Chapter 194: Reputation, rights, rank, glory, and wealth Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Now that all the outsiders had finally left, Grand Preceptor Xie began to issue orders in the courtyard. “Take her ladyship back to her rooms.”
“Grand Preceptor,” Lady Wang sobbed to Grand Preceptor Xie. “This consort…”
“It’s useless to say anything more,” Grand Preceptor Xie didn’t want to hear Lady Wang talk anymore. “Everything can be left to me from now on. You just rest in your rooms and stop thinking too much.”
His words sounded normal, as did his tone, but Lady Wang didn’t dare to leave. “And our Xie Clan’s granddaughters?” she then asked. Lady Wang couldn’t be bothered with her own fate when there was the future of the Xie Clan daughters to consider.
Right now, the rogue’s dead body was still lying in the courtyard. Grand Preceptor Xie cast it a glance before intoning, “My Xie Clan can still afford to raise six girls.”
Hearing that, Lady Wang fell backwards from her kneeling position to collapse on the ground. Everyone else stood, silent, with their heads bowed. Of course the Xie Clan could afford to raise six girls, but all girls were to marry after they came of age. Raise them for the rest of their lives? The Grand Preceptor’s simply cutting off all chances of marriage for those girls!
“The old madame’s courtyard has an ancestral hall for worshipping Buddha,” Grand Preceptor Xie said. “Clean that place up and take the six girls there. They won’t need to leave the house in the future.”
“Grand Preceptor!” Lady Wang shrieked in alarm. “You want them all to become nuns? They’re still so young!”
Grand Preceptor Xie’s voice turned cold. “That’s right. They’re still so young, yet they already know how to ruin others.”
At that moment, the surrounding boudoirs became filled with sound of wretched crying.
“Carry me back to the study,” the Grand Preceptor ordered his two pageboys, who then promptly picked up his chair, turned it around, and headed out of the courtyard.
“Grand Preceptor, how are you planning to deal with this issue?” Lady Wang crawled to her feet to chase after him. Things are already like this. As the family head, Grand Preceptor, you have to give me a proper explanation.
“In the future, all affairs of the estate shall be left to née Mo. You only have to worry about recovering. We’ll tell the outside world that you’ve fallen seriously ill. Since there’s nothing for you to do, then don’t leave the estate,” Grand Preceptor Xie tossed back to her.
Née Mo was Grand Preceptor Xie’s concubine. She had followed him for years and had bore him one son and one daughter. In her youth, she’d had her share of fights for favor against Lady Wang. When Lady Wang heard that Grand Preceptor Xie had turned management of household affairs over into née Mo’s hands and confined her to her rooms, she swayed on her feet before fainting dead away again.
Grand Preceptor Xie didn’t react to the sudden cries of alarm from the servants behind him. He only commanded his pageboys, “Leave.”
The two pageboys carried Grand Preceptor Xie away. He ran into Xie Laibao halfway, who then quickly murmured, “Master, the banquet’s already been prepared. What do you think?” Head Steward Xie had long heard about what had happened in fifth young Miss’s courtyard, but he hadn’t dared to draw close. Right now, he wasn’t sure whether they were going ahead with the Grand Preceptor’s plan to assassinate the leaders of the Poison Sect.
“Proceed as planned,” Grand Preceptor Xie said without a second thought.
“Then, what of her ladyship and the Misses?” Xie Laibao asked.
“Who has ever stopped proper business for the sake of their wife or family?” Grand Preceptor Xie countered. Xie Laibao lifted his head to look at his master, who was swollen beyond belief. Still, the steward didn’t let a trace of any expression show on his own face.
He dropped his head to reply, “This servant understands.”
Grand Preceptor Xie had the pageboys continue on their way. In the end, Xie Duoying’s matters had only ruined the prospects of seven Xie Clan daughters and implicated the rest. It was a terrible thing, but once he recovered his might again, he had no fear that those powerful, old and established families would come begging his clan for marriage offers once more. Reputation was nothing compared to sheer power, wealth and rank. Grand Preceptor Xie had already forgotten about his granddaughters and first wife in favor of Ning Yu. She was a granddaughter who had to die, no questions asked about it.
On the horse, Ning Xiaoyao sneezed.
“Cold?” Lou Zigui asked her.
“Not cold,” Ning Xiaoyao said, “Supreme Commander, you’re heading back to the palace already?”
“Mm,” Lou Zigui replied. “Yes, I am going back to the palace.”
“Then what about the egg yolk guoba you promised me?” Ning Xiaoyao asked.
Lou Zigui fell silent. “You’re in the mood for some again?” She’s not in the mood to eat at the Lord Protector’s house, yet she’s willing to get some egg yolk guoba?
Ning Xiaoyao’s explanation was unintelligible. “Does eating egg yolk guoba have to be related to eating a meal? If I won’t eat a meal, couldn’t I eat a few guoba all the same?”
“.......” said Lou Zigui. That does seem to make some sense, now that I think of it.
“Well dang,” Ning Xiaoyao’s expression turned accusatory when he didn’t reply. “You lied to me!”
“.......” said Lou Zigui. Is it really worthwhile for me to lie to you just on account of a few egg yolk guoba?
“What do you mean by keeping silent like that?!” Ning Xiaoyao looked like she was about to lose her temper again.
“I’ll take you to buy some,” Lou Zigui could only reply. By now their group had reached an intersection, where Lou Zigui headed off to the right instead of to the palace. He was aiming for the closest downtown streets. The Dragon Guards had already heard His Majesty call out for egg yolk guoba multiple times, so they all knew what was going on. All of them docilely followed on Supreme Commander Lou’s heels.
By the time the sounds of the bustling city streets reached them, Ning Xiaoyao had a new demand for Lou Zigui. “I want to buy other things too, now.”
