The carriage stopped a small distance away from them, but no one came out. They waited for a while, yet its occupant still showed no sign of emerging.
They exchanged glances amongst themselves before pretending that they hadn’t seen the carriage, proceeding to go about their business.
Shi Sheng leaned back against the carriage wall, eyes closed in respite while Bi Xi prepared tea beside her.
Bi Xi really wanted to mutter something along the lines of, “What difference is there between having tea here and having tea back at the courtyard?”
But upon catching Shi Sheng’s relaxed expression, she swallowed her words.
As Shi Sheng rested in the carriage, more and more people gathered around it. Yet, not a single one dared to go forward and disturb her. Instead, they remained there and simply pointed at the carriage while gossiping amongst themselves.
Bi Xi covertly lifted the curtains to have a look outside, catching a few snippets of gossip which gradually caused her expression to turn unsightly. She huffily dropped the curtain before turning to speak in anger, “Your Highness, it was clearly the Minister of Personnel’s son who was in the wrong! How could these people randomly gossip about it?!”
‘If they were the ones being harassed, they’d probably be feeling suicidal right now!’
“This won’t do! They’re getting more outrageous…” Bi Xi made to leave the carriage.
“Let them talk,” Shi Sheng spoke calmly, “There are plenty of people who are jealous of me(bg). There’s no need to spend so much effort on them.”
Bi Xi’s anger left her like a deflated balloon. ‘Your Highness, can you get any more narcissistic?’
But in the middle of their conversation, they were interrupted by several startled shrieks coming from outside.
Bi Xi immediately lifted the curtain to see the cause and vaguely managed to make out splashing noises coming from the lake nearby. She exclaimed, “Eh? Someone’s fallen into the lake!”
“Let’s go have a look.”
Hearing this, Bi Xi immediately helped Shi Sheng off the carriage.
The ones who had been pointing at the carriage just now were all gathered by the lakeside, stretching their necks out to get a look at what was happening.
Because of Shi Sheng’s noble status, she easily reached the very front of the crowd. They took the initiative in keeping their distance from her, allowing her space to walk through as well as an empty area all to herself.
Shi Sheng was pleased about this. After all, no one could complain about having more space.
Two people were thrashing about in the lake. One was Yue Yao, and the other was that Blue Skirt Girl from earlier.
As the two flailed around, the people on the lakeside hurriedly attempted to rescue them.
In the end, it was only when the young nobles hanging out far away came over to investigate the disturbance that the two were rescued.
Yue Yao’s hair was a mess, and her clothes were completely soaked through. Fortunately, her figure wasn’t all that good, so even if her clothes were glued to her body, the onlookers wouldn’t really see much.
Things were different for Blue Skirt Girl, however—her figure was too good. Although the weather hadn’t warmed up much as of yet, the fashion of noblewomen had already switched to thinner fabrics than those worn during the winter. This brief dip had therefore caused Blue Skirt Girl’s clothes to plaster themselves to her skin, giving everyone around a good eyeful of her hourglass figure.
Quite a few of the surrounding young nobles cast rather improper gazes at Blue Skirt Girl. Her face was pale as she glared at them angrily.
Several of Blue Skirt Girl’s close friends immediately went up and blocked off onlookers’ view with their bodies, some of them even taking off their cloaks to cover Blue Skirt Girl.
The onlookers could only embarrassedly shift their gazes elsewhere. After all, everyone here was acquainted. If they went overboard, it’d affect their reputation.
“How come you suddenly fell into the water?” Someone beside Blue Skirt Girl questioned.
“It’s all because of that jinx!” Blue Skirt Girl glared at Yue Yao. “Don’t you know how to walk? Why’d you even leave the house if you can’t?!”
“I didn’t do it on purpose!” Yue Yao glared back, unwilling to be seen as inferior. “Didn’t I fall in with you?”
“Oh, so that makes it okay?” Blue Skirt Girl’s willowy brows scrunched together. “I think you did that on purpose!”
“I didn’t!” ‘I really didn’t mean to do that! Who knew I’d trip when she just so happened to be next to me?’
“There’s plenty of space over there, yet you deliberately walked close to me! How do you expect me to believe it wasn’t on purpose?!” Blue Skirt Girl’s IQ was clearly online—her arguments were rather sound.
