Chapter 84: His Majesty says, it's a long story Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Shadowbolt held onto his bottle of oil, staring at the wall that used to be perfectly fine a second ago. Now it had been completely replaced with a scene of a massacre. He’d taken the time it took to brew a cup of tea to run to the store and back. Things changed this much? What happened? Did I end up on the wrong street?!
While Shadowbolt was doubting his own memory, someone approached him from behind and patted his shoulder. The fourth commander of the Dragon Guards leapt up into the air before turning to punch the other person. Lou Zigui ducked under the blow and avoided Shadowbolt’s fist.
“Supreme Commander?” Shadowbolt stopped moving.
Lou Zigui could tell that Shadowbolt’s stare was probing him. This was one of the Dragon Guard’s four commanders, so his martial arts skills were uncommonly good. But Shadowbolt hadn’t noticed him until he patted the man’s shoulder. Just what kind of martial arts was Supreme Commander practicing?
Shadowbolt pointed behind him and said somewhat awkwardly, “W-wall’s gone.”
“Mm,” Lou Zigui replied. “His Majesty broke it down.”
“.........” said Shadowbolt.
“I saw it myself,” Lou Zigui added.
“Ah? AH!” Shadowbolt looked back at the two groups of fighting people. “His Majesty’s snow wolf pup was stuck in a hole beneath the wall, so His Majesty must have torn down the wall to save the wolf. That’s right, that has to be it!” Finally, the fourth commander of the Dragon Guards had arrived at the truth. Behind him, Lou Zigui and his accompanying Dragon Guards were all silent. All that fuss came from saving a fat little wolf pup?
Shadowbolt held his bottle of oil in one hand and his sword handle in the other. “Supreme Commander, I’m going to help them.”
Lou Zigui glanced at a Dragon Guard behind him. This Dragon Guard stepped forward and replaced the bottle in Shadowbolt’s hands with a barrel of oil. Shadowbolt glanced at the oil barrel in his arms, then at Lou Zigui. He had a bad feeling about this.
“Go over there and burn that grove of bamboo trees,” Lou Zigui said.
“Arson?” Shadowbolt still looked somewhat dazed. They’d recently set fire to the Grand Preceptor’s estate, but now Supreme Commander wanted to burn Prince Zhi’s side courtyard, too? Does Supreme Commander enjoy setting fires just like how His Majesty enjoys tearing down walls?
“In a bit, I’ll take some people to save them,” Lou Zigui said. “You have His Majesty and the rest escape into the streets. Grand Preceptor Xie is there. You’ll be protecting the Grand Preceptor as you escape. Do you catch my drift?”
Shadowbolt shook his head. He didn’t get it. Why did they have to escape? And even protect the Grand Preceptor along the way?
“It’s impossible to explain it clearly in a short time. Just do as I say.”
“But what about His Majesty?”
“Tell His Majesty it’s my idea, and that he has to do it that way.”
Shadowbolt looked at Lou Zigui, who didn’t seem like he was joking.
“Hurry and go,” Lou Zigui slapped Shadowbolt’s shoulder again. He couldn’t help but feel like this guy was still in a stupor, though he didn’t know why. Shadowbolt sucked in a breath as he turned and prepared to leave with the oil barrel.
“Hold on,” Lou Zigui handed over a set of outer robes to Shadowbolt. “Wrap up your head.” Afraid that Shadowbolt still didn’t get it, Supreme Commander Lou pointed at Ning Xiaoyao and the rest. Like them, Shadowbolt wrapped up his head to conceal his face.
“You have to protect His Majesty well,” Lou Zigui urged one more time.
“......” said the Dragon Guards by Lou Zigui’s side. His Majesty knocked down a wall with one kick and two punches. Does His Majesty even need guards with his superhuman strength?
Shadowbolt charged forward with his barrel of oil. Currently, Ning Xiaoyao was throwing bricks left and right. She’d managed to knock down two guards charging her way before bending down to pick up some more. Even though she’d knocked out more than half the teeth in Prince Zhi’s mouth, Ning Xiaoyao still felt that was letting him off lightly. After all, he had private affairs with the Northern Hu! (Author: It’s not an affair…)
Shadowbolt had excellent lightness techniques, so he arrived at the bamboo grove in a flash. When he saw Xie Laifu standing to one side, he asked, “Do you have any matches?” He couldn’t set a fire with oil alone.
