Chapter 91: Cruelty, fulfilling true love and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
How could they tolerate something like this? Ning Xiaoyao wanted to fight Lou Zigui, but he simply picked her up until her feet were off the ground.
“Xiaoyao,” he said softly, “If you take née Qin out of the Grand Preceptor’s estate, Xie Wenyuan will send assassins after Qin Xuan right afterwards.”
“Whaa?” Ning Xiaoyao exclaimed. “Then I’ll kill off that old geezer first!”
Because it was the middle of the night, Ning Xiaoyao’s shout brought the Dragon Guards and Fang Tang with his men all running.
“It’s fine,” Lou Zigui told the crowd. “You can all withdraw.”
“Rob and plunder his house, mmph--” Ning Xiaoyao’s lips were muffled by Supreme Commander Lou’s hand once again.
“Be good,” Supreme Commander Lou said as he carried off Ning Xiaoyao. Fang Tang stared at his Supreme Commander’s retreating form, then at His Majesty’s legs kicking in the air.
“Supreme Commander looks like he’s raising a son,” young General Fang sighed with feeling. The general standing next to him smacked him upside the head. This guy, he never thinks before he speaks! What kind of subject treats the emperor as their son? Does he want to condemn Supreme Commander to death!?
“I’m only joking,” Fang Tang rubbed at his aching head with a brilliant smile. “Supreme Commander’s age doesn’t match with His Majesty, right?” His Supreme Commander wasn’t old enough to have a child as old as His Majesty yet.
“........” said everyone else. This guy is really a dimwit. No wonder he was a “hero” bold enough to charge into the palace and cause His Majesty to faint away.
At the end of the covered walkway, Ning Xiaoyao was making an uproar. “If you don’t let go of me, I’ll bite you!”
Lou Zigui sat with Ning Xiaoyao on a banister and said, “Do you want to force the Xie Clan to raise their troops and revolt?”
“They can revolt all they like,” Ning Xiaoyao snarled, “I’m not afraid!” She’d risked her life in fights against zombies before, so what was an old man and his rebellion?
“Remember, once war starts, many people will die,” Lou Zigui held onto Ning Xiaoyao without letting go. “Suppose the Northern Hu take that chance to invade while Yongning’s fighting amongst itself? Xiaoyao, even though you want to help née Qin and Qin Xuan, you have to make sure they can live first, right?”
“........” said Ning Xiaoyao. She couldn’t do as she liked anymore!
“Endure it for one more night,” Lou Zigui said, “Once Qin Xuan’s safety is assured, we can bring out née Qin.”
Ning Xiaoyao sat huffily on Lou Zigui’s legs before she finally said, “You said it yourself, just one more night. No matter what I do tomorrow, you’re not allowed to stop me.”
“Alright,” Lou Zigui agreed. Winning Qin Xuan over to their side would mean breaking off the Xie Clan’s path to riches in Jiangnan. Why would he stop her for that?
“First it’s Qin Xuan here, then Qin Xuan there,” Ning Xiaoyao tilted her head to look at Lou Zigui. “Why do I feel like you think General Qin’s more important than Miss A’Xin?”
If it was up to Lou Zigui to choose, Qin Xuan would always be more important than Qin Xin. Even if Qin Xin couldn’t survive the night and died in the Grand Preceptor’s estate, the commander of the Jiangnan navy would still be Qin Xuan. In terms of importance, was there any other choice? Despite thinking this way, Lou Zigui didn’t voice his thoughts aloud. Neither did his expression reveal anything. He simply whispered in Ning Xiaoyao’s ear, “They’re both important.”
Ning Xiaoyao rubbed her ears because Supreme Commander Lou’s breathing had made her ticklish.
“If you have née Qin annul her relationship, you’ll be violating the late emperor’s decree,” Lou Zigui added. “Xiaoyao, have you really thought this over?”
Ning Xiaoyao didn’t know what words she could use to describe the late emperor now. Really, was Grand Preceptor Xie your true love all along? You even gave out such a perverse imperial decree? Oh wait, that’s not right. Ning Xiaoyao felt stifled as she recalled that the mistress of the empress dowager’s palace was the real true love of the late emperor.
