Chapter 301: The Death of Criminal Lady Wang
The soldier didn’t speak; it really wasn’t up to him to say if Shadowgale was crazy or not.
“Send this person to Shadow Commander,” Pei Yan ordered with a wave of his hand.
The soldier brought Madame Mo out of the courtyard.
Several of the servant girls and old maidservants who had served Madame Mo saw that Madame Mo was given the choice to live. So they quickly rushed and begged Madame Mo to save and take them away with her.
Madame Mo turned her head to look at Pei Yan.
Second Young Master Pei’s face was expressionless, only the corner of his lips were slightly raised. His smile could hardly be called a smile. Although his face was beautiful, the malice in his smile made him appear extremely frightening.
“Keep moving,” the soldier urged Madame Mo. “Shadow Commander is the only reason why you’re allowed to live. You still want to save others?”
Madame Mo cried bitterly and left with the soldier.
“Don’t blame me for being ruthless,” Pei Yan looked at Grand Preceptor’s people within the pool of blood. “Xie Wenyuan has rebelled, and according to the law, the punishment is nine familial exterminations*. Xie Wenyuan has to die, so must all of you. When you’ve reached the Yellow Springs, don’t be so quick to reincarnate. Wait until Xie Wenyuan joins you, then ask him why he had abandoned all of you.”
Once the last of Grand Preceptor’s people were slain, the wails and screams in the courtyard stopped.
Pei Yan lightly stepped in the pool of blood that had flowed beneath his feet and commanded, “Transfer all the valuables in the estate to the imperial palace and post a seal on the gates of Grand Preceptor’s estate to seal it off.”
“What about the bodies?” asked one of the soldiers.
“Toss them on the streets outside the gates. Let the citizens of the capital see the consequences of a rebellion.”
“Yes,” several soldiers obeyed in unison.
One of the Pei Yan’s personal soldiers ran into the courtyard. When he was in front of Pei Yan, he quietly reported, “Second Young Master, there weren’t any letters or ledgers in Xie Wenyuan’s study, not even a single book was left.”
Pei Yan nodded his head and walked towards the courtyard exit.
The soldiers shoved Lady Wang out of Grand Preceptor’s estate. Since she had failed to maintain her balance, Lady Wang rolled all the way down from the high flights of steps.
There were no one on the street, but at both ends of the street stood many people who pointed at Lady Wang. The people were all quietly discussing amongst themselves, but none of them dared to step forward.
Lady Wang crawled up from the ground and looked at the gates of the estate. Then, she stared at the people at both ends of the street and raised her head to look up at the sky. It was a cloudy day, so the sunlight was not bright enough to hurt her eyes. Yet, tears streamed down her face. With unsteady footsteps, she staggered back and forth around the open area in front of the estate gates. Finally, she stopped in front of the stone lion statue located on the right side of the steps.
“Xie Wenyuan!” Lady Wang stared at the stone lion statue and roared.
Lady Wang didn’t understand how she could she have fallen to such plight. She was born into an official household, got married in an official household, had given birth to three sons, raised a daughter who became the empress dowager, and even had a grandson who became the emperor. How did she end up like a stray dog, standing alone outside her home?
“Fake. This is all fake.” Lady Wang repeated hollowly as she backed up. “It’s just a fleeting, imaginary dream.”
The crowd on both ends of the street cried out in surprise.
Pei Yan walked out the main gates of Grand Preceptor’s residence.
Lady Wang had slammed her head against the stone lion statue. Her skull had cracked open, with blood and brain fluid splattered all over. Lady Wang fell in front of the stone lion statue and took her last breath.
Pei Yan walked down the steps and went to Lady Wang’s body. A soldier squatted down to check for any signs of life. “Second Young Master, this woman is dead.”
Pei Yan thought this was actually better for His Majesty. Now, it saved His Majesty the trouble of having to act out a whole tragic scene before carrying out the execution.
“Get out of the way! Everyone, get out of the way!”
A troop of soldiers drove away the crowd that was standing at the end of the street.
Ning Xiaoyao stepped down from the sedan. She froze when she saw Lady Wang’s corpse.
Elder Li came down from a separate sedan. When he saw Lady Wang’s body, his eyebrows scrunched up.
“Your Majesty,” Pei Yan greeted as he rushed towards Ning Xiaoyao.
Ning Xiao Yao narrowed her eyes as she looked at Lady Wang. In fact, she didn’t have to look at her face, just from her frame, Ning Xiaoyao could already recognize her. But Ning Xiaoyao just couldn’t believe it. Lady Wang really just died like that?
“Criminal Lady Wang felt guilty towards Your Majesty, thus decided to end her life,” Pei Yan told Ning Xiaoyao.
