Miss Ning couldn’t pretend to be a man forever. Should she fake her death? Give up the throne? These aren’t good solutions though. What if this leads to Yongning’s dynasty being abolished? Perhaps, the best way is for everyone to forget that the Ning Clan was ever the Imperial family.
The wild geese heading south soon became black dots and eventually disappeared from Lou Zigui’s sight. Lou Zigui retracted his far off gaze and turned back into the tent. He had a conflicting smile on his face. For Miss Ning? It was just an excuse. At the end of the day, he too wanted this country for himself.
After half a month, A-Ming the goose flew into the palace and landed in front of Ning Xiaoyao’s bedroom window.
“This can’t be true!” screeched Big Boss Black. All of his fur stood up after hearing what A-Ming had to say.
“Why would I lie to Xiaoyao? It’s not like I would have more big fish to eat if I did! Your Supreme Commander isn’t a good person!” A-Ming retorted. Big Black Boss jumped onto the windowsill. He wanted to bite this rotten bird to death for bad mouthing his Supreme Commander!
“That’s enough,” Ning Xiaoyao reached out and lifted Big Black Boss over by the neck. She looked at A-Ming and asked, “Is Prince Zhi really dead?”
“He’s dead. His head was chopped off. Many of us geese witnessed it.”
“What about Prince Zhi’s family?”
“They’re all dead,” A-Ming cautioned, “Xiaoyao, Supreme Commander’s master really hates your Ning Imperial Clan ah. He even said that if the previous emperor doesn’t die, the new emperor’s position cannot be established, ah!”
“Xiaoyao, Supreme Commander has a greatly respected teacher. He is…” said Grandfather Sparrow as he stood on the round table within her bedroom.
“I don’t give a f**k who he is.” Ning Xiaoyao interrupted Grandfather Sparrow.
“Let’s not talk about this anymore,” Grandpa Ash was lying on the armrest of the chair and shaking his head at Grandfather Sparrow. Then he turned to Ning Xiaoyao who had just placed Big Black Boss down. “Are you alright Xiaoyao?”
It was only now that the little animals noticed Ning Xiaoyao was not her usual bright self. Usually, Xiaoyao’s eyes sparkled like two twinkling stars. However, now they were dimmed. Right now, even Big Black Boss didn’t dare speak to Ning Xiaoyao.
“It’s been half a month,” Ning Xiaoyao looked at Big Black Boss, “If Supreme Commander was on his way, the animals nearby the capital would have already caught sight of him.”
Big Black Boss hung his head low, the fur on his body had flattened down as well.
“Xiaoyao,” Oil Jar softly called out. Ning Xiaoyao pouted her lips and sighed, “It’s nothing, don’t worry. Even without Supreme Commander, there’ll still be a way to solve this.” Ning Xiaoyao assured the little animals in front of her.
The little animals looked at Ning Xiaoyao. How are you going to solve this, ah?!
“Let me think about it,” Ning Xiaoyao rubbed Little White Fatty’s round, plump belly, “Give me a little time.”
“Let’s go,” Grandpa Ash jumped out of the wooden window first. Right now, Xiaoyao needs to be alone.
Big Black Boss was the second one to leave. Black Tubby was ashamed to face Ning Xiaoyao. Supreme Commander’s mistake was akin to himself committing the mistake.
A-Ming was the last one to leave. He looked at Ning Xiaoyao sympathetically and honked, “Xiaoyao, you have to escape soon! Right now, the humans out there all want to kill you so that they can be Emperor.”
“Mhmm, I know,” Ning Xiaoyao nodded.
“My uncle said that you humans will do anything for power. That is your nature. This is why us geese fly south once the weather turns cold. So don’t feel sad, Xiaoyao. This is just how human nature is.”
Ning Xiaoyao rubbed A-Ming’s head and replied, “I don’t have any dried fish with me now.”
“It’s ok,” A-Ming spread his wings, “Xiaoyao, just make sure you prepare more dried fish for yourself to eat on the road.”
Ning Xiaoyao: …Is she supposed to have only dried fish for food supplies ah? She will definitely starve to death!
“We’re flying south tomorrow. My uncle said that once the people here run out of food, they will kill us for meat.”
