Chapter 21: Supreme Commander and the fatuous ruler Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
In a flash, Lou Zigui had downed half the bowl of ginseng lily soup into his stomach. Now Ning Xiaoyao was satisfied. She quickly wiped his lips and said, “Do you feel better after eating something? When you’re sick, you have to listen to others.” So speaking, Ning Xiaoyao raised the bowl and polished off the other half herself.
“Fatuous ruler,” the fearless Lou Zigui gritted his teeth and cursed Ning Xiaoyao again after knowing he’d been played for a fool.
An embarrassed Ning Xiaoyao awkwardly lowered her head.
Lou Zigui felt a warm sensation rise up from his stomach to his chest. Immediately afterwards, he felt his body turn hot and a certain place down there swell until it hurt. “What did you give me to eat?!” Lou Zigui grabbed Ning Xiaoyao’s hand.
“Ah?” Ning Xiaoyao’s lost her grip on the bowl as Lou Zigui grabbed her hand. The empty bowl clattered to the floor.
In the space of these two sentences, Lou Zigui’s entire body felt like it’d been lit on fire. Even his eyes were burning red. Ning Xiaoyao was completely floored. This shouldn’t happen! Wait, why did she feel like she was burning up?
Though Lou Zigui had been matched up with six potential marriages, the first three girls had been born from old, established families and either died from sickness or unnaturally violent deaths. Following that, his next three matches were from ordinary families so that the fourth son of the Lou family could at least have a concubine or two. But all of those girls had sickened and died before the wedding day as well. After the death of the sixth, no families beyond those wanting to sell their daughters for profit were willing to marry into the Lou family. Because the Lou family disdained those families with calculating schemes, and because none of the good families wanted to marry their daughters over, and also because the Lou father and brothers all died on the battlefield before their wives passed away in succession, this Supreme Commander of Anyuan County had never tasted the flavor of conjugal love between a man and woman.
Lou Zigui only felt that his body was caught in the midst of a roaring fire that was burning him alive. This wasn’t much better than being sliced to death with a thousand cuts. Feeling hot and dry, Lou Zigui raised his hands to scratch at his own skin.
“Don’t,” Ning Xiaoyao hurried to press his hands down. No matter what happened, he couldn’t flay himself alive.
Blood streamed out of Lou Zigui’s nose.
In the middle of treating herself, Ning Xiaoyao hurried to treat Lou Zigui’s “poison” as well. But the spread of the poison was too fast, so her legs collapsed beneath her before she fell on top of Lou Zigui. Pale green light flickered in her palms as Ning Xiaoyao put up a last-ditch effort.
It’s that scent of grass and trees again, Lou Zigui thought as he held onto Ning Xiaoyao. More importantly, as far as Lou Zigui was concerned, he’d held onto the scent that had enchanted him before. He turned over and pressed Ning Xiaoyao beneath his body.
It’s done for…
These were the last three words to appear in Ning Xiaoyao’s mind before she lost all rational thought.
The beaded curtains hanging over the dragon bed changed from violent motion to silent stillness in the amount of time it took to drink half a cup of tea. Ning Xiaoyao listened to the sounds of Lou Zigui’s heavy breathing and foolishly spoke a few words from her medical experience. “Don’t let it weigh on your heart. It’s easy to get excited the first time, but it’ll last longer when you have more experience.”
Lou Zigui’s eyes were fixed on Ning Xiaoyao, his drug-ridden red eyes slowly fading back to black. Once the pressure upon him had been relieved, his sluggish expression turned into a mixture of alarm and anger. Ning Xiaoyao boxed herself in the ears. Was now the time to talk about how long he lasted?! In the apocalypse, any person who took a fancy to another could find a place for them to roll in the sheets together. Humans that existed in a world where death was imminent lived hedonist lifestyles and found joys where they could. Ning Xiaoyao hadn’t found anyone who caught her eye during her 18 years there, but neither had she embraced any high moral principles before. She didn’t think that sleeping together was a big deal. In any case, she didn’t find the sight of Lou Zigui annoying either, and was more preoccupied with how to explain to him about her gender. After finding out she was female, would he just kill her directly?!
