Chapter 303: Supreme Commander says, Xie Wenyuan is dead
Ning Xiaoyao sat inside the main chamber of the Supreme Splendor Hall. At this location, the sounds of fighting and killing over the palace entrance were especially resounding to her ears. Big Boss Black and Little White Fatty accompanied Ning Xiaoyao as they laid on the couch. These two had always been making fusses, but at the moment, they both kept quiet and didn’t even dare to breathe out loud.
Oil Jar scuttled into the main chamber alongside a little mouse whose size was approximately its own. Hopping onto Ning Xiaoyao’s lap, Oil Jar softly squeaked, “Xiaoyao.”
Ning Xiaoyao rubbed Oil Jar's head before turning to look at the little mouse in front of the couch, “Oil Cake, why did you come here?”
Oil Cake didn’t meet with Ning Xiaoyao as frequently as Oil Jar, and was thrilled that Ning Xiaoyao still recognized him. Pancake gave her two happy squeaks before informing, “Xiaoyao, I was in the Hall of Punishment just now. I saw First Young Master Ning kill Second Prince!”
Ning Xiaoyao (￣△￣；), what is her Big Bro Ning scheming?!
“And then your Windy came as well, Xiaoyao,” Oil Cake continued, “He came on Supreme Commander’s order to kill Second Prince, squeak~”
Ning Xiaoyao wiped her face in nonplus, “So they all want to kill Second Prince. Why, ah?”
Oil Cake was unable answer this question.
Ning Xiaoyao asked, “Are the other princes still alright?”
“Do you want those four dead too?” Big Boss Black chimed in, “I’ll take Little White Fatty and bite them to death.”
“Arooo!” Little White Fatty stood up from his originally lying position and nodded towards Ning Xiaoyao.
“Go your butt,” Ning Xiaoyao patted them into lying back down on their stomachs. “Don’t cause trouble.” Why would she want to kill them for no reason?
At this time, Little Gyrfalcon glided through a window into the main chamber. He perched on the armrest of the couch and said to Ning Xiaoyao, “Xiaoyao, no need to fear the cannons. First Young Master Ning has led men and killed their way out of the palace. They even toppled the crates those rebel troops use to contain cannonballs! My master said, the gunpowder is soaked and can’t hurt people, arooo!”
“First Young Master Ning is so formidable!” Oil Jar exclaimed with emotion.
“Supreme Commander is the most formidable!” Big Boss Black shrieked.
“Xiaoyao, who do you think is more formidable?” Little White Fatty asked Ning Xiaoyao.
The enemy may be at the gates, but Ning Xiaoyao still pondered seriously over this senseless issue. Eventually, she replied, “Dunno, I must see them duel before I can decide.” Speaking of which, Ning Xiaoyao picked up her short sword on the bed and placed it on her knees. “I think that I’m very formidable.”
The short sword was the smallest type of Yanling Sword. Lou Zigui had especially sought it out so Ning Xiaoyao would have a proper weapon to fight the enemies. After all, a sword was far more destructive compared to a brick. Ning Xiaoyao flicked lightly on the golden-coated scabbard and told her little animal pals, “This thing is pretty valuable. If the enemies fight their way into this place later, you guys help me watch over this scabbard.”
“We’re gonna fight enemies, and you’re worried about a scabbard?” By now, Big Boss Black believed Ning Xiaoyao was a thorough ninny.
Ning Xiaoyao grabbed Little White Fatty and carried him to the ceiling rafters. She turned to call Big Boss Black, Oil Jar and the rest, “Come up here, y’all.”
The cat and mice were experts at climbing, and there was no need to question Little Gyrfalcon. In an instant, the four got onto the ceiling rafters.
Ning Xiaoyao placed the scabbard on the rafters and instructed the little animals, “You guys stay up here and help me look after this. Do not come down under any circumstances. Even if you see me being hacked at, you’re not allowed to appear.”
“Xiaoyao?” Oil Jar felt something very wrong with Ning Xiaoyao’s words.
“Listen and behave.” Ning Xiaoyao patted all the heads of all five little animals before jumping off the ceiling rafters.
“Return to the palace!” First Young Master Ning ordered loudly. He had been killing enemies and dragging the battlefield everywhere around the palace entrance.
At the end of the long street, a rebel team on horseback charged towards the palace entrance.
“Archers!” Lord Protector shouted from the city gate tower.
The archers stationing at the small apertures on the tower raised their bows and drew arrows. The heavy rain had no effects on their thick callused hands.
