Chapter 329: Don't you let down the royal grace

Chapter 329: Don't you let down the royal grace

Ning Xiaoyao raised her head to look at Lou Zigui. Sitting up straight underneath the moonlight, his face appeared somewhat blurry. The only thing she could clearly see were Supreme Commander’s thin lips.

Lou Zigui was also observing Ning Xiaoyao. Miss Ning’s face still looked identical to his first impression of her. Baby fat was visible on her face and she had almond shaped eyes with pouty lips. “Stay safe.” Lou Zigui murmured. Without waiting for her reply, he urged his horse and rode off.

On this summer night, the capital city stood silent in the cool breeze. Although the dry summer heat had dissipated, the crisp chirps of cicada persisted. “Bon Voyage! Come back as soon as you can!” Upon hearing the shouting that came from behind him, Lou Zigui turned his head, only to see the tiny silhouette of Miss Ning hopping and waving her hand outside the palace gate.

Currently, the palace gate was brightly lit. There were many Elite Imperial Guards and Dragon Guards standing around. However, the only thing that matter to Lou Zigui was the hopping silhouette. “This subject obeys the decree!” Lou Zigui shouted in response.

Ning Xiaoyao remained at the palace gate until Lou Zigui had ridden far into the darkness. Then, she pouted and turned back to her palace.

“Your Majesty?” Shadowgale followed from behind. He could clearly sense His Majesty’s grief. Ning Xiaoyao turned to look at Shadowgale. “I don't know what I should work on these next few days. Windy, have you seen Fifth Young Miss?” 

Shadowgale shook his head. They were at war! How could he have had the time to be visiting anyone?

“Sigh.” Ning Xiaoyao grabbed a bunch of flowers from the flower bed next to her. “The weather is pretty good tonight. You should go see her. It’s time to fetch Er Ya and Xiaoqiu.”

Shadowgale definitely wouldn’t go if Fifth Young Miss was the sole reason. He would never place his private emotions above public duty. However, he couldn’t decline if it was to fetch Er Ya and Xiaoqiu. Since Xie Duoying was with the children right now, he could still see her. Ning Xiaoyao was really clever with her tricks.

Shadowgale obediently obeyed the command, but was still worried about leaving His Majesty in this state. “Your Majesty, regarding Supreme Commander…”

“He’s afraid the Grand Preceptor would go to the Northern Hu. So he has decided to return to Anyuan.” Ning Xiaoyao gravely explained.

“Then how should we lay out the defence around the capital?”

In the past, Xie Wenyuan had always been the one in control of the soldiers around the capital. Now that he had fled and some of the rebel forces had been captured, how should they set up the defence? Lou Zigui was gone. So who should be the one responsible now?

Ning Xiaoyao was dumbfounded. Oh yeah. Now that the war is over, how should she set up the defences around the capital? She doesn’t know how to do it!

“Your Majesty!” Shadowthunder shouted and ran towards her. “Lord Protector and Extremely Powerful and Mighty Great General Xu Jing seeks your presence.”

Ai ma. Ning Xiaoyao heaved a sigh of relief. “So long as Lord Protector and the rest are around, we don’t need to rely on Supreme Commander. Which general doesn’t know how to line their troops for battle and organize defence?” Ning Xiaoyao was instantly relieved of all her troubles.

Deep down, Shadowgale knew Lou Zigui must have instructed these two figures to come. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have arrived at the imperial palace in the middle of the night.

“Second Thunder, please invite Lord Protector and Great General Xu in.” Ning Xiaoyao puffed her chest up. “There are things to be done. It’s what Lou Zigui has left them to do.” Ning Xiaoyao touched her chest and didn’t seem to feel as dejected.

So, Shadowgale left the palace to pick up the children while Shadowthunder ran over to invite Lord Protector and Xu Jing in.

Ning Xiaoyao stood by herself as she look down at the fat black round silhouette at her feet. “Don't be like this. In any case, you're the cat leader of the capital. How could you call yourself a boss if you show your tears to your underlings?”

