Chapter 208: See who the Heavens spare Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
“The Lord Protector successfully brought Pei Yan over,” Shadowbolt hastily reported to Ning Xiaoyao who was sitting on the Dragon Throne.
“Whew,” Ning Xiaoyao exhaled. She almost thought she’d be left with no reason to tear the Grand Preceptor into pieces for today.
“Your Majesty?” Shadowbolt murmured softly.
“Let them wait a bit and act low-key,” Ning Xiaoyao said. “What if the Grand Preceptor’s arranged assassins for them ahead of time?”
The fourth commander of the Dragon Guards fell silent. Arranging assassins within the palace walls? Your Majesty, how do you even come up with such things? He withdrew with figurative black lines running down his face while Ning Xiaoyao blinked a few times at Lou Zigui at the foot of the steps. He nodded in turn, having understood Miss Ning’s meaning: Pei Yan was here.
“Your Majesty?” Grand Preceptor Xie had already talked for ages already, but stopped and called out towards Ning Xiaoyao when he saw that she had no reaction.
Ning Xiaoyao patted her ears and said, “The wind was too loud, so I didn’t hear what you said just then, Grand Preceptor.”
“.......” said the gathered officials. Where can you find wind within the Hall of Golden Chimes?
This wasn’t the first time that Grand Preceptor Xie had fought against Ning Xiaoyao, so he wasn’t angry. He only asked, “Then Your Majesty means to say that this subject should repeat himself?”
“No need,” Ning Xiaoyao replied. “Our country is so big with plenty of problems to spare, right? Let’s save time and talk about proper business now.”
The various officials were still standing in silence. Wasn’t the Grand Preceptor talking about proper business just then? Look at His Majesty, he can curse people out without using even a single swear word!
“Your Majesty…” Grand Preceptor Xie began.
“Grand Preceptor,” Ning Xiaoyao wasn’t going to give him a chance to speak again. “Look at how ill you are, but you’re still worrying about state affairs. As the emperor, I’m very touched, ah.”
Grand Preceptor Xie had gone to court wearing a black gauze face veil. His excuse was that illness had made him too ugly to look at, so he didn’t want to pollute His Majesty’s eyes. In Ning Xiaoyao’s opinion, he was simply afraid of everyone seeing his swollen-like-a-pig’s-head face and losing face.
Everyone could tell that His Majesty’s words were mocking the Grand Preceptor, but Grand Preceptor Xie’s tone was still as even as before. “This subject thanks Your Majesty.”
Ning Xiaoyao pursed her lips. Those who are shameless have no enemies under Heaven. He’s grown already invincible.
“Your Majesty,” Elder Li spoke up next. “With regards to the Nine Gates Infantry Commander, this subject would like to ask Your Majesty if you have someone in mind?”
“This subject believes that the official of the Ministry of War, Xie Anji, is capable of taking the post,” a person from the Grand Preceptor’s faction piped up then.
“This subject believes in Xie Anji’s qualifications as well.”
“As does this subject.”
“This subject seconds the proposal.”
All of the Grand Preceptor’s men stepped out to speak, their voices chorusing for Xie Anji to be the next Nine Gates Infantry Commander.
“Alright, alright, alright, enough already,” Ning Xiaoyao waved a hand as the masses called her wise and brilliant to boot. “How come I’m the one who is suddenly wise and brilliant? Judging from your words, I’ll be a fatuous, self-indulgent ruler if I don’t pick Xie Anji for the post?”
A Grand Preceptor faction official quickly fell to his knees. “This subject doesn’t dare. Your Majesty, we subjects would never dare consider such a thought.”
Grand Preceptor Xie simply sat in his chair and looked at Ning Xiaoyao. “This subject respectfully awaits Your Majesty’s royal thoughts.”
All of the Grand Preceptor’s faction held their breaths. Here was the critical moment. Yesterday they had been summoned in the middle of the night to the Grand Preceptor’s estate to discuss matters related to the Nine Gates Infantry Commander’s post. Everyone knew exactly what they had to do. When Ning Xiaoyao brought up the Lord Protector Pei Yi, they were all to verbally attack the man. Even if the Lord Protector wasn’t a useless good-for-nothing, he’d surely carry that name from this day on if they had anything say about it.
Ning Xiaoyao silently inhaled and said, “You lot all know about the old Lord Protector. Those who don’t, raise their hands. I can tell you all about him.”
