Chapter 29: Calling a conference of the first meeting Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Ning Xiaoyao didn’t care about things like reputation. People during the apocalypse didn’t even know if they’d be bitten by a zombie one day. Surviving was hard enough, so reputation wasn’t worth anything. But right now, Ning Xiaoyao cared about Lou Zigui’s reputation very much. This person had fought, bled, and gotten injured for his country before being cursed as a traitor. For what? Just because he was friends with the crown prince? Ning Xiaoyao didn’t understand it, so of course she couldn’t take it.
“There’s no need to fear,” Ning Xiaoyao patted her chest as she promised Lou Zigui. “I’ll definitely help you get your innocence back.”
Lou Zigui’s injury didn’t hurt anymore, but his head did. He felt both tired and confused. Ning Xiaoyao raised a hand to rub Lou Zigui’s forehead. Her movements were too quick, so by the time Lou Zigui realized what was going down, her slender, thin fingers were already touching his skin. He narrowed his eyes. This person’s martial arts skills are quite advanced.
“If you’re tired, then sleep,” Ning Xiaoyao poked his forehead as a soft green ball of light entered into his head. “Feel much better now?” she asked softly.
Lou Zigui’s gaze turned clueless again. Once more, he smelled the scent of grasses, trees, and a fresh meadow after rainfall. “You?” he asked Ning Xiaoyao doubtfully.
Ning Xiaoyao withdrew her hand with a cheery grin. The faint scent lingering in the air quickly disappeared without a trace. Lou Zigui suddenly felt very reluctant to part with that fragrance. He lowered his head to stare at Ning Xiaoyao’s very fair, very skinny hand.
“You know martial arts?” he asked.
Ning Xiaoyao didn’t know whether Ning Yu had ever learned martial arts, but she didn’t care. “I’ve learned it. There’s still yummy seafood soup outside, you want some? I can bring some over?”
Lou Zigui didn’t get to talk before Ning Xiaoyao ran off. He sat on the low, narrow couch and looked at the door that had been closed again before suddenly recovering his senses. He wanted to talk to her about her female identity, but her ramblings had completely led him off track. Besides his first words at the start of their conversation, he hadn’t gotten to speak at all!
Ning Xiaoyao ran into the corridors and was confused to see a full vat of scallop soup. Why wasn’t anyone drinking something so tasty? “None of you are drinking it?” Ning Xiaoyao asked Fang Tang and the rest, who were standing around. “If you’re not, I’ll take it to Supreme Commander.”
Imperial Physician Gao was standing in the courtyard until he heard Ning Xiaoyao’s words and ran over. He didn’t even stop to pay his respects before crying out, “Your Majesty, the wounded can’t eat expanding foodstuffs like these scallops.”
“Ah?” Ning Xiaoyao was startled.
“They cannot,” Imperial Physician Gao said in a severe tone. Since he was brought over here with a sword to his neck, he had to take responsibility for these people. They’d incurred external wounds and still wanted to eat expanding food? Did they have a death wish?
Ning Xiaoyao wanted to say that Supreme Commander’s wounds were just about healed, but she stopped on second thought. Would these people treat Supreme Commander as a freak if he recovered from his injuries so quickly? (Author: Why don’t you consider whether others would treat you as a freak and roast you?)
“Your Majesty!” Imperial Physician Gao shouted towards Ning Xiaoyao.
She sighed. “Then forget it. Lil’ Big Bro Fang, go to the kitchens and find some other soups to bring over.”
Fang Tang obeyed and left.
“Are you eating this?” Ning Xiaoyao asked Imperial Physician Gao, who shook his head. Right now, he didn’t want to eat anything. He just wanted to know what would happen to him in the future! A few generals shook their heads at Ning Xiaoyao as well. They weren’t in the mood to eat, either. Ning Xiaoyao placed the giant vat on her shoulders. If humans weren’t going to eat it, then the cats could.
