Xie Duoying looked at Ning Xiaoyao. Ning Xiaoyao had covered Shadowgale’s eyes, preventing him from moving.
“Shadowgale,” Xie Duoying suddenly lowered her head again, “Shadowgale has never once spoke about matters regarding Your Majesty, or the imperial court. He has never done anything to betray Your Majesty, so I’m begging Your Majesty not to blame him for what happened today. I was the one who lied to him because I was afraid to die. It’s all my fault.”
Ning Xiaoyao: ...Why does she feel as if this young miss was imparting her final words?
“I know that Your Majesty is a miracle doctor,” Xie Duoying pressed her palms together and pleaded, “Your Majesty, please save Shadowgale.”
“You’re not going to feel at ease until I give Windy medicine, eh? When he heard about your suicide, Shadowgale immediately ran here. He’s a Dragon Guard ah! Do you think I can still use him after this?”
Xie Duoying was well aware of the type of person she was dealing with. After all, His Majesty had forced her grandfather into becoming a fugitive and forced the Xie Clan into destitution. She didn’t believe a word of those who claim that His Majesty was kindhearted.
“Besides,” Ning Xiaoyao stiffened her little chubby face, “I’m the emperor, not a physician.”
“Your Majesty!” Xie Duoying cried out loud.
“There’s no use in crying, I won’t be swayed by your act.”
“If I were dead, this wouldn’t be happening to Shadowgale.”
Ning Xiaoyao gave her the side-eye, she gave her the “Do you dare?” look.
One of Xie Duoying’s ribs were broken, so it was difficult for her to move. Under the side-eyed gaze of Ning Xiaoyao, Fifth Young Miss Xie forcefully bent her knees forward to stand up. She briefly looked at Shadowgale again before lowering her hand and running towards a big boulder on the side. She slammed her head into it without any hesitation.
Ning Xiaoyao was silent. Not this again...
Ning Xiaoyao removed her hand from Shadowgale’s eyes. Shadowgale flipped over and sat up, frantically staring at the scene before him. Xie Duoying was lying on the ground beneath a big boulder. There was blood on the boulder and the ground. His Majesty was crouching on the side.
“Come over here and take a look, ah,” Ning Xiaoyao waved Shadowgale over, her hands were completely dyed red from the blood.
Shadowgale sat motionlessly the ground, dumbfounded, “S-she really committed suicide?”
“She lied to you about the incident at the Buddhist nunnery, but she isn’t lying now. She slammed into the boulder hard enough to crack her head open.”
Shadowgale remained in a daze. “Windy, do you think I should save her?”
Shadowgale stared blankly at her.
“Hey, hey, this is your women ah! What are you looking at me for?”
“Your Majesty h-hasn’t… hasn’t saved her?” Shadowgale stuttered.
Ning Xiaoyao pursed her lips, “I have to ask your opinion on this matter ah.”
Shadowgale didn’t get up. He threw himself towards the front of Xie Duoying. There was a white substance that looked like brain matter mixed within the blood on the ground. His voice trembled as he cried out, “I beg Your Majesty to save her!”
Ning Xiaoyao pulled Shadowgale and placed his hand on Xie Duoying’s body. “Since you don’t want her to die, then don’t test her anymore in the future.”
Shadowgale lowered his head to look at Xie Duoying. Xie Duoying’s face was swollen and covered in blood. Is there even a future to speak of?
Ning Xiaoyao sat on the ground with her arms folded and mumbled, “You can both start over again. Pah! You’ve both experienced life and death together, no need to start over ah. Windy, I’ve decided to let Fifth Young Miss stay in the palace. Then you both….”
“Your Majesty!” Shadowgale urgently exclaimed in a low voice.
“Why are you still shouting?” Ning Xiaoyao glared at Shadowgale, “Would you rather dig a hole and bury her? This matter should be resolved, shouldn’t it?
Shadowgale raised his hand to check for Xie Duoying’s breathing.
“Calm down. With me here, you think I’ll just sit around and watch the both of you die?”
Shadowgale felt a gentle breeze on his hand and let out a sigh of relief.
