Chapter 99: His Majesty said, I had dream Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
After Xie Anyi and née Wang were taken away by the Dragon Guards, Ning Xiaoyao told Third Young Master Xie, “Take your second brother and get out of my sight. Immediately, this instant, as soon as possible.”
“Your Majesty,” Elder Li said before the third young master could reply.
“Old gramps, you still have business?” Ning Xiaoyao asked.
Elder Li said, “This subject wishes to ask Your Majesty, what are your plans for née Qin?” The whole fuss had been about that woman in the first place. Ning Xiaoyao couldn’t just chase the Xie Clan out of the palace and then resolve Qin Xin’s problems, right?
Ning Xiaoyao smacked her forehead. “Oh, that’s right. Those two bastards from the Xie Clan angered my brains silly.”
Everyone could only silently chuckle at the statement. Your Majesty, you’ve forced Xie Anyi and his wife onto a path of no return, and you still call your brains silly?
“Zhen will be the judge,” Ning Xiaoyao was about to determine the happiness of Miss A’Xin for the rest of her life, so she reverted to using ‘Zhen’ again. “Née Qin divorces Xie Anyi and marries…” Ning Xiaoyao paused. Could she just say ‘marry?’ Just then, Elder Li had blabbed something about the six rites of marriage. The heck was that? Although she didn’t understand it, it sounded pretty awesome.
When Supreme Commander Lou saw that Ning Xiaoyao had stuttered again, he stepped out and said quietly, “Née Qin will be given in marriage to Qin Xuan on account of his meritorious service. May the two of them ever hold the tray level with the brow1 and be together for a hundred years.”
Ning Xiaoyao felt stifled, though she didn’t blame Supreme Commander Lou for teaching her what to say. All she knew was ‘marry,’ but look at His Excellency Supreme Commander. There were on completely different levels when it came to the style and quality of prose!
“Say it, ah,” Lou Zigui urged.
“Cough, cough,” Ning Xiaoyao cleared her throat and recited, “Zhen gives née Qin in marriage to Qin Xuan on account of his meritorious service. May the two of them ever hold the tray level with the brow and be together for a hundred years.” What the heck is ‘hold the tray level with the brow?’ Is the husband supposed to hold his tray up to his eyebrows everyday so the wife can see? Married couples sure have weird interests in this world. (Author: Why do you keep making wild guesses?)
Lou Zigui looked towards the gardens beyond the veranda, where Qin Xuan was currently standing, and spoke up. “Regional Commander Qin, why haven’t you accepted the decree and thanked His Majesty yet?”
Qin Xuan’s throat was choked with sobs. He knelt on the ground and shouted three times to Ning Xiaoyao, “Your subject Qin Xuan accepts the decree and expresses gratitude for the favor!”
Everyone was startled by Regional Commander Qin’s sudden outburst. When did he show up? Then they all exchanged glances with each other. Wait, doesn’t something feel off somewhere?
Elder Li prepared to speak up again, but Ning Xiaoyao had been keeping her eye on him. As soon as he opened his mouth, she cried, “Please, just let it go!”
“………” said Elder Li.
“Qin Xuan is the foster son of the Qin Clan.” Even if Elder Li didn’t speak, others would still talk. While Ning Xiaoyao was shutting up Elder Li, an official of the Ministry of Rites had already spoken.
Immediately, everyone realized what was the matter. No wonder the whole thing felt odd. Née Qin and Qin Xuan were technically siblings, so how could they marry each other?
“No one talk,” Ning Xiaoyao shouted before any further objections could be raised. “I have a bad temper. If you don’t want to get beat up, then keep quiet.”
Qin Xuan remained kneeling, his robes buffeted by the occasional breeze that swept past the flower gardens. His imposing form seemed unmoving in the face of such winds, but Shadowgale and his crew could tell that there was blood seeping from between Qin Xuan’s fingers. His nails had probably stabbed through the skin of his palms.
“The Qin Clan didn’t give birth to him,” Ning Xiaoyao said from the veranda.
“A foster son is still a son. They’re sister and brother.” There was still at least one official who wasn’t afraid of being beaten, and thus he spoke up.
