Chapter 252: I like you like this Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
“That won’t do,” Lou Zigui shook his head. “Your Majesty’s body can’t be casually moved away just like that. It would be impossible for me to let too many people know of your secret, so this is the only solution: burn down the entire palace with your body in it.”
Ning Xiaoyao glared at him. “Think of another way. I’ve said it before, I’ll live and die with this palace!”
“That’s not what you said before.”
“A palace is a house all the same. What’s wrong with what I said?” Ning Xiaoyao continued to glare.
Lou Zigui knit his brows. “In the future, I’ll pay for the reconstruction of your palace, how’s that?”
“Do you have money?” Ning Xiaoyao’s eyes widened. “Did you say you couldn’t even afford to raise your own soldiers? Were you lying to me?!”
Lou Zigui knew he couldn’t admit to that even if he died, so he said, “After getting rid of the Grand Preceptor’s faction and clearing up the courts, I won’t be too poor to raise my own troops.”
Ning Xiaoyao wore a ‘are you trying to trick me’ expression. “We still have to fight Big Boss Ding and the Northern Hu after that. Supreme Commander, are you pocketing the money for those expeditions for yourself?”
“.....” said Lou Zigui.
“So tell me, where are you going to get the money?” Ning Xiaoyao asked.
“I don’t have any money,” Lou Zigui was forced to admit.
“I don’t care,” Ning Xiaoyao shook Lou Zigui by the neck as she continued to speak. “You can’t burn down the house. You can’t burn down the house. Wahhhhhh, you can’t burn my house!”
Lou Zigui’s head hurt. He decided to try another idea, or else this girl would never forgive him for burning her house down.
“Are you going to stop burning it now?” Ning Xiaoyao stopped shaking him.
Lou Zigui nodded.
“Really?” Ning Xiaoyao couldn’t help but worry. The man in front of her was a scheming black belly, after all.
“Really,” Lou Zigui wrapped his arms around Ning Xiaoyao. “I thought you didn’t want to be emperor, so you wouldn’t care about this palace.”
“What does not wanting to be emperor have to do with houses?” Ning Xiaoyao glared at him. “Just because it’s not mine, I don’t have to appreciate it? This is a house, ah! Not a piece of paper, ah pah, ah!”
Lou Zigui found himself rendered speechless by her words.
“You promised you wouldn’t burn the house, ah. Don’t lie to me,” Ning Xiaoyao added worriedly.
“As a man, a word once spoken cannot be taken back even by a team of four horses,” Lou Zigui vowed.
Ning Xiaoyao pursed her lips. Look at him, talking like he’s never cheated anyone in his life.
Lou Zigui saw the motion and knew that Ning Xiaoyao must be having thoughts about him again. He lifted her chin and asked, “What are you thinking about?”
“Nothing,” Ning Xiaoyao replied. “In any case, you can’t burn down my house.”
“If I leave your body intact, I could use that to pressure Xie Wenyuan,” Lou Zigui said.
“But if you do that,” Ning Xiaoyao replied, “The Grand Preceptor will do his best to burn down my house instead, right?” The best way to cleanly get rid of a corpse was to reduce it to ashes, after all.
Lou Zigui hugged Ning Xiaoyao in silence. In truth, it would be better for his men to set the fire than the Grand Preceptor’s scouts. While his side would only burn a few of the larger palaces, Grand Preceptor Xie could end up submerging the entire Supreme Splendor Hall in a sea of flames. He glanced at Ning Xiaoyao, who was already anxiously biting her nails, and kept his thoughts to himself. Instead, he took her fingers and said, “Alright, I’ll think of a solution.”
Ning Xiaoyao sniffed, looking rather pitiful. If he says he’ll think of a solution, that means Supreme Commander Lou doesn’t have one right now!
“I promise you,” Lou Zigui said as he stroked her head with a caox, “I definitely won’t let Xie Wenyuan burn your house down.”
“You make it sound like you never intended to burn my house down either,” Ning Xiaoyao muttered faintly.
“.....” said Lou Zigui. So now I can’t even coax her properly, either?
