Chapter 309: Supreme Commander said, this is the last time
“Take some soldiers and see if you can catch up with them,” said Lou Zigui to Pei Yan.
“You can’t catch up to them,” Ning Xiaoyao explained, “They’re on horseback.”
Pei Yan unhappily asked, “Did you find out who those two are?”
“Rebel forces, no, I mean bandits ah. Didn’t you already know?”
“I mean what role do they hold with the bandits?”
“Why would they reveal this to me? I had to come up with a whole backstory before they believed that I wasn’t the emperor,” Ning Xiaoyao’s expression turned playful as she laughed, “Hehe, I’m too quick-witted.”
“What did you tell them?” Lou Zigui asked.
Ning Xiaoyao looked at Lou Zigui. (Author: Do you dare tell him the truth? (￢_￢))
Lou Zigui didn’t really want to know how she deceived those two anyway. Looking in the direction of the road, Supreme Commander Lou asked Pei Yan, “If Xie Wenyuan is not along this road, which direction could he have gone?”
Pei Yan shook his head, “I saw the troop of rebel soldiers escorting Xie Wenyuan. They could only have headed east.”
“Yeah, Supreme Commander also said the same, “ Ning Xiaoyao nodded her head.
“Then, where is Xie Wenyuan?” Pei Yan asked Ning Xiaoyao.
“I don’t know ah, maybe he has gone to heaven?” Ning Xiaoyao pointed above her head.
Pei Yan felt that talking to this silly emperor made him very tired.
“Let’s go,” Lou Zigui shielded Ning Xiaoyao and walked back in the direction where they came from.
They finally struggled their way over to the dirt slope. The muddy ground still made it difficult for them to walk.
Pei Yan brought the troops around the dirt slope, where large quantities of debris had collapsed from the landslide earlier. The group encircled it once, yet Second Young Master Pei and the men from Nine Gates Infantry Commander’s estate truly couldn’t understand it at all. They had all seen the rebel troops and Grand Preceptor walk along the dirt slope. Where did they go? They obviously didn’t die and go to heaven ah.
“Could they be buried under the sludge?” In front of the dirt slope, a soldier voiced their most optimistic conjecture.
“No way,” Ning Xiaoyao shook her head, dashing everyone’s hopes, “During the landslide, I saw with my own eyes that Grand Perceptor wasn’t there.”
Lou Zigui pulled Ning Xiaoyao to the side in order to avoid everyone else. He softly asked, “Why did you knock me out? Because of the landslide?”
Ning Xiaoyao hastily glanced towards Lou Zigui’s temple. “I’m alright now,” Lou Zigui urged, “Tell me, what were you thinking?”
“Afraid that something would happen to you ah,” Ning Xiaoyao lowered her head.
“You think I’d be fine if something happened to you?”
“Eh, nothing will happen to me,” Ning Xiaoyao lifted her arms. She wanted to show off her biceps to Supreme Commander Lou to prove her strength. Lou Zigui put down Ning Xiaoyao’s arms and insisted, “This is the last time.”
“Next time, tell me if there’s something going on. Don’t act on your own accord and knock me out again.” Lou Zigui looked into Ning’s Xiaoyao’s eyes.
He definitely cannot tolerate being knocked out by her whenever something goes wrong.
“Oh, ok!” Ning Xiaoyao nodded her head. We’ll talk about it next time something happens then.
“You’ve planted someone by Xie Wenyuan’s side but you never heard from him again after he told you about the oncoming landslide?”
“I didn’t even see him, how could that person relay the matter of the landslide to me?” Ning Xiaoyao was dumbstruck and couldn’t help but answer sarcastically.
“You have your way of relaying information. I don’t need to know more,” Lou Zigui added. He would welcome it if she decided to share the details, if not, he wouldn’t investigate in detail.
Ning Xiaoyao was twisting her small body while standing in the mud. Supreme Commander, it’s better if you ask. You’re constantly assuming I have a large intelligence network! That gives me a lot of pressure, I can’t take it ah!
