Chapter 193: In only a single morning… Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
“This should be a daughter of the Wang Clan as well, right?” a Dragon Guard asked.
“Mm,” Ning Xiaoyao’s face was somber. “She’s the daughter of Lady Wang’s own brother.”
“Lady Wang killed her?!” another Dragon Guard exclaimed.
Ning Xiaoyao only shook her head and sighed. They stood in front of young née Wang’s bed and stared blankly at her dead body with its eyes still wide open—signs of someone who died with a grievance. Time was needed for the group to absorb the scene before them.
“How could she be so ruthless?” one Dragon Guard finally sighed.
Ning Xiaoyao was thinking over why Lady Wang would kill young née Wang at all. Because of Xie Anyi? Or because of Old Madame Xie?
“Your Majesty,” another Dragon Guard asked, “What should we do now?”
“Carry away the body, we’re going to find Lady Wang,” Ning Xiaoyao decided after rubbing her nose.
The Dragon Guards dismantled a bedboardand placed young née Wang’s body on top, then lifted her up. Ning Xiaoyao lingered in the room for one last look. The surroundings showed that the occupant had been planning to go to bed. Her outer robes had already been hung up while the bed curtains were half open. The covers were slightly uncovered and there was half a bowl of unfinished tremella soup still on the table.
“I didn’t even know the little white flower died,” A’Mo told Ning Xiaoyao.
“That’s right, ah,” Ning Xiaoyao replied. “If Cousin Magpie hadn’t said anything, I wouldn’t have known, either.”
A’Mo said, “Xiaoyao, are you going to take revenge for the little white flower?”
Ning Xiaoyao began to walk out of the room as she spoke. “How would I do that? Didn’t the little white flower kill Old Madame Xie as well? It’s impossible to calculate who owes whom at this point.”
Little white flower killed Old Madame Xie, so Lady Wang killed the little white flower as revenge. But wouldn’t that make Lady Wang the good guy? A’Mo’s head grew dizzy from the thought. Humans are too complicated!
Ning Xiaoyao exited into the courtyard, where she lifted the door crushing the various servant girls. Now that the servants were too scared to make a racket, she asked them, “Little white flower died in her room, but you lot are just pretending nothing happened?”
The servants knew they were doomed from the moment Ning Xiaoyao and her men walked into the bedroom. Now her words scared them mute as they stared at her in despair.
“Are you bunch in charge of waiting on the little white flower—young née Wang?” Ning Xiaoyao asked next.
“No, ah,” Cousin Magpie chirped. “They’re Lady Wang’s servants.”
“Take them away,” Ning Xiaoyao pointed at the figures as she ordered the Dragon Guards. The guards approached and started dragging the servants away. Ning Xiaoyao stood in the courtyard and gave a big thumbs up to Cousin Magpie on the eaves.
Cousin Magpie said, “Xiaoyao, I just found out myself. Last night we were all watching A’Mo and the rest biting Grand Preceptor Xie, oh.”
Ning Xiaoyao thought it over and replied, “If it was me, I’d choose to watch Grand Preceptor, too.” Who’s never seen a murder before? Compared to being bitten by ants, killings happened everyday in the apocalypse.
The Dragon Guards heard Ning Xiaoyao speak, but none of them asked who His Majesty was talking to. Their emperor was capable of sitting by himself in the palace’s little flower garden and chatter to no one for ages, so they’d long gotten used to it. (Author: Your emperor is talking to the little animals…)
Young née Wang’s corpse raised a series of shrieks and screams as she was carried into the courtyard. More female servants fainted away at the sight. The Dragon Guards carried the body in front of Grand Preceptor Xie and Lady Wang before setting their load on the group.
“This is young née Wang?” Elder Li asked loudly.
Ning Xiaoyao came in from behind the guards. “Old gramps, you’ve already seen her yourself. Why ask the obvious?”
“Your Majesty clearly ordered you to take care of this young madame,” Elder Li raged at Grand Preceptor Xie, “Is this how you treat her?! Who killed this woman?” It was obvious that young née Wang had been murdered by human means.