Ning Xiaoyao patted A-Ming’s head. “Be careful on your journey. I wish you a pleasant journey.”
“Don’t be sad anymore,” A-Ming gently touched Ning Xiaoyao’s hand with his beak. “Xiaoyao, you will definitely find someone better than Supreme Commander.”
Ning Xiaoyao grinned widely. If she can’t cry then she might as well smile.
A-Ming flew away. Ning Xiaoyao knew that besides A-Ming and his group of geese, many of the little animals had left the capital in fear of being caught and eaten.
She stood in front of the window and gazed at the garden outside. Ning Xiaoyao scratched her head. Is she upset? Of course she is. But more importantly, what should she do now? The Black Frost Calvary didn’t come. So, the plan to besiege their enemies had gone down the drain. How is she going to fight this war?
“Your Majesty?” Shadowgale was standing outside the courtyard. Only when he felt Ning Xiaoyao pat his shoulder did he realize His Majesty had appeared in front of him.
“Let’s go to the city gate towers to take a look.” Ning Xiaoyao looked completely fine, as if nothing had happened.
“Yes,” Shadowgale obeyed. In no time, Ning Xiaoyao led Shadowgale and his subordinates to the city gate towers.
Ning Xiaoyao didn’t want to look at the bloody corpse filled scene, so this was the first time she had come to the city gate towers ever since the war broke out. The tiles on the floor and walls of the city gate towers were damp with blood. Corpses that hadn’t been removed were piled up all over the city gate tower floor. There were twenty or thirty piles of corpses strewn together, piles upon piles here and there. Ning Xiaoyao estimated that there were at least thirty piles of corpses.
Standing in one of the crevices in the walls, Ning Xiaoyao could see that the Northern Hu had already dug a very deep, very long tunnel outside of the capital city.
“The Northern Hu soldiers intend to dig a tunnel leading under the capital,” Pei Yan explained. He was in charge of defending the north city gates and had rushed over from the city gate tower. “Then they will use gunpowder to blow up the city gates.”
“Can we hold them off?” Ning Xiaoyao asked.
“At the moment, yes,” Pei Yan pointed to the corpses below; they were all Northern Hu soldiers.
“How come I also see some dead Yongning citizens?”
“In the past two days, Northern Hu managed to capture some civilians and forced them to dig the tunnel.” Pei Yan looked at Ning Xiaoyao and briefly hesitated. “I gave the orders to kill them all.”
Ning Xiaoyao scrunched her eyebrows together and looked outside the capital. She did not saying anything for a long time.
“When will the Black Frost Calvary arrive? Has Supreme Commander been in contact with Your Majesty?” Second Young Master Pei asked. Looking at the weary soldiers at the city gate tower, Ning Xiaoyao swiftly assured Pei Yan with a smile, “Don’t worry, this war will be over soon.”
Pei Yan understood that Supreme Commander had managed to send word to Ning Xiaoyao. As to how they maintained communication with each other, Second Young Master Pei wouldn’t ask questions that he shouldn’t ask.
When Ning Xiaoyao removed her hands that had been propped against the wall, her palms felt wet and sticky. So, she flipped her palms over and looked at them. With a nonchalant expression, she wiped the blood off as if it was nothing. “I just came to take a look. Second Young Master, I’ll be going then.”
Pei Yan sent Ning Xiaoyao down the city gate tower. During the entire time, Second Master Pei also didn’t notice anything amiss about Ning Xiaoyao.
Ning Xiaoyao went around the four city gate towers before returning to the palace. She climbed into bed but didn’t sleep the entire night.
The next day, it started to rain again. Ning Xiaoyao stood under the eaves and looked out for short while. Turning her head, she told Shadowgale to summon Elder Li into the palace.
Elder Li quickly rushed over. When he entered the courtyard, he saw Ning Xiaoyao wave him over with a bright smile on her face.
Shadowgale sheltered Elder Li with an umbrella and led Elder Li to Ning Xiaoyao before dismissing himself. Ning Xiaoyao didn’t wait for Elder Li to speak. “Old Gramps, I’ve received news that Supreme Commander Lou and his Black Frost Calvary won’t be coming.”
