Go with him?
General Ning wasn't the only one shocked by Ning Qinghuan's words. Even Jun Zishu, who was watching the live broadcast through Little Fairy, was stunned.
Jun Zishu never thought that Ning Qinghuan would make such a decision.
Go to war? Isn't that too dangerous? At that time, let alone living a happy life, she might not even have a life to live.
[If the mission target dies, the mission will be deemed a failure.]
This situation also flustered Little Fairy.
For the moment, Jun Zishu decided to continue observing the situation instead of taking any substantial action.
Since Ning Qinghuan had stated her desire to participate in the war, she definitely wasn't joking. After all, she had always been a serious person. Meanwhile, if participating in the war could bring Ning Qinghuan happiness, Jun Zishu felt that letting her cousin do what she wanted wouldn't be a bad idea. After all, Jun Zishu's goal was to let Ning Qinghuan live happily and change the girl's fate.
However, the battlefield was a dangerous place where one could lose their life at any moment. Ning Qinghuan also didn't seem like she would be willing to sit at the rear lines doing menial tasks. If that was the case, it would defeat the purpose of her wanting to participate in the war. Her personality also wouldn't allow her to sit still and do nothing.
This conundrum gave Jun Zishu a headache. She also wondered if she should go with Ning Qinghuan should her cousin head to the battlefield.
Jun Zishu didn't know how to fight a war. She had also never practiced martial arts or medicinal arts, so she would only become baggage should she join the army. Moreover, she still needed to help the fourth prince in securing the throne. If she went to the distant north, she couldn't maintain contact with the fourth prince.
"This isn't a joke, Qinghuan. The battlefield is a dangerous place. Even I cannot guarantee that we will win. Moreover, the enemies in the north seem to have come prepared this time. It is bound to be a vicious war."
"I'm not joking, Dad. I've been learning martial arts since I was a child. I also like reading books on war. You have also praised me for my talent before, Dad, so I want to go with you. I don't want to stay here and get married. There still aren't any suitable candidates, right? Dad, take me with you!"
Ning Qinghuan's attitude was firm, and she coaxed General Ning in a soft tone.
However, General Ning still refused to budge. His son was already on the battlefield. There was no need for his daughter to join as well.
Seeing General Ning's attitude, Ning Qinghuan stopped acting coquettishly and started using reason to persuade her father instead.
When Jun Zishu saw Ning Qinghuan discussing troop formations with General Ning, she couldn't help but have complicated feelings about the situation.
In the end, although Ning Qinghuan had successfully moved her father's heart, General Ning still didn't give the OK. Instead, he told Ning Qinghuan to get her mother's clearance first.
To the surprise of no one, Madam Ning instantly rejected Ning Qinghuan's request to join the battlefield.
"You're not allowed to go."
"But I want to go, Mom."
"I won't allow it!"
Madam Ning only had one daughter, and she pampered her daughter very much. How could she possibly be willing to let her precious daughter risk her life? Moreover, her son was still on the battlefield even as they spoke. Now that the enemies in the north were marching to the empire's borders, her son could be in danger at any time. There was no way she would let both her children risk their lives.
"What would a girl go to a battlefield for? Isn't this nonsense? You just need to stay at home, get married, and have children! I never stopped you from learning martial arts because I wanted you to be able to defend yourself in the future, not because I wanted you to go to the battlefield and risk your life!"
Madam Ning clutched her chest, feeling a little exhausted.
"I've been unfilial, Mom, but my will is firm this time. I have never asked for anything since I was a child, so please fulfill my wish this time."
Ning Qinghuan knelt, sincerity in her eyes.
"Why, Qinghuan? Tell me why."
Madam Ning held her forehead, an uncomfortable feeling enveloping her entire body. She loved her daughter very much, and she wanted to support any dream her daughter had. However, that didn't mean she was willing to agree to let her daughter risk her own life.
If the worst-case scenario in the war happened this time, then her entire family would perish on the battlefield!
"I want to go, Mom."
"Is it only because you don't want to get married? If you don't want to, I can help you delay it for another two years."
Madam Ning stood up, her face filled with worry.
"You don't understand, Mom. My marriage isn't something you can delay for two years. The one above can no longer wait. Going to war might be my best option. Either I marry someone that satisfies his wishes, or I don't marry anyone at all. However, I don't want to rashly marry someone that I'm not even familiar with… I beg you, Mom, grant me my wish."
Ning Qinghuan kowtowed and banged her head on the floor a few times.
Seeing this, Madam Ning hurriedly stopped her daughter's actions and said, "I'm not trying to shackle you to the house, but can't you consider my feelings?"
"I'm sorry, Mom, but I really want to go."
Guilt covered Ning Qinghuan's face as she spoke. However, to acquire what she desired, she had no choice but to take this route.
Since there was no way out of getting married, she would pave a new road herself.
"Fine, fine. You've already grown up, so I can't stop you. Go, go ahead."
Madam Ning waved Ning Qinghuan away, an exhausted look appearing on her face. She was well aware of her daughter's stubborn personality. If she didn't agree to her daughter's request, the little girl would think of other ways to join the war. Rather than have her daughter sneak out of the house to join the war, it'd be better if she saw her daughter off herself. That way, she would at least know her daughter's whereabouts.
