Chapter 188: The young ladies teamed up to do bad deeds Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Lou Zigui took a step into the courtyard, so the Lord Protector braced himself and followed him inside. He had never bothered dealing with his own inner court affairs, so he didn’t even know what his daughters’ quarters looked like. Now he stood uneasily before the residence of the Fifth Young Miss Xie.
Lou Zigui had no such qualms and strode straight to Ning Xiaoyao’s side to ask, “What happened?”
The remaining Dragon Guards all perked up their ears to listen. That’s right, just what happened here?
“Your Majesty,” Shadowgale called out.
Ning Xiaoyao was about to explain when Shadowgale’s voice silenced her. Ahh, that’s right, if news of this spreads, the effects will be terrible for Xie Duoying. I’ve been so busy thinking of how to deal with those scoundrels that I’ve forgotten all about Fifth Young Miss Xie’s reputation.
At that moment, Xie Duoying opened the doors of her residence and walked outside. She wasn’t wearing any makeup and presented herself to the emperor in plain robes of evergreen, her hair tied into a casual twist behind her head. Her eyes were red and swollen, but she looked calm and composed as she walked with steady steps. Ning Xiaoyao surveyed her from head to toe before thinking casually, beauties are beauties through and through, sure enough. Even without any makeup and a pair of puffy eyes, she still looks very beautiful.
Xie Duoying descended the steps of her house and approached Ning Xiaoyao, before falling to her knees. “Your Majesty, this one has been wronged.”
“I know, ah,” Ning Xiaoyao said. “Then what do you want to do?”
Xie Duoying said, “This one only asks that justice be served.”
Ning Xiaoyao glanced at Shadowgale. She wants justice to be served, what’s your opinion on that?
Shadowgale didn’t look at Xie Duoying, he simply stood as if he heard nothing at all. That meant he respected Fifth Young Miss Xie’s wishes, Ning Xiaoyao understood. Lou Zigui glanced at Shadowgale and said, “You and Fifth Young Miss—”
“That there,” Ning Xiaoyao tugged on Lou Zigui’s sleeve, “It’s a long story.”
“I and Fifth Young Miss…” Shadowgale wanted to explain that he’d come to save her.
“You shouldn’t say anything, ah,” Ning Xiaoyao said, “We’ll talk about your affairs at length in the future, in the future.”
The Lord Protector looked at the unfortunate Fifth Young Miss Xie still kneeling on the ground, then at the tall and handsome Shadowgale, and couldn’t help but arch a brow. His Majesty and Grand Preceptor Xie are enemies, but how did the head commander of his Dragon Guards get involved with the Grand Preceptor’s granddaughter? This really is something interesting…
Lady Wang had regained consciousness by now. Two mama helped her into a sitting position as she raised her head towards Ning Xiaoyao and broke into loud sobs.
“Enough,” Ning Xiaoyao said, “Your ladyship, wait until later to cry. I can promise you that you’ll be sobbing your heart out in a bit.”
“You,” Lady Wang cried, with the venom evident in her voice, “What are you planning to do?”
Ning Xiaoyao said, “Stand up for justice, ah. What else would I do? You think I like hanging around the Grand Preceptor’s estate?”
Sounds of sobbing came closer to the courtyard. Lady Wang suddenly recalled how Ning Xiaoyao had ordered the Dragon Guards to fetch the Xie Clan daughters and panicked. Once again, she raised her voice at Ning Xiaoyao. “Your Majesty, this wife is your maternal grandmother, ah!”
“……” said Ning Xiaoyao. That’s right, she’s my grandma. I almost forgot.
“Impudence,” Lou Zigui said, “Did you remember that His Majesty was your daughter’s child when you trapped Shadowgale in the Grand Preceptor’s estate?”
Lady Wang choked out a sob at Lou Zigui’s censuring remark. More sobbing joined hers as the daughters of the Xie Clan arrived in the courtyard while being shielded by their various mama. Behind them came the Dragon Guards with swords unsheathed. The young ladies’ cries incited the entire courtyard into joining them until it looked like the clan itself was facing extinction. Ning Xiaoyao saw Lady Wang make a move towards the girls and kicked the man being held down by the Dragon Guards over to the young ladies’ feet. When eldest daughter saw his face, she grew stunned, while the two youngest shrieked out loud.
“Do you recognize him?” Ning Xiaoyao asked the girls.
Who would ever admit it it? All of the girls shook their heads, the motion nearly unanimous.
“Separate them,” Lou Zigui ordered. The Dragon Guards stepped forward before coming face to face with the servant girls and mama shielding the Xie Clan daughters. They refused to budge no matter how the Dragon Guards yelled.
“Use physical force,” Lou Zigui said coldly. The Dragon Guards approached the servants with swords in their hands; in the next instant, seven to eight servants fell to the ground, injured. Seeing the sudden blood made a few of the Xie daughters faint away in fear. The sobbing in the courtyard intensified, but Lou Zigui only added, “Kill anyone who makes a racket.”
His voice wasn’t loud at all, yet it was filled with murderous intent. It silenced all the crying in the courtyard. Ning Xiaoyao sniffed a few times. When will I get an aura like that? Give me a break, he’s both oppressively cruel and crazy domineering.
Lord Protector was just thinking of the rumors that said the Black Frost Cavalry left nothing but misery for the people in their wake. There were probably merits to those words when Cuckoo Lou was involved. He really showed no mercy between the young and old, male or female—just who to kill, and who to spare.
It was at this time that Grand Preceptor Xie was carried to the entrance of the courtyard. The two little pageboys in charge of lifting his chair saw the Dragon Guards with weapons drawn and blood on the ground and grew too scared to approach any closer.
