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Chapter 189: Lady w.a.n.g rams into the lantern stand
Naturally, Grand Preceptor Xie could draw the same conclusions as Lady w.a.n.g.
"The capital's Xie Clan aren't the only family surnamed 'Xie' in this world," Grand Preceptor Xie placed the gold earrings on the armrest of his chair, his expression unruffled.
"S-so shameless," A'Mo said in astonishment.
Ning Xiaoyao was shook as well. He won't admit responsibility no matter what? Is he the kind of guy who doesn't cry even at the sight of his own coffin? (Author: Hey, what's the use of saying that stuff now?)
The Lord Protector approached Lou Zigui next and murmured, "We need to get to the bottom of this."
Lou Zigui only looked at him. Just then, you were keeping your distance from the problem, but now you've suddenly decided to join in?
The Lord Protector said, "The Xie Clan's eldest and third young Miss have already been betrothed, they're just waiting for the mourning period to end before they marry. Do you know which families are taking them in?"
Lou Zigui now turned his head to see Xie couple. Anyone who could marry the Xie Clan had to be part of a prominent clan themselves.
"It's the Wu and Lu families," the Lord Protector murmured. Ning Xiaoyao could hear the Lord Protector speak, but she had no idea who the Wu or Lu families were. Lou Zigui's hands clenched behind his back. Those two families were old prominent clans in the capital city; more importantly, each of them headed soldiers around the city.
"These two clans were probably grateful to Xie Wenyuan for giving them his granddaughters," the Lord Protector said, holding back his laughter. "But for the Xie Clan daughters to have such morals despite hailing from a literary family really seems like the Wu and Lu clans are swallowing a fly instead."
It's more than just swallowing one fly. Lou Zigui thought. The Wu and Lu Clans weren't aiming for the Xie Clan daughters specifically. With regards to Xie Wenyuan, they only had a normal business relations.h.i.+p and took his money. But they were perfectly capable of getting that money from other people instead. In any case, it wasn't their families asking for marriage, but if the Xie Clan shoved such poisonous girls into their house, they'd be started a feud instead of a wedding.
"Did His Majesty plan all this?" the Lord Protector asked Lou Zigui. How could everything be so coincidental? Just when the general mourning period is ending and those two daughters are off to be married, something like this happens instead?
Lou Zigui looked at Ning Xiaoyao and believed she didn't have the brains to scheme so extensively. Still, he couldn't fathom it either. Was it all serendipity? Ning Xiaoyao only pouted. Am I the bad guy here? Why is Lord Protector staring at me like that? It's lowering my impressions of him!
"What other royal thoughts are Your Majesty considering?" Grand Preceptor Xie said after seeing that Ning Xiaoyao didn't reply. He knew he'd put her in a bad spot, so he even feigned reverence towards the emperor as he spoke.
Ning Xiaoyao couldn't think up a good counter. It really was true that other families surnamed Xie existed in the world. A'Mo said," Xiaoyao, let's just bite that bad guy to death!"
Ning Xiaoyao ground her teeth. She really wanted to bite that old man to death, but seeing him swollen all over made her realize she had no place to put her teeth. Grand Preceptor Xie didn't even look human right now, so how was she supposed to chomp on him?! (Author: You mean you can bite him if he wasn't all swelled up?!)
"Find the justice court people to come," Lou Zigui stepped forward. "This concern matters of a human life, so we might as well leave the investigations to them."
Grand Preceptor Xie looked coldly at Lou Zigui. Have the local authorities investigate? No matter what conclusions they draw, inviting them to the inner courtyard will ruin all the girls of the Xie Clan, you swine. He was silently cursing Lou Zigui. Ning Xiaoyao had been staring at Grand Preceptor Xie the entire time and noticed when his expression twisted.
She then told Lou Zigui, "Supreme Commander, the Grand Preceptor's definitely cursing you."
Lou Zigui drew his lips up into a cold smile. "Grand Preceptor, what do you think?"
Grand Preceptor Xie said, "These are this old man's family matters."
"Are they still just personal matters when they've nearly cost a human life?" Ning Xiaoyao asked. "Don't you keep fooling us with rhetoric, ah. You're saying I'm falsely accusing your Xie Clan daughters, I'm convinced I'm not, so let the justice courts settle accounts."
"Who is this man, where did he come from, who did he talk to?" Lou Zigui asked, "How did he get into the Grand Preceptor's estate and show up at Fifth Young Miss's boudoir of all places? Where did the silver draft and bag of jewelry on his body come from? We'll know the truth once we resolve all these questions."
Grand Preceptor Xie didn't even look at him. "Investigate where this man came from? Supreme Commander, do you think the Grand Preceptor's estate is a place where anyone can come and go freely?"
"Hmph, hmph," Ning Xiaoyao expressed her disapproval a couple of times.
Grand Preceptor said, "Your Majesty is the sovereign of an entire nation. How could servants like us compare to the likes of you?"
Lou Zigui wore an icy grin. "The clothes he's wearing don't even fit him properly. The sleeves are too long, the waist too wide, and the pants too short. Grand Preceptor, does your estate employ such servants? They can't even find clothes that fit them properly?"
The crowd looked over and found Lou Zigui's words to be true. None of the clothing quite fit on the man's body, but how could a big family allow their servants to dress so shoddily?
"What else do you have to say, Grand Preceptor?" Ning Xiaoyao asked. Grand Preceptor Xie only stared back. Ning Xiaoyao puffed up her best as she stood up straight. She wasn't afraid of others staring when she'd done nothing wrong. With difficulty, Grand Preceptor Xie raised a hand. Just when he was about to rest it against his forehead, it dropped listlessly by his side again.
