Chapter 117: His Majesty says, Yan Hong is a character Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Xie Anshi had already been beaten during the day, and now he was being thrashed yet again. Unable to bear the blows, he simply lost consciousness on the ground. When the Second Young Master Luo saw that only a few punches had knocked out his younger brother-in-law, he was left dumbfounded. Eldest Young Master Luo Wei[2 Luo Wei (骆玮) – Luo is a surname that means “white horse with a black mane” in archaic Chinese, Wei means “a kind of jade, valuable/precious.”] was still in the throes of his anger, but he’d finally come to his senses. How could Xie Anshi ever arrange for a little pageboy to attend to his mistress?
“Speak, just who are you?” Luo Wei pointed at Ning Xiaoyao angrily.
Ning Xiaoyao felt that this young master of the Luo Clan was pretty smart. She’d done so well with her acting, but he’d still seen through her. (Author: This has nothing to do with your acting skills, arite…) Luo Wei stepped forward to grab Ning Xiaoyao, but Lou Zigui beat him to it.
He shielded Ning Xiaoyao behind his back and said, “Look to the master before you beat his dog. You should consider how to explain yourself to your master first.”
The Luo brothers’ faces turned a sickly green at his words.
“Let’s go,” Lou Zigui pulled Ning Xiaoyao along with him.
Ning Xiaoyao raised a hand to bid the Luo brothers farewell. “I’m an enemy agent, haha.”
“………..” said Shadowgale and the rest, who’d resumed their places on the wall.
“Don’t glare at me,” Ning Xiaoyao said. “Would those two hug each other if they didn’t harbor mutual feelings? How could third young madame’s figure compare to Lady Yan Hong’s? You’re all men, so you should understand, heheh.” Ning Xiaoyao had only caught a glimpse of the Xie Clan’s third young madame. She had no idea what she looked like, but she’d remembered the woman had been as flat as a board.
The Luo brothers’ faces changed from sickly green to a furious black. Like hell they should ‘understand!’
Shadowgale told his fellow guards, “Let’s go.”
You could be enemies with anyone as long as it wasn’t His Majesty. Otherwise, His Majesty would definitely leave you in a state worse than death. When the Dragon Guards heard Ning Xiaoyao fling figurative mud at Xie Anshi, their understanding of His Majesty deepened to yet another level.
Lou Zigui hadn’t even brought Ning Xiaoyao out of the courtyard yet before Third Young Master Xie regained consciousness beneath the rain. He remained prone on the ground as he shouted, “Luo Rui, you dared to raise a hand against me? Are you seeking death?!”
Ning Xiaoyao rolled her eyes. “See that? Lackeys get no respect at all!”
“Who are you?” Xie Anshi shouted before he even spotted Ning Xiaoyao.
“I’m not your father, that’s for sure,” Ning Xiaoyao shouted in return.
Xie Anshi was so furious that he leapt up from the ground and ordered, “Capture that bastard!”
All of the Grand Preceptor’s men wanted to cry. Lou Zigui was here. Would we even survive a fight against that star of disaster?
“Let’s go,” Lou Zigui said again as he pulled Ning Xiaoyao out of the courtyard.
Ning Xiaoyao harrumphed. “Yan Hong’s a bad guy.”
“Why do you say that?” Lou Zigui asked.
“Her scent was in that basement,” Ning Xiaoyao said as she pointed at her nose. “When I was squatting next to her, I smelled the same thing.”
“Maybe she delivered meals to the people there,” Lou Zigui said.
“She didn’t,” Ning Xiaoyao replied. “Someone who delivered meals wouldn’t stop to sit on the chairs in the basement. This woman’s probably a character worth noting on the Grand Preceptor’s side. Oh, let me explain a bit further. I caught a whiff of her face powder on one of the chairs in the basement. There were even flowers engraved on the back of that chair.”
Just what kind of nose do you have? Lou Zigui thought as he rested his forehead against his palm.
Ning Xiaoyao added, “But if she’s really a character, then why is she Xie Laibao’s lover?”
“What?” Lou Zigui’s hand dropped from his forehead.
Ning Xiaoyao said, “I never mentioned it? Yan Hong’s involved in an illicit love affair with Xie Laibao.”