“This cat is not crying!” Big Boss Black snapped.

“Tsk” Ning Xiaoyao smacked her lips together and gave Big Black Boss a gentle kick. “Yeah right. Are those saliva coming out of your eyes then? Stop being sad already. It’s not possible between you and Supreme Commander. Just give up.”

Miaow!” Big Boss Black ferociously scratched Ning Xiaoyao before he drilled himself into the bushes by the roadside and disappeared.

“I'm still sad, but I ain’t crying.” Ning Xiaoyao mumbled while placing her hands behind her back. She slowly swayed back into Supreme Splendor Hall. “It's not like I won't get to see him again. Supreme Commander said that he will return shortly, so why should I be sad?” Ning Xiaoyao continued muttering under her breath. By the time she was inside Supreme Splendor Hall, she was in a great mood again. Ning Xiaoyao cheerfully requested Chef Huang to make her some midnight snack.

“Your Majesty, you just had dinner though!” Chef Huang stared at Ning Xiaoyao's stomach. How could such a small tummy fit so much food?

“When I found out Supreme Commander was leaving tonight, my mood turned foul. I barely ate, ah.” Ning Xiaoyao boldly declared. Hearing this, Chef Huang couldn’t refute. Oh well, in any case, His Majesty has divine pills. If he overeats, he could always take a pill. “Your Majesty, would you like some pig arms with soup noodles?”

“Yeah! Yeah! I wanna eat meat!” Ning Xiaoyao beamed and clapped.

“She definitely doesn’t love Supreme Commander!” Big Boss Black angrily snarled to Little White Fatty, “That ninny isn’t sad at all!”

Ning Xiaoyao picked up a ladle and threw it directly out of the kitchen stove window. Why is Black Tubby everywhere?

Big Boss Black could see something heading his direction and quickly leaped backwards. He avoided the flying ladle and screeched while facing the kitchen, “You ninny! You’re a heartless woman! This cat has misjudged you!”

This time, Ning Xiaoyao threw a wok spatula out the window. Big Boss Black finally left with a broken heart.

Ao?” Little White Fatty ran to the kitchen door and poked its head inside.

“There’s pork shoulder. Do you want some?” Ning Xiaoyao asked. “Ao!” Little White Fatty bolted next to Ning Xiaoyao with his chubby, round body. “Eat!”

Chef Huang: ...

“Don’t think I don’t know pig arms mean pig shoulders!” Ning Xiaoyao glared at Chef Huang. Chef Huang remained silent. He never said pig arms weren’t pig shoulders ah.

“Humph!” Ning Xiaoyao huffed and puffed, “I’m not lacking money now!”

So that’s why you threw out a ladle and a wok spatula? Chef Huang thought. It’s getting harder to understand His Majesty’s train of thought. (Author: No, you just don’t dare to roast this troublemaker (╯▽╰)).

Shadowthunder led Lord Protector and Great General Xu into Supreme Splendor Hall. After he found Ning Xiaoyao, he returned and told the two guests, “His Majesty would like to treat Lord Protector and General Xu to a meal.”

Lord Protector was used to it. He was well aware of His Majesty’s huge appetite. Speaking of which, he still owes His Majesty a meal!?

However, General Xu couldn’t help but look out the window. “It’s already so late. His Majesty hasn’t eaten until now? Even if His Majesty is super busy, you guys have to urge him to eat and rest!”

Lord Protector and Second Commander made eye contact with each other. They decided to uphold His Majesty’s diligent image so neither of them told Great General Xu the truth. This is probably the nth midnight snack His Majesty is having.

“Great General Xu! How are you?” Ning Xiaoyao sat in front of the kitchen table. She smiled at Xu Jung with her oily mouth. “Would you like some meat? It is very savoury!”

“Ohhh, pork shoulder ah!” Lord Protector sat down with no hesitation. “Your Majesty, this subject would like a bowl.”

“Sounds good!” Ning Xiaoyao acknowledged Lord Protector then asked Shadowthunder, “Second Thunder, would you also like a bowl?”