Standing at the corridor of the main chamber, Ning Xiaoyao could hear the sounds of arrows ripping through the air over at the palace entrance.
Little Gyrfalcon flew to perch on Ning Xiaoyao’s shoulder. He remained silent and only nuzzled Ning Xiaoyao’s face with his head.
“If you can’t bear to stay still on the rafters, lil falcon, go help me find Supreme Commander.” Ning Xiaoyao said, “I had Wheat follow Supreme Commander, but Wheat hadn’t come back to find me.”
Little Gyrfalcon confirmed, “You want me to check if Supreme Commander is okay?”
“Go see if he has captured Grand Preceptor.” Ning Xiaoyao replied.
“Mm, alright, I understand.” Little Gyrfalcon spread his wings and flew to the sky.
Grand Preceptor must be captured! Ning Xiaoyao covered her ears. Or else, all these people would’ve died for nothing!
On the road leading outside from the city’s west end, Lou Zigui was leading at the very front of a cavalry troop when he suddenly stopped his horse.
Shen Mu went up to greet and nodded at Lou Zigui.
Lou Zigui got off his horse and strode to a horse carriage. An individual was kneeling in front of the horse carriage. Shen Mu stepped forward and raised a leg to kick this person to the ground.
The man sprawled on the ground. He didn’t beg for mercy and just lay there in a dull, hopeless manner.
Lou Zigui pressed a hand on his sword handle as he gazed silently at this individual.
The man looked about the same age as Grand Preceptor Xie, his physique was similar as well. Even his facial shape and features bore some resemblance to Grand Preceptor Xie.
“It was raining and we were too far apart,” Shen Mu bitterly explained, “We thought that this was Xie Wenyuan, but this one is a f**king doppelganger!”
Lou Zigui scanned the other bodies on the ground. These people were all Xie Wenyuan’s bodyguards. For years, they had been trained as his trusted aides. Yet, Xie Wenyuan just used them as disposables.
“Supreme Commander, do we keep giving pursue?” Shen Mu asked with burning anxiety.
Lou Zigui muttered, “Xie Wenyuan isn’t capable of moving any faster than this doppelganger.”
“Then, then that old thing isn’t at the west gate?”
“Most likely not.” Lou Zigui turned to look at the doppelganger on the ground.
The body double had been lying there unmoved, his eyes wide open to gaze at the sky. He was pretending as if he was already dead.
Shen Mu glanced behind Lou Zigui when he heard the sounds of horse hooves. He whispered, “General Xu has arrived.”
Xu Jing got off his horse when he arrived at the vicinity. He strode toward Lou Zigui and asked about the situation while he examined the doppelganger.
“He fled.” Lou Zigui spoke in a low voice.
Xu Jing’s face became ashen as he looked at the body double on the ground. His original plan was to stay by Grand Preceptor Xie’s side and act as a mole. After an abrupt turn of circumstances, however, Grand Preceptor Xie had failed to confirm the emperor’s death and fled the capital. Warfare instantly followed, so they had to give up on the spy plan. Since Xie Wenyuan failed to find a reason for his revolt and the rebel troops grew irresolute, they could take advantage of this beneficial situation to make a move against Grand Preceptor’s forces. But now that Xie Wenyuan had escaped, General Xu was trepidatious.
“There are currently tens of thousands of troops fighting each other to their death,” Lou Zigui analyzed, “Furthermore, there are many common people who have taken refuge outside the capital. If Xie Wenyuan disguises himself and blends among those people, it’d be an arduous task to find him.”
“Then, do we stop searching?” Xu Jing glared at Lou Zigui. “You know the consequences if we let Xie Wenyuan off.”
“I know,” Lou Zigui said in a low voice, “It’s useless to get angry now. Uncle, you should calm down.”
General Xu stood and let the rain shower him for a while. Then, he pointed at the doppelganger, “Who is this person?”
“We have troops stationed at the south, north and east roads of the city.” Lou Zigui didn’t care the least bit about the doppelganger’s identity. He muttered to Xu Jing, “Even if we can’t find Xie Wenyuan, it doesn’t mean he can escape his doom.”
Xu Jing gazed at Lou Zigui. The latter was looking like his usual self, there wasn’t a trace of worry on his expression.
“Kill him.” Lou Zigui ordered Shen Mu.
Shen Mu was briefly stunned. When he regained his wits, his sword slashed down and chopped off the doppelganger’s head.