“Hey, hey,” Ning Xiaoyao shook Shadowgale’s hand, “Let’s have a chat first!”
“She…” “She’s vain, just like Empress Dowager. She has dreamt of becoming the most esteemed lady of Yongning ever since she was little. She even colluded with Northern Hu people and lied to you. But at the end, she was willing to die for you.”
Shadowgale securely held Xie Duoying in his arms and spoke in a low voice, “She isn’t a….”
“She isn’t a good person,” Ning Xiaoyao finished the sentence for him, “But neither are you a good lover. Didn’t you also scheme to test her?”
Shadowgale lifted his head to look at Ning Xiaoyao.
“This is all my fault,” Ning Xiaoyao admitted grievously, “You did it for me.”
“I deserve to die, don’t I? I didn’t show complete loyalty to Your Majesty to the end. I also failed to treat Fifth Young Miss wholeheartedly either.”
“Why do your words make me feel like I should die ah?” Ning Xiaoyao frowned. Maybe if she didn’t exist, Windy wouldn’t be tangled up in this mess.
“It’s this servant who deserves to die,” Shadowgale rushed to denounce himself.
“Forget it,” Ning Xiaoyao decided to stop thinking about the matter of who should die. If they could both live well, why should anyone have to die? “Let’s forget about everything that happened in the past, and just focus on what you want to do in the future ah.”
Take Xie Duoying into the palace? Shadowgale couldn’t open his mouth to ask.
“If you’re not going to say anything, then just listen to me,” Ning Xiaoyao didn’t wait for Shadowgale to reply before she continued, “Let Fifth Young Miss stay in the palace. If she stays outside, who knows if Grand Preceptor Xie will still look for her?”
“Your Majesty, I….”
“Stop saying ‘I’ anymore ah,” Ning Xiaoyao didn’t allow Shadowgale to finish speaking, “It’s not a crime to want to live well. Who wouldn’t protect themselves if someone wanted to harm them? I understand now. Your experiences were fated to happen. You two can decide whether or not you guys want to be with each other.”
At this moment, one of the Northern Hu men behind them let out a groan. He looked like he was about to regain consciousness.
Right now, Ning Xiaoyao didn’t have any bricks with her. So, she raised a fist and knocked him out again.
By now, the rest of the Northern Hu men on the ground were already conscious. However, they were all afraid to make a move. They didn’t understand why this little Yongning Emperor neglected major events and appeared more concerned about that woman’s affairs. Perhaps, his intelligence was lacking. Nonetheless, they were no match against the emperor’s savage attacks.
“We won’t be able to carry so many people. Let’s just wait for Third Rain to come,” Ning Xiaoyao reached into her sleeves for sugar beans to munch on. When she realized her sleeves were empty, she remembered she had given the sugar beans to big brother Azhi.
Shadowgale looked at Xie Duoying’s head. The wound on her forehead was the size of half his palm. The skin had peeled off, exposing a thin layer of red flesh. It was clear to see that Fifth Young Miss had intended to die with that one slam into the boulder.
“Don’t just look at her, how are you feeling?” Ning Xiaoyao asked Shadowgale.
Shadowgale touched the part of his chest that had been slashed by the Northern Hu men earlier. He felt no pain, so he pulled open his lapel to look at his chest. He saw a healed scar from the knife wound.
Ning Xiaoyao took this opportunity to steal a glance. At first, she only had her eyes on the wound, but then her gaze unwittingly moved down. My Windy’s figure is quite good ah! Even when he is sitting, there isn’t any fat on his tummy! (Author: Shadowgale merely opened his lapel, how in the world did you manage to look at his tummy ah?)
“These Northern Hu men anticipated that Your Majesty cares about your subordinates, and would personally come to the Buddhist nunnery if I didn’t return,” Shadowgale had no idea that upper body had been completely scrutinized by His Majesty.
“Mhmm, they covered the walls of the nunnery in oil and were probably going to shoot fire arrows or throw torches. They planned to kill me.”
Shadowgale furrowed his brows, “Could it be the nuns?”
“I highly doubt that. If they were in cahoots with the Northern Hu, they would’ve dashed once we captured them. God knows how these men managed to trick the nuns.”
