Chapter 68: Prince Fu wants to kill the emperor Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Ning Xiaoyao’s sudden appearance made it impossible for Prince Fu to react or bring up the issue of official salaries. A reasonable man feared meeting a rascal the most, but here was one for him now.
Grand Preceptor Xie said, “If Your Majesty is like this, what about the prestige of the imperial clan?” Translated into regular speech, it meant, don’t you have any shame?
Ning Xiaoyao glanced at the tea table on the side, which held a spread of snacks and drinks for Prince Fu. She picked one up for a taste and almost died from the sweetness! When she glanced at Prince Fu’s giant belly again, Ning Xiaoyao figured she’d found the reason why he was so chubby. Prince Fu felt like leaping up at Ning Xiaoyao’s stare. He swore that he’d go head to head with his life against the emperor if the latter brought up his physique again!
Ning Xiaoyao munched on two sickeningly sweet pastries as she spoke. “Prince, Zhen feels that…”
“There’s no need for Your Majesty to worry about this subject’s figure,” Prince Fu nipped the topic in the bud.
Isn’t it a good thing to have a normal figure? Ning Xiaoyao didn’t understand Prince Fu’s thoughts as she quietly picked up another pastry. Grand Preceptor Xie couldn’t stand such shamelessness and spoke up again.
“Your Majesty, even Your Majesty cannot defy the matters of the forefathers.”
Ning Xiaoyao finally looked at Grand Preceptor Xie and chuckled a few times as she tugged on her collar. This man is discussing forefathers with me? Isn’t that a joke? If they really went by the forefathers, could I be emperor now? Grand Preceptor Xie understood Ning Xiaoyao’s movements. She was reminding him of her female identity again, making it impossible for him to speak up anymore than he had already.
The tubby flesh on Prince Fu’s face trembled as he forced a smile. “Your Majesty jests. Anyone can be penniless in this world, but Your Majesty holds the wealth of the entire country. How could you have no money?”
Ning Xiaoyao thought it over as she started digging into her pockets; first the left side, then then the right side. Prince Fu watched Ning Xiaoyao busy herself and secretly swore that he’d risk his life to finish this idiot off if he gave him a few copper coins to dismiss him!
Ning Xiaoyao dug around in her pockets but found nothing. She told Prince Fu to wait a bit longer before she started searching around her waist. By now, Lou Zigui had stopped on his horse before the Grand Preceptor’s gates. He took large strides to inside the grounds, while Elder Li and his men were closing in on the Grand Preceptor’s courtyard outside his study. Meanwhile, the officials from the Grand Preceptor’s faction were already exchanging glances with a few of the Ning clansmen at the entrance to the same courtyard as they stared at the men sprawled on the ground. All of the fallen had been knocked down by Shadowgale and the rest. The victims consisted of the Grand Preceptor’s guards and servants as well as Prince Fu’s personal bodyguards. The gathered men lifted their heads to peek at the full moon gate leading into the courtyard, wondering whether the Grand Preceptor and Prince Fu were still alive at this moment.
Inside the Grand Preceptor’s study, Ning Xiaoyao finally found what she was looking for. She took out a dagger from her belt and slapped it into Prince Fu’s palm. “If you want money, I have none. But if you want lives, then I have one1. How’s this? If you really want money, you might as well kill me with this knife.”
Prince Fu held the dagger, his entire body trembling. Wasn’t His Majesty just being a blackguard? Since when were debtors even bolder than their creditors in this time and age?!
Ning Xiaoyao patted her small chest and said, “Either you give up about the money, or you use that knife on me. If you’re a man, then cut to the chase.”
Prince Fu was so angry that he couldn’t utter a sound. He was a prince of the first rank, one of the most favorite sons of his imperial father. Nobody had ever dared to fool around with him!
Ning Xiaoyao saw that Prince Fu wasn’t talking and released a breath. She turned to Grand Preceptor Xie and said, “You’ll be the witness. The prince doesn’t want money anymore, but I wasn’t the one who forced him to decide.”
Grand Preceptor Xie couldn’t speak either. This was the first time he’d ever seen someone like Ning Xiaoyao, who took it upon herself to decide all matters. When had Prince Fu ever said he didn’t want his official salary?
“I never said so!” Prince Fu immediately denied the claims.