Ning Xiaoyao crouched down to touch Lady Wang’s face. Lady Wang had stopped breathing. Even if she wants to save her, there’s nothing she could do now.
“Is there anyone left in Grand Preceptor’s estate?” Elder Li stood behind Ning Xiaoyao and questioned Pei Yan.
“The main branch of the Xie Clan were gone by the time we arrived.” Pei Yan turned to face Elder Li. Pei Yan’s deferential behavior was obvious, his body slightly bowed as he replied Elder Li. “The collateral branches and servants have all been executed; a total of 213.”
“Whaa?” Ning Xiaoyao couldn’t wrap her head around the matter.
“They’ve all died,” Pei Yan lowered his head to inform Ning Xiaoyao.
More than 200 people. Ning Xiaoyao hung her head low, her chest felt stifled and unbearable.
“The punishment was carried out well,” Elder Li nodded his head and praised Pei Yan, “Your Excellency Pei has performed a meritorious service for our country.”
“It is my duty as a government official, I dare not take credit,” Pei Yan insisted.
Ning Xiaoyao curled her lip. Look! This is the meaning of three different standpoints**!
“Your Majesty,” Elder Li advised Ning Xiaoyao, “Since criminal née Wang is Your Majesty’s grandmother, Your Majesty should still give out orders for a proper burial. The Xie Clan may be ruthless towards Your Majesty, but Your Majesty cannot be an immoral person.”
Ning Xiaoyao stared at Lady Wang.
Lady Wang’s eyes were closed shut, her blood and brain fluid had coalesced. Brain matter had splattered all over her face and her skull was broken. In fact, the heavy impact had deformed her face as well. If her noble title wasn’t mentioned, they wouldn’t even be able to put a human to the face.
Elder Li could see that Ning Xiaoyao was still crouching down, unmoving. So, he offered words of comfort. “Your Majesty, if you feel like you can’t bear it, it’s ok to cry it out. This criminal did raise Your Majesty, Your Majesty…”
Ning Xiaoyao rubbed her eyes and stood up. She couldn’t let the old gramps continue talking or else she might really need to cry to get over the pain.
“Bury her then,” Ning Xiaoyao lamented, “Grand Preceptor actually abandoned her. What kind of husband and wife is this?”
Pei Yan laughed bitterly and mocked, “When this subject came across this criminal earlier, she looked deranged. Why would Xie Wenyuan want a crazy woman for? He wouldn’t be able to use her.”
“Bastard!” Ning Xiaoyao cursed.
Pei Yan waved his hands and ordered two soldiers to step forward. The two soldiers carried Lady Wang’s body to the side.
“Would Your Majesty like to look inside the estate?” Pei Yan asked Ning Xiaoyao.
“To look at dead bodies?” Ning Xiaoyao shook her head. She wouldn’t be able to bear it so it was better not to inflict pain upon herself.
“This subject requests His Majesty to return to the palace,” Elder Li hastily said. From the beginning, the old gramps had disapproved of Ning Xiaoyao running about the streets while danger lurked in every corner. In his opinion, right now Ning Xiaoyao shouldn’t be out at all but remain inside the palace.
‘It really doesn’t look like a battle has been fought here ah,” Ning Xiaoyao contemplated as she looked at the gates and walls of Grand Preceptor’s estate.
Second Young Master Pei lied without a change of expression. “Your Majesty, I’ve already ordered my people to clean up the place.”
Ning Xiaoyao looked at Pei Yan. The war is about to start, why is he cleaning up the battlefield for ah? Not only is this picky Second Young Master Pei a perfectionist, he also has OCD***? (Author: At this time, why do you care whether Second Young Master Pei has OCD or not? o(╯□╰)o)
Raindrops pattered on her head, before Ning Xiaoyao lifted her head to look at the sky, thunder loudly echoed across the sky.
“Your Majesty, let’s return to the palace,” Elder Li hastily lifted up his wide sleeves to shelter Ning Xiaoyao from the rain.
*Thunder rumbles some more*
Thunder resounded continuously. Although it was daytime, the capital instantly turned as dark as night. The downpour drenched the heads of everyone who stood out in the open.
Pei Yan’s personal men brought out two umbrellas from Grand Preceptor’s estate. Pei Yan opened one to shelter Ning Xiaoyao while Shadowbolt took care of Elder Li.
Wiping the raindrops off her face, Ning Xiaoyao sighed, “Not only do we have a thunderstorm, they have opened fire outside the capital.”
Immediately, everyone’s faces changed. Under the lightning flashes and roar of thunder, it was impossible to tell whether the noise was coming from the sky or the sounds of cannons being set off.