Lou Zigui stopped walking. Ning Xiaoyao was still caught up in her thoughts and muttering to herself. “Could it be that Xie Laibao has a big whachamacallit and does a good job as a man?”
“Go and capture that woman,” Lou Zigui instructed the guards behind him. A few imperial guards ran off to apprehend Yan Hong. Meanwhile, Lou Zigui turned back to Ning Xiaoyao and asked, “A big what?”
Ning Xiaoyao raised her head to peer at Lou Zigui, before suddenly shifting her gaze downwards.
“………” said Supreme Commander Lou, who suddenly understood what she meant.
“What I think,” Ning Xiaoyao began, wanting to discuss this further with Supreme Commander Lou.
But Lou Zigui simply clamped her mouth and muttered wearily, “Let’s just go.” By the time he pulled her out out the front door, an imperial guard ran out with an unconscious Yan Hong over his shoulders.
“She’s still unconscious?” Ning Xiaoyao asked from her perch atop Little Red, the battle horse. Xie Anshi could wake up from a thrashing, but that beauty was still unconscious just from a little pinch? (Author: So, exactly just how much strength did you use?)
“Let’s go,” Lou Zigui’s heels dug into the flank of the horse, propelling them towards the end of the street.
Shadowgale and the rest were waiting for Ning Xiaoyao at the exit. He led his horse to meet them as they arrived.
Ning Xiaoyao said, “Windy, can I ride on your horse?” Shadowgale’s horse was a white stallion called Little White Dragon. There wasn’t a stray hair on his body, and he’d caught Ning Xiaoyao’s girlish heart as soon as she left the palace. A white horse! It’d be so romantic riding a white horse through the city streets!
Before Shadowgale could answer, Lou Zigui whipped Little Red, who whinnied and sprinted away.
“Dangit,” Ning Xiaoyao twisted her body to look back, nearly falling off the horse.
Lou Zigui pulled her towards him and said, “You don’t want to ride on my horse?”
Ning Xiaoyao shot a glance at the galloping Little Red. In order to spare the horse’s feelings, she lied and said, “I’m willing.” Everyone’s heard of a prince on a white horse, but never a prince on a red one! She was unhappy. (Author: Enough already…)
“Come in a bit closer,” Lou Zigui said.
Ning Xiaoyao leaned in closer to Lou Zigui.
“When you go out in the rain next time, remember to use an umbrella,” Lou Zigui urged.
Ning Xiaoyao asked, “Even when riding a horse?”
“Then wear a rain cape.”
“When we return to the palace, I’ll go interrogate Yan Hong at the Hall of Punishment. You should go back and rest early.”
Lou Zigui glanced down at the person in his arms. “Did you forget that we have a great assembly tomorrow?”
Ning Xiaoyao stiffened. Another great assembly?!
“Tomorrow morning at court, remember to–”
“Coughcoughcough,” Ning Xiaoyao hacked. “I’m sick, can I skip the assembly tomorrow?” She had to make sure Qin Xuan and Miss A’Xin left the capital city quickly. Moreover, there were other things to take care of too, like Little Peach Blossom and news of Supreme Commander’s big brother. She was really busy, so who had time to sit in that hall and listen to Elder Li and company’s verbal spars? More than that was the fact that she didn’t want to see him at all!
Lou Zigui raised a hand to feel Ning Xiaoyao’s forehead, which was cool to the touch.
“Cough, cough,” Ning Xiaoyao kept coughing.
“Alright,” Lou Zigui said, “Then issue an imperial decree dismissing the assembly.”
Ning Xiaoyao stopped coughing immediately.
She’s just a girl, so how can she really be emperor? Lou Zigui told himself. A day without assembly should be fine, since the previous emperor had missed his sessions for years. He didn’t lose his kingdom anymore for it.
“Supreme Commander, you think Xie Anshi will fight another round with those Luo brothers?” Ning Xiaoyao stroked Oil Jar in her sleeve, now that she was out of danger.
“The Luo brothers wouldn’t dare to a second time,” Lou Zigui said.
“Aye,” Ning Xiaoyao dragged out a sigh. It looks like my skills at sowing discord still suck too much. She had to practice more!