Ning Xiaoyao’s expression turned pained again. She stood up and faced Prince Fu while patting her chest. “Then go ahead and stab me.”
“Your Majesty, you can’t act like this,” Prince Fu was furious. The emperor was pressuring him with his life. Did His Majesty really think he wouldn’t dare to stab him? (Author: Do you dare, then?)
“Xiaoyao, be careful!” Outside the windows, Wifey and Husband Magpies both cried out.
“Money is merely worldly possessions,” Grandfather Sparrow flapped his wings desperately as he stood on the window ledge. “You can’t throw away your life because of money, ah! Cheep, cheepcheepcheep, cheep!”
Grand Preceptor Xie felt that something was off about this scene in his study.
Ning Xiaoyao still stood absolutely straight. As long as it wasn’t a zombie who bit her, she’d be fine no matter how many times she was stabbed! After mentally giving herself a ‘Like,’ Ning Xiaoyao urged, “If you’re a man, then be more decisive. Or are you so fat that you’ve forgotten that you’re a man in the first place?”
Were these human words?!
Prince Fu raised the dagger in his hand. The bullying had gone too far!
Big Boss Black had been helping Shadowgale and the rest fight off the guards, but he took this moment to leap onto the window ledge. The first thing he saw was that Fatty Fu brandishing a dagger at his ninny, who was just standing there like a fool instead of running away.
“Miaow!” Big Boss Black meowed shrilly as he dashed down the window and leaped in front of Prince Fu. A few jumps later and he was baring his claws at Prince Fu’s chubby face. Prince Fu could forget about His Majesty bullying him, but now a cat was joining in the bullying as well? After the claws left five bloody gashes on Prince Fu’s face, he finally lost it. Holding the dagger, the prince went to slash Big Boss Black.
“Stop it!” Ning Xiaoyao cried out. She couldn’t bear to watch Big Boss Black get hurt. Even though she wouldn’t die from a stab wound, could the same be said about the cat?
“Prince, stop it!” Grand Preceptor Xie shouted as well. Ning Xiaoyao had yet to come of age, so he couldn’t watch Prince Fu simply kill her off. Big Boss Black jumped on top of Prince Fu’s head and started meowing as he aimed his claws at the skull beneath him. Prince Fu raised the dagger to hack at the cat on his head. Ning Xiaoyao jumped up and hauled aside his dagger-wielding hand. Prince Fu tried to struggle free, but he couldn’t overpower Ning Xiaoyao’s strength. In the middle of their tug-of-war, the dagger in his hand gradually drew closer to Ning Xiaoyao’s chest.
Grand Preceptor Xie stood up, forgetting to even put shoes over his stockings. “Prince, you cannot be rash!”
When Lou Zigui finally kicked open the study door, this was the scene he revealed to everyone outside. There was a moment of silence. Ning Xiaoyao was practically hanging off Prince Fu’s arm, a glinting dagger pointed at her chest. When she saw the crowd outside, she couldn’t help but wonder where they’d all showed up from. Were they all here to call on the sick Grand Preceptor, or to get rumors on when he’d die instead? (Author: Can’t you think of something useful for once?)
Prince Fu suddenly had a bad premonition of things to come.
“Your Majesty!” Lou Zigui shouted.
“Ah?” Ning Xiaoyao turned towards Supreme Commander Lou, the motion dragging her chest against the edge of the dagger.
“Don’t move!” Lou Zigui’s heart grew faint before he rushed forward, formed a fist, and punched the dazed Prince Fu half into the air. Big Boss Black flew into the air with him, leaving five more bloody gashes on the prince’s head. The nearly 200 pound bulk of Prince Fu fell heavily to the ground, shaking the floor around them.
“Are you alright?” Lou Zigui didn’t bother with the results of his punch as he examined Ning Xiaoyao from head to toe.
Ning Xiaoyao looked at the unmoving form of Prince Fu on the floor and said somewhat ignorantly, “I’m fine. I think Prince Fu’s the one who’s in trouble.”
Supreme Commander Lou turned to look at Shadowgale and the rest. “Prince Fu attempted to stab His Majesty. Why haven’t you all taken him into custody yet?!”
