Chapter 186: Sounds of sobbing from the boudoir Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
“Lord Protector came to the Grand Preceptor’s estate just to find His Majesty for this matter?” Lou Zigui pulled Ning Xiaoyao behind him again. The Lord Protector glanced at the Grand Preceptor’s estate and also felt that the location wasn’t appropriate.
Ning Xiaoyao said, “Lord Protector, are you going to treat me to a meal?” After I’ve cured Pei Yan, will the Lord Protector’s estate invite me out to eat as thanks?
The Lord Protector only felt bewildered. Treat the emperor to a meal? Is this the time to be talking about that?
“No?” Ning Xiaoyao was a little disappointed. Although the Lord Protector was still confused, seeing the wrinkles on His Majesty’s face made him relent.
He probingly asked, “Then shall I invite Your Majesty to this official’s estate?”
“To eat your family’s food?” Ning Xiaoyao’s eyes lit up.
The Lord Protector finally felt like he’d done something right for once and hastily nodded his head.
“If you don’t talk, I’ll take you to eat egg yolk guoba later,” Lou Zigui dropped his head to murmur.
“It hasn’t been a month yet,” Ning Xiaoyao looked askance at Lou Zigui. Are you taking me for an idiot?
Lou Zigui’s mouth twitched. “You don’t think there’s only one egg yolk guoba seller in the entire capital, do you?” This girl’s such a fool, how did she managed to live so long?
“…….” said Ning Xiaoyao. Why didn’t I think of that?
“What will you choose?” Lou Zigui asked.
Ning Xiaoyao was stuck. After coming to this world, she’d yet to meet anyone who’d invite her out for a meal, but egg yolk guoba were delicious as well. The Lord Protector had no idea what the duo were talking about, but he did hear ‘egg yolk guoba.’ Thus, the Lord Protector said, “Your Majesty likes to eat egg yolk guoba? Then this official shall order the kitchens to make them for Your Majesty. Our chefs know how to make this dish.”
When Lou Zigui saw that Ning Xiaoyao was nearly drooling at the news, he promptly lost his temper at the Lord Protector. “Stop talking!” If you don’t have anything better to do, why are you being so affectionate with His Majesty?! (Author: Supreme Commander, you’re jealous. (￢_￢)）
Lord Protector had a fright from Lou Zigui’s outburst, but soon grew irate as well. Lou Zigui, you’re Anyuan’s Supreme Commander and an official of the first rank, but I’m still the Lord Protector. What gives you the right to lecture me?
As Lord Protector prepared to give Lou Zigui a talking to, a young Dragon Guard ran out of the Grand Preceptor’s gates over to Ning Xiaoyao’s side “Your Majesty, something big’s happened!”
“The Grand Preceptor died?” Ning Xiaoyao asked.
The Dragon Guard furiously shook his head. “No, no! The Grand Preceptor’s men captured the head commander!”
Ning Xiaoyao was convinced there was nothing wrong with her hearing, so she accepted the facts and quickly grew angry. “That’s wrong! I’m going to find the Grand Preceptor!” Tossing her sleeves aside, she prepared to stalk inside, but Lou Zigui kept a tight grip on her.
“What happened?” Lou Zigui asked the Dragon Guard.
The Dragon Guard only glanced at the Lord Protector, so Ning Xiaoyao said, “It’s fine, the Lord Protector’s one of our people. Speak, why did the Grand Preceptor’s men capture Windy?”
After hearing His Majesty call him one of theirs, the Lord Protector quickly forgot his discontent towards Lou Zigui.
“The Grand Preceptor’s ladyship said the head commander was spying on the fifth young Miss taking a bath,” the Dragon Guard said quickly.
Ning Xiaoyao had to doubt her ears this time. “What did you say?”
“They said the head commander was spying on fifth young Miss taking a bath,” the Dragon Guard had no choice but to repeat himself.
Who’s Fifth Young Miss Xie?
Oh right, it’s Xie Duoying. After connecting the dots, Ning Xiaoyao recalled the long hair she’d once found on Windy’s shirt. First a hair, now spying on her bathing? What kind of predestiny is this?