Meanwhile, the steward of the estate they just left pressed the switch to check on the contents of the secret chamber. Then he withdrew the 5,000 taels from the empress dowager and reported to the Grand Preceptor, “Grand Preceptor, there wasn’t anything missing from the secret storage area. Here’s the silver that Esteemed Empress Dowager prepared for eldest young master.”
“Leave it here,” the Grand Preceptor tapped the desk. The steward did as he was told and left the room. Grand Preceptor shot a glance at his sorry-looking son, Xie Anshi, before rising to his feet and walking to the Luo brothers. “Lou Zigui is a cunning and crafty man. Nephews-in-law, you’ll need to take great care when facing him in the future.”
“Yes,” the Luo brothers hastened to answer. Grand Preceptor Xie next called up Xie Anshi before slapping him soundly across his bruised and swollen face. Xie Anshi had lost his temper at the Luo brothers, but he didn’t utter a word at his father’s slap.
“Yan Hong?” Grand Preceptor Xie questioned.
Xie Anshi knelt down. “Father, your son has been wronged.”
“Then all the eyes in the courtyard saw the wrong thing?” Grand Preceptor Xie asked coldly.
Xie Anshi said, “Yan Hong suddenly fell over, so your son only moved to hold her up.”
“Impudence!” Grand Preceptor Xie raged. “Yan Hong is part of the poison sect. Her martial arts skills are top-notch, so how could she simply topple over?”
Xie Anshi was left gaping at the revelation. Wasn’t Yan Hong simply a toy of Xie Laibao’s? She was even part of the poison sect and armed with formidable fighting prowess?
The elder Luo brother bowed towards Grand Preceptor Xie. “Grand Preceptor, if there’s nothing else, this one and Luo Rui will withdraw.”
“You two can return to the barracks,” Grand Preceptor Xie’s expression warmed at the sight of Luo Wei. Politely, he said, “I’ve troubled you brothers to make a trip tonight. You’ve worked hard.”
When Luo Rui left Fragrant Gauze Alley with his older brother, he couldn’t help but ask, “What did the Grand Preceptor’s words mean?”
Luo Wei replied, “The Grand Preceptor is telling us that woman isn’t someone ordinary. Even if she has something going on with Xie Anshi, it’s only because of lust and won’t affect his status.”
Luo Rui wanted to curse, but held back his temper at the sight of the soldiers and horses following behind them. His elder brother suddenly smiled and murmured, “But Lou Zigui was able to capture such a formidable woman. There should be a show to see very soon.”
“Big brother?” Second Young Master Luo didn’t understand. Just whose side is big brother on anyways?
“There’s definitely a ceremonial hall in that estate,” Eldest Young Master Luo said, “But it has nothing to do with us.”
Luo Rui shook his head. He couldn’t help but feel that his brother had a falling out with the Grand Preceptor. The rain had turned Luo Wei’s complexion ghastly pale. A good bird chooses the branch on which it perches. If the Xie Clan ever falls, our Luo Clan cannot die with them. A single little sister is too insignificant when compared to the fate of our clan.
“Useless!” In the study, Grand Preceptor Xie kicked the kneeling Xie Anshi in the chest, knocking him to the ground.
Xie Anshi clutched his heart and cried in an aggrieved tone, “Father, Lou Zigui suddenly brought imperial guards to charge into the courtyard. How could your son stop him with just a few men?”
Grand Preceptor Xie rested his hand against his bandaged head. Right now, he was still feeling woozy and nauseous enough to throw up. If Ning Xiaoyao was here, she’d be able to tell him that these were aftereffects of a concussion. Xie Anshi crawled to his knees and knelt before Grand Preceptor Xie anew.
“Father, all the people in the basement are dead. Your son’s already counted the bodies. Their faces are all ruined now, so even if Lou Zigui takes them away, I don’t think it’ll matter much.”
Grand Preceptor Xie backed up a few steps until he was sitting in his chair. “You didn’t miscount?”
“Your son wouldn’t miscount,” Xie Anshi shuffled forward on his knees. “Your son doesn’t dare to miscount. I even looked at every one of the bodies, there can be no mistake.”
Grand Preceptor Xie hammered the armrest. So that means Lou Zigui’s trip tonight was in vain?