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Chapter 218: Prince Fu wants to die together
"General Tao, prepare to depart with my uncle. Supreme Commander, take care of transferring the troops," Ning Xiaoyao said before spreading her hands at Elder Li. "Old gramps, look at this. We didn't need the Grand Preceptor after all."
Elder Li asked, "Before moving the troops and horses, we'll need grain and gra.s.s for them first. This subject respectfully asks Your Majesty how that is to be arranged?"
Ning Xiaoyao looked at Prince Fu, who thoroughly lost his temper. "This prince is already dividing up my family property. What else does Your Majesty want this prince to do?!"
In Prince Fu's eyes, he'd already given up so much. Anyone who had a sense of tact would know to stop demanding more things. But much to his disappointment, Ning Xiaoyao was completely tactless. She shrugged and said, "But I don't have any money, ah."
"……." said Prince Fu.
"Your wife and children are both at Fenglin City, oh," Ning Xiaoyao shrugged again with a sigh. "What to do? The Grand Preceptor has money, so maybe you could talk with him, uncle?"
Prince Fu wanted to kill Ning Xiaoyao more than anyone else, but now Grand Preceptor Xie was the second. "This. Prince. Has. No. Money!" he emphasized word by word.
"So it's decided," Ning Xiaoyao told Lou Zigui and Tao Yu instead. "General Tao will set out tomorrow."
Tao Yu went on his knees without waiting for Prince Fu to protest. "This subject accepts the decree."
"Rise," Ning Xiaoyao said. She couldn't help him up personally because Lou Zigui was holding her back, so she only made a lifting motion with her hands.
"Go back to the military barracks," Lou Zigui told Tao Yu after he stood up. "And a.s.semble your subordinates there. Have them accompany you to East Ji."
Hearing this, Tao Yu hastily looked towards Ning Xiaoyao. I can even take my subordinates with me?
Ning Xiaoyao thought it over before nodding. "Mm, take them. I'll worry less if you're fighting with your brothers by your side."
Tao Yu's eyes grew red with tears as his voice rose into a trill. "Your Majesty."
"I have experience with this," Ning Xiaoyao said seriously. "I fight people a lot."
Lou Zigui wanted to tell her that fighting wasn't the same as war, but ultimately decided to keep quiet. Whatever makes her happy. Moreover, he could tell by Tao Yu's state that he'd swallowed up all of Ning Xiaoyao's words despite being a standoffish type of man.
"Go on," Ning Xiaoyao wanted to pat Tao Yu on the shoulder, but Supreme Commander Lou pulled her back before she could reach him. She could only encourage the man with a wide grin.
"His Majesty will prepare the decree to transfer the troops and give you the tiger tally by tonight," Lou Zigui told Tao Yu. "You should make preparations first."
Tao Yu nodded, but suddenly fell on his knees again to reverently kowtow three times to Ning Xiaoyao. Then he rose and strode out of the audience hall with large strides.
"A real man," Ning Xiaoyao told Lou Zigui as she pointed at Tao Yu.
Lou Zigui just smiled. "Your Majesty has done very well in trusting your men and using them."
Prince Fu said, "Your Majesty, this prince hasn't agreed to anything."
Ning Xiaoyao simply looked at him until his face started turning shades of green. She sniffed, then said, "You have to do it even if you don't want to."
Prince Fu took a large step back and raged, "Are you planning to be completely unreasonable?"
"Heheh," Ning Xiaoyao chuckled. "Were you any more reasonable when you claimed all of East Ji's grain for yourself?
"That was because, that–" Prince Fu stuttered, before finding an excuse and spitting it out. "The late emperor always knew, but he never said this prince couldn't!"
"You call him the late emperor too," Ning Xiaoyao glanced at him. "Who's the emperor now? It's me, alright?"
"…." said Prince Fu.
"You have to have money," Ning Xiaoyao folded her hands behind her back as she circled around Prince Fu. "When my father's father was emperor, you were already Prince Fu. Now my father's already been buried, but you're still Prince Fu. How much money did you make just from selling grain all these years?"
