Chapter 57: His Majesty has the qualities of an enlightened sovereign Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Ning Xiaoyao took a look at the fatty standing before her. Prince Fu, Ning Guangshun, had the stomach of a seven to eight months pregnant woman. If not for the fact that he was all fat beneath those robes, Ning Xiaoyao would’ve suspected he had hydrepigastrium1 instead. Don’t assume that women were the only creatures who placed an importance on beauty in this world. Ning Guangshun couldn’t even keep a straight face when Ning Xiaoyao wouldn’t stop staring at his stomach. He wanted to suck his tummy in, but didn’t have the capability to.
Finally, that Prince Fu lost his temper and cried, “If Your Majesty isn’t thinking about the calamity that is Xie Wenyuan, what use is it to stare at this subject?!” Whenever Ning Guangshun got angry, his entire body would shake. His breathing too, sounded like an air blower in use.
“Ah, it’s nothing,” Ning Xiaoyao said. “Good physique, haha. Very good physique.”
Ning Guangshun had a sudden urge to kill Ning Xiaoyao.
“……..” said everyone else in the hall. Truly, His Majesty is a genius when it comes to offending others.
Lou Zigui knew that these relatives were blood-sucking types that were difficult to deal with so he said, “Your Majesty, how about adjourning the session?”
“Adjourning?” Ning Guangshun asked. “Will Xie Wenyuan’s matter be dropped just like that, leaving a light consequence for such a lofty issue?”
Ning Xiaoyao asked, “Then what do you want done?”
Ning Guangshun replied, “Is Your Majesty unclear on the crime for fabricating an Imperial Jade Seal?”
Ning Xiaoyao answered, “Grand Preceptor’s already explained himself.”
“But the Imperial Jade Seal was clearly in Your Majesty’s hands,” another relative piped up. The rest of the clansmen all nodded their heads in agreement. Their eyes were shining like freshly fallen snow. Ning Xiaoyao couldn’t hope to blindside them to pass their obstacle.
Ning Xiaoyao stopped speaking. Ning Guangshun laughed coldly and said, “Does Your Majesty still want to protect your maternal clan, even now?”
Ning Xiaoyao smacked her lips and pointed at the wide open doors leading out of the hall. “How’s this for an idea? Why don’t you take some people to the Grand Preceptor’s estate and kill him?”
Ning Guangshun choked at her words. What was he supposed to kill the Grand Preceptor with?
Ning Xiaoyao said, “This guy, who is he?” She glanced at Lou Zigui, waiting for him to make an introduction.
Lou Zigui said, “That one is Prince Fu.”
“Prince Fu,” Ning Xiaoyao said, “Zhen will give you an imperial decree right now. Take some men and go kill the Grand Preceptor, how’s that?”
Ning Guangshun wouldn’t accept that decree even if they beat him to death!
When Ning Xiaoyao saw that Prince Fu had chosen to stand there and remain silent, she chuckled. What’s the use of yelling at me? If he’s a real man, he should take care of it himself! Ning Guangshun’s fleshy face turned alternate shades of green and red from anger.
“You guys, ah,” Ning Xiaoyao said as she pointed at her imperial clansmen, “If any of you guys have a way to kill Grand Preceptor Xie, I’ll yield the Dragon Throne to him.” The clansmen looked at Ning Xiaoyao in surprise. She’d made her imperial position seem like something of such little consequence.
Ning Xiaoyao stood up while cradling the Imperial Jade Seal, shaking her head at them with a sigh. “How about you all go home.” These idiots were all talk and no action, she couldn’t count on them.
“Your Majesty,” Elder Li shouted.
Ning Xiaoyao was starting to lose her patience. She stopped and asked, “You want to kill the Grand Preceptor too?”
Elder Li was delighted to reply. “This old subject is useless and unable to put that Xie crook to death.”
“Then speak more politely,” Ning Xiaoyao said. “We still have to work together. If you curse the Grand Preceptor as ‘that Xie crook,’ wouldn’t he have to call you ‘that Li crook’ to make things even?”
“Your Majesty!” Elder Li’s pupils were displeased.
“Let’s all stop for a bit,” Ning Xiaoyao signaled Shadowgale to get the jade casket from the Dragon Throne as well, before telling the ministers, “What’s the use of just fighting each other?”