Nobody raised their hands in the Hall of Golden Chimes. Grand Preceptor Xie grew even more convinced that Ning Xiaoyao was going to nominate Pei Yi after mentioning the ex-Lord Protector. No exceptions would happen this time, so he steeled his heart to act.
“I’ve already apologized to the Lord Protector’s estate for what had happened to the old Lord Protector,” Ning Xiaoyao continued when she saw no one raising their hands. “This Majesty was very touched when the old madame didn’t beat me up over the issue.”
Grand Preceptor Xie replied, “Your Majesty is the sovereign while she is a mere subject. If she dared to show Your Majesty any disrespect, you could simply order her nine generations to be exterminated.”
“Heheh,” Ning Xiaoyao replied. That’s why I say this bastard’s absolutely shameless. Just who was the one who drove the Lord Protector’s estate to ruin in the first place?
The world’s evils were contained within her chuckle, yet Grand Preceptor Xie didn’t react. He languidly asked, “Who then, does Your Majesty think befitting of the Nine Gates Infantry Commander’s post?”
“I think Pei Yan’s not a bad choice,” Ning Xiaoyao replied.
“Pei Yi, that man…” Grand Preceptor Xie trailed off. What did His Majesty just say?
“Pei Yan, ah,” Ning Xiaoyao looked with concern at Grand Preceptor Xie. “Grand Preceptor, is there something wrong with your ears as well?”
Pei Yan? That boy who was injured when he was four and turned into an eunuch?
Even Elder Li’s faction was stunned by the suggestion, to say nothing of the Grand Preceptor’s men. How can an eunuch become the Nine Gates Infantry Commander?
Lou Zigui took that chance to step out. “From what this subject understands, Pei Yan has trained with the Lord Protector’s subordinates and is an intelligent, talented man. This subject believes that Pei Yan can shoulder the post of Nine Gates Infantry Commander.”
“Supreme Commander is quite right,” Ning Xiaoyao addressed the hall. “Let the Lord Protector and Pei Yan come in.”
“His Majesty summons the Lord Protector Pei Yi and Pei Yan into the hall~.” Loud voices proclaimed the two brothers as they entered the Hall of Golden Chimes.
“Your Majesty,” Grand Preceptor Xie finally recovered his wits. “Pei Yan’s body has been injured. How could someone like him---”
“You’ve seen it for yourself, then?” Ning Xiaoyao interrupted quickly. “Seeing is believing. If you haven’t seen it with your own eyes, Grand Preceptor, you shouldn’t make things up.”
Grand Preceptor Xie grew impatient with his rage and grinned back. “Which person in the world doesn’t know what happened to Pei Yan?”
“I didn’t,” Ning Xiaoyao patted herself. “Aren’t I a person as well?”
“Your Majesty,” Grand Preceptor Xie protested, “This isn’t child’s play.”
“That’s not it,” Ning Xiaoyao replied. “Grand Preceptor, are your words the only ones to be taken seriously, and mine are considered child’s play? What kind of logic is that?”
“Your Majesty, this subject only concerns myself with facts, not feelings,” Grand Preceptor Xie replied.
Ning Xiaoyao said, “Fine. Then, let’s consider the facts and not feelings. You say Pei Yan is injured, but has he ever taken off his pants for you to see if it is true or not?”
“Pei Yan has seen a physician,” Grand Preceptor Xie refused to fall into Ning Xiaoyao’s pace. “Back then, the capital’s doctors all took turns examining him. How could it be possible that they were all slandering him?”
“You said it yourself, that was back then,” Ning Xiaoyao retorted. “Grand Preceptor, are people sick for the rest of their lives in your eyes? Can they not ever recover from their illnesses? Moreover, how did the old Lord Protector die? Back then,” Ning Xiaoyao placed emphasis on the last two words, “Wasn’t it a group of people who ganged up to force him unto his death? That wasn’t just a single capital city, but the entire world working against him, wasn’t it?”
“This subject doesn’t understand Your Majesty’s words,” Grand Preceptor Xie interjected frankly.
“Heheh,” Ning Xiaoyao was equally blunt in return. “Zhen doesn’t understand Grand Preceptor’s words, either.” Mm, for once I remembered to use ‘Zhen.’ Ning Xiaoyao mentally gave herself a ‘Like.’
