Chapter 64: His Majesty piggybacks Supreme Commander to see the sunrise Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
“Your Majesty shouldn’t forget,” Lou Zigui said, “Yongning doesn’t just include the six provinces of Anyuan and a single Black Frost Cavalry, but also the vassal lords and their official salaries…”
“Stop,” Ning Xiaoyao squatted on the ground and pulled up a few fistfuls of grass before deciding to accept the truth. She was still a pauper in tons of debt. Lou Zigui felt his face turn hot after asked Ning Xiaoyao for money and even detailing the expenses. He felt ashamed at what he just did. He’d actually asked a girl for money! The shock of such a hit against Supreme Commander Lou was impressive.
Early morning light shone past the peaks to illuminate the dusky valley. The damp air in the gorge began to grow warm as Ning Xiaoyao remained squatting and pulling up grass. Lou Zigui stood there as if in a daze. Big Boss Black had just filled his stomach with a few bird eggs when he ran over for a look and saw neither of the pair talking. In the end, he ran off once more. Ning Xiaoyao had finished pulling up all the grass around her when she leaped to her feet to stare at Lou Zigui. Supreme Commander Lou was used to acting tough in front of others, but still couldn’t help his embarrassment this time. He turned aside to stare at the cliffs beside them.
Ning Xiaoyao jumped to pat Lou Zigui’s shoulder and said, “There’s nothing to worry about. Isn’t it just money in the end? Before today, I didn’t have a single copper coin to my name. Didn’t I end up with half a room full of gold and silver all the same?”
Lou Zigui looked back at Ning Xiaoyao. Five minutes ago, she’d been despondent, but now she was full of life once again. She waved her two skinny arms and said, “I’m properly proud of being a pauper.”
These words didn’t sound quite humane to Supreme Commander Lou’s ears.
Ning Xiaoyao lifted her head to look at the high cliffs above them. “Supreme Commander, want to see the sunrise?”
“What?” Because they’d switched topics too quickly, Lou Zigui couldn’t keep up.
Ning Xiaoyao crouched in front of Lou Zigui before reaching back to pull him forward. By the time her little body straightened up, she was piggybacking Supreme Commander Lou. “Hold on tightly to me. I’ll take you up the mountain to see the sunrise.”
His Majesty Ning grabbed onto some rocks that were sticking out and began to scale the cliff. Lou Zigui was completely flummoxed by what was going on. By the time he recovered his senses, he’d discovered that they were already halfway up the cliff.
“You,” Lou Zigui suffered another blow when he realized a girl was piggybacking him up the mountain. But just when he made to get off of Ning Xiaoyao, her hand slipped off a protruding rock.
“Hey hey, don’t move,” Ning Xiaoyao quickly grabbed onto a different rock as she shouted at Lou Zigui. Now Supreme Commander Lou didn’t dare to budge. He was a general who rode horses, but he knew his lightness techniques weren’t sufficient to carry Ning Xiaoyao up this nearly 30 meter tall cliff.
Below them, Big Boss Black opened his lungs to shout, “Ning Xiaoyao, you ninny, do you want to die early? Are you trying to commit suicide with Supreme Commander? Meowmeowmeowmeowmeow!”
“Shut up!” Ning Xiaoyao yelled.
“Let go of my Supreme Commander!” Big Boss Black shouted, “Please let him go!”
Ning Xiaoyao didn’t want to talk to that crazy fancat anymore. Big Boss Black’s abnormal cries attracted the attention of all the people at work. They ran over to the source of the noise.
Fang Tang said, “What’s wrong with this cat? Is it in heat because the sun’s come out? He…” Young General Fang’s words died in his throat as his eyes followed the gaze of others to look at the cliff. The scene before them all seemed a little unreal. Was His Majesty piggybacking their Supreme Commander while scaling the cliffs?
Big Boss Black spent all his time shouting at the cliffs. When he saw that Ning Xiaoyao was ignoring him, he jumped up and started climbing the cliff as well. None of the other people dared to breathe. Ning Xiaoyao’s climbing posture looked unusually dangerous, as if she could fall off at any moment. But her speed was still ridiculously fast, leaving one’s heart in palpitations.
