Chapter 93: Grand Preceptor Xie says, women Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Ning Xiaoyao carried née Qin in her arms and two big bedsheet bundles on her back, while Big Boss Black had a small bundle made from a handkerchief tied around his neck. Human and cat flipped over the courtyard walls as before and ran in the direction of Supreme Splendor Hall. Elder cousin magpie made sure they’d left before flying to the front gates. There, Ji Yuerong had already tied up her sleeves and was preparing to have the Dragon Guards fight. The magpie took that chance to open its mouth and sound out a series of trills.
When you see the magpie sing, scatter. That was the signal they’d agreed on during the meeting. Ji Yuerong raised her head to spot elder cousin magpie before telling the Dragon Guards behind her, “We’re leaving.”
“……..” said the guards of the Grand Preceptor’s estate, who were ready to fight for their lives. They were about to draw blood until this woman led the Dragon Guards away. Did she just come here to fool with us?
Grand Preceptor Xie had been sitting in the study the entire time. The empress had sent a decree for his three sons to enter the palace with their wives. Grand Preceptor Xie knew that Ning Xiaoyao had designs on the Jiangnan navy now, but with née Qin in his hands, he wasn’t worried about Qin Xuan betraying him. Now a steward had come to report that Ji Yuerong had left, making his heart seize up.
“She suddenly left?” Grand Preceptor Xie asked.
The steward thought it over before he replied, “To reply Grand Preceptor, there was a magpie who showed up and chirped a few times. After that, General Ji left with the Dragon Guards.”
Grand Preceptor Xie felt somewhat at a loss. A group of people had come to his house to shout and yell; that was called trying to attract attention. But what did it mean that a magpie suddenly showed up?
The steward continued, “This servant saw that magpie was one of the ones with a nest at the Grand Preceptor’s estate. Does it know to protect the Grand Preceptor’s estate, too?”
“You couldn’t be more stupid,” Grand Preceptor Xie never saw eye to eye with idiots. The steward didn’t dare to say another word. General Ji’s sudden departure bothered Grand Preceptor Xie. He turned the news over in his head a few times before he suddenly rose to his feet. “To née Qin’s quarters.”
The steward quickly moved to lead the way.
Née Qin’s courtyard was hushed, without a sound. When his steward opened the door to her rooms, Grand Preceptor Xie pushed him aside and strode in himself. By now, Lady Wang had arrived with a few stewards and female servants as well. She glanced at the servants outside née Qin’s door before stepping in herself. These were her daughter-in-law’s bedroom chambers. How could an old grandpa like the Grand Preceptor enter them so casually? If news of this got out, wouldn’t it incite gossip? It’s that née Qin again, Lady Wang thought hatefully. That woman’s simply a spirit sent to destroy our home. She makes the entire family restless!
“Grand Preceptor?” Lady Wang cried out, before lifting the curtains leading to the inner chambers. She was about to tell him how he could leave née Qin’s matters to her own female servants when the sight before her left her utterly speechless. There was a servant girl on the ground with her head badly bruised. All of the wardrobe drawers were open, with clothes and cloth strewed everywhere on the floor. Furniture and ornaments were overturned as well, as if somebody had a vicious argument in the room. Grand Preceptor Xie was standing in front of the bed, a hand clenched around a corner of the bed covers.
Lady Wang walked to the bed and wanted to scream, but muffled herself instead. The person lying on the bed had a bloody face and completely unrecognizable features. Judging by the figure, Lady Wang recognized her at a glance as her niece’s servant girl, Xiping!
Grand Preceptor Xie turned and stalked out of the room. Lady Wang quickly grabbed him and asked, “Where’s née Qin?”
Grand Preceptor’s complexion looked green. “His Majesty’s men took her away.”
Née Qin had been paralyzed and bedridden for years. She not only suffered from bedsores, she also had multiple festering areas on her body. Her breathing was labored as well, so a single unsteady step while walking was capable of taking her life. How could Ning Yu dare….
