Chapter 296: There will be more people dying…
Ning Xiaoyao gently placed the baby on the ground and asked Lord Protector, “Supreme Commander said the troops have been sent here. When will those army bros arrive?”
Lord Protector had assumed Ning Xiaoyao would cry, but the little emperor was actually concerned about matters regarding the living before anything else. Lord Protector inwardly nodded in approval at Ning Xiaoyao’s rational way of acting and automatically overlooked the “army bros” part. He assured Ning Xiaoyao, “Please be at ease, Your Majesty. The soldiers will arrive very shortly. As long as we have people alive, they shall be rescued.”
Ning Xiaoyao stood up. At the same time, the ground beneath them quaked once again.
Lord Protector gave a start. He stretched his arms to support Ning Xiaoyao despite being unstabilized himself.
The shaking ground instantly took down more than half of the buildings on the long street. Aside from a two-storey wooden cottage at the very end of the road, all the buildings on the streets were damaged in one form or another.
“Earthshake*, it’s an earthshake!”
Screams and shouts of alarm filled the street as everyone became panic-stricken.
Before Ning Xiaoyao could figure out what an earthshake was, she overheard someone yelling about an earth dragon flipping over. “What the heck is an earth dragon ah?” Ning Xiaoyao asked Lord Protector. He was still supporting her, his face ashen.
Lord Protector had yet to say anything before the ground shook again.
At the end of the street, the wooden cottage emitted cracking sounds of wood breaking. Within a minute, it crumbled down completely.
Everybody wanted to run, but where would they run to now?
“Don’t run, stand in an open area!” Ning Xiaoyao shouted out loud towards the people.
This can’t be from her thrown cannons, alright? This is an earthquake ah! Earthshake, and the whatever earth dragon flipping over must all mean earthquake! Ning Xiaoyao was utterly discomfited. She knew it. Even if the gunpowder exploded, it couldn’t have blown up the entire long street into such a miserable state!
“We are in the midst of a man-made calamity, and now we even have to deal with a natural disaster,” Ning Xiaoyao fumed with rage as she vented to Lord Protector, “Can this even get better?!”
Lord Protector:…… It seems unlikely.
“Watch out!” Ning Xiaoyao pulled the Lord Protector backwards.
Soil and rocks rolled down from both sides of the wall as the crack itself continued to expand. Right after Ning Xiaoyao and Lord Protector retreated their steps, the place they’d originally stood on had already became part of the crack.
Lord Protector watched helplessly as huge boulders continuously fell into the crack. When he recalled how His Majesty and Lou Zigui had been in the crack just moments ago, Lord Protector stiffly broke out in cold sweat.
Ning Xiaoyao looked down at the fissure under her feet with a pained expression. No wonder she didn’t see any little animals on her way here! They must have left because they already knew an earthquake was coming. But Big Boss Black and Little White Fatty were all inside the palace ah! Why didn’t those two mention anything about the earthquake to her?
“Xiaoyao.” Little sparrow Wheat perched on Ning Xiaoyao’s shoulder after flying one circle over the long street.
“Its name is Wheat.” Ning Xiaoyao introduced Wheat to Lord Protector.
Even though Lord Protector didn’t think there was anything he could talk about with a little sparrow, he still took a quick glance at Wheat and acknowledged. “Yes, this subject knows.”
Wheat nuzzled Ning Xiaoyao’s face with his head and asked, “Xiaoyao, are you okay?”
“I’m okay,” Ning Xiaoyao sighed, “There was an earthquake.”
“Yeah,” Wheat replied, “I know.”
Ning Xiaoyao pursed her lips, “But I didn’t know, ah.”
“But Xiaoyao, don’t you know divine arts?” Wheat tilted his little head to look at Ning Xiaoyao, “Grandfather Sparrow and the rest all said you’d be alright.”
Ning Xiaoyao was rendered speechless. She opened her mouth a while later, “But other people would meet with mishaps, ah.”
“If we have a master, we will save our own master.” Wheat chirped, “Other people aren’t our masters, so why save them?”