Lou Zigui’s gaze shifted from her face downwards before he pulled at her clothes. As they ripped, Supreme Commander Lou violently shrank back. How could this be?
Ning Xiaoyao scrambled up and prepared to flee. Since she couldn’t fool around anymore, she might as well escape! But Lou Zigui reached out a hand and held her in place.
“You, you’re a female?!” He didn’t dare say it out loud, but asked her in a low voice.
Ning Xiaoyao darted a glance at Lou Zigui’s naked lower body. Lou Zigui followed her gaze to see the spots of blood on the dragon bed, before his face turned ghastly pale. He then promptly grabbed the covers and wrapped her up.
Ning Xiaoyao pointed at Lou Zigui’s shoulder and said, “Your shoulder’s bleeding again.” Though their actions just then were short-lived, it was as violent as a battlefield. Even now, she’d yet to close her legs.
“Be quiet!” Lou Zigui hissed in a low voice.
“Oh.” Ning Xiaoyao shut her mouth.
Lou Zigui spaced out as he lay down. After that bout of self-satisfaction, he currently felt like falling apart. Ning Xiaoyao got off the bed while wrapped in bedcovers and went to look for clothes in a chest. Her pants were dirty and her shirt was torn. Even the bindings across her chest had been ripped in half by that guy on the bed. Ning Xiaoyao rejoiced that Supreme Commander Lou had only torn her clothes and not her actual person.
Lou Zigui slowly turned his head to look at Ning Xiaoyao. Right now, it was already dark outside the window, and the lamps in the room weren’t lit. Ning Xiaoyao stood in a mass of darkness as she clumsily put on her clothes, trembling in a way that made Lou Zigui feel pity for her sake. After his mental collapse, he’d forced himself to calm down. There were some secrets that only need to expose a thread before the discoverer could use it to weave a cocoon and find out the whole story.
Ning Yu 1 was a premature baby born at the Grand Preceptor’s estate from Empress Dowager Xie after she’d asked for permission to leave the palace and visit her parents’ home. A senior monk had asserted through fortune-telling that she and her baby should keep their distance, so the late emperor had left Ning Yu to grow up in the Grand Preceptor’s estate. Before he became emperor, he’d never taken a single step into the palace. Now that he thought back, Concubine Xie had been seven-months pregnant when she used all sorts of ways to get out of the palace and see family despite the risk to her body. Then she had a premature birth, fell severely ill, and gotten her fortune told by a senior monk. In the end, all of this was just a play by the Xie father and mother pair so they could change their imperial daughter into an imperial son.
How could a female become emperor? Even if Ning Yu could reign for a while, as soon as Ning Xin grew up, she’d become a useless chess piece. Could the Xie father and mother pair allow such a calamity to exist then?
Lou Zigui knitted his brows. If he threw Ning Yu out and exposed her now, he could ruin Empress Dowager Xie and the entire Xie Clan, thus getting revenge for the crown prince. But he hesitated after seeing that lone silhouette moving in the blackness.
After putting on her clothes, Ning Xiaoyao didn’t dare to turn around and look at Lou Zigui, but mumbled, “I want to leave and find some peace and quiet.”
“What?” Lou Zigui didn’t hear her clearly.
Ning Xiaoyao was in front of the window within a few steps. She opened it up and jumped outside. Now that Supreme Commander Lou knew she was a girl, he’d feel even more strongly that the crown prince had died unjustly. If she didn’t want to be beaten to death, she had to run away!
“… …” As Lou Zigui saw Ning Xiaoyao jump out the window like a rabbit, he couldn’t help but feel shortchanged somewhere.
“The ninny changed her clothes!” Wifey Magpie saw Ning Xiaoyao from her branch and spread open her wings to cry out.
