Chapter 66: His Majesty says, conspiracies fear the light Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Lou Zigui was dumbfounded at first, before he broke out into laughter. “That’s impossible.” Who would dare marry their daughters to me?
Ning Xiaoyao said, “Don’t worry about that part. Just tell me whether you like Miss Ji or not.”
Lou Zigui didn’t even think as he replied, “I see her only as a little sister.”
“How could these be words be a sham?” Lou Zigui cupped Ning Xiaoyao’s chin and tilted her head back to look him in the eyes. “Things like this concern a lady’s reputation and integrity. You shouldn’t speak carelessly.”
Ning Xiaoyao pursed her lips. How much was reputation worth? Could you eat it? Supreme Commander Lou could tell with a glance that Ning Xiaoyao hadn’t taken his words to heart. He lowered his voice and said, “Miss Ji’s brother got married four years ago when he turned blind. But he hasn’t had a single child with his wife. Thus, Miss Ji needs to recruit a son-in-law.”
“What’s ‘recruit a son-in-law’?” Ning Xiaoyao asked.
“That means someone who marries into the bride’s family.”
“Heheh, I don’t get it.”
“In other words, a live-in son-in-law,” Supreme Commander Lou’s phrases were turning more and more vernacular.
Ning Xiaoyao finally understood the last one, so she nodded and said, “That’s true, ha. They’ll still need some babies with Ji surnames. This is what they call ‘producing male heirs to continue the family line,’ right?”
Lou Zigui said, “I have to defend the Lou family, so how could I marry into the Ji Clan?”
“So you only see Miss Ji as your little sister?” Ning Xiaoyao’s brain was quick on the uptake this time.
Lou Zigui nodded once and said, “Yes.”
Ning Xiaoyao stood in silent tribute to Miss Ji for all of 30 seconds. Treating someone like their little sister was like telling a little girl or boy that you were their older brother. Anyone who ran into those words was sure to have a 120% failure in starting a relationship with their chosen one.
“Satisfied?” Lou Zigui bent down to ask Ning Xiaoyao.
Ning Xiaoyao rubbed her nose and docilely replied, “Satisfied.” The stifled feeling in her heart suddenly disappeared, so why wouldn’t she be pleased?
“Who told you that Old General Ji wanted to marry Miss Ji to me?” Lou Zigui asked.
Big Boss Black jumped off Ning Xiaoyao’s shoulder and quickly ran away.
“........” said Ning Xiaoyao.
“Who was it?” Lou Zigui asked.
“I’ll go take a look at the kitchens,” Ning Xiaoyao had to escape as well, but Lou Zigui grabbed her hand and towed her back. He’d never been in a romantic relationship in his life, so he had no idea the girl before him might have just been eating vinegar[1. 吃醋 chi cu - “eating vinegar” – or eating sourness. It means being jealous]. Instead, he assumed that His Majesty could be sounding him out. Ji Jiu had hurried thousands of miles from the border to the capital just to give a full account of Lou Zigui’s deeds in battle. Would His Majesty start worrying that the Ji Clan was too intimate with him?
When Ning Xiaoyao saw that she couldn’t run away, she could only clear her throat and jab Supreme Commander Lou imposingly in the chest. “You two were standing so close to each other that you almost stuck together. Yet you still won’t let me question you with a lie or two?”
“What?” Supreme Commander Lou’s handsome face momentarily twisted. Could anyone just make up lies as they pleased? “The relationship between Miss Ji and I is pure and blameless. When were we standing so close that we nearly stuck together?” Lou Zigui asked.
“Saying such things is pointless,” Ning Xiaoyao said. “Could what I saw with my own eyes be wrong?”
“I’ve said it before, you can’t ruin Miss Ji’s reputation! Your mere utterances are words that carry great weight. If news of this spreads, will Miss Ji ever be able to find a husband in her lifetime?” Supreme Commander Lou was getting anxious. The future of the Ji Clan rested on a son-in-law that Ji Yuerong could bring in, then on her birthing a son. Someone needed to inherit the duties of looking after the Ji clan ancestors. If Ning Xiaoyao spoke such words, how would Ji Yuerong be able to get a single man?
“You’re so worried for her sake,” Ning Xiaoyao knitted her brows as she examined him from head to toe. “Do you really see her as just your little sister?”
“You,” Lou Zigui didn’t get it. Why are we back on this topic again?