“Your Majesty, then the official salaries for this subject and others…”
“Supreme Commander, ah, let’s go,” Ning Xiaoyao hugged the Imperial Jade Seal and ran. Official salary, your sister!
His Majesty had fled like the wind, leaving Prince Xi unable to complete his sentence. He nearly choked himself to death. Just what kind of man is he? Was there ever an emperor like this?!
Rather than flee with Ning Xiaoyao, Lou Zigui stood standing in the hall with his hands clasped behind his back. His cold stare swept past all the imperial clansmen before he turned and strode away.
“Supreme Commander,” Ning Guangshun called after him, “Are you His Majesty’s lackey now?”
Lou Zigui paused in his steps, but didn’t turn around. Instead he said, “What’s wrong with being loyal and devoted to one’s sovereign?”
Ning Guangshun raised a hand to stop his fellow clansman from retorting. Lou Zigui had already chosen his branch, so it’d be useless to persuade him otherwise.
When Lou Zigui left the Hall of Golden Chimes, he was greeted by clear blue skies and the splendid, fiery colors of spring. Ning Xiaoyao had her back to the sun as she stood in a side corridor, leaping and jumping as she waved at him to hurry over. After Lou Zigui reached her, he raised a hand to touch her golden, sun-kissed forehead–but Ning Xiaoyao grabbed his hand instead.
“My God,” Ning Xiaoyao said as she fled down the steps with Lou Zigui in tow just like she was escaping from zombies, “Supreme Commander, didn’t you hear those princes asking me for money?” She chattered away as they ran. “How could I have any money? Let’s run away, quick.”
Lou Zigui didn’t even have a chance to speak up as Ning Xiaoyao dragged him along. The Dragon Guards chased behind them, but despite their extreme lightness techniques and speed, they could only watch as His Majesty disappeared from their sights with Lou Zigui. The Supreme Commander’s legs had almost left the ground entirely thanks to Ning Xiaoyao’s insane running speeds. ( o(╯□╰)o)
“This,” Shadowrain said, gaping, “Just who is His Majesty’s master?” He really could run!
Shadowgale fell silent for a while. Not being able to outrun Ning Xiaoyao had shaken him up quite a bit. If your master could run better than you, why would he need you to protect him?
“Supreme Commander’s injuries haven’t fully healed yet, so how can he even run like that?” In the end, this was all Shadowgale said. All of the Dragon Guards fell silent. Was Head Commander feeling distress for Supreme Commander’s sake, and thus blaming His Majesty for running too quickly? But somehow, that didn’t seem right?
“Hmph.” Inside the Hall of Golden Chimes, Ning Guangshun gave a cold snort at Elder Li before leaving the building with his fellow imperial clansmen. By the time Elder Li slowly shuffled out, everyone had left except for the guards in front of the hall.
“Teacher?” a pupil supported Elder Li by the arm as he prepared to head down the steps. Elder Li stood at the head of the stairs, looking towards the path leading to the imperial harem. The white feldspar road was devoid of all people and shone golden-yellow beneath the spring sunlight. Because the road lay on a slant and seemed to stretch on endlessly, it resembled a road to the Heavens that disappeared into the horizon.
“Teacher?” a few more pupils asked when they saw Elder Li stand there unmoving. It didn’t look like he was angry, though.
“His Majesty has the qualities of an enlightened sovereign,” Elder Li suddenly said softly as he stared at the golden path.
A few of the adults were stunned by his words. Elder Li pushed aside the pupil supporting him and walked haltingly down the steps. Outstanding rulers didn’t need to possess unmatched literary talents or learning to succeed. Neither did they have to be omniscient and omnipotent. If a sovereign was that powerful, why would he even need a court full of civil and military officials? In Elder Li’s mind, as long as one kept the plight of the people at heart and tolerated all sorts of things with a magnanimous attitude to find the best solution in adversity, he was an outstanding monarch. Ning Xiaoyao’s deeds and actions over the past few days had fulfilled all of these requirements.
“Teacher,” a few men chased after him.
“He knew of the Xie Clan’s wrongs, but was unable to pull up their towering tree by the roots,” Elder Li said quietly to them. “So His Majesty knew to retreat while he was still ahead. His Majesty sold off his property in the palace to aid the refugees because he wanted to take care of that matter.”
