Chapter 279: Supreme Commander Lou arranges an escape route

Chapter 279: Supreme Commander Lou arranges an escape route

Since Lou Zigui was the one who snatched her noodles, Ning Xiaoyao decided to hold back. Snatching my food? Humph! I’ll endure it for now.

She waited until after Lou Zigui left to deal with the war affairs before she ran to the kitchen to gobble up the rest of the noodles from the pot.

Chef Huang was a spectator from the beginning to the end. Ultimately, he was so terrified that he ran to get a digestion pill from Imperial Physician Gao. He was prepared to give His Majesty the pill in case he fell ill.

However, because Chef Huang was so traumatized by what he saw, he decided to eat something to alleviate his stress. Unfortunately, Chef Huang resulted in overeating and had to take the pill for himself. So, Physician Gao’s secret recipe pill ended up in Chef Huang’s stomach and never got to Ning Xiaoyao’s mouth. (o(╯□╰)o)

Lou Zigui was completely oblivious he had narrowly missed a beating from Ning Xiaoyao. He was so busy the next few days that he practically didn’t see her at all.

Likewise, Ning Xiaoyao kept herself busy as well. She helped Erya and Xiaoqiu pack their bags and ordered Shadowgale to send the two siblings out of the palace. “Also, don’t forget to bring the Xie Clan’s fifth young miss. Send her as far as you can. We’re about to go to war and the lady doesn’t know martial arts! How would she protect herself ah?”

When Ning Xiaoyao mentioned Xie Duoying, Shadowgale felt slightly uncomfortable. But after giving it some thought, he couldn’t think of a reason not to help her.

“Go now.” Ning Xiaoyao patted Shadowgale on the shoulder. “Since you’ve decided to like someone, then like you must.”

Shadowgale made a salute. “I understand.”

After Ning Xiaoyao had finished convincing Windy, she turned to the sobbing Erya. Erya was refusing to leave. “Erya, Xiaoqiu is the only son and heir of your family! What if something happens to him?” Ning Xiaoyao reasoned.

Erya cried, “Then just send him alone!”

“Then what if something happens to you?” Ning Xiaoyao picked up Xiaoqiu and pushed him into Shadowgale’s arms. Currently, Xiaoqiu had tears and snots streaming down his face. “Who will take care of Xiaoqiu then? During the battle, I’ll be risking my life on the front-line. I wouldn’t be able to take care of you two. Erya, help lessen my worries, alright?”

Erya was silenced by Ning Xiaoyao’s words.

“Good girl,” Ning Xiaoyao stuffed a purse into Erya’s lapel. “Take good care of Xiaoqiu. I’ll be fine. Don’t cry!”

“Make sure you come get us afterwards.” Erya wiped her tears and requested.

“Mm. After we’re finished here, I’ll come pick you both up.”

After Erya received Ning Xiaoyao’s promise, she reluctantly left with Shadowgale. She was still sobbing and sniffling. As for Xiaoqiu, he was desperately twisting and turning his body like a fried dough twist to break out of Shadowgale’s grip. He shrieked, “I don’t want to leave!” But how could a small figure like himself compete against one of the great commanders of the Dragon Guards? Xiaoqiu tried his best to resist, but was taken away by Shadowgale nonetheless.

Ning Xiaoyao stood by the courtyard gate. Xiaoqiu’s cries caused her to sniff and wipe her eyes. Deep down, she wanted to toss Grand Preceptor Xie to a horde of zombies.

While Ning Xiaoyao was grieving at the courtyard gate, Lou Zigui was sitting and listening to the Lord Protector. They were in one of the palace rooms where the Lord Protector was temporarily residing in. “Xie Wenyuan’s people left the capital to Anyuan. Supreme Commander, since you warned us not to beat the grass and startle the snake, my people didn’t touch him.”

Lou Zigui nodded.

“Is there any news from Fang Tang?” asked the Lord Protector.

“None,” replied Lou Zigui, “Xie Wenyuan’s people are probably already keeping an eye on the road between the capital and Anyuan. Even if my men were to send us a message, it probably won’t get to us.”