No, that’s not right. Grand Preceptor Xie shook his head. That girl doesn’t care about née Qin’s life at all. Even if née Qin dies, Qin Xuan will still be the commander of the Jiangnan navy!
“Someone, come,” Grand Preceptor Xie shouted at the doors. “Prepare a horse!” He had to go to the capital gates himself to stop Qin Xuan. Before Ning Yu got her hands on him, he had to bring him to the Grand Preceptor’s estate first!
Lady Wang was still holding onto Grand Preceptor Xie, her voice anxious. “Grand Preceptor, just what happened here?”
Grand Preceptor Xie looked at his wife. If my sons could have harmonious relationships with their wives, would I be in this situation now?
“Women,” Grand Preceptor Xie muttered between gritted teeth. He shook himself free of Lady Wang and strode out of the house. If his wife hadn’t insisted on letting young née Wang enter the household, maybe things wouldn’t have gotten to this point?
Lady Wang staggered back from the force of Grand Preceptor Xie’s snub until she toppled to the ground. It took her a long time to get to her feet. His Majesty’s men took née Qin away? When Lady Wang recalled her daughter-in-law’s wretched state, her vision turned black. If anyone saw née Qin and accused her Xie family of maltreating their daughter-in-law, how was she supposed to defend herself?!
“Xiaoyao,” Big Boss Black was currently perched on Ning Xiaoyao’s shoulders. “How is eldest young madame doing?”
“She’s fine,” Ning Xiaoyao replied. “Nothing will happen to her with me around.”
“Meow,” Big Boss Black mewed loudly as he licked Ning Xiaoyao’s face. It’s really great to have Xiaoyao around, he thought to himself.
Ning Xiaoyao was actually feeling pretty tired right now. Miss A’Xin wasn’t only suffering from serious bedsores, but pneumonia as well, a common ailment of bedridden patients. She had just about finished treating the bedsores, and all the places with rotting skin and exposed bones had been replaced with new flesh. But she currently lacked energy to treat Miss A’Xin’s pneumonia as well.
“Will she be able to walk again in the future?” Big Boss Black asked after some thought. “Would General Qin still want her if she can’t walk?”
“I don’t know, ah,” Ning Xiaoyao said doubtfully. “That’ll depend on whether she’s really Qin Xuan’s true love.”
“But she doesn’t even look pretty anymore,” Big Boss Black whispered.
How attractive could a seriously ill person look? Right now, née Qin’s figure was emaciated and withered. The skin on her face had just healed, but her complexion was still a sickly yellow. It was even hard to call her looks normal without exaggerating things, much less beautiful. Ning Xiaoyao didn’t say a word, but privately decided to raise this girl herself, if Qin Xuan wouldn’t take her.
At the same time, Lou Zigui had already spotted Qin Xuan in the distance by the southern city gates. The man had a troop of bodyguards with him, and everyone in the group looked dusty and travel-worn. Regional Commander Qin Xuan, head of the Jiangnan navy, gave a start at the sight of Lou Zigui before pulling on his reins to stop his horse. Lou Zigui rode his own horse to Qin Xuan and spoke quietly, “His Majesty summons you to the palace.”
Qin Xuan looked at Lou Zigui without saying a word. Shadowgale was on the horse behind Supreme Commander. When he saw that Qin Xuan didn’t budge, he wondered whether he should say His Majesty’s message verbatim.
Lou Zigui took this chance to tell Qin Xuan a second sentence. “His Majesty has already taken née Qin into the palace.”
Qin Xuan’s hands subconsciously tightened their grip on the reins, causing his battle horse to whinny in protest.
“Let’s go,” Lou Zigui turned his horse around to head towards the city. Qin Xuan didn’t immediately follow. With his back still to Qin Xuan, Lou Zigui remarked, “I see that the Grand Preceptor’s fourth son is waiting for you inside the gates. If Regional Commander doesn’t believe my words, you can go Grand Preceptor’s estate and see for yourself. Unfortunately, I fear that Regional Commander’s trip would be fraught with grim possibilities.”