Ning Xiaoyao took a deep breath. This debacle was forcing her to take drastic measures. She wiped her face and imagined that a zombie had already bitten her. Everyone watched as their emperor suddenly turned expressionless. Is he planning to make another ruckus again? The various officials mused to themselves.
Ning Xiaoyao said, “Have none of you ever wondered how I knew about Miss Qin’s plight in the first place?”
“……….” said everyone else. Because you wanted to face off against Grand Preceptor Xie?
“It’s because I had a dream the day before yesterday,” Ning Xiaoyao said sternly. “In the dream, my imperial father and old General Qin told me to take care of Miss Qin’s affairs. Otherwise, they’d visit my dreams every single night to chat about life.”
“……….” said everyone else. They had no way to counter those words!
“Old General Qin said he regretted it. He’d thought it through. Why raise Qin Xuan in the first place? Simply so he could be his son-in-law after he grew up. That’s what we call keeping the fertile water in our own fields. Good men should be kept for one’s own daughters to marry. Thus, old General Qin doesn’t want a foster son like Qin Xuan anymore. He wants to have Qin Xuan as a son-in-law!” Ning Xiaoyao continued narrating her dream.
Everyone was still speechless. ‘Keep the fertile water in your own fields’ sounded good, but what in hell was ‘good men should be kept for one’s own daughters?’
“That’s the gist of it. Does anyone have anything else to say?” Ning Xiaoyao asked the various officials.
One official asked, “This subject wishes to ask Your Majesty, did the late emperor show up in the dream for née Qin’s sake too?”
“That’s right,” Ning Xiaoyao replied. “Otherwise, what would he find me for?”
“……….” said everyone else. For the sake of née Qin, even the late emperor gave it his all?
“If my imperial father hadn’t told me how Grand Preceptor Xie tricked him, how would I know that Xie Anyi was a jerk?” Ning Xiaoyao said reasonably.
Lou Zigui spoke up next. “I expect that the late emperor was reflecting on his experiences in the human world and saw née Qin’s suffering.”
“Urk, that’s right. That’s exactly how it was,” Ning Xiaoyao added.
Everyone was still at a loss for words. That Cuckoo Lou had even said the late emperor was reflecting on his life in the human world. What else could they say in return?
Prince Zhi stepped forward and proclaimed, “Xie Wenyuan deceived the sovereign. For this, he deserves to be put to death!”
Lou Zigui coughed slightly and murmured to Ning Xiaoyao, “We can’t kill Xie Wenyuan yet.”
Ning Xiaoyao glared at Supreme Commander Lou. So what then? Am I supposed to say more nonsense to make up for Prince Zhi’s words?
Prince Zhi kneeled on the ground and cried, “Your Majesty, this subject asks that Xie Wenyuan be labeled with the crime of deceiving the sovereign!”
Various vassal lords followed his example to call for an imperial decree.
Xie Wenyuan deserves to die, but Ning Yu, you’re no better for playacting with him. The vassal lords didn’t want easy lives for either Grand Preceptor Xie or Ning Xiaoyao.
Ning Xiaoyao glared at Supreme Commander Lou again. So this is the result of your tea date with the imperial clansmen?
Lou Zigui looked at the kneeling Prince Zhi and smiled, before whispering to Ning Xiaoyao, “Keep talking about your dream.”
Ning Xiaoyao wanted to roll up her sleeves and beat up Supreme Commander Lou as well. So annoying!
“Your Majesty!” the vassal lords chorused.
“That there,” Ning Xiaoyao said, “My imperial father told me already, Grand Preceptor Xie was doing this all for his son’s sake. My imperial father’s raised sons as well, so he understands Grand Preceptor Xie’s intentions. He’s already forgiven Grand Preceptor Xie.”
“……….” went the vassal lords.
“………” went the various officials and officials’ wives.
Have you no shame?
Ning Xiaoyao rubbed her face. She could feel it stinging from shame, too.
“Your Majesty,” Prince Zhi was someone who sought revenge just for a wrong look. He wouldn’t give up on Ning Xiaoyao and Grand Preceptor Xie so easily. “Your Majesty was just saying how the Xie Clan asked for née Qin’s hand in marriage for the sake of the Jiangnan navy.”
Ning Xiaoyao feigned ignorance as she spread out her arms. “Is that so? When did I ever say that? How come I don’t remember it anymore? Supreme Commander, did I ever say that?”