"What do you mean, 'my father's father?'" Prince Fu wanted to change the subject.
"That's not the point," Ning Xiaoyao wasn't fooled. Money and grain were the main points now, while everything else was irrelevant!
Prince Fu fell silent.
Ning Xiaoyao said, "Huh, you wanna fight me by keeping silent? You heartless, faithless b.a.s.t.a.r.d! Your big and little wives and your sons and daughters are all waiting for you to save them, but you're not willing to part with your embezzled funds?!"
"Th, those aren't embezzled funds…" Prince Fu sounded very unconfident.
"Heheh," Ning Xiaoyao chuckled.
"Ah, that's not it. This prince isn't heartless or faithless…"
"Heheh," Ning Xiaoyao said again.
"You," Prince Fu sputtered. "Can't you spare a single coin?"
"Heheh," Ning Xiaoyao looked towards Prince Fu.
Prince Fu grit his teeth. "Will you stop 'heheh'-ing?"
"Heheh," said Ning Xiaoyao.
"d.a.m.n your ancestors!" Prince Fu finally snapped.
Elder Li and Lou Zigui didn't even have time to rebuke him before Ning Xiaoyao's mouth smirked. "Hey hey, we're part of the same clan. Uncle, just what are you doing? Can you keep up like this?"
"I—this prince—ahhHHHHHHhhhh—-" Prince Fu clawed at his head as he fell apart.
"Stop making a row," the Lord Protector looked at Prince Fu with a heavy heart. "If you keep scratching yourself, you'll draw blood."
Prince Fu stopped, feeling as if his head was really bleeding. He looked at Ning Xiaoyao and debated whether he should die together with the wretch. Ning Xiaoyao formed a fist and said, "Uncle, ah, let me remind you: you can't beat me in a fight."
The Lord Protector suddenly felt sorry for Prince Fu. His Majesty's utterly ruthless when it comes to stepping on others.
"Besides, what do you mean by can't I spare a single coin?" Ning Xiaoyao added. "Who do the soldiers belong to? Who's sending out the troops? Won't a battle take lives or cause injuries? I'm sending out all those good men. Uncle, you should calculate the costs yourself. How much is the worth of a single human life?"
Prince Fu wanted to say that the lives of soldiers were worth c.r.a.p, but he didn't dare in the face of Ning Xiaoyao's fist. That brazen b.a.s.t.a.r.d was fully capable of beating him up.
"Have some shame," Ning Xiaoyao sighed. "It's already bad enough that our country has that unrepentant Grand Preceptor. Uncle, can't you show some humility? Tell me, would the rebel bands have beaten East Ji so thoroughly if it wasn't for your actions? The hearts of the people can," Ning Xiaoyao paused to think, then looked towards Lou Zigui. "Can what again?"
"The hearts of the people can support and oppose," Lou Zigui finished.
"Do you want me to talk more about life with you?" Ning Xiaoyao asked Prince Fu next.
Prince Fu's face was burning. But if he gave away everything this time, how would he live his days once the rebel bands were gone? Now this b.a.s.t.a.r.d Ning Yu was telling him to do as he liked and blackmail him. If he ended up as a poor, powerless prince, wouldn't Ning Yu be free to kill him whenever he wanted? (Author: Actually, prince, His Majesty has the guts to kill you even now, if she wanted to. o(╯□╰)o )
"All of this prince's money is at Fenglin City," Prince Fu put up his final protest. "I have no way to bring out the cash or grain right now."
"Even rabbits have three dens. Would you really put all your money at Fenglin City?" Ning Xiaoyao looked at him with a do you take me for an idiot expression. "Uncle, if you keep acting like this, we might as well stop fighting for Fenglin. Whoever wants it can take it."
"You," Prince Fu pointed a finger a Ning Xiaoyao.