“I’m going to the kitchens,” Ning Xiaoyao pushed aside Lou Zigui’s hand. “Think it over carefully by yourself.”
After Ning Xiaoyao turned on her heels, Supreme Commander Lou stood unmoving for a long time in the walkway. What am I supposed to think over? No wait, what happened just now? (Author: Is it going to be impossible for the two of you to follow a single train of thought? o(╯□╰)o)
Big Boss Black stuck out his head from the shrubs and looked left and right, before Ning Xiaoyao plucked him up by the neck.
“Miaow~” said Big Boss Black.
Ning Xiaoyao held Big Boss Black as she headed for the kitchens. “Don’t try and act cute. ‘Fess up for for your own good, were you trying to be funny when you told me about the betrothal and the matchmaker?”
Big Boss Black hastened to say, “If I’m lying, then I’m a cur.”
“Pah,” Ning Xiaoyao spat at him. “You’ll still be a cat even if you die.”
Big Boss Black said, “You can ask that woman’s horse if you don’t believe me. Big White knows everything!”
Ning Xiaoyao said, “Hold on, who’s Big White?”
Big Boss Black answered, “Ji Yuerong’s horse.”
Ning Xiaoyao fell silent. It hadn’t taken long for this fat black furball to chat up Miss Ji’s horse.
Big Boss Black added, “You’re just stupid. Don’t you even get it? It’s Ji Yuerong who likes Supreme Commander. Her grandfather dotes on her, so he’d do anything he could to satisfy her wish to marry Supreme Commander.”
“Did Big White say these things too?” Ning Xiaoyao stared at Big Boss Black.
“Of course,” Big Boss Black swished his tail. “Supreme Commander was the one who gave Big White to Ji Yuerong. That stupid horse even dares to say that Supreme Commander and his young Miss are childhood lovers. Meow a mi, when I heard that I was so angry that I scratched him.”
Ning Xiaoyao’s mouth twitched. “So you two ended your friendship just like that?”
Big Boss Black was set on Ning Xiaoyao’s shoulders, where he nuzzled her face with his head. “Who wants to be friends with some foreign horse? You can tell at a glance that he’s a horse who hasn’t seen much of life at all.”
Ning Xiaoyao fell silent. This cat was actually discriminating against different provinces?
“Xiaoyao,” Wifey Magpie and the little gyrfalcon both flew onto the tree in front of her.
Ning Xiaoyao said, “Hello, Wifey Magpie and little gyrfalcon.”
Wifey Magpie chirped, “Xiaoyao, why are you still over here?”
“Then where should I be?” Ning Xiaoyao asked.
“My cousin came to look for me,” Wifey Magpie said. “He…”
“Who’s your cousin?” Ning Xiaoyao asked.
Big Boss Black’s tail patted Ning Xiaoyao’s face as he replied, “The one who lives at the Grand Preceptor’s estate.”
“Oh, oh,” Ning Xiaoyao knew which one it was now, and immediately straightened up. “Is the Grand Preceptor up to mischief again?”
Wifey Magpie said, “The Grand Preceptor wants the have Prince Fu deal with you. Xiaoyao, you have to be careful, chirp.”
Ning Xiaoyao shook her head again. “Who’s Prince Fu?”
The little gyrfalcon said, “Don’t know, but I heard my master say that Prince Fu is a big fatty.”
Fatty, alright. Ning Xiaoyao knew who he was now.
“Are those two teaming up?” Big Boss Black asked.
Wifey Magpie replied, “My cousin said that you owe Prince Fu a lot of money, Xiaoyao?”
“Really?” Big Boss Black and the little gyrfalcon both turned to stare at her.
Ning Xiaoyao sucked in a breath. “Yes, I owe the Ning clansmen two years’ worth of official salary.”
All three animals sucked in a breath at her words. Wifey Magpie said, “Then it’s over. That has to be lots and lots of money, right?”
Ning Xiaoyao held onto her last thread of hope. “Say, do you think the Grand Preceptor actually wants to help me pay them back?”
The three animals stared wordlessly at her.
All right. Ning Xiaoyao squatted on the ground to pull out tufts of grass. She was thinking too much. She’d just robbed the Grand Preceptor, so would he return evil with good and repay her debts? Big Boss Black waved his tail back and forth before he finally spoke up. “How about we go and find Grandpa Ash?”
Ning Xiaoyao shook her head. It was better for someone like Grandpa Ash to sit and chat with the likes of Elder Li. Big Boss Black then said, “Then how about finding Supreme Commander?”
