Chapter 258: His Majesty says, I'll go chat with the empress Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
“Supreme Commander, tell me. What’s the most number of soldiers that the Grand Preceptor can transfer to the capital?” Ning Xiaoyao asked. “Will he really bring all 100,000 troops here?”
“At least 40,000 of them,” Lou Zigui said.
40,000. Ning Xiaoyao scratched her palms. Too many people, I can’t beat that much. (╥╯^╰╥)
“I don’t understand,” Shadowgale said. “If the Black Frost Calvary can’t make it to the city, can’t Your Majesty stand in front of the palace and said that everything before was a product of hearsey? Won’t it all be over then? With Your Majesty unharmed, Xie Wenyuan will only be labeled a rebel if he brings troops to the city.”
“Hm?” Ning Xiaoyao thought. “That’s true.” Can’t I just take a trip outdoors?
Lou Zigui rose and walked to Ning Xiaoyao’s side, before whispering in her ear. “What happens if Xie Wenyuan claims you’re a fake? How are you supposed to prove that you’re a man?”
“......” said Ning Xiaoyao.
Lou Zigui stood up and gave her a remorseful look before apologize. “I’m sorry.”
Ning Xiaoyao scratched her palms again, then said. “It’s fine. A star of disaster is linked to fate and has nothing to do with intelligence or ability.”
“What?” Lou Zigui didn’t understand what she meant.
“Nothing, ah. Nothing,” Ning Xiaoyao patted his hand. “The Grand Preceptor is your unlucky star. But I believe I’m his and the empress dowager’s unlucky star. Those two definitely won’t kill me this time!”
So that’s what the star thing is all about. Lou Zigui’s mouth moved as he tried to explain himself, but in the end he gave up. Forget it. As long as it makes you happy, Miss Ning.
“Your Majesty?” Shadowgale asked.
“Revealing myself won’t solve the problem,” Ning Xiaoyao said with a deep feeling of grief. “As for the reason---Windy, do you mind if I explain it to you another time?” It’d be too hard to come up with a replacement excuse for the gender issue right now.
“Yes,” Shadowgale obeyed and stopped asking questions.
“Then shall we hurry and find a way to get His Majesty out of the city?” a Black Frost Cavalry general asked.
“You should leave the capital,” Lou Zigui said as he looked at Ning Xiaoyao.
She bit her lip and replied, “If I’m going to run, then we all run together.”
“Someone has to hold back the rear,” Lou Zigui murmured.
“Then who do you want to be that unlucky bastard?” Ning Xiaoyao asked.
Lou Zigui smiled a little awkwardly. “Naturally, that’d be me.”
“Unacceptable,” Ning Xiaoyao shook her head. “I don’t want you to be that bastard.”
“Your Majesty, ah,” Lou Zigui sighed.
“If we run, then everyone escapes together. No one’s going to be the unlucky one left behind,” Ning Xiaoyao declared.
Everyone’s heart warmed at her words. His Majesty treasured their lives. As a subject, what more could they want? Many of them wanted to volunteer to be the unlucky bastard right then, but a Dragon Guard’s voice abruptly sounded from outside the door, announcing the arrival of the Lord Protector and his brother.
“Hurry inside!” Ning Xiaoyao shouted.
The Lord Protector and Pei Yan came in one after the other. The former knelt down to pay penance as soon as he saw Ning Xiaoyao. “Your Majesty, this subject was useless and allowed Chen Lu to escape. This subject deserves death.”
Behind him, Pei Yan kneeled on the ground as well without speaking up for his brother.
“Come and rise,” Ning Xiaoyao wanted to help them up personally, but Lou Zigui pressed her shoulder back down. She remained sitting and added, “It’s not important whether Chen Lu’s dead or alive right now.”
The Lord Protector shot Ning Xiaoyao a quizzical look after he stood up. “Your Majesty, did something else happen?”