The Lord Protector anxiously wiped his forehead. “My men have also gone to Anyuan. But based on what they have sent back, the Black Frost Cavalry shouldn’t have entered the capital.”

Lou Zigui looked at him.

“My point is, are we sending His Majesty out of the capital? During the actual battle, our numbers are at a disadvantage. If an accident occurs, it may be too late to regret.”

Lou Zigui paused for a moment before speaking. “What are your plans for the Old Madam and your other family members?”

The Lord Protector immediately turned distress. “My old mother says she isn’t going anywhere. She only allowed me to send the little ones out.”

Lou Zigui was surprised. “She won’t leave?”

“No,” said the Lord Protector, “My mother said if we lose, she will go find Xie Wenyuan to die together.”

“If Old Madam have to step in, then we’re truly too useless.” Lou Zigui shook his head. “I’m sure His Majesty is unwilling to leave as well.”  

The Lord Protector sighed. It feels like he’s used up his entire quota of sighs in this lifetime.

“I want to send His Majesty down south,” Lou Zigui lowered his voice.

The Lord Protector immediately reacted. “Are you thinking of sending His Majesty to the navy in Jiangnan? To find Qin Xuan?”

“If we lose, Qin Xuan can guard His Majesty out to the sea.”

Lou Zigui’s words caused Lord Protector to feel a chill down in his heart. Lou Zigui is already thinking of an escape route for His Majesty after their deaths.

“Go and tell the Old Madam that His Majesty needs people to take care of him. We will be on the front-line fighting, so aside from her, there isn’t anyone else I can think of right now to watch over His Majesty.” Lou Zigui instructed.

Lord Protector was hesitant. “My old mother can take care of His Majesty?”

“Obviously she can’t.” Lou Zigui coldly replied.

Lord Protector felt as if he had been slapped across the face by Lou Zigui. His face hurts!

“With the Old Madam around, even if His Majesty hears of our defeat and death, he will look after those alive first. He won’t return here to die.” Lou Zigui explained. “Lord Protector, as long as His Majesty is here, the Old Madam, your wife and children will be fine.”

Lord Protector heaved a deep sigh. “I see.”

Lou Zigui will hand the responsibility of caring for his old mother and family members to His Majesty. His Majesty isn’t the type that would abandon the old and young. Even if they are met with a mishap, His Majesty won’t come back to die.

“We won’t necessarily get to that point,” Lou Zigui offered a smile. “This is the worst case scenario.”

Lord Protector stood up and cupped his fist. He said he understood and left. Although it may be the worst case scenario, Lord Protector felt like his heart was going to break the moment he imagined all of them dead in battle, the emperor protecting the old and young on his own to Jiangnan, and ultimately being forced to take refuge in the sea by Xie Wenyuan.

After Lord Protector left, Lou Zigui raised his hand to stroke Big Boss Black. Big Boss Black was crouching on the table. Lately, the black cat had been following him everywhere. As a result, Lou Zigui was used to having the fat cat as his company.

“Miaow!” Big Boss Black called out to Lou Zigui, “Supreme Commander, if you die, Xiaoyao would be very sad! Miaow!”

“From now on, be good and stay by her side.” Lou Zigui patted Big Boss Black’s head and whispered.

Big Boss Black wanted to cry. What’s the use of accompanying that ninny?

-----

While the Lord Protector was walking out of the palace gate in a daze, Pei Yan and another man dismounted from their horses. When Pei Yan saw his elder brother, his brows crinkled. “What’s wrong with you? You just cried?”

Lord Protector rubbed his eyes and denied. “Why would I cry? Sand got in my eyes.”

The corner of Pei Yan’s mouth twitched. His lie may be good enough to fool a child.

Lord Protector observed the man that stood behind Pei Yan. He was wearing a wide-brimmed hat that concealed everything but the chin.

“It’s Xu Jichang” Pei Yan spoke in a low voice.

Lord Protector’s eyes immediately widened. Xu Jichang was Xu Jing’s eldest son. The Xu Clan has finally arrived to the capital!