"Your Majesty," he said sorrowfully as he wore a smile. "If the sovereign wants his subject to die, the subject has no choice but to accept death. This subject begs Your Majesty to spare this subject's granddaughters. This subject will bear the sole burden of their mistakes."
Ning Xiaoyao furrowed her brows. What does that mean? It sounds like the Grand Preceptor's turning me into the bad guy here. Lou Zigui only chuckle and remarked, "If we go by the Grand Preceptor's words, then it's His Majesty's fault that this mess happened at the Grand Preceptor's estate?"
Grand Preceptor Xie only stared at Ning Xiaoyao, his swollen eyes glistening with teardrops. Ning Xiaoyao never expected the old geezer to counterattack at a time like this. But her befuddlement soon gave way to anger. Isn't he being completely unreasonable?!
"You," Ning Xiaoyao prepared to blow her top when Lou Zigui took her hand and shook his head.
"Don't be angry. Everything will clear up once we get someone to investigate, so there's no way that we'll lose."
Ning Xiaoyao took deep breaths and repeated silently to herself, This world has no zombies, this world has no zombies, this world has no zombies. Then she calmed down and told Grand Preceptor Xie, "I'm not such a disgusting person to pick on your family's little girls. Neither of us can be the judge in this situation, so it's better for the justice courts to investigate. I'll send someone to keep an eye on them—you as well, Grand Preceptor. As long as we carefully look into the facts, we'll find the truth eventually."
"Don't bring up your family matters with me. For the sake of your family, your wife nearly took my Windy's life." Ning Xiaoyao cut him off. "In any case, it's impossible for the facts to lie. We'll have to investigate this even if we die. I refuse to believe that unsolvable mysteries exist in this world."
Lou Zigui took the bag of jewelry from Ning Xiaoyao's hands and added, "Ordinary families wouldn't carve names into their jewelry. It'd be easy enough to track down the craftsman and shopkeepers and link them to the owner than way."
"If I falsely accused your Xie Clan's young ladies, I'll give them a personal apology," Ning Xiaoyao added. "I'll stand in the streets and say it, mark my words."
"A righteous figure fears no shadows," Lou Zigui added. "If the Xie Clan daughters are innocent, they don't need to be afraid of any investigation."
"Once the local authorities get involved with inner court matters," Lady w.a.n.g sobbed, "How will my Xie Clan daughters live on as proper, respectable ladies?"
"Is your ladys.h.i.+p finally feeling regretful?" Lou Zigui asked coldly. "You led people to entrap Shadowgale and accused him of violating fifth young Miss. Why didn't you remember they were your Xie Clan's inner court matters then?"
Lady w.a.n.g desperately wished she could re-do everything. She never would have held Shadowgale back if these were the consequences!
"That's right," Ning Xiaoyao agreed. "Isn't Windy's reputation worth something just the same?"
Lou Zigui said, "Grand Preceptor, your ladys.h.i.+p, which is more important to you? Your Xie Clan daughters' reputations, or His Majesty's good name?"
"Exactly," Ning Xiaoyao spoke up in favor of justice. "Windy is mine. If you guys curse him, it's the same as slapping me in the face!"
Windy is mine… Lou Zigui's face turned black at the declaration. Why do those words sound so offensive to my ears?
Shadowgale felt himself choke. His Majesty's so protective of me even though I protecting Xie Duoying back then. He almost felt like dying. Just what did I do, ah?!
The Lord Protector enjoyed the entire show with relish. Seeing His Majesty and Supreme Commander Lou take turns dressing down Grand Preceptor Xie and his wife felt like drinking sweet ice water on the hottest days of the year. He felt comfortable and at ease.
When Lady w.a.n.g saw Grand Preceptor Xie left speechless by the duo, she rose shakily to her feet and wiped away her tears. "Your Majesty, if it's anyone who's wrong, it's this wife."
Ning Xiaoyao gave a start at her words. She's admitting to her mistakes that easily?
Lou Zigui furrowed his brows before crying out urgently, "Stop her!"
At the same time, Lady w.a.n.g ran head-first into a stone lantern stand.
"Ahhhhhh!" Screams of alarm rose in the courtyard. Lady w.a.n.g collapsed in a pool of blood, leaving a large scarlet stain against the lantern stand.
Ning Xiaoyao was the first to reach the woman's side. She actually resorted to death when she couldn't beat me. Can people stop tossing their lives away like nothing here?!
Grand Preceptor Xie squeezed his eyes shut. With Lady w.a.n.g's dying to prove her family's innocence, his Xie Clan daughters would be innocent of all wrongdoing. Meanwhile, he could make sure to pin Ning Yu for the crime of forcing Lady w.a.n.g to suicide!
Ning Xiaoyao rested her hand against the gaping wound on Lady w.a.n.g's forehead. She really had been looking to die and even cracked her skull against the stone. The layer of meninx bordering her brains s.h.i.+fted slightly under Ning Xiaoyao's touch. Lou Zigui walked to their side and murmured, "How is it?"
Because Ning Xiaoyao was wholly focused on repairing the damage, her complexion was a little page. But she still managed to grin at him and say, "How could anyone die with me around?"
Lou Zigui creased his brows tightly at the sight of Ning Xiaoyao's bloodstained hand. By now the Lord Protector had rushed over as well. Lady w.a.n.g can't die. Otherwise, His Majesty's crime of forcing his elders to die would far outshadow any transgressions by the Xie Clan daughters. Just the thought of it turned his scalp numb as he broke out into cold sweat. What now? He'd been doing nothing but watching a show just then, but now he was completely at a loss.