“If he burns my house, I’ll burn his,” Ning Xiaoyao turned vicious. “I’ll burn down the entire Grand Preceptor’s estate!”
“Alright,” Lou Zigui agreed immediately. He didn’t mind doing that at all.
“I’ll go back and lie down,” Ning Xiaoyao huffed. This time, she really was sacrificing it all! But Lou Zigui just held onto her.
“Let me check your injury.”
“Here,” Ning Xiaoyao tilted her neck so Lou Zigui could see. The wound had recovered further, and most of the skin had healed. Lou Zigui felt it with his fingers before lowering his head to softly blow on the spot.
“It’s good that you’re fine,” he said.
“I told you ages ago that I was fine,” Ning Xiaoyao said as she looked at him. “Supreme Commander, don’t you trust in my powe---urk, my medical skills?”
“I trust them,” Lou Zigui laughed. Reality was right before his eyes. Why would he still doubt the truth?
“Supreme Commander,” Shen Mu called from outside the door.
“What is it?” Lou Zigui asked.
“The palace gates are swarming with people. Should this soldier shut the gates?”
“Has the military barrack’s soldiers arrived?” Lou Zigui asked.
“Not yet,” Shen Mu said, “But Elder Li and Xie Wenyuan are standing together and talking about something.”
“Shut them,” Lou Zigui said simply. Meanwhile, Ning Xiaoyao realized that she’d forgotten yet another detail---to tell Elder Li their plans ahead of time! Completely floored, she couldn’t help but wonder: will old gramps beat me to death after he finds out the truth?
“Supreme Commander,” General Shen Mu called, “Should you come to the palace gates yourself?”
“No need,” Lou Zigui replied. “After the military barracks soldiers show up, you can send someone to tell me then.”
“Yes,” Shen Mu obeyed. After a pause, he still asked, “Supreme Commander, how are His Majesty’s wounds?”
Lou Zigui didn’t speak.
Hearing nothing but silence, Shen Mu didn’t dare to ask any more, but simply turned and left.
“We’re doomed,” Ning Xiaoyao said wretchedly once Shen Mu was gone. “Will old gramps bite me to death?”
“He won’t,” Lou Zigui said as he fixed her hair. Ning Xiaoyao’s bun-tying skills were never up to par in his eyes.
“You should drop old gramps a word,” Ning Xiaoyao suggested.
“No need,” Lou Zigui replied. “If we want to convincingly trick Xie Wenyuan, the less people that know about you the better.”
That’s true. So now he’s even hiding the truth from his own subordinates. Ning Xiaoyoa rubbed her nose. “Then are you just going to watch old gramps team up with the Grand Preceptor? Let me tell you, ah, old gramps has a strong fighting spirit too.”
Lou Zigui chuckled and shifted Ning Xiaoyao until he was princess carrying her back to the inner chambers.
“Don’t regret it when old gramps bullies you,” Ning Xiaoyao warned.
Lou Zigui smiled. “He wouldn’t go so far as to hit me.”
“He would have to be able to beat you first,” Ning Xiaoyao was very unsatisfied with Lou Zigui’s current attitude. “Supreme Commander, old gramps is fierce when he yells at people.”
“I’m not afraid of being yelled at.”
If he’s not afraid of that, then Supreme Commander Lou has nothing to worry about, Ning Xiaoyao mused silently. In any case, it’s not like old gramps can beat him in a fight.
Lou Zigui set Ning Xiaoyao on the bed before sitting next to her. “You should move to a different place to live.”
“No, I’ll live and die with my house,” Ning Xiayao sat up and crossed her legs, glaring back at him. “Don’t worry. If it really catches on fire, I’ll escape the flames.”
Lou Zigui’s voice dropped. “Then wouldn’t others see you?”
“I’ll cover up my face,” Ning Xiaoyao said seriously.
Lou Zigui’s gaze trailed downwards. Who else in Supreme Splendor Hall is as short as you? Or runs as fast as you?
Ning Xiaoyao looked down at herself too, then looked back at Lou Zigui with a ferocious glare. “What do you mean by that? Are you trying to say my short, flat-chested self is easy to recognize at a glance?”
