Chapter 36: His Majesty wants to slap the Grand Preceptor

Chapter 36: His Majesty wants to slap the Grand Preceptor Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.

“After your older brother became crown prince, very few people remembered that his name was Ning Yanhui,” Lou Zigui said in a small voice.

Ning Xiaoyao didn’t understand. “Why?”

“Because he was the future master of the imperial court,” Lou Zigui said. “No one dared to use his name again. Even the late emperor only referred to him as ‘crown prince.’”

Ning Xiaoyao pursed her lips. That tragic? After becoming the crown prince, he couldn’t even use his own name anymore! (Author: Hey hey, did you get the wrong idea again?! O(╯□╰)o )

“He also said he wanted to give the refugees a home,” Lou Zigui added.

Ning Xiaoyao gave a start. Someone with the same life goals as her couldn’t be a bad guy, so she chewed her lip and hated the Xie father and daughter all the more. They were thoroughly wicked!

“Let’s go back to the palace,” Lou Zigui said softly.

“Mm,” Ning Xiaoyao called over Erya and picked Xiaoqiu up in her arms before walking shoulder-to-shoulder with Lou Zigui back to the palace. The night wind blew past them to rustle the leaves on the treetops. Drops of dew dripped down from the branches, but Lou Zigui didn’t turn back again. The streets, scenery, and tree hadn’t changed, but that person was gone. He didn’t have time to cherish the memory of a past gone by. Because he was still living, he had to keep moving forward. This way, he wouldn’t fail in his duty to his old friend.

After this night, news of His Majesty’s self-injury ruse to capture the Northern Hu spies in one swoop, as well as how Lou Zigui had never betrayed the country, spread through the court and the commonalty as soon as day broke. An excited Fang Tang ran in from outside the palace first thing that morning to speak to Lou Zigui on his bed.

“Supreme Commander, there’s tons of people kneeling on the street before the imperial palace. They’ve all admitted their mistakes and are asking you for punishment.”

Lou Zigui’s expression was flat as he replied, “The ignorant are blameless.”

Fang Tang immediately grew unhappy. “You’re letting it go just like that?” He still remembered how those people had treated his Supreme Commander at the execution grounds!

“If I don’t let things go,” Lou Zigui said, “Could I just kill them for it instead?”

Fang Tang didn’t say anymore, but watched as Lou Zigui sat up in bed. After a while, he asked, “Supreme Commander, aren’t you even a little bit angry?”

Lou Zigui shook his head. He wasn’t a saint, so how couldn’t he be mad? But what was the use of getting angry? Could he run out of the palace and take a bite out of every person who had bitten and cursed him?

Fang Tang was a simple-hearted man. After feeling stifled for a while, he recovered his cheer and said, “Supreme Commander, His Majesty really did help you wash your name clean.”

Only now did Lou Zigui crack a smile. His Majesty not only washed his reputation clean, but cleanly captured all the Northern Hu spies as well. She’d done a beautiful job.

“I’ll go take a look at His Majesty,” Fang Tang said as he happily ran for the door.

“Hold it,” Lou Zigui’s face turned serious. On a subconscious level, he didn’t like Fang Tang getting so friendly with Ning Xiaoyao. “Go bring me something to eat,” he said. “If there’s nothing going on, don’t bother His Majesty.”

Fang Tang was a little dumbfounded. When had he ever bothered His Majesty?

Currently, Ning Xiaoyao was bustling about the great hall, packing up all of its valuable objects as she listened to Big Boss Black tell her about the masses kneeling outside to ask Supreme Commander to mete punishment. Big Boss Black was excited enough to chase his own tail in circles. Supreme Commander was a great hero again! Ning Xiaoyao didn’t think there was anything to be happy about. Would Supreme Commander’s cut and bitten flesh return to him just because these people knelt down? Of all the words to believe, they had chosen to trust that old man Xie’s? (Author: Enough, you. If people didn’t trust the government, who else can they trust?)

Grandfather Sparrow brought along a few little sparrows to the windowsill and said, “Xiaoyao, the grand preceptor entered the palace and went to the empress dowager’s place.”

Ning Xiaoyao hmph’d. “They’re up to mischief again.”

