale.
Ning Xiaoyao examined Little Peach Blossom from head to toe and found that she was rather very pretty. Her looks were no less inferior to Xie Duoying, with tender skin, double eyelids, and a pair of eyes that sloped upward like a phoenix. She was a charming little creature who only looked all the more pathetic, now that she was in trouble.
“Esteemed Empress Dowager, please have mercy!” Little Peach Blossom cried out.
Shadowgale was about to step forward when Ning Xiaoyao raised a hand to stop him. Meanwhile, Big Boss Black had run into the gardens and leaped up to the rafters of the covered walkways. He glanced at Little Peach Blossom before meowing at Ning Xiaoyao, “Why is the empress dowager beating one of her own people?”
Ning Xiaoyao sighed. Empress Dowager Xie’s probably very annoyed that Little Peach Blossom hasn’t broken through our ranks yet, so she’s resorting to a self-injury ruse. Oh mah God, ah. Ning Xiaoyao then shook her head. She’d heard of the Thirty-Six Stratagems, but weren’t her enemies tired of using the same one time and time again?
“This low base wretch ran into This Dowager,” Empress Dowager Xie said.
“Who’s she?” Ning Xiaoyao asked. “I don’t recognize her, yah.”
“Your Majesty!” Shadowbolt said urgently.
Ning Xiaoyao turned to Shadowgale and spoke in a low voice. “I wanted to find a better way to break the news to you, but it looks like we’re out of time. Little Peach Blossom is one of the empress dowager’s agents.”
Shadowgale stood there expressionlessly. Ning Xiaoyao patted his stiff shoulders, while Shadowbolt only gaped like a fish out of water.
“I-is that true?”
“Why would I make things difficult for a young girl without reason?” Ning Xiaoyao murmured. “Wouldn’t I rather wish the best for Windy instead?”
Shadowbolt cursed under his breath. “Dammnit!”
Ning Xiaoyao thought it over before offering some comforting words. “As I see it, Little Peach Blossom didn’t cheat you out of any money, Windy. You haven’t bought a house or whatever else for her sake either. Instead, we just got some bad-tasting pastries from her end. Even if you ended up sleeping with her, she’d be the one who loses out, right?”
Upon hearing this, Shadowbolt faced his elder brother-in-arms as well. “Elder brother, His Majesty’s right.”
“Who hasn’t experienced the frivolousness of youth?” Ning Xiaoyao was now patting Shadowgale’s hand. “If peach blossoms are no good, we’ll go pick some other flowers instead for you.”
Shadowgale still didn’t speak. Sensing that the situation didn’t look good, Ning Xiaoyao added, “Just look at my father. He was the late emperor, the sovereign of the entire country. But he ended up falling in love with a piece of trash like the empress dowager. Compared to being cheated for a lifetime like him, your situation isn’t that bad at all, is it, Windy?”
Finally, Shadowgale couldn’t hold back. How could he dare to be compared to the late emperor? He looked at Empress Dowager Xie seated on her cushion and really did feel that the late emperor had no insight at all. “Your Majesty, this servant is alright,” Shadowgale told Ning Xiaoyao.
“I know you really aren’t,” Ning Xiaoyao replied. “If you want to cry, just cry.”
Shadowgale took a long time before he finally replied, “Your Majesty, this servant won’t cry.”
Shadowbolt was growing anxious as well, and asked Ning Xiaoyao. “Then what is Esteemed Empress Dowager doing right now?”
“A self-injury ruse,” Ning Xiaoyao explained. Shadowbolt immediately understood then.
Empress Dowager Xie said, “Your Majesty, have you lot finished talking amongst yourselves?”
Ning Xiaoyao glanced back at her and said, “None of us recognize this girl, so what do I need to discuss with Windy or Fourth Lightning? No, wait, why are you still here?”
Little Peach Blossom sobbed at Ning Xiaoyao, “Your Majesty, this servant is Little Peach Blossom!”
“Tell me the truth,” Ning Xiaoyao murmured to Shadowgale. “Did you ever sleep with Little Peach Blossom?”
“Never,” Shadowgale replied immediately.
Ning Xiaoyao’s gaze trailed downwards, so Head Commander Shadowgale quickly added, “There’s nothing wrong with this servant’s body. How could I engage in intimate relations before undergoing the rites of matchmaking, betrothal, and marriage?”
Ning Xiaoyao brushed a hand against her face, feeling a sting as if she’d just been soundly slapped....
“I beg Your Majesty to save this servant,” Little Peach Blossom kowtowed towards Ning Xiaoyao.
“Even I don’t dare to run into the empress dowager,” Ning Xiaoyao said. “Yet you still want to live after doing that yourself?”
Little Peach Blossom’s sobs shook momentarily. Empress Dowager Xie finally realized that something was wrong as well.
“Your looks aren’t a good match for the likes of our Windy,” Ning Xiaoyao went on. “Just go off to wherever you’re supposed to go.”
Empress Dowager Xie looked over at Shadowgale, who was still expressionless.
“You’re only a kitchen hand, so where did you get the self-confidence that Windy would fall in love with you?” Ning Xiaoyao asked with scorn fully lacing her voice. “Really, you must have been delusional.”
Little Peach Blossom has been exposed. Empress Dowager Xie clenched her fists, marking her palms with her nails once more.
“Take her back to the empress dowager’s palace,” Ning Xiaoyao told Empress Dowager Xie. “You can kill her or cut her to pieces, do whatever you like.”