Supreme Commander Lou shook his head decisively. “You never did.”
“Prince, your side courtyard’s been burnt down and you’ve even lost half your teeth from an assassin. Maybe you’re too sad? All that depression just piled up until you started hearing things in place of your missing teeth?” Ning Xiaoyao asked Prince Zhi.
Prince Zhi only wanted to jump up and fight 300 rounds with that bastard!
Some other officials wanted to speak up as well, but Elder Li snorted softly to hint at his disciples to withdraw.
Ning Xiaoyao witnessed the motion and could only admire him enviously. When will I ever be as dignified as Elder Li? What kind of world was this, where an emperor couldn’t compare to an old official?
“Your Majesty,” Lou Zigui lightly patted Ning Xiaoyao’s hand with his own. What is she spacing out about now?
Ning Xiaoyao had already flown to the Heavens in her daydreams when Lou Zigui brought her back to Earth. She had the vassal lords rise while she walked to the flower gardens until she was standing right in front of Qin Xuan. When she was about to help him up, Supreme Commander Lou stepped forward from behind her and did it in her place.
Ning Xiaoyao could only withdraw her hand and say, “From now on, spend your days together with Miss Qin.”
Qin Xuan nodded his head solemnly. “This subject accepts the decree.”
“It was my imperial father who was deceived in the past,” Ning Xiaoyao took a step back before bowing seriously at Qin Xuan. “You and Miss Qin have suffered these years. I’m sorry. My imperial father and I apologize.”
Her apology plunged the entire veranda and flower gardens into silence once more. Qin Xuan stood there stupidly before he slowly sank to kneel in front of Ning Xiaoyao again. His forehead pressed against the ground as he said, “This subject is only a simple soldier who cannot repay Your Majesty’s great kindness. This subject is willing to guard the peace of the southern seas for Your Majesty’s sake without shrinking from sacrifice!”
Beneath his forehead, the soil that had buried too many fallen petals made his skin damp. The dirt smelled faintly of flowers as Qin Xuan shut his eyes. Still, tears crept past his eyes to sink into the earth below. Perhaps this was what it felt like feel sweet happiness after bitter pain.
Elder Li slowly nodded his head. His Majesty might have a strange way of speaking and act too impulsively, but he knew how to win people’s hearts. For the sake of that talent alone, people could ignore all of the little emperor’s other shortcomings. The emperor was someone who sat in the Hall of Golden Chimes deep within the palace itself. How could he be capable of guarding the full extent of his kingdom? Using men well and winning their hearts, these were the more important skills for a sovereign to have. At that moment, Elder Li firmly believed that Ning Xiaoyao would become a brilliant ruler in the future.
Ning Xiaoyao had no idea that Elder Li was secretly praising her right now. She only looked on in confusion at Qin Xuan, who was still kneeling. He seemed to be crying. It was obviously that stupid former emperor who’d made the big mistake. She was just fixing his blunder for him because it was something that she should do. Why is Qin Xuan thanking me for that?
When Lou Zigui saw Ning Xiaoyao’s confusion, he thought he could guess what she was thinking. This girl, she must be feeling conflicted for owing Qin Xuan and Qin Xin. Qin Xuan’s thanks probably made her ever more conflicted. Once again, he reached out a hand to help Qin Xuan up before cupping them in obeisance to the man. “Congratulations to Regional Commander Qin for bringing a beauty home.”
“That’s right, that’s right,” Ning Xiaoyao hastened to nod. His Majesty Ning felt all sorts of guilty after seeing Qin Xuan’s red, teary eyes.
One of the empress’s mama came over at this moment with a tray in her arms. She bowed towards Ning Xiaoyao first before smiling at Regional Commander Qin. “Esteemed Empress gives well wishes to Regional Commander Qin and Miss Qin. May your branches be ever full. This is a reward bestowed by the empress.”
Ning Xiaoyao took a peek and saw that there was a pair of greenish-blue jade mandarin duck pendants on the tray. The sight made her heart hurt, because they looked quite valuable. Daughter and son-in-laws could dissipate the family fortunes too, how worrying!
- hold the tray level with the brow (举案齐眉) – juan qimei, a saying that means husband and wife will treat each other with courtesy and mutual respect. ↩