“Human blood, ah,” Ning Xiaoyao looked towards Lady Wang. “You’re certainly something.”
Lady Wang couldn’t stop shaking her head.
“The upper beams of the house are crooked,” Lou Zigui said coldly, using an idiom to express his views. If née Wang could kill her own niece, then it wasn’t strange that the Xie Clan daughters would harm one of their own sisters. Such was the Xie Clan trait. Many others could hear the implied insult in his words.
“Little white flower died last night,” Ning Xiaoyao said, pointing at the servants she’d ordered brought along. “I wanted to enter her rooms, but they even tried to keep me out. They were adamant about guarding the doors. Your ladyship, these are all your servants. Do you have anything else to say?”
Lady Wang stared blankly at Ning Xiaoyao.
Ning Xiaoyao continued, “I think you don’t need to say anything else.”
Grand Preceptor Xie spoke up, “This is nothing more than a concubine.”
“But she’s still her ladyship’s niece, oh,” Ning Xiaoyao said.
Grand Preceptor Xie countered, “She committed a grave sin, so I ordered her to be disposed of.” Whatever the case, the blame for young née Wang’s death can only fall on the head of the family. Despite his pounding heart and rising blood pressure, his mind was still clear.
“What grave sin did she commit?” Elder Li asked. “Did you forget about His Majesty’s decree?”
“It’s a family scandal,” Grand Preceptor Xie said tersely.
Ning Xiaoyao nodded. “Whatever makes you happy, Grand Preceptor.”
“Your Majesty,” Elder Li shouted at Ning Xiaoyao. We can’t just end things like this!
Ning Xiaoyao waved a hand at Elder Li. “Old gramps, we have to face the truth.” It’s not like I can kill that Xie husband and wife pair, so what’s the point of using an imperial decree to pressure them?
Elder Li knew the truth as well, so he had no choice but to stand there and fume.
“Your Majesty, this subject invites Your Majesty to return to the palace,” Lou Zigui piped up.
Ning Xiaoyao replied, “Little white flower is dead. Supreme Commander, do you think I’ll rest easy leaving Fifth Young Miss Xie at the Grand Preceptor’s estate?” Until she figured out exactly what Windy felt for Xie Duoying, she had to preserve that beauty’s life.
At that moment, the doors of the boudoir opened up behind them. When Ning Xiaoyao saw Xie Duoying walk out from its depths, she was stunned. “What happened to your hair?!”
Fifth Young Miss Xie was now standing with a smooth, shaved head. She walked to Grand Preceptor Xie and fell to her knees before him, then kowtowed three times. “Grandfather, your granddaughter’s sins are too deep. I am willing to spend the remainder of my life as Buddha’s companion to absolve my sins.”
Ning Xiaoyao couldn’t understand what she was saying. How can the victim have committed any sins?
Seeing that Ning Xiaoyao was about to speak, Lou Zigui tugged on her hand and murmured, “It’s no use, she’s already taken the tonsure on her own.”
Ning Xiaoyao asked, “What does she mean by being Buddha’s companion?”
Lou Zigui replied, “She wants to become a nun.”
“…….” said Ning Xiaoyao. If this beauty becomes a nun, what will my Windy do?!
“Let’s go,” Lou Zigui still wanted to leave.
Ning Xiaoyao stammered, “W-well, even if she shaves her head, her hair can still grow bak.”
Lou Zigui looked at Ning Xiaoyao. “One’s body, hair, and skin are all given to one by one’s parents. How could anyone damage these gifts?”
Ning Xiaoyao was out of the loop. Why does it sound like getting a haircut is a really big deal?
“It’s no use,” the Lord Protector said from the side. “This girl can only be a nun now.”
Ning Xiaoyao quietly stole a peek at Shadowgale, who was standing there staring blankly before him.
“Such a sin!” Elder Li shook his head and sighed.
May I trouble Elder Li to help this young Miss find a quiet Buddhist temple,” Lou Zigui intoned to Elder Li. “She has a pitiful lot.”