Ning Xiaoyao:... These words actually make sense, she has nothing to say to that.
“Wheat doesn’t have a master, but Xiaoyao is Wheat’s good friend.” Wheat affectionately nuzzled Ning Xiaoyao’s face again.
Ning Xiaoyao rubbed Wheat on the head. “Mhm, we’re pals.”
Wheat was so happy that he jumped onto Ning Xiaoyao’s head and hopped twice.
Ning Xiaoyao took Wheat in her hand and whispered, “Wheat, can you help me out? Keep an eye on Supreme Commander for me.”
Wheat asked, “Supreme Commander has gone to fight the enemies?”
“Yeah,” Ning Xiaoyao nodded, “If anything happens to Supreme Commander, you must tell me right away.”
“Alright, I understand,” Wheat agreed to Ning Xiaoyao’s request. “Then Xiaoyao can use divine arts to save Supreme Commander.”
Ning Xiaoyao gave up on explaining to Wheat. She has healing superpowers. They’re not divine arts.
“Don’t worry, Supreme Commander is Xiaoyao’s man! Xiaoyao, I’ll help you watch over him.” Wheat beamed.
Ning Xiaoyao:… In the little animals’ world, what do they make of her relationship with Supreme Commander Lou?
Lord Protector watched as Wheat flew off Ning Xiaoyao’s palm. Wheat flew higher and higher until he became a little black speck. When the sparrow finally disappeared from sight, Lord Protector made a comment. “So Your Majesty is raising this sparrow cage-free. As far as this subject can see, sparrow is not a domesticated type of bird.”
Wheat was actually her little pal, but Ning Xiaoyao gave up on explaining that to Lord Protector as well. Instead, she told him, “Lord Protector, lead your men into the capital and take a look. I’m going back to check on the palace.”
“Your Majesty wants to return to the palace alone?” Lord Protector would rather die than let Ning Xiaoyao leave on her own.
“You go check on the city’s damages and save people. Also, tell them not to stay indoor and go stand at some vacant area,” Ning Xiaoyao instructed, “The little bros of the Elite Imperial Guards and Dragon Guards are still at the palace. Nothing will happen to me.”
Lord Protector still insisted, “This subject shall escort Your Majesty back to the palace and worry about provision of disaster relief afterwards.”
Ning Xiaoyao waved her arm at Lord Protector. “Lord Protector, this is an Imperial decree, you have to obey it.”
Under the pressure of an Imperial decree, there was nothing Lord Protector could say.
At this point, Ning Xiaoyao had no strength left in both her legs. She was only able to take a few steps before tripping over a crushed rock.
“Your Majesty!” Lord Protector dashed to Ning Xiaoyao.
Ning Xiaoyao scrambled up to get back on her feet. She patted down the dust on her floral dress. “You have to obey the decree. I’m going back.”
Lord Protector was so anxious, he wanted to stamp his feet.
Ning Xiaoyao looked at her palm. A rock had scraped it when she fell. Now, blood was streaming down. “F**k!” Ning Xiaoyao cursed in a low voice. She’s been unable to use her superpower and now she’s injured and bleeding. Looks like she can’t play around happily anymore.
Watching Ning Xiaoyao walk further and further away, Lord Protector pointed at some bodyguards skilled at martial arts and commanded, “You lot escort His Majesty back to the palace. Even if you throw away your head, you must not let anything happen to His Majesty.”
The bodyguards could see Ning Xiaoyao walking ahead. They hurriedly nodded with words of assent.
“Why is His Majesty disguising as a girl?” a bodyguard couldn’t help but ask. If he hadn’t heard his Lord Protector and the Black Frost Calvary Commander calling out Your Majesty, there was no way he’d believe that this little miss in floral dress was the reigning emperor.
Lord Protector slapped this bodyguard on his head and scolded, “You dare to concern yourself with His Majesty’s attire? Even I cannot do that, who the heck are you, ah?”
The bodyguard clutched his head and squatted down on the ground from Lord Protector’s slap.
“Quickly follow behind,” Then, Lord Protector kicked this bodyguard on his butt and admonished, “If anything happens to His Majesty, you lot bring your heads to see me!”