“It’s cannons,” Ning Xiaoyao turned to listen carefully and confirmed without a doubt. “I’m sure I heard correctly.”
At this moment, Lord Protector had arrived at the scene on horseback. After hopping off his horse, he didn’t formally greet Ning Xiaoyao. Instead, he anxiously exclaimed, “Your Majesty, the war has begun on the south city walls.”
“Head to the south gate!” Without any hesitation, Ning Xiaoyao commanded at once. “Lord Protector, why don’t you take me on your house?”
“Your Majesty, you must not go!” Elder Li frantically rushed, “This subject requests Your Majesty to return to the palace.”
“Old gramps, you go back to the palace first, I’m gonna take a peek,” Ning Xiaoyao assured Elder Li, “I won’t leave the capital to join the war.” Even if she wants to fight in the war, she doesn’t have the strength yet.
One of Pei Yan’s personal soldier pulled a horse over. Second Young Master Pei spoke up. “Your Majesty, get on the horse. This subject will take you to the south gate.”
“Oh, ok!” Ning Xiaoyao climbed onto Pei Yan’s horse.
Pei Yan turned and flipped himself on the horse as well. Then, he urged his horse forward and left with Ning Xiaoyao.
Seeing how his younger brother had left so bluntly with His Majesty, Lord Protector didn’t dare look at Elder Li in the face. He cupped his fist and respectfully announced, “Elder, please be assured that this official will ensure His Majesty’s safety.” With this statement, Lord Protector left on his horse.
Elder Li’s gaze turned to Shadowbolt, who was still holding an umbrella for him. Shadowbolt was still standing there in a daze.
“Why are you still standing here for?” Elder Li coldly asked Shadowbolt, “His Majesty has left for the south. Why the heck are you still by this old man’s side?”
“What about Your Excellency?” His Majesty’s safety was important but he couldn’t let anything happened to this old gramps either.
“Do you think the soldiers from Nine Gate Infantry Commander’s estate are useless?” Elder Li shouted at Shadowbolt, “You’re still not going to protect His Majesty?! You muddled-headed punk!!”
Elder Li’s scolding prompted Shadowbolt and the rest of the Dragon Guards to fled.
The soldiers of Nine Gate Infantry Commander’s estate began to transfer the bodies from Grand Preceptor’s estate out the gates.
More than 200 bodies were piled up into three piles. Under the heavy downpour, the entrance of Grand Preceptor’s estate quickly became a river of blood.
Elder Li patted the stone lion statue outside the estate. The Xie Clan that held prestige for many generations were now criminals. They only had themselves to blame. There was nothing left to say.
Meanwhile, beyond the south city walls, both cavalries were engaged in battle. Those who fell off the horses were instantly trampled into muck and gore. The sounds of metal clashing against each other were actually enough to overcome the sounds of heavy raindrops hitting the ground.
Ning Xiaoyao went up the city gate tower and immediately noticed Deng Rong in the middle of the battlefield. She tried her best to avoid looking at the bodies on the ground as she scanned to locate Lou Zigui.
“Supreme Commander Lou isn’t here,” said Pei Yan.
“Eh? Are you sure?”
“Commander Lou’s flag isn’t here,” Pei Yan pointed out the war flags on the battlefield.
Ning Xiaoyao looked at the flags that were drenched by the heavy downpour. They were no longer fluttering. Sure enough, Lou Zigui’s flag wasn’t there.
“Most likely, Supreme Commander went to capture Xie Wenyuan,” Lord Protector added.
“Isn’t Grand Preceptor at the west gate? How come there’s also a war in the south?” Ning Xiaoyao was confused.
“In order to defeat Xie Wenyuan, we must destroy his military forces,” Pei Yan watched Ning Xiaoyao pick out a brick in her hand. “Is today the day that Your Majesty and Supreme Commander had decided upon?”
Ning Xiaoyao shook her head. Nope.
“Then today must be the day that Xie Wenyuan is escaping from the capital. The heart of the rebel troops are unstable.” Pei Yan looked at the bodies that had piled up by the city walls. His face held a look of excitement, “Has Your Majesty noticed that the rebel army is retreating?”
Ning Xiaoyao looked outside the capital. She couldn’t tell…
*If you want to learn more about the nine familial exterminations, click here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine_familial_exterminations
**The three standpoints are: your values, worldviews, and how you view life. It is actually very philosophical. If you want to read more, you can head over to https://zhidao.baidu.com/question/208876603 (Note: the site is in Chinese.)
***OCD stands for obsessive compulsive disorderPrevious Chapter Next Chapter