Chapter 268: Great General Chen wants to die in all sorts of ways
Lou Zigui brought the two pageboys into the kitchens where a cook was overseeing the stove. Seeing the trio, he asked, "Is there any business?"
Lou Zigui approached the cook and said nothing beyond raising his sword to the man's neck. The cook didn't even scream before he fell back into a dead faint on the ground.
Σ(°△ ° ︴, went the two pageboys. What's going on?!
Lou Zigui then turned back and knocked them out too, then tied them all up and gagged their mouths, leaving them in the kitchen.
"Supreme Commander," Old Huo ran out, garbed in the guards' clothes of the Grand Preceptor's estate. He quickly gave a respectful greeting with hands clasped.
"Have you brought everyone?" Lou Zigui asked.
"Remember not to hurt any of the kitchen staff later," Lou Zigui urged once more.
"Yes," Old Huo obeyed. Lou Zigui patted his shoulder and headed for the back courtyard. Meanwhile, Old Huo glanced inside at the unlucky chef and pageboays. It looked like they'd be unconscious for a while, so he clicked his tongue and shut the door before silently slipping away.
Lou Zigui retraced his steps back to the courtyard door leading to Chen Lu's quarters, where there was already a hubbub of voices within. Afraid of being caught, he remained standing in the shadows outside while listening to Grand Preceptor Xie flip out. "Née Xu, don't be too impudent!"
"I don't understand what the Grand Preceptor means by those words," Lady Xu didn't back down. "I am the Great General's wife and official consort. Whether it's for sentimental values or a legal standpoint, what's wrong with me raising his mistress's son and daughter?"
"There is no mistress!" Chen Lu cried out helplessly.
"Supreme Commander," Ning Xiaoyao suddenly appeared in front of Lou Zigui and almost patted his shoulder before he caught her hand first.
"How's the situation inside?" Lou Zigui asked.
Ning Xiaoyao was jubilant as she imitated Lady Xu tearing Chen Lu a new one. "She slapped him so hard that Chen Lu's face is swelling up, ah."
Lou Zigui had heard of Lady Xu's fearsome reputation, but he still found it hard to imagine a wife beating her husband swollen.
"Let's go," Ning Xiaoyao wanted to haul Lou Zigui atop the walls so they could see more of the show.
"Where's that pet mouse of yours?" Lou Zigui asked absently after catching a glimpse of her empty sleeve.
"Oil Jar's watching the show from the roof," Ning Xiaoyoa said. "Originally, he was planning to take advantage of the chaos and bite the Grand Preceptor, but I stopped him. There are too many guards down there, he'd be no match for them all if they got snappy."
A single mouse can be trampled with one foot. Does verbal warfare play into the mix at all? Once again, Supreme Commander Lou found it impossible to follow up with Miss Ning's words.
"Slapslapslap," Ning Xiaoyao was still imitating Lady Xu beating Chen Lu. As Lou Zigui watched her hand waved back and forth, he felt a breeze splash against his own cheeks and suddenly started to worry. This girl's still young. What if that tigress Lady Xu has a bad influence on her? (Author: Hey hey, Supreme Commander, did you already forget the superhuman scene of Miss Ning whacking people with bricks?!)
"Don't learn from her," Lou Zigui said as he caught her hand. "Do you know why she has no sons or daughters?"
Ning Xiaoyao blinked. When Lady Xu had slapped her, the physical contact allowed her to discover that the woman had a small tumor in her uterus that was preventing her from getting pregnant. But Lou Zigui only lowered his voice and said, "It's because she beats her husband. Because she was too fierce, she incurred retribution and turned barren."
(￣△￣；), said Ning Xiaoyao.
"I didn't say that," Lou Zigui added. "It's what a Daoist said once."
"and then?" Ning Xiaoyao asked.
"I heard that Lady Xu gave that Daoist a thorough beating," Lou Zigui replied. "Then one of her brothers brought men to the Daoist's temple and burned it down."
Ning Xiaoyao fell silent. That's a big price to pay for having a loose tongue.
"My lady, aiYAH!" Inside the courtyard, Chen Lu's pained cries rose once again into the air.
"Aiya," Ning Xiaoyao said, "Lady Xu's getting physical again."
"Xiaoyao, you can't learn from née Xu," Lou Zigui said.
She only shook her head in confusion. "Me learn from her? I'm such a reasonable person. Why would I hit anyone? Supreme Commander, are you worried that I'll beat someone?"
Lou Zigui was put on the spot and made a face: 囧. Why am I even worrying about this? Am I afraid that Miss Ning will beat me up in the future if she gets ruthless? That thought made him unwell all over.
"Née Xu!" Grand Preceptor Xie roared.
"My God." Ning Xiaoyao grabbed Lou Zigui and jumped onto the wall, then the roofs above. Is Lady Xu finally going to make her move against Grand Preceptor Xie?
Right now the courtyard was aglow with lanterns. There clearly two sides to the conflict: the Chen estate servants and the Grand Preceptor's men and soldiers. Lady Xu, Chen Lu, and Grand Preceptor Xie stood in the clearing between the two sides in a faceoff. Lou Zigui surveyed Chen Lu and found that his nose was bleeding.
"Tch," Ning Xiaoyao clicked her tongue. "Chen Lu looks even more wretched than before."
"I really don't have a mistress," Chen Lu said while muffling his nose. "Really."
Lady Xu said, "Looks like you're not planning to tell the truth."