A little sparrow said, “Xiaoyao, Grandpa Ash said he’ll come tell you once he finishes listening to those bad guys talk.”

“But Grandpa Ash also said that Big Boss Black and the rest will have to withdraw when he talks,” another sparrow piped up. Ning Xiaoyao’s mouth twitched. Grandpa Ash proved himself to be a mouse who was a long-time resident of the empress dowager’s palace. He even knew things like ‘withdraw.’

Big Boss Black wasn’t happy and cried, “Since when have we ever eaten his family’s small mice? Withdraw? Miaow, he should pay obeisance to me instead!”

Ning Xiaoyao tossed Big Boss Black out the window again. This fool had stayed in the palace for too long, too, even talking about things like obeisance. Mice paying obeisance to cats? The heck was that?!

“Grandfather Sparrow,” Ning Xiaoyao trusted him very much at this point. She pointed at the packed items that she was preparing to sell and asked, “How much do you think my things are worth?”

Grandfather Sparrow flew onto the table for a look. “These are all things belonging to the imperial clan. No one would dare to buy them. Even the pawnshops would be too afraid to accept them. Xiaoyao, why don’t you even know about this?” Grandfather Sparrow gave her an anxious look. If this child was always so simple-minded, then what was to be done?

Ning Xiaoyao felt unwell again. There was a room full of good things here, but she couldn’t sell them off?!

While Ning Xiaoyao was fretting over money in the main palace, the empress dowager was fretting over power in her own.

“May Esteemed Empress Dowager keep calm,” Grand Preceptor Xie sat in a chair as steady as Mt. Tai. “There’s still one more day until the court assembly. As long as Lou Zigui dies, His Majesty won’t have anyone else to rely on.”

The empress dowager rose to her feet and walked in front of him. “Father,” she said, “Will Lou Zigui die for sure?”

“Naturally,” Grand Preceptor Xie replied.

“Last night, Song Jin and the others escaped unscathed,” Empress Dowager Xie said. “Father, how can you be sure that the poison you gave to Lou Zigui will definitely take his life?”

Grand Preceptor Xie’s expression changed in the face of his daughter’s outright doubts, but he kept his voice low to reply, “The poison on that blade was personally applied by this official. At the execution grounds, it was this official who personally handed over the blade to the executioner. I saw him walk up the platform and used that knife to cut open Lou Zigui’s flesh. Esteemed Empress Dowager, how could there be any doubt in something this official did personally?”

Empress Dowager Xie had been worried ever since she got news that Lou Zigui’s gross injustice was cleared. Only now did her heart calm down. “Then how do you explain last night’s events?” she asked.

“Last night’s poisoner already fled,” Grand Preceptor Xie said. “This subject has already ordered men to capture him.”

“Who was it?”

“A poisons expert from the jianghu, at most,” Grand Preceptor Xie replied. Naturally, he didn’t want to get into details.

Empress Dowager Xie walked to the long, narrow couch and sat down. She picked up the sleeping Ning Xin and held him in her arms soothingly. “Did that person seek refuge with His Majesty?”

Grand Preceptor Xie gave a cold smile. “Then he chose the wrong master.”

Empress Dowager Xie lifted her eyes to look at her father. He had never made any mistakes, but he’d already committed multiple errors when it came to Ning Yu.

“I ask that Esteemed Empress Dowager bear things for one more day,” Grand Preceptor Xie said. “One day later, Esteemed Empress Dowager shall hold court from behind the screen. His Majesty will show filial obedience towards you.”

“Then we don’t need to do anything else?” Empress Dowager Xie asked.

Grand Preceptor Xie nodded. “No need for anything else. Right now, His Majesty mustn’t suspect a thing.”

Empress Dowager Xie lightly patted Ning Xin’s back as she sighed and told herself to endure one more day. When Lou Zigui died one day later, wouldn’t Ning Yu bow her head and admit defeat?

“Go.” On the rafters of the palace, an old, white-whiskered mouse told the little mouse behind him. “Tell His Majesty that the Xie father and daughter are waiting for Supreme Commander to die.”

