Chapter 31: His Majesty Ning brandishes a brick Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Fang Tang threw the golden tooth at the middle-aged man who’d came chasing after the sparrow. At a glance, one could tell this man was dressed like Northern Hu horse dealers. The horse dealer glanced at the lifted curtains of the carriage before docilely kneeling on the ground to thank Fang Tang.
Disdainfully, Fang Tang said, “Pathetic, letting a bird steal something out of your mouth.”
The horse dealer muttered subserviently as he remained kneeling. Though he was speaking, no one could hear his words clearly.
“If even a sparrow could take it, it probably wasn’t real gold,” Ning Xiaoyao whispered to Lou Zigui in the carriage.
“Go on, scram,” Fang Tang waved away the Northern Hu horse dealer with his hand.
Ning Xiaoyao tilted her head and asked Lou Zigui, “Did the fake tooth seller cheat that man?”
Lou Zigui felt himself getting a headache as he knitted his brows. “Just what are you planning to do today?” He couldn’t follow such a stupid train of thought, or else they’d end up talking about who knows what.
“Restoring your innocence, ah. You don’t know?” Ning Xiaoyao said.
“... …” said Lou Zigui. Had anyone bothered to tell him beforehand?
Ning Xiaoyao lowered the curtains and said, “No fear, I’ll protect you.”
“Miaow, and me too,” Big Boss Black called out.
What did she mean, she’d protect him? “How are you planning to restore my innocence? Are we killing our way to Northern Hu?” Lou Zigui asked.
“Ah?” Ning Xiaoyao said. “Didn’t you say yesterday that it was an impossible task?”
Lou Zigui didn’t want to talk anymore. Had he said such things last night?
“Don’t worry,” Ning Xiaoyao raised a hand, preparing to touch Lou Zigui’s head again. “Supreme Commander your innocence will come back very soon.”
Lou Zigui evaded her hand. “Can you tell me, what you’ve plann…” Before he could finished, the carriage wheels ran over a rock and caused the carriage to shake. Lou Zigui’s body was still weak, so he tumbled headfirst into Ning Xiaoyao’s lap. Then his lips crashed against something he shouldn’t be touching. The soft silk beneath his mouth instantly turned Lou Zigui’s face red before he sat bolt upright. Ning Xiaoyao pursed her lips. They’d rolled around in the sheets already, but this guy was still so shy. Why make such a fuss?
The carriage drove forward for a while longer before coming to a stop.
“Your Majesty, we’ve arrived at the Fragrant Storey,” Shadowgale said from outside.
Ning Xiaoyao got off the carriage. The country was currently in mourning, so all the civilians were wearing mourning clothes in memory of the late emperor. The streets of the red-light district were completely unlit, nor were there any pedestrians walking around. Everything was deserted. Ning Xiaoyao raised her head to look at the three-storey brick and wooden building, musing that this was very different from the wineshops in her imagination. Aside from the lack of customers, there wasn’t a single speck of light. Were all the shops on this street about to go bankrupt?
Fang Tang carefully helped Lou Zigui off the carriage. Shadowgale brought out a dumpy matron from the establishment, and Ning Xiaoyao caught a whiff of her potent powder before she even came over. She sneezed and wanted to tell the woman more wasn’t necessarily better when it came to perfume. But then the little gyrfalcon gave out a long cry.
“The northern barbarians are here!”
Ning Xiaoyao heard footsteps coming from north of the street and turned back to run in front of Lou Zigui. She was about to warn everyone to prepare for a counterattack against the enemy when a flaming arrow shot towards Lou Zigui. Shadowgale dashed forward from behind Fang Tang and sliced the arrow in half with a flash of his sabre.
“Kill!” Shadowgale shouted as he led the way with his sabre.
The sound of whistling air came from behind them. Ning Xiaoyao turned to see hundreds of flying arrows coming their way.