Shadowgale tightened his grip on Xie Duoying. This matter must be somehow related to Fifth Young Miss.
“Right…” Ning Xiaoyao thought of something and clenched her fist. “Who was it that injured you?”
The Northern Hu men lying on the ground: ...
“That man had a full beard. He’s very skilled in martial arts.”
Ning Xiaoyao looked down at Beardy. You again.
“He…” Just as Shadowgale was about to ask if they had caught this person, Ning Xiaoyao had already grabbed the man’s foot and dragged him to Shadowgale.
“Stop playing dead,” Ning Xiaoyao smacked Beardy across the face.
Beardy’s face was covered in blood. Ning Xiaoyao broke his nose with the brick. Now that he was slapped on the face, the burly fellow couldn’t help but tremble in pain.
Shadowgale released Xie Duoying and grabbed Beardy’s neck in one move. He shouted angrily, “Speak, how did you get into the outskirts of our capital?”
Despite being strangled to the point where his eyes had rolled back, Beardy still didn’t say a word.
Ning Xiaoyao sat on the ground and pursed her lips, “No point of asking this. Grand Preceptor must have helped them.”
“Grand Preceptor’s defeat is a recent matter. The journey from the mountain pass to the capital takes several months. There’s no way these people only received his help recently,” Shadowgale reasoned.
Ning Xiaoyao thought Shadowgale’s words made sense. Supreme Commander Lou is still on his way. If Grand Preceptor had only recently partnered up with them, it’s impossible for these Northern Hu men to appear here. “Speak,” Ning Xiaoyao looked at Beardy whose eyes were still rolled back. “When did Grand Preceptor start working together with your Modou?”
Shadowgale loosened his grip slightly. Beardy took this opportunity to open his mouth to breathe.
“If you don’t speak, I’ll get Shadowgale to beat you to death,” Ning Xiaoyao threatened Beardy.
“I don’t know,” Beardy spoke without thinking.
Ning Xiaoyao lifted up her hand again, ready to greet Beardy’s face with another slap. She retorted angrily, “I hate those three words the most!”
In the blink of an eye, Beardy’s face was swollen with a huge bump.
“How would a lowly subordinate like me know anything about the Wolf King’s whereabouts? Go ahead and kill me then!” Beardy buried his face and cried.
“Eh? That’s not right! Didn’t I dislocate your jaw? How are you able to speak right now? Who helped put your jaw back in place?” Ning Xiaoyao suddenly reacted.
Beardy’s body jolted in shock. Ning Xiaoyao thought back. Was it her occupational habit? Did she unknowingly put his jaw back in place?
“Your Majesty!” Suddenly, Shadowgale threw himself in front of Ning Xiaoyao, hugged her and rolled onto the ground.
Ning Xiaoyao appeared to be in a daze. She saw the glint of a dagger, in a split second, a Northern Hu man had abducted the unconscious Xie Duoying and held a dagger to her neck.
Shadowgale steadfastly placed Ning Xiaoyao behind himself as soon as he saw the killing intent briefly flash in the Northern Hu man’s eyes. Head Commander Shadowgale immediately regained his composure.
“Yongning Emperor,” the Northern Hu man stare at Ning Xiaoyao, whose head was currently peeking out from behind Shadowgale.
“So you are the one in charge!” Ning Xiaoyao sniffed, “Let her go, or else you’ll bear the consequences.”
“Your Majesty should be the one letting people go.” This Northern Hu man didn’t have a beard and his features didn’t stand out so it was impossible to tell if he was a Northern Hu or a Yongning citizen. Not to mention, he was fluent in the Yongning dialect. The man twisted the dagger in his hands and cut into Xie Duoying’s neck. “If Your Majesty wants to save this beauty, then let us go.” he threatened.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
I hope the formatting works this time! A reader notified me that they couldn't see anything in the dark mode because the text was black. I used to directly copy and paste from google doc. Now, I have to clear formatting and redo all the italics. Ahhhhh. It'll take even longer! *cries*
Hehe. Xiaoyao is trying to hook Shadowgale and Fifth Young Miss up. ;)