T/N: Sorry for the later chapter.
Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Translator: Fuyu Neko
Chapter 444 - Turn of events (1)
Marquis Moyu voiced his assent. Ji Man had been helping him stand up when he suddenly fainted without warning.
Ji Man only had enough time to feel the weight on her hand abruptly increasing. She almost fell to the ground with him. "My lord!"
The surrounding people were startled. From the other side, Ning Mingjie hastily came over to support Ning Yuxuan.
"There was poison on the weapons?" Ji Man angrily raised her head to glare at Zhao Zhe.
The corners of Zhao Zhe's lips twitched. "How could there be poison? They were using common military issued weapons and only made brief contact."
If it was only brief contact, how could there be a deep wound on Ning Yuxuan's shoulder? Ji Man supported Ning Yuxuan and somewhat anxiously said, "Go find a doctor first."
"Your Majesty, if the marquis doesn't head out soon, the auspicious time will have passed." Nearby, a ceremonial official furrowed his brow as he reminded, "It would be very unlucky for the army to depart after the auspicious time has passed."
Ancient times people were very superstitious and thought these superstitious practices were extremely accurate. Otherwise, there wouldn't be so many officials responsible for ceremonies and astrologers observing the sky in the Ministry of Rites. An army of 80,000 soldiers was already waiting outside, but the commander had suddenly fainted. If Ning Yuxuan was forcibly brought onto a horse, and the soldiers saw their unconscious commander, was there still a need to fight a battle? They might as well give up now and directly give their country to the enemy.
However, if Zhao Zhe had the 80,000 soldiers wait until Ning Yuxuan had recovered to depart, not only would the auspicious time be missed, how would Ning Yuxuan be able to successfully command the army?
The nearby people had tried all sorts of ways - from pinching him to using needles on his acupuncture points to pressing on his pressure points - but Ning Yuxuan remained unconscious, and the wound on his shoulder had gotten worse from their attempts. That injury was starting to look terrible.
With an ashen face, Zhao Zhe looked at Ning Yuxuan for a long time before he finally clenched his jaw and asked, "Where's Ning Mingjie?"
"This subject is here." Ning Mingjie knelt down again.
"This emperor bestows you the title of commander over these troops that will head out on a punitive expedition to the west. Are you willing to lead these reinforcements to the borders and ensure the security of my country and its citizens?”
Ning Mingjie deeply kowtowed. "Thank you for your great benevolence, Your Majesty"
Ji Man was thrilled. So Ning Yuxuan wouldn't have to go out on the expedition? Although she was worried why he had suddenly fainted, it meant that he could remain in the capital.
"Alright, bring the marquis back to his estate for now." Zhao Zhe glanced at Ji Man and said, "The position of the commander has been temporarily changed due to the desperate circumstances. Yuxuan is a good general. Once he's recovered, he'll follow after the troops and go the borderlands too."
"Understood." Ji Man agreed on Ning Yuxuan's behalf.
Even if he was only pretending to be ill, it seemed that he would have to keep up this pretense for a long time.
Ji Man brought Ning Yuxuan back onto the carriage, and they headed to his estate. On the way there, he woke up. He opened his eyes and looked at her as she said, "You're freed from your dilemma."
Since he didn't have to go on the expedition, they could work together to figure out how save Haohao. She didn't have to stay here and face Zhao Zhe by herself.
Ji Man looked at his bleeding wound. Furrowing her brow, she asked, "Did you do that deliberately?
"En." Ning Yuxuan moved his head slightly up so that it was pillowed on her thigh. He closed his eyes after he found a comfortable position. "Zhao Zhe is determined to get rid of me. It can only end in my death or him perishing."
Shocked, Ji Man said, "It's another fight for power? You've gone through multiple rounds of this. Why don't you just try to seize the throne for yourself?"
"I have thought about that." Ning Yuxuan helplessly laughed. "However, it's an ancestral rule that no one in my clan can scheme to sit on the throne. The imperial family's last name can't be changed. Even though the person on the throne keeps changing, I can never be allowed to sit on it."
Otherwise, how could he be willing to stay only a subject despite the numerous opportunities?
Oh, so it was like that. Ji Man had thought it was because Marquis Moyu didn't have great ambition and was devoted to the idea of supporting the current ruler.
"Since the emperor wants me to leave once I've recovered, my illness can only get worse." Ning Yuxuan looked at Ji Man and earnestly said, "This information is a matter of life and death. You're the only one I shared it with. Don't disappoint me and turn your back on me."
"Okay." Ji Man seriously nodded.
The new emperor had only recently ascended to the throne, so his foundations weren't stable yet. However, Ji Man thought the Ning Yuxuan's odds of success wasn't as good as the previous time. After all, Zhao Zhe didn't suffer from psychological issues like Zhao Li. Back when Zhao Zhe was the crown prince, Zhao Jue and Zhao Li hadn't been a match for his resourcefulness and scheming.
In addition, Marquis Moyu was handicapped by his wife and children. Although he had control of the officials in the six ministries and was allied with generals, from her perspective, he appeared to be in a weaker position.
Ji Man felt quite anxious. First, she didn't know if this was a dream or reality. Second, why had she chosen such a troublesome man? At anytime and at anyplace, he might lose his life. She had to worry on his behalf.
But, as she was running back here in her heels, she had already understood. So, what if she was dreaming? I dare not love for I fear this is only a dream. At the very least, she had properly experienced love. It was better than waking up, blankly looking around, and not even knowing why she was crying.
If she was too scared of getting hurt, then why bother with trying to have a romantic relationship? She was already twenty-six years old and past the ideal age for getting married. Wasn't it because her mechanism to protect herself from getting hurt had been taken too far? She hadn't been willing to invest her feelings in a relationship. She had been too scared of getting hurt. In the end, she had become a leftover woman.
Taking a deep breath, Ji Man stroked Ning Yuxuan's head and quietly said, "This time, I'll stand at my lord's side."
Ning Yuxuan opened his eyes. They were gleaming as he looked at her for a while, then he slowly closed them. "En."