Chapter 195: Who can be emperor? Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Ning Xiaoyao and Lou Zigui walked through the streets, the former taking interest in everything while the latter had interest in nothing. The only reason they were together at all was because Supreme Commander Lou was duty bound to accompany His Majesty Ning. Ning Xiaoyao paused in front of a man selling firewood to listen to him haggle with a plump woman. She rubbed her chin and felt that here was another career for her in the making.
In the future, when she finally quit being the emperor, she could definitely sell firewood for a living. With her strength, she could probably cut enough wood at a time to support her for a month. (Author: From an emperor to a woodcutter. Don’t you think the differences are too great, Your Majesty? o(╯□╰)o ) When Lou Zigui saw Ning Xiaoyao so transfixed by the woodcutter, he silently slipped away.
“Supreme Commander,” Below the walls bordering the streets stood a young man dressed in ordinary garb who gave him a bow.
“No need for formalities,” Lou Zigui glanced down at the man. “What is it?”
“The head steward has ordered me to come find Supreme Commander,” the young man looked a little nervous, his voice shaking as he spoke. “The head steward ordered this one to tell Supreme Commander that the banquet’s already been prepared. If something happens to Tao Yu, should he find Supreme Commander?”
Lou Zigui replied, “Has the head steward made his arrangements for Tao Yu as well?”
“Yes,” the young man nodded the affirmative.
“Then don’t have the head steward find me,” Lou Zigui lowered his voice. “He has no need to take any actions at all.”
The young man’s head whipped up to look at Lou Zigui, who had already turned towards Ning Xiaoyao to make sure she hadn’t run off. At this, the young man lowered his head again and murmured, “This one understands.”
Lou Zigui turned back and awarded the youth some money. “Be careful. Tell the head steward that as well.”
The young man quickly bowed. “This one understands. This one thanks Supreme Commander for the reward.” Then as Lou Zigui had slipped back into the crowd, the young man stuck to the wall and soon walked out of sight.
Ning Xiaoyao was still staring at the woodcutter, enough to make him grow antsy and ask her, “Young master, do you want to buy some firewood?”
“I’m not buying,” Ning Xiaoyao replied truthfully, “And I didn’t bring any money with me, either.”
“Then what are you staring for?” the man asked.
“Oh,” Ning Xiaoyao said, “I wish to join your field of work in the future.”
It was then that Lou Zigui returned to the scene. The man looked like Ning Xiaoyao’s scrawny form, then at the familiar looking Lou Zigui, and asked, “Your little brother wants to sell firewood for a living. As the older brother, did you know that?”
“......” said Lou Zigui.
The man then shook his head at Lou Zigui. “Your little brother can’t do this job.” How many sticks of firewood can a young master like him lift? (Author: That young master is very powerful…)
“Why not?” Ning Xiaoyao asked seriously.
“Young master, your body is precious,” the man then replied.
Ning Xiaoyao scratched her head as she asked Lou Zigui, “Is he saying I’m very valuable?”
“Why don’t we just go?” Lou Zigui said instead. But how could Ning Xiaoyao leave without getting to the bottom of everything?
“Do you want me to carry you away instead again?” Lou Zigui asked next.
“What, like you’d ever be able to beat me up?” Ning Xiaoyao tilted her head to one side and looked askance at him.
“Do you actually count ‘carrying’ others as ‘beating them up?’” Lou Zigui asked.
The man watched the two figures before him who were scaring his customers off and couldn’t help but to tell the truth. “Young master, you’re too skinny. You can’t do work like this.” Rich people should just live the lives of the rich, don’t take us commoners as a joke!
Ning Xiaoyao looked down at her petite form before taking the thickest piece of firewood from the woodcutter’s pile and easily breaking it in half. Then she told the petrified man, “Who said that small bodies can’t have powerful strength? Let me tell you, I haven’t entered your line of work yet. Once I’m in the profession, you’ll be---”
Lou Zigui simply threw Ning Xiaoyao over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Yes, this girl had massive strength, but she was also very light and thus easy to carry around.
