North of the city, approximately 5km of the public road, Shadowgale and Shadowbolt stood waiting in the farewell pavilion. They were relieved to see Ning Xiaoyao and their brothers safe and sound.
“Your elder brother will be alright,” Ning Xiaoyao hugged Xiaoqiu and patted Erya on the head. Erya and Xiaoqiu were relieved. His Majesty is fine, their elder brother is fine, the Dragon Guards who have been taking care of them are all fine. Right now, Erya and Xiaoqiu thought everything was great.
“Where does Your Majesty plan to go after this?” Pei Yan sat in the pavilion, took a sip from his waterskin and asked Ning Xiaoyao.
“I’m headed beyond the mountain pass. The Northern Hu are still holding Lou Jing captive. I’m going to save him.” Stupefied, Pei Yan raised his head to stare at Ning Xiaoyao, “Lou Jing? Lou Zigui’s elder brother?”
“Yes ah,” Ning Xiaoyao nodded. “He’s not dead?” Pei Yan was startled.
“My reliable sources told me he’s still alive.”
Pei Yan hung the waterskin onto his waist and suddenly sneered, “Lou Zigui left you in the lurch, yet you still want to save his brother?”
“That’s two separate matters,” Ning Xiaoyao sat beside Pei Yan and continued, “Lou Jing was captured when he was at war, fighting for our country. I’m not saving him because of Lou Zigui ah.”
“Do you even know what sort of dangers you’ll face when you’re outside the mountain pass?” Pei Yan asked.
“His Majesty is dead ah. No one will know that I’m Ning Yu.”
“It’ll be winter soon. Are you looking to freeze to death by going there now?”
“Modou isn’t there now, so I’m taking advantage of the situation. Unless you think it’s a better idea to go rescue him while Modou is home?” Ning Xiaoyao frowned, “Second Young Master, can’t you tell this is our chance?
“Shall I go with you?” Pei Yan felt obliged to ask.
“Are you planning to throw the capital to Old Gramps?” Ning Xiaoyao was surprised, “Do you really think Old Gramps is both a scholar and proficient in martial arts? Or are you counting on my imperial uncle, Prince Fu?”
Second Young Master Pei didn’t count on either of them.
“Second Young Master, I’m leaving the capital to you ah.” Ning Xiaoyao patted Pei Yan on the shoulder, “The burden on your shoulders are very heavy.” Pei Yan felt that if he still insisted on accompanying Ning Xiaoyao outside the mountain pass, he would be letting the citizens of the capital down.
“Umm, actually…” Ning Xiaoyao straightened her body, looked at Pei Yan, then looked at Shadowgale and the rest who were sitting next to them. “Right now, there’s something I can finally come clean about.”
They all stared at Ning Xiaoyao. There’s no point in trying to guess what Ning Xiaoyao is thinking. They can only wait for this person to speak.
“I’m not a man,” Ning Xiaoyao guiltily choked out.
“Who dares to say Your Majesty isn’t a man?” Pei Yan’s expression darkened, “Your Majesty has given your all for this country.”
“No, that’s not what I mean,” Ning Xiaoyao dismissed with a wave of her hand. “I’m trying to say my gender is female ah.”
“What did you say!?” Pei Yan boomed. Windy and the rest also thought there was something wrong with their hearing.
“I am a woman,” Ning Xiaoyao had no choice but to repeat each word slowly.
Pei Yan looked at her face and jumped up suddenly. “I’m sorry ah,” Ning Xiaoyao apologized to Pei Yan and her group.
“How is that possible?!” Pei Yan loudly shouted. Second Young Master Pei rarely had moments where he lost his cool. With this one shout, he scared Erya and Xiaoqiu into hugging each other.
Left with no other choice, Ning Xiaoyao reluctantly grabbed Pei Yan’s hand and pressed it onto her little chest. The softness under his hand made Pei Yan feel as if his hand was scalded by boiling water. He jerked backwards and flung off Ning Xiaoyao’s hand.
“Is it true?” Shadowgale asked Pei Yan. Second Young Master Pei stared blankly at Ning Xiaoyao, as if he had not heard Shadowgale’s words at all.
“This is what happened…” Ning Xiaoyao arranged her speech and started to tell a very long and sorrowful tale of how she was forced into this miserable situation.
