Chapter 5: If you're a man, then come with me Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
As soon as Ning Xiaoyao landed, she looked around for a path before hearing voices. Somebody was loudly shouting ‘injustice for Supreme Commander.’ The voice was identical to the man who had rushed into her rooms and made her faint earlier. Ning Xiaoyao stood thinking for a while before deciding that the man behind the voice might make for a good ally.
The imperial guards had forced Fang Tang to kneel on the ground. At this moment, his fellow compatriots of the army were filled with grief and indignation, but had no choice but to stand on one side. Just now, Fang Tang had charged into the sleeping quarters of the emperor and shocked His Majesty into fainting. He knew he was doomed to die, so he opened his mouth to shout.
“We followed Supreme Commander to bitterly battle the Northern Hu at Night Crow Pass. Supreme Commander was shot by six arrows, but remained at the frontlines without retreating! After we beat back the Northern Hu, we were recalled to the capital before we even had time to remove our armor. You peaceful loiterers sat around without lifting a finger, so what are you doing now?! Supreme Commander had secret communications with the northern barbarians and betrayed his country? Pah!”
“Gag him!” a commander of the imperial guards commanded loudly. Two imperial guards strode forward with a cloth for Fang Tang’s mouth. A few of the armored officers who saw Fang Tang about to be humiliated could only stand by helplessly. They could use their fists, but what about their families in the capital? It was fine if they died trying to help him, but could they really drag their families down with them?
It was at this point that Ning Xiaoyao appeared silently in front of Fang Tang.
“Your Majesty?” the commander of the imperial guards recognized Ning Xiaoyao. Seeing her arrive by herself, he was momentarily shocked. Why would His Majesty run solo over here?
When the rest of the imperial guards heard their general say ‘Your Majesty,’ they all hastened to kneel on the ground. Ning Xiaoyao couldn’t be bothered with them. She extended a hand to pull Fang Tang up and asked, “Supreme Commander is innocent?”
Ning Xiaoyao’s sudden appearance had given Fang Tang a fright as well. But as soon as he heard questions related to Supreme Commander Lou, he hastened to speak. “Your Majesty, Supreme Commander was falsely accused. This subject,” He paused to feel around his body until he took out a cloth package from his robes and unwrapped it for Ning Xiaoyao. Inside were six bloody arrowheads with hooked ends.
“Your Majesty, these were arrowheads taken from Supreme Commander’s body,” Fang Tang said with red eyes. “Supreme Commander has yet to recover from the his injuries. Your Majesty, Supreme Commander couldn’t have betrayed the country. This subject begs Your Majesty…”
“Enough, there’s no need to say anything,” Ning Xiaoyao patted Fang Tang’s shoulder. “Lead the way, we’ll go save Supreme Commander.”
Both Fang Tang and everyone else on the scene were stunned by Ning Xiaoyao’s words. Did they hear wrongly? The emperor who had been raised by the Grand Preceptor said he wanted to save Supreme Commander?
“If you’re a man, then come with me,” Ning Xiaoyao was small, but stood ramrod straight. “If nothing else works, we’ll get physical. Do you dare?”
Before Fang Tang could speak up, a tall, strong general rushed to Ning Xiaoyao and loudly asked, “Your Majesty speaks the truth?”
Ning Xiaoyao replied, “I swear on my character and moral integrity.”
A few generals exchanged glances. Of course they’d save Supreme Commander if there was a chance, but what if this was a trap by that old Grand Preceptor Xie? What if the emperor was supposed to trick them into the execution grounds so they could be accused of misdeeds on the battlefield and killed together?
Meanwhile, the sharp-eye Ning Xiaoyao spotted the commander of the imperial guards sending a subordinate away, probably to report to the empress dowager. She grabbed a sword from an imperial guard by her side and threw it over.
“Ah!” the imperial guard on his way to the empress dowager was hit on his head and toppled to the ground.
“... …” Everyone was speechless. Nobody had heard of His Majesty practicing martial arts before!
After knocking the imperial guard to the ground, Ning Xiaoyao asked impatiently, “Are you going or not? If not, I’ll go by myself.” Ning Xiaoyao wasn’t strong enough to fight on the front lines in her old world. But judging from the maid and that imperial guard just then, her fighting skills weren’t bad for this world. Worse comes to worst, she’d give it her all in a battle later to save that Supreme Commander named Lou Zigui.
“This subject will follow Your Majesty,” Fang Tang wiped his face before speaking seriously to Ning Xiaoyao. Whether or not this was that old Grand Preceptor’s scheme, he was willing to give it a try as long as he had a chance to rescue Supreme Commander.
“Then let’s go,” Ning Xiaoyao waved a hand and ran towards the nearby gates. Since it had a watchtower above it, it was probably an exit out of the palace.
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