Chapter 88: As long as you're happy... Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
“I still don’t understand,” Ning Xiaoyao said after sitting there, thinking for awhile. “You say that Xie Anyi only married your big sister Qin for the sake of the Qin Clan’s navy. Then you say she’s the only member of the Qin Clan left. So after she married into the Xie Clan, the navy became the Xie Clan’s navy as well?” She never heard of a woman marrying with an entire army as her dowry.
Ji Yuerong gnashed her teeth in hatred. “The current commander of the navy is one of the Qin uncle’s foster sons. With big sister Qin in the Xie Clan’s hands, he doesn’t dare disobey their words!”
“Scoundrels!” Ning Xiaoyao cursed.
“Xie Anyi is a bastard!” Ji Yuerong swore.
“That’s right!” Ning Xiaoyao slapped the table. Old General Ji sat to one side drinking his tea. Right now, he had no desire to say a word.
Ji Yuerong looked at Ning Xiaoyao and said, “Your Majesty, will your help my big sister Qin?”
“I’ll help,” Ning Xiaoyao decided right then and there.
The pleasant surprise had come so suddenly, and without any warning, that Miss Ji found herself hardly able to believe it. For the sake of her big sister Qin, Chief Commander Qin Xuan[1. Qin Xuan (秦轩) - Qin is a surname (and yes, it’s the same Qin in Duke of Qin from Poison Genius Consort). Xuan means “high, lofty,” it also used to refer to a high-fronted, curtained carriage or a window/door.] had submitted a written petition to the late emperor five times. However, Emperor Yuanzong ignored him the first four times before denouncing him for the fifth. Even the qingliu--the clear stream faction of scholars who prided themselves on staying aloof from politics--had said that it was only right for a married woman to look after her husband and his children. How could anyone ask them to annul their relationship when the husband had done no wrong? A single sentence like that blocked off all exits for the young Miss of the Qin Clan.
But now, Ji Yuerong thought as she looked at Ning Xiaoyao with tear-filled eyes, Now this little emperor says he’ll help?
“Sounds like you’re on really good terms with this big sister from the Qin clan,” Ning Xiaoyao said as she poured Ji Yuerong a cup of tea.
“This soldier’s known her since childhood,” Ji Yuerong replied.
Ning Xiaoyao nodded. Those two must be best friends.
“Your Majesty’s really going to help that gal from the Qin Clan?” Ji Jiu asked.
“I’m helping. Why wouldn’t I?” Ning Xiaoyao replied. “Xie Anyi, that jerk. He didn’t marry that girl, he kidnapped her and held her hostage!”
Because of Lou Zigui, Ji Yuerong had a bad impression of Ning Xiaoyao before she even met her. But with that single sentence, Ji Yuerong found herself willing to defend the borders and open up new frontiers all for his sake, as a subject should do. Ji Jiu found himself anticipating Ning Xiaoyao’s deeds as well. Still, the old general didn’t say much. Actions spoke louder than words, so he wanted to see just how His Majesty would keep his word.
Their dishes arrived then, so Ning Xiaoyao used the duration of their meal to learn all about the Qin Clan girl, A’Xin[2. A’Xin (阿欣) - a nickname in which Xin means “happiness.”] and other information on the Xie Clan wives. Ning Xiaoyao even found out that Xie Anyi had never stepped foot into Miss Qin’s rooms after they were married. (Author: Imagine how the old general must have felt, listening to those two talk. 囧)
“No problem,” Ning Xiaoyao guaranteed to Ji Yuerong. “I’ll make sure Miss Qin finds a good man.”
Ji Yuerong shook her head. “How could big sister Qin marry anyone else now?” Even if she left him, her namesake would be ruined. Who would want her then?
Ning Xiaoyao scooted closer to Ji Yuerong and said, “I’ve got a lot of Dragon Guards under my command. More importantly, they’re all bachelors.”
Ji Yuerong’s chopsticks slipped out of her hands to clatter on the table. She hasn’t even left him yet and he’s already found her a match?
“Shadowgale won’t do,” Ning Xiaoyao said, “He already has Little Peach Blossom. But she’s free to choose amongst the others.”
“........” said Shadowgale, who was standing right outside the room.
“Who’s Little Peach Blossom?” Ji Yuerong asked.