Ning Xiaoyao couldn’t help but go heheheh. Supreme Commander was waiting for her to give him money.
“Don’t heheheh,” Big Boss Black’s fur stood on end. Even though he was a cat, he could sense the sinister air behind such laughter. Ning Xiaoyao knelt on the ground and pulled up all the grass around her. In the end, she decided that she couldn’t be a sitting duck and threw away the grass in her hands. Then she stood up and declared, “I’m going to the Grand Preceptor’s estate.”
Wifey Magpie nearly toppled off her branch. The little gyrfalcon, however, grew excited. “Xiaoyao, are you going to kill the Grand Preceptor’s entire family? Awooawooawoo!”
“You’re a falcon, don’t howl like a wolf,” Ning Xiaoyao’s head hurt.
Big Boss Black said, “Are you really going to kill off the Grand Preceptor’s entire family?”
“Who’s killing whom?” Ning Xiaoyao started walking forward. “Doesn’t he want to partner up with Fatty Fu to trap me? Then I’ll talk about the problems with them right there.”
“Will it help?” Big Boss Black didn’t think this was reasonable.
“Let me tell you,” Ning Xiaoyao said confidently, “Any and all conspiracies fear the light. I’ll go right up to their door and have the Grand Preceptor tell me his words to my face. Hmph, I’m not afraid of him!” The Grand Preceptor would have a bad end as soon as she took off her clothes, so what was she afraid of? (Author: That’s your only move, you--) Big Boss Black thought over Ning Xiaoyao’s words and felt that they made sense.
Ning Xiaoyao turned to the little gyrfalcon. “Tell your master to take a long a few of his comrades and follow me to the Grand Preceptor’s estate.”
The little gyrfalcon replied, “Xiaoyao, master doesn’t understand me when I talk.”
Ning Xiaoyao slapped herself on the forehead. She almost forgot. “Then I’ll go find Windy.”
Wifey Magpie flew off to tell her friends. Xiaoyao was going to cause trouble at the Grand Preceptor’s estate, so she had to gather her pals to cheer her on, urk, and watch the show at the same time.
Shadowgale was currently sitting in his rooms, wiping off his blade with a piece of cloth. Ning Xiaoyao rushed in like a breeze and shouted, “Windy, bring Second Thunder and the rest, we’re going to search and confiscate the Grand Preceptor’s estate.”
Shadowgale’s hand shook, almost dropping the beloved blade in his hands. “We’re going where!?”
“The Grand Preceptor’s estate,” Ning Xiaoyao replied.
“Are, are we going to kill the Grand Preceptor?” Shadowgale asked.
Ning Xiaoyao arched an eyebrow. “Why are you putting it that way too? Am I that savage?”
“.........” said Shadowgale. Who said those words in the first place?
Ning Xiaoyao said, “Grand Preceptor went to find Prince Fu. I’m planning to chat about life with him and the prince.”
Shadowgale rose to his feet in alarm. “Prince Fu is allying himself with the Grand Preceptor?”
“Don’t know,” Ning Xiaoyao replied, “They’re going to meet today.”
“Your Majesty, this servant will call the others right away.”
As Ning Xiaoyao watched Shadowgale run away desperately, she spoke to the cat on her shoulders. “Why do I feel like Windy’s afraid of Fatty Fu?”
“What’s there to be afraid of?” Big Boss Black asked, “It’s not like he could beat you in a fight.”
That was true. Ning Xiaoyao tightened her belt and turned to the gyrfalcon on the window ledge, “Little falcon, we’re heading out.”
Currently, Lou Zigui was still making conversation with the Ji grandfather and granddaughter in the main hall. Old General Ji was most worried about Lou Zigui’s health and asked, “I heard that Supreme Commander was severely wounded. How are your injuries now?”
Lou Zigui laughed. “Right now, I can run and jump about. Where are those so-called severe injuries?”
Both members of the Ji Clan felt that Supreme Commander Lou didn’t look seriously hurt at all.
“Supreme Commander,” Fang Tang ran in, his face filled with excitement as he quietly declared, “His Majesty took Shadowgale and the rest to attack the Grand Preceptor’s estate!”
“........” said Supreme Commander Lou. Didn’t she say she was going to invite the Ji pair to a meal? How did that meal turn into heading for the Grand Preceptor’s estate instead?!