"Miaow!" Big Boss Black meowed loudly. Prince Fu saw the fat black cat by Lou Zigui's feet and quietly withdrew his hand.
"That there, Your Excellency Pei, ah," Ning Xiaoyao found Pei Yan.
He bowed in response. "This subject is here."
"I'd like to trouble you to take a walk with my uncle and withdraw all the money he has in the capital's private banks," Ning Xiaoyao said. "Then move away all the grain from the shops of he and his relatives here."
"This prince has no grain shops in the capital!" Prince Fu yelled.
"So you just have money stored here, then?" Ning Xiaoyao glanced at him. "You have both. Don't think I can't see through your greedy ways. You think about money birthing money even in your dreams."
A droplet of sweat rolled down Prince Fu's forehead. When did this shameless wretch get so astute?
Ning Xiaoyao silently gave Big Boss Black a thumbs up. She had pals that flew in the air, swam in the water, ran on the ground and dug in the earth. As long as she had questions, she would get answers.
"Go on," Ning Xiaoyao pointed at the doors.
Pei Yan took this chance to ask, "Your Majesty, are we taking grain from the other imperial clansmen's shops as well?"
"We are," Ning Xiaoyao said. "Just say that my uncle's borrowing it from them."
Prince Fu's legs grew weak as he collapsed onto the ground. How am I supposed to live amongst the clansmen now? If we take all the grain from their stores, won't they eat me alive?
"Not just grain," Ning Xiaoyao added after some thought. "Take away anything you can find. None of them are as poor as me, anyways. That's what we'll do."
Pei Yan glanced at Prince Fu, who was sitting on the ground, before falling to his knees. "This subject accepts the decree."
The Lord Protector felt like he was in a dream. When did our family's second eldest start treating His Majesty with such respect? Isn't this all too sudden?
"Should I ask a few of the Dragon Guard big bros to come with you?" Ning Xiaoyao asked Prince Fu as she bid Pei Yan rise.
Prince Fu had to crawl multiple times before he staggered to his feet. "Isn't Your Majesty afraid of the clansmen kneeling outside the palace and shouting at you to take back your decree?"
This time, Ning Xiaoyao was even too lazy to chuckle back. She simply rolled her eyes at him.
"…….." said Prince Fu. I suffered that eyeroll for nothing. Of course, why would this wretch care about things like that at all?
"Prince, if you please." Pei Yan approached Prince Fu and gestured to him to go ahead.
"This is the Nine Gates Infantry Commander," Ning Xiaoyao introduced Pei Yan. "He's an important official of the court, so you have to respect him, uncle."
Prince Fu simply turned on his heel and stalked outside. Me, a prince, respecting a Nine Gates Infantry Commander? He felt like he never wanted to see Ning Xiaoyao again in this lifetime.
"Bring along Windy and the rest," Ning Xiaoyao whispered to Pei Yan. "They have experience moving things."
Second Young Master Pei's mouth twitched. Did they get that experience from moving away Xie Wenyuan's things?
Ning Xiaoyao exhaled in relief once Pei Yan and Prince Fu were gone. "Ah geez, it's finally over."
"Over?" the Lord Protector gave a start.
"Mhm," Ning Xiaoyao said. "We've got soldiers, a general, the general's pals, money, and grain. Lord Protector, is there anything else we need to do?"
The Lord Protector shook his head. There really isn't anything left.
Ning Xiaoyao looked towards Elder Li and said, very respectfully, "Old gramps, you can go home and eat now, right?"
Elder Li stared at Ning Xiaoyao with a complicated gaze, causing her body to stiffen. Does he still want to find me for something else?
Elder Li couldn't help but think to himself how everything had been resolved. His Majesty actually pushed out Prince Fu to get rid of the problem before us?!
Ning Xiaoyao scooted behind Lou Zigui and whispered, "Why is old gramps looking at me like that? Does he want to bite me to death? What's going on?" (Author: Just how much do you fear that old gramps, ah? What has he ever done to you?)