Pei Yan looked at the faces of everyone present and knew that something big had happened. Ning Xiaoyao sniffed before she said, “Yep, the Black Frost Cavalry can’t come.”
“What?!” the Lord Protector almost jumped into the air.
“Don’t get excited,” Ning Xiaoyao said.
How could the Lord Protector do that? He glared at Lou Zigui and shouted, “What happened? If the Black Frost Cavalry’s not coming to the capital, then where are they going?”
“They’re not going anywhere,” Ning Xiaoyao said weakly. “It’s that they never left Anyuan in the first place.” Ah geez, the Lord Protector’s eyes are turning red. Ning Xiaoyao shrank back into her seat. If this goes on, he might even bite Supreme Commander Lou to death.
“You were tricked?” Pei Yan hit the nail on the head as he questioned Lou Zigui, who nodded.
“How can this be?!” the Lord Protector exclaimed again. All of the Black Frost Cavalry generals felt inflamed at seeing him shout at their Supreme Commander, but they couldn’t even speak up for the man when he was at fault. All they could do was feel oppressed.
“Right now, the most important thing is to see His Majesty out of the city,” Lou Zigui declared.
“Out of the city?” Pei Yan echoed. “At most, we can just stop with this play. Why does His Majesty have to leave the capital?”
Ning Xiaoyao clutched her head. Can we not bring that up now? Lou Zigui saw her pretending to be invisible and said, “We’ll talk about that in the future.”
“Urk, right,” Ning Xiaoyao added quickly. “I’ll explain everything another time.”
The Lord Protector said, “So even if His Majesty shows himself now, it’ll be of no use?”
“Mhm,” Ning Xiaoyao nodded, her expression pained. The Lord Protector sucked in a breath at those words.
“Everyone sit down,” she added. “We need to discuss a solution now.” The Lord Protector remained standing blankly until Pei Yan pulled him down to a seat.
“You can all speak you views,” Ning Xiaoyao took another mantou in her hand. It was the only thing that could calm her down now. The people present exchanged glances, some of them more glares than looks. No one spoke up, making the whole atmosphere depressing beyond belief. Ning Xiaoyao swallowed a mouthful of mantou and looked at the crowd.
“If none of you are talking, does this mean no one has any ideas?”
Shadowgale said, “Your Majesty, I’ll take the Dragon Guards to the back of the palace.” That was the same as saying they’d bring up the rear. This Ning Xiaoyao understood, so she rolled her eyes at him.
“You want to die?” she asked.
“Your Majesty!” Shadowgale grew agitated and rose to his feet. “My life is Your Majesty’s, my…”
“Alright, alright, alright,” Ning Xiaoyao had him sit again. “No need to worry about who has your life. I won’t allow you to throw it away.”
Pei Yan asked, “Then who does Your Majesty think is suited for bringing soldiers to the rear?”
“I don’t think anyone’s suitable,” Ning Xiaoyao waved a hand. “Forget it. Looks like the first way won’t work. We’ll have to try the second instead.”
The Lord Protector and his brother had come too late to heard Ning Xiaoyao’s earlier words. He asked, “What are these first and second ways?”
Ning Xiaoyao replied, “The first way is for everyone to run away together. The second is for all of us to stay and fight Grand Preceptor Xie.”
“.....” said the Lord Protector. No matter how I hear it, the first way seems more reliable!
“You should just leave the city,” Lou Zigui told Ning Xiaoyao.
She shook her head. “I said I wouldn’t let you die, so I won’t. I’ll go chat with the empress.”
“What?!” Multiple people leaped to their feet at her remark.
“What’s wrong?” Ning Xiaoyao asked. “Xu Feiyu has troops in his hands. Since we’re playing with our lives on the line, can’t I go find some reinforcements?”
Lou Zigui knitted his brows. “What could you possibly have to chat with the empress?”
“You guys can help me analyze that,” Ning Xiaoyao answered. Everyone looked at her and waited for her to speak.
