Chapter 200: Supreme Commander worries his horse to death Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Lou Zigui’s horse reached the entrance to the lane. His eyes swept over the chaotic scene before spotting Ning Xiaoyao fighting amongst them against the Nine Gates Provincial Commander’s men with a brick in her hand. He saw men falling left and right every time she raised her brick, a valiant image that served to soothe the ruffles in his heart.
“Charge!” Shadowgale led the Dragon Guards forward.
There was a flash of light from the wall opposite Ning Xiaoyao.
“Watch out!” Lou Zigui shouted as he threw his sword, scabbard and all, towards the wall. An arrow flew out from the flash and crashed into Lou Zigui’s sword before dropping to the ground. Shadowgale leaped onto the wall and began to fight with the archer hidden beyond it. Lou Zigui reached Ning Xiaoyao and simply dragged her out of the scuffle before asking her outright, “What are you doing here?!”
“Ah?” Ning Xiaoyao replied. “I ran into this mess by accident, ah.”
“I don’t believe it,” Supreme Commander Lou rejected flatly.
“…….” said Ning Xiaoyao. How come he doesn’t believe me even when I’m telling the truth?!
With the Dragon Guards joining the fight and half of the Nine Gate Provincial Commander’s men already defeated by Ning Xiaoyao herself, the battle quickly ended. Their enemies laid fallen on the ground without a single one that had escaped. Shadowgale cut off both hands of the offending archer before dragging him in front of Ning Xiaoyao, only to discover that the man’s face was already purplish-black. He was dead. There was no blood in his mouth, but his mouth and teeth were all the same purplish-black.
“Suicide by poison,” Ning Xiaoyao concluded as she pointed at left side of the archer’s oral cavity. She was squatting on the ground with Shadowgale on her side as she continued to explain. “See that? The blackest tooth is over here, so that’s probably where he hid the poison. It felt the effects of the toxin first, so it had the greatest color change.”
“Your Majesty is wise and brilliant,” Shadowgale replied.
Ning Xiaoyao only sighed. “So what if Your Majesty is wise and brilliant? I can’t save this person anymore.”
Shadowgale furrowed his brows. “Your Majesty still wanted to save him?” He should die by a thousand cuts, so why bother saving him?
“He’s one of the Grand Preceptor’s men,” Ning Xiaoyao said quietly. “This would’ve been a living witness.”
“Grand Preceptor?” Shadowgale’s brows furrowed into a knot.
“Don’t worry,” Ning Xiaoyao raised a hand to smooth out his forehead. “At most I’d used him to gross out the Grand Preceptor a bit. He wouldn’t help at all when it comes to killing the Grand Preceptor himself. Come on, cheer up a bit, stop furrowing your eyebrows. Windy, you—hmm?” Before she could finish, Lou Zigui had pulled her to her feet by the back of her collar.
“Where’s the Grand Preceptor?” Lou Zigui asked.
Ning Xiaoyao raised her head to stare at the skies. Up there, Sesame Speck was flying in circles and chirping. “The Grand Preceptor ran away just then, cheep~”
“The old man just ran away,” Ning Xiaoyao told Lou Zigui. “Maybe he found out that his third nephew couldn’t beat me, so he fled. Huh? That’s right, where’s that third nephew?”
“You’re saying Xie Anyuan brought troops here?” Lou Zigui asked hastily.
“Mhm,” Ning Xiaoyao replied. “That was his name. Well dang, where did he go?” It was a dark and moonless night, so Ning Xiaoyao didn’t spot him after sweeping her gaze over the people on the ground.
“Miaow!” Big Boss Black meowed loudly. Following the noise, everyone glanced over to see His Majesty’s cat perched on top of a military officer’s belly.
“Black Tubby,” Ning Xiaoyao ran towards him.
Big Boss Black jumped off Xie Anyuan’s stomach and said “Xiaoyao, this cat took care of that bastard.”
Ning Xiaoyao knelt down and turned Xie Anyuan to lie on his back, only to give a start of disbelief. “Black Tubby, you killed him?”
Big Boss Black was stunned as well. He jumped onto Ning Xiaoyao’s shoulder and loomed over Xie Anyuan .”All this cat did was bite off his finger, but he’s dead?”
Of course a missing finger wouldn’t take Xie Anyuan’s life, but at the sight of his bloody leg, Ning Xiaoyao realized what was the matter. “He died from poison.” The blood was turning black from the toxins within. Big Boss Black licked his whiskers, a little disappointed. So I wasn’t the one who killed this bastard. (Author: You actually want to kill someone?)
Lou Zigui stood behind Ning Xiaoyao, looking at Xie Anyuan’s corpse with a gloomy expression.
“He wanted to shoot His Majesty with a poisoned arrow, but ended up shooting himself by accident and dying from his own toxin,” the Poison Sect leader walked up as he explained.
Ning Xiaoyao rose to her feet and looked at him. “If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have gotten involved in this mess. Just because he’s a bad guy, you’re not?”
“…….” said the Poison Sect leader. This little Majesty sure changes faces fast.
“Take them into custody,” Lou Zigui ordered. All of the Poison Sect members grew tense at his words. Are we going to fight another round right after the last one?
“This commoner will follow His Majesty’s wishes,” the Poison Sect leader placed both hands behind his back as he bowed his head to submit. Seeing this, none of the other members made to rebel.
“Escort them back to the palace,” Lou Zigui told Shadowgale, who looked at Ning Xiaoyao.
She pointed at the justice court yamen attendants still standing on the side and asked, “Then what about the justice courts?” The police are supposed to catch the bad guys. If you catch them instead, shouldn’t you give the police an explanation?
