Chapter 94: His Majesty says, how much face do you have? Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Ning Xiaoyao carried Qin Xin all the way to Supreme Splendor Hall and placed her on the bed. She didn’t even have time to catch her breath before Ji Yuerong rushed into the room and cried out, “Big sister Qin!”
Ning Xiaoyao wiped the sweat off her forehead and said, “Your big sister Qin is sleeping.”
When Ji Yuerong saw Qin Xin’s emaciated form, her face filled with tears. Ning Xiaoyao quietly handed over a handkerchief.
“Xie Anyi.” Ji Yuerong clenched Ning Xiaoyao’s handkerchief in her hands, her teeth gnashing as she spat out the name. Ning Xiaoyao could hear her grinding her teeth, and couldn’t help but feel that Miss Ji would eat Xie Anyi alive if he was here now.
“I’m going to kill him!” Ji Yuerong spun on her heel to leave.
Ning Xiaoyao said, “If you kill him, the Grand Preceptor can kill your entire family. Do you believe me?”
Ji Yuerong’s steps faltered.
“Leave it to me instead,” Ning Xiaoyao beckoned Ji Yuerong back to the bed. “Miss A’Xin will wake up soon. Keep her company and chat with her. Don’t mention the past and make her sad though. The two of you should talk about the future instead.”
Ji Yuerong wiped away her tears. “What kind of future can she have at this rate?”
“Listen to what you’re saying,” Ning Xiaoyao said. “If she’s sick, she just needs to see a doctor and eat some medicine. How could Miss A’Xin not have a future? Ask her how she feels about Qin Xuan while I probe that guy on my end.”
“Do everything according to the plan,” Ning Xiaoyao didn’t let Ji Yuerong finish. Her expression was stern. “We already went over everything at yesterday’s meeting. Since the person’s already been rescued, you can’t say you want to back out now.”
“I’m sad,” Ji Yuerong said.
“I’m sad too,” Ning Xiaoyao replied, “But haven’t we gotten past the worst of it? Let’s look ahead, alright? That there, nanny, ah. Come in for a bit.”
Mute Nanny entered the room.
“Help Miss Ji change Miss A’Xin’s clothes,” Ning Xiaoyao told Mute Nanny. “And check the state of her body, too. I’ll have Imperial Physician Gao stop by later.”
Mute Nanny bowed towards Ning Xiaoyao, who spared another glance for Qin Xin on the bed before leaving the room with her hands clasped behind her back. While treating the woman’s injuries, she’d discovered that Qin Xin was still a virgin. After understanding a bit about the people of this world, Ning Xiaoyao felt that the discovery was good news for Qin Xin and Qin Xuan. But that wasn’t something for her to share. After all, she was supposed to be a man. In the end, Ning Xiaoyao had decided to hand off the task to Mute Nanny.
Outside the rooms, Ning Xiaoyao patted Big Boss Black, who was nestled around her shoulders, and said, “Stay here and keep watch. If anything happens, have one of your pals find me.”
Big Boss Black grew nervous. “What could happen?”
Ning Xiaoyao lowered her voice. “Are you a fool? Mute Nanny’s one of the empress dowager’s people. She might not betray me, but that doesn’t mean she won’t betray Miss A’Xin. It’s uncertain whether she can stand up to the empress dowager’s pressure!”
Big Boss Black swished his tail. “Then why didn’t you find another mama instead?”
“Dangit,” Ning Xiaoyao said, “Which mama can I trust in this palace?”
Big Boss Black sighed. That’s right, any of the people in the palace could be spies for the empress dowager.
“Go on already,” Ning Xiaoyao patted Big Boss Black’s head again. A cat copying a human and sighing, that’s seriously too much. Big Boss Black meowed a few times before jumping off her shoulders and running back into the room.
“Your Majesty,” one of Empress Zhou’s servants ran over at that moment to kneel at her feet, panting. “Esteemed Empress Dowager sent two mama to find Empress Zhou and summon her to the empress dowager’s palace.”
Ning Xiaoyao said, “Why does she want her at the empress dowager’s palace?”
