Chapter 314: The desperate Empress Dowager Xie
“Doesn’t Your Majesty think for your followers, then?” Empress Dowager Xie asked Ning Xiaoyao.
“They all have their own troops. Those who don’t have troops, like Old Gramps Li, have disciples.” Ning Xiaoyao was acting like a complete thug. “Everyone will live on just fine without me.”
“You can just go and yell His Majesty is not a male right now.” Ning Xiaoyao pointed her finger to outside the pavilion. “It’s fine, go ahead.”
Empress Dowager Xie stood for a while in the pavilion, dumbfounded. Since threats are useless, should she plead? If this daughter would buy that, she wouldn’t have to resort to threats from the start.
Ning Xiaoyao habitually knocked her fingers on the stone table and told Empress Dowager Xie, “Just stop making a fuss, you think you are living in misery or something? Soon the Xie family members will all die, but you’ll still live. You are neat and clean from top to toe, and you live in the huge Empress Dowager’s Hall. Now just look at me,” Ning Xiaoyao pointed at her own nose.
Empress Dowager Xie looked at Ning Xiaoyao. Ning Xiaoyao’s entire body was smeared with lumps of mud, only her face could be considered clean.
“You think I’m living the good life?” Ning Xiaoyao continued, “Empress Dowager, it’s not like I want to lecture you. But even if I give you the authority, can you really beat Grand Preceptor? Currently, Yongning is a big, messy pile of troubles, just how many of them can you settle? You were fine with following Grand Preceptor’s manipulation, yet if you have to listen to me for a bit, you actually feel so miserable that you want to die?”
Empress Dowager Xie was choked by Ning Xiaoyao’s words.
“Originally, how did Grand Preceptor deceive you?” Ning Xiaoyao gave Empress Dowager Xie a side glance. “You seriously thought he’d make you run courts from behind the curtain like an empress? Didn’t he want to kill you all the same when you blocked his path?”
Empress Dowager Xie suddenly felt raged upon being scolded by Ning Xiaoyao. Yet, she didn’t know what she was angry about.
“In fact, your only talent is being all lovey dovey with that muddle-headed late emperor.”
“He was your Imperial Father!” Empress Dowager Xie shouted.
“He’s my birth father, but he’s still a muddlehead.” Ning Xiaoyao slapped the stone table. “You are stupid enough, yet you managed to successfully delude him. Doesn’t that mean he’s even more stupid?”
“You…” Empress Dowager Xie’s body staggered. She looked like she was about to topple over.
“You should go back.” Ning Xiaoyao waved her hand at Empress Dowager. “In the future, let’s not meet when there's nothing important. That way you won’t be unhappy and I won’t be mentally taxed.”
Ning Xiaoyao looked at Empress Dowager Xie with an indifferent expression.
Empress Dowager Xie stood there fixedly while staring at Ning Xiaoyao. Tears streamed down her face.
“Alright then, I’ll go.” Ning Xiaoyao stood up to leave.
“Your Majesty,” Empress Dowager Xie blocked Ning Xiaoyao’s path and demanded, “Regarding Prince Cheng, you must give this Dowager a justification.”
“Until now, I haven’t even touched a finger of his.” Ning Xiaoyao was confused and had to ask Empress Dowager Xie, “What makes you so sure that I’ll definitely kill your son?”
“Your Majesty’s scheme runs deep in your heart, how would this Dowager know your thoughts?”
“I can send men to Empress Dowager’s Hall and kill your son right now. Then, I’ll announce that the rebel forces did it. Who would suspect me?” Ning Xiaoyao snapped.
Empress Dowager Xie trembled and stumbled backward.
“I can kill you right now as well.” Ning Xiaoyao showed Empress Dowager Xie her balled up fist. “Then I’ll also say that the rebels hidden in the imperial palace did it. Who would suspect me? It will only cost me two coffins at most. Stop acting like I have no ways to deal with you. If the rebels want to remain in the palace, they can disguise themselves and stay hidden for possibly 10 and even 20 years. Do you know what this means?”
Empress Dowager Xie shook her head.
“This means, I can kill you whenever I want.” Ning Xiaoyao puckered her lips, “Are you really the final winner among the imperial women’s fight? Empress Dowager, I think you should thank your parents for giving you a pretty face, and thank the late emperor for being a blind and muddle-headed flop. You want to fight me to death? Then you have to think of a way to stay alive first, understand?”
