Chapter 101: His Majesty Ning can become a brilliant sovereign Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
The empress’s mama went to Supreme Splendor Hall to see Qin Xin, then returned to tell the empress that Qin Xin was still a virgin who’d never consummated her marriage with Xie Anyi. This mama’s voice was very loud, so all the wives sitting on the right side of the veranda heard her words. There was a large uproar. Marrying a wife but not consummating the union? Having two children by his younger cousin instead? The wives all thought that His Majesty had been too kind to Xie Anyi and née Wang. It was better to beat a man like that to death.
Empress Zhou thought of herself at these words. She had been married to His Majesty for more than two years, but they’d yet to consummate their wedding as well. Her heart filled with resentment, but when she recalled the image of a man in armor, dressed in white robes, a smile rose on her face instead. She couldn’t help but express her thoughts. “This is good, too. A man like Xie Anyi doesn’t deserve to be née Qin’s husband.”
“……..” said Ning Xiaoyao, who was about to stuff roast chicken into her mouth. She felt like her face had been slapped by Empress Zhou’s words!
The officials and wives who’d been summoned into the palace for a banquet at Empress Zhou’s invitation and His Majesty’s decree had first been uncertain of what to feel. But after seeing His Majesty beat up a jerk and the Qin couple’s true love fulfilled, they felt like they hadn’t come in vain. After the banquet finished, the Grand Preceptor’s faction were the first to leave the scene. They had to hurry off to the Grand Preceptor’s estate. As the other officials trickled out, one of them suddenly cried out, “It was née Qin who divorced Xie Anyi?”
Everyone near the official halted in their steps. Those did seem to be His Majesty’s words, but they were so occupied with the fact that the Qin couple were siblings that they forgot about this other detail…
“Can His Majesty change an imperial decree that he’s already issued?” another man asked in a small voice. Annulling a relationship was one thing, but outright divorce was another. How could any woman divorce her husband in a world like this?
“Hmph,” the old matron from the Duke of State’s estate, the very same woman who’d called née Wang a despicable whore, gave a cold snort as two mama helped her into her carriage. “Why does the imperial decree need to be changed? Even death isn’t enough for men like that eldest son of the Xie Clan!”
All of the assembled wives glanced at their respective husbands. You’d still sympathize with a bastard like that Xie Anyi?
The first and legal wife was deeply respected and revered. All of the assembled officials remained silent as they scattered to their homes. They couldn’t very well raise domestic strife for the sake of a single heartless, ungrateful Xie Anyi, could they?
The old matron suddenly broke into laughter as she sat inside her carriage. His Majesty was a clever one, inviting the wives of the officials here to the banquet. After learning of née Qin’s plight, they’d naturally sympathize and put themselves in her place. If not for all the wives, would the officials who harped on wives obeying the husband like their Heaven after marriage have shut up so easily? Would His Majesty have successfully sanctioned a marriage between née Qin and Qin Xuan with so little fuss?
In the flower gardens of the Windward Pavilion, Ning Xiaoyao was looking at Elder Li, who hadn’t budged. She squirmed a bit in her seat before she spoke. “Old gramps, you still have business?” Everyone else had already left, but he was still here. Ning Xiaoyao didn’t know why.
Elder Li’s voice was low. “Does Your Majesty resent this old official for speaking in Xie Anyi’s favor in the past?”
Ning Xiaoyao stared at Elder Li, who stared respectfully back. Could she say that she wanted to beat him up back then? Ning Xiaoyao’s head spun before she tossed the idea aside. Being honest wasn’t the way to go, or else this old gramps would never let her off.
“I don’t resent you,” Ning Xiaoyao shook her head.
Elder Li asked, “Then does Your Majesty know why this old subject did that?”
How should I know? Ning Xiaoyao felt another urge to beat him up. Will he ever finish?!
Shadowgale stood on one side, at a loss for how to help. He had no right to interfere in a talk between His Majesty and Elder Li.
Elder Li said, “This subject would like to ask Your Majesty to resolve my doubts. Why is Your Majesty not resentful?”
Ning Xiaoyao scratched her palms. I was waiting for you to explain yourself to me. “I, I don’t dare,” she finally admitted after a while.