“The Grand Preceptor has tricked both me and Supreme Commander,” Ning Xiaoyao began in a small voice. “Doesn’t this prove that old man was watching us playact from the start and thinking to himself, ah, these imbeciles are really idiots? It’s like that, isn’t it?”
“......” said everyone else.
“They were waiting for us to become a laughingstock,” Lou Zigui nodded.
“In other words, the empress is an idiot to them too,” Ning Xiaoyao said. “Since we’re all imbeciles, why would the empress still hold a grudge against me?”
“The empress holds a grudge against you?” the Lord Protector was stunned.
Ning Xiaoyao curled her lip. “Lord Protector, don’t tell me you didn’t know what happened between the empress and the Zhou Clan before she married me.”
The Lord Protector fell silent because he really did know.
“The empress’s true love is Xu Feiyu,” Ning Xiaoyao continued. “Things have reached this critical point already, so I won’t hide that from you guys anymore.”
“I’m going to kill her!” Shadowthunder declared in rage.
“Don’t get excited,” Ning Xiaoyao said. “She’s not my true love, so it doesn’t matter to me who she loves.”
“That’s not right,” Shadowgale said, “The empress is pregnant, ah.”
“Oh,” Ning Xiaoyao added, “That baby of hers isn’t mine.”
Once again, the entire room fell silent.
After a long time, Pei Yan looked sympathetically towards Ning Xiaoyao. “That child belongs to Xu Feiyu?”
“Huh? You can even guess something like that?” Ning Xiaoyao looked at Pei Yan with renewed respect.
Pei Yan had no idea what kind of expression to wear on his face right now.
“Don’t be like that,” Ning Xiaoyao said as she looked at the faces of the men around her. “We’re all one family, which is why I’m not hiding this from you guys.”
Her words made everyone suddenly feel closer to their Majesty once again. If His Majesty could share such an intimate secret with them, then he really wasn’t treating them as outsiders!
“For the sake of her own life, the empress both poisoned and stabbed me…” Before Ning Xiaoyao could finish, more people jumped to their feet and hotly declared that they’d kill the empress. “Wait until I finish,” Ning Xiaoyao stood up herself, handing mantou to every man. “Eat your mantou and calm down.”
The Lord Protector huffed as he polished off his mantou in a few mouthfuls. He looked up at Ning Xiaoyao sitting docilely in her chair, scratching her palms with her nails, and suddenly asked, “Did the empress succeed?”
“Ah?” Ning Xiaoyao asked.
The Lord Protector said, “In poisoning and stabbing you.”
Ning Xiaoyao promptly shook her head. “No. Lord Protector, don’t you go killing the empress too.”
“......” said the Lord Protector.
“.....” said everyone else. Doesn’t your last line prove that she succeeded after all?
“I’ll go talk with the empress,” Ning Xiaoyao after seeing everyone ready to rise up and sic the woman. “If she’s willing to go to such lengths against me just to survive, then she’ll probably want to poison and stab the Grand Preceptor too after learning how he’s treating her as an idiot and doesn’t care whether she lives or dies.”
“Possibly,” Shadowrain nodded. The empress is crazy enough. What wouldn’t she try?
“Then fine,” Ning Xiaoyao said. “I’ll talk with the empress and you guys wait for updates from me.”
Lou Zigui spoke up. “How will you be certain that the empress will just sit and watch us fight the Grand Preceptor until we’re both exhausted?”
Ning Xiaoyao blinked. “Supreme Commander, I’ll only know what the empress thinks after I question her myself, ah.”
Lou Zigui said, “I just don’t want you begging her.”
At the thought of His Majesty humbling himself before the empress, everyone’s expressions turned ugly again.
“It’s fine,” Ning Xiaoyao waved airily. “You guys just wait for me here.” As long as they could live, she wouldn’t just beg, but hug the empress’s thigh, too!