“Your Majesty,” a soldier from the Nine Gate Infantry Commander’s estate ran over and reported, “His Excellency Pei found a broken waterskin over there, on the hillside.”
“Whose could it be?”
“Replying to Your Majesty, the rebels all carry this kind of waterskin with them.”
“I’ll go take a look,” Lou Zigui softly said to Ning Xiaoyao, “Just stay here and rest for awhile.”
Ning Xiaoyao really had no interest in this waterskin. So what if they’ve found this waterskin, what can they do with it? So much time has passed, Grand Preceptor has long gotten away. Uttering a single “En,” to Lou Zigui, Ning Xiaoyao listlessly turned and found a chunk of rock that was exposed above the mud and sat her butt down.
Lou Zigui left a troop of soldiers to guard her and left with the soldiers from the Nine Gates Infantry Commander’s estate to look for Pei Yan.
Lou Zigui had just left, when Little Gyrfalcon called out from the sky, swooping down to rest on Ning Xiaoyao’s shoulder. Ning Xiaoyao touched the little falcon’s wet head and softly asked, “Where did you go?”
The little falcon replied, “Xiaoyao, I’ve asked around.”
“Do you know where Grand Preceptor is?” Ning Xiaoyao was immediately filled with motivation.
“There’s a cave near the hill,” Little Gyrfalcon pointed to the west of the hill. “The cave allows Grand Preceptor and his people to go somewhere very, very far away oh, awoo!”
Ning Xiaoyao jumped up from the rock she was sitting on and headed towards the west of the hill.
His Majesty was only well behaved for a short while before jumping up and dashing off again. The soldiers hastily chased after Ning Xiaoyao but His Majesty was too fast. The soldiers had barely ran two steps, yet Ning Xiaoyao’s shadow had already vanished.
After a while, Little Gyrfalcon jumped onto the ground and told Ning Xiaoyao, “It’s right here.”
Ning Xiaoyao expressionlessly looked at the bog in front of her. How can there be a cave here, ah?
“It’s been buried,” Little Gyrfalcon flew back onto Ning Xiaoyao’s shoulder. “Huamao said she saw Grand Preceptor and his guards entering the cave.”
“Who is Huamao?”
“Huamao is also a gyrfalcon, a new friend that I’ve just met.”
“She must be a pretty girl huh?”
The little falcon was stunned. “Xiaoyao, how did you know?”
“If Huamao was a male falcon, would you have befriended her?”
Little Gyrfalcon kept quiet. If Huamao was male, they would only fight.
Ning Xiaoyao squatted down and started to dig at the mud on the ground, digging away a handful of mud and a lump of weeds.
Lou Zigui approached Ning Xiaoyao from behind. He reached out and pulled her up. Although the mud wasn’t very deep here, it was up to Xiaoyao’s calves when she squatted down.
“There is a cave here,” Ning Xiaoyao pointed down at her feet and informed Lou Zigui. “Grand Preceptor entered the cave but the entrance have been buried, so we can’t catch him anymore.
Lou Zigui looked down at his feet. All he saw was the light brown mud, a mixture of stones, flowers and plants. It was impossible to see the bottom underneath all of that. Naturally, he couldn’t see the entrance.
“Why would the rebel troops help Grand Preceptor? Shouldn’t they hate Grand Preceptor? Isn’t it because of Grand Preceptor that their lives are so difficult. Didn’t Grand Preceptor push them onto the path of rebellion?
“The one that they hate is Your Majesty,” Lou Zigui uttered the truth to Ning Xiaoyao.
Ning Xiaoyao felt as if she had been shot with multiple arrows. She ran out of blood and wanted to die.
“The common people don’t care about the politics in the imperial courts. They only know that you’re the emperor. If they’re able to live well, it’s thanks to your benevolence. However, if they are suffering, it’s because you lack virtue.”
“Don’t say anymore.” Ning Xiaoyao clutched her heart. Even though her heart wasn’t made of glass, she could feel it breaking.
Lou Zigui shut his mouth and attempted to jab his foot into the ground. The ground doesn’t loosen at all. The soil and sand have completely buried and sealed the place underneath.