“He was completely blind!” Ning Xiaoyao cursed.
“The late emperor was deceived by the Xie father and daughter as well,” Lou Zigui said.
“Heheh,” Ning Xiaoyao chuckled.
“You’ve really thought it over?” Lou Zigui asked again.
Ning Xiaoyao stood up and straightened her back. “My Imperial Father sent me a dream tonight saying that Xie Anyi was a no good rascal, and to rescue Miss A’Xin. Anyone who doesn’t believe me can ask my Imperial Father personally. I’ll even send them on their way.”
“........” said Lou Zigui. He had no way to counter her words.
“I’m going to see the empress,” Ning Xiaoyao said. “If there’s nothing else, you should go rest, Supreme Commander.”
“What are you seeing the empress for?” Lou Zigui asked.
“Do I need a reason to visit my wife?” Ning Xiaoyao arched an eyebrow towards Lou Zigui, who wanted to heheh as well.
“I’m off,” Ning Xiaoyao stuffed a sugar bean in Lou Zigui’s mouth before she turned and ran away.
Sweetness filled his mouth as Lou Zigui touched the place on his lips where Ning Xiaoyao’s finger had brushed against. He couldn’t describe his feelings at this moment. When Fang Tang hurried over, he gave a start at the grin on Lou Zigui’s face. What was wrong with his Supreme Commander? Why...why does he have such a, urk, gentle-looking smile?
“What is it?” At the sight of Fang Tang, Lou Zigui’s upturned lips returned to its usual line.
“There’s news from the Hall of Punishment,” Fang Tang said in a rush. “That Northern Hu woman wanted to go to sleep and no one can shout her awake.”
“If shouting doesn’t work, use torture,” Lou Zigui said. “Can’t the torturers find ways to keep a person awake?”
“Then, then should I make a trip?” Fang Tang asked. When Lou Zigui nodded, Fang Tang turned and ran off. Lou Zigui sat on the banisters and stared at the night sky for awhile before rising to trace Ning Xiaoyao’s footsteps.
In the palace, Ning Xiaoyao took her hand off Empress Zhou’s shoulder after determining that her baby was growing very well. She quietly nodded her head and said, “Have a seat.”
Empress Zhou was feeling too uneasy. She’d been called over to Supreme Splendor Hall in the middle of the night. “Did Your Majesty summon this empress for anything in particular?”
Ning Xiaoyao could tell that Empress Zhou was nervous, so she patted her shoulder to comfort her. When she saw that only made the empress more anxious, she spoke up. “That there,” Ning Xiaoyao awkwardly removed her hands. “Tomorrow, you should summon all the wives of the various subjects into the palace. Have their husbands accompany them.”
Empress Zhou felt conflicted. I thought I was going to die, and here you are telling me these kinds of things.
“You should especially invite those from the Xie Clan,” Ning Xiaoyao added. “You have to have them come.”
Empress Zhou gave a start at the mention of the Xie Clan. She lowered her voice and asked, “What Your Majesty means is that all of the Xie Clan’s young masters and wives should be summoned into the palace?”
“Mm. Doesn’t the Grand Preceptor have three sons?” Ning Xiaoyao asked.
We’re only inviting the first wives. Empress Zhou suddenly realized what was going on.
“As for the other important subjects, you be the judge,” Ning Xiaoyao added. “The more, the better.”
“What is Your Majesty planning to do upon inviting them to the palace?” Empress Zhou asked.
“Screw over a jerk,” Ning Xiaoyao explained tersely.
“........” said Empress Zhou. Though she had no idea what the words meant, they sounded pretty impressive.
“Oh, right. If we put it that way, none of the Xie Clan will dare to enter the palace,” Ning Xiaoyao twirled in place. “How about we say it’s my birthday?”
The empress’s expression was a little stiff as she spoke. “Your birthday is on the second day of the first month of a Lunar new year. Right now, it’s the fourth month.”
Alright, that excuse won’t work. Ning Xiaoyao looked towards the empress.
