Ling Yue’s swordsmanship was rather good. Shi Sheng could even feel an unusual force behind his attacks.
‘I wonder what that sword of his is made of. It’s actually perfectly fine despite being hacked a few times by mine!’
Shi Sheng hadn’t fought in this body before, so she was a bit unaccustomed, nearly getting stabbed by Ling Yue’s sword several times.
Another stab—containing that strange force—came at her from a tricky angle that was hard to guard against. Shi Sheng couldn’t defend in time, letting it sink into her arm.
She twisted her body and retreated. Shi Sheng glanced at her sleeve that had been cut into, her eyes darkening for a moment.
“Please return.” Ling Yue put his sword away expressionlessly, his tone as placid as it had been at the start of their confrontation.
Shi Sheng shifted her gaze from the wound and smiled at Ling Yue. “The penalty for murder is death. You injured me, but I won’t take your life. I’ll settle for your body.”
Though her inky-black eyes were calm, Ling Yue could feel killing intent.
That barely perceptible killing intent lingered around her. It wasn’t thick by any means, but there was no way to miss it. Ling Yue’s grip on his sword tightened as he inwardly raised his guard.
“If Your Excellency is here for the matter of the Heaven’s Ritual, please return.”
Shi Sheng’s eyes narrowed. “I never told you who I was. How did you know who I am, and why I came?”
‘He referred to me as “Your Excellency” the second he saw me, even though I never told him my name and didn’t bring anything that would give away my identity. So how is he so certain?’
“Jun Liyou.” Ling Yue accurately called out her name.
“Very good. I don’t even have to introduce myself.” Shi Sheng nodded in satisfaction. “Are you coming with me on your own, or do I have to take you away?”
“Please forgive me for being unable to assist with the Heaven’s Ritual—”
“Who said anything about that Heaven’s Ritual nonsense?” Shi Sheng interrupted him. “I was asking whether you’re coming with me of your own free will, or if I have to take you away.”
Ling Yue, “…” ‘Is there a difference?’
His expression remained unchanged as he stared at Shi Sheng. The killing intent around her had vanished at some point. Now, she gave off the impression of someone who was harmless and lazy.
Ling Yue frowned. ‘This woman… I can’t read her face at all…and her behaviour is unpredictable too.’
He fell silent for a time. “Please allow me to consider, Your Excellency.”
“If you can’t decide by tomorrow morning, I’ll decide for you.” Shi Sheng didn’t press him for an answer.
She shamelessly looked at the tower behind him. “C’mon, let me stay the night here.”
Ling Yue, “…”
He picked up the oil lantern that had already been extinguished before turning to enter the tower. Before he closed the door, he looked at Shi Sheng. “Men and women should keep their distance. You should stay the night at the temple, Your Excellency.”
Shi Sheng, “…” ‘Crazy.’
Shi Sheng pulled up her sleeve to check the wound. It was rather deep, and it hurt a bit.
‘Tsk, so harsh. Our relationship’s on the brink of dying.’
[……] ‘Host, aren’t you being too confident in yourself? What if he isn’t Feng Ci?’
The next day, Ling Yue was greeted by the sight of the woman from last night leaning against the doorframe upon opening the door.
Because the lighting last night had been rather dim, added to the fact she had been facing away from the light, he hadn’t gotten a good look at her features. But now that he took a closer look, he found that this woman was rather good-looking.
“Thought it through yet, lil priest?” Shi Sheng’s eyes curved upwards as she smiled the moment she saw him.
Ling Yue, “…” ‘It seems she looks even better when she smiles.’
“My Master has always been the one in charge of the Heaven’s Ritual. I cannot guarantee my success”
“Oh. No worries. Even if it fails, I can protect you.”
Ling Yue’s expression turned cold. “I don’t need it.”
“Why not? The Empress is rather scary when she gets angry. Lil priest, I really am capable—won’t you consider repaying me with your body?” Shi Sheng relentlessly promoted herself.
Ling Yue didn’t even spare her a glance. “Your Excellency, I am a priest. I do not concern myself with the mundane world.”