Blood gushed out from the doppelganger’s headless neck, creating a fountain of blood.
“Take the head of this man and these bodyguards and hang them at all four city gates in turns.” Lou Zigui gave out an order, “Xie Wenyuan is dead.”
Shen Mu cast a glance at the head he was holding.
Xu Jing gave a start before he finally followed up, “That’s right. This is Xie Wenyuan’s head!”
Once the rebel troops hears that Xie Wenyuan is dead, how many of them would still have the heart to risk their lives in the capital? If Xie Wenyuan doesn’t want to lose, he would have to personally reveal himself prove that he wasn’t dead. Then, they will be able to locate that old thing right away.
“Two birds one stone.” General Xu gave a pat on Lou Zigui’s shoulder.
“Blockhead.” Lou Zigui called out Shen Mu’s nickname.
Shen Mu hastened to instruct the soldiers to work and cut off every single head from the bodyguards’ corpses.
An hour later, news of Grand Preceptor Xie’s death on the west road had spread all over the capital city and its suburbs.
In a small farm on the city’s eastern suburb, a guard ran to a courtyard entrance and knelt on the steps. He called out to the person standing inside the corridor, “Grand Preceptor.”
Grand Preceptor Xie was currently dressed in a common landlord robe, a bandana wrapped around his head. The man who could call for wind and summon the rain at the imperial court now looked like any usual country scholar -the type that stayed at home to play with their grandchildren and passed their days in peace.
Xu Yiming was standing next to Grand Preceptor Xie. He asked, “How is the situation outside?”
The guard reported, “Lou Zigui has ordered his man to carry around a man’s head. H-he said that Grand Preceptor is d-dead.”
Grand Preceptor Xie waved his sleeve to dismiss the guard.
Once the guard withdrew from the courtyard, Xu Yiming anxiously exclaimed, “Grand Preceptor, it’s either we stay or leave. You must make a decision!”
“If we leave, then the tens of thousands of troops will be massacred.” Grand Preceptor Xie said. “If we stay, this old man and Ning Yu might still be able to have a battle.”
“Then your decision is?” Xu Yiming asked.
Grand Preceptor Xie pushed lightly on the birdcage hanging over the corridor. Inside the cage, the yellow canary flapped its wings and chirped loudly.
“Grand Preceptor, there isn’t much time left.” Xu Yiming urged Grand Preceptor Xie.
Grand Preceptor Xie stretched his hand to play with the caged yellow canary.
Xu Yiming could only worry as he didn’t dare to urge Grand Preceptor Xie for the second time.
At this time, another guard ran to the courtyard and knelt on the steps. He reported to Grand Preceptor Xie, “Grand Preceptor, there is news from the capital that His Highness Second Prince had passed away. The head commander of the Dragon Guards Shadowrain led men to Second Prince’s estate. Later on, news spread from the capital that Grand Preceptor, Grand Preceptor was the one who ordered everyone to be massacred in Second Prince’s estate.”
Grand Preceptor Xie’s finger slided down from the silver birdcage.
The guard didn’t dare to look at his master. He talked with his head hanging down, “Many people from Second Prince’s side have died as well. It has been spread that Grand Preceptor sent men to murder them.”
“Ning Huo, that useless trash!” Grand Preceptor Xie cursed in a low voice.
Xu Yiming’s face was as pale as a sheet of paper now. He whispered, “Does His Majesty already know of Grand Preceptor and Second Prince’s arrangement to take over the throne?”
“This old man placed the siege cannons inside Second Prince’s estate.” Grand Preceptor Xie’s tone was chilling, “Now, it seems it was all in vain.”
Xu Yiming was shocked as he gazed at his master. Siege cannons?
“Grand Preceptor’s estate will definitely be searched,” Grand Preceptor Xie crossed hands behind his back. “Ning Yu won’t let off this old man’s followers either. On the outside, this old man and Ning Huo never had any contact with each other. We even appear to be enemies since we both want the throne. It should have been okay to hide the siege cannons inside Ning Huo’s estate.”
Xu Yiming was taken aback for a long moment. In the end, he said, “Then how did His Majesty know that Second Prince…”
Grand Preceptor Xie raised his hand to stop Xu Yiming’s speech. He had communicated everything through paper and not speech. How did Ning Yu find out about his plan? Just where did it go wrong?!
(Author: Second Prince was exposed because he was scratched by a cat. Grand Preceptor, would you believe this? o(╯□╰)o)Previous Chapter Next Chapter