Elder Li nodded to agree to the request.
“Is this fine?” Lou Zigui asked Ning Xiaoyao next.
Ning Xiaoyao glanced at Shadowgale. “Windy?”
Shadowgale bent forward and said, “This servant invites Your Majesty to return to the palace.”
Ning Xiaoyao said, “We can still try for it.” For example, I can even make fifth young Miss’s hair grow back instantly.
Shadowgale remaining bowing without saying a word.
Fine, then. Ning Xiaoyao scratched her head. Shadowgale’s rejecting my offer, so we might as well head back first.
“Do you want to come with me?” Ning Xiaoyao asked the little servant girl standing behind Xie Duoying.
The servant girl glanced at her young Miss, then shook her head at Ning Xiaoyao with a timid voice. “Your Majesty, if this servant leaves, there won’t be anyone left to take care of young Miss anymore.”
“Go on,” Xie Duoying told the servant girl. “Go serve His Majesty.” The little servant girl looked at Xie Duoying with teary eyes, but she simply smiled at her. “Didn’t you just agree to help repay my benefactor?”
“Then let’s go,” Ning Xiaoyao headed for the exit. The longer she watched this, the worse she felt. It was better to get out of here. The little servant girl trotted after them behind Shadowgale’s heels, turning to look back every few steps. When Shadowgale passed by Xie Duoying, he glanced at her, but she didn’t look up.
Elder Li looked coldly at Grand Preceptor Xie before beckoning towards Xie Duoying. “Come with this old man. I’ll help you find a quiet place where no one will disturb you.”
Xie Duoying glanced at Grand Preceptor Xie, who waved his hand in turn. At this, Xie Duoying’s mother burst into tears, but didn’t dare to ask for her daughter back. Xie Duoying followed Elder Li all the way out of the Grand Preceptor’s estate without taking a single look back. When Ning Xiaoyao stood at the entrance and saw the bald Xie Duoying get on a carriage and leave with Elder Li, she turned towards Shadowgale and his expressionless face. The sight made her fret and in her irritation, she knocked down the other door of the Grand Preceptor’s estate gates.
“I’m not eating today,” Ning Xiaoyao told the Lord Protector.
“Ah?” the Lord Protector asked.
Ning Xiaoyao said, “Didn’t you invite me for a meal?”
“…….” said the Lord Protector. After all that, Your Majesty still remembers that this subject invited you home to eat?
“You can owe me one,” Ning Xiaoyao said seriously. “When I’m feeling better, invite me then, Lord Protector.”
Aside from saying ‘this subject accepts the decree,’ the Lord Protector couldn’t manage anything else.
“We’re going home,” Ning Xiaoyao said in low spirits.
The Lord Protector hastily asked, “Your Majesty, are you still considering this subject’s second brother for the post of Nine Gates Infantry Commander?”
Ning Xiaoyao paused and patted herself on the chest. “Oh, that’s right. There’s still that.”
The Lord Protector fell silent again. Your Majesty, you forgot?
“Your Lord Protector’s estate has agreed to take the post?” Lou Zigui asked.
The Lord Protector quickly nodded.
“Then have Pei Yan remember to come to court tomorrow,” Lou Zigui said.
The Lord Protector agreed. By the time he realized it should’ve been Ning Xiaoyao issuing the orders, Lou Zigui had already placed her on the back of Little Red. Ning Xiaoyao waved goodbye at the Lord Protector and said, “Lord Protector, see you tomorrow.”
“Giddy up,” Lou Zigui urged his horse.
Little Red galloped away and was gone in a flash. The Lord Protector stood in front of the Grand Preceptor’s door-less gates and turned around to observe the estate. Then he looked back at the long street before it and marveled at the fact that it’d only taken one morning for one of the Xie Clan daughters to become a nun while the other six were ruined for marriage ever more. Lady Wang’s name was completely wrecked as well.
Why does all of this feel like I’m dreaming? The Lord Protector couldn’t help but wonder.