When Dai Yue and Ying Yue saw that Shi Sheng really had invited a priest of Mt. Wanyuan, they felt pleasant surprise.
‘The Empress can’t say anything this time!’
But once they got a closer look at the priest…
‘Your Excellency, are you sure you didn’t just randomly find someone?! And he’s so young as well?’
“Where is Priest Tianxu? Your Excellency…you can’t just randomly find someone ah!”
‘Although this little priest is quite good-looking, this matter can’t rely on just looks!’
“What Tianxu? Didn’t see him. There were only two people in the whole temple.”
‘One of them’s underage and the other…is probably also underage.’
The two Yues, “…”
“Master is touring the outside world, so I’m in charge of everything on Mt. Wanyuan. If the two of you feel that I am not capable enough, I can return.”
The two Yues exchanged glances before giving a deep bow. “Master, please do not be angry. We were impolite. Since you are Priest Tianxu’s honoured disciple, you are definitely capable.”
This was the person their lady had invited with much difficulty. At the very least, it was already better than the previous officials’ fruitless attempts.
Shi Sheng leapt on to the carriage, not meddling in the arrangements the two Yues would make for Ling Yue.
Ling Yue felt that this woman was simply unfathomable. He hadn’t done anything to offend her, so what was she so angry for?
The procession set off back to the capital.
When the Empress heard that Shi Sheng had invited someone back, she was very pleased and rewarded her with many items before sending people to invite Ling Yue into the palace.
Shi Sheng didn’t express any opinions during this whole process.
Dai Yue and Ying Yue could tell Shi Sheng wasn’t in a good mood, so they didn’t dare to speak and were very careful when serving her.
“Your Excellency, there’s going to be a banquet in the palace today. What do you—”
Ying Yue’s words got caught in her throat. She hadn’t finished.
“Your Excellency, this is Priest Ling Yue’s welcoming banquet. As the Prime Minister, you can’t just not attend.” Dai Yue spoke.
Shi Sheng lifted her head to look at Dai Yue, who immediately lowered her own. ‘Did I say anything wrong? Why is Her Excellency’s gaze so terrifying?’
Within the audience hall of the imperial palace, Ling Yue had the seat of honour to the right of the host.
As he was the only man present, countless eyes swivelled over to examine him constantly, causing him discomfort.
These past few days in the palace had been difficult too.
Shi Sheng was seated diagonally across from him, her eyes lowered as she played with a winecup in her hands.
Ling Yue’s gaze swept over her before lowering, as if he hadn’t seen her.
The Crown Princess was seated directly across from Ling Yue. She stared at him with an infatuated look, and it seemed drool was coming out from the side of her mouth.
Jiang Zhi cast a disdainful gaze at the Crown Princess. ‘As the heir to the throne, she actually pays so little heed to her image!’
Having noticed Jiang Zhi’s gaze, the Crown Princess readjusted her expression and glared fiercely at Jiang Zhi. “You’ve already offended the master, yet you are still so shameless as to approach him? Why did I not discover this about you before?”
Jiang Zhi harrumphed coldly. “I merely wished to apologise to him. Did you think everyone was as shameless as you, sister?”
“Who’re you calling shameless?!” The Crown Princess flew into a rage.
‘I’m the future Empress! So what if I take a liking to a man? That’s his fortune! He’ll be an Imperial Consort in the future! Yet this woman insists on getting in my way, and she even told on me to Imperial Mother, causing me to be punished with copying scriptures for so long. Imperial Mother even entrusted her with the preparations for the Heaven’s Ritual!’
“Jiang Zhi, don’t be too proud of yourself! This time I’ll definitely teach you a lesson!”
As turbulent undercurrents flowed between the two, the rest of the officials engaged in lively discussion.
“This Priest Ling Yue is really handsome. A pity…”
“Shh! Quieten down! He’s Priest Tianxu’s disciple; don’t gossip.”
“Eh, I heard that even the Crown Princess and the Ning Princess are trying to cosy up to him.”
“Priest Ling Yue…”
Clunk! Someone had set down a winecup very heavily, causing the sounds of discussion to die down as everyone looked at the source of the noise.
“I do believe you people are too idle. How about I submit a proposal to the Empress to cut your salaries?”
The officials, “…” ‘How did we offend this one? All we did was say a few words…’
Their gazes drifted over to Ling Yue before turning back to look at Shi Sheng’s icy expression and choosing to remain silent.
‘It seems like not only has the Crown Princess and the Ning Princess taken a liking to Priest Ling Yue, even the Prime Minister has as well.’
The Empress didn’t appear at the banquet, apparently due to feeling unwell. Hence, the Crown Princess became the host.
Shi Sheng watched as the Crown Princess nearly plastered herself onto Ling Yue as she spoke to him.
Perhaps having noticed Ling Yue’s discomfort, Jiang Zhi went forth to pull the Crown Princess away, causing a fight to break out between the two.
Shi Sheng’s thoughts were unreadable as she downed one cup after another, an oppressive aura surrounding her.
Whilst the Crown Princess and Jiang Zhi were battling it out, others came forth to offer up toasts to Ling Yue.
He didn’t touch the wine, instead using tea as a substitute.
“I’ve never heard of priests having to abstain from alcohol! Priest Tianxu drank wine, didn’t he? You simply must drink a cup!”
“I don’t drink.” Dislike appeared on Ling Yue’s expression, though his tone was no different from normal.
“Are you looking down on me?”
This voice caused the noisy crowd to quieten down as all eyes turned to focus on the woman who was proposing a toast to Ling Yue.
“Lady Lin, what are you doing?” Jiang Zhi immediately stepped forth. “The master must have a reason for not drinking wine. How about I drink in his stead?”
Jiang Zhi poured a cup and raised it in Lady Lin’s direction before downing it in one gulp.
“Ning Princess, this isn’t right of you! The banquet today was held in the master’s honour, how can you help him drink? This won’t do at all! Come on, master, you should at least drink one cup as a show of goodwill.”
“That’s right. Just drink a cup as a show of goodwill. We won’t ask you to drink much.”
As more and more people began urging him to drink up and their words turned more discomfiting, some probing gazes turned even more lewd. Ling Yue’s expression slowly turned unsightly. He lowered his gaze to hide the killing intent swirling in the depths of his eyes.
After a while, he picked up a cup that was filled with wine and downed it with furrowed brows.
As the cold liquid slid down his throat, it seemed to burn.
“As expected of Priest Tianxu’s honoured disciple! Here’s a toast to you!”
Right now, a lot of women were drunk on the alcohol, so having such a good-looking man here was the same as tossing a little lamb into a pack of wolves.
Ling Yue was completely surrounded by women who urged him to drink or otherwise teased him subtly with their words. He grasped at his sleeve, the killing intent in his eyes about to spill out.
‘Master always said my face stood out too much, that it would bring me disaster.’
He hadn’t believed it before. But today, he experienced it for himself.
“Ah!” A wail suddenly echoed out in the great hall. The woman who had been the loudest had been kicked by someone and was currently sprawled all over the table beside Ling Yue.
Shi Sheng shoved the person blocking her way aside and stalked over to the woman. She roughly grasped the woman and turned her over. “Want to drink, eh? Bring the wine!”
The first sentence was spoken to the woman in her grasp while the second was to the onlookers.
Shi Sheng’s frosty glare shot over. “Bring. The. Wine.”
 This is a respectful form of address for a Daoist priest.
Shi Sheng: Dared to make a move on my(lz) man?!
Happy National Day babes~ The doubled monthly vote offer is still here~
It’s a new month! T^T
You guys have stores now, so…gimme monthly votes~ and recommendations~