As Pei Yan and the rest listened to her story, their expressions were extremely serious. An hour later, Ning Xiaoyao spread her arms out. “So that’s what happened. I didn’t mean to lie, I just didn’t have a chance to tell you.”
Pei Yan moved backwards until his legs bumped into the pavilion railing and sat his butt down.
“Empress Dowager Xie!” After a long time, Shadowgale finally spoke, opening his mouth to curse at Empress Dowager Xie. “How dare she?! This damn woman!”
“Anyways, her life has come to this,” Ning Xiaoyao added, “After I’m gone, she can no longer be Empress Dowager. Let her find her own way out then.”
Pei Yan roughly rubbed his face as he looked at Ning Xiaoyao. “Does Lou Zigui know?”
“Mhmm, he does,” Ning Xiaoyao honestly admitted. “No wonder,” Pei Yan said softly.
“Whaa?” Ning Xiaoyao didn’t understand. “Since he knows that Your Majesty is a woman, naturally he knows Your Majesty isn’t bound to sit on the throne for a long time. That’s why Lou Zigui wants to fight for the throne ah,” Pei Yan laughed coldly, “Your Majesty, perhaps Lou Zigui had this intention from the start.”
Is that so? Ning Xiaoyao thought about it and decided that this person had nothing to do with her from now on. She waved her hand. “It doesn’t matter. Whoever wants to be Emperor can be Emperor then.”
Pei Yan looked at Windy and the rest, “What about you all? What are your plans?”
Shadowgale’s emotions were still in a mess, but hearing Pei Yan’s question, he answered without thinking, “Naturally, we’re following His Majesty.”
“I’m not His Majesty anymore,” Ning Xiaoyao quickly denied with a shake of her head.
“Then….” Shadowgale looked at Ning Xiaoyao who was in a grey dress. “Young Miss?” Shadowrain asked. They can’t use Your Majesty anymore, but calling her “young miss” shouldn’t be a problem right?
“No need, just call me big sis ah.”
“Haha!” Pei Yan started laughing. After he finished laughing, he really had to hand it to himself. He can still laugh at this time ah!
“This won’t do,” Shadowthunder had always been a straightforward person. He scratched his head, “We’re all older than Your Majesty.”
“Call me lil sis then,” Ning Xiaoyao conceded. She felt guilty for lying to her little bros all this time. Whenever she felt bad, she was very accommodating.
The words “lil sis” hovered on the Shadow Guards’ lips. Despite killing without batting an eye, they couldn’t bring themselves to say the words.
“No worries,” Ning Xiaoyao was very understanding, “After a few times you’ll get used to it. Windy, take your brothers and follow Second Young Master back to the capital. Now that the war is mainly outside the capital, I doubt our enemies will be able to attack the capital.”
“Your Majesty!” Shadowthunder and the other Shadow Guards shouted out loud. Shadowgale remained silent, but his expression told Ning Xiaoyao that if she didn’t let him tag along, he would rather die than let her go without him.
“I’ll take Erya and Xiaoqiu back to the capital.” Pei Yan decided on his own, “Shadowgale and the others will follow you outside the mountain pass.”
“I want to follow His Majesty!” Erya anxiously exclaimed after hearing what Pei Yan said. Pei Yan waved his hands, beckoning Erya to come closer and softly whispered, “If you go with His Majesty, His Majesty will have to look after you. His Majesty will be very tired this way.”
Erya kept quiet. Not only could she not be of any help, both Xiaoqiu and herself have always been a burden for His Majesty.
“I’ll come back and look for you.” Xiaoqiu ran into Ning Xiaoyao’s arms and she picked him up, “Don’t worry, I’m very strong!”
Pei Yan stood up, walked to Ning Xiaoyao and took Xiaoqiu from her. “There’s no time to lose, I’ll take these two into the capital. Your Majesty should leave as soon as possible as well.”
Ning Xiaoyao also stood up, seeming very unwilling to part with them. Erya and Xiaoqiu were already wiping away their tears. “Listen to whatever Second Young Master says ah. I’ll definitely return.”