Crossing her hands behind her back, Ning Xiaoyao swayed out of the stone pavilion and disappeared from Empress Dowager Xie’s sight.
Empress Dowager Xie wanted to walk to the stone stool, but her legs turned mushy after taking one step. Inside the hexagon stone pavilion, Her Excellency Empress Dowager fell to the ground. She sat there, unable to move for a long time. Is she now a pitiful widow who has to beg for life from her own enemy? After pulling down her covers, she’s merely a pitiful creature?
Standing on a narrow path, Ning Xiaoyao observed Empress Dowager Xie inside the pavilion.
Shadowgale had come here to find Ning Xiaoyao. He asked, “Your Majesty, do you want to send someone to escort Her Excellency back to Empress Dowager’s Hall?”
Ning Xiaoyao responded, “No need to trouble anyone, just let her stay there. She’s in a bad mood now that the Xie Clan is done for.”
Shadowgale accompanied Ning Xiaoyao on the way back. He knew he had no right of speech in the matter concerned Empress Dowager, so he simply didn’t speak.
When the two stepped out of the narrow road through the woods, Shadowrain hurriedly approached and reported to Ning Xiaoyao, “Your Majesty, Imperial Concubine Jing committed suicide just now.”
Ning Xiaoyao was startled. “Who?”
“Second Prince’s birth mother.” Shadowgale reminded her in a low voice.
Ning Xiaoyao fell silent.
Shadowrain asked, “Your Majesty, what about Imperial Concubine Jing’s corpse?”
“I didn’t force her to die, ah.” Ning Xiaoyao mumbled.
“What does this have to do with Your Majesty?” Shadowgale instantly commented, “This is karma by Second Prince.”
“Bury her.” Ning Xiaoyao said curtly before she continued walking away. She had never seen Imperial Concubine Jing before. Too many people have died today, the small farm alone got a pond full of bodies. Ning Xiaoyao didn’t have any spare mental energy to think about Imperial Concubine Jing.
Watching Ning Xiaoyao leave, Shadowgale whispered to Shadowrain, “Find a coffin. Take Imperial Concubine Jing out of the palace and bury her.”
“Bury her where?” Shadowrain asked. You can’t throw an Imperial Concubine’s body to the wilderness, right?
“Have her buried with Second Prince so their family can be together.” Shadowgale decided after some thought, “Do this as the last favor from His Majesty for her.” Your son is dead. Now, you’re dead as well. So we’ll bury you with your son, Imperial Concubine Jing.
Standing at the narrow path, Shadowrain shook his head as he watched his big brother chase after His Majesty. Second Prince was a sinner who plotted regicide. The fact his corpse wasn’t thrown into the wilderness was already pretty good. They were about to bury Second Prince on a barren hill. Now Imperial Concubine Jing will also be buried with Second Prince? Who would’ve thought that Her Excellency Imperial Concubine Jing would end up being buried on a barren hill? At one point, Imperial Concubine Jing had earned the late emperor’s favor. No one would’ve imagined she would end up like this.
“Your Majesty, what should we do next?” Shadowgale asked from behind Ning Xiaoyao.
“We’ll wait for news from Supreme Commander.” Ning Xiaoyao replied, “Let’s hope he can catch Grand Preceptor in Xiang City.
The wait lasted three days.
The corpses within the capital and the imperial palace were buried, while the blood was washed clean. The streets gradually returned to their normal state. The topic of Grand Preceptor Xie was frequently discussed. But an even more popular topic was how His Majesty had decided to reclaim the imperial clansmen’s assets and privileges. His Majesty was going to divide the land to the peasants, distribute the grains, and even encouraged the refugees to return to their hometown.
Sticked on the street corner bulletins were announcements - “refugees return to hometown”, “the court divides farmland, distributes grains and exempts three years of tax.”
Ning Xiaoyao was currently sitting on a treasure trove, so it didn’t hurt however she spent the money. Originally, His Majesty Ning had wanted to exempt five years of tax, but she reduced to three years after Elder Li had jumped out and used his own death as bargaining pressure.
At today’s imperial court, a military report was delivered to the Hall of Golden Chimes while everyone was discussing on how to divide the farmland.
Ning Xiaoyao read the military report written by Supreme Commander Lou himself and wiped her face. She informed the court officials with a pained expression, “We discovered the rebel forces have a troop of 10,000 in Xiang City.”