Elder Li’s face was as solemn and respectful as before. “Your Majesty shouldn’t joke with this old subject. This old subject cannot afford to take the jest.”
“……..” said Ning Xiaoyao.
“May Your Majesty explain,” Elder Li said.
Is he interrogating a criminal? Ning Xiaoyao looked at Elder Li, both indignant and grieved. Where was the respect accorded to an emperor? “What explanations, what doubts?” Ning Xiaoyao sighed. “In any case, I can’t kill Xie Anyi.” There’s no point in being an emperor if it’s like this, you know?
Elder Li rose to his feet and bowed. “This old subject thanks Your Majesty for dispelling my doubts.” It was precisely because His Majesty couldn’t kill off the man that Elder Li wished the emperor and the Xie Clan wouldn’t come to irreversible blows. It was supremely idiotic to force your enemy into a life-and-death struggle with no way out. But if death wasn’t an option, enduring would be the only choice left. Elder Li gave Ning Xiaoyao a gratified look. His Majesty has the qualities of a brilliant sovereign.
Ning Xiaoyao opened and closed her mouth a few times. Did I pass?
“Your Majesty, you dismissed Xie Anyi from office and threw him into prison. Has Your Majesty considered anyone to take on the position as minister for the Ministry of Revenue?” Elder Li asked next.
Ning Xiaoyao blinked. She didn’t even know all the officials in the capital, so who else could she pick. “In, in any case, it can’t be anyone from the Xie Clan,” Ning Xiaoyao replied. “As for who should take the post, old gramps, you guys can discuss it.”
“This subject accepts the decree,” Elder Li obeyed. His Majesty isn’t a tyrant, but listens kindly to his officials’ words. His Majesty indeed possesses the qualities of a brilliant sovereign.
“Then you go busy yourself,” Ning Xiaoyao wanted to chase him off. If they talked any longer, she was going to cry.
Elder Li retreated feeling fully satisfied. It was only after he left the palace that he realized His Majesty hadn’t asked him how things were going with Prince Fu’s land division. When he turned back to look at the palace gates, Elder Li couldn’t help but think, His Majesty uses his subjects without doubting them. Once again, the old man felt extremely pleased.
(Author: Old gramps, you’d be crying if you knew the truth. o(╯□╰)o)
After Elder Li departed, there were only Ning Xiaoyao and Empress Zhou left in the gardens of the Windward Pavilion. Empress Zhou’s hands crossed in front of her, looking as if she was shielding her stomach. Ning Xiaoyao pretended to know nothing about the empress’s baby before taking out yesterday’s peony hairpin from her bag. She offered it to Empress Zhou and said, “I’m giving this to you.”
Empress Zhou accepted the hairpin with both hands. She bent her knees and prepared to thank Ning Xiaoyao, only to find that the latter had already turned to leave. Ning Xiaoyao’s steps were very quick, as if a dog was nipping at her heels. The peony made out of cat’s eye shimmered in the sunlight, an elegant and stately sight. The two mama serving at Empress Zhou’s side both heaved a sigh.
If only His Majesty was like this earlier, then how could esteemed empress ever have…. They didn’t dare to finish the thought. Today, they had borne witness to a big show. But when they thought of their future with Empress Zhou, both mama could only despair in their hearts.
Ning Xiaoyao ran all the way to Supreme Splendor Hall in one breath before stopping in front of the gates. As she peered down the long flight of stone steps, she couldn’t help but feel stifled. The empress’s situation has to be taken care of soon. Things will be done for once it becomes impossible to hide her growing stomach.
Soon enough, Shadowgale and the rest appeared at the foot of the stairs. Though they all had excellent lightness techniques, their speed paled far in comparison to His Majesty Ning. Ning Xiaoyao watched them and fell into thought again. Those cats once said the empress’s lover was someone surnamed Xu or something. And he’s a general to boot. Maybe I should track him down first? By the time Shadowgale was nearly upon her, Ning Xiaoyao asked him quietly, “Windy, ah, is there a General Xu in the court?”
Shadowgale was still heaving for breath after running for his life all the way here. He gave a start at the question and said, “Your Majesty, which General Xu do you mean?”