“This...if they fall down, could we still catch them?” Shadowthunder asked as he wrung his hands.
Fang Tang said, “Could you catch two people at the same time if our Supreme Commander was included as well?”
All of the Dragon Guards thought that this was a difficult task. Meanwhile, Ning Xiaoyao kicked against a boulder to jump up. That boulder was about half the size of a full-grown man, and wobbled twice in the space of her kick before dislodging stray pieces of rocks and sand below. Then the boulder cracked and fell down the cliff.
“Miaow!” Big Boss Black slipped into a rock crevice as the boulder came crashing by. This life risking ninny! The people below the cliff scattered in all directions. Though each of them had choice words for the occasion, they kept them in their hearts. His Majesty wasn’t someone you could curse.
Ning Xiaoyao jumped upwards again until she stood atop the cliff and saw the half hidden sun on the horizon. She tugged on Lou Zigui’s hand and said, “There’s still time. Supreme Commander, quick, take a look!”
Though Supreme Commander Lou was standing on the ground with both feet, his head was still dizzy. He looked at Ning Xiaoyao and began to suspect whether this was all a dream. Ning Xiaoyao yelled and yelled until she realized the person beside her wasn’t reacting. When she turned to look, she discovered that Lou Zigui was staring at her in a daze. Thus, she grabbed him by the chin and turned him to face the right direction. “Quick, look!”
The mountain forest before them seemed to stretch on into eternity. A red sun was rising up in the sky, its rays piercing through the early morning fog to dye the entire forest a golden red. A flock of birds flew out of the woods and filled the air with their cries. Lou Zigui squinted against the sunlight, his eyes following the flock of birds as they headed towards an untouchable distance. Ning Xiaoyao was watching the birds as well as she tried to determine their species. But before she could figure it out, Big Boss Black reached the top of the cliff and rushed over to scratch her twice. While Ning Xiaoyao and Big Boss Black were trading glares, the flock of birds vanished into the horizon.
Lou Zigui slowly withdrew his distant gaze. By the time he looked back, his eyes had turned very gentle. “Do you like to watch the sunrise?” he asked.
“Oh,” Ning Xiaoyao picked up Big Boss Black and threw him into the forest behind them. “I’ve never seen it before. Since we’ve got nothing to do anyways, we might as well give it a look.”
Nothing to do anyways.
How was the great Supreme Commander supposed to continue from that? Because you had nothing better to do, you piggybacked a man up the mountain to watch a sunrise?
Ning Xiaoyao grinned and asked, “Is it nice? Have you seen one before?”
Lou Zigui turned back to the rising red sun and nodded. “It’s nice. I’ve never seen it in before in the--in the past.” In his twenty-some odd years of life, Supreme Commander Lou had never stopped to admire the scenery.
“Tsk,” Ning Xiaoyao clicked her tongue. The industrial revolution had yet to descend upon this world, so the environment was currently in its most pristine and beautiful state. But this man had actually never seen a sunrise before? “In the future, I’ll take you to see other things,” Ning Xiaoyao patted her chest as she promised. “We’ll see mountains and water. Wherever there’s food and places to play, or good scenery to enjoy, I’ll take you all there.”
“In the future,” Lou Zigui murmured softly. He suddenly smiled and grasped Ning Xiaoyao’s hand. “Alright. If there’s a chance in the future, I’ll take you.”
“Then we’ll settle it happily like this,” Ning Xiaoyao smiled broadly as she stood in the sunlight.
Lou Zigui’s smile was exceptionally soft and warm, but the overcast look in his eyes didn’t thaw in the sunlight or from Ning Xiaoyao’s brilliant smile. A cuckoo that cried blood, the bane of others’ existence. That was his fate in life, and it had cast a shadow upon everything he did. Lou Zigui wasn’t sure what such a wicked curse would do to him, or how he’d justify himself to this girl in the very end. As for his own future--well, Supreme Commander Lou had never given thought to that.
