Chapter 181: Don’t let His Majesty know Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Both the letter from Iron Buddha Temple and the empress dowager’s messenger arrived at the Grand Preceptor’s estate. After Grand Preceptor Xie read the letter and heard the messenger’s report, he sat at his study desk and remained silent for a while. Outside, they were sounding the third of the five night watches—for the period around midnight. The messenger eunuch glanced at Grand Preceptor Xie. Right now, His Majesty hadn’t shown any mercy to the empress dowager’s people, so anyone trusted with her tasks was simply sticking their necks out to be cut. This particular eunuch was in a hurry to get Grand Preceptor Xie’s reply so he could get back to the palace pronto. Despite this, he didn’t dare mention his desire to Grand Preceptor Xie and could only wait with worry.
“Go back and tell the empress dowager that I know,” Grand Preceptor Xie after the night watch finished sounding.
“Then Grand Preceptor’s meaning is?” the eunuch asked.
Grand Preceptor Xie dropped his voice. “I need to think this over first. Once the arrangements are in place, I’ll order someone to report to Esteemed Empress Dowager.”
The eunuch narrowly avoided spitting up blood. Your Excellency Grand Preceptor made me wait here for nearly two hours just for a reply like that?!
“Be careful on your way back to the palace,” Grand Preceptor Xie said as he waved a hand to dismiss him. The Grand Preceptor’s simply reply was simply all talk and no action, but the eunuch still kowtowed to express his thanks before leaving the study.
“Grand Preceptor?” the little pageboy stationed outside his study saw the eunuch leave, and gave a call. Grand Preceptor Xie simply sat at his table and remained silent. Seeing that his master had no reaction, the little pageboy continued to stand obediently outside the door. Meanwhile, A’Mo and his brothers were all watching from the window, feeling anxious that the Grand Preceptor still hadn’t budged.
“Is he not planning to sleep tonight?” A little ant moved his feelers to ask his elder brothers.
A’Mo said, “Can we just go and bite him like this?”
A’Mo’s big brother shook his head. “That won’t do. He’ll see us then, and then stomp us all to death.”
All of the ants fell silent. What cruelty to we ants that’d be.
“T-then, should we come back tomorrow?” Another little ant asked.
“Wait,” A’Mo’s big brother said steadily. “This bastard’s already so old, he’ll never be able to stay up all night. We just have hold on patiently a while longer.”
A’Mo and the rest all nodded. Ants like them had the most patience of all, so they waited. Grand Preceptor Xie had no idea that a swarm of ants were plotting to bite him. He was reading over the letter from the old monk and combining it with the empress dowager’s message.
The empress is pregnant.
Ning Yu got angry.
Chen mama and the rest were silenced with death.
Ning Yu delivered the empress to Iron Buddha Temple.
Ning Yu wants to reverse the verdict for Zhou Junqi.
At the very end, Grand Preceptor Xie thought of three more words: Zhou Clan soldiers.
He burnt the old monk’s letter over a candle flame and mused. Zhou Junqi was already a cripple, so even if Ning Yu overturned his verdict, it’d be impossible for her to snatch back the Zhou Clan soldiers via him. Then why was Ning Yu playing the Good Samaritan?
Xu Feiyu, Grand Preceptor Xie thought next. Ning Yu wants to bring Xu Feiyu over to his side. The Zhou siblings and Xu Feiyu are clearly irreconcilable, yet Ning Yu wants to bestow favor on the siblings to win the man over. If that’s the case, the baby in the empress’s stomach must be Xu Feiyu’s child.
When he realized this point, Grand Preceptor Xie’s complexion turned green. The Zhou siblings and Xu Feiyu had simply put on a farce together to fool him. He couldn’t help but want to applaud their act.
“Grand Preceptor,” one of his stewards called from the door. “Her Ladyship said that the third young master’s current condition…”
Grand Preceptor Xie slapped the table, frightening the steward into silence. He backed down the steps and fled like a streak of smoke. Grand Preceptor Xie’s hand ached from hitting the table, but his face gradually regained its color. For the sake of the Zhou Clan soldiers, what the Zhou siblings and Xu Feiyu did wasn’t wrong. Now is not the time to investigate their deceit, but for me to figure out what to do against Ning Yu’s recruitment efforts.