“What should we do next?” Ning Xiaoyao asked anxiously, “Have we wasted all our efforts? What about the rebel forces? Qingshan told me he wasn’t aware that Grand Preceptor was the person they were going to save.”
“Who is this Qingshan?”
“Whaa? This shouldn’t be the focus, ah?”
Lou Zigui looked at Ning Xiaoyao. “He’s the rebel who kidnapped me,” Ning Xiaoyao honestly admitted, “He’s called Qingshan.”
“What’s his last name?”
“He didn’t tell me, I didn’t ask either.”
“What name did you give him?”
“I told him my name was Dayao, hahaha.”
Lou Zigui had to massage his forehead again.
“But I gave him a fake name. Do you think Qingshan could also be a fake name?” Ning Xiaoyao suddenly thought of this problem.
Lou Zigui stared at Ning Xiaoyao and sighed, Missy, did you only realize the problem now?
The matter about Qingshan being the young lord was at the tip of Ning Xiaoyao’s tongue, but she quickly swallowed it back down. If Supreme Commander knew that Qingshan was the head of the rebel forces, would he kill Young Lord since he couldn’t get his hands on Grand Preceptor? Aiyo, Ning Xiaoyao suddenly had second thoughts. Right now, Qingshan had fled far away, if Supreme Commander can’t get his hands on Qingshan, would he kill her, this Emperor, instead ah?
“When you realized Xie Wenyuan wasn’t there, why did you let them go?” Lou Zigui asked Ning Xiaoyao.
“I didn’t think the rebel troops deserve to die ah,” Ning Xiaoyao explained herself seriously, “Qingshan and Danian’s family were killed by the authorities. I don’t think they are wrong to rebel. If Supreme Commander was killed by the authorities, I would definitely rebel as well.”
Lou Zigui was angry yet happy at her words, “You would rebel against yourself? How would you rebel?”
“When the late emperor was still alive, I would’ve rebelled against him if I had a way. I would… I would’ve also saved the crown prince!” What a pity she crossed over too late. Or else Crown Prince and late Lord Protector would still be alive. She also wouldn’t have allowed the late emperor and Grand Preceptor to harm Supreme Commander’s family. Ning Xiaoyao’s heart felt stuffy as she thought of all this.
Lou Zigui stared at Ning Xiaoyao, unable to look away.
Ning Xiaoyao’s head drooped down, “I was too useless in the past.” If only she had died earlier in the apocalypse, perhaps she could have crossed over here sooner? (Author: Don’t think about it ah, eh, helloooo…!)
Lou Zigui lifted his hand and rubbed Ning Xiaoyao’s head. He gently explained, “The rebel forces helped Xie Wenyuan not because they think he is a good guy.”
“Then what is the reason?”
“If Xie Wenyuan lives, you won’t be able go all out and deal with the rebel forces. The mantis stalks the cicada, unaware of the oriole behind; Xiang Nong wants to be that oriole.”
Ning Xiaoyao was quiet. Is there a need to make things so complicated, ah?!
“Xiang Nong may have been an impoverished person before, but now he is looking to wrest control of the country,” Lou Zigui cautioned, “Xiaoyao, you musn’t sympathize with him. This person wants to kill you.”
“Then, can’t I just run away?” Ning Xiaoyao mumbled.
“You are kind-hearted, but he’s full of bad intentions,” Lou Zigui rubbed off the muddy stains on Ning Xiaoyao’s face and said, “This is also the last time.”
“Whaa?” Ning Xiaoyao blinked her eyes.
“You can’t let those rebels off again.”
Ning Xiaoyao lowered her head again. She didn’t dare to say the rest. She had let the young lord of the rebel forces go. After all, when Qingshan believed she was the emperor, he also let her go. She didn’t think he was a bad guy...
“Is there something you haven’t told me?” Lou Zigui asked as he tilted Ning Xiaoyao’s chin up.
“N...no,” Ning Xiaoyao quickly shook her head. She’ll just pretend the matter with Qingshan never happened. (Author: How can your heart be so big? o(╯□╰)o）
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