“No need to bother with them,” Lou Zigui said.
“Oh.” Since Lou Zigui said so, Ning Xiaoyao told Shadowgale, “Then Windy, I’ll have to trouble you to take those Poison Sect members back to the palace.”
Shadowgale personally led the group to take the prisoners back.
“Sect Leader?” one of the members asked questioningly.
“Right now, only the palace can keep us safe in this capital,” the Poison Sect leader replied. “If you want to live, then don’t talk.”
“Walk faster!” a Dragon Guard barked at them. The Poison Sect members fell silent. Although they still didn’t understand why Grand Preceptor Xie wanted to kill them, they knew that His Majesty was the only person left in the world who could protect them from that man’s wrath.
“They want to rely on your strength,” Lou Zigui murmured to Ning Xiaoyao after the people had left. None of the prisoners were good people, especially if they used to follow the Grand Preceptor. Most likely, they’d done their share of wicked deeds. Just the attempts at facial reconstruction surgery alone were enough to kill countless youths. Ning Xiaoyao’s face was wooden as she considered the implications. Am I really taking in these sinning bastards?
“They’re villains,” Lou Zigui seemed to read her mind as he stroked her head. “But they can help you face off against Xie Wenyuan. Unless he’s dead, they can’t live either, so they’re the best blade for you to use against him.” He painted the situation in a very cultured way, but Ning Xiaoyao mentally translated it as ‘have the Poison Sect fight the Grand Preceptor in a dog-eat-dog world.’ She sighed and couldn’t help but think of another famous saying—no one is an enemy forever, ah.
Lou Zigui pressed a hand on Ning Xiaoyao’s shoulder and turned her away from the sight of Shadowgale departing into the distance so she was facing himself. “Did you catch wind of the news ahead of time? You knew the Poison Sect members would run off to here?”
“I didn’t, ah,” Ning Xiaoyao said. “Didn’t I tell you, I ran into them by accident?”
Such a coincidence? Lou Zigui didn’t quite believe Ning Xiaoyao’s words.
“You don’t believe me?” Ning Xiaoyao asked him.
“Let’s not talk about this anymore,” Lou Zigui lifted his head to look over at the justice courts attendants instead. He almost forgot that this girl wasn’t just anyone. If she could have spies in the Grand Preceptor’s estate, finding out about the Poison Sect wasn’t a difficult affair at all.
The yamen attendants would be idiots if they couldn’t figure out the identity of the youth they had ran into by now. They were truly blind to almost raise a hand against His Majesty. The very thought made their legs feel weak. Meanwhile, the leader who’d called Ning Xiaoyao shifty-eyed and a villain was thinking of all kinds of ways to die. Lou Zigui waved at the attendants, and the leader immediately peed his pants.
“Take these men,” Lou Zigui pointed to the fallen soldiers of the Nine Gates Provincial Commander on the ground, “And put them in the justice court prisons. Without His Majesty’s imperial decree, no one is allowed to bail them out.”
The leader trembled as he accepted the orders.
“Your Majesty…” Lou Zigui trailed off as he turned to ask Ning Xiaoyao for any last words, only to find in surprise that she was already gone!
“S-Supreme Commander,” a Dragon Guard raised a hand as he said in a small voice, “His Majesty said he still had official business to take care of and to leave things here to you.”
“What did Xiao—His Majesty go to do?” Lou Zigui asked.
The Dragon Guard shrugged and replied, “Official business.”
“What kind of official business?”
Now the Dragon Guard was stuck. His Majesty hadn’t told him, so how was he supposed to know?!
Lou Zigui rested a palm against his forehead as he stared at the ground. “Did that cat go off with His Majesty too?”
“Yes,” the Dragon Guard nodded. “And two sparrows as well.”
Everyone, including the justice court attendants, all looked at the Dragon Guard as if he was an idiot. A cat leaving with His Majesty was one thing, but sparrows were wild birds, not pets. Would they really follow after a human? The battle horse Little Red neighed multiple times at Lou Zigui. Are you content with leaving a cat and two sparrows to look after Ning Xiaoyao? What if they run into the Grand Preceptor and he wants to kill her again? Master, why are you still standing around here?
“Is that horse about to run wild again?” a Dragon Guard by Lou Zigui’s side wondered out loud.
Little Red struck his hooves against the ground. It serves my master right that he still can’t catch a wife. His attitude is enough to worry me me to death! (Author: Hey hey, don’t be like that. o(╯□╰)o)
Lou Zigui looked at his battle horse and suddenly recalled how he seemed to hear the chirping of sparrows before his stallion went wild. Did I miss something somewhere? He felt another headache coming on.
“When we finish rescuing the people,” Ning Xiaoyao was currently running like mad through the streets while speaking to Sesame Speck and Wheat, “I’ll treat you guys to mantou. Big white mantou made from wheat flour!”
Big Boss Black, who was perched around her shoulders, added, “You should think about saving them first.”
Ning Xiaoyao patted her chest. “With my skills, who can’t I beat? Black Tubby, look at your conscience and tell me who’s stronger, me or Supreme Commander?”
“……..” said Big Boss Black. I refuse to consider that question.
Sesame Speck spoke up next. “Xiaoyao, it’s the house up ahead. That one belongs to the empress dowager.”
Ning Xiaoyao stopped at the head of a street. At the very end was a house with walls so high that not a speck of light peeked out from its depths. It was nigh impossible for anyone outside to see the area within as well. She took a deep breath. Here’s Empress Dowager Xie’s old haunt outside the palace!