Elder Li stumbled backwards. Ning Xiaoyao held onto Elder Li to support him. Elder Li stood in silence for a long time before finally finding his voice. “Your Majesty is serious?”
“Do you think I would be in the mood to joke around at this point?” Ning Xiaoyao shrugged her shoulders, “It’s been so many days, yet not one of the troops Second Young Master talked about has arrived. I don’t think they’re coming.”
The fact that none of the rescue troops had arrived after such a long time was weighing heavily on the hearts of the ministers. However, everyone tacitly spoke nothing of the matter. All of them pretended as if the troops were just delayed because that was the only way they could continue defending the city courageously. They used this reasoning to reassure the soldiers and civilians here. Just hold on a little longer. Once the rescue troops arrive, the capital would be safe.
Ning Xiaoyao had broken this delusion with one sentence, causing Elder Li to stand in a daze for a very long time.
“Old Gramps, I thought about it the entire night. Rather than rely on others, I think it’s better to rely on myself. Looks like this saying really is true ah.”
“Your Majesty has a solution?”
“Haven’t the Northern Hu and rebel forces been shouting outside the city walls, asking for you all to hand me over, and in return none of the common people in the city will be harmed?”
“Your Majesty!” Elder Li shouted in shock, “Wha… What do you want to do?”
“Defeat the enemy by defeating the head. I understand this rationale. To the Northern Hu and rebel forces, I am this head. Old Gramps, I’ll leave the capital.”
“Y-you want to throw away your life?” Elder Li was angry and horrified at the same time.
“I don’t want to die,” Ning Xiaoyao still smiled brightly as she looked at Elder Li, “But once I leave, the Northern Hu and rebel forces would chase after me. Then, they wouldn’t be persistently attacking the city day in day out.”
“Where can you run to?”
“Eh…. Old Gramps, have you forgotten that I have an even more powerful master?”
Ning Xiaoyao’s words stunned Elder Li again. “I’ll go look for my master.” Ning Xiaoyao lowered her voice, speaking in a mysterious way in order to trick Elder Li. “Old Gramps, don’t you worry. I promise you I’ll be fine.”
Elder Li shook his head and insisted, “Your Majesty, a country cannot be without its monarch for even a day, ah!”
“All of you can’t live without me?”
Elder Li took a deep breath and stared at Ning Xiaoyao. “If Your Majesty continues to say this, this old subject will knock his head into the wall and die in front of Your Majesty.”
“Old Gramps, now you’re just being a drab.”
“Your Majesty!” Elder Li angrily hollered. “Yongning is done for, Old Gramps,” Ning Xiaoyao spread out both her hands.
If he could hit Ning Xiaoyao, Elder Li would definitely do so.
“Don’t be angry. The vastness of this world, whatchamacallit, you know better than I do, Old Gramps.”
Of course Elder Li understood, which was why tears profusely flowed down his face when he looked at Ning Xiaoyao.
“Old Gramps, I’ve always been curious. For what purpose did you study for so many years and gain all that knowledge, ah?” Ning Xiaoyao reached out to wipe away Elder Li’s tears.
“Naturally, it’s to master civil and military duties so I could offer myself to the emperor.”
“What happens after you’ve offered yourself to the emperor?”
“After that, I’ll do my best for the common people.”
Ning Xiaoyao looked at Elder Li and smiled, “At the end of the day, you do it all for the common people. You’re not going to disregard the common people just because the emperor is gone.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Wow! You guys really went hardcore at the comment section in the last chapter! XD I like it! LOL keep it up! Haha. This chapter is kinda meh but it will turn funny again in a few chapters. Eden assisted me with this chapter! (Thanks, Eden!)
Sigh. By the way, I'll slowly be transferring my Grace Time posts over from the old site! Feel free to read and comment here too! 1st Dear Grace post (On the old site, I had my own Grace Time section and wrote many blog posts. I wanna help my readers and also improve your lives in a positive way. Ex. How to be confident, how to overcome rejection and so on. You guys are all really special to me and I'm very thankful to have loyal readers like you!)
P.S. I read all comments even though I don't respond to every single one!
P.P.S. Xiaoyao has a lot of crazy ideas up her sleeves so stay tuned!!
P.P.P.S. If you read all my other translations, I will love you even more! XD