“Please,” Pei Yan stood sideways and gestured the young man to enter the palace.

Xu Jichang slightly nodded at the Lord Protector as a greeting. Then, he followed Pei Yan to the small palace gate. There was no hesitation from Lord Protector at all. He quickly followed behind Xu Jichang. He wanted to hear the talk between Lou Zigui and Xu Jichang!

Lou Zigui stood in the corridor waiting for Xu Jichang. Since they were unfamiliar with each other, they cupped their fists as a greeting. Lou Zigui commented, “Your journey must have been exhausting.” Xu Jichang replied, “Supreme Commander, you’re too courteous.” That was the end of the polite exchange.

Pei Yan wanted to speak, but the Lord Protector pulled him back. The moment his brother opens his mouth, he will offend someone! Right now, those from the Xu Clan is the boss! They cannot afford to offend anyone!

“Let’s go in and talk.” Lou Zigui invited Xu Jichang in.

However, Xu Jichang replied, “Supreme Commander Lou, I would like to see His Majesty.”

“You’ll have to wait until His Majesty summons you. His Majesty is the country’s ruler. He doesn’t see just anyone. Just because you want to see him doesn’t mean he will see you.”

Xu Jichang: ...he’s trying to show off his dominance now? Isn’t it a bit of a rush?

Lord Protector was nervous for Lou Zigui. Can you speak in a nicer tone to the Xu Clan? Whatever issues you have, deal with it after we get rid of Xie Wenyuan please!?! After we get rid of Xie Wenyuan, you can torment the Xu Clan whichever way you like!

“I’ve sent people to pick up Chen Lu and his wife. If Eldest Master doesn’t want to speak inside, then we’ll speak out here in the courtyard.” Lou Zigui curtly stated.

“I could go to the Chen Estate.” Xu Jichang coldly retaliated.

“Xie Wenyuan has eyes in and out of the Chen Estate. Are you sure you want to go there, Eldest Master?”

“I could say that I came to the capital under my esteemed father’s command to see the Grand Preceptor first.” said Xu Jichang.

“But you’re already in the palace. Eldest Master, could it be that you’ll say I forcefully dragged you here?” Lord Protector didn’t have to look to know it was Pei Yan who spoke up. Fury flashed across Xu Jichang’s face.

“Is this the time to show arrogance?” Pei Yan jeered. “Do you think His Majesty is begging your Xu Clan?”

Xu Jichang sneered, “Who dares to let His Majesty beg?”

“You can’t tell what you’re actually doing?” Pei Yan retorted.

Lord Protector braced himself and dragged Pei Yan behind him again. It’s a miracle those two didn’t fight on their way here.

“Let’s focus on the matter at hand.” The Lord Protector spoke as a peacemaker. “Right now is not the time to bicker. Supreme Commander, Elder Master, let’s focus on the matter instead.”

“Supreme Commander Lou, are you acting as the regent for the monarch? Are your words equivalent to the Emperor?” Xu Jichang asked.

“The Emperor is here!” Ning XIaoyao’s voice rang from outside the courtyard gate.

Lord Protector breathed a sigh of relief. They’re saved.

Lou Zigui’s face turned dark. He had ordered his subordinates not to let Miss Ning see Xu Jichang at the very beginning. He wanted to avoid the misconception that His Majesty was begging the Xu Clan for help. Who’s the damn snitch? (Author: That’d be the fat, black cat next to you…)  

Xu Jichang turned around. Ning Xiaoyao slipped through the courtyard door and entered. Despite wearing the dragon robe, she still didn’t look like an emperor.

“Your subject, Xu Jichang, greets His Majesty. May the emperor live on for tens of thousands of years.” Eldest Master Xu got down on his knees.

Ning Xiaoyao was about to reach out her hand to pull him up, but Lou Zigui coughed on the side. So, she withdrew her hand and order Xu Jichang to get up. “Rise. At this point, who knows who’ll be the emperor? Hahaha!”

Xu Jichang:... you can still laugh so happily even though you might lose your throne?

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