Lou Zigui spotted the arrows and Ning Xiaoyao, who still hadn’t thought to dodge. His anxiety made him cry out. “Your Majesty!”
The Dragon Guards raised their shields and blocked the rain of arrows. Ning Xiaoyao didn’t have time to relax before the onslaught of arrows started anew. Beneath the moonlight, their tips shone like cold stars.
“This the Northern Hu’s Nine Arrow Crossbow!” Fang Tang shouted from the back.
Ning Xiaoyao didn’t know what a Nine Arrow Crossbow was, but she saw Shadowgale and the rest getting hammered by a storm of arrows. Standing behind the shield, they had absolutely no way to advance. It was obvious that the flying arrows exerted too much pressure for them to do anything except stand in place.
“Did you guys place any men along the streets?” Lou Zigui asked Fang Tang angrily.
The night breeze was rather chilly, but Fang Tang had already broken into a sweat. They had arranged men along the south and north ends of the street, but there weren’t many of them. He was afraid that putting too much people would deter the northern barbarians from coming in the first place. Now that they’d attacked in full force, the Dragon Guards stationed at each end had no way to bar their way, much less outflank them.
“You actually dared to place His Majesty in mortal danger?” Lou Zigui raised his leg, wanting to give Fang Tang a kick.
Ning Xiaoyao ran over just then to push Fang Tang aside. “Lil’ Big Bro Fang, you’re still in the mood to chat about life with Supreme Commander right now?”
Lou Zigui’s leg stopped in mid-air as he narrowly avoided spraining his waist. Ning Xiaoyao reached out a hand to pick up the carriage. She had already marked this carriage as a heavy object, or else she would’ve started tearing the buildings apart. This time, she used every ounce of her strength to grab the carriage by its front axles before holding her breath and lifting it above her head.
Lou Zigui and Fang Tang were both dumbfounded as they settled on the same thought. How is this even possible?!
Using her genetically superior strength, Ning Xiaoyao cast a final glance at the location of the Northern Hu archers, shouted a get lost, you!, and violently smashed the carriage in their direction.
“Miaow!” Big Boss Black’s panicked cries came from the carriage.
“... …” Crap, Ning Xiaoyao forgot that the fat black furball was still inside.
The 600 jin [1. jin (斤) - traditional unit of weight approximating 0.5kg or 1.1lbs.] imperial carriage whooshed along in the wind over the heads of Shadowgale and the rest to crash on top of the Northern Hu archers. Shadowgale didn’t even hear any voices cry out, only the sound of the carriage shattering into pieces. Big Boss Black leaped onto a northern barbarian’s head. Cats had light bones and were good at jumping, so Big Boss Black was fine despite the destroyed carriage. He revealed his claws and ruthlessly left five bloody grooves in the bald head. This barbarian was lucky enough to escape heavy injuries from the smashed carriage, but fell prey to a cat’s claw and a head full of blood. With an angry cry, he lifted his arms to grab at the cat on top of him.
“Xiaoyao!” Big Boss Black shouted, his tail caught by the large man.
Ning Xiaoyao hadn’t brought any weapons, so she could only pick up a brick from the ground and run towards the man. Lou Zigui had just recovered from his shock when he saw His Majesty dashing towards the northern barbarian with brick in hand.
“You…” Supreme Commander Lou wanted to shout, but ended up saying nothing from his open mouth. Fang Tang gaped at the sight of His Majesty leaping up and smashing the brick down on a man twice her height until he toppled to the ground, face covered in blood.
Lil’ Big Bro Fang had trouble finding his words as he stammered, “His, His Majesty’s so, so valiant.”
Was it a good thing for a woman to be praised as valiant? Lou Zigui mused, but couldn’t find an answer.
“Are you guys just going to watch while the Northern Hu surround me?” Ning Xiaoyao turned back to look at the stunned forms of Shadowgale and the rest after rescuing Big Boss Black with her brick. Hey, pals aren’t supposed to act this way!