The little mouse nodded its head and turned to dash off like a streak of smoke. Grandpa Ash perched on the rafters as he stared at Empress Dowager Xie below him. He’d seen this woman when she first entered the palace. She was as beautiful as a fairy, but it was a pity her heart was black. Even animals like him had a better conscience.

The little mouse didn’t disappear from long before running back, peanut grains sticking to the edges of his lips. “Ancestral Grandfather, Xiaoyao said she knows. She also said she was going to treat us to peanuts. I told her we’ll find her in the gardens of the main palace tonight at third watch [1. third watch (三更) - sangeng, third of the five night watch periods, takes place from 23:00-1:00. Now known as midnight.].”

Grandpa Ash’s whiskers trembled. Tonight at the third watch, why did this little mouse insist on using such pretentious human language!

“Xiaoyao sure is nice. She’s treating us to peanuts and even said she’d shut up Big Boss Black and the rest when we find her at night,” the bean-like eyes of the little mouse glistened. “Ancestral Grandfather, I think that Xiaoyao’s a good human.”

Grandpa Ash looked down the rafters again as he gave a sigh. When evil men held power, good men didn’t live long. Wasn’t His Highness Crown Prince one such example? “I won’t go tonight,” Grandpa Ash told the little mouse. “You tell Xiaoyao that I thank her.”

It's better not to meet first, Grandpa Ash thought. Just in case Xiaoyao doesn’t pass this trial. Otherwise, she’ll just be another good human with a short life. He didn’t want to grieve for yet another good human when the time came, so Grandpa Ash decided to keep his distance for now.

“Oh,” the little mouse obediently obeyed. After some thought, he said, “Xiaoyao said she’s going to faceslap the grand preceptor when he leaves the palace later, squeak.”

Grandpa Ash widened his eyes. Faceslap?


Ning Xiaoyao stood on the cobblestone paths near the exit gates of the palace, watching as Grand Preceptor Xie brought along his people to leave the empress dowager’s hall. She patted the gyrfalcon’s head and said, “Little falcon, this old man was the one who gave orders to beat up Windy. It’s time you took revenge for Windy’s sake.”

The little gyrfalcon stretched his wings and flew towards Grand Preceptor Xie. Grand Preceptor Xie was walking along when he suddenly felt something drop onto his official’s hat. When he looked up--plop--a pile of bird guano dropped with precision onto his face.

“Hahaha!” Big Boss Black hugged himself with his paws as he rolled about on the ground. The animals crouched on land, flying in the air, and perched on the trees all broke out in laughter. So even the human Grand Preceptor could have a day like today! The eunuchs who were following Grand Preceptor Xie, along with the imperial guards on duty at the gates, were all dumbfounded. A bird had pooped on the grand preceptor’s face, what was this about?!

Grand Preceptor Xie had an unhealthy obsession with cleanliness. When he touched his face and got a handful of bird droppings, his disgust was understandable even to those without mysophobia. Right now, the grand preceptor was suffering a fate worse than death.

“Give me, give this old man,” Grand Preceptor Xie’s very words were trembling as he howled with rage, pointing at the gyrfalcon. “Kill that falcon!”

Some imperial guards who were hoping to get on Grand Preceptor Xie’s good side reached for their bow and arrows. But what happened next turned them stupefied again. The gyrfalcon that had pooped on the Grand Preceptor flew above their heads in a circle before landing on the shoulder of a person nearby. All eyes rested on the figure and saw, hehe, His Majesty. Ning Xiaoyao waved at Grand Preceptor Xie before turning to leave with the gyrfalcon. Both human and bird were immensely proud of themselves. Yeah, so we threw poop at your face. If you have the guts, come and bite us!

“... …” Grand Preceptor Xie was speechless. This, this bastard!

Original Chapter Teaser:[expand]

Ning Xiaoyao gave a start. Someone with the same life goals as her couldn’t be a bad guy, so she chewed her lip and hated the Xie father and daughter all the more. They were thoroughly wicked!

Ning Xiaoyao: Actually, I've got a wicked side too.

Lou Zigui: (Somehow, I doubt that...)

Ning Xiaoyao: Huh? Supreme Commander, did you say something?

Lou Zigui: (Don't tell me she can read my mind..)


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