The bodyguards chased after Ning Xiaoyao.
Lord Protector kicked a gravel near his feet and sent it flying. The unceasing shouting and crying on the street had thrown him into a terrible mood. Man-made calamity and natural disaster have come hand in hand. Could it be that there are too many bad guys, so the good guys have no ways to survive? Or is it God’s intention to kill all humans?
“Supreme Commander?” On a street not far from the city gates, Deng Rong asked Lou Zigui, “Should we go back to check?”
Lou Zigui swept a glance at the collapsed buildings along the road and shook his head. “We are leaving the capital.”
“But aren’t you worried about His Majesty?” Deng Rong asked. Earlier, Lou Zigui looked like he was about to cry when he held onto His Majesty. Now that there was an earthshake, their Supreme Commander actually turned hard-hearted?
“His Majesty was standing on the street, she will be alright.” Lou Zigui urged his horse forward and said in a low voice, “To ensure the safety of His Majesty, we must kill Xie Wenyuan.”
“Ai,” Deng Rong sighed heavily as he followed behind Lou Zigui.
The street they were on was called Lotus. At this moment, some were rushing to save lives, while others sat on the ground and sobbed. There were also little children all over the streets wailing and running in turmoil, unable to find their parents. The entire street was an unbearable, utter mess.
Deng Rong was plaintive as he said to Lou Zigui, “Now that there was an earthshake, can we still engage with Xie Wenyuan’s men in a battle? Everywhere is open space after the houses collapsed.”
Lou Zigui simply stated, “There are still many houses standing, aren’t there?”
Deng Rong looked around the two sides of the street. Should he thank the Heavens that the earthshake didn’t take down every single house in the city?
“There are gravels all over the ground,” Lou Zigui stated, “I will ask Lord Protector to send men to pile them up on the streets. Too many gravels will make it hard for the cavalry to move.”
Deng Rong nodded. That’s a good method to block the cavalry from advancing forward.
A woman with disheveled hair staggered by Lou Zigui. She was cradling something as she cried out a man’s name. Lou Zigui only took a glance at her without stopping his horse.
Deng Rong only took a look at her as well before continuing his conversation with Lou Zigui. “Xie Wenyuan brought troops to attack the imperial palace just now?”
Lou Zigui lowered his voice. “Our priority is to kill Xie Wenyuan. As for what he has done, we can worry about that after this matter is finished. Any other questions?”
Deng Rong said no more. When Supreme Commander asked this question, it was a sign that His Excellency was feeling impatient.
Wheat flew over to Lotus street and located Lou Zigui. Then, he followed Lou Zigui from behind.
Ning Xiaoyao made many stops on her way back to the imperial palace. On an ordinary day, this was usually a distance that she could complete in a matter of minutes. But now that her strength had depleted, the distance felt so much longer.
The bodyguards decided they couldn’t go on like this anymore. They went to search and found a small, abandoned two-carrier palanquin on the side of the street.
“Your Majesty, please get on the palanquin,” said Lord Protector’s bodyguards, “Us servants will carry you back to the palace.”
Ning Xiaoyao wiped the sweat off her face and no longer put on a front. She bent down to get on the palanquin. “Thank you, I’ll treat you guys to a meal after this.”
The bodyguards kept repeating words of gratitude at this favor. An imperial meal isn’t something that any random person could eat. Even their Lord Protector has only eaten a few in his lifetime. (Author: His Majesty will only treat you guys to a bowl of noodles at most… o(╯□╰)o)
Inside the palanquin, Ning Xiaoyao covered her ears tightly. The wailing and shouting on the street really vexed her out.
“There will be more people dying,” Ning Xiaoyao curled up on the sedan chair, wrapping on her ears as she mumbled to herself, “There will definitely be many more people dying. You must accept it no matter how awful it makes you feel!”
Suddenly, her face felt damp. Raising her hand to touch, Ning Xiaoyao discovered that she was crying.
*Ancient word and phrase for earthquakePrevious Chapter Next Chapter