The following day, the city was rife with rumours about how General Cang Lan’s lover had attempted to assassinate Princess Qing Guan in the middle of the night out of jealousy.
However, Princess Qing Guan appreciated the bond between the two, and wasn’t willing to be the one to break them up. She personally requested the Emperor to allow the two to be together and had stepped aside voluntarily.
This magnanimous action caused Shi Sheng to win a lot of praise.
“So this was the reason you forced the Chen Emperor to write that edict, Your Highness!” Bi Xi gazed at Shi Sheng with worship in her eyes. ‘This way, even if Her Highness doesn’t fulfil the marriage alliance, others would only praise her righteousness and for being aware of the big picture even when she returns to Nanjin.’
“You’re thinking too much.” Shi Sheng cast Bi Xi a side glance. Contrary to Bi Xi’s thoughts, she didn’t have the motivation to spend so much effort on preserving her “reputation” or whatnot.
The only reason she had done it was so that the FL could openly break the ML away from his various admirers.
‘If you try to keep them apart in secret, the ML might think: Ooh this girl’s rather cute.
But if you tear them apart in the open, it’s a completely different thing. It’s jealousy, the one thing men hate the most.’
“Ah?” ‘Thinking too much? But wasn’t that your intention?’
“Write a letter back to Nanjin. Inform them that we will not be returning for the moment. If any messengers from the palace come, just tell them I(bg) want to enjoy myself here in Chang’An a bit longer,” Shi Sheng instructed Bi Xi, “Also, go buy a compound for us to live in.”
‘The FL’s here—I can’t just leave.’
Usually, the Prime Minister doted on Yue Yao quite a lot. However, after bringing her back to his estate, he was so angered that he made her kneel in the courtyard in spite of her injuries.
“An Yue Yao! Are you planning on dragging the entire An Clan down to hell?!” He poked at Yue Yao’s forehead. “Just look at what you’ve done! That’s Princess Qing Guan, the most beloved princess of Nanjin! What the hell were you doing in her quarters in the middle of the night?!”
“Father,” Yue Yao spoke in an aggrieved tone, “I really wasn’t trying to assassinate her! She’s slandering me!”
“Hmph! As if I didn’t know? You wouldn’t have dared!” The Prime Minister harrumphed, though his tone softened subsequently, “But you did appear in her room during the middle of the night. This is an undeniable fact. Had she insisted His Majesty behead you, for the sake of peace between our two countries and the common folk, he wouldn’t have hesitated. I wouldn’t have been able to protect you then.”
In the past couple of years, Chen had experienced a spate of natural disasters in quick succession. This was why their Emperor was so desperate for a marriage alliance with Nanjin. Of course, the most important factor was to prevent Nanjin and Chuyang from allying against Chen.
If anything happened to the most beloved princess of Nanjin within the borders of Chen, would Nanjin spare Chen?
“Father…” Yue Yao looked at the Prime Minister. Although this wasn’t her real father, she had enjoyed the fatherly love he showered upon her ever since she descended into this body.
She was rather touched, so she couldn’t help but feel upset at seeing the helpless expression on his face right now. ‘It’s all because of that Princess Qing Guan! Not only did she attack me, she slandered me too!’
“Yue Yao, be honest with me: did you offend her in any way?”
Yue Yao shook her head in confusion. “She’s only been to Chang’An for a day—how could I have offended her in that short amount of time…”
“Then what were you doing at her place in the middle of the night?” The Prime Minister felt his temper rising at the thought. ‘It is simply outrageous for a lady to be outside that late!’
“I…” Yue Yao had no way of explaining, so she could only bite her lip, lower her head and remain silent.
The Prime Minister frowned and several thoughts flashed across his mind. “Yue Yao, you couldn’t have really fallen for Cang Lan right?”
“Who’s fallen for him?!” Yue Yao blurted.
As someone who’d lived the greater half of a century, the Prime Minister could naturally tell that she was trying to cover up her true thoughts. It even seemed as though she wasn’t even aware of it.