Lou Zigui’s expression remained unchanged. “Where is Windy now?”
The Dragon Guard replied, “The Grand Preceptor’s men wanted to catch him, but we brothers couldn’t stand by and just watch, so the rest of them are facing off against the Grand Preceptor’s men in the back courtyard.”
“Then what are we waiting for?” Ning Xiaoyao simply ran into the Grand Preceptor’s estate. The Dragon Guard quickly followed suit, too busy to bother with Lou Zigui. When the Grand Preceptor’s men saw Ning Xiaoyao come back, they only felt their livers ache. Why isn’t he gone yet?!
“Lord Protector, would you like to take a look as well?” Since Lou Zigui couldn’t stop Miss Ning, he was in no more rush. He even had the patience to exchange words with the Lord Protector.
“Let’s go,” Lord Protector replied without a second thought. I’m already one of His Majesty’s people, so how could I stay out?
“Please,” Lou Zigui invited the Lord Protector to go in first.
The Grand Preceptor’s men didn’t dare to block His Majesty, so they didn’t have the guts to block Supreme Commander or the Lord Protector either. The Lord Protector purposely chose to trod over the Grand Preceptor’s fallen front door. Though it was a childish move, it made him feel great!
Ning Xiaoyao was already at the entrance to the back courtyard. When the head instigator of the capture, Lady Wang, saw her show up, she flinched back on instinct. But she quickly regained her calm. She was the victim in this case, so she was perfectly justified in her actions. What was there to fear?
Ning Xiaoyao didn’t spare the Grand Preceptor’s people another glance before asking after Shadowgale. “Windy, are you alright? Did the Grand Preceptor’s people hurt you?”
Shadowgale shook his head from within the ring of Dragon Guards surrounding him. “Your Majesty, this servant is unharmed.”
“Hmm hmm~” Ning Xiaoyao said ruthlessly, “If they dared to touch you, I’d drown them all in wicker baskets!”
(Author: Is that the only murder method you know? o(╯□╰)o)
Lady Wang had never seen someone as vicious as Ning Xiaoyao in her lifetime. Completely insensible! That servant Shadowgale ruined the prospects of a Xie Clan daughter, but it’s still the Xie Clan who has to pay? Lady Wang looked coldly towards Xie Duoying’s mother, Xie Anyi’s concubine Madame Fu.1
Madame Fu fell to her knees beneath Lady Wang’s glare and burst into tears for the sake of her pure and chaste daughter.
“Keep crying and I’ll get physical,” Ning Xiaoyao warned.
Scared, Madame Fu immediately shut up. Ning Xiaoyao turned her shining eyes on Shadowgale and asked, “Did you see anything good?”
Shadowgale replied, “See what?”
Ning Xiaoyao said, “Didn’t they say Xie Duoying was bathing without her clothes on?”
“……” said Shadowgale.
“…….” said the rest of the Dragon Guards.
Why is His Majesty always concerned with different details than the rest of us?
Ning Xiaoyao stared at Shadowgale with her sparkling eyes until the head commander stiffly shook his head.
“Aye,” Ning Xiaoyao sighed, “So you didn’t see anything, ah. Then aren’t we fighting with the Grand Preceptor’s estate for nothing?”
Shadowgale only felt black lines across his face. That’s really ‘too bad,’ is it?
The Dragon Guards felt that His Majesty’s words had merit. Their leader hadn’t even seen anything, so they’d be the ones losing out if they fought against the Grand Preceptor’s men. (Author: Wake up, all of you! You can’t settle debts with logic like that…)
“Alright,” Ning Xiaoyao rubbed her nose. “If you didn’t see anything, then why did Lady Wang say you did?”
“This servant, I—I heard a girl crying inside the rooms, so I stood outside to ask how she was doing. But then a bunch of servants and old mama ran out of a side door. Only then did this servant find out it was Fifth Young Miss Xie inside the room,” Shadowgale stammered out, a clear sign of his agitation.