“If I knew, would I be asking you?” Ning Xiaoyao replied.
Shadowgale felt embarrassed. “Xu is a common surname. You can find plenty of General Xus in Supreme Commander’s Black Frost Cavalry alone!”
“Alas!” Ning Xiaoyao shook her head. It looked like finding information indirectly wouldn’t work. She’d have to make a move from the empress’s side instead.
Shadowgale followed Ning Xiaoyao into Supreme Splendor Hall as he asked, “Your Majesty, did something go wrong with today’s events?”
Ning Xiaoyao said, “I didn’t beat Xie Anyi to death.” The various eunuchs stationed at the side of the hall immediately started shaking with fright. Once again, they recalled the rumor of His Majesty skinning a eunuch alive.
Shadowgale shut up then. He too, felt that it was a pity that Xie Anyi didn’t die. At that moment, Ji Yuerong ran out into the covered corridor. At the sight of Ning Xiaoyao, her face lit up in a smile like a blooming flower.
Ning Xiaoyao arched an eyebrow and murmured to Shadowgale and his trio of men, “Why is she smiling like that? Did she finally find someone she fancies?”
“……….” said Shadowgale and the rest. Miss Ji looks like she’s fancying Your Majesty, doesn’t she?
“Let me tell you all something,” Ning Xiaoyao kept on whispering. “Once you marry this girl, you’ll be the head of the Ji Clan in the future. While she’s staying at Supreme Splendor Hall, all of you except for Windy should try your best to win her over. Second Thunder, Third Rain, you have to work hard.”
“……” went Shadowgale and the others.
“She’s such a good woman,” Ning Xiaoyao said as she watched the corners of Ji Yuerong’s skirts flutter in the air from her running. Sighing with feeling, she added, “She’s got the cheeks and the figure. And she’s loyal and faithful too. Off the horse, she’s a beauty; on the horse, she’s a general. You guys will definitely cry if you miss out on a fine girl like that.”
Shadowgale and his trio exchanged glances. His Majesty probably fancies Miss Ji too, right?
“Your Majesty,” Ji Yuerong finally reached Ning Xiaoyao and prepared to kneel.
“Don’t,” Ning Xiaoyao shouted, “Speak if you have something to say, but don’t kneel.”
Ji Yuerong remained standing and cried, “Your Majesty, you’re a good person!”
Ning Xiaoyao straightened up at the praise and laughed out loud. “That’s right, ah. I’ve always been a good person.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty,” Ji Yuerong said before her eyes turned red again.
“No need for thanks,” Ning Xiaoyao replied. “If Miss Qin can live her days happily, then you’re happy, I’m happy, and everyone else is happy too. That’s good, ah.”
Ji Yuerong furiously nodded her head.
“Happy days are still coming,” Ning Xiaoyao said as she led Ji Yuerong along the corridor. “I’ve already locked up that jerk Xie Anyi in the justice court prisons. If you want to work off your temper, you can go beat him up there.”
Ji Yuerong asked, “Your Majesty gives permission for this soldier to go to the justice courts?”
“Permission granted,” Ning Xiaoyao replied. “Go on. Just make sure you don’t beat him to death, that’s all.”
Without another word, Ji Yuerong turned to run out of Supreme Splendor Hall for the justice courts. Even if she didn’t touch the man, she wanted to see Xie Anyi when he was worth less than a dog! When Ning Xiaoyao saw Shadowthunder and Shadowrain still standing there after Ji Yuerong left, she furrowed her eyebrows. Those two guys are sure fools. Go run after Ji Yuerong, ah. Then you can talk to her along the way and help her beat that guy up. Wouldn’t you form a connection with her then? (Author: Don’t you know that men and women keep their distance in this world?)
Shadowthunder felt like he’d committed a big error when he saw the emperor staring at him. “Your Majesty?”
“Forget it,” Ning Xiaoyao kept walking ahead. “Supreme Commander still hasn’t returned? It’s going to get dark, we’ll need to eat dinner soon.”
(￣△￣；), went Shadowgale and the trio. Didn’t His Majesty just finish eating at the banquet?