When Little Peach Blossom saw Shadowgale’s blank features, she knew that he’d found out the truth about her. But when she thought of the consequences awaiting her back at the empress dowager’s palace, she broke free from the two eunuchs restraining her and dashed to the foot of the steps leading to the covered walkway.
“Impudence!” Shadowbolt quickly stepped in front of Ning Xiaoyao.
Little Peach Blossom threw herself down on the steps and looked at Shadowgale with tears streaming down her face. In a wretched voice, she cried, “Head Commander!”
Ning Xiaoyao said, “Why are you still acting so brazen and thick-skinned? Fourth Lightning, take out the trash.”
Shadowbolt raised his foot and prepared to kick her.
“Head Commander!” Little Peach Blossom shrieked loudly. Startled by the noise, Shadowbolt’s foot froze mid-kick.
Ning Xiaoyao muttered to Shadowgale, “This beauty’s so persistent that she’ll definitely be good for bearing babies. Windy, if you really want to make her your wife, I can fight with the empress dowager some more and get her for our side.”
“This servant understands Your Majesty’s grace,” Shadowgale replied, “But this court lady was only using this servant. She isn’t sincere about her intentions to stay with me.”
Ning Xiaoyao said, “You could always nurture her feelings over time.”
Shadowgale only said, “Your Majesty, this servant doesn’t want to be together with that court lady.” How could I pair up with one of Empress Dowager Xie’s spies?
“You’ve thought it through?” Ning Xiaoyao asked.
Shadowgale nodded resolutely.
“Empress dowager, you should go ahead and take her away,” Ning Xiaoyao told Empress Dowager Xie next.
Shadowrain wasn’t here and Little Peach Blossom had been exposed, which meant that the empress dowager had rushed over here in a temper for nothing. Disappointed, Empress Dowager Xie pointed at Little Peach Blossom and said, “Drag this wretch outside for This Dowager.”
When Little Peach Blossom saw the two eunuchs heading her way, she ran up the steps and grabbed the hem of Shadowgale’s robes before muttering, “Is Head Commander really treating me so cruelly?”
Ning Xiaoyao couldn’t stand listening to such drivel and stood up for Shadowgale’s sake. “Hey, hey! Just who’s the cruel one here, ah? Do you really think I don’t know what you were begging the Heavens for with those incense sticks and prayers? If you’re going to speak, then talk properly instead of slapping your own face.”
Little Peach Blossom looked at Ning Xiaoyao, who was looking back with a sneer on her face while bedecked in resplendent glory. It was as if the emperor was scorning the sight of a particularly laughable clown.
Shadowgale raised an arm to shield Ning Xiaoyao before eyeing the two eunuchs. “Hurry and take this court lady away.”
Little Peach Blossom suddenly raised her voice. “Your Majesty, Head Commander’s told this servant once before that you aren’t a righteous ruler at all.”
Everyone in the courtyard gave a start. Now that the little court lady was faced with imminent death, she wanted to drag Shadowgale down with her. Is it true what they say, that the heart of a wannabe wife is the most venomous one of all?
“The day of the Grand Sacrificial Ceremony,” Little Peach Blossom continued in a loud voice so everyone present heard her, “Head Commander told me that the situation didn’t look good, and that he’d arrange a way for me to escape from the palace.”
“You servant, you deserve death,” Empress Dowager Xie snarled at Shadowgale.
“Your Majesty?” Shadowbolt felt a bit frantic. Arrange for Little Peach Blossom to escape the palace? That means elder bro really does harbor feelings for that woman.
Ning Xiaoyao took a deep breath. Little Peach Blossom simply stared coldly at Shadowgale as a smile grew on her lips. If I can’t live, don’t you think of living, either.
Ning Xiaoyao then lifted her foot and kicked the clingy Little Peach Blossom away until she landed by the empress dowager’s feet. Then, she turned to and said Shadowgale, “Even if you want to be together with that blossom, I won’t agree anymore. Not even if I die!”
“........” said Shadowgale. I just said I didn’t want to be together with her, ah.
“Take your people and disappear,” Ning Xiaoyao told Empress Dowager Xie. “Right now, I’m in a bad mood. Don’t force me to show my hand.”
Empress Dowager Xie gave a start before bursting into furious laughter. “Your Majesty is planning to hit This Dowager?”
“I won’t hit you,” Ning Xiaoyao replied. “Who told you to be my mother? But I might find a way to kill your son instead.”
Ning Xin was the empress dowager’s reverse scale, so she was shamed into rage at Ning Xiaoyao’s threat. Her voice grew shrill as she shouted, “You not only act unfilial to This Dowager, but now you want to slaughter your little brother as well?!”
“It’s not like I ever wanted to be some ‘righteous ruler,’” Ning Xiaoyao looked askance at Empress Dowager Xie, who simply nodded. She fully believed Ning Xiaoyao’s words.
“I’ll say it again, hurry and get out of my sight,” Ning Xiaoyao intoned.
“Let’s go,” Empress Dowager said coldly to her servants.
“E-Esteemed Empress Dowager?” Little Peach Blossom’s voice shook as she called after her from the ground. Empress Dowager Xie didn’t spare her spy a glance. Her identity’s already been exposed but she still can’t grasp the full picture. Just how stupid is this girl?
The four eunuchs raised the cushioned seat and left the courtyard. Little Peach Blossom watched the various servants past her side as they left her in the dust. She’d been absolutely abandoned.
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