If the Grand Preceptor didn’t have Qin Xin in his hands, what could he use to keep control over the Jiangnan navy? He could only kill Qin Xuan and replace him with someone else. Qin Xuan understood Lou Zigui’s words, but he still stood there unmoving.
Lou Zigui urged his horse into the city gates. A few Black Frost Cavalry generals spared a glance at Qin Xuan before following suit. Shadowgale was still in the same spot. He was about to quote Ning Xiaoyao’s words, ‘Do you still want Miss A’Xin to find happiness?’, when Regional Commander Qin kicked his horse and followed after Lou Zigui’s group. Shadowgale swallowed his words and looked unkindly at Qin Xuan. His Majesty’s summons didn’t even work on him. If it wasn’t for Qin Xin, that guy wouldn’t have entered the palace at all. As an emperor, His Majesty really is… For a second, Head Commander Shadowgale looked extremely worried.
Xie Anwu was waiting at the city gates. When he saw Qin Xuan riding in with Lou Zigui, his expression grew strained. Despite this, the fourth young master of the Xie Clan still walked in front of Lou Zigui and Qin Xuan.
“His Majesty summoned Regional Commander Qin into the palace,” Fang Tang spoke up. “What business do you have?”
Xie Anwu bowed towards Lou Zigui and Qin Xuan. “Father ordered me to invite the Regional Commander to the estate for a chat.”
Qin Xuan finally opened his mouth to speak. “You heard it too. His Majesty summoned me to the palace.”
“Then,” Xie Anwu lifted his head to peer at Lou Zigui. “Can this one meet with His Majesty as well?”
“You want to see His Majesty too?” Fang Tang sneered. “Don’t you know, your father…”
“Alright,” Lou Zigui cut off Fang Tang’s words. “I can bring you into the palace.”
“……….” said everyone else. Supreme Commander, since when did you get permission to bring people into the palace without consulting His Majesty?
“Many thanks to Supreme Commander,” Xie Anwu bowed towards him once again. The Dragon Guards all fixed their eyes on their head commander. Is this really alright?
Shadowgale wanted to speak up multiple times, but held himself back. If he offended Supreme Commander Lou now, wouldn’t that just cause more trouble to His Majesty?
“Fourth young master?” When the men from the Grand Preceptor’s estate saw Xie Anwu get on his horse to follow Lou Zigui, they were completely floored. Does fourth young master want Grand Preceptor to beat him to death?
With Lou Zigui’s horse leading the pack, Xie Anwu left without sparing any of the estate’s men a glance. They were forced to stand dumbly in the streets before someone finally realized that they should report what happened back to the Grand Preceptor. By now, Grand Preceptor Xie had already arrived on his own horse before the dozen or so men. His eyes swept over the crowd before he asked, “Where’s Xie Anwu?”
A steward that had accompanied Xie Anwu took a step forward and stammered, “Fourth young master, he….he left with Supreme Commander Lou.”
The corner of Grand Preceptor Xie’s eye twitched once. “And Qin Xuan?”
“H-he went with Supreme Commander Lou, too,” the steward said in a small voice.
Grand Preceptor Xie shut his eyes, the rage in his heart dashing to the skies. Still, he didn’t say another word. All of his men stood with their heads hung, afraid to make a peep. Grand Preceptor Xie was already making calculations in his head. If Qin Xin dies in Ning Yu’s hands, I can still pin her death on Ning Yu. However….
Grand Preceptor Xie turned his horse in the direction of his estate again. However, there’s still that medically-skilled expert by Ning Yu’s side. If they can preserve Qin Xin’s life, then it’ll all be useless. He had no other ideas beyond eliminating Qin Xuan himself.
“Go to the Nine Gate Infantry Commander’s estate,” Grand Preceptor Xie ordered one of his guards. “Tell Commander Tao to come to the Grand Preceptor’s estate.”