“Priests can return to the mundane ah! It’s no fun being all alone. Wasn’t there a saying that said when men and women team up, nothing’s too tiring?” Shi Sheng continued putting in more effort.
Ling Yue, “…”
He looked at the sky, his expression unreadable. In the end, he sighed inwardly. “Since Your Excellency was able to come up here, I believe you will be able to find your way back down. I shall wait for you at the temple.”
Shi Sheng watched as Ling Yue tapped the ground with his foot and he went flying off. Using various points on the mountain as for his footing, he soon reached the path on the other side.
Shi Sheng, “…” ‘Is this qinggong?’
Although this ancient world didn’t have any spirit energy, the people here could cultivate inner energy and practise qinggong. She hadn’t managed to think of this last night.
Jun Liyou was a civil official, so at most she would have learned a few basic moves to defend herself with. She wouldn’t have had the time or the opportunity to learn something as high-level as qinggong.
Shi Sheng pondered whether it was too late to learn it at her current age before slowly drawing her sword and descending the mountain.
Since Shi Sheng had taken the direct route down while Ling Yue had to follow the path’s winding route, Shi Sheng reached the courtyard before he did.
This resulted in Ling Yue looking at Shi Sheng for a good long while before shifting his gaze.
Behind him was the little priest whose eyes were red and swollen from crying. The little priest was very scared of Shi Sheng now, so he did his best to hide behind Ling Yue. “Senior Brother…”
‘This woman is too scary! Who knows if Senior Brother was bullied by her last night? Pei! Senior Brother wouldn’t be bullied by her! He’s so strong!’
Ling Yue told the little priest he was leaving, prompting the latter to reveal a worried, guarded look.
“Senior Brother, can’t you not go?” ‘This woman doesn’t have good intentions, how can Senior Brother just follow her?’
Ling Yue lowered his voice and spoke to the little priest. Though the latter was still reluctant, he didn’t object anymore.
“Then come back soon.”
“Senior Brother, be careful.” The little priest cast a pointed look in Shi Sheng’s direction.
“Not as if I’m going to eat your Senior Brother. Why’re you looking at me like that?” Shi Sheng didn’t like the way he looked at her, so she couldn’t help but retort.
“Hmph!” The little priest turned his head away. ‘My Senior Brother is so good-looking, who knows if you’ll suddenly turn beastly?’
“You damn brat…” Shi Sheng rolled up her sleeves and made to go beat up the little priest, but Ling Yue blocked her path. “Let’s go.”
Shi Sheng shook her fist at the little brat. She spoke with an evil grin on her face, “Your Senior Brother isn’t coming back. Just stay here alone!”
“You’re lying! Senior Brother wouldn’t abandon me!” The little priest immediately burst out and jogged over to Ling Yue, tilting his head upwards to reveal the eyes that were shining with unshed tears. “Senior Brother…you’ll return, won’t you?”
“Your Excellency, if you continue being like this, I won’t follow you.” Ling Yue frowned and warned her.
He then ruffled the little priest’s head. “I’ll be back soon. Take care of the place.”
Hearing this, the little priest let out a great sigh of relief before giving Shi Sheng a proud look. ‘There’s no way my Senior Brother would abandon me!’
Shi Sheng pouted and didn’t say any more, though her fingers traced the hilt of her sword and a cold glint could be seen in her eyes, causing the little priest to feel his body turn cold.
Intentionally or otherwise, Ling Yue blocked off Shi Sheng’s view with his body.
Once they left the little priest, Shi Sheng merely walked in silence, neither teasing Ling Yue nor saying anything else.
The two descended the mountain in this strange silence.
 轻功/qinggong, for those who are new to Chinese literature, is a thing that allows the user to make their body seem lighter and so is able to achieve a sort of false flight, more like gliding really. It’s rather popular in the Wuxia genre. I don’t know enough specifics to go into detail, so I advise you to look it up yourself.
Shi Sheng: I’m not happeh ‘cos you touched someone else.
Ling Yue: …???
Shi Sheng: Idiot!
Ling Yue: ……