The Hall of Golden Chimes instantly lapsed into silence. How many troops did Lou Zigui bring to Xiang City again? 3,000 if they recalled it correctly. The officials exchanged glances amongst themselves. Can Supreme Commander win this battle?
Elder Li fumed with rage, “Did Xie Wenyuan become a roving rebel now? That thief leader Xiang Nong is seeking death!”
Ning Xiaoyao looked at Elder Li. This old gramps always seems to be missing the point. Is this really the right time to fret over Big Boss Xiang? Right now we should be worried about how Supreme Commander Lou can fight this battle, alright?
At this moment, Lou Zigui was below Xiang City’s city gate tower. The city gates were tightly shut.
Standing next to Lou Zigui, Xu Feiyu asked, “Should we attack?”
3000 elite cavalry was far from enough to besiege the city, the military troops understood this clearly as they stood beneath the city walls. They had to raid the city if they wanted to capture Xie Wenyuan.
Inside the Xiang City governor’s estate, Grand Preceptor Xie put down the teacup and looked at Xiang Tiange, who was facing him. “How likely do you think your rebel troops will be able to successfully defend Xiang City?”
Xiang Tiange icily replied, “Grand Preceptor isn’t going to lend a hand?”
Grand Preceptor Xie began to laugh. The smile on his face looked warm and his tone was just as amiable. “I’ll naturally do my part. However, this old man only have limited troops. The outcome of this battle lies with Young Lord.”
Xiang Tiange stood up and spoke in a cold tone. “My Godfather ordered me to bring Grand Preceptor to meet with him, so I’ll naturally obey his order.”
“Then I’ll trouble Young Lord when the time comes.” Grand Preceptor Xie nodded at Xiang Tiange.
Xiang Tiange didn’t want to stay there for another second. He turned his body and quickly left the hall.
“Grand Preceptor,” Xiang City’s governor and army commander were sitting on the side as they looked at Grand Preceptor. The governor seemed unperturbed, but his eyes revealed his anxiety. He asked Grand Preceptor Xie, “Can we really trust the rebel forces?”
Grand Preceptor Xie smiled, “If they could rescue this old man from the eastern suburbs, they could naturally take us out of the capital and its vicinity. Don’t be afraid, Lou Zigui only has 3000 troops, he can’t hurt this old man with such few men. You can all prepare to leave the city. Everything is going to be fine.“
The governor and army commander could only obey and dismiss themselves.
Xu Yiming walked out from behind the screen and shook his head at Grand Preceptor Xie. “As far as I can tell from Xiang Tiange’s manner, he’s not protecting Grand Preceptor out of his own will.”
Originally, Grand Preceptor Xie was smiling, but his face instantly turned cold. “I could tell from his words.”
“Then what is Grand Preceptor’s decision?”
“We leave as soon as Lou Zigui attacks the city.” Grand Preceptor Xie accidently hit his hand on the teacup and shook it a little.
Xu Yiming looked down and whispered, “What about the people in the city?”
Grand Preceptor Xie didn’t respond. Instead, he only raised the teacup to take a sip.
Xiang Tiange was urging his horse at flying speed to the barrack. He ignored the various subordinates wanting to have a conversation with him and quickly reached his residence. As soon as he sat down, he abruptly threw a punch on the table.
Several military officials of the rebel forces walked in. They asked upon seeing Xiang Tiange’s action, “Young Lord, do we truly need to fight Lou Zigui to death for that old thief Xie?”
“That’s an order from Great Lord.” another official hastened to cut in, “What’s the point of saying such thing to Young Lord?”
“F**k it!” the official was furious. “I already wanted to kill that old thing back in the cave.”
“Young Lord,” a young man with a huge figure and mature face whispered to Xiang Tiange, “We must make a plan on how to execute our final decision. If we want to protect Xie Wenyuan, we have to transport that old thief out of the city before Lou Zigui starts the siege.”
Xiang Tiange habitually touched the corner of his lips and felt a smooth sensation. It was then he recalled that the scar was no longer there. As the image of Ning Xiaoyao covered in mud appeared in Xiang Tiange’s mind, a smile briefly graced his handsome face.
:P Xiaoyao is so savage! :P Btw, if you guys haven't check it out already, click here to learn more about me & other translators! Click here to learn more about GRACE <-- yeah, mePrevious Chapter Next Chapter