The Prime Minister shook his head. Since matters had already progressed to this point, they had no choice but to take things one step at a time. The Prime Minister couldn’t tell what that Princess Qing Guan was planning, and neither could Cang Lan or the Chen Emperor.
Unexpectedly, this princess was planning to remain in Chen—she had even bought an estate. It seemed she was planning to stay here for the long haul.
The annulment of the engagement between Princess Qing Guan and General Cang Lan became a hot topic of discussion for the commoners.
The annulment contract was soon delivered from Nanjin. Although the Chen Emperor was unwilling, he could only swallow his dissatisfaction and stamp it with his seal.
Even though the engagement had been annulled, Princess Qing Guan remained in Chang’An. No one knew why she was staying here.
Cang Lan’s and Yue Yao’s wedding was scheduled to be held on the tenth of the second month, when winter was at its peak.
Shi Sheng wore a fox fur coat as she watched the bright red wedding procession march through the snow below, accompanied by joyous music.
“Your Highness, how long are we going to remain here?” Bi Xi cautiously asked.
‘His Majesty’s been sending letters almost every day!’
“It’s still early,” Shi Sheng replied indistinctly while leaning against the windowsill.
“Your Highness, His Majesty will be angry that you haven’t returned to celebrate the New Year with him…”
“Even more reason to not return.” Shi Sheng turned to face Bi Xi before speaking with a straight face, “I’ll wait till Imperial Father’s anger has subsided somewhat.”
Bi Xi, “…” ‘Your Highness, His Majesty is going to storm over here if you keep being this wilful!’
With Shi Sheng’s insistence on staying, there was nothing Bi Xi could do. Other than the frequent emissaries sent by the Chen Emperor to question her about her plans, no one else in Chang’An bothered her.
After their wedding, Cang Lan and Yue Yao experienced a period of stable marriage. However, Cang Lan still had a lot of admirers. His marriage did little to dissuade those ladies who’d had their red strings pulled to his from flocking to him.
The first buds were beginning to bloom, heralding the arrival of spring. Since Shi Sheng had been spending too much time indoors as of late, Bi Xi forced her to go out for a walk.
Several finely dressed young ladies watched as a luxuriously decorated carriage drew close to them from afar.
A thin veil was hung outside the carriage, blocking off its occupants from prying eyes. Bells hung on threads hanging off the veil, tinkling as the carriage trundled along.
One of the girls pointed at the carriage and questioned the others out of curiosity, “Isn’t that Princess Qing Guan’s carriage?”
“Why is she here?”
“Shh, keep it down! I heard this princess is not only petty, she also holds grudges.”
Everyone turned to look curiously at the girl in a blue skirt who had said this.
“Who did you hear it from?”
Blue Skirt Girl lowered her voice, “I saw it with my own eyes! That relative of the Minister of Personnel got himself drunk and tried to harass Princess Qing Guan, but…”
“Come on! Don’t leave us hanging!”
Blue Skirt Girl lowered her voice even more. “But she crippled him… I heard that the Minister of Personnel went to negotiate with her, but she simply got people to beat him up as well!”
“It can’t be!” The other girls covered their mouths, shock and disbelief written on their faces.
“This is Chen, not Nanjin! Who allowed her to be so arrogant?! Did His Majesty really not do anything?”
Blue Skirt Girl shook her head. “What could His Majesty even do? So many people witnessed that fellow harassing Princess Qing Guan. If this matter was to be blown up, I fear he might not be able to protect his life!”
“Isn’t she a bit too petty?” Someone spoke in a sour tone, “It’s just a bit of harassment, yet she punished him so severely. Such viciousness!”
“Indeed! None of our princesses are like her!”
“That’s because she’s a princess of Nanjin, and the most beloved one at that. If anything happens to her while she’s in Chen, it will be a diplomatic fiasco… Shh, here she comes!” Blue Skirt Girl hurriedly gestured for them to keep quiet.
Everyone hurriedly shut their mouths and stood to the side, staring at the approaching carriage that tinkled as it moved with differing expressions.
An update to thank the little angels who donated.