Shadowthunder nodded. He had been running around the entire night. He was starving.

“Okie!” Ning Xiaoyao turned to Chef Huang and announced, “Prepared three more bowls of pork shoulder noodles!” Chef Huang was hard at work and sweating profusely. He didn’t bother turning around to ask. “Would you like green vegetables included?”

“Yes!” Ning Xiaoyao, Lord Protector and Shadowthunder simultaneously responded.

“How about yourself, Great General? Would you like some veggies?” Ning Xiaoyao asked Xu Jing enthusiastically. His Majesty was very different from Great General Xu’s imagination.

Meanwhile, at the north city gates, Elder Li and the other imperial officials were sending off Lou Zigui.

“Thank you, Elder.” Lou Zigui got off his horse and wanted to bow to Elder Li. However, Elder Li grabbed his arm to stop him. “The security of Anyuan’s six provinces will depend on you, Supreme Commander. Please take care and do not let down the royal grace.”

“Yes, this subject understands.” Lou Zigui nodded and was acting like an obedient disciple. Lou Zigui’s humble and sincere attitude made it difficult for Elder Li to say any harsh words.

At this moment, several servants from Lord Protector’s estate came out with good wine. Pei Yan spoke in his bright voice, “Supreme Commander, after drinking this cup, we hope you will have a pleasant journey.”

Elder Li was the first to select a cup from the tray. Then, it was Lou Zigui’s turn. After that, one by one, everyone else took a cup.

After facing everyone and drinking three cups, Pei Yan took Lou Zigui aside and whispered, “You seriously didn’t get rid of Empress Dowager?”

Lou Zigui gave Second Young Master Pei a look and grinned, “Wow, you’re quite ruthless.”

“Isn’t that best for His Majesty?” Pei Yan muttered. Lou Zigui continued speaking in a low voice while watching Song Jin converse with Elder Li. “His Majesty is busy with reclaiming all the imperial clansmen’s assets and privileges right now. If Empress Dowager were to die now, he would have to prepare a national funeral to show his virtue. His Majesty would also have to give the entire country a general pardon. This means, all prisoners would be released for the time being. Wouldn’t that stall the reclaiming process?”

Pei Yan furrowed his brows, “In your opinion, reclaiming assets and privileges is more important than getting rid of Empress Dowager?”

“Xie Clan has already collapsed. What could a woman like Empress Dowager do on her own?” Lou Zigui icily laughed, “Empress Dowager has already turned into a Buddhist nun. I highly doubt she will be able to cause any trouble for us any time soon.”

Pei Yan was surprised. “What? When did this happen?”

“Very recently.”

“Does His Majesty know you forced Empress Dowager?”

“His Majesty didn’t ask for the specifics so I didn’t explain in detail. His Majesty doesn’t like to see Empress Dowager. So in my opinion, His Majesty probably doesn’t know.”

Pei Yan had nothing to say.

“Sorry for troubling you with the military affairs, brother. Elder Li tend to be quite old-fashioned. His Majesty is also too kind. So, there are some things you ought to do.”

“Supreme Commander, what are you trying to say?”

“Those I have sent to justice court prisons should not remain alive.” Lou Zigui lowered his voice. Both of Pei Yai’s eyes twitched.

“I'm requesting this of you,” Lou Zigui gave Pei Yan a courtesy bow. Pei Yan shifted his body. Lou Zigui’s bow was too much for him to accept.

“His Majesty has treated Lord Protector’s estate with favour and kindness. Supreme Commander, there is no need to worry about us brothers for not doing our best. You are overly sensitive.”

Lou Zigui knew good words would never come out of Pei Yan’s mouth. So he only smiled and repeated, “I'm requesting this of you.”

“You should be the one not to let down the royal grace. When you get to Anyuan, you will be entering a tiger forest.” Pei Yan reminded behind him.

Lou Zigui halted his steps for a second before rushing to his warhorse, Little Red. He flipped himself over the horse. Let down the royal grace? Even if he lets down his imperial duties, he would never let down Ning Xiaoyao’s feelings for him.

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