The Dragon Guards recovered their senses with her words and started rushing at the crowds.
“Hateful humans!” Big Boss Boss scratched the northern barbarian’s face. Ning Xiaoyao plucked up the tubby black furball and tossed him onto her shoulders.
“Enough, you. He’s already unconscious, so what are you scratching him for?”
“That’s that dog emperor[1. dog emperor (狗皇帝) - gou huangdi, a literal translation. “Dog” in this sense means “damned, cursed.”] of Yongning!” a northern barbarian shouted as he pointed at Ning Xiaoyao with his sabre.
Ninny, fatuous ruler, dog emperor. Ning Xiaoyao was indignant. Couldn’t they give her a more positive nickname? She picked up another brick from the ground and joined in the fray to keep fighting. Shadowgale started out by shielding Ning Xiaoyao, only to discover her dancing, whirling, brick-wielding skills made her beat people up like watermelons. As soon as she hit someone, red liquid would flow, so he stopped worrying. His Majesty was such a capable fighter that he didn’t even need them to protect him.
“Don’t let them run away!” Ning Xiaoyao shouted at the Dragon Guards while brutally bricking barbarian brains. It was so dark. Just how many Northern Hu spies existed in the capital city?
At the frontlines, the ‘bloody battle’ reigned, while Lou Zigui and Fang Tang stood by the two horses that had drawn the carriage. It almost seemed like this whole thing had nothing to do with them. Above their heads, the circling gyrfalcon suddenly gave out another long keel as he dove from the rooftops of the Fragrant Storey. Fang Tang sensed something amiss with the wind. He didn’t even have time to turn his head, but instinctively sliced in the direction of the whistling air. A green-tipped arrowhead broke apart two-thirds from its tail to fall at Fang Tang’s feet.
“Damn it!” Fang Tang glanced at the rusty copper arrowhead and cursed. “Those Man thralls dipped the arrows in poison!”
Ning Xiaoyao twisted her head to look at the Fragrant Storey rooftops, only to see the little gyrfalcon pecking and scratching at a northern barbarian. Right now, the ground was littered with wood. Without a second thought, Ning Xiaoyao kicked up a thick, sturdy piece of timber and caught it in her hand, before throwing it at the barbarian on the roof.
A horrible shriek and the sound of breaking roof tiles came from above Lou Zigui and Fang Tang’s head. They looked up and saw a northern barbarian fall at their feet. Not only was his head bloodied, his legs seemed broken as well.
“S-so fierce,” Fang Tang sighed with feeling. If His Majesty could join the battlefields, he’d be a warrior there as well!
Lou Zigui cradled his forehead as his expression turned stern. “There’s 100 Dragon Guards here at most. Where did the other 200 go? What about Seventh Song and the rest?”
Song Jin was seventh in terms of seniority amongst their brothers, so he was called Seventh Song in the army. At his question, Fang Tang suddenly grew alert. That’s right, they were shouting and slaughtering up a storm here, but why hadn’t Seventh Song and the others come out of hiding yet?
“Where did they hide themselves?” Lou Zigui asked in a low voice. Fang Tang raised his arm to point behind them at an alleyway. Song Jin and the rest should’ve hidden there.
Original Chapter Teaser:[expand]
Ning Xiaoyao tilted her head and asked Lou Zigui, “Did the fake tooth seller cheat that man?”
Lou Zigui felt himself getting a headache as he knitted his brows.
Ning Xiaoyao: HahaHAH, that guy got played good!
Lou Zigui: It feels like Your Majesty's playing with us all...
Ning Xiaoyao: What? No way, this is serious business! Work stuff! A matter of life and death, guilty or not-guilty!
Ning Xiaoyao: Though you can probably relax, Supreme Commander. *pats his shoulder* I've totally got everything covered, your part included.
Lou Zigui: (Do you...? Do you really?!)
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