"My lady," Chen Lu shouted. "I–"
Ning Xiaoyao unconsciously cradled her own face as the slap ran out. Too cruel! Chen Lu only felt that he'd rather die in this instant. The feeling of being wronged felt worse than death itself. The née Xiang sisters, Chen Lu vowed as he held his swollen face, When I find them, I'll kill them both. Then I'll tear their skins off! They're too shameless and brazen!
"You're actually grinding your teeth?" Lady Xu asked Chen Lu.
"I'm not," Chen Lu hastily shook his head.
"Then I must be going deaf," Lady Xu replied.
"N-no, that's not it," Chen Lu said, "My lady, I was just thinking, when I find that Xiang pair, I'll definitely kill them both in front of your eyes!"
"Heheh," Ning Xiaoyao muttered to Lou Zigui. "His thought is impossible."
Lou Zigui patted Ning Xiaoyao on the head. When he withdrew his hand, it was to pull her into his arms and mutter a soft noise of assent. In the courtyard, Lady Xu was laughing coldly again. She raised her hand for a slap again. Last time she'd boxed his ears, so this time she thrashed him for real.
"My lady, you!" Chen Lu panicked. "Just why are you doing this?!" So he supposedly had a mistress. His wife beat him, so he said he'd kill the vixens, but she was still trying to hit him dead!
All of the men in the crowd wanted to know the same thing.
"That née Xiang's already had a son and daughter with you and you still want to kill her?" Lady Xu raised a foot and kicked Chen Lu into a flowerbed in rage. "Chen Lu, I misjudged you. So you're the type of man who uses the woman as a scapegoat after getting into trouble!"
Great General Chen was in tears. He really wanted to die, ah!
Ning Xiaoyao gave a start at Lady Xu's words and suddenly realized she wasn't a bad woman at all.
"Grand Preceptor," Lady Xu turned to look at Grand Preceptor Xie. In haste, various guards hurried to defend the old man, afraid that she'd strike against their master, too.
"Withdraw," Grand Preceptor Xie ordered his guards. "This old man would like to see what she'd do to the likes of me!"
All of the guards backed off, but stood shaking with fear not far from Grand Preceptor Xie. As soon as Lady Xu made a move, they would rush to protect their master.
"I'm only a childless woman. What could I possibly do?" Lady Xu asked. "I only ask that the Grand Preceptor stand as judge and have Chen Lu divorce me. He can welcome that pair of blossoming sisters into the estate instead."
"This old man can guarantee," Grand Preceptor Xie said as he smoothed out the wrinkles between his brows with a coaxing tone, "That these née Xiang sisters don't exist at all. If this old man really did such a thing, I would naturally admit to it. Née Xu, you've been with Shenyan up to this day. Has he ever bullied you?"
Before Lady Xu could reply, the sound of knocking came from the door.
"Who's there?" Grand Preceptor Xie asked his steward, who shook his head. He didn't know either.
"Hurry and take a look," the Grand Preceptor ordered. But then the doors opened with a bang as someone kicked it in, the sound reverberating in everyone's ears.
"I had someone send a letter to the Grand Preceptor's estate," Lou Zigui whispered to Ning Xiaoyao. "Telling them that someone was going to kill Xie Wenyuan. These are his men coming to the rescue."
Ning Xiaoyao asked, "Is it that easy to trick the Grand Preceptor's men?"
"I gave Xie Laibao a head's up ahead of time," Lou Zigui replied.
Ning Xiaoyao nodded. Head Steward Xie was one of Supreme Commander Lou's men now and spying for them in the Grand Preceptor's estate. With this, the ploy would've worked.
"Grand Preceptor!" one of the Grand Preceptor's subordinates ran into the courtyard to report, "The head steward brought men here to—to apprehend all of the Chen estate's servants."
Grand Preceptor Xie had expected Ning Yu's people to come. If that was the case, he'd only suffer a bit of torment in her hands since she couldn't kill him outright, and earn back née Xu's trust in the process instead, thus gaining an advantage from the misfortune. But now that it was his own estate's men coming to capture née Xu's servants, he felt his vision go black.
Lady Xu looked at him coldly. "So the Grand Preceptor was intending to kill me."
"This is a misunderstanding," Grand Preceptor Xie sounded unconvincing even to himself.
Chen Lu crawled out of the flowerbed then, almost pleading with Grand Preceptor Xie now. "Grand Preceptor, née Xu is a married woman. You shouldn't treat her so casually."
Grand Preceptor Xie didn't want to say any more.
"Will the head steward get beaten by the Grand Preceptor for this?" Ning Xiaoyao was fretting on the roof.
"Yes, but he won't die," Lou Zigui said. "He would only be the party that was tricked in all of this."
"Someone, come," Grand Preceptor Xie ordered, "Escort Lady Xu back to the Chen Estate."
None of the Grand Preceptor's guards said a word at the orders, but exchanged their thoughts through glances instead. Then all of them rushed forward at once. Lady Xu could beat Great General Chen silly with her bare hands. If they didn't mob her together, they're never be able to bring her under control.
"Grand Preceptor!" Chen Lu lost his temper.
"She won't listen to words or reason right now," Grand Preceptor Xie grabbed Chen Lu by the hand to mutter. "Let her calm down first. This old man will talk to her personally in the future."
Lady Xu simply raised her hands to fight against the soldiers as she smiled icily at Chen Lu.