Shadowgale and the rest all rushed forward to surround Prince Fu, whose head and face were soaked in blood. He even suspected that his back might’ve been broken. Shadowgale wasn’t polite at all as he rested the edge of his saber against the prince’s throat. The cold metal chilled Prince Fu to his very soul as he finally recovered his senses. Stab His Majesty? Could he afford to shoulder such an accusation?
“This prince didn’t, this prince was…”
“Shut his mouth!” Elder Li squeezed into the study then, his tone fierce. Shadowgale gritted his teeth. Prince Fu had competed with the late emperor for the throne, but now he even wanted to kill their little emperor as well? Unforgivable.
“Beat them” Head Commander Shadowgale ordered.
And thus, Prince Fu and all of his bodyguards were brutally walloped by His Majesty’s Dragon Guards. Ning Xiaoyao cradled Big Boss Black, who had ran back into her arms. Both girl and cat were a little at a loss. How did this prince suddenly get accusing of killing her? Elder Li looked towards the other vassal lords, whose expressions were all ghastly.
“Prince Fu attempted to stab His Majesty before these fellow princes all showed up at the Grand Preceptor’s estate. What are your intentions?”
This old fart!
The vassal lords would rather stomp Elder Li to death this instant. He made them sound like they were Prince Fu’s cohorts, all conspiring to kill their monarch. How could any of them afford to bear the burden of such a crime?
“Didn’t Elder Li come as well?” Prince Xi, Ning Guangzong,2 spoke up to rebut him.
Elder Li’s tone was stern with a sense of justice. “This official was worried that Prince Fu would harm His Majesty, and so hastened here with a purpose to protect him.”
Prince Fu spat up blood. Li Wuqi,3 you old bastard, ah!
Lou Zigui next spoke coldly to the vassal lords. “Did the vassal lords come with the same intentions as Elder Li, to protect His Majesty?”
The vassal lords were rendered speechless by Supreme Commander Lou’s words. If they said yes, then they’d be forcing Prince Fu on the road to death. If they said no, then they’d become Prince Fu’s accomplices in wanting to stab the emperor. What now?
“Supreme Commander,” Fang Tang’s voice called from outside just then. “Our men are leading a thousand imperial guards here as protection.”
1,000 imperial guards. The various vassal lords exchanged glances with each other. Their personal bodyguards only added up to 300 total men, but they’d brought less than 100 of them to the Grand Preceptor’s estate. If His Majesty was going to give them the death sentence, then they couldn’t fight back or escape, right?
“Go and search,” Lou Zigui ordered Fang Tang. “See if there are other cohorts of Prince Fu in the Grand Preceptor’s estate.”
“Yes!” Fang Tang answered loudly.
The Grand Preceptor’s men wanted to cry. Another search? Prince Fu was now exerting all his strength to half lift his body beneath the Dragon Guard’s beating. “Your Majesty, ah!” If you’re a real man, then say some words on my behalf!
“Mm?” Ning Xiaoyao blinked at Prince Fu as she held Big Boss Black.
“Meow?” Big Boss Black clutched at Ning Xiaoyao’s sleeves with his paws, also blinking at Prince Fu. Both girl and cat were equally clueless. Prince Fu spat out a mouthful of blood. Why are you two acting innocent now? Bring back your attitude before, when you were offering your life for money, and when he was scratching my face full of blood!
Grand Preceptor Xie coldly regarded everything from the side. Prince Fu had fallen into Ning Yu, Lou Zigui, and Li Wuqi’s trap. Otherwise, why would Lou Zigui and Li Wuqi show up just as Ning Xiaoyao stuffed a dagger into Prince Fu’s hands? (Author: This really was a coincidence. Do you believe me, Your Excellency Grand Preceptor? ╮(╯﹏╰）╭)
- If you want money…if you want lives… (要钱没有要命一条) – yaoqian meiyou yaoming yitiao, a saying that harkens to the past, where debts could be paid with lives in place of money. ↩
- Prince Xi, Ning Guangzong (禧王，宁光宗) – Guang means “light,” Zong means “ancestor, clan, model/great master.” Xi means “auspiciousness, happiness, jubilation.” ↩
- Li Wuqi (李物启) – Li is a surname that also means “plum,” Wu means “thing, matter, the outside world as distinct from oneself,” and Qi is “enlighten, awaken, open.” ↩