“… …” went all the people at the scene. This vat was even taller than His Majesty, but he’d just carried it away like that. Exactly how much strength did he have?
Big Boss Black and the rest saw Ning Xiaoyao coming out with a giant vat of scallops and jumped down from the Wutong tree in excitement. They surrounded Ning Xiaoyao with meows in a circle. Ning Xiaoyao found an empty patch of ground and ignored all formalities to pour out the soup as she said, “Eat up.” Then she raised the vat and drank down the rest.
Faced with a delicious meal before him, Big Boss Black still didn’t forget to ask, “What about Supreme Commander?”
Ning Xiaoyao put down the vat and said, “Fell asleep.”
Big Boss Black lowered his head to eat the scallops on the ground, chewing and chewing until he suddenly remembered another thing with a shrill cry. “Isn’t Supreme Commander poisoned?!”
“… …” Ning Xiaoyao was speechless. So much for being a fanboy. It was already nighttime, but that chubby black dumpling had only remembered Supreme Commander’s poisoning now. Big Boss Black ran up to Ning Xiaoyao’s shoulder and scratched her face with his paw. “Supreme Commander’s poison, Supreme Commander’s poison, Supreme Commander’s…”
“Enough, you,” Ning Xiaoyao tossed Big Boss Black into the air. “I’ve already treated Supreme Commander’s poison.”
“You’re a doctor?” said Little White, the long furred white cat. Ning Xiaoyao nodded.
“Impossible,” an old sparrow called from the treetops. “You’ve only read a few books, and they were all taught by your old wet nurse! The Grand Preceptor wouldn’t have let you learn anything, chirp.”
Ning Xiaoyao rolled her eyes and said, “I can even talk with you guys, so why can’t I be a doctor?”
The little animals all looked at her with wide eyes. (⊙_⊙) These words seemed to make a lot of sense. Ning Xiaoyao looked down and saw, hmm…the weasels, badgers, a few hedgehogs, and various little animals she didn’t know had all arrived.
“How are you going to restore Supreme Commander’s innocence?” Big Boss Black asked as he ate.
“I don’t know,” Ning Xiaoyao replied truthfully.
“Grandfather Sparrow,” Big Boss Black lifted his head to ask the old bird in the tree, “Can you steal the letters that hurt Supreme Commander from that old Xie bastard’s house?”
Ning Xiaoyao’s eyes lit up; this was a good idea!
Grandfather Sparrow shook his head. “I can’t lift it with my beak.”
“… …” said Ning Xiaoyao.
“Find a hawk!” a voice called from underfoot. Ning Xiaoyao glanced down and saw that even the ants had arrived.
“What’s the use of those letters? How can we prove they were faked?” Yellow Great Immortal asked, his whiskers stained white with traces of soup. His words immediately showcased his superior intelligence quotient. Ning Xiaoyao’s expression turned bitter again. That’s right, we can’t run over and catch Modou from Northern Hu. How was she supposed to prove the letters were fake?
An unhappy Big Boss Black didn’t even want to eat scallops anymore. “Then is there no way? Miaow, you promised me, little Yu!”
Ning Xiaoyao felt her hairs stand on end when Big Boss Black called her ‘little Yu.’ “What little Yu?” Ning Xiaoyao glared.
“Your Majesty.” When asking favors from this human, Big Boss Black was an easy conversation partner and corrected himself easily.
“My name is Ning Xiaoyao,” Ning Xiaoyao introduced herself to the little animals.
“But your name is Ning Yu,” a cat protested.
“Ning Xiaoyao,” In terms of names, Ning Xiaoyao was very persistent. Anyone who wanted to could take an unlucky name like Ning Yu. She wasn’t going to use it even if she died.
“Then Xiaoyao,” Big Boss Black gave a vicious scratch to the cat who interrupted and continued, “You promised me, you have to stick to your word!”