“Ahhhhhh~” Ning Xiaoyao yelled.
“Don’t shout,” Lou Zigui replied.
“AHHHHHHHHHHHHH~” As if Miss Ning would stop shouting just because you told her to!
Lou Zigui only replied, “I won’t let you become a woodcutter.”
Hm? Ning Xiaoyao stopped shouting.
“With me around,” Lou Zigui continued, “Why would you need to sell firewood for a living?”
“So what you mean is, that you’ll raise me once I stop being the emperor?” Ning Xiaoyao asked.
Lou Zigui turned to look at her. “Then who else were you planning on to raise you?”
Ning Xiaoyao blinked. I can raise myself, why would I need to depend on anyone else?
“Don’t worry about the future,” Lou Zigui murmured, “I’m here, so I won’t let you suffer anything.”
Ning Xiaoyao thought hard on his words. He wants to raise me and make sure I don’t suffer. Is that Supreme Commander Lou’s way of saying ‘I love you?’
Lou Zigui asked, “Will you remember my words from now on?”
“Supreme Commander,” Ning Xiaoyao replied, “You should tell it straight if you have something to say.”
“.......” said Lou Zigui. Wasn’t I clear enough, though?
“Mhm,” Ning Xiaoyao looked at him very seriously. “Supreme Commander, you don’t need to worry about the future, either. If we really can’t make it, I can raise you as well. I can treat illnesses for money, or cut firewood, or---”
“I already said I won’t let you cut firewood,” Lou Zigui was about to give up. Why are we back to cutting wood again?
“Actually, from an environmental standpoint, it’s not good to cut too many trees,” Ning Xiaoyao said. “Of course, petroleum and coal will cause pollution problems of their own as well.”
Supreme Commander Lou only walked on in silence before he finally asked, “What are you talking about?” He didn’t only fail to understand her sentence, but entire phrases as well.
Ning Xiaoyao only dropped her head to stare at her hands. “Ah geez, I didn’t return the firewood to the woodcutter.”
Lou Zigui looked at the pieces of wood in Ning Xiaoyao’s hands and sighed. “You might as well toss them.”
“Toss them?” Ning Xiaoyao grew displeased then. “This is cash! Supreme Commander, do you think we have money right now!?”
Supreme Commander Lou had even been admiring Ning Xiaoyao previously, but now he fell silent.
“I’m being serious, I really can raise you,” Ning Xiaoyao waved the wood in her hands.
Lou Zigui retorted, “Why is it you raising me?” Would I have any face left if I depended on Miss Ning to earn our livelihood?
“Why can’t I?” Ning Xiaoyao replied. “Don’t you trust me? Just because I’m poor as an emperor doesn’t mean I’ll be poor once I quit the post.”
Lou Zigui only walked on a few more steps before he suddenly asked her, “You really don’t want to be the emperor?”
“I really don’t,” Ning Xiaoyao shook her head. This unlucky emperor! Whoever wants the spot can take it, I don’t like it at all.
“Then can anyone else be emperor instead?” Lou Zigui asked.
Ning Xiaoyao thought it over. “Not the Northern Hu, that’s for sure. I’m afraid that Wolf King will start a racial genocide.”
“So anyone from Yongning will do?”
“Not Grand Preceptor Xie, either,” Ning Xiaoyao said. “If he becomes emperor then we’ll all be screwed.”
“Then who else besides Xie Wenyuan?”
“None of the people in the Grand Preceptor’s faction.”
“Who else can’t qualify?” Lou Zigui asked next.
Ning Xiaoyao thought it over before deciding, “No one else.”
Lou Zigui took Ning Xiaoyao’s words as a joke, but still kept them to heart.
“Can you stop carrying me so I can walk?” Ning Xiaoyao asked. “All the blood is rushing to my head.”
Lou Zigui hastily set Ning Xiaoyao on her feet.
