Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Translator: Fuyu Neko
Chapter 434 - Don't give away your heart (1)
Ning Yuxuan didn't provide a follow-up answer. His mind was already a mess. He didn't dare to imagine what had happened before Zhao Zhe came here. Clearly, he should have made it in time. Why...
Next to him, Nie Qingyun saluted with his hand and said, "We were just discussing who should lead the reinforcement troops. Yuzhen's border is very close to Jing Province. This subject was lucky enough to have met a few generals in Jing Province that would be suitable to take on this heavy responsibility. This subject specially came here to recommend them to Your Majesty."
"Oh?" Zhao Zhe glanced at Ning Yuxuan, then pursed his lips and said, "Although Yuzhen was an ally, they were the ones that broke our alliance first by invading the borders. This emperor thinks that although there aren't many troops at the border, they should be able to hold off for at least a year. Thus, it's not necessary to look for reinforcement troops that are near to the border. It's better to find troops that will be the most useful."
Ning Mingjie furrowed his brow. "Your Majesty, speed is the most precious thing in war. Why would that proximity not be the most useful aspect?”
"This emperor thinks that although it would be convenient to dispatch troops from Jing Province, it won't be sufficient in expressing the imperial court's fury with Yuzhen for tearing up our alliance agreement. Out of all the generals, this emperor trusts the three of you the most. However, General Ning has to stay in the capital to guard it, and General Nie has to return to the Jing Province to guard it as well. How about having the marquis take command of the army that will retaliate against Yuzhen?"
Ning Mingjie and Nie Qingyun were both stunned. Ning Yuxuan has always been in charge of the Six Ministries. He should be considered a civil official. When did he become a general? Moreover, if he went on an expedition to Yuzhen right now, what would happen to Sangyu?
Marquis Moyu lifted his robe and knelt down. "This subject is lacking in the ability to assume such a heavy responsibility. Your Majesty, don't treat the affairs of the state as child's play. A person with more experience should be chosen to take command."
Zhao Zhe laughed. "Marquis, there's no reason why you can't serve as a general. Didn't you devise a plan for how Zhangjun's army would seize the capital? You’ve already accomplished many great achievements. From the perspective of this emperor, the marquis is well-versed in the art of war, as well as having courage and the ability to plan well. It's only providing assistance to a border position. You're more than qualified for this task."
Ning Yuxuan's complexion was ashen. He almost got up and left in a huff. Ning Mingjie, who was next to him, quickly reached out and stopped him.
The mood in the great hall was somewhat tense. Zhao Zhe straightened his originally disheveled robes, then insincerely smiled and asked, "Marquis, are you not willing?"
"This subject isn't..."
Nie Qingyun felt cold sweat gathering on his back and quickly interrupted him, "Yuxuan." Had he lost his mind? If he showed his disobedience right in front of the emperor, he would be convicted of a crime. Yuxuan was someone that knew propriety and was very smooth and evasive in his speech. Why was he so muddled-headed today?
Ning Yuxuan took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and said, "This subject won't disappoint Your Majesty's expectations."
"Excellent!" Zhao Zhe loudly laughed. He walked down from the throne, patted Ning Yuxuan's shoulder, and said, "Beloved subject, you really know how to share and alleviate this emperor's troubles."
Marquis Moyu contemptuously smiled. He lowered his head and stayed silent.
Ji Man remained in Shen Youqing's palace in a daze.
Marquis Moyu was someone that had already experience the changing of several emperors. Each time, he had ensured that he was the key link by proving his value at the critical last moment. So much so that, it was clear he wielded a great deal of power in the imperial court.
And, the more power a person had, the more likely they would have a bad outcome once they were in a period of prosperity. Marquis Moyu wasn't greedy for the throne. On the contrary, he had helped one person after another onto the throne. Ji Man didn't understand him. If she were to say that his goal was to install a puppet emperor to do his bidding, that wouldn't be true. If he was trying to be an obedient and honest official that supported the emperor, why had the emperors that had come and gone been so guarded against him?
Actually, it wasn't surprising. Marquis Moyu was truly a deeply scheming, treacherous, and cunning person. There was no one that would feel safe if there was a wolf sleeping by his throne.
There were only two options: get rid of the wolf or defang the wolf.
Right now, she had unfortunately become a tool to pull out his fangs.
Just as she was sighing over this in the middle of the night, the door to the hall was pushed open. A young female palace servant poked her head inside. "Miss Nie, please follow this servant."
This girl was Shen Youqing's personal servant. Ji Man furrowed her brow and followed her outside.
At this time of the night, there weren't many people walking around. The young palace servant actually led her to a small side door, and she saw an exhausted Ning Yuxuan waiting for her. When he saw her, his eyes were slightly red.
Ji Man's hanging heart finally fell down. She couldn't resist quickening her steps and almost tossed her pride away to rush into his arms.
When she firmly stopped in front of him instead, the young servant, who was behind her, quickly left. Ji Man grinned. "Now you remember to come pick me up?"
Once these words were said, she felt shocked by her behavior. When did she start to act so unreasonably? Normally, shouldn't she have said something like, "Oh, you're here. Let's leave then." Instead of saying something straightforwardly simple like that, why had she acted so coquettishly out-of-character?
Ji Man closed her eyes. That moment must have been a friendly guest appearance by Nie Sangyu.
Ning Yuxuan's gaze was very complicated. Seeing her clothes had been changed, he stayed silent for a long time before he finally hoarsely said, "I'm sorry."
Ji Man awkwardly laughed. "It wasn't serious enough that an apology is needed."
"En, let's... go home." When Ning Yuxuan stretched his hand out to hold her hand, his hand was slightly trembling.
Ji Man noticed his trembling. Not understanding what was causing this, she frowned and asked, "What's wrong? Did something happen to Haohao?"
"No." Ning Yuxuan used so much force in grasping her hand that she furrowed her brow. They hadn't even taken two steps when he stopped and tightly hugged her to his chest.
This... Was he overcome by a moment of emotional vulnerability? Ji Man patted his back. "It's okay, it's okay. Don't feel bad."
Ning Yuxuan raised his head and looked at her with somewhat reddened eyes. "Don't you feel upset?"
Ji Man thought he was being ridiculous. "Why would I feel upset?"
"..." Ning Yuxuan took a deep breath, closed his eyes, turned his head, and continued walking. "I forgot. You said that the place you're from... doesn't care about this type of thing."