"Mom… I've been unfilial…"
"Enough, enough. Let's stop talking about this. Just make sure to spend more time with me these next few days. Both you and your brother are just like your father…"
"Of course!" Ning Qinghuan smiled brightly, the anxiety in her heart disappearing. However, that anxiety quickly returned as she said, "Mom… I have another request."
"Hm? What is it?"
"What? Don't tell me you want to bring Wan'er with you? Absolutely not! Unlike you, Wan'er has never practiced martial arts! What would she do if she went with you? Nobody will be taking care of you out there! You need to be prepared to suffer hardships! War is not a game!"
Madam Ning slammed her palm onto the table, her expression instantly changing.
"Oh, Mom, that's not it! Can you let me finish? I'm not trying to bring Wan'er with me. How can Wan'er go to the battlefield? Her body is weak. How can I possibly joke with her safety?"
"That's more like it."
Madam Ning's expression softened.
[Huh? Something feels a little strange.]
Little Fairy mumbled.
[With the level of intimacy you share with the mission target, I thought the mission target would be more than eager to bring you around with her, Host.]
That depends on the situation.
Jun Zishu massaged her temples and sighed. Little Fairy's words had rendered her a little speechless. It was precisely because Ning Qinghuan cared about her that she wouldn't put her at risk.
Through this situation, Jun Zishu also learned that her little cousin truly pampered her. Now, Jun Zishu only wondered how Ning Qinghuan planned to break the news to her.
"Speak, then. What is your request?"
"I want you to…not marry Wan'er off before I come back."
"What? Why?" Madam Ning frowned, confusion appearing on her face. "Nobody knows how long the war will last. It might be fine if it only lasts a short period, but what if it lasts three or five years? She'll become an old woman by then. Others might even speak badly about us if we do something like this."
"I…won't allow it regardless!"
"What's wrong with you? I know you are close with Wan'er, but you cannot do such a thing. Marriage is an important matter. Don't worry; I will find a good family for her."
"No, I must be the one to do it."
Ning Qinghuan refused to budge.
What a joke. If she returned to find that her little cousin had already married someone, she would probably lose her mind and commit murder.
"You… What about Wan'er's wishes, then?"
"Wan'er will…agree with me."
Ning Qinghuan might have said so, but she couldn't help but feel uncertain about her words.
Ning Qinghuan frowned in annoyance. She also couldn't help but contemplate whether she should bring up this matter with her little cousin. She also wondered how her cousin would react to such a request.
"...I'll talk to Wan'er about this matter. Hah… I'll pack your things for you," Madam Ning said.
"No need, no need. I'll do it myself, Mom. You don't need to pack anything for me. I won't be needing any accessories or the clothes I usually wear, anyway."
Ning Qinghuan happily left the room. Madam Ning, however, sat in the room and started weeping.
Madam Ning was a strong person. She used to be weak and gentle before, but having to wait for long periods time and time again had tempered her will.
Initially, she had waited for her husband to return from the battlefield. Afterward, she waited for her son's return. Now, she had to wait for her daughter's return as well.
In reality, Madam Ning had already prepared herself for such a possibility when Ning Qinghuan had gained an interest in swords since she was a child. Meanwhile, the reason why she allowed Ning Qinghuan to learn martial arts wasn't because she had succumbed to her daughter's coaxing, but because she wanted her daughter to withdraw after learning the hardships of practicing martial arts.
However, to Madam Ning's dismay, the precious daughter she had nurtured had endured through the hardships and persisted in her training every day. Both her son and her daughter had taken after their father.
When Ning Qinghuan arrived back at her residential building, she walked up the stairs with light steps. She still wasn't sure if she should come clean with Jun Zishu.
"Let's bathe, Little Wan'er."
After opening the doors to her room, Ning Qinghuan nonchalantly smiled at Jun Zishu.
Jun Zishu nodded. Inwardly, though, she wondered why Ning Qinghuan wasn't telling her what had happened.
Since Ning Qinghuan didn't plan to bring up the matter, Jun Zishu decided to do it for her cousin.
"What did you go out for, Big Sister?"
"I talked with Mom and Dad. Dad will be leaving soon."
"Mhm, I see."
After the bath, Jun Zishu and Ning Qinghuan got into bed together while Shaoyao extinguished the lights.
Jun Zishu closed her eyes but did not fall asleep. Ning Qinghuan did not sleep either as she kept her eyes open.
"Little Wan'er…what if…"
"If I don't want you to get married, will you go along with my wishes?"
"Why are you suddenly talking about this, Big Sister?"
"Tell me. Are you willing?"
Ning Qinghuan sat up, her voice sounding a little rushed.
"Of course I am willing. So long as I can follow you, I don't care if I get married or not, Big Sister."
"What if you can't follow me?"
"Do you not want me anymore, Big Sister?"
Jun Zishu also sat up and looked at Ning Qinghuan's face, her voice sounding a little panicked.
Even though Jun Zishu knew everything, she had to pretend as if she knew nothing at all.
The next moment, Jun Zishu suddenly felt Ning Qinghuan hugging her tightly.
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