“Little Peach Blossom is--wait a sec,” Ning Xiaoyao’s brain suddenly clicked into place. “That Qin Xuan guy, has he gotten married yet?”
Ji Yuerong shook her head. “No. My paternal grandfather’s helped him find some matches, but he wasn’t interested in any of those girls.”
His Majesty Ning arched an eyebrow before she instantly understood. It wasn’t that Qin Xuan didn’t like the girls offered to him, but that the person in his heart was none other than A’Xin. All these years, he’d willingly allowed Xie Anyi and his father to bully him for the sake of Miss Qin. Oh my God. Ning Xiaoyao praised herself for her astute reasoning. Then she mentally lit a candle in honor of her Dragon Guards. Brothers, continue on with your single lives.
“Your Majesty,” Old General Ji suddenly spoke up, “Three days later, Qin Xuan will return to the capital to report on his work.”
“Oh?” Ning Xiaoyao’s eyes lit up. “He’s coming too, huh. Alright, I understand.”
“........” said Old General Ji. What did you understand?
“Eat up,” Ning Xiaoyao told the Ji grandfather and granddaughter. “Money was spent on this food. It’ll be a shame if we don’t finish it all.”
Old General Ji was preoccupied with his thoughts as he ate his meal. By the time he finished and was on the way back to the post house with his granddaughter, Ji Yuerong actually said that His Majesty was a good person. That gave the old general a start. A single meal had been enough for His Majesty to subdue his stubborn grandchild.
The little emperor certainly has skills, Old General Ji thought as he regarded Ning Xiaoyao in a new light.
“That A’Xin,” Ning Xiaoyao said as she left the Drunken Immortal restaurant for the streets. “I was originally planning to pair her up with Second Thunder. But later on I realized that it was hopeless.”
Shadowgale walked in silence with Ning Xiaoyao for awhile before he suddenly said, “Your Majesty, you’ll really let we humble servants take wives?”
“Why shouldn’t I?” Ning Xiaoyao said. She might be doomed to crossdress in this life, but was she really going to drag 300 or so Dragon Guards to stay single like her as well?
“The rules of the imperial clan…” Shadowgale started.
“Right now, I’m the emperor,” Ning Xiaoyao cut him off as she patted her chest. “So what I say goes. Another day, I’ll help inspect Little Peach Blossom for you. If she’s a good girl, you shouldn’t miss out on your chance, understood?”
Immediately, Shadowgale turned tense before scratching nervously at his ears and cheeks. Ning Xiaoyao kept her eyes straight ahead. Shadowgale acting like this really was a blow to his image.
“Send some people to watch over the city gates. Old Gramps Ji said that the Jiangnan navy’s Qin Xuan will be arriving three days from now. We’ll need to whisk him into the palace first thing. I have words to say to him.”
“That person’s part of the Grand Preceptor’s faction,” Shadowgale reminded Ning Xiaoyao.
Ning Xiaoyao wouldn’t have any of it. “I’ll just talk to him first. That’s right, what’s it mean to annul a relationship?”
“........” said Shadowgale. After all that, you still don’t know what it means?
“You don’t know, either?” Ning Xiaoyao asked.
And thus, the Head Commander of the Dragon Guards had to explain the concept of annulling a relationship to Ning Xiaoyao.
So annulling a relationship means to have a divorce. Now that Ning Xiaoyao understood, she clicked her tongue and said, “And here I was thinking it was something difficult.”
Shadowgale said, “Your Majesty, née Qin is stuck in the Grand Preceptor’s estate with no way to get out. How are you planning to have her annul her relationship with the eldest Xie son?”
Ning Xiaoyao didn’t think twice before she spoke. “Then I’ll just have to go to the Grand Preceptor’s estate again.”
“Does Your Majesty know where née Qin lives?”
“I do,” Ning Xiaoyao had thought it all out, because Wifey Magpie’s elder male cousin lived at the Grand Preceptor’s estate. Shadowgale thought it over and thought it made sense. His Majesty had grown up at the Grand Preceptor’s estate, so it was possible he knew where née Qin lived. Ning Xiaoyao tapped her foot and looked ahead before suddenly darting into the crowd. The next thing she did was stop in front of a red horse with her arms open. By the time Lou Zigui moved to pull on his reins, Little Red had already come to a stop. He stuck out his tongue and licked Ning Xiaoyao’s face.
