Chapter 20: Overthinking is a sickness, treat it Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Only Ning Xiaoyao and Lou Zigui were left in the room. Right now, Lou Zigui’s eyes were open, so she glanced at him and hesitated before asking, “Supreme Commander, do your injuries still hurt?”
An exhausted Lou Zigui shut his eyes again. After going through Ning Xiaoyao’s treatment and Imperial Physician Gao’s bindings, the pain of his wounds were well within his realms of endurance, but he still felt hurt. This was the aftermath of being sliced at with a blade, then gnawed on by hordes of angry people. The wretched scenes of blood, the dark scenes of being eaten alive, indignation, anger, hopelessness, and utter helplessness combined to cause him pain.
He tightened his grip on the brocade covering his body before burying his face in the pillow. Lou Zigui was like an injured animal that wanted to lick its wounds alone and suppress the agony that rose from the depths of his heart. But the pain still slowly wrapped itself around him until he had no escape.
Ning Xiaoyao scratched her palm before asking, “You’re in a lot of pain, then?”
Lou Zigui muttered to himself in a low voice.
Though Lou Zigui’s words were very soft and garbled, Ning Xiaoyao’s superiorly evolved ears could hear him fine. Supreme Commander Lou was cursing people: wicked scoundrel, venomous empress dowager, fatuous, self-indulgent ruler.
Ning Xiaoyao wore a bitter expression as she kept scratching at her palm. That father and mother pair were the wicked scoundrel and venomous empress dowager, but she really wasn’t some fatuous ruler!
“Miaow, the ninny was cursed as a fatuous ruler!” Big Boss Black’s gloating tones drifted in from outside the window.
Ning Xiaoyao ran to the window and looked outside, only to see not only cats and magpies, but ten or so sparrows in the tree, a few gray pigeons, and a weasel squatting amongst the flowering shrubs. Were they all lined up to see a big show? Ning Xiaoyao slammed the window shut. Why did she have to put on a show for them?
Lou Zigui asked from the bed, “Ning Yu, just what are you planning?”
“… …” Ning Xiaoyao was silent. This guy was too fearless, wasn’t he? Forget about how he’d cursed her, but now he was directly calling her by name? She was still the emperor, after all. Was it because he was too intrepid and hard to tame, much less look after, so those two in the palace wanted him dead? (Author: Can you stop making wild conjectures? o(╯□╰)o )
“Speak!” Lou Zigui exerted his effort to half rise up, looking at Ning Xiaoyao. He didn’t even care about his life anymore, so why fear the emperor? Moreover, this was an emperor he didn’t accept. The position belonged to the His Highness Crown Prince, but this person had only relied on his mother’s clan to kill his brother and usurp the throne!
Ning Xiaoyao looked at Lou Zigui’s dry, peeling lips and ran to the table. She picked up the remaining bowl of ginseng lily soup and offered it to Lou Zigui with a fawning tone. “Drink some sweet soup first, then we can talk.”
Lou Zigui was half sitting, half lying down, his pretty, long and narrow eyes glaring coldly at Ning Xiaoyao. That icy, vicious stare had no effect on her. How scary could he be, compared to a zombie?
“Your lips are peeling, just drink some,” Ning Xiaoyao pressed the bowl directly to Lou Zigui’s mouth. “Try some, it’s really tasty.”
“Just what do you want to do?” Lou Zigui didn’t believe that Ning Yu would become enemies with the Xie father and mother pair just for the sake of saving him. Aside from the fact that she was Empress Dowager Xie’s own son, just her position as emperor relied on Empress Dowager Xie and the Xie Clan’s support. Would this person destroy his greatest source of strength just for him, who was on the crown prince’s side? Nobody that foolish existed in this world.
“I don’t want to do anything,” said Ning Xiaoyao, “You were falsely accused, so I had to save you.”
“Heh,” Lou Zigui laughed coldly.
“Don’t ‘heheh,’ speak normally,” Ning Xiaoyao said.
“Do you want me to offer up military leadership with my two hands?” Lou Zigui asked.
“Whaa?” Ning Xiaoyao opened her mouth. What did she want military leadership for? Since she didn’t have to fight zombies anymore, was she going to need military power?
“The generals will turn unstable if I’m killed,” Lou Zigui said coldly. “So Xie Wenyuan plays the villain while you play the good guy. Xie Wenyuan sent me to the execution platform, while you rescued me off. The two of you had a falling-out to coax me into offering up the Black Frost Cavalry as a self-injury ruse1?”
Ning Xiaoyao’s head grew dizzy at Lou Zigui’s words. He’d even brought up things like self-injury ruses, how could he think that way? Just what followed after what?
“Is it true?” Lou Zigui pressed. Besides this, he couldn’t find a second reason that Ning Xiaoyao would save him.
Ning Xiaoyao cleared her throat and looked at Lou Zigui seriously. “That there, overthinking is a sickness, you have to treat it!”
Lou Zigui smiled coldly again. He was sick. The entire Yongning Dynasty was ill beyond curing, so how could he not be sick?
“Drink,” Ning Xiaoyao raised the soup bowl. There was ginseng here, good for fortifying the body.
“Take it away,” Lou Zigui would’ve overturned the bowl himself if his shoulder wasn’t injured.
Seeing that she was making no progress, Ning Xiaoyao grew fidgety. This person not only harbored delusions, but refused to communicate with her. What now? She stood thinking for awhile before deciding there was only one solution.
“This is poison. Drink up. If you’re afraid to die, just beg me,” Ning Xiaoyao raised her chin and spoke in a tone that was just asking for a beating.
Lou Zigui looked at the bowl.
“Scared?” Ning Xiaoyao laughed.
Lou Zigui took a deep breath, opened his mouth, and drank the soup. Since he knew he was set to die, why should he covet his life?
- self-injury ruse (苦肉计) – kurouji, a strategy where one inflicts injury to oneself to win the confidence of the enemy. ↩