The servant said, “Esteemed Empress Dowager said that the late emperor only died recently, yet the Esteemed Empress still invited the various subjects and their first wives into the palace for a feast. It’s, it’s disrespectful.”
What the heck.
Ning Xiaoyao swore silently. “Lead the way, I’ll deal with those two mama.”
Her words were too roguish, causing the servant to give a start.
“Anything else?” Ning Xiaoyao asked. The servant got to his feet and lead Ning Xiaoyao away. Shadowbolt had been standing outside the courtyard, so when he saw Ning Xiaoyao pass by, he was quick to follow with his troop of Dragon Guards.
The empress’s palace was rather far from Supreme Splendor Hall. By the time Ning Xiaoyao got there, the entire place was surrounded by the empress dowager’s eunuchs. They were probably planning to take the empress to the empress dowager’s palace by force if she refused. All of them wore expressions of dread at the appearance of Ning Xiaoyao. Apparently, their master was someone who could skin a man alive. Would they be the next to die by his hands?
Ignoring the kneeling eunuchs, Ning Xiaoyao stepped over the threshold and entered the empress’s palace, causing a wave of people to fall to their knees inside the courtyard. They were all the wives of the subjects who had accepted the invitation into the palace. Each of them were proper ladies who had honorary titles conferred to them by imperial mandate. These women were quite startled to see Ning Xiaoyao here, because custom dictated that His Majesty shouldn’t be seeing the empress at a time like this. Men and women had to keep their distance, and His Majesty was supposed to avoid doing anything suspicious to his subjects’ wives. All of the females knelt with their heads bowed, afraid that the emperor might glimpse their faces.
Ning Xiaoyao waved a hand and said, “You can all get up. Where’s the empress?”
The servant pointed at a pair of mama kneeling at the foot of the steps to the building and murmured, “Your Majesty, those are the two mama from the empress dowager’s palace. Esteemed Empress refused to see them, so they stood there and started rebuking her outright.”
Ning Xiaoyao sought out the mama as she asked doubtfully, “They had the gall?” Besides the empress–rather, besides the empress dowager, the empress should be the second strongest female in the palace, right? How could these two mama curse her in public? Were they sick of living?
“They were scolding her on behalf of Esteemed Empress Dowager,” the servant said with an aggrieved expression.
Behind Ning Xiaoyao, the titled ladies had all risen to their feet. Still, they kept their heads bowed. Some of the younger ones even half raised their sleeves to obscure their faces. Ning Xiaoyao felt stifled at the sight. Even if she was a man, would these women die just from a glance? (Author: Hey hey, don’t make wild guesses if you don’t know what’s going on!)
The two mama felt fear in their hearts at the sight of Ning Xiaoyao, but secretly considered that His Majesty had to leave Esteemed Empress Dowager some face in the presence of all these other noble ladies. Currently, they were still rather calm. When Ning Xiaoyao approached, the two mama pressed their foreheads to the ground in kowtow. Ning Xiaoyao saw at a glance that they were both middle-aged woman, so even though she lifted her foot, she couldn’t move to kick them for real.
“Your servant greets Your Majesty,” the two mama chorused.
Ning Xiaoyao shifted to the side to avoid their bow. “Rise.”
The two mama stood up.
“Go back to the empress dowager’s palace.” Since Ning Xiaoyao had decided not to get physical, she kept her attitude amiable. The two mama exchanged glances. As expected, His Majesty couldn’t be as outrageous as usual in the presence of these noble ladies and disrespect Esteemed Empress Dowager.
“Your Majesty,” a mama spoke up. “Esteemed Empress Dowager summoned Esteemed Empress to her palace.”
Ning Xiaoyao felt it was rather strange. The eunuchs at the gates had been terrified of her, but why did these two mama still have the guts to keep on talking? Do they know martial arts like Mute Nanny does, or something? But that can’t be right. Even if they do, it’s not like they could beat me in a fight. (Author: I’ve already said it, don’t make wild guesses!)