Ning Xiaoyao held Little Red’s head and nuzzled against his face. “Hello, Little Red.”
Shadowgale glanced at Lou Zigui as he got off his horse. He couldn’t take a name like that. How did His Excellency Supreme Commander come up with it? Meanwhile, Lou Zigui was staring at the snow wolf pup sticking its head out of Shadowgale’s collar. That wolf really is pretty fat…
“How’s Prince Zhi doing?” Ning Xiaoyao asked after her snuzzle session with Little Red.
Lou Zigui led Ning Xiaoyao to walk ahead while Shadowgale followed behind them with the horse. “The imperial clansmen think that the Grand Preceptor wants to kill them,” Lou Zigui murmured softly.
Ning Xiaoyao’s foot nearly slipped as she walked. Had something major happened while she was treating someone out to eat?!
“They think Your Majesty is the head of the assassins,” Lou Zigui added.
“Heheh,” Ning Xiaoyao considered the name. “Head of the assassins, that sounds pretty powerful.”
“Why did Your Majesty go to Prince Zhi’s estate?” Supreme Commander Lou asked.
“For money, ah,” Ning Xiaoyao replied. “Isn’t he having a private affair with the Northern Hu? I think he has to have money, so I wanted to get some for myself.”
For money. These words echoed in Supreme Commander Lou’s head for a long time. Compared to naming his horse ‘Little Red,’ Lou Zigui found it harder to accept this fact. How could she have only gone for money?
“I wasn’t planning to kill anyone at all. I just wanted to settle things with that money grubbing guy,” Ning Xiaoyao explained seriously.
Momentarily speechless, Lou Zigui could only lift his hand and pat Ning Xiaoyao on the head. After a long while, he said, “It’s a private business deal, not private affair.”
Ning Xiaoyao glanced at a meatbun shop they just passed by.
“You want to eat some?” Lou Zigui asked.
Shadowgale was quick to interject, “Supreme Commander, His Majesty’s just eaten a meal.” He can’t eat any more. What if he hurts his digestive system?
“His Majesty’s ate a meal?” Lou Zigui pulled Ning Xiaoyao away from the shop. If that was the case, she really couldn’t eat any more.
“I ate at the Drunken Immortal,” Ning Xiaoyao said. She was always happy when the topic was about food. “I treated old man Ji and Yuerong to a meal.”
Lou Zigui’s steps faltered.
“I promised Yuerong too,” Ning Xiaoyao continued, “That I’d help A’Xin annul her relationship. Xie Anyi, that jerk. I spit on him!”
There was too much information overload here, so Supreme Commander Lou felt like he needed more time to process everything.
“Oh, that’s right,” Ning Xiaoyao added, “Windy and I and the rest also captured a woman the Grand Preceptor was raising outside his estate. That woman hurt Little Tangerine. She’s a jerk too, I spit on her!”
There was too much information overload there too. Lou Zigui looked at Shadowgale and asked, “What happened?” He felt like His Majesty had accomplished a lot while he was drinking tea with the imperial clansmen.
Shadowgale didn’t get to speak before Ning Xiaoyao tugged at Lou Zigui and looked at the left side of the street. “Supreme Commander, the egg yolk guoba from that stall is really tasty!”
“Aroo~” the wolf pup howled in agreement.
Now Lou Zigui was thinking of guoba instead. “Then I’ll buy some more so Your Majesty can take it back to the palace?”
“There’s no more, ah,” Ning Xiaoyao said regretfully. “The boss used up all the duck eggs he had. He’ll have to wait ‘til next month to make egg yolk guoba again.”
Lou Zigui fell silent. You can even find out those things while eating guoba?
“Yuerong and I are pals now,” Ning Xiaoyao said as she stared at the food stall, reminiscing over the delicious flavor of guoba. “I’m planning to talk with Qin Xuan once he arrives at the capital city. Mm, if he’s a good guy and A’Xin doesn’t mind, I’ll have them be husband and wife. Supreme Commander, you think that’ll work?”
“........” said Lou Zigui. I don’t think I’m the one who decides that.
“I think it’s a pretty good arrangement,” Ning Xiaoyao’s head bobbed cheerfully.
There was only one thought in Lou Zigui’s mind at the moment: As long as you’re happy…
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