Ning Xiaoyao flopped onto the ground, extremely annoyed. “Yeah, I promised you. Give me some time to think it over, won’t you?”
“I have a little grandson who told me Northern Hu sent a letter out of the capital yesterday,” Grandfather Sparrow spoke from his branch. “Supreme Commander’s not dead, so they’re very unhappy, chirp.”
Ning Xiaoyao exhaled before sitting up again to peer at Grandfather Sparrow. “There are northern barbarians in the capital city too?”
“Of course there are!” all the animals chorused. Why didn’t this ninny know? That was being a little too stupid, wasn’t it?
In the front gardens, Shadowrain asked his senior, “Did His Majesty build a livestock shed in the flower gardens?”
Unhappy, Shadowgale said, “Do you need a shed to raise a cat?”
“There are birds chirping and cats meowing,” Shadowthunder added, “What else is there?”
“Foxes?” a Dragon Guard guessed.
Everyone heard the loud noise of impact and nearly jumped. The next second, Ning Xiaoyao dashed out of the flower gardens in a frenzy as if she had just descended from the Heavens to appear in the corridor. She waved a hand at Shadowgale and the others and said, “Windy, Little Song, all of you come over. We’re holding a conference!”
“… …” said the generals and Dragon Guards. What was a conference?
In the time it took half a stick of incense to burn, Ning Xiaoyao headed the start of the first conference meeting in a side hall of the palace.
“The subject of our meeting today is to discuss how to restore Supreme Commander’s innocence,” Ning Xiaoyao sat on a couch that was about the size of a bed, her face serious and solemn.
Fang Tang had just sat down when he stood up again at Ning Xiaoyao’s words. “Your Majesty, you have a way?”
Ning Xiaoyao motioned towards Fang Tang with a hand. “Sit down, we’ll talk properly if there are words to say. Don’t get excited.”
The young General Fang could only sit down again.
“Cough cough,” Ning Xiaoyao cleared her throat. “Right now, Supreme Commander’s asleep so we won’t wake him up. My original plan was to kill our way into Northern Hu territory and capture that shameless Modou.”
Σ(△ °|︴, went everyone else.
“But Supreme Commander said that was an impossible task,” Ning Xiaoyao continued.
“… …” went everyone. Please don’t cause trouble, this really is something impossible.
“Just now, I received news that the Northern Hu are very unsatisfied to see Supreme Commander still alive. They’re extremely unhappy,” said Ning Xiaoyao.
“Dare I ask,” Song Jin spoke up, “From where did Your Majesty got such news?”
After some thought, Ning Xiaoyao said resolutely, “My little pals are all very capable.”
For some reason, everyone suddenly felt that His Majesty had turned enigmatic and unfathomable. Could it be that His Majesty had already trained up his own troops while staying at the Grand Preceptor’s estate?
Ning Xiaoyao looked at the gathered men and spoke. “I was thinking about it this way. If the Northern Hu wanted to kill Supreme Commander, wouldn’t that prove he was innocent?”
Everyone gave a start before suddenly looking delight. That’s right! Song Jin took this moment to speak to the more experienced members.
“What if the Grand Preceptor accuses Supreme Commander and Northern Hu of putting on a false show?”
“If the Northern Hu show up to kill Supreme Commander, it’ll prove they aren’t good people,” Ning Xiaoyao replied. “Meanwhile, we’ll take the chance to round up these northern barbarian secret…secret people, secret…” Dammit. Ning Xiaoyao shook her head. What did they call people who worked in espionage here?
“Secret agents,” Fang Tang reminded her.
“Oh, right. Secret agents,” Ning Xiaoyao said. “We’ll seize the opportunity to capture all the secret agents. What kind of blockhead would put their life on the line to keep acting out a wretched plight ruse1?”
- wretched plight ruse (苦情计) – kuqingji, a probably play on words for self-injury ruse, or kurouji (苦肉计) strategy where one inflicts injury to oneself to win the confidence of the enemy. ↩