As if reading her mind, Empress Zhou replied, “It’s not my birthday tomorrow either, nor is it Esteemed Empress Dowager’s birthday.”
“Who wants to celebrate her birthday?” Ning Xiaoyao whispered under her breath.
Empress Zhou simply pretended not to hear a thing.
“Then let's just say I got something delicious so I’m treating them to a meal,” Ning Xiaoyao thought up another excuse. (Author: Your mind only revolves around topics like these. o(╯□╰)o) Empress Zhou accepted the excuse. Then again, what could she ever say to oppose the emperor?
Lou Zigui saw the empress leaving the side palace by the time he went in. The first thing he heard was Ning Xiaoyao’s voice.
“Third Rain, invite Miss Ji into the palace.”
“Right this instant?” Shadowrain asked.
“Yeah,” Ning Xiaoyao nodded.
Shadowrain wanted to say, Your Majesty, if you invite Miss Ji to the palace in the middle of the night, will anyone still marry her in the future?
“Go on,” Lou Zigui told the irresolute Shadowrain as he walked in.
Shadowrain didn’t know why, but he feared Lou Zigui where he didn’t fear Ning Xiaoyao. After hearing those words, he left without saying a thing to summon Ji Yuerong to the palace.
“I’ve thought it over,” Ning Xiaoyao said as she stuffed more sugar beans into her mouth. “What I’m going to do tomorrow.”
Lou Zigui sat down to listen to Ning Xiaoyao’s plan. In the flower beds outside, elder cousin magpie remarked to Wifey Magpie, “Xiaoyao’s pretty fierce.”
“How could she be an emperor if she wasn’t fierce?” Wifey Magpie asked reasonably.
“That’s right,” Big Boss Black piped in. “This cat would rather Xiaoyao bully others than to see others bully her, miaow!”
“What is née Qin’s location in the Grand Preceptor’s estate?” Lou Zigui asked.
Ning Xiaoyao said, “I’ll have elder cousin magpie bring Yuerong there.”
“Who?” Lou Zigui asked.
“Him,” Ning Xiaoyao said, pointing towards the flower beds.
︿(￣︶￣)︿ , went elder cousin magpie.
Lou Zigui fell silent. “Did Your Majesty raise him?” Next to the magpie was that fat black cat. It was the first time Supreme Commander Lou had ever see a magpie and cat so close together.
“Urk, yeah,” Ning Xiaoyao nodded.
Lou Zigui rested a hand against his forehead. “Keep going.”
“Congratulations on becoming an imperial bird,” all of the little animals in and out of the flowerbeds told elder cousin magpie.
“.........” went elder cousin magpie.
One hour later, Ji Yuerong entered the palace along with her worried grandfather, Ji Jiu.
“Come, come, come,” Ning Xiaoyao beckoned to the pair. “We’re going to have a meeting.”
The meeting took an entire night, with more members joining in as it progressed. Finally, even a few generals from the imperial guards were called in to participate. By the time Ning Xiaoyao looked towards the brightening skies outside the windows, her tone had turned more solemn.
“Now I’m announcing the start of our plan. Our goals are to screw over that jerk and fulfill true love. Anyone else has anything to add?”
“........” said the group. What evil-sounding words. What else can we add? It’s impossible to follow up after that.
“Nothing else,” Lou Zigui replied in answer to Ning Xiaoyao’s stare.
“Then let’s move out,” Ning Xiaoyao made a big wave with her hands. The group scattered to busy themselves with their various tasks.
After receiving Empress Zhou’s orders, the eunuchs carrying invitations to the palace were the first to leave its gates with their deliveries. Ji Yuerong brought a team of Dragon Guards with her to depart Supreme Splendor Hall. On her way to Grand Preceptor Xie’s estate to save her big sister Qin, she asked Ning Xiaoyao, “Your Majesty, suppose Xie Anyi tries to take my big sister Qin to the palace?” If that’s the case, won’t I run there in vain?
Ning Xiaoyao had no doubts. “He won’t.”
His Majesty Ning could guarantee it on her character and moral integrity. Xie Anyi, that jerk. He. Definitely. Wouldn’t!
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