Yue Yao denied her accusations in a loud voice, but it didn’t seem to be working that well when one considered how no one else was speaking up in support of her.
Because she had married Cang Lan, a Prince Charming-like figure in the hearts of all the maidens of Chang’An, it was only natural that they would choose to oppose her.
Their argument soon escalated into a fight. Shi Sheng silently began a mental countdown.
‘When the FL and the supporting FL fall into a body of water, the ML will show up for sure. He’ll either help the FL or the supporting FL.’
In the midst of their struggle, Yue Yao slapped Blue Skirt Girl.
Shi Sheng’s inner countdown ended.
“General Cang Lan…”
Someone called out, and the crowd parted of their own accord.
A tall, handsome figure strode over. However, he wasn’t looking at Yue Yao. Instead, he went over to Blue Skirt Girl and lifted her up in his arms.
“Cang Lan…” Yue Yao panicked and raised her hand. “I…”
“Escort the Madam back to the estate,” Cang Lan merely instructed in a calm voice before carrying Blue Skirt Girl away.
Blue Skirt Girl was facing Yue Yao with her arms wrapped around Cang Lan’s neck. Taking advantage of Cang Lan being unable to see her expression, she raised her brows at Yue Yao triumphantly.
Yue Yao’s face turned green and then white. To make it worse, the moment she turned around, Shi Sheng’s ridiculing smile entered her eyes. This caused a sudden surge of rage to rise through her heart.
“Madam Cang, why are you staring at our Highness like that? Not even greeting our Highness upon seeing her—is this the way Chen has taught you?” Bi Xi spoke seriously. The first sentence was targeted at Yue Yao, while the second was targeted at the other people around them.
Having suddenly been implicated, the other people couldn’t help but glare angrily at Yue Yao before greeting Shi Sheng somewhat unwillingly.
“Greetings, Princess Qing Guan.”
Princess Qing Guan was the princess of Nanjin. As the younger generation nobles of Chen, if they committed any faux pas and it became known to others, they would be the ones losing face.
Shi Sheng didn’t respond, so they didn’t dare to straighten their bodies.
Yue Yao stood stiffly, appearing completely unwilling to greet Shi Sheng despite being showered with constant glares from the people around her.
Yue Yao felt very aggrieved. ‘Just why do I have to take this lying down? I’m a goddess, you foolish mortals!’
“Since that’s the case, then all of you can accompany Madam Cang in standing here,” Saying this, Shi Sheng’s lips drew up in a slightly malicious smile, “I(bg) am already being lenient by not bestowing punishment by flogging for disrespecting me(bg). No need to thank me(bg) too much.”
The crowd exchanged glances. They had heard rumours of how Princess Qing Guan was arrogant and overbearing, wilful and without a care for what others thought. They had thought that it was all an exaggeration… but after personally experiencing it today, they realised their mistake.
Just because An Yue Yao didn’t greet her, they were all being punished as well…
They couldn’t afford to offend Princess Qing Guan, so all they could do was lay the blame on Yue Yao.
Shi Sheng didn’t give Yue Yao a chance to repent; she turned to board her carriage, lifting the curtain to speak to the crowd before she left, “Four hours is enough. If anyone dares to leave before then, I(bg) await you in the throne room.”
‘Of course I’m(bbb) not going to give up the chance to torment these gossipmongers!
I(bbb) hold grudges, after all.
A pity I’m not the princess of Chen; otherwise, I would’ve made them kneel instead!’
The innocent crowd, “…” ‘We were just watching! How come we get punished too?’
Forcing these noble young lords and ladies to stand beside the lake for four whole hours was an unspeakable torment.
Apparently, several of the weaker ones fell sick and developed a fever after they had returned home. Shi Sheng specially got people to send some tonics over as well as a message: Exercise more. You’re too weak if you can’t even take this much.
Yep, those were her exact words, no paraphrasing involved.
The ones who received the message were both embarrassed and enraged, yet they couldn’t take it out on the perpetrator.
After all, they couldn’t very well blame others for their bodies being too weak, could they?
But as a result, Shi Sheng grew more and more infamous in Chang’An for being arrogant and overbearing.
For those of you who haven’t read Petty Ghosts are Hard to Deal With (29), please go back and take a look.
*pets you guys*