The gongs of the next night watch sounded from the streets before Grand Preceptor Xie called out, “Someone, come.”
The little pageboy scurried into the room in assent.
“Take this old man’s identification tag to the capital barracks,” Grand Preceptor Xie said. “Have Chen Lu personally lead troops to seal up all exits at Iron Buddha Temple. Without my permission, no one is allowed to leave the premises.”
The little pageboy accepted the orders and ran off. Meanwhile, Head Steward Xie Laibao had two servants carry him to the study to ask for an audience.
“Come in,” Grand Preceptor Xie rubbed his temples as he spoke.
Xie Laibao entered and reported, “Grand Preceptor, this servant has finished making arrangements for the banquet. It’s still set for tomorrow?”
“Go according to the plans,” Grand Preceptor Xie replied. “We can’t afford any more exceptions.”
Xie Laibao quickly assented as he patted his chest. “Grand Preceptor, don’t worry. This servant has planned it all out.”
Grand Preceptor Xie was far too preoccupied to worry about tomorrow’s feast trap. He was now wholly concentrated on the Zhou siblings and Xu Feiyu when he suddenly realized he could use the empress to control Ning Yu.
“Grand Preceptor?” Xie Laibao saw that the Grand Preceptor had been tuning him out, and had no choice but to call his name.
Grand Preceptor Xie didn’t even bother looking up at Xie Laibao. “You can take care of the details,” he told Xie Laibao. The head steward then realized that Grand Preceptor Xie had more important things to worry about that the assassination of the Poison Sect leaders.
Back at the palace, Empress Dowager Xie look at the eunuch and said, “The Grand Preceptor simply said he ‘knows?’”
“Empress Dowager,” the eunuch replied, “The Grand Preceptor said he’ll order someone to report to the empress dowager once he’s finished all the arrangements.”
“Anything else?” the empress dowager asked.
The eunuch shook his head. There really isn’t anything else, I can’t make things up from thin air…
The empress dowager’s voice turned cold. “He certainly knows how to keep his cool.”
On the roof, Ning Xiaoyao sat with her legs crossed as she held a pouch of peanuts. Oil Jar held one peanut between his paws while Big Boss Black laid languidly across the girl’s legs, lazily swishing his tail.
Oil Jar said, “Xiaoyao, I feel that the empress dowager and Grand Preceptor’s relationship is getting worse.”
Ning Xiaoyao munched on her peanuts. “It’s good if it gets worse, ah. If they were always wearing the same pair of pants, then I’d cry.”
Oil Jar ‘ooh’d’ in response. He finishing nibbling on his peanut and asked Big Boss Black, “Is there something funny about what Xiaoyao said just then?”
Big Boss Black rolled his eyes. “Let this cat emphasize it one more time. The Grand Preceptor and empress dowager are father and daughter.”
“……..” said Ning Xiaoyao. That’s right, this is a father-daughter relationship. No matter how well they get along, they’d never be able to wear the same pair of pants.
Oil Jar looked at Ning Xiaoyao, who explained, “It was a slip of the tongue.”
“Ah, so it was like that,” Oil Jar believed her implicitly.
They’re such a pair of ninnies, Big Boss Black thought with disdain, before he asked Ning Xiaoyao, “Why did you run over here in the middle of the night instead of sleeping?”
Ning Xiaoyao said, “Insomnia. Since I’m going to stay awake anyways, I might as well see what kind of evil tricks the empress dowager’s cooking up.”
“Didn’t you hear her?” Big Boss Black asked. “She’s still waiting for the Grand Preceptor to give her ideas.”
“Mhm,” Ning Xiaoyao stuffed more peanuts into her mouth. “But now she’s been disappointed because the Grand Preceptor didn’t suggest any ideas at all.”
“Is the empress dowager suffering from insomnia too?” Oil Jar perched at edge of the opening that Ning Xiaoyao had made on the roof by shifting away a tile, peering inside.