“Go on in,” Grand Preceptor Xie said, unmoved. His voice was cold. The two pageboys shook with fear as they carried him inside the courtyard. When Lady Wang saw her husband now changed beyond all recognition, fresh tears fell from her face as her heart filled with an inexplicable sorrow. Grand Preceptor Xie glanced at her in turn but felt nothing but exhaustion. You wanted to counter Ning Yu by ruining the reputation of your own granddaughter? When did this woman grow the guts and turn so stupid? How can a married woman of the inner court challenge the emperor? Who gave her the gall?
“Your Majesty.” Grand Preceptor Xie next focused on Ning Xiaoyao. No matter who started the mess in his estate, he had to stand out as the head of the family. He pointed at the young ladies in the courtyard and said, “Just what do you mean by this, Your Majesty?”
Ning Xiaoyao said, “I’m proving my Windy’s innocence, ah. How is he supposed to get married in the future if word gets out that he supposedly peeped on a girl bathing?”
Grand Preceptor Xie said, “Your Majesty is concerned about Shadowgale’s future, but what about the future of these girls?”
Ning Xiaoyao shrugged. “You can’t blame me for that, ah. If Lady Wang hadn’t made a fuss, I wouldn’t have bothered with your family’s affairs in the first place.”
“Your Majesty,” Lady Wang wanted to speak up.
“Ignorant woman, shut your mouth,” Grand Preceptor Xie reprimanded her sharply. Lady Wang’s face turned as white as a sheet as her feet grew unsteady. Grand Preceptor Xie was cursing her in public now—how was she supposed to maintain face in the family in the future?
Grand Preceptor Xie’s mind worked at a far higher level than Lady Wang. When he heard the news about Xie Duoying from a steward, he realized that Shadowgale wasn’t the crux of the problem. It was far more important to suppress the event and take care of it behind closed doors.
“Since it’s this subject’s personal affairs,” Grand Preceptor Xie told Ning Xiaoyao, “I dare not trouble Your Majesty with such minor matters.” He wanted to patch things up and avoid trouble, but Ning Xiaoyao wasn’t someone to give him that satisfaction.
She rolled her eyes and said, “I’ve already troubled myself all the way ‘til now. Grand Preceptor, telling me that now sounds a little fake coming from you.”
Grand Preceptor Xie held back his temper. “Your Majesty, how does this matter involve those girls?”
“Why wouldn’t it involve them?” Ning Xiaoyao pointed at the rogue collapsed on the ground. “That man, have you seen him before? The six young ladies of your family pooled their funds together to invite him here. He was supposed to ruin Fifth Young Miss Xie’s innocence while she was bathing. If it wasn’t for my Windy hearing fifth young Miss yelling for help and going to see what was the matter, your family’s fifth young Miss would be completely ruined by now.”
On a usual day, no one could make heads or tails of what Ning Xiaoyao talked about, but this time she was terse and to the point so that everyone understood. Grand Preceptor Xie felt momentarily thunderstruck as his vision turned black again.
“Impossible, that can’t be true!” Lady Wang shouted shilly.
“The emperor,” Ning Xiaoyao said as she pointed at her nose, “Has a golden mouth and pearly words, don’t you know?”
“Does Your Majesty have any proof for your words?” Grand Preceptor Xie calmed himself enough to ask.
Ning Xiaoyao said, “I’ve even captured the culprit for you, what other proof do you want?”
“Your Majesty,” Lou Zigui pulled Ning Xiaoyao over from the back. Grand Preceptor Xie didn’t give him a chance to speak.
“Your Majesty, how do you know it was this subject’s granddaughters who bribed the man?”
Now, Ning Xiaoyao was stuck. Could she say that A’Mo saw them? But A’Mo was only an ant, so would anyone believe his words? (Author: What you should be thinking about is how nobody can understand A’Mo here besides yourself!)
“Your Majesty?” Grand Preceptor Xie pressed.
“That person has money from the girls on him,” A’Mo murmured by Ning Xiaoyao’s ear. “Not only that, he has a pair of gold earrings that belong to the eldest young Miss. There were other things given to him too, but A’Mo didn’t see them clearly.”
The young ladies of the boudoir rarely left the estate, so they didn’t have much ready cash on hand to carry around. Their monthly stipend was collected by the various elderly female servants who served them, so the girls had all teamed up to pool their resources and jewelry to pay for the man. They never lacked for such thing in any case.
“Search him,” Ning Xiaoyao pointed at the rogue while ordering a Dragon Guard by her side.
The Dragon Guard ran to the man and soon uncovered a silver draft and a little bag of jewelry. Ning Xiaoyao took out a pair of gold earrings and tossed them towards Grand Preceptor Xie. “There, it’s even been carved with an identifying mark. What a big ‘Xie,’ ah.”
Grand Preceptor Xie stared at the tiny character carved into the earrings, then at the bloodless faces of his granddaughters. Now he knew without a shadow of a doubt that Ning Xiaoyao’s words were true.
“Take a look yourself,” Ning Xiaoyao threw a few pendants to Lady Wang, who also saw more Xie carved onto the surfaces. She fell physically paralyzed to the ground.
“Grand Preceptor, do you have anything else to say?” Ning Xiaoyao asked Grand Preceptor Xie. She loved it when it came time to faceslap her enemies. Dangling the little cloth bag in her hands, Ning Xiaoyao continued, “Or would you like another look?”
“Grand Preceptor,” Lady Wang threw herself at Grand Preceptor Xie’s feet and shook her head furiously. We can’t admit to this, or else our Xie Clan daughters will be ruined beyond redemption!