There were rows upon rows of food stalls here, so Ning Xiaoyao felt it was too cheap for her to just ask for some egg yolk guoba.
“Fine,” Lou Zigui nodded. How much could a few snacks costs me?
“Buy my egg yolk guoba first,” Ning Xiaoyao added.
“Fine,” Lou Zigui nodded again. He had never bought anything off this street before, but egg yolk guoba were probably available everywhere. In Supreme Commander Lou’s line of thought, it’d only take them a short time to find some.
Ning Xiaoyao was quite satisfied to find Lou Zigui obeying her every word and even felt a sense of achievement. How many people in the world could claim that Supreme Commander listened to them? (Author: For the sake of egg yolk guoba, Supreme Commander dare not disobey, don’t you know that?)
Lou Zigui hefted Ning Xiaoyao off her horse and told Shadowgale, “His Majesty and I will walk around the streets a bit. You all may stroll as you wish, too.”
“That’s right,” Ning Xiaoyao remembered. “Windy, what do you want to eat? I’ll buy you some.” If you’re unhappy, you should eat something tasty. That was the philosophy of all of the humans from the apocalypse.
Shadowgale bowed and murmured, “Many thanks to Your Majesty, but this servant doesn’t want to eat anything.”
“Ah?” Ning Xiaoyao looked at Shadowgale. Have his feelings been hurt so deeply that he’s lost all desire for delicious food already?
“Let’s go then,” Lou Zigui pulled Ning Xiaoyao away, but she kept turning back to stare at Shadowgale who was still standing in one place.
Vexed, she asked Lou Zigui, “But what’s to be done about Windy’s situation?”
Lou Zigui couldn’t understand what she was so worried about.
“Aiya,” Unable to think of a solution, Ning Xiaoyao began to scratch at her head.
“Why should a good man need to fear the lack of a wife?” Lou Zigui asked.
“There are so many women out in the world that you don’t need to worry about Shadowgale growing old alone, Xiaoyao.”
Ning Xiaoyao blinked as she digested his words. “Is that what you thought about yourself in the past too?”
“What?” Lou Zigui didn’t catch on to her meaning.
“That is exactly why you’re still a single wang[1. Single Wang (单身汪) - danshenwang, self-deprecating Internet slang for a single person not in a relationship.] now,” Ning Xiaoyao finished.
“Single wang?” Lou Zigui echoed, very confused.
“Wang wang,” Ning Xiaoyao imitated the Chinese version of barking. “It’s supposed to be a dog, ah.”
Lou Zigui stared at Ning Xiaoyao not understanding.
“Urk,” Ning Xiaoyao then tried to salvage the situation. “I mean like, a bachelor.”
“Alright, that’s enough out of you,” Supreme Commander Lou had Ning Xiaoyao shut up.
“Do you think reality will change just because I don’t say anything?” Ning Xiaoyao asked him.
“Fifth Young Miss Xie wasn’t suitable,” Lou Zigui got straight to the point.
“Why not!?” Ning Xiaoyao yelled, catching the attention of multiple passerby. All of them stared at her. Lou Zigui stepped forward to shield her from sight until the people lost interest and went back to their business.
“She’s a daughter of the Xie Clan,” Lou Zigui finally murmured back. “How can you be sure that she won’t be standing on their side when it comes time for us to face off against the Xie Clan? What should Shadowgale do then? Kill his wife, or go seek refuge with Xie Wenyuan?”
Ning Xiaoyao was stunned by Lou Zigui’s words. Lou Zigui led her along the streets as he continued explaining, “Shadowgale might have saved her once, but how do we know whether that girl is really the type to repay her debts of gratitude?”
“......” said Ning Xiaoyao. Mother******, I don’t possess mind reading skills!
“She is also a girl who’s been raised by Old Madame Xie since birth to be a favored concubine at court,” Lou Zigui added. “Xiaoyao, how can you be sure that she’ll be content just spending her days with Shadowgale?”
“B-but Old Madame Xie is dead and Grand Preceptor Xie doesn’t want her anymore,” Ning Xiaoyao didn’t want to admit defeat.
“Right now she’s at a dead end. If Shadowgale says he’ll marry her now, people will later claim that he was taking advantage of her time of difficulties,” Lou Zigui continued his instruction. “Now, would that do Shadowgale any favors?”
“I’ll kill whoever dares to say such things!” Ning Xiaoyao’s expression turned brutal.
“How are you supposed to stop each and every mouth alive?” Lou Zigui asked. “Will you kill every single person in the world?”
“Every single person? Are they all going to bother with such things?” Ning Xiaoyao asked, very serious. Just how idle can they all be?
“There will always be naysayers,” Lou Zigui paused to adjust Ning Xiaoyao’s messy bun while she had lowered her head in thought.
Finally she mumbled, “In reality, the main point is only that she’s a daughter of the Xie Clan, right?”
“Mm,” Lou Zigui affirmed quietly. “Don’t move, let me fix your hair for you.”
Ning Xiaoyao rolled her eyes. “Well, I was born from the empress dowager herself. Half of the blood in my veins belongs to the Xie Clan, ah.”
Lou Zigui’s hand stiffened in the middle of fixing Ning Xiaoyao’s hair.
“What if Windy really likes Xie Duoying, though?” Ning Xiaoyao asked him next.
Lou Zigui resumed his movements, though his eyes flickered gloomily. “It’s no use what anyone says on the matter. We have to wait and see what Shadowgale decides instead. If he truly holds feelings for fifth young Miss Xie, then I won’t stop them from marrying,” Supreme Commander Lou promised her.
The Head Commander of the Dragon Guards becoming a son-in-law to the Xie Clan? Lou Zigui couldn’t help but think. I’d kill Xie Duoying before that ever happens. How can a living man marry a dead wife?