Ning Xiaoyao said, “Because she couldn’t start any evil plots, the empress dowager must be feeling stifled. So of course she’d have trouble sleeping.”
Big Boss Black rose to his feet with a lazy stretch. “Then you can keep watching the empress dowager scheme. I’m going to the torture chambers to see Supreme Commander.” He soundlessly jumped off the roof.
Oil Jar said, “Xiaoyao, why’s Supreme Commander at the torture chambers at this time of night?”
Ning Xiaoyao was currently sprawling on the roof to peek inside the building. “Dunno. In any case, he’s up to no good as well. Who knows who he’s screwing over now.”
“……” said Oil Jar. Is it really alright for her to talk about Supreme Commander like that?
Below them, Empress Dowager Xie told a mama by her side, “This Dowager needs to find a way to deal with this.”
Ning Xiaoyao pursed her lips and murmured, “Then hurry up and think of something. I’ve been waiting for you all night, stupid!”
Is it really alright to talk about your mother like this? Oil Jar scratched his head with his paws. In the end, he decided to keep eating his peanuts.
Down in the torture chambers, the head of the Poison Sect stared at Lou Zigui with suspicion. “You want to let me go?”
“What of it?” Lou Zigui asked. “You’re not even afraid of death, but you’re scared over the fact that I’m releasing you?”
The Poison Sect leader asked, “Lou Zigui, what kind of schemes are you cooking up?”
“Tomorrow at noon, your Poison Sect members will assemble at the Grand Preceptor’s estate,” Lou Zigui said leisurely. “The Grand Preceptor will be holding a banquet for them, so I think you should take a look over there for yourself.”
The Poison Sect head paused to think it over, before saying sternly, “You want to frame me for betraying the Grand Preceptor so his rage will make him destroy my Poison Sect?”
Lou Zigui laughed at rose to his feet. “I wouldn’t do that. You just need to make sure the Grand Preceptor doesn’t catch you peeping.”
“Why should I trust you?” the Poison Sect head asked.
Lou Zigui approached the man and murmured, “Since you’re already treating yourself like a dead man, what does it matter if you take a trip outside?” So speaking, he turned and left before the man could reply.
One of the Dragon Guards came over to undo the Poison Sect head’s shackles before tossing them casually on the ground. Then he turned to leave as well. The now freed man stared at the wide-open cell door and gave a start.
Lou Zigui had just left the torture chambers when he heard a meow from his feet. He looked down and saw Miss Ning’s black cat crouched in front of him with raised eyes.
“Meow~” Big Boss Black nuzzled Lou Zigui’s legs with his head. Lou Zigui bent down and picked him up. It was uncomfortable for Big Boss Black to be picked up by the scruff of his neck, but now he was frantic with joy. Supreme Commander hugged me! (Author: That’s called plucking, not hugging…)
“Why aren’t you with your master?” Lou Zigui asked Big Boss Black.
“That ninny’s sitting on the roof spying on the empress dowager, it’s super boring!” Big Boss Black replied quickly.
Lou Zigui stared at the cat meowing its mouth off and showed a trace of a smile. He stroked Big Boss Black’s head and said, “Are you trying to talk to me?”
“Miaow, I am talking to you, Your Excellency Supreme Commander!” Big Boss Black was so moved that his chubby body shook. But Lou Zigui only shook his head in consternation.
“I really don’t know why Xiaoyao would talk with a cat.”
Now Big Boss Black felt like crying. Why can that ninny talk to cats, but not my Supreme Commander ahhhhhhhh!
“Supreme Commander,” Fang Tang called over in a small voice.
Lou Zigui handed Big Boss Black over to Fang Tang’s arms. “Has the capital barracks soldiers made their move?”
Fang Tang nodded. “Yes, it was Chen Lu who personally led them away. They left through the north gates.”
Lou Zigui said, “Spread word that anyone from the empress who tries to meet with His Majesty must be stopped outside the palace. Don’t let His Majesty know.”
Hearing this, both Fang Tang and Big Boss Black were astonished. Why is he doing this?!