Lou Zigui shook his head. Although this girl really is short, and her chest not very….never mind. He said instead, “I’m only thinking how I have no reason to stay here at all.”
Ning Xiaoyao harumphed. He’s obviously trying to humor me.
“You don’t want to leave?” Lou Zigui asked.
“I’m not leaving,” Ning Xiaoyao said resolutely.
“Then don’t go,” Lou Zigui followd up.
Ning Xiaoyao tugged at her clothes. It’s not like I can’t grow taller, either. If I used a little less of my powers, I could grow to staggering heights. You can just look at my own mother. Her genetic makeup is right there as proof. (Author: So now of all times, you’ve decided to recognize Empress Dowager Xie as your mother? (￢_￢) )
“They’re not small,” Lou Zigui suddenly spoke up.
Ning Xiaoyao looked up. Instead of being coaxed into a good mood by Lou Zigui, she felt even more depressed. “I know you’re trying to make me feel better, but you can’t take me to be blind, you know.”
“You’re still young, so they’ll still grow,” Lou Zigui could only reply.
“Heheh,” Ning Xiaoyao chuckled. “And if they don’t?”
“That won’t happen.”
“So if mine don’t grow, you’ll find someone with assets like that Ji Clan girl?” Ning Xiaoyao looked askance at him.
What does this have to do with Ji Yuerong? Supreme Commander Lou felt another headache coming on. “Nothing like that will happen.” He patted Ning Xiaoyao’s head and said rather ingeniously, “I like you like this. Whether or not you grow, I’ll still like you.”
Ning Xiaoyao stopped glaring at him and broke out into a grin.
Meanwhile, Lou Zigui was feeling a little awkward after admitting his feelings. He hesitated briefly before stating, “I’ll go out and see if the Lord Protector and his brother’s here yet.”
With a woosh, Ning Xiaoyao rushed forward and gave him a kiss. “You said it yourself, ah. No matter what I grow into, you can’t go back on those words.”
Lou Zigui gave a start before breaking into Ning Xiaoyao’s favorite type of smile. “Alright.”
Oil Jar and the sparrow Wheat were both perched on the windowsill when they saw Lou Zigui lower his head to kiss Ning Xiaoyao again. Oil Jar asked Wheat, “They’re about to break out into a fight at the palace gates, so how could Supreme Commander still have time to flirt and romance Xiaoyao?”
Wheat was very serious. “Because Xiaoyao is more important, ah.”
“Oh.” Oil Jar understood. Of course kissing Xiaoyao on the lips is more important than the fighting at the palace gates! (Author: Hey! That’s not a proper comparison!)
“The atmosphere is so good,” Ning Xiaoyao said somewhat dizzily. “Why don’t we do it once together?”
Lou Zigui’s body stiffened as he released her.
“Don’t, ah,” Ning Xiaoyao murmured in disappointment.
“You’re injured,” Lou Zigui stood up as he said in a soft voice. “I’ll owe you one for now.”
As Ning Xiaoyao watched Lou Zigui walk away with quick steps, she couldn’t help but pout. That’s the first time I’ve heard of anyone owing ‘that’ kind of thing! There sure are a lot of customs I don’t understand in this world. (Author: Only your Supreme Commander has a custom like that…)
“Supreme Commander,” the young Dragon Guard on duty at the door quickly bowed as Lou Zigui emerged. “The Lord Protector and His Excellency Pei have arrived.”
“Good,” Lou Zigui replied. “I’ll go see them.”
The Dragon Guard hurried to lead the way.
“Xiaoyao,” Oil Jar and Wheat each ran or flew to pounce on Ning Xiaoyao once Lou Zigui was gone.
“You’re here, ah,” Ning Xiaoyao opened her arms to accept them both. “Wheat, why did you enter the palace today?”
Wheat said, “All the people in the city are saying you’re dead, Xiaoyao. I came to take a look, chirp~”
“......” said Ning Xiaoyao. I’ve only died recently. How come news spreads so fast?
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