Xie Laifu was shaking with fear as he handed over a match from his pocket. Shadowbolt drenched the perimeter of the bamboo grove in oil before striking the match and tossing it into the liquid. Second Steward Xie only figured out what was up when he saw the flames. Mother and father! They’re committing arson as well?!
Shadowbolt didn’t dawdle one second when the fires started raging. He ran to Ning Xiaoyao’s side and told her everything that Lou Zigui had said.
“How come?” Ning Xiaoyao asked.
“I don’t know,” Shadowbolt admitted.
“Capture the assassins!” There was the sound of hoofbeats coming from the end of the street, coupled with loud shouts.
“Supreme Commander’s coming!” Shadowbolt cried.
“Forget it,” Ning Xiaoyao stuffed the snow wolf pup’s head back into her robes and shouted towards Shadowgale and the rest, “Withdraw!”
The Dragon Guards followed Ning Xiaoyao to the opposite end of the street with a hundred or so estate guards in hot pursuit.
“Chase them!” the wounded Prince Zhi was still next to the bamboo grove, shouting angrily at the top of his lungs. “Capture all those assassins for this prince!”
“Put out the fire!” the steward of the side courtyard shouted as he stomped his feet. With oil supporting the flames, they soon rolled up like a cat amidst the bamboo before engulfing the flower beds in the courtyard. Then the wind carried the flames to burn away the covered walkway.
“Let’s go!” Prince Xi dragged Prince Zhi as he ran for the front gates. “I saw Lou Zigui bringing his men here, we’ll leave this place to him.”
Even as Prince Zhi was dragged along, he didn’t forget to order his guards. “This prince saw that steward from the Grand Preceptor’s estate! Capture that damnable thing!”
“Yes!” the guards loudly obeyed.
Meanwhile, Xie Laifu had just locked gazes with Lou Zigui astride his horse. He felt like peeing his pants. Something about the entire situation felt off.
“Hurry and send news to the Nine Gate Infantry Commander’s estate!” Grand Preceptor Xie was currently sitting in his sedan chair and issuing orders to his guards. “Have them send people here to help!”
His guard was about to leave with the orders when Ning Xiaoyao’s group ran out into the streets.
“Your Majesty,” Shadowbolt said as he pointed to Grand Preceptor Xie’s sedan chair. “That’s the Grand Preceptor’s sedan chair.”
“Alright,” said Ning Xiaoyao. “Thanks, Fourth Lightning.”
The other Dragon Guards all rolled their eyes at Shadowbolt. The streets had long cleared out of people besides the Grand Preceptor’s men. Who else could this sedan chair belong to, besides him?
“There are assas--” Before a guard could finish his shout, Ning Xiaoyao bricked him. The Grand Preceptor’s guard fell unconscious to the ground before he could utter a word. The rest of the Grand Preceptor’s guards quickly unsheathed their weapons, just as the guards chasing after Ning Xiaoyao’s group emerged on their other side.
“Release the arrows!” the head of the guards ordered.
“We’re not part of them, we’re--” a Grand Preceptor guard wanted to explain that they weren’t the assassins, but Shadowgale and the rest simply rushed forward, picked up the sedan chair, and ran. A few of the Dragon Guards stayed behind to deflect the incoming arrows. The Grand Preceptor’s guards couldn’t just stand and let themselves be shot, either, so they deflected the arrows as well. In the eyes of their attackers, they looked like they were on one team. (o(╯□╰)o)
Ning Xiaoyao ran along with the sedan chair. Although she had short legs, she ended up leading the group at the very front. What else could the Grand Preceptor’s guards do, now that their master had been kidnapped? Chase after him, of course!
“Is that the Grand Preceptor?” a guard from Prince Xi’s estate asked a man beside him.
“I heard someone shouting ‘Grand Preceptor’ up front,” a guard from Prince Zhi’s estate replied.
So it was the Grand Preceptor who’d sent those assassins?
All of the estate guards were stunned. Is Grand Preceptor Xie planning to revolt?
“Who are you people?” the very Grand Preceptor Xie suspected of rebellion was shouting questions at the men carrying his sedan chair.