Ning Xiaoyao glanced at the two-storey building behind the Dragon Guards and asked, “Is Fifth Young Miss still inside?”
“The Grand Preceptor’s estate must be trying to malign the head commander!” multiple Dragon Guards piped up.
Ning Xiaoyao said, “Yes, that’s right. This was a pre-planned trap to capture Windy. Speaking of which, Windy, why did you come here by yourself?”
“I,” Shadowgale wanted to speak, but quickly shut up.
Hm? Ning Xiaoyao felt that something was up. “Come on,” she said as she patted her chest. “Tell me the truth. Just what’s going on? I can shoulder the burden of anything, no matter how fierce the storms and tempests might be!”
He’s even brought up storms and tempests, the Dragon Guards thought as they looked at Ning Xiaoyao. What kind of nonsense is he blabbing about?
While Ning Xiaoyao was rambling to the Dragon Guards, Lady Wang was in a towering rage. Ever since His Majesty came into the courtyard, he hadn’t spared a glance to her. Was he ignoring her existence?! (Author: If you already know the answer, why are you still asking the question, madame?)
“Your Majesty,” Lady Wang called out.
Ning Xiaoyao turned and said, “Oh, so you still know I’m Your Majesty. I thought you had no idea, your ladyship.”
“……” said Lady Wang.
“Why aren’t you kneeling in the presence of the emperor!” a Dragon Guard shouted at the Grand Preceptor’s people. Immediately, everyone in the courtyard except for Lady Wang fell to their knees. It really was strange, but every time they saw His Majesty they’d forget they had to kneel.
“Your Majesty,” Lady Wang looked at Ning Xiaoyao with teary eyes. “Do you really want to humiliate our Xie Clan?”
Ning Xiaoyao replied, “Look at what you’re saying. When have I ever humiliated your Xie Clan?”
Lady Wang burst into sobs. “Fifth daughter is a pure and chaste young maiden, but now she’s been ruined!”
“Hold on, you,” Ning Xiaoyao turned sideways to point at the boudoir behind them. “Windy was both outside the door and the wall, so what could he have seen? Was your Xie Duoying bathing in the courtyard?”
Lady Wang choked, before she sobbed out, “All he did was walk into the building and out, who knows what he did during that time?”
“Well dang, from what I’m hearing, you won’t be satisfied until Windy sees Xie Duoying once today, is that it?” Ning Xiaoyao said. “You think that just by smearing Windy’s good name, you can recover Xie Duoying’s reputation?”
Lady Wang said, “Does Your Majesty want to force this wife unto death with your words?”
“I just find you, you and the Grand Preceptor really are peas in a pod,” Ning Xiaoyao crossed her arms. “Grand Preceptor asked me if I wanted him to die; now you’re saying I’m forcing you to die as well. Why is it that every time it’s you two, the fault’s always on the other party? So we outsiders have no rhyme or reason, is that it?”
Lady Wang shook her head before insisting, “Your Majesty must give this wife an explanation for today’s events.”
“And if I don’t?” Ning Xiaoyao asked. “You going to bite me to death, ah?”
Lady Wang felt her body shudder.
“Say, that there,” Ning Xiaoyao said as she pointed in the direction of the Grand Preceptor’s study. “Find your man and have him rally his troops for a revolt right now. I’ll wait, you go ahead.”
Lady Wang suddenly lost all strength in her body. So what if she had justification on her side? The person standing before her was the emperor, and this was Yongning’s kingdom. Could she fight against the Heavens themselves? Lady Wang crumpled to the ground. Because she’d been crying too much over the past few days, all her tears had dried up. Now she only felt her eyes stinging with no relief.
Ning Xiaoyao looked at Lady Wang and shook her head. “You can stop pretending. If you really wanted the best for Xie Duoying, you wouldn’t do something like this. By using her against me, you’ll ruin that little girl regardless of whether you win or lose.”
- Madame Fu (傅姨娘) – Fu is a surname that is archaic for “teach, instruct, help,” Yiniang is a form of address for father’s concubine. ↩