Ning Xiaoyao was simple-minded and finished amusing herself before looking around. Now was a time to figure out how to get back. Should she jump, or climb back down?
“Your Majesty, Supreme Commander, are you two alright?” Fang Tang yelled from below.
Ning Xiaoyao shouted back, “We’re fine, ah. Little Fang, want to come up and see the view?”
Fang Tang’s mouth twitched. Was this the time to admire the view right now? Why could he never catch up to what His Majesty was thinking? Lou Zigui stuck out his neck to look below before pulling back Ning Xiaoyao, whose feet were already hanging over the edge.
“You’re not going to bother with your cat?” he asked.
Ning Xiaoyao didn’t worry about Big Boss Black at all. If that idiot could be the boss of all the cats in the capital, shouldn’t he be able to find his way around?
“He knows his own way home,” Ning Xiaoyao grabbed onto Supreme Commander Lou’s sleeve. “I’ve thought it over. It’s a little hard to jump from here, so it’s better if I piggyback you back down instead.”
“.......” said Supreme Commander Lou. Couldn’t they find a path down instead? Big Boss Black took this moment to rush out from the woods and rush to Ning Xiaoyao’s side.
“Xiaoyao, I’ve found something!”
Without another word, Ning Xiaoyao turned to follow Big Boss Black into the forest.
“.........” said Supreme Commander Lou, who’d been abandoned.
Ning Xiaoyao ran after Big Boss Black for about 500 meters before three to four wooden houses appeared before her. Outside the houses were a few wooden carts and rope as thick as a man’s arm. There were also piles of weapons scattered about the empty ground in front of the houses.
“My God,” Ning Xiaoyao clutched her chest, a little overwhelmed. “Black Tubby, what do you think is inside?”
Big Boss Black said, “In any case, there aren’t any people inside. This cat didn’t smell any humans.”
So what were they waiting for? Ning Xiaoyao charged towards the wooden houses with Big Boss Black following along. She kicked open the door of the central house and saw a room full of long wooden boxes. Ning Xiaoyao took a deep breath by the front door before going inside. Ignoring the locks on the boxes, she raised a hand and chopped open the closest box.
Golden light nearly blinded Ning Xiaoyao’s eyes.
“We’ve, we’ve struck it rich again,” Ning Xiaoyao stammered towards Big Boss Black.
Big Boss Black said, “It was this cat that found it. This cat wants two big fish--no, five big fish!”
Ning Xiaoyao picked up Big Boss Black and gave him a kiss. “This Majesty will give you ten big fish!”
Big Boss Black was so touched that he wagged his tail until it nearly fell off. “You said it yourself, don’t go back on your words!”
“If I’m a liar, then I’m a puppy!” Ning Xiaoyao hit a high five with Big Boss Black’s paw. When Supreme Commander Lou arrived, he saw a cat rolling around in a pile of gold while His Majesty was busy carrying boxes out of the wooden houses.
“Supreme Commander, we’ve struck it rich again!” Ning Xiaoyao threw the two boxes in her hands to the ground as she shouted. Lou Zigui picked up a gold ingot from the pile where Big Boss Black was rolling around in and turned it over in his hands. “This gold comes from south of the river.”
Ning Xiaoyao didn’t understand what Supreme Commander Lou meant. If we see gold, all we have to do is take it. Who cares where it came from?
“They haven’t had time to move this gold into the valley yet,” Lou Zigui carefully replaced the ingot in the box, stroking Big Boss Black’s head at the same time.
“Mew~” Big Boss Black suddenly felt that his entire cat life had been worth it.
Ning Xiaoyao scratched her palms and asked, “So you’re saying that this is still the Grand Preceptor’s money?”
Supreme Commander Lou nodded. This gold from the private banks in Jiangnan, or the region south of the river, had to come from the profits of private shares in the businesses there owned by the Xie Clan.
“Hahaha,” If Ning Xiaoyao knew how to dance, she’d be dancing right now. It’s the Grand Preceptor’s money again! Grand Preceptor deserves a ‘like!’
Supreme Commander Lou couldn’t help but think, Xie Wenyuan would be spitting blood by now, right?
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