“Just by saving a few refugees?” one of the men asked quietly. “How will that solve the issue of their existence? His Majesty’s lone efforts are like trying to put out a blazing cart of wood with a cup of water–utterly inadequate.”
“At least His Majesty still thinks of the refugees,” Elder Li gave the man a look. A few others fell into silence. None of the three emperors preceding His Majesty’s rule had ever bothered with the refugees. Perhaps if they had, the refugees wouldn’t have numbered into the hundreds of thousands by now.
“This old man was disrespectful to His Majesty again and again,” Elder Li said. “But His Majesty hasn’t show this old man a fierce expression from beginning to end. His Majesty was only 14 years old last year, but his capacity for tolerating others is something this old man admires.” (Author: If I say that kid’s afraid of you, would you believe it, old gramps? o(╯□╰)o)
“It is as teacher says,” the men chorused. Ning Xiaoyao was far more different than the previous emperor, who didn’t bother with anything at all.
“His Majesty will definitely be an outstanding figure after more discipline,” Elder Li suddenly grew daring and energetic. What did a subject ask for? Simply the chance to meet an enlightened sovereign!
More discipline? The assembled ministers wanted to fall over at Elder Li’s words. Do you really think His Majesty doesn’t have a temper at all?!
The little gyrfalcon flew past Elder Li’s head. Of course Xiaoyao was going to be a big and mighty emperor! But this old guy still wanted to torment her? He followed Elder Li and his people as they left the palace gates until he saw the old man preparing to get on his sedan chair. At this moment, the little gyrfalcon forced out a stream of poop that plopped onto Elder Li’s official’s hat.
“…….” said everyone else.
“Awoo,” the little gyrfalcon flew past the palace walls and fled. Elder Li stared at his hand, which was now covered in bird poop after he’d felt his hat. He wasn’t as staunch as Grand Preceptor Xie, and extremely mysophobic besides. His hand shook, and he wanted to throw up, but after a few dry heaves he simply fainted away.
“Aiya, Elder Li!”
“Someone come, hurry–”
Chaos descended upon the scene before the imperial palace gates.
“Achoo!” Ning Xiaoyao gave a big sneeze while sitting inside the Supreme Splendor Hall. She rubbed her nose and told Lou Zigui, “If it’s not the Grand Preceptor saying bad things, it’s probably the empress dowager cursing me!”
Lou Zigui was currently seated to adjust his breathing. No matter how strong his martial arts were, he still couldn’t compared to the running speeds of a genetically evolved human. Ning Xiaoyao downed a cup of tea into her stomach before tossing the Imperial Jade Seal to Lou Zigui.
“Supreme Commander, do you think the Grand Preceptor and empress dowager will be docile now?” Lou Zigui placed the Imperial Jade Seal neatly to one side before shaking his head. Ning Xiaoyao poured a cup for him before she said, “Looks like the battles are still long from being over.”
Lou Zigui raised the teacup and wet his lips. “The royal court is just like a battleground. What you said isn’t wrong.”
“Really? There’s such a saying?” Ning Xiaoyao was wearing an expression that clearly said: I haven’t studied many books, so you don’t lie to me.
“……” said Supreme Commander Lou. Then why did you talk about battles in the first place?
“Forget it,” Ning Xiaoyao picked up the teapot and swallowed a few more mouthfuls before inspecting its celadon surface. “This teapot doesn’t look half bad. Is this worth any money?”
Lou Zigui felt himself in a difficult position. He’d never entered a pawnshop in his life.
“Ah peh,” Ning Xiaoyao spat before Lou Zigui had a chance to speak. “We can talk about this later. Tonight we’ll have dinner early before finishing up some big business.” Stealing grain was the more important, bigger deal!
“W…what big business?” Lou Zigui asked.
“Your Majesty!” Fang Tang suddenly ran in, yelling, “It’s not good! Windy’s gyrfalcon pooped on Elder Li’s head. Right now, Elder Li’s fainted away in front of the palace!”
“…….” said Ning Xiaoyao. Could she play around anymore at this rate?
- Hydrepigastrium (腹肌水) – fujishui, accumulation of water between the stomach muscles ↩