“She smells like she just did naughty business,” Big Boss Black shouted. “This ninny bullied my Supreme Commander!”
“… …” Ning Xiaoyao was speechless. Did that black furball think he was some loyal dog? Wait a minute, Ning Xiaoyao stared at the four cats in the flower bed. What did that long-haired cat say in the side hall? The two bowls were different colors? Cats can only see black, white, and gray, right?
“Is the ninny going to be Supreme Commander’s wife?” a little sparrow asked.
Big Boss Black glared hatefully at Ning Xiaoyao.
Ning Xiaoyao turned to jump back in the window. In front of Lou Zigui’s stunned stare, she found the dropped bowl that had rolled beneath the bed. It hadn’t broken, so she grabbed it before leaping out the window again. The four cats were still crouched in the flower beds, except now all four were glaring hatefully her way instead of just Big Boss Black.
“Speak,” Ning Xiaoyao gave the bowl to the long-haired white cat. “What color is this bowl?”
Without the slightest hesitation, the white cat said, “Red.”
Life is hard enough as it is, don’t burst my bubble!
Ning Xiaoyao smashed the indigo-blue bowl. She’d actually fallen to ruin via a colorblind cat! Startled by her actions, the cats rushed into the flower clusters. Though they didn’t think much of Ning Xiaoyao’s IQ, they knew as cats that humans were dangerous. Ning Xiaoyao hung her head as she walked out of the courtyard. She might as well find something to eat first and fill her stomach.
When her figure had disappeared, the little kitten asked Big Boss Black, “Will Supreme Commander marry the ninny?”
“Why does Supreme Commander have to marry a ninny? Miaow!” Big Boss Black expressed his disapproval. Ever since Supreme Commander Lou had saved him from being trampled beneath a horse five years ago, Big Boss Black had treated Supreme Commander as his benefactor and the best person in the world. Even Jiao Jiao, the female Persian cat in the Ministry of Work’s high official’s estate, wasn’t a good enough match for Supreme Commander. This ninny Ning Yu wasn’t even as attractive as Jiao Jiao, nor as intelligent, nor as competent. So a ninny like her was even less of an ideal match!
At this moment, the weasel who had been keeping quiet the whole time spoke up. “Haven’t any of you realized?”
“Great Immortal, what do we need to realize?” Big Boss Black asked.
Yellow Great Immortal blinked his bean-like eyes and said, “The ninny can understand our speech. Just then, she was talking to Little White.”
All of the little animals in the courtyard went Σ(△ °|︴, that really seemed to be the case!
“Your Majesty.” Fang Tang stood before the doors of the bedroom and knocked, a food box in his hands.
On the dragon bed, Lou Zigui pinched the area between his eyebrows.
After calling ‘Your Majesty’ a few times without reaction, Fang Tang cried, “Supreme Commander?”
Lou Zigui forcefully covered himself with the covers and sniffed the air. Seeing that the distinctive smell about the bed had faded somewhat, he answered, “Come in.”
Fang Tang couldn’t hear the activity that had gone on in the room was preparing to charge in when Lou Zigui spoke. He hastily pushed open the door and stepped inside. Lou Zigui looked up as he stood by the door.
Fang Tang held the food box as he examined Lou Zigui’s complexion. “Supreme Commander, His Majesty’s not here?”
“He jumped out the window,” Lou Zigui replied.
The young General Fang fell silent. Why did His Majesty jump out the window?
“What is it?” Lou Zigui asked.
Fang Tang quickly raised up the food box for Lou Zigui to see. “Supreme Commander, the imperial kitchens cooked porridge for you. They even specially stewed sweet soup.”
Lou Zigui’s eyebrows twitched. Sweet soup currently left him with nothing but bad impressions!
Original Chapter Teaser:
Ning Xiaoyao: *omnomnomnom*
Ning Xiaoyao: Obviously, food makes everything better!