Erya cried as she nodded. She doesn’t care about a woman being Emperor, she doesn’t want to care. She only knows that His Majesty is a good person and that she really likes His Majesty.
“Please take care of her,” Pei Yan looked at Shadowgale and stated solemnly. Shadowgale bowed in greeting to Pei Yan. His master may not be the emperor anymore, but she saved his life. He will always remember this favour.
As Ning Xiaoyao watched Pei Yan get up the horse with Erya and Xiaoqiu, she suddenly thought of something. “Right, Second Young Master, where are my precious jewels?”
The corners of Pei Yan’s mouth twitched, “The precious jewels should be saved for Erya’s dowry.”
Whaa?! Ning Xiaoyao was dumbstruck. Pei Yan urged his horse forwards and left immediately. Before this girl has the time to react, he better flee!
“My jewels are gone?” Ning Xiaoyao turned her head to look at Shadowgale. Shadowgale nodded. If the jewels are to be used for Erya’s dowry, that just means it’s all gone ah.
Saving money for Erya’s dowry was one of Ning Xiaoyao’s life goals, but when she thought about that bag of jewels, even her flesh hurts. Can’t they leave her half the bag?!
“Should I go chase after Second Young Master?” Shadowgale looked at Ning Xiaoyao in all seriousness.
“Let’s just go.” Ning Xiaoyao let out a sigh. Since she promised to prepare Erya’s dowry, then prepare her dowry she must!
“To Anyuan?” Shadowgale asked once more. “Mhmm,” Ning Xiaoyao nodded, “Windy, in regards to this, I can go al…”
“Get on your horses,” Shadowgale instructed his fellow brothers, “We’re going to Anyuan.”
Ning Xiaoyao rubbed her nose. Even if she’s no longer Emperor, shouldn’t he at least spare her the respect of finishing her sentence?
“Squeak squeak, Xiaoyao~”
Just as she was about to get on her horse, three voices shouted out from behind her. When she turned back, Oil Jar had already scuttled up her shoulder. Big Boss Black sat on Bujing’s head. Little White Fatty couldn’t jump high enough and could only look at Ning Xiaoyao and howl.
“Xiaoyao, my grandfather told me to follow you out the mountain pass.” Oil Jar gently rubbed his head against Ning Xiaoyao’s face.
“I have to go with you,” Big Black Boss declared, “Or else what’s going to happen if a ninny like you gets bullied?”
“Master!” Little White Fatty shouted, “You can’t leave little fatty behind, awoo~”
Alright then, looks like she’ll have to bring these three along too. Ning Xiaoyao carried up the dead-weight Little White Fatty and turned to the Shadow Guards. “Let’s set out to the mountain pass!”
Shadowgale rode behind Ning Xiaoyao and felt that he was truly blind. After spending so much time with His Majesty, he couldn’t even tell that His Majesty was a woman. He also felt a bit awkward. Without any rhyme or reason, how did His Majesty suddenly turn into a woman?
“Windy, do you still have the money Young Lord gave us?” Ning Xiaoyao turned and asked Shadowgale all of a sudden.
“Yes, the money is with us.”
“Whew.” Ning Xiaoyao sighed in relief as she patted her chest. Shadowgale observed Ning Xiaoyao and suddenly grinned. As long as the person he vowed loyalty and devotion to doesn’t change, it doesn’t matter if she’s a man or a woman.
Heading north, they quickly disappeared into the night.
Pei Yan originally thought that he would have to face another battle before reaching the capital, but the Northern Hu and the rebel forces were busy fighting in the rebel army’s joint camp. As a result, there weren’t any obstacles along the way. Just like that, Pei Yan rode his horse all the way back into the capital.
“I am Pei Yan!” Second Young Master Pei shouted at the city gate tower. “Quick! Open the city gates!”
After a brief moment of silence within the city gate tower, the sound of voices rose up.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Now the boys know Xiaoyao is female. But, they don't know she's pregnant yet! XD (It's going to be hilarious when they find out. I don't remember which chapter though.)
By the way, this is the first UPX fan fic by Amanda! Click here to read! (I have to link to my other site since I suck with technology and if I post it here, it may end up releasing like a chapter).
Eden assisted me with this chapter! If you guys appreciate our work, please consider donating to us! Each chapter takes us many many hours.