Here they go again. All of the Grand Preceptor’s faction were starting to grieve in their hearts. Grand Preceptor’s going to lose another verbal fight against the emperor again.
Lou Zigui looked at Grand Preceptor Xie and said, “Has Grand Preceptor ever seen the prescription or the doctor’s orders?”
“What?” Grand Preceptor Xie asked, confused as to where Lou ZIgui was going with that line of questioning.
Lou Zigui continued, “If you haven’t seen the prescriptions that the doctors wrote for Pei Yan, nor his injury with your own eyes, then dare I ask how Grand Preceptor is certain that Pei Yan’s body has issues? Didn’t the Luo Clan reject their marriage agreement with the Pei Clan in the past because of Pei Yan’s body issues?”
Ning Xiaoyao’s eyes widened. That happened as well?
“Supreme Commander Lou.” A tall and stalwart military official chose this chance to speak. “Would our Luo Clan have gone back on our word if it wasn’t for the doctor’s diagnosis?!”
Lou Zigui chuckled and said, “No matter how skilled a doctor may be, he’s still only a commoner. Why would they not fear a man with as much power and influence as Great General Luo?”
“You!” Great General Luo looked ready to explode from Lou Zigui’s reply.
“Ah!” Ning Xiaoyao opened her mouth. “I should’ve seen your two sons before. Luo Wei and Luo Rui, weren’t they? Your features all look similar.”
Since Ning Xiaoyao was speaking to him, Great General Luo had no choice but to acknowledge the emperor now. “Yes, Your Majesty. Those two are precisely this subject’s sons.”
On that day in Fragrant Gauze Alley, Luo Wei had even beat up Third Young Master Xie Anshi for hugging Yan Hong in the back courtyard. Ning Xiaoyao’s lips split into a grin as she asked, “Let me ask a question. After rejecting the marriage agreement with the Pei Clan, who did your daughter marry?”
Everyone stared at Great General Luo, whose face turned purple from lack of air. Elder Li spoke up in his place. “That young Miss from the Luo Clan eventually married the Grand Preceptor’s third son.”
“Ah?” Ning Xiaoyao asked. “She married Xie Anshi?” She mentally calculated Xie Anshi’s age, then Pei Yan’s, then considered the fact that younger women typically married older men in this world, before rubbing her chin in thought. “The age difference between them is a bit large, wouldn’t you say?”
You even worry about these things? The officials in the hall thought. Lou Zigui shook his head at Ning Xiaoyao. Now isn’t the time for such topics, Miss Ning.
By now, the Lord Protector and Pei Yan had arrived at the entrance to the Hall of Golden Chimes. Inside, Ning Xiaoyao nodded her head and said, “It’s not like anyone can do anything if Xie Anshi prefers lolis, isn’t that right? Haha.”
Elder Li was a serious type and asked Ning Xiaoyao, “Your Majesty, what is a loli?”
“A little kid,” Ning Xiaoyao replied. In front of Elder Li, she couldn’t say such dirty terms like ‘pedophile’ to his face. Even so, Elder Li’s face blanched as he looked at Ning Xiaoyao with furrowed brows. Ning Xiaoyao purposely turned away. I didn’t say a thing!
“Let’s come back to the original topic and talk about the Nine Gates Infantry Commander,” Grand Preceptor Xie piped up. “Why is Your Majesty talking about a young daughter’s marriage affairs instead?”
Ning Xiaoyao shrugged. “That’s why the saying goes that Heaven sees everything that Man does, and that Man should look to the Heavens when he has a chance to see who it spares. Great General Luo, your clan scorned the Lord Protector’s estate as soon as they fell down on their luck. It was fine for the young Miss to marry the Xie Clan back then, but what about now?” Ning Xiaoyao clicked her tongue. “Your family’s young Miss only has two endings before her now: either observe widowhood or live as a grass widow. In any case, she’s a widow all the same.”
What a poisonous tongue. The officials in the hall all rejoiced at the fact that His Majesty wasn’t cursing them.
Great General Luo dared to risk his life against Lou Zigui, but he didn’t have the guts to fight His Majesty. (Author: Even if you did, you still probably wouldn’t win.) His face changed from shades of purple to ashen white. For such a strong and sturdy man, he looked downright pathetic right now.
Ning Xiaoyao pointed a finger at her head and spoke sincerely to Great General Luo, “When you have time, look to the Heavens once in a while. It’ll improve your life.”
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