Ning Xiaoyao didn’t speak, which only bolstered the spirits of the two mama. The other mama added, “Your Majesty, Esteemed Empress Dowager said that the late emperor’s recent–”
“I told you two already, go back,” Ning Xiaoyao grabbed the robes of the talking mama. There was only one rule for survival in the apocalypse, and that was to make your move first when you saw a zombie. Didn’t the same logic apply to enemies as well? Ning Xiaoyao made the first move to gain an advantage.
The first mama was dragged forward by Ning Xiaoyao before she got punched in the face. Without a word, she lost consciousness, her nose completely broken as blood streamed from her nostrils.
Ning Xiaoyao realized her mistake as soon as she finished her punch. This woman wasn’t some martial arts expert at all. She turned to the mama on her left and wondered, could she be the expert instead?
Under her stare, the mama backed up a few steps before collapsing at Ning Xiaoyao’s feet. Ning Xiaoyao’s grip relaxed as she tossed the unconscious mama in her hands to the ground. There wasn’t a single peep in the courtyard. The entire atmosphere felt repressive. By the time Empress Zhou emerged from the other end of her wing, it was to head straight for Ning Xiaoyao.
“No need to pay respects,” Ning Xiaoyao seized the chance to speak up first.
Empress Zhou looked at the two mama on the ground and felt much better, but kept her voice low as always. “Your Majesty, these are Imperial Mother’s people.”
“Just because they’re the empress dowager’s people, they can run over and make a scene at your expense?” Ning Xiaoyao curled her lips in contempt. “How much do they think they’re worth? Aren’t they just some mama?”
Empress Zhou looked at the various titled ladies in the courtyard and hastened to remind her, “Your Majesty, there are outsiders present now.” In front of outsiders, you have to act filial, even if it’s just for show!
Ning Xiaoyao shrugged her shoulders and told the mama on the ground, “I told you to go, but you brought up the empress dowager instead. What for? Are you saying that the empress dowager’s words are more useful than mine here?”
The mama quickly shook her head. “This servant doesn’t dare. Your Majesty, this servant doesn’t dare, ah.”
“If you didn’t dare, why did you bring up the empress dowager in the first place?” Ning Xiaoyao jabbed a finger at the front gates. “Take your pal with you and get lost.”
The mama didn’t understand what a “pal” was, but she instinctively grabbed her unconscious partner and picked her up.
“Oh, that’s right. Apologize to the empress first,” Ning Xiaoyao suddenly remembered. “You stood in her courtyard and cursed her on behalf of the empress dowager? Is there a hole in your brain? Who gave you the right? Dammit, do you think we’re Hello Kitties just because the empress and I don’t throw our weight around?”
“……….” said the people in the courtyard. Why couldn’t they understand a word out of His Majesty’s mouth? What kitty?
On the wall, Grandpa Ash was speaking to Grandfather Sparrow. “You have to tell Xiaoyao to use Zhen in the future. That way, she’ll still preserve the aura of an emperor even if no one knows what she’s talking about.”
Grandfather Sparrow nodded his head, deeply in agreement.
Grandpa Ash added, “Did His Majesty raise another cat? Surnamed Hell, given name Low?”
Grandfather Sparrow was ignorant. If she raises another one, won’t Big Boss Black go crazy from jealousy?
“This servant deserves death,” the mama from the empress dowager’s palace kowtowed to Empress Zhou, who suddenly felt that it was worth being cursed at while cooped up inside!
Ning Xiaoyao raised a hand to call for Shadowbolt and instructed, “Take some men and stop up the empress dowager’s gates, too.”
Shadowbolt couldn’t ask too many questions now, so he simply muttered an assent before scurrying off.
“Go back,” Empress Zhou told the mama. “I shall visit the empress dowager’s palace another day to pay respects to Imperial Mother and explain myself.”
“Hurry up and disappear,” Ning Xiaoyao was a perfect match as the “husband” to “his” wife. “You think you’re all that just because you serve Esteemed Empress Dowager? Well, I’m the one she gave birth to!”
“……….” said everyone else. Why are you competing against a servant over something like that?