But the Dragon Guards just kept running without saying a word. The sedan chair jolted and tossed its occupant back and forth, making Grand Preceptor Xie nauseous. In the end, he opened his mouth and threw up on the floor.
“Xiaoyao,” At the sound of a voice above her head, Ning Xiaoyao looked up and saw Wifey Magpie flying in the sky.
“Hm?” Ning Xiaoyao asked. “Wifey Magpie, which relative did you call on today?”
“I went to see my older female cousin, ah” Wifey Magpie replied. “Xiaoyao, why are you running along with the Grand Preceptor?”
Ning Xiaoyao wore a pained expression. “It’s a long story.” It really was a long story, because she had no idea what Supreme Commander Lou was planning.
Wifey Magpie asked, “Are those people behind you chasing you?”
“Yeah,” Ning Xiaoyao nodded.
“Turn left at the intersection up ahead,” Wifey Magpie said, “There’s a mistress of the Grand Preceptor living in the 10th house on the right. Xiaoyao, you can bring the Grand Preceptor there.”
“......” said Ning Xiaoyao. So the Grand Preceptor has a mistress too, hehe.
“Are we going back to the palace?” Shadowgale asked as he caught up behind Ning Xiaoyao.
“No,” Ning Xiaoyao replied, “Follow me. I know where the Grand Preceptor’s mistress lives.”
“.......” said Shadowgale. The Grand Preceptor already has one wife and fifteen concubines, but he’s still raising a mistress outside the estate?
At the intersection, everyone saw the two groups of people running their way with weapons in hand. Frightened, they scattered and ducked away as Ning Xiaoyao turned left and ran to the 10th house on the right side. The house had a rather large door, painted with black lacquer. It was tightly shut. Ning Xiaoyao kicked open the door with her foot and waved at her Dragon Guard pals. “Hurry and go inside!”
Shadowgale and the rest, along with the Grand Preceptor’s own guards, all rushed into the door before the head commander slammed it shut.
“Who is it?” a short, fat mama ran out from the walkway directly facing the gates. Grand Preceptor Xie held onto the carriage doors as he descended the sedan chair with difficulty. What kind of person ate a bear’s heart and leopard’s gall, to have the guts to kidnap his carriage!
“The Grand Preceptor’s arrived?” the chubby mama suddenly broke into smiles as she ran towards him. Then she shouted back into the walkway, “Lady Xiang,[1. Lady Xiang (湘夫人) - Xiang is also short for 湘江, which is a river in Hunan Province.] the Grand Preceptor’s arrived!”
Ning Xiaoyao stood on the side as she whispered to Shadowgale at the rest. “Hear that? His mistress’s name is Lady Xiang.”
Shadowgale said, “Your Majesty, what are we planning to do this time?”
Ning Xiaoyao said, “I don’t know, ah. Urk, maybe catch adulterers in the act?”
“.........” said the Dragon Guards.
“Alright, looks like none of you want to do that,” Ning Xiaoyao gave up the idea when none of her Dragon Guards spoke up.
What’s it to us if the Grand Preceptor has a mistress? The Dragon Guards couldn’t figure it out. Why should they catch an adulterer?
Grand Preceptor Xie pushed aside the chubby mama before him and pointed a finger at Ning Xiaoyao. “Who are you?”
Ning Xiaoyao kept her mouth shut.
“That figure,” Grand Preceptor Xie stared at Ning Xiaoyao. “You’re His Majesty!”
Ning Xiaoyao shook her head while feeling extremely sorrowful. Was her figure really that distinctive?
“Open the doors!” the sound of pounding doors sounded from outside. The guards from the prince’s estate had caught up.
Grand Preceptor Xie pointed his finger a few more times at Ning Xiaoyao. “Your Majesty has taken great cares.” In order to stop him from forming an alliance with the imperial clansmen, Ning Yu had done a good job framing him for the crime.
Taken great cares? Ning Xiaoyao thought. What kind of care did I take? Dammnit, the Grand Preceptor’s words sound way too mysterious.
Original Chapter Teaser:[expand]
Shadowbolt: Hey guys I'm back with the oi--
ironically, he ends up setting the fire himself, yah?
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