“Let’s go buy me some egg yolk guoba,” Ning Xiaoyao declared as she sprinted ahead. But after running up and down the length of the street three times---returning her firewood to the woodcutter in the process---she still didn’t see any guoba vendors.
“Your Majesty, do you want to keep looking around?” a Dragon Guard asked her. They’d left the palace first thing in the morning, but now it was approaching noon.
Ning Xiaoyao only looked at Lou Zigui and muttered, “You lied to me.”
All of the Dragon Guards stared at Lou Zigui in turn, their eyes rebuking him. There aren’t even any egg yolk guoba sellers on this street. Supreme Commander, why did you bring His Majesty here?
Lou Zigui could only say, “Haven’t you eaten your fill of other things already?” Ning Xiaoyao’s mouth hadn’t stopped working since they came. He made sure not to starve the girl.
“But none of those were egg yolk guoba! Where’s the guoba you promised me?” Ning Xiaoyao wore a long face as she whispered, “And you said you wanted to raise me, too. But you won’t even give me egg yolk guoba to eat.”
Now the Dragon Guards were staring at Supreme Commander Lou with eyes full of blame. Supreme Commander wants to raise His Majesty? Yet, he’s been doing nothing but eating and drinking from His Majesty’s stores these days.
Lou Zigui rested a hand against his forehead. It was impossible to speak reasonably now. “I didn’t know they didn’t sell them here,” he tried one more time in his defense.
“We made a promise,” Ning Xiaoyao said.
Lou Zigui decided right then that he would hate egg yolk guoba for the rest of his life!
“Shall this servant accompany Your Majesty to the stall we went to last time?” Shadowgale quietly suggested.
Ning Xiaoyao was about to turn around when two passerby walked past the group while gossiping.
“Another battle’s breaking out at the Grand Preceptor’s estate, have you heard?”
“Gods in Heaven, what in the world is going on with that place? They don’t have a day of peace.”
“I saw soldiers.”
As the two figures left, Lou Zigui’s gaze grew solemn. The feast at the Grand Preceptor’s estate had begun.
Ning Xiaoyao said, “Someone went to seek trouble for Grand Preceptor Xie again?”
A Dragon Guard piped up, “This servant heard them say that soldiers had showed up too.”
“Ah,” Ning Xiaoyao grew excited. “Could it be that some general wants to eliminate evil for the nation by killing his way through the Grand Preceptor’s estate?”
None of the Dragon Guards spoke. No matter how optimistic they were, they still couldn’t compare to His Majesty’s imagination.
“Shall we go check out the chaos?” Ning Xiaoyao asked everyone.
“You’re not going to eat guoba anymore?” Lou Zigui asked.
Ning Xiaoyao was all stern righteousness as she inspired awe. “What do egg yolk guoba count for when compared to watching Grand Preceptor Xie’s death?” I’m someone who’s got my priorities straight, alright already?
“He won’t die,” Lou Zigui picked up Ning Xiaoyao and mounted his horse.
“Then I’ll eat egg yolk guoba instead,” Ning Xiaoyao immediately changed her mind. If Grand Preceptor Xie wasn’t dying, then it didn’t matter whether she saw the ruckus or not.
Lou Zigui steered his horse towards the direction of the palace. “It’s getting late, we’ll eat some next time.”
“You tricked me again!” Ning Xiaoyao fumed.
“Elder Li will definitely be asking you for an audience,” Lou Zigui said. “Do you want him to wait overly long?”
Ning Xiaoyao’s temper immediately evaporated at the words. “W-what does old gramps want to see me for?” she asked Lou Zigui nervously.
“Your Majesty will have to tell Elder Li about everything that happened today again,” Lou Zigui said. “Be sure to tell it well.”
“But doesn’t old gramps know everything already?” Ning Xiaoyao wore a pained expression. If he knows everything, why does he still need to ask?
Lou Zigui couldn’t help but think to himself, Li Wuqi, you had better come ask His Majesty for an audience!
(Author: Tch, Supreme Commander Lou, you’re lying to His Majesty again?! (￣△￣；) )